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Title: Legends of the Middle Ages - Narrated with Special Reference to Literature and Art
Author: Guerber, H. A. (Hélène Adeline), 1859-1929
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Legends of the Middle Ages - Narrated with Special Reference to Literature and Art" ***

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    "Saddle the Hippogriffs, ye Muses nine,
    And straight we'll ride to the land of old Romance"



    "Men lykyn jestis for to here,
    And romans rede in diuers manere

    "Of Brute that baron bold of hond,
    The first conqueroure of Englond;
    Of kyng Artour that was so riche,
    Was non in his tyme him liche.

    "How kyng Charlis and Rowlond fawght
    With sarzyns nold they be cawght;
    Of Tristrem and of Ysoude the swete,
    How they with love first gan mete;

    "Stories of diuerce thynggis,
    Of pryncis, prelatis, and of kynggis;
    Many songgis of diuers ryme,
    As english, frensh, and latyne."
                              _Curser Mundi_.


The object of this work is to familiarize young students with the legends
which form the staple of mediaeval literature.

While they may owe more than is apparent at first sight to the classical
writings of the palmy days of Greece and Rome, these legends are very
characteristic of the people who told them, and they are the best exponents
of the customs, manners, and beliefs of the time to which they belong. They
have been repeated in poetry and prose with endless variations, and some of
our greatest modern writers have deemed them worthy of a new dress, as is
seen in Tennyson's "Idyls of the King," Goethe's "Reineke Fuchs," Tegnér's
"Frithiof Saga," Wieland's "Oberon," Morris's "Story of Sigurd," and many
shorter works by these and less noted writers.

These mediaeval legends form a sort of literary quarry, from which,
consciously or unconsciously, each writer takes some stones wherewith to
build his own edifice. Many allusions in the literature of our own day lose
much of their force simply because these legends are not available to the
general reader.

It is the aim of this volume to bring them within reach of all, and to
condense them so that they may readily be understood. Of course in so
limited a space only an outline of each legend can be given, with a few
short quotations from ancient and modern writings to illustrate the style
of the poem in which they are embodied, or to lend additional force to some
point in the story.

This book is, therefore, not a manual of mediaeval literature, or a series
of critical essays, but rather a synopsis of some of the epics and romances
which formed the main part of the culture of those days. Very little
prominence has been given to the obscure early versions, all disquisitions
have been carefully avoided, and explanations have been given only where
they seemed essential.

The wealth and variety of imagination displayed in these legends will, I
hope, prove that the epoch to which they belong has been greatly maligned
by the term "dark ages," often applied to it. Such was the favor which the
legendary style of composition enjoyed with our ancestors that several of
the poems analyzed in this volume were among the first books printed for
general circulation in Europe.

Previous to the invention of printing, however, they were familiar to rich
and poor, thanks to the scalds, bards, trouvères, troubadours, minstrels,
and minnesingers, who, like the rhapsodists of Greece, spent their lives in
wandering from place to place, relating or reciting these tales to all they
met in castle, cottage, and inn.

A chapter on the Romance literature of the period in the different
countries of Europe, and a complete index, will, it is hoped, fit this
volume for handy reference in schools and libraries, where the author
trusts it may soon find its own place and win a warm welcome.
















































    "List! we have learnt a tale of other years,
    Of kings and warrior Danes, a wondrous tale,
    How aethelings bore them in the brunt of war."
                                _Beowulf_ (Conybeare's tr.).

The most ancient relic of literature of the spoken languages of modern
Europe is undoubtedly the epic poem "Beowulf," which is supposed to have
been composed by the Anglo-Saxons previous to their invasion of England.
Although the poem probably belongs to the fifth century, the only existing
manuscript is said to date from the ninth or tenth century.

This curious work, in rude alliterative verse (for rhyme was introduced in
England only after the Norman Conquest), is the most valuable old English
manuscript in the British Museum. Although much damaged by fire, it has
been carefully studied by learned men. They have patiently restored the
poem, the story of which is as follows:

[Sidenote: Origin of the Skioldungs.] Hrothgar (the modern Roger), King of
Denmark, was a descendant of Odin, being the third monarch of the
celebrated dynasty of the Skioldungs. They proudly traced their ancestry to
Skeaf, or Skiold, Odin's son, who mysteriously drifted to their shores. He
was then but an infant, and lay in the middle of a boat, on a sheaf of ripe
wheat, surrounded by priceless weapons and jewels. As the people were
seeking for a ruler, they immediately recognized the hand of Odin in this
mysterious advent, proclaimed the child king, and obeyed him loyally as
long as he lived. When he felt death draw near, Skeaf, or Skiold, ordered a
vessel to be prepared, lay down in the midst on a sheaf of grain or on a
funeral pyre, and drifted out into the wide ocean, disappearing as
mysteriously as he had come.

[Sidenote: Construction of Heorot.] Such being his lineage, it is no wonder
that Hrothgar became a mighty chief; and as he had amassed much wealth in
the course of a long life of warfare, he resolved to devote part of it to
the construction of a magnificent hall, called Heorot, where he might feast
his retainers and listen to the heroic lays of the scalds during the long
winter evenings.

   "A hall of mead, such as for space and state
    The elder time ne'er boasted; there with free
    And princely hand he might dispense to all
    (Save the rude crowd and men of evil minds)
    The good he held from Heaven. That gallant work,
    Full well I wot, through many a land was known
    Of festal halls the brightest and the best."
                                        _Beowulf_ (Conybeare's tr.).
The inauguration of this hall was celebrated by a sumptuous entertainment;
and when all the guests had retired, the king's bodyguard, composed of
thirty-two dauntless warriors, lay down in the hall to rest. When morning
dawned, and the servants appeared to remove the couches, they beheld with
horror the floor and walls all stained with blood, the only trace of the
knights who had gone to rest there in full armor.

[Sidenote: The monster Grendel.] Gigantic, blood-stained footsteps, leading
directly from the festive hall to the sluggish waters of a deep mountain
lake, or fiord, furnished the only clew to their disappearance. Hrothgar,
the king, beholding these, declared that they had been made by Grendel, a
descendant of the giants, whom a magician had driven out of the country,
but who had evidently returned to renew his former depredations.

    "A haunter of marshes, a holder of moors.
    . . . . . Secret
    The land he inhabits; dark, wolf-haunted ways
    Of the windy hillside, by the treacherous tarn;
    Or where, covered up in its mist, the hill stream
    Downward flows."
                                      _Beowulf_ (Keary's tr.).

As Hrothgar was now too old to wield a sword with his former skill, his
first impulse was, of course, to offer a princely reward to any man brave
enough to free the country of this terrible scourge. As soon as this was
known ten of his doughtiest knights volunteered to camp in the hall on the
following night, and attack the monster Grendel should he venture to

But in spite of the valor of these experienced warriors, and of the
efficacy of their oft-tried weapons, they too succumbed. A minstrel, hiding
in a dark corner of the hall, was the only one who escaped Grendel's fury,
and after shudderingly describing the massacre he had witnessed, he fled in
terror to the kingdom of the Geates (Jutes or Goths). There he sang his
lays in the presence of Hygelac, the king, and of his nephew Beowulf (the
Bee Hunter), and roused their deepest interest by describing the visit of
Grendel and the vain but heroic defense of the brave knights. Beowulf,
having listened intently, eagerly questioned the scald, and, learning from
him that the monster still haunted those regions, impetuously declared his
intention to visit Hrothgar's kingdom, and show his valor by fighting and,
if possible, slaying Grendel.

   "He was of mankind
    In might the strongest,
    At that day
    Of this life,
    Noble and stalwart.
    He bade him a sea ship,
    A goodly one, prepare.
    Quoth he, the war king,
    Over the swan's road,
    Seek he would
    The mighty monarch,
    Since he wanted men."
            _Beowulf_ (Longfellow's tr.).

[Sidenote: Beowulf and Breka.] Although very young, Beowulf was quite
distinguished, and had already won great honors in a battle against the
Swedes. He had also proved his endurance by entering into a swimming match
with Breka, one of the lords at his uncle's court. The two champions had
started out, sword in hand and fully armed, and, after swimming in concert
for five whole days, they were parted by a great tempest.

    "Then were we twain there on the sea
    Space of five nights, till the floods severed us,
    The welling waves. Coldest of weathers,
    Shadowy night, and the north wind
    Battelous shocked on us; wild were the waters,
    And were the mere-fishes stirred up in mind."

Breka was driven ashore, but the current bore Beowulf toward some jagged
cliffs, where he desperately clung, trying to resist the fury of the waves,
and using his sword to ward off the attacks of hostile mermaids, nicors
(nixies), and other sea monsters. The gashed bodies of these slain foes
soon drifted ashore, to Hygelac's amazement; but when Beowulf suddenly
reappeared and explained that they had fallen by his hand, his joy knew no
bounds. As Breka had returned first, he received the prize for swimming;
but the king gave Beowulf his treasured sword, Nägeling, and praised him
publicly for his valor.

Beowulf had successfully encountered these monsters of the deep in the
roaring tide, so he now expressed a hope that he might prevail against
Grendel also; and embarking with fourteen chosen men, he sailed to Denmark,
where he was challenged by the coast guard and warmly welcomed as soon as
he had made his purpose known.

      "'What men are ye,
    War gear wearing,
    Host in harness,
    Who thus the brown keel
    Over the water street
    Leading, come
    Hither over the sea?'"
               _Beowulf_ (Longfellow's tr.).

Hrothgar received Beowulf most hospitably, but vainly tried to dissuade him
from his perilous undertaking. Then, after a sumptuous banquet, where the
mead flowed with true northern lavishness, Hrothgar and his suite sadly
left the hall Heorot in charge of the brave band of strangers, whom they
never expected to see again.

[Sidenote: Beowulf and Grendel.] As soon as the king had departed, Beowulf
bade his companions lie down and sleep in peace, promising to watch over
them, yet laying aside both armor and sword; for he knew that weapons were
of no avail against the monster, whom he intended to grapple with hand to
hand should it really appear.

      "'I have heard
    That that foul miscreant's dark and stubborn flesh
    Recks not the force of arms:--such I forswear,
    Nor sword nor burnish'd shield of ample round
    Ask for the war; all weaponless, hand to hand
    (So may great Higelac's smile repay my toil)
    Beowulf will grapple with the mighty foe.'"
                                   _Beowulf_ (Conybeare's tr.).

The warriors had no sooner stretched themselves out upon the benches in the
hall than, overcome by the oppressive air as well as by mead, they sank
into a profound sleep. Beowulf alone remained awake, watching for Grendel's
coming. In the early morning, when all was very still, the giant appeared,
tore asunder the iron bolts and bars which secured the door, and striding
into the hall, enveloped in a long, damp mantle of clammy mist, he pounced
upon one of the sleepers. He tore him limb from limb, greedily drank his
blood, and devoured his flesh, leaving naught but the head, hands, and feet
of his unhappy victim. This ghastly repast only whetted the fiend's
ravenous appetite, however, so he eagerly stretched out his hands in the
darkness to seize and devour another warrior. Imagine his surprise and
dismay when he suddenly found his hand caught in so powerful a grasp that
all his efforts could not wrench it free!

Grendel and Beowulf struggled in the darkness, overturning tables and
couches, shaking the great hall to its very foundations, and causing the
walls to creak and groan under the violence of their furious blows. But in
spite of Grendel's gigantic stature, Beowulf clung so fast to the hand and
arm he had grasped that Grendel, making a desperate effort to free himself
by a jerk, tore the whole limb out of its socket! Bleeding and mortally
wounded, he then beat a hasty retreat to his marshy den, leaving a long,
bloody trail behind him.

    "Soon the dark wanderer's ample shoulder bore
    A gaping wound, each starting sinew crack'd,
    And from its socket loosed the strong-knit joint.--
    The victory was with Beowulf, and the foe,
    Howling and sick at heart, fled as he might,
    To seek beneath the mountain shroud of mist
    His joyless home; for well he knew the day
    Of death was on him, and his doom was seal'd."
                                  _Beowulf_ (Conybeare's tr.).

As for Beowulf, exhausted but triumphant, he stood in the middle of the
hall, where his companions crowded around him, gazing in speechless awe at
the mighty hand and limb, and the clawlike fingers, far harder than steel,
which no power had hitherto been able to resist.

At dawn Hrothgar and his subjects also appeared. They heard with wonder a
graphic account of the night's adventures, and gazed their fill upon the
monster's limb, which hung like a trophy from the ceiling of Heorot. After
the king had warmly congratulated Beowulf, and bestowed upon him many rich
gifts, he gave orders to cleanse the hall, to hang it with tapestry, and to
prepare a banquet in honor of the conquering hero.

[Sidenote:  Beowulf honored by the queen.] While the men were feasting,
listening to the lays of the scalds, and carrying the usual toasts,
Wealtheow, Hrothgar's beautiful wife, the Queen of Denmark, appeared. She
pledged Beowulf in a cup of wine, which he gallantly drained after she had
touched it to her lips. Then she bestowed upon him a costly necklace (the
famous Brisinga-men, according to some authorities)[1] and a ring of the
finest gold. [Footnote 1: See Guerber's Myths of Northern Lands, p. 127.]

    "'Wear these,' she cried, 'since thou hast in the fight
    So borne thyself, that wide as ocean rolls
    Round our wind-beaten cliffs his brimming waves,
    All gallant souls shall speak thy eulogy.'"
                                         _Beowulf_ (Conybeare's tr.).

When the banquet was ended, Hrothgar escorted his guests to more pleasant
sleeping apartments than they had occupied the night before, leaving his
own men to guard the hall, where Grendel would never again appear. The
warriors, fearing no danger, slept in peace; but in the dead of night the
mother of the giant, as grewsome and uncanny a monster as he, glided into
the hall, secured the bloody trophy still hanging from the ceiling, and
carried it away, together with Aeschere (Askher), the king's bosom friend.

When Hrothgar learned this new loss at early dawn he was overcome with
grief; and when Beowulf, attracted by the sound of weeping, appeared at his
side, he mournfully told him of his irretrievable loss.

     "'Ask not after happiness;
     Sorrow is renewed
     To the Danes' people.
     Aeschere is dead,
     Elder brother,
     The partaker of my secrets
     And my counselor,
     Who stood at my elbow
     When we in battle
     Our mail hoods defended,
     When troops rushed together
     And boar crests crashed.'"
                   _Beowulf_ (Metcalfe's tr.).

[Sidenote: Beowulf and Grendel's mother.] The young hero immediately
volunteered to finish his work and avenge Aeschere by seeking and attacking
Grendel's mother in her own retreat; but as he knew the perils of this
expedition, Beowulf first gave explicit directions for the disposal of his
personal property in case he never returned. Then, escorted by the Danes
and Geates, he followed the bloody track until he came to a cliff
overhanging the waters of the mountain pool. There the bloody traces
ceased, but Aeschere's gory head was placed aloft as a trophy.

    "Now paused they sudden where the pine grove clad
    The hoar rock's brow, a dark and joyless shade.
    Troublous and blood-stain'd roll'd the stream below.
    Sorrow and dread were on the Scylding's host,
    In each man's breast deep working; for they saw
    On that rude cliff young Aeschere's mangled head."
                                       _Beowulf_ (Conybeare's tr.).

Beowulf gazed down into the deep waters, saw that they also were darkly
dyed with the monster's blood, and, after taking leave of Hrothgar, bade
his men await his return for two whole days and nights ere they definitely
gave him up for lost. He then plunged bravely into the bloody waters, swam
about seeking for the monster's retreat, and dived deep. At last, descrying
a phosphorescent gleam in the depths, he quickly made his way thither,
shrewdly conjecturing that it must be Grendel's hiding place. But on his
way thither he was repeatedly obliged to have recourse to his sword to
defend himself against the clutches of countless hideous sea monsters which
came rushing toward him on all sides.

    "While thro' crystal gulfs were gleaming
    Ocean depths, with wonders teeming;
    Shapes of terror, huge, unsightly,
    Loom'd thro' vaulted roof translucent."
                             J.C. JONES, _Valhalla_.

A strong current seized Beowulf, and swept him irresistibly along into the
slimy retreat of Grendel's mother. She clutched him fast, wrestled with
him, deprived him of his sword, flung him down, and finally tried to pierce
his armor with her trenchant knife. Fortunately, however, the hero's armor
was weapon-proof, and his muscles were so strong that before she could do
him any harm he had freed himself from her grasp. Seizing a large sword
hanging upon a projection of rock near by, he dealt her a mighty blow,
severing her head from the trunk at a single stroke. The blood pouring out
of the cave mingled with the waters without, and turned them to such a
lurid hue that Hrothgar and his men sorrowfully departed, leaving the
Geates alone to watch for the return of the hero, whom they feared they
would never see again.

Beowulf, in the mean while, had rushed to the rear of the cave, where,
finding Grendel in the last throes, he cut off his head also. He seized
this ghastly trophy and rapidly made his way up through the tainted waters,
which the fiery blood of the two monsters had so overheated that his sword
melted in its scabbard and naught but the hilt remained.

                          "That stout sword of proof,
    Its warrior task fulfill'd, dropp'd to the ground
    (So work'd the venom of the felon's blood)
    A molten mass."
                                _Beowulf_ (Conybeare's tr.).

The Geates were about to depart in sorrow, notwithstanding the orders they
had received, when they suddenly beheld their beloved chief safe and sound,
and bearing the evidences of his success. Then their cries of joy echoed
and reechoed from the neighboring hills, and Beowulf was escorted back to
Heorot, where he was almost overwhelmed with gifts by the grateful Danes. A
few days later Beowulf and his companions returned home, where the story of
their adventures, and an exhibition of all the treasures they had won,
formed the principal topics of conversation.

[Sidenote: Death of Hygelac.] Several years of comparative peace ensued,
ere the land was invaded by the Friesians, who raided the coast, burning
and plundering all in their way, and retreated into their ships before
Hygelac or Beowulf could overtake and punish them. The immediate result of
this invasion was a counter-movement on Hygelac's part. But although he
successfully harried Friesland, he fell into an ambush just as he was about
to leave the country, and was cruelly slain, his nephew Beowulf barely
escaping a similar untoward fate.

When the little army of the Geates reached home once more, they either
buried or consumed Hygelac's remains, with his weapons and battle steed, as
was customary in the North. This ceremony ended, Queen Hygd, overwhelmed
with grief, and fearing the almost inevitable dissensions arising during
the long minority of an infant king, convened the popular assembly known as
the Thing, and bade the people set her own child's claims aside in favor of
Beowulf. This proposal was hailed with enthusiasm; but Beowulf refused to
usurp his kinsman's throne, and raising Hardred, Hygelac's infant son, upon
his shield, he declared that he would protect and uphold him as long as he
lived. The people, following his example, swore fealty to the new king, and
faithfully kept this oath until he died.

Hardred, having attained his majority, ruled wisely and well; but his
career was cut short by the sons of Othere, the discoverer of the North
Cape. These youths had rebelled against their father's authority and taken
refuge at Hardred's court; but when the latter advised a reconciliation,
the eldest youth angrily drew his sword and slew him.

[Illustration: FUNERAL OF A NORTHERN CHIEF.--Cormon.]

[Sidenote: Beowulf made king.] This crime was avenged, with true northern
promptitude, by Wiglaf, one of the king's followers; and while the second
youth effected an escape, Beowulf was summoned by the Thing to accept the
now vacant throne. As there were none to dispute his claims, the hero no
longer refused to rule, and he bravely defended his kingdom against
Eadgils, Othere's second son. Eadgils was now king of Sweden, and came with
an armed host to avenge his brother's death; but he only succeeded in
losing his own life.

A reign of forty years of comparative peace brought Beowulf to extreme old
age. He had naturally lost much of his former vigor, and was therefore
somewhat dismayed when a terrible, fire-breathing dragon took up its abode
in the mountains near by, where it gloated over a hoard of glittering gold.

          "The ranger of the darksome night,
    The Firedrake, came."
                         _Beowulf_ (Conybeare's tr.)

[Sidenote: The Firedrake.] A fugitive slave, having made his way unseen
into the monster's den during one of its temporary absences, bore away a
small portion of this gold. On its return the Firedrake discovered the
theft, and became so furious that its howling and writhing shook the
mountain like an earthquake. When night came on its rage was still
unappeased, and it flew all over the land, vomiting venom and flames,
setting houses and crops afire, and causing so much damage that the people
were almost beside themselves with terror. Seeing that all their attempts
to appease the dragon were utterly fruitless, and being afraid to attack it
in its lair, they finally implored Beowulf to deliver them as he had
delivered the Danes, and to slay this oppressor, which was even worse than
the terrible Grendel.

Such an appeal could not be disregarded, and in spite of his advanced years
Beowulf donned his armor once more. Accompanied by Wiglaf and eleven of his
bravest men, he then went out to seek the monster in its lair. At the
entrance of the mountain gorge Beowulf bade his followers pause, and
advancing alone to the monster's den, he boldly challenged it to come forth
and begin the fray. A moment later the mountain shook as the monster rushed
out breathing fire and flame, and Beowulf felt the first gust of its hot
breath, even through his massive shield.

                            "First from his lair
    Shaking firm earth, and vomiting as he strode
    A foul and fiery blast, the monster came."
                                 _Beowulf_ (Conybeare's tr.).

A desperate struggle followed, in the course of which Beowulf's sword and
strength both failed him. The Firedrake coiled its long, scaly folds about
the aged hero, and was about to crush him to death when the faithful
Wiglaf, perceiving his master's imminent danger, sprang forward and
attacked the monster so fiercely as to cause a diversion and make it drop
Beowulf to concentrate its attention upon him.

Beowulf, recovering, then drew his dagger and soon put an end to the
dragon's life; but even as it breathed its last the hero sank fainting to
the ground. Feeling that his end was near, he warmly thanked Wiglaf for his
timely aid, rejoiced in the death of the monster, and bade his faithful
follower bring out the concealed treasure and lay it at his feet, that he
might feast his eyes upon the glittering gold he had won for his people's

   "Saw then the bold thane
    Treasure jewels many,
    Glittering gold
    Heavy on the ground,
    Wonders in the mound
    And the worm's den,
    The old twilight flier's,
    Bowls standing;
    Vessels of men of yore,
    With the mountings fall'n off.
    There was many a helm
    Old and rusty,
    Armlets many
    Cunningly fastened.
    He also saw hang heavily
    An ensign all golden
    High o'er the hoard,
    Of hand wonders greatest,
    Wrought by spells of song,
    From which shot a light
    So that he the ground surface
    Might perceive,
    The wonders overscan."
                  _Beowulf_ (Metcalfe's tr.).

[Sidenote: Death of Beowulf.] The mighty treasure was all brought forth to
the light of day, and the followers, seeing that all danger was over,
crowded round their dying chief. He addressed them affectionately, and,
after recapitulating the main events his career, expressed a desire to be
buried in a mighty mound on a projecting headland, which could be seen far
out at sea, and would be called by his name.

                                "'And now,
    Short while I tarry here--when I am gone,
    Bid them upon yon headland's summit rear
    A lofty mound, by Rona's seagirt cliff;
    So shall my people hold to after times
    Their chieftain's memory, and the mariners
    That drive afar to sea, oft as they pass,
    Shall point to Beowulf's tomb.'"
                              _Beowulf_(Conybeare's tr.).

These directions were all piously carried out by a mourning people, who
decked his mound with the gold he had won, and erected above it a Bauta, or
memorial stone, to show how dearly they had loved their brave king Beowulf,
who had died to save them from the fury of the dragon.



Maximilian I., Emperor of Germany, rendered a great service to posterity by
ordering that copies of many of the ancient national manuscripts should be
made. These copies were placed in the imperial library at Vienna, where,
after several centuries of almost complete neglect, they were discovered by
lovers of early literature, in a very satisfactory state of preservation.
These manuscripts then excited the interest of learned men, who not only
found therein a record of the past, but gems of literature which are only
now beginning to receive the appreciation they deserve.

[Sidenote: Origin of poem of Gudrun.] Among these manuscripts is the poem
"Gudrun," belonging to the twelfth or thirteenth century. It is evidently
compiled from two or more much older lays which are now lost, which are
alluded to in the Nibelungenlied. The original poem was probably Norse, and
not German like the only existing manuscript, for there is an undoubted
parallel to the story of the kidnaping of Hilde in the Edda. In the Edda,
Hilde, the daughter of Högni, escapes from home with her lover Hedin, and
is pursued by her irate father. He overtakes the fugitives on an island,
where a bloody conflict takes place, in which many of the bravest warriors
die. Every night, however, a sorceress recalls the dead to life to renew
the strife, and to exterminate one another afresh.

The poem "Gudrun," which is probably as old as the Nibelungenlied, and
almost rivals it in interest, is one of the most valuable remains of
ancient German literature. It consists of thirty-two songs, in which are
related the adventures of three generations of the heroic family of the
Hegelings. Hence it is often termed the "Hegeling Legend."

[Sidenote: Kidnaping of Hagen.] The poem opens by telling us that Hagen was
the son of Sigeband, King of Ireland, which was evidently a place in
Holland, and not the well-known Emerald Isle. During a great feast, when
countless guests were assembled around his father's hospitable board, this
prince, who was then but seven years of age, was seized by a griffin and
rapidly borne away.

    "Young Hagen, loudly crying, was filled with dire dismay;
    The bird with mighty pinions soared high with him away."
                                               _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

The cries of the child, and the arrows of Sigeband's men at arms, were
equally ineffectual in checking the griffin, which flew over land and sea,
and finally deposited its prey in its nest on the top of a great cliff on a
desert island. One of the little griffins, wishing to reserve this delicate
morsel for its own delectation, caught the boy up in its talons and flew
away to a neighboring tree. The branch upon which it perched was too weak
to support a double load, however, and as it broke the frightened griffin
dropped Hagen into a thicket. Undismayed by the sharp thorns, Hagen quickly
crept out of the griffin's reach and took refuge in a cave, where he found
three little girls who had escaped from the griffins in the same way.

[Sidenote: The three maidens.] One of these children was Hilde, an Indian
princess; the second, Hildburg, daughter of the King of Portugal; and the
third belonged to the royal family of Isenland. Hagen immediately became
the protector of these little maidens, spending several years in the cave
with them. He ventured out only when the griffins were away, to seek
berries or shoot small game with a bow which he had made in imitation of
those he had seen in his father's hall.

Years passed by before Hagen found the corpse of an armed warrior, which
had been washed ashore during a storm. To appropriate the armor and weapons
for which he had so long and vainly sighed was the youth's first impulse;
his second was to go forth and slay the griffins which had terrorized him
and his little companions for so many years. The griffins being disposed
of, the young people roamed about the island at will, keeping a sharp
lookout for any passing vessel which might convey them home. At last a sail
came in sight! Hagen, the first to see it, climbed up on a rock and shouted
with all his young strength to attract the crew's attention.

    "With might young Hagen shouted, and did not cease to shout,
    Howe'er the roaring tempest the wild waves tossed about."
                                                 _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

The sailors reluctantly drew near, gazing fearfully upon the three maidens,
who, clad in furs and moss, resembled mermaids or wood nymphs. But when
they heard their story they gladly took them on board. It was only when the
island was out of sight, and when they were in mid-ocean, that Hagen
discovered that he had fallen into the hands of Count Garadie, his father's
inveterate enemy, who now proposed to use his power to treat the young
prince as a slave. But Hagen's rude fare, and the constant exposure of the
past few years, had so developed his strength and courage that he now flew
into a Berserker rage,[1] flung thirty men one after another into the sea,
and so terrified his would-be master that he promised to bear him and the
three maidens in safety to his father's court. [Footnote 1: See Guerber's
Myths of Northern Lands, p. 29.]

[Sidenote: Hagen made king.] As Sigeband had died without leaving any other
heir, Hagen was warmly welcomed home, and ascending the vacant throne, he
took to wife Hilde, the fair maiden with whom he had shared his game and
berries for so many years. The royal couple were very happy, and Hagen
ruled so wisely that he became a terror to his enemies and a blessing to
his own subjects. Even when engaged in warfare he proved himself an upright
and generous man, never attacking the poor and weak.

    "On warlike enterprises into his enemies' land
    He spared the poor from ravage of fire with powerful hand;
    Whenever he encountered a warrior overbearing,
    He broke his burgs and slew him with dire revenge unsparing."
                                               _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

[Sidenote: Hilde's suitors.] Hagen and Hilde eventually became the parents
of an only daughter, who was called by her mother's name, and grew up so
beautiful that many suitors soon came to Ireland to ask for her hand.
Hagen, who loved his daughter dearly and was in no haste to part from her,
first replied that she was far too young to think of marriage; but when
this plea was disputed he declared that Hilde should only marry a man who
would defeat her father in single fight.

As Hagen was unusually tall and strong, as well as uncommonly brave, he was
considered well-nigh invincible. The suitors, dismayed at this declaration,
reluctantly withdrew, even though they were all valiant men. In those days
Hettel (who corresponds to Hedin in the Edda story) was king of northern
Germany and of the Hegelings. He too heard marvelous accounts of Hilde's
beauty, and, as he was still unmarried, longed to secure her as wife. But
knowing that Hagen, in his anger, was likely to slay any ambassador who
came to his court with a proposal of marriage, Hettel vowed that he would
rather forego the alliance than run the risk of losing any of his tried
friends and faithful servants.

    "Then said the royal Hetel: 'The people all relate
    That whosoe'er will woo her incurs her father's hate,
    And for the maid has perished full many a noble knight;
    My friends shall never suffer for me such woeful plight.'"
                                              _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

[Sidenote: Strategy of Hettel's followers.] His faithful followers, Wat,
Horant, and Frute, perceiving that his heart was set upon the maiden,
finally volunteered to go and get her, saying that they could easily bear
her away by stratagem, although they did not dare to ask for her openly. So
they loaded their vessel with merchandise, hid their weapons, so that they
should be taken for the traders they professed to be, and sailed boldly
into Hagen's port, where, spreading out their wares, they invited all the
people to buy.

Attracted by the extraordinary bargains they offered, the people came in
crowds, and soon all the inhabitants of Balian were busy talking about the
strange peddlers and praising their wares. These stories soon came to the
ears of both queen and princess, who, summoning the merchants into their
presence, asked who they were and whence they came.

All three replied that they were warriors, and that, being banished from
Hettel's court, they had been forced to take up their present occupation to
make a living. To prove the truth of their assertions, Wat exhibited his
skill in athletic sports, while Horant delighted all the ladies by his
proficiency in the art of minstrelsy.

    "When now the night was ended and there drew near the dawn,
    Horant began his singing, so that in grove and lawn
    The birds became all silent, because he sang so sweetly;
    The people who were sleeping sprang from their couches fleetly.

    "The cattle in the forests forsook their pasture ground;
    The creeping creatures playing among the grass around,
    The fishes in the water,--all in their sports were ceasing.
    The minstrel might most truly rejoice in art so pleasing.

    "Whate'er he might be singing, to no one seemed it long;
    Forgotten in the minster were priest and choral song,
    Church bells no longer sounded so sweetly as before,
    And every one who heard him longed for the minstrel sore."
                                             _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

These soft strains so pleased the younger Hilde that she soon sent for the
minstrel again, and Horant, finding her alone, made use of this opportunity
to tell her of Hettel's love and longing. She was so touched by this
declaration of love that he easily won from her a promise to flee with him
and his companions as soon as a suitable opportunity occurred.

The pretended merchants, having now achieved the real object of their
journey, disposed of their remaining wares. They then invited the king and
his family to visit their ship, and cleverly managing to separate the
willing princess from her parents and train, they sailed rapidly away,
leaving the angry father to hurl equally ineffectual spears, curses, and
threats after them.

[Sidenote: Marriage of Hettel and Hilde.] The Hegelings sailed with their
prize direct to Waleis, in Holland (near the river Waal), where the
impatient Hettel came to meet them, and tenderly embraced his beautiful
young bride. There their hasty nuptials were celebrated; but, as they were
about to sail away on the morrow, Hettel became aware of the rapid approach
of a large fleet. Of course the foremost vessel was commanded by Hagen, who
had immediately started out in pursuit of his kidnaped daughter. Landing,
with all his forces, he challenged his new-made son-in-law to fight.

    "King Hagen, full of anger, leaped forward in the sea.
    Unto the shore he waded; no braver knight than he!
    Full many pointed arrows against him were seen flying,
    Like flakes of snow, from warriors of Hetel's host defying."
                                              _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

The result of this battle was that Hettel was wounded by Hagen, who, in his
turn, was injured by Wat, and that the distracted Hilde suddenly flung
herself between the contending parties, and by her tears and prayers soon
brought about a reconciliation. Hagen, who had tested the courage of his
new son-in-law and had not found it wanting, now permitted his daughter to
accompany her husband home to Matelan, where she became the mother of a
son, Ortwine, and of a daughter, Gudrun, who was even fairer than herself.

[Sidenote: Gudrun's suitors.] Ortwine was fostered by Wat, the dauntless
hero, who taught him to fight with consummate skill; while Hilde herself
presided over the education of Gudrun, and made her so charming that many
suitors soon came, hoping to find favor in her eyes. These were Siegfried,
King of Moorland, a pagan of dark complexion; Hartmut, son of Ludwig, King
of Normandy; and, lastly, Herwig of Zealand. Although the latter fancied
that he had won some favor in the fair Gudrun's sight, Hettel dismissed him
as well as the others, with the answer that his daughter was yet too young
to leave the parental roof.

Herwig, who was not ready to give the maiden up, then remembered that
Hettel had won his own bride only after he had measured his strength with
her father's; so he collected an army, invaded Matelan, and proved his
courage by encountering Hettel himself in the fray. Gudrun, who stood
watching the battle from the palace window, seeing them face to face,
loudly implored them to spare each other, an entreaty to which they both
lent a willing ear.

    "Fair Gudrun saw the combat, and heard the martial sound.
    Like to a ball is fortune, and ever turns around.

    "Then from the castle chamber the royal maid cried out:
    'King Hetel, noble father, the blood flows all about
    Athwart the mighty hauberks. With gore from warlike labor
    The walls are sprinkled. Herwig is a most dreadful neighbor.'"
                                                  _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

Herwig had in this encounter proved himself no despicable foe; so Hettel,
preferring to have him as a friend, no longer opposed his betrothal, but
even promised that the wedding festivities should be celebrated within a
year. Herwig tarried in Matelan with his betrothed until he heard that
Siegfried, King of Moorland, jealous of his successful wooing of Gudrun,
had invaded his kingdom and was raiding his unprotected lands.

[Sidenote: Gudrun kidnaped by Hartmut.] These tidings caused the brave
young warrior to bid Gudrun a hasty farewell and sail home as quickly as
possible, Hettel promising to follow him soon and help him repel the
invaders, who were far superior in number to his small but oft-tried host.
While Herwig and Hettel were thus occupied in warring against one of the
disappointed suitors, Hartmut, the other, hearing that they were both away,
invaded Matelan and carried off Gudrun and all her attendants to Normandy.
He paused only once on his way thither to rest for a short time on an
island called Wülpensand, at the mouth of the Scheldt.

The bereaved Hilde, who had seen her beloved daughter thus carried away,
promptly sent messengers to warn Hettel and Herwig of Gudrun's capture.
These tidings put an immediate stop to their warfare with Siegfried, who,
joining forces with them, sailed in pursuit of the Normans in the vessels
of a party of pilgrims, for they had none of their own ready for instant

[Sidenote: The Wülpensand battle.] Hettel, Herwig, and Siegfried reached
Wülpensand before the Normans had left it, and there took place a frightful
conflict, in the course of which King Ludwig slew the aged Hettel. The
conflict raged until nightfall, and although there were now but few
Hegelings left, they were all ready to renew the struggle on the morrow.
What was not their chagrin, therefore, on discovering that the Normans had
sailed away with their captives during the night, and were already out of

It was useless to pursue them with so small an army; so the Hegelings
sorrowfully returned home, bearing Hettel's lifeless body back to the
disconsolate Hilde. Then they took counsel, and discovered that so many
able fighting men had perished during the last war that they would be
obliged to wait until the rising generation was able to bear arms before
they could invade Normandy with any hope of success.

   "Then spoke old Wat, the hero: 'It never can befall
    Before this country's children have grown to manhood all.'"
                                               _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

Gudrun, in the mean while, had arrived in Normandy, where she persisted in
refusing to marry Hartmut. On her way thither the haughty princess had even
ventured to remind King Ludwig that he had once been her father's vassal,
and so roused his anger that he threw her overboard. But Hartmut
immediately plunged into the water after her, rescued her from drowning,
and when he had again seen her safe in the boat, angrily reproved his
father for his hasty conduct.

    "He said: 'Why would you drown her who is to be my wife,
    The fair and charming Gudrun? I love her as my life.
    Another than my father, if he had shown such daring,
    Would lose his life and honor from wrath of mine unsparing.'"
                                                 _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

[Sidenote: Gudrun a captive.] After this declaration on the part of the
young heir, none dared at first treat Gudrun with any disrespect; and
Gerlinda and Ortrun, the mother and sister of Hartmut, welcomed her as she
landed on their shores. Gerlinda's friendliness was a mere pretense,
however, for she hated the proud maiden who scorned her son's proffered
love. She therefore soon persuaded her son to give the gentle captive
entirely into her charge, saying that she would make her consent to become
his bride. Hartmut, who was about to depart for the war, and who little
suspected his mother's cruel intentions, bade her do as she pleased; and he
was no sooner out of sight than poor Gudrun was degraded to the rank of a
servant, and treated with much harshness and often with actual violence.

During three whole years Gudrun endured this cruelty in silence; but when
Hartmut returned she was restored to her former state, although she still
persisted in refusing his passionate suit. Discouraged by her obstinacy,
the young man weakly consented to abandon her again to Gerlinda's tender
mercies. The princess was now made to labor harder than ever, and she and
Hildburg, her favorite companion and fellow captive, were daily sent down
to the shore to wash the royal linen.

[Illustration: GUDRUN AND THE SWAN.--Kepler.]

It was winter, the snow lay thick on the ground, and Gudrun and her
companion, barefooted and miserably clad, suffered untold agonies from the
cold. Besides, they were nearly exhausted, and the hope of rescue, which
had sustained them during the past twelve years, had almost forsaken them.
Their deliverance was near, however, and while Gudrun was washing on the
shore, a mermaid, in the guise of a swan, came gently near her and bade her
be of good cheer, for her sufferings would soon be at an end.

    "'Rejoice in hope,' then answered the messenger divine;
    'Thou poor and homeless maiden, great joy shall yet be thine.
    If thou wilt ask for tidings from thy dear native land,
    To comfort thee, great Heaven has sent me to this strand.'"
                                               _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

The swan maiden then informed her that her brother Ortwine had grown up,
and that he would soon come with brave old Wat and the longing Herwig to
deliver her.

The next day, in spite of the increased cold, Gerlinda again roughly bade
the maidens go down to the shore and wash, refusing to allow them any
covering except one rough linen garment.

    "They then took up the garments and went upon their way.
    'May God let me,' said Gudrun, 'remind you of this day.'
    With naked feet they waded there through the ice and snow:
    The noble maids, all homeless, were filled with pain and woe."
                                                   _Gudrun_ (Dippold's

[Sidenote: Gudrun's deliverance.] Gudrun and Hildburg had barely begun
their usual task, however, ere a small boat drew near, in which they
recognized Herwig and Ortwine. All unconscious of their identity at first,
the young men inquired about Gudrun. She herself, to test their affection,
replied that the princess was dead, and did not allow them to catch a
glimpse of her face until she beheld Herwig's emotion at these tidings, and
heard him protest that he would be faithful to her unto death.

    "There spoke the royal Herwig: 'As long as lasts my life,
    I'll mourn for her; the maiden was to become my wife.'"
                                             _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

The lovers, who had been equally true, now fell into each other's arms.
Ortwine was overjoyed at finding his sister and her companion, having long
secretly loved the latter, so he poured out an avowal of his passion, and
won from Hildburg a promise to be his wife. The first moments of joyful
reunion over, Herwig would fain have carried Gudrun and Hildburg back to
camp with him; but Ortwine proudly declared that he had come to claim them
openly, and would bear them away from Normandy honorably, in the guise of
princesses, rather than by stealth.

Promising to rescue them on the morrow, the young men took leave of the
maidens. Hildburg conscientiously finished her task, but Gudrun proudly
flung the linen into the sea and returned to the palace empty-handed,
saying that it did not become her to do any more menial labor, since she
had been kissed by two kings. Gerlinda, hearing her confess that she had
flung the linen into the sea, ordered her to be scourged; but when Gudrun
turned upon her and proudly announced that she would take her revenge on
the morrow, when she would preside over the banquet hall as queen, Gerlinda
concluded that she had decided to accept Hartmut.

The mother, therefore, flew to him to impart the joyful tidings. In his
delight he would fain have embraced Gudrun, who, however, haughtily bade
him refrain from saluting a mere washerwoman. Becoming aware only then of
her sorry plight, the prince withdrew, sternly ordering that her maidens
should again be restored to her, that her every command should be fulfilled
as if she were already queen, and that all should treat her with the utmost
respect. These orders were executed without delay, and while Hartmut was
preparing for his wedding on the morrow, Gudrun, again clad in royal
attire, with her maidens around her, whispered the tidings of their coming
deliverance. Morning had barely dawned when Hildburg, gazing out of the
window, saw the castle entirely surrounded by the Hegelings' forces; and at
cockcrow old Wat's horn pealed forth a loud defiance, rousing the Normans
from pleasant dreams, and calling them to battle instead of to the
anticipated wedding.

    "The morning star had risen upon the heavens high,
    When to the castle window a beauteous maid drew nigh,
    In order to espy there and watch the break of day,
    Whereby from royal Gudrun she would obtain rich pay.

    "There looked the noble maiden and saw the morning glow.
    Reflected in the water, as it might well be so,
    Were seen the shining helmets and many bucklers beaming.
    The castle was surrounded; with arms the fields were gleaming."
                                              _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

The battle was very fierce, and the poem enumerates many of the cuts and
thrusts given and received. Clashing swords and streams of gore now
monopolize the reader's attention. In the fray Herwig slew King Ludwig.
Gudrun was rescued by Hartmut from the hands of Gerlinda, who had just
bidden her servants put her to death, so that her friends should not take
her alive. Next the Norman prince met his rival and fought bravely. He was
about to succumb, however, when his sister Ortrun, who throughout had been
gentle and loving to Gudrun, implored her to save her brother's life.
Gudrun, touched by this request, called out of the casement to Herwig, who,
at a word from her, sheathed his sword, and contented himself with taking
Hartmut prisoner.

[Sidenote: Death of Gerlinda.] The castle was duly plundered, the whole
town sacked, and Wat, bursting into the palace, began to slay all he met.
The women, in terror, then crowded around Gudrun, imploring her protection.
Among these were Ortrun and Gerlinda; but while Gudrun would have protected
the former at the cost of her life, she allowed Wat to kill the latter, who
had deserved such a death in punishment for all her cruelty.

When the massacre was over, the victors celebrated their triumph by a grand
banquet, at which Gudrun, fulfilling her boast, actually presided as queen.

    "Now from the bitter contest the warriors rested all.
    There came the royal Herwig into King Ludwig's hall,
    Together with his champions, their gear with blood yet streaming.
    Dame Gudrun well received him; her heart with love was teeming."
                                                _Gudrun_ (Dippold's tr.).

When the banquet was over, the Hegelings set sail, taking with them the
recovered maidens, all the spoil they had won, and their captives, Hartmut
and Ortrun; and on reaching Matelan they were warmly welcomed by Hilde, who
was especially rejoiced to see her daughter once more.

    "The queen drew near to Gudrun. Could any one outweigh
    The joy they felt together, with any wealth or treasure?
    When they had kissed each other their grief was changed to pleasure."
                                                   _Gudrun_ (Dippold's

[Sidenote: A fourfold wedding.] Shortly after their return home a fourfold
wedding took place. Gudrun married her faithful Herwig, Ortwine espoused
Hildburg, Siegfried consoled himself for Gudrun's loss by taking the fair
Ortrun to wife, and Hartmut received with the hand of Hergart, Herwig's
sister, the restitution not only of his freedom but also of his kingdom.

At the wedding banquet Horant, who, in spite of his advanced years, had
lost none of his musical skill, played the wedding march with such success
that the queens simultaneously flung their crowns at his feet,--an offering
which he smilingly refused, telling them that crowns were perishable, but
that the poet's song was immortal.

    "The aged minstrel drew his harp still closer to his breast,
    Gazed at the jeweled coronets as this thought he expressed:
    'Fair queens, I bid you wear them until your locks turn gray;
    Those crowns, alas! are fleeting, but song will live alway.'"
                                             NIENDORF (H.A.G.'s tr.).



Among primitive races, as with children, animal stories are much enjoyed,
and form one of the first stages in literature. The oldest of these tales
current in the middle ages is the epic of Reineke Fuchs, or Reynard the
Fox. This poem was carried by the ancient Franks across the Rhine, became
fully acclimated in France, and then returned to Germany by way of
Flanders, where it was localized.

After circulating from mouth to mouth almost all over Europe, during many
centuries, it was first committed to writing in the Netherlands, where the
earliest manuscript, dating from the eleventh or twelfth century, gives a
Latin version of the tale.

[Sidenote: Origin of animal epics.] "The root of this saga lies in the
harmless natural simplicity of a primeval people. We see described the
delight which the rude child of nature takes in all animals,--in their slim
forms, their gleaming eyes, their fierceness, their nimbleness and cunning.
Such sagas would naturally have their origin in an age when the ideas of
shepherd and hunter occupied a great portion of the intellectual horizon of
the people; when the herdman saw in the ravenous bear one who was his
equal, and more than his equal, in force and adroitness, the champion of
the woods and wilds; when the hunter, in his lonely ramble through the
depths of the forest, beheld in the hoary wolf and red fox, as they stole
along,--hunters like himself,--mates, so to say, and companions, and whom
he therefore addressed as such.... So that originally this kind of poetry
was the exponent of a peculiar sort of feeling prevailing among the people,
and had nothing whatever to do with the didactic or satiric, although at a
later period satiric allusions began to be interwoven with it."

The story has been rewritten by many poets and prose writers. It has been
translated into almost every European language, and was remodeled from one
of the old mediaeval poems by Goethe, who has given it the form in which it
will doubtless henceforth be known. His poem "Reineke Fuchs" has been
commented upon by Carlyle and translated by Rogers, from whose version all
the following quotations have been extracted.

[Sidenote: The animals' assembly.] As was the custom among the Franks under
their old Merovingian rulers, the animals all assembled at Whitsuntide
around their king, Nobel the lion, who ruled over all the forest. This
assembly, like the Champ de Mars, its prototype, was convened not only for
the purpose of deciding upon the undertakings for the following year, but
also as a special tribunal, where all accusations were made, all complaints
heard, and justice meted out to all. The animals were all present, all
except Reynard the fox, who, it soon became apparent, was accused of many a
dark deed. Every beast present testified to some crime committed by him,
and all accused him loudly except his nephew, Grimbart the badger.

                     "And yet there was one who was absent,
    Reineke Fox, the rascal! who, deeply given to mischief,
    Held aloof from half the Court. As shuns a bad conscience
    Light and day, so the fox fought shy of the nobles assembled.
    One and all had complaints to make, he had all of them injured;
    Grimbart the badger, his brother's son, alone was excepted."

[Sidenote: Complaints against Reynard.] The complaint was voiced by Isegrim
the wolf, who told with much feeling how cruelly Reynard had blinded three
of his beloved children, and how shamefully he had insulted his wife, the
fair lady Gieremund. This accusation had no sooner been formulated than
Wackerlos the dog came forward, and, speaking French, pathetically
described the finding of a little sausage in a thicket, and its purloining
by Reynard, who seemed to have no regard whatever for his famished

The tomcat Hintze, who at the mere mention of a sausage had listened more
attentively, now angrily cried out that the sausage which Wackerlos had
lost belonged by right to him, as he had concealed it in the thicket after
stealing it from the miller's wife. He added that he too had had much to
suffer from Reynard, and was supported by the panther, who described how he
had once found the miscreant cruelly beating poor Lampe the hare.

                                  "Lampe he held by the collar,
    Yes, and had certainly taken his life, if I by good fortune
    Had not happened to pass by the road. There standing you see him.
    Look and see the wounds of the gentle creature, whom no one
    Ever would think of ill treating."

[Sidenote: Vindication of Reynard.] The king, Nobel, was beginning to look
very stern as one after another rose to accuse the absent Reynard, when
Grimbart the badger courageously began to defend him, and artfully turned
the tables upon the accusers. Taking up their complaints one by one, he
described how Reynard, his uncle, once entered into partnership with
Isegrim. To obtain some fish which a carter was conveying to market, the
fox had lain as if dead in the middle of the road. He had been picked up by
the man for the sake of his fur, and tossed up on top of the load of fish.
But no sooner had the carter's back been turned than the fox sprang up,
threw all the fish down into the road to the expectant wolf, and only
sprang down himself when the cart was empty. The wolf, ravenous as ever,
devoured the fish as fast as they were thrown down, and when the fox
claimed his share of the booty he had secured, Isegrim gave him only the
bones.[1] [Footnote 1: For Russian version see Guerber's Contes et
Légendes, vol. i., p. 93.]

Not content with cheating his ally once, the wolf had induced the fox to
steal a suckling pig from the larder of a sleeping peasant. With much
exertion the cunning Reynard had thrown the prize out of the window to the
waiting wolf; but when he asked for a portion of the meat as reward, he was
dismissed with nothing but the piece of wood upon which it had been hung.

The badger further proceeded to relate that Reynard had wooed Gieremund
seven years before, when she was still unmated, and that if Isegrim chose
to consider that an insult, it was only on a par with the rest of his
accusations, for the king could readily see that Reynard was sorely injured
instead of being guilty.

Then, encouraged by the favorable impression he had produced, Grimbart
airily disposed of the cases of Wackerlos and Hintze by proving that they
had both stolen the disputed sausage, after which he went on to say that
Reynard had undertaken to instruct Lampe the hare in psalmody, and that the
ill treatment which the panther had described was only a little wholesome
castigation inflicted by the teacher upon a lazy and refractory pupil.

                                           "Should not the master his pupil
    Sometimes chastise when he will not observe, and is stubborn in evil?
    If boys were never punished, were thoughtlessness always passed over,
    Were bad behavior allowed, how would our juveniles grow up?"

These plausible explanations were not without their effect, and when
Grimbart went on to declare that, ever since Nobel proclaimed a general
truce and amnesty among all the animals of the forest, Reynard had turned
hermit and spent all his time in fasting, almsgiving, and prayer, the
complaint was about to be dismissed.

[Sidenote: Story of Henning and the Cock.] Suddenly, however, Henning the
cock appeared, followed by his two sons, Kryant and Kantart, bearing the
mangled remains of a hen upon a bier. In broken accents the bereaved father
related how happily he had dwelt in a convent henyard, with the ten sons
and fourteen daughters which his excellent consort had hatched and brought
up in a single summer. His only anxiety had been caused by the constant
prowling of Reynard, who, however, had been successfully at a distance by
the watchdogs. But when the general truce had been proclaimed, the dogs
were dismissed. Reynard, in the garb of a monk, had made his way into the
henyard to show Henning the royal proclamation with the attached seal, and
to assure him of his altered mode of living.

Thus reassured, Henning had led his family out into the forest, where,
alas! Reynard was lurking, and where he killed all but five of Henning's
promising brood. They had not only been killed, but devoured, with the
exception of Scratch-foot, whose mangled remains were laid at the monarch's
feet in proof of the crime, as was customary in the mediaeval courts of

The king, angry that his truce should thus have been broken, and sorry for
the evident grief of the father, ordered a sumptuous funeral for the
deceased, and commanded that a stone should be placed upon her grave,
bearing the epitaph:

    "'Scratch-foot, daughter of Henning, the cock, the best of the hen
       Many an egg did she lay in her nest, and was skillful in scratching.
       Here she lies, lost, alas! to her friends, by Reineke murdered.
       All the world should know of his false and cruel behavior,
       As for the dead they lament.' Thus ran the words that were

[Sidenote: Reynard and the Bear.] Then the king, having taken advice with
his council, solemnly bade Brown the bear proceed immediately to
Malepartus, Reynard's home, and summon him to appear at Reynard and court
forthwith, to answer the grave charges which had been made against him. But
he warned his messenger to behave circumspectly and to beware of the wiles
of the crafty fox. The bear rather resented these well-meant
recommendations, and, confidently asserting his ability to take care of
himself, set out for Reynard's abode.

On his way to the mountains he was obliged to pass through an arid, sandy
waste, and reached Malepartus weary and overheated. Standing before the
fortress, which rejoiced in many labyrinthine passages, he loudly made
known his errand; and when Reynard, peeping cautiously out, had ascertained
that Brown was alone, he hastened out to welcome him.

With great volubility the fox commiserated his long journey, and excused
the delay in admitting him under plea of an indisposition caused by eating
too much honey, a diet which he abhorred.

At the mere mention of honey the bear forgot all his fatigue, and when his
host lamented the fact that he had nothing else to offer him, he joyfully
declared no food could suit him better, and that he could never get enough
of it.

    "'If that is so,' continued the Red one, 'I really can serve you,
    For the peasant Rüsteviel lives at the foot of the mountain.
    Honey he has, indeed, such that you and all of your kindred
    Never so much together have seen.'"

Oblivious of everything else at the thought of such a treat, Brown the bear
immediately set out in Reynard's company, and they soon came to the
peasant's yard, where a half-split tree trunk lay in full view. Reynard
then bade his companion thrust his nose well down into the hollow and eat
his fill of honey. As soon as he saw that the bear had thrust not only his
nose, but both fore paws, into the crack, Reynard cleverly removed the
wedges, the tree clapped together, and he left the bear a prisoner and
howling with pain.

These sounds soon attracted the peasant's attention, and he and his
companions all fell upon the captive bear with every imaginable weapon, and
proceeded to give him a sound beating. Frantic with pain and terror, the
unfortunate bear finally succeeded in wrenching himself free, at the cost
of the skin on his nose and fore paws, and, after tumbling the fat cook
into the water, swam down the stream and landed in a thicket to bewail his
misfortunes. Here he was found by the fox, who added insult to injury by
making fun of him, and reproved him for his gluttony, until the bear again
plunged into the stream and swam away.

[Illustration: BROWN THE BEAR CAUGHT IN THE LOG.--Wagner.]

Then, painfully making his way back to Nobel, Brown presented himself at
court all bleeding and travel-stained, and poured forth a doleful account
of his mission.

[Sidenote: Reynard and the cat.] The king, after consulting with his
principal courtiers, declared it the right of any man to be thrice
summoned, and, conceding that the bear's manners were not of a conciliatory
nature, selected Hintze the cat to bear his message to Malepartus. The cat,
disheartened by unfavorable omens, was nevertheless compelled to go on this
unwelcome journey.

Reynard welcomed him cordially, promised to accompany him to court on the
morrow, and then asked what kind of refreshment he could offer. When Hintze
had confessed his preference for mice, the fox replied that it was very
fortunate, as there were plenty of them in the parson's barn. Hintze
immediately asked to be led thither, that he might eat his fill.

                        "'Pray do me the kindness
    Hence to lead and show me the mice, for far above wild game
    Give me a mouse for delicate flavor.'"

Reynard then conducted Hintze to the parson's barn, and pointed out a
little opening through which he had passed to steal chickens, and where he
knew that Martin, the parson's son, had laid a trap to catch any intruder.
Hintze at first demurred, but, urged by Reynard, crept in and found himself
caught in a noose. Reynard, pretending to take the cat's moans for cries of
joy, banteringly inquired whether that was the way they sang at court, as
the caterwauling grew louder.

These sounds finally reached the ears of little Martin, who, accompanied by
his father, came into the barn to catch the intruder. Poor Hintze,
frightened at the sight of the bludgeon the parson carried, flew at his
legs, scratching and biting him, until the saintly man fainted. Then,
taking advantage of the confusion, Hintze managed to slip out of the noose
and effect his escape. He returned to court minus one eye, and there poured
out the story of his wrongs.

[Sidenote: Reynard and the badger.] The wrath of the king was now terrible
to behold, and assembling his council, he bade them decide how he should
punish the wretch who had twice ill treated his messengers. Grimbart the
badger, seeing that public opinion was decidedly against his relative, now
begged that a third summons should be sent, and offered to carry the
message himself. He furthermore declared that, even according to their own
showing, the cat and bear had come to grief through their greediness; and
then he promptly departed.

Grimbart found Reynard in the bosom of his family, delivered his message,
and frankly advised the fox to obey the king's summons and appear at court,
where, perchance, he might yet manage to save himself; while if he remained
at home the king would besiege his fortress and slay him and all his
family. Reynard listened favorably to this advice, and, after bidding his
wife a tender farewell, and committing his beloved children to her care, he
set out with Grimbart to go to court.

On the way the recollection of his many transgressions began to lie very
heavily upon his heart. The fear of death quickened his conscience, and,
longing to make his peace with Heaven, he expressed a great wish to confess
his sins and receive absolution. As no priest was near at hand, he begged
Grimbart the badger to listen to him, and penitently confessed all the
misdeeds we have already recounted. He also added that he once bound
Isegrim to the rope of the convent bell at Elkinar, where his frantic
tugging rang the bell, until the monks, crowding around him, cudgeled him
severely. Reynard related, too, how he once induced Isegrim to enter the
priests' house through a window and crawl along some beams in search of ham
and bacon. As the wolf was carefully feeling his way, however, the
mischievous fox pushed him and made him fall on the sleeping people below,
who, awakening with a start, fell upon him and beat him. These and sundry
other sins having duly been confessed, the badger bade the fox chastise
himself with a switch plucked from the hedge, lay it down in the road, jump
over it thrice, and then meekly kiss that rod in token of obedience. Then
he pronounced Reynard absolved from his former sins, and admonished him to
lead an altered life in future.

                      "'My uncle, take care that your future amendment
    In good works be visible. Psalms you should read, and should visit
    Churches with diligence; fast at the seasons duly appointed;
    Him who asks you point out the way to; give to the needy
    Willingly; swear to forsake all evil habits of living,
    All kinds of theft and robbing, deceit and evil behavior.
    Thus can you make quite sure that you will attain unto mercy!'"

The fox solemnly promised amendment, and with sanctimonious mien continued
his journey. But as he and the badger passed a convent, and some plump hens
crossed their path, Reynard forgot all his promises and began to chase the
chickens. Sharply recalled to a sense of duty by Grimbart, Reynard
reluctantly gave up the chase, and the two proceeded without further
drawback to the court, where Reynard's arrival created a great sensation.

    "When at the Court it was known that Reineke really was coming,
    Ev'ry one thronged out of doors to see him, the great and the little.
    Few with friendly intent; for almost all were complaining.
    This, however, in Reineke's mind was of little importance;
    Thus he pretended, at least, as he with Grimbart the badger,
    Boldly enough and with elegant mien now walked up the high street.
    Jauntily swung he along at his ease, as if he were truly
    Son of the king, and free and quit of ev'ry transgression.
    Thus he came before Nobel the king, and stood in the palace
    In the midst of the lords; he knew how to pose as unruffled."

[Sidenote: Reynard at court.] With consummate skill and unparalleled
eloquence and impudence, Reynard addressed the king, lauding himself as a
faithful servant, and commiserating the fact that so many envious and
backbiting people were ready to accuse him. Nobel the king, in whose mind
the recollection of the treatment inflicted upon Brown the bear and Hintze
the cat was still very vivid, answered him sternly, and told him that it
would be difficult for him to acquit himself of those two charges, to say
nothing of the many others brought against him. Reynard, still undismayed,
demanded with well-feigned indignation whether he was to be held
responsible for the sins of those messengers whose misfortunes were
attributable to their gluttonous and thievish propensities only.

[Sidenote: Reynard condemned to death.] But in spite of this specious
pleading, all the other animals came crowding around with so many grievous
charges that matters began to look very dark indeed for the fox. In spite
of all Reynard's eloquence, and of the fluent excuses ever on his tongue,
the council pronounced him guilty, and condemned him to die an ignominious
death. Reynard's enemies rejoiced at this sentence, and dragged him off
with cheerful alacrity to the gallows, where all the animals assembled to
witness his execution.

On the way to the place of punishment Reynard tried to think of some plan
by means of which he could save himself even at the eleventh hour; and
knowing that some scheme would occur to him if he could only gain a little
time, he humbly implored permission to make a public confession of his
manifold sins ere he paid the penalty of his crimes. Anxious to hear all he
might have to say, the king granted him permission to speak; and the fox
began to relate at length the story of his early and innocent childhood,
his meeting and alliance with Isegrim the wolf, and his gradual induction
by him into crooked paths and evil ways. He told, too, how the cruel wolf,
presuming on his strength, had ever made use of it to deprive him, the fox,
of his rightful share of plunder; and concluded by saying that he would
often have suffered from hunger had it not been for the possession of a
great treasure of gold, which had sufficed for all his wants.

    "Thanks be to God, however, I never suffered from hunger;
    Secretly have I fed well by means of that excellent treasure,
    All of silver and gold in a secret place that securely
    Hidden I keep; with this I've enough. And, I say it in earnest,
    Not a wagon could carry it off, though sevenfold loaded."

At the word "treasure" Nobel pricked up his ears and bade Reynard relate
how this hoard was obtained and where it was concealed. The artful fox,
seeing the king's evident interest, rapidly prepared more lies, and,
speaking to the king and queen, declared that ere he died it would be
better for him to reveal the carefully guarded secret of a conspiracy which
would have resulted in the king's death had it not been for his devotion.

The queen, shuddering at the mere thought of the danger her royal consort
had run, now begged that Reynard might step down from the scaffold and
speak privately to her and to Nobel. In this interview Reynard, still
pretending to prepare for immediate death, told how he discovered a
conspiracy formed by his father, Isegrim the wolf, Brown the bear, and many
others, to slay the king and seize the scepter. He described the various
secret conferences, the measures taken, and his father's promise to defray
all the expenses of the enterprise and to subsidize mercenary troops by
means of the hoard of King Ermenrich, which he had discovered and concealed
for his own use.

Reynard then continued to describe his loyal fears for his beloved
sovereign, his resolve to outwit the conspirators, and his efforts to
deprive them of the sinews of war by discovering and abstracting the
treasure. Thanks to his ceaseless vigilance, he saw his father steal forth
one night, uncover his hoard, gloat over the gold, and then efface the
traces of his search with the utmost skill.

                                              "'Nor could one,
    Not having seen, have possibly known. And ere he went onwards
    Well he understood at the place where his feet had been planted,
    Cleverly backwards and forwards to draw his tail, and to smooth it,
    And to efface the trace with the aid of his mouth.'"

Reynard then told the king how diligently he and his wife, Ermelyn, labored
to remove the gold and conceal it elsewhere, and how the conspiracy came to
naught when no gold was found to pay the troops. He mournfully added that
his loyalty further deprived him of a loving father, for the latter had
hung himself in despair when he found his treasure gone and all his plans
frustrated. With hypocritical tears he then bewailed his own fate, saying
that, although ready to risk all for another, there was no one near him to
speak a good word for him in his time of bitterest need.

[Sidenote:  Reynard Pardoned.] The queen's soft heart was so touched by
this display of feeling that she soon pleaded for and obtained Reynard's
pardon from Nobel, who freely granted it when the fox promised to give him
his treasure. Most accurately now he described its place of concealment,
but said that he could not remain at court, as his presence there was an
insult to royalty, seeing that he was under the Pope's ban and must make a
pilgrimage ere it could be removed.

The king, after imprisoning Isegrim, Brown, and Hintze (the chief
conspirators according to Reynard's tale), and ascertaining that the place
the fox so accurately described really existed, bade Reynard depart, and at
his request procured for him a fragment of Brown's hide to make a wallet,
and a pair of socks from Isegrim and his wife, who were very loath to part
with their foot covering. The king, queen, and court then accompanied
Reynard a short way on the first stage of his journey, and turned back,
leaving Bellyn the ram and Lampe the hare to escort him a little farther.
These innocent companions accompanied Reynard to Malepartus, and while
Bellyn waited patiently without, Lampe entered the house with Reynard. Lady
Ermelyn and her two young sons greeted Reynard with joy, listened
breathlessly to the account of his adventures, and then helped him to slay
and eat Lampe, who, he declared, had brought all these evils upon him.

Reynard and his family feasted upon the body of poor Lampe the hare, whose
head was then securely fastened in the wallet made of Brown's skin. This
the fox carefully carried out and placed upon Bellyn's back, assuring him
volubly the while that it contained important dispatches, and that in order
to insure him a suitable reward for his good offices he had told Nobel the
king that the ram had given him valuable assistance in preparing the
contents of the wallet.

    "'Yet, as soon as you see the king, and to still better favor
    Wish to attain with him, 'twere well to bring to his notice
    That you have sagely given advice in composing the letters,
    Yea, and the writer have help'd.'"

Thus instructed, and reassured concerning the absence of Lampe, whom
Reynard described as enjoying a chat with Ermelyn, Bellyn bounded off to
court, where he did not fail to vaunt that he had helped Reynard prepare
the contents of the wallet. Nobel publicly opened it, and when he drew out
Lampe's bleeding head his anger knew no bounds. Following the advice of his
courtiers, Bellyn, in spite of all his protestations, was given in
atonement to the bear and the wolf, who the king now feared had been
unjustly treated. They were then released from imprisonment and reinstated
to royal favor, and twelve days of festivity ensued.

[Sidenote: Reynard again in disgrace.] In the midst of the dance and
revelry a bloody rabbit appeared to accuse Reynard of tearing off one of
his ears, while the garrulous crow, Merkinau, related how the same
unscrupulous wretch had pretended death merely to befool Sharfenebbe, his
wife, and induce her to come near enough for him to bite off her head.
Nobel the king, upon hearing these complaints, immediately swore that
within six days he would besiege Reynard in his castle, would take him
prisoner, and would make him suffer the penalty of his crimes.

Isegrim the wolf and Brown the bear rejoiced at these tidings, while
Grimbart the badger, seeing the peril his uncle had incurred, hastened off
secretly to Malepartus to warn him of his danger and support him by his
advice. He found Reynard sitting complacently in front of his house,
contemplating two young doves which he had just secured as they were making
their first attempt to fly. Grimbart breathlessly related the arrival of
Bellyn, the royal indignation at the sight of Lampe's head, and the plan
for surrounding and capturing Reynard in his safe retreat.

[Sidenote: Grimbart's advice.] In spite of this disquieting news Reynard's
composure did not desert him; but after vowing that he could easily acquit
himself of these crimes if he could only win the king's ear for a moment,
he invited his kinsman to share his meal and taste the delicate morsels he
had secured. Grimbart the badger, seeing that the fox was not inclined to
flee, now advised him not to await the king's coming and expose his wife
and children to the horrors of a siege, but boldly to return to court.

    "'Go with assurance before the lords, and put the best face on
    Your affairs. They will give you a hearing. Lupardus was also
    Willing you should not be punish'd before you had fully
    Made your defense, and the queen herself was not otherwise minded.
    Mark this fact, and try to make use of it.'"

Once more Reynard bade a tender farewell to his wife and sons, resisting
all the former's entreaties to seek safety in flight, and, relying upon his
cunning, set out with Grimbart to visit the court. On his way he again
pretended repentance for his former sins, and resuming his confession at
the point where he had broken off, he told how maliciously he had secured a
piece of the bear's hide for a wallet, and socks from Isegrim and his wife.
He then went on to relate just how he had murdered Lampe, charged the
innocent Bellyn with the ambiguous message which had cost him his life,
torn off one of the rabbit's ears, and eaten the crow's wife. Lastly, he
confessed how he had gone out in company with the wolf, who, being hungry
and seeing a mare with a little foal, had bidden Reynard inquire at what
price she would sell it. The mare retorted that the price was written on
her hoof. The sly fox, understanding her meaning, yet longing to get his
companion into trouble, pretended not to know how to read, and sent the
wolf to ascertain the price. The result was, of course, disastrous, for the
mare kicked so hard that the wolf lay almost dead for several hours after.

    "So he went and asked the lady, 'What price is the filly?
    Make it cheap.' Whereupon she replied, 'You've only to read it;
    There you will find the sum inscribed on one of my hind feet.'
    'Let me look,' continued the wolf; and she answered, 'With

    "Then she lifted upwards her foot from the grass; it was studded
    With six nails. She struck straight out, and not by a hair's
    Missed she her mark. She struck on his head, and straightway he
         fell down,
    Lying as dumb as the dead."

Waxing more and more eloquent as they drew nearer court and his fears
increased, Reynard began to moralize. He excused himself for Lampe's murder
on the plea of the latter's aggravating behavior, said that the king
himself was nothing but a robber living by rapine, and proceeded to show
how even the priests were guilty of manifold sins, which he enumerated with
much gusto.

They had scarcely finished this edifying conversation when they came across
Martin the ape, on his way to Rome; and Reynard hastened to implore him to
secure his release from the Pope's ban, through the intercession of the
ape's uncle, the cardinal, whose interest it was to serve him. Martin the
ape not only promised his good offices at the papal court, but bade Reynard
not hesitate to consult his wife should he find himself in any predicament
at court.

[Sidenote: Reynard at court.] Thus supported, Reynard again made his
appearance at court, to the utter amazement and surprise of all; and
although, he was well aware that his situation was more dangerous than
ever, his assurance did not seem at all impaired. Kneeling with pretended
humility before the king, he artfully began his address by lamenting the
fact that there were so many unscrupulous people ever ready to accuse the
innocent; and when the king angrily interrupted him to accuse him of
maiming the rabbit and devouring the crow, he began his defense.

First Reynard explained that since Martin the ape had undertaken to free
him from his ban, his journey to Rome was of course unnecessary. Then he
related how the rabbit, dining at his house, had insulted and quarreled
with his children, from whose clutches he had had much trouble to save him.
The crow's death was caused by a fish bone she had swallowed. Bellyn, the
traitor, had slain Lampe himself, and evidently put his head in the wallet
instead of some treasures which Reynard had intrusted to their care for the
king and queen.

[Sidenote: The ape's intercession.] The king, who had listened impatiently
to all this discourse, angrily retired, refusing to believe a word, while
Reynard sought the ape's wife, Frau Rückenau, and bade her intercede for
him. She entered the royal tent, reminded the king of her former services,
and seeing his mood somewhat softened, ventured to mention how cleverly
Reynard once helped him to judge between the rival claims of a shepherd and
a serpent. The latter, caught in a noose and about to die, had implored a
passing shepherd to set it free. The peasant had done so after exacting a
solemn oath from the serpent to do him no harm. But the serpent, once
released, and suffering from the pangs of hunger, threatened to devour the
peasant. The latter called the raven, wolf, and bear, whom he met by the
way, to his aid; but as they all hoped to get a share of him, they all
decided in favor of the serpent's claim to eat him.

The case by this time had become so intricate that it was laid before the
king, who, unable to judge wisely, called Reynard to his aid. The fox
declared that he could only settle so difficult a matter when plaintiff and
defendant had assumed the relative positions which they occupied at the
time of dispute. Then when the snake was safely in the noose once more,
Reynard decided that, knowing the serpent's treachery, the peasant might
again set him loose, but need not do so unless he chose.

                           "'Here now is each of the parties
    Once again in his former state, nor has either the contest
    Won or lost. The right, I think, of itself is apparent.
    For if it pleases the man, he again can deliver the serpent
    Out of the noose; if not, he may let her remain and be hang'd there.
    Free he may go on his way with honor and see to his business,
    Since she has proved herself false, when she had accepted his kindness;
    Fairly the man has the choice. This seems to me to be justice,
    True to the spirit. Let him who understands better declare it.'"

[Illustration: REYNARD PREPARING FOR BATTLE.--Kaulbach.]

The king, remembering this celebrated judgment, and skillfully reminded by
Frau Rückenau of the bear's and the wolf's rapacity, consented at last to
give Reynard a second hearing. The fox now minutely described the treasures
he sent to court,--a magic ring for the king, and a comb and mirror for the
queen. Not only was the fable of the judgment of Paris engraved on the
latter, but also that of the jealous donkey, who, imitating his master's
lapdog, and trying to climb into his lap, received nothing but blows. There
was also the story of the cat and the fox, of the wolf and the crane, and,
lastly, the account of the miraculous way in which his father, a noted
leech, had saved Nobel's sire by making him eat the flesh of a wolf just
seven years old.

The pleader then reminded the king of a noted hunting party, where Isegrim,
having secured a boar, gave the king one quarter, the queen another,
reserved a half for himself, and gave the fox nothing but the head. This
division was of course very disloyal, and the fox showed that he thought so
by dividing a calf more equitably; i.e., giving the queen one half, the
king the other, the heart and liver to the princes, the head to the wolf,
and reserving only the feet for himself.

[Sidenote: Duel between the fox and the wolf.] Reynard prided himself upon
these tokens of loyalty, and then, seeing that he had made a favorable
impression, he volunteered, in spite of his small size, to meet the wolf in
battle and leave the vindication of his claims to the judgment of God. This
magnanimous behavior filled the king with admiration, and the trial was
appointed for the following day, the intervening hours being granted to
both combatants for preparation. Reynard, still advised by Frau Rückenau,
was shaved smooth, rubbed with butter until he was as slippery as could be,
and instructed to feign fear and run fleetly in front of the wolf, kicking
up as much sand as possible, and using his brush to dash it into his
opponent's eyes and thus blind him.

The combat took place. The wolf, blinded by the sand in his eyes, was so
infuriated that he finally pounced upon the fox, who, however, managed yet
to get the upper hand and come off victor, generously granting life to his
foe, whom he had nearly torn and scratched to pieces. Reynard, having thus
won the victory, enjoyed the plaudits of the crowd, while the wolf, being
vanquished, was publicly derided, and borne off by his few remaining
friends to be nursed back to health, if possible.

    "Such is ever the way of the world. They say to the lucky,
    'Long may you live in good health,' and friends he finds in  abundance.
    When, however, ill fortune befalls him, alone he must bear it.
    Even so was it here; each one of them wish'd to the victor
    Nearest to be, to show himself off."

[Sidenote: Reynard's acquittal.] The king pronounced Reynard guiltless of
all charges, and made him one of his privy councilors. But the fox, after
thanking the king for his favors, humbly besought permission to return
home, where his wife was awaiting him, and departed, escorted by a
deputation of his friends.

According to some versions of the tale, Reynard contented himself with
blinding the wolf and maiming him for life; according to others, he bided
his time, and when the king was ill, told him that nothing could save him
short of the heart of a wolf just seven years old. Of course no wolf of the
exact age could be found but Isegrim, so he was sacrificed to save the
king, who recovered. As for Reynard, he enjoyed great honor as long as he
lived, and his adventures have long been the delight of the people, whom
his tricks never failed to amuse.

    "Highly honor'd is Reineke now! To wisdom let all men
    Quickly apply them, and flee what is evil, and reverence virtue!
    This is the end and aim of the song, and in it the poet
    Fable and truth hath mixed, whereby the good from the evil
    Ye may discern, and wisdom esteem; and thereby the buyers
    Of this book in the ways of the world may be daily instructed.
    For it was so created of old, and will ever remain so.
    Thus is our poem of Reineke's deeds and character ended.
    May God bring us all to eternal happiness. Amen!"



[Sidenote:  Origin of Poem.] Germany's greatest epic is, without doubt, the
ancient poem entitled "Nibelungenlied," or the "Lay," "Fall," or "Calamity
of the Nibelungs." Although nothing certain is known concerning the real
authorship of this beautiful work, it is supposed to have been put into its
present form either by the Austrian minstrel von Kürenberg or by the German
poet von Ofterdingen, some time previous to the year 1210, the date
inscribed on the oldest manuscript of that poem now extant.

According to the best authorities on ancient German literature, the
"Nibelungenlied" is compiled from preëxisting songs and rhapsodies, forming
five distinct cycles of myths, but all referring in some way to the great
treasure of the Nibelungs. One of these cycles is the northern Volsunga
Saga,[1] where Sigurd, Gudrun, Gunnar, Högni, and Atli, the principal
characters, correspond to Siegfried, Kriemhild, Gunther, Hagen, and Etzel
of the "Nibelungenlied." The story of the German poem, which can be given
only in outline, is as follows: [Footnote 1: See Guerber's Myths of
Northern Lands, p. 225.]

Dankrat and Ute, King and Queen of Burgundy, were the fortunate parents of
four children: three sons, Gunther, Gernot, and Giselher; and one beautiful
daughter, Kriemhild. When the king died, his eldest son, Gunther, succeeded
him, and reigned wisely and well, residing at Worms on the Rhine, his
capital and favorite city.

[Sidenote: Kriemhild's dream.] As was customary in those days, Kriemhild
lived a peaceful and secluded life, rarely leaving her mother's palace and
protection. But one night her slumbers, which were usually very peaceful,
were disturbed by a tormenting dream, which, upon awaking, she hastened to
confide to her mother, thinking that, as Ute was skilled in magic and
dreams, she might give a favorable interpretation and thus rid her of her
haunting fears.

    "A dream was dreamt by Kriemhild, the virtuous and the gay,
    How a wild young falcon she train'd for many a day,
    Till two fierce eagles tore it."
                                   _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

Ute declared that the falcon her daughter had seen in her dream must be
some noble prince, whom she would love and marry; while the two eagles were
base murderers, who would eventually slay her beloved. Instead of
reassuring Kriemhild, this interpretation only saddened her the more, and
made her loudly protest that she would rather forego all the joys of
married estate than have to mourn for a beloved husband.

[Sidenote: Siegfried's home.] In those days there flourished farther down
the Rhine the kingdom of the Netherlands, governed by Siegmund and
Siegelind. They were very proud of their only son and heir, young
Siegfried, who had already reached man's estate. To celebrate his
knighthood a great tournament was held at Xanten on the Rhine, and in the
jousting the young prince won all the laurels, although great and tried
warriors matched their skill against his in the lists.

The festivities continued for seven whole days, and when the guests
departed they were all heavily laden with the costly gifts which the king
and queen had lavished upon them.

    "The gorgeous feast it lasted till the seventh day was o'er.
    Siegelind, the wealthy, did as they did of yore;
    She won for valiant Siegfried the hearts of young and old,
    When for his sake among them she shower'd the ruddy gold.

    "You scarce could find one needy in all the minstrel band;
    Horses and robes were scatter'd with ever-open hand.
    They gave as though they had not another day to live;
    None were to take so ready as they inclin'd to give."
                                        _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

After the departure of all these guests, young Siegfried sought his
parents' presence, told them that he had heard rumors of the beauty and
attractions of Kriemhild of Burgundy, and declared his wish to journey
thither to secure her as his wife.

In vain the fond parents tried to prevail upon him to remain quietly at
home; the young hero insisted so strongly that he finally won their consent
to his immediate departure. With eleven companions, all decked out in the
richest garments that the queen's chests could furnish, the young prince
rode down the Rhine, and reached Worms on the seventh day.

[Sidenote: Siegfried's arrival in Burgundy.] The arrival of the gallant
little troop was soon noted by Gunther's subjects, who hastened out to meet
the strangers and help them dismount. Siegfried immediately requested to be
brought into the presence of their king, who, in the mean while, had
inquired of his uncle, Hagen, the names and standing of the newcomers.
Glancing down from the great hall window, Hagen said that the leader must
be Siegfried, the knight who had slain the owners of the Nibelungen hoard
and appropriated it for his own use, as well as the magic cloud-cloak, or
Tarnkappe, which rendered its wearer invisible to mortal eyes.[1] He added
that this same Siegfried was ruler of the Nibelungen land, and the slayer
of a terrible dragon, whose blood had made him invulnerable, and he
concluded by advising Gunther to receive him most courteously. [Footnote 1:
For various legends of this cycle see Guerber's Legends of the Rhine,
article Xanten.]

    "Yet more I know of Siegfried, that well your ear may hold:
    A poison-spitting dragon he slew with courage bold,
    And in the blood then bath'd him; thus turn'd to horn his skin,
    And now no weapons harm him, as often proved has been.

    "Receive then this young hero with all becoming state;
    'Twere ill advis'd to merit so fierce a champion's hate.
    So lovely is his presence, at once all hearts are won,
    And then his strength and courage such wondrous deeds have done."
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

In obedience to this advice, Gunther went to meet Siegfried and politely
inquired the cause of his visit. Imagine his dismay, therefore, when
Siegfried replied that he had come to test the Burgundian's vaunted
strength, and to propose a single combat, in which the victor might claim
the lands and allegiance of the vanquished. Gunther recoiled from such a
proposal, and as none of his warriors seemed inclined to accept the
challenge, he and his brother hastened to disarm Siegfried's haughty mood
by their proffers of unbounded hospitality.

Siegfried sojourned for nearly a year at Gunther's court, displaying his
skill in all martial exercises; and although he never caught a glimpse of
the fair maiden Kriemhild, she often admired his strength and manly beauty
from behind the palace lattice.

[Sidenote: War with the Saxons and Danes.] One day the games were
interrupted by the arrival of a herald announcing that Ludeger, King of the
Saxons, and Ludegast, King of Denmark, were about to invade Burgundy. These
tidings filled Gunther's heart with terror, for the enemy were very
numerous and their valor was beyond all question. But when Hagen hinted
that perhaps Siegfried would lend them a helping hand, the King of Burgundy
seized the suggestion with joy.

As soon as Siegfried was made aware of the threatened invasion he declared
that if Gunther would only give him one thousand brave men he would repel
the foe. This offer was too good to refuse; so Gunther hastily assembled a
chosen corps, in which were his brothers Gernot and Giselher, Hagen and his
brother Dankwart, Ortwine, Sindolt, and Volker,--all men of remarkable

    "'Sir king,' said noble Siegfried, 'here sit at home and play,
    While I and your vassals are fighting far away;
    Here frolic with the ladies and many a merry mate,
    And trust to me for guarding your honor and estate.'"
                                      _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

This little force, only one thousand strong, then marched bravely out of
Worms, passed through Hesse, and entered Saxony, where it encountered the
enemy numbering no less than twenty thousand valiant fighting men. The
battle was immediately begun; and while all fought bravely, none did such
wonders as Siegfried, who made both kings prisoners, routed their host, and
returned triumphant to Worms, with much spoil and many captives.

A messenger had preceded him thither to announce the success of the
expedition, and he was secretly summoned and questioned by Kriemhild, who,
in her joy at hearing that Siegfried was unharmed and victorious, gave the
messenger a large reward.

    "Then spake she midst her blushes, 'Well hast thou earn'd thy meed,
    Well hast thou told thy story, so take thee costliest weed,
    And straight I'll bid be brought thee ten marks of ruddy gold.'
    No wonder, to rich ladies glad news are gladly told."
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

[Sidenote: Celebration of Siegfried's victory.] Kriemhild then hastened to
her window, from whence she witnessed her hero's triumphant entrance, and
heard the people's acclamations of joy. The wounded were cared for, the
captive kings hospitably entertained and duly released, and great
festivities were held to celebrate the glorious victory. Among other
entertainments the knights tilted in the tournaments, and, by Gernot's
advice, Ute, Kriemhild, and all the court ladies were invited to view the
prowess of the men at arms. It was thus that Siegfried first beheld
Kriemhild, and as soon as he saw her he gladly acknowledged that she was
fairer than he could ever have supposed.

    "As the moon arising outglitters every star
    That through the clouds so purely glimmers from afar,
    E'en so love-breathing Kriemhild dimm'd every beauty nigh.
    Well might at such a vision many a bold heart beat high."
                                        _Nibelungenlied_ {Lettsom's tr.}.

Siegfried's happiness was complete, however, when he was appointed the
escort of this peerless maiden; and on the way to and from the tournament
and mass he made good use of his opportunity to whisper pretty speeches to
Kriemhild, who timidly expressed her gratitude for the service he had
rendered her brother, and begged that he would continue to befriend him.
These words made Siegfried blush with pride, and then and there he
registered a solemn vow to fulfill her request.

    "'Ever,' said he, 'your brethren I'll serve as best I may,
    Nor once, while I have being, will head on pillow lay
    Till I have done to please them whate'er they bid me do;
    And this, my Lady Kriemhild, is all for love of you.'"
                                        _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

The festivities being ended, Gunther bestowed many gifts on the departing
guests; but when Siegfried would also have departed he entreated him to
remain at Worms. This the young hero was not at all loath to do, as he had
fallen deeply in love with the fair Kriemhild, whom he was now privileged
to see every day.

[Sidenote: Brunhild.] The excitement consequent on the festivities had not
entirely subsided in Worms when King Gunther declared his desire to win for
his wife Brunhild, a princess of Issland, who had vowed to marry none but
the man who could surpass her in casting a spear, in throwing a stone, and
in jumping.

    "Then spake the lord of Rhineland: 'Straight will I hence to sea,
    And seek the fiery Brunhild, howe'er it go with me.
    For love of the stern maiden I'll frankly risk my life;
    Ready am I to lose it, if I win her not to wife.'"
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

In vain Siegfried, who knew all about Brunhild, tried to dissuade him;
Gunther insisted upon departing, but proposed to Siegfried to accompany
him, promising him as reward for his assistance Kriemhild's hand as soon as
the princess of Issland was won. Such an offer was not to be refused, and
Siegfried immediately accepted it, advising Gunther to take only Hagen and
Dankwart as his attendants.

[Sidenote:  The expedition to Issland.] After seeking the aid of Kriemhild
for a supply of rich clothing suitable for a prince going a-wooing, Gunther
and the three knights embarked on a small vessel, whose sails soon filled,
and which rapidly bore them flown the Rhine and over the sea to Issland.
When within sight of its shores, Siegfried bade his companions all
carefully agree in representing him to the strangers as Gunther's vassal
only. Their arrival was seen by some inquisitive damsels peering out of the
windows of the castle, and reported to Brunhild, who immediately and
joyfully concluded that Siegfried had come to seek her hand in marriage.
But when she heard that he held another man's stirrup to enable him to
mount, she angrily frowned, wondering why he came as a menial instead of as
a king. When the strangers entered her hall she would have greeted
Siegfried first had he not modestly drawn aside, declaring that the honor
was due to his master, Gunther, King of Burgundy, who had come to Issland
to woo her.

Brunhild then haughtily bade her warriors make all the necessary
preparations for the coming contest; and Gunther, Hagen, and Dankwart
apprehensively watched the movements of four warriors staggering beneath
the weight of Brunhild's ponderous shield. Then they saw three others
equally overpowered by her spear; and twelve sturdy servants could scarcely
roll the stone she was wont to cast.

Hagen and Dankwart, fearing for their master,--who was doomed to die in
case of failure,--began to mutter that some treachery was afoot, and openly
regretted that they had consented to lay aside their weapons upon entering
the castle. These remarks, overheard by Brunhild, called forth her scorn,
and she contemptuously bade her servants bring the strangers' arms, since
they were afraid.

    "Well heard the noble maiden the warrior's words the while,
    And looking o'er her shoulder, said with a scornful smile,
    'As he thinks himself so mighty, I'll not deny a guest;
    Take they their arms and armor, and do as seems them best.

    "'Be they naked and defenseless, or sheath'd in armor sheen,
    To me it nothing matters,' said the haughty queen.
    'Fear'd yet I never mortal, and, spite of yon stern brow
    And all the strength of Gunther, I fear as little now.'"
                                        _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

[Sidenote: Siegfried and the Tarnkappe.] While these preliminaries were
being settled, Siegfried had gone down to the ship riding at anchor, and
all unseen had donned his magic cloud-cloak and returned to the scene of
the coming contest, where he now bade Gunther rely upon his aid.

    "'I am Siegfried, thy trusty friend and true;
    Be not in fear a moment for all the queen can do.'

    "Said he, 'Off with the buckler, and give it me to bear;
    Now what I shall advise thee, mark with thy closest care.
    Be it thine to make the gestures, and mine the work to do.'"
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

In obedience to these directions, Gunther merely made the motions,
depending upon the invisible Siegfried to parry and make all the attacks.
Brunhild first poised and flung her spear with such force that both heroes
staggered and almost fell; but before she could cry out victory, Siegfried
had caught the spear, turned it butt end foremost, and flung it back with
such violence that the princess fell and was obliged to acknowledge herself

[Sidenote: Brunhild's defeat.] Nothing daunted, however, by this first
defeat, she caught up the massive stone, flung it far from her, and leaping
after it, alighted beside it. But even while she was inwardly
congratulating herself, and confidently cherishing the belief that the
stranger could not surpass her, Siegfried caught up the stone, flung it
farther still, and grasping Gunther by his broad girdle, bounded through
the air with him and landed far beyond it. Brunhild was outdone in all
three feats, and, according to her own promise, belonged to the victor,
Gunther, to whom she now bade her people show all due respect and homage.

    "Then all aloud fair Brunhild bespake her courtier band,
    Seeing in the ring at distance unharm'd her wooer stand:
    'Hither, my men and kinsmen, low to my better bow.
    I am no more your mistress; you're Gunther's liegemen now.'"
                                        _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

[Illustration: GUNTHER WINNING HIS BRIDE.--Keller.]

The warriors all hastened to do her bidding, and escorted their new lord to
the castle, whither, under pretext of fitly celebrating her marriage,
Brunhild summoned all her retainers from far and near. This rally roused
the secret terror of Gunther, Hagen, and Dankwart, for they suspected some
act of treachery on the part of the dark-browed queen. These fears were
also, in a measure, shared by Siegfried; so he stole away, promising to
return before long with a force sufficient to overawe Brunhild and quell
all attempt at foul play.

Siegfried, having hastily embarked upon the little vessel, swiftly sailed
away to the Nibelungen land, where he arrived in an incredibly short space
of time, presented himself at the gates of his castle, and forced an
entrance by conquering the giant porter, and Alberich, the dwarf guardian
of his treasure. Then making himself known to his followers, the Nibelungs,
he chose one thousand of them to accompany him back to Issland to support
the Burgundian king.

[Sidenote: Marriage of Gunther and Brunhild.] The arrival of this
unexpected force greatly surprised Brunhild. She questioned Gunther, and
upon receiving the careless reply that they were only a few of his
followers, who had come to make merry at his wedding, she gave up all hope
of resistance. When the usual festivities had taken place, and the wonted
largesses had been distributed, Gunther bade his bride prepare to follow
him back to the Rhine with her personal female attendants, who numbered no
less than one hundred and sixty-eight.

Brunhild regretfully left her own country, escorted by the thousand
Nibelung warriors; and when they had journeyed nine days, Gunther bade
Siegfried spur ahead and announce his safe return to his family and
subjects. Offended by the tone of command Gunther had assumed, Siegfried at
first proudly refused to obey; but when the king begged it as a favor, and
mentioned Kriemhild's name, he immediately relented and set out.

    "Said he, 'Nay, gentle Siegfried, do but this journey take,
    Not for my sake only, but for my sister's sake;
    You'll oblige fair Kriemhild in this as well as me.'
    When so implored was Siegfried, ready at once was he.

    "'Whate'er you will, command me; let naught be left unsaid;
    I will gladly do it for the lovely maid.
    How can I refuse her who my heart has won?
    For her, whate'er your pleasure, tell it, and it is done.'"
                                           _Nibelunglied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

Kriemhild received this messenger most graciously, and gave immediate
orders for a magnificent reception of the new queen, going down to the
river to meet and greet her in the most cordial and affectionate manner.

[Sidenote: Marriage of Siegfried and Kriemhild.] A tournament and banquet
ensued; but as they were about to sit down to the latter, the impatient
Siegfried ventured to remind Gunther of his promise, and claim the hand of
Kriemhild. In spite of a low-spoken remonstrance on Brunhild's part, who
said that he would surely never consent to give his only sister in marriage
to a menial, Gunther sent for Kriemhild, who blushingly expressed her
readiness to marry Siegfried if her brother wished. The marriage was
immediately celebrated, and the two bridal couples sat side by side. But
while Kriemhild's fair face was radiant with joy, Brunhild's dark brows
were drawn close together in an unmistakable and ominous frown.

[Sidenote: Gunther's humiliation.] The banquet over, the newly married
couples retired; but when Gunther, for the first time alone with his wife,
would fain have embraced her, she seized him, and, in spite of his vigorous
resistance, bound him fast with her long girdle, suspended him from a nail
in the corner of her apartment, and, notwithstanding his piteous
entreaties, let him remain there all night long, releasing him only a few
moments before the attendants entered the nuptial chamber in the morning.
Of course all seemed greatly surprised to see Gunther's lowering
countenance, which contrasted oddly with Siegfried's radiant mien; for the
latter had won a loving wife, and, to show his appreciation of her, had
given her as wedding gift the great Nibelungen hoard.

In the course of the day Gunther managed to draw Siegfried aside, and
secretly confided to him the shameful treatment he had received at his
wife's hands. When Siegfried heard this he offered to don his cloud-cloak
once more, enter the royal chamber unperceived, and force Brunhild to
recognize her husband as her master, and never again make use of her
strength against him.

[Sidenote: Brunhild subdued by Siegfried.] In pursuance of this promise
Siegfried suddenly left Kriemhild's side at nightfall, stole unseen into
the queen's room, and when she and Gunther had closed the door, he blew out
the lights and wrestled with Brunhild until she begged for mercy, promising
never to bind him again; for as Siegfried had remained invisible throughout
the struggle, she thought it was Gunther who had conquered her.

    "Said she, 'Right noble ruler, vouchsafe my life to spare;
    Whatever I've offended, my duty shall repair.
    I'll meet thy noble passion; my love with thine shall vie.
    That thou canst tame a woman, none better knows than I.'"
                                         _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

Still unperceived, Siegfried now took her girdle and ring, and stole out of
the apartment, leaving Gunther alone with his wife; but, true to her
promise, Brunhild ever after treated her husband with due respect, and
having once for all been conquered, she entirely lost the fabulous strength
which had been her proudest boast, and was no more powerful than any other
member of her sex.

After fourteen days of rejoicing, Siegfried and Kriemhild (the latter
escorted by her faithful steward Eckewart) journeyed off to Xanten on the
Rhine, where Siegmund and Siegelind received them joyfully, and even
abdicated in their favor.

Ten years passed away very rapidly indeed. Siegfried became the father of a
son, whom he named Gunther, in honor of his brother-in-law, who had called
his heir Siegfried; and when Siegelind had seen her little grandson she
departed from this world. Siegfried, with Kriemhild, his father, and his
son, then went to the Nibelungen land, where they tarried two years.

In the mean while Brunhild, still imagining that Siegfried was only her
husband's vassal, secretly wondered why he never came to court to do homage
for his lands, and finally suggested to Gunther that it would be well to
invite his sister and her husband to visit them at Worms. Gunther seized
this suggestion gladly, and immediately sent one of his followers, Gary, to
deliver the invitation, which Siegfried accepted for himself and his wife,
and also for Siegmund, his father.

As they were bidden for midsummer, and as the journey was very long,
Kriemhild speedily began her preparations; and when she left home she
cheerfully intrusted her little son to the care of the stalwart Nibelung
knights, little suspecting that she would never see him again.

On Kriemhild's arrival at Worms, Brunhild greeted her with as much pomp and
ceremony as had been used for her own reception; but in spite of the amity
which seemed to exist between the two queens, Brunhild was secretly angry
at what she deemed Kriemhild's unwarrantable arrogance.

[Sidenote: Brunhild and Kreimhild.] One day, when the two queens were
sitting together, Brunhild, weary of hearing Kriemhild's constant praise of
her husband, who she declared was without a peer in the world, cuttingly
remarked that since he was Gunther's vassal he must necessarily be his
inferior. This remark called forth a retort from Kriemhild, and a dispute
was soon raging, in the course of which Kriemhild vowed that she would
publicly assert her rank by taking the precedence of Brunhild in entering
the church. The queens parted in hot anger, but both immediately proceeded
to attire themselves with the utmost magnificence, and, escorted by all
their maids, met at the church door. Brunhild there bade Kriemhild stand
aside and make way for her superior; but this order so angered the
Nibelungen queen that the dispute was resumed in public with increased
vehemence and bitterness.

In her indignation Kriemhild finally insulted Brunhild grossly by declaring
that she was not a faithful wife; and in proof of her assertion she
produced the ring and girdle which Siegfried had won in his memorable
encounter with her, and which he had imprudently given to his wife, to whom
he had also confided the secret of Brunhild's wooing.

Brunhild indignantly summoned Gunther to defend her, and he, in anger, sent
for Siegfried, who publicly swore that his wife had not told the truth, and
that Gunther's queen had in no way forfeited her good name. Further to
propitiate his host, Siegfried declared the quarrel to be disgraceful, and
promised to teach his wife better manners for the future, advising Gunther
to do the same with his consort.

    "'Women must be instructed,' said Siegfried the good knight,
    'To leave off idle talking and rule their tongues aright.
    Keep thy fair wife in order. I'll do by mine the same.
    Such overweening folly puts me indeed to shame.'"
                                      _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

To carry out this good resolution he led Kriemhild home, where, sooth to
say, he beat her black and blue,--an heroic measure which Gunther did not
dare to imitate.

Brunhild, smarting from the public insult received, continued to weep aloud
and complain, until Hagen, inquiring the cause of her extravagant grief,
and receiving a highly colored version of the affair, declared that he
would see that she was duly avenged.

    "He ask'd her what had happen'd--wherefore he saw her weep;
    She told him all the story; he vow'd to her full deep
    That reap should Kriemhild's husband as he had dar'd to sow,
    Or that himself thereafter content should never know."
                                          _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

To keep this promise, Hagen next tried to stir up the anger of Gunther,
Gernot, and Ortwine, and to prevail upon them to murder Siegfried; but
Giselher reproved him for these base designs, and openly took Siegfried's
part, declaring:

    "'Sure 'tis but a trifle to stir an angry wife.'"
                                     _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

But although he succeeded in quelling the attempt for the time being, he
was no match for the artful Hagen, who continually reminded Gunther of the
insult his wife had received, setting it in the worst possible light, and
finally so worked upon the king's feelings that he consented to a
treacherous assault.

[Sidenote: Hagen's treachery.] Under pretext that his former enemy,
Ludeger, was about to attack him again, Gunther asked Siegfried's
assistance, and began to prepare as if for war. When Kriemhild heard that
her beloved husband was about to rush into danger she was greatly troubled.
Hagen artfully pretended to share her alarm, and so won her confidence that
she revealed to him that Siegfried was invulnerable except in one spot,
between his shoulders, where a lime leaf had rested and the dragon's blood
had not touched him.

    "'So now I'll tell the secret, dear friend, alone to thee
    (For thou, I doubt not, cousin, wilt keep thy faith with me),
    Where sword may pierce my darling, and death sit on the thrust.
    See, in thy truth and honor how full, how firm, my trust!

    "'As from the dragon's death-wounds gush'd out the crimson gore,
    With the smoking torrent the warrior wash'd him o'er,
    A leaf then 'twixt his shoulders fell from the linden bough.
    There only steel can harm him; for that I tremble now.'"
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

Pretending a sympathy he was far from feeling, and disguising his unholy
joy, Hagen bade Kriemhild sew a tiny cross on Siegfried's doublet over the
vulnerable spot, that he might the better protect him in case of danger,
and, after receiving her profuse thanks, returned to report the success of
his ruse to the king. When Siegfried joined them on the morrow, wearing the
fatal marked doublet, he was surprised to hear that the rebellion had been
quelled without a blow; and when invited to join in a hunt in the Odenwald
instead of the fray, he gladly signified his consent. After bidding
farewell to Kriemhild, whose heart was sorely oppressed by dark
forebodings, he joined the hunting party. He scoured the forest, slew
several boars, caught a bear alive, and playfully let him loose in camp to
furnish sport for the guests while the noonday meal was being prepared.
Then he gaily sat down, clamoring for a drink. His exertions had made him
very thirsty indeed, and he was sorely disappointed when told that, owing
to a mistake, the wine had been carried to another part of the forest. But
when Hagen pointed out a fresh spring at a short distance, all his wonted
good humor returned, and he merrily proposed a race thither, offering to
run in full armor, while the others might lay aside their cumbersome
weapons. This challenge was accepted by Hagen and Gunther. Although heavily
handicapped, Siegfried reached the spring first; but, wishing to show
courtesy to his host, he bade him drink while he disarmed. When Gunther's
thirst was quenched, Siegfried took his turn, and while he bent over the
water Hagen treacherously removed all his weapons except his shield, and
gliding behind him, drove his spear through his body in the exact spot
where Kriemhild had embroidered the fatal mark.

[Sidenote: Death of Siegfried.] Mortally wounded, Siegfried made a
desperate effort to avenge himself; but finding nothing but his shield
within reach, he flung it with such force at his murderer that it knocked
him down. This last effort exhausted the remainder of his strength, and the
hero fell back upon the grass, cursing the treachery of those whom he had
trusted as friends.

    "Thus spake the deadly wounded: 'Ay, cowards false as hell!
    To you I still was faithful; I serv'd you long and well;--
    But what boots all?--for guerdon treason and death I've won.
    By your friends, vile traitors! foully have you done.

    "'Whoever shall hereafter from your loins be born,
    Shall take from such vile fathers a heritage of scorn.
    On me you have wreak'd malice where gratitude was due;
    With shame shall you be banish'd by all good knights and true.'"
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

But even in death Siegfried could not forget his beloved wife; and laying
aside all his anger, he pathetically recommended her to Gunther's care,
bidding him guard her well. Siegfried expired as soon as these words were
uttered; and the hunters silently gathered around his corpse, regretfully
contemplating the fallen hero, while they took counsel together how they
might keep the secret of Hagen's treachery. They finally agreed to carry
the body back to Worms and to say that they had found Siegfried dead in the
forest, where he had presumably been slain by highwaymen.

    "Then many said, repenting, 'This deed will prove our bale;
    Still let us shroud the secret, and all keep in one tale,--
    That the good lord of Kriemhild to hunt alone preferr'd,
    And so was slain by robbers as through the wood he spurr'd.'"
                                          _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

But although his companions were anxious to shield him, Hagen gloried in
his dastardly deed, and secretly bade the bearers deposit Siegfried's
corpse at Kriemhild's door after nightfall, so that she should be the first
to see it there when on her way to early mass. As he fully expected,
Kriemhild immediately recognized her husband, and fell senseless upon him;
but when she had recovered consciousness she declared, while loudly
bewailing her loss, that Siegfried was the victim of an assassination.

    "'Woe's me, woe's me forever! sure no fair foeman's sword
    Shiver'd thy failing buckler; 'twas murder stopp'd thy breath.
    Oh that I knew who did it! death I'd requite with death!'"
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

By her orders a messenger was sent to break the mournful tidings to the
still sleeping Siegmund and the Nibelungs. They hastily armed and rallied
about her, and would have fallen upon the Burgundians, to avenge their
master's death, had she not restrained them, bidding them await a suitable
occasion, and promising them her support when the right time came.

[Sidenote: Detection of Siegfried's murderer.] The preparations for a
sumptuous funeral were immediately begun, and all lent a willing hand, for
Siegfried was greatly beloved at Worms. His body was therefore laid in
state in the cathedral, where all came to view it and condole with
Kriemhild; but when Gunther drew near to express his sorrow, she refused to
listen to him until he promised that all those present at the hunt should
touch the body, which at the murderer's contact would bleed afresh. All
stood the test and were honorably acquitted save Hagen, at whose touch
Siegfried's blood began to flow.

    "It is a mighty marvel, which oft e'en now we spy,
    That when the blood-stain'd murderer comes to the murder'd nigh,
    The wounds break out a-bleeding; then too the same befell,
    And thus could each beholder the guilt of Hagen tell."
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

Once more Kriemhild restrained the angry Nibelung warriors from taking
immediate revenge, and, upheld by Gernot and Giselher, who really
sympathized with her grief, she went through the remainder of the funeral
ceremonies and saw her hero duly laid at rest.

Kriemhild's mourning had only begun. All her days and nights were now spent
in bitter weeping. This sorrow was fully shared by Siegmund, who, however,
finally roused himself and proposed a return home. Kriemhild was about to
accompany him, when her relatives persuaded her to remain in Burgundy. Then
the little band which had come in festal array rode silently away in
mourning robes, the grim Nibelung knights muttering dark threats against
those who had dealt so basely with their beloved master.

      "'Into this same country we well may come again
    To seek and find the traitor who laid our master low.
    Among the kin of Siegfried they have many a mortal foe.'"
                                         _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

[Sidenote: The Nibelungen hoard.] Eckewart the steward alone remained with
Kriemhild, with a faithfulness which has become proverbial in the German
language, and prepared for his mistress a dwelling close by the cathedral,
so that she might constantly visit her husband's tomb. Here Kriemhild spent
three years in complete seclusion, refusing to see Gunther, or the detested
Hagen; but they, remembering that the immense Nibelungen hoard was hers by
right, continually wondered how she could be induced to send for it. Owing
to Hagen's advice, Gunther, helped by his brothers, finally obtained an
interview with, and was reconciled to, his mourning sister, and shortly
after persuaded her to send twelve men to claim from Alberich, the dwarf,
the fabulous wealth her husband had bestowed upon her as a wedding gift.

    "It was made up of nothing but precious stones and gold;
    Were all the world bought from it, and down the value told,
    Not a mark the less thereafter were left than erst was scor'd.
    Good reason sure had Hagen to covet such a hoard.

    "And thereamong was lying the wishing rod of gold,
    Which whoso could discover, might in subjection hold
    All this wide world as master, with all that dwelt therein.
    There came to Worms with Gernot full many of Albric's kin."
                                          _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

But although this wealth is said to have filled nearly one hundred and
fifty wagons, Kriemhild would gladly have given it all away could she but
have seen her husband by her side once more. Not knowing what else to do
with it, she gave away her gold right and left, bidding all the recipients
of her bounty pray for Siegfried's soul. Her largesses were so extensive
that Hagen, who alone did not profit by her generosity, and who feared the
treasure might be exhausted before he could obtain a share, sought out
Gunther and told him that Kriemhild was secretly winning to her side many
adherents, whom she would some day urge to avenge her husband's murder by
slaying her kindred.


While Gunther was trying to devise some plan to obtain possession of the
hoard, Hagen boldly seized the keys of the tower where it was kept,
secretly removed all the gold, and, to prevent its falling into any hands
but his own, sank it in the Rhine near Lochheim.

    "Ere back the king came thither, impatient of delay,
    Hagen seized the treasure, and bore it thence away.
    Into the Rhine at Lochheim the whole at once threw he!
    Henceforth he thought t'enjoy it, but that was ne'er to be.

    "He nevermore could get it for all his vain desire;
    So fortune oft the traitor cheats of his treason's hire.
    Alone he hop'd to use it as long as he should live,
    But neither himself could profit, nor to another give."
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

When Gunther, Gernot, and Giselher heard what Hagen had done, they were so
angry that he deemed it advisable to withdraw from court for a while.
Kriemhild would fain have left Burgundy forever at this fresh wrong, but
with much difficulty was prevailed upon to remain and take up her abode at
Lorch, whither Siegfried's remains were removed by her order.

[Sidenote: King of Hungary a suitor for Kriemhild.] Thirteen years had
passed by since Siegfried's death in the Odenwald when Etzel, King of
Hungary, who had lost his beautiful and beloved wife, Helche, bade one of
his knights, Rüdiger of Bechlaren, ride to Worms and sue for the hand of
Kriemhild in his master's name.

Rüdiger immediately gathered together a suitable train and departed,
stopping on the way to visit his wife and daughter at Bechlaren. Passing
all through Bavaria, he arrived at last at Worms, where he was warmly
welcomed, by Hagen especially, who had formerly known him well.

In reply to Gunther's courteous inquiry concerning the welfare of the King
and Queen of the Huns, Rüdiger announced the death of the latter, and
declared that he had come to sue for Kriemhild's hand.

    "Thereon the highborn envoy his message freely told:
    'King, since you have permitted, I'll to your ears unfold
    Wherefore my royal master me to your court has sent,
    Plung'd as he is in sorrow and doleful dreariment.

    "'It has been told my master, Sir Siegfried now is dead,
    And Kriemhild left a widow. If thus they both have sped,
    Would you but permit her, she the crown shall wear
    Before the knights of Etzel; this bids me my good lord declare.'"
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

Gunther gladly received this message, promised to do all in his power to
win Kriemhild's consent, and said that he would give the envoy a definite
answer in three days' time. He then consulted his brothers and nobles as to
the advisability of the proposed alliance, and found that all were greatly
in favor of it save Hagen, who warned them that if Kriemhild were ever
Queen of the Huns she would use her power to avenge her wrongs.

[Sidenote: Rüdiger's promise.] This warning was, however, not heeded by the
royal brothers, who, seeking Kriemhild's presence, vainly tried to make her
accept the Hun's proposal. All she would grant was an audience to Rüdiger,
who laid before her his master's proposal, described the power of the Huns,
and swore to obey her in all things would she but consent to become his

    "In vain they her entreated, in vain to her they pray'd,
    Till to the queen the margrave this secret promise made,--
    He'd 'full amends procure her for past or future ill.'
    Those words her storm-tost bosom had power in part to still."
                                         _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

[Sidenote: The journey to Hungary.] After receiving this promise, Kriemhild
signified her consent, and immediately prepared to accompany Rüdiger to
King Etzel's court. Eckewart and all her maidens accompanied her, with five
hundred men as a bodyguard; and Gernot and Giselher, with many Burgundian
nobles, escorted her to Vergen on the Danube, where they took an
affectionate leave of her, and went back to their home in Burgundy.

From Vergen, Kriemhild and her escort journeyed on to Passau, where they
were warmly welcomed and hospitably entertained by good Bishop Pilgrim,
brother of Queen Ute. He would gladly have detained them, had not Rüdiger
declared that his master impatiently awaited the coming of his bride, which
had duly been announced to him.

A second pause was made at Bechlaren, Rüdiger's castle, where Kriemhild was
entertained by his wife and daughter, Gotelinde and Dietelinde, and where
the usual lavish distribution of gifts took place. Then the procession
swept on again across the country and down the Danube, until they met King
Etzel, whom Kriemhild graciously kissed, and who obtained a similar favor
for his brother and a few of his principal nobles.

[Sidenote: The marriage at Vienna.] After witnessing some tilting and other
martial games, the king and queen proceeded to Vienna, where a triumphal
reception awaited them, and where their marriage was celebrated with all
becoming solemnity and great pomp. The wedding festivities lasted seventeen
days; but although all vied in their attempts to please Kriemhild, she
remained sad and pensive, for she could not forget her beloved Siegfried
and the happy years she had spent with him.

The royal couple next journeyed on to Gran, Etzel's capital, where
Kriemhild found innumerable handmaidens ready to do her will, and where
Etzel was very happy with his new consort. His joy was complete, however,
only when she bore him a son, who was baptized in the Christian faith, and
called Ortlieb.

Although thirteen years had now elapsed since Kriemhild had left her native
land, the recollection of her wrongs was as vivid as ever, her melancholy
just as profound, and her thoughts were ever busy planning how best to lure
Hagen into her kingdom so as to work her revenge.

    "One long and dreary yearning she foster'd hour by hour;
    She thought, 'I am so wealthy and hold such boundless power,
    That I with ease a mischief can bring on all my foes,
    But most on him of Trony, the deadliest far of those.

    "'Full oft for its beloved my heart is mourning still;
    Them could I but meet with, who wrought me so much ill,
    Revenge should strike at murder, and life atone for life;
    Wait can I no longer.' So murmur'd Etzel's wife."
                                        _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

[Sidenote: Kriemhild's plot.] Kriemhild finally decided to persuade Etzel
to invite all her kinsmen for a midsummer visit, which the king, not
dreaming of her evil purpose, immediately hastened to do. Two minstrels,
Werbel and Swemmel, were sent with the most cordial invitation. Before they
departed Kriemhild instructed them to be sure and tell all her kinsmen that
she was blithe and happy, and not melancholy as of yore, and to use every
effort to bring not only the kings, but also Hagen, who, having been at
Etzel's court as hostage in his youth, could best act as their guide.

The minstrels were warmly received at Worms, where their invitation created
great excitement. All were in favor of accepting it except Hagen, who
objected that Kriemhild had cause for anger and would surely seek revenge
when they were entirely in her power.

    "'Trust not, Sir King,' said Hagen, 'how smooth soe'er they be,
    These messengers from Hungary; if Kriemhild you will see,
    You put upon the venture your honor and your life.
    A nurse of ling'ring vengeance is Etzel's moody wife.'"
                                       _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

But all his objections were set aside with the remark that he alone had a
guilty conscience; and the kings bade the minstrels return to announce
their coming, although Ute also tried to keep them at home. Hagen, who was
no coward, seeing them determined to go, grimly prepared to accompany them,
and prevailed upon them to don their strongest armor for the journey.

Gunther was accompanied by both his brothers, by Hagen, Dankwart, Volker
(his minstrel), Gary, and Ortwine, and by one thousand picked men as
escort. Before leaving he intrusted his wife, Brunhild, and his son to the
care of Rumolt, his squire, and bidding farewell to his people, set out for
Hungary, whence he was never to return.

In the mean while the Hungarian minstrels had hastened back to Gran to
announce the guests' coming, and, upon being closely questioned by
Kriemhild, described Hagen's grim behavior, and repeated his half-muttered
prophecy: "This jaunt's a jaunt to death."

The Burgundians, who in this part of the poem are frequently called
Nibelungs (because they now held the great hoard), reached the Danube on
the twelfth day. As they found neither ford nor ferry, Hagen, after again
prophesying all manner of evil, volunteered to go in search of a boat or
raft to cross the rapid stream.

[Sidenote: Prophecy of the swan maidens.] He had not gone very far before
he heard the sound of voices, and, peeping through the bushes, saw some
swan maidens, or "wise women," bathing in a neighboring fountain. Stealing
up unperceived, he secured their plumage, which he consented to restore
only after they had predicted the result of his journey. To obtain her
garments, one of the women, Hadburg, prophesied great good fortune; but
when the pilfered robes were restored, another, called Siegelind, foretold
much woe.

    "'I will warn thee, Hagen, thou son of Aldrian;
    My aunt has lied unto thee her raiment back to get;
    If once thou com'st to Hungary, thou'rt taken in the net.

    "'Turn while there's time for safety, turn, warriors most and least;
    For this, and for this only, you're bidden to the feast,
    That you perforce may perish in Etzel's bloody land.
    Whoever rideth thither, Death has he close at hand.'"
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

After adding that the chaplain alone would return alive to Worms, she told
Hagen that he would find a ferryman on the opposite side of the river,
farther down, but that he would not obey his call unless he declared his
name to be Amelrich.

Hagen, after leaving the wise women, soon saw the ferryman's boat anchored
to the opposite shore, and failing to make him come over for a promised
reward, he cried out that his name was Amelrich. The ferryman immediately
crossed, but when Hagen sprang into his boat he detected the fraud and
began to fight. Although gigantic in size, this ferryman was no match for
Hagen, who, after slaying him, took possession of the boat and skillfully
ferried his masters and companions across the river.

In hope of giving the lie to the swan maidens, Hagen paused once in the
middle of the stream to fling the chaplain overboard, thinking he would
surely drown; but to his surprise and dismay the man struggled back to the
shore, where he stood alone and unharmed, and whence he slowly wended his
way back to Burgundy. Hagen now knew that the swan maidens' prophecy was
destined to be fulfilled. Nevertheless he landed on the opposite shore,
where he bade the main part of the troop ride on ahead, leaving him and
Dankwart to bring up the rear, for he fully expected that Gelfrat, master
of the murdered ferryman, would pursue them to avenge the latter's death.
These previsions were soon verified, and in the bloody encounter which
ensued, Hagen came off victor, with the loss of but four men, while the
enemy left more than one hundred dead upon the field.

[Sidenote: The first warning.] Hagen joined the main body of the army once
more, passed on with it to Passau, where Bishop Pilgrim was as glad to see
his nephews as he had been to welcome his niece, and from thence went on to
the frontiers of Bechlaren. There they found Eckewart, who had been sent by
Rüdiger to warn them not to advance any farther, as he suspected that some
treachery was afoot.

                                       "Sir Eckewart replied:
    'Yet much, I own, it grieves me that to the Huns you ride.
    You took the life of Siegfried; all hate you deadly here;
    As your true friend I warn you; watch well, and wisely fear.'"
                                          _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

As the Burgundians would have deemed themselves forever disgraced were they
to withdraw from their purpose, they refused to listen to this warning,
and, entering Rüdiger's castle, were warmly received by him and his family.
Giselher, seeing the beauty of the maiden Dietelinde, fell deeply in love
with her, and prevailed upon the margrave to consent to their immediate
marriage, promising, however, to claim and bear away his bride only upon
his homeward journey. Once more gifts were lavished with mediaeval
profusion, Gunther receiving a coat of mail, Gernot a sword, Hagen a
shield, and the minstrel Volker many rings of red gold.

[Sidenote: The second warning.] Rüdiger then escorted the Burgundians until
they met the brave Dietrich von Bern (Verona), who also warned them that
their visit was fraught with danger, for Kriemhild had by no means
forgotten the murder of the husband of her youth.

His evil prognostications were also of no avail, and he sadly accompanied
them until they met Kriemhild, who embraced Giselher only. Then, turning
suddenly upon Hagen, she inquired aloud, in the presence of all the people,
whether he had brought her back her own, the Nibelung hoard. Nothing
daunted by this sudden query, Hagen haughtily answered that the treasure
still lay deep in the Rhine, where he fancied it would rest until the
judgment day.

    "'I' faith, my Lady Kriemhild, 'tis now full many a day
    Since in my power the treasure of the Nibelungers lay.
    In the Rhine my lords bade sink it; I did their bidding fain,
    And in the Rhine, I warrant, till doomsday 'twill remain.'"
                                          _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

The queen turned her back contemptuously upon him, and invited her other
guests to lay aside their weapons, for none might enter the great hall
armed. This Hagen refused to allow them to do, saying that he feared
treachery; and the queen, pretending great grief, inquired who could have
filled her kinsmen's hearts with such unjust suspicions. Sir Dietrich then
boldly stepped forward, defied Kriemhild, and declared that it was he who
had bidden the Burgundians be thus on their guard.

    "''Twas I that the warning to the noble princes gave,
    And to their liegeman Hagen, to whom such hate thou bear'st.
    Now up, she-fiend! be doing, and harm me if thou dar'st!'"
                                        _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

[Sidenote: Alliance between Hagen and Volker.] Although the thirst for
revenge now made her a "she-fiend," as he termed her, Kriemhild did not
dare openly to attack Dietrich, whom all men justly feared; and she quickly
concealed her anger, while Etzel advanced in his turn to welcome his
guests; and especially singled out Hagen, his friend's son. While many of
the Burgundians accompanied the king into the hall, Hagen drew Volker
aside, and, sitting down on a stone seat near Kriemhild's door, entered
into a life-and-death alliance with him. Kriemhild, looking out of her
window, saw him there and bade her followers go out and slay him; but
although they numbered four hundred, they hung back, until the queen,
thinking that they doubted her assertions, volunteered to descend alone and
wring from Hagen a confession of his crimes, while they lingered within
earshot inside the building. Volker, seeing the queen approach, proposed to
Hagen to rise and show her the customary respect; but the latter, declaring
that she would ascribe this token of decorum to fear alone, grimly bade him
remain seated, and, when she addressed him, boldly acknowledged that he
alone had slain Siegfried.

    "Said he, 'Why question further? that were a waste of breath.
    In a word, I am e'en Hagen, who Siegfried did to death.

         *       *       *       *       *

    "'What I have done, proud princess, I never will deny.
    The cause of all the mischief, the wrong, the loss, am I.
    So now, or man or woman, revenge it whoso will;
    I scorn to speak a falsehood,--I've done you grievous ill.'"
                                         _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

But although the warriors had heard every word he said, and the queen again
urged them on to attack her foe, they one and all withdrew after meeting
one of Hagen's threatening glances. This episode, however, was enough to
show the Burgundians very plainly what they could expect, and Hagen and
Volker soon joined their companions, keeping ever side by side, according
to their agreement.

    "Howe'er the rest were coupled, as mov'd to court the train,
    Folker and Hagen parted ne'er again,
    Save in one mortal struggle, e'en to their dying hour."
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

After banqueting with Etzel the guests were led to their appointed
quarters, far remote from those of their squires; and when the Huns began
to crowd them, Hagen again frightened them off with one of his black looks.
When the hall where they were to sleep was finally reached, the knights all
lay down to rest except Hagen and Volker, who mounted guard, the latter
beguiling the hours by playing on his fiddle.

Once, in the middle of the night, these self-appointed sentinels saw an
armed troop draw near; but when they loudly challenged the foremost men,
they beat a hasty retreat. At dawn of day the knights arose to go to mass,
wearing their arms by Hagen's advice, keeping well together, and presenting
such a threatening aspect that Kriemhild's men dared not attack them.

In spite of all these signs, Etzel remained entirely ignorant of his wife's
evil designs, and continued to treat the Burgundians like friends and

    "How deep soe'er and deadly the hate she bore her kin,
    Still, had the truth by any disclos'd to Etzel been,
    He had at once prevented what afterwards befell.
    Through proud contemptuous courage they scorn'd their wrongs
         to tell."
                                        _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

[Sidenote: Beginning of hostilities.] After mass a tournament was held,
Dietrich and Rüdiger virtuously abstaining from taking part in it, lest
some mishap should occur through their bravery, and fan into flames the
smoldering fire of discord. In spite of all these precautions, however, the
threatened disruption nearly occurred when Volker accidentally slew a Hun;
and it was avoided only by King Etzel's prompt interference.

Kriemhild, hearing of this accident, vainly tried to use it as an excuse to
bribe Dietrich, or his man Hildebrand, to slay her foe. She finally won
over Blödelin, the king's brother, by promising him a fair bride. To earn
this reward the prince went with an armed host to the hall where all the
Burgundian squires were feasting under Dankwart's care, and there
treacherously slew them all, Dankwart alone escaping to the king's hall to
join his brother Hagen.

In the mean while Etzel was entertaining his mailed guests, and had sent
for his little son, whom he placed in Gunther's lap, telling him that he
would soon send the boy to Burgundy to be educated among his mother's kin.

All admired the graceful child except Hagen, who gruffly remarked that the
child appeared more likely to die early than to live to grow up. He had
just finished this rude speech, which filled Etzel's heart with dismay,
when Dankwart burst into the room, exclaiming that all his companions had
been slain, and calling to Hagen for aid.

    "'Be stirring, brother Hagen; you're sitting all too long.
    To you and God in heaven our deadly strait I plain:
    Yeomen and knights together lie in their quarters slain.'"
                                          _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's tr.).

[Sidenote: Ortlieb slain.] The moment Hagen heard these tidings he sprang
to his feet, drew his sword, and bade Dankwart guard the door and prevent
the ingress or egress of a single Hungarian. Then he struck off the head of
the child Ortlieb, which bounded into Kriemhild's lap, cut off the minstrel
Werbel's hand, and began hewing right and left among the Hungarians, aided
by all his companions, who manfully followed his example.

Dismayed at this sudden turn of affairs, the aged King Etzel "sat in mortal
anguish," helplessly watching the massacre, while Kriemhild shrieked aloud
to Dietrich to protect her from her foes. Moved to pity by her evident
terror, Dietrich blew a resounding blast on his horn, and Gunther paused in
his work of destruction to inquire how he might serve the man who had ever
shown himself a friend. Dietrich answered by asking for a safe-conduct out
of the hall for himself and his followers, which was immediately granted.

    "'Let me with your safe-conduct this hall of Etzel's leave,
    And quit this bloody banquet with those who follow me;
    And for this grace forever I'll at your service be.'"
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

[Sidenote: The massacre.] Dietrich von Bern then passed out of the hall
unmolested, leading the king by one hand and the queen by the other, and
closely followed by all his retainers. This same privilege was granted to
Rüdiger and his five hundred men; but when these had all passed out, the
Burgundians renewed the bloody fight, nor paused until all the Huns in the
hall were slain, and everything was reeking with blood.

Then the Burgundians gathered up the corpses, which they flung down the
staircase, at the foot of which Etzel stood, helplessly wringing his hands,
and vainly trying to discover some means of stopping the fight.

Kriemhild, in the mean while, was actively employed in gathering men,
promising large rewards to any one who would attack and slay Hagen. Urged
on by her, Iring attempted to force an entrance, but was soon driven back;
and when he would have made a second assault, Hagen ruthlessly slew him.

Irnfried the Thuringian, and Hawart the Dane, seeing him fall, rushed
impetuously upon the Burgundians to avenge him; but both fell under Hagen's
and Volker's mighty blows, while their numerous followers were all slain by
the other Burgundians.

    "A thousand and four together had come into the hall;
    You might see the broadswords flashing rise and fall;
    Soon the bold intruders all dead together lay;
    Of those renown'd Burgundians strange marvels one might say."
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

Etzel and the Huns were mourning over their dead; so the weary Burgundians
removed their helmets and rested, while Kriemhild continued to muster new
troops to attack her kinsmen, who were still strongly intrenched in the
great hall.

    "'Twas e'en on a midsummer befell that murderous fight,
    When on her nearest kinsmen and many a noble knight
    Dame Kriemhild wreak'd the anguish that long in heart she bore,
    Whence inly griev'd King Etzel, nor joy knew evermore.

    "Yet on such sweeping slaughter at first she had not thought;
    She only had for vengeance on one transgressor sought.
    She wish'd that but on Hagen the stroke of death might fall;
    'Twas the foul fiend's contriving that they should perish all."
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

An attempt was now made by the Burgundians to treat with Etzel for a
safe-conduct. Obdurate at first, he would have yielded had not Kriemhild
advised him to pursue the feud to the bitter end, unless her brothers
consented to surrender Hagen to her tender mercies. This, of course,
Gunther absolutely refused to do; so Kriemhild gave secret orders that the
hall in which the Burgundians were intrenched should be set on fire.
Surrounded by bitter foes, blinded by smoke, and overcome by the heat, the
Burgundians still held their own, slaking their burning thirst by drinking
the blood of the slain, and taking refuge from the flames under the stone
arches which supported the ceiling of the hall.

[Sidenote: Rüdiger's oath.] Thus they managed to survive that terrible
night; but when morning dawned and the queen heard that they were still
alive, she bade Rüdiger go forth and fight them. He refused until she
reminded him or the solemn oath he had sworn to her in Worms before she
would consent to accompany him to Hungary.

    "'Now think upon the homage that once to me you swore,
    When to the Rhine, good warrior, King Etzel's suit you bore,
    That you would serve me ever to either's dying day.
    Ne'er can I need so deeply that you that vow should pay.'"
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

Torn by conflicting feelings and urged by opposite oaths,--for he had also
sworn to befriend the Burgundians,--Rüdiger now vainly tried to purchase
his release by the sacrifice of all his possessions. At last, goaded to
madness, he yielded to the king's and queen's entreaties, armed his
warriors, and drew near the hall where his former guests were intrenched.
At first they could not believe that Rüdiger had any hostile intentions;
but when he pathetically informed them that he must fight, and recommended
his wife and daughter to their care in case he fell, they silently allowed
him and his followers to enter the hall, and grimly renewed the bloody

[Sidenote: Death of Rüdiger.] Rüdiger, after slaying many foes, encountered
Gernot wielding the sword he had given him; and these two doughty champions
finally slew each other. All the followers of Rüdiger also fell; and when
Kriemhild, who was anxiously awaiting the result of this new attack in the
court below, saw his corpse among the slain, she began to weep and bemoan
her loss. The mournful tidings of Rüdiger's death soon spread all over the
town, and came finally to the ears of Dietrich von Bern, who bade his man
Hildebrand go and claim the corpse from his Burgundian friends.

Hildebrand went thither with an armed force, but some of his men
unfortunately began to bandy words with the Burgundians, and this soon
brought about an impetuous fight. In the ensuing battle all the Burgundians
fell except Gunther and Hagen, while Hildebrand escaped sore wounded to his
master, Dietrich von Bern. When this hero heard that his nephew and vassals
were all slain, he quickly armed himself, and, after vainly imploring
Gunther and Hagen to surrender, fell upon them with an armed force. The two
sole remaining Burgundians were now so exhausted that Dietrich soon managed
to take them captive. He led them bound to Kriemhild, and implored her to
have pity upon them and spare their lives.

    "'Fair and noble Kriemhild,' thus Sir Dietrich spake,
    Spare this captive warrior, who full amends will make
    For all his past transgressions; him here in bonds you see;
    Revenge not on the fetter'd th' offenses of the free.'"
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

[Sidenote: Kriemhild's cruelty.] By the queen's orders, Gunther and Hagen
were confined in separate cells. There she soon sought the latter,
promising him his liberty if he would but reveal the place where her
treasure was concealed. But Hagen, mistrusting her, declared that he had
solemnly sworn never to reveal the secret as long as one of his masters
breathed. Kriemhild, whose cruelty had long passed all bounds, left him
only to have her brother Gunther beheaded, and soon returned carrying his
head, which she showed to Hagen, commanding him to speak. But he still
refused to gratify her, and replied that since he was now the sole
depositary of the secret, it would perish with him.

    "'So now, where lies the treasure none knows save God and me,
    And told it shall be never, be sure, she-fiend, to thee!'"
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

[Sidenote: Kriemhild slain.] This defiant answer so exasperated Kriemhild
that she seized the sword hanging by his side,--which she recognized as
Siegfried's favorite weapon,--and with her own hands cut off his head
before Etzel or any of his courtiers could interfere. Hildebrand, seeing
this act of treachery, sprang impetuously forward, and, drawing his sword,
slew her who had brought untold misery into the land of the Huns.

    "The mighty and the noble there lay together dead;
    For this had all the people dole and drearihead.
    The feast of royal Etzel was thus shut up in woe,
    Pain in the steps of Pleasure treads ever here below.

    "'Tis more than I can tell you what afterwards befell,
    Save that there was weeping for friends belov'd so well;
    Knights and squires, dames and damsels, were seen lamenting all.
    So end I here my story. This is the Nibelungers' Fall."
                                           _Nibelungenlied_ (Lettsom's

Although the "Nibelungenlied" proper ends here, an appendix, probably by
another hand, called the "Lament," continues the story, and relates how
Etzel, Dietrich, and Hildebrand, in turn, extolled the high deeds and
bewailed the untimely end of each hero. Then this poem, which is as
mournful as monotonous throughout, describes the departure of the
messengers sent to bear the evil tidings and the weapons of the slain to
Worms, and their arrival at Passau, where more tears were shed and where
Bishop Pilgrim celebrated a solemn mass for the rest of the heroes' souls.

From thence the funeral procession slowly traveled on to Worms, where the
sad news was imparted to the remaining Burgundians, who named the son of
Gunther and Brunhild as their king, and who never forgot the fatal ride to



Although the following tales of mythical heroes have some slight historical
basis, they have been so adorned by the fancy of mediaeval bards, and so
frequently remodeled with utter disregard of all chronological sequence,
that the kernel of truth is very hard to find, and the stories must rather
be considered as depicting customs and times than as describing actual
events. They are recorded in the "Heldenbuch," or "Book of Heroes," edited
in the fifteenth century by Kaspar von der Rhön from materials which had
been touched up by Wolfram von Eschenbach and Heinrich von Ofterdingen in
the twelfth century. The poem of "Ortnit," for instance, is known to have
existed as early as the ninth century.

[Sidenote: The Langobards and Gepidae.] According to the poets of the
middle ages, the Gepidae and the Langobards settled in Pannonia (Hungary
and the neighboring provinces), where they were respectively governed by
Thurisind and Audoin. The sons of these two kings, having quarreled for a
trifle, met in duel soon after, and the Langobardian prince, having slain
his companion, took possession of his arms, with which he proudly returned

But when, flushed with victory, he would fain have taken his seat at his
father's board with the men at arms, Audoin gravely informed him that it
was not customary for a youth to claim a place beside tried warriors until
some foreign king had distinguished him by the present of a complete suit
of armor. Angry at being thus publicly repulsed, Alboin, the prince, strode
out of his father's hall, resolved to march into Thurisind's palace and
demand of him the required weapons.

When the King of the Gepidae saw his son's murderer boldly enter his
palace, his first impulse was to put him to death; but, respecting the
rights of hospitality, he forbore to take immediate vengeance, and even
bestowed upon him the customary gift of arms as he departed on the morrow,
but warned him never to return, lest he should lose his life at the
warriors' hands. On leaving the palace, however, Alboin bore away the image
of little Rosamund, Thurisind's fair granddaughter, whom he solemnly swore
he would claim as wife as soon as she was of marriageable age.

Alboin having thus received his arms from a stranger, the Langobards no
longer refused to recognize him as a full-fledged warrior, and gladly
hailed him as king when his father died.

[Sidenote: Alboin's cruelty.] Shortly after Alboin's accession to the
throne, a quarrel arose between the Gepidae and the Langobards, or
Lombards, as they were eventually called; and war having been declared, a
decisive battle was fought, in which Thurisind and his son perished, and
all their lands fell into the conqueror's hands. With true heathen cruelty,
the Lombard king had the skulls of the Gepidae mounted as drinking vessels,
which he delighted in using on all state and festive occasions. Then,
pushing onwards, Alboin took forcible possession of his new realm and of
the tearful young Rosamund, whom he forced to become his wife, although she
shrank in horror from the murderer of all her kin and the oppressor of her

She followed him home, concealing her fears, and although she never seemed
blithe and happy, she obeyed her husband so implicitly that he fancied her
a devoted wife. He was so accustomed to Rosamund's ready compliance with
his every wish that one day, after winning a great victory over the
Ostrogoths, and conquering a province in northern Italy (where he took up
his abode, and which bears the name of his race), he bade her fill her
father's skull with wine and pledge him by drinking first out of this
repulsive cup.

[Sidenote: Rosamund's revolt.] The queen hesitated, but, impelled by
Alboin's threatening glances and his mailed hand raised to strike her, she
tremblingly filled the cup and raised it to her lips. But then, instead of
humbly presenting it to her lord, she haughtily dashed it at his feet, and
left the hall, saying that though she had obeyed him, she would never again
live with him as his wife,--a declaration which the warriors present
secretly applauded, for they all thought that their king had been wantonly
cruel toward his beautiful wife.

While Alboin was pondering how he might conciliate her without owning
himself in the wrong, Rosamund summoned Helmigis, the king's shield-bearer,
and finding that he would not execute her orders and murder his master in
his sleep, she secured the services of the giant Perideus. Before the
murder of the king became generally known, Rosamund and her adherents--for
she had many--secured and concealed the treasures of the Crown; and when
the nobles bade her marry a man to succeed their king, who had left no
heirs, she declared that she preferred Helmigis.

[Sidenote: Death of Rosamund.] The Langobardian nobles indignantly refused
to recognize an armor-bearer as their king, and Rosamund, fearing their
resentment, fled by night with her treasures, and took refuge with
Longinus, viceroy of the Eastern emperor, who was intrenched in Ravenna.
Captivated by the fugitive queen's exquisite beauty, no less than by her
numerous treasures, Longinus proposed that she should poison Helmigis, and
marry him. Rosamund obediently handed the deadly cup to her faithful
adorer; but he drank only half its contents, and then, perceiving that he
was poisoned, forced her, at the point of his sword, to drink the
remainder, thus making sure that she would not long survive him.

Longinus, thus deprived of a beautiful bride, managed to console himself
for her loss by appropriating her treasures, while the Langobardian
scepter, after having been wielded by different kings, fell at last into
the hands of Rother, the last influential monarch of a kingdom which
Charlemagne conquered in 774.

[Sidenote: Rother.] Rother established his capital at Bari, a great seaport
in Apulia; but although his wealth was unbounded and his kingdom extensive,
he was far from happy, for he had neither wife nor child to share his home.
Seeing his loneliness, one of his courtiers, Duke Berchther (Berchtung) of
Meran, the father of twelve stalwart sons, advised him to seek a wife; and
when Rother declared that he knew of no princess pretty enough to please
his fastidious taste, the courtier produced the portrait of Oda, daughter
of Constantine, Emperor of the East. Rother fell desperately in love with
this princess at first sight. In vain Berchther warned him that the emperor
had the unpleasant habit of beheading all his daughter's would-be suitors;
Rother declared that he must make an attempt to secure this peerless bride,
and was only with great difficulty persuaded to resign the idea of wooing
in person.

When Berchther had prevailed upon him to send an imposing embassy of twelve
noblemen, richly appareled, and attended by a large suite, Rother asked who
would undertake the mission. All the warriors maintained a neutral silence,
until seven of Berchther's sons volunteered their services, and then five
other noblemen signified their readiness to accompany them.

To speed them on their way, Rother escorted them to the port, and, standing
on the pier, composed and sang a marvelous song. He bade them remember the
tune, and promised them that whenever they heard it they might be sure
their king was very near.

[Sidenote: Embassy to Constantinople.] Arrived at Constantinople, the
ambassadors made known their errand, but were immediately cast into prison,
in spite of the empress's intercession in their behalf. Here the noblemen
languished month after month, in a foul dungeon, while Rother impatiently
watched for their return. When a whole year had elapsed without his having
heard any tidings, he finally resolved to go in disguise to Constantinople,
to ascertain the fate of his men and win the lovely princess Oda for his

Berchther, hearing this decision, vowed that he would accompany him; but
although all the noblemen were anxious to escort their beloved king, he
took only a few of them with him, among whom was Asprian (Osborn), king of
the northern giants, with eleven of his tallest men.

[Sidenote: Rother and Constantine.] Rother embarked with this little train,
and sailed for Constantinople over the summer seas; and as he sat on deck,
playing on his harp, the mermaids rose from the deep to sport around his
ship. According to a prearranged plan, Rother presented himself before
Constantine as a fugitive and outlaw, complaining bitterly of the King of
the Lombards, who, he declared, had banished him and his companions.
Pleased with the appearance of the strangers, Constantine gladly accepted
their proffered services, and invited them to a banquet, in the course of
which he facetiously described how he had received Rother's ambassadors,
who were still languishing in his dampest dungeons. This boastful talk
gradually roused the anger of the giant Asprian, who was but little
accustomed to hide his feelings; and when the emperor's pet lioness came
into the hall and playfully snatched a choice morsel out of his hand, he
impetuously sprang to his feet, caught her in his powerful grasp, and
hurled her against the wall, thus slaying her with a single blow.

[Illustration: ASPRIAN SLAYING THE LION.--Keller.]

Constantine was somewhat dismayed when he saw the strength, and especially
the violence, of the new servants he had secured; but he wisely took no
notice of the affair, and, when the banquet was ended, dismissed Rother and
his followers to the apartments assigned them. The Lombard king now freely
distributed the immense treasures he had brought with him, and thus secured
many adherents at court. They sang his praises so loudly that at last the
princess Oda became very anxious to see this noted outlaw.

[Sidenote: Rother and Oda.] Bribing Herlind, one of her handmaidens, to
serve her secretly, Oda sent her to Rother to invite him to visit her. The
maiden acquitted herself adroitly of this commission; but the Langobardian
monarch, pretending exaggerated respect, declared that he would never dare
present himself before her beautiful mistress, to whom, however, he sent
many rich gifts, among which were a gold and a silver shoe. Herlind
returned to her mistress with the gifts; but when Oda would fain have put
on the shoes, she discovered that they were both for the same foot. She
then feigned a resentment she was far from feeling, and bade the handmaiden
order her father's new servant to appear before her without delay, bringing
a shoe for her other foot, unless he wished to incur her lasting
displeasure. Overjoyed at this result of his ruse, which he had foreseen,
Rother entered the princess's apartments unnoticed, proffered his most
humble apologies, fitted a pair of golden shoes on her tiny feet, and,
taking advantage of his position as he bent on one knee before her,
declared his love and rank, and won from Oda a solemn promise that she
would be his wife.

The lovers spent some very happy hours together in intimate conversation,
and ere Rother left the apartment he prevailed upon the princess to use her
influence in behalf of his imprisoned subjects. She therefore told her
father that her peaceful rest had been disturbed by dreams, in which
heavenly voices announced that she should suffer all manner of evil unless
Rother's ambassadors were taken from prison and hospitably entertained. Oda
then wrung from Constantine a promise that the men should be temporarily
released, and feasted at his own board that selfsame evening. This promise
was duly redeemed, and the twelve ambassadors, freed from their chains, and
refreshed by warm baths and clean garments, were sumptuously entertained at
the emperor's table. While they sat there feasting, Rother entered the
hall, and, hiding behind the tapestry hangings near the door, played the
tune they had heard on the day of their departure. The hearts of the
captives bounded for joy when they heard these strains, for they knew that
their king was near and would soon effect their release.

[Sidenote: War with Imelot.] A few days later, when the young ambassadors
had fully recovered their health and strength, Constantine was dismayed to
learn that Imelot, King of Desert Babylonia, was about to make war against
him, and wondered how he could successfully encounter such a universally
dreaded opponent. Rother, seeing his perplexity, immediately volunteered
his services, adding that if Constantine liberated the ambassadors, who
were mighty men of valor, and allowed them to fight, there would be no
doubt of his coming off conqueror in the war. The Eastern emperor gladly
followed this advice, and soon set out with Rother and all his companions.
The two armies met one evening and encamped opposite each other, intending
to begin the fight at sunrise on the morrow. During the night, however,
Rother and his companions stole into the enemy's camp, slew Imelot's
guards, and having bound and gagged him, Asprian carried him bodily out of
his tent and camp, while his companions routed all the mighty Babylonian

A few hours later they returned to the camp of Constantine, where they lay
down to rest. The emperor, entering their tent on the morrow to chide them
for their laziness, saw the captive Imelot, and heard the story of the
night's work. He was so delighted with the prowess of his allies that he
gladly consented to their return to Constantinople to announce the victory,
while he and his army remained to take possession of Desert Babylonia and
of all of Imelot's vast treasures.

Rother and his companions returned in haste to Constantinople and rushed
into the palace; but instead of announcing a victory they told the empress
and Oda that Constantine had been defeated, that Imelot was on the way to
seize the city, and that the emperor had sent them on ahead to convey his
wife and daughter to a place of safety, with their most valuable treasures.

[Sidenote: Kidnaping of Oda.] The empress and Oda, crediting every word of
this tale, made immediate preparations for departure, and soon joined
Rother on the pier, where his fast sailing vessel was ready to start. All
the Langobardians had already embarked, and Rother escorted the princess on
board, bidding the empress wait on the quay until he returned for her. But
as soon as he and his fair charge set foot upon deck, the vessel was pushed
off, and Rother called out to the distressed empress that he had deceived
her in order to carry away her daughter, who was now to become the
Langobardian queen.

Constantine, on his return, was of course very angry at having been so
cleverly duped, and vainly tried to devise some plan for recovering the
daughter whom he loved so well. When a magician came, therefore, and
promised to execute his wishes, he gladly provided him with vessel and crew
to sail to Bari. The magician, disguised as a peaceful merchant, spread out
his wares as soon as he was anchored in port, and by a series of artful
questions soon ascertained that Rother was absent, and that Oda was at
home, carefully guarded by the principal nobles of the realm. When he also
learned that one of these noblemen had a crippled child, the magician
informed the people who visited his vessel to inspect his wares, that the
most precious treasure in his possession was a magic stone, which, in a
queen's hands, had the power of restoring cripples.

The rumor of this miraculous stone reached the court, and the nobleman
persuaded the kind-hearted queen to go down to the vessel to try the
efficacy of the stone. As soon as Oda was on board, the vessel set sail,
bearing her away from her husband and back to her father's home, where she
was welcomed with great demonstrations of joy.

Rother, coming back from the war shortly after her disappearance,
immediately prepared a vessel to go in pursuit of her, selecting his giants
and bravest noblemen to accompany him. Once more they landed at a short
distance from Constantinople, and Rother bade his men hide in a thicket,
while he went into the city, disguised as a pilgrim, and carrying under his
robe a hunting horn, which he promised to sound should he at any time find
himself in danger.

He no sooner entered the city than he noticed with surprise that all the
inhabitants seemed greatly depressed. He questioned them concerning their
evident sadness, and learned that Imelot, having effected his escape from
captivity, had invaded the kingdom, and vowed that he would not retreat
unless Oda married his ugly and hunchbacked son that very day.

[Sidenote: Imelot again defeated.] These tidings made Rother press on to
the palace, where, thanks to his disguise, he effected an easy entrance.
Slipping unnoticed to his wife's side, he dropped into the cup beside her a
ring upon which his name was engraved. Quick as a flash Oda recognized and
tried to hide it; but her hunchbacked suitor, sitting beside her, also
caught sight of it. He pointed out the intruder, cried that he was Rother
in disguise, and bade his guards seize him and hang him. Rother, seeing
that he was discovered, boldly stepped forward, declared that he had come
to claim his wife, and challenged the cowardly hunchback, who, however,
merely repeated his orders, and accompanied his guards to a grove outside
the city to see his captive executed. Just as they were about to fasten the
fatal noose around his neck, Rother blew a resounding blast upon his horn,
in answer to which call his followers sprang out of their ambush, slew
guards, Imelot, and hunchback, routed the imperial forces, recovered
possession of Oda, and sailed home in triumph to Lombardy. Here Oda bore
her husband a lovely little daughter called Helche (Herka), who eventually
married Etzel (Attila), King of the Huns.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Ortnit.] Another renowned Lombardian king is Ortnit (Otnit),
whose realm included not only all Italy, from the Alps to the sea, but also
the island of Sicily. He had won this province by his fabulous strength,
which, we are told, was equivalent to that of twelve vigorous men.

In spite of all outward prosperity, Ortnit was lonely and unhappy. One day,
while he was strolling along the seashore at sunset, he saw a misty castle
rise slowly out of the waves. On its topmost tower he beheld a fair maiden,
with whom he fell deeply in love at first sight. As he was gazing
spellbound at the lady's beauty, castle and maiden suddenly vanished; and
when Ortnit asked his uncle, Ylyas (Elias), Prince of the Reussen, what
this fantastic vision might mean, he learned that the castle was the exact
reproduction of the stronghold of Muntabure, and the maiden a phantom of
Princess Sidrat, daughter of the ruler of Syria, which the Fata Morgana, or
Morgana the fay, had permitted him to behold.

    "As the weary traveler sees,
      In desert or prairie vast,
    Blue lakes, overhung with trees,
      That a pleasant shadow cast;

    "Fair towns with turrets high,
      And shining roofs of gold,
    That vanish as he draws nigh,
      Like mists together rolled."
                         LONGFELLOW, _Fata Morgana_.

Of course Ortnit vowed that he would go and ask the maiden's hand in
marriage; and although his uncle warned him that Machorell, the girl's
father, beheaded all his daughter's suitors, to use their heads as
decorations for his fortifications, the young king persisted in this

[Sidenote: Ortnit and the magic ring.] Forced to go by sea in order to
reach Syria, Ortnit had to delay his departure until suitable preparations
had been made. During that time his mother vainly tried to dissuade him
from the undertaking. Finally, seeing that nothing could deter him from
going in search of the lovely maiden he had seen, she slipped a ring on his
hand, and bade him ride out of town in a certain direction, and dismount
under a lime tree, where he would see something marvelous.

    "'If thou wilt seek the adventure, don thy armor strong;
    Far to the left thou ride the towering rocks along.
    But bide thee, champion, and await, where grows a linden tree;
    There, flowing from the rock, a well thine eyes will see.

    "'Far around the meadow spread the branches green;
    Five hundred armed knights may stand beneath the shade, I ween.
    Below the linden tree await, and thou wilt meet full soon
    The marvelous adventure; there must the deed be done.'"
                                                 _Heldenbuch_ (Weber's

Ortnit obeyed these instructions, dismounted in a spot which seemed
strangely familiar, and, gazing inquisitively around him, became aware of
the presence of a lovely sleeping infant. But when he attempted to take it
in his arms he found himself sprawling on the ground, knocked over by a
single blow from the child's tiny fist. Furious at his overthrow, Ortnit
began wrestling with his small assailant; but in spite of his vaunted
strength he succeeded in pinioning him only after a long struggle.

[Sidenote: Alberich.] Unable to free himself from Ortnit's powerful grasp,
the child now confessed that he was Alberich, king of the dwarfs, and
promised Ortnit a marvelous suit of armor and the sword Rosen--which had
been tempered in dragons' blood, and was therefore considered
invulnerable--if he would only let him go.

    "'Save me, noble Otnit, for thy chivalry!
    A hauberk will I give thee, strong, and of wondrous might;
    Better armor never bore champion in the fight.

    "'Not eighty thousand marks would buy the hauberk bright.
    A sword of mound I'll give thee, Otnit, thou royal knight;
    Through armor, both of gold and steel, cuts the weapon keen;
    The helmet could its edge withstand ne'er in this world was seen.'"
                                                 _Heldenbuch_ (Weber's

The king consented, but the moment he set the dwarf free he felt him snatch
the ring his mother had given him off his hand, and saw him mysteriously
and suddenly disappear, his voice sounding tauntingly now on one side, now
on the other. Some parley ensued before the dwarf would restore the ring,
which was no sooner replaced on the hero's hand than he once more found
himself able to see his antagonist.

Alberich now gravely informed Ortnit that in spite of his infantile stature
he was very old indeed, having lived more than five hundred years. He then
went on to tell him that the king, whom Ortnit had until then considered
his father, had no claim to the title of parent, for he had secretly
divorced his wife, and given her in marriage to Alberich. Thus the dwarf
was Ortnit's true father, and declared himself ready now to acknowledge
their relationship and to protect his son.

[Sidenote: Ortnit in Tyre.] After giving Ortnit the promised armor and
sword, and directing him to turn the magic ring if ever he needed a
father's aid, Alberich vanished. Ortnit, returning to town, informed his
mother that he had seen his father; and as soon as the weather permitted he
set sail for Suders (Tyre). Ortnit entered the harbor as a merchant, and
exhibited his wares to the curious people, while Alberich, at his request,
bore a challenge to Machorell, threatening to take Tyre and the castle of
Muntabure unless he were willing to accept Ortnit as son-in-law.

The dwarf acquitted himself nobly of his task, and when Machorell
scornfully dismissed him, he hastened back to Tyre, bidding Ortnit lose no
time in surprising and taking possession of the city. This advice was so
well carried out that Ortnit soon found himself master of the city, and
marching on to Muntabure, he laid siege to the castle, restoring all his
men as soon as they were wounded by a mere touch of his magic ring.
Alberich, whom none but he could see, was allowed to lead the van and bear
the banner, which seemed to flutter aloft in a fantastic way. The dwarf
took advantage of this invisibility to scale the walls of the fortress
unseen, and hurled down the ponderous machines used to throw stones,
arrows, boiling pitch, and oil. Thus he greatly helped Ortnit, who, in the
mean while, was performing unheard-of deeds of valor, which excited the
admiration of Princess Sidrat, watching him from her tower.

[Sidenote: Ortnit and Liebgart.] Alberich next glided to this maiden's
side, and bade her hasten to the postern gate early on the morrow, if she
would see the king. As Ortnit had been told that he would find her there,
he went thither in the early dawn, and pleaded his cause so eloquently that
Sidrat eloped with him to Lombardy. There she became his beloved queen, was
baptized in the Christian faith, and received the name of Liebgart, by
which she was ever afterward known.

[Sidenote: The magic eggs.] The happiness of Ortnit and Liebgart was very
great, but the young queen did not feel that it was quite complete until a
giant and his wife came from her father's court bringing conciliatory
messages, and a promise that Machorell would visit his daughter in the
early spring. They also brought countless valuable presents, among which
were two huge eggs, which the giants said were priceless, as from them
could be hatched magic toads with lodestones in their foreheads. Of course
Liebgart's curiosity was greatly excited by this gift, and learning that
the giant couple would see to the hatching of the eggs and the bringing up
of the toads if a suitable place were only provided for them, she sent them
into a mountain gorge near Trient, where the climate was hot and damp
enough for the proper hatching of the toads.

Time passed by, and the giantess Ruotze hatched dragons or lind-worms from
the huge eggs. These animals grew with alarming rapidity, and soon the
governor of the province sent word to the king that he could no longer
provide food enough for the monsters, which had become the terror of the
whole countryside. They finally proved too much even for the giants, who
were obliged to flee. When Ortnit learned that ordinary weapons had no
effect upon these dragons, he donned his magic armor and seized his sword
Rosen. He then bade Liebgart a tender farewell, telling her that if he did
not return she must marry none but the man who wore his ring, and sallied
forth to deliver his people from the ravenous monsters whom he had
thoughtlessly allowed to be bred in their midst.

Ortnit soon dispatched the giant and giantess, who would fain have hindered
his entrance into the fatal gorge. Then he encountered the dwarf Alberich,
and was warned that he would fall victim to the pestilent dragons, which
had bred a number of young ones, destined, in time, to infest all Europe.

In spite of these warnings, Ortnit declared that he must do his best for
the sake of his people; and having given the magic ring back to Alberich,
he continued on his way. All day long he vainly sought the monsters in the
trackless forest, until, sinking down exhausted at the foot of a tree, he
soon fell asleep.

[Sidenote: Death of Ortnit.] This slumber was so profound that it was like
a lethargy, and the wild barking of his dog failed to waken him so that he
could prepare for the stealthy approach of the great dragon. The monster
caught the sleeping knight in his powerful claws, and dashed him against
the rocks until every bone in his body was broken into bits, although the
magic armor remained quite whole.

Then the dragon conveyed the corpse to his den, where the little dragons
vainly tried to get at the knight to eat his flesh, being daunted by the
impenetrable armor, which would not give way.

In the mean while Liebgart was anxiously awaiting the return of her beloved
husband; but when she saw his dog steal into the palace in evident grief,
she knew that Ortnit was dead, and mourned for him with many a tear. As he
had left no heir to succeed him, the nobles soon crowded around Liebgart,
imploring her to marry one of them and make him king of Lombardy; but she
constantly refused to listen to their wooing.

[Sidenote: Liebgart dethroned.] Angry at her resistance, the noblemen then
took possession of treasure, palace, and kingdom, and left poor Liebgart so
utterly destitute that she was forced to support herself by spinning and
weaving. She carried on these occupations for a long time, while patiently
waiting for the coming of a knight who would avenge Ortnit's death, wear
his ring, claim her hand in marriage, and restore her to her former exalted
position as queen of Lombardy.



[Sidenote: Hugdietrich.] While Ortnit's ancestors were ruling over
Lombardy, Anzius was Emperor of Constantinople. When about to die, this
monarch confided his infant son, Hugdietrich, to the care of Berchther of
Meran, the same who had accompanied Rother on his journey to

When Hugdietrich attained marriageable age, his tutor felt it incumbent
upon him to select a suitable wife for him. One princess only, Hildburg,
daughter of Walgund of Thessalonica, seemed to unite all the required
advantages of birth, beauty, and wealth; but unfortunately this princess's
father was averse to her marrying, and, to prevent her from having any
lovers, had locked her up in an isolated tower, where none but women were
ever admitted.

Berchther having informed his ward of his plan, and of the difficulties
concerning its fulfillment, Hugdietrich immediately made up his mind to
bring it about, even if he had to resort to stratagem in order to win his
bride. After much cogitation he let his hair grow, learned all about
woman's work and ways, donned female garments, and journeyed off to
Thessalonica, where he presented himself before the king as a princess in
distress, and claimed his chivalrous protection. Walgund welcomed the
pretended princess warmly, and accepted her gifts of gold and embroidery.
As soon as he had shown the latter to his wife and daughter, they expressed
a lively desire to see the stranger and have her teach them to embroider

[Sidenote: Marriage of Hugdietrich and Hildburg.] Hugdietrich, having thus
effected an entrance into the princess's tower as embroidery teacher, soon
managed to quiet Hildburg's alarm when she discovered that the pretended
princess was a suitor in disguise, and wooed her so successfully that she
not only allowed him to take up his abode in the tower, but also consented
to a secret union. All went on very well for some time, but finally
Hugdietrich felt it his duty to return to his kingdom; and parting from his
young wife, he solemnly promised to return ere long to claim her openly.

[Sidenote: Birth of Wolfdietrich.] On reaching home, however, he found
himself unexpectedly detained by a war which had just broken out; and while
he was fighting, Hildburg anxiously watched for his return. Month after
month passed by without any news of him, till Hildburg, in her lonely
tower, gave birth to a little son, whose advent was kept secret by the
ingenuity and devotion of the princess's nurse.

When the queen presented herself at the door unexpectedly one day, this
servant hastily carried the child out of the building, and set him down on
the grass in the moat, intending to come and get him in a few moments. She
could not do so, however, as the queen kept her constantly beside her, and
prolonged her visit to the next day.

    "In the moat the new-born babe meanwhile in silence lay,
    Sleeping on the verdant grass, gently, all the day.
    From the swathing and the bath the child had stinted weeping;
    No one saw, or heard its voice, in the meadow sleeping."
                                                _Heldenbuch_ (Weber's tr.).

When the faithful nurse, released at last, rushed out to find her charge,
who could creep about, she could discover no trace of him; and not daring
to confide the truth to Hildburg, she informed her that she had sent the
child out to nurse.

A few days later, Berchther of Meran arrived at Thessalonica, saying that
Hugdietrich had fallen in love with Hildburg on hearing a description of
her charms from the exiled princess, his sister, and openly suing in his
name for her hand. Instead of giving an immediate answer to this proposal,
Walgund invited the ambassador to hunt with him in a neighboring forest on
the morrow.

[Sidenote: Rescue of Wolfdietrich.] Accidentally separated from their
respective suites, Walgund and Berchther came to a thicket near the
princess's tower, and peering through the underbrush to discover the
meaning of some strange sounds, they saw a beautiful little boy sitting on
the grass, playfully handling some young wolf cubs, whose struggles he
seemed not to mind in the least. While the two men were gazing spellbound
at this strange sight, they saw the mother wolf draw near, ready to spring
upon the innocent child and tear him limb from limb. As Berchther
skillfully flung his spear past the child and slew the wolf, Walgund sprang
forward and caught the babe in his arms, exclaiming that if he were only
sure his grandchildren would be as handsome and fearless as this little
boy, he would soon consent to his daughter's marriage.

As the child was so small that it still required a woman's tender care,
Walgund next proposed to carry it to the tower, where his daughter and her
attendants could watch over it until it was claimed; and as Berchther
indorsed this proposal, it was immediately carried out. Hildburg received
the charge with joy, revealed by her emotion that the child was her very
own, and told her father all about her secret marriage with Hugdietrich,
whom Walgund now graciously accepted as son-in-law.

In memory of this adventure the baby rescued from the beast of prey was
called Wolfdietrich, and he and his mother, accompanied by a nobleman named
Sabene, were escorted in state to Constantinople, where Hugdietrich
welcomed them with joy. Here they dwelt in peace for several years, at the
end of which, a war having again broken out, Hugdietrich departed,
confiding his wife and son to the care of Sabene, who now cast aside all
his pretended virtue. After insulting the queen most grossly, he began to
spread lying reports about the birth of the young heir, until the people,
doubting whether he might not be considered a mere foundling, showed some
unwillingness to recognize him as their future prince.

[Sidenote: Wolfdietrich in Meran.] Hugdietrich, returning home and hearing
these remarks, also began to cherish some suspicions, and, instead of
keeping Wolfdietrich at court, sent him to Meran, where Berchther brought
him up with his twelve stalwart sons, every one of whom the young prince
outshone in beauty, courage, and skill in all manly exercises.

In the mean while Hildburg had borne two other sons, Bogen and Waxmuth, to
Hugdietrich; but seeing that Sabene was still trying to poison people's
minds against the absent Wolfdietrich, and deprive him of his rights, she
finally sought her husband, revealed the baseness of Sabene's conduct, and
had him exiled. Hugdietrich's life was unfortunately cut short a few months
after this, and when he felt that he was about to die, he disposed of all
his property, leaving the sovereignty of Constantinople to Wolfdietrich,
and making his younger sons kings of lands which he had conquered in the

[Sidenote: Hildburg banished by Sabene.] As soon as he had breathed his
last, however, the nobles of the land, who had all been won over by
Sabene's artful insinuations, declared that they would never recognize
Wolfdietrich as their ruler, but would recall Sabene watch over the two
younger kings, and exercise the royal power in their name. These measures
having been carried out, Sabene avenged himself by banishing Hildburg, who,
turned out of the imperial palace at night, was forced to make her way
alone and on foot to Meran, where her son Wolfdietrich received her gladly
and promised to protect her with his strong right arm.

At the head of a small troop composed of Berchther and his sons,
Wolfdietrich marched to Constantinople to oust Sabene; but, in spite of all
his valor, he soon found himself defeated, and forced to retreat to the
castle of Lilienporte. Here he intrenched himself, rejoicing at the sight
of the strong battlements, and especially at the provisions stored within
its inclosure, which would suffice for all the wants of the garrison for
more than seven years.

[Sidenote: Siege of Lilienporte.] In vain Sabene besieged this castle; in
vain he constructed huge engines of war; the fortress held out month after
month. At the end of the third year, Wolfdietrich, seeing that their
provisions would not hold out forever, resolved to make his escape alone,
and go in search of allies to save his trusty friends. He soon obtained the
consent of Berchther and of his mother for the execution of this scheme.

While a skirmish was going on one day, Wolfdietrich escaped through the
postern gate, and, riding into the forest, rapidly disappeared in the
direction of Lombardy, where he intended to ask the aid of Ortnit. Riding
through the deserts of Roumelia, where his guardian had bidden him beware
of the enchantments of the witch Rauch-Else, he shared his last piece of
bread with his faithful steed, and, faint with hunger and almost perishing
with thirst, plodded painfully on.

[Sidenote: Rauch-Else.] Finally horse and rider could go no farther, and as
the latter lay in a half swoon upon the barren soil, he was suddenly roused
by the appearance of a hideous, bearlike female, who gruffly inquired how
he dared venture upon her territory. The unhappy Wolfdietrich recognized
Rauch-Else by the description his guardian, Berchther, had given of her,
and would have fled, had strength remained him to do so; but, fainting with
hunger, he could only implore her to give him something to eat.

At this appeal Rauch-Else immediately produced a peculiar-looking root, of
which he had no sooner tasted than he felt as strong and rested as ever
before. By the witch's advice he gave the remainder of the root to his
horse, upon whom it produced the same magic effect; but when he would fain
have expressed his gratitude and ridden away, Rauch-Else told him that he
belonged to her by decree of fate, and asked him to marry her.

Not daring to refuse this proposal, which, however, was very distasteful
indeed, Wolfdietrich reluctantly assented, expressing a wish that she were
not quite so repulsive. No sooner were the words fairly out of his mouth
than he saw her suddenly transformed into a beautiful woman, and heard her
declare that his "yes" had released her from an evil spell, and allowed her
to resume her wonted form and name, which was Sigeminne, Queen of Old Troy.

[Sidenote: Wolfdietrich and Sigeminne.] Slowly proceeding to the seashore,
the young couple embarked in a waiting galley and sailed directly to
Sigeminne's kingdom, where they lived happily together, Wolfdietrich having
entirely forgotten his mother, tutor, and companions, who were vainly
awaiting his return with an army to deliver them.

    "By the hand she led Wolfdietrich unto the forest's end;
    To the sea she guided him; a ship lay on the strand.
    To a spacious realm she brought him, hight the land of Troy."
                                               _Heldenbuch_ (Weber's tr.).

Wolfdietrich's happiness, however, was not to endure long; for while he was
pursuing a stag which his wife bade him secure for her, a magician named
Drusian suddenly presented himself before Sigeminne and spirited her away.

Wolfdietrich, finding his wife gone, resolved to go in search of her, and
not to rest until he had found her. Then, knowing that nothing but cunning
could prevail against the magician's art, he donned a magic silken vest
which his wife had woven for him, which could not be penetrated by weapon
or dragon, and covering it with a pilgrim's garb, he traveled on until he
came within sight of the castle of Drusian.

Worn out by his long journey, he sat down for a moment to rest ere he began
the ascent of the steep mountain upon which the castle stood; and having
fallen asleep, he was roughly awakened by a giant, who bore him off
prisoner to the fortress, where he saw Sigeminne.

    "He led the weary pilgrim into the castle hall,
    Where brightly burned the fire, and many a taper tall.
    On a seat he sat him down, and made him right good cheer.
    His eyes around the hall cast the hero without fear."
                                             _Heldenbuch_ (Weber's tr.).

[Sidenote: Death of Sigeminne.] Wolfdietrich concealed his face in the
depths of his cowl, and remained quietly seated by the fire until evening
came. Then the giant turned to the mourning queen, declaring that he had
been patient long enough, and that she must now consent to marry him and
forget her husband. Hardly had these words been spoken when Wolfdietrich,
the pretended pilgrim, fell upon him, and refused to let him go until he
had accepted his challenge for a fair fight and had produced suitable arms.
The young hero selected an iron armor, in preference to the gold and silver
mail offered him, and boldly attacked the giant, who finally succumbed
beneath his mighty blows. Sigeminne, thus restored to her husband's arms,
then returned with him to Old Troy, where they ruled happily together until
she died of a mortal illness.

When she breathed her last, Wolfdietrich, delivered from the spell she had
cast upon him by making him partake of the magic root, suddenly remembered
his mother, Berchther, and his faithful companions, and, filled with
compunction, hastened off to help them. On his way he passed through many
lands, and finally came to a fortified town, whose walls were adorned with
human heads set up on spikes. He asked a passer-by what this singular
decoration might mean, and learned that the city belonged to a heathen
king, Belligan, who made it a practice to slay every Christian who entered
his precincts.

[Sidenote: Belligan slain by Wolfdietrich.] Wolfdietrich immediately
resolved to rid the earth of this monster, and riding boldly into the city,
he cried that he was ready to meet the king in his favorite game of dagger
throwing. This challenge was promptly accepted, the preparations all made,
and although the heathen king was protected by his daughter's magic spells,
he could not withstand the Christian knight, who pierced him through and
through, and left him dead.

    "Speedily Wolfdietrich the third knife heaved on high.
    Trembling stood Sir Belligan, for he felt his death was nigh.
    The pagan's heart asunder with cunning skill he cleft;
    Down upon the grass he fell, of life bereft."
                                                _Heldenbuch_ (Weber's tr.).

But as Wolfdietrich attempted to leave the castle, waves suddenly
surrounded him on all sides, threatening to drown him, until, suspecting
that this phenomenon was produced by the princess's magic arts, he seized
her and held her head under water until she died. Then the waves
immediately subsided and permitted him to escape unharmed.

Wolfdietrich next came to some mountains, where he encountered a giantess,
who told him the story of Ortnit's death, and so roused his compassion for
the unfortunate Liebgart that he vowed to slay the dragon and avenge all
her wrongs. To enable him to reach his destination sooner the giantess bore
him and his horse over the mountains, fifty miles in one day, and set him
down near Garden (Guarda), where he saw Liebgart and her sole remaining
attendant sadly walking up and down.

Struck by Liebgart's resemblance to the dead Sigeminne, Wolfdietrich stood
quietly in the shade long enough to overhear her sigh and say that she
wished the brave Wolfdietrich would come along that way and avenge her
husband's death.

[Sidenote: Wolfdietrich and Liebgart.] In answer to these words the hero
presented himself impetuously before her, swore he would do all in his
power to fulfill her wishes, and having received from her fair hand a ring,
which she declared would bring the wearer good luck, he hastened off to the
mountain gorge to encounter the dragons. On the way thither, Wolfdietrich
met Alberich, who cautioned him not to yield to the desire for slumber if
he would overcome the foe; so pressing on in spite of almost overpowering
lassitude, he met the dragon.

Notwithstanding all his efforts Wolfdietrich soon found himself carried off
to the monster's cave, where he was flung down to serve as pasture for the
young lind-worms. They would surely have devoured him had he not been
protected by Sigeminne's magic shirt, which they could not pierce.

[Sidenote: Ortnit's sword and ring.] Looking about him for some weapon to
defend himself with, Wolfdietrich suddenly saw Ortnit's ring and his sword
Rosen, which he seized, and wielded the latter to such good purpose that he
soon slew all the dragons. He then cut out their tongues, which he packed
in a bag the dwarfs brought him, and triumphantly rode off to find Liebgart
and tell her of his success. But, as he lost his way in the forest, it was
several days before he reached the town where she dwelt, and as he rode
through the gates he was indignant to hear that Liebgart was about to marry
a knight by the name of Gerhart, who had slain the dragon, brought home its
head, and claimed the fulfillment of an old promise she had made to marry
her husband's avenger. Wolfdietrich spurred onward, entered the castle,
denounced the impostor Gerhart, and proved the truth of his assertions by
producing the dragons' tongues. Then, turning to the queen, Wolfdietrich
stretched out his hand to her, humbly asking whether she would marry him.
At that moment Liebgart saw Ortnit's ring glittering on his finger, and,
remembering her husband's last words, immediately signified her consent.

The happy couple spent a whole year together in restoring order, peace, and
prosperity to the Lombards, before Wolfdietrich left his wife to go and
succor the companions whom he had neglected so long. Landing with his army
near Constantinople, Wolfdietrich, disguised as a peasant, made his way
into the city, and learned that Berchther and his sons had been put in
prison. There the former had died, but the latter were still languishing in
captivity. Wolfdietrich bribed the jailer to bear them a cheering message
and strengthening food, and led his army against Sabene, whom he utterly

After recovering possession of Constantinople, granting full forgiveness to
his erring brothers, executing Sabene, and liberating his companions, to
whom he intrusted the sovereignty of the empire, Wolfdietrich returned to
Lombardy, and from thence proceeded with Liebgart to Romaburg (Rome), where
he was duly crowned emperor.

To reward Herbrand, Berchther's eldest son, for his faithfulness,
Wolfdietrich gave him the city of Garden and all its territories, a realm
which subsequently was inherited by his son Hildebrand, a hero whom we
shall have further occasion to describe.

Hache, another of Berchther's sons, received as his share all the Rhine
land, which he left to his son, the trusty Eckhardt (Eckewart) who ever and
anon appears in northern literature to win mortals back to virtue and point
out the road to honor. Wolfdietrich and Liebgart were the happy parents of
a son called Hugdietrich, like his grandfather; and this king's second son,
Dietmar, was the father of the famous Dietrich von Bern, the hero of the
next chapter of this volume.



DIETRICH VON BERN, whose name is spelled in eighty-five different ways in
the various ballads and chronicles written about him, has been identified
with the historical Theodoric of Verona, whose "name was chosen by the
poets of the early middle ages as the string upon which the pearls of their
fantastic imagination were to be strung."

This hero is one of the principal characters in the ancient German "Book of
Heroes," and his adventures, which are recorded in many ancient
manuscripts, and more especially in the Wilkina saga, are about as follows:

[Sidenote: Parentage of Deitrich.] Dietmar, the second son of Hugdietrich,
or of Samson according to other authorities, became the independent ruler
of Bern (Verona), and refused to recognize his elder brother, Ermenrich,
Emperor of the West, as his liege lord. The young prince had married
Odilia, the heiress of the conquered Duke of Verona, who bore him a son
called Dietrich. Gentle and generous when all went according to his wishes,
this child was uncontrollable when his anger was roused, and his breath
then came from his lips in a fiery torrent, scorching his opponent, and
consuming all inflammable articles.

When Dietrich was but five years of age his training was intrusted to
Hildebrand, son of Herbrand, one of the Volsung race; and so well did the
tutor acquit himself of this task that he soon made his pupil as
accomplished a warrior as himself. Their tastes were, moreover, so similar
that they soon became inseparable friends, and their attachment has become
as proverbial among northern nations as that of David and Jonathan, Damon
and Pythias, or Orestes and Pylades.

Hearing that a giant, Grim, and a giantess, Hilde, were committing great
depredations in a remote part of his father's territories, and that no one
had been able to rout or slay them, young Dietrich set out with Master
Hildebrand to attack them. They had not ridden long in the forest before
they became aware of the presence of a tiny dwarf, Alberich (Alferich,
Alpris, or Elbegast), and pouncing upon him, they held him fast, vowing
that he should recover his liberty only upon condition of pointing out the
giants' lurking place.

[Sidenote: The sword Nagelring.] The dwarf not only promised the desired
information, but gave Dietrich the magic sword Nagelring, which alone could
pierce the giants' skin. Then he led both heroes to the cave, where Grim
and Hilde were gloating over a magic helmet they had made and called
Hildegrim. Peering through a fissure of the rock, Hildebrand was the first
to gaze upon them, and in his eagerness to get at them he braced his
shoulder against the huge mass of stone, forced it apart, and thus made a
passage for himself and for his impetuous young pupil.

As Nagelring, the magic sword, had been stolen from him, Grim attacked
Dietrich with a blazing brand snatched from the fire, while Hildebrand and
Hilde wrestled together. The encounter was short and fierce between the
young hero and his gigantic opponent, who soon succumbed beneath
Nagelring's sharp blows. Then Dietrich, turning, came just in time to save
his master from Hilde's treacherous blade. But, although one stroke of
Nagelring cut her in two, the heroes were dismayed to see the severed parts
of her body knit together in a trice, and permit Hilde, whole once more, to
renew the attack.

To prevent a repetition of this magical performance, Dietrich, after again
cutting her in two, placed his sword between the severed parts, and,
knowing that steel annuls magic, left it there until all power to unite was
gone and Hilde was really dead. The two heroes then returned home in
triumph with Nagelring and Hildegrim, the two famous trophies, which
Dietrich took as his share of the spoil, leaving to Hildebrand an immense
treasure of gold which made him the richest man of his day. This wealth
enabled Hildebrand to marry the noble Ute (Uote or Uta), who helped him to
bring up Dietrich's young brother, then but a babe.

Although the young prince of Bern imagined that he had exterminated all the
giants in his land, he was soon undeceived; for Sigenot, Grim's brother,
coming down from the Alps to visit him, and finding him slain, vowed to
avenge his death. The brave young prince, hearing that Sigenot was
terrorizing all the neighborhood, immediately set out to attack him,
followed at a distance by Hildebrand and the latter's nephew, Wolfhart, who
was always ready to undertake any journey, provided there was some prospect
of a fight at the end.

Dietrich soon came to a forest, where, feeling hungry, he slew an elk and
proceeded to roast some of its flesh upon a spit. While he was thus engaged
he heard shrill cries, and looking up, he saw a giant holding a dwarf and
about to devour him. Ever ready to succor the feeble and oppressed,
Dietrich caught up his sword and attacked the giant, who made a brave but
fruitless defense. The dwarf, seeing his tormentor dead, then advised
Dietrich to fly in haste, lest Sigenot, the most terrible of all the
mountain giants, should come to avenge his companion's murder. But, instead
of following this advice, Dietrich persuaded the dwarf to show him the way
to the giant's retreat.

[Sidenote: Capture of Dietrich by giant Sigenot.] Following his tiny guide,
Dietrich climbed up the snow-clad mountains, where, in the midst of the
icebergs, the ice queen, Virginal, suddenly appeared to him, advising him
to retreat, as his venture was perilous in the extreme. Equally undeterred
by this second warning, Dietrich pressed on; but when he came at last to
the giant's abode he was so exhausted by the ascent that, in spite of all
his courage, he was defeated, put in chains, and dragged into the giant's

[Illustration: FALKE KILLS THE GIANT.--Keller.]

Hildebrand, in the mean while, following his pupil, awaited his return at
the foot of the mountains for eight days, and then, seeing that he did not
appear, he strode up the mountain side. The giant encountered him, stunned
him with a great blow, and dragged him into the den, where, thinking him
senseless, he leisurely began to select chains with which to bind him fast.
Hildebrand, however, sprang noiselessly to his feet, seized a weapon lying
near, and stealing behind a pillar, which served him as a shield, he
attacked Sigenot, and stretched him lifeless at his feet.

[Sidenote: Dietrich rescued by Hildebrand.] A moment later he heard
Dietrich calling him from the depths of the cave. To spring forward and
free his pupil from his chains was the work of a moment, and then,
following the dwarf, who openly rejoiced at the death of his foe, the two
heroes visited the underground kingdom. There they were hospitably
entertained, their wounds were healed, and the king of the dwarfs gave them
the finest weapons that they had ever seen.

While hunting in the Tyrolean mountains shortly after this encounter,
Dietrich confided to Hildebrand that he had fallen in love with the ice
fairy, Virginal, and longed to see her again. This confidence was suddenly
interrupted by the appearance of a dwarf, who presented himself as Bibung,
the unconquerable protector of Queen Virginal, but who in the same breath
confessed that she had fallen into the hands of the magician Ortgis. The
latter kept her imprisoned in one of her own castles, and at every new moon
he forced her to surrender one of the snow maidens, her lovely attendants,
whom he intended, to devour as soon as they were properly fattened.

Dietrich's eyes flashed with anger when he heard of his lady-love's
distress, and bidding the dwarf show him the way, he forthwith set out to
rescue her. They had not gone very far before they beheld the ice queen's
palace glittering far above their heads; and as they eagerly climbed upward
to reach it, they heard cries of terror, and saw a beautiful girl rush down
the pathway, closely pursued by the magician and his mounted train.

[Sidenote: Magician Ortgis slain.] Dietrich allowed the maiden to pass
him, and then stepped boldly into the middle of the path, where he and
Hildebrand soon succeeded in slaying the magician and all his men. Jambas,
the son of Ortgis, alone effected his escape; but Dietrich and his master
closely pursued him, took forcible possession of his castle, set the
captive snow maidens free, and fearlessly slew all the monsters which
Jambas conjured up to destroy them. Then, resuming their interrupted
journey, Dietrich and Hildebrand soon came face to face with the
self-styled unconquerable guardian of the ice queen. He had been hiding
during the fray, and now implored them to hasten forward, as his mistress
was besieged by Jambas. The magician's son was anxious to secure Virginal
and all her maidens, but his principal aim was to appropriate the great
carbuncle shining in the queen's crown, as it gave the possessor full power
over the elements, the mountains, and all who ventured within reach of

Thus urged to greater speed, the heroes toiled upward faster and faster,
and soon came near the glittering castle of Jeraspunt, and the besiegers.
The latter were on the point of overpowering the garrison and gaining
possession of the queen. When Dietrich saw her on the battlement, wringing
her hands in despair, he rushed impetuously forward, crying that he had
come to save her. He struck right and left, and did such good execution
with his sword that the mountains shook, the icebergs cracked, and great
avalanches, rolling down into the abysses, carried with them the bodies of
the slain which he hurled down from the drawbridge.

[Sidenote: Rescue of the ice queen.] In a very short time the enemy was
completely routed, and Dietrich was joyfully welcomed by Virginal, who,
touched by his devotion, consented to forsake her glittering castle,
relinquish her sway over the mountains, and to follow him down into the
green valley. Their wedding was celebrated in Jeraspunt, which was all hung
in bridal white; and the ice queen and her maidens wore misty veils and
crowns of glittering diamonds, which sparkled and flashed and lit up the
whole scene with fairylike splendor. Some versions of the story tell,
however, that the queen soon grew homesick down in the green valley, and,
deserting her hero husband, returned to her palace on the mountain top,
where she still rules supreme.

Dietrich's numerous adventures soon became the theme of the wandering bards
and minstrels, and thus the rumor of his courage came to the ears of Heime,
the son of the northern stud keeper Studas. After distinguishing himself at
home by slaying a dragon, this youth obtained from his father the steed
Rispa and the sword Blutgang, with which he set out to test Dietrich's
courage, vowing that he would serve him forever if conquered by him.

    "King Tidrick sits intill Bern;
      He rooses [boasts] him of his might;
    Sae mony has he in battle cow'd,
      Baith kemp [rough] and doughty knight."
                     _The Ettin Langshanks_ (Jamieson's tr.).

Heime soon reached Bern, boldly challenged Dietrich, and when defeated
entered his service, after procuring for his master's exclusive use the
matchless steed Falke, which could carry even such a gigantic man as
Dietrich without showing any signs of fatigue, and which served him
faithfully for many a year.

[Sidenote: Wittich.] The rumor of Dietrich's courage also came to
Heligoland, where Wieland (Wayland, or Völund), the smith, dwelt with his
son Wittich (Witig). The latter, determined to cross swords with the hero
of Bern, persuaded his father to give him the celebrated sword Mimung, by
the help of which he hoped to overcome every foe. Wieland also fashioned a
complete suit of armor for his son, gave him much good advice, and parted
from him, bidding him to prove himself worthy of his ancestors, and to call
upon his grandmother, the mermaid Wachilde, if he were ever in great

Thus instructed Wittich departed, and on the way to Bern fell in with
Hildebrand, Heime, and Hornbogi, another of Dietrich's noted warriors. They
concealed their names, encouraged the stranger to talk, and soon learned
where he was going and on what errand. Master Hildebrand, hearing of the
magic sword, and anxious to preserve his pupil from its blows, allowed
Wittich to fight single-handed against twelve robbers in a mountain pass.
As the youth disposed of them all without receiving a scratch, Hildebrand
substituted his own sword blade for that which Wittich bore, one night
while the latter was peacefully sleeping at an inn. This exchange remained
unnoticed until Wittich arrived in Bern. There, while fighting with
Dietrich, the blade suddenly snapped in two.

Loudly reproaching his father, Wieland, for having provided him with such
an unreliable weapon, Wittich was about to announce himself conquered, when
Hildebrand, realizing that he had not acted honorably, gave him back his
own blade. Dietrich, to his surprise and dismay, found himself conquered in
this second encounter, and was forced to acknowledge that he owed his life
only to Wittich's magnanimity. But the northern hero soon confessed in his
turn that had it not been for his magic sword he would have been obliged to
yield to Dietrich, and voluntarily offered his services to him, thus
becoming one of his train.

    "Sae gladly rode they back to Bern;
    But Tidrick maist was glad;
    And Vidrich o' his menyie a'
    The foremost place aye had."
                      _The Ettin Langskanks_ (Jamieson's tr.).

Dietrich's next adventure, which is recorded in the "Eckenlied," was with
the giant Ecke, who held Bolfriana, the widowed Lady of Drachenfels, and
her nine daughters, in his power. The hero of Bern encountered the giant by
night, and, in spite of his aversion to fighting at such a time, was
compelled to defend himself against the giant's blows. He was about to
succumb when his steed Falke, scenting his danger, broke loose from the
tree to which it had been tied, and stamped Ecke to death.

Dietrich now rode on to Drachenfels, where he encountered Fasolt, Ecke's
brother, and, after defeating him also, and delivering the captive ladies,
went back to Bern, where Fasolt joined his chosen warriors. Dietrich,
moreover, delivered the knight Sintram from the jaws of a dragon, and made
him one of his followers. Then, having appropriated Ecke's sword, the great
Eckesax, Dietrich was about to give Nagelring to Heime; but hearing that
the latter had stood idly by while Wittich fought single-handed against
twelve robbers, he banished him from his presence, bidding him never return
until he had atoned for his dishonorable conduct by some generous deed.

Heime, incensed at this dismissal, sulkily withdrew to the Falster wood on
the banks of the Wisara (Weser), where he became chief of a body of
brigands, ruthlessly spoiled travelers, and daily increased the hoard he
was piling up in one of his strongholds.

But, although Dietrich thus lost one of his bravest warriors, his band was
soon reënforced by Hildebrand's brother Ilsan, who, although a monk, was
totally unfitted for a religious life, and greatly preferred fighting to
praying. There also came to Bern Wildeber (Wild Boar), a man noted for his
great strength. He owed this strength to a golden bracelet given him by a
mermaid in order to recover her swan plumage, which he had secured.

[Sidenote: Dietlieb the Dane.] As Dietrich was once on his way to Romaburg
(Rome), whither his uncle Ermenrich had invited him, he accepted the
proffered service and escort of Dietlieb the Dane. This warrior, seeing
that the emperor had forgotten to provide for the entertainment of
Dietrich's suite, pledged not only his own steed and weapons, but also his
master's and Hildebrand's, leading a jolly life upon the proceeds.

When the time of departure came, and Dietrich called for his steed,
Dietlieb was forced to confess what he had done. The story came to
Ermenrich's ears, and he felt called upon to pay the required sum to
release his guest's weapons and steeds, but contemptuously inquired whether
Dietlieb were good at anything besides eating and drinking, wherein he
evidently excelled. Enraged by this taunt, Dietlieb challenged Ermenrich's
champion warrior, Walther von Wasgenstein (Vosges), and beat him at spear
and stone throwing. He next performed feats hitherto unheard of, and won
such applause that Ermenrich not only paid all his debts, but also gave him
a large sum of money, which this promising young spendthrift immediately
expended in feasting all the men at arms.

Dietlieb's jests and jollity so amused Isung, the imperial minstrel, that
he left court to follow him to the land of the Huns, where the fickle youth
next offered his services to Etzel (Attila). The King of the Huns, afraid
to keep such a mercurial person near him, gave him the province of
Steiermark (Styria), bidding him work off all surplus energy by defending
it against the numerous enemies always trying to enter his realm.

[Sidenote: The dwarf Laurin.] Some time after this, Dietlieb returned to
his old master in sorrow, for his only sister, Kunhild (Similde, or
Similt), had been carried away by Laurin (Alberich), king of the dwarfs,
and was now detained prisoner in the Tyrolean mountains, not far from the
vaunted Rose Garden. This place was surrounded by a silken thread, and
guarded most jealously by Laurin himself, who exacted the left foot and
right hand of any knight venturing to enter his garden or break off a
single flower from its stem.

As soon as Dietrich heard this, he promised to set out and rescue the fair
Kunhild. He was accompanied by Dietlieb, Hildebrand, Wittich, and Wolfhart;
and as they came to the Rose Garden, all the heroes except Dietrich and
Hildebrand began to trample the dainty blossoms, and tried to break the
silken cord.

    "Wittich, the mighty champion, trod the roses to the ground,
     Broke down the gates, and ravaged the garden far renowned;
     Gone was the portals' splendor, by the heroes bold destroyed;
     The fragrance of the flowers was past, and all the garden's pride."
                                                 _Heldenbuch_ (Weber's

While they were thus employed, the dwarf Laurin donned his glittering
girdle of power, which gave him the strength of twelve men, brandished a
sword which had been tempered in dragons' blood and could therefore cut
through iron and stone, and put on his ring of victory and the magic cap of
darkness, Tarnkappe (Helkappe).

Dietrich, carefully instructed by Hildebrand, struck off this cap, and
appropriated it, as well as the girdles of strength and the ring of
victory. He was so angry against Laurin for resisting him that the dwarf
king soon fled to Dietlieb for protection, promising to restore Kunhild,
unless she preferred to remain with him as his wife.

This amicable agreement having been made, Laurin led the knights down into
his subterranean palace, which was illuminated by carbuncles, diamonds, and
other precious stones. Here Kunhild and her attendant maidens, attired with
the utmost magnificence, welcomed them hospitably and presided at the

    "Similt into the palace came, with her little maidens all;
    Garments they wore which glittered brightly in the hall,
    Of fur and costly ciclatoun, and brooches of the gold;
    No richer guise in royal courts might mortal man behold."
                                              _Heldentuch_ (Weber's tr.).

The wines, however, were drugged, so the brave knights soon sank into a
stupor; and Laurin, taking a base advantage of their helplessness, deprived
them of their weapons, bound them fast, and had them conveyed into a large
prison. Dietlieb was placed in a chamber apart, where, as soon as he
recovered his senses, Laurin told him that he and his companions were
doomed to die on the morrow.

At midnight Dietrich awoke. Feeling himself bound, his wrath burned hot
within him, and his breath grew so fiery that it consumed the ropes with
which he was pinioned. He then released his captive companions, and, while
they were bewailing their lack of weapons, Kunhild stealthily opened the
door. Noiselessly she conducted them into the great hall, bade them resume
possession of their arms, and gave each a golden ring, of dwarf
manufacture, to enable them to see their tiny foes, who were else invisible
to all of mortal birth.

Joined by Dietlieb, who had also been liberated by Kunhild, the knights now
roused Laurin and his host of giants and dwarfs, and, after an encounter
such as mediaeval poets love to describe at great length, routed them
completely. Laurin was made prisoner and carried in chains to Bern, where
Kunhild, now full of compassion for him, prevailed upon Dietrich to set him
free, provided he would forswear all his malicious propensities and spend
the remainder of his life in doing good.

When this promise had been given, Laurin was set free; and after marrying
Kunhild, he went to live with her in the beautiful Rose Garden and the
underground palace, which peasants and simple-hearted Alpine hunters have
often seen, but which the worldly wise and skeptical have always sought in

[Sidenote: Rose Garden at Worms.] The mere fact of his having come off
victor in one Rose Garden affair made Dietrich hail with joy the tidings
brought by a wandering minstrel, that at Worms, on the Rhine, Kriemhild
(Grimhild, Gutrun, etc.), the Burgundian princess, had a similar garden.
This was guarded by twelve brave knights, ever ready to try their skill
against an equal number of warriors, the prize of the victor being a rose
garland and kisses from the owner of this charming retreat.

Eager to accept this challenge, Dietrich selected Hildebrand, Wittich,
Wolfhart, and five other brave men; but as he could think of no others
worthy to share in the adventure, Hildebrand suggested that Rüdiger of
Bechlaren, Dietlieb of Steiermark, and his own brother, the monk Ilsan,
would be only too glad to help them. This little band soon rode into Worms,
where Dietrich and his men covered themselves with glory by defeating all
Kriemhild's champions, and winning the rose garlands as well as the kisses.

The knights, if we are to believe the ancient poem, appreciated the latter
reward highly, with the exception of the rude monk Ilsan, who, we are told,
scrubbed the princess's delicate cheek with his rough beard until the blood

[Illustration: THE VICTORIOUS HUNS.--Checa.]

    "And when Chrimhild, the queen, gave him kisses fifty-two,
    With his rough and grisly beard full sore he made her rue,
    That from her lovely cheek 'gan flow the rosy blood:
    The queen was full of sorrow, but the monk it thought him good."
                                               _Heldenbuch_ (Weber's tr.).

Then Ilsan carried his garlands back to the monastery, where he jammed them
down upon the monks' bald pates, laughing aloud when he saw them wince as
the sharp thorns pierced them.

On his way home Dietrich visited Etzel, King of the Huns, and further
increased his train by accepting the services of Amalung, Hornbogi's son,
and of Herbrand the wide-traveled. On his arrival at Bern, he found that
his father, Dietmar, was dead, and thus Dietrich became King of the Amaling
land (Italy).

[Sidenote: Campaign against the Wilkina land.] Shortly after his accession
to the throne, he went to help Etzel, who was warring against Osantrix,
King of the Wilkina land (Norway and Sweden). With none but his own
followers, Dietrich invaded the Wilkina land, and throughout that glorious
campaign old Hildebrand rode ever ahead, bearing aloft his master's
standard, and dealing many memorable blows.

In one encounter, Wittich was thrown from his horse and stunned. Heime, who
had joined the army, seeing him apparently lifeless, snatched the sword
Mimung out of his nerveless grasp and bore it triumphantly away. Wittich,
however, was not dead, but was soon after made prisoner by Hertnit, Earl of
Greece, Osantrix's brother, who carried him back to the capital, where he
put him in prison.

When the campaign against the Wilkina men was ended, Dietrich and his army
returned to Bern, leaving Wildeber in Hungary to ascertain whether Wittich
were really dead, or whether he still required his companions' aid.

Wishing to penetrate unrecognized into the enemy's camp, Wildeber slew and
flayed a bear, donned its skin over his armor, and, imitating the uncouth
antics of the animal he personated, bade the minstrel Isung lead him thus
disguised to Hertnit's court.

[Sidenote: Wittich rescued by Wildeber.] This plan was carried out, and
the minstrel and dancing bear were hailed with joy. But Isung was greatly
dismayed when Hertnit insisted upon baiting his hunting hounds against the
bear; who, however, strangled them all, one after another, without seeming
to feel their sharp teeth. Hertnit was furious at the loss of all his pack,
and sprang down into the pit with drawn sword; but all his blows glanced
aside on the armor concealed beneath the rough pelt. Suddenly the pretended
bear stood up, caught the weapon which the king had dropped, and struck off
his head. Then, joining Isung, he rushed through the palace and delivered
the captive Wittich; whereupon, seizing swords and steeds on their way,
they all three rode out of the city before they could be stopped.

When they arrived in Bern they were warmly welcomed by Dietrich, who forced
Heime to give the stolen Mimung back to its rightful owner. The brave
warriors were not long allowed to remain inactive, however, for they were
soon asked to help Ermenrich against his revolted vassal, Rimstein. They
besieged the recalcitrant knight in his stronghold of Gerimsburg, which was
given to Walther von Wasgenstein, while Wittich was rewarded for his
services by the hand of Bolfriana, the Lady of Drachenfels, and thus became
the vassal of Ermenrich.

[Sidenote: Sibich.] The estates of Ermenrich were so extensive and so
difficult to govern that he was very glad indeed to secure as prime
minister a capable nobleman by the name of Sibich. Unfortunately, this
Sibich had a remarkably beautiful wife, whom the emperor once insulted
during her husband's absence. As soon as Sibich returned from his journey
his wife told him all that had occurred, and the emperor's conduct so
enraged the minister that he vowed that he would take a terrible revenge.

The better to accomplish his purpose, Sibich concealed his resentment, and
so artfully poisoned Ermenrich's mind that the latter ordered his eldest
son to be slain. To get rid of the second prince, Sibich induced him to
enter a leaky vessel, which sank as soon as he was out at sea. Then, when
the prime minister saw the third son, Randwer, paying innocent attentions
to his fair young stepmother, Swanhild, daughter of Siegfried and
Kriemhild, he so maliciously distorted the affair that Ermenrich ordered
this son to be hung, and his young wife to be trampled to death under the
hoofs of wild horses.

Sibich, the traitor, having thus deprived the emperor of wife and children,
next resolved to rob him of all his kin, so that he might eventually murder
him and take undisputed possession of the empire. With this purpose in
view, he forged letters which incited the emperor to war against his
nephews, the Harlungs. These two young men, who were orphans, dwelt at
Breisach, under the guardianship of their tutor, the faithful Eckhardt.
They were both cruelly slain, and the disconsolate tutor fled to the court
of Dietrich, little thinking that Ermenrich would soon turn upon this his
last male relative, also.

[Sidenote: Herbart and Hilde.] Dietrich, forsaken by Virginal, and anxious
to marry again, had, in the mean while, sent his nephew Herbart to Arthur's
court in the Bertanga land (Britain), to sue for the hand  of Hilde, his
fair young daughter. But Arthur, averse to sending his child so far away,
would not at first permit the young ambassador to catch a glimpse of her
face, and sent her to church guarded by ten warriors, ten monks, and ten

In spite of all these safeguards, Herbart succeeded in seeing the princess,
and after ascertaining that she was very beautiful, he secured a private
interview, and told her of his master's wish to call her wife. Hilde,
wishing to know what kind of a man her suitor was, begged Herbart to draw
his portrait; but finding him unprepossessing, she encouraged Herbart to
declare his own love, and soon eloped with him.

[Sidenote: Dietrich in exile.] Dietrich had no time to mourn for the loss
of this expected bride, however, for the imperial army suddenly marched
into the Amaling land, and invested the cities of Garden, Milan, Raben
(Ravenna), and Mantua. Of course these successes were owing to treachery,
and not to valor, and Dietrich, to obtain the release of Hildebrand and a
few other faithful followers, who had fallen into the enemy's hands, was
forced to surrender Bern and go off into exile.

As he had thus sacrificed his kingdom to obtain their freedom, it is no
wonder that these men proudly accompanied him into banishment. They went to
Susat, where they were warmly welcomed by Etzel and Helche (Herka), his
wife, who promised to care for Diether, Dietrich's brother, and have him
brought up with her own sons.

There were in those days many foreigners at Etzel's court, for he had
secured as hostages Hagen of Tronje, from the Burgundians; the Princess
Hildegunde, from the Franks; and Walther von Wasgenstein from the Duke of

[Sidenote: Walther of Aquitaine and Hildegunde.] During the twenty years
which Dietrich now spent in the land of the Huns fighting for Etzel, peace
was concluded with Burgundy and Hagen was allowed to return home. Walther
of Aquitaine (or von Wasgenstein), whose adventures are related in a Latin
poem of the eighth or ninth century, had fallen in love with Hildegunde.
Seeing that Etzel, in spite of his promises to set them both free, had no
real intention of doing so, he and his ladylove cleverly effected their
escape, and fled to the Wasgenstein (Vosges), where they paused in a cave
to recruit their exhausted strength. Gunther, King of Burgundy, and Hagen
of Tronje, his ally, hearing that Walther and Hildegunde were in the
neighborhood, and desirous of obtaining the large sum of gold which they
had carried away from Etzel's court, set out to attack them, with a force
of twelve picked men. But Hildegunde was watching while Walther slept, and,
seeing them draw near, warned her lover. He, inspired by her presence, slew
all except Gunther and Hagen, who beat a hasty retreat.

They did not return to Worms, however, but lay in ambush beside the road,
and when Walther and Hildegunde passed by they attacked the former with
great fury. In spite of the odds against him, the poem relates that Walther
triumphantly defeated them both, putting out one of Hagen's eyes and
cutting off one of Gunther's hands and one of his feet.

The conflict ended, Hildegunde bound up the wounds of all three of the
combatants, who then sat down to share a meal together, indulged in much
jocularity about their wounds, and, parting amicably, sought their
respective homes. Walther and Hildegunde were next joyously welcomed by
their relatives, duly married, and reigned together over Aquitaine for many
a long year.

In the mean while Dietrich had been engaged in warring against Waldemar,
King of Reussen (Russia and Poland), in behalf of Etzel, who, however,
forsook him in a cowardly way, and left him in a besieged fortress, in the
midst of the enemy's land, with only a handful of men. In spite of all his
courage, Dietrich would have been forced to surrender had not Rüdiger of
Bechlaren come to his rescue. By their combined efforts, Waldemar was
slain, and his son was brought captive to Susat.

[Sidenote: Dietrich and Queen Helche.] Dietrich and his noble prisoner were
both seriously wounded; but while Queen Helche herself tenderly cared for
the young prince of Reussen, who was her kinsman, Dietrich lay neglected
and alone in a remote part of the palace. The young prince was no sooner
cured, however, than he took advantage of Etzel's absence to escape,
although Helche implored him not to do so, and assured him that she would
have to pay for his absence with her life.

In her distress Helche now thought of Dietrich, who, weak and wounded, rose
from his couch, pursued the fugitive, overtook and slew him, and brought
his head back to her. The Queen of the Huns never forgot that she owed her
life to Dietrich, and ever after showed herself his faithful friend.

Twenty years had passed since Dietrich left his native land ere he asked to
return. Helche promised him the aid of her sons, Erp and Ortwine, whom she
armed herself, and furnished one thousand men. Etzel, seeing this, also
offered his aid, and Dietrich marched back to the Amaling land with all his
companions, and with an army commanded by the two Hun princes and Rüdiger's
only son, Nudung.

The van of the army took Garden and Padauwe (Padua), and with Dietrich at
its head made a triumphant entrance into Bern. But, hearing that Ermenrich
was coming against him, Dietrich now went to meet him, and fought a
terrible battle near Raben in 493. The hero of Bern distinguished himself,
as usual, in this fray, until, hearing that Nudung, the two Hun princes,
and his young brother, Diether, had all been slain, he became almost insane
with grief.

In his fury he wildly pursued Wittich, his former servant and Diether's
murderer, and would have slain him had the latter not saved himself by
plunging into the sea. Here his ancestress, the swan maiden Wachilde, took
charge of him, and conveyed him to a place of safety. Then, although
victorious, Dietrich discovered that he had no longer enough men left to
maintain himself in his reconquered kingdom, and mournfully returned to
Susat with the bodies of the slain.

[Sidenote: Marriage of Dietrich and Herrat.] It was during his second
sojourn at the court of the Huns that Dietrich married Herrat (Herand),
Princess of Transylvania, a relative of Helche. The latter died soon after
their union. Three years later Etzel married Kriemhild, Siegfried's widow;
and now occurred the fall of the brave Nibelung knights, recorded in the
"Nibelungenlied." Dietrich, as we have seen, took an active part in the
closing act of this tragedy, and joined in the final lament over the bodies
of the slain.

Ten years after the terrible battle of Raben, Dietrich again resolved to
make an attempt to recover his kingdom, and set out with only a very few
followers. As Ermenrich had succumbed, either under the swords of
Swanhild's brothers, as already related, or by the poison secretly
administered by the traitor Sibich, the crown was now offered to Dietrich,
who was glad to accept it.

All the lost cities were gradually recovered, and Hildebrand, coming to
Garden, encountered his son Hadubrand (Alebrand), who, having grown up
during his absence, did not recognize him, and challenged him to fight.
Mighty blows were exchanged between father and son, each of whom, in the
pauses of the combat, anxiously besought the other to reveal his name. It
was only when their strength was exhausted that Hadubrand revealed who he
was, and father and son, dropping their bloody swords, embraced with tears.

    "So spake Hadubrand,
    Son of Hildebrand:
    'Said unto me
    Some of our people,
    Shrewd and old,
    Gone hence already,
    That Hildebrand was my father called,--
    I am called Hadubrand.
    Erewhile he eastward went,
    Escaping from Odoaker,
    Thither with Theodoric
    And his many men of battle,
    Here he left in the land,
    Lorn and lonely,
    Bride in bower,
    Bairn ungrown,
    Having no heritage.'"
           _Song of Hildebrand_ (Bayard Taylor's tr.).

Hildebrand then rejoined his wife, Ute, and Dietrich, having slain the
traitor Sibich, who had made an attempt to usurp the throne, marched on to
Romaburg (Rome), where he was crowned Emperor of the West, under the name
of Theodoric. Some time after his accession, Dietrich lost his good wife
Herrat, whom, according to some accounts, he mourned as long as he lived.
According to others he married again, taking as wife Liebgart, widow of

Etzel, according to this version, having been lured by Aldrian, Hagen's
son, into the cave where the Nibelungen hoard was kept, was locked up
there, and died of hunger while contemplating the gold he coveted. His
estates then became the property of Dietrich, who thus became undisputed
ruler of nearly all the southern part of Europe.

[Sidenote: Dietrich and the coal-black steed.] In his old age Dietrich,
weary of life and imbittered by its many trials, ceased to take pleasure in
anything except the chase. One day, while he was bathing in a limpid
stream, his servant came to tell him that there was a fine stag in sight.
Dietrich immediately called for his horse, and as it was not instantly
forthcoming, he sprang upon a coal-black steed standing near, and was borne
rapidly away.

The servant rode after as fast as possible, but could never overtake
Dietrich, who, the peasants aver, was spirited away, and now leads the Wild
Hunt upon the same sable steed, which he is doomed to ride until the
judgment day.

In spite of this fabulous account, however, the tomb of Theodoric is still
to be seen near Verona, but history demonstrates the impossibility of the
story of Dietrich von Bern, by proving that Theodoric was not born until
after the death of Attila, the unmistakeable original of the Etzel in the

[Illustration: THE TOMB OF THEODORIC.]



One of the favorite heroes of early mediaeval literature is Charlemagne,
whose name is connected with countless romantic legends of more or less
antique origin. The son of Pepin and Bertha the "large footed," this
monarch took up his abode near the Rhine to repress the invasions of the
northern barbarians, awe them into submission, and gradually induce them to
accept the teachings of the missionaries he sent to convert them.

[Sidenote: The champion of Christianity.] As Charlemagne destroyed the
Irminsul, razed heathen temples and groves, abolished the Odinic and
Druidic forms of worship, conquered the Lombards at the request of the
Pope, and defeated the Saracens in Spain, he naturally became the champion
of Christianity in the chronicles of his day. All the heroic actions of his
predecessors (such as Charles Martel) were soon attributed to him, and when
these legends were turned into popular epics, in the tenth and eleventh
centuries, he became the principal hero of France. The great deeds of his
paladins, Roland, Oliver, Ogier the Dane, Renaud de Montauban, and others,
also became the favorite theme of the poets, and were soon translated into
every European tongue.

The Latin chronicle, falsely attributed to Bishop Turpin, Charlemagne's
prime minister, but dating from 1095, is one of the oldest versions of
Charlemagne's fabulous adventures now extant. It contains the mythical
account of the battle of Roncesvalles (Vale of Thorns), told with infinite
repetition and detail so as to give it an appearance of reality.

[Sidenote: Chanson de Roland.] Einhard, the son-in-law and historian of
Charlemagne, records a partial defeat in the Pyrenees in 777-778, and adds
that Hroudlandus was slain. From this bald statement arose the mediaeval
"Chanson de Roland," which was still sung at the battle of Hastings. The
probable author of the French metrical version is Turoldus; but the poem,
numbering originally four thousand lines, has gradually been lengthened,
until now it includes more than forty thousand. There are early French,
Latin, German, Italian, English, and Icelandic versions of the adventures
of Roland, which in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were turned into
prose, and formed the basis of the "Romans de Chevalerie," which were
popular for so many years. Numerous variations can, of course, be noted in
these tales, which have been worked over again by the Italian poets Ariosto
and Boiardo, and even treated by Buchanan in our day.

It would be impossible to give in this work a complete synopsis of all the
_chansons de gestes_ referring to Charlemagne and his paladins, so we will
content ourselves with giving an abstract of the most noted ones and
telling the legends which are found in them, which have gradually been
woven around those famous names and connected with certain localities.

[Sidenote: Charlemagne and the heavenly message.] We are told that
Charlemagne, having built a beautiful new palace for his use, overlooking
the Rhine, was roused from his sleep during the first night he spent there
by the touch of an angelic hand, and, to his utter surprise, thrice heard
the heavenly messenger bid him go forth and steal. Not daring to disobey,
Charlemagne stole unnoticed out of the palace, saddled his steed, and,
armed cap-a-pie, started out to fulfill the angelic command.

He had not gone far when he met an unknown knight, evidently bound on the
same errand. To challenge, lay his lance in rest, charge, and unhorse his
opponent, was an easy matter for Charlemagne. When he learned that he had
disarmed Elbegast (Alberich), the notorious highwayman, he promised to let
him go free if he would only help him steal something that night.

Guided by Elbegast, Charlemagne, still incognito, went to the castle of one
of his ministers, and, thanks to Elbegast's cunning, penetrated unseen into
his bedroom. There, crouching in the dark, Charlemagne overheard him
confide to his wife a plot to murder the emperor on the morrow. Patiently
biding his time until they were sound asleep, Charlemagne picked up a
worthless trifle, and noiselessly made his way out, returning home unseen.
On the morrow, profiting by the knowledge thus obtained, he cleverly
outwitted the conspirators, whom he restored to favor only after they had
solemnly sworn future loyalty. As for Elbegast, he so admired the only man
who had ever succeeded in conquering him that he renounced his dishonest
profession to enter the emperor's service.

In gratitude for the heavenly vision vouchsafed him, the emperor named his
new palace Ingelheim (Home of the Angel), a name which the place has borne
ever since. This thieving episode is often alluded to in the later romances
of chivalry, where knights, called upon to justify their unlawful
appropriation of another's goods, disrespectfully remind the emperor that
he too once went about as a thief.

[Sidenote: Frastrada's magic ring.] When Charlemagne's third wife died, he
married a beautiful Eastern princess by the name of Frastrada, who, aided
by a magic ring, soon won his most devoted affection. The new queen,
however, did not long enjoy her power, for a dangerous illness overtook
her. When at the point of death, fearful lest her ring should be worn by
another while she was buried and forgotten, Frastrada slipped the magic
circlet into her mouth just before she breathed her last.

Solemn preparations were made to bury her in the cathedral of Mayence
(where a stone bearing her name could still be seen a few years ago), but
the emperor refused to part with the beloved body. Neglectful of all
matters of state, he remained in the mortuary chamber day after day. His
trusty adviser, Turpin, suspecting the presence of some mysterious
talisman, slipped into the room while the emperor, exhausted with fasting
and weeping, was wrapped in sleep. After carefully searching for the magic
jewel, Turpin discovered it, at last, in the dead queen's mouth.

    "He searches with care, though with tremulous haste,
    For the spell that bewitches the king;
    And under her tongue, for security placed,
    Its margin with mystical characters traced,
    At length he discovers a ring."
                                    SOUTHEY, _King Charlemain_.

[Sidenote: Turpin and the magic ring.] To secure this ring and slip it on
his finger was but the affair of a moment; but just as Turpin was about to
leave the room the emperor awoke. With a shuddering glance at the dead
queen, Charlemagne flung himself passionately upon the neck of his prime
minister, declaring that he would never be quite inconsolable as long as he
was near.

Taking advantage of the power thus secured by the possession of the magic
ring, Turpin led Charlemagne away, forced him to eat and drink, and after
the funeral induced him to resume the reins of the government. But he soon
wearied of his master's constant protestations of undying affection, and
ardently longed to get rid of the ring, which, however, he dared neither to
hide nor to give away, for fear it should fall into unscrupulous hands.

Although advanced in years, Turpin was now forced to accompany Charlemagne
everywhere, even on his hunting expeditions, and to share his tent. One
moonlight night the unhappy minister stole noiselessly out of the imperial
tent, and wandered alone in the woods, cogitating how to dispose of the
unlucky ring. As he walked thus he came to a glade in the forest, and saw a
deep pool, on whose mirrorlike surface the moonbeams softly played.
Suddenly the thought struck him that the waters would soon close over and
conceal the magic ring forever in their depths; and, drawing it from his
finger, he threw it into the pond. Turpin then retraced his steps, and soon
fell asleep. On the morrow he was delighted to perceive that the spell was
broken, and that Charlemagne had returned to the old undemonstrative
friendship which had bound them for many a year.

    "Overjoy'd, the good prelate remember'd the spell,
    And far in the lake flung the ring;
    The waters closed round it; and, wondrous to tell,
    Released from the cursed enchantment of hell,
    His reason return'd to the king."
                                    SOUTHEY, _King Charlemain_.

Charlemagne, however, seemed unusually restless, and soon went out to hunt.
In the course of the day, having lost sight of his suite in the pursuit of
game, he came to the little glade, where, dismounting, he threw himself on
the grass beside the pool, declaring that he would fain linger there
forever. The spot was so charming that he even gave orders, ere he left it
that night, that a palace should be erected there for his use; and this
building was the nucleus of his favorite capital, Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen).

    "But he built him a palace there close by the bay,
    And there did he love to remain;
    And the traveler who will, may behold at this day
    A monument still in the ruins at Aix
    Of the spell that possess'd Charlemain."
                                      SOUTHEY, _King Charlemain_.

According to tradition, Charlemagne had a sister by the name of Bertha,
who, against his will, married the brave young knight Milon. Rejected by
the emperor, and therefore scorned by all, the young couple lived in
obscurity and poverty. They were very happy, however, for they loved each
other dearly, and rejoiced in the beauty of their infant son Roland, who
even in babyhood showed signs of uncommon courage and vigor.

[Sidenote: Charlemagne and the boy Roland.] One version of the story
relates, however, that Milon perished in a flood, and that Bertha was
almost dying of hunger while her brother, a short distance away, was
entertaining all his courtiers at his board. Little Roland, touched by his
mother's condition, walked fearlessly into the banquet hall, boldly
advanced to the table, and carried away a dishful of meat. As the emperor
seemed amused at the little lad's fearlessness, the servants did not dare
to interfere, and Roland bore off the dish in triumph.

A few minutes later he reentered the hall, and with equal coolness laid
hands upon the emperor's cup, full of rich wine. Challenged by Charlemagne,
the child then boldly declared that he wanted the meat and wine for his
mother, a lady of high degree. In answer to the emperor's bantering
questions, he declared that he was his mother's cupbearer, her page, and
her gallant knight, which answers so amused Charlemagne that he sent for
her. He then remorsefully recognized her, treated her with kindness as long
as she lived, and took her son into his own service.

Another legend relates that Charlemagne, hearing that the robber knight of
the Ardennes had a priceless jewel set in his shield, called all his
bravest noblemen together, and bade them sally forth separately, with only
a page as escort, in quest of the knight. Once found, they were to
challenge him in true knightly fashion, and at the point of the lance win
the jewel he wore. A day was appointed when, successful or not, the
courtiers were to return, and, beginning with the lowest in rank, were to
give a truthful account of their adventures while on the quest.

All the knights departed and scoured the forest of the Ardennes, each
hoping to meet the robber knight and win the jewel. Among them was Milon,
accompanied by his son Roland, a lad of fifteen, whom he had taken as page
and armor-bearer. Milon had spent many days in vain search for the knight,
when, exhausted by his long ride, he dismounted, removed his heavy armor,
and lay down under a tree to sleep, bidding Roland keep close watch during
his slumbers.

[Sidenote: Roland and the jewel.] Roland watched faithfully for a while;
then, fired by a desire to distinguish himself, he donned his father's
armor, sprang on his steed, and rode into the forest in search of
adventures. He had not gone very far when he saw a gigantic horseman coming
to meet him, and, by the dazzling glitter of a large stone set in his
shield, he recognized in him the invincible knight of the Ardennes. Afraid
of nothing, however, the lad laid his lance in rest when challenged to
fight, and charged so bravely that he unhorsed the knight. A fearful battle
on foot ensued, where many gallant blows were given and received; yet the
victory finally remained with Roland. He slew his adversary, and wrenching
the jewel from his shield, hid it in his breast. Then, riding rapidly back
to his sleeping father, Roland laid aside the armor, and removed all traces
of a bloody encounter. When Milon awoke he resumed the quest, and soon came
upon the body of the dead knight. When he saw that another had won the
jewel, he was disappointed indeed, and sadly rode back to court, to be
present on the appointed day.

Charlemagne, seated on his throne, bade the knights appear before him, and
relate their adventures. One after another strode up the hall, followed by
an armor-bearer holding his shield, and all told of finding the knight
slain and the jewel gone, and produced head, hands, feet, or some part of
his armor, in token of the truth of their story. Last of all came Milon,
with lowering brows, although Roland walked close behind him, proudly
holding his shield, in the center of which the jewel shone radiant. Milon
related his search, and reported that he too had found the giant knight
slain and the jewel gone. A shout of incredulity made him turn his head.
But when he saw the jewel blazing on his shield he appeared so amazed that
Charlemagne questioned Roland, and soon learned how it had been obtained.
In reward for his bravery in this encounter, Roland was knighted and
allowed to take his place among his uncle's paladins, of which he soon
became the most renowned.

Charlemagne, according to the old _chanson de geste_ entitled "Ogier le
Danois," made war against the King of Denmark, defeated him, and received
his son Ogier (Olger or Holger Danske) as hostage. The young Danish prince
was favored by the fairies from the time of his birth, six of them having
appeared to bring him gifts while he was in his cradle. The first five
promised him every earthly bliss; while the sixth, Morgana, foretold that
he would never die, but would dwell with her in Avalon.

[Sidenote: Ogier king of Denmark.] Ogier the Dane, owing to a violation of
the treaty on his father's part, was soon confined in the prison of St.
Omer. There he beguiled the weariness of captivity by falling in love with,
and secretly marrying, the governor's daughter Bellissande. Charlemagne,
being about to depart for war, and wishing for the hero's help, released
him from captivity; and when Ogier returned again to France he heard that
Bellissande had borne him a son, and that, his father having died, he was
now the lawful king of Denmark.

Ogier the Dane then obtained permission to return to his native land, where
he spent several years, reigning so wisely that he was adored by all his
subjects. Such is the admiration of the Danes for this hero that the common
people still declare that he is either in Avalon, or sleeping in the vaults
of Elsinore, and that he will awaken, like Frederick Barbarossa, to save
his country in the time of its direst need.

    "'Thou know'st it, peasant! I am not dead;
    I come back to thee in my glory.
    I am thy faithful helper in need,
    As in Denmark's ancient story.'"
                                INGEMANN, _Holder Danske_.

After some years spent in Denmark, Ogier returned to France, where his son,
now grown up, had a dispute with Prince Chariot [Ogier and Charlemagne.]
over a game of chess. The dispute became so bitter that the prince used the
chessboard as weapon, and killed his antagonist with it. Ogier, indignant
at the murder, and unable to find redress at the hands of Charlemagne,
insulted him grossly, and fled to Didier (Desiderius), King of Lombardy,
with whom the Franks were then at feud.

Several ancient poems represent Didier on his tower, anxiously watching the
approach of the enemy, and questioning his guest as to the personal
appearance of Charlemagne. These poems have been imitated by Longfellow in
one of his "Tales of a Wayside Inn."

    "Olger the Dane, and Desiderio,
    King of the Lombards, on a lofty tower
    Stood gazing northward o'er the rolling plains,
    League after league of harvests, to the foot
    Of the snow-crested Alps, and saw approach
    A mighty army, thronging all the roads
    That led into the city. And the King
    Said unto Olger, who had passed his youth
    As hostage at the court of France, and knew
    The Emperor's form and face, 'Is Charlemagne
    Among that host?' And Olger answered, 'No.'"
                          LONGFELLOW, _Tales of a Wayside Inn_.

This poet, who has made this part of the legend familiar to all English
readers, then describes the vanguard of the army, the paladins, the clergy,
all in full panoply, and the gradually increasing terror of the Lombard
king, who, long before the emperor's approach, would fain have hidden
himself underground. Finally Charlemagne appears in iron mail, brandishing
aloft his invincible sword "Joyeuse," and escorted by the main body of his
army, grim fighting men, at the mere sight of whom even Ogier the Dane is
struck with fear.

    "This at a single glance Olger the Dane
    Saw from the tower; and, turning to the King,
    Exclaimed in haste: 'Behold! this is the man
    You looked for with such eagerness!' and then
    Fell as one dead at Desiderio's feet."
                         LONGFELLOW, _Tales of a Wayside Inn_.

Charlemagne soon overpowered the Lombard king, and assumed the iron crown,
while Ogier escaped from the castle in which he was besieged. Shortly
after, however, when asleep near a fountain, the Danish hero was surprised
by Turpin. When led before Charlemagne, he obstinately refused all proffers
of reconciliation, and insisted upon Charlot's death, until an angel from
heaven forbade his asking the life of Charlemagne's son. Then, foregoing
his revenge and fully reinstated in the royal good graces, Ogier, according
to a thirteenth-century epic by Adenet, successfully encountered a
Saracenic giant, and in reward for his services received the hand of
Clarice, Princess of England, and became king of that realm.

[Sidenote: Ogier in the East.] Weary of a peaceful existence, Ogier finally
left England, and journeyed to the East, where he successfully besieged
Acre, Babylon and Jerusalem. On his way back to France, the ship was
attracted by the famous lodestone rock which appears in many mediaeval
romances, and, all his companions having perished, Ogier wandered alone
ashore. There he came to an adamantine castle, invisible by day, but
radiant at night, where he was received by the famous horse Papillon, and
sumptuously entertained. On the morrow, while wandering across a flowery
meadow, Ogier encountered Morgana the fay, who gave him a magic ring.
Although Ogier was then a hundred years old, he no sooner put it on than he
became young once more. Then, having donned the golden crown of oblivion,
he forgot his home, and joined Arthur, Oberon, Tristan, and Lancelot, with
whom he spent two hundred years in unchanged youth, enjoying constant
jousting and fighting.

At the end of that time, his crown having accidentally dropped off, Ogier
remembered the past, and returned to France, riding on Papillon. He reached
the court during the reign of one of the Capetian kings. He was, of course,
greatly amazed at the changes which had taken place, but bravely helped to
defend Paris against an invasion from the Normans.

[Sidenote: Ogier carried to Avalon.] Shortly after this, his magic ring was
playfully drawn from his finger and put upon her own by the Countess of
Senlis, who, seeing that it restored her vanished youth, would fain have
kept it always. She therefore sent thirty champions to wrest it from Ogier,
who, however, defeated them all, and triumphantly retained his ring. The
king having died, Ogier next married the widowed queen, and would thus have
become King of France had not Morgana the fay, jealous of his affections,
spirited him away in the midst of the marriage ceremony and borne him off
to the Isle of Avalon, whence he, like Arthur, will return only when his
country needs him.

[Sidenote: Roland and Oliver.] Another _chanson de geste_, a sort of
continuation of "Ogier le Danois," is called "Meurvin," and purports to
give a faithful account of the adventures of a son of Ogier and Morgana, an
ancestor of Godfrey of Bouillon, King of Jerusalem. In "Guerin de
Montglave," we find that Charlemagne, having quarreled with the Duke of
Genoa, proposed that each should send a champion to fight in his name.
Charlemagne selected Roland, while the Duke of Genoa chose Oliver as his
defender. The battle, if we are to believe some versions of the legend,
took place on an island in the Rhone, and Durandana, Roland's sword, struck
many a spark from Altecler (Hautecler), the blade of Oliver. The two
champions were so well matched, and the blows were dealt with such equal
strength and courage, that "giving a Roland for an Oliver" has become a
proverbial expression.

After fighting all day, with intermissions to interchange boasts and
taunts, and to indulge in sundry discussions, neither had gained any
advantage. They would probably have continued the struggle indefinitely,
however, had not an angel of the Lord interfered, and bidden them embrace
and become fast friends. It was on this occasion, we are told, that
Charlemagne, fearing for Roland when he saw the strength of Oliver, vowed a
pilgrimage to Jerusalem should his nephew escape alive.

[Sidenote: Charlemagne's pilgrimage to Jerusalem.] The fulfillment of this
vow is described in "Galyen Rhetoré." Charlemagne and his peers reached
Jerusalem safely in disguise, but their anxiety to secure relics soon
betrayed their identity. The King of Jerusalem, Hugues, entertained them
sumptuously, and, hoping to hear many praises of his hospitality, concealed
himself in their apartment at night. The eavesdropper, however, only heard
the vain talk of Charlemagne's peers, who, unable to sleep, beguiled the
hours in making extraordinary boasts. Roland declared that he could blow
his horn Olivant loud enough to bring down the palace; Ogier, that he could
crumble the principal pillar to dust in his grasp; and Oliver, that he
could marry the princess in spite of her father.

The king, angry at hearing no praises of his wealth and hospitality,
insisted upon his guests fulfilling their boasts on the morrow, under
penalty of death. He was satisfied, however, by the success of Oliver's
undertaking, and the peers returned to France. Galyen, Oliver's son by
Hugues's daughter, followed them thither when he reached manhood, and
joined his father in the valley of Roncesvalles, just in time to receive
his blessing ere he died. Then, having helped Charlemagne to avenge his
peers, Galyen returned to Jerusalem, where he found his grandfather dead
and his mother a captive. His first act was, of course, to free his mother,
after which he became king of Jerusalem, and his adventures came to an end.

The "Chronicle" of Turpin, whence the materials for many of the poems about
Roland were taken, declares that Charlemagne, having conquered nearly the
whole of Europe, retired to his palace to seek repose. But one evening,
while gazing at the stars, he saw a bright cluster move from the "Friesian
sea, by way of Germany and France, into Galicia." This prodigy, twice
repeated, greatly excited Charlemagne's wonder, and was explained to him by
St. James in a vision. The latter declared that the progress of the stars
was emblematic of the advance of the Christian army towards Spain, and
twice bade the emperor deliver his land from the hands of the Saracens.

[Sidenote: Charlemagne in Spain.] Thus admonished, Charlemagne set out for
Spain with a large army, and invested the city of Pamplona, which showed no
signs of surrender at the end of a two months' siege. Recourse to prayer on
the Christians' part, however, produced a great miracle, for the walls
tottered and fell like those of Jericho. All the Saracens who embraced
Christianity were spared, but the remainder were slain before the emperor
journeyed to the shrine of St. James at Santiago de Compostela to pay his

A triumphant march through the country then ensued, and Charlemagne
returned to France, thinking the Saracens subdued. He had scarcely crossed
the border, however, when Aigolandus, one of the pagan monarchs, revolted,
and soon recovered nearly all the territory his people had lost. When
Charlemagne heard these tidings, he sent back an army, commanded by Milon,
Roland's father, who perished gloriously in this campaign. The emperor
speedily followed his brother-in-law with great forces, and again besieged
Aigolandus in Pamplona. During the course of the siege the two rulers had
an interview, which is described at length, and indulged in sundry
religious discussions, which, however, culminated in a resumption of
hostilities. Several combats now took place, in which the various heroes
greatly distinguished themselves, the preference being generally given to
Roland, who, if we are to believe the Italian poet, was as terrible in
battle as he was gentle in time of peace.

    "On stubborn foes he vengeance wreak'd,
      And laid about him like a Tartar;
    But if for mercy once they squeak'd,
      He was the first to grant them quarter.
    The battle won, of Roland's soul
      Each milder virtue took possession;
    To vanquished foes he o'er a bowl
      His heart surrender'd at discretion."
                  ARIOSTO, _Orlando Furioso_ (Dr. Burney's tr.).

Aigolandus being slain, and the feud against him thus successfully ended,
Charlemagne carried the war into Navarre, where he was challenged by the
giant Ferracute (Ferragus) to meet him in single combat. Although the
metrical "Romances" describe Charlemagne as twenty feet in height, and
declare that he slept in a hall, his bed surrounded by one hundred lighted
tapers and one hundred knights with drawn swords, the emperor felt himself
no match for the giant, whose personal appearance was as follows:--

    "So hard he was to-fond [proved],
    That no dint of brond
    No grieved him, I plight.
    He had twenty men's strength;
    And forty feet of length
    Thilke [each] paynim had;
    And four feet in the face
    Y-meten [measured] on the place;
    And fifteen in brede [breadth].
    His nose was a foot and more;
    His brow as bristles wore;
    (He that saw it said)
    He looked lothliche [loathly],
    And was swart [black] as pitch;
    Of him men might adrede!"
                      _Roland and Ferragus_.

[Sidenote: Roland and Ferracute.] After convincing himself of the danger of
meeting this adversary, Charlemagne sent Ogier the Dane to fight him, and
with dismay saw his champion not only unhorsed, but borne away like a
parcel under the giant's arm, fuming and kicking with impotent rage. Renaud
de Montauban met Ferracute on the next day, with the same fate, as did
several other champions. Finally Roland took the field, and although the
giant pulled him down from his horse, he continued the battle all day.
Seeing that his sword Durandana had no effect upon Ferracute, Roland armed
himself with a club on the morrow.

In the pauses of the battle the combatants talked together, and Ferracute,
relying upon his adversary's keen sense of honor, even laid his head upon
Roland's knee during their noonday rest. While resting thus, he revealed
that he was vulnerable in only one point of his body. When called upon by
Roland to believe in Christianity, he declared that the doctrine of the
Trinity was more than he could accept. Roland, in answer, demonstrated that
an almond is but one fruit, although composed of rind, shell, and kernel;
that a harp is but one instrument, although it consists of wood, strings,
and harmony. He also urged the threefold nature of the sun,--i.e., heat,
light, and splendor; and these arguments having satisfied Ferracute
concerning the Trinity, he removed his doubts concerning the incarnation by
equally forcible reasoning. The giant, however, utterly refused to believe
in the resurrection, although Roland, in support of his creed, quoted the
mediaeval belief that a lion's cubs are born into the world dead, but come
to life on the third day at the sound of their father's roar, or under the
warm breath of their mother. As Ferracute would not accept this doctrine,
but sprang to his feet proposing a continuation of the fight, the struggle
was renewed.

    "Quath Ferragus: 'Now ich wot
     Your Christian law every grot;
     Now we will fight;
     Whether law better be,
     Soon we shall y-see,
     Long ere it be night.'"
                      _Roland and Ferragus_.

Roland, weary with his previous efforts, almost succumbed beneath the
giant's blows, and in his distress had recourse to prayer. He was
immediately strengthened and comforted by an angelic vision and a promise
of victory. Thus encouraged, he dealt Ferracute a deadly blow in the
vulnerable spot. The giant fell, calling upon Mohammed, while Roland
laughed and the Christians triumphed.

The poem of Sir Otuel, in the Auchinleck manuscript, describes how Otuel, a
nephew of Ferracute, his equal in size and strength, came to avenge his
death, and, after a long battle with Roland, yielded to his theological
arguments, and was converted at the sight of a snowy dove alighting on
Charlemagne's helmet in answer to prayer. He then became a devoted adherent
of Charlemagne, and served him much in war.

Charlemagne, having won Navarre, carried the war to the south of Spain,
where the Saracens frightened the horses of his host by beating drums and
waving banners. Having suffered a partial defeat on account of this device,
Charlemagne had the horses' ears stopped with wax, and their eyes
blindfolded, before he resumed the battle. Thanks to this precaution, he
succeeded in conquering the Saracen army. The whole country had now been
again subdued, and Charlemagne was preparing to return to France, when he
remembered that Marsiglio (Marsilius), a Saracen king, was still intrenched
at Saragossa.

    "Carle, our most noble Emperor and King,
    Hath tarried now full seven years in Spain,
    Conqu'ring the highland regions to the sea;
    No fortress stands before him unsubdued,
    Nor wall, nor city left, to be destroyed,
    Save Sarraguce, high on a mountain set.
    There rules the King Marsile, who loves not God,
    Apollo worships, and Mohammed serves;
    Nor can he from his evil doom escape."
                             _Chanson de Roland_ (Rabillon's tr.).

[Sidenote: Battle of Roncesvalles.] The emperor wished to send an embassy
to him to arrange the terms of peace, but discarded Roland's offer of
service because of his impetuosity. Then, following the advice of Naismes
de Bavière, "the Nestor of the Carolingian legends," he selected Ganelon,
Roland's stepfather, as ambassador. This man was a traitor, and accepted a
bribe from the Saracen king to betray Roland and the rear guard of the
French army into his power. Advised by Ganelon, Charlemagne departed from
Spain at the head of his army, leaving Roland to bring up the rear. The
main part of the army passed through the Pyrenees unmolested, but the rear
guard of twenty thousand men, under Roland, was attacked by a superior
force of Saracens in ambush, as it was passing through the denies of
Roncesvalles. A terrible encounter took place here.

    "The Count Rollànd rides through the battlefield
    And makes, with Durendal's keen blade in hand,
    A mighty carnage of the Saracens.
    Ah! had you then beheld the valiant Knight
    Heap corse on corse; blood drenching all the ground;
    His own arms, hauberk, all besmeared with gore,
    And his good steed from neck to shoulder bleed!"
                                 _Chanson de Roland_ (Rabillon's tr.).

[Illustration: THE DEATH OF ROLAND.--Keller.]

All the Christians were slain except Roland and a few knights, who
succeeded in repulsing the first onslaught of the painims. Roland then
bound a Saracen captive to a tree, wrung from him a confession of the
dastardly plot, and, discovering where Marsiglio was to be found, rushed
into the very midst of the Saracen army and slew him. The Saracens,
terrified at the apparition of the hero, beat a hasty retreat, little
suspecting that their foe had received a mortal wound, and would shortly
breathe his last.

During the first part of the battle, Roland, yielding to Oliver's entreaty,
sounded a blast on his horn Olivant, which came even to Charlemagne's ear.
Fearing lest his nephew was calling for aid, Charlemagne would fain have
gone back had he not been deterred by Ganelon, who assured him that Roland
was merely pursuing a stag.

    "Rolland raised to his lips the olifant,
     Drew a deep breath, and blew with all his force.
     High are the mountains, and from peak to peak
     The sound reëchoes; thirty leagues away
    'Twas heard by Carle and all his brave compeers.
     Cried the king: 'Our men make battle!' Ganelon
     Retorts in haste: 'If thus another dared
     To speak, we should denounce it as a lie.'
                     _Chanson de Roland_ (Rabillon's tr.).

[Sidenote: Steed Veillantif slain.] Wounded and faint, Roland now slowly
dragged himself to the entrance of the pass of Cisaire,--where the Basque
peasants aver they have often seen his ghost, and heard the sound of his
horn,--and took leave of his faithful steed Veillantif, which he slew with
his own hand, to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy.

    "'Ah, nevermore, and nevermore, shall we to battle ride!
    Ah, nevermore, and nevermore, shall we sweet comrades be!
    And Veillintif, had I the heart to die forgetting thee?
    To leave thy mighty heart to break, in slavery to the foe?
    I had not rested in the grave, if it had ended so.
    Ah, never shall we conquering ride, with banners bright unfurl'd,
    A shining light 'mong lesser lights, a wonder to the world.'"
                                             BUCHANAN, _Death of Roland_.

[Sidenote: Sword Durandana destroyed.] Then the hero gazed upon his sword
Durandana, which had served him faithfully for so many years, and to
prevent its falling into the hands of the pagans, he tried to dispose of it
also. According to varying accounts, he either sank it deep into a poisoned
stream, where it is still supposed to lie, or, striking it against the
mighty rocks, cleft them in two, without even dinting its bright blade.

    "And Roland thought: 'I surely die; but, ere I end,
    Let me be sure that thou art ended too, my friend!
    For should a heathen hand grasp thee when I am clay,
    My ghost would grieve full sore until the judgment day!'
    Then to the marble steps, under the tall, bare trees,
    Trailing the mighty sword, he crawl'd on hands and knees,
    And on the slimy stone he struck the blade with might--
    The bright hilt, sounding, shook, the blade flash'd sparks of light;
    Wildly again he struck, and his sick head went round,
    Again there sparkled fire, again rang hollow sound;
    Ten times he struck, and threw strange echoes down the glade,
    Yet still unbroken, sparkling fire, glitter'd the peerless blade."
                                               BUCHANAN, _Death of Roland_.

Finally, despairing of disposing of it in any other way, the hero, strong
in death, broke Durandana in his powerful hands and threw the shards away.

Horse and sword were now disposed of, and the dying hero, summoning his
last strength, again put his marvelous horn Olivant to his lips, and blew
such a resounding blast that the sound was heard far and near. The effort,
however, was such that his temples burst, as he again sank fainting to the

One version of the story (Turpin's) relates that the blast brought, not
Charlemagne, but the sole surviving knight, Theodoricus, who, as Roland had
been shriven before the battle, merely heard his last prayer and reverently
closed his eyes. Then Turpin, while celebrating mass before Charlemagne,
was suddenly favored by a vision, in which he beheld a shrieking crew of
demons bearing Marsiglio's soul to hell, while an angelic host conveyed
Roland's to heaven.

Turpin immediately imparted these revelations to Charlemagne, who, knowing
now that his fears were not without foundation, hastened back to
Roncesvalles. Here the scriptural miracle was repeated, for the sun stayed
its course until the emperor had routed the Saracens and found the body of
his nephew. He pronounced a learned funeral discourse or lament over the
hero's remains, which were then embalmed and conveyed to Blaive for

Another version relates that Bishop Turpin himself remained with Roland in
the rear, and, after hearing a general confession and granting full
absolution to all the heroes, fought beside them to the end. It was he who
heard the last blast of Roland's horn instead of Theodoricus, and came to
close his eyes before he too expired.

The most celebrated of all the poems, however, the French epic "Chanson de
Roland," gives a different version and relates that, in stumbling over the
battlefield, Roland came across the body of his friend Oliver, over which
he uttered a touching lament.

    "'Alas for all thy valor, comrade dear!
    Year after year, day after day, a life
    Of love we led; ne'er didst thou wrong to me,
    Nor I to thee. If death takes thee away,
    My life is but a pain.'"
                           _Chanson de Roland_ (Rabillon's tr.).

[Sidenote: Death of Roland.] Slowly and painfully now--for his death was
near--Roland climbed up a slope, laid himself down under a pine tree, and
placed his sword and horn beneath him. Then, when he had breathed a last
prayer, to commit his soul to God, he held up his glove in token of his

    "His right hand glove he offered up to God;
    Saint Gabriel took the glove.--With head reclined
    Upon his arm, with hands devoutly joined,
    He breathed his last. God sent his Cherubim,
    Saint Raphael, _Saint Michiel del Peril._
    The soul of Count Rolland to Paradise.
                              _Chanson de Roland_ (Rabillon's tr.).

It was here, under the pine, that Charlemagne found his nephew ere he
started out to punish the Saracens, as already related. Not far off lay the
bodies of Ogier, Oliver, and Renaud, who, according to this version, were
all among the slain.

    "Here endeth Otuel, Roland, and Olyvere,
    And of the twelve dussypere,
    That dieden in the batayle of Runcyvale:
    Jesu lord, heaven king,
    To his bliss hem and us both bring,
    To liven withouten bale!"
                               _Sir Otuel_.

On his return to France Charlemagne suspected Ganelon of treachery, and had
him tried by twelve peers, who, unable to decide the question, bade him
prove his innocence in single combat with Roland's squire, Thiedric.
Ganelon, taking advantage of the usual privilege to have his cause defended
by a champion, selected Pinabel, the most famous swordsman of the time. In
spite of all his valor, however, this champion was defeated, and the
"judgment of God"--the term generally applied to those judicial
combats--was in favor of Thiedric. Ganelon, thus convicted of treason, was
sentenced to be drawn and quartered, and was executed at Aix-la-Chapelle,
in punishment for his sins.

                "Ere long for this he lost
    Both limb and life, judged and condemned at Aix,
    There to be hanged with thirty of his race
    Who were not spared the punishment of death.
                               _Chanson de Roland_ (Rabillon's tr.).

[Sidenote: Roland and Aude.] Roland, having seen Aude, Oliver's sister, at
the siege of Viane, where she even fought against him, if the old epics are
to be believed, had been so smitten with her charms that he declared that
he would marry none but her. When the siege was over, and lifelong
friendship had been sworn between Roland and Oliver after their memorable
duel on an island in the Rhone, Roland was publicly betrothed to the
charming Aude. Before their nuptials could take place, however, he was
forced to leave for Spain, where, as we have seen, he died an heroic death.
The sad news of his demise was brought to Paris, where the Lady Aude was
awaiting him. When she heard that he would never return, she died of grief,
and was buried at his side in the chapel of Blaive.

    "In Paris Lady Alda sits, Sir Roland's destined bride.
    With her three hundred maidens, to tend her, at her side;
    Alike their robes and sandals all, and the braid that binds their
    And alike the meal, in their Lady's hall, the whole three hundred
    Around her, in her chair of state, they all their places hold;
    A hundred weave the web of silk, and a hundred spin the gold,
    And a hundred touch their gentle lutes to sooth that Lady's pain,
    As she thinks on him that's far away with the host of Charlemagne.
    Lulled by the sound, she sleeps, but soon she wakens with a
    And, as her maidens gather round, she thus recounts her dream:
    'I sat upon a desert shore, and from the mountain nigh,
    Right toward me, I seemed to see a gentle falcon fly;
    But close behind an eagle swooped, and struck that falcon down,
    And with talons and beak he rent the bird, as he cowered beneath
          my gown.'
    The chief of her maidens smiled, and said; 'To me it doth not
    That the Lady Alda reads aright the boding of her dream.
    Thou art the falcon, and thy knight is the eagle in his pride,
    As he comes in triumph from the war, and pounces on his bride.'
    The maiden laughed, but Alda sighed, and gravely shook her head.
    'Full rich,' quoth she, 'shall thy guerdon be, if thou the truth hast
    'Tis morn; her letters, stained with blood, the truth too plainly tell,
    How, in the chase of Ronceval, Sir Roland fought and fell."
                              _Lady Alda's Dreams_ (Sir Edmund Head's tr.).

[Sidenote: Legend of Roland and Hildegarde.] A later legend, which has
given rise to sundry poems, connects the name of Roland with one of the
most beautiful places on the Rhine. Popular tradition avers that he sought
shelter one evening in the castle of Drachenfels, where he fell in love
with Hildegarde, the beautiful daughter of the Lord of Drachenfels. The
sudden outbreak of the war in Spain forced him to bid farewell to his
betrothed, but he promised to return as soon as possible to celebrate their
wedding. During the campaign, many stories of his courage came to
Hildegarde's ears, and finally, after a long silence, she heard that Roland
had perished at Roncesvalles.

Broken-hearted, the fair young mourner spent her days in tears, and at last
prevailed upon her father to allow her to enter the convent on the island
of Nonnenworth, in the middle of the river, and within view of the gigantic
crag where the castle ruins can still be seen.

    "The castled crag of Drachenfels
    Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine,
    Whose breast of water broadly swells
    Between the banks which bear the vine,
    And hills all rich with blossomed trees,
    And fields which promise corn and wine,
    And scattered cities crowning these,
    Whose fair white walls along them shine."
                                       BYRON, _Childe Harold_.

With pallid cheeks and tear-dimmed eyes, Hildegarde now spent her life
either in her tiny cell or in the convent chapel, praying for the soul of
her beloved, and longing that death might soon come to set her free to join
him. The legend relates, however, that Roland was not dead, as she
supposed, but had merely been sorely wounded at Roncesvalles.

When sufficiently recovered to travel, Roland painfully made his way back
to Drachenfels, where he presented himself late one evening, eagerly
calling for Hildegarde. A few moments later the joyful light left his eyes
forever, for he learned that his beloved had taken irrevocable vows, and
was now the bride of Heaven.

That selfsame day Roland left the castle of Drachenfels, and riding to an
eminence overlooking the island of Nonnenwörth, he gazed long and tearfully
at a little light twinkling in one of the convent windows. As he could not
but suppose that it illumined Hildegarde's cell and lonely vigils, he
watched it all night, and when morning came he recognized his beloved's
form in the long procession of nuns on their way to the chapel.

[Sidenote: Rolandseck.] This view of the lady he loved seemed a slight
consolation to the hero, who built a retreat on this rock, which is known
as Rolandseck. Here he spent his days in penance and prayer, gazing
constantly at the island at his feet, and the swift stream which parted him
from Hildegarde.

One wintry day, many years after he had taken up his abode on the rocky
height, Roland missed the graceful form he loved, and heard, instead of the
usual psalm, a dirge for the dead. Then he noticed that six of the nuns
were carrying a coffin, which they lowered into an open tomb.

Roland's nameless fears were confirmed in the evening, when the convent
priest visited him, and gently announced that Hildegarde was at rest.
Calmly Roland listened to these tidings, begged the priest to hear his
confession as usual, and, when he had received absolution, expressed a
desire to be buried with his face turned toward the convent where
Hildegarde had lived and died.

The priest readily promised to observe this request, and departed. When he
came on the morrow, he found Roland dead. They buried him reverently on the
very spot which bears his name, with his face turned toward Nonnenwörth,
where Hildegarde lay at rest.



The different _chansons de gestes_ relating to Aymon and the necromancer
Malagigi (Malagis), probably arose from popular ballads commemorating the
struggles of Charles the Bald and his feudatories. These ballads are of
course as old as the events which they were intended to record, but the
_chansons de gestes_ based upon them, and entitled "Duolin de Mayence,"
"Aymon, Son of Duolin de Mayence," "Maugis," "Rinaldo de Trebizonde," "The
Four Sons of Aymon," and "Mabrian," are of much later date, and were
particularly admired during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

One of the most famous of Charlemagne's peers was doubtless the noble Aymon
of Dordogne; and when the war against the Avars in Hungary had been
successfully closed, owing to his bravery, his adherents besought the king
to bestow upon this knight some reward. Charlemagne, whom many of these
later _chansons de gestes_ describe as mean and avaricious, refused to
grant any reward, declaring that were he to add still further to his
vassal's already extensive territories, Aymon would soon be come more
powerful than his sovereign.

[Sidenote: War between Aymon and Charlemagne.] This unjust refusal
displeased Lord Hug of Dordogne, who had pleaded for his kinsman, so that
he ventured a retort, which so incensed the king that he slew him then and
there. Aymon, learning of the death of Lord Hug, and aware of the failure
of his last embassy, haughtily withdrew to his own estates, whence he now
began to wage war against Charlemagne.

Instead of open battle, however, a sort of guerrilla warfare was carried
on, in which, thanks to his marvelous steed Bayard, which his cousin
Malagigi, the necromancer, had brought him from hell, Aymon always won the
advantage. At the end of several years, however, Charlemagne collected a
large host, and came to lay siege to the castle where Aymon had intrenched
himself with all his adherents.

[Sidenote: Loss of the horse Bayard.] During that siege, Aymon awoke one
morning to find that his beloved steed had vanished. Malagigi, hearing him
bewail his loss, bade him be of good cheer, promising to restore Bayard ere
long, although he would be obliged to go to Mount Vulcanus, the mouth of
hell, to get him. Thus comforted, Aymon ceased to mourn, while Malagigi set
to work to fulfill his promise. As a brisk wind was blowing from the castle
towards the camp, he flung upon the breeze some powdered hellebore, which
caused a violent sneezing throughout the army. Then, while his foes were
wiping their streaming eyes, the necromancer, who had learned his black art
in the famous school of Toledo, slipped through their ranks unseen, and
journeyed on to Mount Vulcanus, where he encountered his Satanic Majesty.

His first act was to offer his services to Satan, who accepted them gladly,
bidding him watch the steed Bayard, which he had stolen because he
preferred riding a horse to sitting astride a storm cloud as usual. The
necromancer artfully pretended great anxiety to serve his new master, but
having discovered just where Bayard was to be found, he made use of a
sedative powder to lull Satan to sleep. Then, hastening to the angry steed,
Malagigi made him tractable by whispering his master's name in his ear;
and, springing on his back, rode swiftly away.

Satan was awakened by the joyful whinny of the flying steed, and
immediately mounted upon a storm cloud and started in pursuit, hurling a
red-hot thunderbolt at Malagigi to check his advance. But the necromancer
muttered a magic spell and held up his crucifix, and the bolt fell short;
while the devil, losing his balance, fell to the earth, and thus lamed
himself permanently.

[Sidenote: Bayard restored by Malagigi.] Count Aymon, in the mean while,
had been obliged to flee from his besieged castle, mounted upon a sorry
steed instead of his fleet-footed horse. When the enemy detected his
flight, they set out in pursuit, tracking him by means of bloodhounds, and
were about to overtake and slay him when Malagigi suddenly appeared with
Bayard. To bound on the horse's back, draw his famous sword Flamberge,
which had been made by the smith Wieland, and charge into the midst of his
foes, was the work of a few seconds. The result was that most of Aymon's
foes bit the dust, while he rode away unharmed, and gathering many
followers, he proceeded to win back all the castles and fortresses he had

Frightened by Aymon's successes, Charlemagne finally sent Roland, his
nephew and favorite, bidding him offer a rich ransom to atone for the
murder of Lord Hug, and instructing him to secure peace at any price. Aymon
at first refused these overtures, but consented at last to cease the feud
upon receipt of six times Lord Hug's weight in gold, and the hand of the
king's sister, Aya, whom he had long loved.

These demands were granted, peace was concluded, and Aymon, having married
Aya, led her to the castle of Pierlepont, where they dwelt most happily
together, and became the parents of four brave sons, Renaud, Alard,
Guiscard, and Richard. Inactivity, however, was not enjoyable to an
inveterate fighter like Aymon, so he soon left home to journey into Spain,
where the bitter enmity between the Christians and the Moors would afford
him opportunity to fight to his heart's content.

Years now passed by, during which Aymon covered himself with glory; for,
mounted on Bayard, he was the foremost in every battle, and always struck
terror into the hearts of his foes by the mere flash of his blade
Flamberge. Thus he fought until his sons attained manhood, and Aya had long
thought him dead, when a messenger came to Pierlepont, telling them that
Aymon lay ill in the Pyrenees, and wished to see his wife and his children
once more.

In answer to these summons Aya hastened southward, and found her husband
old and worn, yet not so changed that she could not recognize him. Aymon,
sick as he was, rejoiced at the sight of his manly sons. He gave the three
eldest the spoil he had won during those many years' warfare, and promised
Renaud (Reinold) his horse and sword, if he could successfully mount and
ride the former.

[Sidenote: Bayard won by Renaud.] Renaud, who was a skillful horseman,
fancied the task very easy, and was somewhat surprised when his father's
steed caught him by the garments with his teeth, and tumbled him into the
manger. Undismayed by one failure, however, Renaud sprang boldly upon
Bayard; and, in spite of all the horse's efforts, kept his seat so well
that his father formally gave him the promised mount and sword.

When restored to health by the tender nursing of his loving wife, Aymon
returned home with his family. Then, hearing that Charlemagne had returned
from his coronation journey to Rome, and was about to celebrate the
majority of his heir, Aymon went to court with his four sons.

During the tournament, held as usual on such festive occasions, Renaud
unhorsed every opponent, and even defeated the prince. This roused the
anger of Charlot, or Berthelot as he is called by some authorities, and
made him vow revenge. He soon discovered that Renaud was particularly
attached to his brother Alard, so he resolved first to harm the latter.
Advised by the traitor Ganelon, Chariot challenged Alard to a game of
chess, and insisted that the stakes should be the players' heads.

This proposal was very distasteful to Alard, for he knew that he would
never dare lay any claim to the prince's head even if he won the game, and
feared to lose his own if he failed to win. Compelled to accept the
challenge, however, Alard began the game, and played so well that he won
five times in succession. Then Charlot, angry at being so completely
checkmated, suddenly seized the board and struck his antagonist such a
cruel blow that the blood began to flow. Alard, curbing his wrath, simply
withdrew; and it was only when Renaud questioned him very closely that he
told how the quarrel had occurred.

Renaud was indignant at the insult offered his brother, and went to the
emperor with his complaint. The umpires reluctantly testified that the
prince had forfeited his head, so Renaud cut it off in the emperor's
presence, and effected his escape with his father and brothers before any
one could lay hands upon them. Closely pursued by the imperial troops,
Aymon and his sons were soon brought to bay, and fought so bravely that
they slew many of their assailants. At last, seeing that all their horses
except the incomparable Bayard had been slain, Renaud bade his brothers
mount behind him, and they dashed away. The aged Aymon had already fallen
into the hands of the emperor's adviser, Turpin, who solemnly promised that
no harm should befall him. But in spite of this oath, and of the
remonstrances of all his peers, Charlemagne prepared to have Aymon publicly
hanged, and consented to release him only upon condition that Aymon would
promise to deliver his sons into the emperor's hands, were it ever in his
power to do so.

The four young men, knowing their father safe, and unwilling to expose
their mother to the unpleasant experiences of the siege which would have
followed had they remained at Pierlepont, now journeyed southward, and
entered the service of Saforet, King of the Moors. With him they won many
victories; but, seeing at the end of three years that this monarch had no
intention of giving them the promised reward, they slew him, and offered
their swords to Iwo, Prince of Tarasconia.

[Sidenote: Fortress of Montauban.] Afraid of these warriors, yet wishing to
bind them to him by indissoluble ties, Iwo gave Renaud his daughter
Clarissa in marriage, and helped him build an impregnable fortress at
Montauban. This stronghold was scarcely finished when Charlemagne came up
with a great army to besiege it; but at the end of a year of fruitless
attempts, the emperor reluctantly withdrew, leaving Montauban still in the
hands of his enemies.

Seven years had now elapsed since the four young men had seen their mother;
and, anxious to embrace her once more, they went in pilgrims' robes to the
castle of Pierlepont. Here the chamberlain recognized them and betrayed
their presence to Aymon, who, compelled by his oath, prepared to bind his
four sons fast and take them captive to his sovereign. The young men,
however, defended themselves bravely, secured their father instead, and
sent him in chains to Charlemagne. Unfortunately the monarch was much
nearer Pierlepont at the time than the young men supposed. Hastening
onward, he entered the castle before they had even become aware of his
approach, and secured three of them. The fourth, Renaud, aided by his
mother, escaped in pilgrim's garb, and returned to Montauban. Here he found
Bayard, and without pausing to rest, he rode straight to Paris to deliver
his brothers from the emperor's hands.

Overcome by fatigue after this hasty journey, Renaud dismounted shortly
before reaching Paris, and fell asleep. When he awoke he found that his
steed had vanished, and he reluctantly continued his journey on foot,
begging his way. He was joined on the way by his cousin Malagigi, who also
wore a pilgrim's garb, and who promised to aid Renaud, not only in freeing
his brothers, but also in recovering Bayard.

[Sidenote: Malagigi's stratagem.] Unnoticed, the beggars threaded their way
through the city of Paris and came to the palace. There a great tournament
was to be held, and the emperor had promised to the victor of the day the
famous steed Bayard. To stimulate the knights to greater efforts by a view
of the promised prize, the emperor bade a groom lead forth the renowned
steed. The horse seemed restive, but suddenly paused beside two beggars,
with a whinny of joy. The groom, little suspecting that the horse's real
master was hidden under the travel-stained pilgrim's robe, laughingly
commented upon Bayard's bad taste. Then Malagigi, the second beggar,
suddenly cried aloud that his poor companion had been told that he would
recover from his lameness were he only once allowed to bestride the famous
steed. Anxious to witness a miracle, the emperor gave orders that the
beggar should be placed upon Bayard; and Renaud, after feigning to fall off
through awkwardness, suddenly sat firmly upon his saddle, and dashed away
before any one could stop him.

As for Malagigi, having wandered among the throng unheeded, he remained in
Paris until evening. Then, making his way into the prison by means of the
necromantic charm "Abracadabra," which he continually repeated, he
delivered the other sons of Aymon from their chains. He next entered the
palace of the sleeping emperor, spoke to him in his sleep, and forced him,
under hypnotic influence, to give up the scepter and crown, which he
triumphantly bore away.

[Treachery of Iwo.] When Charlemagne awoke on the morrow, found his
prisoners gone, and realized that what had seemed a dream was only too
true, and that the insignia of royalty were gone, he was very angry indeed.
More than ever before he now longed to secure the sons of Aymon; so he
bribed Iwo, with whom the brothers had taken refuge, to send them to him.
Clarissa suspected her father's treachery, and implored Renaud not to
believe him; but the brave young hero, relying upon Iwo's promise, set out
without arms to seek the emperor's pardon. On the way, however, the four
sons of Aymon fell into an ambuscade, whence they would scarcely have
escaped alive had not one of the brothers drawn from under his robe the
weapons Clarissa had given him.

The emperor's warriors, afraid of the valor of these doughty brethren now
that they were armed, soon withdrew to a safe distance, whence they could
watch the young men and prevent their escape. Suddenly, however, Malagigi
came dashing up on Bayard, for Clarissa had warned him of his kinsmen's
danger, and implored him to go to their rescue. Renaud immediately mounted
his favorite steed, and brandishing Flamberge, which his uncle had brought
him, he charged so gallantly into the very midst of the imperial troops
that he soon put them to flight.

[Sidenote: Renaud and Roland.] The emperor, baffled and angry, suspected
that Iwo had warned his son-in-law of the danger and provided him with
weapons. In his wrath he had Iwo seized, and sentenced him to be hanged.
But Renaud, seeing Clarissa's tears, vowed that he would save his
father-in-law from such an ignominious death. With his usual bravery he
charged into the very midst of the executioners, and unhorsed the valiant
champion, Roland. During this encounter, Iwo effected his escape, and
Renaud followed him, while Roland slowly picked himself up and prepared to
follow his antagonist and once more try his strength against him.

On the way to Montauban, Roland met Richard, one of the four brothers, whom
he carried captive to Charlemagne. The emperor immediately ordered the
young knight to be hanged, and bade some of his most noble followers to see
the sentence executed. They one and all refused, however, declaring death
on the gallows too ignominious a punishment for a knight.

The discussions which ensued delayed the execution and enabled Malagigi to
warn Renaud of his brother's imminent peril. Mounted upon Bayard, Renaud
rode straight to Montfaucon, accompanied by his two other brothers and a
few faithful men. There they camped under the gallows, to be at hand when
the guard came to hang the prisoner on the morrow. But Renaud and his
companions slept so soundly that they would have been surprised had not the
intelligent Bayard awakened his master by a very opportune kick. Springing
to his feet, Renaud roused his companions, vaulted upon his steed, and
charged the guard. He soon delivered his captive brother and carried him
off in triumph, after hanging the knight who had volunteered to act as

[Sidenote: Montauban besieged by Charlemagne.] Charlemagne, still anxious
to seize and punish these refractory subjects, now collected an army and
began again to besiege the stronghold of Montauban. Occasional sallies and
a few bloody encounters were the only variations in the monotony of a
several-years' siege. But finally the provisions of the besieged became
very scanty. Malagigi, who knew that a number of provision wagons were
expected, advised Renaud to make a bold sally and carry them off, while he,
the necromancer, dulled the senses of the imperial army by scattering one
of his magic sleeping powders in the air. He had just begun his spell when
Oliver perceived him and, pouncing upon him, carried him off to the
emperor's tent. Oliver, on the way thither, never once relinquished his
grasp, although the magician tried to make him do so by throwing a pinch of
hellebore in his face.

While sneezing loudly the paladin told how he had caught the magician, and
the emperor vowed that the rascal should be hanged on the very next day.
When he heard this decree, Malagigi implored the emperor to give him a good
meal, since this was to be his last night on earth, pledging his word not
to leave the camp without the emperor. This promise so reassured
Charlemagne that he ordered a sumptuous repast, charging a few knights to
watch Malagigi, lest, after all, he should effect his escape. The meal
over, the necromancer again had recourse to his magic art to plunge the
whole camp into a deep sleep. Then, proceeding unmolested to the imperial
tent, he bore off the sleeping emperor to the gates of Montauban, which
flew open at his well-known voice.

Charlemagne, on awaking, was as surprised as dismayed to find himself in
the hands of his foes, who, however, when they saw his uneasiness,
gallantly gave him his freedom without exacting any pledge or ransom in
return. But when Malagigi heard of this foolhardy act of generosity, he
burned up his papers, boxes, and bags, and, when asked why he acted thus,
replied that he was about to leave his mad young kinsmen to their own
devices, and take refuge in a hermitage, where he intended to spend the
remainder of his life in repenting of his sins. Soon after this he
disappeared, and Aymon's sons, escaping secretly from Montauban just before
it was forced to surrender, took refuge in a castle they owned in the

Here the emperor pursued them, and kept up the siege until Aya sought him,
imploring him to forgive her sons and to cease persecuting them.
Charlemagne yielded at last to her entreaties, and promised to grant the
sons of Aymon full forgiveness provided the demoniacal steed Bayard were
given over to him to be put to death. Aya hastened to Renaud to tell him
this joyful news, but when he declared that nothing would ever induce him
to give up his faithful steed, she besought him not to sacrifice his
brothers, wife, and sons, out of love for his horse.

[Sidenote: Death of Bayard.] Thus adjured, Renaud, with breaking heart,
finally consented. The treaty was signed, and Bayard, with feet heavily
weighted, was led to the middle of a bridge over the Seine, where the
emperor had decreed that he should be drowned. At a given signal from
Charlemagne the noble horse was pushed into the water; but, in spite of the
weights on his feet, he rose to the surface twice, casting an agonized
glance upon his master, who had been forced to come and witness his death.
Aya, seeing her son's grief, drew his head down upon her motherly bosom,
and when Bayard rose once more and missed his beloved master's face among
the crowd, he sank beneath the waves with a groan of despair, and never
rose again.

Renaud, maddened by the needless cruelty of this act, now tore up the
treaty and flung it at the emperor's feet. He then broke his sword
Flamberge and cast it into the Seine, declaring that he would never wield
such a weapon again, and returned to Montauban alone and on foot. There he
bade his wife and children farewell, after committing them to the loyal
protection of Roland. He then set out for the Holy Land, where he fought
against the infidels, using a club as weapon, so as not to break his vow.
This evidently proved no less effective in his hands than the noted
Flamberge, for he was offered the crown of Jerusalem in reward for his
services. As he had vowed to renounce all the pomps and vanities of the
world, Renaud passed the crown on to Godfrey of Bouillon. Then, returning
home, he found that Clarissa had died, after having been persecuted for
years by the unwelcome attentions of many suitors, who would fain have
persuaded her that her husband was dead.

[Sidenote: Death of Renaud.] According to one version of the story, Renaud
died in a hermitage, in the odor of sanctity; but if we are to believe
another, he journeyed on to Cologne, where the cathedral was being built,
and labored at it night and day. Exasperated by his constant activity,
which put them all to shame, his fellow-laborers slew him and flung his
body into the Rhine. Strange to relate, however, his body was not carried
away by the strong current, but lingered near the city, until it was
brought to land and interred by some pious people.

Many miracles having taken place near the spot where he was buried, the
emperor gave orders that his remains should be conveyed either to
Aix-la-Chapelle or to Paris. The body was therefore laid upon a cart, which
moved of its own accord to Dortmund, in Westphalia, where it stopped, and
where a church was erected in honor of Renaud in 811. Here the saintly
warrior's remains were duly laid to rest, and the church in Dortmund still
bears his name. A chapel in Cologne is also dedicated to him, and is
supposed to stand on the very spot where he was so treacherously slain
after his long and brilliant career.



It is supposed that this _chanson de geste_ was first composed in the
thirteenth century; but the version which has come down to us must have
been written shortly before the discovery of printing. Although this poem
was deservedly a favorite composition during the middle ages, no manuscript
copy of it now exists. Such was the admiration that it excited that Lord
Berners translated it into English under Henry VIII. In modern times it has
been the theme of Wieland's finest poem, and of one of Weber's operas, both
of which works are known by the title of "Oberon." It is from this work
that Shakespeare undoubtedly drew some of the principal characters for his
"Midsummer-Night's Dream," where Oberon, king of the fairies, plays no
unimportant part.

[Sidenote: Charlot slain by Huon.] The hero of this poem, Huon of Bordeaux,
and his brother Girard, were on their way from Guienne to Paris to do
homage to Charlemagne for their estates. Charlot, the monarch's eldest son,
who bears a very unenviable reputation in all the mediaeval poems,
treacherously waylaid the brothers, intending to put them both to death. He
attacked them separately; but, after slaying Girard, was himself slain by
Huon, who, quite unconscious of the illustrious birth of his assailant,
calmly proceeded on his way.

The rumor of the prince's death soon followed Huon to court, and
Charlemagne, incensed, vowed that he would never pardon him until he had
proved his loyalty and repentance by journeying to Bagdad, where he was to
cut off the head of the great bashaw, to kiss the Sultan's daughter, and
whence he was to bring back a lock of that mighty potentate's gray beard
and four of his best teeth.

    "'Yet hear the terms; hear what no earthly power
    Shall ever change!' He spoke, and wav'd below
    His scepter, bent in anger o'er my brow.--
    'Yes, thou may'st live;--but, instant, from this hour,
    Away! in exile rove far nations o'er;
    Thy foot accurs'd shall tread this soil no more,
    Till thou, in due obedience to my will
    Shalt, point by point, the word I speak fulfill;
    Thou diest, if this unwrought thou touch thy native shore.

    "'Go hence to Bagdad; in high festal day
    At his round table, when the caliph, plac'd
    In stately pomp, with splendid emirs grac'd,
    Enjoys the banquet rang'd in proud array,
    Slay him who lies the monarch's left beside,
    Dash from his headless trunk the purple tide.
    Then to the right draw near; with courtly grace
    The beauteous heiress of his throne embrace;
    And thrice with public kiss salute her as thy bride.

    "'And while the caliph, at the monstrous scene,
    Such as before ne'er shock'd a caliph's eyes,
    Stares at thy confidence in mute surprise,
    Then, as the Easterns wont, with lowly mien
    Fall on the earth before his golden throne,
    And gain (a trifle, proof of love alone)
    That it may please him, gift of friend to friend,
    Four of his grinders at my bidding send,
    And of his beard a lock with silver hair o'ergrown."
                                        WIELAND. _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

[Illustration: HUON BEFORE THE POPE--Gabriel Max.]

[Sidenote: Huon's quest.] Huon regretfully, left his native land to begin
this apparently hopeless quest; and, after visiting his uncle, the Pope, in
Rome, he tried to secure heavenly assistance by a pilgrimage to the holy
sepulcher. Then he set out for Babylon, or Bagdad, for, with the visual
mediaeval scorn for geography, evinced in all the _chansons de gestes_,
these are considered interchangeable names for the same town. As the hero
was journeying towards his goal by way of the Red Sea, it will not greatly
surprise the modern reader to hear that he lost his way and came to a
pathless forest. Darkness soon overtook him, and Huon was blindly stumbling
forward, leading his weary steed by the bridle, when he perceived a light,
toward which he directed his way.

    "Not long his step the winding way pursued,
    When on his wistful gaze, to him beseems,
    The light of distant fire delightful gleams.
    His cheek flash'd crimson as the flame he view'd.
    Half wild with hope and fear, he rushed to find
    In these lone woods some glimpse of human kind,
    And, ever and anon, at once the ray
    Flash'd on his sight, then sunk at once away,
    While rose and fell the path as hill and valley wind."
                                         WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

[Sidenote: Sherasmin.] Huon at last reached a cave, and found a gigantic
old man all covered with hair, which was his sole garment. After a few
moments' fruitless attempt at conversation in the language of the country,
Huon impetuously spoke a few words in his mother tongue. Imagine his
surprise when the uncouth inhabitant of the woods answered him fluently,
and when he discovered, after a few rapid questions, that the man was
Sherasmin (Gerasmes), an old servant of his father's! This old man had
escaped from the hands of his Saracen captors, and had taken refuge in
these woods, where he had already dwelt many years. After relating his
adventures, Huon entreated Sherasmin to point out the nearest way to
Bagdad, and learned with surprise that there were two roads, one very long
and comparatively safe, even for an inexperienced traveler, and the other
far shorter, but leading through an enchanted forest, where countless
dangers awaited the venturesome traveler.

The young knight of course decided to travel along the most perilous way;
and, accompanied by Sherasmin, who offered his services as guide, he set
out early upon the morrow to continue his quest. On the fourth day of their
journey they saw a Saracen struggling single-handed against a band of
Arabs, whom Huon soon put to flight with a few well directed strokes from
his mighty sword.

After resting a few moments, Huon bade Sherasmin lead the way into the
neighboring forest, although his guide and mentor again strove to dissuade
him from crossing it by explaining that the forest was haunted by a goblin
who could change men into beasts. The hero, who was on his way to insult
the proudest ruler on earth, was not to be deterred by a goblin; and as
Sherasmin still refused to enter first, Huon plunged boldly into the
enchanted forest. Sherasmin followed him reluctantly, finding cause for
alarm in the very silence of the dense shade, and timorously glancing from
side to side in the gloomy recesses, where strange forms seemed to glide
noiselessly about.

    "Meanwhile the wand'ring travelers onward go
    Unawares within the circuit of a wood,
    Whose mazy windings at each step renew'd,
    In many a serpent-fold, twin'd to and fro,
    So that our pair to lose themselves were fain."
                                 WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

[Sidenote: Meeting with Oberon.] The travelers lost their way entirely as
they penetrated farther into the forest, and they came at last to a little
glade, where, resting under the spreading branches of a mighty oak, they
were favored with the vision of a castle. Its golden portals opened wide to
permit of the egress of Oberon, king of the fairies, the son of Julius
Caesar and Morgana the fay. He came to them in the radiant guise of the god
of love, sitting in a chariot of silver, drawn by leopards.

Sherasmin, terrified at the appearance of this radiant creature, and under
the influence of wild, unreasoning fear, seized the bridle of his master's
steed and dragged him into the midst of the forest, in spite of all his
remonstrances. At last he paused, out of breath, and thought himself safe
from further pursuit; but he was soon made aware of the goblin's wrath by
the sudden outbreak of a frightful storm.

    "A tempest, wing'd with lightning, storm, and rain,
    O'ertakes our pair: around them midnight throws
    Darkness that hides the world: it peels, cracks, blows,
    As if the uprooted globe would split in twain;
    The elements in wild confusion flung,
    Each warr'd with each, as fierce from chaos sprung.
    Yet heard from time to time amid the storm,
    The gentle whisper of th' aërial form
    Breath'd forth a lovely tone that died the gales among."
                                        WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

All Sherasmin's efforts to escape from the spirit of the forest had been in
vain. Oberon's magic horn had called forth the raging tempest, and his
power suddenly stayed its fury as Huon and his companion overtook a company
of monks and nuns. These holy people had been celebrating a festival by a
picnic, and were now hastening home, drenched, bedraggled, and in a sorry
plight. They had scarcely reached the convent yard, however, where
Sherasmin fancied all would be quite safe from further enchantment, when
Oberon suddenly appeared in their midst like a brilliant meteor.

    "At once the storm is fled; serenely mild
    Heav'n smiles around, bright rays the sky adorn,
    While beauteous as an angel newly born
    Beams in the roseate dayspring, glow'd the child.
    A lily stalk his graceful limbs sustain'd,
    Round his smooth neck an ivory horn was chain'd;
    Yet lovely as he was, on all around
    Strange horror stole, for stern the fairy frown'd,
    And o'er each sadden'd charm a sullen anger reign'd."
                                  WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

[Sidenote: Oberon's aid promised.] The displeasure of the king of the
fairies had been roused by Huon and Sherasmin's discourteous flight, but he
merely vented his anger and showed his power by breathing a soft strain on
his magic horn. At the same moment, monks, nuns, and Sherasmin, forgetting
their age and calling, began to dance in the wildest abandon. Huon alone
remained uninfluenced by the music, for he had had no wish to avoid an
encounter with Oberon.

The king of the fairies now revealed to Huon that as his life had been pure
and his soul true, he would help him in his quest. Then, at a wave from the
lily wand the magic music ceased, and the charm was broken. Sherasmin was
graciously forgiven by Oberon, who, seeing the old man well-nigh exhausted,
offered him a golden beaker of wine, bidding him drink without fear. But
Sherasmin was of a suspicious nature, and it was only when he found that
the draught had greatly refreshed him that he completely dismissed his

[Sidenote: The magic horn.] After informing Huon that he was fully aware of
the peculiar nature of his quest, Oberon gave him the golden beaker,
assuring him that it would always be full of the richest wine for the
virtuous, but would burn the evil doer with a devouring fire. He also
bestowed his magic horn upon him, telling him that a gentle blast would
cause all the hearers to dance, while a loud one would bring to his aid the
king of the fairies himself.

    "Does but its snail-like spiral hollow sing,
    A lovely note soft swell'd with gentle breath,
    Though thousand warriors threaten instant death,
    And with advancing weapons round enring;
    Then, as thou late hast seen, in restless dance
    All, all must spin, and every sword and lance
    Fall with th' exhausted warriors to the ground.
    But if thou peal it with impatient sound,
    I at thy call appear, more swift than lightning glance."
                                     WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

Another wave of his lily wand, and Oberon disappeared, leaving a subtle
fragrance behind him; and had it not been for the golden beaker and the
ivory horn which he still held, Huon might have been tempted to consider
the whole occurrence a dream.

The journey to Bagdad was now resumed in a more hopeful spirit; and when
the travelers reached Tourmont they found that it was governed by one of
Huon's uncles, who, captured in his youth by the Saracens, had turned
Mussulman, and had gradually risen to the highest dignity. Seeing Huon
refresh some of the Christians of his household with a draught of wine from
the magic cup, he asked to be allowed to drink from it too. He had no
sooner taken hold of it, however, than he was unmercifully burned, for he
was a renegade, and the magic cup refreshed only the true believers.

Incensed at what he fancied a deliberate insult, the governor of Tourmont
planned to slay Huon at a great banquet. But the young hero defended
himself bravely, and, after slaying sundry assailants, disposed of the
remainder by breathing a soft note upon his magic horn, and setting them
all to dancing wildly, until they sank breathless and exhausted upon their

[Sidenote: The giant Angoulaffre.] As Huon had taken advantage of the spell
to depart and continue his journey, he soon reached the castle of the giant
Angoulaffre. The latter had stolen from Oberon a magic ring which made the
wearer invulnerable, and thus suffered him to commit countless crimes with
impunity. When Huon came near the castle he met an unfortunate knight who
imformed him that the giant detained his promised bride captive, together
with several other helpless damsels.

Like a true knight errant, Huon vowed to deliver these helpless ladies,
and, in spite of the armed guards at every doorway, he passed unmolested
into Angoulaffre's chamber. There he found the giant plunged in a lethargy,
but was rapturously welcomed by the knight's fair betrothed, who had long
sighed for a deliverer. In a few hurried sentences she told him that her
captor constantly forced his unwelcome attentions upon her; but that, owing
to the protection of the Virgin, a trance overtook him and made him
helpless whenever he tried to force her inclinations and take her to wife.

    "'As oft the hateful battle he renews,
    As oft the miracle his force subdues;
    The ring no virtue boasts whene'er that sleep assails.'"
                                     WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

Prompted by this fair princess, whose name was Angela, Huon secured the
ring, and donned a magic hauberk hanging near. But, as he scorned to take
any further advantage of a sleeping foe, he patiently awaited the giant's
awakening to engage in one of those combats which the mediaeval poets loved
to describe.

[Sidenote: Angela and Alexis.] Of course Huon was victorious, and after
slaying Angoulaffre, he restored the fair Angela to her lover, Alexis, and
gave a great banquet, which was attended by the fifty rescued damsels, and
by fifty knights who had come to help Alexis. Although this gay company
would fain have had him remain with them, Huon traveled on. When too
exhausted to continue his way, he again rested under a tree, where Oberon
caused a tent to be raised by invisible hands. Here Huon had a wonderful
dream, in which he beheld his future ladylove, and was warned of some of
the perils which still awaited him before he could claim her as his own.

The journey was then resumed, and when they reached the banks of the Red
Sea, Oberon sent one of his spirits, Malebron, to carry them safely over.
They traveled through burning wastes of sand, refreshed and strengthened by
occasional draughts from the magic goblet, and came at last to a forest,
where they saw a Saracen about to succumb beneath the attack of a monstrous
lion. Huon immediately flew to his rescue, slew the lion, and, having drunk
deeply from his magic cup, handed it to the Saracen, on whose lips the
refreshing wine turned to liquid flame.

    "With evil eye, from Huon's courteous hand,
    Filled to the brim, the heathen takes the bowl--
    Back from his lip th' indignant bubbles roll!
    The spring is dried, and hot as fiery brand,
    Proof of internal guilt, the metal glows.
    Far from his grasp the wretch the goblet throws,
    Raves, roars, and stamps."
                           WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

With a blasphemous exclamation the Saracen flung aside the cup, and seeing
that his own steed had been slain by the lion, he sprang unceremoniously
upon Huon's horse, and rode rapidly away.

[Sidenote: Princess Rezia.] As there was but one mount left for them both,
Huon and Sherasmin were now obliged to proceed more slowly to Bagdad, where
they found every hostelry full, as the people were all coming thither to
witness the approaching nuptials of the princess, Rezia (Esclamonde), and
Babican, King of Hyrcania. Huon and Sherasmin, after a long search, finally
found entertainment in a little hut, where an old woman, the mother of the
princess's attendant, entertained them by relating that the princess was
very reluctant to marry. She also told them that Rezia had lately been
troubled by a dream, in which she had seen herself in the guise of a hind
and pursued through a pathless forest by Babican. In this dream she was
saved and restored to her former shape by a radiant little creature, who
rode in a glistening silver car, drawn by leopards. He was accompanied by a
fair-haired knight, whom he presented to her as her future bridegroom.

    "The shadow flies; but from her heart again
     He never fades--the youth with golden hair;
     Eternally his image hovers there,
     Exhaustless source of sweetly pensive pain,
     In nightly visions, and in daydreams shown."
                           WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

Huon listened in breathless rapture, for he now felt assured that the
princess Rezia was the radiant creature he had seen in his dream, and that
Oberon intended them for each other. He therefore assured the old woman
that the princess should never marry the detested Babican. Then, although
Sherasmin pointed out to him that the way to a lady's favor seldom consists
in cutting off the head of her intended bridegroom, depriving her father of
four teeth and a lock of his beard, and kissing her without the usual
preliminary of "by your leave," the young hero persisted in his resolution
to visit the palace on the morrow.

[Sidenote: Oberon again to the rescue.] That selfsame night, Huon and Rezia
were again visited by sweet dreams, in which Oberon, their guardian spirit,
promised them his aid. While the princess was arraying herself for her
nuptials on the morrow, the old woman rushed into her apartment and
announced that a fair-haired knight, evidently the promised deliverer, had
slept in her humble dwelling the night before. Comforted by these tidings,
Rezia made a triumphant entrance into the palace hall, where her father,
the bridegroom, and all the principal dignitaries of the court, awaited her

    "Emirs and viziers, all the courtly crowd
    Meantime attendant at the sultan's call,
    With festal splendor grace the nuptial hall.
    The banquet waits, the cymbals clang aloud.
    The gray-beard caliph from his golden door
    Stalks mid the slaves that fall his path before;
    Behind, of stately gesture, proud to view,
    The Druse prince, though somewhat pale of hue,
    Comes as a bridegroom deck'd with jewels blazing o'er."
                                    WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

In the mean while Huon, awaking at early dawn, found a complete suit of
Saracenic apparel at his bedside. He donned it joyfully, entered the palace
unchallenged, and passed into the banquet hall, where he perceived the
gray-bearded caliph, and recognized in the bridegroom at his left the
Saracen whom he had delivered from the lion, and who had so discourteously
stolen his horse.

[Sidenote: Huon's success.] One stride forward, a flash of his curved
scimitar, and the first part of Charlemagne's order was fulfilled, for the
Saracen's head rolled to the ground. The sudden movement caused Huon's
turban to fall off, however, and the princess, seated at the caliph's
right, gazed spellbound upon the knight, whose golden locks fell in rich
curls about his shoulders.

There are several widely different versions of this part of the story. The
most popular, however, states that Huon, taking advantage of the first
moments of surprise, kissed Rezia thrice, slipping on her finger, in sign
of betrothal, the magic ring which he had taken from Angoulaffre. Then,
seeing the caliph's guards about to fall upon him, he gently breathed soft
music on his magic horn, and set caliph and court a-dancing.

    "The whole divan, one swimming circle glides
    Swift without stop: the old bashaws click time,
    As if on polish'd ice; in trance sublime
    The iman hoar with some spruce courtier slides.
    Nor rank nor age from capering refrain;
    Nor can the king his royal foot restrain!
    He too must reel amid the frolic row,
    Grasp the grand vizier by his beard of snow,
    And teach the aged man once more to bound amain!"
                               WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

[Sidenote: Flight of Rezia.] While they were thus occupied, Huon conducted
the willing Rezia to the door, where Sherasmin was waiting for them with
fleet steeds, and with Fatima, the princess's favorite attendant. While
Sherasmin helped the ladies to mount, Huon hastened back to the palace
hall, and found that the exhausted caliph had sunk upon a divan. With the
prescribed ceremonies, our hero politely craved a lock of his beard and
four of his teeth as a present for Charlemagne. This impudent request so
incensed the caliph that he vociferated orders to his guards to slay the
stranger. Huon was now forced to defend himself with a curtain pole and a
golden bowl, until, needing aid, he suddenly blew a resounding peal upon
his magic horn. The earth shook, the palace rocked, Oberon appeared in the
midst of rolling thunder and flashing lightning, and with a wave of his
lily wand plunged caliph and people into a deep sleep. Then he placed his
silver car at Huon's disposal, to bear him and his bride and attendants to
Ascalon, where a ship was waiting to take them back to France.

       "'So haste, thou matchless pair!
    On wings of love, my car, that cuts the air,
    Shall waft you high above terrestrial sight,
    And place, ere morning melt the shades of night,
    On Askalon's far shore, beneath my guardian care.'"
                                WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

[Sidenote: Oberon's warning.] When Huon and Rezia were about to embark at
Ascalon, Oberon appeared. He claimed his chariot, which had brought them
thither, and gave the knight a golden and jeweled casket, which contained
the teeth of the caliph and a lock of his beard. One last test of Huon's
loyalty was required, however; for Oberon, at parting, warned him to make
no attempt to claim Rezia as his wife until their union had been blessed at
Rome by the Pope.

    "'And deep, O Huon! grave it in your brain!
    Till good Sylvester, pious father, sheds
    Heaven's holy consecration on your heads,
    As brother and as sister chaste remain!
    Oh, may ye not, with inauspicious haste,
    The fruit forbidden prematurely taste!
    Know, if ye rashly venture ere the time,
    That Oberon, in vengeance of your crime,
    Leaves you, without a friend, on life's deserted waste!'"
                                    WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

The first part of the journey was safely accomplished; but when they
stopped at Lepanto, on the way, Huon insisted upon his mentor, Sherasmin,
taking passage on another vessel, which sailed direct to France, that he
might hasten ahead, lay the golden casket at Charlemagne's feet, and
announce Huon's coming with his Oriental bride.

[Illustration: HUON AND AMANDA LEAP OVERBOARD.--Gabriel Max.]

When Sherasmin had reluctantly departed, and they were again on the high
seas, Huon expounded the Christian faith to Rezia, who not only was
converted, but was also baptized by a priest on board. He gave her the
Christian name of Amanda, in exchange for her pagan name of Rezia or
Esclarmonde. This same priest also consecrated their marriage; and while
Huon intended to await the Pope's blessing ere he claimed Amanda as his
wife, his good resolutions were soon forgotten, and the last injunction of
Oberon disregarded.

[Sidenote: Disobedience and punishment.] This disobedience was immediately
punished, for a frightful tempest suddenly arose, threatening to destroy
the vessel and all on board. The sailors, full of superstitious fears, cast
lots to discover who should be sacrificed to allay the fury of the storm.
When the choice fell upon Huon, Amanda flung herself with him into the
tumultuous waves. As the lovers vanished overboard the storm was suddenly
appeased, and, instead of drowning together, Huon and Amanda, by the magic
of the ring she wore, drifted to a volcanic island, where they almost
perished from hunger and thirst.

Much search among the rocks was finally rewarded by the discovery of some
dates, which were particularly welcome, as the lovers had been bitterly
deluded by the sight of some apples of Sodom. The fruit, however, was soon
exhausted, and, after untold exertions, Huon made his way over the
mountains to a fertile valley, the retreat of Titania, queen of the
fairies, who had quarreled with Oberon, and who was waiting here until
recalled to fairyland.

The only visible inhabitant of the valley, however, was a hermit, who
welcomed Huon, and showed him a short and convenient way to bring Amanda
thither. After listening attentively to the story of Huon's adventures, the
hermit bade him endeavor to recover the favor of Oberon by voluntarily
living apart from his wife, and leading a life of toil and abstinence.

    "'Blest,' says the hermit, 'blest the man whom fate
    Guides with strict hand, but not unfriendly aim!
    How blest! whose slightest fault is doom'd to shame!
    Him, trained to virtue, purest joys await,--
    Earth's purest joys reward each trying pain!
    Think not the fairy will for aye remain
    Inexorable foe to hearts like thine:
    Still o'er you hangs his viewless hand divine;
    Do but deserve his grace, and ye his grace obtain."
                         WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

[Sidenote: Huon's penance.] Huon was ready and willing to undergo any
penance which would enable him to deliver his beloved Amanda from the isle,
and after building her a little hut, within call of the cell he occupied
with the hermit, he spent all his time in tilling the soil for their
sustenance, and in listening to the teachings of the holy man.

Time passed on. One day Amanda restlessly wandered a little way up the
mountain, and fell asleep in a lovely grotto, which she now for the first
time discovered. When she awoke from a blissful dream she found herself
clasping her new-born babe, who, during her slumbers, had been cared for by
the fairies. This child, Huonet, was, of course, a great comfort to Amanda,
who was devoted to him.

When the babe was a little more than a year old the aged monk died. Huon
and Amanda, despairing of release from the desert island, were weary of
living apart; and Titania, who foresaw that Oberon would send new
misfortunes upon them to punish them in case they did not stand the second
test, carried little Huonet off to fairyland, lest he should suffer for his
parents' sins.

[Sidenote: Amanda and the pirates.] Huon and Amanda, in the mean time,
searched frantically for the missing babe, fancying it had wandered off
into the woods. During their search they became separated, and Amanda,
while walking along the seashore, was seized by pirates. They intended to
carry her away and sell her as a slave to the Sultan. Huon heard her cries
of distress, and rushed to her rescue; but in spite of his utmost efforts
to join her he saw her borne away to the waiting vessel, while he was bound
to a tree in the woods, and left there to die.

    "Deep in the wood, at distance from the shore,
    They drag their victim, that his loudest word
    Pour'd on the desert air may pass unheard.
    Then bind the wretch, and fasten o'er and o'er
    Arm, leg, and neck, and shoulders, to a tree.
    To heaven he looks in speechless agony,
    O'ercome by woe's unutterable weigfit.
    Thus he--the while, with jocund shout elate
    The crew bear off their prey, and bound along the sea."
                                   WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

Oberon, however, had pity at last upon the unfortunate knight, and sent one
of his invisible servants, who not only unbound him, but transported him,
with miraculous rapidity, over land and sea, and deposited him at the door
of a gardener's house in Tunis.

[Sidenote: Sherasmin's search.] After parting from his master at Lepanto,
Sherasmin traveled on until he came to the gates of the palace with his
precious casket. Then only did he realize that Charlemagne would never
credit his tale unless Huon were there with his bride to vouch for its
truth. Instead of entering the royal abode he therefore hastened back to
Rome, where for two months he awaited the arrival of the young couple.
Then, sure that some misfortune had overtaken them, the faithful Sherasmin
wandered in pilgrim guise from place to place seeking them, until he
finally came to Tunis, where Fatima, Amanda's maid, had been sold into
slavery, and where he sorrowfully learned of his master's death.

To be near Fatima, Sherasmin took a gardener's position in the Sultan's
palace, and when he opened the door of his humble dwelling one morning he
was overjoyed to find Huon, who had been brought there by the messenger of
Oberon. An explanation ensued, and Huon, under the assumed name of Hassan,
became Sherasmin's assistant in the Sultan's gardens.

The pirates, in the mean while, hoping to sell Amanda to the Sultan
himself, had treated her with the utmost deference; but as they neared the
shore of Tunis their vessel suffered shipwreck, and all on board perished
miserably, except Amanda. She was washed ashore at the Sultan's feet.
Charmed by her beauty, the Sultan conveyed her to his palace, where he
would immediately have married her had she not told him that she had made a
vow of chastity which she was bound to keep for two years.

[Sidenote: Huon and Amanda reunited.] Huon, unconscious of Amanda's
presence, worked in the garden, where the Sultan's daughter saw him and
fell in love with him. As she failed to win him, she became very jealous.
Soon after this Fatima discovered Amanda's presence in the palace, and
informed Huon, who made a desperate effort to reach her. This was
discovered by the jealous princess, and since Huon would not love her, she
was determined that he should not love another. She therefore artfully laid
her plans, and accused him of a heinous crime, for which the Sultan,
finding appearances against him, condemned him to death. Amanda, who was
warned by Fatima of Huon's danger, rushed into the Sultan's presence to
plead for her husband's life; but when she discovered that she could obtain
it only at the price of renouncing him forever and marrying the Sultan, she
declared that she preferred to die, and elected to be burned with her
beloved. The flames were already rising around them both, when Oberon,
touched by their sufferings and their constancy, suddenly appeared, and
again hung his horn about Huon's neck.

The knight hailed this sign of recovered favor with rapture, and, putting
the magic horn to his lips, showed his magnanimity by blowing only a soft
note and making all the pagans dance.

    "No sooner had the grateful knight beheld,
    With joyful ardor seen, the ivory horn,
    Sweet pledge of fairy grace, his neck adorn,
    Than with melodious whisper gently swell'd,
    His lip entices forth the sweetest tone
    That ever breath'd through magic ivory blown:
    He scorns to doom a coward race to death.
    'Dance! till ye weary gasp, depriv'd of breath--
    Huon permits himself this slight revenge alone'"
                         WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

[Sidenote: Huon and Amanda in fairyland.] While all were dancing, much
against their will, Huon and Amanda, Sherasmin and Fatima, promptly stepped
into the silvery car which Oberon placed at their disposal, and were
rapidly transported to fairyland. There they found little Huonet in perfect
health. Great happiness now reigned, for Titania, having secured the ring
which Amanda had lost in her struggle with the pirates on the sandy shore,
had given it back to Oberon. He was propitiated by the gift, and as the
sight of Huon and Amanda's fidelity had convinced him that wives could be
true, he took Titania back into favor, and reinstated her as queen of his

When Huon and Amanda had sojourned as long as they wished in fairyland,
they were wafted in Oberon's car to the gates of Paris. There Huon arrived
just in time to win, at the point of his lance, his patrimony of Guienne,
which Charlemagne had offered as prize at a tournament. Bending low before
his monarch, the young hero then revealed his name, presented his wife,
gave him the golden casket containing the lock of hair and the four teeth,
and said that he had accomplished his quest.

    "Our hero lifts the helmet from his head;
    And boldly ent'ring, like the god of day,
    His golden ringlets down his armor play.
    All, wond'ring, greet the youth long mourn'd as dead,
    Before the king his spirit seems to stand!
    Sir Huon with Amanda, hand in hand,
    Salutes the emperor with respectful bow--
    'Behold, obedient to his plighted vow,
    Thy vassal, sovereign liege, returning to thy land!

    "'For by the help of Heaven this arm has done
    What thou enjoin'dst--and lo! before thine eye
    The beard and teeth of Asia's monarch lie,
    At hazard of my life, to please thee, won;
    And in this fair, by every peril tried,
    The heiress of his throne, my love, my bride!'
    He spoke; and lo! at once her knight to grace,
    Off falls the veil that hid Amanda's face,
    And a new radiance gilds the hall from side to side."
                                   WIELAND, _Oberon_ (Sotheby's tr.).

The young couple, entirely restored to favor, sojourned a short time at
court and then traveled southward to Guienne, where their subjects received
them with every demonstration of extravagant joy. Here they spent the
remainder of their lives together in happiness and comparative peace.

[Sidenote: An earlier version of the story.] According to an earlier
version of the story, Esclarmonde, whom the pirates intended to convey to
the court of her uncle, Yvoirin of Montbrand, was wrecked near the palace
of Galafre, King of Tunis, who respected her vow of chastity but
obstinately refused to give her up to her uncle when he claimed her. Huon,
delivered from his fetters on the island, was borne by Malebron, Oberon's
servant, to Yvoirin's court, where he immediately offered himself as
champion to defy Galafre and win back his beloved wife at the point of the
sword. No sooner did Huon appear in martial array at Tunis than Galafre
selected Sherasmin (who had also been shipwrecked off his coast, and had
thus become his slave) as his champion. Huon and Sherasmin met, but,
recognizing each other after a few moments' struggle, they suddenly
embraced, and, joining forces, slew the pagans and carried off Esclarmonde
and Fatima. They embarked upon a swift sailing vessel, and soon arrived at
Rome, where Huon related his adventures to the Pope, who gave him his

As they were on their way to Charlemagne's court, Girard, a knight who had
taken possession of Huon's estates, stole the golden casket from Sherasmin,
and sent Huon and Esclarmonde in chains to Bordeaux. Then, going to court,
he informed Charlemagne that although Huon had failed in his quest, he had
dared to return to France. Charlemagne, whose anger had not yet cooled,
proceeded to Bordeaux, tried Huon, and condemned him to death. But just as
the knight was about to perish, Oberon appeared, bound the emperor and
Girard fast, and only consented to restore them to freedom when Charlemagne
promised to reinstate Huon.

Oberon then produced the missing casket, revealed Girard's treachery, and,
after seeing him punished, bore Huon and Esclarmonde off to fairyland. Huon
eventually became ruler of this realm in Oberon's stead; and his daughter,
Claretie, whose equally marvelous adventures are told at great length in
another, but far less celebrated, _chanson de geste_, is represented as the
ancestress of all the Capetian kings of France.



[Sidenote: Origin of the legend.] The most mystical and spiritual of all
the romances of chivalry is doubtless the legend of the Holy Grail. Rooted
in the mythology of all primitive races is the belief in a land of peace
and happiness, a sort of earthly paradise, once possessed by man, but now
lost, and only to be attained again by the virtuous. The legend of the Holy
Grail, which some authorities declare was first known in Europe by the
Moors, and christianized by the Spaniards, was soon introduced into France,
where Robert de Borron and Chrestien de Troyes wrote lengthy poems about
it. Other writers took up the same theme, among them Walter Map, Archdeacon
of Oxford, who connected it with the Arthurian legends. It soon became
known in Germany, where, in the hands of Gottfried von Strassburg, and
especially of Wolfram von Eschenbach, it assumed its most perfect and
popular form. The "Parzival" of Eschenbach also forms the basis of a recent
work, the much-discussed last opera of the great German composer,
Wagner.[1] [Footnote 1: See Guerber's Stories of the Wagner Opera.]

The story of the Grail is somewhat confused, owing to the many changes made
by the different authors. The account here given, while mentioning the most
striking incidents of other versions, is in general an outline of the
"Titurel" and "Parzival" of Von Eschenbach.

[Sidenote: The Holy Grail.] When Lucifer was cast out of heaven, one stone
of great beauty as detached from the marvelous crown which sixty thousand
angels had tendered him. This stone fell upon earth, and from it was carved
a vessel of great beauty, which came, after many ages, into the hands of
Joseph of Arimathea. He offered it to the Savior, who made use of it in the
Last Supper. When the blood flowed from the Redeemer's side, Joseph of
Arimathea caught a few drops of it in this wonderful vessel; and, owing to
this circumstance, it was thought to be endowed with marvelous powers.
"Wherever it was there were good things in abundance. Whoever looked upon
it, even though he were sick unto death, could not die that week; whoever
looked at it continually, his cheeks never grew pale, nor his hair gray."

Once a year, on the anniversary of the Savior's death, a white dove brought
a fresh host down from heaven, and placed it on the vessel, which was borne
by a host of angels, or by spotless virgins. The care of it was at times
intrusted to mortals, who, however, had to prove themselves worthy of this
exalted honor by leading immaculate lives. This vessel, called the "Holy
Grail," remained, after the crucifixion, in the hands of Joseph of
Arimathea. The Jews, angry because Joseph had helped to bury Christ, cast
him into a dungeon, and left him there for a whole year without food or
drink. Their purpose in doing so was to slay Joseph, as they had already
slain Nicodemus, so that should the Romans ever ask them to produce
Christ's body, they might declare that it had been stolen by Joseph of

The Jews little suspected, however, that Joseph, having the Holy Grail with
him, could suffer no lack. When Vespasian, the Roman emperor, heard the
story of Christ's passion, as related by a knight who had just returned
from the Holy Land, he sent a commission to Jerusalem to investigate the
matter and bring back some holy relic to cure his son Titus of leprosy.

In due time the ambassadors returned, giving Pilate's version of the story,
and bringing with them an old woman (known after her death as St.
Veronica). She produced the cloth with which she had wiped the Lord's face,
and upon which his likeness had been stamped by miracle. The mere sight of
this holy relic sufficed to restore Titus, who now proceeded with Vespasian
to Jerusalem. There they vainly tried to compel the Jews to produce the
body of Christ, until one of them revealed, under pressure of torture, the
place where Joseph was imprisoned. Vespasian proceeded in person to the
dungeon, and was hailed by name by the perfectly healthy prisoner. Joseph
was set free, but, fearing further persecution from the Jews, soon departed
with his sister, Enigée, and her husband, Brons, for a distant land. The
pilgrims found a place of refuge near Marseilles, where the Holy Grail
supplied all their needs, until one of them committed a sin. Then divine
displeasure became manifest by a terrible famine.

As none knew who had sinned, Joseph was instructed in a vision to discover
the culprit by the same means with which the Lord had revealed the guilt of
Judas. Still following divine commands, Joseph made a table, and directed
Brons to catch a fish. The Grail was placed before Joseph's seat at table,
where all who implicitly believed were invited to take a seat. Eleven seats
were soon occupied, and only Judas's place remained empty. Moses, a
hypocrite and sinner, attempted to sit there, but the earth opened wide
beneath him and ingulfed him.

In another vision Joseph was now informed that the vacancy would only be
filled on the day of doom. He was also told that a similar table would be
constructed by Merlin. Here the grandson of Brons would honorably occupy
the vacant place, which is designated in the legend as the "Siege
Perilous," because it proved fatal to all for whom it was not intended.

In the "Great St. Grail," one of the longest poems on this theme, there are
countless adventures and journeys, "transformations of fair females into
foul fiends, conversions wholesale and individual, allegorical visions,
miracles, and portents. Eastern splendor and northern weirdness, angelry
and deviltry, together with abundant fighting and quite a phenomenal amount
of swooning, which seem to reflect a strange medley of Celtic, pagan, and
mythological traditions, and Christian legends and mysticism, alternate in
a kaleidoscopic maze that defies the symmetry which modern aesthetic canons
associate with every artistic production."

The Holy Grail was, we are further told, transported by Joseph of Arimathea
to Glastonbury, where it long remained visible, and whence it vanished only
when men became too sinful to be permitted to retain it in their midst.

[Sidenote: Birth of Titurel.] Another legend relates that a rich man from
Cappadocia, Berillus, followed Vespasian to Rome, where he won great
estates. He was a very virtuous man, and his good qualities were inherited
by all his descendants. One of them, called Titurisone, greatly regretted
having no son to continue his race. When advised by a soothsayer to make a
pilgrimage to the holy sepulcher, and there to lay a crucifix of pure gold
upon the altar, the pious Titurisone hastened to do so. On his return he
was rewarded for his pilgrimage by the birth of a son, called Titurel.

This child, when he had attained manhood, spent all his time in warring
against the Saracens, as all pagans are called in these metrical romances.
The booty he won he gave either to the church or to the poor, and his
courage and virtue were only equaled by his piety and extreme humility.

One day, when Titurel was walking alone in the woods, he was favored by the
vision of an angel. The celestial messenger sailed down to earth out of the
blue, and announced in musical tones that the Lord had chosen him to be the
guardian of the Holy Grail on Montsalvatch (which some authors believe to
have been in Spain), and that it behooved him to set his house in order and
obey the voice of God.

When the angel had floated upward and out of sight, Titurel returned home.
After disposing of all his property, reserving nothing but his armor and
trusty sword, he again returned to the spot where he had been favored with
the divine message. There he saw a mysterious white cloud, which seemed to
beckon him onward. Titurel followed it, passed through vast solitudes and
almost impenetrable woods, and eventually began to climb a steep mountain,
whose ascent at first seemed impossible. Clinging to the rocks, and gazing
ever ahead at the guiding cloud, Titurel came at last to the top of the
mountain, where, in a beam of refulgent light, he beheld the Holy Grail,
borne in the air by invisible hands. He raised his heart in passionate
prayer that he might be found worthy to guard the emerald-colored wonder
which was thus intrusted to his care, and in his rapture hardly heeded the
welcoming cries of a number of knights in shining armor, who hailed him as
their king.

The vision of the Holy Grail was as evanescent as beautiful, and soon
disappeared; but Titurel, knowing that the spot was holy, guarded it with
all his might against the infidels, who would fain have climbed the

After several years had passed without the Holy Grail's coming down to
earth, Titurel conceived the plan of building a temple suitable for its
reception. The knights who helped to build and afterward guarded this
temple were called "Templars." Their first effort was to clear the mountain
top, which they found was one single onyx of enormous size. This they
leveled and polished until it shone like a mirror, and upon this foundation
they prepared to build their temple.

[Sidenote: Temple of the Holy Grail.] As Titurel was hesitating what plan
to adopt for the building, he prayed for guidance, and when he arose on the
morrow he found the ground plan all traced out and the building materials
ready for use. The knights labored piously from morning till night, and
when they ceased, invisible hands continued to work all night. Thus pushed
onward, the work was soon completed, and the temple rose on the mountain
top in all its splendor. "The temple itself was one hundred fathoms in
diameter. Around it were seventy-two chapels of an octagonal shape. To
every pair of chapels there was a tower six stories high, approachable by a
winding stair on the outside. In the center stood a tower twice as big as
the others, which rested on arches. The vaulting was of blue sapphire, and
in the center was a plate of emerald, with the lamb and the banner of the
cross in enamel. All the altar stones were of sapphire, as symbols of the
propitiation of sins. Upon the inside of the cupola surmounting the temple,
the sun and moon were represented in diamonds and topazes, and shed a light
as of day even in the darkness of the night. The windows were of crystal,
beryl, and other transparent stones. The floor was of translucent crystal,
under which all the fishes of the sea were carved out of onyx, just like
life. The towers were of precious stones inlaid with gold; their roofs of
gold and blue enamel. Upon every tower there was a crystal cross, and upon
it a golden eagle with expanded wings, which, at a distance, appeared to be
flying. At the summit of the main tower was an immense carbuncle, which
served, like a star, to guide the Templars thither at night. In the center
of the building, under the dome, was a miniature representation, of the
whole, and in this the holy vessel was kept."

[Sidenote: Descent of the Holy Grail.] When all the work was finished, the
temple was solemnly consecrated, and as the priests chanted the psalms a
sweet perfume filled the air, and the holy vessel was seen to glide down on
a beam of light. While it hovered just above the altar the wondering
assembly heard the choir of the angels singing the praises of the Most
High. The Holy Grail, which had thus come down upon earth, was faithfully
guarded by Titurel and his knights, who were fed and sustained by its
marvelous power, and whose wounds were healed as soon as they gazed upon
it. From time to time it also delivered a divine message, which appeared in
letters of fire inscribed about its rim, and which none of the Templars
ever ventured to disregard.

By virtue of the miraculous preservative influence of the Holy Grail,
Titurel seemed but forty when he was in reality more than four hundred
years old. His every thought had been so engrossed by the care of the
precious vessel that he was somewhat surprised when he read upon its rim a
luminous command to marry, so that his race might not become extinct. When
the knights of the temple had been summoned, and had all perused the divine
command, they began to consider where a suitable helpmate could be found
for their beloved king. They soon advised him to woe Richoude, the daughter
of a Spaniard. An imposing embassy was sent to the maiden, who, being
piously inclined, immediately consented to the marriage.

Richoude was a faithful wife for twenty years, and when she died she left
two children,--a son, Frimoutel, and a daughter, Richoude,--to comfort the
sorrowing Titurel for her loss. These children both married in their turn,
and Frimoutel had two sons, Amfortas and Trevrezent, and three daughters,
Herzeloide, Josiane, and Repanse de Joie. As these children grew up,
Titurel became too old to bear the weight of his armor, and spent all his
days in the temple, where he finally read on the Holy Grail a command to
anoint Frimoutel king. Joyfully the old man obeyed, for he had long felt
that the defense of the Holy Grail should be intrusted to a younger man
than he.

[Sidenote: Birth of Parzival.] Although he renounced the throne in favor of
his son, Titurel lived on, witnessed the marriage of Josiane, and mourned
for her when she died in giving birth to a little daughter, called Sigune.
This child, being thus deprived of a mother's care, was intrusted to
Herzeloide, who brought her up with Tchionatulander, the orphaned son of a
friend. Herzeloide married a prince named Gamuret, and became the happy
mother of Parzival, who, however, soon lost his father in a terrible

Fearful lest her son, when grown up, should want to follow his father's
example, and make war against even the most formidable foes, Herzeloide
carried him off into the forest of Soltane (which some authors locate in
Brittany), and there brought him up in complete solitude and ignorance.

    "The child her falling tears bedew;
    No wife was ever found more true.
    She teemed with joy and uttered sighs;
    And tears midst laughter filled her eyes
    Her heart delighted in his birth;
    In sorrow deep was drowned her mirth."
                    WOLFRAM VON ESCHENBACH, _Parzival_ (Dippold's tr.).


[Sidenote: Amfortas's wound.] While she was living there, Frimoutel, weary
of the dull life on Montsalvatch, went out into the world, and died of a
lance wound when far away from home. Amfortas, his son, who was now crowned
in obedience to the command of the Holy Grail, proved equally restless, and
went out also in search of adventures. Like his father, he too was wounded
by a poisoned lance; but, instead of dying, he lived to return to the Holy
Grail. But since his wound had not been received in defense of the holy
vessel, it never healed, and caused him untold suffering.

Titurel, seeing this suffering, prayed ardently for his grandson's release
from the pain which imbittered every moment of his life, and was finally
informed by the glowing letters on the rim of the Holy Grail that a chosen
hero would climb the mountain and inquire the cause of Amfortas's pain. At
this question the evil spell would be broken, Amfortas healed, and the
newcomer appointed king and guardian of the Holy Grail.

This promise of ultimate cure saved Amfortas from utter despair, and all
the Templars lived in constant anticipation of the coming hero, and of the
question which would put an end to the torment which they daily witnessed.

[Sidenote: Parzival's early life.] Parzival, in the mean while, was growing
up in the forest, where he amused himself with a bow and arrow of his own
manufacture. But when for the first time he killed a tiny bird, and saw it
lying limp and helpless in his hand, he brought it tearfully to his mother
and inquired what it meant. In answering him she, for the first time also,
mentioned the name of God; and when he eagerly questioned her about the
Creator, she said to him: "Brighter is God than e'en the brightest day; yet
once he took the form and face of man."

Thus brought up in complete ignorance, it is no wonder that when young
Parzival encountered some knights in brilliant armor in the forest, he fell
down and offered to worship them. Amused at the lad's simplicity, the
knights told him all about the gay world of chivalry beyond the forest, and
advised him to ride to Arthur's court, where, if worthy, he would receive
the order of knighthood, and perchance be admitted to the Round Table.
Beside himself with joy at hearing all these marvelous things, and eager to
set out immediately, Parzival returned to his mother to relate what he had
seen, and to implore her to give him a horse, that he might ride after the

    "'I saw four men, dear mother mine;
    Not brighter is the Lord divine.
    They spoke to me of chivalry;
    Through Arthur's power of royalty,
    In knightly honor well arrayed,
    I shall receive the accolade.'"
                   WOLFRAM VON ESCHENBACH, _Parzival_ (Dippold's tr.).

The mother, finding herself unable to detain him any longer, reluctantly
consented to his departure, and, hoping that ridicule and lack of success
would soon drive him back to her, prepared for him the motley garb of a
fool and gave him a very sorry nag to ride.

    "The boy, silly yet brave indeed,
    Oft from his mother begged a steed.
    That in her heart she did lament;
    She thought: 'Him must I make content,
    Yet must the thing an evil be.'
    Thereafter further pondered she:
    'The folk are prone to ridicule.
    My child the garments of a fool
    Shall on his shining body wear.
    If he be scoffed and beaten there,
    Perchance he'll come to me again.'"
                  WOLFRAM VON ESCHENBACH, _Parzival_ (Bayard Taylor's tr.).

[Sidenote: Parzival's journey into the world.] Thus equipped, his mind well
stored with all manner of unpractical advice given by his mother in further
hopes of making a worldly career impossible for him, the young hero set
out. As he rode away from home, his heart was filled with regret at leaving
and with an ardent desire to seek adventures abroad,--conflicting emotions
which he experienced for the first time in his life. Herzeloide accompanied
her son part way, kissed him good-by, and, as his beloved form disappeared
from view in the forest paths, her heart broke and she breathed her last!

Parzival rode onward and soon came to a meadow, in which some tents were
pitched. He saw a beautiful lady asleep in one of these tents, and,
dismounting, he wakened her with a kiss, thus obeying one of his mother's
injunctions--to kiss every fair lady he met. To his surprise, however, the
lady seemed indignant; so he tried to pacify her by telling her that he had
often thus saluted his mother. Then, slipping the bracelet from off her
arm, and carrying it away as a proof that she was not angry, he rode on.
Lord Orilus, the lady's husband, hearing from her that a youth had kissed
her, flew into a towering rage, and rode speedily away, hoping to overtake
the impudent varlet and punish him.

Parzival, in the mean while, had journeyed on, and, passing through the
forest, had seen a maiden weeping over the body of her slain lover. In
answer to his inquiries she told him that she was his cousin, Sigune, and
that the dead man, Tchionatulander, had been killed in trying to fulfill a
trifling request--to recover her pet dog, which had been stolen. Parzival
promised to avenge Tchionatulander as soon as possible, and to remember
that the name of the murderer was Orilus.

Next he came to a river, where he was ferried across, and repaid the
boatman by giving him the bracelet he had taken from Orilus's wife. Then,
hearing that Arthur was holding his court at Nantes, he proceeded thither
without further delay.

On entering the city, Parzival encountered the Red Knight, who mockingly
asked him where he was going. The unabashed youth immediately retorted, "To
Arthur's court to ask him for your arms and steed!"

[Sidenote: Parzival at Arthur's court.] A little farther on the youth's
motley garb attracted much attention, and the town boys made fun of him
until Iwanet, one of the king's squires, came to inquire the cause of the
tumult. He took Parzival under his protection, and conducted him to the
great hall, where, if we are to believe some accounts, Parzival boldly
presented himself on horseback. The sight of the gay company so dazzled the
inexperienced youth that he wonderingly inquired why there were so many
Arthurs. When Iwanet told him that the wearer of the crown was the sole
king, Parzival boldly stepped up to him and asked for the arms and steed of
the Red Knight.

Arthur wonderingly gazed at the youth, and then replied that he could have
them provided he could win them. This was enough. Parzival sped after the
knight, overtook him, and loudly bade him surrender weapons and steed. The
Red Knight, thus challenged, began to fight; but Parzival, notwithstanding
his inexperience, wielded his spear so successfully that he soon slew his
opponent. To secure the steed was an easy matter, but how to remove the
armor the youth did not know. By good fortune, however, Iwanet soon came up
and helped Parzival to don the armor. He put it on over his motley garb,
which he would not set aside because his mother had made it for him.

Some time after, Parzival came to the castle of Gurnemanz, a noble knight,
with whom he remained for some time. Here he received valuable instructions
in all a knight need know. When Parzival left this place, about a year
later, he was an accomplished knight, clad as beseemed his calling, and
ready to fulfill all the duties which chivalry imposed upon its votaries.

[Sidenote: Parzival and Conduiramour.] He soon heard that Queen
Conduiramour was hard pressed, in her capital of Belripar, by an unwelcome
suitor. As he had pledged his word to defend all ladies in distress,
Parzival immediately set out to rescue this queen. A series of brilliant
single fights disposed of the besiegers, and the citizens of Belripar, to
show their gratitude to their deliverer, offered him the hand of their
queen, Conduiramour, which he gladly accepted. But Parzival, even in this
new home, could not forget his sorrowing mother, and he soon left his wife
to go in search of Herzeloide, hoping to comfort her. He promised his wife
that he would return soon, however, and would bring his mother to Belripar
to share their joy. In the course of this journey homeward Parzival came to
a lake, where a richly dressed fisherman, in answer to his inquiry,
directed him to a neighboring castle where he might find shelter.

[Sidenote: Castle of the Holy Grail.] Although Parzival did not know it, he
had come to the temple and castle on Montsalvatch. The drawbridge was
immediately lowered at his call, and richly clad servants bade him welcome
with joyful mien. They told him that he had long been expected, and after
arraying him in a jeweled garment, sent by Queen Repanse de Joie, they
conducted him into a large, brilliantly illumined hall. There four hundred
knights were seated on soft cushions, before small tables each laid for
four guests; and as they saw him enter a flash of joy passed over their
grave and melancholy faces. The high seat was occupied by a man wrapped in
furs, who was evidently suffering from some painful disease. He made a sign
to Parzival to draw near, gave him a seat beside him, and presented him
with a sword of exquisite workmanship. To Parzival's surprise this man bade
him welcome also, and repeated that he had long been expected. The young
knight, amazed by all he heard and saw, remained silent, for he did not
wish to seem inquisitive,--a failing unworthy of a knight. Suddenly the
great doors opened, and a servant appeared bearing the bloody head of a
lance, with which he silently walked around the hall, while all gazed upon
it and groaned aloud.

The servant had scarcely vanished when the doors again opened, and
beautiful virgins came marching in, two by two. They bore an embroidered
cushion, an ebony stand, and sundry other articles, which they laid before
the fur-clad king. Last of all came the beautiful maiden, Repanse de Joie,
bearing a glowing vessel; and as she entered and laid it before the king,
Parzival heard the assembled knights whisper that this was the Holy Grail.

    "Now after them advanced the Queen,
    With countenance of so bright a sheen,
    They all imagined day would dawn.
    One saw the maiden was clothed on
    With muslin stuffs of Araby.
    On a green silk cushion she
    The pearl of Paradise did bear.

         *       *       *       *       *

    The blameless Queen, proud, pure, and calm,
    Before the host put down the Grail;
    And Percival, so runs the tale,
    To gaze upon her did not fail,
    Who thither bore the Holy Grail."
                    WOLFRAM VON ESCHENBACH, _Parzival_(Bayard Taylor's

The maidens then slowly retired, the knights and squires drew near, and now
from the shining vessel streamed forth a supply of the daintiest dishes and
richest wines, each guest being served with the viands which he liked best.
All ate sadly and in silence, while Parzival wondered what it might all
mean, yet remained mute. The meal ended, the sufferer rose from his seat,
gazed reproachfully at the visitor, who, by asking a question, could have
saved him such pain, and slowly left the room, uttering a deep sigh.

With angry glances the knights also left the hall, and sad-faced servants
conducted Parzival past a sleeping room, where they showed him an old
white-haired man who lay in a troubled sleep. Parzival wondered still more,
but did not venture to ask who it might be. Next the servants took him to
an apartment where he could spend the night. The tapestry hangings of this
room were all embroidered with gorgeous pictures. Among them the young hero
noticed one in particular, because it represented his host borne down to
the ground by a spear thrust into his bleeding side. Parzival's curiosity
was even greater than before; but, scorning to ask a servant what he had
not ventured to demand of the master, he went quietly to bed, thinking that
he would try to secure an explanation on the morrow.

When he awoke he found himself alone. No servant answered his call. All the
doors were fastened except those which led outside, where he found his
steed awaiting him. When he had passed the drawbridge it rose up slowly
behind him, and a voice called out from the tower, "Thou art accursed; for
thou hadst been chosen to do a great work, which thou hast left undone!"
Then looking upward, Parzival saw a horrible face gazing after him with a
fiendish grin, and making a gesture as of malediction.

[Sidenote: Sigune.] At the end of that day's journey, Parzival came to a
lonely cell in the desert, where he found Sigune weeping over a shrine in
which lay Tchionatulander's embalmed remains. She too received him with
curses, and revealed to him that by one sympathetic question only he might
have ended Amfortas's prolonged pain, broken an evil spell, and won for
himself a glorious crown.

Horrified, now that he knew what harm he had done, Parzival rode away,
feeling as if he were indeed accursed. His greatest wish was to return to
the mysterious castle and atone for his remissness by asking the question
which would release the king from further pain. But alas! the castle had
vanished; and our hero was forced to journey from place to place, seeking
diligently, and meeting with many adventures on the way.

At times the longing to give up the quest and return home to his young wife
was almost unendurable. His thoughts were ever with her, and the poem
relates that even a drop of blood fallen on the snow reminded, him most
vividly of the dazzling complexion of Conduiramour, and of her sorrow when
he departed.

    "'Conduiramour, thine image is
    Here in the snow now dyed with red
    And in the blood on snowy bed.
    Conduiramour, to them compare
    Thy forms of grace and beauty rare.'"
                  WOLFRAM VON ESCHENBACH, _Parzival_ (Dippold's tr.).

Although exposed to countless temptations, Parzival remained true to his
wife as he rode from place to place, constantly seeking the Holy Grail. His
oft-reiterated questions concerning it caused him to be considered a madman
or a fool by all he met.

In the course of his journeys, he encountered a lady in chains, led by a
knight who seemed to take pleasure in torturing her. Taught by Gurnemanz to
rescue all ladies in distress, Parzival challenged and defeated this
knight. Then only did he discover that it was Sir Orilus, who had led his
wife about in chains to punish her for accepting a kiss from a strange
youth. Of course Parzival now hastened to give an explanation of the whole
affair, and the defeated knight, at his request, promised to treat his wife
with all kindness in future.

As Parzival had ordered all the knights whom he had defeated to journey
immediately to Arthur's court and tender him their services, the king had
won many brave warriors. He was so pleased by these constant arrivals, and
so delighted at the repeated accounts of Parzival's valor, that he became
very anxious to see him once more.

[Sidenote: Parzival knighted.] To gratify this wish several knights were
sent in search of the wanderer, and when they finally found him they bade
him come to court. Parzival obeyed, was knighted by Arthur's own hand, and,
according to some accounts, occupied the "Siege Perilous" at the Round
Table. Other versions state, however, that just as he was about to take
this seat the witch Kundrie, a messenger of the Holy Grail, appeared in the
hall. She vehemently denounced him, related how sorely he had failed in his
duty, and cursed him, as the gate keeper had done, for his lack of
sympathy. Thus reminded of his dereliction, Parzival immediately left the
hall, to renew the quest which had already lasted for many months. He was
closely followed by Gawain, one of Arthur's knights, who thought that
Parzival had been too harshly dealt with.

[Sidenote: Gawain's quest.] Four years now elapsed,--four years of penance
and suffering for Parzival, and of brilliant fighting and thrilling
adventures for Gawain. Seeking Parzival, meeting many whom he had helped or
defeated, Gawain journeyed from land to land, until at last he decided that
his quest would end sooner if he too sought the Holy Grail, the goal of all
his friend's hopes.

On the way to Montsalvatch Gawain met a beautiful woman, to whom he made a
declaration of love; but she merely answered that those who loved her must
serve her, and bade him fetch her palfrey from a neighboring garden. The
gardener told him that this lady was the Duchess Orgueilleuse; that her
beauty had fired many a knight; that many had died for her sake; and that
Amfortas, King of the Holy Grail, had braved the poisoned spear which
wounded him, only to win her favor. Gawain, undeterred by this warning,
brought out the lady's palfrey, helped her to mount, and followed her
submissively through many lands. Everywhere they went the proud lady
stirred up some quarrel, and always called upon Gawain to fight the enemies
whom she had thus wantonly made. After much wandering, Gawain and his
ladylove reached the top of a hill, whence they could look across a valley
to a gigantic castle, perched on a rock, near which was a pine tree.
Orgueilleuse now informed Gawain that the castle belonged to her mortal
enemy, Gramoflaus. She bade him bring her a twig of the tree, and conquer
the owner of the castle, who would challenge him as soon as he touched it,
and promised that if he obeyed her exactly she would be his faithful wife.

[Sidenote: Klingsor's castle.] Gawain, emboldened by this promise, dashed
down into the valley, swam across the moat, plucked a branch from the tree,
and accepted the challenge which Gramoflaus promptly offered. The meeting
was appointed for eight days later, in front of Klingsor's castle, whither
Gawain immediately proceeded with the Lady Orgueilleuse. On the way she
told him that this castle, which faced her father's, was occupied by a
magician who kept many noble ladies in close confinement, and had even
cruelly laden them with heavy chains.

Gawain, on hearing this, vowed that he would punish the magician; and,
having seen Orgueilleuse safely enter her ancestral home, he crossed the
river and rode toward Klingsor's castle. As night drew on the windows were
brilliantly illumined, and at each one he beheld the pallid, tear-stained
faces of some of the captives, whose years ranged from early childhood to
withered old age.

Calling for admittance at this castle, Gawain was allowed to enter, but, to
his surprise, found hall and court deserted. He wandered from room to room,
meeting no one; and, weary of his vain search, prepared at last to occupy a
comfortable couch in one of the chambers. To his utter amazement, however,
the bed retreated as he advanced, until, impatient at this trickery, he
sprang boldly upon it. A moment later a rain of sharp spears and daggers
fell upon his couch, but did him no harm, for he had not removed his heavy
armor. When the rain of weapons was over, a gigantic peasant, armed with a
huge club, stalked into the room, closely followed by a fierce lion. When
the peasant perceived that the knight was not dead, as he expected, he beat
a hasty retreat, leaving the lion to attack him alone.

In spite of the size and fury of the lion, Gawain defended himself so
bravely that he finally slew the beast, which was Klingsor in disguise. As
the monster expired the spell was broken, the captives were released, and
the exhausted Gawain was tenderly cared for by his mother and sister
Itonie, who were among those whom his courage had set free. The news of
this victory was immediately sent to Arthur, who now came to witness the
battle between Gawain and a champion who was to appear for Gramoflaus.

Gawain's strength and courage were about to give way before the stranger's
terrible onslaught, when Itonie implored the latter to spare Gawain, whose
name and valor were so well known. At the sound of this name the knight
sheathed his sword, and, raising his visor, revealed the sad but beautiful
countenance of Parzival.

The joy of reunion over, Parzival remained there long enough to witness the
marriage of Gawain and Orgueilleuse, and of Itonie and Gramoflaus, and to
be solemnly admitted to the Round Table. Still, the general rejoicing could
not dispel his sadness or the recollection of Amfortas and his grievous
wound; and as soon as possible Parzival again departed, humbly praying that
he might at last find the Holy Grail, and right the wrong he had
unconsciously done.

[Sidenote: Parzival and the hermit.] Some months later, exhausted by
constant journeys, Parzival painfully dragged himself to a hermit's hut.
There he learned that the lonely penitent was Trevrezent, the brother of
Amfortas, who, having also preferred worldly pleasures to the service of
the Holy Grail, had accompanied him on his fatal excursion. When Trevrezent
saw his brother sorely wounded, he repented of his sins, and, retiring into
the woods, spent his days and nights in penance and prayer. He told
Parzival of the expected stranger, whose question would break the evil
spell, and related how grievously he and all the Templars had been
disappointed when such a man had actually come and gone, but without
fulfilling their hopes. Parzival then penitently confessed that it was he
who had thus disappointed them, related his sorrow and ceaseless quest, and
told the story of his early youth and adventures. Trevrezent, on hearing
his guest's name, exclaimed that they must be uncle and nephew, as his
sister's name was Herzeloide. He then informed Parzival of his mother's
death, and, after blessing him and giving him some hope that sincere
repentance would sometime bring its own reward, allowed him to continue his
search for the Holy Grail.

[Sidenote: Fierefiss.] Soon after this meeting Parzival encountered a
knight, who, laying lance in rest, challenged him to fight. In one of the
pauses of the battle he learned that his brave opponent was his
stepbrother, Fierefiss, whom he joyfully embraced, and who now followed him
on his almost endless quest. At last they came to a mountain, painfully
climbed its steep side, and, after much exertion, found themselves in front
of a castle, which seemed strangely familiar to Parzival.

The doors opened, willing squires waited upon both brothers, and led them
into the great hall, where the pageant already described was repeated. When
Queen Repanse de Joie entered bearing the Holy Grail, Parzival, mindful of
his former failure to do the right thing, humbly prayed aloud for divine
guidance to bring about the promised redemption. An angel voice now seemed
to answer, "Ask!" Then Parzival bent kindly over the wounded king, and
gently inquired what ailed him. At those words the spell was broken, and a
long cry of joy arose as Amfortas, strong and well, sprang to his feet.

A very aged man, Parzival's great-grandfather, Titurel, now drew near,
bearing the crown, which he placed on the young hero's head, as he hailed
him as guardian and defender of the Holy Grail. This cry was taken up by
all present, and even echoed by the angelic choir.

    "'Hail to thee, Percival, king of the Grail!
    Seemingly lost forever,
    Now thou art blessed forever.
    Hail to thee, Percival, king of the Grail!'"
                     WOLFRAM VON ESCHENBACH (McDowall's tr.).

The doors now opened wide once more to admit Conduiramour and her twin
sons, summoned thither by the power of the Holy Grail, that Parzival's
happiness might be complete. All the witnesses of this happy reunion were
flooded with the light of the Holy Grail, except Fierefiss, who, being a
Moor and a pagan, still remained in outer darkness. These miracles,
however, converted him to the Christian faith, and made him beg for
immediate baptism. The christening was no sooner performed than he too
beheld and was illumined by the holy vase. Fierefiss, now a true believer,
married Repanse de Joie, and they were the parents of a son named John, who
became a noted warrior, and was the founder of the historic order of the
Knights Templars.

Titurel, having lived to see the recovery of his son, blessed all his
descendants, told them that Sigune had joined her lover's spirit in the
heavenly abode, and, passing out of the great hall, was never seen again;
and the witch Kundrie died of joy.

Another version of the legend of the Holy Grail relates that Parzival,
having cured his uncle, went to Arthur's court. There he remained until
Amfortas died, when he was called back to Montsalvatch to inherit his
possessions, among which was the Holy Grail. Arthur and all the knights of
the Round Table were present at his coronation, and paid him a yearly
visit. When he died, "the Sangreal, the sacred lance, and the silver
trencher or paten which covered the Grail, were carried up to the holy
heavens in presence of the attendants, and since that time have never
anywhere been seen on earth."

Other versions relate that Arthur and his knights sought the Holy Grail in
vain, for their hearts were not pure enough to behold it. Still others
declare that the sacred vessel was conveyed to the far East, and committed
to the care of Prester John.

The legend of Lohengrin, which is connected with the Holy Grail, is in
outline as follows:

[Sidenote: Lohengrin.] Parzival and Conduiramour dwelt in the castle of the
Holy Grail. When their sons had grown to man's estate, Kardeiss, the elder,
became ruler of his mother's kingdom of Belripar, while Lohengrin, the
younger, remained in the service of the Holy Grail, which was now borne
into the hall by his young sister, Aribadale, Repanse de Joie having

Whenever a danger threatened, or when the services of one of the knights
were required, a silver bell rang loudly, and the letters of flame around
the rim of the holy vessel revealed the nature of the deed to be performed.
One day the sound of the silvery bell was heard pealing ever louder and
louder, and when the knights entered the hall, they read on the vase that
Lohengrin had been chosen to defend the rights of an innocent person, and
would be conveyed to his destination by a swan. As the knights of the Grail
never disputed its commands, the young man immediately donned the armor of
silver which Amfortas had worn, and, bidding farewell to his mother and
sister, left the temple. Parzival, his father, accompanied him to the foot
of the mountain, where, swimming gracefully over the smooth waters of the
lake, they saw a snowy swan drawing a little boat after her.

Lohengrin received a horn from his father, who bade him sound it thrice on
arriving at his destination, and an equal number of times when he wished to
return to Montsalvatch. Then he also reminded him that a servant of the
Grail must reveal neither his name nor his origin unless asked to do so,
and that, having once made himself known, he was bound to return without
delay to the holy mountain.

Thus reminded of the custom of all the Templars, Lohengrin sprang into the
boat, and was rapidly borne away, to the sound of mysterious music.

[Sidenote: Else of Brabant.] While Lohengrin was swiftly wafted over the
waters, Else, Duchess of Brabant, spent her days in tears. She was an
orphan, and, as she possessed great wealth and extensive lands, many were
anxious to secure her hand. Among these suitors her guardian, Frederick of
Telramund, was the most importunate; and when he saw that she would never
consent to marry him, he resolved to obtain her inheritance in a different

One day, while Else was wandering alone in the forest, she rested for a
moment under a tree, where she dreamed that a radiant knight came to greet
her, and offered her a little bell, saying that she need but ring it
whenever she required a champion. The maiden awoke, and as she opened her
eyes a falcon came gently sailing down from the sky and perched upon her
shoulder. Seeing that he wore a tiny bell like the one she had noticed in
her dream, Else unfastened it; and as the falcon flew away, she hung it on
her rosary.

A few days later Else was in prison, for Frederick of Telramund had accused
her of a great crime. He said that she had received the attentions of a man
beneath her, or, according to another version, that she had been guilty of
the murder of her brother. Henry the Fowler, Emperor of Germany, hearing of
this accusation, came to Cleves, where, as the witnesses could not agree,
he ordered that the matter should be settled by a judicial duel.

[Illustration: ARRIVAL OF LOHENGRIN.--Pixis.]

Frederick of Telramund, proud of his strength, challenged any man to prove
him mistaken at the point of the sword. But no champion appeared to fight
for Else, who, kneeling in her cell, beat her breast with her rosary, until
the little silver bell attached to it rang loudly as she fervently prayed,
"O Lord, send me a champion." The faint tinkling of the bell floated out of
the window, and was wafted away to Montsalvatch. It grew louder and louder
the farther it traveled, and its sound called the knights into the temple,
where Lohengrin received his orders from the Holy Grail.

The day appointed for the duel dawned, and just as the heralds sounded the
last call for Else's champion to appear, the swan boat glided up the Rhine,
and Lohengrin sprang into the lists, after thrice blowing his magic horn.

[Sidenote: Else rescued by Lohengrin.] With a God-sent champion opposed to
a liar, the issue of the combat could not long remain doubtful. Soon
Frederick of Telramund lay in the dust and confessed his guilt, while the
people hailed the Swan Knight as victor. Else, touched by his prompt
response to her appeal, and won by his passionate wooing, then consented to
become his wife, without even knowing his name. Their nuptials were
celebrated at Antwerp, whither the emperor went with them and witnessed
their marriage.

Lohengrin had cautioned Else that she must never ask his name; but she
wished to show that he was above the people who, envying his lot, sought to
injure him by circulating malicious rumors, so she finally asked the fatal
question. Regretfully Lohengrin led her into the great hall, where, in the
presence of the assembled knights, he told her that he was Lohengrin, son
of Parzival, the guardian of the Holy Grail. Then, embracing her tenderly,
he told her that "love cannot live without faith," and that he must now
leave her and return to the holy mountain. When he had thrice blown his
magic horn, the sound of faint music again heralded the approach of the
swan; Lohengrin sprang into the boat, and soon vanished, leaving Else

Some versions of the story relate that she did not long survive his
departure, but that her released spirit followed him to Montsalvatch, where
they dwelt happy forever. Other accounts, however, aver that when Lohengrin
vanished Else's brother returned to champion her cause and prevent her ever
being molested again.



As Saintsbury so ably expressed it, "The origin of the legends of King
Arthur, of the Round Table, of the Holy Grail, and of all the adventures
and traditions connected with these centers, is one of the most intricate
questions in the history of mediaeval literature." Owing to the loss of
many ancient manuscripts, the real origin of all these tales may never be
discovered; and whether the legends owe their birth to Celtic, Breton, or
Welsh poetry we may never know, as the authorities fail to agree. These
tales, apparently almost unknown before the twelfth century, soon became so
popular that in the course of the next two centuries they had given birth
to more than a dozen poems and prose romances, whence Malory drew the
materials for his version of the story of King Arthur. Nennius, Geoffrey of
Monmouth, Walter Map, Chrestien de Troyes, Robert de Borron, Gottfried von
Strassburg, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Hartmann von Aue, Tennyson, Matthew
Arnold, Swinburne, and Wagner have all written of these legends in turn,
and to these writers we owe the most noted versions of the tales forming
the Arthurian cycle. They include, besides the story of Arthur himself, an
account of Merlin, of Lancelot, of Parzival, of the love of Tristan and
Iseult, and of the quest of the Holy Grail.

The majority of these works were written in French, which was the court
language of England in the mediaeval ages; but the story was "Englished" by
Malory in the fourteenth century. In every European language there are
versions of these stories, which interested all hearers alike, and which
exerted a softening influence upon the rude customs of the age,
"communicated a romantic spirit to literature," and taught all men

[The Real Merlin] The first of these romances is that of Merlin the
enchanter, in very old French, ascribed to Robert de Borron. The following
outline of the story is modified and supplemented from other sources. The
real Merlin is said to have been a bard of the fifth century, and is
supposed to have served the British chief Ambrosius Aurelianus, and then
King Arthur. This Merlin lost his reason after the battle of Solway Firth,
broke his sword, and retired into the forest, where he was soon after found
dead by a river bank.

The mythical Merlin had a more exciting and interesting career, however.
King Constans, who drove Hengist from England, was the father of three
sons,--Constantine, Aurelius Ambrosius, and Uther Pendragon. When dying he
left the throne to his eldest son, Constantine, who chose Vortigern as his
prime minister. Shortly after Constantine's accession, Hengist again
invaded England, and Constantine, deserted by his minister, was
treacherously slain. In reward for his defection at this critical moment,
Vortigern was offered the crown, which he accepted, and which he hoped to
retain, although Constans's two other sons, who, according to another
version of the story, were called Uther and Pendragon, were still in

To defend himself against any army which might try to deprive him of the
throne, Vortigern resolved to build a great fortress on the Salisbury
plains. But, although the masons worked diligently by day, and built walls
wide and thick, they always found them overturned in the morning. The
astrologers, when consulted in reference to this strange occurrence,
declared that the walls would not stand until the ground had been watered
with the blood of a child who could claim no human father.

Five years previous to this prediction, the demons, seeing that so many
souls escaped them owing to the redemption procured by a child of divine
origin, thought that they could regain lost ground by engendering a demon
child upon a human virgin. A beautiful, pious maiden was chosen for this
purpose; and as she daily went to confess her every deed and thought to a
holy man, Blaise, he soon discovered the plot of the demons, and resolved
to frustrate it.

[Sidenote: Birth of the mythical Merlin.] By his advice the girl, instead
of being immediately put to death, as the law required, was locked up in a
tower, where she gave birth to her son. Blaise, the priest, more watchful
than the demons, no sooner heard of the child's birth than he hastened to
baptize him, giving him the name of Merlin. The holy rite annulled the evil
purpose of the demons, but, owing to his uncanny origin, the child was
gifted with all manner of strange powers, of which he made use on sundry

        "To him
    Great light from God gave sight of all things dim,
    And wisdom of all wondrous things, to say
    What root should bear what fruit of night or day;
    And sovereign speech and counsel above man:
    Wherefore his youth like age was wise and wan,
    And his age sorrowful and fain to sleep."
                               SWINBURNE, _Tristram of Lyonesse_.

The child thus baptized soon gave the first proof of his marvelous power;
for, when his mother embraced him and declared that she must soon die, he
comforted her by speaking aloud and promising to prove her innocent of all
crime. The trial took place soon after this occurrence, and although Merlin
was but a few days old, he sat up boldly in his mother's lap and spoke so
forcibly to the judges that he soon secured her acquittal. Once when he was
five years old, while playing in the street, he saw the messengers of
Vortigern. Warned by his prophetic instinct that they were seeking him, he
ran to meet them, and offered to accompany them to the king. On the way
thither he saw a youth buying shoes, and laughed aloud. When questioned
concerning the cause of his mirth, he predicted that the youth would die
within a few hours.

    "Then said Merlin, 'See ye nought
    That young man, that hath shoon bought,
    And strong leather to do hem clout [patch],
    And grease to smear hem all about?
    He weeneth to live hem to wear:
    But, by my soul, I dare well swear,
    His wretched life he shall for-let [lose],
    Ere he come to his own gate.'"
                         ELLIS, _Merlin_.

[Sidenote: Merlin as a prophet.] A few more predictions of an equally
uncanny and unpleasant nature firmly established his reputation as a
prophet even before he reached court. There he boldly told the king that
the astrologers, wishing to destroy the demon's offspring, who was wiser
than they, had demanded his blood under pretext that the walls of Salisbury
would stand were it only shed. When asked why the walls continually fell
during the night, Merlin attributed it to the nightly conflict of a red and
a white dragon concealed underground. In obedience to his instructions,
search was made for these monsters, and the assembled court soon saw a
frightful struggle between them. This battle finally resulted in the death
of the red dragon and the triumph of the white.

    "With long tailis, fele [many] fold,
    And found right as Merlin told.
    That one dragon was red as fire,
    With eyen bright, as basin clear;
    His tail was great and nothing small;
    His body was a rood withal.
    His shaft may no man tell;
    He looked as a fiend from hell.
    The white dragon lay him by,
    Stern of look, and griesly.
    His mouth and throat yawned wide;
    The fire brast [burst] out on ilka [each] side.
    His tail was ragged as a fiend,
    And, upon his tail's end,
    There was y-shaped a griesly head,
    To fight with the dragon red."
                          ELLIS, _Merlin_.

The white dragon soon disappeared also, and the work of the castle now
proceeded without further hindrance. Vortigern, however, was very uneasy,
because Merlin had not only said that the struggle of the red and the white
dragon represented his coming conflict with Constans's sons, but further
added that he would suffer defeat. This prediction was soon fulfilled.
Uther and his brother Pendragon landed in Britain with the army they had
assembled, and Vortigern was burned in the castle he had just completed.

Shortly after this victory a war arose between the Britons under Uther and
Pendragon, and the Saxons under Hengist. Merlin, who had by this time
become the prime minister and chief adviser of the British kings, predicted
that they would win the victory, but that one would be slain. This
prediction was soon verified, and Uther, adding his brother's name to his
own, remained sole king. His first care was to bury his brother, and he
implored Merlin to erect a suitable monument to his memory; so the
enchanter conveyed great stones from Ireland to England in the course of a
single night, and set them up at Stonehenge, where they can still be seen.

    "How Merlin by his skill, and magic's wondrous might,
    From Ireland hither brought the Stonendge in a night."
                                  DRAYTON, _Polyolbion_.

[Sidenote: Round Table established by Merlin.] Proceeding now to Carduel
(Carlisle), Merlin, who is represented as a great architect and
wonder-worker, built Uther Pendragon a beautiful castle, and established
the Round Table, in imitation of the one which Joseph of Arimathea had once
instituted. There were places for a large number of knights around this
board (the number varying greatly with different writers), and a special
place was reserved for the Holy Grail, which, having vanished from Britain
because of the sinfulness of the people, the knights still hoped to have
restored when they became sufficiently pure.

    "This table gan [began] Uther the wight;
    Ac [but] it to ende had he no might.
    For, theygh [though] alle the kinges under our lord
    Hadde y-sitten [sat] at that bord,
    Knight by knight, ich you telle,
    The table might nought fulfille,
    Till they were born that should do all
    Fulfill the mervaile of the Greal."
                         ELLIS, _Merlin_.

A great festival was announced for the institution of the Round Table, and
all the knights came to Carduel, accompanied by their wives. Among the
latter the fairest was Yguerne, wife of Gorlois, Lord of Tintagel in
Cornwall, and with her Uther fell desperately in love.

    "This fest was noble ynow, and nobliche y-do [done];
    For mony was the faire ledy, that y-come was thereto.
    Yguerne, Gorloys wyf, was fairest of echon [each one],
    That was contasse of Cornewail, for so fair was there non."
                                     ROBERT OF GLOUCESTER.

Yguerne had already three or four daughters, famous in the Arthurian
legends as mothers of the knights Gawain, Gravain, Ywain, and others. One
of the king's councilors, Ulfin, revealed the king's passion to Yguerne,
and she told her husband. Indignant at the insult offered him, Gorlois
promptly left court, locked his wife up in the impregnable fortress of
Tintagel, and, gathering together an army, began to fight against Uther

The day before the battle, Merlin changed Uther into the form of Gorlois,
and himself and Ulfin into those of the squires of the Duke of Cornwall.
Thus disguised, the three went to Tintagel, where Yguerne threw the gates
open at their call and received Uther as her husband, without suspecting
the deception practiced upon her.

[Sidenote: Birth of Arthur.] On the morrow the battle took place. Gorlois
was slain. Shortly after, Uther married Yguerne, who never suspected that
the child which was soon born, and which Uther immediately confided to
Merlin, was not a son of Gorlois. Arthur, the child who had thus come into
the world, was intrusted to the care of Sir Hector, who brought him up with
his own son, Sir Kay, little suspecting his royal descent. This child grew
up rapidly, and when but fifteen years of age was handsome, accomplished,
and dearly loved by all around him.

    "He was fair, and well agré [agreeable],
    And was a thild [child] of gret noblay.
    He was curteys, faire and gent,
    And wight [brave], and hardi, veramen [truly].
    Curteyslich [courteously] and fair he spac [spake].
    With him was none evil lack [fault]."
                        ELLIS, _Merlin_.

When Uther died without leaving any heir, there was an interregnum, for
Merlin had promised that the true king should be revealed by a miracle.
This prophecy was duly fulfilled, as will be shown hereafter. Merlin became
the royal adviser as soon as Arthur ascended the throne, helped him win
signal victories over twelve kings, and in the course of a single night
conveyed armies over from France to help him.

As Merlin could assume any shape he pleased, Arthur often used him as
messenger; and one of the romances relates that the magician, in the guise
of a stag, once went to Rome to bear the king's challenge to Julius Caesar
(not the conqueror of Gaul but the mythical father of Oberon) to single
combat. Merlin was also renowned for the good advice which he gave, not
only to Vortigern and Uther Pendragon, but also to Arthur, and for his
numerous predictions concerning the glorious future of England, all of
which, if we are to believe tradition, have been fulfilled.

    "O goodly River! near unto thy sacred spring
    Prophetic Merlin sate, when to the British King
    The changes long to come, auspiciously he told."
                                   DRAYTON, _Polyolbion_.

[Sidenote: Palace at Camelot.] Merlin also won great renown as a builder
and architect. Besides the construction of Stonehenge, and of the castle
for Uther Pendragon, he is said to have built Arthur's beautiful palace at
Camelot. He also devised sundry magic fountains, which are mentioned in
other mediaeval romances. One of these is referred to by Spenser in the
"Faerie Queene," and another by Ariosto in his "Orlando Furioso."

    "This Spring was one of those four fountains rare,
    Of those in France produced by Merlin's sleight,
    Encompassed round about with marble fair,
    Shining and polished, and than milk more white.
    There in the stones choice figures chiseled were,
    By that magician's god-like labour dight;
    Some voice was wanting, these you might have thought
    Were living, and with nerve and spirit fraught."
                                 ARIOSTO, _Orlando Furioso_ (Rose's tr.).

Merlin was also supposed to have made all kinds of magic objects, among
which the poets often mention a cup. This would, reveal whether the drinker
had led a pure life, for it always overflowed when touched by polluted
lips. He was also the artificer of Arthur's armor, which no weapon could
pierce, and of a magic mirror in which one could see whatever one wished.

    "It Merlin was, which whylome did excel
    All living wightes in might of magicke spell:
    Both shield, and sword, and armour all he wrought
    For this young Prince, when first to armes he fell."
                                        SPENSER, _Faerie Queene_.

[Sidenote: Merlin and Vivian.] Merlin, in spite of all his knowledge and
skill, yielded often to the entreaties of his fair mistress, Vivian, the
Lady of the Lake. She followed him wherever he went, and made countless
efforts to learn all his arts and to discover all his magic spells. In
order to beguile the aged Merlin into telling her all she wished to know,
Vivian pretended great devotion, which is admirably related in Tennyson's
"Idylls of the King," one of which treats exclusively of Merlin and Vivian.

This enchantress even went with him to the fairy-haunted forest of
Broceliande, in Brittany, where she finally beguiled him into revealing a
magic spell whereby a human being could be inclosed in a hawthorn tree,
where he must dwell forever.

    "And then she follow'd Merlin all the way,
    E'en to the wild woods of Broceliande.
    For Merlin once had told her of a charm,
    The which if any wrought on any one
    With woven paces and with waving arms,
    The man so wrought on ever seem'd to lie
    Closed in the four walls of a hollow tower,
    From which was no escape for evermore;
    And none could find that man for evermore,
    Nor could he see but him who wrought the charm
    Coming and going; and he lay as dead
    And lost to life and use and name and fame."
                                  TENNYSON, _Merlin and Vivien_.

This charm having been duly revealed, the Lady of the Lake, weary of her
aged lover, and wishing to rid herself of him forever now that she had
learned all he could teach her, lured him into the depths of the forest.
There, by aid of the spell, she imprisoned him in a thorn bush, whence, if
the tales of the Breton peasants can be believed, his voice can be heard to
issue from time to time.

    "They sate them down together, and a sleep
    Fell upon Merlin, more like death, so deep.
    Her finger on her lips, then Vivian rose,
    And from her brown-lock'd head the wimple throws,
    And takes it in her hand, and waves it over
    The blossom'd thorn tree and her sleeping lover.
    Nine times she waved the fluttering wimple round,
    And made a little plot of magic ground.
    And in that daised circle, as men say,
    Is Merlin prisoner till the judgment day;
    But she herself whither she will can rove--
    For she was passing weary of his love."
                               MATTHEW ARNOLD, _Tristram and Iseult_.

[Illustration: THE BEGUILING OF MERLIN.--Burne-Jones.]

According to another version of the tale, Merlin, having grown very old
indeed, once sat down on the "Siege Perilous," forgetting that none but a
sinless man could occupy it with impunity. He was immediately swallowed up
by the earth, which yawned wide beneath his feet, and he never visited the
earth again.

A third version says that Vivian through love imprisoned Merlin in an
underground palace, where she alone could visit him. There he dwells,
unchanged by the flight of time, and daily increasing the store of
knowledge for which he was noted.



Fortunately "the question of the actual existence and acts of Arthur has
very little to do with the question of the origin of the Arthurian cycle."
But although some authorities entirely deny his existence, it is probable
that he was a Briton, for many places in Wales, Scotland, and England are
connected with his name.

On the very slightest basis, many of the mediaeval writers constructed long
and fabulous tales about this hero. Such was the popularity of the
Arthurian legends all over Europe that prose romances concerning him were
among the first works printed, and were thus brought into general
circulation. An outline of the principal adventures of Arthur and of his
knights is given here. It has been taken from many works, whose authors
will often be mentioned as we proceed.

King Uther Pendragon, as we have already seen, intrusted his new-born son,
Arthur, to the care of the enchanter Merlin, who carried him to the castle
of Sir Hector (Anton), where the young prince was brought up as a child of
the house.

        "Wherefore Merlin took the child,
    And gave him to Sir Anton, an old knight
    And ancient friend of Uther; and his wife
    Nursed the young prince, and rear'd him with her own;
    And no man knew."
                     TENNYSON, _The Coming of Arthur_.

[Sidenote: The magic sword.] Two years later King Uther Pendragon died, and
the noblemen, not knowing whom to choose as his successor, consulted
Merlin, promising to abide by his decision. By his advice they all
assembled in St. Stephen's Church, in London, on Christmas Day. When mass
was over they beheld a large stone which had mysteriously appeared in the
churchyard. This stone was surmounted by a ponderous anvil, in which the
blade of a sword was deeply sunk. Drawing near to examine the wonder, they
read an inscription upon the jeweled hilt, to the effect that none but the
man who could draw out the sword should dare to take possession of the
throne. Of course all present immediately tried to accomplish this feat,
but all failed.

Several years passed by ere Sir Hector came to London with his son, Sir
Kay, and his foster son, young Arthur. Sir Kay, who, for the first time in
his life, was to take part in a tournament, was greatly chagrined, on
arriving there, to discover that he had forgotten his sword; so Arthur
volunteered to ride back and get it. He found the house closed; yet, being
determined to secure a sword for his foster brother, he strode hastily into
the churchyard, and easily drew from the anvil the weapon which all had
vainly tried to secure.

[Sidenote: Arthur made king.] This mysterious sword was handed to Sir Kay,
and Sir Hector, perceiving it, and knowing whence it came, immediately
inquired how Arthur had secured it. He even refused at first to believe the
evidence of his own eyes; but when he and all the principal nobles of the
realm had seen Arthur replace and draw out the sword, after all had again
vainly tried their strength, they gladly hailed the young man king.

As Merlin was an enchanter, it was popularly rumored that Arthur was not,
as he now declared, the son of Uther Pendragon and Yguerne, but a babe
mysteriously brought up from the depths of the sea, on the crest of the
ninth wave, and cast ashore at the wizard's feet. Hence many people
distrusted the young king, and at first refused to obey him.

        "Watch'd the great sea fall,
    Wave after wave, each mightier than the last,
    Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep,
    And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged
    Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame:
    And down the wave and in the flame was borne
    A naked babe, and rode to Merlin's feet,
    Who stoopt and caught the babe, and cried 'The King!
    Here is an heir for Uther!'"
                             TENNYSON, _The Coming of Arthur_.

Among the unbelievers were some of the king's own kindred, and notably his
four nephews, Gawain, Gaheris, Agravaine, and Gareth. Arthur was therefore
obliged to make war against them; but although Gawain's strength increased
in a truly marvelous fashion from nine to twelve in the morning, and from
three to six in the afternoon, the king succeeded in defeating him by
following Merlin's advice and taking advantage of his comparatively weak

[Sidenote: Sir Pellinore.] Arthur, aided by Merlin, ruled over the land
wisely and well, redressed many wrongs, reëstablished order and security,
which a long interregnum had destroyed, and brandished his sword in many a
fight, in which he invariably proved victor. But one day, having drawn his
blade upon Sir Pellinore, who did not deserve to be thus attacked, it
suddenly failed him and broke. Left thus without any means of defense, the
king would surely have perished had not Merlin used his magic arts to put
Sir Pellinore to sleep and to bear his charge to a place of safety.

Arthur, thus deprived of his magic sword, bewailed its loss; but while he
stood by a lake, wondering how he should procure another, he beheld a
white-draped hand and arm rise out of the water, holding aloft a jeweled
sword which the Lady of the Lake, who appeared beside him, told him was
intended for his use.

                       "'Thou rememberest how
    In those old days, one summer noon, an arm
    Rose up from out the bosom of the lake,
    Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
    Holding the sword--and how I row'd across
    And took it, and have worn it, like a king;
    And, wheresoever I am sung or told
    In aftertime, this also shall be known.'"
                             TENNYSON, _The Passing of Arthur_.

[Sidenote: Excalibur.] Arthur rowed out into the middle of the lake and
secured the sword which is known by the name Excalibur. He was then told by
the Lady of the Lake that it was gifted with magic powers, and that as long
as the scabbard remained in his possession he would suffer neither wound
nor defeat.

Thus armed, Arthur went back to his palace, where, hearing that the Saxons
had again invaded the country, he went to wage war against them, and won
many victories. Shortly after this Arthur heard that Leodegraunce, King of
Scotland, was threatened by his brother Ryance, King of Ireland, who was
determined to complete a mantle furred with the beards of kings, and wanted
to secure one more at any price. Arthur hastened to this monarch's
assistance, and delivered him from the clutches of Ryance. He not only
killed this savage monarch, but appropriated his mantle and carried it away
in triumph as a trophy of the war.

    "And for a trophy brought the Giant's coat away
    Made of the beards of Kings."
                                        DRAYTON, _Polyolbion_.

[Sidenote: Arthur's marriage with Guinevere.] After these martial exploits
Arthur returned to the court of Leodegraunce, where he fell in love with
the latter's fair daughter, Guinevere. The king sued successfully for her
hand, but Merlin would not allow him to marry this princess until he had
distinguished himself by a campaign in Brittany. The wedding was then
celebrated with true mediaeval pomp; and Arthur, having received, besides
the princess, the Round Table once made for his father, conveyed his bride
and wedding gift to Camelot (Winchester), where he bade all his court be
present for a great feast at Pentecost.

    "The nearest neighboring flood to Arthur's ancient seat,
    Which made the Britons' name through all the world so great.
    Like Camelot, what place was ever yet renown'd?
    Where, as at Carlion, oft, he kept the Table-Round,
    Most famous for the sports at Pentecost so long,
    From whence all knightly deeds, and brave achievements sprong."

[Sidenote: Knights of the Round Table.] Arthur had already warred
successfully against twelve revolted kings, whose remains were interred at
Camelot by his order. There Merlin erected a marvelous castle, containing a
special hall for the reception of the Round Table. This hall was adorned
with the lifelike statues of all the conquered kings, each holding a
burning taper which the magician declared would burn brightly until the
Holy Grail should appear. Hoping to bring that desirable event to pass,
Arthur bade Merlin frame laws for the knights of the Round Table. As
distinctive mark, each of the noblemen admitted to a seat at this marvelous
table adopted some heraldic device. The number of these knights varies from
twelve to several hundred, according to the different poets or romancers.

    "The fellowshipp of the Table Round,
    Soe famous in those dayes;
    Whereatt a hundred noble knights
    And thirty sat alwayes;
    Who for their deeds and martiall feates,
    As bookes done yett record,
    Amongst all other nations
    Wer feared through the world."
                            _Legend of King Arthur_ (Old Ballad).

Merlin, by virtue of his magic powers, easily selected the knights worthy
to belong to this noble institution, and the Archbishop of Canterbury duly
blessed them and the board around which they sat. All the places were soon
filled except two; and as the knights arose from their seats after the
first meal they noticed that their names were inscribed in letters of gold
in the places they had occupied. But one of the empty seats was marked
"Siege Perilous," and could only be occupied by a peerless knight.

[Sidenote: Lancelot du Lac.]

Among all the knights of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot du Lac, who is the
hero of several lengthy poems and romances bearing his name, was the most
popular. Chrestien de Troyes, Geoffrey de Ligny, Robert de Borron, and Map
have all written about him, and he was so well known that his name was
given to one of the knaves on the playing cards invented at about this
time. Malory, in his prose version of the "Morte d'Arthur," has drawn
principally from the poems treating of Lancelot, whose early life was
somewhat extraordinary, too.

Some accounts relate that Lancelot was the son of King Ban and Helen. When
he was but a babe, his parents were obliged to flee from their besieged
castle in Brittany. Before they had gone far, the aged Ban, seeing his home
in flames, sank dying to the ground. Helen, eager to minister to her
husband, laid her baby boy down on the grass near a lake, and when she
again turned around, she saw him in the arms of Vivian, the Lady of the
Lake, who plunged with him into the waters.

    "In the wife's woe, the mother was forgot.
      At last (for I was all earth held of him
    Who had been all to her, and now was not)
      She rose, and looked with tearless eyes, but dim,
    In the babe's face the father still to see;
    And lo! the babe was on another's knee!

    "Another's lips had kissed it into sleep,
      And o'er the sleep another watchful smiled;
    The Fairy sate beside the lake's still deep,
      And hush'd with chaunted charms the orphan child!
    Scared at the mother's cry, as fleets a dream,
    Both Child and Fairy melt into the stream."
                                 BULWER LYTTON, _King Arthur_.

The bereaved wife and mother now sorrowfully withdrew into a convent, while
Lancelot was brought up in the palace of the Lady of the Lake, with his two
cousins, Lyonel and Bohort. Here he remained until he was eighteen, when
the fairy herself brought him to court and presented him to the king.
Arthur then and there made him his friend and confidant, and gave him an
honored place at the Round Table. He was warmly welcomed by all the other
knights also, whom he far excelled in beauty and courage.

    "But one Sir Lancelot du Lake,
    Who was approved well,
    He for his deeds and feats of armes
    All others did excell."
                   _Sir Lancelot du Lake_ (Old Ballad).

[Sidenote: Lancelot and Guinevere.] Lancelot, however, was doomed to much
sorrow, for he had no sooner beheld Queen Guinevere than he fell deeply in
love with her. The queen fully returned his affection, granted him many
marks of her favor, and encouraged him to betray his friend and king on
sundry occasions, which form the themes of various episodes in the romances
of the time. Lancelot, urged in one direction by passion, in another by
loyalty, led a very unhappy life, which made him relapse into occasional
fits of insanity, during which he roamed aimlessly about for many years.
When restored to his senses, he always returned to court, where he
accomplished unheard-of deeds of valor, delivered many maidens in distress,
righted the wrong wherever he found it, won all the honors at the
tournaments, and ever remained faithful in his devotion to the queen,
although many fair ladies tried to make him forget her.

Some of the poems, anxious to vindicate the queen, declare that there were
two Guineveres, one pure, lovely, and worthy of all admiration, who
suffered for the sins of the other, an unprincipled woman. When Arthur
discovered his wife's intrigue with Lancelot, he sent her away, and
Guinevere took refuge with her lover in Joyeuse Garde (Berwick), a castle
he had won at the point of his lance to please her. But the king, having
ascertained some time after that the real Guinevere had been wrongfully
accused, reinstated her in his favor, and Lancelot again returned to court,
where he continued to love and serve the queen.

[Illustration: SIR LANCELOT DU LAC.--Sir John Gilbert.]

On one occasion, hearing that she had been made captive by Meleagans,
Lancelot rushed after Guinevere to rescue her, tracing her by a comb and
ringlet she had dropped on the way. His horse was taken from him by
enchantment, so Lancelot, in order sooner to overtake the queen, rode on in
a cart. This was considered a disgraceful mode of progress for a knight, as
a nobleman in those days was condemned to ride in a cart in punishment for
crimes for which common people were sentenced to the pillory.

Lancelot succeeded in reaching the castle of Guinevere's kidnaper,  whom he
challenged and defeated. The queen, instead of showing herself grateful for
this devotion, soon became needlessly jealous, and in a fit of anger
taunted her lover about his journey in the cart. This remark sufficed to
unsettle the hero's evidently very tottering reason, and he roamed wildly
about until the queen recognized her error, and sent twenty-three knights
in search of him. They journeyed far and wide for two whole years without
finding him.

        "'Then Sir Bors had ridden on
    Softly, and sorrowing for our Lancelot,
    Because his former madness, once the talk
    And scandal of our table, had return'd;
    For Lancelot's kith and kin so worship him
    That ill to him is ill to them.'"
                             TENNYSON, _The Holy Grail_.

Finally a fair and pious damsel took pity upon the frenzied knight, and
seeing that he had atoned by suffering for all his sins, she had him borne
into the chamber where the Holy Grail was kept; "and then there came a holy
man, who uncovered the vessel, and so by miracle, and by virtue of that
holy vessel, Sir Lancelot was all healed and recovered."

[Sidenote: Gareth and Lynette.] Sane once more, Lancelot now returned to
Camelot, where the king, queen, and all the knights of the Round Table
rejoiced to see him. Here Lancelot knighted Sir Gareth, who, to please his
mother, had concealed his true name, and had acted as kitchen vassal for a
whole year. The new-made knight immediately started out with a fair maiden
called Lynette, to deliver her captive sister. Thinking him nothing but the
kitchen vassal he seemed, the damsel insulted Gareth in every possible way.
He bravely endured her taunts, courageously defeated all her adversaries,
and finally won her admiration and respect to such a degree that she bade
him ride beside her, and humbly asked his pardon for having so grievously
misjudged him.

    "'Sir,--and, good faith, I fain had added Knight,
    But that I heard thee call thyself a knave,--
    Shamed am I that I so rebuked, reviled,
    Missaid thee; noble I am; and thought the King
    Scorn'd me and mine; and now thy pardon, friend,
    For thou hast ever answer'd courteously,
    And wholly bold thou art, and meek withal
    As any of Arthur's best, but, being knave,
    Hast mazed my wit: I marvel what thou art.'"
                                 TENNYSON, _Gareth and Lynette_.

Granting her full forgiveness, Gareth now rode beside her, fought more
bravely still, and, after defeating many knights, delivered her sister from
captivity, and secured Lynette's promise to become his wife as soon as he
had been admitted to the Round Table. When he returned to Arthur's court
this honor was immediately awarded him, for his prowess had won the
admiration of all, and he was duly married on St. Michaelmas Day.

    "And he that told the tale in older times
    Says that Sir Gareth wedded Lyoners,
    But he that told it later, says Lynette."
                           TENNYSON, _Gareth and Lynette_.

[Sidenote: Geraint and Enid.] Gareth's brother, Geraint, was also an
honored member of the Round Table. After distinguishing himself by many
deeds of valor he married Enid the Fair, the only daughter of an old and
impoverished knight whom he delivered from the tyranny of his oppressor and
restored to all his former state. Taking his fair wife away with him to his
lonely manor, Geraint surrounded her with every comfort, and, forgetting
his former high aspirations, spent all his time at home, hoping thereby to
please her.

    "He compass'd her with sweet observances
    And worship, never leaving her, and grew
    Forgetful of his promise to the King.
    Forgetful of the falcon and the hunt,
    Forgetful of the tilt and tournament,
    Forgetful of his glory and his name,
    Forgetful of his princedom and its cares.
    And this forgetfulness was hateful to her."
                            TENNYSON, _Geraint and Enid_.

Enid, however, soon perceived that her husband was forgetting both honor
and duty to linger by her side. One day, while he lay asleep before her,
she, in an outburst of wifely love, poured out her heart, and ended her
confession by declaring that since Geraint neglected everything for her
sake only, she must be an unworthy wife.

Geraint awoke too late to overhear the first part of her speech; but,
seeing her tears, and catching the words "unworthy wife," he immediately
imagined that she had ceased to love him, and that she received the
attentions of another. In his anger Geraint (whom the French and German
poems call Erec) rose from his couch, and sternly bade his wife don her
meanest apparel and silently follow him through the world.

    "The page he bade with speed
    Prepare his own strong steed,
    Dame Enid's palfrey there beside;
    He said that he would ride
    For pastime far away:
    So forward hastened they."
                HARTMANN VON AVE, _Erek and Enid_ (Bayard Taylor's tr.)

Patiently Enid did her husband's bidding, watched him fight the knights by
the way, and bound up his wounds. She suffered intensely from his
incomprehensible coldness and displeasure; but she stood all his tests so
nobly that he finally recognized how greatly he had misjudged her. He then
restored her to her rightful place, and loved her more dearly than ever

        "Nor did he doubt her more,
    But rested in her fealty, till he crown'd
    A happy life with a fair death, and fell
    Against the heathen of the Northern Sea
    In battle, fighting for the blameless King."
                             TENNYSON,--_Geraint and Enid_.

[Sidenote: Sir Galahad.] One Pentecost Day, when all the knights were
assembled, as usual, around the table at Camelot, a distressed damsel
suddenly entered the hall and implored Lancelot to accompany her to the
neighboring forest, where a young warrior was hoping to receive knighthood
at his hands. This youth was Sir Galahad, the peerless knight, whom some
authorities call Lancelot's son, while others declare that he was not of
mortal birth.

On reëntering the hall after performing this ceremony, Lancelot heard that
a miracle had occurred, and rushed with the king and his companions down to
the riverside. There the rumor was verified, for they all saw a heavy stone
floating down the stream, and perceived that a costly weapon was sunk deep
in the stone. On this weapon was an inscription, declaring that none but a
peerless knight should attempt to draw it out, upon penalty of a grievous
punishment. As all the knights of the Round Table felt guilty of some sin,
they modestly refused to touch it.

When they returned into the hall an aged man came in, accompanied by
Galahad, and the latter, fearless by right of innocence, sat down in the
"Siege Perilous." As his name then appeared upon it, all knew that he was
the rightful occupant, and hailed his advent with joy. Then, noticing that
he wore an empty scabbard, and hearing him state that he had been promised
a marvelous sword, they one and all escorted him down to the river, where
he easily drew the sword out of the stone. This fitted exactly in his empty
sheath, and all vowed that it was evidently meant for him.

That selfsame night, after evensong, when all the knights were seated about
the Round Table at Camelot, they heard a long roll of thunder, and felt the
palace shake. The brilliant lights held by the statues of the twelve
conquered kings grew strangely dim, and then, gliding down upon a beam of
refulgent celestial light, they all beheld a dazzling vision of the Holy
Grail. Covered by white samite, and borne by invisible hands, the sacred
vessel was slowly carried all around the great hall, while a delicious
perfume was wafted throughout the huge edifice. All the knights of the
Round Table gazed in silent awe at this resplendent vision, and when it
vanished as suddenly and as mysteriously as it had come, each saw before
him the food which he liked best.

Speechless at first, and motionless until the wonted light again illumined
the hall, the knights gave fervent thanks for the mercy which had been
vouchsafed them, and then Lancelot, springing impetuously to his feet,
vowed that he would ride forth in search of the Holy Grail and would know
no rest until he had beheld it unveiled. This vow was echoed by all the
knights of the Round Table; and when Arthur now questioned them closely, he
discovered that none had seen the vessel unveiled. Still he could not
prevent his knights from setting out in quest of it, because they had
solemnly vowed to do so.

    "'Nay, lord, I heard the sound, I saw the light,
    But since I did not see the Holy Thing,
    I sware a vow to follow it till I saw.'

    "Then when he ask'd us, knight by knight, if any
    Had seen it, all their answers were as one:
    'Nay, lord, and therefore have we sworn our vows.'"
                                    TENNYSON, _The Holy Grail_.

[Sidenote: Quest of the Holy Grail.] During this quest the knights traveled
separately or in pairs all through the world, encountered many dangers, and
in true mediaeval fashion defended damsels in distress, challenged knights,
and covered themselves with scars and glory. Some of the legends declare
that Parzival alone saw the Holy Grail, while others aver that Lancelot saw
it through a veil faintly. The pure Galahad, having never sinned at all,
and having spent years in prayer and fasting, finally beheld it just as his
immaculate soul was borne to heaven by the angels.

The rest of the knights, realizing after many years' fruitless search that
they were unworthy of the boon, finally returned to Camelot, where they
were duly entertained by the queen. While they were feasting at her table,
one of their number, having partaken of a poisonous draught, fell lifeless
to the ground. As the incident had happened at the queen's side, some of
her detractors accused her of the crime, and bade her confess, or prove her
innocence by a judicial duel. Being her husband, Arthur was debarred by law
of the privilege of fighting for her in the lists of Camelot, and the poor
queen would have been condemned to be burned alive for lack of a champion
had not Lancelot appeared incognito, and forced her accuser to retract his

Throughout his reign Arthur had been wont to encourage his knights by
yearly tournaments, the victor's prize being each time a precious jewel. It
seems that these jewels had come into his possession in a peculiar way.
While wandering as a lad in Lyonesse, Arthur found the moldering bones of
two kings. Tradition related that these monarchs had slain each other, and,
as they were brothers, the murder seemed so heinous that none dared touch
their remains. There among the rusty armor lay a kingly crown studded with
diamonds, which Arthur picked up and carelessly set upon his own head. At
that very moment a prophetic voice was heard declaring to him that he
should rule. Arthur kept the crown, and made each jewel set in it the
object of a brilliant pageant when the prophecy had been fulfilled.

    "And Arthur came, and laboring up the pass,
    All in a misty moonshine, unawares
    Had trodden that crown'd skeleton, and the skull
    Brake from the nape, and from the skull the crown
    Roll'd into light, and turning on its rims
    Fled like a glittering rivulet to the tarn.
    And down the shingly scaur he plunged, and caught,
    And set it on his head, and in his heart
    Heard murmurs,--'Lo! thou likewise shalt be King.'"
                                 TENNYSON, _Lancelot and Elaine_.

[Sidenote: Lancelot's prowess.] Lancelot had been present at every one of
these knightly games, and had easily borne away the prize, for his very
name was almost enough to secure him the victory. When the time for the
last tournament came, he pretended to take no interest in it; but, riding
off to Astolat (Guildford), he asked Elaine, the fair maiden who dwelt
there, to guard his blazoned shield and give him another in exchange.

This fair lady, who had fallen in love with Lancelot at first sight,
immediately complied with his request, and even timidly suggested that he
should wear her colors in the coming fray. Lancelot had never worn any
favors except Guinevere's, but thinking that it would help to conceal his
identity, he accepted the crimson, pearl-embroidered sleeve she offered,
and fastened it to his helmet in the usual way.

    "'Lady, thy sleeve thou shalt off-shear,
    I wol it take for the love of thee;
    So did I never no lady's ere [before]
    But one, that most hath loved me.'"
                              ELLIS, _Lancelot du Lac_.

Thus effectually disguised, and accompanied by Sir Lawaine, Elaine's
brother, Lancelot rode on to the tournament, where, still unknown, he
unhorsed every knight and won the prize. His last encounter, however,
nearly proved fatal, for in it he received a grievous wound. As he felt
faint, and was afraid to be recognized, Lancelot did not wait to claim the
prize, but rode immediately out of the town. He soon fainted, but was
conveyed to the cell of a neighboring hermit. Here his wound was dressed,
and he was carefully nursed by Elaine, who had heard that he was wounded,
and had immediately set out in search of him.

[Sidenote: Lancelot and Elaine.] When Lancelot, entirely recovered, was
about to leave Elaine after claiming his own shield, she timidly confessed
her love, hoping that it was returned. Gently and sorrowfully Lancelot
repulsed her, and, by her father's advice, was even so discourteous as to
leave her without a special farewell. Unrequited love soon proved too much
for the "lily maid of Astolat," who pined away very rapidly. Feeling that
her end was near, she dictated a farewell letter to Lancelot, which she
made her father promise to put in her dead hand. She also directed that her
body should be laid in state on a barge, and sent in charge of a mute
boatman to Camelot, where she was sure she would receive a suitable burial
from the hands of Lancelot.

In the meanwhile the hero of the tournament had been sought everywhere by
Gawain, who was the bearer of the diamond won at such a cost. Coming to
Astolat before Lancelot was cured, Gawain had learned the name of the
victor, which he immediately proclaimed to Guinevere. The queen, however,
hearing a vague rumor that Lancelot had worn the colors of the maiden of
Astolat, and was about to marry her, grew so jealous that when Lancelot
reappeared at court she received him very coldly, and carelessly flung his
present (a necklace studded with the diamonds he had won at various
tournaments) into the river flowing beneath the castle walls.

                                     "She seized,
    And, thro' the casement standing wide for heat,
    Flung them, and down they flash'd, and smote the stream.
    Then from the smitten surface flash'd, as it were,
    Diamonds to meet them, and they passed away."
                                 TENNYSON, _Lancelot and Elaine_.

[Illustration: ELAINE--Rosenthal.]

[Sidenote: The funeral barge.] As he leaned out of the window to trace them
in their fall, Lancelot saw a barge slowly drifting down the stream. Its
peculiar appearance attracted his attention, and as it passed close by him
he saw that it bore a corpse. A moment later he had recognized the features
of the dead Elaine. The mute boatman paused at the castle steps, and Arthur
had the corpse borne into his presence. The letter was found and read aloud
in the midst of the awestruck court. Arthur, touched by the girl's love,
bade Lancelot fulfill her last request and lay her to rest. Lancelot then
related the brief story of the maiden, whose love he could not return, but
whose death he sincerely mourned.

    "'My lord liege Arthur, and all ye that hear,
    Know that for this most gentle maiden's death
    Right heavy am I; for good she was and true,
    But loved me with a love beyond all love
    In women, whomsoever I have known.
    Yet to be loved makes not to love again;
    Not at my years, however it hold in youth.
    I swear by truth and knighthood that I gave
    No cause, not willingly, for such a love:
    To this I call my friends in testimony,
    Her brethren, and her father, who himself
    Besought me to be plain and blunt, and use,
    To break her passion, some discourtesy
    Against my nature: what I could, I did.
    I left her and I bade her no farewell;
    Tho', had I dreamt the damsel would have died,
    I might have put my wits to some rough use,
    And help'd her from herself.'"
                            TENNYSON, _Lancelot and Elaine_.

Haunted by remorse for this involuntary crime, Lancelot again wandered away
from Camelot, but returned in time to save Guinevere, who had again been
falsely accused. In his indignation at the treatment to which she had been
exposed, Lancelot bore her off to Joyeuse Garde, where he swore he would
defend her even against the king. Arthur, whose mind, in the mean while,
had been poisoned by officious courtiers, besieged his recreant wife and
knight; but although repeatedly challenged, the loyal Lancelot ever refused
to bear arms directly against his king.

When the Pope heard of the dissension in England he finally interfered; and
Lancelot, assured that Guinevere would henceforth be treated with all due
respect, surrendered her to the king and retreated to his paternal estate
in Brittany. As Arthur's resentment against Lancelot had not yet cooled, he
left Guinevere under the care and protection of Mordred, his nephew,--some
versions say his son,--and then, at the head of a large force, departed for

[Sidenote: Treachery of Mordred.] Mordred the traitor immediately took
advantage of his uncle's absence to lay claim to the throne; and loudly
declaring that Arthur had been slain, he tried to force Guinevere to marry
him. As she demurred, he kept her a close prisoner, and set her free only
when she pretended to agree with his wishes, and asked permission to go to
London to buy wedding finery.

When Guinevere arrived in that city she intrenched herself in the Tower,
and sent word to her husband of her perilous position. Without any delay
Arthur abandoned the siege of Lancelot's stronghold, and, crossing the
channel, encountered Mordred's army near Dover.

Negotiations now took place, and it was finally agreed that Arthur and a
certain number of knights should meet Mordred with an equal number, and
discuss the terms of peace. It had been strictly enjoined on both parties
that no weapon should be drawn, and all would have gone well had not an
adder been lurking in the grass. One of the knights drew his sword to kill
it, and this unexpected movement proved the signal for one of the bloodiest
battles described in mediaeval poetry.

    "An addere crept forth of a bushe,
    Stunge one o' th' king's knightes on the knee.
    Alacke! it was a woefulle chance,
    As ever was in Christientie;
    When the knighte founde him wounded sore,
    And sawe the wild worme hanginge there,
    His sworde he from the scabbarde drewe;
    A piteous case, as ye shall heare;
    For when the two hostes saw the sworde,
    They joyned in battayle instantlye;
    Till of so manye noble knightes,
    On one side there was left but three."
                              _King Arthur's Death_.

[Sidenote: Arthur wounded.] On both sides the knights fought with the
utmost courage, and when nearly all were slain, Arthur encountered the
traitor Mordred. Summoning all his strength, the exhausted king finally
slew the usurper, who, in dying, dealt Arthur a mortal blow. This would
never have occurred, however, had not Morgana the fay, Arthur's sister,
purloined his magic scabbard and substituted another. All the enemy's host
had perished, and of Arthur's noble army only one man remained alive, Sir
Bedivere, a knight of the Round Table. He hastened to the side of his
fallen master, who in faltering accents now bade him take the brand
Excalibur, cast it far from him into the waters of the lake, and return to
report what he should see. The knight, thinking it a pity to throw away so
valuable a sword, concealed it twice; but the dying monarch detected the
fraud, and finally prevailed upon Bedivere to fulfill his wishes. As the
magic blade touched the waters Sir Bedivere saw a hand and arm rise up from
the depths to seize it, brandish it thrice, and disappear.

    "'Sir King, I closed mine eyelids, lest the gems
    Should blind my purpose; for I never saw,
    Nor shall see, here or elsewhere, till I die,
    Not tho' I live three lives of mortal men,
    So great a miracle as yonder hilt.
    Then with both hands I flung him, wheeling him;
    But when I look'd again, behold an arm,
    Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
    That caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him
    Three times, and drew him under in the mere.'"
                                  TENNYSON, _The Passing of Arthur_.

Arthur gave a sigh of relief when he heard this report; and after telling
his faithful squire that Merlin had declared that he should not die, he
bade the knight lay him in a barge, all hung with black, wherein he would
find Morgana the fay, the Queen of Northgallis, and the Queen of the

Sir Bedivere obeyed all these orders exactly; and then, seeing his beloved
king about to leave him, he implored permission to accompany him. This,
however, Arthur could not grant, for it had been decreed that he should go
alone to the island of Avalon, where he hoped to be cured of his grievous
wound, and some day to return to his sorrowing people.

    "'But now farewell. I am going a long way
    With these thou seest--if indeed I go
    (For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)--
    To the island-valley of Avilion;
    Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
    Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
    Deep-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard lawns
    And bowery hollows crown'd with summer sea,
    Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.'"
                                  TENNYSON, _The Passing of Arthur_.

[Sidenote: Arthur in Avalon.] It was because Arthur thus disappeared and
was never seen again, according to one version of the myth, and because
none knew whether he were living or dead, that he was popularly supposed to
be enjoying perpetual youth and bliss in the fabled island of Avalon,
whence they averred he would return when his people needed him. This belief
was so deeply rooted in England that Philip of Spain, upon marrying Mary,
was compelled to take a solemn oath whereby he bound himself to relinquish
the crown in favor of Arthur should he appear to claim it.

    "Still look the Britons for the day
    Of Arthur's coming o'er the sea."
                             LAYAMON, _Brut_.

Other romances and poems relate that Arthur was borne in the sable-hung
barge to Glastonbury, where his remains were laid in the tomb, while
Guinevere retired into the nunnery at Almesbury. There she was once more
visited by the sorrowing Lancelot, who, in spite of all his haste, had come
upon the scene too late to save or be reconciled to the king, to whom he
was still devotedly attached. In his sorrow and remorse the knight withdrew
into a hermitage, where he spent six years in constant penance and prayer.
At last he was warned in a vision that Guinevere was no more. He hastened
to Almesbury, and found her really dead. After burying her by Arthur's
side, in the chapel of Glastonbury, Lancelot again withdrew to his cell.
Six weeks later, worn to a shadow by abstinence and night watches, he
peacefully passed away, and a priest watching near him said that he had
seen the angels receive and bear his ransomed spirit straight up to heaven.

Lancelot was buried either at Arthur's feet or at Joyeuse Garde. He was
deeply mourned by all his friends, and especially by his heir, Sir Ector de
Maris, who eulogized him in the following touching terms: "'Ah, Sir
Lancelot,' he said, 'thou were head of all Christian knights; and now I
dare say,' said Sir Ector, 'that, Sir Lancelot, there thou liest, thou were
never matched of none earthly knight's hands; and thou were the courtliest
knight that ever bare shield; and thou were the truest friend to thy lover
that ever bestrode horse; and thou were the truest lover of a sinful man
that ever loved woman; and thou were the kindest man that ever struck with
sword; and thou were the goodliest person that ever came among press of
knights; and thou were the meekest man, and the gentlest, that ever ate in
hall among ladies; and thou were the sternest knight to thy mortal foe that
ever put spear in rest.'"



[Sidenote: Origin of the story.] The story of Tristan, which seems to have
been current from earliest times, refers, perhaps, to the adventures of a
knight, the contemporary of Arthur or of Cassivellaunus. The tale seems to
have already been known in the sixth century, and was soon seized upon by
the bards, who found it a rich theme for their metrical romances. It is
quite unknown whether it was first turned into Latin, French, or Welsh
verse; but an established fact is that it has been translated into every
European language, and was listened to with as much interest by the
inhabitants of Iceland as by those of the sunny plains of Greece.

We know that there are metrical versions, or remains of metrical versions,
attributed to Thomas of Ercildoune (the Rhymer), to Raoul de Beauvais,
Chrestien de Troyes, Rusticien de Pise, Luces de Cast, Robert and Hélie de
Borron, and Gottfried von Strassburg, and that in our day it has been
retold by Matthew Arnold and Swinburne, and made the subject of an opera by
Wagner. These old metrical versions, recited with manifold variations by
the minstrels, were finally collected into a prose romance, like most of
the mediaeval poems of this kind.

The outline of the story, collected from many different sources, is as

Meliadus (Rivalin, or Roland Rise) was Lord of Lyonesse (Ermonie, or
Parmenia), and after warring for some time against Morgan, he entered into
a seven-years' truce. This time of respite was employed by Meliadus in
visiting Mark, King of Cornwall, who dwelt at Tintagel, where he was
holding a great tournament. Many knights of tried valor hurried thither to
win laurels, but none were able to unhorse Meliadus, who obtained every

His courage was such that he even won the heart of Blanchefleur, the sister
of the king. As the monarch refused to consent to their union, the young
people were secretly married, or eloped, if we are to believe another
version of the story.

[Sidenote: Birth of Tristan.] According to the first account, Blanchefleur
remained at court, where, hearing that her husband had died, she breathed
her last in giving birth to a son, whom she called Tristan (Tristrem),
because he had come into the world under such sad circumstances. The second
version relates that Blanchefleur died as Morgan entered the castle over
her husband's dead body, and that her faithful retainer, Kurvenal (Rohand,
Rual), in order to save her son, claimed him as his own.

The child Tristan grew up without knowing his real parentage, learned all
that a knight was expected to know, and became especially expert as a
hunter and as a harp player. One day he strolled on board of a Norwegian
vessel which had anchored in the harbor near his ancestral home, and
accepted the challenge of the Norsemen to play a game of chess for a
certain wager.

As Tristan played at chess as well as upon the harp, he soon won the game;
but the Northmen, rather than pay their forfeited wager, suddenly raised
the anchor and sailed away, intending to sell the kidnaped youth as a

    "Ther com a ship of Norway,
      To Sir Rohandes hold,
    With haukes white and grey,
      And panes fair y-fold:
    Tristrem herd it say,
      On his playing he wold
    Tventi schilling to lay,
      Sir Rohand him told,
                    And taught;
    For hauke silver he gold;
      The fairest men him raught."
                     SCOTT, _Sir Tristrem_.

They had not gone far, however, before a terrible tempest arose, which
threatened to sink the vessel and drown all on board. The mariners,
supposing in their terror that this peril had come upon them because they
had acted dishonorably, made a solemn vow to liberate the youth if they

The vow having been made, the wind ceased to blow; and anchoring in the
nearest bay, the Norsemen bade Tristan land, and paid him the sum he had
won at chess.

[Sidenote: Tristan in Cornwall.] Thus forsaken on an unknown shore, with
nothing but his harp and bow, Tristan wandered through an extensive forest,
where, coming across a party of huntsmen who had just slain a deer, he gave
them valuable and lengthy instructions in matters pertaining to the chase,
and taught them how to flay and divide their quarry according to the most
approved mediaeval style. Then, accompanying them to the court of their
master, King Mark, he charmed every one with his minstrelsy, and was
invited to tarry there as long as he pleased. His foster father, Kurvenal,
in the mean while, had set out to seek him; and in the course of his
wanderings he too came to Mark's court, where he was overjoyed to find
Tristan, whose parentage he revealed to the king.

Tristan now for the first time heard the story of his father's death, and
refused to rest until he had avenged him. He immediately set out, slew
Morgan, and recovered his father's estate of Lyonesse, which he intrusted
to Kurvenal's care, while he himself went back to Cornwall. On arriving at
Tintagel he was surprised to find all the court plunged in sorrow. Upon
inquiring the cause he was informed that Morold, brother of the King of
Ireland, had come to claim the usual tribute of three hundred pounds of
silver and tin and three hundred promising youths to be sold into slavery.

Indignant at this claim, which had been enforced ever since Mark had been
defeated in battle by the Irish king, Tristan boldly strode up to the
emissary, tore the treaty in two, flung the pieces in his face, and
challenged him to single combat. Morold, confident in his strength,--for he
was a giant,--and relying particularly upon his poisoned sword, immediately
accepted the challenge. When the usual preliminaries had been settled, the
battle began.

    "Sir Morold rode upon his steed,
    And flew against Tristan with speed
    Still greater than is falcons' flight;
    But warlike too was Tristan's might."
                GOTTFRIED VON STRASSBURG (Dippold's tr.).

Terrible blows were given and received, and at last Tristan sank to the
ground on one knee, for his opponent's poisoned weapon had pierced his

Morold then called upon him to acknowledge himself beaten, promising to
obtain a balsam from his sister Iseult (Isolde, Ysolde), who knew a remedy
for such a dangerous wound. But Tristan, remembering that, if he
surrendered, three hundred innocent children would be sold as slaves, made
a last despairing effort, and slew Morold. Such was the force of the blow
he dealt that he cut through the helmet and pierced Morold's skull, which
was so hard that a fragment of his sword remained imbedded within the

The people of Cornwall were, of course, delighted; and while the Irish
heralds returned empty-handed to Dublin with Morold's remains, the King of
Cornwall loudly proclaimed that as he had no son, Tristan should be his

[Sidenote: Tristan's wound.] Tristan, however, was far from happy, for the
wound in his side refused to heal, and gradually became so offensive that
no one could bear his presence. As none of the court doctors could relieve
him, he remembered Morold's words, and resolved to go to Ireland, in hopes
that Iseult would cure him. Conscious, however, that she would never
consent to help him if she suspected his identity, he embarked alone, or
with Kurvenal, in a small vessel, taking only his harp, and drifted toward
Ireland, where he arrived at the end of fifteen days. When he appeared at
court, Tristan declared that he was a wandering minstrel called Tantris,
and bespoke the kind offices of the queen, Iseult. Charmed by his music,
she hastened to cure him of the grievous wound from which he had suffered
so much.

Tristan, still unknown, remained at the Irish court for some time, spending
many hours with Iseult, the daughter and namesake of the queen, whom he
instructed daily in the art of music. After some months passed thus in
pleasant intercourse, Tristan returned to Cornwall, where he related to
Mark the story of his cure, and so extolled the beauty of young Iseult that
the king finally expressed a desire to marry her. By the advice of the
courtiers, who were jealous of Tristan, and who hoped that this mission
would cost him his life, the young hero was sent to Ireland with an
imposing retinue, to sue for the maiden's hand and to escort her safely to

On landing in Dublin, Tristan immediately became aware that the people were
laboring under an unusual excitement. Upon questioning them he learned that
a terrible dragon had taken up its station near the city, that it was
devastating the country, and that the king had promised the hand of Iseult
to the man who would slay the monster. Tristan immediately concluded that
by killing the dragon he would have the best chance of successfully
carrying out his uncle's wishes, so he sallied forth alone to attack it.

    "This dragon had two furious wings,
      Each one upon each shoulder;
    With a sting in his tayl as long as a flayl,
      Which made him bolder and bolder.

    "He had long claws, and in his jaws
      Four and forty teeth of iron;
    With a hide as tough as any buff
      Which did him round environ."
               _Dragon of Wantly_ (Old Ballad).

[Sidenote: Tristan and the dragon.] In spite of the fearful appearance of
this dragon, and of the volumes of fire and venom which it belched forth,
Tristan encountered it bravely, and finally slew it. Then, cutting out the
monster's tongue, he thrust it into his pocket, intending to produce it at
the right moment. He had gone only a few steps, however, when, exhausted by
his prolonged conflict, stunned by the poisonous fumes which he had
inhaled, and overcome by the close contact with the dragon's tongue, he
sank fainting to the ground. A few moments later the butler of the Irish
king rode up. He saw the dragon dead, with his conqueror lifeless beside
him, and quickly resolved to take advantage of this fortunate chance to
secure the hand of the fair princess. He therefore cut off the dragon's
head, and, going to court, boasted of having slain the monster just as it
had killed a strange knight. Iseult and her mother, well aware that the man
was a coward, refused to believe his story, and hastened off to the scene
of the conflict, where they found the fainting Tristan with the dragon's
tongue in his pocket.

To remove the poisonous substance, (which they, however, preserved,) convey
the knight to the palace, and restore him by tender care, was the next
impulse of these brave women. Then, while Iseult the younger sat beside her
patient, watching his slumbers, she idly drew his sword from the scabbard.
Suddenly her eye was caught by a dint in the blade, which she soon
discovered was of exactly the same shape and size as the fragment of steel
which she had found in her uncle's skull.

    "Then all at once her heart grew cold
    In thinking of that deed of old.
    Her color changed through grief and ire
    From deadly pale to glowing fire.
    With sorrow she exclaimed: 'Alas!
    Oh, woe! what has now come to pass?
    Who carried here this weapon dread,
    By which mine uncle was struck dead?
    And he who slew him, Tristan hight.
    Who gave it to this minstrel knight?'"
                      GOTTFRIED VON STRASSBURG (Dippold's tr.).

Morold's murderer lay helpless before her, and Iseult, animated by the
spirit of vengeance, which was considered a sacred duty among the people of
the time, was about to slay Tristan, when he opened his eyes and disarmed
her by a glance. Her mother further hindered her carrying out her hostile
intentions by telling her that Tristan had atoned for his crime by
delivering the people from the power of the dragon.

As soon as Tristan had quite recovered, he appeared at court, where he
offered to prove at the point of his sword that the butler had no claim to
the princess's hand. A duel was arranged, and the butler, disarmed by
Tristan, confessed his lie. Tristan then produced the dragon's tongue and
told his adventures; but, to the general surprise, instead of suing for
Iseult's hand for himself, he now asked it in the name of his uncle, King
Mark of Cornwall.

[Sidenote: The love potion.] The young princess was none too well pleased
at this unexpected turn of affairs; but, as princesses never had much to
say about the choice of a husband, she obediently prepared to accompany the
embassy to Tintagel. Her mother, wishing to preserve her from a loveless
marriage, now sought out all manner of herbs wherewith to brew one of those
magic love potions which were popularly supposed to have unlimited powers.

    "Bethought her with her secret soul alone
    To work some charm for marriage unison,
    And strike the heart of Iseult to her lord
    With power compulsive more than stroke of sword."
                          SWINBURNE, _Tristram of Lyonesse_.

This magic potion was put in a golden cup and intrusted to Brangwaine, the
attendant of Iseult, with strict injunctions to guard the secret well, and
to give the draught to her mistress and Mark to quaff together on their
wedding day.

    "Therefore with marvelous herbs and spells she wrought
    To win the very wonder of her thought,
    And brewed it with her secret hands, and blest
    And drew and gave out of her secret breast
    To one her chosen and Iseult's handmaiden,
    Brangwain, and bade her hide from sight of men
    This marvel covered in a golden cup,
    So covering in her heart the counsel up
    As in the gold the wondrous wine lay close."
                          SWINBURNE, _Tristram of Lyonesse_.

Brangwaine carefully carried this potion on board the ship, and placed it
in a cupboard, whence she intended to produce it when the suitable moment
came. Iseult embarked with the escort sent from Cornwall, and Tristan, in
order to beguile the long, weary hours of the journey, entertained her with
all the songs and stories that he knew. One day, after singing for some
time, he asked his fair young mistress for a drink; and she, going to the
cupboard, drew out the magic potion, little guessing its power.

As was customary in those days in offering wine to an honored guest, she
first put it to her own lips and then handed it to the thirsty minstrel,
who drained it greedily. They had no sooner drunk, however, than the
draught, working with subtle power, suddenly kindled in their hearts a
passionate love, destined to last as long as they both lived.

    "Now that the maiden and the man,
    Fair Iseult and Tristan,
    Both drank the drink, upon them pressed
    What gives the world such sore unrest,--
    Love, skilled in sly and prowling arts,--
    And swiftly crept in both their hearts;
    So, ere of him they were aware,
    Stood his victorious banners there.
    He drew them both into his power;
    One and single were they that hour
    That two and twofold were before."
                           GOTTFRIED VON STRASSBURG (Bayard Taylor's tr.).

After the first few hours of rapture had passed, the young people, who
honorably intended to keep their word and conquer the fatal passion which
had overwhelmed them, remained apart, and when Iseult landed in Cornwall
her marriage was celebrated with Mark. Brangwaine, who knew all that had
passed, tried to shield her mistress in every way, and blind the king, who
is depicted as a very unheroic monarch, but little fitted to secure the
affections of the proud young Iseult.

[Sidenote: Tristan and Iseult.] This story of a love potion whose magic
power none could resist, and of the undying love which it kindled in the
unsuspecting hearts of Tristan and Iseult, has been treated in many ways by
the different poets and prose writers who have handled it. In many of the
older versions we have lengthy descriptions of stolen interviews,
hairbreadth escapes, and tests of love, truth, and fidelity without number.

In many respects the story is a parallel of that of Lancelot and Guinevere,
although it contains some incidents which are duplicated in the
"Nibelungenlied" only. But throughout, the writers all aver that, owing to
the magic draught, the lovers, however good their intentions, could not
long exist without seeing each other.

By means of this boundless love Tristan is said to have had an intuitive
knowledge of Iseult's peril, for he hastened to rescue her from danger
whenever events took a turn which might prove fatal to her. There are in
some of these old romances pretty descriptions of scenery and of the
signals used by the lovers to communicate with each other when forced by
adverse circumstances to remain apart. One of the poems, for instance, says
that Tristan's love messages were written on chips of wood, which he
floated down the little stream which flowed past his sylvan lodge and
crossed the garden of the queen.

[Sidenote: Meliadus.] The inevitable villain of the tale is one of Mark's
squires, the spy Meliadus, also a very unheroic character, who told the
king of Tristan's love for Iseult. Mark, who all through the story seems
strangely indifferent to his beautiful wife, was not aware of the magic
draught and its powerful effect, but Meliadus roused him temporarily from
his apathy.

[Illustration:  ISEULT SIGNALS TRISTAN.--Pixis.]

As the queen had been publicly accused, he compelled her to prove her
innocence by undergoing the ordeal of fire, or by taking a public oath that
she had shown favor to none but him. On her way to the place where this
ceremony was to take place, Iseult was carried across a stream by Tristan
disguised as a beggar, and, at his request, kissed him in reward for this

When called upon to take her oath before the judges and assembled court,
Iseult could truthfully swear that, with the exception of the beggar whom
she had just publicly kissed, no other man than the king could ever boast
of having received any special mark of her favor.

Thus made aware of their danger, the lovers again decided to part, and
Tristan, deprived for a time of the sight of Iseult, went mad, and
performed many extraordinary feats; for mediaeval poets generally drove
their heroes into a frenzy when they did not know what else to do with
them. Having recovered, and hoping to forget the fatal passion which had
already caused him so much sorrow, Tristan now wandered off to Arthur's
court, where he performed many deeds of valor. Thence he went on to various
strange lands, distinguishing himself greatly everywhere, until he received
from a poisoned arrow a wound which no doctor could heal.

[Sidenote: Iseult of Brittany.] Afraid to expose himself again to the
fascinations of Iseult of Cornwall, Tristan went to Brittany, where another
Iseult,--with the White Hands,--equally well skilled in medicine, tenderly
nursed him back to health. This maiden, as good and gentle as she was
beautiful, soon fell in love with the handsome knight, and hearing him sing
a passionate lay in honor of Iseult, she fancied that her affections were
returned, and that it was intended for her ear.

    "I know her by her mildness rare,
    Her snow-white hands, her golden hair;
    I know her by her rich silk dress,
    And her fragile loveliness,--
    The sweetest Christian soul alive,
    Iseult of Brittany."
                  MATTHEW ARNOLD, _Tristram and Iseult_.

The brother of this fair Iseult saw her love for Tristan, and offered him
her hand, which he accepted more out of gratitude than love, and in the
hope that he might at last overcome the effects of the fatal draught. But,
in spite of all his good resolutions, he could not forget Iseult of
Cornwall, and treated his wife with such polite coolness that her brother's
suspicions were finally roused.

Tristan, having conquered a neighboring giant and magician by the name of
Beliagog, had granted him his life only upon condition that he would build
a marvelous palace in the forest, and adorn it with paintings and
sculptures, true to life, and representing all the different stages of his
passion for Iseult of Cornwall. When his brother-in-law, therefore, asked
why he seemed to find no pleasure in the society of his young wife, Tristan
led him to the palace, showed him the works of art, and told him all.
Ganhardin, the brother-in-law, must evidently have considered the excuse a
good one, for he not only forgave Tristan, but implored him to take him to
Cornwall, for he had fallen in love with the picture of Brangwaine, and
hoped to win her for wife. On the way thither the young knights met with
sundry adventures, delivered Arthur from the power of the Lady of the Lake,
and carried off Iseult, whom the cowardly Mark was ill treating, to
Lancelot's castle of Joyeuse Garde. There she became acquainted with
Guinevere, and remained with her until Arthur brought about a general

Then Tristan once more returned to Brittany, resumed his wonted knightly
existence, and fought until he was wounded so sorely that Iseult of
Brittany could not cure him. His faithful steward Kurvenal, hoping yet to
save him, sailed for Cornwall to bring the other Iseult to the rescue; and
as he left he promised his master to change the black sails of the vessel
for white in case his quest were successful.

Tristan now watched impatiently for the returning sail, but just as it came
into view he breathed his last. Some ill-advised writers have ventured to
state that Iseult of Brittany, whose jealousy had been aroused, was guilty
of Tristan's death by falsely averring, in answer to his feverish inquiry,
that the long-expected vessel was wafted along by black sails; but,
according to other authorities, she remained gentle and lovable to the end.

[Sidenote: Miracle of the plants.] Iseult of Cornwall, speeding to the
rescue of her lover, whom nothing could make her forget, and finding him
dead, breathed her last upon his corpse. Both bodies were then carried to
Cornwall, where they were interred in separate graves by order of King
Mark. But from the tomb of the dead minstrel there soon sprang a creeper,
which, finding its way along the walls, descended into Iseult's grave.
Thrice cut down by Mark's orders, the plant persisted in growing, thus
emphasizing by a miracle the passionate love which made this couple
proverbial in the middle ages. There are in subsequent literature many
parallels of the miracle of the plant which sprang from Tristan's tomb, as
is seen by the Ballad of Lord Thomas and Fair Annet, and of Lord Lovel,
where, as in later versions of the Tristan legend, a rose and a vine grew
out of the respective graves and twined tenderly around each other.

    "And out of her breast there grew a red rose,
    And out of his breast a brier."
                            _Ballad of Lord Lovel_.



[Sidenote: Northern sagas.] Norse, Danish, and Swedish writers have
frequently called public attention to the vast literary treasures which are
contained in the old sagas or tales of their forefathers. The work of
northern scalds whose names in most cases are unknown to us, these stories
relate the lives and adventures of the gods and heroes of the North. Many
of these old sagas have been translated into various other European
languages; but Tegnér, a Swedish writer of this century, has done most to
revive a taste for them by making one of them the basis of a poem which is
generally considered a masterpiece.

Tegnér's "Frithiof Saga" has been translated once at least into every
European tongue, and more than eighteen times into English and German.
Goethe spoke of the work with the greatest enthusiasm, and the tale, which
gives a matchless picture of the life of our heathen ancestors in the
North, has been the source of inspiration for important works of art.

Although Tegnér has chosen for his theme the Frithiof saga only, we find
that that tale is the sequel to the older but less interesting Thorsten
saga, of which we give here a very brief outline, merely to enable the
reader to understand clearly every allusion in the more modern poem.

As is so frequently the case with these ancient tales, the story begins
with Haloge (Loki), who came north with Odin, and began to reign over north
Norway, which from him was called Halogaland. According to northern
mythology, this god had two lovely daughters. They were carried off by bold
suitors, who, banished from the mainland by Haloge's curses and magic
spells, took refuge with their newly won wives upon neighboring islands.

[Sidenote: Birth of Viking.] Thus it happened that Haloge's grandson,
Viking, was born upon the island of Bornholm, in the Balitic Sea, where he
dwelt until he was fifteen, and where he became the largest and strongest
man of his time. Rumors of his valor finally reached Hunvor, a Swedish
princess; and, as she was oppressed by the attentions of a gigantic suitor
whom none dared drive away, she quickly sent for Viking to deliver her.

Thus summoned, the youth departed, after having received from his father a
magic sword named Angurvadel, whose blows would prove fatal even to the
giant suitor of Hunvor. A "holmgang,"  the northern name for a duel,
ensued, and Viking, having slain his antagonist, could have married the
princess had it not been considered disgraceful for a Northman to marry
before he was twenty.

To beguile the time of waiting, Viking set out in a well-manned dragon
ship; and, cruising about the northern and southern seas, he met with
countless adventures. During this time he was particularly persecuted by
the slain giant's kin, who were adepts in magic, and caused him to
encounter innumerable perils by land and by sea.

Aided and abetted by his bosom friend, Halfdan, Viking escaped every
danger, slew many of his foes, and, after recovering his promised bride,
Hunvor, whom the enemy had carried off to India, he settled down in Sweden.
His friend, faithful in peace as well as in war, settled near him, and
married also, choosing for his wife Ingeborg, Hunvor's attendant.

The saga now describes the long, peaceful winters, when the warriors
feasted and listened to the tales of the scalds, rousing themselves to
energetic efforts only when returning spring again permitted them to launch
their dragon ships and set out once more upon their favorite piratical
expeditions. In the olden story the bards relate with great gusto every
phase of attack and defense during cruise and raid, describe every blow
given and received, and spare us none of carnage, or lurid flames which
envelop both enemies and ships in common ruin. A fierce fight is often an
earnest of future friendship, however, for we are told that Halfdan and
Viking, having failed to conquer Njorfe, even after a most obstinate
struggle, sheathed their swords and accepted him as a third in their close
bond of friendship.

On returning home after one of these customary raids, Viking lost his
beloved wife; and, after intrusting her child, Ring, to the care of a
foster father, and undergoing a short period of mourning, the brave warrior
married again. This time his marital bliss was more lasting, for the saga
reports that his second wife bore him nine stalwart sons.

Njorfe, King of Uplands, in Norway, had, in the mean while, followed
Viking's example, and he too rejoiced in a large family, numbering also
nine brave sons. Now, although their fathers were united in bonds of the
closest friendship, having sworn blood brotherhood according to the true
northern rites, the young men were jealous of one another, and greatly
inclined to quarrel.

[Sidenote: Early ball games.] Notwithstanding this smoldering animosity,
these youths often met; and the saga relates that they used to play ball
together, and gives a description of the earliest ball game on record in
the northern annals. Viking's sons, as tall and strong as he, were inclined
to be rather reckless of their opponents' welfare, and, judging from the
following account, translated from the old saga, the players were often
left in as sorry a condition as after a modern game.

"The next morning the brothers went to the games, and generally had the
ball during the day; they pushed men and let them fall roughly, and beat
others. At night three men had their arms broken, and many were bruised or

The game between Njorfe's and Viking's sons culminated in a disagreement,
and one of the former nine struck one of the latter a dangerous and
treacherous blow. Prevented from taking his revenge then and there by the
interference of the spectators, the injured man made a trivial excuse to
return to the ball ground alone; and, meeting his assailant there, he
killed him.

When Viking heard that one of his sons had slain one of his friend's
children, he was very indignant, and, mindful of his oath to avenge all
Njorfe's wrongs, he banished the young murderer. The other brothers, on
hearing this sentence, all vowed that they would accompany the exile, and
so Viking sorrowfully bade them farewell, giving his sword Angurvadel to
Thorsten, the eldest, and cautioning him to remain quietly on an island in
Lake Wener until all danger of retaliation on the part of Njorfe's
remaining sons was over.

The young men obeyed; but Njorfe's sons, who had no boats to take them
across the lake, soon made use of a conjuror's art to bring about a great
frost, and, accompanied by many armed men, stole noiselessly over the ice
to attack Thorsten and his brothers. A terrible carnage ensued, and only
two of the attacking party managed to escape, leaving, as they fancied, all
their foes among the dead.

But when Viking came to bury his sons, he found that two of them, Thorsten
and Thorer, were still alive, and he secretly conveyed them to a cellar
beneath his dwelling, where they recovered from their wounds.

By magic arts Njorfe's two sons discovered that their opponents were not
dead, and soon made a second desperate but vain attempt to kill them.
Viking saw that the quarrel would be incessantly renewed if his sons
remained at home; so he now sent them to Halfdan, whose court they reached
after a series of adventures which in many points resemble those of Theseus
on his way to Athens.

When spring came Thorsten embarked on a piratical excursion, and
encountered Jokul, Njorfe's eldest son, who, in the mean while, had taken
forcible possession of the kingdom of Sogn, after killing the king,
banishing his heir, Belé, and changing his beautiful daughter, Ingeborg,
into the form of an old witch.

Throughout the story Jokul is represented as somewhat of a coward, for he
resorted by preference to magic when he wished to injure Viking's sons.
Thus he stirred up great tempests, and Thorsten, after twice suffering
shipwreck, was saved from the waves by the witch Ingeborg, whom he promised
to marry in gratitude for her good services.

Thorsten, advised by her, went in search of Belé, replaced him on his
hereditary throne, swore eternal friendship with him, and, the baleful
spell being removed, married the beautiful Ingeborg, who dwelt with him at

[Sidenote: Thorsten and Belé.] Every spring Thorsten and Belé now set out
together in their ships; and, joining forces with Angantyr, a foe whose
mettle they had duly tested, they proceeded to recover possession of a
priceless treasure, a magic dragon ship named Ellida, which Aegir, god of
the sea, had once given to Viking in reward for hospitable treatment, and
which had been stolen from him.

    "A royal gift to behold, for the swelling planks of its framework
    Were not fastened with nails, as is wont, but _grown_ in together.
    Its shape was that of a dragon when swimming, but forward
    Its head rose proudly on high, the throat with yellow gold flaming;
    Its belly was spotted with red and yellow, but back by the rudder
    Coiled out its mighty tail in circles, all scaly with silver;
    Black wings with edges of red; when all were expanded
    Ellida raced with the whistling storm, but outstript the eagle.
    When filled to the edge with warriors, it sailed o'er the waters,
    You'd deem it a floating fortress, or warlike abode of a monarch.
    The ship was famed far and wide, and of ships was first in the North."
                             TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

The next season, Thorsten, Belé, and Angantyr conquered the Orkney Islands,
which were given as kingdom to the latter, he voluntarily pledging himself
to pay a yearly tribute to Belé. Next Thorsten and Belé went in quest of a
magic ring, or armlet, once forged by Völund, the smith, and stolen by
Soté, a famous pirate.

This bold robber was so afraid lest some one should gain possession of the
magic ring, that he had buried himself alive with it in a mound in
Bretland. Here his ghost was said to keep constant watch over it, and when
Thorsten entered his tomb, Belé heard the frightful blows given and
received, and saw lurid gleams of supernatural fire.

When Thorsten finally staggered out of the mound, pale and bloody, but
triumphant, he refused to speak of the horrors he had encountered to win
the coveted treasure, nor would he ever vouchsafe further information than

          "'Dearly bought is the prize,' said he often,
    'For I trembled but once in my life, and 'twas when I seized it!'"
                            TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

[Sidenote: Birth of Frithiof and Ingeborg.] Thus owner of the three
greatest treasures in the North, Thorsten returned home to Framnäs, where
Ingeborg bore him a fine boy, Frithiof, the playmate of Halfdan and Helgé,
Belé's sons. The three youths were already well grown when Ingeborg, Belé's
little daughter, was born, and as she was intrusted to the care of Hilding,
Frithiof's foster father, the children grew up in perfect amity.

    "Jocund they grew, in guileless glee;
    Young Frithiof was the sapling tree;
    In budding beauty by his side,
    Sweet Ingeborg, the garden's pride."
                       TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Longfellow's tr.).

Frithiof soon became hardy and fearless under his foster father's training,
and Ingeborg rapidly developed all the sweetest traits of female
loveliness. Both, however, were happiest when together; and as they grew
older their childish affection daily became deeper and more intense, until
Hilding, perceiving this state of affairs, bade the youth remember that he
was only a subject, and therefore no mate for the king's only daughter.

    "But Hilding said, 'O foster son,
    Set not thy heart her love upon,
    For Destiny thy wish gainsaid;
    King Belé's daughter is the maid!

    "'From Odin's self, in starry sky,
    Descends her ancestry so high;
    But thou art Thorsten's son, so yield,
    And leave to mightier names the field.'"
                        TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.)

[Sidenote: Frithiof's love for Ingeborg.] These wise admonitions came too
late, however, and Frithiof vehemently declared that he would win the fair
Ingeborg for his bride in spite of all obstacles and his comparatively
humble origin.

Shortly after this Belé and Thorsten met for the last time, near the
magnificent shrine of Balder, where the king, feeling that his end was
near, had convened a solemn assembly, or Thing, of all his principal
subjects, in order to present his sons Helgé and Halfdan to the people as
his chosen successors. The young heirs were very coldly received on this
occasion, for Helgé was of a somber and taciturn disposition, and inclined
to the life of a priest, and Halfdan was of a weak, effeminate nature, and
noted for his cowardice. Frithiof, who was present, and stood beside them,
cast them both in the shade, and won many admiring glances from the throng.

    "But after them came Frithiof, in mantle blue--
    He by a head was taller than th' other two.
    He stood between the brethren, as day should light
    Between the rosy morning and darksome night."
                              TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.)

After giving his last instructions to his sons, and speaking kindly to
Frithiof, who was his favorite, the old king turned to his lifelong
companion, Thorsten, to take leave of him, but the old warrior declared
that they would not long be parted. Belé then spoke again to his sons, and
bade them erect his howe, or funeral mound, within sight of that of
Thorsten, that their spirits might commune, and not be sundered even in

    "'But lay us gently, children, where the blue wave,
    Beating harmonious cadence, the shore doth lave;
    Its murmuring song is pleasant unto the soul,
    And like a lamentation its ceaseless roll.

    "'And when the moon's pale luster around us streams,
    And midnight dim grows radiant with silver beams,
    There will we sit, O Thorsten, upon our graves,
    And talk of bygone battles by the dark waves.

    "'And now, farewell, my children! Come here no more;
    Our road lies to Allfather's far-distant shore,
    E'en as the troubled river sweeps to the sea:
    By Frey and Thor and Odin blessed may ye be.'"
                            TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

[Sidenote: Helgé and Halfdan.] These instructions were all piously obeyed
when the aged companions had breathed their last. Then the brothers, Helgé
and Halfdan, began to rule their kingdom, while Frithiof, their former
playmate, withdrew to his own place at Framnäs, a very fertile homestead,
lying in a snug valley closed in by the towering mountains and the
ever-changing ocean.

    "Three miles extended around the fields of the homestead; on
          three sides
    Valleys and mountains and hills, but on the fourth side was the
    Birch-woods crowned the summits, but over the down-sloping
    Flourished the golden corn, and man-high was waving the rye-
                              TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Longfellow's tr.).

But although surrounded by faithful retainers, and blessed with much wealth
and the possession of the famous sword Angurvadel, the Völund ring, and the
matchless dragon ship Ellida, Frithiof was unhappy, because he could no
longer see the fair Ingeborg daily. With the returning spring, however, all
his former spirits returned, for both kings came to visit him, accompanied
by their fair sister, with whom he lived over the happy childish years, and
spent long hours in cheerful companionship. As they were thus constantly
thrown together, Frithiof soon made known to Ingeborg his deep affection,
and received in return an avowal of her love.

    "He sat by her side, and he pressed her soft hand,
    And he felt a soft pressure responsive and bland;
    Whilst his love-beaming gaze
    Was returned as the sun's in the moon's placid rays."
                           TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Longfellow's tr.).

[Sidenote:  Frithiof's suit.] When the visit was over and the guests had
departed, Frithiof informed his confidant and chief companion, Björn, of
his determination to follow them and openly ask for Ingeborg's hand. His
ship was prepared, and after a swift sail touched the shore near Balder's
shrine. Discerning the royal brothers seated in state on Belé's tomb to
listen to the petitions of their subjects, Frithiof immediately presented
himself before them, and manfully made his request, adding that the old
king had always loved him and would surely have granted his prayer.

    "They were seated on Belè's tomb, and o'er
    The common folk administered law.
    But Frithiof speaks,
    And his voice re-echoes round valleys and peaks.

    "'Ye kings, my love is Ingborg fair;
    To ask her in marriage I here repair;
    And what I require
    I here maintain was King Belè's desire.

    "'He let us grow in Hilding's care,
    Like two young saplings, year by year;
    And therefore, kings,
    Unite the full-grown trees with golden rings.'"
                     TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

But although he promised lifelong fealty and the service of his strong
right arm in exchange for the boon he craved, Helgé contemptuously
dismissed him. Enraged at the insult thus publicly received, Frithiof
raised his invincible sword; but, remembering that he stood on a
consecrated spot, he spared the king, only cutting the royal shield in two
to show the strength of his blade, and striding back to his ship, he
embarked and sailed away in sullen silence.

                  "And lo! cloven in twain at a stroke
    Fell King Helgé's gold shield from its pillar of oak:
    At the clang of the blow,
    The live started above, the dead started below."
                    TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Longfellow's tr.).

[Sidenote: Sigurd Ring a suitor.] Just after his departure came messengers
from Sigurd Ring, the aged King of Ringric, in Norway, who, having lost his
wife, sent to Helgé and Halfdan to ask Ingeborg's hand in marriage. Before
answering this royal suitor, Helgé consulted the Vala, or prophetess, and
the priests, and as they all declared that the omens were not in favor of
this marriage, he gave an insolent refusal to the messengers. This
impolitic conduct so offended the would-be suitor that he immediately
collected an army and prepared to march against the Kings of Sogn to avenge
the insult with his sword. When the rumor of his approach reached the
cowardly brothers they were terrified, and fearing to encounter the foe
alone, they sent Hilding to Frithiof to implore his aid.

Hilding gladly undertook the mission, although he had not much hope of its
success. He found Frithiof playing chess with a friend, Björn, and
immediately made known his errand.

                   "'From Belé's high heirs
    I come with courteous words and prayers:
    Disastrous tidings rouse the brave;
    On thee a nation's hope relies.

         *       *       *       *       *

     In Balder's fane, grief's loveliest prey,
     Sweet Ing'borg weeps the livelong day:
     Say, can her tears unheeded fall,
     Nor call her champion to her side?'"
                       TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Longfellow's tr.).

But Frithiof was so deeply offended that even this appeal in the name of
his beloved could not move him. Quietly he continued his game of chess,
and, when it was ended, told Hilding that he had no answer to give. Rightly
concluding that Frithiof would lend the kings no aid, Hilding returned to
Helgé and Halfdan, who, forced to fight without their bravest leader,
preferred to make a treaty with Sigurd Ring, promising to give him not only
their sister Ingeborg, but also a yearly tribute.

[Sidenote: At Balder's shrine.] While they were thus engaged at Sogn Sound,
Frithiof hastened to Balder's temple, where, as Hilding had declared, he
found Ingeborg a prey to grief. Now although it was considered a sacrilege
for man and woman to exchange a word in the sacred building, Frithiof could
not see his beloved in tears without attempting to console her; and,
forgetting all else, he spoke to her and comforted her. He repeated how
dearly he loved her, quieted all her apprehensions of the gods' anger by
assuring her that Balder, the good, must view their innocent passion with
approving eyes, said that love as pure as theirs could defile no sanctuary,
and plighted his troth to her before the shrine.

[Illustration: THE LOVERS AT BALDER'S SHRINE.--Kepler.]

    "'What whisper you of Balder's ire?
    The pious god--he is not wrath.
    He loves himself, and doth inspire
    Our love--the purest he calls forth.
    The god with true and steadfast heart,
    The sun upon his glittering form,
    Is not his love for Nanna part
    Of his own nature, pure and warm?

    "'There is his image; he is near.
    How mild he looks on me--how kind!
    A sacrifice to him I'll bear,
    The offer of a loving mind.
    Kneel down with me; no better gift,
    No fairer sure for Balder is,
    Than two young hearts, whose love doth lift
    Above the world almost like his.'"
                        TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

Reassured by this reasoning, Ingeborg no longer refused to see and converse
with Frithiof; and during the kings' absence the young lovers met every
day, and plighted their troth with Volund's ring, which Ingeborg solemnly
promised to send back to her lover should she break her promise to live for
him alone. Frithiof lingered there until the kings' return, when, for love
of Ingeborg the fair, he again appeared before them, and pledged himself to
free them from their thraldom to Sigurd Ring if they would only reconsider
their decision and promise him their sister's hand.

                                   "'War is abroad,
    And strikes his echoing shield within our borders;
    Thy crown and land, King Helgé, are in danger;
    Give me thy sister's hand, and I will use
    Henceforth my warlike force in thy defense.
    Let then the wrath between us be forgotten,
    Unwillingly I strive 'gainst Ingborg's brother.
    Secure, O king, by one fraternal act
    Thy golden crown and save thy sister's heart.
    Here is my hand. By Thor, I ne'er again
    Present it here for reconciliation.'"
                       TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

[Sidenote: Frithiof in disgrace.] But although this offer was hailed with
rapture by the assembled warriors, it was again scornfully rejected by
Helgé, who declared that he would have granted it had not Frithiof proved
himself unworthy of all confidence by defiling the temple of the gods.
Frithiof tried to defend himself; but as he had to plead guilty to the
accusation of having conversed with Ingeborg at Balder's shrine, he was
convicted of having broken the law, and, in punishment therefor, condemned
to sail off to the Orkney Islands to claim tribute from the king, Angantyr.

Before he sailed, however, he once more sought Ingeborg, and vainly tried
to induce her to elope with him by promising her a home in the sunny south,
where her happiness should be his law, and where she should rule over his
subjects as his honored wife. Ingeborg sorrowfully refused to accompany
him, saying that, since her father was no more, she was in duty bound to
obey her brothers implicitly, and could not marry without their consent.

                   "'But Helgé is my father,
    Stands in my father's place; on his consent
    Depends my hand, and Belé's daughter steals not
    Her earthly happiness, how near it be.'"
                      TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

After a heartrending parting scene, Frithiof embarked upon Ellida, and
sorrowfully sailed out of the harbor, while Ingeborg wept at his departure.
When the vessel was barely out of sight, Helgé sent for two witches named
Heid and Ham, bidding them begin their incantations, and stir up such a
tempest at sea that it would be impossible for even the god-given vessel
Ellida to withstand its fury, and all on board would perish. The witches
immediately complied; and with Helgé's aid they soon stirred up a storm
unparalleled in history.

    "Helgé on the strand
    Chants his wizard-spell,
    Potent to command
    Fiends of earth or hell.
    Gathering darkness shrouds the sky;
    Hark, the thunder's distant roll!
    Lurid lightnings, as they fly,
    Streak with blood the sable pole.
    Ocean, boiling to its base,
    Scatters wide its wave of foam;
    Screaming, as in fleetest chase,
    Sea-birds seek their island home."
                         TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Longfellow's tr.).

[Sidenote: The tempest.] In spite of tossing waves and whistling blasts,
Frithiof sang a cheery song to reassure his frightened crew; but when the
peril grew so great that his exhausted men gave themselves up for lost, he
bade Björn hold the rudder, and himself climbed up to the mast top to view
the horizon. While perched up there he descried a whale, upon which the two
witches were riding at ease. Speaking to his good ship, which was gifted
with the power of understanding and obeying his words, he now ran down both
witches and whale, and the sea was reddened with their blood. No sooner had
they sunk than the wind fell, the waves ceased to heave and toss as before,
and soon fair weather again smiled over the seas.

    "Now the storm has flown,
    The sea is calm awhile;
    A gentle swell is blown
    Against the neighboring isle.

    "Then at once the sun arose,
    Like a king who mounts his throne,
    Vivifies the world and throws
    His light on billow, field, and stone.
    His new-born beams adorn awhile
    A dark green grove on rocky top,
    All recognize a sea-girt isle,
    Amongst the distant Orkney's group."
                         TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

Exhausted by their previous superhuman efforts and by the bailing of their
water-logged vessel, the men were too weak to land when they at last
reached the Orkney Islands, and had to be carried ashore by Björn and
Frithiof, who gently laid them down on the sand, bidding them rest and
refresh themselves after all the hardships they had endured.

    "Tired indeed are all on board,
    All the crew of Frithiofs men,
    Scarce supported by a sword,
    Can they raise themselves again.
    Björn takes four of them ashore,
    On his mighty shoulders wide,
    Frithiof singly takes twice four,
    Places them the fire beside.
    'Blush not, ye pale ones,
    The sea's a valiant viking;
    'Tis hard indeed to fight
    Against the rough sea waves.
    Lo! there comes the mead horn
    On golden feet descending,
    To warm our frozen limbs.
    Hail to Ingeborg!'"
                 TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

The arrival of Frithiof and his men had been seen by the watchman of
Angantyr's castle, who immediately informed his master of all he had seen.
The jarl exclaimed that the ship which had weathered such a gale could be
none but Ellida, and that its captain was doubtless Frithiof, Thorsten's
gallant son. At these words one of his Berserkers, Atlé, caught up his
weapons and strode out of the hall, vowing that he would challenge
Frithiof, and thus satisfy himself concerning the veracity of the tales he
had heard of the young hero's courage.

[Sidenote: Atlé's challenge.] Although still greatly exhausted, Frithiof
immediately accepted Atlé's challenge, and, after a sharp encounter, threw
his antagonist, whom he would have slain then and there had his sword been
within reach. Atlé saw his intention, and bade him go in search of a
weapon, promising to remain motionless during his absence. Frithiof,
knowing that such a warrior's promise was inviolable, immediately obeyed;
but when he returned with his sword, and found his antagonist calmly
awaiting death, he relented, and bade Atlé rise and live.

    "With patience long not gifted,
    Frithiof the foe would kill,
    And Angurvadel lifted,
    But Atlé yet lay still.
    This touched the hero's soul;
    He stayed the sweeping brand
    Before it reached its goal,
    And took the fall'n one's hand."
                       TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_(Spalding's tr.).

Together these doughty warriors then wended their way to Angantyr's halls,
where they found a festal board awaiting them, and there they ate and
drank, sang songs, and recounted stories of thrilling adventure by land and
by sea.

At last, however, Frithiof made known his errand. Angantyr said that he
owed no tribute to Helgé, and would pay him none; but that he would give
the required sum as a free gift to his old friend Thorsten's son, leaving
him at liberty to dispose of it as he pleased. Then, since the season was
unpropitious, and storms continually swept over the sea, the king invited
Frithiof to tarry with him; and it was only when the gentle spring breezes
were blowing once more that he at last allowed him to depart.

After sailing over summer seas, wafted along by favorable winds for six
days, Frithiof came in sight of his home, Framnäs, which had been reduced
to a shapeless heap of ashes by Helgé's orders. Sadly steering past the
ruins, he arrived at Baldershage, where Hilding met him and informed him
that Ingeborg was now the wife of Sigurd Ring. When Frithiof heard these
tidings he flew into a Berserker rage, and bade his men destroy all the
vessels in the harbor, while he strode up to the temple alone in search of
Helgé. He found him there before the god's image, roughly flung Angantyr's
heavy purse of gold in his face, and when, as he was about to leave the
temple, he saw the ring he had given Ingeborg on the arm of Helgé's wife,
he snatched it away from her. In trying to recover it she dropped the god's
image, which she had just been anointing, into the fire, where it was
rapidly consumed, and the rising flames soon set the temple roof in a

Frithiof, horror-stricken at the sacrilege which he had involuntarily
occasioned, after vainly trying to extinguish the flames and save the
costly sanctuary, escaped to his ship and waiting companions, to begin the
weary life of an outcast and exile.

    "The temple soon in ashes lay,
    Ashes the temple's bower;
    Wofully Frithiof goes his way,
    Weeps in the morning hour."
                   TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

[Sidenote: Frithiof an exile.] Helgé's men started in pursuit, hoping to
overtake and punish him; but when they reached the harbor they could not
find a single seaworthy craft, and were forced to stand on the shore in
helpless inactivity while Ellida's great sails slowly sank beneath the
horizon. It was thus that Frithiof sadly saw his native land vanish from
sight; and as it disappeared he breathed a tender farewell to the beloved
country which he never expected to see again.

    "'World-circle's brow,
    Thou mighty North!
    I may not go
    Upon thine earth;
    But in no other
    I love to dwell;
    Now, hero-mother,
    Farewell, farewell!

    "'Farewell, thou high
    And heavenly one,
    Night's sleeping eye,
    Midsummer sun.
    Thou clear blue sky,
    Like hero's soul,
    Ye stars on high,
    Farewell, farewell!

    "'Farewell, ye mounts
    Where Honour thrives,
    And Thor recounts
    Good warriors' lives.
    Ye azure lakes,
    I know so well,
    Ye woods and brakes,
    Farewell, farewell!

    "'Farewell, ye tombs,
    By billows blue,
    The lime tree blooms
    Its snow on you.
    The Saga sets
    In judgment-veil
    What earth forgets;
    Farewell, farewell!

    "'Farewell the heath,
    The forest hoar
    I played beneath,
    By streamlet's roar.
    To childhood's friends
    Who loved me well,
    Remembrance sends
    A fond farewell!

    "'My love is foiled,
    My rooftree rent,
    Mine honour soiled,
    In exile sent!
    We turn from earth,
    On ocean dwell,
    But, joy and mirth,
    Farewell, farewell!'"
                   TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

After thus parting from his native land, Frithiof took up the life of a
pirate, rover, or viking, whose code was never to settle anywhere, to sleep
on his shield, to fight and neither give nor take quarter, to protect the
ships which paid him tribute and sack the others, and to distribute all the
booty to his men, reserving for himself nothing but the glory of the
enterprise. Sailing and fighting thus, Frithiof visited many lands, and
came to the sunny isles of Greece, whither he would fain have carried
Ingeborg as his bride; but wherever he went and whatever he did, he was
always haunted by the recollection of his beloved and of his native land.

[Sidenote: At the court of Sigurd Ring.] Overcome at last by homesickness,
Frithiof returned northward, determined to visit Sigurd Ring's court and
ascertain whether Ingeborg was really well and happy. Steering his vessel
up the Vik (the main part of the Christiania-Fiord), he intrusted it to
Björn's care, and alone, on foot, and enveloped in a tattered mantle, which
he used as disguise, he went to the court of Sigurd Ring, arriving there
just as the Yuletide festivities were being held. As if in reality nothing
more than the aged beggar he appeared, Frithiof sat down upon the bench
near the door, where he became the butt of the courtiers' rough jokes; but
when one of his tormentors approached too closely he caught him in his
powerful grasp and swung him high above his head.

Terrified by this proof of great strength, the courtiers silently withdrew,
while Sigurd Ring invited the old man to remove his mantle, take a seat
beside him, and share his good cheer. Frithiof accepted the invitation thus
cordially given, and when he had laid aside his squalid outward apparel all
started with surprise to see a handsome warrior, richly clad, and adorned
with a beautiful ring.

    "Now from the old man's stooping head is loosed the sable hood,
     When lo! a young man smiling stands, where erst the old one stood.
     See! From his lofty forehead, round shoulders broad and strong,
     The golden locks flow glistening, like sunlight waves along.

    "He stood before them glorious in velvet mantle blue,
     His baldrics broad, with silver worked, the artist's skill did shew;
     For round about the hero's breast and round about his waist,
     The beasts and birds of forest wild, embossed, each other chased.

    "The armlet's yellow luster shone rich upon his arm;
     His war sword by his side--in strife a thunderbolt alarm.
     Serene the hero cast his glance around the men of war;
     Bright stood he there as Balder, as tall as Asa Thor."
                              TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

[Illustration: FRITHIOF AT THE COURT OF KING RING.--Kepler.]

But although his appearance was so unusual, none of the people present
recognized him save Ingeborg only; and when the king asked him who he was
he evasively replied that he was Thiolf (a thief), that he came from Ulf's
(the wolf's), and had been brought up in Anger (sorrow or grief).
Notwithstanding this unenticing account of himself, Sigurd Ring invited him
to remain; and Frithiof, accepting the proffered hospitality, became the
constant companion of the king and queen, whom he accompanied wherever they

One day, when the royal couple were seated in a sleigh and skimming along a
frozen stream, Frithiof sped on his skates before them, performing graceful
evolutions, and cutting Ingeborg's name deep in the ice. All at once the
ice broke and the sleigh disappeared; but Frithiof, springing forward,
caught the horse by the bridle, and by main force dragged them all out of
their perilous position.

When spring came, Sigurd Ring invited Frithiof to accompany him on a
hunting expedition. The king became separated from all the rest of his
suite, and saying that he was too weary to continue the chase, he lay down
to rest upon the cloak which Frithiof spread out for him, resting his head
upon his young guest's knee.

     "Then threw Frithiof down his mantle, and upon the greensward
     And the ancient king so trustful laid on Frithiof's knee his head;
     Slept, as calmly as the hero sleepeth after war's alarms
     On his shield, calm as an infant sleepeth in its mother's arms."
                      TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Longfellow's tr.).

[Sidenote: Frithiof's loyalty.]While the aged king was thus reposing, the
birds and beasts of the forest softly drew near, bidding Frithiof take
advantage of his host's unconsciousness to slay him and recover the bride
of whom he had been unfairly deprived. But although Frithiof understood
the language of birds and beasts, and his hot young heart clamored for his
beloved, he utterly refused to listen to them; and, fearing lest he should
involuntarily harm his trusting host, he impulsively flung his sword far
from him into a neighboring thicket.

A few moments later Sigurd Ring awoke from his feigned sleep, and after
telling Frithiof that he had recognized him from the first, had tested him
in many ways, and had always found his honor fully equal to his vaunted
courage, he bade him be patient a little longer, for his end was very near,
and said that he would die happy if he could leave Ingeborg, his infant
heir, and his kingdom in such good hands. Then, taking the astonished
Frithiof's arm, Sigurd Ring returned home, where, feeling death draw near,
he dedicated himself anew to Odin by carving the Geirs-odd, or sacrificial
runes, deeply in his aged chest.

          "Bravely he slashes
          Odin's red letters,
    Blood-runes of heroes, on arm and on breast.
          Brightly the splashes
          Of life's flowing fetters
    Drip from the silver of hair-covered chest."
                         TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

When this ceremony was finished, Sigurd Ring laid Ingeborg's hand in
Frithiof's, and, once more commending her to the young hero's loving care,
closed his eyes and breathed his last.

[Sidenote: Betrothal of Frithiof and Ingeborg.] All the nation assembled to
raise a mound for Sigurd Ring; and by his own request the funeral feast was
closed by a banquet to celebrate the betrothal of Ingeborg and Frithiof.
The latter had won the people's enthusiastic admiration; but when they
would fain have elected him king, Frithiof raised Sigurd Ring's little son
up on his shield and presented him to the assembled nobles as their future
king, publicly swearing to uphold him until he was of age to defend
himself. The child, weary of his cramped position on the shield, boldly
sprang to the ground as soon as Frithiof's speech was ended, and alighted
upon his feet. This act of daring in so small a child was enough to win the
affection and admiration of all his rude subjects.

According to some accounts, Frithiof now made war against Ingeborg's
brothers, and after conquering them, allowed them to retain their kingdom
only upon condition of their paying him a yearly tribute. Then he and
Ingeborg remained in Ringric until the young king was able to assume the
government, when they repaired to Hordaland, a kingdom Frithiof had
obtained by conquest, and which he left to his sons Gungthiof and Hunthiof.

[Sidenote: Frithiofs vision.] But according to Tegnér's poem, Frithiof,
soon after his second betrothal to Ingeborg, made a pious pilgrimage to his
father's resting place, and while seated on the latter's funeral mound,
plunged in melancholy and remorse at the sight of the desolation about him,
he was favored by a vision of a new temple, more beautiful than the first,
within whose portals he beheld the three Norns.

    "And lo! reclining on their runic shields
     The mighty Nornas now the portal fill;
     Three rosebuds fair which the same garden yields,
     With aspect serious, but charming still.
     Whilst Urda points upon the blackened fields,
     The fairy temple Skulda doth reveal.
     When Frithiof first his dazzled senses cleared,
     Rejoiced, admired, the vision disappeared."
                              TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

The hero immediately understood that the gods had thus pointed out to him a
means of atonement, and spared neither wealth nor pains to restore Balder's
temple and grove, which soon rose out of the ashes in more than their
former splendor.

When the temple was all finished, and duly consecrated to Balder's service,
Frithiof received Ingeborg at the altar from her brothers' hands, and ever
after lived on amicable terms with them.

                         "Now stepped Halfdan in
    Over the brazen threshold, and with wistful look
    Stood silent, at a distance from the dreaded one.
    Then Frithiof loosed the Harness-hater from his thigh,
    Against the altar placed the golden buckler round,
    And forward came unarmed to meet his enemy:
    'In such a strife,' thus he commenced, with friendly voice,
    'The noblest he who first extends the hand of peace.'
    Then blushed King Halfdan deep, and drew his gauntlet off,
    And long-divided hands now firmly clasped each other,
    A mighty pressure, steadfast as the mountain's base.
    The old man then absolved him from the curse which lay
    Upon the Varg i Veum,[1] on the outlawed man.
    And as he spake the words, fair Ingeborg came in,
    Arrayed in bridal dress, and followed by fair maids,
    E'en as the stars escort the moon in heaven's vault.
    Whilst tears suffused her soft and lovely eyes, she fell
    Into her brother's arms, but deeply moved he led
    His cherished sister unto Frithiof's faithful breast,
    And o'er the altar of the god she gave her hand
    Unto her childhood's friend, the darling of her heart."
                   TEGNÉR, _Frithiof Saga_ (Spalding's tr.).

[Footnote 1: Wolf in the sanctuaries.]



    "Last from among the Heroes one came near,
     No God, but of the hero troop the chief--
     Regner, who swept the northern sea with fleets,
     And ruled o'er Denmark and the heathy isles,
     Living; but Ella captured him and slew;--
     A king whose fame then fill'd the vast of Heaven,
     Now time obscures it, and men's later deeds."
                      MATTHEW ARNOLD, _Balder Dead_.

[Sidenote: Ragnar Lodbrok saga.] Ragnar Lodbrok, who figures in history as
the contemporary of Charlemagne, is one of the great northern heroes, to
whom many mythical deeds of valor are ascribed. His story has given rise
not only to the celebrated Ragnar Lodbrok saga, so popular in the
thirteenth century, but also to many poems and songs by ancient scalds and
modern poets. The material of the Ragnar Lodbrok saga was probably largely
borrowed from the Volsunga saga and from the saga of Dietrich von Bern, the
chief aim of the ancient composers being to connect the Danish dynasty of
kings with the great hero Sigurd, the slayer of Fafnir, and thereby to
prove that their ancestor was no less a person than Odin.

The hero of this saga was Ragnar, the son of Sigurd Ring and his first
wife, Alfild. According to one version of the story, as we have seen,
Sigurd Ring married Ingeborg, and died, leaving Frithiof to protect his
young son. According to another, Sigurd Ring appointed Ragnar as his
successor, and had him recognized as future ruler by the Thing before he
set out upon his last military expedition.

This was a quest for a new wife named Alfsol, a princess of Jutland, with
whom, in spite of his advanced years, he had fallen passionately in love.
Her family, however, rudely refused Sigurd Ring's request. When he came to
win his bride by the force of arms, and they saw themselves defeated, they
poisoned Alfsol rather than have her fall alive into the viking's hands.

Sigurd Ring, finding a corpse where he had hoped to clasp a living and
loving woman, was so overcome with grief that he now resolved to die too.
By his orders Alfsol's body was laid in state on a funeral pyre on his best
ship. Then, when the fire had been kindled, and the ship cut adrift from
its moorings, Sigurd Ring sprang on board, and, stabbing himself, was
burned with the fair maiden he loved.

Ragnar was but fifteen years old when he found himself called upon to
reign; but just as he outshone all his companions in beauty and
intelligence, so he could match the bravest heroes in courage and daring,
and generally escaped uninjured from every battle, owing to a magic shirt
which his mother had woven for him.

    "'I give thee the long shirt,
    Nowhere sewn,
    Woven with a loving mind,
    Of hair----[obscure word].
    Wounds will not bleed
    Nor will edges bite thee
    In the holy garment;
    It was consecrated to the gods.'"
                   _Ragnar Lodbrok Saga_.

Of course the young hero led out his men every summer upon some exciting
viking expedition, to test their courage and supply them with plunder; for
all the northern heroes proudly boasted that the sword was their god and
gold was their goddess.

[Sidenote: Lodgerda.] On one occasion Ragnar landed in a remote part of
Norway, and having climbed one of the neighboring mountains, he looked down
upon a fruitful valley inhabited by Lodgerda, a warrior maiden who
delighted in the chase and all athletic exercises, and ruled over all that
part of the country. Ragnar immediately resolved to visit this fair maiden;
and, seeing her manifold attractions, he soon fell in love with her and
married her. She joined him in all his active pursuits; but in spite of all
his entreaties, she would not consent to leave her native land and
accompany him home.

After spending three years in Norway with Lodgerda, the young viking became
restless and unhappy; and learning that his kingdom had been raided during
his prolonged absence, he parted from his wife in hot haste. He pursued his
enemies to Whitaby and to Lym-Fiord, winning a signal victory over them in
both places, and then reentered his capital of Hledra in triumph, amid the
acclamations of his joyful people.

He had not been resting long upon his newly won laurels when a northern
seer came to his court, and showed him in a magic mirror the image of
Thora, the beautiful daughter of Jarl Herrand in East Gothland. Ragnar, who
evidently considered himself freed from all matrimonial bonds by his wife's
refusal to accompany him home, eagerly questioned the seer concerning the
radiant vision.

This man then revealed to him that Thora, having at her father's request
carefully brought up a dragon from an egg hatched by a swan, had at last
seen it assume such colossal proportions that it coiled itself all around
the house where she dwelt. Here it watched over her with jealous care,
allowing none to approach except the servant who brought the princess her
meals and who provided an ox daily for the monster's sustenance. Jarl
Herrand had offered Thora's hand in marriage, and immense sums of gold, to
any hero brave enough to slay this dragon; but none dared venture within
reach of its powerful jaws, whence came fire, venom, and noxious vapors.

Ragnar, who as usual thirsted for adventure, immediately made up his mind
to go and fight this dragon; and, after donning a peculiar leather and
woolen garment, all smeared over with pitch, he attacked and successfully
slew the monster.

                   "'Nor long before
    In arms I reached the Gothic shore,
    To work the loathly serpent's death.
    I slew the reptile of the heath.'"
                       _Death Song of Regner Lodbrock_ (Herbert's tr.).

[Sidenote: Origin of name Lodbrok.] In commemoration of this victory,
Ragnar ever after bore also the name of Lodbrok (Leather Hose), although
he laid aside this garment as soon as possible, and appeared in royal
garb, to receive his prize, the beautiful maiden Thora, whom he had
delivered, and whom he now took to be his wife.

    "'My prize was Thora; from that fight,
     'Mongst warriors am I Lodbrock hight.
     I pierced the monster's scaly side
     With steel, the soldier's wealth and pride.'"
                          _Death Song of Regner Lodbrock_ (Herbert's tr.).

Thora gladly accompanied Ragnar back to Hledra, lived happily with him for
several years, and bore him two sturdy sons, Agnar and Erik, who soon gave
proof of uncommon courage. Such was Ragnar's devotion to his new wife that
he even forbore to take part in the usual viking expeditions, to linger by
her side. All his love could not long avail to keep her with him, however,
for she soon sickened and died, leaving him an inconsolable widower.

To divert him from his great sorrow, his subjects finally proposed that he
should resume his former adventurous career, and prevailed upon him to
launch his dragon ship once more and to set sail for foreign shores. Some
time during the cruise their bread supply failed, and Ragnar steered his
vessel into the port of Spangarhede, where he bade his men carry their
flour ashore and ask the people in a hut which he descried there to help
them knead and bake their bread. The sailors obeyed; but when they entered
the lowly hut and saw the filthy old woman who appeared to be its sole
occupant, they hesitated to bespeak her aid.

While they were deliberating what they should do, a beautiful girl, poorly
clad, but immaculately clean, entered the hut; and the old woman,
addressing her as Krake (Crow), bade her see what the strangers wanted.
They told her, and admiringly watched her as she deftly fashioned the dough
into loaves and slipped them into the hot oven. She bade the sailors watch
them closely, lest they should burn; but these men forgot all about their
loaves to gaze upon her as she flitted about the house, and the result was
that their bread was badly burned.

When they returned to the vessel, Ragnar Lodbrok reproved them severely for
their carelessness, until the men, to justify themselves, began describing
the maiden Krake in such glowing terms that the chief finally expressed a
desire to see her. With the view of testing her wit and intelligence, as
well as her beauty, Ragnar sent a message bidding her appear before him
neither naked nor clad, neither alone nor unaccompanied, neither fasting
nor yet having partaken of any food.

This singular message was punctually delivered, and Krake, who was as
clever as beautiful, soon presented herself, with a fish net wound several
times around her graceful form, her sheep dog beside her, and the odor of
the leek she had bitten into still hovering over her ruby lips.

Ragnar, charmed by her ingenuity no less than by her extreme beauty, then
and there proposed to marry her. But Krake, who was not to be so lightly
won, declared that he must first prove the depth of his affection by
remaining constant to her for one whole year, at the end of which time she
would marry him if he still cared to claim her hand.

[Sidenote: Marriage of Ragnar and Krake.] The year passed by; Ragnar
returned to renew his suit, and Krake, satisfied that she had inspired no
momentary passion, forsook the aged couple and accompanied the great viking
to Hledra, where she became queen of Denmark. She bore Ragnar four
sons--Ivar, Björn, Hvitserk, and Rogenwald,--who from earliest infancy
longed to emulate the prowess of their father, Ragnar, and of their
step-brothers, Erik and Agnar, who even in their youth were already great

The Danes, however, had never fully approved of Ragnar's last marriage, and
murmured frequently because they were obliged to obey a lowborn queen, and
one who bore the vulgar name of Krake. Little by little these murmurs grew
louder, and finally they came to Ragnar's ears while he was visiting
Eystein, King of Svithiod (Sweden). Craftily his courtiers went to work,
and finally prevailed upon him to sue for the princess's hand. He did so,
and left Sweden promising to divorce Krake when he reached home, and to
return as soon as possible to claim his bride.

As Ragnar entered the palace at Hledra, Krake came, as usual, to meet him.
His conscience smote him, and he answered all her tender inquiries so
roughly that she suddenly turned and asked him why he had made arrangements
to divorce her and take a new wife. Surprised at her knowledge, for he
fancied the matter still a secret, Ragnar Lodbrok asked who had told her.
Thereupon Krake explained that, feeling anxious about him, she had sent her
pet magpies after him, and that the birds had come home and revealed all.

[Sidenote: Aslaug.] This answer, which perhaps gave rise to the common
expression, "A little bird told me," greatly astonished Ragnar. He was
about to try to excuse himself when Krake, drawing herself up proudly,
declared that while she was perfectly ready to depart, it was but just that
he should now learn that her extraction was far less humble than he
thought. She then proceeded to tell him that her real name was Aslaug, and
that she was the daughter of Sigurd Fafnisbane (the slayer of Fafnir) and
the beautiful Valkyr Brunhild. Her grandfather, or her foster father,
Heimir, to protect her from the foes who would fain have taken her life,
had hidden her in his hollow harp when she was but a babe. He had tenderly
cared for her until he was treacherously murdered by peasants, who had
found her in the hollow harp instead of the treasure they sought there.

    "Let be--as ancient stories tell--
    Full knowledge upon Ragnar fell
    In lapse of time, that this was she
    Begot in the felicity
    Swift-fleeting of the wondrous twain,
    Who afterwards through change and pain
    Must live apart to meet in death."
                        WILLIAM MORRIS, _The Fostering of Aslaug_.

In proof of her assertion, Aslaug then produced a ring and a letter which
had belonged to her illustrious mother, and foretold that her next child, a
son, would bear the image of a dragon in his right eye, as a sign that he
was a grandson of the Dragon Slayer, whose memory was honored by all.

Convinced of the truth of these statements, Ragnar no longer showed any
desire to repudiate his wife; but, on the contrary, he besought her to
remain with him, and bade his subjects call her Aslaug.

[Sidenote: Sigurd the Snake-eyed.] Shortly after this reconciliation the
queen gave birth to a fifth son, who, as she had predicted, came into the
world with a peculiar birthmark, to which he owed his name--Sigurd the
Snake-eyed. As it was customary for kings to intrust their sons to some
noted warrior to foster, this child was given to the celebrated Norman
pirate, Hastings, who, as soon as his charge had attained a suitable age,
taught him the art of viking warfare, and took him, with his four elder
brothers, to raid the coasts of all the southern countries.

Ivar, the eldest of Ragnar and Aslaug's sons, although crippled from birth,
and unable to walk a step, was always ready to join in the fray, into the
midst of which he was borne on a shield. From this point of vantage he shot
arrow after arrow, with fatal accuracy of aim. As he had employed much of
his leisure time in learning runes[1] and all kinds of magic arts, he was
often of great assistance to his brothers, who generally chose him leader
of their expeditions. [Footnote 1: See Guerber's Myths of Northern Lands,
p. 39.]

While Ragnar's five sons were engaged in fighting the English at Whitaby to
punish them for plundering and setting fire to some Danish ships, Rogenwald
fell to rise no more.

[Sidenote: The enchanted cow.] Eystein, the Swedish king, now assembled a
large army and declared war against the Danes, because their monarch had
failed to return at the appointed time and claim the bride for whom he had
sued. Ragnar would fain have gone forth to meet the enemy in person, but
Agnar and Erik, his two eldest sons, craved permission to go in his stead.
They met the Swedish king, but in spite of their valor they soon succumbed
to an attack made by an enchanted cow.

    "'We smote with swords; at dawn of day
    Hundred spearmen gasping lay,
    Bent beneath the arrowy strife.
    Egill reft my son of life;
    Too soon my Agnar's youth was spent,
    The scabbard thorn his bosom rent.'"
                      _Death Song of Regner Lodbrock_ (Herbert's tr.).

Ragnar was about to sally forth to avenge them, when Hastings and the other
sons returned. Then Aslaug prevailed upon her husband to linger by her side
and delegate the duty of revenge to his sons. In this battle Ivar made use
of his magic to slay Eystein's cow, which could make more havoc than an
army of warriors. His brothers, having slain Eystein and raided the
country, then sailed off to renew their depredations elsewhere.

This band of vikings visited the coasts of England, Ireland, France, Italy,
Greece, and the Greek isles, plundering, murdering, and burning wherever
they went. Assisted by Hastings, the brothers took Wiflisburg (probably the
Roman Aventicum), and even besieged Luna in Etruria.

[Illustration: STRATEGY OF HASTINGS--Keller.]

As this city was too strongly fortified and too well garrisoned to yield to
an assault, the Normans (as all the northern pirates were indiscriminately
called in the South) resolved to secure it by stratagem. They therefore
pretended that Hastings, their leader, was desperately ill, and induced a
bishop to come out of the town to baptize him, so that he might die in the
Christian faith. Three days later they again sent a herald to say that
Hastings had died, and that his last wish had been to be buried in a
Christian church. They therefore asked permission to enter the city
unarmed, and bear their leader to his last resting place, promising not
only to receive baptism, but also to endow with great wealth the church
where Hastings was buried.

[Sidenote: Hastings's stratagem.] The inhabitants of Luna, won by these
specious promises, immediately opened their gates, and the funeral
procession filed solemnly into the city. But, in the midst of the mass, the
coffin lid flew open, and Hastings sprang out, sword in hand, and killed
the officiating bishop and priests. This example was followed by his
soldiers, who produced the weapons they had concealed upon their persons,
and slew all the inhabitants of the town.

These lawless invaders were about to proceed to Romaburg (Rome), and sack
that city also, but were deterred by a pilgrim whom they met. He told them
that the city was so far away that he had worn out two pairs of iron-soled
shoes in coming from thence. The Normans, believing this tale, which was
only a stratagem devised by the quick-witted pilgrim, spared the Eternal
City, and, reembarking in their vessels, sailed home.

Ragnar Lodbrok, in the mean while, had not been inactive, but had continued
his adventurous career, winning numerous battles, and bringing home much
plunder to enrich his kingdom and subjects.

    "'I have fought battles
    Fifty and one
    Which were famous;
    I have wounded many men.'"
                  _Ragnar's Sons' Saga_.

The hero's last expedition was against Ella, King of Northumberland. From
the very outset the gods seemed to have decided that Ragnar should not
prove as successful as usual. The poets tell us that they even sent the
Valkyrs (battle maidens of northern mythology) to warn him of his coming
defeat, and to tell him of the bliss awaiting him in Valhalla.

    "'Regner! tell thy fair-hair'd bride
    She must slumber at thy side!
    Tell the brother of thy breast
    Even for him thy grave hath rest!
    Tell the raven steed which bore thee
    When the wild wolf fled before thee,
    He too with his lord must fall,--
    There is room in Odin's Hall!'"
                       MRS. HEMANS, _Valkyriur Song_.

[Sidenote: Death of Ragnar Lodbrok.] In spite of this warning, Ragnar went
on. Owing to the magic shirt he wore, he stood unharmed in the midst of the
slain long after all his brave followers had perished; and it was only
after a whole day's fighting that the enemy finally succeeded in making him
a prisoner. Then the followers of Ella vainly besought Ragnar to speak and
tell his name. As he remained obstinately silent they finally flung him
into a den of snakes, where the reptiles crawled all over him, vainly
trying to pierce the magic shirt with their venomous fangs. Ella perceived
at last that it was this garment which preserved his captive from death,
and had it forcibly removed. Ragnar was then thrust back amid the writhing,
hissing snakes, which bit him many times. Now that death was near, the
hero's tongue was loosened, not to give vent to weak complaints, but to
chant a triumphant death song, in which he recounted his manifold battles,
and foretold that his brave sons would avenge his cruel death.

    "'Grim stings the adder's forked dart;
    The vipers nestle in my heart.
    But soon, I wot, shall Vider's wand,
    Fixed in Ella's bosom stand.
    My youthful sons with rage will swell,
    Listening how their father fell;
    Those gallant boys in peace unbroken
    Will never rest, till I be wroken [avenged].'"
                        _Death Song of Regner Lodbrock_ (Herbert's tr.).

This heroic strain has been immortalized by ancient scalds and modern
poets. They have all felt the same admiration for the dauntless old viking,
who, even amid the pangs of death, gloried in his past achievements, and
looked ardently forward to his sojourn in Valhalla. There, he fancied, he
would still be able to indulge in warfare, his favorite pastime, and would
lead the einheriar (spirits of dead warriors) to their daily battles.

    "'Cease, my strain! I hear a voice
    From realms where martial souls rejoice;
    I hear the maids of slaughter call,
    Who bid me hence to Odin's hall:
    High seated in their blest abodes
    I soon shall quaff the drink of gods.
    The hours of life have glided by;
    I fall, but smiling shall I die.'"
                       _Death Song of Regner Lodbrock_ (Herbert's tr.).

[Sidenote: Founding of London.] Ragnar Lodbrok's sons had reached home, and
were peacefully occupied in playing chess, when a messenger came to
announce their father's sad end. In their impatience to avenge him they
started out without waiting to collect a large force, and in spite of many
inauspicious omens. Ella, who expected them, met them with a great host,
composed not only of all his own subjects but also of many allies, among
whom was King Alfred. In spite of their valor the Normans were completely
defeated by the superior forces of the enemy, and only a few of them
survived. Ivar and his remaining followers consented to surrender at last,
provided that Ella would atone for their losses by giving them as much land
as an oxhide would inclose. This seemingly trifling request was granted
without demur, nor could the king retract his promise when he saw that the
oxhide, cut into tiny strips, inclosed a vast space of land, upon which the
Normans now proceeded to construct an almost impregnable fortress, called
Lunduna Burg (London).

Here Ivar took up his permanent abode, while his brothers returned to
Hledra. Little by little he alienated the affections of Ella's subjects,
and won them over to him by rich gifts and artful flattery. When sure of
their allegiance, he incited them to revolt against the king; and as he had
solemnly sworn never to bear arms against Ella, he kept the letter of his
promise by sending for his brothers to act as their leaders.

[Sidenote: Death of Ella.] As a result of this revolution Ella was made
prisoner. Then the fierce vikings stretched him out upon one of those rude
stone altars which can still be seen in England, and ruthlessly avenged
their father's cruel death by cutting the bloody eagle upon him.[1] After
Ella's death, Ivar became even more powerful than before, while his younger
brothers continued their viking expeditions, took an active part in all the
piratical incursions of the time, and even, we are told, besieged Paris in
the reign of Louis the Fat. [Footnote 1: See Guerber's Myths of Northern
Lands, p. 85.]

Other Danish and Scandinavian vikings were equally venturesome and
successful, and many eventually settled in the lands which they had
conquered. Among these was the famous Rollo (Rolf Ganger), who, too
gigantic in stature to ride horseback, always went on foot. He settled with
his followers in a fertile province in northern France, which owes to them
its name of Normandy.

The rude independence of the Northmen is well illustrated by their behavior
when called to court to do homage for this new fief. Rollo was directed to
place both his hands between those of the king, and take his vow of
allegiance; so he submitted with indifferent grace. But when he was told
that he must conclude the ceremony by kissing the monarch's foot, he
obstinately refused  to do so. A proxy was finally suggested, and Rollo,
calling one of his Berserkers, bade him take his place. The stalwart giant
strode forward, but instead of kneeling, he grasped the king's foot and
raised it to his lips. As the king did not expect such a jerk, he lost his
balance and fell heavily backward. All the Frenchmen present were, of
course, scandalized; but the barbarian refused to make any apology, and
strode haughtily out of the place, vowing he would never come to court

All the northern pirates were, as we have seen, called Normans. They did
not all settle in the North, however, for many of them found their way into
Italy, and even to Constantinople. There they formed the celebrated
Varangian Guard, and faithfully watched over the safety of the emperor. It
was probably one of these soldiers who traced the runes upon the stone lion
which was subsequently transferred to Venice, where it now adorns the
Piazza of St. Mark's.

    "Rose the Norseman chief Hardrada, like a lion from his lair;
    His the fearless soul to conquer, his the willing soul to dare.
    Gathered Skald and wild Varingar, where the raven banner shone,
    And the dread steeds of the ocean, left the Northland's frozen zone."
                                       VAIL, _Marri's Vision_.



[Sidenote: Ballads of the Cid.] The ballads of the Cid, which number about
two hundred, and some of which are of undoubted antiquity, were not
committed to writing until the twelfth century, when a poem of about three
thousand lines was composed. This poem, descriptive of a national hero's
exploits, was probably written about half a century after his death. The
earliest manuscript of it now extant bears the date either 1245 or 1345.
The Cid was a real personage, named Rodrigo Diaz, or Ruy Diaz. He was born
in Burgos, in the eleventh century, and won the name of "Cid" (Conqueror)
by defeating five Moorish kings, when Spain had been in the hands of the
Arabs for more than three centuries.

    "Mighty victor, never vanquish'd,
      Bulwark of our native land,
    Shield of Spain, her boast and glory,
      Knight of the far-dreaded brand,
    Venging scourge of Moors and traitors,
      Mighty thunderbolt of war,
    Mirror bright of chivalry,
      Ruy, my Cid Campeador!"
                     _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

Rodrigo was still a young and untried warrior when his aged father, Diego
Laynez, was grossly and publicly insulted by Don Gomez, who gave him a blow
in the face. Diego was far too feeble to seek the usual redress, arms in
hand; but the insult rankled deep in his heart, preventing him from either
sleeping or eating, and imbittering every moment of his life.

    "Sleep was banish'd from his eyelids;
      Not a mouthful could he taste;
    There he sat with downcast visage,--
      Direly had he been disgrac'd.

    "Never stirr'd he from his chamber;
      With no friends would he converse,
    Lest the breath of his dishonor
      Should pollute them with its curse."
                       _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

[Sidenote: Don Gomez slain by Rodrigo.] At last, however, Diego confessed
his shame to his son Rodrigo, who impetuously vowed to avenge him. Armed
with his father's cross-hilted sword, and encouraged by his solemn
blessing, Rodrigo marched into the hall of Don Gomez, and challenged him to
fight. In spite of his youth, Rodrigo conducted himself so bravely in this
his first encounter that he slew his opponent, and by shedding his blood
washed out the stain upon his father's honor, according to the chivalric
creed of the time. Then, to convince Diego that he had been duly avenged,
the young hero cut off the head of Don Gomez, and triumphantly laid it
before him.

    "'Ne'er again thy foe can harm thee;
      All his pride is now laid low;
    Vain his hand is now to smite thee,
      And this tongue is silent now.'"
                       _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

[Sidenote:  Defeat of the Moors.] Happy once more, old Diego again left
home, and went to King Ferdinand's court, where he bade Rodrigo do homage
to the king. The proud youth obeyed this command with indifferent grace,
and his bearing was so defiant that the frightened monarch banished him
from his presence. Rodrigo therefore departed with three hundred kindred
spirits. He soon encountered the Moors, who were invading Castile, defeated
them in battle, took five of their kings prisoners, and released them only
after they had promised to pay tribute and to refrain from further warfare.
They were so grateful for their liberty that they pledged themselves to do
his will, and departed, calling him "Cid," the name by which he was
thenceforth known.

As Rodrigo had delivered the land from a great danger, King Ferdinand now
restored him to favor and gave him an honorable place among his courtiers,
who, however, were all somewhat inclined to be jealous of the fame the
young man had won. Shortly after his triumphant return, Doña Ximena,
daughter of Don Gomez, also appeared in Burgos, and, falling at the king's
feet, demanded justice. Then, seeing the Cid among the courtiers, she
vehemently denounced him for having slain her father, and bade him take her
life also, as she had no wish to survive a parent whom she adored.

    "'Thou hast slain the best and bravest
      That e'er set a lance in rest;
    Of our holy faith the bulwark,--
      Terror of each Paynim breast.

    "'Traitorous murderer, slay me also!
      Though a woman, slaughter me!
    Spare not--I'm Ximena Gomez,
      Thine eternal enemy!

    "'Here's my throat--smite, I beseech thee!
      Smite, and fatal be thy blow!
    Death is all I ask, thou caitiff,--
      Grant this boon unto thy foe.'"
                         _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

As this denunciation and appeal remained without effect (for the king had
been too well served by the Cid to listen to any accusation against him),
the distressed damsel departed, only to return to court three times upon
the same fruitless errand. During this time the valor and services of the
Cid had been so frequently discussed in her presence that on her fifth
visit to Ferdinand she consented to forego all further thoughts of
vengeance, if the king would but order the young hero to marry her instead.

    "'I am daughter of Don Gomez,
      Count of Gormaz was he hight,
    Him Rodrigo by his valor
      Did o'erthrow in mortal fight.

    "'King, I come to crave a favor--
      This the boon for which I pray,
    That thou give me this Rodrigo
      For my wedded lord this day.'"
                         _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

[Sidenote:  Marriage of the Cid.] The king, who had suspected for some time
past that the Cid had fallen in love with his fair foe, immediately sent
for him. Rodrigo entered the city with his suite of three hundred men,
proposed marriage to Ximena, and was accepted on the spot. His men then
proceeded to array him richly for his wedding, and bound on him his famous
sword Tizona, which he had won from the Moors. The marriage was celebrated
with much pomp and rejoicing, the king giving Rodrigo the cities of
Valduerna, Soldañia, Belforado, and San Pedro de Cardeña as a marriage
portion. When the marriage ceremony was finished, Rodrigo, wishing to show
his wife all honor, declared that he would not rest until he had won five
battles, and would only then really consider himself entitled, to claim her

    "'A man I slew--a man I give thee--
      Here I stand thy will to bide!
    Thou, in place of a dead father,
      Hast a husband at thy side.'"
                      _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

[Sidenote:  The Cid's piety.] Before beginning this war, however, the Cid
remembered a vow he had made; and, accompanied by twenty brave young
hidalgos, he set out for a pious pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, the
shrine of the patron saint of Spain. On his way thither he frequently
distributed alms, paused to recite a prayer at every church and wayside
shrine, and, meeting a leper, ate, drank, and even slept with him in a
village inn. When Rodrigo awoke in the middle of the night, he found his
bedfellow gone, but was favored by a vision of St. Lazarus, who praised his
charity, and promised him great temporal prosperity and eternal life.

    "'Life shall bring thee no dishonor--
    Thou shalt ever conqueror be;
    Death shall find thee still victorious,
    For God's blessing rests on thee.'"
                       _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

When his pilgrimage was ended, Rodrigo further showed his piety by setting
aside a large sum of money for the establishment of a leper house, which,
in honor of the saint who visited him, was called "St. Lazarus." He then
hastened off to Calahorra, a frontier town of Castile and Aragon, which was
a bone of contention between two monarchs.

Just before the Cid's arrival, Don Ramiro of Aragon had arranged with
Ferdinand of Castile that their quarrel should be decided by a duel between
two knights. Don Ramiro therefore selected as his champion Martin Gonzalez,
while Ferdinand intrusted his cause to the Cid. The duel took place; and
when the two champions found themselves face to face, Martin Gonzalez began
to taunt Rodrigo, telling him that he would never again be able to mount
his favorite steed Babieça, or see his wife, as he was doomed to die.

    "'Sore, Rodrigo, must thou tremble
    Now to meet me in the fight,
    Since thy head will soon be sever'd
    For a trophy of my might.

    "'Never more to thine own castle
    Wilt thou turn Babieça's rein;
    Never will thy lov'd Ximena
    See thee at her side again.'"
                    _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

This boasting did not in the least dismay the Cid, who fought so bravely
that he defeated Martin Gonzalez, and won such plaudits that the jealousy
of the Castilian knights was further excited. In their envy they even
plotted with the Moors to slay Rodrigo by treachery. This plan did not
succeed, however, because the Moorish kings whom he had captured and
released gave him a timely warning of the threatening danger.

The king, angry at this treachery, banished the jealous courtiers, and,
aided by Rodrigo, defeated the hostile Moors in Estremadura. There the
Christian army besieged Coimbra in vain for seven whole months, and were
about to give up in despair of securing the city, when St. James appeared
to a pilgrim, promising his help on the morrow.

[Sidenote: Battle cry of the Spaniards.] When the battle began, the
Christian knights were fired by the example of a radiant warrior, mounted
on a snow-white steed, who led them into the thickest of the fray and
helped them win a signal victory. This knight, whom no one recognized as
one of their own warriors, was immediately hailed as St. James, and it was
his name which the Spaniards then and there adopted as their favorite
battle cry.

The city of Coimbra having been taken, Don Rodrigo was duly knighted by the
king; while the queen and princesses vied with one another in helping him
don the different pieces of his armor, for they too were anxious to show
how highly they valued his services.

After a few more victories over his country's enemies, the triumphant Cid
returned to Zamora, where Ximena, his wife, was waiting for him, and where
the five Moorish kings sent not only the promised tribute, but rich gifts
to their generous conqueror. Although the Cid rejoiced in these tokens, he
gave all the tribute and the main part of the spoil to Ferdinand, his liege
lord, for he considered the glory of success a sufficient reward for

While the Cid was thus resting upon his laurels, a great council had been
held at Florence, where the Emperor (Henry III.) of Germany complained to
the Pope that King Ferdinand had not done him homage for his crown, and
that he refused to acknowledge his superiority. The Pope immediately sent a
message to King Ferdinand asking for homage and tribute, and threatening a
crusade in case of disobedience. This unwelcome message greatly displeased
the Spanish ruler, and roused the indignation of the Cid, who declared that
his king was the vassal of no monarch, and offered to fight any one who
dared maintain a contrary opinion.

    "'Never yet have we done homage--
      Shall we to a stranger bow?
    Great the honor God hath given us--
      Shall we lose that honor now?

    "'Send then to the Holy Father,
      Proudly thus to him reply--
    Thou, the king, and I, Rodrigo,
      Him and all his power defy.'"
                _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

This challenge was sent to the Pope, who, not averse to having the question
settled by the judgment of God, bade the emperor send a champion to meet
Rodrigo. This imperial champion was of course defeated, and all King
Ferdinand's enemies were so grievously routed by the ever-victorious Cid
that no further demands of homage or tribute were ever made.

Old age had now come on, and King Ferdinand, after receiving divine warning
of his speedy demise, died. He left Castile to his eldest son, Don Sancho,
Leon to Don Alfonso, Galicia to Don Garcia, and gave his daughters, Doña
Urraca and Doña Elvira, the wealthy cities of Zamora and Toro. Of course
this disposal of property did not prove satisfactory to all his heirs, and
Don Sancho was especially displeased, because he coveted the whole realm.
He, however, had the Cid to serve him, and selected this doughty champion
to accompany him on a visit to Rome, knowing that he would brook no insult
to his lord. These previsions were fully justified, for the Cid, on
noticing that a less exalted seat had been prepared for Don Sancho than for
the King of France, became so violent that the Pope excommunicated him. But
when the seats had been made of even height, the Cid, who was a good
Catholic, humbled himself before the Pope, and the latter, knowing the
hero's value as a bulwark against the heathen Moors, immediately granted
him full absolution.

    "'I absolve thee, Don Ruy Diaz,
    I absolve thee cheerfully,
    If, while at my court, thou showest
    Due respect and courtesy.'"
                  _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

[Sidenote: The Cid Campeador.] On his return to Castile, Don Sancho found
himself threatened by his namesake, the King of Navarre, and by Don Ramiro
of Aragon. They both invaded Castile, but were ignominously repulsed by the
Cid. As some of the Moors had helped the invaders, the Cid next proceeded
to punish them, and gave up the siege of Saragossa only when the
inhabitants made terms with him. This campaign won for the Cid the title of
"Campeador" (Champion), which he well deserved, as he was always ready to
do battle for his king.

While Don Sancho and his invaluable ally were thus engaged, Don Garcia,
King of Galicia, who was also anxious to increase his kingdom, deprived his
sister Doña Urraca of her city of Zamora. In her distress the infanta came
to Don Sancho and made her lament, thereby affording him the long-sought
pretext to wage war against his brother, and rob him of his kingdom.

This war, in which the Cid reluctantly joined, threatened at one time to
have serious consequences for Sancho. He even once found himself a prisoner
of Garcia's army, shortly after Garcia had been captured by his. The Cid,
occupied in another part of the field, no sooner heard of this occurrence
than he hastened to the Galician nobles to offer an exchange of prisoners;
but, as they rejected his offer with contempt, he soon left them in anger.

    "'Hie thee hence, Rodrigo Diaz,
    An thou love thy liberty;
    Lest, with this thy king, we take thee
    Into dire captivity.'"
          _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

The wrath which the Cid Campeador experienced at this discourteous
treatment so increased his usual strength that he soon put the enemy to
flight, recovered possession of his king, and not only made Don Garcia a
prisoner, but also secured Don Alfonso who had joined in the revolt. Don
Garcia was sent in chains to the castle of Luna, where he eventually died,
entreating that he might be buried, with his fetters, in the city of Leon.

[Sidenote: Alfonso at Toledo.] As for Don Alfonso, Doña Urraca pleaded his
cause so successfully that he was allowed to retire into a monastery,
whence he soon effected his escape and joined the Moors at Toledo. There he
became the companion and ally of Alimaymon, learned all his secrets, and
once, during a pretended nap, overheard the Moor state that even Toledo
could be taken by the Christians, provided they had the patience to begin a
seven-years' siege, and to destroy all the harvests so as to reduce the
people to starvation. The information thus accidentally obtained proved
invaluable to Alfonso, as will be seen, and enabled him subsequently to
drive the Moors out of the city Toledo.

In the mean while Sancho, not satisfied with his triple kingdom, robbed
Doña Elvira of Toro, and began to besiege Doña Urraca in Zamora, which he
hoped to take also in spite of it almost impregnable position.

    "'See! where on yon cliff Zamora
      Lifteth up her haughty brow;
    Walls of strength on high begird her,
      Duero swift and deep below.'"
          _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

The king, utterly regardless of the Cid's openly expressed opinion that it
was unworthy of a knight to attempt to deprive a woman of her inheritance,
now bade him carry a message to Doña Urraca, summoning her to surrender at
once. The hero went reluctantly, but only to be bitterly reproached by
Urraca. She dismissed him after consulting her assembled people, who vowed
to die ere they would surrender.

    "Then did swear all her brave vassals
      In Zamora's walls to die,
    Ere unto the king they'd yield it,
      And disgrace their chivalry."
                 _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

[Sidenote: Siege of Zamora.] This message so enraged Don Sancho that he
banished the Cid. The latter departed for Toledo, whence he was soon
recalled, however, for his monarch could do nothing without him. Thus
restored to favor, the Cid began the siege of Zamora, which lasted so long
that the inhabitants began to suffer all the pangs of famine.

At last a Zamoran by the name of Vellido (Bellido) Dolfos came out of the
town in secret, and, under pretense of betraying the city into Don Sancho's
hands, obtained a private interview with him. Dolfos availed himself of
this opportunity to murder the king, and rushed back to the city before the
crime was discovered. He entered the gates just in time to escape from the
Cid, who had mounted hastily, without spurs, and thus could not urge
Babieça on to his utmost speed and overtake the murderer.

    "'Cursed be the wretch! and cursed
      He who mounteth without spur!
    Had I arm'd my heels with rowels,
      I had slain the treacherous cur.'"
                       _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

The grief in the camp at the violent death of the king was very great. Don
Diego Ordoñez immediately sent a challenge to Don Arìas Gonzalo, who, while
accepting the combat for his son, swore that none of the Zamorans knew of
the dastardly deed, which Dolfos alone had planned.

    "'Fire consume us, Count Gonzalo,
      If in this we guilty be!
    None of us within Zamora
      Of this deed had privity.

    "'Dolfos only is the traitor;
      None but he the king did slay.
    Thou canst safely go to battle,
      God will be thy shield and stay.'"
                        _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

This oath was confirmed by the outcome of the duel, and none of the
besiegers ever again ventured to doubt the honor of the Zamorans.

[Sidenote: Alfonso king.] As Don Sancho had left no children to inherit his
kingdom, it came by right of inheritance to Don Alfonso, who was still at
Toledo, a nominal guest, but in reality a prisoner. Doña Urraca, who was
deeply attached to her brother, now managed to convey to him secret
information of Don Sancho's death, and Don Alfonso cleverly effected his
escape, turning his pursuers off his track by reversing his horse's shoes.
When he arrived at Zamora, all were ready to do him homage except the Cid,
who proudly held aloof until Don Alfonso had publicly sworn that he had not
bribed Dolfos to commit the dastardly crime which had called him to the

    "'Wherefore, if thou be but guiltless,
      Straight I pray of thee to swear,--
    Thou and twelve of these thy liegemen,
      Who with thee in exile were,--
    That in thy late brother's death
      Thou hadst neither part nor share
    That none of ye to his murder
      Privy or consenting were.'"
                        _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

The king, angry at being thus called upon to answer for his conduct to a
mere subject, viewed the Cid with great dislike, and only awaited a
suitable occasion to take his revenge. During a war with the Moors he made
use of a trifling pretext to banish him, allowing him only nine days to
prepare for departure. The Cid accepted this cruel decree with dignity,
hoping that the time would never come when the king would regret his
absence, and his country need his right arm.

    "'I obey, O King Alfonso,
      Guilty though in naught I be,
    For it doth behoove a vassal
      To obey his lord's decree;
    Prompter far am I to serve thee
      Than thou art to guerdon me.

    "'I do pray our Holy Lady
      Her protection to afford,
    That thou never mayst in battle
      Need the Cid's right arm and sword.'"
                          _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

Amid the weeping people of Burgos, who dared not offer him help and shelter
lest they should incur the king's wrath, lose all their property, and even
forfeit their eyesight, the Cid slowly rode away, and camped without the
city to make his final arrangements. Here a devoted follower supplied him
with the necessary food, remarking that he cared "not a fig" for Alfonso's
prohibitions, which is probably the first written record of the use of this
now popular expression.

[Sidenote: The Cid in exile.] To obtain the necessary money the Cid pledged
two locked coffers full of sand to the Jews. They, thinking that the boxes
contained vast treasures, or relying upon the Cid's promise to release them
for a stipulated sum, advanced him six hundred marks of gold. The Cid then
took leave of his beloved wife Ximena, and of his two infant daughters,
whom he intrusted to the care of a worthy ecclesiastic, and, followed by
three hundred men, he rode slowly away from his native land, vowing that he
would yet return, covered with glory, and bringing great spoil.

    "'Comrades, should it please high Heaven
      That we see Castile once more,--
    Though we now go forth as outcasts,
      Sad, dishonor'd, homeless, poor,--
    We'll return with glory laden
      And the spellings of the Moor.'"
                 _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

Such success attended the little band of exiles that within the next three
weeks they won two strongholds from the Moors, and much spoil, among which
was the sword Colada, which was second only to Tizona. From the spoil the
Cid selected a truly regal present, which he sent to Alfonso, who in return
granted a general pardon to the Cid's followers, and published an edict
allowing all who wished to fight against the Moors to join him. A few more
victories and another present so entirely dispelled Alfonso's displeasure
that he restored the Cid to favor, and, moreover, promised that thereafter
thirty days should be allowed to every exile to prepare for his departure.

When Alimaymon, King of Toledo, died, leaving Toledo in the hands of his
grandson Yahia, who was generally disliked, Alfonso thought the time
propitious for carrying out his long-cherished scheme of taking the city.
Thanks to the valor of the Cid and the destruction of all the crops, the
siege of the city progressed favorably, and it finally fell into the hands
of the Christian king.

A second misunderstanding, occasioned principally by the jealous courtiers,
caused Alfonso to insult the Cid, who in anger left the army and made a
sudden raid in Castile. During his absence, the Moors resumed courage, and
became masters of Valencia. Hearing of this disaster, the Cid promptly
returned, recaptured the city, and, establishing his headquarters there,
asked Alfonso to send him his wife and daughters. At the same time he sent
more than the promised sum of money to the Jews to redeem the chests which,
as they now first learned, were filled with nothing but sand.

    "'Say, albeit within the coffers
       Naught but sand they can espy,
      That the pure gold of my truth
       Deep beneath that sand doth lie."'
                      _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

[Sidenote: The Counts of Carrion.] As the Cid was now master of Valencia
and of untold wealth, his daughters were soon sought in marriage by many
suitors. Among them were the Counts of Carrion, whose proposals were warmly
encouraged by Alfonso. To please his royal master, the Cid consented to an
alliance with them, and the marriage of both his daughters was celebrated
with much pomp. In the "Chronicle of the Cid," compiled from all the
ancient ballads, these festivities are recorded thus: "Who can tell the
great nobleness which the Cid displayed at that wedding! the feasts and the
bullfights, and the throwing at the target, and the throwing canes, and how
many joculars were there, and all the sports which are proper at such

Pleased with their sumptuous entertainment, the Infantes of Carrion
lingered at Valencia two years, during which time the Cid had ample
opportunity to convince himself that they were not the brave and upright
husbands he would fain have secured for his daughters. In fact, all soon
became aware of the young men's cowardice, for when a lion broke loose from
the Cid's private menagerie and entered the hall where he was sleeping,
while his guests were playing chess, the princes fled, one falling into an
empty vat in his haste, and the other taking refuge behind the Cid's couch.
Awakened by the noise, the Cid seized his sword, twisted his cloak around
his arm, and, grasping the lion by its mane, thrust it back into its cage,
and calmly returned to his place.

    "Till the good Cid awoke; he rose without alarm;
    He went to meet the lion, with his mantle on his arm.
    The lion was abash'd the noble Cid to meet,
    He bow'd his mane to earth, his muzzle at his feet.
    The Cid by the neck and mane drew him to his den,
    He thrust him in at the hatch, and came to the hall again;
    He found his knights, his vassals, and all his valiant men.
    He ask'd for his sons-in-law, they were neither of them there."
                              _Chronicles of the Cid_ (Southey's tr.).

This cowardly conduct of the Infantes of Carrion could not fail to call
forth some gibes from the Cid's followers. The young men, however,
concealed their anger, biding their time to take their revenge. During the
siege of Valencia, which took place shortly after this adventure, the
Infantes did not manage to show much courage either; and it was only
through the kindness of Felez Muñoz, a nephew of the Cid, that one of them
could exhibit a war horse which he falsely claimed to have taken from the

Thanks to the valor of the Cid, the Moors were driven away from Valencia
with great loss, and peace was restored. The Infantes of Carrion then asked
permission to return home with their brides, and the spoil and presents the
Cid had given them, among which were the swords Colada and Tizona. The Cid
escorted them part way on their journey, bade farewell to his daughters
with much sorrow, and returned alone to Valencia, which appeared deserted
without the presence of the children he loved.

    "The Cid he parted from his daughters,
     Naught could he his grief disguise;
    As he clasped them to his bosom,
      Tears did stream from out his eyes."
                    _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

[Sidenote: Cruelty of Infantes of Carrion.] After journeying on for some
time with their brides and Felez Muñoz, who was acting as escort, the
Infantes of Carrion camped near the Douro. Early the next day they sent all
their suite ahead, and, being left alone with their wives, stripped them of
their garments, lashed them with thorns, kicked them with their spurs, and
finally left them for dead on the blood-stained ground, and rode on to join
their escort. Suspecting foul play, and fearing the worst, Felez Muñoz
cleverly managed to separate himself from the party, and, riding swiftly
back to the banks of the Douro, found his unhappy cousins in a sorry
plight. He tenderly cared for their wounds, placed them upon his horse, and
took them to the house of a poor man, whose wife and daughters undertook to
nurse them, while Felez Muñoz hastened back to Valencia to tell the Cid
what had occurred. The Cid Campeador then swore that he would be avenged;
and as Alfonso was responsible for the marriage, he applied to him for

    "'Lo! my daughters have been outrag'd!
      For thine own, thy kingdom's sake,
    Look, Alfonso, to mine honor!
      Vengeance thou or I must take.'"
                    _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

The king, who had by this time learned to value the Cid's services, was
very angry when he heard how the Infantes of Carrion had insulted their
wives, and immediately summoned them to appear before the Cortes, the
Spanish assembly, at Toledo, and justify themselves, if it were possible.
The Cid was also summoned to the same assembly, where he began by claiming
the two precious blades Tizona and Colada, and the large dowry he had given
with his daughters. Then he challenged the young cowards to fight. When
questioned, they tried to excuse themselves by declaring that the Cid's
daughters, being of inferior birth, were not fit to mate with them.

[Sidenote:  Embassy from Navarre.] The falseness of this excuse was shown,
however, by an embassy from Navarre, asking the hands of the Cid's
daughters for the Infantes of that kingdom, who were far superior in rank
to the Infantes of Carrion. The Cid consented to this new alliance, and
after a combat had been appointed between three champions of his selection
and the Infantes of Carrion and their uncle, he prepared to return home.

As proof of his loyalty, however, he offered to give to Alfonso his
favorite steed Babieça, an offer which the king wisely refused, telling him
that the best of warriors alone deserved that peerless war horse.

    "''Tis the noble Babieça that is fam'd for speed and force,
    Among the Christians nor the Moors there is not such another one,
    My Sovereign, Lord, and Sire, he is fit for you alone;
    Give orders to your people, and take him for your own.'
    The King replied, 'It cannot be; Cid, you shall keep your horse;
    He must not leave his master, nor change him for a worse;
    Our kingdom has been honor'd by you and by your steed--
    The man that would take him from you, evil may he speed.
    A courser such as he is fit for such a knight,
    To beat down Moors in battle, and follow them in flight.'"
                           _Chronicles of the Cid_ (Southey's tr.).

Shortly after, in the presence of the king, the Cid, and the assembled
Cortes, the appointed battle took place. The Infantes of Carrion and their
uncle were defeated and banished, and the Cid returned in triumph to
Valencia. Here his daughters' second marriage took place, and here he
received an embassy bringing him rich gifts from the Sultan of Persia, who
had heard of his fame.

Five years later the Moors returned, under the leadership of Bucar, King of
Morocco, to besiege Valencia. The Cid was about to prepare to do battle
against this overwhelming force when he was favored by a vision of St.
Peter. The saint predicted his death within thirty days, but assured him
that, even though he were dead, he would still triumph over the enemy whom
he had fought against for so many years.

    "'Dear art thou to God, Rodrigo,
      And this grace he granteth thee:
    When thy soul hath fled, thy body
      Still shall cause the Moors to flee;
    And, by aid of Santiago,
      Gain a glorious victory.'"
                 _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

The pious and simple-hearted warrior immediately began to prepare for the
other world. He appointed a successor, gave instructions that none should
bewail his death lest the news should encourage the Moors, and directed
that his embalmed body should be set upon Babieça, and that, with Tizona in
his hand, he should be led against the enemy on a certain day, when he
promised a signal victory.

[Illustration: THE CID'S LAST VICTORY.--Rochegrosse.]

    "'Saddle next my Babieça,
      Arm him well as for the fight;
    On his back then tie my body,
      In my well-known armor dight.

    "'In my right hand place Tizona;
      Lead me forth unto the war;
    Bear my standard fast behind me,
     As it was my wont of yore.'"
                 _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

[Sidenote:  The Cid's last battle.] When these instructions had all been
given, the hero died at the appointed time, and his successor and the brave
Ximena strove to carry out his every wish. A sortie was planned, and the
Cid, fastened upon his war horse, rode in the van. Such was the terror
which his mere presence inspired that the Moors fled before him. Most of
them were slain, and Bucar beat a hasty retreat, thinking that seventy
thousand Christians were about to fall upon him, led by the patron saint of

    "Seventy thousand Christian warriors,
      All in snowy garments dight,
    Led by one of giant stature,
      Mounted on a charger white;

    "On his breast a cross of crimson,
      In his hand a sword of fire,
    With it hew'd he down the Paynims,
      As they fled, with slaughter dire."
                     _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

The Christians, having routed the enemy, yet knowing, as the Cid had told
them, that they would never be able to hold Valencia when he was gone, now
marched on into Castile, the dead hero still riding Babieça in their midst.
Then Ximena sent word to her daughters of their father's demise, and they
came to meet him, but could scarcely believe that he was dead when they saw
him so unchanged.

By Alfonso's order the Cid's body was placed in the Church of San Pedro de
Cardeña, where for ten years it remained seated in a chair of state, and in
plain view of all. Such was the respect which the dead hero inspired that
none dared lay a finger upon him, except a sacrilegious Jew, who,
remembering the Cid's proud boast that no man had ever dared lay a hand
upon his beard, once attempted to do so. Before he could touch it, however,
the hero's lifeless hand clasped the sword hilt and drew Tizona a few
inches out of its scabbard.

    "Ere the beard his fingers touched,
    Lo! the silent man of death
    Grasp'd the hilt, and drew Tizona
    Full a span from out the sheath!"
                  _Ancient Spanish Ballads_ (Lockhart's tr.).

Of course, in the face of such a miracle, the Jew desisted, and the Cid
Campeador was reverently laid in the grave only when his body began to show
signs of decay. His steed Babieça continued to be held in great honor, but
no one was ever again allowed to bestride him.

[Sidenote: Evacuation of Valencia.] As for the Moors, they rallied around
Valencia. After hovering near for several days, wondering at the strange
silence, they entered the open gates of the city, which they had not dared
to cross for fear of an ambuscade, and penetrated into the court of the
palace. Here they found a notice, left by the order of the Cid, announcing
his death and the complete evacuation of the city by the Christian army.
The Cid's sword Tizona became an heirloom in the family of the Marquis of
Falies, and is said to bear the following inscriptions, one on either side
of the blade: "I am Tizona, made in era 1040," and "Hail Maria, full of



[Sidenote: Cycles of romance.] In the preceding chapters we have given an
outline of the principal epics which formed the staple of romance
literature in the middle ages. As has been seen, this style of composition
was used to extol the merits and describe the great deeds of certain famous
heroes, and by being gradually extended it was made to include the prowess
of the friends and contemporaries of these more or less fabulous
personages. All these writings, clustering thus about some great character,
eventually formed the so-called "cycles of romance."

There were current in those days not only classical romances, but stories
of love, adventure, and chivalry, all bearing a marked resemblance to one
another, and prevailing in all the European states during the four
centuries when knighthood flourished everywhere. Some of these tales, such
as those of the Holy Grail, were intended, besides, to glorify the most
celebrated orders of knighthood,--the Templars and Knights of St. John.

Other styles of imaginative writing were known at the same time also, yet
the main feature of the literature of the age is first the metrical, and
later the prose, romance, the direct outcome of the great national epics.

We have outlined very briefly, as a work of this character requires, the
principal features of the Arthurian, Carolingian, and Teutonic cycles. We
have also touched somewhat upon the Anglo-Danish and Scandinavian
contributions to our literature.

Of the extensive Spanish cycle we have given only a short sketch of the
romance, or rather the chronicle, of the Cid, leaving out entirely the vast
and deservedly popular cycles of Amadis of Gaul and of the Palmerins. This
omission has been intentional, however, because these romances have left
but few traces in our literature. As they are seldom even alluded to, they
are not of so great importance to the English student of letters as the
Franco-German, Celto-Briton, and Scandinavian tales.

The stories of Amadis of Gaul and of the Palmerins are, moreover, very
evident imitations of the principal romances of chivalry which we have
already considered. They are formed of an intricate series of adventures
and enchantments, are, if anything, more extravagant than the other
mediaeval romances, and are further distinguished by a tinge of Oriental
mysticism and imagery, the result of the Crusades.

The Italian cycle, which we have not treated separately because it relates
principally to Charlemagne and Roland, is particularly noted for its
felicity of expression and richness of description. Like the Spanish
writers, the Italians love to revel in magic, as is best seen in the
greatest gems of that age, the poems of "Orlando Innamorato" and "Orlando
Furioso," by Boiardo and Ariosto.

Mediaeval literature includes also a very large and so-called "unaffiliated
cycle" of romances. This is composed of many stories, the precursors of the
novel and "short story" of the present age. We are indebted to this cycle
for several well-known works of fiction, such as the tale of patient
Griseldis, the gentle and meek-spirited heroine who has become the
personification of long-suffering and charity. After the mediaeval writers
had made much use of this tale, it was taken up in turn by Boccaccio and
Chaucer, who have made it immortal.

The Norman tale of King Robert of Sicily, so beautifully rendered in verse
by Longfellow in his "Tales of a Wayside Inn," also belongs to this cycle,
and some authorities claim that it includes the famous animal epic "Reynard
the Fox," of which we have given an outline. The story of Reynard the Fox
is one of the most important mediaeval contributions to the literature of
the world, and is the source from which many subsequent writers have drawn
the themes for their fables.

[Sidenote: Classical cycle.] A very large class of romances, common to all
European nations during the middle ages, has also been purposely omitted
from the foregoing pages. This is the so-called "classical cycle," or the
romances based on the Greek and Latin epics, which were very popular during
the age of chivalry. They occupy so prominent a place in mediaeval
literature, however, that we must bespeak a few moments' attention to their

In these classical romances the heroes of antiquity have lost many of their
native characteristics, and are generally represented as knight-errants,
and made to talk and act as such knights would. Christianity and mythology
are jumbled up together in a most peculiar way, and history, chronology,
and geography are set at defiance and treated with the same scorn of

The classical romances forming this great general cycle are subdivided into
several classes or cycles. The interest of the first is mainly centered
upon the heroes of Homer and Hesiod. The best-known and most popular of
these mediaeval works was the "Roman de Troie," relating the siege and
downfall of Troy.

Based upon post-classical Greek and Latin writings rather than upon the
great Homeric epic itself, the story, which had already undergone many
changes to suit the ever-varying public taste, was further transformed by
the Anglo-Norman trouvère, Benoît de Sainte-More, about 1184. He composed a
poem of thirty thousand lines, in which he related not only the siege and
downfall of Troy, but also the Argonautic expedition, the wanderings of
Ulysses, the story of Aeneas, and many other mythological tales.

This poet, following the custom of the age, naïvely reproduced the manners,
customs, and, in general, the beliefs of the twelfth century. There is
plenty of local color in his work, only the color belongs to his own
locality, and not to that of the heroes whose adventures he purports to
relate. In his work the old classical heroes are transformed into typical
mediaeval knights, and heroines such as Helen and Medea, for instance, are
portrayed as damsels in distress.

This prevalent custom of viewing the ancients solely from the mediaeval
point of view gave rise not only to grotesque pen pictures, but also to a
number of paintings, such as Gozzoli's kidnapping of Helen. In this
composition, Paris, in trunk hose, is carrying off the fair Helen
pickaback, notwithstanding the evident clamor raised by the assembled court
ladies, who are attired in very full skirts and mediaeval headdresses.

On account of these peculiarities, and because the customs, dress,
festivities, weapons, manners, landscapes, etc., of the middle ages are so
minutely described, these romances have, with much justice, been considered
as really original works.

[Sidenote: The Roman de Troie.] The "Roman de Troie" was quite as popular
in mediaeval Europe as the "Iliad" had been in Hellenic countries during
the palmy days of Greece, and was translated into every dialect. There are
still extant many versions of the romance in every European tongue, for it
penetrated even into the frozen regions of Scandinavia and Iceland. It was
therefore recited in every castle and town by the wandering minstrels,
trouvères, troubadours, minnesingers, and scalds, who thus individually and
collectively continued the work begun so many years before by the Greek
rhapsodists. Thus for more than two thousand years the story which still
delights us has been familiar among high and low, and has served to beguile
the hours for old and young.

This cycle further includes a revised and much-transformed edition of the
adventures of Aeneas and of the early history of Rome. But although all
these tales were first embodied in metrical romances, these soon gave way
to prose versions of equally interminable length, which each relator varied
and embellished according to his taste and skill.

The extreme popularity of Benoît de Sainte-More's work induced many
imitations, and the numerous _chansons de gestes_, constructed on the same
general plan, soon became current everywhere. Sundry episodes of these
tales, having been particularly liked, were worked over, added to, and
elaborated, until they assumed the proportions of romances in themselves.
Such was, for example, the case with the story of Troilus and Cressida,
which was treated by countless mediaeval poets, and finally given the form
in which we know it best, first by Chaucer in his "Canterbury Tales," and
lastly by Shakespeare in his well-known play.

[Sidenote: Alexandre le Grant.] Another great romance of the classical
cycle is the one known as "Alexandre le Grant." First written in verse by
Lambert le Cort, in a meter which is now exclusively known as Alexandrine,
because it was first used to set forth the charms and describe the deeds of
this hero, it was recast by many poets, and finally turned into a prose
romance also.

The first poetical version was probably composed in the eleventh century,
and is said to have been twenty-two thousand six hundred lines long. Drawn
from many sources,--for the Greek and Latin writers had been all more or
less occupied with describing the career of the youthful conqueror and the
marvels he discovered in the far East,--the mediaeval writers still further
added to this heterogeneous material.

The romance of "Alexandre le Grant," therefore, purports to relate the life
and adventures of the King of Macedon; but as Lambert le Cort and his
numerous predecessors and successors were rather inclined to draw on
imagination, the result is a very extravagant tale.

In the romance, as we know it, Alexander is described as a mediaeval rather
than an ancient hero. After giving the early history of Macedon, the poet
tells of the birth of Alexander,--which is ascribed to divine
intervention,--and dwells eloquently upon the hero's youthful prowess.
Philip's death and the consequent reign of Alexander next claim our
attention. The conquest of the world is, in this romance, introduced by the
siege and submission of Rome, after which the young monarch starts upon his
expedition into Asia Minor, and the conquest of Persia. The war with Porus
and the fighting in India are dwelt upon at great length, as are the riches
and magnificence of the East. Alexander visits Amazons and cannibals, views
all the possible and impossible wonders, and in his fabulous history we
find the first mention, in European literature, of the marvelous "Fountain
of Youth," the object of Ponce de Leon's search in Florida many years

When, in the course of this lengthy romance, Alexander has triumphantly
reached the ends of the earth, he sighs for new worlds to conquer, and even
aspires to the dominion of the realm of the air. To wish is to obtain. A
magic glass cage, rapidly borne aloft by eight griffins, conveys the
conqueror through the aërial kingdom, where all the birds in turn do homage
to him, and where he is enabled to understand their language, thanks to the
kind intervention of a magician.

But Alexander's ambition is still insatiable; and, earth and air having
both submitted to his sway, and all the living creatures therein having
recognized him as master and promised their allegiance, he next proposes to
annex the empire of the sea. Magic is again employed to gratify this wish,
and Alexander sinks to the bottom of the sea in a peculiarly fashioned
diving bell. Here all the finny tribe press around to do him homage; and
after receiving their oaths of fealty, and viewing all the marvels of the
deep, as conceived by the mediaeval writer's fancy, Alexander returns to

Earth, air, and sea having all been subdued, the writer, unable to follow
the course of Alexander's conquests any further, now minutely describes a
grand coronation scene at Babylon, where, with the usual disregard for
chronology which characterizes all the productions of this age, he makes
the hero participate in a solemn mass!

The story ends with a highly sensational description of the death of
Alexander by poisoning, and an elaborate enumeration of the pomps of his

[Sidenote: Rome la Grant.] A third order of romances, also belonging to
this cycle, includes a lengthy poem known as "Rome la Grant." Here Virgil
appears as a common enchanter. With the exception of a few well-known
names, all trace of antiquity is lost. The heroes are now exposed to
hairbreadth escapes; wonderful adventures succeed one another without any
pause; and there is a constant series of enchantments, such as the Italian
poets loved to revel in, as is shown in the works by Boiardo and Ariosto
already mentioned.

These tales, and those on the same theme which had preceded them, gave rise
to a generally accepted theory of European colonization subsequent to the
Trojan war; and every man of note and royal family claimed to descend from
the line of Priam.

[Sidenote: Story of Brutus.] As the Romans insisted that their city owed
its existence to the descendants of Aeneas, so the French kings Dagobert
and Charles the Bald claimed to belong to the illustrious Trojan race. The
same tradition appeared in England about the third century, and from Gildas
and Nennius was adopted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. It is from this historian
that Wace drew the materials for the metrical tale of Brutus (Brute), the
supposed founder of the British race and kingdom. This poem is twenty
thousand lines long, and relates the adventures and life of Brutus, the
great-grandson of Aeneas.

At the time of Brutus' birth his parents were frightened by an oracle
predicting that he would be the cause of the death of both parents, and
only after long wanderings would attain the highest pitch of glory. This
prophecy was duly fulfilled. Brutus' mother, a niece of Lavinia, died at
his birth. Fifteen years later, while hunting, he accidentally slew his
father; and, expelled from Italy on account of this involuntary crime, he
began his wanderings.

In the course of time Brutus went to Greece, where he found the descendants
of Helenus, one of Priam's sons, languishing in captivity. Brutus headed
the revolted Trojans, and after helping them to defeat Pandrasus, King of
Greece, obtained their freedom, and invited them to accompany him to some
distant land, where they could found a new kingdom.

Led by Brutus, who in the mean while had married the daughter of Pandrasus,
the Trojans sailed away, and, landing on the deserted island of Leogecia,
visited the temple of Diana, and questioned her statue, which gave the
following oracle:

    "'Brutus! there lies beyond the Gallic bounds
    An island which the western sea surrounds,
    By giants once possessed; now few remain
    To bar thy entrance, or obstruct thy reign.
    To reach that happy shore thy sails employ;
    There fate decrees to raise a second Troy,
    And found an empire in thy royal line,
    Which time shall ne'er destroy, nor bounds confine.'"
                            GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH (Giles's tr.).

Thus directed by miracle, Brutus sailed on, meeting with many adventures,
and landed twice on the coast of Africa. The Pillars of Hercules once
passed, the travelers beheld the sirens, and, landing once more, were
joined by Corineus, who proposed to accompany them.

Brutus then coasted along the shores of the kingdom of Aquitaine and up the
Loire, where his men quarreled with the inhabitants. He found himself
involved in a fierce conflict, in which, owing to his personal valor and to
the marvelous strength of Corineus, he came off victor in spite of the odds
against him.

In this battle Brutus' nephew, Turonus, fell, and was buried on the spot
where the city of Tours was subsequently built and named after the dead
hero. After having subdued his foes, Brutus embarked again and landed on an
island called Albion. Here he forced the giants to make way for him, and in
the encounters with them Corineus again covered himself with glory.

We are told that the first germ of the nursery tale of Jack the Giant
Killer is found in this poem, for Corineus, having chosen Corinea
(Cornwall) as his own province, defeated there the giant Goëmagot, who was
twelve cubits high and pulled up an oak as if it were but a weed. Corineus,
after a famous wrestling bout, flung this Goëmagot into the sea, at a place
long known as Lam Goëmagot, but now called Plymouth.

[Sidenote: The founding of London.] Brutus pursued his way, and finally
came to the Thames, on whose banks he founded New Troy, a city whose name
was changed in honor of Lud, one of his descendants, to London. Brutus
called the newly won kingdom Britain, and his eldest sons, Locrine and
Camber, gave their names to the provinces of Locria and Cambria when they
became joint rulers of their father's kingdom, while Albanact, his third
son, took possession of the northern part, which he called Albania

Albanact was not allowed to reign in peace, however, but was soon called
upon to war against Humber, King of the Huns. The latter was defeated, and
drowned in the stream which still bears his name. Locrine's daughter,
Sabrina, also met with a watery death, and gave her name to the Severn.

[Sidenote: King Leir.] The posterity of Brutus now underwent many other
vicissitudes. There was fighting at home and abroad; and after attributing
the founding of all the principal cities to some ruler of this line, the
historian relates the story of King Leir, the founder of Leicester. As this
monarch's life has been used by Shakespeare for one of his dramas,--the
tragedy of "King Lear,"--and is familiar to all students of English
literature, there is no need to outline Geoffrey of Monmouth's version of
the tale.

The chronicler then resumes the account of Brutus' illustrious descendants,
enumerating them all, and relating their adventures, till we come to the
reign of Cassivellaunus and the invasion of Britain by the Romans. Shortly
after, under the reign of Cymbelinus, he mentions the birth of Christ, and
then resumes the thread of his fabulous history, and brings it down to the
reign of Uther Pendragon, where it has been taken up in the Arthurian

This chronicle, which gave rise to many romances, was still considered
reliable even in Shakespeare's time, and many poets have drawn freely from
it. The mediaeval poets long used it as a mental quarry, and it has been
further utilized by some more recent poets, among whom we must count
Drayton, who makes frequent mention of these ancient names in his poem
"Polyolbion," and Spenser, who immortalizes many of the old legends in his
"Faerie Queene."

There are, of course, many other mediaeval tales and romances; but our aim
has been to enable the reader to gain some general idea of the principal
examples, leaving him to pursue the study in its many branches if he wishes
a more complete idea of the literature of the past and of the influence it
has exerted and still exerts upon the writers of our own day.


Ariosto, 141, 211.
Arnold, Matthew, 212, 243, 269.
Beowulf, (translations by Conybeare, Keary, Longfellow, Metcalfe), 9, 10,
  11, 12, 13, 14,  15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21.
Buchanan, 145, 146.
Bulwer Lytton, 219.
Burney, Dr. (translation), 141.
Byron, 150.
Chanson de Roland (translations by Rabillon), 144, 145, 147, 148.
Conybeare (translations), 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21.
Cursor Mundi, 4.
Death Song of Regner Lodbrock (translations by Herbert), 272, 276, 279.
Dippold, G. T., (translations, Great Epics of Mediaeval Germany, Roberts
  Bros., Boston,), 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 188, 190,
  195, 237, 239.
Dragon of Wantley, 238.
Drayton, 208, 210, 217, 218.
Ellis, 207, 208, 209, 210, 227.
Ettin Langshanks, The, 115, 116.
Geoffrey of Monmouth, 308.
Giles (translation), 308.
Goethe, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 49 50, 52.
Gottfried von Strassburg, 237, 239, 241.
Gudrun, (translations by Dippold, Great Epics of mediaeval Germany,
  Roberts Bros., Boston), 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34.
Hartmann von Aue, 223.
Head, Sir Edmund, (Ticknor's Spanish Literature, Messrs. Harper Bros., New
  York), 150.
Heldenbuch (translations by Weber), 95, 96, 101, 105, 106, 107, 118, 119,
Hemans, Mrs., 278.
Herbert (translations), 272, 276, 279.
Hildebrand, Song of, (translation by Bayard Taylor, Studies in German
  Literature, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York), 127.
Ingemann, 136.
Jamieson (translations), 115, 116.
Jones, J.C., 17.
Keary (translation), 11.
King Arthur's Death, 230.
Lady Alda's Dream (translation by Head), 149.
Layamon, 232.
Legend of King Arthur, 218.
Lettsom (translations), 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 66,
  68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85.
Lockhart, (Ancient Spanish Ballads, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York), 282,
  283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 295, 296, 297,
  298, 299, 300.
Longfellow, (Poets and Poetry of Europe, and Poetical Works, Houghton,
  Mifflin & Co., Boston), 12, 13, 95, 137, 251, 253, 254, 256, 258, 265.
Lord Lovel, Ballad of, 245.
McDowall (translation), 200.
Metcalfe (translations), 16, 21.
Morris, William, 275.
Nibelungenlied (translations by Lettsom), 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61,
  62, 63, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82,
  83, 84, 85.
Niendorf, 34.
Rabillon (translations), 144, 145, 147, 148.
Ragnar Lodbrok Saga, (The Viking Age, by Paul du Chaillu, Charles
  Scribner's Sons, New York), 270.
Ragnar's Sons' Saga, (The Viking Age, by Paul du Chaillu, Charles
  Scribner's Sons, New York), 277.
Robert of Gloucester, 209.
Rogers (translations), 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50,
Roland and Ferragus, 141, 142, 143.
Rose (translation), 211.
Scott, Sir Walter, 235.
Sir Lancelot du Lake, 220.
Sir Otuel, 148.
Sotheby (translations), 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174,
  175, 176, 177, 178, 179.
Southey, 132, 133, 295, 298.
Spalding (translations), 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259,
  260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 266, 267, 268.
Spenser, 211.
Swinburne, 206, 240, 241.
Taylor, Bayard, (Studies in German Literature, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New
  York,), 127, 190, 193, 223, 241.
Tegnér, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262,
  263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268.
Tennyson, 212, 214, 215, 216, 217, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 228, 229,
  231, 232.
Vail, 281.
Weber (translations), 95, 96, 101, 105, 106, 107, 118, 119, 121.
Wieland, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 177, 178,
Wolfram von Eschenbach, 188, 190, 193, 195, 200.


AA'CHEN. See _Aix-la-Chapelle_.
AB-RA-CA-DAB'RA. Malagigi's charm, 158.
A'CRE. Ogier besieges, 138.
ADENET (ä-de-na') Author of an epic on Ogier, 138.
AE'GIR. Northern god of the sea, 250.
AE-NE'AS. In mediaeval literature, 303;
  adventures of, 304;
  Romans claim, 307.
AES'CHE-RE. Seized by Grendel's mother, 15;
  Beowulf offers to avenge, 16.
AF'RI-CA. Brutus lands in, 308.
AG'NAR. Son of Ragnar and Thora, 272;
  a great viking, 274;
  fights Eystein, 276.
AG'RA-VAINE. Doubts Arthur's title to throne, 216.
AI-GO-LAN'DUS. Revolts against Charlemagne, 141.
AIX-LA-CHA-PELLE'. Founding of, 133;
  Ganelon executed at, 148;
  Renaud's body to be taken to, 162.
A'LARD. Son of Aymon, 154;
  Renaud's affection for, 155;
  plays chess with Chariot, 155;
  prisoner of Charlemagne, 157;
  freed by Malagigi, 158.
AL'BA-NACT. Son of Brutus, 309;
  wars against Humber, 309.
AL-BA'NI-A. Name for Scotland, 309.
AL'BER-ICH. Dwarf guardian of treasure, 61;
  delivers hoard, 70;
  meets Ortnit under tree, 96;
  the father of Ortnit, 97;
  helps Ortnit, 97;
  warns Ortnit against dragons, 98;
  receives magic ring, 98;
  Wolfdietrich warned by, 107;
  meets Dietrich, 111.
  See _Laurin_ and _Elbegast_.
AL'BI-ON. Brutus lands in, 308.
AL'BOIN. Sent in quest of armor, 86;
  and Rosamund, 87;
  cruelty of, 87;
  death of, 88.
AL'DRI-AN. I. Father of Hagen, 75.
AL'DRI-AN. II. Son of Hagen, 127;
  betrays Etzel, 127.
AL'E-BRAND. See _Hadubrand_.
AL-EX-AN'DER. Hero of metrical romance, 305;
  conquests of, 306;
  death of, 307.
AL-EX-AN'DRE LE GRANT. Synopsis of, 305.
AL-EX-AN'DRINE METER. Origin of, 305.
A-LEX'IS. Angela restored to, 170.
AL'FER-ICH. See _Alberich_.
AL'FILD. First wife of Sigurd Ring, 269.
AL-FON'SO, DON. King of Leon, 288;
  made prisoner, 290;
  escapes to Toledo, 290;
  hears of Don Sancho's death, 292;
  escapes from Toledo, 292;
  king of Castile, 292;
  banishes Cid, 293;
  restores Cid to favor, 294;
  makes edict in favor of exiles, 294;
  takes Toledo, 294;
  defeated by Cid, 294;
  encourages suit of Counts of Carrion, 295;
  responsible for marriage of Cid's daughters, 297;
  Cid seeks redress from, 297;
  refuses Babieça, 297;
  gives orders for burial of Cid, 300.
AL'FRED. An ally of Ella, 279.
ALF'SOL. Sigurd Ring wooes, 270;
  death of, 270.
AL-I-MAY'MON. Reveals how Toledo can be taken, 290;
  death of, 294.
ALMES'BUR-Y. Guinevere at, 232;
  Lancelot visits, 233;
  Guinevere dies at, 233.
AL'PRIS. See _Alberich_.
AL'TE-CLER. Sword of Oliver, 139.
AM'A-DIS OF GAUL. Cycle of, 302.
AM'A-LING LAND. Italy called, 121;
  Dietrich king of, 121;
  invaded by imperial army, 123;
  Dietrich returns to, 125.
AM'A-LUNG. Son of Hornbogi, 121.
A-MAN'DA. Rezia called, 175;
  marriage of, 175;
  in Titania's valley, 175;
  mother of Huonet, 176;
  loses her child, and is captured by pirates, 176;
  shipwreck of, 177;
  slave of the Sultan, 178;
  visits fairyland, 179;
  journeys to Paris, 179.
AM'A-ZONS. Alexander visits, 306.
AM-BRO'SI-US AU-RE-LI-A'NUS. British chief, 205.
AM'E-LINGS. The, 100-109.
AM'EL-RICH. Ferryman's signal, 76.
AM-FOR'TAS. Son of Frimontel, 188;
  king of Montsalvatch, 189;
  wound of, 189;
  agony of, 193;
  brother of, 199;
  cured, 200;
  death of, 200;
  armor of, 201.
AN-GAN'TYR. Helps to recover ship Ellida, 250;
  ruler of Orkney Islands, 250;
  Frithiof sent to claim tribute from, 258;
  Frithiof's landing seen by watchman of, 260;
  Frithiof's visit to, 261;
  purse of, 261.
ANGEL. Visits Charlemagne, 130;
  visits Ogier, 137;
  visits Oliver, 139.
AN'GE-LA. Huon advised by, 170;
  Huon delivers, 170.
AN-GLO-SAX'ONS. "Beowulf" probably composed by, 9.
AN-GOU-LAF'FRE. Castle of, 169;
  Huon's encounter with, 169;
  ring of, 173.
AN-GUR-VA'DEL. Magic sword, 247;
  Thorsten receives, 249;
  Frithiof inherits, 253.
AN'TON. See _Hector_.
ANT'WERP. Marriage of Else and Lohengrin at, 203.
AN'ZI-US. Emperor of Constantinople, 100.
A-POL'LO. Marsile worships, 144.
A-PU'LI-A. Part of Rother's kingdom, 89.
A-QUI-TAINE'. Walther son of duke of, 124;
  Brutus coasts along, 308.
AR'ABS. Huon defeats a band of, 166;
  Spain under the, 282.
AR'A-GON. Calahorra cause of quarrel in, 286;
  Don Ramiro of, 286.
ARDENNES (är-den'). Quest for robber knight of the, 134;
  Aymon's sons take refuge in, 160.
AR-GO-NAU'TIC EXPEDITION. In mediaeval literature, 303.
A'RI-AS GON-ZA'LO, DON. Receives challenge, 291.
A-RIB'A-DALE. Bearer of Holy Grail, 201.
A-RI-OS'TO. Version of Roland by, 130;
  Merlin's fountain mentioned by, 211;
  works of, 302, 307.
AR'NOLD, MATTHEW. Treats of Arthurian legend, 204;
  version of Tristan and Iseult, 234.
AR'THUR. Dietrich wooes daughter of, 123;
  Ogier joins, 138;
  in Avalon, 139;
  Parzival sets out for court of, 189;
  at Nantes, 191;
  Parzival's request to, 192;
  Parzival sends conquered knights to, 196;
  knights Parzival, 196;
  Gawain a knight of, 196;
  hears of Gawain's prowess, 198;
  Parzival visits, 200;
  vain quest for Holy Grail, 201;
  legend of King, 204, 214-233;
  Merlin serves, 205, 210;
  birth of, 210;
  Merlin makes palace and armor for, 211;
  adventures of, 214;
  brought up by Sir Hector, 214;
  comes to London, 215;
  adventure with sword, 215;
  overcomes Gawain, 216;
  secures sword Excalibur, 217;
  victories of, 217;
  marriage of with Guinevere, 217;
  receives Round Table, 217;
  welcomes Lancelot, 220;
  repudiates and reinstates Guinevere, 220;
  questions knights, 225;
  cannot defend Guinevere in judicial duel, 226;
  yearly tournaments of, 226;
  and Elaine, 229;
  quarrels with Lancelot, 229;
  leaves Guinevere with Mordred, 230;
  wars against Mordred. 230;
  mortal wound of. 231;
  disposes of Excalibur, 231;
  departs in barge. 232;
  Philip II.'s oath in favor of. 232;
  buried at Glastonbury. 232;
  Lancelot buried at feet of. 233;
  Tristan a contemporary of, 234;
  Tristan goes to court of. 243;
  Tristan delivers, 244;
  reconciles Mark and Iseult, 244.
AS'CA-LON. Huon at, 174.
A'SI-A. Monarch of, 179;
  Alexander sets out for, 306.
ASK'HER. See _Aeschere_.
AS'LAUG. Same as Krake;
  story of birth and childhood of, 274;
  prediction of, 275;
  sons of, 275;
  begs that her sons may avenge Agnar and Erik, 276.
AS'PRI-AN. King of northern giants, 90;
  and the lion, 90;
  carries off Imelot, 92.
AS'TO-LAT. Lancelot at, 227;
  Lancelot comes to, 227;
  Elaine the lily-maid of, 228;
  Gawain comes to, 228.
AT'LÉ. Challenges Frithiof, 260.
AT'LI. Same as Etzel, 53.
AT'TI-LA. Same as Etzel, 94, 118;
  Theodoric born after death of, 128.
AUCH-IN-LECK' MANUSCRIPT. Sir Otuel in the, 143.
AUDE. (od) Beloved by Roland, 149.
AU'DOIN. King of Langobards, 86.
AU-RE'LI-US AM-BRO'SI-US. Son of Constans, 205.
AV'A-LON. Ogier to dwell in, 135;
  Morgana takes Ogier to, 138;
  Arthur in, 232.
A'VARS. Aymon wars against the, 152.
A-VEN'TI-CUM. See _Wiflisburg_.
A'YA. Aymon marries, 154;
  Aymon sends for, 154;
  goes to find her husband, 155;
  intercedes for her sons, 160;
  and Renaud, 161.
AY'MON. _Chansons de gestes_ relating to, 152;
  a peer of Charlemagne, 152;
  wages war against Charlemagne, 152;
  helped by Bayard and Malagigi, 153;
  besieged by Charlemagne, 153;
  flight and victories of, 154;
  Charlemagne makes peace with, 154;
  marriage of, 154;
  adventures of, 154;
  distributes his property, 155;
  recovery of, 155;
  flees from court, 156;
  a captive, 156;
  Turpin's promise to, 156;
  oath of, 156;
  tries to seize his sons, 157;
  Malagigi frees sons of, 158;
  adventures of sons of, 158-161.

BAR'I-CAN. King of Hyrcania, 171;
  Rezia dreams of, 171.
BA-BIE'ÇA. Steed of the Cid, 286;
  Cid's ride to Zamora on, 291;
  offered to Alfonso, 297;
  Cid's last ride on, 298, 299;
  end of, 300.
BAB'Y-LON. Ogier besieges, 138;
  same as Bagdad in mediaeval literature, 164;
  Alexander crowned at, 306.
BAG-DAD'. Huon to go to, 163, 163;
  same as Babylon, 164;
  Sherasmin indicates road to, 165;
  Huon resumes journey to, 169;
  Huon's adventures in, 171.
BAL'DER. Shrine of, 254, 256, 257;
  temple of, 267.
BA'LI-AN. Seaport in Hagen's kingdom, 26.
BAL'TIC  SEA. Bornholm, island in the, 247.
BAN. Father of Lancelot, 219.
BA'RI. Capital of Rother, 89;
  arrival of magician's vessel at, 93.
BAU'TA. A memorial stone for Beowulf, 21.
BA-VA'RI-A. Rüdiger rides through, 71.
BAY'ARD. Aymon's marvelous steed, 153;
  Satan steals, 153;
  Malagigi recovers, 153;
  Aymon saved by, 154;
  given to Renaud, 155;
  Renaud and his brothers escape on, 156;
  Renaud's adventures in Paris with, 157;
  Renaud's escape on, 158;
  timely kick of, 159;
  Charlemagne demands death of, 161.
BECH-LAR'EN. Rüdiger of, 71, 120;
  Kriemhild at, 73;
  Burgundians at, 76.
BED'I-VERE, SIR. Finds Arthur dying, 231;
  bids Arthur farewell, 232.
BEE HUNTER. See _Beowulf_.
BELÉ (be-la'). Heir of Sogn, 249;
  replaced on throne, 250;
  conquers Orkney Islands, 250;
  helps Thorsten secure Völund ring, 251;
  sons of, 251;
  last instructions of, 252;
  kings seated on tomb of, 254.
BEL-FO-RA'DO. Given to Rodrigo, 285.
BEL-I-A'GOG. Tristan conquers, 244.
BEL'LI-GAN. City of, 106.
BEL-LIS-SAN'DE. Wife of Ogier, 136.
BEL'LYN. Escort of Reynard, 46;
  death of, 47;
  deceived by Reynard, 48;
  accused of treachery, 49.
BEL'RI-PAR. Capital of Conduiramour, 192;
  Kardeiss king of, 201.
BE-NOÎT' DE SAINTE-MORE. Poem of, 303;
  popularity of work of, 305.
BE'O-WULF, 9-21;
  epic of, 9;
  resolves to visit Denmark, 11;
  honors won by, 12;
  arrival in Denmark, 13;
  guards Heorot and wounds Grendel, 13, 14;
  receives Brisingamen, 15;
  hears of Aeschere's death, 15;
  and Grendel's mother, 16, 17;
  regency of, 18;
  reign of, 19;
  adventure with dragon, 19, 20;
  death and burial of, 21.
BERCH'THER OF ME'RAN. Adviser of Rother, 89;
  sons of, 89;
  accompanies Rother, 90;
  guardian of Hugdietrich, 100;
  journey to Thessalonica, 101;
  finds Wolfdietrich. 102;
  foster father of Wolfdietrich, 103;
  warns Wolfdietrich against Rauch-Else, 104;
  Wolfdietrich remembers, 106;
  sons of delivered from captivity, 108;
  rewards given to sons of, 109.
BERCH'TUNG. See _Berchther of Meran_.
BE-RIL'LUS. Goes to Rome, 185.
BERN. Same as Verona, 77, 110;
  hero of, 115, 116, 126;
  Heime in, 115;
  Wittich in, 116;
  Dietrich returns to, 117, 121;
  Wildeber comes to. 117;
  Laurin a prisoner in, 120;
  Wittich's return to, 122;
  Dietrich surrenders, 124;
  Dietrich's triumphant entry into, 126.
BER'NERS, LORD. Translates "Huon of Bordeaux," 163.
BER'SERK-ER. Rage, 24, 261;
  Atlé a, 260.
BER-TAN'GA LAND. Same as Britain, 123.
BER'THA. I. Mother of Charlemagne, 129.
BER'THA. II. Sister of Charlemagne and mother of Roland, 133.
BERTHE'LOT. Same as Charlot, 155.
BER'WICK. See _Joyeuse Garde_.
BI'BUNG. Dwarf protector of Virginal, 133.
BJÖRN. I. Confidant of Frithiof, 254;
  plays chess with Frithiof, 255;
  steers Ellida, 259;
  carries men ashore, 259;
  takes charge of Ellida, 264.
BJÖRN. II. Son of Ragnar, 274.
BLAISE. A holy man who baptizes Merlin, 206.
BLAIVE. Roland buried at, 147;
  Lady Aude buried at, 149.
BLANCHE'FLEUR. Wife of Meliadus and mother of Tristan, 235.
BLÖ'DE-LIN. Kriemhild bribes, 80.
BOC-CAC'CIO. Makes use of story of Griseldis, 302.
BO'GEN. Son of Hildburg. 103.
BO'HORT. Cousin of Lancelot, 219.
BO-IAR'DO. Writer of a version of the adventures of Roland, 130, 302;
  love of the marvelous shown in works of, 307.
BOl-FRI-AN'A. Captivity of, 116;
  Dietrich rescues, 117;
  Wittich marries, 122.
BOOK OF HEROES. Same as "Heldenbuch," 86;
  Dietrich principal character in, 110.
BOR-DEAUX'. Huon in captivity in, 180.
BORN'HOLM. Viking born in, 247.
BOUILLON (boo-yon'). Godfrey  of, 139.
BRA-BANT'. Else, Duchess of, 202.
BRANG'WAINE. Attendant of Iseult, 240;
  confidante of Iseult, 242;
  Ganhardin falls in love with image of, 244.
BREI'SACH. Harlungs dwell at, 123.
BRE'KA. Enters into swimming match with Beowulf, 12.
BRET'LAND. Soté buried in, 251.
BRI-SIN'GA-MEN. Necklace given to Beowulf, 15.
BRIT'AIN. Same as Bertanga land, 123;
  Uther and Pendragon's wars in, 208;
  Holy Grail vanishes from, 208;
  named by Brutus, 309;
  invaded by Romans, 309.
BRITISH MUSEUM. Manuscripts in, 9.
BRIT'ONS. War of, 208.
BRIT'TA-NY. Soltane, forest in, 188;
  Broceliande in, 212;
  Arthur's campaign in, 217;
  Ban king of, 219;
  Lancelot retires to, 230;
  Arthur's second campaign in, 230;
  Tristan goes to, 243;
  Tristan returns to, 244.
BRO-CE-LI-AN'DE. Forest in Brittany, 212.
BRONS. Brother-in-law of Joseph of Arimathea, 184.
BROWN. Sent to summon Reynard, 39;
  arrives at Malepartus, 39;
  caught in tree trunk, 40;
  returns to court, 41;
  injuries of, 43;
  imprisonment of, 46;
  release of, 47.
BRUN'HILD. Gunther wishes to marry, 58;
  test of strength of, 60;
  defeat of, 60;
  leaves her own country, 62;
  objects to Kriemhild's marriage, 62;
  binds Gunther, 63;
  is conquered by Siegfried, and loses fabulous strength, 63;
  invites Siegfried and Kriemhild to Worms, 64;
  quarrels with Kriemhild, 64;
  in care of Rumolt, 75;
  son of made king of Burgundy, 85;
  Aslaug daughter of, 274.
BRU'TE. See _Brutus_.
BRU'TUS. Metrical romance of, 307;
  descendant of Aeneas, 307;
  adventures of, 307-309;
  descendants of, 309.
BU'CAR. Besieges Valencia, 298;
  retreat of, 299.
BUCH-AN'AN. Poem of on Roland, 130.
BUR'GOS. Cid born at, 282;
  Ximena at, 284;
  inhabitants weep at Cid's departure from, 293.
BUR-GUN'DI-ANS. Siegfried challenges, 56;
  Nibelungs support king of, 61;
  Nibelungs angry with, 69;
  nobles escort Kriemhild, 73;
  often called Nibelungs, 75;
  warnings conveyed to, 77;
  see hostility of Huns, 79;
  kindly treated by Etzel, 79;
  murder of squires of, 80;
  bloody fight of, 81;
  bravery of, 82;
  slaughter of, 83;
  name Gunther's son king, 85;
  Hagen a hostage for, 124.
BUR'GUN-DY. King and queen of, 53;
  Siegfried goes to, 55;
  threatened invasion of, 56;
  Brunhild receives king of, 59;
  Kriemhild remains in, 69;
  Kriemhild wishes to leave, 71;
  Kriemhild's brothers return to, 73;
  chaplain returns to, 76;
  Etzel promises to send his son to, 80;
  Etzel makes peace with, 124;
  Hagen returns to, 124;
  Gunther, king of, 124.
CA-LA-HOR'RA. On frontier between Castile and Aragon, 286.
CAM'BER. Son of Brutus, names Cambria, 309.
CAM'BRI-A. Named after Camber, 309.
CAM'E-LOT. Palace at, 211, 218;
  feast at, 217;
  twelve kings buried at, 218;
  Lancelot at, 220, 221;
  knights assemble at, 224;
  appearance of Holy Grail at, 225;
  knights return to, 226;
  Guinevere's feast at, 226;
  funeral barge arrives at, 228;
  Lancelot leaves and returns to, 229.
CAM-PE-A-DOR'. Title given to Cid, 289, 290.
CAN'TER-BUR-Y TALES. Troilus and Cressida in, 305.
CA-PE'TIAN KINGS. Ogier reaches France during reign of one of, 138;
  origin of race of, 181.
CAP-PA-DO'CIA. Berillus from, 185.
CAR'DU-EL. Same as Carlisle, 208;
  knights assemble at, 209.
CAR-LISLE'. See _Carduel_.
  Naismes the Nestor of, 144.
CAR'RI-ON, COUNTS or INFANTES OF. Marry Cid's daughters, 295;
  cowardice of, 295;
  Cid's followers gibe at, 296;
  illtreat their wives, 296;
  Alfonso's anger with, 297;
  before the Cortes, 297;
  challenged, 297;
  defeat of, 298.
CAS-SI-VEL-LAU'NUS. Tristan may be a contemporary of, 234;
  a descendant of Brutus, 309.
CAS-TILE'. Invasion of, 283, 289;
  Calahorra near, 286;
  Don Sancho king of, 288;
  Cid and Don Sancho return to, 289;
  Cid's raid in, 294.
CHAMP DE MARS. The Frank assembly, 36.
CHAN'SON DE RO'LAND. Sung at Hastings, 130;
  most famous version of Roland's death, 147.
CHAR'LE-MAGNE. Conquers Lombardy, 88, 129, 137;
  and his paladins, 129-151;
  favorite hero of mediaeval literature, 129;
  champion of Christianity, 129;
  fabulous adventures of, 129;
  Einhard son-in-law of, 130;
  _chansons de gestes_ referring to, 130;
  receives angel's visit, 130;
  conspirators punished by, 131;
  and Frastrada, 131;
  affection of for Turpin, 132;
  founds Aix-la-Chapelle, 133;
  and the boy Roland, 134;
  asks for jewel of knight of the Ardennes, 134;
  knights Roland, 135;
  makes war against Denmark, 135;
  releases Ogier, 136;
  insulted by Ogier, 136;
  appearance of, 136, 137, 141;
  and Ogier, 137;
  quarrels with Duke of Genoa, 139;
  Roland champion of, 139;
  vow and pilgrimage of, 139;
  peers of, 139;
  vision of, 140;
  besieges Pamplona, 140;
  pilgrimage of to Compostela, 140;
  Aigolandus revolts against, 141;
  challenged by Ferracute, 141;
  sends Ogier to fight Ferracute, 142;
  dove alights on, 143;
  wars in Spain, 143;
  sends embassy to Marsiglio, 144;
  retreat of, 144;
  hears Roland's horn, 145;
  Turpin celebrates mass before, 147;
  returns to Roncesvalles, 147;
  orders trial of Ganelon, 148;
  Aymon a peer of, 152;
  character of, 152;
  wars against Aymon, 153;
  treats with Aymon, 154;
  coronation of at Rome, 155;
  hostility toward sons of Aymon, 156;
  captures sons of Aymon, 157;
  bribes Iwo, 158;
  Richard carried captive to, 159;
  besieges Montauban, 159;
  and Malagigi, 160;
  Aya intercedes with, 161;
  and Bayard, 161;
  Huon does homage to, 163;
  gives orders to Huon, 163, 172;
  tournament of 179;
  pardons Huon, 181;
  contemporary of Ragnar Lodbrok, 269;
  Italian cycle treats of, 302.
CHARLES THE BALD. Struggles of, 152;
  claims descent from Trojan race, 307.
CHARLES MAR-TEL'. Deeds of attributed to Charlemagne, 129.
CHAR'LOT. Kills Ogier's son, 136;
  Ogier demands death of, 137;
  Renaud defeats, 155;
  quarrels with Alard, 155;
  death of, 163.
CHAU'CER. Uses tale of Griseldis, 302;
  uses Troilus and Cressida, 305.
CHRESTIEN DE TROYES (kr[=a]-t[=e]-an' deh trwä'). Poems of, 182, 204, 219,
CHRIST. Jews angry against Joseph for burying, 183;
  Vespasian hears story of, 183;
  born during reign of Cymbelinus, 309.
CHRISTIAN. Faith taught to Rezia 175;
  legends, 184;
  Fierefiss becomes a, 200;
  faith, 277;
  army besieges Coimbra, 287;
  king takes Toledo, 294;
  army evacuates Valencia, 300.
CHRIS-TI-A'NI-A-FIORD. Frithiof in the, 264.
CHRISTIANITY. Charlemagne champion of, 129;
  Roland argues about, 142;
  sadly mixed with mythology, 303.
CHRISTIANS. Triumph in Spain, 143;
  massacre of, 145;
  enmity between Moors and, 154;
  can take Toledo, 290;
  Bucar retreats before, 299;
  Moors routed by, 299.
CID, THE, 282-300;
  birth of, 282;
  Ximena accuses, 284;
  Ximena marries, 285;
  pilgrimage of to Santiago de Compostela, 285;
  adventure with leper, 286;
  duel of with Martin Gonzalez, 286;
  saved by Moorish kings, 287;
  at Zamora with Ximena, 287;
  defeats champion of Henry III., 288;
  vassal of Don Sancho, 288;
  victories of, 289;
  conducts siege of Zamora, 291;
  banished by Alfonso, 293;
  at Valencia, 294;
  cowardly sons-in-law of, 295;
  daughters of illtreated, 296;
  at the Cortes, 297;
  offers Babieça to Alfonso, 297;
  returns to Valencia, 298;
  warned of coming death, 298;
  last instructions of, 298;
  death of, 299:
  last victory of, 299;
  body of in state, 300;
  sword of, 300;
  chronicle of, 302.
CI-SAIRE', PASS OF. Roland's ghost at, 145.
CLARETIE (kla-re-tee'). Ancestress of Capetian race, 181.
CLAR'ICE. Ogier marries, 138.
CLA-RIS'SA. Wife of Renaud, 156;
  treachery of father of, 158;
  intercedes for her father, 159;
  death of, 161.
CLEVES. Henry the Fowler at, 202.
CO-IM'BRA. Siege of, 287.
CO-LA'DA. Sword won by Cid, 294;
  given to Infante of Carrion, 296;
  recovery of, 297.
CO-LOGNE'. Death and burial of Renaud at, 162.
CON-DUIR'A-MOUR. Parzival rescues and marries, 192;
  Parzival reminded of, 195;
  at Montsalvatch, 200;
  children of, 201.
CON'STANS. King of England, 205;
  sons of, 205, 208.
CON'STAN-TINE. I. Father of Oda, 89;
  and Rother, 90-93;
  II. Son of Constans, 205.
CON-STAN-TI-NO'PLE. Embassy arrives at, 89;
  Rother's visit to, 89-93, 100;
  Anzius emperor of, 100;
  Hildburg goes to, 102;
  Wolfdietrich king of, 103, 108;
  the Normans in, 281.
CO-RI-NE'A. Same as Cornwall, 309.
CO-RI-NE'US. Companion of Brutus, 308;
  the original Jack the Giant Killer, 308;
  kills Goëmagot. 309;
CORN'WALL. Tintagel in, 209;
  Gorlois duke of, 209;
  Mark king of, 235, 240;
  Tristan in, 236, 237, 238;
  Iseult embarks for, 241;
  Iseult lands in, 242;
  Tristan's passion for Iseult of, 243, 244;
  Kurvenal's journey to, 244;
  arrival in Brittany of Iseult of, 245;
  Tristan and Iseult buried in, 243, 244;
  Corineus settles in, 309.
COR'TES. Infantes of Carrion at the, 297, 298.
CRU-SADES'. Influence of on literature, 302.
CYM-BE-LI'NUS. Christ born during reign of, 309.

DAG'O-BERT. Claims descent from Trojan, race, 307.
DANE. Hawart the, 81;
  Dietlieb the, 117;
  Ogier the, 129, 135.
DANES. Beowulf escorted by, 16;
  gratitude of, 18;
  disapprove of Ragnar's marriage, 274;
  Eystein declares war against, 276.
DAN'ISH. Writers, 246;
  dynasty connected with Sigurd, 269;
  ships burned by English, 276;
  kings make raids, 280;
  settlements, 280.
DANK'RAT. King of Burgundy, 53.
DANK'WART. Under Siegfried's orders, 56;
  accompanies Gunther to Issland, 59;
  suspicion of, 59, 61;
  goes to Hungary, 75;
  helps Hagen, 76;
  warns Hagen, 80.
DAN'UBE. Journey of Kriemhild down the, 73;
  Burgundians reach the, 75.
DEN'MARK. Hrothgar king of, 9;
  Beowulf sails for, 12;
  Wealtheow queen of, 15;
  Ludegast king of, 56;
  Charlemagne defeats king of, 135;
  Ogier king of, 136;
  Krake queen of, 274.
DES'ERT BAB-Y-LO'NI-A. Kingdom of Imelot, 91;
  Constantine takes possession of, 92.
DES-I-DE'RI-US. See _Didier_.
DI-A'NA. Brutus in temple of, 308.
DID'I-ER. Ogier flees to, 136.
DIEGO LAYNEZ (dee-ay'go ly'nez). Insulted by Don Gomez, 282;
  avenged by Rodrigo, 283;
  takes Rodrigo to court, 283.
DI-E'GO OR-DO'ÑEZ, DON. Sends challenge to Don Arias Gonzalo, 291.
DIE-TE-LIN'DE. Daughter of Rüdiger, 73;
  Giselher betrothed to, 77.
DIE'THER. Brought up by Hildebrand, 112;
  Helche cares for, 124;
  death of, 126.
DIET'LIEB. Merry-making and athletic feats of, 117;
  lord of Steiermark, 118;
  and Laurin, 119, 120;
  victory and reward of, 120.
DIET'MAR. Grandson of Wolfdietrich, 109;
  ruler of Bern, 110;
  death of, 121.
DIE'TRICH VON BERN. Warns Burgundians, 77;
  defies Kriemhild, 78;
  abstains from tournament, 79;
  Kriemhild tries to bribe, 80;
  a safe-conduct for, 81;
  saves Etzel and Kriemhild, 81;
  hears of Rüdiger's death, 83;
  fights and captures Gunther and Hagen, 84;
  lament of, 85;
  ancestors of, 109;
  story of, 110-128;
  birth of, 110;
  fiery breath of, 110, 119;
  Hildebrand friend and teacher of, 110;
  adventure of with Hilde and Grim, 111;
  wins sword Nagelring, 111;
  fights with Sigenot, 112;
  sees and rescues Virginal, 114;
  marries Virginal, 114;
  gains possession of Heime and Falke, 115;
  Wittich's adventure with, 116;
  adventures of with Ecke and Fasolt, 116;
  delivers Sintram, 117;
  visits Rome, 117;
  and Laurin, 118-120;
  visits Etzel, 121;
  becomes king of Amaling land, 121;
  victories in Wilkina land, 121;
  wars against Rimstein, 122;
  Eckhardt joins, 123;
  Ermenrich wars against, 123;
  wooes Hilde, 123;
  exile of in Hungary, 124;
  victories and wounds of, 125;
  returns to Bern, 125;
  fights against Ermenrich, 126;
  marriage of, 126;
  kills Sibich, 127;
  made emperor of West, 127;
  old age of, 128;
  Wild Hunt led by, 128;
  Ragnar saga like saga of, 269.
DOL'FOS, VEL'LI-DO or BEL'LI-DO. Murders Don Sancho, 291.
DOR-DOGNE'. Aymon of, 152;
  Lord Hug of, 152.
DORT'MUND. Renaud's body at, 162.
DOU'RO. River in Spain, 296.
DO'VER. Arthur encounters Mordred near, 230.
DRA'CHEN-FELS. Dietrich saves lady of, 116;
  Wittich marries lady of, 122;
  Roland wooes maid of, 150;
  Roland's return to, 151.
DRAGON SLAYER. Surname of Siegfried, 275.
DRAGONS. See _Beowulf, Siegfried, Ortnit, Wolfdietrich, Tristan, Ragnar._
DRAY'TON. Author of "Polyolbion," 310.
DRU'SI-AN. Kidnaps Sigeminne, 105;
  Wolfdietrich captive of, 105;
  death of, 106.
DUB'LIN. Morold's corpse carried to, 237;
  Tristan's visit to, 238.
DU'O-LIN DE MAY'ENCE. A _chanson de geste_, 152.
DU-RAN-DA'NA. Sword of Roland, 139;
  powerless upon Ferracute, 142;
  Roland disposes of, 146.

EAD'GILS. Son of Othere, 19.
EAST. Ogier goes to the, 138;
  Holy Grail in the far, 201;
  Alexander's journey to the, 305;
  wealth of the, 306.
EAST GOTH'LAND. Thora dwells in, 271.
ECK'E. Giant killed by Falke, 116;
  Dietrich takes sword of, 117.
ECK'EN-LIED. Story of Ecke, 116.
ECK'E-SAX. Sword of Ecke, 117.
ECK'E-WART I. Escorts Kriemhild, 64;
  remains with Kriemhild, 70;
  accompanies Kriemhild to Hungary, 72;
  warns Burgundians, 76.
ECK'E-WART II. See _Eckhardt_.
ECK'HARDT. Fidelity of, 109, 123;
  flees to Dietrich, 123.
EC'TOR DE MA'RIS, SIR. Lancelot eulogized by, 233.
ED'DA. Hilde in the, 22;
  Hedin in the, 25.
EIN'HARD. Son-in-law of Charlemagne, 130.
EIN-HE'RI-AR. Ragnar leader of the, 279.
E-LAINE'. Story of, 227-229.
EL'BE-GAST. Same as Alberich, 111;
  Charlemagne's adventure with, 130, 131.
E'LI-AS. See _Ylyas_.
EL-KI'NAR. Isegrim bound to bell at, 42.
EL'LA. King of Northumberland,
  captures and kills Ragnar, 278;
  defeats Ragnar's sons, 279;
  gives land to Normans, 279;
  Ivar kills, 280.
EL-LI'DA. The dragon ship given to Viking by Aegir, 250;
  belongs to Frithiof, 253;
  in the storm, 258;
  arrives at Orkney Islands, 259;
  Frithiof sails in, 262.
EL'SE. Story of Lohengrin and, 201-3.
EL-SI-NORE'. Ogier sleeping in, 136.
EL-VI'RA, DOÑA. Receives Toro, 288;
  robbed of Toro, 290.
ENG'LAND. Invasion of, 9;
  rhyme introduced in, 9;
  Clarice, princess of, 138;
  Ogier leaves, 138;
  Hengist driven from, 205;
  Merlin brings stones to, 208;
  Merlin's predictions concerning future of, 210;
  Arthur's name in, 214;
  dissensions in, 229;
  firm belief in concerning Arthur's return, 232;
  vikings' raids in, 276;
  stone altars in, 280;
  tradition of Trojan descent in, 307.
ENG'LISH. Version of Roland, 130;
  more than eighteen versions of Frithiof saga in, 246;
  fight Ragnar's sons at Whitaby, 276.
E'NID THE FAIR. Story of, 222-224.
ENIGÉE (ay' nee-zhay). Sister of Joseph of Arimathea, 184.
E'REC. Name for Geraint in French and German poems, 223.
E'RIK. Son of Ragnar, 272;
  a great viking, 274;
  attacked by enchanted cow, 276.
ER'ME-LYN. Wife of Reynard, 45, 46, 47.
ER'MEN-RICH. Treasure of, 45;
  emperor of the West, 110;
  Dietrich's  visit to, 117;
  Dietlieb rewarded by, 118;
  Dietrich helps, 122;
  and Sibich, 122, 123;
  wars against Dietrich, 126;
  death of, 126.
ER'MO-NIE. Meliadus lord of, 234.
ERP. Son of Helche, 125;
  death of, 126.
ES-CLAR-MON'DE. Same as Rezia, 171, 175;
  early version of story of, 180.
ES-TRE-MA-DU'RA. Moors defeated in, 287.
E-TRU'RI-A. Luna in, 276.
ET'ZEL. Same as Atli, 53;
  wooes Kriemhild, 71;
  Kriemhild sets out for court of, 72;
  Kriemhild wife of, 73;
  invites Burgundians to Hungary, 74;
  welcomes Burgundians, 78;
  banquet of, 79;
  promises to send son to Burgundy, 80;
  saved from massacre, 81;
  Burgundians wish to treat with, 82;
  cannot save Hagen, 84;
  lament of, 85;
  Helche marries, 94;
  Dietlieb serves, 118;
  Dietrich visits, 121, 124;
  Walther escapes from, 124;
  gold stolen from, 124;
  cowardice of, 125;
  helps Dietrich, 125;
  marries Kriemhild, 126;
  killed by Aldrian, 127;
  same as Attila, 128.
EU'ROPE. "Beowulf" oldest relic of spoken language in, 9;
  "Reynard the Fox" popular in, 35;
  to be infested by dragons, 98;
  Charlemagne conquers nearly all, 140;
  introduction of legend of Holy Grail in, 182;
  popularity of Arthurian legends in, 214;
  popularity of "Roman de Troie" in, 304.
EU-RO-PE'AN. Versions of legends, 205;
  versions of Tristan, 234;
  languages, sagas translated into, 246;
  states, romances current in, 301;
  nations, classical romances in, 303;
  versions of Iliad, 304;
  literature, mention of Fountain of Youth in, 306;
  colonization, 307.
EX-CAL'I-BUR. Arthur's sword, 217;
  Arthur disposes of, 231.
EY'STEIN. Ragnar visits, 274;
  wars against Danes, 276;
  magic cow of, 276.

FA'E-RIE QUEENE. Merlin's fountain mentioned in, 211;
  contains mediaeval legends, 310.
FAF'NIR. Sigurd slayer of, 269, 274.
FAF'NIS-BANE. Surname of Sigurd, 274.
FAIR AN'NET. Loved by Lord Thomas, 245.
FA'LIES, MARQUIS OF. Sword Tizona in family of, 300.
FAL'KE. Horse of Dietrich, 115;
  kills Ecke, 116.
FAL'STER WOOD. Heime in the, 117.
FA'SOLT. Dietrich defeats, 117.
FA'TA MOR-GA'NA. Mirage called, 95.
FAT'I-MA. Attendant of Rezia, 173;
  in Tunis, 177;
  finds Amanda, 178;
  taken to fairyland, 179;
  rescued by Huon and Sherasmin, 180.
FE'LEZ MU-ÑOZ.' Nephew of Cid, 296;
  rescues his cousins, 296.
FER'DI-NAND. Rodrigo's first visit to, 283;
  recalls Rodrigo, 284;
  Ximena before, 284;
  receives gifts from Cid, 287;
  Henry III. complains of to Pope, 287;
  threatened by Pope, 288;
  Cid's victories for, 288;
  death and legacies of, 288.
FER'RA-CUTE. Challenges Charlemagne, 141;
  defeats Ogier and Renaud, 142;
  fights and argues with Roland, 142, 143;
  Otuel, nephew of, 143.
FER'RA-GUS. See _Ferracute_.
FIEREFISS (fyâr-e-f[=e]s'). Encounters Parzival, 199;
  conversion and marriage of, 200;
  father of founder of Knights Templars, 200.
FIRE'DRAKE. Ravages of the, 19;
  slain by Beowulf, 20.
FLAM'BERGE. Sword of Aymon, 154;
  Renaud, owner of, 158;
  Renaud breaks, 161.
FLAN'DERS. "Reynard the Fox" in, 35.
FLOR'ENCE. Council at, 287.
FLOR'I-DA. Ponce de Leon in, 306.
FRAM'NÄS. Home of Thorsten and Frithiof, 250, 251, 253;
  ruins of, 261.
FRANCE. "Reynard the Fox" in, 35;
  Charlemagne principal hero of, 129;
  Ogier in, 135, 138;
  Charlemagne in, 140, 141, 144, 148;
  Huon embarks for, 174;
  Capetian kings of, 181;
  legend of Holy Grail in, 182;
  Merlin brings armies from, 210;
  viking raids in, 276;
  king of, 289.
FRANKS. And "Reynard the Fox," 35;
  assembly of, 36;
  hostage from, 124;
  at feud with Lombardy, 136.
FRAS-TRAD'A. Wife of Charlemagne, 131.
FRED'ER-ICK BAR-BAR-OS'SA. Ogier like, 136.
FRED'ER-ICK  OF TEL'RA-MUND. Guardian and oppressor of Else, 202;
  defeated by Lohengrin, 203.
FRENCH. Version of Roland, 130;
  army betrayed by Ganelon, 144;
  version of Tristan, 234;
  kings descended from Priam, 307.
FRIE'SIAN. Invasion, 18;
  sea, Charlemagne's vision of, 140.
FRIES'LAND. Invasion of, 18.
FRI-MOU-TEL'. Anointed king, 188;
  death of, 189.
FRITHIOF (frit'yof). Story of, 246-268;
  saga put into verse by Tegnér, 246;
  birth of, 251;
  loves Ingeborg, 251, 252;
  home of, 253;
  sues for hand of Ingeborg, 254;
  suit of rejected, 255;
  Ingeborg's brothers ask aid of, 255;
  meets Ingeborg in temple, 256;
  tries to make terms with kings, 257;
  journey to Orkney Islands, 258;
  in tempest, 259;
  fights Atlé, 260;
  visits Angantyr, 261;
  returns to Framnäs, 261;
  goes into exile, 262;
  becomes a pirate, 263;
  visits Sigurd Ring, 264;
  Ingeborg recognizes, 265;
  loyalty of, 265;
  guardian of infant king, 266;
  rebuilds temple, 267;
  marries Ingeborg, 267.
FRUTE. Follower of Hettel, 25;
  in quest of Hilde, 26.

GA'HER-IS. Doubts Arthur's title to throne, 216.
GA-LA'FRE. Huon and Sherasmin at court of, 180.
GALA-HAD, SIR. Knighted by Lancelot, 224;
  occupies "Siege Perilous," 224;
  sees Holy Grail, 226.
GA-LI'CIA. Charlemagne called to, 140;
  Don Garcia king of, 288, 289.
GA-LI'CIAN. Nobles refuse to exchange prisoners, 289.
GAL'Y-EN. Son of Oliver, and king of Jerusalem, 140.
GAL'Y-EN RHET-OR-E'. A _chanson de geste_, 139.
GA'MU-RET. Marries Herzeloide, 188.
GA'NE-LON. Treachery of, 144, 145;
  accused and sentenced, 148;
  advises Charlot, 155.
GANHARDIN (gan-har-dan'). Wishes to marry Brangwaine, 244.
GARADIE (ga-ra-d[=e]'), COUNT. Hagen in the hands of, 24.
GAR-CI'A, DON. King of Galicia, 288;
  seizes Zamora, 289;
  dies in captivity, 290.
GAR'DEN. Wolfdietrich at, 107;
  Herbrand receives, 109;
  Hildebrand inherits, 109;
  Ermenrich takes, 123;
  Dietrich master of, 126;
  Hildebrand's return to, 126.
GA'RETH, SIR. Knighted by Lancelot, 221;
  adventures with Lynette, 222;
  Geraint brother of, 222.
GA'RY. Messenger sent by Gunther to Siegfried, 64;
  goes to Hungary, 75.
GA'WAIN. Rides after Parzival, 196;
  and Duchess Orgueilleuse, 197;
  adventures with Gramoflaus and Klingsor, 197, 198;
  marriage of, 198;
  one of Arthur's knights, 209;
  doubts Arthur's title to throne, 216;
  strength of, 216;
  comes to Astolat, 228.
GEATES. Minstrel flees to the, 11;
  Beowulf escorted by the, 16;
  wait for Beowulf, 17;
  return with Hygelac's body, 18.
GEIRS'-ODD. Sacrificial runes called, 266.
GEL'FRAT. Fights Hagen, 76.
GEN'O-A, DUKE OF. Charlemagne's quarrel with, 139.
GEOF'FREY DE LIGNY (leen'yee). Author of a Lancelot romance, 219.
GEOF'FREY OF MON'MOUTH. Writings of, 204, 307, 309.
GEP'I-DAE. Settle in Pannonia, 86;
  quarrel with Lombards, 87.
GE-RAINT'. Brother of Gareth, 222;
  story of Enid and, 222-224.
GE-RAS'MES. See _Sherasmin_.
GER'HART. Claims Liebgart's hand, 108.
GER'IMS-BURG. Siege of, 122.
GER-LIN'DA. Cruelty of, 30-32;
  death of, 33.
GER'MAN. Manuscript of "Gudrun," 22, 23;
  Von Otterdingen a, 53;
  literature, 53;
  language, Eckewart's fidelity proverbial in, 70;
  version of Roland legend, 130;
  Wagner a, 182;
  more than eighteen versions of Frithiof saga in, 246.
GER'MA-NY. Maximilian emperor of, 22;
  Hettel king of, 25;
  "Reynard the Fox" in, 35;
  the greatest epic of, 53;
  in Charlemagne's vision, 140;
  legend of Holy Grail in, 182;
  Henry the Fowler emperor of, 202;
  Henry III. emperor of, 287.
GER'NOT. Son of Dankrat and Ute, 53;
  under Siegfried's orders, 56;
  advice of, 57;
  Hagen tries to rouse anger of, 66;
  sympathy of, 69;
  anger of, 66;
  escorts Kriemhild to Vergen, 73;
  sword of, 77;
  death of, 83.
GIER'E-MUND. Reynard insults, 36;
  wooed by Reynard, 38.
GIL'DAS. 307.
GI-RARD'. I. Brother of Huon, killed by Charlot, 163.
GI-RARD' II. A knight, steals Huon's casket, 180;
  punished by Oberon, 181.
GIS'EL-HER. Son of Dankrat and Ute, 53;
  under Siegfried's orders, 56;
  reproves Hagen, 66;
  sympathy of, 69;
  angry with Hagen, 71;
  escorts Kriemhild to Vergen, 73;
  betrothal of, 77.
GLAS'TON-BUR-Y. Holy Grail at, 185;
  Arthur buried at, 232;
  Guinevere and Lancelot buried at, 233.
GOD'FREY OF BOUIL'LON. Ancestor of, 139;
  king of Jerusalem, 161.
GOËMAGOT (go-ee-ma-got'). Corineus kills, 309.
GOETHE (go'teh) "Reineke Fuchs" of, 36;
  admiration of for Tegnér, 246.
GO'MEZ, DON. Insults Don Diego Laynez, 282;
  challenged and killed by Rodrigo, 283;
  Ximena daughter of, 284.
GOR'LO-IS. Lord of Tintagel, wars against Uther Pendragon, 209;
  death of, 210;
  Arthur not a son of, 210.
GO-TE-LIN'DE. Wife of Rüdiger, 73.
GOTHS. See _Geates_.
GOTT'FRIED VON STRASS'BURG. Treats of Holy Grail; 182, 204;
  version of "Tristan" of, 234.
GOZZOLI (got'so-lee). Painting of, 304
GRAIL. See _Holy Grail_.
GRAM'O-FLAUS. Encounter of with Gawain 197;
  Parzival champion of, 198;
  marries Itonie, 198.
GRAN. Capital of Etzel, 73;
  minstrels return tom 75.
GRA'VAIN. One of Arthur's knights, 209
GREECE. Hertnit earl of, 121;
  Tristan known in, 234;
  isles of, 264;
  viking raid in, 276;
  popularity of Iliad in, 304;
  Brutus goes to, 307;
  Pandrasus king of, 308.
GREEK. Islands invaded by vikings, 276;
  epics, 303;
  post-classical writings, 303;
  rhapsodists' work continued, 304;
  writers busy with Alexander, 305.
GREN'DEL. Heorot visited by, 10;
  warriors slain by, 11;
  Beowulf and, 12-14;
  mother of, 15;
  Beowulf visits retreat of, 16, 17.
GRIF'FIN. Hagen carried off by a, 23.
GRIM. Depredations of, 111;
  killed by Dietrich, 111;
  Sigenot vows to avenge, 112.
GRIM'BART. Cousin of Reynard, 36;
  pleads for Reynard, 38;
  carries message to Reynard, 42;
  absolves Reynard, 42;
  reproves Reynard, 43;
  warns Reynard, 47;
  takes Reynard to court, 48.
GRIM'HILD. See _Kriemhild_.
GRI-SEL'DIS. Tale of, 302.
GUAR'DA. See _Garden_.
GU'DRUN I. The poem, 22.
GU'DRUN II. Daughter of Hettel and Hilde, 27;
  suitors of, 28;
  kidnaped by Hartmut, 29;
  slavery of, 30;
  swan maiden visits, 31;
  rebellion of, 32;
  rescue of 33;
  marries Herwig, 34.
GU'DRUN III. Same as Kriemhild, 53.
GUÉR'IN DE MONT'GLAVE. _A chanson de geste_, 139.
GUI-ENNE'. Huon and Girard on the way from, 163;
  Huon's patrimony of, 179;
  Huon's journey to, 180.
GUILD'FORD. See _Astolat_.
GUIN'E-VERE. Marries Arthur, 217;
  and Lancelot, 220, 221;
  favors of, 227;
  hears of Lancelot and Elaine, 228;
  saved by Lancelot, 229;
  and Mordred, 230;
  at Almesbury, 232;
  death of, 233;
  Iseult like, 242;
  Iseult meets, 244.
GUIS'CARD. Son of Aymon and Aya, 154.
GUNG'THIOF. Son of Frithiof, 267.
GUN'NAR. Same as Gunther, 53.
GUN'THER. Same as Gunnar, 53;
  Siegfried at court of, 55, 56;
  goes to Issland to woo Brunhild, 59;
  contest of with Brunhild, 60;
  marriage of, 61;
  gives Kriemhild to Siegfried, 62;
  bound by Brunhild, 63;
  invites Siegfried to Worms, 64;
  influenced by Hagen, 66;
  race of, 67;
  protector of Kriemhild, 68;
  reconciled to Kriemhild, 70;
  plans to secure hoard, 71;
  receives Hun embassy, 72;
  goes to Hungary, 75;
  entertained by Rüdiger, 77;
  entertained by Etzel, 80;
  grants safe-conduct to Dietrich, 81;
  refuses to surrender to Hagen, 82;
  imprisonment and death of, 84;
  son of, 85;
  encounter with Walther, 124;
  wounds of, 125.
GUR'NE-MANZ. Educates Parzival, 192, 196.
GU'TRUN. See _Kriemhild_.

HA'CHE. Receives Rhine land, 109.
HAD'BURG. Prophesy of, 75.
HAD'U-BRAND. Son of Hildebrand, 126;
  makes himself known to his father, 127.
HA'GEN I. Son of Sigeband, carried off by a griffin, 23;
  adventures and marriage of, 24;
  daughter of, 25;
  fights Hettel, 27;
HA'GEN II. Same as Högni, 53;
  describes Siegfried's prowess, 55;
  accompanies Gunther to Issland, 59;
  promises to avenge Brunhild, 65;
  deceives Kriemhild, 66;
  kills Siegfried, 67;
  glories in his treachery, 68;
  the touch of, 69;
  hatred of Kriemhild for, 70;
  seizes hoard, 71;
  welcomes Rüdiger, 71;
  warns Burgundians, 72, 74;
  Kriemhild plans to have revenge upon, 73;
  swan maidens and, 75;
  adventure at the ferry, 76;
  receives shield from Rüdiger, 77;
  Etzel welcomes, 78;
  alliance with Volker, 78;
  frightens Huns, 79;
  kills Ortlieb, 80;
  Kriemhild offers reward for death of, 81;
  Kriemhild asks surrender of, 82;
  Dietrich asks surrender of, 83;
  captivity and death of, 84;
  a hostage of Etzel, 124;
  loses an eye, 125;
  Aldrian son of, 127.
HALF'DAN. I. Friend of Viking, 247;
  makes friends with Njorfe, 248;
  Viking's sons visit, 249.
HALF'DAN II. Son of Belé, 251;
  character of, 252;
  king of Sogn, 253;
  guardian of Ingeborg, 255;
  Sigurd Ring wars against, 256;
  Frithiof wars against, 267.
HAL'O-GA-LAND. North Norway called, 246.
HAL'O-GE. Same as Loki, rules Halogaland, 246;
  Viking the grandson of, 247.
HAM. Witch summoned by Helgé, 258.
HAR'DRED. Son of Hygelac, reign of, 18.
HAR'LUNGS. Sibich betrays the, 123.
HART'MUT. Prince of Normandy, 28;
  kidnaps Gudrun, 29;
  Gudrun refuses to marry, 29;
  rescues Gudrun from drowning, 30;
  prepares to marry Gudrun, 32;
  rescues Gudrun, 33;
  saved by Gudrun, 33;
  a captive, 34;
  marries Hergart, and is released, 34.
HAS'SAN. Name assumed by Huon in Tunis, 177.
HAST'INGS I. Battle of, 130.
HAST'INGS II. Foster father of Sigurd the Snake-eyed, 275;
  and Ragnar's sons, 276;
  strategy of, 277.
HA'WART. Death of, 81.
HEC'TOR, SIR. Arthur fostered by, 210, 214;
  visit of to London, 215;
HED'IN. Lover of Hilde, 22;
  same as Hettel, 25.
HE'GE-LINGS. Family of the, 23;
  Hettel king of the, 25;
  Hilde flees with the, 27;
  at the Wülpensand, 29;
  come to Normandy, 32;
  return home, 34.
HEID. Witch summoned by Helgé, 258.
HEI'ME. Challenges Dietrich, 115;
  becomes a brigand, 117;
  steals Mimung, 121;
  forced to restore Mimung, 122.
HEI'MIR. Protector of Aslaug, 274.
HELCHE. Wife of Etzel, 71, 124;
  daughter of Rother and Oda, 94.
HEL'DEN-BUCH. The "Book of Heroes," 86, 128.
HEL'EN I. Mother of Lancelot, 219.
HEL'EN II. In mediaeval literature, kidnaping of, 304.
HEL'E-NUS. Descendants of in Greece, 307.
HEL'GÉ. Son of Belé, 251;
  refuses to give Ingeborg to Frithiof, 255;
  rejects Sigurd Ring, 255;
  makes treaty with Sigurd Ring, 256;
  accuses Frithiof of sacrilege, 257;
  stirs up tempest against Frithiof, 258;
  Angantyr refuses to pay tribute to, 261;
  Frithiof snatches ring from wife of, 261;
  pursues Frithiof, 262.
HEL'I-GO-LAND. Rumor of Dietrich's valor reaches, 115.
HEL'KAP-PE. See _Tarnkappe_.
HEL'MI-GIS. Rosamund and, 88.
HEN'GIST. Driven from England, 205;
  Saxons led by, 208.
HEN'NING. Complaint of against Reynard, 38.
HENRY I., THE FOWLER. Hears accusation against Else, 202.
HENRY III. Emperor of Germany, 287.
HENRY VIII. Lord Berners translates "Huon of Bordeaux" for, 163.
HE'O-ROT. Hrothgar builds, 10;
  Beowulf's experiences in, 13;
  Grendel's limb a trophy in, 15;
  Beowulf's triumphant return to, 18.
HE'RAND. See _Herrat_.
HER'BART. Nephew of Dietrich, elopes with Hilde, 123.
HER'BRAND. Son of Berchther, 109;
  father of Hildebrand, 110;
  the wide-traveled, 121.
HER'CU-LES, PILLARS of. Brutus passes, 308.
HER'KA. See _Helche_.
HER'LIND. Maid of Oda, 90;
  brings gifts to Oda, 91.
HER'RAT. Wife of Dietrich, 126;
  death of. 127.
HERT'NIT. Wittich a prisoner of, 121;
  Wildeber visits, 121;
  death of, 122.
HER'WIG. King of Zealand, fights with Hettel, 28;
  betrothed to Gudrun, 28;
  wars of, 29;
  comes to Normandy to rescue Gudrun, 31;
  saves Gudrun, 33;
  marries Gudrun, 34.
HER-ZE-LOI'DE. Sigune brought up by, 188;
  wife of Gamuret and mother of Parzival, 188;
  parts from Parzival, 191;
  Parzival goes in search of, 192;
  Parzival hears of death of, 199.
HE'SI-OD. Heroes of in mediaeval literature, 303.
HESSE. Burgundian army passes through, 57.
HET'TEL. Wooes Hilde, 25, 26;
  marries Hilde, 27;
  dismisses Gudrun's suitors, 28;
  death of, 29.
HILD'BURG I. Hagen finds, 23.
HILD'BURG II. Companion of Gudrun, 30;
  meets Ortwine, 31;
  wooed by Ortwine, 32;
  marries Ortwine, 34.
HILD'BURG III. Hugdietrich wooes, 100;
  secret marriage of, 101;
  the son of, 101, 102;
  banished by Sabene, 103.
HIL'DE I. In the Edda, 22;
  an Indian princess, 23;
  Hagen marries, 24;
  daughter of, 25.
HIL'DE II. Suitors of, 25;
  educates Gudrun, 28;
  welcomes Gudrun home, 34.
HIL'DE III. A giantess, Dietrich's encounter with, 111.
HIL'DE IV. Daughter of Arthur, elopes with Herbart, 123.
HIL'DE-BRAND I. Claims body of Rüdiger and fights Burgundians, 83;
  kills Kriemhild, 84;
  lament of, 85.
HIL'DE-BRAND II. Inherits Garden, 109;
  tutor of Dietrich, 110;
  fights Grim and Hilde, 111;
  marriage of, 112;
  adventure of with Sigenot, 112, 113;
  adventure of with magicians, 114;
  Wittich meets, 115;
  steals Wittich's sword, 116;
  Ilsan brother of, 117;
  Dietlieb pawns steed of, 117;
  first Rose Garden adventure of, 118;
  second Rose Garden adventure of, 120;
  campaign of in Wilkina land, 121;
  ransom of, 124;
  returns to Garden, 126;
  rejoins his wife, 127.
HIL'DE-GARDE. Story of Roland and, 150, 151.
HIL'DE-GRIM. Giant's helmet, 111.
HIL-DE-GUN'DE. Adventures of, 124, 125.
HIL'DING. Foster father of Frithiof and Ingeborg, 251;
  asks Frithiof's aid for kings of Sogn, 255;
  failure of mission of, 256;
  announces Ingeborg's marriage to Frithiof, 261.
HINTZE. Complains of Reynard, 37;
  accused of theft, 38;
  adventures of at Malepartus, 41;
  imprisonment of, 46.
HLE'DRA. Capital of Denmark, 271;
  Thora arrives at, 272;
  Krake at, 274;
  Ivar's brothers return to, 280.
HÖG'NI I. Pursues Hilde, 22.
HÖG'NI II. Same as Hagen, 53.
HOL'GER DAN'SKE. See _Ogier_.
HOL'LAND. Ireland in, 23.
HOLM'GANG. Northern duel, 247.
HOLY GRAIL, 182-203;
  origin of legend of, 182;
  a sacred dish or cup, 183;
  Joseph of Arimathea supported in prison by, 183;
  at Marseilles, 184;
  at Glastonbury, 185;
  Titurel appointed guardian of, 185;
  temple of, 186;
  descent of, 187;
  commands that Frimoutel be king, 188;
  commands that Amfortas be king, 189;
  promise of, 189;
  Parzival sees, 193;
  Parzival's quest for, 195-200;
  Kundrie a messenger of, 196;
  Gawain's quest for, 196;
  Trevrezent renounces, 199;
  Parzival finds, 199;
  Parzival uncovers, 200;
  Arthur's knights' quest for, 201, 225;
  Lohengrin servant of, 201, 203;
  legend of, 204;
  place at the Round Table for, 208, 218;
  Lancelot cured by, 221;
  appearance of, 225;
  Parzival, Lancelot, and Galahad saw, 226;
  tales of, 301.
HOLY LAND. Renaud goes to, 161;
  knight returns from, 183.
HO'MER. Heroes of, 303.
HO'RANT. Follower of Hettel, 25;
  his skill as minstrel, 26, 34.
HOR'DA-LAND. Frithiof in, 267.
HORN'BO-GI. Wittich meets, 115;
  father of Amalung, 121.
HORSES. See _Rispa_, _Falke_, _Veillantif_,
  _Bayard_, and _Babieça_.
HROTH'GAR. Descent of, 9;
  hall of, 10;
  reward offered by, 11;
  Beowulf at court of, 13;
  feast of, 15;
  grief of, 15;
  Beowulf takes leave of, 16.
HROUD'LAN-DUS. Same as Roland, 130.
HUG. Lord of Dordogne, slain by Charlemagne, 152;
  avenged by Aymon, 154.
HUG-DIE'TRICH I. Son of Anzius, 100;
  wooes and marries Hildburg, 101;
  intrusts wife and child to care of Sabene, 102;
  suspicions of, 103;
  death and will of, 103.
HUG-DIE'TRICH II. Son of Wolfdietrich, 109;
  father of Dietmar, 110.
HUGUES. King of Jerusalem, 139;
  Oliver marries daughter of, 140.
HUM'BER. King of the Huns, 309.
HUN'GA-RY. Etzel king of, 71;
  Gunther starts out for, 75;
  Kriemhild's purpose in coming to, 82;
  fatal ride to, 85;
  part of Pannonia, 86;
  Wildeber in, 121;
  Aymon's wars in, 152.
HUNS. King of, 72, 94, 118, 121;
  Kriemhild queen of, 72;
  power of, 72;
  Burgundians crowded by, 79;
  Kriemhild brings misery upon, 84;
  gratitude of Helche, queen of the, 125;
  Dietrich's sojourn with the, 126;
  Humber king of the, 309.
HUN'THIOF. Son of Frithiof and Ingeborg, 267.
HUN'VOR. Swedish princess, 247.
HU'ON OF BOR-DEAUX', 163-181;
  hero of poem, 163;
  Charlemagne's orders to, 163;
  visits Pope, 164;
  meets Sherasmin, 165;
  in enchanted forest, 166;
  Oberon's gifts to, 168;
  at Tourmont, 169;
  adventures with Angoulaffre, 169, 170;
  adventure with Saracen, 170;
  reaches Bagdad, 171;
  adventures at Bagdad, 171-174;
  Oberon's orders to, 174;
  disobedience of, 175;
  on desert island, 175, 176;
  in Tunis, 177;
  carried to fairyland by Oberon, 179, 181;
  at the tournament, 179;
  returns to Guienne, 180;
  other versions of story of, 180;
  ancestor of Capetian race, 181.
HU'O-NET. Birth and disappearance of, 176;
  restoration of, 179.
HVIT'SERK. Son of Ragnar, 274.
HYGD. Wife of Hygelac, 18.
HY'GE-LAC. King of the Geates, 11;
  gives Nägeling to Beowulf, 12;
  wars and death of, 18.
HYR-CA'NI-A. Babican king of, 171.

ICE'LAND. Story of Tristan popular in, 234;
  the Iliad in, 304.
IL'I-AD. Popularity of the, 304.
IL'SAN. Brother of Hildebrand, 117, 120;
  rudeness and cruelty of, 120, 121.
IM'E-LOT. King of Desert Babylonia, 91;
  a captive, 92;
  Rother hears of escape of, 93.
IN'DI-A. Hunvor carried off to, 247;
  Alexander's adventures in, 306.
IN-FAN'TES. Of Carrion, 295-298;
  of Navarre, 297.
IN'GE-BORG I. Attendant of Hunvor, 247.
IN'GE-BORG II. Transformed into a witch, 249;
  Thorsten saved by, 250;
  mother of Frithiof, 251.
IN'GE-BORG III. Daughter of Belé, and playmate of Frithiof, 251;
  Frithiof vows to marry, 252;
  Frithiof sues for, 254;
  Sigurd Ring sues for, 255;
  meets Frithiof in temple, 256, 257;
  Frithiof parts with, 258;
  married to Sigurd Ring, 261, 269;
  Frithiof's longing for, 264;
  Frithiof visits, 265;
  given to Frithiof by Sigurd Ring, 266;
  Frithiof wars against brothers of, 267;
  marriage of Frithiof and, 267.
ING'EL-HEIM. Palace at, 131.
IRE'LAND I. In Holland, 23.
IRE'LAND II. Merlin brings stones from, 208;
  Ryance king of, 217;
  Morold comes from, 236;
  Tristan goes to, 237;
  Tristan's visits to, 238;
  viking raids in, 276.
I'RING. Killed by Hagen, 81.
I'RISH. King defeats Mark, 237;
  attendants carry Morold's remains to Ireland, 237;
  Tristan at court of the, 238;
  king, butler of, 239.
IR'MIN-SUL. Charlemagne destroys the, 129.
IRN'FRIED. Attacks the Burgundians, 81.
IS'E-GRIM. Complaint of against Reynard, 36;
  and the fish, 37;
  a victim of Reynard's jokes, 42;
  accused by Reynard, 44;
  imprisonment of, 46;
  robbed by Reynard, 48;
  disloyalty of, 51;
  duel with Reynard, 51;
  death of, 52.
I'SEN-LAND. Hagen finds princess of, 23.
I-SEULT'. I. Sister of Morold, cures of, 237;
    Tristan healed by, 238.
  II. Daughter of Iseult I., Tristan teaches, 238;
    hand of promised to dragon slayer, 238;
    finds and restores Tristan, 239;
    tries to kill Tristan, 240;
    journey of to Cornwall, 241;
    marries Mark, 242;
    love of for Tristan, 242;
    oath of, 243;
    Tristan cannot forget, 244;
    carried to Joyeuse Garde, 244;
    death and burial of, 245.
  III. With the White Hands, 243;
    marries Tristan, 244;
    jealousy of, 245.
I-SOLDE'. See _Iseult_.
ISS'LAND. Brunhild princess of, 58;
  Gunther's arrival in, 59;
  Nibelungs accompany Siegfried to, 61.
I'SUNG. Follows Dietlieb, 118;
  bear of, 121;
  delivers Wittich, 122.
I-TAL'IAN. Version of Roland, 130;
  cycle of romances, 302;
  love of the marvelous, 302, 307.
IT'A-LY. Alboin conquers, 87;
  Ortnit master of, 94;
  Amaling land same as, 121;
  viking raids in, 276;
  settlements in, 281;
  Brutus expelled from, 307.
I-TO'NIE. Sister of Gawain, 198.
I'VAR. Son of Ragnar, 274;
  a cripple, 275;
  kills Eystein's magic cow, 276;
  surrenders to Ella, 279;
  takes up abode in Lunduna Burg, 280;
  power of, 280.
I-WA-NET'. Arthur's squire, helps Parzival, 191.
I'WO. Prince of Tarasconia, 156;
  Renaud marries daughter of, 156;
  treachery of, 158;
  Renaud saves, 159.

JACK THE GIANT KILLER. Origin of tale of, 308.
JAM'HAS. Son of Ortgis, 114.
JAMES, ST. Explains vision to Charlemagne, 140;
  promises help to Christian army, 287.
JARL HER'RAND. Father of Thora, 271.
JER'AS-PUNT. Virginal's castle of, 114.
JER'I-CHO. Walls of Pamplona like those of, 140.
JE-RU'SA-LEM. Ogier besieges, 138;
  Godfrey of Bouillon king of, 139;
  Hugues king of, 139;
  Charlemagne's pilgrimage to, 139;
  Galyen returns to, 140;
  Renaud offered crown of, 161;
  Vespasian's commission to, 183.
JEW. The sacrilegious, 300.
JEWS. Persecute Joseph of Arimathea, 183;
  lend money to Cid, 293, 294.
JOHN. Son of Fierefiss, and founder of Knights Templars, 200;
  Prester, 201.
JO'KUL. Njorfe's eldest son, takes Sogn, 249;
  magic arts of, 250.
JO'SEPH OF AR-I-MA-THE'A. And the Holy Grail, 183;
  institutes the Round Table, 184;
  carries Holy Grail to Glastonbury, 185;
  Merlin's Round Table like that of, 208.
JO'SI-ANE. Daughter of Frimoutel, and mother of Sigune, 188.
JOYEUSE (zhwaa-y[=e]z'). Sword of Charlemagne, 137.
JOYEUSE GARDE. Guinevere at, 220, 229;
  Lancelot buried at, 233;
  Iseult at, 244.
JU'DAS. Sin of, 184.
JUDGMENT OF GOD. Reynard appeals to the, 51;
  in favor of Thiedric, 148;
  Cid appeals to the, 288.
JU'LI-US CAE'SAR. Father of Oberon, 166, 210.
JUTES. See _Geates_.
JUT'LAND. Alfsol princess of, 270.

KAN'TART. Son of Henning, 38.
KAR'DEISS. Son of Parzival, and king of Belripar, 201.
KAY, SIR. Foster brother of Arthur, 210;
  sends Arthur for a sword, 215.
KLING'SOR. Castle of, 197;
  captives of, 197;
  Gawain's adventures with, 198.
KRA'KE. Beauty and wit of, 273;
  wooed by Ragnar, 273;
  becomes queen of Denmark, 274;
  Danes disapprove of, 274;
  story of, 274.
KRIEM'HILD. Same as Gudrun, 53;
  dream of, 54;
  Siegfried goes to woo, 55;
  sees strength of Siegfried, 56;
  meets Siegfried after victory, 57;
  wooing of, 58;
  marriage of, 62;
  goes to the Nibelungen land, 64;
  goes to Worms, 64;
  quarrels with Brunhild, 65;
  anxiety of, 66;
  parts from Siegfried, 67;
  grief of, 68;
  mourning of, 69;
  goes to Lorch, 71;
  wooed by Etzel, 71;
  Rüdiger's promise to, 72, 83;
  journey of to Gran, 73;
  lures Burgundians into Hungary, 74;
  quarrels with Hagen, 77;
  Dietrich defies, 78;
  bribes Blödelin, 80;
  urges Huns to slay Hagen, 81;
  sets fire to hall, 82;
  Gunther and Hagen captives of, 84;
  kills Gunther and Hagen, 84;
  death of, 84;
  Rose Garden of, 120;
  Swanhild daughter of, 123;
  Etzel marries, 126.
KRY'ANT. Son of Henning, 38.
KUN'DRIE. Curses Parzival, 196;
  death of, 200.
KUN'HILD. Sister of Dietlieb, kidnaped by Laurin, 118;
  rescued by Dietrich, 119;
  delivers Dietrich and knights, 119;
  marriage and realm of, 120.
KÜR'EN-BERG, VON. Supposed author of "Nibelungenlied," 53.
KUR'VE-NAL. Retainer of Blancheflem, 235;
  joins Tristan in Cornwall, 236;
  accompanies Tristan to Ireland, 238;
  goes to Brittany for Iseult, 244.

LADY OF THE LAKE. Vivian the, 211;
  lays spell upon Merlin, 212;
  brings sword to Arthur, 216;
  Lancelot fostered by, 219;
  Arthur a prisoner of, 244.
LAM'BERT LE CORT. Author of  "Alexandre le Grant," 305.
LAM GO-Ë-MA-GOT'. Same as Plymouth, 309.
LAM'PE. Illtreated by Reynard, 37;
  psalm-singing of, 38;
  slain at Malepartus, 46;
  head of, 47;
  Reynard confesses murder of, 48;
  Reynard's excuses for murder of, 49.
LAN'CE-LOT DU LAC, SIR. Ogier joins, 138;
  legend of, 204;
  hero of several poems, 219;
  youth of, 219;
  love and insanity of, 220;
  rescues Guinevere, 221, 226, 229;
  sees Holy Grail, 221, 226;
  knights Sir Gareth, 221;
  and Sir Galahad, 224;
  vow of, 225;
  and Elaine, 227-229;
  Arthur's anger against, 230;
  visits Guinevere, 233;
  death and burial of, 233;
  Tristan like, 242;
  Iseult at castle of, 244.
LAN-GO-BAR'DI-AN. Cycle of romances, 86-99;
  nobles reject Helmigis, 88;
  scepter given to Rother, 88;
  queen, Oda becomes, 93.
LAN'GO-BARDS. Same as Langobardians, settle in Pannonia, 86;
  quarrel between Gepidae and, 87.
LAST SUPPER. Holy Grail used for the, 183.
LATIN. Version of Reynard, 35;
  poem of Walther von Wasgenstein, 124;
  chronicle attributed to Turpin, 129;
  version of Roland, 130;
  version of Tristan, 234;
  epics, 303;
  writers and Alexander, 305.
LAU'RIN. Adventures of with Dietrich and knights, 118-120.
LA-VIN'I-A. Niece of, mother of Brutus, 307.
LA'WAINE, SIR. Brother of Elaine, 227.
LAZ'A-RUS, ST. Rodrigo's vision of, 286.
LEAR, KING. Shakespeare's tragedy of, 309.
LEICESTER (l[)e]s't[e(]r). Founded by King Leir, 309.
LEIR, KING. Founder of Leicester, 309.
LE-O'DE-GRAUNCE. King of Scotland, Arthur and, 217.
LE-O-GE'CI-A. Brutus hears oracle at, 308.
LEON (l[=a]-[=o]n'). Don Alfonso king of, 288;
  Don Garcia buried in, 290.
LE-PAN'TO. Huon and Rezia stop at, 174;
  Sherasmin parts from Huon at, 177.
LIEB'GART. Same as Sidrat, 97;
  magic eggs of, 98;
  waits for return of Ortnit, 99;
  suitors of, 99;
  Wolfdietrich's compassion for, 107;
  Wolfdietrich saves and marries, 108;
  mother of Hugdietrich, 109;
  Dietrich marries, 127.
LIL-IEN-POR'TE. Siege of, 103.
LOCH'HEIM. Nibelungen hoard buried at, 71.
LO'CRI-A. Named by Locrine, 309.
LO-CRINE'. Son of Brutus, 309.
LOD'BROK. See _Ragnar_.
LODE'STONE ROCK. Ogier wrecked on the, 138.
LOD-GER'DA. Ragnar marries and forsakes, 271.
LO'HEN-GRIN. Story of Else and, 201-203.
LO'KI. See _Haloge_.
LOM'BARDS. Same as Langobards, 87;
  Rother complains of king of, 90;
  Ortnit king of, 94;
  Wolfdietrich rules, 108;
  Charlemagne subdues, 129, 137.
LOM'BAR-DY. Oda returns to, 94;
  Sidrat goes to, 97;
  Liebgart to select king of, 99;
  Ortnit's ancestors in, 100;
  Wolfdietrich starts for, 104;
  Wolfdietrich returns to, 109;
  Didier king of, 136.
LON'DON. St. Stephen's Church in, 215;
  Arthur comes to with Sir Hector, 215;
  Guinevere's journey to, 230;
  founding of, 280, 309.
LONG'FEL-LOW. "Tales of a Wayside Inn" of, 136, 202.
LON-GI'NUS. Rosamund seeks, 88.
LORCH. Kriemhild's sojourn at, 71.
LOV'EL, LORD. Story of, 245.
LUCES DE GAST. Version of Tristan by, 234.
LU'CI-FER. Fall of, 182.
LUD. Descendant of Brutus, 309.
LU'DE-GAST. King of Denmark, threatens to invade Burgundy, 56.
LU'DE-GER. King of Saxons, Gunther's wars with, 56, 66.
LUD'WIG. King of Normandy, suitor of Gudrun, 28;
  kills Hettel, 29;
  tries to drown Gudrun, 30;
  killed by Herwig, 33.
LU'NA. Vikings besiege, 276;
  Norman's stratagem to enter into, 277;
  Don Garcia a prisoner in, 290.
LUN-DU'NA BURG. Same as London, 280.
LYM-FIORD. Ragnar's victory at, 271.
LYN-ETTE'. Story of Gareth and, 222.
LY'O-NEL. Cousin of Lancelot, 219.
LY-O-NESSE'. Arthur's boyhood spent in, 226;
  Meliadus lord of, 234;
  Tristan recovers, 236.

MA-BRI-AN'. A _chanson de geste_, 152.
MAC'E-DON. Alexander king of, 305;
  early history of, 305.
MA-CHO-RELI,'. Father of Sidrat, 95;
  Alberich carries challenge to, 97;
  sends dragon eggs to Liebgart, 98.
MALAGIGI (m[)a]l-a-j[=e]'j[=e]). The necromancer, same as Malagis, 152;
  and Bayard, 153;
  rescues Aymon, 154;
  joins Renaud, 157;
  warns Renaud of Richard's peril, 159;
  strategem and escape of, 160.
MAL'A-GIS. See _Malagigi_.
MAL'E-BRON. Servant of Oberon, 170, 180.
MA-LE-PAR'TUS. Brown the bear
  reaches, 39;
  Hintze at, 41;
  Bellyn and Lampe accompany Reynard to, 46;
  Grimbart at, 47.
MAL'O-RY. Old legends used by, 204, 219.
MAN'TU-A. Ermenrich takes, 123.
MAP, WALTER. Works of, 182, 204, 219.
MARK. King of Cornwall, Meliadus visits, 235;
  Tristan and Kurvenal visit, 236;
  Tristan praises Iseult to, 238;
  Tristan emissary of, 240;
  Iseult marries, 242;
  indifference of, 242;
  illtreats Iseult, 244;
  gives orders for burial of Tristan and Iseult, 245.
MAR-SEILLES'. Joseph of Arimathea at, 184.
MARSIGLIO (mar-s[=e]l'y[=o]). Saracen king, 144;
  killed by Roland, 145.
MAR-SIL'I-US. See _Marsiglio_.
MAR'TIN. I. Parson's son, 41.
  II. Ape met by Reynard, 49.
MAR'TIN GON-ZA'LEZ. Cid's fight with, 286.
MA'RY. Queen of England, marries Philip of Spain, 232.
MAT'E-LAN. Hilde goes to with Hettel, 27;
  Herwig comes to, 28;
  Hartmut comes to, 29.
MAU'GIS. A _chanson de geste_, 152.
MAX-I-MIL'I-AN I. Emperor of Germany, 22.
MAYENCE (mä-yens'). Charlemagne's wife buried at, 131.
ME-DE'A. In mediaeval literature, 304.
ME-LE'A-GANS. Guinevere a captive of, 221.
ME-LI'A-DUS. I. Lord of Lyonesse, wars against Morgan, 234;
    marries Blanchefleur, 235.
  II. Squire of Mark, 242.
MERAN (m[=a]'ran). Berchther duke of, 89;
  Wolfdietrich educated at, 103;
  Hildburg at, 103.
MER'KI-NAU. Accuses Reynard, 47.
MER'LIN. Round Table to be constructed by, 184;
  legend of, 204;
  real and mythical, 205;
  birth and infancy of, 206;
  the prophecies of, 206, 207, 208, 210, 231;
  builds Stonehenge and castle at Carduel, 208;
  changes Uther into form of Gorlois, 209;
  Arthur when an infant confided to, 210, 214;
  magic arts of, 211;
  and Vivian, 211-213;
  reveals Arthur's parentage, 215;
  adviser of Arthur, 216, 217;
  frames laws for knights of Round Table, 218.
MER-O-VIN GI-AN. Rulers of the Franks, 36.
MEUR'VIN. A _chanson de geste_, 139.
MIL'AN. Invested by imperial army, 123.
MIL'DN. Father of Roland, 133, 141;
  quest of for jewel, 134, 135.
MIM'UNG. Sword of Wittich, 115;
  Wittich loses, and Hildebrand restores, 116;
  Heime steals, 121;
  Wittich recovers, 122.
MO-HAM'MED. Ferracute calls upon, 143.
MON-TAU-BAN'. Renaud builds fortress at, 156;
  siege of, 156;
  Renaud escapes to, 157;
  Charlemagne again besieges, 159;
  Charlemagne a captive in, 160;
  Aymon's sons escape from, 160;
  Renaud returns to, 161.
MONTFAUCON (mon-f[=o]-ko[n=]'). Adventure of Renaud and Bayard at, 159.
MONT'GLAVE, GUÉR'IN DE. A _chanson de geste_, 139.
MONT-SAL'VATCH. Holy Grail on, 185;
  Frimoutel weary of life on, 189;
  Parzival's first visit to, 193;
  Gawain on the way to, 197;
  Parzival's second visit to, 199;
  Parzival king on, 200;
  Lohengrin's return to, 201;
  Else goes to, 203.
MOOR. Fierefiss a, 200.
MOOR'ISH. Kings defeated by Cid, 282;
  kings send tribute to Cid, 287;
  kings warn Cid of danger, 287.
MOOR'LAND. Kingdom of Siegfried, 28.
MOORS. Enmity between Christians and, 154;
  Saforet king of, 156;
  and Holy Grail, 182;
  Rodrigo meets the, 283, 285, 287, 289, 294, 296;
  Tizona won from the, 285;
  Don Alfonso joins, 290;
  Don Alfonso wars against, 293;
  at Valencia, 294, 296, 298, 300;
  flee at sight of Cid, 299.
MOR'DRED. Related to Arthur, 230;
  treachery of, 230;
  death of, 231.
MOR'GAN. I. Meliadus wars against 234;
    kills Meliadus, 235;
    killed by Tristan, 236.
  II. Same as Fata Morgana, 95.
MOR-GA'NA. Predictions of, 135;
  Ogier meets, 138;
  mother of Meurvin, 139;
  mother of Oberon, 166;
  steals Arthur's scabbard, 231;
  conveys Arthur to Avalon, 232.
MO-ROC'CO. Bucar king of, 298.
MO'ROLD. Comes to Cornwall to claim tribute, 236;
  challenged and slain by Tristan, 237;
  Iseult discovers murderer of, 240.
MORTE D'ARTHUR. By Malory, 219.
MOSES. A hypocrite, 184.
MUN-TA-BURE'. In mirage, 95;
  Ortnit besieges, 97.

NÄ'GE-LING. Sword of Beowulf, 12.
NA'GEL-RING. Sword of Dietrich, 111, 112, 117.
NAISMES DE BAVIÈRE (n[=a]m de bave-er'). "Nestor of the Carolingian
    legends," 144.
NANTES. Arthur's court at, 191.
NA-VARRE'. Charlemagne's wars in, 141, 143;
  Don Sancho king of, 289;
  Infantes of, 297.
NEN'NI-US. Writes romances, 204, 307.
NES'TOR. Naismes de Bavière like, 144.
NETH'ER-LANDS. Reynard in the, 35;
  kingdom of the, 54.
NEW TROY. Same as London, 309.
NI'BE-LUNG-EN. Hoard, 55, 63, 70, 77, 127;
  land, 55, 61, 64.
  Gudrun alluded to in, 22;
  Germany's greatest epic, 53;
  end of, 85;
  incidents in, 126, 242.
NI'BE-LUNGS. Treasure of, 53;
  followers of Siegfried, 61;
  Brunhild escorted by, 62;
  guard Siegfried's son, 64;
  mourning and wrath of, 69;
  Burgundians called, 75;
  fall of, 126.
NIC-O-DE'MUS. Slain by Jews, 183.
NJOR'FE. King of Uplands, friend of Viking and Halfdan, 248;
  sons of attack Viking's sons, 249.
NO'BEL. King of the animals, 36;
  anger of against Reynard, 37;
  Brown returns to, 41;
  Reynard before, 43;
  hears of treasure, 45;
  pardons Reynard, 46;
  discovers Lampe's murder, 47.
NON'NEN-WORTH. Hildegarde retires to convent of, 150;
  Roland lingers near, 151.
NOR'MAN-DY. Ludwig king of, 28;
  Gudrun taken to, 29;
  Ortwine comes to, 32;
  Rollo settles in, 280.
NOR'MANS. Conquer England, 9;
  pursued by Hegelings, 29;
  and Hegelings, 32;
  invade Paris, 138;
  strategy of, 277;
  defeated by Ella, 279;
  found Lunduna Burg, 280.
NORNS. Frithiof's vision of, 267.
NORSE. Origin of Gudrun, 22;
  literary treasures, 246.
NORSE'MEN. Tristan and the, 235, 236.
NORTH. Literary treasures of, 246;
  gods and heroes of, 246;
  Thorsten owner of great treasures of, 251.
NORTH CAPE. Discovered by Othere, 18.
NORTH-GAL'LIS. Queen of, 232.
NORTH'MEN. Kidnap Tristan, 235.
NOR-THUM'BER-LAND. Ella king of, 278.
NOR'WAY. Wilkina land is, 121;
  ships from, 235;
  Halogaland in, 246;
  Uplands in, 248;
  Ringrie in, 255;
  Ragnar's sojourn in, 271.
NU'DUNG. Son of Rüdiger, death of, 126.

O'BE-RON. I. Poem by Wieland, and opera by Weber, 163.
  II. King of fairies, 163;
    Huon sees, 166;
    magic horn of, 167;
    gives horn and goblet to Huon, 168;
    ring of, 169;
    shelters Huon, and sends Malebron to his aid, 170;
    Rezia's vision of, 171;
    promises aid to Huon and Rezia, 172;
    comes to Huon's aid, 173;
    warns Oberon, 174;
    Huon disobeys, 175;
    Titania and, 175, 176, 179;
    Huon rescued by, 178, 181;
    brings Huon to fairyland, 179, 181;
    Julius Caesar father of, 210.
O'DA. Daughter of Constantine, 89;
  Rother wooes and wins, 89-93;
  kidnaped by magician, 93;
  Rother rescues, 94;
  Helche daughter of, 94.
O'DEN-WALD. Death of Siegfried in the, 67, 71.
O-DI'LI-A. Wife of Dietmar, 110.
O'DIN. Hrothgar a descendant of, 9;
  Skeaf sent by, 10;
  Loki comes north with, 246;
  Sigurd Ring dedicates himself to, 266;
  ancestor of Danish kings, 269.
OF'TER-DING-EN, VON. Supposed author of "Nibelungenlied," 53;
  "Heldenbuch" partly compiled from, 86.
O'GIER LE DAN'OIS. A _chanson de geste_, 135.
O'GIER THE DANE. A paladin of Charlemagne, 129;
  a hostage, 135;
  marries Bellissande, 136;
  admiration of Danes for, 136;
  quarrels with Charlemagne, 136;
  terror and escape of, 137;
  made king of England, 138;
  shipwreck of, 138;
  magic crown and ring of, 138;
  son of, 139;
  boast of, 140;
  defeated by Ferracute, 142;
  death of, 148.
OLD TROY. Sigeminne queen of, 105;
  Wolfdietrich and Sigeminne return to, 106.
OL'GER. See _Ogier_.
OL'I-VANT. Horn of Roland, 139;
  blasts on, 145, 146.
OL'I-VER. Paladin of Charlemagne, 129;
  champion of Duke of Genoa, 139;
  fights with Roland, 139, 149;
  boast of, 140;
  son of, 140;
  advises Roland to blow his horn, 145;
  death of, 147, 148;
  sister of, 149;
  and Malagigi, 160.
OR-GUEIL-LEUSE', DUCHESS. Adventure of Gawain and, 197;
  Gawain marries, 198.
OR'I-LUS, LORD. Parzival's adventure with wife of, 191;
  Parzival defeats, 196.
ORK'NEY ISLANDS. Conquest of, 250;
  Frithiof sent to, 258;
  Frithiof and Björn in, 259.
OR-LAN'DO FU-RI-O'SO, 211, 302.
ORT'GIS. A magician, holds Virginal a captive, 113;
  Jambas son of, 114.
ORT'LIEB. Son of Kriemhild, 73;
  killed by Hagen, 80.
ORT'NIT. I. Poem of the ninth century, 86.
  II. Lombardian king, vision of, 94;
    vow of, 95;
    adventures of with Alberich, 96;
    adventures and marriage of, 97;
    goes to kill dragons, 98;
    death of, 99;
    ancestors rule over Lombardy, 100;
    Wolfdietrich wants aid of, 104;
    Wolfdietrich vows to avenge, 107;
    ring of, 108;
    widow of. 127.
OR'TRUNE. Sister of Hartmut. 30;
  saved by Gudrun, 33;
  marries Siegfied. 34.
ORT'WINE. I. Son of Hettel and Hilde, 27;
    comes to rescue Gudrun, 31;
    wooes Hildburg, 32;
    marries Hildburg, 34.
  II. Vassal of Gunther, 56;
    goes to Hungary, 75.
  III. Son of Helche, 125.
O-SAN'TRIX. Etzel wars against, 121;
  Hertnit brother of, 121.
OS'BORN. See _Asprian_.
OS'TRO-GOTHS. Defeated by Alboin, 87.
O'THERE. Discoverer of North Cape, sons of, 18.
OT'NIT. See _Ortnit_.
OT'U-EL, SIR. Story of, 143.
OX'FORD. Walter Map, Archdeacon of, 182.

PAD'AUWE. Same as Padua, Dietrich takes, 126.
PAD'U-A. See _Padauwe_.
PAL'MER-INS. Cycle of. 302.
PAM-PLO'NA. Siege of, 140, 141.
PAN-DRA'SUS. King of Greece, defeated by Brutus, 308.
PAN-NO'NI-A. Gepidae and Lombards in, 86.
PAPILLON (p[)a]-p[=e]-yo[n=]'). The magic horse, 138.
PAR'IS. I. Judgment of, 51;
  picture of in act of kidnaping Helen, 304.
PAR'IS. II. Invasion of, 138;
  news of Roland's death brought to, 149;
  Renaud's journey to, 157;
  Malagigi in, 158;
  Renaud's body to be brought to, 162;
  Huon in, 163, 179;
  siege of, 180.
PAR-ME'NI-A. Meliadus lord of, 234.
PAR'ZI-VAL. I. Poem of, 182.
PAR'ZI-VAL. II. Birth of, 188;
  youth of, 189;
  starts out into the world, 190;
  adventures of on the way to Nantes, 191;
  wins armor, 192;
  visits Gurnemanz and Belripar, and marries Conduiramour, 192;
  visits Montsalvatch, 193, 199;
  seeks Holy Grail, 195;
  knighted by Arthur, 196;
  Gawain seeks, 196;
  fights Gawain, 198;
  at the hermit's, 199;
  meets Fierefiss, 199;
  made king of Holy Grail, 200;
  children of, 201;
  Lohengrin son of, 203;
  sees Holy Grail, 73.
PAS'SAU. Kriemhild's arrival at, 73;
  Burgundians at, 76;
  funeral mass at, 85.
PEL'LI-NORE, SIR. Arthur and, 216.
PEN-DRAG'ON. Son of Constans, 205;
  war of Britons under, 208.
PEN'TE-COST. Arthur's feast at, 217, 224.
PEP'IN. Charlemagne son of, 129.
PER-I-DE'US. A giant, kills Alboin, 88.
PER'SI-A. Sultan of. 298;
  Alexander's conquest of, 306.
PE'TER, ST. Cid's vision of, 298.
PHIL'IP. I. Of Spain, oath of in favor of Arthur, 232.
PHIL'IP. II. Of Macedon, death of, 305.
PI-AZ'ZA OF ST. MARK'S. Stone lion on the, 281.
PIER-LE-PONT'. Castle of Aymon, 154;
  Aymon's sons leave, 156;
  Charlemagne comes to, 157.
PIL'GRIM. Bishop of Passau, welcomes Kriemhild, 73;
  Burgundians visit, 76;
  mass for the dead by, 85.
PIN'A-BEL. Champion of Ganelon, 148.
PLYM'OUTH. Same as Lam Goëmagot, 309.
PO'LAND, 125.
POL-Y-OL'BI-ON. By Drayton, 310.
PON'CE DE LE-ON'. Quest of, 306.
POPE. Asks aid of Charlemagne, 129;
  Huon and the, 164, 174, 175, 180;
  reconciles Arthur and Lancelot, 229;
  emperor of Germany complains to, 287;
  and Ferdinand, 288;
  and Cid, 288, 289.
POR'TU-GAL. Hildburg a princess of, 23.
PO'RUS. Alexander's fight with, 306.
PRES'TER JOHN. Holy Grail intrusted to, 201.
PRI'AM. Descendants of, 307.
PYR'E-NEES. Defeat in the, 130, 144;
  Aymon in the, 154.

RA'BEN. Same as Ravenna, taken by imperial army, 123;
  battle of, 126.
RAG'NAR LOD'BROK. 269-281;
  saga of, 269;
  successor of Sigurd Ring when only fifteen, 270;
  marries Lodgerda, 270;
  marries Thora, 272;
  sons of, 272, 274, 275, 276, 279;
  and Krake, 273-275;
  battles of, 277;
  and Ella, 278;
  death of, 278.
RA-MI'RO, DON. Quarrel of with Ferdinand, 286;
  wars against Don Sancho, 289.
RAND'WER. Son of Ermenrich, death of, 123.
RA-OUL' DE BEAU-VAIS'. Metrical version of story of Tristan
     attributed to, 234.
RAUCH-EL'SE. The witch, Wolfdierich meets, 104;
  transformation of, 105.
RA-VEN'NA. Longinus intrenched in, 88;
  same as Raben, 123.
RE-DEEM'ER. Blood of the, 183.
RED KNIGHT. Parzival and the, 191, 192.
RED SEA. Huon at the, 165, 170.
REI'NE-KE FUCHS. Epic of, 35;
  Goethe's poem of, 36.
REI'NOLD. See _Renaud_.
RE-NAUD' DE MON-TAU-BAN'. Paladin of Charlemagne, 129;
  defeated by Ferracute, 142;
  body of, 148;
  son of Aymon, 154;
  receives Bayard and Flamberge, 155;
  prowess of, 155;
  avenges Alard and flees, 156;
  marries Clarissa, and builds Montauban, 156;
  goes to rescue his brothers, 157;
  loses and recovers Bayard, 157;
  betrayed by Iwo, 158;
  saves Iwo, 159;
  and Roland, 159;
  on Montfaucon, 159;
  sacrifices Bayard, 161;
  sets out for Holy Land, 161;
  death of, 162.
RE-PANSE' DE JOIE. Daughter of Frimoutel, 188;
  jeweled garment sent by, 193;
  bears Holy Grail, 193, 199;
  marriage of, 200, 201.
REUSSEN (rois'sen). Vlyas prince of the, 94;
  Waldemar king of, 125.
  epic of, 302;
  importance of story of, 303.
RE'ZI-A. Princess, dream of, 171;
  bridal array of, 172;
  escapes with Huon, 173;
  embarks at Ascalon, 174;
  conversion and marriage of, 175;
  Amanda same as, 175.
RHINE. Franks cross, 35;
  Xanten on, 54, 64;
  Siegfried rides down along, 55;
  Gunther's journey on, 59, 61;
  Nibelungen hoard in, 71, 77;
  Worms on, 120;
  Charlemagne dwells near, 129, 130;
  Roland's name connected with, 150;
  Nonnenwörth in, 151;
  Renaud's body cast in, 162.
RHON, VON DER. Edited "Heldenbuch," 86.
RHYM'ER. Thomas of Ercildoune the, 234.
RICH'ARD. Son of Aymon, 154;
  prisoner of Roland, 159.
RI-CHOU'DE. I. Wife of Titurel, 188.
  II. Daughter of Titurel, 188.
RIM'STEIN. Revolt and defeat of, 122.
RI-NAL'DO DE TREB-I-ZON'DE. A _chanson de geste_, 152.
RING. Son of Viking, 248.
RING'RIC. Sigurd Ring king of, 255;
  Frithiof in, 267.
RIS'PA. Horse of Helme, 115.
RI-VA-LIN'. See _Meliadus_.
ROB'ERT DE BOR'RON. Works of, 182, 204, 205, 219, 234.
ROB'ERT OF SIC'I-LY, KING. In Longfellow's "Tales of a Wayside Inn," 302.
ROD-RI'GO DI'AZ. See _Cid_.
RO'GEN-WALD. Son of Ragnar, 274;
  death of, 276.
ROG'ER. See _Hrothgar_.
ROG'ERS. Translator of "Reineke Fuchs," 36.
ROHAND (r[=o]'an). See _Kurvenal_.
RO'LAND. Paladin of Charlemagne, 129;
  birth and childhood of, 133;
  fights knight of the Ardennes, 134;
  knighted, 135;
  duel with Oliver, 139;
  horn of, 139, 145, 146;
  character of, 141;
  combat with Ferracute, 142;
  combat with Otuel, 143;
  at battle of Roncesvalles, 144;
  kills Veillantif, 145;
  breaks Durandana, 146;
  death of, 147;
  squire of, 148;
  betrothed to Aude, 149;
  bethrothed to Hildegarde, 150;
  death and burial of, 151;
  treats with Aymon, 154;
  and Renaud, 159;
  Renaud intrusts his family to, 161;
  Italian cycle treats of, 302.
RO'LAND RISE. See _Meliadus_.
RO'LANDS-ECK. Retreat of Roland, 151.
ROLF GANG'ER. Same as Rollo, 280.
ROL'LO. Famous giant, independence of, 280.
ROM'A-BURG. Wolfdietrich goes to, 109;
  Dietrich visits, 117;
  Dietrich crowned at, 127;
  threatened invasion of, 277.
RO-MANCE' LITERATURE. General survey of, 301-310.
ROMAN DE TROIE (r[=o]-m[)o]n' de trwa). Popularity of, 304.
RO'MANS. And Jews, 183;
  claim Aeneas, 307;
  Britain invaded by, 309.
ROME. Martin the ape on his way to, 49;
  same as Romaburg, 109, 117, 127, 277;
  Charlemagne crowned at, 155;
  Huon at, 164, 174, 180;
  Sherasmin at, 177;
  Merlin goes to, 210;
  Don Sancho visits, 288;
  early history of, 304;
  Alexander conquers, 306.
RONCESVALLES (r[=o]n-ces-väl'yes). Battle of, 129, 140, 144-147, 150.
ROS'A-MUND. Wife of Alboin, 87;
  rebellion and death of, 88.
ROSE GARDEN. I. Laurin's, 118.
  II. Kriemhild's, 120.
RO'SEN. Sword of Ortnit, 96, 98;
  Wolfdietrich finds, 108.
ROT'HER. King of Lombardy, 88;
  wooing of, 89-91;
  captures Imelot, 92;
  kidnaps Oda. 92;
  second journey to Constantinople, 93;
  secures his wife, 94;
  accompanied by Berchther, 100.
ROU-ME'LI-A. Wolfdietrich's ride through, 104.
ROUND TABLE. Knights tell Parzival of, 190;
  Parzival admitted to the, 196, 198;
  knights of, 200, 224, 225;
  legend of, 204;
  Merlin establishes, 208;
  Arthur receives, 217;
  at Camelot, 218;
  Lancelot the principal knight of, 219, 220;
  Gareth admitted to, 222;
  Geraint one of knights of, 222;
  feast at, 225;
  Sir Bedivere a knight of, 231.
RU'AL. See _Kurvenal_.
RÜCK'E-NAU, FRAU, 50, 51.
RÜ'DI-GER. Sues for Kriemhild, 71, 72;
  oath of, 82, 82;
  castle of, 73;
  warns Burgundians, 76;
  entertains Burgundians, 77;
  refrains from tournament, 79;
  safe-conduct granted to. 81;
  forced to fight, 83;
  death of, 83;
  at Rose Garden on Rhine, 120;
  saves Dietrich, 125;
  son of, 126.
RU'MOLT. Squire of Gunther, 75.
RUNES. Magic letters of the North, 276.
RU-OT'ZE. Giantess who hatches magic eggs, 98.
RUS'SIA. A part of Reussen. 125.
RUY DI'AZ. See _Cid_.
RY'ANCE. King of Ireland, last battle and death of, 217.

SA-BENE'. Guardian of Hildburg, 102;
  machinations of, 103;
  besieges Lilienporte, 104;
  defeated and slain, 108.
SA-BRI'NA. Drowned in Severn. 309.
SA-FO-RET'. Aymon's sons serve and kill, 156.
SAINT O-MER'. Ogier a prisoner at, 136.
SALISBURY (s[a:]wlz'b[)e]r-[)i]). Fortress on, 205, 207.
SAM'SON. Father of Dietmar, 110.
SAN'CHO, DON. King of Castile, Cid serves, 288;
  a prisoner, 289;
  freed by Cid. 288;
  robs his sisters, 290;
  banishes and recalls Cid, 291;
  death of, 291.
SAN'GRE-AL. Same as Holy Grail, 201.
SAN PE'DRO DE CAR-DEÑ'A. Given to Cid, 285;
  Cid buried at, 300.
SAR'A-CEN. Huon's encounters with, 172.
SAR'A-CENS. Charlemagne defeats, 129, 140, 141, 144, 147, 148;
  device of, 143;
  Roland and, 145;
  Sherasmin escapes from, 165;
  Titurel wars against, 185.
SAR-A-GOS'SA. Marsiglio in, 144;
  Cid besieges, 289.
SAV'IOR. Dish used by, 183.
SAX'ONS. Lüdeger king of, 56;
  led by Hengist, 208;
  Arthur wars against, 217.
SAX'O-NY. Burgundian army enters, 57.
SCAN-DI-NA'VI-A. Iliad in. 304.
SCAN-DI-NA'VI-AN. Raids and settlements, 280;
  cycle, 301, 302.
SCOT'LAND. Arthur's name in, 214;
  Leodegraunce king of, 217;
  same as Albania, 309.
SCRATCH-FOOT. Death and epitaph of, 39.
SEINE. Bayard drowned in, 161;
  Renaud casts Flamberge in, 161.
SEV'ERN. Named after Sabrina, 309.
SHAKES'PEARE, 163, 305, 309, 310.
SHAR-FE-NEB'BE. Killed by Reynard, 47.
SHER-AS-MIN'. Same as Gerasmes, Huon finds, 165;
  accompanies Huon into forest, 166;
  Oberon displeased with, 167;
  forgiven by Oberon, 168;
  journeys to Bagdad, 171;
  helps Huon to elope with Rezia, 173;
  journeys to France, 174;
  quest of, 177;
  in fairyland, 179;
  duel of, 180;
  casket stolen from, 180.
SI'BICH. Wife of, 122;
  kills Ermenrich, 126;
  death of, 127.
SIC'-ILY. Part of Ortnit's realm, 94.
SID'RAT. Vision of, 95;
  elopes with Ornit, 97.
SIE'GE-LIND. I. Mother of Siegfried, 54;
    death of, 64.
  II. A swan maiden who prophesies to Hagen, 75.
SIEGE PER'IL-OUS. Vacant place at Round Table called, 184;
  Parzival in the, 196;
  Merlin in the, 213;
  the empty, 218;
  Galahad in the, 224.
SIEG'FRIED. I. King of Moorland, suitor of Gudrun, 28;
  invades Zealand, 28;
  joins Hettel and Herwig, 29;
  marriage of, 34.
SIEG'FRIED. II. Same as Sigurd, 53;
  parentage and birth of, 54;
  goes to Worms, 55;
  prowess of, 56, 57;
  wooes Kriemhild, 58;
  with Gunther in Issland, 58-61;
  Nibelung warriors of, 61;
  marriage of, 62;
  conquers Brunhild, 63;
  in Xanten, 64;
  invited to Worms, 64;
  punishes Kriemhild, 65;
  Hagen plots against, 66;
  betrayal and death of, 67;
  burial of, 69;
  mourning for, 70;
  body of removed to Lorch, 71;
  Kriemhild mourns for, 73;
  Hagen confesses murder of, 78;
  sword of, 84;
  Swanhild daughter of, 123;
  Kriemhild widow of, 126.
SIEG'MUND. Father of Siegfried, 54;
  welcomes Kriemhild, 64;
  visits Worms, 64;
  hears news of Siegfried's death, 69.
SI'GE-BANT. Father of Hagen, 23;
  death of, 24.
SI-GE-MIN'NE. Same as Rauch-Else, transformation of, 105;
  marriage and kidnaping of, 105;
  rescued by Wolfdietrich, 106;
  Liebgart resembles, 107;
  magic shirt given by, 108.
SI-GE-NOT'. Dietrich's adventure with, 112;
  Hildebrand's encounter with, 113.
SI'GUNE. Daughter of Josiane, 188;
  Parzival finds, 191, 195.
SI'GURD. Same as Siegfried, 53;
  Danish dynasty traces origin to, 269;
  Fafnisbane, 274.
SI'GURD RING. Sues for Ingeborg's hand, 255;
  kings of Sogn make treaty with, 256;
  Frithiof offers to conquer, 257;
  marries Ingeborg, 261, 269;
  Frithiof visits, 264;
  hunting expedition of, 265;
  death of, 266, 270;
  son of, 266;
  marries Alfild, 269;
  wooes Alfsol, 270.
SI'GURD THE SNAKE-EYED. Son of Ragnar, 275.
SI-MIL'DE. See _Kunhild_.
SI-MILT'. See _Kunhild_.
SIN'DOLT. Helps Siegfried, 56.
SIN'TRAM. Dietrich delivers, 117.
SKEAF. Son of Odin, 9;
  career of, 10.
SKIOLD. Same as Skeaf, 9, 10.
SKIOL'DUNGS. Dynasty of, 9.
SOD'OM. Huon and Amanda deluded by apples of, 175.
SOGN. Kingdom of taken by Jokul, 249;
  kings of, Sigurd Rings threaten war against, 255.
SOL-DA[=N]'A. City given to Cid. 285.
SOL-TA'NE. Forest where Parzival was brought up, 188.
SOL'WAY FIRTH. Battle of, 205.
SONS OF AY'MON, 152-162.
SO'TE. A pirate, stole Völund ring, 251.
SPAIN. Charlemagne in, 129, 140, 143, 144;
  Roland in, 149, 150;
  Aymon in, 154;
  Montsalvatch in, 185;
  Arabs in, 282;
  patron of, 285.
SPAN-GAR-HE'DE. Ragnar at, 273.
SFAN'IARDS. Legend of Holy Grail christianized by, 182;
  Richoude belongs to, 188;
  battle cry of, 287.
SPAN'ISH. Cortes, 297;
  cycle, 302.
SPEN'SER. "Faerie Queene" of. 211, 310.
STEI'ER-MARK. Province of given to Dietlieb, 118;
  Dietlieb of, 120.
STE'PHEN, ST. Church of, 215.
STONE'HENGE. Work of Merlin, 208, 211.
STU'DAS. Father of Heime, 115.
STYR'I-A. See _Steiermark_.
SU'DERS. Ortnit sets sail for, 97.
SUL'TAN. Daughter of, 164;
  Amanda to be sold as slave to, 176;
  gardens of, 177;
  Amanda refuses to marry, 178;
  sends embassy to Cid, 298.
SU'SAT. Dietrich goes to, 124;
  Waldemar's son a captive in, 125;
  Dietrich's mournful return to, 126.
SVITH'I-OD. Eystein king of, 274.
SWAN'HILD. Daughter of Siegfried and Kriemhild, death of, 123;
  brothers of, 126.
SWAN KNIGHT. Lohengrin the, 203.
SWE'DEN. Eadgils king of, 19;
  part of Wilkina land, 121;
  Viking in, 247;
  Svithiod same as, 274.
SWEDES. Beowulf conquers, 12.
SWE'DISH. Writers, 246;
  princess, Hunvor a, 247;
  king, Eystein the, 276.
SWEM'MEL. Hungarian minstrel, 74.
SWIN'BURNE, 204, 234.
SWORDS. See _Nägeling_, _Nagelring_, _Mimung_,
  _Eckesax_, _Joyeuse_, _Durandana_,
  _Altecler_, _Flamberge_, _Excalibur_,
  _Angurvadel_, _Tizona_, _Colada_.
SYR'I-A. Ortnit's journey to, 95.

TAN'TRIS. Same as Tristan, 238.
TA-RAS-CO'NI-A. Iwo prince of, 156.
TARN'KAP-PE. Siegfried and, 55, 60;
  Laurin and, 119.
TCHIO-NA-TU-LAN'DER. And Sigune, 188;
  Parzival to avenge, 191;
  shrine of, 195.
TEG-NÉR'. Writings of, 246, 267.
TEM'PLARS Guardians of Holy Grail called, 186;
  divine guidance of, 187;
  anticipation of, 189;
  disappointment of, 199;
  customs of, 202;
  renown of, 301.
TEN'NY-SON, 204.
TEU-TON'IC. Cycle, 301.
THAMES. Brutus visits the, 309.
THE-OD'O-RIC. Of Verona, same as Dietrich of Bern, no, 127;
  tomb of, 128.
THE-OD-O-RI'CUS. And Roland at Roncesvalles, 146, 147.
THE'SEUS. Adventures of, 249.
THES-SA-LO-NI'CA. Walgundof, 100;
  Hugdietrich at, IOO;
  Berchther at, 101.
THIE'DRIC. Roland's squire, 148.
THING. Convoked by Hygd, 18;
  Beowulf elected by, 19;
  Belé convokes, 252;
  Ragnar recognized by, 270.
THO'RA. Daughter of Jarl Herrand, 271;
  Ragnar rescues and marries, 272;
  sons and death of, 272.
THO'RER. Son of Viking, 249.
THOR'STEN. I. Saga, 246.
  II. Son of Viking, receives Angurvadel, 249;
    shipwrecks of, 250;
    marriage and conquests of, 250;
    at Framnäs, 251;
    father of Frithiof, 251, 260, 261;
    last interview with Belé, 252;
    death and burial of, 252.
THU'RI-SIND. King of Gepidæ, 86:
  granddaughter of, 87.
TIN-TA'GEL. In Cornwall, Gorlois lord of, 209;
  Uther's secret visit to, 209;
  Mark at, 235;
  Tristan at, 236;
  Iseult to go to, 240.
TI-TA'NI-A. Queen of the fairies, 175;
  carries off Huonet, 176;
  restored to Oberon's favor, 179.
TIT'U-REL. And the Holy Grail, 182-203;
  Von Eschenbach's poem of, 182;
  birth of, 185;
  vision of, 185;
  sees Holy Grail, 186;
  builds temple, 186;
  guardian of Holy Grail, 187;
  children of, 188;
  intercedes for Amfortas, 189;
  crowns Parzival, 200;
  disappearance of, 200.
TI-TU'RI-SONE. Pilgrimage of, 185.
TI'TUS. Disease of, 183;
  miraculous cure of, 184.
TI-ZO'NA. Sword of Cid, won from Moors, 285, 294;
  given to Infante of Carrion, 296;
  recovered by Cid, 297;
  dead Cid draws, 300;
  inscription on, 300.
TO-LE'DO. School of magic at, 153;
  Don Alfonso at, 290;
  Cid at, 291;
  Don Alfonso a prisoner at, 292;
  Yahia ruler of, 294;
  Cortes at, 297.
TO'RO. City given to Doña Elvira, 288;
  taken by Don Sancho, 290.
TOUR'MONT. Huon at, 169.
TOURS. Origin of name, 308.
TRAN-SYL-VA'NI-A. Herrat princess of, 126.
TREV'RE-ZENT. Son of Frimoutel, 188;
  Parzival visits, 199.
TRI-ENT'. Dwelling place of dragons, 98.
TRIS'TAN. Ogier and, 138;
  legend of, 204;
  story of, 234-245.
TRIS'TREM. See _Tristan_.
TRO'I-LUS. And Cressida, story of, 305.
TRON'JE. Hagen of, 124.
TROY. Sigeminne queen of, 105;
  downfall of, 303.
TU'NIS. Huon, Amanda, Fatima, and Sherasmin in, 177;
  Galafre king of, 180.
TU-ROL'DUS. Probable author of "Chanson de Roland," 130.
TU-RO'NUS. Nephew of Brutus, 308.
TUR'PIN. Latin chronicle attributed to, 129, 140;
  adviser of Charlemagne, 131, 132, 147, 156.
TYRE. See _Suders_.
TY-RO'LE-AN, 113, 118.

UL'FIN. Councilor of Uther, 209.
U-LYS'SES. In mediaeval literature, 303.
UOTE (w[=o]'te). See _Ute II_.
UP'LANDS. Njorfe king of, 248.
UR-RA'CA, DOÑA. Receives Zamora, 288;
  loses Zamora, 289;
  pleads for Alfonso, 290;
  besieged by Don Sancho, 290;
  reviles Cid, 291;
  warns Alfonso of Sancho's death, 292.
U'TA. See _Ute II_.
U'TE. I. Queen of Burgundy, 53;
  interprets Krieinhild's dream, 54;
  at tournament, 57;
  Pilgrim, brother of, 73;
  disapproves of journey to Hungary, 74.
U'TE. II. Marries Hildebrand, 112;
  rejoined by Hildebrand, 127.
U'THER. Son of Constans, 205;
  fights with Vortigern and Hengist, 208;
  Merlin builds palace for, 208;
  changed into form of Gorlois, 209;
  marries Yguerne, 210;
  death of, 210;
  father of Arthur, 214, 215;
  a descendant of Brutus, 309.

VAL-DUER'NA. Given to Rodrigo, 285.
VALE OF THORNS. See _Roncesvalles_.
VA-LEN'CI-A. Taken by Moors, 294, 300;
  recovered by Cid, 294;
  Cid master of, 295;
  Moors besiege, 296, 298;
  Cid's return to, 296, 296;
  Christians cannot hold, 299;
  evacuation of, 300.
VAL-HAL'LA. Ragnar summoned to, 278.
VAL'KYRS. Brunhild one of the, 274;
  Ragnar warned by, 278.
VEILLANTIF (v[=a]-[:a]n-t[=e]f). Roland kills, 145.
VEN'ICE. Lion of, 281.
VER'GEN. Place on Danube, 73.
VE-RO'NA. Same as Bern, 77, 110;
  Theodoric of, 110;
  tomb of Theodoric near, 128.
VE-RON'I-CA, ST. Story of, 183.
VES-PA'SI-AN. Sends commission to Jerusalem, 183;
  at Jerusalem, 184;
  at Rome, 185.
VI-A'NE. Renaud meets Aude at siege of, 149.
VI-EN'NA. Library at, 22;
  wedding at, 73.
VIK. Frithiof enters the, 264.
VI'KING. Grandson of Haloge, 247;
  early adventures and marriage of, 247;
  second marriage of, 248;
  adventures of sons of, 248;
  Aegir gives Ellida to, 250.
VIR'GIL. In "Rome la Grant," 307.
VIR'GIN-AL. Dietrich's adventure with, 113, 114;
  Dietrich forsaken by, 123.
VIV'I-AN. And Merlin, 211-213;
  Lancelot stolen by, 219.
VOL'KER. Follower of Gunther, receives gifts, 77;
  ally of Hagen, 78;
  kills Hun, 80;
  might of, 81.
VOL'SUNG. The race, 110.
VOL'SUNG-A SA'GA, 53, 269.
VÖ'LUND. The smith, 115, 250;
  ring of, 253, 257.
VOR'TI-GERN. Made king and builds fortress, 205;
  messengers of, 206;
  death of, 208;
  advised by Merlin, 210.
VOS'GES. See _Wasgenstein_.
VUL-CA'NUS, MOUNT. Malagigi's adventure at, 153.

WACE. Writer of metrical tale of Brutus, 307.
WA-CHIL'DE. And Wittich,115, 126.
WACK'ER-LOS. Complaint of, 36, 38.
WAG'NER. Used mediaeval legends, 182, 204, 234.
WAL'DE-MAR. King of Reussen, Dietrich wars against, 125.
WA-LEIS'. Battle at, 27.
WALES. Arthur's name in, 214.
WAL'GUND OF THES-SA-LO-NI'CA. Hugdietrich's visit to, 100;
  finds grandson with wolf, 102.
WAL'THER VON WAS'GEN-STEIN. Champion of Ermenrich, 118;
  at Gerimsburg, 122;
  a hostage in Hungary, 124;
  elopes with Hildegunde, 124;
  marries Hildegunde, 125.
WAS'GEN-STEIN. Walther and Hildegunde flee to, 124.
WAT. Follower of Hettel, 25;
  athletic skill of, 26;
  wounds Hagen, 27;
  fosters Ortwine, 27;
  to be Gudrun's deliverer, 31;
  challenges Normans, 32;
  kills Gerlinda, 33.
WAX'MUTH. Son of Hildburg, 103;
  and Hugdietrich, 103.
WAY'LAND. See _Wieland_.
WEAL'THEOW. Wife of Hrothgar, 15.
WE'BER. "Oberon" of, 163.
WELSH. Poetry, 204;
  version of Tristan, 234.
WE'NER, LAKE. Battle of, 249.
WER'BEL. Hungarian minstrel, 74;
  Hagen strikes off hand of, 80.
WE'SER. See _Wisara_.
WES'TER-LANDS. Queen of, 232.
WEST-PHA'LI-A. Dortmund in, 162.
WHIT'A-BY. Ragnar at, 271;
  second battle at, 276.
WIE'LAND. I. The smith, weapons of, 115, 154.
  II. "Oberon" of, 163.
WIF'LIS-BURG. Hastings at, 276.
WIG'LAF. Avenges Hardred, 19;
  accompanies Beowulf, 19;
  saves Beowulf's life, 20.
WIL-DE'BER. Joins Dietrich, 117;
  in Hungary, 121;
  escape of, 122.
WIL-KI'NA LAND. Dietrich invades, 121.
WIN'CHES-TER, See _Camelot_.
WI-SA'RA. Falster wood on banks of, 117.
WIT'IG. See _Wittich_.
WIT'TICH. Son of Wieland, starts for Bern, 115;
  conquers Dietrich, 116;
  goes to Rose Garden, 118;
  made prisoner, 121;
  released, 122;
  pursued by Dietrich and saved by Wachilde, 126.
WOLF-DIE'TRICH. Rescue of, 102;
  at Meran, 103;
  besieges Constantinople, 103, 108;
  adventures with Rauch-Else, 104;
  marries Sigeminne, 105;
  kills Drusian, 106;
  adventure with Belligan, 106;
  kills dragon and marries Liebgart, 108;
  descendants of, 109.
WOLF'HART. Nephew of Hildebrand, 112;
  in Rose Garden, 118, 120.
WOL'FRAM VON ESCH'EN-BACH, 86, 182, 204.
WORMS. Capital of Burgundy, 53;
  Siegfried at, 55, 57, 58;
  Kriemhild at, 64;
  Siegfried carried to, 68;
  mourning at, 69;
  Rüdiger at, 71, 82;
  minstrels at, 74;
  chaplain returns to, 75;
  tidings carried to, 85;
  Rose Garden at, 120;
  Gunther and Hagen do not return to, 124.
WÜL'PEN-SAND. Battle of, 29.

XAN'TEN. Tournament at, 54;
  Siegfried and Kriemhild at, 64.
XI-ME'NA, DOÑA. Seeks to avenge her father, 284;
  marries Cid, 285;
  at Zamora, 287;
  Cid parts from, 293;
  executes last wishes of Cid, 299.

YA'HI-A. Grandson of Alimaymon, 294.
Y-GUERNE'. Wife of Gorlois, 209;
  marries Uther, 210;
  mother of Arthur, 215.
Y-SOLDE'. See _Iseult_.
Y'VOIR-IN OF MONT'BRAND. Uncle of Esclarmonde, 180.
Y'WAIN. Grandson of Yguerne, 209.

ZA-MO'RA. Cid returns to, 287;
  Doña Urraca at, 288, 290;
  Don Sancho takes, 289;
  siege of, 290, 291;
  Don Alfonso's arrival at, 292.
ZEA'LAND. Herwig's kingdom, 28.



From Charlemagne to the Present Day

By SAMUEL BANNISTER HARDING, Ph.D., Professor of European History, Indiana

Based upon the author's "Essentials in Mediaeval and Modern History,"
prepared in consultation with ALBERT BUSHNELL HART, LL.D., Professor of
History, Harvard University.

While based on the author's previous Essentials in Mediaeval and Modern
History, in the present volume the plan has been so reorganized, the scope
so extended, and the matter so largely rewritten, that the result is
practically a new book. The present volume reflects the suggestions of many
teachers who have used the previous work in their classes. The aim of this
book has been to increase the emphasis on social, industrial, and cultural
topics and to enable the student to understand modern conditions and

The narrative is brought fully up-to-date, including such recent events as
the British Parliament Act of 1911, the Italian-Turkish War, and the Balkan
War, 1912-1913. Each topic is made definite and concrete, and such
important subjects as the unification of Italy and the unification of
Germany are treated in separate chapters.

The teaching apparatus has been made as useful as possible by the
arrangement and the typography of the text and by the addition of
chronological tables, lists of important dates, suggestive topics and
questions for the pupil to investigate, and brief directions for general

Adequate illustrations and maps are inserted profusely throughout the text.
Variety and color are imparted to the narrative by frequent quotations from
the sources, and by striking characterizations from modern works.



By CHARLES BERTRAM NEWTON, Head of the Department of History in
Lawrenceville School, and EDWARD BRYANT TREAT, Master in Lawrenceville

       *       *       *       *       *

Greek History Roman History English History American History

       *       *       *       *       *

These little manuals help the teacher of history solve the problem of
bringing out the subject as a whole, and of so focusing it as to make the
picture clear-cut and vivid in the pupil's mind--in other words, they give
the proper perspective to the prominent figures and the smaller details,
the multitude of memories and impressions made by the text-book, note-book,
and class room work. The books are intended primarily for review, and
especially for students preparing for college.

These outlines embody brief summaries in chronological order of the leading
facts and events, and throughout ease of reference has been considered of
prime importance. Except in most unusual cases they should not be
introduced into the class until after the work in the text-book is
finished. However, if the time or facilities of the teacher are greatly
limited, they may be used judiciously with the text-book as an aid to
clearness. Because they are not planned to follow or accompany any
particular text-book on the subject, references to such books have
purposely been omitted.

In the index battles, laws, and wars are grouped chronologically under
those headings, and also in regular alphabetical order. Near the end of
each volume are given fifty typical questions selected from the recent
examinations set for admission  to leading colleges, which are intended for
practice in the art of formulating answers.



Edited by FREDERIC AUSTIN OGG, A.M., Assistant in History, Harvard
University, and Instructor in Simmons College.

In this book is provided a collection of documents illustrative of European
life and institutions from the German invasions to the Renaissance. Great
discrimination has been exercised in the selection and arrangement of these
sources, which are intended to be used in connection with the study of
mediaeval history, either in secondary schools, or in the earlier years of
college. Throughout the controlling thought has been to present only those
selections which are of real value and of genuine interest--that is, those
which subordinate the purely documentary and emphasize the strictly
narrative, such as annals, chronicles, and biographies. In every case they
contain important historical information or throw more or less indirect
light upon mediaeval life or conditions.

The extracts are of considerable length from fewer sources, rather than a
greater number of more fragmentary ones from a wider range. The
translations have all been made with care, but for the sake of younger
pupils simplified and modernized as much as close adherence to the sense
would permit. An introductory explanation, giving at some length the
historical setting of the extract, with comments on its general
significance, and also a brief sketch of the writer, accompany each
selection or group of selections. The footnotes supply somewhat detailed
aid to the understanding of obscure illusions, omitted passages, and
especially names and technical terms. The index is very full.
Typographically the book is unusually well arranged with a view of aiding
the pupil in its interpretation.



From the Earliest Records to the Present Day. By ALBERT PERRY WALKER, A.M.,
Master in History, English High School, Boston. In consultation with ALBERT
BUSHNELL HART, LL.D., Professor of History, Harvard University

Like the other volumes of the Essentials in History Series, this text-book
is intended to form a year's work in secondary schools, following out the
recommendation of the Committee of Seven, and meeting the requirements of
the College Entrance Examination Board, and of the New York State Education
Department. It contains the same general features, the same pedagogic
apparatus, and the same topical method of treatment. The text is
continuous, the sectional headings being placed in the margin. The maps and
illustrations are worthy of special mention.

The book is a model of good historical exposition, unusually clear in
expression, logical and coherent in arrangement, and accurate in statement.
The essential facts in the development of the British Empire are vividly
described, and the relation of cause and effect is clearly brought out.

The treatment begins with a brief survey of the whole course of English
history, deducing therefrom three general movements: (1) the fusing of
several races into the English people; (2) the solution by that people of
two great problems: free and democratic home government, and practical,
enlightened government of foreign dependencies; and (3) the extreme
development of two great fields of industry, commerce and manufacture. The
narrative follows the chronological order, and is full of matter which is
as interesting as it is significant, ending with a masterly summary of
England's contribution to civilization.



Full cloth, 8vol., 864 pages. Containing over 70,000 words, with 1000

This new dictionary is based on Webster's New International Dictionary, and
therefore conforms to the best present usage. It presents the largest
number of words and phrases ever included in a school dictionary--all
those, however new, likely to be needed by any pupil. It is a reference
book for the reader and a guide in the use of English, both oral and
written. It fills every requirement that can reasonably be expected of a
dictionary of moderate size.

This new book gives the preference to forms of spelling now current in the
United States, in cases of doubt leaning toward the simpler forms that may
be coming into use. In the matter of pronunciation such alternatives are
included as are in very common use, but the one that is preferred is
clearly indicated. Each definition is in the form of a specific statement
accompanied by one or more synonyms, between which careful discrimination
is made.

In addition, this dictionary includes an unusual amount of supplementary
information of value to students: the etymology, syllabication and
capitalization of words; many proper names from folklore, mythology, and
the Bible; a list of prefixes and suffixes; all irregularly inflected
forms; rules for spelling; 2329 lists of synonyms, in which 3518 words are
carefully discriminated; answers to many questions on the use of correct
English constantly asked by pupils; a guide to pronunciation; abbreviations
used in writing and printing; a list of 1200 foreign words and phrases; a
dictionary of 5400 proper names of persons and places, etc.




By L.B. LEWIS, Teacher of Ancient History, Central High School, Syracuse,


By EDNA M. McKINLEY, Ph.B., Teacher of Ancient and European History,
Central High School, Syracuse, N.Y.

These notebooks combine the topical and library methods of studying
history. They give a correct historical perspective; they show the relation
of important events to each other; and they drive home in the pupil's mind
certain vital facts by requiring him to perform various kinds of
interesting work, which in each case is definitely laid out.

A skeleton outline of topics is included with indications of subdivisions
and blank spaces in which the student is to write the more important
sub-topics and other brief notes to complete the outline.

Special topics for collateral reading are inserted to supplement the text
in the proper places. These special topics are to be reported on in class
in connection with the regular text lesson, and the reports are to be
written by the student on the blank pages left for this purpose at the end
of the book. A very full list of books, with pages specified, is given in
connection with each topic.

The large number of these special topics affords ample choice, and emphasis
has been placed on those which show the life and character of the people.
These topics may be used as themes in English, and as subjects for debate,
in order to stimulate reading and discussion on the part of the class.

There are outline maps to be filled in, and numerous spaces for drawings
and plans which can easily be made by the pupil after consulting the
specific references in the books mentioned.



By GEORGE WILLIAM HUNTER, A.M., Head of Department of Biology, De Witt
Clinton High School, New York City.

This new first-year course treats the subject of biology as a whole, and
meets the requirements of the leading colleges and associations of science
teachers. Instead of discussing plants, animals, and man as separate forms
of living organisms, it treats of life in a comprehensive manner, and
particularly in its relations to the progress of humanity. Each main topic
is introduced by a problem, which the pupil is to solve by actual
laboratory work. The text that follows explains and illustrates the meaning
of each problem. The work throughout aims to have a human interest and a
practical value, and to provide the simplest and most easily comprehended
method of demonstration. At the end of each chapter are lists of references
to both elementary and advanced books for collateral reading.


In this Manual the 56 important problems of Hunter's Essentials of Biology
are solved; that is, the principles of biology are developed from the
laboratory standpoint. It is a teacher's detailed directions put into
print. It states the problems, and then tells what materials and apparatus
are necessary and how they are to be used, how to avoid mistakes, and how
to get at the facts when they are found. Following each problem and its
solution is a full list of references to other books.



By JAMES W. GARNER, Professor of Political Science, University of Illinois
With Special State Editions

Merits the special consideration of teachers in secondary schools because
in the first place it includes the most recent governmental problems of
interest and importance, and in the second it devotes an unusual amount of
space to a practical account of the workings of our government. The
treatment, which is simple and interesting, proceeds from the simple to the
most complex, presenting in turn the local, state, and national forms of

The book shows how our governmental system has been affected by the direct
primary movements, the initiative and referendum, the commission form of
municipal government, and new legislation regarding publicity of campaign
expenditure and corrupt practices at elections. It is, however, the spirit
and actual workings of our government that are emphasized, rather than its
mere mechanism, thus adding to the interest of the student as well as to
the value of the study.

The book is up to date in every respect. Statistics used are from the
latest census. It describes the most recent changes in the organization and
activities of the national, state, and municipal governments. For example
it deals with the recent reorganization of the federal courts, the
establishment of postal savings banks, the parcels post question, the
question of second class postal rates, primary elections, the new federal
corporation tax, and the income tax amendment.

Unusual attention is devoted to the important subject or citizenship, and
to state and local governments. Wider reading among students is encouraged
by the frequent lists of references to collateral reading, the documentary
or source materials, the numerous search questions, etc.



Edited by AUGUSTUS WHITE LONG, Preceptor in English, Princeton University.

This book is intended to serve as an introduction to the systematic study
of American poetry, and, therefore, does not pretend to exhaustiveness. All
the poets from 1776 to 1900 who are worthy of recognition are here treated
simply, yet suggestively, and in such a manner as to illustrate the growth
and spirit of American life, as expressed in its verse. Each writer is
represented by an appropriate number of poems, which are preceded by brief
biographical sketches, designed to entertain and awaken interest. The
explanatory notes and the brief critical comments give much useful and
interesting information.


Assistant Professors of   English Literature in the University of Illinois.

This volume combines measurable completeness with an amount of editing
sufficient for supplying needed help to the college student, and for
furnishing material for class room work. In the selection of poems the
primary aim has been to include the most representative work of the chief
British poets, from Chaucer to Tennyson, with a view to presenting material
which should also be representative of the successive periods of English
literary history, and, within certain limitations, of the chief types of
poetry. The notes are suggestive rather than informational, and, with the
questions, are designed to stimulate thought. Bibliographies are included.



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