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Title: Tales from the German - Comprising specimens from the most celebrated authors
Author: Various
Language: English
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  AXEL.  BY C. F. VAN DER VELDE.  (C. A. F.)


The object of the translators of the following tales was to present the
English public with a collection, which should combine effectiveness
with variety, and at the same time should contain specimens of the most
celebrated writers of prose fiction whom Germany has produced.  The
names of the authors will, they think, be a sufficient guarantee that
they have not failed in this last respect, and if the reader finds
himself amused or interested by the series, they will have succeeded

It will be remembered that the collection is a collection of tales
only, and that it was absolutely necessary, according to the plan of
the book, that these tales should be numerous.  Any thing like a
lengthened novel was therefore excluded, as it would have exceeded the
prescribed limits, or rendered impossible that variety which the
translators considered an essential of their work.  That short tales,
from their very nature, cannot often promote any very high purpose, and
that amusement for a leisure hour is their principal purpose, the
translators are perfectly aware, admitting that their collection,
generally speaking, does not convey that amount of instruction in life
and thought, which might be obtained from more elaborate works, such
as, for example, the _Wilhelm Meister_ of Göthe.  At the same time they
trust that Kleist's _Michael Koldhaas_, Zschokke's _Alamontade_,
Schiller's _Criminal from Lost Honour_[1] and even Hauff's fanciful
_Cold Heart_, will be acceptable to those who look for something beyond
mere amusement, and that some readers will be found to appreciate the
psychological truth and profundity of Hoffmann's tales beneath their
fantastic exterior.

In their versions of the tales the translators have endeavoured, to the
utmost of their power, to be correct, preferring even hardness of
language to liberties with the original text.  The initials in the
table of contents will show who was the translator of each particular
tale; but it must not be supposed that they worked so separately that
the printer and the binder have alone connected the results of their
labours.  Every tale when finished by the translator was carefully
revised by his colleague.  In those instances alone have the
translators deviated from the original, where they found passages and
phrases that they conceived would not accord with English notions of
propriety.  That in such instances they have softened or omitted, needs
no apology.[2]

It has been suggested to the translators that a notice of the authors
and the works themselves might, with advantage, be prefixed to the
collection.  With this suggestion they have complied, trusting that the
limited space allowed will be a sufficient excuse for the very sketchy
nature of the biographies, if indeed the following notices are worthy
of that name.

      *      *      *      *      *

Göthe and Schiller have attained that universal celebrity, that it
would be mere impertinence to say any thing about their lives in a
sketch like this.  Those eminent promoters of German literature in this
country, Mr. T. Carlyle and Sir E. B. Lytton, have done all they could
to make the English public familiar with the life of Schiller, and a
tolerably full notice of his literary progress will be found in No. LX.
of the _Foreign Quarterly Review_.  Those who can read German are
recommended to the elaborate life of Schiller by Dr. Hoffmeister, which
is a perfect treasury of information and criticism.  The materials for
a biography of Göthe lie scattered through a vast quantity or
correspondence, reminiscences, conversations, and characteristics; but
a biography, such as the greatness of the subject requires, is still a
desideratum in German literature.

The _New Paris_, by Göthe, which appears in this collection, is from
that delightful autobiography, to which the poet has given the name of
_Dichtung und Wahrheit_.  The circumstances under which it is told are
sufficiently explained by the short introduction prefixed to it.
Schiller's _Criminal from Lost Honour_ was written during what is
called the "second period" of his life, when after the completion of
_Don Carlos_ he had quitted dramatic writing for a time, and devoted
himself to the study of philosophy and history.  The facts of the story
he had learned from his friend Abel at an early period.  Hoffmeister's
remarks on this story may be found interesting.

"This misguided man, Wolf," says Hoffmeister, "appears as a mournful
sacrifice to the law, which, from this example, should learn mercy.
The severity of law has, from a merely conventional offence, elicited a
grievous crime, and him, who sinned from thoughtlessness, and was
delivered to the care of justice, she has cast off as though he were
absolutely worthless.  The progress in crime, which is gradually forced
upon the man by civil institutions, and his return to virtue, when vice
has completed her lesson, are developed and painted to our eyes with
extraordinary art.  Every action is deduced from thoughts and motives;
and these, again, are deduced from states of mind, which necessarily
result from the reciprocal action which the soul of the man, and the
circumstances by which he was surrounded, had upon each other.
Everywhere do we find natural connexion; not a link in the chain is
wanting.  This psychological novel, like a tragedy, awakens in the
reader not only pity, but terror.  He feels that in the situation of
the unhappy man, he would not have been better himself.  The writer
fulfils his purpose of plucking us down from our proud security.  Man
is just as good or bad, we say to ourselves, as his external situation;
out external situation is the fate of all of us; and we see in the
history of a single individual a sketch of the common lot of man.
Moreover, this history of the 'criminal' is so remarkable in point of
style, that one always reads it with fresh interest.  The language is
extremely simple, clear, and natural, and there is not a trace of the
wearisome, constantly occurring breaks, and the affected antitheses
that marked Schiller's early style.  Every thing shows that the author
moved in a clear, free element.  In some portions he has been eminently
successful; as, for instance, in describing the poacher's state of
mind, when he is about to point his gun, at his evil genius, Robert.
If, after all our praise, we have one particular to blame, it is this
circumstance, that the weakly and delicate 'host of the Sun,' who had
not as yet distinguished himself in the trade of thieving, should have
been unanimously chosen by the robbers for their leader, on his first
entrance into their cave.  Although he was well known to them as a good
poacher, they might yet have reasonable doubts whether he was qualified
to be their captain."

Before quitting Göthe and Schiller, it is as well to state that Göthe
was born at Frankfort on the Maine, on the 28th of August, 1749, and
died at Weimar on the 22nd of March, 1832; and that Schiller was born
at Marbach, on the Neckar, on the 10th of November, 1759, and died at
Weimar on the 9th of May, 1805.

Johann August Musäus, one of the most popular tale writers of Germany,
was born at Jena, in 1735.  His father was a justice there, and was
soon afterwards removed to Eisenach, by an official appointment.  Young
Musäus was educated by a relation named Weissenborn, who held the
situation of "General Superintendent" at Eisenach, and with whom he
lived from the age of nine to that of nineteen.  He studied theology
for four years at Jena, and it is thought he might have succeeded as a
pastor had not the peasants of Eisenach refused to accept him, because
he had been convicted of the grievous crime of--dancing.  In
consequence of this check to his theological career, he turned his
thoughts to literature, and made his first essay by a parody on
Richardson's celebrated novel, called _Grandison the Second_, which
first appeared in 1760.  In 1763 he was made Pagenhofmeister (governor
of the pages) at the court of Weimar, and some years afterwards
professor at the Gymnasium of that place.  A considerable period
elapsed before he again appeared as an author, when he satirised
Lavater in a novel called the _Physiognomical Travels_.  This had an
immense success, encouraged by which, he proceeded to collect materials
for his _Popular Tales of the Germans_.  This collection he made in a
singular manner.  Sometimes he would gather round him a crowd of old
women with their spinning-wheels and listen to their gossip, sometimes
he would hear the stories of children from the street.  On one
occasion, his wife, returning from a visit, was surprised, as she
opened the room-door, by a cloud of tobacco smoke, through which she at
last discovered her husband sitting with an old soldier, who was
telling him all sorts of tales.  On the stories collected by him thus
strangely, and afterwards narrated with great humour, though with
occasional vulgarity, the fame of Musäus chiefly depends.  They were
written under the assumed name of Runkel, and were designed, according
to the author's own statement, to put an end to the taste for
sentimentality.  He began a new series of tales called _Ostrich
Feathers_, of which he only completed one volume.  On the 28th of
October, 1787, he died of a polypus in the heart, and a handsome
monument was erected to him by an unknown hand.  His _Popular Tales_
were, at the request of his widow, re-edited after his death by the
celebrated Wieland, and this is the edition now current.  The story of
_Libussa_, which is taken from the _Popular Tales_ is founded on the
Latin history of Bohemia, by Dubravius, and the work of Æneas Sylvius,
_De Boliemorum gestis et origine_.  The fables which are uttered by the
personages will be found in Dubravius.

The name of Jean Paul Friedrich Richter is almost as well known here as
that of Göthe and Schiller; but the eccentricity of his style, and the
quantity of local allusions with which he abounds, will probably for
ever prevent his works from being extensively read out of Germany.
Jean Paul was born at Wimsiedel, in the Baireuth territory, in the
early part of 1763, and died at Baireuth on the 14th of November, 1825.
He first wrote under the signature of "Jean Paul" only, this he
extended to "J. P. F. Halsus," and it was to his _Quintus Fixlein_
(1796), that he first affixed his real and entire name.  In 1780 he
went to Leipzig, but this he soon abandoned and resided for some time
at Schwarzbach.  He visited various cities where he was greatly
respected, and received the title of "Legationsrath" from the Duke of
Sachsen-Hildburghausen, with a pension, which was afterwards paid by
the King of Bavaria.  His favourite residence was, however, his native
Baireuth.  A complete edition of his works, which are very numerous,
was published at Berlin in 21 vols., small octavo, in the year 1840,
and another in 4 vols., royal octavo, has been published by Baudry of
Paris.  The short tale of the _Moon_ will give the reader a slight
notion--only a slight one--of Jean Paul's peculiarities.  It is
prefixed in the original to _Quintus Fixlein_.  An interesting paper on
Jean Paul will be found in Mr. Carlyle's admirable _Miscellanies_.

The fame of Ludwig Tieck as a writer of romances, and an enthusiastic
admirer of all that belongs to the romantic period of literature, is
almost as great in England as in Germany.  In the history of the
"romantic" school, Tieck takes a most prominent position, being one of
the chief colleagues and most zealous partisans of the brothers
Schlegel.  He was born at Berlin on the 31st of May, 1773, and even at
school displayed his talents for composition by the commencement of his
_Abdallah_.  He studied at Halle, Göttingen, and Erlangen, and read
history and poetry, both ancient and modern, with great assiduity.  In
1796, his novel, _William Lovell_, was published at Berlin.  A journey
from Berlin to Jena made him acquainted with the Schlegels and
Hardenberg (Novalis), and at Weimar he became intimate with Herder.
His satirical dramas of _Blue Beard_ and _Puss in Boots_, displayed an
Aristophanic vein, and his works relating to art, began to attract
general attention.  These were _The Outpourings from the Heart of an
Art-loving Cloister-brother_ (Berlin, 1797), the _Fantasies of Art_
(Hamburg, 1799), and _Franz Sternbald's Travels_ (Berlin, 1798), in all
of which his friend Wackenrode more or less took a part.  Tieck
cultivated his taste for the fine arts by a residence in Dresden,
Munich, and Rome, and at Jena kept up his acquaintance with Schelling
and the Schlegels.  In the years 1799-1801, he published his
translation of _Don Quixote_, and about the same period several works
of imagination.  In 1801-2 he resided at Dresden, and edited, with A.
W. Schlegel, the _Musenalmanach_.  For the diffusion of a taste for the
middle-age literature of Germany, Tieck made an important contribution
by his publication of a selection of the _Minnelieder_ from the Swabian
period, that is to say, the period of the German emperors during the
dynasty of the Hohenstauffen family, with an elaborate preface, in
which he called the attention of the Germans to their old poetry.  In
1804 appeared his romantic drama of _The Emperor Octavian_, and in 1805
he published, in connexion with T. Schlegel, the works of his deceased
friend Hardenberg (Novalis),[3] which may be classed among the most
extraordinary phenomena of modern literature.  The preface to this
edition is entirely by Tieck.  A long pause now ensued in the midst of
his literary productiveness, during which he visited Rome.  In 1814 and
1816 appeared his _Old English Theatre_, consisting of translations
from our early drama, and in the same year he published the work to
which, more than to any other, he owes his celebrity in this country,
his _Phantasus_.  The entire work has never been translated, but the
tales which are introduced into it, such as the _Blond Eckbert_ and the
_Trusty Eckart_, are generally known.  Another contribution to the
study of the old German literature he made by his edition of Ulrich von
Lichtenstein's _Frauendienst_ (service of ladies), a kind of romance,
by a celebrated Minnesänger, and a collection of plays under the title
of Old German Theatre.  In 1818 he visited London, where he was
received with great respect, and employed his time in making
collections for the study of Shakspeare, in Schlegel's translation of
whom he has taken an important part.  Since 1821 he has chiefly been
engaged with a series of novels, which are widely different from his
former manner, and he is now (we believe) resident at Berlin.  The
tales from the _Phantasus_ being already so generally known, one of a
totally different kind has been given in this volume.  The powerful
tale of the _Klausenburg_ is from Tieck's collected novels.

Heinrich von Kleist, from whom two tales have been taken, is another
poet of the romantic school, and was born at Frankfort on the Oder, in
1777.  He led an unsettled kind of life, residing successively at
Paris, Dresden, and Berlin, and after the battle of Jena, retired from
the latter city to Königsberg, where he devoted himself to literary
pursuits.  Returning to Berlin during the French occupation of Prussia,
he was taken prisoner, and though he was shortly afterwards released,
this imprisonment seems to have had a fatal effect upon a temperament
naturally morbid.  In 1811, at Potsdam, he voluntarily terminated his
own existence, and that of an invalid lady of his acquaintance.  His
works, which are somewhat numerous, consist of dramas and tales, and
are all distinguished by a sort of rugged power.  Of his plays, the
most celebrated is the romantic drama, _Käthchen von Heilbronn_, and of
his tales, the narrative of _Michael Kohlhaas_, contained in this
collection.  A complete edition of his works was published at Berlin,
in 1821, by the indefatigable, Ludwig Tieck.  The critical remarks
which he has made on _Kohlhaas_, may be extracted with profit.

"_Michael Kohlhaas_," says Tieck, "is unquestionably the most
remarkable of all Kleist's narratives, and if we see with what firmness
he sketches the various forms, how faithfully the events and feelings
are deduced from each other, with what steadiness the narrator
advances, step by step, we are tempted to believe that this style is
more suitable to the author, and that his talents might have shone
forth more brilliantly here than in the drama.  Here, as in his plays,
we see, as in the form of a law-suit, the misfortune and the guilt of a
remarkable man unfolded before his eyes.  Few writers understand how to
shake our hearts to the very depth, like Kleist, and this is precisely
because he goes to work with so steady a purpose, and consciously
avoids all soft sentimentality.  The insulted and injured Kohlhaas
becomes unhappy;--nay, becomes a criminal through his misery and his
keen sense of justice, until he is called back from his career by the
revered Luther, and by his means obtains a hearing for his suit, so
that he can stand boldly forward.  It is only by chance without any
fault on his own part, that he finds at Dresden, that his position has
grown more unfavourable.  It is unnecessary to call attention to the
masterly hand which has portrayed all the characters from the prince
and Luther, down to the humblest menial, in such living colours, that
we seem to behold the realities themselves.  Whether it was by
intention or unconsciously, the writer has made important deviations
from history.  This might be excused on account of his leading motive,
and the admirable freshness of his colouring; but he is more culpable
for his incorrectness in the necessary circumstances of an event, which
did not happen so very long ago,--circumstances which can scarcely
escape the recollection of the reader.  Kleist forgets that Wittenberg,
not Dresden, was the residence of the Elector of Saxony.  Moreover, he
describes Dresden just according to its present aspect.  The old town,
(Altstadt) scarcely existed at the time, and what shall we say of the
elector himself, who appears as a romantic, amorous, eccentric,
fantastical personage, when certainly it must have been either
Frederick the Wise, or the Steadfast, who belonged to the period of the
narrative?  By over haste--for it certainly was not from design--this
excellent story loses its proper costume and accompanying
circumstances, whereas it would have been far more effective had the
author allowed himself time to place himself in the period with greater
truth.  Another consequence of this deficiency in true locality is,
that the author, after long alluring us by his truth and nature, leads
us through a fanciful visionary world, which will not accord with the
previous one, which he has taught us to know so accurately.  That
wondrous gipsy, who afterwards turns out to be the deceased wife of
Kohlhaas, that mysterious inscription, those ghost-like forms, that
sick, half-mad, and, afterwards, disguised elector; those weak, for the
most part, characterless forms, which, nevertheless, come forward with
a pretension, as if they would be considered superior to the real world
previously described, as if they would sell as dearly as possible that
mysterious nature, which comes to us little as possible,--that horrible
foreboding which the author suddenly feels in the presence of the
creatures of his own fancy--all this, we say, reminds us so forcibly of
many a weak product of our times, and of the ordinary demands of the
reading public, that we are forced, mournfully, to admit that even
distinguished authors, like Kleist--who in other respects does not
participate in these diseases of his day--must pay their tribute to the
time that has produced them."

No literature can produce a more original writer, than Ernst Theodore
Amadeus Hoffmann, from whom the translators have not scrupled to take
three stories.  Some have called Hoffmann an imitator of Jean Paul, but
the assertion seems to be made rather because both writers are of an
eccentric and irregular character, than because their eccentricities
and irregularities are similar.  However wild may be the subjects of
Hoffmann, and however rambling his method of treating them, his style
is remarkably lucid; and while Jean Paul is one of the most difficult
authors for a foreigner to read, Hoffmann is comparatively easy.  He
was born at Königsberg on the 24th of January, 1776, where he studied
law, and in 1800 became assessor of the government at Posen.  In 1802
he became a councillor of the government at Plock, and in 1803 went in
a similar capacity to Warsaw.  His legal career was terminated by the
invasion of the French, in 1806, and he made use of his musical talents
to obtain a subsistence.  In the autumn of 1808 he accepted the
invitation of Count Julius von Soden to go to a theatre at Bamberg,
where he was appointed musical director.  The theatre soon closed, and
he was reduced to such distress that he was forced to part with his
last coat.  He then occupied himself with musical instruction, and
contributed to the Leipzig _Musikalische Zeitung_.  From 1813 to 1815
he conducted the orchestra of a theatrical company, alternately in
Dresden and Leipzig, and in 1816 was appointed councillor of the royal
_Kammergericht_ in Berlin, where he died on the 24th of July, 1822.
Hoffmann had devoted himself to music from his earliest years, he
composed the music for an opera on the subject of Undine, played at the
Berlin theatre, and many of his writings have an immediate reference to
the feelings and fortunes of the musician.  This is conspicuous in the
collection called, _Fantasia-pieces in Callot's Manner_, which he
published in 1814, and which was followed by his _Devil's Elixir_,
published in 1816.  His works, consisting of narratives, are very
numerous, and were published at Berlin, in fifteen volumes, and by
Baudry, of Paris, in one volume, royal octavo.  Among the most
conspicuous are the fantastic _Confessions of Tomcat Murr_, the
collection called the _Scrapions Brothers_, and _Master Flea_.  Many of
Hoffmann's stories have been translated into English, but they have not
been so successful here as in France, where, when the translations
appeared, they created a complete _furore_.  Of the tales in this
collection, the _Sandman_, and the _Jesuits' Church_, are from the
"night-pieces," and the _Elementary Spirit_ is from Hoffmann's "later
works."  In all these stories it will be observed that Hoffmann's
purpose is to point out the ill-effect of a morbid desire after an
imaginary world, and a distaste for realities.  Different as their
adventures are, there is a striking similarity in the characters of
Nathaniel, Victor, and the painter Berthold, and Hoffmann seems to be
exhibiting his own internal nature as the extreme of unhealthiness.
The same tone may be perceived in his other writings, and his obvious
reverence for the prosaic and common-place, as the antithesis to
himself, is remarkable.  The story of the _Sandman_ had its origin in a
discussion which actually took place between La Motte Fouqué and some
friends, at which Hoffmann was present.  Some of the party found fault
with the cold, mechanical deportment of a young lady of their
acquaintance, while La Motte Fouqué zealously defended her.  Here
Hoffmann caught the notion of the automaton Olympia, and the arguments
used by Nathaniel are those that were really employed by La Motte

A writer of extraordinary fancy and invention, but working for a more
obvious purpose, and producing narratives more related in character to
popular legends, was Wilhelm Hauff, of whom likewise there are three
specimens in this volume.  He was born on the 29th of November, 1809,
at Stuttgard, and in early life showed a great predilection for telling
childish narratives.  Being designed for the theological profession, he
went to the University of Tübingen in 1820.  Afterwards he became a
private teacher at Stuttgard, and began his literary career with the
_Almanach of Tales for the year_ 1826.  This was followed by
_Contributions from Satan's Memoirs_, and the _Man in the Moon_, the
latter of which was designed to satirise the popular writer Clauren.
Hauff's historical romance of _Lichtenstein_ acquired great celebrity,
and the collection of tales called the _Caravan_, which have
contributed to this volume, are in the happiest vein.  Hauff needs only
to be known to become popular in any country.  His works, which are
somewhat numerous, although he died before he had completed his
twenty-sixth year (18th of November, 1827), were published in a
complete edition by the poet Gustav Schwab, in 1830.

Adam Oehlenschläger appears as the head of the romantic party in
Denmark, though he is as well known to the Germans as the Danes, having
published his works in both languages.  He was born near Copenhagen, on
the 14th of November, 1779, and passed his youth in the Castle
Friedrichsberg, where his father was castellan.  He began to study law
in 1800, but soon quitted the study, and, at the cost of the
government, travelled through Germany, France, and Italy.  He was then
appointed Professor of "Æsthetics" at the University of Copenhagen,
and, in 1816, took another journey through the countries above-named,
and visited Sweden in 1829, where he was received with enthusiasm, and
was made Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Lund.  The dramatic
tale of _Aladdin_, published at Leipzig in 1808, first made him known
in Germany, and his fame has been maintained by a variety of
narratives, some founded on the legends of his own country; and a
number of dramas, of which his beautiful _Corregio_ is the most
celebrated.  The tale of _Ali and Gulhyndi_, which appears in this
collection, is most striking for its felicitous resemblance of the
Oriental style of fiction.  Oehlenschläger's entire works were
published at Breslau, in eighteen volumes.

Karl Immermann, who is exceedingly admired by a section of the German
literati, was born at Magdeburg, in 1796, and died at Düsseldorf in
1841.  He was a precocious genius, having composed a drama and a
romance at the early age of sixteen.  Joining the volunteers during the
war with France, he was present during the whole campaign in the
Netherlands, and was in France in 1815.  He became, in 1827, counsellor
of the provincial court (Landgerichtsrath) at Düsseldorf.  At this time
he entertained a notion of forming a national German theatre; but his
scheme proved a failure, notwithstanding he adopted all sorts of
decorative means to ensure success.  His works, which are very
numerous, have been collected, and one of them, a mythical drama,
called _Merlin_, is placed by his admirers, with more enthusiasm than
judgment, by the side of Göthe's _Faust_.  The tale in this volume is
from his _Munchhausen_, a work of unequal merit, but displaying great
genius and originality.  A very full account of it will be found in the
_Foreign Quarterly Review_, No. LXI.

Franz Karl van der Velde, the author of _Axel_, was a popular author of
historical romances, born at Breslau in 1779.  Passing through a
variety of judicial appointments, he died at Breslau in 1824.  His
works, which were published at Dresden, in 1824, occupy twenty-five

Of all the modern writers of Germany, there is none more truly popular
than Johann Heinrich Daniel Zschokke, however doubtful it may be
whether his wonderful popularity be commensurate with his merit.  He
was born at Magdeburg, in 1771; and, after the completion of his
juvenile education, travelled about with a company of strolling
players.  Becoming reconciled with his relations, after this vagabond
life, he went to the University at Frankfort on the Oder, where he
studied in a desultory manner.  After travelling through Germany,
Switzerland, and France, he settled in the Grisons, and took a most
active part in Swiss politics, to follow which would exceed the bounds
of a sketch of this sort.  His _History of Switzerland_ is a standard
work; and his collection of tales, copious as it is, forms a vast
treasury of fiction for his admirers.  The account which Zschokke
himself gives of his _Alamontade_, is added to that tale.[4]

      *      *      *      *      *

Here closes this imperfect sketch.  It is not intended to convey any
new information to those who are acquainted with German literature; but
it may, at least, be of use in conveying a few facts and dates to the
general English reader.

[1] The fact that Schiller's "Ghost Seer" is so familiar in an English
garb, that it is almost an English novel, is a sufficient reason that
it does not appear in this collection.  Almost the same may be said of
the more celebrated romance of La Motte Fouqué.

[2] This has been especially the case with "Libussa," which is often
indelicate in the original.  An oversight in the translation of that
tale should, however, be corrected.  The provincial word, "Imme,"
should be translated "Queen-bee," not "ant."  Vide p. 14, line 5 from
the bottom.

[3] An admirable paper on Novalis is in Mr. Carlyle's _Miscellanies_.

[4] To Zschokke is attributed the religious work _Stunden der Andacht_,
a judicious selection from which has been translated by Mr. Haas.




Deep in the Bohemian forest, of which now only a shadow remains, dwelt
years ago, when it spread itself far and wide into the country, a
little spiritual people, aeriel, uncorporeal, and shunning the light.
They were of a finer nature than mankind, which is formed out of gross
clay, and were therefore imperceptible to the coarser sense; but to the
more refined they were half visible by moonlight, being well known to
the poets under the name of the Dryads, and to the old bards under the
name of the Elves.  From time immemorial they had lived undisturbed
here, until the forest suddenly resounded with the tumult of war; Duke
Czech, of Hungary, crossed the mountains with his Slavonic hordes, to
seek a new dwelling-place in this spot.  The beautiful inhabitants of
the aged oaks, of rocks, caves and grottoes, as well as those of the
reeds in ponds and marshes fled from the noise of weapons, and the
snorting of war-horses.  Even for the mighty Erl-king the tumult was
too much, and he removed his court to the more remote deserts.  One elf
alone could not resolve to quit her beloved oak, and when the wood was
hewn down in every direction to make the land arable, she alone had the
courage to defend her tree against the power of the new comers, and
chose its lofty top for her abode.

Among the courtiers of the duke was a young squire, named Crocus, full
of courage and youthful fire, active, well made, and of noble stature.
To him was entrusted the care of his master's horses, which he
sometimes drove out to feed in the forest.  Often he rested under the
oak which the elf inhabited; she regarded the stranger with pleasure,
and when at night he slumbered by the root, she whispered pleasant
dreams into his ear, predicted to him in significant images the events
of the coming day; or if one of his horses had strayed in the
wilderness, and the keeper had lost all traces of him, and went to
sleep with heavy heart, he saw in his dream the marks of the concealed
path which led to the spot where the stray horse was feeding.

The farther the new settlers spread the nearer did they approach the
dwelling of the elf, who by means of her faculty of divination foresaw
how soon the axe threatened her tree of life, and therefore resolved to
communicate her trouble to her friend.  One moonlight summer's evening
Crocus drove his herd later than usual into the fence, and hastened to
his usual couch beneath the tall oak.  His road wound about a lake well
stored with fish, in the silver waves of which the golden crescent was
reflected in the shape of a glittering cone.  Straight over this
shining part of the lake, on the opposite shore, he perceived in the
vicinity of the oak a female form, that seemed to be walking on the
cool bank.  This apparition surprised the young warrior.  "Whence," he
thought to himself, "could this maiden come, so solitary in these
deserts, at the time of evening twilight?"  But the adventure was of
such a nature, that to a young man it was more alluring than alarming
to search into the affair.  He doubled his pace without losing sight of
the form which occupied his attention, and soon reached the place where
he had first perceived her, under the oak.  It now seemed to him as if
what he saw was more of a shadow than a reality.  He stood astounded,
and a cold shuddering came over him; but he heard a soft voice, which
whispered to him these words: "Come hither, dear stranger, and be not
afraid; I am no deceptive form, no delusive shadow; I am the elf of
this grove, the dweller in the oak, under the thick-leaved boughs of
which thou hast often slumbered; I lulled thee to sweet delightful
repose, foretold to thee what would befall thee, and if a mare or a
colt of thy herd had strayed, I told thee of the place where it was to
be found.  Repay this favour by another service which I require of
thee.  Be the protector of this tree, which has so often protected thee
against sun and rain, and prevent the murderous axe of thy brothers,
who are destroying the woods, from injuring this venerable trunk."

The young warrior, whose courage revived at this soft discourse,
answered thus: "Goddess or mortal, whichever thou art, ask of me
whatever thou pleasest, and if I can I will accomplish it.  But I am
only a humble man among my people, the servant of my lord the duke.  If
he says to me to-day or to-morrow, 'feed your horses here, feed them
there,' how shall I be able to protect thy tree in this remote wood?
But if thou commandest it I will leave the service of my prince, dwell
in the shadow of thine oak, and protect it as long as my life lasts."
"Do so," said the elf, "and thou wilt not repent of it."  Upon this she
vanished, and there was a rustling in the tree above, as if some loud
evening breeze had caught itself there, and was moving the leaves.
Crocus stood for awhile quite enchanted at the heavenly apparition
which had appeared to him.  Such a delicate, truly feminine creature,
of such a slender form, and of such noble appearance he had never seen
among the stunted Slavonic girls.  At last he stretched him upon the
soft moss, although sleep did not close his eyes; morning twilight
surprised him in a tumult of delicious sensations, which were to him as
strange and novel as the first beam of light to the newly opened eyes
of one who has been born blind.  At the break of day he hastened to the
duke's palace, asked for his dismissal, packed up his baggage, and
hastily started with his head filled with glowing fantasies and his
burden on his back, for his delightful retreat in the forest.

During his absence, however, an artificer among the people, by trade a
miller, had pitched upon the sound straight trunk of the oak as an axle
for his mill-wheel, and went with his men to fell it.  The trembling
elf sighed when the greedy saw began with its iron teeth to gnaw the
foundations of her dwelling.  From the top of the tree she looked
anxiously around for her faithful protector; but her glance was unable
to discover him anywhere, and her consternation rendered the gift of
prophecy peculiar to her race so ineffective, that she no more ventured
to decipher her impending fate than the sons of Esculapius with their
boasted "prognosis" are able to tell when death will knock at their own

However Crocus was on his way, and so near the scene of this mournful
catastrophe, that the noise of the creaking saw reached his ears.  He
augured no good from this noise in the forest, and setting wings to his
feet beheld--horrible sight--the impending destruction of the tree he
had taken under his protection in his very presence.  Like a madman he
flew upon the workmen with his spear and drawn sword, and frightened
them from their work; for they thought that a mountain demon was in
their presence and fled in great confusion.  Fortunately the tree's
wound was curable, and in a few summers the scar had disappeared.

In the hours of rest in the evening, after the new-comer had selected a
spot for his future dwelling, had marked out the space to be hedged in
for a little garden, and had again considered in his mind the whole
plan of the hermitage in which he designed to pass his days, far
removed from human society, in the service of a shadowy friend, who
seemed to be totally unreal, the elf appeared to him on the banks of
the lake, and with graceful gestures thus accosted him: "Thanks, dear
stranger, that thou hast prevented the strong arms of thy brethren from
felling this tree, to which my life is attached; for know that mother
nature, who has endowed my race with such various powers and faculties,
has nevertheless united our life to the growth and duration of the
oaks.  Through us does the queen of the forest raise her venerable head
above the rabble of other trees and shrubs; we promote the circulation
of the sap through trunk and branches, so that she gains strength to
combat with the whirlwind, and to defy for centuries the destroying
power of time.  On the other hand, our life is knit to hers.  When the
oak, to whom fate has assigned us as a partner, grows old, we grow old
with it, and when it dies, we die away also, and sleep like mortals, a
sleep of death, until by the eternal revolution of all things, chance
or some secret arrangement of nature unites our being to a new germ,
which opened by our vivifying power, sprouts up after a long time to a
mighty tree, and affords us the joys of life anew.  From this thou
mayst perceive what a service thou hast rendered me by thy assistance,
and what gratitude is due to thee.  Require of me the reward of thy
noble act, reveal to me the desire of thy heart, and it shall be
fulfilled at once."

Crocus was silent.  The sight of the charming elf had made upon him
more impression than her discourse, of which he understood but little.
She perceived his confusion, and to extricate him from it took a dry
reed from the bank of the lake, broke it into three pieces, and said:
"Choose one of these three, or take one without choice.  In the first
is fame and honour, in the second are riches and wise use of them, and
in the third happy love is contained for thee."  The young man cast his
eyes to the ground and answered: "Daughter of Heaven, if thou intendest
to grant the wish of my heart, know that it is not contained in the
three reeds which thou offerest; my heart seeks a still greater reward.
What is honour but the fuel of pride, what are riches but the root of
avarice, and what is love but the trap of passion, to ensnare the noble
liberty of the heart?  Grant me my desire of resting beneath the shadow
of thy oak, from the fatigue of the campaign, and of hearing from thy
sweet mouth doctrines of wisdom, that thus I may decipher the future."
"Thy wish," replied the elf, "is great, but what thou deservest at my
hands is not less, and therefore let it be as thou hast requested.  The
bandage before thy corporeal eyes shall vanish, that thou mayst behold
the secrets of hidden wisdom.  With the enjoyment of the fruit take
also the shell, for the wise man is also held in honour.  He alone is
rich, for he desires no more than he actually needs, and he tastes the
nectar of love without poisoning it with impure lips."  When she had
said this she again presented him the three pieces of reed, and

The young hermit prepared his bed of moss under the oak, highly
delighted at the reception which the elf had accorded him.  Sleep
overcame him like an armed man, cheerful morning dreams danced round
his head, and nourished his fancy with the fragrance of happy
anticipations.  As soon as he woke he joyously began his day's work,
built himself a commodious hut, dug his garden, and planted roses and
lilies, and other sweetly-smelling flowers and vegetables, not without
cabbages and kitchen herbs, besides an assortment of fruit-trees.  The
elf did not fail to pay him a visit in the twilight of every evening,
took pleasure in the produce of his industry, walked with him hand in
hand along the reedy bank of the pond, until the waving reed murmured
forth a melodious evening greeting to the friendly pair, when the
breeze rustled through it.  The elf initiated her docile pupil into the
secrets of nature, instructed him in the origin and issue of things,
taught him their natural and magical qualities and virtues, and formed
the rough warrior to a thinker and a philosopher.

In the same degree as the feelings and senses of the young man became
more refined by his intercourse with the fair shadow, the tender form
of the elf became denser, and acquired more consistency.  Her bosom was
filled with animation and life, fire glistened from her hazel eyes, and
with the form of a young girl, she seemed also to have acquired the
feelings of one.  In a few months the sighing Crocus was blessed with
the happiness which the third reed had promised him, and did not regret
that the freedom of his heart was ensnared by the trap of love.
Although the marriage of the tender pair took place without witnesses,
it was productive of as much happiness as the most obstreperous
nuptials, and in due time pledges of conjugal affection were not
wanting.  The elf presented her husband with three daughters at one
birth, and the delighted father, in the first embrace, called her who
had cried in his house before the two others, Bela; the next Therba,
and the youngest Libussa.  All were like genii in the beauty of their
form; and although they did not consist of such a delicate material as
their mother, their corporeal nature was finer than the coarse earthy
form of their father.  They were also free from all the infirmities of
children, and needed no leading strings, for, after the first nine
days, they all ran like so many partridges.  As they grew up, they
displayed all their mother's talent for detecting hidden things, and
predicting the future.

With the aid of time, Crocus also acquired much knowledge of these
mysteries.  When the wolf had dispersed the cattle in the wood, and the
shepherds searched about for their lost sheep and oxen; when the
woodmen missed an adze or a hatchet, they sought advice from the wise
Crocus, who told them where to find what they had lost.  If a bad
neighbour made away with any of the common property, broke at
night-time into the fold or dwelling of another, robbed him, or
murdered his host, and no one could guess who was the criminal, the
wise Crocus was always sought for counsel.  He then summoned the
community to a grass-plot, made them form a circle, stepped into the
midst of it, and let the infallible sieve turn, which invariably
pointed out the malefactor.  His fame was thus spread over all the land
of Bohemia, and whoever had an affair or any business of importance,
consulted the wise man as to its issue.  Nay, cripples and sick persons
sought from him aid and recovery; even diseased cattle were brought to
him, and he knew how to cure ailing cows with his shadow, as well as
the renowned St. Martin, of Schierbach.  The concourse of people that
sought him increased every day, just as if the tripod of the Delphic
Apollo had been removed to the Bohemian forest; and although Crocus,
without gain and reward, gave his information to those that questioned
him, and healed the sick and crippled, the treasure of his mysterious
wisdom proved very productive, and brought him great profit; for the
people pressed to him with their gifts, and quite overwhelmed him with
the proofs of their good-will.  He first revealed the secret of washing
gold out of the sand of the Elbe, and received a tenth from all who
collected the gold sand.  Thus his means and his wealth were increased;
he built strong castles and palaces, he kept large herds of cattle, he
possessed fertile lands, woods, and fields, and imperceptibly found
himself in the possession of all the wealth which the liberal elf had
prophetically enclosed for him, in the second piece of reed.

One fine summer evening, when Crocus, with his attendants, was
returning from an excursion, where he had settled the boundary disputes
of two neighbouring congregations at their request, he perceived his
wife on the brink of the pond, where she had first appeared to him.
She beckoned to him with her hand, so he dismissed his retinue, and
hastened to embrace her.  As usual, she received him with tender love,
but her heart was oppressed and mournful, while from her eyes trickled
ethereal tears, so fair and transient, that they were hastily absorbed
by the air, without reaching the earth.  Crocus was astonished at the
sight, for he had never seen the eyes of his wife look otherwise than
cheerful, and with all the brilliancy of youthful joy.  "What ails
thee, beloved of my heart?" said he; "my soul is torn by uneasy
forebodings.  Tell me, what is the meaning of these tears?"  The elf
sighed, leaned her head mournfully on his shoulder, and said: "Dear
husband, in thine absence I have read in the book of fate, that an
unhappy destiny threatens my tree of life; I must leave thee for ever.
Follow me to the castle, that I may bless my children, for from this
day you will never see me again."  "Oh, my beloved," replied Crocus,
"banish these melancholy thoughts!  What misfortune can threaten thy
tree?  Are not its roots and trunk firmly fixed?  Look at its healthy
branches, as, laden with fruit and leaves, they extend themselves, and
see how it raises its top to the clouds.  As long as this arm moves, it
shall defend itself against every impious man who shall dare to injure
its trunk."--"Weak is the protection," replied she, "which a mortal arm
can afford!  Ants can only contend with ants, gnats only with gnats,
and all the worms of the earth can merely guard off their like.  What
can the strongest of you do against the operations of nature, or the
inscrutable decrees of fate?  The kings of the earth can easily
overthrow the little mounds which you call your fortresses and castles,
but the slightest breeze scorns their power, rustles when its pleases,
and heeds not their command.  Thou hast already defended this oak
against the might of man, but canst thou also resist the whirlwind,
when it arises to strip the leaves from its boughs; or if a concealed
worm gnawed at its core, could you draw it forth and crush it?"

Discoursing thus, the affectionate pair entered the castle.  The
slender maidens sprang joyfully towards them, as they were accustomed
to do on their mother's evening visits, gave an account of their daily
occupation, brought their embroidery and needle-work as a proof of
their industry and skill; but, on this occasion, the hour of domestic
happiness was totally joyless.  The girls soon perceived that the
traces of deep sorrow were imprinted on their father's face, and saw
with sympathising grief their mother's tears, without venturing to
inquire into the cause.  Their mother gave them many wise instructions
and good admonitions; but her discourse was like the song of a swan, as
if she were about to take leave of the world.  She remained with her
beloved family till the morning-star arose; she then embraced her
husband and children with melancholy tenderness, retired to her tree as
usual, at day-break, through a secret door, and left them all to the
most melancholy forebodings.

Nature was in breathless silence as the sun rose; but his beaming head
was soon obscured by dark heavy clouds.  It was a sultry day; the whole
atmosphere was electrical.  Distant thunders rolled along over the
wood, and echo, with a hundred voices, repeated the fearful sound in
the winding valleys.  At noon, a forked flash of lightning darted down
upon the oak, and shattered root and branches in one moment, with
resistless force, so that the fragments lay scattered far and wide in
the forest.  When this was told to Crocus, he rent his clothes, and
went out with his daughters to mourn over his wife's tree of life, and
to collect and preserve the splinters as precious relics.  The elf was
no more to be seen from that day.

After some years, the tender girls grew up, their virgin form bloomed
as a rose starting from the bud, and the fame of their beauty was
spread all over the country.  The noblest youths among the people came
forward, and had all sorts of petitions to lay before Father Crocus,
and ask his advice.  In truth this was but a pretext, that they might
ogle the lovely girls, as young fellows often feign some business with
the fathers, if they wish to coax the daughters.  The three daughters
lived together in great ease and concord, little aware of their own
talents.  The gift of prophecy was possessed by them all in equal
degree, and their discourses were oracles without their knowing it.
Soon, however, their vanity was excited by the voice of flattery, the
word-catchers snapped up every sound from their lips, the Seladons
interpreted every gesture, traced the slightest smile, watched the
glance of their eyes, drawing from them indications more or less
favourable, fancied they would thence gather their destinies, and from
that time it has been the custom among lovers to question the good or
bad star of love in the horoscope of the eyes.  Scarcely had vanity
insinuated itself into the virgin heart, than pride was at the door
with all the rabble of his train,--self-love, self-praise, obstinacy,
selfishness, and all these stole in together.  The elder sisters vied
with each other, to excel the younger in her arts, and secretly envied
her on account of her superior charms, for although all were very
beautiful, Libussa was the most beautiful of them all.  The Lady Bela
particularly devoted herself to the study of herbs, as Lady Medea did
in the days of old.  She knew their hidden virtues, and how to extract
from them efficacious poisons and antidotes, as well as to prepare from
them scents, pleasant and unpleasant, for the invincible powers.  When
her censer smoked, she charmed down the spirits from the immeasurable
space of ether on the other side of the moon, and they became subject
to her, that with their fine organs they might inhale these sweet
perfumes, but when she flung the offensive scent into the censer, she
would have forced the Zihim and Ohim out of the desert.

The Lady Therba was as ingenious as Circe in contriving magic spells of
all sorts, which had force enough to sway the elements, to raise storms
and whirlwinds, hail and tempest, to shake the very bowels of the
earth, or to lift it out of its very hinges.  She made use of these
arts to terrify the people, that she might be honoured and feared as a
goddess, and knew better how to accommodate the weather to the wishes
and caprices of mankind, than wise nature herself.  Two brothers
quarrelled because they never could agree in their wishes.  One was a
husbandman, who always wished for rain that his seed might thrive.  The
other was a potter, who always wished for sunshine, that he might dry
his earthen pots, which were destroyed by the rain.  Because the
heavens never would satisfy them, they went one day with rich presents
to the house of the wise Crocus, and told their wishes to Therba.  The
elf's daughter smiled at the boisterous complaints of the brothers
against the beneficent arrangements of nature, and satisfied the wishes
of both, letting rain fall on the seed of the agriculturist, and
sunshine on the field of the potter.  By their magic arts the two
sisters acquired great fame and vast wealth, for they never
communicated their gifts without reward; they built castles and villas
out of their treasures; they laid out fine pleasure gardens; they were
never weary of feasting and merry-making, and they jilted the suitors
who sought their love.

Libussa had not the proud vain disposition of her sisters.  Although
she possessed the same faculty of penetrating into the secrets of
nature and using her hidden virtues, she was satisfied with the share
of miraculous power she had inherited from her mother without carrying
it further, that she might make a profit of it.  Her vanity did not go
beyond the consciousness of her own beauty; she did not thirst after
riches, and she did not, like her sisters, wish either to be feared or
honoured.  When these kept up a constant bustle in their villas,
hurried from one exciting pleasure to another, and attached the flower
of the Bohemian knighthood to their triumphal car, she remained at home
in her father's dwelling, managed the household affairs, gave council
to those who asked for it, kindly assisted the oppressed and
distressed,--and all from mere good will without any reward.  Her
disposition was gentle and modest, her life chaste and virtuous such as
became a noble maiden.  She was, to be sure, secretly pleased at the
victories which her beauty gained over the hearts of men, and she
received the sighs and cooing of pining adorers, as a fitting tribute
to her charms, but no one dared breathe to her a word of love, or
presume to solicit her heart.  Yet the wag Cupid loves better than any
thing to exercise his rights with the coy, and will often throw his
burning torch on a low straw-thatched shed when he intends to fire a
lofty palace.

An old knight, who had come into the land with an army of the
Czechites, had settled deep in the forest.  He had made the wilderness
arable, and had laid out an estate, on which he intended to pass the
remainder of his days in peace, living on the produce of his fields.
However a powerful neighbour took possession of the property, and drove
out the knight, whom a hospitable countryman took in, giving him a
shelter in his own dwelling.  The poor old man had a son, who was the
only prop and consolation of his age--a fine youth, who however
possessed nothing but a hunting spear, and a well practised fist to
support his father.  The plunder by the unjust Nabal excited his
revenge, and he armed himself to repel force with force.  The command
of the careful old man, who did not wish to expose the life of his son
to any danger, disarmed the noble youth, but afterwards he was
determined not to relinquish his original design.  So his father called
him, and said, "Go, my son, to the wise Crocus, or to the wise virgins
his daughters, and ask them whether the gods approve of thine
enterprise, and will grant a favourable issue to it.  If so, thou mayst
gird on thy sword, take thy spear in thy hand, and fight for thy
patrimony.  If not, remain here till thou hast closed mine eyes, and
then do as seems right to thee."

The youth set out and first reached the palace of Bela, which had the
appearance of a temple, inhabited by a goddess.  He knocked and desired
to be admitted, but the porter, as soon as he saw that the stranger
appeared with empty hands, dismissed him as a beggar, and closed the
door in his face.  He proceeded sorrowfully, and came to the dwelling
of Therba, where he knocked and desired a hearing.  The porter peeped
out of the window, and said, "If thou bearest gold in thy pocket so
that thou canst weigh it out to my mistress, she will give thee one of
her wise sayings that will tell thee thy fate.  If not, go and gather
on the shore of the Elbe as much of it as the tree has leaves, the
sheaf has ears, and the bird has feathers, and then I will open this
door for thee."  The youth thus again deceived, departed quite out of
heart, especially when he learned that the prophet Crocus had gone to
Poland, to officiate as umpire between some Magnates, who could not
agree together.  He expected no better reception from the third sister,
and when he saw her paternal forest-castle from a hill in the distance,
he did not venture to approach it, but concealed himself in a thick
bush to brood over his grief.  He was soon roused from his gloomy
reflections by a noise like the tramp of horses' feet.  A flying roe
darted through the bushes followed by a beautiful huntress and her
attendants, all mounted on magnificent steeds.  She hurled a javelin
which whizzed through the air without reaching the animal.  The youth
who watched the scene, at once caught up his cross-bow, and from the
twanging string sent forth a winged arrow which darted at once through
the heart of the beast, so that it fell down on the spot.  The lady,
surprised at this unexpected phenomena, looked round for the unknown
hunter, which, when the marksman perceived, he stepped forward and
bowed humbly to the ground.  The Lady Libussa thought she had never
seen a handsomer man.  At the very first glance his frame made upon her
so strong an impression that she could not help being involuntarily
prepossessed in his favour, and confessing he was of a noble figure.
"Tell me, dear stranger," said she, "who are thou, and what chance has
conducted thee to these precincts?"  The youth rightly surmised that
his good fortune had allowed him to find what he sought, so he modestly
communicated his wishes, not forgetting to say, how uncivilly he had
been dismissed from the doors of her sisters, and how much he had been
afflicted in consequence.  She cheered his mind with kind words.
"Follow me to my dwelling," said she, "I will question for thee the
book of fate, and to-morrow at sunrise I will give thee information."

The youth obeyed her orders: here there was no churlish porter to
prevent his entrance into the palace; here the lovely resident
exercised the law of hospitality most liberally towards him.  He was
delighted with this favourable reception, but still more so with the
charms of his fair hostess.  The enchanting form flitted before his
eyes all night, and he carefully guarded against the approach of sleep,
that the events of the past day which he reflected on with delight
might not leave his thoughts for a single moment.  The Lady Libussa on
the other hand, enjoyed a gentle slumber, for retirement from the
impressions of the outward senses, which disturb the fine anticipations
of the future, is indispensable to the gift of prophecy.  Nevertheless
the glowing fancy of the elf's sleeping daughter united the form of the
young stranger to all the visionary forms that appeared to her in the
night.  She found him where she did not seek him, and under such
circumstances that she could not understand how she should have any
relation to this stranger.  When the fair prophetess, on waking early
in the morning, endeavoured as usual to separate and unravel the
visions of the night, she was disposed to reject them altogether as
illusions that had sprung from an aberration of fancy, and to give them
no more attention.  But a dark feeling told her that the creation of
her fancy was not a mere empty dream, but that it pointed to certain
events, which the future would unfold, and that this same prophetic
fancy, had in the night just passed, overheard the secret counsels of
destiny better than ever, and had blabbed them out to her.  In the same
way, she found that the guest now under her roof was violently inflamed
with ardent love, and her heart quite as unreservedly made her the same
confession with respect to him; but she set the seal of secrecy upon
the information, while the modest youth, on his side, had vowed that he
would impose silence on his tongue and on his eyes, that he might not
expose himself to contemptuous refusal: for the barrier which fortune
had set up between him and the daughter of Crocus seemed to him

Although the fair Libussa knew perfectly well what answer to give to
the young man's question, she felt it very difficult to allow him to
depart so quickly.  At sunrise she appointed a meeting with him in the
garden and said: "The veil of darkness still hangs before my eyes; to
know thy destiny wait till sunset."  In the evening she said: "Wait
till sunrise:" on the following morning "Wait throughout this day," and
on the third, "Have patience till to-morrow."  At last, on the fourth
day, she dismissed him, because she had no pretext for detaining him
any longer, without discovering her secret, and with kind words she
gave him this information: "It is not the will of the gods that thou
shouldst contend with a mighty one in the land; endurance is the lot of
the weaker.  Go to thy father: be the consolation of his age, and
support him with the labour of thy industrious hand.  Take from my herd
two white bulls as a present, and take this rod to guide them.  When it
blooms and bears fruit the spirit of prophecy will rest upon thee."
The youth considered himself unworthy of the lovely maiden's presents,
and blushed to accept a gift without being able to return it.  With
lips void of eloquence, but with a demeanour so much the more eloquent,
he took a sorrowful farewell, and found tied up by the gate a couple of
white bulls, as plump and shining as the divine bull of old, upon whose
sleek back the virgin Europa swam through the blue waves.  Joyfully he
unloosened them, and drove them gently along.  The road here seemed but
a few yards in length, so completely was his soul occupied with the
thoughts of the fair Libussa, and as he felt he never could share her
love, he vowed he would, at any rate, never love another as long as he
lived.  The old knight was delighted at his son's return, and still
more delighted when he learned that the advice of the wise Crocus's
daughter so perfectly accorded with his own wishes.  The youth being
destined by the gods to follow the calling of a husbandman, did not
delay to yoke his white bulls to the plough.  The first attempt
succeeded according to his wishes; the bulls were so strong and so
spirited, that in one day they turned up more land than twelve oxen
would commonly have managed.

Duke Czech, who had conducted the first expedition of his people into
Bohemia, had died long ago, and his descendants inherited neither his
dignity nor his principality.  The Magnates, to be sure, assembled
after his decease, to make a new election, but their savage, stormy
temperaments did not allow them to come to any rational decision.
Selfishness and arrogance turned the first state assembly of Bohemia
into a Polish diet;[1] too many hands seized the princely mantle at
once, so they tore it to pieces, and it belonged to nobody.  The
government fell into a kind of anarchy; every one did as he pleased;
the strong oppressed the weak, the rich the poor, the great the little.
There was no longer any general security in the country, and
nevertheless these mad caps thought their new republic was admirably
constituted.  "All" they cried "is in order; every thing goes its way
with us as everywhere else; the wolf eats the lamb, the kite eats the
pigeon, and the fox eats the fowl."  However, this mad constitution had
no stability; and after the intoxication of visionary freedom was
dissipated, and the people had again become sober, reason once more
asserted her rights, and the patriots, the honest citizens, and all in
fact in the country, who had any love for their father-land, took
counsel to destroy the present idol, the many-headed hydra, and to
unite the people again under a sovereign.  "Let us," they said, "choose
a prince who shall rule over us, according to the custom of our
fathers, who shall curb licentiousness, and administer justice and the
laws.  Not the strongest, the bravest, nor the richest, but the wisest
shall be our duke!"  The people being weary of the oppressions of the
petty tyrants, were on this occasion unanimous, and answered the
proposition with loud applause.  A general assembly was appointed, and
the choice of all fell upon the wise Crocus.  A deputation was sent to
invite him to take possession of his dignity, and although he was not
covetous of the distinguished honour, he did not delay to accord with
the wishes of the people.  He was dressed in the purple, and he
proceeded with great pomp to Vizegrad, the princely residence, where
the people met him with loud rejoicings, and swore allegiance to him as
their sovereign.  He now perceived that even the third slip of reed
offered him by the liberal elf had bestowed its gift upon him.

His love of equity and his wise legislation extended his fame over all
the countries round.  The Sarmatian princes, who used incessantly to
quarrel, brought their disputes from a great distance to his tribunal.
He weighed, with the infallible weight and measure of natural equity,
in the scales of justice, and when he opened his mouth, it was as if
the venerable Solon or the wise Solomon, between the twelve lions from
his throne, gave judgment.  Once, when some rebels had conspired
against the peace of their country, and had set all the excitable
nation of Poles by the ears, he marched to Poland at the head of his
army, and suppressed the civil war.  There likewise was he made duke by
a great part of the people, out of gratitude for the peace which he had
given them.  He built there the city of Cracow, which still bears his
name, and has the right of crowning the Polish king to the present day.
Crocus reigned with great glory to the termination of his life.  When
he perceived that his end was approaching, and that he should now leave
this world, he ordered to be made of the remains of the oak, which his
wife the elf had inhabited, a box to contain his bones.  He then
departed in peace, wept over by his three daughters, who laid him in
the box, and buried him as he had commanded, while the whole country
mourned his loss.

As soon as the funeral pomp had ended, the states assembled to consider
who should now occupy the vacant throne.  The people were unanimous for
a daughter of Crocus, only they could not agree which of the three
sisters should be chosen.  The Lady Bela had the fewest adherents, for
her heart was not good, and she often used her magic lantern to make
mischief.  Nevertheless she had inspired the people with such fear,
that no one ventured to object to her for fear of rousing her
vengeance.  When it came to the vote, all the electors were silent,
there was no voice for her and none against her.  At sunset the
representatives broke up the meeting, and deferred the election to the
following day.  Then the Lady Therba was proposed, but confidence in
her own magic spells had turned her head, she was proud, supercilious,
and wished to be viewed as a goddess; and if incense was not always
offered to her, she was peevish, wilful and ill-tempered, displaying
all those qualities which deprive the fair sex of their flattering
epithet.  She was not so much feared as her elder sister, but then she
was not more beloved.  For this reason the place of election was as
still as a funeral feast, and there was no voting.  On the third day
the Lady Libussa was proposed.  As soon as this name was uttered, a
familiar whispering was heard throughout the circle, the solemn faces
became unwrinkled and brightened up, and every one of the electors
could communicate to his neighbour some good quality of the lady.  One
lauded her unassuming demeanour, another her modesty, the third her
wisdom, the fourth the infallibility of her predictions, the fifth her
disinterested conduct to all who asked counsel, the tenth her chastity,
ninety others her beauty, and the last her thriftiness.  When a lover
sketches such a list of his mistress's perfections, it is always a
matter of doubt whether she really possesses one of them, but the
public in its decisions does not easily err on the favourable side,
though it often does on the unfavourable one.  By reason of qualities
so laudable, and so universally recognised, the Lady Libussa was
certainly the most powerful candidate for the throne, as far as the
hearts of the electors were concerned; nevertheless the preference of
the younger sisters to the elder one has so often, as experience
testifies, disturbed domestic peace, that it was to be feared, in a
more important affair, the peace of the country would be interrupted.
This consideration put the wise guardians of the people to such great
embarrassment, that they could not come to any decision at all.  An
orator was wanted who should attach the weight of his eloquence to the
good will of the electors, if the affair was to make any progress, and
the good wishes of the electors were to have any effect.  Such an
orator appeared as if called for.

Wladomir, one of the Bohemian magnates, next in rank to the duke, had
long sighed for the charming Libussa, and had solicited her hand in the
lifetime of her father, Crocus.  He was one of his most faithful
vassals, and was beloved by him as a son, and therefore had the good
father wished that love might unite the pair together.  The coy mind of
the maiden was, however, invincible, and he would on no account force
her affections.  Prince Wladomir did not allow himself to be scared by
this doubtful aspect of affairs, and fancied that by fidelity and
perseverance he might bear up against the lady's hard disposition, and
render it pliable by tenderness.  He had attached himself to the duke's
train, as long as he lived, without advancing one step nearer to the
goal of his wishes.  Now he thought he had found an opportunity of
opening her closed heart, by a meritorious act, and of gaining, from
magnanimous gratitude, what, it seemed, he could not obtain by love.
He ventured to expose himself to the hatred and revenge of the two
dreaded sisters, and to raise his beloved to the throne at the peril of
his life.  Marking the wavering irresolution of the assembly, he took
up the discourse and said: "Brave knights and nobles of the people, I
will lay a simile before you, from which you may learn how to complete
this election to the advantage of your father-land."  Silence having
been commanded, he proceeded thus: "The bees had lost their queen, and
the whole hive was melancholy and joyless.  They flew out idly and
sparingly, they had scarcely spirits for making honey, and their
pursuit and nourishment was on the decline.  They therefore thought
seriously about a new sovereign who should preside over their affairs,
that all order and discipline might not be lost.  The wasp then came
and said: 'Make me your queen, I am strong and terrible, the stout
horse fears my sting, I can defy even your hereditary foe the lion, and
prick his mouth when he approaches your honey-tree.  I will guard you
and protect you.'  This discourse was pleasing enough to the bees, but
after mature deliberation the wisest among them said: 'Thou art
vigorous and terrible to be sure, but we dread that very sting which is
to defend us; therefore thou canst not be our queen.'  Then the humble
bee came up humming, and said: 'Take me for your queen!  Do you not
hear that the rustle of my wings announces rank and dignity?  Besides,
I too have a sting to protect you.'  The bees answered, we are a
peaceful and quiet race; the proud noise of thy wings would annoy us
and disturb the pursuits of our industry; thou canst not be our queen.'
Then the ant desired a hearing: 'Although I am larger and stronger than
you,' she said, 'my superiority can never injure you, for see I am
entirely without the dangerous sting, I am of a gentle disposition, and
besides that, a friend of order, of frugality, know how to preside over
the honey-tree and to encourage labour.' The bees then said: 'Thou art
worthy to govern us--we will obey thee--be thou our queen!'"

Wladomir paused.  The whole assembly divined the purport of the
discourse, and the minds of all were favourably disposed towards the
Lady Libussa.  Yet at the very moment when they were about to collect
the votes, a croaking raven flew over the place of election; this
unfavourable omen interrupted all further deliberation, and the
election was deferred to the following day.  The Lady Bela had sent the
ill-omened bird to disturb the proceedings, for she knew well enough
the inclination of the voters, and Prince Wladomir had inspired her
with the bitterest hate.  She held counsel with her sister Therba, and
they came to the determination that they would be revenged on the
common calumniator, who had insulted both of them, and despatched a
heavy nightmare, that should squeeze the soul out of his body.  The
bold knight suspected nothing of this danger, but went, as was his
wont, to wait upon his mistress, and received from her the first kind
look, from which he promised himself a whole heaven of bliss.  If any
thing could increase his delight, it was the present of a rose which
adorned the lady's bosom, and which she gave him with the order that he
was to let it wither by his heart.  To these words he gave an
interpretation very different from that which was meant, since no
science is more fallacious than the art of expounding in love.  There
mistakes are quite at home.  The enamoured knight was bent on keeping
the rose fresh and blooming as long as possible; he set it in fresh
water in a flower-pot, and went to sleep with the most flattering hopes.

In the gloomy hour of midnight came the destroying angel, sent by the
Lady Bela.  He glided in; he blew open, with his gasping breath, the
locks and bolts on the doors of the bed-room, and fell with immense
weight on the sleeping knight, pressing him down with such suffocating
force, that he thought, when he woke, a mill-stone had been rolled upon
his neck.  In this painful situation, while he fancied the last moment
of his life was come, he fortunately thought of the rose which stood in
the flower-pot by his bed, pressed it to his heart, and said: "Fade
away with me, fair rose, and perish on my lifeless bosom, as a proof
that my last thought was bestowed on thy lovely possessor."  At once
his heart became lighter, the heavy nightmare could not resist the
magic power of the flower, his oppressive weight did not now exceed
that of so much down; the dislike of the perfume soon drove him out of
the chamber altogether, and the narcotic quality of the scent again
lulled the knight into a refreshing slumber.  At sunrise he rose fresh
and cheerful, and rode to the place of election to ascertain what
impression his simile had made on the minds of the electors, and to
observe the course that the affair might take this time; intending, at
all events, if any opposing gale should arise, and threaten to run
aground the wavering boat of his hopes and wishes, at once to seize on
the helm and steer directly against it.

This time, however, there was no danger.  The solemn electoral senate
had during the night so thoroughly ruminated on, and digested
Wladomir's parable, that it was actually infused into their very heart
and mind.  A brisk knight, who perceived these favourable crises, and
who in affairs of the heart sympathised with the tender Wladomir,
endeavoured either to deprive the latter of the honour of placing the
lady on the Bohemian throne, or at any rate to share it with him.  He
stepped forward, drew his sword, proclaimed with a loud voice, Libussa,
Duchess of Bohemia, and desired every one who had the same opinion to
draw the sword like him and defend his choice.  At once several hundred
swords glittered on the place of election, a loud cry of joy announced
the new sovereign, and on all sides resounded the shout of the people:
"Let Libussa be our duchess!"  A deputation was appointed, with Prince
Wladomir and the sword-drawer at the head of it, to announce to the
lady her elevation to the ducal rank.  With the modest blush which
gives to female charms the highest expression of grace, she accepted
the sovereignty over the people, and every heart was subjugated by the
magic of her pleasing aspect.  The people paid her homage with the
greatest delight, and although the two sisters envied her, and employed
their secret arts to avenge themselves both on her and their country,
for the slight that had been offered them, endeavouring by the leaven
of calumny and malicious interpretation of all their sister's deeds and
actions, to bring about in the nation a shameful ferment, and to
undermine the peace and happiness of her mild virgin dominion; yet
Libussa knew how to meet these unsisterly attempts with prudence, and
to annihilate all the hostile plans and spells of the unnatural pair,
till at last they were tired of exercising upon her their inefficient

The sighing Wladomir waited in the meanwhile with the most ardent
longing for the development of his fate.  More than once he ventured to
foresee the end in the lovely eyes of his sovereign, but Libussa had
imposed a deep silence on the inclinations of her heart, and it is
always a precarious proceeding to require from a mistress a verbal
declaration without a previous intercourse with the eyes and their
significant glances.  The one favourable sign which still kept his
hopes alive was the imperishable rose, which, though a year had
elapsed, blossomed as freshly now as on the evening when he received it
from the hand of the fair Libussa.  A flower from a maiden's hand, a
nosegay, a ribbon, or a lock of hair, is certainly more valuable than a
tooth dropped out, but nevertheless all these pretty things are but
doubtful pledges of love, unless some more certain expressions gives
them a determined signification.  Wladomir, therefore quietly played
the part of a sighing swain in the court of his idol, and waited to see
what time and circumstances might produce in his favour.  The
boisterous knight Mizisla, on the other hand, carried on his plan with
far more spirit, and did all he could to make himself conspicuous on
every occasion.  On the day of homage he was the first vassal who made
the oath of allegiance to the new princess; he followed her as
inseparably as the moon follows the earth, that by unasked-for services
he might show his devotion to her person, and on solemn occasions and
in processions he made his sword flash in her eyes, that she might not
forget what good service it had done her.

Nevertheless, following the way of the world, Libussa seemed very near
to have forgotten the furtherers of her good fortune; since, when an
obelisk once stands upright, we think no more of the levers and
instruments that raised it--at least so did the candidates for her
heart interpret the lady's coldness.  Both, however, were wrong; the
noble sovereign was neither insensible nor ungrateful; but her heart
was no more so completely in her power, that she could do with it
whatever she pleased.  Love had already decided in favour of the slim
hunter.  The first impression which the sight of him had made on her
heart was still so strong, that no second one could efface it.  Three
years had passed, and the colours of imagination with which the
graceful youth had been sketched, were neither rubbed out, nor had they
become faint, and thus her love was proved to be perfect.  For the love
of the fair sex is of such a nature and quality, that if it will stand
the test of three moons, it will generally last three times three, and
longer, according to the evidence and example of our own times.  When
the heroic sons of Germany swam over distant seas, to fight out the
domestic squabble of the wilful daughter of Britannia with her mother
country, they tore themselves from the arms of their fair ones, with
mutual protestations of truth and fidelity; but before they had passed
the last buoy of the Weser, the greater part of them were forgotten by
their Chloes.  The fickle damsels, tired of having their hearts
unoccupied, filled up the gap with new intrigues; but the faithful
ones, who had had constancy enough to endure the Weser ordeal, and who,
when the owners of their hearts were on the other side of the black
buoy, had been guilty of no infidelity--these, they say, have kept
their vow inviolate, until the return of their heroes into their German
father-land, and now merit from the hands of love the reward of their

It was therefore less remarkable, that, under the circumstances, the
Lady Libussa could refuse the hand of the blooming knights who
solicited her heart, than that the fair Queen of Ithaca let a whole
host of suitors sigh after her in vain, while her heart had only the
grey-bearded Ulysses in reserve.  Nevertheless, rank and high birth so
very much overbalanced the attachment the lady felt for the beloved of
her heart, that any thing more than a Platonic passion--that empty
shade, which neither warms nor nourishes--was not to be hoped.
Although, in those remote times, people cared as little about writing
out genealogies, according to parchment and pedigree, as they did about
arranging classes of beetles according to their wings and feelers, or
flowers according to their stamens, pistils, calyx, and nectary, they
knew, nevertheless, that the delicious grape alone associates with the
stately elm, and not the weed that creeps along the hedge.  A
_mésalliance_ caused by a difference of rank an inch wide, did not
then, certainly, excite so much pedantic noise as in our classic days;
but, however, a difference a yard wide, especially if rivals stood in
the interval, and perceived the distance of the two ends, was
observable enough.  All this, and more than this, the lady maturely
weighed in her prudent mind, and therefore she did not give a hearing
to the deceitful prattler, passion, loud as it might speak to the
advantage of the youth, who was favoured by love.  As a chaste vestal,
she made an irrevocable vow that she would keep her heart locked up in
virgin secresy for the period of her life, and that she would not
answer any address of her suitors, either with her eyes or with her
gestures; with the reserve, however, that she might platonise as much
as she pleased, by way of compensation.  This monastic system pleased
the two aspirants so little, that they did not know what to make of the
killing coldness of their sovereign; jealousy, the companion of love,
whispered into their ear; one thought the other was his rival, and
their spirit of observation was unwearying, in trying to make
discoveries, which both of them dreaded.  But the Lady Libussa, with
prudence and acuteness, weighed out her scanty favours to the two
honourable knights with such an equal balance, that neither scale
kicked the beam.

Tired of waiting in vain, both the knights left their princess's court,
and with secret discontent retired to the estates, which Duke Crocus
had granted them for military service.  Both took home such a stock of
ill-humour, that Prince Wladomir was a perfect pest to all his vassals
and neighbours, while Prince Mizisla turned sportsman, chasing deer and
foxes over the fields and enclosures of his subjects, and often
treading three quarters of corn, when with his train he was following a
hare.  This occasioned many complaints in the country; but, however,
there was no judge to remedy the evil, for no one likes to contend with
the stronger, and hence this way the oppression of the people never
reached the throne of the duchess.  Nevertheless, through her
supernatural power, no act of injustice, within the wide boundaries of
her realm, remained hidden; and because her disposition corresponded to
the tender character of her lovely form, she was afflicted at the
wickedness of her vassals, and the wrongs committed by the strongest.
She consulted with herself as to how the evil could be remedied, and
prudence suggested that she should follow the example of the wise gods,
who, in administering justice, never punish the offender directly the
offence is committed; although slowly stepping vengeance is sure,
sooner or later, to strike at last.  The young princess summoned all
the knighthood and states to a general diet, and caused it to be
publicly proclaimed, that whoever had a complaint to make, or a wrong
to denounce, might come forward freely and without fear, and should
have a safe conduct.  Then the oppressed and harassed came from all
parts of the country; litigious folks came besides; in fact, all who
had some law affair in hand.  Libussa sat on the throne, like the
goddess Themis, with sword and scales, and uttered justice with
unfailing judgment, and without respect of persons, for she was not led
astray, and the labyrinthian courses of chicane did not mislead her, as
they do the thick heads of stupid magistrates, while every body was
surprised at the wisdom with which she unravelled the tangled skein of
law-suits in affairs of meum and teum, and at the unwearied patience
with which she found out, and wound off, the hidden thread of justice,
without pulling a wrong end.

When the throng of parties who had assembled at the bar of the tribunal
had gradually diminished, and the sittings were about to terminate--on
the very last court-day, a settler on the borders of the wealthy
Wladomir's estate, and a deputation from the subjects of the sporting
Mizisla, desired a hearing, that they might bring in their complaint.
They were admitted, and the settler spoke first.  "An industrious
planter," said he, "enclosed a little piece of ground on the bank of a
broad river, the silver stream of which flowed, gently murmuring, into
the pleasant valley below; for he thought that the fair stream would
protect him on one side from the voracious animals that might devour
his crops, and also water the roots of his fruit-trees, that they might
soon ripen and grow up, and bear fruit plentifully.  However, just as
his fruit began to get ripe, the deceitful river became troubled, its
quiet waters began to swell and roar, overwhelmed the bank, tore away
one piece of the fruitful field after another, and made for themselves
a bed in the middle of the cultured soil, to the great sorrow of the
poor planter, who was forced to give up his property, as a sport for
the malice of his powerful neighbour, whose raging flood he himself
escaped with difficulty.  Mighty daughter of the wise Crocus, the poor
planter entreats thee to give orders to the haughty stream, that it may
cease to roll its proud waves over the field of the industrious
husbandman, that it may no more thus absorb the sweat of his brow, and
his hopes of a prosperous harvest, but quietly flow within the limits
of its own proper bed."

During this discourse, a cloud gathered on the serene brow of the fair
Libussa, a manly earnestness shone from her eyes, and those around
became all ear, that they might hear her decision, which was as
follows: "Thy cause is plain and right; no violence shall pervert its
justice.  A firm dam shall set a proper limit and measure to the wild
stream, that it may not flow beyond; and I, with its fishes, will make
thee a seven-fold compensation for the depredation of its waters."  She
then made a sign for the eldest of the deputation to speak; and,
turning his head to the court, he said thus: "Wise daughter of the
renowned Crocus, tell us to whom belongs the seed of the field--to the
sower, who has buried it in the earth, that it may spring up and
multiply, or to the hurricane who hurls it down, and scatters it?"--"To
the sower," she replied.  "Then," said the speaker, "give orders to the
hurricane, that it may not select our fields as the spot for its
wantonness, trample down our grain, and shake our fruit-trees."--

"So be it," said the duchess; "I will tame the hurricane, and banish it
from your fields.  It shall fight with the clouds, and scatter them,
when they rise from the earth, threatening the land with hail and heavy

Prince Wladomir and the knight Mizisla were both present at the general
court.  When they heard the complaint that had been made, and heard the
solemn sentence of the princess, they grew pale, and smothering their
wrath fixed their eyes upon the ground, not daring to own to themselves
how much they were galled at being condemned by the sentence from the
mouth of a woman.  For although to shield their honour, the
complainants had modestly hung an allegoric veil over their accusation,
and even the just decision of the sovereign judge had shown a prudent
respect for this covering, the web was, notwithstanding, so fine and
transparent, that whoever had eyes could see what stood behind it.  As
they did not venture to appeal from the throne of the princess to the
people, the judgment just given against them having caused general
exultation, they could only submit with it, although most unwillingly.
Wladomir made seven-fold reparation to his neighbour the settler, for
the injury that had been done, and Nimrod Mizisla was obliged to pledge
his knightly word that he would not select his subject's corn fields as
a place for hare-hunting.  At the same time Libussa gave them a
glorious employment, that they might exercise their activity, and
restore the tone of knightly virtue to their name, which now sounded
discordantly like a cracked vessel.  She placed both at the head of her
army, which she sent out against Zornebock, prince of the Salians, a
giant, and moreover a powerful sorcerer, who was then about making war
against Bohemia, and imposed upon them as a penance, the condition that
they should not return to their court, until one brought the plume and
the other the golden spurs of the monster as a trophy of victory.

The unfading rose still preserved its magic power during this
expedition, rendering Prince Wladomir as invulnerable to mortal
weapons, as Achilles the hero, and as nimble and active as Achilles the
swift-footed.  The armies met on the northern border of the territory,
and the signal to fight was given.  The Bohemian heroes flew through
the opposing forces like storm and whirlwind, and mowed down the thick
crop of lances, as the reaper's sickle mows down a field of wheat.
Zornebock fell a victim to their mighty sword-cuts; they returned back
to Vizegrad in triumph with the booty they had acquired, and the spots
and soils which had before tainted their knightly virtue, they had
washed out in the blood of the enemy.  The Duchess Libussa rewarded
them with all the distinctions of princely favour, dismissed them, when
the army was disbanded to their own residence, and as a new mark of her
esteem gave them a ruddy apple from her own garden for a keepsake, with
the instructions that they were to share it peaceably without cutting
it.  They went their way, placed the apple on a shield, and had it
carried before them, while they consulted together how they should set
about making division with proper discretion, so that they might not be
mistaken in their gentle sovereign's meaning.

Before they reached the crossway that was to separate them, so that
each might follow the road that led to his own residence, they adhered
to the treaty of partition amicably enough, but now the point was who
should keep the apple, to which they both had equal right.  Only one,
it was evident, could retain it, and both promised themselves such
wonders that each longed to possess it.  Upon this they quarrelled, and
the sword nearly had to decide to whom the fortune of arms had assigned
the indivisible apple.  A shepherd, however, happened to be driving his
flock along the same road, so they chose him for their umpire, and laid
their case before him, probably because the three celebrated goddesses
had applied to a shepherd to settle their affair about an apple.  The
man reflected a little, and said,

"In this present of an apple lies a deeply hidden signification; yet
who can probe it but the wise maiden who has there concealed it?  I
suspect that the apple is a deceitful fruit, which grew upon the tree
of discord, and the red skin of which signifies bloody contentions
among you, knights,--that one shall irritate the other, and that
neither shall reap any joy from the gift.  For tell me how is it
possible to share an apple without dividing it?"  The two knights took
to heart the shepherd's advice, which they thought contained great
wisdom.  "Thou art right," said they, "has not the base apple already
kindled anger and quarrel between us?  Were we not on the point of
fighting for the deceptive gift of the proud maiden who hates us both?
Did she not place us at the head of her army, because she thought we
should be killed?  And because that method did not succeed, she now
arms us with the knife of discord against each other.  We declare
ourselves free from the deceitful gift; neither of us shall bear the
apple, but it shall be the reward of thy honest decision.  The fruit of
the law-suit belongs to the judge, and the parings to the contending

The knights then went their way, while the shepherd devoured the
subject of the suit with that ease, which is peculiar to judges.  The
duchess's equivocal gift annoyed them greatly, and when on returning
home, they found that they could not lord it over their vassals and
subjects so arbitrarily as before, but were forced to obey the laws,
their indignation increased still more.  They entered into an alliance
offensive and defensive, made for themselves a faction in the country,
and the numerous rebels who joined them they despatched to all the
districts around, that they might cry down female government.  "Oh,
shame!" cried they, "that we are subject to a woman who gathers our
laurels that she may twine them round her distaff.  A man ought to be
master of the house, not a woman,--that is man's peculiar right,--that
is the custom among all people.  What is an army without a duke to
march in front of his warriors, but a helpless trunk without a head?
Let us appoint a prince who may rule over us, and whom we may obey."

Discourses of this kind did not remain concealed from the vigilant
princess.  She knew, besides, whence the wind came, and what the sound
of it signified; and, therefore, she called a select assembly of the
deputies, stepped into the midst of them with the dignity and splendour
of an earthly goddess, while her speech flowed like honey from her
virgin lips.  "There is a rumour in the country," said she to the
assembly, "that you desire a duke, who will lead you to battle, and
that you consider it inglorious to show further obedience to me.
Nevertheless, from your own free and unconfined desire, you chose from
the midst of you, not a man, but one of the daughters of the people,
and clothed her with the purple that she might rule over you according
to the usage and custom of the country.  Now, whoever can convict me of
a fault in my government, let him come forward freely and openly and
bear witness against me.  If, however, I have administered justice
after the manner of my father Crocus; if I have made the hills
straight, the crooked places even, the abysses passable; if I have
secured your harvests, rescued your herds from the wolf, and guarded
your fruit-trees; if I have bowed the stiff-neck of the violent, aided
the oppressed, and given a staff to support the weak, then, I say, it
becomes you to adhere to your promise, and, according to your oath of
fealty, to be faithful and true to me, and to do me good service.  If
you think it inglorious to serve a woman, you should have considered
that before you appointed me to be your princess.  If there was any
thing wrong in that choice, it reverts to yourselves.  However, this
proceeding on your part shows that you do not understand your own
interest.  The female hand is soft and gentle, accustomed to raise only
gentle breezes with the fan; but man's arm is sinewy and rough, heavy
and oppressive, when he holds the weight of authority.  Besides, do you
know, that when a woman rules, the sovereignty is still in the hand of
man?  For she gives hearing to wise councillors; but when the distaff
excludes from the throne, there is female government; for the girls,
who please the king's eyes, have possession of his heart.  Reflect
well, then, on what you do, that you may not repent too late of your

The speaker from the throne was silent, a deep reverential silence
prevailed in the hall of assembly, and no one ventured to utter a word
against her.  Nevertheless Prince Wladomir and his party did not
abandon their project, but whispered among themselves: "The cunning
chamois is striving not to leave the rich pasture; but the hunter's
horn shall sound still louder, and scare it away."  The next day they
stirred up the body of knights, loudly to request the queen to choose a
husband within three days, and by the choice of her heart to give the
people a prince, who should share the government with her.  At this
sudden demand, which seemed to be the voice of the people, a virgin
blush tinged the cheeks of the charming Libussa, and her bright eye saw
all the rocks beneath the water, that threatened her on this occasion.
Even if, according to the custom of the great world, she attempted to
bring her inclinations under the sway of policy, she could, at any
rate, only give her hand to one suitor, and then she saw that all the
rest would regard their rejection as an insult and meditate revenge.
Besides the secret vow of her heart was to her sacred and inviolable,
and therefore she prudently endeavoured to avoid the pressing request
of the deputies, and to make one attempt more to dissuade them
altogether from having a duke.  "After the death of the eagle," she
said, "the feathered tribe chose the wood-pigeon for their queen, and
all the birds were obedient to her soft cooing voice.  Yet, being light
and airy, as is the nature of birds, they soon altered this resolution,
and began to repent.  The haughty peacock thought that he was more
qualified to rule; the greedy hawk accustomed to chase the small birds
considered it disgraceful to be subject to a dove.  They therefore made
for themselves a faction, and appointed the purblind owl as their
spokesman to propose a new election for a king.  The dull bustard, the
unwieldy mountain-cock, the lazy stork, the lack-brain heron, and all
the larger birds chattered and cackled loud applause, and the host of
little birds from foolishness twittered, in the same manner, from hedge
and bush.  Then the warlike kite rose boldly into the air, and all the
birds cried out, 'What a majestic flight!  What a lightning glance in
those rolling eyes of fire, what an expression of superiority in the
hooked beak, and the widely-grasping claws!  The bold, hardy kite shall
be our ruler.'  Scarcely had the bird of prey ascended the throne, than
he displayed his activity and strength to his fellow-subjects with
great tyranny and arrogance.  From the larger birds he plucked their
feathers, and the little singing birds he tore to pieces."

Plain as the meaning of this discourse was, it made but little
impression on the minds of those who were anxious for a change of
government, and the popular decision that the Lady Libussa should
choose a husband within three days, remained valid.  At this Prince
Wladomir much rejoiced in his heart, for he now thought he should gain
the lovely prize for which he had so long striven in vain.  Love and
ambition fired his wishes, and made eloquent his mouth, which had
hitherto only allowed itself secret sighs.  He went to the court and
solicited a hearing of the duchess.  "Gracious sovereign of thy people
and of my heart," he said, "from thee no secret is concealed, thou
knowest the flames that glow in this bosom, as purely and holily as
those upon the altar of the gods, and thou knowest the celestial fire
that has kindled them.  The time is at hand when thou must give a
prince to the land, at the bidding of thy people.  Can'st thou slight a
heart which only lives and beats for thee?  To be worthy of thee I have
ventured my life and blood in raising thee to the throne of thy father.
Let me have the merit of maintaining thee there by the tie of tender
love; let us share the possession of the throne and of thy heart.  The
former shall be thine, the latter mine, and then will my happiness be
exalted above the lot of mortals."  The Lady Libussa deported herself
in a very maiden-like manner on hearing this address, and covered her
face with a veil that she might conceal the gentle blush that gave a
deeper colour to her cheek.  With her hand she made a sign for Prince
Wladomir to withdraw, without opening her mouth, as if to consider how
she should answer him with respect to his suit.

The bold knight Mizisla then announced himself and desired to be
admitted.  "Loveliest of the daughters of princes," he said, as he
entered the audience-chamber, "the beautiful dove, the queen of the
realms of air shall, as thou knowest, no more coo alone, but seek for
herself a mate.  The proud peacock, as the story goes, makes his varied
feathers glitter in her eyes, and imagines that he will dazzle her with
their brilliancy, but she is modest and wise, and will not unite
herself to the haughty peacock.  The greedy hawk, once a bird of prey,
has quite cast off his nature; he is good and gentle, nay without
guile, for he loves the fair dove, and hopes that she will espouse him.
His crooked beak and sharp claws should not mislead thee.  These he
needs to protect his beloved dove, that no other bird may injure her or
endeavour to overthrow the seat of her dominion, for he is faithful and
true, and first vowed fealty to her on the day of her elevation.  Tell
me then, wise princess, if the gentle dove will deign to bestow on her
faithful hawk the love to which he aspires?"

The Lady Libussa did as before, made a sign for the knight also to
retire, and after she had let him wait awhile called in the two suitors
and said, "I owe you a debt of gratitude, noble knights, inasmuch as
you both assisted me in succeeding to the Bohemian crown, which my
father Crocus wore with glory.  And I have not forgotten that zeal in
my cause, of which you remind me.  Moreover, it is not hidden from me
that you virtuously love me, for your looks and actions have long
expressed the feelings of your hearts.  That my heart has remained
closed to you, and has not given love for love, do not ascribe that to
mere coyness; I did not mean to insult you, but merely to come to a
right decision of a dubious matter.  I weighed your merits, and the
index of the balance stood still.  Therefore I resolved to leave the
decision of your fate to yourselves, and offered you the possession of
my heart by the enigmatical apple, that I might see who had the
greatest share of wisdom and intelligence, so as to appropriate to
himself the indivisible gift.  Now tell me, without delay, in whose
hand is the apple.  Whoever has gained it from the other, let him from
this hour take my throne and my heart for his prize."  The two suitors
looked upon each other with wonder, grew pale and were dumb.  At last
Prince Wladomir after a long pause broke silence and said, "The enigmas
of the wise are to the foolish, a nut in a toothless mouth; a pearl
which the fowl rakes out of the sand, a light in the hand of the blind.
Therefore, oh, princess! be not angry that we knew neither how to use
nor how to prize thy gift.  Thy design, which we did not know we
misinterpreted, and we thought thou hadst cast between us an apple of
discord, which should incite us to feuds and combat, and therefore each
of us abandoned participation in thy gift, and got rid of the fruit of
contention, a sole possession of which neither of us would have left to
the other."

"You have yourself uttered the judgment," said the lady; "if an apple
was enough to arouse your jealousy, what battle would you have waged
for a myrtle wreath that encircles a crown."  With this decision she
dismissed the knights, who were greatly annoyed that they had listened
to the senseless arbitrator, and had thoughtlessly flung away the
pledge of love, that was to have gained them the bride.  They now
considered, each one by himself, how they might yet carry out their
plans, and by force or cunning obtain the Bohemian throne with its
charming possessor.

The Lady Libussa was not inactive during the three days that were left
her for deliberation, but was constantly considering how she might meet
the pressing wishes of her people, give the nation a duke, and herself
a husband, according to the choice of her heart.  She feared that
Prince Wladomir would urge his pretensions with force, or at any rate
deprive her of the throne.  Necessity assisted love, and inspired her
with the resolution of carrying out the plan, with which, as with a
pleasant dream, she had often amused herself; for, indeed, what mortal
is there, whose head is not haunted by some phantom or other, at which
he grasps in a vacant hour, that he may play with it as with a doll?
The gift of prophecy has always been associated with a glowing fancy;
consequently the fair Libussa readily listened at times to this
pleasant playmate, and the agreeable confidant always entertained her
with the image of the young hunter, who had made so permanent an
impression on her heart.  A thousand projects came into her head, which
her imagination flattered her were easy and practicable.  Now she had a
plan of rescuing the dear youth from obscurity, placing him in the
army, and advancing him from one post of honour to another; fancy would
then at once fling a wreath of laurel on his brow, and lead him crowned
with victory and glory to the throne, which she shared with him,
delighted.  Now she gave the romance another turn; she armed her
favourite as a knight-errant out upon adventures, conducted him to her
court, turned him into a Huon of Bordeaux, and was in no want of
wonderful apparatus to endow him as friend Oberon did his protégé.  But
when cool reflection again took possession of her maiden mind, and the
variegated figures of the magic lantern grew pale at the bright ray of
prudence, the lovely dream had vanished.  She thought how great would
be the risk of such a proceeding, and what mischief might befal her
land and people, if jealousy and envy incited against her the hearts of
the Magnates, and the alarm of discord give the signal for rebellion.
She therefore carefully concealed the inclinations and wishes of her
heart from the keen eye of the observer, and allowed nothing to be

However, now the people were desirous for a prince, the affair had
taken another turn, and she had only to make her own wishes accord with
those of the nation.  She fortified her courage with manly resolution,
and when the third day dawned she put on all her jewels, placing on her
head the chaste crown of myrtle.  Attended by her maidens, who were all
adorned with wreaths of flowers, she ascended the throne full of high
courage and gentle dignity.  The assembly of knights and vassals around
her was all ear, that it might catch from her lovely mouth the name of
the fortunate prince with whom she had resolved to share her heart and
throne.  "Nobles of my people," said she to the assembly, "the lot of
your destiny still lies untouched in the urn of concealment, and you
are still as free as my horses that feed in the meadow, before bridle
and bit have curbed them, and the weight of the rider and the burden of
the saddle have pressed their slender back.  It now behoves you to tell
me, whether the time which you have granted me for the choice of a
husband has cooled the warm desire of seeing a prince ruling over you,
and prompted you quietly to examine your project, or whether you still
adhere unchangeably to your intention."  For a moment she was silent,
but the tumult among the people, the noise and whispering together with
the gestures of the assembled senators, did not leave her long in
uncertainty, and the speaker confirmed the ultimatum, that the decision
was left to the choice of her heart.  "Well!" she said, "the lot is
cast; I answer for nothing.  The gods have selected for the kingdom of
Bohemia a prince who will wield his sceptre with wisdom and justice.
The young cedar tree does not raise its head above the strong oaks;
concealed among the trees of the forest it grows, surrounded by ignoble
brushwood, but soon it will extend its branches so as to shade the
root, and its crown will touch the clouds.  Nobles of the people,
select from among you a deputation of twelve honest men, to seek the
prince and accompany him to the throne.  My horse shall show them the
path, trotting before you free and unburdened; and as a sign that you
have found that which you are sent out to seek, observe that the man
whom the gods have selected for your prince, will at the time when you
approach him, be taking his meal at an iron table, beneath the open
sky, and in the shadow of a lonely tree.  To him must you pay homage,
and adorn him with the signs of princely dignity.  The white horse will
allow him to mount his back, and bring him here to court that he may be
my husband and your sovereign."

She then dismissed the assembly with the cheerful, but bashful mien,
which is customary with brides when they expect the arrival of the
bridegroom.  All were astonished at her speech, and the prophetic
spirit which peered from it rushed upon their minds like an utterance
of the gods, to which the mob blindly attaches belief, and about which
none but thinkers indulge in sapient opinions.  The deputation was
appointed, and the white horse stood in readiness, bridled and adorned
with Asiatic magnificence, as if it was to bear the Grand Seignior to
the mosque.  The cavalcade was soon in motion, amid the concourse of
curious people, who were shouting with joy, and the white horse proudly
led the way.  Soon, however, the train disappeared from the eyes of the
spectators, and nothing was to be seen but a cloud of dust rising in
the distance, for the spirited horse as soon as he came into the open
country began to run as swiftly as a British racer, indeed so swiftly,
that the deputation had a difficulty in following him.  Although the
rapid courser seemed left entirely to himself, an invisible power
directed his course, guided his bridle, and spurred his sides.  The
Lady Libussa by the magic she had inherited from her mother, had been
able so to train the horse that he neither deviated to the right or the
left of his path, but with great speed hurried at once to his
destination, and now when all seemed arranged so as to fulfil her
wishes, she awaited with tender longing the arrival of the comer.

The deputies in the meanwhile had had a fine chase; they had already
performed a journey of several miles, uphill and downhill, they had
swam through the Moldau and the Elbe, and because their stomachs
reminded them of meal-time, they thought again of the wondrous table,
at which their new prince, according to the words of the lady, was to
be seated.  On this subject they made all sorts of remarks and
comments.  One inconsiderate knight said to his fellows: "Methinks our
lady duchess has sent us to make April fools of us, for who ever heard
of a man in Bohemia that dined at an iron table.  What do you lay that
our rash undertaking will bring us any thing besides jeering and
mockery?"  But another, who was more intelligent, thought that the iron
table might have a symbolical meaning, and that they would perhaps meet
with some knight-errant reposing under a tree, after the fashion of the
wandering brotherhood, and serving up his frugal meal on his brazen
shield.  A third said jestingly:

"I fear that our way will take us straight down to the workshop of the
Cyclops, and that we shall have to take back to our Venus the lame
Vulcan or one of his mates, who makes a table of his anvil."

Discussing in this fashion they saw their leader, the white horse,
which had considerably the start of them, trot across a newly ploughed
field, and, to their surprise, stop by a ploughman.  They flew at once
to the spot, and found a peasant sitting on a plough, which had been
turned upside down, beneath the shade of a wild pear tree, and eating
his black bread from an iron ploughshare, which he used as a table.  He
seemed pleased with the beautiful horse, treated him kindly, and
offered him a bit of his meal, and which he eat out of his hand.  The
ambassadors were very much astonished at this sight, but nevertheless
none of them doubted that they had found their man.  They approached
him with reverence, and the eldest taking up the discourse said:

"The Duchess of Bohemia has sent us to thee, and bids us announce to
thee that it is the will and decree of the gods that thou shalt
exchange that plough for the throne of this territory, and that goad
for the sceptre.  She chooses thee for her husband, that with her thou
mayst rule over Bohemia."

The young peasant thought they were making game of him, which seemed to
him very _mal-à-propos_, especially as he thought they had fathomed the
secret of his heart, and were come to scoff at his weakness.  He,
therefore, answered somewhat haughtily, in order to return scorn for

"Let us see whether your duchy is worthy of this plough?  If the prince
cannot satisfy his hunger, drink more merrily, nor sleep more soundly
than the peasant, it is certainly not worth the trouble to change this
fruitful field for the land of Bohemia, or this smooth ox-goad for a
sceptre;--for tell me, will not a salt-cellar as well season my morsel
as a bushel?"

Upon this one of the twelve remarked: "The mole shunning the light,
grovels for the worms under ground, that he may support himself, for he
has not eyes that can endure the beam of day, nor feet that are made to
run like those of the swift roe; the scaly crab crawls in the mud of
the lakes and marshes, loves best to dwell among the roots of the trees
and brushwood on the river side, for he lacks fins to swim; and the
domestic cock, kept in the poultry-yard, does not venture to fly over
the low wall, for he is too timid to trust himself to his wings, like
the up-soaring kite.  Now if eyes are given for seeing, feet for
walking, fins for swimming, and wings for flying, thou wilt not grovel
in the earth like a mole, hide in the marsh like an unwieldy crab, or,
like the lord of poultry, be content to crow on a dunghill, but thou
wilt come forward into the light of day, run, swim, or fly to the
clouds, accordingly as nature has endowed thee with her gifts.  For an
active man is not content with being what he is, but strives to become
what he can be.  Therefore try to be that which the gods have appointed
thee, and then thou wilt be able to judge whether or not the land of
Bohemia is worth a field in exchange."

This serious discourse of the delegate, in which nothing of a jesting
nature was to be perceived, and still more the insignia of princely
dignity--the purple raiment, the staff of government, and the golden
sword, which the ambassadors produced as vouchers and testimonials of
their true mission--at last overcame the mistrust of the doubting
ploughman.  At once his soul became enlightened; and the transporting
thought was awakened in him, that the Lady Libussa had divined the
feelings of his heart, had perceived his constancy and fidelity, by the
aid of her faculty to discover what was hidden, and had determined to
reward them in a manner which he would never have hoped for even in a
dream.  The gift of prophecy promised to him by his oracle came again
into his mind, and he reflected that this promise must be accomplished
now or never.  He quickly seized his hazel staff, set it deep in the
field, heaped loose earth about it, as one does when one plants trees,
and behold, the staff was immediately decked with buds, and shot forth
sprouts and branches covered with leaves and flowers.  Two of the
verdant boughs faded, and their dry foliage became a sport for the
winds, but the third grew with so much the greater strength, and its
fruits ripened.  The spirit of prophecy then descended on the rapt
ploughman, and, opening his lips, he spoke thus:

"Messengers of the Princess Libussa and of the Bohemian people, hear
the words of Premislas, the son of Mnatha, the honourable knight, to
whom, touched by the spirit of prophecy, the clouds of the future are
opened.  You call upon the man who was guiding his plough to take the
management of your principality before his daily work is finished.  Ah,
would that the plough had surrounded the field with its furrows as far
as the boundary stone, for then Bohemia would have been an independent
land for ever!  Now that you have too soon disturbed the work of the
ploughman, the boundaries of your land will be the portion and
inheritance of a neighbour, and your remote posterity will cleave to
him in indissoluble union.  The three branches of the verdant staff
promise your princess three sons.  Two of them will fade away as
immature shoots, but the third will inherit the throne, and through him
will the fruit of later descendants be ripened, until the eagle shall
fly over the mountains and nestle in the land, and then fly away to
return as unto his own possession.  If then the son of the gods[2]
shall come forth, who is a friend to the ploughman, and frees him from
his slavish chains--then mark him, posterity, for thou wilt have cause
to bless thy fate.  He, when he has trodden under foot the serpent of
superstition, will stretch out his hand towards the increasing moon to
pluck it from the heavens, that he himself may illumine the world as a
beneficent star."

The venerable deputation stood in silent reverence, staring at the
prophet like so many dunces; it seemed as though a god was speaking in
him.  But he turned away from the deputies to the companions of his
wearisome toil--the two white oxen, loosened them from the yoke, and
set them at liberty, upon which they bounded merrily about the grassy
field, then visibly faded away, as light clouds melt into air, and
finally vanished completely.  Premislas now took off his rustic wooden
shoes, and went to wash himself in the neighbouring brook.  Costly
garments were put on him, he girded himself with the sword in knightly
fashion, and had the golden spurs fastened.  He then sprang upon the
white horse which allowed him to mount with docility.  As he was just
on the point of quitting the estate he had hitherto possessed, he told
the deputies to carry after him the wooden shoes, which he had now put
off, and preserve them as a testimony that the humblest of the people
had once been raised to the highest rank in Bohemia, and as a _memento_
that he and his posterity might not presume upon the rank he had
acquired, but, mindful of their origin, might honour and protect the
peasant class from which they had sprung.  Hence arose the old custom
of exhibiting to the kings of Bohemia a pair of shoes on the day of
their coronation--a custom which was observed until the race of
Premislas became extinct.  The hazel itself, which had been planted,
grew and bore fruit, spreading its roots widely around, and sending
forth new shoots until at last the whole field was turned into a wood
of hazel trees, which proved most advantageous to the neighbouring
village in whose land this district was included.  For, in
commemoration of this wonderful planting, the kings of Bohemia granted
a charter to this community, that they should never be obliged to
contribute more in the way of taxes than one pint of hazel-nuts.  This
important privilege, according to report, their descendants enjoy to
the present day.

Although the horse, which now bore the bridegroom to his fair owner,
seemed to outstrip the winds, Premislas made him sometimes feel the
golden spurs to accelerate him still more.  The speed of the courser,
swift as it was, did not appear to him more so than the pace of a
tortoise, so anxious was he to look once more on the face of the fair
Libussa, whose form, though seven years had elapsed, still floated
before him fresh and charming.  He now looked forward, not to gaze
vainly upon her, as upon a rare anemone in the varied garden of a
florist, but to a happy union of victorious love.  He thought only of
the myrtle crown, which, in the estimation of lovers, stands far above
the crown of kings, and if he had weighed dignity and love one against
the other, the land of Bohemia without the Lady Libussa would have
kicked the beam like a clipped ducat in a money-changer's balance.

The sun was just setting when the new prince was led in triumph into
Vizegrad.  The Lady Libussa was in her garden, where she had filled a
little basket with ripe plums, when the arrival of her future husband
was announced.  She approached modestly with all the maidens of her
court, received him as a bridegroom bestowed upon her by the gods, and
concealed the choice of her heart by an apparent resignation to the
will of the invisible powers.  The eyes of all the court were directed
with great curiosity towards the newcomer, but they saw nothing in him
more than a handsome slender young man.  As for his external appearance
there were several courtiers who could vie with him in their thoughts,
and who could not understand why the gods had despised the anti-chamber
and had not rather selected from themselves a rosy-cheeked champion
instead of the sun-burnt ploughman, as a husband and partner in
dominion for the young princess.  With Prince Wladomir and the knight
Mizisla it was especially obvious that they gave up their claims
unwillingly.  Hence it was now the care of the princess to justify the
work of the gods, and to declare that Squire Premislas made amends for
his deficiency on the score of brilliant extraction by his intellect
and acuteness.  She had caused a noble meal to be prepared, not in the
least inferior to that with which the hospitable Queen Dido formerly
entertained the pious Eneas.  After the cup of welcome had passed
readily from mouth to mouth, the gifts of the joy-bestirring Bacchus
had inspired cheerfulness and good humour, and part of the night had
already past in jest and pastime, she suggested a game at riddles, and
because the divination of things concealed was her peculiar forte, she
resolved the riddles that were proposed to the satisfaction of all

When it was her turn to propose, she called Prince Wladomir, the Knight
Mizisla, and Squire Premislas to her, and said: "Now, my friends, set
about solving a riddle, which I will propose, that it may be apparent
which is the wisest and cleverest among you.  I have destined for each
of you, out of this basket, a gift of the plums, which I have picked in
my garden.  One of you shall have half of them and one more, the second
shall again have half and one more, and the third shall again have half
and three more.  Supposing now that the basket is thus emptied, tell me
how many plums are in it now."

The hasty knight, Mizisla, measured the fruit-basket with his eyes--not
the sense of the problem with his understanding--and said: "That which
can be solved by the sword I will solve readily, but thy riddles,
gracious princess, are rather too subtle for me.  Nevertheless, in
accordance with thy wishes, I will make a venture at random.  I guess
that if the plums be well counted, they will be found to amount to
three score."

"Thou hast made a mistake, dear knight," answered the Lady Libussa.
"If there were as many more, half as many more, and a third as many
more, as the basket contains now and five more added to that, the
number would by so much exceed three score as it is now short of it."

Prince Wladomir calculated slowly and laboriously, as if the post of
general controller of the finances were the reward for solving the
riddle, and at last gave out five-and-forty as the value of the
renowned number.  The lady then said:

"If there were a third as many more, half as many more, and a sixth as
many more as there are now, there would then be in my basket as much
more than forty-five as there now are under that number."

Although the very commonest hand at figures, would have deciphered the
problem without trouble; nevertheless, for a bad calculation the gift
of divination is absolutely indispensable, if he would come off with
honour, and not appear ridiculous.  Now as this gift had been
fortunately communicated to the wise Premislas, it cost him neither
ingenuity nor exertion to discover the solution of the riddle.

"Intimate associate of the heavenly powers," he said, "whoever
undertakes to discover thy high-soaring and divine meaning, ventures to
fly after the eagle, when he hides himself in the clouds.
Nevertheless, I will follow thy secret flight as far as the eye, which
is illumined by thee, can reach.  I decide that the plums thou hast
concealed in the basket are thirty in number,--neither more nor less."

The lady looked at him kindly and said; "Thou hast traced the
glimmering spark that lies deep in the ashes, and light gleams upon
thee out of mist and darkness; thou hast guessed my riddle."

She then opened the basket, counted out fifteen plums into Prince
Wladomir's hat with one more, and there remained fourteen.  Of these
she gave seven to the Knight Mizisla with one more, and six remained in
the basket.  The half of these she awarded to the wise Premislas, then
gave him the three others, and the basket was empty.  The whole court
was amazed at the arithmetical wisdom of the fair Libussa, and the
acuteness of her clever bridegroom.  No one could comprehend how human
intellect was able on the one hand to bind a common number so
enigmatically in words, and on the other to pick out such an ingenious
mystery with such perfect confidence.  The lady awarded the empty
basket to the two knights, who could not obtain her love, as a memorial
of a terminated amour.  Hence arises the custom, which exists to the
present time, of saying that a rejected lover has received a _basket_
from his mistress.[3]

When all was in readiness for the homage, and the nuptials, both these
ceremonies were celebrated with great pomp.  The Bohemian people had
now a duke, and the fair Libussa a husband, both to their heart's
content, and what was most surprising this result was brought about by
trickery, which does not generally bear the reputation of being the
most skilful negotiator.  If one of the two parties had been deceived,
certainly it was not the sage Libussa, but the people, as indeed is
frequently the case.  The land of Bohemia had nominally a duke, but in
point of fact the government remained in a female hand as before.
Premislas was a perfect pattern of a docile obedient husband, who did
not dispute the rule of his wife, either in the household or the state.
His thoughts and wishes sympathised as perfectly with her own, as two
similarly tuned strings, of which the untouched one spontaneously
repeats the sound, which the louder one has uttered.  Libussa had not,
however, the proud, vain disposition of those ladies who wish to pass
for great matches, and are always superciliously reminding the poor
wight, whose fortune they think they have made, of his wooden shoes;
but she imitated the celebrated Queen of Palmyra, and governed by the
superiority of her talents, as Zenobia managed her good-natured

The happy pair lived in the enjoyment of unchanging love, according to
the fashion of that time, when the instinct which unites hearts was as
firm and durable as the cement and mortar which renders the walls of
the old world so firm and indestructible.  Duke Premislas now became
one of the most doughty knights of his age, and the Bohemian court one
of the most brilliant in Germany.  A large number of knights and
nobles, as well as a great concourse of common people gradually
assembled from all parts of the territory.  The consequence was, that
the court-city became too narrow for the inhabitants, and therefore
Libussa called her people in office to her, and ordered them to build a
city on the spot where they should find a man who knew how to make the
wisest use of teeth at noon.  They went out and found at the appointed
time a man who was busied in sawing a block asunder.  They decided that
this industrious person made an incomparably better use of the teeth of
his saw at noon than the parasite made of the teeth in his jaws at the
table of the great, and they did not doubt that they had found the
place which the princess had appointed for the foundation of the new
city.  They therefore drew the ploughshare round the field to mark the
compass of the city wall.  On asking the working man what he intended
to make out of the piece of wood he was cutting, he answered: "Prah,"
which in the Bohemian tongue signifies the threshold of a door.
Libussa therefore called the new city Praha, that is Prague, the
well-known royal city on the Moldau in Bohemia.  The prediction of
Premislas concerning his posterity was punctually fulfilled.  His wife
became mother of three princes, two of whom died in their youth, while
the third grew to man's estate, and from him sprung a brilliant race of
kings, who flourished on the Bohemian throne for ages.

[1] A proverbial expression in Germany for a scene of riot, on account
of the disturbances that usually took place at Polish elections.

[2] An allusion to the Emperor Joseph II.

[3] The expression "Einen Korb bekommen," to meet with a refusal, is
familiar to every reader of German.



In the whole history of man there is no chapter more instructive for
the heart and mind than the annals of his errors.  On the occasion of
every great crime a proportionally great force was in motion.  If by
the pale light of ordinary emotions the play of the desiring faculty is
concealed, in the situation of strong passion it becomes the more
striking, the more colossal, the more audible, and the acute
investigator of humanity, who knows how much may be properly set down
to the account of the mechanism of the ordinary freedom of the will,
and how far it is allowable to reason by analogy, will be able from
this source to gather much fresh experience for his psychology, and to
render it applicable to moral life.

The human heart is something so uniform and at the same time so
compound!  One and the same faculty or desire may play in a thousand
forms and directions, may produce a thousand contradictory phenomena,
may appear differently mingled in a thousand characters, and a thousand
dissimilar characters and actions might be spun out of one kind of
inclination, though the particular man, about whom the question was
raised, might have no suspicion of such affinity.  If, as for the other
kingdoms of nature, a Linnæus for the human race were to arise, who
could classify according to inclinations and impulses, how great would
be the empire, when many a person whose vices are now stifled in a
narrow social sphere, and in the close confines of the law, was found
in the same order with the monster Borgia.

Considered from this point of view, the usual mode of treating history
is open to much objection, and herein, I think, lies the difficulty,
owing to which the study of history has always been so unfruitful for
civil life.  Between the vehement emotions of the man in action, and
the quiet mind of the reader, to whom the action is presented, there is
such a repelling contrast, such a wide interval, that it is difficult,
nay, impossible for the latter, even to suspect a connexion.  A gap
remains between the subject of the history and the reader which cuts
off all possibility of comparison or application, and which, instead of
awakening that wholesome alarm, that warns too secure health, merely
calls forth the shake of the head denoting suspicion.  We regard the
unhappy person, who was still a man as much as ourselves, both when he
committed the act and when he atoned for it, as a creature of another
species, whose blood flows differently from our own, and whose will
does not obey the same regulations as our own.  His fate teaches us but
little, as sympathy is only founded on an obscure consciousness of
similar peril, and we are far removed even from the bare suspicion of
such similarity.  The relation being lost, instruction is lost with it,
and history, instead of being a school of cultivation, must rest
content with the humble merit of having satisfied our curiosity.  If it
is to become any thing more and attain its great purpose, it must
choose one of these two plans: either the reader must become as warm as
the hero, or the hero must become as cold as the reader.

I am aware that many of the best historians, both of ancient and modern
times, have adhered to the first method, and have gained the heart of
their reader, by a style which carries him along with the subject.  But
this is an usurpation on the part of the author, and an infringement on
the republican freedom of the reading public, which is itself entitled
to sit in judgment: it is at the same time a violation of the law of
boundaries, since this method belongs exclusively and properly to the
orator and the poet.  The last method is alone open to the historian.

The hero then must be as cold as the reader or--what comes to the same
thing--we must become acquainted with him before he begins to act; we
must see him not only perform, but will his action.  His thoughts
concern us infinitely more than his deeds, and the sources of his
thoughts still more than the consequences of his deeds.  The soil of
Vesuvius has been explored to discover the origin of its eruption; and
why is less attention paid to a moral than to a physical phenomenon?
Why do we not equally regard the nature and situation of the things
which surround a certain man, until the tinder collected within him
takes fire?  The dreamer, who loves the wonderful is charmed by the
singularity and wonder of such a phenomenon; but the friend of truth
seeks a mother for these lost children.  He seeks her in the
unalterable structure of the human soul, and in the variable conditions
by which it is influenced from without, and by searching both these he
is sure to find her.  He is now no more astonished to see the poisonous
hemlock thriving in that bed, in every other part of which wholesome
herbs are growing, to find wisdom and folly, virtue and vice, together
in the same cradle.

Not to mention any of the advantages which psychology derives from such
a method of treating history, this method has alone the preference,
because it uproots the cruel scorn and proud security with which erect
and untempted virtue commonly looks down upon the fallen, because it
diffuses the mild spirit of toleration, without which no fugitive can
return, no reconciliation between the law and its offender is possible,
no infected member of society can escape utter mortification.

Had the criminal of whom I am now about to speak a right to appeal to
that spirit of toleration?  Was he really lost for the body of the
state, without a possibility of redemption?  I will not anticipate the
reader's verdict.  Our leniency will no more avail him, since he
perished by the hand of the executioner, but the dissection of his
crime will perhaps instruct humanity, and possibly instruct justice

Christian Wolf was the son of an innkeeper in a provincial town (the
name of which must be concealed for reasons which will be obvious in
the sequel), and, his father being dead, he assisted his mother in the
business till his twentieth year.  The business was bad, and Wolf had
many an idle hour.  Even from his school days he was notorious as a
loose kind of fellow.  Grown up girls complained of his audacity, and
the lads of the town reverenced his inventive powers.  Nature had
neglected his person.  A little insignificant figure, curly hair of an
unpleasant blackness, a flat nose, and a swollen upper lip, which had
been moreover put out of its place by the kick of a horse, gave a
repulsiveness to his appearance, which scared all the women away from
him, and afforded abundant material for the wit of his comrades.

Obstinately did he endeavour to gain what had been denied him; because
he was unpleasant he determined to please.  He was sensual, and
persuaded himself that he was in love.  The girl whom he chose
ill-treated him; he had reason to fear his rivals were more fortunate;
nevertheless the girl was poor.  A heart that was closed to his
endearments might possibly open to his presents, but he himself was
oppressed by want, and his vain endeavour to produce an effective
exterior absorbed the small gains of his miserable business.  Too
indolent and too ignorant to restore his dilapidated affairs by
speculation, too proud, and also too delicate to exchange the condition
of master which he had hitherto held, for that of peasant, he saw but
one path before him--a path which thousands before and after him have
taken with better success--that of stealing honestly.  His native town
bordered on a wood, which belonged to the sovereign; he turned poacher,
and the profits of his depredations were faithfully placed in the hands
of his mistress.

Among the lovers of Johanna was Robert, a huntsman in the service of
the forester.  This man soon perceived the advantage which had been
gained over him by the liberality of his rival, and filled with envy,
he investigated the source of this change.  He appeared more frequently
at the Sun--this was the sign of the inn--and his watchful eye,
sharpened by envy and jealousy, soon showed him whence the money had
been procured.  A short time before, a severe edict had been revived
against poachers, condemning transgressors to the house of correction.
Robert was unwearied in observing the secret paths of his rival, and
finally succeeded in catching the unwary man in the very fact.  Wolf
was apprehended, and it was only by the sacrifice of all his property,
that he was able--and then with difficulty--to escape the awarded
punishment by a fine.

Robert triumphed.  His rival was beaten out of the field, and Johanna's
favour was at an end, now he was a beggar.  Wolf knew his enemy, and
this enemy was the happy possessor of Johanna.  An oppressive feeling
of want was combined with offended pride, necessity and jealousy raged
together against his sensitiveness, hunger drove him out upon the wide
world, revenge and passion held him fast.  For a second time he turned
poacher, but Robert's redoubled vigilance was again too much for him.
Now he experienced all the severity of the law, for he had nothing more
to give, and in a few weeks he was consigned to the house of correction
attached to the capital.

This year of punishment had passed, absence had increased his passion,
and his stubbornness had become greater under the weight of his
misfortune.  Scarcely had he regained his freedom than he hastened to
the place of his birth to show himself to his Johanna.  He appeared,
and all shunned him.  Pressing necessity at last subdued his pride, and
overcame his sense of personal weakness,--he offered himself to the
opulent of the place, as willing to serve for daily hire.  The farmer
shrugged his shoulders as he saw the weakly looking creature, and the
stout bony frame of a rival applicant was decisive against him in the
mind of the unfeeling patron.  He made one effort more.  One office was
still left--the very last post of an honest name.  He applied for the
vacant place of herdsman of the town, but the peasant would not trust
his pigs to a scape-grace.  Frustrated in every effort, rejected at
every place, he became a poacher for the third time, and for a third
time had the misfortune of falling into the hands of his watchful enemy.

The double relapse had increased the magnitude of the offence.  The
judges looked into the book of laws, but not into the criminal's state
of mind.  The decree against poachers required a solemn and exemplary
satisfaction; and Wolf was condemned to work for three years in the
fortification, with the mark of the gallows branded on his back.

This period also had elapsed, and he quitted the fortification, a very
different man from the man he was when he entered it.  Here began a new
epoch in his life.  Let us hear him speak himself, as he afterwards
confessed to his spiritual adviser, and before the court.  "I entered
the fortification," he said, "as an erring man, and I left it--a
villain.  I had still possessed something in the world which was dear
to me, and my pride had bowed down under shame.  When I was brought to
the fortification, I was confined with three and twenty prisoners, two
of whom were murderers, while all the rest were notorious thieves and
vagabonds.  They scoffed at me, when I spoke of God, and encouraged me
to utter all sorts of blasphemies against the Redeemer.  Obscene songs
were sung in my presence, which, graceless fellow as I was, I could not
hear without disgust and horror; and what I saw done, was still more
revolting to my sense of decency.  There was not a day in which some
career of shame was not repeated, in which some evil project was not
hatched.  At first I shunned these people, and avoided their discourse
as much as possible; but I wanted the sympathy of some fellow creature,
and the barbarity of my keepers had even denied me my dog.  The labour
was hard and oppressive, my body weak; I wanted assistance, and, if I
must speak out, I wanted compassion also, and this I was forced to
purchase with the last remains of my conscience.  Thus did I ultimately
become inured to what was most detestable, and in the quarter of the
year I had surpassed my instructors.

"I now thirsted after the day of liberty, as I thirsted after revenge.
All men had offended me, for all were better and happier than me.  I
considered myself the martyr of natural rights, the victim of the law.
Grinding my teeth, I rubbed my chains, when the sun rose behind the
mountain on which the fortification stood;--a wide prospect is a
two-fold hell for a prisoner.  The free breeze that whistled through
the loop-holes of my tower, the swallow that perched on the iron bar of
my grating, seemed to insult me with their liberty, and made my
confinement the more hideous.  Then I swore a fierce, unconquerable
hate against all that resembles man, and faithfully have I kept my oath.

"My first thought, as soon as I was free, was my native town.  Little
as I had to hope there for my future support, much was promised to my
hunger for revenge.  My heart beat more wildly as I saw the
church-steeple rise in the distance from the wood.  It was no more that
heartfelt comfort, which I felt, when first I returned thither.  The
remembrance of all the afflictions, all the persecutions which I had
suffered then roused me at once from a frightful torpor; every wound
bled afresh, every scar was opened.  I quickened my steps, for I walked
in the thought of terrifying my enemy by my sudden appearance, and I
now thirsted as much after new humiliation as I had before trembled at

"The bells were ringing for vespers, while I stood in the middle of the
market.  The congregation was thronging to church.  I was now
recognised, and every one who came near me shyly shrank back.  I was
always very fond of little children, and even now, by an involuntary
impulse, I gave a groschen to a boy who was skipping by me.  The boy
stared at me for a moment, and then flung the groschen into my face.
Had my blood been cooler I should have remembered that the beard, which
I had brought with me from the fortification, disfigured my face in the
most frightful manner, but my bad heart had infected my reason.  Tears,
such as I had never shed, ran down my cheeks.

"'The boy does not know who I am, nor whence I come,' I now said to
myself, half aloud, 'and yet he shuns me like some noxious beast.  Have
I any mark on my forehead, or have I ceased to look like a man because
I can no longer love one?'  The contempt of this boy wounded me more
bitterly than three years' service in the galleys, for I had done him a
kindness, and could not charge him with personal hatred.

"I sat down in a timber-yard opposite the church.  What I actually
desired I do not know, but this I know, that I rose with indignation;
when, of all my acquaintance that passed, not one would give me a
greeting.  Deeply offended, I left the spot to seek a lodging, when
just as I was turning the corner of a street I ran against my Johanna.
'The host of the Sun!' she cried aloud, and made a movement to embrace
me.  'Thou returned, dear host of the Sun--God be praised!'  Her attire
bespoke misery and hunger, her aspect denoted the abandoned condition
to which she had sunk.  I quickly surmised what had happened; some of
the prince's dragoons who had met me, made me guess that there was a
garrison in the town.  'Soldier's wench!' cried I, and laughing, I
turned my back upon her.  I felt comforted that in the rank of living
beings there was still one creature below me.  I had never loved her.

"My mother was dead, my creditors had paid themselves with my small
house.  I had lost every body and every thing.  All the world shunned
me as though I were venomous, but I had at last forgotten shame.
Before, I had retired from the sight of men because contempt was
unendurable.  Now I obtruded myself upon them, and felt delight in
scaring them.  I was easy because I had nothing more to lose, and
nothing more to guard.  I no more needed any good quality, because none
believed I could have any.

"The whole world lay open before me, and in some strange province I
might have passed for an honest man, but I had lost the spirit even to
appear one.  Despair and shame had at last forced this mood upon me.
It was the last refuge that was left me, to learn to do without honour,
because I had no longer a claim to it.  Had my pride and vanity
survived my degradation, I must have destroyed myself.

"What I had actually resolved upon was yet unknown even to myself.  I
had to be sure a dark remembrance that I wished to do something bad.  I
wished to merit my fate.  The laws, I thought, were beneficial to the
world, and therefore I embraced the determination of violating them.
Formerly I had sinned from necessity and levity, now it was from free
choice, and for my own pleasure.

"My first plan was to continue my poaching.  Hunting altogether had
gradually become a passion with me, and besides I was forced to live
some way.  But this was not all; I was tickled at the thought of
scorning the princely edict, and of injuring my sovereign to the utmost
of my power.  I no more feared apprehension, for I had a bullet ready
for my discoverer, and I knew that I should not miss my man.  I killed
all the game that came across me, a small quantity of which I sold on
the border, but the greater part I left to rot.  I lived miserably,
that I might be able to afford powder and ball.  My devastations in the
great hunt were notorious, but suspicion no longer touched me.  My
aspect dissipated it: my name was forgotten.

"This kind of life lasted for several months.  One morning I had, as
usual rambled through the wood, to follow the track of a deer.  I had
wearied myself for two hours in vain, and was already beginning to give
up my prey as lost, when I suddenly discovered it within gun-shot.  I
was about to take aim and fire, when I was suddenly startled by the
appearance of a hat which lay on the ground a few paces before me.  I
looked closer, and discovered the huntsman Robert, who from behind the
thick trunk of an oak tree was levelling his gun at the very animal
which I had designed to shoot.  At this sight a deadly coldness passed
through my bones.  Here was the man whom I detested more than any
living thing, and this man within reach of my bullet.  At the moment I
felt as if the whole world depended on the firing of my gun, and the
hatred of my whole life seemed concentrated in the tip of the finger
that was to give the fatal pressure to the trigger.  An invisible fatal
hand was suspended over me, the index of my destiny pointed irrevocably
to this black minute.  My arm trembled, when I allowed my gun the fatal
choice, my teeth chattered as in an ague fit, and my breath, with a
suffocating sensation, was confined in my lungs.  For the duration of
one minute did the barrel of the gun waver uncertainly between the man
and the deer, one minute--and one more--and yet one more.  It was a
doubtful and obstinate contest between revenge and conscience, but
revenge gained the victory, and the huntsman lay dead on the ground.

"My gun fell as it had been fired.  'Murderer,' I stammered out
slowly--the wood was as silent as a churchyard, and I could hear
plainly that I said 'murderer.'  When I drew nearer, the man had died.
Long did I stand speechless before the corse, when a shrill burst of
laughter came as a relief.  'Will you keep counsel now, friend?' said
I, and boldly stepping up to the murdered man, I turned round his face
towards myself.  His eyes were wide open.  I was serious, and again
became suddenly still.  An extraordinary feeling took possession of me.

"Hitherto I had sinned on account of my disgrace, but now something had
happened for which I had not yet atoned.  An hour before, I think, no
man could have persuaded me that there was any thing under heaven worse
than myself, whereas, now I began to suspect that my condition an hour
before was, perhaps, an enviable one.

"God's judgments did not occur to me,--but I had a dim recollection of
sword and cord, and the execution of an infanticide which I saw while a
school-boy.  There was something peculiarly terrible to me in the
thought that my life from this moment had become forfeit.  More I do
not recollect.  My first wish was that Robert was still living.  I
endeavoured forcibly to recall to my mind all the wrong that the
deceased had done me during his life,--but strange to say, my memory
seemed to have perished.  I could recall nothing of that, which a
quarter of an hour before had impelled me to madness.  I did not
understand how I had been induced to commit this murder.

"I was yet standing by the corpse.  The crack of some whips, and the
noise of carts, which were passing through the wood, brought me to my
senses.  The deed had been committed scarcely a quarter of a mile from
the high road, and I was forced to think of my own safety.

"Unintentionally I strayed deeper into the wood.  On the way, it struck
me that the deceased once possessed a watch.  I needed money to reach
the border--and yet I lacked courage to return to the spot, where the
dead man lay.  A thought of the devil and of an omnipotence of the
deity began to terrify me.  However, I summoned all my audacity, and
resolved to set all hell at defiance.  I returned to the place.  I
found what I had expected, and also money amounting to rather more than
a dollar in a green purse.  Just as I was about to put them both up, I
suddenly stopped, and began to reflect.  It was no fit of shame, nor
was it the fear of increasing my crime by plunder.  I believe it was
out of a spirit of defiance that I flung away the watch, and only kept
half the money.  I wished to be taken for a personal enemy of the
murdered man, but not for one who had robbed him.

"I now fled deeper into the wood, which I knew extended four German
miles to the north, and there touched the border of the country.  Till
noon I ran breathless.  The rapidity of my flight had dissipated the
anguish of my conscience, but the return of that anguish was frightful,
when my strength more and more declined.  A thousand hideous forms
passed before me, and struck into my heart, like sharp knives.  Between
a life filled with an increasing terror of death, and a violent end,
the awful choice was now left me--and choose I must.  I had not the
heart to quit the world by self-destruction, and I was terrified at the
prospect of remaining in it.  Fixed as it were between the certain
torments of life, and the uncertain terrors of eternity--unable to live
or to die--I passed the sixth hour of my flight--an hour brimful of
horrors, such as no living man could narrate.

"Slowly--absorbed in myself, and with my hat unconsciously slouched
over my face, as if I wished to conceal myself from the eye of
inanimate nature,--I had insensibly followed a narrow path, which led
me through the deepest part of the thicket--when suddenly a rough
imperious voice called to me, 'stop.'  The voice was quite close; my
abstraction and the slouched hat had prevented me from looking round.
I raised my eyes and saw a wild man, armed with a great knotted club,
approaching me.  His figure was almost gigantic--at least my first
surprise made me think so--and the colour of his skin was a yellow
mulatto sort of black, with which the whiteness of a squinting eye
stood in terrible contrast.  Instead of a girdle he had a thick rope
wound twice round a green woollen coat, in which were stuck a broad
knife and a pistol.  The cry was repeated, and a powerful arm held me
fast.  The sound of a man had frightened me, but the aspect of a
villain gave me new heart.  In my present situation, I had cause to
tremble before every honest man, but none to tremble before a robber.

"'Who is there?' said the apparition.

"'One like yourself,' was my answer, 'if you really correspond to your

"'That is not the way out?  What are you looking for here?'

"'What is that to you?' retorted I, insolently.

"The man considered me twice from top to toe.  It seemed as though he
wished to compare my figure with his own, and my answer with my figure.
'You speak as rudely as a beggar,' he said at last.

"'Perhaps so.  I was a beggar yesterday.'

"The man laughed.  'One could swear you did not want to pass for any
thing better now.'

"'For something worse then.'--I wished to proceed.

"'Softly friend, why in such a hurry?  What time have you to lose?'

"I reflected for a moment.  How the words came to my tongue I do not
know.  'Life is short,' said I, slowly, 'and hell lasts for ever!'

"He stared at me.  'May I be d--d,' he said at last, 'if thou hast not
brushed close by a gallows.'

"'Very possibly.  So good bye for the present, comrade!'

"'_Topp_, comrade!' he cried, as he drew a tin flask out of his
hunting-pouch, took a good draught from it, and handed it to me.
Flight and anguish had exhausted my energies, and nothing had passed my
lips the whole day.  I had already feared that I should have sunk from
exhaustion in this wood, where no refreshment was to be expected for
three miles round.  Judge how joyfully I responded to this health.
With the animating draught new strength flowed into my bones, new
courage into my heart, and I felt hope and the love of life.  I began
to think that perhaps I was not quite wretched; so much at least was
the welcome beverage all to do.  Yes, I must even confess that my
situation approached that of happiness, for at last, after a thousand
vain hopes, I had found a creature who seemed similar to myself.  In
the condition to which I had fallen I should have drank good fellowship
with the spirit of evil himself for the sake of having a confidant.

"The man had stretched himself out on the grass.  I did the same.

"'Your liquor has done me good,' said I.  'We must become acquainted.'

"He struck fire to light his pipe.

"'Have you carried on this business long?'

"He looked hard at me.  'What do you mean by that?'

"'Has this often been stained with blood?'  I drew the knife from his

"'Who are you?' said he, in a fearful tone, and he laid down his pipe.

"'A murderer like you, but only a beginner.'

"The man stared at me, and took up his pipe again.  'Do you reside
here?' he said at last.

"'Three miles off.  I am the host of the Sun at ----, of whom perhaps
you have heard.'

"The man sprung up as if possessed.  'The poacher Wolf,' he cried

"'The same!'

"'Welcome, comrade, welcome!' cried he, and shook my hands violently.
'That is brave, that I have you at last, mine host of the Sun.  Day and
night have I been thinking how to get you.  I know you well.  I know
all.  I have reckoned on you long ago.'

"'Reckoned on me!  For what?'

"'The whole country round is full of you.  You have enemies!  A bailiff
has oppressed you, Wolf!  They have ruined you, and the wrongs you have
suffered cry aloud to Heaven.'

"The man became warm.  'Because you have shot a few hogs, which the
prince feeds in our fields they have dragged you about for years in the
house of correction and the fortification, they have robbed you of your
house and business and made you a beggar.  Has it come to this,
brother, that a man is worth no more than a hare?  Are we not better
than brutes of the field?  And a fellow like you could suffer that?'

"'Could I alter it?'

"'That we shall see.  But tell me, whence do you come, and what do you

"I began to tell him all my history.  The man, without waiting till I
had finished it, sprung up with joyous impatience, and drew me after
him.  'Come, brother host of the Sun,' said he, 'now you are ripe, now
I have you when I wanted you.  I shall get honour by you.  Follow me.'

"'Where will you take me?'

"'Do not stop to ask, but follow.'  He then forcibly dragged me along.

"We had proceeded about a quarter of a mile.  The wood became more and
more steep, pathless and wild, neither of us uttered a word, until at
last my leader's whistle startled me out of my meditations.  I raised
my eyes, we were standing on the edge of a steep rock, which was bowed
down into a deep cleft.  A second whistle answered from the interior
hollow of the rock, and a ladder slowly rose from the abyss, as of its
own accord.  My conductor descended first, and told me to wait till he
returned.  'I must first chain up my dog,' said he, 'you are strange
here, and the beast would tear you to pieces.'

"I now stood alone before the abyss, and well I knew that I was alone.
The improvidence of my leader did not escape my attention.  It only
required a hearty resolution to draw up the ladder; then I should have
been free, and my flight would have been secure.  I confess that I
perceived that.  I looked down into the abyss, which was now to receive
me, and it dimly reminded me of the descent into hell, from which there
is no redemption.  I began to shudder at the career I was about to
enter; only a rapid flight could save me.  I resolved on this flight; I
had already stretched my hand towards the ladder, but at once there was
a thunder in my ears, a noise about me like the scornful laughter of
hell, and it seemed to say: 'What can a murderer risk?'  My arm fell
back as if paralysed.  I had reckoned rightly, the time for repentance
had passed, the murder I had committed lay towering up behind me like a
rock, and cut off my retreat for ever.  At the same time my conductor
re-appeared and told me I might come.  There was now no longer any
choice.  I clambered down.

"We had proceeded some steps, beneath the wall of the rock, when the
ground became wider and some huts were visible.  In the midst of these
was a round grass plat, on which about eighteen or twenty persons were
lying round a charcoal fire.  'Here comrades,' said my conductor,
placing me in the centre of the circle.  'Our host of the Sun!  Bid him

"'The host of the Sun!' cried all at once, and they all--men and
women--rose and pressed round me.  Shall I confess it.  The joy was
hearty and unaffected, confidence, nay, esteem appeared in every face;
one pressed my hand, another familiarly shook me by my coat--the whole
scene resembled that at the re-appearance of an old and valued friend.
My arrival had interrupted the feast, which they had just begun.  They
now continued it, and invited me to pledge the welcome.  Game of all
kinds formed the meal, and the wine flask passed without flagging from
hand to hand.  Good cheer and unity seemed to animate the entire band,
and the contest among them all was who should show the most extravagant
delight at my arrival.

"They had seated me between two women, which was the post of honour at
the table.  I expected to find the refuse of their sex, but how great
was my astonishment when I discovered among this infamous troop the
most beautiful female forms that my eyes had ever beheld.  Margaret,
the eldest and most beautiful of the two, was called Miss, and could
scarcely have been five-and-twenty.  Her words were very bold, and her
gestures still more so.  Maria, the younger, was married, but she had
fled from a husband, who had ill-used her.  She was more elegant, but
pale and delicate-looking, and less striking to the eye than her fiery
neighbour.  Both women strove hard to excite my passion.  The beautiful
Margaret endeavoured to overcome my bashfulness by loose jests, but the
whole woman was repulsive to me, and the bashful Maria had gained my
heart for ever.

"'You see, brother host of the Sun,' began the man who had brought me,
'You see how we live together, and every day is like this one.  Is it
not true, comrades?'

"'Every day like this!' repeated the whole band.

"'If, then, you can resolve to find pleasure in our mode of life,
strike a bargain and be our leader.  I have held that post hitherto,
but I will give it up to you.  Are you content, comrades.'

"A joyful 'Yes!' was responded from every throat.

"My head was on fire, my brain was turned, and my blood was boiling
with wine and passion.  The world had cast me out as infected with the
plague, but here I found a brotherly reception, honour, and comfort.
Whatever choice I made death awaited me, but here I could at least sell
my life for a higher price.  Sensuality was my most violent tendency;
hitherto the other sex had only shown me contempt, but here I should
find favour and boundless enjoyment.  My determination cost me but
little.  'I stay with you, comrades,' cried I, loudly and resolutely,
and walked into the midst of the band.  'I remain with you,' I cried
again, 'if you will give me my beautiful neighbour.'  All agreed to
grant my request, and I was the declared possessor of a harlot, and
owner of a band of robbers."

      *      *      *      *      *

The following part of the history I entirely pass over; the merely
detestable has nothing instructive for the reader.  An unfortunate man
who had sunk to this depth, would at last necessarily allow himself all
that raises the indignation of mankind.  He did not, however, commit
another murder, as he himself confessed upon the rack.

The fame of this man shortly spread over the entire province.  The high
roads became unsafe; the citizens were rendered uneasy by the
burglaries committed in the night; the name of the "Host of the Sun"
became the terror of the country-people, justice searched for him, and
a reward was offered for his head.  He was fortunate enough to
frustrate all attempts made against his liberty, and cunning enough to
turn to the account of his safety the superstition of the wonder-loving
peasantry.  His comrades had to spread the report that he had made a
compact with the devil, and understood witchcraft.  The district in
which he played his part, belonged less at that time than now to the
enlightened part of Germany; the reports were believed, and his person
was secure.  No one showed a desire to attack the dangerous fellow who
had the devil at his service.

He had already for a year followed his melancholy profession, when it
began to grow insupportable.  The band at whose head he stood, did not
fulfil his brilliant expectations.  A seductive exterior had dazzled
him amid the fumes of the wine; now he saw with horror how frightfully
he had been deceived.  Hunger and want took the place of that
superfluity by which his senses had been lulled; very often he had to
risk his life on a meal, which was scarcely sufficient to keep him from
starvation.  The phantom of that brotherly concord vanished; envy,
suspicion, and jealousy raged among this abandoned crew.  Justice had
offered a reward to any one who should deliver him up alive, with a
solemn pardon if he were an accomplice--a powerful temptation for the
dregs of the earth!  The unhappy man knew his peril.  The honesty of
those who betrayed God and man, was a bad security for his life.  From
this moment sleep was gone; a deadly and eternal anguish preyed on his
repose; the hideous spectre of suspicion rattled behind him, wherever
he fled, tortured him when he was awake, lay down by him when he went
to sleep, and scared him with horrible visions.  His conscience, which
had been for some time dumb, now recovered its speech, and the adder of
remorse, which had slept, now awoke amid the general storm of his
bosom.  All his hatred was now diverted from mankind, and turned its
frightful edge against himself.  He now forgave all nature, and found
none but himself to execrate.

Vice had completed its instruction of this unhappy being; his naturally
good sense at last overcame the mournful delusion.  Now he felt how low
he had fallen, calm melancholy took the place of grinding despair.
With tears he wished the past were recalled, for now he felt certain
that he could go through it differently.  He began to hope that he
might be allowed to become honest, because he felt that he could be so.
At the highest point of his depravity, he was perhaps nearer to
goodness than before his first fault.

About the same time, the seven years' war had broken out, and
recruiting was going on with vigour.  This circumstance inspired the
unhappy man with hope, and he wrote a letter to his sovereign, an
extract of which I insert:

"If your princely favour feels no repugnance towards descending to me,
if criminals of my class are not beyond the sphere of your mercy, grant
me a hearing, I beg of your most serene highness!  I am a murderer and
a robber; the law condemns me to death, the tribunals are in search of
me, and I offer myself to serve as a volunteer.  But at the same time,
I bring a singular request before your throne.  I detest my life, and
do not fear death, but it is terrible for me to die without having
lived.  I would live to make reparation for a portion of the past, I
would live to make some atonement to the state, which I have offended.
My execution will be an example to the world, but no compensation for
my deeds.  I detest vice, and have a burning desire for integrity and
virtue.  I have shown the talents for becoming formidable to my
country--I hope I have some left to be of service to it.

"I know that I am asking something which is unprecedented.  My life is
forfeit, and it is not for me to negotiate with justice.  But I do not
appear in bonds and fetters before you--I am still free--and fear on my
part has the smallest share in my request.

"It is for mercy that I ask.  If I had a claim to justice, I should no
longer venture to assert it.  But of one thing I may remind my judge.
The epoch of my crimes begins with the judgment that for ever deprived
me of honour.  Had fairness been less denied me on that occasion, I
should not now, perhaps, have stood in need of mercy.

"Show mercy, my prince, instead of justice.  If it is in your princely
power to move the law in my favour, then grant me my life.  From
henceforth it shall be devoted to your service.  If you can do so, let
me learn your gracious will from the public journals, and I will appear
in the metropolis on your word as a prince.  If you have resolved
otherwise, let justice do her part, I must do mine."

This petition remained unanswered, and so did a second, and a third, in
which the applicant asked for a trooper's place in the prince's
service.  His hopes for a pardon were utterly extinguished, so he
resolved to quit the country, and to die as a brave soldier in the
service of the King of Prussia.

He succeeded in escaping from his land, and began his journey.  The
road led him through a little provincial town, where he wished to pass
the night.  A short time before, mandates of exceeding strictness had
been published throughout the country, requiring a severe examination
of travellers, because the sovereign, a prince of the empire, had taken
part in the war.  The toll-collector (_Thorschreiber_) of this little
town had just received a mandate, and he was sitting on a bench before
the toll-bar, when the "Host of the Sun" came up.  The appearance of
this man had in it something comical, and at the same time wild and
terrible.  The lean pony which he rode, and the grotesque choice of his
attire, in which his taste had probably been less consulted than the
chronology of his thefts, contrasted singularly enough with a face over
which so many raging passions were spread, like mangled corpses on a
field of battle.  The collector was struck by the sight of this strange
wanderer.  He had grown grey at the toll-bar, and by attending to his
office for forty years had become an infallible physiognomist of all
the vagabonds about.  The falcon-glance of this investigator did not
miss its man on this occasion.  He at once fastened the town-gate, and
asked the rider for his passport while he secured his bridle.  Wolf was
prepared for chances of this kind, and actually had with him a
passport, which he had taken shortly before while plundering a
merchant.  This single voucher, however, did not suffice to counteract
the observation of forty years, and to move the oracle of the toll-bar
to a recantation.  He trusted his eyes more than the paper, and Wolf
was obliged to follow him to the office of the bailiff.

The superior of the office examined the passport and declared it
correct.  He was an ardent lover of news, and it was his delight to
chatter over the newspaper by his bottle.  The passport told him that
the bearer had come straight from those foreign countries, where the
theatre of the war was situated.  He hoped to get private intelligence
from the stranger, and sent back a secretary with the passport to
invite him to partake of a bottle of wine.

In the meanwhile the "Host of the Sun" was standing in front of the
office, and the whimsical spectacle had assembled the rabble of the
town in throngs.  The people whispered into one another's ears, pointed
at the horse and rider, till at last the insolence of the mob increased
to a loud tumult.  The horse, at which every one pointed, was unluckily
a stolen one, and Wolf fancied that it had been described in placards
and was recognised.  The unexpected hospitality of the superior
confirmed his suspicion.  He now considered it certain that the falsity
of his passport was discovered, and that the invitation was only a
snare to catch him alive and without resistance.  His bad conscience
besotted him, so he clapped spurs to his horse and rode off without
giving a reply.

This sudden flight was the signal for an uproar.

"A thief!" cried all; and off they flew after him.  To the rider it was
a matter of life and death; he had already the start, his followers
panted breathlessly, and he seemed to be on the point of escape.  But a
heavy hand pressed invisibly towards him, the watch of his destiny had
run down, the inexorable Nemesis detained her debtor.  The street to
which he trusted had no outlet, and he was forced to turn back towards
his persecutors.

The noise of this event had in the meanwhile set the whole town in an
uproar; throng pressed on throng, all the streets were lined, and a
host of enemies were marching towards him.  He showed a pistol, the mob
receded, and he would have made a way through the crowd by force.  "A
shot from this," said he, "for the mad fool who detains me."  A general
pause was dictated by fear, when at last, a bold journeyman blacksmith
darted on his arm from behind, caught the finger with which the insane
man was about to fire, and forced it out of joint.  The pistol fell,
the disarmed man was pulled from his horse, and dragged to the office
in triumph.

"Who are you?" asked the judge in a somewhat brutal tone.

"A man who is resolved to answer no question until it is put more

"Who are you?"[1]

"That which I represented myself to be.  I have travelled all through
Germany, and never found impudence at home, anywhere but here."

"Your speedy flight renders you very suspicious.  Why did you fly?"

"Because I was tired of being the laughing-stock of your rabble."

"You threatened to fire."

"My pistol was not loaded."

The weapon was examined, and, true enough, it contained no bullet.

"Why did you secretly carry arms?"

"Because I have with me articles of value, and because I have been
warned against a certain 'Host of the Sun,' who is said to be roving
about these parts."

"Your replies argue much for your audacity, but little for the goodness
of your cause.  I will give you till to-morrow to discover the truth to

"I shall abide by what I have already said."

"Let him be conducted to the tower."

"To the tower?  I hope, Herr Superior, that there is still justice in
this country.  I shall require satisfaction."

"I will give it you as soon as you are acquitted."

The next morning the superior reflected that the stranger might be
innocent after all; a dictatorial address could effect nothing with his
obstinacy, and it might, perhaps, be better to treat him with respect
and moderation.  He collected the jury of the place, and had the
prisoner brought forward.

"Forgive me for the first outbreak, sir, if I accosted you somewhat
hardly yesterday."

"Very readily, if you treat me thus."

"Our laws are severe, and your affair made a noise.  I cannot release
you without committing a breach of duty.  Appearance is against you,
and I wish you would say something, by which it might be refuted."

"What, if I know nothing?"

"Then I must lay the case before the government, and you will, in the
meanwhile, remain closely confined."

"And then?"

"Then you run the risk of being flogged over the border as a vagrant,
or, if mercy is shown, of being placed among the recruits."

He was silent for some minutes, and appeared to be undergoing a severe
contest, then he suddenly turned to the judge.

"Can I be alone with you for a quarter of an hour?"

The jury cast ambiguous glances at one another, but withdrew at a
commanding sign from their head.

"Now, what do you want?"

"Your demeanour of yesterday, Herr Superior, would never have brought
me to a confession, for I set force at defiance.  The moderation with
which you have treated me to-day has given me confidence and respect
for you.  I think that you are an honourable man."

"What have you to say to me?"

"I see that you are an honourable man; I have long wished for a man
like you.  Give me, I pray, your right hand."

"To what end?"

"That head is gray and reverend.  You have been long in the world--have
felt many sorrows--is it not so?  And have become more humane."

"Sir, to what does this tend?"

"You are now distant by only one step from eternity--soon, soon will
you need mercy from God.  You will not deny it to man.  Do you suspect
nothing?  With whom do you suppose you are speaking?"

"What do you mean?  You terrify me."

"If you do not already suspect--write to your prince how you found me,
and that I myself of my free choice was my own betrayer--that God will
be merciful unto him as he now shows mercy unto me.  Entreat for me,
old man, and then let a tear fall on your report: I am--the 'Host of
the Sun.'"

J. O.

[1] These questions appear the same in English, but the first in German
is "Wer seyd Ihr," and the second "Wer sind Sie."  According to German
usage the latter alone is courteous.



Those who travel through Swabia should always remember to cast a
passing glance into the Schwarzwald,[1] not so much for the sake of the
trees (though pines are not found everywhere in such prodigious
numbers, nor of such a surpassing height), as for the sake of the
people, who show a marked difference from all others in the
neighbourhood around.  They are taller than ordinary men,
broad-shouldered, have strong limbs, and it seems as if the bracing air
which blows through the pines in the morning, has allowed them, from
their youth upwards, to breathe more freely, and has given them a
clearer eye and a firmer, though ruder, mind than the inhabitants of
the valleys and plains.  The strong contrast they form to the people
living without the limits of the "Wald," consists, not merely in their
bearing and stature, but also in their manners and costume.  Those of
the Schwarzwald of the Baden territory dress most handsomely; the men
allow their beards to grow about the chin just as nature gives it; and
their black jackets, wide trousers, which are plaited in small folds,
red stockings, and painted hats surrounded by a broad brim, give them a
strange, but somewhat grave and noble appearance.  Their usual
occupations are the manufacturing of glass, and the so-called Dutch
clocks, which they carry about for sale over half the globe.

Another part of the same race lives on the other side of the
Schwarzwald; but their occupations have made them contract manners and
customs quite different from those of the glass manufacturers.  Their
_Wald_ supplies their trade; felling and fashioning their pines, they
float them through the _Nagold_ into the _Neckar_, from thence down the
Rhine as far as Holland; and near the sea the _Schwarzwälder_ and their
long rafts are well known.  Stopping at every town which is situated
along the river, they wait proudly for purchasers of their beams and
planks; but the strongest and longest beams they sell at a high price
to Mynheers, who build ships of them.  Their trade has accustomed them
to a rude and roving life, their pleasure consisting in drifting down
the stream on their timber, their sorrow in wandering back again along
the shore.  Hence the difference in their costume from that of the
glass manufacturers.  They wear jackets of a dark linen cloth, braces a
hand's breadth wide, displayed over the chest, and trousers of black
leather, from the pocket of which a brass rule sticks out as a badge of
honour; but their pride and joy are their boots, which are probably the
largest that are worn in any part of the world, for they may be drawn
two spans above the knee, and the raftsmen may walk about in water at
three feet depth without getting their feet wet.

It is but a short time ago that the belief in hobgoblins of the wood
prevailed among the inhabitants, this foolish superstition having been
eradicated only in modern times.  But the singularity about these
hobgoblins who are said to haunt the Schwarzwald, is, that they also
wear the different costumes of the people.  Thus it is affirmed of the
_Glass-mannikin_, a kind little sprite three feet and a half high, that
he never shows himself except in a painted little hat with a broad
brim, a doublet, white trousers, and red stockings; while Dutch Michel,
who haunts the other side of the forest, is said to be a gigantic,
broad-shouldered fellow wearing the dress of a raftsman; and many who
have seen him say they would not like to pay for the calves whose hides
it would require to make one pair of his boots, affirming that, without
exaggeration, a man of the middle height may stand in one of them with
his head only just peeping out.

The following strange adventure with these spirits is said to have once
befallen a young Schwarzwälder:--There lived a widow in the
Schwarzwald, whose name was Frau Barbara Munk; her husband had been a
charcoal-burner, and after his death she had by degrees prevailed upon
her boy, who was now sixteen years old, to follow his father's trade.
Young Peter Munk, a sly fellow, submitted to sit the whole week near
the smoking stack of wood, because he had seen his father do the same;
or, black and sooty and an abomination to the people as he was, to
drive to the nearest town and sell his charcoal.  Now, a
charcoal-burner has much leisure for reflection, about himself and
others; and when Peter Munk was sitting by his stack, the dark trees
around him, as well as the deep stillness of the forest, disposed his
heart to tears, and to an unknown secret longing.  Something made him
sad, and vexed him, without his knowing exactly what it was.  At
length, however, he found out the cause of his vexation,--it was his
condition.  "A black, solitary charcoal-burner," he said to himself;
"it is a wretched life.  How much more are the glass-manufacturers, and
the clockmakers regarded; and even the musicians, on a Sunday evening!
And when Peter Munk appears washed, clean, and dressed out in his
father's best jacket with the silver buttons and bran new red
stockings--if then, any one walking behind him, thinks to himself, 'I
wonder who that smart fellow is?' admiring, all the time, my stockings
and stately gait;--if then, I say, he passes me and looks round, will
he not say, 'Why, it is only Peter Munk, the charcoal-burner."

The raftsmen also on the other side of the wood were an object of envy
to him.  When these giants of the forest came over in their splendid
clothes, wearing about their bodies half a hundred weight of silver,
either in buckles, buttons or chains, standing with sprawling legs and
consequential look to see the dancing, swearing in Dutch, and smoking
Cologne clay pipes a yard long, like the most noble Mynheers, then he
pictured to himself such a raftsman as the most perfect model of human
happiness.  But when these fortunate men put their hands into their
pocket, pulled out handsful of thalers and staked a Sechsbatzner piece
upon the cast of a die, throwing their five or ten florins to and fro,
he was almost mad and sneaked sorrowfully home to his hut.  Indeed he
had seen some of these gentlemen of the timber trade, on many a
holy-day evening, lose more than his poor old father had gained in the
whole year.  There were three of these men, in particular, of whom he
knew not which to admire most.  The one was a tall stout man with ruddy
face, who passed for the richest man in the neighbourhood; he was
usually called fat "Hesekiel."  Twice every year he went with timber to
Amsterdam, and had the good luck to sell it so much dearer than the
rest that he could return home in a splendid carriage, while they had
to walk.  The second was the tallest and leanest man in the whole
_Wald_, and was usually called "the tall Schlurker;" it was his
extraordinary boldness that excited Munk's envy, for he contradicted
people of the first importance, took up more room than four stout men,
no matter how crowded the inn might be, setting either both his elbows
upon the table, or drawing one of his long legs on the bench; yet,
notwithstanding all this, none dared to oppose him, since he had a
prodigious quantity of money.  The third was a handsome young fellow,
who being the best dancer far around, was hence called "the king of the
ball-room."  Originally poor he had been servant to one of the timber
merchants, when all at once he became immensely rich; for which some
accounted by saying he had found a pot full of money under an old pine
tree, while others asserted that he had fished up in the Rhine, near
Bingen, a packet of gold coins with the spear which these raftsmen
sometimes throw at the fish as they go along in the river, that packet
being part of the great "Niebelungenhort," which is sunk there.  But
however this might be, the fact of his suddenly becoming rich caused
him to be looked upon as a prince by young and old.

Often did poor Peter Munk the coal burner think of these three men,
when sitting alone in the pine forest.  All three indeed had one great
fault, which made them hated by every body: this was their insatiable
avarice, their heartlessness towards their debtors and towards the
poor, for the Schwarzwälder are naturally a kind-hearted people.
However, we all know how it is in these matters; though they were hated
for their avarice, yet they commanded respect on account of their
money, for who but they could throw away thalers, as if they could
shake them from the pines?

"This will do no longer," said Peter one day to himself, when he felt
very melancholy, it being the morrow after a holiday when every body
had been at the inn; "if I don't soon thrive I shall make away with
myself; Oh that I were as much looked up to and as rich as the stout
Hesekiel, or as bold and powerful as the tall Schlurker, or as renowned
as the king of the ball-room, and could like him throw thalers instead
of kreutzers to the musicians!  I wonder where the fellow gets his
money!"  Reflecting upon all the different means by which money may be
got, he could please himself with none, till at length he thought of
the tales of those people who, in times of old, had become rich through
the Dutchman Michel, or the glass-mannikin.  During his father's
lifetime other poor people often made their calls, and then their
conversation was generally about rich persons, and the means by which
they had come by their riches; in these discourses the glass-mannikin
frequently played a conspicuous part.  Now, if Peter strained his
memory a little he could almost recall the short verse which one must
repeat near the Tannenbühl in the heart of the forest, to make the
sprite appear.  It began as follows:

  "Keeper of wealth in the forest of pine,
  Hundreds of years are surely thine:
  Thine is the tall pine's dwelling place--"

But he might tax his memory as much as he pleased, he could remember no
more of it.  He often thought of asking some aged person what the whole
verse was.  However, a certain fear of betraying his thoughts kept him
back, and moreover he concluded that the legend of the glass-mannikin
could not be very generally known, and that but few were acquainted
with the incantation, since there were not many rich persons in the
Wald;--if it were generally known, why had not his father, and other
poor people, tried their luck?  At length, however, he one day got his
mother to talk about the mannikin, and she told him what he knew
already, as she herself remembered only the first line of the verse,
but she added, that the sprite would show himself only to those who had
been born on a Sunday, between eleven and two o'clock.  He was, she
said, quite fit for evoking him, as he was born at twelve o'clock at
noon; if he but knew the verse.

When Peter Munk heard this he was almost beside himself with joy and
desire to try the adventure.  It appeared to him enough to know part of
the verse, and to be born on a Sunday, for the glass-mannikin to show
himself.  Consequently when he one day had sold his coals, he did not
light a new stack, but put on his father's holiday jacket, his new red
stockings, and best hat, took his blackthorn stick, five feet long into
his hand, and bade farewell to his mother, saying, "I must go to the
magistrate in the town, for we shall soon have to draw lots who is to
be soldier, and therefore I wish to impress once more upon him that you
are a widow, and I am your only son."  His mother praised his
resolution; but he started for the Tannenbühl.  This lies on the
highest point of the Schwarzwald, and not a village or even a hut was
found, at that time, for two leagues around, for the superstitious
people believed it was haunted; they were even very unwilling to fell
timber in that part, though the pines were tall and excellent, for
often the axes of the wood-cutters had flown off the handle into their
feet, or the trees falling suddenly, had knocked the men down, and
either injured or even killed them; moreover, they could have used the
finest trees from there only for fuel, since the raftsmen never would
take a trunk from the Tannenbühl as part of a raft, there being a
tradition that both men and timber would come to harm, if they had a
tree from that spot on the water.  Hence the trees there grew so dense
and high that is was almost night at noon.  When Peter Munk approached
the place, he felt quite awe-stricken, hearing neither voice nor
footstep except his own; no axe resounded, and even the birds seemed to
shun the darkness amidst the pines.

Peter Munk had now reached the highest point of the Tannenbühl, and
stood before a pine of enormous girth, for which a Dutch ship-builder
would have given many hundred florins on the spot.  "Here," said he,
"the treasure-keeper (Schatzhauser) no doubt lives," and pulling off
his large hat, he made a low bow before the tree, cleared his throat,
and said, with a trembling voice, "I wish you a good evening, Mr.
Glass-mannikin."  But receiving no answer, and all around remaining
silent as before, he thought it would probably be better to say the
verse, and therefore murmured it forth.  On repeating the words, he
saw, to his great astonishment, a singular and very small figure peep
forth from behind the tree.  It seemed to him as if he had beheld the
glass-mannikin, just as he was described, the little black jacket, red
stockings, hat, all even to the pale, but fine shrewd countenance of
which the people so much talked, he thought he had seen.  But alas, as
quickly as it had peeped forth, as quickly it had disappeared again.
"Mr. Glass-mannikin," cried Peter Munk, after a short hesitation, "pray
don't make a fool of me; if you fancy that I have not seen you, you are
vastly mistaken, I saw you very well peeping forth from behind the
tree."  Still no answer, only at times he fancied he heard a low,
hoarse tittering behind the tree.  At length his impatience conquered
this fear, which had still restrained him, and he cried, "Wait, you
little rascal, I will have you yet."  At the same time he jumped behind
the tree, but there was no Schatzhauser, and only a pretty little
squirrel was running up the tree.

Peter Munk shook his head; he saw he had succeeded to a certain degree
in the incantation, and that he perhaps only wanted one more rhyme to
the verse to evoke the glass-mannikin; he tried over and over again,
but could not think of any thing.  The squirrel showed itself on the
lowest branches of the tree, and seemed to encourage or perhaps to mock
him.  It trimmed itself, it rolled its pretty tail, and looked at him
with its cunning eyes.  At length he was almost afraid of being alone
with this animal; for sometimes it seemed to have a man's head, and to
wear a three cornered hat, sometimes to be quite like another squirrel,
with the exception only of having red stockings and black shoes on its
hind feet.  In short it was a merry little creature, but still Peter
felt an awe, fancying that all was not right.

Peter now went away with more rapid strides than he had come.  The
darkness of the forest seemed to become blacker and blacker; the trees
stood closer to each other, and he began to be so terrified that he ran
off in a trot, and only became more tranquil when he heard dogs bark at
a distance, and soon after descried the smoke of a hut through the
trees.  But on coming nearer and seeing the dress of the people, he
found that having taken the contrary direction he had got to the
raftsmen instead of the glass-makers.  The people living in the hut
were wood-cutters, consisting of an aged man with his son who was the
owner, and some grown up grand-children.  They received Peter Munk, who
begged a night's quarter, hospitably enough without asking his name or
residence, they gave him cider to drink, and in the evening a large
black cock, the best meal in the Schwarzwald, was served up for supper.

After this meal the housewife and her daughters took their distaffs and
sat round a large pine torch, which the boys fed with the finest rosin;
the host with his guest sat smoking and looking at the women; while the
boys were busy carving wooden spoons and forks.  The storm was howling
and raging through the pines in the forest without, and now and then
very heavy blasts were heard, and it was as if whole trees were
breaking off and crashing down.  The fearless youths were about to run
out to witness this terrific and beautiful spectacle, but their
grandfather kept them back with a stern look and these words: "I would
not advise any of you," cried he, "to go now outside the door; by
heavens he never would return, for Michel the Dutchman is building this
night a new raft in the forest."

The younger of them looked at him with astonishment, having probably
heard before of Michel, but they now begged their grandpapa to tell
them some interesting story of him.  Peter Munk who had heard but
confused stories of Michel the Dutchman on the other side of the
forest, joined in this request, asking the old man who and where he
was.  "He is the lord of the forest," was the answer, "and from your
not having heard this at your age, it follows that you must be a native
of those parts just beyond the Tannenbühl or perhaps still more
distant.  But I will tell you all I know, and how the story goes about
him.  A hundred years ago or thereabouts, there were far and wide no
people more upright in their dealings than the Schwarzwälder, at least
so my grandfather used to tell me.  Now, since there is so much money
in the country, the people are dishonest and bad.  The young fellows
dance and riot on Sundays, and swear to such a degree that it is
horrible to hear them; whereas formerly it was quite different, and I
have often said and now say, though he should look in through the
window, that the Dutchman Michel is the cause of all this depravity.  A
hundred years ago then there lived a very rich timber merchant who had
many servants; he carried his trade far down the Rhine and was very
prosperous, being a pious man.  One evening a person such as he had
never seen came to his door; his dress was like that of the young
fellows of the Schwarzwald, but he was full a head taller than any of
them, and no one had ever thought there could be such a giant.  He
asked for work, and the timber-merchant, seeing he was strong, and able
to carry great weights, agreed with him about the wages and took him
into his service.  He found Michel to be a labourer such as he had
never yet had; for in felling trees he was equal to three ordinary men,
and when six men were pulling at one end of a trunk he would carry the
other end alone.  After having been employed in felling timber for six
months, he came one day before his master, saying, 'I have now been
cutting wood long enough here, and should like to see what becomes of
my trunks; what say you to letting me go with the rafts for once?'  To
which his master replied, 'I have no objection, Michel, to your seeing
a little of the world; to be sure I want strong men like yourself to
fell the timber, and on the river all depends upon skill; but,
nevertheless, be it for this time as you wish.'

"Now the float with which Michel was to go, consisted of eight rafts,
and in the last there were some of the largest beams.  But what then?
The evening before starting, the tall Michel brought eight beams to the
water, thicker and longer than had ever been seen, and he carried every
one of them as easily upon his shoulder as if it had been a rowing
pole, so that all were amazed.  Where he had felled them, no one knows
to this day.  The heart of the timber-merchant was leaping with joy
when he saw this, calculating what these beams would fetch; but Michel
said, 'Well, these are for my travelling on, with those chips I should
not be able to get on at all.'  His master was going to make him a
present of a pair of boots, but throwing them aside, Michel brought out
a pair the largest that had ever been seen, and my grandfather assured
me they weighed a hundred pounds and were five feet long.

"The float started; and if Michel had before astonished the
wood-cutters, he perfectly astonished the raftsmen; for his raft,
instead of drifting slowly down the river as they thought it would, by
reason of the immense beams, darted on like an arrow, as soon as they
came into the Neckar.  If the river took a turn, or if they came to any
part where they had a difficulty in keeping the middle stream or were
in danger of running aground, Michel always jumped into the water,
pushing his float either to the right or to the left, so that he glided
past without danger.  If they came to a part where the river ran
straight, Michel often sprang to the foremost raft, and making all put
up their poles, fixed his own enormous pole in the sand, and by one
push made the float dart along, so that it seemed as if the land,
trees, and villages were flying by them.  Thus they came in half the
time they generally occupied to Cologne on the Rhine, where they
formerly used to sell their timber.  Here Michel said, 'You are but
sorry merchants and know nothing of your advantage.  Think you these
Colognese want all the timber from the Schwarzwald for themselves?  I
tell you no, they buy it of you for half its value, and sell it dear to
Holland.  Let us sell our small beams here, and go to Holland with the
large ones; what we get above the ordinary price is our own profit.'

"Thus spoke the subtle Michel, and the others consented; some because
they liked to go and see Holland, some for the sake of the money.  Only
one man was honest, and endeavoured to dissuade them from putting the
property of their master in jeopardy or cheating him out of the higher
price.  However they did not listen to him and forgot his words, while
Michel forgot them not.  So they went down the Rhine with the timber,
and Michel, guiding the float soon brought them to Rotterdam.  Here
they were offered four times as much as at Cologne, and particularly
the large beams of Michel fetched a very high sum.  When the
Schwarzwälders beheld the money, they were almost beside themselves
with joy.  Michel divided the money, putting aside one-fourth for their
master, and distributing the other three among the men.  And now they
went into the public houses with sailors and other rabble, squandering
their money in drinking and gambling; while the honest fellow who had
dissuaded them was sold by Michel to a slave-trader and has never been
heard of since.  From that time forward Holland was a paradise to the
fellows from the Schwarzwald, and the Dutchman Michel their king.  For
a long time the timber merchants were ignorant of this proceeding, and
before people were aware, money, swearing, corrupt manners, drunkenness
and gambling were imported from Holland.

"When the thing became known, Michel was nowhere to be found, but he
was not dead; for a hundred years he has been haunting the forest, and
is said to have helped many in becoming rich at the cost of their souls
of course: more I will not say.  This much, however, is certain, that
to the present day, in boisterous nights, he finds out the finest pines
in the Tannenbühl where people are not to fell wood; and my father has
seen him break off one of four feet diameter, as he would break a reed.
Such trees he gives to those who turn from the right path and go to
him; at midnight they bring their rafts to the water and he goes to
Holland with them.  If I were lord and king in Holland, I would have
him shot with grape, for all the ships that have but a single beam of
Michel's, must go to the bottom.  Hence it is that we hear of so many
shipwrecks; and if it were not so, how could a beautiful, strong ship
as large as a church, be sunk.  But as often as Michel fells a pine in
the forest during a boisterous night, one of his old ones starts from
its joints, the water enters, and the ship is lost, men and all.  So
far goes the legend of the Dutchman Michel; and true it is that all the
evil in the Schwarzwald dates from him.  Oh! he can make one rich,"
added the old man mysteriously; "but I would have nothing from him; I
would at no price be in the shoes of fat Hesekiel and the long
Schlurker.  The king of the ballroom, too, is said to have made himself
over to him."

The storm had abated during the narrative of the old man; the girls
timidly lighted their lamps and retired, while the men put a sackful of
leaves upon the bench by the stove as a pillow for Peter Munk, and
wished him good night.

Never in his life had Peter such heavy dreams as during this night;
sometimes he fancied the dark gigantic Michel was tearing the window
open and reaching in with his monstrous long arm a purse full of gold
pieces, which jingled clearly and loudly as he shook them; at another
time he saw the little friendly glass-mannikin riding upon a huge green
bottle about the room, and thought he heard again the same hoarse
laughter as in the Tannenbühl; again something hummed into his left ear
the following verse:

  "In Holland I wot,
  There's gold to be got,
  Small price for a lot,
  Who would have it not?"

Again he heard in his right ear the song of the Schatzhauser in the
green forest, and a soft voice whispered to him, "Stupid Coal-Peter,
stupid Peter Munk you cannot find a rhyme with 'place,' and yet are
born on a Sunday at twelve o'clock precisely.  Rhyme, dull Peter,

He groaned, he wearied himself to find a rhyme, but never having made
one in his life, his trouble in his dream was fruitless.  When he awoke
the next morning with the first dawn, his dream seemed strange to him;
he sat down at the table with his arms crossed, and meditated upon the
whisperings that were still ringing in his ears.  He said to himself,
"Rhyme, stupid Peter, rhyme," knocking his forehead with his finger,
but no rhyme would come.  While still sitting in this mood, looking
gloomily down before him and thinking of a rhyme with "place," he heard
three men passing outside and going into the forest, one of whom was

  "I stood upon the brightest place,
  I gazed upon the plain,
  And then--oh then--I saw that face,
  I never saw again."

These words flashed like lightning through Peter's ear and hastily
starting up, he rushed out of the house, thinking he was mistaken in
what he had heard, ran after the three fellows and seized, suddenly and
rudely, the singer by the arm, crying at the same time, "Stop, friend,
what was it you rhymed with 'place?'  Do me the favour to tell me what
you were singing."

"What possesses you, fellow?" replied the Schwarzwälder.  "I may sing
what I like; let go my arm, or----"

"No, you shall tell me what you were singing," shouted Peter, almost
beside himself, clutching him more tightly at the same time.  When the
other two saw this, they were not long in falling foul upon poor Peter
with their large fists, and belabouring him till the pain made him
release the third, and he sank exhausted upon his knees.  "Now you have
your due," said they, laughing, "and mark you, madcap, never again stop
people like us upon the highway."

"Woe is me!" replied Peter with a sigh, "I shall certainly recollect
it.  But now that I have had the blows, you will oblige me by telling
me plainly what he was singing."  To this they laughed again and mocked
him; but the one who had sung repeated the song to him, after which
they went away laughing and singing.

"Face," then said the poor belaboured Peter as he got up slowly; "will
rhyme with 'place,' now glass-mannikin, I will have another word with
you."  He went into the hut, took his hat and long stick, bid farewell
to the inmates, and commenced his way back to the Tannenbühl.  Being
under the necessity of inventing a verse, he proceeded slowly and
thoughtfully on his way; at length, when he was already within the
precincts of the Tannenbühl, and the trees became higher and closer, he
found his verse, and for joy cut a caper in the air.  All at once he
saw coming from behind the trees a gigantic man dressed like a
raftsman, who held in his hand a pole as large as the mast of a ship.
Peter Munk's knees almost gave way under him, when he saw him slowly
striding by his side, thinking he was no other than the Dutchman
Michel.  Still the terrible figure kept silence, and Peter cast a side
glance at him from time to time.  He was full a head taller than the
biggest man Peter had even seen; his face expressed neither youth nor
old age, but was full of furrows and wrinkles; he wore a jacket of
linen, and the enormous boots being drawn above his leather breeches,
were well known to Peter from hearsay.

"What are you doing in the Tannenbühl, Peter Munk?" asked the wood king
at length, in a deep, roaring voice.

"Good morning, countryman," replied Peter, wishing to show himself
undaunted, but trembling violently all the while.

"Peter Munk," replied Michel, casting a piercing, terrible glance at
him, "your way does not lie through this grove."

"True, it does not exactly," said Peter; "but being a hot day, I
thought it would be cooler here."

"Do not lie, Peter," cried Michel, in a thundering voice, "or I strike
you to the ground with this pole; think you I have not seen you begging
of the little one?" he added mildly.  "Come, come, confess it was a
silly trick, and it is well you did not know the verse; for the little
fellow is a skinflint, giving but little; and he to whom he gives is
never again cheerful in his life.  Peter, you are but a poor fool and I
pity you in my soul; you, such a brisk handsome fellow, surely could do
something better in the world, than make charcoal.  While others lavish
big thalers and ducats, you can scarcely spend a few pence; 'tis a
wretched life."

"You are right, it is truly a wretched life."

"Well," continued Michel, "I will not stand upon trifles, you would not
be the first honest good fellow whom I have assisted at a pinch.  Tell
me, how many hundred thalers do you want for the present?" shaking the
money in his huge pocket, as he said this, so that it jingled just as
Peter had heard it in his dream.  But Peter's heart felt a kind of
painful convulsion at these words, and he was cold and hot alternately;
for Michel did not look as if he would give away money out of charity,
without asking any thing in return.  The old man's mysterious words
about rich people occurred to him, and urged by an inexplicable anxiety
and fear, he cried "Much obliged to you, sir, but I will have nothing
to do with you and know you well," and at the same time he began to run
as fast as he could.  The wood spirit, however, strode by his side with
immense steps, murmuring and threatening "You will yet repent it,
Peter, it is written on your forehead and to be read in your eyes that
you will not escape me.  Do not run so fast, listen only to a single
rational word; there is my boundary already."  But Peter, hearing this
and seeing at a little distance before him a small ditch, hastened the
more to pass this boundary, so that Michel was obliged at length to run
faster, cursing and threatening while pursuing him.  With a desperate
leap Peter cleared the ditch, for he saw that the Wood-spirit was
raising his pole to dash it upon him; having fortunately reached the
other side, he heard the pole shatter to pieces in the air as if
against an invisible wall, and a long piece fell down at his feet.

He picked it up in triumph to throw it at the rude Michel; but in an
instant he felt the piece of wood move in his hand, and, to his horror,
perceived that he held an enormous serpent, which was raising itself up
towards his face with its venomous tongue and glistening eyes.  He let
go his hold, but it had already twisted itself tight round his arm and
came still closer to his face with its vibrating head; at this instant,
however, an immense black cock rushed down, seized the head of the
serpent with its beak, and carried it up in the air.  Michel, who had
observed all this from the other side of the ditch, howled, cried, and
raved when he saw the serpent carried away by one more powerful than

Exhausted and trembling, Peter continued his way; the path became
steeper, the country wilder, and soon he found himself before the large
pine.  He again made a bow to the invisible glass-mannikin, as he had
done the day before, and said,

  "Keeper of wealth in the forest of pine,
  Hundreds of years are surely thine,
  Thine is the tall pine's dwelling place,
  Those born on Sunday see thy face."

"You have not quite hit it," said a delicate fine voice near him, "but
as it is you, Peter, I will not be particular."  Astonished he looked
round, and lo! under a beautiful pine there sat a little old man in a
black jacket, red stockings, and a large hat on his head.  He had a
tiny affable face and a little beard as fine as a spider's web; and
strange to see, he was smoking a pipe of blue glass.  Nay, Peter
observed to his astonishment, on coming nearer, that the clothes,
shoes, and hat of the little man were also of coloured glass, which was
as flexible as if it were still hot, bending like cloth to every motion
of the little man.

"You have met the lubber Michel, the Dutchman?" asked the little man,
laughing strangely between each word.  "He wished to frighten you
terribly; but I have got his magic cudgel, which he shall never have

"Yes, Mr. Schatzhauser," replied Peter, with a profound bow, "I was
terribly frightened.  But I suppose the black cock was yourself, and I
am much obliged to you for killing the serpent.  The object of my visit
to you, however, is to ask your advice; I am in very poor
circumstances, for charcoal-burning is not a profitable trade; and
being still young I should think I might be made something better,
seeing so often as I do how other people have thriven in a short time;
I need only mention Hezekiel, and the king of the ball-room, who have
money like dirt."

"Peter," said the little man, gravely, blowing the smoke of his pipe a
long way off, "don't talk to me of these men.  What good have they from
being apparently happy for a few years here, and the more unhappy for
it afterwards?  You must not despise your trade; your father and
grandfather were honest people, Peter Munk, and they carried on the
same trade.  Let me not suppose it is love of idleness that brings you
to me."

Peter was startled at the gravity of the little man, and blushed.  "No,
Mr. Schatzhauser," said he; "idleness is the root of every vice, but
you cannot blame me, if another condition pleases me better than my
own.  A charcoal-burner is, in truth, a very mean personage in this
world; the glass manufacturer, the raftsmen, and clock-makers, are
people much more looked upon."

"Pride will have a fall," answered the little man of the pine wood,
rather more kindly.  "What a singular race you are, you men!  It is but
rarely that one is contented with the condition in which he was born
and bred, and I would lay a wager that if you were a
glass-manufacturer, you would wish to be a timber-merchant, and if you
were a timber-merchant you would take a fancy to the ranger's place, or
the residence of the bailiff.  But no matter for that; if you promise
to work hard, I will get you something better to do.  It is my practice
to grant three wishes to those born on a Sunday, who know how to find
me out.  The first two are quite free from any condition, the third I
may refuse, should it be a foolish one.  Now, therefore, Peter, say
your wishes; but mind you wish something good and useful."

"Hurrah!" shouted Peter; "you are a capital glass-mannikin, and justly
do people call you the treasure-keeper, for treasures seem to be
plentiful with you.  Well then, since I may wish what my heart desires,
my first wish is that I may be able to dance better than the king of
the ball-room, and to have always as much money in my pocket as fat

"You fool!" replied the little man, angrily, "what a paltry wish is
this, to be able to dance well and to have money for gambling.  Are you
not ashamed of this silly wish, you blockish Peter?  Would you cheat
yourself out of good fortune?  What good will you and your poor mother
reap from your dancing well?  What use will money be to you, which
according to your wish is only for the public-house, thereto be spent
like that of the wretched king of the ball-room?  And then you will
have nothing for the whole week and starve.  Another wish is now left
free to you; but have a care to desire something more rational."

Peter scratched himself behind his ears, and said, after some
hesitation, "Now I wish the finest and richest glass-factory in the
Schwarzwald, with every thing appertaining to it, and money to carry it

"Is that all?" asked the little man, with a look of anxiety; "is there
nothing else, Peter?"

"Why you might add a horse and chaise."

"Oh, you stupid Peter!" cried the little man, while he flung his glass
pipe against a thick pine so that it broke in a hundred pieces.
"Horses? a carriage?  Sense, I tell you, sense--common sense and
judgment you ought to have wished, but not a horse and chaise.  Come,
come, don't be so sad, we will do all we can to make it turn out for
the best, even as it is, for the second wish is on the whole not
altogether foolish.  A good glass-factory will support its man; but you
ought to have wished judgment and sense in addition; a horse and chaise
would come as a matter of course."

"But, Mr. Schatzhauser," replied Peter, "I have another wish left, and
might very well wish sense, if I am so much in need of it, as you seem
to think."

"Say no more about it.  You will get involved in many an embarrassment
yet, when you will be glad of being at liberty to obtain your third
wish.  And now proceed on your way home."  Drawing a small bag from his
pocket, he said: "There are two thousand florins; let that be enough,
and don't come again asking for money, for, if you do, I must hang you
up to the highest pine.  That is the way I have always acted, ever
since I have lived in the forest.  Three days ago old Winkfritz died,
who had a large glass-factory in the Unterwald.  Go there to-morrow
morning, and make a fair offer for it.  Look well to yourself.  Be
prudent and be industrious; I will come to see you from time to time,
and assist you with word and deed, since you have not wished for common
sense.  But I must repeat it seriously; your first wish was evil.
Guard against frequenting the public-house, Peter, no one who did so,
ever prospered long."  The little man, while thus talking to him, had
taken a new pipe, of the most beautiful glass, from his pocket, charged
it with dry fir-apples, and stuck it into his little toothless mouth.
Then drawing out a large burning-glass, he stepped into the sun and
lighted it.  When he had done this, he kindly offered his hand to
Peter, added a few more words of salutary advice which he might carry
on his way, puffed and blew still faster, and finally disappeared in a
cloud of smoke, which smelled of genuine Dutch canaster, and, slowly
curling upwards, vanished amidst the tops of the pines.

On his arrival home, Peter found his mother in great anxiety about him,
for the good dame thought in reality her son had been drawn among the
recruits.  He, however, was in great glee and full of hope, and related
to her how he had met with a good friend in the forest, who had
advanced him money to begin another trade.  Although his mother had
been living for thirty years in a charcoal-burner's hut, and was as
much accustomed to the sight of sooty people, as any miller's wife is
to the floury face of her husband; yet, as soon as her Peter showed her
a more splendid lot, she was vain enough to despise her former
condition, and said: "In truth, as the mother of a man who possesses a
glass-manufactory, I shall indeed be something different from neighbour
Kate and Betsy, and shall in future sit more consequentially at church
among the people of quality."  Her son soon came to terms with the heir
of the glass manufactory.  He kept the workmen he found, and made them
work day and night at manufacturing glass.  At first he was well enough
pleased with his new trade; he was in the habit of walking leisurely
into the factory, striding up and down with an air of consequence and
with his hands in his pockets, looking now in one corner, now in
another, and talking about various things at which his workmen often
used to laugh heartily.  His chief delight, however, was to see the
glass blown, when he would often set to work himself, and form the
strangest figures of the soft mass.  But he soon took a dislike to the
work; first came only for an hour in the day, then only every other
day, and finally only once a week, so that his workmen did just what
they liked.  All this proceeded from his frequenting the public-house.
The Sunday after he had come back from the Tannenbühl he went to the
public-house, and who should be jumping there already but the king of
the ball-room; fat Hezekiel also was already sitting by a quart pot,
playing at dice for crown-pieces.  Now Peter quickly put his hand into
his pocket to feel whether the glass-mannikin had been true to his
word, and lo! his pockets were stuffed full of silver and gold.  He
also felt an itching and twitching in his legs, as if they wished to
dance and caper.  When the first dance was over, he took his place with
his partner at the top next to the "king of the ball-room;" and if the
latter jumped three feet high, Peter jumped four; if he made fantastic
and graceful steps, Peter twined and twisted his legs in such a manner
that all the spectators were utterly amazed with delight and
admiration.  But when it was rumoured in the dancing-room that Peter
had bought a glass manufactory, and when people saw that Peter, as
often as he passed the musicians, threw a six-batzner piece to them,
there was no end of astonishment.  Some thought he had found a treasure
in the forest, others were of opinion that he had succeeded to some
fortune, but all respected him now, and considered him a made man,
simply because he had plenty of money.  Indeed that very evening he
lost twenty florins at play, and yet his pockets jingled and tingled as
if there were a hundred thalers in them.

When Peter saw how much respected he was, he could no longer contain
himself with joy and pride.  He threw away handfuls of money and
distributed it profusely among the poor, knowing full well as he did
how poverty had formerly pinched him.  The feats of the king of the
ball-room were completely eclipsed by those of the new dancer, and
Peter was surnamed the "emperor of the ball-room."  The most daring
gamblers did not stake so much as he did on a Sunday, neither did they,
however, lose so much; but then, the more he lost, the more he won.
This was exactly what he had demanded from the glass-mannikin; for he
had wished he might always have as much money in his pocket as fat
Hezekiel, and it was to this very man he lost his money.  If he lost
twenty or thirty florins at a stroke, they were immediately replaced in
his own pocket, as soon as Hezekiel pocketed them.  By degrees he
carried his revelling and gambling further than the worst fellows in
the Schwarzwald, and he was oftener called "gambling Peter" than
"emperor of the ball-room," since he now gambled almost all the week
days.  In consequence of his imprudence, his glass manufactory
gradually fell off.  He had manufactured as much as ever could be made,
but he had failed to purchase, together with the factory, the secret of
disposing of it most profitably.  At length it accumulated to such a
degree that he did not know what to do with it, and sold it for
half-price to itinerant dealers in order to pay his workmen.

Walking homewards one evening from the public house, he could not, in
spite of the quantity of wine he had drunk to make himself merry, help
thinking with terror and grief of the decline of his fortune.  While
engaged in these reflections, he all at once perceived some one walking
by his side.  He looked round, and behold it was the glass-mannikin.
At the sight of him he fell into a violent passion, protested solemnly,
and swore that the little man was the cause of all his misfortune.
"What am I now to do with the horse and chaise?" he cried; "of what use
is the manufactory and all the glass to me?  Even when I was merely a
wretched charcoal-burner, I lived more happily, and had no cares.  Now
I know not when the bailiff may come to value my goods and chattels,
and seize all for debt."

"Indeed?" replied the glass-mannikin, "indeed?  I am then the cause of
your being unfortunate.  Is that your gratitude for my benefits?  Who
bade you wish so foolishly?  A glass-manufacturer you wished to be, and
you did not know where to sell your glass!  Did I not tell you to be
cautious in what you wished?  Common sense, Peter, and prudence, you

"A fig for your sense and prudence," cried Peter; "I am as shrewd a
fellow as any one, and will prove it to you, glass-mannikin," seizing
him rudely by the collar as he spoke these words, and crying, "have I
now got you, Schatzhauser?  Now I will tell you my third wish, which
you shall grant me.  I'll have instantly, on the spot, two hundred
thousand hard thalers and a house.  Woe is me!" he cried, suddenly
shaking his hand, for the little man of the wood had changed himself
into red-hot glass, and burned in his hand like bright fire.  Nothing
more was to be seen of him.

For several days his swollen hand reminded him of his ingratitude and
folly.  Soon, however, he silenced his conscience, saying: "Should they
sell my glass, manufactory and all, still fat Hezekiel is certain to
me; and as long as he has money on a Sunday, I cannot want."

"Very true, Peter!  But, if he has none?"  And so it happened one day,
and it proved a singular example in arithmetic.  For he came one Sunday
in his chaise to the inn, and at once all the people popped their heads
out of the windows, one saying, "There comes gambling Peter;" a second
saying, "Yes, there is the emperor of the ball-room, the wealthy
glass-manufacturer;" while a third shook his head, saying, "It is all
very well with his wealth, but people talk a great deal about his
debts, and somebody in town has said that the bailiff will not wait
much longer before he distrains upon him."

At this moment the wealthy Peter saluted the guests at the windows, in
a haughty and grave manner, descended from his chaise, and cried: "Good
evening, mine Host of the Sun.  Is fat Hezekiel here?"

To this question a deep voice answered from within: "Only come in,
Peter; your place is kept for you, we are all here, at the cards

Peter entering the parlour, immediately put his hand into his pocket,
and perceived, by its being quite full, that Hezekiel must be
plentifully supplied.  He sat down at the table among the others and
played, losing and winning alternately; thus they kept playing till
night, when all sober people went home.  After having continued for
some time by candle-light, two of the gamblers said: "Now it is enough,
and we must go home to our wives and children."

But Peter challenged Hezekiel to remain.  The latter was unwilling, but
said, after a while, "Be it as you wish; I will count my money, and
then we'll play dice at five florins the stake, for any thing lower is,
after all, but child's play."  He drew his purse, and, after counting,
found he had a hundred florins left; now Peter knew how much he himself
had left, without counting first.  But if Hezekiel had before won, he
now lost stake after stake, and swore most awfully.  If he cast a
_pasch_, Peter immediately cast one likewise, and always two points
higher.  At length he put down the last five florins on the table,
saying, "Once more; and if I lose this stake also, yet I will not leave
off; you will then lend me some of the money you have won now, Peter;
one honest fellow helps the other."

"As much as you like, even if it were a hundred florins," replied
Peter, joyful at his gain, and fat Hezekiel rattled the dice and threw
up fifteen; "Pasch!" he exclaimed, "now we'll see!"  But Peter threw up
eighteen, and, at this moment, a hoarse, well-known voice said behind
him, "So! that was the last."

He looked round, and behind him stood the gigantic figure of Michel the
Dutchman.  Terrified, he dropped the money he had already taken up.
But fat Hezekiel, not seeing Michel, demanded that Peter should advance
him ten florins for playing.  As if in a dream Peter hastily put his
hand into his pocket, but there was no money; he searched in the other
pocket, but in vain; he turned his coat inside out, not a farthing,
however, fell out; and at this instant he first recollected his first
wish; viz., to have always as much money in his pocket as fat Hezekiel.
All had now vanished like smoke.

The host and Hezekiel looked at him with astonishment as he still
searched for and could not find his money; they would not believe that
he had no more left; but when they at length searched his pockets,
without finding any thing, they were enraged, swearing that gambling
Peter was an evil wizard, and had wished away all the money he had won
home to his own house.  Peter defended himself stoutly, but appearances
were against him.  Hezekiel protested he would tell this shocking story
to all the people in the Schwarzwald, and the host vowed he would, the
following morning early go into the town and inform against Peter as a
sorcerer, adding that he had no doubt of his being burnt alive.  Upon
this they fell furiously upon him, tore off his coat, and kicked him
out of doors.

Not one star was twinkling in the sky to lighten Peter's way as he
sneaked sadly towards his home, but still he could distinctly recognise
a dark form striding by his side, which at length said, "It is all over
with you, Peter Munk; all your splendour is at an end, and this I could
have foretold you even at the time when you would not listen to me, but
rather ran to the silly glass dwarf.  You now see to what you have come
by disregarding my advice.  But try your fortune with me this time, I
have compassion on your fate.  No one ever yet repented of applying to
me, and if you don't mind the walk to the Tannenbühl, I shall be there
all day to-morrow and you may speak to me, if you will call."  Peter
now very clearly perceived who was speaking to him, but feeling a
sensation of awe, he made no answer and ran towards home.

When, on the Monday morning, he came to his factory, he not only found
his workmen, but also other people whom no one likes to see; viz., the
bailiff and three beadles.  The bailiff wished Peter good morning,
asked him how he had slept, and then took from his pocket a long list
of Peter's creditors, saying, with a stern look, "Can you pay or not?
Be short, for I have no time to lose, and you know it is full three
leagues to the prison."  Peter in despair confessed he had nothing
left, telling the bailiff he might value all the premises, horses, and
carts.  But while they went about examining and valuing the things,
Peter said to himself, "Well, it is but a short way to the Tannenbühl,
and as the _little_ man has not helped me, I will now try for once the
_big_ man."  He ran towards the Tannenbühl as fast as if the beadles
were at his heels.  On passing the spot where the glass-mannikin had
first spoken to him, he felt as if an invisible hand were stopping him,
but he tore himself away and ran onwards till he came to the boundary
which he had well marked.  Scarcely had he, almost out of breath,
called, "Dutch Michel, Mr. Dutch Michel!" than suddenly the gigantic
raftsman with his pole stood before him.

"Have you come then?" said the latter, laughing.  "Were they going to
fleece you and sell you to your creditors?  Well, be easy, all your
sorrow comes, as I have always said, from the little glass-mannikin,
the Separatist and Pietist.  When one gives, one ought to give right
plentifully and not like that skinflint.  But come," he continued,
turning towards the forest, "follow me to my house, there we'll see
whether we can strike a bargain."

"Strike a bargain?" thought Peter.  "What can he want of me, what can I
sell to him?  Am I perhaps to serve him, or what is it that he can
want?"  They went at first up-hill over a steep forest path, when all
at once they stopped at a dark, deep, and almost perpendicular ravine.
Michel leaped down as easily as he would go down marble steps; but
Peter almost fell into a fit when he saw him below, rising up like a
church steeple reaching him an arm as long as a scaffolding pole with a
hand at the end as broad as the table in the ale house, and calling in
a voice which sounded like the deep tones of a death bell, "Set
yourself boldly on my hand, hold fast by the fingers and you will not
fall off."  Peter, trembling, did as he was ordered, sat down upon his
hand and held himself fast by the thumb of the giant.

They now went down a long way and very deep, yet, to Peter's
astonishment, it did not grow darker; on the contrary, the daylight
seemed rather to increase in the chasm, and it was sometime before
Peter's eyes could bear it.  Michel's stature became smaller as Peter
came lower down, and he stood now in his former size before a house
just like those of the wealthy peasants of the Schwarzwald.  The room
into which Peter was led differed in nothing but its appearance of
solitariness from those of other people.  The wooden clock, the stove
of Dutch tiles, the broad benches and utensils on the shelves were the
same as anywhere else.  Michel told him to sit down at the large table,
then went out of the room and returned with a pitcher of wine and
glasses.  Having filled these, they now began a conversation, and Dutch
Michel expatiated on the pleasures of the world, talked of foreign
countries, fine cities and rivers, so that Peter, at length, feeling a
yearning after such sights, candidly told Michel his wish.

"If you had courage and strength in your body to undertake any thing,
could a few palpitations of your stupid heart make you tremble; and the
offences against honor, or misfortunes, why should a rational fellow
care, for either?  Did you feel it in your head when they but lately
called you a cheat and a scoundrel?  Or did it give you a pain in your
stomach, when the bailiff came to eject you from your house?  Tell me,
where was it you felt pain?"

"In my heart," replied Peter, putting his hand on his beating breast,
for he felt as if his heart was anxiously turning within him.

"Excuse me for saying so, but you have thrown away many hundred florins
on vile beggars and other rabble; what has it profited you?  They have
wished you blessings and health for it; well, have you grown the
healthier for that?  For half that money you might have kept a
physician.  A blessing, a fine blessing forsooth, when one is
distrained upon and ejected!  And what was it that urged you to put
your hand into your pocket, as often as a beggar held out his broken
hat?--Why your heart again, and ever your heart, neither your eyes, nor
your tongue, nor your arms, nor your legs, but your heart; you have, as
the proverb truly says, taken too much to heart."

"But how can we accustom ourselves to act otherwise?  I take, at this
moment, every possible pains to suppress it, and yet my heart
palpitates and pains me."

"You, indeed, poor fellow!" cried Michel, laughing; "you can do nothing
against it; but give me this scarcely palpitating thing, and you will
see how comfortable you will then feel."

"My heart to you?" cried Peter, horrified.  "Why, then, I must die on
the spot!  Never!"

"Yes, if one of your surgeons would operate upon you and take out your
heart, you must indeed die; but with me it is a different thing; just
come in here and convince yourself."

Rising at these words, he opened the door of a chamber and took Peter
in.  On stepping over the threshold, his heart contracted convulsively,
but he minded it not, for the sight that presented itself was singular
and surprising.  On several shelves glasses were standing, filled with
a transparent liquid, and each contained a heart.  All were labelled
with names which Peter read with curiosity; there was the heart of the
bailiff in F., that of fat Hezekiel, that of the "king of the
ball-room," that of the ranger; there were the hearts of six usurious
corn-merchants, of eight recruiting officers, of three money-brokers;
in short, it was a collection of the most respectable hearts twenty
leagues around.

"Look!" said Dutch Michel, "all these have shaken off the anxieties and
cares of life; none of these hearts any longer beat anxiously and
uneasily, and their former owners feel happy now they have got rid of
the troublesome guest."

"But what do they now carry in their breasts instead?" asked Peter,
whose head was nearly swimming at what he beheld.

"_This_," replied he, taking out of a small drawer, and presenting to
him--a heart of stone.

"Indeed!" said Peter, who could not prevent a cold shuddering coming
over him.  "A heart of marble?  But, tell me, Mr. Michel, such a heart
must be very cold in one's breast."

"True, but very agreeably cool.  Why should a heart be warm?  For in
winter its warmth is of little use, and good strong Kirschwasser does
more than a warm heart, and in summer when all is hot and sultry, you
can't think how cooling such a heart is.  And, as before said, such a
heart feels neither anxiety nor terror, neither foolish compassion nor
other grief."

"And that is all you can offer me," asked Peter, indignantly, "I looked
for money and you are going to give me a stone."

"Well! an hundred thousand florins, methinks, would suffice you for the
present.  If you employ it properly, you may soon make it a million."

"An hundred thousand!" exclaimed the poor coal-burner, joyfully.
"Well, don't beat so vehemently in my bosom, we shall soon have done
with one another.  Agreed, Michel, give me the stone, and the money,
and the alarum you may take out of its case."

"I always thought you were a reasonable fellow," replied Michel, with a
friendly smile; "come, let us drink another glass, and then I will pay
you the money."

They went back to the room and sat down again to the wine, drinking one
glass after another till Peter fell into a profound sleep.

He was awakened by the cheerful blast of a post-boy's bugle, and found
himself sitting in a handsome carriage, driving along on a wide road.
On putting his head out he saw in the airy distance the Schwarzwald
lying behind him.  At first he could scarcely believe that it was his
own self sitting in the carriage, for even his clothes were different
from those he had worn the day before; but still he had such a distinct
recollection that, giving up at length all these reflections, he
exclaimed, "I am Peter and no other, that is certain."

He was astonished that he could no longer, in the slightest degree,
feel melancholy now he for the first time departed from his quiet home
and the forests where he had lived so long.  He could not even press a
tear out of his eyes or utter a sigh, when he thought of his mother,
who must now feel helpless and wretched; for he was indifferent to
every thing: "Well," he said, "tears and sighs, yearning for home and
sadness proceed indeed from the heart, but thanks to Dutch Michel, mine
is of stone and cold."  Putting his hand upon his breast, he felt all
quiet and no emotion.  "If Michel," said he, beginning to search the
carriage, "keeps his word as well with respect to the hundred thousand
florins as he does with the heart, I shall be very glad."  In his
search he found articles of dress of every description he could wish,
but no money.  At length, however, he discovered a pocket containing
many thousand thalers in gold, and bills on large houses in all the
great cities.  "Now I have what I want," thought he, squeezed himself
into the corner of the carriage and went into the wide world.

For two years he travelled about in the world, looked from his carriage
to the right and left up the houses, but whenever he alighted he looked
at nothing except the sign of the hotel, and then ran about the town to
see the finest curiosities.  But nothing gladdened him, no pictures, no
building, no music, no dancing, nor any thing else had any interest
for, or excited his stone heart; his eyes and ears were blunted for
every thing beautiful.  No enjoyment was left him but that which he
felt in eating and drinking and sleep; and thus he lived running
through the world without any object, eating for amusement and sleeping
from _ennui_.  From time to time he indeed remembered that he had been
more cheerful and happier, when he was poor and obliged to work for a
livelihood.  Then he was delighted by every beautiful prospect in the
valley, by music and song, then he had for hours looked in joyful
expectation towards the frugal meal which his mother was to bring him
to the kiln.

When thus reflecting on the past, it seemed very strange to him, that
now he could not even laugh, while formerly he had laughed at the
slightest joke.  When others laughed, he only distorted his mouth out
of politeness, but his heart did not sympathise with the smile.  He
felt he was indeed exceedingly tranquil, but yet not contented.  It was
not a yearning after home, nor was it sadness, but a void, desolate
feeling, satiety and a joyless life that at last urged him to his home.

When, after leaving Strasburg, he beheld the dark forest of his native
country; when for the first time he again saw the robust figures, the
friendly and open countenances of the Schwarzwälder; when the homely,
strong, and deep, but harmonious sounds struck upon his ear, he quickly
put his hand upon his heart, for his blood flowed faster, thinking he
must rejoice and weep at the same time; but how could he be so foolish?
he had a heart of stone, and stones are dead and can neither smile nor

His first walk was to Michel who received him with his former kindness.
"Michel," said he, "I have now travelled and seen every thing, but all
is dull stuff and I have only found _ennui_.  The stone I carry about
with me in my breast, protects me against many things; I never get
angry, am never sad, but neither do I ever feel joyful, and it seems as
if I was only half alive.  Can you not infuse a little more life into
my stone heart, or rather, give me back my former heart?  During
five-and-twenty years I had become quite accustomed to it, and though
it sometimes did a foolish thing, yet it was, after all, a merry and
cheerful heart."

The sylvan spirit laughed grimly and sarcastically at this, answering,
"When once you are dead, Peter Munk, it shall not be withheld; then you
shall have back your soft, susceptible heart, and may then feel
whatever comes, whether joy or sorrow.  But here, on this side of the
grave, it can never be yours again.  Travelled you have indeed, Peter,
but in the way you lived, your travelling could afford you no
satisfaction.  Settle now somewhere in the world, build a house, marry,
and employ your capital; you wanted nothing but occupation; being idle,
you felt _ennui_, and now you lay all the blame to this innocent
heart."  Peter saw that Michel was right with respect to idleness, and
therefore proposed to himself to become richer and richer.  Michel gave
him another hundred thousand florins, and they parted as good friends.

The report soon spread in Schwarzwald that "Coal Peter," or "gambling
Peter" had returned, and was much richer than before.  It was here as
it always is.  When he was a beggar he was kicked out of the inn, but
now he had come back wealthy, all shook him by the hand when he entered
on the Sunday afternoon, praised his horse, asked about his journey,
and when he began playing for hard dollars with fat Hezekiel, he stood
as high in their estimation as ever before.  He no longer followed the
trade of glass manufacturer, but the timber trade, though that only in
appearance, his chief business being in corn and money transactions.
Half the people of the Schwarzwald became by degrees his debtors, and
he lent money only at ten per cent., or sold corn to the poor who, not
being able to pay ready money, had to purchase it at three times its
value.  With the bailiff he now stood on a footing of the closest
friendship, and if any one failed paying Mr. Peter Munk on the very day
the money was due, the bailiff with his beadles came, valued house and
property, sold all instantly, and drove father, mother, and child, out
into the forest.  This became at first rather troublesome to Peter, for
the poor outcasts besieged his doors in troops, the men imploring
indulgence, the women trying to move his stony heart, and the children
moaning for a piece of bread.  But getting a couple of large mastiffs,
he soon put an end to this cat's music, as he used to call it, for he
whistled and set them on the beggars, who dispersed screaming.  But the
most troublesome person to him was "the old woman," who, however, was
no other than Frau Munk, Peter's mother.  She had been reduced to great
poverty and distress, when her house and all was sold, and her son, on
returning wealthy, had troubled himself no more about her.  So she came
sometimes before his house, supporting herself on a stick, as she was
aged, weak, and infirm; but she no more ventured to go in, as he had on
one occasion driven her out; and she was much grieved at being obliged
to prolong her existence by the bounties of other people, while her own
son might have prepared for her a comfortable old age.  But his cold
heart never was moved by the sight of the pale face and well known
features, by the imploring looks, outstretched withered hands and
decaying frame.  If on a Saturday she knocked at the door, he put his
hand grumbling into his pocket for a six-batzen-piece, wrapped it in a
bit of paper and sent it out by a servant.  He heard her tremulous
voice when she thanked him, and wished him a blessing in this world, he
heard her crawl away coughing from the door, but he thought of nothing,
except that he had again spent six-batzen for nothing.

At length Peter took it into his head to marry.  He knew that every
father in the Schwarzwald would gladly give him his daughter, but he
was fastidious in his choice, for he wished that every body should
praise his good fortune and understanding in matrimony as well as in
other matters.  He therefore rode about the whole forest, looking out
in every direction, but none of the pretty Schwarzwülder girls seemed
beautiful enough for him.  Having finally looked out in vain for the
most beautiful at all the dancing-rooms, he was one day told the most
beautiful and most virtuous girl in the whole forest was the daughter
of a poor wood-cutter.  He heard she lived quiet and retired, was
industrious and managed her father's household well, and that she was
never seen at a dancing-room, not even at Whitsuntide or the
Kirchweihfest.[2]  When Peter heard of this wonder of the Schwarzwald,
he determined to court her, and, having inquired where the hut was,
rode there.  The father of the beautiful Elizabeth received the great
gentleman with astonishment, but was still more amazed when he heard it
was the rich Herr Peter who wished to become his son-in-law.  Thinking
all his cares and poverty would now be at an end, he did not hesitate
long in giving his consent, without even asking the beautiful
Elizabeth, and the good child was so dutiful that she became Frau Peter
Munk without opposition.

But the poor girl did not find the happiness she had dreamt of.  She
believed she understood the management of a house well, but she could
never give satisfaction to Herr Peter; she had compassion on poor
people, and, as her husband was wealthy, thought it no sin to give a
poor woman a penny, or a dram to a poor aged man.  This being one day
found out by Peter, he said to her, with angry look and gruff voice,
"Why do you waste my property upon ragamuffins and vagabonds?  Have you
brought any thing of your own to the house that you can give away?
With your father's beggar's staff you could not warm a soup, and you
lavish my money like a princess.  Once more let me find you out, and
you shall feel my hand."  The beautiful Elizabeth wept in her chamber
over the hard heart of her husband, and often wished herself at home in
her father's poor hut rather than with the rich, but avaricious and
sinful Peter.  Alas! had she known that he had a heart of marble and
could neither love her nor any body else, she would not, perhaps, have
wondered.  But as often as a beggar now passed while she was sitting
before the door, and drawing his hat off, asked for alms, she shut her
eyes that she might not behold the distress, and closed her hand tight
that she might not put it involuntarily in her pocket and take out a
kreutzer.  This caused a report and obtained an ill name for Elizabeth
in the whole forest, and she was said to be even more miserly than
Peter Munk.  But one day Frau Elizabeth was again sitting before the
door spinning and humming an air, for she was cheerful because it was
fine weather, and Peter was taking a ride in the country, when a little
old man came along the road, carrying a large heavy bag, and she heard
him panting at a great distance.  Sympathising, she looked at him and
thought how cruel it was to place such a heavy burden upon an aged man.

In the meanwhile the little man came near, tottering and panting, and
sank under the weight of his bag almost down on the ground just as he
came opposite Frau Elizabeth.

"Oh, have compassion on me, good woman, and give me a drink of water,"
said the little man, "I can go no farther, and must perish from

"But you ought not to carry such heavy loads at your age?" said she.

"No more I should if I were not obliged to work as carrier from poverty
and to prolong my life," replied he.  "Ah, such rich ladies as you know
not how painful poverty is, and how strengthening a fresh draught in
this hot weather."

On hearing this she immediately ran into the house, took a pitcher from
the shelf and filled it with water; but she had only gone a few paces
back to take it to him, when, seeing the little man sit on his bag
miserable and wretched, she felt pity for him, and recollecting that
her husband was from home, she put down the pitcher, took a cup, filled
it with wine, put a loaf of rye bread on it and gave it to the poor old
man.  "There," she said, "a draught of wine will do you more good than
water, as you are very old; but do not drink so hastily, and eat some
bread with it."

The little man looked at her in astonishment till the big tears came
into his eyes; he drank and said, "I have grown old, but have seen few
people who were so compassionate and knew how to spend their gifts so
handsomely and cordially as you do, Frau Elizabeth.  But you will be
blessed for it on earth; such a heart will not remain unrequited."

"No, and she shall have her reward on the spot," cried a terrible
voice, and looking round they found it was Herr Peter with a face as
red as scarlet.  "Even my choicest wine you waste upon beggars, and
give my own cup to the lips of vagabonds?  There, take your reward."
His wife fell prostrate before him and begged his forgiveness, but the
heart of stone knew no pity, and flourishing the whip he held in his
hand he struck her with the ebony handle on her beautiful forehead with
such vehemence, that she sunk lifeless into the arms of the old man.
When he saw what he had done it was almost as if he repented of the
deed immediately; he stooped to see whether there was yet life in her,
but the little man said in a well-known voice, "Spare your trouble,
Peter; she was the most beautiful and lovely flower in the Schwarzwald,
but you have crushed it and never again will see it bloom."

Now the blood fled from Peter's cheek and he said, "It is you then, Mr.
Schatzhauser? well, what is done is done then, and I suppose this was
to happen.  But I trust you will not inform against me."

"Wretch," replied the glass-mannikin, "what would it profit me if I
brought your mortal part to the gallows?  It is not earthly tribunals
you have to fear, but another and more severe one; for you have sold
your soul to the evil one."

"And if I have sold my heart," cried Peter, "it is no one's fault but
yours and your deceitful treasures; your malicious spirit brought me to
ruin; you forced me to seek help from another, and upon you lies the
whole responsibility."  He had scarcely uttered these words than the
little man grew enormously tall and broad, his eyes it is said became
as large as soup plates, and his mouth like a heated furnace vomiting
flames.  Peter fell upon his knees, and his stone heart did not protect
his limbs from trembling like an aspen leaf.  The sylvan spirit seized
him, as if with vultures' claws, by the nape of the neck, whirled him
round as the storm whirls the dry leaves, and dashed him to the ground
so that his ribs cracked within him.  "You worm of dust," he cried, in
a voice roaring like thunder, "I could crush you if I wished, for you
have trespassed against the lord of the forest; but for the sake of
this dead woman that fed and refreshed me, I give you a week's respite.
If you do not repent I shall return and crush your bones, and you will
go hence in your sins."

It was already evening when some men passing by saw the wealthy Peter
Munk lying on the ground.  They turned him over and over to see whether
there was still life in him, but for a long time looked in vain.  At
length one of them went into the house, fetched some water and
sprinkled some on his face.  Peter fetched a deep sigh and opened his
eyes, looked for a long time around, and asked for his wife Elizabeth,
but no one had seen her.  He thanked the men for their assistance,
crawled into his house, searched everywhere, but in vain, and found
what he imagined to be a dream a sad reality.  As he was now quite
alone strange thoughts came into his mind; he did not indeed fear any
thing, for his heart was quite cold; but when he thought of the death
of his wife his own forcibly came to his mind, and he reflected how
laden he should go hence--heavily laden with the tears of the poor;
with thousands of the curses of those who could not soften his heart;
with the lamentations of the wretched on whom he had set his dogs; with
the silent despair of his mother; with the blood of the beautiful and
good Elizabeth; and yet he could not even so much as give an account of
her to her poor old father, should he come and ask "Where is my
daughter, your wife?"  How then could he give an account to Him--to Him
to whom belong all woods, all lakes, all mountains, and the life of men?

This tormented him in his dreams at night, and he was awoke every
moment by a sweet voice crying to him "Peter, get a warmer heart!"  And
when he was awoke he quickly closed his eyes again, for the voice
uttering this warning to him could be none other but that of his
Elizabeth.  The following day he went into the inn to divert his
thoughts, and there met his friend, fat Hezekiel.  He sat down by him
and they commenced talking on various topics, of the fine weather, of
war, of taxes, and lastly, also of death, and how such and such a
person had died suddenly.  Now Peter asked him what he thought about
death, and how it would be after death.  Hezekiel replied, "That the
body was buried, but that the soul went either up to heaven or down to

"Then the heart also is buried?" asked Peter, anxiously.

"To be sure that also is buried."

"But supposing one has no longer a heart?" continued Peter.

Hezekiel gave him a terrible look at these words.  "What do you mean by
that?  Do you wish to rally me?  Think you I have no heart?"

"Oh, heart enough, as firm as stone," replied Peter.

Hezekiel looked in astonishment at him, glancing round at the same time
to see whether they were overheard, and then said, "Whence do you know
that?  Or does your own perhaps no longer beat within your breast?"

"It beats no longer, at least, not in my breast;" replied Peter Munk.
"But tell me, as you know what I mean, how will it be with our hearts?"

"Why does that concern you, my good fellow?" answered Hezekiel,
laughing.  "Why you have plenty here upon earth, and that is
sufficient.  Indeed, the comfort of our cold hearts is that no fear at
such thoughts befals us."

"Very true, but still one cannot help thinking of it, and though I know
no fear now, still I well remember how I was terrified at hell when yet
an innocent little boy."

"Well, it will not exactly go well with us," said Hezekiel; "I once
asked a schoolmaster about it, who told me that the hearts are weighed
after death to ascertain the weight of their sins.  The light ones
rise, the heavy sink, and methinks our stone hearts will weigh heavy

"Alas, true," replied Peter; "I often feel uncomfortable that my heart
is so devoid of sympathy, and so indifferent when I think of such
things."  So ended their conversation.

But the following night Peter again heard the well-known voice
whispering into his ear five or six times, "Peter, get a warmer heart!"
He felt no repentance at having killed his wife, but when he told the
servants that she had gone on a journey, he always thought within
himself, where is she gone to?  Six days had thus passed away, and he
still heard the voice at night, and still thought of the sylvan spirit
and his terrible menace; but on the seventh morning, he jumped up from
his couch and cried, "Well, then, I will see whether I can get a warmer
heart, for the cold stone in my breast makes my life only tedious and
desolate."  He quickly put on his best dress, mounted his horse, and
rode towards the Tannenbühl.

Having arrived at that part where the trees stand thickest, he
dismounted, and went with a quick pace towards the summit of the hill,
and as he stood before the thick pine he repeated the following verse:

  "Keeper of wealth in the forest of pine,
  Hundreds of years are surely thine:
  Thine is the tall pine's dwelling place--
  Those born on Sunday see thy face."

The glass-mannikin appeared, not looking friendly and kindly as
formerly, but gloomy and sad; he wore a little coat of black glass, and
a long glass crape hung floating from his hat, and Peter well knew for
whom he mourned.

"What do you want with me, Peter Munk?" asked he with a stern voice.

"I have one more wish, Mr. Schatzhauser," replied Peter, with his look
cast down.

"Can hearts of stone still wish?" said the former.  "You have all your
corrupt mind can need, and I could scarcely fulfil your wish."

"But you have promised to grant me three wishes, and one I have still

"I can refuse it if it is foolish," continued the spirit; "but come,
let me hear what you wish."

"Well, take the dead stone out of me, and give me a living heart," said

"Have I made the bargain about the heart with you?" asked the
glass-mannikin.  "Am I the Dutch Michel, who gives wealth and cold
hearts?  It is of him you must seek to regain your heart."

"Alas! he will never give it back," said Peter.

"Bad as you are, yet I feel pity for you," continued the little man,
after some consideration; "and as your wish is not foolish, I cannot at
least refuse my help.  Hear then.  You can never recover your heart by
force, only by stratagem, but probably you will find it without
difficulty; for Michel will ever be stupid Michel, although he fancies
himself very shrewd.  Go straightway to him, and do as I tell you."  He
now instructed Peter fully, and gave him a small cross of pure glass,
saying, "He cannot touch your life and will let you go when you hold
this before him and repeat a prayer.  When you have obtained your wish
return to me."

Peter took the cross, impressed all his words on his memory, and
started on his way to the Dutchman Michel's residence; there he called
his name three times and immediately the giant stood before him.

"You have slain your wife?" he asked, with a grim laugh.  "I should
have done the same, she wasted your property on beggars; but you will
be obliged to leave the country for some time; and I suppose you want
money and have come to get it?"

"You have hit it," replied Peter; "and pray let it be a large sum, for
it is a long way to America."

Michel leading the way they went into his cottage; there he opened a
chest containing much money and took out whole rolls of gold.  While he
was counting it on the table Peter said, "You're a wag, Michel.  You
have told me a fib, saying that I had a stone in my breast, and that
you had my heart."

"And is it not so then?" asked Michel, astonished.  "Do you feel your
heart?  Is it not cold as ice?  Have you any fear or sorrow?  Do you
repent of any thing?"

"You have only made my heart to cease beating, but I still have it in
my breast, and so has Hezekiel, who told me you had deceived us both.
You are not the man who, unperceived and without danger, could tear the
heart from the breast; it would require witchcraft on your part."

"But I assure you," cried Michel, angrily, "you and Hezekiel and all
the rich people, who have sold themselves to me, have hearts as cold as
yours, and their real hearts I have here in my chamber."

"Ah! how glibly you can tell lies," said Peter, laughing, "you must
tell that to another to be believed; think you I have not seen such
tricks by dozens in my journeys?  Your hearts in the chamber are made
of wax; you're a rich fellow I grant, but you are no magician."

Now the giant was enraged and burst open the chamber door, saying,
"Come in and read all the labels and look yonder is Peter Munk's heart;
do you see how it writhes?  Can that too be of wax?"

"For all that, it is of wax," replied Peter.  "A genuine heart does not
writhe like that.  I have mine still in my breast.  No! you are no

"But I will prove it to you," cried the former angrily.  "You shall
feel that it is your heart."  He took it, opened Peter's waistcoat,
took the stone from his breast, and held it up.  Then taking the heart,
he breathed on it, and set it carefully in its proper place, and
immediately Peter felt how it beat, and could rejoice again.  "How do
you feel now?" asked Michel, smiling.

"True enough, you were right," replied Peter, taking carefully the
little cross from his pocket.  "I should never have believed such
things could be done."

"You see I know something of witchcraft, do I not?  But, come, I will
now replace the stone again."

"Gently, Herr Michel," cried Peter, stepping backwards, and holding up
the cross, "mice are caught with bacon, and this time you have been
deceived;" and immediately he began to repeat the prayers that came
into his mind.

Now Michel became less and less, fell to the ground, and writhed like a
worm, groaning and moaning, and all the hearts round began to beat, and
became convulsed, so that it sounded like a clockmaker's workshop.

Peter was terrified, his mind was quite disturbed; he ran from the
house, and, urged by the anguish of the moment, climbed up a steep
rock, for he heard Michel get up, stamping and raving, and denouncing
curses on him.  When he reached the top, he ran towards the Tannenbühl;
a dreadful thunder-storm came on; lightning flashed around him,
splitting the trees, but he reached the precincts of the glass-mannikin
in safety.

His heart beat joyfully--only because it did beat; but now he looked
back with horror on his past life, as he did on the thunderstorm that
was destroying the beautiful forest on his right and left.  He thought
of his wife, a beautiful, good woman, whom he had murdered from
avarice; he appeared to himself an outcast from mankind, and wept
bitterly as he reached the hill of the glass-mannikin.

The Schatzhauser was sitting under a pine-tree, and was smoking a small
pipe; but he looked more serene than before.

"Why do you weep, Peter?" asked he, "have you not recovered your heart?
Is the cold one still in your breast?"

"Alas! sir," sighed Peter, "when I still carried about with me the cold
stony heart, I never wept, my eyes were as dry as the ground in July;
but now my old heart will almost break with what have done.  I have
driven my debtors to misery, set the dogs on the sick and poor, and you
yourself know how my whip fell upon her beautiful forehead."

"Peter, you were a great sinner," said the little man.  "Money and
idleness corrupted you, until your heart turned to stone, and no longer
knew joy, sorrow, repentance, or compassion.  But repentance
reconciles; and if I only knew that you were truly sorry for your past
life, it might yet be in my power to do something for you."

"I wish nothing more," replied Peter, dropping his head sorrowfully.
"It is all over with me, I can no more rejoice in my lifetime; what
shall I do thus alone in the world?  My mother will never pardon me for
what I have done to her, and I have perhaps brought her to the grave,
monster that I am!  Elizabeth, my wife, too,--rather strike me dead,
Herr Schatzhauser, then my wretched life will end at once."

"Well," replied the little man, "if you wish nothing else, you can have
it, so my axe is at hand."  He quietly took his pipe from his mouth,
knocked the ashes out, and put it into his pocket.  Then rising slowly,
he went behind the pines.  But Peter sat down weeping in the grass, his
life had no longer any value for him, and he patiently awaited the
deadly blow.  After a short time, he heard gentle steps behind him, and
thought, "Now he is coming."

"Look up once more, Peter Munk," cried the little man.  He wiped the
tears from his eyes and looked up, and beheld his mother, and Elizabeth
his wife, who kindly gazed on him.  Then he jumped up joyfully, saying,
"You are not dead, then, Elizabeth, nor you, mother; and have you
forgiven me?"

"They will forgive you," said the glass-mannikin, "because you feel
true repentance, and all shall be forgotten.  Go home now, to your
father's hut, and be a charcoal-burner as before; if you are active and
honest, you will do credit to your trade, and your neighbours will love
and esteem you more than if you possessed ten tons of gold."  Thus
saying, the glass-mannikin left them.  The three praised and blessed
him, and went home.

The splendid house of wealthy Peter stood no longer; it was struck by
lightning, and burnt to the ground, with all its treasures.  But they
were not far from his father's hut, and thither they went, without
caring much for their great loss.  But what was their surprise when
they reached the hut; it was changed into a handsome farm-house, and
all in it was simple, but good and cleanly.

"This is the glass-mannikin's doing," cried Peter.

"How beautiful!" said Frau Elizabeth; "and here I feel more at home
than in the larger house, with many servants."

Henceforth Peter Munk became an industrious and honest man.  He was
content with what he had, carried on his trade cheerfully, and thus it
was that he became wealthy by his own energy, and respected and beloved
in the whole forest.  He no longer quarrelled with his wife, but
honoured his mother, and relieved the poor who came to his door.  When,
after twelvemonths, Fran Elizabeth presented him with a beautiful
little boy, Peter went to the Tannenbühl, and repeated the verse as
before.  But the glass-mannikin did not show himself.

"Mr. Schatzhauser," he cried loudly, "only listen to me.  I wish
nothing but to ask you to stand godfather to my little son."  But he
received no answer, and only a short gust of wind rushed through the
pines, and cast a few cones on the grass.

"Then I will take these as a remembrance, as you will not show
yourself," cried Peter, and he put them in his pocket, and returned
home.  But when he took off his jacket, and his mother turned out the
pockets before putting it away, four large rolls of money fell out; and
when they opened them, they found them all good and new Baden dollars,
and not one counterfeit, and these were the intended godfather's gift
for little Peter, from the little man in the Tannenbühl.  Thus they
lived on, quietly and cheerfully; and many a time Peter Munk, when
gray-headed, would say, "It is indeed better to be content with little,
than to have wealth and a cold heart."

C. A. F.

[1] The Black Forest.

[2] A great festival in German villages, general during the months of
October and November.



[This tale occurs in the novel of "Münchhausen," the narrator telling
it to the object of his affections.  It is necessary to state this to
render the opening intelligible.  The story is probably intended to
satirize the speculative tendency of the Germans, and old Albertus
Magnus seems a sort of representative of Hegel, whom Immermann openly
attacks in the course of the "Münchhausen."  To me the expression
"dialectic thought," which occurs in the Hegelian sense at p. 85, is
conclusive in this respect.--J. O.]

"Did you ever, Lisbeth, on a clear sunny day, go through a beautiful
wood, in which the blue sky peered through the green diadems above you,
where the exhalation of the trees was like a breath of God, and when
thy foot scattered a thousand glittering pearls from the pointed grass?"

"Yes, lately, Oswald dear, I went through the mountains to collect the
rents.  It is delightful to walk in a green fresh wood; I could ramble
about one for whole days without meeting a soul, and without being in
the least terrified.  The turf is God's mantle, and we are guarded by a
thousand angels, whether we sit or stand upon it.  Now a hill--now a
rock!  I ran and ran, because I always thought, 'Behind, then, must be
flying the wonderful bird with its blue and red wings, its golden crown
upon its head.'  I grew hot and red with running, but not weary.  One
does not get weary in a wood."

"And when you did not see the wonderful bird behind the hill in the
hedge, you stood still hard-breathing, and you heard afar in the valley
of oaks the sound of the axe, which is the forest clock, and tells that
man's hour is running even in such a lovely solitude."

"Or farther, Oswald, the free prospect up the hill between the dark
round beeches, and still closer, the brow of the hill crowned with
lofty trunks!  There red cows were feeding, and shook their bells,
there the dew on the grass gave a silvery hue to the sunlit valley, and
the shadows of the cows and the trees played at hide-and-seek with each

"Well, then, on such a sunny morning many hundred years ago, two young
men met one another in the wood.  It was in the great woody ridge of
mountains, called Spessart, which forms the boundary between the joyous
districts of the Rhine and the fertile Fraconia.  That is a wood, dear
Lisbeth, which is ten leagues broad and twenty long, covering plains
and mountains, clifts and valleys.

"On the great highway, which runs straight from the Rhine-land to
Würzburg and Bamberg, these young men met each other.  One came from
the west, the other from the east.  Their animals were as opposite as
their directions.  The one from the east sat upon a bay horse, which
pranced merrily, and he looked right stately in his gay armour, and his
cap of red velvet, from which the heron's plume descended; the one from
the west wore a black cap without any mark of distinction, a long
student's cloak of the same colour, and rode on a humble mule.

"When the young knight had approached the travelling student, he
stopped his bay, saluted the other in a friendly way, and said: 'Good
friend, I was just going to alight, and to take my morning snack, but
since two are required for love, gaming, and eating, if these three
pleasant affairs are to go off properly, I beg leave to ask you,
whether you will dismount and be my partner?  A mouthfull of grass
would no less suit your gray, than my bay.  The day will be hot, and
the beasts require some repose.'

"The travelling student was pleased with this offer.  Both alighted and
seated themselves by the roadside on the wild thyme and lavender, from
which, as they sat down, a white cloud of perfumes ascended, and a
hundred bees that were disturbed in their labours arose humming.  A
squire, who had followed the young knight with a heavy laden horse,
took charge of the two animals, gave his master a goblet and bottle,
together with bread and meat from the knapsack, unbridled the beasts,
and let them graze by the roadside.

"The travelling student felt the side-pocket of his cloak, drew back
his hand with an air of vexation, and cried: 'Out upon my eternal
abstraction!  This very morning, I had packed up my breakfast so neatly
in the inn, and then something else must needs come into my head, and
make me forget my provisions.'

"'If that is all,' cried the young knight, 'here is enough for you and
me!'  He divided the bread and meat, filled the goblet, and gave the
other both liquid and solid.  At the same time he examined him more
closely, while the other on his side examined him also, and then a cry
of astonishment was uttered by them both:

"'Are you not?'--'Nay, art _thou_ not?' they cried.

"'I am indeed Conrad of Aufsess!' cried the young knight.

"'And I Peter of Stellen,' cried the other.  They embraced each other,
and could hardly contain themselves for joy at this unexpected meeting.

"They were indeed playfellows, who had met by accident in the verdant
Spessart.  Their fathers had been friends, and the sons had often
played at bat and ball together; had quarrelled a hundred times, and as
often made it up again.  However, young Peter was always more quiet and
reflective than his playfellow, who thought about nothing but the names
of weapons and riding-equipage.  At last Peter declared to his father
that he wished to become learned, and he went to Cologne to sit at the
feet of the celebrated Albertus Magnus, who was master of all the human
sciences then known, and of whom, report said, that he was also deeply
initiated in the occult arts.

"A considerable time had elapsed, since either of the playfellows had
heard any thing of the other.  After the first storm of joy had
subsided, and breakfast was removed, the knight asked the student what
had occurred to him.

"'To that, my friend, I can give a very short answer, and ought to give
thee a very long one.  A short one, if I merely portray the outward
form and shell of my life hitherto; a long one--ah, an infinitely long
one, if thou desirest to taste the inner kernel of this shell.'

"'Eh, silly fellow,' cried the knight, 'what hard discourse is this?
Give the shell and a bit of the kernel, if the whole nut is too large
for a single meal.'

"'Then know,' replied the other, 'that my visible course of life was
between narrow banks.  I dwelt in a little dark street, at the back of
a house inhabited by quiet people.  My window looked upon a garden to
the trees and shrubs of which a solemn background was formed by the
wall of the Templars' house.  I kept myself very solitary, associating
neither with the citizens, nor with the students.  The result is that I
know nothing about the large city, except the street leading from my
house to the Dominican convent, where my great master taught.  When I
returned to my cell, and had kept awake till midnight by my studying
lamp, I sometimes looked out of window to cool my heated eyes by
exposure to the deep starry heaven.  I then often saw a light in the
Templars' house opposite; the knights in the white mantles of their
order passed along the galleries, like spirits in the glare of red
torches, vanished behind the pillars, and re-appeared.  In the extreme
corner of the wing, curtains were let down before the windows, but
through the thinner parts of these a singular light shone, while behind
them melodies could be heard, sounding through the night sweetly and
solemnly, like forbidden desires.

"'Thus did my days pass insignificant to outward appearance, but
internally a brilliant festival of all sorts of wonders.  Albertus now
distinguished me above his other pupils; and in a short time I observed
that he repeated to me with a particular emphasis, certain words, which
passed unheeded by the rest.  These were words which pointed to the
mysterious connection of all human knowledge, and a common root,
shooting into the darkest secrecy of that great tree, which in the
light above unfolded its mighty branches;--as grammar, dialectics,
eloquence, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.  At such words
his eyes would rest upon me, with the most penetrating glance, and my
looks told him, that he had kindled in me a deep desire for the last
and greatest treasures of his mind.

"'By degrees, I became the confidant of his secret laboratory, and the
pupil to which he intended to bequeath, as a precious legacy, a portion
of his talent.  There is only one marrow of things, which here in the
metal is heavy and presses down, there in the waving plant, or the
volatile bird, struggles to free itself from the original kernel.  All
things undergo a perpetual change.  The Creator indeed works in nature,
but nature also works for herself.  And he who has the right power at
his command can call forth her own peculiar independent life, so that
the limbs which would otherwise remain bound in the Creator, will
unfold themselves to new movements.  My great master conducted me with
a secure hand to that spring, where the marrow of things is flowing.  I
dipped my finger therein, and all my senses were at once filled with a
superhuman power of perception.  We often sat together in the sooty
melting-room, and looked into the glow of the furnace; he before, on a
low stool, I cowering behind him, giving the coals or the pieces of
ore, which he flung into the crucible with his left hand, while with
the right he affectionately held me.  Then the metals defended
themselves; the salts and acids crackled; the great Regulus, who rules
all the world wished, as in a stormy fortress, to guard himself in the
midst of sharp-angled crystals; the red, blue, and green vassals were
kindled in wrath, and as if to keep us off, stretched their glaring
spears towards us, but we broke through the works and destroyed the
garrison, and the shining king humbly surrendered himself over the
ruins of dross.  Gold in itself is nothing to him whose heart is not
set on earthly things, but to perceive this dearest and most precious
boon of nature in all and every thing, even in what is most trifling
and insignificant, that is a great matter to the philosopher.  At other
times the stars showed us their curious circles which separated
themselves as history, and sunk to the earth, or the intimate
connection of tones and numbers was awakened to us and showed us links
which no word can describe, but which are again much more revealed by
tones and numbers.  But in all this mysterious essence and
interweaving, that it might not again become a cold sticky mass,
floated, ever combining and ever freeing, that which separates itself,
both in itself and in things, amid the contest of ever fading
youth--the great, the unfathomable, the dialectic thought.

"'Oh blessed satisfying time of the opened intelligence, of the
wandering through the inner halls of the palace, at the metal doors of
which others knock in vain!  At last----"

"The wandering student, whose lips during the narrative had been
glowing more and more, took a deep red colour, while a strange fire
flashed from his eyes, stopped short here, as though suddenly sobered
from his inspiration.  The knight wished in vain for the completion of
the discourse, and then said to his friend: 'Well--_at last_?'

"'At last,' replied the student, in a tone of feigned indifference, 'we
were obliged to separate, if only for a short time.  My great master
now sends me to Ratisbon to ask for certain papers from the sacristy of
the cathedral, which he left there as bishop.  I shall bring them to
him, and shall then, indeed, if I can, pass my life with him.'

"The young knight poured the rest of his wine into the goblet, looked
into it, and drank the wine more slowly than before.  'Thou hast told
me strange things,' he began after a silence, 'but they do not stagger
me.  God's world appears to me so beautifully adorned, that I should
take no delight in tearing away the charming veil, and looking in to
the innermost core of things, as thou callest it.  The sky is blue, the
stars shine, the wood rustles, the plants give fragrance, and this
blue, this shining, this rustling, this fragrance--are they not the
most beautiful things that can be, behind which there is nothing more
beautiful?  Pardon me, I do not envy thee thy secret knowledge.  Poor
fellow! this knowledge does not give thee a colour.  Thy cheeks are
quite pale and sunken.'

"'Every one has his appointed path, one this, the other that,' replied
the scholar.  'It is not the bounding of blood that constitutes life.
Marble is white, and walls of marble generally enclose the spot in
which stand the statues of the gods, yet enough of this, and now for
thyself.  What hast thou done since I last saw thee?'

"'Oh! of that,' cried the young knight Conrad, with his usual
light-heartedness, 'there is little to be told!  I got upon horseback
and got off again, I went about to many a good prince's court, thrust
many a spear, gained many thanks, missed many thanks, and peeped into
many a lovely woman's eye.  I can write my name, and press the knob of
my sword in wax by the side of it, and I can rhyme a song, though not
so well as Master Godfried of Strasburg.[1]  I have gone through the
initiatory ceremonies, and was dubbed a knight at Firchheim.  Now I am
riding to Mayence, where the emperor is going to hold a tournament, to
tumble about a little and enjoy life.'

"The student looked at the sun's place, and said: 'It is a pity that
after such a friendly meeting we must so soon part.  Nevertheless it is
necessary, if we each design to fulfil our purpose to-day.'

"'Come with me to Mayence,' cried the other, as he jumped up, and eyed
the student with a singularly compassionate look, which, however,
allowed a smile to appear.  'Leave that gloomy Ratisbon, and the
cathedral and the sacristy; cheer up thy face among jolly fellows, by
the round table, in the wine-cellar, and before the flowery windows of
fair damsels.  Let the sound of flute and shaum purify thine ears of
the awful vigils of the Templars, who are considered mischievous
heretics and Baffomets' priests over all Christendom.  Come to Mayence,

"He was already in his saddle, when he uttered these last words, and
stretched out his hand as if in supplication, towards his friend, who
turned aside and drew back his arm in token of refusal.  'What has come
into your head?' he said, smiling reluctantly.  'Ah, friend Conrad, if
I had already said every one has his appointed way, I would cry out to
thee turn back, thou volatile heedless one!  Youth fades away, the jest
becomes hushed, the laugh will one day be found suddenly to fail,
because the face has become too stiff, or grins repulsively from
withered wrinkles!  Woe then to him whose garners are not full, whose
chambers are not stored!  Ah, there must be something dismal in such a
base, impoverished old age, and the proverb is right which says: 'Those
who at morn too merry are, shall reap at night sorrow and care.'
Looking upon thee thus, oh brother of my youth, I may well feel
troubled about thee, for who knows in what altered condition I may find
thee again.'

"The knight gave the student's hand a hearty shake and cried: 'Perhaps
thou wilt be transformed when we meet again--wilt be decked out in
velvet and satin, and surpass us all!'  He darted off, and in the
distance the student heard him sing a song which was then in every
mouth, and sounded something like this:

  'No fairer flow'r, I vow, is known
  Than that bright rose, sweet woman's lips,
  With such luxuriance swelling.
  Close-lock'd at first, this flow'ret keeps,
  When as an infant bud 'tis shown
  All bold assaults repelling.
  But every flow'r is wash'd by May,
  On rosy lips he plants a kiss,
  And straight we see them fully blowing.
  Then rosy lips should find a kiss,
  And every kiss should in its day
  Find lips with fondness glowing.'

"A butterfly flew up before the student.  'Is not the life of most
men,' he said, 'to be compared to the fluttering of this moth?  Light
and motley he goes flaunting about, and yet how barren and short are
his joys.'  He rolled about his great eyes, but only an empty
alternation of light and shade reached these dim mirrors, not the full
form, the fine colour.  The wood looked on him from its green depths
with an irresistible glance.  'Suppose,' he said, 'I leave my patient
beast awhile on this grass-plot; it will not run away from me, and I
feel the warmest desire to wander there for an hour.  How refreshing it
must be in the depths of the wood!'

"He turned aside from the high road by a narrow path, which, after
winding for a short distance through the tall trees, sloped down into
the wood.  Soon he found himself in a perfect solitude, with a
rustling, whispering, and whining round him, while only a few single
gleams of sun-light reflected with a green hue, played about him like
ignis fatui.  Sometimes he thought he heard his name called behind him
in the distance, and--he did not know why--the call appeared to him
hateful and repulsive.  Then again he would take the sound to be a mere
delusion, but whatever he thought he always got deeper and deeper into
the dark forest.  Large gnarled roots lay like snakes across the way,
stretched out, so that the student was in danger of tumbling every
moment.  Stag-beetles stood like noble game in the moor, while the
purest hues of golden vegetation shone from little nooks in the rocks.
The perspiration stood on his forehead, and with increasing rapidity he
penetrated the thicket, and fled from the bright sunny world without.
It was not only the exercise of walking that made him hot, his mind was
also labouring under a burden of heavy recollections.  At last, after
the pathway had long vanished from beneath his feet, he came to a
beautiful, smooth, dark spot, among some mighty oak-trees.  Still he
heard his name called in the distance.  'Here,' he said, 'the rude
sound yonder will no more reach me; here I shall be quietly concealed.'
He sunk down upon a great mossy stone, his heart heaved, he was
struggling with a powerful desire.  'Forgive my presumption, great
master,' he cried, 'but there is a knowledge which must be followed by
action, otherwise it crushes a mortal.  Here, nearer to the heart of
the great mother, where amid sprouting and growing, her pulse beats
more audibly,--here must I utter the magic word, which I heard from thy
sleeping lips, when thou spakest it in a dream; the word, at the sound
of which the creature casts aside its veil, the powers which labour
beneath bark and hide, and in the kernel of the rock, become visible,
and the language of birds becomes intelligible to the ear.'

"His lips already quivered to utter the word, but he restrained
himself, for there appeared before his eyes the sorrowful glance with
which his great master, Albertus, had entreated him to make no use of
the art he had accidentally acquired, since heavy things impended over
him who uttered the magic word designedly.

"Nevertheless, he did call it out loudly into the wood, as if the
prohibition and his own fear had given it additional force, and while
he did so, he stretched out his right hand.

"At once he felt a blow and a jerk, that made him think he had been
struck by lightning.  His eyes were blinded, and it seemed as though a
violent whirlwind was hurling him through the immeasurable space.  As
terrified and giddy he felt about him with his hands, he touched indeed
the mossy stone on which he had been standing, and therefore in his
mind regained the earth, but now he had a new and unpleasant sign.  For
as previously he had been flung about the universe like an atom, it now
seemed to him as if his body were infinitely extended.  Amid the most
frightful agonies, this newly-wakened power forced his limbs to such a
monstrous size, that he thought he must be touching the sky.  The bones
of his head and chest were become as capacious as temples; into his
ears fell strange, heavenly sounds of distracting effect, and he said
to himself: 'That is the song of the stars in their golden orbits.'
The pains at last were exchanged for a titillating pleasurable
sensation, during which he felt his body again shrink up to its
ordinary size, while the gigantic form remained standing around him
like an outer shell, or a kind of atmosphere in aërial outline.  The
darkness left his eyes, while great, yellow-shining surfaces of light,
as with the sensation of dazzling, freed themselves from the pupils and
glided into the corners, where they gradually disappeared.

"While he thus regained his sight, a clear-toned, sweet chorus--he did
not know whether it was the birds alone, or whether the boughs, bushes,
and grasses joined in--sang quite plainly round him:

  'Yes, he shall hear it,
  Yes, he must bear it;
  To us he belongs alone.
  Soon will he
  By the green-wood tree,
  Be dumb and cold as a stone.'

"In the block of mossy rock a light murmuring was audible.  It seemed
as though the stone wished to move itself and could not, like one in a
trance.  The student looked upon its surface, and lo! the green and red
veins were running together into a very ancient countenance, which from
its weary eyes looked upon him with such a mournful and supplicating
aspect, that he turned aside with horror, and sought consolation among
the trees, plants, and birds.

"Among these all was changed likewise.  When he trod on the short brown
moss, it shrieked and groaned at the ungentle pressure, and he saw how
it wrung its little hairy hands and shake its green or yellow heads.
The stems of the plants and the trunks of the trees were in a constant
spiral motion, and at the same time the bark, or the outer skin,
allowed him to look into the inside, where little sprites were pouring
fine glistening drops into the tubes.  The clear fluid ran from tube to
tube, while valves unceasingly opened and shut, until in the capillary
tubes of the leaves at the very top, it was transformed to a green
bloom.  Soft explosions and fire now arose in the veins of the leaves;
their finely cut lips ceaselessly breathed forth a kind of ethereal
flame, while ceaselessly also the heavier part of those igneous
phenomena glided about the leaves in soft waves of vapour.  In the
blue-bell flowers that were on the damp soil there was a ringing and
singing; they consoled the poor old face of stone with a lively song,
and told him that if they could only free themselves from the ground
they would with right good will release him.  Out of the air strange
green, red, and yellow signs, which seemed about to join themselves to
some form, and then again were dissipated, peered at the student; worms
and chafers crawled or stepped to him on every side, uttering all sorts
of confused petitions.  One wished to be this, another that; one wished
for a new cover to his wings, another had broken his proboscis; those
that were accustomed to float in the air begged for sunshine, those
that crawled, for damp.  All this rabble of insects called him their
deity, so that his brain was nearly turned.

"Among the birds there was no end to the chirping, twittering, and
tale-telling.  A spotted woodpecker clambered up and down the bark of
an oak, hacked and picked after the worms, and was never tired of
crying: 'I am the forester, I must take care of the wood.'  The wren
said to the finch: 'There is no more friendship among us.  The peacock
will not allow me to strike a circle, thinking that no one has a right
to do so but himself, and therefore he has accused me to the supreme
tribunal.  Nevertheless I can strike as good a circle as he with my
little brown tail.'  'Leave me alone,' replied the finch, 'I eat my
grain and care for nothing else.  I have cares of quite another sort.
The proper artistical melody I can only add to my native woodland song
when they have blinded me, but it is a terrible thing that no good can
be done with one unless one is so horribly maimed.'  Others chattered
about thefts and murders, which no one but the birds had seen.

  'Over the road they fly,
  Traced by no mortal eye.'

"Then they perched themselves stiffly on the branches and peeped down
mockingly at the scholar, while two impudent titmice cried out: 'There
stands the conjurer listening to us and cannot make out what has
happened to him.'  'Well, how he will stare!' screamed the whole troop,
and off they flew with a chirping which sounded half like laughter.

"The scholar now felt something thrown in his face, and looking up, saw
an ill-bred squirrel that had flung a hollow nut at his forehead, and
now lay flat with his belly upon the bough, staring him full in the
face, and crying: 'The full one for me, the hollow for thee!'  'Ye
misbehaved rabble, let the strange gentleman alone,' cried a black and
white magpie that came wagging her tail up to him, through the grass.
She then seated herself on the student's shoulder, and said into his
ear: 'You must not judge of us all according to these uncourteous
beasts, learned sir, there are well bred folks among us.  Only see,
through that aperture, yonder wise gentleman, the wild boar, how
quietly he stands and eats his acorns, and fosters his thoughts in
silence.  Willingly I will give you my company and tell you all that I
know, for talking is my delight, especially with old people.'

"'There you are out in your reckoning,' said the student, 'I am still

"'Heavens, how men can deceive themselves,' cried the magpie, and she
looked very thoughtful.

"The student now thought he heard, from the depth of the wood, a sigh,
the sound of which penetrated his heart.  He asked the cause of his
white and black companion, and she told him she would ask two lizards,
who were eating their breakfast.  He accordingly went, with the magpie
on his shoulder, to the place where these creatures were to be found,
and beheld a very pretty sight.  The two lizards, sure enough, were
genteel young ladies, for they sat under a great mushroom, which
stretched its golden yellow roof over them like a splendid marquee.
There they sat imbibing, with their little brown tongues, the dew from
the grass, and then wiping their mouths with one of the blades, they
went to take a walk together in a neighbouring grove of fern, which
seemingly belonged to the one who had invited her friend to the visit.
'Shack! shack!' cried the magpie, 'the gentleman wants to know who it
was that sighed.'  The lizards raised their heads, waggled their tails
and cried,

  'In the bower by the spring the Princess sleeps;
  Safely the spider the lady keeps.'

"'Hem,' said the magpie, shaking her head, 'to think that one can be so
forgetful.  To be sure in the adjoining beechen-bower slumbers the fair
Princess Doralice, about whom wicked King Spider has spun his web.  Oh,
if you could save her, learned sir!'  The student's heart was stirred,
and he asked the magpie where the bower was.  The bird flew before him,
from bough to bough, to show him the way, till at last they came to a
quiet meadow, enclosed all round, through which a streamlet, taking its
source from a cleft in the rocks, was flowing among some pretty bowers
formed by beech-trees.  These trees had struck their branches into the
earth, and thus arched over the ground like a roof, through which the
fine leaves of the fern were peering forth, forming as it were the
gables and loopholes of the little leafy dwelling.  Upon these the
magpie sprang, peeped through a loophole, and whispered mysteriously,
'Here sleeps the princess!" The student approached with beating heart,
knelt before the opening of the bower and looked within.  Ah, there was
a sight that set his whole soul and senses into a commotion more
violent than when he uttered the magical word!  On the moss, which rose
like a pillow round its fair burden, the loveliest maiden was lying
asleep.  Her head was somewhat raised, one arm was placed under it, and
her white fingers glistened through the gold-brown hair, which in long
soft streams delicately wound about her neck and bosom.  With
unspeakable delight and, at the same time, with a feeling of melancholy
the student gazed upon the noble face, the purple lips, the full white
limbs, which cast a bright reflection on the dark moss.  The
circumstance that the sleeper, as if oppressed by some mysterious
weight, appeared to breathe in a soft agony, only rendered her more
charming in his eyes; he felt that his heart was captivated for ever,
and that those lips alone could still his passion.  'Is it not a
shame,' said the magpie, as she hopped through the hole into the bower
and perched on the sleeper's arm, 'that so lovely a princess should
thus be bound by a web?'  'A web?' asked the student; 'she is indeed
lying there wrapped in her white veil.'  'Oh, folly!' cried the magpie,
'I tell you that is all cobweb, and King Spider made it.'  'But who is
King Spider?'

"'In his human state he was a wealthy maker of yarn,' replied the
magpie, pleasantly wagging her tail.  'His factory was not distant from
here, being by the river-side without the wood, and about a hundred
workmen spun under him.  The yarn they used to wash in the stream.
This was the dwelling-place of the Nixy, who was very much enraged,
that they troubled his clear waters with their filthy washing,
especially as all his children, the trout and the smelts, died from the
carious matter: he tangled the yarn, the waves were forced to cast it
over the shore, he drove it downwards into the whirlpool to warn the
master-spinner, but all was in vain.  At last, on Midsummer-day, when
the river-spirits have power to frighten and to injure, he sprinkled
some magic water in the faces of the whole troop of spinners and their
chief, as they were carrying on their washing as boldly and
unscrupulously as ever, and just as bloodthirsty men may be changed
into wear-wolves, and wear-cats, so did they become wear-spiders.  They
all ran from the river to the wood, and were hanging everywhere from
the trees and bushes by their web.  The workmen have become diminutive
spiders, and catch flies and gnats, but their master has retained
nearly his former size, and is called the spider-king.  He lies in
watch for pretty girls, spins his web round them, lulls their senses
with his poisonous exhalations, and then sucks the blood from their
hearts.  At last he overcame this princess, who had strayed from her
retinue in the wood.  See, there, there, he is stirring among the

"And indeed it seemed to the student as if he saw glimmering through
the branches, right opposite to him, the body of a gigantic spider; two
hairy feet, as thick as human arms, were working their way through the
foliage.  He felt dreadfully alarmed for the lovely sleeper, and wished
to oppose the monster.  'Vain is your attempt!' cried the magpie,
flapping her wings; 'all enchanted men have fearful power, and this
monster could strangle you with his web; however, strew some fern-seed
on the breast of the fair one; that will make her invisible to the
spider-king, and so long as any particle of it remains, its virtue will
last.'  In the greatest haste the student rubbed the brown dust from
the under surface of a fern-leaf, and did as the bird had desired.
While during this act, he bent over the sleeper, his cheek felt her
breath.  Enraptured, he cried, 'Are there no means of freeing this
beloved form?'  'Oh,' screamed the bird, as she madly flew round the
student with a sort of zig-zag motion, 'if you ask me about means,
there are many indeed.  Our wise old man in the cleft has the yew-tree
in keeping, and if you can get a branch of that, and with it touch the
fair one thrice upon the forehead, all her bonds will be dissolved:

  'Before the yew tree,
  All magic must flee.'

She will then sink in your arms, and belong to you, as her deliverer.'

"At this moment it seemed as though the sleeper heard the bird's
discourse.  Her beautiful face was suffused with a delicate redness,
and her features took the expression of an ineffable desire.  'Lead me
to the wise old man!' cried the student, half beside himself.

"The bird hopped into the bushes, and the student hurried after her.
The magpie fluttered up a narrow rocky path which soon led over a marsh
and wildly scattered blocks of stones, with great peril to the
traveller.  The student was forced to clamber from block to block that
he might not sink into the marsh.  His knees trembled, his heart
heaved, his temples were bathed in a cold sweat.  As he hastened along
he plucked off flowers and leaves and sprinkled them on the stones that
he might again find his way.  At last he stood on an eminence of
considerable height upon a spacious rocky portal, from the dark hollow
of which an icy-cold breeze blew towards him.  Here nature seemed to be
in her primitive state of fermention, so fearfully and in such wild
disorder did the masses of stone stand over, by, and before the cavern.

"'Here dwells our wise man!' cried the magpie, while she bristled up
her feathers from her head to her tail, which gave her a most
unpleasant and repulsive appearance, 'I will announce you, and ask how
he feels disposed as to your wish.'  With these words, she slipped into
the hollow, and almost immediately jumped back again, crying, 'The old
man is peevish and obstinate, and he will not give you the bough of
yew, unless you stop up all the chinks in the cavern, for he says the
draught annoys him.  Before you can do this, many years may have

"The student plucked up as much of the moss and herbage as he could,
and, not without a feeling of dread, entered the cavern.  Within
strangely-shaped stalactites were staring at him from the walls, and he
did not know where to turn his eyes to avoid these hideous forms.  He
wished to penetrate deeper by the rocky path, but from the further
corner a voice snorted forth to him: 'Back! disturb me not in my
researches, pursue thy occupation there in the front!'  He wished to
discover who was speaking, but only saw a pair of red fiery eyes, that
shone out of the darkness.  He now set about his task, stopped up with
moss and herbage every chink through which a glimmer of daylight
passed, but this was a difficult, and--as it seemed to him--an endless
task.  For when he thought he had done with one cranny and might turn
to another, the stopping fell out, and he was obliged to begin anew.
The snorting thing at the back of the cavern went on rattling out
sounds without meaning, only occasionally uttering intelligible words,
which seemed to denote that the creature was boasting of its deep

"Time appeared to the student to be hastening along with the greatest
rapidity, while he was pursuing his work of despair.  Days, weeks,
months, years, seemed to come and go, and yet he felt nothing like
hunger or thirst.  He fancied he was nearly mad, and with a kind of
feigned passion, quietly repeated to himself the year in which he had
entered the wood, and that it was on the day of Peter and Paul, that he
might not lose all notion of time.  The image of his beloved sleeper
appeared to him as from a far distance, he wept with desire and sorrow,
and yet he felt no tears flowing down his cheeks.  All at once it
seemed to him as if he saw a well-known figure approach the sleeper,
contemplate her with rapture, and then bend over her as if to kiss her.
At this moment he was entirely conscious of pain and jealousy, and,
forgetting all around him, he darted towards the dark background of the
cavern.  'The yew-branch!' he cried, eagerly.  'There it grows,' said
the glaring snorting thing, and at the same time he felt in his hand
the branch of a tree, which grew from a dark chink in the grotto.  He
was in the act of breaking one of the branches, when he heard a
whimpering noise around him, the glaring creature snorted louder than
ever, the cavern reeled, shook, and fell in, all became dark in the
eyes of the student, and he involuntarily shouted out:

  'Before the yew tree,
  All magic must flee.'

"When his eyes again became clear, he looked around him.  A dry,
strangely-discoloured stick was in his hand.  He stood amid a heap of
stones, which arched themselves to a cavern, which was not very large.
In the depth of it he heard shrill, piping sounds, like those commonly
uttered by great owls.  The place around seemed changed.  It was a
moderate eminence, bare, and scanty, and sprinkled over with stones of
no remarkable magnitude, between which the path by which he had
ascended, led on one side, through the damp soil, to the abyss.  Of the
large blocks of rock, nothing more was to be seen.  He was freezing
with cold, although the sun was high in the heavens, and, as it seemed
to him, in the same place as when he went out to fetch the bough, which
had now become a withered stick in his hand.  Stepping over the stones,
he went down the path; the journey seemed wearisome, he was obliged to
support himself on the stick, his head hung down on his breast, and he
heard his breath, as it struggled forth with difficulty.  On a slippery
part of the pathway his foot slid, and he was obliged to cling to the
hedge.  In this act his hand came close to his eye, and appeared gray
and wrinkled.  'Good God!' cried he, seized with horror, 'have I then
so long----?'  He did not dare to utter his own thoughts.  'No,' said
he, forcibly calming himself, 'it is the cold wood-breeze that so
freezes me; the exertion has made me weak, and the broken greenish
light, which falls through the hedges, gives my hands this singular
colour.'  He stepped farther, and saw, lying on the stones, the wild
flowers and leaves, which he had thrown, on his ascent, to mark the
way.  They were as fresh as if they had been but just placed there.
This was a new riddle for him.  A charcoal-burner was chopping away the
trees by the wayside, and cutting off branches; so he asked him what
day it was.  'Eh, father,' said the man, 'are you such a bad Christian,
that you do not know the Apostles' days?  This is Peter and Paul's day,
when the stag leaves the wood for the corn.  I am cutting out a toy for
my young one, out of the veiny bough.  For any other purpose, I do not
work on this day; but that is all for pleasure and pastime, and is
allowed, says the chaplain.'

"'I pray you, my good fellow,' said the student, who felt a sensation
of horror, more and more painful, pervading him, 'tell in what year of
our Lord we are!'  The charcoal-burner, whom even the holiday's wash
had not quite freed from soot, raised up his strong-limbed black figure
from among the green bushes, and, after some hesitation, told the year.

"'Oh, my Redeemer!' shrieked the student, and, no longer supported by
his stick, he fell upon the stones.  He then cast the stick away, and
crawled trembling down the stony path.

The black charcoal-burner, amazed, came out of the hedge upon the
stones, with the branch in his hand, saw the stick lying before him,
crossed himself, and said: 'That is off the yew-tree, which grows
yonder on the Eulenstein, where the owl has his nest.  They say that it
will enchant, and free that which is enchanted already.  God help us!
the old man has uttered wicked things.'  He then returned to the
bushes, to go to his hut, and cut the plaything for his boy.

      *      *      *      *      *

"In the pleasant woodland meadow below, near the beechen arbour, and by
the clear brook, which had there washed its banks to a wide basin, sat
the young knight, Conrad, and the fair one whom he had awakened from
slumber without any magic arts.  The red, blue, and yellow flower-cups
pressed forth out of the grass around them, and the pair bloomed in
youth and beauty--the knight in gay accoutrements, the maiden in her
silver-bright veil, as the fairest flower that decked the enamel.  He
had his arm gently round her waist, and said, looking with every
appearance of sincerity into her eye: 'By the ashes of my dear mother,
and by the holy sign on the hilt of this sword, I am, as I have named
myself to thee, lord of castles, and ruler of my own life, and I
entreat thee, thou lovely wonder of this forest, to let thy lips speak
the word which shall make me thine for ever, with the blessing of the
priest before the altar.'

"'And what word dost thou desire?' said the fair one, as she modestly
lowered her eye-lashes.  'Have not my eye, my cheek, my palpitating
bosom told all?  Love[2] is a powerful queen, she pursues her path
unawares, and seizes whom she pleases, without suffering resistance.
Conduct me, before the decline of day, to the pious abbess of the
cloister at Odenwald, she will take me under her protection, and there
will I abide between quiet walls, till you come, and fetch me to your

"She was about to rise, but the young knight softly detained her, and
said, 'Let us yet remain a few moments in this spot where my happiness
sprang up, like a golden legend.  I still fear that you will vanish
from my sight, like some charming wood nymph.  Help me to believe in
thee and thy lovely mortality.  How didst thou come hither?  What had
befallen thee?'

"'This morning,' replied the fair one, 'I had fled into the forest from
my guardian, Count Archimbald, whose wicked designs, whether upon me or
my property I know not, were suddenly most frightfully apparent.  Of
what use is a rich inheritance to youth and woman?  She is always left
to herself and unprotected.  I wished to fly to the abbess, I wished to
apply to the emperor at Mayence, indeed I scarcely knew what I wished.
Thus I came into these green halls of trees, my thoughts were not
directed to the true Aid, my thoughts were at war with Heaven.
Suddenly, while I saw this meadow already before me, I fancied that
something was spoken over yonder in the bushes, upon which I felt
myself and all around me transformed.  I cannot describe the word nor
the sound of it, my beloved.  The song of the nightingale is harsh to
its sweetness, and the rolling of the thunder is but a weak whisper
compared to it.  It was certainly the most mysterious and the most
compulsory communication which is possible between heaven and earth.
On me it exercised an irresistible power, as it fell into a mind that
had lost all self-control, into the tumult of my senses, and there was
in me no holy thought to oppose it.  My eyes closed, and yet I could
see the path before me, which my feet, as though conducted by soft,
invisible hands, were forced to tread.  I slept and yet I did not
sleep; it was an indescribable situation under the influence of which I
at length sank down on the soft recess in yonder arbour.  Every thing
around me was speaking and singing, I felt within me the billow-like
commotion of the most tumultuous rapture, every drop of my blood
flashed and danced through my veins, and yet in the depth of my soul
there was the most extreme horror at my state, and the most ardent
prayer for an awakening from my slumber.  I perceived at the same time
that nothing of the horror appeared in my face, for strange to say I
could look at myself, and I saw that my cheeks smiled with delight, as
if songs of heavenly joy were sung to me.  The sensation of pleasure
penetrated deeper and deeper into my heart, that of horror receded more
and more, and I felt dreadfully alarmed lest this one small point
should be totally extinguished, and I should have nothing but pleasure.
In this state of trouble, and apparently the loss of all consciousness,
I vowed that I would belong to him, who should awaken and deliver me.
I now perceived through my closed eyelids a dark form stooping over me.
The form was large and noble, and yet I felt a deep repugnance towards
this person, while the thought that it might be he, who had uttered the
fatal word passed through my mind like a shadow; nevertheless I still
cried out, silently indeed, but yet loudly, to myself, 'If he wakens
thee and delivers thee, thou must belong to him for this ineffable
benefit, for thou hast vowed it.'  He did not awaken me!'

"'I--I have awakened thee, my dearest love, and not by charms and
benedictions, no; but with a burning kiss on thy red lips!' cried the
young knight, with transport, as he embraced the fair Emma.  'Strange
have been the wonders in the Spessart which have brought us together.
On the highway yonder I had parted from my dear friend Peter, after the
strangest and most intricate discussion.  When I had proceeded a few
hundred paces I suddenly felt very uneasy about him, so I alighted, and
wished again and again to exhort him to leave his dark ways, and go
with me to Mayence.  As soon as I turned, I saw him slip into the wood.
I cried his name, but he heard me not.  My spurs hindered me from
walking fast; I could only follow him in the distance, but nevertheless
I did not desist from calling after him, although it was all in vain.
At last I lost sight of his black cloak among the trees.  The beautiful
green meadow was sparkling before me, and I wished to look at the
bright radiance of the flowers, so I came hither, after looking for my
friend in every direction.  In the wood around me, there was a constant
stirring and waving from the breezes, the worms were all in motion, the
birds chirped and fluttered in a manner quite peculiar.  However there
was no influence over me, probably because I was thinking of the plain
good path to which I would willingly bring Peter.  When I found thee
sleeping, the most acute pity, together with the power of the sweetest
love, affected my heart, and I felt joyous.  I nevertheless shed the
most scalding tears that ever flowed from my lively eyes.  I think I
was allowed to peep into the corner, where that horror thou speakest
of, dwelt.  Sobbing and laughing at the same time, I cried

  'I vow there's not a flow'r that blows,
  Can rival woman's rosy lips,
  Where ev'ry sweet is dwelling.
  The rose at May's soft kisses glows,
  And sure a kiss should grace those lips
  So fondly, sweetly swelling.'

"'And then my lips, in God's name, gave thine their greeting.'

"'And the fetters fell from me, I awoke, and my first glance met thy
faithful, weeping eye,' cried the fair Emma.  'I thanked God, on whose
name I again thought, for my deliverance; and then I thanked Him that
it was thou, and not that dark man, that had delivered me.'

"The young knight became thoughtful.  'I fear,' said he, 'that all the
mysterious wonders of this wood stand in connexion with Peter.  I fear
that on this day, when I have gained my love, I have lost my friend.
What can have become of him?'

"The youthful pair started from each other, for they saw in the water
at their feet, between their own blooming heads, an icy gray, aged one
reflected.  'Here he is,' said a trembling, stooping old man, with hair
as white as snow, who stood behind them.  He wore the new black cloak
of the student.

"'Yes,' said the old man, with weak, faint voice, 'I am thy friend,
Peter of Stetten.  I have stood long behind you, and I have heard your
converse, and our fates are clear enough.  It is still the day of Peter
and Paul, on which we met and parted on the highway, which is scarcely
a thousand paces from here, and since we parted, perhaps an hour may
have elapsed, for the shadow which yonder hedge casts upon the turf, is
but a little increased.  Before that hour we were four-and-twenty years
of age; but during that hour you have become sixty minutes older, and I
sixty years.  I am now four-and-eighty.  Thus do we see each other
again; indeed I did not think it.'

"Conrad and Emma had arisen.  She clung timidly to her lover, and said
softly: 'It is a poor madman.'  But the old man said: 'No, fair Emma, I
am not mad.  I have loved thee; my spell influenced thee, and thou
mightest have been mine, had I been permitted to kiss thy rosy lips in
God's name--the only benediction by which fair love may be awakened.
Instead of this, I was forced to go in quest of the yew-bough, and to
keep the wind and weather out of the owl's cave.  All has happened of
necessity.  He has gained the bride, I have gained--death.'

"Conrad had been looking with fixed eyes at the countenance of the old
man, to see if he could detect among the wrinkles one former lineament
of the friend of his youth.  At last he stammered forth: 'I entreat
thee, man, tell us how this transformation was brought about, lest our
brains be turned, and we do something frightful.'

"'Whoever tempts God and nature shall behold sights, the presence of
which shall quickly wither him,' replied the old man.  'Therefore, man,
even if he see the plants grow, and understand the discourse of birds,
remains as simple as before, allows a foolish magpie to pass off upon
him fables of a princess and a spider-king, and takes ladies' veils for
cobwebs.  Nature is a curtain, no magical word can remove it--it will
only make thyself an old fable.'

"He retired slowly into the depths of the wood, whither Conrad did not
venture to follow him.  He conducted his Emma from the shadow of the
trees to the broad road, where the light played in all its colours
around the tops of the trees.

"For some time did travellers in the Spessart hear a hollow and
ghost-like voice, behind the rocks and thick groups of trees, utter
rhymes, which to some sounded like nonsense, to others like perfect
wisdom.  If they followed the sound, they found the old man, whose
years were yet so few, as with faded eyes, and hands resting on his
knees, he looked fixedly in the distance, and uttered sentences, none
of which have been preserved.  Soon, however, they were heard no more,
neither was the corpse of the old man discovered.

"Conrad married his Emma; she bore him fair children, and he lived
happily with her to an advanced age."

J. O.

[1] One of the most celebrated poets in the 12th and 13th centuries.

[2] The old word for "lore" _Minne_, from which "Minnesinger" is
derived, is feminine.



[This story is from the collection called "The Sheik of Alexandria and
his Slaves," and is supposed to be told by a slave to the Sheik.]

Sir, those people are much mistaken who fancy that there were no
fairies and enchanters, except in the time of Haroun Al Raschid, Lord
of Bagdad, or even pronounce untrue those accounts of the deeds of
genii and their princes, which one hears the story-tellers relate in
the market-places of the town.  There are fairies now-a-days, and it is
but a short time since that I myself was witness of an occurrence in
which genii were evidently playing a part, as you will see from my
narrative.  In a considerable town of my dear fatherland, Germany,
there lived many years ago a cobbler, with his wife, in an humble but
honest way.  In the daytime he used to sit at the corner of a street
mending shoes and slippers; he did not refuse making new ones if any
body would trust him, but then he was obliged to buy the leather first,
as his poverty did not enable him to keep a stock.  His wife sold
vegetables and fruit, which she cultivated in a small garden outside
the town-gates, and many people were glad to buy of her, because she
was dressed cleanly and neatly, and knew well how to arrange and lay
out her things to the best advantage.

Now this worthy couple had a beautiful boy, of a sweet countenance,
well made, and rather tall for his age, which was eight years.  He was
in the habit of sitting in the market with his mother, and often
carried home part of the fruit and vegetables for the women and cooks
who had made large purchases; he seldom, however, returned from one of
these journeys without bringing either a beautiful flower, a piece of
money, or a cake, which the mistresses of such cooks gave him as a
present, because they were always pleased to see the handsome boy come
to the house.

One day the cobbler's wife was sitting as usual in the marketplace,
having before her some baskets with cabbages and other vegetables,
various herbs and seeds, besides some early pears, apples, and
apricots, in a small basket.  Little James (this was the boy's name)
sat by her, crying the things for sale in a loud voice: "This way,
gentlemen, see what beautiful cabbages, what fragrant herbs; early
pears, ladies, early apples and apricots; who will buy?  My mother
sells cheap."

While the boy was thus crying, an old woman was coming across the
market; her dress was rather tattered and in rags, she had a small,
sharp face, quite furrowed with age, red eyes, and a pointed, crooked
nose, which reached down to her chin; in her walk she supported herself
by a long stick, and yet it was difficult to say exactly how she
walked, for she hobbled and shuffled along, and waddled as if she were
on casters, and it was as if she must fall down every instant and break
her pointed nose on the pavement.

The cobbler's wife looked attentively at this old woman.  For sixteen
years she had been sitting daily in the market, yet she had never
observed this strange figure, and therefore involuntarily shuddered
when she saw the old hag hobbling towards her and stopping before her

"Are you Jane, the greengrocer?" she asked in a disagreeable, croaking
voice, shaking her head to and fro.

"Yes, I am," replied the cobbler's wife; "what is your pleasure?"

"We'll see, we'll see, we'll look at your herbs--look at your herbs, to
see whether you have what I want," answered the old woman; and stooping
down she thrust her dark brown, unsightly hands into the herb-basket,
and took up some that were beautifully spread out, with her long
spider-legged fingers, bringing them one by one up to her long nose,
and smelling them all over.  The poor woman almost felt her heart break
when she saw the old hag handle her herbs in this manner, but she dared
not say any thing to her, the purchasers having a right to examine the
things as they pleased; besides which, she felt a singular awe in the
presence of this old woman.  After having searched the whole basket,
she muttered, "wretched stuff, wretched herbs, nothing that I
want--were much better fifty years ago--wretched stuff! wretched stuff!"

Little James was vexed at these words.  "Hark ye," he cried, boldly,
"you are an impudent old woman; first you thrust your nasty brown
fingers into these beautiful herbs and squeeze them together, then you
hold them up to your long nose, so that no one seeing this will buy
them after you, and you abuse our goods, calling them wretched stuff,
though nevertheless the duke's cook himself buys all his herbs of us."

The old woman leered at the bold boy, laughed disgustingly, and said in
a hoarse voice, "Little son, little son, you like my nose then, my
beautiful long nose?  You shall have one too in the middle of your face
that shall reach down to your chin."

While she thus spoke she shuffled up to another basket containing
cabbages.  She took the most beautiful white heads up in her hand,
squeezed them together till they squeaked, and then throwing them into
the basket again without regard to order, said as before, "Wretched
things! wretched cabbages!"

"Don't wriggle your head about in that ugly fashion," cried the little
boy, somewhat frightened; "why your neck is as thin as a cabbage-stalk
and might easily break, then your head would fall into the basket, and
who would buy of us?"

"You don't like such thin necks then, eh?" muttered the old woman with
a laugh.  "You shall have none at all, your head shall be fixed between
your shoulders, that it may not fall down from the little body."

"Don't talk such nonsense to the little boy," at length said the
cobbler's wife, indignant at the long-looking, examining, and smelling
of the things; "if you wish to buy any thing be quick, for you scare
away all my other customers."

"Well, be it as you say," cried the old woman, with a furious look, "I
will buy these six heads of cabbages; but you see I must support myself
by my stick, and cannot carry any thing, therefore, allow your little
son to carry them home for me, I will reward him for it."

The little boy would not go with her, and began to cry, for he was
terrified at the ugly old woman, but his mother commanded him earnestly
to go, as she thought it a sin to load the feeble old soul with this
burden.  Still sobbing, he did as he was ordered, and followed the old
woman over the market.

She proceeded but slowly, and was almost three-quarters of an hour
before she arrived at a very remote part of the town, where she at
length stopped in front of a small dilapidated house.  She now pulled
out of her pocket an old rusty hook, and thrust it dexterously into a
small hole in the door, which immediately opened with a crash.  But
what was the astonishment of little James as he entered!  The interior
of the house was magnificently adorned, the ceiling and walls were of
marble, the furniture of the most beautiful ebony, inlaid with gold and
polished stones, the floor was of glass, and so smooth, that little
James several times slipped and fell down.  The old woman now took a
small silver whistle from her pocket, and blew a tune on it which
sounded shrilly through the house.  Immediately some guinea-pigs came
down the stairs, and little James was much amazed at their walking
upright on their hind legs, wearing on their paws nut-shells instead of
shoes, men's clothes on their bodies, and even hats in the newest
fashion on their heads.

"Where are my slippers, ye rascally crew?" cried the old woman,
striking at them with her stick, so that they jumped squeaking into the
air; "how long am I to stand here waiting?"

They quickly scampered up the stairs and returned with a pair of
cocoa-nut shells lined with leather, which they placed dexterously upon
the old woman's feet.

Now all her limping and shuffling was at an end.  She threw away her
stick, and glided with great rapidity over the glass floor, pulling
little James after her with her hand.  At length she stopped in a room
which was adorned with a great variety of utensils, and which almost
resembled a kitchen, although the tables were of mahogany, and the
sofas covered with rich cloth, more fit for a drawing-room.

"Sit down," said the old woman, very kindly, pressing him into a corner
of a sofa, and placing a table before him in such a manner that he
could not get out again; "sit down, you have had a heavy load to carry,
human heads are not so light--not so light."

"But, woman," replied the little boy, "you talk very strangely; I am,
indeed, tired, but they were cabbage heads I was carrying, and you
bought them of my mother."

"Why, you know but little about that," said the old woman, laughing, as
she took the lid from the basket and brought out a human head, which
she held by the hair.  The little boy was frightened out of his senses
at this; he could not comprehend how it all came to pass; and thinking
of his mother, he said to himself, "If any one were to hear of these
human heads, my mother would certainly be prosecuted."

"I must give you some reward now, as you are so good," muttered the old
woman; "have patience for a minute, and I will prepare you a soup which
you will remember all your life."  Having said this, she whistled
again, and immediately there came first some guinea-pigs dressed like
human beings; they had tied round them kitchen aprons, fastened by a
belt, in which were stuck ladles and carving-knives; after them came
skipping in a number of squirrels, that wore large, wide Turkish
trousers, walked upright, and had small caps of green velvet on their
heads.  These seemed to be the scullions, for they climbed very nimbly
up the walls and brought down pans and dishes, eggs and butter, herbs
and flour, and carried it to the hearth.  The old woman slided
continually to and fro upon her cocoa-nut slippers, and little James
observed that she was very anxious to cook something good for him.  Now
the fire crackled and blazed up higher, there was a smoking and
bubbling in the saucepan, and a pleasant odour spread over the room,
but the old woman kept running up and down, the squirrels and
guinea-pigs after her, and as often as she passed the hearth she poked
her long nose into the pot.  At length it began to boil and hiss, the
steam rose from the pot, and the scum flowed down into the fire.  She
then took off the saucepan, and pouring some into a silver basin, gave
it to James.

"Now, my dear little son, now," said she, "eat this soup and you will
have in your own person all that you admired so much in me.  You shall
moreover become a clever cook, that you may be something at least, but
as for the herb, that you shall never find, because your mother did not
have it in her basket."

The little boy did not exactly understand what she was saying, but was
the more attentive to eating his soup, which he relished uncommonly.
His mother had cooked various savoury soups, but never any like this.
The flavour of the fine herbs and spice ascended from it, and it was at
the same time very sweet, and very sharp and strong.  While he was
sipping the last drops of the delicious soup, the guinea-pigs lighted
some Arabian incense which floated through the room in blue clouds,
which became thicker and thicker, and then descended.  The smell of the
incense had a stupifying effect upon the boy; in vain did he repeatedly
say to himself that he must return to his mother, for as often as he
endeavoured to rouse himself, as often did he relapse into slumber and,
at length, actually fell into a profound sleep upon the old woman's

Strange dreams came over him, while he thus slept.  It seemed as if the
old woman was taking off his clothes, and putting on him the skin of a
squirrel.  Now he could make bounds and climb like a squirrel; he
associated with the other squirrels and guinea-pigs, who were all very
polite, decent people, and he did his duty of waiting upon the old
woman in his turn with the rest.  At first he had to perform the
service of a shoeblack, that is, he had to oil and polish the cocoa-nut
shells which his mistress wore instead of slippers.  Having often
blacked and polished shoes at home, he performed his duty well and
quickly.  After the lapse of about one year, he dreamt again,
(according to the sequel of his dream) that he was employed for more
delicate work, that is, in company with some other squirrels, he was
obliged to catch the atoms in the sun, and, when they had caught
enough, to sift them through the finest hair-sieve, as the old woman
considered them the nicest thing, and not being able to masticate well
for want of teeth, had her bread prepared of such atoms.

At the end of another year, he was raised to the rank of one of the
servants who had to collect the water the old woman drank.  But you
must not suppose that she had a cistern dug for that purpose, or a tub
placed in the yard to catch the rain-water; she had a much finer plan.
The squirrels, and James with them, had to collect in their hazel-nut
shells the dew from roses, and this was the beverage of the old woman.
The labour of these water-carriers was not a very light one, as she
used to drink a prodigious quantity.  After another year, he was
employed in in-door service, his duty being to clean the floors, and as
they were of glass and showed the least speck, it was not a very easy
task.  He and his fellow-servants were obliged to brush the floors, and
with pieces of old cloth tied to their feet dexterously skated about
the rooms.  In the fourth year, he received an appointment in the
kitchen, which was so honourable an office, that one could succeed to
it only after a long probation.  James here served from scullion
upwards to the post of first pastrycook, and acquired such an
extraordinary skill and experience in every thing relating to the
culinary art, that often he could not help wondering at himself; the
most difficult things, pies composed of two hundred different
ingredients, soups prepared with all the herbs of the globe,--all
these, and many other things, he learned to make quickly and

Seven years had thus passed away in the service of the old woman, when
one day, pulling off her shoes of cocoa-nut, and taking her basket and
crutch in hand in order to go out, she told him to pluck a chicken,
stuff it with herbs, and roast it nice and brown, during her absence.
He did this according to the rules of his art; twisted the chicken's
neck, scalded it in hot water, pulled out the feathers cleverly,
scraped its skin smooth and fine, and then drew it.  Next he began
gathering the herbs with which he was to stuff the chicken.  Now when
he came to the chamber where these herbs were kept, he perceived a
small cupboard in the wall that he had never before noticed, and
finding the door of it half open, he had the curiosity to go near, in
order to see what it contained, when behold! there stood a great many
little baskets in it, from which proceeded a strong pleasant smell.  He
opened one of these little baskets, and found in it a herb of a most
singular form and colour; its stalks and leaves were of a bluish green,
and it had a flower of burning red fringed with yellow at the top.  He
looked thoughtfully at this flower, and smelled it, when it emitted the
same powerful odour as the soup which the old woman had cooked for him
when he first came there.  But the smell was so strong that he began to
sneeze, was obliged to keep sneezing, and at last awoke, sneezing still.

He now found himself upon the old woman's sofa, and looked around him
with astonishment.  "Heavens!" he said to himself, "how vividly one may
dream; I would almost have sworn that I was a wanton squirrel,--a
companion of guinea-pigs and other vermin, but at the same time had
become a great cook.  How my mother will laugh when I tell her all
this!  But will she not also scold me for falling asleep in a strange
house instead of helping her in the market?"  While engaged in these
thoughts, he started up to run away; but his limbs were still quite
stiff with sleep, and particularly his neck, for he was unable to move
his head well to and fro.  He could not help smiling at himself and his
drowsiness, for every moment, before he was aware, he ran his nose
against a cupboard or the wall, or turning suddenly round, struck it
against a door-post.  The squirrels and guinea-pigs crowded whining
around him, as if anxious to accompany him, and he actually invited
them to do so when he was on the threshold, for they were nice little
creatures, but they glided quickly back into the house on their
nutshells, and he only heard them howling at a distance.

As it was a very remote part of the town to which the old woman had
brought him, he could hardly find his way through the narrow streets,
and as, moreover, there was a great crowd of people, wherever he went,
he could only account for this by supposing there must be a dwarf
somewhere in the neighbourhood for show, for he heard everywhere cries
of, "Only look at the ugly dwarf!  Where does the dwarf come from?  O!
what a long nose he has, and how his head sits between his shoulders,
and look at his brown ugly hands!"  At any other time, he would
probably have followed the cry, for he was very fond of seeing giants
and dwarfs, and any sort of curious, foreign costume, but now he was
obliged to hurry and get to his mother.

He felt quite weary when he arrived at the market.  He found his mother
still sitting there, and she had a tolerable quantity of fruit in the
basket; he could not therefore have been sleeping long, but still it
appeared to him, even at a distance, as if she were very melancholy,
for she did not call to those coming past to buy, but supported her
head by one hand, and on coming closer he likewise thought she looked
paler than usual.  He hesitated as to what he should do; and at length
mustering up courage, crept gently behind her, and putting his hand
familiarly upon her arm, asked, "Dear mother, what's the matter with
you? are you angry with me?"

The woman turned round, but started back with a shriek of terror,
saying, "What do you want with me, you ugly dwarf?  Begone, begone!  I
do not like such jokes."

"But mother, what is the matter with you?" asked James, quite
terrified; "surely you must be unwell, why will you turn your son away
from you?"

"I have told you already to be gone," replied Jane, angrily; "you will
not get any money from me by your juggleries, you ill-favoured monster."

"Surely God has deprived her of the light of her intellect," said the
dwarf, deeply grieved within himself; "what shall I do to get her home?
Dear mother, pray do listen to reason; only look well at me, I am
indeed your son--your own James."

"Why this is carrying the joke too far," she said to her neighbour;
"only look at that ugly dwarf; there he stands, and will no doubt drive
away all my customers; nay, he even dares to ridicule my misfortune,
telling me that he is my son, my own James, the impudent fellow."

At this her neighbours rose, and began as much abuse as possible,
(every one knows that market women understand this well,) and
reproaching him with making light of poor Jane's misfortune, who seven
years ago had had her beautiful boy kidnapped, with one accord they
threatened to fall upon him and tear him to pieces, unless he took
himself off immediately.

Poor James did not know what to make of all this.  Indeed it seemed to
him that he had that very morning, as usual, gone to market with his
mother, had helped her to lay out her fruit, and had afterwards gone
with the old woman to her house, eaten some soup, slept a little while,
and had now come back; and yet his mother and her neighbours talked of
seven years, calling him at the same time an ugly dwarf.  What then was
the change that had come over him?  Seeing, at length, that his mother
would no longer listen to any thing he said, he felt the tears come in
his eyes, and went sorrowfully down the street towards the stall where
his father sat in the daytime mending shoes.

"I am curious to see," he thought to himself, "whether he, too, will
disown me?  I will place myself in the doorway and talk to him."  And
having come there he did so and looked in.

The cobbler was so busily engaged at work that he did not see him; but
happening to cast a look towards the door, he dropped shoe, twine, and
awl on the ground, and cried, with astonishment, "For Heaven's sake
what is that?"

"Good evening, master," said the little dwarf, stepping inside the
booth.  "How fare you?"

"Badly, badly, my little gentleman," replied James's father, to his
utter amazement; for he, too, did not seem to recognise him.  "I have
to do all the work myself, for I am alone and now getting old, and yet
I cannot afford to keep a journeyman."

"But have you no son to assist you in your work?" inquired the dwarf

"Indeed I had one, whose name was James, and he now must be a handsome,
quick lad, twenty years old, who might effectually assist me.  Ah! what
a pleasant life I should lead!  Even when he was twelve years old he
showed himself quite handy and clever, and understood a great deal of
the business.  He was a fine engaging little fellow; he would soon have
brought me plenty of custom, so that I should no longer have been
mending shoes and boots but making new ones.  But so goes the world."

"Where is your son, then?" asked James, in a tremulous voice.

"That God only knows," replied his father.  "Seven years ago, yes! it
is just that now, he was stolen from us in the market-place."

"Seven years ago, you say?" cried James, with astonishment.

"Yes, little gentleman, seven years ago; the circumstance is as fresh
in my memory as if it had happened to-day, how my poor wife came home
weeping and crying, saying that the child had not come back all day,
and that she had inquired and searched everywhere without finding him.
But I always said it would come to that; for James was a pretty child,
no one could help saying so, therefore my poor wife was proud of him
and fond of hearing people praise him, and often sent him with
vegetables and such like things to the houses of the gentlefolks.  All
this was very well; he always received some present.  But said I, mark
me, the town is large, and there are many bad people in it, so take
care of James.  But it happened as I always said.  Once there comes an
ugly old woman to the market, bargains for some fruits and vegetables,
and at length buys so much that she cannot carry it home herself.  My
wife, kind soul, sends the lad with her, and--has never seen him again
since that hour."

"And that is now seven years, say you?"

"Seven years this spring.  We had him cried in the town, we went from
house to house inquiring; many had known and liked the pretty lad, and
searched with us, but all in vain.  Neither did any one know the woman
who bought the vegetables; a very aged woman, however, ninety years
old, said, 'it might possibly have been the wicked fairy, Krauterweis,
who once in fifty years comes to the town to buy various articles.'"

Thus spoke James's father hastily, hammering his shoes at the same
time, and drawing out at great length the twine with both hands.  Now
by degrees light broke on the little dwarf's mind, and he saw what had
happened to him, viz., that he had not been dreaming, but had served as
a squirrel seven years with the evil fairy.  Rage and sorrow now filled
his heart almost to bursting.

The old witch had robbed him of seven years of his youth, and what had
he in exchange?  What was it that he could polish slippers of cocoa-nut
shell? that he could clean rooms with glass floors? that he had learned
all the mysteries of cooking, from the guinea pigs?  Thus he stood for
some time meditating on his fate, when at length his father asked him--

"Do you want to purchase any thing, young gentleman?  Perhaps a pair of
new slippers or, peradventure, a case for your nose?" he added, smiling.

"What do you mean about my nose?" asked James; "why should I want a
case for it?"

"Why," replied the cobbler, "every one according to his taste; but I
must tell you, that if I had such a terrible nose, I should have a case
made for it of rose-coloured morocco.  Look here, I have a beautiful
piece that is just the thing; indeed we should at least want a yard for
it.  It would then be well guarded, my little gentleman; whereas now I
am sure you will knock it against every door-post and carriage you
would wish to avoid."

The dwarf was struck dumb with terror; he felt his nose, it was full
two hands long and thick in proportion.  So then the old hag had
likewise changed his person; and hence it was his mother did not know
him, and people called him an ill-favoured dwarf.

"Master," said he, half crying to the cobbler, "have you no
looking-glass at hand in which I might behold myself?"

"Young gentleman," replied his father, gravely, "you have not exactly
been favoured as to appearance so as to make you vain, and you have no
cause to look often in the glass.  You had better leave it off
altogether.  It is with you a particularly ridiculous habit."

"Oh! pray let me look in the glass," cried the dwarf.  "I assure you it
is not from vanity."

"Leave me in peace, I have none in my possession; my wife has a little
looking-glass, but I do not know where she has hid it.  If you really
must look into one,--why then, over the way lives Urban, the barber,
who has a glass twice as big as your head; look in there, and now, good

With these words his father pushed him gently out of the stall, locked
the door after him, and sat down again to his work.  The little dwarf,
much cast down, went over the way to the barber, whom he well
remembered in former times.

"Good morning, Urban," said he to him, "I come to beg a favour of you,
be so kind as to let me look a moment in your looking-glass."

"With pleasure," cried the barber, laughing, "there it is;" and his
customers who were about to be shaved laughed heartily with him.  "You
are rather a pretty fellow, slim and genteel; you have a neck like a
swan, hands like a queen, and a turn-up nose, such as one seldom sees
excelled.  A little vain you are of it, no doubt; but no matter, look
at yourself, people shall not say that envy prevented me from allowing
you to see yourself in my glass."

Thus spoke the barber, and a yell of laughter resounded through the
room.  In the meantime the dwarf had stepped to the glass and looked at
himself.  The tears came in his eyes, while saying to himself; "Yes,
dear mother, thus you could not indeed recognise your James, he did not
look like this in the days of your happiness, when you delighted to
show him off before the people?"  His eyes had become little, like
those of pigs; his nose was immense, hanging over his mouth down to his
chin; his neck seemed to have been taken away altogether, for his head
sat low between his shoulders, and it was only with the greatest pain
that he could move it to the right or left; his body was still the same
size as it had been seven years ago, when he was twelve years old, so
that he had grown in width what others do in height, between the ages
of twelve and twenty.  His back and chest stood out like two short,
well-filled bags; and this thick-set body was supported by small thin
legs, which seemed hardly sufficient to support their burden; but so
much the larger were his arms, which hung down from his body, being of
the size of those of a full-grown man; his hands were coarse, and of a
brownish hue, his fingers long, like spiders' legs, and when he
stretched them to their full extent, he could touch the ground without
stooping.  Such was little James's appearance, now that he had become
an ugly dwarf.  He now remembered the morning on which the old woman
had stopped before his mother's baskets.  All that he then had found
fault with in her--viz., her long nose, and ugly fingers--all these she
had given him, only omitting her long, palsied neck.

"Well, my prince, have you looked enough at yourself now?" said the
barber, stepping up to him, and surveying him with a laugh.  "Truly, if
we wished to dream of such a figure, we could hardly see one so
comical.  Nevertheless, I will make you a proposition, my little man.
My shaving-room is tolerably well frequented, but yet not so much so as
I could wish.  That arises from my neighbour, the barber Schaum, having
discovered a giant, who attracts much custom to his house.  Now, to
become a giant is no great thing, after all, but to be such a little
man as you, is indeed a different thing.  Enter my service, little man,
you shall have board and lodging, clothes and every thing; for this you
shall stand in my door-way in the morning, and invite people to come
in; you shall beat up the lather, hand the towel to the customers, and
you may be sure that we shall both make it answer; I shall get more
customers through you than my neighbour by his giant; and you will get
many presents."

The little man felt quite indignant at the proposal of serving as a
decoy to a barber.  But was he not obliged to submit patiently to this
insulting offer?  He, therefore, quietly told the barber he had no time
for such services, and went away.

Although the evil hag had thus stunted his growth, yet she had had no
power to affect his mind, as he felt full well; for he no longer
thought and felt as he did seven years since, and believed that he had
become wiser and more sensible in the interval.  He did not mourn for
the loss of his beauty, nor for his ugly appearance, but only that he
was driven from his father's door like a dog.  However, he resolved to
make another trial with his mother.

He went again to her in the market, and entreated her to listen to him
patiently.  He reminded her of the day on which he had gone with the
old woman; he called to her mind all the particular incidents of his
childhood, told her then how he had served seven years as a squirrel
with the fairy, and how she had changed him because he had then
ridiculed her person.

The cobbler's wife did not know what to think of all this.  All that he
related of his childhood agreed with her own recollections, but when he
talked of serving seven years as a squirrel, she said, "It is
impossible; there are no fairies;" and when she looked at him she felt
a horror at the ugly dwarf, and would not believe that he could be her
son.  At length she thought it would be best to talk the matter over
with her husband; therefore she took up her baskets and bade him go
with her.

On arriving at the cobbler's stall she said: "Look, this fellow
pretends to be our lost James.  He has told me all the circumstances,
how he was stolen from us seven years since, and how he was enchanted
by a fairy."

"Indeed," interrupted the cobbler in a rage, "has he told you this?
wait, you rogue!--I have told him all this an hour ago, and then he
goes to make a fool of you.  Enchanted you have been, my little chap,
have you?  Wait a bit, I will soon disenchant you!"  So saying, he took
a bundle of straps that he had just cut, jumped up towards the dwarf,
and beat him on his humped back and his long arms, making the little
fellow scream with pain and run crying away.

Now in that town, as in others, there were but few of those
compassionate souls who will support a poor unfortunate with a
ridiculous appearance.  Hence it was that the unlucky dwarf remained
all day without food, and was obliged in the evening to choose for his
night's quarters the steps of a church, though they were hard and cold.

When on the following morning the first rays of the sun awoke him, he
began seriously to think how he should prolong his existence, now that
his father and mother had rejected him; he was too proud to serve as a
sign-board to a barber; he would not hire himself us a merry-andrew to
be exhibited; what then should he do?  It now occurred to him that as a
squirrel he had made considerable progress in the culinary art, and
thought he might justly expect to prove a match for any cook; he
therefore resolved to turn his art to advantage.

As soon, therefore, as the morning had dawned, and the streets became
animated, he entered a church and performed his devotions; thence he
proceeded on his way.  The duke (the sovereign of the country) was a
notorious _gourmand_, who kept a good table, and sought cooks in all
parts of the world.  To his palace the dwarf went.  When he arrived at
the outer gate the porter asked his errand, and began to crack his
jokes on him; when he asked for the chief cook they laughed and led him
through the inner courts, and wherever he went the servants stood
still, looked at him, laughed heartily, and followed him, so that in a
short time a great posse of menials of all descriptions crowded up the
steps of the palace.  The grooms threw away their curry-combs, the
running footmen ran with all their might, the carpet-spreaders ceased
beating their carpets, all crowded and thronged around him, as if the
enemy was at the gates, and the shouts of "A dwarf, a dwarf! have you
seen the dwarf?" filled the air.

At this moment the steward of the palace, with a furious countenance
and a large whip in his hand, made his appearance at the door, crying,
"For Heaven's sake, ye hounds, what is all this uproar for?  Do you not
know that our gracious master is still asleep?"  At the same time he
flourished his whip, laying it rather roughly about the backs of some
grooms and porters.

"Why sir," they all cried, "don't you see that we are bringing a dwarf,
such a dwarf as you never saw?"  The steward suppressed, though with
difficulty, a loud laugh, when he got sight of the little man, for he
was afraid that laughter would derogate from his dignity.  He therefore
drove them all away with his whip except the dwarf, whom he led into
the house and asked what he wanted.  Hearing that the little man wished
to see the master of the kitchen, he replied, "You make a mistake, my
little son; I suppose you want to see me, the steward of the palace, do
you not?  You wish to become dwarf to the duke, is it not so?"

"No, sir," replied the dwarf, "I am a clever cook and skilled in the
preparation of all sorts of choice meats; be so kind as to bring me to
the master of the kitchen, perhaps he may be in want of my skill."

"Every one according to his wish, my little man; but you are an
inconsiderate youth.  To the kitchen! why, as the duke's dwarf you
would have nothing to do and plenty to eat and drink to your heart's
desire, and fine clothes into the bargain.  But we shall see; your
skill in the culinary art will hardly be such as a cook to the duke is
required to possess, and you are too good for a scullion."  As he said
the last words he took the dwarf by the hand and conducted him to the
apartments of the master of the kitchen.

On arriving there the dwarf said, with so deep a bow that his nose
touched the floor, "Gracious, sir, are you in want of a skilful cook?"

The master of the kitchen, surveying him from top to toe, burst into a
loud fit of laughter, and said, "What, you a cook?  Do you think that
our hearths are so low that you could even look on one, though you
should stand on tiptoe, and stretch your head ever so much out of your
shoulders?  My good little fellow, whoever sent you here to hire
yourself as a cook, has been making a fool of you."  Thus saying, the
master cook laughed heartily, and was joined by the steward of the
palace and all the servants in the room.

But the dwarf was not to be discomposed by this.  "Of what consequence
is it to waste a few eggs, a little syrup and wine, some flour and
spice, upon trial, in a house where there are plenty?  Give me some
dainty dish to prepare," said he, "procure all that is necessary for
it, and it shall be immediately prepared before your eyes, so that you
shall be constrained to avow that I am a first-rate cook."

While the dwarf was saying all this, and many other things, it was
strange to see how his little eyes sparkled, how his long nose moved to
and fro, and his fingers, which were like spider's legs, suited their
movements to his words.

"Well!" exclaimed the master cook, taking the steward by the arm,
"Well! be it so for the sake of the joke, let us go to the kitchen."

They walked through several large rooms and corridors till they came to
the kitchen.  This was a large spacious building magnificently fitted
up; on twenty hearths fires were constantly burning, clear water was
flowing through the midst, serving also as a fishpond; in cupboards of
marble and choice wood, the stores were piled, which it was necessary
to have at hand for use, and on either side were ten rooms, in which
were kept all the delicious dainties for the palate which can be
obtained in all the countries of Europe or even the East.  Servants of
all descriptions were running to and fro, handling and rattling kettles
and pans, with forks and ladles; but when the master cook entered, all
stood motionless, and the crackling of the fire, and the rippling of
the brook were alone to be heard.

"What has the duke ordered for breakfast this morning?" he asked an old
cook, who always prepared the breakfast.

"Sir, his highness has pleased to order the Danish soup, with the small
red Hamburg dumplings."

"Well," continued the master cook, "did you hear what the duke wishes
to eat?  Are you bold enough to attempt this difficult dish?  At all
events the dumplings you will not be able to make, that is quite a

"Nothing easier than that," replied the dwarf, to their astonishment;
for he had often made this dish when he was a squirrel.  "Nothing
easier, only give me the herbs, the spices, fat of a wild boar, roots
and eggs for the soup; but for the dumplings," said he, in a low voice,
so that only the master cook and the breakfast-maker could hear, "for
the dumplings I want various meats, wine, duck's fat, ginger, and the
herb called the stomach comforter."

"Ah, by St. Benedict, to what enchanter have you been apprenticed?"
cried the cook in astonishment.  "You have hit all to a hair, and as to
the noted herb, we did not know of that ourselves; yes! that must make
the dish still more delicious.  Oh! you miracle of a cook!"

"I should never have thought this," said the master cook, "but let us
make the trial, give him all he asks and let him prepare the breakfast."

His orders were obeyed, and the necessary preparations were made on the
hearth; but they now found that the dwarf could not reach it.  They
therefore put two chairs together, laid a slab of marble on them, and
asked the little wonder to step up and begin his skill.  In a large
circle stood the cooks, scullions, servants, and others, looking at him
in amazement, to see how readily and quickly he proceeded, and how
cleanly and neatly he prepared every thing.  When he had finished, he
ordered both dishes to be put to the fire, and to be boiled until he
should call out; then he began to count one, two, three, and so on up
to five hundred, when he cried out, "Stop, take them off," and then
invited the head cook to taste them.

The taster ordered the scullion to bring him a gold spoon, which he
first rinsed in the brook, and then gave it to the head cook.  The
latter, stepping up to the hearth with a grave mien, took a spoonful,
tasted it, and shutting his eyes, smacked his lips with delight,
saying, "Delicious! by the duke's life, delicious!  Would you not like
to taste a spoonful, Mr. Steward?"  The latter, bowing, took the spoon,
tasted it, and was beside himself with delight.

"With all due respect to your skill, dear breakfast-maker, you aged and
experienced cook, you have never been able to make the soup or
dumplings so delicious."

The cook also tasted it, shook the dwarf reverentially by the hand,
saying, "My little man, you are a master of your art, yes, that herb
'stomach comforter' imparts a peculiar charm to the whole."

At this moment the duke's valet entered the kitchen, and informed them
that the duke wished his breakfast.  The preparations were now dished
up in silver, and sent up to the duke; but the head cook took the dwarf
to his own room to converse with him.  They had scarcely sat down long
enough to say half a paternoster, when a messenger came and called the
head cook to the duke.  He quickly put on his best clothes, and
followed the messenger.

The duke looked well pleased, He had eaten all they had served, and was
just wiping his beard as the master-cook entered.  "Master," said he,
"I have hitherto always been well satisfied with your cooks; but tell
me who prepared the breakfast this morning?  It never was so delicious
since I sat on the throne of my fathers; tell me the name of the cook,
that I may send him a ducat as a present."

"My lord, this is a strange story," replied the master; and he told the
duke that a dwarf had been brought to him that morning, who earnestly
solicited the place of a cook, and how all had happened.  The duke was
greatly astonished, ordered the dwarf to appear, and asked him who he
was, and whence he came.  Now poor James did not exactly wish to say
that he had been enchanted, and had served as a squirrel.  But yet he
adhered to truth, telling him that he now had neither father nor
mother, and had learned cooking of an old woman.  Much amused by the
strange appearance of his new cook, the duke asked no more questions,
but said, "If you wish to remain here, I will give you fifty ducats
a-year, a suit of livery, and two pair of breeches beside.  Your duty
shall be to prepare my breakfast; yourself every day to give directions
how the dinner shall be prepared, and to take the general
superintendence of the cooking.  As each in my palace has his proper
name, you shall be called 'Nose,' and hold the office of

The dwarf prostrated himself before the mighty duke, kissed his feet,
and promised to serve him faithfully.

Thus the dwarf was for the present provided for, and did honour to his
office.  And it must be remarked that the duke had become quite an
altered man since Nose the dwarf had been in the palace.  Formerly, he
had often been pleased to throw the dishes and plates that were served
up at the heads of the cooks; indeed, he even once, in a fit of rage,
threw a fried calf's foot that was not sufficiently tender, with such
violence at the head of the master-cook, that the latter fell to the
ground, and was compelled for three days to keep his bed.  'Tis true,
the duke made him amends for what he had done by some handfuls of
ducats, but still no cook ever came before him with his dishes, without
trembling and terror.

Ever since the dwarf had been in the palace, all seemed to be changed,
as if by magic.  The duke, instead of three, had now five meals a day,
in order to relish properly the skill of his little servant, and yet
never showed the least sign of discontent.  Indeed, he found all new
and excellent, was kind and pleasant, and became fatter daily.

He would often in the midst of a meal send for the master-cook and the
dwarf, set one on his right, and the other on the left hand, and put
with his own gracious fingers some morsels of the delicious viands into
their mouths; a favour which both knew how to appreciate fully.  The
dwarf was the wonder of the whole town, and people requested the
permission of the master-cook to see him cook, while some of the
principal folks prevailed upon the duke to permit their servants to
profit by the instructions of the dwarf in his kitchen, by which he
obtained much money, for those who came to learn paid daily half a
ducat.  In order, however, to keep the other cooks in good humour, and
prevent jealousy, Nose let them have the money that was paid by the
masters for instruction.

Thus Nose lived almost two years in great comfort and honour, the
thought of his parents alone saddening him, and nothing remarkable
occurring until the following circumstance happened.  The dwarf being
particularly clever, and fortunate in his purchases, went himself, as
often as time permitted, to the market, to buy poultry and fruit.  One
morning he went to the poultry-market, and walking up and down inquired
for fat geese such as his master liked.  His appearance, far from
creating laughter and ridicule, commanded respect, since he was known
as the duke's celebrated cook, and each poultry-woman felt herself
happy if he but turned his nose to her.  At length coming to the end of
a row of stalls, he perceived in a corner, a woman with geese for sale,
who did not, like the others, praise her goods, nor call to the

He stepped up to her, examined the geese, weighed them in his hand, and
finding them to his liking, bought three, with the cage they were in,
put them on his shoulders and trotted home.  It appeared singular to
him that only two of the geese cackled and cried like others, the third
being quite quiet and thoughtful, and occasionally groaning and moaning
like a human being.

"She is not well," said he to himself, "I must hasten to get home and
dress her."  But the goose replied, distinctly,

  "If thou stick'st me,
  Why I'll bite thee,
  And if my neck thou twistest round.
  Thou soon wilt lie below the ground."

Quite startled, the dwarf put down the basket, and the goose, looking
at him with her fine intelligent eyes, sighed.  "Why what have we
here?" cried Nose.  "You can talk, Miss Goose.  I never expected that.
Well, make yourself easy; I know the world and will not harm so rare a
bird.  But I would wager something that you have not always been
covered with feathers.  Indeed I was once a poor squirrel myself."

"You are right," replied the goose, "in saying I was not born with this
disgraceful disguise.  Alas! it was never sung at my cradle that Mimi,
the great Wetterbock's daughter, would be killed in the kitchen of a

"Pray be easy, dear Miss Mimi," said the dwarf, comforting her, "for as
sure as I am an honest fellow, and sub-master cook to his highness, no
one shall touch your throat.  I will give you a stall in my own
apartments, you shall have enough food, and I will devote my leisure
time to converse with you.  I'll tell the others in the kitchen that I
am fattening a goose with various herbs for the duke, and at the first
opportunity you shall be set at liberty."

The goose thanked him, with tears in her eyes, and the dwarf, as he had
promised, killed the other two geese, but built a stall for Mimi, under
the pretence of preserving her for some special occasion.  Instead of
feeding her on grain he gave her pastry and sweetmeats.  As often as he
had time he went to converse with her and comfort her.  They related
their histories to each other, and Nose learnt that she was the
daughter of the enchanter, Wetterbock, who lived in the island of
Gothland.  Being involved in a quarrel with an old fairy, her father
had been conquered by stratagems and cunning, and out of revenge the
fairy had changed her into a goose, and brought her to the town.

When the dwarf told his history, she said, "I am not inexperienced in
these matters, my father having given me and my sisters what
instruction he was allowed to impart.  The story of the dispute at your
mother's fruit stall, your sudden metamorphosis, when you smelled the
herb, as well as the words the old woman used, show me that you are
enchanted through herbs; that is to say, if you can find out the herb
of which the fairy thought when she bewitched you, you may be
disenchanted."  This was but poor consolation for the dwarf, for how
should he find the herb?  Yet he thanked her and felt some hope.

About this time the duke had a visit from a neighbouring prince, his
friend.  He, therefore, ordered the dwarf to appear, and said, "Now is
the time for you to show whether you serve me faithfully and are master
of your art.  The prince, who is now visiting me, keeps, as is well
known, the best table after me.  He is a great connoisseur in good
living, and a wise man.  Let it now be your care to supply my table
every day so that his astonishment shall daily become greater.  But you
must not, under pain of my displeasure, repeat the same dish during his
visits.  You may ask of my treasurer all you want, and should it be
needful to fry gold and diamonds you must do it.  I would rather become
poor than forfeit his good opinion of my taste."

When the duke had concluded, the dwarf bowed most respectfully, saying,
"be it as you say, my lord; please God I shall do all to gratify the
palate of this prince of gourmands."

The little cook now mustered all his skill.  He did not spare his
master's treasures, and still less did he spare himself.  He was seen
all day at the fire, enveloped by clouds of smoke, and his voice
constantly resounded through the vaults of the kitchen, for he governed
the scullions and under cooks.

During a fortnight the foreign prince lived happily, and feasted
sumptuously with the duke.  They ate not less than five times a day,
and the duke was delighted with his dwarf, seeing satisfaction
expressed on the countenance of his guest.  But on the fifteenth day it
happened, that the duke, while at table, sent for the dwarf, presented
him to his guest, and asked how he was satisfied with his cooking?

"You are a wonderful cook," replied the prince, "and know what good
living is.  All the time I have been here you have not repeated a
single dish, and have prepared every thing exquisitely.  But pray tell
me, why have you not all this time prepared that queen of dishes, the
pie called 'souzeraine?'"

The dwarf was startled at this question, for he had never heard of this
queen of pies; however he recovered himself and replied, "My lord, I
was in hopes that your serene countenance would shine some time yet on
this court, therefore I deferred this dish; for with what dish but the
queen of pies should the cook honour the day of your departure?"

"Indeed!" said the duke, laughing; "I suppose then you wish to wait for
the day of my death to honour me, for you have never yet sent it up to
me.  But think of another dish to celebrate the departure, for
to-morrow that pie must be on the table."

"Your pleasure shall be done, my lord," replied the dwarf, and retired.
But he went away uneasy, for the day of his disgrace and misfortune had
come.  He did not know how to prepare this pie.  He went therefore to
his chamber, and wept over his fate, when the goose Mimi, who was
allowed to walk about, came up and inquired the cause of his grief.
When she heard of the pie, "Dry your tears," said she, "this dish came
often to my father's table, and I know pretty well what is necessary
for it; you have only to take such and such things in certain
quantities, and should these not be all that are really necessary, I
trust that the taste of these gentlemen is not sufficiently refined to
discover the deficiency."

At these words the dwarf danced with joy, blessed the day on which he
had purchased the goose, and set about making this queen of pies.  He
first made a trial in miniature, and lo! the flavour was exquisite, and
the master-cook, to whom he gave the small pie to taste, praised once
more his great skill.

The following day he prepared the pie on a larger scale, and, after
having garnished it with flowers, sent it hot as it came from the oven
to table.  After which he dressed in his best and went to the
dining-hall.  On entering, he found the steward engaged in carving the
pie, and presenting it on silver dishes to the duke and his guest.  The
duke swallowed a large piece, turned his eyes upward, saying "ha! ha!
ha! justly is this called the queen of pies; but my dwarf is also a
king of cooks.  Is it not so, my friend?"

His guest took a small morsel, tasted it carefully, and smiled somewhat
scornfully and mysteriously.

"The thing is made pretty well," replied he, pushing his plate away,
"but it is not quite the Souzeraine, as I well imagined."

At this the duke frowned with indignation, and turned red, saying, "You
hound of a dwarf, how dare you do this to your lord?  I will have your
big head cut off as a punishment for your bad cooking."

"Ah, my lord," said the dwarf trembling, "for Heaven's sake have
compassion on me; I have made that dish, indeed, according to the
proper receipt, and am sure that nothing is wanting."

"'Tis a lie, you knave," replied the duke, giving him a kick, "'tis a
lie; else my guest would not say there was something wanting.  I will
have you yourself cut up and baked in a pie."

"Have compassion on me!" exclaimed the dwarf, shuffling on his knees up
to the prince, and clasping his feet; "tell me what is wanting to this
pie and why it does not suit your palate: let me not die for a handful
of meat or flour."

"This will not avail you, my good Nose," replied the prince, laughing;
"even yesterday I thought you would not be able to make this dish as
well as my cook.  Know there is wanting a herb called
Sneeze-with-pleasure, which is not even known in this country.  Without
it this pie is insipid, and your master will never eat it in such
perfection as I do."

At this the duke flew into a rage, and cried with flashing eyes:

"I will eat it in perfection yet, for I swear by my princely honour,
that by to-morrow I will either have the pie set before you, such as
you desire it, or the head of this fellow shall be spiked on the gate
of my palace.  Go, you hound, I give you once more twenty-four hours!"
cried the duke.

The dwarf again went to his chamber and mourned over his fate with the
goose that he must die, as he had never heard of this herb.  "If it is
nothing more," said she, "I can help you out of the difficulty, as my
father has taught me to know all herbs.  At any other time your death,
no doubt would have been certain, and it is fortunate for you that we
have a new moon, as the herb is only then in flower.  Now tell me, are
there any old chesnut trees in the neighbourhood of the palace?"

"Oh yes," replied Nose, with a lighter heart, "near the lake, about two
hundred yards from the palace, there is a clump of them; but what of

"Why," said Mimi, "the herb only flowers at the foot of them.  Now let
us lose no time but go to fetch what you want; take me on your arm, and
put me down when we get out, that I may search for you."

He did as she requested, and went towards the gate of the palace, but
here the porter levelled his gun and said: "My good Nose, it is all
over with you, you must not pass; I have strict orders respecting you."

"But I suppose I may go into the garden," replied the dwarf.  "Be so
good as to send one of your fellow servants to the master of the
palace, and ask whether I may not go into the garden to fetch herbs."
The porter did so and permission was given, since, the garden having
high walls, escape was impossible.  But when Nose and Mimi had got out
he put her carefully down, and she ran quickly before him towards the
lake, where the chesnuts were.  He followed with a heavy heart, since
this was his last and only hope.  If she did not find the herb he was
resolved rather to plunge into the lake than to have his head cut off.
The goose searched in vain under all the chesnut trees; she turned
every herb with her beak, but no trace of the one wanted was to be
found, and she now began to cry out of compassion and fear for the
dwarf, as the evening was already growing dusk, and the objects around
were difficult to distinguish.

At this moment the dwarf cast a glance across the lake, and cried
suddenly: "Look, look, yonder across the lake there stands a large old
tree; let us go there and search; perhaps my luck may bloom there."
The goose hopped and flew before him, and he ran after her as quickly
as his short legs would permit him; the chesnut tree cast a large
shade, and it was so dark around that scarcely anything could be
distinguished; but suddenly the goose stopped, flapped her wings for
joy, put her head quickly into the high grass, and plucked something
which she reached gracefully with her bill to the astonished Nose,
saying; "There is the herb, and plenty is growing here, so that you
will never want for it."

The dwarf looked thoughtfully at the herb, and a sweet odour arose from
it, which immediately reminded him of the scene of his metamorphosis;
the stalk and leaves were of a blueish green, bearing a glowing red
flower, with a yellow edge.

"God be praised!" he now exclaimed, "What a miracle!  I believe this is
the very herb that transformed me from a squirrel into this hideous
form; shall I make a trial, to see what effect it will have on me!"

"Not yet," entreated the goose.  "Take a handful of this herb with you,
let us go to your room and put up all the money and whatever you have,
and then we will try the virtue of the herb."

They did so, and went again to his room, the dwarf's heart beating
audibly with anticipation.  After having put up about fifty or sixty
ducats which he had saved, he tied up his clothes in a bundle, and
said: "If it please God, I shall get rid of my burthensome deformity."
He then put his nose deep into the herb and inhaled its odour.

Now his limbs began to stretch and crack, he felt how his head started
from his shoulders, he squinted down on his nose and saw it became
smaller and smaller, his back and chest became straight, and his legs

The goose viewed all this with great astonishment, exclaiming, "Ah,
what a tall handsome fellow you have now become.  God be praised, there
is no trace left in you of what you were before."  Now James was highly
rejoiced, he folded his hands and prayed.  But his joy did not make him
forget what he owed to Mimi the goose; his heart indeed urged him to go
to his parents, yet from gratitude he overcame his wish and said, "To
whom but to you am I indebted that I am again restored to my former
self?  Without you I should never have found this herb, but should have
continued for ever in that form, or else have died under the axe of the
executioner.  Well, I will repay you.  I will bring you back to your
father; he being so experienced in magic will be able easily to
disenchant you."

The goose shed tears of joy and accepted his offer.  James fortunately
escaped unknown from the palace with his goose, and started on his way
for the sea-coast towards Mimi's home.

It is needless to add that their journey was successful, that
Wetterbock disenchanted his daughter, and dismissed James laden with
presents; that the latter returned to his native town, that his parents
with delight recognized in the handsome young man their lost son, that
he, with the presents that he had received, purchased a shop and became
wealthy and happy.

Only this much may be added, that after his departure from the duke's
palace, there was a great sensation, for when, on the next morning, the
duke was about to fulfil his oath, and to have the dwarf beheaded in
case he had not discovered the herbs, he was nowhere to be found; and
the prince maintained that the duke had let him escape secretly rather
than lose his best cook, and accused him of breaking his word of
honour.  This circumstance gave rise to a great war between the two
princes, which is well known in history by the name of the "Herb War."
Many battles were fought, but at length a peace was concluded, which is
now called the "Pie Peace," because at the festival of reconciliation
the Souzeraine, queen of pies, was prepared by the prince's cook, and
relished by the duke in the highest degree.

Thus the most trifling causes often lead to the greatest result; and
this, reader, is the story of "Nose, the Dwarf."

C. A. F.




The beautiful Tugendreich von Starschedel was standing in the baronial
hall of her ancestral castle before the pedigree of her family, which
occupied the space between two pillars in the wall.  Her little hand
powerfully pressed her heaving bosom, as if it wished to check the
violent palpitation of her agitated heart, and her dark blue eyes
wandered stealthily from the gay escutcheons and glanced through the
lofty arched windows into the open riding-course, in which Axel, the
groom, was just then breaking in a young stallion, with all the grace
and strength of the horse-tamer Castor.

"Well," said Gundchen, her maid, who was leaning against the window,
"there is nothing, in my opinion, like a good horseman.  Only look,
gracious Fräulein, how the untamed animal is rearing, and how the man
sits on him like a puppet."

"That is a silly picture, if it is intended to be flattering," said
Tugendreich, and blushing, she stepped to the window, as she feared she
had betrayed herself.

"Do not torment yourself so much, Axel," cried the baron from the
window.  "You and Hippolytus may break your necks together; he is sure
not to leap, and the master of the stable has given him up already."

"All depends on the rider," replied Axel, with powerful voice.  "He
shall leap, I assure you, though he had Wallenstein and Tilly on him."
So saying, he pressed the snorting animal with great strength, and
gallopped with him to the end of the course, that he might better leap
the bar.

"A devil of a fellow this Axel," said the nobleman, laughing in

"Heavens!" shrieked Gundchen, "there will be an accident," and
Tugendreich suppressed a sigh of anguish.  With frightful side-leaps,
the black horse furiously galloped towards the bar.  At this moment the
little daughter of the gardener ran across the course, and frightened
at the approaching furious steed, fell just under his fore feet.
Terror prevented the spectators from crying out, but Axel saw the child
at the critical moment when the hoof was raised over its head, and,
thinking of its peril, only reined the leaping horse suddenly in with
such force that he fell rearing on his haunches.

"He will fall back," cried the baron.

"I cannot look upon it," exclaimed Gundchen, holding her hands before
her eyes, and Tugendreich leaned against the recess as white as her
veil.  In the meanwhile Axel had given the horse so violent a blow on
the head, that he was on his legs again and stood trembling; he
dismounted, lifted the crying child gently from the ground and kissing
it, carried it to its mother, who came up running and shrieking.

"Gallantly done," cried the nobleman, "but the experiment might have
cost your life."

"Better that Hippolytus and I should die than the innocent child,"
replied Axel.  He mounted again, and the steed now knowing his master,
leaped readily and gracefully without a run over the high bar.

"Well done," cried the nobleman again.  "Come up, you shall have a
bottle of wine for that."  "I must first cool the animal," was Axel's
short reply, as he rode off in a gentle trot.  "This fellow is not to
be bought for gold," muttered the baron; "but he sometimes assumes a
tone that makes it doubtful which of us two is the master and which the

Tugendreich, agitated by the scene she had just witnessed, was about to
leave the hall.  On her way, she again passed the pedigree, and turning
her glowing countenance upon it, a black escutcheon met her eye.  This
belonged to a lateral relation whom her father had only recently struck
out on account of a misalliance.  With a gloomy foreboding she gazed at
it, then cast an anxious glance upon the one bearing her name, and
hurried sobbing from the hall.

About an hour after this, Tugendreich met the dangerous groom in the
anti-room of her father's closet.  Their eyes flashed as they met each
other, but both immediately looked on the ground while a blush, like
the sky tinged by the rising sun, overspread her cheeks.  "The
gardener's little Rosa has recovered from her fright," she whispered
softly, "I have just left her."

"May heaven reward you, Fräulein, that sent you upon earth as a
ministering reconciling angel!" cried the groom with transport.

"But promise me, Axel, not to ride so furiously again; I have been in
great anxiety about thee," stammered Tugendreich, becoming confused in
the midst of her speech, as she had not yet settled in her mind as to
whether she should address this groom by "thee," or "you."[1]

"About me?  This makes me indescribably happy," said Axel with delight,
and suddenly raised her beautiful hand to his lips, imprinting a fiery
kiss on it.  At this she appeared angry, withdrew her hand from his
bold grasp, though a minute too late, and saying, "You forget
yourself," quickly left the room.

Axel's eyes followed her with rapture, and he then entered his master's
room and found him in company with Magister Talander, his spiritual
adviser and factotum, playing chess, and exchanging high words.  In
vain did the excited magister prove from _Damiano, Phillippo, Carrera_,
and _Gustavo Seleno_, that the adversary's piece which threatened one
of the squares over which the king must be moved, was one of the five
impediments to castling the king.  In vain did he assert that
_Palmedes, Xerxes, Satrenshah_, and even _Tamerlan_ could not have
played otherwise.  The baron stood to his own opinion, and said, the
absurdity of the rule was so evident, that even his groom Axel, if he
had but a notion of the moves, could not but see it.

"I know the moves, and you are wrong," interrupted Axel.  With open
mouth, the master wondered at the impudence of his servant, who quietly
added: "You forget that the question here is about a paltry king of
chess, about an indolent, cowardly despot, who is only born to be
protected by his people; and if ever compelled to act himself, moves in
a narrow, pitiful circle.  It is quite consistent that such a king
should take the only important step in his life with the utmost
caution, and avoid doing it if there is the least appearance of danger.
_My_ king, indeed, would not recognise himself in this picture."

"What does the fellow mean by talking about _his_ king?" muttered the
old baron.  "Our gracious sovereign is the elector of Saxony."

"But not mine," was Axel's proud reply.  "I have the honour to be a

"For heaven's sake, Magister, tell me whence this fellow gets his
pride, and bold words?" asked the baron softly.

"Why, I have already had my meditations on that subject," replied he,
with a shake of the head; and the old baron said, in a commanding tone
to Axel: "There's your wine, but you shall drink to the health of our
lord elector."

"Most joyfully," replied Axel, filling a bumper, and raising it in the
air; "here's to the health of your noble elector, and my heroic king,
and may the concluded alliance prove a blessing to Saxony and to Sweden
for many generations to come."

"Well, that is something new again," replied the baron, sarcastically;
"I suppose you were in the cabinet when the alliance was concluded.
Unfortunately we have not come to that yet."

"We have come to it, my lord," replied Axel, familiarly tapping the
baron on the shoulder; "your elector is no chess king, who is afraid to
take a quick and decisive step that shall decide the welfare of his

He went away, and the two old gentlemen sat, struck with astonishment,
staring at each other, like the pair of lions at Dresden.

In melancholy mood, Tugendreich was standing before an old decayed
shaft, to which her walk had brought her, and her maid, like Fräulein's
little spaniel, was crawling about among the bushes in search of
something.  At this moment Talander came up to them, laden with a large
bundle of plants on his return from botanising.  To his inquiries, as
to what they were in search of, Tugendreich informed him, that, in
running down a hill, she had laid hold of a branch, and twisted from
her finger a beautiful sapphire ring, a beloved legacy of her late
mother, which had probably rolled into the shaft, as they had at
present searched for it in vain.

"Oh, what youthful levity!" replied the magister, in a grumbling voice.
"This precious stone ought not to have been merely valuable to you as a
remembrance of your revered mother, but, having been dug and cut out
under particular constellations, it was the talisman of your life.
Have you been forgetful enough not to remember that the greatest
secrets of nature lie in _verbis, herbis et lapidibus_?  A foreboding
which rarely deceives me, tells me that this loss will have a decisive
influence on your fate."

Tugendreich listened anxiously to the words of the old tutor, which she
was wont to consider as oracles.

"Do not grieve too much, however," continued the old man, in a milder
tone, "the same foreboding tells me also that the hand from which you
will receive back the lost stone, will also lead you to the true
happiness of your life."  Thus saying, he walked slowly down the
foot-path towards the castle, while Tugendreich looked thoughtfully
after him.  A crackling and rustling was heard in the branches of an
old pine-tree standing near the shaft, and from its top, which touched
a high rock, descended a sturdy huntsman, boldly leaping from bough to
bough, who soon stood before the astonished maiden as Axel.

"I overheard all," he said, with rapture, "and joyfully will risk my
life to make good the prophetic words of Talander.  You shall see me
either with the ring or not at all.  In the latter case shed a tear
over my grave."  And before the Fräulein could raise her hand to
prevent him, the audacious man rushed into the shaft, and with a dull
and rumbling noise pieces of earth and stones rolled after him into the
dark abyss.

"He is lost," sighed Tugendreich, sinking into the arms of Gundchen,
who, astonished by the clear light which broke upon her at this moment,
could not feel the same grief for the lost man.

With a look of affection Tugendreich bent down over the shaft, so that
Gundchen thought it advisable to lay hold of the dress of her mistress
to prevent her from following her beloved, should she be inclined to do
so.  A joyful sound now resounded from the depth below, and immediately
Axel was struggling up the shaft through various minerals that had shot
out in the shape of goblins, and with bleeding hand presented the lost
ring to the Fräulein.  With a heavenly look the astonished girl thanked
him, while tears of gratitude fell on the wounded hand, which Axel
eagerly kissed away.  Now, for the first time, she saw the blood on his
hand, shrieked aloud, and insisted upon binding the wound herself of
which she had been the cause.  Slowly he offered his hand.  Not seeing
the handkerchief which her maid offered, the Fräulein took her own,
binding it with the ribbon of the bow she wore on her own bosom.  As
she let go his hand Axel fancied that he felt a gentle pressure, but
before he had time to think of this happy moment in which he saw a
symbol of his future happiness, the lovely girl had fled like a
frightened roe.  As if in a dream he slowly pursued his way to the
castle, where Talander received him at the gate, being commissioned
from the Fräulein, and ready for every emergency, took out his case of
surgical instruments to dress his wound in due form.  While doing this
the old man said, "You have a fine hand, almost too delicately formed
for your station; I suppose you have also seen military service, these
hard parts show that you have frequently handled the sword."

"Ah, true," stammered the patient, embarrassed.

"You seem altogether a strange customer," continued Talander "and I am
somewhat curious to know more of you.  Pray just show me the palm of
your hand."

"Never mind such fooleries, magister," said Axel, withdrawing his hand.

"Only ignorance judges hastily of what it does not understand," said
the magister, angrily.  "How can you thus with contempt reject that
noble chiromancy to which I have devoted myself for nearly a
generation."  Forcibly seizing the wounded hand he examined it long and
closely, then said, muttering, "Well, these lines indicate that you
were born for something superior to a stable.  This line may be truly
called the _cingulum veneris_, it promises success in love; and here
are fame and honour and high dignities.  Ah, ah, friend, you are not
what you appear."

"Your crotchets deceive you in a singular manner," said Axel,
embarrassed, and wishing to escape.

"The old Talander is no woman," said the magister, "and therefore has
no crotchets, and has never deceived himself yet."  And, retaining his
hold of Axel, he added, "I tell you plainly you are no groom, and if
you were not a good evangelical Christian, and had not a pair of clear
faithful eyes, through which one may imagine that one can look into
your very heart, I should say you had some wicked design, and I should
communicate my suspicions to the baron."

"By heavens and my honour," cried Axel, warmly, "my intentions are

"A groom may indeed be an honest man," said Talander, mockingly, "but
it is something uncommon for him to give his word of honour; it sounds
rather cavalier-like, and you must act more in character.  I have done
now," continued he, fastening the bandage; "give me the handkerchief
and ribbon to return to the Fräulein."

"Never," cried Axel, as he concealed the precious pledges in his bosom.

"'Never;' say you, youngster! you are rather too bold for me," said the
old man, menacing with his finger.  "Go, settle it yourself with the
Fräulein.  There she stands in the garden, near the rose-tree, herself
the most beautiful rose in the garden.  How wicked must be that worm
that would malignantly approach this flower to poison its sweet
bloom--are you not of the same opinion?"

"Indeed I am of the same opinion," said the groom; "be unconcerned
about this sweet flower which so proudly sets forth your care as its
gardener.  With the ray of love it will bloom more beautifully, and if
myrtle and laurel shall once be entwined around it you will weep tears
of joy."

"Amen," said the old man, with emotion, and Axel ran to the garden to

"The magister demanded from me the handkerchief and ribbon in your
name, Fräulein," said Axel; "I only bring you back the former, stained
with the blood which flowed for you.  May it speak a friendly word for
poor Axel, when some day he will sigh far from you.  The ribbon I must
keep.  It rested on your angelic heart, it is hallowed, and it will
also hallow and purify the heart upon which it shall rest from this

Tugendreich wished to answer but was unable, she wished to look up but
could not.  It then occurred to her that she ought really to be
indignant at this audacity, but that she could do still less; and the
beautiful rose which she held in her hand became the victim of her
inward struggle, for she plucked off leaf after leaf, dropping them on
the ground.

"May I keep the ribbon?" asked Axel, imploringly.  She at length raised
her beautiful eyes, and a ray of love flashed powerfully from them.
Enraptured he stretched out his arms to embrace her; deeply blushing,
she sank into them, and he pressed the first pure kiss of ardent love
on her lips.  At this moment the baron suddenly appeared from behind
the hedge, contemplating the group with a truly noble horror.  "Begone
to the castle!" he cried to his daughter; "to the stable!" he cried, in
a voice of thunder, to Axel.  Like a finger-post, he pointed to the
places mentioned, and the frightened couple obeyed in silence.

      *      *      *      *      *

In anxious expectation of what would follow, Tugendreich had been
standing for some time in the window of the baronial hall, from which
she had in the morning admired Axel's horsemanship, when her father
came up to her with a wrathful countenance, seized her hand, and led
her to the gigantic portrait of the ancestors of the Starschedels,
which gloomily and menacingly looked down, as it were, from the gold
frame upon the delinquent.  "Who is that?" asked the baron, with
suppressed wrath.

"Magnus von Starschedel, the founder of our family," repeated
Tugendreich, words which had been impressed on her memory from infancy.
"In the war against the emperor, Henry IV., Duke Rodolph of Swabia
dubbed him knight, A.D. 1078, at Stronow, near Mellenstädt; and he fell
in the battle fought against the same emperor, near Würzburg, A.D.
1086, after his valour had contributed to gain the victory."

"What think you this glorious knight would have done, if he had, like
myself, seen you from behind the hedge?" asked her father, while
Tugendreich cast her eyes down on the squares of the inlaid floors.
"He would have cleft the head of the unfaithful servant," continued the
baron, raising his voice, "and thrown the degenerate girl into the
dungeon, until he should have placed her and her passion for ever in a

The Fräulein gave a silent assent to the justice of this sentence.

"Tugendreich!  Tugendreich!" continued her father, reproaching her;
"why did I give you this lovely name?[2]  I ought to have christened
you Philippe, for Talander has interpreted this name to me, to mean a
lover of horses, and it would therefore be some excuse for your
predilection for the stable."

Now a feeling of pride rose within her, and she cried, "I deserve
blame, but do not merit your contempt.  My feelings are pure, and I
need not be ashamed of him."

The furious impetuosity of noble wrath would now have broken through
the last barrier of paternal love, when fortunately for the poor
Fräulein a loud shriek of terror resounded from the court-yard, and
Talander entered the hall with a countenance as pale as death.  "May
God and his holy gospel protect us," exclaimed the old man.  "A swarm
of Croats is storming through the country, and may probably come this
very night."

"Well," replied the baron, with affected composure, "Saxony has nothing
to fear from the troops of his Imperial Majesty."

"So you think, my lord, but I do not," rejoined the magister,
trembling.  "People whisper already about the alliance concluded
between Saxony and Sweden, and if the Croats are terrible even as
friends, may Heaven preserve us against their inroads as enemies.  They
are said to commit the most awful havoc on the estates of the
protestant noblemen."

The baron fell into an arm-chair as if thunder struck, and Tugendreich
was wringing her white hands as Axel entered the hall.  A helmet
covered his head, a sword was rattling at his side, and before the old
baron could think of his wrath against him, he said in a firm and manly
tone, "The Croats are approaching, and will not want a pretext for
committing their depredations here as they have done every where else;
your property and life, and the honour of your lovely daughter are in
jeopardy.  Nothing but a bold resistance can save you.  Isolani's
followers spare nothing, not even those who submit readily."

"Are you out of your senses?" asked the baron.  "With what force am I
to begin the struggle against an imperial army?"

"Only he who abandons himself is abandoned," said Axel.  "This castle
has high, strong walls and deep moats.  I have raised a whole village,
and have armed your ranger and servants.  If they follow my advice they
will all take refuge here with their property.  We must give up the
village, and hold out here until succour comes."

Surprised by Axel's bold design and chivalrous conduct, old Starschedel
sat there as incapable of opposition as of coming to a resolution of
his own.  "The means are desperate," said Talander, "but I see no other
way of proceeding."

"But what of the imperial band?" sighed the old baron.

"We do not resist the imperial troops," argued the magister, cunningly.
"We only protect our property against marauders and robbers, who
plunder the country contrary to the will of his imperial majesty."

"Tell the people from the balcony that I act in accordance with your
wish," said Axel, "and leave the rest to me."

Starschedel looked inquiringly at his oracle, who returned a nod of
approbation, and submitted patiently to be dragged to the balcony by
Axel, where he delivered general orders of obedience to Axel, though
often interrupted by shortness of breath.  A loud _vivat_ resounded
from the robust Saxon youths, who were eager to fight.

With proud satisfaction Tugendreich looked down on the singular groom
who instructed the armed band in the court-yard as if he had been used
to military duty all his life, assigned to every one his post in the
court-yard, ordered the placing of men, cattle, and property, and then
sallied forth with the mounted servants to reconnoitre the enemy.  The
baron, in the meanwhile, buried with trembling hands a casket of jewels
in the cellar, while master Talander looked through his long telescope
at the stars which now began to appear, compared his observations with
the singular circles, lines, and signs upon a large table, and then
made his calculations until the drops of perspiration stood upon his
forehead, examining the results now with a joyful nod, and now with a
thoughtful shake of his white head.  At midnight the reconnoitring corp
returned.  The garrison was summoned with beating of drums, and Axel
addressed them as follows: "The Croats will presently enter the village
and will not spare any thing; the sky is already red with their
torches; they will burn here also, but we shall be secure behind these
walls while you show yourselves to be men.  Bear in mind that you are
to fight for your good lord and his noble daughter, for the pure
doctrine of the gospel, for your venerable pastor, for the honour of
your wives, and for the lives of your children.  Now long life to the

"Long life to the elector!" shouted the band after him, joyfully; but
the "_Hoch_" stuck in many a throat, as at this moment the music of the
approaching Croats chimed in with their "_Vivat_" as a flourish.

"To your posts," cried Axel in a thundering voice, and then once more
looking to the draw bridge, he ordered the gates to be secured and
ascended the battlements of the _donjon_.  A wild tumult was now heard
in the village.  The Croats searched boisterously for the inhabitants
and provisions but in vain, and therefore avenged their disappointment
upon the doors and windows of the cottages.  At length a troop with
torches galloped up to the castle, startled at the drawn bridge and
sounded the trumpet as a summons for admittance.  The trumpet within
the castle was sounded in answer, and Axel asked in military form what
was their wish.

"Down with the bridge first," blustered an infuriated captain of the
Croats in broken German, "and then you will see what we want."

"Show us the orders of his Imperial Majesty and our Elector, that this
castle is to receive a garrison," replied Axel, modestly, "and the
bridge shall immediately be lowered."

At this the foreign barbarian foamed with rage, snatched his carbine
from his saddle and fired it at Axel.  The bullet missed, and Axel in
return sent a bullet from his gun whizzing through the cap of the Croat.

"This is to teach you uncivilized fellows the usage of war, that no
shot should be fired during a parley," he cried.  "My shot was only to
warn you of this; but if you do not draw off, the next shall be in
earnest."  Upon this the captain swearing turned his horse round and
galloped madly back into the village with his troops.

As Axel was turning to descend, he saw Tugendreich standing before him
as pale and motionless as a statue.  "For heaven's sake, Fräulein," he
cried, "what are you doing up here? this is not a place for a gentle

"I heard firing," said the lovely girl, sighing deeply; "I thought you
were in danger, and could not longer remain below."

"Faithful heart!" exclaimed he, with emotion and affection.  "By all
that I hold sacred I will some day requite you."  And quickly taking
her in his strong arms he carried her down the steps, and consigned her
to her attendant, whom he strictly enjoined not to allow the Fräulein
to ascend the walls again.  He then returned quickly to his post, as he
already heard resounding through the night the march of the approaching
enemy threatening the castle.

Suddenly the thatched cottages of the villages were blazing up in a
terrible manner.  Amid the light of the flames the Croats assaulted the
castle in close bodies and with wild fury.  But the garrison made a
brave resistance, and their rifles created great havoc among the
enemies' ranks.  Axel was everywhere, and though the Croats attempted
in different places to scale the walls by the aid of ladders, he
immediately was at the spot, to strike down the foremost, and then with
powerful hand to precipitate ladder and all into the moat.  For an hour
the most furious combat had been raging when the enemies' trumpets
sounded the retreat, and the infuriated captain who led the rear cried
out with a savage laugh, "At sunrise we shall return with heavy cannon,
and show you who we are."

The morning dawned after a sleepless night, and found the two old
gentlemen sitting sorrowfully in Talander's closet, which was
bomb-proof.  The lamp was nearly out, and they started up terrified on
hearing the trumpet sound outside the castle walls.  After a short time
Axel, who had been wounded in the cheek, entered, announcing Baron
Grotta, lieutenant-colonel in the imperial army, saying, "My lords, the
colonel awaits you in the hall: for heaven's sake show no fear, and let
the magister settle the terms of a capitulation."

He consented and left the room.  On arriving in the hall a fine-looking
officer met him, whose countenance might be called beautiful, had there
not been an expression of defiance and haughtiness about the eyes and
mouth which detracted from the impression first produced.  After the
usual civilities had been exchanged, the stranger informed him that a
division of the imperial army was to pass through the village on that
day, and that their general had learned with astonishment the audacity
with which the castle had opposed their light troops; that he was
inclined, however, to pardon this, knowing the rapacity and outrages of
the Croats, who made no distinction between friend and foe; but that
now he expected the castle to be surrendered to him immediately.

"On what conditions," asked the astonished baron.

"Methinks you ought to be glad if an imperial general," said he in a
sarcastic tone, "after what has happened, once more kindly invites you
to trust blindly to his generosity.  At all events it is more advisable
for you to open your gates than to let our cannons burst them open."

At this moment the beautiful Tugendreich entered the hall, followed by
a servant with flasks and goblets.  Love, with its joys and sorrows had
diffused a supernatural charm over her noble countenance, which did not
fail to produce so magical an effect upon the warrior, that he at once
in a gentler tone added to his menaces the question, "Is this your
daughter?"  The baron then introduced her, and the stranger took the
brimming goblet she presented to him, and in a polite manner asked on
what conditions the castle would capitulate.  The baron pleading
indisposition in consequence of the nightly assault promised to send
his chaplain to negociate, and left the hall delighted to be released
from this purgatory.  The experienced hero now addressed himself
courteously to the Fräulein, and after condoling with her on account of
the terrors of the past night, and expressing his satisfaction at being
able to contribute something to alleviate their present situation, was
beginning to get as sentimental as it became a soldier in the thirty
years' war, when old Talander entered bowing, followed by Axel, who,
unarmed, and in a respectful manner, brought in writing materials.

"In the name of my noble master I am to have the honour of treating
with you, gallant sir," said he in a submissive tone; "we have only a
few just conditions to propose, which I beg your gracious permission to

"Granted," said the colonel, casting an expressive look at the
Fräulein, which told her it was only on her account that he granted any
conditions whatever.  The magister began to read the following
propositions: "Unconditional amnesty for the past night; liberty for
religion and her servants until the fate of this country is decided;
exemption from all contributions under whatever name or pretext they
may be demanded."

"Great demands," interrupted the colonel.

"In return, Baron Von Starschedel grants to the troops of his imperial
majesty the right of garrison in his castle," continued Talander.

"But only to the regiment of Tiefenbach," interrupted Axel, hastily.
"It is best disciplined, and the promise which your general has given
us in writing is a security of the capitulation being kept."

With angry astonishment the stranger looked at the insolent groom.
Tugendreich and Talander showed consternation.  The magister broke the
silence by saying, "The hasty interruption of this young man reminds me
of two important points which my old head had forgotten; I therefore
hasten to supply them."

While the magister was writing, Tugendreich observed, in a gentle tone,
as she suddenly became conscious of the influence of her sex, "So
gallant a man as the colonel will certainly do his utmost to concede
such reasonable conditions."

"What would I not do, for a kind look from those eyes?" said he
tenderly, and he took from Talander's hands the points he had written
down, made a military bow to the Fräulein, cast a look of contempt on
Axel as he departed, and was soon seen to gallop through the gate.

A quarter of an hour had scarcely elapsed, when the chains of the
drawbridge and the creaking of the gate were heard again, and the
colonel gallopped into the court-yard, waving the signed capitulation
on high as a banner of peace.  With great respect and delight, the
baron went to meet him at the castle entrance, and the welcome officer
dismounted with graceful ease from his charger, giving the bridle with
a haughty contempt into Axel's hands, evidently to make him conscious
of the respect which was due to him, and which he had before forgotten.

One of his fellow grooms, seeing the anger which flashed from the eyes
of Axel at this pointed humiliation, took the horse from him and led
him about.  The colonel did not fail observing this, and to complete
the mortification of the insolent servant, he set his foot on the steps
of the entrance, and called to Axel, "Groom, my right spur galls me,
loosen it."

"I will let your groom know that you want him," said Axel haughtily,
"if you will have the condescension to tell me where I can find him."

The colonel's face reddened with indignation, and addressing the baron,
biting and grinding his teeth, he requested him to remind his groom of
his duty, as his rank demanded he should insist upon it.  The baron
satisfied his demands in a ludicrous manner, not knowing in his heart,
of whom he was most afraid.  Axel shook his head in silence.  "Pray,
good Axel," whispered the baron entreatingly, "when you have often
fastened my spurs, will you refuse it to a person of such distinction.

"I honour and love you as a father," said Axel, "and consider it no
disgrace to serve you; I would willingly perform the most menial
services for you, but cannot suffer indignity from the haughtiness of a

"I am curious to see," said the stranger scornfully, "whether the
master or the servant will get the best of this singular dispute."
And, irritated by this observation, and working himself up into a
passion in order to gain his point, the baron cried, "Either you loosen
the spurs, or you quit my service immediately."

"I go, gracious master," said Axel most respectfully.  "I know you are
safe for some time to come, and I carry with me the delightful
satisfaction of having so far contributed to your safety.  Remember
sometimes, kindly, your faithful servant;" and, shaking heartily the
hand which the baron offered him, he went to the stable to pack up his

Absorbed in secret dreams, Tugendreich stood in a grotto in the garden,
and did not even hear the drums of a company of Tiefenbach's regiment
which was entering the castle, when suddenly Axel stood before her with
the knapsack on his back.  "Your father has dismissed me from his
service," he said, with emotion, "but I shall never quit yours, sweet
Fräulein.  You shall soon hear of me."  With tears in his eyes, he
offered a forget-me-not, which she could not refuse accepting from the
hand that still showed the scar from the descent into the shaft.
"But," continued he, recollecting himself, "this keepsake will soon be
destroyed, therefore take another of a solid material from my own
native country."  And, taking out a Swedish copper dollar, he broke it
with gigantic strength, offered one-half to the Fräulein, and said, "He
who shall bring you the other half will come from me."  Before
Tugendreich was aware how she had got the burning kiss which glowed
upon her lips he had vanished, and Talander stood before her like a
personified lecture.  He was on the point of delivering it, when the
baron, who was somewhat wearied by the first impetuous demands of his
new guest, approached in a gloomy mood, and asked, astonished and
peevishly, "What was the meaning of the flower which the Fräulein was
still affectionately contemplating?"

"I was just disputing with the good magister about it," replied she,
with genuine female composure, whilst she wiped away her last tears.
"Being my instructor in botany, he thinks he can make me believe
anything.  Only think, he maintains that this is the _Myosotis
palustris_, or mouse-ear, and it is evidently the _Veronica
chamaedrys_, or germander, which moreover rhymes with Talander.  Am I
not right, dear father?"  So saying, she bounded away out of the
garden, to cast, if possible, one more look from the tower after her
departing favourite, whilst Talander raised his hands in utter
astonishment at the consummate ingenuity which his timid pupil so
readily displayed.

      *      *      *      *      *

The calamities of war which the large armies marching to and fro
brought upon the country did not press with particular weight upon the
inhabitants of the castle.  For this they were indebted to the colonel
who was quartered within it with his company.  But it soon became
evident that his services were not altogether disinterested, for he
daily made nearer and more evident advances towards the beautiful
daughter of the house, and ventured many a time to storm her heart with
tender, chivalrous courtesy.  His noble demeanour and manly beauty, in
addition to his high rank as a soldier, his birth and his fortune,
powerfully supported his suit.  But an invincible antagonist was in
Tugendreich's heart; the image of poor Axel and the half-copper dollar
were to her a more precious treasure than the rich necklace which Baron
Grotta ordered from Dresden, and which she was forced to accept by the
command of her father.  A dim foreboding seemed to tell the proud
colonel what rival he had to contend with, and the recollection of the
handsome insolent groom and the scene with the spur began to assume the
shape of a suspicion which produced ill humour.  This was expressed in
many contemptuous observations concerning low-born persons, and his
scorn at their desire to force their way into the upper classes daily
wearied the patience of old Talander, who entertained very high notions
of his own worth as a man.  When it happened upon one occasion that the
colonel in his presence boasted rather too complacently to the Fräulein
of his hereditary privileges, the old man commenced reading a passage
from a poem which an old collegian had sent him from Halle, running

  "Ye who prefer your dross to silver pure and fine,
  And think your glass as good as diamonds from the mine;
  I mean you, who in lists of ancestors take pride,
  And seem so many noughts set other noughts beside;
  Who worship that vain idol--old nobilitié,
  Ye truly are besotted--I pray ye, pardon me."

The colonel looked with eyes of wonder, which, in spite of the
_captatio benevolentiæ_ in the concluding line, expressed no
forgiveness, at the daring magister who, however, was not silent, but
continued reading.

  "The flags your sires have left, of what avail are they?
  And what avails the plume that decks your arms so gay?
  The helm and shield bequeath'd by men who liv'd of yore,
  The burnish'd arms ye keep a thousand years in store,
  Are vanities; and he that's wise will say, indeed,
  When real worth appears they must perforce recede."

At this the colonel left the room in a blustering manner as if he
anticipated the sixteen lines of the poem which were yet to come, and
with which Talander intended to treat him.  The door closed after him
with a great noise, and a pressure of the Fräulein's hand thanked the
grey knight who had so victoriously beaten that powerful enemy of her
secret wishes out of the field.

But this satisfaction was not of long duration.  The colonel,
despairing of obtaining the hand of his chosen one, in the modern way,
that is to say, by his own powers of persuasion, chose the ancient
plan, and called to his aid paternal authority.  Poor Starschedel had
to maintain a difficult position between the importunity of the noble
suitor, the tears of his daughter, and the _veto_ of Talander who, with
the eloquence of a confessor, imposed the denial as a matter of
conscience upon his protestant master.  But here, as every where else,
power and rank at last conquered.  The colonel's _corps_ received
orders to join Tilly's, who expected to fight a pitched battle, and he,
therefore, vehemently urged a quick decision.  The baron, who could not
resist, announced to his pale daughter the following morning as the day
on which she was to be betrothed, adding with the utmost energy that
this was his unalterable will.  He then left her quickly, fearing his
resolution might be changed by her imploring looks.  The poor girl
retired into the garden unconscious of what she was doing, and standing
before the rose-tree which had witnessed the first kiss of Axel, looked
sorrowfully to the grotto of his last farewell.  Suddenly a capuchin
friar, with a white beard, stood before her silently presenting half a
copper dollar.  "For heaven's sake tell me whether you come from Axel?"
cried the lovely maiden trembling, while her pale cheeks were suffused
with blushes.

"I come from him," replied a strong unknown voice.  "He now serves as
dragoon in the Swedish army, which is about to engage in a pitched
battle.  Before this takes place he wishes once more to see you, and
bid you farewell.  But at present he does not venture here, and
therefore entreats you to meet him this night on the Mordmühle in the
_scharfen Thale_.  You may bring the old magister with you, and safe
conduct is provided for you thither and back.  Axel will wait there for
you until one o'clock, at which time his duty will oblige him to leave.
Will you come?"

"I will come," whispered the Fräulein, after a short struggle.

The capuchin now hastened with long unfriar-like strides towards the
high garden wall, climbed it nimbly like a cat and disappeared.  At
this moment Talander entered the garden to speak a few words of
consolation to his pupil concerning the terrible morrow.  But his words
of unction died on his eloquent tongue, when the Fräulein made him the
singular proposal to accompany her that night on a promenade to the
Mordmühle.  He refused, she entreated, he remonstrated, she coaxed him,
he was inexorable, she wept, and he, incapable of resisting tears from
such eyes said, at length '_concedo_.'

Whoever knew the Mordmühle could not but think the demand of Axel
hazardous.  It lay in a narrow valley formed by steep rocks, and lofty
black pines, through which rushed the dark fierce torrent, and its last
proprietor, whose soul was burthened with the commission of many
murders, had fallen by the hand of his own son.  The shepherds only
dared during the day to let their herds graze in the rich pasture of
the meadow surrounding the mill.  As soon as evening twilight
approached every living thing fled the awful precincts, within which,
according to popular tradition, only the spirits of the murdered held
their fearful haunts.  Tugendreich was not quite free from the
superstition of the times, but strong love, which conquers every
obstacle, overcame her fear, and when the last glow of evening in the
west reddened the sky, she had contrived to get rid of her father and
the importunate suitor, and commenced her heroic journey with the
grumbling magister.  As they came to the last heap of the ruins of the
desolated village he drew her attention to four tall figures in dark
clothes, who started up suddenly with a clattering noise, as if at the
word of command, from behind the wall of a cottage that was burnt down,
and accompanied them step by step, surrounding them on all sides.
Tugendreich recollecting the promised escort walked on fearlessly.  But
as they entered the valley, the moon rising from behind the lofty firs,
and the church clock in a neighbouring village striking twelve, she
felt some alarm, and now fancied she heard but too distinctly the
wheels of the long deserted mill in full motion, which at this time,
and under these circumstances, could not be caused by any one but evil
spirits.  Her companion silently shared her fears and thoughts, being
moreover already so terrified by the figures who accompanied them in
cloaks, that the drops stood on his face.  At length he broke the awful
silence, saying:

"Child, I have complied with your wish, I have put my life in jeopardy
and come this accursed walk.  Now tell me, daughter, what do you wish
to do in the most ill-famed corner of this country?"

"To bid farewell to Axel," said the Fräulein, "he has appointed to meet
me here."

"To Axel.  I wish I had known that," muttered the magister, adding in
an admonishing tone, "Have you perhaps been deceived by a hellish
phantom?  There are instances in which the evil one, with divine
permission, avails himself of an excessive forbidden love in order
subtilely to destroy a soul.  The place and time of your appointment
are not in accordance with my notions of propriety.  Supposing your
singular admirer were dead, and that his departed spirit had sent you
this summons, and was waiting for you in the Mordmühle with his
outstretched bony arms, to draw you into the dark subterranean bridal

At this instant the speaker was interrupted by a loud and
long-continued blast of a bugle, which was answered from the mill, the
wheels of which were really revolving with a terrible noise, and
emitted a thousand silvery sparks which were reflected by the
moonlight: a tall man came out from the mill.  The foremost of the four
attendants approached him with respect, and a moment after Tugendreich
was in the arms of Axel, reclining her burning cheeks against his
beating heart.

"Come into the mill, beloved girl," he whispered imploringly, "we are
not quite safe here from discovery.  You, reverend sir, will bear us
company.  I thank you for having conducted the Fräulein hither."

The magister followed the two lovers, shaking his head in doubts at the
suspicious dwelling.

"Let every thing proceed as I have already ordered," said Axel, in a
tone of command, to the tall figures who had posted themselves outside
the door like statues, "and do not stop the wheels of the mill until
the Fräulein is again safe."

He now conducted his beloved into the only habitable room of the mill,
which being well lighted with lanterns, looked tolerably cheerful,
while a camp table, set out with flasks and cake, invited the weary and
hungry magister, who sat down a camp-stool near to it.  Axel
affectionately took the Fräulein to the window; and whilst they were
conversing confidentially, the magister, who was enjoying the repast,
made his reflections on the decent preparations which Axel had made for
the rendezvous, and which were not in unison with the plain jacket of a
Swedish dragoon that he wore.  But his ideas became more and more
confused; soon he had hardly a clear conception of what passed through
his mind; and when, at length, the effect of the long walk, his age,
the night, and the generous wine closed his eyelids, the creatures of
his imagination assumed the shape of substantial and significant
dreams, from which the old seer had already received many prophetic
warnings.  The village clock now struck one, and Axel gently disengaged
himself from Tugendreich, in whose tears the rays of the setting moon
were shining.

"I must go, dearest," said he.  "Only this one blissful hour could I
withdraw myself from my duty.  I would ask you to accompany me; but my
journey will not be without danger, to which I will not expose you, and
your father's house will still be your fittest residence.  To escape
the hated betrothal to-morrow, you must feign illness.  Every thing may
be gained by time, in the unhappy period in which we live.  If God
preserves my life, you shall soon hear good tidings of me; and if I
die, let the thought that I fell in his holy cause be your
consolation."  Dissolved in tears, she clung to his neck, and thus they
quitted the mill, on the outside of which a powerful roan-colour horse
was pawing the ground.  "Farewell, and pray for me," cried Axel, with a
trembling voice, and he cut off with his sword one of her golden locks
from her head as a remembrance, clasped her once more in his arms,
leaped on to his charger, and galloped out of the valley.

Tugendreich returned to the room in which Talander still sat dreaming,
his venerable wrinkled countenance being gloomily illumined by the
lights which burned low in their sockets.  His sleep became more and
more troubled, his breathing heavy, and his half-open eyes stared as if
glancing into a gloomy futurity.  He now commenced talking in his
dreams.  "Courage, my countrymen," he muttered, "though the number of
the enemy threaten to crush you; you fight for God's word, and liberty
of conscience.  Behold on your banners the white messenger of heaven,
spreading his shining wings; behold he hovers over your ranks; he
announces victory.  Now the cannon is thundering.  Ah! blood, much
blood!  What! my Saxons, fleeing?  Yet no, their whole force is still
standing firm, a proud bulwark, bidding defiance to the waving masses
of the enemy.  Brave Swedes, fight fiercely, and the aged monster[4]
slowly yields, grinding his teeth.  Heavily the arm of requital lies on
him; the bleeding infant menaces him from amid the ruins of Magdeburg.
He yields, he flies, the day is won--triumph, triumph, the good cause
prevails."  At these words the dreamer started up from his slumber, and
recovered slowly, while the pale Fräulein contemplated him, trembling.

"This was a heavy sleep, child," said he, as he fetched a deep breath.
"It is fortunate that I awoke; it was too much for this old body of
mine.  I may say that I know much, but the dark realm of spirits makes
one pay dear for the knowledge acquired there."

"What have you learnt by this frightful dream," asked Tugendreich, with
anxious curiosity.

"Nothing of that now, Fräulein," said the old man, gravely.  "But tell
me what has become of Herr Axel," he asked, looking cautiously around.
"I saw him also in my dream, but not in the jacket of a dragoon."

"Ah!" said she, sobbing, "he has just gone.  He could no longer delay,
for a great battle is impending."

"Indeed it is, but be of good cheer, the bold Swede will survive it.
You will yet--" here the magister broke off, vexed with himself, as
though he had already said too much, and prepared for departure.

"But to-morrow, dear magister?" sighed she.

"The _morrow_ has already become _to-day_," said Talander, in a
comforting tone, "and your hostile constellation has lost its
influence.  Go boldly back to the castle with me.  My awful vision has
shown me many things, and you will find great changes.  From poor Baron
Grotta you have nothing more to fear in this life.  But come, that the
daylight may not surprise us.  My dream was a long one."  He now led
her out of the mill where the four attendants were in readiness.  Under
their escort they arrived in safety at the castle, at the gates of
which, to their astonishment, they missed the sentinel of Tienfenbach's
corps, and were surprised to see the baronial hall brightly lighted up.

"God be praised that you have come, you have been absent a long time,"
said her maid, who was waiting for her.  "Two hours ago a hasty order
arrived for the soldiers to start immediately, and the colonel will
also depart at break of day.  Your betrothal was to take place this
very night, but as neither you nor the magister were to be found, the
baron began to suspect and your father showed great displeasure.
Suddenly some horsemen galloped into the courtyard.  They were Saxons,
and proved to be Colonel Von Starschedel and his son, the major, with
six carbineers.  Now the tables were turned.  The baron had to
congratulate himself that these gentlemen, respecting the right of
hospitality, did not take him prisoner, for his men were gone and your
father was too much afraid of these relations to say any more on the
subject of your betrothal.  Now they are all sitting together and
hardly know what to say to each other.  Only come and see.  The
handsome major has already asked for his lovely cousin twice."  The
Fräulein now went with a light heart into the hall, where she found
them sitting at their wine, the colonel and the Saxons quickly rose on
her entrance, and the major hastened towards her, not a little
astonished to see that the cheerfulness that was formerly expressed in
her countenance had fled, and that she endeavoured to avoid his
embrace.  But this did not deter him from offering his usual courtesies
to his lovely cousin, whilst Colonel Starschedel, in a deep voice, told
her attentive father of the perfect union between the elector and the
king of Sweden, and the generous refusal of any security which the
Saxons had offered.

The imperial colonel could no longer listen in quiet to their
conversation.  He rose and took his leave of the company with a few
cold expressions of politeness.  No one attempted to detain him, and
the last angry look with which he turned from the Fräulein fell upon
Talander, who was just entering, and who gave a singular look of
compassion at the departing colonel.  He then posted himself behind the
chair of the Fräulein, who felt uneasy at the attentions of her cousin,
whom she nevertheless loved as a brother.  With deep melancholy the
seer's eyes rested now upon the venerable countenance of the colonel,
and now upon the youthful manly figure of his son.  At this moment
there resounded in the court-yard the tramp of a horse, and the
magister said: "There goes the imperial colonel.  We shall never see
him again, like many another who is in the prime of life."

"What are you thinking of?" asked the baron, suddenly interrupting him,
as the expression of his old inmate's countenance told him that his
words were prophetic.  A general and mysterious awe seized the company,
their conversation, which before had been so animated, stopped, and the
chirping of a lark which hailed the morning dawn, gave them a welcome
pretext for retiring, as the Saxons had to join the army of their
elector on that day.  The _Carbineers_ were already mounted in the
court-yard, the colonel took a parting cup with the baron, and the
grief at parting inspired the major in the very doorway to try to
extort from Tugendreich a confession of her inclination and a promise
of her hand.  But Talander stepped between them and said with paternal
warning, "Young hero, you are riding forth towards on a great day.
This is not an hour to form a worldly alliance.  As a Christian you
ought first to think of your end.  You are perhaps nearer to it than
you think.  Is the Fräulein, if you fall, to weep as a widow for you?
This would be mere selfishness and not love.  Do not stretch out your
hand so hastily after the myrtle crown; its green will turn to blood
and silver; an angel will perhaps soon entwine from it a martyr's crown
for you."  Much struck, the major looked upon the seer, whose face
beamed with a supernatural light, then offered him silently his hand,
pressed a brotherly kiss on Tugendreich's forehead, and soon the old
castle stood mourning in silence, all the guests having quitted it.

      *      *      *      *      *

The baron sat silently and gloomily before the blazing fire, and
Tugendreich was reading to him from Luther's Bible.

He had experienced much to depress his spirits.  The neighbourhood was
indeed now free from troops, but all his stores were either consumed by
the war or destroyed, his tenants expected support from him, and in
Madgeburg, where his capital was invested, he had lost fifty thousand
thalers.  Frightful reports were moreover circulated about a battle in
which the Saxons had been defeated.  In this state of anguish he had
had recourse to the word of God, and his daughter was reading to him in
a mild and harmonious voice this passage from Sirach:

"Who is ever daunted that abideth in the fear of God, or who that hath
called him, is despised of him."

The old baron shaking his head looked up to heaven, and Tugendreich
read on:

"For the Lord is gracious and merciful, forgiving sins and helping in
the time of need."

"Indeed the Lord helpeth in trouble," cried Talander, who rushed into
the room with youthful impetuosity, holding an open letter in his hand.
"The Swedes and Saxons have fought with the formidable Tilly near
Leipsic, and have defeated him, and the word of God is again free in
our dear Saxony.  Here is the confirmation of it which an old friend
has sent me from Halle."  He read with a joyful trembling voice, "On
the 7th September _anni currentis_, there stood on the great plain of
Leipsic more than 75,000 men opposed to each other as enemies, and it
was to be looked upon as a happy omen, that shortly before the
engagement a snow white dove perched upon a Saxon standard and
afterward hovered over the whole line of battle of the protestants.  At
noon the cannonading commenced, the Swedes attacked and were at first
victorious, but now Tilly threw himself with all his forces upon the
Saxons, drove them back, and directed the guns taken from them against
the Swedes.  Some Saxon regiments, however, held out bravely until the
Swedes came to their assistance.  Then old Tilly was compelled at
length to retreat, and had nearly been struck dead in his flight with
the butt end of a pistol by a captain of the Rhinegrave regiment.  He
arrived here in a sad plight, and upon the side of the imperial army
7600 have been left dead on the field of battle.  The body of the
allied army consisted in twenty-six pieces of artillery, one hundred
colours and standards, and many articles of value.  This glorious
victory was followed by the capture of Leipsic, and was purchased
dearly by both armies.  On the side of the imperialists the Duke of
Holstein died of his wounds as a prisoner, and there were killed
besides the Generals Schönburg and Erwitte, the Colonels Plankhart and
Baumgartner and Lieutenant Colonel Grotta."

The Baron Starschedel clasped his hands with a pious ejaculation, and
Tugendreich honoured the memory of the fallen enemy and friend with a
tear.  "The Saxons," continued Talander, to read with great emotion,
"lost General Bindhof, Colonel Löser and two Starschedels."  "Merciful
God, our cousins!" sobbed the Fräulein, and the old baron rose
trembling from his chair, took a pen, beckoned to his daughter to
follow him with the ink, and strode to the baronial hall, where he
marked the appropriate crosses on the escutcheons of the beloved
relatives in the pedigree, whilst some tears involuntarily rolled from
his eyes to the ground.  Tugendreich broke off some twigs from a
laurel-tree standing near the window to adorn the pictures of the
fallen heroes with deserved wreaths, and the magister, who had followed
them with the letter in his hand, continued to read with mingled
feelings of joy and sorrow, "Colonel Starschedel fell at the head of
his _carbineers_ while resisting an assault of Tilly.  On this occasion
the Saxon standard, on which the white dove had perched before the
engagement, fell into the enemy's hands.  To leave this symbol of
victory in their hands appeared fatal to Major Starschedel, and a young
officer of an ancient family in the Swedish staff; they therefore took
an oath to rescue it from the enemy's hands.  Whilst the Saxon died the
death of a hero, the Swede succeeded.  The name of the latter was Count
Güldenlöwe, and he was on the field of battle promoted by the king to
the rank of colonel for his extraordinary bravery, and for having led
the regiment of Courville, after its colonel was made prisoner, three
times against the enemy; also receiving permission to add the above
standard with the white dove to his coat of arms."  "What was that?"
cried the baron, running to the window to listen.

"That is military music, and if I am not mistaken Swedish," said

"The Swedes are entering the village," shouted the servants, and
Tugendreich flew to the turret with a palpitating heart to view the
passing heroes.  The march came nearer and nearer, and behind the
trumpeters of a regiment of dragoons rode its colonel, a young noble
hero, in splendid armour, while his standard-bearer, whose uniform was
adorned by the golden lion on blue ground, carried before him the
rescued Saxon standard, which now received the laurel crown as it
dropped down from Tugendreich's hands.

"That must be Colonel Güldenlöwe," cried Talander, who came panting
behind the baron to the turret.

"Heavens! it is Axel," cried the Fräulein, as the colonel looked up,
and she fell senseless into her tutor's arms.  When she recovered she
found herself in Axel's arms, and on looking up her eye met his
penetrating glance.

"Well have you stood this trial, lovely girl," cried Axel in raptures.
"I had vowed to wed only that girl who could love in me the man and not
the count, whose love should be more powerful than any other
consideration of her tender sex.  You have stood your trial, and mine
now begins, to show through my life that I am worthy of such a heart."

The beautiful Fräulein sank blushing on her lover's breast.  With tears
of joy in his eyes the old baron embraced his faithful Talander, and
the trumpeters below sounded a slow and solemn "Now God be praised."

C. A. F.

[1] _Du_ in German would here imply more familiarity from a long
acquaintance; _Ihr_ would be more distant and cold.

[2] The name Tugendreich means "rich in virtue."

[3] From a long poem, printed at Leipzig in the seventeenth century,
and called "The learned nobility."  (Der gelehrte Adel.)

[4] Referring to General Tilly.




Certainly you must all be uneasy that I have not written for so
long--so very long.  My mother, I am sure, is angry, and Clara will
believe that I am passing my time in dissipation, entirely forgetful of
the fair angel-image that is so deeply imprinted in my heart and mind.
Such, however, is not the case.  Daily and hourly I think of you all,
and in my sweet dreams the kindly form of my lovely Clara passes before
me, and smiles upon me with her bright eyes as she was wont when I
appeared among you.  Alas, how could I write to you in the distracted
mood which has hitherto disturbed my every thought!  Something horrible
has crossed my path of life.  Dark forebodings of a cruel, threatening,
fate spread themselves over me like dark clouds, which no friendly
sunbeam can penetrate.  Now will I tell you what has befallen me.  I
must do so, that I plainly see--but if I only think of it, it will
laugh out of me like mad.  Ah, my dear Lothaire, how shall I begin it?
How shall I make you in any way sensible that that which occurred to me
a few days ago could really have such a fatal effect on my life?  If
you were here you could see for yourself, but now you will certainly
take me for a crazy ghost-seer.  In a word, the horrible thing which
happened to me, and the painful impression of which I in vain endeavour
to escape, is nothing more than this; that some days ago, namely on the
30th of October, at twelve o'clock at noon, a barometer-dealer came
into my room and offered me his wares.  I bought nothing, and
threatened to throw him down stairs, upon which he took himself off of
his own accord.

You suspect that only relations of the most peculiar kind, and exerting
the greatest influence over my life can give any import to this
occurrence, nay, that the person of that unlucky dealer must have a
hostile effect upon me.  So it is, indeed.  I collect myself with all
my might, that patiently and quietly I may tell you so much of my early
youth as will bring all plainly and clearly in bright images before
your active mind.  As I am about to begin I fancy that I hear you
laughing and Clara saying: "Childish stories indeed!"  Laugh at me I
beseech you, laugh with all your heart.  But, heavens, my hair stands
on end, and it seems as if I am asking you to laugh at me, in mad
despair, as Franz Moor asked Daniel.[1]  But to my story.

Excepting at dinner time I and my brothers and sisters saw my father
very little during the day.  He was, perhaps, busily engaged at his
ordinary occupation.  After supper, which, according to the old custom
was served up at seven o'clock, we all went with my mother into my
father's work-room, and seated ourselves at the round table.  My father
smoked tobacco and drank a large glass of beer.  Often he told us a
number of wonderful stories, and grew so warm over them that his pipe
continually went out.  I had to light it again, with burning paper,
which I thought great sport.  Often, too, he would give us
picture-books, and sit in his arm-chair silent and thoughtful, puffing
out such thick clouds of smoke that we all seemed to be swimming in the
clouds.  On such evenings as these my mother was very melancholy, and
immediately the clock struck nine, she would say: "Now children, to
bed--to bed!  The Sandman is coming, I can see."  And certainly on all
these occasions I heard something with a heavy, slow step go bouncing
up the stairs.  That I thought must be the Sandman.  Once that dull
noise and footstep were particularly fearful, and I asked my mother,
while she took us away: "Eh, mamma, who is this naughty Sandman, who
always drives us away from papa?  What does he look like?"  "There is
no Sandman, dear child," replied my mother.  "When I say the Sandman
comes, I only mean that you are sleepy and cannot keep your eyes
open,--just as if sand had been sprinkled into them."  This answer of
my mother's did not satisfy me--nay, in my childish mind the thought
soon matured itself that she only denied the existence of the Sandman
to hinder us from being terrified at him.  Certainly I always heard him
coming up the stairs.  Full of curiosity to hear more of this Sandman,
and his particular connection with children, I at last asked the old
woman who tended my youngest sister what sort of man he was.  "Eh,
Natty," said she, "do you not know that yet?  He is a wicked man, who
comes to children when they will not go to bed, and throws a handful of
sand into their eyes, so that they start out bleeding from their heads.
These eyes he puts in a bag and carries them to the half-moon to feed
his own children, who sit in the nest up yonder, and have crooked beaks
like owls with which they may pick up the eyes of the naughty human

A most frightful image of the cruel Sandman was horribly depicted in my
mind, and when in the evening I heard the noise on the stairs, I
trembled with agony and alarm.  My mother could get nothing out of me,
but the cry of "The Sandman, the Sandman!" which was stuttered forth
through my tears.  I then ran into the bed-room, where the frightful
apparition of the Sandman terrified me during the whole night.  I had
already grown old enough to perceive that the nurse's tale about the
Sandman and the nest of children in the half-moon could not be quite
true, but, nevertheless, this Sandman remained a fearful spectre, and I
was seized with the utmost horror, when I heard him not only come up
the stairs, but violently force open my father's room-door and enter.
Sometimes he staid away for a long period, but oftener his visits were
in close succession.  This lasted for years, and I could not accustom
myself to the terrible goblin; the image of the dreadful Sandman did
not become more faint.  His intercourse with my father began more and
more to occupy my fancy.  An unconquerable fear prevented me from
asking my father about it, but if I--I myself could penetrate the
mystery, and behold the wondrous Sandman--that was the wish which grew
upon me with years.  The Sandman had brought me into the path of the
marvellous and wonderful, which so readily finds a domicile in the mind
of a child.  Nothing was to me more delightful than to read or hear
horrible stories of goblins, witches, pigmies, &c.; but above them all
stood the Sandman, whom, in the oddest and most frightful shapes, I was
always drawing with chalk or charcoal on the tables, cupboards, and
walls.  When I was ten years old, my mother removed me from the
children's room into a little chamber, situated in a corridor near my
father's room.  Still, as before, we were obliged speedily to take our
departure as soon as, on the stroke of nine, the unknown was heard in
the house.  I could hear in my little chamber how he entered my
father's room, and then it soon appeared to me that a thin vapor of a
singular odor diffused itself about the house.  Stronger and stronger
with my curiosity grew my resolution to form in some manner the
Sandman's acquaintance.  Often I sneaked from my room to the corridor,
when my mother had passed, but never could I discover any thing, for
the Sandman had always gone in at the door when I reached the place
where I might have seen him.  At last, urged by an irresistible
impulse, I resolved to hide myself in my father's room and await the
appearance of the Sandman.

By the silence of my father, and the melancholy of my mother, I
perceived one evening that the Sandman was coming.  I, therefore,
feigned great weariness, left the room before nine o'clock, and hid
myself in a corner close to the door.  The house-door creaked, and the
heavy, slow, groaning step went through the passage and towards the
stairs.  My mother passed me with the rest of the children.
Softly--very softly, I opened the door of my father's room.  He sat as
usually, stiff and silent, with his back turned to the door.  He did
not perceive me, and I swiftly darted into the room and behind the
curtain, drawn before an open press, which stood close to the door, and
in which my father's clothes were hanging.  The steps sounded nearer
and nearer--there was a strange coughing and scraping and murmuring
without.  My heart trembled with anxiety and expectation.  A sharp step
close--very close to the door,--a smart stroke on the latch, and the
door was open with a rattling noise.  Screwing up my courage with all
my might, I cautiously peeped out.  The Sandman was standing before my
father in the middle of the room, the light of the candles shone full
upon his face.  The Sandman, the fearful Sandman, was the old advocate
Coppelius, who had often dined with us.

But the most hideous form could not have inspired me with deeper horror
than this very Coppelius.  Imagine a large broad-shouldered man, with a
head disproportionately big, a face the colour of yellow ochre, a pair
of gray bushy eyebrows, from beneath which a pair of green cat's eyes
sparkled with the most penetrating lustre, and with a large nose curved
over his upper lip.  His wry mouth was often twisted into a malicious
laugh, when a couple of dark red spots appeared upon his cheeks, and a
strange hissing sound was heard through his compressed teeth.
Coppelius always appeared in an ashen-gray coat, cut in old-fashioned
style, with waistcoat and breeches of the same colour, while his
stockings were black, and his shoes adorned with buckles set with
precious stones.  The little peruke scarcely reached further than the
crown of his head, the curls stood high above his large red ears, and a
broad hair-bag projected stiffly from his neck, so that the silver
buckle which fastened his folded cravat might be plainly seen.  The
whole figure was hideous and repulsive, but most disgusting to us
children were his coarse brown hairy fists; indeed, we did not like to
eat what he had touched with them.  This he had remarked, and it was
his delight, under some pretext or other, to touch a piece of cake, or
some nice fruit, that our kind mother might privately have put in our
plate, in order that we, with tears in our eyes, might, from disgust
and abhorrence, no longer be able to enjoy the treat intended for us.
He acted in the same manner on holidays, when my father gave us a
little glass of sweet wine.  Then would he swiftly draw his fist over
it, or perhaps he would even raise the glass to his blue lips, and
laugh most devilishly, when we could only express our indignation by
soft sobs.  He always called us the little beasts, we dared not utter a
sound when he was present, and we heartily cursed the ugly, unkind man,
who deliberately marred our slightest pleasures.  My mother seemed to
hate the repulsive Coppelius as much as we did, since as soon as he
showed himself her liveliness, her free and cheerful mind was changed
into a gloomy solemnity.  My father conducted himself towards him, as
though he was a superior being, whose bad manners were to be tolerated,
and who was to be kept in good humour at any rate.  He need only give
the slightest hint, and the favourite dishes were cooked, and the
choicest wines served.

When I now saw this Coppelius, the frightful and terrific thought took
possession of my soul, that indeed no one but he could be the Sandman.
But the Sandman was no longer that bugbear of a nurse's tale, who
provided the owl's nest in the half-moon with children's eyes,--no, he
was a hideous spectral monster, who, wherever he appeared, brought with
him grief, want, and destruction--temporal and eternal.

I was rivetted to the spot as if enchanted.  At the risk of being
discovered, and as I plainly foresaw, of being severely punished, I
remained with my head peeping through the curtain.  My father received
Coppelius with solemnity.  "Now to our work!" cried the latter with a
harsh, grating voice, as he flung off his coat.  My father silently and
gloomily drew off his night-gown, and both attired themselves in long
black frocks.  Whence they took these, I did not see.  My father opened
the door of what I had always thought to be a cupboard, but I now saw
that it was no cupboard, but rather a black hollow, in which there was
a little hearth.  Coppelius entered, and a blue flame began to crackle
up on the hearth.  All sorts of strange utensils lay around.
Heavens!--As my old father now stooped down to the fire, he looked
quite another man.  A frightful convulsive pain seemed to have
distorted his mild reverend features into a hideous repulsive
diabolical countenance.  He looked like Coppelius: the latter was
brandishing red hot tongs, and with them taking shining masses busily
out of the thick smoke, which he afterwards hammered.  It seemed to me,
as if I saw human faces around without any eyes--but with deep holes
instead.  "Eyes here, eyes!" said Coppelius in a dull roaring voice.
Overcome by the wildest terror, I shrieked out, and fell from my hiding
place upon the floor.  Coppelius seized me, and showing his teeth,
bleated out, "Ah--little wretch,--little wretch!"--then dragging me up,
he flung me on the hearth, where the fire began to singe my hair.  "Now
we have eyes enough--a pretty pair of child's eyes."  Thus whispered
Coppelius and taking out of the flame some red-hot grains with his
fists, he was about to sprinkle them in my eyes.  My father upon this
raised his hands in supplication, and cried: "Master, master, leave my
Nathaniel his eyes!"  Coppelius uttered a yelling laugh, and said:
"Well let the lad have his eyes and cry his share in the world, but we
will examine the mechanism of his hands and feet."  And then he seized
me so forcibly that my joints cracked, and screwed off my hands and
feet, and then put them on again, one here and the other there.  "Every
thing is not right here!--As good as it was--the old one has understood
it!"  So did Coppelius say, in a hissing, lisping tone, but all around
me became black and dark, a sudden cramp darted through my bones and
nerves--and I lost all feeling.  A gentle warm breath passed over my
face; I woke as out of a sleep of death.  My mother had been stooping
over me.  "Is the Sandman yet there?" I stammered.  "No, no, my dear
child, he has gone away long ago,--he will not hurt you!"--So said my
mother, and she kissed and embraced her recovered darling.

Why should I weary you, my dear Lothaire!  Why should I be so diffuse
with details, when I have so much more to tell.  Suffice it to say,
that I had been discovered while watching, and ill-used by Coppelius.
Agony and terror had brought on delirium and fever, of which I lay sick
for several weeks.  "Is the sandman still there?"  That was my first
sensible word and the sign of my amendment--my recovery.  I can now
only tell you, the most frightful moment in my juvenile years.  Then
you will be convinced that it is no fault of my eyes, that all to me
seems colourless, but that a dark fatality has actually suspended over
my life a gloomy veil of clouds, which I shall perhaps only tear away
in death.

Coppelius was no more to be seen; it was said he had left the town.

About a year might have elapsed, when, according to the old custom, we
sat at the round table.  My father was very cheerful, and told much
that was entertaining, about his travels in his youth; when, as the
clock struck nine, we heard the house-door creak on the hinges, and
slow steps, heavy as iron, groaned through the passage and up the
stairs.  "That is Coppelius," said my mother, turning pale.
"Yes!--that is Coppelius!" repeated my father, with a faint broken
voice.  The tears started from my mother's eyes.  "But father--father!"
she cried, "must it be so?"  "He comes to me for the last time, I
promise you," was the answer.  "Only go now--go with the
children--go--go to bed.  Good night!"

I felt as if I were pressed into cold, heavy stone,--my breath was
stopped.  My mother caught me by the arm as I stood immoveable.  "Come,
come, Nathaniel!"  I allowed myself to be led, and entered my chamber!
"Be quiet--be quiet--go to bed--go to sleep!" cried my mother after me;
but tormented by restlessness, and an inward anguish perfectly
indescribable, I could not close my eyes.  The hateful, abominable
Coppelius stood before me with fiery eyes, and laughed at me
maliciously.  It was in vain that I endeavoured to get rid of his
image.  About midnight there was a frightful noise, like the firing of
a gun.  The whole house resounded.  There was a rattling and a rustling
by my door, and the house-door was closed with a violent sound.  "That
is Coppelius!" I cried, and I sprang out of bed in terror.  There was
then a shriek as if of acute inconsolable grief.  I darted into my
father's room; the door was open, a suffocating smoke rolled towards
me, and the servant girl cried: "Ah, my master, my master!"  On the
floor of the smoking hearth lay my father dead, with his face burned
and blackened, and hideously distorted,--my sisters were shrieking and
moaning around him,--and my mother had fainted.  "Coppelius!--cursed
Satan, thou hast slain my father!" I cried, and lost my senses.  When,
two days afterwards, my father was laid in his coffin, his features
were again as mild and gentle as they had been in his life.  My soul
was comforted by the thought that his compact with the devilish
Coppelius could not have plunged him into eternal perdition.

The explosion had awakened the neighbours, the occurrence had become
the common talk, and had reached the ears of the magistracy, who wished
to make Coppelius answerable.  He had, however, vanished from the spot,
without leaving a trace.

If I tell you, my dear friend, that the barometer-dealer was the
accursed Coppelius himself, you will not blame me for regarding a
phenomenon so unpropitious as boding some heavy calamity.  He was
dressed differently, but the figure and features of Coppelius are too
deeply imprinted in my mind, for an error in this respect to be
possible.  Besides, Coppelius has not even altered his name.  As I hear
he gives himself out as a Piedmontese optician, and calls himself
Giuseppe Coppola.

I am determined to cope with him, and to avenge my father's death, be
the issue what it may.

Tell my mother nothing of the hideous monster's appearance.  Remember
me to my dear sweet Clara, to whom I will write in a calmer


It is true that you have not written to me for a long time, but
nevertheless I believe that I am still in your mind and thoughts.  For
assuredly you were thinking of me most intently, when designing to send
your last letter to my brother Lothaire, you directed it to me, instead
of him.  I joyfully opened the letter, and did not perceive my error
till I came to the words: "Ah, my dear Lothaire."  Now, by rights I
should have read no farther, but should have handed over the letter to
my brother.  Although you have often in your childish teasing mood,
charged me with having such a quiet, womanish, steady disposition, that
like the lady, even if the house were about to fall in, I should smooth
down a wrong fold in the window curtain before I ran away, I can hardly
tell you how your letter shocked me.  I could scarcely breathe,--my
eyes became dizzy.  Ah, my dear Nathaniel, how could such a horrible
event have crossed your life?  To be parted from you, never to see you
again,--the thought darted through my breast like a burning dagger.  I
read and read.  Your description of the repulsive Coppelius is
terrific.  For the first time I learned, how your good old father died
a shocking violent death.  My brother Lothaire, to whom I gave up the
letter as his property, sought to calm me, but in vain.  The fatal
barometer-maker, Giuseppe Coppola followed me at every step, and I am
almost ashamed to confess that he disturbed my healthy and generally
peaceful sleep with all sorts of horrible visions.  Yet soon,--even the
next day, I was quite changed again.  Do not be offended, dearest one,
if Lothaire tells you, that in spite of your strange misgiving, that
Coppelius will in some manner injure you, I am in the same cheerful
unembarrassed frame of mind as ever.

I will honestly confess to you that, according to my opinion, all the
terrible things of which you speak, merely occurred in your own mind,
and that the actual external world had little to do with them.  Old
Coppelius may have been repulsive enough, but his hatred of children
was what really caused the abhorrence of your children towards him.

In your childish mind the frightful sandman in the nurse's tale was
naturally associated with old Coppelius, who, even if you had not
believed in the sandman, would still have been a spectral monster,
especially dangerous to children.  The awful nightly occupation with
your father, was no more than this, that both secretly made alchemical
experiments, and with these your mother was constantly dissatisfied,
since besides a great deal of money being uselessly wasted, your
father's mind being filled with a fallacious desire after higher wisdom
was alienated from his family--as they say, is always the case with
such experimentalists.  Your father no doubt, by some act of
carelessness, occasioned his own death, of which Coppelius was
completely guiltless.  Would you believe it, that I yesterday asked our
neighbour, the clever apothecary, whether such a sudden and fatal
explosion was possible in such chemical experiments?  "Certainly," he
replied, and in his way told me at great length and very
circumstantially how such an event might take place, uttering a number
of strange-sounding names, which I am unable to recollect.  Now, I know
you will be angry with your Clara; you will say that her cold
disposition is impenetrable to every ray of the mysterious, which often
embraces man with invisible arms, that she only sees the varigated
surface of the world, and has the delight of a silly child, at some
gold-glittering fruit, which contains within it a deadly poison.

Ah! my dear Nathaniel!  Do you not then believe that even in free,
cheerful, careless minds, here may dwell the suspicion of some dread
power, which endeavours to destroy us in our own selves?  Forgive me,
if I, a silly girl, presume in any manner to indicate, what I really
think of such an internal struggle; I shall not find out the right
words after all, and you will laugh at me, not because my thoughts are
foolish, but because I set about so clumsily to express them.

If there is a dark power, which with such enmity and treachery lays a
thread within us, by which it holds us fast, and draws us along a path
of peril and destruction, which we should not otherwise have trod; if,
I say, there is such a power, it must form itself within us, or from
ourselves; indeed, become identical with ourselves, for it is only in
this condition that we can believe in it, and grant it the room which
it requires, to accomplish its secret work.  Now, if we have a mind,
which is sufficiently firm, sufficiently strengthened by cheerful life,
always to recognise this strange hostile operation as such, and calmly
to follow the path which belongs to our inclination and calling, then
will the dark power fail in its attempt to gain a power, that shall be
a reflection of ourselves.  Lothaire adds that it is certain, that the
dark physical power, if of our own accord, we have yielded ourselves up
to it, often draws within us some strange form, which the external
world has thrown in our way, so that we ourselves kindle the spirit,
which, as we in our strange delusion believe, speaks to us in that
form.  It is the phantom of our own selves, the close relationship with
which, and its deep operation on our mind casts us into hell, or
transports us into heaven.  You see, dear Nathaniel, that I and my
brother Lothaire have freely given our opinion on the subject of dark
powers, which subject, now I find I have not been able to write down
the chief part without trouble, appears to me somewhat deep.
Lothaire's last words I do not quite comprehend.  I can only suspect
what he means, and yet I feel as if it were all very true.  I beg of
you, get the ugly advocate, Coppelius, and the barometer-seller,
Giuseppe Coppola, quite out of your head.  Be convinced that these
strange fears have no power over you, and that it is only a belief in
their hostile influence that can make them hostile in reality.  If the
great excitement of your mind did not speak from every line of your
letter, if your situation did not give me the deepest pain, I could
joke about the Sandman-Advocate, and the barometer-seller, Coppelius.
Be cheerful, I have determined to appear before you as your
guardian-spirit, and if the ugly Coppelius takes it in his head to
annoy you in your dreams, to scare him away with loud peals of
laughter.  I am not a bit afraid of him nor of his disgusting hands; he
shall neither spoil my sweetmeats as an advocate, nor my eyes as a
sandman.  Ever yours, my dear Nathaniel.


I am very sorry that in consequence of the error occasioned by my
wandering state of mind, Clara broke open the letter intended for you,
and read it.  She has written me a very profound philosophical epistle,
in which she proves, at great length, that Coppelius and Coppola only
exist in my own mind, and are phantoms of myself, which will be
dissipated directly I recognise them as such.  Indeed, one could not
believe that the mind which often peers out of those bright, smiling,
childish eyes, like a sweet charming dream, could define with such
intelligence, in such a professor-like manner.  She appeals to
you--you, it seems have been talking about me.  I suppose you read her
logical lectures, that she may learn to divide and sift every thing
acutely.  Pray leave it off.  Besides it is quite certain that the
barometer-dealer, Guiseppe Coppola, is not the advocate Coppelius.  I
attend the lectures of the professor of physics, who has lately
arrived.  His name is the same as that of the famous natural
philosopher, Spalanzani, and he is of Italian origin.  He has known
Coppola for years, and moreover it is clear from his accent that he is
really a Piedmontese.  Coppelius was a German, but I think no honest
one.  Calmed I am not, and though you and Clara may consider me a
gloomy visionary, I cannot get rid of the impression, which the
accursed face of Coppelius makes upon me.  I am glad that Coppola has
left the town, as Spalanzani says.  This professor is a strange
fellow--a little round man, with high cheek bones, sharp nose, pouting
lips, and little piercing eyes.  Yet you will get a better notion of
him than by this description, if you look at the portrait of
Cagliostro, designed by Chodowiecki, in one of the Berlin annuals,
Spalanzani looks like that exactly.  I lately went up stairs, and
perceived that the curtain, which was generally drawn completely over a
glass door, left a little opening on one side.  I know not what
curiosity impelled me to look through, a tall and very slender lady
most symmetrically formed, and most splendidly attired, sat in the room
by a little table on which she had laid her arms, her hands being
folded together.  She sat opposite to the door, so that I could
completely see her angelic countenance.  She did not appear to see me,
and indeed there was something fixed about her eyes as if, I might
almost say, she had no power of sight.  It seemed to me that she was
sleeping with her eyes open.  I felt very uncomfortable, and therefore
I slunk away into the auditorium, which was close at hand.  Afterwards
I learned that the form I had seen was that of Spalanzani's daughter
Olympia, whom he kept confined in a very strange and improper manner,
so that no one could approach her.  After all, there may be something
the matter with her; she is silly perhaps, or something of the kind.
But why should I write you all this?  I could have conveyed it better
and more circumstantially by word of mouth.  Know that I shall see you
in a fortnight.  I must again behold my dear; sweet, angelic Clara.
The ill-humour will then be dispersed, which, I must confess, has
endeavoured to get the mastery over me, since that fatal, sensible
letter.  Therefore I do not write to her to-day.  A thousand greetings,

      *      *      *      *      *

Nothing more strange and chimerical can be imagined than that which
occurred to my poor friend, the young student Nathaniel, and which I,
gracious reader, have undertaken to tell you.  Have you, kind reader,
ever known a something that has completely filled your heart, thoughts,
and senses, so as to exclude every thing else?  There was in you a
fermentation and a boiling, and your blood inflamed to the hottest glow
bounded through your veins, and gave a higher colour to your cheeks.
Your glance was so strange, as if you wished to perceive, in empty
space, forms which to no other eyes are visible, and your speech flowed
away into dark sighs.  Then your friends asked you: "What is it,
revered one?"  "What is the matter, dear one."  And now you wished to
express the internal picture with all its glowing tints, with all its
light and shade, and laboured hard to find words only to begin.  You
thought that in the very first word you ought to crowd together all the
wonderful, noble, horrible, comical, frightful, that had happened, so
that it might strike all the hearers at once like an electric shock.
But every word, every thing that is in the form of speech, appeared to
you colourless, cold and dead.  You hunt and hunt, and stutter and
stammer, and the sober questions of your friends dart like icy breezes
upon your internal fire until it is ready to go out; whereas if, like a
bold painter, you had first with a few daring strokes drawn an outline
of the internal picture, you might with small trouble have laid on the
colours brighter and brighter, and the living throng of various forms
would have carried your friends along with it, and they, like you,
would have seen themselves in the picture that had proceeded from your
mind.  Now I must confess to you, kind reader, that no one has really
asked me for the history of the young Nathaniel, but you know well
enough that I belong to the queer race of authors, who, if they have
any thing in their mind, such as I have just described, feel as if
every one who comes near them, and indeed perhaps the whole world
besides, is asking them: "What is it then--tell it, my dear friend?"
Thus was I forcibly compelled to tell you of the momentous life of
Nathaniel.  The singularity and marvellousness of the story filled my
entire soul, but for that very reason and because, my reader, I had to
make you equally inclined to endure oddity, which is no small matter, I
tormented myself to begin the history of Nathaniel in a manner as
inspiring, original and striking as possible.  "Once upon a time," the
beautiful beginning of every tale, was too tame.  "In the little
provincial town of S---- lived"--was somewhat better, as it at least
prepared for the climax.  Or should I dart at once _medias in res_,
with "Go to the devil, cried the student Nathaniel with rage and horror
in his wild looks, when the barometer-seller, Guiseppe Coppola?"--I had
indeed already written this down, when I fancied that in the wild looks
of the student Nathaniel, I could detect something ludicrous, whereas
the story is not comical at all.  No form of language suggested itself
to my mind, which even in the slightest degree seemed to reflect the
colouring of the internal picture.  I resolved that I would not begin
it at all.  So take, gentle reader, the three letters, which friend
Lothaire was good enough to give me, as the sketch of the picture which
I shall endeavour to colour more and more as I proceed in my narrative.
Perhaps, like a good portrait-painter, I may succeed in catching many a
form in such a manner, that you will find it is a likeness without
having the original, and feel as if you had often seen the person with
your own corporeal eyes.  Perchance, dear reader, you will then believe
that nothing is stranger and madder than actual life, and that this is
all that the poet can conceive, as it were in the dull reflection of a
dimly polished mirror.

In order that that which it is necessary in the first place to know,
may be made clearer, we must add to these letters the circumstance,
that shortly after the death of Nathaniel's father, Clara and Lothaire,
the children of a distant relative, who had likewise died, and left
them orphans, were taken by Nathaniel's mother to her own home.  Clara
and Nathaniel formed a strong attachment for each other, and no one in
the world having any objection to make, they were betrothed, when
Nathaniel left the place to pursue his studies in G----.  He is,
according to the date of his last letter, hearing the lectures of the
celebrated professor of physics, Spalanzani.

Now I could proceed in my story with confidence, but at this moment
Clara's image stands so plainly before me, that I cannot look another
way, as indeed was always the case when she gazed at me, with one of
her lively smiles.  Clara could not by any means be reckoned beautiful;
that was the opinion of all who are competent judges of beauty, by
their calling.  Nevertheless, the architects praised the exact symmetry
of her frame, and the painters considered her neck, shoulders, and
bosom almost too chastely formed, but then they all fell in love with
her wondrous Magdalen-hair, and above every thing prated about
_battonisch_ colouring.  One of them, a most fantastical fellow,
singularly compared Clara's eyes to a lake by Ruysdael, in which the
pure azure of a cloudless sky, the wood and flowery field, the whole
cheerful life of the rich landscape are reflected.  Poets and composers
went still further.  "What is a lake--what is a mirror!" said they,
"can we look upon the girl without wondrous, heavenly songs and tunes
flashing towards us from her glances, and penetrating our inmost soul,
so that all there is awakened and stirred.  If even then we sing
nothing that is really sensible, there is not much in us, and that we
can feelingly read in the delicate smile which plays on Clara's lips,
when we presume to tinkle something before her, which is to pass for a
song, although it is only a confused jumble of tones."  So it was.
Clara had the vivid fancy of a cheerful, unembarrassed child, a deep,
tender, feminine disposition, an acute, clever understanding.  The
misty dreams had but a bad chance with her, since, though she did not
talk,--as indeed talking would have been altogether repugnant to her
tacit nature, her bright glance and her firm ironical smile would say
to them: "Good friends, how can you imagine that I shall take your
fleeting shadowy images for real forms with life and motion?"  On this
account Clara was censured by many as cold, unfeeling and prosaic;
while others, who conceived life in its clear depth, greatly loved the
feeling, acute, childlike girl, but none so much as Nathaniel, whose
perception in art and science was clear and strong.  Clara was attached
to her lover with all her soul, and when he parted from her, the first
cloud passed over her life.  With what transport did she rush into his
arms when, as he had promised in his last letter to Lothaire, he had
actually returned to his native town and entered his mother's room.
Nathaniel's expectations were completely fulfilled; for directly he saw
Clara he thought neither of the Advocate Coppelius, nor of her
"sensible" letter.  All gloomy forebodings had gone.

However, Nathaniel was quite right, when he wrote to his friend
Lothaire that the form of the repulsive barometer-seller, Coppola, had
had a most hostile effect on his life.  All felt, even in the first
days, that Nathaniel had undergone a thorough change in his whole
temperament.  He sank into a gloomy reverie, and conducted himself in a
strange manner, that had never been known in him before.  Every thing,
his whole life, had become to him a dream and a foreboding, and he was
always saying that every man, although he might think himself free,
only served for the cruel sport of dark powers.  These he said it was
vain to resist, and man must patiently resign himself to his fate.  He
went even so far as to say, that it is foolish to think that we do any
thing in art and science according to our own self-acting will, for the
inspiration which alone enables us to produce any thing, does not
proceed from within ourselves, but is the effect of a higher principle

To the clear-headed Clara this mysticism was in the highest degree
repugnant, but contradiction appeared to be useless.  Only when
Nathaniel proved that Coppelius was the evil principle, which had
seized him at the moment when he was listening behind the curtain, and
that this repugnant principle would in some horrible manner disturb the
happiness of their life, Clara grew very serious, and said: "Yes,
Nathaniel, you are right.  Coppelius is an evil, hostile principle; he
can produce terrible effects, like a diabolical power that has come
invisibly into life; but only then, when you will not banish him from
your mind and thoughts.  So long as you believe in him he really
exists, and exerts his influence; only your belief is his power."

Nathaniel, quite indignant that Clara established the demon's existence
only in his own mind, would then come out with all the mystical
doctrine of devils and fearful powers.  But Clara would break off
peevishly, by introducing some indifferent matter, to the no small
annoyance of Nathaniel.  He thought that such deep secrets were closed
to cold, unsusceptible minds, without being clearly aware that he
reckoned Clara among these subordinate natures, and therefore he
constantly endeavoured to initiate her into the mysteries.  In the
morning, when Clara was getting breakfast ready, he stood by her, and
read out of all sorts of mystical books, till she cried: "But, dear
Nathaniel, suppose I blame you as the evil principle, that has a
hostile effect upon my coffee?  For if to please you, I leave every
thing standing still, and look in your eyes, while you read, my coffee
will run into the fire, and none of you will get any breakfast."

Nathaniel closed the book at once, and hurried indignantly to his
chamber.  Once he had a remarkable _forte_ for graceful, lively tales,
which he wrote down, and to which Clara listened with the greatest
delight; now, his creations were gloomy, incomprehensible, formless, so
that although Clara, out of compassion, did not say so, he plainly felt
how little she was interested.  Nothing was more insupportable to Clara
than tediousness; in her looks and in her words a mental drowsiness,
not to be conquered, was expressed.  Nathaniel's productions were,
indeed, very tedious.  His indignation at Clara's cold, prosaic
disposition, constantly increased, and Clara could not overcome her
dislike of Nathaniel's dark, gloomy, tedious mysticism, so that they
became more and more estranged from each other in mind, without
perceiving it.  The form of the ugly Coppelius, as Nathaniel himself
was forced to confess, grew more dim in his fancy, and it often cost
him trouble to colour with sufficient liveliness in his pictures, when
he appeared as a ghastly bugbear of fate.  At last it struck him that
he would make the gloomy foreboding, that Coppelius would destroy his
happiness in love, the subject of a poem.  He represented himself and
Clara as united by true love; but occasionally it seemed as though a
black hand darted into their life, and tore away some newly-springing
joy.  At last, while they were standing at the altar, the hideous
Coppelius appeared, and touched Clara's lively eyes.  They flashed into
Nathaniel's heart, like bleeding sparks, scorching and burning, when
Coppelius caught him, and flung him into a flaming, fiery circle, which
flew round with the swiftness of the stream, and carried him along with
it, amid its roaring.  The roar is like that of the hurricane, when it
fiercely lashes the foaming waves, which, like black giants with white
heads, rise up for the furious combat.  But through the wild tumult he
hears Clara's voice: "Can you not, then, see me?  Coppelius has
deceived you.  Those, indeed, were not my eyes, which so burned in your
breast--they were glowing drops of your own heart's blood.  I have my
eyes still--only look at them!"  Nathaniel reflects: "That is Clara,
and I am hers for ever!"  Then it seems to him as though thought
forcibly entered the fiery circle, which stands still, while the noise
dully ceases in the dark abyss.  Nathaniel looks into Clara's eyes, but
it is only death that, with Clara's eyes, kindly looks on him.

While Nathaniel composed this poem he was very calm and collected; he
polished and improved every line, and having subjected himself to the
fetters of metre, he did not rest till all was correct and melodious.
When at last he had finished and read the poem aloud to himself, a wild
horror seized him, and he cried out: "Whose horrible voice is that?"
Soon, however, the whole appeared to him a very successful work, and he
felt that it must inflame Clara's cold temperament, although he did not
clearly consider for what Clara was to be excited, nor what purpose it
would answer to torment her with the frightful images which threatened
a horrible destiny, destructive to their love.  Both of them--that is
to say Nathaniel and Clara--were sitting in their mother's little
garden, Clara very cheerful, because Nathaniel, during the three days
in which he had been writing his poem, had not teased her with his
dreams and his forebodings.  Even Nathaniel spoke livelily and joyfully
about pleasant matters, as he used to do formerly, so that Clara said:
"Now for the first time I have you again!  Do you not see that we have
driven away the ugly Coppelius?"  Then it first struck Nathaniel that
he had in his pocket the poem, which he had intended to read.  He at
once drew the sheets out and began, while Clara, expecting something
tedious as usual, resigned herself and began quietly to knit.  But as
the dark cloud rose ever blacker and blacker, she let the stocking fall
and looked full into his face.  He was carried along unceasingly by his
poem, an internal fire deeply reddened his cheeks, tears flowed from
his eyes.  At last when he had concluded, he groaned in a state of
utter exhaustion, and catching Clara's hand, sighed forth, as if melted
into the most inconsolable grief: "Oh Clara!--Clara!"  Clara pressed
him gently to her bosom, and said softly, but very solemnly and
sincerely: "Nathaniel, dearest Nathaniel, do throw that mad, senseless,
insane stuff into the fire!"  Upon this Nathaniel sprang up enraged,
and thrusting Clara from him, cried: "Thou inanimate, accursed
automaton!"  He ran off; Clara, deeply offended, shed bitter tears, and
sobbed aloud: "Ah, he has never loved me, for he does not understand
me."  Lothaire entered the arbour; Clara was obliged to tell him all
that had occurred.  He loved his sister with all his soul, and every
word of her complaint fell like a spark of fire into his heart, so that
the indignation which he had long harboured against the visionary
Nathaniel, now broke out into the wildest rage.  He ran to Nathaniel
and reproached him for his senseless conduct towards his beloved sister
in hard words, which the infuriated Nathaniel retorted in the same
style.  The appellation of "fantastical, mad fool," was answered by
that of "miserable common-place fellow."  A duel was inevitable.  They
agreed on the following morning, according to the academical custom of
the place, to fight with sharp rapiers behind the garden.  Silently and
gloomily they slunk about.  Clara had overheard the violent dispute,
and seeing the fencing-master bring the rapiers at dawn, guessed what
was to occur.  Having reached the place of combat, Lothaire and
Nathaniel had in gloomy silence flung off their coats, and with the
fierce desire of fighting in their flaming eyes, were about to fall
upon one another, when Clara rushed through the garden door.  Sobbing,
she cried aloud, "Ye wild cruel men!  Strike me down before you attack
each other, for how shall I live longer in the world if my lover
murders my brother, or my brother murders my lover."  Lothaire lowered
his weapon, and looked in silence on the ground; but in Nathaniel's
heart, amid the most poignant sorrow, revived all the love for the
beautiful Clara, which he had felt in the best days of his happy youth.
The weapon fell from his hand, he threw himself at Clara's feet.  "Can
you ever forgive me, my only--my beloved Clara?  Can you forgive me, my
dear brother, Lothaire?"

Lothaire was touched by the deep contrition of his friend; all three
embraced in reconciliation amid a thousand tears, and vowed eternal
love and fidelity.

Nathaniel felt as though a heavy burden, which pressed him to the
ground, had been rolled away, as though by resisting the dark power,
which held him fast, he had saved his whole being, which had been
threatened with annihilation.  Three happy days he passed with his dear
friends, and then went to G----, where he intended to stay a year, and
then to return to his native town for ever.

All that referred to Coppelius was kept a secret from the mother, for
it was well known that she could not think of him without terror, as
she, as well as Nathaniel, accused him of causing her husband's death.

      *      *      *      *      *

How surprised was Nathaniel, when proceeding to his lodging, he saw
that the whole house was burned down, and that only the bare walls
stood up amid the ashes.  However, notwithstanding the fire had broken
out in the laboratory of the apothecary who lived on the ground-floor,
and had therefore consumed the house from bottom to top, some bold
active friends had succeeded in entering Nathaniel's room in the upper
story, in time to save the books, manuscripts, and instruments.  They
carried all safe and sound into another house, where they took a room,
which Nathaniel entered at once.  He did not think it at all remarkable
that he lodged opposite to Professor Spalanzani; neither did it appear
singular when he perceived that his window looked straight into the
room where Olympia often sat alone, so that he could plainly recognise
her figure, although the features of her face were indistinct and
confused.  At last it struck him, that Olympia often remained for hours
in this attitude, in which he had once seen her through the glass-door,
sitting at a little table without any occupation, and that she plainly
enough looked over at him with an unvarying glance.  He was forced to
confess that he had never seen a more lovely form, but with Clara in
his heart, the stiff Olympia was perfectly indifferent to him.
Occasionally, to be sure, he gave a transient look over his compendium,
at the beautiful statue, but that was all.  He was just writing to
Clara, when he heard a light tap at the door; it paused at his words,
and the repulsive face of Coppola peeped in.  Nathaniel's heart
trembled within him, but remembering what Spalanzani had told him about
the countryman, Coppola, and also the sacred promises he had made to
Clara with respect to the Sandman Coppelius, he felt ashamed of his
childish fear, and collecting himself with all his might, said as
softly and civily as possible: "I do not want a barometer, my good
friend; pray, go."  Upon this, Coppola advanced a good way into the
room, and said in a hoarse voice, while his wide mouth distorted itself
into a hideous laugh, and his little eyes under their long gray lashes
sparkled forth piercingly: "Eh, eh--no barometer--no barometer?  I have
besides pretty eyes--pretty eyes!"--"Madman!" cried Nathaniel with
horror, "how can you have eyes?--Eyes?"  But Coppola had already put
his barometer aside, and plunged his hand into his wide coat-pocket,
whence he drew lunettes and spectacles, which he placed upon the table
"There--there--spectacles on the nose, those are my eyes--pretty eyes!"
And so saying he drew out more and more spectacles so, that the whole
table began to glisten and sparkle in the most extraordinary manner.  A
thousand eyes glanced, and quivered convulsively, and stared at
Nathaniel; yet he could not look away from the table, and Coppola kept
still laying down more and more spectacles, while flaming glances were
intermingled more and more wildly, and shot their blood-red rays into
Nathaniel's breast.  Overcome with horror, he shrieked out: "Hold,
hold, frightful man!"  He seized fast by the arm Coppola, who was
searching his pockets to bring out still more spectacles, although the
whole table was already covered.  Coppola had greatly extricated
himself with a hoarse repulsive laugh, and with the words: "Ah, nothing
for you--but here are pretty glasses;" he had collected all the
spectacles, put them up, and from the breast-pocket of his coat had
drawn forth a number of telescopes large and small.  As soon as the
spectacles were removed Nathaniel felt quite easy, and thinking of
Clara, perceived that the hideous phantom was but the creature of his
own mind, and that Coppola was an honest optician, and could by no
means be the accursed double of Coppelius.  Moreover, in all the
glasses which Coppola now placed on the table, there was nothing
remarkable, or at least nothing so ghost-like as the spectacles, and to
make matters right Nathaniel resolved to buy something of Coppola.  He
took up a little and very neatly worked pocket-telescope, and looked
through the window to try it.  Never in his life had he met a glass
which brought the objects so sharply, plainly, and clearly before his
eyes.  Involuntarily he looked into Spalanzani's room; Olympia was
sitting as usual before the little table, with her arms laid upon it,
and her hands folded.  For the first time could he see the wondrous
beauty in the form of her face;--only the eyes seemed to him singularly
stiff and dead.  Nevertheless, as he looked more sharply through the
glass, it seemed to him as if moist morn-beams were rising in the eyes
of Olympia.  It was as if the power of seeing was kindled for the first
time; the glances flashed with constantly increasing liveliness.  As if
spell-bound, Nathaniel reclined against the window, meditating on the
charming Olympia.  A hemming and scraping aroused him as if from a
dream.  Coppola was standing behind him: "_Tre zecchini_--three
ducats!"  Nathaniel, who had quite forgotten the optician, quickly paid
him what he asked.  "Is it not so?  A pretty glass--a pretty glass?"
asked Coppola, in his hoarse, repulsive voice, and with his malicious
smile.  "Yes--yes," replied Nathaniel, peevishly; "good bye, friend."
Coppola left the room, not without casting many strange glances at
Nathaniel.  He heard him laugh loudly on the stairs.  "Ah," thought
Nathaniel, "he is laughing at me because no doubt, I have paid him too
much for this little glass."  While he softly uttered these words, it
seemed as if a deep deadly sigh was sounding fearfully through the
room, and his breath was stopped by inward anguish.  He perceived,
however, that it was himself that had sighed.  "Clara," he said to
himself, "is right in taking me for a senseless dreamer, but it is pure
madness--nay, more than madness, that the stupid thought, that I have
paid Coppola too much for the glass, pains me even so strangely.  I
cannot see the cause."  He now sat down to finish his letter to Clara;
but a glance through the window convinced him that Olympia was still
sitting there, and he instantly sprang out, as if impelled by an
irresistible power, seized Coppola's glass, and could not tear himself
from the seductive view of Olympia, till his friend and brother
Sigismund, called him to go to Professor Spalanzani's lecture.  The
curtain was drawn close before the fatal room, and he could neither
perceive Olympia now nor during the two following days, although he
scarcely ever left the window, and constantly looked through Coppola's
glass.  On the third day the windows were completely covered.  Quite in
despair, and impelled by a burning wish, he ran out of the town-gate.
Olympia's form floated before him in the air, stepped forth from the
bushes, and peeped at him with large beaming eyes from the clear brook.
Clara's image had completely vanished from his mind; he thought of
nothing but Olympia, and complained aloud and in a murmuring tone: "Ah,
thou noble, sublime star of my love, hast thou only risen upon me, to
vanish immediately, and leave me in dark hopeless night?"

When he was retiring to his lodging, he perceived that there was a
great bustle in Spalanzani's house.  The doors were wide open, all
sorts of utensils were being carried in, the windows of the first floor
were being taken out, maid servants were going about sweeping and
dusting with great hair-brooms, and carpenters and upholsterers were
knocking and hammering within.  Nathaniel remained standing in the
street in a state of perfect wonder, when Sigismund came up to him,
laughing, and said: "Now, what do you say to our old Spalanzani?"
Nathaniel assured him that he could say nothing because he knew nothing
about the professor, but on the contrary perceived with astonishment
the mad proceedings in a house otherwise so quiet and gloomy.  He then
learnt from Sigismund that Spalanzani intended to give a grand festival
on the following day,--a concert and ball--and that half the university
was invited.  It was generally reported that Spalanzani, who had so
long kept his daughter most painfully from every human eye, would now
let her appear for the first time.

Nathaniel found a card of invitation, and with heart beating highly
went at the appointed hour to the professor's, where the coaches were
already rolling, and the lights were shining in the decorated saloons.
The company was numerous and brilliant.  Olympia appeared dressed with
great richness and taste.  Her beautifully turned face, her figure
called for admiration.  The somewhat strange bend of her back inwards,
the wasp-like thinness of her waist, seemed to be produced by too tight
lacing.  In her step and deportment there was something measured and
stiff, which struck many as unpleasant, but it was ascribed to the
constraint produced by the company.  The concert began, Olympia played
the piano with great dexterity, and executed a bravura, with a voice,
like the sound of a glass bell, clear, and almost cutting.  Nathaniel
was quite enraptured; he stood in the hindermost row, and could not
perfectly recognise Olympia's features in the dazzling light.  He,
therefore, quite unperceived, took out Coppola's glass, and looked
towards the fair Olympia.  Ah! then he saw, with what a longing glance
she looked towards him, how every tone first resolved itself plainly in
the glance of love, which penetrated, in its glowing career, his inmost
soul.  The artistical _roulades_ seemed to Nathaniel the exultation of
a mind illuminated with love, and when, at last, after the cadence, the
long trill sounded shrilly through the saloon, he felt as if grasped by
glowing arms; he could no longer restrain himself, but with mingled
pain and rapture shouted out, "Olympia!"  All looked at him, and many
laughed.  The organist of the cathedral made a more gloomy face than
usual, and simply said: "Well, well."  The concert had finished, the
ball began.  "To dance with her--with her!"  That was the aim of all
Nathaniel's wishes, of all his efforts; but how to gain courage to ask
her, the queen of the festival?  Nevertheless--he himself did not know
how it happened--no sooner had the dancing begun, than he was standing
close to Olympia, who had not yet been asked to dance, and, scarcely
able to stammer out a few words, had seized her hand.  The hand of
Olympia was as cold as ice; he felt a horrible deadly frost thrilling
through him.  He looked into her eye--that was beaming full of love and
desire, and at the same time it seemed as though the pulse began to
beat, and the stream of life to glow in the cold hand.  And in the soul
of Nathaniel the joy of love rose still higher; he clasped the
beautiful Olympia, and with her flew through the dance.  He thought
that his dancing was usually correct as to time, but the peculiar
rhythmical steadiness with which Olympia moved, and which often put him
completely out, soon showed him, that his time was very defective.
However, he would dance with no other lady, and would have liked to
murder any one who approached Olympia for the purpose of asking her.
But this only happened twice, and to his astonishment Olympia remained
seated after every dance, when he lost no time in making her rise
again.  Had he been able to see any other object besides the fair
Olympia, all sorts of unfortunate quarrels would have been inevitable,
for the half-soft, scarcely-suppressed laughter, which arose among the
young people in every corner, was manifestly directed to Olympia, whom
they pursued with very curious glances--one could not tell why.  Heated
by the dance, and by the wine, of which he had freely partaken,
Nathaniel had laid aside all his ordinary reserve.  He sat by Olympia,
with her hand in his, and, highly inflamed and inspired, told his
passion, in words which no one understood--neither himself nor Olympia.
Yet, perhaps, _she_ did; for she looked immoveably in his face, and
sighed several times, "Ah, ah!"  Upon this, Nathaniel said, "Oh, thou
splendid, heavenly lady!  Thou ray from the promised land of love--thou
deep soul, in winch all my being is reflected!" with much more stuff of
the like kind; but Olympia merely went on sighing, "Ah--ah!"  Professor
Spalanzani occasionally passed the happy pair, and smiled on them, with
a look of singular satisfaction.  To Nathaniel, although he felt in
quite another region, it seemed all at once as though Professor
Spalanzani was growing considerably darker; he looked around, and, to
his no small horror, perceived that the two last candles in the empty
saloon had burned down to their sockets, and were just going out.
Music and dancing had ceased long ago.  "Separation--separation!" he
cried, wildly, and in despair; he kissed Olympia's hand, he bent
towards her mouth, when his glowing lips were met by lips cold as ice!
Just as when he touched Olympia's cold hand, he felt himself overcome
by horror; the legend of the dead bride darted suddenly through his
mind, but Olympia pressed him fast, and her lips seemed to recover to
life at his kiss.  Professor Spalanzani strode through the empty hall,
his steps caused a hollow echo, and his figure, round which a
flickering shadow played, had a fearful, spectral appearance.  "Dost
thou love me, dost thou love me, Olympia?  Only this word!--Dost thou
love me?"  So whispered Nathaniel; but Olympia, as she rose, only
sighed, "Ah--ah!"  "Yes, my gracious, my beautiful star of love," said
Nathaniel, "thou hast risen upon me, and thou wilt shine, ever
illuminating my inmost soul."  "Ah--ah!" replied Olympia, going.
Nathaniel followed her; they both stood before the professor.

"You have had a very animated conversation with my daughter," said he,
smiling; "so, dear Herr Nathaniel, if you have any taste for talking
with a silly girl, your visits shall be welcome."

Nathaniel departed, with a whole heaven beaming in his bosom.  The next
day Spalanzani's festival was the subject of conversation.
Notwithstanding the professor had done every thing to appear splendid,
the wags had all sorts of incongruities and oddities to talk about, and
were particularly hard upon the dumb, stiff Olympia, to whom, in spite
of her beautiful exterior, they ascribed absolute stupidity, and were
pleased to find therein the cause why Spalanzani kept her so long
concealed.  Nathaniel did not hear this without increased rage; but,
nevertheless, he held his peace, for, thought he, "Is it worth while to
convince these fellows that it is their own stupidity that prevents
them from recognising Olympia's deep, noble mind?"

One day Sigismund said to him: "Be kind enough, brother, to tell me how
it was possible for a sensible fellow like you to fall in love with
that wax face, that wooden doll up there?"

Nathaniel was about to fly out in a passion, but he quickly recollected
himself, and retorted: "Tell me, Sigismund, how it is that Olympia's
heavenly charms could escape your glance, which generally perceives
every thing so clearly--your active senses?  But, for that very reason,
Heaven be thanked, I have not you for my rival; otherwise, one of us
must have fallen a bleeding corpse!"

Sigismund plainly perceived his friend's condition, so he skilfully
gave the conversation a turn, and added, after observing that in
love-affairs there was no disputing about the object: "Nevertheless it
is strange, that many of us think much the same about Olympia.  To
us--pray do not take it ill, brother,--she appears singularly stiff and
soulless.  Her shape is symmetrical--so is her face--that is true!  She
might pass for beautiful, if her glance were not so utterly without a
ray of life--without the power of seeing.  Her pace is strangely
measured, every movement seems to depend on some wound-up clockwork.
Her playing--her singing has the unpleasantly correct and spiritless
measure of a singing machine, and the same may be said of her dancing.
To us, this Olympia has been quite unpleasant; we wished to have
nothing to do with her; it seems as if she acts like a living being,
and yet has some strange peculiarity of her own."  Nathaniel did not
completely yield to the bitter feeling, which was coming over him at
these words of Sigismund; he mastered his indignation, and merely said,
with great earnestness, "Well may Olympia appear awful to you, cold
prosaic man.  Only to the poetical mind does the similarly organised
develop itself.  To me alone was her glance of love revealed, beaming
through mind and thought; only in the love of Olympia do I find myself
again.  It may not suit you, that she does not indulge in idle
chit-chat like other shallow minds.  She utters few words, it is true,
but these few words appear as genuine hieroglyphics of the inner world,
full of love and deep knowledge of the spiritual life in contemplation
of the eternal _yonder_.  But you have no sense for all this, and my
words are wasted on you."  "God preserve you, brother," said Sigismund
very mildly, almost sorrowfully; "but it seems to me, that you are in
an evil way.  You may depend upon me, if all--no, no, I will not say
any thing further."  All of a sudden it seemed to Nathaniel as if the
cold prosaic Sigismund meant very well towards him, and, therefore, he
shook the proffered hand very heartily.

Nathaniel had totally forgotten, that there was in the world a Clara,
whom he had once loved;--his mother--Lothaire--all had vanished from
his memory; he lived only for Olympia, with whom he sat for hours every
day, uttering strange fantastical stuff about his love, about the
sympathy that glowed to life, about the affinity of souls, to all of
which Olympia listened with great devotion.  From the very bottom of
his desk, he drew out all that he had ever written.  Poems, fantasies,
visions, romances, tales--this stock was daily increased with all sorts
of extravagant sonnets, stanzas, and canzone, and he read all to
Olympia for hours in succession without fatigue.  Never had he known
such an admirable listener.  She neither embroidered nor knitted, she
never looked out of window, she fed no favourite bird, she played
neither with lap-dog nor pet cat, she did not twist a slip of paper nor
any thing else in her hand, she was not obliged to suppress a yawn by a
gentle forced cough.  In short, she sat for hours, looking straight
into her lover's eyes, without stirring, and her glance became more and
more lively and animated.  Only when Nathaniel rose at last, and kissed
her hand and also her lips, she said "Ah, ah!" adding "good night,
dearest!"  "Oh deep, noble mind!" cried Nathaniel in his own room, "by
thee, by thee, dear one, am I fully comprehended."  He trembled with
inward transport, when he considered the wonderful accordance that was
revealed more and more every day in his own mind, and that of Olympia,
for it seemed to him as if Olympia had spoken concerning him and his
poetical talent out of the depths of his own mind;--as if the voice had
actually sounded from within himself.  That must indeed have been the
case, for Olympia never uttered any words whatever beyond those which
have been already mentioned.  Even when Nathaniel, in clear and sober
moments, as for instance, when he had just woke in the morning,
remembered Olympia's utter passivity, and her paucity and scarcity of
words, he said: "Words, words!  The glance of her heavenly eye speaks
more than any language here below.  Can a child of heaven adapt herself
to the narrow circle which a miserable earthly necessity has drawn?"
Professor Spalanzani appeared highly delighted at the intimacy of his
daughter with Nathaniel.  To the latter he gave the most unequivocal
signs of approbation, and when Nathaniel ventured at last to hint at an
union with Olympia, he smiled with his white face, and thought "he
would leave his daughter a free choice in the matter."  Encouraged by
these words, and with burning passion in his heart, Nathaniel resolved
to implore Olympia on the very next day, that she would say directly,
in plain words, that which her kind glance had told him long ago;
namely, that she loved him.  He sought the ring which his mother had
given him at parting, that he might give it to Olympia as a symbol of
his devotion, of his life which budded forth and bloomed with her
alone.  Clara's letters and Lothaire's came into his hands during the
search; but he flung them aside indifferently, found the ring, put it
up and hastened over to Olympia.  Already on the steps, in the hall he
heard a strange noise, which seemed to proceed from Spalanzani's room.
There was a stamping, a clattering, a pushing, a hurling against the
door, intermingled with curses and imprecations.  "Let go, let go,
rascal!--scoundrel!  Body and soul ventured in it?  Ha, ha, ha! that I
never will consent to--I, I made the eyes, I the clockwork--stupid
blockhead with your clockwork--accursed dog of a bungling
watch-maker--off with you--Satan--stop, pipe-maker--infernal
beast--hold--begone--let go!"  These words were uttered by the voices
of Spalanzani, and the hideous Coppelius, who was thus raging and
clamoring.  Nathaniel rushed in, overcome by the most inexpressible
anguish.  The professor held a female figure fast by the shoulders, the
Italian Coppola grasped it by the feet, and thus they were tugging and
pulling, this way and that, contending for the possession of it, with
the utmost fury.  Nathaniel started back with horror, when in the
figure he recognised Olympia.  Boiling with the wildest indignation, he
was about to rescue his beloved from these infuriated men, but at that
moment, Coppola, turning himself with the force of a giant, wrenched
the figure from the professor's hand, and then with the figure itself
gave him a tremendous blow, which made him reel and fall backwards over
the table, where vials, retorts, bottles, and glass cylinders were
standing.  All these were dashed to a thousand shivers.  Now Coppola
flung the figure across his shoulders, and, with frightful, yelling
laughter, dashed down the stairs, so that the feet of the figure, which
dangled in the ugliest manner, rattled with a wooden sound on every
step.  Nathaniel stood paralysed; he had seen but too plainly that
Olympia's waxen, deadly pale countenance had no eyes, but black holes
instead--she was, indeed, a lifeless doll.  Spalanzani was writhing on
the floor; the pieces of glass had cut his head, heart, and arms, and
the blood was spirting up, as from so many fountains.  But he soon
collected all his strength.  "After him--after him--why do you pause?
Coppelius, Coppelius, has robbed me of my best automaton--a work of
twenty years--body and soul set upon it--the clock-work--the
speech--the walk, mine; the eyes stolen from you.  The infernal
rascal--after him; fetch Olympia--there you have the eyes!"

And now Nathaniel saw how a pair of eyes, which lay upon the ground,
were staring at him; these Spalanzani caught up, with the unwounded
hand, and flung against his heart.  At this, madness seized him with
its burning claws, and clutched into his soul, tearing to pieces all
his thoughts and senses.  "Ho--ho--ho--a circle of fire! of fire!--turn
thyself round, circle! merrily, merrily, ho, thou wooden doll--turn
thyself, pretty doll!"  With these words he flew at the professor and
pressed in his throat.  He would have strangled him, had not the noise
attracted many people, who rushed in, forced open Nathaniel's grasp,
and thus saved the professor, whose wounds were bound immediately.
Sigismund, strong as he was, was not able to master the mad Nathaniel,
who with frightful voice kept crying out: "Turn thyself, wooden doll!"
and struck around him with clenched fists.  At last the combined force
of many succeeded in overcoming him, in flinging him to the ground, and
binding him.  His words were merged into a hideous roar, like that of a
brute, and raging in this insane condition he was taken to the

Before, gentle reader, I proceed to tell thee what more befel the
unfortunate Nathaniel, I can tell thee, in case thou takest an interest
in the skilful optician and automaton-maker, Spalanzani, that he was
completely healed of his wounds.  He was, however, obliged to leave the
university, because Nathaniel's story had created a sensation, and it
was universally deemed an unpardonable imposition to smuggle wooden
dolls instead of living persons into respectable tea-parties--for such
Olympia had visited with success.  The lawyers called it a most subtle
deception, and the more culpable, inasmuch as he had planned it so
artfully against the public, that not a single soul--a few cunning
students excepted--had detected it, although all now wished to play the
acute, and referred to various facts, which appeared to them
suspicious.  Nothing very clever was revealed in this way.  For
instance, could it strike any one as so very suspicious, that Olympia,
according to the expression of an elegant tea-ite, had, contrary to all
usage, sneezed oftener than she had yawned?  "The _former_," remarked
this elegant person, "was the self-winding-up of the concealed
clockwork, which had, moreover, creaked audibly"--and so on.  The
professor of poetry and eloquence took a pinch of snuff, clapped first
the lid of his box, cleared his throat, and said, solemnly, "Ladies and
gentlemen, do you not perceive how the whole affair lies?  It is all an
allegory--a continued metaphor--you understand me--_Sapienti sat_."
But many were not satisfied with this; the story of the automaton had
struck deep root into their souls, and, in fact, an abominable mistrust
against human figures in general, began to creep in.  Many lovers, to
be quite convinced that they were not enamoured of wooden dolls, would
request their mistress to sing and dance a little out of time, to
embroider and knit, and play with their lap-dogs, while listening to
reading, &c.; and, above all, not to listen merely, but also sometimes
to talk, in such a manner as presupposed actual thought and feeling.
With many did the bond of love become firmer, and more chaining, while
others, on the contrary, slipped gently out of the noose.  "One cannot
really answer for this," said some.  At tea-parties, yawning prevailed
to an incredible extent, and there was no sneezing at all, that all
suspicion might be avoided.  Spalanzani, as already stated, was obliged
to decamp, to escape the criminal prosecution for fraudulently
introducing an automaton into human society.  Coppola had vanished also.

Nathaniel awakened as from a heavy, frightful dream; he opened his
eyes, and felt an indescribable sensation of pleasure streaming through
him, with soft heavenly warmth.  He was in bed in his own room, in his
father's house, Clara was stooping over him, and Lothaire and his
mother were standing near.  "At last, at last, oh beloved Nathaniel,
hast thou recovered from thy serious illness--now thou art again mine!"
So spoke Clara, from the very depth of her soul, and clasped Nathaniel
in her arms.  But with mingled sorrow and delight did the brightly
glowing tears fall from his eyes, and he deeply groaned forth: "My
own--my own Clara!"  Sigismund, who had faithfully remained with his
friend in the hour of trouble, now entered.  Nathaniel stretched out
his hand to him.  "And thou, faithful brother, hast not deserted me?"
Every trace of Nathaniel's madness had vanished, and he soon gained
strength amid the care of his mother, his beloved, and his friends.
Good fortune also had visited the house, for an old penurious uncle, of
whom nothing had been expected, had died, and had left the mother,
besides considerable property, an estate in a pleasant spot near the
town.  Thither Nathaniel, with his Clara, whom he now thought of
marrying, his mother, and Lothaire, desired to go.  Nathaniel had now
grown milder and more docile than he had ever been, and he now
understood, for the first time, the heavenly purity and the greatness
of Clara's mind.  No one, by the slightest hint, reminded him of the
past.  Only, when Sigismund took leave of him, Nathaniel said:
"Heavens, brother, I was in an evil way, but a good angel led me
betimes to the path of light!  Ah, that was Clara!"  Sigismund did not
let him carry the discourse further for fear that deeply wounding
recollections might burst forth bright and flaming.  It was about this
time that the four happy persons thought of going to the estate.  They
were crossing, at noon, the streets of the city, where they had made
several purchases, and the high steeple of the town-house already cast
its gigantic shadow over the market-place.  "Oh," said Clara, "let us
ascend it once more, and look at the distant mountains!"  No sooner
said than done.  Nathaniel and Clara both ascended the steps, the
mother returned home with the servant, and Lothaire, not inclined to
clamber up so many steps, chose to remain below.  The two lovers stood
arm in arm in the highest gallery of the tower, and looked down upon
the misty forests, behind which the blue mountains were rising like a
gigantic city.

"Look there at that curious little gray bush, which actually seems as
if it were striding towards us," said Clara.  Nathaniel mechanically
put his hand into his breast pocket--he found Coppola's telescope, and
he looked on one side.  Clara was before the glass.  There was a
convulsive movement in his pulse and veins,--pale as death, he stared
at Clara, but soon streams of fire flashed and glared from his rolling
eyes, and he roared frightfully, like a hunted beast.  Then he sprang
high into the air, and, in the intervals of a horrible laughter,
shrieked out, in a piercing tone, "Wooden doll--turn thyself!"  Seizing
Clara with immense force he wished to hurl her down, but with the
energy of a desperate death-struggle she clutched the railings.
Lothaire heard the raging of the madman--he heard Clara's shriek of
agony--fearful forebodings darted through his mind, he ran up, the door
of the second flight was fastened, and the shrieks of Clara became
louder and louder.  Frantic with rage and anxiety, he dashed against
the door, which, at last, burst open.  Clara's voice became fainter and
fainter.  "Help--help--save me!"--with these words the voice seemed to
die in the air.  "She is gone--murdered by the madman!" cried Lothaire.
The door of the gallery was also closed, but despair gave him a giant's
strength, and he burst it from the hinges.  Heavens--Clara, grasped by
the mad Nathaniel, was hanging in the air over the gallery,--only with
one hand she still held one of the iron railings.  Quick as lightning
Lothaire caught his sister, drew her in, and, at the same moment,
struck the madman in the face with his clenched fist, so that he reeled
and let go his prey.

Lothaire ran down with his fainting sister in his arms.  She was saved.
Nathaniel went raging about the gallery and bounded high in the air,
crying, "Fire circle turn thyself--turn thyself!"  The people collected
at the sound of the wild shriek, and among them, prominent by his
gigantic stature, was the advocate Coppelius, who had just come to the
town, and was proceeding straight to the market-place.  Some wished to
ascend and secure the madman, but Coppelius laughed, saying, "Ha,
ha,--only wait--he will soon come down of his own accord," and looked
up like the rest.  Nathaniel suddenly stood still as if petrified; he
stooped down, perceived Coppelius, and yelling out, "Ah, pretty
eyes--pretty eyes!"--he sprang over the railing.

When Nathaniel lay on the stone pavement, with his head shattered,
Coppelius had disappeared in the crowd.

Many years afterwards it is said that Clara was seen in a remote spot,
sitting hand in hand with a kind-looking man before the door of a
country house, while two lively boys played before her.  From this it
may be inferred that she at last found that quiet domestic happiness
which suited her serene and cheerful mind, and which the morbid
Nathaniel would never have given her.

J. O.

[1] Two characters in Schiller's play of "Die Räuber."



On the banks of the Hafel, about the middle of the sixteenth century,
lived a horse-dealer, named Michael Kohlhaas.  He was the son of a
schoolmaster, and was one of the most honest, while at the same time he
was one of the most terrible persons of his period.  Till his thirtieth
year this extraordinary man might have passed as a pattern of a good
citizen.  In a village, which still bears his name, he held a farm, on
which, by means of his business, he was enabled to live quietly.  The
children whom his wife bore him, he brought up in the fear of God to
honesty and industry; and there was not one among his neighbours who
had not felt the benefit of his kindness or his sense of justice.  In
short, the world might have blessed his memory had he not carried one
virtue to too great an extreme.  The feeling of justice made him a
robber and a murderer.

He was once riding abroad, with a string of young horses, all sleek and
well-fed, and was calculating how he should expend the profit which he
hoped to make in the markets--apportioning part, like a good manager,
to gain further profit, and part to present enjoyment--when he came to
the Elbe, and found, by a stately castle in the Saxon dominion, a
toll-bar, which he had never seen on this road.  He at once stopped
with his horses, while the rain was pouring down, and called to the
toll-taker, who soon, with a very cross face, peeped out of window.
The horse-dealer asked him to open the road.  "What new fashion is
this?" said he, when, after a considerable time, the collector came out
of his house.  "A sovereign privilege," was his reply, as he unlocked
the bar, "granted to the Squire[2] Wenzel von Tronka."  "So," said
Kohlhaas, "Wenzel's the squire's name, is it?"--and he looked at the
castle, which, with its glittering battlements, peered over the field.
"Is the old master dead?"  "Of an apoplexy," answered the collector, as
he lifted up the bar.  "That's a pity!" said Kohlhaas.  "He was a
worthy old gentleman, who took delight in the intercourse of men, and
helped business when he could.  Aye, once he had a dam built of stone,
because a mare of mine broke her leg yonder, where the way leads to the
village.  Now, how much?" he asked, and with difficulty drew out from
his mantle, which fluttered in the wind, the _groschen_ required by the
collector.  "Aye, old man," said he, as the other muttered, "make
haste," and cursed the weather.--"If the tree from which this bar was
fashioned had remained in the wood, it would have been better for both
of us."  Having paid the money, he would have pursued his journey, but
scarcely had he passed the bar than he heard behind him a new voice
calling from the tower:

"Ho, there, horse-dealer!" and saw the castellan shut the window, and
hasten down to him.  "Now, something else new!" said Kohlhaas to
himself, stopping with his horses.  The castellan, buttoning a
waistcoat over his spacious stomach, came, and standing aslant against
the rain, asked for his passport.  "Passport!" cried Kohlhaas; adding,
a little puzzled, that he had not one about him, to his knowledge; but
that he should like to be told what sort of a thing it was as he might
perchance be provided with one, notwithstanding.  The castellan, eyeing
him askance, remarked, that without a written permission no
horse-dealer, with horses, would be allowed to pass the border.  The
horse-dealer asserted that he had crossed the border seventeen times in
the course of his life without any such paper; that he knew perfectly
all the seignorial privileges which belonged to his business; that this
would only prove a mistake, and that he, therefore, hoped he might be
allowed to think it over; and, as his journey was long, not be detained
thus uselessly any further.  The castellan answered that he would not
escape the eighteenth time; that the regulation had but lately
appeared, and that he must either take a passport here or return whence
he had come.  The horse-dealer, who began to be nettled at these
illegal exactions, dismounted from his horse, after reflecting for a
while, and said he would speak to the Squire von Tronka himself.  He
accordingly went up to the castle, followed by the castellan, who
muttered something about stingy money-scrapers, and the utility of
bleeding them, and both, measuring each other with their looks, entered
the hall.

The squire, as it happened, was drinking with some boon companions, and
they all burst out into a ceaseless fit of laughter at some jest, when
Kohlhaas approached to state his grievance.  The squire asked him what
he wanted, while the knights, eyeing the stranger, remained still; yet
hardly had he begun his request concerning the horses, than the whole
company cried out--"Horses! where are they?" and ran to the window to
see them.  No sooner had they set eyes on the sleek lot than, on the
motion of the squire, down they flew into the court-yard.  The rain had
ceased; castellan, bailiff and servants, were collected around, and all
surveyed the animals.  One praised the sorrel with the white spot on
his forehead, another liked the chesnut, a third patted the dappled one
with tawney spots, and agreed that the horses were like so many stags,
and that none better could be reared in the country.  Kohlhaas, in high
spirits, replied that the horses were no better than the knights who
should ride them, and asked them to make a purchase.  The squire, who
was greatly taken with the strong sorrel stallion, asked the price,
while the bailiff pressed him to buy a pair of blacks which he thought
might be usefully employed on the estate; but when the horse-dealer
named his terms, the knights found them too high, and the squire said
that he might ride to the round table and find King Arthur if he fixed
such prices as these.  Kohlhaas, who saw the castellan and the bailiff
whisper together, as they cast most significant glances on the blacks,
left nothing undone, actuated as he was by some dark foreboding, to
make them take the horses.

"See sir," he said to the squire, "I bought the blacks for
five-and-twenty gold crowns, six months ago.  Give me thirty and they
are yours."

Two of the knights, who stood near the squire, said plainly enough that
the horses were well worth the money; but the squire thought that he
might buy the sorrel, while he objected to take the blacks, and made
preparations to depart, when Kohlhaas, saying that they would conclude
a bargain the next time he went that way with his horses, bade farewell
to the squire, and took his horse's bridle to ride off.  At this moment
the castellan stepped forward from the rest, and said that he had told
him he could not travel without a passport.  Kohlhaas, turning round,
asked the squire whether this really was the case, adding that it would
prove the utter destruction of his business.  The squire, somewhat
confused, answered as he withdrew,

"Yes, Kohlhaas, you must have a pass; speak about it with the
castellan, and go your way."  Kohlhaas assured him that he had no
notion of evading such regulations as might be made respecting the
conveyance of horses, promised, in his way through Dresden, to get a
pass from the secretary's office, and begged that he might, on this
occasion, be allowed to go on, as he knew nothing of the requisition.
"Well," said the squire, while the storm broke out anew and rattled
against his thin limbs, "Let the fellow go.  Come," said he to his
knights, and moving round, he was proceeding to the castle.  The
castellan, however, turning to him said that Kohlhaas must at least
leave some pledge that he would get the passport.  The squire, upon
this, remained standing at the castle-gate, while Kohlhaas asked what
security in money or in kind he should leave on account of the black
horses.  The bailiff mumbled out that he thought the horses themselves
might as well be left.  "Certainly," said the castellan, "That is the
best plan.  When he has got the pass he can take them away at any time."

Kohlhaas, astounded at so impudent a proposition, told the squire, who
was shivering and holding his waistcoat tight to his body, that he
should like to sell him the blacks; but the latter, as a gust of wind
drove a world of rain through the gate, cried out, to cut the matter
short, "If he won't leave his horses pitch him over the bar back
again!" and so saying, left the spot.  The horse-dealer, who saw that
he must give way to force, resolved, as he could not do otherwise, to
comply with the request, so he unfastened the blacks, and conducted
them to a stable which the castellan showed him, left a servant behind,
gave him money, told him to take care of the blacks till his return,
and doubting whether, on account of the advances made in breeding,
there might not be such a law in Saxony, he continued his journey with
the rest of his horses to Leipzig, where he wished to attend the fair.

As soon as he reached Dresden, where, in one of the suburbs he had a
house with stables, being in the habit of carrying on his trade from
thence with the lesser markets of the country, he went to the
secretary's office, and there learned from the councillors, some of
whom he knew, what he had expected at first--namely, that the story
about the passport was a mere fable.  The displeased councillors
having, at the request of Kohlhaas, given him a certificate as to the
nullity of the requisition, he laughed at the thin squire's jest,
though he did not exactly see the purport of it; and, having in a few
weeks sold his horses to his satisfaction, he returned to the
Tronkenburg without any bitter feeling beyond that at the general
troubles of the world.  The castellan, to whom he showed the
certificate, gave no sort of explanation, but merely said, in answer to
the question of the horse-dealer, whether he might have the horses back
again, that he might go and fetch them.  Already, as he crossed the
court-yard, Kohlhaas heard the unpleasant news that his servant, on
account of improper conduct, as they said, had been beaten and sent off
a few days after he had been left at the Tronkenburg.  He asked the
young man who gave him this intelligence, what the servant had done,
and who had attended the horses in the meanwhile.  He replied that he
did not know, and opened the stall in which they were kept to the
horse-dealer, whose heart already swelled with dark misgivings.  How
great was his astonishment when, instead of his sleek, well-fed blacks,
he saw a couple of skinny, jaded creatures, with bones on which things
might have been hung, as on hooks, and manes entangled from want of
care; in a word, a true picture of animal misery.  Kohlhaas, to whom
the horses neighed with a slight movement, was indignant in the highest
degree, and asked what had befallen the creatures?  The servant
answered, that no particular misfortune had befallen them, but that, as
there had been a want of draught-cattle, they had been used a little in
the fields.  Kohlhaas cursed this shameful and preconcerted act of
arbitrary power; but, feeling his own weakness, suppressed his rage,
and, as there was nothing else to be done, prepared to leave the
robber's nest with his horses, when the castellan, attracted by the
conversation, made his appearance, and asked what was the matter.

"Matter!" said Kohlhaas, "who allowed Squire Von Tronka and his people
to work in the fields the horses that I left?"  He asked if this was
humanity, tried to rouse the exhausted beasts by a stroke with a
switch, and showed him that they could not move.  The castellan, after
he had looked at him for awhile, insolently enough said, "Now, there's
an ill-mannered clown!  Why does not the fellow thank his God that his
beasts are still living?"  He asked whose business it was to take care
of them when the boy had run away, and whether it was not fair that the
horses should earn in the fields the food that was given them, and
concluded by telling him to cease jabbering, or he would call out the
dogs, and get some quiet that way at any rate.

The horse-dealer's heart beat strongly against his waistcoat, he felt
strongly inclined to fling the good-for-nothing mass of fat into the
mud, and set his foot on his brazen countenance.  Yet his feeling of
right, which was accurate as a gold balance, still wavered; before the
tribunal of his own heart, he was still uncertain whether his adversary
was in the wrong; and, while pocketing the affronts, he went to his
horses and smoothed down their manes.  Silently weighing the
circumstances, he asked, in a subdued voice, on what account the
servant had been sent away from the castle.  The castellan answered
that it was because the rascal had been impudent.  He had resisted a
necessary change of stables, and had desired that the horses of two
young noblemen, who had come to Tronkenburg, should remain out all
night in the high road.  Kohlhaas would have given the value of the
horses to have had the servant by him, and to have compared his
statement with that of the thick-lipped castellan.  He stood awhile and
smoothed the tangles out of the manes, bethinking himself what was to
be done in his situation, when suddenly the scene changed, and the
Squire Von Tronka, with a host of knights, servants, and dogs,
returning from a hare-hunt galloped into the castle-court.  The
castellan, when the squire asked what had happened, took care to speak
first; and, while the dogs at the sight of the stranger were barking at
him on one side, with the utmost fury, and the knights on the other
side were trying to silence them, he set forth, distorting the matter
as much as possible, the disturbance that the horse-dealer had created,
because his horses had been used a little.  Laughing scornfully, he
added that he had refused to acknowledge them as his own.  "They are
not my horses, your worship!" cried Kohlhaas; "these are not the horses
that were worth thirty golden crowns!  I will have my sound and
well-fed horses."  The squire, whose face became pale for a moment,
alighted and said, "If the rascal will not take his horses, why let him
leave them.  Come Gunther, come Hans," cried he, as he brushed the dust
from his breeches with his hand.  "And, ho! wine there!" he called, as
he crossed the threshold with the knights and entered his dwelling.
Kohlhaas said that he would rather send for the knacker and have the
horses knocked on the head, than he would take them in such a condition
to his stable at Kohlhaasenbrück.  He left them standing where they
were, without troubling himself further about them, and vowing that he
would have justice, flung himself on his brown horse, and rode off.

He was just setting off full speed for Dresden, when, at the thought of
the servant, and at the complaint that had been made against him at the
castle, he began to walk slowly, turned his horse's head before he had
gone a thousand paces, and took the road to Kohlhaasenbrück, that, in
accordance with his notions of prudence and justice, he might first
hear the servant's account of the matter.  For a correct feeling, well
inured to the defective ways of the world, inclined him, in spite of
the affronts he had received, to pass over the loss of his horses, as
an equitable result; if, indeed, as the castellan had maintained, it
could be proved that his servant was in the wrong.  On the other hand,
a feeling equally honourable, which gained ground as he rode further,
and heard, wherever he stopped, of the wrongs that travellers had to
endure every day at the Tronkenburg, told him, that if the whole affair
was a concerted scheme--as, indeed, it seemed to be--it was his duty to
use every effort to obtain satisfaction for the affronts he had
endured, and to secure his fellow-citizens for the future.

As soon as, on his arrival at Kohlhaasenbrück, he had embraced his good
wife Lisbeth, and kissed his children, who sported about his knees, he
inquired after his head servant, Herse, and whether any thing had been
heard of him.

"Yes, dearest Michael," said Lisbeth, "and only think--that unfortunate
Herse came here about a fortnight ago, beaten most barbarously--aye, so
beaten, that he could scarcely breathe.  We took him to bed, when he
spat a good deal of blood, and, in answer to our repeated questions,
told a story which none of us could understand;--how he was left behind
by you at the Tronkenburg with the horses, which were not allowed to
pass, how he was forced, by the most shameful ill-usage, to leave the
castle, and how he was unable to bring the horses with him."

"Indeed!" said Kohlhaas, putting off his mantle, "is he recovered now?"

"Tolerably," she answered, "with the exception of the spitting of
blood.  I wished immediately to send a servant to the Tronkenburg, to
take care of the horses till you went there, for Herse has always been
so honest, indeed so much more faithful to us than any one else, that I
never thought of doubting a statement supported by so many evident
signs of truth, or of believing that he had lost the horses in any
other way.  Yet he entreated me not to counsel any one to show himself
in that robber's nest, and to give up the horses, if I would not
sacrifice a human being."

"Is he still in bed?" asked Kohlhaas, loosening his neckcloth.

"For the last few days he has gone about in the court," she
answered--"in short, you will see that all is true enough, and that
this affair is one of the atrocities which the people at the
Tronkenburg have lately perpetrated against strangers."

"That I must look into," said Kohlhaas.  "Call him here, Lisbeth, if he
is up."  With these words he sat himself down, while the housewife, who
was pleased to see him so forbearing, went and fetched the servant.

"What have you been doing at the Tronkenburg?" asked Kohlhaas, as
Lisbeth entered the room with him.  "I am not well pleased with you."
The servant, in whose pale face a spot of red appeared at these words,
was silent for a while, and then said--

"You are right, master, for I flung into the Elbe a match, which, by
God's providence, I had with me, to set on fire the robber's nest, from
which I was driven, as I heard a child crying within, and thought to
myself--'God's lightning may consume it, but I will not.'"

"But what did you do to be sent away from the Tronkenburg?" said
Kohlhaas, much struck.

"It was on account of a bad piece of business," said Herse, wiping the
perspiration from his forehead; "but no matter, 'what can't be cured
must be endured.'  I would not allow the horses to be ruined by field
work, and told them they were still young, and had never been used for

Kohlhaas, endeavouring to conceal the perturbation of his mind,
observed, that Herse had not quite told the truth in this instance, as
the horses had been in harness a little during the preceding spring.
"As you were a kind of guest at the castle, you might have obliged them
once or twice, when they were forced to get in their harvest as quickly
as they could."

"So I did, master," replied Herse, "I thought, as they began to make
wry faces, that it would not cost us the horses, at all events.  On the
third morning I put them too, and brought in three loads of corn."

Kohlhaas, whose heart swelled, fixed his eyes on the ground, and said,
"They told me nothing of that, Herse."

The man, however, assured him that it was so.  "My incivility," he
said, "consisted in this: that I would not allow the horses to be yoked
again, when they had scarcely taken their feed at noon, and that when
the castellan and the bailiff told me to take fodder gratis, and to
pocket the money which had been given me, I gave them a short answer,
turned on my heel, and walked off."

"But," said Kohlhaas, "it was not for this incivility that you were
sent away from the Tronkenburg."

"God forbid!" said the man, "it was on account of a rascally piece of
injustice.  For in the evening, the horses of two knights, who had come
to the Tronkenburg, were put in the stable, and mine were tied to the
stable-door.  And when I took the horses out of the hand of the
castellan, and asked him where they were to be kept, he showed me a
pigsty, built with boards and laths against the castle wall."

"You mean," interrupted Kohlhaas, "that it was such a bad place for
horses, that it was more like a pigsty than a stable."

"I mean a pigsty, master," said Herse, "really and truly a pigsty,
where the pigs ran in and out, and in which I could not stand upright."

"Perhaps there was no other place for the horses," observed Kohlhaas,
"and those of the knights had, in some measure, the preference."

"The place," answered the servant, dropping his voice, "was indeed
narrow.  Seven knights in all were stopping at the castle; but if it
had been you--you would have put the horses a little closer together.
I said that I would try to hire a stable in the village, but the
castellan objected that he must have the horses under his own eye, and
that I must not venture to move them from the yard."

"Hem!" said Kohlhaas, "what did you do then?"

"Why, as the bailiff told me that the two guests would only stop over
the night, and would leave the next morning, I led the horses into the
sty.  But the next day passed, and nothing of the kind took place; and
when the third came, I heard the visitors would remain at the castle
for some weeks."

"Then, in the end," said Kohlhaas, "it was not so bad in the pigsty, as
it seemed, when first you looked into it."

"True," replied Herse, "when I had swept the place a bit, it was
passable.  Then I gave the girl a groschen to put the pigs somewhere
else, and during the day, at least, I managed to let the horses stand
upright, for I took off the boards at the top, when the morning dawned,
and put them on again in the evening.  They peeped out of the roof like
so many geese, and looked after Kohlhaasenbrück, or some place at any
rate, where they would be better off."

"But now," said Kohlhaas, "why in the world did they send you away?"

"Because, master," replied the man, "they wanted to get rid of me;
because, as long as I was there, they could not ruin the horses.  In
the yard, and in the servants' room, they always made queer faces at
me, and because I thought 'you may twist your mouths out of joint, if
you like,' they managed to find a pretext, and turned me out of the

"But the reason," said Kohlhaas, "they must have had some reason."

"Oh, certainly," replied Herse, "and a very good one too.  On the
evening of the second day which I had passed in the sty, I took the
horses, which had become dirty, and was going to ride them out to
water.  When I was just at the gate, and was about to turn, I heard the
castellan and the bailiff, with servants, dogs, and sticks, rush upon
me from the servants' room, and shout out 'Stop the thief, stop the
hangdog!' as if they were all possessed.  The gate-keeper intercepted
my passage, and when I asked him and the uproarious mob what was the
matter, the castellan, seizing the bridle of the two horses, cried,
'Matter, indeed!  Where are you going with the horses?' and so saying,
seized me by the collar.  Why, where should I be going?' said I, 'I am
going to water the horses.'  'Oh, to water!' cried the castellan, 'I'll
water you!  I'll teach you to swim on the high road all the way to
Kohlhaasenbrück.'  Upon this, he and the bailiff, who had laid hold of
my leg, flung me treacherously from the horse, so that I lay full
length in the mud.  'Murder!' shouted I, 'There are the harness, and
the horse-cloths, and a bundle of linen belonging to me in the stable.'
But the castellan and the servants, while the bailiff led off the
horses, belaboured me with whips, and cudgels, and kicks, till I fell
down, half dead, at the gate.  And when I said, 'Where are the thievish
rogues taking the horses?' and got up, 'Out of the castle-yard!' cried
the castellan.  'Ho, there, Cæsar!--Ho, Touzer!--Ho, Pincher!' and
straight more than a dozen dogs flew at me.  At this I broke a stick or
something from the fence, and lay three of the dogs dead at my feet;
but when, tortured by their fangs, I was forced to give way, 'Phew!'
went a pipe--the dogs were in the yard--bang went the gate--the bolt
was drawn, and down in the road I fell, quite exhausted."

Kohlhaas, though his face was white, affected a jocose style, and said,
"Now, did not you wish to abscond, Herse?" and when the man, colouring,
looked on the ground, he added, "Now confess, you did not like the
pigsty, you thought the stable in Kohlhaasenbrück much better--did you
not?"  "Thunder of Heaven!" exclaimed Herse, "I left the harness and
horse-cloths, and the bundle of linen in the sty.  Should I not have
secured the three crowns which I left in the red silk neckerchief, hid
behind the manger?  Death and the devil!--When you talk so, you make me
wish to light that match again which I threw away;"  "Nay, nay," said
Kohlhaas, "I did not mean so ill with you, I believe every word you
have spoken, and if there is any talk about it, I will take the
sacrament upon it; I am only sorry that you fared no better in my
service.  Go to bed, Herse; go to bed.  Take a flask of wine and
comfort yourself--you shall have justice."  He then rose, asked for a
list of the things which the man had left in the sty, specified their
value; asked him the expenses of curing his hurt, and, after shaking
hands with him, let him go.

He then told his wife, Lisbeth, the whole particulars of the affair;
said that he was resolved to claim public justice, and was pleased to
see that in this design she fully agreed with him.  For she said that
many other travellers, probably less forbearing than he, would go by
that castle, that it would be a pious work to stop disorders like
these, and that she would soon collect enough for the expenses of the
suit.  Kohlhaas called her a dear woman, passed this and the following
day with her and his children, and, as soon as business allowed, went
to Dresden to make his complaint before the tribunal.

Then with the help of a lawyer of his acquaintance he drew up a
petition, in which, after a circumstantial statement of the wrong which
the Squire Wenzel von Tronka had done both to him, and his servant
Herse, he claimed that he should be punished according to law, that his
horses should be restored to their former condition, and that
compensation should be awarded for the wrong which he and his servant
had suffered.  The case was clear enough, the fact that the horses had
been illegally detained threw a light on all the rest, and even if it
were assumed that they had been injured merely by chance, the claim of
their owner to have them back in a healthy condition, was nevertheless
just.  Besides Kohlhaas had plenty of good friends at Dresden, who
promised heartily to support his cause, his extensive trade in horses
had gained him a numerous acquaintance, and the honesty of his dealings
had acquired him the good will of the most important men in the
country.  He frequently dined with his advocate, who was himself a man
of consequence, gave him a sum to defray the law expenses, and being
fully satisfied by him as to the issue of the suit, returned, after a
few weeks to his wife at Kohlhaasenbrück.  However months passed on,
and the year was nearly at an end, and he had not yet got from Saxony
even a statement concerning his suit, much less the decision itself.
After he had applied to the tribunal several times anew he asked his
legal assistant in a confidential letter, what could be the cause of
this monstrous delay, and learned that his suit had been entirely set
aside in consequence of a high application to the supreme court at
Dresden.  In answer to another letter from the horse-dealer, couched in
terms of high dissatisfaction, and asking a reason for all this, the
jurist replied, that the Squire Wenzel von Tronka was related to two
young gentlemen, Herrn Henry and Conrad von Tronka, one of whom was
attached to the lord cup-bearer, while the other was chamberlain.  He
advised him, without proceeding further in the suit, to try to get his
horses back from the Tronkenburg, gave him to understand that the
squire, who was now in the capital, had ordered his people to return
them, and finally entreated him, if he would not be satisfied, at
any-rate not to give him (the writer) any further commissions relative
to the matter.

At this time, Kohlhaas happened to be in Brandenburg, where the
town-governor (_Stadt-hauptmann_) Heinrich von Geusau, to whose
jurisdiction Kohlhaasenbrück belonged, was occupied in founding several
charitable institutions for the poor and sick, a considerable sum,
which had come into the possession of the city, being appropriated for
that purpose.  Above all he was endeavouring to convert a mineral
spring, the source of which was in a neighbouring village, and
concerning the virtues of which higher expectations were raised than
were fulfilled by the parties, to the use of invalids, and as Kohlhaas,
in consequence of many transactions he had had with him, during his
sojourn at the court, was well known to him, he allowed the servant
Herse, who had not been able to breathe without a pain in the chest
since the unlucky day at Tronkenburg, to try the little spring, which
was now enclosed and roofed over.  Now it chanced that the governor was
standing by the bath, in which Herse was laid by Kohlhaas, to make
certain arrangements, when the horse-dealer received by a messenger,
sent by his wife, the disheartening letter from his advocate at
Dresden.  The governor, who while he was talking with the physician,
saw Kohlhaas drop a tear on the letter he had just received and opened,
went up to him in a kind manner, and asked him what misfortune had
happened; and when the horse-dealer, instead of answering, put the
letter in his hand, this worthy man, to whom the abominable wrong,
which had been done at the Tronkenburg, and in consequence of which
Herse lay ill before him, perhaps for life, was well known, slapped him
on the shoulder, and bid him not to be disheartened, as he would aid
him to obtain justice.  In the evening, when the horse-dealer, in
compliance with his instructions, called upon him at his castle, he
told him that he need only draw up a petition to the Elector of
Brandenburg, with a short statement of facts, attach to it the
advocate's letter, and claim seignorial protection on account of the
violence he had suffered in the Saxon territory.  He promised to
enclose the petition in a packet, which lay ready at hand, and thus to
put it into the hands of the elector, who would certainly, on his own
account, apply to the Elector of Saxony, as soon as circumstances
permitted.  Such a step was all that was wanted to obtain justice from
the tribunal at Dresden, in spite of the tricks of Squire von Tronka
and his adherents.  Kohlhaas, highly delighted, thanked the governor
most heartily, for this new proof of kindness, told him he was only
sorry that he had not at once commenced proceedings at Berlin, without
taking any steps at Dresden, and after he had duly prepared the
petition in the secretary's office, and had handed it over to the
governor, he returned to Kohlhaasenbrück better satisfied than ever as
to the prospects of the affair.  In a few weeks, however, he had the
mortification of learning, through a judge, who was going to Potsdam,
about some affairs of the governor, that the elector had handed over
the petition to his chancellor, Count Kallheim, and that the latter,
instead of going immediately to the court at Dresden to examine the
matter and inflict punishment, as seemed to be his duty, had first
applied for information to Squire von Tronka himself.  The judge,[3]
who stopped in his carriage before Kohlhaas's door, and who seemed to
have been expressly commissioned to make this communication, could give
no satisfactory answer to the question of his surprise: "But why did
they act in this way?" he merely said, that the governor had sent word,
begging him to be patient, appeared anxious to pursue his journey, and
it was not till the end of a short conversation, that Kohlhaas learned
by a few stray words, that Count Kallheim was related by marriage to
the von Tronka's.  Kohlhaas, who no longer took any delight in
attending his horses, or in his house and farm--scarcely in his wife
and children--waited the arrival of the following month with the
gloomiest misgivings, and it was quite in accordance with his
expectations, that when the interval was passed, Herse, who had been in
some measure relieved by the bath, returned from Brandenburg with a
letter from the governor, accompanying a paper of larger dimensions.
The letter was to the effect that the writer was sorry he could do
nothing for him, but that he sent him a decree of the chancery, and
advised him to take away the horses, which he had left at Tronkenburg,
and let the whole matter drop.  According to the decree, "he was a
vexatious litigant, on the information of the tribunal at Dresden; the
squire with whom he had left the horses did nothing to detain them; he
might send to the castle and fetch them, or at any rate let the squire
know where he was to send them, and at all events he was to abstain
from troubling the court with such wranglings."  Kohlhaas, to whom the
horses were not the chief object--had it been a couple of dogs he would
have been equally mortified--literally foamed with rage when he had
received this letter.  Whenever there was a noise in his farm, he
looked with the sickening sensation which had even stirred his heart
towards the gate, expecting to see the squire's servants, with his
horses starved and worn out; this was the only case in which his mind,
otherwise well-trained by the world, could find nothing that exactly
corresponded with his feelings.  Shortly afterwards he learned by means
of an acquaintance, who had travelled that way, that the horses were
still used with the squire's at Tronkenburg for field labour, and in
the midst of his pain at seeing the world in such a state of disorder,
there arose a feeling of inner contentment as he found there was at
least something like order in his own heart.  He invited the
proprietor[4] of the neighbouring lands, who had long entertained the
notion of increasing his possessions by purchasing the pieces of ground
adjoining, and asked him, when he had taken a seat, what he would give
him for his estates in Brandenburg and Saxony, taking house and farm
all in the lump, with or without fixtures.  His wife Lisbeth turned
pale as she heard these words.  Turning round she took up the youngest
child, who was sporting on the floor behind her, and darted at the
horse-dealer, and a paper which he held in his hand, glances, in which
doubt was depicted, and which passed across the red cheeks of the boy,
who was playing with the ribbons on her neck.  The farmer, who observed
his confused manner, asked him what had put so strange a thought all at
once into his head.  Kohlhaas, with as much cheerfulness as he could
assume, replied that the notion of selling his farm on the banks of the
Havel was not quite new, that they had both often discussed this matter
already, that his house in the suburbs of Dresden was comparatively a
mere appendage, not to be considered, and finally that if he would
comply with his offer and take both estates, he was quite ready to
conclude the contract.  He added, with a kind of forced levity, that
Kohlhaasenbrück was not the world; that there might be purposes, in
comparison with which that of presiding over one's household, like an
orderly father, was trivial and subordinate, and that in short his
mind, as he was bound to say, was set upon great matters, of which
perhaps the farmer would soon hear.  The farmer satisfied with this
explanation, said merrily to the wife, who kissed her child again and
again: "He won't want immediate payment, will he?" and then laying upon
the table the hat and stick he had hitherto carried between his knees,
he took the paper which Kohlhaas had in his hand to read it.  Kohlhaas
moving closer to him, explained that this was a conditional contract
which he had drawn up, and which would become absolute in four weeks;
showed that nothing was required but the signatures and the filling in
of the two sums, namely, the purchase-money and the price of
redemption, in case he should return within the four weeks, and again
asked him in a cheerful tone to make an offer, assuring him that he
would be reasonable, and would not hesitate about trifles.  The wife
walked up and down in the room, her heart palpitating to such a degree
that her handkerchief, at which the child was pulling, seemed ready to
fall from her shoulders.  The farmer said that he had no means of
estimating the value of the Dresden property, whereupon Kohlhaas,
pushing to him the documents that had been exchanged when he had
purchased it, replied that he valued it at one hundred gold crowns,
although it appeared clearly enough from the documents themselves, that
it cost him almost half as much again.  The farmer, who read the
contract over once more, and found that on his side also the liberty of
retracting was specially provided, said, already half determined, that
he could not make use of the stud that was in the stables; but when
Kohlhaas replied that he did not wish to part with the horses, and that
he also wished to keep some weapons that hung in the gun-room, he
hemmed and hesitated for a while, and at last repeated an offer which,
half in jest, half in earnest, he had made in the course of a walk, and
which was as nothing compared to the value of the property.  Kohlhaas
pushed pen and ink towards him that he might write, and when the
farmer, who could not trust his senses, asked the horse-dealer if he
was really serious, and the horse-dealer somewhat sharply asked the
farmer if he thought he could be in jest, the latter, with a somewhat
scrupulous countenance, took up the pen and wrote.  He struck out the
part relating to the sum to be paid, in case the vendor should repent
his bargain, bound himself to a loan of one hundred crowns on the
security of the Dresden property, which he would on no account consent
to purchase, and left Kohlhaas full liberty to recede from his contract
within two months.  The horse-dealer, touched by this handsome conduct,
shook the farmer's hand very heartily, and after they had agreed on the
chief condition, which was that a fourth of the purchase-money should
be paid in cash down, and the rest at the Hamburg bank three months
afterwards, he called for wine, that they might make merry over a
bargain so happily concluded.  He told the servant-maid, who entered
with bottles, that his man Sternbald was to saddle the chesnut horse,
saying that he must ride to the city, where he had business to
transact, and hinting that when he returned he would speak more openly
about that which he must now keep secret.  Then filling the glasses he
asked about the Poles and the Turks, who were then at war with each
other, entangled the farmer into all sorts of political conjectures on
the subject, and finally took a parting glass to the success of their
bargain, and dismissed him.

No sooner had the farmer left the room, than Lisbeth fell on her knees
before her husband.  "If," she cried, "you still retain any feeling for
me, and for the children which I bore you; if we are not already cast
off--for what cause I know not--tell me what is the meaning of these
frightful preparations?"

"Nothing, dearest wife, that can trouble you, as matters stand,"
answered Kohlhaas.  "I have received a decree, in which I am told that
my proceeding against Squire von Tronka is mere vexatious wrangling;
and because there must be some misunderstanding in this matter, I have
determined to commence my suit once more, personally, with the
sovereign of the country himself."

"But why sell your house?" she exclaimed, as she rose from the ground
in confusion.

The horse-dealer, gently embracing her, replied: "Because, dearest
Lisbeth, I will not abide in a country in which my rights are not
protected.  If I am to be trampled under foot, I would rather be a dog
than a man.  I am certain that, on this point, my wife thinks with me."

"But how do you know," she asked, wildly, "that they will not protect
you in your rights?  If you approach our sovereign as modestly as you
ought, with your petition, how do you know that it will be cast aside,
or answered with a refusal to hear you?"

"Well then," answered Kohlhaas, "if my fear turns out to be groundless,
my house, at any rate, is yet unsold.  Our sovereign himself, I know,
is just; and if I can succeed in approaching his person, through the
people who surround him, I have no doubt I can obtain my rights, and
before the week has passed, can return gladly to you and my old
business back again.  May I then," he added, as he kissed her, "remain
with you till the end of my life!  However," he continued, "it is
advisable that I should be prepared for every event, and hence I wish
you to leave this place for a time, if possible, and to go, with your
children, to your aunt at Schwerin, whom you have been long anxious to

"How," cried the wife.  "I go to Schwerin?--I cross the border with my
children, to go to my aunt at Schwerin?"  And her voice was stifled
with horror.

"Certainly," replied Kohlhaas, "and, if possible, immediately, that I
may not be impeded in the steps I am about to take in this matter."

"Oh, I understand you," she exclaimed.  "You want nothing but weapons
and horses; the rest any one may take who will."  And so saying, she
threw herself down upon a seat and wept.

Kohlhaas, much perplexed, said: "Dearest Lisbeth, what are you doing?
God has blessed me with wife, children, and property; shall I wish, for
the first time, that it was otherwise?"  And he sat down by her in a
kindly mood, while she, at these words, fell blushing on his neck.
"Tell me," he said, moving the curls from her forehead, "what I am to
do?  Shall I give up my cause?  Shall I go to Tronkenburg, and ask the
knight for my horses, mount them, and then ride home to you?"

Lisbeth did not venture to answer "Yes;" she shook her head, weeping,
clasped him fervently, and covered his breast with burning kisses.

"Good!" cried Kohlhaas.  "Then, if you feel that I must have justice,
if I am to carry on my business, grant me the liberty which is
necessary to attain it."  Upon this he rose up, and said to the
servant, who told him that his chestnut horse was saddled, that the
horses must be put in harness the following day, to take his wife to
Schwerin.  Suddenly Lisbeth saying that a thought had struck her,
raised herself, wiped the tears from her eyes, and asked him, as he sat
down at a desk, whether he could not give her the petition, and let her
go to Dresden instead of him, to present it to the sovereign.

Kohlhaas, struck by this sudden turn, for more reasons than one, drew
her to him, and said: "Dearest wife, that is impossible!  The sovereign
is surrounded by many obstacles, and to many annoyances is the person
exposed who ventures to approach him."

Lisbeth replied that the approach would be a thousand times easier for
a woman than for a man.  "Give me the petition," she repeated; "and if
you wish nothing more than to know that it is in his hands, I will
vouch for it."

Kohlhaas, who had frequently known instances of her courage as well as
of her prudence, asked her how she intended to set about it.  Upon
which she told him, hanging down her head abashed, that the castellan
of the electoral castle had formerly courted her, when she served at
Schwerin; that it was true he was now married, and had many children,
but that she might still not be quite forgotten--in short, she asked
him leave to take advantage of this and other circumstances, which it
would be superfluous to name.  Kohlhaas kissed her right joyously, told
her that he accepted her proposition, and that nothing more was wanted
than for her to stay with the castellan's wife, to secure an interview
with the sovereign, gave her the petition, had the brown horses
harnessed, and sent her off, safely stowed under the care of his
faithful servant, Sternbald.

Of all the unsuccessful steps which he had taken in the affair this
journey proved the most unlucky.  For, in a few days, Sternbald
returned to the farm, leading slowly along the vehicle in which Lisbeth
lay stretched, with a dangerous bruise on her breast.  Kohlhaas, who
approached it pale and terrified, could learn nothing connected as to
the cause of this calamity.  The castellan, according to the servant's
account, had not been at home, they had, therefore, been obliged to put
up at an inn in the vicinity of the castle; this inn Lisbeth had left
on the following morning, and had told the man to remain with the
horses; it was not till the evening that she returned, in the condition
in which she was seen.  It appeared that she had pressed forward too
boldly towards the sovereign, and that, without any fault on his part,
she had received a blow on the breast, from the shaft of a lance,
through the rude zeal of one of the guards who surrounded him.  At
least so said the people who, in the evening, brought her to the inn in
a state of insensibility, for she herself could speak but little, being
prevented by the blood that flowed from her mouth.  The petition was
afterwards taken from her by a knight.  Sternbald said that he had
wished immediately to set out on horseback and inform his master of the
misfortune that had happened, but that, in spite of all the
representations of the surgeon who had been called, she had insisted on
being conveyed to her husband at Kohlhaasenbrück.  The journey had
quite exhausted her, and Kohlhaas put her in a bed, where she laid some
days striving with difficulty to draw her breath.  Vain were all
endeavours to restore her to consciousness, that she might throw some
light on the events; she lay with her eyes fixed, and already glazed,
and returned no answer.  Only once, just before her death did she
recover her senses.  For, as a minister of the Lutheran religion (to
which newly springing faith she had attached herself, through the
example of her husband) was standing at her bed-side, and with a loud
and solemn voice was reading to her a chapter out of the bible, she
looked at him suddenly, with a dark expression, took the bible out of
his hand, as if there were nothing in it to be read to her, turned the
leaves over and over, as if she were looking for something, and at last
pointed out to Kohlhaas, who sat by the bed, the verse: "Forgive thine
enemies--do good unto them that hate thee!"  She then pressed his hand,
with a most significant glance, and expired.  "May God never forgive me
as I forgive the squire," thought Kohlhaas--and he kissed her, while
his tears were flowing fast, closed her eyes and rushed out of the
room.  The hundred golden crowns, which the farmer had already advanced
him on the Dresden stables he took, and bespoke a funeral which seemed
less fitted for Lisbeth than for a princess.  The coffin was of oak,
strongly cased with metal, the cushions were of silk with gold and
silver tassels, and the grave, which was eight ells deep, was lined
with stones and lime.  He himself, with his youngest child in his arms,
stood by the grave, and watched the progress of the work.  When the day
of burial came the corpse was laid out, as white as snow, in a room,
which he had lined with black cloth.  The minister had just finished a
touching discourse by the bier, when the sovereign's decree in answer
to the petition, which the deceased had presented, was put in the hands
of Kohlhaas.  The purport was, that he should fetch the horses from the
Tronkenburg, and make no further applications in this matter under pain
of imprisonment.  Kohlhaas put up the letter, and ordered the coffin to
be placed on the bier.  As soon as the mound was raised, the cross was
set upon it, and the guests, who had assisted at the funeral had been
dismissed, he threw himself down once more before his wife's deserted
bed, and then commenced the work of revenge.  Taking a seat, he drew up
a decree, in which, by virtue of his innate power, he condemned the
Squire Wenzel von Tronka, within three days after the sight thereof, to
bring back to Kohlhaasenbrück the horses which he had taken, and which
he had spoiled by field-work, and to feed them in person in his stables
until they were restored to their good condition.  This paper he
conveyed by a messenger on horseback, whom he instructed to return to
Kohlhaasenbrück immediately after he had delivered it.  The three days
having passed and no horses having been delivered, he called Herse to
him, informed him of the notice he had given to the squire concerning
the feeding, and asked him which of two things he would do: whether he
would go with him to the Tronkenburg and fetch the squire, or whether,
when he was brought him, he would hold the whip over him, in case he
should prove lazy in obeying the decree in the Kohlhaasenbrück stables.
Herse shouted out, "Let us begin to-day, master," and flinging his cap
into the air swore that he would have a thong twisted into ten knots to
teach the art of currying.  Kohlhaas sold his house, sent his children
in a vehicle over the border, called, in addition to Herse, the rest of
his servants, seven in number, and all as true as steel, at the
approach of night, armed them, mounted them, and set off for the

The third night was advancing, when with his little band, riding over
the toll-taker and the gate-keeper, who stood conversing by the gate,
he fell upon the Tronkenburg.  While, amid the crackling of the
outbuildings, which the men set on fire, Herse flew up the winding
staircase to the castellan's tower, and cut and thrust at the castellan
and the bailiff, who were at play, half undressed.  Kohlhaas rushed
into the castle to find Squire Wenzel.  So does the angel of judgment
descend from Heaven, and the squire, who, amid peals of laughter, was
reading to a party of young friends, the decree, which the horse-dealer
had sent him, no sooner heard his voice in the yard, than he cried to
the rest, pale as death, "Save yourselves, brothers!" and vanished
immediately.  Kohlhaas, who, on entering the hall, seized by the breast
and flung into the corner, one Squire Hans von Tronka, who was
advancing towards him, so that his brains were scattered on the stones,
asked, while his servants overpowered and dispersed the other knights,
who had taken up their weapons: "Where is Squire von Tronka?"  And
when, as the astounded knights professed their ignorance, he had, with
a blow of his foot, burst open the doors of two rooms, which led into
the wings of the castle, and after searching the spacious building in
all directions, still found nobody, he went, cursing down into the
yard, that he might guard every egress.  In the meanwhile, ignited by
the flames of the outbuildings, the castle itself, with all its wings,
took fire, and threw volumes of black smoke to the skies, and while
Sternbald, with three active fellows, dragged together all they could
lay hold of, and flung it upon their horses as lawful prize, the dead
bodies of the castellan and the bailiff, with their wives and children,
flew out of the upper window, accompanied by the shouts of Herse.
Kohlhaas, at whose feet, as he descended the stairs, the squire's gouty
old housekeeper threw herself, asked her, as he paused on one of the
steps: "Where is Squire von Tronka?"  When, with a weak trembling
voice, she answered, that she thought he had fled to the chapel; he
called for two servants with torches, broke open an entrance with
crow-bars and hatchets, for want of a key, and turned upside down the
altars and benches.  Still no squire was found, to the great grief of
Kohlhaas.  It happened, just as he was leaving the chapel, that a
boy--one of the servants at the Tronkenburg--hurried by to take the
squire's coursers out of a large stone stall, that was threatened by
the flames.  Kohlhaas, who at this moment saw his own two black horses
in a little thatched shed, asked the boy, why he did not save _them_,
and when the latter, as he put the key in the stable-door, answered
that the shed was already in flames, he tore the key out of the door,
flung it over the wall, and driving the boy with a shower of blows from
the flat of his sword, into the blazing shed, compelled him to save the
horses amid the frightful laughter of the bystanders.  When, in a few
moments, the boy, pale as death, came with the horses out of the shed
that fell behind him, Kohlhaas was no longer there, and when he joined
the servants in the yard, and then asked the horse-dealer what he was
to do with the animals, Kohlhaas raised his foot with such violence,
that it would have been fatal had it reached him, leaped upon his brown
horse without giving any answer, went under the castle-gate, and while
his men carried on their work, quietly awaited the dawn of day.  When
morning broke, the whole castle was burned, with the exception of the
bare walls, and no one was on the spot but Kohlhaas and his men.  He
alighted from his horse once more in the bright rays of the sun,
searched every corner of the place, and when, hard as it was to be
convinced, he saw that his enterprise at the castle had failed, his
heart swelling with grief and pain, he sent out Herse with some of the
others to obtain intelligence about the direction which the squire had
taken in flight.  A rich convent, called Erlabrunn, which was situated
on the banks of the Mulde, and the abbess of which, Antonia von Tronka,
was well known on the spot as a pious and benevolent lady, rendered him
particularly uneasy, for it seemed to him but too probable that the
squire, deprived as he was of every necessary of life, had taken refuge
in this asylum, since the abbess was his aunt, and had educated him in
his earliest years.  Kohlhaas being informed of this circumstance,
ascended the castellan's tower, within which he found a room that was
still habitable, and prepared what he called "Kohlhaasisch Mandate," in
which he desired the whole country to give no assistance whatever to
Squire von Tronka, with whom he was engaged in lawful war, and bound
every inhabitant, not excepting his friends and relations, to deliver
up to him the aforesaid squire, under the penalty of life and limb, and
conflagration of all that could be called property.  This declaration
he distributed through the country round, by means of travellers and
strangers.  To his servant, Waldmann, he gave a copy with the special
charge that it was to be put into the hands of the Lady Antonia at
Erlabrunn.  He afterwards gained over some of the Tronkenburg servants,
who were discontented with the squire, and tempted by the prospect of
booty, wished to enter his service.  These he armed after the fashion
of infantry with daggers and cross-bars, teaching them to sit behind
the servants on horseback.  After having turned into money all that the
troops had raked together, and divided the money among them, he rested
from his sad occupation for some hours, under the gate of the castle.

Herse returned about noon, and confirmed the gloomy suspicions, which
he had already felt in his heart, namely, that the squire was in the
convent at Erlabrunn, with his aunt, the lady Antonia von Tronka.  He
had, it appeared, slipped through a door at the back of the castle,
which led into the open air, and gone down a narrow flight of stone
steps, which, under a little roof, went down to some boats in the Elbe.
At least Herse told him that about midnight he reached a village on the
Elbe in a boat without a rudder, to the astonishment of the people, who
were collected together on account of the fire at the Tronkenburg, and
that he had proceeded to Erlabrunn in a waggon.  Kohlhaas sighed deeply
at this intelligence; he asked whether the horses had had their feed,
and when his men answered in the affirmative, he ordered the whole
troop to mount, and in three hours was before Erlabrunn.  While a
distant storm was murmuring in the horizon, he entered the convent yard
with his band, lighted by torches, which he had kindled before the
place.  The servant, Waldmann, who met him, told him that he had given
the copy of the mandate, when he saw the abbess and the beadle of the
convent talking in an agitated manner beneath the portal.  The latter,
a little old man, with hair as white as snow, darting fierce glances at
Kohlhaas, ordered his armour to be put on, and with a bold voice told
the servants who stood round him to ring the alarm bell, while the
abbess with a silver crucifix in her hand, descended, white as her own
garment, from the landing-place, and with all her maidens, threw
herself before Kohlhaas's horses.  Kohlhaas, himself, while Herse and
Sternbald overcame the beadle, who had no sword, and were leading him
off away to the horses as a prisoner, asked her: "Where is Squire von
Tronka?"  When, drawing from her girdle a large bunch of keys, she
answered: "At Wittenberg, worthy man," and in a trembling voice, added:
"Fear God, and do no wrong," the horse-dealer, cast back into the hell
of disappointed revenge, turned about his horse, and was on the point
of shouting out: "Set alight!" when a monstrous thunder-bolt fell to
the earth at his feet.  Kohlhaas, again turning his horse to her, asked
if she had received his mandate, and when with a weak and scarcely
audible voice, she said: "Only just now, about two hours after my
nephew had departed,"--and Waldmann, on whom Kohlhaas cast suspicious
glances, stammered out a confirmation of the statement, saying, that
the water of the Mulde had been swelled by the rain, and had hindered
him from arriving sooner, he collected himself.  A sudden fall of rain,
which extinguished the torches, and rattled on the stones, seemed to
ease the anguish of his wretched heart; he once more turned round,
touching his hat to the lady, and crying out: "Brothers, follow
me,--the Squire is in Wittenberg," clapped spurs to his horse and left
the convent.

At nightfall he put up at an inn on the road, where he had to rest a
day on account of the great fatigue of his horses, and as he plainly
saw, that with a troop of ten men (such was his force now), he could
not attack a place like Wittenberg, he drew up a second mandate, in
which, after strictly narrating what had happened to him, he called, to
use his own words, "Upon every good Christian to espouse his cause
against Squire von Tronka, the common enemy of all Christians, with the
promise of a sum of money down, and other advantages of war."  In a
third mandate he called himself a "Sovereign, free from the empire and
the world, subject to God alone;" a morbid and disgusting piece of
fanaticism, which nevertheless accompanied as it was with the chink of
money and the hope of prey, procured an accession to his numbers from
the rabble, whom the peace with Poland had deprived of a livelihood.
Indeed his band amounted to upwards of thirty, when he turned back to
the left bank of the Elbe to lay Wittenberg in ashes.  With his men and
horses he took shelter under the roof of an old ruined shed in the
depth of a gloomy wood, that in those days surrounded the place, and he
no sooner learned from Sternbald, that the mandate, with which he had
sent him into the town disguised, had been made known, than he set off
with his band--it was Whitsun eve,--and while the inhabitants lay fast
asleep, set a-light to the place at many corners.  He then, with his
men, plundered the suburbs, affixed a paper to the door-post of a
church, in which he said that "He, Kohlhaas, had set the city on fire,
and that if the squire was not given up to him, he would lay it in
ashes in such sort, that he would not have to look behind a wall to
find him."  The terror of the inhabitants at this unparalleled atrocity
was indescribable, and the flames, which in a particularly calm
summer's night, had not consumed more than nineteen houses, including a
church, being extinguished in some measure about day-break, the old
governor (Landvoigt), Otto von Gorgas, sent out a company of about
fifty men, to capture the fearful invader.  The captain of this
company, whose name was Gerstenberg, managed so badly, that the
expedition, instead of defeating Kohlhaas, rather helped him to a very
dangerous military reputation; for while he separated his men into
several divisions, that he might, as he thought, surround and curb
Kohlhaas, he was attacked by the latter, who kept his men close
together at the different isolated points, and was so beaten, that on
the evening of the following day, not a single man of the whole band
was left to face the aggressor, although on that band rested all the
hopes of the country.  Kohlhaas, who had lost none of his own men in
the encounter, fired the town anew on the following morning, and his
criminal plans were so well laid that a number of houses, and nearly
all the barns of the suburbs were reduced to ashes.  He then again
posted up his decree, and that in the corners of the town-house, adding
an account of the fate of Captain von Gerstenberg, whom the governor
had sent out against him, and whom he had demolished.  The governor,
greatly enraged at this defiance, placed himself with several knights
at the head of a band of a hundred and fifty men.  To Squire von
Tronka, who had sent him a written petition, he gave a guard, to
protect him from the violence of the people, who wished him to be
turned out of the city without more ado, and after he had posted guards
in all the villages around, and also had garrisoned the walls of the
city to defend it from a surprise, he set out on St. Gervas's day, to
capture the dragon that was thus laying waste the country.  The
horse-dealer was cunning enough to avoid this troop, and after he had,
by his clever retreats, lured away the governor five miles from the
city, and had made him believe by various preparations that if pressed
by numbers he would throw himself into the Brandenburg territory, he
suddenly faced about at the approach of the third night, and galloping
back to Wittenberg for the third time to set it on fire.  This
frightful act of audacity was achieved by Herse, who had entered the
city disguised, and the conflagration, through the action of a sharp
north wind was so destructive, and extended its ravages so far that in
less than three hours, two-and-forty houses, two churches, several
schools and convents, and the governor's residence were levelled with
the ground.  The governor, who believed that his adversary was in
Brandenburg, at break of day, found the city in a general uproar, when
having been informed of what had passed, he returned by forced marches.
The people had assembled by thousands before the house of Squire von
Tronka, which was fortified with boards and palisades, and with the
voices of maniacs were demanding that he should be sent out of the
city.  In vain did two burgomasters, named Jenkens and Otto, who
appeared at the head of the whole magistracy, clad in robes of office,
show the necessity of waiting for the return of a courier who had been
sent to the chancery to ask permission to send the squire to Dresden,
whither he himself, for many reasons, wished to be removed; the mob,
deaf to reason, and armed with pikes and staves would hear nothing, and
they not only ill-used some members of the council, who were urging too
severe measures, but they were on the point of tearing down the
squire's house, when the governor, Otto von Gorgas, appeared in the
city at the head of his troop of horse.  This venerable nobleman, whose
presence alone had usually awed the people to respect and obedience,
had succeeded in capturing three stragglers from the incendiary's band
at the very gates of the city, as if by way of compensation for the
failure of his enterprise; and as, while these fellows were loaded with
chains in sight of the people, he assured the magistrates, in a
seasonable address, that he thought he was in a fair way to capture
Kohlhaas himself, and in a short time to bring him in, also enchained,
he succeeded in disarming the rage of the assembled multitude, and in
appeasing them, in some measure, as to the squire's remaining among
them, till the return of the courier from Dresden.  He alighted from
horseback, and with some of his knights, the palisades being removed,
he entered the house, where he found the squire, who was continually
fainting, in the hands of two physicians, who, by the aid of essences
and stimulants, were endeavouring to restore him to consciousness.
Herr Otto von Gorgas, feeling that this was not the moment to bandy
words with the squire about his bad conduct, merely told him, with a
look of silent contempt, to dress himself, and for his own security, to
follow him to apartments in the prison.  When they had put him on a
doublet, and set a helmet on his head, and he appeared in the street
with his breast half open for want of air, leaning on the arm of the
governor and his brother-in-law, Count von Gerschau, the most frightful
imprecations ascended to the skies.  The mob, kept back with difficulty
by the soldiers, called him a blood-sucker, a miserable pest to the
country, the curse of the city of Wittenberg, and the destruction of
Saxony.  After a melancholy procession through the ruins, during which
the squire often let the helmet drop from his head without missing it,
and a knight as often set it on again from behind him, he reached the
prison, and vanished into a town under the protection of a strong
guard.  In the meanwhile, the city was thrown into new alarm by the
return of the courier with the electoral decree.  For the government,
having listened to the applications of the citizens of Dresden, would
not hear of the squire taking up his abode in this the chief city, till
the incendiary was conquered; but charged the governor to protect him,
wherever he might be, and remember he must be content with such forces
as he had.  He, however, informed the good city of Wittenberg, to allay
uneasiness, that a troop of five hundred strong, under the command of
Prince Frederic, of Misnia, was advancing to protect it from further
molestations by Kohlhaas.  The governor plainly saw that a decree of
this kind would by no means satisfy the people, since not only had the
many little advantages which the horse-dealer had gained at different
points before the city, caused most alarming reports to be spread as to
his increase of strength, but the war which he carried on in the
darkness of night, with pitch, straw, and brimstone, aided by a rabble
in disguise, might, unexampled as it was, completely frustrate a
greater protective force than that which was coming with the Prince of
Misnia.  Therefore, after a short reflection, the governor resolved to
suppress the decree.  He merely posted up against the corners of the
city, a letter, in which the Prince of Misnia announced his arrival.  A
covered cart, which left the prison-yard at break of day, accompanied
by four guards on horse-back, heavily armed, passed along the street to
Leipzig, the guards causing it to be vaguely reported that it was going
to the Pleissenburg.  The people being thus appeased as to the
ill-fated squire, to whose presence fire and sword were bound, the
governor himself set off with a troop of three hundred men, to join
Prince Frederic of Misnia.  In the meanwhile, Kohlhaas, by the singular
position he had taken in the world, had increased his force to a
hundred and ten persons; and as he had procured a good store of arms at
Jessen, and had armed his band in the most perfect manner, he was no
sooner informed of the double storm, than he resolved to meet it with
all possible speed, before it should break over him.  Therefore, on the
following night he attacked the Prince of Misnia, by Mühlberg, in which
encounter, to his great grief, he lost Herse, who fell by his side on
the first fire.  However, enraged at this loss, he so defeated the
prince, who was unable to collect his force together, in a three hours
contest, that at break of day, on account of several wounds, and
likewise of the total disorder of his men, he was forced to retreat to
Dresden.  Emboldened by this advantage Kohlhaas turned back upon the
governor, before he could have received intelligence of the event, fell
upon him in an open field near the village of Damerow in broad
daylight, and fought with fury till nightfall, suffering terrible loss,
but still with equal advantage.  The next morning unquestionably, with
the remainder of his force, he would have again attacked the governor,
who had thrown himself into the church-yard at Damerow, if the latter
had not been informed of the prince's defeat by Mühlberg, and therefore
held it advisable once more to return to Wittenberg, and await a better
opportunity.  Five days after the dispersion of these two forces,
Kohlhaas was before Leipzig, and fired the city on three sides.  In the
mandate which he distributed on this occasion he called himself,
"Vicegerent of Michael the Archangel who had come to avenge, with fire
and sword, the villany into which the whole world had fallen, on all
who had taken the squire's part in this struggle."  At the same time
from the Lützen Castle, of which he had taken possession, and in which
he had established himself, he called upon the people to join him, and
bring about a better order of things.  The mandate was signed, as if by
a sort of madness: "Given at the suit of our provisional
world-government,--the Castle of Lützen."  Fortunately for the
inhabitants of Leipzig, the fire did not catch on account of the
continual rain, and moreover the means of extinguishing being used with
great promptness, only a few shops about the Pleissenburg burst into
flames.  Nevertheless the alarm of the city at the presence of the
violent incendiary, and his notion that the squire was at Leipzig, was
indescribable; and when a body of a hundred and eighty troopers, who
had been sent out against him, returned to the city in confusion, the
magistracy, who did not wish to endanger the property of the place, had
no other course left them but to close the gates, and set the citizens
to watch day and night outside the walls.  In vain did they post up
declarations in the surrounding villages, that the squire was not in
the Pleissenburg; the horse-dealer in similar papers affirmed the
contrary, and declared that even if the squire was not in the
Pleissenburg, he would nevertheless proceed just in the same manner,
until they informed him where he actually was.  The elector, instructed
by a courier of the peril in which the city of Leipzig stood, stated
that he was collecting a force of two thousand men, and that he would
put himself at the head of it, to capture Kohlhaas.  He severely
reproved Otto von Gorgas for the indiscreet stratagem he had employed
to remove the incendiary from the neighbourhood of Wittenberg, and no
one can describe the alarm which arose in Saxony in general, and in the
capital in particular, when the inhabitants learned that an unknown
hand had posted up in the villages near Leipzig, a declaration that
Squire Wenzel was with his armies at Dresden.

Under these circumstances, Dr. Martin Luther, supported by the
authority which he owed to his position in the world, took upon himself
by the force of words to call back Kohlhaas into the path of order, and
trusting to a suitable element in the heart of the incendiary, caused a
placard, worded as follows, to be set up in all the towns and villages
of the electorate:

"Kohlhaas--thou who pretendest that thou art deputed to wield the sword
of justice, what art thou doing, presumptuous one, in the madness of
thy blind passion, thou who art filled with injustice from the crown of
thy head to the sole of thy foot?  Because thy sovereign, whose subject
thou art, hath refused thee justice, dost thou arise in godless man,
the cause of worldly good, with fire and sword, and break in like the
wolf of the desert upon the peaceful community that he protecteth.
Thou, who misleadest mankind by a declaration full of untruth and
craftiness, dost thou believe, sinner that thou art, the same pretext
will avail thee before God on that day when the recesses of every heart
shall be revealed?  How canst thou say that justice hath been
denied--thou, whose savage heart, excited by an evil spirit of
self-revenge, entirely gave up the trouble of seeking it after the
failure of thy first trivial endeavours?  Is a bench of beadles and
tipstaffs, who intercept letters, or keep to themselves the knowledge
they should communicate, the power that ruleth?  Must I tell thee,
impious man, that thy ruler knoweth nothing of thy affair?  What do I
say?  Why that the sovereign against whom thou rebellest doth not even
know thy name, and that when thou appearest before the throne of God,
thinking to accuse him, he with a serene countenance will say: 'Lord to
this man did I no wrong, for his existence is strange unto my soul.'
Know that the sword that thou bearest is the sword of robbery and
murder; thou art a rebel and no warrior of the just God.  Thine end
upon earth is the wheel and the gallows, and thine end hereafter is
that condemnation which threateneth the worker of evil and impiety.


In the Castle of Lützen Kohlhaas was meditating, in his diseased mind,
a new plan for reducing Leipzig to ashes, paying no attention to the
notice set up in the villages, that Squire Wenzel was in Dresden,
because it had no signature, though he had required one of the
magistrates; when Sternbald and Waldmann perceived with the greatest
astonishment the placard that had been set up by night against the
gateway of the castle.  In vain did they hope for many days that
Kohlhaas, whom they did not wish to approach for the purpose, would see
it.  Gloomy and brooding in his own thoughts, he merely appeared in the
evening to give a few short commands, and saw nothing, and hence one
morning, when he was about to hang up two of his men, who had been
plundering in the neighbourhood against his will, they resolved to
attract his attention.  He was returning from the place of judgment,
with the pomp to which he had accustomed himself since his last
mandate, while the people timidly made way on both sides.  A large
cherub-sword on a red leather cushion, adorned with gold tassels was
carried before him, and twelve servants followed him with burning
torches.  The two men, with their swords under their arms, walked round
the pillar to which the placard was attached, so as to awaken his
surprise.  Kohlhaas, as with his hands locked behind him, and sunk deep
in thought, he came under the portal, raised his eyes and started; and
as the men timidly retired from his glance, witnessing the confusion,
he approached the pillar with hurried steps.  But who shall describe
the state of his mind, when he saw upon it the paper which accused him
of injustice, signed with the dearest and most revered name that he
knew--the name of Martin Luther?  A deep red overspread his face;
taking off his helmet he read it twice from beginning to end; then with
uncertain looks stepped back among his men as if about to say
something, and yet said nothing; then took the paper from the wall,
read it once more, and cried as he disappeared: "Waldmann get my horses
saddled, Sternbald follow me into the castle!"  More than these few
words was not wanted to disarm him at once among all his purposes of

He put on the disguise of a Thuringian farmer, told Sternbald that
business of importance called him to Wittenberg, entrusted him, in the
presence of some of his principal men, with the command of the band
left at Lützen, and promising to return in three days, within which
time no attack was to be feared, set off to Wittenberg at once.

He put up at an inn under a feigned name, and at the approach of night,
wrapped in his mantle, and provided with a brace of pistols which he
had seized at the Tronkenburg, walked into Luther's apartment.  Luther
was sitting at his desk, occupied with his books and papers, and as
soon as he saw the remarkable looking stranger open the door, and then
bolt it behind him, he asked who he was and what he wanted.  The man,
reverentially holding his hat in his hand, had no sooner answered, with
some misgiving as to the alarm he might occasion, that he was Michael
Kohlhaas, the horse-dealer, than Luther cried out, "Away with thee,"
and added, as he rose from his desk to ring the bell: "Thy breath is
pestiferous, and thy approach is destruction!"

Kohlhaas, without stirring from the spot said: "Reverend sir, this
pistol, if you touch the bell, lays me a corpse at your feet.  Sit down
and hear me.  Among the angels, whose psalms you write, you are not
safer than with me."

"But what dost thou want?" asked Luther, sitting down.

"To refute your opinion that I am an unjust man," replied Kohlhaas.
"You have said in your placard that my sovereign knows nothing of my
affairs.  Well, give me a safe-conduct, and I will go to Dresden, and
lay it before him."

"Godless and terrible man!" exclaimed Luther, both perplexed and
alarmed by these words, "Who gave thee a right to attack Squire von
Tronka, with no other authority than thine own decree, and then, when
thou didst not find him in his castle, to visit with fire and sword
every community that protected him?"

"Now, reverend sir," answered Kohlhaas, "the intelligence I received
from Dresden misled me!  The war which I carry on with the community of
mankind is unjust, if I have not been expelled from it, as you assure

"Expelled from it?" cried Luther, staring at him, "What madness is
this?  Who expelled thee from the community of the state in which thou
art living?  When, since the existence of states, was there an instance
of such an expulsion of any one, whoever he might be?"

"I call him expelled," answered Kohlhaas, clenching his fist, "to whom
the protection of the laws is denied!  This protection I require to
carry on my peaceful trade; it is only for the sake of this protection
that, with my property, I take refuge with this community, and he who
denies it me drives me back to the beasts of the desert, and puts in my
own hand, as you cannot deny, the club which is to defend me."

"But who has denied thee the protection of the laws?" cried Luther,
"Did not I myself write that the complaint which was sent by thee to
the elector, is still unknown to him?  If his servants suppress suits
behind his back, or abuse his sacred name, without his knowledge, who
but God shall call him to account for the choice of such servants, and
as for thee, abominable man, who has entitled thee to judge of him?"

"Well," answered Kohlhaas, "then if the elector does not expel me, I
will return back again to the community which is under his protection.
Give me, as I said before, a safe conduct to Dresden, and I will
disperse the band I have assembled at the Castle of Lützen, and will
once more bring the suit, with which I failed, before the tribunal of
the country."

Luther, with a dissatisfied countenance, turned over the papers which
lay upon his table and was silent.  The bold position which this man
took in the state offended him, and thinking over the decree which had
been sent to the squire from Kohlhaasenbrück, he asked "what he wanted
from the tribunal at Dresden?"

"The punishment of the squire, according to law," answered Kohlhaas,
"the restoration of my horses to their former condition, and
compensation for the injury which has been suffered both by me and my
man Herse, who fell at Mühlberg, through the violence inflicted upon

"Compensation for injury!" cried Luther, "Why thou hast raised sums by
thousands from Jews and Christians, in bonds and pledges, for the
satisfaction of thy wild revenge.  Wilt thou fix an amount if there
should be a question about it?"

"God forbid," said Kohlhaas, "I do not ask back again my house and
farm, or the wealth that I possessed--no more than the expenses of
burying my wife!  Herse's old mother will bring in an account of
medical expenses, and a specification of what her son lost at
Tronkenburg, while for the damage which I sustained by not selling my
horses, the government can settle that by a competent arbitrator."

"Terrible and incomprehensible man," said Luther, gazing at him.  "When
thy sword hath inflicted on the squire the most frightful vengeance
that can be conceived, what can induce thee to press for a sentence
against him, the sharpness of which, if it should take effect, would
inflict a wound of such slight importance?"

Kohlhaas answered, while a tear rolled down his cheek: "Revered sir,
the affair has cost me my wife.  Kohlhaas would show the world that she
fell in the performance of no injustice.  Concede to my will on these
points, and let the tribunal speak.  In every other matter that may
come under discussion, I yield."

"Look," said Luther, "what thou askest, supposing circumstances to be
such as the general voice reports, is just; and if thou hadst
endeavoured, without revenging thyself on thine own account, to lay
thine affair before the elector for his decision, I have no doubt that
thy request would have been granted, in every point.  But all things
considered, wouldst thou not have done better, if, for thy Redeemer's
sake, thou hadst forgiven the squire, taken the horses, lean and
worn-out as they were, mounted them, and ridden home upon them to
fatten them in their own stable at Kohlhaasenbrück."

"I might or I might not," answered Kohlhaas, going to the window, "Had
I known that I should have to set them up with my own wife's heart's
blood, then, reverend sir, I might have done as you say, and not have
grudged a bushel of oats.  But now they have cost me so dear, the
matter, as I think, had better take its course.  So let the sentence be
passed as is my right, and let the squire feed my horses."

Luther, in the midst of contending thoughts, again returned to his
papers, and said that he would himself communicate with the elector on
the affair.  In the meanwhile he told Kohlhaas to keep himself quiet at
the Castle of Lützen, adding, that if the elector consented to a
safe-conduct it should be made known to him by means of placards.
"Whether," he added, as Kohlhaas stooped to kiss his hand, "the elector
will show mercy instead of justice, I know not, for I understand he has
collected an army, and is on the point of seizing thee at the Castle of
Lützen.  Nevertheless, as I told thee before, there shall be no want of
trouble on my part."  Upon this he arose and seemed about to dismiss
him.  Kohlhaas thought that this intercession was perfectly
satisfactory, and Luther was signifying a farewell with his hand, when
the former suddenly dropped on his knee before him, and said he had one
request deep at heart.  At Whitsuntide--a period when he was usually
accustomed to take the sacrament--he had not gone to church, on account
of his martial expedition, and he begged that Luther would have the
kindness to receive his confession without further preparation, and to
administer to him the supper of the Lord.

Luther, eyeing him keenly, said after a short reflection: "Yes,
Kohlhaas, I will do it.  But recollect that the Lord, whose body thou
desirest, forgave his enemy.  Wilt thou," he added, as Kohlhaas looked
confused, "likewise forgive the squire who offended thee, go to the
Tronkenburg, set thyself upon thy horses, and ride home to fatten them
at Kohlhaasenbrück?"

"Reverend sir," said Kohlhaas, cooling as he grasped his hand, "Even
the Lord did not forgive all his enemies.  Let me forgive their
highnesses, the two electors, the castellan and the bailiff, the rest
of the Von Tronkas, and whoever besides may have injured me in this
matter, but let me compel the squire to feed my horses."

Luther, on hearing these words, turned his back upon him with a
displeased countenance, and rung the bell.  Kohlhaas, as a servant with
a light announced himself in the antechamber, rose astounded, and
drying his eyes, from the ground, and Luther having again set himself
down to his papers, he opened the door to the man who was in vain
struggling against, on account of the bolt being drawn.  "Show a
light," said Luther to the servant, casting a rapid side-glance at the
stranger, whereupon the man rather astonished at the visit took down
the house key from the wall, and retired to the door, which stood half
open, waiting for Kohlhaas to withdraw.  "Then," said Kohlhaas, deeply
moved, as he took his hat in both hands, "I cannot receive the benefit
of a reconciliation as I entreated."

"With thy Redeemer, no!" answered Luther shortly, "With thy
sovereign--that, as I told thee, depends upon the success of an
endeavour."  He then motioned the servant to do as he had been ordered,
without further delay.  Kohlhaas, with an expression of deep pain, laid
both his hands on his heart, followed the man, who lit him down stairs,
and disappeared.

On the following morning Luther sent a communication to the Elector of
Saxony, in which after giving a severe side-blow to Herrn Henry, and
Conrad von Tronka, the cup-bearer and chamberlain, who had, as was
notorious, suppressed the complaint, he told him, with that freedom
which was peculiar to him, that under such vexatious circumstances
nothing was left but to accept the horse-dealer's proposal, and to
grant an amnesty on account of the past, that he might renew his suit.
Public opinion, he remarked, was completely on the side of this man,
and that to a dangerous degree; nay, to such an extent, that even the
city of Wittenberg, which he had burned three times, raised a voice in
his favour.  If his offer were refused it would unquestionably be
brought, accompanied by very obnoxious remarks, to the notice of the
people, who might easily be so far led away that the state authority
could do nothing whatever with the transgressor.  He concluded with the
observation, that in this case the difficulty of treating with a
citizen who had taken up arms must be passed over; that by the conduct
towards him the man had been in a certain manner released from his
obligation to the state; and that in short, to settle the matter, it
would be better to consider him as a foreign person who had invaded the
country--which would be in some measure correct, as he was indeed a
foreigner[5]--than as a rebel who had taken up arms against the throne.

The elector received this letter just when Prince Christian of Misnia,
generalissimo of the empire, and uncle of the Prince Frederic who was
defeated at Mühlberg, and still very ill of his wounds, the high
chancellor of the tribunal, Count Wrede, Count Kallheim, president of
the state-chancery, and the two von Tronkas, the cup-bearer, and the
chamberlain, who had both been friends of the elector from his youth,
were present in the castle.  The chamberlain, who, as a privy
counsellor of the elector, conducted private correspondence, with the
privilege of using his name and coat of arms, first opened the subject,
and after explaining at great length, that on his own authority he
would never have set aside the petition which the horse-dealer had
presented to the tribunal against his cousin the squire, if he had not
been induced by false representations to consider it a mere vexatious
and useless affair,--he came to the present state of things.  He
observed that neither according to divine nor human laws had the
horse-dealer any right to take such a monstrous revenge, as he had
allowed himself on account of this oversight.  He dwelled on the lustre
which would fall on the impious head of Kohlhaas, if he were treated as
a party lawfully at war, and the dishonour which would result to the
sacred person of the elector by such a proceeding appeared to him so
great, that he said, with all the fire of eloquence, that he would
rather see the decree of the round-headed rebel acted on, and the
squire, his cousin, carried off to feed the horses at Kohlhaasenbrück,
than he would see the proposition of Dr. Martin Luther accepted.  The
high chancellor of the tribunal, half turning to the chamberlain,
expressed his regret that such a tender anxiety, as he now showed to
clear up this affair to the honour of his sovereign, had not inspired
him in the first instance.  He pointed out to the elector his objection
against the employment of force to carry out a measure which was
manifestly unjust; he alluded to the constant increase of the
horse-dealer's followers as a most important circumstance, observing
that the thread of misdeeds seemed to be spinning itself out to an
infinite length, and declared that only an act of absolute justice,
which should immediately and without reserve make good the false step
that had been taken, could rescue the elector and the government from
this hateful affair.

Prince Christian of Misnia, in answer to the elector's question, "what
he thought of it," answered, turning respectfully to the high
chancellor, that the sentiments which he had just heard filled him with
great respect, but that the chancellor did not consider that while he
was for helping Kohlhaas to his rights, he was compromising Wittenberg,
Leipzig, and the whole of the country, which he had laid waste, in
their just claims to restitution or at least to the punishment of the
offender.  The order of the state had been so completely distorted in
the case of this man, that a maxim, taken from the science of law,
could scarcely set it right again.  Hence he agreed with the opinion of
the chamberlain that the measures appointed for such cases should be
adopted, that an armed force of sufficient magnitude should be raised,
and that the horse-dealer, who had settled himself in the Castle of
Lützen, should be arrested, or, at any rate, that his power should be

The chamberlain, politely taking from the wall two chairs for the
elector and the prince, said he rejoiced that a man of such known
integrity and acuteness agreed with him in the means to be employed in
arranging this difficult affair.  The prince, holding the chair without
sitting down, and looking hard at him, observed, that he had no reason
to rejoice, since a measure necessarily connected with the one he had
recommended, would be to order his arrest, and proceed against him for
the misuse of the elector's name.  For if necessity required that the
veil should be let down before the throne of justice, over a series of
iniquities, which kept on indefinitely increasing, and therefore could
no more find space to appear at the bar, that was not the case with the
first misdeed that was the origin of all.  A capital prosecution of the
chamberlain would alone authorise the state to crush the horse-dealer,
whose cause was notoriously just, and into whose hand had been thrust
the sword which he carried.

The elector, whom von Tronka eyed with some confusion as he heard these
words, turned round deeply colouring, and approached the window.  Count
Kallheim, after an awkward pause on all sides, said that in this way
they could not get out of the magic circle which encompassed them.
With equal right might proceedings be commenced against the prince's
nephew, Prince Frederic, since even he, in the singular expedition
which he undertook against Kohlhaas had, in many instances, exceeded
his instructions; and, therefore, were the inquiry once set on foot
about the numerous persons who had occasioned the present difficulty,
he must be included in the list, and called to account by the elector
for what had taken place at Mühlberg.

The cup-bearer, von Tronka, while the elector with doubtful glances
approached his table, then took up the subject, and said, that he could
not conceive how the right method of proceeding had escaped men of such
wisdom, as those assembled unquestionably were.  The horse-dealer, as
far as he understood, had promised to dismiss his force if he obtained
a free conduct to Dresden, and a renewed investigation of his cause.
From this, however, it did not follow, that he was to have an amnesty
for his monstrous acts of vengeance; two distinct points which Dr.
Luther and the council seemed to have confused.  "If," he continued,
laying his finger to the side of his nose, "the judgment on account of
the horses--no matter which way it goes--is pronounced by the Dresden
tribunal, there is nothing to prevent us from arresting Kohlhaas on the
ground of his robberies and incendiarism.  This would be a prudent
stroke of policy, which would unite the views of the statesmen on both
sides, and secure the applause of the world and of posterity."

The elector, when the prince and the high chancellor answered this
discourse of the cup-bearer merely with an angry glance, and the
discussion seemed to be at an end, said that he would by himself
reflect on the different opinions he had heard till the next sitting of
the council.  His heart being very susceptible to friendship, the
preliminary measure proposed by the prince had extinguished in him the
desire of commencing the expedition against Kohlhaas, for which every
preparation had been made.  At all events he kept with him the high
chancellor, Count Wrede, whose opinion appeared the most feasible; and
when this nobleman showed him letters, from which it appeared that the
horse-dealer had already acquired a force of four hundred men, and was
likely, in a short time, to double and treble it, amid the general
discontent which prevailed in the land on account of the chamberlain's
irregularities, he resolved without delay to adopt Dr. Luther's advice;
he, therefore, entrusted to Count Wrede the whole management of the
Kohlhaas affair, and in a few days appeared a placard, the substance of
which was as follows:

"We, &c., &c., Elector of Saxony, having especial regard to the
intercession of Dr. Martin Luther, do give notice to Michael Kohlhaas,
horse-dealer of Brandenburg, that, on condition of his laying down
arms, within three days after sight hereof, he shall have free conduct
to Dresden, to the end that his cause be tried anew.  And if, as is not
to be expected, his suit, concerning the horses, shall be rejected by
the tribunal at Dresden, then shall he be prosecuted with all the
severity of the law for attempting to obtain justice by his own might;
but, in the contrary case, mercy instead of justice shall be granted,
and a full amnesty shall be given to Kohlhaas and all his troop."

No sooner had Kohlhaas received a copy of this notice, which was posted
up all over the country, through the hands of Dr. Luther, than,
notwithstanding the conditional manner in which it was worded, he
dismissed his whole band with gifts, thanks, and suitable advice.  All
that he gained by plunder--money, arms, and implements--he gave up to
the courts of Lützen, as the elector's property, and after he had sent
Waldmann to Kohlhaasenbrück, with letters to the farmer, that he might,
if possible, re-purchase his farm, and Sternbald to Schwerin to fetch
his children, whom he again wished to have with him, he left the Castle
of Lützen, and went to Dresden, unknown, with the rest of his little
property, which he held in paper.

It was daybreak, and the whole city was still sleeping, when he knocked
at the door of his small tenement in the Pirna suburb, which had been
left him through the honesty of the farmer, and told his old servant,
Thomas, who had the care of the property, and who opened the door with
amazement, that he might go and tell the Prince of Misnia, at the seat
of government, that he, Kohlhaas, the horse-dealer, was there.  The
Prince of Misnia, who, on hearing this announcement, thought it right
immediately to inform himself of the relation in which this man stood,
found, as he went out with a train of knights and soldiers, that the
streets leading to the residence of Kohlhaas were already thronged with
an innumerable multitude.  The intelligence that the destroying angel
was there, who pursued the oppressors of the people with fire and
sword, had set all Dresden, city and suburbs, in motion.  It was found
necessary to bolt the door against the pressure of the anxious
multitude, and the youngsters clambered up to the window to see the
incendiary, who was at breakfast.  As soon as the prince, with the
assistance of the guard, who forced a passage for him, had pressed
forward into the house, and had entered Kohlhaas's room, he asked him,
as he stood half-undressed at a table, "Whether he was Kohlhaas, the
horse-dealer?"  Whereupon Kohlhaas, taking out of his girdle a
pocket-book, with several papers relating to his position, and handing
them over, respectfully said, "Yes!" adding that, after dismissing his
band, in conformity with the privilege which the elector had granted,
he had come to Dresden to bring his suit against Squire Wenzel von
Tronka, on account of his black horses.  The prince, after a hasty
glance, in which he surveyed him from head to foot, and ran over the
papers which he found in the pocket-book, heard his explanation of the
meaning of a document given by the court at Lützen, and relating to the
deposit in favour of the electoral treasury.  Then, having examined him
by all sorts of questions about his children, his property, and the
sort of life he intended to lead in future, and having thus ascertained
that there was no occasion to feel uneasiness on his account, he
returned to him his pocket-book and said that there was nothing to
impede his suit, and that he might himself apply to Count Wrede, the
high chancellor of the tribunal, and commence it immediately.  The
prince then, after a pause, during which he went to the window and saw,
with wonder, the immense multitude before the house, said: "You will be
obliged to have a guard for the first days to watch over you here and
when you go out!"  Kohlhaas cast down his eyes surprised and was
silent.  "Well, no matter!" said the prince, leaving the window,
"whatever happens you will only have yourself to blame."  He then moved
towards the door with the design of quitting the house.  Kohlhaas, who
had recovered, said, "Do as you please, gracious prince!  Only pledge
me your word to remove the guard as soon as I desire it and I have no
objection to make against this measure."  "That is not worth speaking
of," said the prince, who after telling the three soldiers, who were
appointed as guards, that the man in whose house they were placed was
free, and that when he went out they were merely to follow him for his
protection, took leave of the horse-dealer with a condescending wave of
the hand and departed.

About noon, Kohlhaas, attended by his three guards, and followed by a
countless multitude, who, warned by the police, did him no manner of
injury, proceeded to the chancellor's.  Count Wrede received him, in
his anteroom, with kindness and affability, discoursed with him for two
entire hours, and after he had heard the whole course of events from
the beginning to the end of the affair, he directed him to a celebrated
advocate in the city, who was attached to the court, that he might
favourably draw up his complaint.  Kohlhaas without further delay went
to the advocate's house, and after the complaint was drawn up, which,
like the first rejected one, required the punishment of the squire
according to law, the restoration of the horses to their former
condition, and a compensation both for the damage he had sustained, and
for what his servant, Herse, who had fallen at Mühlberg, had suffered
(for the benefit of his mother), he again returned home, still followed
by the gaping multitude, resolving not to go out of doors any more
unless urgent necessity demanded it.

In the meanwhile Squire Wenzel von Tronka was released from his
confinement in Wittenberg, and after he had recovered from a dangerous
erysipelas in the foot, was peremptorily summoned by the tribunal to
appear at Dresden, and answer the complaint of the horse-dealer,
Kohlhaas, respecting certain horses, which had been unlawfully detained
and spoiled.  His relations, the brothers von Tronka, (the chamberlain
and the cupbearer,) at whose house he put up, received him with the
greatest indignation and contempt; they called him a wretched and
worthless person, who brought disgrace on all his family, told him that
he would infallibly lose the cause, and bade him prepare to bring the
horses, which he would be condemned to feed, amid the general derision
of the world.  The squire, with a weak trembling voice, said that he
was more to be pitied than any one in the world.  He swore that he knew
but little of the whole cursed business, which had plunged him into
calamity, and that the castellan and the bailiff were alone to blame,
inasmuch as they had employed the horses in the harvest without the
remotest knowledge and wish on his part, and had ruined them by
immoderate work in their corn fields.  He sat down as he uttered these
words, and entreated his relations not to plunge him back again into
the illness from which he had recovered, by their reproaches.  On the
following day, the brothers von Tronka, who possessed property in the
neighbourhood of the destroyed Tronkenburg, finding there was nothing
else to be done, wrote to their farmers and bailiffs, at their
kinsman's request, to obtain information respecting the horses, which
had disappeared on the day of the calamity and had not been heard of
since.  But the whole place having been laid waste, and nearly all the
inhabitants having been slaughtered, they could learn no more than that
a servant, driven by blows with the flat of the incendiary's sabre, had
saved the horses from the burning shed, in which they stood, and that
on asking where he was to take them, and what he was to do, he only
received from the ruffian a kick for an answer.  The gouty old
housekeeper, who had fled to Misnia, stated, in writing, that the
servant on the morning that followed that dreadful night had gone with
the horses to the Brandenburg border.

Nevertheless all inquiries made in that direction proved fruitless,
and, indeed, the intelligence did not appear correct, as the squire had
no servant whose house was in Brandenburg or even on the road thither.
Men from Dresden, who had been at Wilsdruf a few days after the
conflagration of the Tronkenburg, said that about the time specified a
boy had come there leading two horses by a halter, and that he had left
the animals, as they were in a very wretched plight and unable to
proceed further, in the cow-shed of a shepherd, who had wished to
restore them to good condition.  For many reasons it seemed probable
enough that these were the horses in question, but the shepherd of
Wilsdruf had, according to the account of people who came thence,
already sold them to somebody--it was not known to whom; while a third
rumour, the originator of which could not be discovered, was to the
effect that the horses were dead and had been buried in the pit at
Wilsdruf.  The brothers von Tronka, who, as might be supposed,
considered this turn of affairs the most desirable, seeing they would
be relieved by it from the necessity of feeding the horses in their own
stable--which they must otherwise have done, as their cousin, the
squire, had no stables of his own--nevertheless wished to be thoroughly
assured that the circumstances were correctly stated.  Accordingly Herr
Wenzel von Tronka, in his capacity of feudal lord, wrote to the courts
of Wilsdruf, describing very fully the horses which, he said, had been
lent to him, and had since, unfortunately, been taken away, and
requesting them to try to discover where those animals were stationed,
and to desire the present owner, whoever he might be, to deliver them
up at the stables of the Chamberlain von Tronka, on an indemnification
for all expenses.

In a few days the man, to whom the shepherd of Wilsdruf had sold the
horses made his appearance and brought them, lean and tottering, tied
to his cart, to the market-place of the city.  Unfortunately for Squire
Wenzel, and still more so for honest Kohlhaas, this man was the knacker
from Döbbeln.

As soon as Wenzel, in the presence of his cousin, the chamberlain,
heard an indistinct rumour that a man with two black horses, saved from
the flames at the Tronkenburg, had come into the city, they both set
off attended by some servants, whom they had hastily gathered together
to the castle-yard, where he was, that in case the horses should turn
out to be Kohlhaas's they might pay the expenses and take them home.
But how surprised were they when they saw a multitude, which increased
every moment, attracted by the spectacle, and assembled about the cart
to which the horses were fastened.  The people were shouting amid peals
of laughter, that the horses which had caused the state to totter had
come to the knackers.  The squire, who had walked round the cart, and
saw with confusion the miserable beasts, who looked every moment as if
they longed to die, said that these were not the horses which he had
taken from Kohlhaas, when the chamberlain casting upon him a look of
speechless rage, which, had he been made of iron, would have crushed
him, stepped up to the knacker and asked him, as he flung back his
mantle and discovered his chain and order, whether these were the
horses which had been in the possession of the shepherd of Wilsdruf,
and which Squire Wenzel von Tronka, to whom they belonged, had
required.  The man, who with a pail in his hand, was watering a
stout-bodied horse, that drew his cart, said: "Do you mean the black
ones?"  Taking the bit out of his horse's mouth, and setting down the
pail he said that the animals tied to the cart had been sold to him by
a swineherd of Hainichen, but where he got them, and whether they came
from the Wilsdruf shepherd--that he knew nothing about.  The messenger
of the Wilsdruf court, he said, as he again took up the pail and rested
it against the pole of the cart, had told him that he was to bring them
to Dresden to the house of the von Tronkas, but the squire to whom he
had been directed was called Conrad.  After these words he turned round
with the remainder of the water, which the horse had left in the pail,
and flung it upon the pavement.

The chamberlain, who amid the gaze of the scoffing multitude could not
get a look from the fellow, who continued his work with the most
insensible zeal, told him that he was the Squire Conrad von Tronka, but
that the horses he had with him belonged to the squire his cousin, that
they had come to the Wilsdruf shepherd through a servant who had run
away, taking advantage of the fire at the Tronkenburg, and that they
originally belonged to the horse-dealer Kohlhaas.  He asked the fellow,
who stood with outstretched legs and hitched up his breeches, whether
he really knew nothing about the matter;--whether the swineherd of
Hainichen had not purchased them from the Wilsdruf shepherd (on which
circumstance all depended), or from some third party, who might have
obtained them from that source.

The man rudely said that he understood not a word that was said, and
that whether Peter or Paul or the Wilsdruf shepherd had the horses
before the swineherd of Hainichen--it was just the same to
him--provided they were not stolen.  Upon this he went, with his whip
across his broad back, to a neighbouring pot-house to get his breakfast.

The chamberlain, who did not know what in the world he should do with
the horses, which the swineherd of Hainichen had, as it seemed, sold to
the knacker of Döbbeln, unless indeed they were the horses on which the
devil rode through Saxony, asked the squire to put in a word, and when
his kinsman, with pale trembling lips, answered that the most advisable
plan would be to buy them, whether they belonged to Kohlhaas or not, he
wrapped his mantle round him, and not knowing what to do, retired from
the crowd, cursing the father and mother who had given him birth.  He
then called to him Baron von Wenk, one of his acquaintance, who was
riding along the street, and resolving not to leave the spot, because
the rabble looked at him scoffingly, and with their handkerchiefs
before their mouths only seemed to wait for his departure to burst out,
he bade him call on Count von Wrede and by his means make Kohlhaas come
to inspect the horses.

Now it happened that Kohlhaas, who had been summoned by an officer of
the court to give certain explanations as to the surrender of property
at Lützen, was present in the chancellor's room when the baron entered,
and while the chancellor with a fretful countenance rose from his chair
and motioned the horse-dealer aside, the baron, to whom the person of
Kohlhaas was unknown, represented the difficulty in which the von
Tronkas were placed.  The knacker had come from Döbbeln in accordance
with a defective requisition of the Wilsdruf courts, with horses
certainly; but their condition was so hopeless that Squire Wenzel could
not help feeling a doubt as to their belonging to Kohlhaas.  Hence, if
they were to be taken from the knacker, in order that their recovery
might be attempted, an ocular inspection by Kohlhaas would be necessary
in the first instance to clear up the doubt that existed.  "Have then
the goodness," he concluded, "to fetch the horse-dealer out of his
house with a guard, and let him be taken to the market-place where the
horses now are."

The chancellor, taking his spectacles from his nose, said that he found
himself in a dilemma, since, on the one hand, he did not think the
affair could be settled otherwise than by the ocular inspection of
Kohlhaas; and, on the other hand, he did not conceive that he, as
chancellor, had any right to send Kohlhaas about guarded, wherever the
squire's fancy might dictate.  He therefore introduced to the baron the
horse-dealer, who was standing, behind him; and while he sat down and
again put on his spectacles, told him to apply to the man himself.
Kohlhaas, who allowed no gesture to show what was passing in his mind,
declared that he was quite ready to follow the baron to the market, and
inspect the horses, which the knacker had brought to the city.  He
then, while the baron turned round, confused, again approached the
chancellor's table, and took leave of him, having given him from his
pocket-book several papers relative to the surrender at Lützen.  The
baron, who, with a face red as fire, had retired to the window,
likewise took leave of the chancellor, and the two, accompanied by the
guards appointed by the Prince of Misnia, proceeded to the palace-yard,
accompanied by a multitude of people.  Herr Conrad, the chamberlain,
who, in spite of the solicitation of several friends on the spot, had
maintained his ground among the people against the knacker of Döbbeln,
no sooner saw the baron and the horse-dealer, than he approached the
latter, and, holding his sword proudly under his arm, asked him if the
horses which stood behind the cart were his.  The horse-dealer, after
modestly turning to the gentleman who questioned him, and whom he did
not know, and touching his hat, went up to the knacker's cart, followed
by the train of knights.  At about twelve paces distance he glanced
hastily at the animals, who stood on tottering legs, with their heads
bent to the ground, and did not eat the hay which the knacker put
before them, and then returning to the chamberlain, exclaimed:
"Gracious sir, the man is quite right; the horses which are bound to
the cart belong to me."  Then looking at the circle around him, he
touched his hat once more, and, attended by his guard, again left the
spot.  The chamberlain had no sooner heard what Kohlhaas said, than he
approached the knacker with a hurried step, that made the plume on his
helmet shake, flung him a purse full of gold; and while the man, with
the purse in his hand, was staring at his money, and was combing back
his hair with a leaden comb, he ordered his servant to detach the
horses and lead them home.  This servant, who, at his master's call,
had left a circle of friends and relatives in the crowd, went up to the
horses over a large puddle, with a face somewhat crimson.  Scarcely,
however, had {202} he touched the halter, than his cousin, Master
Himboldt, with the words, "You shall not touch that carrion," seized
his arm and flung him from the cart.  He added, picking his way over
the puddle to the chamberlain, who stood dumb with astonishment, that
he must get a knacker's boy to perform such an office for him.  The
chamberlain, who, foaming with rage, gazed for a moment at Himboldt,
turned round, and called after the guard over the heads of the knights
who were about him.  As soon as, by the order of Baron von Wenk, an
officer with some electoral troopers had made his appearance from the
castle, he desired him, after briefly setting forth the shameful acts
of rebellion which the burghers of the city ventured on, instantly to
take the ringleader, Master Himboldt, into custody.  Then seizing
Himboldt by the collar, he accused him of flinging away from the cart
the servant who, by his orders, was unbinding the horses, and otherwise
ill-using him.  Master Himboldt, throwing off the chamberlain with a
dexterous twist, said: "Gracious sir, telling a fellow of twenty what
he ought to do, is not inciting him to rebellion.  Ask him whether,
against all usage and propriety, he will meddle with those horses that
are tied up to the cart.  If he will, after what I have told him--why,
be it so!  For all that I care, he may flay them on the spot if he
pleases."  Upon this the chamberlain turned round to the servant, and
asked him whether he had any objection to fulfil his commands; namely,
to untie Kohlhaas's horses, and take them home.  The lad, timidly
slinking among the burghers, answered that the horses must be made
decent before he could do any thing of the sort; whereupon the
chamberlain darted after him, tore off his hat, which bore the badge of
his house, trampled it under foot, drew his sword, and hunting the
fellow about with furious strokes of the blade, made him at once quit
the spot and his service together.  "Strike the ruffian to the ground!"
shouted Master Himboldt, and while the burghers indignant at the
spectacle, combined together and forced away the guard, he knocked down
the chamberlain from behind, tore off his mantle, collar, and helmet,
twisted the sword out of his hand, and furiously flung it to a
distance.  In vain did Squire Wenzel, saving himself from the tumult,
call on the knights to assist his cousin; before they could advance a
step they were dispersed by the pressure of the people, so that the
chamberlain, who had hurt his head by the fall, was exposed to all the
fury of the mob.  Nothing could have saved him but the appearance of a
troop of soldiers who happened to be riding by, and whom the officer of
the electoral troopers called to his assistance.  This officer, after
repelling the multitude, seized the enraged Himboldt, who was conducted
to prison by some knights, while two friends picked up from the ground
the unfortunate chamberlain all covered with blood, and took him home.
Such was the unlucky termination of the really well-meant and honest
attempt to repair the wrong which had been done to the horse-dealer.
The knacker of Döbbeln, whose business was over, and who did not want
to stop any longer, tied the horses to a lamp-post as soon as the
people began to disperse, and there they stood all day, without any one
to care about them--a jest for the loiterers in the street.  Indeed,
for the want of all other attendance, the police was obliged to take
them in hand, and towards night called upon the knacker of Dresden to
keep them in the yard before the town till further directions.

This occurrence, though the horse-dealer had really nothing to do with
it, awakened among the better and more temperate sort of people, a
feeling which was highly unfavourable to his cause.  The relation in
which he stood to the state was considered quite unsufferable, and both
in private houses and in public places, the opinion was expressed, that
it would be better to do him a manifest injustice, and again annul the
whole affair, than show him justice in such a small matter merely to
gratify his mad obstinacy, especially as such justice would only be the
reward of his deeds of violence.  Even the chancellor himself, to
complete the destruction of poor Kohlhaas, with his over-strained
notions of justice, and his obvious hatred of the Von Tronka family,
contributed to the propagation and confirmation of this view.  It was
highly improbable that the horses, which were now in the custody of the
knacker of Dresden, could be restored to that condition in which they
left the stable at Kohlhaasenbrück, but even suppose art and constant
attention could effect as much, the disgrace which under the
circumstances fell upon the squire's family was so great, that
considering its political importance as one of the first and noblest
families in the land, nothing appeared more suitable than to propose a
compensation for the horses in money.  The chancellor having some days
afterwards received a letter from the president Kallheim, who made this
proposition in the name of the disabled chamberlain, wrote to Kohlhaas,
advising him not to refuse such an offer in case it should be made to
him.  Nevertheless he returned a short and not very civil answer to the
president, in which he requested him to spare him all private
commissions of the kind, advising the chamberlain to apply to the
horse-dealer himself, whom he described a very honest and modest man.
Kohlhaas's resolution was already weakened by the occurrence in the
market-place, and following the advice of the chancellor, he only
waited for overtures on the part of the squire or his connections
readily to meet them with a full pardon for all that had past.  But the
knights' pride was too sensitive to allow them to make such overtures,
and highly indignant at the answer they had received from the
chancellor, they showed the letter to the elector, who on the following
morning visited the chamberlain as he still lay ill of his wounds in
his room.  With a weak and plaintive voice, the invalid asked him
whether, when he had already risked his life to settle this matter
according to his wishes, he should now expose his honour to the censure
of the world, and appear with a request for indulgence before a man,
who had brought all imaginable shame upon him and his family.  The
elector having read through the letter, asked Count Kallheim, with some
confusion, whether the tribunal would not be justified in taking its
ground with Kohlhaas on the circumstance that the horses could not be
restored, and then in decreeing a mere compensation in money as if they
were dead.  The count replied, "Gracious sir, they are dead!--dead in
the legal sense of the word, because they have no value, and they will
be physically dead before they can be removed from the flayer's yard to
the knight's stables."

Upon this the elector putting up the letter, said that he would speak
about it to the chancellor, consoled the chamberlain, who arose in his
bed and thankfully seized his hand, and after he had told him to take
every care of his health, rose very graciously from his chair, and took
his leave.

Thus stood matters in Dresden, while another storm still more
formidable was gathering over poor Kohlhaas from Lützen, and the
spiteful knights had tact enough to draw down its flashes upon his
unlucky head.  John Nagelschmidt, one of the men collected by Kohlhaas,
and dismissed after the appearance of the amnesty, had thought fit a
few weeks afterwards to assemble anew a portion of the rabble who were
disposed for any outrage, and to carry on the trade into which Kohlhaas
had initiated him on his own account.  This worthless fellow, partly to
frighten the officers by whom he was pursued, partly to induce the
peasantry after the ordinary fashion to take part in his misdeeds,
called himself vicegerent to Kohlhaas, and spread a report with the
cunning he had learned from his master, that the amnesty had not been
kept with many men, who had returned quietly to their homes--nay that
Kohlhaas himself, by a shameful violation of faith, had been imprisoned
immediately on his arrival at Dresden, and had been consigned to the
care of a guard.  In placards, quite similar to those of Kohlhaas, he
made his band of incendiaries appear as a warlike force, raised solely
for the honour of God, with the mission of seeing that the amnesty
granted by the elector was properly carried out.  The whole affair, as
we have already said, had nothing to do with the honour of God, nor
with any attachment to Kohlhaas, about whose fate the fellow was
totally indifferent, but he merely intended under the protection of
devices to burn and plunder with greater impunity.  The knights, as
soon as the news of this occurrence reached Dresden, could scarcely
conceal their joy at the entirely new turn which it gave to the whole
affair.  With sagacious and dissatisfied side-glances they alluded to
the mistake that had been made in granting Kohlhaas the amnesty in
spite of all their warnings, just as if for the sake of encouraging
rascals of every kind to follow in his steps.  Not contented with
giving credence to Nagelschmidt's pretext, that he had taken up arms
solely for the support and defence of his oppressed master, they
plainly expressed their opinion that the whole enterprise was devised
by Kohlhaas to intimidate the government, and thus to hurry on the
decree and render it completely conformable to his obstinate will.
Nay, the cupbearer went so far as to say to a party of hunting squires
and courtiers, who, after their meal, had assembled in the elector's
anteroom, that the disbanding of the gang of robbers at Lützen was a
mere feint; and while he laughed much at the chancellor's love of
justice, he showed from many circumstances clearly combined, that the
troop existed now just as much as before, in the woods of the
electorate, and merely waited for a signal from the horse-dealer to
break out anew with fire and sword.  Prince Christian of Misnia, very
much displeased at this new turn of affairs, which threatened seriously
to sully the fame of his sovereign, immediately went to the castle to
see him, and clearly perceiving that it was the interest of the knights
to crush Kohlhaas if possible on the ground of new misdeeds, he asked
leave to examine him at once.  The horse-dealer somewhat surprised, was
conducted to the seat of government (_Gubernium_) by an officer, with
his two little boys, Henry and Leopold in his arms, for his man
Sternbald had returned the day before with his five children from
Mecklenburg, where they had been staying, and thoughts of various
kinds, which it would be tedious to unravel, determined him to take
with him to the examination the two boys, who, in tears begged to
accompany him, as they saw him depart.  The prince, after looking
kindly at the children, whom Kohlhaas had seated beside him, and asking
their names and ages in a friendly manner, disclosed to him the
liberties which Nagelschmidt, his former servant, had allowed himself
in the valleys of the Erzgebirg, and while he showed him what the
fellow called his mandates, requested him to state what he could in his
own justification.

Shocked as the horse-dealer was at the scandalous papers, he
nevertheless had but little difficulty in the presence of such an
upright man as the prince, in showing how groundless were the
accusations that had been brought against him.  Not only, as he said,
was he, under the circumstances, far from requiring any assistance from
a third party, to bring his suit to a decision, seeing that it was
going on as well as possible, but some letters which he had with him,
and which he produced to the prince, plainly showed the impossibility
of Nagelschmidt being willing to give him the assistance in question,
since shortly before he had disbanded his troop, he had been going to
hang the fellow for acts of violence in the flat country.  Indeed he
had only been saved by the appearance of the electoral amnesty, which
had broken off all the connection between them, and they had parted the
day after as mortal enemies.  Kohlhaas, on his own proposal, which was
accepted by the prince, sat down and wrote a letter to Nagelschmidt, in
which he called the pretext of supporting the amnesty, granted to him
and his troop, and afterwards broken, a shameful and wicked invention;
and told him that on arriving at Dresden he was neither arrested nor
consigned to a guard, that his suit was proceeding quite according to
his wishes, and that he gave him up to the full vengeance of the laws
as a warning to the rabble around him for the incendiarisms he had
committed in the Erzgebirg, after the publication of the amnesty.  At
the same time some fragments of the criminal proceedings, which the
horse-dealer had set on foot against the man at the Castle of Lützen,
for the misdeeds above alluded to, were subjoined to enlighten the
people, as to the good-for-nothing fellow, who had been sentenced to
the gallows, and had only been saved by the elector's patent.  The
prince, satisfied by these acts, calmed Kohlhaas, as to the suspicion
which they had been forced to express under the circumstances, assured
him that so long as he continued in Dresden, the amnesty granted him
should remain unbroken, once more shook hands with the boys, to whom he
gave the fruit that was on the table, and dismissed him.  The
chancellor, who likewise perceived the danger that impended over the
horse-dealer, did his utmost to bring the affair to a conclusion before
it became entangled and complicated by new events.  Strange to say, the
cunning knights desired and aimed at the same thing, and instead of
tacitly confessing the crime as before, and limiting the opposition to
a mitigation of the sentence, they now began with all sorts of
chicanery to deny the crime itself.  Now they gave out that the horses
had merely been kept at the Tronkenburg by the act of the castellan and
the bailiff, of which the squire knew little or nothing; now they
asserted that the beasts were sick of a violent and dangerous cough
immediately after their arrival, appealing to witnesses whom they
promised to produce; and when they were beaten out of the field with
their arguments by inquiries and explanations, they brought an
electoral edict, in which twelve years before, on account of prevailing
distemper among cattle, the introduction of horses from Brandenburg
into Saxony was prohibited.  This was to prove that the squire was not
only authorised but actually bound to detain the horses brought by
Kohlhaas over the border.  Kohlhaas, who in the meanwhile had
repurchased his farm of the good farmer at Kohlhaasenbrück for a small
sum, wished, as it appears, for the purpose of finally completing this
transaction, to leave Dresden for a few days, and to travel home;--a
resolution in which, however, we doubt not the alleged business,
important as it might be on account of the winter sowing time, had less
part than the wish to examine his situation under circumstances so
remarkable and so critical.  Reasons of another kind, which we leave to
the surmise of every one who knows the secrets of his own heart, might
also have operated.  He therefore went to the high-chancellor, without
the guard, and having the farmer's letters in his hand, stated that if
his presence at the court could be dispensed with, as indeed seemed to
be the case, he wished to leave the city and go to Brandenburg for
eight days or a fortnight, promising to return within that time.  The
high-chancellor, looking on the ground with a dubious and displeased
countenance, said that his presence was now more necessary than ever,
since the court, in consequence of the crafty and quibbling objections
of the opposite party, would require his explanation in a thousand
cases, which had not been foreseen.  However, when Kohlhaas referred
him to his advocate, who was well acquainted with the merits of the
case, and urgently though modestly still adhered to his request,
promising to limit his absence to eight days, the high chancellor said,
after a pause, as he dismissed him, that he hoped he would obtain
passports of Prince Christian of Misnia.  Kohlhaas, who perfectly
understood the chancellor's countenance, sat down at once confirmed in
his resolution, and asked the Prince of Misnia, as chief minister,
without assigning any reason, to give him passports to Kohlhaasenbrück
for eight days.  To this request he received an official answer, signed
by Baron Siegfried von Wenk, governor of the castle, stating that his
petition for passports to Kohlhaasenbrück had been laid before the
elector, and that as soon as consent was obtained, they would be
forwarded to him.  Kohlhaas asked his advocate how it was that this
paper was signed by a Baron Siegfried von Wenk, and not by Prince
Christian of Misnia, whereupon he was informed that the prince had gone
to his estates three days before, and that the affairs of office had
been entrusted during his absence, to Baron Siegfried von Wenk,
governor of the castle, and cousin to the gentleman who has been
previously mentioned.

Kohlhaas, whose heart began to beat uneasily under all these
circumstances, waited several days for an answer to his petition which
had been brought before the elector with singular prolixity; but a week
passed, and another and another, and he had neither got an answer nor
had the tribunal come to a decision of his case, definitely as it had
been announced.  Therefore, on the twelfth day, fully determined to
know the disposition of the government towards him, whatever it might
be, he sent another pressing application to the ministry for the
passport.  But how surprised he was, when on the evening of the
following day (which had likewise passed away without the expected
answer), as he stepped towards the window of his back room, deeply
occupied in pondering over his situation, and especially on the amnesty
which Dr. Luther had obtained for him, he did not see the guards who
had been given him by the Prince of Misnia in the little outhouse which
had been assigned as their abode.  The old servant Thomas whom he
called, and of whom he asked what this meant, answered with a sigh,
"Master, all is not as it should be!  The soldiers, of whom there are
more than usual to-day, dispersed themselves over the whole house as
night advanced.  Two are standing with spear and shield in the street
before the front door, two in the garden at the back door, and two
others are lying on a heap of straw in the anteroom, where they say
they intend to sleep."  Kohlhaas, who changed colour, turned round and
said it was just the same to him whether they were there or not, and
that as soon as he got to the passage he should set up a light that the
soldiers might see.

Under the pretext of emptying a vessel he opened the front shutter and
convinced himself that the old man had spoken the truth; for the guard
had just been quietly relieved, a measure which never had been thought
of before.  This ascertained he lay down in his bed, little inclined to
sleep, and with his mind thoroughly made up as to what he should do the
next day.  Nothing on the part of the government was more displeasing
to him than the empty show of justice, while, in fact, the amnesty was
broken; and in case he was a prisoner, about which there seemed to be
no doubt, he wished to compel the government to declare it clearly and
without ambiguity.  Therefore, at the dawn of the following day, he had
his vehicle brought up, and the horses put to it by Sternbald his
servant, to go, as he said, to the farmer at Lockewitz, who had spoken
to him a few days before at Dresden as an old acquaintance, and had
invited him to pay him a visit with his children.  The soldiers, who
were laying their heads together, and perceived the movements in the
house, sent one of their number privily into the town, whereupon in a
few minutes an officer of the government appeared, at the head of
several men, and went into the opposite house, as if he had something
to do there.  Kohlhaas who, as he was occupied with dressing his boys,
witnessed their movements, and designedly kept his vehicle before the
house longer than was necessary, went out with his children, as soon as
he saw that the police had completed their preparations, without taking
any notice, and telling the soldiers at the door as he passed them,
that they need not follow him, he took the boys into the cart, and
kissed and consoled the little crying girls, who, in conformity with
his orders, remained with the daughter of the old servant.  He had
scarcely mounted the cart himself, when the officer came up to him with
his train from the opposite house, and asked him where he was going.
Kohlhaas answering that he was going to see his friend the farmer at
Lockewitz, who had some days before invited him into the country with
his boys, the officer said that in that case he must wait a few
moments, as some horse-soldiers, by the command of the Prince of
Misnia, would have to accompany him.

Kohlhaas asked him, smiling from the cart, whether he thought his
person would not be safe in the house of a friend, who had invited him
to his table for a day.  The officer answered pleasantly and cheerfully
enough, that the danger was certainly not great, and added that he
would find the men by no means burdensome.  Kohlhaas replied,
seriously, that when he first came to Dresden, the Prince of Misnia had
left it quite free to him whether he would avail himself of the guard
or not, and when the officer expressed his surprise at this
circumstance, and referred to the custom which had prevailed during the
whole of Kohlhaas's residence at Dresden, the horse-dealer told him of
the occurrence which had led to the appointment of a guard in his
house.  The officer assured him that the order of the Baron von Wenk,
governor of the castle, who was at present head of the police, made the
constant guard of his person an imperative duty, and begged him, if it
was unpleasant to be so attended, to go to the seat of government
himself, and rectify the error which seemed to prevail there.
Kohlhaas, darting an expressive look at the officer, and determined
either to bend or to break the matter, said that he would do this,
descended with a beating heart from the cart, had his children carried
into the passage by the servant, and repaired with the officer and his
guard to the seat of government, leaving the man with the vehicle in
front of the house.  It chanced that Baron von Wenk was engaged in the
examination of a band of Nagelschmidt's men, which had been captured in
the neighbourhood of Leipzig, and had been brought in the evening
before, and that these fellows were being questioned on many matters
which would willingly have been heard by the knights who were with the
baron when the horse-dealer and those who attended him entered the
room.  The baron no sooner saw him, than he went up to him, while the
knights became suddenly silent, and ceased their examination, and asked
him what he wanted.

The horse-dealer respectively stating his project of dining with the
farmer in Lockewitz, and his wish to leave behind the soldiers, whom he
did not require, the baron changed colour, and seeming as if he
suppressed another speech, said that his best plan would be to stop
quietly at home, and put off the dinner with the Lockewitz farmer.
Then cutting short the conversation, and turning to the officer he told
him, that the command which he had given him with respect to Kohlhaas,
was to remain as before, and that he was not to leave the city, except
under the guard of six horsemen.  Kohlhaas asked whether he was a
prisoner, and whether he was to believe that the amnesty solemnly
granted him in the eyes of the whole world was broken; whereupon the
baron, suddenly becoming as red as fire, turned to him, and walking
close up to him, looked full in his eyes, and answered, "Yes, yes,
yes!"  He then turned his back upon him, left him standing, and again
went to Nagelschmidt's men.

Kohlhaas then quitted the room, and although he saw that the only
course left for him, namely, flight, was rendered difficult by the
steps which he had taken, he nevertheless concluded he had acted
rightly, as he now saw he was free from all obligation to conform to
the articles of the amnesty.  When he reached home, he ordered the
horses to be taken from the cart, and accompanied by the officer
entered his chamber very much dispirited.  This officer, in a manner
which greatly disgusted him, assured him that all turned on a
misunderstanding which would soon be cleared up, while his men, at a
sign which he gave them, fastened up all the outlets that led into the
yard.  The front entrance, as the officer assured Kohlhaas, was open to
his use as before.

In the meanwhile, Nagelschmidt was so hampered on all sides by soldiers
and officers of the law in the woods of the Erzgebirge, that being
utterly destitute of means to carry out the part he had chosen, he hit
upon the thought of really drawing Kohlhaas into his interest.  He had
learned with tolerable accuracy, through a traveller who passed on the
road, the state of the suit at Dresden, and was of opinion, that in
spite of the open hostility which existed between them, it would be
possible to induce the horse-dealer to enter into a new alliance with
him.  He therefore sent a man to him, with a scarcely legible letter,
to the effect, that if he would come to the Altenburg territory, and
resume the conduct of the band, who had assembled there, out of the
relics of the one that had been dismissed, he would furnish him with
horses, men, and money, to assist him in flying from his prison at
Dresden.  At the same time, he promised to be better and more obedient
in future than he had been; and to prove his fidelity and devotion, he
offered to come to Dresden himself and effect Kohlhaas's liberation.
Now the fellow to whom this letter was entrusted had the misfortune to
fall into convulsions of a dangerous sort, such as he had been subject
to from his youth, close to Dresden, and the consequence was, that the
letter which he carried in his doublet, was discovered by people who
came to assist him, and that he himself, as soon as he had recovered,
was arrested, and removed to the seat of government, attended by a
numerous guard.  The Governor von Wenk had no sooner read the letter
than he hastened to the elector, in whose castle he found the two von
Tronkas (the chamberlain having recovered of his wounds) and Count
Kallheim, president of the chancery.  These gentlemen were of opinion,
that Kohlhaas should be arrested without delay, and prosecuted on the
ground of a secret understanding with Nagelschmidt, since, as they
attempted to prove, such a letter could not have been written, had not
others been previously sent by the horse-dealer, and had not some
criminal compact been formed, for the perpetration of new atrocities.
The elector firmly refused to violate the free conduct which he had
granted to Kohlhaas, on the mere ground of this letter.  Nay, according
to his opinion, it rather showed, that no previous communication had
existed between Kohlhaas and Nagelschmidt, and all that he would
resolve upon, and that after much delay, was that, according to the
suggestion of the president, the letter should be sent to Kohlhaas by
Nagelschmidt's man, just as if the fellow was perfectly at liberty, and
that then it should be seen whether Kohlhaas would answer it.  The man,
who had been put in prison, was accordingly brought to the seat of
government on the following morning, when the governor of the castle
restored him his letter, and, promising that he should be free, and
exempt from the punishment he had incurred, told him to give it to the
horse-dealer as if nothing had happened.  Without more ado, the fellow
lent himself to the mean stratagem, and as if by stealth, entered
Kohlhaas's room on the pretext of selling some crabs, with which the
officer had provided him in the market-place.  Kohlhaas, who read the
letter while the children played with the crabs, would certainly, under
the circumstances, have taken the fellow by the collar, and delivered
him up to the soldiers, who stood at his door, but as, in the present
disposition of people towards him, such a step might be interpreted in
more than one way, and he was fully convinced that nothing in the world
could help him out of the difficulty in which he was placed, he looked
mournfully at the fellow's well-known face, asked him where he lived,
and ordered him to come again in an hour or two, when he would
communicate the resolution he had taken with respect to his master.  He
told Sternbald, who chanced to enter the room, to buy some crabs of the
fellow he found there, and this having been done, and the two men
having parted without recognition, he sat down and wrote a letter to
Nagelschmidt to the following effect: In the first place he accepted
his offer of the command of the band in Altenburg, and in the next told
him to send him a waggon with two horses to the Neustadt by Dresden, to
free him from the temporary prison in which he was placed with his
children.  Two horses more, he said, for the sake of speed would be
wanted on the road to Wittenberg, by which circuitous route, for
certain reasons, too long to specify, he could alone come to him.  He
represented the soldiers who guarded him as open to bribery, but
nevertheless, in case force should be necessary, he desired the
presence of a few, stout, active, well-armed fellows in the Neustadt.
To defray the expenses of all these preparations he would send by the
man a _rouleau_ containing twenty gold crowns, about the expenditure of
which he would come to an account with him when the affair was settled.
His presence in Dresden on the occasion of his liberation he prohibited
as unnecessary, nay, he gave the express order that he should remain in
the territory of Altenburg, as the temporary leader of the band, which
could not well do without a captain.  When the messenger came towards
the evening he gave him this letter, and rewarding him liberally,
exhorted him to take the greatest care of it.  His design was to
proceed to Hamburg with his five children, and there to embark for the
Levant or the East Indies, or as far as the sky might cover other men
than those he knew, for his soul, which was now bowed down with grief,
had given up the notion of getting the horses, to say nothing of his
repugnance to make a common cause with Nagelschmidt.

Scarcely had the fellow delivered this answer to the castellan than the
high chancellor was removed, the president, Count Kallheim, was
appointed chief of the tribunal in his stead, and Kohlhaas, being
arrested by a cabinet order of the elector, was thrown into the city
prison, heavily laden with chains.  Proceedings were commenced against
him on the ground of the letter, which was posted up at all the corners
of the town; and when, before the bar of the tribunal, to the question
of the counsel, who presented him this letter, whether he recognised
the handwriting, he answered "Yes," but to the question whether he had
any thing to say in his defence, he with downcast eyes answered "No."
He was condemned to have his flesh torn with red-hot pincers, and his
body quartered and burned between the wheel and the gallows.

Thus stood matters with poor Kohlhaas in Dresden, when the Elector of
Brandenburg appeared to rescue him from the hands of arbitrary power
and claimed him as a Brandenburg subject in the electoral chancery,
through a note sent for that purpose.  For the brave Captain Heinrich
von Geusau had told him, during a walk on the banks of the Spree, the
history of this strange and not utterly abandoned man.  On this
occasion, urged by the questions of the astonished elector, he could
not avoid mentioning the wrong which had been done to his own person,
through the improper acts of the high chancellor, Count Siegfried von
Kallheim.  The elector, being highly indignant at this, demanded an
explanation of the high chancellor, and finding that his relationship
to the house of Tronka had been the cause of all the mischief,
dismissed him at once with many signs of displeasure, and appointed
Heinrich von Geusau chancellor in his place.

Now it happened that the kingdom of Poland, while for some cause or
other it was in a hostile position against Saxony, made repeated and
pressing demands to the Elector of Brandenburg to unite against Saxony
in one common cause.  This led the High Chancellor Geusau, who was no
novice in such matters, to hope that he could fulfil his sovereign's
wish of doing justice to Kohlhaas at any price, without placing the
general peace in a more critical position than the consideration due to
an individual would justify.  Hence the high chancellor, alleging that
the proceedings had been arbitrary, and alike displeasing to God and
man, not only demanded the immediate and unconditional delivery of
Kohlhaas, that in case he was guilty he might be tried according to
Brandenburg laws, on a complaint which the court of Dresden might make
through an attorney at Berlin, but also required passports for an
attorney whom the elector wished to send to Dresden, to obtain justice
for Kohlhaas against Squire Wenzel von Tronka, on account of the wrong
which had been done the former, on Saxon soil, by the detention of his
horses and other acts of violence which cried aloud to Heaven.  The
chamberlain, Herr Conrad, who on the change of office in Saxony had
been nominated president of the state chancery, and who for many
reasons did not wish to offend the court of Berlin, in the difficulty
in which he now found himself, answered in the name of his sovereign,
who was much dejected at the note he had received, that the unfriendly
and unfair spirit in which the right of the court of Dresden to try
Kohlhaas, according to law, for offences committed in the country, had
been questioned, had created great astonishment, especially when it was
well known that he held a large piece of ground in the Saxon
metropolis, and did not deny that he was a Saxon citizen.
Nevertheless, as Poland to enforce her claims had already collected an
army of 5000 men on the borders of Saxony, and the high chancellor,
Heinrich von Geusau, declared that Kohlhaasenbrück, the place from
which the horse-dealer took his name, lay in the Brandenburg territory,
and that the execution of the sentence of death that had been declared
would be considered a violation of the law of nations, the elector, by
the advice of the chamberlain, Herr Conrad himself, who wished to
retreat out of the affair, called Prince Christian of Misnia from his
estates, and was induced by a few words from this intelligent man to
deliver Kohlhaas to the court of Berlin, in compliance with the request
that had been made.

The prince, who, although he was little pleased with the late unseemly
proceedings, was obliged to undertake the prosecution of the Kohlhaas
affair, in compliance with the wish of his embarrassed sovereign, asked
him on what ground he meant to prosecute the horse-dealer, in the
chamber council at Berlin.  To the fatal letter to Nagelschmidt
reference could not be made, so doubtful and obscure were the
circumstances under which it was written, neither could the early
plunderings and incendiarisms be mentioned on account of the placards
in which they had been pardoned.

The elector, therefore, resolved to lay before the Emperor of Vienna a
statement of the armed attack of Kohlhaas upon Saxony, to complain of
the breach of the public peace, which he had established, and to
request those who were bound by no amnesty to prosecute Kohlhaas in the
Berlin court through an imperial prosecutor.

In eight days the horse-dealer, chained as he was, was placed in a cart
and transported to Berlin with his five children (who had been got
together again out of the orphan and foundling asylums) by the night
Friedrich von Malzahn, whom the Elector of Brandenburg had sent to
Dresden with six troopers.

Now it chanced that the Elector of Saxony, at the invitation of the
seneschal (_Landdrost_) Count Aloysius von Kallheim, who held
considerable property on the borders of Saxony, had gone to Dahme to a
great hunt, which had been appointed for his recreation, accompanied by
the chamberlain, Herr Conrad, and his wife the Lady Heloise, daughter
of the seneschal and sister of the president, besides other fine ladies
and gentlemen, hunting-attendants, and nobles.  All this party, covered
with dust from hunting, was seated at table under the cover of some
tents adorned with flags, which had been set up on a hill right across
the road, waited upon by pages and young nobles, and recreated by the
sound of cheerful music, which proceeded from the trunk of an oak, when
the horse-dealer, attended by his army of troopers, came slowly along
the road from Dresden.

The sickness of one of Kohlhaas's little delicate children had
compelled the Knight von Malzahn, who accompanied him, to remain for
three days at Herzberg--a fact which he did not deem it necessary to
communicate to the government at Dresden, feeling that he was only
responsible to his own prince.  The elector, who with his breast
half-uncovered, and his plumed hat adorned with fir-twigs, sat by the
Lady Heloise--his first love in the days of early youth--said, elevated
by the pleasure of the feast, that sparkled round him: "Come let us
give the unfortunate man, whoever he may be, this cup of wine!"  The
Lady Heloise, casting a noble glance at him, arose at once, and laying
the whole table under contribution, filled a silver vessel, which a
page handed to her, with fruit, cakes, and bread.  The whole party,
with refreshments of all kinds, had already thronged from the tent,
when the seneschal met them with a confused countenance and bade them
stop.  To the elector, who asked with surprise what had happened thus
to confound the seneschal, the latter answered, stammering and with his
head turned towards the chamberlain, that Kohlhaas was in the cart.  At
this piece of intelligence, which astonished every body, as it was
generally known that Kohlhaas had set off six days before, the
chamberlain, Conrad, took his goblet of wine, and turning towards the
tent poured it into the dust.  The elector, deeply colouring, placed
his on a salver, which a page presented to him for that purpose, at a
hint from the chamberlain; and while the knight Friedrich von Malzahn,
respectfully greeting the company, whom he did not know, passed slowly
through the tent-ropes that ran across the way, in the direction of
Dahme, the party, at the invitation of the seneschal, returned to the
tent without taking further notice.

As soon as the elector was seated, the seneschal privately sent to
Dahme to warn the magistracy there to make the horse-dealer pass on
immediately; but as the knight had declared his wish of passing the
night in the place, on the plea that the day had already advanced too
far to allow of further travel, they were obliged to bring him without
noise to a farm which belonged to the magistracy, and which stood by
the road-side concealed by bushes.

Towards evening, when the elector's party had forgotten the whole
affair, their thoughts having been dissipated by the wine, and the
pleasures of a luxurious supper, the seneschal proposed that they
should once more start for a herd of deer which had made its
appearance.  The whole party seized on the proposal with delight, and
armed with their rifles went in pairs over hedges and ditches into the
adjoining forest, and the consequence was that the elector and the Lady
Heloise, who hung on his arm to witness the spectacle, were to their
surprise immediately conducted by a messenger, who had been appointed
to attend them, through the court of the very house at which Kohlhaas
and the Brandenburg troops were stopping.

The lady, when she heard this, said: "Come, gracious sovereign, come!"
adding, as she playfully concealed in his doublet the chain which hung
from his neck, "let us slip into the farm, before our troop comes up,
and see the strange man who is passing the night there."

The elector, changing colour, seized her hand and said: "Heloise, what
notion has possessed you?"  But when, perceiving his surprise, she
answered that no one would recognise him in his hunting dress, and
also, at the very same moment, two hunting attendants, who had already
satisfied their curiosity, came out of the house and said, that in
consequence of an arrangement of the seneschals, neither the knight nor
the horse-dealer knew of whom consisted the party assembled near Dahme,
the elector, smiling, pressed his hat over his eyes, and said: "Folly,
thou rulest the world, and thy throne is the mouth of a pretty woman."

Kohlhaas was sitting on a heap of straw, with his back against the
wall, feeding the child that had fallen sick at Herzberg, with rolls
and milk, when his noble visitors entered the farm-house.  The lady, to
introduce the conversation, asked him who he was, what was the matter
with the child, what crime he had committed, and whither they were
conducting him under such an escort.  He doffed his leather cap, and,
without ceasing from his occupation, gave her a short, but satisfactory

The elector, who stood behind the huntsman, and observed a little
leaden case that hung from Michael's neck by a silken thread, asked
him, as there was nothing better to talk about, what this meant, and
what was kept in it.

"Ah, your worship," said Kohlhaas, detaching it from his neck, opening
it, and taking out a little slip of paper fastened with a wafer, "there
is something very peculiar about this case.  It is about seven months
ago, on the very day after my wife's burial, when I had set out from
Kohlhaasenbrück, as perhaps you know, to seize the person of Squire von
Tronka, who had done me much wrong, that for some negotiation, unknown
to me, the electors of Saxony and Brandenburg had a meeting in
Jüterboch, a market town, through which my way led me.  When they had
settled every thing according to their wishes, they went through the
streets of the town, conversing in a friendly manner, that they might
see the fair, which was held with due merriment.  Presently they came
to a gipsy woman, who sat upon a stool, and uttered prophesies to the
people who surrounded her, out of an almanack.

"This woman they asked, jestingly, whether she had any thing pleasant
to tell them.  I, who had put up at an inn, with all my band, and
chanced to be present at the spot when this occurrence took place,
standing at the entrance to the church, could not hear, through the
crowd, what the strange woman said to the electors.  When the people
whispered, laughingly, in each other's ears, that she would not
communicate her science to any body, and crowded thickly together on
account of the spectacle that was preparing, I got upon a bench, which
had been hewn out in the entrance to the church, not so much because I
was curious myself, as because I would make way for those that were.
Scarcely had I, from this elevation, taken a full survey of the
electors and the woman, who sat before them on the stool, and seemed to
be scribbling something, than she suddenly raised herself on her
crutches, and, looking round the people, fixed her eyes upon me, who
had not spoken a single word to her, and had never cared for such
sciences in my life.

"Pressing towards me, through the dense crowd, she said: 'Ah, if the
gentleman wishes to know, he had better ask you.'  Then, your worship,
with her dry, bony hands she gave me this slip.  All the people turned
round to me, and I said, perfectly astonished, 'Why, mother--what sort
of a present is this?'  After all sorts of unintelligible stuff, among
which, to my great surprise, I heard my own name, she replied, 'It is
an amulet, thou horse-dealer, Kohlhaas, keep it well, it will one day
save thy life.'  And so saying, she vanished.  Now!" continued
Kohlhaas, good humouredly, "to tell the truth, sharply as matters have
been going on in Dresden, they have not cost me my life; and as for
Berlin, the future will show me how I get on there, and whether I shall
come off well."

At these words the elector seated himself on a bench, and, although to
the inquiry of the astonished lady, what was the matter with him, he
answered, "Nothing, nothing at all"--he, nevertheless, fell senseless
upon the ground, before she had time to run up to him and catch him in
her arms.

The Knight von Malzahn, who, on some business or other, entered the
room at this moment, said: "Good God, what ails the gentleman?" while
the lady cried out, "Water, bring water!"

The huntsmen raised the elector from the ground and carried him to a
bed in an adjoining room, and the consternation of all reached its
height, when the chamberlain, who had been fetched by a page, declared,
after many futile endeavours to restore the elector to his senses, that
there were all the signs of apoplexy.

The seneschal, while the cup-bearer sent a messenger on horseback to
Luckau to fetch a physician, caused the elector to be placed in a
vehicle, as soon as he opened his eyes, and to be taken, slowly, to his
hunting castle in the neighbourhood.  The consequence of this journey
was two fainting fits after his arrival at the castle, and it was late
on the following morning, when the physician from Luckau had arrived,
that he recovered in some degree, still with the decided symptoms of an
impending nervous fever.  As soon as he had regained his senses he
raised himself in his bed, and his first inquiry was for Kohlhaas.

The chamberlain, who misunderstood his question, said, seizing his
hand, that he need no longer trouble himself about this terrible man,
since, as had been designed, he had remained at the farm at Dahme,
guarded by the Brandenburg escort, after the sudden and
incomprehensible mischance which had occurred.  Assuring him of his
warmest sympathy, and also that he had reproached his wife most
bitterly for her unwarrantable heedlessness in bringing him in contact
with the man, he asked what there was so strange and monstrous in the
conversation to strike him thus.

The elector said he could only confess that the sight of a worthless
slip of paper, worn by the man in a leaden case, had been the cause of
the unpleasant occurrence.  In explanation of this circumstance he
uttered much which the chamberlain did not understand, suddenly assured
him, as he pressed his hand, that the possession of this slip would be
of the utmost importance, and finally entreated him to mount on
horseback without delay, to ride to Dalheim, and to purchase the slip
from Kohlhaas at any price.

The chamberlain, who had difficulty in concealing his embarrassment,
represented to him, that if this slip was of any value to him, it would
be absolutely necessary to conceal the fact from Kohlhaas, since, if he
got a hint of it through any heedless expression, all the wealth of the
elector would be insufficient to get it out of the hands of a fellow so
insatiable in his vengeance.  To calm him, he added that some other
means must be devised, and that perhaps it would be possible to gain
the slip to which he attached so much importance, by cunning and
through the medium of a third indifferent party, as the criminal did
not set any value on it.

The elector, wiping the perspiration from his forehead, asked whether
it would not be possible with this intent to send to Dahme, and to
delay the further transport of the horse-dealer until the slip, in some
way or other, was secured.

The chamberlain, who could not trust his senses, replied that in all
probability the horse-dealer had unfortunately left Dahme already, and
was already over the boundary and on Brandenburg soil, where every
endeavour to impede his progress, or to turn him back, must lead to the
most unpleasant and lengthened difficulties--such difficulties, indeed,
as it might be impossible to get over.

When the elector, with a gesture of utter despair, threw himself back
on his cushion in silence, the chamberlain asked him what it was that
the slip contained, and by what strange and inexplicable chance he knew
that the contents concerned him.

Casting equivocal glances at the chamberlain, whose willingness to
oblige him he doubted, the elector made no answer, but lay quite stiff,
yet with heart uneasily beating, while his eyes were fixed on the
corner of the handkerchief, which, immersed in thought, he held in his
hands.  All at once he ordered him to call into the chamber the
hunting-page (_Jagd-junker_) Von Stein, an active and sharp-witted
young gentleman, whom he had often employed on secret affairs, on the
pretext that he had business to settle with him of quite a different

After he had set forth the whole affair to this page, and had informed
him of the importance of the slip, now in the possession of Kohlhaas,
he asked him whether he was willing to earn an eternal claim to his
friendship by getting this slip before Kohlhaas reached Berlin.

The page as soon as he, in some degree, understood the affair, strange
as it was, declared that all his powers were at the service of the
elector, whereupon the latter commissioned him to ride after Kohlhaas,
and in case money would not suffice, as probably it would not, to offer
him in a prudently managed discourse, life and liberty as the price of
the slip; nay, if he insisted upon it, to supply him at once, though
cautiously, with horses, people, and money, to assist him in escaping
from the hands of the Brandenburg troopers who escorted him.  The page,
having obtained from the elector a written authority in his own hand,
set off with some attendants, and not allowing his horses any breathing
time, he had the good luck to overtake Kohlhaas at a village on the
border, where, with the Knight von Malzahn and his five children, he
was partaking of a dinner, that was spread before the door of a house
in the open air.  The Knight von Malzahn, to whom the page introduced
himself as a foreigner, who wished to see the remarkable man on his
journey, even anticipated his wishes, as he compelled him to sit down
to the meal, at the same time introducing him to Kohlhaas.  As the
knight had affairs to mind, which caused him to absent himself every
now and then, and the troopers were dining at a table on the other side
of the house, the page soon found an opportunity of telling the
horse-dealer who he was, and explaining the particular object of his

The horse-dealer, who had already learned the name and rank of the
person who had fainted in the farm-house at Dahme at the sight of the
case, and who wanted nothing more to complete the astonishment which
the discovery had caused, than an insight into the secrets of the case,
which for many reasons he had determined not to open out of mere
curiosity,--the horse-dealer, we say, mindful of the unhandsome and
unprincely treatment which he had experienced at Dresden, in spite of
his readiness to make every possible sacrifice, declared that he
intended to keep the case.  To the question of the page, what could
induce him to utter so singular a refusal, when nothing less than life
and liberty was offered him, Kohlhaas replied:

"Sir, if your sovereign came here in person and said to me, 'I will
destroy myself with the troop of those who help to wield the sceptre;'
although such destruction is the dearest wish of my soul--I would still
refuse him the case, which is even more valuable to him than existence,
and would say, 'to the scaffold you can bring me, but I can injure you,
and I will.'"  And immediately, with death in his face, he called for
one of the troopers, ordering him to take a good portion of the repast
which still remained in the dish.  For the remainder of the hour, which
he passed in the village, he never turned towards the page, but treated
him, although he sat at the table, as if he was not present, until,
when he ascended the cart, he turned round and gave him a farewell look.

The situation of the elector, when he learned the news, grew worse and
worse; indeed to such a degree, that the physician, during three
portentous days, was in the greatest anxiety for his life, which seemed
attacked from more sides than one.  However, by the force of his
naturally strong constitution, after keeping his bed for several
painfully passed weeks, he recovered sufficiently to be removed to a
carriage, and thus, with an ample store of cushions and coverlets, to
be conveyed to Dresden to the affairs of his government.  As soon as he
had reached the city he sent for Prince Christian of Misnia, and asked
him how matters were going on with respect to the mission of the
Councillor Eibenmeyer, who was to be sent to Vienna as attorney in the
Kohlhaas affair, to complain to the emperor of the breach of the
imperial peace.  The prince told him that this councillor had set off
to Vienna, in conformity with the instructions, which he had left when
he went to Dahme, immediately after the arrival of the Jurist Zäuner,
whom the Elector of Brandenburg had sent as attorney to Dresden, to
prosecute the suit about the horses against the Squire Wenzel von

The elector, who, deeply colouring, withdrew to his writing-table,
expressed his astonishment at this haste, since he had, to his
knowledge, declared that the departure of Eibenmeyer was to wait for
nearer and more definite instructions, a reference to Dr. Luther, who
had procured the amnesty for Kohlhaas, being first necessary.  With an
expression of suppressed anger, he turned over and over the documents
that lay upon the table.  The prince, after staring at him for some
time in silence, said, that he should be sorry if he had not conducted
this affair to the satisfaction of his sovereign, adding, that in the
state-council not a word had been said about a reference to Dr. Luther;
and that although perhaps at an earlier part of the proceedings it
would have been proper to refer to this reverend gentleman, on account
of his intercession for Kohlhaas, it was now no longer requisite, since
the amnesty had already been broken in the eyes of the whole world, and
Kohlhaas had been arrested, and delivered up to the Brandenburg
tribunal for judgment and execution.

The elector admitted that the mistake in sending Eibenmeyer was not so
great, but expressed his wish that he should not appear at Vienna in
his official capacity of prosecutor till he had received further
instructions, and told the prince to communicate this to him
accordingly through an express.  The prince replied that this command
came unfortunately a day too late, since Eibenmeyer, according to a
notice which had arrived that very day, had appeared in the quality of
attorney, and had proceeded to bring the complaint before the
state-chancery in Vienna.

When the elector asked with astonishment how this was possible in so
short a time, he answered, that three weeks had already elapsed since
Eibenmeyer's departure, and that by the instructions which he had
received, it was incumbent upon him to despatch the business as soon as
possible after his arrival at Vienna.  The prince further remarked,
that a delay would, under the circumstances, be so much the more
unjustifiable, as the Brandenburg representative, Zäuner, was
proceeding against Squire Wenzel von Tronka with the boldest energy,
and had already moved the court, that the horses, as a preliminary
measure, should be taken out of the hands of the flayer, with a view to
their future recovery, and had succeeded in carrying this point in
spite of all the objections of the opposite party.

The elector, ringing the bell, said, "Well, no matter!" and after
putting some indifferent questions to the prince, such as "how matters
stood in Dresden," and "what had been going on in his absence," he
shook hands with him, unable any longer to conceal the state of his
mind, and dismissed him.  On the very same day he sent to him a written
request for all the documents relating to the Kohlhaas affair, under
the pretext that he would take the management of it into his own hands
on account of its political importance.  The thought of destroying the
man from whom alone he could learn the mysteries of the slip was to him
insupportable, so he addressed to the emperor a letter in his own hand,
in which he requested him in the most pressing manner, for certain
important reasons, which he would perhaps explain more definitely in a
short time, to set aside the complaint which Eibenmeyer had brought
against Kohlhaas, until some further conclusion had been arrived at.

The emperor, in a note which he despatched through the state chancery,
replied that he was greatly astonished at the change in the elector's
sentiments, which seemed to have occurred so suddenly, adding, that the
information laid before him on the part of Saxony, made the matter of
Kohlhaas an affair of the whole sacred Roman empire, that he, the
emperor, as the head of that empire, was bound to appear as prosecutor
in this suit with the House of Brandenburg; that now the
court-assessor, Franz Müller, had gone to Berlin as imperial attorney,
for the express purpose of bringing Kohlhaas to account there for a
violation of the imperial peace, it would be impossible to set aside
the complaint, and that therefore the affair must take its course
according to the laws.  The elector was completely cast down by this
letter; and when, to his utter confusion, he shortly afterwards
received private letters from Berlin announcing the commencement of the
proceedings before the chamber-council, and stating that Kohlhaas, in
spite of all the endeavours of his advocate, would probably end his
days on a scaffold, the unhappy prince resolved to make one attempt
more, and he therefore wrote a letter himself to the Elector of
Brandenburg, begging for the horse-dealer's life.  He pretended that
the amnesty which had been promised to the man, would render improper
the fulfilment of a capital sentence; assured him, that in spite of the
apparent severity of the proceedings against Kohlhaas, it had never
been his intention to put him to death; and stated how inconsolable he
should be if the protection which seemed to be granted him from Berlin,
should by an unexpected turn prove more to his disadvantage than if he
had remained in Dresden, and the affair had been decided according to
Saxon law.

The Elector of Brandenburg, who perceived much that was obscure and
ambiguous in this request, replied by stating that the urgency with
which the imperial advocate proceeded would not allow him to depart
from the strict injunctions of the law to accede to his (Saxony's)
wishes.  At the same time he remarked that the anxiety of the Elector
of Saxony in this matter seemed to be carried too far, since the
complaint against Kohlhaas, which was now before the Berlin
chamber-council, and which concerned the crimes pardoned in the
amnesty, did not proceed from him who granted it, but from the head of
the empire, who was not in any manner bound by it.  He also impressed
upon him how necessary it was to make a terrible example, seeing that
the outrages of Nagelschmidt still continued, and with unparalleled
audacity had advanced even to the borders of Brandenburg; and requested
him, if he would pay no regard to these reasons, to address himself to
his imperial majesty, since, if an edict was to be pronounced in favour
of Kohlhaas, it could come from that quarter alone.

The elector, extremely grieved and vexed at all these futile attempts,
fell into a new illness, and when one morning the chamberlain visited
him, he showed him the letters which he had addressed to the courts of
Vienna and Berlin, for the purpose of obtaining a reprieve for
Kohlhaas, and thus at least of gaining time to possess himself of the
slip which he had with him.

The chamberlain threw himself on his knees before him, and requested
him by all that was dear and sacred to tell him what this slip

The elector said, that he might bolt the room and sit down upon the
bed, and after he had taken his hand, and pressed it to his heart with
a sigh, he began as follows: "Your wife, as I understand, has already
told you that the Elector of Brandenburg and I, on the third day of the
meeting, which we had in Jüterboch, met a gipsy.  When the elector, who
is of sportive disposition, resolved by a jest to demolish in the sight
of the people the fame of this extraordinary woman, whose art had been
the subject of unseemly conversation at table, and asked her, on
account of the prophecy which she was about to utter, to give him a
sign that might be tested that very day, alleging that he could not
otherwise believe what she said, were she the Roman sybil herself.  The
woman, taking a cursory view of us from head to foot, said that the
sign would be this: that the great roebuck, which the gardener's son
reared in the park, would meet us in the market where we stood before
we left it.  You must know that this roebuck, being intended for the
Dresden kitchen, was kept under lock and bolt, in a partition fenced
round with high laths, and shaded by the oaks of the park.  As on
account of other smaller game and birds the park and the garden besides
were kept carefully closed, it was not easy to see how the animal, in
accordance with the strange prediction, would come to the place where
we stood.  Nevertheless the elector, fearing some trick, and resolved
to put to shame all that the woman might say, for the sake of the jest,
sent to the castle, with orders that the roebuck should be killed at
once, and got ready for the table at an early day.  He then turned back
to the woman, who had spoken about this matter aloud, and said: 'Now,
what have you to tell me about the future?'  The woman, looking into
his hand said: 'Hail to my lord the elector!  Your grace will long
reign, the house from which thou descendest will long endure, and thy
descendants will become great and glorious, and attain power above all
the princes and lords of the world.'  The elector, after a pause,
during which he eyed the woman thoughtfully, said half aside, and
stepping up to me, that he was almost sorry he had sent a messenger to
annihilate the prophecy, and when the money, from the hands of the
knights who followed him, poured into the woman's lap, amid loud
huzzas, he asked her, putting his hand in his pocket, and giving a
piece of gold, whether the greeting she would give to me had such a
silvery sound as his own.  The woman, after she had opened a box which
stood beside her, had very deliberately put the money in it, arranging
it according to description and quantity, and had closed the lid again,
held her hand before the sun as if the light annoyed her, and looked at
me.  When I repeated the question, and said jestingly to the elector,
while she examined my hand, 'It seems that she has nothing very
pleasant to tell me,' she seized her crutch, rose slowly from her
stool, and approaching me with hands mysteriously held out, whispered
distinctly into my ear, 'No!'--'So!' said I, somewhat confused, and I
receded a step back from the figure, who with a glance as cold and
lifeless as that from eyes of marble, again seated herself on the stool
which stood behind her.  'Pray from what side does danger threaten my
house?'  The woman taking up a bit of charcoal and a slip of paper, and
crossing her knees, asked me whether she should write it down; and when
I, with some confusion, because under the circumstances there was
nothing else left to do, answered 'Yes, do so,' she replied: 'Very
good, I will write down three things--the name of the last ruler of thy
house, the year when he will lose his kingdom, and the name of him who
will take it by force of arms.'  Having finished her task in the sight
of the whole mob, she fastened together the slip with a wafer, which
she moistened with her withered mouth and pressed upon it a leaden ring
which she wore upon her middle finger.  I was curious beyond
expression, as you may easily conceive, to take the slip, but she said:
'By no means, your highness,' adding as she turned round and raised one
of her crutches, 'from that man yonder, who with the plumed hat is
standing behind all the people on the bench in the entrance of the
church, you may get the paper if you choose.'  And at once, while I was
standing perfectly speechless with astonishment, and had not rightly
made out what she said, she left me, and packing up the box which stood
behind her and flinging it over her back, mingled with the surrounding
crowd, so that I was unable to see her.  It was a great consolation to
me at this moment that the knight, whom the elector had sent to the
castle, now returned and told him laughing, that the roebuck had been
killed and dragged into the kitchen by two hunters before his eyes.

"The elector, merrily putting his arm into mine, with the intention of
leading me from the spot, said: 'Good! the prophecy turns out to be a
mere common-place trick, not worth the time and money which it has cost
us.'  But how great was our astonishment, when, at the very time he was
speaking these words, a cry was raised, and all eyes were turned
towards a great butcher's dog which came running from the castle-court,
and which, having seized the roebuck in the kitchen, as good spoil, had
borne it off by the nape of the neck, and now dropped it about three
paces from us, followed by a troop of servants, male and female.  Thus
was the woman's prophecy, which she had uttered as a guarantee for all
the rest that she predicted, completely fulfilled, as the roebuck had
indeed met us in the marketplace, although it was dead.  The lightning
which falls from heaven on a winter's day, cannot strike with more
annihilating effect than that which this sight produced on me; and my
first attempt, after I had freed myself from the persons about me, was
to find out the man with the plumed hat, whom the woman had designated;
but although my people were employed for three days uninterruptedly, in
seeking information, not one of them was in a condition to give me the
slightest intelligence on the subject.  Now, friend Conrad, a few weeks
ago, in the farm at Dahme, I saw the man with my own eyes."

Having finished this narrative, the elector let the chamberlain's hand
fall, and sank back on his couch, wiping off the perspiration.  The
chamberlain, who thought every attempt to oppose or correct the
elector's view of the case would be fruitless, entreated him to try
some plan to obtain possession of the slip, and then to leave the
fellow to his fate; but the elector replied, that he could see no plan
at all, although the thought of going without the paper, and of seeing
all knowledge of it perish with Kohlhaas, made him almost desperate.
To his friend's question, whether he had made any efforts to discover
the gipsy herself, he answered that the government (_Gubernium_), in
pursuance of a command which he had sent forth under a false pretext,
had in vain sought for the woman to that day, in all the public places
in the electorate, while, from other reasons which he declined to
communicate more explicitly, he expressed his doubts whether she was to
be found in Saxony.  It chanced that the chamberlain wished to travel
to Berlin for the sake of some considerable property in the Neumark, to
which his wife had become entitled by the bequest of the High
Chancellor Kallheim, who died soon after he was displaced; and,
therefore, as he really was much attached to the elector, he asked him,
after a short deliberation, whether he would let him act quite at
liberty in this matter.

The elector, pressing the chamberlain's hand with warmth against his
breast, answered: "Consider that you are myself, and get the paper;"
and, therefore, the chamberlain, having entrusted his office to other
hands, hastened his journey by a day or two, and, leaving his wife
behind, set off for Berlin, accompanied only by some servants.

Kohlhaas, who, as we have already said, had in the meanwhile arrived at
Berlin, and by the special order of the elector had been put in a state
prison, made as comfortable as possible for the reception of him and
his five children, was, immediately after the appearance of the
imperial attorney from Vienna, brought before the chamber council
charged with a breach of the imperial peace.  Although he said, in
answer, that he could not be prosecuted for his armed attack in Saxony,
and the violence he had there committed, by virtue of the agreement
made with the Elector of Saxony, at Lützen, he was informed that of
that agreement the emperor, whose attorney conducted this complaint,
could take no cognizance.  When the matter was explained to him, and he
heard, besides, with reference to his affair at Dresden, that he would
have ample justice against Squire Wenzel von Tronka, he readily
submitted.  The very day on which the chamberlain arrived, sentence was
passed against Kohlhaas, and he was condemned to be put to death with
the sword;--a sentence which, seeing how complicated was the state of
affairs, no one believed would be executed, notwithstanding its
mildness; nay, the whole city, knowing the good feeling of the elector
towards Kohlhaas, firmly hoped that the capital punishment, by a
special edict, would be commuted into a long and severe imprisonment.

The chamberlain seeing at once that no time was to be lost, if he would
fulfil his sovereign's commission, went to work, by appearing one
morning, sedulously attired in his usual court-dress, before Kohlhaas,
who was innocently watching the passers-by from the window of his
prison.  Concluding, from a sudden movement of his head, that the
horse-dealer had perceived him, and particularly observing, with great
delight, how the latter clutched, involuntarily, at the part of his
breast, where the case was situated, he judged, that what had passed in
the mind of Kohlhaas at that moment, was a sufficient preparation to
advance one step further in the attempt to gain possession of the paper.

He, therefore, called to him an old rag-woman, who was hobbling about
on crutches, and whom he had observed in the streets of Berlin among a
host of others, who were trafficking in the same commodity.  This
woman, in age and attire seemed to bear a pretty close resemblance to
the one whom his elector had described, and as he thought that Kohlhaas
would have no clear recollection of the features of the gipsy, who had
only appeared for a moment when she gave him the case, he resolved to
pass off this old woman for the other one, and if possible to let her
take the part of the gipsy before Kohlhaas.  To put her in a proper
position to play this part, he informed her, circumstantially, of all
that had passed between the two electors and the gipsy at Jüterboch,
not forgetting to tell her the three mysterious articles contained in
the paper, as he did not know how far the gipsy might have gone in her
explanations to Kohlhaas.  After explaining to her what she must let
fall in an incoherent or unintelligible manner, for the sake of certain
plans that had been devised to obtain the paper, either by force or
stratagem--a matter of great importance to the Saxon court--he charged
her to ask Kohlhaas for it, under the pretext of keeping it for a few
eventful days, as it was no longer safe in his possession.  The woman,
on the promise of a considerable reward, part of which the chamberlain,
at her request, was forced to give beforehand, at once undertook to
perform the required office; and as the mother of the man, Herse, who
had fallen at Mühlberg, sometimes visited Kohlhaas, with the permission
of the government, and this woman had been acquainted with her for some
months, she succeeded in visiting Kohlhaas at an early day, with the
help of a small present to the gaoler.

Kohlhaas, as soon as she entered, thought that by the seal-ring, which
she wore on her finger, and the coral chain which hung from her neck,
he recognised the old gipsy who had given him the can at Jüterboch.
Indeed, as probability is not always on the side of truth, so was it
here; for something happened which we certainly record, but which every
one who chooses is at liberty to doubt.  The fact is, the chamberlain
had committed the most monstrous blunder, the old woman whom he had
picked up in the streets of Berlin to imitate the gipsy, being no other
than the mysterious gipsy herself whom he wished to be imitated.  The
woman leaning on her crutches, and patting the cheeks of the children,
who, struck by her strange aspect, clung to their father, told him that
she had for some time left Saxony for Brandenburg, and in consequence
of a heedless question asked by the chamberlain in the streets of
Berlin, about the gipsy who was in Jüterboch in the spring of the past
year, had at once hurried to him, and under a false name had offered
herself for the office which he wished to see fulfilled.

The horse-dealer remarked a singular likeness between this woman and
his deceased wife Lisbeth: indeed he could almost have asked her if she
were not her grandmother; for not only did her features, her hands,
which, bony as they were, were still beautiful, and especially the use
which she made of these while talking, remind him of Lisbeth most
forcibly, but even a mole by which his wife's neck was marked, was on
the gipsy's neck also.

Hence, amid strangely conflicting thoughts, he compelled her to take a
seat, and asked her what possible business of the chamberlain's could
bring her to him.

The woman, while Kohlhaas's old dog went sniffing about her knees, and
wagged his tail while she patted him, announced that the commission
which the chamberlain had given her, was to tell him how the paper
contained a mysterious answer to three questions of the utmost
importance to the Saxon court, to warn him against an emissary who was
at Berlin, with the design of taking it, and to ask for the paper
herself, under the pretext that it was no more safe in his own bosom.
The real design of her coming was, however, to tell him that the threat
of depriving him of the paper, by force or cunning, was completely
idle, that he had not the least cause to feel any apprehension about
it, under the protection of the Elector of Brandenburg--nay, that the
paper was much safer with him than with her, and that he should take
great care not to lose it, by delivering it to any one under any
pretext whatever.  However, she added by saying, that she thought it
prudent to use the paper for the purpose for which she had given it to
him at the Jüterboch fair, to listen to the offer which had been made
to him on the borders by the page, von Stein, and to give the paper,
which could be of no further use to him, to the Elector of Saxony, in
exchange for life and liberty.

Kohlhaas, who exulted in the power which was given him, of mortally
wounding his enemy's heel, at the very moment when it trampled him in
the dust, replied, "Not for the world, good mother; not for the world!"
and pressing the old woman's hand, only desired to know, what were the
answers to the important questions contained in the paper.

The woman, taking in her lap the youngest child, who was crouching down
at her feet, said, "No--not for the world, Kohlhaas the horse-dealer;
but for the sake of this pretty little fair-haired boy."  So saying,
she smiled at him, embraced him, and kissed him; while he stared at her
with all his might, and gave him with her dry hands an apple, which she
carried in her pocket.

Kohlhaas said, in some confusion, that even the children, if they were
old enough, would commend him for what he had done, and that he could
not do any thing more serviceable for them and their posterity than
keep the paper.  He asked, besides, who, after the experience he had
already made, would secure him against fresh deception, and whether he
might not sacrifice the paper to the elector, just as uselessly, as he
had formerly sacrificed the troop which he collected at Lützen.  "With
him who has once broken his word," said he, "I have nothing more to do,
and nothing, good mother, but your demand, definitively and
unequivocally expressed, will cause me to part with the slip by which,
in such a remarkable manner, satisfaction is given me for all that I
have suffered."

The woman, setting the child down upon the ground, said, that he was
right in many respects, and could do and suffer what he pleased; and,
taking her crutch again in her hand, prepared to go.

Kohlhaas repeated his question respecting the contents of the strange
paper; and when she answered him hastily, that he might open it, if
only out of curiosity, he wished to be informed about a thousand things
more before she quitted him; such as who she was; how she acquired her
science; why she had refused to give the wonderful paper to the
elector, for whom it was written, and had just selected him, who had
never cared about her science, among so many thousand persons.

At this very moment a noise was heard, made by some police officers,
who were coming up stairs, and the woman, who seemed suddenly afraid
lest she should be found by them in these apartments, answered:
"Farewell till we meet again, Kohlhaas!  When we meet again, you shall
have knowledge of all this."  Turning towards the door, she cried,
"Good-bye, children, good-bye!" and kissing the little folks one after
the other, she departed.

In the meanwhile the Elector of Saxony, entirely given up to his
melancholy thoughts, had summoned two astrologers named Oldenholm and
Olearius, who then stood in high repute in Saxony, and had consulted
them as to the contents of the mysterious paper, which was of such high
import to himself and the whole race of his posterity.  When these men,
after a deep inquiry, which had continued for three days in the castle
at Dresden, could not agree whether the prophecy referred to distant
ages or to the present time, while perhaps the crown of Poland, the
relations with which were so warlike, might be pointed at,--the
uneasiness, not to say the despair of the unhappy prince, far from
being lessened by the learned dispute, was rendered more acute, and
that to a degree perfectly insupportable.  About the same time, the
chamberlain charged his wife, who was on the point of following him to
Berlin, to point out to the elector before her departure, how doubtful,
after the failure of the attempt he had made with the old woman, whom
he had never seen since--how doubtful was the hope of obtaining the
paper now in the possession of Kohlhaas, since the sentence of death
had already been signed by the Elector of Brandenburg after a careful
examination of the documents, and the execution was already appointed
for the Monday after Palm-Sunday.

At this intelligence, the Elector of Saxony, whose heart was rent with
grief and remorse, shut himself up in his room for two days, during
which, being weary of his life, he tasted no food.  On the third day,
he suddenly disappeared from Dresden, giving a short notice to the
Gubernium that he was going to the Prince of Dessau to hunt.  Where he
actually went, and whether he did turn to Dessau, we must leave
undecided, since the chronicles from the comparison of which we obtain
our information, are singularly contradictory upon this point.  So much
is certain, that the Prince of Dessau, unable to hunt, lay sick at this
time, with his uncle, Duke Henry, in Brunswick, and that the Lady
Heloise on the evening of the following day, accompanied by a Count
Königstein, whom she called her cousin, entered the room of her
husband, the chamberlain.

In the meantime, the sentence of death was read to Kohlhaas at the
elector's request, and the papers relating to his property, which had
been refused him at Dresden, were restored to him.  When the
councillors, whom the tribunal had sent to him, asked him how his
property should be disposed of after his death, he prepared a will in
favour of his children, with the assistance of a notary, and appointed
his good friend the farmer at Kohlhaasenbrück their guardian.  Nothing
could equal the peace and contentment of his last days, for by a
special order of the elector, the prison in which he was kept was
thrown open, and a free approach to him was granted to all his friends,
of whom many resided in the city.  He had the further satisfaction of
seeing the divine, Jacob Freysing, as a delegate from Doctor Luther,
enter his dungeon, with a letter in Luther's own hand (which was
doubtless very remarkable, but has since been lost), and of receiving
the holy sacrament from the hands of this reverend gentleman, in the
presence of two deans of Brandenburg.

At last the portentous Monday arrived, on which he was to atone to the
world for his too hasty attempt to procure justice, and still the city
was in general commotion, not being able to give up the hope that some
decree would yet come to save him.  Accompanied by a strong guard, and
with his two boys in his arms--a favour he had expressly asked at the
bar of the tribunal--he was stepping from the gate of his prison, led
by Jacob Freysing, when, through the midst of a mournful throng of
acquaintance who shook hands with him and bade him farewell, the
castellan of the electoral castle pressed forward to him with a
disturbed countenance, and gave him a note which he said he had
received from an old woman.  Kohlhaas, while he looked upon the man,
who was little known to him, with astonishment, opened the note, the
seal of which, impressed on a wafer, reminded him of the well-known
gipsy.  Who can describe his astonishment when he read as follows:

"KOHLHAAS,--The Elector of Saxony is in Berlin.  He is gone before thee
to the place of execution; and thou mayest know him, if, indeed, it
concerns thee, by a hat with blue and white feathers.  I need not tell
thee the purpose for which he comes.  As soon as thou art buried, he
will dig up the case, and have the paper opened which it contains.


Kohlhaas, turning to the castellan in the greatest astonishment, asked
him if he knew the wonderful woman who had given him the note.

The castellan began to answer: "Kohlhaas, the woman----" but he stopped
short in the middle of his speech; and Kohlhaas, being carried along by
the train, which proceeded at this moment, could not hear what the man,
who seemed to tremble in every limb, was saying to him.  When he came
to the place of execution, he found the Elector of Brandenburg on
horseback there, with his train, among whom was the Chancellor Heinrich
von Geusau, in the midst of an immense concourse of people.  To the
right of the elector stood the imperial advocate, Franz Müller, with a
copy of the sentence in his hand, while on his left, with the decree of
the Dresden Court chamber, was his own advocate, the jurist Anton
Zäuner.  In the midst of the half-open circle formed by the people, was
a herald with a bundle of things and the two horses, now sleek and in
good condition, beating the ground with their hoofs.  For the
Chancellor Henry had carried every point of the suit, which, in the
name of his master, he had commenced at Dresden against Squire Wenzel
von Tronka; and consequently the horses, after they had been restored
to honour by the ceremony of waving a flag over their heads, had been
taken out of the hands of the flayer, and, having been fattened by the
squire's men, had been handed over to the advocate in the Dresden
market, in the presence of a commission appointed for the purpose.
Therefore, the elector, when Kohlhaas, attended by the guard, ascended
the court to him, said: "Now, Kohlhaas, this is the day on which you
have justice.  Here I give you back all which you were forced to lose
at the Tronkenburg, your horses, handkerchief, money, linen, and the
expenses for medical attendance on your man, Herse, who fell at
Mühlberg.  Are you content with me?"

Kohlhaas, while with open, sparkling eyes, he read over the decree
which was put into his hands, at a hint from the chancellor, put down
the two children whom he carried, and when he found in it an article,
by which Squire Wenzel was condemned to be imprisoned for two years,
quite overcome by his feelings, he threw himself down before the
elector, with his hands crossed on his breast.  Joyfully assuring the
chancellor, as he arose, and laid his hand on his bosom, that his
highest wish on earth was fulfilled, he went up to the horses, examined
them, and patted their fat necks, cheerfully telling the chancellor, as
he returned to him, that he made a present of them to his two sons,
Henry and Leopold.

The chancellor, Henry von Geusau, bending down to him from his horse
with a friendly aspect, promised him in the name of the elector, that
his last bequest should be held sacred, and requested him to dispose of
the other things in the bundle according to his pleasure.  Upon this
Kohlhaas called out of the mob Herse's old mother, whom he perceived in
the square, and giving her the things, said, "Here, mother, this
belongs to you," adding, at the same time, the sum which was in the
bundle, to pay damages, as a comfort for her old days.

The elector then cried, "Now, Kohlhaas, the horse-dealer, thou to whom
satisfaction has been thus accorded, prepare to give satisfaction
thyself for the breach of the public peace."

Kohlhaas, taking off his hat, and throwing it down, said, that he was
ready, and giving the children, after he had once more lifted them up
and pressed them to his heart, to the farmer of Kohlhaasenbrück, he
stepped up to the block, while the farmer, silently weeping, led the
children from the place.  He then took the handkerchief from his neck,
and opened his doublet, when taking a cursory glance at the circle of
people, he perceived at a short distance from himself, between two
knights, who nearly concealed him, the well-known man with the blue and
white plumes.  Kohlhaas, bringing himself close to him by a sudden
step, which astonished the surrounding guard, took the case from his
breast.  Taking the paper out, he opened it, read it, and fixing his
eye on the man with the plume, who began to entertain hopes, put it
into his mouth and swallowed it.  At this sight, the man with the blue
and white feathers fell down in convulsions.  Kohlhaas, while the man's
astonished attendants stooped down and raised him from the ground,
turned to the scaffold, where his head fell beneath the axe of the
executioner.  Thus ends the history of Kohlhaas.

The corpse was put into a coffin, amid the general lamentations of the
people.  While the bearers were raising it to bury it decently in the
suburban church-yard, the elector called to him the sons of the
deceased, and dubbed them knights, declaring to the chancellor, that
they should be brought up in his school of pages.  The Elector of
Saxony, wounded in mind and body, soon returned to Dresden, and the
rest concerning him must be sought in his history.  As for Kohlhaas,
some of his descendants, brave, joyous people, were living in
Mecklenburg in the last century.

[1] On one point the translator of this tale solicits the indulgence of
his critical readers.  A great number of official names and legal terms
occur, the technical meaning of which could not properly be defined by
any one but a German jurist.  As these names have no exact equivalents
in English, the names into which they are here translated may appear
arbitrary.  The translator can only say that, where exactitude was
impossible, he has done his best.

[2] "Squire" is used as an equivalent for "Junker."  "Castellan" is put
for "Burgvoigt" and "Schlossvoigt."

[3] "Gerichtsherr" means lord of the manor with right of judicature.

[4] "Amtmann" means here a farmer of crown-lands.

[5] That is a subject of another state, here Brandenburg.



[The following Gespenster-Geschichte, or Ghost Story, as Tieck himself
has called it, is related to a circle of friends by a gentleman, Baron
Blamberg, who was a friend of the unfortunate subject of the story.
The ruins of the Klausenburg are, according to the words of the
narrator, near the house where they are assembled.  The story is often
interrupted by the company, but their conversation has no connection
with it, and has therefore been omitted.--C. A. F.]

It is about fifty years since that a rich family lived among the
mountains a short distance off, in a castle, of which only the ruins
are now to be seen, since it was partly destroyed by thunder and
lightning, and the remainder was demolished in war.  It is now only
occasionally visited by huntsmen and travellers who have lost their
way, and it is called the ruins of the Klausenburg.  Proceeding up the
solitary footpath through the pine wood, and then climbing the pathless
crag, you stand facing its entrance, which is cut out of the living
rock and secured by an ancient and strongly barred gate.  On the
outside is an iron rod with a handle apparently communicating with a
bell on the inside.  Having once wandered there while hunting, I pulled
this handle, but received no answer to my summons from within.  As this
spot can only be approached with much difficulty, and it is almost
impossible to climb the chasms and rocks on the other side, there are
many legends and tales current among the vulgar about this singular
Klausenburg the remains of which present an almost spectral appearance.

Among other stories, it is reported that more than a century ago, there
resided within its walls a very wealthy, benevolent, and industrious
man, who was much beloved by his friends and tenants.  He had early in
life retired from the state service to devote himself to the management
of his estates, of which he possessed many, including mines, and glass
and iron foundries which he was able to work to great advantage, having
abundant fuel from his extensive forests.  Although beloved by his
tenants, he was yet hated and envied by many of his equals, the more
reasonable of whom disliked him because he avoided them, and they
readily perceived that he despised them for their want of industry;
while the more foolish believed, and even openly declared, that Count
Moritz was in league with Satan, and was therefore successful beyond
expectation in all he undertook.

However absurd the report, it was calculated at this early period to
injure the character of this persevering man; as it was not many years
after the time when people were burnt at the stake for witchcraft and
for being in league with the evil one.  Hence it was that the count in
disgust retired from the world to the solitary castle of Klausenburg,
and was only happy when conversing on his affairs with intelligent
miners, machine makers, and learned men.  Knowing the distrust with
which he was looked upon by the old priests who held the livings in his
different parishes, he but rarely appeared at church, a circumstance
which but little contributed to raise his reputation in the

It happened once that a band of gipsies, who at that time roved about
in Germany with little molestation, came to these parts.  The nobles of
the country as well as the government were undecided and dilatory in
checking this nuisance, and the boundaries of several states meeting
here, the tribe could carry on their depredations with impunity and
even unnoticed.  Where they did not receive any thing, they robbed;
where they were resisted they came at night and burnt the barns; and in
this manner the fire on one occasion rapidly spreading, two villages
were burnt to the ground.  Count Moritz was induced by this
circumstance to unite with some resolute neighbours, and to pursue and
punish, on his own authority, the lawless tribe.  Imprisonment,
scourging, flogging, and starvation, were awarded by him without
reference to any authority, and only some who were convicted of arson
were sent to the town for what was called the gipsy trial, and were
then legally condemned to suffer capital punishment.

The count considering himself the benefactor of his country, could not
help feeling mortified when his enviers and calumniators used this very
circumstance to accuse him of the blackest crimes, and the most
atrocious injustice.  To this ingratitude he opposed nothing but calm
indignation, and a contempt which was perhaps too magnanimous; for if a
nobleman always preserves silence, calumny and falsehood will be more
readily believed by the foolish and those who have no character to
lose.  If he could not prevail on himself to meet his opponents and to
relate the circumstance in detail, he felt himself quite disarmed on
discovering how much he was misunderstood in his family, and by the
being who was nearest to his heart.  He had married late in life, and
his wife having a few days before presented him with a son, was still
confined to her room.  In her present weak state he could not dispute
or urge with any force the justice of his proceedings, when she
reproached him with the cruelty he had exercised towards these poor
innocent men, who rather deserved his compassion than such hard
persecution.  When on leaving her chamber some old cousins told him the
same thing in plainer terms, he could no longer suppress his rage, and
his replies were so wrathful, his curses so vehement, the gestures of
the irritated man so superhuman, that the old prattling women lost
their composure and almost swooned.  To prevent his sick wife from
learning all this, he immediately sent them by main force to another of
his estates and then rode to a solitary part of the mountains, partly
to divert his thoughts and strengthen himself by the sublime aspect of
nature, and partly to resume the pursuit of the gipsies.  But what was
his astonishment when he learned from his ranger that those noblemen
who, in conjunction with him, had undertaken the war against these
vagabonds had dispersed and retired to their seats without giving him

Without being disconcerted at this, he again succeeded in apprehending
some of them who were guilty of heavy crimes, and ordered them to be
bound and thrown into a secure dungeon.  When after having dismissed
his attendants, he rode thoughtfully back alone towards the
Klausenburg, the aged castellan on his arriving at the gate gave him a
packet which had been sent by the government.  This he opened with
anticipating vexation, and was so surprised by its contents that his
anger rose, and he became infuriated almost to madness.  The purport of
the letters it contained was no less than a penal accusation for murder
and high treason in consequence of the count's having, on his own
authority, and as leader of an armed troop, seditiously opposed the
government.  Almost senseless, he dropped these preposterous letters,
and then, recovering by a sudden effort, went to his apartment to read
the impeachment more calmly, and to consider how he could defend
himself.  Passing the countess's chamber and hearing strange voices
within, he hastily opened the door, and beheld--what he certainly did
not expect, two dirty old gipsies dressed in rags, sitting by the
bedside of the invalid, and foretelling her fate, while they
frightfully distorted their hideous countenances.  As might be
expected, the countess was horror-struck at beholding her husband
enter, for what he now did was truly barbarous.  In his fury he
scarcely knew what he did, and seizing the old prophetesses by their
long gray hair, he dragged them out of the room and threw them down the
staircase.  He then commanded the servants, who came crowding round, to
secure them to a stone pillar in the yard, to bare their backs, and
chastise them with whips, as long as the strength of the ministers of
his cruelty would hold out.  His orders were executed.

Having locked himself in his room, he was horrified, on becoming
calmer, as he reflected on the barbarities he had committed.  From
these thoughts he was aroused by a loud knocking at the door.  He
opened it, and a servant in evident terror entered, saying, "Oh!
gracious count, I was afraid you were ill, or perhaps dead, for I have
been knocking for a long time, without receiving any answer from your
lordship."  "What do you want?"  "The eldest of these hideous witches,"
replied the servant, "insists on speaking to you for a minute before
she leaves the castle.  She will not be refused, and the most severe
threats and curses avail nothing with the old woman."  The count
ordered the ill-used woman to be led to his room.  The appearance of
the poor creature was frightful, and the count himself started back
with horror, when she presented herself covered with blood, her face
and arms lacerated, and a deep wound in her head, which was still
uncovered.  "I thank you," she said, "kind brother, for the Christian
kindness that you have shown me in your palace.  You are, indeed, a
virtuous man, a persecutor of vice, an impartial judge, and a punisher
of crimes; and I suppose you would call yourself an avenging angel in
the service of your God.  Do you know then, tender-hearted man, why we
were sitting by the bedside of your wife?  We had, indeed, told her
fortune, but the real object of our visit was to speak to you, and you
were not in your hospitable house.  It was our wish to separate from
the gang, and seek a humble and honest living.  We know the haunt where
the leader conceals himself, that notorious incendiary whom you have so
long sought in vain, and intended to deliver him into your hands; but
you are worse than the most atrocious of our gang, and as you have
shown us to-day so much kindness, a curse for it shall light upon you,
your family, and your offspring, to the third and fourth generation."

The count, who had now repented of his hasty wrath, wished to appease
the awful woman, by speaking kindly to her, and offering her, by way of
reconciliation, his purse well filled with gold.  She cast an evil,
though covetous look at the gold, and, grinding her teeth, threw the
purse at the count's feet.  "That mammon," she cried, "would have made
me and my poor sister happy, but after the meal you have given us, I
would rather gnaw the bark of trees than receive the wealth from your
accursed hands."  Various and many were the curses she continued
heaping on him, and the torments and misfortunes she denounced against
him and his house.  When she had finished, she tottered down the stone
staircase, all the servants fleeing from her as from a spectre.

From this moment the count was a changed man.  His energies were
crushed.  He lived as in a dream, having no wish, and being incapable
of forming a single resolution.  Those around him could not learn
whether he was deeply shocked by the death of his consort, who died the
night after that fatal day.  Since that time he was scarcely ever heard
to speak or to utter a sound, sigh, or complaint.  He no longer
concerned himself about any thing, and seemed perfectly indifferent
when the government confiscated his largest estate to punish him as a
rebel and violator of the laws.  In his present state of mind, he
abandoned himself to the guidance of those very priests whom previously
he had so pointedly avoided; he frequented the church often, and was
fervent in his devotions.  He never looked round when people behind him
called out, "There sneaks the old sinner, the traitor, the murderer,
and rebel, back again into God's house."  Now, likewise, some relatives
profited by his listlessness so far as to deprive him by a lawsuit of
another large estate, and there was every appearance that of all the
large possessions of his ancestors, nothing would be left, for his only
heir, a beautiful boy, had not a prudent guardian of the child done all
in his power for him.  From the unconcern of his father, the young
count became daily more impoverished, leaving to his offspring but a
small portion of the large property to which he had succeeded; but,
notwithstanding these misfortunes, and also the breaking out of war,
the next proprietor of the Klausenburg, and his family, maintained
their rank, and were respected in the neighbourhood.  By his industry,
his success, and his marriage with a wealthy lady, he partly retrieved
his fortune, and succeeded in his endeavours to revive and maintain the
former splendour of his castle for some fifty or sixty years, so that
his friends and relatives resorted to it as formerly, with delight, and
he, at his death, left to his only son his remaining estates in good
condition, besides large sums of money.  Thus the curse of the gipsies
appeared totally removed, the count and his son having completely
forgotten former events, or, having, perhaps, never heard of the curse.

I was a spirited boy when I made the acquaintance of Francis, the last
heir of the Klausenburg.  This Francis, who was about a year my senior,
was cheerful, amiable, and handsome, and the pride of his father, the
persevering man who had partly restored the splendour of his ancestors.
My playmate grew up to be, not merely the delight of his father, but of
all around.  He was manly, witty, and engaging, an accomplished dancer,
and expert horseman, and in fencing, had not his equal.  After being
presented at court, he soon gained the prince's favour, by his natural
vivacity, and in a few years was raised to the office of counsellor.
Few men on earth had fairer prospects of a happy life.  All mothers and
aunts in the neighbourhood saw, and hoped to find in him, the future
husband of their daughters and nieces, and at the assemblies in the
capital he was the adored and chosen hero of the ladies, as he was the
object of envy and persecution among the young fashionables.  No one
could conceive why he so long deferred his choice, and, for a long
time, people would not credit the rumours that were circulated, that he
had formed an engagement with the young princess.  It was confidently
whispered that the lovers waited only for some favourable chance, or
occurrence, to acknowledge publicly their mutual affection and wishes.
However, nothing of the kind happened, and years passed, and with them
faded the rumours, and various interpretations of sage politicians.

Suddenly, when the affair seemed forgotten, my youthful friend was
banished the court and capital in disgrace.  All his former friends
forsook him, and what was still worse, an intrigue countenanced by the
government, involved him in a dangerous lawsuit, which threatened the
loss of his fortune.  Thus then this courted, admired, and universally
caressed Francis, saw himself in the very worst position, and was
obliged to confess that his career was closed, and that all his
splendid prospects were darkened for ever.

About this time I saw him again; he bore his misfortune manfully.  He
was still as youthful and handsome as ever, and the serenity of his
temper had suffered but little.  We were travelling in this
neighbourhood, and the Klausenburg having gone to ruin, he built a
pleasant house not far distant, on the slope of a hill, from whence he
enjoyed a beautiful prospect.

He avoided speaking of former circumstances, but one evening, he was
deeply affected by a letter announcing the decease of the young
princess, who had died of a broken heart, or, as was afterwards said,
had voluntarily sought death, because she could no longer bear the
burden of her embittered life.

It was evident to me that a deep-seated melancholy had taken possession
of my friend, and often showed itself; his mind, however, was not so
affected as to display any symptoms of weariness of life, which made me
hope that his misfortune and the evil fate that had attended him, would
serve to purify his character, and give him that genuine deportment
which is essential even to those who are not tried by calamity, and
much more to those who have to pass through heavy trials.

There lived in the neighbourhood about that time a wild old woman who
was half crazy, and who went begging from village to village.

The higher class called her jokingly, the Sibyl, the common people did
not hesitate to call her a witch.  The place of her residence was not
exactly known; probably she had no certain place of resort, as she was
constantly seen on the high-roads, and roaming in every direction in
the country.  Some old rangers maintained that she was a descendant of
that notorious gang of gipsies whom Count Moritz many years before had
persecuted and dispersed.

Walking one day in a beautiful beech-wood, and engaged in conversation
which made us forget the world without, we suddenly saw, at a turn of
the footpath, the old hideous Sibyl before us.  Being both in a
cheerful mood, we were rather astonished, but in no way startled.
Having dismissed the impudent beggar by giving her some money, she
hastily returned, saying: "Will not you have your fortunes told for
what you have given to me?"

"If it is something good that you can tell me, you may earn a few more

I held out to her my hand at which she looked at very carefully, and
then said, scornfully: "My good sir, you have a miserable hand which
would puzzle even the best fortune-teller.  Such a middling person,
neither one thing nor the other, as you, I have never seen in all my
life; you are neither wise nor stupid, neither bad nor good, neither
fortunate nor unfortunate; without passions, mind, virtue, or vice; you
are what I call a real A.B.C. scholar of Heaven's blockheads, and you
will not in all your life have the slight merit of ever perceiving your
own insignificance.  From your paltry hand and unmeaning countenance
nothing at all can be prophesied; a dry fungus, without it is first
prepared and macerated, cannot even receive a spark.  Therefore, Jack
Mean-nothing, your dull nature will never live to see any thing worth

My friend Francis did not laugh at the old woman's opinion and
description of my character, but being attached to me, his anger arose,
and he reproved her in strong terms.  She listened very calmly to what
he said, and then replied: "Why are you so angry?  If you will not give
me something more for my trouble and wisdom, let me go quietly.  No
doubt men do not like to have their inner-most heart exposed to the
daylight.  Is it my fault that there is nothing better in your friend's
character?  He is neither my son nor disciple."  Thus the prophetess
meant to justify and atone for her insolence by repeating it anew.  My
friend was pacified, and gave her a ducat, saying: "Make merry with
that,--where do you live?"

"Where do I live?" she replied; "my roof changes so often that I cannot
tell or describe it to you; not unfrequently it is open, and my
companion is the howling storm; where men have not built houses they
usually call it nature.  But I thank you, and must requite your
kindness."  Quickly and forcibly taking the unwilling hand of my
friend, she held it firmly between her bony fingers and considered it
for some time; then letting the arm drop, with a sigh, she said in a
tone of voice expressive of deep sorrow, "Son, son; you descend from
wicked blood, are an evil scion of evil ancestors; but fortunately you
are the last of your race, for your children would be more evil still.
What begins in evil must end in evil.  Ah! ah! your physiognomy; your
expression; your whole countenance; I feel almost as if I saw a
murderer before me.  Yes! yes!--you have killed a young, beautiful, and
noble maiden.  On her dying bed she long struggled with grief and
anguish.  O ye wicked men, can you not be faithful and keep your oaths.
It is not only daggers, swords, and guns, that cut and kill; looks and
sweet words will also do it.  Oh, those seductive words, and all that
pretended affection!  Now this splendid frame that first dazzled your
foolish eye, breaks, and is consigned to corruption.  Beauty! oh thou
fatal gift of Heaven! and besides, murderer, you are handsome enough to
kill others.  The curses of your father follow you now whether you
dwell in the forest or in your finely tapestried rooms.  See you not,
feel you not, how, coming from the very heart, they waft misfortune and
misery towards you as the stormy wind scatters the dry leaves in the
valleys between the mountains?  Where is your peace, your happiness,
your confidence?  All scattered like the drifting sand in the barren
plain; no fruit can there strike root."

Suddenly the crazy woman shouted aloud and ran shrieking and yelling
discordantly into the thickest part of the wood.  When I looked round I
was terrified on seeing my friend become pale as death.  He shook so
violently that he could not support himself, but sank on a hillock
beside him.  I sat down by him and endeavoured to comfort and quiet him.

"Is this madwoman," he exclaimed; "inspired by truth? does she really
see the past and the future, or are those only mad sounds which she
utters in brutish thoughtlessness, and if it be so, have not such
random words been perhaps the genuine oracles in all ages?"

He now gave way to tears and loud lamentations; he called loudly in the
air, what hitherto he had so carefully and mysteriously locked up in
his heart.

"Yes!" he exclaimed; "accursed be every talent, speech, grace, and all
the gifts with which a malicious fate endowed us to ruin ourselves and
others!  Could I not have avoided her first kind look?  Why did I
suffer myself to be infatuated, to exchange glance for glance, and then
word for word?  Yes! she was lovely, noble, and graceful; but in my
heart there arose together with better feelings, the vanity that even
she, the most exalted, distinguished me.  I approached her nearer, more
boldly, more decidedly, and my pure exalted sentiments surprised and
won her.  She gave me her confidence.  Her heart was so virtuous, so
noble; all her youthful feelings were so tender and fervent; it was a
paradise that opened to our view.  Childishly enough, we thought that
no higher happiness on earth could be offered us, the present heavenly
moment sufficed.  But now passion awoke in my heart.  This she expected
not, she was terrified and withdrew.  This goaded my self-love, I felt
unhappy, crushed, and ill.  Her compassion was moved, and she no longer
avoided me.  By means of an attendant in our confidence, we were able
to meet without witnesses.  Our intercourse became more tender, our
love more defined and ardent; but as these feelings were embodied in
language, and expressed more definitely, the paradisiacal breath, the
heavenly bloom was fled for ever.  It was happiness, but changed in
character; it was more earthly, more kindly, more confiding, but was
not surrounded by that magic which had transported me formerly, so that
I could frequently ask myself when alone, 'are you really happy?'
Alas! my friend, as we saw each other so often, how many foolish and
mad projects were then conceived!

"We talked, we conversed of the future of which those who ardently love
never think in the early period of their ecstacies.  Once an
opportunity of an alliance likely to add to the lustre of her house
presented itself.  What fury and bitter rancour were aroused in me!
For only appearing favourably disposed towards this illustrious
alliance, she suffered much from my anger.  My passion was ignoble, as
she deeply felt, more from her love to me, than from the sufferings it
caused her.  Oh! she was never able to erase from her soul this picture
of my madness.  To alleviate my sufferings and completely to reconcile
me, she stooped to my mean and rude nature.  Our hearts harmonised
again, but from the lowering clouds that now surrounded me, I looked
back with yearnings to that heavenly serenity that first shone
dazzlingly upon me so.  In imagination we lived as though affianced,
and dreamt of our union, of unexpected bliss, of varied pleasures and
turns of fate never to be realised.  But these were misty visions, and
we considered the greatest improbabilities as near and natural.  The
habitual thoughts of our love gradually destroyed necessary precaution.
The looks of spies were watchful, and were sharpened by our imprudence.
Rumours were circulated, which perhaps never would have reached the
prince himself, had not his own glance suspected and discovered our
connection.  He now learnt more from his questions than he desired to
know, and far more than was in accordance with truth.  One evening he
sent for me to attend him alone in his closet, and displayed to me in
this serious interview all the nobleness of his great mind.  Without
reproaching me, he ascribed to himself alone the immediate cause of my
presumption, saying that he had treated me with too much confidence,
nay, almost like a son; that he had deviated too much from his rank and
the laws of etiquette; that he had foolishly rejoiced in the thought of
his daughter being able by intercourse with me to improve her mind.  As
he became more serious, I assured the agitated father by my honour, and
by all that is sacred,--which indeed was in accordance with the
truth,--that our mutual passion had never led us astray, and that our
better genius had never forsaken us.  At this he became tranquil, and
only replied by prohibiting as I had anticipated.  I was not allowed to
meet his daughter again privately.  I was to endeavour by degrees to
heal the wounds which our separation caused, to eradicate the
affection, which I had so rashly kindled, by my good sense and
demeanour, and thereby to make myself worthy to regain the confidence
and love of the prince.

"Suddenly I felt as if the veil had fallen from my eyes," continued
Francis, "indeed, I may say, that by this interview, I was quite a
changed being.  Truth and reality had now, at length, with victorious
power, asserted their ascendancy over me.  Many periods of life may be
compared to a vivid fantastic dream; we awake to sober consciousness,
but still feel the reality of the vision.

"But, ah! my friend, this truth created a hell within me.  My mind
yielded to the noble father in every thing.  He was right in the
fullest sense of the word.  If I admired Juliet, and recognised her
worth, if she was my friend, and I sufficiently important to elevate
her mind, what had that to do with our passion and my efforts to
possess her?  With this conviction I was now penetrated, and the
feeling exerted a benign influence over me.  But how different were her
feelings!  When such changes occur, women usually suffer from the
consuming fire of passion.  What letters did I receive from her, when I
had communicated to her my resolution and the advice that we must
submit to necessity!  I almost repeated the words which I had heard
from her beautiful lips when I urged my ardent attachment.  She now
listened in a spirit different from that which harassed her formerly;
deaf to all advice, unsusceptible to every kindness, inaccessible to
conviction, she only listened to the wild suggestions of her ardent
affection.  My reason seemed to her cowardice, my resignation baseness.
She alone was exclusively to be considered in the question that
agitated my heart.  In short, she now played the same part that I had
done formerly.  Looking back upon my former conduct with repentance and
shame, I hoped I should be able, by calm perseverance, to bring her
gradually to the same conviction.  But she frustrated my hopes.  It was
singular that I was made unhappy by possessing, in the fullest measure,
what I had formerly considered my supreme felicity; and that my most
fervent desire extended no further than to be able to restore her to
tranquillity, nay, even to produce coldness and indifference.

"So whimsical are the gods frequently towards us in the bestowal of
their gifts.

"My letters grieved her deeper and deeper, as she showed by her
replies.  Thence it was that I could not but wish myself once more able
to obtain a _tête-à-tête_ with her in some evening hour, such as I had
formerly enjoyed over and over again.  By bribery, entreaty, and
humiliation, I succeeded.

"But, oh, Heavens! how different was this Juliet from her who once had
so enraptured and inspired me.  With her grief, her mortified feelings
and her offended pride she resembled a raving Bacchante.  On
approaching her, I said to myself: 'To this state then has my love,
vanity, and eloquence, reduced her!  Oh! ye men, who, by your power,
are able to elevate these tender beings to angels, or change them to
wild furies!'  But these reflections came too late.  If her letters
were violent, her words were raging.  Nothing in the whole world she
desired, except my love.  She cared for nothing; every thing seemed
right and desirable,--flight into the open world, sacrifice of station,
mortification of her father and family.  I was terrified at this
distraction, that seemed to fear and dread nothing.  The more
persuasive my manner, and the more desirous I was to convince her of
the unavoidable necessity of submitting, the more furious in words and
gestures she became.  She would fly with me immediately.  I felt it
required nothing more than to express the wish, and she would have
surrendered herself, in this distraction, totally and unconditionally.
I was wretched from my inmost heart, indeed, all my energies were

"I learned that the prince had only spoken to her in hints; the truth
was known to her only from our correspondence.  She blamed me, her
father, and fate, and only became calm after a flood of tears.  I was
obliged to promise to see her again in a few days in order to discuss
the means of her flight.  Thus my feelings were so changed that I
feared this once adored Juliet, and, indeed, could not help despising
her.  And yet she was the same, and only the unhappy passion that I had
infused from my heart into hers had rendered her thus infatuated, I
trembled again to see her.  I was at a loss what to say, what pretext
for delay, or what excuses to invent.  Thus some weeks passed, during
which we only exchanged letters.  To conclude, I saw her again.  She
seemed ill, but still in that excitement which would not listen to
reason.  She had provided a carriage, packed up her jewels, made the
necessary preparations on the frontier, procured passports, and
powerful protections in distant countries; in short she had done all
that madness of an unbounded love could undertake.  I treated her as an
invalid who does not know her own state, humoured all her
extravagances, and praised her most whimsical plans.  Thus she thought
we agreed, and in a week we were to fly during a masquerade while all
were busied, and no one could be recognised.  To satisfy her for the
moment I agreed to every thing, but proposed in my own heart to quit
the court and the town.  While we were thus discussing our highly
reasonable projects I suddenly perceived behind us the prince, who had
been for sometime listening to our conversation.  The scene which then
took place I will not attempt to describe.  The father's anger
overstepped all bounds on finding me untrue to my promise, since he was
convinced that I quite agreed to all the wild plans of his daughter.
She cast herself at his feet totally unlike the beautiful being she was
formerly, she resembled an automaton moved by powerful springs, a
figure only manifesting life in convulsive gestures.  It is astonishing
that we ever outlive some moments.  I was banished, obliged to fly into
solitude, and for a long time heard nothing of the city or what
occurred there, as I avoided all intercourse with men.  When I in some
measure recovered my tranquillity of mind, and was able to bear the
sight of friends, I heard that she was suffering from an incurable
disease, and that her life was despaired of by the physician.  How
whimsically does fate sport with man and all human intentions!  I was
informed that her father in the extremity of grief, would willingly
have given me his beloved child had he been able thereby to save her;
that he would have despised the opinion of the world, and the
objections of his family, could he by these means have saved his
Juliet, by whose illness he had first learnt how much he loved her, and
how much his life was bound up in hers.  All was in vain,--she died in
agonies, calling for me, and the disconsolate father heaped execrations
upon me that will overtake me, ay,--as surely as her own."

These are, as nearly as possible, the affecting confessions of my
unhappy friend.  He added, in conclusion, that the whole of his
property would be lost, unless he discovered a certain document for
which he had long been searching, but which he could find nowhere.

There are sufferings during which it is foolish to make even the
attempt at offering consolation.  Such sufferings must be lived
through, they are peculiar to human nature, and he who is not
overwhelmed by them but survives them, will afterwards see that to pass
such a severe reprobation was essential to his happiness.

"I am convinced," said my friend a few days afterwards when I took
leave of him, "that these execrations and the prophesies of the old
fury will visit me.  My life will be consumed in illness, misery,
delirium, and poverty.  The spirit of the departed will tread in my
footsteps and sow poison, where, perhaps, some joy might otherwise have

I began to comfort him, calling to my aid, hope and consolation from
every source, because such apprehensions are generally imaginary, and
may be combated.  Hope is at least more infinite than the
all-engrossing sensation of such visionary fear.  We separated, and for
a long time I heard nothing of my friend Francis.  I lived in foreign
countries and returned some years after the period in question.

We had not kept up any correspondence.  I was therefore surprised and
delighted by his first letter which I received in my own comfortable
home.  There was no allusion to his former sufferings; all was
forgotten.  Time and fortune had transformed my friend into a truly new
being.  He wrote to me of his approaching marriage.  The most beautiful
girl of the country, young, cheerful, and innocent, had bestowed her
affections upon him; and on the very day on which their vows were
exchanged, he had, after years of fruitless search, discovered the
important document which would complete their nuptial happiness.  The
melancholy time, he informed me, had vanished from his mind, his youth
seemed renewed, and now only he began to live.  In a week his marriage
was to be celebrated, and he urged me to come and be a witness of his

It would have delighted me to have complied with his invitation, had
not my uncle, who lived forty miles distant, and was then lying on his
death-bed, called me from home.  The prince, who bitterly hated and
persecuted my friend, had died in the meanwhile, so that, in all human
probability, there was the prospect that every thing ominous, menacing,
and fatal, would fade away and be forgotten, and that spirits of
fortune and delight would henceforth draw my friend's car of life.

My stay with my uncle, who was dying, was protracted.  His sufferings
lasted longer than his physicians had expected, and I was glad that my
presence was so consoling and beneficial to him.  After his death, I
had various business to transact, to execute his will, to make
arrangements with the remaining relatives, part of his fortune being
left to me, and to settle all to our mutual satisfaction.  As journeys
were required for these matters, nearly eighteen months elapsed before
they were completed.  The journeys had carried me far from our
neighbourhood, and I must confess that these circumstances, and the
pressure of business, had almost caused me to forget my friend Francis.
He had not written to me, nor had I heard any thing of him, and I was,
therefore, convinced that it was well with him; that he was married and
happy in his new condition.  Being soon after near Switzerland, I made
a tour to that country, and then visited a watering place on the Rhine,
to which my medical adviser had long before recommended inc.

Here I abandoned myself to amusements, enjoyed the beauties of nature
during my rambles, and felt happier than I had been for some time.
Being one day at the _table d'hôte_, I accidentally looked over the
list of visiters, and found that my friend Francis, with his wife, had
been a week in the town.  I wondered he had not found me out, as my
name must have struck him in the list.  However, I accounted for his
not doing so, by saying to myself that he had not looked over the
leaves attentively, that he had not heard my name mentioned, or that
possibly he might be seriously ill and would see no company.  Satisfied
so far, I called upon him, and was told he was not at home.  I hoped to
meet him in my walks, but perceived him nowhere.  Calling the following
day, I received the same answer, that he had gone out.  I left my card,
requesting he would pay me a visit or tell me when he would receive me.
I heard nothing from him.  The next morning early, I called again, and
the servant again replied, with a troubled countenance, that his master
was already from home.

Now I plainly saw, that Francis did not choose to see me, and had
denied himself.  I endeavoured to call to my memory, whether I had at
any time given him offence; but, after the strictest scrutiny, could
not find the least spot on my conscience respecting him.  I therefore,
wrote him rather a severe letter, requiring him to see me, and that not
merely from friendship to me, but from the respect he owed himself.

When I called again, I was admitted, and having waited for some time in
the room, I saw a stranger approaching from the adjoining chamber, not
like a human being, but a tottering, trembling skeleton, with a pale,
sunken countenance, which, but for the fiery eye, one might have taken
for the face of a corpse.  "Great God!" I exclaimed with horror, as I
recognised in this spectre my friend Francis, that once handsome, noble

I sank terrified into a chair, and he sat down by me, took my hand
between his withered fingers, and said, "Yes! my friend, thus we again
meet, and you now understand why I wished to spare you this sad sight.
Yes! friend, all those curses have been realised, and calamity has
overtaken me, however actively I endeavoured to escape it; my life is
exhausted by disease, as well as that of my youthful wife, once a
paragon of beauty; I am a beggar, and all hope is gone for ever."

Still I could not recover from my astonishment; the first chilling
terror was succeeded by the deepest compassion and ineffable sympathy
in my soul, and my unfortunate friend saw my tears flow.

"But how has all this been possible?" I exclaimed, "Speak; confide all
to your friend."

"Spare me," he said, in a faint voice, "let us throw a veil over these
calamities, for what good can it do you to know the why and wherefore?
You would not comprehend nor believe it, and still less could your
advice or consolation avail any thing."

I could make no reply, his distress seemed so great, that he was,
perhaps, right in what he said.  Words, details, and complaints, are
often only stings to the deadly wound.  I requested him to introduce me
to his wife.  He led her in.  She seemed to suffer equally with
himself, but still showed evident traces of beauty.  She was of a tall,
noble figure, her blue eye was of a piercing clearness, and her
sweet-toned voice was full of soul.  After some conversation, the
physician entered, and I took my leave, making it a condition, that in
future he would not refuse to see me.

I required rest to collect myself, and, therefore, sought the most
solitary spot to arrange my thoughts and feelings.  How strange, in
these moments, appeared human life, friendship, death, and health!  In
these, my dreams, I was interrupted by a friendly voice addressing me.
It was the physician, an elderly, good-natured man, who sat down beside
me.  "I have learned," he began, "that you are a youthful friend of our
poor patient, and have sought you to consult with you, respecting his
lamentable and enigmatical state.  I have never met with a similar
illness, I do not understand it, and, therefore, am but groping in the
dark with my remedies; nor do I know whether the waters here are
salutary to him or his sick wife, who seems wasting away from the same
complaint.  I have no name for this wasting fever, which defies all
known remedies.  Sometimes I could almost imagine them insane, did not
reason absolutely manifest itself.  But even should their minds be
unimpaired, they are, doubtless, hypochondriacs.  And the worst is, the
count will not communicate freely, but, on the contrary, anxiously
avoids all questions respecting his condition, and all inquiries as to
its cause and commencement.  I do not wish to irritate him, though my
inquiries and questions have more than once had that effect, and yet it
seems necessary to learn from himself the history of his complaint.  I
therefore request you, dear sir, to exert your influence with him, as
his friend, that he may confess to us the origin of his illness.  If I
once knew this, it might, perhaps, be possible to afford relief to both
of them.  If the disease is mental, of which I feel almost convinced,
the physician must be in their confidence to afford relief; but if this
is withheld, he may cause even death, not only by his prescriptions,
but by an unguarded word.  I therefore conjure you to do all in your
power to make him confide every thing to you."  I promised all he
desired, for I had long entertained the same opinion.  But when, on the
following day, I remonstrated with my friend, I found the task more
difficult than I expected, as he was inaccessible on that point.  He
did not yield until I united tears to my entreaties, and his suffering
wife joined with me, as the hope arose within her that the physician
might be able to afford relief to her husband.  He stipulated that
whatever he should communicate should be communicated in private to me
alone, undisturbed, and without even the presence of his wife, who
would be much pained at the relation.

Thus was it arranged.  My little room looking on the garden was so
quiet and retired, that no intrusion was to be feared, and after a
frugal supper I dismissed the servant, enjoining him not to admit any
one.  The invalid countess was left with her attendants, and a lady of
my acquaintance kindly read some amusing work to her during her
husband's absence.

We sat then in my well lighted little room, while the summer breezes
murmured sweetly through the trees without.  My sick friend was on the
sofa, and the physician and myself were opposite, when Francis began
slowly and with many pauses, (as speaking seemed painful to him) the
following narrative:

"Yes, my friend, you see me again, ill and dying, and my wife, who but
two years since was a paragon of health and beauty, is no less
afflicted.  The Klausenburg which more than once sheltered us so
hospitably is become a desolate ruin; storms and fire have destroyed
it, and whatever useful material remained was wrested from it by my
cruel creditors in derision, and sold for a mere trifle.  You know, my
friend, the belief or rather superstition that followed me, but with
this I will not weary our good physician, as it had no sensible
influence on my immediate fate.  I have moreover, so much of the
marvellous to tell in the recent events that have befallen me, that it
will be more than sufficient fully to convince the learned doctor that
I am insane.

"Young as I was I had already resigned life, since I considered it
completely at a close.  But as it frequently happens that the power of
a beautiful spring will revive a tree apparently lifeless, so that its
branches again become verdant, and at last one blossom springs from
them, so it happened with me.  Travelling about in a misanthropical
mood I stopped in a small town situate in a delightful country, and
through my introductions made acquaintance with some interesting
people.  One of these, a distant relative, who received me most kindly,
introduced me to his family, where, for the first time I saw my beloved
Elizabeth, and at the second visit I had lost my heart and peace of
mind.  But wherefore dwell on charms that are fled?  Suffice it to say
that I was enraptured, and flattered myself that my feelings were
understood, and might perhaps in a short time be returned.  Elizabeth
was residing with an aged aunt; they were neither of them wealthy
though they belonged to an ancient family.  I was superior to the talk
and astonishment of the townspeople, and I stayed a long while in this
insignificant place, where there was neither a theatre to amuse, nor
large assemblies, balls, and festivals to engage me.  I was so happy
that I only lived for, and enjoyed, the present moment.  The family was
very musical, and Elizabeth a truly accomplished performer on the piano
forte.  Her voice was highly cultivated, full-toned, and beautiful, and
she agreeably surprised me by joining in my perhaps one-sided taste for
ancient composition.  Harmony, skill, and kind looks from her beautiful
eyes,--all this so charmed me that weeks vanished like days, and days
like hours in the poetical intoxication.

"I spoke of the family.  The aunt too was musical, and accompanied us
when we sang.  I also found myself benefited by becoming again
conscious of the talents which I had so long neglected to exercise.
Yes, indeed, talents, amiability, social gifts, and pleasing manners,
&c."--continued Francis after a pause, during which he seemed lost in
thought--"the vanity of possessing these graces have rendered me and
others unhappy.  Speaking of the family, I must now mention Ernestine,
an elder sister of my wife's.  Their parents had died early in life.
They had lived at a distance from that small town, in what is called
good style.  This they did without considering their fortune, and the
consequence was that they became impoverished and involved in debt.
Where this confusion breaks in, where the necessity of the moment ever
absorbs the security of the days and weeks, few men possess sufficient
energy and resolution firmly to hold the rudder amid the tumult of a
returning storm.  And thus the wildest and most confused management had
broken into this ruined household.  The parents not only diverted
themselves in banqueting, dress, and theatres, but, as it were, even
with new and singular misfortunes.  The latter were more particularly
caused by their eldest daughter, Ernestine.  This poor being had, when
only three years old, during the confusion and bustle of a banquet,
unnoticed by any one, taken up a bottle of strong liquid, and drinking
it, became intoxicated by it, and thus had unconsciously fallen down a
high staircase.

"The accident had scarcely been observed, and was lightly thought of
when discovered.  The physician, a jovial friend of the family, instead
of applying the proper remedies, joked on the occurrence, and hence it
was that those consequences soon appeared in the child, which she
could, in after years, justly attribute to want of affection in her
parents.  The chest-bone and spine were dislocated, so that as she grew
up, she became more and more deformed.  Being rather tall, the double
hump was more striking, her arms and hands were excessively long and
thin, and her lean body quite out of proportion to her long legs.  Her
face had a singular expression, the little lively and cunning eyes
could hardly peep forth from beneath the bony vault of her forehead and
the broad, flattened nose, the chin was peaked, and the cheeks were
sunken.  Thus this unfortunate being was a remarkable foil to her
sister Elizabeth.  Their aunt, when she heard the total ruin of the
family, had interfered and assisted them as far as her limited means
permitted.  Thus the younger daughter was saved and continued healthy,
since the father's sister had taken the children upon the death of
their parents, for the purpose of educating them.  The physical care of
Ernestine came too late, but her mind was cultivated, and her talents
were awakened.  She showed herself intelligent, learned with ease, and
retained what she had once acquired, evidently surpassing her sister in
wit and presence of mind.  Being fond of reading philosophical works,
she exercised her judgment and showed so much acuteness, that she often
startled even men by her bold and abrupt opinions; not being united to
her own sex by beauty and grace, she not unfrequently exercised a more
than masculine power.  But what almost seemed to border on the
marvellous was her great talent for music.  Never had I heard the piano
forte played in such a perfect manner; every difficulty vanished before
her, and she only laughed when difficult passages were mentioned to
her.  No doubt the extraordinary span of her hand and fingers assisted
her in excelling all that can be done by an ordinary hand.  Being also
well versed in the art of composition, she composed with ease long
pieces of music which we often executed to her delight.

"Could not such a being be happy independent of others?  Certainly, if
she had resigned herself to her lot, if she could have forgotten she
was a woman.  Unfortunately for her, all men forgot it who approached
her, but she could never raise herself beyond the limit so as to belong
to the other sex, or to none.

"This singular being attracted me in a peculiar manner, both by her
excellencies and her repulsiveness.  When they performed and I sang her
compositions, there beamed in moments of excitement from her small
eyes, a wonderful, poetic spirit, liked a veiled angel humbled in the
dust, with benign yet terrifying splendour.  This frequently made me
forget that she was the sister of my Elizabeth.

"Elizabeth had before refused some suitors who had earnestly courted
her.  Entering once the anti-chamber unannounced, I heard both sisters
engaged in a lively conversation, in which my name was mentioned.  'You
will not accept him, I hope,' cried Ernestine; 'he suits neither you
nor us; they say he is not very rich, but he is so proud, so
self-sufficient, so convinced of, and so penetrated with, his own
excellence, that he excites my indignation whenever he comes near us.
You call him amiable, noble; but I tell you he is dogmatical and
obstinate; and, believe me, his mental gifts are not so great as you
seem to think.'

"With a gentle voice Elizabeth undertook my defence, but her sister
discussed all the bad traits in my character so much the more, and
passed all my faults in review.  Finding that I was the subject of so
much discussion, I would not surprise them by entering immediately, and
thus I discovered, against my expectation, the dislike the eldest
sister entertained for me.  I therefore resolved to reconcile this
unfortunate being, for whom life had so few charms and joys, by
kindness and benevolence.  When they had ceased I entered, and the aunt
also joining us we immediately commenced our musical exercises, by
which means I could best conceal my embarrassment.

"After a few visits I actually succeeded in disposing Ernestine more
kindly towards me.  When it happened that we were alone, we were deeply
engaged in serious conversation, and I could not help admiring both her
mind and acquirements.  I could not but agree with her, when she often
spoke with contempt of those men who only esteem and love in woman the
transient and mutable charms that pass away with their youth.  She was
also fond of railing at those girls who so frequently pass themselves
off as phenomena, and only, as it were, wish to please as dolls of
fashion and well-dressed blocks.  She revealed without affectation the
wealth of her mind, her deep feeling, and her lofty thoughts, so that,
in admiration of her mighty soul, I hardly remembered her deformed
person.  She pressed my hand kindly, and seemed perfectly happy when we
had thus chatted an hour away.  I was not less rejoiced when I
perceived how her friendship for me apparently increased every day.

"It struck me as a weakness in my beloved, that she was displeased at
our intimacy.  I did not understand this petty jealousy, and censured
it when alone with her, as showing too much female weakness.  On the
other hand, I was pleased when Ernestine gave me evident proofs of her
friendship, when my appearance delighted her, when she was ready to
show me a book or piece of music, or told me how she had prepared
herself for a conversation with me on some important subject.  This
genuine friendship seemed to me so desirable, that I anticipated great
delight at the thought that she would, in our married state, complete
the measure of our love by mutual confidence.  Their aunt approved of
my engagement with Elizabeth, and our vows were exchanged.  On this
occasion Ernestine was not present, being confined by illness to her
chamber.  I did not see her on the day following, and when I wished to
call on her, my betrothed said, 'Do not disturb her, dear friend, she
is not quite herself, and it is better to let her passion subside.'
'What has happened?' I asked, astonished.  'It is strange,' replied
Elizabeth, 'that you have not, long ere this, remarked how ardently she
loves you?'  I was struck dumb with terror and astonishment at this
information, which startled me the more, since, strange to say, I had
considered this intellectual being totally incapable of love; as though
passion did not always run counter to possibility, truth, nature, and
reason, if these opposed themselves, as, indeed, I had myself
experienced in my own life in a similar manner.  'Yes,' continued
Elizabeth, 'almost at the very time you entered our house, I remarked
her partiality to you, but her predilection manifested itself more
decidedly, when you began to show a preference for me, when you became
more friendly, and thus gained my confidence.  For a long time, she
concealed her affection under a pretended dislike, which, however, did
not deceive me.  Oh! beloved, the mind and feelings, the enthusiasm and
passions of this singular being possess such extraordinary power and
intensity, that I have been compelled ever since I comprehended her
character, to admire her as much as to fear her, and to stand in awe at
her gigantic intellect.  When, some years ago, I took lessons in music,
and made rapid progress, according to the testimony of my instructor,
she only ridiculed my childlike satisfaction as she called it.  She had
never before thought of learning music, and now devoted herself with
all her energy to this accomplishment.  She practised day and night,
and her master no longer satisfying her, she availed herself of the
presence of a celebrated composer, and became his pupil.  I could not
comprehend the mental as well as physical energy, with which she
devoted herself unceasingly, almost without sleep and refreshments, and
with unwearied zeal to the practice of this art.  It was then she
learned composition and gained her master's praise and admiration.  It
was not long, however, before she found fault with him, fancying his
execution not sufficiently fiery and enthusiastic, his compositions not
sufficiently original and impassioned.  He submitted, and agreed with
her.  All men, she used to say, lie constantly in a half-sleeping
state, being almost always, as it were, in a stupor, similar to the
plant which grows, blooms, and is beautiful, diffusing odour, and
possessing powers, without consciousness.  What would men accomplish
were they truly awake in their wakeful state?  And so she devoted
herself to philosophy, reading works on medicine, anatomy, and other
subjects, which are usually too abstruse and distasteful to her sex.
We, as well as her acquaintance, could not help being astonished at
her.  And thus, dear Francis, she will certainly become insane in this
passion of love, and destroy her own peace of mind.

"Elizabeth now also described to me all the extravagances she committed
when she heard of our engagement; at first, she intended to destroy
both herself and sister; then again she said she knew how to conquer
me, so that I should love her and abandon Elizabeth, whom she excelled
both in goodness and intellect.

"I was naturally grieved at this news, feeling full well how
imprudently I had acted in making such friendly advances to Ernestine,
in my endeavours to reconcile her.  I was somewhat relieved, when, a
few days afterwards, Elizabeth told me that her sister had apologised
with tears for what she had spoken in anger, that she had conjured her
not to communicate to me any thing of these aberrations, and only
implored her to be allowed to accompany us to our future residence, as
she could not possibly live without the company of her sister and
myself, without our conversation and our music.

"Now plans and preparations were made, and the aunt accompanied us to
the Klausenburg, to celebrate, with a few friends, our nuptials in
quiet, as Elizabeth had always been excessively averse from pomp and
display.  I had had a few apartments and the ball-room prepared, as far
as it was possible, the greater part of the castle being in ruins.  But
Elizabeth had a poetical predilection for old castles, solitary
mountainous countries, and the historical legends connected with them.
After the wedding, we intended to take up our residence in a new house
not far distant, and only occasionally to spend a few days or hours in
the Klausenburg.

"We arrived; the gate was opened to us, and the first object that met
our view in the court-yard, from amidst the ivy that twined the high
walls, was the old mad Sibyl, whom you, my friend, knew some years ago.
My wife was terrified, and I shuddered.  'Welcome!  Welcome!' cried the
old hag, jumping about with wild gestures; 'there comes the destroyer,
the woman murderer, and brings his two brides with him, whom he will
murder also.'  'How do you come here?' I exclaimed.  The porter
replied, 'She must have climbed down the other side of the cliffs,
which form the extreme wall of the small garden, and must have
concealed herself among the shrubs and ruins.'  'You are right, you are
right,' screamed the old hag, 'it is pleasant to live there.'
Terrified as we were, Ernestine seemed merry, for she did not cease

"During the days on which we celebrated the festival, Ernestine did not
appear; she had vanished; and being anxious about her, we despatched
people in search of her, when, on the third day, she returned on foot,
merry and in high spirits.  She told us she had not been able to
withstand the inclination to roam about in the mountains, as she always
had had a desire to do so.  'But thus alone, without informing us?'
said Elizabeth.  'Alone!' she replied, 'No!  I have kept constant
company with that old prophetess whom you so unkindly sent away.  There
I have learnt many things quite new, that I never even read of, and we
have become very good friends.'

"We looked at her with astonishment.  I formed an idea without
expressing it, that Ernestine was mad.  So awful and ominous was her
return to our residence, such sad forebodings crowded in our minds,
that, in spite of my happiness, I felt no confidence on life, and
Elizabeth could not regain her cheerfulness.

"In other respects we were reconciled, and enjoyed the present moment,
and the beauty of the surrounding woods and mountains.  Our few guests,
as well as the aunt, had left us, and we might have lived contented and
in happy union in this delightful solitude, had I not observed that my
wife avoided her sister as much as circumstances permitted.  When I
asked her the reason of this, she answered after some hesitation:
'Dearest, I am terrified at Ernestine; she has become quite malicious,
though formerly she had not the least disposition that way.  Whenever
she can vex me, spoil any thing, or even expose me to danger, so that I
may be startled, stumble, or even fall; or if any stones fall in my way
she shows the most malicious joy, as she did when she lately set the
curtains of my bed on fire by bringing the candle too near them.  She
has told me laughing, that the country people talk of travellers and
rangers having seen two spectres by moonlight, or in the morning-dawn
in the lonely parts of the forests, whom they describe as terrible
hideous beings; that these were herself and the old gipsy, and that she
only wished that the circumstance might appear in print, in order that
she, with her own signature, Ernestine Fräulein von Jertz, might
contradict the story of ghosts, and state that she was one of the
imagined spirits.  Is not all this terrible?'

"'Dear child,' said I, 'I must now tell you, in confidence, that I
believe she is mad.'

"'Is any malice, when it becomes a passion, any thing but madness?'
remarked Elizabeth, very naturally.

"On the approach of autumn we left the Klausenburg to take possession
of our new house, for, to my terror, I discovered a disposition to
melancholy in my wife, for which our solitude seemed any thing but
beneficial.  While we were once walking through the ancient apartments
and the gothic hall, which was in tolerable preservation, and our
footsteps echoed in the solitary room, my wife started with a sudden
shudder.  I asked the reason.

"'Oh! it is awful here,' she replied, trembling; 'I feel as if
invisible spectres haunted this place.'  I was terrified, and the
thought that my wife's mind, like that of her sister, might perhaps
have suffered, stared at me like a monster.

"When residing in our new house, we often missed Ernestine, and on
inquiry, found that she staid in the Klausenburg and the ruins of the
old castle.  Although we had been living on an unpleasant footing,
still my wife, as well as myself, could not help wishing her with us
when she was away.  But how different was my life from that which I had
once pictured to myself when I courted Elizabeth!

"Other domestic calamities united with our sufferings to increase our
grief.  That document, which, really constituted my fortune and
supported my existence, which proved that large sums were paid, and
some still owing to me, as well as all the deeds and papers which had
been produced as proofs after the death of Count Moritz,--all these
important papers which I had discovered after a long troublesome
search, and had in my hands but a short time before, had again
disappeared.  I had always kept them carefully locked up, and it was my
intention to travel to town and deliver them to my solicitor in person,
as on them the recovery of my estates depended.  They were gone; and
much as I meditated and reflected, I could not discover, nor even find
a trace of the way in which they had been purloined.  When at length I
communicated my anxiety to my wife, she did not seem surprised, and
told me calmly, 'Can you still doubt?  I have no doubt as to what has
become of them.  Ernestine has profited by some moment of your absence
when you might have left your escritoire open, or some other
forgetfulness, to take the papers away.'

"'Not possible!' I cried with horror.  'Possible?' she repeated.  'What
is impossible to her?'

"As these documents were wanting, our long standing law-suit proceeded
but slowly, and I felt sure that I must lose it whenever it was
decided.  I therefore availed myself of an opportunity which the court
afforded me, by proposing to quash it, that I might defer the decision
to some future period.  Still I could not help questioning Ernestine
and informing her of my suspicions.  I was horrorstruck at the manner
in which she heard me communicate a suspicion, which would have shocked
any innocent mind.  When I had overcome my embarrassment and had
concluded, she burst out in such laughter that I lost all composure.
Recovering again, I urged her to reply, but she only said, with a
sarcastic coldness, 'My dear brother-in-law, there are here only two
cases possible, as you must yourself see, notwithstanding your
short-sightedness, namely, that I am either guilty or innocent.  Is it
not so?  If I have committed the robbery, I must have been induced by
weighty reasons, or goaded to such an act by malice, or something else.
And then I ought to say: yes! I have done it, pray do not take it
amiss.  Now you must confess that this would be more than stupid.  If I
were a fool I might have done it without any particular intention,--may
be to light the kitchen fire with them; or because I was pleased with
the red seals, and might now say: there, take these pretty papers back,
considering they have some value for the dear count.  But a fool I have
not been up to this moment; and if I am malicious, I am of course not
silly enough to confess the deed.  Or again, assuming the second case
that I am innocent, then you, sir brother-in-law (pray don't contradict
me), are the simpleton for putting such unbecoming questions to me.'

"I could not answer the spectral being.  When I saw that Elizabeth no
longer took any pleasure in playing the piano that I procured from
abroad in our retirement, and asked the reason of it, she said, sadly,
'Dearest, if I do not wish to incur deadly vexation, I must no longer
play.'  'How so?'  'Because Ernestine has flatly forbidden me.  She
says that in a house where there lives such an accomplished pianist as
herself, she could not allow any one else even to strike a note.'  This
presumption was too much for my patience.  I ran to her chamber and
asked her ironically to play me something, since she would not allow
any one else to touch the instrument.  She followed me, laughing
loudly; and truly she played in such a masterly style, that my anger
was turned into admiration and rapture.  'Well!' she said, gravely,
when she had finished, 'one may have in one's own house all enjoyments
for which connoisseurs would travel fifty miles, and yet one can be
satisfied with such bungling and such hammering up and down the keys
with clumsy fingers.  Oh! fools and idiots, who, rogues as they are,
talk of art and only mean vapour; they can only sip the nectar, and the
wonderful becomes but trash in their rude hands.  If I did not feel a
constant disgust for life, if men were not repulsive to me, I should
never cease laughing.'  From that time she often joined in our music,
at most permitting Elizabeth and myself to sing, though she maintained
that we possessed neither school nor method.  Thus the winter passed
away.  I was already poor, and with the prospect of being reduced quite
to beggary; Elizabeth was sickly, and the serenity of my life was gone.

"It was almost to be called a relief to our existence, when on the
approach of spring, Ernestine became ill, and was shortly so much worse
that she could not leave her bed.  She grew more irritable as her
illness increased, and nothing vexed her more than that she could not
visit the Klausenburg, of which she had become so fond.  One warm day I
sent her in the carriage, she searched long in the rooms, loitered
among the shrubs and ruins, and returned much worse than before.  It
was now evident that she could not recover.  The physician said that he
could not understand her disease, nor the state of the sufferer, for
the vital powers were so strong in her that all the symptoms usually
indicating death did not show themselves, and there was a probability
of her speedy recovery; in a few days, however, he gave up all hope.

"We now really looked forward to a quieter future.  Although we felt
pity for the unhappy being, yet we could not deny that she had a
disturbing effect on our life and the happiness of our love.  We heard
that she was near death, but as she had arranged with her doctor and
nurse that we should not disturb her we had kept away.  All of a sudden
she much desired to see me, but requested that Elizabeth should not be
present.  I went and said as I entered: 'Dear friend, you will
doubtless be kind enough to give me back the documents which you took
from my escritoire to vex me.'  She looked at me significantly with her
dying eyes, which now seemed larger and sparkled brighter than
formerly.  There was something so singular, bright and glaring in her
look, that any one having witnessed it would never wish to see any
thing more terrible and inconceivable.  After a pause she said:
'Brother, do these foolish trifles still occupy your head?  Yet it is
no wonder, every one lives as he can.  Sit down, my friend,' she
continued, with an air of contempt; I complied and sat down by her bed.

"'You fancy,' she now began in a repulsive, cutting tone, 'you will get
rid of me; but do not deceive yourself by flattering yourself too soon
with such an idea.  Death, life, non-existence, continuation! what
useless, unmeaning words!  When I had scarcely passed my childhood, I
could not help laughing at men, if I saw them fretting about continued
existence after death.  They drag in and heap up like towers, proof
after proof, probabilities and wishes, entreaties, prayers, and the
mercy of the Almighty; they talk of many fine talents which cannot on
this side of the grave, as they call it, be possibly perfected, much
less brought to maturity,--and all these preparations are but to hush
their base cowardice and fear of death.  Poor wretches!  If I collect
myself, become conscious of my various energies in every direction, and
then call to eternity, to the Creator and the millions of spirits of
the past and the future, I will be immortal!  I _will!_--what more is
necessary, and what omnipotence can interfere to destroy my eternal,
almighty will?  What further security of being immortal and eternal
does the man want who has any consciousness?  How, and in what manner,
that is another question.  What farce we shall then play, what mask,
what party-coloured wig, what gibbous labyrinth of entrails we shall
then possess, what etiquette and court taste of ugliness and beauty
will then be introduced, is uncertain.  But, my good friends, as my own
power, without any thing more, preserves me immortal, the same energy
and free-will may bring me back to you whenever and as often as I like.
Believe me, ye fools, the spectres, as you call them, are not exactly
the worst or weakest spirits.  Many a one would fain return, but he has
as little individual character _there_ as _here_, and hence the
impossibility of doing so.  And to you,--you paragon, rogue, vain,
amiable character, full of talents, you bud of virtue, you barterer of
beauty, whom I was compelled to love so intensely, yea, compelled
despite of my inmost soul, which told me that you did not deserve
it,--to you, smooth skinned, straight grown, human animal, I shall ever
be quite near, believe me.  For this love and jealousy, this rage after
you and your breathing, and conversation, will urge me to the earth,
and this will be, as the pious would say, my purgatory.  Therefore, no
leave-taking; we shall meet again!'[1]  Thus saying she offered me her
cold, dead hand.

"When life was extinct I returned to Elizabeth, but took care not to
communicate any thing of the frantic ravings of the deceased, as her
nerves were already excited by great anxiety, and she often suffered
from spasms.

"We now lived in still retirement in a rural solitude which, in spite
of our reduced finances, might have become delightful had I not
remarked that the morbid and melancholy mood of Elizabeth was on the
increase.  She became pale and wasted, and I often found her weeping
when entering her chamber unexpectedly.  When I asked her the reason of
this, she told me she knew not herself what was the matter with her,
that she always felt sorrowful without being able to say why; that when
she was alone she felt quite awed, it seemed so terrible to her that
her sister had been obliged to end her existence in such a frantic
passion, and that often when entering or sitting alone in her chamber
it was as if Ernestine stood near her; she fancied she heard her
singing, felt her breath, and her looks appeared to force themselves
through the empty air.

"I quieted her, left her rarely by herself, read to her, we took walks
together, and sometimes paid visits to our acquaintance in the
neighbourhood.  As she became calmer she recovered by degrees her
naturally beautiful complexion.  Feeling once unwell and lying
comfortably stretched out on the sofa, while she was reading an
interesting story to me, I said, how beautiful and melodious is your
voice; will you not sing again for once?  For a long time you have not
opened your music books, your instrument is locked, and your beautiful
fingers will at length become quite stiff.

"'You know," she replied, 'that a few months ago my sister flatly
forbade me to practise music; we were obliged to concede to her ill
health and thus I have become quite out of practice.'

"'Sing now,' I cried, 'the delight will be the greater to me for its

"We looked out a cheerful, pleasing piece of music, to avoid any thing
melancholy, and Elizabeth poured forth, with a truly heavenly voice,
the clear light tones, which thrilled bliss into my heart.  Suddenly
she stopped, and was again seized with that violent hysteric fit of
weeping which had so often terrified me.  'I cannot,' she cried, deeply
moved, 'all these sounds rise up before me like fiends; I always feel
my sister quite near me, her dress rustling against mine, and her anger
terrifies me.'  I felt clearly that my peace of mind as well as hers
was destroyed.

"Our physician, a very judicious man, and a friend of ours, when she
confessed all these feelings, her trembling, and the anxiety which
almost incessantly preyed on her and undermined her health, applied
every remedy to calm her, physically and mentally.  This honest and
judicious persuasion had a good effect, and his medicines proved
salutary.  When summer came we were much in the open air.  We were once
taking a drive to the estate of an acquaintance who told us that he
intended to give a musical festival, composed of friends and some
virtuosi.  My wife's great talent for music being known, we were
invited, and she promised to play and sing; being then surrounded by
strangers, flattered by both sexes and in a cheerful mood.  I was the
more rejoiced at this as our physician made it a part of his advice
that she should forcibly combat these gloomy feelings and this
hypochondriacal anxiety.  She determined to follow his advice.  Very
pleased and rejoiced, we returned to our humble residence.  Elizabeth
with spirit went through the difficult pieces of music, and the idea
that she might in this way, perhaps, recover her youthful vigour
delighted me.

"A few days after this, while I was reading a letter, that had just
arrived, the door was suddenly burst open, and Elizabeth rushed in,
deadly pale, and fell as if dead in my arms.  'What is the matter?' I
cried, seized with horror.  Her eye wandered wildly round, her heart
palpitated almost to bursting, and she was some time before she
regained her voice and breath.

"'Oh! heavens,' she at length exclaimed, every word being expressive of
horror, 'in there, while I practised--in a cheerful mood--I accidently
cast a look in the glass--and I saw behind me Ernestine looking at me
with that strange smile, and having her withered arms folded across her
chest.  I know not whether she is still there, I hardly know how I
reached here.'

"I gave her in charge of her maid; she retired, and the doctor was
immediately sent for.  I went into the other room, and found the music
books scattered under the instrument.  Elizabeth must have thrown them
down in her fright.

"'Of what avail are reasoning, joke, and consolation, diet and
medicines against perfect madness,' said I to myself, and yet I could
not help thinking of the words with which her dying sister had
threatened us.

"The news of my wife having been taken ill reached our friend's ears,
and was likely to prevent the musical festival taking place.  His wife
came a few days afterwards with a female singer to inquire after
Elizabeth's health.  Not having said any thing, even to the doctor, of
the apparition which my wife imagined she had seen, we of course did
not mention this singular circumstance to our visiters.  To all
appearances my wife having quite recovered from her fright, we walked
in our small garden with our friends conversing about the festival, and
the baroness and the singer at length proposed to practise some music
in my wife's presence, that they might have her opinion, though she
might not perhaps be able to join.

"We therefore returned to the drawing-room, and as it became dark,
candles were lighted.  The singer sat at the instrument to accompany
herself, on her right was the baroness, I was just behind, and my wife
was on her left.  We could not help admiring the voices and the style
of the singers.  The music by degrees became more animated and
impassioned, and I had once already omitted turning the page, when,
just as the next leaf was played, a long bony finger appeared on it,
quickly turned the leaf at the right time, and the melody proceeded.  I
looked round and beheld the terrible Ernestine standing close by me
behind the baroness; I know not how I kept my composure, but I looked
searchingly and almost unmoved at the terrific apparition.  She smiled
at me with that malicious expression which, even when living, made her
countenance repelling.  She wore her usual dress, her eyes were fiery,
and her face was white as chalk.  I felt almost a satisfaction in the
gloomy sensation of awe, remained silent, and was glad that Elizabeth
did not perceive the spirit.  Suddenly there was a shriek of terror,
and my wife fell fainting on the ground, while the withered finger was
just going again to turn the page.  The music of course ended, my wife
was in a fever, and our friends who had not seen the spectre returned

Here the invalid paused.  The physician looked significantly at me,
shaking his head.

"And you have," he at length said, "never before told your present
doctor any thing of that apparition."

"No," replied Francis, "you may call it shame, or fear of his cold,
searching understanding; you may call it weakness or what you please;
suffice it to say I could not prevail on myself to make this

"But it was very necessary," said the physician, "for how could he
judge correctly of your illness without that information?"

"From that time," resumed Francis in a faint voice, "we determined to
quit the neighbourhood in hopes that the furious spectre would not
follow us beyond the mountains.  But while we continued in our house we
often saw her, mostly in the music-room.  Our doctor being with us one
morning, he sat down to the instrument and played some passages
extempore.  Suddenly the terrible spectre again stood by my wife's
chair, and laid her cold withered hand on her shoulder.  Hysterics and
faintings again followed."

"And did your doctor see it also?"

"No," said Francis, "she appeared behind him, but I saw her distinctly
then, as I often did afterwards by broad daylight.  We had only to
touch the keys of the instrument when she immediately appeared, so that
to strike a note was a summons.  When I once revisited the ancient
Klausenburg, I found her sitting upon a stone staring at me.  Thus
persecuted, terrified, and in constant fear and anxiety, we have become
ripe for death, and the physician despairing of our recovery advised us
at last to visit this watering-place, as a last resource for restoring
our shattered health.  But hitherto we have not found any beneficial
result.  And who can assure us that the spectre may not here haunt us
also.  She intends to destroy us, and the most inconceivable things are
possible to her strong will.  I believe we need only sing an air, or
play a sonata even at this distance, and she would make her appearance."

"I will answer for that, count," cried the doctor in a firm voice, "our
faculty knows how to keep such malicious spirits at a distance."

Here our conversation ended; we sent the patient home in a sedan chair
to his hotel, and I accompanied the physician.

While walking in the quiet of night through the dark avenues of trees,
he said to me, "Dear sir, we are too much excited to sleep, favour me
with your company to my lodging; a powerful aromatic cardinal[2] will
keep up our spirits, and I will there tell you my opinion respecting
our two invalids, of whose recovery, after what I have heard, I no
longer doubt.  I would almost promise that in two months I shall send
them home in tolerably good health."

I was astonished at this, as I had given up all hope of the recovery of
my friends.  Our strongly-spiced beverage much enlivened us; and the
doctor continued: "The mental disease of your friend is to me one of
the most interesting psychological phenomena that has ever passed under
my observation.  He, as well as his wife, are labouring under a
singular madness; and if we once succeed in attacking it rightly, then,
in weakening, and finally in eradicating it altogether, the physical
recovery will follow of itself.  Though I did not know your friend
formerly, yet, from his communications, I can exactly and truly
construe his character and fate.  He is naturally good and tender, the
latter rather preponderating; and, like most men of this disposition,
is more subject to vanity than those of firmer character.  He has been
handsome and amiable, possessed of talents, and persuasive manners, and
has, therefore, been everywhere well received, so that, being a general
favourite, and naturally pliant, he may have turned the head of many a
pretty girl.  Meeting, at last, with his beautiful wife, he determined
to change his condition, and her naturally sensitive and nervous nature
was delighted to call so amiable a gentleman her husband.  And, as
usually happens to enthusiasts, so is it in this case; they do not find
in matrimony that transcendant felicity which they anticipated; a
slight discord takes possession of the tender cords of the nerves,
which impatiently look forward to new vibrations.  The ugly, deformed
sister felt, like most persons of the sort, jealousy and envy against
the preferred, flattered, and fondled wife.  She plainly showed her
indignation, and confessed that she hated the count.  This amiable
conqueror of hearts now employed all his art to overcome this hatred.
He succeeded, and the poor deluded creature even fancied that she had
excited his affection, while his vanity exulted in the triumph.  This
heartlessness could not but mortify and shock the unfortunate
Ernestine.  An inward rage consumed her, she fell a victim to her
unfortunate passion; and, dying, she uttered the menace to persecute
them in every possible way.  This is plainly madness.  This madness, as
has often been observed, is hereditary, and relations, brothers,
sisters, and children, are seized with it whenever it is manifested in
a member of the family.  So in the case of your friend.  Perhaps the
affectionate count has not been quite silent on the subject to his
wife; and she, being already in a delicate state, has indulged these
fancies, and with anxious curiosity pursues the gloomy feelings
produced by her nerves.  Thus, what is more natural than that she
should soon find an occasion on which she fancied she really saw her
sister?  The fears of his wife were communicated to him, anguish of
mind at his misfortunes heated his imagination, and he also sees the
apparition.  Thus they go on, until both have nearly destroyed
themselves by a mere phantom.  If we can dissipate this phantom, they
may be restored to health."

"Dear doctor," I replied, "I know not whether I have a particular
propensity for superstition, but your reasons do not satisfy me.  Much
that has been handed down, both by tradition and writing, on this
curious subject, cannot be mere fancy or invention, however much our
reason may be opposed to it.  There are, no doubt, states of the mind
and of the nerves, as well as diseases, during which certain persons
see what is veiled from all others.  What is spirit?  What notions does
this word suggest?  Do we know the nature, talent, or power, which
these millions of differently constituted souls possess, after having
shaken off their earthly frame?  Do we know by what possibility this or
that strong mind, by the power of his will, or anxious repentance, or a
secret tormenting yearning after home, forms from his imagination a
visible frame, such as he used to wear?"

"And supposing you to be quite right, what would you profit by it?"
exclaimed the zealous doctor.  "If any one who is in a discontented
mood, or state of excitement, sees any thing, it is, indeed, only and
always his own fancies, his own internal phases, which appear before
his bodily eye.  This may happen to any one at times.  We have in the
morning a vivid dream; we certainly awake, and still, for a moment, we
see the child for whom we yearned, the lily or rose which delighted us,
or an old friend who is a hundred miles distant.  Perhaps it never yet
happened that, to one of the many ghost-seers, his aged father or
grandfather appeared as a youth or bridegroom, the murderer as a boy in
his innocence, the wild spectre of an aged prisoner as a blooming
virgin.  Why, then, do not these spectres, for once, change their

"Because," rejoined I, "they perhaps can express their imagination only
in the last state immediately preceding their change."

"Ah! this is idle," exclaimed the doctor, impatiently; "yield the point
quietly rather than vainly endeavour to refute me.  Assist me rather in
restoring your friend."

"In what way can I do so?"

"It is only by some violent means that a happy beginning can be made.
Believe me, in the deepest recesses of our minds there are still
growing some weeds of vanity, concerning which we fondly deceive
ourselves, by fancying that the external surface is the proper soil for
them to luxuriate in.  Even in moments of terror, in the horror of
death, or during tormenting disease, we are tickled by the
consciousness that, notwithstanding these, we experience something
apart--that we see apparitions which awaken anxiety.  Nay, we go
further; we wish them back again, and as it were call them forth; our
plastic and pliant nature, and our almost inconceivable fancy obey, and
again such a bugbear is conjured up.  Assist me then in persuading and
disposing our invalid to have music in the count's or your own
apartments; let us procure an instrument, and as the countess cannot
sing, she will at least play.  That they may not cause an excitement,
should they again be seized by this mania, no one but yourself and I
must be present, or at most her attendant in case of a relapse.  But it
will not happen in my presence, as I shall have my quick eyes
everywhere.  By these means our patients will gain confidence and
tranquillity, and by a daily repetition, and the use of stronger
remedies we shall cure their wild fancies."

"And if not?" I replied, with anxious doubt.

"Well then, by heavens!" he replied, with a loud laugh, "if I, without
having previously taken too much, see any thing, then--"


"Then, baron, you shall call me a fool, which, viewed in the proper
light, we are all by nature."

Thus we parted, and it required much persuasion to prevail upon my
afflicted friend to consent to our experiment.  His wife, to my
astonishment was more easily persuaded.  She said, not without reason,
"I feel it, my life is drawing to a close, all help is vain, the nearer
death is, the better.  So much the better if a new terror can crush me
like a stroke of lightning.  And if the event which I anticipate does
not take place, then my last days will at least be free from this fear
and anxious horror; I shall be able to amuse and divert myself, and it
remains in the hand of Omnipotence whether I and my husband shall have
further hope of recovery."

The third day was fixed upon for music, and a late hour in the evening
was appointed, because the countess, like most persons suffering from
fever felt it strongest at that time, and would thereby shorten the
night, as she seldom slept till morning.  An instrument had been placed
in the room; more lights than were required were burning, and the
adjoining chamber likewise was brilliantly lighted, in order that no
doubtful shadow might be produced in the dark.  Besides the easy chair
and sofa in the sitting-room, there was a couch, on which the countess
reposed in the day.  The piano was placed against the wall, between two
windows, looking over the garden and some vineyards beyond.  After tea,
the door being locked, the waiter and servant were dismissed; no one
remained but the countess's attendant, a strong young woman, whom we
begged to keep up her spirits.

The countess took her seat at the instrument.  The doctor stood beside
her, in order to observe her, as well as to overlook both rooms, while
I sat and stood alternately on the other side.  Francis, in his
morning-gown and slippers, walked slowly up and down behind us, and the
attendant leaned against the open chamber-door.

At first the countess played faintly, uncertainly, and timidly.  But by
degrees the beauty of the composition, and the consciousness of her
talent inspired her, and she played with precision and fire a humorous
and melodious fantasia.  Her eyes sparkled, her cheeks were flushed,
and a smile, full of soul, played upon her once beautiful mouth.  The
doctor cast a triumphant glance at me, and by the strong light, the
mien and feature of every one in the room were distinctly visible.  All
praised the performer, and the doctor gave her something to revive her.
She was as if inspired with new life, and confessed that she had not
felt so well for the last year.  Poor Francis was in raptures, and his
tearful eyes were full of hope.

With the same arrangement we proceeded to the second piece, while she
played still more confidently, and with less exertion.  Bravos and
applause accompanied her--when suddenly--a terrible shriek was
heard--how shall I describe it?  Never were my ears rent by such
terrific sounds--it was some time after that I perceived that Francis
had uttered it--the candles burned with a blue flame, but yet there was
light enough.--And what a spectacle!--Francis, with foaming mouth, and
eyes starting from their sockets, was clasping a horrible spectre; and
wrestled with the withered hideous form.  "You or I," he now cried, and
it clasped him with its bony arms so firmly, pressed its crooked
deformed body so strongly against his, and its pale face so firmly
against his chest, that we all heard how in this struggle his bones
were crashing.  The attendant had hastened to assist the countess, who
had fainted.  The doctor and myself approached the count, just as he
threw the spectre with gigantic force on the couch, which creaked under
her.  He stood erect.  It lay on the couch like a cloud, like a dark
cover, and as we approached, it was gone.

Francis now felt all his bones broken, his last strength was
annihilated.  In three days he was no more, and the physician found his
body much bruised.  The countess never recovered from her state of
delirium, and two days afterwards she followed her beloved and
unfortunate husband to his early grave.

C. A. F.

[1] It is not impossible that this extraordinary speech may be intended
for an exposition of the doctrine of Fichte.--J. O.

[2] A beverage usually prepared of wine, brandy, sugar, and
pine-apples, or other fruit.



When, Oh Eugenius and Rosamond,--you, whom I may no longer designate by
your right names,--I was first about to tell your short history, my
friends and I walked into an English garden.[1]  We went by a
new-painted coffin, on the foot-board of which was written: "I pass
away."  Above the verdant garden rose a white obelisk, with which two
sister-princesses had marked the spot where they now met and embraced,
and the inscription on which was: "Here we have found each other
again."  The point of the obelisk was glittering in the full moon, and
here I told my simple story.  But do thou, gentle reader, draw--which
is as much as coffin and obelisk--draw, I say, the inscription on the
coffin into the ashes of oblivion, and write the letters of the obelisk
with pure human heart's blood in thy inmost self.

Many souls drop from heaven like flowers; but, with their white buds,
they are trodden down into the mud, and lie soiled and crushed in the
print of a hoof.  You also were crushed, Eugenius and Rosamond.  Tender
souls like yours are attacked by three robbers of their joys--the mob,
whose rough gripe gives to such soft hearts nothing but scars; destiny,
which does not wipe away the tear from a fair soul full of brilliancy,
but the lustre should perish also, as we do not wipe a wet diamond,
lest it should grow dim; your own hearts which rejoice too much, and
enjoy too little, have too much hope, and too little power of
endurance.  Rosamond was a bright pearl, pierced by anguish--parted
from all that belonged to her, she only quivered in her sorrows like a
detached twig of the sensitive plant at the approach of night--her life
was a quiet warm rain and that of her husband was a bright lost
sunshine.  In his presence she averted her eyes, when they had just
been fixed on her sick child, that was only two years old, and was in
this life a wavering thin-winged butterfly, beneath a pelting shower.
The imagination of Eugenius, with its too large wings shattered his
slight, delicate frame; the lily bell of his tender body could not
contain his mighty soul; the place whence sighs originate, his breast,
was destroyed like his happiness.  He had nothing left in the world but
his affectionate heart, and for that heart there were but two human

These persons wished, in the spring-time, to quit the whirlpool of
mankind, which beat so hardly and so coldly against their hearts.  They
had a quiet cottage prepared for them on one of the high Alps opposite
to the silver chain of the Staubbach.  On the first fine spring morning
they went the long road to the high mountain.  There is a holiness
which sorrow alone can give in its purity; the stream of life becomes
white as snow when it is dashed against rocks.  There is an elevation
where little thoughts no more intrude between sublime ones, as when
upon a mountain one sees the summits close to each other without their
connection in the depth below.  Thou hadst that holiness, Rosamond, and
thou that elevation, Eugenius.

A morning mist was gathered round the foot of the mountain, and in that
three fluttering forms were suspended.  These were the reflections of
the three travellers, and the timid Rosamond started, thinking she saw
herself.  Eugenius thought, "That which the immortal spirit hath around
it is, after all, but a denser mist."  And the child snatched at the
cloud, and wished to play with its little misty brother.  One single
invisible angel of the future accompanied them through life and up this
mountain.  They were so good and like each other that one angel was all
they needed.

As they ascended the angel opened the book of fate, one leaf of which
contained the sketch of a three-fold life--every line was a day--and
when the angel had read the line that belonged to this day, he wept and
closed the book for ever.

The travellers, in their delicate condition, required nearly a day to
arrive at the desired spot.  The earth crept back into the valleys, the
sky rested itself on the mountains.  The waving, glimmering sun seemed
to our Eugenius a mirror of the moon, and he said to his beloved, when
the icy summits had already cast their flames upon the earth: "I feel
so weary, and yet so well.  Will it not be as if we left two
dreams--the dream of life and the dream of death--if we enter the
cloudless moon as the first shore beyond the hurricanes of life?"

"It will be still better," replied Rosamond, "for in the moon, as thou
hast taught me, dwell the little children of this earth, and their
parents remain with them till they themselves become as mild and
tranquil as children."  Then they proceed further.

"Ay, from heaven to heaven--from world to world!" said Eugenius,

They ascended as the sun declined; when they climbed more slowly, the
mountain summits like rising, loosened branches, concealed them from
the luminary.  They hastened on into the evening glimmer, which was
already advancing, but when they had reached the mountain where their
cottage stood, the eternal mountains stepped before the sun;--the earth
then veiled her graces and her cities, adoring heaven, before it looked
upon her with all its star-eyes, while the waterfalls laid aside their
rainbows,--and the earth spread higher for heaven, which was bending
over her with out-stretched cloud-arms, a gauze of golden exhalations,
and hung it from one mountain to another, and the icebergs were set on
fire, so that they glared even to midnight, while opposite to them on
the grave of the sun was raised a towering funeral pile of clouds,
forming the evening glow and the evening ashes.  But through the
glimmering veil kind heaven let its evening tears fall deep into the
earth, even upon the humblest grass and the smallest flower.

Oh, Eugenius, how great then did thy soul become!  The life of earth
lay at a distance and far below thee, free from all the distortions
which we see in it, because we stand too near it, as the decorations of
shorter scenes change from landscapes to mis-shapen strokes when we
look at them closely.

The two living ones embraced each other with a long and gentle embrace,
as they stood before the cottage, and Eugenius said: "Oh, thou quiet,
eternal heaven, take nothing more from us!"  But his pale child with
its snapped lily-head was before him; he looked at the mother, and she
lay with her moistened eye reaching into heaven, and said softly: "O
take us all at once!"

The angel of futurity, whom I will call the angel of rest, wept as he
smiled, and his wings swept away the sighs of the parents with an
evening breeze, that they might not sadden each other.

The transparent evening flowed round the red mountain like a bright
lake, and washed it with the circles of cool evening waves.  The more
the evening and earth grew, still the more did the two souls feel that
they were in the right place.  They had no tears too many, none too
few, and their bliss needed no other increase than its repetition.
Eugenius sent the first harmonious tones floating like swans through
the pure Alpine sky.  The weary child, twined in a flowery wreath,
leaned against a sun-dial, and played with the flowers which it drew
around it, to entwine them in its circle.  The mother at last awoke
from her harmonious transport; her eye fell on the large eyes of her
child, which opened wide upon her; singing and smiling, and, with
overflowing motherly love, she stepped to the little angel, which was
cold and dead.  For its life, which had descended from heaven, had,
like other tones, been dissipated in the atmosphere of earth; death had
breathed upon the butterfly, and it had ascended from the rushing
streams of air to the ever-refining ether; from the flowers of earth to
the flowers of paradise.

Oh, ever flutter away, ye blessed children!  The angel of rest wakes
you in the morning-hour of life with cradle songs, two arms bear you
and your little coffin, and your body, with the two red cheeks, the
forehead free from the print of grief, and the white hands, glide down
by a chain of flowers to the second cradle, and you have only exchanged
one paradise for another.  But we--oh, we are crushed by the
storm-winds of life; our heart is weary, our face is deeply marked with
earthly care, and our soul stiffened, still clings to the earthy clod.

Turn away thine eye from Rosamond's piercing shriek, fixed glance, and
petrifying features, if thou art a mother, and hast already felt this
pain! look not upon the mother, who, with senseless hand, squeezes
against her the corpse which she now cannot stifle; but look at the
father, who, with his breast, silently covers his struggling heart,
although black grief has twined around it with an adder's folds, and
poisoned it with an adder's teeth.  Ah, when he at last had conquered
the pain, his heart was envenomed and riven.  A man bears the pain of
the wound, but sinks under the scar: a woman seldom combats her grief,
but yet she survives it.  "Remain here," he said, with a suppressed
voice, "I will lay it to rest before the moon rises."  She said
nothing, kissed the child in silence, broke up its wreath of flowers,
sunk down upon the sun-dial, and laid her cold face upon her arm, that
she might not see it carried away.

On the way the dawning light of the moon shone upon the shaking body of
the infant, and the father said: "Burst forth, oh moon! that I may see
the land wherein He dwells.  Rise, oh Elysium! that I may think the
soul of the corse is within thee.  Oh child, child, dost thou know
me--dost thou hear me?  Hast thou above so fair a face as this one, so
sweet a mouth?  Oh thou heavenly mouth, thou heavenly eye, no more
spirit visits thee!"  He laid the child beneath flowers which supplied
the place of all that we are generally laid upon for the last time; but
his heart was breaking when he covered the pale lips, the open eyes,
with flowers and earth, and streams of tears fell first into the grave.
When with the verdant coating of the clods he had built a little mound,
he felt that he was weary of his journey and of life; that his weakly
chest could not endure the thin mountain air, and that the ice of death
had settled in his heart.  He cast a longing glance at the bereaved
mother, who had long stood trembling behind him, and they fell silent
into each other's arms, and their eyes could scarcely weep more.

At last, from behind a glacier that was glimmering out, the glorious
moon flowed forth in loveliness on the two silent unhappy ones, and
showed them its white peaceful meadows, and the gentle light with which
it softens man.  "Mother, look up," said Eugenius; "yonder is thy son!
See there, the white flowery groves, in which our child will play, are
passing over the moon."  Now a burning fire filled his inmost self with
consuming power,--the moon made his eye blind to all that was not
light; sublime forms rolled before him in the light stream, and he
heard in his soul, new thoughts which are not indigenous in man, and
are too great for memory; just as in a dream small melodies may come to
the man who can make none when awake.  Death and pleasure press upon
his heavy tongue.  "Rosamond, why sayest thou nothing?  Dost thou see
thy child?  I look beyond the long earth, even to where the moon
begins.  There is my son flying between angels.  Full flowers cradle
him,--the spring of earth waves over him--children lead him--angels
instruct him--God loves him.  Oh! thou dear one, thou art smiling; the
silver light of paradise flows with heavenly radiance about thy little
mouth, and thou hearest me, and callest thy parents.  Rosamond, give me
thy hand; we will go and die!"

The slight corporeal chains grew longer.  His advancing spirit
fluttered higher on the borders of life.  With convulsive power he
seized the paralysed Rosamond, and blind and sinking, stammered forth,
"Rosamond, where art thou?  I fly!  I die!  We remain together!"

His heart burst,--his spirit fled; but Rosamond did not remain with
him, for fate snatched her from his dying hand, and cast her back upon
earth, living.  She felt if his hand had the coldness of death, and
since it had, she placed it softly against her heart, sunk slowly upon
her failing knees, and raised her face, which had become inexpressibly
serene, towards the starry power.  Her eyes, from their tearless
sockets, pressed forth dry, large, and happy, into the sky, and therein
calmly sought a supernatural form, which should descend and bear her
up.  She almost fancied she was dying then, and prayed thus: "Come,
thou angel of rest, come and take my heart, and bear it to my beloved.
Angel of rest! leave me not so long alone among the corses.  Oh, God!
is there then nought invisible about me?  Angel of death! thou must be
here, thou hast already snatched away two souls close by me, and hast
made them ascend.  I, too, am dead, draw forth my glowing soul from its
cold kneeling corse."

With mad disquiet, she looked about in the vacant sky.  Suddenly, in
that still desert, a star shone forth, and wound its way towards the
earth.  She spread her arms in transport, and thought the angel of rest
was rushing towards her.  Alas! the star passed away, but she did not.
"Not yet?  Do I not die yet, All-merciful One?" sighed poor Rosamond.

In the east a cloud arose,--it passed over the moon, sailed in
loneliness across the clear sky, and stood over the most agonised heart
upon earth.  She threw back her head, so as to face the cloud, and said
to the lightning, "Strike this head, and release my heart!"  But the
cloud passed darkly over the head that was thrown back for it, and
flying down the sky, sunk behind the mountains.  Then, with a thousand
tears, she cried, "Can I not die?  Can I not die?"

Poor Rosamond!  How did pain roll itself together, give an angry
serpent-spring at thy heart, and fix in it all its poisonous teeth.
But a weeping spirit poured the opium of insensibility into thine
heart, and the bursts of agony flowed away in a soft convulsion.

She awoke in the morning, but her mind was unsettled.  She saw the sun
and the dead man, but her eye had lost all tears, and her burst heart
had, like a broken bell, lost all tone; she merely murmured, "Why can I
not die?"  She went back cold into her hut, and said nothing but these
words.  Every night she went half an hour later to the corpse, and
every time she met the rising moon, which was now broken, and said,
while she turned her mourning, tearless eye towards its gleaming
meadows, "Why cannot I die?"

Ay, why canst thou not, good soul? for the cold earth would have sucked
out of all thy wounds the last venom with which the human heart is laid
beneath its surface, just as the hand when buried in earth recovers
from the sting of a bee.  But I turn mine eye away from thy pain, and
look up at the glimmering moon, where Eugenius opens his eyes among
smiling children, and his own child, now with wings, falls upon his
heart.  How quiet is every thing in the dimly lit portico of the second
world, a misty rain of light silvers o'er the bright fields of the
first heaven, and beads of light instead of sparkling dew hang upon
flowers and summits,--the blue of heaven is darker over the lily
plains, all the melodies in the thinner air are but a dispersed
echo,--only night-flowers exhale their scents, and dazzle waving around
calmer glances--here the waving plains rock as in a cradle the crushed
souls, and the lofty billows of life fall gliding apart--then the heart
sleeps, the eye becomes dry, the wish becomes silent.  Children flutter
like the hum of bees around the heart which is sunk in earth, and is
still palpitating, and the dream after death represents the earthly
life, as a dream here represents childhood here, magically, soothingly,
softly, and free from care.

Eugenius looked from the moon towards the earth, which for a long
moon-day--equal to two earth-weeks--floated like a thin white cloud
across the blue sky; but he did not recognise his old motherland.  At
last the sun set to the moon, and our earth rested, large, glimmering,
and immoveable, on the pure horizon of Elysium, scattering, like a
water-wheel upon a meadow, the flowing beams upon the waving Elysian
garden.  He then recognised the earth, upon which he had left a heart
so troubled, in a breast so beloved; and his soul, which reposed in
pleasure, became full of melancholy, and of an infinite longing after
the beloved of his former life, who was suffering below.  "Oh, my
Rosamond! why dost thou not leave a sphere, where nothing more loves
thee?"  And he cast a supplicating look at the angel of rest, and said:
"Beloved one, take me down from the land of quiet, and lead me to the
faithful soul, that I may see her, and again feel pain, so that she may
not pine alone."

Then his heart began suddenly, as it were, to float without any bounds;
breezes fluttered around him, as though they raised him flying, wafted
him away as they swelled, and veiled him in floods; he sank through the
red evening twilights as through roses, and through the night as
through bowers, and through a damp atmosphere which filled his eye with
drops.  Then it seemed as though old dreams of childhood had
returned--then there arose a complaint from the distance, which
re-opened all his closed wounds; the complaint, as it drew nearer,
became Rosamond's voice--at last she herself was before him,
unrecognisable, alone, without solace, without a tear, without colour.

And Rosamond dreamed upon the earth, and it was to her as though the
sun took wings, and became an angel.  This angel, she dreamed, drew
down towards her the moon, which became a gentle face.  Beneath this
face, as it approached her, a heart at last formed itself.  It was
Eugenius, and his beloved arose to meet him.  But as she exclaimed,
with transport, "Now I am dead!" the two dreams, both hers and his,
vanished, and the two were again severed.

Eugenius waked above, the glimmering earth still stood in the sky, his
heart was oppressed, and his eye beamed with a tear which had not
fallen on the moon.  Rosamond waked below, and a large warm dew-drop
hung in one of the flowers of her bosom.  Then did the last mist of her
soul shower down in a light rain of tears, her soul became light and
sun-clear, and her eye hung gently on the dawning sky; the earth was
indeed strange to her, but no longer hateful; and her hands moved as
though they were leading those who had died.

The angel of rest looked upon the moon, and looked upon the earth, and
he was softened by the sighs from both.  On the morning-earth he
perceived an eclipse of the sun, and a bereft one; he saw Rosamond
during this transient night sink upon the flowers that slept in the
darkness, and into the cold evening-dew which fell upon the
morning-dew, and stretching forth her hands towards the shaded heaven,
which was full of night-birds, look up towards the moon with
inexpressible longing, as it floated trembling in the sun.  The angel
looked upon the moon, and near him wept the departed one, who saw the
earth swimming deep below,--a flood of shade, fitted into a ring of
fire, and from whom the mourning form that dwelt upon it, took all the
happiness of heaven.  Then was the heavenly heart of the angel of peace
broken--he seized the hand of Eugenius and that of his child--drew both
through the second world, and bore them down to the dark earth.
Rosamond saw three forms wandering through the obscurity, the gleam
from whom reached the starry heaven, and went along hovering over them.
Her beloved and her child flew like spring-days to her heart, and said,
"Oh, thou dear one, come with us!"  Her maternal heart broke with
maternal love, the circulation of earth-blood was stopped, her life was
ended; and happily, happily, did she stammer forth to the two beloved
hearts, "Can I not then die?"  "Thou hast died already," said the angel
of the three fond ones, weeping with joy, "Yonder thou seest the sphere
of earth, whence thou comest, still in shade."  And the waves of joy
closed on high over the blessed world, and all the happy and all
children looked upon our sphere which still trembled in the shade.

      *      *      *      *      *

Yea, indeed, is it in shade!  But man is higher than his place.  He
looks up and spreads the wings of his soul, and when the sixty minutes,
which we call sixty years, have finished striking, he then lifts
himself up, and kindles himself as he rises, and the ashes of his
plumage fall back, and the unveiled soul rises alone, free from earth,
and pure as a musical tone.  But here, in the midst of dark life, he
sees the mountains of the future world standing in the morning gold of
a sun that does not arise here.  Thus, the inhabitant of the North Pole
in the long night, when the sun has ceased to rise, discerns at twelve
o'clock, a dawn gilding the highest mountains, and he thinks of his
long summer, when it will set no more.

J. O.

[1] Or, perhaps, "angelic garden," meaning a church-yard.  The reading
given above is most probably correct.



On the 20th of November, 1815, Albert von B----, lieutenant-colonel in
the Prussian service, found himself on the road from Liège to
Aix-la-Chapelle.  The corps to which he belonged was on its return from
France to march to Liège to head-quarters on that very day, and was to
remain there for two or three days more.  Albert had arrived the
evening before; but in the morning he felt himself attacked by a
strange restlessness, and--as he would hardly have confessed to
himself--an obscure dream, which had haunted him all night, and had
foretold that a very pleasant adventure awaited him at Aix-la-Chapelle,
was the only cause of his sudden departure.  Much surprised even at his
own proceeding, he was sitting on the swift horse, which would, he
hoped, take him to the city before nightfall.

A severe cutting autumn wind roared over the bare fields, and awakened
the voices of the leafless wood in the distance, which united their
groans to its howling.  Birds of prey came croaking, and followed in
flocks the thick clouds which gathered more and more, until the last
ray of sunlight had vanished, and a faint dull gray had overspread the
entire sky.  Albert wrapped his mantle more closely about him, and
while he trotted on along the broad road, the picture of the last
eventful time unfolded itself to his imagination.  He thought how, a
few months before, he had travelled on the same road, in an opposite
direction, and during the loveliest season of the year.  The fields
then bloomed forth luxuriantly, the fragrant meadows resembled
variegated carpets, and the bushes in which the birds joyously chirped
and sung, shone in the fair light of golden sunbeams.  The earth, like
a longing bride, had richly adorned herself to receive in her dark
nuptial chamber, the victims consecrated to death--the heroes who fell
in the sanguinary battles.

Albert had reached the corps to which he was appointed, when the cannon
had already begun to thunder by the Sambre, though he was in time
enough to take part in the bloody battles of Charleroi, Gilly, and
Gosselins.  Indeed, chance seemed to wish that Albert should be present
just when any thing decided took place.  Thus he was at the last
storming of the village Planchenoit, which caused the victory in the
most remarkable of all battles--Waterloo.  He was in the last
engagement of the campaign, when the final effort of rage and fierce
despair on the part of the enemy wreaked itself on the immoveable
courage of the heroes, who having a fine position in the village of
Issy, drove back the foe as they sought, amid the most furious
discharge of grape, to scatter death and destruction in the ranks; and
indeed drove them back so far, that the sharp-shooters pursued them
almost to the barriers of Paris.  The night afterwards (that of the 3rd
and 4th of July), was, as is well known, that on which the military
convention for the surrender of the metropolis was settled at St. Cloud.

The battle of Issy now rose brightly before Albert's soul; he thought
of things, which as it seemed, he had not observed, nay, had not been
able to observe during the fight.  Thus the faces of many individual
officers and men appeared before his eyes, depicted in the most lively
manner, and his heart was struck by the inexplicable expression, not of
proud or unfeeling contempt of death, but of really divine inspiration,
which beamed from many an eye.  Thus he heard sounds, now exhorting to
fight, now uttered with the last sigh of death, which deserved to be
treasured up for posterity like the animating utterances of the heroes
of antiquity.

"Do I not," thought Albert, "almost feel like one who has a notion of
his dream when he wakes, but who does not recollect all its single
features till several days afterwards?  Ay, a dream, and only a dream,
one would think, by flying over time and space, with its mighty wings,
could render possible, the gigantic, monstrous, unheard-of events, that
took place during the eighteen eventful days of a campaign, which mocks
the boldest thoughts, the most daring combinations of the speculative
mind.  Indeed the human mind does not know its own greatness; the act
surpasses the thought.  For it is not rude physical force, no! it is
the mind, which creates deeds as they have happened, and it is the
psychic power of every single person, really inspired, which attaches
itself to the wisdom and genius of the general, and helps to accomplish
the monstrous and the unexpected."

Albert was disturbed in these meditations by his groom, who kept about
twenty paces behind him, and whom he heard cry out, "Eh!  Paul
Talkebarth, where the deuce do you come from?"  He turned his horse,
and perceived that a horseman, who had just trotted past him, and whom
he had not particularly observed, was standing still with his groom,
beating out the cheeks of the large fox-fur cap with which his head was
covered, so that soon the well-known face of Paul Talkebarth, Colonel
Victor von S----'s old groom, was made manifest, glowing with the
finest vermilion.

Now Albert knew at once what it was that impelled him so irresistibly
from Liège to Aix-la-Chapelle, and he could not comprehend how the
thought of Victor, his most intimate and dearest friend, whom he had
every reason to suppose at Aix, merely lay dimly in his soul, and
attained nothing like distinctness.  He now also cried out, "Eh!  Paul
Talkebarth, whence do you come?  Where is your master?"

Paul curvetted up to him very gracefully, and said, holding the palm of
his hand against the far-too-large cockade of his cap, by way of
military salutation: "Yes, 'faith, I am Paul Talkebarth indeed,
gracious lieutenant-colonel.  We've bad weather here, Zermannöre (_sur
mon honneur_).  But the groundsel brings that about.  Old Lizzy always
used to say so.  I cannot say, gracious lieutenant-colonel, if you know
Lizzy: she lives at Genthin, but if one has been at Paris, and has seen
the wild goat in the Schartinpland (_Jardin des Plantes_).--Now, what
one seeks for one finds near, and here I am in the presence of the
gracious lieutenant-colonel, whom I was to seek at Liège.  The spirus
familis (_spiritus familiaris_), whispered yesterday evening into my
master's ear, that the gracious lieutenant-colonel had come to Liège.
Zackermannthö (_sacré mon de Dieu_), there was delight!  It may be as
it will, but I have never put any faith in the cream-colour.  A fine
beast, Zermannöre, but a mere childish thing, and the baronness did her
utmost--that is true!  There are decent sort of people here, but the
wine is good for nothing--and when one has been in Paris--!  Now, the
colonel might have marched in, like one through the Argen trumph (_Arc
de triomphe_), and I should have put the new shabrach on the white
horse; gad, how he would have pricked up his ears!  But old Lizzy,--she
was my aunt, at Genthin, was always accustomed to say--I don't know,
gracious lieutenant-colonel, whether you--"

"May your tongue be lamed," said Albert, interrupting the incorrigible
babbler.  "If your master is at Aix, we must make haste, for we have
still above five leagues to go."

"Stop," cried Paul Talkebarth, with all his might; "stop, stop,
gracious lieutenant-colonel, the weather is bad here; but for
fodder--those who have eyes like us, that shine in the fog."

"Paul," cried Albert, "do not wear out my patience.  Where is your
master?  Is he not in Aix?"

Paul Talkebarth smiled with such delight, that his whole countenance
puckered up into a thousand folds, like a wet glove, and then
stretching out his arm he pointed to the building, which might be seen
behind the wood, upon a gentle declivity, and said, "Yonder, in the
castle!"  Without waiting for what Paul might have to prattle further,
Albert struck into the path that led from the high road, and hurried on
in a rapid trot.  After the little that he has said, honest Paul
Talkebarth must appear to the gracious reader as an odd sort of fellow.
We have only to say, that he being an heir-loom of the family, served
Colonel Victor von S---- from the moment when the latter first put on
his officer's sword, after having been the intendent-general and
_maître des plaisirs_ of all the sports and mad pranks of his
childhood.  An old and very odd _magister_, who had been tutor to the
family through two generations, completed, with the amount of education
which he allowed to flow to honest Paul, those happy talents for
extraordinary confusion and strange _Eulenspiegelei_[1] with which
nature had by no means scantily endued him.  At the same time he was
the most faithful soul that could possibly exist.  Ready every moment
to sacrifice his life for his master, neither his advanced age nor any
other consideration could prevent the good Paul from following him to
the field in the year 1813.  His own nature rendered him superior to
every hardship; but less strong than his corporeal was his spiritual
nature, which seemed to have received a strange shock, or at any rate
some extraordinary impulse during his residence in France, especially
in Paris.  Then, for the first time, did he properly feel that Magister
Spreugepileus had been perfectly right when he called him a great
light, that would one day shine forth brightly.  This shining quality
Paul had discovered by the aptness with which he had accommodated
himself to the manners of a foreign people, and had learned their
language.  Therefore, he boasted not a little, and ascribed it to his
extraordinary talent alone, that he could often, in respect to quarters
and provisions, obtain that which seemed unattainable.  Talkebarth's
fine French phrases, the gentle reader has already been made acquainted
with some pleasant curses--were current, if not through the whole army,
at any rate through the corps to which his master was attached.  Every
trooper who came to quarters in a village, cried to the peasant with
Paul's words, "Pisang! de lavendel pur di schevals!" (_Paysan, de
l'avoine pour les chevaux_.)

Paul, as is generally the case with eccentric natures, did not like
things to happen in the ordinary manner.  He was particularly fond of
surprises, and sought to prepare them in every possible manner for his
master, who was certainly often surprised, though in quite another
manner than was designed by honest Talkebarth, whose happy schemes
generally failed in their execution.  Thus, he now entreated
Lieutenant-colonel von B----, when the latter was riding straight up to
the principal entrance of the house, to take a circuitous course and
enter the court-yard by the back way, that his master might not see him
before he entered the room.  To meet this view, Albert was obliged to
ride over a marshy meadow, where he was grievously splashed by the mud,
and then he had to go over a fragile bridge on a ditch.  Paul
Talkebarth wished to show off his horsemanship by jumping cleverly
over; but he fell in with his horse up to the belly, and was with
difficulty brought back to firm ground by Albert's groom.  Now, in high
spirits, he put spurs to his horse, and with a wild huzza leaped into
the court-yard.  As all the geese, ducks, turkeys, and poultry of the
household were gathered together here to rest; while from the one side
a flock of sheep, and from the other side a flock of pigs, had been
driven in, we may easily imagine that Paul Talkebarth, who not being
perfect master of his horse, galloped about the court in large circles,
without any will of his own, produced no little devastation in the
domestic economy.  Amid the fearful noise of squeaking, cackling,
bleating, grunting animals, the barking of the dogs, and the scolding
of the servants, Albert made his glorious entrance, wishing honest Paul
Talkebarth at all the devils, with his project of surprise.

At last Albert leaped from his horse, and entered the house, which,
without any claim to beauty or elegance, looked roomy and convenient
enough.  On the steps he was met by a well-fed, not very tall man, in a
short, gray, hunting-jacket, who, with a half-sour smile, said:
"Quartered?"  By the tone in which the man asked this question, Albert
perceived at once that the master of the house, Baron von E---- (as he
had learned from Paul) was before him.  He assured him that he was not
quartered, but merely purposed to visit his intimate friend, Colonel
Victor von S----, who was, he was told, residing there, and that he
only required the baron's hospitality for that evening and the night,
as he intended to start very early on the following morning.

The baron's face visibly cleared up, and the full sun-shine, which
ordinarily seemed to play upon his good-humoured, but somewhat too
broad, countenance, returned completely, when Albert as he ascended the
stairs with him remarked, that in all probability no division of the
army now marching would touch this spot.

The baron opened a door, Albert entered a cheerful-looking parlour, and
perceived Victor, who sat with his back towards him.  At the sound of
his entrance Victor turned round, and with a loud exclamation of joy
fell into the arms of the lieutenant.  "Is it not true, Albert, you
thought of me last night?  I knew it, my inner sense told me that you
were in Liège at the very moment when you first entered the place.  I
fixed all my thoughts upon you, my spiritual arms embraced you; you
could not escape me."

Albert confessed that--as the gentle reader already knows--dark dreams
which came to no clear shape had driven him from Liège.

"Yes," cried Victor, with transport, "yes, it is no fancy, no idle
notion; the divine power is given to us, which, ruling space and time,
manifests the supersensual in the world of sense."

Albert did not know what Victor meant.  Indeed the whole behaviour of
his friend, so different from his usual manner, seemed to denote an
over-excited state.  In the meanwhile the lady, who had been sitting
before the fire near Victor, arose and approached the stranger.  Albert
bowed to her, casting an inquiring glance at Victor.  "This is the
Baroness Aurora von E----," said Victor, "my hospitable hostess, who
tends me ever carefully and faithfully in sickness and in trouble!"

Albert as he looked at the baroness felt quite convinced that the
little plump woman had not yet attained her fortieth year, and that she
would have been very well made had not the nutritious food of the
country, together with much sunshine, caused her shape to deviate a
little from the line of beauty.  This counteracted the favourable
effect of her pretty, fresh-coloured face, the dark blue eyes of which
might otherwise have beamed somewhat dangerously for the heart.  Albert
considered the attire of the baroness almost too homely, for the
material of her dress, which was of a dazzling whiteness, while it
showed the excellence of the washing and bleaching department, also
showed the great distance at which the domestic spinning and weaving
stood from perfection.  A cotton kerchief, of a very glaring pattern,
thrown negligently about the neck, so that its whiteness was visible
enough, did not at all increase the brilliant effect of the costume.
The oddest thing of all was, that the baroness wore on her little feet
the most elegant silken shoes, and on her head the most charming lace
cap, after the newest Parisian fashion.  This head-dress, it is true,
reminded the lieutenant-colonel of a pretty grisette, with whom chance
had made him acquainted at Paris, but for this very reason a quantity
of uncommonly gallant things flowed from his lips, while he apologised
for his sudden appearance.  The baroness did not fail to reply to these
prettinesses in the proper style, and having once opened her mouth the
stream of her discourse flowed on uninterruptedly, till she at last
went so far as to say, that it would be impossible to show sufficient
attention to such an amiable guest, the friend of the colonel, who was
so dear to the family.  At the sudden ring of the bell, and the shrill
cry: "Mariane, Mariane!" a peevish old woman made her appearance, who,
by the bunch of keys which hung from her waist, seemed to be the
housekeeper.  A consultation was now held with this lady and the
husband, as to what nice things could be got ready.  It was soon found,
however, that all the delicacies, such as venison and the like, were
either already consumed, or could only be got the next day.  Albert,
with difficulty suppressing his displeasure, said, that they would
force him to quit immediately in the night, if on his account they
disturbed the arrangements of the house in the slightest degree.  A
little cold meat, nay, some bread and butter, would be sufficient for
his supper.  The baroness replied by protesting that it was impossible
for the lieutenant-colonel to do without something warm, after his ride
in the rough, bleak weather, and after a long consultation with
Mariane, the preparation of some mulled wine was found to be possible
and decided on.  Mariane vanished through the door-way, rattling as she
went, but at the very moment when they were about to take their seats,
the baroness was called out by an amazed maid-servant.  Albert
overheard that the baroness was being informed at the door of the
frightful devastations of Paul Talkebarth, with a list--no
inconsiderable one--of the dead, wounded, and missing.  The baron ran
out after his wife, and while she was scolding he was wishing honest
Paul Talkebarth at Jericho, and the servants were uttering general
lamentations.  Albert briefly told his friend of Paul's exploit in the
yard.  "That old Eulenspiegel is always playing such tricks," said
Victor, angrily, "and yet the rascal means so well from the very bottom
of his heart, that one cannot attack him."

At that moment all became quiet without; the chief maid-servant had
brought the glad intelligence that Hans Gucklick had been frightened
indeed, but had come off free from other harm, and was now eating with
a good appetite.

The baron entered with a cheerful mien, and repeated, in a tone of
satisfaction, that Hans Gucklick had been spared from that wild,
life-disregarding Paul Talkebarth.  At the same time he took occasion
to expatiate at great length, and from an agricultural point of view,
the utility of extending the breeding of poultry.  This Hans Gucklick,
who had only been very frightened, and had not been otherwise hurt, was
the old cock, who was highly prized, and had been for years the pride
and ornament of the whole poultry-yard.

The baroness now made her re-appearance, but it was only to arm herself
with a great bunch of keys, which she took out of a cupboard.  Quickly
she hurried off, and Albert could hear both her and the housekeeper
clattering and rattling up stairs and down stairs, accompanied by the
shrill voices of the maid-servants who were called, and the pleasant
music of pestles and mortars and graters, which ascended from the
kitchen.  "Good heavens!" thought Albert.  "If the general had marched
in with the whole of the head-quarters, there could not have been more
noise than has been occasioned by my unlucky cup of mulled wine."

The baron, who had wandered from the breeding of poultry to hunting,
had not quite got to the end of a very complicated story of a fine deer
which he had seen, and had not shot, when the baroness entered the
room, followed by no less a person than Paul Talkebarth, who bore the
mulled wine in a handsome porcelain vessel.  "Bring it all here, good
Paul," said the baroness, very kindly.  Whereupon Paul replied, with an
indescribably sweet, "A fu zerpir (_à vous servir_), madame."  The
manes of the victims in the yard seemed to be appeased, and all seemed

Now, at last, they all sat down quietly together.  The baroness, after
she had handed the cup to the visiter, began to knit a monstrous
worsted stocking, and the baron took occasion to enlarge upon the
species of knitting which was designed to be worn while hunting.
During his discourse he seized the vessel, that he also might take a
cup.  "Ernest!" cried the baroness to him, in an angry tone.  He at
once desisted from his purpose, and slunk to the cupboard, where he
quietly refreshed himself with a glass of Schnapps.  Albert availed
himself of the moment to put a stop to the baron's tedious
disquisitions, by urgently asking his friend how he was going on.
Victor was of opinion that there was plenty of time to say, in two
words, what had happened to him since their separation, and that he
could not expect to hear from Albert's lips all the mighty occurrences
of the late portentous period.  The baroness assured him, with a smile,
that there was nothing prettier than tales of war and murder; while the
baron, who had rejoined the party, said that he liked amazingly to hear
of battles, when they were very bloody, as they always reminded him of
his hunting-parties.  He was upon the point of returning to the story
of the stag that he did not shoot, but Albert cut him short, and
laughing out loud, though with increased displeasure, remarked that,
though there was, to be sure, some smart shooting in the chase, it was
a comfortable arrangement that the stags, hares, &c., whose blood was
at stake, could not return the fire.

Albert felt thoroughly warmed by the beverage which he had drunk, and
which he found was excellently made of splendid wine, and his
comfortable state of body had a good effect on his mind, completely
overcoming the ill-humour which had taken possession of him in this
uncomfortable society.  He unfolded before Victor's eyes the whole
sublime and fearful picture of the awful battle, that at once
annihilated all the hopes of the fancied ruler of the world.  With the
most glowing imagination, he described the invincible, lion-like
courage of those battalions who at last stormed the village of
Planchenoit, and concluded with the words: "Oh!  Victor, Victor! would
you had been there, and fought with me!"

Victor had moved close to the baroness's chair, and having picked up
the large ball of worsted, which had rolled down from her lap, was
playing with it in his hands, so that the industrious knitter was
compelled to draw the threads through his fingers, and often could not
avoid touching his arm with her long needle.

At the words, which Albert uttered with an elevated voice, Victor
appeared suddenly to wake as from a dream.  He eyed his friend with a
singular smile, and said, in a half-suppressed tone: "Yes, dear Albert,
what you say is but too true!  Man often implicates himself early in
snares, the gordian knot of which death alone forcibly sunders!  As for
what concerns the raising of the devil in general, the audacious
invocation of one's own fearful spirit is the most perilous thing
possible.  But here every thing sleeps!"

Victor's dark, unintelligible words were a sufficient proof that he had
not heard a syllable of all that Albert had said, but had been occupied
all the time with dreams, which must have been of a very singular kind.

Albert, as may be supposed, was dumb with amazement.  Looking around
him he perceived, for the first time, that the master of the house, who
with hands folded before him, had sunk against the back of a chair, had
dropped his weary head upon his breast, and that the baroness with
closed eyes continued to knit mechanically like a piece of clock-work
wound up.

Albert sprung up quickly, making a noise as he rose, but at the very
same moment the baroness rose also, and approached him with an air, so
free, noble, and graceful, that he saw no more of the little, plump,
almost comical figure, but thought that the baroness was transformed to
another creature.  "Pardon the housewife who is employed from break of
day, lieutenant-colonel," said she, in a sweet voice, as she grasped
Albert's hand, "if in the evening she is unable to resist the effects
of fatigue, even though she hears the greatest events recorded in the
finest manner.  This you must also pardon in the active sportsman.  You
must certainly be anxious to be alone with your friend and to open your
heart to him, and under such circumstances every witness is an
incumberance.  It will certainly be agreeable to you to take, alone
with your friend, the supper which I have served in his apartment."

No proposal could have been more opportune to Albert.  He immediately
in the most courteous language, wished a good night to his kind
hostess, whom he now heartily forgave for the bunch of keys, and the
grief about frightened Hans Gucklick, as well as for the
stocking-knitting and the nodding.

"Dear Ernest!" cried the baroness, as the friends wished to bid good
night to the baron; but as the latter, instead of answering only cried
out very plainly: "Huss!  Huss!  Tyrus!  Waldmann!  Allons!" and let
his head hang on the other side, they tried no more to arouse him from
his pleasant dreams.

"Now," said Albert, finding himself alone with Victor for the first
time, "tell me how you have fared.  But, however, first let us eat a
bit, for I am very hungry, and it appears there is something more here
than the bread and butter."

The lieutenant-colonel was right, for he found a table elegantly set
out with the choicest cold delicacies, the chief ornament of which was
a Bayonne ham, and a pasty of red partridges.  Paul Talkebarth, when
Albert expressed his satisfaction, said, waggishly smiling, that if he
had not been present, and had not given Mariane a hint of what it was
that the lieutenant-colonel liked, as suppenfink (_super-fine_)--but
that, nevertheless, he could not forget his aunt Lizzy, who had burned
the rice-pudding on his wedding-day, and that he had now been a widower
for thirty years, and one could not tell, since marriages were made in
heaven, and that Mariane--but that it was the gracious baroness who had
given him the best herself, namely, a whole basket of celery for the
gentleman.  Albert did not know why such an unreasonable quantity of
vegetable food should be served, and was highly delighted, when Paul
Talkebarth brought the basket, which contained--not celery--but six
bottles of the finest _vin de Sillery_.

While Albert was enjoying himself, Victor narrated how he had come to
the estate of the Baron von E----.

The fatigues of the first campaign (1813), which had often proved too
much for the strongest constitutions, had ruined Victor's health.  The
waters at Aix-la-Chapelle would, he hoped, restore him, and he was
residing there when Bonaparte's flight from Elba gave the signal for a
new and sanguinary contest.  When preparations were making for the
campaign, Victor received orders from the _Residence_ to join the army
on the Lower Rhine, if his health permitted; but fate allowed him no
more than a ride of four or five leagues.  Just before the gate of the
house in which the friends now were, Victor's horse, which had usually
been the surest and most fearless animal in the world, and had been
tried in the wildest tumults of battle, suddenly took fright, and
reared, and Victor fell--to use his own words--like a schoolboy who has
mounted a horse for the first time.  He lay insensible, while the blood
flowed from a severe wound in his head, which he had struck against a
sharp stone.  He was carried into the house, and here, as removal
seemed dangerous, he was forced to remain till the time of his
recovery, which did not yet seem complete, since, although the wound
had been long healed, he was weakened by the attacks of fever.  Victor
spoke of the care and attention which the baroness had bestowed upon
him in terms of the warmest gratitude.

"Well," cried Albert, laughing aloud, "for this I was not prepared.  I
thought you were going to tell me something very extraordinary, and
now, lo, and behold--don't be offended--the whole affair seems to turn
out a silly sort of story, like those that have been so worn out in a
hundred stupid novels, that nobody with decency can have any thing to
do with such adventures.  The wounded knight is borne into the castle,
the mistress of the house tends him, and he becomes a tender _Amoroso_.
For, Victor, that you, in spite of your good taste hitherto, in spite
of your whole mode of life, should all of a sudden fall in love with a
plump elderly woman, who is homely and domestic to the last degree,
that you should play the pining lack-a-daisical youth, who, as somebody
says, 'sighs like an oven, and makes songs on his mistress's
tears,'--that, I say, I can only look upon as a sort of disease!  The
only thing that could excuse you in any way, and put you in a poetical
light, would be the Spanish Infanta in the 'Physician of his
Honour,'[2] who, meeting a fate similar to yours, fell upon his nose
before Donna Menzia's gate, and at last found the beloved one, who

"Stop!" interrupted Victor, "stop!  Don't you think that I see clearly
enough, that you take me for a silly dolt?  No, no, there is something
else--something more mysterious at work.  Let us drink!"

The wine, and Albert's lively talk, had produced a wholesome excitement
in Victor, who seemed aroused from a gloomy dream.  But when, at last,
Albert, raising his full glass, said, "Now, Victor, my dear Infanta,
here's a health to Donna Menzia, and may she look like our little pet
hostess."--Victor cried, laughing, "No, no, I cannot bear that you
should take me for a fool.  I feel quite cheerful, and ready to make a
confession to you of every thing!  You must, however, submit to hear an
entire youthful period of my life, and it is possible that half the
night will be taken up by the narrative."

"Begin!" replied Albert, "for I see we have enough wine to cheer up our
somewhat sinking spirits.  I only wish it was not so confoundedly cold,
nor a crime to wake up the good folks of the house."

"Perhaps," said Victor, "Paul Talkebarth may have made some provision."
And, indeed, the said Paul, cursing in his well-known French dialect,
courteously assured them, that he had cut small and kept excellent wood
for firing, which he was ready to kindle at once.  "Fortunately," said
Victor, "the same thing cannot happen to me here, that happened at a
drysalter's at Meaux, where honest Paul lit me a fire that cost, at
least, 1200 francs.  The good fellow had got hold of Brazilian
sandal-wood, hacked it to pieces, and put it on the hearth, so that I
looked almost like Andolosia, the famous son of the celebrated
Fortunatus, whose cook had to light a fire of spices, because the king
forbade him to buy wood.  You know," continued Victor, as the fire
merrily crackled and flamed up, and Paul Talkebarth had left the room,
"you know, my dear friend, Albert, that I began my military career in
the guards, at Potsdam; indeed, that is nearly all you know of my
younger days, because I never had a special opportunity to talk about
them--and, still more, because the picture of those years has been
represented to my soul in dim outlines, and did not, until I came here,
flame up again in bright colours.  My first education, in my father's
house, does not even deserve the name of a bad one.  I had, in fact, no
education at all, but was left entirely to my own inclinations, and
these indicated any thing rather than a call to the profession of arms.
I felt manifestly impelled towards a scientific culture, which the old
magister, who was my appointed tutor, and who only liked to be left in
quiet, could not give me.  At Potsdam I gained with facility a
knowledge of modern languages, while I zealously and successfully
pursued those studies that are requisite for an officer.  I read,
besides, with a kind of mania, all that fell into my hands, without
selection or regard to utility; however, as my memory was excellent, I
had acquired a mass of historical knowledge, I scarcely knew how.
People have since done me the honour to assure me that a poetical
spirit dwelled in me, which I myself would not rightly appreciate.
Certain it is that the _chefs-d'oeuvre_ of the great poets, of that
period, raised me to a state of inspiration of which I had previously
no notion.  I appeared to myself as another being, developed for the
first time into active life.  I will only name the 'Sorrows of
Werther,' and, more especially, Schiller's 'Robbers.'  My fancy
received an impulse quite of a different sort from a book, which, for
the very reason that it is not finished, gives the mind an impetus that
keeps it swinging like a pendulum in constant motion.  I mean
Schiller's 'Ghostseer.'  It may be that the inclination to the mystical
and marvellous, which is generally deep-rooted in human nature, was
particularly prevalent in me;--whatever was the cause, it is sufficient
for me to say that, when I read that book, which seems to contain the
exorcising formula belonging to the mightiest black art, a magical
kingdom, full of super-terrestrial, or, rather, sub-terrestrial
marvels, was opened to me, in which I moved about as a dreamer.  Once
given to this mood, I eagerly swallowed all that would accord with it,
and even works of far less worth did not fail in their effect upon me.
Thus the 'Genius,' by Grosse, made a deep impression upon me, and I
have the less reason to feel ashamed of this, since the first part, at
least, on account of the liveliness of the style and the clear
treatment of the subject, produced a sensation through the whole
literary world.  Many an arrest I was obliged to endure, when upon
guard, for being absorbed in such a book, or perhaps only in mystic
dreams, I did not hear the call, and was forced to be fetched by the
inferior officer.  Just at this time chance made me acquainted with a
very extraordinary man.  It happened on a fine summer evening, when the
sun had already sunk, and twilight had already begun, that, according
to my custom, I was walking alone in a pleasure ground near Potsdam.  I
fancied that, from the thicket of a little wood, which lay by the
road-side, I could hear plaintive sounds, and some words uttered with
energy in a language unknown to me.  I thought some one wanted
assistance, so I hastened to the spot whence the sounds seemed to
proceed, and soon, in the red glimmer of the evening, discovered a
large, broad-shouldered figure, enveloped in a common military mantle,
and stretched upon the ground.  Approaching nearer I recognised, to my
astonishment, Major O'Malley of the grenadiers.  'Good heavens!' I
exclaimed, 'is this you, major?  In this situation?  Are you ill?  Can
I help you?'  The major looked at me with a fixed, wild stare, and then
said, in a harsh voice, 'What the devil brings you here, lieutenant?
What does it matter to you whether I lie here or not?  Go back to the
town!'  Nevertheless, the deadly paleness of O'Malley's face made me
suspect that there was something wrong, and I declared that I would not
leave him, but would only return to the town in his company.  'Good!'
said the major, quite coldly and deliberately, after he had remained
silent for some moments, and had endeavoured to raise himself, in which
attempt, as it appeared to be attended with difficulty, I assisted him.
I perceived now that--as was frequently the case when he went out in
the evening--he had nothing but a shirt under the cloak, which was a
common _commis-mantel_ as they call it, that he had put on his boots,
and that he wore upon his bald head his officer's hat, with broad gold
lace.  A pistol, which lay on the ground near him, he caught up
hastily, and, to conceal it from me, put it into the pocket of his
cloak.  During the whole way to the town he did not speak a syllable to
me, but now and then uttered disjointed phrases in his own language--he
was an Irishman by birth--which I did not understand.  When he had
reached his quarters he pressed my hand, and said, in a tone in which
there was something indescribable--something that had never been heard
before, and which still echoes in my soul: 'Good night, lieutenant!
Heaven guard you, and give you good dreams!'  This Major O'Malley was
one of the strangest men possible, and if, perhaps, I except a few
somewhat eccentric Englishmen, whom I have met, I know no officer in
the whole great army to compare in outward appearance with O'Malley.
If it be true--as some travellers affirm--that nature nowhere produces
such peculiarities as in Ireland, and that, therefore, every family can
exhibit the prettiest cabinet pictures, Major O'Malley would justly
serve as a prototype for all his nation.  Imagine a man strong as a
tree, six feet high, whose build could scarcely be called awkward, but
none of whose limbs fitted the rest, so that his whole figure seemed
huddled together, as in that game where figures are composed of single
parts, the numbers on which are decided by the throw of the dice.  An
aquiline nose, and delicately formed lips would have given a noble
appearance to his countenance, but his prominent glassy eyes were
almost repulsive, and his black bushy eyebrows had the character of a
comic mask.  Strangely enough there was something lachrymose in the
major's face whenever he laughed, which, by the way, seldom happened,
while he seemed to laugh whenever the wildest passion mastered him, and
in this laugh there was something so terrific, that the oldest and most
stout-hearted fellows would shudder at it.  But, however, seldom as
Major O'Malley laughed, it was just as seldom that he allowed himself
to be carried away by passion.  That the major should ever have an
uniform to fit him seemed an utter impossibility.  The best tailors in
the regiment failed utterly when they applied their art to the formless
figure of the major; his coat, though cut according to the most
accurate measure, fell into unseemly folds, and hung on his body as if
placed there to be brushed, while his sword dangled against his legs,
and his hat sat upon his head in such a queer fashion that the military
schismatic might be recognised a hundred paces off.  A thing quite
unheard of in those days in which there was so much pedantry in matters
of form--O'Malley wore no tail!  To be sure a tail could scarcely have
been fastened to the few gray locks that curled at the back of his
head, and, with the exception of these, he was perfectly bald.  When
the major rode, people expected every moment to see him tumble from his
horse, when he fought they expected to see him beaten; and yet he was
the very best rider and fencer,--in a word, the very best _Gymnastiker_
that could exist.

"This will suffice to give you the picture of a man, whose whole mode
of life might be called mysterious, as he now threw away large sums,
now seemed in want of assistance, and removed from all the control of
superiors, and every restraint of service, could do exactly as he
liked.  And even that which he did like was so eccentric, or rather so
splenetically mad, that one felt uneasy about his sanity.  They said
that the major, at a certain period, when Potsdam and its environs was
the scene of a strange mystification, that even found a place in the
history of the day, had played an important part, and still stood in
certain relations, which caused the incomprehensibility of his
position.  A book of very ill-repute, which appeared at the time--it
was called 'Excorporations,' if I mistake not,--and which contained the
portrait of a man very like the major, increased that belief, and I,
struck by the mysterious contents of this book, felt the more inclined
to consider O'Malley a sort of Arminian, the more I observed his
chimerical, I may almost say supernatural proceedings.  He himself gave
me additional opportunity to make such observations, for since the
evening on which I found him ill, or otherwise overcome, in the wood,
he had taken an especial fancy to me, so that it seemed absolutely
necessary for him to see me every day.  To describe to you the whole
peculiarity of this intercourse with the major, to tell you a great
deal that seemed to confirm the judgment of the men, who boldly
maintained that he had second-sight, and was in compact with the devil,
would be superfluous, as you will soon have sufficient knowledge of the
awful spirit that was destined to disturb the peace of my life.

"I was on guard at the castle, and there received a visit from my
cousin, Captain von T----, who had come with a young officer from
Berlin to Potsdam.  We were indulging in friendly converse over our
wine, when, towards midnight, Major O'Malley entered.  'I thought to
find you alone, lieutenant,' said he, casting glances of displeasure at
my guests, and he wished to depart at once.  The captain then reminded
him that they were old acquaintance, and at my request he consented to

"'Your wine,' exclaimed O'Malley, as he tossed down a bumper, after his
usual manner; 'your wine, lieutenant, is the vilest stuff that ever
tortured an honest fellow's bowels.  Let us see if this is of a better

"He then took a bottle from the pocket of the cloak which he had drawn
over his shirt, and filled the glasses.  We pronounced the wine
excellent, and considered it to be very fiery Hungarian.

"Somehow or other, I cannot say how, conversation turned upon magical
operations, and particularly upon the book of ill report, to which I
have already alluded.  The captain, especially when he had drunk wine,
had a certain scoffing tone, which every one could not endure, and in
this tone he began to talk about military exorcisors and wizards, who
had done very pretty things at that time, so that even at the present
time people revered their power, and made offerings to it.  'Whom do
you mean?' cried O'Malley, in a threatening tone; 'whom do you mean,
captain?  If you mean me, we will put the subject of raising spirits
aside; I can show you that I understand the art of conjuring the soul
out of the body, and for that art I require no talisman but my sword or
a good pistol-barrel.'

"There was nothing the captain desired less than a quarrel with
O'Malley.  He therefore gave a neat turn to the subject, asserting that
he did indeed mean the major, but intended nothing but a jest, which
was, perhaps, an ill-timed one.  Now, however, he would ask the major
in earnest, whether he would not do well by contradicting the silly
rumour, that he commanded mysterious powers, and thus, in his own
person, check the foolish superstition, which by no means accorded with
an age so enlightened.  The major leaned completely across the table,
rested his head on both his fists, so that his nose was scarcely a span
removed from the captain's face, and then said very calmly, staring at
him with his prominent eyes: 'Even, friend, if Heaven has not blessed
you with a very penetrating intellect, I hope you will be able to see,
that it is the silliest conceit, nay, I may say, the most atrocious
presumption to believe that with our own spiritual existence every
thing is concluded, and that there are no spiritual beings, which,
differently endowed from ourselves, often from their own nature alone,
make themselves temporary forms, manifest themselves in space and time,
and further, aiming at a sort of reaction, can take refuge in the mass
of clay, which we call a body.  I do not reproach you, captain, for not
having read, and for being ignorant of every thing that cannot be
learned at a review or on parade, but this I will tell you, that if you
had peeped now and then into clever books, and knew Cardanus, Justin
Martyr, Lactantius, Cyprian, Clement of Alexandria, Macrobius,
Trismegistus, Nollius, Dorneus, Theophrastus, Fludd, William Postel,
Mirandola; nay, even the cabalistic Jews, Josephus and Philo, you might
have had an inkling of things which are at present above your horizon,
and of which you therefore have no right to talk.'

"With these words O'Malley sprang up, and walked up and down with heavy
steps, so that the windows and glasses vibrated.

"The captain, somewhat astonished, assured the major, that although he
had the highest esteem for his learning, and did not wish to deny that
there were, nay, must be, higher spiritual natures, he was firmly
convinced that any communication with an unknown spiritual world was
contrary to the very conditions of humanity, and therefore impossible,
and that any thing advanced as a proof of the contrary, was based on
self-delusion or imposture.

"After the captain had been silent for a few seconds, O'Malley suddenly
stood still, and began, 'Captain, or,'--turning to me,--'lieutenant, do
me the favour to sit down and write an epic as noble and as
superhumanly great as the Iliad.'

"We both answered, that neither of us would succeed, as neither of us
had the Homeric genius.  'Ha! ha!' cried the major, 'mark that,
captain!  Because your mind is incapable of conceiving and bringing
forth the divine; nay, because your nature is not so constituted, that
it can even kindle into the knowledge of it, you presume to deny that
such things are possible with any one.  I tell you, the intercourse
with higher spiritual natures depends on a particular _psychic_
organisation.  That organisation, like the creative power of poetry, is
a gift which the spirit of the universe bestows upon its favourites.'

"I read in the captain's face, that he was on the point of making some
satirical reply to the major.  To stop this, I took up the conversation
myself, and remarked to the major that, as far as I had any knowledge
of the subject, the cabalists prescribed certain rules and forms, that
intercourse with unknown spiritual beings might be attained.  Before
the major could reply, the captain, who was heated with wine, sprang
from his seat, and said bitterly, 'What is the use of all this talking?
You give yourself out as a superior being, major, and want to believe,
that because you are made of better stuff than any of us, you command
spirits!  You must allow me to believe that you are nothing but a
besotted dreamer, until you give us some ocular demonstration of your
_psychic_ power.'

"The major laughed wildly, and said, 'So, captain, you take me for a
common necromancer, a miserable juggler, do you?  That accords with
your limited view!  However, you shall be permitted to take a peep into
a dark region of which you have no notion, and which may, perhaps, have
a destructive effect upon you.  I warn you against it, and would have
you reflect, that your mind may not be strong enough to bear many
things, which to me would be no more than agreeable pastime.'

"The captain protested that he was quite ready to cope with all the
spirits and devils that O'Malley could raise, and we were obliged to
give our word of honour to the major that we would meet him at ten
o'clock on the night of the autumnal equinox, at the inn near the ----
gate, when we should learn more.

"In the meanwhile it had become clear daylight; the sun was shining
through the window.  The major then placed himself in the middle of the
room, and cried with a voice of thunder, 'Incubus!  Incubus!
Nehmahmihah Scedim!'  He then threw off his cloak, which he had not yet
laid aside, and stood in full uniform.

"At that moment I was obliged to leave the room as the guard was
getting under arms.  When I returned, the major and the captain had
both vanished.

"'I only stayed behind,' said the young officer, a good, amiable youth,
whom I found alone.--'I only stayed behind to warn you against this
major, this fearful man!  I will have nothing to do with his fearful
secrets, and I only regret that I have given my word to be present at a
deed, which will be destructive, perhaps, to us all, and certainly to
the captain.  You may depend upon it that I am not inclined to believe
in the tales that old nurses tell to children; but did you observe that
the major successively took eight bottles from his pocket, that seemed
scarcely large enough to hold one?--that at last, although he wore
nothing but his shirt under his cloak, he suddenly stood attired by
invisible hands?'  It was, indeed, as the lieutenant had said, and I
felt an icy shudder come over me.

"On the appointed day the captain called upon me with my young friend,
and at the stroke of ten we were at the inn as we had promised the
major.  The lieutenant was silent and reserved, but the captain was so
much the louder and in high spirits.  'Indeed!' he cried, when it was
already half-past ten, and no O'Malley had made his appearance, 'indeed
I believe that the conjuror has left us in the lurch with all his
spirits and devils!'  'That he has not,' said a voice close behind the
captain, and O'Malley was among us without any one having seen how he
entered.  The laugh, into which the captain was about to break, died

"The major, who was dressed as usual in his military cloak, thought
that there was time to drink a few glasses of punch before he took us
to the place where he designed to fulfill his promise.  It would do us
good as the night was cold and rough, and we had a tolerably long way
to go.  We sat down at a table, on which the major had laid some links
bound together, and a book.

"'Ho ho!' cried the captain, 'this is your conjuring book is it, major?'

"'Most assuredly,' replied O'Malley, drily.

"The captain seized the book, opened it, and at that moment laughed so
immoderately, that we did not know what could have struck him, as being
so very ridiculous.

"'Come,' said he, recovering himself with difficulty, 'come, this is
too bad!  What the devil, major--oh, you want to play your tricks upon
us, or have you made some mistake?  Only look here, comrades!'

"You may conceive our astonishment, friend Albert, when we saw that the
book which the captain held before our eyes, was no other than
'Peplier's French Grammar.'  O'Malley took the book out of the
captain's hand, put it into the pocket in his cloak, and then said very
quietly--indeed his whole demeanour was quiet and milder than
usual--'It must be very immaterial to you, captain, of what instruments
I make use to fulfill my promise, which only binds me to give you a
sensible demonstration of my intercourse with the world of spirits
which surrounds us, and which, in fact, comprises the condition of our
higher being.  Do you think that my power requires such paltry crutches
as especial mystical forms, choice of a particular time, a remote awful
spot--things which paltry cabalists are in the habit of employing for
their useless experiments?  In the open market-place, at every hour, I
could show you my power; and when, after you had presumptuously enough
challenged me to enter the lists, I chose a particular time, and, as
you will perceive, a place that you may think rather awful, I only
wished to show a civility to him, who, on this occasion, is to be in
some sort your guest.  One likes to receive guests in one's best room,
and at the most suitable hour.'

"It struck eleven, the major took up the torches, and desired us to
follow him.

"He strode so quickly along the high road that we had a difficulty in
following him, and when we had reached the toll-house, turned into a
footpath on the right, that led to a thick wood of firs.  After we had
run for nearly an hour, the major stood still, and told us to keep
close behind him, as we might otherwise lose ourselves in the thicket
of the wood that we now had to enter.  We went through the densest
bushes, so that one or the other of us was constantly caught by the
uniform or the sword, so as to extricate himself with difficulty, until
at last we came to an open space.  The moonbeams were breaking through
the dark clouds, and I perceived the ruins of a large building, into
which the major strode.  It grew darker and darker; the major desired
us to stand still, as he wished to conduct every one of us down singly.
He began with the captain, and my turn came next.  The major clasped me
round, and I was more carried by him than I walked into the depth.
'Stop here,' whispered the major, 'stop here quietly till I have
fetched the lieutenant, then my work shall begin.'

"Amid the impenetrable darkness I heard the breathing of a person who
stood close by me.  'Is that you, captain?' I exclaimed.  'Certainly it
is,' replied the captain, 'have a care, cousin; this will all end in
foolish jugglery, but it is a cursed place to which the major has
brought us, and I wish we were sitting at a bowl of punch, for my limbs
are all trembling with cold, and, if you will have it so, with a
certain childish apprehension.'

"It was no better with me than with the captain.  The boisterous autumn
wind whistled and howled through the walls, and a strange groaning and
whispering answered it from below.  Scared night birds swept fluttering
by us, while a low whining noise seemed to be gliding away close to the
ground.  Truly both the captain and myself might say of the horrors of
our situation the same thing that Cervantes says of Don Quixote, when
he passes the portentous night before the adventure with the
fulling-mills: 'One less courageous would have lost his presence of
mind altogether.'  The splashing of some water in the vicinity, and the
barking of dogs, showed that we were not far from the
leather-manufactory, which is by the river in the neighbourhood of
Potsdam.  We at last heard some dully sounding steps, which became
nearer and nearer until the major cried out close to us: 'Now we are
together, and that which we have begun can be completed.'  By means of
a chemical fire-box he kindled the torches which he had brought with
him and stuck them in the ground.  They were seven in number.  We found
that we were in the ruined vault of a cellar.  O'Malley ranged us in a
half-circle, threw off his cloak and shirt, so that he remained naked
to the waist, and opening the book began to read as follows, in a voice
that more resembled the dull roaring of a distant beast of prey than
the sound of a human being: Monsieur, pretez moi un peu, s'il vous
plâit, votre canif.--Oui, Monsieur, d'abord--le voilà, je vous le

"Come," said Albert, here interrupting his friend, "this is indeed too
bad!  The dialogue 'On writing,' from Peplier's Grammar, as a formula
for exorcism!  And you did not laugh out and bring the whole thing to
an end at once?"

"I am now," continued Victor, "coming to a moment which I doubt whether
I shall succeed in describing.  May your fancy only give animation to
my words!  The major's voice grew more awful, while the wind howled
more loudly, and the flickering light of the torches covered the walls
with strange forms, that changed as they flitted by.  I felt the cold
perspiration dripping on my forehead, and forcibly succeeded in
preserving my presence of mind, when a cutting tone whistled through
the vault, and close before my eyes stood something----"

"How?" cried Albert.  "Something!  What do you mean, Victor?  A
frightful form?"

"It sounds absurd," continued Victor, "to talk of 'a formless form,'
but I can find no other word to express the hideous something that I
saw.  It is enough to say that at that moment the horror of hell thrust
its pointed ice-dagger into my heart, and I became insensible.  At
broad mid-day I found myself undressed and lying upon my couch.  All
the horrors of the night had passed, and I felt quite well and easy.
My young friend, the lieutenant, was asleep in the arm-chair.  As soon
as I stirred he awoke, and testified the greatest joy at finding me in
perfect health.  From him I learned that as soon as the major had begun
his gloomy work, he had closed his eyes, and had endeavoured closely to
follow the dialogue from Peplier's Grammar, without regarding any thing
else.  Notwithstanding all his efforts, a fearful apprehension,
hitherto unknown, had gained the mastery over him, though he preserved
his consciousness.  The frightful whistle, was, he said, followed by
wild laughter.  He had once involuntarily opened his eyes, and
perceived the major, who had again thrown his mantle round him, and was
upon the point of taking upon his shoulders the captain, who lay
senseless on the ground.  'Take care of your friend,' cried O'Malley to
the lieutenant, and giving him a torch, he went up with the captain.
The lieutenant then spoke to me, as I stood there immoveable, but it
was to no purpose.  I seemed quite paralysed, and he had the greatest
difficulty in bringing me into the open air.  Suddenly the major
returned, took me on his shoulders, and carried me away as he had
carried the captain before.  But what was the horror of the lieutenant,
when on leaving the wood, he saw a second O'Malley who was carrying the
captain along the broad path!  However, silently praying to himself, he
got the better of his horror, and followed me, firmly resolved not to
quit me, happen what might, till we reached my quarters, where O'Malley
set me down and left me, without speaking a word.  With the help of my
servant,--who even then, was my honest Eulenspiegel, Paul Talkebarth;
the lieutenant had brought me into my room, and put me to bed.

"Having concluded this narrative, my young friend implored me, in the
most touching manner, to shun all association with the terrible
O'Malley.  The physician, who had been called in, found the captain in
the inn by the gate, where we had assembled, struck speechless by
apoplexy.  He recovered, indeed, but remained unfit for the service,
and was forced to quit it.  The major had vanished, having, as the
officers said, obtained leave of absence.  I was glad that I did not
see him again, for a deep indignation had mingled itself with the
horror which his dark mode of life occasioned.  My cousin's misfortune
was the work of O'Malley, and it seemed my duty to take a sanguinary

"A considerable time had elapsed, and the remembrance of that fatal
night grew faint.  The occupations required by the service overcame my
propensity to mystical dreaming.  A book then fell into my hands, the
effect of which, on my whole being, seemed perfectly inexplicable, even
to myself.  I mean that strange story of Cazotte's, which is known in a
German translation as 'Teufel Amor' (The Devil Love).  My natural
bashfulness, nay, a kind of childish timidity, had kept me from the
society of ladies, while the particular direction of my mind resisted
every ebullition of rude passion.  Now, for the first time, was a
sensual tendency revealed in me which I had never suspected.  My pulse
beat high, a consuming fire coursed through nerves and veins, as I went
through those scenes of the most dangerous, nay, most horrible love,
which the poet had described in the most glowing colours.  I saw, I
heard, I was sensible to nothing but the charming Biondetta.  I sank
under the pleasing torments, like Alvarez----"

"Stop, stop!" interrupted Albert, "I have no very clear remembrance of
Cazotte's 'Diable Amoureux;' but, so far as I recollect, the whole
story turns upon the circumstance that a young officer of the guards,
in the service of the King of Naples, is tempted by a mystical comrade
to raise the devil in the ruins of Portici.  When he has uttered the
formula of exorcism, a hideous camel's head, with a long neck, thrust
itself towards him out of a window, and cries, in a horrible voice,
'Che vuoi.'  Alvarez--so is the young officer named--commands the
spectre to appear in the shape of a spaniel, and then in that of a
page.  This happens; but the page soon becomes a most charming, amorous
girl, and completely entangles the enchanter.  How Cazotte's pretty
story concludes has quite escaped me."

"That is at present quite immaterial," said Victor; "but you will
perhaps be reminded of it by the conclusion to my story.  Attribute it
to my propensity to the wonderful, and also to something mysterious
which I experienced, that Cazotte's tale soon appeared to me a magic
mirror, in which I could discern my own fate.  Was not O'Malley to me
that mystical Dutchman who decoyed Alvarez by his arts?

"The desire which glowed in my heart, of achieving the terrible
adventure of Alvarez, filled me with horror; but even this horror made
me tremble with unspeakable delight, such as I had never before known.
Often did a wish arise within me, that O'Malley would return and place
in my arms the hell-birth, to which my entire self was abandoned, and I
could not kill the sinful hope and deep abhorrence which again darted
through my heart like a dagger.  The strange mood produced by my
excited condition remained a mystery to all; they thought I suffered
from some morbid state of mind, and sought to cheer me and dissipate my
gloomy thoughts.  Under the pretext of some service, they sent me to
the _Residence_, where the most brilliant circle was open to me.  But
if I had always been shy and bashful, society--especially the approach
of ladies--now produced in me absolute repugnance.  The most charming
only seemed to scoff at Biondetta's image which I bore within me.  When
I returned to Potsdam, I shunned all association with my comrades, and
my favourite abode was the wood--the scene of those frightful events
that had nearly cost my poor cousin his life.  I stood close by the
ruins, and, being impelled by an undefined desire, was on the point of
making my way in, through the thick brushwood, when I suddenly saw
O'Malley, who walked slowly out, and did not seem to perceive me.  My
long repressed anger boiled up instantly, I darted upon the major, and
told him in few words, that he must fight with me on account of my
cousin.  'Be it so at once,' said the major, coldly and gravely, and he
threw off his mantle, drew his sword, and at the very first pass struck
mine out of my hand with irresistible force and dexterity.  'We will
fight with pistols,' cried I, wild with rage, and was about to pick up
my sword, when O'Malley held me fast, and said, in a calm mild tone,
such as I had scarcely ever heard from him before: 'Do not be a fool,
my son!  You see that I am your superior in fighting; you could sooner
wound the air than me, and I could never prevail on myself to stand in
a hostile position to you, to whom I owe my life, and indeed something
more.'  The major then took me by the arm, and gently drawing me along,
proved to me that the captain alone had been the cause of his own
misfortune, since, in spite of every warning, he had ventured on things
to which he was unequal, and had forced the major to do what he did, by
his ill-timed and insulting raillery.  I myself cannot tell what a
singular magic there was in O'Malley's words, nay, in his whole manner.
He not only succeeded in quieting me, but had such an effect upon me,
that I involuntarily revealed to him the secret of my internal
condition--of the destructive warfare that was carried on within my
soul.  'The particular constellation,' said O'Malley, when I had
finished, 'which rules over you, my son, has now ordained that a silly
book should make you attentive to your own internal being.  I call the
book silly, because it treats of a goblin that is at once repulsive and
without character.  What you ascribe to the effect of these licentious
images of the poet, is nothing but an impulse towards an union with a
spiritual being of another region, which results from your happily
constituted organisation.  If you had shown more confidence in me, you
would have been on a higher grade long ago.  However, I will take you
as my scholar.'  O'Malley now began to make me acquainted with the
nature of elementary spirits.  I understood little that he said, but
all referred to the doctrine of sylphs, undines, salamanders, and
gnomes, such as you may find in the dialogues of the Comte de Cabalis.
He concluded by prescribing me a particular course of life, and thought
that in the course of a year I might obtain my Biondetta, who would
certainly not do me the wrong of changing into the incarnate Satan in
my arms.  With the same ardour as Alvarez, I thought that I should die
of impatience in so long a time, and would venture any thing to attain
my end sooner.  The major remained reflecting in silence for some
moments, and then said: 'It is certain that an elementary spirit is
seeking your good graces.  This may enable you to obtain that in a
short time, for which others strive during whole years.  I will cast
your horoscope.  Perhaps your mistress will reveal herself to me.  In
nine days you shall hear more.'  I actually counted the hours, feeling
now penetrated by a mysterious delightful hope, and now as if I had
involved myself in a dangerous affair.  Late in the evening of the
ninth day, the major at last entered my room, and desired me to follow
him.  'Are we to go to the ruins?' I asked.  'Certainly not,' replied
O'Malley, smiling, 'for the work which we now have in hand, we want
neither a remote awful spot, nor a terrible exorcism out of Peplier's
grammar.  Besides, my incubus can have no part in to-day's experiment,
which, properly speaking, you undertake, not I.'  The major conducted
me to his quarters, and there explained to me that the matter was to
procure something by means of which my own self might be opened to the
elementary spirit, and the latter might have the power of revealing
itself to me in the invisible world, and holding intercourse with me.
This _something_ was what the Jewish cabalists called 'Teraphim.'  He
now pushed aside a bookcase, opened the door concealed behind it, and
we entered a little vaulted cabinet, in which, besides all sorts of
strange unknown utensils, I saw a complete apparatus for chemical--or,
as I might almost believe--alchemical experiments.  From the glaring
charcoal on a small hearth were darting forth little blue flames.
Before this hearth I had to sit opposite the major, and to uncover my
bosom.  I had no sooner done this, than the major, before I was aware
of it, scratched me with a lancet under the left breast, and caught in
a little vial the few drops of blood that flowed from the slight wound,
which I could scarcely feel.  He next took a bright plate of metal,
polished like a mirror, poured upon it first another vial that
contained a reddish liquid, and afterwards the one filled with my
blood, and then held the plate close over the charcoal fire.  I was
seized with deep horror, when I thought I saw a long, pointed, glaring
tongue rise serpent-like upon the coals, and greedily lick away the
blood from the metallic mirror.  The major now told me to look into the
fire with a mind firmly fixed.  I did so, and soon I seemed to behold,
as in a dream, a number of confused forms, flashing through one another
on the metal, which the major still held over the charcoal.  Suddenly,
I felt in my breast, where the major had scratched my skin, such a
strong, piercing pain, that I involuntarily shrieked aloud.  'Won!
Won!' cried O'Malley at that instant, and, rising from his seat, he
placed before me on the hearth a little doll, about two inches long,
into which the metal seemed to have formed itself.  'That,' said the
major, 'is your Teraphim.  The favours of the elementary spirit towards
you seem to be more than ordinary.  You may now venture on the utmost.'
At the major's bidding, I took the little figure, from which, though it
looked red-hot, only a genial warmth was streaming, pressed it to the
wound, and placed myself before a round mirror, from which the major
had withdrawn the covering.  'Force your wishes,' said O'Malley, 'to
the greatest intensity, which will not be difficult, as the Teraphim is
operating, and utter in the sweetest tone of which you are capable, the
word ----.'  To tell you the truth, I have forgotten the
strange-sounding word, which was spoken by O'Malley.  Scarcely had half
the syllables passed my lips, than an ugly, madly-distorted face
grinned at me spitefully from the mirror.  'In the name of all the
devils, whence come you, you accursed dog?' yelled O'Malley behind me.
I turned round, and saw my Paul Talkebarth, who was standing in the
door-way, and whose handsome face was reflected in the magic mirror.
The major, wild with rage, flew at honest Paul; yet, before I could get
between them, O'Malley stood close to him, perfectly motionless, and
Paul availed himself of the opportunity to make a prolix apology;
saying, how he had looked for me, how he had found the door open, how
he had walked in, &c.  'Begone, rascal,' said O'Malley at last, in a
quieter tone, and when I added, 'Go, good Paul, I will return home
directly;' the Eulenspiegel departed quite terrified and confounded.

"I had held the doll fast in my hand, and O'Malley assured me, that it
was owing to this circumstance alone, that all our labour had not been
in vain.  Talkebarth's ill-timed intrusion had, however, delayed the
completion of the work for a long time.  He advised me to turn off that
faithful servant, but this I had not the heart to do.  Moreover, he
assured me that the elementary spirit which had shown me such favour,
was nothing less than a salamander, as indeed, he suspected, when he
cast my horoscope and found that Mars stood in the first house.  I now
come again to moments of which you can have but a slight notion, as
words are incapable of describing them.  The Devil Amor, Biondetta--all
was forgotten; I thought only of my Teraphim.  For whole hours I could
look at the doll, as it lay on the table before me, and the glow of
love that streamed through my veins seemed then, like the heavenly fire
of Prometheus, to animate the little figure which grew up as in ardent
longing.  But this form vanished as soon as I had thought it, and the
unspeakable anguish which cut through my heart, was associated with a
strange indignation, that impelled me to fling the doll away from me as
a miserable ridiculous toy.  Yet when I grasped it, an electric shock
seemed to dart through all my limbs, and I felt as if a separation from
the talisman of love would annihilate me.  I will openly confess to you
that my passion, although the proper object of it was an elementary
spirit, was directed among all sorts of equivocal dreams towards
objects in the miserable world that surrounded me, so that my excited
fancy made now this, now that lady, the representative of the coy
salamander that eluded my embrace.  I confessed my wrong, indeed, and
entreated my little mystery to pardon my infidelity; but by the
declining power of that strange crisis, which had ordinarily moved my
inmost soul with glowing love; nay, by a certain unpleasant void, I
could plainly feel that I was receding from my object rather than
approaching it.  And yet the passions of a youth, blooming in full
vigour, seemed to deride my mystery and my repugnance.  I trembled at
the slightest touch of a charming woman, though I found myself red with
blushes.  Chance conducted me again to the _Residence_.  I saw the
Countess von L----, the most charming woman, and the greatest lover of
conquests that then shone in the first circles of Berlin.  She cast her
glances upon me, and the mood in which I then was, naturally rendered
it very easy for her to lure me completely into her toils.  Nay, she at
last induced me to reveal my whole soul, without reserve, to discover
my secret, and even to show her the mysterious image that I wore upon
my breast."

"And," interrupted Albert, "did she not laugh at you heartily, and call
you a besotted youth?"

"Nothing of the sort," continued Victor; "she listened to me with a
seriousness which she had not shown on any other occasion, and when I
had finished, she implored me, with tears in her eyes, to renounce the
diabolical arts of the infamous O'Malley.  Taking me by both my hands,
and looking at me with an expression of the tenderest love, she spoke
of the dark practices of the cabalistic art in a manner so learned and
so profound, that I was not a little surprised.  But my astonishment
reached the highest point, when she called the major the most
abandoned, abominable traitor, for trying to lure me into destruction
by his black art, when I had saved his life.  Weary of existence, and
in danger of being crushed to the earth by the deepest ignominy,
O'Malley was, it seems, on the point of shooting himself, when I
stepped in and prevented the suicide, for which he no longer felt any
inclination, as the evil that oppressed him had been averted.  The
countess concluded by assuring me, that if the major had plunged me
into a state of psychic distemper, she would save me, and that the
first step to that end would consist in my delivering the little image
into her hands.  This I did readily, for thus I thought I should, in
the most beautiful manner, be freed from a useless torment.  The
countess would not have been what she really was had she not let a
lover pine a long time in vain,--and this course she pursued with me.
At last, however, my passion was to be requited.  At midnight a
confidential servant waited for me at the back door of the palace, and
led me through distant passages into an apartment which the god of love
seemed to have decorated.  There I was to expect the countess.  Half
overcome by the fumes of the fine scents that wound through the
chamber, trembling with love and expectation, I stood in the midst of
the room.  All at once a glance darted through my soul like a flash of

"How!" cried Albert, "a glance, and no eyes!  And you saw nothing?
Another formless form!"

"You may find it incomprehensible," said Victor, "but so it was; I
could see no form--nothing, and yet I felt the glance deep in my bosom,
and a sudden pain quivered at the spot which O'Malley had wounded.  At
the same moment I perceived upon the chimney-piece my little image,
grasped it, darted from the room, commanded the terrified servant, with
a threatening gesture, to lead me down, ran home, awakened my man Paul,
and had all my things packed up.  At the earliest hour of morning I was
already on my way back to Potsdam.  I had passed several months at the
_Residence_, my comrades were delighted at my unexpected return, and
kept me fast the whole day, so that I did not return to my quarters
till late at night.  I placed the darling image I had recovered upon
the table, and, no longer able to resist the effects of fatigue, threw
myself on my couch without undressing.  Soon a dreamy feeling came over
me, as if I were surrounded by a beaming light;--I awoke;--I opened my
eyes, and the room was indeed gleaming with magical radiance.  But--Oh,
Heavens!--on the same table on which I had laid the doll, I perceived a
female figure, who, resting her head on her hand, appeared to slumber.
I can only tell you that I never dreamed of a more delicate or graceful
form--a more lovely face.  To give you a notion in words of the strange
mysterious magic, which beamed from this lovely figure, I am not able.
She wore a silken flame-coloured dress, which, fitting tight to the
waist and bosom, reached only to the ancles, exhibiting her delicately
formed feet; the lovely arms, which were bare to the shoulders, and
seemed both from their colour and form to have been breathed by Titian,
were adorned with bracelets; in her brown, somewhat reddish hair, a
diamond sparkled."

"Oh!" said Albert, smiling, "thy salamandrine has no very exquisite
taste.  With reddish brown hair, she dresses in flame-coloured silk."

"Do not jest," continued Victor, "do not jest.  I repeat to you that
under the influence of a mysterious magic, my breath was stopped.  At
last a deep sigh escaped my oppressed bosom.  She then opened her eyes,
raised herself, approached me, and grasped my hand.  All the glow of
the most ardent love darted like a flash of lightning through my soul,
when she gently pressed my hand, and whispered with the sweetest
voice,--'Yes, thou hast conquered--thou art my ruler--I am thine!'
'Oh, thou child of the Gods--thou heavenly being!' I cried aloud; and
embracing her, I pressed her close to my bosom.  But at that instant
the creature melted away in my arms."

"How!" said Albert, interrupting his friend, "in Heaven's name, melted

"Melted away," continued Victor, "in my arms.  In no other manner can I
describe to you my sensation of the incomprehensible disappearance of
that lovely being.  At the same time the glittering light was
extinguished, and I fell, I do not know how, into a profound sleep.
When I awoke I held the doll in my hand.  I should weary you if I were
to tell you more of my strange intercourse with that mysterious being,
which now began and lasted for several weeks, than by saying that the
visit was repeated every night in the same manner.  Much as I strove
against it, I could not resist the dreamy situation which came over me,
and from which the lovely being awoke me with a kiss.  She remained
with me longer and longer on every occasion.  She said much concerning
mysterious things, but I listened more to the sweet melody of her
voice, than to the words themselves.  Even by day-time I often seemed
to feel the warm breath of some being near me; nay, I often heard a
whispering, a sighing close by me in society, especially when I spoke
with any lady, so that all my thoughts were directed to my lovely
mysterious mistress, and I was dumb and lifeless for all surrounding
objects.  It once happened at a party that a lady bashfully approached
me to give me the kiss which I had won at a game of forfeits.  But when
I bent to her I felt--before my lips had touched hers--a loud kiss upon
my mouth, and a soft voice whispered at the same time, 'To me alone do
your kisses belong.'  Both I and the lady were somewhat alarmed, while
the rest of the party thought we had kissed in reality.  This kiss I
held to be a sign that Aurora--so I called my mysterious
mistress--would now for good and all take some living shape, and no
more leave me.  When the lovely one again appeared to me on the
following night, I entreated her in the usual manner, and in the most
touching words, such as the ardour of love inspired to complete my
happiness, and to be mine for ever in a visible form.  She gently
extricated herself from my arms, and then said with mild earnestness,
'You know in what manner you became my master.  My happiest wish was to
belong to you entirely; but the fetters that bind me to the throne to
which the race, of which I am one, is subjected, are only half-broken.
The stronger, the more potent your sway, so much the freer do I feel
from tormenting slavery.  Our intercourse will become more and more
intimate, and perhaps the goal may be reached before a year has
elapsed.  Would you, beloved, anticipate the destiny that presides over
us, many a sacrifice, many a step, apparently doubtful, might be
necessary.'  'No!' I exclaimed, 'for me nothing will be a sacrifice, no
step will appear doubtful to obtain thee entirely.  I cannot live
longer without thee, I am dying of impatience--of unspeakable pain!'
Then Aurora embraced me, and whispered in a scarcely audible voice,
'Art thou happy in my arms?'  'There is no other happiness,' I
exclaimed, and glowing with love even to madness, I pressed the
charming creature to my bosom.  I felt living kisses upon my lips, and
these very kisses were melodies of heaven, through which I heard the
words, 'Couldst thou, to possess me, renounce the happiness of an
unknown hereafter?'  An icy cold shudder trembled through me, but in
the midst of this shudder passion raged still more furiously, and I
cried in the involuntary madness of love, 'Without thee there is no
happiness!--I renounce--'

"I still believe that I stopped here.  'To-morrow night our compact
will be concluded,' whispered Aurora, and I felt that she was about to
vanish from my arms.  I pressed her to me with greater force, she
seemed to struggle in vain, when suddenly--I awoke from deep slumber,
thinking of the Devil Amor, and the seductive Biondetta.  What I had
done in that fatal night fell heavily upon my soul.  I thought of that
unholy invocation by the horrible O'Malley, of the warnings of my pious
young friend.  I believed that I was in the toils of the evil one--that
I was lost.  Torn to the very depth of my soul, I sprang up and
hastened into the open air.  In the street I was met by the major, who
held me fast while he said: 'I congratulate you, lieutenant!  To tell
you the truth, I scarcely gave you credit for so much courage and
resolution; you outstrip your master.'  Glowing with rage and shame,
incapable of uttering a single word, I freed myself from his grasp and
pursued my way.  The major laughed behind me, and I could detect the
scornful laughter of Satan.  In the road near those fatal ruins, I
perceived a veiled female form, who, lying under a tree, seemed
absorbed in a soliloquy.  I approached her cautiously, and overheard
the words: 'He is mine, he is mine--Oh! bliss of heaven!  Even the last
trial he has withstood.  If men are capable of such love, what is our
wretched existence without it?'  You may guess that it was Aurora whom
I found.  She threw back her veil, and love itself cannot be more
charming.  The delicate paleness of her cheeks, the glance that was
sublimed into the sweetest melancholy, made me tremble with unspeakable
pleasure.  I felt ashamed of my dark thoughts; yet at the very moment
when I wished to throw myself at her feet, she had vanished like a form
of mist.  At the same time I heard a sound in the hedges, as of one
clearing one's throat, and out stepped my honest Eulenspiegel, Paul
Talkebarth.  'Whence did the devil bring you, fellow?' I began.

"'No, no,' said he, with that queer smile which you know, 'the devil
did not bring me here, but very likely he met me.  You went out so
early, gracious lieutenant, and had forgotten your pipe and tobacco,
and I thought so early in the morning, in the damp air--for my aunt at
Genthin used to say--'

"'Hold your tongue, prattle, and give me that,' cried I, as I made him
hand me the lighted pipe.  Scarcely, however, had we proceeded a few
paces, than Paul began again very softly, 'My aunt at Genthin used to
say, the Root-mannikin (Wurzelmännlein) was not to be trusted; indeed,
such a chap was no better than an incubus or a chezim, and ended by
breaking one's heart.  Old coffee Lizzy here in the suburbs--ah,
gracious sir, you should only see what fine flowers, and men, and
animals she can pour out.  Man should help himself as he can, my aunt
at Genthin used to say.  I was yesterday with Lizzy and took her a
little fine mocha.  One of us has a heart as well as the rest--Becker's
Dolly is a pretty thing, but then there is something so odd about her
eyes, so salamander-like'--

"'What is that you say, fellow?' I exclaimed, hastily.  Paul was
silent, but began again in a few seconds: 'Yes, Lizzy is a good woman
after all; she said, after she had looked at the coffee grounds, that
there was nothing the matter with Dolly, and that the salamander look
about the eyes came from cracknel-baking or the dancing-room; but, at
the same time, she advised me to remain single, and told me that a
certain good gentleman was in great danger.  These salamanders, she
said, are the worst sort of things that the devil employs to lure a
poor human soul to destruction, because they have certain passions--ah,
one must only stand firm and keep God in one's heart--then I myself saw
in the coffee grounds Major O'Malley quite like and natural.'

"I bid the fellow hold his tongue, but you may conceive the feelings
that were awakened in me at this strange discourse of Paul's, whom I
suddenly found initiated into my dark secret, and who so unexpectedly
displayed a knowledge of cabalistic matters, for which he was probably
indebted to the coffee-prophetess.  I passed the most uneasy day I ever
had in my life.  Paul was not to be got out of the room all that
evening, but was constantly returning and finding something to do.
When it was near midnight, and he was at last obliged to go, he said
softly, as if praying to himself: 'Bear God in thy heart--think of the
salvation of thy soul--and thou wilt resist the enticements of Satan.'

"I cannot describe the manner--I may almost say, the fearful manner--in
which my soul was moved at these simple words of my servant.  All my
endeavours to keep myself awake were in vain.  I fell into that state
of confused dreaming, which I could not look upon as natural, but as
the operation of some foreign principle.  The magical beaming woke me
as usual.  Aurora in the full lustre of supernatural beauty, stood
before me, and passionately stretched her arms towards me.
Nevertheless, Paul's pious words shone in my soul as if written there
with letters of fire.  'Depart, thou seductive birth of hell!' I cried,
when the terrible O'Malley, now of a gigantic stature, rose before me,
and piercing me with eyes, from which an infernal fire was flashing,
howled out: 'Resist not--poor atom of humanity.  Thou hast become
ours!'  My courage could have withstood the frightful aspect of the
most hideous spectre, but I lost my senses at the sight of O'Malley,
and fell to the ground.

"A loud report awoke me from this state of stupefaction.  I felt myself
held by the arms of a man, and struggled with all the force of despair,
to free myself.  'Gracious lieutenant, it is I,' said a voice in my
ears.  It was honest Paul who endeavoured to raise me from the ground.
I let him have his own way.  He would not at first tell me plainly how
all had happened, but he at last assured me, with a mysterious smile,
that he knew better to what unholy acquaintance the major had lured me,
than I could suspect.  The old pious Lizzy had revealed every thing to
him.  He had not gone to sleep the night before, but had well loaded
his gun, and had watched at the door.  When he had heard me cry aloud
and fall to the ground, he had, although his courage failed him a
little, burst open the door and entered.  'There,' he continued in his
mad way, 'there stood Major O'Malley before me, as frightful to look
upon as in the cup of coffee.  He grinned at me hideously, but I did
not allow myself to be stirred from my purpose and said: 'If, gracious
major, you are the devil, pardon me for stepping boldly up to you as a
pious Christian and saying to you: 'Avaunt, thou cursed Satan-Major, I
command thee in the name of the Lord.  Begone, or I will fire!'  The
major would not give way, but kept on grinning at me, and began to
abuse me.  I then cried, 'Shall I fire?--shall I fire? and when he
persisted in keeping his place I fired in reality.  But all had
vanished--both Major Satan and Mam'sell Belzebub had departed through
the wall!'

"The continued strain upon the mind during the period that had just
passed, together with the last frightful moments, threw me upon a
tedious sick-bed.  When I recovered I left Potsdam, without seeing any
more of O'Malley, whose further fate has remained unknown to me.  The
image of those portentous days grew fainter and fainter, and at last
vanished all together, so that I recovered perfect freedom of mind,
until here--"

"Well," asked Albert, with the greatest curiosity and astonishment, "do
you mean to say you have lost your freedom again here?  I cannot
conceive, why here--"

"Oh," said Victor, interrupting his friend, while his tone became
somewhat solemn, "I can explain all in two words.  In the sleepless
nights of the illness, I endured here, all the dreams of that noblest
and most terrible period of my life were revived.  It was my glowing
passion itself, that assumed a form--Aurora--she again appeared to
me--glorified--purified in the fire of Heaven;--no devilish O'Malley
has further power over her--Aurora is--the baroness!"

"How! what!" cried Albert, shrinking with horror.  Then he muttered to
himself, "The little plump housewife with the great bunch of keys--she
an elementary spirit!--she a salamander!"--and he felt a difficulty in
suppressing his laughter.

"In the figure," continued Victor, "there is no longer any trace of
resemblance to be found, that is to say, in ordinary life; but the
mysterious fire that flashes from her eyes,--the pressure of her

"You have been very ill," said Albert, gravely, "for the wound you
received in your head was serious enough to put your life in peril; but
now I find you are so far recovered that you will be able to go with
me.  From the very bottom of my heart I implore you, my dear,--my
beloved friend, to leave this place, and accompany me to-morrow to

"I certainly do not intend to remain here any longer," replied Victor.
"so I will go with you; however, let this matter first be cleared up."

The next morning, when Albert woke, Victor told him that a strange,
ghostly sort of dream had revealed to him the mysterious word, which
O'Malley had taught him, when they prepared the Teraphim.  He thought
that he would make use of it for the last time.  Albert shook his head
doubtfully, and caused every thing to be got ready for a speedy
departure, while Paul Talkebarth evinced the most joyful activity by
all sorts of mad expressions.  "Zackermanthö," he muttered to himself
in Albert's hearing, "It is a good thing that the devil Bear fetched
the Irish devil Foot long ago, otherwise there would have been
something wrong now."

Victor, as he had wished, found the baroness alone in her room,
occupied with some domestic work.  He told her that he was now at last
about to quit the house, where he had enjoyed such noble hospitality.
The baroness assured him that she had never entertained a friend more
dear to her.  Victor then took her hand, and asked her if she were ever
at Potsdam, and knew a certain Irish Major.  "Victor," said the
baroness interrupting him hastily, "we shall part to-day, we shall
never see each other again; nay, we must not.  A dark veil hangs over
my life.  Let it suffice if I tell you that a fearful destiny condemns
me always to appear a different being from the one which I really am.
In the hateful position in which you have found me, and which causes me
spiritual torments, which my bodily health seems to belie, I am atoning
for a heavy fault--yet no more--farewell!"  Upon this, Victor cried
with a loud voice: "Nehelmiahmiheal!" and the baroness, with a shriek
of horror, fell senseless to the ground.  Victor under the influence of
a storm of strange feelings, and quite beside himself could scarcely
summon resolution enough to ring the bell.  However, having done this,
he rushed from the chamber.  "At once,--let us leave at once!" he cried
to his friend, and told him in a few words what had happened.  Both
leaped upon the horses that had been brought for them, and rode off
without waiting for the return of the baron, who had gone out hunting.

Albert's reflections on the ride from Liège to Aix-la-Chapelle have
already shown, with what profound earnestness, with what noble feeling,
he had appreciated the events of that fatal period.  On the journey to
the Residence, whither the two friends now returned, he succeeded in
completely delivering Victor from the dreamy condition into which he
had sunk, and while Albert brought to his friend's mind, depicted in
the most lively colours, all the monstrous occurrences which the days
of the last campaign had brought forth, the latter felt himself
animated by the same spirit as that which dwelt in Albert.  And
although Albert never ventured upon long contradictions or doubts,
Victor himself now seemed to look upon his mystical adventure, as
nothing but a bad dream.

In the Residence it was natural that the ladies were favourably
disposed to the colonel, who was rich, of noble figure, young for the
high rank which he held, and who, moreover, was amiability itself.
Albert looked upon him as a lucky man, who might choose the fairest for
a wife, but Victor observed, very seriously: "Whether it was, that I
had been mystified, and, by wicked means, made to serve some unknown
end, or whether an evil power really tried to tempt me, this much is
certain, that though the past has not cost me my happiness, it has
deprived me of the paradise of love.  Never can that time return, when
I felt the highest earthly felicity, when the ideal of my sweetest,
most transporting dreams, nay, love itself, was in my arms.  Love and
pleasure have vanished, since a horrible mystery deprived me of her,
who to my inmost heart was really a higher being, such as I shall not
again find upon earth!"

The colonel remained unmarried.

J. O.

[1] _Eulenspiegelei_ signifies odd practical jokes, and is derived from
Eulenspiegel, the traditional perpetrator of such pleasantries.--J. O.

[2] Calderon's "Medico de su honra."



Towards the end of the sixteenth century, when iconoclasm was raging in
the Netherlands, three young brothers, who all studied at Wittenberg,
chanced to meet at Aix-la-Chapelle with a fourth, who had been
appointed preacher at Antwerp.  They wished to take possession of an
inheritance, which had fallen to them by the death of an old uncle,
perfectly unknown to all of them, and had turned into an inn, because
no one was on the spot to whom they could apply.  After the lapse of
some days, which they had passed in listening to the preacher's
accounts of the remarkable occurrences that had taken place in the
Netherlands, it chanced that the festival of _Corpus Christi_ was just
about to be solemnised by the nuns of St. Cecilia's convent, which then
stood before the city gates.  The four brothers heated with fanaticism,
youth, and the example of the Netherlands, determined to give the town
of Aix-la-Chapelle a spectacle of image-breaking.  The preacher, who
had been more than once at the head of such enterprises, assembled in
the evening preceding the festival a number of young tradesmen and
students, devoted to the new doctrine, who spent the night in eating
and drinking at the inn.  Day had no sooner appeared over the
battlements than they provided themselves with axes and all sorts of
instruments of destruction, to begin their violent work.  Exulting with
delight, they agreed upon a signal at which they would begin to knock
in the windows, which were painted over with biblical subjects, and,
secure of finding a great number of followers among the people, they
betook themselves to the cathedral, at the hour when the bells first
rang, with the determination not to leave one stone upon another.  The
abbess, who, as early as daybreak, had been informed by a friend of the
peril in which the convent stood, sent several times, but always in
vain, to the imperial officer who held command in the town, requesting
him to appoint a guard for the protection of the convent.  The officer,
who, clandestinely at least, was favorably imposed towards the new
doctrine, refused her request, under the pretext that she was merely
dreaming, and that not the slightest danger to her convent was to be
apprehended.  In the meanwhile the hour appointed for the commencement
of the solemnities arrived, and the nuns prepared themselves for mass,
praying and trembling with the apprehension of approaching events.  The
bailiff of the convent, an old man, aged seventy, with a troop of armed
servants, whom he had posted at the entrance of the church, was their
only protection.  In nuns' convents, it is well known, the sisters
themselves, who are well practised in every sort of instrument, are
their own musicians, and they play with a precision, a feeling, and an
intelligence, which we often miss in orchestras of men, probably
because there is something feminine in this mysterious art.  Now it
happened, to increase the embarrassment, that the conductress of the
orchestra, Sister Antonia, had fallen sick of a nervous fever some days
before, and the consequence was, that the whole convent was in the
greatest tumult about the performance of a suitable piece of music, to
say nothing of the fact that the four profane brothers were already
visible, wrapped in mantles among the pillars of the church.  The
abbess who, on the evening of the preceding day, had ordered the
performance of a very old Italian mass, by an unknown master, with
which the greatest effect had always been produced on account of its
peculiarly sacred and solemn character, and who was now more than ever
bent on her purpose, sent again to sister Antonia to know how she was.
The nun who took the message, returned with the intelligence that the
sister lay in a perfectly unconscious condition and that all notion of
her conducting the music must be entirely given up.  In the meanwhile,
there had already been several very critical scenes in the convent into
which more than a hundred impious persons of all ranks and ages, armed
with hatchets and crowbars, had gradually found their way.  Some of the
guards who stood at the portals had been shamefully annoyed, and the
nuns, who, engaged in their holy offices, had from time to time
appeared singly in the porticoes, were insulted by the most unseemly
expressions.  At last the bailiff retreated to the sacristy, and there
upon his knees implored the abbess to stop the festival, and to seek
the protection of the commander in the city.  But the abbess was
immoveable, insisting that the festival which had been instituted for
the honour of the Deity must take its course.  She reminded the bailiff
that it was his duty to defend the mass, and all the solemnities of the
cathedral with life and limb, and as the bell had rang, ordered the
nuns, who surrounded her, shaking and trembling, to take an oratorium
of some sort or other, and make a beginning by performing it.

The nuns had just taken their places in the organ-loft, the different
parts of a composition that had already been frequently played, were
distributed, violins, oboes, and bass-viols were tried and tuned, when
suddenly Sister Antonia, quite fresh and well, though her face was a
little pale, appeared from the stairs.  She had under her arm the parts
of the old Italian mass, on the performance of which the abbess had so
earnestly insisted.  To the questions of the nuns, who asked with
astonishment whence she came, and how she had so suddenly recovered,
she replied, "No matter, friends, no matter!" distributed the parts she
had carried, and glowing with enthusiasm, sat down to the organ, to
undertake the direction of the excellent composition.  This phenomenon
was a wonderful and truly heavenly consolation to the hearts of the
pious ladies; they at once sat down to their desks with their
instruments, and the very embarrassment in which they were placed, had
the effect of bearing their souls, as if upon wings, through all the
heaven of harmony.  The oratorium was played with a musical
magnificence of the noblest and highest kind.  Not a breath was heard
through the benches and aisles, and when the Salve Regina, and still
more, when the _Gloria in excelsis_ was performed, it was as if the
whole population in the church was dead.  In spite of the four profane
brothers and their followers, not so much as the dust on the pavement
was disturbed, and the cloister remained standing till the end of the
"Thirty Years' War," when it was secularized by virtue of a clause in
the "Treaty of Westphalia."

Six years had passed, and this occurrence had been long forgotten, when
the mother of the four youths came from the Hague, and mournfully
alleging that they had completely disappeared, instituted judicial
inquiries with the magistrates of Aix-la-Chapelle, to learn what road
they had taken from the city.  The last account that had been received
of them in the Netherlands, where they purposely resided, was, as she
said, contained in a letter which the preacher had written to his
friend, a schoolmate at Antwerp, on the eve of a _Corpus Christi_ day.
The preacher, with great cheerfulness, or rather wantonness, had
closely filled four sides of this letter with the account of an
enterprise which he had projected against the Convent of St. Cecilia,
and which the mother would not enter upon more particularly.  After
many vain endeavours to find the persons whom this afflicted lady was
seeking, it was at last remembered that seven years ago--at a time
which seemed to correspond to the account--four young people, whose
country and origin was unknown, had been put in the madhouse, which had
been recently erected in the city by the emperor.  However, as these
persons were affected by religious extravagance, and their
deportment--as the court believed it had heard--was exceedingly
melancholy, this account seemed to accord so little with the
disposition of the sons--which was but too well known to the mother
that there was no need for her to attach much importance to it,
especially as it was pretty evident that the persons were Catholics.
However, as she was struck by many peculiarities which were described
to her, she went one day to the madhouse accompanied by one of the
messengers of the court, and asked the superintendent to allow her to
examine four unfortunate lunatics who were confined there.  But who can
describe the poor lady's horror, when, on entering the door, she
recognised her sons at the very first glance.  They were dressed in
long black robes, and were sitting round a table, on which was a
crucifix.  This they appeared to worship, leaning silently and with
folded hands upon the board.  To the questions of the lady, who had
sunk into a chair quite exhausted, as to what they were doing, the
superintendents replied, that they were merely occupied in the
glorification of the Redeemer, of whose divinity, according to their
own account, they had a clearer knowledge than others.  They added that
the young men had led this ghost-like life for six years, that they
slept little and tasted little, that no sound usually passed their
lips, and that it was only at the hour of midnight that they rose from
their seats, when, with voices loud enough to shatter the windows of
the house, they sang the _Gloria in excelsis_.  The superintendents
concluded with the remark that the young men enjoyed perfect bodily
health, that a certain serenity, though of a very serious and solemn
kind, could not be denied them, and that when they heard themselves
called mad, they shrugged their shoulders with an air of compassion,
and had more than once declared that the good city of Aix-la-Chapelle
if it knew what they knew, would cease from all business and likewise
devote itself to singing the _Gloria_ round the crucifix.

The lady, who could not support the horrible sight of her unfortunate
sons, and who was soon led back tottering to her house, set off on the
following morning to Herr Veit Gotthelf, a celebrated cloth-merchant of
the city, to gain some intelligence as to the cause of this unfortunate
occurrence.  She did so because the letter from the preacher mentioned
this man, and showed that he had taken a lively interest in the plan
for destroying the cloister of St. Cecilia on Corpus Christi day.  Veit
Gotthelf, the cloth-merchant, who had become a husband and a father
since the time, and had moreover undertaken his father's extensive
business, received his visitor very kindly, and when he heard the
affair that had brought her to him, bolted the door, and having
requested her to take a seat, proceeded as follows:

"My good lady, if you will promise to subject me to no legal
investigation, I will tell you all, truly and without reserve.  I was
indeed on intimate terms with your sons six years ago,--yes, we
entertained the project which is mentioned in the letter.  How the
plan, for the execution of which, the most careful preparations were
made with truly impious acuteness, proved a failure, is to me utterly
incomprehensible.  Heaven itself seems to have taken the convent of
those pious ladies under its holy protection.  For you must know that
your sons had already, as a prelude to some determined action,
interrupted divine service by all sorts of ribaldry, and that more than
three hundred rascals gathered together within the walls of our then
misguided city, and armed with hatchets and links only waited for the
signal which the preacher was to make, to level the cathedral with the
ground.  Directly the music began, your sons, with a simultaneous
movement and in a manner that surprised us, suddenly took off their
hats; as if overcome by deep inexpressible emotion, they bowed down
their faces, and gradually covered them with their hands.  At last the
preacher suddenly turning round, after an astounding pause, called to
us with a loud terrific voice to uncover our heads also.  In vain did
some of his comrades whisper to him, and sportively jogging him with
their arms, desire him to give the concerted signal for destruction,
the preacher, instead of answering sank upon his knees, with his hands
crossed on his heart, and fervently laying his forehead in the dust,
with all his brothers, recommenced the whole series of prayers, that he
had before derided.  The crowd of miserable fanatics, deprived of their
leader, and utterly confounded by the spectacle I have described,
remained in a state of irresolution and inactivity till the conclusion
of the oratorium, which pealed down wondrously from the organ-loft, and
as at this moment several arrests were made by order of the commanding
officer, and some wicked fellows who had behaved indecorously, were
seized and led off by a guard, the wretched troop had nothing to do but
to avail themselves as speedily as possible of the shelter of the crowd
that rose to depart, thus to escape from the cathedral.  In the
evening, after vainly asking several times for your sons at the inn,
whither they had not returned, I went with some friends to the convent
in a state of the greatest uneasiness that I might make inquiries of
the door-keepers, who had assisted the imperial guard.  How, noble
lady, shall I describe my horror, when I saw the four men as before,
with the hands folded, touching the ground with their heads and
breasts, as though they had been petrified there--in short, bowed down
before the altar of the church with the most intense devotion?  In vain
did the bailiff of the convent, who came up at this moment, pull them
by their cloaks, and shake them by their arms, and desire them to leave
the cathedral, which was already growing quite dark, and in which
nobody was left; half-rising in their dreamy fashion they did not
listen to him, until he ordered his men to take them up by the arms,
and lead them out at the porch.  Then, at last, they followed us into
the city, though not without sighing, and frequently looking back, with
the most heart-rending sorrow, at the cathedral, which shone gloriously
behind us in the light of the setting sun.  The other friends and I
repeatedly, and in the most affectionate manner, asked them what
terrible cause could possibly have produced such a thorough change in
their minds.  They looked kindly upon us, and from time to time, with
an expression that still cuts me to the heart, wiped the tears from
their eyes.  When they had reached their dwelling, they ingeniously
fashioned a cross of birchen-twigs, and fixed it in a little pyramid of
wax on the large table in the middle of the room between two candles,
with which the servant had made her appearance.  While the friends,
whose number increased hourly, stood by, wringing their hands, and in
scattered groups, and speechless with grief, looked at their quiet
ghost-like proceedings, they seated themselves down at the table, as if
their senses were closed to every other object, and folding their
hands, began their devotions.  They neither desired the repast, which
the servant brought in to regale their companions, according to the
orders they had left in the morning, nor afterwards, when night
advanced, did they care for the couch which she had set up in the
adjoining room, because they appeared weary.  The friends, that they
might not provoke the anger of the host, who seemed much surprised at
the whole proceeding, sat down to a side-table profusely covered, and
ate the viands, which had been prepared for a large party, salting them
at the same time with their tears.  The hour of midnight now suddenly
struck, and your four sons, after listening for a moment to the dull
sound of the bell, rose from their seats with a simultaneous movement,
and while we, laying down our napkins, looked at them, anxious to know
what would follow so strange a commencement, they began to sing the
_Gloria in excelsis_ in the most hideous and horrible voice.  The sound
of leopards and wolves, when on an icy winters night they roar at the
sky, may be something like it.  The pillars of the house, I assure you,
were shaken, and the window-panes smitten by the visible breath from
their lungs, rattled and threatened to fall in, as if handfuls of heavy
sand were dashed against their surface.  At this frightful sight we
lost all self-possession, and with hair erect, we darted off in
different directions.  Leaving hats and cloaks behind us, we dispersed
through the neighbouring streets, which in a short time were filled,
not with us, but with more than a hundred men who had been awakened
from sleep.  The people bursting open the hall-door hurried upstairs to
the room, to discover the source of these fearful and revolting howls,
which seemed to implore the divine mercy, as if from the lips of
condemned sinners in the deepest abyss of the infernal regions.  At
last when the clock struck one, the brothers, without having listened
to the indignation of the host, or the exclamations of horror that were
uttered by the people, closed their lips, wiped with a handkerchief
from their forehead the perspiration which fell upon their chin and
breast in large drops, and, spreading out their cloaks, lay down on the
floor to rest an hour from such painful labours.  The host, who let
them take their own course, made the sign of the cross over them as
soon as he saw them asleep; and glad to get rid of the infliction, for
the time at least, induced the assembled crowd of people, who were
whispering mysteriously to one another, to leave the room, under the
assurance that the morning would bring with it a salutary change.  But,
alas! with the first crow of the cock, the unhappy men rose again to
recommence before the cross which stood on the table, the same dreary,
ghost-like cloister-life, which exhaustion alone had interrupted for
the moment.  They would receive no assistance nor advice from their
host, whose heart was melted at their mournful aspect; they merely
asked him to dismiss with kindness their friends, who were in the habit
of assembling about them every day.  They wished nothing from him but
bread and water, and a litter of straw, if possible, for the night, so
that the man who used to derive a good profit from their convivial
disposition, was now obliged to submit the whole case to the legal
authorities, and to request them to remove from his house the four
persons, who, without doubt, were possessed of an evil spirit.  By
order of the magistrates they underwent a medical examination, and
being proved mad, they were, as you know, removed to the lunatic
asylum, which the benevolence of our late emperor founded for the
benefit of such unfortunate persons within our walls."

This was said by Veit Gotthelf, the cloth merchant, with much besides,
which we suppress, as we think we have said enough to give a clear
insight into the real state of the case.  When he had finished he again
requested the lady not to implicate him in any manner, should the case
undergo a legal investigation.

Three days afterwards the lady who had been greatly shocked at the
account she had heard, took advantage of the fine weather and walked to
the convent, leaning on the arm of a female friend, with the mournful
purpose of surveying the fearful spot where the Almighty had stricken
down her sons, as it were, by invisible lightning.  They found the
entrance of the cathedral boarded up, because some building was going
on, and even with straining were unable to see through the chinks of
the boards, any thing but the rosace-window which sparkled
magnificently in the back of the church.  Hundreds of workmen, who were
singing merry songs, were on intricate, lightly-built scaffoldings,
occupied in making the towers a good third higher, and in covering the
cross and battlements, which had hitherto been only slated, with
strong, bright copper, which shone in the sunbeams.  A thunder-cloud,
completely black, with borders of gold, was behind the building.  When
it had spoken its thunder over Aix-la-Chapelle, and had darted some
ineffectual flashes in the direction of the cathedral, it sank
grumbling into the east, dissolved in vapour.  It happened that while
the ladies were, from the steps of the spacious convent, contemplating
the double spectacle, absorbed in various thoughts, a nun who was
passing by learned who it was that was standing under the portico.  The
abbess, therefore, who had heard of a letter respecting the affair of
the _Corpus Christi_ day, in the possession of the Netherland lady,
immediately sent the sister to her, requesting her to walk up.  The
Netherland lady, although surprised for the moment, respectfully
complied with the request; and while her friend, at the invitation of
the nun, retired to a room near the entrance, the folding doors of the
beautifully-formed gallery were thrown open to the visitor who ascended
the stairs.  There she found the abbess, who was a noble lady, of calm,
and even royal aspect, with her foot resting upon a stool supported by
dragons' claws.  On a desk by her side lay the score of a piece of
music.  The abbess, after she had desired her visiter to take a chair,
told her that she had been already informed of her arrival by the
burgomaster.  When she had inquired after the state of the unfortunate
sons in the kindest manner, and had recommended her to console herself
as to their fate, now it was not to be altered, she expressed a wish to
see the letter which the preacher had sent to his friend, the
schoolmaster, at Antwerp.  The lady, who had experience enough to see
what would be the consequence of such a step, felt confused for the
moment.  However, as the venerable countenance of the abbess inspired
her with unlimited confidence, and it was by no means credible that she
could have any design of making a public use of the contents of the
letter, she took it from her bosom, after a short hesitation, and
handed it to the noble lady, fervently kissing her hand.  Whilst the
abbess was reading the letter, she cast a look at the score, which
happened to lie open on the desk; and as the cloth merchant's narrative
had given her the notion that it might have been the power of music
that had turned the brains of her poor sons on that awful day, she
timidly turned round, and asked the nun who stood behind her chair,
whether that was the composition which had been played in the cathedral
on the memorable _Corpus Christi_ day, six years ago.  The young nun
answered in the affirmative, saying that she remembered hearing of the
affair, and that since then, when the music was not used, it was
generally kept in the abbess's room.  At this the lady, deeply moved,
arose and placed herself before the desk, occupied by various thoughts.
She looked at the magical unknown signs, with which, as it seemed, some
fearful spirit had mysteriously marked out its circle, and was ready to
sink into the ground, when she found the "_Gloria in excelsis_" open.
It seemed to her as if the whole terrors of music, which had proved the
destruction of her sons, were whirling over her head; at the mere sight
of the score her senses seemed to be leaving her, and with an
infinitely strong feeling of humility and submission to the divine
power, she heartily pressed the leaf to her lips, and then again seated
herself in her chair.  The abbess had, in the meanwhile, read the
letter, and said, as she folded it up: "God himself, on that wonderful
day, preserved the cloister from the wantonness of your misguided sons.
The means that He employed may be indifferent to you, since you are a
Protestant; indeed, you would hardly understand what I could reveal to
you on the subject.  For you must know that nobody has the least notion
who it was, that under the pressure of that fearful hour, when
destruction was ready to fall upon us, calmly sat at the organ, and
conducted the work which you there find open.  By evidence taken on the
following morning, in the presence of the bailiff of the convent and
several other persons, as recorded in our archives, it is proved that
Sister Antonia, the only one among us who knew how to conduct the work,
lay in the corner of her cell, sick, insensible, and without the use of
her limbs during the whole time of its performance.  A nun who, as a
personal relative, was appointed to take charge of her, never stirred
from her bedside during the whole morning on which the festival of
_Corpus Christi_ was celebrated in the cathedral.  Nay, Sister Antonia
would herself have confirmed the fact, that it was not she who in such
a strange and surprising manner appeared in the organ-loft, had her
insensible condition allowed her to be questioned on the subject, and
had she not, on the evening of the same day, died of the nervous fever
of which she lay ill, and which did not before appear to be dangerous.
The Archbishop of Trèves, to whom the occurrence was related, has given
the only possible explanation; viz., that St. Cecilia herself performed
this miracle, which is at once so sublime and so fearful; and I have
received a communication from the pope, in which this explanation is

The abbess returned to the lady the letter, which she had merely asked
for to gain some further information on a matter which she already
partially knew, promising at the same time that she would make no use
of it.  Then inquiring whether there were any hopes of her sons'
recovery, and whether by money or other assistance she could do any
thing towards that end--questions which the weeping abbess, while she
kissed her gown, answered in the negative--she kindly shook hands with
her, and dismissed her.

Thus ends this legend.  The lady, whose presence in Aix-la-Chapelle was
not required, deposited with the legal tribunals a small sum for the
benefit of her poor sons, and then returned to the Hague, where, in the
course of the year, deeply moved by the event which had taken place,
she returned to the bosom of the Catholic church.  The sons died a calm
and happy death, at a late old age, after they had once more sung the
"_Gloria in excelsis_" as usual.

J. O.



[The following fanciful tale occurs in the autobiography of Goethe, to
which he has given the name of "Dichtung und Wahrheit."  He is supposed
to tell it, in his childhood, to a party of juvenile friends, and he
introduces it thus:

"I could afford great amusement to my friend, Pylades, and other
kindly-disposed acquaintance, by telling them stories.  They liked
them, especially when I told them in my own person, being much
delighted to hear that such odd things could befall their play-fellow.
As for the question when I could find time and place for such
adventures--that was no matter, indeed they pretty well knew all my
ingoings and outgoings, and how I employed myself.  To such events,
localities, taken from another spot, if not from another world, were
absolutely necessary, but nevertheless I made every thing happen on the
very day I told it, or the day before.  My hearers, therefore, were
less deluded by me, than deceived by themselves.  Had I not, in
conformity to my natural disposition learned to mould these aëriel
nothings into something like an artistical form, such vain-glorious
beginnings, would certainly have turned out badly for me in the end.

"If we duly consider this impulse, we may discover in it that
assumption, with which the poet ventures to utter the greatest
improbabilities in a tone of authority, and requires that every one
shall acknowledge that to be real, which to him, the inventor, may
appear to be true in any manner whatever.

"However, what is said above, in general terms, and in the form of
reflection, may be rendered more agreeable, and at the same time more
perceptible by an example.  I therefore add such a tale--one, which as
I used to repeat it often to my playmates, still distinctly floats
before my imagination and in my memory."]

Lately, on the night before Whit Sunday, I dreamed that I was standing
before a mirror, occupying myself with my new summer suit, which my
parents had had made against the approaching festival.  The dress
consisted, as you well know, of shoes of nice leather, with great
silver buckles, fine cotton stockings, breeches of black serge, and a
coat of green barracan, with gold buttons.  The waistcoat, of
gold-stuff, had been cut out of the one worn by my father on his
wedding-day.  My hair was dressed and powdered, my curls stood upon my
head like little wings,--but I could not finish dressing myself; for I
continually changed the articles of wearing apparel, and the first
always dropped off when I was about to put on the second.  While I was
thus embarrassed, a handsome young man came up to me, and greeted me in
the kindest manner.  "Welcome," said I, "it gives me great pleasure to
see you here."--"Do you know me then?" asked he, smiling.  "Why not?" I
replied, smiling in my turn.  "You are Mercury, and I have often enough
seen pictures of you."--"I am, indeed," said he, "and I have been sent
to you by the gods on an important mission.  Do you see these three
apples?" stretching out his hand, he showed me three apples, which from
their size he could scarcely hold, and which were as wonderfully
beautiful as they were large.  One was green, another yellow, and the
third red, and they looked like precious stones, to which the shape of
fruit had been given.  I wished to take them, but he drew me back,
saying, "You must first know, that they are not for you.  You are to
give them to the three handsomest young persons in the town, who will,
every one according to his lot, find wives to their heart's content.
There, take them and manage the matter well," he added, as he quitted
me, and placed the apples in my open hand.  They seemed to me to have
become even larger than they were before.  I held them against the
light, and found they were quite transparent, but soon they grew
taller, and at last became three pretty--very pretty little ladies, of
the height of a moderate-sized doll, with dresses of the colours of the
apples.  In this form they glided softly up my fingers, and when I was
about to make a catch at them, that I might secure one at least, they
soared up far away, so that I could do nothing but look after them.
There I stood quite astounded and petrified, with my hands high in the
air, and still staring at my fingers, as if their was something to be
seen upon them.  All of a sudden I perceived upon the very tips a
charming little girl, very pretty and lively, though smaller than the
others.  As she did not fly away, like them, but remained with me, and
danced about, now on this finger, now on that, I looked at her for some
time, in a state of astonishment.  She pleased me so much, that I
fancied I might catch her, and was just on the point of making a
grasp--as I thought very cleverly--when I felt a blow on the head, that
caused me to fall completely stunned, and did not awaken from the
stupor it occasioned till it was time to dress and go to church.

I often recalled the images to my mind during divine service, and at my
grandfather's table where I dined.  In the afternoon I went to visit
some friends, both because such visits were due, and because I wished
to show myself in my new clothes, with my hat under my arm and my sword
by my side.  Finding no one at home, and hearing that they were all
gone to the gardens, I resolved to follow them, intending to pass a
pleasant evening.  My way led me along the town wall, and I soon came
to the spot which is called the "evil wall," and rightly enough, for
there is reason to believe it is always haunted.  Walking slowly along,
I thought of my three goddesses, and still more of the little nymph,
and often held my fingers up in the air in the hope that she would be
kind enough to balance herself upon them once more.  As I proceeded,
occupied with these thoughts, I discerned in the wall, on my left hand,
a little wicket which I did not remember to have perceived before.  It
appeared low, but the pointed arch was such as to afford room for the
tallest man to enter.  The arch and the wall on either side had been
most richly carved by the mason and the sculptor, but my attention was
most attracted by the door itself.  The old brown wood of which it was
made had been but little ornamented, but broad bands of brass were
attached to it, worked both in relief and in _intaglio_.  The foliage
which was represented on this brass, and on which the most natural
birds were sitting, I could not sufficiently admire.  I was, however,
most surprised at seeing no keyhole, no latch, no knocker, and from the
absence of these I surmised that the door only opened from within.  I
was not mistaken, for when I went close to it, to feel the carved work,
it opened inwards, and a man, whose dress was somewhat long, wide, and
altogether singular, appeared before me.  A venerable beard flowed
about his chin, and I was, therefore, inclined to take him for a Jew.
As if he had divined my thoughts he made the sign of the holy cross,
thereby giving me to understand that he was a good Catholic Christian.
"Young gentleman, how did you come here, and what are you doing?" said
he, with friendly voice and gesture.  "I am admiring the work of this
door," I replied, "for I have never seen any thing like it, except,
perhaps, in small pieces, in the collection of amateurs."  "I am
delighted," said he, "that you take pleasure in such work.  The door is
still more beautiful on the inner side, pray walk in if you choose."
This affair made me feel somewhat uncomfortable.  I felt embarrassed by
the strange dress of the porter, by the retired situation of the place,
and a certain indescribable something in the air.  I paused, therefore,
under the pretext of looking longer at the outside, and at the same
time cast furtive glances at the garden--for a garden it was which had
just been opened to me.  Immediately behind the gate I saw a space
completely shaded by the closely entwined branches of some old linden
trees, which had been planted at regular intervals, so that the most
numerous assembly might have rested there during the most intense heat
of the day.  I had already set my foot on the threshold, and the old
man was well able to lure me on a step further.  Indeed I made no
resistance, for I had always heard that a prince or sultan, in such
cases, must never ask whether there is any danger.  Had I not my sword
by my side, and could I not soon get the better of the old man if he
took a hostile position?  I therefore walked in with confidence, and
the porter shut the gate so softly that I could hardly hear the sound.
He then showed the work on the inside, which was certainly much
superior to that without, and explained it, giving indications of the
greatest kindness towards me.  My mind being completely set at rest I
allowed myself to be led further along the shady space by the wall
which circled the garden, and found much to admire.  Niches,
artificially adorned with shells, coral, and pieces of ore, poured from
Tritons' mouths copious streams of water into marble basins.  Between
them were aviaries and other pieces of lattice-work, in which there
were squirrels hopping about, guinea-pigs running backwards and
forwards, and, in short, all the pretty little creatures that one could
desire.  The birds cried and sung to us as we went along; the
starlings, in particular, prated after us the most absurd stuff, one
always calling out "Paris, Paris," and the other "Narcissus,
Narcissus," as plain as any schoolboy.  The old man seemed to look at
me more seriously whenever the birds uttered this, but I pretended not
to mind it, and indeed had no time to attend to him, for I could
clearly perceive that we were walking round and that this shady place
was in fact a large circle, which inclosed another of far more
importance.  We had again come to the little door, and it seemed to me
as if the old man wished to dismiss me; but my eyes remained fixed on a
golden railing which seemed to inclose the middle of this wonderful
garden, and which in my walk I had found an opportunity of observing
sufficiently, although the old man always contrived to keep me close to
the wall, and, therefore, pretty far from the centre.  As he was going
up to the gate I said to him, with a bow: "You have been so exceedingly
civil to me that I can venture to make another request before I leave
you.  May I not look closer at that golden railing, which seems to
encircle the inner part of the garden?"  "Certainly," said he, "but
then you must submit to certain conditions."  "In what do they
consist?" I asked, quickly.  "You must leave your hat and sword here,
and must not quit my hand as I accompany you."  "To that I consent
readily enough," said I, and I laid my hat and sword on the first stone
bench that came in my way.  Upon this he at once seized my left hand in
his right, held it fast, and, with some degree of force, led me
straight on.  When we came to the railing, my surprise was increased to
overwhelming astonishment; any thing like it I had never seen.  On a
high socle of marble countless spears and partisans stood in a row, and
were joined together by their upper ends, which were singularly
ornamented.  Peeping through the interstices I saw behind this railing
a piece of water which flowed gently along, with marble on each side of
it, and in the clear depths of which a great number of gold and silver
fish might be discovered, which now slowly, now swiftly, now singly,
now in shoals, were swimming to and fro.  I wished much to see the
other side of the canal that I might learn how the interior part of the
garden was fashioned; but, to my great annoyance, on the other side of
the water stood a similar railing, which was so skilfully arranged
that, opposite to every space on the side where I stood was placed a
spear or a partisan on the other, and thus, with the additional
impediment of the other ornaments, it was impossible for one to look
through, whatever position one took.  Besides, the old man, who kept a
fast hold of me, hindered me from moving freely.  My curiosity--after
all that I had seen--increased more and more, and I plucked up courage
to ask the old man whether it was not possible to cross over.  "Why
not?" said he, "only you must conform to new conditions."  When I asked
him what these were, he told me that I must change my dress.  I readily
consented; he led me back towards the outer wall and into a neat little
room, against the walls of which hung dresses of several kinds which
seemed to approach the oriental style of costume.  I changed my dress
quickly, and he put my powdered locks into a many-coloured net, after
finally dusting out the powder, to my great horror.  Standing before a
large mirror I thought I looked prettily enough in my disguise, and
liked myself better than in my stiff Sunday clothes.  I made gestures
and leaps, in imitation of the dancers I had seen on the stage erected
at the fair, and while I was doing this I perceived, by chance, the
reflection in the glass of a niche that stood behind me.  Against its
white ground hung three green cords, each twined in a manner which was
not very clear to me in the distance.  I therefore turned round
somewhat hastily and asked the old man about the niche and these cords
also.  Civilly enough he took one down and showed it to me.  It was a
cord of green silk of moderate thickness, the ends of which, fastened
together by a piece of green leather, cut through in two places, gave
it the appearance of being an instrument for no very agreeable purpose.
The affair seemed to me somewhat equivocal, and I asked the old man for
an explanation.  He answered, very quietly and mildly, that the cord
was intended for those who abused the confidence which was here readily
placed in them.  He hung the cord in its place again, and asked me to
follow him at once.  This time he did not take hold of me, but I walked
freely by his side.

My greatest curiosity now was to know where the door could be to pass
through the railing, and where the bridge could be to cross the canal,
for I had been able to discern nothing of the sort hitherto.  I
therefore looked at the golden rails very closely, as we hastened close
up to them,--when all of a sudden my sight failed me; for the spears,
pikes, halberds, and partisans, began quite unexpectedly to rattle and
to shake, and this curious movement ended with the points of all being
inclined towards each other, just as if two ancient armies, armed with
pikes, were preparing for the attack.  The confusion before my eyes,
the clatter in my ears, was almost insupportable; but the sight became
infinitely astonishing, when the spears, laying themselves quite down,
covered the whole circle of the canal, and formed the noblest bridge
that one can imagine, while the most variegated garden was revealed to
my view.  It was divided into beds, which wound about one another, and,
seen at once, formed a labyrinth of an ornament.  All of these were
encompassed by a green border, formed of a short woolly-looking plant,
which I had never seen; all were adorned with flowers, every division
being of a different colour, and as these likewise grew short, the
ground plan was easily traced.  This beautiful sight, which I enjoyed
in the full sunshine, completely riveted my eyes; but I scarcely knew
where I could set my foot, for the winding paths were neatly covered
with a blue sand, which seemed to form upon earth a darker sky, or a
sky in the water.  Therefore, with my eyes fixed upon the ground, I
went on for some time by the side of my conductor, until I at length
perceived, that in the midst of the circle of beds and flowers, stood
another large circle of cypresses, or trees of the poplar kind, through
which it was impossible to see, as the lowest boughs seemed to be
shooting up from the earth.  My conductor, without forcing me straight
into the nearest way, nevertheless led me immediately towards that
centre; and how was I surprised, when entering the circle of the tall
trees, I saw before me the portico of a magnificent summer-house, which
seemed to have similar openings and entrances on every side!  A
heavenly music, which issued from the building, charmed me even more
than this perfect specimen of architecture.  Now I thought I heard a
lute, now a harp, now a guitar, and now a tinkling sound, which was not
like that of any of the three instruments.  The door which we
approached opened at a light touch from the old man, and my amazement
was great, when the female porter, who came out, appeared exactly like
the little maiden who had danced upon my fingers in my dream.  She
greeted me as if we were old acquaintances, and asked me to walk in.
The old man remained behind, and I went with her along a short passage,
which was arched over and beautifully ornamented, till I came to the
central hall; the majestic and cathedral-seeming height of which
arrested my sight and surprised me, immediately on my entrance.
However, my eye could not long remain fixed upwards, as it was soon
lured down by a most charming spectacle.  On the carpet, immediately
beneath the centre of the cupola, sat three ladies, each one forming
the corner of a triangle, and each dressed in a different colour.  One
was in red, another in yellow, the third in green.  Their seats were
gilded, and the carpet was a perfect bed of flowers.  In their arms lay
the three instruments, the sounds of which I had distinguished from
without, for they had left off playing, being disturbed by my entrance.
"Welcome!" said the middle one, who sat with her face towards the door,
was dressed in red, and had the harp.  "Sit down by Alerte, and listen,
if you are fond of music."  I now saw, for the first time, that a
tolerably long bench, placed across, with a mandoline upon it, lay
before me.  The pretty little girl took up the mandoline, seated
herself, and drew me to her side.  Now I looked at the second lady, who
was on my right.  She wore the yellow dress, and had a guitar in her
hand; and if the harp-player was imposing in her form, grand in her
features, and majestic in her deportment, the guitar-player was
distinguished by every grace and cheerfulness.  She was a slender
_blonde_, while the other was adorned with hair of a dark brown.  The
variety and accordance of their music did not prevent me from observing
the third beauty in the green dress, the tones of whose lute were to me
somewhat touching, and at the same time remarkably striking.  She it
was who seemed to take the greatest notice of me, and to direct her
playing towards me.  At the same time, I could not tell what to make of
her, for she was now tender, now odd, now frank, now capricious, as she
altered her gestures and the style of her playing.  Sometimes she
seemed anxious to move me, and sometimes anxious to tease me.  No
matter, however, what she did, she gained no advantage over me, for I
was quite taken up by my little neighbour, to whom I sat close; and
when I perceived plainly enough that the three ladies were the
sylphides of my dream, and recognised the colours of the apples, I well
understood that I had no reason to secure them.  The pretty little
creature I would much sooner have seized, had not the box on the ear
which she gave me in my dream remained still fresh in my memory.
Hitherto she had kept quiet with her mandoline; but when her mistresses
had ceased, they ordered her to treat us with a few lively airs.
Scarcely had she struck off some dancing melodies in a very exciting
style, than she jumped up, and I did the same.  She played and danced;
I was forced to follow her steps, and we went through a kind of little
ballet, at which the ladies seemed to be well pleased, for no sooner
had we finished it, than they ordered the little girl to refresh me
with something nice before supper.  In truth, I had forgotten that
there was any thing else in the world beyond this Paradise.  Alerte led
me back into the passage by which I had entered.  On one side, she had
two well-furnished apartments, in one of which--the one in which she
lived--she served before me oranges, figs, peaches, and grapes, and I
tasted the fruits both of foreign lands and of early months, with great
appetite.  Confectionary was in abundance, and she filled a goblet of
polished crystal with sparkling wine; but I had no need of drinking, as
I sufficiently refreshed myself with the fruits.  "Now we will play,"
said she, and took me into the other room.  This had the appearance of
a Christmas fair, except that such fine, precious things are never to
be seen in a booth.  There were all sorts of dolls, and dolls' clothes,
and utensils; little kitchens, parlours, and shops; besides single toys
in abundance.  She led me all round to the glass cases, in which these
precious articles were preserved.  The first case she soon closed
again, saying: "There is nothing for you, I am sure, there," added she,
"we can find building materials, walls, and towers, houses, palaces,
and churches to put together a large town.  That, however, would be no
amusement for me, so we will take something else, that may be equally
amusing for both of us."  She then brought out some boxes, in which I
saw some little soldiers placed in layers one over the other, and with
respect to which I was forced to confess that I had never seen any
thing so pretty in my life.  She did not leave me time to look closer
into particulars, but took one of the boxes under her arm, while I
caught up the other.  "We will go to the golden bridge," said she, "for
that's the best place to play at soldiers.  The spears point out the
direction in which the armies should be placed."  We had now reached
the shaking, golden bridge, and I could hear the water ripple, and the
fish splash beneath me, as I knelt down to set up my rows of soldiers,
which, as I now saw, were all on horseback.  She gloried in being the
queen of the Amazons, as the leader of her host; while I, on the other
hand, found Achilles, and a very fine set of Greek cavalry.  The armies
stood face to face, and nothing prettier can be conceived.  They were
not flat leaden horsemen like ours, but man and horse were round and
full-bodied, and very finely worked.  It was difficult to see how they
were able to balance themselves, for they kept up without having a

We had both surveyed our armies with great complacency, when she
announced the attack.  Besides the soldiers, we had found artillery in
our chests--namely, boxes filled with little balls of polished agate.
With these we were to shoot at each other's forces from a certain
distance, on the express condition, however, that we were not to throw
with greater force than was required to upset the figures, as they were
on no account to be injured.  The cannonading began from each side,
and, at first, to the great delight of both of us.  But when my
adversary remarked that I took a better aim than she, and that I might
end by winning the game, which depended on having the greatest number
of men upright, she stepped closer, and her girlish manner of throwing
proved successful.  A number of my best troops were laid low, and the
more I protested, with the greater zeal did she go on throwing.  At
last I became vexed, and told her that I would do the same.
Accordingly, I not only came closer, but in my passion, I threw much
harder, so that, in a short time, a couple of her little female
centaurs were broken to pieces.  Her zeal prevented her from noticing
this at once, but I stood petrified with astonishment when the broken
figures joined themselves together again, and the Amazon and her horse
again became entire; nay, became perfectly alive at the same time, for
they galloped from the bridge up to the linden-trees, and after running
backwards and forwards, were lost--how I cannot tell--in the direction
of the wall.  My fair adversary had scarcely perceived this, than she
sobbed aloud, and exclaimed that I had caused her an irreparable loss,
which was far greater than words could express.  I, who had grown
enraged, was pleased at doing her an injury, and with blind fury, threw
the few agate-balls I still had, among her forces.  Unfortunately, I
struck the queen, who had been excepted, as long as our game had
proceeded in the regular way.  She flew to pieces, and her nearest
adjutants were shattered at the same time.  Soon, however, they joined
themselves together again, took their flight like the first, galloped
merrily under the lindens, and were lost near the wall.

My adversary reproached and scolded me, but I, having once begun the
work of destruction, stooped down to pick up some of the agate balls,
which were rolling about the golden spears.  My savage wish was to
destroy her whole army; while she did not remain inactive, but darting
at me gave me a box on the ear, that set my very head ringing.  I, who
had always heard that a hearty kiss is the proper return for a blow
given by a girl, caught her by her ears and kissed her several times.
At this she uttered such a piercing cry that I was absolutely
terrified.  I let her go, and it was fortunate that I did so, for at
that moment I did not know what befel me.  The ground beneath me began
to shake and rattle, the rails, as I now observed, put themselves in
motion, but I had no time for consideration, nor was I sufficient
master of my feet to fly.  Every moment I was afraid of being impaled,
for the lances and partisans which began to stand upright, tore my
clothes.  Suffice it to say,--I do not know how it was,--that my sight
and hearing failed me, and that I recovered from my terror and the
stupor into which I had been thrown, at the foot of a linden tree,
against which the railing, while raising itself, had thrown me.  My
malice returned with my senses, and increased still more, when from the
other side I heard the jeers and laughter of my adversary, who had
probably come to the ground somewhat more softly than myself.  I
therefore got up, and as saw scattered around me, my own little army
with its leaden Achilles, which the rising rails had thrown off
together with myself, I began by catching hold of the hero, and dashing
him against a tree.  His resuscitation and flight gave me double
pleasure, for the prettiest sight in the world was associated with all
the delight of gratified malice, and I was on the point of sending the
rest of the Greeks after him, when all of a sudden water came hissing
from every side, from the stones and walls, from the ground and
branches; and wherever I turned it pelted me furiously.  My light dress
was soon completely wet through, and as it had been already torn, I
lost no time in flinging it off altogether.  My slippers I threw aside,
and then one covering after the other, finding it very pleasant in the
sultry day to take such a shower-bath.  Stark naked, I walked gravely
along between the welcome waters, and I thought I might thus go on
pleasantly for some time.  My rage had cooled, and I now desired
nothing more than a reconciliation with my little adversary.  All of a
sudden the water stopped, and I now stood completely wet on ground that
was soaked through.  The presence of the old man, who unexpectedly came
before me, was any thing but welcome.  I should have wished, if not to
hide myself, at any rate to put on some covering.  Shame, cold, and an
endeavour to cover myself in some measure, made me cut a very miserable
figure, and the old man lost no time in loading me with the bitterest
reproaches.  "What hinders me," he cried, "from taking one of the green
cords, and fitting it to your back at any rate, if not to your neck!"
This threat I took very ill.  "Hark ye," said I, "you had better take
care of such words, or even such thoughts, or you and your mistresses
will be lost!"  "Who are you?" said he, in a tone of defiance, "that
dare to talk in this way?"  "A favourite of the gods," I replied, "on
whom it depends whether those ladies will find good husbands and live
happily, or pine and grow old in their magic cloister."  The old man
retreated some steps.  "Who revealed that to you?" he asked with doubt
and astonishment.  "Three apples," said I, "three jewels."  "And what
reward do you desire?" he exclaimed.  "Above all things," I replied,
"the little creature who brought me into this cursed condition."  The
old man threw himself at my feet, without heeding the dampness and
muddiness of the ground.  He then arose, not in the least wetted, took
me kindly by the hand, led me into the room, where I had been before,
dressed me again quickly, and I soon found myself with my hair curled
and my Sunday clothes on, as at first.  The porter did not utter
another word, but before he allowed me to cross the threshold, he
detained me, and showed to me certain objects that were near the wall,
and on the other side of the way, while at the same time he pointed to
the door backwards.  I understood him well.  He wished me to impress
the objects on my mind, that I might more readily find the door again,
which unexpectedly closed behind me.  I observed already what was
opposite to me.  The boughs of seven old nut-trees projected over a
high wall, and partly covered the moulding with which it terminated.
The branches reached to a stone tablet, the decorated border of which I
could easily recognise, but the inscription on which I could not read.
It rested on the jutting stone of a niche, in which a fountain
artificially constructed, was throwing water from cup to cup into a
large basin, which formed a kind of little pond, and was lost in the
ground.  Fountain, inscription, nut-trees, all stood, one directly over
the other, and I could have painted it as I saw it.

It may be easily conceived how I passed the evening, and many a day
afterwards, and how often I repeated these adventures, which I could
hardly believe myself.  As soon as I could, I went again to the "evil
wall," that I might at least refresh my memory by the sight of the
objects, and look at the beautiful door.  To my great astonishment all
was changed.  Nut-trees were, indeed, hanging over the wall, but they
were not close together.  A tablet was inserted, but it stood at some
distance to the right of the trees, was without carving, and had a
legible inscription.  A niche with a fountain stood far to the left,
and was not to be compared to the one I had before seen.  Of the door
not a trace was to be found, and I was, therefore, almost compelled to
believe that my second adventure was a dream, as well as my first.  My
only consolation is, that the three objects always seem to change their
situation, for, after repeated visits to the spot, I think I have
observed, that the nut-trees are running towards each other, and that
the tablet and fountain are approaching.  Probably, when all has come
together again, the door will once more be visible, and I will do all I
can to fit on a sequel to the adventure.  Whether I shall be able to
tell what befalls me in future, or whether it will be expressly
forbidden me, I cannot say.

J. O.



There once lived in Bagdad a wealthy merchant named Ibrahim.  His only
son, Ali, a young man of eminent talent, though but little resembling
his father, was his pride and delight.  The father's notion of
happiness consisted in the enjoyment of life and in the industry
requisite to procure the key to all earthly enjoyments--wealth; the
son's mind, on the contrary, was devoted to contemplation and the
pursuit of knowledge.  He but rarely quitted his room, and was only
wont to walk in the cool of the evening along the banks of the Tigris
outside the city, to the tomb of Iman Izaser, a Mahommedan saint, which
stood in a circular temple surrounded by date trees, about a league
distant.  Here he usually seated himself in the shade, and his delight
consisted in observing those who passed by on their way to the temple
to perform their devotions.  He had, above all, observed, as well as
the close veil would permit, the slight and charming form of a female
who went almost daily to the mosque, accompanied by an attendant, who
appeared somewhat older than herself.  His eyes followed with delight
the muffled form as she gracefully moved along; he had often witnessed
her kneeling in the temple, and praying fervently, and he imagined that
he in his turn was not unnoticed by the stranger.  Thus without having
ever spoken to each other they had formed a kind of acquaintance,
which, however, did not disturb Ali in his contemplations.  As soon as
the shadows of evening appeared, he rose and walked silently homewards,
while his eyes gazed on the moonlit waves of the Tigris, or the fresh
verdure of its banks.

"How is it possible, my son," once said his father, on his return from
a long journey, after his camels were unladen, "that you, so young in
years, can totally renounce the world?  I esteem your application; but
you should not forget that next to our holy Koran, nature herself is
the wisest book, and contains the most sublime doctrines on every page.
What is knowledge without experience?  Has not one of our wise men
himself said, that a journey is a fire, around which the raw meat must
be turned in order to become eatable and savoury."

"Dear father," answered Ali, "leave me but a few years longer to
myself, and then on entering the world I shall work with much more
energy.  You were right in saying that nature is the wisest book; yet
it is often written in so indistinct a style that it requires strong
eyes to see and read it correctly.  What we cannot do for ourselves we
must leave to others to do for us; and thus I travel perhaps as much in
my own room as you do upon your camel through the desert.  All cannot
travel.  If I in conformity to the duty of a good Mussulman make a
single journey in my life to Mecca, I shall perhaps have travelled

Though Ibrahim was not satisfied altogether by this contradiction of
his favourite opinions, he could not help commending the singular
industry of his son; moreover, it was not displeasing to his paternal
vanity to hear all who knew Ali call him the pattern of a young man.

The words of the father were not, however, uttered without making some
impression upon the son.  He began to perceive the difference between
mere ideas and actual enjoyments, and when he read of any thing grand,
beautiful, or wonderful, he was no longer in such raptures at the mere
reading.  He now wished to experience the things themselves.  When in
this mood, he often ascended the balcony of the house, where he had a
clear view of the Tigris and the sandy desert, and of the distant
mountains, and where, in serene weather, he could descry the ruins of
ancient Babylon on the banks of the Euphrates.  For whole hours he
would stand and dream himself into the most wonderful and adventurous
situations.  When, as usual, he went in the evening to Izaser's temple
under the date trees, it seemed to him monotonous and insignificant.
He fancied he felt contempt for himself in contemplating the rapidly
flowing waves of the Tigris, which had made such enormous journeys from
the highland of Asia through caverns and rocks never yet seen.  When
thus sitting in the dusk of evening, it appeared as if the foaming
waves which rushed over the pebbles, told him tales of events of which
it had been an eye-witness on distant shores.

Now he resolved again to wander to the ruins of Babylon, where he had
once been in his childhood.  His father, who was delighted with his
plan, hoped that he discerned in it the beginning of a new career of
life, and readily gave Ali permission to spend several days on the

"My son," said he, "here in miniature you will find a picture of the
Great, for short as the way is, it is not without variety.  In the
immediate neighbourhood it is as much cultivated as the broad valley,
further on it is barren and waste, indeed it is like a desert till the
green carpet of the mountains again meets the sandy plains, and invites
you to the most beautiful woody regions.  I should consider it
superfluous to give you any admonitions for the way, did I not know
that young people like yourself, often load their imaginations with old
and remote things, without thinking of what takes place immediately
around them.  Take care, then, that you do not pass the desert between
Babylon and Bagdad at night time; and rather arrange your journey so as
to start in the morning or evening.  There is a general report that
Zelulu, an evil spirit, has selected that desert for his abode; and
that he hovers over the desert at night, and delights in destroying
those men who disturb his nocturnal flights by their presence."

The son promised to do so, and strapping his knapsack on his back,
commenced his journey early the next morning with staff in hand.

He crossed the long bridge of boats, fastened by iron chains across the
rapid Tigris, which takes its name Thir (an arrow), from its rapidity.
All hastened through the almost dilapidated suburb and came to a
beautiful mosque, near which the caravan, with which his father had
lately arrived, was still halting.  They were taking rest in order to
continue their journey.  How strange it appeared to him to wander
through this moveable commercial city, where houses were camels, and
elephants were palaces!  Ali passed one of these elephants, on the back
of which was constructed a house of tolerable size.  It was noon, and
the children who were playing about on the grass were called to their
dinner.  Their father, who stood among them, took one after the other
and handed them over to the elephant, who, raising them with his trunk,
lifted them slowly and carefully through the air, and then bent his
trunk over his head, and gave the child to its mother, who stood above
in the door and received them from him without the least sign of fear,
and without any of the children crying from terror.  The open mosque
was crowded with people, some of whom were offering thanks to Allah for
their happy return, while others were imploring a blessing on the
progress of their journey.  Ali was so pleased with this singular and
motley assembly, that he loitered the whole day among them.  Towards
the evening some merchants invited him into their tents, where Indian
youths and girls danced to the sound of the triangle and flute.  These
hospitable Arabs were delighted at being able to offer him a good
supper and a comfortable resting-place for the night.

Early in the cool of the next morning he started on his way, and
wandered over a barren uninhabited plain.  He found pleasure in working
his way through the sand to reach some fertile spots which lie, like
islands, in the yellow dust, with their verdant ground and their
isolated palm trees, which pleasantly spread their leaves like
parasols, while there is something divine in their refreshing coolness.

Ali felt himself inspired: the Arab in his desert feels like the
mountaineer on his rocky mountains, and like the islander at the sight
of the ocean.  When he sees it for the first time, he finds himself
like a bird in its own element, and confidently abandons himself to the
impulse of his feelings.  The over-excited youth exhausted all his
strength.  Noon approached, and the heat was oppressive.  Ali hastened
with quick pace towards the distant mountains, and, like his ancestress
Hagar, in former days, wished for a fountain to quench his thirst.

Having once heard of a fountain near the spot where he now was, his
delight was great on approaching a large tract where many palms of an
indifferent growth arched themselves over a spring.  The rippling water
excited and increased his thirst as he stood near it.

Think of his sorrow when he saw, rising from the water, clouds of smoke
which smelt of sulphur!  In despair at this disappointment he threw
himself on the ground under the palm trees, and, being exhausted from
heat, and wearied with his exertions, fell asleep immediately.

He had not been sleeping long, when he was suddenly aroused by a
powerful voice.  On opening his eyes he perceived a man in a loose
linen gown, sitting on a camel which was laden with pitchers and
leather water-pipes.

"Unhappy man!" he cried, "are you weary of your life that you lie here
so wantonly to end it?"

Ali jumped up, and the man on his camel started, as he had not expected
thus to arouse the sleeper, although, urged by compassion, he had
called to him.

"What do you mean?" asked Ali, "what harm can I suffer in sleeping,
during the heat of noon, under these palm trees?"

"Do you not know this spring?" asked the stranger.

"No!" said Ali; and he began to tell whence he came and whither he
intended to go.

The man replied, "It seems as if the evil spirit is busy here, not
merely at midnight, but also in the clear noon day.  Follow me to the
palm tree farthest from the spring there, and I will refresh you with a
cooling draught.  I live in the next village, where the water is still
so bad that we are obliged to fetch our daily supply from the Tigris.
All the pitchers and pipes which you see, are filled from the river of
your native city.  I cannot but laugh to think that you come to us from
the Tigris to drink; indeed that you choose the most noxious spring, of
one of which it may be said that it is supplied by hell itself."

These words would have excited Ali's curiosity immediately, had not his
thirst proved the stronger.  He went with the man, who reached him a
pitcher, and said: "There, quench your thirst, and then mount my camel
with me.  We shall soon be in my village, where you can take rest, and
towards the evening you may proceed quietly to Babylon."

Ali thanked him, and mounted the camel, and they rode in silence across
the plain for the rest of the way, until they came to a yet larger
oasis covered with trees and huts.  Only a broad sandy road separated
them from the verdant ground which sloped down from the mountains
towards the desert in all its freshness.  The water-carrier made Ali
enter his hut, where they mutually invited each other as guests, the
former asking the latter to partake of his cooling sherbet, the latter
inviting the former to partake of the good things which he had in his

They had scarcely satisfied their hunger and thirst, than the
water-carrier, at Ali's request, began to say "I am astonished that you
have never heard of Ali Haymmamy's spring.  Know then that this spring,
as I before said, was formerly a pure one, indeed it was a mineral
spring whither innumerable paralytics resorted.  It takes its name from
Ali, son-in-law of our holy prophet, who is said to have knelt once on
this spot to perform his devotions.  Wishing as a sincere Mussulman to
wash his face and hands before prayer, and finding no water near, it is
reported that he rubbed his hands, in full confidence in the Almighty,
in the hot sands, and that this immediately ran from his fingers like
limpid water--from this it is said the spring takes its origin.  But
the evil spirits, that mar every thing as far as they are able, have,
by Allah's long suffering and hidden intention, since taken possession
of this spring, particularly the abominable Zelulu, who fixes his
nocturnal abode in the desert.  It is believed that he dwells in the
spring; and that he has not only corrupted the water, so that it has
entirely lost its healing virtue, but that it has, moreover, become
poisonous and mortal.  The sulphureous vapours arising from it infect
the air with pestilence.  You will now readily understand my
astonishment at finding you asleep there, and you may thank your sound
constitution and my assistance for your deliverance."

Great was Ali's astonishment on hearing this.  He pressed the carrier's
hand with gratitude, and some pieces of gold accompanied the pressure.
The poor man was so delighted at this, that Ali quite forgot the danger
he had escaped in the joy of his companion.  The latter accompanied him
some distance on his way, and now Ali soon came to pleasant groves of
cypress, maple, and cedar, through which he went down to the ruins of
Babylon which lay on the mighty river.

There he now stood surrounded by widely scattered ruins overgrown with
grass and moss.  Some pillars and fragments of walls rose near the
banks and were reflected in the waves of the slowly flowing Euphrates.
A herdsman sat on an architrave playing his reed-pipe, while his goats
wandered about browsing on the grass between the stones.

"Do you know this place?" asked Ali.

"I have a hut in the neighbourhood," said the shepherd.

"And what mean these heaps of stones?"

"It is said that in ancient time a city stood upon this spot."

"Cannot you tell me something about it?"

"No; it has been desolate from time immemorial; neither my father nor
my grandfather ever saw it different."

Ali stood lost in thought.  He was moved by seeing the young shepherd
sitting on the stone like the unconcerned Present on the grave of the
Past,--on the shore of the stream of time which rushes by like the
paradisaical Euphrates, the river that saw the fall of Adam as well as
that of Babylon, and still rolls onwards its fresh and youthful waves.
Every uncommon mark in the mouldering stones delighted him, and his
thoughts were as much engaged with surrounding objects as the young
shepherd seemed indifferent to them.  Like Ali he plucked the grass
from the ruins, though not like him in order to read the inscriptions,
but to give to his goats what they were unable to reach for themselves.

Towards the evening Ali set out on his way back to Bagdad, and wandered
thoughtfully over the plain.  The evening was cool and bright, and
after he had proceeded a few hundred paces, his eyes already discerned
Bagdad.  He did not think it necessary to hasten, feeling sure that he
must soon reach the city, but loitered long on the charming verdant
spots in the sandy plain.  The moon arose and shone so brightly, that
the night appeared almost as light as day.  Hence Ali did not take any
account of the time; he felt weary, and seeing a large stone at some
distance from him in which seats were cut out, he could not resist
sitting down and, with his head resting on his hand, gazing over the
calm, clear, and cool, desert before him.  The wind was rustling
through the palms over his head.  Conceive his astonishment when the
wind was suddenly hushed, and when he again heard the spring ripple a
few yards off, and smelt the noxious vapours which the breezes had
before wafted to the opposite side.

Terrified, he jumped up and ran back more than a hundred yards.  He saw
that a thunder-storm was suddenly approaching.  By the dim moonlight,
which every moment threatened to be obscured by the black clouds, he
could scarcely distinguish the path that would lead him home.  However,
he hastened onwards, and cursed the habit which, on the slightest
occasion, always misled him to shut himself up from surrounding
objects, like flowers which close in the evening, so that he did not
think where he was, or what took place near him.  It grew darker and
darker, thick clouds obscured the moon, loud thunder rolled over his
head, but not a drop of rain descended.  A burning wind rushed through
the desert and stirred up the sand, so that he was obliged every minute
to shut his eyes.

"Are there really evil spirits living," he said to himself, "that can
hurt man?  No; innocence is the real great seal of Solomon, which not
even the terrible Eblis dares to break."  He had scarcely uttered these
words than a frightful darkness forced him to stand still.  Suddenly
the sky and earth were burning with a pale flame, a forked flash of
lightning shot over his head, and struck a hollow tree close by his
side.  At the same time a pelting shower of rain streamed from the
clouds, and Ali fell to the ground, stunned by the tremendous
thunder-claps.  Thus he lay for some time.  At length all became calm,
and he arose; but what was his horror when he saw against the deep blue
moonlit sky, a monstrous black giant standing on the plain!  The huge
head reached high in the air, and looked upon Ali with a large
sparkling eye.  Ali was about to flee, but fear paralysed his feet.
Trembling, he again turned his face towards the formidable figure which
he fancied would crush him.  How surprised and delighted was he on
discovering that the formidable monster was nothing but a large black
cloud, the last remnant of the thunderstorm, with an opening in the
centre, through which the moon was beaming!  This discovery restored
his courage as quickly as he had before lost it.  He now perceived that
the whole was nothing more than a natural phenomenon, such, doubtless,
as had often occurred in this narrow valley, and had given rise to the
superstition of the people.  He now proceeded onwards with fresh
vigour, and it was not long before he crossed the bridge of the Tigris
with a light heart, delighted at having so fortunately completed his
adventure.  But the black, Zelulu (for he it really was who amused
himself with deceiving the conceited youth), stared smiling after him
with his glowing eye, and then burst out into such loud laughter, that
the palms of the desert trembled.  Then, shaking the mane of his
monstrous head, he folded up the large airy bulk of his body and
floated over the spring, where, forming himself into a pillar, he
suddenly rushed down with a tremendous howl.  From this time he
determined to persecute the youth.

Ali, on his return, found his father's house in the greatest state of
confusion and distress.  His father was not there, and when he asked
after him, an old slave said to him, "Unhappy son, at this moment the
executioner is perhaps inflicting the fatal wound on him."  Ali stood
speechless and pale.  The cause of the unhappy event was as follows:

Ibrahim bore an implacable hatred against Hussain, Cadi of Bagdad, and
the latter entertained a similar feeling in return; nay, people in the
city were wont to name Ibrahim and Hussain if they wished to cite an
instance of two irreconcileable enemies.  Both had been educated, after
the death of their parents, in the house of a mutual relative.  Nothing
can be worse than men of an entirely opposite disposition being
compelled to hold daily intercourse; repugnance and hatred increase
more and more, and their conversation becomes a constant feud.  Hussain
was proud and gloomy; Ibrahim vehement and animated.  Daily did they
reproach each other; the former considering the latter a frivolous
sensualist, the latter considering the former a cold, selfish egotist.
As they advanced in years their hatred increased.  Their guardian had a
beautiful daughter, whom both, as members of the family, had
opportunities of seeing.  Ibrahim fell in love with her, and hoped that
his affections would be returned, and the father's consent obtained.
But as Hussain, by his natural talent, industry, and perseverance, soon
raised himself to an important station, he obtained, contrary to
Ibrahim's expectation, the consent of the beautiful Mirza and her
parent.  Ibrahim was so enraged at this, that out of revenge he shortly
after took two wives.  One presented him with Ali at the cost of her
own life.  Mirza lived with Hussain for some years before she bore him
a daughter.  Some time had now past, Mirza had died, and separation,
which usually weakens enmity as well as friendship, had almost
extinguished the hatred of the cheerful Ibrahim.  An occurrence,
however, showed that it still burned fiercely in the heart of the
haughty Hussain; and this poured fresh oil into Ibrahim's fire, which,
as it appeared, death alone could now extinguish.

Two years ago, Ibrahim had returned from a journey, and among other
precious articles, had brought with him some Indian gold cloth, such as
had never been seen before.  Hussain heard of this, and as his daughter
had grown up to be one of the most beautiful maidens in Bagdad, his
paternal pride was set upon adorning his lovely child by all the means
of art and of wealth.  He had seen the cloth in passing Ibrahim's shop,
but not wishing to purchase it himself, had sent a slave to Ibrahim,
and commissioned him to settle the bargain.  Ibrahim looked upon this
as the first step towards a reconciliation on the part of Hussain; and
being of a more forgiving disposition than he, and, moreover, being in
a cheerful humour, in anticipation of a happy future, he gave the cloth
to the slave, telling him to say to Hussain, that he wished him to
accept of it as a token of former friendship.  A short time after this,
the slave returned with the cloth, and said that his master had looked
upon it as a great insult, that a merchant presumed to offer presents
to the cadi, as these must always look, more or less, like bribes; and
that Ibrahim ought to name a price for it, as the cadi was quite able
to pay for it, although he did not every year bring home riches on his
mules.  This haughty answer was so revolting to Ibrahim, that he took
the cloth from the slave's hands, and tearing it to pieces, exclaimed:
"Tell your master, that thus I tear the last bonds of our former
friendship,--that I tear up by the roots the flowers which childhood
had woven into the golden ground of our life."

Late in the evening of the day on which this had happened, and after
Ibrahim had for some time shut up his shop, he heard a knock at the
door.  He went and opened it, but did not see any body.  He had
scarcely gone away, when the knocking was repeated.  He opened again,
and again saw no one.  Vexed at this, he was returning to his room,
when suddenly a louder knocking than before was heard.  He now ran
quickly to the door, and burst it open, in hopes of meeting the
insolent person who was thus tantalising him.  As soon as he had opened
it, there stood outside a pretty, middle-aged woman in black, holding a
staff in her hand.  "What do you want?" cried Ibrahim.

"I have a request to make, friend," said she.  "My beautiful daughter
is soon to be married; I am poor, and cannot afford a handsome bridal
dress, such as she deserves.  Give me the gold cloth which you have
torn to-day; it will be good enough for us, and has lost its greatest
value for you.  If old friends forsake us, we must look for new ones."

Ibrahim, who was liberal, gave her the cloth, which she contemplated
attentively, and then said: "It has suffered great injury; it will cost
pains to stick it together again; still it can be remedied."  Upon this
she saluted Ibrahim kindly, and went away, and he never again saw her.

Ibrahim now gave daily vent to his anger in vehement words against
Hussain; and whatever he said was reported to the latter, with
additions, so that the enraged cadi only watched for an opportunity to
take revenge.  This occurred sooner than he expected.  The kind, mild
government of Haroun al Raschid, however beneficent in some respects,
produced in a certain degree disagreeable consequences for himself.
The populace had scarcely perceived that they were not forced to
tremble slavishly before the noble caliph, than they began to censure
his conduct and calumniate him, with the greatest audacity.  For some
time he allowed this to pass unnoticed.  But the insolence increased;
and he now all at once issued orders, that any one presuming to revile
the actions of the caliph should be executed without mercy.  This order
had been made public a few days after Ibrahim's return, indeed on the
very morning when his son had gone to Babylon.  Being much engaged, he
remained at home during that morning, and it was not till nearly
evening that he went to a khan, where he was in the habit of spending a
few hours every day.  He had not spoken to any person, and knew nothing
of the proclamation.  He had scarcely entered the khan, when a crier
came through the street, exclaiming that every one should step aside to
make way, as Zobeide, the favourite wife of the caliph was about to
pass with her slaves.  Ibrahim, who was in a merry mood, and did not
often weigh his words nicely, said: "They call Haroun al Raschid the
wisest man.  It may be that he possesses singular qualities; but as
regards women, he is the weakest creature that I never knew.  My son,
who is twenty years old, is ten times wiser on that score than he is."

Ibrahim had no sooner said these words, than he was seized by the
officers of the cadi, and brought before Hussain.  His grief can easily
be conceived, when he heard the sentence of death.  He entreated
Hussain, in the name of their youthful friendship, to save his life.

"You yourself have violated our friendship," replied the latter,
coldly; "there are here witnesses of your words, and I cannot save you.
All I can do is, to bring you to the Commander of the Faithful, who
wishes to see the first violator of his proclamation, and to witness
his execution."

So far the old slave related.  Ali was paralysed with horror; a
messenger from the caliph first recalled him to consciousness.  "Do you
bring me his gray head?" asked Ali; "has the axe already dyed his thin
silvery hair with blood?"

"I will bring you to your father," replied the messenger.  "The caliph
has granted him permission to take leave of his son before he dies."

"Is he still living?" cried Ali, and he hastened to the palace.  On
entering it, he saw the caliph sitting on his throne; while before him
his father, with his hands tied behind him, was kneeling on a carpet.
A silver basin stood near, and the executioner had already drawn his
bright, sharp sword.  Ali embraced his father.

"I cannot clasp you in my arms, my son," said the old man, "but I die
for your sake; parental fondness made my lips utter those words."

"Untie his hands!" cried the caliph; "let him embrace his son before he

Ali threw himself at the caliph's feet, and said, imploringly: "Restore
me my father."

"I pity your fate," said Haroun al Raschid, with emotion, "but I have
sworn that the blood of him who should revile my majesty and
benevolence shall flow."

"Oh! then there is hope of delivery," cried Ali.  "Am I not blood of my
father's blood?  Let, then, my blood flow for his, that I may fall a
sacrifice to your revenge, and that my death may release you from your

"What is it that you dare to offer me, young man?" said the caliph,
sternly.  "Do not think to soften my heart by a trick so common!  What
I have determined is unalterable, and in the name of Almighty God I
tell you your tears cannot move me."

Ali knelt down.  "Strike!" he cried to the slave, as he stretched out
his neck.

"What are you doing, my son?" cried the old man.

"I imitate my father," said Ali.  "From love to me you have exposed
yourself to death, from love to you I will suffer it for you."

"And your mistress--how will she wring her white hands!" said the

"Commander of the Faithful, I have none," said Ali.

"How?  Have you no passion? has not all-powerful love struck root in
your heart?"

"I love God," said Ali, "my father, and you, my liege, even in death;
for I know that you are otherwise good and just; I love nature, men,
and every thing beautiful that flourishes and lives; but no woman has
yet awakened a passion!"

"Then Ibrahim was right," cried Haroun al Raschid, laughing; "then you
are really wiser than the caliph.  Rise, my friends," he continued,
"neither of you shall die.  Ibrahim has not violated my law; he knew it
not.  He has not praised his son at the expense of the caliph; my oath
does not require his blood.  Forgive me the terrors of death which I
have caused you.  A prince has seldom an opportunity of looking into
the secrets of the heart with his own eyes.  Only on the boundary which
separates death from life, all considerations disappear, and only thus
could I discover in you a virtue which I now admire.  Go home, honest
Ibrahim, you are healthy and cheerful, by nature, so that this shock
will not be attended with any dangerous consequences.  And you, wise
Ali," he continued, smiling, "I will see you again a year hence, and
learn whether you are then as wise as you are now."  As soon as he had
concluded, he dismissed them, and sent them home laden with splendid

Hussain was an eye-witness of the scene.  It may easily be conceived
how this sudden act of grace inflamed his hatred, and with what triumph
the father and son returned home again.

Ibrahim lived happily with his son, who applied himself anew, with
great industry, to the acquisition of knowledge.  Once a slave came to
Ali's room and begged him to come down, as his father had purchased
something for him in the market.  He went down accordingly, and was
much surprised at seeing a little, deformed creature, dressed as a
slave, standing before him.  The little man wore a high hat, with a
cock's feather, on his head; his chest, as well as his back, formed a
hump; his squinting eyes were of a pale gray, like those of a cat; and
his nose hung over his mouth like a bunch of grapes, and was of a
violet colour.  For the rest, he was cheerful, brisk, and healthy,
notwithstanding all his excrescences; and with his right eye, which was
triangular, he looked attentively at Ali, whilst the left was concealed
in the angle between the nose and forehead.

Whilst Ali stood wondering at this paragon of human ugliness, his
father could not suppress his laughter, and said: "Have I not been to
the market at a lucky moment?  An hour afterwards it would have been
too late, so numerous were those who wished to purchase him.  I owe it
to my prompt decision that I got him for two hundred pieces of gold.
Only think, my wise son, you lock yourself up within four walls, to
suck, like a bee, sweetness from old manuscripts; and yet this
hunchback slave, who never has had time to sit at home and pore over
books, is declared by the opinion of all connoisseurs, to be unequalled
in learning throughout Arabia and Persia.  You may easily see it in
him; wisdom breaks forth in every part of him, and, therefore, great
must be the superfluity within!  Take him with you; I present him to
you to assist you in your studies, and divert you in your hours of

When Ali had returned to his room attended by his deformed slave, and
the latter saw the great quantity of books and parchments which laid
about in every direction, he raised his hands in amazement, and cried
with warmth, "The wise Confucius might well say, 'Blessed is he who
recognises the end of his destiny!  The way that he must go to reach
his goal stands marked before his eyes.  Uncertainty and doubt leave
him as soon as he enters on that way.  Peace and tranquillity strew
roses on his path.'  But he also truly said, 'Unhappy is he who
mistakes the branches of the tree for its roots, the leaves for fruit,
the shadow for the substance, and who knoweth not how to distinguish
the means from the end."

"What do you mean by that?" asked Ali.

"Sadi has said," replied the little slave, "that the most unprofitable
of human beings, is a learned man who does not benefit his
fellow-creatures by his learning; we hear the mill clapping but see no
flour; a word without a deed is a cloud without rain, and a bow without
a string."

Ali now wished to try whether the knowledge of the slave went beyond
these and similar maxims.  He examined him and was astonished at his
proficiency in the Arabian, Persian, Hindoo, and Chinese philosophy.

"What is your name?" continued Ali.

"When I was born," replied the hunchback, "my mother was of opinion
that I was so easily distinguishable as to require no name, thinking
that people would soon enough separate the ram from the goats without
tying a red ribbon round his neck."

"Are you a Mohammedan?" asked Ali, again.

"Mahomet could neither read nor write; I worship Mithra; to him I bow
the knee, not to the rising in the east but to the setting in the west."

"Then you worship the sun?"

"The sun itself is cold, and produces warmth only when combined with
the atmosphere of our earth.  The fire has beautiful yellow locks and
sparkling eyes, it vivifies every thing with its love, and burns most
beautifully at night."

"Still I must call you by a name," said Ali.

"I am as diminutive, deformed, and ugly, as the renowned _Lockman_,"
said the slave, "and he was as shrewd and knew as much as I do.  It was
the same with Æsop.  Many are of opinion that they are one and the same
person; if this may be said of two it may also be applied to three.
Call me _Lockman_, and believe in the _metempsychosis_.  It is the
cheapest belief, as it costs the creator least."

Ali knew not whether to smile or be angry at this frivolous joke.
Indeed, he did not know whether he was joking; for every thing that
_Lockman_ (as we shall call the slave,) said, was mixed with a certain
serious grimace which again frequently changed into sarcastic ridicule.

On the same evening Ali read aloud the following passage from
Zoroaster's "Wisdom:"

  "The power hath work'd from all eternity:
  Two angels are its subjects--Virtue, Vice,
  Of light and darkness mingled;--aye at war.
  When Virtue conquers, doubled is the light;
  When Vice prevails the black abyss is glad.
  To the last day the struggle shall endure.
  Then Virtue shall have joy, and Vice have pain,
  And never more these enemies shall meet."

When Ali had read thus far, Lockman, who was still in the room, had so
violent a bleeding at the nose that he was obliged to leave it, and Ali
saw him no more that evening.

Early in the morning he was awakened by a singing which ascended from
the garden.  He opened the window and heard a hoarse, though well
practised voice, sing the following words:

  "Lovely spring returns again,
    And his merry glance is warm,
  And he sings a lively strain,
    But the youth he cannot charm.

  "Rosebuds all their fragrance shed,
    But his heart they cannot move,
  Seeking joys for ever fled,
    Through the ruins he must rove.

  "Does he dwell amid the flowers,
    By some kindly beauty blest?
  No; amid the ruin'd towers,
    Where the screech owl builds her nest.

  "No fair arms around him cling,
    Ne'er he tastes a honied kiss;
  Songs that ancient dreamers sing,
    Those alone afford him bliss.

  "Wake him from this sullen sleep,
    Lovely spring thy pow'r display,
  Or the youth too late will weep,
    For the joys he flings away."[1]

Ali went into the garden, and found Lockman sitting under a tree with a
guitar in his hand.

"Do you sing too?" asked Ali.

"If the screeching of an owl can be called singing," replied he, "I
sing like the feathered songster of the grove."

"Your guitar has a pleasant sound."

"That it learned from a sheep when a wolf struck its claws into its

"What were you singing?"

"A poor song on a great subject composed by one of those poets who
always entreat us to take the will for the deed.  Do you wish to hear

He sung again.

  "Sure some madness it must be,
    Thus the present hour to slight,
    And to take thy sole delight
  In the tales of memory.
  Why shouldst thou thy time despise?
  Why the past thus fondly prize?
    Seek'st thou only what is gone?
  Nay, what is't thou wouldst recall?
  Dreamy pleasures--that is all;
    Fit for puling babes alone.

  "Nay, suppose this honor'd Past
  Should return to thee at last,
  Friend, thou soon wouldst say: 'The star
  Shines more brightly when afar.'
  When the Future's sunbeams glow,
  Fancy paints a glittering bow;
  O'er the cloudy Past 'tis spread,
  Venture near, and it has fled.
  In the centre thou shouldst be,
  If thou wouldst the magic see."

From this time Ali, as usual, went frequently to Izaser's temple,
attended by Lockman.

"Why do you always go this way?" he once asked Ali.  "Are not the other
suburbs also beautiful?"

"I do not know them as well as these," replied Ali.  "This
neighbourhood has been familiar to me from childhood; every step
recalls to my memory some moment of my past life, and cannot,
therefore, but be most dear to me."

When they were on the point of going out on the following day, Lockman
had put off the handsome dress which Ali had given to him, and appeared
again in his former tattered slave's coat.

"What is that?" asked Ali.  "Why have you again put on those rags?
Have I not given you a good, decent suit?"

"Forgive me, master," said he, "I am not so familiar with my new suit
as with this: this has been familiar to me in my early life, every hole
and every rent recalls to my memory some past moment, and therefore
cannot but be extremely dear to me."

Ali understood him, and found that he was not altogether wrong.  "Go
back," said he, "and put on your new suit, and then I will go another
way with you."

They went out at the opposite gate which brought them to another
winding of the Tigris.  Here they found many gardens surrounded by high
walls, between which were beautiful avenues of trees, and stone benches
for the repose of travellers.  Ali sat down on one of these benches,
and, having looked round for some time, sank as usual into a deep
reverie.  When he had awakened from it he was going to ask Lockman for
something, but not seeing him, was obliged to call him several times.
Upon which his slave appeared from a thick copse adjoining the wall.

"Come, Lockman," cried Ali, "I want you to tell me something."

"Such things cannot be told at all," replied the latter, with a sigh.
"Do you wish to hear trite similes of rosy cheeks, ruby lips, pearly
teeth, lily hands, bosoms like pomegranates covered with snow, eyebrows
like rainbows?  Come and see for yourself, for you will behold an
incomparable beauty, who being a female is probably not always the

Ali approached the copse, where, through a hole in a wall, he could see
into a beautiful garden, with splendid _jets d'eau_ which fell into
basins of marble.  A lovely female form was sitting on the turf, and
many other beautiful girls surrounded her as the paler lights of heaven
surround the evening star.  Her youth was in its highest splendour, and
was adorned with those beautiful colours which are otherwise found only
in the most dissimilar objects in nature, and which Lockman had named.
But Ali perceived besides, a grace playing on her lips, and a spirit in
her eyes such as we see neither in the lustre of rubies nor in that of
diamonds.  Innocence and infantine serenity animated her countenance;
her movements were natural and easy, like those of a Zephyr; and from
the affability which she showed to her attendants, Ali inferred the
gentleness of her disposition.  He stood enraptured in the
contemplation of this beauty, believing that he beheld an angelic
being.  A deep red was suddenly suffused over his face, while,
beckoning to his slave, he retired from the wall.  He looked in again,
and perceived that her slaves were undressing her.  Her long hair
already fell over her bare shoulders, and her white garment floated
loosely round her beautiful bosom.  Officious hands loosened the tight
bodice, and from all the preparations it was evident that she was about
to take a refreshing bath in the hour of evening.

"Master," cried Lockman, "in the name of Allah and the prophet, pray
wait and continue watching."

Ali, incensed, took him by the collar and threw him backwards.

"Oh, you are not in your senses," cried the slave, vexed, as he
followed him; "you shut your mouth close that you may not enjoy the
manna in the wilderness which falls from heaven; you will not take a
refreshing draught in the desert when it is offered.  You are no
Mussulman.  A Mussulman loves sensual pleasure, the prophet has
permitted it to us in this life, and promised it in the next."

"The prophet did not enjoin what he permitted," said Ali.  "As the
angel took out of his heart the black drops in which were concealed the
seeds of evil, in the same manner also can the angel purify the heart
of every man."

"You are no true Mussulman," said Lockman, "neither war nor sensual
pleasure delight you."

"No," replied Ali, "they do not; but courage and love do."

"Go to the foggy Europe," cried Lockman; "you are no Asiatic; the
prophet of Nazareth has misled you.  Your virtue is not an active one,
it is only abstinence; your life is but a continued preparation for

Ali broke off the conversation, and went away vexed, but soon forgot
Lockman.  The lovely maiden on the turf was still present to his
imagination in all her beauty.

In anxious expectation he waited for the next evening, and went
unattended by Lockman.

On first arriving he sat down, and meditated to whom this garden could
possibly belong.  He then walked several times up and down the avenue
between the walls, and not seeing any one near, could not resist
stopping by the hedge and looking through the hole into the garden.
However he saw no one, for the garden was forsaken.  On the turf,
opposite the _jet d'eau_, lay a rose which he wished to possess.  As he
still stood gazing some one tapped him softly on the shoulder, upon
which he looked around, and saw standing before him a middle-aged and
affable woman, who asked him smiling,

"What are you looking after, young gentleman?"

Ali was embarrassed.

"You need not answer," said she.  "Your little dwarf has been here this
morning, and has settled every thing with me.  My mistress is very
anxious to see you."

And without waiting for an answer, she took Ali by the hand, and led
him through an open garden door into a thick arbour where she left him.

The beautiful Gulhyndi came to meet him dressed in a fine black suit of
satin with short sleeves, which enhanced the natural whiteness of her
arms, hands, and neck.  Her hair flowed in long tresses down her back;
and a deep bodice set with precious stones encircled her slender waist.

"You will be surprised, sir," she said with natural freedom from
embarrassment, "at being brought so suddenly before a young girl whom
you do not know.  I will at once free you from the state of uncertainty
in which you might easily remain to my disadvantage.  Know then that I
have hazarded this step as the only means of becoming acquainted with a
man of such excellent qualities, whose intellectual conversation I have
long wished to enjoy.  It is not for the first time that we see each
other; indeed, we have known each other for a long time."

The fair one now took a long veil which concealed her face, leaving a
small opening only for the eyes, walked a few paces up and down, and
then asked him, "Do you know me thus?"

Ali started; it was his unknown friend of Izaser's temple.

"I am certain you now know me.  My name is Gulhyndi.  I have long known
you, and better than you imagine.  A pious dervish with whom I often
conversed in the temple on holy things, frequently spoke of you; and I
will not deny," she continued, blushing, "that your appearance seems to
confirm me in what I have heard of you.  My nurse, who is a Christian,
has exerted a great influence upon my education.  We poor Arab women
are condemned to sit like prisoners in a cage without receiving
instruction or any cultivation for our minds.  But I can bear it no
longer, and beseech you, noble young Mussulman, who surpass in sense
and judgment so many of your age, not to make me repent a step which
reason sanctions, although as a timid girl I must blush at it."

"Lovely stranger," said Ali, "I swear to you by Allah that I will
strive to merit your confidence, and never to make myself unworthy of

"All depends upon our devising a disguise under which I may see you
daily.  Do you play an instrument?"

"I play the guitar," replied Ali.

"That is fortunate.  My father has promised that I shall learn this
instrument, and has given me permission to receive daily instruction
from a Frank slave in the presence of my nurse.  You must be this
slave: will you not?"

"Lovely Gulhyndi," said Ali, "I am your slave already."

Gulhyndi blushed.

"You already act in character, you say sweet things to me, a fault with
all Franks; in this respect we Orientals have the advantage over them,
we tell the true feeling of our hearts plainly."

"So do I; I have not disguised my nature."

"This is a repetition," cried she, laughing; "I see you are more
cunning than I thought; perhaps I have done wrong in reposing such
confidence in you."

It was now agreed that Ali should procure a Frank dress, such as
liberated slaves wore, and should come the next day with his guitar.
Maria, the nurse, accompanied him to the door, entreating him to pardon
Lockman, who, from zeal for his master, and without his orders, had
that morning arranged the whole plan.  The enraptured Ali promised it,
and inquired of her who her mistress was.

"As you value your own happiness and hers," answered Maria, "ask me no
questions.  Be it sufficient for you to know that her name is Gulhyndi.
She knows no more of you than that your name is Ali.  The moment you
know more than this of each other, all your joy will be turned to

Ali was forced to promise that he would not inquire further.  He
hastened to buy a beautiful guitar, and impatiently awaited the hour
which should again reveal to him his earthly Paradise.  It arrived.  He
entered the garden, and was led to the arbour as he had been the day
before, though Maria did not go away, but remained at the entrance.
Gulhyndi met him much more splendidly attired than on the previous day.
According to the fashion of Persia, she appeared in a light gay velvet
garment, which hung loosely around her body, and was not confined by a
bodice.  Her beautiful face was encircled with strings of genuine
pearls and precious stones; on her fingers she wore diamonds set in
silver, the Orientals not being permitted to wear gold rings.  She had
green stockings, which showed the symmetry of her ancles, and on her
small feet were shoes embroidered with gold.  Smiling, she said: "Do
not think, dear Ali, that I have chosen this dress from vanity.  My
father, who loves pomp, has been with me, and I have not had time to
change it as I expected.  I will leave you for a moment, and will be
with you immediately, for this attire is not sociable.  I can scarcely
turn my head with the weight of these jewels, nor move my fingers with
these rings."

Having said these words, she went away, attended by Maria.  Ali
followed her with his eyes; and though he wished he might see her in a
plain attire, which would rather display than conceal her graceful
form, yet he could not refrain, as she went away, f