Skip to main content

Full text of "Tales from the German, comprising specimens from the most celebrated authors"

See other formats















LIBUSSA. BY J. H. MUSJEUS. (J. 0.) ....... 1 






THE SANDMAN. BY E. T. "W. HOFFMANN. (J. 0.) 140 





ST. CECILIA ; OR, THE POWER OF Music. BY H. VON KLEIST. (J. O.) . . 298 

THE NEW PARIS. BY J. W. GOETHE. (J. 0.) 306 



THE JESUITS' CHURCH IN G . BY E. T. W. HOFFMANN. (J. 0.) . . . 416 




THE object of the translators of the following tales was to present 
the English public with a collection, which should combine effec- 
tiveness 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 suffi- 
cient 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 entirely. 

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, gene- 
rally 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 Gothe. At the same time 
they trust that Kleist's Michael Kohlhaas, Zschokke's Alamontade, 
Schiller's Criminal from Lost Honour* 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 ; 

* 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 col- 
lection. Almost the same may be said of the more celebrated romance of La 
Motte Fouque. 


but it must not be supposed that they worked so separately that the 
printer and the binder have alone connected the results of their la- 
bours. Every tale when finished by the translator was carefully re- 
vised 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 pro- 
priety. That in such instances they have softened or omitted, needs 
no apology.* 

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. 

Gothe 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. Hoffineister, which is a perfect treasury of information and 
criticism. The materials for a biography of Gothe lie scattered 
through a vast quantity of correspondence, reminiscences, conversa- 
tions, and characteristics; but a biography, such as the greatness of 
the subject requires, is still a desideratum in German literature. 

The New Paris, by Gothe, which appears in this collection, is 
from that delightful autobiography, to which the poet has given the 
name of Dichtuny und Wahrheit. The circumtances 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 in- 

" This misguided man, Wolf," says Hoffmeister, " appears as a 
mournful sacrifice to the law, which, from this example, should learn 

* 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 cor- 
rected. The provincial word, " Imine," should be translated " Queen-bee," not 
" ant." Vide p. 14, line 5 from the bottom. 


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 
1 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 oc- 
curring breaks, and the affected antitheses that marked Schiller's early 
style. Every thing shows that the author moved in a clear, free ele- 
ment. In some portions he has been eminently successful; as, for in- 
stance, 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 Gothe and Schiller, it is as well to state that Gothe 
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 Muslius, one of the most popular tale writers of 
Germany, was born at Jena, in 1 735. His father was a justice there, 
and was soon afterwards removed to Eisenach, by an official appoint- 
ment. Young Muslius 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 theolo- 
gical career, he turned his thoughts to literature, and made his first 
essay by a parody on Richardson's celebrated novel, called Grandi- 
son 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 Ger- 
mans. This collection he made in a singular manner. Sometimes 
he would gather round him a crowd of old women with their spin- 
ning-wheels and listen to their gossip, sometimes he would hear the 
stories of children from the street. On one occasion, his wife, re- 
turning 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 Musa'us 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 re- 
quest of his widow, re-edited after his death by the celebrated Wie- 
land, 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 JEneas Sylvius, 
De Boliemorum gestis et oriyine. 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 Gothe 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 Baircuth 
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 "Le- 
gutionsrath" from the Duke of Sachsen-Hildburghauscn, with a pen- 
sion, 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 en- 

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, Gb't- 
tingen, 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 cul- 
tivated 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 transla- 
tion 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 empe- 
rors during the dynasty of the HohenstaufTen family, with an ela- 
borate 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),* 
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 

* An admirable paper on Novalis is in Mr. Carlyle's Miscellanies. 


work lias never been translated, but the tales which are introduced 
into it, such as the Blond Ecklert 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 Lichten- 
stein's Frauendienst (service of ladies), a kind of romance, by a cele- 
brated Minnesanger, and a collection of plays under the title of Old 
German Theatre. In 1818 he visited London, where he was re- 
ceived with great respect, and employed his time in making collec- 
tions 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 Phantasm 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 

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 Kb'nigsberg, 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 some- 
what 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, Kathchen 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 Kohlliaas, may be extracted with profit. 

" Michael Kohlliaas" says Tieck, " is unquestionably the most re- 
markable 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 pre- 
cisely because he goes to work with so steady a purpose, and con- 
sciously 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 them- 
selves. 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, fan- 
tastical personage, when certainly it must have been either Fred- 
erick 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 accompany- 
ing 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 bv 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 imi- 
tator 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 Konigsberg 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 capa- 
city to Warsaw. His legal career was terminated by the invasion of 
the French, in 1806, and he made use of his musical talents to ob- 
tain a subsistence. In the autumn of 1808 he accepted the invita- 
tion 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 Musikalisclie Zeitung. From 1813 
to 1815 he conducted the orchestra of a theatrical company, alter- 
nately in Dresden and Leipzig, and in 1816 was appointed councillor 
of the royal Hammer gericht 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 Cal- 
lofs Manner i 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 Tom- 
cat Murr, the collection called the Serapions 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 Hoff- 
mann'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 Bcrthold, and Hoffmann seems 
to be exhibiting his own internal nature as the extreme of unhealthi- 
ness. The same tone may be perceived in his other writings, and 
his obvious reverence for the prosaic and common-place, as the anti- 
thesis to himself, is remarkable. The story of the Sandman had its 
origin in a discussion which actually took place between La Motte 
Fouque and some friends, at which Hoffmann was present. Some 
if the party found fault with the cold, mechanical deportment of a 
v<>ui!Lf lady t-l'ilu-ir acquaintance, while La Motte Fouque zealously 
lli-i- IloiJhiiini) i .ru"ht the notion of the automaton 


Olympia, and the arguments used by Nathaniel are those that were 
really employed by La Motte Fouque. 

A writer of extraordinary fancy and invention, but working for a 
more obvious purpose, and producing narratives more related in cha- 
racter 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 Tubingen in 
1820. Afterwards he became a private teacher at Stuttgard, and 
began his literary career with the Almanack of Talcs for the year 
1826. This was followed by Contributions from Satan's Me- 
moirs, and the Man in the Moon, the latter of which was de- 
signed to satirise the popular writer Clauren. HaufF's historical 
romance of Lichtenstdn acquired great celebrity, and the collec- 
tion 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 Oehlenschlager 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 castel- 
lan. 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 " ./Esthetics" 
at the University of Copenhagen, and, in 1816, took another jour- 
ney 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 narra- 
tives, some founded on the legends of his own country ; and a num- 
ber of dramas, of which his beautiful Corregio is the most cele- 
brated. The tale of Ali and Gulhyndi, which appears in this col- 
lection, is most striking for its felicitous resemblance of the Oriental 
style of fiction. Oehlenschlager'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 
Diisseldorf 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 (Land- 


gerichtsrath) at Diisseldorf. 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 
Gothe'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, oc- 
cupy twenty-five volumes. 

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.* 

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. 

* 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 re- 
mains, 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 grot- 
toes, 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 de- 
fend 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 twi- 
light?" 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 occu- 
pied 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 

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 re- 
mote 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 deli- 
cate, 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 eves ; 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 Es- 
culapius with their boasted " prognosis" are able to tell when death 
will knock at their own doors. 

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, 
e a madman he flew upon the workmen with his spear and drawn 
word, and frightened them from their work; for they thought that 
mountain demon was in their presence and fled in great confusion, 
fortunately the tree's wound was curable, and in a few summers 
he scar had disappeared. 

In the hours of rest in the evening, after the new-corner had se- 
ected a spot for his future dwelling, had marked out the space to be 
icdged in for a little garden, and had again considered in his mind the 
,vhole plan of the hermitage in which he designed to pass his days, 
ar removed from human society, in the service of a shadowy friend, 
tfho seemed to be totally unreal, the elf appeared to him on the 
)anks of the lake, and with graceful gestures thus accosted him: 
' Thanks, dear stranger, that thou hast prevented the strong arms 
rf 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 
:he 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 whirl- 
wind, 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 assist- 
ance, 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 be- 
hold 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 Jicrbs, besides an assort- 
ment 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 in- 
dustry, 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, in- 
structed 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 con- 
sistency. Her bosom was filled with animation and life, fire glis- 
tened 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 de- 
lighted 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 in- 
firmities 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 ques- 
tioned 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 pos- 
session 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 dis- 
missed 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 reach- 
ing 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 des- 
tiny 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 clay 
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 them- 
selves, 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 whicli 
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 accus- 
tomed 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 ven- 
turing 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 ten- 
derness, 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 scat- 
tered 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 pos- 
sessed 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 toge- 
ther. 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, plea- 
sant 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 per- 
fumes, 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 bene- 
ficent 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 trea- 
sures ; 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 na- 
ture 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 knighthooA 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 wilder- 
ness 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 pro- 
perty, 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 favour- 
able 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 pa- 
ternal 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 Li- 
bussa 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, endea- 
voured 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 insurmountable. 

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 sup- 
port 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 inhe- 
rited 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 ra- 
tional decision. Selfishness and arrogance turned the first state 


assembly of Bohemia into a Polish diet;* too many hands seized 
the princely mantle at once, so they tore it to pieces, and it be- 
longed 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 pre- 
sent 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 propo- 
sition 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 alle- 
giance 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 mea- 
sure 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 

* A proverbial expression in Germany for a scene of riot, on account of the dis- 
turbances that usually took place at Polish elections. 


right oi 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 pro- 
posed, 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 through- 
out the circle, the solemn faces became unwrinkled and brightened 
up, and every one of the electors could communicate to his neigh- 
bour 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 un- 
favourable one. By reason of qualities so laudable, and so universally 
recognised, the Lady Libussa was certainly the most powerful can- 
didate for the throne, as far as the hearts of the electors were con- 
cerned; 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 at- 
tached himself to the duke's train, as long as he lived, without ad- 
vancing one step nearer to the goal of his wishes. Now he thought 
he had found an opportunity of opening her closed heart, by a me- 
ritorious 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. Mark- 
ing the wavering irresolution of the assembly, he took up the dis- 
course 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 there- 
fore 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 dis- 
course was pleasing enough to the bees, but after mature delibera- 
tion 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 ? Be- 
sides, 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 in- 
crease 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 inter- 
pretation 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 flatter- 
ing 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 fortu- 
nately 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; in- 
tending, 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 di- 
gested 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 re- 
sounded 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 annihi- 
late all the hostile plans and spells of the unnatural pair, till at last 
they were tired of exercising upon her their inefficient powers. 

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 con- 
spicuous on every occasion. On the day of homage he was the first 
vassal who made the oath of allegiance to the new princess ; he fol- 
lowed her as inseparably as the moon follows the earth, that by un- 
asked- 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 candi- 
dates for her heart interpret the lady's coldness. Both, however, 
were wrong; the noble sovereign was neither insensible nor un- 
grateful ; 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, accord- 
ing 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 constancy. 

It was therefore less remaikable, that, under the circumstances, the 
Lady Libussa could refuse the hand of the blooming knights who so- 
licited 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 
mesalliance 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 ob- 
servable 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 sove- 
reign; 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 sports- 
man, 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 be- 
cause 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 for- 
ward 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 laby- 
rinthian 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 vora- 
cious 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 per- 
vert its justice. A firm dam shall set a proper limit and mea- 
sure to the wild stream, that it may not flow beyond; and I, with 
its fishes, will make thee a seven-fold compensation for the depre- 
dation 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 storms." 

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 de- 
cision 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 exul- 
tation, 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 w r as 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 Li- 
bussa 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 im- 
posed 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 ex- 
pedition, rendering Prince Wladomir as invulnerable to mortal wea- 
pons, as Achilles the hero, and as nimble and active as Achilles the 
swift-footed. The armies met on the northern border of the terri- 
tory, 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 arrny 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 instruc- 
tions 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 cross way 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 them- 
selves 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 be- 
cause 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 con- 
tentions 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 parties." 

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 de- 
spatched 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 unconfmed desire,, 
you chose from the midst of you, not a man, but one of the daugh- 
ters 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 ap- 
pointed 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 council- 
lors; but when the distaff excludes from the throne, there is female 
government; for the girls, who please the king's eyes, have posses- 
sion of his heart. Reflect well, then, on what you do, that you 
may not repent too late of your fickleness." 

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 govern- 
ment with her. At this sudden demand, which seemed to be the 
voice of the people, a virgin blush tinged the cheeks of the charm- 
ing 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 incli- 
nations 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 invio- 
lable, and therefore she prudently endeavoured to avoid the press- 
ing request of the deputies, and to make one attempt more to dis- 
suade 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 pro- 
pose a new election for a king. The dull bustard, the unwieldly 
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 a$d 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 

24 LI BUSS A. 

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 her- 
self in a very maiden-like manner on hearing this address, and 
covered her lace 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 re- 
spect 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. More- 
over, 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 mat- 
ter. 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 pf my heart by the enig- 
matical apple, that I might see who had the greatest share of wis- 
dom 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. 5 ' 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 ima- 
gination 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, arid 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 protege. 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 dis- 
cord 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 perceived. 

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 re- 
solution, 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 un- 
changeably 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 un- 
certainty, 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 ods 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, sur- 
rounded 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 hoi^e 
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 pro- 
phetic 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 mo- 
tion, amid the concourse of curious people, w^ho 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 diffi- 
culty in following him. Although the rapid courser seemed left 
entirely to himself, an invisible power directed his course, guided 
liis 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 fel- 
lows: " 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 mean- 
ing, and that they would perhaps meet with some knight- errant re- 
posing under a tree, after the fashion of the wandering brotherhood, 
and serving up his frugal meal on his brazen shield. A third said 

" 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 

28 L1BUSSA. 

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 approach- 
ed 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 w r ere making game of him, 
which seemed to him very mal-a-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 scorn : 

" 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 tosw T im; 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 en- 
dowed 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 mis- 
trust of the doubting ploughman. At once his soul became en- 
lightened; 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 pro- 
phecy 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 descend- 
ants 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 pos- 
session. If then the son of the gods* 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 deputations tood in silent reverence, staring at the 
prophet like so many dunces ; it seemed as though a god was speak- 
ing in him. But he turned away from the deputies to the com- 
panions 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 

* An allusion to the Emperor Joseph II. 


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 ex- 
hibiting 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 3 which proved most advantageous to the neighbouring 
village in whose land this district was included. For, in commemo- 
ration of this wonderful planting, the kings of Bohemia granted a 
charter to this community, that they should never be obliged to con- 
tribute 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 Li- 
bussa 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 new- 
comer, but they saw nothing in him more than a handsome slender 
young man. As for his external appearance there were several cour- 
tiers 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 Mi- 


zisla it was especially obvious that they gave up their claims unwil- 
lingly. 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 for- 
merly 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 sa- 
tisfaction of all present. 

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 rid- 
dles, 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 

Although the very commonest hand at figures, would have de- 
ciphered 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 Pre- 
mislas, it cost him neither ingenuity nor exertion to discover the 
sloution of the riddle. 


" Intimate associate of the heavenly powers," lie said, " whoever 
undertakes to discover thy high-soaring and divine meaning, ven- 
tures 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 

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 re- 
mained in the basket. The half of these she awarded to the wise Prem- 
islas, 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 compre- 
hend how human intellect was able on the one hand to bind a com- 
mon 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.* 

When all was in readiness for the homage, and the nuptials, 
both these ceremonies were celebrated with great pomp. The Bo- 
hemian 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 Bo- 
hemia had nominally a duke, but in point of fact the government 
remained in a female hand as before. Premislas was a perfect pat- 
tern 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 wljo 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 go- 
verned by the superiority of her talents, as Zenobia managed her good- 
natured Odenatus. 

The happy pair lived in the enjoyment of unchanging love, ac- 

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


cording 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. 



IN tlie 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 con- 
cealed, 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 thou- 
sand forms and directions, may produce a thousand contradictory 
phenomena, may appear differently mingled in a thousand charac- 
ters, 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 affi- 
nity. If, as for the other kingdoms of nature, a Linnaeus 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 

Considered from this point of view, the usual mode of treating 
history is open to much objection, and herein, I think, lies the diffi- 
culty, owing to which the study of history has always been so un- 
fruitful for civil life. Between the vehement emotions of the man in 
action, and the quiet mind of the reader, to whom the action is pre- 
sented, there is such a repelling contrast, such a wide interval, that 
it is difficult, nay, impossible for the latter, even to suspect a con- 
nexion. 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, in- 
stead 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 me- 
thod 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 in- 
fluenced from without, and by searching both these he is sure to 
find her. He is now no more astonished to see the poisonous hem- 
lock thriving in that bed, in every other part of which wholesome 
herbs are growing, to find wisdom and folly, virtue and vice, to- 
gether 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 

D 2 


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 anti- 
cipate the reader's verdict. Our leniency will no more avail him, 
since he perished by the hand of the executioner, but the dis- 
section of his crime will perhaps instruct humanity, and possibly in- 
struct justice also. 

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 com- 
plained of his audacity, and the lads of the town reverenced his 
inventive powers. Nature had neglected his person. A little insig- 
nificant 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 for- 
tunate ; 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 con- 
dition 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 depre- 
dations 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 trans- 
gressors to the house of correction. Robert was unwearied in ob- 
serving the secret paths of his rival, and finally succeeded in catch- 


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 Jo- 
hanna. An oppressive feeling of want was combined with offended 
pride, necessity and jealousy raged together against his sensitive- 
ness, 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 w r eeks 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 sub- 
dued 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 

The double relapse had increased the magnitude of the offence. 
The judges looked into the book of laws, but not into the cri- 
minal'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 him- 
self, 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 con- 
fined with three and twenty prisoners, two of whom were mur- 
derers, 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 re- 
venge. All men had offended me, for all were better and happier 
than me. I considered myself the martyr of natural rights, the vic- 
tim 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 pro- 
mised 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 perse- 
cutions 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 it. 

" 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 skip- 
ping 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 man- 
ner, 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. l 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 hun- 
ger, 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 gar- 
rison 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 be- 
cause 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 pro- 
vince 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 deter- 
mination of violating them. Formerly I had sinned from neces- 
sity and levity, now it was from free choice, and for my own plea- 

" My first plan was to continue my poaching. Hunting alto- 
gether 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 sove- 


reign 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 noto- 
rious, 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 some- 
thing 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 recol- 
lection 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 mad- 
ness. 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 

" 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 in- 
creasing 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 gi- 
gantic 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 appearance.' 

" * 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. 5 

" ' For something worse then.' I wished to proceed. 
" ' Softly friend, why in such a hurry? What time have you to 

" I reflected for a moment. How the words came to my tongue 
I do not know. 4 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.' 

" 4 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 re- 
sponded 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 happi- 
ness, for at last, after a thousand vain hopes, I had found a creature 
who eeemed 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 


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

u He struck fire to light his pipe. 

" ' Have you carried on this business long?' 

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

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

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

" ' 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 hastily. 

" ' 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 purpose?' 

" 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 

" We had proceeded about a quarter of a mile. The wood be- 
came 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 medita- 
tions. 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, e 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 to- 
wards 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 mur- 
der 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-ap- 
peared 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 welcome !' 

" ' 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 in- 
famous 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 endea- 
voured 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 

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 witch- 
craft. The district in which he played his part, belonged less at 
that time than now to the enlightened part of Germany ; the re- 
ports were believed, and his person was secure. No one showed a 


desire to attack the dangerous fellow who had the devil at his 

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 in- 
spired 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 volun- 
teer. 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 repara- 
tion 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 

" 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 w T ill appear in the metropolis on your word as a prince. If 
you have resolved otherwise, let justice do her part, I must do 

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 strict- 
ness 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 observa- 


tion of forty years, and to move the oracle of the toll-bar to a recan- 
tation. 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 pri- 
vate 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 con- 
sidered 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 fol- 
lowers 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 be- 
hind, 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 courteously." 

" Who are you?"* 

* 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. 


" 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 

" 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 

" 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 me." 

" 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 some- 
what 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." 

r ' 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 mode- 



ration with which you have treated me to-day has given me con- 
fidence and respect for you. I think that you are an honourable 

" 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 

" 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 re- 
port: I am the ' Host of the Sun.' " 




THOSE who travel through Swabia should always remember to 
cast a passing glance into the Schwarzwald,* 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 con- 
trast 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 stock- 
ings, 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 manu- 
facturers. 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 Schwarz- 
wiilder and their long rafts are well known. Stopping at every 
town which is situated along the river, they wait proudly for pur- 
chasers 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. 

* The Black Forest. 


Hence the difference in their costume from that of the glass manu- 
facturers. 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 Schwarzwalder : 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 char- 
coal. 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. Some- 
thing made him sad, and vexed him, without his knowing exactly 
what it was. At length, however, he found out the cause of his vex- 
ation, 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 walk- 
ing behind him, thinks to himself, ' I wonder who that smart fel- 
low 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 sprawl- 
ing 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 Sechsbiitzner 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 gen- 
tlemen 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 " Niebelungen- 
hort," 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 to- 
wards the poor, for the Schwarzwalder 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 tho 
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-man- 
nikin. 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 conspi- 
cuous part. Now, if Peter strained his memory a little he could 
almost recall the short verse which one must repeat near the Tannen- 
biihl 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 re- 
member no more of it. He often thought of asking some aged per- 
son what the whole verse was. However, a certain fear of betray- 
ing 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 Tannenblihl. 


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 ofl 
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 Tannenbiihl 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 dark- 
ness amidst the pines. 

Peter Munk had now reached the highest point of the Tannen- 
biihl, 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 

Peter Munk shook his head; he saw he had succeeded to a cer- 
tain 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 some- 
times it seemed to have a man's head, and to wear a three cor- 
nered 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 direc- 
tion 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 quar- 
ter, 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 dis- 
taffs 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, hav- 
ing 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 Dutch- 
man 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 
Tannenbiihl 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 Schwarzwlilder, at least so my grandfather 
used to tell me. Now, since there is so much money in the coun- 
try, 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 de- 
pravity. A hundred years ago then there lived a very rich tim- 
ber 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 Schwarz- 
wald, 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 mas- 
ter 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, cal- 
culating 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 pre- 
sent 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 

'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 Hol- 
land. Let us sell our small beams here, and go to Holland with the 
krge ones; what we get above the ordinary price is our own 

" 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 of- 
fered four times as much as at Cologne, and particularly the large 
beams of Michel fetched a very high sum. When the Schwarz- 
walders 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 for- 
ward Holland was a paradise to the fellows from the Schwarzwald, 
and the Dutchman Michel their king. For a long time the tim- 
ber 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 haunt- 
ing 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 Tannenbiihl 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, 1 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 ball- 
room, 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 Tannenbiihl ; 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, rhyme!" 

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 ringer, 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 singing, 

"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 has- 
tily starting up, he rushed out of the house, thinking he was mis- 


taken in what lie 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 Schwarzwalder. " 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 tell- 
ing 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 Tannenbiihl. Being under the necessity of inventing a verse, 
he proceeded slowtyand thoughtfully on his way; at length, when 
he was already within the precincts of the Tannenbiihl, 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 Tannenbiihl, 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?" lie 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 threaten- 
ing 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 glis- 
tening 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 vi- 
brating head ; at this instant, however, an immense black cock 
rushed down, seized the head of the serpent with its beak, and car- 
ried 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 himself. 

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, 
11 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 again." 

" 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 pro- 
fitable 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 

;ipe a long way off, " don't talk to me of these men. What good 
ave 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 pro- 
mise 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 

" 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 Hezekiel." 

" 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 some- 
thing 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 on." 

" 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 addi- 
tion; 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 em- 
barrassment yet, when you will be glad of being at liberty to obtain 
your third wish. And now proceed on your way home." Draw- 
ing 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 indus- 
trious ; 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 Tannenbiihl 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 liis hand into liis 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 itch- 
ing 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 grace- 
ful steps, Peter twined and twisted his legs in such a manner that 
all the spectators were utterly amazed with delight and admira- 
tion. 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-blitzncr piece to them, 
there was no end of astonishment. Some thought he had found a trea- 
sure 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 Sun- 
day, 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 him- 
self merry, help thinking with terror and grief of the decline of his 
fortune. While engaged in these reflections, he all at once per- 
ceived 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-manufac- 
turer 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 wanted." 

" 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-man- 
nikin," 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 P' 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 hap- 
pened 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 win- 
dows, in a haughty and grave manner, descended from his chaise, 
and cried: " Good evening, mine Host of the Sun. Is fat Heze- 
kiel here?" 

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

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 tlie 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 un- 
willing, 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 like- 
wise, and always two points higher. At length he put down thb 
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 be- 
lieve 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 pro- 
tested 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 re- 
cognise 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 

F 2 


yet repented of applying to me, and if you don't mind the walk to 
the Tannenbiihl, 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 con- 
fessed 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 Tannenbiihl, and as the little man has not helped me, I 
will now try for once the big man." He ran towards the Tannenbiihl 
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-man- 
nikin. 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 lie 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 be- 
gan 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 ?" 

' 4 In my heart, 53 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 hun- 
dred 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 

" 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 con- 
vulsively, 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 
1 '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 Kirsch- 
wasser 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, joy- 
fully. " 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 be- 
lieve 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 


liomc and tlie 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, yearn- 
ing 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, be- 
ginning to search the carriage, " keeps his word as well with respect 
to the hundred thousand florins as lie does with the heart, I shall 
be very glad." In his search he found articles of dress of every de- 
scription he could A\ish, 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 carnage 
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 
lie 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 
ids 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 Schwarzwalder; 
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 weep. 

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, an- 
swering, " 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 e?imd, 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 him- 
self to become richer and richer. Michel gave him another hun- 
dred 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 manufac- 
turer, but the timber trade, though that only in appearance, his 
chief business being in corn and money transactions. Half the peo- 
ple 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, a9 
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 dis- 
tress, 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 comfort- 
able old age. But his cold heart never was moved by the sight of 
the pale face and well known features, by the imploring looks, out- 
stretched 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 matri- 
mony as well as in other matters. He therefore rode about the 
whole forest, looking out in every direction, but none of the pretty 
Schwarzwiilder 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.* 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 astonish- 
ment, 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 

* A great festival in German villages, general during the months of October and 


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 ! 
Lad 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 exhaustion." 

" But you ought not to carry such heavy loads at your age/ 7 said 

" 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 un- 


" 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 forgive- 
ness, 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 beau- 
tiful 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 sup- 
pose 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 tri- 
bunals 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 fur- 
nace 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 roaringlike 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 lor 
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 hell." 

" 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 enough." 


" Alas, true," replied Peter; u 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 I" 
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, whereas 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 Tannenbuhl. 

Having arrived at that part where the trees stand thickest, he dis- 
mounted, 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 

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

" 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 Peter. 

" 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, al- 


though 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 be- 
fore him. 

" You have slain your wife?' 7 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,' 5 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 

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 magician." 

" 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 Tannenbiihl ; a dreadful thunder-storm came on ; light- 
ning flashed around him, splitting the trees, but he reached the pre- 
cincts 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 thunder- 
storm 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- 

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 
I 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 re- 
pentance 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 

" I wish nothing more," replied Peter, dropping his head sorrow- 
fully. " It is all over with me, I can no more rejoice in my life- 
time ; 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 weep- 
ing 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 neigh- 
bours 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 hand- 
some 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, Frau Elizabeth pre- 
sented him with a beautiful little boy, Peter went to the Tannenblihl, 
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 in- 
tended godfather's gift for little Peter, from the little man in the 
Tannenbiihl. 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 

C. A. F. 



[This tale occurs in the novel of " Miinchhausen," the narrator telling it to the 
object of his affections. It is necessary to state this to render the opening intel- 
ligible. 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 " Miinchhausen." To me the ex- 
pression " 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 beau- 
tiful 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 

" 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 other." 

" 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 boun- 
dary between the joyous districts of the Rhine and the fertile Fran 
conia. 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 Wiirzburg 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 : 
4 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. mouth- 
full 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 knap- 
sack, 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. 

u * And I Peter of Stellen,' cried the other. They embraced each 
other, and could hardly contain themselves for joy at this unex- 
pected 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 ocult arts. 

" A considerable time had elapsed, since either of the playfellows 
Lad 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 por- 
tray 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.' 

" i 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 back- 
ground was formed by the wall of the Templars 5 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 con- 
vent, where my great master taught. When I returned to my cell, 
and had kept awake till midnight by my studying lamp, I some- 
times looked out of window to cool my heated eyes by exposure to 
:he deep starry heaven. I then often saw a light in the Templars' 
louse 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 cor- 
ner of the wing, curtains were let down before the windows, but 
:hrough the thinner parts of these a singular light shone, while be- 
tiind 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 ob- 
served 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 
fco a common root, shooting into the darkest secrecy of that great 
tree, which in the light above unfolded its mighty branches ; as gram- 
mar, dialectics, eloquence, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and 



music. At such words liis 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 confident 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 in- 
deed 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 move- 
ments. 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 super- 
human 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 vas- 
sals were kindled in wrath, and as if to keep us off, stretched their 
glaring spears towards us, but we broke through the works and de- 
stroyed 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 be- 
come a cold sticky mass, floated, ever combining and ever freeing, 
that which separates itself, both in itself and in things, amid the con- 
test of ever fading youth the great, the unfathomable, the dialectic 

" * Oh blessed satisfying time of the opened intelligence, of the wan- 
dering 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 cailcst 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 know- 
ledge. 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 con- 
stitutes 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 

" ' 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.* I have gone 
through the initiatory ceremonies, and was dubbed a knight at Firch- 
heim. 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. t 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, Peter !' 

" He was already in his saddle, when he uttered these last words, 
and stretched out his hand as if in supplication, towards his friend, 

* One of the most celebrated poets in the 12th and 13th centuries. 


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 re- 
pulsively 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 pro- 
verb 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: 
1 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 rust- 
ling, 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 walk- 
ing 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, be- 
come visible, and the language of birds becomes intelligible to the 

" 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 immeasur- 
able 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 
lie felt his body again shrink up to its ordinary size, while the gi- 
gantic form remained standing around him like an outer shell, or a 
kind of atmosphere in aerial 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 coun- 
tenance, 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. 1 
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 fee 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 fore- 
head, and now lay flat with his belly upon the bough, staring him 
full in the face, and crying : 4 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 ac- 
cording to these uncourteous beasts, learned sir, there are well bred 
folks among us. Only see, through that aperture, yonder wise gen- 
tleman, the wild boar, how quietly he stands and eats his acorns, and 
fosters his thoughts in silence. Willingly I will give you my com- 
pany and tell you all that I know, for talking is my delight, espe- 
cially with old people.' 

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

" * 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 neighbour- 
ing grove of fern, which seemingly belonged to the one who had in- 
vited her friend to the visit. 4 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 feel- 
ing 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 ren- 
dered her more charming in his eyes ; he felt that his heart was cap- 
tivated 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 ex- 
halations, 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 bushes." 

" 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 at- 
tempt !' 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 in- 
deed. 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 ! f cried the magpie, while she bris- 
tled 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 passed.' 

" 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: 
4 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 inves- 

" 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 en- 
tirely 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. 4 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 whimper- 


ing noise around Kim, 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 him- 
self on the stick, his head hung down on his breast, and lie 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 way- 
side, and cutting off branches; so he asked him what day it was. 
4 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.' W4 

" * I pray you, my good fellow,' said the student, who felt a sensa- 
tion 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 frcm 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 
nim, 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 re- 
turned to the bushes, to go to his hut, and cut the plaything for his 

" 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 

" ' 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* 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 ab- 
bess of the cloister at Odenwald, she will take me under her protec- 
tion, and there will I abide between quiet walls, till you come, and 
fetch me to your home.' 

" 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?' 

" 4 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 

* The old word for "lore" Minne, from which " Minnesanger" is derived, is fe- 


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 com- 
munication 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, in- 
visible 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 in- 
effable benefit, for thouh ast 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 1' 
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 sud- 
denly 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 never- 
theless 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 man- 
ner quite peculiar. However there was no influence over me, pro- 
bably 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.' 

" l 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 de- 
livered 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 high- 
way, 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 : 
4 No, fair Emma, I am not mad. I have loved thee; my spell 
influenced thee, and thou mightest have been mine, had I been per- 
mitted 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 stam- 
mered forth: ' I entreat thee, man, tell us how this transformation 
was brought about, lest our brains be turned, and we do something 

" ' Whoever tempts God and nature shall behold sights, the pre- 
sence 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 per- 
fect 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 sen- 
tences, none of which have been preserved. Soon, however, they 
were heard no more, neither was the corpse of the old man dis- 

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

J. O. 




[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 re- 
late 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 occur- 
rence 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 counte- 
nance, 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, re- 
turned 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 market- 
place, having before her some baskets with cabbages and other vege- 
tables, 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 u 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 in- 
stant and break her pointed nose on the pavement. 

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

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

" Yes, lam," 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 to- 
gether, 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 com- 
manded 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 magnifi- 
cently adorned, the ceiling and walls were of marble, the furni- 
ture 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 pkced dexte- 
rously 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 man- 
ner 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, laugh- 
ing, 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 

" I must give you some reward now, as you are so good," mut- 
tered 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, be- 
cause 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 un- 
commonly. 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 sofa. 

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 pre- 
pared 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 tne 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 ho- 
nourable 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 expe- 
rience in every thing relating to the culinary art, that often he could 
not help wondering at himself ; the most difficult things, pies com- 
posed 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 efficiently. 

Seven years had thus passed away in the service of the old wo- 
man, 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 be- 
hold ! there stood a great many little baskets in it, from which pro- 
ceeded a strong pleasant smell. He opened one of these little bas- 
kets, 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 burn- 
ing 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 ver- 
min, but at the same time had become a great cook. How my mo- 
ther 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 mo- 
ment, 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 wo- 
man 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 melan- 
choly, 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 

" 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 impu- 
dent fellow." 

At this her neighbours rose, and began as much abuse as possible, 
(every one knows that market women understand this well,) and re- 
proaching him with making light of poor Jane's misfortune, who 
seven years ago had had her beautiful boy kidnapped, with one ac- 
cord 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 sor- 
rowfully 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?" 

u 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 further. 

" 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 un- 
derstood 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 slip- 
pers 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,' 5 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, 1 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 gen- 
tleman; 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 look- 
ing-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 as- 
sure 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 morning." 

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 look- 

" 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 him- 
self; " 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 pro- 
position, my little man. My shaving-room is tolerably well fre- 
quented, 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 cus- 
tomers 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. How- 
ever, 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 inci- 
dents 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 pre- 
tends 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 en- 
chanted 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 com- 
passionate souls who will support a poor unfortunate with a ridicu- 
lous 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 

When on the following morning the first rays of the sun awoke 
him, he began seriously to think how he should prolong his exist- 


ence, 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 him- 
self 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 

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 er- 
rand, 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 counte- 
nance 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 re- 
plied, " 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 

" 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 lie said the last words lie took the dwarf by the hand and con- 
ducted 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 

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, who- 
ever 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 con- 
sequence 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 neces- 
sary 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 

They walked through several large rooms and corridors till they 
came to the kitchen. This was a large spacious building mag- 
nificently fitted up ; on twenty hearths fires were constantly burning, 
clear water was flowing through the midst, serving also as a fish- 
pond; 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 crack- 
ling of the fire, and the rippling of the brook were alone to be 

" 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 secret." 


"Nothing easier than that/' replied the dwarf, to their astonish- 
ment ; 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 appren- 
ticed ?' 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 

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, look- 
ing at him in amazement, to see how readily and quickly he pro- 
ceeded, 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 
1 stomach comforter' imparts a peculiar charm to the whole." 

At this moment the duke's valet entered the kitchen, and in- 
formed them that the duke wished his breakfast. The prepara- 
tions 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 pater- 
noster, when a messenger came and called the head cook to the 
duke. He quickly put on his best clothes, and followed the mes- 

The duke looked well pleased, He had eaten all they had served, 


and was just wiping his beard as the master-cook entered. " Mas- 
ter," 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 morn- 
ing, 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 en- 
chanted, 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 suffi- 
ciently 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 appre- 
ciate fully. The dwarf was the wonder of the whole town, and peo- 
ple 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 him- 
self, 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 customers. 

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 ap- 
peared singular to him that only two of the geese cackled and cried 
like others, the third being quite quiet and thoughtful, and occa- 
sionally 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, tne great Wetterbock's daughter, would be killed in the 
kitchen of a duke." 

" 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 kit- 
chen 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 inex- 
perienced in these matters, my father having given me and my sis- 
ters 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 con- 
solation 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 con- 
noisseur 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 be- 
come greater. But you must not, under pain of my displeasure, re- 
peat 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 opi- 
nion of my taste." 

When the duke had concluded, the dwarf bowed most respect- 
fully, 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 go- 
verned 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 depar- 
ture, 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 defi- 

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 krger 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." 

I 2 


" 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, 1 ' 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 coun- 
try. 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 diffi- 
culty, 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 fortu- 
nate 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 neigh- 
bourhood 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 them ?" 

" 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 

" 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 grow- 
ing 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 distin- 
guished; 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, bear- 
ing a glowing red flower, with a yellow edge. 

" God be praised !" he now exclaimed, " What a miracle ! I be- 
lieve 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 de- 
formity." He then put his nose deep into the herb and inhaled its 

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 longer. 

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 in- 
debted 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 

The goose shed tears of joy and accepted his offer. James fortu- 
nately 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 Wet- 
terbock 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 Sou- 
zeraine, 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 u Nose, the Dwarf. " 

G. 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 Fraulein, 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 toge- 
ther; 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 af the critical moment when the hoof was raised over its 

120 AXEL. 

head, and, thinking of its peril, only reined the leaping horse sud- 
denly 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 Tugendrcich 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 kiss- 
ing 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 

" 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 groom." 

Tugendreich, agitated by the scene she had just witnessed, was 
about to leave the hall. On her way, she again passed the pedi- 
gree, 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 whis- 
pered softly, " I have just left her." 

" May heaven reward you, Fraulein, 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, becom- 
ing 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 

" About me? This makes me indescribably happy," said Axel with 
delight, and suddenly raised her beautiful hand to his lips, imprint- 
ing a fiery kiss on it. At this she appeared angry, withdrew her 

* Du in German would here imply more familiarity from a long acquaintance j 
Ihr would be more distant and cold. 

AXEL. 121 

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 ser- 
vant, 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 appear- 
ance of danger. My king, indeed, would not recognise himself in 
this picture." 

" What does the fellow mean by talking about his king?" mut- 
tered the old baron. " Our gracious sovereign is the elector of 

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

" 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, sarcas- 
tically; " 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 tap- 
ping 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 land." 

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

122 AXEL. 

In melancholy mood, Tugendreich was standing before an old 
decayed shaft, to which her walk had brought her, and her maid, 
like Fraulein'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 bo- 
tanising. 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 sap- 
phire 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 grum- 
bling 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 Fraulein 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 Gund- 
chen, 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 Grundchen 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 rin^ to the Fraulein. With a 
heavenly look the astonished girl thanked him, while tears of gra- 

AXEL. 123 

titude 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 hand- 
kerchief which her maid offered, the Fraulein 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 be- 
fore 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 Fraulein, 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 de- 
licately formed for your station ; I suppose you have also seen mili- 
tary 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 there- 
fore has no crotchets, and has never deceived himself yet." And, 
retaining his hold of Axel, he added, " I tell you pkinly 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 inten- 
tions are pure." 

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

124 AXEL. 

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

" ' Never;' say you, youngster! you are rather too bold for me," 
said the old man, menacing with his finger. " Go, settle it your- 
self with the Fraulein. 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 un- 
concerned about this sweet flower which so proudly sets forth your 
care as its gardener. With the ray of love it will bloom more beau- 
tifully, 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 Tugendreich. 

" The magister demanded from me the handkerchief and ribbon 
in your name, Fraulein," 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 time." 

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 

AXEL. 125 

were, from the gold frame upon the delinquent. " Who is that?" 
asked the baron, with suppressed wrath. 

" Magnus von Starcshedel, 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 Mellenstk'dt; and he fell in the battle fought against the same 
emperor, near Wiirzburg, A.D. 1086, after his valour had contri- 
buted 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 pas- 
sion for ever in a cloister." . 

The Fraulein 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?* 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 Fraulein 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 pro- 
bably 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 Tugen- 
dreich was wringing her white hands as Axel entered the hall. A hel- 
met 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 

* The name Tugendreich means " rich in virtue." 

126 AXEL. 

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 sub- 
mit 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 re- 
solution 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 

" 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 re- 
sounded from the robust Saxon youths, who were eager to fight. 

With proud satisfaction Tugendreich looked down on the singu- 
lar 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 re- 
connoitre 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 ap- 
pear, 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 sum- 
moned 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 gos- 
pel, for your venerable pastor, for the honour of your wives, and 
for the lives of your children. Now long life to the elector 1" 

AXEL. 127 

" Long life to the elector !" shouted the band after him, 
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 

" 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 ad- 
mittance. 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 

" 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 raged, 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, 
Fraulein," he cried, " what are you doing up here? this is not a place 
for a gentle lady." 

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

"Faithful heart I" 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 Fraulein to ascend the walls again. He then re- 
turned quickly to his post, as he already heard resounding through 
the night the march of the approaching enemy threatening the 

Suddenly the thatched cottages of the villages were blazing up in 
a terrible manner. Amid the light of the flames the Croats as- 
saulted the castle in close bodies and with wild fury. But the gar- 
rison made a brave resistance, and their rifles created great havoc 
among the enemies' ranks. Axel was everywhere, and though the 

128 AXEL. 

Croats attempted in different places to scale the walls by the aid of 
ladders, he immediately was at the spot, to strike down the fore- 
most, 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 in- 
furiated 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, an- 
nouncing 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 capi- 

He consented and left the room. On arriving in the hall a fine- 
looking officer met him, whose countenance might be called beau- 
tiful, 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 par- 
don this, knowing the rapacity and outrages of the Croats, who 
made no distinction between friend and foe ; but that now he ex- 
pected 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, fol- 
lowed by a servant with flasks and goblets. Love, with its joys and 
sorrows had diffused a supernatural charm over her noble coun- 
tenance, 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 Frau- 
lein, and after condoling with her on account of the terrors of the 

AXEL. 129 

past night, and expressing his satisfaction at being able to con- 
tribute 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, un- 
armed, 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 gra- 
cious permission to state." 

" Granted," said the colonel, casting an expressive look at the 
Fraulein, 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 im- 
perial 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 Fraulein, 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 offi- 
cer 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 be- 
fore 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 

130 AXEL. 

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 entreat- 
ingly, " 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 me- 
nial services for you, but cannot suffer indignity from the haughti- 
ness of a stranger." 

" 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 delight- 
ful satisfaction of having so far contributed to your safety. Remem- 
ber sometimes, kindly, your faithful servant;" and, shaking heartily 
the hand which the baron offered him, he went to the stable to pack 
up his knapsack. 

Absorbed in secret dreams, Tugendreich stood in a grotto in the 
garden, and did not even hear the drums of a company of Tiefen- 
bach'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 Fraulein. 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, 1 ' continued he, recollecting him- 
self, " 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 Fraulein, 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 a.nd peevishly, 

AXEL. 131 

" What was the meaning of the flower which the Fraulein 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 any tiling. Only think, he maintains that this is the Myo- 
sotis palustris, or mouse-ear, and it is evidently the Veronica cha- 
maedrys, 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 asto- 
nishment 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 co- 
lonel 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 beau- 
tiful 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 fore- 
boding 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 Ta- 
lander, 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 Fraulein of his hereditary pri- 
vileges, the old man commenced reading a passage from a poem which 
an old collegian had sent him from Halle, running thus :* 

" 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 hi lists of ancestors take pride, 
And seem so many noughts set other noughts beside; 
Who worship that vain idol old nobiliti, 
Ye truly are besotted I pray ye, pardon me." 

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

K 2 

132 AXEL. 

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

" 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 Fraulein's hand 
thanked the grey knight who had so victoriously beaten that power- 
ful 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 an- 
cient 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 mat- 
ter 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 bat- 
tle, and he, therefore, vehemently urged a quick decision. The 
baron, who could not resist, announced to his pale daughter the fol- 
lowing 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 im- 
ploring 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 

" I come from him," replied a strong unknown voice. " He 
now serves as dragoon in the Swedish army, which is about to en- 
gage 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 Mordmlihle in the scharfen Thole. You may bring the old ma- 
gister 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?" 

AXEL. 133 

tc I will come," whispered the Fraulein, 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 011 his eloquent tongue, when the Fraulein 
made him the singular proposal to accompany her that night on a 
promenade to the Mordmiihle. He refused, she entreated, he re- 
monstrated, she coaxed him, he was inexorable, she wept, and he, 
incapable of resisting tears from such eyes said, at length ' comedo. 1 

Whoever knew the Mordmiihle 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 commis- 
sion 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 even- 
ing 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 be- 
hind 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 
ieopardy and come this accursed walk. Now tell me, daughter, 
what do you wish to do in the most ill-famed corner of this 

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

" To Axel. I wish I had known that," muttered the magister, add- 
ing in an admonishing tone, " Have you perhaps been deceived by a 
hellish phantom? There are instances in which the evil one, with 

134 AXEL. 

divine permission, avails himself of an excessive forbidden love in 
order subtilely to destroy a soul. The place and time of your ap- 
pointment are not in accordance with my notions of propriety. Sup- 
posing your singular admirer were dead, and that his departed spirit 
had sent you this summons, and was waiting for you in the Mord- 
miihle with his outstretched bony arms, to draw you into the dark 
subterranean bridal chamber?" 

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 moon- 
light : a tall man came out from the mill. The foremost of the four 
attendants approached him with respect, and a moment after Tugen- 
dreich 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 Fraulein 

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 Fraulein 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 Fraulein 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 gene- 
rous 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 Tu- 
gendreich, 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 

AXEL. 135 

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 illu- 
mined 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,' 7 
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* 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 Fraulein contemplated him, 

" 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 Tugend- 
reich, with anxious curiosity. 

" Nothing of that now, Fraulein," 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 him- 
self, as though he had already said too much, and prepared for de- 

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

* Referring to General Tilly. 

136 AXEL. 

"The morrow has already become to-day" said Talander, in a 
comforting tone, and your hostile constellation has lost its influence. 
Go boldly bark 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 readi- 
ness. 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 court- 
yard. They were Saxons, and proved to be Colonel Von Stars- 
chedel and his son, the major, with six carbineers. Now the tables 
were turned. The baron had to congratulate himself that these gen- 
tlemen, respecting the right of hospitality, did not take him pri- 
soner, for his men were gone and your father was too much afraid 
of these relations to say any more on the subject of your bethrothal. 
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 Fraulein 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 

The imperial colonel could no longer listen in quiet to their con- 
versation. 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 Fraulein 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 Fraulein, who felt uneasy at the attentions of her 
cousin, whom she nevertheless loved as a brother. With deep me- 
lancholy 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 

AXEL. 137 

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 inter- 
rupting 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 ani- 
mated, 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 door- 
way 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 to- 
wards on a great day. This is not an hour to form a worldly al- 
liance. As a Christian you ought first to think of your end. You 
are perhaps nearer to it than you think. Is the Fr'aulein, 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 Tu- 
gendreich'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 con- 
sumed 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 Tugen- 
dreich read on : 

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

u Indeed the Lord helpeth in trouble," cried Talander, who 
rushed into the room with youthful impetuosity, holding an open 

138 AXEL. 

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 annicurrentis, 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 regi- 
ments, 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 con- 
sisted 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 Schonburg 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 Loser and two Star- 
schedels." "Merciful God, our cousins !" sobbed the Fraulein, 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 ma- 
gister, who had folio wed 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 Gtildenlowe, and he 

AXEL. 139 

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 Talander. 

" 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 Guldenlowe," cried Talander, who came 
panting behind the baron to the turret. 

" Heavens! it is Axel," cried the Fraulein, 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 rap- 
tures. " 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 Fraulein 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. 




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 for- 
getful 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 en- 
deavour to escape, is nothing more than this; that some days ago, 
namely on the 30th of October, at twelve o'clock at noon, a baro- 
meter-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 ex- 
erting 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 clearlv in bright images be- 
fore 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.* But to my 

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 Sand- 
man 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 can- 
not 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 de- 
nied 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 con- 
nection 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 children." 

A most frightful image of the cruel Sandman was horribly de- 
picted 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 

Two characters in Schiller's play of " Die Kauber.' 


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 5 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 de- 
lightful than to read or hear horrible stories of goblins, witches, pig- 
mies, &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 dif- 
fused itself about the house. Stronger and stronger with my cu- 
riosity 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 im- 
pulse, 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 scrap- 
ing 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 co- 
lour 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-graycoat, cut in old-fashioned style, with 
waistcoat and breeches of tKe~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 ex- 
press 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 Cop- 
pelius as much as we did, since as soon as he showed himself her 
liveliness, her free and cheerful rnind 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 destruc- 
tion temporal and eternal. 

I was ri vetted 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 them- 
selves 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 cup- 
board, but I now saw that it was no cupboard, but rather a black hol- 
low, in which there was a little hearth. Coppelius entered, and a blue 
flame began to crackle up on the hearth. All sorts of strange uten- 
sils 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 lat- 
ter 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 lime 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 under- 
stood 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 stam- 
mered. " No, no, my dear child, he has gone away long ago, he 
will not hurt you !" So said my mother, and she kissed and em- 
braced 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 

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 pas- 
sage 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 incon- 
solable 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 de- 
vilish 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 magis- 


146 THE SAtfDMAtf. 

tracy, who wished to make Coppelius answerable. He had, how- 
ever, 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 him- 
self 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. Re- 
member me to my dear sweet Clara, to whom I will write in a 
calmer mood. Farewell. 


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 design- 
ing 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 hor- 
rible event have crossed your life? To be parted from you, never to 
see you again, the thought darted through my breast like a burn- 
ing 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 dis- 
turbed my healthy and generally peaceful sleep with all sorts of hor- 
rible 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 man- 
ner 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 to- 
wards him. 

In your childish mind the frightful sandman in the nursed tale was 
naturally associated with old Coppelius, who, even if you had not be- 
lieved 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 alchemi- 
cal experiments, and with these your mother w r as constantlydissatis- 
ficd, 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 experimenalists. Your father no doubt, by some act of care- 
lessness, occasioned his own death, of which Coppelius was com- 
pletely guiltless. Would you believe it, that I yesterday asked our 
neighbour, the clever apothecary, whether such a sudden and fatal ex- 
plosion was possible in such chemical experiments? "Certainly," 
he replied, and in his way told me at great length and very cir- 
cumstantially how such an event might take place, uttering a num- 
ber 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 be- 
cause my thoughts arc 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 other- 
wise have trod; if, I say, there is such a power, it must form itself 
within us, or from ourselves; indeed, become identical with our- 
selves, 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 hos- 
tile operation as such, and calmly to follow the path which be- 
longs 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 de- 
lusion 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 ap- 
pear 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 ad- 
vocate, 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 Cop- 
pola 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, Guiseppc Coppola, is not the advocate Coppelius. 
I attend the lectures of the professor of physics, who has lately ar- 
rived. His name is the same as that of the famous natural philo- 
sopher, 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 Piedmontesc. Coppelius was a German, but I think no 
honest one. Calmed I am not, and though vou 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, 

<sor I 



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 com- 
pletely 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 
Spalanzanfs 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, &c. 

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 in- 
ilamcd 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 inter- 
nal 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 tlic 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 pic- 
ture 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 Cop- 
pola?" 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 lan- 
guage 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 

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 be- 


trotlied, when Nathaniel left tlie 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, fe- 
minine 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 canyon 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 Natha- 
niel, 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 tern- 


perament. 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 without. 

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, hos- 
tile 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 mys- 
teries. 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 prin- 
ciple, 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, incompre- 
hensible, 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 tediousncss; in her looks and 
in her words a mental drowsiness, not to be conquered, was ex- 
pressed. 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 con- 
fess, 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 Coppeliu^s would destroy his hap- 
piness 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 col- 
lected; 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 plea- 
sant matters, as he used to do formerly, so that Clara said: " Now 
for the first time I have you acrain ! 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 1" 
Clara pressed him gently to her bosom, and said softly, but very so- 
lemnly and sincerely : " Nathaniel, dearest Nathaniel, do throw that 
mad, senseless, insane stuff into the fire 1" 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 har- 
boured against the visionary Nathaniel, now broke out into the wildest 
rage. He ran to Nathaniel and reproached him for his senseless con- 
duct 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. Hav- 
ing reached the place of combat, Lothaire and Nathaniel had in 
gloomy silence flung off their coats, and with the fierce desire of fight- 
ing 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 mur- 
ders my brother, or my brother murders my lover. 5 ' 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 Coppclius 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 hus- 
band'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 Na- 
thaniel's room in the upper story, in time to save the books, manu- 
scripts, and instruments. They carried all safe and sound into an- 
other 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 per- 
ceived that his window looked straight into the room where Olym- 
pia often sat alone, so that he could plainly recognise her figure, al- 
though the features of her face were indistinct and confused. At 
last it struck him, that Olympia often remained for hours in this at- 
titude, 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. Oc- 
casionally, 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 ad- 
vanced 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, 
ch 110 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 baro- 
meter 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 1" And so saying he drew out more and more spectacles so, 


that tlic whole table began to glisten and sparkle in the most extra- 
ordinary manner. A thousand eyes glanced, and quivered convul- 
sively, and stared at Nathaniel ; yet he could not look away from 
the table, and Coppola kept still laying down more and more spec- 
tacles, while naming glances were intermingled more and more 
wildly, and shot their blood-red rays into Nathaniel's breast. Over- 
come 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 spec- 
tacles 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. Cop- 
pola was standing behind him: " Tre zeccluni 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 ma- 
licious 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, mote than mad- 
ness, 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 seduc- 
tive 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 per- 
ceive Olympia now nor during the two following days 5 although he 
scarcely ever left the window, and constantly looked through Cop- 
pola's glass. On the third day the windows were completely co- 
vered. 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 as- 
tonishment the mad proceedings in a house otherwise so quiet and 
gloomy. Pie 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 some- 
thing 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 Cop- 
pola's glass, and looked towards the fair Olyrnpia. 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 hor- 
rible 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 re- 
mained 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 ordi- 
nary 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 immovcably in his face, and sighed several times, 
" Ah, ah !" Upon this, Nathaniel said, " Oh, thou splendid, hea- 
venly lady ! Thou ray from the promised land of love thou deep 

THE SANDMAtf. 159 

soul, in winch all my being is reflected !" witli 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 gowing 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 whis- 
pered 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 appeal- 
splendid, the wags had all sorts of incongruities and oddities to 
talk about, and were particularly hard upon the dumb, stiff Olym- 
pia, 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 recol- 
lected 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 !" 


Sigisrmmd plainly perceived his friend's condition, so lie 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 with- 
out 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 unplea- 
sant ; 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 com 

completely yield to the bitter feeling, 
which was coming over him at these words of Sigismund ; he mas- 
tered 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 con- 
templation 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. Yoii 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 to- 
wards him, and, therefore, he shook the proffered hand very heartily. 
Nathaniel had totally forgotten, that there was in the world a 
Ckra, 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 writ- 
ten. Poems, fantasies, visions, romances, tales this stock was 
daily increased with all sorts of extravagant sonnets, stanzas, und 
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 con- 
cerning 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 pas- 
sivity, and her paucity and scarcity of words, he said: "Words, 
words ! The glance of her heavenly eye speaks more than any lan- 
guage 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 une- 
quivocal 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 ut- 
tered 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, con- 
tending for the possession of it, with the unmost fury. Natha- 
niel started back with horror, when in the figure he recognised 



Olympia. Boiling with the wildest indignation, lie 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 counte- 
nance had no eyes, but black holes instead she was, indeed, a life- 
less 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, Coppe- 
lius, 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 
un wounded hand, and flung against his heart. At this, madness 
seized him with its burning claws, and clutched into his soul, tear- 
ing to pieces all his thoughts and senses. " Ho ho ho a circle 
of fire 1 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 thec what more bcfel the 
unfortunate Nathaniel, I can tell tlicc, in case thou takcst 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 ap- 
peared 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, yawn- 
ing 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 Na- 
thaniel'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 no- 
thing 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 marry- 
ing, 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 moun- 
tains !" No sooner said than done. Nathaniel and Clara both as- 
cended 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 mechani- 
cally put his hand into his breast pocket he found Coppola's tele- 
scope, 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 thy- 
self !" 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 

Lothaire ran down with his fainting sister in his arms. She 



saved. Nathaniel went raging about the gallery and bounded high 
in the air, crying, u 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 Cop- 
pelius, and yelling out, " Ah, pretty eyes pretty eyes !" he sprang 
over the railing. 

When Nathaniel lay on the stone pavement, with his head shat- 
tered, 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 hap- 
piness which suited her serene and cheerful mind, and which the 
morbid Nathaniel would never have given her. 




ON the banks of the Hafel, about the middle of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, 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 kind- 
ness 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 

* 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 ex- 
was impossible, he has done his best. 


profit which he hoped to make in the markets apportioning part, 
like a good manager, to gain further profit, and part to present en- 
joyment 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 pour- 
ing 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 con- 
siderable time, the collector came out of his house. " A sovereign 
privilege," was his reply, as he unlocked the bar, " granted to the 
Squire* Wenzel von Trcnka." " 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 Kohl- 
haas 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; ad- 
ding, a little puzzled, that he had not one about him, to his know- 
ledge ; 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 per- 
mission 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 

* " Squire" is used as an equivalent for " Junker." " Castellan" is put for " Burg- 
voigt" and " Schlossvoigt." 


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 compa- 
nions, 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 u 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 signi- 
ficant 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. Kohl- 
haas, 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 cas- 
tellan, and go your way." Kohlhaas assured him that he had no notion 
of evading such regulations as might be made respecting the convey- 
ance of horses, promised, in his way through Dresden, to get a pass 
from the secretary's office, and begged that he might, on this occa- 
sion, 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 them- 
selves 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 coun- 
cillors 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 cer- 
tificate, 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 Tron- 
kenburg. He asked the young man who gave him this intel- 
ligence, 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 gicut ^vas his 
astonishment when, instead of his sleek, well-fed blacks, he suw 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 indig- 
nant in the highest degree, and asked what had befallen the crea- 
tures? The servant answered, that no particular misfortune had be- 
fallen 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 weak- 
ness, suppressed his rage, and, as there was nothing else to be done, 
prepared to leave the robber's nest with his horses, when the cas- 
tellan, 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 cas- 
tellan 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 cas- 
tellan. 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 pos- 


sible, 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 
Kohlhaasenbriick. 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 
Kohlhaasenbriick, 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, in- 
clined 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 Tronk- 
enburg, 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 Kohlhaasenbriick, 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 un- 
derstand; 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 reco- 
vered now ?" 


" Tolerably," she answered, " with the exception of the spitting 
of blood. I wished immediately to send a servant to the Tronken- 
burg, 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 an- 
swered " in short, you will see that all is true enough, and that 
this affair is one of the atrocities which the people at the Tronken- 
burg have lately perpetrated against strangers." 

" That I must look into," said Kohlhaas. " Call him here, Lis- 
beth, 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 Kohl- 
haas, 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 i God's lightning may consume it, but I will 
not. 1 " 

" 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, wip- 
ing 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 drawing." 

Kohlhaas, endeavouring to conceal the pertubation 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 

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." 

44 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 
pkce for horses, that it was more like a pigsty than a stable." 

" I mean a pigsty, master," saidHerse, " really and truly a pigsty, 
where the pigs ran in and out, and in which I could not stand upright." 

41 Perhaps there was no other place for the horses," observed 
Kohlhaas, " and those of the knights had, in some measure, the pre- 

" The place," answered the servant, dropping his voice, " was in- 
deed 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 to- 
gether. 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." 

44 Hem !" said Kohlhaas, " what did you do then?" 

44 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." 

44 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 some- 
where 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 Kohlhaasenbruck, or 
some pkce at any rate, where they would be better off." 

44 But now," said Kohlhaas, " why in the world did they send 
you away?" 

44 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 4 you may twist your mouths out of 
joint, if you like/ they managed to find a pretext, and turned me 
out of the yard." 


" But the reason," said Kohlhaas, " they must have had some 

" 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. 4 Why, where 
should I be going?' said I, ' I am going to water the horses/ ' Oh, 
to water !' cried the castellan, c I'll water you ! I'll teach you to swim 
on the high road all the way to Kohlhaasenbriick/ Upon this, he 
and the bailiff, who had laid hold of my leg, flung me treacher- 
ously from the horse, so that I lay full length in the mud. ' Mur- 
der !' 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, f Out of the castle-yard !' cried the castel- 
lan. ' Ho, there, Caesar ! 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 T 
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 Kohlhaasen- 
briick much better did you not?" " Thunder of Heaven!" ex- 
claimed 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 liis 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 Kohl- 
haasenbriick. 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 ap- 
plied 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 conse- 
quence 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 Kohlhaasenbriick 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 appro- 
priated 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 re- 
ceived 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 re- 
ceived 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 pro- 
ceedings 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 Kohlhaasenbriick bet- 
ter 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 
Kallhcim, 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,* who stopped in his carriage before 

* " Gerichtsherr" means lord of the manor with right of judicature. 


Kohlhaas's doof , and who seemed to have been expressly commis- 
sioned to make this communication, could give no satisfactory an- 
swer 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 attend- 
ing his horses, or in his house and farm scarcely in his wife and chil- 
dren 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 de- 
tain 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 
imortified 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- 
itrained by the world, could find nothing that exactly corresponded 
"with his feelings. Sliortly afterwards he learned by means of an ac- 
quaintance, 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* 
of the neighbouring lands, who had long entertained the notion of 
increasing his possessions by purchasing the pieces of ground adjoin- 
ing, 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 

* " Amtmann " means here a farmer of crown-lands. 


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 Kohlhaasenbriick 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 tri- 
vial 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 im- 
mediate 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 hun- 
dred 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 com- 
pared 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 counte- 
nance, 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 mo- 
destly 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 ! How- 
ever," 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 visit?" 

" 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 

" 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 blush- 
ing 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 

" 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, 
taised 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/ 3 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 
many children, but that she might still not be quite forgotten 
in short, she asked him leave to take advantage of this and other 
umstances, which it would be superfluous to name. Kohlhaas 
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 Lis- 
beth 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 horse- 
back 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 Kohl- 
haasenbruck. 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 con- 
sciousness, 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 sud- 
denly, 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, 


cushions were of silk witli 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 im- 
prisonment. 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 Kohlhaasenbriick 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 horse- 
back, whom he instructed to return to Kohlhaasenbriick 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 Kohlhaasenbriick 
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 Tronkenburg. 

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 en- 
trance with crow-bars and hatchets, for want of a key, and turned up- 
side 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 hur- 
ried 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 witli 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 ex- 
ception 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 Erla- 
brunn, 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 habit- 
able, 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, W aldmann, 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 horse- 
back. 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 
Eilabrunn in a waggon. Kohlhaas sighed deeply at this intelli- 
gence ; 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 state- 
ment, 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 Witten- 
berg," 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 Chris- 
tians, with the promise of a sum of money down, and other ad- 
vantages of war." In a third mandate he called himself a " So- 
vereign, free from the empire and the world, subject to God alone;" 
a morbid and disgusting piece of fanaticism, which nevertheless ac- 
companied 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 lie 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 ii'the squire was not given up to him, 
he would lay it in ashes m such sort, that he would not have to look 


behind a wall to find him." The terror of the inhabitants at this un- 
paralleled atrocity was indescribable, and the flames, which in a par- 
ticularly calm summer's night, had not consumed more than nine- 
teen 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 9!' 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 re- 
duced 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 Cap- 
tain 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 de- 
fend 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 gal- 
loping 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 pa- 
lisades, and with the voices of maniacs were demanding that he should 
be sent out of the city. In vain did two burgomasters, named Jen- 


kens 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 enter- 
prise ; 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 dis- 
arming 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 en- 
tered the house, where he found the squire, who was continually 
fainting, in the hands of two phvsieians, 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 govern- 
ment, 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 Kolilhaas. 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, unex- 
ampled 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 Muhlberg, 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 ad- 
vantage Kohlhaas turned back upon the governor, before he could 
have received intelligence of the event, fell upon him in an op^en 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 Miihlberg, 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 Hitzen 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 Liitzen." 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 Pleissen- 
burg 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 endan- 
ger 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 surround- 
ing 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 neverthe- 
less 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 incen- 
diary, 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 thec 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 hat! i 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: 
4 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. 

" Wittenberg. " MARTIN LUTHER." 

In the Castle of Liitzen Kohlhaas was meditating, in his diseased 
mind, a new plan for reducing Leipzig to ashes, paying no atten- 
tion 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 neighbour- 
hood 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 con- 
fusion, 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 distinction. 

He put on the disguise of a Thuringian farmer, told Stembald 
that business of importance called him to Wittenberg, entrusted 
him, in the presence of some of his principal men, with the com- 
mand of the band left at Liitzen, and promising to return in three 
days, within which time no attack was to be feared, set off to Wit- 
tenberg 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 
appoach 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 witli 
the community of mankind is unjust, if I have not been expelled 
from it, as you assure me !" 

" Expelled from it?" cried Luther, staring at him, " What mad- 
ness 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 protec- 
tion 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 sup- 
press 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 Liitzen, 
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 Kohlhaasenbriick, 
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 Muhlberg, through the violence in- 
flicted upon us." 

" 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 Tron- 
kenburg, 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 circum- 
stances 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 Kohlhaasenbruck." 

" 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 Liitzen, adding, that if the elector con- 
sented 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 Liitzen. 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 signify- 
ing 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 sa- 
crament he had not gone to church, on account of his martial ex- 
pedition, 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 Kohlhaasenbruck?" 

" 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, ' f 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 en- 
deavour." He then motioned the servant to do as he had been or- 
dered, 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 vex- 
atious 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* than as a 
rebel who had taken up arms against the throne. 

The elector received this letter just when Prince Christian of Mis- 
nia, generalissimo of the empire, and uncle of the Prince Frederic 
ho was defeated at Miihlberg, and still very ill of his wounds, the 
ligh chancellor of the tribunal, Count Wrede, Count Kallheim, pre- 
ident of the state-chancery, and the two von Tronkas, the cup- 
)earer, and the chamberlain, who had both been friends of the 
elector from his youth, were present in the castle. The chamber- 
ain, who, as a privy counsellor of the elector, conducted private 
correspondence, with the privilege of using his name and coat of 
arms, iirst opened the subject, and after explaining at great length, 
'hat on his own authority he would never have set aside the peti- 

* That is a subject of another state, here Brandenburg. 


tion which the horse-dealer had presented to the tribunal against his 
cousin the squire, if he had not been induced by false representa- 
tions 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 im- 
pious 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 Kohlhaasenbruck, than he would see 
the proposition of Dr. Martin Luther accepted. The high chan- 
cellor 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 Avas 
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 in- 
finite 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 govern- 
ment 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 compromis- 
ing 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 Liitzen, should be arrested, 
or, at any rate, that his power should be crushed. 

The chamberlain, politely taking from the wall two chairs for the 
elector and the prince, said lie rejoiced that a man of such known in- 
tegrity 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 tlie 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 win- 
dow. Count Kallheim, after an awkward pause on all sides, said that 
in this way they could not get out of the magic circle which encom- 
passed them. With equal right might proceedings be commenced 
against the prince's nephew, Prince Frederic, since even he. in the 
singular expedition which lie 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 occa- 
sioned the present difficulty, he must be included in the list, and called 
to account by the elector for what had taken place at Muhlberg. 

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 inves- 
tigation 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 con- 
fused. " 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 pre- 
vent 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 ap- 
plause 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 pre- 
liminary 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 ac- 
count of the chamberlain's irregularities, he resolved without delay 

O 2 


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 Kohl- 
haas, 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 

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 Lutzen, as the elector's property, and after 
he had sent Waldmann to Kolilhaasenbruck, with letters to the 
farmer, that he might, if possible, re-purchase his farm, and Stern- 
bald to Schwerin to fetch his children, whom he again wished to 
have with him, he left the Castle of Liitzen, and went to Dresden, 
unknown, with the rest of his little property, which he held in 

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 pur- 
sued 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 voii 
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 Liitzen, and re- 
lating 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 com- 
mence it immediately. The prince then, after a pause, during which 
he went to the window and saw, with wonder, the immense mul- 
titude 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 hap- 
pens you will only have yourself to blame." He then moved to- 
wards 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 
1 have no objection to make against this measure." " That is not 
worth speaking of," said the prince, who after telling the three sol- 
diers, 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 Avith 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 re- 
ceived 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 di- 
rected him to a celebrated advocate in the city, who was attached to 
the court, that he might favourably draw up his complaint. Kohl- 
haas without further delay went to the advocate's house, and after 
the complaint was drawn up, which, like the first rejected one, re- 
quired 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 Miihlberg, had suffered (for the benefit of his mother), 
he again returned home, still followed by the gaping multitude, re- 
solving not to go out of doors uny more unless urgent necessity de- 
manded 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 unlaw- 
fully detained and spoiled. His relations, the brothers von Tronka, 
(the chamberlain and the cupbearer,) at whose house he put up, re- 
ceived 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 en- 
treated his relations not to plunge him back again into the illness 
from which he had recovered, by their reproaches. On the follow- 
ing day, the brothers von Tronka, who possessed property in the 
neighbourhood of the destroyed Tronkenburg, finding there was no- 
thing 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 in- 
cendiary'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 de- 
sirable, 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, de- 
scribing 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 de- 
sire 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 tot- 
tering, tied to his cart, to the market-place of the city. Unfor- 
tunately for Squire Wenzel, and still more so for honest Kohlhaas, 
this man was the knacker from Dbbbeln. 

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 names 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 spec- 
tacle, 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 speech- 
less 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 re- 
quired. 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 

The chamberlain, who amid the gaze of the scoffing multi- 
tude 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 shep- 
herd 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 out- 
stretched 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 circum- 
stance 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 Dbbbeln, 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 know- 
ing 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 re- 
solving 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 Wrcde 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 Llitzcn, 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 
Dobbeln 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 Kolilhaas. Hence, if they were to be taken from the knacker, 
in order that their recovery might be attempted, an ocular inspec- 
tion by Kolilhaas 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 Kolilhaas 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 Llitzen. The baron, who, with a face red as 
fire, had retired to the window, likewise took leave of the chan- 
cellor, 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 Dobbeln, 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 dis- 
tance 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 chamber- 
lain, 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 


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 cham- 
berlain, 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 ven- 
tured 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 un- 
binding 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 cham- 
bciiain turned round to the servant, and asked him whether he 
had any objection to fulfil his commands; namely, to untie Kohl- 
haas'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 dis- 
persed 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 oflicer of 
the electoral troopers called to his assistance. This 'officer, after 
repelling the multitude, seized the enraged Himboldt, who was con- 
ducted 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 Dobbeln, 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 un- 
sufferable, 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, espe- 
cially 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 propa- 
gation 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 Kohlhaasenbriick, but even suppose art and constant 
attention could effect as much, the disgrace which under the cir- 
cumstances fell upon the squire's family was so great, that con- 
sidering its political importance as one of the first and noblest 
families in the land, nothing appeared more suitable than to pro- 
pose 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 re- 
quested 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 reso- 
lution 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 over- 
tures, 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 in- 
valid 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 Liitzen, 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 pur- 
sued, 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 re- 
turned 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 at- 
tachment to Kohlhaas, about whose fate the fellow was totally in- 
different, 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 ex- 
pressed their opinion that the whole enterprise was devised by Kohl- 


haas 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 cour- 
tiers, who, after their meal, had assembled in the elector's anteroom, 
that the disbanding of the gang of robbers at L'utzen 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 assist- 
ance 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 appear- 
ance of the electoral amnesty, which had broken off all the connec- 
tion 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 arid wicked in- 
vention; 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 Liitzen, 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 un- 
broken, 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 en- 
tangled 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 mitiga- 
tion 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 dis- 
temper 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 Kohlhaasenbriick for a 
small sum, wished, as it appears, for the purpose of finally complet- 
ing 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 cir- 
cumstances 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. lie 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 pre- 
sence was now more necessary than ever, since the court, in conse- 


qucnce 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 ad- 
vocate, 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 chan- 
cellor'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 Kohlhaasenbriick 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 pass- 
ports to Kohlhaasenbriick 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 to- 
wards him, whatever it might be, he sent another pressing appli- 
cation 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 ambi- 
guity. Therefore, at the dawn of the following day, he had his 
vehicle brought up, and the horses put to it by Sternbald his ser- 
vant, 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 move- 
ments 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 com- 
pleted 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 cir- 
cumstance, 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 Nagel- 
schmidt'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 Locke- 
witz 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 horse- 
men. 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 be- 
coming as red as tire, 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 accom- 
panied 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 al- 
liance 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 Kohl- 
haas would answer it. The man, who had been put in prison, was 
accordingly brought to the scat 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 punish- 
ment 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 pro- 
vided him in the market-place. Kohlhaas, who read the letter while 
the children played with the crabs, would certainly, under the cir- 
cumstances, have tnkcu the fellow by the collar, and delivered him 


up to the soldiers, who stood at Ms door, but as, in tlie present 
disposition of people towards him, such a step might be inter- 
preted 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 re- 
cognition, 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 pre- 
sence 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 com- 
mon 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 chan- 
cellor, 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 re- 
peated and pressing demands to the Elector of Brandenburg to unite 
against Saxony in one common cause. This led the High Chan- 
cellor 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 im- 
mediate and unconditional delivery of Kohlhaas, that in case he was 
guilty he might be tried according to Brandenburg laws, on a com- 
plaint 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 cham- 
berlain, 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 un- 
friendly 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. Never- 
theless, 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 Kohlhaasenbriick, 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 com- 
pliance with the request that had been made. 

The prince, who, although he was little pleased with the late un- 
seemly proceedings, was obHged 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 men- 
tioned on account of the placards in which they had been par- 

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 esta- 
blished, and to request those who were bound by no amnesty to 
prosecute Kohlhaas in the Berlin court through an imperial prose- 

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 
knight 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 (Landdrosf) 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, accom- 
panied 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 pro- 
ceeded 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 ofoneofKohlhaas's little delicate children had com- 
pelled 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 hall'- 


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 cham- 
berlain, that Kohlhaas was in the cart. At this piece of intelligence, 
which astonished every body, as it was generally known that Kohl- 
haas 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 appear- 
ance. 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 

The lady, when she heard this, said: "Come, gracious sove- 
reign, come !" adding, as she playfully concealed in his doublet the 
chain which hung from his neck, u 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: u 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 answer. 

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 Kohlhaasenbriick, 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 Jiiterboch, 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 foeen 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 peo- 
ple, 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: l 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 unintel- 
ligible 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 sense- 
less 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, en- 
tered 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 horse- 
back 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 Luc- 
kau 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 in- 
quiry 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 mon- 
strous in the conversation to strike him thus. 

The elector said he could only confess that the sight of a worth- 


less slip of paper, worn by the man in a leaden case, had been the 
cause of the unpleasant occurrence. In explanation of this circum- 
stance 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 embar- 
rassment, 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 expres- 
sion, 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 al- 
ready, 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 nature. 

After he had set forth the whole affair to this page, and had in- 
formed 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 

The pa^e 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 mission. 

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 astonish- 
ment 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, de- 
clared 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, bv the force of his 
naturally strong constitution, after keeping his bed for several pain- 


fully passed weeks, he recovered sufficiently to be removed to a 
carriage, and tlius, 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 coun- 
cillor 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 Zauner, whom the Elector of Brandenburg had 
sent as attorney to Dresden, to prosecute the suit about the horses 
against the Squire Wenzel von Tronka. 

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 de- 
livered 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 com- 
mand came unfortunately a day too late, since Eibenmeyer, accord- 
ing 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 re- 
marked, that a delay would, under the circumstances, be so much the 
more unjustifiable, as the Brandenburg representative, Zauner, was 
proceeding against Squire Wenzel von Tronka with the boldest 
energy, and had already moved the court, that the horses, as a pre- 
liminary measure, should be taken out of the hands of the flayer, with 


a view to their future recovery, and had succeeded in carrying this 1 
point in spite of all the objections of the opposite party. 

The elector, ringing the bell, said, " Well, no matter !" and after 
puttin^ some indifferent questions to the prince, such as " how matters 
stood Si 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 Kohl- 
haas, 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 Miiller, had gone to Berlin as 
imperial attorney, for the express purpose of bringing Kohlhaas to ac- 
count 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 after- 
wards received private letters from Berlin announcing the com- 
mencement 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 re- 
solved 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 proceed- 
ings 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 unex- 
pected turn prove more to his disadvantage than if he had remained 
in Dresden, and the affair had been decided according to Saxon 

The Elector of Brandenburg, who perceived much that was ob- 
scure 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 ex- 
ample, 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 re- 
quested 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 Jiiterboch, met a gipsy. When 
the elector, who is of sportive disposition, resolved by a jest to de- 
molish in the sight of the people the fame of this extraordinary wo- 
man, 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 en- 
dure, 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 delibe- 
rately 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: 4 By no means, your highness,' adding as she 
turned round and raised one of her crutches, 4 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 
nimble 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 re- 
turned and told him laughing, that the roebuck had been killed 
and dragged into the kitchen by two hunters before his eyes. 


" Tlie elector, merrily putting his arm into mine, with the inten- 
tion 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 run- 
ning 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, com- 
pletely fulfilled, as the roebuck had indeed met us in the market- 
place, 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 

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 dis- 
cover the gipsy herself, he answered that the government (Guber- 
nium), 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 cham- 
berlain 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 

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 recep- 
tion of him and his five children, was, immediately after the appear- 
ance of the imperial attorney from Vienna, brought before the 
chamber council charged with a breach of the imperial peace. Al- 
though 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 
Liitzen, 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 re- 
ference 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 Kohl- 
haas, 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 pre- 
paration 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 Ber- 
lin among a host of others, who were trafficking in the same com- 
modity. 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 be- 
fore 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 Jiiterboch, 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 Kohl- 
haas 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 pro- 
mise 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 Miihlberg, 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 Juterboch. 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 lean- 
ing 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 Juterboch 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, re- 
mind 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 chamber- 
lain'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 


in his own bosom. The real design of her coming was, how- 
ever, 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. How- 
ever, 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 
Jiiterboch 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 ex- 
change 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 con- 
tained in the paper. 

The woman, taking in her lap the youngest child, who was crouch- 
ing 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 L'utzen. " 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 tilings more before she quitted him; such as who she was; 
lm\v she acquired her science; why she had refused to give the won- 
ul j>;!j>er 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 apart- 
ments, answered: " Farewell till we meet again, Kohlhaas ! When 
we meet again, you shall have knowledge of all this." Turning to- 
wards 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 Olden- 
holm 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 pro- 
phecy 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 posses- 
sion 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 fol- 
lowing day, accompanied by a Count Konigstein, 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 pre- 
pared a will in favour of his children, with the assistance of a notary, 
and appointed his good friend the farmer at Kohlhaasenbriick 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 

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 

" 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 Miiller, 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 Zauner. In 
the midst of the half-open circle formed by the people, was a herald 


with a bundle of tilings 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 re- 
stored 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 Muhlberg. Are you content with 

Kohlhaas, while with open, sparkling eyes, he read over the de- 
cree 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 plea- 
sure. 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 satis- 
faction 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 Kohlhaasenbruck, 
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 ne'arly 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 con- 
vulsions. 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 liv- 
ing in Mecklenburg in the last century. 



[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 con- 
nection with it, and has therefore been omitted. C. A. F.] 

IT is about fifty years since that a ricli family lived among the moun- 
tains 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 light- 
ning, 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 sum- 
mons 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, in- 
cluding 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 dis- 
liked 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 witch- 



craft 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. Know- 
ing 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 neighbourhood. 

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 reso- 
lute 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 mis- 
understood 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 com- j 
posure and almost swooned. To prevent his sick wife from learn- 
ing 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 notice ! 

Without being disconcerted at this, he again succeeded in appre- 
hending 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 coun- 
tenances. As might be expected, the countess was horror-struck at 
beholding her husband enter, for what he now did was truly bar- 
barous. 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 re- 
fused, 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 her- 
self 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 ser- 
vice 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 tor- 
ments 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 ener- 
gies 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 confis- 
cated 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 fer- 
vent in his devotions. He never looked round when people behind 
him called out, " There sneaks the old sinner, the traitor, the mur- 
derer, 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 tlie large'property to which lie had succeeded ; but, not- 
withstanding these misfortunes, and also the breaking out of war, 
the next proprietor of the Klausenburg, and his family, main- 
tained 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 re- 
maining 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 splen- 
dour 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 ob- 
ject 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 favour- 
able 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 inter- 
pretations 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 counte- 
nanced 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 man- 
fully. He was still as youthful and handsome as ever, and the sere- 
nity 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 tlie slope of a hill, from 
whence he enjoyed a beautiful prospect. 

He avoided speaking of former circumstances, but one even- 
ing, 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 pos- 
session 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 

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 di- 
rection 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 con- 
versation 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 ?" 

u If it is something good that you can tell me, you may earn a few 
more pence." 

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 per- 
ceiving your own insignificance. From your paltry hand and 
unmeaning countenance nothing at all can be prophesied ; a dry fun- 
gus, 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 telling." 

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 no- 
thing better in your friend's character ? He is neither my son nor dis- 
ciple." Thus the prophetess meant to justify and atone for her inso- 
lence by repeating it anew. My friend was pacified, and gave her a 
ducat, saying: " Slake 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 re- 
quite 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 ances- 
tors; but fortunately you are the last of your race, for your chil- 
dren 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 af- 
fection ! 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 misfor- 
tune 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 
Celling discordantly into the thickest part of the wood. When I 
.ooked 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; lie 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 nun 
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, distin- 
guished 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 ex- 
pected 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 inter- 
course 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 fre- 
quently 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 ar- 
dently 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 illus- 
trious 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 com- 
pletely to reconcile me, she stooped to my mean and rude nature. Our 
hearts harmonised again, but from the lowering clouds that now sur- 
rounded 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 watch- 


ful, and were sharpened by our imprudence. Rumours were cir- 
culated, which perhaps never would have reached the prince him- 
self, had not his own glance suspected and discovered our connec- 
tion. He now learnt more from his questions than he desired 
to know, and far more than was in accordance with truth. One even- 
ing 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 imme- 
diate 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 fool- 
ishly rejoiced in the thought of his daughter being able by inter- 
course 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 affec- 
tion, 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," conti- 
nued 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 dif- 
ferent were her feelings ! When such changes occur, women usually 
suffer from the consuming fire of passion. What letters did I re- 
ceive 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 tete-a-tete with her in some evening hour, such 
as I had formerly enjoyed over and over again. By bribery, en- 
treaty, 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 let- 
ters 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, night 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 imme- 
diately. 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, in- 
deed, all my energies were annihilated. 

" 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 dis- 
cuss 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 mas- 
querade 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 con- 
vulsive 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 inter- 
course with men. When I in some measure recovered my tranquil- 
lity 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 de- 
spised 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 
Hie, ay, as surely as her own." 

These are, as nearly as possible, the affecting confessions of my un- 
happy friend. He added, in conclusion, that the whole of his pro- 
perty 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 over- 
whelmed 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 sprung." 

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 sur- 
prised 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, dis- 
covered 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 happiness. 

It would have delighted me to have complied with his invita- 
tion, had not my uncle, who lived forty miles distant, and was then 
lying on his death-bed, called me from home. The prince, who bit- 
terly 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 for- 
gotten, 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'hote, I accidentally looked 
over the list of visitors, 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 ac- 
counted 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 lie might be seriously ill and would see no 
company. Satisfied so far, I called upon him, and was told lie 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 ad- 
joining 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 fellow. 

I ^ank 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 sym- 
pathy 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 com- 
plaints, 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 conversa- 


tion, the physician entered, and I took my leave, making it a condi- 
tion, 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 mioiit, perhaps, be possible to afford relief to both of them. If 
the disease is mental, of which I feel almost convinced, the physi- 
cian must be in their confidence to afford relief ; but if this is with- 
held, 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 com- 
municated 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 misan- 
thropical 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 fes- 
tivals 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 agree- 
ably 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 aun too was musical, and accom- 
panied us when we sang. I also found myself benefited by be- 
coming 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 ne- 
cessity 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 banquet- 
ing, 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 exces- 
sively 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 ac- 
quired, evidently surpassing her sister in wit and presence of mind. 
Being fond of reading philosophical works, she exercised her judg- 
ment 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 unfrequcntly exercised a more than 
masculine power. But what almost seemed to border on the mar- 
vellous 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 men- 


tioned to her. No doubtthe 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 com- 
posed with ease long pieces of music which we often executed to 
her delight. 

" Could not such a being be happy independent of others ? Cer- 
tainly, 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 ap- 
proached 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 imme- 
diately, 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 kind- 
ness and benevolence. When thev had ceased I entered,/ and the 
aunt also joining us we immediately commenced our musical exer- 
cises, 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 whoso 
frequently pass themselves off as phenomena, and only, as it were, 
wish to please as dolls of fashion and well-dressed blocks. She re- 
vealed 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 dis- 
pleased 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 Ernes- 
tine 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 Eliza- 
beth, ' 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 rea- 
son, 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 par- 
tiality 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, how- 
ever, did not deceive me. Oh ! beloved, the mind and feelings, the 
enthusiasm and passions of this singular being possess such extraor- 
dinary 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 satis- 
faction as she called it. She had never before thought of learning 
music, and now devoted herself with all her energy to this accom- 
plishment. 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 un- 
wearied 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-sleep- 
ing 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 accom- 
plish were they truly awake in their wakeful state ? And so she de- 
voted 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 be- 
come insane in this passion of love, and destroy her own peace of 

" Elizabeth now also described to me all the extravagances she 
committed when she heard of our engagement; at first, she in- 
tended 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 im- 
prudently I had acted in making such friendly advances to Ernes- 
tine, 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 aberra- 
tions, 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 pre- 
pared, 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 resi- 
dence in a new house not far distant, and only occasionally to spend 

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. ' Wel- 
come ! 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 ex- 
treme wall of the small garden, and must have concealed herself 



among the shrubs and ruins.' l 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 laughing. 

" 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 re- 
plied, ' No ! I have kept constant company with that old pro- 
phetess whom you so unkindly sent away. There I have learnt 
many things quite new, that I never even read of, and we have be- 
come 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 circum- 
stances permitted. When I asked her the reason of this, she 
answered after some hesitation : ' Dearest, I am terrified at Ernes- 
tine; 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 Fraulein von Jertz, might contra- 
dict 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 mad- 
ness?' remarked Elizabeth, very naturally. 

" On the approach of autumn we left the Klausenburg to take pos- 
session 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 ; 1 1 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 escrutoire 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 pro- 
ceeded 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 man- 
ner in which she heard me communicate a suspicion, which would 
have shocked any innocent mind. When I had overcome my embar- 
rassment 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 in- 
duced 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 mo- 
ment; 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 in- 
nocent, 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 Eliza- 
beth 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. 5 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 in- 
strument. 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, 
1 one may have in one's own house all enjoyments for which con- 
noisseurs 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 won- 
derful 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 se- 
renity 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 rums, and returned much worse than 
before. It was now evident that she could not recover. The phy- 
sician 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, how- 
ever, 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 escrutoire 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 com- 
plied 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 your- 
self too soon with such an idea. Death, life, non-existence, continua- 
tion ! 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 om- 
nipotence 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 ano- 
ther 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 re- 
turn, 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 bar- 
terer 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 purga- 
tory. Therefore, no leave-taking ; we shall meet again !'* Thus say- 
ing 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 frantio 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 ap- 
peared 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 neigh- 
bourhood. As she became calmer she recovered by degrees her na- 
turally beautiful complexion. Feeling once unwell and lying com- 
fortably 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 fin- 
gers will at length become quite stiff. 

" ' You know, 1 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 novelty.' 

" 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. Sud- 
denly she stopped, and was again seized with that violent hysteric 
fit of weeping which had so often terrified me. * I cannot,' she 

well as hers was destroyed. 

* It is not impossible that this extraordinary speech may be intended for an ex- 
position of the doctrine of Fichte. J. 0. 


" 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 feel- 
ings and this hypochondriacal anxiety. She determined to follow his 
advice. Very pleased and rejoiced, we returned to our humble re- 
sidence. 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 ar- 
rived, 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 expres- 
sive 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 in- 
quire 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 pro- 
posed to practise some music in my wife's presence, that they might 
nave 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 sa- 
tisfaction 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 home." 

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 confession." 

" 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 deter- 
mined 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 day- 
light. 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 tlie 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* 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 reco- 
very 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 natu- 
rally 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. Meet- 
ing, at last, with his beautiful wife, he determined to change his 
condition, and her naturally sensitive and nervous nature was de- 
lighted 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 ma- 
trimony that transcendant felicity which they anticipated ; a slight 
discord takes possession of the tender cords of the nerves, which im- 
patiently 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 in- 
dignation, 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 

* A beverage usually prepared of wine, brandy, sugar, and pine-apples, or other 


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 when- 
ever 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 par- 
ticular 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 discon- 
tented 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 shape?" 

" Because," rejoined I, " they perhaps can express their imagi- 
nation 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." 


e ' 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 ex- 
perience 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 instru- 
ment, 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 pre- 
sence, as I shall have my quick eyes everywhere. By these means 
our patients will gain confidence and tranquillity, and by a daily re- 
petition, and the use of stronger remedies we shall cure their wild 
/> j, 

" 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 antici- 
pate 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 my- 
self, 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 suf- 
fering 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 coun- 
tess'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 gi- 
gantic 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 an- 
nihilated. 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. 





WHEN, Oh Eugenius and Rosamond, yon, 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.* 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 Rosa- 
mond. Tender souls like yours are attacked by three robbers of 
their joys the mob, whose rough gripe gives to such soft hearts no- 
thing 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 but- 
terfly, 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 beings. 

These persons wished, in the spring-time, to quit the whirlpool of 
mankind, which beat so hardly and so coldly against their hearts. 

* Or, perhaps, " angelic garden," meaning a church-yard. The reading given 
above is most probably correct. 

262 THE MOON. 

They had a quiet cottage prepared for them on one of the high 
Alps opposite to the silver chain of the Staiibbach. 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 im- 
mortal 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 an^el 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 be- 
loved, 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 

" 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 Eu- 
genius, ecstatically. 

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 glim- 
mer, 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, ador- 
ing 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 

THE MOON. 263 

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 distor- 
tions which we see in it, because we stand too near it, as the deco- 
rations 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 repe- 
tition. 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 \vhite hands, glide down 
by a chain of flowers to the second cradle, and you have only ex- 
changed 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 


264 THE MOON. 

the father, who, with his breast, silently covers his struggling heart, al- 
though black grief has twined around it with an adder's folds, and poi- 
soned 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 sup- 
pressed 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 glo- 
rious 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 Eu- 
genius; " yonder is thy son ! See there, the white flowery groves, 
in which our child will play, are passing over the moon." Now a burn- 
ing 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 in- 
struct 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 

THE MOON. 265 

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 be- 
come 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. Sud- 
denly, in that still desert, a star shone forth, and wound its way to- 
wards 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 lone- 
liness 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 mourn- 
ing, tearless eye towards its gleaming meadows, " Why cannot 
I die?" 

Ay, why canst thou not, good soul ? for the cold earth would 

T 2 

266 THE MOON. 

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 repre- 
sents 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 mother- 
land. At last the sun set to the moon, and our earth rested, large, 
glimmering, and immoveable, on the pure horizon of Elysium, scat- 
tering, 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 suf- 
fering below. "Oh, my Rosamond! why dost thou not leave a 
sphere, where nothing more loves thee?" And he cast a suppli- 
cating 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 atmo- 
sphere 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 com- 
plaint, 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 

THE MOON. 267 

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 

The angel of rest looked upon the moon, and looked upon the 
earth, and he was softened by the sighs from both. On the morn- 
ing-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 be- 
loved 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 al- 
ready," 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. 



ON the 20th of November, 1815, Albert von B , lieutenant- 
colonel in the Prussian service, found himself on the road from 
Liege to Aix-la-Chapelle. The corps to which he belonged was on 
its return from France to march to Liege 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 ima- 
gination. 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 Char- 
leroi, 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 Wa- 
terloo. 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 hav- 
ing 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 sur- 
render 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 

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 ir- 
resistibly from Liege to Aix-la-Chapelle, and he could not compre- 
hend how the thought of Victor, his most intimate and dearest friend, 


whom lie 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 

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 arn Paul Talkebarth indeed, 
gracious lieutenant-colonel. We've bad weather here, Zermannore 
(s?/?* 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 Liege. The spirus familis (spiritus familiaris), whis- 
pered yesterday evening into my master's ear, that the gracious 
lieutenant-colonel had come to Liege. Zackermanntho (sacrt mon 
de Dieii), there was delight ! It may be as it will, but I have never 
put any faith in the cream-colour. A fine beast, Zermannore, 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 in- 
corrigible 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 counte- 
nance 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 
intcndent-gcneral and maitre des plaisirs of all the sports and mad 
pranks of his childhood. An old and very odd mayister, 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 Eulen- 
spicyelei* 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 dis- 
covered 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 !" (Toy- 
san, de Pavoinepour les chevauz.) 

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 man- 
ner 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 o^e 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, 

* Eulenspiegelei signifies odd practical jokes, and is derived from Eulenspiegel, the 
traditional perpetrator of such pleasantries. J. O. 


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 conve- 
nient 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 ques- 
tion, 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 in- 
timate 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 par- 
lour, and perceived Victor, who sat with his back towards him. At 
the sound of his entrance Victor turned round^ and with a loud ex- 
clamation 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 Liege at the very moment when you 
first entered the place. I fixed all my thoughts upon you, my spi- 
ritual 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 Liege. 

" 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 be- 
haviour 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 hos- 
pitable hostess, who tends me ever carefully and faithfully in sick- 
ness 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 favour- 


able 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 white- 
ness, 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 ar- 
rangements 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 clo without something warm, after his ride in the rough, 
bleak weather, and after a long consultation with Mariane, the pre- 
paration 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 over- 
heard that the baroness was being informed at the door of the fright- 
ful 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 lamen- 
tations. 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 occa- 
sion 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 cup- 
board. 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 ^jiweet, 
" A fu zerpir (a vous servir), madame." The manes of the victims 
in the yard seemed to be appeased, and all seemed forgiven. 

Now, at last, they all sat down quietly together. The baroness, 
after she had handed the cup to the visiter, began to knit a mon- 
strous 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 frimself 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: u 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 oc- 
cupied all the time with dreams, which must have been of a very 
singular kind. 

Albert, as may be supposed, was dumb with amazement. Look- 
ing 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 ! 
Aliens ! " 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- 
Jine) 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 mak- 
ing 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, sud- 
denly 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 car- 
ried 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 pre- 
pared. I thought you were going to tell ine something very extra- 
ordinary, 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 fight, would be the Spanish 
Infanta in the ' Physician of his Honour,'* who, meeting a fate simi- 
lar to yours, fell upon his nose before Donna Menzia's gate, and at 
last found the beloved one, who unconsciously " 

" 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, if Now, Vic- 
tor, 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 confound- 
edly cold, nor a crime to wake up the good folks of the house." 

* Calderon's " Medico de su honra," 


" Perhaps," said Victor, " Paul Talkebarth mav 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 An- 
dolosia, 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 nr >r l 1 still mnrp, W,ause the" picture of those years has 
"harm to my soul in dim outlines, and did not, until I 
r.nmp ]iprp. 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 in- 
clinations, 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 as- 
sure 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 ' Kobbers.' 
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 incli- 
nation 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 per- 
haps 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 has- 
tened 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, 
4 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 com- 
pany. ' 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 
ky 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 ut- 
tered 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 be- 
fore, 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 ap- 



pearance 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 de- 
licately formed lips would have given a noble appearance to his coun- 
tenance, 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 when- 
ever 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 him- 
self 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 ex- 
pected to see him beaten ; and yet he was the very best rider and 
fencer, in a word, the very best Gymnastikcr 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 con- 
trol 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 con- 
tained the portrait of a man very like the major, increased that be- 
lief, 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 over- 
come, 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 de- 
scribe 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 dis- 
pleasure at my guests, and he wished to depart at once. The cap- 
tain then reminded him that they were old acquaintance, and at my 
request he consented to remain. 

" ' 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 sort.' 

" 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- 

" 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 com- 



pletcly across the table, rested liis 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 in- 
tellect, 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 our- 
selves, 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, Trisme- 
gistus,Nollius, Dorneus,Theophrastus, Fludd, William Postel, Miran- 
dola; 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 con- 
stituted, that it can even kindle into the knowledge of it, you pre- 
sume to deny that such things arc possible with any one. I tell 
you, the intercourse with higher spiritual natures depends on a par- 
ticular 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 con- 
versation 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, ' In- 
cubus ! 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 cap- 
tain 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 I' 
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 away. 

" 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, 011 which the major had laid 
some links bound together, and a book. 

" ' Ho ho !' cried the captain, e this is your conjuring book is it, 

" ' 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 condi- 
tion 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 diffi- 
culty 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 break- 


ing through the dark clouds, and I perceived the ruins of a large build- 
ing, 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 glid- 
ing 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 neighbour- 
hood 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 plait, votre canif. Oui, 
Monsieur, d'abord le viola, je vous le rendrai.' " 

" Come," said Albert, here interrupting his friend, " this is in- 
deed 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 in- 
sensible. 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 dia- 
logue from Peplier's Grammar, without regarding any thing else. 
Notwithstanding all his efforts, a fearful apprehension, hitherto un- 
known, 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 per- 
ceived 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 im- 
moveable, but it was to no purpose. I seemed quite paralysed, and 
he had the greatest difficulty in bringing me into the open air. Sud- 
denly the major returned, took me on his shoulders, and carried me 
away as he had carried the captain before. But what was the hor- 
ror of the lieutenant, when on leaving the wood, he saw a second 
O'Malley who was carrying the captain along the broad path ! How- 
ever, 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 revenge. 


" A considerable time had elapsed, and the remembrance of that 
fatal night grew faint. The occupations required by the service over- 
came my propensity to mystical dreaming. A book then fell into my 
hands, the effect of which, on my whole being, seemed perfectly in- 
explicable, even to myself. I mean that strange story of Gazette'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 de- 
scribed 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 remem- 
brance of Gazette'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 mys- 
tical 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 Gazette'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 mys- 
terious which I experienced, that Gazette'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 be- 
fore known. Often did a wish arise within me, that O'Malley 
would return and place in my arms the hell-birth, to which my en- 
tire 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 mys- 
tery 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 brush- 
wood, 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 orga- 
nisation. 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 
Cabulis. He concluded by prescribing me a particular course of life, 
and thought that in the course of a year I might obtain my Bion- 
detta, 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 tiling to attain my end sooner. The major re- 
mained 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 clay, 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 pro- 
cure something by means of which my own self might be opened to the 
elementary spirit, and the latter might have the power of revealing it- 
self 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 char- 
coal 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'Mal- 
ley. 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'Mal- 
ley 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 ten- 
derest 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 tor- 
ment. 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 apart- 
ment 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 lightning " 

" 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 tlie glance deep 
in my bosom, and a sudden pain quivered at the spot which 
O'Malley had wound ed. 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 tliQ darling image I had recovered upon the 
table, and, no longer able tore sist 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 con- 
quered 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 bosoin. But at that instant the creature 
melted away in my arms." 

" How !" said Albert, interrupting his friend, " in Heaven's name, 
melted away ?" 

" 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 pro- 
found 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 whisper- 
ing, a sighing close by me in society, especially when I spoke with 
any lady, so that all my thoughts were directed to my lovely myste- 
rious mistress, and I was dumb and lifeless for all surrounding ob- 
jects. 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.' 
1 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 happi- 
ness,' 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 happi- 
ness of an unknown hereaftei ?' 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 com- 
pact 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 vour 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 lloot-mannikin (Wurzelmannlcin) 
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 cof- 
fee 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- 


" ' 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 salaman- 
der 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 re- 
turning 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 ma- 
gical beaming woke me as usual. Aurora in the full lustre of super- 
natural 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 Hashing, 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 lie had heard me cry aloud and fall to the ground, he had, 
although his courage failed him a little, burst open the door and en- 
tered. ' 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 T 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 P 

" 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 Postdam, without see- 
ing any more of O'Malley, whose further fate has remained unknown 
to me. The image of those potentous days grew fainter and fainter, 
and at last vanished all together, so that I recovered perfect free- 
dom 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 be- 
came 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 ap- 
peared 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 mys- 
terious fire that flashes from her eyes, the pressure of her hand." 

" 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 Aix-la-Chapelle." 

' ' 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 
sinmge, ghostly sort of dream had revealed to him the mysterious 
word, which O'Malley had taught him, when they prepared th( 
Teraphim. He thought that he would make use of it for the " 


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. " Zacker- 
mantho," 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 hospi- 
tality. 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 Postdam, and knew a certain Irish Major. " Vic- 
tor," 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 Liege 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 contra- 
dictions or doubts, Victor himself now seemed to look upon his mys- 
tical 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 fair- 
est 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 happi- 



ness, 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 I" 

The colonel remained unmarried. J. O. 



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 posses- 
sion 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 doc- 
trine, 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 them- 
selves 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 
disposed 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 them- 
selves, 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 in- 
telligence 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 re- 
treated 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 dif- 
ferent 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 I" 
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 

Six years had passed, and this occurrence had been long for- 
gotten, when the mother of the four youths came from the Hague, 
and mournfully alleging that they had completely disappeared, insti- 
tuted 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 particu- 
larly. 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 ac- 
companied by one of the messengers of the court, and asked the super- 
intendent 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 occu- 
pied in the glorification of the Redeemer, of whose divinity, accord- 
ing 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 en- 
joyed 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 

The lady, who could not support the horrible sight of her unfor- 
tunate 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 
visiter 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 en- 
tertained the project which is mentioned in the letter. How the 
plan, for the execution of which, the most careful preparations were 
made witli 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, in- 
terrupted divine service by all sorts of ribaldry, and that more than three 
hundred rascals gathered together within the walls of our then mis- 
guided 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 
fogging 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 miser- 
able 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 re- 
turned, I w r entwith some friends to the conventina 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 in- 
geniously 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 eat 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 excehis 
in the most hideous and horrible voice. The sound of leopards 
and wolves, when on an icy winter's 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 up- 
stairs to the room, to discover the source of these fearful and revolt- 
ing 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 lis- 
tened to the indignation of the host, or the exclamations of horror that 
were uttered by the people, closed their lips, wiped with a handker- 
chief 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 dis- 
miss 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 dis- 
position, 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 build- 
ing was going on, and even with straining were unable to see through 
the chinks of the boards, any thing but the rosace- window which spar- 
kled magnificently in the back of the church. Hundreds of work- 
men, 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 cathe- 
dral, it sank grumbling into the east, dissolved in vapour. It hap- 
pened 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 posses- 
sion of the Netherland lady, immediately sent the sister to her, re- 
questing 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 


lier 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 con- 
sequence 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 ca- 
thedral on the memorable Corpus Christi day, six years ago. The young 
nun answered in the affirmative, saying that she remembered hear- 
ing 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 va- 
rious 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 evi- 
dence 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 Treves, 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 confirmed." 

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. 




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 adven- 
tures that was no matter, indeed they pretty well knew all my in- 
goings 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 ae'riel 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 im- 
probabilities 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 festi- 
val. 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 waist- 
coat, 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 dress- 
ing myself; for I continually changed the articles of wearing ap- 
parel, 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. " Wel- 
come," 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 charm- 
ing 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 

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 hear- 
ing 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 some- 
what 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 beau- 
tiful 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, there- 
fore, 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 fur- 
ther. 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 there- 
fore 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 in- 
closed 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 sur- 
prise 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 swim- 
ming 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 par- 
tisan 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 un- 
expectedly 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 en- 
compassed 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, never- 
theless led me immediately towards that centre ; and how was I sur- 
prised, when entering the circle of the tall trees, I saw before me the 
portico of a magnificent summer-house, which seemed to have simi- 
lar 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 car- 
pet, 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 dis- 
turbed 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 
uj> by my little neighbour, to whom I sat close ; and when I per- 
ceived 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 be- 
neath 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 diffi- 
cult to see how they were able to balance themselves, for they kept 
up without having a stand. 

We had both surveyed our armies with great complacency, when 
she announced the attack. Besides the soldiers, we had found artil- 
lery 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 dis- 
tance, 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 

y 2 


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 toge- 
ther 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. Un- 
fortunately, 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 in- 
active, 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 for- 
tunate 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 I saw scattered around me, my own little army with it 
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 

f round and branches ; and wherever I turned it pelted me furiously. 
ly 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, find- 
ing 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 1 might thus go on pleasantly for some time. My 
rage had cooled, and I now desired nothing more than a recon- 
ciliation 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. u 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 Sun- 
day 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 pro- 
jected over a high wall, and partly covered the moulding with which 


it terminated. The branches reached to a stone tablet, the deco- 
rated 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 in- 
serted, 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. T he 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 Mahom- 
medan saint, which stood in a circular temple surrounded by date 
trees, about a league distant. Here he usually seated himself in 


the shade, and liis 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 with- 
out having ever spoken to each other they had formed a kind of ac- 
quaintance, which, however, did not disturb Ali in his contem- 
plations. 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 
youn^ in years, can totally renounce the world? I esteem your ap- 
plication ; 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 per- 
haps 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 enough." 

Though Ibrahim was not satisfied altogether by this contradiction 
of his favourite opinions, he could not help commending the sin- 
gular 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 mak- 
ing some impression upon the son. He began to perceive the dif- 
ference 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 wea- 
ther, 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 high- 
land 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 pilgrimage. 

" 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 im- 
mediate 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 

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. Ali 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 ! Ah' 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