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FOR THE OLIO.
a profusion of undisturbed verdure.
On the right hand bank the town of Lo-' OLD STORIES OF THE RHINE rich fornis the frontier of the Rheingau. CASTLES.
It is hereabouts that the mountain entiBy Roger Calverley.
tled Kedrich, or the Devil's Staircase, buries its huge head in the clouds; and
with this mountain our story has much THE SILVER BELL.
to do. A STORY OF THE RHEINGAU.
Not far from the town of Lorich you
are shewn, even to the present day, the Like her to whom, at dead of night,
remains of an ancient chateau, which The lover, with his looks of light, Came in tbe flush of love and pride,
was formerly inhabited by Sibol van And scaled the terrace of his bride;
Lorich, a knight of distinguished vaWhen, as she saw him rashly spring,
lour, but of a disposition which was And, midway up, in danger cling, She fiung him down her long black hair,
anything but amiable. Exclaiming breathless, ' There love! there!' It happened one night during very See! light, as up their granite steeps The rock goats of Arabia clamber,
stormy weather, that a little old man Fearless from crag to crag he leaps,
with a long gray beard solicited shelter And now is in the maiden's chamber.
at the castle gate. The knight of Lo
rich having reconnoitred this singular As soon as the boat has passed the figure through a loop-hole in the pormuch dreaded whirlpool of the Birger- ter's lodge, refused him admission in a loch, the traveller sees before him the tone and manner sufficiently harsh. village of Ashmannshausen;
“Oh! just as you please! I will call left hand bank the ivied wreck of Bauz you to an account for it, however, berg Castle crumbles ghastily away; and the only reply of Father Graybeard, and the ruins of Konigstein and, a little with the utmost composure he pursued lower down, the old towers of Falken- his journey. Sir Sibol paid no great bourg present their mossy walls, among attention to these words at the time, but VOL. IX.
when at noon, the following day, he tain, which pronounced distinctly these assumed his canopied seat at the high words:table in his baronial hall, the mighty “ It is thus we return the hospitality bear's ham stood untouched, the savoury of Sir Sibol van Lorich!” venison ceased to steam, the ruddy wine Sir Sibol bad reconrse to all manner bubbles blinked and died on the gob- of projects for the recovery of his darlet's gold-wrought brim, for Garlind, the ling from the power of the Gnomes. only surviving pledge of his dead wife, According to the superstition of the Garlind, by turns the consolation and age, he made more than one vow, and amusement of his widowhood-Garlind, distributed munificent largesses to the a beautiful little girl, twelve years old, monastic orders and to the poor. But was waited for in vain! The vassals all was in vain : no one could give were immediately dispatched in every him good counsel as to the means to be direction; and at last Sibol himself set pursued ; and much less, after the frightforth to seek her. A young shepherd, ful examples that had been made, from whom the distracted father made durst any body offer his assistance in inquiries to that effect, apprised him regaining poor Garlind. that he had noticed a young girl in the Days, weeks, months, thus flowed cooler hours of the morning, on the away, and the wretched father had no side of the Kedrich mountain, employed other consolation than the certainty in gathering the scarlet, yellow, and that his child was still in life; for his blue flowers, that variegate its green first look in the morning, and his last grasses in brilliant multitudes. A short at nightfall, rested on the summit of the time afterward, he saw a crowd of little Kedrich; and there he always saw men advance towards her, and finally Garlind, extending to her dear father carry her away up the craggy mountain her white arms in a manner that cleft as easily as if they were walking on à his yearning heart in twain. It was at plain.
those periods alone that the Gnomes “God forbid !” added the shepherd, permitted her to be visible to his eyes ; crossing himself devoutly, that they and, perhaps, it would be difficult to should have been those mischievous decide whether pleasure or pain predoGnomes who inhabit the interior of the minated in the effects of this truly tanmountain, and who are very easily talean punishment. provoked."
Meanwhile, the Gnomes took the utSir Sibol, seized with horror at this most possible care of the little girl; account, cast his eyes towards the sum- fondling her with the most affectionate mit of the Kedrich, and sure enough caresses, and endeavouring to win her there he beheld his pretty little Garlind, young heart by the most lavish gifts who seemed to stretch out her arms to- and indulgences. In the most romanwards him for help. Sibol immediately tic and inviolate recesses of their doassembled all his vassals, to see if there main, they built her a beautiful pavilwas not one among them who could lion; the walls they encrusted with the scramble up to the top of the mountain. most magnificently variegated shells, The enormous reward offered by the and the dome was of dazzling crystal. agonized father induced many to under. The softened lustre of the sun foated take the attempt, but not one succeeded. in apon its checkered marble paveThe first fell and broke his leg; ano- ment; and tall alabaster pillars, lightly ther lost an eye; and a third, when near curtained with pink and palegreen the summit, was dashed from crag to silks, disclosed the groves and partercrag, till he lay a lifeless and mangled res of a richly planted garden, from mass at the bottom. Sir Sibol then or whence soft and sleepy zephyrs, sweldered them to prepare their tools for ling the dainty draperies, wafted a thoucutting out a road in the mountain. His sand odours around the fluttering ringcommands were obeyed with the utmost lets of Garlind. A large basin under promptitude, for Garlind was a general the centre of the dome, entirely of coral, favourite; but the labourers had scarce was surrounded with a little trellice of ly commenced their work, when, from white, yellow, and red roses, clusterthe pinnacles of the mountain there was ing over a border of the most rare launched upon them such a multitude mosses, which were kept in perpetual of stones, that they were compelled to verdure by the silver sprinklings of the consult their safety by flight. They, fountain. The nightingale, the blackone and all, declared that at the same bird, and the throstle, here lavished time they heard a voice proceeding ap- their most bewitching melodies; and parently from the centre of the moun- the mountain spirits, by their art, pro
Their female proach of storin or rain. deserted courts that drearily echoed to
also made up sumptuous his clinking spurs of gold, dresses for Garlind, and gave her neck A steep covered stair, hung with laces of emeralds, diamonds, and ru- black, ascended from the low browed bies. Her table was every day loaded arch of the inner tower to the great with dainties, for which the four ele hall; but the sun no longer gleamed ments were put in requisition, and upon its trophies of the battle and the which were served up in gold and chase. Its gorgeous arched windows silver vessels of the most marvellous no longer displayed the patrician or workmanship; and the Gnomes ema- equestrian emblazonments of the falated each other in striving to enliven mily; its hearth smouldered in white her with songs, ballads, legends, and ashes ; a single cresset, swinging from fairy tales.
the roof, made darkness visible; and, There was, in particular, a little old in the deep recess of the tall embayed woman, whom the others called Trud, preille, skulked, like a hunted wild who distinguished herself in fondling beast in its lair, what might once have and indulging the pretty Garlind, -she been the fiery and indomitable knight was for ever whispering in her ear : of Lorich. His hair and beard were
“Be of good cheer, my darling, my grown to a frightful length, his eyes love; I am preparing a marriage dowry gleamed, like decayed comets, over his for you, which a king's daughter need ghastly cheeks; a long black robe ennot disdain!"
folded his skeleton figure, and dust and Four mortal years had now rolled ashes defiled his head and smeared his away from the fatal morning on which countenance, Ruthelm had prepared she was carried off to the Kedrich; himself for a vehemence of sorrow in and Garlind, from a little playful far accordance with Sir Sibol's impatient scinating girl, had become a beautiful, spirit; but for such horrible tokens of blushing, graceful virgin-a prize for a deliberate despair he had not, he could summer day's tournament. The first not have looked ; and the shock comsparkling beam of the morn, and the pletely arrested his utterance. A gleam last tranquil crimson of the evening of something likę satisfaction shot athsky, still revealed to şir Sibol de Loy wart Sibol's haggard features, as he rich the form of his lost child, from the recognised the son of his old brother summit of the Kedrich; and with these in-arms; but it was connected with momentary interviews, the unhappy something intolerably painful, for in the knight began to think he must content next moment, with an earthquake groan, bimself for the rest of his miserable the poor old knight was stretched sense life. Affairs wore this aspect, when Şiç less on the pavement. - Ruthelm, in Ruthelm of Konigsteip, a young and compliance with the usages of chivalry, valorous chevalier, and of an ancient had been brought; up in Sir Sibol's family in the neighbourhood, returned castle; and an alliance between him to his ancestral castle, from Hungary, and Garlind had always been a favourite where he had gilded gloriously his topic with the two sires of Konigstein maiden sword with Turkish blood, on and Lorich. the banks of the Danube. His roman. It was sometime ere the wretched old tic mansion, yeaving like a garland its man recovered his senses, when at groves of beech-trees, amidst which its length he unclosed his eyes, and found gray spires, and turrets, and burnished himself supported in the affectionate fanns glistened to the søn, might be arms of Sir Ruthelm, and read, in the descried from Sir Sibol's baulements. sorrow of his handsome countenance,
Ruthelm of Konigstein had no sooner the profound sympathy he felt for his learnt the affliction that had befallen, affliction, he wrung the young warrior's his old neighbour, than he resolved to hand with warmth. attempt the rescue of Garlind. He ac “ Ruthelm! my gallant boy! I am cordingly repaired to the castle of Lo wretched ! I would say, curelessly rich, where he found every thing me wretched ; but thou art bere : I will lancholy enough. On the great tower not add to my sins by doubting that over the gateway waved a huge black Heayen's providence halls sent thee to banner, surging in the morning wind rescue my Garlind from those demons, against the blue and sunny, as if it and her poor father from a desperate wished to blot out the resplendence of grave!" nature. The seneschal, attired in deep That very day at sunset Sir Rathelin mourning, and without uttering a word, repaired to the foot of Mount Kedrich, inarshalled the young knight through for the purpose of reconnoitring: but
he soon saw the physical impossibility “ 'tis well for thee that I am not quite of scrambling up a rock which was al- so snappish as my brother Kobold ! most perpendicular. Ruminating on But, well-a-day! thou art but a poor the untoward aspect of affairs, he was blind mortal after all, and I pity thee. about to return slowly and reluctantly Besides, I love fun better than vento his castle, when he beheld advancing geance! Harkee, young man ! my towards him an old man of a stature brother Kobold has had a rare chuckle dwarfish in the last extreme.
at thy expence, what sayest thou, “ Good day, my fair young gentle shall we make him laugh on the other man!”squeaked the mannikin, “I sup- side of his mouth ?” pose you, too, have heard of the charm Our knight stared at the facetious ing Garlind who dwells there, over the pigmy, who thus continued :way, on the top of Kedrich. That pretty « Ah! I see thou hast more brawn in damsel is my ward; and if, as I have no thine arm than brain in thy head! doubt, you want to make her your wife, but thou hast a good heart that outvalues you have nothing to do but go and find both, and 'tis for that I love thee?" her!”
“The devil you do!” muttered Ru“ Done !” said the knight, holding thelm. out his hand.
The officious Trud seemed extremely “ I am but a dwarf in comparison of discomposed you,” rejoined the little old body, “I beg of you not to use that name in “nevertheless my word is as good as my presence, or you shall never see your's. I give up the girl to you, pro
Garlind!” vided the road to her dwelling does not “ Ho, ho!” sits the lalcyon towards discourage you. But, believe me, you that quarter!” thought our hero, greatly will be well repaid for your trouble, relieved; for (truth to tell) from the te for there is not, in all the Rheingan, a nour of her speech, he began to think virgin who is her fellow for beauty, for the old lady meditated consoling him, modesty, and for 'wit!”
and outwitting her brother, by substiAfter uttering these words, the ma- tuting her own somewhat over-ripened licious old dwarf disappeared with a charms for the blossomed beauties of loud peal of laughter; and young Garlind. Sir Ruthelm therefore asRuthelm shook his sunny curls, and sumed an air of the most respectful atbit his downy lip in pure vexation attention, which greatly mollified the being so mocked by the hideous abortion. placable Trud.
“ Find her out!” he said, looking “A good lad!” she exclaimed, “and wistfully at the impracticable crags of now thou hast recovered thy manners, the Kedrich, “ay, with wings perhaps listen to me!” I might !”
“ Assuredly, madam, and with eterA smart rap on his shoulder, accom- nal" panied with a shrill voice, saying, “ Bah! insect of a day! be contented * You may do it even without wings!” if thou mayest expand thy spangled made Sir Ruthelm start ; and, turning wings while it is noon;--painted bubbriskly round, he perceived a little old ble! be thankful that thy colours sparwoman, whose puckered features bore kle in the sunshine before they burst! a strong family likeness to her brother, thou hast nought here eternal ; woe to the graybeard, except that their general thee if thou hadst! Enough!- listenexpression was illumined with an air and let me speak!" of benevolence which never shone over Ruthelm, like a chidden school-boy, his crabbed spiteful physiognomy. bowed and looked meek; while Trud
“ I have overheard the conversation continued which my brother has been holding “ Take this little silver hand-bell, with thee,” said the old lady, looking and repair this night to the shadowy up with good-humoured shrewdness at hollows of the Wisperthal. There the handsome young knight; “ and, if thou wilt find an old mine, which they I read that comely face aright, there is have long ceased to work; at its enno necessity I should inform thee that trance, a beech, and a fir, two huge thou art his laughing-stock !”. trees, interlace their thick boughs, they
Blushes, thrice crimson-dyed, mantled will serve to point out the place to thee. over Ruthelm's neck, cheek, and fore- Enter the mine without fear." head: he cleared his voice, stammered, Ruthelm felt as though, in such a and tried to look dignified.
cause, the bare suspicion of fear was old gentlewoman ! really" an insult; and perhaps he looked it “ Old gentlewoman!” retorted Trud, also, for the Grome pursued
“Beseech thee! attend, and do not his own will, it is to be feared he will start and snort, like an impatient never restore Garlind. charger, lest thou stumble also!-When “ He has nevertheless, given you a hold thou art in the mine, ring thy bell three upon him in the promise he made you, times; my younger brother inhabits the, and which he thinks he has nullified by interior, and will no sooner have heard the extravagance of its conditions. You the sound of the bell, than he will be must know that we Gnomes are exat thy side. The bell itself will be a tremely punctilious in abiding by our token that I have sent thee; be discreet, words to the very letter; we outwit be courageous, and I shall not have where we can, but we never break our sent thee in vain !"
words. So that if you can once reach With these words Trud vanished as Garlind she is as securely yours as if her brother Kobold had done; and (if she had never seen the Kedrich.' the truth must be told), without leaving Sir Ruthelm's eyes glistened with much more satisfactory impressions be- hope at the grayfrock's speech. hind, To the dismal phantom-famed “ Kind spirit!” he exclaimed, “ only ravines of the Wisperthal at nightfall give me the means, the very slenderest did Sir Rutbelm repair. The sky was means, only place me within the verge starless --a waning moon, more dismal of possibility, and see if difficulty or than eclipse, shed a shy and swarthy danger can deter me, when love and light over the umbered landscape. friendship invite me forward !" Enormous trees, congregated in gloomy “ Good !" rejoined the spirit of the clumps, or feathering with their ram
“those means I promise thee. pant boughs and billowy foliage, down But be on thy guard. Kóbold is mine the craggy hills, waved in mysterious elder, and mightier than 1; he niay and shapeless phantasmagoria, to the thwart us, if he discover our designs." solemn wailings of the Wisperwind Here Sir Ruthelm fancied he heard that swelled and eddied through the sounds as of violent laughter, half supdesert vale. The curling waters of the pressed, echo along the distant hollows Rhine, tinged with the sullen moon- of the mine; but as the Gnome did not beam, glared ghastly here and there, notice it, he attributed it to imagination between the thick trunks of the pines overheated by the strange scene, and and beech trees, whose voluminous fo- remained silent, while grayfrock thus liage undulated over them like a funeral went on. pall. Spectres, whose dim misty vi “ Return to thy castle, and at daysages wore an aspect of menace, shot, break be at the foot of the Kedrich: it tall and white, athwart the pitch-black shall not be my fault if thou art not hollows in the distance; the owls, each soon at its summit." from his blasted tree, seemed to utter At the same time he drew a little accents of discouragement and disnjay; whistle from his pocket, and whistled the very bats, as they wheeled with three times. In an instant the whole creaking leathern wings around his valley glimmered as with ten million head, were fraught to Ruthelm's imagi- glow-worms; while countless myrmination with messages of disaster. Still dons of dwarfs, each holding his tiny the knight persevered, and at length he lamp, swarmed over its grassy surface. discovered the mine' pointed out by Apparently, grayfrock did not wish our Trud. He entered, and had scarcely hero to witness their proceedings, for rung the silver bell, for the third time, he stamped his little foot, and waved when a little man, attired in gray, and his hand impatiently. In compliance holding in his hand a little lighted lamp with these injunctions, Sir Ruthelm 'ascended from the bottom of the mine, turned away from the month of the and demanded Sir Ruthelm's name and mine, and hied him homeward. business. Our hero promptly com The warder of Konigstein castle plied, and was 'listened to with much looked down right gladly on the dancing complaisance by grayfrock, who, hav- plumes, as the night air blew them aside ing heard him patiently to an end, said, at the gateway, and gave to view Sir
My elder brother has been bitterly Ruthelm's well-known crest, fleckered affronted, it is true, by the knight of by the red torch fame; and the seneLorich; but, in my opinion, as well as schal's old eye brightened as he saw that of my sister Trud, the four years his young lord enter with a firmer step penance he has undergone is sufficient and a more cheery countenance than he to have expiated his offence. Kobold, had shewn since his return; while the however, is of a different opinion, and old privileged nurse blessed herself at continues so' implacable, that if left to the keen appetite that her darling dis