Luenstadt. He had no male heir of his blood, and upon his
deathbed, shared his lands amongst his three daughters and
sons-in-law. Simon of Bestein had married the eldest daughter, the
lord of Crony the second, and a German Rhinegrave the youngest.
Beside the lordships, he also distributed to his heirs three
presents; to the eldest daughter a BUSHEL, to the middle one a
DRINKING-CUP, and to the third a jewel, which was a RING, with an
admonition that they and their descendants should carefully hoard up
these pieces, so should their houses be constantly fortunate."
[Footnote 30: LUNEVILLE.]
The tradition, how the things came into the possession of the count,
the Marshal of Bassenstein, great-grandson of Simon, does himself
relate thus: - 
[Footnote 31: BASSOMPIERRE.]
[Footnote 32: _Mémoires du Maréchal de_ BASSOMPIERRE: Cologne, 1666.
Vol. I. PP. 4-6. The Marshal died in 1646.]
"The count was married: but he had beside a secret amour with a
marvellous beautiful woman, which came weekly to him every Monday,
into a summer-house in the garden. This commerce remained long
concealed from his wife. When he withdrew from her side, he pretended
to her, that he went, by night, into the Forest, to the Stand.
"But when a few years had thus passed, the countess took a suspicion,
and was minded to learn the right truth. One summer morning early,
she slipped after him, and came to the summer bower. She there saw
her husband, sleeping in the arms of a wondrous fair female; but
because they both slept so sweetly, she would not awaken them; but
she took her veil from her head, and spread it over the feet of both,
where they lay asleep.
"When the beautiful paramour awoke, and perceived the veil, she gave
a loud cry, began pitifully to wail, and said: -
"'Henceforwards, my beloved, we see one another never more. Now must
I tarry at a hundred leagues' distance away, and severed from thee.'
"Therewith she did 1eave the count, but presented him first with
those afore-named three gifts for his three daughters, which they
should never let go from them.
"The House of Bassenstein, for long years, had a toll, to draw in
fruit, from the town of Spinal, whereto this Bushel was
[Footnote 33: EPINAL.]
THE HOUSEHOLD SPIRIT DOES HOUSEHOLD SERVICE IN A MILL.
No. LXXIII. _The Kobold in the Mill._
"Two students did once fare afoot from Rintel. They purposed putting
up for the night in a village; but for as much as there did a violent
rain fall, and the darkness grew upon them, so as they might no
further forward, they went up to a near-lying mill, knocked, and
begged a night's quarters. The miller was, at the first, deaf, but
yielded, at the last, to their instant entreaty, opened the door, and
brought them into a room. They were hungry and thirsty both; and
because there stood upon a table a dish with food, and a mug of beer,
they begged the miller for them, being both ready and willing to pay;
but the miller denied them - would not give them even a morsel of
bread, and only the hard bench for their night's bed.
"'The meat and the drink,' said he, 'belong to the Household Spirit.
If ye love your lives, leave them both untouched. But else have ye no
harm to fear. If there chance a little din in the night, be ye but
still and sleep.'
"The two students laid themselves down to sleep; but after the space
of an hour or the like, hunger did assail the one so vehemently that
he stood up and sought after the dish. The other, a Master of Arts,
warned him to leave to the Devil what was the Devil's due; but he
answered, 'I have a better right than the Devil to it' - seated
himself at the table, and ate to his heart's content, so that little
was left of the cookery. After that, he laid hold of the can, took a
good Pomeranian pull, and having thus somewhat appeased his desire,
he laid himself again down to his companion; but when, after a time,
thirst anew tormented him, he again rose up, and pulled a second so
hearty draught, that he left the Household Spirit only the bottoms.
After he had thus cheered and comforted himself, he lay down and fell
"All remained quiet on to midnight; but hardly was this well by, when
the Kobold came banging in with so loud coil, that both sleepers
awoke in great fright. He bounced a few times to and fro about the
room, then seated himself as if to enjoy his supper at the table, and
they could plainly hear how he pulled the dish to him. Immediately he
set it, as though in ill humour, hard down again, laid hold of the
can, pressed up the lid, but straightway let it clap sharply to
again. He now fell to his work; he wiped the table, next the legs of
the table, carefully down, and then swept, as with a besom, the door
diligently. When this was done, he returned to visit once more the
dish and the beercan, if his luck might be any better this turn, but
once more pushed both angrily away. Thereupon he proceeded in his
labour, came to the benches, washed, scoured, rubbed them, below and
above. When he came to the place where the two students lay, he
passed them over, and worked on beyond their feet. When this was
done, he began upon the bench a second time above their heads; and,
for the second time likewise, passed over the visitants. But the
third time, when he came to them, he stroked gently the one which had
nothing tasted, over the hair and along the whole body, without any
whit hurting him; but the other he griped by the feet, dragged him
two or three times round the room upon the floor, till at the last he
left him lying, and ran behind the stove, whence he laughed him
loudly to scorn. The student crawled back to the bench; but in a
quarter of an hour the Kobold began his work anew, sweeping,
cleaning, wiping. The two lay there quaking with fear: - the one he
felt quite softly over, when he came to him; but the other he flung
again upon the ground, and again broke out, at the back of the stove,
into a flouting horse-laugh.
[Footnote 34: Exactly so, the hairy THRESHING Goblin of Milton - at
_going out_, again: -
"Till, cropful, out o' door HE FLINGS."
He, too, is paid for his work, with
- - "_his_ CREAM-BOWL, duly set."
"The students now no longer chose to lie upon the bench, rose, and
set up, before the closed and locked door, a loud outcry; but none
took any heed to it. They were at length resolved to lay themselves
down close together upon the flat floor; but the Kobold left them not
in peace. He began, for the third time, his game: - came and lugged
the guilty one about, laughed, and scoffed him. He was now fairly mad
with rage, drew his sword, thrust and cut into the corner whence the
laugh rang, and challenged the Kobold with bravadoes, to come on. He
then sat down, his weapon in his hand, upon the bench, to await what
should further befall; but the noise ceased, and all remained still.
"The miller upbraided them upon the morrow, for that they had not
conformed themselves to his admonishing, neither had left the
victuals untouched. It was as much as their two lives were worth."
* * * * *
Three heads only of the ATTRACTION, above imputed to the Fairies
towards our own kind, have been here imperfectly brought out; and
already the narrowness of our limits warns us - with a sigh given to
the traditions crowding upon us from all countries, and which we
perforce leave unused - to bring these preliminary remarks to a close.
_Still_, something has been gained for illustrating our Tale. The
Hill-Manling at the dance diligently warns against PRIDE - the rank
ROOT evil which the Fairies will weed out from the bosom of our
heroine, whilst throughout a marked feature of the Fairy ways - "THE
ACTIVE PRESENCE OF THE SPIRITS IN A HUMAN HABITATION" has forced
itself upon us, in diverse, and some, perhaps, unexpected forms.
And _still_, our fuller examples, coming to us wholly from the
Collection of the Two Brothers, and expressing the habitudes of
_various_ WIGHTS and ELVES, may furnish, for comparison with Ernst
Willkomm's Upper Lusatian, an EXTRA Lusatian picture of the TEUTONIC
THE FAIRY TUTOR.
"In days of yore there lived, alone in her castle, a maiden named
Swanhilda. She was the only child of a proud father, lately deceased.
Her mother she had lost when she was but a child; so that the
education of the daughter had fallen wholly into the hands of the
"During the lifetime even of the old knight, many suitors had offered
themselves for Swanhilda; but she seemed to be insensible to every
tender emotion, and dismissed with disdainful haughtiness the whole
body of wooers. Meanwhile she hunted the stag and the board, and
performed squire's service for her gradually declining parent. This
manner of life was so entirely to the taste of the maiden,
notwithstanding that in delicacy of frame, and in bewitching
gracefulness of figure, she gave place to none of her sex, that when
at length her father died, she took upon herself the management of
the castle, and lived aloof in pride and independence, in the very
fashion of an Amazon. Maugre the many refusals which Swanhilda had
already distributed on every side, there still flocked to her loving
knights, eager to wed; but, like their predecessors, they were all
sent drooping home again. The young nobility could at last bear this
treatment no longer; and they, one and all, resolved either to
constrain the supercilious damsel to wedlock, or to make her smart
for a refusal. An embassy was dispatched, charged with notifying this
resolution to the mistress of the castle. Swanhilda heard the
speakers quietly to the end; but her answer was tuned as before, or
indeed rang harsher and more offensive than ever. Turning her back
upon the embassy, she left them to depart, scorned and ashamed.
"In the night following the day upon which this happened, Swanhilda
was disturbed out of her sleep by a noise which seemed to her to
ascend from her chamber floor; but let her strain her eyes as she
might, she could for a long while discern nothing. At length she
observed, in the middle of the room, a straying sparkle of light,
that threw itself over and over like a tumbler, tittering, at the
same time, like a human being. Swanhilda for a while kept herself
quiet; but as the luminous antic ceased not practising his
harlequinade, she peevishly exclaimed - 'What buffoon is carrying on
his fooleries here? I desire to be left in peace.' The light vanished
instantly, and Swanhilda already had congratulated herself upon
gaining her point, when suddenly a loud shrilly sound was heard - the
floor of the apartment gave way, and from the gap there arose a table
set out with the choicest viands. It rested upon a lucid body of air,
upon which the tiny attendants skipped with great agility to and fro,
waiting upon seated guests. At first Swanhilda was so amazed that her
breath forsook her; but becoming by degrees somewhat collected, she
observed, to her extreme astonishment, that an effigy of herself sat
at the strange table, in the midst of the numerous train of suitors,
whom she had so haughtily dismissed. The attendants presented to the
young knights the daintiest dishes, the savour of which came
sweetly-smelling enough to the nostrils of the proud damsel. As
often, however, as the knights were helped to meat and drink, the
figure of Swanhilda at the board was presented by an ill-favoured
Dwarf, who stood as her servant behind her, with an empty basket,
whereat the suitor's broke out into wild laughter. She also soon
became aware, that as many courses were served up to the guests as
she had heretofore dispensed refusals, and the amount of these was
certainly not small.
"Swanhilda, weary of the absurd phantasmagoria, was going to speak
again; but to her horror she discovered that the power of speech had
left her. She had for some time been struck with a kind of whispering
and tittering about her. In order to make out whence this proceeded,
she leaned out of her bed, and, peering between the silk curtains,
perceived two smart diminutive cupbearers, in garments of blue, with
green aprons, and small yellow caps. She had scarcely got sight of
the little gentlemen when their whispering took the character of
audible words; and the dumb Swanhilda was enabled to overhear the
"'But, I pri'thee, tell me, Sweetflower, how this show shall end?'
said one of the two cupbearers, - 'thou art, we know, the confidant of
our queen, and, certes, canst disclose to me somewhat of her plans?'
"'That can I, my small-witted Monsieur Silverfine,' answered
Sweetflower. 'Know, therefore, that this sweet and lovely to behold
brute of a girl, is now beginning to suffer the castigation due to
her innumerable offences. Swanhilda has sinned against all maidenly
modesty, has borne herself proud and overbearing towards honourable
gentlemen, and, besides, has most seriously offended our queen.'
"'How so?' enquired Silverfine.
"'By storming on her Barbary steed, like the devil himself, through
the thick of our States' Assembly, pounding the arms and legs of I
don't know how many of our sapient representatives. What makes the
matter worse is, that this happened at the very opening of the diet,
and whilst the grand prelusive symphony of the whole hidden people
was in full burst. We were sitting by hundreds of thousands upon
blades, stalks, and leaves; some of us still actively busied
arranging comfortable seats for the older people in the blue
harebells. For this we had stripped the skins of sixty thousand red
field spiders, and wrought them into canopies and hangings. All our
talented performers had tuned their instruments, scraped, fluted,
twanged, jingled, and shawmed to their hearts' content, and had
resined their fiddlesticks upon the freshest of dewdrops. All at
once, tearing out of the wood, with your leave, or without your
leave, comes this monster of a girl, plump upon upper house and lower
house together. Ah, lack-a-daisy! what a massacre it was! The first
hoof struck a thousand of our prime orators dead upon the spot, the
other three hoofs scattered the Imperial diet in all directions, and,
what is worse than all, tore to pieces a multitude of our exquisite
caps. Our queen was almost frantic at the breach of the peace - she
stamped with her foot, and cried out, "LIGHTNING!" and what that
means we all pretty well know. Just at this time, too, she received
information of the maiden's arrogant behaviour towards her suitors,
and on the instant she determined to put the sinner to her prayers.
We began by devouring every thing clean up, giving her the pleasure
of looking on.'
"'Silly, absurd creatures!' _thought_ Swanhilda, as the little butler
advanced to the table to put on some fresh wine. During his absence
she had time to note how perhaps a dozen other Fairies drew up
through the floor whole pailfuls of wine and smoking meats, which
were conveyed immediately to the table, and there consumed as if by
the wind. She was heartily longing for the day to dawn, that the sun
might dissipate her dream, when the sprightly little speaker came to
his place again.
"'Now we can gossip a little longer,' said Sweetflower. 'My guests
are provided for, and between this and cock-crow - when house and
cellar will be emptied - there's some time yet.'
"Swanhilda uttered (_mentally_) a prodigious imprecation, and turned
herself so violently in the bed, that the little gentlemen were
"'I verily believe we are going to have an earthquake!' said
"'No such thing!' answered Sweetflower. 'The amiable young lady in
bed there has seen the sport perhaps, and is very likely not
altogether pleased with it.'
"'Don't you think she would speak, if she saw all this wastefulness
going on?' asked Silverfine.
"'Yes, if she could!' chuckled Sweetflower. 'But our queen has been
cruel enough to strike her dumb, whilst she looks upon this
heartbreaking spectacle. If she once wakes, she won't be troubled
again with sleep before cock-crow.'
"'A pretty business!' _thought_ Swanhilda, once more tossing herself
passionately about in her bed.
"'Quite right!' said Sweetflower triumphantly. 'The imp of a girl has
"'Insolent wretches!' said Swanhilda (internally.) 'Brute and imp to
me! Oh, if I could only speak!'
"'Why, the whole fun of the thing is,' said Sweetflower, almost
bursting with laughter, 'just that that wish won't be gratified. Does
the fool of a woman think that she is to trample down our orchestra
with impunity, to put our States' Assembly to flight, and to crush
our very selves into a jelly!'
"'And the unbidden guests divine my very thoughts!' _thought_
Swanhilda. 'Upon my life, it looks as if a spice of omniscience had
really crept under their caps!'
"'Why, of course!' answered Sweetflower.
"'Then will I think no more!' _resolved_ Swanhilda.
"'And there, my prudent damsel, you show a good discretion,' returned
Sweetflower, saluting her with an ironical bow.
"'How will it be, then, with our caps?' enquired Silverfine. 'Are
they to be repaired?'
"'Oh, certainly,' returned Sweetflower; 'and that will cost our
Amazon here more than all. Indeed, the conditions of her punishment
are, to make good the caps, to pledge her troth to one of her
despised suitors, to compensate the rest with magnificent gifts, and,
for the future, never to mount hunter more, but to amble upon a
gentle palfrey, as a lady should. And, till all this is done, am I to
have the teaching of her.'
"'Pretty conditions truly!' thought Swanhilda. 'I would rather die
than keep them.'
"'Just as you please, most worthy madam,' answered Sweetflower; 'but
you'll think better of it yet, perhaps.'
"'It will fall heavy enough upon her,' said Silverfine, 'seeing that
we have it in command to seize upon all the lady's treasures.'
"'Capital, capital!' shouted Sweetflower. 'That's peppering the
punishment truly! For now must this haughty man-hating creature go
about begging, catching and carrying fish to market, and so
submitting herself to the scorn and laughter of all her former
lovers, till her trade makes her rich again. Nothing but luck in
fishing will our queen vouchsafe the audacious madam. Three years are
allowed her. But, in the interim, she must starve and famish like a
white mouse learning to dance.'
"At this moment a monstrous burst of laughter roared from the table.
The guests sang aloud -
"'The last flagon we end,
Swanhilda shall mend;
Huzza, knights, and drink
To the last dollar's chink!'
"As the song ceased, the table descended, the floor closed up, and
stillness was in the room again, as when the lady had first retired
to her couch. The cock crew, and Swanhilda fell into a deep sleep.
* * * * *
"When it left her, the sun already shone high and bright, and played
on her silken bed-curtains. She rubbed her eyes, and seeing every
thing about her in its usual state, she concluded that what had
happened was nothing worse than a feverish dream. She now arose,
began dressing herself, and would have allayed her waking thirst, but
she could find neither glass nor water-pitcher. She called angrily to
"'How come you to forget water, blockhead?' she exclaimed; 'get some
quickly, and then - Breakfast!'
"The attendant departed, shaking her head; for she knew well enough
that every thing had been put in order as usual on the evening
before. She very quickly returned, frightened out of her wits, and
hardly able to speak.
"'Oh my lady! my lady! my lady!' she stammered out.
"'Well, where is the water?'
"'Gone! all drained and dried up! Tub, brook, well - all empty and
"'Is it possible?' said Swanhilda. 'Your eyes have surely deceived
you! But never mind - bring up my breakfast. A ham and two Pomeranian
"'Alack! gracious lady!' answered the girl, sobbing, 'every thing in
the house is gone too! The wine-casks lie in pieces on the cellar
floor; the stalls are empty; your favourite horse is away - hay and
corn rotted through. It is shocking!'
"Swanhilda dismissed her, and broke out at first into words wild and
vehement. She checked them; but tears of disappointment and bitter
rage forced their way in spite of her. A visit to her cellar,
store-rooms, and granaries, convinced her of the horrible
transformation which a night had effected in every thing that
belonged to her. She found nothing every where but mould and
sickly-smelling mildew; and was too soon aware that the hideous
images of the night were nothing less than frightful realities. Her
hardened heart stood proof; and since the whole region for leagues
round was turned into a blighted brown heath, she at one resolved to
die of hunger. Ere noon her few servants had deserted the castle, and
Swanhilda herself hungered till her bowels growled again.
"This laudable self-castigation she persevered in for three days
long, when her hunger had increased to such a pitch that she could no
longer remain quiet in the castle. In a state of half consciousness,
she staggered down to the lake, known far and wide by the name of the
Castle mere. Here, on the glassy surface, basked the liveliest
fishes. Swanhilda for a while watched in silence the disport of the
happy creatures, then snatched up a hazel wand lying at her feet,
round the end of which a worm had coiled, and, half maddened by the
joyance of the finny tribe, struck with it into the water. A greedy
fish snapped at the switch. The famishing Swanhilda clutched
hungeringly at it, but found in her hand a piece of offensive
carrion, and nothing more; whilst around, from every side, there rang
such a clatter of commingled mockery and laughter, that Swanhilda
vented a terrible imprecation, and shed once more - a scorching tear.
"'Oh! we shall soon have you tame enough!' said a voice straight
before her, and she recognized it at once for the speaker of that
miserable night. Looking about her, she perceived a moss-rose that
luxuriated upon the rock. In one of the expanded buds sat a little
kicking fellow, with green apron, sky-blue vest, and yellow bonnet.
He was laughing right into the face of the angry miss; and, quaffing
off one little flower-cup after another, filled them bravely again,
and jingled with his tiny bunch of keys, as if he had been grand
butler to the universe.
"'A flavour like a nosegay!' said the malicious rogue. 'Wilt hob-nob
with me, maiden? What do you say? Are we adepts at sacking a house?
'Twill give thee trouble to fill thy cellars again as we found them.
Take heart, girl. If you will come to, and take kindly to your
angling, and do the thing that's handsome by your wooers, you shall
have an eatable dinner yet up at the castle.'
"'Infamous pigmy!' exclaimed Swanhilda, lashing with her rod, as she
spoke, at the little rose. The small buffeteer meanwhile had leaped
down, and, in the turning of a hand, had perched himself upon the
lady's nose, where he drummed an animating march with his heels.
"'Thy nose, I do protest, is excellently soft, thou wicked witch!'
said the rascal. 'If thou wilt now try thy hand at fishing for the
town market, thou shalt be entertained the while with the finest band
of music in the world. Be good and pretty, and take up thy
angling-rod. Trumpets and drums, flutes and clarinets, shall all
strike up together.'
"Swanhilda tried hard to shake the jocular tormentor off, but he kept
his place on the bridge as if he had grown to it. She made a snatch
at him, and he bit her finger.
"'Hark'e, my damsel!' quoth Sweetflower; 'if you are so unmannerly,
'tis time for a lesson. You smarted too little when you were a young
one. We must make all that good now;' and forthwith he settled
himself properly upon her nose, dangling a leg on either side, like a
cavalier in saddle. 'Come, my pretty, be industrious,' continued he;
'get to work, and follow good counsel.' And then he whistled a blithe
and gamesome tune.
"Swanhilda, not heedlessly to prolong her own vexation, dipped the
rod into the water, and immediately saw another gleaming fish
wriggling at its end. A basket, delicately woven of flowers, stood
beside her, half filled with clear water. The fish dropped into it of
themselves. The wee companion beat meanwhile with his feet upon the
wings of the lady's nose, played ten instruments or more at once, and
extemporized a light rambling rhyme, wherein arch gibes and playful
derision of her present forlorn estate were not unmingled with
auguries of a friendlier future.