Copyright
Gustav Freytag.

Ingraban, the second novel of a series entitled 0ur forefathers online

. (page 1 of 16)
Online LibraryGustav FreytagIngraban, the second novel of a series entitled 0ur forefathers → online text (page 1 of 16)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


**'



G.FREYTAG





/



HENRY HOLT




_EISURE-HOUR SERIES.

of work* whom character IB liirht and entertaining, though not trlrial.
While they are handy for the pocket or the Michel, they are not, either in content* or
appearance, unworthy of a place on the library nhclvc*. 16tno, cloth. $1 per Vol.

OIFT. THEO.

PURITY Miss BEU.KW.
MAID KI.LICE,
A MATTER-OF-FACT OWL.
QOETHE. J. W Von.

QRIFFITHS, Arthur

I lOSP.PH NOIHBI/SKm/HNCR LOLA,

OROHM AN. W. A. B.
GAODINGS WITH A PRIMI-
TIVE PEOPLE,

HARDY. THOMAS.
UNDER TUB GREENWOOD

TREE.

A PAIR OP BLUB EVES.
DESPERATE REMEDIES.
FAR FROM THE MADDING

CROWD. /Hut.
HAND OF F.THKI.HERTA.
RETURN OF THH NATIVE.
THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.
A LAODICEAN, "'u* /Uiutr.
Two ON A TOWER.
THE MAYOR OF CASIKR-

BRIDCB.

HEINE. HEINRICH.

I! .I.ATIONS.

HENKEL, FR.

S OF IBICH-

HOLLISTER. O. H.

KINLBY HOLLOW.

HOPPU8, M. A.M.

A STORY OF CARNIVAL,
HUNT, Mr. A. W.

THB LEADEN CASKET.
JENKIN. Mrs. O.

WHO BREAKS

SKIRMISHING.

MAPAMF. OK BRAUPRB,
j i 'PITER'S DAUGHTERS.

WITHIN AN ACE.

JOHNSON. RoB.iter
PLAY-DAY POEMS.
LAFFAN. MAT.

Till' 1 (ON. MlSSFF.RRARD,

CHRISTY CARBW.
LAWLESS, HON.
EMILY

LUCY. HENRY W.
GIDEON FLBYCE.
MoOLELLAND, M.O

FREYTA<g 1 JL M ^ B ^.^fctf||BATH. T.

( iRRI.Artl*.

JENDlE.Lady M.



ABOUT. E.
THE MAN WITH THE BRO-

KBN EAR.
THB NOTARY'S NOSE.

ALOE8TU. AMutical

| M)
ALEXANDER, Mrs.

THB WOOING

WHICH SHALL IT BE!

RALPH WILTON'S WEIRD.

HFR DKARBST FOB.

HERITAGE OP I.ANGDALB.

MAID. WIFE. OR WIDOW!

THB FRERBS.
> LOOK BEFORB YOU LEAP.

Tin AIIMIRAI.'S WARD.

THB EXECUTOR.

A SECOND LIFE.

AUERBAOH, B.

THE VILLA ON THE RHINE.

roU. m'lti Ptr trait.

BLACK FOREST STORIES.
THE i.rrn.B BAREFOOT.

SUPH IN THB SNOW.
F.DEI.WEISS.
GERMAN TALES.

ON I HE I! FIGHTS. trota.

THB CONVICTS.
LORLBY AND RBINHARO.

ALOYS.

JET AND MERCHANT.

ANDOUN.

IPTNOZA.

lASTEIt BIH-AN1X

IEERBOHM. J

INCSINPA1AGONIA

JEERS. HENRY A.
A CHNTURY OP AMERICAN
LUFF

BE8ANT, Walter.
; OP MAN.
BJORN80N. B.

HKK MAIUKN.
BUTT, B. M.
Miss MOLLY.

NIB.
I A.

GKRALDINR HAWTHORNE.
CADELL, Mrs. H. M

IDA CRAVEN.



CALVERLEY, O. B.
FLY-LEAVES, Vtrtti.

"CAVENDISH."
Card EMITS, rlujr'i OecWbo*

nd Car. I I al.le talk.

OHERBULIEZ, V.

IOSEPH NOIRBL'SRBVRNCB.

COUNT KOSTIA.
PROSPER.

CONWAY, HUGH.

HACK.

I ) \ K K I

: HI'R.

lUttitr.

J AIR.

A CARDINAL SIN.
OORKRAN. ALICE.

BRSSIB LANG.

COVENTRY, JOHN.

AFTER His KIND.

CRAVEN, Mm*. A.
FLBURANGR.

CROFFUT, W. A.
A MIDSUMMER LARK.

DEMOCRACY. An

American Stntel.

DICKENS, OHAS.

THB MUDFOG PAPERS, etc.
DRE\V, Catharine.

THB LUTANISTK OP ST.

JACOHI'S.

DROZ, OU8TAVE.

BABOLAIN.
AROUND A SPRING.

ENAULT. LOUIS.

ER8KINE. Mrs. T.

WYNCOTB.

FEUILLET, O.

CBOF APOOK
MAN.

FOTHEROILL, JES
8IE.

KST VIOLIN.
PKOBA i

l 1 1>S.

UNU OF THKBJL
KITH AND KIN.

FRANCILLON. R. E.

UNDER SURVR-BAN.

FREYTAO.



. unran
Drrx



/ 7 /.



LEISURE-HOUR SERIES.

(Continued.)



MAXWELL. CECIL


ROBERTS, Mls.
NOBLESSE OBLIGE.


TYTLEB, 0. O. F.


MOLESWORTH.Mrm


ON -i HE i IK. EOF STORM.

IN llll- OLDBN TIMB.


MISTRESS JUDITH*
JONATHAN.


HATHERCOURT.


SCHMID. H.


TUROENIEFF, I.


NORRI8, WE.


THE HABERMBISTER.


FATHERS AND SONS.


MATRIMONY.


SERGEANT, ADEL.


SMOKE.

LIZA.


HEAPS OF MONEY.


BEVOND RECALL.


ON THE EVE.


No NEW THING.


No SAINT.


DIMITRI ROUDINB.


OLIPHANT, Mr.


SHAKESPEARE, W.


SPRING FLOODS; LEAR.


WHIIFI.ADIKS.

PALORAVE. W. Q.

HERMANN AC1IA.

PARR, LOUISA.


COMI'I.ETIJ WORKS. 7 vols.

SIME, WM.

THE RED ROUTE.


VIRGIN SOIL.
ANNALS OF A SPORTSMAN.

VERB DE 800IETE.
VILLARI, LINDA.


HERO CARTHEW.


SLIP In the FENS, A


IN CHANGE UNCHANGED.


ROBIN.


SMITH. H. and J.


WALFORD. L. B.


PLAYS FOR PRI-


REIECTBD ADDRESSES.


MR. SMITH.


VATE AOTINO.


SPARHAWK, F. O.


COUSINS.


POYNTER, E. F.


A LAZY MAN'S WORK.
SPIELHAOEN, F.


TROUBLESOME DAUGHTERS.
DICK NBTHBRBY.


MY I.I1TI.K I.AUY.
liRSII.IA.


WHAT THE SWALLOW SANG.


THE BABY'S GRANDMOTHB*


AMONC THE HILLS.


SPOFFORD, H. P.


HISTORY OF A WEEK, IU**.


MADAME i>i; I'KI-.SNEL.


THE AMBER CODS.


WINTHROP, THEO.


RICHARDSON, 8.


AZARIAN.


CECIL DREEME, . Portrait.


CLARISSA HARLOWB, (C-


STEVENSON, R. L.


CANOE AND SADDLE.


dtnstd.)

RIOHTER, J. P. F.


NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS.
THE DYNAMITER.


JOHN BRHNT.
EDWIN BROTH ERTOPT.

LIFE IN THE OWN AIR.


K.FRUIT.AND THORN
PIECES, a volt.


STURGIS. JULIAN.


WYLDE. Katharine.


CAMPANER THAI., etc.


MY FRIENDS AND I.


A DREAMER.


TITAN, a vols.

VS. ITOlS.


THACKERAY, W M


AN ILL-REGULATED MIND.


THE INVISIHI.R LODGE.


EARLY AND LATE PAPERS.


YESTERDAY.



McCLLELAND'S OBLIVION. iCma $1.00.

A powerful and jiicturosque love tale, laid in the mountains of

( 'nrolina. It has been enthusiastically nncl unanimously prafalH
by the critics. Tin: SI.C.IND I:DITION is now ready.

" Keeps the reader in quivering suspense as well as delighted enjoyment. '

So freshly and delicately outlined as to give It the charm of an IdyL" A'a/fcm.
" A genuine creation." Boston Advertiser.
' Remarkable and admirable." N. 1'. Tribune.



COVENTRY'S AFTER HIS KIND 16 $1.00.

A picturiisiiuc English rural romance (1851-7) with an American hero.

" By all odds the t*est novel of the season." Baltimore Sun.

'1 lie mil beauty ami genius of the story cannot be justly Indicated In a tew
hasty worfe." Book ctmt.

" Exhilarating as a salt breeze from the aea ou a hot summer day. Never
drags for a moment." Boston Globe.



HENRY HOLT <& CO



?70 York.




M



This book is DUE on the last
date stamped below



2 5 10



llwi-8,'62(D1236)470



SGWty



BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

(Leisure- Hour Series.)

INGO. Translated by Mrs. Malcolm.
INGRABAN. Translated by Mr*. Malcolm.



LEISURE HOUR SERIES



INGRABAN



THE SECOND NOVEL OF A SERIES ENTITLED



OUR FOREFATHERS



GUSTAV FREYTAG

Author of "Debit and Credit," "The Lost Manuscript," ate.



TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN
BY

MRS. MALCOLM




NEW YORK

HOLT & WILLIAMS
1873



TT



CONTENTS.



CHAP. PAOB

I. IN THE TEAK 724 . . 1

II. A CHRISTIAN AMONG THE HEATHEN - -37

III. AT THE SOKBE VILLAGE - - 66

IV. THE RETURN HOMK ... 118
V. THE ASSEMBLAGE -IN THE FOREST - - 153

VI. WALBURG - - 188

VII. UNDER THE SHADE - - 220

VIII. UNDER THE BELL .... 258

IX. THE JOURNEY HOME .... 283



I.

IN THE YEAR 724.

THREE horsemen were riding silently, on a hot
summer day, along the forest road which led
northwards from the Main to the hilly country
of Franconia and Thuringia. The first was the
guide, a young man of powerful limbs ; his long
hair hung wildly round his head, and his blue
eyes were in ceaseless motion, spying about on
both sides of the road into the forest. He wore
a faded leather cap, and a large pocket with
travelling provisions over his brown jacket ; ho
had in his hand a javelin, on his back a bow and
quiver, by his side a long deer knife, and on the
saddle of his horse a heavy forest axe. Some
steps behind him rode a broad-shouldered man,
of riper years, with a large head ; his powerful
brow and sparkling eyes gave him the appear-
ance of a warrior, but lie did not bear himself like

1



2 INGRABAN.

a man of the sword ; a Saxon straw hat covered
his short-cut hah 1 , there was no shoulder-belt
over his long dress, and no weapon visible, only
the axe, which every traveller carried in the
wilderness, was fixed to his saddle; from the
large leather bag which was fastened before him,
one might perhaps have taken him for a trader.
By his side trotted a youth in light dress
and equipment, who bore a bundle on his back
and in his hand the branch of a tree, with which
he sometimes urged on his little horse. It was
clear by the demeanour of the guide that he did
not consider the travellers as important' people,
for he raised his head haughtily when giving
short answers to any question of the older man,
and he only looked back sulkily sometimes,
when the road was steep or the two remained far
behind, turning his eyes quickly away, as from
ill-conditioned fellows. The rough path passed
through sand, over blocks of stone and undulating

c? O

ground, and betwixt old pine sterns ; on the brown
ground there grew little else but wolfs milk,
heather, and dark wood berries. All was still in,
the forest, only the crows screamed over the
trees; the hot air was filled with the sin !! of
resin, and no breath of wind cooled the heated
cheek. When there was a steep ascent in the



INGRABAN. S

path, the youth sprang forward, plucked from
the pathway a bunch of berries, and offered
it to the horseman. The latter thanked him
with a friendly look, and began in the Latin -
language : " Dost thou see an end to the forest ?
Our horses are weary and the sun is setting."

" Stem behind stem, my father, and not a ray
of light before us in the wood."

" Thou art not accustomed to rough paths,
Gottfried, " continued the older man compas-
sionately; " unwillingly did I bring thee into this
wild country, and I regret that I yielded to thy
petition."

"But I am happy, my father," replied the
youth, with a glad smile, "that I may accom-
pany thee as thy unworthy servant."

"Youth always rejoices in wandering," said
the horseman. " Look at our guide, he cares
little for the heat of the day ; he is of a powerful
wild stock, that waits for the graft."

" He does not treat us in a friendly way, my
father."

"Though he is cross, why should he not be
honourable ? He has sworn upon his hand to
Frau Hildegard and me, to lead us securely over
the mountains, and he does not look like a robber.
Yet if he were, there is One stronger than him



4 INGRABAN.

in the wilderness." He bowed his head as he
spoke. " Observe, he has found something which
disturbs his journey."

The demeanour of the guide had changed ; he
sat erect on his saddle with raised spear, as if
ready for an onset.

The stranger rode up to him : " Thy name is
Ingram, I believe."

" I am Ingraban, the Thuringian," replied the
horseman proudly, assenting to the words of the
other} "and this is the Raven, my horse;" he
touched the neck of the noble animal, which was
black like his feathered namesake, and the horse
raised his head neighing under the hand of the
rider.

" I perceive that the travelling paths are well
known to thee, although far from thy home."

" I have often ridden as the messenger of my
countrymen to the Franks over the Main."

" And Frau Hildegard also, the Count's widow,
has long been friendly to thee."

" I fought in the troop of her husband, when
the Wends slew him. Hildegard is a good lady,
she nursed my sick servant."

" I found thee by the bed of the sick man, and
I am glad to have obtained such a safe guide.
What stops thy way now ? "



INGKABAN. 5

The hand of the guide pointed to a track in
the sand.

" A herd of wild horses have passed here," said
the stranger, looking at the track.

" They were horsemen, more than three, and
their greeting would be hostile if they met us,"
answered the guide.

"How dost thou know that they are enemies?"

" Does a wanderer in thy country hope for an
honest greeting in the wilderness ? " retorted the
guide ; " those who have been here were warriors,
who speak a foreign tongue, of the Wends by
the Saale, which we call the Sorbe ; they roam
far on horseback after hunting booty and limls
of cattle. There lies their sign;" he touched
with his spear a short reed arrow with a stone
point. " They have crossed our way since the
last rain."

"And dost thou hope to lead us across the
mountains concealed from the strangers ? "

" If you have the courage, I have the will. I
know many passes by which we can avoid their
bands ; yet I advise you to keep silent and near
to my horse."

The strangers rode cautiously close behind the-
guide.

The border path descended in to a quiet fon^t



C INGRABAN.

valley, then through swampy ground and the bed
of a stream, and ascended on the other side again
into the forest. They went along between high
beech stems, pleasantly on the green mossy
ground which was gilded by the slanting sun-
beams. And again the path descended into a
wide valley. On the border of the forest the
guide stopped. "This is Idisthal," he said, bend-
ing his head as a greeting ; " and there runs the
Idisbach to the Main." He led through high
meadow grass to a ford over the stream; from
thence they trotted along a range of hills north-
wards. Lonely and uninhabited lay the bloom-
ing valley. Sometimes the horsemen passed over
old arable land; the beet furrows were visible,
but the blackthorn and the prickly broom stood
upon it thick as a hedge, and the horses had
difficulty in penetrating through it. The stranger
looked with sympathy on the devastated culti-
vation. "Industrious hands have once worked
here," he said lamentingly.

" Since the memory of man the place has laid
waste," answered the leader with indifference.
" Farther above," he pointed to some elevated
ground, " there once stood a house, but the
Wends burnt it when I was a boy. Wild herbs
have been growing on the height for the last



INGRABAN. 7

twenty summers. If thou carest for ruined
houses, thou mayest find many here. Over the
stream the Avares encamped a long time ago,
men with brown skins and squinting eyes ; they
wear, as the old people relate, plaited pigtails
round the head, and are a mighty Eastern people,
but horrible incendiaries. Over there stood, as
tradition says, a large number of houses by a
sacred forest of those trees that we call maple ;
the Avares burnt them down, now only a few
of the old stems are standing, and where the
houses were, there is now desolation. But that is
long ago. It would be difficult to count the
years' growth of the pine trees which tower over
it. Wherever thou seest thorns and burdocks,
there once stood a building: many have been
destroyed in the time of our fathers, many in
the remembrance of living persons, and some in
these last years; there remain now only a few
here and there."

As the stranger was silent, the guide pointed
up to the sky, over which the evening red was
spreading itself, and rode out of the valley path
up a small steep track. The travellers' horses
climbed laboriously through a thick wood up to
a mountain height. The summit was an uneven
space without trees, overgrown with low copse



8 INGRABAN.

wood and wild flowers. Only a mighty ash-tree
rose in the middle out of the low herbage. The
horsemen looked from three sides far over the
hills: to the southward over the Main, to the
north over the blue mountains of Thuringia, and
straight on into a wide level valley, which was
surrounded by high undulating hills. Behind
them stretched a mountain declivity, separated
from the foremost summit by mounds of earth
and hollows, which looked like an old rampart
and trench. The guide sprang from his horse, and
bowed himself low towards the ash-tree, then he
went to the edge of the summit and looked
searchingly into the valley, and then along the
border of the forests. Again he turned to the
ash, and said reverently : " Here is the Idisburgh,
and this is the holy tree of the Weird Sisters.
The place is a protection from hurtful powers,
and therefore I have brought you here."

" Thou hast shown thyself an experienced
guide," replied the stranger, surveying the good
place of encampment. He descended and loosened
himself the leather bag from the saddle of the
horse. " Undoubtedly thou knowest also a spring
in the neighbourhood." The guide seized tho
briille of the horse : " Order thy boy to carry the
flasks, and help me to level the hedge," he said,



INGRABAN. 9

leading the animals about a hundred steps dowo
the declivity, where a spring ran into the valley
out of a moss-covered stone. There he fastened
the horses that they might feed, raised his
heavy axe, and motioned to the youth to follow
him into the forest.

When the stranger found himself alone on the
summit, he walked round the space in which the
ash-tree stood, praying with bowed head. Then
he proceeded to examine carefully the spot, as a
man who knew how to distinguish the signs of
nature, and pushed with his foot under one of the
knotty roots of the tree which towered high
above the ground ; he found loose earth, struck
into it with the steel of his axe, and raised with
great exertion a stone out of it, over which
the roots had grown. Their shoots had pene-
trated into a hole in the stone and had burst it.
The man looked with admiration at the regularity
with which the hole was bored ; then he took
the leather bag reverently and pushed it into the
place of the stone, and a smile played over his
face. " If a fiend dwells in this tree, this hidtl-Mi
treasure will occasion him danger." Once more
he scrutinized the uneven ground round about
and the luxuriant green which had shot out of
it, then he took out of the pocket of his dress a



10 INGRABAN.

little book, seated himself so that the evening
light fell upon it, opened the clasp, and read the
parchment. He heard the noise of woodcutting,
and observed that the guide was preparing to
erect the night fence farther down. " Hither,
Ingram," cried out the stranger, in a tone of
command. The guide shook his head and went
on striking. The stranger approached nearer,
and ordered him : " Carry the stakes up here,
we will rest by the tree."

" That will never do," replied the guide.

" And why not, if I choose it ? "

" Shall the light of the fire on the height an-
nounce thy resting-place to foreign spies ? "

" The night is warm, I will gladly do without
fire; a warrior like thee also can manage without
a cooking-hearth."

Ingram stood motionless, and looked gloomily
at the stranger.

"Whoever thou mayest be," continued the
latter, " for this journey thou hast sworn thyself
to me for good pay, and I am the master of our
movements. If thou wilt not do according to
my w.ill, go thy way, I will seek my path with-
out thee."

" Unwillingly do I serve thee," answered the
guide, angrily, " and only because one who has



INGRABAN. 11

done me good has hired me ; and if I were free
from my word and thou knewest how to use a
sword, I would rather be thy enemy than thy
friend, know that, stranger. But I have nothing
to fear from that tree, only thou, for it is well
known in the country, and around it float, from
primeval times, high powers, which are thy ene-
mies and not mine."

" Whether they are my enemies I will show
thee, if thou wilt follow me," answered the
stranger, stepping up to the tree. He raised his
axe and cried out : " If they are wrathful, let them
be angry ; if they have power, let them strike me
as I do this stem." With a powerful blow he
struck his axe into the tree. The guide stepped
back, seized his weapon, and looked fixedly up on
high, to see whether or no a token from the
Gods would strike the impious man ; but all re-
mained still, only a dry branch with some ash
seed fell down. " See here," cried the stranger,
pointing to the little bundle of seeds, "that is
the anger of thy powerful ones. The tree before
which thou tremblest was once a little fluttering
grain of seed like these ; it has grown out of a
contemptible little kernel. Where did the powers
whom thou fearest dwell, when the tree was still
a grain of seed ? Dost thou think that the tree



12 INGRABAN.

has stood from the beginning of man's earth ?
Observe, I found this stone under its roots,
cracked and burst through by the strength
of the tree. Examine the stone, it is a mill-
stone, such as the women turn in order to grind
the corn. Before the ash-tree existed, a house of
living men has stood here. Little honour do the
Gods deserve who only became powerful in the
ash -tree, when the men were dead who dwelt
here before the tree. But the Lord, whom I
serve, is the God who made heaven and earth ;
He alone is eternal and all-powerful from the
primeval times, and will be eternal and all-
powerful when the last splinter of this tree will
have vanished out of the world."

The guide bent down to the broken stone, and
looked into the opening at the piece of root, and
on the remains of the charcoal which adhered to
the sandstone. His hair hung over his face, and
his breast heaved with heavy respiration. " If
a house stood here it has been burnt," he said at
last in a low voice to himself. " When I was
little, they told me that my ancestors were
settled on the mountain. Old people knew a
song about it : a Minstrel who was slain by the
Wends was acquainted with this song."

The stranger touched him on the shoulder.



INGRABAN. 13

" Night is drawing on, and the wolves howl in
the forest ; fetch the stakes, Ingram."

The guide rose. " Hither have I led thee," he
said bitterly, " that I might keep my oath to
thee, and that thou mightest be secure near a
high goddess whom I know to be favourable
to me. But thou hast disturbed her peace by
thy acts, and thou disturbest me with heavy
thoughts which thou hast put into my heart.
If thou hast the power to know the past, and to
endure without the protection of the super-
terrestrial, thou mayest prepare thyself for thy
night's rest where thou canst; I do not help
thee."

The stranger seized silently one of the stakes,
which the youth meanwhile had brought up,
and raised the mallet. Powerfully fell the
strokes on the heads of the stakes; Gottfried
begged for the fire- wood, and twined the branches
between the stakes, till a fence was constructed
around the stem of the tree, which made a
narrow enclosure for the horses and men. Gott-
fried led the horses of both the travellers within
the fence, and the stranger, when all was accom-
plished, stepped up to the guide, and said kindly :
" There is room also for thee and thy animal in
our place of safety."



14 INGRABAN.

"I and my horse do not desire thy protection,"
answered Ingram, turning aside. He raised the
millstone from its place, and carried it to the
edge of the summit, far from the stranger, then
sprang down to the spring and loosened the
tetherings of his horse, and led it to the stone,
there he lay down near his beast, and pushed
the stone under his head.

Within the enclosure Gottfried bound to-
gether in the shape of a cross two wooden
sticks : he kissed it, and gave it reverentially to
the stranger, who stuck it into the root of the
tree which held his treasure. Both knelt down,
and raised their voices in the Latin evening song ;
the elder sang with a powerful voice, and the
youth responded. The melodious tones echoed
back from the near mountain wall, and struggled
with the wild voices of the night, which sounded
shrieking and howling from the forest. The
guide rose when the song began, but the full
touching tones of the men's voices restrained
his haste ; turning away from them, he remained
sitting, gazing on the golden glow on the
horizon.

When the song was ended, the stranger seated
himself near the root and pushed the wallet to
his companion. "Eat," he said, in a tone of



INGRABAN. 15

authority, to the youth, who made a gesture cf
refusal; "thou art unaccustomed to wandering;
the Lord requires now the strength of thy body."
The youth obediently took a few bits, and then
laid himself down at the feet of the stranger, who
covered him carefully with his mantle. Stillness
reigned in the little enclosure. The last rays of
the evening vanished into a pale light that passed
slowly towards the north, sometimes the night-
wind rustled among the leaves, and the owls
screamed out to the wanderers their cries of
lamentation; but from the forest there sounded
far and near the voices of animals, then the
weary horses rose from the ground snorting,
terrified. The stranger sat immovable, with his
hands folded ; when the tree rustled he looked up
into the branches as if in expectation, and then
towards the heavens, over which a deep darkness
had spread itself.

Meanwhile the guide gazed down into the
depth below, where in the twilight the white
mist of the water passed over the stream. " I
behold," he murmured in a low tone, "how they
float over the flood, veiled in white dresses ; they
occupy themselves around the water; they con-
trive help and safety to their faithful one ; they
conceal his path from the pursuer, and thej



16 INGRABAN.

deliver him from the hands of the enemy ; many
a time when I have lain under the ash-tree I
have heard their song below. My fathers wan-
dered here in days of difficulty, and prayed for


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryGustav FreytagIngraban, the second novel of a series entitled 0ur forefathers → online text (page 1 of 16)