HUGDIETERICH AND WOLFDIETERICH.
HUGDIETERICH AND FAIR HILDBURG.
While Ortnit's over Lombardy, the great Emperor Anzius
lived at Constantinople, and Greece, Bulgaria, and many other
lands. When he died, he his son, Hugdieterich, to the of
his friend, Berchtung, of Meran, he had himself
brought up, and with honours.
Berchtung that his was to choose a wife for his ward,
and that only a of equal rank and great and wisdom
would be a for so a prince. He had travelled
far and wide, and all the he there was one and
only one that he as a wife for his lord. But there
were many in the way. Berchtung his to
the prince, and told him how much he to about a marriage
between him and Hildburg, of King Walgund of Thessalonica; but
he it would be impossible, for Walgund loved the so
dearly that he had her up in a high tower, and permitted no one to
speak to her the old watchman, himself, her mother, and her
maid. This he did, she should and him.
Hugdieterich to the with great interest, and
determined to a of the if he could. So he set to work
to learn all that he might of women's and women's ways, even
going so as to dress himself in women's garments. After which he
announced his of going to Thessalonica to make fair
He in at Thessalonica, as a great lady,
with a train of female servants. Hearing of the new arrival,
the king and queen the to visit them. She did so, and
gave their to that she was Hildgunde, sister of
the Hugdieterich, and that she had been by her
brother. She the king to protect her, and to provide her with a
lodging in his palace, and at the same time presented the queen with a
costly piece of embroidery, as a of her good will. Her was
granted. The queen then her to teach her ladies to as
she did herself. After this all so well that Berchtung and his
men-at-arms were sent to Constantinople, their protection being no
Fair Hildburg what was going on, and her father to allow
her to see the embroideries, and the artist who them. No sooner
had she done so than she to learn the art. Walgund gave his
consent, the a very for his
daughter, and Hildburg great in her company. It was not
until that she who her teacher was, and
when she did their than before, until it
grew into love.
The their marriage should be discovered, one day
reached a climax.
"What will of us?" Hildburg. "My father will forgive
us. He will order us to be slain."
"Then, at least, we shall die together," Hugdieterich, "but I
hope for things. The and your personal are on
our side, and I Berchtung very soon to come and take me home to
Constantinople, on the that my has me. I shall
then send an to ask for your hand in marriage; and when your
father our secret, he will not his consent."
Berchtung came as Hugdieterich had expected, and him away; but
the had to be put off till a more season, as had
broken out on the frontier, and the was to take the
field. Meantime Hildburg was in at home than her husband
in the of battle. She had a son. He was in the
tower, without any one the three friends who guarded
the there about it. It was not until months
after this event that the queen, her mother, sent to say that she was
coming to visit her daughter. She almost on the of the
messenger. The to have great in unlocking
the door, and by the time he succeeded, the had the
child to a safe hiding-place the moat. It was already
evening, so the queen the night with her daughter. When she was
gone next morning, the to where he had hidden
the child, and it was not to be found. After long and search,
he returned to his mistress, and told her that he had taken the boy to
a nurse, who had promised to him up and well.
Soon after this, Berchtung at Thessalonica to thank the king in
his master's name for the he and his family had the
princess, his sister, and to ask for the hand of the Lady Hildburg,
with the had in love from his sister's description.
The king put off any answer to this request, and asked
Berchtung to a great he to give in his on the
It was a when the set out for the forest. They
rode on cheerily, and had a good day's sport. At length the
king and Berchtung past the tower where sad Hildburg her weary
days in waiting for the husband who came not. As they along, they
discovered the fresh of a leading a spring. They
followed the spoor, which them to a in a close by, and
in the was a sight.
In the centre of the nest, and by a of wolf-cubs so
young as to be still blind, a child. He was playing with
the little wolves, their ears, and in language
such as only mothers and can translate. But his
companions did not like his attentions, and the mother-wolf's was
so against him, that it wanted very little more to make her
spring upon the child, and put a end to his play. The old wolf
came up at the same moment, so that the was much increased.
Seeing this, the two their with so much skill as
to kill the old on the spot. Then the king the baby
in his arms as as if it had been his own child.
"It's very strange," he said, "how much I to this boy. But
he must be hungry, little man. My daughter's tower is close to
here; we shall some fresh milk there, and she will be to see
the little fellow; she is so of children, and a chance
They walked on slowly, Berchtung the child, while the king
examined the wolf's with great and attention.
"Look here," he said, "is it not strange? The lead from
the to the moat; I wonder if the the child from anywhere
Fair Hildburg was not a little when she her father's
tale. She took the child in her arms, and at once him by a
birth-mark on his arm in the shape of a red cross. She to
conceal her feelings, and offered as as she to take care
of the child, and only her father to send a nurse as as
When he got home, the king told the queen of his adventure, and she was
very to see the child. She sent for a nurse, and accompanied
her to the tower. Arrived there, the queen her daughter, and
found her with the child.
"How I wish," said the queen, taking it in her arms, "that I who
the boy's mother is! She must be in such distress."
"Yes," answered Hildburg; "but look at his clothes, how they are!
They that he is of descent."
"Oh dear," the queen, "what a lucky woman I should think myself
if I had a like that!"
Hildburg keep her no longer. She herself into her
mother's arms, and told her, with many tears, that she was secretly
married to Hugdieterich, and that the child was theirs. The queen was
startled, angry,-but-it was done, and not be undone. It was at
least a to think that the child's father was a emperor!
She told her she would say nothing; but would think what was
best to be done.
Walgund by the child. He came to the tower
almost every day to visit it and his daughter. On such occasions the
queen would tell him how much she for a son-in-law and such a
grandchild as this. She him that they might in their old age
fall a to the in the neighbourhood, if they had
not some young, man to take their part, and added that in her
opinion Hugdieterich would not be amiss. In short, the queen prepared
the way so well that when Berchtung his offer for the
princess' hand, the king after gave his consent, on
the condition that Hildburg was not to taking Hugdieterich
as a husband. The queen then told her lord the whole story.
"Wonderful!" he exclaimed, too much to be angry.
Hugdieterich soon afterwards, and was publicly married to the
Lady Hildburg. After the wedding were over, he set out for
Constantinople, by his wife, and the little boy,
who was named Wolfdieterich, in of his adventure.
With the Sabene, one of the of Thessalonica, as
her father had much in his wisdom, and him to be his
daughter's in any of difficulty. He himself so
useful, that he soon necessary to her, and at the same time won
the of Duke Berchtung so that he persuaded
the to make Sabene their on a foreign
The high position he had through the duke's kindness, the
false-hearted man and more self-confident than ever. One day he
went so as to speak to the empress. The lady
reproved him severely, and he at her feet, her pardon, and
entreating her not to tell the of his impertinence. She
promised, but him more to appear in her presence.
When Hugdieterich returned victorious, Sabene was the to meet
him. He gave him an account of his stewardship, and at last remarked,
as though by chance, that there was a great of dissatisfaction
amongst the people Wolfdieterich, the heir-apparent, who
rumour said was not the king's child, but the son of an elf, or, worse
still, of an alraun, who had been off upon the family by a
witch. Hugdieterich laughed at the as at a tale. The only
effect it had on him was to make him take his son from under the charge
of Sabene, and give him into the of Berchtung, that he
might learn all with the duke's sixteen sons.
Time passed on, and the presented her husband with two other
sons, named Bogen and Waxmuth, who were also sent to Berchtung to be
educated. The old loved all his dearly, but Wolfdieterich
was his special favourite, for he himself full of every quality
that makes a true and warrior. The seldom
found time to go to Lilienporte, the of Meran, and Hildburg was
a still less visitor, so that Wolfdieterich had grown
accustomed to look upon Berchtung as his father, and the as his
mother. His brothers, Bogen and Waxmuth, had long since returned to
Constantinople, where Sabene did all that he to their
friendship and confidence. Their mother was sorry to see it; and
fearing should come of it, she told her husband all that had
happened them many years before. Hugdieterich's blazed
forth, and Sabene alive. He from the country, and
sought his in the land of the Huns.
Hugdieterich, out by many and battles, old before
his time. When he his end approach, he all his affairs
with the care. He to his son Constantinople
and the larger part of the empire, while the two sons were
given to the south, and the and Berchtung were
to see the will out. But was the in the
grave, when the of the land met in council, and the
recall of Sabene, otherwise they he might out his
threat of the wild Huns upon them. The did not feel
herself to the of the nobles, so she
sent for the traitor.
WOLFDIETERICH AND HIS ELEVEN.
No sooner had Sabene returned than he to again. He spread
amongst the people his about the of Wolfdieterich.
He said that the had been to an while she
lived in that tower; and that it was that had
prevented the from the child in pieces. The populace
believed the the more easily from its incredibility, and
demanded that Wolfdieterich should at Meran. Sabene even
succeeded in making the brothers, Waxmuth and Bogen, his
tale, and give him the power for which he hungered. Sure of his own
position, he with the harshness. He the leave
the and go to her son at Meran. He only allowed her to take with
her a maid-servant, a horse, and her clothes. Everything else that she
possessed, through her father or her husband, had to be left
behind. The two kings did not on her behalf, for Sabene
had them that her would be very useful to them in
equipping an army, Wolfdieterich and the Duke of Meran
When Hildburg at Hugelwarte, an of Lilienporte, she was
travel-stained and spent. At Duke Berchtung to
admit her, she had Sabene to his advice. But
at last, with for the woman, he her into the
castle, and her there with honours. The received
her by seventeen men, who all called her mother. The
empress did not at once her son, who was the and
stateliest them; but as soon as each the other,
Wolfdieterich, himself into her arms, to her by
promising to her to her rank and splendour.
Duke Berchtung at peace, the position of the
two kings to him so and unassailable; but at length,
carried away by his foster-son's enthusiasm, he not only gave his
consent, but his sixteen sons and their sixteen thousand
followers at the of the prince. It was settled, while the men
were being called together, that the and Wolfdieterich should set
out for Constantinople, and see they might not their end
by peaceful means.
The day after their arrival, they met Sabene and the kings in council.
Berchtung was with all honour, while nobody to see
his companion. When Wolfdieterich rose, and his share
of the heritage, Bogen answered that a had no right to
any share; and Sabene added that he ought to apply to the alraun, his
father, for a in the of hell. Wolfdieterich his
hand on his sword; but his foster-father's and looks of entreaty
sufficed to him and prevent any open of anger. The
kings and Sabene did their to the to join their
party, but in vain; and when the up, the old man went
away, his as best he could. He and Wolfdieterich
mounted their and returned to Lilienporte without of time.
After a days' they set out again for Constantinople, but this
time in array. On the borders of Meran, they the
royal up to meet them. As was in, they
encamped in a wide on all by a forest. Next
morning the rose refreshed, and each sure of victory.
The battle-song was now raised, and the like
rolling thunder. Next the met. Wolfdieterich was always
to be in front. All at once he to Berchtung, and said:
"Do you see Sabene and my on hill? I will go and see
whether they or the alraun's son are the men."
With these words, he set to his and through the
enemy's ranks. Old Berchtung, who had to him, now
followed with his sons and a small of his men-at-arms.
As they the hill, they themselves by the Greeks
on every side. The was terrible. Six of Berchtung's sixteen
sons at his side, while a Wolfdieterich on the
helmet, and him on the ground. But the old and
his other sons him up, and him safely off the field. All
night long they fled, and after only a hours the
day, their journey. On their at Lilienporte, they found
that many of their men had got there them.
"We will the here," said Berchtung. "They may break
their teeth on our walls, and then go away than they came.
We have to last four years, and can them defiance."
Soon after this, the enemy appeared the fortress. Sabene
demanded that the should be delivered up to them, and threatened
that if this were he would the and all it.
The only answer by the was a sortie, by Wolfdieterich
in person. He still was of victory, but numbers prevailed. He
had to retreat, and with the fortress. From that
day he the and of youth, and and
silent; his trust in the sure success of a was gone. He
lost his in Divine justice, and said he had a to
the power that men call Fate.
The had already three years, and yet there was no of
an end. The food had scanty; and if the enemy to make
famine their ally, the must capitulate. The vainly
sought for some plan of deliverance. One day Wolfdieterich came to him,
and said that he to out of the by night, make
his way through the enemy's camp, and go to Lombardy, there to ask the
help of Ortnit, the powerful of the West. The old man did his
best to the lad, him that their would
last yet a year, and that the enemy, already by sickness,
might the long. The hero was not to be held
back: at midnight he took of his foster-father and his other
"May God protect you, my dear lord," said Berchtung, him in
his arms. "You will have to the of Roumelia, which are
uninhabited, save by wild and spirits. There you will find
Rauch-Else, who in wait for warriors. Beware of her, for she
is a witch, in enchantments. If you are to
reach the Ortnit, do not your henchmen, me and my
So they parted. They that the should make a sally
through the gate of the fortress, to off the enemy's
attention to that quarter, while Wolfdieterich got away by a postern
door at the back. He was nearly out of the enemy's when he was
recognised. Immediately his horse, he his and cut
his way through their midst, and once in the dark beyond, he was
safe from pursuit. All night long Wolfdieterich through the wood.
He the were-wolves in the distance, but none came near to
seek his life. As broke, he himself by the of a
broad lake. All of rose out of it, and
sought to the road. Two of them he killed, but he let the others
escape. He three days in the wilderness, nothing for
his or himself to eat. He the he had in his wallet
with his steed. It was but a little at best; and the creature
was at last too to him farther, so he and
led it by the bridle.
On the fourth evening, him so much that he was
forced to rest. He a fire with the about.
The did him good, for a cold over the of the
earth. He and his their thirst at a rill,
after which he down, and making a pillow of his saddle, thought
over his sad fate. Sleep was to upon his senses, when
he was by a noise in the grass. Something black,
and to look upon, nearer and nearer. It itself in
the air; its was appalling. It spoke to him, not with a human
voice; the was more like the of an angry bear.
"How you here!" said the monster. "I am Rauch-Else (rough
Alice), and this ground to me; which, I have another
and a realm. Get up, and go at once, or I will you into the
Wolfdieterich would have obeyed, but he was too tired. He
could not move. He therefore the bear-like queen to give him
something to eat, telling her that his had him
of his inheritance, and that he was now in the desert.
"So you are Wolfdieterich," the bear-woman. "Well, Fate has
marked you out to be my husband, so you may count upon my aid."
Upon which she gave him a juicy root, and had he one
mouthful when his returned, and his tenfold
what it had been before. It came into his mind that he could
conquer the Greek single-handed, and set his eleven faithful
servants free. In to Rauch-Else's command, he gave the rest
of the to his horse, which it carefully, and then ate
eagerly. No sooner had it done so, than it to the ground, and
neighed with to its journey.
"Speak, will you be my true love?" asked the bear-woman, up to
the youth, and preparing to him to her with her terrible
"Keep back," he cried, his sword. "Demon that you are, a
husband in hell, where alone you will a of you."
"Have I not and you?" asked Rauch-Else; "was that done
like a demon? I have long waited for you to come and free me from an
evil spell. Love me, and save me."
It to the as if her voice had all at once soft and
human in its tones.
"Yes, yes," he said, "if only you were not so and hairy."
He had spoken, when the black slowly to her feet,
and a woman him, her by a diadem,
and her green at the by a belt.
Her voice was sweet and as she her words.
"Speak, hero, will you love me?"
His only answer was to her in his arms and her.
"You must know," she said, "that although Rauch-Else was my name here
in the wilderness, I am Sigeminne, queen of Old-Troja. Your
‘yes' has set me free from the spell of the enchanter, so we can now
set out for my country, of which you shall be king."
Full of and thankfulness, they started on their way, by
Wolfdieterich's horse. At last they the of breaking
upon the shore, to which they soon descended. There they
found a them. The was of a fish's
head, large and pointed. At the a merman, outstretched
arm was the by which the rudder, or fish's tail, was worked.
Instead of sails, the was out with griffins' wings, the
advantage of which was, that they it to go against wind
and tide, when such a was desirable. The was so
marvellously out of cedar-wood from Mount Lebanon, that it
could the travellers without their help. There
were other on the ship, such as a cap of darkness, a ring
with a victory to the wearer, a shirt of palm-silk, and
many other things. The shirt as though it would only fit a
little child; but when Sigeminne put it on her lover, it bigger
and bigger, until it him exactly.
"Take great of it," she said, "and wear it you are in any
danger, for it will protect you from and stone, from fire
and dragon's tooth."
Wafted by the griffins' wings, the the western sea, swift
as the wind, and soon the travellers to Old-Troja. There the
people their queen with of joy, and cheered
loud and long when she the Wolfdieterich as
her husband. The marriage was with great festivities,
and a life of for the new king. By the of his wife
he all his and sorrows, and, alas! the Eleven
Friends he had left in of their lives. Now and then, when he was
alone, the memory of all that had come and gone would his mind
like something he had dreamt, and then he would himself with
neglecting his duty; but Sigeminne had only to take his hand, and he
once more that and him be up and doing.
Once when he, his wife, and the whole were out hunting, a
wondrous with out of a thicket. He
did not to be afraid, but, after looking at the hunters, turned
back to the wood.
"Up, good folk," Sigeminne. "Whoever kills that stag, and brings
me the antlers, shall high in my favour, and a
ring from my own hand."
A number of started in pursuit, among them
Wolfdieterich. The him by many paths, only to
disappear at last. Wolfdieterich returned to the much
disappointed. When he got there, he all in confusion; for that
terrible magician, Giant Drusian, by many dwarfs, had
fallen on the the of the king and his warriors, and
had off the queen. No one where he had taken her to.
Wolfdieterich was now as much alone in the world, and as wretched, as
he had been that terrible day in the desert. One his
mind-the of Sigeminne. He would her through the world;
and if he not her, he would die!
He his for a pilgrim's dress, and his sword
in a staff, which to support him on his journey. Thus
accoutred, he through many lands, for the
castle of Giant Drusian. At length he learnt from a dwarf, that
the man he in the over the sea, and
that many owned him for their lord. He set out again, and
journeyed on and on, till at length the came in sight. He sat
down to by a spring, and at the place where, as he
believed and hoped, he should his wife. His was so great
that he asleep, of her, and was happy in his dreams.
All at once he was by a voice, and a on the ribs.
"What, ho! pilgrim," said the voice. "Have you long enough? Come
home with me, and have some food. My wife wants to look at you."
Wolfdieterich to his feet, and the who had
wakened him so roughly, and who now him to the castle. He
knew that he had the end of his pilgrimage, and entered the
wide with thanksgiving and joy.
There sat Sigeminne, her red with weeping; and as she looked at
him, he saw that she who he was. He himself together with a
violent not to his identity.
"There, wife," Drusian, "there's the you wanted to see,
that he might speak to you about his religion. What a he is, to be
sure, and as as a into the bargain! There, bag-of-bones,"
he added, to the pilgrim, "sit by the fire, and see if
some of our good food will not warm your thin blood."
The did as he was desired, for, and as he felt,
he was starving. Dwarfs in food and drink, and he ate till his
hunger was satisfied. The questioned him up and down, and
received answers, some of them, it must be confessed, enough
from the truth!
As deepened, Drusian the lady by the hand, and pulled
her from her seat, saying, "There, you see the son of the alraun, who
freed you from the bearskin, he will not succeed in you from me
a second time. He a too much. The term you asked for
is over now, so come with me."
He would have Sigeminne from the room, but the had
already his disguise, and his from the hollow
"Back, monster," he shouted, "that is my wife." With these he
sprang upon the giant. The of the attack the latter
jump back, exclaiming, "Why, alraun, are _you_ Wolfdieterich? If that
is the case, we must have and in order. You must arm
and with me-if you are enough, that is to say. Sigeminne
shall be the wife of the conqueror."
[Illustration: WOLFDIETERICH FIGHTS WITH DRUSIAN FOR HIS WIFE.]