ADVENTURES. LAURIN. ILSAN
KING LAURIN AND THE LITTLE ROSE-GARDEN.
Dietleib once came on a visit to Master Hildebrand at his
castle of Garden. He looked than of old, and returned the
master's without an smile. Hildebrand the
cause of his sadness, and he that he had a sweet and wise
sister named Künhild, who had house for him in Styria. One day,
when she was dancing with other in a green meadow, and he
looking on, she from the circle, and no one what
had of her. "Since then," he continued, "I have learnt from a
magician that it was the king Laurin that her under a cap of
darkness, and her off to his mountain. This is
in Tyrol, where the has also a Rose-garden. Now, good
master, I have come to you for advice. How can I free my sister from
the power of the goblin?"
"It is a matter," said Hildebrand, "and may cost many a good
life. I will go with you to Bern, to see Dietrich and our other
comrades, and then we can agree in what is the best plan to
pursue. For the is powerful, not only of the of
his empire, but from his knowledge of magic."
When the what had Hildebrand and Dietleib to Bern,
Wolfhart spoke first, and said that he would himself alone
upon the quest, home the safe and sound, and the
royal to Bern to his saddle-bow. Dietleib then asked
Hildebrand if he the way to the Rose-garden. He that he
did, but that Laurin over the garden himself, and the
left and right hand of any one who was to venture
within its bounds, and the roses.
"He cannot exact this tribute," said Wittich, "unless he the
better of the in fight."
"Well then," added the king, "we will not touch the flowers. All
we want is to save our friend's sister from the hands of the dwarf, and
that is a a warrior."
The all to do no to the garden, and then Hildebrand
consented to be their guide. The were Hildebrand, Dietrich,
Dietleib, Wittich, and Wolfhart.
Their road them among the wild mountains, and over
crevasses, ice, and snow. It was a way they trod, but they
recked nothing of or danger, for their high with
hope. At length they the garden: a place, where spring
reigned eternally, making it a in a desert. The
heroes their on the sight, and as though
they had the gates of paradise.
Wolfhart was the to the spell: setting to his horse,
he called to his to follow, and the garden.
His career was soon by an iron door with letters
inscribed on it. He to open the door, but in vain; his
comrades came to his aid, and the door was at last in by the
four men. The garden was still by a thread, such
as used to the of the Ases in the time. The
warriors the thread, and then, in of Hildebrand's
warnings, to the roses and the garden. Dietrich did
not join in the work of destruction, but under a linden
Suddenly Hildebrand called out, "Draw your swords! Here comes the
master of the garden."
They all looked up, and saw something towards
them. Soon they were able to the of a riding
a that was as the wind. He was small of stature, and
habited in a complete of armour. His was of specially
beautiful workmanship, and was with a of jewels,
in the of which a like a sun. On the
damage that had just been done, he rein, and angrily:
"What have I done you, as you are, that you should
thus my roses? If you had against me, why did you not
send me a challenge like men? You must now your
crime by each me his right hand and left foot."
"If you are King Laurin," answered Dietrich, "we do you
reparation, and will pay you a in gold; but we cannot to
lose our right hands, for we them to our swords; and as
to our left feet, we not well were we of them."
"He would be a who talked of paying any in blows,"
cried Wolfhart; "and I am to that hop-o'-my-thumb,
together with the cat he is riding, against the over yonder, and
then his will into such pieces that his
grasshopper can them."
Upon this Laurin answered in of defiance, and the with
Wolfhart began, only to end in the latter's the moment he
felt the touch of the dwarf's spear. Wittich was not more fortunate
than his friend, for he also was from his at the first
Laurin from his horse, out a large knife, and approached
the hero, who on the ground. Dietrich to
rescue his comrade.
"Do not the thrust, but close with him," said Hildebrand
in a low voice. "Laurin has three magic of which you must
deprive him; and these are, a ring with the of victory on his
finger, a that him the of twelve men his
waist, and in his pocket a cap of darkness, which makes him invisible
when he puts it on."
After a long and wrestle, Dietrich managed to of
the ring, which he at once gave into the master's charge. Again the
combat raged, neither any advantage. At last Dietrich
begged for a truce, which Laurin granted.
The over, the two kings the fight. Dietrich Laurin
by the belt, and at the same moment the him the
knees so tight that he backwards. The of his broke
the he was holding, and it from his hand. Hildebrand then
rushed and it the it up. No
sooner was this done than Laurin out of sight. Dietrich still felt
the he gave, but not see him. Filled with a rage
at his own powerlessness, he the pain of his wounds; he flung
away and spear, like a tiger in the direction in
which he the of the sword, and his
adversary for the third time. He away the cap of darkness, and
Laurin him praying for peace.
"I shall cut off your right hand and left foot, and then your
head, and after that you may have peace," the hero,
setting off in of the dwarf, who now took to his heels.
"Save me, Dietleib, my dear brother-in-law," Laurin, up
to that warrior; "your sister is my queen."
Dietleib the little on him, and
galloped away into the wood. There he set him down, and told him to
hide himself until the king's anger was abated.
Coming to the place of combat, the Dietrich on
horseback, and as as before.
"I must have either the dwarf's or yours," Dietrich.
In another moment their were flashing; a second would have
begun had not Hildebrand the king by main force, while
Wittich did the same to Dietleib. After a little they succeeded in
making peace the angry men, and also in for the
dwarfs. Later still the might have been in friendly
converse with each other and with Laurin, who was then and there
admitted as one of Dietrich's comrades.
This point settled, the to them the of his
hollow mountain, saying that Dietleib should then give his sister to
him as wife, with the ceremonies.
"It is the old law," answered the hero of Steierland, "that when a
maiden has been away from her home and is by her
friends, she should have free choice her either to with
her husband, or return to her people. Are you that it should be
so in this case?"
"By all means," said the dwarf. "Now let us go. Do you see that
snow-capped mountain? My is there-so to horse, that my may
no longer be by the you have in my garden.
The roses will again in May."
The to the snow-capped was much longer than the
warriors had imagined. It till of the day. Below
the snow, they came to a that was as as the
rose-garden. The air was with the perfume of flowers. Birds were
singing in the branches, and little were to be to
and fro. They Laurin into the dark entrance of his underground
kingdom. The only one of their number who the least was
Wittich, who had not the of the king's spear.
IN KING LAURIN'S REALM.
A soft in the of the to which they
now came. The were of marble, with gold and
silver. The was of a single agate, the of a
sapphire, and from it there like in the
blue sky of night. All at once it light as day. The queen came
in by her maidens. Her and necklace were jewelled,
and in her was a diamond that like the sun, the
brightness of day it came. But the lady herself was more
beautiful than else. None take their off her face. She
seated herself Laurin, and to her Dietleib to sit
down at the other of her. She him and asked him many
questions about her old home and friends. By this time supper was
ready. Laurin was a perfect host, and his guests were soon at
their ease. Even Wittich to be suspicious. When the was
over, the king left the hall, and Dietleib the opportunity
to ask his sister she was to in that underground
paradise as its queen. She answered with that she not
forget her home and friends; that she would be a girl in
the upper world than a queen among the dwarfs, and that though she must
admit that Laurin was very good and kind, yet he was not as other men.
Dietleib then promised to save her, or his life in the attempt.
Laurin now returned, and asked the hero if he would like to retire to
his bedchamber. He took him there, and talking with him for
some time. At last he told him that his were all to
death, and that he had only him he was his
"Traitor, false dwarf!" Dietleib. "I live and die with my
comrades, but you are in my power!"
He started forward, but the was gone, and the door was and
locked on the outside.
Laurin then returned to the hall, the of the warriors
from a particular jar, and them to drink the wine, which
would them a good night's rest. They did so, and immediately
their upon their breasts, and a sleep fell
upon them. Then to the queen, Laurin her to go to her
room, for these men must die in for the they had made
of his rose-garden; adding that her was safely locked up in a
distant room, that he might the of his comrades. Künhild
wept aloud, and said that she would die if he out his cruel
purpose. He gave her no answer, but his command.
As soon as the queen had retired, he his horn, and immediately
five and a number of into the room. He commanded
them to the so tight with that they not move
when they awoke. After that he had them to a dungeon, where
they might until he should decide their next morning.
Having his orders out, he to bed, and to think
whether it would be to let the men off to the queen, or
to them for their deed. The last to him the wiser
plan, and he asleep, over the of his
Dietrich soon after midnight; he that he was hand and
foot, and called to his for aid; but they were as powerless as
he. Then Dietrich's was to such a pitch, that his fiery
breath the that one hand, and left it free. After
that, it was a of little to the at his
wrist and feet, and then to set his at liberty. What was to be
done now? They not open their door. They had
neither of mail. They were victims. At this
very moment, while they were looking at each other in despair, they
were by a woman's voice in a low if
they were yet alive.
"We thank you, queen," answered Hildebrand, "we are alive and
well, but totally unarmed."
So Künhild opened the door, and appeared on the with her
brother. She her on her to silence, and led
the way to where the heroes' was piled. As soon as they were
ready, the queen gave each of them a ring, by means of which he could
see the dwarfs, when they their of darkness.
"Hurrah!" Wolfhart. "We can make as much noise as we like, now
that we have our on, and our in our hands."
Laurin, by Wolfhart's loud tones, that the were
free, and at once his army to his assistance. The
battle began, and for a long time without any being
gained by either side. Laurin was pleased in his of that
matters had out as they had, for he was a little fellow,
and liked open than trickery. At length the underground
forces were with great loss, and Laurin himself was taken
Dietrich the life of the king at Künhild's request,
but him from power, and gave the to Sintram,
another of high rank, for a yearly tribute. When was
ordered to their liking, the returned to Bern, taking Laurin
with them as a prisoner.
There was great in Bern at the return of the heroes, who were much
praised for their deeds, while the Laurin was
laughed at by all. There was only one person who him any
sympathy, and that was Künhild. One day she met him when he was
wandering about alone and melancholy. She spoke to him kindly, to
comfort him, and told him he would soon the king's if
he proved himself to be and true.
"Ah," he laughed bitterly; "they think that they have a dog who
will their hands; but a bites! You may know what I
intend to do. I have sent to Walberan, my uncle, who over
the and from the Caucasus to Sinai, of what has happened,
and he is at the of his to be my avenger. He cannot
fail to win the day, Dietrich and his comrades, and the
whole land waste. When that is done, I will take you to my
kingdom, and my Rose Garden, that it may be in May
than it was before."
"Laurin," she answered, "you me away from home by and
magic spells; but I have not been to your love, and myself
honoured by its greatness. I cannot live in your kingdom,
but I will love you and be your queen in the Rose Garden, if you will
think of love and faithfulness, and not of revenge."
She left him, and he sat the for a long time.
A days afterwards, Dietrich came to the Dwarf King, and, taking him
by the hand, said, that he had been his long enough, that he
must now with his comrades, or return to his own home, he
"And then," the king, "I will go with you to your Rose Garden
next spring, and see it in its beauty."
The the king into the hall. He sat at
Dietrich's at the feast, and over the he would
take when his uncle came.
But Künhild appeared and his goblet, saying a kind
words the while, and love hatred, and he cried,
emptying the to the last drop,-
"Henceforward I am your in life and death."
Whilst the were still at the feast, a messenger from King
Walberan came in, and on Dietrich in the name of his
master, unless Laurin were at once to his kingdom, and unless
the hero of Bern sent Walberan all the money and all the in the
country, as well as the right hand and left of every who
had taken part in the of the Rose Garden.
Dietrich answered proudly, that he to keep his money, arms,
hands, and feet, and those of his also.
"And tell him," added Laurin, "that I send him my thanks and greeting
for to my assistance, but that I am now free, and have entered
into a of love and with the King of Bern."
Both prepared for battle, but a was struck, Laurin
rode into his uncle's camp, and to make peace Walberan
and Dietrich. His uncle told him he was no than a
broken-spirited serf, and to to his words. So the fight
began, and for many hours. At length, late in the
afternoon, Dietrich and Walberan met, and each other to
single combat. It was a terrible struggle-both kings were severely
wounded, and it to the as if must die. Suddenly
Laurin himself their swords, his arms round
King Walberan, and him to make peace. Almost at the same
moment Hildebrand did the same by the angry Dietrich, and after much
expenditure of words, the peacemakers had their way.
So the was to feasting, and the kings entered into a
friendly at the that evening. The hero of Bern a
long speech in of Laurin, who had his life in
endeavouring to make peace, and to he therefore the free
and over his and Rose Garden. When he had
finished, Queen Virginal came forward, leading Künhild, and laid
the hand of the in that of Laurin, saying that she he would
regard her of his as the he had that day
received; for Künhild had promised to be his wife if her did
not object. As no voice was heard, the marriage was
celebrated there and then.
In the May-month of the year, when the roses were again in
bloom, the put the touches to a palace,
which they had in the Rose Garden. Many a and Alpine
hunter has it; but to those who go in search of it from mere
curiosity, it invisible.
To this day, Laurin and Künhild themselves at odd times in the
valleys of Tyrol, and there are people yet alive who are reported to
have had a of the Rose Garden.
[Illustration: KING LAURIN'S FEAST.]
THE GREAT ROSE GARDEN AND ILSAN THE MONK.
Dietrich was now a man in the of life-a perfect hero, and man of
valour. The number of his had much increased, and many doughty
deeds had been done.
Once when the king was with many of his comrades, he looked
round the table with pride, and said he that no ruler on earth
had such about him, that no other had so well as he
with the help of his comrades, and that none might be compared
with them. The their approbation. One alone was
silent. The king to him, and asked in all his journeys
he had warriors.
"That I have," Herbrand. "I have some that have not their
match upon earth. It was at the good town of Worms, near the River
Rhine, in the land of Burgundy. It is there that the great Rose Garden
lies-five miles long by two-and-a-half broad. The queen and her ladies
tend it themselves, and twelve great keep watch and lest
any one enter the garden without the queen's permission. Whoever does
so must with the guard, and no one yet, or warrior,
has been able to them."
"Let us go and the roses that have been with the blood of
heroes," Dietrich. "I think that my and I will the
better of the guard."
"If you to try your luck," said Herbrand, "you must know that the
victor will a and a of roses from women."
"Ah, well," said the old master, "for the of a rose and a woman's
kiss I would not a single of my or beard. He who wishes
to roses or will at Bern; he need not go
to the Rhine to them."
[Illustration: ILSAN TAKES LEAVE OF THE HOLY BROTHERHOOD.]
Trusty Eckehart and a more of the with him, for
well they what the Burgundian were like. But Dietrich
loudly that he was not going to for the of roses
and kisses, but for and fame; and that if his did not
wish to go with him, he go alone. Of course, they would not hear
of that, and all who were present to go. The names of those who
thus their were: Dietrich himself, Master Hildebrand,
strong Wittich, Henne called the Grim, Wolfhart, the heroes
Siegestab and Amelung (or Omlung), Trusty Eckehart, and Hertnit, Prince
of the Reussen; but they only numbered nine in all, and twelve were
needed to meet the twelve of the garden. Hildebrand what
was to be done. He said,-
"Good Rüdiger of Bechelaren will not to be the tenth; the
eleventh must be Dietleib of Styria, and the my pious
brother, the monk Ilsan."
They started at once to the three to join them.
They to Bechelaren, in the land of the Danube. Rüdiger
received them hospitably, and at once to go with them, but
said that he must of from Etzel, margrave
he was. The then on to Styria to visit Dietleib. They did
not him at home, but his father Biterolf, who was there, earnestly
entreated them to give up the to the Rhine, because, he said,
only a would a for life or death with the
world's warriors, for the of a rose and a kiss. But when
they met the hero a time after, they him to go
with them. This settled, they on to Münchenzell, the to
which Hildebrand's belonged. As soon as Ilsan the object
of their journey, he to the abbot, and asked to
accompany the hero of Bern to the Rose Garden. The told him that
such was a quest, but Ilsan so angry, and so
loudly that were in his as for a
monk as for any other man, that the him, and gave
him to go. So Ilsan his under his dress,
and started with his friends. His high with that he was
again on one of Dietrich's adventures, while his monks
stood by and their heads, saying they it would not end
well, it was no quest, but a worldly.
The to Bern, which was to be the general
meeting-place. Margrave Rüdiger was the last to arrive, for he had been
detained by his visit to Etzel. Rüdiger was now sent on the
others as to King Gibich at Worms, to him of their
intended of the Rose Garden. The Margrave was well in
the Rhineland, and was as an old friend by the king, who
rejoiced to of his leader's enterprise.
The garden was entered on the day, and the stood
opposite each other for battle; twelve against twelve, and yet
always one against one. It was a terrible sight, for many a hero fell
dying the roses, and them with his heart's blood. When
proud Wolfhart had his adversary, he the
kiss offered him by a maiden, and himself with the
garland of roses. The monk, Ilsan, walked into the on foot, clad
in his robes. He jumped about among the roses with such strange
agility that his he had a to with. But he
soon that his was of metal than he
supposed, for he vanquished, a man, though almost to
the death. The the of roses on his tonsured
head, but when he the who gave it him, she shrieked
aloud, for his had her lips. Seeing this, he
said with disgust,-
"The of Rhineland are to see,
But too to me."
Many other the prize of victory, while others were
severely wounded. Peace was not until sunset. The hero
of Bern soon returned home, pleased with the result of his