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obliged to watch him in the night.” The same author mentions another young man who had been carried away, and after his return was removed a second time, upon the eve of his marriage.
Gervase of Tilbury says that “in Catalonia there is a lofty mountain, named Cavagum, at the foot of which runs a river with golden sands, in the vicinity of which there are likewise silver mines. This mountain is steep, and almost inaccessible. On its top, which is always covered with ice and snow, is a black and bottomless lake, into which if a stone be cast, a tempest suddenly arises; and near this lake is the portal of the palace of demons.” He then tells how a young damsel was spirited in there and spent seven years with the mountain spirits. On her return to earth she was thin and withered, with wandering eyes, and almost bereft of understanding.
A Swedish story is to this effect. A young man was on his way to his bride, when he was allured into a mountain by a beautiful elfin woman. With her he lived forty years, which passed as an hour; on his return to earth all his old friends and relations were dead, or had forgotten him, and finding no rest there, he returned to his mountain elf-land.
In Pomerania, a labourer's son, John Dietrich of Rambin, is said to have spent twelve years in the underground land. When about eight years old he was sent to spend a summer with his uncle, a farmer in Rodenkirchen. Here John had to keep cows with other boys, and they used to drive them to graze about the Nine-hills. There was an old cowherd, Klas Starkwolt, who used to join the boys, and tell them stories of the underground people who dwelt in a glorious land beneath the Nine-hills. These tales John swallowed eagerly, and could think of little else. One Midsummer day he rån to the hills, and laid himself down on the top of one of them, where, according to Klas, the little people were wont to dance. John lay quite still from ten till twelve at night. At last a distant tower-clock tolled midnight. Instantly the hill was covered with the little people, dancing and tossing their caps about. One of these fell near John: he caught it, and set it on his head. By the acquisition of this cap he had obtained power over the elves. When the cock began to crow, a bright glass point appeared on the hill-top, and opened. John and the people descended, and he found himself in a land of wonder. He found that there were in that place the most beautiful walks, in which he might ramble along for miles in all directions with
out ever finding an end of them, so immensely large was the hill that the little people lived in; and yet outwardly it seemed but a little hill, with a few bushes and trees growing on it. extraordinary that, between the meads and fields, which were thick sown with hills and lakes and islands, and ornamented with trees and flowers in the greatest variety, there ran, as it were, small lanes, through which, as through crystal rocks, one was obliged to pass to come to any new place; and the single meads and fields were often a mile long, and the flowers were so brilliant and so fragrant, and the song of the numerous birds so sweet, that John had never seen any thing on earth at all like it. There was a þreeze, and yet one did not feel the wind; it was quite clear and bright, and yet there was no heat, no sun, no moon; the waves dashed about, but there was no danger; and the most beautiful little barks and canoes came, like white swans, when one wanted to cross the water, and went backwards and forwards of themselves. Whence all this came no one knew, nor could his servant tell any thing about it; but one thing John saw plainly, which was, that the large carbuncles and diamonds that were set in the roof and walls gave light instead of the sun, moon, and stars. Here John found a little maiden, Elizabeth Krabbin, daughter of the minister of Rambin, who had been spirited away by the little people a few years before. John and she soon formed an attachment, and were wont to walk together. On one of their strolls they must have approached the surface, for they heard the crowing of a cock. At the sound, the remembrance of earth returned to them, and they felt a desire once more to be on Christian land. “Every thing down here,” said Elizabeth, “is beautiful, and the little folk are kind, but there is not pure pleasure here. Every night I dream of my father and mother, and of our churchyard; and I cannot go to the House of God, and worship Him as a Christian should; for this is no Christian life we lead down here, but a delusive, half-heathen one."
John, however, could not release Elizabeth from the power of the underground folk till he found a toad, the sight and smell of which was so repulsive to them, that they readily complied with every request of John, on condition he should bury the offensive reptile.
Then he and the girl escaped, taking with them gold and silver and jewels, to such an amount, that their fortune was made. They were, of course, married ; and John bought up half the island of Rügen, wàs ennobled, built and endowed the present church of Rambin, and became the founder of a powerful family. To the altar of Rambin he gave some of the cups and plates of gold made by the underground people, and his own and Elizabeth's glass shoes which they had worn in the mount. But these were taken away in the time of Charles XII. of Sweden, when the Russians came on the island, and the Cossacks plundered the churches?.
In the year 1520, there lived at Basle, in Switzerland, a tailor's son, named Leonard. He entered a cave which penetrated far into the bowels of the earth, holding a consecrated taper in his hand. He came to an enchanted land, where was a beautiful woman wearing a golden crown, but from her waist downwards she was a serpent. him gold and silver, and entreated him to kiss her three times. He complied twice, but the writhing of her tail so horrified him, that he fled without giving her the third kiss. Afterwards he prowled about the mountains, seeking the entrance to the cave, filled with a craving for the society of the lady, but he never could find it again'.
Keightley's Fairy Mythology, 1860, p. 178. 3 Kornemann, Mons Veneris, c. 34. Praetorius, Weltbeschreibung, p. 661.