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immense strength, that he was known far and wide as the strong Peter, so that the people kept a hundred yards away from him when he was angry; for when angry he was angry indeed, and could then, usually, do nothing in moderation. This bailiff of Dimmelshusen had a favourite by-word, which he often used, and which in his family and kindred was very old; for honest villagers are accustomed to adhere to certain words, sayings, and proverbs, as noblemen to their banners and shields, and to feel a pride in their age. This word was thorough, and after this word, because he had it so oft in his mouth, many people called him also Peter Thorough, which he used to take very pleasantly. There was also a superstition connected with the word, which for centuries had continued in the family of the Avenstakens. They believed, namely, that the one of their children which first uttered this word would be the ablest and most fortunate, and the parents therefore listened and attended to this very early. This word had its origin in an old adventure which had happened to the founder of their race, who had first settled near Minden. He was a journeyman shoemaker, named Klaus, born at Corbach in Waldeck. One day as he, on his travels, with one of his companions, was going through the great wood along the Weser to Minden, a raging wolf came upon him. His companion tarried not the onset, but ran and clambered into a tree; but Klaus remained firm with foot and eye, grasped his stick, and waited for the wolf; and as he came on, drove the stick into his open jaws so powerfully that it went right through the animal, and he was stretched out dead before him. His companion now rejoined him, but Klaus cudgelled him away as a cowardly and pitiful fellow, and proceeded with two colliers, who had also seen the adventure, on his way through the wood, and passed the night at the next village. He had flayed the wolf, and bore this splendid sign of victory upon his stick, in order to sell it to a furrier in the next town. When Klaus had arrived in the village inn, the colliers related his combat with the wolf, and all the peasants, and labourers, and maidens ran together in

order to see the young shoemaker who had killed the wolf with his stick, as King David had slain Goliath with a little stone. And they wondered much, for the youth did not look so powerful, though he was very strong; and they would also see and feel the stick, though the girls touched it not without terror. It was, indeed, merely a common thornstick which a baker in Corbach had given to the young Klaus on his setting out on his travels, the point being somewhat burned, because the baker had occasionally used it to stir the coals in his oven. So much the more was he praised by the people, and they were also pleased with the bold answer which he gave to the bailiff who inquired how he managed to conquer the wolf-whether he had done it with the stick alone, or had not had the assistance of his shoemaker's awl? For Klaus answered him shortly :-" Mr. Bailiff, with a little courage one may manage well enough, and thus has this oven-stake gone thorough the wolf, and not even inquired whether there was a thoroughfare." The bailiff felt offended, and grumbled, but the others kept him silent; for Klaus had won all their good opinions by his free, manly bearing, and particularly those of the handsome young women, who vied with each other in bringing him apples, nuts, and cakes, and later in the evening, when the dancing began in the village beer-house, would themselves have invited him to dance; and had they not been ashamed to do so before all the people, some would have had much pleasure in caressing and kissing him. This, however, did not happen, and Klaus himself was very shy, for this was his first journey, and, indeed, the first time that he had been away from home.

The following morning, as soon as the sun rose, Klaus took his stick and his wolf-skin, and came to Minden, and found work with a master, and remained there. Yet it was fortunate for him that he had called at the village inn with the colliers, for a young and handsome farmer's daughter had become so enamoured of him, that day and night she saw and dreamt of nothing but the young journeyman shoemaker Klaus, so that through

love she began to pine away, and could not live without him. Her parents sought to dissuade her from this; but love, when it is honest and real, is, as is said, the most incurable of all diseases. They were forced, therefore, if they would preserve their daughter, to accede to her wishes, and went themselves to Minden to search for Klaus of Corbach, whom every one already knew from his adventure with the wolf; and they brought the brave young man to their daughter, who was their only child, that he might take her for his wife, and save her from death. Klaus needed but little entreaty, for the young and handsome girl had charmed him; and he removed to the village, laid aside awl and hammer, took to the plough and spade, and lived like an honest farmer, and after some years became bailiff in the place of him who had murmured at his reply. From his stick all the world called him Klaus Avenstaken.* He himself still used the word that others adopted from him, thorough; for they used to say of him, "Thorough, says Klaus Avenstaken;" and his grandchildren and greatgrandchildren continued it after him, considering it as a good word that indicated courage and prosperity.

To Peter of Dimmelshusen his wife, Margaret Tibbeke, had already borne many sons and daughters; and she had often proposed to her husband that he should have one of his sons baptized with the name of the great man of the familyKlaus; but he had always refused, and given other names to the boys. Now it happened that another son was born, and this one Peter violently insisted on having called Klaus. Margaret contended against this, for she and the rest of the family desired its name to be John, because it had come into the world on St. John's eve. She also said, while she looked at the infant in the cradle, "See, husband, how mild and quiet the little one looks; that will never in this world become a Klaus, to fight with a wolf." But Peter answered, "Kickle-cackle, even for that reason shall he be called Klaus; the pious have been ever the truest heroes, and those who look like iron-eaters can often

*Avenstaken is a provincialism for ovenstick-ofen-stock.

not bite a straw in two." In short, neither begging nor praying, nor howling nor scolding, was of any use to Margaret. Peter was this time immoveable, and said, "Even because he has been born on St. John's eve, on so great a festival, he shall be called Klaus, and I will bet that he will become an able man." With these words he took his cap from the wall, and set it somewhat on one side on his head, as was his custom when angry, and went out, without heeding the cries of his wife and the aunts and the godmothers behind him. And the priest must baptize the child Klaus.


And the little Klaus did credit to his name: he took the breast undauntedly, and seemed to relish it highly; cut his first tooth in the second month, and in the fourth month had already six teeth, and enjoyed with them all sorts of victuals and drink; before the ninth month could stand on his feet, and looked boldly to heaven. Then Peter, his father, took him by the arms, smiled with inward pleasure, and holding him towards his wife, said, See, Margaret, what a Klaus!" Margaret, however, half wickedly and half good-naturedly, replied, "Your Klaus is not yet over all his dangers: I still wish he had been called John." Peter set the child down again upon the floor, looked vexed, and went silently and crabbedly out of the house. Such little quarrels about the boy often happened between the pair, who otherwise loved each other sincerely. These quarrels however had no ill effect on little Klaus, who grew rapidly, was broad across the shoulders and the chest, and could throw. in wrestling every boy of his age, or even those a year older.

Thus in eating and drinking, sleeping and playing, he became five years old. His father now placed him in spring and summer to herd the geese, and in the winter sent him to school, to learn to pray, and his A B C. In his seventh year he advanced him to be swineherd; and in his ninth year he had to look after the oxen and horses. All these offices he filled steadily and cleverly, so that his father was much pleased. The only cause of complaint arose from the bruises which he administered to the neighbours' chil

dren; his mother often lamented over the many torn breeches and jackets which he brought home; no, not always brought home, but which he sometimes left hanging on the trees and thorn-bushes; and she also appealed sometimes to the higher authority of his father as judge, when he had beaten his elder brothers black and blue; for when angry he could thrash any boy, even though four or five years older than himself. Peter commonly rejoiced when compelled to ascend his judicial chair on such high penal cases. The end of the matter was almost always that the complainants, and Margaret their advocate, were nonsuited on account of insufficiency of evidence and want of witnesses. Well satisfied, Peter then said: "I know I have in my boyhood done the same; has Klaus ever begun the quarrel? are not the others always the provokers? It serves them right if Klaus has thrashed them well. It is well that he can thrash them, for they will thus no longer take pleasure in teasing him." And he then usually took Klaus, and caressed him, and recommended him to be peaceable. But this was indeed scarcely necessary, for Klaus was one of the most quiet and friendly of youths, who would do no harm to any creature, and with the weaker and smaller boys would joke readily, but when irritated he certainly used the power of his arm without much moderation.

Not so well, however, did it succeed with Klaus before the desk of the schoolmaster as behind the geese, swine, and oxen. He had little taste or talent for learning, and in four years had scarcely learnt to read, for what he acquired in the winter he completely forgot in the summer in the fields and woods; so that his brothers and the other children in the school were far more praised than he : yet he was a favourite with the old schoolmaster, who praised him for his orderliness, obedience, and piety. This, at home, gave rise to many little differences between his parents, for Peter, who loved him above all his other children, though he would never acknowledge it, often took him aside and helped him with his lesson. But even this would not do; Margaret called him her thick-skull, and Peter could not deny it; he must hear it and be

silent; nay, he must suffer George, and Joachim, and Christopher his brothers, and Thrine and Theresa his sisters, to be praised as more clever and prudent children. Then she would sometimes add, almost a little spitefully-she was otherwise a kind-hearted woman-"Peter, we shall see what you will make of your Klaus; I wish he had been called John, he would have been very different." This set all the fat in the fire; Peter took his cap, walked out into the yard or the stable, where he could breathe more freely and collect himself; and when he had recovered his temper, and came back again, he would grumble out, “Klaus will yet be the best of them." Klaus also gave another favourable sign of himself, on which his father built many castles since his fourth year the boy had always cried out "thorough" as soon as he became angry, or began to be violent or outrageous, particularly when he doubled his fists for fighting. None of Peter's other children did this, though all had heard the word often enough from the father's mouth; and Peter experienced the pleasure, before Klaus was nine years old, of hearing him called by all the village, old and young, Klaus Thorough, and the people of Dimmelshusen again cried," Thorough, says Klaus Avenstaken."

Klaus had arrived at the age of twelve, was uncommonly big and strong for his age, stood upright and firm on his legs, had a large head and broad forehead, with long hanging flaxen hair, under which looked out a pair of laughing blue eyes. Many folks said he was a handsome youth. Peter his father said he was the handsomest boy in the village, but his mother thought him awkward and too fat, and that his brothers were much handsomer. Then came the thirteenth autumn of his life; and in the following November Klaus vanished suddenly from the parental house through a wonderful occurrence, which I will now relate.

Peter had hired a new servant, who came on the first of November. He was named John Valentine, and was an elderly man of about fifty. This servant was not long in the house before he contracted a close friendship with the boys, and par

ticularly with Klaus; for Valentine knew many fables, histories, and tales, and all sorts of old long-unheard-of stories, and related them in the evening after work to the children; and he soon became so celebrated for his clever stories, that even the children of the neighbours came in crowds to Peter's house in order to hear them. This happened mostly on Saturday and Sunday evenings, when Valentine had time to relate them. The children brought with them apples and nuts and other nice things to Valentine, and then the company sat in a corner and feasted and narrated. The chief peculiarity observable was, that of all the children none retained the stories so well or repeated them so vividly as Klaus, so that Peter often listened to him with delight, and simpered smilingly to his wife, "Do you hear, Margaret? do you hear how Klaus, the sharp fellow, can tell the stories?" But she treated it coldly, and said, “Ah, a Klaus he is and a Klaus he will continue-a right tale-telling Klaus, but he will never be a bailiff, for he cannot even write." Thus spoke the parents about Klaus, each in their own way; but they did not notice that a great alteration was taking place in Klaus, and that Valentine had made him much less lively and merry at heart; for the tales so possessed the boy that he saw and heard, thought and dreamt, of nothing but witches and wizards, dragons and giants, enchanted princesses and magic castles.

Thus matters proceeded with Valentine and his little auditors till the approach of the holy festival of Christmas, when the long evenings and the many holidays gave opportunities for mirth and tales,-when all the world, on account of the birth of the sweet child Jesus, gave themselves up to feasting and joy, and friend with friend, and neighbour with neighbour, lived merrily. Valentine had reserved his best stories for this joyous time; he had then, as people say, opened his mousechest to the children, who, with their parents, had well remembered him in their presents. But of all the histories which he narrated, they were most pleased with that of the Pancake Hill and the Glass Hill, of which he used to sing the following melodious verses :—

Who can tell me where the Pancake Hill stands,

With good roast beef well larded, With sugar and marchpane filled to your hands,

And bushels of dollars long guarded?
Crystalline Hill, Crystalline Hill,
When dost thou open?

Dwarf full of play, dwarf full of skill,
When dost thou waken?

When the clock midnight tolls,
When the thief lurking prowls,
Then do I open.

When the cock has crow'd twice at night,
And the moon is at its height,
Then do I waken.



This tale pleased so much, that they would have it repeated for four or five days at least, and always with fresh embellishments, especially because Valentine knew that the two hills lay in the great forest in the neighbourhood, and he particularly described and represented to the boys, who often herded their cattle there, the oak and the beech which stood upon their tops. By day," he added, these hills are indeed not to be seen as they actually are, for then they look like any other hills; but at midnight they appear as they really are, the one of the clearest and most transparent glass, where the moon and stars shine through to the very bottom; and the other like the most splendid pancake, so splendid as never yet a pancake has been fried; the story goes," and then he winked knowingly, and said with a subdued voice, "that he who gets into the Pancake Hill will become a great king, and he who jumps into the Crystalline Hill will bring home sacks full of hard dollars, golden cups, and silver dishes; but who has the courage to do this? Such people are not born every day.'

The words-" but who has the courage to do this?" gave, as is usual among boys, opportunity for much raillery, and they jeered, bantered, and taunted each other about it, and for some weeks was heard re-echoed at the conclusion of every story, "but who has the courage to do this?" and some little rogues said tauntingly, "Klaus Thorough has the courage." Klaus then doubled up his fingers, and would certainly have used them had his

father not been present, for Peter severely | punished the boys who quarrelled in his presence. In the meantime this phrase and the joking went on, as well as the words "Klaus Thorough has the courage;" till at length it became unbearable to the boy, and he thought to himself it is too bad to suppose that I have not the courage. So one evening, when they were again goading and taunting him, he exclaimed angrily" Yes, Klaus Thorough has the courage, if you dare go with him and see: you can choose which you will, but I shall take the Pancake Hill wherein the great king sits, where the great beech stands; and I will ascend first if you will follow ?" They felt ashamed, and all cried out, "Yes, yes; we will go with you; "for it was then broad daylight, and they thought they had a superfluity of courage, and indeed had at that time. So they went on joking the whole day and evening, and Valentine, and Peter, and Margaret, and the servants and the maids, who had heard it, laughed at them, for they did not imagine they were in earnest. The boys, however, were only the more strengthened in their resolution, and the bold Klaus kept them to their word while he painted every thing in the brightest colours, how merrily they should live there, and with what treasures and magnificence they should return home.


It had now become late in the evening, and the church clock struck ten. Klaus cried, "Quick, comrades, come on! It is now time; we have more than two miles to the wood." And his companions went out with him, his three brothers and five other boys, all in their Sunday clothes, with white wands in their hands; for with white hazel wands must one go armed against spirits. The old folks looked and laughed after them, and Valentine laughed the loudest, for all thought, "They will discover no mountain, but soon be back again."

The boys proceeded rapidly across the fields, Klaus running before them all, so ardent was his desire; and they croaked, and cackled, and shouted, as crows croak when driven from their trees, or fowls cackle when set to flight. All remained firm in their resolution and were full of courage till they could see the trees of the wood, when almost all became

quiet. But when they came into the wood, and heard the high trees rustle and the distant waterfall roar, they stood still, and Klaus went on alone. When he saw the others did not follow, he bade them come on, but they heeded him not, but one said this, another that, and none would proceed. He then called them a pack of cowardly dastards, cried deriding"Klaus Thorough has the courage, ly, and then rushed vehemently through the bushes right up the mountain: they, on the contrary, fled back over the fields to their homes, and with steps as quick as if they had had a ghost at their heels.

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And Klaus ran quickly on his way through many crooked paths which he knew, now up, now down, till he saw the beech nodding on the highest peak of the forest. Then was he also brought to a stand-still, and his courage also began to fail, especially as he heard four church clocks in the distance just then strike twelve. But as he was a brave boy he repeated to himself what his father had often told him, "A man must never depart from a resolution that he had made in a more cheerful hour, nor when he came to act, set himself like a hare on its hinder feet;" and Klaus hallooed "thorough" till the wood re-echoed, and rushed up the mountain. Thus he came at length to the spot where he had seen the beech standing, but it was no longer there, but there reeked and shone the beautiful Pancake Hill in the moonshine. Klaus hesitated not long, shut both his eyes, raised himself upon his toes with both feet, and boldly ventured the leap, crying "Thorough, says Klaus Avenstaken !”

And the leap did not fail him; he slid softly into the mountain, and sank down gently and slowly as though in a carriage, or as one would deposit eggs in a sack. And it seemed to him that he had pleasantly swung down or been rocked down, and that he fell asleep, and had wonderful dreams, wherein his old friend Jack Valentine appeared, and smiled on him well pleased and friendly.

When he awoke it was twilight around him, but he felt that he lay in a soft bed, upon pillows softer than his mother had ever given him, and this pleased him exceedingly; but he felt hungry, and that pleased him not. It then began to grow

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