THE FAIRY MYTHOLOGY

Hinzelmann1

   A wonderful house-spirit haunted for a long time the old castle of Hudemühlen, situated in the country of Lüneburg, not far from the Aller, and of which there is nothing remaining but the walls. It was in the year 1584 that he first notified his presence, by knocking and making various noises. Soon after he began to converse with the servants in the daylight. They were at first terrified at hearing a voice and seeing nothing, but by degrees they became accustomed to it and thought no more of it. At last he became quite courageous, and began to speak to the master of the house himself; and used, in the middle of the day and in the evening, to carry on conversations of various kinds; and at meal-times he discoursed. with those who were present, whether strangers or belonging to the family. When all fear of him was gone he became quite friendly and intimate: he sang, laughed, and went on with every kind of sport, so long as no one vexed him: and his voice was on these occasions soft and tender like that of a boy or maiden. When he was asked whence he came, and what he had to do in that place, he said he was come from the Bohemian mountains, and that his companions were in the Bohemian forest--that they would not tolerate him, and that he was in consequence obliged to retire and take refuge with good people till his affairs should be in a better condition. He added that his name was Hinzelmann, but that he was also called Lüring; and that be had a wife whose name was Hille Bingels. When the time for it was come he would let himself he seen in his real shape, but that at present it was not convenient for him to do so. In all other respects he was, he said, as good and honest a fellow as need be.
   The master of the house, when he saw that the spirit attached himself more and more to him, began to get frightened, and knew not how he should get rid of him. By the advice of his friends he determined at last to leave his castle for some time, and set out for Hanover. On the road they observed a white feather that flew beside the carriage, but no one knew what it signified. When he arrived at Hanover he missed a valuable gold chain that he wore about his neck, and his suspicions fell upon the servants of the house. But the innkeeper took the part of his servants, and demanded satisfaction for the discreditable charge. The nobleman, who could prove nothing against them, sat in his chamber in bad spirits, thinking how be should manage to get himself out of this unpleasant affair, when all of a sudden he heard Hinzelmann's voice beside him, saying, "Why are you so sad? If there is anything gone wrong with you tell it to me, and I shall perhaps know bow to assist you. If I were to make a guess, I should say that you are fretting on account of a chain you have lost." "What are you doing here?" replied the terrified nobleman; "why have you followed me? Do you know anything about the chain?" "Yes, indeed," said Hinzelmann, "I have followed you, and I kept you company on the road, and was always present: did you not see me? why, I was the white feather that flew beside the carriage. And now I 'II tell you where the chain is:-- Search under the pillow of your bed, and there you 'II find it." The chain was found where he said; but the mind of the nobleman became still more uneasy, and he asked him in an angry tone why he had brought him into a quarrel with the landlord on account of the chain, since he was the cause of his leaving his own house. Hinzelmann replied, "Why do you retire from me? I can easily follow you anywhere, and be where you are. It is much better for you to return to your own estate, and not be quitting it on my account. You see well that if I wished it I could take away all you have, but I am not inclined to do so." The nobleman thought some time of it, and at last came to the resolution of returning home, and trusting in God not to retreat a step from the spirit.
   At home in Hudemühlen, Hinzelmann now showed himself extremely obliging, and active and industrious at every kind of work. He used to toil every night in the kitchen; and if the cook, in the evening after supper, left the plates and dishes lying in a heap without being washed, next morning they were all nice and clean, shining like lookingglasses, and put up in proper order. She therefore might depend upon him, and go to bed in the evening after supper without giving herself any concern about them. In like manner nothing was ever lost in the kitchen; and if anything was astray Hinzelmann knew immediately where to find it, in whatever corner it was hid, and gave it into the hands of the owner. If strangers were expected, the spirit let himself be heard in a particular manner, and his labours were continued the whole night long: he scoured the pots and kettles, washed the dishes, cleaned the pails and tubs. The cook was grateful to him for all this, and not only did what he desired, but cheerfully got ready his sweet milk for his breakfast. He took also the charge of superintending the other men and maids. He noticed how they got through their business; and when they were at work he encouraged them with good words to be industrious. But if any one was inattentive to what he said, he caught up a stick and communicated his instructions by laying on heartily with it. He frequently warned the maids of their mistress's displeasure, and reminded them of some piece of work which they should set about doing. He was equally busy in the stable: he attended to the horses, and curried them carefully, so that they were as smooth in their coats as an eel; they also throve and improved so much, in next to no time, that everybody wondered at it.
   His chamber was in the upper story on the right hand side, and his furniture consisted of only three articles. Imprimis, of a settle or arm-chair, which he plaited very neatly for himself of straw af different colours, full of handsome figures and crosses, which no one looked upon without admiration. Secondly, of a little round table, which was on his repeated entreaties made and put there. Thirdly, of a bed and bedstead, which he had also expressed a wish for. There never was any trace found as if a man had lain in it; there could only be perceived a very small depression, as if a cat had been there. The servants, especially the cook, were obliged every day to prepare a dish full of sweet milk, with crums of wheaten bread, and place it upon his little table; and it was soon after eaten up clean. He sometimes used to come to the table of the master of the house, and they were obliged to put a chair and a plate for him at a particular place. Whoever was helping, put his food on his plate, and if that was forgotten he fell into a great passion. What was put on his plate vanished, and a glass full of wine was taken away for some time, and was then set again in its place empty. But the food was afterwards found lying under the benches, or in a corner of the room.
   In the society of young people Hinzelmann was extremely cheerful. He sang and made verses: one of his most usual ones was,

If thou here wilt let me stay,
Good luck shalt thou have alway;
But if hence thou wilt me chase,
Luck will ne'er come near the place.
   He used also to repeat the songs and sayings of other people by way of amusement or to attract their attention. The minister Feldmann was once invited to Hudemühlen, and when he came to the door he heard some one above in the hall singing, shouting, and making every sort of noise, which made him think that some strangers had come the evening before, and were lodged above, and making themselves merry. He therefore said to the steward, who was standing in the court after having cut up some wood, "John, what guests have you above there?" The steward answered, "We have no strangers; it is only our Hinzelmann who is amusing himself; there is not a living soul else in the hall." When the minister went up into the hail, Hinzelmann sang out to him
My thumb, my thumb,
And my elbow are two.
   The minister wondered at this unusual kind. ef song, and he said to Hinzelmann, "What sort of music is that you come to meet me with?" "Why," replied Hinzehnann, "it was from yourself I learned the song, for you have often sing it, and it is only a few days since I heard it from you, when you were in a certain place at a christening."
   Hinzelmann was fond of playing tricks, but he never hurt any one by them. He used to set servants and workmen by the ears as they sat drinking in the evening, and took great delight then in looking at the sport. When any one of them was well warmed with liquor, and let anything fall under the table and stooped to take it up, Hinzelmann would give him a good box on the ear from behind, and at the same time pinch his neighbour's leg. Then the two attacked each other, first with words and then with blows; the rest joined in the scuffle, and they dealt about their blows, and were repaid in kind; and next morning black eyes and swelled faces bore testimony of the fray. But Hinzelmann's very heart was delighted at it, and he used afterwards to tell how it was he that began it, on purpose to set them fighting. He however always took care so to order matters that no one should run any risk of his life.
   There came one time to Hudemühlen a nobleman who undertook to banish Hinzelmann. Accordingly, when he remarked that he was in a certain room, of which all the doors and windows were shut fast, he had this chamber and the whole house also beset with armed men, and went himself with his drawn sword into the room, accompanied by some others. They however saw nothing, so they began to cut and thrust left and right in all directions, thinking that if Hinzelmann had a body some blow or other must certainly reach him and kill him; still they could not perceive that their hangers met anything but mere air. When they thought they must have accomplished their task, and were going out of the room tired with their long fencing, just as they opened the door, they saw a figure like that of a black marten, and heard these words, "Ha, ha! how well you caught me!" But Hinzelmann afterwards expressed himself very bitterly for this insult, and declared, that he would have easily had an opportunity of revenging himself, were it not that he wished to spare the two ladies of the house any uneasiness. When this same nobleman not long after went into an empty room in the house, he saw a large snake lying coiled up on an unoccupied bed. It instantly vanished, and he heard the words of the spirit--" You were near catching me."
   Another nobleman had heard a great deal about Hinzelmann, and he was curious to get some personal knowledge of him. He came accordingly to Hudemühlen, and his wish was not long ungratified, for the spirit let himself be heard from a corner of the room where there was a large cupboard, in which were standing some empty wine-jugs with long necks. As the voice was soft and delicate, and somewhat hoarse, as if it came out of a hollow vessel, the nobleman thought it likely that he was sitting in one of these jugs, so he got up and ran and caught them up, and went to stop them, thinking in this way to catch the spirit. While he was thus engaged, Hinzelmann began to laugh aloud, and cried out, "If I had not heard long ago from other people that you were a fool, I might now have known it of myself; since you thought I was sitting in an empty jug, and went to cover it up with your hand, as if you had me caught. I don't think you worth the trouble, or I would have given you, long since, such a lesson, that you should remember me long enough. But before long you will get a slight ducking. " He then became silent, and did not let himself be heard any more so long as the nobleman stayed. Whether he fell into the water, as Hinzelmann threatened him, is not said, but it is probable he did.
   There came, too, an exorcist to banish him. When he began his conjuration with his magic words, Hinzelmann was at first quite quiet, and did not let himself be heard at all, but when he was going to read the most powerful sentences against him, he snatched the book out of his hand, tore it to pieces, so that the leaves flew about the room, caught hold of the exorcist himself, and squeezed and scratched him till he ran away frightened out of his wits. He complained greatly of this treatment, and said, "I am a Christian, like any other man, and I hope to be saved." When he was asked if he knew the Kobolds and Knocking-spirits (Polter Geister), he answered, "What have these to do with me? They are the Devil's spectres, and I do not belong to them. No one has any evil, but rather good, to expect from me. Let me alone and you will have luck in everything; the cattle will thrive, your substance will increase, and everything will go on well."
   Profligacy and vice were quite displeasing to him; he used frequently to scold severely one of the family for his stinginess, and told the rest that he could not endure him on account of it. Another he upbraided with his pride, which he said he hated from his heart. When some one once said to him that if he would be a good Christian, he should call upon God, and say Christian prayers, he began the Lord's Prayer, and went through it till he came to the last petition, when he murmured "Deliver us from the Evil one" quite low. He also repeated the Creed, but in a broken and stammering manner, for when he came to the words, "I believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting," he pronounced them in so hoarse and indistinct a voice that no one could rightly hear and understand him. The minister of Eicheloke, Mr. Feldmann, said that his father was invited to dinner to Hudemühlen at Whitsuntide, where he heard Hinzelmann go through the whole of the beautiful hymn, "Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist," in a very high but not unpleasant voice, like that of a girl or a young boy. Nay, he sang not merely this, but several other spiritual songs also when requested, especially by those whom he regarded as his friends, and with whom he was on terms of intimacy.
   On the other hand, he was extremely angry when he was not treated with respect and as a Christian. A nobleman of the family of Mandelsloh once came to Hudemühlen. This nobleman was highly respected for his learning; he was a canon of the cathedral of Verden, and had been ambassador to the Elector of Brandenburg and the King of Denmark. When he heard of the house-spirit, and that he expected to be treated as a Christian, he said he could not believe that all was right with him: he was far more inclined to regard him as the Enemy and the Devil, for that God had never made men of that kind and form, that angels praised God their Lord, and guarded and protected men, with which the knocking and pounding and strange proceedings of the House-spirit did not accord. Hinzelmann, who had not let himself be heard since his arrival, now made a noise and cried out, "What say you Barthold? (that was the nobleman's name) am I the Enemy? I advise you not to say too much, or I will show you another trick, and teach you to deliver a better judgment of me another time." The nobleman was frightened when he heard a voice without seeing any one, broke off the discourse, and would hear nothing more of him, but left him in possession of his dignity.
   Another time a nobleman came there, who, when he saw a chair and plate laid for Hinzelmann at dinner, refused to pledge him. At this the spirit was offended, and he said, "I am as honest and good a fellow as he is; why then does he not drink to me?" To this the nobleman replied, "Depart hence, and go drink with thy infernal companions; thou hast nothing to do here." When Hinzelmann heard that, he became so highly exasperated, that he seized him by the strap with which, according to the custom of those days, his cloak was fastened under his chin, dragged him to the ground. and choked and pressed him in such a manner that all that were present were in pain lest he should kill him; and the gentleman did not come to himself for some hours after the spirit had left him.
   Another time an esteemed friend of the master of Hudemühlen was travelling that way, but he hesitated to come in on account of the House-spirit, of whose mischievous turn he had heard a great deal, and sent his servant to inform the family that he could not call upon them. The master of the house sent out and pressed him very much to come in and dine there, but the stranger politely excused himself, by saying that it was not in his power to stop; he, however, added, that he was too much terrified at the idea of sitting at the same table eating and drinking with a devil. Hinzelmann, it appears, was present at this conversation out in the road; for when the stranger had thus refused they heard these words, "Wait, my good fellow, you shall be well paid for this talk." Accordingly, when the traveller went on and came to the bridge over the Meisse, the horses took fright, entangled themselves in the harness, and horses, carriage and all, were within an ace of tumbling down into the water. When everything had been set to rights, and the carriage had got on about a gun-shot, it was turned over in the sand on the level ground, without, however, those who were in it receiving any farther injury.
   Hinzelmann was fond of society, but the society he chiefly delighted in was that of females, and he was to them very friendly and affable. There were two young ladies at Hudemühlen, named Anne and Catherine, to whom he was particularly attached; he used to make his complaint to them whenever he was angry at anything, and held, besides, conversations of every kind with them. Whenever they travelled he would not quit them, but accompanied them everywhere in the shape of a white feather. When they went to sleep at night, he lay beneath, at their feet, outside the clothes, and in the morning there was a little hole to be seen, as if a little dog had lain there.
   Neither of these ladies ever married; for Hinzelmann frightened away their wooers. Matters had frequently gone so far as the engagement, but the spirit always contrived to have it broken off. One lover he would make all bewildered and confused when he was about to address the lady, so that he did not know what he should say. In another he would excite such fear as to make him quiver and tremble. But his usual way was to make a writing appear before their eyes on the opposite white wall, with these words in golden letters: "Take maid Anne, and leave me maid Catherine." But if any one came to court lady Anne, the golden writing changed all at once, and became "Take maid Catherine, and leave me maid Anne." If anyone did not change his course for this, but persisted in his purpose, and happened to spend the night in the house, he terrified and tormented him so in the dark with knocking and flinging and pounding, that he laid aside all wedding-thoughts, and was right glad to get away with a whole skin. Some, when they were on their way back, he tumbled, themselves and their horses, over and over, that they thought their necks and legs would be broken, and yet knew not how it had happened to them. In consequence of this, the two ladies remained unmarried; they arrived to a great age, and died within a week of each other.
   One of these ladies once sent a servant from Hudemühlen to Rethem to buy different articles; while he was away Hinzelmann began suddenly to clapper in the ladies' chamber like a stork, and then said, "Maid Anne, you must go look for your things to-day in the mill-stream." She did not know what this meant; but the servant soon came in, and related, that as he was on his way home, he had seen a stork sitting at no great distance from him, which he shot at, and it seemed to him as if he had hit it, but that the stork had remained sitting, and at last began to clap its wings aloud and then flew away. It was now plain that Hinzelmann knew this, and his prophecy also soon came to pass. For the servant, who was a little intoxicated, wanted to wash his horse, who was covered with sweat and dirt, and he rode him into the mill-stream in front of the castle; but owing to his drunkenness he missed the right place, and got into a deep hole, where, not being able to keep his seat on the horse, he fell off and was drowned. He had not delivered the things he had brought with him; so they and the body together were fished up out of the stream.
   Hinzelmann also informed and warned others of the future. There came to Hudemühlen a colonel, who was greatly esteemed by Christian III King of Denmark, and who had done good service in the wars with the town of Lübeck. He was a good shot and passionately fond of the chase, and used to spend many hours in the neighbouring woods after the harts and the wild sows. As he was getting ready one day to go to the chase as usual, Hinzelmann came and said, "Thomas (that was his name), I warn you to be cautious how you shoot, or you will before long meet with a mishap." The colonel took no notice of this, and thought it meant nothing. But a few days after, as he was firing at a roe, his gun burst, and took the thumb off his left hand. When this occurred, Hinzelmann was instantly by his side, and said, "See, now, you have got what I warned you of! If you had refrained from shooting this time, this mischance would not have befallen you."
   Another time a certain lord Faikenberg, who was a soldier, was on a visit at Hudemühlen. He was a lively, jolly man, and he began to play tricks on Hinzelmann, and to mock and jeer him. Hinzelmann would not long put up with this, and he began to exhibit signs of great dissatisfaction. At last he said,--" Falkenberg, you are making very merry now at my expense, but wait till you come to Magdeburg, and there your cap will be burst in such a way that you will forget your jibes and your jeers." The nobleman was awed: he was persuaded that these words contained a hidden sense: he broke off the conversation with Hinzelmann, and shortly after departed. Not long after the siege of Magdeburg, under the Elector Maurice, commenced, at which this lord Falkenberg was present, under a German prince of high rank. The besieged made a gallant resistance, and night and day kept up a firing of double-harquebuses, and other kinds of artillery; and it happened that one day Falkenberg's chin was shot away by a ball from a falconet, and three days after he died of the wound, in great agony.
   Any one whom the spirit could not endure he used to plague or punish for his vices. He accused the secretary at Hudemühlen of too much pride, took a great dislike to him on account of it, and night and day gave him every kind of annoyance. He once related with great glee how he had given the haughty secretary a sound box on the ear. When the secretary was asked about it, and whether the Spirit had been with him, he replied. "Ay, indeed, he has been with me but too often; this very night he tormented me in such a manner that I could not stand before him." He had a love affair with the chamber-maid; and one night as he was in high and confidential discourse with her, and they were sitting together in great joy, thinking that no one could see them but the four walls, the crafty spirit came and drove them asunder, and roughly tumbled the poor secretary out at the door, and then took up a broomstick and laid on him with it, that he made over head and neck for his chamber, and forgot his love altogether. Hinzelmann is said to have made some verses on the unfortunate lover, and to have often sung them for his amusement, and repeated them to travellers, laughing heartily at them.
   One time some one at Hudemühlen was suddenly taken in the evening with a violent fit of the cholic, and a maid was despatched to the cellar to fetch some wine, in which the patient was to take his medicine. As the maid was sitting before the cask, and was just going to draw the wine, Hinzelmann was by her side, and said, "You will be pleased to recollect that, a few days ago, you scolded me and abused me; by way of punishment for it, you shall spend this night sitting in the cellar. As to the sick person, he is in no danger whatever; his pain will be all gone in half an hour, and the wine would rather injure him. So just stay sitting here till the cellar door is opened." The patient waited a long time, but no wine came; another maid was sent down, and she found the cellar door well secured on the outside with a good padlock, and the maid sitting within, who told her that Hinzelmann had fastened her up in that way. They wanted to open the cellar and let the maid out, but they could not find a key for the lock, though they searched with the greatest industry. Next morning the cellar was open, and the lock and key lying before the door. Just as the spirit said, all his pain left the sick man in the course of half an hour.
   Hinzelmann had never shown himself to the master of the house at Hudemühlen, and whenever he begged of him that if he was shaped like a man, he would let himself be seen by him, he answered, "that the time was not yet come; that he should wait till it was agreeable to him." One night, as the master was lying awake in bed, he heard a rushing noise on one side of the chamber, and he conjectured that the spirit must be there. So he said "Hinzelmann, if you are there, answer me." "It is I," replied he; "what do you want?" As the room was quite light with the moonshine, it seemed to the master as if there was the shadow of a form like that of a child, perceptible in the place from which the sound proceeded. As he observed that the spirit was in a very friendly humour, he entered into conversation with him, and said, "Let me, for this once, see and feel you." But Hinzelmann would. not: "Will you reach me your hand, at least, that I may know whether you are flesh and bone like a man?" "No," said Hinzelmann; "I won't trust you; you are a knave; you might catch hold of me, and not let me go any more." After a long demur, however, and after he had promised, on his faith and honour, not to hold him, but to let him go again immediately, he said, "See, there is my hand." And as the master caught at it, it seemed to him as if he felt the fingers of the hand of a little child; but the spirit drew it back quickly. The master further desired that he would let him feel his face, to which he at last consented; and when he touched it, it seemed to him as if he had touched teeth, or a fleshless skeleton, and the face drew back instantaneously, so that he could not ascertain its exact shape; he only noticed that it, like the hand, was cold, and devoid of vital heat.
   The cook, who was on terms of great intimacy with him, thought that she might venture to make a request of him, though another might not, and as she felt a strong desire to see Hinzelmann bodily, whom she heard talking every day, and whom she supplied with meat and drink, she prayed him earnestly to grant her that favour; but he would not, and said that this was not the right time, but that after some time, he would let himself be seen by any person. This refusal only stimulated her desire, and she pressed him more and more not to deny her request. He said she would repent of her curiosity if she would not give up her desire; and when all his representations were to no purpose, and she would not give over, he at last said to her, "Come to-morrow morning before sun-rise into the cellar, and carry in each hand a pail full of water, and your request shall be complied with." The maid inquired what the water was for: "That you will learn," answered he; "without it, the sight of me might be injurious to you."
   Next morning the cook was ready at peep of dawn, took in each hand a pail of water, and went down to the cellar. She looked about her without seeing anything; but as she cast her eyes on the ground she perceived a tray, on which was lying a naked child apparently three years old, and two knives sticking crosswise in his heart, and his whole body streaming with blood. The maid was terrified at this sight to such a degree, that she lost her senses, and fell in a swoon on the ground. The spirit immediately took the water that she had brought with her, and poured it all over her head, by which means she came to herself again. She looked about for the tray, but all had vanished, and she only heard the voice of Hinzelmann, who said, "You see now how needful the water was; if it had not been at hand you had died here in the cellar. I hope your burning desire to see me is now pretty well cooled." He often afterwards illuded the cook with this trick, and told it to strangers with great glee and laughter.
   He frequently showed himself to innocent children when at play. The minister Feldmann recollected well, that when he was about fourteen or fifteen years old, and was not thinking particularly about him, he saw the Spirit in the form of a little boy going up the stairs very swiftly. When children were collected about Hudemühlen house, and were playing with one another, he used to get among them and play with them in the shape of a pretty little child, so that all the other children saw him plainly, and when they went home told their parents how, while they were engaged. in play, a strange child came to them and amused himself with them. This was confirmed by a maid, who went one time into a room in which four or six children were playing together, and among them she saw a strange little boy of a beautiful countenance, with curled yellow hair hanging down his shoulders, and. dressed in a red silk coat; and while she wanted to observe him more closely, he got out of the party, and disappeared. Hinzelmann let himself be seen also by a fool, named Claus, who was kept there, and used to pursue every sort of diversion with him. When the fool could not anywhere be found, and they asked him afterwards where he had been so long, he used to reply, "I was with the little wee man, and I was playing with him." If he was farther asked how big the little man was, he held his hand at a height about that of a child of four years.2
   When the time came that the house-spirit was about to depart, he went to the master of the house and said to him, "See, I will make you a present; take care of it, and let it remind you of me." He then handed him a little cross-- it is doubtful from the author's words whether of silk (seide) or strings (saiten)-- very prettily plaited. It was the length of a finger, was hollow within, and jingled when it was shaken. Secondly, a straw hat, which he had made himself, and in which might be seen forms and figures very ingeniously made in the variously-coloured straw. Thirdly, a leathern glove set with pearls, which formed wonderful figures. He then subjoined this prophecy: "So long as these things remain unseparated in good preservation in your family, so long will your entire race flourish, and their good fortune continually increase; but if these presents are divided, lost, or wasted, your race will decrease and sink." And when he perceived that the master appeared to set no particular value on the present, he continued: "I fear that you do not much esteem these things, and will let them go out of your hands; I therefore counsel you to give them in charge to your sisters Anne and Catherine, who will take better care of them."
   He accordingly gave the gifts to his sisters, who took them and kept them carefully, and never showed them to any but most particular friends. After their death they reverted to their brother, who took them to himself, and with him they remained so long as he lived. He showed them to the minister Feldmann, at his earnest request, during a confidential conversation. When he died, they came to his only daughter Adelaide, who was married to L. von H, along with the rest of the inheritance, and they remained for some time in her possession. The son of the minister Feldmann made several inquiries about what had afterwards become of the House-spirit's presents, and he learned that the straw-hat was given to the emperor Ferdinand II., who regarded it as something wonderful. The leathern glove was still in his time in the possession of a nobleman. It was short, and just exactly reached above the hand, and there was a snail worked with pearls on the part that came above the hand. What became of the little cross was never known.
   The spirit departed of his own accord, after he had staid four years, from 1584 to 1588, at Hudemühlen. He said, before he went away, that he would return once more when the family would be declined, and that it would then flourish anew and increase in consequence.3

Hödeken

   Another Kobold or House-spirit took up his abode in the palace of the bishop of Hildesheim. He was named Hödeken or Hütchen, that is Hatekin or Little Hat, from his always wearing a little felt hat very much down upon his face. He was of a kind and obliging disposition, often told the bishop and others of what was to happen, and he took good care that the watchmen should not go to sleep on their post.
   It was, however, dangerous to affront him. One of the scullions in the bishop's kitchen used to fling dirt on him and splash him 'with foul water. Hödeken complained to the head cook, who only laughed at him, and said, "Are you a spirit and afraid of a little boy?" "Since you won't punish the boy," replied Hödeken, "I will, in a few days, let you see how much afraid of him I am," and he went off in high dudgeon. But very soon after he got the boy asleep at the fire-side, and he strangled him, cut him up, and put him into the pot on the fire. When the cook abused him for what he had done, he squeezed toads all over the meat that was at the fire, and he soon after tumbled the cook from the bridge into the deep moat. At last people grew so much afraid of his setting fire to the town and palace, that the bishop had him exorcised and banished.
   The following was one of Hödeken's principal exploits. There was a man in Hildesheim who had a light sort of wife, and one time when he was going on a journey he spoke to Hödeken and said, "My good fellow, just keep an eye on my wife while I am away, and see that all goes on right." Hödeken agreed to do so; and when the wife, after the departure of her husband, made her gallants come to her, and was going to make merry with them, Hödeken always threw himself in the middle and drove them away by assuming terrific forms; or, when any one had gone to bed, he invisibly flung him so roughly out on the floor as to crack his ribs. Thus they fared, one after another, as the light-o'-love dame introduced them into her chamber, so that no one ventured to come near her. At length, when the husband had returned home, the honest guardian of his honour presented himself before him full of joy, and said, "Your return is most grateful to me, that I may escape the trouble and disquiet that you had imposed upon me?" "Who are you, pray?" said the man. "I am Hödeken," replied he, "to whom, at your departure, you gave your wife in charge. To gratify you I have guarded her this time, and kept her from adultery, though with great and incessant toil. But I beg of you never more to commit her to my keeping; for I would sooner take charge of, and be accountable for, all the swine in Saxony than for one such woman, so many were the artifices and plots she devised to blink me."

King Goldemar

   Another celebrated House-spirit was King Goldemar, who lived in great intimacy with Neveling von Hardenberg, on the Hardenstein at the Rühr, and often slept in the same bed with him. He played most beautifully on the harp, and he was in the habit of staking great sums of money at dice. He used to call Neveling brother-in-law, and often gave him warning of various things. He talked with all kinds of people, and used to make the clergy blush by discovering their secret transgressions. His hands were thin like those of a frog, cold and soft to the feel; he let himself be felt, but no one could see him. After remaining there for three years, he went away without offending any one. Some call him King Vollmar, and the chamber in which he lived is still said to be called Vollmar's Chamber. He insisted on having a place at the table for himself, and a stall in the stable for his horse; the food, the hay, and the oats were consumed, but of man or horse nothing more than the shadow ever was seen. When one time a curious person had strewed ashes and tares in his way to make him fall, that his foot-prints might be seen, he came behind him as be was lighting the fire and hewed him to pieces, which he put on the spit and roasted, and he began to boil the head and legs. As soon as the meat was ready it was brought toVollmar's chamber, and people heard great cries of joy as it was consumed. After this there was no trace of King Voilmar; but over the door of his chamber was found written, that in future the house would be as unfortunate as it had hitherto been fortunate; the scattered property would not be brought together again till the time when three Hardenbergs of Hardenstein should be living at the same time. The spit and the roast meat were preserved for a long time; but they disappeared in the Lorrain war in 1651. The pot still remains built into the wall of the kitchen.4

The Heinzelmänchen

   It is not over fifty years since the Heinzelmänchen, as they are called, used to live and perform their exploits in Cologne. They were little naked mannikins, who used to do all sorts of work; bake bread, wash, and such like house-work. So it is said, but no one ever saw them.
   In the time that the Heinzelmänchen were still there, there was in Cologne many a baker, who kept no man, for the little people used always to make over-night, as much black and white bread as the baker wanted for his shop. In many houses they used to wash and do all their work for the maids.
   Now, about this time, there was an expert tailor to whom they appeared to have taken a great fancy, for when he married he found in his house, on the wedding-day, the finest victuals and the most beautiful vessels and utensils, which the little folk had stolen elsewhere and brought to their favourite. When, with time, his family increased, the little ones used to give the tailor's wife considerable aid in her household affairs; they washed for her, and on holidays and festival times they scoured the copper and tin, and the house from the garret to the cellar. If at any time the tailor had a press of work, he was sure to find it all ready done for him in the morning by the Heinzelmänchen. But curiosity began now to torment the tailor's wife, and she was dying to get one sight of the Heinzelmänchen, but do what she would she could never compass it. She one time strewed peas all down the stairs that they might fail and hurt themselves, and that so she might see them next morning. But this project missed, and since that time the Heinzelmänchen have totally disappeared, as has been everywhere the case, owing to the curiosity of people, which has at all times been the destruction of so much of what was beautiful in the world. The Heinzelmänchen, in consequence of this, went off all in a body out of the town with music playing, but people could only hear the music, for no one could see the mannikins themselves, who forthwith got into a boat and went away, whither no one knows. The good times, however, are said to have disappeared from Cologne along with the Heinzelmänchen.5

NOTES:

1. Heinze is the abbreviation of Heinrich (Henry). In the North of Germany the Kobold is also named Chimmeken and Wolterken, from Joachim and Walther.
2. This is a usual measure of size for the Dwarfs, and even the angels, in the old German poetry. In Otnit it is said of Elberich: nu bist in Kindes,maze des vierden jares alt; and of Antilois in Ulrich's Alexander: er war kleine und niht groz in der maze als din kint, wean si in vier jaren sint, Grimm, Deut. Mythol, p. 418. We meet with it even in Italian poetry:

E sovra il dorso un nano si piccino
Che sembri di quattr' anni un fanciullino.
B. Tasso, Amadigi, C. c. st. 78.
3. The feats of House-spirits, it is plain, may in general be ascribed to ventriloquism and to contrivances of servants and others.
4. Von Steinen, Weetfäl. Gesch. ap. Grimm, Deut. Mythol, p. 477
5. Oral. Cölns Vorzeit. CöIn. 1826.