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kind which she had never heard or seen
before. Now and then, indeed, a familiar
dance was struck up, and when this was the
case she always danced with the bridegroom.

The sound of twelve horns brought the
merriment to a close. All vanished at
once, not only guests, chairs, and tables,
but the entire village, and the girl found
herself alone in the meadow. Making her
best way home, she looked into a basket,
and there found the smart cap which she
had seen on the head of the knightly
bridegroom. It was heavy with all sorts of old
coins, gold and silver; and, moreover,
contained a scroll of parchment, which
explained the wonders she had beheld.

According to this curious document, it
appeared that in the year 1400 the Knight
Siegbert of Hainsberg carried off the
noble Lady Elizabeth of Kunitzberg from
the convent of Eisenberg, and married
her at a religious house in the village of
Scortowe, over which he was absolute
master. They were happy together to the
end of their lives, but a strange punishment
awaited them after death. One hundred
years they passed in purgatory, but
when the village of Scortowe had been
destroyed in the Thirty Years' War, a new
penalty was inflicted. In every tenth
leap-year, on the day of the full moon, when
the sun stood in the sign of Cancer, and
on the very place of their transgression,
they were forced to celebrate a mimic
wedding in a spectral Scortowe, till a maiden,
pure, innocent, and courageous, called upon
them three hours before midnight, and
asked them for relief. A great many
conditions, it will be seen, had to be fulfilled,
and the first to fulfil these was the girl to
whom the document had been consigned.

Let us add, that the fortunate collector
of fodder passed her life in perfect bliss,
and that the village of Scortowe never
reappeared after the night of her visit.

A sight which they say is to be seen near
the village of Walpernhain, in the
neighbourhood of Eisenberg, cannot be half as
pleasant as that of the wedding-party once
beheld at Scortowe. By a pine-tree, which
stands alone, and can be discerned at a
considerable distance, as the only noticeable
object on a dismal spot, some unlucky
traveller was once attacked and wounded by
a marauding band, and lost his hand in
the conflict. Consequently, every night a
hand appears in the branches of the tree
bearing a flickering lantern. According
to the legend, there is no difficulty in
witnessing the apparition.

Still more dismal is the tale that people
tell about a certain St. James's chapel,
which once stood in the same part of the
world. Like the village of Scortowe,
this passed away long ago, but it does
not seem to have yet lost its knack of
reappearing. On certain occasions bells
are heard from its former site, and they
have a very funereal sound. A church
with illumined windows may likewise be
seen gleaming through a forest, with
portals which noiselessly open, and from
which issues a small burial procession.
The service for the dead is performed by
old spectral monks, with white beards and
black habits, while the ceremony is
accompanied by a dance of blue flames, and
the apparition of a huge bear with wild
shining eyes. Travellers, too, are especially
warned against the temptation offered by
certain linen articles, which, tipped with
silver by the moon, are to be seen
suspended from the branches of the trees; and
if they cannot be taught by precept without
example, they may hear the tale of an
unlucky woodcutter. This man, pushing
his truck from the vicinity of the St.
James's oak, near which the chapel
formerly stood, noticed the linen, and put
some of the choicest specimens in a sack,
which he prepared to wheel home. The
further he proceeded the heavier grew the
stolen property, and sometimes it seemed
that he would stick fast altogether. His
house, indeed, he reached, but no sooner
had he arrived there and opened his sack,
than out leaped a man, who seated himself
quietly on the stove, and was not to be
moved either by the outcries of the
villagers or the exorcisms of the priest. An
ejectment was at last effected by the public
executioner, who was well versed in the
black art, and arrived at the discovery that
the intruder in his lifetime had been an
unjust judge, and was, therefore,
condemned to become a vagabond ghost in the
unhallowed district. But now-a-days people
take care to avoid the linen.


THERE is always something interesting
in coming upon something like the original
shape of any form of popular enjoyment;
in seeing what it was like before it was
corrupted and debased into something
altogether different. The contrast will be
often very startling, and make us wonder
how we could be content with the spurious