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in the woods of Great and Little Britain,
such things seem often to have occurred, for
foresters relate, that on different days, at
noon, at nightfall, or in full moonlight, they
have often seen a concourse of hunting
knights and hounds, who blew their horns,
and answered to inquiry, that they belonged to
the chamber and train of King Arthur. His
reappearance in the world was expected for
centuries, and even in the middle of the
sixteenth century, that expectation had not
ceased. Looking for King Arthur had,
however, before that time grown from a common
truth into a mocking proverb.

Arthur had the proportions of a giant.
With his sword Coleburn, he slew four
hundred and sixty enemies in a single battle.
William of Malmesbury states that in the
reign of Henry the Second, his mighty bones
were found under the high altar of Glastonbury
abbey. The fact that he was lying by,
under the shadow of Mount Etna, at Avalon,
in the English forests, or elsewhere, until the
time should come when he would again
fight for his country, was not thought to be
incompatible with this discovery.

Another famous bider of his time is the
Emperor Frederick. This is Frederick the
Second, the last Suabian emperor, who died
in Apulia, in the year twelve hundred and
fifty. Dying far from his court, the people
believed that the account of his death was a
report spread by himself, to the end that he
might live in seclusion. Men here and there
came forward to assert that they had seen
him. Five pretenders in succession took his
name, of whom one was burnt by the people
at Cologne, and one was put to death by the
Emperor Rudolf of Hapsburg. Still the
multitude believed that he was alive. He
had withdrawn, it was said, to a remote part
of the world, to escape a danger threatened
him by his astrologers; but he would come
again. After a time it was settled that he
kept watch in the castle of Kiffhausen.
When this seemed too improbable or
impossible, he was provided with a home
in the heart of the Kiffhausen mountain.
There, it was believed, he waited
for the time when he should come
forward to save his country. This belief is
now the basis of a multitude of pleasant
legends, and one at least of these Kiffhausen
legends is familiar to all readers of
English as forming the substance of the tale
of Rip Van Winkle. In the old times,
and particularly in the sixteenth century
(when the idea revived) the belief in the
existence of this subterranean court was very
real. When Charles the Fifth was struggling
with the enemies of Christianity, Frederick
was especially expected to come forward;
he was to assist in securing for Charles the
mastery of Constantinople and Jerusalem, to
destroy the Mahometan faith, and slay the
Turk on the soil of Cologne. Even the year
of these events was prophesied; they were to
be accomplished in the year fifteen hundred
and fifty.

By that time a new legend had arisen, to
account for the Emperor Frederick's
continued life. He had been a learned man:
master of five languages, Greek, Latin,
Turkish, German, and Slavonian. Being
captured by the Turks, and held a prisoner for
many years, all ransom refused, the grand
Turk at last offered him his liberty on one

He, the Turk, had in his gardens many
fierce beasts whom no man, for hundreds of
years, had approached or dared approach.
These beasts had in the midst of them four
priceless jewels, with which they could be
seen from the palace-windows that overlooked
the gardens, playing every day at noon. If
the Roman Emperor would fetch those stones
for the Turk, he should go free. "And what
virtue or power resides in them?" Frederick
asked: stones being then valued more for
supposed virtues than for beauty. "The first,"
said the Turk, "has the power of invisibility,
its holder cannot be seen; the second confers
impassibility, its holder cannot be hurt; the
third agility, its holder cannot be
overtaken; the fourth immortality, its holder
cannot die."

The emperor knew very well that if he had
the first stone it would enable him to get the
rest, and agreed to undertake the adventure
on condition that he should be supplied with
some loose clothes or articles of clothing, and
that an underground passage should be dug
leading to the spot frequented by the animals,
in order that he might break his way up to
them and come upon them suddenly. These
things being arranged, the emperor jumped
nimbly out of his hole among the beasts at
noon, when they were playing with the
jewels. Hurriedly snatching up one stone he
threw the cloth down instantly behind him,
and sprang back into the mine from which he
had issued. The beasts tore the cloth to
tatters. Then, the emperor coming again
outside the garden and among the people, found
that no man noticed him, and soon became
aware that he had brought with him the stone

After that, he went without any fear to
fetch the other stones. The Turk, indeed, saw
from his window terrible commotions among
the beastshe saw the jewels go, but neither
Turk, nor beast, nor Christian, saw any more
of Frederick. After this adventure Frederick
retired from human ken to the mountains, in
which, said the legend, he now bides his time
for reappearing to the rescue of his kingdom,
swift, impassible, immortal, and (as long as it
shall please him so to remain), invisible.

Of the exact manner of his life in the
Kiffhausen mountains there were two or three
accounts; one tallies exactly with the account
of the solemn men visited by Rip Van
Winkle; but that which had most acceptance
among the people of the district