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RAYMOND THE ROMANTIC, AND HIS FIVE WISHES.
THE SILVER MINE OF ZELLERFELD.
* And what news from the Kingdom of Subterraneous Darkness and airy hope ? -What says the Swart Spirit of the Mine?
ich adventures become a gallant Knight better than an bumble Esquire,—to rise on the wings of the night-wind,--to dive into the bowels of the Earth.”
AFTER all the thousand similies, that one adventure is achicved, or one which have been made of human life, wish is gratified, my mind is immediperhaps there is not a better than that ately thrown into a state of violent exwhich likens it to a journey. The rea citation, until my new desire be also son of this is two-fold: it resembles a fulfilled. Nay, even at the very time travel, first, because we are every day when those inclinations are being commoving onwards to its completion, and plied with, I feel in a continual fever consequently we every day lessen the of anxiety, until my gratification be distance which we have to go; and se put beyond the reach of accident, and condly, because the prospect around us
am certain that all which I had antiis ever changing, sometimes suddenly, cipated has been performed. From and sometimes imperceptibly. In the these premises it will be deduced, that march of life this is also continually after I had descended from the aërial
for that which attracted the voyage described in my last paper, laney of childhood, is, in general, no France was no longer the country for longer looked upon by youth, any more
me; since I panted to view the subterthan the pleasures of our juvenile days ranean regions of the world, and pass for the enjoyments of "manhood, or into those profound caverns, which many the contemplations of advancing age. wise and good characters have believed Such likewise is a journey: perchance to contain
a race of beings, that are neiat our first setting out, we look upon a ther angels nor men. The great Coal Level country in high cultivation ; then Mine at Leige, the splendid Silver Mine by degrees, the richly party-coloured at Salsebery, in Sweden, and the amazbelds swell into verdant uplands; which ing depths of the Diamond Mines of afterward rise into dark hills, and these Golconda, were all considered for elecete subsequently exchanged for moun tion in my own mind; but my choice tains that seem to embrace the horizon, was at length fixed by hearing a proas the Persians believe those of Kaf sur vincial ballad, relative to the Silver and round the world. But the prospects
Copper Mines in the Harz District in which we behold, while upon our tra
Hanover. This brought to my recollecvels, do not always pass away with such tion, a thousand supernatural legends, a gradual alteration of feature; nor do concerning the beautifully romantic nathe events of our lives always glide tion of Germany; and I conceded a part down into each other, by such undis- of my original wish as to the depth of tinguished degrees. No! in the former the Nine itself, in favour of the wild instance
, we often arrive at some stage, adventures with which I might chance where the whole face of nature changes
to meet, in the subterranean Metalfrom beauty to wilderness, or from wav chambers of Clausthal, Zeilerfeld, or ing forests and corn-fields to rocks and Rammelsburg. There, thought I, as I the sea-shore ; and in like manner, a revolved the subject over in my own single hour will often prove sufficient mind, there is the country of spirits ; to alter the whole character of our lives, land and water ; flood, mountain, and and to bring us into scenes and situa- forest; fire and air have all in the antions
, that are totally different from any cient Hercynia their appropriate genii. which we have been previously connect- Waldebock, Schaltennanu, Rilbezhahl,
and the hosts of friendly and malignant know not if every impatient Dwarfs which haunt the stony vaults of and romantic man be possessed of the Walkenreid, and the metallic caverns
same feelings, but with me, the moment of the Blockberg, all these, and many !
a legion beside, have ever made Ger an old German alchemist of North-Mamany their most favoured abode! Yes, ven, in which I found an astonishing there will I direct my course; too late collection of ancient authors on magic, indeed to see the midnight revels on the from Albumazar, Cornelius Agrippa, summit of the Brocker, but not too late and Albertus Magnus, down to Scott, to view the enchanted tower of Scharz Founan, and Lilly. With such a mind, feld, the moon-light wolf-hunts of then, and with such an opportunity of Stiege, the magic stones of Reinstein, gratifying it, it will be conceived with and to hear the terrific horn of the wild what ardour I perused Jazer, who is fated to ride with fiends
" Whatever tells through the Harz Forests, until time
Of magic, cabala, and spells, shall be no more! As Zetla is a place
And every dark pursuit allied so distant from the seats of learning, To curious and presumptuous pride." and so cut off as it were from all intercourse with other countries, it may be Such were the means by which I was a matter of surprise how I became ac led to a close acquaintance with the liquainted with the principal superstitions terature of superstition. of the Germans; although it will rea
I could not describe, if indeed it were dily be imagined how they became fixed relevant to the story, the journey which
I made from Paris to the tower of Gosin my memory after they were once made known to me. The truth how- lar, in Hanover; since according to ever is, that my early life, when it was those feelings which I have already atnot engaged in more active pursuits, tempted to delineate, the time and space very much resembled those of Edwin which intervened, I passed over like a in Beattie's Minstrel, and Brian, the
feverish trance, wherein many images wizard Priest of a later poet. In the
rise before us, but none that remain first instance, the words of the former fixed on the memory, or convey any inbard were almost a paraphrase of those
struction to the mind. In compliance uttered by the inhabitants of the Zet
with the usual custom, I provided myland Isles, at my study, abstraction, and
self at Goslar, with a miner's habit for variable disposition, from all which the convenience of descending and excauses I received the name of Raymond amining the Silver Mines at Zellerfeld. the Romantic,
This consisted of a short dark-coloured
coat, with trowsers of the same nature, 6. He was no vulgar boy,
dark brown leathern boots, and a low Deep thought oft seem'd to fix his infant fur cap. The machines and engines, eye.
connected with the Mines, are spread Dainties he heeded not, nor gaud, nor toy, out for a vast extent above the ground, Save one short pipe of rudest mivstrelsy; and are girdled in either by a series of Silent when glad; affectionate, thougla bleak and barren hills, or else by the shy;
gloomy verdure of a part of the ancient And now his look was most demurely sad;
Ilercynian Forest, whose grandest reAnd now he laugh'd aloud, though none
mains are to be found in the Harz Disknew why. The neighbours star'd and sigh'd, and
trict. It was then, on the morning of bless'd the lad;
I a day unusually dreary and overcloudSome deem'd him wondrous wise, and some
ed, that I advanced towards the gassel, believ'd him mad."
or out-works of the Zellerfeld Silver
Mines, in search of a guide to conduct In the second place, my studies, al me into their depths, and through the though of a nature far superior even to many chambers into which they are dithose of the most learned in Zetland, vided. As I arrived at the place, there were frequently blended with that mys met me one habited in the manner I tic and unprofitable kind of love, which have already described, and bearing a while it is wholly founded in error, ne miner's gad or pickaxe upon his shoul. vertheless leads us onward shuddering der. His appearance, which of itself as we read, to pursue it through all its was sufficiently rude and ferocious, was abstract details, till the mind receives a rendered yet more so by such a dress; strong and invincible attachment for while from beneath the miner's cap there the mysterious, the romantic, and the looked out a face of a swarthy red cowonderful. I had, even at an early age, lour, wearing a sarcastic scowl, and, become acquainted with the library of shaded by long locks of hair, musta
chios, and beard of a ruddy brown hue. why, there's not a miner in Westphalia I shall never have forgotten that face, can show you a tenth of what I can: even if it had not been connected with I'm called hy my fellows, Rudenfranck, my extraordinary adventures at Zeller- the Red Devil of Zellerfeld, perchance, feld; for one so perfect in cunning, so because I dare venture somewhat farmarked with misanthropy, so wild in ther than they—but no matter, they expression, and yet wearing such a care know their own reasons. less and contemptuous smile, (though As he spoke, a scowling kind of smile I have looked upon and studied some passed over his countenance, such as thousands of faces,)I have never seen would well have suited the very being before, nor shall I ever look upon again. he had spoken of; however, it was now From Hans Sebastian Helerig, the old too late to recede, and we advanced toGerman alchemist already mentioned, I wards the Mine-works together. There had acquired in my youthful days a are three different ways of entering the knowledge, not only of the sacred and Silver Mines of Zellerfeld; the first is classical languages, but also of several by what is there called an adit, which of the modern tongues, and more es is a long and large trench, constructed pecially of those which are connected of timber, used for carrying off the with the dialect of the Zetland Isles; waters, admitting the air, and removnamely, the Danish, Norwegian, Swe- ing the poisonous metallic vapours so dish, and German, so that it was with common in those places. The second out difficulty that I understood and en way of going into the Mines is by a tered into discourse with this mysteri- series of short ladders, leading down the ous, but to me interesting stranger. shaft to the galleries beneath; and at As we approached nearer each other, I the foot of each of these, are a few heard that he was singing a portion of boards placed as a stage to rest upon. an ancient ballad in praise of Ger The third method, which is by far the many, made as I should suppose about least fatiguing, and which I adopted, the time of the Emperor Maximilian I. the better to examine the earth in my « Oh ! Germany, oh! Germany, descent, is by one of the cars or buckets Thy name afar is known;
which bring up the ore, and which are The land that sprites and chivalry raised and lowered by means of a horseHave destin'd for their own :
engine, under the conical Gapel which And glory through thy country shines, is built above the Mine-pit. Before we And glory is below,
entered the car, my guide procured a For no sach court, and no such mines
lighted flambeau from the men, who The world again can shew!"
were stationed at the top of the Mine to “ Hail friend !” said I, as he drew near manage the horse; and then stepping me, “ I am searching for a guide to the into the basket, which hung freely in Mines; will you become my conductor?" the air over an obscure and immense
" Aye, if you bear a stout heart and abyss, he motioned to me to follow a steady head," replied the miner; him. It was with my usual feelings “ for I care not to show the Treasury of a delightful, yet hazardous and unof Zellerfeld to a coward or an idiot." common enterprise, that I took my
“ Fear not me,” I answered, “where- place beside Rudenfranck in the bucket; ever you can lead I can follow; I have and as soon as we were both seated, he been in equal hazards ere now, though began to sing in a loud and rude voice, I am not of Germany."
which was fearfully reverberated from “ Come on then," was the unceremo all sides of the gulf, and which was annious answer, “ and if seeing the won swered with corresponding tones by ders of the earth-caves can delight you, those whom we had left above.
DUETT OF THE ZELLERFELD MINERS.
Ruden frank. Unwind-Unwind to the deeps profound,
Where glittering metals in darkness glow;
Into the shades of the world below.
Widely is spreading earth's gloomiest dew,
First Miner. Shake the chain, when the voyage hath ended,
To shew ye have landed in safety then.
Light is less o'er our heads appearing.
Soon will your voyage to the Mine be done! The flame of Rudenfranck's torch and demons, and men who were more gleamed ruddily upon the variously than either led, the poor earth such a coloured strata, that appeared in the life as she has not yet recovered : and earth as we descended; while the light, now the proverb goes, that “there's which showed through the top of the more wood underground in Rammelsshaft, soon decreased to a star, and at burg, than in all the city of Goslar.” length vanishing wholly away, we were We had now been descending for a left in the most terrific darkness. As considerable time, and I was in conwe lost the perception of light, we also tinual expectation of arriving at the lost the power of distinguishing sounds, termination of our journey, when the for I no longer heard the hoarse voicə noise of several impetuous torrents of the shaft-man echoed down the ca broke upon my hearing: Although vity. As we continued to go still lower, these falling waters seemed to surround I could occasionally perceive that Ru us on every side, they were unseen, but denfranck's torch showed many a beau their roaring and dashing en
encreasing tiful piece of micaceous ore; and some every moment; I began to feel that it times it appeared as though my sight was possible that my guide might depenetrated, through the earth, to a mass serve the diabolical name, which his of treasure glowing in the more remote companions had given him, and that he parts of the rocky chasm. Sometimes being really a fiend in a human form, too, and that at a great depth from the had lured me into these deeps, and was surface of the ground, I saw the roots now about to recompense my unlawful of various kinds of forest-trees; which curiosity by dashing me down the minehere and there thrust out an arm, and shaft, or by hurling me into the subwhich looked as if they had been hurled terranean waterfalls. When these fears downwards to their present station, were at their height, the bucket sudeither when the Harz Forest was first denly stopped, and we passed under a taken by the German Emperors, or at large dark arch where Rudenfranck exthe universal deluge which overthrew tinguished his torch, and we were left all things. Such appearances made me in the Zellerfeld caverns without a turn to my guide for an explanation, sparkle of light. It was scarcely a moand he replied in the following terms: ment from the putting out of the torch,
“ Zellerfeld Silver Mine was disco- which left us in the most impenetrable vered in 1070. It stands six miles to darkness, to our suddenly entering a the south south-west of Goslar, in the large and splendid hall, surrounded by Principality of Grubenhagen, and the arches of rock glittering most brilcircle of Lower Saxony. All men know liantly with silver mica, and filled with that this Mine is one of the richest in innumerable lights, which show so efWestphalia, since silver to the yearly fulgently in the metallic chamber, that amount of 20,000 crowns is coined out I was unable to look with steadiness of its bowels : but few besides yourself upon the glorious spectacle. Around have seen, that, in its yet unknown the hall were several spacious galleries chambers, there is gold enough to make containing multitudes of miners at work, the poorest miner in the Harz richer with each his light before him glowing than all the kings of the earth. Some- in the ore which he was digging, and times, the spirits who make the metals, refracting a variety of prismatic colours show them to strangers; and sometimes in the metallic rock. Through the floor they mock and frighten them by throw of the hall ran a stream of clear water, ing a handful of red-hot gold at them. which showed in its dark mirror the As for these trees, they came here when whole scene in all its glories : nor did the German Freebooters and the Forest the place appear like a fairy palace, all Geister (Forest Ghosts) were the only beauty and wretchedness, and loveliness, inhabitants of the Black Forest, when and silence; for there was a complete revels, and murders, and phantoms, subterranean city, in which men and
cattle were employed as actively and as all together completely overcame me, naturally, as ever I beheld them upon and I sank down in a fainting fit on the upper ground. In this Silver City the floor of the Mine. Upon recoverof Zellerfeld, there were also fires and ing my senses, from the bright light lamps placed in the avenues or streets which shone around me, I thought that which led from the grand square to I was still in the Great Chamber of the the miner's dwellings, and the various Zellerfeld Silver Mine; but after a houses of entertainment, which were short time, I discovered that it was established there; and as these build not only a perfectly different place, but ings were at the time when I visited also that it was occupied by a different the Mine, constructed of the same mi race of beings. The apartment, if so I caceous rock as the Mine itself, the may call it, into which I had been conbeauties of the place seemed unbounded veyed, was formed of solid polished siland inconceivable. Nor let any one ver, disposed in the most elegant arches, suppose that this subterraneous region columns, pillars, and galleries; while, was silent. No! for independently of in the interstices of the architecture, the continual sound of the workmens' there appeared all the many varieties of gads striking against the rocks, there silver which is found in the earth. were also to be heard the song, the There might be seen the capillary silshout, the jest, and the tale echoed back ver, spreading out its long slender from the various bands of miners who stems from a rich vase, placed in a were at work in the different galleries; niche: then there was the arborescent, and the 'rushing sound of the distant tree silver, flourishing in large waterfalls, gave a romantic and pleas- branches in a whole garden formed of ing harmony to the whole.
the same precious shrubs: the gauze, When I had for some time looked or spider's web silver was hung in rich upon this scene in silence, my guide curtains behind the arches of the hall; drew me on one side, and said in an while native silver in rock, and micaundertone:
ceous silver ore, and silver dust, lay “ Well, now if you've the courage piled in large and glittering treasuries you spake of: descend with me down
on every side On one side of the hall yonder chasm, and I'll show you à there appeared to be a large laboratory, Mine as much beyond this, as the Castle in which, on entering, I found a multiof Sondershausen is beyond a shep- tude of swarthy deformed Dwarfs; all herd's hovel.”
employed in combining, analysing, and “ What,” returned I, “is not this melting, roasting, washing, and boiling then the famous Mine of Zellerfeld : the pure silver, with earths of various Where then is the other?”
descriptions. Furnaces, crucibles, mor“ Below the mortal earth,” replied tars, mills, and engines of all sorts, were Rudenfranck sarcastically,
being actively worked by these subtershould it be? Did not the Dwarfs fly ranean Alchemists; and flames of a there for safety, when the Black Forest thousand different colours were seen was invaded ? and do not they make rising from their fires. There were also the metals which these slaves toil after, many other Dwarfs, seemingly of a difto make slaves of ten thousand more ?" ferent species, who were dispatched
“ In the name of Heaven,” cried I from time to time either with loads of with fervour,“ who art thou, who art new-made ore, or else with a thick so familiar with this race of spiritual white veil shaped like a balloon, with beings?"
which they ascended, and soon after “ That matters not,” replied he, caused it to explode in the air. Some“ but come, make your election-de- times these inferior Dwarfs rose in a thin scend Raymond Mortlake, where no envelope of pale flame, which we also foot ever yet descended, or lose the heard to explode; and sometimes they only chance Heaven will afford you of would mount upward, bearing a piece gratifying your unbounded curiosity. of ignited ore, which would exhale There's not another miner in all Ger- Buch poisonous metallic fumes, that many can show you what I can."
they almost caused me to fall down in His decided manner, his addressing a state of suffocation. The whole of me by my name, the consciousness these processes were conducted in prowhich I had that he must be a spiritual found silence; nay, even the very acbeing, and the novelty of my situation, tion of the machines, the grinding, the