Adventures Of John Dietrich





There once lived in Rambin, a town near the Baltic Sea, an honest,

industrious man named James Dietrich. He had several children, all of

a good disposition, especially the youngest, whose name was John. John

Dietrich was a handsome, smart boy, diligent at school, and obedient

at home. His great passion was for hearing stories, and whenever he

met any one who was well stored with such, he never let him go till he

had heard them all.



When John was about eight years old he was sent to spend a summer with

his uncle, a farmer in Rodenkirchen. Here he had to keep cows with

other boys, and they used to drive them to graze about the Nine-hills,

where an old cowherd, one Klas Starkwolt, frequently came to join the

lads, and then they would sit down all together and tell stories.

Consequently Klas became John's best friend, for he knew stories

without end. He could tell all about the Nine-hills, and the

underground folk who inhabited them; how the giants disappeared from

the country, and the dwarfs or little people came in their stead.

These tales John swallowed so eagerly that he thought of nothing else,

and was for ever talking of golden cups, and crowns, and glass shoes,

and pockets full of ducats, and gold rings, and diamond coronets, and

snow-white brides, and the like. Old Klas used often to shake his head

at him and say, John! John! what are you about? The spade and scythe

will be your sceptre and crown, and your bride will wear a garland of

rosemary and a gown of striped drill.



Still John almost longed to get into the Nine-hills, for Klas had told

him that any one who by luck or cunning should get the cap of one of

the little people might go down with safety, and instead of becoming

their slave, he would be their master. The fairy whose cap he got

would be his servant, and obey all his commands.



Midsummer-eve, when the days are longest and the nights shortest, was

now come. In the village of Rambin old and young kept the holiday, had

all sorts of plays, and told all kinds of stories. John, who knew that

this season was the time for all fairy-people to come abroad, could

now no longer contain himself, but the day after the festival he

slipped away to the Nine-hills, and when it grew dark laid himself

down on the top of the highest of them, which Klas had told him was

the principal dancing-ground of the underground people. John lay there

quite still from ten till twelve at night. At last it struck twelve.

Immediately there was a ringing and a singing in the hills, and then a

whispering and a lisping and a whiz and a buzz all about him, for the

little people were now come out, some whirling round and round in the

dance, and others sporting and tumbling about in the moonshine, and

playing a thousand merry pranks. He felt a secret dread creep over

him at this whispering and buzzing, for he could see nothing of them,

as the caps they wore made them invisible; but he lay quite still,

with his face in the grass and his eyes fast shut, snoring a little

just as if he was asleep. Yet now and then he ventured to open his

eyes a little and peep out, but not the slightest trace of them could

he see, though it was bright moonlight.



It was not long before three of the underground people came jumping up

to where he was lying; but they took no heed of him, and flung their

brown caps up into the air, and caught them from one another. At

length one snatched the cap out of the hand of another and flung it

away. It flew direct and fell upon John's head. He could feel, though

he could not see it; and the moment he did feel it, he caught hold of

it. Starting up, he swung it about for joy, and made the little silver

bell of it tingle, then set it upon his head, and--O wonderful to

relate!--that instant he saw the countless and merry swarm of the

little people.



The three little men came slily up to him, and thought by their

nimbleness to get back the cap, but he held his prize fast, and they

saw clearly that nothing was to be done in this way with him, for in

size and strength John was a giant in comparison of these little

fellows, who hardly reached his knee. The owner of the cap now came up

very humbly to the finder, and begged in as supplicating a tone as if

his life depended upon it, that he would give him back his cap. No,

said John, you sly little rogue, you'll get the cap no more. That's

not the sort of thing: I should be in a nice perplexity if I had not

something of yours; now you have no power over me, but must do what I

please. And I will go down with you, and see how you live below and

you shall be my servant.--Nay, no grumbling, you know you must. And I

know it too, just as well as you do, for Klas Starkwolt told it to me

often and often.



The little man made as if he had not heard or understood one word of

all this; he began all his crying and whining over again, and wept,

and screamed, and howled most piteously for his little cap. But John

cut the matter short by saying to him, Have done; you are my servant,

and I intend to take a trip with you. So the underground man gave up

the point; especially as he well knew there was no remedy.



John now flung away his old hat, and put on the cap, and set it firmly

on his head, lest it should slip off or fly away, for all his power

lay in it. He lost no time in trying its virtues, but commanded his

new servant to fetch him food and drink. The servant ran away like the

wind, and in a second was there again with bottles of wine, and bread,

and rich fruits. So John ate and drank, and looked on at the sports

and the dancing of the little people, and it pleased him right well,

and he behaved himself stoutly and wisely, as if he was a born master.



When the cock had now crowed for the third time, and the little larks

had made their first flutter in the sky, and the daybreak appeared in

slender white streaks in the east, then there went a whisper, hush,

hush, hush, through the bushes, and flowers, and trees; and the hills

rang again, and opened up, and the little men stole down and

disappeared. John gave close attention to every thing, and found that

it was exactly as he had been told. And behold! on the top of the hill

where they had just been dancing, and which was now full of grass and

flowers, as people see it by day, there rose, of a sudden, a small

glass door. Whosoever wanted to go in stepped upon this; it opened,

and he glided gently in, the glass closing again after him; and when

they had all entered it vanished, and there was no farther trace of it

to be seen. Those who descended through the glass door sank quite

gently into a wide silver tun or barrel, which held them all, and

could easily have harboured a thousand such little people. John and

his man went down also, along with several others, all of whom

screamed out and prayed him not to tread on them, for if his weight

came on them, they were dead men. He was, however, careful, and acted

in a very friendly way towards them. Several barrels of this kind went

up and down after each other, until all were in. They hung by long

silver chains, which were drawn and guided from below.



In his descent John was amazed at the wonderful brilliancy of the

walls between which the tun glided down. They seemed all studded with

pearls and diamonds, glittering and sparkling brightly, while below

him he heard the most beautiful music tinkling at a distance, so that

he did not know what he was about, and from excess of pleasure he fell

fast asleep.



He slept a long time, and when he awoke he found himself in the most

beautiful bed that could be, such as he had never seen in his father's

or any other house. It was also the prettiest little chamber in the

world, and his servant was beside him with a fan to keep away the

flies and gnats. He had hardly opened his eyes when his little servant

brought him a basin and towel, and held ready for him to put on the

nicest new clothes of brown silk, most beautifully made; with these

was a pair of new black shoes with red ribbons, such as John had never

beheld in Rambin or in Rodenkirchen either. There were also there

several pairs of glittering glass shoes, such as are only used on

great occasions. John was, we may well suppose, delighted to have such

clothes to wear, and he put them on joyfully. His servant then flew

like lightning and returned with a fine breakfast of wine and milk,

and delicate white bread and fruits, and such other things as little

boys are fond of. He now perceived, every moment, more and more, that

Klas Starkwolt, the old cowherd, knew what he was talking about, for

the splendour and magnificence here surpassed anything John had ever

dreamt of. His servant, too, was the most obedient one possible; a nod

or a sign was enough for him, for he was as wise as a bee, as all

these little people are by nature.



John's bedroom was all covered with emeralds and other precious

stones, and in the ceiling was a diamond as big as a nine-pin bowl,

that gave light to the whole chamber. In this place they have neither

sun, nor moon, nor stars to give them light; neither do they use lamps

or candles of any kind; but they live in the midst of precious stones,

and have the purest of gold and silver in abundance, from which they

manage to obtain light both by day and by night, though indeed,

properly speaking, as there is no sun here, there is no distinction of

day and night, and they reckon only by weeks. They set the brightest

and clearest precious stones in their dwellings, and the ways and

passages leading under the ground, and in the places where they have

their large halls, and their dances and feasts; and the sparkle of

these jewels makes a sort of silvery twilight which is far more

beautiful than common day.



When John had finished his breakfast, his servant opened a little door

in the wall, where was a closet with silver and gold cups and dishes

and other vessels, and baskets filled with ducats, and boxes of jewels

and precious stones. There were also charming pictures, and the most

delightful story-books he had seen in the whole course of his life.



John spent the morning looking at these things; and, when it was

mid-day, a bell rung, and his servant said, Will you dine alone, sir,

or with the large company?



With the large company, to be sure, replied John. So his servant led

him out. John, however, saw nothing but solitary halls, lighted up

with precious stones, and here and there little men and women, who

appeared to him to glide out of the clefts and fissures of the rocks.

Wondering what it was the bells rang for, he said to his servant--But

where is the company? And scarcely had he spoken when the hall they

were in opened out to a great extent, and a canopy set with diamonds

and precious stones was drawn over it. At the same moment he saw an

immense throng of nicely dressed little men and women pouring in

through several open doors: the floor opened in several places, and

tables, covered with the most beautiful ware, and the most luscious

meats, and fruits, and wines, arranged themselves in rows, and the

chairs arranged themselves along beside the tables, and then the men

and women took their seats.



The principal persons now came forward, bowed to John, and led him to

their table, where they placed him among their most beautiful maidens,

a distinction which pleased John well. The party too was very merry,

for the underground people are extremely lively and cheerful, and can

never stay long quiet. Then the most charming music sounded over their

heads; and beautiful birds, flying about, sung sweetly: these were not

real but artificial birds, which the little men make so ingeniously

that they can fly about and sing like natural ones.



The servants of both sexes, who waited at table, and handed about the

gold cups, and the silver and crystal baskets with fruit, were mortal

children, whom some misfortune had thrown among the underground

people, and who, having come down without securing any pledge, such as

John's cap, had fallen into their power. These were differently clad

from their masters. The boys and girls were dressed in snow-white

coats and jackets, and wore glass shoes, so thin that their steps

could never be heard, with blue caps on their heads, and silver belts

round their waists.



John at first pitied them, seeing how they were forced to run about

and wait on the little people; but as they looked cheerful and happy,

and were handsomely dressed, and had such rosy cheeks, he said to

himself--After all, they are not so badly off, and I was myself much

worse when I had to be running after the cows and bullocks. To be

sure, I am now a master here, and they are servants; but there is no

help for it: why were they so foolish as to let themselves be taken

and not get some pledge beforehand? At any rate, the time must come

when they shall be set at liberty, and they will certainly not be

longer than fifty years here. With these thoughts he consoled

himself, and sported and played away with his little playfellows, and

ate, and drank, and made his servant and the others tell him stories,

for he always liked to hear something strange, and to get to the

bottom of everything.



They sat at table about two hours: the principal person then rang a

little bell, and the tables and chairs all vanished in a whiff,

leaving the company standing on their feet. The birds now struck up a

most lively air, and the little people began to dance, jumping and

leaping and whirling round and round, as if the world were grown

dizzy. And the pretty little girls that sat next John caught hold of

him and whirled him about; and, without making any resistance, he

danced with them for two good hours. Every afternoon while he remained

there he used to do the same; and, to the last hour of his life, he

always spoke of it with the greatest glee.



When the music and dancing were over, it might be about four o'clock.

The little people then disappeared, and went each about their work or

their pleasure. After supper they sported and danced in the same way;

and at midnight, especially on starlight nights, they slipped out of

their hills to dance in the open air. John used then, like a good boy,

to say his prayers and go to sleep, a duty he never neglected either

in the evening or in the morning.



For the first week that John was in the glass-hill he only went from

his chamber to the great hall and back again. After then, however, he

began to walk about, making his servant show and explain everything to

him. He found that there were here most beautiful walks, in which he

might ramble along for miles, in all directions, without ever finding

an end of them, so immensely large was the hill that the little people

lived in, and yet outwardly it seemed but a little hill, with a few

bushes and trees growing on it.



He found also meadows and lanes, islands and lakes, where the birds

sang sweeter, and the flowers were more brilliant and fragrant than

anything he had ever seen on earth. There was a breeze, and yet one

did not feel the wind; it was quite clear and bright, but there was no

heat; the waves were dashing, still there was no danger; and the most

beautiful little barks and canoes came, like white swans, when one

wanted to cross the water, and went backwards and forwards of their

own accord. Whence all this came nobody knew, nor could his servant

tell anything about it.



These lovely meads and plains were, for the most part, all solitary.

Few of the underground people were to be seen upon them, and those

that were just glided across them, as if in the greatest hurry. It

very rarely happened that any of them danced out here in the open air;

sometimes about three of them did so; at the most half a dozen: John

never saw a greater number together. The meadows never seemed

cheerful, except when the earth-children, who were kept as servants,

were let out to walk. This, however, happened but twice a week, for

they were mostly kept employed in the great hall and adjoining

apartments, or at school.



For John soon found they had schools there also; he had been there

about ten months, when one day he saw something snow-white gliding

into a rock, and disappearing. What! said he to his servant, are

there some of you too that wear white, like the servants? He was

informed that there were; but they were few in number, and never

appeared at the large tables or the dances, except once a year, on the

birthday of the great Hill-king, who dwelt many thousand miles below

in the great deep. These were the oldest men among them, some being

many thousand years old; they knew all things, and could tell of the

beginning of the world, and were called the Wise. They lived all

alone, and only left their chambers to instruct the underground

children and the attendants of both sexes.



John was greatly interested by this news, and he determined to take

advantage of it: so next morning he made his servant conduct him to

the school, and was so well pleased with it that he never missed a

day. The scholars were taught reading, writing, and accounts, to

compose and relate histories and stories, and many elegant kinds of

work; so that many came out of the hills very prudent and learned. The

biggest, and those of best capacity, received instruction in natural

science and astronomy, and in poetry and riddle-making, arts highly

esteemed by the little people. John was very diligent, and soon became

a clever painter; he wrought, too, most ingeniously in gold, and

silver, and stones; and in verse and riddle-making he had no fellow.



John had spent many a happy year here without ever thinking of the

upper world, or of those he had left behind, so pleasantly passed the

time--so many an agreeable playfellow had he among the children.



Of all his playfellows there was none of whom he was so fond as of a

little fair-haired girl, named Elizabeth Krabbin. She was from his own

village, and was the daughter of Frederick Krabbe, the minister of

Rambin. She was but four years old when she was taken away, and John

had often heard tell of her. She was not, however, stolen by the

little people, but came into their power in this manner. One day in

summer, she, with other children, ran out into the fields: in their

rambles they went to the Nine-hills, where little Elizabeth fell

asleep, and was forgotten by the rest. At night, when she awoke, she

found herself under the ground among the little people. It was not

merely because she was from his own village that John was so fond of

Elizabeth, but she was a most beautiful child, with clear blue eyes

and ringlets of fair hair, and a most angelic smile.



Time flew away unperceived: John was now eighteen, and Elizabeth

sixteen. Their childish fondness was now become love, and the little

people were pleased to see it, thinking that by means of her they

might get John to renounce his power, and become their servant; for

they were fond of him, and would willingly have had him to wait upon

them; the love of dominion is their vice. But they were mistaken; John

had learned too much from his servant to be caught in that way.



John's chief delight was walking about alone with Elizabeth; for he

now knew every place so well that he could dispense with the

attendance of his servant. In these rambles he was always gay and

lively, but his companion was frequently sad and melancholy, thinking

of the land above, where men lived, and where the sun, moon, and stars

shine. Now it happened in one of their walks, that as they talked of

their love, and it was after midnight, they passed under the place

where the tops of the glass hills used to open and let the underground

people in and out. As they went along they heard of a sudden the

crowing of several cocks above. At this sound, which she had not heard

for twelve years, little Elizabeth felt her heart so affected that she

could contain herself no longer, but throwing her arms about John's

neck, she bathed his cheeks with her tears. At length she spake--



Dearest John, said she, everything down here is very beautiful, and

the little people are kind, and do nothing to injure me, but still I

have always been uneasy, nor ever felt any pleasure till I began to

love you; and yet that is not pure pleasure, for this is not a right

way of living, such as it should be for human beings. Every night I

dream of my dear father and mother, and of our church-yard, where the

people stand so piously at the church-door waiting for my father, and

I could weep tears of blood that I cannot go into the church with

them, and worship God as a human being should; for this is no

Christian life we lead down here, but a delusive half heathen one. And

only think, dear John, that we can never marry, as there is no priest

to join us. Do, then, plan some way for us to leave this place; for I

cannot tell you how I long to get once more to my father, and among

pious Christians.



John too had not been unaffected by the crowing of the cocks, and he

felt what he had never felt here before, a longing after the land

where the sun shines. He replied--



Dear Elizabeth, all you say is true, and I now feel that it is a sin

for Christians to stay here; and it seems to me as if our Lord said to

us in that cry of the cocks, 'Come up, ye Christian children, out of

those abodes of illusion and magic; come to the light of the stars,

and act as children of light.' I now feel that it was a great sin for

me to come down here, but I trust I shall be forgiven on account of my

youth; for I was a child and knew not what I did. But now I will not

stay a day longer. They cannot keep me here.



At these last words, Elizabeth turned pale, for she recollected that

she was a servant, and must serve her fifty years. And what will it

avail me, cried she, that I shall continue young and be but as

twenty years old when I go out, for my father and mother will be dead,

and all my companions old and gray; and you, dearest John, will be old

and gray also, cried she, throwing herself on his bosom.



John was thunderstruck at this, for it had never before occurred to

him; he, however, comforted her as well as he could, and declared he

would never leave the place without her. He spent the whole night in

forming various plans, at last he fixed on one, and in the morning he

dispatched his servant to summon to his apartment six of the principal

of the little people. When they came, John thus mildly addressed them:



My friends, you know how I came here, not as a prisoner or servant,

but as a lord and master over one of you, and consequently, over all.

You have now for the ten years I have been with you treated me with

respect and attention, and for that I am your debtor. But you are

still more my debtors, for I might have given you every sort of

annoyance and vexation, and you must have submitted to it. I have,

however, not done so, but have behaved as your equal, and have sported

and played with you rather than ruled over you. I now have one request

to make. There is a girl among your servants whom I love, Elizabeth

Krabbin, of Rambin, where I was born. Give her to me, and let us

depart. For I will return to where the sun shines and the plough goes

through the land. I ask to take nothing with me but her, and the

ornaments and furniture of my chamber.



He spoke in a determined tone, and they hesitated and cast their eyes

to the ground; at last the eldest of them replied:



Sir, you ask what we cannot grant. It is a fixed law, that no servant

should leave this place before the appointed time. Were we to break

through this law, our whole subterranean empire would fall. Anything

else you desire, for we love and respect you, but we cannot give up

Elizabeth.



You can and you shall give her up, cried John in a rage; go think

of it till to-morrow. Return here at this hour. I will show you

whether or no I can triumph over your hypocritical and cunning

stratagems.



The six retired. Next morning, on their return, John addressed them in

the kindest manner, but to no purpose; they persisted in their

refusal. He gave them till the following day, threatening them

severely in case of their still proving refractory.



Next day, when the six little people appeared before him, John looked

at them sternly, and made no reply to their salutations, but said to

them shortly, Yes or No? And they answered with one voice, No. He

then ordered his servant to summon twenty-four more of the principal

persons, with their wives and children. When they came, they were in

all five hundred men, women, and children. John ordered them forthwith

to go and fetch pickaxes, spades, and bars, which they did in a

second.



He now led them out to a rock in one of the fields, and ordered them

to fall to work at blasting, hewing, and dragging stones. They toiled

patiently, and made as if it was only sport to them. From morning till

night their taskmaster made them labour without ceasing, standing over

them constantly, to prevent their resting. Still their obstinacy was

inflexible; and at the end of some weeks his pity for them was so

great, that he was obliged to give over.



He now thought of a new species of punishment for them. He ordered

them to appear before him next morning, each provided with a new whip.

They obeyed, and John commanded them to strip and lash one another

till the blood should run down on the ground, while he stood looking

on as grim and cruel as an Eastern tyrant. Still the little people cut

and slashed themselves, and mocked at John, and refused to comply with

his wishes. This he did for three or four days.



Several other courses did he try, but all in vain; his temper was too

gentle to struggle with their obstinacy, and he began now to despair

of ever accomplishing his dearest wish. He began to hate the little

people whom he was before so fond of; he kept away from their banquets

and dances, associated only with Elizabeth, and ate and drank quite

solitary in his chamber. In short, he became almost a perfect hermit,

and sank into moodiness and melancholy.



While in this temper, as he was taking a solitary walk in the evening,

and, to divert his melancholy, was flinging the stones that lay in his

path against each other, he happened to break a tolerably large one,

and out of it jumped a toad. The moment John saw the ugly animal, he

caught him up in ecstasy, and put him into his pocket and ran home,

crying, Now I have her! I have my Elizabeth! Now you shall catch it,

you little mischievous rascals! And on getting home he put the toad

into a costly silver casket, as if it was the greatest treasure.



To account for John's joy you must know Klas Starkwolt had often told

him that the underground people could not endure any ill odour, and

that the sight or even the smell of a toad made them faint and suffer

the most dreadful tortures, so that, by means of these animals, one

could compel them to anything. Hence there are no bad smells to be

found in the whole glass empire, and a toad is a thing unheard of

there; this toad must therefore have been inclosed in the stone from

the Creation, as it were for the sake of John and Elizabeth.



Resolved to try the effect of his toad, John took the casket under his

arm and went out, and on the way he met two of the little people in a

lonesome place. The moment he approached them they fell to the ground,

and whimpered and howled most lamentably, as long as he was near them.



Satisfied now of his power, he next morning summoned the fifty

principal persons, with their wives and children, to his apartment.

When they came, he addressed them, reminding them once again of his

kindness and gentleness towards them, and of the good terms on which

they had hitherto lived together. He reproached them with their

ingratitude in refusing him the only favour he had ever asked of them,

but firmly declared he would not give way to their obstinacy.

Wherefore, said he, for the last time, I warn you;--think for a

minute, and if you then say No, you shall feel that pain which is to

you and your children the most terrible of all sufferings.



They did not take long to deliberate, but unanimously replied No;

for they thought to themselves, What new scheme has the youth hit on,

with which he thinks to frighten wise ones like us? and they smiled

when they said No. Their smiling enraged John above all, and he ran

back to where he had laid the casket with the toad, under a bush.



He was hardly come within a hundred paces of them when they all fell

to the ground as if struck with a thunderbolt, and began to howl and

whimper, and to writhe, as if suffering the most excruciating pain.

They stretched out their hands, and cried, Have mercy! have mercy! we

feel you have a toad, and there is no escape for us. Take the odious

beast away, and we will do all you require. He let them kick a few

seconds longer, and then took the toad away. They then stood up and

felt no more pain. John let all depart but the six chief persons, to

whom he said,--



This night, between twelve and one, Elizabeth and I will depart. Load

then for me three waggons, with gold, and silver, and precious stones.

I might, you know, take all that is in the hill, and you deserve it,

but I will be merciful. Farther, you must put all the furniture of my

chamber in two waggons, and get ready for me the handsomest

travelling-carriage that is in the hill with six black horses.

Moreover, you must set at liberty all the servants who have been so

long here that on earth they would be twenty years old and upwards,

and you must give them as much silver and gold as will make them rich

for life, and make a law that no one shall be detained here longer

than his twentieth year.



The six took the oath, and went away quite melancholy, and John buried

his toad deep in the ground. The little people laboured hard according

to his bidding. At midnight everything was out of the hill, and John

and Elizabeth got into the silver tun and were drawn up.



It was then one o'clock, and midsummer-eve, the very time that twelve

years before John had gone down into the hill. Music sounded around

them, and they saw the glass hill open, and the rays of the light of

heaven shine on them for the first time after so many years; and when

they got out they saw the streaks of dawn already in the east. Crowds

of the underground people were around them busied about the waggons.

John bade them a last farewell, waved his brown cap three times in the

air, and then flung it among them. And at the same moment he ceased to

see them; he beheld nothing but a green hill, and the well-known

bushes and fields, and heard the church-clock of Rambin strike two.

When all was still, save a few larks who were tuning their morning

songs, they both fell on their knees and worshipped God, resolving

henceforth to lead a pious and a Christian life.



When the sun rose, John and his Elizabeth, with the children whom they

had saved from the underground people, set out for Rambin. Every

well-known object that they saw awakened pleasing recollections; and

as they passed by Rodenkirchen, John recognised, among the people

that gazed at and followed them, his old friend Klas Starkwolt, the

cowherd, and his dog Speed. It was four in the morning when they

entered Rambin, and they halted in the middle of the village, about

twenty paces from the house where John was born. The whole village

poured out to gaze on these Asiatic princes; for such the old sexton,

who had in his youth been at Moscow and Constantinople, said they

were. There John saw his father and mother, and his brother Andrew,

and his sister Trine. The old minister, Krabbe, stood there too, in

his black slippers and white nightcap, gaping and staring with the

rest.



John discovered himself to his parents, and Elizabeth to hers, and the

wedding-day was soon fixed, and such a wedding was never seen before

or since in the island of Rugen; for John sent to Stralsund and

Greifswald for whole boat-loads of wine, and sugar, and coffee, and

whole herds of oxen, sheep, and pigs. The quantity of harts and roes

and hares that were shot on the occasion it were vain to attempt to

tell, or to count the fish that were caught. There was not a musician

in Rugen and Pomerania that was not engaged, for John was immensely

rich, and he wished to display his wealth.



John did not neglect his old friend Klas Starkwolt, the cowherd. He

gave him enough to make him comfortable for the rest of his days, and

insisted on his coming and staying with him as often and as long as he

wished.



After his marriage, John made a progress through the country with his

beautiful Elizabeth and they purchased towns, and villages, and

lands, until he became master of nearly half Rugen and a very

considerable portion of the country. His father, old James Dietrich,

was made a nobleman, and his brothers and sisters gentlemen and

ladies--for what cannot money do?



John and his wife spent their days in acts of piety and charity. They

built several churches, they had the blessings of every one that knew

them, and died universally lamented. It was Count John Dietrich who

built and richly endowed the present church of Rambin. He built it on

the site of his father's house, and presented to it several of the

cups and plates made by the underground people, and his own and

Elizabeth's glass shoes, in memory of what had befallen them in their

youth. But they were all taken away in the time of the great Charles

the Twelfth of Sweden, when the Russians came on the island, and the

Cossacks plundered even the churches, and took away everything.





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