There was once a mother who had a little boy of seven years old, who was so handsome and lovable that no one could look at him without liking him, and she herself worshipped him above everything in the world.
One day, a little brother took his little sister by the hand and said, “Since our mother died, we have had no happiness; our stepmother beats us every day, and if we come near her, she kicks us away with her foot. Our meals are the hard crusts of bread that are left over; and the little dog under the table is better off, for she often throws it a nice bit. May Heaven pity us. If our mother only knew! Come, we will go forth together into the wide world.”
In a certain country there was once great lamentation over a wild boar that laid waste the farmer’s fields, killed the cattle, and ripped up people’s bodies with his tusks. The King promised a large reward to anyone who would free the land from this plague; but the beast was so big and strong that no one dared to go near the forest in which it lived.
There was once on a time a miller, who had a beautiful daughter, and as she was grown up, he wished that she was provided for, and well married. He thought, “If any good suitor comes and asks for her, I will give her to him.” Not long afterwards, a suitor came, who appeared to be very rich, and as the miller had no fault to find with him, he promised his daughter to him.
A poor man had twelve children and was forced to work night and day to give them even bread. When therefore the thirteenth came into the world, he knew not what to do in his trouble, but ran out into the great highway, and resolved to ask the first person whom he met to be godfather.
The little town of Caub is very old. Above it in olden days rose the Castle of Gutenfels. Here many years ago lived Philip, Count of Faulkenstein and his only sister, Guda. This brother and sister were orphans, and lived together there happily.
There once lived in the monastery at Heisterbach a kindly monk, of great learning and simple manners. He had studied for many years that he might settle some doubts that troubled him. He had observed that people grow tired of even the best of things. They desire to behold new scenes, to hear new music, and to taste new dishes.
Count Ludwig was the only son of the Prince Palatine. He lived with his father in the castle at Stahleck. The young count had heard many marvelous tales of the beautiful Lorelei and he determined to go in search of her.
On the high hill above the Rhine still stand the ruins of an old Castle. Here Kuno Von Sayne once lived. Kuno was a very proud young man for he was a member of a very noble family. He had fallen in love with the beautiful daughter of the surly old Lord of Faulkenstein. At last he succeeded in winning the love of the maiden, but of her father he had great fear.