The Woodcutter of Gutech

By William Henry Giles Kingston

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Woodcutter of Gutech, by W.H.G. Kingston

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: The Woodcutter of Gutech

Author: W.H.G. Kingston

Release Date: May 15, 2007 [EBook #21486]

Language: English


Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

The Woodcutter of Gutech, by W.H.G. Kingston.


A very short book, and a fairly early one of the author's.  The subject
matter is the early days of the Reformation, and the time at which the
Roman Church was trying to prevent ordinary people from reading the
Bible in general, and the Gospels in particular.  The Woodcutter with
his son and his donkey are working in the forest, one evening, when a
man asks them for directions to get out of the forest.  They offer him a
bed for the night, so he comes to their home, where he produces his
wares, which consist of Bibles, and he explains them to the enthralled

Although it is short this book makes a nice little audiobook.




A traveller was making his way through the Black Forest in Germany.  A
pack was on his back, of a size which required a stout man to carry it,
and a thick staff was in his hand.  He had got out of his path by
attempting to make a short cut, and in so doing had lost his way, and
had been since wandering he knew not where.  Yet he was stout of heart,
as of limb, and a night spent in the depths of the forest would have
concerned him but little had he not set a value upon time.  "I have lost
so much in my days of ignorance and folly," he kept saying, "that I must
make up by vigilance what has been thus misspent.  I wish that I had
known better.  However, I am now ready to spend all, and be spent in the
work of the Good Master I serve."

The ground was uneven, his load heavy, and the weather warm.  Still he
trudged bravely on, consoling himself by giving forth, in rich full
tones, a hymn of Hans Sachs of Nuremburg, the favourite poet of
Protestant Germany in those days.

Thus he went on climbing up the steep side of the hill, out of which
dark rocks and tall trees protruded in great confusion.  At last he got
into what looked like a path.  "All right now," he said to himself;
"this must lead somewhere, and I have still an hour of daylight to find
my way out of the forest.  When I get to the top of this hill I shall
probably be better able to judge what direction to take."  He trudged on
as before, now and then stopping to take breath, and then once more
going on bravely.  At length the sound of a woodman's axe caught his

"All right," said he.  "I should not have allowed my heart to doubt
about the matter.  The Good One who has protected me hitherto will still
continue to be my Guide and Friend."

He stopped to listen from which direction the sounds came.  The loud
crash of a falling tree enabled him better to judge, and by the light of
the sinking sun, which found its way through the branches of the tall
trees, he made directly towards the spot.  He soon caught sight of an
old man, stripped to his shirt and trousers, who with his gleaming axe
was hewing the branches of the tree he had just felled.  Not far off
stood a young boy with a couple of donkeys, which he was beginning to
load with fagots, near a pile of which they stood.

"Friend woodman," said the traveller, as he got up to him, and the old
man stood for a moment leaning on his axe, with an inquiring glance in
his eye.  "Friend woodman, I have lost my way; can you help me to find

"Not to-night, friend traveller," answered the woodman.  "If I was to
attempt to put you on your way, you would lose it again in five minutes.
This is no easy country for a man ignorant of it to pass through
without a guide, and neither I nor little Karl there have time just now
to accompany you.  But you look like an honest man, and if you will come
with me to my cottage, I will help you as far as I can to-morrow

"Thank you," said the traveller.  "I accept your offer."

"Well then, I have just made my last stroke," said the old man, lifting
up his axe.  "We will load our asses and be off.  We have some way to
go, as I live farther up the valley of Gutech, and even I prefer
daylight to darkness for travelling these wild paths.  If you had not
found me I cannot say when you would have got out of the forest."

Without further waste of words, the old man and young Karl set to work
to load the asses, strapping on the huge fagots with thongs of leather,
while the patient animals, putting out their fore-legs, quietly endured
all the tugs and pulls to which they were subjected.

"That pack of yours seems heavy, friend traveller," said the old man,
glancing at his companion; "let me carry it for you."

"No, no!  Thanks to you," answered the traveller.  "I am strong and
hearty.  I would not put that on your shoulders which I feel burdensome
to my own."

"Then let us put it on the back of one of the asses," said the
woodcutter; "it will make but little difference to our long-eared

"A merciful man is merciful to his beast," said the traveller.  "The
poor brutes seem already somewhat overloaded, and I should be unwilling
to add to their pain for the sake of relieving myself."

"Then let Karl, there, carry it; he is sturdy, and can bear it some
little way, at all events," said the old man.

"I would not place on young shoulders what I find tire a well-knit
pair," said the traveller, glancing at young Karl.  "But perhaps he may
like to get some of the contents of my pack inside his head," he added.

"Down his mouth, I suppose you mean," said the old man, laughing.  "Is
it food or liquor you carry in your pack?"

"No, indeed, friend," answered the traveller.  "Yet it is food, of a
sort food for the mind, and better still, food for the soul.  Is your
soul ever hungry, friend?"

"I know not what you mean," answered the old man.  "I have a soul, I
know, for the priest tells me so; and so have my relatives who have gone
before me, as I know to my cost; for they make me pay pretty roundly to
get their souls out of purgatory.  I hope Karl there will in his turn
pay for mine when I die."

"Ah, friend, yes, I see how it is," said the traveller.  "Your soul
wants a different sort of nourishment from what it ever has had.  I have
great hopes that the contents of my pack will afford it that

The traveller was walking on all this time with the old man and Karl,
behind the asses.  Karl kept looking up in the former's face with an
inquiring glance, the expression of his countenance varying as the
traveller continued his remarks.

"I will not keep you in suspense any longer," said the traveller.  "My
pack contains copies of that most precious book which has lately been
translated into our mother tongue by Dr Martin Luther, and from which
alone we have any authority for the Christian faith we profess.  I have
besides several works by the same learned author, as also works by other

"I wish that I could read them," said the old man, with a sigh; "but if
I had the power I have not the time, and my eyes are somewhat dim by
lamplight.  Karl there was taught to read last winter by a young man who
was stopping at my cottage, and whom I took in, having found him with a
broken leg in the forest."

"Oh, grandfather, why he taught you also to read almost as well as I
do!" said Karl.  "All you have been wishing for has been a book in big
print, and perhaps if the merchant has one he will sell it to you."

"We will examine the contents of my pack when we get to your cottage, my
friend, and I daresay something will be found to suit you," observed the
traveller.  "If you have made a beginning, you will soon be able to read
these books, and I am sure when once you have begun you will be eager to
go on."


The gloom of evening was settling down over the wild scene of mountain,
forest, rock, and stream, when the traveller reached the woodman's hut.
"You are welcome, friend, under the roof of Nicholas Moretz," said the
old man, as he ushered his guest into his cottage.

Karl mean time unloading the asses, placed the fagots on a pile raised
on one side of the hut.

"Here you can rest for the night, and to-morrow morning, when we proceed
into the town to dispose of our fagots, you can accompany us without
risk of losing your way," the woodcutter observed, pushing open the

As he did so, a young girl ran out to meet him, and throwing her arms
round his neck, received a kiss on her fair brow.  She drew back with a
bashful look when she saw the stranger.

"Sweet one, you must get another bowl and platter for our guest," said
the old man.  "As he has travelled far with a heavy load on his back, he
will do justice to your cookery, Mistress Meta.  She and the boy, my
grandson," he added, turning to the traveller, "are my joy and comfort
in life, now that my poor daughter has been taken from me."

The traveller unstrapped his heavy pack from his shoulders, and placed
it on a bench by the side of the wall; after which Meta brought him a
bowl of fresh water and a towel, that he might wash his hands and face,
which they not a little required.  While he was performing this
operation she placed the supper which she had prepared upon the table,
which, if somewhat coarse, was abundant.

By this time Karl came in, and the whole party took their seats on
stools round the table.  "Let us bless God for the good things He
bestows on us, and above all for the spiritual blessings He has so
mercifully prepared for us," said the traveller.

"I suppose you are a priest," said Moretz, when the stranger had
concluded.  "I thank you for the prayer you have offered up for us."

"No, my friend, I am no priest," answered the traveller.  "My name is
Gottlieb Spena.  I am a humble man with a small amount of learning; but
I am able to read God's blessed word, and that is my delight every day I
live.  My wish is to serve Him, and I feel sure I can best do so by
carrying this pack of books about the country, and disposing of them to
those who desire to buy."

"This is a new thing, surely," observed Moretz.  "I should like after
supper to see some of these wonderful books you speak of, and to hear
you read from the one you call `God's word;' and if I find the price is
not too great, perhaps I may purchase one for Meta and Karl."

The young girl's eyes sparkled as her grandfather spoke.  "Oh, I should
like to have that book!" she exclaimed.  "I have heard of it, though I
knew not that it was to be sold, or that people were allowed to read it.
I thought it was only for the priests to read."

"Blessed be God, for us unlearned ones who cannot understand the
language in which it is written, it has been translated into our native
tongue; and God has sent it as His message of love to all human beings,
young and old, rich and poor.  It is so easy, that he who runs may read.
The youngest child may understand the message it gives, while it is
equally suited to the wisest philosopher, and to the most powerful king
on his throne."

The young people hurried through their suppers while their guest was
speaking, so eager were they to see the package opened.  In those days
thousands and tens of thousands of people in so-called Christian lands
had never seen a Bible, though the translation made by Dr Martin Luther
was being spread in every direction throughout the length and breadth of
Germany by men like Gottlieb Spena, who carried packs filled with the
sacred volume on their shoulders.  They did the same afterwards in
France, where the name of colporteurs [see Note] was in consequence
given to them.

Meta waited anxiously till her grandfather and their guest had finished
their suppers, and then as rapidly as possible cleared away the bowls
and platters which they had used.  The book-hawker with a smile observed
her anxiety, and placing his pack on the table, opened it, and exhibited
to the admiring eyes of the spectators a number of volumes.  "This," he
said, taking out one, "is the Old Testament, or God's first message to
man; and this is the New Testament, His last message, in which He shows
Himself to us as a God of love, mercy, and pity, though by no means less
a God of justice than He does in the Old Testament.  But here He shows
us clearly how His justice can be amply satisfied, without the sinner
being punished as he deserves; how our sins may be blotted out by the
One great Sacrifice offered up.  Do you understand me, my friends?  The
sacrifice has been offered up, the debt has been paid, the obedience has
been fulfilled by Jesus Christ, who came on earth and took upon Himself
the body and nature of man, sin excepted.  He was obedient in all
things--first by God's wish coming on earth, and then dutiful and loving
to His parents, merciful and forgiving to those who persecuted Him, ever
going about and healing their infirmities, and teaching them the way of
salvation.  The good Saviour allowed Himself to be hung upon the cross;
His hands and feet and sides were pierced; His blood was poured out for
us,--ay, for us,--for you and me,--for the vilest of sinners.  All this
was done by the Just One for the unjust.  God tells us to believe in
Jesus, and that through believing we are saved,--in other words, that we
should take hold of it by faith, and thus accomplish what that loving
God, through the Holy Spirit, said: `The just shall live by faith.'"

The young people drew in their breath, and gazed steadfastly at the
speaker.  To hear of sin and the cross was not new to them, for they had
been at churches sometimes at holy days; but it was all a mummery and
spectacle, with which the priests alone seemed to have to do.  The
truths now uttered were assuredly gaining some entrance into their

"I do not understand quite what you say, friend Spena," said the old
man; "but surely God does not intend to give us the blessings of heaven
without our doing anything to merit it?  He intends us to labour, and
toil, and pay the priests, and perform penances, and go to mass, and
make confession of our sins to the priests, before He could think of
letting us into that blessed place."

"I once thought as you do," answered the book-hawker.  "When I read
God's word, I learned to think very differently."

As he spoke he opened the Testament.  "Listen.  The Holy Spirit says
through the book, `God so loved the world, that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but
have everlasting life.'  Here He says nothing about penances, or doing
anything of that sort.  Listen again: A ruler of the Jews, a learned
man, paid a visit once to Jesus, to ask Him about the way of salvation,
and His answer was, `Ye must be born again.'  He does not say you must
do anything, or you must try to mend your ways, or you must alter your
mode of living, you must go to confession, or pay for masses, or
anything of that sort.  The ruler could not at first at all understand
the answer.  Our blessed Lord then explained it in these words: `As
Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of
man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but
have eternal life.'  Now in the Old Testament we read of a circumstance
which happened when the Israelites were travelling through the desert,
on their way out of the bondage of Egypt to the land of promise.  They
were there bitten by fiery serpents, whose bite caused certain death.
They felt themselves dying, and cried to be saved.  God told Moses to
make a brazen serpent, and to raise it up in the midst of the camp, and
directed him to inform the people that all those bitten by the serpent
who looked up at the serpent should be saved.  Every one of them,
without exception, who did thus look, was cured.  You see, my friend, by
putting the two accounts together, we see clearly what our Lord means,--
not that we are to do anything in a way of obtaining merit, but simply
look to Him who hung on the cross, was thus lifted up for us, and is now
seated on the right hand of God, pleading as the only Mediator all He
did for us.  A king, when he bestows gifts, gives them through his
grace.  It is an insult to offer to purchase them.  Far more does God
bestow His chief gifts as an act of grace.  I do not say that He does
not expect something in return; but He gives salvation freely, and will
allow of nothing to be done beforehand, but simply that the gift should
be desired, and its value appreciated, or partly appreciated; for we
never can value it as it deserves."

The woodcutter and his grandchildren listened earnestly to these and
many other simple truths, as their guest went on reading and explaining
portion after portion.  Nor did he omit to pray that God, through the
Holy Spirit, would enlighten the minds of his hearers, and enable them
to comprehend what he was reading and what he was saying.  Hour after
hour thus passed by.  Several times did Meta rise and trim the lamp.

"Must you hasten on your journey? or can you not rest here another day,
and tell us more of those glorious things?" said the old man, placing
his hand on Spena's shoulder, and gazing earnestly into his face.

"Yes, I will stay, friend," answered the book-hawker, "if by so doing I
can place more clearly before you the way of salvation."

At length the inmates of the cottage and their guest lay down to rest on
their rough couches, and angels looked down from heaven, rejoicing at
what they there saw and heard.


Note: Colporteurs, literally "neck-carriers;" because their packs were
strung round their necks, or, rather, the strap went round their chests.


Gottlieb Spena was much the better for his day's rest, and the following
morning set out with old Moretz and his grandson on their weekly
journey, when they went into the neighbouring town to dispose of their

"And how came you to undertake this good work, friend?" asked the old
man, as they journeyed.

"In a few words I can answer you," said the book-hawker.  "I was once a
monk, a lazy drone.  Our convent was rich, and we had nothing to do
except to appear for so many hours every day in church, and repeat or
chant words, of the sense of which we did not for a moment trouble
ourselves.  Copies of the blessed gospel, however, were brought among
us, and certain works by Dr Martin Luther, and friends of his, which
stirred us up to read that gospel, and to see whether we held the faith
it teaches, or were leading the lives it requires.  First one and then
another, and finally almost all of us came to the conclusion that we
were not in any way living according to God's law, and that the whole
system we supported was evil and wrong; and we all agreed to go forth
into the world, and to become useful members of society.  Some, who had
the gift of speaking, after a time became preachers of the gospel.  As I
had not that gift, and had but a small amount of learning, I resolved,
by the advice of Dr Martin Luther, to put a pack upon my shoulders, and
to go forth and to distribute the written word through the land, and to
speak a word in season, as God might give me opportunity.  If the Pope
or Tetzel can catch me I have no doubt that they will burn me as they
burned John Huss.  But I have counted the cost, and I am prepared for
that or anything else that can befall me.  I have placed myself in God's
hands, and fear not what man can do to me."

"You are a brave man," said old Moretz, grasping the book-hawker's hand;
"and whatever you may say of yourself, I should say that you are a true
preacher of God's word, and I pray that there may be many others like
you going forth throughout our country."

"Amen," said Spena, as the old man and he, warmly shaking each other's
hand, parted.

"I hope there may be very many better men than I am;" and he went on his
way, selling his books and speaking a word in season; and thus a humble
instrument, as he thought himself, bringing many souls to the knowledge
of the truth, and to accept the free offers of eternal life through a
simple, loving faith in Christ Jesus.

We must here observe that before leaving the woodcutter's hospitable
hut, Gottlieb Spena delivered the precious book into the custody of
Meta, bidding her an affectionate farewell, with the prayer that it
might prove a blessing to her soul and to those dear to her.  Meta never
failed to pass every moment she could steal from her daily avocations in
perusing the New Testament.  When her grandfather and brother returned
home from their work, she had always some fresh account to give them of
which she had read; and from henceforth the old man and Karl passed a
part of every evening in reading it, while the great part of that day
which God has given to toiling man as a day of rest was passed in
gaining knowledge from its precious pages.

Old Moretz had now got what he never before possessed.  He understood
the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, whom he loved and desired to
serve.  The more he saw of the love of God the more he felt his own
sinfulness and unworthiness, and felt the need of a better righteousness
than any good works of his own.  The Holy Spirit was teaching him this
and other truths from the Scriptures.  Meta and Karl also were daily
growing in knowledge and grace.  They had before been contented and
cheerful, but it was the mere happiness of health and freedom from
sorrow.  Now they possessed a joy which nothing could take away from
them.  They relied with simplicity and confidence on God's word.  They
knew that which He said He would do.  "If grandfather is taken from us,
or you are taken, Karl, I know we shall be parted but for a short time.
We shall meet again and be happy, oh, so happy!" exclaimed Meta, as Karl
came in one day when his work was over, and found her ever and anon
glancing at her Bible, which lay open on the table, while she was
engaged in some business about the cottage.

Moretz soon found that those who hold to the truth are often called upon
to suffer for the truth.  So it has been from the beginning.  God
requires faith, but He desires us to prove our faith.  Other men, like
Spena, were traversing the country, not only like him distributing
books, but openly preaching the principles of the Reformation.  They did
so in many places, at great hazard to themselves.  The papists, where
they could, opposed and persecuted them, as the Apostle Paul before his
conversion did the Christians he could get hold of, haling them to
prison, to torture, and to death.

Moretz often went into the town of Hornberg to sell his fagots.  Even he
was not without his enemies.  As he and Karl were one day driving their
asses laden with wood into the town, they encountered a long string of
pack-horses which had brought in their cargoes and were now returning.
Behind them rode a big, burly man, dressed as a farmer, on a stout,
strong horse.  He scowled on Moretz, who was about to pass him, and
roughly told him to move his asses and himself out of the way.  He had
an old grudge against Moretz, who had resisted an unjust attempt to
seize some land to which the rich man had no right.

"With pleasure, Master Johann Herder.  I would not wish to occupy your
place, as I doubt not you would not wish to fill mine."

"What does he mean?" exclaimed Herder; but Moretz had already done as he
was bid, and got quickly out of the way.  Herder went on some little
distance, muttering to himself, and then stopped and looked in the
direction Moretz had taken.  Ordering his servants to proceed with the
animals, he wheeled round his horse and slowly followed the woodcutter.

Moretz quickly disposed of his fagots among his usual customers, and was
about to return home when he saw a large crowd in the square assembled
round a man who was addressing them from a roughly-raised platform.
Moretz could not resist the temptation of joining the crowd, for a few
words which reached his ears interested him greatly.  He got as close up
to the speaker as he could with his asses, on the backs of which he and
Karl were mounted.  The preacher wore a monk's dress, but instead of a
crucifix he held a book in his hand, which Moretz and Karl guessed
rightly was the Bible.  He argued that it being God's revelation to man,
it was sufficient for all that man requires to show him the way by which
he might get out of his fallen state and obtain eternal happiness.  "Are
we then," he asked, "to be guided by this book, or to be directed by men
who say things directly opposed to this book?  The priests have taught
you that there is a purgatory.  It was a notion held by the heathen
nations, but God's ancient people, the Jews, knew nothing of it, and
this book says not a word about it.  A man has been going about the
country, sent by the Pope, selling bits of paper, which he tells the
people will get the souls of their friends and their own souls out of
this purgatory.  He makes them pay a somewhat high price for these
pieces of paper, and if we look at them at their real value, a
prodigiously high price.  Now the Bible says, `The soul that sinneth it
shall surely die.'  `Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be
saved.'  It nowhere says if we are ever so great sinners, and die in our
sins, our friends may buy the means by which we can escape the
consequence of sin.  It does, however, say that however great a sinner
you are, if you turn to Jesus Christ, and trust to Him, you will be
saved; and it gives us the account of the thief on the cross, who, even
at the last moment, trusting to Jesus, was saved."

Thus the preacher continued arguing from the Bible, showing from it
numberless falsehoods put forth by the Church of Rome.  Then he put very
clearly and forcibly the simple gospel before the people,--man's fallen
state; the love of Christ which induced Him to come on earth to draw man
out of that fallen state, if he would accept the means freely offered to
him.  Still, unhappily, man continued to "love darkness rather than
light, because his deeds are evil;" and thus do the cardinals and
bishops and priests, who are the ruling powers of the Church of Rome,
endeavour to keep the minds of people in ignorance, that they may draw
money from the pockets of their dupes, and continue to live on in
indolence and vice.


While he was speaking a large body of people, led on by a man on
horseback, and accompanied by several priests, were seen advancing at
the farther end of the square.  Many of the people fled, but the
preacher boldly kept his ground, as did Moretz and Karl, who, indeed,
scarcely heeded the movement of the people surrounding him.  In another
minute Moretz found himself dragged from his pack-saddle by a couple of
men, and looking up, he saw Johann Herder frowning down upon him.  He
struggled to free himself, for his muscles were well-knit, and he had
lost but little of his vigour.  He succeeded in getting near enough to
Karl to whisper, "Fly away home and look after Meta.  God will take care
of me.  Do not be afraid.  Keep up your spirits, Karl.  Off!--off!
quick! quick!"

He had scarcely uttered these words before he was again seized by two
additional men, who set on him, and he saw that to struggle further was

"Bring him along," said Herder, "with the other prisoners.  The
magistrates will quickly adjudge the case.  I knew that I should some
day have my revenge," he whispered into the old man's ear, "and I intend
to make you feel it bitterly."

Moretz was thankful to see that Karl had made his escape, and without
opposition followed his captors to the hall where the magistrates were
sitting.  They had resolved to prevent any public preaching in their

While the magistrates' officers were making prisoners, several men
rallied round the preacher, and before he could be seized, got him down
from the platform in their midst, and then retired down the street, no
one venturing to attack them.

Moretz, with six or seven more prisoners, was placed before the
magistrates, several priests being present, eager to obtain their
condemnation.  Moretz was asked how he dared stop and listen to an
heretical preacher, and whether he thought the preacher was speaking the
truth, or falsehood?

"Had I thought he had been speaking falsehood, I would not have stopped
to listen to him," answered the old man, boldly.  "He spoke things, too,
which I know are to be found in the word of God, and I am sure that all
in that book is true."

"Evidently a fearful heretic!" exclaimed the magistrates.  "We must make
an example of him, and put a stop to this sort of thing.  In the
meantime, to prison with him!"

"Stay," said one.  "Though guilty of listening, perchance he will
recant, and acknowledge himself in error."

"Indeed I will not," answered the old man.  "I believe God rather than
man, and will not deny the truths He has taught me."

"Off with him!--off with him!  You see there is no use discussing
matters with a heretic," exclaimed some of the other magistrates.

The other prisoners were now tried.  Two or three only of them, were,
however, committed to prison, the others acknowledging themselves in
error.  Of these, however, several as they went away muttered words
complimentary neither to their judges nor to the Pope and his cardinals.

Moretz, with several other prisoners, was marched off under a strong
guard to the prison.  It was a dark, old, gloomy building, which had
been a castle, but having been partly dismantled, had been fitted up
again for its present purpose.  It contained several long passages, both
above ground and under ground, leading to arched cells with strong oak
doors plated with iron.

Into one of these dungeons Moretz was now thrust.  There he was left in
solitude.  There was but little light, but he discovered a heap of straw
in one corner, on which he sat himself down.  "Well," he thought, "other
people have been shut up in prison cells worse than this, and Christians
too."  And then he thought of Paul and Silas in the prison at Philippi,
and how they had spent their time in praying and singing praises to God.
"That is just what I ought to do," he said to himself; but he did not
pray so much for himself as for his dear little Meta and Karl, that God
would take care of them, and deliver him in His own good time, if it was
His will to do so.  Then he began to sing, for Spena had left a book of
hymns, the words of several of which he had already learned by heart.
"The feet of Paul and Silas were in the stocks," he said to himself,
"then surely I am better off than they were; I ought to praise God for
that;" and so he sang on right cheerfully.  However, not being
accustomed to sit long, he soon got up and walked about his cell.  He
could make but few paces without turning.  A gleam of light came through
an aperture in the upper part of the wall.  "I am not much below ground,
at all events," he observed; and it set him thinking, always lifting up
his heart in prayer to God.


Meanwhile Karl had returned home with the donkeys.  Poor Meta was
greatly grieved and alarmed when she heard the sad news.  "Those cruel
men will be killing dear grandfather, as they killed John Huss," she
said, looking with tearful eyes at Karl.  "We can pray for him, however,
that is one comfort."

They did not fail to do as Meta said; not only night and morning, but
several times during the day; before Karl set off on his expedition into
the forest to cut wood, and when he returned, or when he went into the
town to sell his fagots.  "When grandfather told me to run away, he
intended that I should work hard to support you, Meta, and so I will."

Meta was accustomed to be alone.  She was a happy-hearted girl, and used
to sing and amuse herself very well, when she knew that her grandfather
and brother would soon return to her.  The case was very different now.
Her great comfort was reading the Bible.  She had more time to do that
than formerly.  Without it she felt sure she would have broken down
altogether.  Still, occasionally, she felt her spirits sink so low that
she could not help wishing to accompany Karl into the forest.  "I can
take the book and read to him when he stops to rest or to eat his
dinner; and I can talk to him and cheer him up, for he must feel quite
as sad as I do, I know."

Karl gladly agreed to her proposal, so the next day, shutting up the
cottage, they set out together.  The way was rough, but Meta was well
accustomed to tread it, and without encountering any danger they reached
the part of the forest in which Karl usually laboured.  Meta carried out
her plan just as she had proposed, and Karl, though he rested longer
than had been his wont, got through more work than usual.  For several
days she did the same, very much to her own and Karl's satisfaction.  On
one occasion she was seated on a piece of timber, with her book on her
knees, reading, while Karl sat on the ground at her feet, eating his
frugal meal, but slowly though, for every now and then he looked up to
ask her the meaning of certain passages, or to make some remark.

They were thus employed, entirely absorbed in the subject.  Some slight
noises reached their ears, but if their attention was drawn to them they
thought they were caused by the asses which were browsing near brushing
among the bushes.  Meta read on.  At length she stopped, when, looking
up, she saw standing near her, and gazing with a look of astonishment, a
gentleman in a rich hunting suit, a short sword by his side, a horn hung
round his neck, and a jewelled dagger in his belt.  His white beard and
moustache, and his furrowed cheeks, showed that he was already advanced
in life, though he looked active and strong.  A pleasant smile passed
over his countenance, as Meta, littering an exclamation of astonishment,
gazed up at him.  Karl started to his feet, and instinctively put
himself in an attitude of defence.

"Do not be alarmed, my young friends," said the gentleman.  "I wish to
serve you rather than to do you any harm.  What is that book you are
reading from, little maiden?"

"The Bible, sir, God's word," answered Meta, without hesitation.

"A very blessed book, and a very blessed message it contains," observed
the gentleman.  "But how came you young foresters to possess it, and to
learn to read it?"

"I learned at Herr Gellet's school," answered Meta, "and a good man who
came by this way, sold us the book at a small price.  It is worth ten
times the sum we gave, I am sure of that."

"And where do you live?" asked the gentleman.

Meta told him.

"And is your grandfather sick, that he is not with you?" he inquired.

"Alas! he has been cast into prison for listening to a preacher of God's
word," said Meta, "and we know not what they are going to do with him,
whether they will burn him, as they have done others, or keep him shut

The nobleman, for such by his appearance they supposed him to be,
continued looking with great interest at Meta, while she was speaking.
Having made further inquiries about the old woodcutter, he joined
several of his companions who had been standing all the time at a little
distance, scarcely perceived till now by Meta and Karl.  One of them had
been holding his horse, which he mounted, and rode away, conversing with
him through the forest.

Karl having made up his fagots, proceeded homewards, talking with Meta
as they went, about the interview with the nobleman, and wondering who
he could be.  "I wonder whether he is the Count Furstenburg, whose
castle is, I know, some short distance off, though I have never been up
to it.  I have several times seen the tops of the towers over the trees.
Yet whenever I have heard his name mentioned he has been spoken of as a
fierce, cruel lord, tyrannical both to his dependants and even to those
of his own family.  I know I have heard of all sorts of bad things about
him, but grandfather never likes to speak of him."

"Then I am sure that noble cannot be the Count Furstenburg," said Meta:
"he spoke so gently and looked so kindly at us."

Scarcely had they entered their cottage than they heard horses' hoofs
approaching it.  Karl ran out to see who it was, while Meta was
preparing the supper.

"Oh, Meta!" exclaimed Karl, running back, "it is that dreadful man,
Johann Herder, our grandfather's great enemy!  His coming bodes us no

They consulted whether they should bolt the door, but Meta advised that
they should show no alarm; and as Herder could easily break open the
door, it would be useless to try and keep him out.

In another minute Herder entered the cottage.  He cast a frowning glance
around him.  "Where is your grandfather?" he asked.

"I am afraid, sir, he is in prison," answered Meta.

"Why is he there?" he asked again.

"Karl says, because he was listening to a preacher of the gospel,"
answered Meta.

"He was assisting in creating a disturbance rather," observed Herder.

"I am sure grandfather is not the man to do that," exclaimed Karl.  "I
was with him, and he was as quiet as any man could be."

"Then you ought to have been taken prisoner too," exclaimed the farmer.
"I must see to that.  And what book is that you have by your side,
maiden?" he asked, glancing at Meta's Bible, which she was prepared to

"God's word, sir," said Meta, firmly.  "We always read it before sitting
down to meals.  It is by reading it that we learn of salvation.  This
book says, `Faith cometh by hearing,' or reading God's word, and by
faith we are saved."

"Those are strange doctrines you are speaking," said the rough man, yet
feeling, perhaps, more than he was willing to acknowledge, the force of
her words, and greatly struck by her calmness and bravery.

"They cannot be new, sir," answered Meta, "for they were written by the
apostles themselves, nor are they strange, for the same reason."

"I came not to discuss such matters," said Herder, turning away.  "My
reason for coming here was to tell your grandfather that he must move
out of this cottage, as I have bought it.  As he is not here, I give you
the notice, and let me tell you that the opinions you utter are very
dangerous.  They are not such as to please the priests or bishop; take
care, therefore, what you are about."  Without further words, Herder
turned round, unwilling it seemed to look any longer on the young girl
and her brother who had so boldly confronted him.  Leaving the cottage,
he mounted his horse and rode off.

The young people could not help being alarmed.  It would be a sad thing
to have to leave their old home, and for their grandfather, when he got
out of prison, to be obliged to seek for a new one.  His other threats
also boded them no good.  They had, however, strength the rough man knew
nothing of.  As soon as they were again alone, they knelt down and
prayed for protection, nor failed to obtain the comfort prayer will
always bring.  They then returned to the table and partook of their yet
untasted supper.  Before it was finished, a knock was heard at the door.

"Shall I open it?" asked Karl.  "Perhaps it is Herr Herder come back

"Oh, no!" said Meta, "he would not knock.  We should not be afraid to
open the door."

Karl withdrew the bolt, and who should he see but the book-hawker,
Gottlieb Spena!  They recognised him at once.  He entered, and saluting
them, kindly inquired for their grandfather.  "I trust he has not been
taken from you," he said, with an expression of anxiety.

"Indeed he has, sir," said Meta, "but not by death;" and in a few words
she explained what had happened.

"That is very sad, but God will protect you, my children," he observed,
placing his pack, as he had before done, in a corner of the room.  "We
must try and obtain his liberation.  The people of Germany will no
longer submit to persecution.  However, I trust that, by some means,
your grandfather's liberation may be obtained."

Meta and Karl warmly thanked their friend, and begged him to partake of
their humble fare.  This he did, seeing that there was abundance.
Suddenly he exclaimed, "I have thought of a plan.  I will endeavour to
gain admittance to your grandfather, and if so, I trust the means may be
given him to escape from the prison."  As it was somewhat late, the
book-hawker gladly availed himself of the shelter of the hut for the
night, while he amply repaid his young hosts by reading and expounding
the Scriptures to them, greatly to their satisfaction.


The old woodcutter sat in his cell, his spirits yet unbroken, and
resolved, as at first, to adhere to the faith.  Still, accustomed as he
had been to a life in the open air, his spirits occasionally flagged and
his health somewhat suffered.  Often and often he thought to himself, as
he examined the walls of his prison, "If I had an iron tool of some
sort, I doubt if these walls would long contain me."  But everything he
had possessed had been taken from him when he was first brought to
prison, and not even a nail could he find with which to work as he
proposed.  He was seated on his heap of straw, and the gaoler entered
with his usual fare of brown bread and water.

"I have a message for you, old man," said the gaoler, who, though rough
in appearance, spoke sometimes in a kind tone.  "A holy monk wishes to
see you, and bade me tell you so."

"I have no desire to see a monk," answered Moretz.  "He cannot make me
change my faith, and it would be time lost were he to come to me."

"But he brings you a message from your grandchildren," said the gaoler.
"He bade me say that if you refused to see him--"

Moretz thought an instant.  "Let him come then," he answered.

The gaoler nodded and took his departure.  In a short time he returned,
ushering in a sturdy, strong-looking man in a monk's dress.  The gaoler
retired, closing the door.

"You do not know me, friend Moretz," said his visitor, in a low voice.
"I have been admitted, that I might give you spiritual comfort and
advice," he said, in a louder tone, "and I gladly accepted the office."
His visitor talked for some time with Moretz, producing from under his
dress a book from which he read, though not without difficulty, by the
gleam of light which came in through the small opening which has been
spoken of.  From another pocket he produced two iron instruments
carefully wrapped up, so as not to strike against each other.  "Here is
a strong chisel," he said, "and here is a stout file.  I have heard of
people working their way through prison walls with worse instruments
than these.  Now farewell, friend Moretz.  The time I am allowed to
remain with you is ended, and the gaoler will be here anon to let me out
of the prison."

"I fear you run a great risk," said Moretz, warmly thanking his visitor.

"For the Lord's people I am ready to run any risk," was the answer, and
just then the gaoler was heard drawing back the bolts.  The friar took
his departure.

The old woodcutter was once more left alone.  He had piled up his straw
on the side of the wall on which the opening was placed.  He now
carefully drew it back, and began working away at a stone which had
before been hidden by it.  His success surpassed his expectations.
There had been a drain or a hole left for some purpose, carelessly
filled up.  Thus hour after hour he scraped away, carefully replacing
the straw directly he heard the gaoler's step near his door.  What a
sweet thing is liberty!  The woodcutter's chief difficulty was to hide
the rubbish he dug out, the straw being scarcely sufficient for that
purpose.  As he was working, however, he let his chisel drop.  He
thought the stone on which it dropped emitted a hollow sound.  He worked
away in consequence, to remove it, and great was his satisfaction to
find beneath a hole of some size.  He was now able to labour with more
confidence.  In a short time he had removed the stone from the wall,
giving him an aperture of sufficient size to pass through.  The earth
beyond was soft.  And now he dug and dug away, following up the hole in
the pavement.  He was afraid sometimes that his hands covered with earth
might betray him, but the gaoler's lantern was dim, and he managed
always to conceal them as much as possible when the man entered.

At length he felt sure from the height he had worked that he was near
the surface of the earth on the outside.  He now feared lest it might
fall in during the daytime, and this made him hesitate about working
except during the hours of the night.  He had saved up as many crusts of
bread as his pockets would hold, in order, should it become necessary
for him to lie concealed for any length of time, that he might have
wherewith to support life.  And now the time arrived when he believed
that he should be able to extricate himself altogether.  He waited till
the gaoler had paid his last visit, and then watched anxiously till the
thickening gloom in his cell showed him that night was approaching.  He
had all along of course worked in darkness, so that it being night made
no difference to him.  He now dug away bravely, and as he had not to
carry the earth into the hole, he made great progress.  At length,
working with his chisel above his head, he felt it pierce through the
ground.  Greater caution was therefore necessary, lest the falling earth
should make a noise.

The fresh air which came down restored his strength, and in a few
minutes he was able to lift himself out of the hole.  He did not,
however, venture to stand up, but lying his length on the ground, gazed
around him.  The dark walls of the old castle rose up on one side.  On
the other, at the bottom of a steep bank, was the moat, partly filled
up, however, with rubbish.  Beyond, another bank had to be climbed, and
beyond that again was the wild open country, the castle being just
outside the walls of the town.  He quickly formed his plan.

Slowly crawling on, he slid down the bank, and then stopped to see what
course he should take.  There appeared to be no sentries on the watch on
that side of the castle, it being supposed probably that escape of any
prisoners was impossible.  He was thus able more boldly to search for a
passage across the moat.  The night was cloudy and the wind blew strong,
which, though he was in consequence not so well able to find his way,
prevented him being seen or heard.  At length, partly wading and partly
scrambling over the rubbish, he reached the opposite bank.  He waited to
rest, that he might the more rapidly spring up the bank.  He gained the
top, when looking back and seeing no one, he hurried along the open
ground.  He stopped not till he had obtained the shelter of some
brushwood, which formed, as it were, the outskirts of the forest.  He
was well aware that, as at daylight his escape would be discovered, and
that he could easily be tracked, he must make the best speed his
strength would allow.  He knew the country so well that he had no
difficulty in finding his way even in the dark.  He could not, however,
venture to return to his own cottage.  There was no lack of
hiding-places where he might remain till the search after him had
somewhat slackened.

At length, weary from his exertion, and having overrated his strength,
he sat himself down to rest, as he thought in safety, for a few minutes.
His eyelids closed in slumber, and, unconsciously to him, hour after
hour had passed away.

The sound of horns and the cries of huntsmen were heard in the forest.
They awoke old Moretz from his sleep.  He started up, but it was too
late to conceal himself.  A horseman in a rich costume, which showed his
rank, was close to him.  "Whither away, old friend?" he exclaimed, as
Moretz instinctively endeavoured to conceal himself in some brushwood
near at hand.  He stopped on hearing the voice of the huntsman.

"My lord," he answered, "I throw myself upon your mercy.  I am guiltless
of any crime, and was cast unjustly into prison, from which I have made
my escape.  If I am retaken, my life will be forfeited."

"That is strange," exclaimed the nobleman.  "I will do my best to
protect you, but I cannot venture to dispute with the law, as I might
have done once on a time.  As we came along we met a gang of persons,
hunting, they told us, for an escaped prisoner.  There is no time to be
lost.  Here!" and the nobleman called to one of his attendants, a tall
man, very similar in figure to the woodcutter.  "Here; change dresses
with my old friend, and do you, as you are a bold forester and a strong,
active young man, climb up into the thickest tree, and hide yourself as
best you can till these hunters of their fellow-men have passed by."

The nobleman's orders were speedily obeyed, and Moretz, dressed in his
livery, mounted the groom's horse and rode on with the party.  The
groom, meantime, who had put on the old man's clothes, affording no
small amusement to his companions, climbed up into a thick tree, as he
had been directed to do by his master.

"We will send thee a livery, my man, in which thou may'st return home
soon, and satisfy thy hunger, which may be somewhat sharpened by longer
abstinence than usual," said the count, as he rode on.

Scarcely had these arrangements been made, when the party from the gaol
in search of the fugitive came up.  "Has the Count Furstenburg seen an
old man in a woodcutter's dress wandering through the forest?" inquired
their leader, in a tone which sounded somewhat insolent.

"The Count Furstenburg is not accustomed to answer questions unless
respectfully asked," replied the noble; "and so, master gaoler, you must
follow your own devices, and search for your prisoner where you may best
hope to find him."  Then sounding his horn, he and his whole party rode
on together through the forest, taking care to keep old Moretz well in
their midst.  Making a wide circuit, the count led them back to the


The woodcutter's astonishment at hearing who had rescued him, and where
he was to find shelter, was very great.  He had always entertained a
great dread of the count, who, from common report, was looked upon as a
cruel tyrant.  The count's first care on reaching the castle was to send
a servant with a livery in which the groom might return home, directing
him in the same package to bring back the old woodcutter's clothes.  He
gave him also another message: it was to visit the cottage on his
return, and to give little Meta and Karl the joyous information that
their grandfather was out of prison and in safe keeping.

"And now, my friend, I will have a few words with you in my private
room," said the count, as the old man stood, cap in hand, gazing at him
with astonishment.  "I know you better than you suppose," he said, as
Moretz entered the room; and he told him of the interview he had had
with his grandchildren.  "I rejoice to see the way in which you are
bringing them up.  How is it you have taught them so to love the Bible?
Do you know about it yourself?"

Moretz seeing no cause for concealment, told the count of the visit of
Gottlieb Spena, the book-hawker.

"That is strange indeed," said the count.  "From the same Gottlieb Spena
I also, my friend, have learned the same glorious truths.  You have, I
doubt not, always heard me spoken of as a bad, cruel man.  So I was, but
I have been changed.  God has found me out, and in His love and mercy
has showed me the way by which I may escape the punishment most justly
due to my misdeeds; and not only that, but due also to me had I never
committed one-tenth part of the crimes of which I have been guilty."

It was strange to hear the once proud count thus speaking to the humble
woodcutter, as to a brother or a friend.

For many weeks the old man was sheltered safely within the walls of the
castle.  Not only had the count, but all his house, abandoned the faith
of Rome, many of them having truly accepted the offers of salvation.  At
length, so widely had spread the doctrines of the Reformation, that the
authorities at Hornberg no longer ventured to persecute those who
professed it, and Moretz did not, therefore, require the count's
protection.  Meta and Karl had remained at the cottage, notwithstanding
the threats of Herr Herder.  Every day, however, they had been expecting
to receive another order to quit their home.

One morning, as they were seated at breakfast, before Karl went out to
his work, a knock was heard at the door.  Karl ran to it, wondering who
it could be at that early hour.  A shriek of joy escaped Meta's lips as,
the door opening, she saw her grandfather, and the next instant she and
Karl were pressed in his arms.

Great changes had of late taken place in Germany, and the authorities
who had imprisoned Moretz no longer ventured to proceed as they had
before done.  The peasants, oppressed for centuries by the owners of the
soil, and treated like slaves, had long been groaning for the blessings
of civil liberty.  On several occasions they had revolted against their
lords, but their rebellions had always been put down with bloodshed and
fearful cruelties.  Once more the same desire to emancipate themselves
had sprung up in all parts of the country.  This desire did not arise in
consequence of the progress of the Reformation.  It had existed before,
and Luther and the other reformers who had been aware of it had used
every means to induce the people to bear their burdens, and to wait
till, in God's good time, a better heart should be put into their
rulers, and they should be induced to grant them that liberty which was
theirs by right.  Unhappily, however, men are too fond of attempting to
right themselves rather than trust to God.  While, as has been said,
this desire for civil liberty was extending, so also was the Reformation
making great progress.  Many abandoned popery without embracing the
gospel, and these were the people especially who desired to right
themselves by the sword.  Scarcely had old Moretz returned to his hut,
than he was visited by several of the peasants, small farmers and
others, who came to urge him to join the band they were forming in the
neighbourhood.  His imprisonment and its cause had become known, as had
also the way he had escaped.  Among others, greatly to his surprise, his
old enemy, Johann Herder, rode up to his door.

"We were foes once, but I wish to be your foe no longer, and I have come
to invite you to join our noble cause."

"I am thankful to see you, Master Herder," said Moretz, "but I cannot
promise to join any cause without knowing its objects."

"They are very simple," answered his guest.  "We consider that all men
are equal.  We wish to right ourselves, and to deprive our tyrants of
their power."

"But if they refuse to agree to your demands, how then will you
proceed?" asked Moretz.

"We will burn their castles and their towns, and put them to death," was
the answer.

"That surely is not the way to induce people to act rightly," answered
Moretz.  "The Bible nowhere says that we should not be soldiers, but the
gospel does say very clearly that we should do violence to no man--that
we should love our enemies and do good to them that persecute us.
Burning houses and putting people to death is not in accordance with the
will of God: of that I am sure."

"But the gospel gives us freedom, and we have accepted the gospel, and
therefore have a right to liberty," answered Herder.

"The liberty of which the gospel speaks is very different from that
which you desire, my friend," said Moretz.  "The freedom which that
gives us is freedom from superstition, from the tyranny of Satan, from
the fear of man, from the dread of the misfortunes and sufferings to
which people are liable.  No, friend Herder, I cannot join you."

Much more was said on both sides.  Moretz remained firm; and Herder went
away, indignant that one to whom he had offered to be reconciled--very
much against his own feelings--should have refused to join what, in his
smaller knowledge of the gospel plan, he considered right and
justifiable.  Herder had become a Protestant, and knew enough about the
truth to be aware that Christians are bound to forgive their enemies.
He also was convinced that the saints cannot hear prayer, that purgatory
is a fiction, and that confession should be made to God and not to man.
But he had no grace in his heart.  He prided himself greatly on having
visited old Moretz and expressed himself ready to become his friend.
Moretz, on the other hand, had accepted not only the letter but the
spirit of the gospel.  He knew himself by nature to be a sinner.  He had
given his heart to God.  He desired to please Him by imitating the
example of His blessed Son, and he trusted for salvation alone to the
complete and perfect sacrifice made on the cross.

Moretz soon found that the proposed rebellion had commenced in various
districts, and that already several peasant bands had proceeded to acts
of violence.  Immediately he thought that the castle of the Count of
Furstenburg might be attacked, and he accordingly set out to warn him of
the danger.  Had he been able to write he would have sent Karl, but he
was sure that his warning would more likely be attended to if he went
himself.  He was aware that he ran a great danger if he were to
encounter any of the peasants, who would look upon him, should they
discover his object, as a traitor to their cause.  He therefore made his
way across the country, avoiding all public paths, and keeping as much
as possible out of sight of anybody he met.  He at length reached the
castle in safety.  The count could at first scarcely believe the
information he gave him.  It was impossible that the peasants should
dare attack the castles of the nobles.  Moretz convinced him, however,
at last.  He sat for some time without speaking, while he rested his
head on his hands, bending over the table.  His lips were moving in

"I will not oppose these poor people," he said, at length.  "I will
rather reason with them, and bring them to a knowledge of their error.
If I were to defend the castle I might kill a good many, and perhaps
succeed in driving them away.  If I cannot persuade them to give up
their enterprise, I may perhaps come and pay you a visit.  I would
rather abandon my castle than slay my fellow-creatures.  I am grateful
to you, my friend, for bringing me the warning, as it will give me time
for consideration how to act."


Moretz returned, as he had come, to his cottage.  Karl soon after
arrived, having gone out into the forest for wood.  He reported having
seen large bodies of men armed in every possible way collecting at a
distance, but he kept himself out of sight, for fear they might compel
him to accompany them.

In the meantime the count remained, as he had determined, at his post.
The day after Moretz had visited him, the report was brought that a
large body of men were approaching the castle.  Acting according to his
resolution, in the plainest dress he ever wore he mounted his charger
and rode forward to meet them.  As he appeared he was welcomed with a
loud shout, and several persons, detaching themselves from the crowd,
approached him.

"We have come, friend Furstenburg," they said, "to invite you to join
our noble cause.  We will give you military rank, and make you one of
our leaders; but we can allow no nobles among us, and therefore it must
be understood that you will sink your title."

"This is a strange proposal to make to me, my friends," answered the
count, after the insurgents had explained their objects and plans.  "You
profess to be guided by God's word, and yet you undertake to act in
direct opposition to it.  When the Israelites were led forth to attack
their enemies they were under the guidance of God, and made especial
instruments for the punishment of evil-doers, who had long obstinately
refused to acknowledge Him.  You, who have no right to claim being led
by God, take upon yourselves to punish those whom you choose to consider
your enemies.  When Christ came a better law was established, and by
that law we are taught to forgive our enemies, and leave their
punishment to God, and not to attempt to take it into our own hands."

Again and again the insurgent leaders urged the count to accept their
offers, refusing to listen to his arguments.  He saw, by the gestures
and the expressions they used, that they would probably take him by
force.  To avoid this was very important, and he therefore requested
further time to consider the matter.  Some of them evidently desired to
enter the castle with him, but this he declined; observing that if he
was to act freely, he must be left at liberty.  Fortunately they were
persuaded to allow him to depart, and he safely reached the gates of his

The insurgents on this marched off in the direction of other castles,
whose owners they hoped to enlist in their cause.  The count, on
entering, ordered the gates to be closed, and then summoning his
retainers, told them that he had resolved to abandon the castle, rather
than kill any of the misguided people who might come to attack it.  He
gave them their choice of remaining within the open gates, or obtaining
safety by concealing themselves in the neighbourhood.  "I have no
children, and my distant heir has no right to blame me for my conduct,"
he said, when remonstrated with for this proceeding.  "I have, besides,
One to whom I am first answerable, and He I am sure approves of it."
There was, however, a large amount of plate and valuables of various
sorts in the castle: these he had carried to a place of concealment,
such as most buildings of the sort in those days were provided with.
These arrangements were not concluded till nearly midnight.  He then set
out unaccompanied, and took his way to the hut of old Moretz.

The next day, when the insurgents returned, they found the castle of
Furstenburg deserted.  Some of their leaders urged them to burn it to
the ground, in consequence of having been tricked, by its owner.  They
were about to rush in, when an old man, who had remained concealed close
to the gates, presented himself before them.

"What are you about to do, my friends?" he exclaimed.  "Is this the way
you show your love of liberty?  Because a man does not approve of your
mode of proceeding, are you right in destroying his property, and
injuring him in every way you can?  You speak of the tyranny of your
rulers--is not this greater tyranny?  I am one of yourselves, and know
what you all feel.  I feel the same.  I desire that our people should
have their rights; but I am very sure that by the way you are proceeding
you will not obtain them.  A just cause cannot be supported by unjust

Moretz, for it was he, spoke more to the same effect.  Happily, Herder
was not with the party, or his success might have been different.  At
length they were convinced by his arguments, and consented to depart
without destroying the castle.  After they had gone to a considerable
distance, Moretz hurried back to the count with the good news.

"Alas!" said the old noble, "it matters, in truth, but little to me.  I
am childless, and almost friendless; for with those I once associated I
have no longer a desire to mix; and, except that I may live a few years
longer, and forward the noble cause of the Reformation, I should be
ready even now to lay down life."

"Count," said the old man, rising and standing before him, "you say that
you are childless--but are you really so?  You once had a daughter?"

"I had, but I cruelly drove her from my door; but I know that she is
dead; for, having taken every possible means for her discovery, I could
gain no tidings; and I am very sure, knowing her disposition, that ere
this, had she been alive, she would have sought a reconciliation.  Of
the death of her husband I received tidings.  He died fighting in the
Spanish army against Barbarossa, and on hearing that my child was left a
widow, my heart relented towards her.  But tell me, friend, have you any
tidings of my daughter?"

"You surmise too rightly, count, that your daughter is dead," answered
the woodcutter.  "She died in this humble cottage, and in these arms;
but before she died she had given birth to a child,--a girl,--who was
brought up by my poor daughter, till she herself was also carried to the
grave, leaving behind her a son,--young Karl yonder."

"And my grandchild?  Where is she?" exclaimed the count, casting a
glance at Meta.

"You see her there, count," answered the woodcutter.  They were seated
in the porch of the cottage.  Below it ran a stream, where Meta, aided
by Karl, was busily washing.  The first thing, perhaps, in the once
proud noble's mind was:--

"And can a descendant of mine be thus employed?"  The next instant,
however, rising from his seat, he hurried down the bank, calling Meta to
him.  She was quickly by his side.  "Child," he said, "which of us is
your grandfather, think you?"  As he spoke he drew her towards him, and
gazed in her face.  "Yes, yes, I recognise the features of my own lost
daughter!" he exclaimed.  "We will ever love old Moretz, and be grateful
to him," he said, pressing a kiss on Meta's brow.  "But I am your
grandfather, and you must try and give me some of the love you bear

Again and again the count expressed his gratitude to old Moreu.  "And
above all things," he added, "that you have brought her up as a true
Christian Protestant.  Had you returned her to me as an ignorant Papist,
as I was long ago, my happiness would have been far less complete."

It was some time before Meta could understand the change in her
circumstances, never having indeed been told who was her mother, and
believing always that she was Karl's sister.  The poor lad was the only
one whose spirits sunk at what he heard, when he was told that he should
lose his companion.  A right feeling, however, soon rose in his bosom,
and he rejoiced at Meta's change of fortune.

The peasant-army meantime increased in numbers, and a vast concourse,
under a fanatical leader, Thomas Munser, marched through the land,
burning castles and towns which refused to admit them, and committing
all sorts of atrocities.  There were several similar bands.  The people
in the Black Forest rallied round John Muller of Bulgenbach.  Wearing a
red cap and a red cloak, he rode from village to village, ordering the
church bells to summon the people to his standard.  Several noblemen
were compelled to join them.  Among others, the famous Geotz von Ber
Lichengen was forced to put himself at the head of the rebel army.  Many
towns, unable to withstand them, opened their gates, and the citizens
received them with acclamations.  Dr Martin Luther and many other
leaders of the Reformation exerted all their influence to induce the
peasants to return to their homes.  They wrote, they preached, and
showed how such proceedings were opposed to the principles of the
gospel.  At length a large army, raised by the Ex-Emperor of Germany,
was sent against the insurgents, while the nobles, in every direction
taking courage, banded together to put down the insurrection.  Fearfully
did they retaliate on the unhappy people for the insults they had
received.  Seldom could the insurgent bands withstand the well-trained
forces sent against them, and a large part of the country was deluged in
blood, the fugitives in most instances being slaughtered without mercy.


The band which set forth from the neighbourhood of Gutech was not more
successful than others.  Although at first they captured and burned a
number of castles and entered several towns, in which they levied
contributions from the inhabitants, they at length encountered the
imperial forces.  Not an instant could they withstand the well-trained
troops of Germany, but fled before them like chaff before the wind.  On
reaching the neighbourhood of their own homes they, gathering courage,
showed a bolder front than before.  It would have been happier for the
misguided men had they continued their flight.  Old Moretz would not
consent to eat the bread of idleness, and had declined the bounty freely
offered him by the count.  He and Karl had gone farther from home than
usual on their daily avocation, when their ears were attracted by what
appeared to be the din of battle in the distance.  They climbed a height
in the neighbourhood, whence, from between the trees, they could look
down on an open space in the distance, with a rapid stream on one side.
Here a large body of peasants were collected, while another body in
front were desperately engaged with some imperial troops, as they
appeared to be by their glittering arms and closely serried ranks.

"May God have mercy on them!--for they will have no mercy on each
other," exclaimed Moretz, as, leaning his hand on Karl's shoulder, he
stood gazing eagerly down on the raging fight, and scarcely able to
retain the young lad, who, had he been alone, would probably have rushed
down and joined it.  The peasants who had hitherto borne the brunt of
the battle--being evidently the best armed and bravest--were now driven
back on the main body.  The latter, seized with a panic, gave way, the
imperialists pursuing them, cutting to pieces with their sharp swords,
or running through with their pikes, all they overtook.  Moretz and his
grandson watched the fugitives and their pursuers.  The latter, like a
devastating conflagration or a fierce torrent, swept all before them,
till they disappeared in the distance.

"We may be able to help some of the unfortunate people who may yet
survive," observed the old man.

"Oh, yes--yes.  Let us hurry on, grandfather," exclaimed Karl.  "I fancy
that even at this distance I have seen more than one attempt to rise,
and then fall back again to the ground."

Moretz and Karl soon reached the spot where the conflict began.  From
thence, far, far away, was one long broad road covered thickly with the
dead and dying and badly wounded.  The old man and boy moved among the
ghastly heaps, giving such assistance as they were able to those who
most needed it.  Karl ran to the stream to bring water, for which many
were crying out, while Moretz, kneeling down, bound up the poor fellows'
wounds.  He had thus tended several of the unfortunate men, when he saw
a person at a little distance trying to lift himself up on his arm.  He
had several times made the attempt, when he once more fell back with a
groan.  Moretz hurried towards him.  In the features, pallid from loss
of blood and racked with pain, he recognised those of Herr Herder.

"Ah, old man! have you come to mock at me?" exclaimed the latter, as he
saw Moretz approaching.

Moretz made no answer, but kneeling down, lifted up the farmer's head,
and put the bowl of water he carried to his lips.  Herder eagerly took a
draught of the refreshing liquid.

"Where are you hurt?" asked Moretz, "that I may wash and bind up your

Herder pointed to his side and then to one of his legs.

Aided by Karl, who now came up, Moretz took off Herder's clothes, and
with the linen which he had collected from the slain, having first
washed his wounds, he bound them carefully up.

"We must carry you out of this, for the imperialists returning, will too
likely kill all they find alive," said Moretz.

"You cannot carry me," said Herder, faintly: "you would sink under my

"I will try," answered Moretz.  "Karl will help me."

With a strength of which the old man seemed incapable, he lifted the
bulky form of the farmer on his shoulders, and telling Karl to support
his wounded leg, he hurried towards the hill from which he had lately

"But you can never carry me up that hill," said Herder, as he gazed at
the height above their heads.

"No," answered Moretz; "but there is a cave near its foot.  I can there
conceal you till your enemies have gone away; and I will then get some
friend to assist me in carrying you to my hut.  You will be safe in the
cave, at all events, for few know of it; and as soon as the soldiers
have disappeared I will get the assistance of a friend to carry you on."

Old Moretz, as he staggered on, had several times to stop and recover
strength, for the farmer's body was very heavy.  At length, however, he
reached the cavern he spoke of.  Having deposited his burden, and left
Karl to watch him, he climbed the height, whence he could observe the
proceedings of the imperialists.  He had not long to wait.  As he had
seen them advancing like a rushing torrent, now they returned like the
ebb of the ocean.  As he had feared, they appeared to be slaughtering
those they found still stretched alive on the ground.  On they went,
till there were none to kill, and then, the trumpet collecting them in
more compact order, they marched onwards in the direction whence they
had come.  Moretz, having found a neighbour in whom he had confidence,
he returned to the cavern, and together they carried Herder up to his

"I have but poor fare to offer you, Herr Herder," he said, "but such as
it is I freely present it to you."

"What makes you thus take care of me?" said Herder, scarcely noticing
the remark.  "I never did you any good.  I have been your enemy for many

"God's blessed word says--`Love your enemies, do good to them who hate
and ill-use you.'  If you had treated me far worse than you have done,
still I should desire to help you."

"Ah! you conquer me, Moretz," said Herder, after a long silence.  "I
have no doubt that the Bible says as you tell me; but I did not think
that any one would thus act according to its commands."

"Nor would they," answered Moretz, "unless the Holy Spirit had changed
their hearts.  The natural man may read the commands over and over
again, but he takes no heed of them."

Thus Moretz frequently spoke to his guest.  Karl also often read the
Bible to him.  One day they received a visit from Gottlieb Spena.  He
was on his way to the castle of Furstenburg.  Before he left the
woodcutter's hut Herder declared that he now understood how Christ had
died to save him from the just consequences of his sin.

Meta grew into a noble-looking young lady, and married a Protestant
baron, who ever stood up boldly for the faith.  She never forgot her
kind guardian nor her foster-brother--Karl.  She provided a comfortable
house for old Moretz, and watched over him affectionately till, in
extreme old age, he quitted this world for one far better.

Karl became the head steward of her estates, and ever proved himself a
true and faithful man, as he had been an honest and good boy.  Spena was
greatly instrumental in spreading the glorious truths of the gospel
throughout the country, but at length, venturing into a part of Europe
where the papists were supreme, he was seized and accused of being a
recreant monk.  Refusing to abjure the faith, he--as were many others at
that time--was condemned to the flames, and became one of the noble army
of martyrs who will one day rise up in judgment against that fearful
system of imposture and tyranny which condemned them to suffering and

There was one district where the insurrection was put down without
bloodshed.  It was that of the truly pious and Protestant prince, the
Elector of Saxony.  The power of the word there produced its effect.
Luther, Friedrich Myconius, and others went boldly among them, and, by
their eloquent arguments, induced them to abandon their designs.  Thus,
at length, peace was restored to the land of Luther, although these
proceedings of the misguided peasants for a time greatly impeded the
progress of the Reformation.


End of Project Gutenberg's The Woodcutter of Gutech, by W.H.G. Kingston


***** This file should be named 21486.txt or *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at

Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (,
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.

Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, is critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at

Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email
[email protected].  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director
     [email protected]

Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations.
To donate, please visit:

Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.