Brother Lustig travelled about with his money, and squandered and
d what he had as before. When at last he had no more than four
kreuzers, he passed by an inn and thought, "The money must go," and
ordered three kreuzers' worth of wine and one kreuzer's worth of
for himself. As he was sitting there drinking, the smell of
made its way to his nose.
Brother Lustig looked about and peeped, and saw that the host had two
geese roasting in the oven. Then he remembered that his comrade had
said that whatsoever he wished to have in his knapsack should be
there, so he said, "Oh, ho. I must try that with the geese." So he
went out, and when he was outside the door, he said, "I wish those two
roasted geese out of the oven and in my knapsack," and when he had
said that, he unbuckled it and looked in, and there they were inside
it. "Ah, that's right," said he, "now I am a made man," and went away to
a meadow and took out the roast meat.
When he was in the midst of his meal, two journeymen came up and
looked at the second goose, which was not yet touched, with hungry
eyes. Brother Lustig thought to himself, "One is enough for me," and
called the two men up and said, "Take the goose, and eat it to my
health." They thanked him, and went with it to the inn, ordered
themselves a half bottle of wine and a loaf, took out the goose which
had been given them, and began to eat.
The hostess saw them and said to her husband, "Those two are eating a
goose. Just look and see if it is not one of ours, out of the oven."
The landlord ran thither, and behold! the oven was empty. "What!" cried
he, you thievish crew, you want to eat goose as cheap as that! Pay
for it this moment, or I will wash you well with green hazel-sap.
The two said, "We are no thieves, a discharged soldier gave us the
goose, outside there in the meadow. You shall not throw dust in my
eyes that way."
"The soldier was here, but he went out by the door,
like an honest fellow. I looked after him myself. You are the
thieves and shall pay." But as they could not pay, he took a stick,
and cudgeled them out of the house.
Brother Lustig went his way and came to a place where there was a
magnificent castle, and not far from it a wretched inn. He went to
the inn and asked for a night's lodging, but the landlord turned him
away, and said, "There is no more room here, the house is full of
"It surprises me that they should come to you and not
go to that splendid castle," said brother Lustig.
"Ah, indeed," replied
the host, "but it is no slight matter to sleep there for a night. No
one who has tried it so far has ever come out of it alive."
If others have tried it, said brother Lustig, I will try it too."
"Leave it alone," said the host, "it will cost you your neck."
kill me at once," said brother Lustig, "just give me the key, and some
good food and wine." So the host gave him the key, and food and wine,
and with this brother Lustig went into the castle, enjoyed his
supper, and at length, as he was sleepy, he lay down on the ground,
for there was no bed. He soon fell asleep, but during the night was
disturbed by a great noise, and when he awoke, he saw nine ugly
devils in the room, who had made a circle, and were dancing around
Brother Lustig said, "Well, dance as long as you like, but none of you
must come too close." But the devils pressed continually nearer to
him, and almost stepped on his face with their hideous feet. "Stop,
you devils, ghosts," said he, but they behaved still worse. Then
brother Lustig grew angry, and cried, "Stop. You'll soon see how I
can make you quiet," and got the leg of a chair and struck out into
the midst of them with it. But nine devils against one soldier were
still too many, and when he struck those in front of him, the others
seized him behind by the hair, and tore it unmercifully.
"Devils' crew," cried he, "this is too much, but just wait. Into my
knapsack, all nine of you." In an instant they were in it, and then
he buckled it up and threw it into a corner. After this all was
suddenly quiet, and brother Lustig lay down again, and slept till it
was bright day.
Then came the innkeeper, and the nobleman to whom the castle
belonged, to see how he had fared. But when they perceived that he
was merry and well they were astonished, and asked, "Have the spirits
done you no harm, then?"
"The reason why they have not," answered
brother Lustig, "is because I have got the whole nine of them in my
knapsack. You may once more inhabit your castle quite tranquilly, none of them
will ever haunt it again." The nobleman thanked him, made him rich
presents, and begged him to remain in his service, and he would
provide for him as long as he lived. "No," replied brother Lustig, I
am used to wandering about, I will travel farther."
Then he went away, and entered into a smithy, laid the knapsack,
which contained the nine devils, on the anvil, and asked the smith and
his apprentices to strike it. So they smote with their great hammers
with all their strength, and the devils uttered howls which were
quite pitiable. When he opened the knapsack after this, eight of
them were dead, but one which had been lying in a fold of it was
still alive, slipped out, and went back again to hell.
Thereupon brother Lustig travelled a long time about the world, and
those who know can tell many a story about him. But at last he grew
old, and thought of his end, so he went to a hermit who was known to
be a pious man, and said to him, "I am tired of wandering about, and
want now to behave in such a manner that I shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven."
The hermit replied, "There are two roads, one is
broad and pleasant, and leads to hell, the other is narrow and rough,
and leads to heaven."
"I should be a fool," thought brother Lustig, "if
I were to take the narrow, rough road."
So he set out and took the broad and pleasant road, and at length
came to a great black door, which was the door of hell. Brother
Lustig knocked, and the door-keeper peeped out to see who was there.
But when he saw brother Lustig, he was terrified, for he was the very
same ninth devil who had been shut up in the knapsack, and had
escaped from it with a black eye.
So he pushed the bolt in again as quickly as he could, ran to the
highest devil, and said, "There is a fellow outside with a knapsack,
who wants to come in, but as you value your lives don't allow him to
enter, or he will wish the whole of hell into his knapsack. He once
gave me a frightful hammering when I was inside it."
So they called out to brother Lustig that he was to go away again,
for he should not get in there. "If they won't have me here," thought
he, "I will see if I can find a place for myself in heaven, for I must
So he turned about and went onwards until he came to the door of
heaven, where he knocked. St. Peter was sitting hard by as
door-keeper. Brother Lustig recognized him at once, and thought,
"Here I find an old friend, I shall get on better." But St. Peter
said, "I can hardly believe that you want to come into heaven."
in, brother. I must get in somewhere. If they would have taken me
into hell, I should not have come here."
"No," said St. Peter, "you
will not enter."
"Then if you will not let me in, take your knapsack
back, for I will have nothing at all from you."
"Give it here, then,"
said St. Peter. Then brother Lustig gave him the knapsack into
heaven through the bars, and St. Peter took it, and hung it beside
his seat. Then said brother Lustig, "And now I wish myself inside my
knapsack," and in a second he was in it, and in heaven, and St. Peter
was forced to let him stay there.