On the Feast of the Ascension, about three o’clock in the afternoon, a young man, a student named Anselm, was swiftly crossing the Black Gate in Dresden. Accidentally, he overturned a huge basket of apples and pies, which was sold by an ugly old woman. He gave his old wallet to the old woman. The merchant hastily grabbed him and burst into terrible curses and threats. “You’ll fall under the glass, under the glass!” she screamed. Accompanied by a malicious laugh and sympathetic glances, Anselm turned to a secluded road along the Elbe. He began to complain loudly about his useless life.
Anselm’s monologue was interrupted by a strange rustling, which came from the elderberry bushes. There were sounds similar to the sound of crystal bells. Looking up, Anselm saw three adorable golden-green snakes bent over the branches. One of the three snakes held out her head to him and gazed tenderly at him with marvelous dark blue eyes. Anselm embraced a feeling of
supreme bliss and deep sorrow. Suddenly a rough, thick voice rang out, the snakes rushed to the Elbe and disappeared as suddenly as they had arisen.
Anselm in grief hugged the trunk of the elder, frightening his appearance and wild speeches of people walking in the park. Hearing unflattering remarks to his account, Anselm woke up and rushed to run. Suddenly he was called. It turned out to be his friends – the registrar Heerbrand and the curator Paulman and his daughters. The contractor invited Anselm to ride with them on a boat along the Elbe and finish the evening with dinner at his house. Now Anselm clearly understood that the golden snakes were just a reflection of the fireworks in the foliage. Nevertheless, that most unknown feeling, bliss or sorrow, again squeezed his chest.
During the walk, Anselm nearly turned the boat, shouting strange words about the golden snakes. Everyone agreed that the young man was clearly not himself, and his fault was that he was poor and unfortunate. He offered me to hire a scribe for the archivist Lindgorst for decent money – he was just looking for a talented
calligrapher and draftsman to copy manuscripts from his library. The student was sincerely happy about this proposal, because his passion was to copy difficult calligraphic works.
The next morning Anselm dressed up and went to Lindgorst. Only he wanted to take hold of the door knocker on the door of the archivist’s house, when suddenly the bronze face twisted and turned into an old woman, whose apples Anselm scattered at the Black Gate. Anselm recoiled in horror and grabbed the bell’s bell. In his ringing the student heard ominous words: “To be to you already in glass, in crystal”. The cord of the bell went down and turned out to be a white transparent gigantic snake. She wrapped and squeezed it, so that blood spurted out of the veins, penetrating into the body of the snake and staining it red. The snake raised her head and laid her tongue out of the burning iron on Anselm’s chest. From sharp pain, he lost his senses. The student woke up in his poor bed, and above it stood the curator Paulman.
After this incident, Anselm did not dare to go back to the archivist’s house. No beliefs of friends led to anything, the student was deemed in fact insane, and, in the opinion of the registrar Geerbrand, the best way to do this was to work with the archivist. In order to acquaint Anselm and Lindgorst closer, the registrar arranged a meeting in a coffee house one evening.
That evening, the archivist told a strange story about the fire lily that was born in the pristine valley, and about the young man Phosphorus, to whom the lily burned with love. Phosphorus kissed the lily, it broke out in a bright flame, a new creature emerged from it and flew away, not caring about the young man in love. Phosphorus began to mourn the lost girlfriend. A black dragon flew out of the rock, caught this creature, embraced it with its wings, and it again turned into a lily, but her love for Phosphorus became a sharp pain, from which everything around faded and faded. Phosphorus fought the dragon and liberated the lily, which became the queen of the valley. “I come from that valley, and the fire lily was my great-great-great-great-grandmother, so I myself am a prince,” Lindgorst concluded. These words of the archivist aroused trembling in the soul of the student.
Every evening the student came to that very elderberry bushes, hugged him and woefully exclaimed: “Ah, I love you, snake, and die of sorrow, if you do not come back!”. On one of these evenings, the archivist Lindgorst approached him. Anselm told him about all the extraordinary incidents that happened to him recently. The archivist informed Anselm that the three snakes are his daughters, and he is in love with the younger, Serpentine. Lindhorst invited the young man to himself and gave him a magic liquid – protection from the old witch. After that the archivist turned into a kite and flew away.
The daughter of the curator Paulman Veronica, accidentally heard that Anselm could become an out-of-court adviser, began to dream about the role of the counselor and his wife. In the midst of her dreams, she heard an unknown and terrible squeaky voice, which said: “He will not be your husband!”.
Hearing from a friend that an old fortune teller Frau Rauerin lives in Dresden, Veronica decided to ask her for advice. “Leave Anselm,” the girl said to the girl, “he’s a bad person, he contacted my enemy, the evil old man, he’s in love with his daughter, a green snake, he will never be a court counselor.” Dissatisfied with the fortune teller’s words, Veronica wanted to leave, but then the fortune-teller turned into an old nanny girl, Lisa. To detain Veronica, the nanny said that she would try to heal Anselm from the sorcerer’s spell. For this, the girl must come to her at night, into the future equinox. Hope again woke up in the soul of Veronica.
In the meantime Anselm began work at the archivist. Lindgorst gave the student some black mass instead of ink, strangely painted feathers, unusually white and smooth paper, and ordered to copy the Arabic manuscript. With every word grew the courage of Anselm, and with her – and skill. It seemed to the young man that serpentine helps him. The archivist read his secret thoughts and said that this work is a test that will lead him to happiness.
In the cold and windy night of the equinox the fortuneteller brought Veronica to the field. She spread the fire under the cauldron and threw into it those strange bodies that she brought with her in the basket. After them, a curl dropped from the head of Veronica and her ringlet into the cauldron. The witch told the girl not to stare into the boiling brew. Suddenly Anselm emerged from the depths of the cauldron and held out his hand to Veronica. The old woman opened the tap at the boiler, and melted metal flowed into the framed form. At that very moment a thunderous voice rang out above her head: “Go away, hurry!” The old woman fell to the ground with a howl, and Veronica lost her senses. Having come to herself at home, on her couch, she found in her pocket a soaked cloak of a silver mirror, which was cast by a fortuneteller last night. From the mirror, as at night from a boiling cauldron, her lover looked at the girl.
Student Anselm had worked for many days with the archivist. The writing off went quickly. Anselm thought that the lines he was copying had long been known to him. He always felt Serpentine beside him, sometimes his lungs breathed. Soon Serpentina appeared to the student and told her that her father was actually from the Salamander tribe. He fell in love with a green snake, the daughter of a lily, who grew up in the garden of the prince of the spirits of Phosphorus. The salamander closed the snake in embrace, it broke up into ashes, a winged creature was born from it and flew away.
In despair, the Salamander ran through the garden, devastating him with fire. Phosphorus, the prince of the country of Atlantis, became angry, extinguished Salamander’s flame, condemned him to life as a man, but left him a magic gift. Only then will the Salamander drop this heavy burden when there are young men who will hear the singing of his three daughters and love them. In a dowry they will receive a golden pot. At the time of the engagement, a fire lily will grow from the pot, the young man will understand her tongue, comprehend everything that is open to disembodied spirits, and with his beloved will live in Atlantis. Return there and finally received the forgiveness of the Salamander. An old witch wants to own a gold pot. Serpentina warned Anselm: “Take care of the old woman, she is hostile to you, since your childishly pure disposition has already destroyed many of her evil spells.” In conclusion, the kiss burned the lips of Anselm. Waking up,
Although Anselm’s soul was turned towards the road to Serpentine, he sometimes involuntarily thought about Veronica. Soon Veronica begins to appear to him in a dream and gradually takes possession of his thoughts. One morning, instead of going to the archivist, he went on a visit to Paulman, where he spent the whole day. There he accidentally saw a magic mirror, which he began to look with Veronica. Anselm began a fight, and then it became clear to him that he always thought only of Veronica. A hot kiss made the student feel even stronger. Anselm promised Veronica to marry her.
After dinner, the registrar Heerbrand came with everything that was needed to make a punch. With the first sip of the drink, strangeness and the wonders of the last weeks rose again before Anselm. He began to dream aloud about Serpentine. Suddenly, after him, the host and Goerbrand are accepted to scream and howl, just like the demoniacs: “Long live the Salamander, let the old woman perish!” Veronica tried in vain to convince them that the old Liza would certainly overcome the sorcerer. In an anguished horror, Anselm fled into his coma and fell asleep. Waking up, he again began to dream of his marriage to Veronica. Now neither the archivist’s garden, nor Lindhorst himself at all seemed to him so magical.
The next day the student continued his work with the archivist, but now it seemed to him that the parchment of the manuscript was covered not with letters, but with intricate scribbles. Trying to copy the letter, Anselm dropped the ink on the manuscript. A lightning bolt flew from the spot, an archivist appeared in the dense fog and brutally punished the student for the mistake. Lindhorst imprisoned Anselm in one of those crystal cans that stood on the desk in the archivist’s office. Next to him stood five more bottles, in which the young man saw three schoolboys and two scribes, once also working for the archivist. They began to mock Anselm: “A madman imagines himself sitting in a bottle, while he himself is standing on a bridge and looks at his reflection in the river!”. They also laughed at the half-witted old man who showered them with gold for drawing scribbles for him.
Suddenly Anselm heard a deafening grunt and recognized the witch in the old coffee pot opposite him. She promised him salvation, if he marries Veronica. Anselm proudly refused. Then the old woman grabbed a golden pot and tried to hide, but she was overtaken by the archivist. The next moment the student saw a mortal battle between the sorcerer and the old woman, from which Salamander emerged victorious, and the witch turned into a nasty beetroot. At this moment of triumph, Serpentina appeared before Anselm, announcing to him the granted forgiveness. The glass cracked, and he fell into the arms of the charming Serpentina.
The next day, the registrar Heerbrand and the curator Paulman could not understand how the ordinary punch brought them to such excesses. Finally they decided that the blameful student was to blame for everything, which infected them with his madness. Many months passed. On the day of Veronica’s birthday, a newly-made councilor of the court, Goerbrand, came to Paulman’s house and offered his hand and heart to the girl. She agreed and told her future husband about her love for Anselm and about the witch. A few weeks later, Mrs. Goerbrand, an outhouse counselor, settled in a beautiful house on the New Market.
The author received a letter from the archivist Lindgorst with permission to publicly publish the story of the strange fate of his son-in-law, a former student, and now the poet Anselm, and with an invitation to complete the story of the Gold Pot in the very hall of his house where the illustrious student Anselm worked. Anselm himself became engaged to Serpentina in a beautiful temple, inhaled the fragrance of a lily that grew from a golden pot, and found eternal bliss in Atlantis.