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Excerpt: ... ever seen; and then he gazed with greedy eyes upon the fateful ring, until he, too, was changed into a cold and slimy reptile,-a monster dragon. He coiled himself about the hoard; and, with his restless eyes forever open, he gloated day after day upon his loved gold, and watched with ceaseless care that no one should come near to despoil him of it. This was ages and ages ago; and still he wallows among his treasures on the Glittering Heath, and guards as of yore the garnered wealth of Andvari. 1Regin, one of the last of the race of Dwarfs, was a master smith and by some said to be the teacher of Siegfried. The story is supposed to have been related to Siegfried in the dusky smithy of the dwarf. THE FORGING OF BALMUNG While Siegfried was still a young lad, his father sent him to live with a smith called Mimer, whose smithy was among the hills not far from the great forest. For in those early times the work of the smith was looked upon as the most worthy of all trades,-a trade which the gods themselves were not ashamed to follow. And this smith Mimer was a wonderful master,-the wisest and most cunning that the world had ever seen. Men said that he was akin to the dwarf-folk who had ruled the earth in the early days, and who were learned in every lore, and skilled in every craft; and they said that he was so exceeding old that no one could remember the day when he came to dwell in the land of Siegfried's people. Some said, too, that he was the keeper of a wonderful well, or flowing spring, the waters of which imparted wisdom and far-seeing knowledge to all who drank of them. To Mimer's school, then, where he would be taught to work skilfully and to think wisely, Siegfried was sent, to be in all respects like the other pupils there. A coarse blue blouse and heavy leggings and a leathern apron took the place of the costly clothing which he had worn in his father's dwelling. On his feet were awkward wooden sandals, and his head was covered with a...
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