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LORELEI (from Old High Ger. Lur, conn...

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 6 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LORELEI (from Old High Ger. Lur, connected with modern Ger. lauern, " to lurk," " be on the watch for," and equivalent to elf, and lai, " a rock "). The Lorelei is a rock in the Rhine near St Goat, which gives a remarkable echo, which may partly account for the legend. The tale appears in many forms, but is best known through Heinrich Heine's poem, beginning Ich weirs nicht was soli es bedeuten. In the commonest form of the story the Lorelei is a maiden who threw herself into the Rhine in despair over a faithless lover, and became a siren whose voice lured fishermen to destruction. The 13th-century minnesinger, known as Der Marner, says that the Nibelungen treasure was hidden beneath the rock. The tale is obviously closely connected with the myth of Holda, queen of the elves. On the Main she sits combing her locks on the Hullenstein, and the man who sees her loses sight or reason, while he who listens is condemned to wander with her for ever. The legend, which Clemens Brentano claimed as his own invention when he wrote his poem " Zu Bacharach am Rheine " in his novel of Godwi (1802), bears all the marks of popular mythology. In the 19th century it formed material for a great number of songs, dramatic sketches, Court of Judicature Act 1877. The number was, fixed at five by the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1881, s. 3. Their salary is £5000 a year (see APPEAL).
End of Article: LORELEI (from Old High Ger. Lur, connected with modern Ger. lauern, " to lurk," " be on the watch for," and equivalent to elf, and lai, " a rock ")
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