Now I will write myself, first about my Citadel, and then about what I have been able to see.
My city lies near the north end of the Liudgaarde. The tower has six sides, and is ninety feet high, fiat-roofed, with a small house upon it out of which they look at the stars. On either side of the tower is a house three hundred feet long, and twenty-one feet broad, and twenty-one feet high, besides the roof, which is round. All this is built of hard-baked bricks, and outside there is nothing else. The citadel is surrounded by a dyke, with a moat thirty-six feet broad and twenty-one feet deep. If one looks down from the tower, he sees the form of the Juul. In the ground among the houses on the south side all kinds of native and foreign herbs grow, of which the maidens must study the qualities. Among the houses on the north side there are only fields. The three houses on the north are full of corn and other necessaries; the two houses on the south are for the maidens to live in and keep school. The most southern house is the dwelling of the Burgtmaagd. In the tower hangs the lamp. The walls of the tower are decorated with precious stones. On the south wall the Tex is inscribed. On the right side of this are the formulae, and on the other side the laws; the other things are found upon the three other sides. Against the dyke, near the house of the Burgtmaagd, stand the oven and the mill, worked by four oxen. Outside the citadel wall is the place where the Burgtheeren and the soldiers live. The fortification outside is an hour long—not a seaman's hour, but an hour of the sun, of which twenty-four go to a day. Inside it is a plain five feet below the top. On it are three hundred crossbows covered with wood and leather.
Besides the houses of the inhabitants, there are along the inside of the dyke thirty-six refuge-houses for the people who live in the neighbourhood. The field serves for a camp and for a meadow. On the south side of the outer fortification is the Liudgaarde, enclosed by the great wood of lime-trees. Its shape is three-cornered, with the widest part outside, so that the sun may shine in it, for there are a great number of foreign trees and flowers brought by the seafarers. All the other citadels are the same shape as ours, only not so large; but the largest of all is that of Texland. The tower of the Fryaburgt is so high that it rends the sky, and all the rest is in proportion to the tower. In our citadel this is the arrangement: Seven young maidens attend to the lamp; each watch is three hours. In the rest of their time they do housework, learn, and sleep. When they have watched for seven years, they are free; then they may go among the people, to look after their morals and to give advice. When they have been three years maidens, they may sometimes accompany the older ones.
The writer must teach the girls to read, to write, and to reckon. The elders, or "Greva," must teach them justice and duty, morals, botany, and medicine, history, traditions, and singing, besides all that may be necessary for them to give advice. The Burgtmaagd must teach them how to set to work when they go among the people. Before a Burgtmaagd can take office, she must travel through the country a whole year. Three grey-headed Burgtheeren and three old maidens must go with her. This was the way that I did. My journey was along the Rhine—on this side up, and on the other side down. The higher I went, the poorer the people seemed to be. Everywhere about the Rhine the people dug holes, and the sand that was got out was poured with water over fleeces to get the gold, but the girls did not wear golden crowns of it. Formerly they were more numerous, but since we lost Schoonland they have gone up to the mountains. There they dig ore and make iron. Above the Rhine among the mountains I have seen Marsaten. The Marsaten are people who live on the lakes. Their houses are, built upon piles, for protection from the wild beasts and wicked people. There are wolves, bears, and horrible lions 1. Then come the Swiss 2, the nearest to the frontiers of the distant Italians, the followers of Kalta and the savage Twiskar, all greedy for robbery and booty. The Marsaten gain their livelihood by fishing and hunting. The skins are sewn together by the women, and prepared with birch bark. The small skins are as soft as a woman's skin. The Burgtmaagd at Fryasburgt 3 (Freiburg) told us that they were good, simple people; but if I had not heard her speak of them first, I should have thought that they were not Frya's people, they looked so impudent. Their wool and herbs are bought by the Rhine people, and taken to foreign countries by the ship captains. Along the other side of the Rhine it was just the same as at Lydasburcht 4 (Leiden). There was a great river or lake 5, and upon this lake also there were people living upon piles. But they were not Frya's people; they were black and brown men who had been employed as rowers to bring home the men who had been making foreign voyages, and they had to stay there till the fleet went back.
At last we came to Alderga. At the head of the south harbour lies the Waraburgt, built of stone, in which all kinds of clothes, weapons, shells, and horns are kept, which were brought by the sea-people from distant lands. A quarter of an hour's distance from there is Alderga, a great river surrounded by houses, sheds, and gardens, all richly decorated. In the river lay a great fleet ready, with banners of all sorts of colours. On Frya's day the shields were hung on board likewise. Some shone like the sun. The shields of the sea-king and the admiral were bordered with gold. From the river a canal was dug going past the citadel. Forana 6 (Vroonen), with a narrow outlet to the sea. This was the egress of the fleet; the Fly was the ingress 7. On both sides of the river are fine houses built, painted in bright colours. The gardens are all surrounded by green hedges. I saw there women wearing felt tunics, as if it were writing felt. 8 Just as at Staveren, the girls wore golden crowns on their heads, and rings on their arms and ankles. To the south of Forana lies Alkmarum. Alkmarum is a lake or river in which there is an island. On this island the black and brown people must remain, the same as at Lydasburgt. The Burgtmaagd of Forana told me that the burgtheeren go every day to teach them what real freedom is, and how it behoves men to live in order to obtain the blessing of Wr-alda's spirit 9. If there was any one who was willing to listen and could comprehend, he was kept there till he was fully taught. That was done in order to instruct the distant people, and to make friends everywhere. I had been before in the Saxenmarken, at the Mannagardaforda 10 castle (Munster). There I saw more poverty than I could discover wealth here. She answered: So whenever at the Saxenmarken a young man courts a young girl, the girls ask : Can you keep your house free from the banished Twisklanders? Have you ever killed any of them ? How many cattle have you already caught, and how many bear and wolfskins have you brought to market ? And from this it comes that the Saxons have left the cultivation of the soil to the women, that not one in a hundred can read or write ; from this it comes, too, that no one has a motto on his shield, but only a misshapen form of some animal that he has killed; and lastly, from this comes also that they are very warlike, but sometimes as stupid as the beasts that they catch, and as poor as the Twisklanders with whom they go to war. The earth and the sea were made for Frya's people. All our rivers run into the sea. The Lydas people and the Findas people will exterminate each other, and we must people the empty countries. In movement and sailing is our prosperity. If you wish the highlanders to share our riches and wisdom, I will give you a piece of advice. Let the girls, when they are asked to marry, before they say yes, ask their lovers: What parts of the world have you travelled in? What can you tell your children about distant lands and distant people? If they do this, then the young warriors will come to us; they will become wiser and richer, and we shall have no occasion to deal with those nasty people. The youngest of the maids who were with me came from the Saxenmarken. When we came back she asked leave to go home. Afterwards she became Burgtmaagd there, and that is the reason why in these days so many of our sailors are Saxons.
END OF APOLLONIA'S BOOK