« PreviousContinue »
noticed that something unusual was com-exercise it now upon the Frau Pastorin, ing.
because she had abused him so about the • Well, Karl, if you won't take it, you letter; “ only that Habermann an Louwon't; but collect yourself, collect your- ise are not coming to dinner.
But we self quickly ;” and he walked up and two can begin.” down, while Habermann followed him with “ Eh, Brasig, why are they not coming ?” his eyes, and turned pale, as he felt “ Well, because of the apron." that this moment was to influence his des
“ The apron ?”. tiny.
· Yes, because it was wet." " Karl,” said Bräsig, standing before “ Whose apron was wet ?” him, “ have you collected yourself?”
Why, Frau Kählert's. But we will He had really done so; he stood up and eat our dinner, the fish will get cold.” exclaimed:
Not a morsel!” cried the Frau Pasto· Brasig, say what you have to say! rin, and put a couple of plates over the What I have borne so long, I can bear yet fish, and over those a napkin, and over longer, if need be.”
that her plump hands, and looked so wildThat is not my meaning,” said Bräsig. Ily at Brasig with her round eyes, that he It is all out, the rascals are convicted, could no longer persist in his role, but and we have the money; not all, but some burst out: “ It is all out, Frau Pastorin, of it."
and they are convicted, and we have most The old man had dreamed what it would of the money again.” be to be delivered from his troubles, for a “. And do you tell me that now, first ? " ray of hope had gleamed upon his horizon; cried the little Frau, and jumped up from but when the sun was fairly risen upon the table, and was running up to Haberthis new day, and shone brightly in his mann. Bräsig would not allow that, and, face, his eyes were blinded by the sudden by promising to tell her everything, splendor, and a thousand suns floated brought her back to the sofa. around him.
Frau Pastorin," said he, “ the chief • Brasig! Brasig! My honest name! thing, that is, the principal indicium, My child's happiness !” and he sank back came out through Kählertsch, that is to in his chair, and Brasig held him the glass say, not properly, of her own accord, but of water, and the old man drank, and re- through her wicked jealousy, which is a covered himself a little, and grasped Brä- dreadfully powerful feeling in many wosig, who stood before him, about the knees : men, and produces the most terrible con
Zachary, you have never in your life de sequences. I don't mean you, by that, I ceived me!"
only mean Kählertsch. You see the wo“ No, Karl, it is the pure truth, and it man had made up her mind to marry the stands in the protocol, and the rascals will weaver, and the weaver would'nt have her. be sent to Dreiberg, the Herr Burgomeis- Now, she is rightly of the opinion that the ter says; but first to Bützow, to the crim- weaver's divorced wife wishes to marry inal court."
him again, herself, and she lies in wait for Brasig,” said Habermann, and he stood them, and so it happened once that her up, and went into his sleeping room, apron - I mean Kahlertsch's - was wet, " leave me alone, and say nothing to Lou- and she was going to dry it on the garden ise! Yes, tell her to come up.".
fence. While she was there, half con“ Yes, Karl,” said Brasig, walking to the cealed behind the fence, she saw the window, and looking out, and wiping the weaver and his divorced wife, holding a tears from his eyes, and as he went rendezvous, well, you know what that is, through the door he saw his Karl, in the Frau Pastorin bedroom, upon his knees.
Bräzig, I tell you Louise went to her father, Bräsig told Quiet, Frau Pastorin! and they were her nothing; but to the Frau Pastorin he not sitting in a ditch, they were standing was not so silent.
among the pole-beans, so that the woman · Bless me,” said the little Frau, “ now must have got into the garden from over Louise has gone away, and Habermann the fence, in the rear, since she had not does not come, and you, Brasig, don't gone through the house. Kählertsch in come at the right time, the dinner will be her wicked jealousy, called Frau Kranger, cold, and we have such nice fish. What the butcher's wife, to come and look also, were you going to tell me, Brasig ?” and they two watched the other two, till
· Oh, nothing much,” said Uncle Brä- they disappeared among the beans, and sig, looking as if the rascals had infected after a little the woman got over the him with all sorts of roguery, and he must' fence, and the weaver busied himself in
the garden, whereupon the two women | ever she went to get wood, she would take quietly retired. So far we had got, and out a couple of pieces, which she would this was true, for the butcher's wife swore get changed by the help of some of the to it.
old Jew women,- she has been to Kurz, * Then the Herr Burgomeister says, if also. And then, perhaps a year and a Kählertsch would only speak out, we half ago, she met the weaver, and asked might learn more. Then I say, “Herr him if he would not marry her again, for Burgomeister, woman's jealousy ! then he she was no longer poor, she had something says, . But how?' Then I say, · Herr Bur- now, and she gave him a double louisgomeister, I knew some hing about it, d'or; he would'nt listen to her then, howwhen I had three sweethearts at once,-- ever, because at that time he was in love jealousy is a terrible passion, and it knows with Kählertsch,— I beg. you, Frau Pasneither mercy nor pity. Let me try her.' torin, with Kählertsch! They might offer and when Kählertsch came again I said, in me Kählertsch on a silver salver, I should an off-hand way, · Well, if the weaver had never fall in love with her. But he took not married any body else, meantime, I the louis-d'or, and she teased him again, suppose he could marry his divorced wife and made him other presents, till at last again. And the Herr Burgomeister took his inclination began to return to her, and my hint, and said yes, if he wanted to, he wanted nothing more to do with the clerical consistory could give him a Kählertsch. And she showed him all her desperation. You see, that put the wo- treasure, and they changed it about, now man herself into a desperation, and she here and now there, to keep it concealed, burst out, if it was coming to that, she and finally, this spring, they locked it up would tell something: the
weaver had in a box, and he threw the black cloth into brought money with him out of the gar- the butcher's compost heap, and they den, for before that he had had no money buried the treasure in the garden. Anil in his cupboard, but afterwards she had we went there with the weaver, and found looked, and had found money there, sev- fourteen hundred thalers, among the potaeral double louis-d'ors. You see, she had toes. Just think of it fourteen hundtrapped herself, showing that she had red thalers among the potatoes! They been, with a night-key, into other people's had spent the rest of it.” cupboards. The Herr Burgomeister had “ Good heavens!” cried the Frau Pasher arrested and put in prison, so we now torin, “how clever you and the Herr Burhad the three rogues fast.
gomeister must have been, to get so much When the weaver came in again, and out of them.” lied again, as to how he had come by the “ So we are, Frau Pastorin," said Uncle money, and lied to the very face of the Brasig, quietly. butcher's wife, that he had not been with “ But the woman?” cried the little his wife in the garden, you see, the Frau. “ She was the nearest to it.” butcher's wife got angry too, and said she “ Yes, Frau Pastorin, that was an excithad seen the calves of her legs, as she was ing moment, for the Herr Burgomeister climbing over the fence,-- don't take it had concealed the indiciuin of the box and ainiss, Frau Pastorin,- but she said so. the gold, under his every-day hat, and And then the weaver was sentenced to when the weaver's wife was confronted have ten on his jacket, for our laws, with her husband, and once more admonthank God! — still have penalties for in- ished to tell the truth, and persisted in famous lying, and the Herr Burgomeister lying, then the Herr Burgomeister lifted talked to him very solemnly, and told him his hat, and said, It is no matter, we have he was a master weaver, and he should be the money already.' You see, when she degraded from his trade; but would he saw the box, she flew at the weaver, like confess? not a bit of it. But so soon as a fury, and in a moment she had torn his he had had his first three on the jacket, he whole face, just with her nails, and fell on his knees, - which was a dreadful screamed, • Cursed wretch! I would have sight to me, so that I turned away,– and made hiin happy, and he has made me unsaid he would confess everything, and he happy!'. Frau Pastorin, love is madder did so, since he had not stolen it himself, than jealousy. Kählertsch never would but his wife. The woman had stolen the have done that! But, Frau Pastorin, our money from the day-laborer, Regel, taking fish must be quite cold.” the black packet from his waistcoat pocket, " Ah, Brasig, how can you think of anywhen he was intoxicated, and hid it in the thing like that. But I must go to Haberwoods, under the moss and bushes, and mann, I must tell him there it had lain for two years, and when- “ That you are very glad he is so tri
umphantly cleared,” said Brasig, drawing, to his heart's content; and upon each of her down on the sofa again ; so you shall, them Brasig hung a sort of contrivance, but not yet. For, you see, I believe Ha- intended to represent a chandelier, and bermann has something to tell the Lord, | Krischan the coachman climbed about ou and Louise will help him, and that is right them for a week, in his buckskin breeches, too, but she is enough; for, Frau Pas- | adorning them with oak-leaves; which he torin,- as Pastorin you should know,- did very finely, but to the detriment of our Lord is a jealous God, and when He his apparel, since the beams, with their communes with a thankful soul he does splinters, little by little devoured his bucknot suffer that others should approach, i skin breeches. but draws back, and, where the presence Jochen put his hand in his purse, and of God has shone, human sympathy must paid the money for the new house, for he wait till afterwards."
wanted everything done, for his Mining, The little Frau Pastorin looked at him in the finest manner, and he got Krischan in astonishinent, and finally broke out: a new pair of breeches. “ God bless you, Brasig! I always called “Mother,” he cried to his wife,
come! you an old heathen; but you are a Chris- look! What shall we do about it?” tian, after all!"
“Yes, Jochen, it is all very well. But “ I don't know, Frau Pastorin, I don't there ought to be lights in the chandeknow what I am. But I know that the liers !” little I have done, in this matter, I have She was going out, when a voice spoke not accomplished as a Christian, but as to her from the clouds, that is, the oakassessor at the criminal court. But Frau leaf-clouds, and a face full of light, candlePastorin, our fish is spoiled by this time, light, bent down to her and said solemnly, and I don't feel at all hungry. The house “ It shall all be attended to, Frau Nüssler,” seems too narrow for me, – adieu, Frau and as she looked nearer into the clouds, Pastorin, I must go out in the fresh air a she saw the the honest, red face of her oli little while.”
angel, Bräsig, looking out from the oakleaves and tallow-candles, which he haul
strung around his neck, like a clergyman's The Friday, on which Rudolph and Mi- bands, that he might have his hands free ning were to be married, had come, and to fasten them in their places. the loveliest Whitsuntide weather shone When this was done, the three stood toupon Rexow, and on the singular edifice gether, and contemplated the effect, and which Jochen, with the aid of Schultz the Brasig said, “ Truly, Jochen!. 'Tis like a carpenter, had constructed near his mod- fairy palace, out of the • Arabian Nights,' est farm-house. From the outside, the which I read last winter from the circulataffair was not very distinguished looking, ing library!” it was only of boards and laths hammered And Jochen said, “Yes, Bräsig : it is together, and looked uncommonly like a all as true as leather; but it is only for building in which wild beasts are exhib- one night; for, day after to-morrow, we ited, at the Leipsic fair. Inside, the work must tear it down.” of art presented a more stately appear
“ That would be barbarous!” said the ance, for the boards were covered with carpenter, “ the six notched beams would blue and yellow cloth, half of one color, last ages, and the fairies might walk in as and half of the other, since there was not if they were born and bred there.” enough of one kind, in Rahnstadt, to cover And the next day came the fairies, not, so large a hall; and secondly, it was indeed, exactly as Herr Schultz had repreadorned with six notched beams, for on sented, no, they came, at that time, all in
other condition would carpenter crinoline, that is to say, the half-grown, Schultz undertake the job. There ought, horse-hair variety, not with bells and properly, he said, to be nine, in such a springs and bee-hives and steel bird-cages, building as a wedding-hall, but the ex- as at present; but they were beginning, pense would be too great, and since Jo- even then, and Auntie Klein, from Rostock, chen did not understand much about had put a regular barrel-hoop of tough architecture, and Frau Nüssler had enough oaken wood, into her petticoat, which to do with the eating and drinking for the grazed her sister's shins so unmercifully wedding, and Brüsig was his friend, and on the way, that the poor woman had to would not oppose him, because he had stand on one foot through the whole wellhelpeil him at the Reformverein, carpen- ding. But the fairies came, and they hall ter Schultz had his own way, like a moth wreaths in their hair, of natural flowers, in a rug, and built in the notched beams and not artificial, which was a pity, fur
towards the close of the wedding, when | since he has grown so thin, and so talkathe feet were weary, and the lovely eyes tive." And going into the “ temple of drooped, and the bright clouds of hair art,” as carpenter Schultz called bis ediwere tumbled about as if a storm-wind had tice, and finding the architect sitting there, blown through them, then the weary absorbed in admiration of his work and a flowers drooped their heads and whispered bottle of Bavarian beer, he said, “ Schultz, to each other, “ I wish it were over; noth- you have done your part, and I have done ing gives one such a longing for the quiet mine ; but, you shall see, Jochen will spoil night, as all this gaiety.” How much bet- the whole performance, with his stupid reter we do things at present! The artificial lations, so that it will turn out like a mess flowers stand up brisk and lively, and say, of sour porridge." * Always ready! Our stems and strings “ I have nothing to say about it, being hold out, and when this is over, they will only a guest here,” said Herr Schultz, lay us away in a box; and we shall get“ but if they are what you say, then, out rested, and when another time comes we with them!” are always ready!” A?), how the world And Bräsig walked up and down the has improved! If they could only keep garden, like a tree-frog, not that he had on fresh and bright the youthful limbs and a green coat, for he wore his nice brown the fresh lungs and the innocent hearts, one, with the yellow vest, no, he was like well, for all me, the whole pretty fairies a tree-frog only because he prophesied themselves, — with their wires and threads foul weather before night. All at onc, and steel springs !
he looked over the garden fence, and saw Brasig distributed invitations for Frau Jochen's own“ phantom" approaching, not Nüssler and Jochen with a free hand, and driven by Krischan, but by a day-laborer, had selected from Rahnstadt and the vi- and looking nearer he saw two women cinity a fine company of neat, willing and sitting in it, and when he looked nearer active dancers, and although there was still
, there sat his own sister the widow of now and then a crooked stick among the the dairy-farmer Korthals, with her only men, it was no matter, said Uncle Brasig, daughter, who lived far away, in straitened for you could see a man's legs distinctly circumstances, in a village in Pomerania. enough, and could beware of them. Besides “ God preserve us!” he cried, “my the Rahnstadters and a few others in the own sister! And her little Lotting, too! region, Jochen Nussler had, through Ru- This is her doing!” and running through dolph, invited all his relations, a very wide- the kitchen to the hall, he met Frau spreading race. Not that they themselves Nüssler, and cried, “ You have done this were so wide-spreading, I only mean the for me! Oh, you are relationship, and they were scattered widely Just then two ladies entered the hall, over all Mecklenburg and Pommerania. very simply dressed, but both of them
There sat uncle Luting, there Uncle lovely as pictures; the older, with tears Krischaning, there Uncle Hanning, and of emotion and gratitude running down there Cousin Wilhelming,—“who is my her friendly, true-hearted face, the own second cousin, and a very witty younger, with her fresh, innocent soul fellow, when it comes to eating and drink- shining out of great blue eyes, under a ing,” said Jochen,- and there sat Aunt cloud of golden hair, and asking, “Where Dining, and Aunt Stining, and Aunt Mi- is my dear, good Unele Zachary?” for it ning, and Aunt Lining, and Aunt Rining, was long years since she had seen him. “and Aunt Zaphie is coming too,” said “ Here! here!” he cried, and pulled Jochen, “who was an extremely fine wo- and pushed his dear relations through the man in her day.” “She has been here hall, till he got them up to Frau Nussler, this great while,” said Bräsig. And as one and said, “ There she is; now thank her!” stately equipage after another drove up And when the two had expressed their to the Rexow court, and the whole Nüss- gratitude, and turned round again to look ler family in a company stood around for him, he was gone. Like a miller, who Jochen, welcoming each other, and inquir- has started his mill, and poured the corn ing how things had gone for the last six- into the hopper, he had crowded his way teen or twenty years,- for it was as long through the stout meal-bags of the Nuis. as that since they had seen each other, ler family, and now sat in the arbor, in and those who knew how to write never the garden, blowing and trumpeting at his did,-- Bräsig said to Frau Nüssler: nose, until Schultz the carpenter decampel
* A very constant race, these Nüsslers! with his beer-bottle from the temple of Regular thorough-bred Nüsslers ! Only art, believing that the musicians had arJochen is a little different from the rest,' rived.
But they did not come yet; first came ing of old times, and every other word Kurz and the rector, each with his good was “ Zachary," and Louise and the little old advocate at his side, and when they had assessor had Lotting between them, and been presented, and had crowded about, every other word was “ Uncle Brasig." for a while, in the room with the Nüssler Then came a great harvest wagon..with family, old Uncle Luting Nüssler came flowers and wreaths, Krischan the coachup to Kurz, in a pompous, overbearing man driving the four horses, in the saddle, way, and said, in a deep voice, “ You can in his new yellow buckskins, his whip orcongratulate yourself upon being connected namented with red and blue ribbons, anel afresh with such a rich and noble relation- he himself with a wreath of roses around shir: Do you see,” and he pointed to his hat, which looked uncommonly as if the Uncle Krischan, who had just thrown him- old hat were celebrating its fiftieth golden self upon the sofa, “ there tumbles a hund- wedding, upon this occasion, and on the red thousand thalers."
front seat, sat David Berger, the town"I don't do it for that,” said Uncle musician, playing on his clarionet: Krischan.
“ Wer niemals sinen Rausch gehabt, Well, that made Kurz angry, but he re
Das ist kein braver Mann,' strained himself; but when Uncle Luting went on to ask, “ Ilave you ever in your and behind him sat his companions, blowlife seen so many rich people together in ing the same tune, though not in the same one company ? " then Kurz's wrath broke time, for since they sat on the seconu, out, and h= replied, “No! nor ever in my third and fourth seats they could not poslife so many blockheads ! ”
sibly keep it, since he was always three He turned away, and his wife, who had ahead of them; and when he turned round heard it, followed him and said, “ Kurz, | angrily, or Krischan would go faster and I beg you, for God's sake, don't begin used his whip, he always got his hair again with your democracy! It would be pulled, for one of his mischievous companmuch better for you to go to bed at once.”ions had fastened the handle of the whip
He would not do that, but he was placed to his back hair, and when Krischan touched under the ban, for the whole evening, by the whip, or when he stirred himself, he all the Nüssler family.
was in constant torment. And Pastor Gottlieb came with Lining, And behind this wagon came another and they were treated with great respect harvest wagon, full of white dresses, and by their elders, because they were to per- from under the white dresses peeped form the marriage ceremony. Don't mis- pretty little dancing feet, and above thein, understand me! Not that Lining herself on the round heads, nodded roses and
to marry them, not at all! but, for pinks, which looked out modestly from the once in her life, she had interfered in curly locks, as if they were too bashful to Gottlieb's professional affairs, and had glance at the pretty faces. These were the altered his marriage ceremony a little, so little fairies. And right in the the midst of that Gottlieb said it was not like a Chris- the fairies sat the Herr Postmaster, in his tian minister's speech, it was more like a new uniform, the only one Rahnstadt had family speech; but she remained firm in to show, - otherwise he would not hare her position that as Mining's twin she arrived at such an honor, - and sung, gay ought to know what would go most to her as a finch, his finest song in this garden heart, and Gottlieb had to yield to her. of roses. Behind this wagon came yet And now
came Habermann, with the another harvest wagon, loaded with genFrau Pastorin and Louise and the little tlemen, with dancers, the best dancers in assessor, driving up in a glass coach, for Rahnstadt, and Kurz's Herr Süssmann the Frau Pastorin had said, “ So, and in no danced along the wagon pole in front, and other way!” She had once been com- the Herr Rector's youngest pupil sat, with pelled to decline a wedding invitation from his legs dangling in the air, behind. Frau Nüssler, in her great sorrow, and The guests all looked very joyous, but now she would make up for it in her great the Frau Ilostess was in the greatest perpleaure at this second wedding, and then plexity, for she was not acquainted with a she pressed the hands of Habermann and single one of them, since Brasig had se Louise and the little assessor, saying, lected them merely with reference to their " Isn't it so? We are all happy to-day.” capacities for dancing, and she called for So they came to Rexow, and when they Brasig; but when he finally came Krischan arrived Habermann saw Brasig's sister, the coachman had brought them all in, whom he had known years ago, and it was and undertook to dispose of them. He not long before they sat together, talk-'opened the doors of the kitchen and din