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Full text of "Flower, fruit, and thorn pieces; or : The wedded life, death, and marriage of Firmian Stanislaus Siebenkaes, parish advocate in the burgh of Kuhschnappel, A genuine thorn piece"

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Presented to the 

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LIBRARY 



1980 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

Microsoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/flowerfruitthornOOjeanuoft 



BOHN'S STANDARD LIBRARY. 



RICHTER'S 
FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 









> ' — r '• 



GEORGE BELL & SONS 

LONDON : YORK ST., COVENT GARDEX 
NEW YORK : 66 FIFTH AVENUE, AND 
BOMBAY: 53 ESPLANADE ROAD 
CAMBRIDGE : DEIGHTON BELL & CO- 




5 50 

FLO^g^RUIT, AND 
VlECES; 

WEDDED LIFE, DEATH.^AND MARRTAGE 



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FIRMIAN STANISLAUS SIEBENOES, 

PARISH ADVOCATE 
IN THE BURGH OF KUHSCHNAPPEL. 



{A GENUINE TIFORN PIECE.) 



JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. 



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v 



PREFACE 



SECOND EDITION. 



What advantage shall I reap in giving to the world this, 
my new edition of ' Siebenkoes,' embellished and perfected as 
it is with all the additions, corrections, and improvements 
which it has been in my power to make ? Can I expect to 
be any the better for it? People will, I daresay, buy it 
and read it ; but not give much of their time to the study 
of it, nor be sufficiently detailed and thorough in their 
criticism of it. The Pythia of Criticism has hitherto been 
ohary of her oracles to me, as the Greek Pythia was to 
other inquirers ; she has chewed up my laui els, instead of 
crowning me with them, and prophesied little or nothing. 
The author very distinctly remembers setting to work, foi 
instance, at the second edition of his • Hesperus,' * with 
his pruning-saw in his left hand and his oculist's knife in 
his right, and applying both instruments to the work to 
an extraordinary extent ; it was in vain, however, that he 
looked for anything like an appreciative notice of it, 
either in literary or non-literary publications. Similarly, 
in all his new editions (those of ' Fixlein,' the ' Prepara- 
tory School,' and 'Levana,' are proofs and witnessesf), 
however he may set to work, hanging up new pictures, 
turning some of the old ones' faces to the wall — marching 

Name of one of the author's other worts. f Other works of his. 



VI TREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 

off some ideas, relieving them by others — making cha- 
racters conduct themselves better, or worse, or hit upon 
better, or upon worse, ideas, as the case may be, — the deuce 
a reviewer takes the least notice of it, or says a word to 
the world on the subject. But in this way 1 leam little, 
am not told where I have done pretty well, or the reverse, 
and am minus, perhaps, some little bit of praise and en- 
couragement which I may deserve. 

This is how the question stands, and several conse- 
quences follow as matters of course ; the indifferent class 
of readers consider the author incapable of making any 
critical emendations, while the enthusiastic class think 
none are necessary — their common point of agreement 
being the supposition that he absorbs and emits the 
whole thing with the same natural, matter of course, ease 
and absence of effort as the Aphides, the plant-lice, 
do the honey-dew, which is in such request with the 
bees; though, unlike the said bees, ho is not very clever 
at making the wax for it. 

Then there are a good many who think every line 
should be left in the condition in which it first flowed, 
or burst, spontaneously from its author's fancy — just as if 
corrections were not themselves spontaneous outbursts as 
well as the other. Other readers prefer to belong to none 
of the above factions — and consequently belong, to some 
extent, to all. Were it my object to express myself bi iefl}', 
I should merely have to do so as follows: — firstly, they 
say, it would be much better if ho simply spoke artlessly 
out whatever he finds it in his heart to say ! and (if this 
is just what one happens to have done), secondly, how 
much better would be the effect of that which he finds 
it in that heart of his to say, and how much it would l>o 
improved, were it to be done according to the canons of 
taste and criticism! I can express these ideas likewise 



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. VII 

in a more roundabout form, as follows : — If a writer 
curbs himself too closely, if be thinks less about the strong 
throb of his heart than about the delicate arterial network 
and plexus of taste, and breaks up its broad stream into 
fine, minute, dew-drops of the invisible perspiration of 
criticism — then they say — "the fact is, that the thicker 
and more powerful a jet of water is, the higher it shoots, 
penetrating the atmosphere, and overcoming its resist- 
ance; whilst a more delicate jet is dissipated before it 
gets half as far." But, when the author does just the 
reverse of the above; when he presses out all his over- 
flowing heart in one gush, and lets the blood-billows flow 
when and how they will, then the critics point the fol- 
lowing moral — doing it, however, in a metaphor other than 
I should have expected of them — " A work of art is like a 
paper kite, which rises the higher the more the boy pulls 
and holds back the string, but falls the moment he lets 
it go." 

We return at last to our book. The most important 
of the emendations made upon it are, perhaps, the his- 
torical ; for, since the first edition appeared, I have had 
tbe good fortune — partly because I have had an opportunity 
of visiting and seeing Kuhschnappel itself, the scene of 
the story (as was some time since stated in Jean Paul's 
letters), partly from my correspondence with the hero of 
it himself — of becoming acquainted with family circum- 
stances and occurrences which, probably, I could not have 
got at in any other way, unless I had sat down and coolly 
invented them. I have even made prize of some fresh 
Leibgeberiana, which I am happy to be able now to com- 
municate to the public. 

The new edition is also improved by the banishment of 
all those foreigners of words which occupied places mor»" 
appropriately to be filled by natives of the country ; also 



VU1 PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 

by a critical cleansing away of all the genitive final b's 
of compound words. But really the labour of sweeping 
and striking out letters and words all through four long 
volumes can be estimated so highly by nobody, not even 
by Posterity, as by the sweeper and striker-out himself. 

Another of the improvements made in the Second 
Edition is, that I have placed both the " Flower-pieces " at 
the end of the second volume * (for in the former edition 
they came both at the beginning of the first), and that it 
is no longer the first volume, but, much more appro- 
priately, the second, which closes with the first Fruit- 
piece. 

And lastly, it may, perhaps, be reckoned as one of the 
minor improvements, that in the two Flower-pieces — par- 
ticularly in that of the Dead Christ — I have not made 
any improvements, but left everything as it was, and not 
attempted to scrape away any of the golden writing-sand 
with which I had made the letters a little rough and 
illegible. 

The above are the principal alterations, concerning 
which I should be so glad to be favoured with the 
opinions of able reviewers, to the increasing of my in- 
formation, perhaps also of my reputation. But, as there 
could not be a more troublesome business than the com- 
paring of the old book with the improved one, page by 
page, as it were, I have deposited in the school-book shop 
the printed copy of the old edition, in which all the 
writing-ink emendations of the printing-ink, that is to 
say, all the places which have been written or stroked 
through, can be easily seen at a glance, often half and 
whole pages done to death, so that it would really astonish 
you. Critics not on the spot must, indeed, content them- 

* Second Book in the translation. 



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. IX 

selves with laying the volumes of each of the editions 
into the opposite scales of a grocer's balance, and then 
looking, when they will see how much the new edition 
outweighs the old. From my strict and anxious treat- 
ment of my Second Edition, then, all critics may form an 
idea of my strict and anxious treatment of my first ; they 
may also form an idea how much I struck out of my 
manuscript before printing, when they observe how much 
I have struck out after printing. 

Dr. Jean Paul Fr. Kichter. 

Baybetjth, September, 1817. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGB 

PREFACE to the Second Edition y 

PREFACE, with which I was obliged to put Jacob Oehrmann, 
General Dealer, to sleep, because I wished to narrate the 
" Dog Post Days," and these present " Flower-Pieces," 
&c, &c, to his Daughter 1 

Wedded Life, Death, and Marriage of F. S. Siebenejes. 17 

& ©entunt Churn $tece. 



BOOK I. 

CHAPTER I. 

A Wedding Day, succeeding a day of respite — The Counterparts 
— Dish Quintette in two Courses — Table-talk — Six Arms and 
Hands 19 

CHAPTER H. 

Home Fun — Sundry formal Calls — The Newspaper Article — A 
Love Quarrel, and a few hard words — Antipathetic ink on 
the wall — Friendship of the Satirists — Government of 
Kuhschnappel 36 

Appendix to Chapter II. 
Government of the Imperial Market Borough of Kuhschnappel 58 



Xll CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER III. 

fags 
Lennette's Honeymoon — Book Brewing — Scliulrath Stiefel — 
Mr. Everard —A Day before the Fuir — The Red Cow — St. 
Michael's Fair — The Beggars' Opera — Diabolical Tempta- 
tion in the Wilderness, or the Mannikin of Fashion — Autumn 
Joya — A New Labyrinth ....... 64 

CHAPTER IV. 

A Matrimonial Partie a la Guerre — Letter to that Hair Collector, 
the Venner — Self-deceptions — Adam's Marriage Sermon — 
Shadowing and Over-shadowing 100 

End of the Preface and of the First Book . . . .121 



PREFACE to the Second, Third and Fourth Books . 131 

PREFACE by the Author of ' Hesperus ' . . .133 

BOOK II. 

CHAPTER V. 

The Broom and the Besom as Passion Implements — The Im- 
\ ortance of a Bookwriter — Diplomatic Negotiations and Dis- 
cussions on the subject of Candle Snuffing — The Pewter 
Cupboard — Domestic Hardships and Enjoyments . .139 

CHAPTER VI. 

Matrimonial Jars — Extra Leaflet on the Loquacity of Women — 
More Pledging— The Mortar and the Snuff-mill — A Scholar's 
Kiss — On the Consolations of Humanity .... 171 

Continuation and Conclusion of Chapter VI. 

The Checked Calico Dress — More Pledges — Christian Neglect 
of the Study of Judaism — A Helping Arm (of Leather) 
stretched forth from the Clouds — The Auction . . .190 

CHAPTER VII. 

The Shooting-Match — Rosa's Autumnal Campaign — Considera- 
tions concerning Curses, Kisses, and the Militia . . .210 



CONTENTS. Xlll 

CHAPTER VIII. 

PAGE 

Scruples as to Payment of Debts — The Rich Pauper's Sunday 
Throne-ceremonial — Artificial Flowers on the Grave — New 
Thistle Seedlings of Contention 243 

JHrst JFIoincr $)uce. 
The Dead Christ proclaims that there is no God . . . 259 

isrconti jFlofoer ffitct. 
A Dream within a Dream . 265 



BOOK III. 

CHAPTER IX. 

A Potato War with Women — and with Men — A Walk in 
December — Tinder for Jealousy — A War of Succession on 
the subject of a piece of checked calico — Rupture with Stiefel 
— Sad Evening Music . . ... . . 271 

CHAPTER X. 

A Lonely New- Year's Day — The Learned Schalaster — Wooden- 
leg of Appeal — Chamber Postal Delivery — The 11th of 
February, and Birth-day of the year 1786 .... 312 

CHAPTER XI. 

Leibgeber's Disquisition on Fame — Firmian's " Evening Paper " 335 

CHAPTER XII. 

The Flight out of Egypt — The Glories of Travel -^ The Un» 
known — Bayreuth — Baptism in a Storm — Nathalie and the 
Hermitage — The most important Conversation in all this 
Book — An Evening of Friendship ..... 347 

CHAPTER XIIL 

A Clock of Human Beings — A Cold Shoulder — The Venner 879 



XIV CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

PAOB 

A lever's Dismissal — Fantaisie — The Child with the Bouquet 
— The Eden of the Night, and the Angel at the Gate of 
Paradise 391 

JHrst JFruit tyicct. 

Letter of Dr. Victor to Cato the Elder, on the Conversion of I 
into T7*ou, He, She, Ye, and They ; or the Feast of Kindness 
of the 20th March 408 

Postscript by Jean Paul 425 



BOOK IV. 



CHAPTER XV. 
Rosa ron Meyern — Tone-Echoes and After- Breezes from the 
loveliest of all Nights — Letters of Nathalie and Firmian — 
Table-talk by Leibgeber 433 

CHAPTER XVI. 

The Homeward Journey, with all its Pleasures — The Arrival at 
Home . • . . ■ . . . . . 451 

CHAPTER XVII. 

The Butterfly Rosa in the Form of Mining Caterpillar — Thorn- 
crowns, and Thistle-heads of Jealousy .... 457 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

After-Summer of Marriage — Preparations for Death . . 4(38 

CHAPTER XIX. 

The Apparition — Homrooming of the Storms in August, or the 
last Quarrel — The Raiment of the Children of Israel . . 471 

CHAPTER XX. 

Apoplexy — The President of the Board of Health — The Notary- 
Public — The last Will and Testament — The Knight's Move 
— Revel, the Morning Preacher — The Second Apoplectic 
Attack . . . . . . . . . 484 



CONTENTS. XV 



CHAPTER XXI. 



PAGE 



Dr. (Elhafen and Medical Boot and Shoemaking — The Burial 
Society — A Deaths Head in the Saddle — Frederick II. and 
his Funeral Oration 505 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Journey through Fantaisie — Re-union on the Bindlocher Moun- 
tain — Berneck — Man-doubling — Gefreea — Exchange of 
Clothes — Miinchberg — Solo-whistling — Hof — The Stone 
of Gladness and Double-parting ..... 515 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

Days in Vaduz — Nathalie's Letter — A New Year's Wish — 
Wilderness of Destiny and the Heart .... 533 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

News from Kuhschnappel — Woman's Anticlimax — Opening of 
the Seventh Seal 513 

CHAPTER XXV., AND LAST. 

The Journey— The Churchyard — The Spectre — The End of 
the Trouble, and of the Book ...... 553 



PEEFACE, 



WITH WHICH I WAS OBLIGED TO PUT JACOB OEHRMANN, GENERAL 
DEALER, TO SLEEP, BECAUSE I WISHED TO NARRATE THE 
"DOG POST DAYS"* AND THESE PRESENT "FLOWER-PIECES," 
&C, &C, TO HIS DAUGHTER. 

On Christmas Eve of 1794, when I came from the pub- 
lishers of the two works in question, and from Berlin, to 
the town of Scheerau, I went straight from the mail 
coach to the house of Mr. Jacob Oehrmann (whose law 
affairs I had formerly attended to), having with me letters 
from Yienna which might be of considerable service to 
him. A child can see at a glance that at that time there 
was no idea of anything connected with such a matter as 
a Preface in my head. It was very cold — being the 24th 
of December — the street lamps were lighted, and I was 
frozen as stiff as the fawn which had been my fellow- 
passenger (a " blind " one |), by the coach. In the shop 
itself, which was full of draughts and other kinds of wind, 
it was impossible for a preface-maker of any sense, such as 
myself, to set to work, because there was a young lady 
preface-maker — Oehrmann's daughter and shop-girl — 
already at work making oral prefaces to the little books 
she was selling — Christmas almanacs of the best of all 
kinds— duodecimo books, printed on unsized paper indeed, 
but full of real fragments of the golden and silver ages — 
I mean, the little books of mottoes, all gold and silver 
leaf, with which the blessed Christmas gilds its gifts like 
the autumn, or silvers them over like the winter. I don't 
blame the poor shop-wench that, besieged as she was by 

* The chapters in one of the author's books are called " Dog Post 
Da3'8," for a reason therein explained. 

t This means, in German, one who pays no fare. Puns which are 
not translatable must be " explained," or else the sentence left out. 



2 PREFACE. 

such a crowd of Christmas Eve customers, she hardly 
had a nod to throw at me, old acquaintance as I was ; 
and, although I had only that moment arrived from Berlin, 
she showed me in to her father at once. 

All was in a glow in there, Jacob Oehrmann as well as 
bis counting-house. He, too, was sitting over a book, not 
as a preface-maker, however, but as a registrator and 
epitomator ; he was balancing his ledger. He had added 
up his balance-sheet twice over already, but, to his horror, 
the credit side was always a Swiss oertlein (that is, 13$ 
kreuzers, Zurich currency) more than the debit side. The 
man's attention was wholly fixed upon the driving-wheel of 
the calculating machine inside his head ; he hardly noticed 
me, well as he knew me, and though I had Vienna letters. 
To mercantile people, who, like the carriers they employ, 
are at home all the world over, and to whom the remotest 
trading powers are daily sending ambassadors and envoy6s, 
namely, commercial travellers — to them, I say, it makes 
little difference whether it be Berlin, Boston, or Byzance, 
that one happens to arrive from. 

Being well accustomed to this commercial indifference 
to fellow mortals, I stood quietly by the fire, and had my 
thoughts, which shall here be made the reader's property. 

1 cogitated, as I stood at the fire, on the subject of the 
public in general, and found that I could divide it, like 
man himself, into three parts — into the Buying-public, 
the Reading-public, and the Art-public, just as speculative 
persons have assumed that man consists of Body, Soul, 
and Spirit. The Body, or Buying-public, which consists 
of scholars by trade, professional teachers, and people en- 
gaged in business — that true corpus callomm of the German 
empire — buys and uses the very biggest and most corpulent 
books (works of body), and deals with them as women 
do with cookery books, it opens them and consults them 
in order to be guided by them. In the eyes of this class 
the world contains two kinds of utter idiots, differing 
from each other only in the direction taken by their 
crack-brained fancies, those of the one going too much 
downward, those of the other too much upward ; in a 
word, philosophers and poets. Naudaeus, in his ' Enume- 
ration of the Learned Men who were supposed to be 



PREFACE. 3 

Necromancers in the Middle Ages,' has admirably re- 
marked that this never was the case with jurists or 
theologians, but always with philosophers. It is the case 
to this day with the wise of the world, only that, the noble 
idea of" wizard " and " witchmaster," — whose spiritus rector 
and grand master seems to have been the devil himself — 
having got degraded to a name applied to great and clever 
men and conjurors, the philosopher must be content to 
put up with the latter signification of the term. Poets 
are in a more pitiable case still; the philosopher is a 
member of the fourth faculty, has recognised official posi- 
tions — can lecture on his own subjects; but the poet is 
nothing at all, holds no state appointment — (if he did he 
would no longer be " born," he would be " made " by the 
Imperial Chancery), and people who can criticise him and 
pass their opinions upon him throw it in his teeth without 
ceremony that he makes plentiful use of expressions which 
are current neither in commerce, nor in synodal edicts, 
nor in general regulations, nor in decisions of the high 
court of justiciary, nor in medical opinions or histories of 
diseases — and that he visibly walks on stilts, is turgid and 
bombastic, and never copious enough or condensed enough. 
At the same time, I at once admit that, in the rank thus 
assigned to the poet, he is treated very much as the night- 
ingale was by Linnaaus, which (as he was not taking its 
song into account) he, no doubt properly, classed among 
the funny, jerking water-wagtails. 

The second part of the public, the Soul, the Eeading- 
public, is composed of girls, lads, and idle persons in 
general. I shall praise it in the sequel; it reads us all, 
at any rate, and skips obscure pages, where there's 
nothing but talk and argument, sticking, like a just and 
upright judge, or historical inquirer, to matters of pure 
fact. 

The Art-public, the Spirit, I might, perhaps, leave 
altogether out of consideration ; the few who have a taste, 
not only for all kinds of taste, and for the taste of all 
nations, but for higher, almost cosmopolitan beauties, such 
as Herder, Goethe, Lessing, Wieland and one or two more 
— an author has little need to trouble himself about their 
votes, they are in such a minority, and moreover, they 

b 2 



4 PREFACE. 

don't read him. At all events, they don't deserve the 
dedication with which I, at the fireside, came to the con- 
clusion that I would bribe the great Buying-public, which 
is, of course, what keeps the book trade going. I resolved, 
in fact, regularly to dedicate my • Hesperus,' or the ' Kuh- 
hchnappler Siebenkaes,' to Jacob Oehrmann ; and through 
him, as it were, to the Buying-public. To wit, in this 
way :— 

Jacob Oehrmann is not a man to be despised, I can 
tell you. He served as porter of the Stock Exchange in 
Amsterdam for four years, and rang the Exchange bell 
from 11.45 till 12 o'clock. Soon after this, by scraping 
and pinching, he became a "pretty rich house" (though 
he kept a very poor one), and rose to the dignity of seal- 
keeper of a whole collection of knightly seals pasted on to 
noble, escheated, promises to pay. True, like celebrated 
authors, he assumed no municipal offices, preferring to do 
nothing but write ; but the town militia of Scheerau, 
whose hearts are always in the right place (that is to say, 
the safest), and who bravely exhibit themselves to passing 
troops as a watchful corps of observation, insisted upon 
making him their captain, though he would have been 
quite content to have been nothing but their cloth con- 
tractor. He is honest enough, particularly in his dealings 
with the mercantile world; and, far from burning the 
laws of the Church, like Luther, all he burns even of the 
municipal law is a title or two of the Seventh Command- 
ment, indeed, he only makes a beginnirig at burning them, 
as the Vienna censorship does with prohibited books ; and 
even this only in the cases of carriers, debtors, and people 
of rank. Before a man of this stamp I can, without any 
qualms of conscience, burn a little sweet-smelling incense, 
and make his Dutch face appear magnified, to some extent, 
like a spectre's through magic vapour. 

Now I thought I should portray, in his likeness, some 
of the more striking features of the great Buying-public ; 
for he is a sort of portable miniature of it — like itself, he 
cares only for bread-studies, and beer-studies, for no talk 
but table-talk, no literature but politics — he knows that 
the magnet was only created to hold up his shop-door key 
if he chooses to stick it on to it — the tourmaline only to 



PREFACE. 5 

collect his tobacco ashes, his daughter Pauline to take the 
place of both (although she attracts stronger things, and 
with greater attractive power than either) — he knows no 
higher thing in the world than bread, and detests the 
town painter, who uses it to rub out pencil marks with. 
He and his three sons, who are immured in three of the 
Hanse towns, read or write no other, and no less impor- 
tant, books than the waste-book and the ledger. 

" May I be d — d," thought T, as I was warming myself 
at the stove, " if I can paint the Buying-public to greater 
perfection than under the name of Jacob Oehrmann, who 
is but a twig, or fibre, of it ; but then it couldn't possibly 
know what I meant " it occurred to me ; and on account of 
this error in my calculations, I have to-day hit upon quite 
another plan. 

Just as I had committed my error the daughter came in, 
rectified her father's, and brought out the balance cor- 
rectly. Oehrmann looked at me now, and became to some 
extent conscious of my existence ; and, on my presenting 
the Vienna epistles by way of credentials (epistles of this 
kind are more to him than poetical, or St. Pauline, epistles) 
— from being a mere fresco figure on the wall, as I had 
been up to that time, I became a something possessed of a 
mind and a stomach, and I was asked (together with the 
latter) to stay to supper. 

Now, although the critics may set all the cliques and 
circles of Germany about my ears — aye, and have a new 
Turkish bell cast specially for the purpose — I mean to 
make a clean breast of it here, and state in plain words 
that it was solely on account of the daughter that I came, 
and that I stayed, there. I knew that the darling would 
have read all my recent books, if the old man had given 
her time to do it ; and for that very reason it was impos- 
sible for me to blink the fact that it was incumbent upon 
me as a simple duty to talk, if not to sing, her father to 
sleep, and then tell his daughter all that I had been telling 
the world, though the agency of the press. This, as of 
course you perceive, was why I usually came there to 
have a talk on the evenings of his foreign mail days, when 
it didn't take much to put him to sleep. 



6 PREFACE. 

On the Christmas Eve, then, what I had to do was to 
condense and abridge my " 45 Dog Post Days " into the 
space of about the same number of minutes; a longish 
business, rendering a sleep of no brief duration necessary. 

I wish Messrs. the Editors and Reviewers, who find 
much to blame in this proceeding of mine, could have just 
sat down, for once in their lives, on the sofa beside my 
namesake Johanna Paulina ; they would have related to 
her most of my biographical histories in those cleverly 
epitomised forms in which they communicate them in 
their magazines and papers to audiences of a very different 
type. They would have been beside themselves with 
rapture at the truth and felicity of her remarks, at the 
natural, unaffected, simplicity and sincerity of her manner, 
at the innocence of her heart, and at her lively sense of 
humour, and they would have taken hold of her hand, and 
cried '• let the author treat us to comedies half as delicious 
as this one which is sitting beside us now, and he is the 
man for us." Indeed, had these gentlemen, the editors 
and reviewers, got to know a little more than they do about 
the art of briefly extracting the pith and marrow of a book, 
and had they been able to move Pauline just a little more 
than I think such great critical functionaries could be 
expected to do ; and had they then seen, or more properly, 
nearly lost sight of, that gentle face of hers as it melted 
away in a dew of tears (because girls and gold are the 
softer and the more impressionable the purer they are), and 
had they, as of course they would have done, in the 
heavenliness of their emotion, well-nigh clean forgotten 

themselves, and the snoring father 

* * * * * 

Good gracious ! I have got into a tremendous state over 
it myself, and shall keep the preface till to-morrow. It is 

clear that it must be gone on with in a calmer mood. 

***** 

I thought I might take it for granted that the master 
of the house would have tired himself so much with letter- 
writing on the Christmas Eve, that all that would be 
wanted to put him to sleep would be some person who 
should hasten the process by talking in a long-winded and 
tedious style. I considered myself to be that person. 



PREFACE. 7 

However, at first, while supper was going on, I only 
introduced subjects which he would understand. While 
he was plying his spoon and fork, and till grace had been 
said, a sleep of any duration was more than could be 
expected of him. Wherefore I entertained him with matter 
of interest and amusement, such as my blind fellow- 
passenger (the fawn), one or two stoppages of payment — 
my opinions on the French War, and the high prices of 
everything — that Frederick Street, Berlin, was half a mile 
in length — that there was great freedom, both of the press 
and of trade, in that city. I also mentioned that in most 
parts of Germany which I had visited, I had found that the 
beggar boys were the "revising barristers" of and "lodgers 
of appeals" against the newspaper writers; that is to say, 
that the newspaper makers bring to life, with their ink, the 
people who are killed in battle, and arc able to avail them- 
selves of these resurrected ones in the next " affaire ; " whilst 
the soldiers' children, on the other hand, like to kill their 
fathers and then beg upon the lists of killed : they shoot 
their fathers dead for a halfpenny each, and the newspaper 
evangelists bring them to life again for a penny. And 
thus these two classes of the community are, in a beautiful 
manner, by reciprocity of lying, the one the antidote to the 
other. This is the reason why neither a newspaper writer, 
nor an orthographer, can strictly adhere to Klopstock's 
orthographical rule, only to write what you hear. 

When the cloth was off, I saw that it was time for me to set 
my foot to work at the rocking of Captain Oehrmann's cradle. 
M y ' Hesperus ' is too big a book. On other occasions I should 
have had time enough. On these occasions all I had to do to 
get the great Dutch tulip to close its petals in sleep was, to 
begin with wars and rumours of wars — then introduce the 
Law of Nature, orrather the Lawsof Nature, seeing that every 
fair and every war provides a fresh supply — from this point 
I had but a short step to arrive at the most sublime axioms 
of moral science, thus dipping the merchant before he knew 
where he was into the deepest centre of the health-giving 
mineral well of truth. Or I lighted up sundry new systems 
(of my own invention), held them under his nose, attacked 
and refuted them, benumbing and narcotising him with 
the smoke till he fell down benseless. Then came freedom I 



8 PREFACE. 

Then his daughter and I would open the window to the 
stars and the flowers outside, while I placed hefore the 
poor famished soul a rich supply of the loveliest poetical 
honey-bearing blossoms. Such had been my process on 
previous occasions. But this evening I took a shorter 
path. As soon as grace was said, I got as near as I could 
to complete unintelligibility, and proposed to the house of 
business of Oehrmann's soul (his body) the following 
query : whether there were not more Kartewans than 
Newtonists among the princes of Germany. " I do not 
mean as regards ihe animal world," I continued slowly 
and tediously. " Kartesius, as we know, is of opinion 
that the animals are insentient machines, and conse- 
quently, man, the noblest of animals, would be im- 
properly comprehended in this dictum ; what my meaning 
is, and what I want to know, is this — do not the majority 
(of the princes of Germany) consider that the essentiality 
of a realm consists in Extension, as Kartesius holds that 
of matter to do, only the minority of them holding, as 
Newton (a greater man) does of matter, that its essentiality 
consists in Solidity." 

He terrified me by answering with the greatest liveli- 
ness, and as broad awake as you please, " There are only 
two of them that can pay their way — the Prince of 
Flachsenfingen and the Prince of " 

At this point his daughter placed a basket of clothes 
come from the wash upon the table, and a little box 
of letters upon the basket, and set to work printing her 
brothers' names at full length upon their shirts. As she 
took out of the basket a tall white festival tiara for her 
father, and took away from him the base Saturday cowl 
which he had on, I was incited to become as obscure and 
as long-winded as the night-cap and my own designs 
called upon me to be. 

Now, as there is nothing about which he is so utterly 
indifferent as my books, and polite literature in all its 
branches, I determined to settle him, once for all, with 
this detested stuff. I succeeded in pumping out what 
follows. 

" I almost fear, Captain, that yon must have rather 
wondered that I have never enabled you to make acquaint- 



PREFACE. 9 

ance in anything like a very detailed or explicit manner 
with my two latest opuscula, or little works ; the elder 
of the two is, curiously enough, called ' Dog Post Days,' 
and the later ' Flower-pieces.' Perhaps, if I just give you 
a slight idea to-night of the principal points of my forty-five 
Dog Post Days, and then fetch up with the Flower-pieces 
this day week, I shall he doing a little towards making 
amends for my negligence. Of course, it's my fault alone, 
and nohody else's, if you find yon don't quite know what 
the first of the two may he about — whether you are to 
suppose it to he a work on heraldry or on insects — or a 
dictionary of some particular dialect — or an ancient 
codex — or a Lexicon Homericum — or a collection of 
inaugural disputations — or a ready reckoner — or an 
epic poem — or a volume of funeral sermons. It really is 
nothing hut an interesting story, with threads of all the 
ahove subjects woven into it, however. I should he very 
glad myself, Captain, if it were better than it is ; and 
particularly I wish it were written with that degree of 
lucidity that one could half read it, and half compose it 
even, in his sleep. I do not know, Captain, quite what 
your canons of criticism may he, and hence I cannot say 
whether your taste is British or Greek. I must admit 
that I shrewdly suspect that it is not much in the hook's 
favour that there are parts of it to he found — I hope not 
very many — in which there are more meanings than one, 
of all kinds of metaphors and flowery styles hashed up 
together, or an outside semblance of gravity with no reality 
behind it, but only mere fun (you see Germans insist upon 
a businesslike style), and (which I am most of all afraid 
is the case), though the book is of some considerable extent, 
my attempts at imitating the romances of chivalry so 
popular in the present day (which so often seem as if they 
really must have been written by the old artless knights 
themselves, fellows who were better at wielding the heavy 
two-handed sword than the light goose quill) — that my 
attempts, I say, at imitating these romances have scarcely 
been attended with that amount of success at which I have 
aimed at attaining. Perhaps, too, I might oftener have 
offended the modesty and the ears of the ladies, as many 
men of the world have thought I might ; for, indeed, books 



10 PREFACE. 

which do not offend the ears of the great — but only those 
of the chaste — are not considered the most objectionable." 

I saw here, when too late, that. I had struck on a subjeot 
which enlivened him up prodigiously. I did, indeed, 
instantly make a jump to a quite different topic, saying, 
"it is probably the safest way of all, to have improper 
books deposited in public libraries, where the librarians are 
of the usual type, because the rudeness of their manners 
and their disagreeable behaviour, does more to prevent 
these books from being read than an edict of the censor- 
ship." But Jacobus would speak out his thought, " Pauline, 
don't let me forget that the woman Stenzin hasn't paid 
her fine yet." 

It was uncommonly annoying that, just when I got 
sleep lured on to within a step or two of him, the Captain 
should all of a sudden draw his trigger and let off a thing 
calculated to blow all my sleeping powder to the four 
winds of heaven. There is nobody more difficult to weary 
than a person who wearies everybody else. I would 
rather undertake to weary out a lady who happens to have 
nothing to do in five minutes' time, than a man of business 
in as many hours. 

Pauline, the darling, anxious to hear the stories which I 
had accompanied in manuscript to Berlin, put slowly into 
my hand one by one the following letters from her letter- 
box : " Story " — i. e. she wanted to be told the " Dog Post 
Days " that evening. 

So I set to work again, and, with a sigh, began in this 
way : " The fact is, Mr. Oehrmann, that your humble 
servant here will soon be setting letters of this sort flying 
about in Berlin, by his new book, and my " Post Days " may 
be printed on shirts quite as fine as those your sons' names 
sire being printed upon, if the people happen to have made 
their paper from such. But, indeed, I must admit to you 
that as I was sitting on the coach on my way to Berlin, 
with my right foot under my manuscripts, and my left 
beneath a bale of petitions on their way to the Prince of 
Scheeran, with the army, the only thing 1 had in the way 
of a comforting thought was this very natural one, 'Devil 
make a better of it all I' Only he's just the very last 
person to do it. For, good heavens! in an age like this 



PKEFACE. 1 1 

present age of ours, when the instruments of universal 
"world history are only being tuned in the orchestra before 
the concert begins, that is to say, are all grumbling and 
squeaking together in confusion (which was why on one 
occasion the tuning of the orchestra pleased a Morocco 
Ambassador at Vienna much better than the opera itself) 
— in such an age, when it is so hard to tell the coward 
from the brave man — him who lets everything go as it 
pleases from him who strives to do something great and 
good — those who are withering up from those who are 
flourishing and promising fruit, just as in winter the 
fruit-bearing trees look much the same as the dead ones — 
in such an age, there is only one consolation for an author, 
one which I have not yet spoken of to-night, and it is this : 
that, after all, though it be an age in which the nobler 
kinds of virtue, love, and freedom, are the rarest of 
Phoenixes and birds of the sun, he can manage to put up 
with it, and can go on drawing vivid pictures and writing 
lively descriptions of all the birds in question, until they 
wing their way to us in the body. Doubtless, when the 
originals of the pictures have fairly come and taken up 
their abode here on earth, then will all our panegyrics of 
them be out of place, and loathsome to the palate, and a mere 
threshing of empty straw. People who are incapable of 
business can work for the press." 

" There's work, and there's work," the merchant, wide 

awake, struck in; " it all depends Now trade keeps a 

man ; but book-writing isn't much better than spinning 
cotton, and spinning is next door to begging — not meaning 
anything personal to yourself. But all the broken-down 
book-keepers and bankrupt tradesmen take to the making 
of books — arithmetic books, and so on." 

The public sees what a poor opinion this shopkeeper- 
captain had of me, because my business was only the 
making of books, though in old days I had been con- 
tinually running in to him day and night, as notary 
depute, for the protesting of bills. I know the sort of 
view many people take of the convenances of society ; but 
I think anyone on earth will consider that, after being 
tr ated in this style, I was to be excused for going quite 
wild on the spot, and responding to the fellow's imperii- 



12 PREFACE. 

nence, although he was no longer quite in his five sensea, 
in no less formidable a manner than by repeating, accu- 
rately and without abridgment, my "extra leaflets" from 
my ' Hesperus.' 

This, of course, was bound to put him to death — sleep, I 
mean. 

And then thousands of propitious stars arose for the 
daughter and the author — then commenced our feast of 
unleavened bread — then I could sit down with her at the 
front window, and tell her all that which the public has 
for some time had in its hands. Truly there can be 
nothing sweeter than to some kind tender heart, hemmed 
in on all sides and besieged by sermons — which cannot 
refresh itself at so much as a birthday ball, were it only the 
superintendent's and his wife's, nor with a novel, though 
its author be the family legal adviser : to such a beleaguered 
famishing heart, I say, it is more delicious than virgin 
honey to march up with a strong army of relief, and, 
taking hold of some mesh in the nun's veil which is 
over the soul, tear it wider, let her peep through and 
look out at the glimmer of some flowery eastern land — to 
wile the tears of her dreams to her waking eyes — to lift her 
beyond her own longings, and at a stroke set free the fond 
tender heart, long heavy with yearning, and bound in 
bitter slavery — to set it free, and to rock it softly up and 
down in the fresh spring breeze of poesy, while the dewy 
warmth gives birth to flowers therein of fairer growth 
than those of the country round. 

I had just finished by one o'clock. I had taken only 
three hours to the three volumes of my story, because 
I had torn out all the " extra leaves." " If the father is the 
Buying-public, the daughter is the Eeading-public, and we 
must not plague her with anything that's not purely 
historical," I said, and sacrificed my most precious digres- 
sions, for which, moreover, such an enchanting neighbour- 
hood is not quite the proper soil. 

Then the old man coughed, got up from his chair, asked 
what o'clock it was, wished me good night, and opening 
the door saw me out (thereby depriving me of a good 
one), and saw me no more till that night week, on New 
Year's Eve. 



PREFACE. 13 

My readers wiL remember that I had promised to come 
on that evening, because I had to make a brief report 
to my client concerning my " Flower-pieces " — this very 
book. 

I assure the gentle reader that I shall report the events 
of the evening exactly as they occurred. 

I appeared again, then, on the last evening of the year 
1794, on the red waves of which so many bodies, bled to 
death, were borne away to the Ocean of Eternity. My 
client received me with a coldness which I attributed 
partly to that of the temperature outside (for both men 
and wolves are most ferocious in bard frost), partly to the 
Vienna letters which I had — not with me ; and on the 
whole, I had but little to say to the fellow on this occasion. 
As, besides, I was going to leave Scheerau on the 
New Year's Day by the Thursday coach, and was very 
anxious to lay before my dear Pauline some more Paulina, 
namely these sketches, because I knew that whatever other 
wares she might find upon her counter, these wouldn't be 
among them — I consider that no editor who has any 
principles whatever can possibly get into a passion at my 
having duly appeared. Let any hot-headed person of the sort 
just listen to the plan I had. I wanted first to give to 
this silent soul-flower the Flower-pieces, two dreams made 
of flowers put together mosaic-fashion — next the Thorn- 
pieces,* from which I had to break away the thorns, that 
is, the satires, so that nothing remained but a mere curious 
story — and lastly, the Fruit-piece was to be served up last, 
as it is in the book itself, by way of dessert ; and in thi? 
ripe fruit (from which I had previously orally expressed all 
the chilling ice-apple juice of philosophy, which the press 
has, however, left in) I meant to appear at the end of the 
day, myself as Appleworm. This would have led by easy 
steps to my departure or farewell ; for I did not know 
whether I should ever again see or hear of Pauline, this 
flower-polypus, stretching out eyeless, palpitating, tenta- 
cula, from mere instinct towards the light. With the old 

* This is how all these pieces were really arranged in the first, un- 
improved edition ; but I am sure Pauline won't be offended that, in 
the second edition (so strikingly improved) I have adverted more to the 
entire German empire, and arranged them very differently. . 



14 PREFACE. 

decayed wood on which the polyp was blooming I, of 
course, having no Vienna letters, had little to do. 

But near as it was to the time for wishing new year's 
wishes, the old year was doomed to end with wishes 
unfulfilled. 

Yet I have little to blame myself about ; for, as soon as 
ever I came in, I did my best to tire out the live East India 
House and put him to sleep, and I continued to do so 
while he sat there. The only agreeable remarks I made to 
him were, that when he had said some insulting things 
about my successor, his present legal adviser, I extended 
them so as to apply them to the legal profession in 
general, thus elevating the mere pasquinade into the nobler 
satire : " 1 always picture lawyers and clients as two 
strings of people with buckets or purses near a kind of 
engine for quenching money thirst — the one row, the clients, 
always passing away with their buckets, or purses, empty, 
and the other row standing and handing each other buckets 
or purses full," said I. 

I think it was not otherwise than on purpose, that I 
painted to him the great Buying-public with lineaments 
much like his own — for he is a small Buying-public, only 
a few feet long and broad. In fact, I made on him an 
experiment to ascertain what the Buying-public itself 
would t>ay to the following ideas. 

" The public of the present day, Captain, is gradually 
getting to be a nourishing North India Company, and, it 
seems to me, it will soon rival the Dutch, amongst whom 
butter and books are articles of export trade only ; the attio 
salt they have a taste for, is that which Benkelszoon used 
for pickling fish with. Though they have provided 
Erasmus, in consideration of his salt (of a better quality), 
with a statue (he never ate salt, by the way), yet I think 
this was excusable in them, when we remember that 
they first had one erected to the fish-curer in question. 
Even Campe, who by no means classes the inventors of the 
spinning-wheel and of Brunswick beer beneath the con- 
structors and brewers of epic poems, will coincide with me 
when I say that the German is really being made some- 
thing of at the present day ; that he is positively becoming 
a serious, solid, well-grounded fellow — a tradesman, a man 



PREFACE. 15 

}f business; a man getting past his youthful follies, whc 
knows edible from cogitable matter (when he sees it), and 
can winnow out the latter from the former; who can 
distinguish the printer from the publisher, and the book- 
seller (as the more important) from both ; he is becoming 
a speculative individual who, like the hens who run from 
a harp string with fox-gut, can't bear the noise of any 
poet's harp whatever, were it strung with the harper's 
own heart-strings — and who will soon come to suffer no 
pictorial art to exist, except upon bales of merchandise,* 
nor any printing except calico-printing." 

Here I saw, to my amazement, that the merchant 
was asleep ah-eady, and had shut the window-shutters of 
his senses. was a good deal annoyed that I had been 
standing in awe of him, as well as talking to him, all this 
time unnecessarily ; I had been playing the part of the 
Devil, and he that of King Solomon, supposed by the evil 
one to be alive when he was dead.f 

Meantime, with the view of not waking him up by means 
of a sudden change of key, I went on talking to him as if 
nothing had happened, speaking to him all the time I was 
slipping away from him further and further towards the 
window with an exceedingly gradual diminuendo of my 
tone, as follows : — " And of such a public as this, I quite 
expect that a time will come when it will value shoe 
leather much above altar - pieces, J and that, when 
the moral and philosophical credit of any philosopher 
chances to be in question, its first inquiry of all will be, 
• is the fellow solvent ? ' And further, my beloved listener 
(I continued in the same tone, so as not to run the risk of 
waking the sleeper by any change in the kind of sound), it 

* I earnestly beg that section of the publio the description of whicn 
is here levelled at the head of the shopkeeper-captain not to suppose 
it is meant for them ; they must see that I am only joking, and my 
intention, of course is dear. 

t The Koran says, the devils were compelled to serve and obey 
Solomon. After his death he was stuffed, and, by means of a stick in 
his hand, and another propping him up about the os coccygis, kept on 
such an apparent footing of being alive, that the devils themselves 
were taken in by it, until the hinder axis of him was eaten by worms, 
and the sovereign rolled over topsy-turvy. — See Boysen's Koran in 
MichaehV ' Orient. Bibl.' % Untranslatable pun. 



16 PREFACE. 

is to be hoped and expected that I shall now have an 
opportunity of going through, for your entertainment, my 
Flower-pieces, which have not even been committed to 
paper as yet, and which I can quite easily finish this 
evening, if he (father Jacobus) will have the goodness to 
sleep long enough." 

I commenced, accordingly, as follows : — 

P.S. — But it would be too utterly ridiculous altogether, 
if I were to have the whole of the Flower and Thorn pieces, 
which are all in the book itself, printed over again in the 
preface ! At the end of book the first, however, I shall 
give the continuation and conclusion of this preface, and 
of the New Year's Eve, and shall then go on with the second 
book, so that it may be ready for the Easter fair. 

Jean Paul Fr. Richtkr. 
Hof, 1th November, 1796. 



* ■• ■' -' 






WEDDED LIFE. DEATH AND MARRIAGE 

OF 

F. S. SIEBENK^ES, 

VAEISH ADVOCATE IN THE KOTAL BURGH OF KCHSCHNAPP8L. 



A GENUINE THOKN PIECE. 



\*W* Jfe 




CftttfftYiQ 



n. 



BOOK I. 



CHAPTER I. 

A WEDDING DAY, SUCCEEDING A DAY OF RESPITE — THE COUNTER- 
PARTS — DISH QUINTETTE IN TWO COURSES — TABLE-TALK — 
SIX ARMS AND HANDS. 

Siebesk.es, parish advocate* for the royal borough of 
Kuhschnappel, had spent the whole of Monday at his 
attic-window watching for his wife that was to be, who 
had been expected to arrive from Augspurg a little be- 
fore service-time, so as to get a sip of something warm 
before going to church for the wedding. 

The Schulrath of the place, happening to be returning 
from Augspurg, had promised to bring the bride with him 
as return cargo, strapping her wedding outfit on to his 
trunk behind. 

She was an Augspurger by birth — only daughter of the 
deceased Engelkraut, clerk of the Lutheran Council — and 
she lived in the Fuggery, in a roomy mansion which was 
probably bigger than many drawing-rooms are. She was 
by no means portionless, for she lived by her own work, 
not on other people's, as penisoned court-ladies'-maids do. 
She had all the newest fashions in bonnets and other head- 
gear in her hands earlier than the ricbest ladies of the 
neighbourhood, albeit in such miniature editions that not 
even a duck could have got them on; and she erected 

• Or "Poor's Advocate" (more literally). The appointment ac 
named, exists, or lately existed, in Scotland. 

c 2 



20 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

edifices for the female head at a few days' notice, on a 
large scale, after these miniature sketches and small-scale 
plans of them. 

All that Siebenkaes did during his long wait was to 
depose on oath (more than once) that it was the devil 
who invented seeking, and his grandmother who devised 
waiting. At length, while it was still pretty early, came, 
not the bride, but a night post from Augspurg, with an 
epistle from the Schulrath to say that he and the lady 
" could not possibly arrive before Tuesday. She was still 
busy at her wedding-clothes, and he in the libraries of 
the ex-Jesuits, and of Privy Councillor Zopf, and (among 
the antiquities) at the city gates." 

Siebenkaes's butterfly-proboscis, however, fuund plenty 
of open honey cells in every blue thistle blossom of his 
fate ; he could now, on this idle Monday, make a final 
application of the arm file and agate burnisher to his room, 
brush out the dust and the writing-sand with the feather 
of a quill from his table, rout out the accumulations of 
bits of paper and other rubbish from behind the mirror, 
wash, with unspeakable labour, the white porcelain ink- 
stand into a more dazzling whiteness, and bring the butter- 
boat and the coffee-pot into a more advanced and promi- 
nent position (drawing them up in rank and file on the 
cupboard), and polish the brass nails on the grandfather's 
leather arm-chair till they shone again. This new temple- 
purification of his chamber he undertook merely by way of 
something to do ; for a scholar considers the mere arranging 
of his books and papers to be a purification as of the temple, 
at least so maintained the parish advocate, saying further, 
"orderliness is, properly defined, nothing but a happy 
knack which people acquire of putting a thing for 
twenty years in the old place, let that place be where 
it will." 

Not only was he tenant of a pleasant room, but also of a 
long red dining-table, which he had hired and placed beside 
a commoner one; also of some high-backed arm-chairs: 
moreover the landlords or proprietors of the furniture and 
of the lodgings (who all lived in the house) had all been 
invited by him to dinner on this his play Monday, which 
was an excellent arrangement, inasmuch as — most of the 



CHAP. I.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 21 

people of the house being working-men — their play Monday 
and his fell together ; for it was only the landlord who was 
anything superior, and he was a wig-maker. 

I should have had cause to feel ashamed of myself 
had I gone and used my precious historical colours in 
portraying a mere advocate of the poor (a fit candidate 
for his own services in that capacity). But I have had 
access to the documents and accounts relating to my hero's 
guardianship during his minority, and from these I can 
prove, at any hour, in a court of justice, that he was 
a man worth at least 1200 Ehenish guldens (i.e. 100/.), 
to say nothing of the interest. Only, unfortunately, the 
study of the ancients, added to his own natural turn of 
mind, had endowed him with an invincible contempt for 
money, that metallic mainspring of the machinery of our 
human existence, that dial plate on which our value is 
read off, although people of sense, tradespeople for example, 
have quite as high an opinion of the man who acquires, 
as of him who gets rid of it; just as a person who is 
electrified gets a shining glory round his head whether 
the fluid be passing into or out of him. Indeed, 
Siebenkaes even said (and on one occasion he did it) that 
we ought sometimes to put on the beggar's scrip in jest, 
simply to accustom the back to it against more serious 
times. And he considered that he justified (as well as 
complimented) himself in going on to say, " It is easier to 
bear poverty like Epictetus than to choose it like Anto- 
ninus; in the same way that it is easier for a slave to 
stick out his own leg to be cut off, than for a man 
who wields a sceptre a yard long to leave the legs 
of his slaves alone." Wherefore he made shift to live 
for ten years in foreign parts, and for half a year in the 
imperial burgh, without asking his guardian for a single 
halfpenny of the interest of his capital. But as it was 
his idea to introduce his orphan, moneyless bride as mis- 
tress and overseer into a silver mine all ready opened and 
timbered for her reception (for such he considered his 100Z. 
with the accumulated interest to be), it had pleased him 
to give her to understand, while he was in Augspurg, that 
he had nothing but his bare bread, and that what little he 
could scrape together by the sweat of his brow, went from 



22 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK 1. 

hand to mouth, though he worked as hard as any man, 
and cared little about the Upper House of Parliament or 
the Lower. " I'll be hanged," he had long ago said, " if I 
ever many a woman who knows how much I have a year. 
As it is, women often look upon a husband as a species of 
demon, to whom they sign away their souls— often their 
child — that the evil one may give them money and 
eatables." 

This longest of summer days and Mondays was followed 
by the longest of winter nights (which is impossible only 
in an astronomical sense). Early next morning, the 
Schuliath Stiefel drove up, and lifted out of the carriage 
(fine manners have twice their charm when they adorn a 
scholar) a bonnet-block instead of the bride, and ordered 
the rest of her belongings, which consisted of a white 
tinned box, to be unloaded, while he, with her head under 
his arm, ran upstairs to the advocate. 

" Your worthy intended." he said, " is coming directly. 
She is getting ready at this moment, in a farm cottage, 
fc <t the sacred rite, and begged me to come on before, lest 
you should be impatient. A true woman, in Solomon's 
sense of the teini, and I congratulate you most heartily." 

" The Herr Advocate Siebenka?s, my pretty lady 'i — I 
can conduct you to him myself. He lodges with me, and 
I will wait upon you this moment," said the wig-maker, 
down at the door, and offered his hand to lead her up : 
but, as she caught sight of her second bonnet-block, still 
Bitting in the carriage, she took it on her left arm as if 
it had been a baby (the hairdresser in vain attempting 
to get hold of it), and followed him with a hesitating step 
into the advocate's room. She held out her right hand 
only, with a deep curtsey and gentle greeting, to her 
bridegroom, and on her full round face (everything in it 
was round, brow, eyes, mouth, and chin) the roses far 
out-bloomed the lilies, and were all the prettier to look 
upon as seen below the large black silk bonnet; while 
tl.e snow-white muslin dress, the many-tinted nosegay 
of artificial flowers, and the white points of her shoes, 
added charm upon charm to her timid figure. She at 
once untied her bonnet — there being barely time to get 
one's hair done and be married — and laid her my i tie 



CHAP. I.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 23 

garland, which she had hidden at the farm that the 
people might not see it, down upon the table, that her 
head might be properly put to rights, and powdered for 
the ceremony (as a person's of quality ought to be) by the 
landlord, thus conveniently at hand. 

Thou dear Lenette ! A bride is, it is true, during many 
days, for everyone whom she's not going to many, a poor 
meagre piece of shewbread — and especially is she so to 
me. But I except one hour, namely, that on the morning 
of the wedding-day, when the girl, whose life has been 
all freedom hitherto, trembling in her wedding dress, over- 
grown (like an ivied tree) with flowers and feathers, which, 
with others like them, fate is soon to pluck away — and 
with anxious pious eyes overflowing on her mother's 
heart for the last and loveliest time ; this hour, I say, 
moves me, in which, standing all adorned on the scaffold 
of joy, she celebrates so many partings, and one single 
meeting : when the mother turns away from her and goes 
back to her other children, leaving her, all fainthearted, 
to a stranger. " Thou heart, beating high with happiness," 
1 think then, " not always wilt thou throb thus throughout 
the sultry years of wedded life ; often wilt thou pour out 
thine own blood, the better to pass along the path to age, 
as the chamois hunter keeps his foot from sliding by 
the blood from his own heel." And then I would 
fain go out to the gazing, envious virgins by the wayside 
leading to the church, and say to them, "Do not so 
begrudge the poor girl the happiness of a, perhaps fleeting, 
illusion. Ah, what you and she are looking at to-day 
is the strife- and beauty-apple of marriage hanging only 
on the sunny side of love, all red and soft; no one sees 
the green sour side of the apple hidden in the shade. 
And if ye have ever been grieved to the soul for some 
luckless wife who has chanced, ten years after her wed- 
ding, to come upon her old bridal dress, in a drawer, while 
tears for all the sweet illusions she has lost in these ten 
years rise in a moment to her eyes, are you so sure it will 
be otherwise with this envied one who passes before you 
all joy and brightness now? " 

I should not, however, have performed this unexpected 
modulation into the "remote key" of tenderheartedness, 



24 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

had it not been that I managed to form to myself a picture 
so irresistibly vivid of Lenette's myrtle wreath, beneath 
her hat (I really had not the slightest intention to touch 
on the subject of my own personal feelings), and her being 
all alone without a mother, and her powdery white-flower 
face, and (more vivid still) of the ready willingness with 
which she put her young delicate arms (she was scarcely 
past nineteen) into the polished handcuffs and chain-rings 
of matrimony, without so much as looking round her to 

see which way she was going to be led by them 

I could here hold up my hand and take oath that the 
bridegroom was quite as much moved as myself, if not 
more so ; at all events, when he gently wiped the Auricula 
dust from the blossom-face, so that the flowers there were 
seen to bloom unobscured. But he had to be careful how 
he carried about that heart of his — so full to the brim of the 
potion of love, and tears of gladness — lest it should run 
over in the presence of the jovial hairdresser and the 
serious Schulrath, to his shame. Effusion was a thing 
he never permitted himself. All strong feeling, even of 
the purest, he hid away, and hardened over : he always 
thought of poets and actors, who let on the waterworks 
of their emotions to play for show ; and there was no 
one, on the whole, at whom he bantered so much as 
at himself. For these reasons, his face to-day was drawn 
and crinkled by a queer, laughing, embarrassment, and 
only his eyes, where the moisture gleamed, told of the 
better side of this condition. As he noticed presently 
that he wasn't masking himself sufficiently by merely 
playing the part of barber's mate, and commissary of pro- 
visions (of the breakfast), he adopted stronger measures, 
and began to exhibit himself and his movable property 
in as favourable a light as possible to Lenette, in- 
quiring of her whether she didn't think her room " nicely 
situated," and saying, " I can see into the senate house 
window, on to the great table, and all the ink bottles. 
Several of these chairs I got last spring at a third of their 
value, and very handsome they are, don't you think 
so ? My good old grandfather's chair here, though " 
(he had sat down in it, and laid his lean arms on the 
chair's stuffed ones), " does, I think, take the precedence ia 



CHAP. I.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 25 

the grandfather dance : * ' how they so softly rest,' arm 
upon arm ! The flowers upon my tahle-cloth are rather 
cleverly done, hut the coffee-tray is considered the hetter 
work of the two, 1 am given to understand, on account of its 
flora being japanned ; however, they both do their best in 
the flower line. My Leyser with his pigf«kin ' Meditations ' 
is a great ornament to the room : the kitchen, though, is 
the place — better still than this rocni ; there are pots, all 
ranged side by side — and a) I sorts of things — the hare- 
skinner and the hare-spit — my father used to shoot the 
hares for these." 

The bride smiled on him so contentedly that I must 
almost believe she had heard the greater part of the story 
of the 100Z. (with interest) in her Fuggery through twenty 
united ear- and speaking-trumpets. I shall be the more 
inclined to believe this if the public should happen to be 
looking forward eagerly to the hour when he is to hand it 
over to her. 

It may not be otheiwise than agreeable to my fair readers 
to be informed that the bridegroom now put on a liver- 
coloured dress coat, and that he waited to the church with 
his dress-maker without any dress cravat, and with no 
queue in his hair, picturing as he went, to his own satirical 
delight, the slanderous glances with which the fair Kuh- 
schnappelers were following the good stranger girl across 
the market to the sacrificial altar of her maiden name. He 
had said on a previous occasion," We ought rather to facilitate 
than obstruct backbiting, to a moderate extent, in a married 
woman, as some slight compensation for lost flatteries." 

The Schulrath Stiefel remained in the bridal chamber, 
where he sketched the outlines of a critique on a school- 
programme at the writing-table. 

I see before me, as I write, the lovers kneeling at the 
altar steps ; and I should like to cast wishes at them (as 
flowers are thrown), especially a wish that they may be 
like the married in Heaven, who, according to Sweden- 
borg's vision, always merge into one angel — although on 
earth, too, they are often fused, by warmth, into one angel, 
and that a fallen one — the husband (who is the head of 

* The " Grandfather Dance " is equivalent to the English " Si* 
Boger de Coverley." 



26 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

the wife) representing the hutting head of this evil one ; 
this wish, I say, I would fain cast at them ; but my atten- 
tion, in common with that of all the wedding company 
is riveted by an extraordinary circumstance and puzzling 
apparition behind the music desks of the choir. 

For there appears there, looking down at us — and we all 
looking up at it — Siebenkaes's spirit, as the popular ex- 
pression has it, t. e. his body, as it ought to be called. If 
the hridegroom should look up he might turn pale, and 
think he saw himself. We are all wrong; he only turns 
red. It was his friend Leibgeber who was standing there, 
having many years ago vowed to travel any distance to 
his marriage, solely that he might laugh at him for twelve 
hours' time. 

There has seldom been a case of a royal alliance between 
two peculiar natures like that between these two. The 
same contempt for the childish nonsense held in this 
life to be noble matter, the same enmity to all pettiness and 
perfect indulgence to the little, the same indignation with 
dishonourable selfishness, the same delight in laughing in 
ihis lovely madhouse of an earth, the same deafness to 
the voice of the multitude, but not to that of honour; 
these are but some of the first at hand of the similarities 
which made of these two but one soul doing duty in two 
bodies. And the fact that they were also foster-brothers 
in their studies, having for nurses the same branches of 
knowledge, including the Law herself, I do not reckon 
among their chief resemblances; for it is often the case 
that the very identity of study becomes a dissolving de- 
component of friendship. Indeed, it was not even the dis- 
similarity of their opposite poles which determined their 
mutual attraction for each other (Siebenkees leant towards 
forgiving, Leibgeber towards punishing ; the former was 
more a satire of Horace, the latter a street ballad of Aristo- 
phanes with unpoetic as well as poetic harshnesses). But, 
as two female friends are fond of being dressed alike, these 
two men's souls h<>.d put on just the same frock-coat and 
morning costume of life ; I mean, two bodies of identical 
fashion, colour, button-holes, finishings, and cut. Both 
had the same flash of the eyes, the same earthy coloured 
face, the same tallness, leanness, and everything. And 



CHAP. I.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 27 

indeed, the Nature freak of counterpart faces is commoner 
than we suppose, because we only notice it when some 
prince or great person casts a corporeal reflection. 

For which reason I very much wish that Leibgeber had 
not had a slight limp, so that he might not have been 
thereby distinguishable from Siebenkaes, seeing, at least, 
that the latter had cleverly etched and dissolved away his 
own peculiar mark by causing a live toad to breathe its last 
above it. For there had been a pyramidal mole near his left 
ear, in the shape of a triangle, or of the zodiacal light, or a 
turaed-up comet's tail, of an ass's ear in short. Partty from 
friendship, partly from the enjoyment they had in the 
scenes of absurdity which their being confounded with each 
other gave rise to in eveiy-day life, they wished to' carry 
the algebraic equation which existed between them yet a 
step further, by adopting the same Christian and surname. 
But on this point they had a friendly contest, as each 
wanted to be the other's namesake, till at length they set- 
tled the difference by exchanr/ing names, thus following 
the example of the natives of Otaheite, among whom the 
lovers exchange names as well as hearts. 

As it is now several years since my hero was thus 
lightened of his worthy name by this friendly name-stealer 
receiving the other worthy name in exchange, I can't do 
anything to alter this in my chapters. I must go on 
calling him Firmian Stani.vlaus Siebenkaes ns I did at the 
beginning, and the other Leibgeber ; although it is quite un- 
necessary for any reviewer to point out to me that the more 
comic name of Siebenkaes would have been better suited to 
this more humoristic newcomer, with whom, however, the 
world shall yet be better acquainted than I am myself. 

When these two counterparts caught sight of one another 
in the church, their blushing faces crinkled and curled 
oddly, at which the looker-on laughed, until he compared 
the faces with the eyes, which glowed warm with the 
deepest affection. While the wedding-rings were being 
exchanged, Leibgeber in the choir took from his pocket a 
pair of scissors and a quarto sheet of black paper, and cut 
out a distant view of the bride's profile. This cutting out 
of likenesses he generally gave out as being his cookhhop and 
bakery upon his perpetual journeyings ; and as it appears 



28 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK L 

that this strange man does not choose to disclose upon 
what eminences the waters gather which well up for him 
down in the valleys, I am glad to quote (and express my 
own belief in) a frequent saying of his regarding his 
profile cutting — " In the process of clipping, slices of 
bread, we know, fall with the cuttings for the book- 
binder, the letter- writer, and the lawyer, when the paper 
is white ; but in clipping black paper, whether profiles or 
white mourning letters with black borders, there fall many 
more : and if a man is versed in the liberal art of painting 
his fellow Christian blacker than he is — with more mem- 
bers than one — the tongue for instance can do it to some 
extent — then Fortune, the Babylonish harlot, will ring 
that man's bells (his dinner bell, and his little altar bell), 
till her arm is half crippled." 

While the deacon was laying his hands on the pair, 
Leibgeber came down and stood at the red velvet steps of 
the altar. And when the ceremony was over he made, on 
the occasion of a meeting such as this, after a separation 
of some half-a-year or so, the following somewhat lengthy 
speech : — 

" Good morning, Siebenkaes." 

They never said more to each other, though years might 
have elapsed ; and at the resurrection of the dead, Sie- 
benkses will answer him, just as he did to-day, — 

" Good morning, Leibgeber." 

The twelve hours of banter, however, which friends 
often find it an easy matter to threaten each other with 
in absence, are an impossibility to the tender heart, keenly 
enough alive though it may be to the humorous sides of 
matters, when it is moved (as in this case) at the sight 
of the friend passing into the vestibule of some new 
labyrinth of our subterranean existence. 

I have now before my writing-desk the long wedding- 
table set out; and I am sorry that no painting of it occurs 
on any of the vases buried at Herculaneum, as it would 
have been dug out with the rest, and an exact copy of it 
given in the Herculanean illustrations, so that I could 
have inserted the copy in place of anything else. Few 
have a higher opinion of the powers of my pen than 
1 have myself; but I see quite well that it is neither in 



CHAP. I.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 29 

my power nor in my pen's to half portray, and that in a 
feeble style, how the guests — there were almost as many 
there as there were chairs — enjoyed themselves at the 
dinner; how, moreover, there was not one single rogue 
among them (for the bridegroom's guardian, Heimlicher 
von Blaise, had sent an excuse, saying he was very sick 
indeed) ; how the landlord of the house, a jovial, con- 
sumptive Saxon, did something towards expediting his de- 
parture from this life by his powdering and his drinking ; 
how they banged the glasses with the forks, and the table 
with the marrowbones, that the former might be filled 
and the latter emptied; how in all the house not a soul, 
not even the shoemaker or the bookbinder, did a stroke of 
any other work but eating, and how even the old woman 
Sabel (Sabine) who squatted under the mouse-coloured 
town gate, shut up her stall on this one day before the 
closing of the gate ; how not only was there one course 
served up, but a second, a " Doppel ganger." To anyone, 
indeed, who has dined at great men's tables, and there 
remarked how fine dishes, if there are two courses, have 
got to be marshalled according to the laws of rank, it will 
not appear unheard of or over splendid that Siebenkses 
(the hairdresser's wife had dune the cooking on this 
occasion) provided for the first course. 

1. In the centre the soup-tub, or broth fishpond, where- 
in people could enjoy the sport of crayfish-catching with 
their spoons, although the crayfish, like the beavers, had 
in this water no more than Eobespierre had in the con- 
vent — that is to say, merely the tail. 

2. In the first quarter of the globe a beautiful beef 
torso, or cube of meat, as pedestal of the entire culinary 
work of art. 

3. In the second, a fricassee, being a complete pattern- 
card of the butcher's shop, sweetly treated. 

4. In the third, a Behemoth of pond-carps, which might 
have swallowed the prophet Jonah, but which underwent 
his fate itself. 

5. In the fourth, a baked hen-house of a pie, to which 
the birds had sent their best members, as a community 
does to parliament. 

I cannot deny myself and my fair readers the pleasure 



30 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

of just slightly sketching for them a little "cookery -piece" 
of the second course. 

1. In ihe middle stood, as a "basket of garden-flowers 
might, a pile of cress-salad. 2. Then the four corners 
were occupied by the four syllogistic figures, or the four 
faculties. In the first corner of the taole was, as first 
syllogistic figure and faculty, a hare, who, as antipode of 
a barefooted friar, had kept on his natural fur boots in the 
pan, and who, as Leibgeber justly remarked, had come 
from the field with his legs safe and sound in spite of the 
enemy's fire, more fortunate, in this respect, than many 
a soldier. The second syllogistic figure consisted of a 
calf's tongue, which was black, not from arguing, but 
from being smoked. The third, crisped colewort, but 
without the stalks: this, ordinarily the food of the two 
preceding faculties, was on this occasion eaten along with 
them* thus is it that in this world one goes up and 
another down. The concluding figure was made up of the 
three figures of the bridal pair and an eventual baby 
baked in butter ; these three glorified bodies, which, like 
" the three children," had come forth unscathed from the 
fiery furnace, and had raisins for souls, were eaten up 
bodily, skin and bones, by those cannibals the guests, 
with the exception of an arm or so of the infant, which, 
like the bird Phoenix, was personified ere it existed. 

This picture draws me on. But it ought to be coloured, 
and as regards the luxury of the feast, it would not be 
passing it over too lightly were 1 to compare it to a Saxon 
electoral banquet, by reference to which 1 might illus- 
trate it. It is true, the electors of that country require 
a good deal (and on that account they used to be weighed 
every year) ; and 1 am quite aware that at the beginning 
of the 16th century, a Saxon treasurer made the following 
entry in his accounts: — "This day was our gracious 
sovereign at the wine, with his court, for which I have 
had to disburse the sum of fifteen gulden (25*.). That's 
what I call banquetting ! " But what would the Saxon 
treasurer have written? how he would have lifted his 
hands up with amazement if he had read in my very first 
chapter that a poor's advocate had gone and spent three 
gulden and seven groscheu more than his royal master ! 



CHAP. I.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 31 

As is tho cape with many natural springs, the fountains 
of mirth, which welled but slowly in the daytime, jetted 
up higher in the hearts of the guests as the evening came 
on. The two advocates indeed told the company that, as 
they remembered from their college days, though the 
privilege formerly possessed by every German of drinking 
his fill had been but too much curtailed by emperors and 
parliaments, and the imperial decrees of 1512, 1531, 1548, 
and 1577 permitted no drunkenness, yet they did not 
prohibit Kuhschnappel from exercising the right common 
to all imperial states, of abrogating imperial statutes in cases 
where local laws exist within their own boundaries. The 
Schulrath alone could not quite see (and he shook his 
head about it internally to himself twenty times) how 
two scholars, two lawyers at all events, could go on 
gravely joking with a set of such unlearned plebeians and 
empty heads as were here supported upon elbows ; — joking 
with them, and actually conversing about the utter rubbish 
which they talked. More than once he spliced on threads 
of scholarly speech, concerning the newest, most highly 
elaborated school addresses, as well as sundry critiques on 
the same, but the advocates would have nothing to do with 
his threads, but made the bookbinder speak the appren- 
tice speech he made at his admission to the rank of master, 
to which the shoemaker, of his own motion, stitched and 
cobbled on one which lie had made on a similar occasion. 

Siebenkaes remarked to tho company in general that in 
the upper circles of society people are much graver, and 
more tedious, and empty than in the lower ; that in the 
former, if any party happens to come to an end without 
accursed tedium, people talk of it for a whole week, whereas 
in the latter everyone contributes so much to the merry 
picnic of conversation that the only thing there generally 
is not enough of, is beer. " Oh 1" he went on, " if everyone 
of our condition would but think of it, he would but envy 
those of a lower; how accurately, in a figurative sense too, 
does that old truth hold good, that coarse linen keeps one 
much warmer than fine linen, or even silk, just as a wooden 
house is easier warmed than a stone one — and the stone 
one again doesn't get cool so soon as the wooden in summer 
—or as coarse brown flour is much more nourishing than 



32 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. BOOK L 

the fine white, as all the doctors tell us. And I cannot 
bring myself to believe that ladies in Paris who wear 
diamond hairpins, lead half such happy lives as the women 
there who get their living by picking up old hairpins out 
of the street sweepings; and many a one whose fuel is 
nothing but drj' fir-cones, gathered by himself as a substi- 
tute for fir-fuel" (here the fuel economising company 
thought vividly of their own case), " is often quite as well 
off" on the whole as people whj can preserve green cones in 
sugar and eat them." 

" Friend Parish Advocate," said Leihgeber, " there you 
hit it ! In the tap-room and the bar-parlour the worst is 
at the beginning, the blow, the kick, the angry word come 
first of all ; the pleasure swells with the reckoning. The 
reverse is the case in the palace ; in a * palais ' for the 
1 palais ' everybody's enjoyment goes into his mouth at 
the same instant; just as the little Aphides on the leaves 
all lift up their tail-ends, and squirt out the honey at the 
same moment,* in the palace it is absorbed with like simul- 
taneousness and sociability. Tediousness, again, annoy- 
ance and satiety, are only mixed up ingeniously among the 
various pleasures which are served up and administered in 
the course of a great entertainment, just as we give a dog 
an emetic by rubbing him all over with it, so that he may 
bring it to operate by licking it slowly off." 

, And other similar sayings were spoken. When once 
any pleasure has reached a considerable height, its natural 
tendency is to become greater. Many of the lower class 
members of the sitting exercised the privilege of drink, 
and of the special inquisition, to say " Thou " to one 
another. Even the gentleman in the red plush coat (the 
Schulrath was given to wear one in the dog-day holidays) 
screwed up his lips, and smiled in a seductive manner, as 
elderly maiden ladies do in the presence of elderly single 
gentlemen, and gave hints that he had got at home a couplo 
of real Horatian bottles of champagne. "Not sparkling 
then, I'm sure?" Leibgeber answered inquiringly. The 
Schulrath, who thought the best kind of champagne exactly 
the worst, replied with some self-consciousness, "If it isn't 
•parkling, well and good, I swear I'll drink every drop of 

* Wil helm's ' Recreations in Natural History. Insects.* Vol. i. 



CHAP. I.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 3b 

it myself." The bottles appeared. Leibgeber, taking the 
first one, carefully filed through its barrier chain, removed 
the cork and opened it as if it had been a last will and 
testament. 

What I maintain is, that, even should the two balsam- 
trees of life, namely wit and the love of our fellow men, be 
withered away up to the very topmost twig, they can still 
be brought to life by a proper shower out of the watering 
pot of these said bottles — in three minutes they will begin 
to sprout. As the glad, wild essence, the wine of the 
silver foam, touched the heads of the guests, every brain 
began to seethe and glow while fair air-castles rose in 
each amain. Brilliant and many tinted were the floating 
bubbles blown and set free by the Schulrath Stiefel's ideas 
of all categories, his simple as well as his compound ideas, 
his innate ideas, and also his fixed. And can it ever be 
forgotten that he ceased to make learned statements, except 
on the subject of Lenette's perfections, and that he told 
Leibgeber in confidence, that he should really like to 
marry, not indeed, " the tenth Muse, or the fourth Grace, 
or the second Venus — for it was clear who had got her 
already — but some step-sister goddess, a distant relation 
or other of hers." During the whole journey, he said, he 
had preached from the coachbox, as from a pulpit, enlarging 
to the bride on the subject of the blessedness of the married 
state, painting it to her in the brightest colours, and drawing 
such a lively picture of it, that he quite longed to enter 
into it himself: and the bridegroom would have thanked 
him if he had seen how gratefully she had looked at him 
in return. And, indeed, the bride was a great success, 
and happy in all she did that day, and particularly 
that evening ; and what became her best of all was that 
on such a high day as this, she waited upon others more 
than she let herself be waited upon — that she put on a 
light every-day dress — that even at this advanced stage 
of her own education she took private lessons in cookery 
and household matters from her female guests, who aired 
their own theories on these subjects — and that she already 
began to think about to-morrow. Stiefel, in his inspired 
state, ventured upon exploits which were all but impos- 
sible. He placed his left arm under his right, and thus 

n. t 



34 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I 

supporting its weight and that of its plush sleeve, in a 
horizontal position, snuffed the candle before the whole 
company, and did it rather skilfully on the whole ; some- 
what like a gardener on a ladder holding out his pruning 
shears at arm's length to a high branch and snipping off 
the whole concern by a slight movement of his hand at the 
bottom. He asked Leibgeber plump out to give him a 
profile of Lenette, and later on, when he was going away, 
he even made an attempt (but this was the only one 
of his ventures which failed) to get hold of her hand and 
kiss it. 

At length all the joy-fires of this happy little company 
burnt down like their candles, and one by one the rivers 
of Eden fell away into the night. The guests and the 
candles got fewer and fewer ; at last there was only one 
guest there, Stiefel (for Leibgeber is not a guest), and one 
long candle. It is a lovely and touching time when the 
loud clamour of a merry company has finally buzzed itself 
away into silence, and just one or two, left alone, sit 
quietly, often sadly, listening to the faint echoes, as it 
were, of all the joy. Finally, the Schulrath struck the 
last remaining tent of this camp of enjoyment, and de- 
parted ; but he would not for a moment suffer that those 
fingers, which, in spite of all their efforts, his lips could not 
touch, should be clasped about a cold brass candlestick, 
for the purpose of lighting him downstairs. So Leibgebei 
had to do this lighting. The husband and wife, for the 
first time, were alone in the darkness, hand in hand. 

Oh, hour of beauty ! when in every cloud there stood a 
smiling angel, dropping flowers instead of rain, may some 
faint reflection from thee reach even to this page of mine, 
and shine on there for ever. 

The bridegroom had never yet kissed his bride. He 
knew, or fancied, that his face was a clever one, with sharp 
lines and angles, expressing energetic, active effort, not a 
smooth, regular, " handsome " one : and as, moreover, he 
always laughed at himself and his own appearance, he sup- 
posed it would strike other persons in the same light. 
Hence it was that, although as an every-day matter he 
rose superior to the eyes and tongues of a whole street 
(not even taking the pains mentally to snap his fingers at 



CHAP. I.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 35 

them), he never, except in extraordinary moments of 
dithyrambics of friendship, had mustered up the courage 
to kiss his Leibgeber — let alone Lenette. And now he 
pressed her hand more closely, and in a dauntless manner 
turned his face to hers (for, you see, they were in the dark, 
and he couldn't see her) ; and he wished the staircase had 
as many steps as the cathedral tower, so that Leibgeber 
might be a long time coming back with the candle. Of 
a sudden there danced (so to speak) over his lips a gliding, 
tremulous kiss, and — then all the flames of his affection 
blazed on high, the ashes blown clean away. For Lenette, 
innocent as a child, believed it to be the bride's duty to give 
this kiss. He put bis arms about the frightened giver with 
the courage of bashfulness, and glowed upon her lips with 
his with all the fire wherewith love, wine and joy had en- 
dowed him ; but — so strange is her sex — she turned away 
her mouth, and let the burning lips touch her cheek. And 
there the modest bridegroom contented himself with one 
long kiss, giving expression to his rapture only in tears 
of unutterable sweetness which fell like glowing naphtha- 
drops upon Lenette's cheeks, and thence into her trembling 
heart. She leant her face further away; but in her 
beautiful wonder at his love, she drew him closer to her. 

He left her before his darling friend came back. The 
tell-tale powder-snow which had fallen on the bridegroom 
— that butterfly-dust which the very slightest touch of 
these white butterflies leaves upon our fingers (and hence 
it was a good idea of Pitt's to put a tax on powder in 1795) 
— told some of the story, but the eyes of the friend and the 
bride, gleaming in happy tears, told him it all. The two 
friends looked for some time at each other with embarrassed 
smiles, and Lenette looked at the ground. Leibgeber said, 
" Hem ! Hem !" twice over, and at length, in his perplexity, 
remarked, " We've had a delightful evening !" He took up 
a position behind the bridegroom's chair, to be out of sight, 
and laid his hand on his shoulder, and squeezed it right 
heartily ; but the happy Siebenkses could restrain him- 
self no longer ; he stood up, resigned the bride's hand, 
and the two friends, at last, after the long yearning of the 
long day, as if celebrating the moment of their meeting, 
stood silently embracing, united by angels, with Heavea 

D 2 



36 JEAN PAUL TRIEDEICH EICHTER. [BOOK I. 

all around them. His heart beating higher, the bridegroom 
would fain have widened and con pleted this circle of union, 
by joining his bride and his friend in one embrace ; but 
the bride and the friend took each one side of him, eaoh 
embiacing only him. Then three pure heavens opened in 
glory in three pure hearts; and nothing was there but 
God, love, and happiness, and the little earthly tear which 
hangs on all our joy-flowers, here below. 

In this their great joy and bliss, overborne by unwonted 
emotion, and feeling almost strange to each other, they 
had scarce the courage to look into each other's tearful 
eyes ; and Leibgeber went away in silence, without a word 
of parting or good night. 



CHAPTER II. 

HOME FUN — SUNDRY FORMAL CALLS — THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE 

— A LOVE QUARREL, AND A FEW HARD WORDS — ANTIPA- 
THETIC INK ON THE WALL — FRIENDSHIP OF THE SATIRISTS 

— GOVERNMENT OF KUHSCHNAPPEL. 

There is many a life which is as pleasant to live as to write, 
and the material of this one, in particular, which I am 
engaged in writing, is as yet always giving out, like 
rosewood on the turning lathe, a truly delicious perfume, 
all over my workshop. Siebenkass duly arose on the 
Wednesday, but not till the Sunday was it his intention to 
deposit in the hands of his diligent house goddess — who 
put a cap on to her cap-block in the morning before she 
put one on to herself — the silver ingots from his guardian's 
'•offer (wrapped in blotting paper), her palisades of 
refuge in the siege of this life ; for in fact he couldn't do 
so any sooner, because his guardian had gone into the 
country, that is to say, out of town, till the Saturday 
night. " I can give you no notion, old Leibgeber," said 
isiebenkaes, " what a joy I feel in looking forward to ho"W 



CHAP. II.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 87 

tins will delight my wife. I'm sure, to give her pleasure, 
I could wish it were three thousand dollars. The dear 
child has always hitherto had to live from bonnet to bon- 
net, but how she will consider herself a woman set up 
on a sudden fur life, when she finds she can carry out a 
hundred housekeeping projects, which, I see as well as 
possible, she has got in her head already. And then, 
old boy, with the money in our hands, we shall begin 
the keeping of my silver wedding directly, the moment 
the evening service is over — there shall be a good half- 
florin's worth of beer in every room in the house. Look 
here ! why shouldn't the dove, or call him the sparrow, of 
my hymen play out beer on the people as the two-headed 
eagle in Frankfort does wine at a coronation ?" Leibgeber 
answered, " The reason he can't is, that the prey he 
catches is of quite another brand. The sour wine (of the 
Frankfort eagle) is but the grapeskins — the feathers, the 
wool, and the hair which eagles always eject." 

It would be of no use whatever — because hundreds of 
Kuhschnappelers would correct my statement in their local 
paper, the ' Imperial News ' — if I were to tell a falsehood 
here (which I should like very much to do), and assert 
that the two advocates spent the short week of their being 
together with that gravity and propriety which, becoming 
as they are to mankind in general, do yet more particularly 
secure to scholars and to the learned the respect and 
consideration of commoner minds, to say nothing of the 
Kuhschnappelian intelligences. 

Unfortunately I have got to sing to another tune. In the 
town of Kuhschnappel, as in all other towns, provincial, or 
metropolitan, what Leibgeber was least of all conspicuous 
for was a proper gravity of deportment and behaviour. 
Here, as elsewhere, his first proceeding was to get an intro- 
duction to the club, as a stranger artist, in order that he might 
ensconce himself on a sofa, and, without uttering a word or 
a syllable to a human being, go to sleep under the noses of 
the company of the " Relaxation" as the club was called. 
" This," he said, " was what he liked to have the opportunity 
of doing in all towns where there were clubs, casinos, 
museums, musical societies, &c. ; because to sleep in any 
. rational manner at night in one's ordinary quiet bed was a 



38 JEAN PAUL FEIEDEICH RICHTER. [BOOK L, 

thing which he, at least, found he was seldom able to 
manage, on account of the loud battle of ideas which 
went on in his head, and the firework trains of processions 
of pictures all interweaving and whirling in and out with 
such a crash and a din that one could hardly see or hear 
one's self. Whereas when one lies down upon a club sofa, 
everything of this sort quiets itself down, and a universal 
truce of ideas establishes itself; the delicious effect of the 
company all talking at once — the happily chosen and appro- 
priate words contributed to the political-and-other-con- 
versation-picnic, of which one distinguishes nothing but 
an ultima, perhaps, or sometimes only an antepemdtima ; 
this alone sings you into a light slumber. But when a 
more serious discussion arises, and some point is argued, 
disputed and discussed in all its bearings in a universal 
clamorous shout — your barometer becomes completely sta- 
tionary, and you sleep the deep sleep of a flower which 
is rocked, but not awakened, by the storm." 

One or two towns with which I am acquainted must, I 
am sure, remember a stranger who always used to go to 
sleep in their clubs, and must also recollect the beaming 
expression of countenance with which he would look about 
him when he got up and took his hat, as much as to say, 
" Many thanks for this refreshing rest." 

However, I have little to do with Leibgeber's waking or 
with his sleeping here in Kuhschnappel ; him I may treat 
with some indulgence, seeing that he is soon to be off again 
into the wide world. But it is anything but a matter of 
indifference that my young hero, just established here 
with his wife, and whose pranks I have undertaken to 
give some account of, as well as of the hits he gets in 
return, should go and conduct himself just as if his namo 
was Leibgeber; which had long ceased to be the case, 
seeing that he had given formal notice to his guardian that 
he had changed it to Siebenkees. 

To mention but one prank — was it not a piece of true tom- 
foolery that, when the procession of poor scholars, singing 
for alms about the streets, were just beginning their usual 
begging hymn under the windows of the best religious 
families on the opposite side of the street, and just as they 
had struck their key-note and were going to start off with 



CHAP. IT.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 39 

their chorus, Leibgeber, to begin with, made his boar- 
hound " SSaufinder" (he couldn't live without a big dog) look 
out of window with a fashionable lady's night-cap on his 
head ? And was it by any means a soberer proceeding on 
Siebenkass's part, that he took lemons and bit into them 
before the eyes of the whole singing class, so that all their 
teeth begun to water in an instant ? The result will 
answer these questions for itself. The singers, having 
Saufinder in his night-cap in full view, could no more 
bring their lips together into a singing position than a 
man can whistle and laugh at the same instant. At the 
same time all their vocal apparatus being completely sub- 
merged by the opening of their glands, every note they 
attempted to give out had to wade painfully through 
water. In short, was this entire ludicrous interruption of 
the whole company of street singers not the precise end 
aimed at by both the advocates ? 

But Siebenkses has only recently come back from college, 
and being still half-full of the freedom of university life, 
may be excused a liberty or two. And indeed I consider 
the little exuberances of university youth to be like the 
adipose matter, which, according to Reaumur, Bonnet, 
and Cuvier, is stored up by the caterpillar for the nourish- 
ment of the future butterfly during its chrysalis state; 
the liberty of manhood has to be alimented by that of 
youth, and if a son of the muse has not room given him 
to develop in full freedom, he will never develop into 
anything but some office-holder creeping along on all 
fours. 

Meanwhile the two friends spent the following days — 
not wholly in a disorderly manner — in the writing of 
marriage cards. With these, on which of course there was 
nothing but the words, " Mr. Firmian Stanislaus Siebenka?s, 
Poor's Advocate, and his wife, nee Engelkraut ; with com- 
pliments," — with these papers, and with the lady, they 
were buth to drive about the town on the Saturday, and 
Leibgeber had to get down at a>ll the respectable houses 
and hand in a card, which is by no means otherwise than 
a laudable and befitting custom in towns where people 
observe the usages of good society. But the two brethren, 
Siebenkass and Leibgeber, appeared to follow these usages 



40 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

of imperial and rural towns more from satirical motives 
than anything else, conforming to them pretty minutely, 
it is true, but clearly chiefly for the fun of the thing, 
each of them playing the part of first low comedian 
and of audience at the same time. It would be an insult 
to the borough of Kuhschnappel to suppose that, notwith- 
standing Siebenkses's zealous readiness to join in all the 
processions of the little place, in and out of churches, 
to the town hall and the shooting-ground, it was wholly 
unobservant of the satisfaction which it afforded him 
rather to make fun of some properly ordered cortege, and 
mar the effect of it by his unsuitable dress and absurd 
behaviour, than to be an ornament to it. And the 
genuine eagerness with which he tried to get admitted 
as a member of the Kuhschnappel shooting-club was as- 
cribed rather to his love of a joke than to his being the 
son of a keen sportsman. As for Leibgeber, he of course 
has the very devil in him as regards all such matters; but 
he is younger than Siebenkaes, and about to set out on his 
travels. 

So they drove about the town on the Saturday — and where 
anybody in the shape of a grandee lived they stopped, left 
their passengers' tickets and drove on, without any mis- 
behaviour. Many ladies and gentlemen, it is true, got 
the wrong sow by the ear, and confounded the card carrier 
with the young husband sitting in the carriage; but the 
card carrier maintained his gravity, knowing that fun 
has its own proper time. The cards (some of which were 
glazed) were delivered according to the directory, firstly 
to the members of the government, both of the greater and 
lesser council — to the seventy members of the greater, and 
the thirteen of the lesser council ; consequently the judge, 
the treasu rer, the two finance councillors, the Heimlicher (so 
to say, tribune of the people) and the remaining eight 
ordinary members — these constituting the said lesser 
council— each received his card. After which the carriage 
drove down lower, and provided the minor government 
officials in the various chambers and offices with their 
cards, such as the Offices of Woods, of the Game Com- 
missioners, the Office of Eeform (which latter was for the 
repression of luxury), and the Meat Tax Commission, 



CHAP. II.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 41 

which was presided over by a single master butcher, a very 
nice old man. 

I am much afraid I have made a considerable slip, inas- 
much as I have drawn up no tables relative to the consti- 
tution, &c, of this imperial borough of Kuhschnappel 
(which is properly a small imperial town, though it was 
once a large one) to lay before the learned and statistical 
world. However, I can't possibly pull up here in the full 
gallop of my chapter, but must wait till we all get to the 
end of it, when I can more conveniently open my statis- 
tical warehouse. 

The wheel of fortune soon began to rattle, and throw up 
mud ; for when Leibgeber took bis eighth part of a placard 
of Siebenkass's marriage to the house of his guardian, the 
Heimlicher von Blaise, a tall, meagre, barge-pole of a 
woman, wrapped up in wimples of calico, the Heimlicher's 
wife, received it indeed, and with warmth, but warmth of 
the sort with which we generally administer a cudgelling ; 
moreover, she uttered the following words (calculated to 
give rise to reflection) — 

" My husband is the Heimlicher of this town, and 
what is more, he's away from home. He has nothing 
to do with seven cheeses ; * he is tutor and guardian to 
persons belonging to the highest and noblest families. You 
had better be off as fast as you like; you've got hold of 
the wrong man here." 

" I quite think we have, myself," said Leibgeber. 

Siebenkaes, the ward, here tried to pacify his letter or 
paper carrier with the woman a little, by suggesting that, 
like every good dog, she was but barking at the strangers 
before fetching and carrying for them : and when his friend, 
more anxious than himself, said, " You're quite sure, are 
you not, that you took proper legal precautions against 
any venomous ' objections ' which the guardian might 
make to paying up your money, on account of your changing 
your name ? " he assured him, that before he had esta- 
blished himself as Siebenkaas, he had procured his 
guardian's opinion and approval in writing, which he 
would show him when they got home. 

* Siebenksea means H seven cheese*." 



42 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [ROOK I. 

But when they did get home, Von Blaise's letter was 
nowhere to be found — it wasn't in any of the boxes, nor in 
any of the college note-books, nor even among the waste- 
paper — in fact, there was nothing of the kind. 

" But what a donkey I am to bother about it ! " cried 
Siebenkees, " what do I require it for, at all ? " 

Here Leibgeber, who had been glancing at the Saturday 
newspapers, suddenly shoved them into his pocket, and said 
in a somewhat unwonted tone of voice, " Come out, old boy, 
and let's have a run in the fields." When they got there, 
he put into his hands the ' Schaffhausen Kews,' the ' Swabian 
Mercury,' the ' Stuttgart Times,' and the • Erlangen Gazette,' 
and said, " These will enable you to form some idea of the 
sort of scoundrel you have for a guardian." 

In each of these newspapers, the following notification 
appeared : — 

"Whereas, Hoseas Heinrich Leibgeber, now in his 
29th year, proceeded to the University of Leipzig in 1774, 
but since that date has not been heard of: now the said 
Hoseas Heinrich Leibgeber, is hereby, at the instance of 
his cousin, Herr Heimlicher von Blaise, edictally cited and 
summoned by himself or the lawful heirs of his body, 
within six months from the date of these presents (whereof 
two months are hereby constituted the first term, two 
months the second, and two months the third and per- 
emptory term), to appear within the Inheritance Office of 
this borough, and, on satisfactory proof of identity, to 
receive over the sum of 1200 Bhenish gulden deposited 
in the hands of the said Heimlicher von Blaise as trustje 
and guardian ; which failing, that, as directed by the decree 
of council of 24th July J 655 (which enacts, that any 
person who shall be for ten years absent from the realm, 
shall be taken pro mortuo), the above-named sum of 1200 
Bhenish florins may be made over and paid to his said 
guardian and trustee, the aforesaid Heimlicher von Blaise. 
l)ated at Kuhschnappel in Swabia, the 20th August, 1785. 

" Inheritance Office of the free Imperial 
Borough of Kuhschnappel." 

It is unnecessary to remind the legal reader thai the 



CHAP. II.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 43 

decree of council referred to is not in accordance with' 
the legal usage of Bohemia, where thirty-one years is 
the stipulated period, but with that which formerly pre- 
vailed in France, when ten years were sufficient. And 
when the advocate came to the end of the notice, and 
stared, motionless, at its concluding lines, his soul's 
brother took hold of his hand, and cried, " Alas ! alas ! 
it is I who am to blame for all this, for changing names 
with you." 

" You ? — oh, you ? The devil alone, and nobody else. 
But I must find that letter," he said, and they made 
another search all over the house, in every corner where a 
letter could be. After an hour of this Leibgeber hunted 
out one with a broken seal of the guardian, of which the 
thick paper, and the broad legal fold, without an envelope, 
told unmistakeably that it had been addressed neither by 
a lady, a merchant, nor courtier, but by the quill of a bird 
of quite a different tribe. However, there was nothing in 
this letter, except Siebenka^s's name in Siebenkass's own 
writing — not another word, outside or inside. Quite 
natural; for the advocate had a bad habit of trying his 
hand and his pen on the backs of letters, and writing his 
own name and other people's as well, with flourishes about 
them. 

The letter had once been written in the inside, but, to 
save an incredible waste of good paper, the Heimlicher 
von Blaise had written his concurrence in the exchange of 
the names with an ink which vanishes from the paper 
of itself, and leaves it, in integrum, white as it was before 
it was written on. 

I may, perhaps, be doing a chance service to many 
persons of the better classes, who nowadays more than 
ever have occasion to write promissory notes and other 
business documents, if I here copy out for them the receipt 
for this ink which vanishes after it is dry ; I take it from 
a n liable source. Let the man of rank scrape off the 
surface from a piece of fine black cloth, such as he wears 
at court — grind the scrapings finer still on a piece of 
marble — moisten this fine cloth dust repeatedly with water, 
then make his ink with this, and write his promissory 
note with it; he will find that, as soon as the moisture 



44 JEAN PAUL FRIEDPvICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

has evaporated, every letter of the promissory note has 
flown away with it in the form of dust ; the white star 
will have shone out, as it were, through the blackness of 
the ink. 

But I consider that I am doing an equal service to the 
holders and presenters of such promissory notes as to 
the drawers of them, inasmuch as, for the future, they 
will be careful not to be satisfied with a security of this 
description, till they have exposed it for some time to 
the sun. 

Some time ago, I should have here been apt to confound 
this cloth ink with the sympathetic ink (likewise possessing 
the property of turning pale and disappearing after a time), 
which is commonly made use of in both the preliminary 
and final treaties entered into between royal persons ; the 
latter however, has a red tint. A treaty of peace of three 
years' standing is no longer legible to a man in the prime 
of life, because the red ink — the encawtum, with which 
formerly no one but the Roman emperors might write — 
is too apt to turn pale, unless a sufficient number of human 
beings (from whom, as from the cochineal insect, this dye 
stuff is prepared) have been made use of in its manufac- 
ture ; and this (from motives of sordid parsimony) is not 
always the case. So that the treaty has frequently to be 
engraved and etched into the territory afresh with good 
instruments — the so-called " instruments of peace" — at the 
point of the bayonet. 

The two friends kept the happy young wife in ignorance 
of this first thunderclap of the storm which was threaten- 
ing her married life. On the Sunday morning they went 
to make a friendly call on the Heimlicher during the 
church service ; unfortunately he was at church, however. 
They postponed, their entertaining visit till the afternoon ; 
but then he himself was paying one to the chapel of the 
orphan asylum, the whole blooming body of the orphans, 
boys and girls, having previously made one to him, to enjoy 
the privilege of kissing his hand in his capacity of superin- 
tendent of the orphan asylum ; for the inspectorship of that 
institution was, as he modestly but truly observed, entrusted 
to his unworthy hands. After the evening sermon, he 
had to perform a service of his own in his own house, in 



CHAP. II.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 45 

short, he was fenced off from the two advocates hy a triple 
row of spiritual altar rails. It was his admirable custom 
to permit the members of his household, not indeed to eat, 
but to pray at the same table with him. He thought it 
well to spend the Sunday as a day of labour in psalm- 
singing with them, because, by such devotional exercises, 
he best preserved them from sins of Sabbath breaking, 
such as working on their own account, at sewing, mend- 
ing, &c. And, on the whole, he thought it well to make 
of the Sunday in this manner a day of preparation for the 
coming week, just as actors in places where Sunday 
representations are not allowed, have their rehearsals on 
that day. 

However, I recommend people in delicate health not to 
go near or smell at this sort of beautiful nky-blue plants 
which grow in the Church's vineyard only to be looked 
at, as an English garden is adorned with the pretty 
aconite and its sky- or Jesuit's-blue poisonous flowers, 
which grow pyramidally to man's height.* People like 
Von Blaise, not only ascend Mount Sinai and the Golgotha, 
that, like goats, they may feed as they climb ; but they 
occupy these sacred heights for the purpose of making 
attacks and incursions from them, just as good generals 
take possession of the hills, and particularly the gallows- 
hills. The Heimlicher mounts from earth to the heavens 
oftener than Blanchard does, and with similar motives, 
indeed, he can keep his soul on the wing in these elevated 
regions for half a day at a time, in which respect, how- 
ever, he does not quite equal the King of Siam's dragon 
kites which the mandarins, by relieving each other at 
the task, manage to keep up in the sky for a couple of 
months at a time. He soars, not as the lark does, to make 
music, but as the noble falcon does, to swoop down upon 
something or other. If you see him praying on a Mount 

* Sky-blue is the colour of the order of the Jesuits, as also of the 
Indian Krisna, and of anger. The hypothesis of the natural philo- 
sopher Marat, that blue and red together mako black, should be ex- 
po imented upon, by mixing the cardinal's red with the Jesuit's blue. 
He himself, subsequently, during the French Revolution, produced 
from blue, red, and white the most beautiful ivory black, or the Indian 
ink with which Napoleon afterwards painted. 



46 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. L BOOK L 

of Olives, be sure that he's going to build an oil mill on it; 
and if he weeps by a brook Kedron, depend upon it he's 
either going a-fishing in it, or else thinking of pitching 
somebody into it. He prays with the object of luring to 
him the ignes-fatui of sins ; he kneels, but only as a front 
rank does, to deliver its fire at the foe before it; he 
opens his arms as with warm benevolent affection, to fold 
some one, a ward say, in their embrace, but only in the 
manner of the red-hot Moloch, that he may burn him to 
cinders ; or he folds his arms piously together, but does it 
as the machines called "maidens" did, only to cut people 
to pieces. 

At last the friends, in their anxiety, came to see that 
there are some people whom one can only manage to get 
access to when one comes as thieves do, unannounced 
so at 8 o'clock on the Sunday evening they walked, sans 
fafon, into Von Blaise's house. Everything was still and 
empty ; they went through an empty hall into an empty 
drawing-room, the half-open folding doors of which led 
into the household chapel. All they could see through 
the crevice was six chairs, an open hymn-book lying on 
its face on each of them, and a table with wax-cloth cover, 
on which were Miller's * Heavenly Kiss of the Soul,' and 
Schlichthoher's 'Five-fold Dispositions for all Sundays 
and Feasts of the Church.' They pressed through the 
gap, and lo and behold! there was the Heimlicher all 
alone, continuing his devotions in his sleep, with his cap 
under his arm. His house- and church-servants had read 
to him till sleep had stiffened him to a petrifaction, or 
pillar of salt (an event which occurred every Sunday), for 
his eyes and nis head were alike heavy with the edible, » 
the potable, and the spiritual, refreshment of which he 
had partaken; or because he was like many who think 
it well to close * their eyes during the sowing of the 
heavenly seed, just as people do when their heads are 
being powdered, or because churches and private chapels 
are still like those ancient temples in which the com- 
munications of the oracles were received during sleep. 
And as soon as they saw his eyes closed, the servants 
would read more and more softly, to accustom him gra- 
dually to the complete cessation of the sound ; and, by and 



CHAP. II. J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 47 

by, the devout domestics would steal gently away, leaving 
him in his attitude of prayer till 10 o'clock ; at that hour 
(when, moreover, Madame von Blaise generally' came 
home from paying visits) the domestic sacristan and 
night watchman would rouse him from his sleep with a 
shrill "Amen," and he would put something on to his 
bald head again. 

This evening matters fell out differently. Leibgeber 
rapped loudly on the table two or three times with the 
knuckle of his forefinger to wake the city's father out of 
his first sleep. When he opened his eyes and saw before 
him the two lean parodies and copies of one another, he 
took, in his beer- and sleep-heaviness of idea, a glass peri- 
wig from off a block, and put that on his head instead of his 
cap, which had fallen down. His ward addressed him 
politely, saying he wished .to present to him his friend 
with whom he had made the exchange of names. He 
likewise called him his "kind cousin and guardian." 
Leibgeber, more angry and less self-contained, because 
he was younger, and because the wrong had not been 
done to him, fired into the Heimlicher's ears, from a posi- 
tion closer to him by three discourteous paces, the in- 
quiries, " Which of us two is it that your worship has 
given out pro mortuo, that you may be able to cite him as 
a dead man ? There are the ghosts of two of us here both 
together." Blaise turned with a lofty air from Leibgeber 
to Siebenkaes, and said, " If you have not changed your 
dress, sir, as well as your name, I believe you are the 
gentleman whom I have had the honour of talking with 
on several previous occasions. Or was it you, sir?" he 
said to Leibgeber, who shook like one possessed. "Well," 
he continued in a more pleasant tone, " I must confess to 
you, Mr. Siebenkaes, that I had always stipposed, until 
now, that you were the person who left this for the uni- 
versity ten years ago, and whose little inheritance I then 
assumed the guardianship or curatorship of. What pro- 
bably chiefly contributed to my mistake, if it be a mistake, 
was, I presume, the likeness which, prozier propter, you 
certainly seem to bear to my missing ward ; for in many 
details you undoubtedly differ from him ; for instance, he 
had a mole beside his ear." 



48 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK 1 

" The infernal mole," interrupted Leibgeber, " was ob- 
literated by means of a toad, on my account entirely, 
because it was like an ass's ear, and he never thought 
that, when he lost his ear, he should lose a relative along 
with it." 

" That may be," said the guardian coldly, " You must 
prove to me, Herr Advocate, that it was to you I had been 
thinking of paying over the inheritance to-day ; for your 
announcement that you had exchanged your family name 
for that of an utter stranger I considered to be probably 
one of the jokes for which you are so celebrated. But I 
learned last week that you had been proclaimed in church 
and married in the name of Siebenkaes, and more to the 
same effect. I then discussed the question with Herr 
Gross weibel (the President of the Chamber of Inherit- 
ance), and with my son-in-law, Herr von Knarnschilder, 
and they assured me I should be acting contrary to my 
duty and safety if I let this property out of my hands. 
"What would you do — they very properly said — what an- 
swer would you have to make if the real owner of the 
name were to appear and demand another settlement of 
the guardianship accounts ? It would be too bad, truly, 
for a man. who, besides his manifold business of other 
kinds, undertook this troublesome guardian work, which 
the law does not require him to do, purely from affection 
for his relative, and from the love which he bears to all 
his brethren of mankind* — it would be too bad, I say, for 
him to have to pay up this money a second time out of 
his own pocket. At the same time, Mr. Siebenkaes, as, 
in my capacity of a private individual, I am more disposed 
to admit the validity of your claim than you perhaps 
suppose, you being a lawyer, know quite as well as I that 
my individual conviction carries with it no legal weight 
whatever, and that I have to deal with this matter not as 
a man, but as a guardian-^it would probably be the best 

* He styles mankind his brethren, as many monks, princes, and 
religious persons are given to do to each other, and perhaps he is right 
in so doing, seeing that he treats these brethren of his just as many 
eastern princes treat theirs, and, in fact, moce kindly, beheading, 
blinding, and cutting them up in a spiritual sense cnly, not in a 
corporeal. 



CHAP. II.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. *9 

course to let some third party less biassed in my favour, 
such as the Inheritance Office, decide the question. Let 
me have the satisfaction, Mr. Siebenkass, as soon as it 
may be possible " (he ended more smilingly, and laying 
his hand on the other's shoulder) " to see that which I 
hope may prove the case, namely, that you are my long- 
missing cousin, Leibgeber, properly established by legal 
proof." 

" Then," said Leibgeber, grimly calm, and with all 
kinds of scale-passages and fugatos coursing over the 
colour-piano of his faco, "is the little bit of resemblance 
which Mr. Siebenkees there has to — to himself, that is to 
say, to your worship's ward, to be taken as proving 
nothing; not even as much as an equal similarity in a 
case of comparatio literarum would prove ? " 

" Oh, of course," said Blasius, " something, certainly, 
but not everything ; for there were several false Neros, 
and three or four sham Sebastians in Portugal ; suppose, 
now, you should be my cousin yourself, Mr. Leibgeber ! " 

Leibgeber jumped up at once, and said in an altered 
and joyful voice, " So I am, my dearest guardian — it was 
all done to try you — I hope you will pardon my friend his 
share in the little mystification." 

"All very well," answered Blasius, more inflatedly, 
" but your own changes of ground must show you tho 
necessity for a proper legal investigation." 

This was more than Siebenkaas could endure, he squeezed 
his friend by the hand, as much as to say, '"Pray be patient," 
and inquired in a voice which an unwonted feeling of 
hatred rendered faint, " Did you never write to me when 
I was in Leipzig?" — "If you are my ward, I certainly 
did, many times ; if you are not, you have got hold of my 
letters in some other way." 

Then Siebenktes asked, more faintly still, : 'Have you no 
recollection at all of a letter in which you assured mo 
there was not the slightest risk invoWed in my proposed 
change of name, none whatever?" 

" This is really quite ludicrous," answered Blaise, " in 
that case there could be no question about the matter ! " 

Here Leibgeber clasped the father of the city with his 
two fingers as if they had been iron rivets, grasped his 

II. K 



50 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICK RICHTER, [HOOK I. 

shoulders as one does the pommel of a saddle at mounting, 
clamped him firmly into his chair, and thundered out, 
" You never wrote anything of the kind, did you ? you 
smooth-tongued, grey-headed old scoundrel ! Stop your 
grunting, or I'll throttle you ! never wrote the letter, eh? 
keep quiet — if you lift a finger, my dog will tear your 
windpipe out. Answer me quietly — you say you never 
received any letter on the subject, do you?" 

"I had rather say nothing," whispered Blasius, "evi- 
dence given under coercion is valueless." 

Here Siebenkass drew his friend away from the Heim- 
licher, but Leibgeber said to the dog, " Mordax ! hooy, 
Sau.," took the glass periwig from the head of the servant 
of the state, broke off the principal curls of it, and said to 
Siebenkaes (Saufinder lay ready to spring), " Screw him 
down yourself, if the dog is not to do it, that he may listen 
to me. I want to say one or two pretty things to him — 
don't let him say 'Pap!' — Herr Heimlicher von Blasius, I 
have not the slightest intention of making use of libellous 
or abusive language to you, or of spouting an improvised 
pasquinade ; I merely tell you, that yoxt are an old rascal, 
a robber of orphans, a varnished villain, and everything 
else of the kind — for instance, a Polish bear, whose foot- 
marks are just like a human being's.* The epithets which 
I here make use of, such as scoundrel — Judas — gallows- 
bird" (at each word he struck the glass turban like a 
cymbal against his other hand), "skunk, leech, horse- 
leech — nominal definitions such as these are not abuse, 
and do not constitute libel, firstly because, according to 
' L. § de injur.,' the grossest abuse may be uttered in 
jest, and I am in jest here — and we may always make use 
of abusive language in maintaining our own rights — see 
'Leyser.'| Indeed, according to Quistorp's 'Penal Code,' 
we may accuse a person of the gravest crimes without 
animus injurandi, provided that he has not been already 
tried and punished for them. And has your honesty ever 
been put on its trial and punished, you cheating old grey- 
headed vagabond? I suppose you are like the Heimlicher 

* The same robbing, strangling paw is masked in both under the 
likeness of the track of a man. -j- ' Sp.' r>47, N. Tr. 



CHAP. II.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 51 

in Freyburg* — rather a different sort of man to you, it's 
to bo hoped — and have half-a-dozen years or so, during 
which no one can lay hold of you — but I've got hold of 
you to-day, hypocrite ! — Mordax ! " The dog looked up at 
this word of command. 

" Let him go, now," Siebenkses begged, compassionating 
the prostrate sinner. 

" In a moment. ; but don't you put me in a fury, please," 
said Leibgeber, letting fall the plucked wig, standing on 
it, and taking out his scissors and black paper, " I want 
to be quite calm while I clip out a likeness of the padded 
countenance of this portentous cotton-nightcap of a crea- 
ture, because I shall take it away with me as a gage d'amour. 
I want to cany this ecce homunculus about with me half 
over the world, and say to everybody, ' Hit it, bang away 
at it well ; blessed is he who doth not depart this life till 
he hath thrashed Heimlicher Blasius of Kuhschnappel ; 
I would have done it myself if I had not been far too 
strong.' 

" I shan't be able," he went on, turning to Siebenkaes, 
and finishing a good portrait, " to give that sneak and 
sharper there an account by word of mouth of my success, 
for a whole year to come ; but by that time the one or two 
little touches of abuse which I have just lightly applied 
to him will be covered by the statute of limitations, and 
we shall be as good friends as ever again." 

Here he unexpectedly requested Siebenkses to stay by 
Saufinder — whom he had constituted into a corps of obser- 
vation by a motion of his finger — as he was obliged to 
leave the room for a moment On the last occasion of his 
being in Blaise's grand drawing-room (where he displayed 
his magnificence before the Kuhschnappel world, great and 
small), he had noticed the paper-hangings there, and an 
exceedingly ingenious stove, in the form of the goddess 
of justice, Themis, who does, indeed, singe as frequently 
as she merely warms. And this time he had brought with 
him a camel's-hair pencil, and a bottle of an ink made 
from cobalt dissolved in aquafortis, with a little muriatic 

* The Heimlicher of Freyburg is inviolable for throe years during 
his tenure of office, and for three years after it expires. 

E 2 



52 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK t 

acid dropped into it. Unlike the black cloth ink, which 
is visible at first and disappears afterwards, the sym- 
pathetic ink here spoken of is invisible at first, and only 
comes out a green colour on the paper when it is warmed. 
Leibgeber now wrote with his camel's-hair pencil and this 
ink the following invisible notification on the paper which 
was closest to the stove, or Themis. 

"The Goddess of Justice hereby protests in presence 
of this assembly against being thus sat up in effigy, and 
warmed and cooled (if not absolutely hanged), at the 
pleasure of the Heimlicher von Blaise, who is long since 
condemned at her inner secret tribunal. 

" Themis." 

Leibgeber came away, leaving the silent seed of this 
Priestley's green composition behind him on the wall with 
the pleasing certainty that next winter, some evening 
when the drawing-room was nicely warmed by the goddess 
for a party, the whole dormant green crop would all of a 
sudden shoot lustily forth. 

So he came back to the oratory again, finding Saufinder 
keeping up his appointed official contemplation, and his 
friend maintaining his observation of the dog. They then 
all took a most polite leave, and even begged the Heim- 
licher not to come into the street with them, as it mightn't 
be so easy to keep Mordax from a bite or so there. 

When they got to the street Leibgeber said to his friend, 
" Don't pull such a long face about it— I shall keep flying 
backwards and forwards to you, of course. Come through 
the gate with me — I must get across the frontier of this 
country; let's run, and get on to royal territory before 
six minutes are over our heads." 

When they had passed the gate, that is to say, the un- 
Palmyra-like ruins of it, the crystal reflecting grotto of the 
August night stood open and shining above the dark -green 
earth, and the ocean-calm of nature stayed the wild storm 
of the human heart. Night was drawing and closing 
her curtain (a sky full of silent suns, not a breath of 
breeze moving in it), up above the world and down 
beneath it ; the reaped corn stood in the sheaves without 
a rustle. The cricket with his one constant song, and a 



CHAP. II.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 53 

poor old man gathering snails for the snail-pits, seemed to 
be the onlv things that dwelt in the far reaching darkness. 
The fires of anger had suddenly gone out in the two friends' 
hearts. Leibgeber said, in a voice pitched two octaves 
lower, " God be thanked ! this writes a verse of peace 
round the storm bell within ! the night seems to me to 
have muffled my alarum drum with her black robe, and 
softened it down to a funeral march. I am delighted to 
find myself growing a little sad after all that anger and 
shouting." 

"If it only hadn't all been on my account, old Henry," 
said Siebenkaes, "your humorous fury at that barefaced 
old sinner." 

"Though you are not so apt to shy your satire into 
people's faces as I am," said Leibgeber, " you would have 
been in a greater rage if you had been in my place. One 
can bear injustice to one's self — particularly when one has 
as good a temper as I have — but not to a friend. And 
unluckily you are the martyr to my name to-day, and eye- 
witness and blood-witness into the bargain. Besides, I 
should tell you that, as a general rule, when once I am 
ridden by the devil of anger — or rather when 1 have got on 
to his back — I always spur the brute nearly to death, till he 
falls down, so that I mayn't have to mount him again for 
the next three months. However, I have poured you out a 
nice basin of black broth, and left you sitting with the spoon 
in your hand." Siebenkaes had been dreading for some time 
that he would say something about the 1200 gulden, those 
baptismal dues of his re-baptism, the discount of his name. 
He therefore said, as cheerfully and pleasantly as his heart, 
torn by this sudden, nocturnal parting, would let him, " My 
wife and I have plenty of supplies in our little bit of a 
fortress of Konigstein, and we can sow and reap there too. 
Heaven only grant that we may have many a hard nut to 
crack ; they give a delicious flavour to the table- wine of our 
stale, flat, everyday life. I shall bring my action to-morrow." 

They both concealed their emotion at the approach of 
the moment of parting under the cloak of comic speeches. 
These two counterparts came to a column which had been 

erected by the Princess of on the spot where, on her 

return from England, she had met her sister coming from 



54 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

the Alps ; and as this joyful souvenir of a meeting had a quite 
opposite significance to-night, Leibgeher said, " Now, right 
about fece — march ! Your wife is getting anxious — it's 
past eleven o'clock. There, you see, we have reached your 
boundary mark, your frontier fortress, the gallows. I am 
off at once into Bayreuth and Saxony to cut my crop — other 
people's faces, to wit, and sometimes my own fool's face into 
the bargain. I shall most likely come and see you again, 
just for the fun of the thing, in a year and a day, when 
the verbal libels are pretty well out of date. By the by." 
he added, hastily, " promise me on your word of honour to 
do me one little favour." 

Siebenkaes instantly did so. "Don't send my deposit 
after me * — a plaintiff has payments to make. So fare you 
well, dearest old man," he blurted huskily out, and after a 
hurried kiss, ran quickly down the little hill with an air 
of assumed unconcern. His friend, bewildered and for- 
saken, looked after the runner, without uttering a syllable. 
When he got to the bottom of the hillock, the runner 
stopped, bent his head low towards the ground, and — 
loosened his garters. 

" Couldn't you have done that up here ?" cried Sieben- 
kaes, and went down to him, and said, " We'll go as far as 
the gallows hill together." The sand-bath and reverbe- 
rating furnace of a noble anger made all their emotions 
warmer to-day, just as a hot climate gives strength to 
poisons and spices. As the first parting had caused their 
eyes to overflow, they had nothing more to keep in con- 
trol but voice and language. 

" Are you sure you feel quite well after being so much 
vexed ?" said Siebenkaes. " If the death of domestic ani 
mals portends the death of the master of the house, as the 
superstition runs," said Leibgeber, "I shall live to all 
eternity, for my menagerie f of beasts is all alive and 
kicking." At last they stopped at the market house, 
beside the place of execution. " Just up to the top," said 
Siebenkaes, " no further." 

When they came to the top of this boundary -hill of so 

* It consisted chiefly of curious coins, vicariat -dollars, &c. 
f Plato likens out lower passions to animals kicking inside us. 



CHAP, n.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 55 

many an unhappy life — and when Siebenkaes looked down 
upon the green spotted stone altar where so many an 
innocent sacrifice had been offered up, and thought, in 
that dark minute, of the heavy blood drops of agony, the 
burning tears which women who had killed their children * 
(and were themselves put to death by the state and their 
lovers) had let fall upon this their last and briefest rack 
of torture here in this field of blood — and as he gazed 
from this cloudbank of life out over the broad earth with 
the mists of night steaming up round its horizons and over 
all its streams — he took his friend's hand, and, looking to 
the free starry heaven, said, " The mists of our life on 
earth must be resolved into stars, up there at last, as the 
mists of the milky way part into suns. Henry, don't 
you yet believe in the soul's immortality ?" — " It will not 
do yet, I can not," Leibgeber replied. " Blasius, now, hardly 
deserves to live once, let alone twice or several times. I 
sometimes can't help feeling as if a little piece of the other 
world had been painted on to this, just to finish it off and 
make it complete, as I've sometimes seen subsidiary sub- 
jects introduced in fainter colours towards the edge of a 
picture, to make the principal subject stand out from the 
frame, and to give it unity of effect. But at this moment, 
human beings strike me as being like those crabs which 
priests used to fasten tapers to and set them crawling 
about churchyards, telling the people they were the souls 
of the departed. Just so do we, in a masquerade imper- 
sonation of immortal beings, crawl about over graves with 
our tapers of souls. Ten to one they go out at last." 

His friend fell on his heart, and said with vivid convic- 
tion, "We do not go out! Farewell a thousand times. 
We shall meet where there is no parting. By my soul ! 
we do not go out. Farewell, farewell." 

And so they parted. Henry passed slowly and with 
drooping arms through the footpaths between the stubble- 
fields, raising neither hand nor e)'e, that he might give no 
sign of sorrow. But a deep grief fell on Sietienkags, for 
men who rarely shed tears shed all the more when they 
do weep. So he went to his house and laid his weary 

i • He happened to have the case )f one to defend, just then. 



56 JEAN PAUL FRIEDETCH RIC'HTER. [BOOK I. 

melting heart to rest on his wife's untroubled breast (there 
was not even a dream stirring it). But far on into the fore- 
court of the world of dreams did the thought of the days 
in store for Lenette attend him — and of his friend's 
night journey under the stars, which he would be look- 
ing up at without any hope of ever being nearer to 
them; and it was chiefly for his friend that his tears 
flowed fast. 

Oh ye two friends — thou who art out in the dark- 
ness there, and thou who art here at home ! But where- 
fore should I be continually harping back upon the old 
emotion which you have once more awakened in me — the 
same which in old days used to penetrate and refresh me 
60 when I read as a lad about the friendship of a Swift, 
an Arbuthnott and a Pope in their letters? Many another 
heart must have been fired and aroused as mine was at the 
contemplation of the touching, calm affection which the 
hearts of these men felt for one another ; cold, sharp, and 
cutting to the outer world, in the inner land which was 
common to them they could work and beat for each other ; 
like lofty palm trees, presenting long sharp spines towards 
the common world below them, but at their summits full 
of the precious palm-wine of strong friendship. 

So, in their lesser degree, 1 think we may find some- 
thing of a similar kind to like and to admire in our two 
friends, Leibgeber and Siebenkses. We need not inquire 
very closely into the causes which brought about their 
friendship ; for it is hate, not love, which needs to be ex- 
plained and accounted for. The sources whence every- 
thing that is good wells forth from this universe upwards 
to God himself, are veiled by a night all thick with stars ; 
but the stars are very far away. 

These two men, while as yet in the fresh, green springtime 
of university life, at once haw straight through each other's 
breasts into each other's hearts, and they attracted each 
other with their opposite poles. What chiefly delighted 
Siebenkses was Leibgeber's firmness and power, and even 
his capability of anger, as well as his flights and laughter 
over every kind of sham grandeur, sham fine feeling, sham 
scholarship. Like the condor, he laid the eggs (of his act 
or of his pregnant saying) in to nest, but on the bara 



CHAP. II.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 57 

rock, preferring to live without a name, and consequently 
always taking some other than his own. On which ac- 
count the poor's advocate used to tell him, ten times over, 
the two following anecdotes, just to enjoy his irritation at 
them. 

The first was, that a German professor in D&rpat, who 
was delivering a eulogistic address on the subject of the 
reigning grand duke Alexander, suddenly stopped in the 
middle of it, and gazed for a long time in silence on a 
bust of that potentate, saying at length, " The speechless 
heart has spoken." 

The second was that Klopstock sent finely got-up copies 
of his ' Messiah ' to schoolporters, with the request that the 
most deserving among them might scatter spring-flowers 
on the grave of his own old teacher, Stubel, while softly 
pronouncing his (Klopstock's) name. To which, if Leibgeber 
had anything to adduce on the subject, Siebenkass would 
go on to add that the poet had called up four new porters 
to give them three readings apiece from his ' Messiah,' re- 
warding each with a gold medal provided by a friend. 
After telling him this he would look to see Leibgeber's 
foaming and stamping at a person's thus worshipping 
himself as a species of reliquary full of old fingers and 
bones. 

"What Leibgeber, on the other hand, — more like the 
Morlacks, who, as Towinson and Forlis tell us, though 
they have but one word to express both revenge and 
Banctification (osveta), do yet have their friends betrothed 
to them with a blessing at the altar — chiefly delighted in 
and loved about his satirical foster-brother was the dia- 
mond brooch which in his case pinned together poetry, 
kindly temper, and a stoicism which scorned this world's 
absurdities. And lastly, each of them daily enjoyed the 
gratification of knowing that the other understood him 
completely and wonderfully, whether he were in jest or in 
earnest. But it is not every friend who meets with another 
of this stamp. 



58 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. fBOOK I. 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER II. 

GOVERNMENT OF THE IMPERIAL MARKET BOROUGH OF 
KUHSCHNAPPEL. 

1 have omitted, all through two chapters, to state that the 
free imperial borough of Kuhschnappel (of which, it 
appears, there is a namesake in the Erzgebirge country) is 
the thirty-second of the Swabian towns which takes its 
seat on Swabia's town-bench of thirty-one towns. Swabia 
may look upon herself as being a hotbed and forcing- house 
of imperial towns, these colonies, or hostelries, of the 
goddess of freedom in Germany, whom persons of position 
worship as their hou!«ehold goddess ; and according to 
whose " election of grace " it is that poor sinners are 
called to salvation. I must now, in this place, accede to 
the universally expressed desire for an accurate sketch map 
of the Kuhschnappel Government; though few readers, 
save people such as Nikolai, Schlaezer and the like, can be 
expected to form an idea of the difficulty I have experienced, 
and the sum I have had to expend in postage, before getting 
hold of information somewhat more accurate than that 
which is generally current on the subject of Kuhschnappel. 
Indeed, imperial towns, like Swi>s towns, always plaster 
over and stop up the combs where their honey is stored, 
as though their constitutions were stolen silver plate with 
the owner's name still unobliterated — or as though the 
little bits of towns and territories were fortresses (which 
indeed they are as against their own inhabitants more than 
against their enemies), of which strangers are not allowed 
to take sketches. 

The constitution of our noteworthy borough of Kuh- 
schnappel seems to have been the original rough draft or 
sketch which Bern (a place at no great distance) has 
copied hers from, only with the pantograph on a larger 
scale. For Bern, like Kuhschnappel, has her Upper House, 
or supreme council, which decides upon peace and war, 
and has the power of life and death ju,st, as in Kuhschnap- 
pel, and consists of chief magistrates, treasurers, tenners. 



CHAr. II. J FLOV.'ER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 59 

Heimlichers and counsellors, only that there are more of 
them in Bern than in Kuhschnappel. Further, Bern has 
her Lower House, consisting of presidenis, deputies and 
pensioners, subsidiary to the Upper. The two Chambers 
of Appeal, those of Woods and Forests, Game Laws, and 
Reform, the Meat Tax and other commissions are clearly 
but large text copies of the Kuhschnappel outlines. 

To speak the truth, however, I have drawn this com- 
parison between these two places solely with the view of 
bein& comprehensible (perhaps at the same time agreeable) 
to the Swiss generally, and particulaily to ihe people of 
Bern. For in reality, Kuhschnappel tejoices in a much 
more perfect and aristocratic constitution than Bern, such 
as was to be found in a measure in Ulm and Niirnberg, 
though the stormy weather of the revolution has rather 
kept them back than brought them forward. A short time 
since, Nurnberg and Ulm were as fortunate as Kuhschnap- 
pel is now, inasmuch as they were governed, not by the 
common, working classes, but by people of family only, so 
that no mere citizen could meddle with the matter in the 
least degree either in person or by deputy. Now, unfor- 
tunately, it appears to be the case in both towns that the 
cask of the state has had to be fresh tapped just about an 
inch or so above the thick dregs of the common herd, 
because what came from the tap nearer the top proved sour. 
However, it is impossible for me to go on until I have 
cleared out of the way a much too prevalent error respect- 
ing large towns. 

The Behemoths and Condors among towns — Petersburg, 
London, Vienna — might, if they chose, establish universal 
equality of liberty and liberty of equality ; very few sta- 
tisticians have been struck by this idea, although it is so very 
clear. For a capital which it takes two hours and a quarter 
to go round is, as it were, an ^Etna-crater of equivalent 
circumference for an entire country, and benefits the neigh- 
bourhood of it as the volcano does, not only by what it 
ejects (its eruptive matter), but by what it swallows up. 
It clears the country in the first place of villages, and 
next of country towns — which are primarily the outhouses 
and office-buildings of capital cities — inasmuch as it 
pushes itself outwards in all directions year by year, and 



60 JEAN FAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

gets grown over, fringed round, and walled about with the 
villages. London, we know, has converted the neigh- 
bouring villages into streets of itself; but in the lapse of 
centuries the long, constantly extending arms of all great 
towns must eufold not only the villages, but also the 
country towns, converting them into suburbs. Now, in 
this process, the roads, fields and meadows which lie 
between the giant city and the villages get covered over 
like a river-bed with a deposit of stone-paving ; and conse- 
quently the operations of agriculture can no longer be 
carried on otherwise than in flower-pots in the windows. 
Where there is no agriculture, I cannot see what the agri- 
cultural population can become but unemployed idlers, 
such as no state allows within its boundaries ; and, pre- 
vention being better than cure, the state will have to clear 
this agricultural population out of the way before it sinks 
into this condition of idling, either by means of letters inhi- 
bitory directedagainst the increase of population, or by exter- 
mination, or by ennobling them into soldiery and domestics. 
In a village which has undergone this process of being 
morticed into a town like a lump of rubble, — or converted 
into a stave of the great tun of Heidelberg in this manner 
— any country people that might be still to the fore, would 
be as ludicrous as useless ; the coral cells of the villages 
must be cleared out before they attain the dignity of be- 
coming reefs or atolls of a town. 

When this is done, the hardest step towards equality 
has, no doubt, been taken ; the people of the country 
towns, a class the most hostile of all classes, at heart, to 
equality — have next to be attacked and, if possible, exter- 
minated by the great town ; this, however, is more a 
matter of time than of good management. At the same 
time, what one or two residency-towns have accom- 
plished in this direction, is a good beginning at all events. 
Could we attain to our ideal, however — could we live to 
see the day when the two classes who are the most formid- 
able opponents of equality — the peasants, and the people 
of the smaller towns — should have disappeared ; and when 
not only the agricultural races but the lower nobility, the 
small proprietors, should be extinct — ah ! then the world 
would be in the blissful enjoyment of an equality of a 



CHAP. II.J FLOWER, FKUIT, AND THOBN PIECES. 61 

i>obler sort than that which obtained in France, where tt 
was merely a plebeian one. There would be an absolute 
equality it pure nobility and collective humanity could 
rejoice in the possession of one patent of nobility, and of 
real authentic ancestors. In Paris, the revolution wrote 
(as people did in the most ancient times) without capital 
letters; but if my golden age came to pass, the writing 
would be as it was in somewhat later times than those 
just alluded to, all capital letters, not, as at present, with 
capitals sticking up like steeples among quantities of small 
letters. But though such a lofty style, such an ennoble- 
ment of humanity as this may be nothing but a beautiful 
di earn, and though we must be content with the minor 
consolation of seeing, in towns, the middle classes restricted 
to a single street, as is now the case with the Jews ; even 
that would be a clear gain to the intellectual portion of 
mankind in the eyes of anyone who considers what an 
accomplished, capable set of people the higher nobility 
are. 

It is upon the smaller towns, however, that we can more 
confidently rely than upon the great residency-towns, for aid 
in bringing about the nobilisation of the collective human 
race, and this brings me back to Kuhschnappel. People 
really seem to forget that it is too much to expect that the 
four square versts or so which a residency-town occupies 
shall be able to dominate, swallow up, and convert into 
portions of itself, more than a thousand square miles of the 
. surrounding country (just as the boa-constrictor swallows 
animals bigger than itself). London has not much above 
600,000 inhabitants ; what a miserably small force com- 
pared to the 5£ millions of all England, which that city 
has to contend with, and cut off the wings, and supplies 
of, alone and unassisted — to say nothing of Scotland and 
Ireland! This, however, does not apply to provincial 
towns ; here the number of villages, villagers, and 
burghers which have to be coerced, starved, and put to 
rout, are in a fair proportion to the size of the town, the 
numbers of the aristocracy or governing classes, who have 
to execute the task, and woik the smoothing planf 
which is to level the surface of humanity. Here there is 
little difficulty in precipitating the oitizens (as if they were 



62 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

a kind of coarse dregs swimming in the clear fluid of 
nobility) ; and when this precipitation is not successfully 
accomplished, it is the aristocracy themselves who are to 
blame, in that they often show mercy in the wrong place, 
and look upon the Burgher-bank as a grassbank, the grass 
of which is, it is true, grown only to be sat upon and 
pressed down, but is kept always watered, in order that it 
may not wither from being so constantly sat upon. If there 
were to be nothing left but the noblest classes, thecitizenic 
cinnamon-trees would be completely barked, by means of 
taxes and levyings of contributions — (which none but 
plebeian authors term " flaying " and " pulling the hide 
over the ears"), — and, the bark being otf, the trees of 
course wither and die. At the same time, this process of 
aristocratization costs men. But in my opinion it would be 
cheaply purchased by the few thousands of people it would 
cost, seeing that the Ameiicans, the Swiss, and the Dutch 
paid (so to speak) whole millions of men " cash down," on 
the battlefield, as the price of a freedom of a much more 
restricted kind. The fault which is sometimes found with 
modern battle pictures, namely that they are overcrowded 
with people, can rarely be found with modern countries. 
"YVe should rather notice the clever manner in which many 
German states have, by energetic treatment, determined 
their population, as morbid matter, in a downward direction 
(as good physicians are wont to do), namely, down to the 
United States of America, which are situated straight 
below them. 

Kuhschnappel (to return to our subject) has the pull 
over hundreds of other towns. I admit, as fticolai's 
assertion, that of the 60,000 which Kiirnberg contained 
there are but 30,000 left, and that is something ; at the 
same time it takes fifty burghers, and more, to be equiva- 
lent to one aristocrat, which is much. Now I im *n a 
position to show at any moment by reference to registers 
of deaths and baptisms, that the borough of Kuhschnappel 
contains almost as many aristocrats as burghers, which is 
all the more wonderful when we reflect that the former, 
on account of their appetites, find it a harder matter to 
live than the latter. What modern town, I ask, can point 
tc so many free inhabitants ? Were there not even in free 



CHAP. II.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 63 

Athens and Rome — in the West Indiesthere were of course — 
more slaves than free men, for which reason the latter did 
not dare to make the former wear any distinctive dr» j ss ? 
And are there not in all towns more tenants than noble 
landlords, although the latter ought, one would think, to be 
in the majority, since peasants and burghers grow only by 
nature, while aristocrats are raised, both by nature, and by 
art (in the shape of princely and imperial chanceries). If 
this appendix were not a digression (and digressions are 
generally expected to be brief) I should proceed to show, 
at some length, that in several respects Kuhschnappel, if 
she does not surpass, is at least quite on a par with, many 
of the towns of Switzerland ; for instance, in a good method 
of sharpening and lengthening the sword of justice, and, 
on the whole, in her manner of wielding a good, spiked, 
knotty mace — in the tax she levies on (ecclesiastical) corn, 
not that imported from abroad, but that of home growth, 
to exclude thought and other (in an ecclesiastical sense) 
rubbish of that sort — and even in her " green market," or 
trade in young men. As regards the latter, the reason 
why the tiade with France for young Kuhschnappelers to 
serve as porters and defenders of the Crown has hitherto 
been so flat is, that the Swiss have so terribly overdone 
the market with fine young fellows who go and stand 
in front of all the doors and (in war time) in front of all the 
cannons. Of course, were it not for this, there would be 
more doors than one with a Kuhschnappeler standing and 
saving, "Nobody at home." (Indeed, here in my second 
edition, I can assert that Kuhschnappel continues to main- 
tain its title of imperial market town, like a secondary 
electoral dignity, and keeps up its old protective laws 
against the import of ideas and the export of information, 
and its blood tithe ; or young men tithe to France, just as 
Switzerland does, which is like the keeper of the castle of 
the Wartburg, who keeps constantly re-blackening the in- 
delible mark of the ink which Luther threw at the devil.) 



64 JEAN PAUL FEIEDRICH RICHTEJR. [BOOK L 



CHAPTER III. 

lenette's honeymoon — book brewing — schulrath stiefrl — 
mr. everard — a day before the fair — the red cow — 
st. Michael's fair— the beggars' opera — diabolical temp- 
tation IN THE WILDERNESS, OR THE MANNIKIN OF FASHION — 
AUTUMN JOYS — A NEW LABYRINTH. 

The world could not make a greater mistake than \o 
suppose that our common hero would be to be seen on the 
Monday sitting in a mourning coach, in a mourning 
cloak, crape hat-band and scarf, and black shoe-buckles, 
figuring as chief mourner at the sham funeral of his happi- 
ness and his capital. 

Heavens! how can the world make such an exceedingly 
bad shot as that ? The advocate was not even in quarter 
mourning, let alone half; he was in as good spirits as if 
he had this third chapter before him, and were just begin- 
ing it, as I am. 

The reason was, that he had drawn up an able plaint 
against his guardian, Blaise (enlivening it with sundry 
satirical touches, which nobody but himself understood), 
and laid it before the Inheritance Office. When we are in 
a difficulty, it is always so much gained if we can but do 
something or other. Let fortune bluster in our faces with 
ever so harsh and frosty an autumn wind — as long as it 
does not break the fore joint of our wing (as in the case of 
the swans), our very fluttering, though it may not trans- 
port us into a warmer climate, will at all events have 
the effect of warming us a little. From motives of kind- 
ness, Siebenkees kept his wife in ignorance of the delay in 
the settling of his heritage accounts, as well as of the old 
story of the change of names ; he thought there was very 
little likelihood of a struggling advocate's wife ever having 
an opportunity of looking over a patrician's shoulder into 
his family hand at cards. 

And, indeed, what could a man who had made a sudden 
plunge from out his hermit's holy-week of single blessed- 
ness, into the full honeymoon of double blessedness wish 
lor besides? Not until now had he been able to hold 



CHAP. III.] FLOWER, FRTJIT, AND THOEN PIECES. 65 

his Lenette in both his arms rightly — hitherto his friend, 
always fluttering backwards and forwards in life, had been 
held fast with his left arm ; but now, she was able to stretch 
herself out far more comfortably in the chambers of his 
heart. And the bashful wife did this as much as she dared. 
She confessed to him, albeit timidly, that she was almost 
glad not to have that boisterous iSaufinder lying under the 
table and glaring out in that terrible way of his. Whether 
she experienced a similar relief at the absence of his wild 
master, she could not be brought to say. To the advo- 
cate she felt a good deal like a daughter, and her great 
tall father could never have enough of her quaint little 
ways. That, when he- went out, she used to louk after 
him as long as he was in sight, was nothing in comparison 
to the way in which she used to run out after him with a 
brush, when she noticed from the window that there was 
such a quantity of street paving sticking to his coat-tails 
that nothing would do but she must have him back again 
into the house, and brush his back as clean as if the 
Kuhschnappel municipality would charge him paving-tax 
if any of the mud were found on him. He would take hold 
of the brush and stop it, and kiss her, and say, " There's a 
good deal inside as well ; but nobody sees it there ; when 
I come back we'll set to work and scrub some of that 
away." 

Her maidenly obedience to his every wish and hint, her 
daughterly observance and fulfilment of them, were more 
than he looked for or required, indeed ; but not too great 
for the love he bestowed in return. " Senate clerk's 
daughter," he said, "you mustn't be too obedient to me; 
remember I'm not your father, a senate clerk, but a poor's 
advooate who has married you and signs himself Siebenkjes, 
to the best of his belief." 

" My poor dear father," she answered, " used often to 
compose and write down things too at home, himself, with 
uis own hand, and then fair-copy them beautifully after- 
wards." But he enjoyed these crooked answers which she 
used to make. And though, from sheer veneration of him, 
she never understood a single one of the jokes which he 
was always making about himself (for she gainsaid him 
when he satirically depreciated himself, and agreed with 

u. F 



66 JEAN PAUL FEIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK L 

him completely if he ironically lauded himself), yet these 
mental provincialisms of hers pleased him not a little. 
She would use such words as "fleuch"for "fliehe," "reuch" 
and " kreuch " for " riehe " and " kriehe ; " religious 
antiquities out of Luther's Bible, which were valuable and 
enjoyable contributions to her stock of idiosyncracies, and 
to the happiness of his honeymoon. One day when he 
took a particularly pretty cap which she had tried on with 
much satisfaction to each of her three cap-blocks, one after 
another (she would often gently kiss these cap-blocks), 
and putting it on her own little head before the looking- 
glass, said, " See how it looks on your own head ; perhaps 
that's as good a block as the others," she laughed with 
immense delight, and said, " Now, you are always flattering 
one ! " 

Believe me, this naive failure of hers to see his joke so 
touched him that he made a secret vow never to make 
another of the kind, except in private to himself. But 
there was a greater honeymoon pleasure still. This was 
that, when there came a fast day, Lenette would on no 
account allow him to kiss her, when she came into the 
room (ready for church), her white and red bloom of youth 
shining out with threefold beauty from under her black 
lace head-dress, and the dark leafage of her dress. 

" Worldly thoughts of that kind," she said, " weren't at 
all proper before service, when people had on their fast- 
day things ; people must wait ! " 

" By heaven ! " said Siebenkaes to himself, " may I stick 
a soup spoon five inches long and three broad through my 
lower lip, like a North American squaw, and go about 
with it there, if ever I begin spooning and kissing the 
pious soul again, when she has a black dress on, and the 
bells are ringing." And though he wasn't much of a 
churchgoer himself, he kept his word. See how we men 
behave in matrimonial life, young ladies ! 

From all which it will readily appear how perfectly happy 
the advocate was during his honeymoon, when Lenette, 
in the most delightful manner, did all those things for 
him which he used previously to have to do for himself 
in a most miserable fashion and against the grain, making 
by unwearied sweepings and brushings his dithyrambio 



CHAP. III.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 67 

chartreuse as clean and level and smooth as a billiard- 
table. Whole honey-trees full of cakes did she plant 
during the honeymoon ; humming round him of a morning 
like a busy bee, carrying wax into her little hive (while 
he was going quietly on with his law-papers, building 
away at his juridical wasp's nest), forming her cells, clean- 
ing them out, ejecting foreign bodies, and mending chinks ; 
he now and then looking out of his wasp's nest at the 
pretty little figure in the tidiest of household dresses, at 
sight of which he would take his pen in his mouth, hold 
his hand out to her across the ink-bottle, and say, " Only 
wait till the afternoon comes and you're sitting sewing — 
then, as I walk up and down, I .shall pay you with kisses 
to your heart's content." But that none of my fair readers 
may be unhappy about the souring of the honey of this 
moon which the conduct of that disinheriting blackguard 
Blaise might bring about, let me just ask one question ? 
Hadn't Siebenkses a whole silver mine and a coining mill, 
in the shape of seven law suits all going on, full of veins 
of rich ore ? And hadn't Leibgeber sent him a military 
treasury chest on four wheels of fortune, containing 
two spectacle dollars of Julius Duke of Brunswig, a 
Russian triple-dollar of 1679, a tail or queue ducat — a 
gnat or wasp dollar — five vicariat ducats, and a heap of 
Ephraimites ? For he might melt down and volatilise 
this collection of coins without a moment's hesitation, in- 
asmuch as his friend had only pocketed them by way 
of a jest on the people who pay a hundred dollars for 
one. They two had all things corporeal and mental in 
common to an extent comprehensible by few. They had 
arrived at that point where there is no distinction visible 
between the giver and the receiver of a benefit, and they 
etepped across the chasms of life bound together, as the 
crystal-seekers in the Alps tie themselves to each other to 
prevent their falling into the ice clefts. 

One Lady Day, towards evening, however, he hit upon 
an idea which will quite reassure all fair readers of his 
history who may be in a state of anxiety about him, and 
which made him happier than the receipt of the biggest 
basket of bread with little baskets of fruit in it would 
have done — or a hamper of wine. He had felt sure all 

F 2 



68 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

along that he would hit upon an idea. Whenever he was 
in a difficulty of any kind, he always used to say, " Now, 
I wonder what I shall hit upon this time ; for I shall hit 
upon something or other as sure as there are four chambers 
in my brain." The delightful idea in question was, that 
he should do what I am doing at this moment — write a 
book ; only his was to be a satirical one.* A torrent oi 
blood rushed through the opened sluices of his heart, right 
in amongst the wheels and nrill-machinerj' of his idea.-, 
and the whole of the mental mechanism rattled, whirred, 
and jingled in a moment— a peck or two of material for 
the book was ground on the spot. 

I know of no greater mental tumult — hardly of any 
sweeter — which can arise in a young man's being, than 
that which he experiences when he is walking up and 
down his room, and forming the daring resolution that he 
will take a book of blank paper and make it into a manu- 
script ; indeed it is a point which might be argued 
whether Winckelmann, or Hannibal the great general, 
strode up and down their rooms at a greater pace when 
they respectively formed the (equally daring) resolution 
that they would go to Rome. Siebenkees, having made up 
his mind to write a 'Selection fiom the Devil's Papers.' 
was forced to run out of the house, and three times round 
the market-place, just to fix his fluttering, rushing ideas 
into their proper grooves again by the process of tiring his 
legs. He came back wearied by the glow within him — 
looked to see if there was enough white paper in the house 
for his manuscript — and running up to his Lenette, who 
was tranquilly working away at a cap, gave her a kiss 
before she could well take the needle out of her mouth — last 
thom upon the rose-tree! During the kiss she quietly 
gave a finishing stitch to the border of the cap (squinting 
down a; it the best way she could without moving her head). 

"Rejoice with me!" he cried, "come and dance about 
with me ! to-morrow I'm going to begin a work, a book ! 
Roast the calf s head to-night, though it be a breach of our 
ten commandments." For he and she, on the Wednesday 

* The book was published in 1789, by Beckmann of Gera, and was 
entitled, ' Selections from the Devil's Papers.' I shall venture to 
express my opiuion on theaa satires further on. 



CHAP. III.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 69 

before, had formed themselves into a committee on food 
regulations, and, of the Thirty-nine articles of domestio 
economy, which had then been passed and subscribed to, 
one was that, Brahminlike, they were to do without meat 
at supper. 

But he had the greatest difficulty in getting her to 
understand how it was that he made out that he would be 
able to procure her another calfs head with a smgle sheet 
of the • Selections from the Devil's Papers,' and that he was 
perfectly justified in issuing a dispensation from that 
evening's fast ; for like the common herd of mankind, or 
like the printers, Lenette thought that a written hook was 
paid for at the same rate as a printed one, and that the 
compositor got rather more than the author. She had 
never in her life had the slightest idea of the enormous 
sums which authors are paid nowadays ; she was like 
Racine's wife, who did not know what a line of poetry or 
a tragedy was, although she kept house upon them. For 
my part, however, I should never lead to the altar, or into 
my home as my wife, any woman who wasn't capable of at 
least completing any sentence which death should knock me 
over with his hour-glass in the middle of,— or who wouldn't 
be unspeakably delighted when I read to her learned 
Gottingen gazettes, or universal German magazines, in 
which I was bepraised, more than I deserved perhaps. 

The rapture of authorship had set all Siebeukaes's blood- 
globules into such a flow, and all his ideas into such a 
whirlwind this whole evening that, in the condition of vi- 
vidness of fueling and fancy in which he was (a condition 
which in him often assumed the appearance of temper), 
he would instantly have flown out and exploded like so 
much fulminating gold at everything of a slow moving 
kind which he came across — such as the servant girl's 
heavy dawdling step, or the species of dropsy with which 
her utterance was afflicted ; — but that he at once laid hold 
on a precious sedative powder for the over-excitement 
caused by happiness, and took a dose of it. It is easier to 
communicate an impetus and a rapid flow to the slow- 
gliding blood of a heavy, sorrowful heart, than to moderate 
and restrain the billowy, surging, foaming current which 
rushes through the veins in happiness; but he could always 



70 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

calm himself, even in the wildest joy, by the thought of the 
inexhaustible Hand which bestowed it, and that gentle 
tenderness of heart wherewith our eyes are drooped to 
earth as we remember the invisible, eternal Benefactor of 
all hearts. At such a time the heart, softened by thank- 
fulness and by joyful tears, will speak irs gratitude by at 
least being kindlier towards all mankind, if in no other 
way. That fierce, untamed delight, which is what Nemesis 
avenges, can best be kept within due bounds by this 
sense of gratitude ; and those who have died of joy would 
either not have died at all, or would have died of a better 
and lovelier joy, if their hearts had first been softened by 
a grateful heavenward gaze. 

His first and best thanksgiving for the new, smooth, 
beautiful banks, between which his life-stream had now 
been led, took the form of a zealous and careful drawing up 
of a defence which he had to prepare in the case of a girl 
charged with child-murder, to save her from torture on 
the rack. The state-physician of the borough had con- 
demned her to the M trial by the lungs," a neither more 
nor less suitable punishment than the " trial by water " 
(which used to be inflicted on witches). 

Calm spring-days of matrimony, peaceful and un- 
disturbed, laid down their carpet of flowers for the feet of 
these two to tread upon. Only there sometimes appeared 
under the window, when Lenette was stretching herself 
and her white arm out of a morning, and slowly accom- 
plishing the fastening back of the outside shutters, a gen- 
tleman in flesh-coloured silk. 

"I really feel quite ashamed to stretch," she said; 
" there's a gentleman always standing in the street, and 
he takes off his hat, and notes one down just as if he were 
the meat appraiser." 

The Schulrath Stiefel kept, on the school Saturday 
holidays, the solemn promise he had made on the wedding- 
day to come and see them often, and at all events to be 
sure and come on the Saturdays. I think I shall call him 
Peltzstiefel (Furboots) as a pleasing variety for the ear — 
seeing that the whole town gave him that name on 
account of the gray miniver, faced with hareskin, which he 
wore on his legs by way of a portable wood-economising 



CHAP. III.] FLOWEE, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 71 

stove. Well, Peltzstiefel, the moment he came in at the 
door, fastened joy-flowers together into a nosegay, and 
stuck them into the advocate's button-bole, by appointing 
him on the spot his collaborateur on the ' Kuhschnappel 
Indicator, Heavenly Messenger, and School Programme 
Beview' — a work which ought to be better known, so 
that the works recommended by it might be so too. This 
newspaper engagement of Siebenkaes is a great pleasure to 
me ; it will at any rate bring my hero in sixpence or so 
towards a supper now and then. The Schulrath, who was 
editor of this paper, had a high sense of the power and 
responsibility of his post ; but Siebenkaas had now risen to 
the dignity of an author — the only being who in his eye? 
was superior even to a reviewer — for Lenette had told him 
on the way to church that her husband was going to have 
a great thick book printed. The Schulrath considered the 
1 Salzburg Literary Gazette ' of the period the apocryphal, 
and the ' Jena Literary Gazette ' the- canonical scriptures : 
the single voice of one reviewer was, for his ears, multiplied 
by the echo in the critical jiidgment hall into a thousand 
voices. His deluded imagination multiplied the head of 
one single reviewer into several Lernaean heads, as it was 
believed of old that the devil used to surround the heads 
of sinners with delusive false heads, that the executioner 
might miss his stroke at them. 

The fact that a reviewer writes anonymously gives to a 
single individual's opinions the weight and authority they 
would possess, if arrived at by a whole council ; but then 
if his name were put at the end, for instance, " X.Y.Z., 
Student of Divinity," instead of * New Universal German 
Library," it would weaken the effect of the divinity student's 
learned laying down of the law to too great an extent. 
The Schulrath paid court to my hero on account of his 
satirical turn ; for he himself, a very lamb in common life, 
transformed himself into a wehrwolf in a review article ; 
which is frequently the case with good-tempered men when 
they write, particularly on humaniora and such like sub- 
jects. As indeed, peaceful shepherd races (according to 
Gibbon) are fond of making war, and of beginning it, or 
just as the Idyllic painter, Gessner, was himself a biting 
caricaturist. 



72 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

And our hero for his part afforded Stiefel a great pleasure 
this evening, as well as holding out to him the prospect of 
many more such, when he took from Leihgeber's collection 
of coins a gnat or wasp dollar, and gave it to him, not as a 
douceur for his appointment to the critical wasp's nest, 
but that he might turn it into small change. The Schul- 
rath who, being himself the zealous "Silberdiener" (master 
of the plate and jewels) of a dollar-cabinet of Ins own, 
would have been delighted if money had existed solely for 
the sake of cabinets — (meaning, however, numismatic, not 
political, cabinets) — sparkled and blushed delighted over 
the dollar, and declared to the advocate (who only wanted 
the absolute value of it, not the coin-fancier's price) that 
he considered this a piece of true friendship. " No," 
answered Siebenkees, " the only piece of true friendship 
about the matter is Leibgeber giving me the dollar." " But 
I'll give you certainly three dollars for it, if you like to 
ask it," said Stiefel. Lenette, delighted at Stiefel's delight, 
and at his kindly feeling, and secretly giving her husband 
a push as an admonition not to give way, here struck in 
with an amount of determination which astonishes me, 
" But my husband's not going to do anything of the kind, 
I assure you ; a dollar's a dollar." " But," said Siebenktes, 
" I ought rather to ask you only a third of the price, if I'm 
going to hand over my coins to you one at a time in this 
way." Ye dear souls ! If people's " yeses " in this world 
were only always such as your " buts." 

Stiefel, confirmed bachelor though he was, wasn't going 
to let himself be found wanting, on such a delightful 
occasion as this, at all events, in proper politeness towards 
the fair sex, least of all towards a woman whom he had 
begun to be so fond of, even when he was bringing her 
home to be married, and whom he liked twice as much now 
that she was the wife of such a dear friend, and was such 
a dear friend herself too. He therefore adroitly led her to 
join in the conversation (which had previously been too 
deep and scholarly for her) by using the three cap-blocks 
as stepping-stones over to the journal of fashions ; only 
he slid back again sooner than he might have done to a 
more ancient journal of fashions, that of Rubenius on 
the 'Costume of the ancient Greeks and Romans.' He 



CHAP. III.] FLOWER, FKUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 78 

said he should be happy to lend her his sermons every 
Sunday, as advocates don't deal in theology much. And 
when she was looking on the floor at her feet for the 
snuffers which had fallen, he held the candle down that 
she might see. 

The next Sunday was an important day for the house 
(or rather rooms) of Siebenkaes, for it introduced thereto 
a grander character than any who have appeared hitherto, 
namely the Venner (Finance Councillor) — Mr. Everard 
Eosa von Meyern, a young member of the aristocracy, 
who went daily in and out at Heimlicher von Blaise's to 
"learn the routine of official business;" he was also en- 
gaged to be married to a poor niece of the Heimlicher's, 
who was being brought up and educated for his heart in 
another part of Germany. 

Thus the Venner was a character of consequence in the 
borough of Kuhschnappel as well as in our ' Thorn-piece,' 
and this in every political point of view. In a corporeal 
point of view he was much less so. His body was stuck 
through his flowered garments much like a piece of stick 
through a village nosegay ; under the shining wing-covers 
of his waistcoat (in itself a perfect animal-picture) * there 
pulsated a thorax, perpendicular, if not absolutely concave, 
and his legs had, all told, abouff the same amount of calf 
as those wooden ones which stocking-makers put into 
their windows as an advertisement. 

The Venner gave the advocate to understand, in a cold 
and politely rude manner, that he had merely come to 
relieve him from the task of defending the cafe of child- 
murder, as he had so much to attend to besides. But 
Siebenkaes saw through this pretence with great ease. It 
was a well-known circumstance that the girl accused of 
this crime had adopted as the father of her child (now 
flown away above this earth) a certain commercial traveller, 
whose name neither she nor the documents connected with 
her case could mention; but that the real father — who, 
like a young author, was bashful about putting his name 
to his piece fugitive — was no other than the emaciated 

* The fashionable waistcoats of those days had animals and flowers 
cpon them. 



74 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTEE. [BOOK I. 

Venner, Everard Rosa von Meyern himself. There are 
certain things which a whole town will determine and 
make up its mind to ignore ; and one of these was Rosa's 
authorship. Heimlicher von Blaise knew that Siebenkses 
was aware of it, however, and feared that he might, out of 
revenge for the affair of the inheritance, purposely make 
a poor defence of the girl, that the shame and disgrace of 
her end might fall upon his relative, Meyem's shoulders. 
What a terrible, mean suspicion ! 

And yet the purest minds are sometimes driven to 
entertain such suspicions. Fortunately Siebenkass had 
already got the poor mother's lightning-conductor all 
ready forged and set up. When he showed it to this 
false bridegroom of the supposed child-murderess, the 
latter immediately declared that she could not have found 
an abler guardian saint among all the advocates in the 
town ; to which author and reader can both add " nor one 
who should be actuated by worthier motives," as we know 
he did it as a thank-offering to Heaven for the first idea of 
the 'Devil's Papers.' 

At this juncture, the advocate's wife came suddenly 
back from the adjoining bookbinder's room, where she 
had been paying a dying visit. The Venner sprang to 
meet her at the threshold with a degree of politeness 
which couldn't have been carried further, inasmuch as 
she had to open the door before he could reach her. He 
took her hand, which, in her respect and awe of him, she 
half permitted, and kissed it stooping, but twisted his eyes 
up to her face, and said : 

" Meddem ! I have had this beautiful hand in mine for 
several da} a." 

It now appeared, from what he said, that he was the 
identical flesh-coloured gentleman who had stolen her 
hand with his drawing-pen when she had had it out of 
the window ; because he had been anxious to get a pretty 
Dolce's hand for a three-quarter portrait of the young lady 
he was engaged to, and hadn't known what to do; her 
head he was doing from memory. He then took off his 
gloves, in which alone he had dared as yet to touch her 
(as many of the early Christians used only to touch the 
Euchari&t in gloves from reverence therefor), displaying 



CHAP. III.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 75 

the fires of his rings and the snow of his skin. To pre- 
serve the whiteness of the latter from the sun, he hardly 
ever took his gloves off, except in winter when tne sun 
has scarcely power to burn. 

The Kuhschnappel aristocracy, particularly its younger 
members, give a willing obedience to the commandment 
which Christ gave to His apostles, to " greet no man by 
the way," and the Venner observed the required degree of 
incivility towards the husband, though not by any means 
to the wife, towards whom his condescension was infinite. 
An inborn characteristic of Siebenkses's satirical disposi- 
tion was a fault which he had of being too polite and 
kindly with the lower classes, and too forward and aggres- 
sive with the upper. He had not as yet sufficient know- 
ledge of the world to enable him to determine the precise 
angle at which his back should bend before the various 
great ones of the place, wherefore he preferred to go about 
bolt upright, though he did so against the promptings of 
his kind heart. An additional cause was, that the pro- 
fession to which he belonged being of a belligerent nature, 
has a tendency to embolden those who belong to it ; an 
advocate has the advantage of never requiring to employ 
one himself, and consequently he is often inclined to treat 
even the grandest folks with some amount of coolness, 
unless they happen to be judges or clients, at the disposal 
of both of which classes of society his best services are at 
all times ready to be placed. Notwithstanding which, it 
generally happened that, in Siebenkses's kindly feeling to 
all mankind, his moveable bridge got shoved down so low 
under his tightened strings that the notes given out by 
them became quite low and soft. On the present occasion, 
however, it was much more difficult to be polite to the 
Venner (whose designs as regarded Lenette he was com- 
pelled to see) than to be rude to him. 

Moreover, he had an inborn detestation for dressy men 
— although just the contrary feeling fi>r dressy women — 
so that he would often sit and stare for a long time at the 
little Fugel-mannikins of dress in the fashion journals, 
just to get properly angry at them ; and he would assure 
the Kuhschnappelersthar, there was nobody whom he should 
bo delight in playing practical jokes upon as on such a 



76 JEAN PAUL FKIEDBICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

mannikin — yea, in insulting him, or even doing him an 
injury (to the extent of a good cudgelling). Also it had 
always been a source of delight to him that Socrates and 
Cato walked barefoot about in the market-place; going 
bareheaded, on the other hand (chapeau has), he did not like 
half so much. 

But, ere he could utter himself otherwise than by 
making faces, the wooden-head of a Venner stroked his 
sprouting beard, and in a distant manner graciously offered 
himself to the advocate in the capacity of cardinal pro- 
tector or mediator in the Blaise inheritance business ; 
this he did, of course, partly to blind the advocate's eyes, 
and partly to impress upon him how immeasurably in- 
ferior was his station. The latter, however, shuddering 
at the idea of taking a gnome of this kind for paraclete 
and household angel, said to him (but in Latin') — 

" In the first place I must insist that my wife shall not 
hear a syllable about that insignificant potato quarrel. 
And moreover, in any legal question I scorn and despise 
anybody's assistance but a legal friend's, and in this in- 
stance I am my own legal friend. I fill an official position 
here in Kuhschnappel ; it is true, the official position by 
no means fills me." The latter play upon words he ex- 
pressed by means of a Latin one, which displayed such an 
unusual amount of linguistic ability, that I should almost 
like to quote it here. The Venner, however, who could 
neither construe the pun nor the rest of the speech with 
the ease with which we have read it here, answered at 
once (so as to escape without exposing his ignorance) in 
the same langunge, " Imo, immo," whioh he meant for yes. 
Firmian then went on, in German, saying, " Guardian 
and ward, intimate as their connection should be, in this 
case came into contact to an extent almost too great to be 
pleasant ; although, no doubt, there have been cases before 
where one cousin has cozened another ; * however, the 
very members of ecclesiastical councils have come to fisti- 
cuffs before now, e. g. at Ephesus in the fifteenth century. 
Indeed, the Abbut Barsumas and Dioscurus, Bishop of 

* For the next six pages or so the original literally bristles with 
untranslatable puns and plays upon words. — Translator. 



CHAP III.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 77 

Alexandria, men of position, pummelled the good Flavian 
on that very occasion till he was as dead as a herring.* 
And this was on a Sunday too, a day on which, in these 
absurd old times, a sacred truce was put to quarrels and 
differences of every description ; though now, Sundays and 
feast-days are the very days when the peace is broken; 
the public-house bells and the tinkling of the glasses ring 
the truce out, and people pummel each other, so that the 
law gets her finger into the pie. In old days, people mul- 
tiplied the number of saints' days for the sake of stopping 
fights, but the fact is that everybody connected with the 
legal profession, Herr von Meyern (who must have some- 
thing to live upon), ought to petition that a peaceable 
working-day or two might be abolished now and then, so 
that the number of rows might be increased, and with 
them the fines and the fees in like ratio. Yet who thinks 
of such a thing, Venner ?" 

He was quite safe in spouting the greater part of this 
before Lenette ; she had long been accustomed to under- 
standing only a half, a fourth, or an eighth part of what 
he said ; as for the whole Venner, she gave herself no con- 
cern about him. When Meyern had taken his departure 
with frigid politeness, Siebenkses, with the view of helping 
to advance him in his wife's good opinion, extolled his 
whole and undivided love for the entire female sex (though 
engaged to be married), and more particularly his attach- 
ment to that preliminary bride of his, who was now in the 
condemned cell of the prison ; this, however, rather seemed 
to have the effect of lowering him in her good opinion. 

" Thou good, kind soul, may you always be as faithful 
to yourself and to me!" said he, taking her to his heart. 
But she didn't know that she had been faithful, and said, 
" to whom should 1 be unfaithful?" 

From this day onwards to Michaelmas Day, which was 
the day of the borough fair, fortune seems to have led our 
pathway, I mean the reader's and mine, through no very 
special flower-beds to speak of, but merely along the smooth 
green turf of an English lawn, one would suppose on purpose 
that the fair on Michaelmas Day may suddenly arise upon 






* Mosheim's ' Ecclesiastical History.' 



78 JEAN PAUL FKIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

our view as some shining, dazzling town starts up out of 
a valley. Very little did occur until then ; at least, my 
pen, which only considers itself bound to record incidents 
of some importance, is not very willing to be troubled to 
mention that the Venner Meyern dropped in pretty often 
at the bookbinder's (who lived under the same roof with 
the Siebenkaeses) — he merely came to see whether the 
* Liaisons Dangereuses ' were bound yet. 

But that Michaelmas ! Truly the world shall remember 
it. And in fact the very eve of it was a time of such a 
splendid and exquisite quality that we may venture to 
give the world some account of it. 

Let the world read the account of this eve of preparation 
at all events, and then give its vote. 

On this eve of the fair all Kuhschnappel (as all otlier 
places are at such a time) was turned into a workhouse 
and house of industry for women ; you couldn't have found 
a woman in the whole town either sitting down, or at 
peace, or properly dressed. Girls the most given to read- 
ing opened no books but needle-books to take needles out, 
and the only leaves they turned over were paste ones to 
be put on pies. Scarcely a woman took any dinner ; the 
Michaelmas cakes and the coming enjoyment of them were 
the sole mainspring of the feminine machinery. 

On these occasions women may be said to hold their 
exhibitions of pictures, the cakes being the altar-pieces. 
Everyone nibbles at and minutely inspects these baked 
escutcheons of her neighbour's nobility ; and each has, as 
it were, her cake attached to her, as a medal is, or the lead 
tickets on bales of cloth, to indicate her value. They 
scarcely eat or drink anything, it is true, thick coffee being 
their consecrated sacrament wine, and thin transparent 
pastry their wafers ; only the latter (in their friend's and 
hostess's houses) tastes best, and is eaten almost with 
fondness when it has turned out hard and stony and shot 
and dagger proof — or is burnt to a cinder — or, in short, is 
wretched from some cause or other; they cheerfully ac- 
knowledge all the failures of their dearest friends, and try 
to comfort them by taking them to their own houses and 
treating them to something of a very different kind. 

As for our Lenette, she, my dear lady reader, has always 



CHAP. III.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 79 

been a baker of such a sort that male connoisseurs have 
preferred her crust, and female connoisseurs her crum, both 
classes maintaining that no one but she (and yourself, 
dearest) could bake anything like either. The kitchen 
fire was this salamander's second element, for the first and 
native element of this dear nixie was water. To be scour- 
ing with sand, and squattering and splattering in it, in a 
great establishment like Siebenka3s's (who had devoted all 
Leibgeber's Ephraimites to the keeping of this feast), was 
quite her vocation. No kiss could be applied to her glow- 
ing face on such a day — and indeed she had her hands 
pretty full, for at ten o'clock the butcher came bringing 
more work with him. 

The world will be glad (I'm perfectly certain in my 
own mind) if I just give them a very short account of this 
business — who could have dune it better, for that matter ? 
The facts of it were these : at the beginning of summer the 
four fellow lodgers had clubbed together and bought a cow 
in poor condition which they had then put up to fatten. 
The bookbinder, the cobbler, the poor's advocate and the 
hairdresser — between whom and 'his tenants there was 
this distinction, that they owed their rent to him, whereas 
he owed his to his creditors — caused to be prepaid and 
drawn up by a skilful hand (which was attached to the 
arm of Siebenkajs) an authentic instrument (here Kolbk 
the word-purist will snarl at poor innocent me in his 
usual manner for employing foreign words in a document 
based on the Roman law) relative to the life and death of 
the cow ; in which instrument the four contracting parties 
aforesaid — who all stood attentively round the document, 
he who was sitting and drawing it excepted — bound and 
engaged themselves in manner following, that is to say, 
that — 

lstly. Each of the four parties interested, as aforesaid, 
in the said cow might and should have the privilege of 
milking her alternately. 

2ndly. That this Cooking or Fattening Society might 
and should defray from a common treasury chest the 
price of said cow, the cost of the carriage of imple- 
ments and provisions, and maintenance generally of the 
same; and 



80 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I, 

3rdly. That the allied powers as aforesaid should not 
only on the day before Michaelmas, the 28th September, 
1785, slaughter the said cow. but further that each quarter 
of the same should then and there be further divided into 
four quarters, conformably to the lex agraria, for partition 
among the said parties to the said contract. 

Siebenkaes prepared four certified copies of this treaty, 
one for each ; he never wrote anything with graver 
pleasure. All that now remained to be performed of the 
contract by the house association of our four evangelists, 
who had collectively adopted as their armorial crest or 
emblematic animal, one single joint-stock beast, namely, 
the female of that of Saint Luke — was the third article 
of it. 

However. I know the learned classes are panting for 
my fair, so I shall only dash down a hurried sketch of my 
Man-and- Animal piece (Kolbe of course goes on taking 
me to task). 

That Septembriseur, the butcher, did his part of tho 
business well, though it was at the close of Fructidor — 
the four messmates looking on throughout the operation, as 
also did old Sabine, who did a good deal, and got something 
for it. The quadruple alliance regaled itself en the slain 
animal at a general picnic, to which each contributed 
something in order that tho butcher might be included 
gratis ; and it is undeniable that one member of the league, 
whom I shall name hereafter, attended this picnic in a 
frame of mind and in a costume barely serious enough for 
the occasion. The slaughter confederation then set to 
working its division sura, according to the number of its 
members, and the golden calf round which their dance 
was executed was cut, up with the appropriate heraldic 
cuts. Then the whole thing was over. I think I can 
say nothing more laudatory of the manner in which the 
whole process of zootomic division was carried out than 
what Siebenkass, an interested party, said himself, viz., 
" It's to be wished that the twelve tribes of Israel, as well 
as, in later times, the Eoman empire, had been divided 
into as many and as fair divisions as our cow and Poland 
have been." 

I shall be doing ample justice to the cow's embonpoint 



CHAP, in.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 81 

if I merely mention that Fecht the cobhler uttered a pane- 
gyric which commenced with the most lively and vigorous 
oaths, and the statement that she was an (adjective) bag 
of skin and bones, and ended with an assurance, uttered in 
mild and pious accents that Heaven had indeed favoured 
the poor beast, and " blessed us unworthy sinners above 
measure." A frolicsome cult by nature, he had had the 
heavy coach-harness of pietism put on to him, and was 
consequently obliged to keep softening down the " strong 
language" which came naturally to him into the pious 
sighs appropriate to his "converted state." And it was to 
the frame of mind and the costume of this very Fecht that 
I made allusion above as being barely suitable to the 
occasion, for I'm sorry to say he had no breeches on him 
the whole day of this great slaughter, but ran up and 
down the slaughter-house in a white frieze frock of his 
wife's, having a strange general effect of looking something 
like his own better half. However, the members of the 
association didn't take any offence ; he couldn't help it, 
because while he was going about got up in this Amazon's 
demi-negligee, and presenting this hermaphrodite appearance, 
his own black-leather leg-cases were in the dye pot, being 
prepared for a reissue. 

The poor's advocate had begged Lenette (about a quarter 
past four in the afternoon) not to go on working herself to 
death, and never to mind bothering about any supper, as he 
was going to be miserly for once, save himself a supper to- 
night, and sup upon eighteen penn'orth of pastry : but the 
busy soul kept running about brushing and sweeping, and 
by six o 'clock they were both lying resting in the leather 
arms of — a big easy chair (for he had no flesh and she no 
bones), and looking around them with that expression of 
tranquil happiness which you may see in children while 
eating, at the room in its state of mathematical order, at 
the way in which everything in it was shining, at the 
pastry new-moon-crescents in their hands, and at the 
liquid burnished gold (or rather foilgold *) of the setting 
sun creeping up and up upon the gleaming tin dishes. 
There they rested and reposed like cradled children, with 

* Gold in leaves, o two colours, used bj bookbinders. 
U. Q 



82 JEAN PAUL FRIEDKICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

the screeching, clattering, twelve herculean lahours of the 
rest of the people of the house going on all round them ; 
and the clearness of the sky and the newly cleaned windows 
added a full half-hour to the length of the day ; the hell- 
hammer, or tuning-hammer of the curfew bell gently let 
down the pitch of their melodious wishes till they — lapsed 
into dreams. 

At ten o'clock they woke up and went to bed . . . . ! 

I quite enjoy this little stariy night picture myself; 
though my head has reflected it all glimmery and oxit of 
focus, as the gilt hemisphere of my watch does the evening 
sun when 1 hold it up to it. Evening is the time when 
Ave weary, hunted men long to be at rest ; it is for the 
evening of the day, for the evening of the year (autumn), 
and for the evening of life, that we lay up our hard-earned 
harvests, and with such eager hopes ! But hast thou never 
seen in fields, when, the crops were gathered, an image and 
emblem of thyself — I mean the autumn dais}*, the flower 
of harvest; she delays her blossom till the summer is past 
and gone, the winter snows cover her before her fruit 
appears, and it is not till the — coming spring that that 
fruit is ripe ! 

But see how the roaring, dashing surges of the fair-day 
morning come beating upon our hero's bedposts! He 
comes into the white, shining room, which Lenette had 
stolen out of bed like a thief before midnight to wash 
while he was in his first sleep, and had sanded all over 
like an Arabia : in which manner she had her own way 
while he had his. On a fair-day morning I recommend 
everybody to open the window and lean out, as Siebenkaes 
did, to watch the rapid erection and hiring of the wooden 
booths in the market-place, and the falling of the first 
drops of the coming deluge of people, only let the reader 
observe that it wasn't by my advice that my hero, in the 
very arrogance of his wealth (for there were samples of 
every kind of pastry which the house contained on a table 
behind him), called down to many of the little green aris- 
tocratic caterpillars whom he saw moving along in the 
street with even greater arrogance than his own, and whose 
natural history he felt inclined to learn by a look at their 
laces. 



CHAP. III.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 83 

" I say, sir, will you just be good enough to look at that 
house, that one there — do you notice anything particular ?" 

If the caterpillar lifted up its physiognomy, he could 
peruse and study it at his ease, — which was of course his 
object. 

" You don't notice anything particular ?" he would ask. 

"When the insect shook its head, he concurred with it, 
and did the same up at the window, saying : 

" No, of course not ! I've been looking at it for the last 
twelve months myself, and can't see anything particular 
about it ; but I didn't choose to believe my own eyes." 

Giddypated Firmian ! Your seething foam of pleasure 
may soon drop down and disappear — as it did that Saturday 
when the cards were left. As yet, however, his little drop 
of must which he has squeezed out of the forenoon hours 
was foaming and sparkling briskly. The landlord moved 
at a gallop, casting (with his powder-sowing machine) seed 
into a fruitful soil. The bookbinder conveyed his goods 
(consisting partly of empty manuscript books, partly of 
still emptier song books, partly of " novelties," in 
almanacs) to the fair by land-carriage in a wheelbarrow, 
which he had to make two journeys with in going, but 
only one in returning in the evening, because then he had 
got rid of his almanacs to purchasers and to sellers 
(almanacs are the greatest of all novelties, or pieces of 
news — for there is nothing in all the long course of time 
so new as the new year). Old Sabel had set up her East 
India house, her fruit garner, and her cabinet of tin rings 
at the town gate ; she wouldn't have let that warehouse 
of hers go to her own brother at a lower figure than half- 
a-sovereign. The cobbler put a stitch in no shoe on this 
St. Michael's Day except his wife's. 

Suck away, my hero, at your nice bit of raffinade sugar 
of life, and empty your forenoon sweetstuff spoon, not 
troubling your head about the devil and his grandmother, 
although the pair of them should be thinking (after the 
nature of them) about getting a bitter potion, even a 
poison cup, made ready and handing it to you. 

But his greatest enjoyment is still to come, to wit, the 
numberless beggar people. I will describe this enjoyment, 
and so distribute it. 

G 2 



84 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTEE. [BOOK I. 

A fair is the high mass which the beggars of all ranks 
and classes attend ; when it is still a day or two off, all the 
footsoles that have nothing to walk upon but compassionate 
hearts, are converging towards the spot like so many radii, 
but on the morning of the fair-day itself the whole annual 
congress of beggardom and the column of cripples are 
fairly on the march. Anyone who has seen Furth, or been 
in Elwangen during P. Gassner's government, may cut 
these few leaves out of his copy ; but no one else has any 
idea of it till I proceed and lead him in at the town-gate 
of Kuhschnappel. 

The street choral service and the vocal serenades now 
commence. The blind sing like blinded singing-birds — 
better, but louder ; the lame walk ; the poor preach the 
gospel themselves; the deaf and dumb make a terrible 
noise, and ring in the feast with little bells — everybody 
sings his own tune in the middle of everybody else's — a 
paternoster is clattering at the door of every house, and in 
the rooms inside nobody can hear himself swear. Whole 
cabinets of small coppers are lavished on one hand, pocketed 
on the other. The one-legged soldiery spice their ejacula- 
tory pra} T ers with curses, and blaspheme horribly, because 
people don't give them enough — in brief, the borough which 
had made up its mind for a day's enjoyment, is invaded 
and almost taken by storm by the rabble of beggars. 

And now the maimed and the diseased begin to appear. 
Whoever has a wooden jury-leg under him, sets it and 
his long third leg and fellow-labourer the crutch, in motion 
towards Kuhschnappel, and drives and plants his sharp- 
pointed timber toe into moist earth there in the vicinity ot 
the town-gate, in hopes of its thriving and bearing fruit. 
Whosoever has no arms or hands left, stretches both out 
for an alms. Those to whom Heaven has entrusted the 
beggars' talent, disease, above all paralysis, the beggars' 
vapeurs — trades with his talent, and the body appertaining 
to it, levying contributions with it on the whole and the 
sound. People who might stand as frontispieces to works 
on surgery and medicine, quite as appropriately as at city 
gates, take up their position near the latter and announce 
what they lack, which is, first and foremost, other people's 
cash. There are plenty of legs, noses, and arms in Kuh- 



CHAP. III.] FLOWEK, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 85 

schuappel, but a great many more people. There is one most 
extraordinary fellow — (to be admired at a distance, though 
impossible to be equalled — looked upon with envy, though 
indeed only by such blotting-paper souls as can never see 
supreme excellence without longing to possess it) ; there's 
only half of him there, because tlie other half's in his grave 
already, everything you could call legs having been shot 
clean away ; and these shots have placed him in a position 
at once to arrogate and assume to himself the primacy and 
generalship-in-chief of the cripples, and be drawn about 
on a triumphal car as a kind of demigod, whose soul, in 
place of a corporeal garment, has on merely a sort of cape 
and short doublet. " A soldier," said Siebenkaes, " who 
is still afflicted with one leg, and who on that ground 
expostulates with fate, inquiring of her, ' Why am I not 
shot to pieces like that cripple, so that I might make as 
much in the day as he does ? ' seems to forget that on the 
other side of the question there are thousands of other 
warriors besides himself who haven't even one wooden leg 
("let alone more), but are totally unprovided with even that 
nre- and begging-certificate ; moreover, that however 
many of his limbs he might have been relieved of by bul- 
lets, he might still keep on asking, ' Why not more ? ' " 

Siebenkaes was merry over the poor because they are 
merry over themselves ; and he never would kick up a 
politico-economical row about their occasionally tippling 
and guzzling a little too much, — when, for instance, a whole 
lazarette-wagon, or ambulance-load of them, halting at some 
shepherd's hut, they get down, and go in, and their plasters, 
their martyrs' crowns, their spiked girdles and hair-shirts 
come off, leaving nothing but a brisk human being who has 
left off sighing just for a minute ; or — since what every- 
body works for is, not merely to live, but to live a little 
better now and then — when the beggar too has some- 
thing a little better than his everyday fare, and when the 
cripple pulls the goddess of joy into his boarded dancing- 
barn to dance with him as his partner, and her hot mask 
falls off in the waltz (as for our ball-rooms, it never falls off 
in them). 

About 11 o'clock, the devil, as I have half hinted already, 
dropped a handful of blue-bottle flies into Firmian's wecU 



86 JEAN PAUL FRIEDBICH EIOHTER. [BOOK L 

ding soup — to wit, Herr Kosa von Meyern, who graciously 
intimated his aristocratic intention of coming to call that 
afternoon, "because there was such a good view of the 
market-place." People of impecunious gentility, who can't 
issue orders in any houses but their own, construct in their 
own, with much ease, loopholes whence the}' can fire upon 
the enemy who makes his attack from — within. The ad- 
vocate had a piece of rudeness towards the Venner to put 
into either scale of his balance of justice, so as to determine 
which was the least of the two. The one was, to let him 
be told he might stay where he was ; the other, to let him 
in, and then behave just as though the noodle were up in 
the moon. Siebenkass chose the latter as the smaller. 

Women, good souls, have always to carry and hold up 
Ihe Jacob's ladder by which the male sex mount into the 
blue aether and into the evening-red ; this call of the 
Venner oame as an extra freight loaded on to Lenette's 
two burden-poles of arras. The laving of all moveable 
property, and the aspersion of all immoveable, recommenced. 
Meyern, the false lover of the poor child-murderess, Lenette 
detested with all her heart ; at the same time, all her 
polishing machinery was at once set agoing on the room. 
Indeed, I think women dress themselves more and with 
greater pains for their lady-enemies than for their lady- 
friends. 

The advocate went up and down, all behung with long 
chains of ratiocination, like a ghost, and would fain have suc- 
ceeded in imbuing her with the idea that she shouldn't give 
herself the slightest bother of any kind about the nincom- 
poop. " It was no good," she said, " what would he think 
of me ?" It was not until having eliminated from the room 
as a piece of crudity his old ink-bottle, into which he had 
only that minute put ink-powder to dissolve and make ink 
for the ' Selection from the Devil's Papers,' she was about 
to lay hands on that holy ark, his writing-table — that the 
head of the house ramped up — on his hind legs, pointing 
with his fore paw to the line of demarcation. 

Kosa appeared ! Nobody who had just a little soft place in 
3»is heart could really have cursed this youngster, or beaten 
Him into a jelly; one rather got to feel a kind of a liking 
for him, between his pranks. He had white hair on his 



CHAP. III.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 87 

head and on his chin, and was soft all over; and had stuff 
like milk instead of blood in his veins, like the insects, 
just as poisonous plants have generally white milky juice. 
He was of a very forgiving nature, especially towards 
women, and often shed more tears himself in an evening at 
the theatre than he had caused many whom he had ruined 
to let fall. His heart was really not made of stone, or 
lapis infernalis, and if he prayed for a certain time, he grew 
pious during the process and sought out the most time- 
honoured of religious formularies to give in his adhesion to 
them then and there. Thunder was to him a watchman's 
rattle, arousing him from the sleep of sin. He loved to take 
the needy by the hand, especially if the hand was pretty. All 
things considered, he may perhaps get to heaven sooner or 
later; for, like many debtors in the upper circles of society, 
he doesn't pay his play-debts, and he also has in his heart 
an inborn duel-prohibition against shooting and hacking. 
As yet he is not a man of his word ; and if he were 
poorer, he would steal without a moment's hesitation. 
Like a lap-dog, he lies down wagging his tail at the feet of 
people of any importance, but tugs women by the skirts, 
or shows his teeth and snarls at them. 

Pliant, water- weeds of this sort fall away from the very 
slightest satiric touch, and you can't manage to hit them 
with one, richly as they deserve it, because its effect is 
only proportionate to the resistance it meets with. Sieben- 
kaes would have been better pleased had Von Meyern only 
been a little rougher and coarser, for it is just these yielding, 
pitiful, sapless, powerless sort of creatures that filch away 
good fortune, hard cash, feminine honour, good appoint- 
ments and fair names, and are exactly like the ratsbane 
or arsenic, which, when it is good and pure, must be quite 
white, shining and transparent. 

Rosa appeared, I have said, but oh! lovely to behold 
beyond expression ! His handkerchief was a great Molucca, 
of perfume ; his two side lucks were two small ones. On 
his waistcoat he had a complete animal kingdom painted 
(as the fashion of the day was), or Zimmermann's Zoological 
Atlas. His little breeches and his little coat, and every- 
thing about him salted the women of the house intoLottish 
Bait-pillars, merely in passing them by on his way upstuiis, 



88 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICII RICHTEB. [BOOK I. 

I must, say, though, that what dazzle me personally, are 
the rings which emboss six of his fingers, — there were 
profile portraits, landscapes, stones, even beetle-wing 
covers all employed in this gold-shoeing of his fingers. 

Wo may quite properly apply to the human hand the 
expression " it was shod with rings like a horse's hoof,'' 
it has been long applied to the horse's hoof itself, and 
Daubenton has proved, by dissections, that the latter 
contains all the different parts of the human hand. The 
use of these hand or finger manacles is quite proper and 
permissible ; indeed rings are indispensable to the fingers 
of those who ought by rights to have them in their noses. 
According to the received opinion, these metal spavins, or 
excrescences of the fingers, were only invented to make 
pretty hands ugly, as a kind of chain and nose-rings to 
keep vanity in check ; so that fists which are ugly by 
nature can easily dispense with these disfigurements. I 
should like to know whether there is anything in another 
idea of mine bearing on this subject. It is this. Pascal 
used to wear a great iron ring with sharp spines on it 
round his naked body, that he might always be ready to 
punish himself for any vain thought which might occur to 
him by giving this ring a slight pressure ; now is it not 
perhaps the case that these smaller and prettier rings in a 
similar way chastise any vain thoughts which may occur, 
by slightly, but frequently hurting? They seem at least to 
be worn with some such object, *br it is exactly the people 
who suffer most from vanity who wear the greatest 
quantities of them, and move about their beringed hands 
the most. 

Unwished-for visits often pass off better than others; 
on this occasion everyone got on pretty comfortably. 
Siebenkaes of course was in his own house — and behaved 
himself accordingly. He and the Venner looked out of 
the window at the people in tho market-place. Lenette, 
in accordance with her upbringing, and the manners and 
customs of the middle classes of small towns, didn't ven- 
ture to be otherwise than silent, or at the most to take an 
exceedingly subordinate, obligato, accompanying part in 
the concert of a conversation between men ; she fetched and 
carried in and out, and, in fact, sat most of the time down 



CHAP. III.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 89 

stairs with the other women. It was in vain that the 
courteous, gallant Eosa Everard, tried upon her his 
wonted wizaid spells to root women to a given spot. To 
her husband he complained that there was little real 
refinement in Kuhschnappel, and not one single amateur 
theatre where one could act, as there was in Ulm. He 
had to order his new books and latest fashions from 
abroad. 

Siebenkaes in return expressed to him merely his enjoy- 
ment over the — beggars in the market-place. He made 
him notice the little boys blowing red wooden trumpets, 
loud enough to burst the drum of the ear, if not to over- 
throw the walls of Jericho. But he added, with proper 
thoughtful ness, that he shouldn't omit to notice those 
other poor devils who were collecting the waste bits of 
split wood in their caps for fuel. He asked him if, like 
other members of the chamber, he disapproved of lotteries 
and lotto, and whether he thought it was very bad for the 
Kuhschnappel common people's morals that they should be 
crowding about an old cask turned upside down, with an 
index fixed to the bottom of it which revolved round a dial 
formed of gingerbread and nuts, and where the share- 
holders, for a small stake, carried off from the banker of 
the establishment, a greedy old harridan of a woman, a 
nut or a ginger cake. Siebenkass took pleasure in the 
little, because in his eyes it was a satirical, caricaturing 
diminishing mirror of everything in the shape of 
burgherly pomposity. The Venner saw no entertainment 
whatever in double-meaning allusions of the kind ; but 
indeed the advocate never dreamt of amusing anybody 
but himself with them. " I may surely speak out what- 
ever I like to myself," he once said ; " what is it to me if 
people choose to listen behind my back, or before my face 
either ? " 

At length he went down among the people in the 
market-place, not without the full concurrence of the 
Venner, who expected at last to be able to have some 
rational conversation with the wife. Now that Firmian 
was gone, Everard begun to feel in his element, swimming 
in his own native pike-pond as it were. As an intro- 
ductory move he constructed for Lenette a model of her 



90 JEAN PAUL FR1EDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

native town ; he knew a good many streets and people in 
Augspurg, and had often ridden through the Fuggery, 
and it seemed only yesterday, he said, that he saw her 
there working at a lady's hat, beside a nice old lady, her 
mother he should think. He took her right hand in his 
(in an incidental manner), she allowing him to do so out 
of gratefulness for calling up such pleasant memories ; he 
pressed it — then suddenly let it go to see if she mightn't 
just have returned the pressure the least bit in the world, 
in the confusion of fingers as it were — or should try to 
recover the lost pressure. But he might as well have 
pressed Gotz von Berlichingen's iron hand with his 
thievish thumb as her warm one. He next came upon the 
subject of her millinery work, and talked about cap and 
bonnet fashions like a man who knew what he was talking 
about ; whereas when Siebenkses mixed himself up with 
these questions, he displayed no real knowledge of the 
subject at all. He promised her two consignments, of 
patterns from Ulm, and of customers from Kuhschnappel. 
*' I know several ladies who must do what I abk them," he 
said, and showed her the list of his engagements for the 
coming winter balls in his pocket-book; "I shan't dance 
with them if they don't give you an order." " 1 hope it 
won't come to that," said Lenette (with many meanings). 
Finally, he was obliged to ask her to let him see her at 
work for a little, his object here being to weaken the 
enemy by effecting a diversion of her forces — her eyes 
being occupied with her needle, she could only have her 
ears at liberty to observe him with. She blushed as she 
took two bodkins and stuck one of them into the round 
red little pincushion of — her mouth ; this was more than he 
could really allow, it was so very dangerous — it formed a 
hedge against himself — and she might swallow either the 
stiletto in question, or at all events some of the poisonous 
verdigris off it. So he drew this lethal weapon with his 
own hand out of its sheath in her lips, scratching the 
cherry mouth a little, or not at all— as he loudly lamented 
— in the process, however. A venner of the right sort 
considers himself liable in a case of this kind for the fees 
and expenses consequent upon the accident ; Everard, 
in his liberality, took out his English patont pomade, 



CIIAP. III. J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 91 

smeared some on to her left forefinger, and applied the 
salve to the invisible wound with the finger as a spatula — 
in doing which he was obliged to take hold of her whole 
hand as the handle of the spatula, and frequently squeeze 
it unconsciously. He stuck the unfortunate stiletto itself 
into his shirt front, giving her his own breastpin instead, 
and exposing his own tender white breast to — the cold. I 
particularly beg persons who have had experience in this 
description of service to give their opinion with firm im- 
partiality on my hero's conduct, and, sitting in court 
martial on him, to point out such of his movements and 
dispositions as they may consider to have been ill- 
advised. 

Kow that she was wounded, poor thing, he wouldn't let 
her go on working, but only show him her finished pro- 
ductions. He ordered a copy of one of them for Madame 
von Blaise. He begged her to put it on and let him see 
it on her — and he set it himself just as Madame von Blaise 
would wear it. By heaven ! it was better even than he 
had thought; he swore it would suit Madame von Blaise 
quite as well, as she was just the same height as Lenette. 
This was all stuff and nonsense, really the one was taller 
by quite half a nose than the other. Lenette said so 
herself, she had seen Madame von Blaise at church. Bosa 
6tuck to his own opinion, and swore by his soul and sal- 
vation (for in cases of the kind he was given to profane 
language), and by the sacrament, that he had measured 
himself with her a hundred times, and that she was half- 
an-inch taller than himself. " By heaven ! " he said, 
suddenly jumping up, " of course I carry her measure 
about with me, like her tailor ; all that need be done is 
that you and I measure ourselves together." 

1 shall not here withhold from little girls a golden rule 
of war made by myself, " Don't argue long with a man, 
whatever it may be about — warmth is always warmth, 
even if it only be warmth of argument — one forgets one's 
self, and ultimately takes to proving by syllogistic figures, 
and this is just what the enemy wants — he converts these 
figures into poetical figures — ultimately ev«n into plastic 
figures." 

Lenette, a li/tle giddy with the rapid whirl of events^ 



92 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK L 

good naturedly stood up to serve as recruit measure for 
her recruit Rosa ; he leant his back to hers. " This won't 
do," he said, " I can't see," and unlocked his fingers which 
had been intertwined together, backwards, over the region 
of her heart. He turned quickly round, stood before her, 
and embraced her gently, so as to determine, by com- 
paring the levels of their eyes, whether their brows were 
an exact height or not. His were glaring quite an inch 
higher up than hers ; he clasped her closely and said, 
turning red, " you see you were right ; but my mistake 
was that I added your beauty to your height," and in this 
proximity he pressed his mouth, red as sealing-wax, upon 
her lips, very founts and sources of truth as they were. 

She was ashamed, annoyed and embarrassed, angry, and 
ready to cry, but had not the courage to let her indigna- 
tion break out upon a gentleman of quality. She didn't 
speak another word then. He set her and himself at the 
window, and said he would read her some songs, of rather 
a different kind, he hoped, to those which were being 
hawked down in the street. For he was one of the 
greatest poets in Kuhschnappel, although as yet it was 
not so much that his verses had made him known, as that 
he had made his verses known. His poems, like so 
many others nowadays, were like the muses themselves, 
children of memory. Every old Frankish town has at 
least its one fashionable fop, a person who fait lea honneurs ; 
and every town, however old, prosaic, imperial-judicature- 
endowed, possesses its genius, its poet, and sentimentalist ; 
often both these offices are filled by the same individual 
— as was the case in Kuhschnappel. The greater and 
likewise the lesser house of assembly looked upon Rosa as a 
mighty genius, smitten with the genius-epidemic-fever. This 
disease is something like elephantiasis, of which Troil in his 
travels in Iceland gives such an accurate description in 
twenty-four letters, and the principal features of which 
are that the patient is exactly like an elephant as to hair, 
cracks, colour, and lumps of the skin, but has not the 
power of the elephant, and lives in a cold climate. 

Everard took a touching elegy out of one of his pockets, 
the left one, in which (i mean in the elegy) a noble 
gentleman, lovesick, sang himself to death ; and he told 



V 



CHAP. III. J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 93 

her he should like to read it to her, if his feelings would 
let him get through it without breaking down. However, 
the poem shortly drew more than one tear and emotion 
from its owner, and he, to his honour, was constrained to 
furni.sh a fresh proof of the fact that however manly and 
cold he and poets of his stamp can be to the heaviest 
sorrows of humanity, they really cannot quite contain 
themselves at the woes of love, hut are compelled to weep 
at them. Meanwhile Eosa, who, like swindlers at play, 
alwaj-s kept one eye upon a reflecting surface of some sort 
— water, window panes, or polished steel for instance, so 
as to catch a passing glimpse of the female countenance 
from time to time — saw by means of a little mirror in 
one of the rings of his left hand, in which hand he was 
holding the elegy, just a trace or two in Lenette's eyes of 
the tiagic dew left there by his poem. So he pulled out 
of his second pocket a ballad (it is, no doubt, printed long 
ago) in which an innocent child murderess, with a tearful 
adieu to her lover, throws herself upon a sword. This 
ballad (very unlike his other poetical children) had real 
poetic merit, for luckily (for the poem at least) he was a 
lover of that kind himself, so that he could speak from the 
heart to the heart. It is not easy to portray the emotion 
and the melting pitying tears on Lenette's face ; all her 
heart rose to her tear-dimmed eyes. 

It was an experience utterly new to her to be thufe 
agitated by a combination of truth and fiction. 

The Venner threw the ballad into the fire, and himseif 
into Lenette's arms, and cried — 

" Oh ! you sympathising, noble, holy creature !" 

I cannot paint the amazement with which, completely 
unprepared for and incomprehensive of this transition from 
crying to kissing, she shoved him away. This made little 
impression on him ; he was on his high horse and said he 
must have some souvenir of this "sacred entrancing 
moment" — only a little lock of her hair. Her humble 
station, his high-flown language, and the fact that she 
was perfectly unable to form the slightest idea what use 
her hair would be to him, even supposing she gave enough 
to stuff a pillow — all this put into her head the fuoli.-h 
idea that he wanted it to perform some magical rite with 4 



94 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICtf RICHTER. [BOOK ft 

such as putting her tinder a love spell, or something of the 
sort. 

He might have stabbed himself there and then before 
her, hewn himself in pieces, impaled himself alive, she 
wouldn't have interfered ; she might indeed have shed her 
blood to save him, but not a single hair of her head. 

He had still one resource in petto — he had really never 
met with such a case as this before ; he lifted up his hand 
and vowed that he would get Heir von Blaise to recognise 
her husband as his nephew, and pay over his inheritance 
— and that with the greatest ense, because he would 
threaten to jilt his niece unless he did it — if she would 
just take the scissors and cut off a little hair memorial, no 
bigger even than the fourth part of a moustache. 

She knew nothing about the business of the inheritance, 
and he was consequently obliged, to the great detriment of 
his enthusiastic state, to give a prosaic, detailed account of 
the species facti of the whole of that law suit. By great 
good fortune he had still in his pocket the number of the 
4 Gazette ' in which the inheritance chamber's inquiry as to 
the advocate's existence appeared in print, and he was able 
to put it into her hands. And now this plundered wife 
began to cry bitterly, not for the loss of the money, but 
because her husband had told her nothing about it all this 
time, and still more because she couldn't quite make out 
what her own name really was, or whether she was 
married to a Siebenkaes or to a Leibgeber. Her tears 
flowed faster and faster, and in her passion of grief the 
would have let the deceiver before her have all the pretty 
hair on her head, had not an accidental circumstance burst 
the whole chain of events, just as he was kneeling and 
imploring her for one little lock. 

But we must first look after her husband a little, and 
see how he is getting on. and whither he bends his steps. 
At first among the market stalls; for the many-throated 
roaring, and the Olla Podrida of cheap pleasures, and the 
displayed pattern cards of all the rags out of, and upon, 
which we human clothes moths construct our covering 
cases and our abodes — all these caused his mind to sink 
deep into a sea of humoristic-melancholy reflections con- 
cerning this mosaic picture of a life of ours, made up as it 



CHAP. III.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 95 

is of so inany little bits, many-tinted moments, motes, 
atoms, drops, dust, vapours. He laughed, and listened, 
with an emotion incomprehensible by many of my readers, 
to a ballad singer, bawling, with his rhapsodist's staff in 
his right hand pointed at a big, staring picture of a 
horrible murder, and his left full of smaller, printed pic- 
tures, for sale, in which the misdeed and the perpetrator of 
it were displayed to the German public in no brighter 
colours than those of poetry. Siebenkaes bought two copies, 
and put them in his pocket, to read in the evening. 

This tragic murder picture evoked in the background of 
his fancy that of the poor girl he had defended, and the 
gallows, on to which fell those burning tears which had 
flowed from his wounded heart — that heart which nobody 
on earth, save one, understood — when last it had been 
lacerated. He left the noisy market-place, and sought 
all-peaceful nature, and that isolatorium, destined alike 
for friendship and for guilt, the gallows. When we pass 
from the stormy uproar of a fair into the still expanse of 
wide creation, entering into the dim aisles of nature's 
hushed cathedral, the strange sudden calm is to the soul 
as the caressing touch of some beloved hand. 

With a sad heart he climbed up to the well-known 
spot, whose ugly name I shall omit, and from these ruins 
he gazed around upon creation, as if he were the last of 
living beings. Neither in the blue sky, nor upon the wide 
earth, was there voice or sound; nothing but one forlorn 
cricket, chirping in monosyllables, among the bare furrows, 
where the harvest had been cleared away. The troops of 
birds flocking together with discordant cries flew to the 
green nets spread upon the ground — and not to meet the 
green spring far away. Above the meadows, where all 
the flowers were withered and dead, above the fields, 
where the corn „ars waved no more, floated dim phantom 
forms, all pale and wan, faint pictures of the past. Over 
the grand eternal woods and hills a biting mist was 
draped in clinging folds, as if all nature, trembling into 
dust, must vanish in its wreaths. But one bright thought 
pierced these dark fogs of nature and the soul, turning 
them to a white gleaming mist, a dew all glittering with 
rainbow colours, and gently lighting upon flowers. He 



96 JEAN PAUL FEIEDEICH EICHTER. [BOOK I 

turned Ms face to the north-east, to the hills which lay 
between him and his other heart, and up from behind 
them rose, like an early moon in harvest, a pale image of 
his friend. The spring, when he should go to him and 
see him once more, was at work already preparing for him 
a fair broad pathway thither, all rich with grass and 
flowers. Ah ! how we play with the world about us, so 
quickly dressing it all with the webs which our own spirits 
spin. 

The cloudless sky seemed sinking closer to the dusky 
earth, bright with a softer blue. And though a whole 
long winter lay between, the music of the coming spring 
already came, faint and distant, to his ear; it was there in 
the evening chime of the cattle bells down in the meadows, 
in the birds' wild wood notes in the groves, and in the 
free streams flowing fast away amid the flowery tapestries 
that were yet to be. 

A palpitating chrysalis was hanging near him still in 
her haif-shrivelled caterpillar's case, sleeping away the 
time till the flower cups all should open ; phantasy, that 
eye of the soul, saw beyond and over the sheaves of 
autumn the glories of a night in June ; every autumn- 
tinted tree seemed blooming once again ; their bright 
coloured crests, like magnified tulips, painted the autumn 
mist with rainbow dyes ; light breezes of early May 
seemed chasing each other through the fresh, fluttering 
leaves ; they breathed upon our friend, and buoyed him 
up, and rose with him on high, and held him up above the 
harvest and above the hills, till he could see beyond these 
hills and lands — and lo ! the springs of all his life to 
conie, lying as yet enfolded in the bud, lay spread before 
his sight like gardens side by side — and there, in every 
spring time, stood his friend. 

He left the place, but wandered a long while about the 
meadows, where at this time of year there was no need to 
hunt carefully for footpaths — chiefly that his eyes might 
not betray where his thoughts had been to all the market 
people who were to be met. It was of little use — for in 
certain moods the torn and wounded heart, like injured 
trees, bleeds on and on, and at the slightest touch. 

He shunned eye-witnesses, such as Kosa above all, foi 



CHAP. III.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 97 

this reason, that he was (I am sorry to have to say it) in 
just one of those moods when, whether from modesty or 
from vividness of feeling, he was most disposed to masL 
his emotion under the semblance of temper. At last a 
weapon of victory came to his hand, the thought that he 
had to apologize and make amends to his guest for so long 
and so uncourteous an absence. 

When he got home — what a strange state of matters ! 
The old guest gone — another there in his place — and near 
the latter his wife in tears. When he came into the room, 
Lenette went to one of the windows, and a fresh torrent 
of tears fell down. " Madame Siebenkaes," said the Schul- 
rath, continuing his address to her, and keeping hold of 
her hand, "submit yourself to the will of God, I beseech 
you ; nothing has happened but what can be put to rights 
without difficulty. I am willing to concede you a sorrow 
of the heart — but it must be a restrained and a subdued 
one." 

Lenette looked out of the window, not at her husband. 

The Schulrath related, in the first place, all that I 
have already given my account of (Firmian, listening 
to him and looking at him, took the glowing hand of 
Lenette, whose face was still averted), and then con- 
tinued — 

•* When I came in, merciful Heavens, there was his 
lordship on his knees before Madame Siebenkaes, with 
carnal tears, and — I am constrained to have the gravest 
suspicions — a design upon her precious honour! How- 
ever, I raised him up, without the least ceremony, and 
I said to him, with the boldness of St. Paul himself 
— for which I am ready to answer before God and man 
— ' Your Lordship, are these the doctrines which I incul- 
cated into your Lordship when I was your private tutor ; 
is it Christian conduct to go down upon your knees in 
such a manner ? Fie, for shame, Herr von Meyern. Fie, 
for shame, Herr von Meyern ! ' " 

Here the Schulrath got into a terrible heat again, and 
strode up and down the room with his hands in the 
pockets of his plush coat. 

Firmian said, " It's a simple matter to set up a scarecrow 
and plant a hedge to keep off a hare like him ; but what 

II. H 



&8 JEAN PAUL FBIEDRICH BICHTEB. [BOOK L 

ails you, love," he said, "and what are you crying so 
bitterly about ?" 

She cried more bitterly than ever ; when the Schulrath 
planted his hands on his sides, and said to her in much 
wrath, " Very well, Madame Siebenkses, this is the way of 
it, is it? This is all the impression my good counsel and 
comforting words have made upon your mind, is it? I 
never should have believed it of you ! 

" It was all for nothing then (as I am constrained to 
conclude) that, when I had the honour of bringing you 
here from Augspurg in my carriage, I described to you with 
all the eloquence at my command, the blessedness of the 
married state, before you had had an opportunity of learn- 
ing it by experience ; it seems I might just as well have 
spoken to the winds of heaven. Can it really be the case 
that all that I said to you in the carriage simply went in at 
one ear and out at the other ? when I told you how happy a 
wife was in and through her husband, how she often could 
hardly help crying for joy at possessing him — how these 
two had but one heart and one flesh, and shared every- 
thing between them, joy and sorrow, every morsel of food, 
every wish and desire, ay and the very smallest secrets. 
Well, well, Madame Siebenkaes, I see the Schulrath may 
keep his breath to cool his porridge." 

Upon this she twice wiped and dried her eyes hurriedly, 
constrained herself to look at him very kindly indeed, and 
with a forced appearance of being quite pleased again, and 
said with a deep sigh, but softly and not in a tone of pain, 
** Oh dear me !" 

The Schulrath touched her hand as it hung down with 
his finger tips in a priestly manner, and said — 

" But may the Lord be your physician and helper in all 
your necessities " (he could hardly say more, for his tears 
were coming), "Amen, — which is, being interpreted, 4 Yea, 
verily, so mote it be.' " Here he embraced and kissed the 
husband, and this with much warmth, saying, "Send for 
me, if your wife can obtain no consolation — and may God 
give you both strength. 0, by the by — the very thing 
I came here about — the review of the Easter programme 
must be ready by Wednesday — and I am in your debt 
for the eight lines or more you did about that piece of 



CHAP. III.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 99 

rubbish the other day, which you gave such a capital 
dressing to." 

When he had gone, however, Lenette didn't seem so 
thoroughly consoled as might have been expected ; she 
leant at the window sunk in deep, hopeless, amazement 
and reflection. It was in vain that Firmian pointed out 
that of course he wasn't going to change his and her pre- 
sent name any more, and that her honour, marriage, and 
love didn't depend upon a wretched name or so up or 
down, but upon himself and his heart. She restrained her 
tears, but she continued to be troubled and silent the 
whole of the evening. 

Now let no one call our good Firmian over jealous or 
suspicious when, having just got well rid of one wretched 
sacrilegious robber of marriage honour, the Venner, the 
idea of a volcanic eruption which might throw stones and 
ashes all over a great tract of his life suddenly occurs to 
him ; what if his friend Stiefel should be really (as it 
almost seems) falling in love with his wife, in all innocence, 
himself. His whole behaviour from the very beginning — 
his attentions on the wedding-day, his constant visits, 
and even his exasperation with the Venner that very day, 
and his warm feeling and sympathy on the occasion alto- 
gether, all these were the separate parts of a pretty 
coherent whole, and seemed to indicate a deep and growing 
affection, thoroughly honourable, no doubt, and unper- 
ceived by himself. Whether or not a spark of it had 
jumped off into Lenette's heart, and was smouldering 
there, it was impossible as yet to determine ; but true 
and good as he knew his wife and his friend to be, his 
hopes and his fears could not but be pretty equally 
balanced. 

Dear hero ! Do continue to be one ! Destiny, as I see 
more and more clearly as time goes on, seems to have 
made up her mind gradually to join the separate pieces of 
a drill machine together with which to pierce through the 
diamond of thy stoicism ; or else by slow degrees to build 
and fashion English scraping and singeing machines 
(made out of poverty, household worries, law suits, and 
jealousy) to scrape and singe away from tbee every rough 
and ill-placed fibre, as if you were a web of finest English 

h 2 



I 

100 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH ETCHTER. [BOOK I. 

cloth. If this should be so, do but come out of the mill aa 
splendid a piece of English stuff as was ever brought to 
the Leipzig cloth and book fair, and you will be glorious 
indeed. 



CHAPTEE IV. 

< MATRIMONIAL PARTIE A LA GUERRE — LETTER TO THAT HAIR 
COLLECTOR, THE VENNER — SELF-DECEPTIONS— ADAm's MARRIAGE 
SERMON — SHADOWING AND OVER-SHADOWING. 

There is nothing which I observe and note down with 
more scrupulous and copious accuracy than two equinoctial 
periods, the matrimonial equinox when, after the honey- 
moon, the sun enters the constellation Libra (or the 
balance), and the meteorologic vernal equinox; because, 
by observing the weather which prevails at these two 
periods, I am enabled to prognosticate with surprising 
accuracy the nature of that which will characterise the 
succeeding season. I consider the first storm of the spring 
to be always the most important, and similarly, the first 
matrimonial storm; the others all come from the same 
quarter. 

When the Schulrath was gone, the poor's advocate took 
his sulky house-goddess into his arms, and plied her with 
every conceivable method of proof; with proofs derived 
from immemorial hearsay, partial proofs, evidential proof, 
proof on oath, and by logical deduction — every kind of 
proof wherewith one can harden one's own heart, or soften 
another's. 

But the whole of the evidence he adduced was useless. 
He might just as well have been embracing the cold hard 
angel at the baptismal font in the principal church, his 
own angel remained quite as cold and silent. Furboots 
had been the tourniquet which stopped the hemorrhage of 
Lenette's open, streaming artery ; but his departure had 
taken the German tinder stopping from her eyes — and 
now they streamed unstanched. 



CHAP. IV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 101 

Siebenkaes went often to the window, and up and down 
in the room, that she might not see that he was following 
her example, and that her sorrow, little reasonable as it was, 
infected him by sympathy. We can more easily bear, and 
forgive pain of our own causing than of another's. All 
the following day there was an unendurable silence in the 
house. This was the very first of the beds of the matri- 
monial nursery-garden in which a seed of the apple of 
discord had been planted, and as yet not the faintest rustle 
of its sap was audible. It is not in the first domestic 
squabble, not till the fourth, tenth, ten-thousandth, that a 
woman can keep perfect silence with her tongue, yet make 
a tremendous nuise with her body, and turn every chair 
which she shoves about, and every reel of cotton which 
she lets fall, into a language-machine and fountain of 
speech, and play her instrumental music all the louder, 
because her vocal parts are counting their rests. Lenettk 
Wexdeline moved everything and said everything, as 
softly as if her liege lord had the gout and was lying 
with cramped foot pressed in agony against the trembling 
bottom board of his bed. 

When the third day of this came on, he was vexed and 
annoyed — and he had reason. I beg to say that, for my own 
part, I should be quite prepared to quarrel with my own 
wife, if I had one — ay, and to do it with a will — and that 
to some purpose, and to bandy words with her, as well as 
letters (though I should prefer the former). But there's 
one thing which would kill me outright, and that would 
be her keeping up a long, dreary, tearful sulking, a thing 
which, like the sirocco wind, ends by blowing out all a 
man's lights, thoughts, and joys, and at length his life 
itself. Just as we all of us, rather like a violent thunder- 
storm in summer, and think it refreshing rather than 
otherwise in itself — and yet consider it a cursed nuisance 
on the whole, because it's sure to be followed by some days 
of dreary wet weather. Siebenkaes was all the more vexed 
on this occasion, because he was a man who scarcely 
ever was vexed. As other jurists have reckoned them- 
selves among men exempt from torture, so Siebenkaes 
had long ago fortified himself against grief and care, 
those torture racks of the soul (by the help of Epic- 



102 JEAN PAUL FEIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK I* 

tetas), as effectually as he had the infanticide against 
bodily torture. 

The Jews hold that when Messiah comes, hell will be 
joined on to paradise, so as to make a bigger dancing 
saloon. And all the year long, Siebenkses occupied himself 
in building and adding on his torture chambers and schools 
of suffering to the entertainment halls of his bagatelle, so 
as to have more room to perform his ballets. 

He often said a medal should be struck for any citizen 
who should be three hundred and sixty-five days, five 
hours, forty-eight minutes and fifty-five seconds, without 
either growling or snarling. 

He wouldn't have got that medal himself in the year 
1785. On the third day, the Saturday, he was so wild at 
his wife's speechlessness, that he was wilder still with 
that kill-joy of an Everard. For, of course, that minne- 
singer, might come in again at any moment, bringing in 
his company the goddess of discord (who, as directrix and 
ambassadress, performs such important poetical functions 
in Voltaire's Henriade), and introducing her into the 
homely " Volkslied " of an advocate, by way of a dea ex 
machina to unloose the matrimonial knot, and tie a fresh 
one with the Venner. Siebenkses accordingly wrote him 
the following academic-controversial document. 

" May it please your Lordship, 

" 1 take the liberty to lay before your Lordship in this 
little memorial my humble petition, 

" That you will be pleased to stay at home, and spare me 
the honour of your visits. 

"Should your Lordship find it necessary to become 
possessed of a certain quantity of my wife's hair — the 
undersigned hereby undertakes to cut and deliver the 
same himself. In the event of your Lordship's being 
minded to exercise a jus compascui, or right of free common 
and pasturage in my premises, and appearing therein in 
person, I shall embrace with much pleasure the oppor- 
tunity then afforded me of plucking as many of your 
Lordship's own hairs as may be requisite to constitute a 
souvenir out of your Lordship's head, by the roots, like 
monthly radishes, with my. own hands. While I was in 



CHAP. IV. J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 103 

Niirnberg, I used ofien to go and dine in the neighbouring 
villages (against the will of the authorities) with a fine old 
Prugbl Knecht,* i.e. with a private tutor, who had 
towzed out and excerpted from the heads of three little 
slips of nobility, while he was giving them their lessons, 
enough silky hair to make him a handsome mouse-coloured 
bag-wig, which the man most probably wears to this day. 
His motivein thus applying himself to the production of silk, 
or rather, his reason for divesting these little heads of their 
exterior foliage, was, that his own beams might the more 
effectually ripen the fruit within, as, for similar reasons, it 
is usual to remove leaves from the vines in August. 

" I have the honour to remain, &c." 

I shall be very sorry if I cannot manage to get the reader 
to understand that the advocate wrote this biting letter 
without the slightest bitterness of feeling. He had read 
the brilliant satirical writings of the three merry wise men 
of London, Butler, Swift, and Sterne — those three bodies 
of the satirical giant, Geryon, or three furies (Parcra) of the 
foolish — to such an extent that, as their disciple and 
follower, he never thought whether it was a biting letter 
or not. In his admiration of the artistic beauties of his 
composition, he lost sight of its meaning ; and indeed, if 
a stinging speech were made to himself, he would think 
nothing of the length of its prickles in comparison with 
its form and shape. I need merely instance his ' Selection 
from the Devil's Papers ;' the satirical poison bubbles and 
venomous prickles so frequent in that work came from his 
pen and ink— i.e. his head only, not from his heart. 

I take the opportunity of begging the reader always to 
infuse the very soul of gentleness and kindness into every 
word and tone he utters (because it is our words more 
than our deeds which make people angry), and, more 
particularly still, into every page he writes. For, truly, 
even if your correspondents have forgiven you an episto- 

* According to Kliiber's notes to Delacurne de Sainto Palaye on 
Chivalry, this was the title of the official who superintended the 
tourney, or gymnastic practices and exercises. There are at the pre- 
sent day certain private tutors in aristocratic families who are feeble 
imitations of him. 



104 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK 1 

lary pereat long ago, yet the old leaven of ill-will ferments 
anew, if the sorrel-leaf of a letter containing it chances to 
come to hand again. We may, of course, on the other 
hand, reckon upon a similar immortality for a piece of 
epistolary kindness. Truly, though a long, cutting 
December wind had made my heart stiff and immoveable 
to everything in the shape of kindly feeling for one who, 
once on a time, used to write me absolute Epistles of 
St. John, tender pastorals of letters, what would it matter, 
if I should but chance to turn up these old letters in my 
letter- treasury of bundles and packets of letters? 

The sight of the beloved handwriting, the welcome seal, 
the kind, endearing words, and the pieces of paper where 
so many a pleasure found space to sport and play, would 
cast the sunshine of the old affection upon the frozen heart 
once more ; it would reopen at the memory of the dear 
old time, as some flower that has closed reopens when a 
sunbeam lights upon it, and its only thought — ay, were it 
but the day before yesterday that it had conceived itself 
mortally offended — would be, "Ah! I was too hard upon 
him (or her) after all." Many of the saints in the first 
century used to drive devils out of the possessed, in a 
somewhat similar way, merely by means of letters. 

Furboots came, as if he had been sent for, on the 
Saturday evening, like a Jewish Sabbath. I have often 
seen a guest serve as cement or hefting powder to two 
better halves in a state of fracture, because shame and 
necessity compelled them to speak and behave kindly to 
each other, at all events while the guest was there. 
Every husband should be provided with two or three 
visitors of this sort, to come in when he's suffering from 
an attack of wife-possessed-too-long-with-the-devil-of- 
dumbness ; as long as the people are there, at all events, 
she must speak, and take the iron thief-apple of silence — 
which grows on the same stalk as the apple of discord — out 
of her mouth. 

The Schulrath stood up before Lenette Wendeline as if she 
were one of his school girls, and asked her if she had borne 
this first cross of her married life patiently, and like a 
worthy sister in suffering of the patriarch Job. She 
drooped her big eyes, wound a thread the length of a 



CHAP. IV.] FLOWEE, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 105 

finger into a white snowball, and breathed deeper. Her 
imsband answered for her : " I was her brother in afflic- 
tion, and bore the cross-bar of the burden — I without a 
murmur, she without a murmur. In the twelfth century, 
the heap of ashes on which Job endured his sufferings 
used still to be shown. Our two chairs are our heaps of 
ashes ; there they are still to be seen ! " 

"Good woman!" said Stiefel, in the softest pianissimo 
of his pedal reed-stop of a masculine voice, and laid his 
mow-white hand on the soft, raven hair upon her fore- 
head. Siebenkaps heard a multiplying sympathetic echo 
of these words in his heart, and laid his arm on Lenette's 
shoulders, who was blushing with pleasure at the honour 
conferred upon her by this kindness of the man in office. 
Her husband softly pressed her left side to his right, and 
said : — 

" She is good, indeed ; she is gentle, and quiet, and patient, 
and only too industrious. If the whole tag, rag and bob- 
tail of Hell's army, in the shape of the Venner, had only 
not advanced upon our little summer-house of happiness, 
to knock its roof off, we should have lived happy in it for 
many a day, Mr. Stiefel, far into the winter of our lives. 
For my Lenette is good, and too good for me and for 
many another man." Here Stiefel, in his emotion, sur- 
rounded that hand of hers which had the skein of thread 
in it, at the seat of the pulse with his fine fingers — the 
empty hand being in her husband's possession — and the 
Wound Water of our pain, the great drops of which trickled 
from her drooped eyes down her cheeks, where her im- 
prisoned hands could not wipe them away, made the two 
male hearts very tender. And besides, her husband could 
never praise any one long without his eyes overflowing. 
He went on, faster, " Yes, she might have been very com- 
fortable and well-off with me, but that my mother's money 
is kept back from me in this terrible way. But, even for 
all that, I should have made her happy without the money, 
and she me — we never had a word, never a single unhappy 
moment — now had we, Lenette? nothing but peace and 
love, till the Venner came. He has taken a good deal 
from us/" 

The Schulrath raised his olenohed fist in wrath, and 



106 JEAN PAUL FRIEDBICH BICHTEB. [BOOK I. 

exolaimed, sawing the air with it, " You child of hell ! 
you robber-captain and filibuster! You silken Catiline 
and mischief-maker ! Does it ever strike you that you'll 
have to answer for this and your other pranks one day ? 
Mr. Siebenkaes, this, at all events, I do expect of you, that 
if ever he comes here again asking for hair, you will turn 
him out by the hair of his own head, or hit this fur-maggot 
(as you call him yourself) across the shoulders with a 
boot-jack, and squeeze his hand with a pair of pincers — in 
fact, the long and the short of it is, I will not have him 
come here any more." 

And here Siebenkaes, to cool down his own emotions and 
other people's, mentioned the fact of his having already 
taken steps in tbe matter, and served the necessary letter 
of inhibition upon the Venner. Stiefel clucked his tongue 
in a joyful manner, and nodded his head approvingly. He 
considered any person high in office to be a vicegerent of 
Christ on earth, a count to be a demigod, and an emperor 
as a whole one ; — but a single one of the deadly sins com- 
mitted by any of them all would at once cost them the 
whole of his deferential good will, — and a slip in Latin 
grammar, though committed by a head crowned with gold, 
he would at once have done battle with in a whole Latin 
Easter programme. Men of "the world have straight bodies 
and crooked souls ; scholars often have neither the one nor 
the other. The last of Lenette's clouds cleared away when 
Bhe heard that a paper escarpment and cheval de frise 
against the Venner had been constructed at her door. 
'• Then he will trouble me no more ! Thanks be to 
Heaven! He goes about lying and deceiving everyone 
he comes across."* 

" We don't employ these words, Madame Siebenkaes, if 
we care to speak grammatically," said Stiefel ; " irregular 
verbs such as ' hriechen, triigen, lugen,' though they are verba 
anomala, and as such have ' kroch, log, trog,' and so on in 
the imperfect tense, are still always inflected quite regu- 

* In this last speech Lenette makes use of several of the obsolete 
forms of verbs referred to in a previous chapter as " religious anti- 
quities out of Luther's Bible." I cannot give English equivalents. 
Of course what follows would be unintelligible without this explana- 
tion. — Tbanslatob. 



CHAP. IV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 107 

larly in the present by the best German grammarians — 
although the poets permit themselves a poetical licence in 
such cases, as, I am sorry to say, they do in most others — 
and therefore we say, if we care to be grammatically cor- 
rect, ' liigt, trugt, kriecht' &c, at the present day, that is." 

" Don't find fault with my dear Augspurger's Lutheran 
inflections," said Siebenkses ; " there's something touching 
to me about these irregular verbs of hers ; they are the 
Schmalkaldian article of the Augspurg confession." Here 
she drew her husband's ear softly down to her lips and 
said, " What would you like me to get for supper ? Tell 
the gentleman that you know I mean no offence, whatever 
words 1 use. And I wish you would ask his reverence, 
Firmian dear, when I'm out of the room, whether our 
marriage is really all right according to the Bible." He 
asked this question on the spot. Stiefel answered it de- 
liberately as follows : — " We have only to look at the case 
of Leah, who was conducted to Jacob's tent under the 
pseudonym of Eachel on her marriage night, and whose 
marriage the Bible holds to be perfectly valid. Is it 
names or bodies that exchange rings ? And can a name 
fulfil the marriage vow?" 

Lenette answered these questions, and spoke her thanks 
for this consistorial decision by a bashful glance of restored 
content and a beaming face upturned towards him. She 
went to the kitchen, but kept constantly coming back and 
snuffing the candle, which was on the table at which the 
two gentlemen sat talking ; and probably nobody, except the 
advocate and I, will consider this to be any indication 
of a more than ordinary liking for Stiefel. The latter 
always took the snuffers from her, saying "it was his duty." 
Siebenkaes clearly perceived that both the apples of his 
eyes revolved, satellite-fashion, round his own planet, 
Lenette ; but he did not grudge the Latin knight his little 
glimpse of an age of chivalry thus sweetened by a Dul- 
cinea ; like most men, he could far sooner pardon the rival 
lover than the unfaithful fair ; women, on the other hand, 
hate the rival more than the unfaithful lover. Moreover, 
he knew perfectly that Stiefel had not the least idea 
himself whom or what he cared for or sighed for, and 
that he was a far better hand at reviewing schoolmen 



108 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

and authors than himself. For instance, his own anger 
he called professional zeal ; his pride, the dignity due to 
his office ; his passions, sins of weakness ; and on this 
occasion love appeared to him disguised as mere philan- 
thropy. The arch of Lenette's troth was firmly finished 
off in the keystone of religion, and the Venner's assault 
upon it had not shaken this sacred masonry in the slightest 
degree. 

At this juncture the postman stumped up stairs with a 
new constellation which he 6et in their serene family sky, 
namely, the following letter from Leibgeber. 

" Bayreuth, 21 Sept., 1785. 

" My dear Brother, Cousin, and Uncle, 
Father and Son ! 

" For the two auricles and the two ventricles of thy 
heart constitute my entire genealogical tree: — as Adam, 
when he went for a walk, carried about with him the 
whole of his blood relations that were to be, and his long 
line of descendants — which is not wholly unreeled and 
wound up even at this day — till he became a father, and 
his wife bare a child. I wish to goodness I had been the 
first Adam ! Siebenkaes, I do adjure you, let me, let me, 
follow up this idea which has struck me i nd taken hold 
of me with such power ; let me not write a word in this 
letter that does not add a touch to the three-quarter- 
length portrait which I shall draw of myself as the first 
father of mankind ! 

" Men of learning are much mistaken who suppose my 
reason for wishing I were Adam to be, that Puffendorf 
and many other writers very properly award me the 
whole of this earth as a kind of European colony in the 
India of the universe, as my patrimonium Petri, Pauli, 
Judce and the rest of the Apostles ; inasmuch as I, being 
the sole Adam and man, and consequently the first and 
last of universal monarchs (although as yet without any 
subjects), might of course lay claim to the entire earth. 
It might occur to the pope, indeed (he being holy father, 
though not our first father), to make a similar claim, or 
rather it did occur to him some centuries ago, when he 



CHAP. IV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 109 

constituted himself the guardian and the heir of all tho 
countries of the earth, and indeed made bold to set two 
other crowns on the top of his earthly one, a crown of 
heaven and a crown of hell. 

"How stiall a thing it is that I desire ! All that I wish 
I had been the old Adam (in fact, the oldest Adam) for, 
is merely that I might have strolled up and down with 
Eve among the espaliers of Eden on our marriage night, 
in our aprons and beasts' skins, and delivered an address in 
Hebrew to the mother of all living. 

" Before commencing my address I beg to observe that, 
while I was yet unfallen, it fortunately occurred to me to 
note down the more important heads of my univert-al 
knowledge. For I had, in my condition of innocence, a 
perfect and intuitive knowledge of all the sciences, of 
history, both universal and literary, the various criminal 
and other codes of law, all the dead languages as well as 
the living, and was a kind of live Pindus and Pegasus, 
a portable Lodge of Light and learned society, a pocket 
university, and miniature golden Siecle de Louis XIV. 
Considering what my mental powers were at that juncture 
it is a miracle (and what's more, a very lucky job) that in 
my leisure moments I put down the cream of my uni- 
versal knowledge on paper, because when I subsequently 
fell, and became simple and ignorant, I had these excerpts, 
or Catalogues raisonnes, of my former wisdom by me, so 
that I could refer to them. 

m « yirgin ! ' (it was thus that the sermon delivered out- 
side Paradise commenced) ' it is true we are the first of 
parents, and are minded to originate all the subsequent 
parents ; though all that you think about is sticking your 
spoon into a forbidden apple. However, I, being a man 
and protoplast, reflect and ponder, and as we walk to and 
fro, I shall undertake the office of preacher of the sermon 
on this, the occasion of our entering into the bonds of 
wedlock (not having as yet, unfortunately, begotten any- 
body else to do it), and, in a brief wedding exhortation, 
direct your attention to the doubts affecting and the rea- 
sons deciding, the protoplasts, or the first parents and 
first of wedded couples (that is to say, you and me), in the 
act of reflecting and. considering, and how — 



110 JEAN PAUL FEIEDRICH EICHTEE. [BOOK I. 

" ' Tn the first place, they consider the reasons why they 
should not people the earth, hut emigrate this very day, the 
one into the old world, the other into the new ; and 

" ' In the second place, the reasons why they should do 
nothing of the kind, but marry. 

"'After which a short elench, or usus epanorthoticus, 
will he adduced, and will conclude the lecture and the 
night.' 

IN THE FIRST PLACE 

" « My dearly beloved ! 

" ' Here, in my sheepskin, as I appear before yon, 
grave, thoughtful, and wise, it is nevertheless the fact that 
I am fall to the very brim of — not so much follies as fools, 
with a good many wise men stuck in here and there between 
them by way of parentheses. I am of short stature, it is 
true, and the ocean * came a good deal above my ancles, 
and besprinkled my new beasts' skin ; and yet, as I walk 
up and down here, I am girt about with a seed cloth, 
containing the seeds of all nations, and carrying the 
repertory of the whole human race, an entire world in 
miniature and orbis pictus, round my middle like a pedlar's 
stock in trade. For Bonnet, who is in me among the rest, 
will sit down at his desk (when he comes out), and prove 
that they are all one inside the other, like a nest of boxes 
or a set of parentheses, that the father contains the son, 
that the grandfather contains them both, the great-grand- 
father consequently the grandfather and all the contents 
of him, the great-great-grandfather the great-grandfather 
and the oontents of his contents and all his episodes, all 
sitting waiting one inside the other. Are there not then 
here embodied in thy bridegroom — this is a point, dear 
bride, which cannot be made too intelligible to you — all 
religious sects, excepting the Preadamites, but including 
the Adamites,| and all giants, the great Christopher himself 
among them — every individual of every nation of all the 

* The French academician, N. Beurion, made out that Adam was 
123 feet 9 inches high, and Eve 118 feet 9f inches. The rest is related 
by the Rabbin, that Adam went through the ocean after his fall. 

t The members of this celebrated sect went to church without any 
clothes on them. 



CHAP. IV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. Ill 

earth — all the shiploads of negroes destined for America, 
and the packets marked with red containing the soldiers 
promised by England to Anspach and Bayreuth'? Eve, 
am I not, as I stand here hefore you, a whole Jews'-quarter 
— a Louvre of all the crowned heads of the earth — since I can 
hring them all into existence if I please, and if I am not 
induced by this first head of my discourse to refrain from 
doing so ? You will admire me, and yet laugh at me at 
the same time if you but look at me well, lay your hand 
on my shoulder, and say to yourself: " Now, in this man 
and protoplast are contained all mankind, all the learned 
faculties, all schools of philosophy, and of sewing and 
spinning, cheek by jowl in peace and harmony, the highest 
and noblest royal families and princely houses (though not 
yet sorted out from among the common ship's company), 
all free imperial orders of knighthood, packed higgledy- 
piggledy with their vassals, cottiers, and tenants, it is true — 
monasteries and nunneries next door to each other — barracks 
and members of Parliament, to say nothing of cathedral 
chapters, with all their provosts, deans, priors, sub-priors, 
and canons! What a man! What an Anak!" you will add. 
You are right, dear, I am indeed — the very nest dollar of the 
human coin-cabinet, the universal court of assembly of all 
judicatures, with all the members of all assemblies, not one 
out of its place, the walking corpus juris of all civil, canon, 
criminal, feudal, and municipal law. Haven't I Meusel's 
' Learned Germany ' and Jocher's ' Scholastic Lexicon ' 
within me all complete, and Jocher and Meusel themselves, 
to say nothing of their supplementary volumes? I wish I 
could just let you see Cain — who, if head second of this 
discourse should determine me, would be our first offshoot 
and sucker, our Prince of Wales, Calabria, Asturias and the 
Brazils. You would see, if he were transparent — as I 
believe him to be — how he contains all the rest, one inside 
the other, like beer glasses — all oecumenical counoils, 
inquisitions, and propaganda, and the devil and his grand- 
mother. But, loveliest, thou didst not write down any of 
thy scicntia media before thy fall, as I did, and conse- 
quently thou starest into the future as blind as a bat. I , 
however, who see into it quite clearly, am enabled by 
my chrestomathy to perceive that, where other men beget 



112 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I. 

perhaps some ten fools, I shall beget whole millions of tens, 
and units into the bargain, seeing that the Bohemian*, 
Parisians, Viennese, Leipzigers, Bayreuthers, Hofians, 
Dublinese, Kuhschnappeleis (and their wives and daughters 
over and above) have all got to come into existence through 
me, and that in every million of them there will always be 
at least five hundred who neither have, nor will listen to, 
reason. Duenna, as yet you know little of the human 
race, but two in fact, for the serpent is not one ; but I 
know what sort of race I am going to produce, and that in 
opening my limbus infantum, 1 open at the same time a 
Bedlam. By heaven, I weep and lament when I merely 
peep in between the leaves of the centuries in their long 
course, and see nothing there but gouts of gore, and a con- 
geries of idiots — when I think of the trouble and pain to 
be undergone before a century shall learn to write a legible 
hand, a hand even as good as a minister's or an elephant's 
trunk — before poor humanity gets through its dame's 
school, and private tutors, and French governesses, so as tc 
be fit for Latin grammar schools, public schools, Jesuit 
seminaries, and next for fencing classes, dancing classes, 
dogmatic and clinical courses. By old Harry, I feel hot. 
Nobody will think of you as the brood-hen of the coming 
flock of starlings, as the spawning codfish m whom Leu wen- 
hack will count 9£ millions of eggs ; not you, my little 
Eve, but your husband, will get all the blame, who should 
have known better, and rather begotten nothing than such 
a rabble of thieves and robbers, crowned emperors on the 
Eoman throne, and vicegerents on the Roman chair, the 
former of whom will call themselves after Antoninus and 
Caesar, the latter after Christus and Petrus, and among 
whom there are men whose thrones shall be Liineburg 
torture chairs for the human race, if not the converse of 
a Place de Greve, where the masses shall be put to death, 
and the single individual feted and amused.* And I shall 

* It seems almost to indicate a crossing of the breeds between the 
grave tiger and the playful ape, that the Place de Greve in Paris ia 
the place where malefactors are executed, and where the populace 
assemble for fetes — that on the selfsame spot horses tear a regicide to 
pieces and citizens celebrate the accession of a new king ; the fire 
wheels of the fireworks and of the people who are broken on the wheel 



CHAP. IV.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 113 

be taken to task on account of Borgia, Pizarro, St. Dominic, 
and Potemkin. Even supposing I should manage to evade 
being blamed for black exceptions such as these, I should 
be obliged to admit that my descendants really cannot 
get through the space of half-an-bour without either 
thinking or doing something foolish, that the war of 
giants, waged in them by their passions, is never broken 
by a peace, seldom even by a truce • that the greatest of 
all man's faults is that he lias such a number of litle ones; 
that his conscience serves for scarcely anything but 
hating his neighbours and being morbidly sensitive to their 
transgressions ; that he never leaves off evil ways till he is 
on his deathbed ; that he learns and loves the language of 
virtue, but is at enmity with the virtuous — just as the 
English employ French language teachers, though they 
detest the French themselves. Eve, Eve, we shall have 
little to congratulate ourselves upon if we marry ; Adam 
means in the original " red earth," and truly my cheeks will 
consist entirely thereof, and will blush scarlet at the mere 
thought of the indescribable and unparalleled conceit and 
vanity of our great-grandchildren, increasing as the cen- 
turies go on. Nobody will tweak himself by the nose — 
unless perhaps when he is shaving. Critics will set them- 
selves up above authors, authors above critics — Heimlicher 
von Blaise will give his hand to be kissed by orphans ; 
ladies theirs to be kissed by all and sundry ; mighty ones 
the embroidered hems of their garments. Eve, 1 had only 
got as fa- on with my prophetic extracts from the world's 
history as the sixth century, when you bit the apple under 
the tr;e, and I, like a fool, did as you did, and everything 
slipped out of my head : God only knows what sort of a 
set thf fools and foolesses of the subsequent centuries may 
turn out to be. Virgin, wilt thou now put into action thy 
Sternocleidomastoideum, as Summering styles the muscle 
which nods the head, and so express your " yes " when I 
put to you the question, " Wilt thou have the marriage- 
preacher to thy wedded husband ?" 

whirling at the selfsame time and place. Frightful contrasts ! we 
may not a.lduco others lest we should get to imitating those whom we 
lave here found fault with. 

11. 1 



114 JEAN PAUL FEIEDKIOH EICHTEB. [BOOK I. 

" ' You will no doubt reply, let us first hear the second 
head of the discourse, in which the subject is considered 
from another point of view. And indeed, dearly beloved, 
we had almost forgotten that we must proceed to the 

SEC0HD PLACE, 

an! consider the reasons which may persuade first parents 
to become such, and to marry, and serve Destiny in the 
capacity of sewing and spinning machines of linseed, hemp, 
flax, and tow, to be wound by her in endless networks 
and coils around the earthly sphere. My strongest reason, 
and, I trust, yours also, is the thought of the Day of Judg- 
ment. For, in the event of our becoming the entrepreneurs 
of the human race, I shall see all my descendants, when 
they ascend from the calcined earth like vapour, at the 
last day, into the nearest planet, and fall into order for the 
last review ; and among this harvest of childien and grand- 
children, I shall hit upon a few sensible people with whom 
one may be able to exchange a rational word or two — men 
whose whole lives were passed, as well as lost, amid thunder 
and lightning (as according to the Romans those whom 
the gods loved were killed by lightning), and who never 
clostd their eyes or their ears, however wild the storm. I 
see the four heathen evangelists among them too, Socrates, 
Cato, Epictetus, and Antoninus, men who went through 
the world, using their voices like fire-engine pipes, two 
hundred feet long, to save people from being burnt out of 
house and home by the fire of their own passions, sluicing 
them all over with pure, cold, Alp-water. And there can 
be no doubt after all, that I may really be the arch-papa, and 
you the arch-mamma, of some very great and celebrated 
people, that's to say, if we choose. I tell you, Eve, that I 
have it here in black and white among my excerpts and 
eollectanea that I shall be the forefather, ancestor, and 
Bethlehem of an Aristotle, Plato, Shakespeare, Newton, 
Rousseau, Goethe, Kant, Leibnitz, people, take them for all 
in all, who are as able thinkers as their protoplast himself, 
if not abler. Eve, thou active and important member of the 
fruit-bearing jointstock company, or productive class of the 
slate (consisting of thyself and this marriage-preacher),! as* 



CHAP. IV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 115 

sure you I expect to pass a few hours of exquisite enjoyment 
when on that neighbouring star I survey in a cursory man- 
ner that classic concourse newly risen from the dead, and at 
length kneel down, and cry, " Good morning, my children ! 
Such of you as are Jews were wont to utter an ejaculatory 
prayer when ye met a wise man ; but what such utterance 
would suffice for me, now that I behold all the wise and all 
the faculties at once, all of them my own blood relations 
too, who amid the wolfish hunger of their desires have 
stedfastly refrained from forbidden apples, pears, and 
pine apples, and, deep as their thirst for wisdom might be, 
committed no orchard-robbery on the tree of knowledge, 
though their first parents seized upon the forbidden fruit, 
although they had never known what hunger was, and upon 
the tree of knowledge, although they possessed all know- 
ledge, except knowledge of the serpent nature." And then 
I shall arise from the ground, pass into the angelic crowd, 
fall on the bosom of some distinguished descendant, and, 
throwing my arms around him , say, " Thou, true, good, 
contented-minded, gentle son ! If I could just have shown 
thee only, sitting in thy brood-cell, to my Eve, the queen- 
bee of this great swarm here present, at the time when I 
was delivering the second head of my marriage sermon, 
I'm sure she would have listened to reason, and given a 
favourable answer." ' 

" And thou, Siebenkees, art that same, true, good son, 

and thou restest ever on the warm, heaving breast of 

i 

" Thy Friend. 

" Postscript and Clausula Salutaris. 

" Please to forgive me this merry private ball and witches' 
dance upon cheap and nasty letter-paper, notwithstanding 
that you are unfortunately an infinitesimal fractional part 
of the German race, and as such, can't be expected either 
to stand, or to understand, such a dance of ideas. This is 
why I never print anything for the unwieldy German 
intellect; entire sheets which I have spawned full of 
playful idea-fishes of this sort I consign at once to regions 
where such productions do not usually arrive till they 

i 2 



116 JEAN PAUL FBIEDBICH BICHTER. [BOOK I. 

attain the evening of their days, having previously exer- 
cised the right of transit through the booksellers' shops. 
I was eight days in Hof, and am at present living a 
retired life at Bayreuth ; in both of these towns I have 
made faces, that is, other people's profiles ; but most 
of the heads which sat or stood to my scissors opined 
that all was not quite right in mine. Tell me the real 
truth of the matter ; it's not altogether a matter of in- 
difference to me, because if I should turn out not to be 
quite 'all there,' 1 should be incapable of devising my 
property by will, or of exercising various civil functions. 

"In conclusion, I send a thousand kind remembrances 
and kisses to your dear, good Lenette, and my compli- 
ments to Herr Schulrath Stiefel, and will you please a*>k 
him if he is any relation to Magister Stiefel, the rector of 
Holzdorf and Lochau (in Wittemberg), who prophesied 
(incorrectly, as 1 consider) that the end of the world 
would take place on the 1st January, 1533, at 8 o'clock 
in the morning, and lived to die in his own bed after all. 

also send, for you and the ' Advertiser,' a couple of pro- 
grammes of Professor Lang's of this place, relative to the 
General Supeiintendent of Bayreuth, and one of Dr. 
Frank's of Pa via. There is a very charming young lady, 
exceedingly clever and intellectual, living here at the Sun 
Hotel (she is in the front rooms, and I in the back). 
She has been very much pleased with me and my face, I 
am happy to tell you, seeing how exactly you and I are 
alike, the only difference between us being my lame foot. 
So that the things I pride myself upon in ladies' society 
are my likeness to you and my weaknesses. Unless I 
have been misinformed, this lady is a poor niece of your 
old uncle's with the broken glass wig, and is being 
brought up at his expense, and destined for a marriage 
with some Kuhschnappeler of the upper ten thousand. 
Perhaps she may soon be forwarded to you, entered in 
the way-bill as bridegroom's effects. 

" The above is my oldest news, but my newest news, 
namely your own self, I shall not expect to arrive here at 
Bayreuth till I and the spring get back to it together (for 
the day after to-morrow I am off to meet it in J taly), and 
we, I and the spring, together beautify the world to such 



CHAP. IV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 117 

a degree that you will certainly enjoy a happy time of it 
in Bayreuth, the houses and the hills of that place being 
so particularly charming. And so, fare thee somewhat 
well." 

They all felt certain that the Kuhpchnappeler of rank for 
whom the Heimlicher's niece was being brought up could 
be none other than the Venner Eosa, whose little bumt- 
down stump of a heart — what was left of it after being 
hitherto made use of to set fire to the bosoms of female 
humanity in general (as the lamp in a smoking-room 
serves to kindle the pipes of the collective frequenters 
thereof) — would be the marriage torch to light her to 
her new home. 

As there were three heavens in this letter — one for each 
of the party — kind remembrances for Lenette, the pro- 
grammes for Peltzstiefel, the letter itself for Siebenkaes — 
I shouldn't have been astonished if the terzetto of them 
had danced for joy. The Schulrath, intoxicated with de- 
light — for the glad blood rose to his sober head — opened 
the papers sent him upon the square patterned supper- 
cloth (which was laid already), and hungrily began to 
devour his three printed " relishes before supper," and 
literary pet its soupers, upon the tin plate without even 
saying grace, until an invitation to stay and have some 
supper reminded him that he must be off. But before 
leaving, he petitioned that, by way of fee for having acted 
as middleman and court of arbitration between them, or 
as an alkali to promote the blending of his oil with her 
water — he might have a new profile of Lenette. The old 
one cut out by Leibgeber (which the letter brought to his 
recollection), and which, as we may remember, Leibgeber 
let him have, happened to have been put into the pocket 
of his dressing-gown and sent to the wash with it (being 
of much the same colour, moreover). " It shall be put on 
the stocks to-night," said Siebenkaes. 

VV hen the Schulrath was going, as he could see that the 
ring upon Lenette's finger didn't squeeze it so uncom- 
fortably as it had done (and gave himself credit for having 
been the means of filing it smoother and padding it softer), 
he shook her hand with much warmth, and said — 



118 JEAN PAUL FBIEDBICH BICHTEB. [BOOK I 

** I shall always be delighted to come whenever there's 
the slightest thing the matter with you two charming 
people." 

Lenette answered, " Oh yes, do come very often." 
And Siebenkaes added, " The oftener the better." 
And yet, when he had gone, the ring seemed to be not 
quite so comfortable again, and medical students who may 
be working at psychology may be a little surprised that 
during supper the advocaie said -very little to his wife, 
and she very little to him. The reason was that he had 
Leibgeber's letter lying by his plate in the place where 
the bread normally is, and the image of his beloved friend 
shone bright before his mental vision from Bayreuth all 
athwart the far misty darkness between — their first happy 
meeting to come floated magically before him. Hope shot 
down a pure clearing ray into the dark mephitic cave 
where he was panting and toiling now — and the coming 
spring stood like some cathedral tower all hung with 
lamps lofty and bright in the distance, beaming through 
the dark night sky. 

At length he " came to himself," i. e. to his wife ; the 
strong image of Leibgeber had buoyed him up from the 
sharp stones which strewed the present; the dear old 
friend, who had clipped out the bride's profile up in the 
choir on the wedding-day, and been with them in the 
early weeks of their honeymoon, seemed to fling a chain 
of flower- wreaths about him and draw him closer to the 
silent form by his side. " Well darling, and how are you 
getting on?" he said, awaking from his reverie and taking 
her hand, now that all was peace again between them. 
She had, however, the feminine peculiarity or foible, 
habit at all events, of being much quicker to show that 
she was vexed than that her anger was over ; of, at all 
events, being slow to show the latter ; and of commencing 
a reconsideration of all the matters in dispute at the very 
moment that amends have been made and accepted, and 
pardon begged and granted. There are very few married 
women indeed who will put their hand into their hus- 
bands', and say " There, I'm good again," without a very 
considerable hesitation and delay ; unmarried women are 
muoh more ready to do it. Wendeline did hold hers out, 



CHAP. IV. I FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 119 

but did it too coldly, and drew it away again in a great 
hurry, to take up the table-cloth, which she asked him to 
help her to smooth and fold up. He did this smilingly — she 
gravely giving her whole attention to the process of folding 
the long white parallelogram into exact squares — and at 
length, when the last and thickest square was arrived at, 
he held it fast there — she pulled, trying to look very 
serious — he looked at her very fondly and tenderly — she 
couldn't help smiling at this — and then he took the table- 
cloth from her, pressed it and himself with it to her heart, 
and said, in her arms, "Little thief! how can you be so 
naughty to your old ragamuffin of a Siebenkaes, or what- 
ever his name may be?" And now the rainbow of a 
brighter future appeared shining above the fast ebbing 

flood which had risen as high as their hearts so lately 

But, my dears, rainbows now-a-days very often mean just 
the reverse of what the first was said to signify. 

The prize he awarded to his queen of the rose-feast of 
the heart was to ask her to let him take a profile of her 
pretty face, that Peltzstiefel might find a joy and a present 
waiting for him on the morrow. I think I shall just trace 
an outline of his outline-tracing for people of taste in this 
place ; but I must stipulate that nobody is to expect a pen 
to be a painter's brush — or a painter's brush to be an 
engraver's style — or an engravers style a flower anther, 
generating generation upon generation of lilies and roses. 

The advocate borrowed a drawing-board, viz. the fagade 
of a new pigeon-house, from Fecht the cobbler. Lenette's 
shoulder fitted into the oval portal of it as a clasp-knife 
does into its handle ; a sheet of white paper was tacked 
on to the board — her pretty, soft head was pressed on the 
stiff paper — he applied, with much care and self restraint, 
his pencil at the upper part of the brow, difficult as it was 
to catch the shadow in such immediate proximity to the 
reality — and went slowly down the beautiful, flowery de- 
clivity all roses and lilies. But little or nothing came of 
it; the back part of the head was pretty good. His eyes 
would keep turning away from his work to the sitter, so 
that he drew as vilely as a box-painter. 

" Wendeline, your head isn't still a moment," he said. 
And indeed her face, as well as her brain-fibres, shook by 



120 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK I, 

reason of the heightened heat of her pulse and the quick- 
ening of her breathing; while, on the other hand, his 
pencil stumbled when it came to the delicate basso relievo 
of her little nose, fell into the cleft at her lips, and 
stranded on the shoal of her chin. He kissed those lips 
which he couldn't draw, and which she always had either 
too much open or too tightly closed, and brought a shaving- 
glass and said, "See, haven't you got more faces than 
Janus, or any Indian god? The Schulrath will think 
you were making faces, and I copying them. Look, here's 
where you moved, and I sprung after you like a chamois ; 
the effect of the jump is, that the upper part of the face 
sticks out before the lower like a half mask. Just think 
how the Schulrath will stare in the morning." 

" Try once more, dear ; I'll do just as you tell me ; I 
should like it to be very nice," Lenette said, blushing; 
and stiffened her neck, and steadied her soft cheek against 
the drawing-board. And as her husband gently glided his 
drawing ovipositor over her brow — like a segment of sorao 
white hemisphere — instead of breathing, he found she way 
holding her breath this time till she shook again, and till 
the colour came to her face. 

And here jealousy, like some exploding fire-ship, sent 
hard fragments of the wreck of his shattered happiness 
crashing on a sudden against his heart. 

" Ah ! " (he thought) " can it be that she does really 
love him ? " (i. e. the Schulrath). 

His pencil stood still in the obtuse angle between her 
nose and her chin as if under a spell ; he heard her let go 
her pent-up breath ; his pencil made black zigzags at the 
edge of the paper, and as he stopped at the closed lips, 
which nothing warmer than his own, and her morning 
prayers, had ever touched, and thought " Must this come 
upon me too? must this joy be taken from me like all the 
rest? And am I drawing up my bill of divorce and 
Uriah-letter here with my own very hands?" He could 
do no more at it. He took the drawing-board qxiickly 
from her shoulder — fell upon her closed lips — kissed away 
the pent-up sigh — pressed the life out of his jealousy 
between his heart and hers, and said — 

" I can't do it till to-morrow, Lenette ! Don't be vexed, 



CHAP. IV.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 121 

darling! Tell me, are you quite as you used to "be in 
Augspurg? Don't you understand me? Have you not 
the slightest idea what I am driving at?" 

She answered quite innocently, " Now you will be 
annoyed, Firmian, I know, but I really have not the 
slightest idea." 

Then the Goddess of Peace took from the God of Sleep 
his poppy garland, and twined it into her own olive 
wreath — and led the wedded pair, garlanded and recon- 
ciled, hand in hand into the glittering, gleaming, icefields 
of the land of dreams — the magic shadowy background of 
the noisy jarring, shifting day — our camera obscura full 
of moving miniature pictures of a world all dwarfed, in 
which man, like the Creator, dwells alone with his own 
creations. 



END OF THE PEEFACE AND OF THE FIEST 
BOOK. 

The reader will remember that, at the beginning of the 
preface, I stated that I succeeded in putting the old 
merchant into a sweet sleep, and in providing his daughter 
with a gladsome feast of tabernacles, in the shape of the 
young unopened buds of this, my little cottage-garden 
here. But the foul fiend knows how to breeze up a 
sudden rain squall, and let it splattering down upon all 
our loveliest fireworks. I was only performing a duty in 
converting myself into a small, pocket circulating library 
for a poor lonely thing of a girl, whose father gave her no 
chance of a word or two of rational conversation except 
with her parrot, and with the family lawyer aforesaid. 

The cage of the former was placed near her inkstand 
and waste-book ; and he acquired from his mistres-s as 
much in the shape of German-Italian as a bookkeeper finds 
necessary for carrying on his foreign correspondence. 
And a parrot being always incited to talkativeness by a 
looking-glass in his cage, he and his language-mistress 
were enabled to look at themselves in it together. The 



122 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH BICHTEB. [BOOK L 

latter (the family lawyer) I myself was. But the Captain 
— for fear of seductive princess-kidnappers and pirates 
such as me, and because her mother was dead, and because 
she was useful in the business — would let her speak to 
no man whomsoever, except in the presence of a third 
party (viz., himself). So that it was very seldom any 
man came to the house, except me ; whereas, a father 
generally decoys whole museums of insects into his house 
by means of a blooming daughter, just as a cherry-tree 
in blossom near a window fills a room with wasps and 
bees. It wasn't exactly everybody who, when he wanted 
to speak a rational word with her (i. e. one her father 
shouldn't hear), could manage to draw the flute stop of his 
organ, and then play away for an hour to this Argus till he 
should close his hundred green eyes, so that two blue ones 
might be looked into. I did manage it, indeed ; but the 
world shall hear what sort of a psalm of thanksgiving and 
vote of thanks I was treated to for my pains. 

The old man — who had grown suspicious on account of 
the length of time I had remained the evening before — had 
this evening only pretended to be asleep, that he might see 
what I was going to be at. The rapidity with which he 
went asleep (the reader no doubt remembers it at the 
beginning of the book) ought to have struck me more than 
it did. I ought to have reckoned on a contrary state of 
matters myself, and been ready with more prefaces in 
addition to this present one, to serve as sleeping powders. 

The rascally eavesdropper lay in wait till I had made 
my report on the two Flower-pieces and the four first 
chapters of this book. At the end of the fourth he 
bounced up as a mole-trap does when one walks on it, and 
addressed me from behind with the following harangue of 
congratulation — " Has the devil got you by the coat-tails? 
You must come here from Berlin, must you, and stuff my 
daughter's head with all sorts of atheistical, nonsensical, 
romantic balderdash and nonsense, till she'll be of no 
more use in a shop than " 

" Just listen to one word, Herr Pigtail ! " said I quite 
quietly, taking him into the next room, where there was 
neither fire nor light; "just listen to one single, half- 
word!" 



CHAP. IV.] FLOWER, FRMT, AND THORN PIECES. 123 

I put my hands upon his shoulders, and said, " Herr 
Pigtai 1 — for in Charles the Great's time every officer was 
so styled, because in those days the soldiers wore tails, as 
the women do now — Herr Pigtail, I'm not going to have 
a tussle with you to-night, when the old year's going out 
and the new year's coming in. I assure you solemnly 

that I am the son of the ,* and that I shall never 

see you more, though you shall have all the Vienna letters 
just the same. But I implore you, for God's sake, to allow 
your daughter to read. Now -a days every tradesman reads 
— one of whom will be her hu>band — and every trades- 
man's wife. Yet for all this reading, there's still plenty of 
spinning and cooking going on; there are shirts in plenty, 
and fat people in abundance. And as for corrupting her — 
why ! that's just what a man who reads will find it most 
difficult to accomplish in the case of a woman who reads, 
and most easy in the case of one who hardly knows her 
ABC. Let me entreat you, Captain." 

" If you would but just mind your own affairs ! What's 
the girl to you ? " was his reply. It was a true harbour 
of refuge for me that, on neither of these two evenings, 
the Christmas Eve or the New Year's, had I, in the 
enthusiasm of narration, so much as touched anything of the 
daughter's but about a groschen's worth of hair (and 
that not her own), which got among my fingers some- 
how or other, 1 hardly know how. 

It would have been little to have seized her hands, in 
the fervour of my biographical enthusiasm it would have 
been nothing at all ; but, as I have said, I hadn't done it. 
I had said to myself, " Enjoy a pretty face as you would 
a picture, and a female voice as you would a nightingale's, 
and don't touch the picture or throttle the bird. What ! 
must every tulip be out up for salad, and all altar-cloths 
made into camisoles?" 

Of all truths, the one which we bring ourselves to credit 
last of all is that there are certain men whom no amount 
of truth will convince. That Herr Pigtail was one of 
these presently occurred to me, not so soon as it ought 
to have done, and I determined that the only saraaon I 

* This is an allusion to ' Hesperus.' 



124 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRIOH RICHTER. [BOOK L 

should preach to him would be of the jocular and middle- 
age-Easter kind.* " Not so loud, Herr Pigtail, or made- 
moiselle will hear every syllable ; you have pinned her, 
poor butterfly, into your letter book ; but at the great day 
of judgment I shall accuse you of not having given her 
my works to read. I do wish you had only gone on 

Sretending to be asleep long enough to allow me to tell 
er the other books of the history of Kuhschnappel, where 
Siebenkses's troubles occur, and his death, and his marriage. 
But, mademoiselle, I shall tell my publisher in Berlin to 
send you the remaining books of the story the moment 
they are in print, fresh out of the press, still all damp, 
like a morning newspaper. And now, adieu, Herr Pigtail ; 
may Heaven grant you a new heart with the new year, 
and your dear daughter a second heart inside her own." 

The elemental conflict of his and my dissimilar com- 
ponents raged louder and louder : but I say no more about 
it — every additional word would have the appearance of 
an act of vindictiveness. This, however, I may at all 
events say : happy is every daughter who may read my 
works while her father is awake (very few such daughters, 
however, recognise this truth). Unhappy is every de- 
pendent of an Oehrmann, because he will be starved, as a 
greyhound is, that he may be the more nimble at running 
(I do not mean on the piano with his fingers), as the 
dancers' children get nothing to eat that they may spring 
the better! And fortunate are all needy persons who 
have nothing to do with him ; because Jacob Oehrmann 
gives to everyone just as much moral, as he possesses mer- 
cantile, credit, to which recruit-measure of worth he has 
been habituated by his fellow-tradesmen, who measure 
each other with yard-measures of metal. The only people 
who find favour in his sight are those who are complete 
paupers, and this because they serve as pedestals for his 
charity ; for the alms which he distributes in the name of 
the town and out of its exchequer, he looks upon as his 
own. Peace be with him ! At that time I had not taken 
a part myself in celebrating the peace-festival of the soul 
which I have described in the Fruit-piece of this book, and 

* Jooular discourses were delivered on Easter Sunday in the middK 
tgea, and went by the name of " Christian Easter-Merriment." 



CHAP. IV. J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 125 

I had read but little of what I have there written concera- 
ing the year of Jubilee which ought to last as long as the 
Long Parliament in our hearts with respect to all our moral 
debtors ; for if I had 1 should not even have contradicted 
Herr Pigtail. 

I vexed him, I am sorry to say, once more by my parting 
speech to his daughter (for I wished him and her my 
wishes both together and at once, so that it might not 
appear which was for which). 

" Herr Pigtail, and mademoiselle, I bid you a long fare- 
well. JS T o more shall I be able, in elysian evenings, to 
relate to you any of my biographies (shorn of the digres- 
sions) ; and the feast days and the holidays, as well as the 
eves thereof, will come and will go, but he who has caused 
you such vivid emotions will come no more. May fate 
send thee books instead of bookmakers, sometimes stir 
thy dull heart with a poetic throb, heave thy still breast 
with tender sighs prophetic of the future — bring to thy 
eyes some gentle tear drops, such as an andante causes 
to flow, and lead thee on through the hot, toilsome summer 
days, not to an after summer, but to a flowery tuneful 
spring. And so, good night." 

It goes to my heart to part with people ; even were it 
my sworn hereditary foe : one is going to see him no 
more. Pauline was anything but my sworn hereditary 
foe. Out in the streets tbere were more new year well- 
wishers going their rounds, the watchmen, who were giving 
utterance to their good wishes in wind instrumental music 
and miserable verse. Stiff, old-fashioned, rude verses 
always touch me more — particularly in an appropriate 
mouth — than your sapless, new poems, all tricked out with 
artificial flowers and ice-plants; poetry altogether wretched 
is better than the mediocre. I decided upon going through 
the town gate ; my heart was filled with emotions of very 
different kinds — for you see it was only eleven o'clock and 
the cold night was full of stars. And it was the last night 
of the year, and I didn't want to pass from the old year to 
the new in sleep, though that is how I would pass from 
this life to the next. I resolved to take that flushed, 
throbbing heart of mine out of the streets, and to a quieter 
ooir»pa»y. 



126 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRIOH RICHTER. [BOOK \ 

Place a man in some waste Sahara desert stretching 
further than the eye can reach, and afterwards pen him 
up into the narrowest of corners, he will he struck, in both 
cases, by the same vivid consciousness of his own indivi- 
duality — the widest spaces and the narrowest have the 
same powerful effect in quickening our perception of our 
own Ego and of its relationship. There is nothing, on the 
whole, ofrener forgotten than that which is what forgets — 
namely, the forgetter's self. Not only do the mechanical 
employments of labour and trade always draw men out of 
themselves, but the mental effort of study and investigation, 
also, renders scholars and philosophers just as deaf and 
blind to their own Ego, and its position with respect to 
other entities — deafer and blinder even. Nothing is more 
difficult than to convert an object of contemplation (which 
we always move away to a certain distance from ourselves, 
and from the mind's eye, so as to bring the latter to bear 
<>n it properly) into an object of sensation, and to feel that 
the object is the eye itself. 1 have often read whole books 
on the subject of the Ego, and of printing, right through, 
until at last I saw, to my astonishment, that the Ego 
and the printed letters were before me — so to speak under 
my nose. 

Let the reader say trnly: has he not even at this 
moment, while I have been talking, been forgetting that 
there are letters before him, ay, and his own Ego into the 
bargain ? 

But out where I was, under the twinkling heavens, and 
on a snow-covered height, round about which there 
gleamed a white, frozen plain, my Ego burst away from 
irs relationships (while in connection with them it was no 
more than an attribute, a quality), and it became a person- 
age — a separate entity. And then I could look upon my- 
self. All marked points of time— stanzas as it were, or 
music phrases, of existence — new years' days for example, 
and birthdays, lift man high out of and up above the waves 
which are round him ; he clears the water from his eyes, 
and looks about him, and says — " How the current has 
been carrying me along, drowning my hearing, and blind- 
ing my sight ! Those are the waves, down there, onward, 
which have been bearing me along, and these, now coming 



CHAP. IV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 127 

toward me, when I dip down among them, will whirl me 
away !" 

Without this clear, distinct consciousness of one's Ego, 
there can he no freedom, and no calm equanimity amid the 
crowding elbowing tumult of the world. 

I shall go on with my story. I stood upon an iceberg, 
but my soul was all aglow — the cloven moon shone brightly 
down, and the shadows of the pine-trees about me lay, like 
dismembered limbs of the night, black upon the lily ground 
of snow. Away, some distance from me, a man seemed to 
be kneeling motionless on the ground. 

And now 12 o'clock struck, and 1794, year of war and 
tumult, fell, with all its rivers of blood, into the ocean of 
eternity ; the booming after-tone of the bell seemed to say 
to me, " Now has Destiny, with the twelfth stroke of her 
hammer, knocked down the old year to you, poor perishing 
mortals, at her auction of minutes." 

The kneeling man now stood up and went quickly away. 
I could long see him and his shadow disappearing in the 
moonlight. 

I left my height, the boundary hill between two years, 
and went down to where the man had been kneeling. I 
found a crucifix and a black leather prayer-book in duo- 
decimo, all thumbed yellow, except one haf at the begin- 
ning on which was the name of the owner, whose knees 
had worn deep traces in the ice. I knew him well, he was 
a cottager whose two sons had had to go to the war. On 
looking more closely, I found he had drawn a circle in the 
snow, to keep off evil spirits. 

I saw it all ; the simple, weak-minded creature, whose 
soul was darkened by a perpetual annular eclipse, had 
gone there on ihis solemn night to hearken to the hollow 
distant muttering thunder of the coming storm, and 
laid his prostrate soul, as it were, upon the earth to 
hear the distant march of the approaching foe. "Shal- 
low, timid soul," thought 1, why should the dead that 
are to be come floatiug athwart the face of the clear, 
still night — thy sleeping sons among them, memberless ? 
Why strive already to see the darting flames of con- 
flagrations yet to come, and to hear the dismal turmoil, 
the bitter wail, of a woe as yet unborn? The coffins 



128 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTEE. [BOOK I. 

of the coming year have, as in times of pestilence, nc 
inscriptions yet — why should the names appear upon 
them ? Oh ! thy Solomon's ring has been no protection 
against the destroying angel who dwells within our 
breasts. And that vague, ugly giant-cloud, behind which 
are death and the future, will prove, on approach, to be 
death and the future itself.'' 

In hours like these we are all ready to lay our hats and 
swords on to the bier — ay, and ourselves as well — our old 
wounds burn anew, and our hearts, not being truly healed, 
a little thing breaks them again, like arms imperfectly 
tset. But the cruel, piercing lightning flash of some great 
minute, the reflection of which stretches gleaming athwart 
the whole river of our life, is necessary to us to make us 
blind to the ignes fatui and glowworms which meet us, to 
guide us, every hour : and frivolous, giddy man needs 
home powerful shock to counteract his tendency to con- 
tinual petty naggling. Therefore, to us little crustaceans 
sticking with our suckers upon the ship of this earth, every 
new year's night is, like night in the old mythologies, a 
mother of many gods in us— and in such a night there 
begins for us a better norm d year than that which began 
in 1624. And I felt as if 1 should kneel, humble and 
penitent, on the spot where the poor childless father had 
knelt. 

But now a brisker air brought to my ears a burst of 
gladsome music ; it came like the breath of flowers acro>t» 
the frozen plain, horns and trumpets on the church tower, 
sending their cheering harmonies over the sleeping earth, 
ushering, with glad vigorous tones, the first hour of the 
new year in to a world of anxious, doubting men. And I 
too grew glad and strong ; I raised my glance from the 
white shroud of the coming spring, and gazed at the moon ; 
mid on these spots on her face (these spots which grow 
green as you approach) I saw our earthly spring reposing 
upon flowers, and already moving his young wings, soop 
to take his flight with other birds of passage, and, bright 
with glittering plumes, and hailed by skylarks' anthems, 
come and alight upon our shores. 

'A he distant new year's music flowed around me still 
I felt much happier, and far more tender; I bawtbe cmiing 



CHAP. IV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 129 

sorrows in the new born year, but they wore such lovely 
masks that they were more like sorrows that are past, or 
like the music around me — just as the rain which falls 
through the great caverns in the Derbyshire hills sounds 
in the distance like music. 

But when I looked around me, and saw the white earth 
shining like a white sun, and the silent deep blue sphere 
all round, like a household circle of one great family — and 
as the music, like lovelier sighs, accompanied my thoughts 
— as I fixed my gaze, with grateful heart, upon the starry 
sky where all these thousands of stedfast witnesses of 
the beautiful moments (moments faded, out of bloom, 
indeed, now — but the great Beneficence spreads their seed 
for evermore; — when I thought of the men asleep all 
around me, and wished that they might all be happier 
when they opened their eyes in the morning — and when 
I thought of those awake under me, whose slumbering 
souls stood in need of such a wish, — my heart, oppressed 
by the music, and by the night, grew heavy and grew full, 
and the blue sky, the glittering moon, and the sparkling 
snow-height all melted into one great floating shimmer. 

And in the shimmer, and amid the music, 1 heard voices 
of my friends, and dear fellow-creatures, tenderly and 
anxiously wishing their new year's wishes. They touched 
my heart so deeply, that I could but barely think my 
own — 

" Oh ! may you all be happy all the years of your lives." 



BND OF BOOK I. 



u. 



PREFACE TO THE SECOND, THIRD, 
AND FOURTH BOOKS. 

It lias often been a source of much annoyance to me that 
to every preface I write I am obliged to append a book 
— like the endorsement on a bill of exchange — or an 
appendix to letters A to Z. Many a man who dabbles 
in authorship by way of amusement has his books sent 
to him all ready written and complete, straight from the 
cradle ; so that all he has to do is to attach his gold 
frontlets of prefaces to their foreheads — which is nothing 
but painting the corona about the sun. As yet, however, 
not a single author has applied to me for a preamble to a 
book, although for several years I have had a considerable 
number of prefaces by me (all ready beforehand, and going 
at great bargains), in which I extol to the best of my ability 
works which have not as yet come into being. In fact, I have 
now a perfect museum of these prize medals and commemora- 
tion medals of other people's cleverness at the service of 
anyone who may stand in need of them ; they are all 
made by the very finest of mint-machinery, and my collec- 
tion of them is increasing day by day ; so that I shall be 
obliged to sell it off wholesale'before very long (I don't see 
what else I can do), and bring out a book — consisting of 
nothing but pre-existent prefaces. 

They will still be obtainable singly, however, until the 
Easter fair, and authors who make early application can 
have the entire fascicle of preludes forwarded to them, so that 
they can pick out for themselves whichever preface seems 
to them the most laudatory of a book. After the Easter 
fair however, when the Book of Prefaces above mentioned 
comes out (and it will be interleaved with the fair 
catalogue), the literary world will only be beglorified in 
corpore, in coro, and I shall be (so to speak) making a 
present of a patent of nobility to the republic of letters k» 

k a 



132 PBEFACE TO SECOND, THIED, AND FOUBTH BOOKS. 

the lump, — as the Empress Queen did in 1775 to the 
whole mercantile community of Vienna ; although I have 
before my eyes (in the shape of the poor reviewers who 
work themselves well nigh to death, hammering and 
building away at the temple of fame, and at triumphal 
arches) the melancholy proof that though a man were to 
extol the republic of letters even in six volumes folio, 
he would get less for it than Sannazaro did for belauding 
the republic of Venice in as many lines — for each line in 
the lafer case brought the poet in a matter of a hundred 
five-dollar pieces. 

I propose to interstratify one of the prefaces in question 
in this place by way of a specimen and experiment, making 
as if its celebrated author had written it to order for this 
book (which is the actual truth, moreover). There is nc 
difficulty in my splitting myself up into two characters, 
the flower painter and the preface maker. But, — as one 
cannot quite lose sight of feelings of becoming modesty 
— I carefully pick out the most miserable specimen of the 
lot, one in which laudation occurs but to a very moderate 
extent, one which places the author of the book attached 
to it upon a funeral car, rather than upon a triumphal one, 
with nothing whatever to draw it along moreover ; whereas 
the other prefaces harness posterity to them, and the 
reading public are, by them, yoked on to the heavenly 
chariot, the Elijah's chariot, of Immortality, in which they 
draw the author along. 

In conclusion, then, I have only to observe that the cele- 
brated author of ' Hesperus ' has been kind enough to look 
through my Flower-pieces, and contribute to them the 
following preface, which will be found well worthy of 
perusal. 



PREFACE, BY THE AUTHOR OF 
'HESPERUS.' 

The following remarks may be thrown into the form of a 
series of postulates, which are, at the same time, so many 
similes. 

Many authors (Toung is an instance) set fire to their 
nerve-spirit, which, like burning spirit of another kind 
(brandy), tinges every person who stands round the ink- 
bottle where it is flaring with a sham deadly pallor. But, 
unfortunately, each looks only at the others, none looks 
into the mirror. The effect of the proximity of this 
universal mortality all about, upon people and authors, 
is that each is impressed with a livelier sense of the 
exceptional nature of his own immortality ; and this is 
remarkably comforting to us all. 

The consequence is, as it seems to me, very plain. 
Poets, living in fifth, or fiftieth floors, may make poems, 
but not marriages ; neither may they keep, nor establish, 
houses. Canaries' breeding cages have to be more roomy 
than their singing cages. 

If this be so, then, what does the author's pen do ? Like 
a child's, it traces in ink the characters which nature has 
faintly marked in the reader with pencil. 

The author's strings only vibrate in unison with the 
reader's octaves, fifths, fourths, and thirds — not with his 
seconds or sevenths. Unsympathetic readers do not become 
sympathetic ones ; it is only the cognate, or congruent, 
sort which rise to the author's level or pass beyond it. 

And with this stands or falls my fourth postulate. The 
iron shoe of Pegasus is the armature of the magnet of 
truth, increasing its power of attraction; yet we are 
jungry birds, and fly at the poet's grapes as though they 
were real ones, thinking the boy a painted one, when 
we really ought to be frightened at him. 



134 PREFACE, BY THE AUTHOB OF 'HESPERUS.' 

The transition from this to the fifth postulate is a self- 
evident matter. Man has such a high opinion of everything 
in the shape of antiquity, that he prolongs it, and keeps 
it alive, and lives according to it, though it be but the 
cover and the mask of the very poison which will destroy 
itself. There are two proofs of this proposition which I 
leave aside, of set purpose ; the first is, Keligion, which is all 
gnawed to worm dust ; the second, Freedom, which is quite 
as much crumbled to powder as the other. In my capacity 
of a member of the Lutheran Church, I merely glance at 
the subject of relics (in support of rhe proposition) — relics, 
in the case of which, as Vasquez the Jesuit informs us, if 
they chance to be entirely eaten up of worms, we must 
continue to worship what remains — that is to say, the 
worms which have eaten them. Wheiefore, meddle not 
with that nest of worms, the time in which thou livest, or 
it will eat thee up ; a million of worms are quite equal to 
one dragon. 

This must be admitted and assumed, at least if my sixth 
postulate is to have any sense in it which is, — that no man 
is wholly indifferent to, and unaffected by, every kind of 
truth ; indeed even if it be only to poetical reflections 
(illusions) that he swears allegiance — inasmuch as he does 
even that he thereby does homage to truth ; for in all poetry 
it is but the part which is true which goes to the heart 
(or head), just as in our passions and emotions nothing 
but the Moral produces effect. A reflection which should 
be nothing whatever but a reflection would necessarily, for 
that very reason, not be a reflection. Every semblance 
(meaning every thing which we see, or suppose we see) pre- 
supposes the existence of light somewhere, and is itself light, 
only in an enfeebled or reflected condition. Only, most 
people in our, not so much enlightened as enlightening times, 
are like nocturnal insects who avoid, or are pained by, the 
light of day, but, in the night, fly to every nocturnal light, 
every phosphorescent surface. 

The graves of the best men are like those of the 
Moravians, level and flat, and this earthly sphere of ours 
is a Westminster Abbey of such levellings and flattenings 
— ah ! what 'nnumerable drops of tears as well as blood 
(which are what the three grand trees of this world — the 






PREFACE, BY THE AUTHOR OF 'HESPERUS.' 135 

trees of Life, of Knowledge, and Liberty — are watered with) 
have been shed, but never counted. History, in painting 
the human race, does not follow the example of that 
painter who, making a portrait of a one-eyed king, drew 
only his seeing profile ; what history paints is the blind 
side, and it needs some grand calamity to bring great men 
to light — as comets are seen during total eclipses of the 
sun. Not upon the battle-field only — upon the holy 
ground of virtue also, and upon the classic soil of truth — 
the pedestal whereon history raises on high some single 
hero whose name rings in all men's ears has to be composed 
and built up of thousands of other heroes who have fought 
and fallen, nameless and unknown. The noblest deeds of 
heroism are done within four walls, not before the public 
gaze, — and as history keeps record only of the men sacri- 
ficed, and, on the whole, writes only in sp^lt blood, doubt-* 
less our annals are grander and more beautiful in the eyes 
of the all-pervading spirit of the universe than in those 
of the history-writer ; the great scenes of history are 
estimated according to the numbers of angels or devils on 
the stage, the men not being taken into account. 

These are the grounds on which I rely when I assert 
with a good deal of boldness that when we inhale the 
perfume of the full-blown blossoms of joy with too deep 
and strong an inhalation, without having first given them 
a good shake, we run the risk of snuffing up some torment- 
ing insect (before we know what we are about) through 
the ethmoid into the brain ; * and who — tell me if you can — 
is to get it out again ? Whereas little or nothing of a 
risky sort can be snuffed up out of Flower-pieces, and their 
painted calices, since painted, worms remain where they are. 

This, then, is what I have to postulate by means of 
similes. What the public postulates, or demands, is in 3' 
opinion of these Flower-pieces. The author is a promising 
youth of five years of age ;\ he and I have been friends 

^ * In the 3rd part of the ' Lichtenberg Philosophical Magazine,' the case 
is mentioned of a woman, who, while smelling at a flower, inhaled a 
worm into her brain, which tormented her with delirium, headache, 
Ac., till it came out at her nose again, still alive. 

t Voltaire proves that a person who is 23 years old, has only lived 
3J years In the proper sense of the word. 



] 3*3 PREFACE, BY THE AUTHOR OP « HESPERUS.' 

since childhood, and, I think, can assert that we have but 
one soul between ns, as Aristotle says should be the case 
with friends. He gets me to read over everything he thinks 
of publishing, and to give him my opinion and advice. 
And, as I returned these Flower-pieces to him with the 
warmest (and, at the same time, sincerest) expression of 
my approval, he has requested me to make my verdict 
somewhat more widely known, believing as he does 
(rather too flatteringly perhaps) that it may carry a 
certain amount of weight with it, more especially as it is 
an impartial verdict, and, as such, one which can be placed 
in the hands of the critics as a species of ruler wherewith 
to draw the lines upon which their verdicts may be 
written. 

In this, however, he goes a little too far. All I can say 
is that the work is written quite as if I had done it myself. 
There is no greater amount of dynamic ornamentation in 
it than is usual in books, and, happy as the author would 
have been to have thundered, stormed, and poured in it, 
there was of course no room in a parish advocate's lodgings 
for Ehine cataracts, thunderstorms, tropical hurricanes 
(of tropes) or waterspouts, and he has had to reserve 
his more terrific tornadoes for a future work. I have his 
permission to mention the name of this future work ; it is 
the ' Titan.' In this work he means to be an absolute 
Hecla, and shatter the ice of his country (and himself into 
the bargain) to pieces ; like the volcanoes in Iceland, he 
will spout up a column of boiling water four feet in 
diameter to a height of eighty-nine or ninety feet in the 
air, and that at such a temperature that when this wet fire 
pillar falls down again and flows into the book shops, it 
will still be warm enough to boil eggs hard or their mother 
soft. " Then " (he always says — very sadly however — 
because he sees what a hard matter it is to distinguish 
between full half of our battling and harrying here below 
and a Jack Pudding farce and piece of utter buffoonery and 
nonsense, — also, that the cradle of this life rocks us, and 
etills us indeed, but carries us not a step on our way) 
— " then may the Arbor Toxicaria Macassarierms * of the 

* The poisonous Boa Upas, beneath which one loses one's hair in a 
few minutes. 



PREFACE, BY THE AUTHOR OP 'HESPERUS.' 137 

Ideal, beneath which I have lost a little hair already, go on 
poisoning me, and dispatch me to the Land of the Ideal. 
At- all events, I have knelt down and prayed nnder 
the solemnising soul-elevating sighing roar of its death- 
dealing branches. And why should there be a hut made 
ready for the traveller beside the eternal well of truth, 
marked with the title ' Travellers' rest,' if no one ever 
enters it?" He wants, by way of broad "flies" for his 
life stage on earth, merely a regular, downright, rainy 
year or two (two will suffice) ; for a broad, bright, open 
sky overpowers us, and weakens the hand's pen power by 
making the eyes over full. And here the book-maker 
differs markedly from his provision-contractor, the paper- 
maker, who shuts his mill up precisely when the weather 
is wet. 

I should also be glad if readers would have the goodness 
to go once more through the few chapters composing the 
first book — that they may see what they really lack ; and 
indeed a book which is not worth reading twice is not 
worth reading once. 

In conclusion, I (albeit the most inconsiderable clubbist 
and vote-possessor of all the public) would fain incite the 
author to the production of other seedlings, suckers, and 
infantas of the same stamp, trusting that the reading 
world may form its opinion on his work with the same 
careful favour and indulgent approval as I have formed 
mine. 

Jean Paul Fr. Richter. 

Hof in Voigtland, 
June 5th, 1796. 

Thus far my friend's preface. Utterly absurd as it is, 
my own preface, you see, has got to be concluded too, 
and at the end of it I can but sign myself as my aforesaid 
man Friday and namesake does, videlicet, 

Jean Paul Fr. Kichter. 

Hof in Voigtland, 
June 5th, 1796. 



BOOK IT. 



CHAPTER V. 

THE BROOM AND THE BESOM AS PASSION IMPLEMENTS — THE 
IMPORTANCE OF A BOOKWRITER — DIPLOMATIC NEGOTIATIONS 
AND DISCUSSIONS ON THE SUBJECT OF CANDLE SNUFFING — THE 
PEWTER CUPBOARD — DOMESTIC HARDSHIPS AND ENJOYMENTS. 

Catholics hold that there were fifteen mysteries in the 
life of Christ — five of Joy, five of Woe, five of Glory. I 
have carefully accompanied, our hero through the five joy- 
ful mysteries of which the Linden honey-month of his 
marriage has had to tell. I now come with him to the 
five mysteries of Woe with which the series of the mysteries 
of most marriages is — concluded. I trust, however, that 
his may yet he found to contain the five of Glory also. 

In my first edition, I began this book of my hero's 
story in an unconcerned manner, with the above sentence 
just as if it were literally correct. A second, and care- 
fully revised edition, however, renders it incumbent upon 
me to add, as an emendation, that the fifteen mysteries in 
question do not come one after another, like steps of stairs, 
or ancestors in a pedigree, but are shuffled up together 
like good and bad cards in a hand. Yet, in spite of this 
shuffling, the joy outbalances the sorrow, at any rate in 
its duration, as has been the case, indeed, with this terres- 
trial globe, our planet itself, which has survived several 
last days, and as a consequence still more springs, that 
is to say, re-creations on a smaller scale. I mention all 
this to save a number of poor devils of readers from the 
dreadful thought that they have got to wade through 
a whole " Book II." full of tears, partly to be read about, 
partly to be shed out of compassion. I am not one of 
those authors who, like very rattlesnakes, can sit and 
gaze upon thousands of charmed people running up 
and down, a prey to every kind of agitation, suspense, 



140 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL, 

and anxiety, till his time conies to spring upon them and 
swallow them up. 

When Siebenkass awoke in the morning, he at once 
packed the devil of jealousy, the marriage devil, off to 
the place where all other devils dwell. For a calming 
sleep lowers the pulse of the soul's fever — the grains 
thereof are fever-bark for the cold fever of hate, and also 
for the hot fever of love. Indeed he put down the tracing 
board, and with a pantograph made a correct, re- 
duced copy of his yesterday's free translation of the 
Engelkrautian countenance, and blackened it nicely. 
When it was done, he said to his wife, for very love of 
her, " We'll send him the profile this morning, at once. 
It may be a good long while before he comes to fetch it." 
44 Oh yes I he won't be here till Wednesday, and by that 
time he'll have forgotten all about it." " But I could 
bring him here sooner than that, " Siebenka?s answered ; 
" I need only send him the Kussian Trinity dollar of 1*379 
to get changed for me ; he won't send me a farthing of the 
money — he'll bring it himself as he always has done all 
through Leibgeber's collection." "Or you might send him 
the dollar and the picture both," said Lenette, " he would 
like it better." "Which would he like better?" he 
asked. She didn't see exactly what answer to make to 
this ridiculous question (whether she meant the stamped 
face or the pictured one) sprung upon her like a mine in 
this sort of way, and got out of her difficulty by saying, 
" Well, the things, of course." He spared her any further 
catechising. 

The Schulrath, however, sent nothing but an answer 
to the effect that he was beside himself with delight 
at the charming presents, and would come to express 
his thanks in person, and to settle up with the advocate, 
by the end of the following week at latest. The little 
dash of bitter flavour which was perceptible to the taste 
in this unexpected answer of the too happy Sclmlrath, 
was by no means sweetened away by the arrival at this 
moment of the messenger of the Inheritance Office, with 
Heimlicher von Blaise's first proceedings in the matter 
of the plaint lodged against him, consisting of a petition 
for three weeks' grace within which to ludge answers, 



CHAP. V.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 141 

a delay which the Court had readily accorded. Siebenkses, 
as his own poor's advocate, lived in the sure and certain 
hope that the promised land of inheritance, flowing 
with milk and honey, would be reached by his children, 
though he would in all probability have long ere that 
time peri.vhed in the wilderness of the law ; for justice 
is given to recompensing the children, and the children's 
children, for the uprightness of the fathers, and for 
the goodness of their cause. It was more or less in 
convenient, at the same time, to have nothing to live 
upon during one's own lifetime. The Russian Trinity 
dollar — for which the Schulrath hadn't even paid as yet 
— couldn't be lived upon, and there were but one or two 
queue ducats remaining of the treasury chest provided 
by Leibgeber, for the carrying on of operations against 
the Heimlicher. This gold coin and those few silver 
ones were (although I have said nothing about it till now) 
the entire money contents remaining in the Leibgeberian 
saviour's scrip, and indeed none but a true disciple and 
follower of the Saviour could be expected to hold out 
upon them. My silence on this matter of the emptying of 
the coin cabinet may perhaps be accepted in evidence 
of the fact that I try as much as I can to avoid mentioning 
anything calculated to give my readers pain. 

" Oh ! I shall get on somehow or other," said Siebenkses 
quite gleefully, as he set to work harder than ever at his 
writing, with the view of getting a considerable haul of 
money into the house, at the earliest moment possible, 
in the 6hape of payment for his * Selection from the 
Devil's Papers.' 

But there was a fresh purgatorial fire now being stoked 
and blown, till it blazed hotter and hotter about him. 
I have refrained from saying anything about the fire in 
question till now, though he has been sitting roasting at it 
since the day before yesterday, Lenette being the cook, 
and his writing table the larkspit. 

During the few days when the wordless quarrel was 
going on, he had got into a habit of listening with the 
closest attention to what Lenette was doing, as he sat 
writing away at his ' Selection from the Devil's Papers' ; 
and this sent his ideas all astray. The softest step, the 



142 JEAN PAUL FRIEDEICH RICHTER. [BOOK IT. 

very slightest shake of anything affected him just as if 
ho had had hydrophobia, or the gout, and put one or two 
fine young ideas to death, as a louder noise kills young 
canaries, or silkworms. 

He controlled himself very well at first He pointed 
out to himself that his wife really could not help moving 
about, and that as long as she hadn't a spiritual or glorified 
body and furniture to deal with, she couldn't possibly go 
about as silently as a sunbeam, or as her invisible good and 
evil angels behind her. But while he was listening to this 
conn de morale, this collegium pietatis of his own, he lost the 
run of his satirical conceits and contexts, and his language 
was deprived of a good deal of its sparkle. 

But the morning after the silhouette evening, when 
their hearts had shaken hands and renewed the old 
royal alliance of Love, he could go much more openly to 
work, and so, as soon as he had blackened the profile, and 
had only his own original creations to go on blackening — 
t. e. when he was going to begin working in his own charcoal 
burning hut, he said to his wife, as a preliminary — 

" If you can help it, Lenette, don't make very much 
noise to-day. I really can hardly get on with my writing, 
if you do — you know it's for publication." 

She said " I'm sure you can't hear me — I go about so 
very quietly." 

Although a man may be long past the years of his 
youthful follies, yet in every year of his life there crop 
up a few weeks and days in which he has fresh follies 
to commit. It was truly in a moment of one of these days 
that Siebenkaes made the request above mentioned ; for 
he had now laid upon himself the necessity of lying in 
wait and watching to see what Lenette would do in 
consequence of it. She skimmed over the floor, and 
athwart the various webs of her household labours, with 
the tread of a spider. Like her sex in general, she had 
disputed his little point, merely for the sake of disputing 
it, not of doing what she was asked not to do. Siebenkasa 
had to keep his ears very much on the alert to hear what 
little noise she did make, either with her hands or her 
feet — but he was successful, and did hear the greater 
part of it. Unless when we are asleep we are more 



CHAP. V.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN FIECES. 143 

attentive to a slight noise than to a loud one ; and our 
author listened to her wherever she went, his ear and his 
attention going about fixed to her like a pedometer where- 
ever she moved. In short he had to break off in the 
middle of the satire, called " The Nobleman with the 
Ague," and jump up and cry to her (as she went creeping 
about), " For one whole hour have I been listening and 
watching that dreadful tripping about on tiptoe. I had 
much rather you would stamp about in a pair of the iron- 
goled sandals people used to wear for beating time in.* 
Please go about as you usually do, darling." 

She complied, and went about almost as she usually did. 
He would have very much liked to have prohibited the 
intermediate style of walking, as he had the light and 
the heavy ; but a husband doesn't care to contradict him- 
self twice in one morning; once is enough. In the 
evening he asked her if she would mind going about 
the house in her stockings when he was at work at his 
writing. She would find it nice and cool for the feet. 
" In fact," he added, " as I'm working all the forenoon 
literally for our bread, it would be well if you would do 
nothing that isn't absolutely necessary while I am at my 
literary work." 

Next morning he sat in judgment (mentally') upon 
everything that went on behind his back, and challenged 
it to see if it could produce the free-pass of necessity — 
going on with his writing all the time, but doing it 
worse than usual. This scribbling martyr endured a 
great many things with as much patience as he could 
muster, but when Wendeline took to whisking the straw 
under the green painted marriage torus with a long 
broom, the cross grew too heavy for his shoulder. It 
happened, moreover, that he had been reading two days 
before in an old Ephemeris of scientific inquirers, that 
a clergyman, of the name of Johann Pechmann, couldn't 
bear the sound of a besom — that it nearly took his breath 
away, and that he once took to his heels and bolted 
when a crossing sweeper accidentally ran against him. 
The effect of his having read this was, that he was 

* The mualcans among the ancients wore them. — Bartholin de Tib 
Vet iii. 4. 



144 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL 

involuntarily more observant and intolerant of a cognate 
discomfort. He called out to the domestic sweeper in the 
next room, from his chair where he sat — 

" Lenette, do not go on scrubbing and switching about 
with that besom of yours, it drives away the whole of my 
best ideas out of my head. There was an old clergyman 
once of the name of Pechmann, who would rather have been 
condemned to sweep a crossing in Vienna himself, than 
to listen to another sweeping it — he would rather have 
been flogged with a birch-broom, than have heard the 
infernal sound of it swishing and whishing. How is 
a man to get a coherent idea, fit to go to the printer and 
publisher, into his head with all this sweeping and 
scrubbing going on?" 

Lenette did what every good wife, and her lap dog, 
would have done ; she left off the noise by degrees. At 
last she laid down the besom, and merely whisked three 
straws and a little feather fluff gently with the hair- 
broom, from under the bed, not making as much noise 
even as he did with his writing. However the editor 
of the ' Devil's Papers' managed to hear it, in a manner 
beyond his fondest hopes. He rose up, went to the 
bedroom door and called in at the room, " My darling, it's 
every bit as hellish a torment to me if I can hear it at 
all. You may fan those miserable sweepings with a pea- 
cock's feather, or a holy-water asperger, or you may puff 
them away with a pair of bellows, but I and my poor book 
must suffer and pay the piper all the same." 

" I'm quite done now, at all events," she said. 

He set to work ag;iin, and gaily took up tne threads 
of his fourth satire, " Concerning the five Monsters and 
their receptacles, whereon I at first intended to subsist." 

Meanwhile Lenette gently closed the door, so that he 
was driven to the conclusion that there was something or 
other going on to annoy him again in his Gehenna and 
place of penitence. He laid down his pen and cried — 

" Lenette, I can't hear very distinctly what it is — but 
you're up to something or other in there that I can not 
stand. For God's dear sake, stop it at once, do put a 
period to my martyrdom and sorrows of Werther, for thia 
one day — come here, let me see you." 




CHAP. V.J FLOWEK, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 44&* a * *^ 



She answered, all out of breath with hard work — 

" I'm not doing anything." 

He got up and opened the door of his chamber of 
torture. There was his wife rubbing away with a piece 
of grey flannel, polishing up the green rails of the bed. 
The author of this history once lay sick of smallpox in 
a bed of this kind, and knows them well. But the reader 
may not be aware that a green slumber cage of this kind 
is a good deal like a magnified canaries' breeding cage 
with its latticed folding doors or portcullises, and that 
this trellis and hothouse for dreams is, though less hand- 
some in appearance, much better for health than our 
heavy bastille towers all hung about with curtains which 
keep away every breath of fresh air. The advocate 
swallowed about half a pint of bedroom air, and said, in 
measured accents — 

" You're at your brushing and sweeping again, are you ? 
although yon know quite well that I'm sitting there 
working like a slave for you and myself too, and that 
I've been writing away for the last hour with scarcely 
an idea in my head. Oh! my heavenly better half! 
out with all your cartridges at one shot, for God's sake, 
and don't finish me off altogether with that rag of yours." 

Lenette, full of astonishment said, " It's simply im- 
possible, old man. that you can hear me in the next 
room" — and polished away harder than ever. He took 
her hand, somewhat hastily, though not roughly, and said 
in a louder tone, " Come, get up ! — It's exactly that which 
I complain of, that I can't hear you in the next room ; I'm 
obliged to rack my brains to guess what you're at — and 
the only ideas left in my head are connected with brush- 
ing and scrubbing, so that all the brilliant notions which 
I might otherwise be putting down on paper are driven 
away. My darling child, nobody could possibly sit 
and work away here more composedly and con+entedly 
than I, if it were only grape-shot and canister, howitzer 
shells, and hundred-pounders that you were banging 
away with at my back out of these embrasures of yours. 
What it is that 1 really can not stand, is a quiet noise." 

All this talk having put him a little out of temper, he 
fetched her out of the room, rag and all, saying — 

II. h 



346 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

" It does seem a little hard that, while I'm labouring 
away here with all my might, working myself almost to 
death, to provide a little entertainment for tl e reading 
public, a regular bear-baiting pit should be Btarted in 
my own room, and that an author's very bed should be 
turned into a siege-trench, and arrows and fire-balls sen 
about his ears out of it. There, I shan't be writing while 
we're at dinner, I'll talk the thing out at full length with 
you then." 

At noon, then,* as he was about to enter on the subject 
of the morning's tourney, he had first to hold a prayer- 
tourney. I mean this : " prayers " do not, in Nurnberg 
and Kuhschnappel, mean a certain hereditary office and 
service of mass in a court chapel, but — the ringing of the 
twelve o'clock bell. Now the dining-table of our couple 
stood against the wall, and was not put in the middle of 
the floor except for meals. Well, Siebenkaes never suc- 
ceeded above twice during his married life in having this 
table brought forward bi;fore the soup came in (for if 
a woman once forgets a thing, she goes on forgetting it a 
thousand times running f), though he preached his lungs 
as dry as a fox's (which are used for curing ours) ; both 
tsoup and table were always moved together, after the 
soup came in, without the spilling of a greater quantity 
of the latter than one might have used in swallowing a 
pill. 

To-day this was the case as usual. Siebenkaes slowly 
chewed the pill which he swallowed with the soup. The 
delay in moving the table he observed anxiously (as if it 
had been a delay in the arrival of an equinox), with a long 
face and slow breathing, and when the soup-libation was 
duly poured as usual, he broke out as follows, in a calm 
tone of voice, however — 

* The common German dinner-time then. — Tbanslatob. 

+ So do men forget it, though in a lesser degree. Suppose a man 
who dots ninety tilings every day, accurately remembering them, 
should once <>r twice forget a ninety-tirst thing, he'll go on forgetting 
that afterwards, though he remembers all the rest. There's no remedy 
for this unless some person happens to come in, or something chances 
to occur just at the instant of forgetting, and recalls the ninety-first 
thing to hifl iuind. If he once forgets to forget, he won't forget any 
more. 



CHAP. V.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 147 

" The fact is, Lenette, we are on board a good ship. At 
sea, you know, people spill their soup because their vessel 
rolls and pitches — and ours is spilt for a similar reason. 
See here, the dinner-table and the morning besom are both 
in a tale together; they are two conspirators who will 
blowout your husband's candle — to use a strong expression 
— before they have done." 

This, the exordium of his sermon, was followed by way 
of hymn, by the arrival of the town fool of Knhschnappel, 
who brought in a great sheet of paper containing an invita- 
tation to the shooting match on St. Andrew's Day, the 30th 
of November. Every one of us must, I am sure, have 
gathered from what has already been said that the only 
money left in the house was the queue-ducat. At the same 
time, Siebenkass couldn't leave the shooting-club, without 
thereby granting to himself a certificate of poverty, a 
testimonium paupertatis, in the face of the whole town. And 
really a shooting-ticket for this match was almost as good 
as mining shares or East India stock to a man who was 
as good a shot as Siebenkaas. It would also give him an 
opportunity of doing that public honour to his wife which 
she, as a senate clerk's daughter from Augspurg, had a 
right to expect. Unfortunately, however, the grave man 
of folly couldn't be got to give change for the curious 
queue-ducat, particularly as Siebenkaes aroused his sus- 
picions with respect to it himself, by saying, " This is a 
very good tail or queue-ducat. I assure you. I don't wear 
a tail myself," he added, " but that's no reason why a 
ducat shouldn't, if the King of Prussia chooses to immor- 
talise his own by having it stamped upon it. "Wife, would 
you get our landlord, the hairdresser, to come up ; nobody 
can know better than he whether it's a queue-ducat or not, 
seeing he has queues (not upon ducats) in his hands every 
day." The pickle-herring of Kuhsohnappel didn't vouch- 
safe the ghost of a smile at this. The hairdresser came, 
and declared it to be a queue, and civilly took it away 
himself to get it changed. Hairdressers can run ; in five 
minutes he brought the change for the ducat. 

When the melancholy buffoon had pocketed his portion 
of it, Lenette's face was all over double interjections and 
paarks of interrogation ; wherefore Siebenkaes resumed hia 

l2 



148 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK IL 

midday Bermon. " The principal prizes," he said, " are 
pewter dishes and sums of money for hitting the bird, and 
mostly provisions for the other marks we shoot at. I sus- 
pect that you and I shall dine on St. Andrew's Day upon a 
nice piece of roast meat in a new dish, both of which I 
shall have shot into your kitchen, if I only take a little 
pains. And at all events don't worry yourself, darling, 
because our money's nearly all gone. Take refuge behind 
me. I am your sandbag, your gabion, your shelter trench, 
and with my rifle, more certainly still with my pen, I feel 
pretty sure I shall keep the devil of poverty at his distance, 
till my precious guardian hands over my mother's property. 
Only for God's sake don't let your work interrupt mine. 
Your rag and your besom have cost me at least sixteen 
currency dollars this morning. For supposing I get eight 
imperial dollars a printed sheet for my Devilish Papers 
(counting the imperial dollar at ninety kreuzer) — and I 
ought to get more — I should have earned forty-eight cur- 
rency dollars this morning if I had written a (printed) 
sheet and a half. But you see I had to stop in the middle 
of it and expend a great many words upon you, for none of 
which 1 get a single kreuzer. You should look upon me 
as a fat old spider stowed away in a box to shrivel up in 
time into a precious gold nugget or jewel. Whenever I 
take a dip of ink I draw a thread of gold out of the ink 
bottle, as I've often told you, and (as the proverb says) 
the morning hours have gold in their mouths (Morgenstund 
hat Gold iui Mund). Go on with your dinner, and listen. 
I'll just take this opportunity of explaining to you the 
principal points in which the preciousness of an author 
consists, and so give you the key to a good many things. 
In Swabia, in Saxony, and Pomerania, there are towns in 
which there are people who appraise authors as our master 
butcher here does beef. They are usually known by 
the name of tasters or rulers of taste, because they try the 
flavour of every book as it comes out, and then tell the 
people whether they'll like it or not. We authors in our 
irritation often call thrse people critics, but they might 
bring an action against us for libel fur so doing. Now as 
these directors of taste seldom write books themselves, they 
have all the more time to read and find fault with other 



CHAP. V."| FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 149 

people's. Yet it does sometimes happen that some of them 
have written bad books themselves, and consequently know 
a bad book in a moment when they come across one. 
Many become patron saints of authors and of their books 
for the same reason that St. John Nepomuck became the 
patron saint of bridges and those who cross them ; because 
he was once thrown off one into the water. Now these 
scribblings of mine will be sent to these gentlemen as soon 
as they are in print (as your hymn-book is). And they'll 
peer all through my productions to see whether or not I've 
written them quite legibly and distinctly (not too large or 
too small), whether I've put any wrong letters, a little e 
for a big, or an f instead of a ph, whether the hyphen- 
strokes are too long or too short, and all that sort of thing : 
indeed they often even give opinions about the thoughts 
in the book (which they have nothing to do with). Now 
you see, if you go on scrubbing and swishing about 
with besoms behind me, I shall keep writing all sorts of 
stuff and nonsense, and it'll all be printed. Of course that's 
a terrible thing to happen to a man, for these tasters tear 
great frightful holes and wounds in the paper however 
fine it is, with nails as long as fingers (buttonmakers' nails 
are shorter, but not circumcisers' among the Jews), before 
they give it a name to carry about with it, as the circum- 
cisers do to the Jew boys. And after this, they circulate a 
slip of unsized paper, in which they find fault with me, and 
give me a bad name, all over the empire, in Saxony and 
Pomerania, and tell all Swabia in so many plain words 
that I'm an ass. May the devil confound their imperti- 
nence ! This is the sort of birching, you see, that besom 
of yours will be getting me in for. Whereas, if I write 
beautifully and legibly, and with proper attention and 
ability — and every sheet of my Devilish Papers is so written 
— if I carefully weigh and consider every word and every 
page before I write it, if I am playful in one place, in- 
structive in another, pleasing in all, — in that case I am 
bound to tell you, Lenette, that the tasters are people who 
are quite capable of appreciating work of that sort, a-id 
would think nothing of sitting down and circulating papers 
in which the least they would say of me would be that I 
had certainly brought something away from college in iuy 



150 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL 

head, and had a little to show for my studies. In short, 
they would s«y, they hadn't expected it of me, and there 
was really something in me. Now a panegyric of this kind 
upon a husband is reflected, of course, upon his wife, and 
when the Augspurg people are all asking ' Where does he 
live, this Siebenkaes whom everybody's talking of?' there 
are sure to be lots of folks in the Fuggery to answer, * Oh ! 
he lives in Kuhschnappel, his wife was a daughter of 
Engelkraut, the senate clerk, and a very good wife she 
is to him.' " 

" You've told me all that about bookmaking hundreds 
of times," she answered. " And it's just what the book- 
binder says too ; and I am sure l.e has all the best books 
through his hands, binding them." 

This allusion to his repetitions of himself, though not 
meant ill-tempered ly, he didn't very much relish. In 
fact, the habit had hitherto been, as it were, incubating 
n n perceived in him, as a fever does in its early stage. 
Husbands, even those who are sage and of few words, talk 
to rheir wives with the same boundless liberty and un- 
restraint as they do to their own selves ; and a man repeats 
himself to himself immeasurably oftener than to anybody 
else, and that without so much as observing that he does 
it, let alone taking any count of how often. The wife, 
however, both observes and counts ; accustomed as she is 
to hear the cleverest (and most unintelligible) remarks 
from her husband's lips daily, she can't help remembering 
them when they occur again. 

The hairdresser reappeared unexpectedly, bringing a 
fleeting cloud with him. He said he had been to all the 
poor devils in the house to see if he could get as much of 
the Martinmas rent out of them in advance as would pay 
his subscription to the shooting match, but that they were 
a set of church mice and he hadn't succeeded. The whole 
garrison of them were naturally unequal to the payment 
of an impost of this description six whole weeks before it 
was due, inasmuch as the majority of them didn't see how 
thoy were to pay it when it was due. So the Saxon came 
to the grandee of his house, to the " Lord of Ducats " as 
he styled the advocate. Siebenkaes couldn't find in his 
heart to disappoint the patient soul with another " no " on 



CHAP. V.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 151 

the top of those he had borne so good-humouredly ; hia 
wife and he scraped together the little small change they 
had left out of the ducat, and sent him away rejoicing 
with half of the rent, three gulden. All they had left 
for themselves was — the question what they should do for 
light in the evening ; for there weren't even a couple of 
groschen in the house to get half a pound of candles, and 
there were no candles in natura. 

I cannot say that he here turned deadly pale, or fainted, 
or began to rave. Praise be lo every manly soul who has 
drunk the icy whey of stoicism for only half a spring, and 
does not fall down paralysed and frozen, like a woman, 
before the chill spectre of penury. In an age which has 
had all its strongest sinews cut through except the uni- 
versal one, money, any diatribe, even the most extravagant, 
against riches, is nobler and more useful than the most 
accurately just depreciation of poverty. For pasquinades 
on gold dirt are agreeable to the rich, reminding them 
that though their riches may take to themselves wings, 
true happiness does not depend thereon ; while the poor 
derive from them not bitterer feeling merely, but also the 
sweeter satisfaction of conquering the same. All that is 
base in man — thoughts, fancies, what we look on as being 
examples — all join in one chorus in praise of gold ; why 
should we desire to deprive poverty of her true reserve 
force, her chevaliers d'honneur, philosophy and beggars' 
pride ? 

The first thing Siebenkaes opened was not his mouth, but 
the door, and then the pewter cupboard in the kitchen, 
from which he carefully and with a good deal of gravity 
took down a bell-shaped tureen and three pewter plates, 
and put them on a chair. Lenette could no longer stand 
by in silence ; she clasped her hands and said in a faint 
voice of shame, " Merciful Providence ! is it come to selling 
our dishes ?" 

" I'm only going to turn them into silver," he said ; " as 
kings make church bells into dollars, so shall we make our 
bell-dishes into coin. There's nothing you need be ashamed 
about in converting trash of table ware, the coffins of 
beasts, into currency, when Duke Christian of Brunswick 
turned a king's silver coffin into dollars in 1662. Is a 



152 JEAN PAUL FRIEDEICH RICHTER. [BOO* II. 

plate an apostle, do you think? Great monarchs hare 
taken many an apostle, if he happened to be a silver one, 
Hugo of St. Caio and others as well, divided them (as it 
■were) into chapters, verses, and legends, sent them to the 
mint, and then dispatched them off all over the -world in 
that analysed form." 

"Ah! stupid nonsense," she answered. 

Some few readers will probably say " What else was it ?" 
and I ought long ago to have apologized, perhaps, for the 
style of speech, so incomprehensible to Lenette, which 
the advocate makes use of. 

He justified it satisfactorily to himself by the considera- 
tion that his wife always had some distant idea of what he 
was talking about, even when he made use of the most 
learned technical expressions, and the farthest-fetched 
plays upon words, because of its being good practice, and 
of his liking to hear himself do it. " Women," he would 
repeat, "have a distant and dim comprehension of all 
these things, and therefore don't waste, in long tedious 
efforts to discover the precise signification of these unin- 
telligibilities. precious time which might be better em- 
ployed." This, I may observe, is not much encouragement 
for Reinhold's ' Lexicon to Jean Paul's Levana,' nor for 
me personally either, in some senses. 

" Ah ! stuff and nonsense " had been Lenette's answer. 
Firmian merely asked her to bring the pewter into the 
sitting-room, and he would talk the matter over sensibly. 
But he might as well have set forth his reasons before a 
woman's skin stuffed with straw. What she chiefly blamed 
him for, was that by his contribution to the shooting-club 
purse he had emptied hers. And thus she herself suggested 
to him the best answer he could have made. He said, "It 
was an angel that put it in my head ; because on St. 
Andrew's Day I shall regain everything that 1 turn into 
silver now, and repewterise it immediately. To please 
you, I shall keep not only the tureen and the plates I get 
as piizes, but all the rest of the pewter ware, and put it all 
into your cupboard. I assure you I had madenp my mind 
before to sell all my prizes." 

What was to be done, then ? There was no help for it. 
This banished and expatriated table ware was lowered in 



CHAP. V.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES, 153 

the darkness of evening into old Sabel's basket — and she 
■was celebrated all over the town for transacting this sort 
of commission agency or transfer business, with as discreet 
a silence as if she were dealing in stolen gold. "Nobody 
gets it out of me," she would say, " whose the things are. 
The treasurer, who'n dead and gone poor man — you know 
I sold everything he had in the world for him— he often 
used to say there whs never the equal of me." 

But, my poor dear young couple, I fear this Sabbath * 
or " Descent of the Saviour into Hades " is but little likely 
to help you long, in that antechamber of hell which you've 
got into. The flames are gone from about you to-day, 
certainly, and a cool sea-breeze is refreshing you, but to- 
morrow and the day after the old smoke and the old fire 
will be blazing at your hearts ! However, I don't v?ant 
to put any restrictions upon your trade in tin. We're 
quite right to have a good dinner to-day though we know 
perfectly well we shall be just every bit as hungry 
to-morrow again. 

So the next morning Siebenkses begged that he might 
be allowed to be all the quieter that day because he had 
been obliged to talk so much the day before. Our dear 
Lenette, who was a live washing-machine and scouring- 
mill, and in whose e}'es the washing bill and the bill of 
fare had much of the weight of a confessor's certificate, 
would sooner have let go her hold of everything in the 
world — her husband included — than of the duster and the 
besom. She thought this was merely his obstinate persis- 
tency, whereas it was really her own, in blowing the organ 
bellows and thundering away upon her pedal reed stops 
right behind her author's back during the morning hours, 
whose mouths had two kinds of gold in them for him, 
namely gold from the golden age, and ordinaiy metallic 
gold. She might have played with a thirty-two feet stop out 
in the afternoon as long as she liked, but she wasn't to be 
got out of her usual daily routine. A woman is the most 
heterogeneous compound of obstinate will and self-sacrifice 
that I have ever met with ; she would let her head be cut 

* According to the Rabbin, the pains of the damned are intermitted 
on the Sabbath; the Christians hold tliut the same was the cum 
during the descent into Hades. 



154 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL 

off by the headsman of Paris for her husband's sake, very 
likely, but not a single hair of it. And she can deny her- 
self to almost any extent for others' good, but not one bit 
for her own. She can forego sleep for three nights running 
for a sick person, but not one minute of a nap before 
bed-time, to ensure herself a better night's sleep in bed. 
Neither the souls of the blest nor butterflies, though neither 
of them possess stomachs, can eat less than a woman going to 
a ball or to her wedding, or than one cooking for her guests ; 
but if it's only her doctor and her own health that forbid 
her some Esau's mess or other, she eats it that instant. 
Now men's sacrifices are all just turned the opposite way. 

Lenette, impelled by two imposing forces, what she was 
asked to do and what she wanted to do, tried to find the 
feminine line of the resultant, and hit upon the middle 
course of stopping her scouring and sweeping as long as 
he was sitting at his writing. But the moment he got up, 
and went to the piano for a couple of minutes, or to the 
window, or across the doorstep, that instant back she 
would bring her washing and scrubbing instruments of tor- 
ture into the room again. Siebenkses wasn't long in be- 
coming cognisant of this terrible alternation and relieving- 
of-the-guard between her besom and his (satirical) one ; 
and the way she watched and lay in wait for his move- 
ments drove all the ideas in his head higgledy-piggledy. 
At first he bore it with really very great patience, as great 
as ever a husband has, patience, that is, which lasts for a 
short time. But after reflecting for a considerable period in 
silence, that the public, as well as he, were sufferers by 
this room-cleaning business, and that all posterity was, in 
a manner, watching and hanging upon every stroke of that 
besom, which might do its work just as well in the after- 
noon when he would only be at his law papers — the tumour 
of his anger suddenly broke, and he grew mad, i.e. madder 
than he was before, and ran up to her and cried — 

" Oh ! this is the very devil ! At it again, eh ! I see 
what you're about. You watch till I get up from the 
table! Just be kind enough to finish me off at once; 
hunger and worry will kill me before Easter, whether or 
not. Good God ! It's a thing I really can not comprehend. 
She sees as well as possible that mv book is ««" larder — 



CHAP. V.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 155 

that there are whole rations of bread in every page of it — 
yet she holds my hands the entire morning, so that I can't 
do a line of it. Here I've been sitting on the nest all this 
time and only hatched as far as letter E, where I describe 
the ascent of Justice to heaven. Oh ! Lenette ! Lenette ! " 

" Very well," said Lenette, " it's all the same whatever 
I do, it's sure to be wrong; do let me tidy the house 
properly, like any other woman." 

And she asked him, in a simple manner, why it was that 
the bookbinder's little boy (the language is mine, not hers), 
who played fantasias the whole day long upon a child's toy 
fiddle, composing and enjoying whole Alexander's Feasts 
upon it, didn't disturb him with his screeching wnhar- 
ni<>nical progressions — and how he bore the chimney- 
sweep's sweeping the other day so much better than he 
did her sweeping of the room. And as he couldn't quite 
manage to condense, just in a moment, into few words the 
demonstration of the magnitude of the difference which 
existed between these things, he found it better to get into 
a rage again, and say — 

" Do you suppose I'm going to make a great long speech 
and explanation gratis, and lose dollar after dollar at my 
work ? Himmel ! Kreuz ! Wetter ! The municipal code, 
the Koman pandects, forbid a coppersmith even to enter a 
street where a professor is working, and here's my own 
wife harder than an old jurist — and not only that— she's 
the coppersmith herself. I'll tell you what it is, Lenette, 
1 shall really speak to the Schulrath about this." This 
did a great deal of service. 

The produce of the Trinity dollar here arrived before 
the Schulrath ; a piece of polite attention which no one 
would have expected from a man of so much learning and 
knowledge. No doubt all my readers will be as much de- 
lighted as if they were husbands of Lenette themselves at 
the fact that she was a perfect angel all the afternoon ; her 
hands made no more noise at their work than her fingers 
or her needle ; she even put off the doing of several things 
which were not necessary. She accompanied a sister in 
the oratorical art, who came in with a divine bonnet (in 
her hands, to be altered), all the way down stairs, not 
so much out of politeness as thoughtfulness, that all the 



156 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL 

points of principal importance connected with the doing 
up of the bonnet, which had already been settled, migLi. 
be gone over again two or three times out of the advocate's 
hearing. 

This touched the old noise-hunter, and went to the weak 
and tender spot in him, his heart. He sought long in him- 
self for a fitting thank-offering in return, till he at last hit 
upon quite a new sort of one. 

" Listen, child," he said, taking her hand very affection- 
ately ; "wouldn't it be more reasonable in me if I were to 
amuse myself with my writing in the evening ? I mean, 
if the husband were to do his creating at a time when the 
wife had no washing to do. Just think what a life of 
nectar and ambrosia that would be ; we should sit opposite 
to each other with a candle between us — you at your sew- 
ing, I at my writing — the other people in the house would 
all have their work done and be at their beer — of course 
there wouldn't be customers with bonnets coming at that 
time of night to make themselves visible and audible. The 
evenings will be getting longer too, and of course I shall 
have the more time for my writing fun. but we need say 
nothing about that now. What do you think, or what do 
you say (if you like the expression better), to this new 
style of life ? Remember too, that we're quite rich again 
now — the Russian Trinity dollar is like so much found 
money." 

" Oh ! it will be delightful," she said, " I shall be able 
to do all my household work in the morning, as a proper 
reasonable housekeeper should." 

" Yes, just so," he answered, " I shall write away 
quietly at my satires all morning, then wait till evening, 
and go on where I left off." 

The evening of nectar and ambrosia came duly on, and 
was quite without a rival among all evenings that had 
gone before it. A young married couple, sitting one on 
each side of a table, working away quietly at their work, 
with a candle between them, have a considerable notion 
what happiness is. He was all happy thoughts and kisses; 
she all smiles, and what little noise she made with the 
frying-pan seemed no louder to hiui than what she made 
with her needle. " When people are earning double 



CHAP. V.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 157 

working-pay by the light of one candle," he said, greatly 
delighted at the domestic reformation, " they needn't, as 
far as I see, restrict themselves to a miserable dip, the 
thickness of a worm, which they can see nothing by, 
unless it be the wretchedness of its own light. To-morrow 
we'll set up a mould candle, and no more about it." 

As I take some credit to myself for selecting for narra- 
tion in this story such events only as are of universal 
interest, it will be bufficient cursorily to mention that 
the mould candle duly appeared next evening, and kindled 
a feeble strife, because, apropos of this candle, the advocate 
once more brought forward a new theory of his, concern- 
ing the lighting of candles. He held the somewhat 
schismatic opinion that the rational way of lighting all 
candles, more particularly thick ones, was to light them 
at the thick end, and not at the top or thin end ; and that 
this was the reason of there being two wicks projecting 
from every candle. " A law of combustion," he would 
add, " in support of which I need only refer (at least for 
women of sense) to the self-evident truth that, when a 
candle is burning down, it keeps growing larger and larger 
at its lower extremity — just as people who are burning 
down from debauchery grow thicker at theirs, with fat 
and dropsy. If we light the candle at the top, we find 
the result to be a useless lump, plug, or stump of tallow 
running all over our candlestick. Whereas, if we light 
it at the bottom, the liquefied grease from the thick end 
wraps itself gradually and Avith the most exquisite sym- 
metry all over the thinner end as if feeding it, and equal- 
ising its proportions." 

In reply to which, Lenette, with some force, adduced 
Shaftesbury's touchstone of truth, ridicule. u Why, every- 
body that came in of an evening, and noticed that I had 
put my candle upside down in the candlestick, would 
burst out laughing ; and it would be the wife that every- 
body would blame." So that a mutual treaty of peace had 
to put a period to this battle of the candle, to the effect that 
he should light his candle at the bottom, and she hers at 
the top. And for the present, as the candle commou to 
both parties happened to be thick at the top, he agreed to 
admit, without objection, the erroneous method cf lighting. 



158 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

However, the Devil, who crosses and blesses himself at 
euch treaties of peace, managed so to play his cards, that 
on this very day Siebenkees chanced, in his reading, to come 
upon the touching anecdote of the younger Pliny's wife 
holding the lamp for her husband that he might see to 
write. And it occurred to him that, now that he was 
getting along so swimmingly with his selection from the 
said Devil's Papers, it would be a splendid arrangement, 
and save him many interruptions, if Lenette would snuff 
the candle always instead of his doing it himself. 

"Of course," said she, "I shall be delighted." The 
first fifteen or twenty minutes passed, and everything 
seemed to be all right. 

The above period having elapsed, he cocked up his chin 
towards the candle, by way of reminder to her to snuif it. 
Next, he gently touched the snuffers with the tip of his pen, 
with the like object, not saying anything however; and a 
little while after that, he moved the candlestick a little bit, 
and said softly, " The candle." Matters now began to 
assume a more serious aspect ; he began to observe and 
watch with greater attention the gradual obscuration of 
his paper, and consequently the very snuffers which, in 
Lenette's hands, had promised to throw so much light on 
his labours, became the means of impeding his progress 
quite as effectually as the crabs did Hercules in his battle 
with the hydra. The two wretched ideas, " snuff " and 
" snuffers," took bodily shape, and danced hand in hand, 
with a sprightly pertness up and down on every letter of 
his most biting satires. " Lenette," he had soon to say 
again, " please to amputate that stupid black stump there, 
on both our accounts." 

" Dear me, have I been forgetting it ? " she said, and 
snuffed it in a great hurry. 

Readers of a historical turn — such as I should wish 
mine to be — can now see that things couldn't but get 
worse and worse, and more and more out of joint. He had 
often to stop, making letters a yard or so in length, wait- 
ing till some beneficent hand should remove the black 
thorn from the rose of light, till, at length, he broke out 
with the word "Snuff!" Then he took to varying his 
verbs, saying, "Enlighten !" or "Behead ! " or " ^.'ip-off.^ 



CHAP. V.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 159 

Or he endeavoured to introduce an agreeable variety by 
using other forms of speech, such as "The candle's cap, 
Capmaker ; " " There's a long spot in the sun again ; " or, 
" This is a charming chiaroscuro, well adapted for night 
thoughts in a beautiful Correggio-night ; but snuff away 
all the same." 

At last, shortly before supper, when the charcoal stack in 
the flame had really attained a great height, he inhaled half 
a river of air into his lungs, and, slowly dropping it out 
again, said, in a grimly mild manner, " You don't snuff a 
bit — as far as I can see, the black funereal pyre might 
rise up to the ceiling fur all you would care. All right ! 
I prefer to be the candle-snuffer of this theatre myself till 
6upper-time ; and while we're at supper I shall just say to 
you, as a rational man, what there is to say on the sub- 
ject." "Oh ! yes, please," she said, quite delighted. 

When she had set four eggs on the table, two for each, 
he commenced : " You see, I had been looking forward to 
my working at night being attended with several advan- 
tages, because I thought you would have managed this 
easy little task of snuffing the candle always at the right 
time, as a "Roman lady of high rank made herself do duty 
as a candlestick for her celebrated husband, I'liny junior 
(to use a commercial expression), and held his light for 
him. I was mistaken, it appears; for, unfortunately, I 
can't write with my toes under the table, like a person 
with no arms, nor yet in the dark, as a clairvoyant might. 
The only use the candle is to me, in the circumstances, is 
that it serves as an Epictetus lamp, enabling me to get 
some practice in stoicism It had often as much as twelve 
inches of eclipse, like a sun, and I wished in vain, darling, 
for an invisible eclipse — such as frequently occurs in the 
heavens. The cursed slag of our candle hatches just these 
obscure ideas and gloomy night thoughts, which authors 
(too) often have. Whereas, gracious goodness ! if you had 
only snufl'ed, as you ought to have done " 

" You're in fun, are you not?" she asked. " My stitches 
are much smaller than your strokes, and I'm sure I saw 
quite well." 

" Well, dear," he continued, " I'll proceed to point out 
to you that, on the grounds of psychology and mental 



160 IEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK II. 

science, it isn't that it matters a bit whether a person who 
is writing and thinking sees a little more or less distinctly 
or not, it's the snuffers and the snuff that he can't get out 
of his head, and they get behind his spiritual legs, trip up 
his ideas, and stop him, just as a log does a horse hobbled 
to it. For even when you've only just snuffed the candle, 
and I'm in the full enjoyment of the light, I begin to look 
out for the instant when you'll do it next. Now, this 
watching being in itself neither visible nor audible, can b> 
nothing but a thought, or idea ; and as every thought has 
the property of occupying the mind to the exclusion of all 
others, it follows that all an author's other and more 
valuable ideas are sent at once to the dogs. But this is 
by no means the worst of the affair. I, of course, ought 
not to have had to occupy my head with the idea of 
candle-snuffing any more than with that of snuff-taking ; 
but when the ardently longed-for snuffing never comes off 
at all, the black smut on the ripe ear of light keeps 
growing longer — the darkness deepening — a regular 
funereal torch feebly casting its ray upon a half dead 
writer, who can't drive from his head the thought of the 
conjugal hand which could snap all the fetters asunder 
with one single snip; — then, my deare.»t Lenette, it's not 
easy for the said writer to help writing like an ass, and 
stamping like a dromedary. At least, 1 express my own 
opinion and experience on the subject !" 

On this, she assured him that, it he were really serious, 
she would take great care to do it properly next evening. 

And, in truth, this story must give her credit for keep- 
ing her word, for she not only snuffed much oftener than 
the night before, but, the fact is, she hardly ever left off 
snuffing, particularly after he had nodded his head once 
or twice by way of thanks. 

" Don't snuff too often, darling," he said, at length, but 
very, very kindly. " If you attempt too tine sub-sub-sub- 
divisions (fractions of fractions of fractions of fractions) 
of the wick, it'll be almost a* bad as ever — a candle 
snufl'ed too short gives as little light as one with an over- 
grown wick — which you may apply to the lights of the 
world and of the Church, that's to say if you can. It's 
only for a short while before and after the bnuffing, entr« 



CHAP. V.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 161 

chien et hup as it were, that that delicious middle-age of 
the soul prevails when it can see to perfection ; when it is 
truly a life for the gods, a just proportion of black and 
white, both in the candle and on the book." 

I and others really do not see any great reason to con- 
gratulate ourselves upon this new turn of events. The 
poor's advocate has evidently laid upon himself the addi- 
tional burden, that all the time he is writing he has to 
keep watching and calculating, — superficially perhaps, but 
still, watching and calculating — the mean term, or middle- 
distance, between the long wick and the short. And what 
time has he left for his work ? 

Some minutes after, when the snuffing came a little 
too soon, he asked, though somewhat doubtfuUy, " Dirty 
clothes for the wash already ? " Next time, as she let it 
be almost too long before she snuffed, he looked at her 
interrogatively, and *aid, " Well ? well ? " 

" In one instant," said she. By-and-by, he having 
got rather more deeply absorbed than usual in his writing, 
and she in her work, he found, when he suddenly came to 
himself and looked, one of the longest spears in the candle 
that had yet appeared, and with two or three thieves round 
it to the bargain. 

" Oh, good Lord ! Ton my soul, this is really the life 
of a dog ! " cried he ; and, seizing the snuffers in a fury, he 
snuffed the candle — out. 

This holiday pause of darkness afforded a capital oppor- 
tunity for jumping up, flying into a passion, and pointing 
out to Lenette more in detail how it was that she plagued 
and tormented him, however admirably he might have 
arranged things ; and, like all women, had neither 
rhyme nor reason in her ways of doing things, always 
snuffing either too close or not close enough. She, how- 
ever, lighted the candle without saying a word, and he 
got into a greater rage than before, and demanded to be 
informed whether he had ever as yet asked anything of 
her but the merest trifles possible to conceive, and if 
anybody but his own wedded wife would have hesitated 
for a moment to attend to them. " Just answer me," he 
paid. 

She did not answer him; she set the freshly-lighted 

u. a 



162 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK II, 

candle on the table, and tears were in her eyes. It was 
the first time ho had caused her a tear, since her marriage. 
In a moment, like a person magnetised, he saw and 
diagnosed all that was diseased and unhealthy in his sys- 
1em ; and, on the spot, he cast out the old Adam, and 
shied him contemptuously away into a corner. This was 
an easy task for him ; his heart was always so open to 
love and justice, that the moment these goddesses came 
into view, the tone of anger with which he had commenced 
a sentence would fall into gentle melody before he reached 
the end of it ; he could stop his battle-axe in the middle 
of its stroke. 

So that a household peace was here concluded, the in- 
struments thereof being one pair of moist eyes and one 
pair of bright kind ones ; and a Westphalia treaty of peace 
accorded one candle to each party, with absolute freedom 
of snuffing. 

But the peace was soon embittered, inasmuch as Penia, 
goddess of poverty (who has thousands of invisible churches 
all about the country, where most houses are her taber- 
nacles and lazar cells), began to make manifest her bodily 
presence and her all-oontrollmg power. There was no 
more money in the house. But, rather than place his 
honour and his freedom in pledge, and incur obligations 
which he had less and less prospect of repaying — I mean, 
rather than borrow — he would have sold all he had, and 
himself into the bargain, like the old German. It is said, 
the national debt of England, if counted out in dollars, 
would make a ring round the earth, like a second equator ; 
however, I have not as yet measured this nose-ring of the 
British Lion, this annular eclipse, or halo, round the sun 
of Britain, myself. But I know that Siebenkaes would 
have considered a negative money-girdle of this sort about 
his waist to be a penance-helt stuck full of spines, or an 
iron ring, such as people who tow boats have on ; a girdle 
compressing the heart in a fatal manner. Even supposing 
he were to borrow, and then stop payment, as nations 
and banking-houses do — a catastrophe which debtors and 
aristocratic persons, who have their wits about them, 
manage to avoid without difficulty, by the simple expe- 
dient of never beginning payment — yet, having only on© 



CHAP. V.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND SHORN PIECES. 1 63 

friend whom he could convert into a creditor (Stiefel), he 
couldn't possibly have seen this dear friend, who was in 
the first rank of his spiritual creditors already, figuring 
in the fifth rank, or that of the unpaid. He therefore 
avoided such a two-fold transgression as this would have 
been — a sin against both friendship and honour — by pledg- 
ing things of less value, namely, household furniture. 

He went back (but alone) to the pewter cupboard in 
the kitchen, and peeped through the rail to see whether 
there were two ranks of dishes or three. Alas ! there was 
but one rear-rank man of a plate standing behind his 
front-rank man, like double notes of interrogation. He 
marched the rear-rank man to the front accordingly, and 
gave him for travelling companions and fellow-refugees a 
herring-dish, a sauce-boat, and a salad-bowl. Having 
effected this reduction of his army, he extended the re- 
maining troops so as to occupy a wider front, and sub- 
divided the three large gaps into twenty small ones. He 
then moved these disbanded soldiers to the sitting-room, 
and went and called Lenette, who was in the bookbinder's 
room. 

" I've been looking at our pewter cupboard for the last 
five or ten minutes," he said. " I really shouldn't have 
noticed, if I hadn't known it, that I had taken away the 
tureen and the plates. Should you ? " 

" Ah, indeed, I do notice it every day of my life," she 
declared. 

Here, however, being rather uneasy at the idea of what 
might be the result of too long an inspection, he hurried 
her into the sitting-room, where the dishes were which he 
had just taken out, and made known his intention of 
transposing, like a clever musician, this quartett from the 
key of pewter into that, of silver. He proposed the selling 
of them, that she might be got to agree the more easily to 
their being pawned. But she pulled out every stop of the 
feminine organ, the clarion, the stopped diapason, flute, 
bird -stop, vox humana, and, lastly, the tremolo stop. He 
might say whatever he liked ; she said whatever she liked. 
A man does not try to arrest the iron arm of necessity, or 
to avert it ; he calmly awaits its stroke ; a woman tries to 
Struggle away from its grip, at any rate for a few hours, 



164 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTKR. [BOOK IL 

before it encircles her. It was in vain that Siebenkaes 
quietly and simply asked her if she knew what else was to 
he done. To questions of this sort, there float up and 
down in women's heads not one complete answer, hut 
thousands of half answers, which are supposed to amount 
to a whole one, just as in the differential calculus an 
infinite number of straight lines go to form a curved one. 
Some of these unripe, half-formed, fugitive, mutually 
auxiliary answers were — 

" He shouldn't have changed his name, and he would 
have had his mother's money by this time." 

" Of course, he might borrow." 

" Look at all his clients, well off and comfortable, and 
he won't ask them to pay him." 

"He never dreams of asking a fee for defending the 
infanticide." 

" And he shouldn't spend so much money." " He 
needn't have paid that half-term's rent in advance." For 
the latter would have kept him going for a day or two, 
you see ! 

It is always a vain task to oppose the " minority of 
one " of the complete and true answer to the immense 
majority of feminine partial proofs of this sort ; women 
know, at any rate, thus much of the law of Switzerland, 
that four half or invalid witnesses outweigh one whole or 
valid one.* But the best way of confuting them is, to let 
them say what they have got to say, and not utter a word 
yourself; they're certain to diverge, before very long, into 
suhsidiary or accessory matters, which you yield to them, 
confuting them, as regards the real subject of argument, 
simply by action. This is the only species of confutation 
which they ever forgive. Siebenkses, unfortunately, at- 
tempted to apply the surgical bandage of philosophy to 
Lenette's two principal members, her head and her heart, 
and therefore commenced as follows — 

"Dear wife, in the parish church you sing against 
worldly riches, like the rest of the congregation, and yet 
you have them fixed on your heart as firmly as your 

* In Bern and the Pays-du-Vaud, two male witnesses, or foui 
female, are necessary for a legal proof. 



CHAP. V.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 165 

brooch. Now, I don't go to a church, it's true, but I have 
a pulpit in my own breast, and I prize one single happy 
moment more than the whole of this pewter dirt. Tell 
me truly now, has your immortal heart been pained by 
the tragical fate of the soup-tureen, or was it only your 
pericardium ? The doctors prescribe tin, in powder, for 
worms ; and may not this miserable tin, which we have 
broken into little pieces and swallowed, have had a similar 
effect on the abominable worms of the heart ? Collect 
yourself, and think of our cobbler here, does his soup taste 
any the worse to him out of his painted iron sauciere 
because his bit of roast meat is eaten out of it too ? You 
sit behind that pincushion of yours, and can't see that 
society is mad, and drinks coffee, tea, and chocolate out 
of different cups, and has particular kinds of plates for 
fruit, for salad, and for herrings, and particular sorts of 
dishes for hares, fish, and poultry. And I say that it 
will get madder and madder as time goes on, and order 
as many kinds of fruit plates from the china shops as there 
are different fruits in the gardens — at least, I should do it 
myself; and if I were a crown prince, or a grand master, 
I should insist upon having lark dishes and lark knives, 
snipe dishes and snipe knives ; neither would I carve the 
haunch of a stag of sixteen upon any plate I had once had 
a stag of eight upon. The world is a fine madhouse, and 
one gets up and preaches his false doctrine in it when 
another has done, just as they do in a Quaker meeting. 
So the Bedlamites think that only two follies are veritable 
follies, follies which are past, and follies which are yet 
to come — old follies and new ; but I would show them 
that theirs partake of the nature of both." 

Lenette's only reply was an inexpressibly gentle request : 
" Oh I please, Firmian, do not sell the pewter." 

"Very well, then, I shan't!" (he answered, with a bitter 
satirical joy at having got the brilliant neck of the pigeon 
fairly into the noose which he had so long had ready baited 
for it). " The emperor Antoninus sent his real silver plate 
to the mint, so that I might surely send mine ; but just as 
you like : I don't care twopence. Not an ounce of it shall be 
■old ; I shall merely pawn ! I'm much obliged to you for 
the suggestion ; and if I only hit the eagle's tail on St. 



166 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

Andrew's Day, or the imperial globe, 1 can redeem the 
whole of it in a minute — I mean with the money of the 
prize ; at all events, the salad-bowl and the soup-tureen. 
I think you're quite right. Old Sabel 's in the house, is 
she not? She can take the things and bring back the 
money." 

She let it be so now. The shooting-match on St. 
Andrew's Day was her Fortunatus's wishing-cap, the 
wooden wings of the eagle were as waxen flying-apparatus 
fixed on to her hopes, the powder and shot were the flower- 
seeds of her future blossoms of peace (as they are to crowned 
heads also). Thou poor soul, in many senses of the word ! 
But the poor hope incredibly more than the rich ; there- 
fore it is that poor devils are more apt to catch the infec- 
tion of lotteries than the rich — just as they are to catch 
the plague and other epidemics. 

Siebenkses— who looked down with contempt not only 
on the loss of his household goods, but on the loss of his 
money — was secretly resolved to leave the trash at the 
pawnbroker's, unredeemed for ever, like a state-bond, even 
though he should chance to be king (at the shooting-match), 
and convert the transaction into a regular sale some future 
day, when he happened to be passing the shop. 

After a few bright quiet days Peltzstiefel came again to 
make an evening call. Amid the manifold embargoes laid 
upon their supplies, the risks attending their smuggling 
operations, and as a tear or a sigh was laid as a tax which 
must necessarily be paid upon every loaf of bread, Firmian 
had had no time, to say nothing of inclination, to remember 
his jealousy. In Lenette's case, matters were necessarily 
exactly reversed ; and if she really has any love for Stiefel, 
it must grow faster on his money-dunghill than on the 
advocate's field all over wells of hunger. The Schulrath's 
eye was not one of those which read the troubles of a 
household in a minute, though they are masked by smiling 
faces ; he noticed nothing of the kind. And for that very 
reason it came to pass that this friendly trio spent a happy 
hour free from clouds, during which, though the sun of 
happiness did not shine, yet the moon of happiness (hope 
and memory) rose shimmering in their sky. Moreover-, 
fiiebenkaes had the enjoyment of being provided with a 



CHAP. V.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 167 

cultivated listener, who could follow and appreciate the 
jingle of the bells on the jester's cap, the trumpet fanfares 
of his Leibgeberish sallies. Lenette could neither follow 
nor appreciate them in the very least, and even Peltzstiefel 
didn't understand him when he read him, but only when 
he heard him talk. The two men at first talked only of 
persons, not of things, as women do ; only that they called 
their chronique scandaleuse by the name of History of 
Literature and Men of Letters. For literary men like to 
know every little trait and peculiarity of a great author — 
what clothes he wears, and what his favourite dishes are. 
For similar reasons, women minutely observe every little 
trait and peculiarity of any crown princess who happens 
to pass through the town, even to her ribbons and fringes. 
From literary men they passed to scholarship ; and then 
all the clouds of this life melted away, and in the land of 
learning, the fair realm of science, the downcast sorrowful 
head, wrapped and veiled in the black Lenten altar-cloth of 
hardship and privation, is lifted up once more. The soul 
inhales the mountain air of its native land, and looks down 
from the lofty peak of Pindus upon its poor bruised and 
wounded body lying beneath — that body which it has to 
drag and bear about, sighing under its weight. When 
some dunned, needy scholar, some skin-and-bone reading- 
master, a poor curate with five children, or a baited and 
badgered tutor, is lying woeful and wretched — every nerve 
quivering under some instrument of torture — and a brother 
of his craft, plagued by just as many instruments of torture 
as himself, comes and argues and philosophises with him a 
whole evening, and tells him all the latest opinions of the 
literary papers, then truly the sand-glass which marks the 
hours of the torture * is laid on its side — Orpheus comes, 
all bright and shining, with the lyre of knowledge in his 
hand, into the psychic hell of the two brethren in office, 
the sad tears vanish from their brightening eyes, the snakes 
of the furies twine into graceful curls, the Ixion's wheel 
rolls harmoniously to the lyre, and these two poor Sisy- 
phuses sit resting quietly on their stones and listen to 
the music. But the poor curate's, the reading-master's, the 

• The sand-glass is upright during the time the torture goes on. 



168 JEAN PAUL ERIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

scholar's, pood wife, what is her comfort in her misery ? 
She has none except her husband, who ought, therefore, to 
be very tender to all her shortcomings. 

The reader was made aware in the first book that 
Leibgeber had sent three programmes from Bayreuth. 
Stiefel brought the one, by Dr. Frank, with him, and asked 
Siebenkses to write a notice of it for the ' Kuhschnappel 
Heavenly Messenger.' He also took out of his pocket 
another little book, to receive its sentence. The reader 
will hail both these works with gladness, seeing that my 
hero and his has no money in the house, and will be able 
to live for a day or two by reviewing them. The second 
manuscript, which was in a roll, was entitled : ' Lessingii, 
Emilia Galotti. Pro gymnasmatis loco latine reddita et 
publico acta, moderante J. H. Steffens. Cell is 1788.! 

It seems that a good many of the subscribers to the 
• Heavenly Messenger ' have complained of the length of 
time which elapsed before this work was noticed, drawing 
disadvantageous comparisons between the ' Messenger' and 
the ' Universal German Library ;' for the latter, notwith- 
standing the greatness of its universal German circulation, 
notices good works within a few years of their birth — 
sometimes even as early as the third year of their existence 
— so that the favourable notice can frequently be bound up 
with the work, the first paper-covers of it not being worn 
out before. The reason, however, why the * Heavenly 
Messenger ' did not, and in fact could not, review more of 
the books of the year 1788, was, that it was not until five 
years afrer that date that it — first saw the light itself. 

" Don't you think," said Siebenkaes, in a friendly manner 
to Peltzstiefel, " that if I'm going to write proper notices 
of Messrs. Frank and Steffens here, my wife should take 
care not to make a thundering noise, swishing away with 
her broom at my back ?" 

" That might really be a matter of very considerable 
importance," said Stiefel, gravely. Upon which a playful 
and somewhat abridged report of the proceedings in the 
household action of inhibition was laid before him. Wen- 
deline fixed her kindly eyes on Peltzstiefel's face, striving 
to read the Bubrum (the red title), and the Nigrum (the 
black body matter) of hie judgment there before it waa 



CHAP. V.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 169 

pronounced. Both colours were there. But though Sticfel's 
bosom heaved with genuine sighs of the deepest affection 
for her, he nevertheless addressed her as follows — 

" Madame Siebenkses, this really won't do at all ; for 
God hath not created anything nobler than a scholar sitting 
at his writing. Hundreds of thousands of people, ten times 
told, are sitting in every quarter of the globe, as if on 
school-forms before him, and to all of these he has to speak. 
EiTors held by the wisest and cleverest people he has to 
eradicate : ages, long since gone to dust and passed away, 
with those who lived in them, he has to describe with 
accuracy and minuteness ; systems, the most profound and 
the most complex, he has to confute and overthrow, or 
otherwise to invent and establish, himself. His light has 
to pierce through massy crowns, through the Pope's triple 
tiara, through Capuchin hoods and through wreaths of 
laurel — to pierce them all and enlighten the brains within. 
This is his work ; and this work he can perform. But 
Madame Siebenkaes, what a strain on his faculties ! What 
a grand sustained effort is necessary ! It is a hard matter 
and a difficult to set up a book in type, but harder still 
to write it ! Think what the strain must have been when 
Pindar wrote, and Homer, earlier still — I mean in the 
' Iliad ' — and so with one after another, down to our own 
day. Is it any wonder, then, that great writers, in the 
terrible strain and absorption of all their ideas, have often 
scarcely known where they were, what they were doing, 
or what they would be at; that they were blind and 
dumb, v.nd insensible to everything but what was per- 
ceived by the five interior spiritual senses, like blind people, 
who see beautifully in their dreams, but in their waking 
state are, as we have said, blind ! This state of absorbed- 
noss and strain it is which I consider to explain how it 
was that Socrates and Archimedes could stand and be 
completely unconscious of the storm and turmoil going 
on around them ; how Cardanus in the profundity of his 
meditation was unconscious of his Chiragra ; others of the 
gout ; one Frenchman of a great conflagration, and a second 
Frenchman of the death of his wife." 

"There, you see," said Lenette, much delighted, in a 
low voice to her husband, "how can a learned gentleman 



170 JEAN PAUL FR1EDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

possibly hear his wife when she's at her washing and 
scrubbing?" 

Stiefel, unmoved, went on with the thread of his argu- 
ment : " Now, a fire of this description can only be kindled 
in absolute and uninterrupted calm. And this is the reason 
why all the great artists and men of letters in Paris live 
nowhere but in the Rue Ste. Victoire ; the other streets are 
all too noisy. And it is hence that no smiths, tinkers, or 
tinmen, are allowed to work in the street where a professor 
lives." 

" No tinmen especially," added Siebenkses, very gravely. 
•* It should always be remembered that the mind cannot 
entertain more than half-a-dozen of ideas at a time ; so that 
if the idea of noise should make its appearance as a wicked 
seventh, of course some one or other of the previous ideas, 
which might otherwise have been followed up or written 
down, takes its departure from the head altogether." 

Indeed Stiefel made Lanette give him her hand as a 
pledge that she would always stand still, like Joshua's sun, 
while Firmian was smiting the foe with pen and scourge. 

M Haven't I often asked the bookbinder myself," she said, 
" not to hammer so hard upon his books, because my hus- 
band would hear him when he was making his." However, 
she gave the Schulrath her hand, and he went away con- 
tented with their contentment, leaving them quite hopeful 
of quieter times. 

But, ye dear souls, of how little use to you is this state 
of peace, seeing ye are on half-pay and starving in this cold, 
empty, orphan hospital of an earth — how little will it help 
you in these dim labyrinthian wanderings of your destiny, 
of which even the Ariadne clue-threads all turn to nets and 
snares ? How long will the poor's advocate manage to live on 
the produce of the pawned pewter, and on the prioe of the 
two reviews which he is going to write ? Only, we are all 
like the Adam of the epio, and take our first night to be the 
day of judgment, and the setting of the sun for the end of 
the world. We sorrow for our friends, just as if there 
were no brighter future yonder, and we sorrow for our- 
selves as if there were no brighter future here. For all oui 
passions are bora Atheists and unbelievers. 



CHAP. VI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 171 



CHAPTER VI. 

MATRIMONIAL JARS — EXTRA LEAFLET ON THE LOQUACITY OF 

WOMEN — MORE PLEDGING THE MORTAR AND THE SNUFF-MILL 

— A SCHOLAR'S KISS — ON THE CONSOLATIONS OF HUMANITY — 
CONTINUATION OF THE SIXTH CHAPTER. 

This chapter commences at once with pecuniary diffi- 
culties. The wretched, leaky Danaid's bucket which our 
good couple had to use for washing their groschen or two, 
their grains of gold-dust — few and far between as they 
were — out of the sands of their Pactolus, had always run 
dry again in the course of a couple of days, or of three 
at the outside. On this occasion, however, they had some- 
thing certain to go upon, namely, the reviews of the two 
works; they could count upon four florins certainly, if 
not upon five. 

Early next day, after his morning kiss, Firmian seated 
himself upon his critical judgment-bench again, and pro- 
ceeded to pass his sentences. He might have written an 
epic poem, so light were the trade-winds which had 
hitherto been prevalent during the early hours of the day. 
From eight o'clock in the morning till eleven in the fore- 
noon, he was engaged in holding up to the world in a 
favourable light the programme of Dr. Frank of Pavia, 
which was entitled : ' Sermo Academicus de civis medici in 
republica conditione atque officiis, ex lege prseipue erutis. 
Auct. Frank. 1785.' He criticised, praised, blamed, and 
made extracts from this little production, till he thought 
he had covered enough paper to earn what would suffice 
to redeem the pcwned herring-dish, salad-bowl, sauce-boat, 
and plates — his views on the work occupying one sheet, 
four pages, and fifteen lines. 

The morning had passed so pleasantly, in holding Vehm- 
gericht in this manner, that he thought he might as well 

go on, and hold another in the afternoon on the other 
ook. He had never ventured upon this before ; in the 
afternoons he had done advocate's work, not reviewer's, 
appearing in the character of defendant (maker of defence), 



172 JEAN PAUL ERIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK U 

not of fiscal (prosecutor). He had ample reason for this, 
seeing that every afternoon girls and maid-servants came 
with honnets and caps, and with mouths full of conversa- 
tional treasures, which they at once unpacked ; richer in 
language than the Arabs, who have only a thousand words 
to express the same idea, these young women had a 
thousand idioms for it, or different, ways of putting it ; — 
and, as an organ when it 's out of order, immediately be- 
gins to cipher on twenty of its pipes or so at a time as 
soon as you begin to work the bellows, though no notes 
may be pressed down, so would they the moment the 
bellows of their lungs was set a-going. He didn't mind 
this, however, seeing that at the particular hours to 
which these feminine alarum clocks were set, he let his 
own juristical alarum go rattling off too, and during the 
arguing of Lenette's cases, went on with the arguing of 
his. Be wasn't disturbed by this; he maintained: "A 
lawyer is not to be put out, he can open and close his 
sentences when he chooses — his periods are long tape- 
worms, and can be lengthened or cut down with impunity 
— for each segment of them is itself a worm, each comma 
a period." 

But reviewing was another matter, and couldn't be 
done so well. At the same time, I shall here faithfully 
transcribe for the benefit of the unlearned (the learned 
have read the review long ago), so much as he actually 
did manage to get done after his dinner. He wrote down 
the title of Stetten's Latin translation of " Emilia Galotti," 
and proceeded as follows — 

" This translation meets a want which we have long 
experienced. It is, indeed, a striking phenomenon, that 
bo few of the German classics have as yet been translated 
into Latin for the use of scholars, who, for their part, have 
supplied us with German versions of nearly all the Greek 
and Roman classic authors. The German nation can point 
to literary productions of its own which are quite worthy 
of perusal by scholars and by linguists, who, although 
they can translate them, do not understand them, because 
they are not written in Latin. Lichtenberg's • Pocket 
Calendar' has appeared simultaneously in a German 
edition — for the English, who are studying German — and 



CHAP. VI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 173 

in a French for our own haute noblesse. But why should 
not German original works, and even the very 'Calendar' 
itself, be made known to linguists and to scholars by 
means of a good and faithful Latin translation ? There 
can be no doubt that they would be the very first to be 
struck by the great resemblance which may be traced 
between the odes of Eamler and those of Horace, if the 
former were but translated. The reviewer must confess 
that it has always been matter of surprise, as well as 
regret, to him that but two correct editions of Klopstock's 
• Messiah ' have as yet appeared, the original edition and 
his own — and that there is no Latin edition of it for 
scholars— (Lessing having scarcely translated the 'Invo- 
cation ' in his miscellaneous writings) — nor one in the 
curial style for lawyers, nor a plain prose one for the 
commercial world, nor one in Jew-German for the Jewish 
community." 

V\ hen he had got thus far, he was compelled to stop, 
because a housemaid wouldn't stop, but went on reiterat- 
ing what her mistress had gone on re-iterating, namely, 
how her night-cap was to be done up ; twenty times did 
she sketch the ground-plan and elevation of the said cap, 
and laid weight on the necessity for speedy execution. 
Lenette answered her tautologies with equivalent ones, 
paying her back to the full in her own coin. Scarce 
was the housemaid out at the door, when the reviewer 
said — 

"I haven't written a word while that windmill was 
clacking. Lenette, tell me, is it really a positive impossi- 
bility for a woman to say, * It's four o'clock,' instead of 
1 The four quarters to four have gone ? ' Can no woman 
say, ' The head-clout will be ready to-morrow,' aud then 
an end of the matter? Can no woman say, 'I want a 
dollar for it,' and there an end of the story ? Nor, 4 Kun 
in again to-morrow ! ' and no more about it ? Can you not 
do it, for instance ? " 

Lenette answered very coldly, " Oh ! of courge you 
think everybody thinks just as you think yourself! " 

Lenette had two feminine bad habits, which have sent 
millions of male rockets, or pyrotechnic serpents — namely, 
curses — up skywards. The first was, that whenever she 



174 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK tit 

gave the servant an order, she did it as if it were a 
memorial in two copies, and then went out of the room 
with her and repeated the order in question three or four 
times more in the passage. The second was, that let 
Siebenkaes shout a thing to her, as distinctly as man 
could, her first answer was, " What? " or, " What do you 
say ? Now, I not only advise ladies always to demand a 
M second of exchange " of this sort when they are in any 
embarrassment for an answer, and I laud them for so 
doing; but in cases where what is required of them is 
attention, not the truth, this ancora and bis which they 
cry to a speaker who is anxious not to waste time, is as 
cumbersome as it is unnecessary. Matters of this kind 
are trifles in married life only so long as the sufferer by 
them does not complain o* them. But when they have 
been found fault with they are worse than deadly sins, 
and felonies, and adulteries — seeing that they occur much 
more frequently. 

If the author were disturbed at his work by pleonasms 
of the above description ; what he would do would be, 
not deliver a serious lecture, but (because this is a good 
opportunity) write the following 

Extra Leaflet on Female Loquacity. 

" The author of the work on ' Marriage ' has said, ' A 
woman who does not talk is a stupid woman.' But it is 
easier to be his encomiast than his disciple. The cleverest 
women are often silent with women, and the most stupid 
and most silent are often both with men. On the whole, 
this statement, which has been applied to the male sex, 
is true also of the female, namely, that those who think 
most have least to say ; as frogs cease croaking when a 
light is brought to the side of their pond. Moreover, the 
extreme talkativeness of women is a result of the sedentary 
nature of their occupations. Men, whose work is seden- 
tary, such as tailors, shoemakers, weavers, have in com- 
mon with women not only their hypochondriac fancies, 
but also their loquacity. 

" The little work-tables, where feminine fingers are 
employed, are also the playgrounds of the feminine 
imagination, and their needles become little magio wands, 



CHAP. VI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 175 

wherewith they transform their rooms into isles of spirits 
filled with dreams. Hence it is that a letter or a book 
distracts a woman who is in love more than the knitting 
of a whole pair of stockings. Savages say that the 
monkeys refrain from talking that they may not be made 
to work ; but many a woman talks twice as much when 
she is working as when she is not. 

" I have devoted much thought to the question, what 
purpose this peculiarity subserves in the economy of the 
universe. At first it might strike us that Nature has or- 
dained these re-iterations of that which has been already 
said with a view to the development of metaphysical 
truths : for, as demonstration, according to Jacobi and 
Kant, is merely a series, or progression, of identical pro- 
positions, it is evident that women, who always proceed 
from the same thing to the same thing, are continually 
demonstrating. There can be no doubt, however, that the 
object which Nature has chiefly had in view is the follow- 
ing. Accurate observers of nature have pointed out that 
the reason why the leaves of trees keep up their constant 
fluttering motion is that the atmosphere may be purified 
by this perpetual flagellation — this oscillation of the 
leaves having very much the effect of a light and gentle 
breeze.* It would, however, be very wondeiful had 
Nature — always economising her forces, Nature, who 
never does anything in vain — ordained this much longer 
oscillation, this seventy years' wagging of the feminine 
tongue, to no definite purpose. For the purpose in ques- 
tion, however, we have not far to seek. It is the same 
which is subserved by the quivering of the leaves of 
trees. The endless, regular, unceasing beat of the 
feminine tongue is to assist in agitating and stirring up 
the atmosphere, which would otherwise become putrescent. 
The moon has her ocean of water, and the feminine head 
has its ocean of air, to stir into salubrity and to keep 
in perpetual freshness. Hence a universal Pythagorean 

* We cannot say, however, that it is by carrying away noxious vapours 
that the wind purifies the air, since while it blows my noxious emana- 
tions to the person behind me, it brings me those of the person before 
me ; and because stagnant water does not become putrid solely because 
there is no current to carry away decaying matter. 



176 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL 

noviciate would, sooner or later, give rise to epidemics, 
and Chartreuses of nuns would become pesthouses. Hence 
it is that diseases of the pestiferous type are less frequent 
among civilised nations, who talk the most. And hence 
Nature's beneficent arrangement that it is exactly in the 
largest cities — and moreover in the winter — and moreover 
indoors — and in large assemblages — that women talk most, 
inasmuch as it is exactly in these places and at these 
periods that the atmosphere is most impure, and charged 
with the largest proportion of carbonic acid and other 
products of respiration, &c, requiring to be thoroughly 
fanned and set in motion. And, indeed, Nature here 
overthrows all artificial barriers and impediments; for, 
although many European women have endeavoured to 
imitate those of America — who fill their mouths with 
water in order to keep silence — and, while making calls, 
fill theirs with tea or coffee, yet these fluids have been 
found rather to facilitate than to prevent the free flow of 
feminine speech. 

" I trust that in this I am far from being like the narrow- 
minded teleologists, who, to every grand sun-path, or sun- 
orbit of Nature, must always be appending and interca- 
lating little subsidiary foot-tracks and ' ends in view. 
Such persons might permit themselves the supposition (1 
should be ashamed to do so) that the oscillation of the 
female tongue, the use of which is sufficiently apparent in the 
motion which it communicates to the atmosphere, may pos- 
sibly serve to give typical illustration to some thoughtor idea 
of a spiritual nature — e. g. the female soul itself, perhaps. 

" This belongs to that class of things with respect to 
which Kant has said that they can neither be proved nor 
disproved. I myself should rather incline, however, to the 
opinion that the talking of women is an indication of the 
cessation of thought and mental activity — as in a good mill 
the warning bell only rings when there is no com left in 
the hopper. Moreover, every husband knows that tongues 
are attached to women's heads in order to give due notice, 
by their clanging, that some contradiction, something 
irregular or impossible, ia dominating in them.* Similarly, 

* A woirin finds it much easier to yield and say nothing when aha 
if in thi ri;ht than when she is in the wrong. 



CHAP. VI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIEGES. 177 

H. Miiller's calcm 'ating machine has a little bell in it, which 
rings merely to give notice that some error has occurred in 
a calculation. However, it now remains for the natural 
philosopher to prosecute this inquiry, and to determine to 
what extent my views may prove to be erroneous." 

I may just mention that the above leaflet was written bj 
the advocate. 

He did not finish his review till the following morning. He 
had intended to go on writing down his ideas on the subject 
of the translation of Emilia Galotti till the money coming 
to him as the price of the ideas should be enough to pay 
for new toes to his boots — Fecht asked a sheet and a half 
for doing the pair — but he had not time for this, as he was 
obliged to calculate the price of his notice by the com- 
positor's sight-rule, and get the money for it that very day. 

The reviews were sent to the editor ; the critical invoice 
amounted to three florins four groschen and five pfennige 
Strange ! we smile when we see the spiritual and the cor- 
poreal, intellect and hard cash, pain and pecuniary compen- 
sation, stated as sums in proportion ; but is not our whole 
life an equation, a sum in " partnership " between soul and 
body ; and is not all action upon us corporeal, and all re- 
section from ns spiritual ? 

The servant-girl brought back only " kind regards ;" not 
the leaves of silver which his ink should have crystallised 
into. Peltzstiefel had not given the matter a thought. 
He was so absorbed in his studies that he was indifferent 
to his own money, and blind to the poverty of other people. 
He was capable, indeed, of noticing a hiatus ; but it must be 
in a manuscript — not in his own or other people's shoes, 
6tockings, &c. An inward fire blinded this fortunate man to 
the phosphorescence of the rotten wood around him. And 
happy is every actor in the school-theatricals of life who 
finds the lofty inward delusion suffice to compensate him 
for the delusions without, or to hide them from his view ; 
— who is so carried away by the enthusiasm with which 
he enters into and renders his spiritual role, that the coarse 
daubs of landscapes of the scenery seem to bloom, and the 
branches to rustle in the refreshing showers (of peas) from 
the rain-box — and who does not wake to reality at the 
shifting of the scenes. 

C a 



178 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICIITER. [BOOK II. 

But this beautiful blindness of the Kath was very dis- 
tressing to our two dear friends ; their little constellation, 
which was to have shone in their evening sky, fell all down 
in meteorio drops upon the earth. I do not blame Stiefel ; 
he had an ear for distress, though not an eye. But ye rich 
and great ones of the earth, who, helpless in the honey- 
combs of your pleasures, swimming with clogged wings in 
your melted sugar of roses, do not find it an easy matter to 
move your hand, put it into your money-bag, and take out 
the wage of him who helped to fill your honey-cells — an hour 
of judgment will strike at last for you, and ask you if ye were 
worthy to live, let alone to live a life of pleasure, when ye 
avoid even the trifling trouble of paying the poor who have 
undergone the immense trouble of earning. But ye would 
be better if ye thought what misery your comfortable, indo- 
lent, indisposition to open a purse, or to read a little 
account, often inflicts upon the poor; if ye pictured to 
yourselves the backward start of hopeless disappointment of 
some poor woman whose husband comes home without his 
money — the staivation, the obliteration of so many hopes, 
and the weary sorrowful days of a whole family. 

The advocate, therefore, put on his wicked silverising 
face again and went prying about into every corner with 
his eyeglass, making himself into a species of pressgang of 
the furniture. As a king or an English minister sits up in 
his bed at night, rests his head on his hand, and considers 
what commodity or what tree-stem full of birch-sap he may 
stick his winetap of a new tax into, or (in another meta- 
phor) so cut the peat of taxation that new peat may grow 
in its place : thus did Siebenkais. With his letter of marque 
in his hand he soanned minutely every flag that hove in 
sight ; he lifted up his shaving-dish and set it down ; he 
shook the paralytic arms of an old chair till they cracked 
again — he subjected it to a trial more severe, by sitting 
down in it and getting up again. — I interrupt my period to 
observe en passant that Lenette fully understood the danger 
of this conscription and measuring of the children of the 
land, and that she protested continuously and unavailingly 
against this game of pledges with Job-like lamentations. — 
He also took down from its hook an old yellow mirror, 
with a gilt leaf-pattern frame, which hung in the bedroom 



CHAP. VI. j FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 179 

opposite the green-railed bed, examined its wooden case and 
the back of it, moved the glass of it up and down a little 
and then hung it up again — an old firedog and some bed- 
room crockery he did not touch ; he whipt the lid ofi'a porce- 
lain butter-boat, made, according to the plastic art of the 
period, in the shape of a cow, and glanced into the inside of 
it, but set it back, empty and full of dust, as an ornament 
on the mantelpiece again ; he weighed, longer and with 
both hands, a spice-mortar, and put it back again into the 
©upboard. 

He looked more and more dangerous, and more and more 
merry ; he drew out with both arms the drawer of a ward- 
robe, shoved back table-napkins, and begun to overhaul a 

mourning-dress of checked cotton a little . But here 

Lenette flew out, seized him by his overhauling arm, and 
cried, " Why not, indeed ! But, please God, it shall not 
come to that with me ! " 

He shut the drawer quietly, opened the cupboard again, 
and carefully lifted the mortar on to the table, saying, 
" Oh ! very well, it matters little to me, it comes all to the 
same thing ; the mortar will have to take its departure." 
By covering this bell of shame with his open hand by way 
of a damper, he was able to take out the pestle, its clapper, 
without producing any ring or clang. He had been per- 
fectly aware all the time that she would rather pawn the 
garment of her soul (i. e. her body) than the checked gar- 
ment of that garment; but it was of set purpose that, like 
the Court of Borne, he demanded the entire hand that he 
might be the more likely to obtain a single finger of it — in 
this case the mortar — and moreover he hoped the mere 
frequency with which he reiterated his determination would 
save him the necessity of stating any reasons, and that he 
would familiarise Lenette with the bugbear and hobgoblin 
by keeping it continually before her eyes (I mean, with 
his design upon the mortar). Wherefore he went on to 
say, " The fact is, that it's very little that we have to 
pound in the course of a twelvemonth, except when we have 
a quarter of a fat beast; at the same time, just give me 
some idea why you're so anxious to keep the checked gown 
—what on earth is the use of it ? The only time you can wear 
it will be when I depart this life. Now, Lenette, that's a 

* 2 



180 JEAN PAUL FEIEDEICH EICHTER. [BOOK II. 

terrible sort of idea ; I can't stand it. Coin the dress into 
silver — eliminate it altogether; I'll send two pairs of 
mourning-buckles of mine along with it; I hope I may 
never have anything to buckle with them again." 

She stormed without bounds and preached with much 
wisdom against all " careless, thoughtless householders ;" 
and this for the very reason, that she felt it was only too 
probable that he would soon take every article of furniture 
in the place (which he had been feeling and valuing, like a 
person buying bullocks) to the slaughter-house, and — good- 
ness gracious ! — the checked dress among the rest. " 1 had 
rather starve," she cried, " than throw away that mortar 
for a mere song. The Schulrath is sure to be here to-morrow 
evening, with the money for your reviews." 

" Now you begin to talk sense," said he ; and he carried 
the pestle horizontally in both his hands into the bedroom, 
and laid it on to Lenette's pillow — next' bringing the mortar, 
and placing it on his own. " If people should happen to 
hear it ring," he said, " they would think I wanted to turn 
it into silver, as we were pounding nothing in it; and I 
shouldn't like that." 

The united capital contained in his greenish-yellow 
cotton-purse, and her large money-bag (which she wore at 
her girdle), amounted to about three groschen, good money. 
In the evening there would have to be a groschen-loaf 
bought, for cash, and the remainder of the metallic-seed 
must be sown in the morning to grow the breakfast- and 
dinner-crop. The servant-girl went out for the bread, but 
came back with the groschen and with the Job's message, 
" There's nothing left at the bakers' shops at this time of 
night but two-groschen loaves ; father (the cobbler Fecht) 
couldn't get any either." This was lucky; the advocate 
could enter into partnership with the shoemaker, and it 
would be easy for these partners, by each contributing a 
groschen to the partnership funds, to obtain a two-groschen 
loaf. The Fechts were aRked if they agreed to this. The 
cobbler, who made no secret of his daily bankruptcies, 
answered — 

" With all my heart. G — d d — n me ! (Heaven forgive 
me for swearing) if I and the whole crew of young tatter- 
demalions in the place have had a scrap of anything to fill 



CHAP. VI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, A.ND THORN PIECES. 181 

our months with the whole blessed day hut waxed-ends." 
In short, this coalition of the tiers etat with the learned 
estates put an end to the famine, and the covenanting parties 
broke the loaf in two and weighed it in a just balance, 
it being itself both the weight and the thing weighed. 
Ah! ye rich! Ye, with your manna, or bread sent from 
heaven, little think how indispensable to poverty are small 
weights, apothecaries' measure, heller-loaves,* a dinner for 
eight kreuzers (and your shirt washed into the bargain) ; 
and a broken-bread shop, where mere crumbs and black- 
bread powder are to be had for money ; and how the com- 
fort of a whole family's evening depends on the fact that 
your hundred weights are on sale in lots of half-an- ounce. 

They ate, and were content. Lenette was in good 
humour because she had gained her point. At night the 
advocate put the things which were to be pawned upon a 
soft chair. In the morning she facilitated his writing by 
keeping very quiet. It was a good omen, however, that 
she did not put the mortar back into the cupboard. And 
Siebenkaes fired off various queries out of the said bomb- 
mortar in parabolic curves. He knew perfectly well that 
the Loretto- and Harmonica-bell in question must march 
that day or the next over the frontier for a small pecuniary 
Abzug-geld.] Women always like to put everything off till 
the very last possible moment. 

Peltzstiefel came in that evening. It was both ridiculous 
and natural to expect that the first thing the editor of the 
1 Heavenly Messenger ' would do would be to pay the critic 
his wages, so that he might at least be able to set before 
his editor a candlestick with a candle in it, and a beer- 
glass containing beer. Nothing can be more cruel than an 
anxiety of this sort, because this kind of shame breaks in a 
moment all the springs in the human machine. Siebenkaes 
wouldn't let it trouble his head, because he knew Stiefel 
wouldn't let it trouble his. But Lenette was to be pitied, 
inasmuch as the blushes of her shame were heightened by 
her fondness for Stiefel ! At last the Kath put his hand in 

* Heller = half-a-farthing. 

+ J. e. a sum which people pay to the exchequer for permission tc 
leave the country. 



182 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

his pocket. They thought now he was going to produce the 
review-money ; but all he took out was his snuff-machine, 
his tobacco-grater, and he dived back into his coat-tail 
pocket for half-an-ounce of rappee to put upon this little 
chopping-bench. But he had grated the half-ounce already. 
He searched his breeches-pockets for money to send for 
another half-ounce. Truly — and here he swore an oath for 
which he would have incurred a fine had he been in 
England — he had sent, like an ass, not only his purse but 
also the money for the reviews, carefully counted out and 
neatly wrapped in paper, with his breeches — they were his 
plush ones — to the tailor's. He said it wasn't the first 
time, and it was a lucky job that the tailor was an honest 
man; the only thing was, he hadn't noticed how much 
there was in his purse. He innocently requested Lenette 
to " send and get him an ounce of rappee ; he would repay 
her next morning, when he sent the money for the reviews." 
Siebenkajs roguishly added, " And send for some beer at 
the same time, dear." He and Stiefel looked out of win- 
dow ; but he saw that his poor wife — her bosom torn with 
sighs, and suffering peine forte et dure — stole into the bed- 
room and noiselessly put the spice-mill into her apron. 

After a good half-hour, rappee, beer, money, and happi- 
ness entered the room ; the bell-metal of the mortar was 
transformed into sustenance for the inward man, and the 
bell in question had been somewhat like the little altar-bell, 
which in this case, besides announcing a transubstantiation, 
or transformation of the substance of the bread, as it does 
in the Roman Catholic Church, had undergone one itself. 
Their blood no longer gurgled among rocks and stones, but 
flowed softly and tranquilly along, by meadows, and over 
silver sands. Such is man. When he is in the depths of 
misery, the first happy moment lifts him out ; when he is 
at the height of bliss, the remotest sorrowful moment, 
even though it is down beneath the horizon, casts him to 
earth. No great man, who has maitres de cuigine, clerks of 
the cellar, capon-stuffers, and confectioners, has any true 
enjoyment of the pleasure it is to give and receive hospi- 
tality ; he gets and gives no thanks. But a poor man and 
his poor guest, with whom he halves his loaf and his can, 
are united by a mutual bond of gratitude. 



CHAP. VI.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 183 

The evening wound a soft bandage about the pain of 
the morning. The poppy-juice of sixty drops of hap- 
piness was taken hourly, and the medicine had a gently 
soothing and exhilarating power. When his old, kind 
friend was leaving, Siebenkees gave him a hearty, grateful 
kiss for his cheering visit, Lenette standing by, with the 
candle in her hand. Her husband, as some little compen- 
sation to her for having pounded her little fit of obstinacy 
to groats in the mortar, said to her in an off-hand, cheerful 
manner, " You give him one, too." The blushes mantled 
on her cheeks like fire, and she leant back, as if she had 
a mouth to avoid already. It was quite clear that, if she 
had not been obliged to perform the office of torch-bearer, 
she would have fled to her room on the spot. The Eath 
stood before her beaming with affectionate friendliness — 
something like a white winter-landscape in sunshine — 
waiting till — she should give him the kiss. The fruitless- 
ness of this expectation, and the prematureness of her 
bending her head out of the way, began to vex him a 
little at last. Somewhat hurt, but still beaming as affec- 
tionately as ever, he said — 

" Am I not worth a kiss, Madam Siebenkaes ? " 

Her husband said, " Surely you don't expect my wife 
to give you the kiss. She would set her hair and every- 
thing in a blaze with the candle ! " 

Upon this, Peltzstiefel inclined his head slowly and cau- 
tiously, and at the same time commandingly, down to her 
mouth, and laid his warm lips on hers, like the half of a 
stick of melted sealing-wax on the other half. Lenette 
gave him more space, by bending back her head ; yet it 
must be said that while she held her left arm with the 
candle high up in the air, for fear of fire, she did a good 
deal to push away the Bath — another, more proximate, fire 
—politely with the other. When he was gone, she was 
still just the least bit embarrassed. She moved about with 
a certain floating motion, as though some great happiness 
was buoying her up with its wings — the evening red was 
still bright on her cheek, though the moon was high in 
the heavens : her eyes were bright, but dreamy, seeming 
to notice nothing about her — her smiles came before her 
words, and she spake very few — not the slightest allusion 



.184 JEAN PAUL FEIEDMCH EICHTER. ' [ BOOK It 

•was made to the mortar. She touched everything more 
gently, and looked out of the window at the sky two or 
three times. She didn't seem to care to eat more of the 
two-groschen loaf, and drank no heer, but only a glass or 
two of water. Anybody else — myself for example — would 
have held up his finger and sworn he was looking upon a 
giil who had just had a first kiss from her sweetheart. 

And I shouldn't have regretted having taken that oath 
iiad I seen the sudden blush which suffused her face next 
day when the money for the reviews and the snuff was 
brought. It was a miracle, and an extraordinary piece of 
politeness, that Peltzstiofel should not have forgotten about 
his having contracted this little loan — little debts of two 
or three groschen always escaped his preoccupied memory. 
But rich people, who always carry less money about them 
than the poor, and therefore borrow from them, ought to 
inscribe trifling debts of this sort on a memorial tablet, in 
their brain, because it is veiy wrong to break into a poor 
devil's purse, who gets, moreover, no thanks for these 

groschen of his which thus drop into the stream of Lethe. 

****** 

Now, I beg to say, I should be happy to give two sheets 
of this manuscript if the day of the shooting-match were 
but come, solely because our dear couple build so upon it 
and upon its bird-pole. For the position of these people 
is really going on from bad to worse ; the days of their 
destiny move with those of the calendar, from October 
on to November, that is to say, from the end of summer to 
the beginning of winter, and they find that moral frosts 
and nights get harder and longer in the same ratio with 
those of the season. However, I must go regularly on 
with my story. 

I think there is no doubt that November, the month 
which is such a Novembriseur of the British, is the most 
horrible month of all the year — for me it is a regular Septem- 
briseur. I wish I could hybernate, sleep, till the beginning 
of the Christmas month, December. The November of 
'85 had, at the commencement of its reign, a dreadful 
wheezing breath, a hand as cold as death, and an unpleasant 
lachrymal fistula ; in fact it was unendurable. The north- 
east wind, which in summer it is so pleasant to hear 



CHAP. VI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 185 

blowing past one's ears, because one knows it is a sure 
sign of settled weather, is, in autumn, only a sign of 
steady cold. To our couple the weathercock was really a 
funeral standard. Though they didn't exactly go out to the 
woods themselves with baskets and barrows to pick up 
fallen branches and twigs, like the poor day-labourer, they 
had to buy the stuff for firewood from the wood-gatherers, 
by weight, as if it had been wood from the Indies, and it 
had to be dried by the combustion of other wood before it 
would burn. But this damp cold weather was more trying 
to the advocate's stoicism, after all, than even to bis purse; 
he couldn't run out and go up a hill, and look about him, 
and seek in the heavens for that which consoles and com- 
forts the anxious and sorrowful, that which dissipates 
the clouds which shroud our life, and shows us guiding 
nebulas (Magellan's clouds), if nothing else, gleaming 
through the fog-banks. For when he could go up the 
Rabenstein, or some other hill, he could get sight from 
thence of the aurora of the sun of happiness, though that 
sun was under his horizon ; the sorrows and torments of 
this earthly life lay, writhing, like other vipers, in the 
clefts and hollows beneath him, and no rattlesnake could 
rear itself with its fangs up to his hill. Ah ! there, in the 
free air, close to the ocean of life which stretches on into 
the invisible distance of infinity, near to the lofty heavens, 
the blue coal smoke of the stifling, suffocating dwelling 
of our daily life cannot rise to us, we see its wreaths 
hanging far down beneath ; our sorrows drop, like leeches, 
from our bleeding bosoms, and raised, for the time, above 
our woes, we stretch our arms — no fetters on them now, 
though sore and marked, and bruised with the galling iron — 
we stretch them out as if to soar in the pure bright sether ; 
we stretch them out, and fain would take to our bosom 
the peaceful universe above us, we stretch them to the 
invisible eternal Father, like children hastening home to 
Him — and we open them wider yet to clasp our visible 
mother, created Nature, crying, " Oh take not this solace, 
this comfort, away from me, when I am down there again 
among the fog and the sorrow." And why is it that 
prisoners and the sick are so wretched in their confine- 
ment ? They are there shut up in their holes, the cloudg 



186 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IT. 

sail over them, they can only see the mountains far away 
in the distance, these mountains whence, as from those of 
the Polar regions in summer midnights, the sun, down 
below the horizon, can be seen shining with a mild face, 
as if in slumber. But in this wretched weather though 
Siebenkees could not enjoy the consolations of imagination, 
which bloom beneath the open sky, he could derive com- 
fort from reason, which thrives in the flower-pots of the 
window-sills. His chief consolation, which I commend to 
everybody, was this : Man is under the pressure of a 
necessity of two kinds — an every -day necessity, which 
everybody bears uncomplainingly, and a rare, or yearly- 
recurrent necessity, which is only submitted to after 
struggles and complaints. The daily and everlastingly 
recurrent necessity is this — that corn does not ripen in 
winter — that we have not got wings, though so many lower 
creatures have them — or that we cannot go and stand 
upon the ring-shaped craters of the lunar mountains, and 
looking down into the abyt-ses, which are miles in depth, 
watch the marvellous and beautiful effects of the setting 
sun's rays. The annual, or rarely recurrent, necessity is 
that there is rainy weather when the corn is in blossom — 
that there are a great many water-meadows of this world 
where it is very bad walking, and that sometimes, because 
we have corns, or no shoes, we cannot even walk anywhere. 
Only the annual necessity and the daily are of exactly 
equal magnitude, and it is just as senseless to murmur 
because we have paralysed limbs as because we have no 
wings. All the past — and this alone is the subject of our 
sorrow — is of so iron a necessity that in the eyes of a 
superior intelligence it is just as senseless of an apothecary 
to mourn because his shop is burnt to the ground as to 
sigh because he can't go botanising in the moon, although 
there may be many things in the phials there which he has 
not got in his. 

I mean to introduce an extra leaflet here on the con- 
solations which we may meet with in this damp, chilly,, 
draughty life of ours. Anybody who may be annoyed at 
these brief digressions of mine, and is scarcely to be 
consoled, let him seek consolation in this — 



CHAP. VI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 187 
EXTRA LEAFLET ON CONSOLATION. 

A time may, that is to say, must come when it shall be 
held to be a moral obligation not only to cease to torment 
other people, but to cease to torment ourselves; a time 
must and will come when we shall wipe away the greater 
part of our tears, even here on earth, were it only from 
proper pride. 

It is true, nature is so constantly drawing tears from 
our eyes, and forcing sighs from onr breasts, that a wise 
nmn can scarcely ever wholly lay aside his body's garb of 
mourning ; but let his soul wear none ! For if it is a 
simple duty or merit to endure minor sorrows with proper 
cheerfulness, it is likewise a merit, only a greater one, to 
bear the greatest sorrows bravely, just as the same reason 
which enjoins the forgiveness of small injuries is equally 
valid for the forgiveness of the greatest. 

V\ hat we have principally to <5ontend against, and to 
treat with due contempt, in sorrow, as in anger, is its 
paralysing poisonous sweetness, which we are so loth to 
exchange for the exertion of consoling ourselves and of 
exercising our reasoning faculties. 

We must not expect Philosophy to produce, with one 
stroke of the pen, the converse effect to that which Rubens 
produced, when he converted a smiling child into a weep- 
ing one with one stroke of his brush. It is sufficient if 
she converts the soul's deep mourning garb into half- 
mourning ; it is enough when I car say to myself, *' I am 
content to bear that share of my sorrow of which my 
philosophy has not relieved me; but for her it would 
have been greater — the gnat's sting would have been a 
wasps." 

It is only through the imagination, as from an electric 
condenser, that even physical pain emits its sparks upon 
us. We would bear the severest physical pains without a 
wince if they were not of longer duration than a sixtieth 
part of a second ; but we never really do have an hour of 
pain to endure, but only a succession of sixtieth parts of a 
second of pain, the sixty separate rays of which are con- 
centrated into the focus and burning-point of a second, 
and directed upon our nerves by the imagination alone. 



138 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II* 

The most painful part of corporeal pain is the incorporeal 
part of it, that is to say, our own impatience, and our 
delusive conviction that it will last for ever. 

We all know for certain that we shall have given up 
grieving for many a loss, in twenty, ten, or two years 
why do we not say to ourselves, " Very well — if this is an 
opinion which I shall cease to hold in twenty years' time, 
— I prefer to abandon it to-day, at once ? Why must it 
take me twenty years to abandon an error, when I need not 
hold it twenty hours?" 

When I awake from a dream which has painted for me 
an Otaheite on the black background of the night, and find 
the flowery land melted away, I scarcely sigh, and I 
think it was but a dream. How were it if I had actually 
po>sessed this flowery island in waking life, and it had 
been submerged in the sea by an earthquake? Why 
should I not, then also, say, " The island was but a dream" ? 
Why am I more inconsolable for the loss of a longer 
dream than for the loss of a shorter (for that is what 
constitutes the distinction), — and why does man think 
a great loss less necessary and less probable than a 
small ? 

The reason is that every sentiment and every passion is 
a mad thing, demanding, or building, a complete world of 
its own. We are capable of being vexed because it's past 
twelve o'clock, or because it's not past, but only just 
twelve o'clock. What nonsense ! The passion wants 
besides a personality of its own (sein eigneslch), and a 
world of its own, — a time of its own as well. I beg every 
one, just for once, to let his passions speak plainly out, 
and to listen to them, and ascertain what it is that they 
really each of them want ; he will be dismayed when he 
sees what monstrous things are these desires of theirs 
which they have previously only half muttered. Anger 
would have but one neck for all mankind, love would 
have but one heart, sorrow but one pair of lachrymal 
ducts, and pride two bent knees ! 

When I was reading in Widman's • Hofer Chronik ' the 
account of the fearful, bloody times of the thirty years' 
war, and, as it were, lived them over again ; when I 
beard once more the cries for help of those poor suffering 



CHAP, vi.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 189 

people, all struggling in the Danube-whirlpools of their 
days — and saw the beating of their hands, and their 
delirious wanderings on the crumbling pillars of broken 
bridges, foaming billows and drifting ice-floes dashing 
against them ; and then, when I thought " All these waves 
have gone down, the ice is melted, the howling turmoil is 
all sunk to silence, so are the human beings and all their 
sighs " — I was filled with a melancholy comfort, a thought 
of consolation for all times, and I asked, " Was, and is, 
then, this passing, cursory, transient burst of sorrow at the 
churchyard-gate of life, which three steps into the nearest 
cavern could end, a fit cause for this cowardly lamen- 
tation ?" Truly if, as I believe, there be such a thing 
as true patience under an eternal woe, then, verily, patience 
under a transitory sorrow is hardly worth the name. 

A great but unmerited national calamity should not 
humble us, as the theologians would have it — it should 
make us proud. When the long, heavy sword of war falls 
upon mankind, and thousands of blanched hearts are torn 
and bleeding — or when in the blue, pure evening sky the 
hot cloud of a burning city, smoking on its funereal pyre, 
hangs dark and lurid, like a cloud of ashes, the ashes of 
thousands of hearts and joys all burnt to cinders and dust 
— then let thy spirit be lifted up in pride, let. it loathe, 
contemn, and despise tears, and that for which they fall, 
and let it say — 

" Thou art much too small a thing, thou every-day, 
common life, that an immortal being should be inconsolable 
with regard to thee, thou torn and tattered chance-bargain 
of an existence. Here upon this earth — the ashes of cen- 
turies rolled into a sphere, worked into shape and form 
from vapour by convulsion — the cry of one dreaming in a 
sorrowful dream — I say, it is a disgrace that the sigh should 
cease only when the breast which gives it utterance is 
resolved into its elements, and that the tear should cease 
to flow only when the eye is closed in death." 

But moderate this thy sublime transport of indignation 
and put to thyself this question, " If He, the Infinite one, 
who, veiled from thy sight, sits surrounded by the gleaming 
abysses, without bounds save such as Himself creates, were 
to lay bare to thy sight the immeasurability of infinity, and 



190 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH BICHTER. [BOOK II. 

let Himself be seen of thee as he distributes the suns, the 
great spirits, the little human hearts, and our days, and a 
tear or two therein ; wouldst thou rise up out of thy 
dust against Him, and say, ' Almighty, be other than thou 
art!"' 

But there is one sorrow whioh will be forgiven thee, and 
for which there is recompense ; it is sorrow for thy dead. 
For this sweet sorrow for thy lost ones is, in truth, but 
another form of consolation ; when we long for them, this 
is but a sadder way of loving them still ; and when we 
think of their departure we shed tears, as well as when we 
picture to ourselves our happy meeting with them again. 
And perhaps these tears differ not. 



CONTINUATION AND CONCLUSION 
OF CHAPTER VI. 

THE CHECKED CALICO DRESS — MORE PLEDGES — CHRISTIAN NEGLECT 
OF THE STUDY OF JUDAISM — A HELPING ARM (OF LEATHER) 
STRETCHED FORTH FROM THE CLOUDS — THE AUCTION. 

The St. Andrew's shooting-match will take place in the 
seventh chapter : the present one fills up the wintry thorny 
interval up to that period — that is to say, the wolf-month 
with its wolf-hunger. Siebenkees would at that period have 
been much annoyed if any one had told him beforehand 
with what compassion the flourishing state of his trading 
enterprises was one day to be described by me, and, as a 
consequence, read by millions of persons in all time to come. 
He wanted no pity, and said, " If I am quite happy, why 
should you be pitying me?" The articles of household 
furniture which he had touched, as with the hand of death, 
or notched with his axe, like trees marked for cutting, were 
one by one duly felled and hauled away. The mirror, with 
the floral border, in the bedroom (which, luckily for itself, 
could not see itself in any other), was the first thing to be 
tolled out of the house by the passing- or vesper-bell, under 
the pall of an apron. Before he stationed it in the train of 
this dance cf death, he proposed to Lenette a substitute for 



CHAP. "W.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 191 

it, the checked calico mourning-dress, in order to accustom 
her to the idea. It was the " Censeo Carthaginem delendam " 
(I vote for the destruction of Carthage) which old Cato used 
to say daily in the senate after every speech. 

Next the old arm-chair was got rid of bodily (not like 
Shakespeare's arm-chair, which was weighed out by the 
ounce, like saffron, or in carats, like gold), and the firedog 
went in company with it. Siebenkaes had the wisdom to 
say, before they went away, " Censeo Carthaginem delen- 
dam," i. e. " Wouldn't it be better to pawn the checked 
calico ? " 

They could barely subsist for two days upon the dog and 
the chair. 

And then the process of alchemical transmutation of 
metals was applied to the shaving-basin and the bedroom 
crockery, which were converted into table-money. Of 
course he previously said " Censeo." It is scarcely worth 
the trouble, but I may just observe here how little fruit 
was born by this branch of trade ; it was rather a woody 
branch than a fruit-bearing one. 

The lean porcelain cow or butter-boat would scarcely 
have served as their nourishing milch cow for more than a 
day, if she had not been attended by seven potentates (that 
is to say, most miserable prints of them), who went " into 
the bargain," but for whom the woman at the shop added 
some melted butter. Wherefore he said " Censeo." Many 
of my readers must remember my mentioning that, a short 
time ago, when he was distributing sentences of death 
among the furniture, he did not take very much notice of 
certain table-napkins which were lying beside the checked 
calico dress. Now, however, he acted as screech-owl, or 
bird of death, and gallows-priest to them also, and routed 
them out all but a few. When they were gone, he re- 
marked, in an incidental manner, shortly before Martinmas 
Day, that the napkin-press was still to the fore, though it 
was not very clear what was the use of it, as there was 
nothing for it to press. 

" If such a thing should be necessary," he said, " the 
press might very well get leave of absence on private 
affairs, until we get through the smoothing-press, oiljng- 
press, and napkin-press of destiny, and come out all smooth 



192 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL 

and beautiful ourselves, and can stick the napkins into our 
button-holes on their return." His first intention had even 
been to reverse the order of the funeral procession, and put 
the press in the van of it as avant-courier of the napkins, and 
in that event he would only have had to invert his syllo- 
gism (as well as his procession) in this way : " I don't see 
what we can do with the napkins, or how we're to press 
them and keep them smooth, till we get the press home 
again." 

I am most firmly convinced that the majority of people 
would have done as Lenette did with reference to my trade- 
consul Siebenkses, and his Hanseatic confederation with 
everybody who dealt in anything — that is, clasped her 
hands above her head, and said, " Oh ! the thoughtless, silly 
creature ! he'll soon be a beggar at this rate : the beautiful 
furniture ! " 

Firmian's constant answer was — 

" You would have me kneel down and howl, and tear my 
coat in lamentation, like a Jew — my coat, which is torn 
already — and pull my hair out by the roots— that hair, 
which terror frequently causes to fall off in a single night. 
Isn't it enough if you do the howling? Are you not my 
appointed prcejica and keening-woman ? Wife, I swear tc 
you, and that as solemnly as if I were standing on pig's 
bristles,* that if it is the will of God, who has given me so 
light and merry a heart — if it be His will that I am to go 
about the town with eight thousand holes in my coat, and 
without a sole to either shoe or stocking — that I am to go 
on always getting poorer and poorer " (here his eyes grew 
moist in spite of him, and his voice faltered), " may the 
devil take me and lash me to death with the tuft of his tail ' 
if I leave off laughing and singing ; and anybody who pities 
me, I tell him to his face, is an ass. Good heavens! the 
apostles, and Diogenes, and Epictetus, and Socrates, had 
seldom a whole coat to their backs — never such a thing as 
a shirt — and shall a creature such as I let a hair of him turn 
grey for such a reason, in miserable provjncialistic times 
such as these?" 

* Jews were formerly obliged to stand with bare feet on pigs-skia 
when they took oath. 



CHAP. *t.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 193 

Right, my Firmian ! Have a proper contempt for the 
narrow heart-sacs of the big clothes-moths about, you — the 
human furniture-boring worms. And ye, poor devils, who 
chance to be reading me — whether ye be sitting in colleges 
or in offices, or even in parsonage-houses, who perhaps 
haven't got a hat without a hole in it to put on your heads, 
most certainly haven't got a black one — rise above the 
effeminate surroundings of your times to the grand Greek 
and Roman days, wherein it was thought no disgrace to a 
noble human creature to have neither clothes nor temple, 
like the statue of Hercules; take heed only that your soul 
shares not the poverty of your outward circumstances ; 
lift your faces to heaven with pride — a sickly faint northern 
Aurora is veiling it, but the eternal stars are breaking 
through the thin blood-red storm ! 

It was but a few weeks now to the St. Andrew's Day 
shooting-match, which was Lenette's consolation in all her 
tooubles, and to which all her wishes were directed ; how- 
ever, there came one day on which she was something worse 
than melancholy — inconsolable. 

This was Michaelmas : on that day the press was to havo 
followed Lenette's Salzburg emigrants, the napkins, as their 
lady superior; but nobody in all the town would have 
anything to do with it. The sole anchor of refuge was one 
Jew, because there was no species of animal (in the shape 
of articles of merchandise) which did not flee to his Noah's 
ark of a shop. Unfortunately, however, the day when the 
napkin-press applied to him was a Jewish feast-day, which 
he kept more strictly than ever he did his word. He said 
he would see about it to-morrow. 

Permit me, if you please, to take this opportunity of 
making a few remarks of importance. Is it not a piece of 
most culpable negligence on the part of the Government 
that, seeing the Jews are, as it were, farmers-general and 
metal-kings of the Christians in German states, the days 
of their feasts and fasts, and other times connected with 
their worship, are not published and clearly made known 
for the benefit of those very numerous persons who wish 
to borrow of them, or have any business to transact with 
them? Those who suffer most from this omission are just 
the upper circles of society, persons of birth and rank, 

U. O 



194 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II, 

officials of high position ; these are the persons who bring 
papers and want money on Feasts of Haman, Feasts of 
Esther, of the Destruction of the Temple, of the Rejoicing 
of the Law, and can't obtain any. Surely the Jewish fes- 
tivals, with the hours at which they begin and end, ought to 
be given in every almanack — as they have been fortunately, 
for a considerable time, in those of Berlin and Bavaria — or 
in newspapers — or be proclaimed by the crier, and carefully 
taught in schools. The Jew, indeed, has m need of a 
calendar of our festivals, since we are always ready to put 
off and postpone, if he likes, every Sunday of the year, 
though it were the first Sunday of it, the feast of the Jewish 
Circumcision ; and consequently hereafter, when the uni- 
versal monarchy of the Jews is actually established, he 
won't take the trouble to append a Christian calendar to 
his own Jewish calendars, as we now append the Jewish to 
our Christian. The necessity, however, of inculcating in 
our schools a better and more exact acquaintance with the 
seasons of the Jewish festivals, and with their religious 
observances in general, will not be so fully manifest until 
hereafter, when the Jews shall have elevated Germany to 
the proud position of being their Land of Promise, leaving 
us to make our crusade, and our return to the Asiatic land 
of promise, if we feel disposed — to a holy sepulchre, and a 
sacred Calvary. 

And yet I think (to close this digression by another) 
that hereafter, when we become the Christian numerators 
of Jewish denominators, we should be wrong to set out, as 
modern crusaders, for the holy land, as to which the Jews 
themselves trouble their heads but little. It is certain that 
they will treat us with a far wider measure of the spirit of 
tolerance than we, unfortunately, have extended to them ; 
but their genius for commerce, which they have hitherto 
been so much reproached with, will be found to prove itself 
a guardian angel for us poor Christians, and to take us under 
its tutelage, inasmuch as we are so indispensably necessary 
to them as purchasers and consumers of the unprepared hind- 
quarters of the cattle (for it is only the fore-quarters which 
they may eat, unless the veins are all taken out). Who 
eise but Christians can take the place of the beasts of 
burden — as no animal may be degraded by working on 



.CHAP. VI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 19o 

the "Schabbes"* (Sabbath) — and perform the necessary 
draught and other labour ? and to whom are they to entrust 
the performance of menial and manual employments, like 
the ancient republicans, but to us, their nobler slaves and 
helots, whom they will, therefore, be sure to treat with 
more consideration than they have hereto fore treated us 
when we have omitted to pay our promissory notes as they 
became due. 

I return to our poor's advocate, and record that on 
Michaelmas Day he could get no money, and consequently 
no Michaelmas goose. Lenette's grief at the absence of 
the goose of her ecclesiastical communion we must all 
share. Women, who care less about eating and drinking 
than the most ascetic philosophers — caring, indeed, more 
about the latter themselves than about the former — are at 
the same time not to be controlled if they have to go without 
certain chronological articles of diet. Their natural liking 
for burgherly festivities brings it about that they would 
rather go without the appointed hymns and the gospel of 
the day than without butter-cakes at Christmas, cheese- 
cakes at Easter, the goose at Michaelmas ; their stomachs 
require a particular cover for each festival, like Catholic 
altars. So that the canonical dish is a kind of secondary 
sacrament, which, like the primary one, they take, not for 
the palate's sake, but " by reason of the ordinance." Anto- 
ninus and Epictetus could provide Siebenkses with no 
efficient substitute for the goose, with which to console the 
weeping Lenette, who said, "We really are Christians, 
whatever you may say, and belong to the Lutheran Church ; 
and every Lutheran has a goose on his table to-day — l : m 
sure my poor dear father and mother always had. As for 
you, you believe in nothing." Whether he believed m 
anything or not, however, he slipped off, though it was the 
afternoon of the Jewish feast-day, to the Jew, who kept a 
nice pen of geese, with livers both fat and lean, serving 
as a post-stable for country friends of his own religion. 

* Animals may not carry anything on the Schabhes ; even the lappets 
which fowls sometimes have tied to them as marks of distinction, havu 
to be taken off on that day ; and the Jews must get non-Jews to milk 
for them; they may not even wipe off dust or moisture from theil 
persons. 

o2 



196 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

When he went into his place he pulled a duodecimo Ilebrew 
Bible out of his pocket and put it down on the table, with 
the words, " It was a great pleasure to him to meet with a 
keen, diligent, student of the law ; to such a man it would 
be a real satisfaction to make a present of his Bible, without 
asking a halfpenny for it ; as it was, an unpointed edition 
(that is to say, one without vowels), he couldn't read it 
himself, especially as even if it had had points, he couldn't 
have managed it. This napkin-press of mine, here " — he 
said, producing it from under his coat-tails — "I should 
be very glad if you would allow me to leave with you, 
because I find it a good deal in my way at home ; I 
don't quite know what to do with it. You see, I have 
particular reasons for being anxious to get hold of a goose 
out of your pen ; I don't mind if it's as thin as a whipping- 
post. If you like, you may call it giving it to me in charity 
on a holy day of this sort, for all I care; it '11 make no 
difference to me. If I should ever come and take away the 
press again, it'll be an easy matter, and it'll be time enough, 
to go into the transaction afresh." 

It was thus that, in order to secure his wife the free 
exercise of her religious observances, he brought in this 
goose of controversy, which seemed to have some polemical 
bearing, as well as to be connected with distinctive doo- 
trines of faith; and next day these two Doctor Martin 
Lutherists ate up the Schmalkaldian article (and, indeed, 
another Schmalkaldian article, a commercial one — cold iron, 
namely — has often been employed in defence of the articles 
of theology). Thus was the capitol of the Lutheran 
religion saved, in an easy manner, by the bird, which was 
roasted (so to speak) at the fire of an auto-da-fe. 

But on this particular morning up came the wigmaker, 
an individual whom he was delighted to see generally, 
though not to-day, for on the day before, Michaelmas, the 
quarter's house rent was due, as we may remember. The 
Friseur presented himself as a sort of mute bill " at sight ;" 
yet he was polite enough not to ask for anything. He 
merely mentioned, in a casual manner, that "there was 
going to be an auction of a variety of things on the Monday 
before St. Andrew's Day, and in case the advocate might 
care to get together a few things for it, he thought lie 



CHAP. VI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 197 

would give him notice of it, as he held a life appointment 
from the Houses of Assembly as auction-crier." 

He was scarcely down stairs before Lenette gave deep, 
but not loud, expression to her woes, saying he had " dunned 
them now, and that the whole house must know all ahout 
their disreputable style of housekeeping : had he not talked 
about furniture?" It was incomprehensible how the poor 
woman could have fancied anybody had been in the dark 
about it before ! Poor people are always the first to nose 
out poverty. At the same time Firmian had been ashamed 
to tell the Friseur that he had been obliged to appoint 
himself auctioneer of his own furniture. Here he per- 
ceived that he blushed for his poverty more before one 
person, and before the poor, than he did before a whole 
town, and before the rich ; and he flew into a furious indig- 
nation with these execrable eructations of human vanity in 
his noblest parts. 

The path from hence to St. Andrew's Day, all bordered 
with nothing but thistles as it is, cannot possibly seem 
longer, even to the reader, than it did to my hero, who, 
moreover, had to take hold of the thistles and pull them up 
with his own hands. The garden of his life kept getting 
more and more like a jardin Anglais, where only prickly and 
barren trees, but no fruit-ti ees, were to be found. 

Every night, when he opened the latch of his bed- 
railings, he would say, with great enjoyment, to his 
Lenette, " Only twenty (or nineteen, or eighteen, or seven- 
teen) days now to the shooting-match." But the hair- 
dresser and auction-crier had played the deuce and all with 
Lenette, though the evenings were long and dark and 
splendidly convenient for needy borrowers on deposit, 
veiling and hiding the naked, abashed, misery of the poor ; 
she was ashamed the people in the house should know, 
and afraid to meet them. Firmian, who was astonished 
equally at the inexhaustible resources of his brain and of 
his house, and who kept saying to himself, " Do you know, 
I'm really curious to see what 1 shall hit upon to-day again, 
and how I shall manage to get out of this difficulty now — " 
Firmian, a day or two after the Michaelmas dinner, got his 
eye upon two more good articles of furniture — a long cask- 
siphon and a rocking-horse (a relic of his childhood). " We 



198 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER, [BOOK IT. 

haven't a cask, and wo haven't a bahy," he said. But hia 
wife implored him, for heaven's sake, u not to put her to 
this shame. The horse and the siphon " (she said) " are 
things that would stick out of the basket so terribly, or out 
from under one's apron, and in the moonlight everybody 
would see them." 

And yet something must go! Firmian said, in an odd 
cutting, yet sorrowful way, " It must be so ! Fate, like 
Pritzel,* is beating on the bottom of the drum, and the oats 
are jumping on the top of it ; we have got to eat off tho 
drum." 

" Anything," she said, faint and beaten, " except things 
that stick out so." She searched about, opened the top 
drawer of tho cupboard, and took out a faded wreath of 
artificial flowers : she said, " Bather take this ! " and neither 
smiled nor wept ! He had often looked at it ; but as he 
had sent it to her himself last New Year's Day, the day of 
their betrothal, and because it was so romantically beautifu] 
(a white rose, two red rosebuds, and a border of forget- 
me-nots) every fibre of that tender heart of his would have 
stood out against parting with this pretty relic — this me- 
morial of better, happier, days. The patient, resigned way 
in which she made the sacrifice of these poor old flowers 
tore his heart in two. " Lenette ! " he said, moved beyond 
expression — "why, you know, these are our betrothal 
flowers ! " 

" Well, who's to be any the wiser," she said, quite cheer- 
fully and quite coolly. " You see they're not so big as 
other things are.'* 

M Have you forgotten, then quite," he stammered, " what 
I told you these flowers meant ? " 

" Let me see," she said, more coldly still, and proud of 
the goodness of her memory, "the forget-me-nots mean 
that I'm not to forget you, and that you won't forget me — 
the buds mean happiness — no, no, the buds mean happi* 
ness that's not quite all como yet — and the white rose — I 
don't recollect tow what the white rose means " 

* Frizelius trained war-horses to stand the beating of the drums in 
bnttle, by screwing oats on the tops of drums, and beating on the lower 
side of them while the horses ate the oats as they jumped about oa 
tho top. 



CHAP. Vi.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 199 

" It means pain " (he said, overwhelmed with emotion), 
" and innocence, and sorrow, and a poor white face." He 
clasped her in his arms, as the tears came to his eyes, and 
cried, " Oh !" poor darling! poor darling! What can I do? 
It's all beyond me ! I should like to give you everything 
the world contains, and I have nothing " 

He ceased suddenly, for while his arms were round her, 
she had shut up the drawer of the cuphoard, and was 
looking at him with calm, clear, gentle eyes, not the trace 
of a tear in them. She resumed her petition in the old tone 
saying, " I may keep the siphon and the horse, mayn't I ? 
We shall get more money for the flowers." What he said 
was, " Lenette ! — Oh, darling Lenette," over and over again, 
each time more tenderly. 

" But why not?" she asked, more gently each time, for 
she didn't understand him in the least. "I had sooner 
pawn the coat off my back," was his answer. But as she 
now got the alarming idea into her head that what he was 
driving at was the calico gown, and as this put her into a 
great svate, and as she immediately began to inveigh warmly 
against all pledging of large articles ; and as he clearly 
perceived that her previous coldness had been thoroughly 
genuine, and not assumed, he knew, alas ! the very worst, 
a grief which no sweet drops of philosophy could avail to 
alleviate, namely — she either loved him no longer, or, she 
had never really loved him at all. 

The sinews of his arms were now fairly cut in two, the 
sinews of his arms which had till now kept misfortune at 
bay. In the prostration of this his (spiritual) putrid fever 
he could say nothing but — " Whatever you please, dear ; 
it's all the same to me now." 

Upon that, she went out delighted, and quickly, to old 
Sabel, but came back again immediately. This pleased him ; 
sorrow having gnawed deeper into his heart during the 
three moments she was gone, he could follow up the bitter 
speech with these quiet words : " Put up your marriage 
wreath along with the other flowers, there'll be a little 
more weight, and a little more money for it ; though it is 
nothing like such pretty work as my flowers." 

"My marriage wreath?" cried Lenette, colouring with 
anger, while two bitter tears burst from her eyes. " No, 



200 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK 11 

that I positively shall not let go, it shall be put with me 
into my coffin, as my poor dear mother's was. Did you not 
take it up in your hand from the table on my wedding-day, 
when I had taken it off to have my hair powdered, and 
say you thought quite as much of it as you did of the 
marriage ceremony itself, if not more ? (I noticed what 
you said very carefully, and remember it quite distinctly). 
No, no, I am your wife, at all events, and I shall never let 
that wreath go as long as I live." 

His emotion now took a new bent, one more in harmony 
with hers, but he masked this behind the question, " What 
made you come back in such a hurry ? " It was that old 
Sabel had just been in at thi bookbinder's, it seemed, and 
Herr von Meyern had been there too. That young gentle- 
man was in the habit of getting off his horse and dropping 
in, partly to see what new books the ladies were having 
bound at the bookbinder's, and in what sort of pretty 
bindings, partly to stick up his leg with its riding boot 
upon the cobbler's bench and get him to stitch a top 
tighter, asking about all sorts of things during the process. 
The world — (which expression can only mean the col- 
lection of female tongue-threshers of empty straw belong- 
ing to Kuhschnappel) — may undoubtedly conclude, if it 
be so minded, the Venner to be a regular Henry the Fowler 
with respect to more women than one in the house, the 
latter being a feminine Voliere to him ; but I want proofs 
of this. Lenette, however, didn't trouble herself about 
any proofs, but piously fled out of the way of Kosa the 
birdcatcher. 

I further relate (doing so, moreover, without any very 
marked blush for the mutability of the human heart) that 
at this point Firmian's compressed thoracic cavity grew 
several inches wider, so as to give admission to a con- 
siderable modicum of happiness, for no other reason but 
that Lenette had kept such a tight grasp of her marriage- 
wreath, and had endured the Yenner for so short a time. 
" She is faithful, at all events, although she may be 
rather cool ; in fact, I don't really believe she is a bit cool, 
either, after all." So that he was quite pleased that she 
should have her way (which was his also) about keeping 
the wedding-wreath in the house and in her heart. Be- 



CHAP. VI. J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 201 

6ides which, without contending further ahout the he* 
trothal-wreath, he let her have that other way of hers, 
though less willingly — this being a proceeding which 
hurt his feelings only, not hers. His old flower keepsake 
was accordingly deposited in the hands of an ohliging lady 
who rejoiced in the title of " Appraiser," on the solemn 
understanding that it was to he redeemed with the very 
first dollar which should drop from the bird-pole on tit. 
Andrew's Day. 

The blood-money of these silken flowers was so parcelled 
out as to be made available by way of stepping-stones in 
the muddy path leading to the Sunday before the shooting- 
match. This Sunday (the 27th November, 1785) was to 
be followed by the Monday for which the auction had 
been announced ; on the \\ ednesday he (and I hope all 
of us with him) would be in his place in front of the 
bird-pole. 

It is true, however, that on the Sunday he had to ford 
a stream swollen to a considerable extent by rainy weather; 
we will go through it after him, but 1 give due notice that, 
iu the middle, it is pretty deep. 

The stomach of his inner man evinced a wonderful dis- 
relish, and exhibited a reversed peristaltic motion towards 
everything in the shape of pawning, since the affair of 
the flowers. The reason was — there was nothing more to 
which he could refer his wife. At first, he used to refer 
her to the shooting-match ; but when the mortar and the 
chair had evacuated the fortress without tuck of drum, 
they not being articles of a sort to be obtained as prizes 
for shooting, he took to referring her to public auctions 
at which he could always buy what he might require at 
about half price. Finally, though still referring her to 
auctions, he did so no longer with a view to import, 
but to export, trade — as a seller, rather than as a buyer, 
of commodities ; in which respect he surpasses Spain. 

He who has risen victorious over great and serious 
attacks of an insulting or offensive nature, has often had to 
yield to very small and trifling ones ; and so it is with 
our troubles. The stout, firm heart, which has beat 
strongly on all through long years of bitter trial and 
affliction, will often break at once, like over-flooded ice, at 



202 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL 

some lightest touch of Fortune's foot. Till now, Siebenkees 
had carried himself erect, and borne his burden without a 
bend, ay, and with a merrier heart than many a man. 
Up to this hour, he really hadn't minded the whole affair 
one single button. Had he not (merely to mention one or 
two instances) pointed out that, in the matter of clothes, he 
was better off than the Emperor of Germany, who (he said) 
had nothing to put on, on his coronation-day in Frankfort, 
but a frightful old cast-off robe of Charles the Great's, not 
much better than Rabelais's old gown, though that was not 
by several centuries so old as the Imperial one? And 
once when his wife was sadly looking over his fading 
perennial clothes flora, he told her all she had to do was 
to suppose he was serving in the new world with a 
thousand or so of other Anspach men, and the ship which 
was bringing out their new uniforms had been captured 
by the enemy, so that the whole force had nothing to put 
on but what they would have preferred to have been able 
to take off. Likewise that what he had had to go upon, 
and to take his stand xipon for a considerable time past, 
had been something much superior to his own pair of 
boots (by this he clearly meant pure apathy) ; as for his 
boots, they, having been twice new fronted, had been 
shoved in like pocket telescopes, or trombones, till they 
had become a pair of fair hal f- boots ; just as the German 
corpora, also, by the influence of long years of civilisa- 
tion and culture, have got considerably taken in, the long 
rifle having been docked into a short, or non-commis- 
sioned officers' rifle. 

But on the Sunday to which I am alluding, he was far 
too much scared at the sight of one single bird of prey and 
of ill omen, flying athwart the lonely Sahara desert iu 
which his life was passing. He himself was taken by 
surprise at this alarm of his ; he would have expected 
anything else but alarm under the circumstances. For as 
it nad hitherto been his custom to prepare himself for dark 
and tragic scenes by comedy rehearsals of them — by which 
1 mean, that he carefully read up, beforehand, all the 
legal steps which Herr von Blaise could take against him, 
thus taking up, in sport, and in advance, the burdens 
which the future had in store — it astonished him greatly 



CHAP. VI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 203 

to find that an ill, quite certain to come, and clearly fore- 
seen, should prove to have longer thorns, when it came 
up towards him out of ihe future, than it seemed to possess 
while still at a distance. 

So that when, on the Sunday, the messenger of the 
Inheritance Office came, with the long-expected third dila- 
tory plea of the Heimlicher, and with the third affirmatory 
decree written on the face thereof, as his breast was in 
the condition of a vacuum (no air to breathe in it) before 
his coming, his poor heart grew sick and breathless indeed, 
when this fresh stroke of the air-pump exhausted the 
receiver even more thoroughly than it had been emptied 
before. 

Amid the multiplicity of matters which it has been my 
duty to report to the public, I have omitted, on purpose, all 
mention of the second of Mr. Blaise's dilatory pleas, because 
1 thought I might assume that every reader who has had as 
much as half a ship's pound weight of legal documents 
through his hands — or one single settlement of law accounts 
— would take it for granted, as a matte] - of couise, that the 
first petition for delay would infallibly be followed by a 
second. It reflects much discredit on our administration of 
justice that every upright, honourable counsel finds himself 
compelled to adduce such a number of reasons (I wish I 
might say " lies ") before he can be accorded the smallest, 
necessary term of delay ; he has got to say his children 
and his wife are dying ; that he has met with all kinds of 
unfortunate accidents, and has thousands of things to do, 
journeys to make, and sicknesses. Whereas it ought to be 
quite enough for him to say that the preparation of the 
innumerable petitions for delay with which he is over- 
whelmed, leaves him little time to write anything else. 
People ought to notice that these petitions for delay tend, 
as all other petitions do, to the protracting cf the suit, just 
as all the wheels of a watch work together to retard the 
principal wheel. A slow pulse is a sign of longevity not 
only in human beings but in lawsuits. It seems to me 
that an advocate who has any conscience is glad to do 
what he can to promote the length of life in his opponent's' 
suit — not in his own client's, he would make an end of that 
in a minute if he could — partly to punish the said opponent, 



204 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL 

partly to terrify him, or else to snatch from his grasp a 
favourable judgment (a sort of thing as to which nobody 
can form an idea whether it is likely or not) — for as many 
years as possible ; just as in • Gulliver's Travels/ the 
people who had a black mark on their brow were doomed 
to the torture of eternal life. The object of the man of 
business on the opposite side is a similar prolongation of 
the war to his opponents, and thus the two counsel immesh 
the two clients in a long drag-net of documents, &c., each 
with the best possible intentions. On the whole, lawyers 
are not so indifferent to the question, " W hat is the law ? " 
as to the question, " "What is justice?" For which reason 
they prefer arguing to writing ; as Simonides, when he was 
asked by the king the question, M What is God ? " begged 
for a day to consider his answer — then for another day — 
then for another — and for another, and always for another, 
because no man's life is sufficient to answer that question — 
so the jurist, when he is asked. "What is justice?" keeps 
continually asking for more and more delays — he can 
never reply to the question — indeed, if the judges and 
clients would let him, he would gladly devote his whole 
life to writing replies to a legal question of this sort. 
Advocates are so used to this way of looking at matters, 
that it never strikes them that there is anything unusual 
about it. 

I return to my story. This blow of the iron secular arm, 
with its six long thief- and writing-fingers, all but felled 
Siebenkaes to the earth. The vapours about his path in 
life condensed to morning mist, the morning mist to even- 
ing clouds, the clouds to showers of rain. " Many a poor 
devil has more to do than he can manage," he said. It* he 
had had a pleasant, cheerful wife, he would not have said 
this ; but one such as his, who painfully trailed her cross 
(instead of taking it up), and was all lamentations — an 
elegiac poetess, a Job's comforter — was herself a second 
cross to bear. 

He set to work and thought the whole thing over ; he 
had hardly enough left to buy the next year's almanack, 
or a bundle of Hamburgh quills (for his satires used up 
Lenette's feather dusters much' more than his own ener- 
gies, so that he often thought of cutting Stiefel's red 



CHAP. VI. J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 205 

pipe-stalk into a pen) ; he would have heen delighted to 
convert his plates into something to eat (there were none 
left, however), following the example of the Gauls, who 
used round pieces of bread as plates first, and afterwards 
as dessert ; or of the Huns, who, after riding upon pieces 
of beef (by way of saddles) till it was partly cooked, dined 
upon these saddles. His half-boots would need to be new 
fronted, and abbreviated for the third time, before the 
arrival of the impending shooting-match day ; and of the 
necessary requisites for the performance of that operation 
the only one in existence was the artist, Fecht the cobbler. 
In short, for that important occasion he had nothing to 
put on his back or in his pocket, his bullet-pouch, or his 
powder-born. 

When a man intentionally works his anxieties and ap- 
prehensions up to the highest possible pitch, some con- 
solation is sure to fall upon his heart from heaven, like a 
drop of warm rain. Siebenkaes began catechising himself 
more strictly, asking himself what it really was that he 
was tormenting himself about. Nothing but the fear of 
having to go to the shooting-match without money, with- 
out powder and shot, and without having had his boots 
abbreviated for the third time ! " Is that really all ? " he 
said. " And what, if you please, is there to make it a 
compulsory matter that I should go there at all? I'll 
tell you what it is " (he went on to himself), " I am the 
monkey complaining bitterly that, having stuck his hand 
into a narrow-mouthed bottle of rice, and filled it, he can't 
pull it out without a corkscrew. All I've got to do is to 
sell my rifle and my shooting ticket; all I've got to do is 
to open my hand and draw it out empty." So he made up 
his mind to take his rifle to the barber on the day of the 
auction to be put up to ss le. 

All battered, bruised, and weary with the day, he 
climbed into his bed, with the thought of which safe and 
sheltered anchoring ground he consoled himself all day 
long. " There is this blessed property about night," he 
said, as he sat and spread the feathers of his quilt level, 
" that while it lasts we need trouble ourselves neither about 
candles, coals, victuals, drink, debts, nor clothes ; all we 
want is a bed. A poor fellow is in peace and comfort as 



206 . JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK II. 

long as he is lying down : and, luckily, he has only got to 
stand for half of his time." 

The attacks of syncope, to which our sonls and our 
cheerfulness are subject, cease, as those of the body do 
(according to Zimmerinann), when the patient is placed in 
a horizontal position. 

Had his bed been provided with bed-tassel, I should 
have called it the capstan, whereby he heaved himself 
slowly up on the Monday morning from his resting place. 
When he got up, he ascended to the garret, where his rifle 
was nailed up in an old, long field-chest, to keep it safe. 
This rifle was a valuable legacy from his father, who had 
been huntsman and gun-loader to a great prince of the 
empire. He took a crowbar, and, using it as a lever, prised 
up the lid with its roots, t. e. nails ; and the first thing he 
saw in it was a leather arm, which " gave him quite a 
turn ;" for he had had many a good thrashing from that 
arm in bygone days. 

It will not take me too far out of my way to expend a 
word or two on this subject This full-dress arm had been 
borne by Siebenkres's father on his body (as it might be in 
the field of his escutcheon) ever since the time when he 
had lost his natural arm in the military service of the 
before-mentioned prince, who, as some slight reward, had 
got him his appointment as gun-loader to his corps of 
Jagers. The gun-loader wore this auxiliary arm fastened 
to a hook on his left shoulder ; it being more like the arm 
of a Hussar's pelisse, or an elongated glove, worn by way of 
ornament, than as a month Christian of an arm (pretending 
to be what it was not). In the education of his children, 
however, the leather arm served, to some extent, the pur- 
pose of a school library and Bible Society, and was the 
collaborateur of the fleshly arm. Every -day shoitcomings 
■ — for instance, when Firmian made a mistake in his mul- 
tiplication, or rode on the pointer dog, or ate gunpowder, 
or broke a pipe — were punished not severely, that is, only 
with a stick, which in all good schools runs up the backs 
or the children by way of capillary sap-vessel or siphon, 
to supply the nourishing juice of knowledge ; or is the 
carriage-pole to which entire winter-schools are harnessed, 
and at which they tug with a will. But there were two 



CHAP. VI. J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 207 

other sorts of transgressions which he punished more 
severely. When one of the children laughed at table 
during meals, or hesitated, or made a blunder during 
the long table-grace or evening prayers, he would imme- 
diately amputate his adventitious arm with his natural 
one, and administer a tremendous thrashing to the little 
darling. 

Firmian remembered, as if it had happened yesterday, 
one occasion when he and his sisters had been thrashed, 
turn about, for a whole half-hour at dinner-time with the 
battle-flail, because one of them began to laugh while the 
long muscle was swishing about the ears of another, who 
was serious enough. The sight of the bit of leather made 
his heart burn even at this day. I can quite see the advan- 
tage to parents and teachers who try the expedient of 
unhooking an empty by an organic arm, and smiting a 
pupil with this species of Concordat, and alliance between 
the temporal and spiritual arms; but this mode of punish- 
ment ought to be invariably the one made use of; for there 
is nothing which infuriates children more than anything 
new in the way ■* f instruments of punishment, or a new 
mode of application of those in general use. A child who 
is accustomed to rulers and blows on the back, must not 
be set upon with boxes on the ear and bare hands ; nor 
one accustomed to the latter treated to the former. The 
author of these Flower-pieces had once a slipper thrown 
at him in his earlier days. The scar of that slipper is still 
fresh in his heart, whereas he has scarcely any recol- 
lection of lickings of the ordinary sort. 

biebenkaes pulled the arm of punishment and the rifle 
out of the chest ; but what a treasure trove there was 
beneath them ! Here was help, indeed ! At all events he 
could go to the shooting-match in shorter boots, and eat 
whatever he liked for some days to come. What most 
astonishes both him and me in this affair (it is easily 
explicable, however) is that he had never thought of it 
sooner, inasmuch as his father was a Jager ; while, on the 
other hand, I must confess it could not have happened on 
a luckier day, because it chanced to be just the day of the 
auction. 

The hunting spear, the horse's tail, the deooy bird, the 



U08 JEAN PAUL FR1EDEICH RICIITEB. [BOOK II. 

fox-trap, the couteau de cJiasse, the medicine-chest, the 
fencing mask and foil — a collection of things which he 
had never had a thought of looking for in the chest — could 
be taken over instantly to the town-house, and set ud to 
auction on the spot by the hairdressing Saxon. 

It was done accordingly. After all his troubles, the 
little piece of good luck warmed and gladdened his heart. 
He went himself after the box — which was sent just as it 
stood to the auction, except that the rifle and. the leathern 
artery were kept back — to hear what would be offered for 
the things. 

He took up his position (on account of the excessive 
length of his half-boots) at the back of the auctioneer's 
table, close to his hectic landlord. The sight of this pile 
of heterogeneous goods and chattels all heaped up hig- 
gledy-piggledy (as if some grand conflagration were raging, 
and it had been collected in haste for safety ; or as if it 
were the plunder of some captured city), goods and chat- 
tels sold, for the most part, by people on the downward 
path to poverty, and bought by those who had arrived at 
poverty already — had the effect of making him contemn 
and despise more every moment all this complex pumping 
apparatus, this machinery for keeping the spring-wells of 
a few petty, feeble lives in clear and vigorous flow ; and 
he himself, the engineer and driver of this machinery, felt 
his sense of manliness grow stronger. He was furious 
with himself, because his soul had seemed yesterday to 
be but a sham jewel, which a drop of aquafortis deprives 
of its colour and lustre, whereas a real jewel never loses 
either. 

Nothing awakens our humour more, nor renders us more 
utterly indifferent to the honour paid to mere rank and 
worldly position, than our being in any manner compelled 
to fall back upon the honour due to ourselves (independently 
of our chance position), our own intrinsic worth, our being 
compelled to tar over our inner boing with philosophy (as 
if it were a Diogenes' tub), by way of protection against 
injuries from without; or (in a prettier metaphor) when, 
like pearl oysters, we have to exude pearls of maxims to 
fill the holes which worms bore in our mother-of-pearl. 
Now pearls are better than uninjured mother-of-pearl ; 



CHAP. VI.l FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 209 

an idea which I should like to have written in letters of 
gold. 

I have good reasons of my own for prefacing what has 
to follow with all this philosophy, because I want to get 
the reader into such a f rame of mind that he may not make 
too great a fuss about what the advocate is going to do 
now : it was really nothing but a harmless piece of fun. As 
the be-powdered lungs of the auctioneer were more adapted 
to wheezing and coughing than to shouting, he took the 
auction-hammer from this hammer-man and sold off the 
things himself. True, he only did it for about half an 
hour, and only auctioned his own things ; and even then 
he would have thought twice about taking the hammer in 
hand and setting to work, if it hadn't been such an inde- 
scribable delight to him to hold up the horse's tail, the 
spear, the decoy-bird, &c, and hammer on the table and 
cry, ° Four groschen for the horse's tail, once ! five kreuzer 
for the decoy, twice I — going ! Half-a dollar for the fox- 
trap, once ! two gulden for this fine foil, twice ! two 
gulden — going — going — and gone!" He did what it is 
an auctioneer's duty to do, he praised the goods. He 
turned the horse's tail over and over, and opened it out 
before the huntsmen who were at the sale (the shooting- 
match had attracted many from a distance, as carrion 
does vultures), stroked it with and against the hair, and 
said there was enough of it to make snares for all the 
blackbirds in the Black Forest. He held up the decoy- 
bird in its best light, exhibiting to the company its wooden 
beak, its wings, talons, and feathers, and only wished there 
were a hawk present, that he might bait the decoy and 
lure it. 

The entries in his housekeeping account-book, which, on 
account of the wretchedness of my memoiy, I have had to 
refer to twice, show that the sum received from the huntsmen 
amounted to seven florins and some groschen. This does 
not include the medicine-chest nor the long-necked mask ; 
for nobody would have anything to say to them. When 
he went home he poured the whole of this crown-treasure 
and sinking-fund into Lenette's gold satchel, taking occa- 
sion to warn her and himself of the dangers of great riches, 
and holding up to both the example of those who are arro- 

ii. p 



210 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL 

gant by reason of wealth, and must therefore of necessity, 
sooner or later, come to ruin. 

In my Seventh Chapter, which T shall commence imme- 
diately, I shall at length be able, after all these thousands 
of domestic worries and miseries, to conduct the learned 
world of Germany to the shooting-ground and present to 
them my hero as a worthy member of the shooting-club, 
with a rifle and bullets, and properly and respectably — well, 
booted, more than attired — for his bullets are cast, his rifle 
cleaned, and his boots have put on their shoes, Fecht having 
stitched, on his kne^, the three-quarter boots down to half- 
boots, and soled them with the — leather arm, of which 
enough has been said already. 



CHAPTER VII. 



THE SHOOTING-MATCH — ROSAS AUTUMNAL CAMPAIGN — CON- 
SIDERATIONS CONCERNING CURSES, KISSES, AND THE MILITIA. 

There is nothing which so much inconveniences me, or is 
so much to the prejudice of this story (so beautiful in 
itself), as the fact that I have made a resolution to restrict 
it within the compass of four alphabets. I have thus, by 
my own act, deprived myself of everything in the shape of 
room for digressions. I find myself, metaphorically, in a 
somewhat similar position to one which I once found myself 
in, without metaphor, on an occasion when I was measuring 
the diameter and circumference of the town of Hof. On 
that occasion I had fastened a Catel's pedometer by a hook 
to the waistband of my trousers and the silken cord which 
runs down the thigh to a curved hook of steel at my knee, 
so that the three indexes on one dial (of which the first 
marks a hundred steps, the second a thousand, and the third 
up to twenty thousand) were all moving just as I moved 
myself. At this moment I met a young lady, whom it was 
incumbent on me that I should see home. I begged her 
to excuse me, as I had a Catel's pedometer on, and had 
already made a certain number of steps towards my mea- 
surement of the diameter of Hof. " You see, in a moment,** 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 211 

I said, " how I am situated. The pedometer, like a species 
of conscience, records all the steps I take ; and, with a lady, 
I shall be obliged to take shorter steps, besides thousands 
of sidewayand backward steps, all of which the pedometer 
will put to the account of the diameter. So, you see, I am 
afraid, it's quite impossible that I can have the pleasure 
of " However, this only made her the more deter- 
mined that I should, and 1 was well laughed at : but I 
screwed myself to the spot, and wouldn't stir. At last I 
said I would go home with her, pedometer and all, if she 
would just read off my indexes for me (seeing I couldn't 
twist myself down low enough to see the dial) — read them 
off for me twice — firstly, then and there, and secondly, 
when we got to her house — so that I might deduct the 
steps taken by me in this young lady's company from the 
size of Huf. This agreement was honestly kept ; and this 
little account of the occurrence may be of service to me 
some day if ever I publish (as 1 have not given up all 
hopes of doing) my perspective sketch of the town of 
Hof ; and townspeople who saw me walking with the said 
young lady, and with the pedometer trailing at my knee, 
might cast it in my teeth and say it was a lame affair, and 
that nobody could calculate as to the steps he might take 
in a lady's company, far less apply them to the measurement 
of a town. 

St. Andrew's Day was bright and fine, and not very 
windy. It was tolerably warm, and there wasn't as much 
snow in the furrows as would have cooled a nutshell of 
wine, or knocked over a humming-bird. On the previous 
Tuesday Siebenkaas had been looking on with the other 
spectators, when the bird-pole had described its majestic 
arc in descending to impale the black golden eagle with 
outstretched wings, and rise again therewith on high. He 
felt some emotion as the thought struck him, " That bird 
of prey up there holds in his claws, and will dispense, the 
happiness or the misery of thy Lenette's coming weeks, 
and our goddess of Fortune has transformed herself and 
dwindled into that black form, nothing left of her but her 
wings and ball." 

On St. Andrew's morning, as he said gooa-oye to Lenette, 
with kisses, and in his abbreviated boots, over which he 

p2 



212 ' JEAN PAUL TEIEDRICH RICHTEE. [ BOOK it 

had a pair of goloshes, she said, " May God grant you luck, 
and not let you do any mischief with your rifle." She 
asked several times if there was nothing he had forgotten — 
his eyeglass, or his handkerchief, or his purse ; " And mind 
you don't get into any quarrel with Mr. von Meyern," was 
her parting counsel : and finally, as one or two preliminary 
thundrous drum-ruffles were heard from the direction nt 
the courthouse, she added most anxiously, " For God's 
sake, mind and don't shoot yourself; my blood will run 
cold the whole forenoon every time I hear a gun go off!" 

At length the long thread of riflemen, rolled up like a 
ball, began to unwind itself, and the waving line, like 
a great serpent, moved off in surging convolutions to the 
sound of trumpets and drums. A banner represented the 
serpent's crest, and the standard-bearer's coat was like a 
second flag beneath *he other. The town-soldiery, more 
remarkable for quality than for quantity, shot the mottled 
line of competitors at intervals with the white of their 
uniforms. The auctioneering hairdresser — the only member 
of the lower ten thousand who rejoiced in a powdered 
head — tripped along, keeping the white peak of his cap at 
the due degree of distance from the leather pigtails of the 
aristocracy, which he had that morning tied and powdered. 
The multitude felt what a lofry position in this world 
really was, when, with bent heads, they raised their eyes 
to Heimlicher von Blaise, the director of the competition, 
who accompanied the procession in his capacity of aorta of 
the whole arterial system, or elementary fire of all these 
ignes-fatui — or, in a word, as master of the shooters' lodge. 
Happy was the wife who peeped out and saw her husband 
marching past in the procession — happy was Lenette, for 
her husband was there, and looked gallantly up as he 
passed by. His short boots looked very nice, indeed ; they 
were made both in the old fashion and in the new, and, 
like man, had put on the new (short) Adam over the 
old one. 

I wish Schulrath Stiefel had given a thought or so to 
the St. Andrew's shooting-match, and looked out of his 
window at his Orestes; however, ho went on with his 
reviewing. 

Now, when these processional caterpillars had crept 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 213 

'together again at the shooting-ground, as upon a leaf — 
when the eagle hung in his heavenly eyrie, like the crest 
of the future's armorial healings — when the wind instru- 
ments, which the troop of "wandering minstrels" had 
.scarce heen ahle to hold firmly to their lips, blared out 
their loudest now that the band was halted, and as the 
•procession, with martial tramp and rattle of grounded 
rifles, came with a rush into the empty echoing shooting- 
house, everybody, strictly speaking, was more or less out 
of his senses, and mentally intoxicated ; and that although, 
the lots were not even drawn, far less any shot fired. 
Siebenkass said to himself, " The whole thing is stuif and 
nonsense, yet see how it has gone to all our heads, and how 
a mere unbroken faded flower-wreath of pleasant trifles, 
wound ten times about our hearts, half chokes and darkens 
them. Our thirsty heart is made of loose, absorptive 
mould ; a warm shower makes it swell, and as it expands 
it cracks the roots of all the plants that are growing in it." 

Mr. von Blaise, who smiled unceasingly upon my hero, 
and treated the others with the rudeness becoming 
authority, ordered the lots to be drawn which were to de- 
cide the order in which the competitors were to shoot. The 
reader cannot expect Chance to stop the wheel of Fortune, 
thrust in her hand, and, behind her bandage, pull out from 
among seventy numbers the very first for the advocate; 
she drew him the twelfth, however. And at length the 
brave Germans and imperial citizens opened fire upon the 
Roman eagle. At first they aimed at his crown. The 
eagerness and zeal of these pretenders were proportioned 
to the importance of the affair: was there not a royal 
revenue of six florins attached to this golden penthouse 
when the bullet brought it down — to say nothing whatever 
of other crown property, consisting of three pounds of tow 
and a pewter shaving-dish. The fellows did what they 
could ; but the rifle placed the crown of the eagle, not, 
alas! on our hero's head, but upon that of No. 11, his pre- 
decessor, the hectic Saxon. He had need of it, poor fellow! 
seeing that, like a Prince of Wales, he had come into pos- 
session of the crown debts sooner than of the crown itself. 

At a shooting contest of this kind nothing is better 
calculated to dissipate everything in the shape of tedium 



214 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL 

than to have arrangements made for " running shooting M 
(as it is called) being carried on by those who are waiting 
their turn at the birdpole. A man who has to wait while 
sixty-nine other people slowly aim and shoot before his 
turn comes round, may find a good deal to amuse him if, 
during that time, he can load and aim at something of a 
less lofty kind — for instance, a Capuchin general. The 
" running " or " swing " shooting, as carried out at Kuh- 
schnappel, differs in no respect from that of other places. 
A piece of canvas is hung up, and floats to and fro ; there 
are painted dishes of edibles upon it, as on a table-cloth, 
and whoever puts a bullet through one of these paintings 
obtains the original — just as princes choose their brides 
from their portraits, before bringing home the brides in 
person ; or as witches stick pins into a man's image in 
order to wound the prototype himself. The Kuhschnap- 
pelers were, on this occasion, shooting at a portrait on this 
canvas, which a great many persons considered to represent 
a Capuchin general. I know that there were some who, 
basing their opinion chiefly upon the red hat in the 
portrait, considered it to represent a cardinal, or cardinal- 
protector, but these have clearly, in the first place, got to 
settle the point with a third party, which differed from both 
of those above mentioned, holding that it portrayed the 
whore of Babylon— that is to say, a European one. From 
all of which we may form a pretty accurate estimate of 
the amount of truth contained in another rumour — which 
I contradicted in the first hour of its existence — namely, 
that the Augsburg people had taken offence at this effigy- 
arquebusading, and had written, in consequence, to the 
attorney-general representing that they feit themselves 
aggrieved, and that it was an injustice to one religion if, 
within the bounds of the holy Koman empire, a general of 
a religious order should be shot to shivers, without a 
Lutheran superintendent general being also shot to shivers 
at the same time. I should certainly have heard some- 
thing further about this, if it had been anything but mere 
wind. Indeed, I have a shrewd suspicion that the whole 
story is no more than a false tradition, or garbled version 
of another story, which a gentleman of rank belonging to 
Vienna recently lied to me at table. What he said was. 



CHAP. VII. J FLO WEE, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 215 

that in the more considerahle towns of the empire, where 
the spirit-level of religious toleration has established a beau- 
tiful equilibrium between Papists and Lutherans, many had 
complained, on the part of the Lutherans, of the circum- 
stance that although there were equal numbers of night- 
watchmen and censors (that is, transcendental night-watch- 
men), keepers of hotels, and keepers of circulating libraries 
of each communion, yet there were more Papists hanged 
than Lutherans; so that 'it was very clear, whether the 
Jesuits had to do with it or not, that a high and important 
post such as the gallows was not filled with the same 
amount of impartiality as the Council of State, but with 
a certain bias towards the Catholics. I thought of contra- 
dicting the story, in the most distinct terms, in the 
4 Literary Gazette' of December last, but Government 
declined to pay the expense of the insertion. 

However, although those who occupied themselves with 
the " swing " shooting did only have a Capuchin to aim at, 
the said swing shooting was every bit as important a 
business as the shooting at the standing mark. I must 
point out (in this connection) that there were edible prizes 
attached to the divers bodily members of this said general 
of his order, which had their attractions for riflemen of a 
reflective turn of mind. An entire Bohemian porker was 
the prize appointed for him who should pierce the heart 
of the Capuchin pasha — which heart, however, was repre- 
sented by a spot no bigger than a beauty-patch — so that 
he who should hit this little mark would have need of all 
his skill and nerve. The cardinal's hat was easier of 
attainment, for which reason it was worth only a couple of 
jack. The honorarium of the oculist who should succeed 
in inserting new (leaden) pupils into the cardinal's eyes 
consisted of an equivalent number of geese. As he was 
portrayed in the full fervour of prayer, it was well worth 
anyone's while to send a bullet through between his hands, 
seeing that this would be tantamount to knocking the two 
fore-quarters out of a cantering, smoked pig. And each of 
the cardinal's feet rested upon a fine hind-quarter or ham. 
I do not hesitate for a moment — whatever the imperial 
burgh of Kuhschnappel may *ay to it — to record, with the 
utmost distinctness, that no portion of the whole lord- 



216 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK II. 

protector was more poorly endowed, or had a scantier 
revenue and salarium allotted to it, than his navel ; for 
there was nothing to be got out of that, with however good 
a bullet, but a Bologna sausage. 

The advocate had failed in his designs upon the crown ; 
but fortune chucked him the cardinal's hat to make up for 
it — the cardinal's hat with two pike inside it. But some 
puissant necromantic spell of invulneraoility turned all his 
bullets aside from the eagle's head, and from the general's 
too. lie would fain have sent one eye, at any rate, out of 
the face of the harlot of Babylon, but he could not manage 
that either. 

Now the prize-lists — which are correct, seeing that they 
were made out by the secretary, under the eyes of the 
president, Herr von Blaise — state with distinctness that 
the head, the ring in the beak, and the little flag, fell into 
the hands of numbers 16, 2, and 63. 

The sceptre was now being aimed at ; and Siebenkasa' 
would have been very very glad, for his dear little wife's 
sake (waiting for him now, as she was, with the soup), to 
have sent that, at least, flying out of the eagle's talons* 
and to have fixed it, by way of a bayonet, on to his rifle. 

All the numbers who had tried their best to break off 
this golden oak-branch had shot in vain, except the worst 
— the most to be dreaded of all — his own predecessor 
and landlord. He aimed, and shot — and the gilded har- 
poon quivered. Siebenkges fired— and the eel-spear came 
tumbling down. 

Messrs. Meyern and Blaise smiled, and uttered congra- 
tulations ; the blowers of instruments, crooked and straight, 
blew, in honour of the advent of this new bird-member, 
a blast both loud and shrill (like the Karlsbad people, 
when a new bath-guest arrives;, looking closely and care- 
fully at their music as they did so, though they had played 
their little fanfares far oftener than the very night-watch- 
men. All the infantas — I mean all the children — began a 
race for the sceptre, but the buffoon dashed among them, 
and scattered them ; and, taking up the sceptre, presented 
that emblem of sovereignty to the advocate with one hand, 
holding in the other his oven emblem of sovereignty, the 
whip. 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 217 

Siebenkaes contemplated with a smile the little twig of 
timber — the little branch, sticking to which the buzzing 
swarms of nations are so often borne away ; and he veiled 
his satisfaction nnder cover of the following satirical re- 
marks (which the reigning Heimlicher overheard, and 
applied to himself) : — 

44 A very pretty little frog-shooter ! It ought, by rights, to 
be a honey -gauge ; but the poor bees are crushed by it, that 
their honey-bags may be got out of them ! The Waiwodes 
and the despots, child-like, put the bees of the country to 
death, and take the honey from their stomachs, not from 
their combs. A truly preposterous and absurd implement ! 
It is made of wood ; very likely a piece broken off a shep- 
herd's crook, and gilded, pointed, and notched — one of 
those shepherd's staves with which the shepherds often 
drag the sheep's fat out of them while they are feeding in 
the meadows ! " 

He had ceased to be conscious, now, when he emitted the 
bitterest satirical matter (there was never a drop of it in 
his heart); he often turned mere aquaintances into foes 
with some joke, made merely for the sake of jesting ; 
and couldn't imagine what made people vexed with him, 
and why it was that he couldn't have his little bit of fun 
with them as well as any one else. 

He put the sceptre into the breast of his coat and took it 
home, seeing that they would not shoot up to his number 
again befoi e dinner-time. He held it up straight and stiff, 
as the king of diamonds holds his, and said to Lenette, 
44 There's a soup-ladle and sugar-tongs for you, all in one ! " 
the allusion being to the two pewter prizes, which, in 
company with a sum of nine florins, had fallen to his share 
by way of sceptre-fief. It was enough for one shot. And 
next he gave an account of the catching of the pike. He 
expected that Lenette would, at the very least, go through 
the five dancing positions and execute Euler's " knight's 
move " on the chess-board of the room-floor, into the bar- 
gain, within the first five seconds after hearing the news. 
She did what she could do, namely, nothing at all ; and 
said what she knew, namely, that the landlady had been 
holding forth, with bitter severity, to the bookseller's wife, 
on the subject of the non-payment of the rent, and further, 



218 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICII BICHTER. [BOOK II. 

concerning her own husband, whom she characterised as a 
smooth-tongued flatterer and payer of compliments— a man 
who didn't half threaten people. " What I tell yon," 
repeated the sceptre-bearer, " is, that I have this day had 
the luck to shoot a couple of pikes and a sceptre, Wende- 
line Engelkraut ! " and he banged his sceptre-knout in 
indignation upon the table where the crockery was all set 
out. She answered at last, " Well, Lucas came running a 
short time ago and told me all about that ; I am so glad 
about it, but I should quite think you will shoot a good 
many more things yet— will you not? I said so to the 
bookseller's wife." 

She was slipping into her old cart-rut again, you see, 
but Firmian thought, " She can cry and mourn loud enough, 
but deuce a bit of gladness can she show when a fellow 
comes home with a pike or two under his arm, and a sceptre 
or so." It was just the same with the wife of the gentle- 
hearted Racine, when he threw down a long purse of golden 
Louis XVI. he had got hold of, on the table. 

How, or whence, oh ! beloved wives, cometh to you the 
naughty trick ye have of making a kind of parade of an 
insupportable frigidity and indifference, just on the very 
occasions when your husbands come to you laden with 
good news, or with presents — that at the very moment 
when Fate brightens the wine of your joy into " bloom," 
your vats grow turbid with the lees of the old liquor? 
Comes it from your custom of showing only one of your 
faces at a time, like your sister and prototype, the moon ? 
or from a peevish discontent with destiny ? or is its cause 
a sweet, delicious, overflowing happiness and gladness, 
making the heart too lull and the tongue too hard to move ? 

I believe it is often from all these causes combined. 

In men, again — sometimes, too, in women, but only in 
one out of a thousand— it may arise from the sad thought 
of the sharks which tear off the arm with which, down in 
the dark ocean, all breathless and anxious, we have clasped 
hold of four pearls of happiness. Or, perhaps, from a deeper 
question still. Is not our heart's inward bliss but an olive- 
leaf which a dove brings to us, fluttering over the great 
deluge foaming and seething all round us — an olive-leaf 
which she has culled for us away in the fur distant Para- 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 219 

dise, high up above the flood, clear and blissful in the 
eternal sun? And if all we attain of that whole olive- 
garden is but one leaf, instead of all its flowers and its 
fruit, is this leaf of peace, is this dove of peace, to give to 
us something beyond peace — namely, hope ? 

Firmian went back to the shooting-ground, his breast 
full of growing hopes. The heart of man, which, in matters 
of chance, makes its calculations in direct defiance of the 
theory of probabilities., and when heads have turned up 
once, expects them three times running — (although what 
ought to be anticipated is the very reverse) — or reckons 
upon hitting the eagle's talon because it has knocked the 
sceptre out of it — this heart of man, uncontrollable alike in 
its fears and in its hopes, the advocate took with him to 
the shooters' trench. 

He came not by the talons, however. And at the folded 
praying claws or hands of the general of the Capuchins — 
these algebraic exponents or heraldic devices of two fore- 
quartei s of pork — aimed he alike in vain. 

It mattered not ; more was left of the eagle, when all 
was done, than would be this day of Poland, if the latter, 
or its coat of arms — a silver eagle in a bloody field — were 
to be set up on a throne or a bird-pole, and shot at by a 
shooting-club composed of an army or two. 

Even the imperial globe was not yet knocked down. 
Number 69, a formidable foregoar, Mr. Everard Rosa von 
Meyern, had taken his aim — eager to cull this forbidden 
fruit — a Ribstone pippin and football fit for a very prince, 
such as this imperial apple, was a thing of too great price 
to be grasped for the sake of what was to be gained along 
with it — 'twas honour alone that fired his heart — lie pulled 
his trigger, and he might just as well have aimed in the 
opposite direction. Rosa — this particular apple being too 
high out of bis reach — went, all blushes, in among the lady 
spectators, dealing out apples of Paris all lound, and telling 
each lady how lovely she was, that she might be convinced 
how handsome he was himself. In the eyes of a woman, 
her panegyrist is, firstly, a very clever man, and, ere long, 
such a »tce-LooKiNG one. Rosa knew that grains of incense 
are the anibe which these doves fly after, as though 
infatuated. 



220 JEAN PAUL FRlEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK II.' 

Our friend had no need to disquiet himself about any of 
the would-be fruit-gatherers — about the second, eighth, or 
ninth, till it came to the eleventh — and he was the Saxon, 
who shot like the demon in person. There were few among 
the seventy who didn't wish this accursed gallows-number 
at the deuce, or at all events into the vegetable kingdom, 
where it is altogether absent.* The hairdresser fired, 
struck the eagle on the leg, and the leg remained hanging 
aloft, with the imperial globe in the talons. 

His lodger (and lawyer) came up to the scratch, but the 
landlord stood still in the trench, to satisfy his soul with 
curses of his luckless star. As the former levelled the sights 
of his rifle upon the ball above, he made up his mind that 
he would not aim at the ball at all, but at the eagle's tail, 
so as simply to shake the apple down. 

In one second the worm-eaten world-apple fell. The 
Saxon cursed beyond all description. 

Siebenkaes all but offered up an inward prayer, not 
because a pewter mustard-pot, a sugar-dish, and five florins 
came showering along with the apple into his lap, but for 
the piece of good luck — for the warm burst of sunshine 
which thus came breaking out from among the clouds of 
the distant storm. " Thou wouldst prove this soul of mine, 
happy Fortune," thought he, " and thou placest it, as men 
do watches, in all positions — perpendicular and horizontal, 
quiet and unquiet — to see if it will go and mark the time 
correctly in all, or no. Ay, truly ! it shall!" 

He let this little, bright, miniature earth-ball roll from 
one hand to the other, spinning and weaving, as he did so, 
the following brief chain of syllogisms: — " What a genea- 
logical tree of copies ! Nothing but pictures within pic- 
tures — comedies within comedies! The emperor's globe 
is an emblem of this terrestrial globe of ours — the core of 
each is a handful of earth — and this emperor's glube of 
mine, again, is a miniature emblem of a real emperor's, with 
even less of earth — none at all, in fact. The mustard-pot 
and sugar-dish, again, are emblems of this emblem. What 
a long, diminishing series, ere man arrives at enjoyment ! " 
Most of man's pleasures are but preparations for pleasiire ; 

* There is no plant with eleven stamens. 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWEK, FKUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 221 

he thinks lie has attained his ends, when he has merely got 
hold of his means to those ends. The burning sun of bliss 
is beheld of our feeble eyes but in the seventy mirrors of 
our seventy years. Each of these mirrors reflects that 
sun's image less brightly — more faint and pale — upon the 
next ; and in the seventieth it shimmers upon us all frozen, 
and is become a moon. 

He ran home, but without his globe, for he did not mean 
to tell her of that till the evening. It was a great refresh- 
ment to him to slip, during his shooting vacations, away 
frum the public turmoil to his quiet little chamber, give a 
rapid narrative of anything of importance going on, and 
then cast himself back into the melee. As his number was 
a next-door neighbour to Eosa's, and they had, conse- 
quently, their holidays at the same time, it surprises me 
that he did not come upon Herr von Meyern beneath his 
own window, inasmuch as that gentleman was walking up 
and down there, with his head elevated, like an ant. He 
who desires to destroy a young gentleman of this species, 
let him look for him under (if not in) a lady's window ; 
just as an experienced gardener, when he wants to kill 
woodlice or earwigs, needs only lift up his flower-pots to 
annihilate them by the score. 

Siebenkses did not hit so much as another shaving the 
whole of the afternoon ; even the very tail, which he had 
attacked with such success in his bold stroke for the con- 
quest of the globe of the holy Euman empire, resisted all 
his efforts to knock it off. He let himself be drummed and 
fifed home by the town militia towards evening. When he 
got to his wife's door, he there assumed the role of Knecht 
Ruprecht (the children's " Bogie," who, on St. Andrew's 
Day, bestows upon them, for the first time in their career, 
fruit, and fear along with the same), and, growling in a 
terrible manner, chucked his (wooden) apple in to her ; a 
piece of fun which delighted her immensely. But really 
I ought not to record such little trifles. 

As Firmian laid his head on his pillow, he said to his 
wife, " This time to-morrow, wife, we shall know if it be 
two crowned heads that we are going to lay on the pillow, 
or not! I shall just recall this important minute to 
your memory to-morrow night, when we're going to bed ! " 



222 JEAN PAUL PBIEDEICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

When he got up in the morning he said, " Very likely this 
is the last time that I shall rise a common, ordinary person, 
without a crown." 

He was so anxious to have the mutilated bird (all wet 
with dew, a mass of gunshot wounds and compound frac- 
tures) once more before his bodily eyes, that he hardly 
knew how to possess himself in patience till the time came. 
But it was only as long as he did not see the eagle that his 
hopes of shooting himself into a king at him endured. He 
was, therefore, delighted to agree to a proposal made by 
the clever Saxon, whose bullet had throughout the pro- 
ceedings always cleared the way for his number-neigh- 
bour's ; the proposal was, " we go shares in gains and in 
losses — in the bird and in the cardinal." This copartner- 
ship doubled the advocate's hopes by the process of halving 
them. 

But these companions in arms didn't bring down a single 
painted splinter the whole of the afternoon. Each in his 
secret heart thought the other was the bird of evil omen ; 
for in matters of chance we are prone to hang our faith 
upon a bit of superstition, rather than to nothing at all. 
The fickle Babylonish harlot went fluttering off with that 
amount of bashful coyness, that the hairdresser once sent a 
bullet within an ace of the fellow who was working her 
backwards and forwards. 

At last, however, in the afternoon, he sent his Capid's 
dart right through that black heart of hers, and, by cunse. 
quence, through the pig at the same time. This almost 
terrified Firmian ; he said that if he couldn't hit anything 
himself he would accept only the head of this pig — this 
polypus in the heart of the Babylonian fille de joie. All that 
was left of the bird was its torso, which stuck 10 its perch 
like the very Bump Parliament, which these pretenders to 
the crown would so fain have dissolved. 

A regular running musketry fusilade of eager interest, 
enthusiasm, emulation, now went flashing from breast to 
breast, fanned by every puff of powder which rose in smoke 
as a rifle went off. When the bird shook a little all the 
competitors shook also, except Herr von Meyern, who had 
gone off, and — seeing what a htate of excitement everybody 
was in, especially our hero — marched away to Madame 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 223 

Siebenkees, thinking that he had a better chance of be- 
coming, in that quarter, king of a queen than he had here 
of acquiring the sovereignty of the riflemen. However, my 
readers and I shall slip into the Siebenkses' chamber after 
him presently. 

Twice already had the seventy numbers loaded in vain 
for the decisive 6hot ; the obstinate stump still stuck glued 
to its perch, and scarce so much as trembled ; the poor 
tantalised hearts were torn and pierced by every bullet 
that sped on its course. Their fears waxed apace, so did 
their hopes, but most of all their curses (those brief ejacu- 
latory prayers to the devil). The theologians of the seventh 
decade of the present century had the devil often enough 
in their pens — in their denials or in their assertions of 
him — but the Kuhschnappelers had him far oftener in their 
mouths, particularly the upper classes. 

Seneca, in his ' Remedies for Anger,' has omitted the 
simplest of all, the devil. True, the Kabbalists highly extol 
the therapeutic powers of the word Shemhamphorash, 
which is a name of a diametrically opposite character ; but 
I have observed, for my part, that the spotted, malignant 
fever of wrath, so readily diagnosed by the raving delirium 
of the patient, is instantly relieved, dispersed, and miti- 
gated, by invoking the name of the devil, which is per- 
haps, indeed, quite as efficacious a remedy as the wearing 
of amulets. In the absence of this name, the ancients, who 
were altogether without a Satan, recommended a mere 
repetition of the ABC, which, it is true, does contain the 
devil's name, only too much diluted with other letters. 
And the word Abracadabra, spoken diminuendo, was a cure 
for corporeal fevers. As regards the inflammatory fever of 
anger, however, the greater the quantity of morbid matter 
which has to be ejected from the system through the secre- 
tions of the mouth, the greater is the number of devils 
necessary to make mention of. For a mere trifling irrita- 
tion — a mild case of simple anger — " the devil," or perhaps 
" hell and the devil," will generally be found sufficient ; 
but for the pleuritic fever of rage I should be disposed 
to prescribe " the devil and his infernal grandmother :" 
strengthening the dose, moreover, with a '* donner wetter " 
or two, and a few " sacraments," as the curative powers of 



224 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK II. 

the electric fluid are now so generally recognised. It is 
unnecessary to point out to me that in cases of absolute 
canine fury or maniacal wrath, doses of the bpecific, such 
as the foregoing, are of little avail : I should, of course, let 
a patient in this condition be " taken and torn by all the 
devils in hell." But what I would fain render clear is 
that, in all these remedies, the real specific is the devil ; for 
as it is his sting which is the cause of our malady, he him- 
self has got to be employed as the remedy, just as the stings 
of scorpions are cured by the application of scorpions in 
powder. 

The tumult of anticipation shook up the aristocracy and 
the sixpenny gallery into one common whole. On occa- 
sions like this — as also in the chase and in agricultural 
operations — the aristocracy forget what they are, viz., 
something better than the citizen classes. An aristocrat 
should, in my opinion, never for a momant lose sight of 
the fact that his position with reference to the common 
herd is that which the actor now a days stands in with 
respect to the chorus. In the time of Thespis the whole 
of the tragedy was sung and acted by the chorus, while 
one single actor, called the protagonist, delivered a speech 
or two, unaccompanied by any music, bearing on the subject 
of the play. iEschylus introduced a second actor, the 
deuteragonist ; Sophocles even a third, the tritagonist. In 
more recent times the actors have been retained, but the 
chorus omitted, unless we consider those who applaud to 
represent it. In a similar manner also, in this world of 
OU7S (mankind's natural theatre), the chorus, •'. e. the 
people, has been gradually cleared off the stage, only with 
more advantage than in the case of smaller theatrical ones, 
and promoted from taking part in the action of the drama 
(which the protagonists (princes), deuteragonists (minis- 
ters), and tritagonists (people of quality), are better fit to 
do), to the post of spectators who criticise and applaud — 
what was the chorus in Athens, now sitting at ease in the 
pit, near the orchestra, and before the stage where the 
great " business " is going on. 

By this time it was past two o'clock, and the afternoons 
Were hrief ; yet the 6aucy bird would not stir. Everybody 
Bwore that the carpenter who had hatched it from its native 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 225 

block was a low scoundrel, and must have carved it out of 
tough hranchwood. But at last, all battered, with nearly 
the whole of its paint broken away from it, it did appear to 
be somewhat disposed to topple down. The hairdresser, 
who, like the common herd in general, was conscientious 
towards individuals only, not towards an aggregation of 
them, now without any scruple secretly doubled his bullets 
(since he could not double his rifle), putting in one for him- 
self and one for his brother in arms, in the hope that this 
decomposing medium might have the effect of precipitating 
the eagle. " The devil and his infernal grandmother ! "cried 
he, when he had fired his shot, making use of the febrifuge 
or cooling draught above alluded to. He now had to place 
all his trust in his lodger, to whom he handed his rifle. 
Siebenkaes fired, and the Saxon cried, "Ten thousand 
devils ! " doubling in vain the dose of devils, as he had the 
dose of bullets. 

They now, in despair, laid asido their rifles and also their 
hopes ; for there were more pretenders to this crown than 
there were to that of Eome in the time of Galienus, when 
there were but thirty. This shooting septuaginta had all 
telescopes at their eyes (when they had not rifles there), 
that they might observe how there were a gi - eater number 
of bullets in this heaven-suspended constellation of theirs 
than there are stars in the astronomical one of the eagle. 
The faces of all beholders were now turned towards this 
Keblah of a bird, like those of the Jews towards their ruined 
Jerusalem. Even old Sabel sat behind her table of sweet- 
meats customerless, and gazing up at the eagle. The earlier 
numbers didn't even give themselves the trouble of shaking 
a pinch of powder into their pans. 

Firmian pitied these oppressed hearts, swimming heavily 
in turbid, earthy blood — for whom at this time, the 
setting sun, the bright array of sky tints, and the broad, 
fair world were all invisible — or, rather, all shrivelled up 
to a battered block of wood. The surest token that these 
heaits were all lying fettered in the eternal dungeon of 
need and necessity, was that none could make a single 
witty allusion either to the bird or the kingship. It is 
only concerning matters which leave our souls free and 
unshackled that we notice similitudes and connection, 



226 JEAN PAUL FBIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK II. 

11 This "bird," thought Firmian, " is the decoy of all 
these men, and the money is what baits the lure." But 
he himself had three reasons for desiring to be king : 
firstly, to laugh himself to death at his own coronation ; 
secondly, on account of his Lenette : thirdly, on account 
of the Saxon. 

The second half of the seventy gradually fired off, and 
the earlier numbers began to load again, if it were for 
nothing but the fun of the thing. Every one put in two 
bullets now. Our two Hanseatic confederates came once 
more up to the mark, and Siebenkaes borrowed a more 
powerful glass, screwing it on to his rifle like the finder of 
a telescope. 

No. 10 loosened the bird from its joining to the pole. 
Nothing but the sheer weight of it now retained it on its 
perch, for they had well nigh saturated and incrusted the 
wood of it with lead (as certain springs transform wood 
into iron). 

The Saxon had but to graze the eagle-torso — ay, or 
even the perch of it — nay, the very evening breeze had 
but to give an extra puff — to send the bird of prey swoop- 
ing down. He had his rifle to his shoulder — aimed for 
a whole eternity (there were fifty florins hanging in 
the sky) — and pulled his trigger. Tho powder flashed 
in the pan. The band had all their trumpets ready at 
their lips — trumpets horizontal, music perpendicular — 
the boys stood round ready to seize the fallen skeleton ; 
the buffoon in his excitement couldn't think of a joke to 
make — his ideas were all up beside the bird ; the poor, 
anxious, eager, excited hairdresser drew his trigger once 
more, and again 'twas but a flash in the pan. Great drops 
of perspiration bedewed him ; he glowed, he trembled ; 
loaded, aimed, fired, and sent his bullet several ells, at the 
least, away over the bird. 

Be stepped back, pale and silent, in a cold perspiration ; 
not an oath did he utter ; nay, I suspect he offered up a 
silent prayer or two that his co-partner might, by heaven's 
grace, capture the feathered game. 

Firmian went forward, thinking as hard as he could 
about something else, to keep down his thrilling excite- 
ment; aimed, not very long, at this, his anchor in his 



CHAP. YII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 227 

little storms, as it hung hovering in the twilight, fired ; 
saw the old stump turn three times round in the air, like 
Fortune's wheel, and, at last, break loose, and come pitch- 
ing down. 

As, when the old French kings were crowned, a live 
bird always fluttered in the air ; as, at the apotheoses of the 
Roman emperors, an eagle soared skyward from out the 
funeral pyre, so did one swoop downward from the heavens 
at the coronation of my hero. 

The children screamed, and the trumpets blared. One 
moiety of the assemblage crowded to see who the new 
king was, and to have a look at him ; while the other 
moiety streamed crowding round the jester, as he ad- 
vanced bearing that shattered bullet-case, the eagle's 
body, holding it up above the heads of the throng. The 
barber ran to meet it, crying, "Vive le roi," and adding 
that he was a king himself into the bargain ; and Firmian 
moved towards the door in silence, full of happiness, but 
fuller of emotion. 

And now it is time that we should all of us hurry to the 
town to see how Rosa fares, what kind of throne he gains 
chez Madame Siebenkaas (while her husband is thus 
ascending his) — a richer throne, or only a pillory — and 
what number of steps he climbs towards whichever of the 
two it may prove to be. 

Rosa knocked at Lenette's door, and straightway entered 
in at it, in order that she might not have a chance of 
coming and ascertaining who was there. " He had torn 
himself away from the shooting-match ; her husband was 
coming immediately, and he would wait for him there. 
His rifle had once more been excessively fortunate." It 
was with these truths that he came into the presence of 
the alarmed Lenette, bearing, however upon his counte- 
nance, an assumed aristocratic frigid zone. He walked, in 
an easy and unconcerned manner, up and down the room. 
He inquired whether this April weather affected her 
health at all; as for himself, it produced in him a kind 
of miserable prostrating low fever. Lenette, timid and 
nervous, stood at the window, her eyes half in the street, 
lialf in the room. He glanced, in passing, at her work- 
table, took up a paper bonnet shape and a pair of scissors, 

Q2 



228 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II 

and put them down again, his attention being arrested by 
a paper of pins. " Why, these are No. 8\s," he said ; " these 
pins are a great deal too large, Madame ; their heads 
would do for No. 1 shot! The lady whose hat you were 
putting them in ought really to be immensely grateful to 
me." 

He then went quickly up to her, and, from a spot a 
trifling distance below her heart (where she had a whole 
quiver, or thorn-hedge of needles planted, ready for use), 
he plucked one out with a dauntless coolness, and held it 
up for her inspection, saying, " Look how badly this i", 
plated ; 'twill spoil every stitch you take with it." He 
threw it out of the window, and evinced symptoms of 
being about to pluck out the remainder from that heart 
(where the fates had stuck none other than such as were 
"badly plated"), and stick the contents of his own 
needle-book into that pretty pincushion instead. But she 
waved him off with an icy, repellant, gesture, saying, 
" Don't trouble yourself." 

" I really wish your husband would come," ho said, look- 
ing at his watch. ' ' The king's shot must be over long 
ere this time." 

He took up the paper cap-pattern again, and the scissors ; 
but, as she fixed on him a gaze of deep anxiety (lest he 
should spoil her pattern), he took from his pocket a sheet 
of verses dipped in hippocrene, and, by way of passing 
the time, he clipped this up, by wavy lines, into a series 
of hearts, one within the other. This gentleman, who, 
like the Augurs, always strove to carry off the heart 
of the sacrifice — he, whose own heart (like that of a 
coquette) constantly grew again as often as he lost it 
(as a lizard's tail does) — he had the word M heart," which 
Germans and men in general seem almost to shrink from 
uttering, continually on his tongue, or, at all events, 
impressions of it in his hand. 

My belief that his motive for leaving behind him (as he 
did) his needles, and his rhymeful hearts, was that he had 
observed of women that they always ihink fondly of an 
absent person when they chance to see something of his 
which he has left behind. Rosa belonged to that class of 
persons (of both sexes) who never show any cleverness, 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 229 

delicacy of perception, or knowledge of human nature, 
save in matters relating to love of the opposite sex. 

He now catechised out of her a number of cooking and 
washing receipts of various kinds, and these, despite hex 
cautious monosyllabicity, she imparted — prescription 
fashion — in all their fulness, both of words and of ingre- 
dients. At length he made preparations for departure, 
s <ying, he had been most anxious for her husband's home- 
coming because of a certain matter of business which he 
could not well discuss with him on the shooting-ground, 
among so many people, and before Herr von Blaise. "I 
shall come another day," he said ; " but the most important 
point of the affair I can mention to yourself," and he sat 
down before her, with his hat and stick in liis hand. Just as 
lie commenced his recital, however, observing that she was 
standing, he laid aside his hat and stick to place a chair 
for her, opposite to his. His propinquity was grateful to 
her Schneiderian membrane, at any rate ; his odour was 
paradisaic ; his pocket-handkerchief a musk-bag, his head 
an altar of incense, or magnified civet-ball. (Shaw has 
remarked that the whole viper tribe has the property of 
emitting a peculiar, sweet scent.) 

" She might readily see," he said, " that it referred to 
that wretched lawsuit with the Heimlicher. The poor's 
advocate did not deserve, indeed, that a man should 
interest himself in his favour; but then, you see, he had 
an admirable wife, who did deserve it." (He italicised the 
word " admirable " by means of a hurried squeeze of her 
hand.) " He had been fortunate enough to induce Herr 
von Blaise to defer his 4 no ' three separate times, though he 
had not as yet been able to speak to the advocate in person. 
But now, that a pasquinade of Mr. Leibgeber's (whose 
hand was well known), had come to light near a stove- 
statue at the Heimlicber's, nothing approximating to a 
yielding, or a payment of the trust-fund, was to be dreamt 
of for a moment. Kow this was a state of matters for 
which his very heart bled, particularly as, since he had 
been in such poor health of late, he felt only too keen a 
sympathy and interest in everything ; he knew perfectly 

k well what an unhappy condition her (Lenette's) household 
matters had been placed in by this lawsuit ; and had often 



230 Jean paul friedrich richter. [book ii 

Mghed, in vain, over many things. He should be de- 
lighted, therefore, to advance whatever she might require 
for current expenditure. As yet she did not know him in 
the slightest degree, and perhaps could scarce surmise 
what he did, from motives of the purest benevolence, for 
six charities in Kuhschnappel — though he could produce 
documentary evidence if she liked," and he did produce 
and hand to her six receipts of the Charitable Commission. 
I should not be giving proof of that impartiality of character 
which I bear the reputation of possessing, did I not here 
freely admit, and clearly place on record, that the Venner 
had, from his youth up, always shown a certain disposition 
to benefit and assist the poor of both sexes, and that his 
consciousness that he dealt in this large-hearted manner, 
did (wheu compared with the narrow close-fistedness 
prevalent in Kuhschnappel) give him some warrant for 
bearing himself with a certain amount of proper pride 
towards those mean and miserly beings who sate in judg- 
ment upon his little genial breaches of the moral laws. 
For his conscience bore him witness that, conversely to 
the process whereby spiders are metamorphosed into 
jewels, he spun his shining webs (of gold and silver), and 
in their meshes, wet with the glittering dew of tears, made 
an occasional capture from time to time. 

But for a woman like Lenette (he continued) he would 
do things of a much grander description ; as proofs of 
which, given already by him, he needed only to point to 
the fact that he had set at defiance the Heimlicher's 
hostility towards her husband, and that he had more than 
once quietly swallowed speeches of her husband's own, 
such as in his social position he had never suffered any- 
body to address to him before. " Name any sum of money 
vou are in want of; by Heaven, all you have to do is to ask 
for it." 

Lenette, bashful and trembling, glowed red with shame 
at this discovery of (what she had believed to be) the 
mystery of her poverty and her pawnings. With the 
view of pouring a few drops of oil on the troubled waters, 
he began, by way of preamble, to make some disparaging 
remarks concerning his fiancee at Bayreuth. " She reads 
too much, and doesn't work enough. I only wish she could 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 231 

have the benefit of a few lessons from you in housekeeping. 
And really, a lady such as you, with so many attractions 
(quite unaware of them, too, herself), so much patience, 
such wonderful diligence and assiduity, should have a 
very different kind of household than this place for her 
sphere of action." Her hand was by this time lying still 
in the stocks — the close arrest — of his ; her wings and her 
tongue, as well as her hands, were tied and fettered by 
that fainthearted incapacity of self-assertion which is born 
of the sense of povei-ty. When women were in question, 
Mr. Everard's longings and likings paid no heed to 
boundary-marks; but rather strove hard to obliterate 
them, and get rid of them altogether. Most men, in the 
wild, unreasoning whirl of their appetites, are like the 
jay, which tears the carnation to tatters in order to get 
at its seeds. 

Upon her downcast eyes he now riveted a long gaze of 
fondness, not withdrawing it, however, when she raised 
them up ; and, by dint of keeping his eyes very wide 
open, and thinking with great vividness on pathetic and 
touching subjects, he managed to squeeze out about as 
much water as would have sufficed to make an end of a 
humming bird of the smaller sort. 

In him, as in a fine actor, all false emotions became for 
the time real and genuine ; and when he flattered any one, 
he at once began to respect him. As soon as he felt there 
were tears enough in his eyes, and sighs enough in his 
breast, he asked her if she had any idea what was causing 
them. She looked innocently, and with kindly alarm, into 
those eyes of his, and her own began to overflow. This 
greatly encouraged him, and he said, " It is the fact that 
you have not such a happy lot as you deserve." 

Ah ! selfish pigmy ! at such a moment you might have 
spared this poor, anxious, trembling soul, sinking, well 
nigh, in an ocean of tears for all the long, long past. 

But he knew no sorrow save of the theatrical, the 
transient, the petty, and the sham sort ; and so he spared 
her not. 

Yet that which he had expected would prove the bridge 
from his heart to hers, namely, sorrow, became, on the con- 
trary, the portcullis barrier between them. A dance, or some 



232 JEAN PAUL FRIEDEICH RICHTER. [iJOOK II. 

joyful tumult of the senses would have brought him 
further with this commonplace, every-day, honest, and 
upright woman than three pailfuls of selfish tears. Hig 
hopes rose high, as he laid his flowery, sorrow-laden head 
upon his hands, down into her lap. 

But Lenette jumped up with such a suddenness that it 
nearly knocked him over altogether. She gazed inquiringly 
into his eyes. Upright women must, I think, have some 
instinct of their own concerning the lightnings of the 
eye, by means of which they can distinguish between the 
lurid flashes of hell and the pure coruscations of heaven. 
This profligate was as little aware of the flashes of his 
eyes as was Moses of the brightness of his countenance. 
Her glance shrunk before his scorching gaze ; at the same 
time I feel it incumbent on me as an historian — seeing 
that readers by the thousand (and I myself into the bar- 
gain) are all up in arms to such an extent against this 
defenceless Everard — not to conceal the fact that Lenette 
hud had her mind's eye firmly fixed upon certain rather 
rude and free-handed sketches which Schulrath Stiefel had 
drawn for her of the manoeuvring grounds of rakes in 
general (and this one in particular), and, in consequence, 
had pricked up her ears in alarm at each move he made, 
whether in advance or in retreat. 

And yet every word I write in defence of the poor rascal 
will only tell against him now ; indeed, there are many 
ladies whose acquaintance with the Salic Law (or Mr. 
Meiner's work) teaches them that in former times the 
penalty for touching a woman's hand was the same as for 
hewing off a man's middle finger, namely, fifteen shillings, 
and who, being indignant with Kosafor his hand pressures, 
would fain have him to be duly punished therefor. I am 
convinced that these ladies would b} r no means be pacified 
were I to go on speaking in his extenuation, for they have 
doubtless learnt, out of Mallet's ' Introduction to the History 
of Denmark,' that formerly persons who kissed without 
leave, and against the will, were, by the law of the land, 
liable to be banished. And there are very many women of 
tae present day who are strictly governed by the ancient 
pandects of Germany, and, in the ca^e of lip-thieves (since, in 
the eye of the law, banishment and confinement to one place 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 233 

are held to be tantamount and equivalent one to another), 
they adjudge them — not, it is true, io be banished from their 
chambers, but to remain in them ; similarly, they lodge 
debtors (to whom they have given their hearts, and who 
insist on retaining possession of the same) in the Marshalsea 
of the Matrimonial Torus. 

When Rosa jumped up (as before set forth), he had 
nothing to urge in extenuation of his false step but an 
aggravation or augmentation of it, and accordingly he fairly 

took the marble goddess in his arms But at this point 

my progress is barred for a moment by an observation which 
has to be made ere I proceed ; it is this : There are many 
kindly beauties who cover their retreats or make amends 
for their denials by concessions. By way of making them- 
selves some amends for their hard services in the campaign 
of virtue, they offer no resistance at all in matters of the 
smaller sort, skilfully abandoning a good many intrench- 
ments and outworks (in the shape of words, articles of dress, 
and so on), to enable them to deftly steal a march upon the 
enemy and outmanoeuvre him — just as clever generals burn 
the suburbs that they may fight the better up in the 
citadel. 

My sole object in making this observation is to point out 
that it did not apply to Lenette in any respect whatever. 
Pure as she was in soul and in body, she might have gone 
straight away into heaven just as she stood, without 
changing so much as a stitch of her attire — have taken her 
eyes, heart, clothes, everything except that tongue of hers, 
which was uncultivated, rude, indiscreet; so that her 
resistance to Everard's attempted burglary on her lips was 
unnecessarily grave and discourteous (considering what a 
trifling case of orchard-robbery it really was), much more 
so than it would have been had Lenette been able to drive 
the Schulrath's highly-coloured prognostics concerning 
Rosa out of her head. 

Rosa had anticipated a denial of a less unpleasant kind. 
His obstinacy availed him nothing as against hers, which 
was the greater of the two. A gnat-swarm of firm and 
passionate resolves buzzed about his ears ; but when at 
length (probably inspired thereto by the Schulrath) she 
said, " Your lordship remembers that the Tenth Command- 



234 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II 

ment saj'g, ■ Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife' " — 
from the crossroad between love and hatred, on which he 
wag standing, he suddenly made a great jump — into his 
pocket and brought out a wreath of artificial flowers, 
"There!" he cried, "take them, you nasty, inexorable 
creature ! just this one forget-me-not as a souvenir ; devil 
fly away with me if I want anything further!" If she 
had taken it, he would immediately have wanted something 
further; but she turned her face aside and repulsed the 
silken garland with both hands. At this the honeycomb 
of love in his heart soured into very vinegar ; he grew wild 
with fury, and throwing the flowers right over the table, 
he cried, " Why, they are your own pawned flowers — I 
redeemed them myself — so take them you must." On which 
he took his departure, not, however, without making his 
bow, whioh Lenette, all hurt and offended as she was, 
ceremoniously returned. 

She took the envenomed wreath to the window, to have 
a better light to examine it by. Alas ! these were indeed, 
and beyond all doubt, the very roses and rosebuds whose 
steely thorns were wet with the blood-drops from a pair of 
pierced hearts. Whilst she, thus weeping and bowed 
beneath the weight of her woe, stunned and stupid rather 
than observant, stood at her window, it suddenly struck 
her as a strange circumstance that the torturer of her soul, 
though he had gone rattling down the stairs in a hurry 
with noise enough, had never gone out at the street-door. 
After a long and attentive watch, during which anxiety, 
closely bordering upon terror, assumed the role of com 
forter and spake louder than her sorrow (the future, at the 
same time, driving the past out of view), the becrowned 
hairdresser came galloping home (the crown of his hat 
pointing heavenwards), and shouted to her in a mere paren- 
thetical manner as he dashed by, " Madame the queen ! " 
for his great idea was, that before anything else he should 
rush home, and there on the spot, and without a moment's 
delay, make proclamation of the kingship and queenship of 
four persons. 

There now devolves upon me the duty of conducting my 
readers to the corner where the Venner is cowering. From 
Lenette he had descended (in two senses of that word) to 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 235 

the hairdresser's wife, one of that common class of women 
who never so much as dream of an infidelity all the year 
round — for no horse in all the kingdom is harder worked — 
and commit one only when there appears on the scene some 
tempter, whom they neither invite nor resist, probably 
forgetting all about the incident by the time next baking 
day comes round. On the whole, the superiority which the 
female middle-class is disposed to arrogate to itself over 
that of a higher rank, is just about equally great as it is 
questionable. There are not a great many tempters in the 
middle-class, and those there are are not of a very tempting 
sort. 

Like the earthworm, which has ten hearts that extend 
all the way from one end of it to the other, Rosa was fitted 
out with as many hearts as there are species of women ; for 
the delicate, the coarse, the religious, the immoral — every 
sort, in fact; he was always ready with the appropriate 
heart. For as Lessing and others so frequently blame the 
critics for narrowness and onesidedness in matters of 
taste, inculcating upon them a greater universality of it — 
a greater power of appreciation of the beautiful, to what- 
soever times and nations belonging — so do men of the world 
also advocate a universality of taste for the live beautiful, 
on two legs, not excluding any variety of it, but deriving 
gratification from all. This taste the Yenner possessed. 
There was such a marked distinction between his feelings 
for the wigmaker's wife and for Lenette, that, in revenge 
upon the latter, he came to the determination, on the stair, 
to take a jump right over this distinction and slip in to pay 
a visit to the landlady, while her narrow-chested husband 
was away scheming and plotting in confederacy for a crown 
in another quarter. Sophia (this was her name) had been 
always combing at wigs in the bookbinder's on the occa- 
sions when the Venner had been sitting there on the busi- 
ness of getting his novels and life romances done up and 
bound, and there they had communicated to one other, by 
looks and glances, all that which people are not in the 
habi of confiding to third parties. Meyern made his entree 
into the childless abode with all the confident assurance of 
an epic poet, who soars superior to all prefaces. There was 
a certain corner partitioned oif from the room by boards : 



236 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

it contained little or nothing — no window, no chair, a little 
warmth from the sitting-room, a clothes-cupboard, and the 
couple's bed. 

When the first compliments had been exchanged, Rosa 
took up a position behind the door of this partitioned space, 
for the street passed close by the window, and at this late 
hour he was anxious not to give occasion to unpleasant 
surmises on the part of passers by. Of a sudden, however, 
Sophia saw her husband run by the window. The intent 
to commit a sin may betray itself by a superabundance of 
carefulness and caution ; Rosa and Sophia were so startled 
at the sight of the runner, that she begged the young gen- 
tleman to get behind the partition until her husband should 
go back to the shooting-range. The Venner went stumbling 
into the sanctum sanctorum, while Sophia placed herself at 
the door of it, and, as her husband entered, made as though 
she were just coming out of it, closing the door after her. 
The moment he had stuttered out the news of his elevation 
in rank, he darted out of the room, crying, " She upstairs 
there knows nothing about it yet." Gladness and hurried 
draughts of liquor had just blurred the sharp outlines of his 
lighter ideas with a thin haze or fog. He ran out and 
called " Madame Siebenkees " up the stairs (he was anxious 
to be off again so as to join the procession). She hastened 
half way down, heard the glad news with trembling, and, 
either by way of masking her joy, or as a fruit of a warmer 
liking for her husband now that fortune seemed kinder to 
him (or it may have been, perhaps, another fruit which 
joy commonly bears, namely, anxiety, or shall I name it 
fear ?), she threw down to him the question, " is Mr. von 
Meyern out yet ?" 

" What! was he in my room just now?" cried he, while 
his wife echoed, unbidden, from the door, " Has he been in 
the house?" "He was here, upstairs," Lenette replied, 
with a touch of suspicion, " and he hasn't gone out yet." 

The hairdresser's suspicions were now awakened, for 
the consumptive trust no woman, and, like children, take 
every chimney-sweep they see for the devil himself, hoof, 
horns, tail and all. " Things are not all exactly as they 
should be here, Sophy," said he to his wife. The passing 
brain-dropsy, induced by what he had drank during the 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 237 

day and by his half-share in a throne and fifty florins, had 
the effect of screwing his courage up to such a pitch that 
he secretly formed the idea of treating the Venner to a 
good sound cudgelling in the event of his coming upon 
him in any illegal coiner. Accordingly he started upon 
voyages of discovery, first exploring the entrance passage, 
where Rosa's sweet-scented head served him as a trail, or 
lure ; he followed this incense-pillar of cloud into his own 
room, observing that this Ariadne's thread of his, this 
sweet odour, grew stronger as he went. Here among the 
flowers lay the serpent — as, according to Pliny, sweet- 
smelling forests harbour venomous snakes. Sophia wished 
herself in the nethermost of Dante's hells, though in fact 
and reality she was there already. It dawned upon the 
hairdresser that if the Venner woirld only stay where he 
was, in the closed titmouse-trap of the partitioned corner, 
he should have bruin safe in his toils ; consequently he 
reserved till the last a peep into the said corner. What is 
historically certain is, that he seized upon a pair of curling- 
tongs wherewith to probe the dark corner and gauge the 
cubic contents thereof. Into its dark depths he made a 
horizontal lunge with his tongs, but encountered nothing. 
He next inserted this probe, this searcher of his, into more 
places than one — firstly, into the bed, next, under the bed 
(taking this time the precaution to keep opening and 
shutting the tongs, which were not hot, on the chance ot 
some stray lock of hair getting caught in them in the dark- 
ness.) However, all this trap captured was air. At this 
juncture he came upon a clothes-cupboard, the door of 
which had always stood gaping ajar for the last six years 
or so ; the key had been lost just that time, and in this 
slipshod household it was a matter of necessity to keep this 
door open, otherwise the. lock would have snapped to, and 
there would have been no getting in. To-day, however, 
this door was close shut. The Venner (in a profuse perspi- 
ration) was inside; the friseur pressed the lock home, and 
then the net was fairly over the quail. 

The hairdresser, now master of the situation, quietly 
took the command of his establishment at his ease ; the 
Venner could not get out ! 

He despatched Sophia (as red as a furnace and loudly 



238 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IL 

dissentient, though forced to obey) for the locksmith and 
his breaching implements; however, she quite made up 
her mind to come back with a lie, not with a locksmith. 
When she had marched off he fetched Fecht, the cobbler, 
up, to be at once his witness of and his assistant in that 
which he proposed to accomplish. The shoe-stitcher crept 
into the room softly at his heels ; the phthisic haircurler 
went up to the canary-cage and addressed the bird impri- 
soned therein (tapping the while with his tongs on- the 
gate of this fortress of Engelsburg) as follows : " I know 
you .are in there, honourable Sir, make a move ; there's 
nobody here but me, as yet (there'll soon be more). I can 
break the cupboard open with my tongs and let you out." 
Laying his ear close to the door of this Spandau, he heard 
the captive sigh. 

44 Ah 1 you are puffing and panting a little, honourable 
gentleman," said the wigmaker; 44 1 am here at the door 
by myself now. When the locksmith comes and breaks it 
open, we shall all see you, and I'll call the whole house ; 
but all I shall ask to let you jump out now, quietly, and 
be off unseen, will be a mere trifle. Give mo that hat of 
yours, and a shilling or two, and give me your custom." 

At length the miserable prisoner knocked upon the door 
and said, 44 1 am in here ; just let me out, will you, my man, 
and I'll do all you say. I can help, from the inside, to 
break open the door." The wigmaker and the cobbler 
applied their battering apparatus to the 44 parloir " of this 
donjon-keep, and the captive bounded forth. During the 
breaking open of the gates of jubilee the friseur parleyed 
or negotiated a little more, and amerced the anchorite in 
the locksmith's fee ;, at last, bringing liosa forth, like Pallas 
in her mail, when she issued from Jove's cranium into the 
light of day, 44 The landlord," said Fecht, " couldn't have 
managed the job without me." 

Rosa opened his eyes wide at the sight of this auxiliary 
deliverer from the house of bondage, took off the sweet- 
smelling hat (which the gobbler immediately clapped on 
to his own head), shed some drops of golden rain from his 
waistcoat-pocket upon the pair, and, in dread of them and 
of the locksmith's arrival, fled home bareheaded in tho 
dark. The friseur, whose bald pate was so near to the 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 239 

triple crown of the emperors of old, and the popes oi 
the present (for the eagle gave him a crown, the Venner 

a hat, and his wife had nearly placed something else ), 

— however, ihe friseur, in high satisfaction of this new 
martyr- crown of felt, which he had been envying the Venner 
the possession of all the afternoon, went back with it to 
the shooting-ground, that he might have the gratification 
of marching home in company with his co-emperor, at- 
tended by their subjects and their vassals. 

The wigmaker took his hat otf to his royal brother Sie- 
benkaes (that hat so much more worthy of a co-king than 
his former one), and told him something of what had been 
happening. 

The Heimlicher von Blaise smiled his Domitian smile 
to-day more affectionately than ever, which made the 
bird emperor far from comfortable; for friendliness and 
smiling make the heart colder when it is cold to begin 
with, and warmer when it is warm — just as spiritus nitri 
does water. From a friendliness of this particular kind 
nothing was to be expected but its opposite, as in ancient 
jurisprudence excessive piety in a woman was merely a 
proof that she had sold herself to the devil. Christ's im- 
plements of torture became holy relics ; and, conversely, 
relics of saints often become implements of torture. 

Under the twinkling gleams of the wide, starry firma- 
ment (where new constellations kept bursting into view, 
in the shape of banging rockets) the grand procession 
marched along. The competitors who had come after the 
king's shot had fired their rifles in the air, by way ot 
salute to the royal pair. The two kings walked side by 
side, but the one who belonged to the guild of wigmakers 
found some difficulty in standing (what between joy and 
beer), and would gladly have sat down upon a throne. 
However, over these seventy Brethren of the Eagle, and 
the two vicars of the empire, we are losing sight, and de- 
laying to treat of something else. 

To wit, the town militia, wno are also present, or 
more properly speaking, the Boyal Kuhschnappel Militia. 
Concerning this regiment I think a good deal, and 6ay only 
about half what I think. A city or county militia regi- 
ment — and particularly the Boyal Kuhschnappel Militia — 



240 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK It 

is a distinguished and important body of men, whose raiaon 
d'etre is to scorn and show contempt for the enemy, by 
always turning their backs upon him — showing him, in 
fact, nothing but backs, like a well-ordered library. If 
the enemy has anything in the nature of courage, then our 
said force sacrifices to Fear like the ancient Spartans ; and 
as poets and actors ought in the first place to experience 
and picture to themselves in a vivid manner the emotions 
they are about to portray, the militia endeavours to give 
an illustration, in itself, of that panic terror into which it 
would fain throw the enemy. Now with the view of 
affording these men of war (or " of peace " if you prefer it) 
the necossary amount of practice in the mimic representa- 
tion of terror, they are daily put through a process of being 
terrified at the city gates. It is called" being relieved." 
When one of these men of peace is on sentry, another of 
them, a comrade of his, marches up to his sentry box, 
shouts out words of command at him in a warlike tone of 
voice, and makes hostile and threatening gestures in close 
proximity to his nose ; the one who is on sentry also cries 
out in a similar voice, goes through certain motions with 
his weapon, and then lays it down and gets away as fast 
as he can ; the conqueror in this brief winter campaign 
retains possession of the field, and puts on the watchcoat 
which he has taken from the other man by way of booty ; 
but that they may each have an opportunity of being 
terrified by the others, they take the part of conqueror 
turn about. A warrior of this peaceful order may very 
often be most dangerous in actual war, when, in the act of 
bolting, he happens, in throwing his rifle away with the 
ba} T onet fixed, to throw it too far, and harpoon his too 
proximate pursuer with it. Militiamen of this sort 
(" precious " they are in eveiy sense) are usually posted, 
for greater security's sake, in public places where they are 
safe from injury, such as the gates of towns, where 
these harpooners are protected by the town and gate ; at 
the same time I have often wished, in passing, that these 
students of the art military were provided with a good 
thick stick, so that they might have something to defend 
themselves with if anybody should try to take away their 
muskets. 



CHAP. VII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 241 

It will appear to many that I am but artfully cloaking 
the shortcomings of the militia in these respects; I am 
prepared for this — but it is not difficult to perceive that 
this species of praise also applies to all small standing 
armies of lesser principalities — forces which are recruited 
only that they may recruit. I shall here utter myself on 
this subject a little. Vuillaume recommends educators 
to teach children to play at soldiers, to make them drill 
and mount guard, in order to accustom them, by this play, 
to firm and active habits both of body and of mind ; in 
short, to render them firm and upright. This soldier-game 
has been carried on for a considerable time already in 
Canape's Institute. But is Mr. Vuillaume really ignorant 
that scholar-drill, such as he recommends, has been long 
since introduced by every good prince of the empire into 
his dominions ? Does he suppose it is anything new 
when I tell him that these princes seize upon all strong 
young fellows (as soon as they attain the canonical hdight) 
and have them drilled, in order that they, the State's 
children, may thus be taught mores, carriage, and all that 
has to be acquired in the State's school ? The truth is 
that, even in the very smallest principalities, the soldiers 
often possess all the acquirements and accomplishments of 
real soldiers; they can present arms, stand bolt upright at 
portals, and smoke at all events, if not fire — matters which 
a poodle learns with ease, but a country bumpkin with 
more difficulty. 

To these rehearsals of warlike business I attribute it 
that many otherwise clever and sensible men have allowed 
themselves to believe that this sham soldiery of the little 
States, is in fact a real soldiery ; they must otherwise have 
seen in a moment that with so small a force neither could 
a small territory be defended, nor a large one attacked ; 
neither is there indeed any need for even this small force, 
since in Germany the question of relative strength is 
merged in that of equality of religion. Hunger, cold, naked- 
ness, and privation are the benefits which Vuillaume con- 
siders the soldier-game tc hold out to his scholars, as 
lessons in patient endurance and fortitude ; now these are 
the very advantages which the State schools above referred 
to confer upon the young men of the country — and that 



242 JEAN PAUL FRIEDEICH KIOHTER. [BOOK II. 

much more thoroughly and efficaciously than Vuillaume 
does — which, of course, is the entire ohject of the insti- 
tution. I am quite aware that there are not infrequent 
cases in which perhaps a third part of the population 
escapes "being made into soldiery, and consequently gets 
none of the valuable practice in question; at the same 
time there can be no doubt that if we even get the length 
of having two-thirds of the population with rifles on their 
shoulders in the place of scythes, the remaining third (in- 
asmuch as it has considerably less to mow, to thresh, and 
to subsist upon) obtains the before-mentioned benefits (of 
cold, hunger, nakedness, &c), almost gratis, and without 
having to fire so much as a single shot. Let but barracks 
be multiplied in a sufficient ratio in a country, in a pro- 
vince, parish, town, village (as the case may be), and the 
remainder of the houses will of themselves settle down 
into suburbs, and accessory and out-buildings to the 
barracks, nay, become absolute conventual establishments, 
in which the three monastic vows (the Prince alone being 
pere provincial) are, whether taken or not, at all events most 
religiously kept. 

We now hear the two vicars of the empire go into 
their homes. The friseur's sole punishment to his wife 
is a narrative of the whole affair, and a sight of the hat ; 
while the advocate rewards Lenette with the kiss which 
she had refused to other lips. If her story did not please 
him, the teller of it did, and on the whole the only thing 
she omitted was the flower-wreath, and the allusions made 
to it. She would not cloud the happiness of his evening, 
nor bring back upon him the pain and the reproaches of 
that other evening when she had pawned it. I, like many 
of my readers, had expected that Lenette would have 
received the news of the enthronisation far too coldly ; 
she has deceived us all ; she received it even too joyfully. 
But there were two good reasons for this ; she had heard 
of it an hour before, and consequently the first feminine 
mourning over a joy had had time to give place to the joy 
itself. For women are like thermometers, which on a sudden 
application of heat sink at first a few degrees, as a prelimi- 
nary to rising a good man}'. The second reason for her 
being thus indulgent and sympathetic was the humiliating 



CHAP. VHI.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 243 

consciousness she possessed of the Venner's visit, and of 
the wreath in its hiding-place; for we are often severe 
when we are strong, and practise forbearance when we 
stand in need of it. 

I now wish the entire royal family and household a 
good night, and a pleasant awaking in the eighth chapter. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



SCRUPLES AS TO PAYMENT OF DEBTS — THE RICH PAUPER S SUNDAY 
THRONE-CEREMONIAL — ARTIFICIAL FLOWERS ON THE GRAVE — 
NEW THISTLE SEEDLINGS OF CONTENTION. 

Siebenk^es, a king, and yet a poor's-advocate and member 
of a wood-economising association, arose next morning a 
man who could lay forty good florins down upon his table 
at any hour of the day. The whole of that forenoon he 
enjoyed a pleasure which possesses, for the virtuous and 
right-thinking, an especial charm — that of paying debts : 
firstly, to the Saxon his house-rent, and then to the 
butchers, bakers, and other nurses of this needy machine, 
our body, their little duodecimo accounts. For he was 
like the aristocracy who borrow from the lower classes, 
not money, but only victuals, just as there are many judges 
who are bribeable with the latter, but not with the 
former. 

That he does pay his debts is not a circumstance which 
should lower him in the opinion of anybody who re- 
members that he is a man of very poor " extraction " — 
scarcely of any " extraction " at all, in fact. A man of 
rank is expected (as a thing becoming his position) not to 
pay his debts, fur thanks to the papal indulgences granted 
to his noble ancestors at the time of the Crusades, he need 
give his mind no trouble on the subject of liability, and 
least of all should liabilities of a pecuniary nature cause 
him a thought. To place a man of a high and delicate 
sense of honour, a courtier say, under an obligation (e.^. to 
lend him money) is to wound his feelings to a greater or 

b 2 



244 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

less extent ; and a wound of this sort to the feelings is 
a matter which his refined sensitive nature naturally leads 
him to endeavour to forgive ; he will, therefore, do his 
utmost to drive the injury thus done him, with all its 
attendant circumstances, completely out of his mind. 
Should the person who inflicted this hurt upon his sense 
of honour remind him of it, he will then, with genuine 
delicacy of feeling, make as if he were scarcely aware that 
he had been wounded. Eough young squires, again, and 
officers on the march do really pay, and moreover, they 
coin (if the expression may be used) for themselves the 
money they require, as is the case in Algiers, where every 
one possesses the privilege of minting. In Malta there is 
current a leathern coin of the value of eightpence, on 
which is the legend " Non As, sed Fides." With leather 
money of a somewhat different description, not circular in 
shape, but drawn out to some length, more like that of the 
ancient Spartans (and, indeed, this sort of money usually 
gets the appellation of dog-whips or riding-whips), the 
landed gentry and people of village nobility pay their 
coachmen, Jews, carpenters, and others to whom they owe 
money — going on paying them, in fact, until they are quite 
satisfied. Indeed I once stood at table and saw officers, men 
most tenacious of their honour, take their swords from the 
wall or from their sides, and therewith, when the boots 
asked for his money, pay him in the true currency of 
antiquity (among the brave Spartans, also, weapons were 
money), so that, in fact, the fellow's jacket got a better 
brushing than most of the boots for cleaning which he 
wanted to be paid. And looking at the matter all round, 
ought it really to be accounted a grave offence in military 
personages, even of the highest rank, to pay their small 
debts ? So that often, when some wretched tailor asks for 
metal, they take the iron ell-measure from him, and (while, 
moreover, applying to him in person the very measure which 
he applied to their furs) press — not perhaps into his hands, 
but on to a part of his body on which "contour" lines 
might be drawn — not mere coins, or bills on approved 
Becurity, but a metal which Peru with all its wealth does 
not boast the possession of, the aforesaid iron to wit ? In 
Sumatra the skulls of the enemy are their Louis d'ors and 



GHAP. VIII.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 245 

head-pieces, and even this species of currency — the hostile 
head of the tradesman who has furnished goods — is often 
taken by the nobler creditor, just by way of satisfying him 
" in full of all demands." Neither in the Clausular Juris- 
prudence nor in the most recent Prussian code is it enacted 
that a creditor is to stipulate in his bill which species of 
currency he elects to be paid in by his noble debtor, the 
metallic currency or the castigatoiy. 

On this Thursday morning Siebenkses had a tough and 
ticklish argument, or piece of special pleading, to go 
through on the subject of the half-heart or (half-pig) of 
the cardinal protector, which his co-king, the hairdresser, 
pressed the acceptance of upon him, by way of making 
more sure of duly sharing all the prizes which appertained 
to the king's shot himself. But his having gained the 
twenty-five florin prize did not add to the warmth of his 
arguments, and at last he agreed to the arrangement that 
the animal should be eaten, pure and clean, like a pass- 
over lamb, next Sunday in Siebenkajs's room by the lodgers 
generally, and by the two rifle kings with their queens in 
company with Schulrath Stiefel. The flower goddess of the 
days of man took at this juncture a fingertipful or two of 
.seeds of quickly blooming and quickly fading flowers 
(such as like the hellebore come into blossom in our De- 
cember) and sowed them beside the path which Firmian's 
steps most often trod. Ah, happy man, how soon will 
these forced blossoms fall from your days. Will not your 
philosophic Diana-and -bread-fruit tree (which takes the 
place, in your case, of an oak of lamentation) fare like the 
cut plants which people put in lime-water in their 
chambers on St. Andrew's Day, and which, after a hurried 
outburst of yellowish leaves and feeble dingy flowers, fade 
and perish for good and all ? 

Sleep, riches, and health, to be truly enjoyed, must be 
interrupted ; it is only during the first few days after the 
burden of poverty or sickness has been lifted from a man's 
shoulders, that the upright posture, and the free breath, 
cause their fullest measure of delight. These days lasted 
for our Firmian until the Sunday. He built a whole cubic- 
foot of his Devil rampart (in his ' Selection from the Devil's 
Papers '), he wrote reviews, he wrote law papers, he kept a 



246 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

careful eye on the maintenance of the household trace 
(liable to be disturbed by the question of the redemption 
of the pawned furniture). I shall treat of this matter 
firstly, before proceeding to give an account of the Platonic- 
banquet of the Sunday. On Firmian's coronation-day he 
invested twenty-one florins in a watch, with the view 
of avoiding frittering away his money by driblets ; he 
thought it well to cast an anchor of hope into his watch- 
pocket. Then, when his wife talked of redeeming the 
salad-bowl, the herring-di^h, and other pledges — a matter 
involving not kisses only but half of his capital — he would 
say, " I'm not in favour of it, old Sabel would very soon 
have to carry them off again; however, if you're deter- 
mined, pray have them out, I shall not interfere." If he 
had offered any opposition, back they would have had to 
come; but, inasmuch as he poured the greater portion of 
his cash into her money bag, and as she marked its daily 
ebb — and as she could go and redeem the furniture any 
day — why for that very reason she lot it alone. Women 
are fond of putting off, men of pushing on; with the 
former, patience most speedily gains us our point ; with 
the latter (ministers of the crown for instance) impatience. 
I here once more remind all German husbands, who have 
any pledge they do not wish to redeem, how to deal with 
their fair resisters. 

Every morning she said, " Ah ! we really must send 
and get back our plates," to which he as regularly anti- 
phonated, " I don't think so ; I praise you rather for not 
doing it." And in this manner he caused his own desire 
to assume the form of another person's desert. Firmiau 
understood some individual specimens of humanity, but 
not humanity as a class, in its broad sense ; he was em- 
barrassed with every woman at first, while her acquaintance 
was new, though not so afterwards when he came to know 
her better; he knew exactly how one ought to talk, walk, 
And stand, in "society," but he never put this knowledge 
in practice ; he took accurate note of all outward and 
inward awkwardness of other people, but yet retained all 
his own; and after treating his acquaintances for years 
with the airs of a superior, experienced man of the world 
accustomed to " society," he would suddenly find, on some 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 247 

occasion of his being from home, that, unlike a true man of 
the world, he had no effect or influence whatever on people 
to whom he was a stranger ; to make a long tale short, he 
was a man of letters. 

Meanwhile, however, before the Sunday came, notwith- 
standing all the peace-sermons and peace-treaties in his 
heart, he found that he had plumped, before he knew 
where he was, right into the thick of a household battle of 
the frogs and mice once more, which occurred as follows : — 
It is matter of history, derived from his own statement, 
that, as Lenette kept on ceaselessly washing her hands and 
arms, as well as other things by the hundred (although, for 
the most part, with cold water, it being impossible to have 
warm water continually ready) — that, I say, he simply 
asked, in the gentlest tone in the world, the kindly and 
half-playful question, " Doesn't that cold water give you 
cold?" She answered " No," in a sostenuto voice. "Per- 
haps warm water would be more likely to do so, would it ? " 
he continued. Her answer was, " Yes, it would," delivered 
in a snapping staccato. Moralists and psychologists, who 
may be a good deal surprised at this half-angry answer to 
a question so innocent, are, contrary to my expectations, far 
behindhand in their knowledge of psychology in general, 
and the psychology of this tale in particular. Lenette 
knew by experience that the advocate, like Socrates, gene- 
rally opened his battles in the most dulcet tones, as the 
Spartans commenced theirs to the sound of flutes, and, in 
fact, continued them in the same strain, that, like the said 
Spartans, he might retain complete command of himself. 
She therefore dreaded that, on this occasion also, his flute- 
text might usher in a declaration of war against the femi- 
nine form of government, of which the various provinces 
of work are divided one from another by washing- waters, 
as the judicial districts of modern Bavaria are by rivers. 

" What key is a husband to play his tune in, I ask you 
all ! " the advocate would often cry with curses, " since, 
whether he takes it in the major or in the minor, or plays 
piano or forte, it seems all the same in the end?" 

On the present occasion, however, all he was aiming at, 
his gentleness of demeanour notwithstanding, was a preface 
to a proper system of educating or training the bodies of 



248 JEAN PAUL FRIEDMCH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

children. For after her answer he went on to say, " I am 
delighted to hear you say so. If we had children, 1 see 
you would be continually washing them, and with cold 
water, too, over their whole bodies, and this would invigo- 
rate them and make them strong and hardy, since, as you 
sa}', it produces warmth." Her only answer to this was to 
hold her hands aloft, folded for victory, like the biblical 
prophet — for, in her eyes, a cold bathing of children was. a 
Herodian blood-bath. Firmian then developed with much 
greater clearness his invigorating system of upbringing, 
while more and more strenuously strove his wife against 
it, with all her feathers ruffled, till by dint of able expo- 
sition on both sides of the respective masculine and femi- 
nine systems of rearing, they had nearly reached a point 
where they would have clashed together, like a couple of 
summer thunderclouds, had not he dispelled these by firing 
the following shot : " Good heavens ! have ice any children ? 
Why should we make fools of ourselves in this way about 
the matter ? " 

" I was speaking of other people's children," was Le- 
nette's reply. 

Consequently, as I said above, war did not break out, 
but, on the other hand, the morning of the Sabbath of peaco 
brake in, and with it came the guests who were bent upon 
possessing themselves of (and eating) the warm and divided 
heart, or pig, of the Babylonish harlot, or Cardinal Pro- 
tector. It seemed, in fact, as if some happy star of the 
wise men of the East must be standing in the heavena 
above this houseful of recipients of out-door relief, for there 
had, by good luck, been a gale of wind on the previous 
Friday which had blown down some half of the Govern- 
ment forest and strewn the path to Advent, for the poor, 
so grandly with branches (and the trees attached) that the 
entire staff of forest officials could not hinder the ingathering 
of such a vintage. For many a long year the Morbitzer'a 
house hadn't boasted anything approaching to such a stock 
of timber, part of it purchased, part adroitly collected. 

And if every Sunday is — in a poor man's quarters — in it- 
self and in the nature of things, not only a sun-day, but a 
moon-and-stars-day into the bargain — a day when a poor 
fellow has his mouthful or two of food, his trifle or two of 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 249 

good clothes, his twelve hours for eating and twelve for 
lying down, besides the necessary neighbours to talk with — 
it may be conjectured in what a superlative sort this par- 
ticular Sunday dawned upon the Morbitzer household, 
■where everybody was as sure of eating his share of the pig 
in the afternoon as of hearing the sermon in the morning, 
and with as little to pay for the one as for the other, seeing 
that it was a settled matter that the lodger of greatest 
dignity in the establishment had determined that his coro- 
nation feast should be celebrated nowhere but there, at the 
table with mere working men. 

Old Sabel was on the spot before the earliest church-bell 
had begun to toll. The rifle-king's crown-treasury could 
afford to appoint her hereditary mistress of the kitchen, 
under Lenette, for a kreuzer or two and a plate or so of 
victuals ; but the queen looked upon her as a superfluity and 
coadjutor, or auxiliary queen. A king on the chessboard 
gets two queens whenever a mere ordinary pawn gets moved 
on to the place of royalty, one of the royal squares (though 
he has not lost his first consort) ; and indeed it is just 
the same when it happens under the canopy of a throne. 
Lenette, however, would have preferred to have washed, 
cooked, and served the meats with her own unassisted 
hands, like a true Homeric or Carlovingian princess. The 
marksman-monarch himself fled the noisy, dusty throne- 
scaffold of the day, and in a loose old coat, happy and free, 
he rambled about the broad green levels of the quiet, blue, 
latter autumn, checked by no interfering dry stems or 
straw sheaves standing sentry on the plain, and bursting 
no thicker barrier-chains than the webs of the spiders. 
Never do husbands more happily and tranquilly take their 
walks abroad — out in the open country, or, indeed, up and 
down in other people's rooms — than when, in their own, 
the stamping-mills, the sugar and fanning-mills are at 
work, whirling and roaring, and they promise themselves, 
at their home-coming, the clean, finished product and out- 
come of all these mill-wheels. Siebenkaes glanced with a 
poet's idyllic eye from his quiet meadow into the distant 
noise-chamber, full of pans, choppers, and besoms, and 
found true and deep delight in a peaceful contemplation of 
the whirl of backwards and forwards assiduity going on 



250 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

there, and in picturing to himself and joining in, the plea- 
sant tongue-visions of the hungry guests, till suddenly he 
grew red and hot. " You're doing a fine thing !" he said, 
addressing himself; "/could do that, myself, too! But 
there's the poor wife scrubbing and cooking herself to death 
at home, and nobody giving her even a thought of thanks." 
And the least he could do was to vow, on the spot, that 
however ho might find things moved about and " put in 
order " in the house on his return, he would accept and 
belaud it all without a word of demur. 

And history vouches, to his honour, for the fact that 
when, on his reaching the house, he found his bookshelves 
dusted and his inkpot washed white on the outside, and all 
his belongings " put in order" — (in a different order to the 
previous one, be it observed), — he at once praised Lenette 
in the kindest manner, without a shade of irritation, and 
said she had performed her household processes and accom- 
plished her cleaning and brushing in a manner quite after 
his heart, for that it was impossible to be too exquisitely 
neat and spick and span in the eyes of commonplace women, 
particularly such as composed the infernal triumvirate who 
were to be present that day (i.e. the bookbinder's, the 
barber's, and the shoemaker's wives) ; and on that account 
lie had left the intendance-general of the theatre of opera- 
tions entirely to her — whereas, in the case of scholars, like 
Stiefel and himself, the room might be turned into a com- 
plete English scouring, carding, and brushing apparatus — 
for men of their sort never glanced down at trifles of that 
description from their sublime heights of mental contem- 
plation. 

But how pleasantly and cheerily did the president of 
the eating congress put all things in train by this his 
kindly temper, even before the assembling of the congress ; 
though this appeared most fully after it had assembled. 
When the thirteen United (States, by their thirteen deputies, 
dine together at a round table to celebrate some arrange- 
ment which they have jointly arrived at (and that they do 
bo at least, establishes the fact that when thirteen dine at a 
table the thirteenth does not necessarily die), it is an easy 
matter for the thirteen free states in question, paying, aa 
they do, the expenses out of thirteen treasuries, to treat 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 251 

their delegates as liberally as Firinian treated his guests. 
It is pleasant to look at cattle grazing in the meadows, but 
not so pleasant to see Nebuchadnezzar conducting himself 
like one of them ; and similarly it is repulsive to see a man 
of cultivation pasturing with a too eager delight on the 
stomach's meadow, the dinner-table (though it is not so in 
the case of the poor). Firmian's guests were all of one 
mind, even the married couples ; for it is a leading cha- 
racteristic of the lower classes that they enter into a dozen 
treaties of peace and make as many declarations of war, in 
the course of the four-and-twenty hours, and particularly 
that they ennoble each of their meals into a feast of love 
and reconciliation. Firmian saw in the lower classes a 
kind of standing troupe of actors playing Shakespeare's 
comedies, and thousands of times fancied that the dramatist 
himself was prompting them unseen. He had long coveted 
the pleasure of having some enjoyment or other of which 
he could give away some portion to the poor; he envied 
those rich Britons who pay the score of a beershop full 
of labourers, or, like Caesar, give free commons to an entire 
town. The poor who have houses give to the poor who 
have not — one lazzarone gives to another — as shell-fish 
become the habitations of other crustaceans, and earth- 
worms are the habitable universes of lesser worms. 

In the evening arrived Peltzstiefel, who was too learned 
a man to eat swine's flesh, or a measure of salt, among the 
untaught vulgar. And then Siebenkaes could once more 
entertain an idea unintelligible to any one but Stiefel. 
He could lay the sceptre and the tinted, glass-ball of the 
imperial globe upon the table, and in his capacity of king 
of the feast and of the eagle, say that his long hair served 
him for a crown, like that of the old Frank kings, his own 
crown having been knocked down by his landlord's rifle ; 
he could assert that the rule by which only he by whose 
hands the eagle was brought down became king was clearly 
imitated from the code of the Fraticelli Berghadi, who 
could only elect to the papacy a person who had killed a 
child. That 'twas true he had it not in his power to reign 
over Kuhschnappel so long by fourteen days as the King 
of Prussia over the ecclesiastical see of Elten (the latter 
period being one of fifteen days) — that 'twas true he had a 



252 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

crown and revenues, but the latter were sadly reduced, 
cut down by one-half, in fact — and that he was far too 
much like the Great Mogul, who formerly had an income 
of two hundred and twenty-six millions a year, but now 
receives only the one hundred and thirteenth part of that 
sum ; however,at his (Siebenkaes's) coronation, though there 
had been no general liberation of the icicked prisoners, yet 
one good one had been released, namely, himself; also that, 
like Peter the Second of Arragon, he had been crowned with 
nothing worse than bread : finally that, under his ephe- 
meral rule, nobody was beheaded, robbed, or beaten to 
death; and — which delighted him most of all — the feeling 
that he was like one of the ancient German princes, who 
governed, defended, and increased a fiee people, and was 
a member of that free people himself, &c. &c. 

The throats in this royal chamber grew louder and 
drier as the evening advanced ; the pipes (those chimneys 
of the mouth) made of the room a heaven of clouds, and of 
their heads heavens of joy. Outside, the autumn sun 
brooded, with warm, flaming wings, over the cold, naked 
earth, as if in haste to hatch the spring. The guests had 
drawn the quint (I mean the five prizes of the five senses) 
out of the ninety numbers, or ninety years of the lottery 
of human life ; the famished eyes were sparkling, and in 
Firmian's soul the buds of gladness had burst their leaflet 
envelopes and swelled forth into flower. Deep happiness 
always leads love by the hand ;' and Firmian longed to-day, 
with an unutterable longing, to press his heart, all heavy 
with bliss, upon Lenette s breast, and there forget all his 
wants and hers. 

These circumstances, in their combination, inspired him 
with a strange idea. He determined, on this happy day, 
to go and redeem the pawned silken flower-wreath and 
plant it in some dark spot out of doors, then take her out 
theie in the evening, or perhaps even in the night, and 
give her a pleasant little surprise at the sight of it. He 
slipped out and took his way to the pawnbroker's ; but — 
as all our resolves begin in us as tiny sparks, and end in 
broad lightning flashes — so, as he went, he improved his 
original idea (of redeeming the wreath from pawn) into 
an altogether different one. that of buying real flowers 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 253 

and planting them by way of goal of the nocturnal ramble. 
There was no difficulty in getting red and white roses from 
the greenhouse of a gardener of the Prince of Oettingen- 
Spielberg, who had lately come to the place. He walked 
round under the upright glass roofs, all behung with blos- 
som, went to the gardener and got what he wanted — only 
no forget-me-nots, for these, of course, the man had left 
the meadows to supply. But forget-me-nots were indis- 
pensable, to make the loving surprise complete. He there- 
fore took his real autumn flowers to the pawnbroker 
woman's, in whose hands his silk plants had been deposited, 
that he might twine the dead, poor, cocoon forget-me-nots 
among the living roses. What was his astonishment to 
learn that the pledge had been redeemed and taken away 
by Mr. von Meyern, and that he had paid a sum of money 
bo considerable that the woman thought she still owed the 
advocate a debt of thanks. It needed all the strength of 
a heart fortified by love to keep him from going at once to 
the Venner with a storm of reproaches for this move of 
warlike strategy — this pledge-robbery — for he could scarce 
endure the thought (a mistaken idea, 'tis true, only given 
rise to by Lenette's silence on the subject of the garland) 
of his pure love's pretty token in Rosa's beringed and 
thievish fingers. The brokeress, too, though she was not 
to blame, would have been severely taken to task had it 
been any other day, one less full of love and happiness ; as 
it was, however, Firmian cursed in a merely general 
manner, especially as the woman gave him silk forget-me- 
nots of somebody else's, when he said he wanted some. 
When in the street again, he was at variance with himself 
as to the spot where he should plant his flowers ; he wished 
he knew where to find some fresh-dug bed of fine old 
mould, of which the dark colour should setoff to advantage 
the red and blue of the flowers. At length he saw a field 
which is broken into beds at all seasons — in summer and 
in winter, ay, in the bitterest cold — the churchyard, with 
its church, hanging like a vineyard on the slope of a hill 
beyond the town. He slipped in by a back entrance and 
saw the fresh-raised boundary-hillock which marked the 
close of an earthly life, rolled, as it were, up to the foot of 
the triumphal gate, through which a mother, with her new- 



254 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

born child in her arm8, had passed away into the brighter 
world. Upon this earthen bier he laid his flowers down, 
like a funeral garland, and then went home. 

The members of the gladsome company had scarcely 
missed him ; they were floating, like fish benumbed in their 
element saturated with foreign matter, paralysed with the 
poison of pleasure ; but Stiefel was still in his senses, and 
was talking with Lenette. The world has already learned 
from the former portion of this history — the people of the 
house, too, were well aware — that Firmian was fond of 
running away from his guests, in order to throw himself 
back into their society with a greater zest, and that he 
interrupted his pleasures in order that he might savour 
them — as Montaigne used to have himself awakened from 
his sleep that he might thoroughly appreciate what it was 
— and so Firmian merely said that he had been out. 

All the waves, even the most turbulent of them, subsided 
at last, and there was nothing left in the ebb save those 
three pearl mussels, our three friends. Firmian gazed 
with tender eyes upon Lenette's bright ones, for he loved 
her the more fondly because he had a pleasure in store for 
her. Stiefel glowed with a love so pure that, without any 
serious error of logic, he was able to define and classify it to 
himself as a mere sympathetic rejoicing in her happiness ; 
particularly as his love for the wife placed wings, not 
fetters, upon his affection for her husband. Indeed the 
Schulrath's anxiety was directed altogether to the reverse 
side of the question, his only doubt being whether he had 
it in him to express his love with adequate force and 
ardour. Therefore he pressed both their hands many times, 
and laid them between his own ; he said beauty was a thing 
to which he very rarely paid any attention, but that he 
had been observant of it that day, becaiise that of Mrs. 
Siebenkass had appeared to such great advantage amid all 
her labours, particularly with all these ordinary women 
about her, and at them he had not so much as looked. He 
assured the advocate that he had considered his good- 
ness and kindness to this admirable wife of his as a mark 
of increased personal friendship for himself; and he 
asseverated to her that his affection for her, of which he 
had given some little proof as they came together from 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 255 

Augspurg in the coach, would grow stronger the more she 
loved his friend, and through that friend, himself. 

Into this cup of joy of hers Firmian of course cast no 
di'op of poison relative to (what he supposed to be) the 
news of the Venner's having made prize of the flowers. 
He was so happy that day ; his little toy crown had so 
tenderly covered and soothed all the bleeding wounds on 
that head of his whence he had lifted his crown of thorns 
just a little way (as Alexander's diadem soothed the bleed- 
ing head of Lysimachus), that his only wish was that the 
night might be as long as a Polar one, since it was just as 
calm and peaceful, as bright and serene. In moments like 
these the poison fangs of all our troubles are broken out, 
and a Paul, like him in Malta of old, has turned all the 
tongues of the soul's serpents to stone. 

When Stiefel rose to go, Firmian did not detain him, but 
insisted that he should allow them both to go with him, 
not to their own door only, but to his. They went out. The 
broad heaven, with the streets of the City of God all lit 
with the lamps which are suns, drew them on, out beyond 
the narrow crossways of the town, and into the great 
spectacle hall of night, where we breathe the blue of 
heaven, and drink the east breeze. We should conclude 
and sanctify all our chamber feasts by " going to church " 
in that cool, vast temple, that great cathedral whose 
dome is adorned with the sacred picture of the Most Holy, 
portrayed in a mosaic of stars. They roamed on refreshed 
and exalted by breezes of the coming spring hastening to 
blow before their appointed time, those breezes which 
wipe the snow away from the mountains. All nature gave 
promise of a mild winter — to lead the poor, who have no 
fuel, gently through the darkest quarter of the year — it 
was a season such as none curse except the rich, who can 
order sleighs but not 6now. 

The two men carried on a conversation befitting the 
sublimity of the night ; Lenette said nothing. Firmian 
said, " How near together these miserable oyster banks, 
the villages, seem to be, and how small they are ; when 
we go from one of these villages to another the journey 
seems to us about the same in length as a mite's, if it 
crawled on a map from the name of the one to the name of 



256 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II 

the other, might appear to it. And to higher spirits our 
earth-ball may perhaps be a globe for their children, 
which their tutor turns and explains." 

" Yot," said Stiefel, "there may very possibly be worlds 
even smaller than this earth of ouis ; and, after all, there 
must be something in ours since the Lord Christ died for 
it." At this the warm blood rushed to Lenette's heart. 
Firmian merely answered, " More Saviours than one have 
died for this world and mankind, and I am convinced that 
Christ will one day take many a good man by the hand, 
and say, ' You have suffered under your Pontius Pilate too !' 
And for that matter many a seeming Pilate is very likely 
a Messiah, if the truth were known." Lenette's secret 
dread was that her husband was really an absolute Atheist, 
or at all events a " philosopher." 

He led them by snaky windings and corkscrew paths to 
the churchyard ; but suddenly his eyes grew moist, as 
one's do when passing through a thick mist, when he 
thought of the mother's grave with the flowers on it, and 
on Lenette who gave no sign of ever becoming one. He 
strove to expel the sadness from his heart by philosophic 
speeches. He said human beings and watches stop while 
they are being wound up for a new long day; and that he 
believed that those dark intervals of sleep and death, which 
break up and divide our existence into segments, prevent 
any one particular idea from getting to glare too brightly, 
and our never-cooling desires from searing us wholly — and 
even our ideas from interflowing into confusion — just as 
the planetary systems are separated by gloomy wastes of 
space, and the solar systems by yet greater gulfs of dark- 
ness. That the human spirit could never take in and contain 
the endle-s stream of knowledge which flows throughout 
eternity, but that it sips it by portions at a time, with 
intervals between : the eternal day would blind our souls 
were it not broken into separate days by midsummer 
nights (which we call, now sleep, now death), framing its 
noons in a border of mornings and evenings. 

Lenette was frightened, and would have liked to run 
away behind the wall and not go into the churchyard ; 
however, she had to go in. Firmian, holding her closely 
to him, took a roundabout path to the place where the 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 257 

wreath was. He closed the little clattering metal gates 
which guarded the pious verses and the brief life-careers. 
They came to the better-class graves nearest the church, 
which lay round that fortress like a kind of moat. Here 
there were nothing but upright monuments standing over 
the quiet mummies below, while further on were mere 
trapdoors let down upon recumbent human beings. A 
bony head, which was sleeping in the open air, Firmian 
set a-rolling, and — heedless of Lenette's oft-renewed 
entreaties to him not to make himself "unclean" — he 
took up in both his hands this last capsule case of a spirit 
of many dwelling places, and, looking into the empty 
window-openings of the ruined pleasure-house, said, 
" They ought to get up into the pulpit inside there at 
midnight, and put this scalped mask of our Personality 
down upon the desk in place of the Bible and the hour- 
glass, and preach upon it as a text to the other heads 
sitting there still packed in their skins. They should 
have my head, if they liked to skin it after my decease, 
and hook it up in the church like a herring's, upon a string, 
by way of angel at the font — so that the silly souls might 
for once in their lives look upward and then downward — 
for we hang and hover between heaven and the grave. 
The hazel-nut worm is still in our heads, Herr Schulrath, 
but it has gone through its transformation and flown out 
from this one, for there are two holes in it and a kernel 
of dust." * 

Lenette was terrified at this godless jesting in such close 
proximity to ghosts ; yet it was but a disguised form of 
mental exaltation. All at once she whispered, " There's 
something looking down at us over the top of the charnel 
house. See, see, it's raising itself higher up." It was only 
the evening breeze lifting a cloud higher ; but this cloud 
had the semblance of a bier resting on the roof, and a hand 
was stretched forth from it, while a star, shining close to 
the cloud's edge, seemed like a white flower laid on the 
heart of the form which lay upon the bier of cloud. 

" It is only a cloud," said Firmian ; " come nearer to the 

* Two holes in a hazel-nut Bhow that the heetie which gnawed away 
its kernel, in the shape of a little larval worm, has crept out in its 
transformed state. 

II. S 



258 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTEK. [BOOK II. 

house, and then we shall lose sight of it." This furnished 
him with the best possible pretext for leading her up to 
the blooming Eden in miniature upon the grave. When 
they had walked some twenty paces, the bier was hidden 
by the house. " Dear me," said the Rath, " what may 
that be in flower there ?" " Upon my life," cried Firmian, 
"white and red roses, and forget-me-nots, wife." She 
looked tremblingly, doubtingly, inquiringly at this resting- 
place of a heart, decked with a garland, at this altar with 
the sacrifice lying beneath it. " Very well then, Firmian," 
she cried, " I'm sure I can't help it, it is no fault of mine ; 
but oh ! you shouldn't have done such a thing ! oh dear ! 
oh dearl will you never cease tormenting me !" She began 
to weep, and hid her streaming eyes on Stiefel's arm. 

For she, who was so delicately clever in nothing as in 
touchiness and taking umbrage, supposed this garland was 
the silken one from her wardrobe, and that her husband 
knew that Rosa had presented it to her, and had placed 
the flowers upon this grave of a woman, dead in childbed, 
in mockeiy either of her childlessness or of herself. These 
mutual misunderstandings were to the full as confounding 
to him as to her ; he had to combat her errors, and at the 
same time ask himself what his own consisted of. It was 
only now that she told him that Rosa had some time since 
returned the pawned wreath to her. Upon the green 
thistle-plant of mistrust of her love, a flower or two now 
came out; nothing is more painful than when a person 
whom we love hides something from us for the first time, 
were it but the merest trifle. It was a great distress and 
disappointment to Firmian that the pleasant surprise he 
had prepared should have taken such a bitter turn. There 
was too much of the artificial about his garland to com- 
mence with, but the foul fiend, Chance, had malevolently 
crisped and twirled it up, with added weeds, into a more 
unreal and unnatural affair than ever. Let us take care 
then not to hire Chance into the heart's service. 

The Schulrath, at his wits' end, gave vent to his embar- 
rassment in a warm curse or two upon the Venner's head ; 
he tried to establish a peace congress between the husband 
and wife (who were sunk in silent musing), and strongly 
urged Lecette to give her hand to her husband and be 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 259 

reconciled to him. But nothing would induce her. Yet, 
after long hesitation, she agreed to do it, but only on con- 
dition that he would first wash his hands. Hers shrunk 
away in convulsive loathing from touching those which 
had been in contact with a skull. 

The Schulrath took away the battle-flag from them, and 
delivered a peace-sermon which came warm from his heart. 
He reminded them what the place was in which they stood, 
surrounded by human beings all gone to their last account ; 
he bade them think for a moment how near they were to 
the angels who guard the graves of the just . the very 
mother (he pointed out) who was mouldering at their feet, 
with her baby in her arms (and whose eldest son he him- 
self was bringing along in his Latin studies — he was then 
in Scheller's principia), might be said to be admonishing 
them not to fall out about a flower or two over her quiet 
grave, but rather to take them away as olive-branches of 
peace. Lenette's heart drank his theologic holy water with 
far greater zest than Firniian's pure, philosophic Alp 
water, and the latter's lofty thoughts of Death shot athwart 
her soul without tbe slightest penetration. However, the 
sacrifice of reconciliation was accomplished and mutual 
letters of indulgence exchanged. At the same time, a peace 
like this, brought about by a third party, is always some- 
thing in the nature of a mere suspension of hostilities. 
Strangely enough they both awoke in the morning with 
tears in their eyes, but could not tell whether happy dreams 
or sad ones had left these drops behind. 



FIRST FLOWER PIECE. 

THE DEAD CHRIST PROCLAIMS THAT THERE IS NO GOD. 

INTRODUCTION. 

My aim in writing this fiction must be my excuse for its 
audacity. 

Men, as a class, deny God's existence with about the 
same small amount of true consideration, conviction, and 

s 2 



260 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRIClf RICHTER. [BOOK TI. 

feeling as that with which most individual men admit it. 
Even in our regularly established systems of belief we form 
collections of mere words, game-counters, medallions — just 
as coin-collectors accumulate cabinetsful of coins — and 
not till long after our collection is made do we convert the 
words into sentiments, the coins into enjoyments. We 
may believe in the immortality of the soul for twenty years 
long, yet it may be the twenty-first before, in some one 
supreme moment, we suddenly perceive, to our astonish- 
ment, what this belief involves, and how wonderful is the 
warmth of that naphtha spring. 

In a similar manner to this, T myself was suddenly 
horror-struck at the perception of the poison-power of that 
vapour which strikes with such suffocating fumes to the 
heart of him who enters the school of Atheistic doctrine. 
It would cause me less pain to deny immortality than to 
deny God's existence. In the former case, what I lose is 
but a world hidden by clouds ; but in the latter, I lose this 
present world, that is to say, its sun. The whole spiritual 
universe is shattered and shivered, by the hand of Atheism, 
into innumerable glittering quicksilver globules of indi- 
vidual personalities, running hither and thither at random, 
coalescing, and parting asunder without unity, coherence, 
or consistency. In all this wide universe there is none 
so utterly solitary and alone as a denier of God. With 
orphaned heart — a heart which has lost the Great Father — 
he mourns beside the immeasurable corpse of Nature, a 
corpse no longer animated or held together by the Great 
Spirit of the Universe — a corpse which grows in its grave ; 
and by this corpse he mourns until he himself crumbles 
and falls away from it into nothingness. The wide earth lies 
before such an one like the great Egyptian sphinx of stone, 
half-buried in the desert sand ; the immeasurable universe 
has become for him but the cold iron-mask upon an eternity 
which is without form and void. 

I would also fain awaken, with this piece of fiction, some 
alarm in the hearts of certain masters and teachers (reading, 
as well as read) ; for, in truth, these men (now that they 
have come to do their appointed day's work, like so many 
vonvicts, in the canal-diggings and in the mine-shaft exca- 
vations, of the "critical" schools of philosophy) discuss 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 261 

God's existence as cold-bloodedly and chill-heartedly as 
though it were a question of the existence of the kraken or 
the unicorn. 

For others, who have not progressed quite so far as this 
I would further remark, that the belief in immortality may 
without contradiction, co-exist with the belief in Atheism , 
for the self-same necessity which, in this life, placed my 
little shining dew-drop of a personality in a flower-cup and 
beneath a sun, can certainly do the same in a second life 
— ay, and could embody me with still greater ease for a 
second time than for the first. 

****** 

When, in our childhood, we are told that, at midnight, 
when our sleep reaches near the soul and darkens our veiy 
dreams, the dead arise from theirs, and in the churches ape 
the religious services of the living, we shudder at death, 
because of the dead, and in the loneliness of night we turn 
our eyes in terror from the tall windows of the silent 
church, and dread to look at their pale shimmer to see 
whether it be truly the reflection of the moon's beams — ur 
something else ! 

Childhood and its terrors (even more than its pleasures) 
assume, in our dreams, wings and brightness, shining glow- 
worm-like in the dark night of the soul. Extinguish not 
these little flickering sparks ! Leave us the dim and 
painful dreams even ; they serve to make life's high-lights 
all the more brilliant. And what will ye give us in ex- 
change for the dreams which raise and bear us up from 
beneath the roar of the falling cataract back to the peace- 
ful mountain-heights of childhood, where the river of life 
was flowing as yet in peace, reflecting heaven upon its little 
surface, on towards the precipices of the future course. 

Once on a summer evening I was lying upon a quiet 
hillside in the sun. I fell asleep, and dreamed that 1 awoke 
in a churchyard. The rattle of the wheels of the clock 
running down as it was striking eleven, had awakened me. 
I looked for the sun in the dark and void night sky, for I 
supposed that some eclipse was hiding it with the moon. 
And all the graves were open, and the iron doors of the 
charnel-house kept opening and shutting, moved by in- 
visible hands. Athwart the walls shadows went flitting; 



262 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTEB. [liOOE 1L 

but no bodies cast those shadows — and there were others, 
too, moving about out in the open air. Within the open 
coffins there were none now asleep, except the children. 
Nothing was in the sky but sultry fog, heavy and grey, 
hanging there in great clammy folds ; and some gigantic 
shadow closed and closed this fog as in a net, and drew it 
ever nearer, closer, and hotter. Up overhead I heard the 
thunder of distant avalanches, and beneath my feet the first 
footfalls of a boundless earthquake. The church was heaved 
and shaken to and fro by two terrific discords striving in 
it, beating in stormy effort to attain harmonious resolution. 
Now and then a greyish glimmer passed with rapid gleam 
flittering athwart the windows; but, whenever this glimmer 
came, the lead and iron of the frames always melted and 
ran rolling down. The fog's net, and the quaking of the 
earth, drove me into the temple, past gleaming, glittering 
basilisks, brooding in poison-nests beside the door. I passed 
among shadows, strange and unknown to me; but they 
all bore the impress of the centuries. These shadows stood 
all grouped about the altar, and their breasts quivered and 
throbbed — their breasts but not their hearts. There was 
but one of the dead still lying on his pillow, and he was 
one who had but just been buried in the church ; he lay at 
peace, his breast without a throb, a happy dream upon his 
smiling face. But now, as I came in (I, one of the living), 
his sleep broke, he awoke, and smiled no more ; with painful 
effort he raised his heavy eyelids — and there was no eye 
beneath — and in his beating breast there was no heart, but 
a deep wound instead. He raised his hands, folded as it 
for prayer; but then his arms shot out and came apart 
from his poor trunk, the folded hands came off and fell 
away. Upon the dome above there was inscribed the dial 
of eternity — but figures there were none, and the dial itself 
was its own gnomon ; a great black finger was pointing at 
it, and the dead strove hard to read the time upon it. 

And at this point a lofty, noble form, bearing the im- 
press of eternal sorrow, came sinking down towards our 
group, and rested on the altar ; whereupon all the dead 
cried out, " Christ ! Is there no God ?" 

He answered, " There is none." 

At this the dead quivered and trembled ; but now it was 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 263 

not their breasts alone that throbbed ; the quivering ran 
all through the shadows, so that one by one the shudder 
shook them into nothingness. And Christ spake on, 
saying, " I have traversed the worlds, I have risen to the 
6uns, with the milky ways I have passed athwart the great 
waste spaces of the sky ; there is no God. And I descended 
to where the very shadow cast by Being dies out and ends, 
and I gazed out into the gulf beyond, and cried, ' Father, 
where art Thou V But answer came there none, save the 
eternal storm which rages on, controlled by none; and 
towards the west, above the chasm, a gleaming rainbow 
hung, but there was no sun to give it birth, and so it sank 
and fell by drops into the gulf. And when I looked up to 
the boundless universe for the Divine eye, behold, it glared 
at me from out a socket, empty and bottomless. Over the 
face of chaos brooded Eternity, chewing it for ever, again 
and yet again. Shriek on, then, discords, shatter the 
shadows with your shrieking din, for He is not ! " 

The pale and colourless shades flickered away to no- 
thingness, as frosty fog dissolves before warm breath, 
and all grew void. Ah ! then the dead children, who had 
been asleep out in the graves, awoke, and came into the 
temple, and fell down before the noble form (a sight to 
rend one's heart), and cried, " Jesus, have we no Father?" 
He made answer, with streaming tears, " We are orphans 
all, both I and ye. We have no Father." 

Then the discords clashed and clanged more harshly 
yet; the shivering walls of the temple parted asunder, 
and the temple and the children sank — the earth and sun 
sank with them — and the boundless fabric of the universe 
Bank down before us, while high on the summit of immea- 
surable nature Jesus stood and gazed upon the sinking 
universe, besprent with thousand suns, and like a mine 
dug in the face of black eternal night; the suns being 
miners' lamps, and the milky way the veins of silvery ore. 

And as he gazed upon the grinding mass of worlds, the 
wild torch dance of starry will-o'-the-wisps, and all the 
coral banks of throbbing hearts — and saw how world by 
world shook forth its glimmering souls on to the Ocean of 
Death — then He, sublime, loftiest of finite beings, raised 
his eyes towards the nothingness and boundless void, 



264 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK II. 

saying, " Oh dead, dumb, nothingness ! necessity endless 
and chill ! Oh ! mad unreasoning Chance — when will ye 
dash this fabric into atoms, and me too ? Chance, knowest 
thou — thou knowest not — when thou dost march, hurri- 
cane-winged, amid the whirling snow of stars, extinguish- 
ing sun after sun upon thy onward way, and when the 
sparkling dew of constellations ceases to gleam, as thou 
dost pass them by ? How every soul in this great corpse- 
trench of an universe is utterly alone ? Jam alone — none 
by me — Father, Father ! where is that boundless breast 
of thine, that I may rest upon it ? Alas ! if every soul 
be its own father and creator, why shall it not be its own 
destroying angel too ? Is this a man still near me ? 
Wretched being! That petty life of thine is but the 
sigh of nature, or the echo of that sigh. Your wavering 
cloudy forms are but reflections of rays cast by a concave 
mirror upon the clouds of dust which shroud your world — 
dust which is dead men's ashes. Look ye down into the 
chasm athwart the face of which the ash-clouds float and 
fly. A mist of worlds rises up from the Ocean of Death ; 
the future is a gathering cloud, the present a falling 
vapour. Dost thou see and know thy earth ? " 

Here Christ looked downward, and his eyes grew full 
of tears, and he spake on, and said, "Alas! I, too, was 
once of that poor earth ; then I was happy, then I still 
possessed my infinite Father, and I could look up from the 
hills with joy to the boundless heaven, and I could cry 
even in the bitterness of death, ' My Father, take thy Son 
from out this bleeding earthly shell, and lift Him to thy 
heart.' Alas! too happy dwellers upon earth, ye still 
believe in Him. Your sun, it may be, is setting at this 
hour, and amid flowers and brilliance, and with tears ye 
sink upon your knees, and, lifting up your hands in 
rapturous joy , ye cry each one aloud up to the open heavens, 
' Oh Father, infinite, eternal, hear ! Thou knowest me 
in all my littleness, even as Thou knowest all things, 
and Thou seest my wounds and sorrows, and Thou wilt 
receive me after death and soothe and heal them a I ' 
Alas ! unhappy souls I For after death these wounds will 
not be healed. But when the sad and weary lays down 
his worn and wounded frame upon the earth to sleep 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 265 

towards a fairer brighter morn all truth, goodness and joy, 
— behold ! he awakes amid a howling chaos, in a night 
endless and everlasting ; and no morning dawns, there is 
no healing hand, no everlasting Father. Oh, mortal, who 
standest near, if still thou breathest the breath of life, wor- 
ship and pray to Him, or else thou losest Him for evermore." 

And I fell down and peered into the shining mass of 
worlds, and beheld the coils of the great serpent of eternity 
all twined about those worlds; these mighty coils began 
to writhe and rise, and then again they tightened and 
contracted, folding round the universe twice as closely as 
before ; they wound about all nature in thousandfolds, 
and crashed the worlds together, and crushed down the 
boundless temple to a little churchyard chapel. And all 
grew narrow, and dark, and terrible. And then a great 
immeasurable bell began to swing in act to toll the last 
hour of Time, and shatter the fabric of the universe to 
countless atoms, — when my sleep broke up, and I awoke. 

And my soul wept for joy that it could still worship 
God— my gladness, and my weeping, and my faith — these 
were my prayer ! And as I rose the sun was gleaming 
low in the west, behind the ripe purple ears of corn, and 
casting in peace the reflection of his evening blushes over 
the sky to where the little moon was rising clear and 
cloudless in the east. And between the heaven and the 
earth, a gladsome, shortlived world was spreading tiny 
wings, and, like myself, living in the eternal Father's 
sight. And from all nature round, on every hand, rose 
music-tones of peace and jo} r , a rich, soft, gentle harmony, 
like the sweet chime of bells at evening pealing far away. 



SECOND FLOWER PIECE. 

A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM. 

A sky of glorious and sublime beauty was spread out 
above this earth; a rainbow stood in the east, like 
the circle of eternity : a storm, with broken wings, 
passed thundering, as if weary, along by the lightning 



266 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTEB. [BOOK IL 

conductors, and away through the gle wing gate of Eden 
in the west; the evening sun gazed after the storm 
with a brightness tender as if it shone through tears, 
resting its glance upon the great triumphal arch of 
Nature. All enraptured with the loveliness of the scene, 
I closed my eyes, and seeing nothing, save the sun 
shining warm and glowing through my lids, listened to 
the thunder as it died away in the far distance. And at 
length the mists of sleep sank down into my soul, and 
shrouded all the spring in folds of grey ; but soon there came 
luminous bands of brightness piercing through the mist, 
and by-and-by shone many-tinted lines of beauty, and ere 
long the dark face of my sleep was painted with the 
brilliant pictures of the world of dreams. 

And then I thought that I was standing in the second 
world, and all about me a dim green grassy plain, which, in 
the distance, merged into brighter flowers, and woods of 
glowing red, and hills so clear that you could see the lodes of 
gold within them. Beyond these crystal hills there glowed a 
bright rose dawn of morning, with dewy rainbows arching 
it all over. All the shiring woods were sprent with suns 
(where earthly forests would have gleamed with drops of 
dew) ; while all the flowers were draped with nebulas, as 
earthly flowers are hung with gossamer. At times the 
meadows shook, as waves of motion passed quivering over 
them — but this was not because the zephyrs bent the grasses 
in their play — it was that passing souls brushed them 
with unseen wings. I was invisible in this second world, 
for there this shell of ours is but a little shroud, a tiny 
fleck of fog not yet condensed. 

And on the brink of this, the second world, reposed the 
holy Virgin near her Son ; and she was looking down- 
ward to our earth, there as it floated dwarfed and far 
beneath, in its pale, feeble spring-time, on the mighty face 
of the Ocean of Death. And every wave was tossing it 
at will, and its dim light was nothing but the shadow 
of a shadow. Then Mary's heart beat with a yearning 
pulse, when she beheld the old beloved world, and all her 
*-oul grew tender, and she said, with brightening glance, 
" Oh, Son ! this heart of mine is full of longing, and 
mine eyes with tears, for all these my beloved human 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 267 

friends ! Eaise the earth near us, that I once more 
may look into the eyes of mine own race, my brothers, 
and my sisters. Ah! my tears will fall when I behold 
the living once again." 

But Christ replied, " The earth is but a dream of many 
dreams ; and thou must sleep to see these dreams." 

And Mary answered, " I will gladly sleep that I may 
dream of man." And then Christ said, " Say what the 
dream shall show thee." 

" Oh beloved ! I would the dream would show me 
mankind's love. Love such as hearts which meet once 
more in bliss after long painful parting only know." 

And as she spake it, lo ! the angel of Death stood close 
behind her, and with closing eyes she sank upon his 
bosom, which was cold as polar ice. And then the little 
earth rose quivering up, but as it seared it paled and 
narrowed, and grew more dim and small. The clouds 
about it parted, and the cleft mists gave to view the little 
night in which it lay, and from a sleeping brook a star or 
two of the second world were mirrored back. And all 
the children lay sleeping on the earth, and all were 
smiling — for they had seen Mary appear to them as they 
slept, in semblance of a mother. But, in the night, stood 
one unhappy being, the power of outward grief almost 
gone from her, except in sighs which tore her breaking 
heart. Even her very tears had ceased to flow. Oh ! gaze 
no more, sad soul, towards the west, where stands the house 
of mourning all behung with funeral crape ; nor to the 
east, upon the grave and house of death. For this one 
day, turn thy sad gaze away from that drear charnel house 
where the loved corpse is laid, so that the cool night 
breeze may fan and wake him from his sleep earlier than 
if he were shut up within the narrow grave ! Yet, no I 
bereaved one, gaze thy fill on thy beloved one while ho 
still is here, and ere he falls to dust — and steep thy heart 
deep in the eternal woe. 

As then an echo in the lone churchyard began to talk 
in faint and mutmuing tones, repeating the notes of the 
low-voiced funeral hymn that rose within the house of 
mourning; and this after-song, floating half-heard in 
air — as though the dead were chanting low— tore all 



268 JEAN PAUL FRIEDKICH EICHTER. [BOOK II. 

her heart in twain ; and then her tears .found vent and 
flowed anew, and wild with sorrow she raised her voice 
and cried, " For ever silent ! oh my love, my love ! 
Callest thou me once more ? oh, speak again — hut once — 
only this once, once more, to me whom thou hast left for 
ever ! Ah, no ! nothing but silence ; no sound except the 
echo stirring among the graves. All the poor dead lie deaf 
beneath, and not a tone comes from the broken heart." 

But when the mourning hymn ceased of a sudden, and 
the dying echo from the graves sung faintly on alone, 
a tremor seized her, and her very life shook in the 
balance ; for the echo came neaier and nearer, and from out 
the night one of the dead came close. And he stretched 
forth his pale and shadowy hand and took her own, 
saying, " My darling, why is it that you weep ? Where 
have we been so long? for I have been dreaming that 
I had lost you ! " But they had not lost each other. 
From Mary's closed lids there fell some happy tears, 
and ere her son could wipe those tears away, the earth 
had sunk back to its place again — and on its face this 
happy pair, restored to one another, and in bliss. 

Then all at once there rose a spark of fire up from the 
earth, and presently a soul hovered all trembling near 
the second world, as if in doubt whether to enter there. 
And Christ a second time raised up the earth ball, and 
the bodily frame from whence this soul had winged its 
way was lying still on earth, marked with the scars and 
wounds of a long life. Beside this fallen leafage of 
the soul a grey old man was standing, and, speaking to 
the corpse, he said, " I am as old as thou ; why must my 
death be after thine, oh kind and faithful wife? Morning 
by morning, evening by evening, now, what can 1 do but 
think how deep thy grave, how far thy form has crumbled 
on its course to undistinguished dust, till my time comes 
to lie and crumble with thee side by side ! I am alone ! 
And what a loneliness is mine ! For nothing hears me 
now. She cannot hear! Well! well! To-morrow I 
shall gaze with such a woe upon her faithful hands and 
her grey hairs that my poor broken life must snap and 
end. Oh, thou All-merciful ! end it to-day ; spare me 
that last great sorrow." 



CHAP. VIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 269 

Why should it be that, even in old age, wher: man 
has grown so weary and oppressed, and has descended to 
the lowest and last of all the steps that lead him down- 
ward to his grave, the spectre, Sorrow, sits so heavy -upon 
him, bowing his head (where every bygone year has left 
its special thorns) to earth with a new despair? 

But the Lord Christ sent not the angel of death with 
the hand of ice ; fur he himself looked on the bereaved 
old man, standirg so near him now, with such a glance 
of glowing solar warmth that the ripe fruit broke from 
the tree. Like sudden flame his soul burst upwards from 
his riven heart, and hovering above the second world 
rejoined that other soul it loved so well; there knit 
together in silent close embrace, like those of old, they 
trembled downward into Elysium, where no embrace finds 
end. And Mary stretched, all love, her hands towards 
them, and all joy and rapture from her dream, she cried, 
" Ah, happy pair, ye are together now for evermore." 

But now there rose a pillar of red vapour up on high 
above the hapless earth, and clung there hiding with 
its dun folds a battle-field's loud roar. At length the 
smoke parted asunder, and two bleeding men were seen 
lying enlocked in each other's bleeding arms. They were 
two grand and glorious friends, and they had sacrificed all 
to each other, ay! and their very selves, — but not the 
Fatherland. " Lay thy wounds upon mine, beloved friend. 
The past lies all behind us now, we can be friends again ; 
thou hast sacrificed me to the Fatherland, as I have thee. 
Give me thy heart again, ere it bleeds quite away. Alas ! 
we can only die together now." And each gave to his 
friend his pierced and wounded heart. But these glorious 
friends beamed with a lustre such that Death shrank back, 
and the great berg of ice, wherewith he crushes man, 
melted away at touching their warm hearts. And the 
earth kept those two, who rose above her level like two 
lofty mountains, dowering her with streams, with healing 
virtues, and with lofty views, she giving only clouds to 
them in return. 

Mary in her dream here glanced and bent her head 
towards her son, for truly he alone can read s support, and 
succour hearts like these. 



270 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. | BOOK II. 

Why does she smile now, like some happy mother ? Is 
it because the earth she loves so well, still rising nearer, 
seems to hover close above the border of the second world, 
sweet with the flowers of spring, while nightingales lie 
brooding, with those burning hearts of theirs pi-essed on 
the grasses and the meadow blooms, — the stormy skies all 
brightening into rainbows? Is it because the earth, 
never to be forgotten of her heart, now shows so happy 
and so gay bedecked in its spring dress, radiant in all its 
flowers, the joy hymn bursting from all its singers' 
throats ? No, not for this alone ; that happy smile breaks 
over her sleeping face because she ^ees a mother and her 
child. For this must be a mother who bends down and 
holds her arms wide open, and calls in sweet enraptured 
tones, " Come, darling child, come to my heart again." 
This is her child, we see and know, standing all inno- 
cence, within the ringing temple of the spring, by his 
good genius who teaches him — and now goes running up 
to that smiling form — thus early blest, pressed to that 
heart overflowing with a mother's love, scarce under- 
standing the blissful words she speaks. " Oh, dearest 
child, how thou delightest me. Art thou happy too? 
Thou lovest me ! Oh, look at me, my own, and smile for 
evermore." 

But now the very blissfulness of her dream woke Maiy 
up ; and with a tender tremor she fell upon her own 
son's heart, saying with tears, "None, save a mother, 
knows what it is to love." And as she spoke the earth 
sank to its place (where its own asther flowed around its 
orb), and with it that glad mother with her arms about 
her child. 

And all this bliss bursting upon my heart dissolved my 
dream. And I awoke — but nothing had truly changed 
or passed away ; for the mother of my dream still clasped 
her child close to her heart here on earth's face ; she reads 
my dream, and, for its truth, forgives, perchance, the 
dreamer who tells his tale. 



BOOK III. 



CHAPTER IX. 

A POTATO WAR WITH WOMEN — AND WITH MEN — A WALK BT 
DECEMBER — TINDER FOR JEALOUSY — A WAR OF SUCCESSION 
ON THE SUBJECT OF A PIECE OF CHECKED CALICO — RUPTURE 
WITH STIEFEL, — SAD EVENING MUSIC. 

I should very much like to make an incidental digression 
about this point ; however, I feel that I don't dare. 

You see there are, now-a-days, so very few readers (at 
all events, of the younger and more aristocratic sort) who 
don't know everything — while, at the same time, they 
expect heir pet authors (and I don't blame them for it) 
to know more than themselves — which is impossible. By 
the help of the English machinery (now brought to such 
high perfection), of encyclopaedias, of encyclopaedic-dic- 
tionaries, of conversations-lexicons, of excerpts from con- 
versations-lexicons, of Ersch and Gruber's ' Universal 
Dictionaries of all the Sciences,' a young man, after de. 
voting his days to it for a month or two (he has no occasion 
to devote his nights) converts himself into a perfect Senatus 
Academicus of all the Faculties of a University, which he 
represents in his own single person ; besides, in a sense, 
also himself standing to it in the relation of the student- 
body at the same time. 

1 have never, myself, met with a phenomenal youth 
of the sort above described, unless it were, perhaps, a 
fellow I once heard playing in the Baireuth band, who 
represented in his own person a whole Boyal Academy 
of Music — a complete orchestra — inasmuch as he held, 
carried, and played upon instruments of every kind. 
This Panharmonist performing, to us oartial harmonists 



272 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK III. 

only (as we were), blew a French horn, which he held 
tinder his right arm, and this right arm bowed a fiddle 
placed under his left; and that left arm beat, at the 
proper moments, a drum which was fastened on his 
back ; his cap was hung round with bells, out of which 
he shook an accompaniment " alia Turca," by moving 
his head, and he had a cymbal strapped upon each of 
his knees, which he banged vigorously together; so 
that the man was all music, from the crown of his head 
to the sole of his foot So that one is tempted to make 
this simile-man an occasion and ground-work of further 
similes, and liken him to a prince who represents in 
his own person all the instruments of his State, and all 
its members and representatives. Now, in the presence 
of readers who are all-knowers, just as this man was an 
all-player, how is a humble individual such as I, who 
am but a mere Heidelberg master of seven arts, at the 
outside, and doctor of a small trifle of philosophy, or 
so, to venture to take upon himself to attempt such a 
thing as a bit of a digression with any approach to the 
clever or the felicitous about it ? No ; the safe course, 
in the circumstances, for me is to go quietly on with 
my story. 

We find the advocate, Siebenkaes, once more, then, in 
full blossom of hope ; although that blossom is all sterile, 
and not of the sort which bears fruit. After his royal 
shot, he had reckoned upon, at any rate, as many happy 
days as the money would last for — upon fourteen at least ; 
but mourning- black, now the traveller's uniform, ought 
to have been the colour of his upon his earthly night- 
journey — that voyage pittoresque for poets. Though mar- 
mots and squirrels know how to plug up that particular 
hole in their dwellings which chances to be on the side 
from which the approaching storm is coming, men do not ; 
Firniian thought if the hole in his purse was mended no 
more was necessary. Alas! a better thing than money now 
departed from him — Love. His good Lenette receded to a 
greater distance from his heart, as he did from hers, day 
by day. 

Her having concealed from him the fact that Eosa had 






CHAP. IX.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 273 

given back the wreath, formed in his heart (as foreign 
matter lodged in any vessel of the body always does) the 
nucleus of a gradual deposit of stone about it. But that 
was only a small matter. 

For she brushed and scraped of a morning, and every 
morning, and that whether (as the saying goes) he " liked 
it or lumped it." 

She would persist, and insist, on communicating all her 
prorogations of parliament and other decrees to the servant 
girl, in several duplicates and revised copies, let him pro- 
test as much as he chose. 

She asked him everything she had to ask him (no matter 
what) two or three separate times over ; and that whether 
he shouted beforehand like a quack doctor at a fair, or 
swore afterwards like one of his customers. 

She continued to say, " It has struck four quarters to 
four o'clock." 

When he had proved, with immense care and trouble, 
that Augspurg was not in the Island of Cyprus, she would 
return him the quiet incontrovertible answer, " Well, it's 
not in Eoumania either, nor in Bulgaria, nor in the Prin- 
cipality of Jauer, nor in Vauduz, nor in the neighbour- 
bourhood of Hushen— two very little, insignificant places, 
both of them." He could never bring her to give an 
unqualified assent, when he made the unconditional and 
positive assertion (in a loud voice), " It's in Swabia — or 
the devil's in it." She would go no further than to admit 
that it was situated, in a certain sense, and to some extent, 
between Franconia, Bavaria, and Switzerland, &c. ; it was 
only to the bookbinder's wife that she would acknowledge 
that it was in Swabia. 

Burdens, nay, overloads, of this sort, however, can be 
borne more or less easily and bravely by a soul fortified 
by the example of great sufferers — such as a Lycurgus, who 
let himself be deprived of an eye, and an Epictetus, who 
allowed his master to hack off his leg ; and all these little 
failings of Lenette's have been touched upon in a previous 
chapter. But I have to tell of new shortcomings besides ; 
and as regards these, I leave it to unbiassed married men 
to determine whether they are among the matters which*J^iV>£ 7ff 
husbands can, and should, put up with. *>&d ^^ \ 

1 Oft 




274 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

Firstly : Lenette washed her hands forty times in the 
course of the day, at the very least ; no matter what she 
touched, she must needs put herself through this process of 
Holy Ee-baptism ; like a Jew, she was rendered unclean 
by the propinquity of everything. She would far more pro- 
bably have followed the example of Eabbi Akiba, than 
have been in the least astonished at his proceedings — who, 
when he was a captive in prison, and in the direst distress 
for water, instead of quenching his thirst with the very 
small quantity of it he could get, preferred to use it for 
his ablutions. 

" Of course it is right and proper that she should be 
scrupulous about cleanliness," said Siebenkass, " and more 
so than I am ; but there are limits to all things. Why 
doesn't she rub herself with a towel when anybody breathes 
upon her? Why not purify her lips with soap after a fly 
has deposited itself (and not only itself) upon them ? I'm 
sure she turns our sitting-room into a regular English 
man-of-war, scoured and holystoned from stem to stern 
every morning ; and I look on as pleased as any officer on 
her quarter-deck." 

If a heavy Irish rain-cloud, or a waterspout with its 
attendant thunders and lightnings, came over his and her 
days, she always managed to put her husband right under 
water (like a Dutch fortress), with all his courageous 
energy, and gave free course to all her tears. But when 
the sun of happiness cast a feeble ray no broader than 
a window into the room, Lenette would always have a 
hundred things, other than this pleasant one, to attend to 
and to look at. Firmian had particularly made up his 
mind that he would most thoroughly winnow the husks 
from the corn of these few days during which he had a 
few shillings of ready money in his pocket ; that ho would 
skim off the cream of them, and completely hide, with a 
thick veil, the second Janus face, let it be smiling or 
weeping over the past or the future, as the case might be ; 
but Lenette would insist upon rending this veil, and point- 
ing to the hidden face. " My dear soul ! " her husband more 
than once implored her, " do but wait till we're as poor as 
church mice, and leading the life of a dog, again ; then 
I'll groan and moan with you with the greatest pleasure." 
And she only once made him any pertinent answer, 



CHAP. IX.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 275 

namely, "How long will it be before we're without a 
farthing in the house ? " But to this he was able to 
return a still inoi'e apposite reply : " If that is your way 
of looking at the matter, you will never be able to enjoy 
a single quiet, bright, happy day, unless one can give you 
his solemn oath that there will never come another dark, 
cloudy, wretched one again ; in which case, of course, you 
can never enjoy one. What king or emperor — ay ! and 
though he had thrones upon the head of him and crowns 
under his tail — can ever be sure but that any post-deli- 
very, or any sitting of his parliament, may bring him a 
cloudy time of it ; yet he passes his happy day in his Sans 
Souci, or his Bellevue (or whatever he may call it), and 
enjoys his life." (She shook her head). " I can prove it to 
you in print, and from the Greek." And, opening the New 
Testament, he read out the following passage (inserted by 
himself on the spur of the moment) : " If, in a time of 

food fortune and happiness, thou delayest the joy of thine 
eart until a moment shall come in which nothing shall 
lie before thee save hopes in unbroken sequence for whole 
years to come, then there can be no true happiness on tho 
face of this changing world. For after ten days, or years, 
tsoine sorrow shall surely come ; and thus thou canst 
delight in no May-day, though it shower blossoms and 
nightingales upon thee, since, beyond all doubt, the winter 
will come thereafter, with its nights and its snowflakes. Yet 
thou enjoyest thine ardent youth, not thinking with dread 
upon the ice-pit of age, which is ready in the background, 
with a gradually -increasing coldness to preserve thee for a 
certain season. Look, then, upon the glad To-day as a long 
youth ; and let the sad Day-after-to-morrow appear unto 
thee hut as a brief old age." 

" The Latin or the Greek always has a more religious 
sound, I know," she answered, " and we often hear the 
thing in the pulpit, too ; and whenever I do hear it 
preached I always go home and feel much comforted and 
consoled, till the money's all gone again." 

He had greater difficulty still to get her to jump for 
joy quite to his liking at the dinner-table at mid-day. If, 
instead of their every-day fare, some extraordinary flesh- 
pot of Egypt should chance to be smoking on the table — 

T 2 



276 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

some dish such as the Counts of Wratislaw might have 
served, and the Counts of Waldstein have carved, without 
a blush — then Siebenkaes might be sure that his wife 
would have at least one hundred things more than usual 
to finish and to put away before she could come to dinner. 
There sits her husband, eager to begin ; he looks round 
for her, quietly at first, angrily after a while, but keeps 
command of himself for two or three entire minutes, 
during which he has time to remember all his troubles as 
well as think about the roast — then, however, he discharges 
the first thunder-clap of his storm, and shouts, " Thunder 
and lightning ! here have I been sitting for a whole 
Eternity, and everything getting as cold as charity. Wife ! 
Wife ! ! " 

In Lenette, as in other women, the cause of this was not 
ill-temper, neither was it stupidity, nor stubborn indiffer- 
ence to the matter or to her husband ; she really could 
not do otherwise, however, and that's quite sufficient 
explanation. 

At the same time, my friend Siebenkees — who will have 
this story in his hands even before the printer's devils get 
hold of it — musn't take it ill of me that I divulge to the 
world in general certain small breakfast-failings of his own 
— which he has communicated to me with his own lips. 
As he lay in his trellis-bed in the morning, before getting 
up, with his eyes closed, there would suddenly flash upon 
him ideas for his book, and forms in which to express 
them, such as never occurred to him while he was sitting 
or standing during the day ; and, indeed, I have in tho 
course of my reading found that there have been many 
men of learning — such, for instance, as Descartes, Abbe" 
Galiani, Basedow — I, myself, too, whom of course I don't 
count, who belonged to the Coleopterous family of back- 
swimmers (Notonectoe), and got on quickest in the recum- 
bent position, and in whose cases bed has been the brew- 
ing-kettle of their most brilliant and original ideas. I, 
myself, could point to many such which 1 have written 
down immediately after getting out of bed in the morning. 
Any one who sets himself to work to explain this pheno- 
menon should adduce in the first place the matutinal 
power of the brain, and the fact of its lending itself with 



CHAP. IX.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 277 

a more nimble, as well as vigorous obedience to the im- 
pulses of the spirit after its internal and external holiday 
of rest ; next, the freedom and facility both of thinking 
and of brain mobility, which the manifold impulsions of 
the day has .not yet begun to weary and impair ; and, 
lastly, the vigour which is a peculiar property of all first- 
born things — a vigour which our earliest morning thoughts 
possess in common with the first impressions of youth. 

Now, after the above explanations, it will doubtless 
seem clear that, when the advocate lay in this fashion, 
sprouting and sending out long shoots in the warm 
forcing-house of the pillow, and bearing the most precious 
flowers and fruit, nothing could strike upon his ear in a 
harsher and more distracting manner than the voice of 
Lenette calling from the next room, " Come to breakfast, 
the coffee's ready." He generally gave birth to one or 
two more happy turns of expression after he did hear it, 
pricking his ears all the while, however, in dread of a 
second order to march. But as Lenette knew that he 
always allowed himself a considerable number of minutes 
of grace after the summons, she always cried, " Get up, the 
coffee's cold," when it was only just coming to the boil. 
The notonectic satirist, for his part, had observed the law 
which governed this precession of the equinoxes, and lay 
quietly among the feathers breeding his ideas happy and 
undisturbed when it was only once that she had sum- 
moned him, merely answering, " This very moment !" and 
availing himself of the double usance prescribed by law. 

This obliged his wife, for her part, to go farther back, 
and when the coffee was made and standing by the fire, to 
cry, " Come, dear, it's getting quite cold." Now, on this 
system, of getting earlier on one side and later on the 
other, matters became more critical every day, with 
nowhere a prospect of extrication from the difficulty ; in 
fact, what was naturally to be expected was the arrival of 
a state of things in which Lenette would end by calling 
him to get up a whole day too soon ; although, in the end, 
this would eventuate in a mere restoration of the original 
condition of affairs, just as our suppers at the present day 
threaten to become too-early breakfasts, and our break- 
fasts unfashionably early dinners. Had Siebenkees been 



278 JEAN PAUL FBIEDRICH RICHTEE. [BOOK IIL 

able to bear the process of grinding the coffee, he might 
have moored himself to that as to an anchor of hope, and 
it would then have been a simple matter to calculate 
the time the coffee would take to get ready ; but this he 
could not, for, in the absence of a coffee-mill, the coffee 
was bought ready ground (by everybody in the house, for 
that matter). If Lenette could have been induced to call 
him just one exact minute before the coffee was boiling 
and smoking, she would have done instead of the coffee- 
mill — however, she could not be induced. 

What are trifling differences of opinion before marriage 
assume large dimensions thereafter — as north winds are 
warm in summer and cold in winter ; the zephyr, when 
it is breathed forth by conjugal lungs, is like Homer's 
zephyr, concerning the biting keenness of which the poet 
sings so much. For this period onward, Firmian set 
himself to look with much care and minuteness for every 
Crack, feather, flaw, or cloudiness, which might be dis- 
coverable in that diamond — Lenette's heart. Poor fellow ! 
this being the case with thee, soon, soon must the crumb- 
ling altar of thy love go toppling down one stone after 
another, and the sacrificial fire flutter and go out. 

He now discovered that she was not nearly as learned a 
woman as Mdlles. Burmann and Eeiske. It is true no book 
wearied her, but neither did any interest her, and she 
could read her one book of Sermons as often as scholars 
can go through Homer and Kant. Her secular or " pro- 
fane" authors were only two ; in fact, one married pair of 
authors— the immortal authoress of her own cookery 
receipts, and that lady's husband— but the latter she never 
read. She paid his essays the tribute of her profoundest ad- 
miration, but she never glanced into them. Three sensible 
words with the bookbinder's wife were of more value 
in her eyes than all the bookbinder's and bookmaker's 
printed ones put together. To a literary man who is 
making new arguments, and new ink, all the year long, it 
is incomprehensible how those persons who have neither a 
book, nor a pen. nor a drop of ink in the house (except 
the pale rusty liquid borrowed from the village school- 
master) can exist at all. Firmian sometimes appointed 
himself a species of special Professor-extraordinary, and 






CHAP. IX.J FLOWER. FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 279 

mounted the professional chair with the view of initiating 
Lenette into one or two of the elementary principles of 
Astronomy ; but either she had no pineal gland (that 
manor-house of the soul and its ideas), or else the cham- 
bers of her brain were saturated, satiated, and crammed to 
the roof with lace, bonnets, shirts, and saucepans ; at all 
events, it was beyond his power to get a single star into 
her head bigger than a reel of cotton. With Pneuma- 
tology (Psychology), again, his difficulty was exactly of 
the converse sort. In this branch of science, where the 
calculus of the infinitesimally small would have come to 
his aid with an equal amount of serviceableness as that of 
the infinitely great in astronomy, Lenette expanded and 
stretched out the dimensions of the angels, souls, and so 
forth, passing the minutest and most ethereal of spiritual 
beings through the stretching mill of her imagination, so 
that angels — of whom the scholiasts would have invited 
whole companies to a carpet-dance on the tip of a new 
needle (or have threaded them with it by couples on one 
and the same point of space) — expanded on her hands to 
such an extent that each angel would have filled a cradle 
by itself; and as for the Devil, he swelled out upon her till 
he got to be pretty much about the size of her husband. 

Further, Siebenkass discovered an iron-mould stain, a 
pock-mark or wart, on her heart ; he could never warm her 
into a true lyric enthusiasm of Love, in which she should 
forget heaven and earth, and all things. She could count 
the strokes of the town clock amid his kisses ; though 
some affecting story or discourse of his might bring the 
big tears to her eyes, she could still hear the soup-pot 
boiling over, and run away to it, tears and all. She would 
join devoutly in the hymns which came resounding from 
the other lodgers' rooms of a Sunday, but in the middle of 
of a verse ask the prosaic question, " What shall I warm 
for supper ?" and he never could forget that, once, when 
she was listening, apparently much interested and quite 
touched, to one of his chamber-sermons on death and im- 
mortality, she looked at him, thoughtfully it is true, but 
with a glance directed downward, and said, " Don't put on 
that left etocking to-morrow morning till I've darned it 
for you." 



280 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IIL 

The author of this tale declares that he has sometimes 
been driven nearly out of his mind by feminine entr'actes 
of this sort, against the occurrence of which there is no 
warranty for the man who soars up into the eether in 
company with these beautiful birds of paradise, and there 
hovers up and down with them, in the fond hope of 
hatching the eggs of his phantasies upon their backs up 
among the clouds.* All in an instant, down drops the 
winged mate, as if by magic, with a green gleam, on to a 
clod of earth. I admit that this is but an excellence the 
more ; it makes them resemble the hens, whose eyes the 
Great Optician of the Universe has made so perfect that 
they can see the most distant sparrow-hawk in the sky as 
well as the nearest grain of malt on the dunghill. It is 
to be hoped, indeed, that the author of this story, should he 
ever chance to marry, may meet with a wife to whom he 
may be able to give readings concerning the more er>sen- 
tial principles and dictata of psychology and astronomy 
without her bringing in the subject of hi* stockings in the 
middle of his loftiest and fullest flights of enthusiasm ; 
but yet he will be well content should one possessed of 
moderate excellencies fall to his lot — one who shall be 
capable of accompanying him, side by side with him, in 
his flights, so far as they may extend — whose eyes and heart 
may be wide enough to take in the blooming earth and 
the shining heavens in great, grand masses at a time, and 
not in mere infinitesimal particles ; for whom this uni- 
verse shall be something higher than a nursery and a 
ball-room ; and who, with feelings delicate and tender, and 
a heart both pious and wide, should be continually making 
her husband better and holier. The author's fondest 
wishes go not beyond this. 

Thus, then, while the flowers, if not the leaves, were 
falling fast from Firmian's love, Lenette's was like a rose 
somewhat overblown, whose beauty a touch will scatter to 
the earth. Her husband's endless arguments wearied her 
heart at length. Moreover, she was one of those women 
whose loveliest blossoms remain sterile and dead, unless 
children troop around to enjoy them, as the flowers of the 

* Allusion to the fable that the male birds of paradise hatch the 
eggs on the backs of the females up in air. 



CHAP. IX. J FLOWER, FEU IT, AND THORN flECES. 281 

vine do not produce grapes unless frequented by bees. 
She belonged to tnis class of women also in this respect, 
that she was born to be the spiral mainspring of a house- 
keeping engine — the stage-manageress of a great house- 
hold theatre. Alas ! the market-value of the shares, and 
the state of the treasury of the said theatre are well-known 
to everybody — from Hamburg to Ofen. 

Moreover, our couple, like phoenixes and giants, were 
childless : the two columns stood apart and unconnected, 
no fruit garlands twining about them to bind them one 
to another. Firmian had, in imagination, thoroughly re- 
hearsed the character of pere de famille, and despatcher of 
invitations to be godfather, but it never came to a perfor- 
mance. 

What was most of all effective in breaking him away 
from Lenette's heart, however, was his dissimilarity to 
Peltzstiefel. The Schulrath had in him as much of the 
wearisome, the deliberately circumspect, the grave and 
reserved, the stiff and starched, the pompous and inflated, 

the heavy and the dull, as these three lines have ; 

but this delighted the very soul of our born housekeeper. 
Siebenkaes, again, was like a jerboa from morning till 
night. She often said to him, " I'm sure people must think 
you're not quite right in the head;" to which he would 
answer, "And am I?" He concealed the beauty of hig 
character behind a comedy mask, and the trodden-down 
heels of the buskins he alwa3 7 s wore made his stature seem 
shorter than it really was. The brief drama of his own life 
he turned into a mere burlesque and parodied epic, and it 
was from higher motives than mere vain folly that he so gave 
himself over to grotesque performances. In the first place 
he delighted with a deep delight ir the sense of freedom 
of soul, and entire absence of all conventional trammels; 
secondly, he found pleasure in the thought that he travestied 
— not imitated — the follies of his fellow-men. In acting his 
part he had a double enjoyment — that of comedian as well 
as that of the spectator. A person who puts humour into 
action is a satirical improvisatore. Every male reader under- 
Btands this — though no female reader does. I have often 
wished that I could place in the hands of a woman, 



282 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III 

looking at the white sun-ray of wisdom broken into a 
tinted spectrum by the prism of humour, some powerful 
lens which should burn that spectrum back into its pris- 
tine whiteness, — but it is not to be done. The fine, delicate, 
womanly sense of the fit, the proper, the becoming, seems 
to be torn and scratched by the touch of anything angular 
and unpolished ; these souls, so firmly welded on to the 
everyday, commonplace, conventional relations of things, 
cannot understand souls which place themselves in an- 
tagonism to these relations. And therefore it is that 
humorists are so rare in the hereditary kingdoms of 
women, courts — and in their realm of shadows, France. 

Lenette could not be otherwise than much, and con- 
tinually, vexed and annoyed with this whistling, singing, 
dancing husband of hers — a man who didn't behave to his 
very clients with anything like proper professional gravity ; 
who, sad to say — and people assured her it was a fact — 
often walked in circles round the gallows on the hill, — con- 
cerning whose sanity sensible people spoke very doubtfully 
— as to whom she complained, that you would never think, 
to see him, that he lived in a royal burgh, the capital of the 
province — and who was respectful and reserved only before 
one person in the world, namely, himself. Why, when maid- 
servants, from the very best houses in the place, came in — 
with linen to be made up, and so on — didn't they very often 
see him jump up and, without a " With your leave," or 
" By your leave," to anybody, run to his old, battered, 
rattling piano (it still had all its keys, and nearly as many 
strings), and there he would stand with a wooden yard- 
measure in his mouth, up which, as over a drawbridge, the 
notes climbed to him from the soundboard, then through the 
portcullis of his teeth, finally arriving at his soul by way 
of the Eustachian tube and the drum of the ear. He held 
this stork'g-beak of a yard-measure between his teeth as 
described in order to magnify the inaudible pianissimo of 
his piano into a fortissimo at its upper end. However, 
humour looks paler when reflected in narrative than in 
the vividness of reality. 

That portion of earth's surface on which these two 
stood was riven into two distinct islets by these continual 



UHAP. IX.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 283 

tremblings of the soil, and these islets kept drifting steidily 
further and further apart. And ere long there came a 
serious shock of earthquake. 

For the Heimlicher came on the stage again, with his 
plea of demurrer to Siebenkses's suit, in which all he 
demanded was justice and equity — in other words, the 
money which was in question, unless Siebenkaes could 
prove himself to be himself, that is to say, the ward, whose 
patrimony the Heimlicher had hitherto kept in his paternal 
hands and purse. This juridical Hell-river took Firmian's 
breath away and struck ice-cold to his heart, though he 
had jumped over the three previous petitions for postpone- 
ment a? easily as the crowned lion over the three livers in 
the Gotha coat-of-arms. The wounds which we receive 
from Fate soon heal, but those inflicted by the blunt and 
rusty torture-implement of an unjust man suppurate and 
take long to close. This cut, made into nerves already laid 
bare by so many a rude clutch and sharp tongue, caused 
our dear friend some severe pain ; yet he had seen that 
the cut was coming long before it came, and had cried to 
his spirit, "Look out — mind your head!" Alas ! there is 
something new in every pain. He had even taken legal 
steps in anticipation of it.* A few weeks before he had 
had evidence sent from Leipsic, where he had studied, to 
prove that he had formerly been known by the name of 
Leibgeber, and was, consequently, Blaise's ward. A young 
notary there, of the name of Giegold, an old college friend 
and literary brother in arms, had done him the service of 
seeing all the people who had known of his Leibgeberhood 
— particularly a rusty, musty old tutor, who had often been 
present when the guardian's register-ships came in — and a 
postman, who had piloted them into port, and his landlord 
and other well-informed persons, who all took the Jus 
credulitalis (or oath of conviction), and whose evidence the 
young lawyer forwarded to Siebenkaes (like a mountain 
full of precious ore) ; he had no great difficulty, to speak 
of, in paying the postage of it, as he was king of the 
marksmen. 

With this stout club of evidence he resisted and with- 
stood his guardian and robber. 

When Blaise's denial was lodged, the timid Lenetta 



284 JEAN PAUL FRTEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

gave herself and the suit up for lost ; poverty, lean and 
bare, seemed in her eyes now to enmesh them in a net- 
work of parasite ivy, and there was no other prospect for 
them but to perish and fall to the ground. Her first pro- 
ceeding was to burst into loud abuse of Von Meyern ; for 
as he had himself told her that his father-in-law's three 
applications for delay had been the result of his intercession, 
which he had made for her sake alone, she looked upon 
Blaise's plea of demurrer as being the first thorn-sucker 
sent forth by Rosa's revengeful soul in return for the im- 
prisonment and the sacking he had undergone in Firmian's 
house (and half ascribed to her), and for what he had lost. 

Up to the day of the shooting-match he had supposed 
that the husband was his enemy, but not the wife ; then, 
however, his pleasant conceit hud been embittered and 
proved to be groundless. But the Venner not being present 
to hear her reproaches, she was obliged to turn the full 
stream of her anger on to her husband, to whom she attri- 
buted all the blame, because of his having so wickedly and 
sinfully changed names with Leibgeber. He who has 
married a wife will be prepared to relieve me of the trouble 
of mentioning that it made not the slightest difference what 
Siebenkaes said in reply or adduced concerning Blaise's 
wickedness (who, being the greatest Judas Iscariot Jind 
corn-Jew the world contained, would have robbed him just 
the same if his name had been Leibgeber still, and would 
have found out a thousand legal byepaths by which to 
proceed to the plundering of his ward). It had no effect. 
At last the following words were forced out of him : " You 
are quite as unjust as I should be were I to attribute this 
document of Blaise's to your behaviour to the Venner." 
Nothing irritates women so much as derogatory compari- 
sons; they apply them indiscriminately, without distinc- 
tion. Lenette's ears lengthened to tongues, like those of 
Rumour; her husband was immediately out-bawled and 
unlistened to. 

He was obliged to send privately to Peltzstiefel to ask 
where he had been so long, and why he had utterly 
forgotten their house; Stiefel was not oven in his own 
house, however, but out walking, for it was a beautiful 
day. 



CHAP. IX.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 285 

" Lenette," said Siebenkses suddenly — he often preferred 
yaulting over a marsh on the leaping-pole of an idea to 
wading painfully across it on the long stilts of syllogism, 
and was anxious to banish from ber memory the innocent 
remark which he bad let slip about Rosa, and which she 
had so utterly misunderstood — " Lenette, I'll tell you what 
we'll do this afternoon; we'll take a strong cup of coffee, 
and go and take a walk and enjoy ourselves : it is not a 
Sunday, but it is the day which all the Catholics in the 
town keep holiday on as the feast of the Annunciation, and 
the weather is really too magnificent. We'll go and sit in 
the big upstairs room at the Rifle Club-house, as it would 
be a little too warm outside perhaps, and we can look 
down from the windows and see all the heterodox people 
promenading in their best clothes — and our Lutheran 
Stiefel among them, who knows ? " 

Either I am more in error than I often am, or this was a 
most agreeable surprise to Lenette. Coffee, in the morning 
the water of- baptism and altar- wine of the fair sex, is their 
love-philter and their waters-of-strife in the afternoon (the 
latter, however, only as regards the absent); but what 
a wondrous mill-stream for the setting in motion of the 
machinery of the ideas must an afternoon cup of coffee on a 
common working-day be for a woman such as Lenette, who 
rarely had any on other than Sunday afternoons ; for before 
the days of the blockade of the continent it cost too much 
money. 

A woman who is really very much delighted needs but 
a very short time to put on her black silk bonnet and take 
her big church-fan, and (contrary to all her ordinary 
manners and customs) be quite ready and dressed for a 
walk to the Rifle Club-house, even going the length of 
making the coffee during the process of dressing, so as to 
be able to take it, and the milk, with her in her hand. 

Our couple set forth at two o'clock in the happiest pos- 
sible frame of mind, carrying with them warm in their 
pockets what was to be warmed up later on in the after- 
noon. 

Even at two o'clock, early as it was, the western and 
southern hills lay all beflooded with the warm evening 
glow with which the low December sun was bathing them, 



286 JEAN PAUL FEIEDEICH EICHTER. [BOOK III. 

while great glaciers of cloud, ranged about the sky, cast 
their cheerful lights over tlie landscape. All about this 
world there beamed a beautiful brightness, which cheered 
and lighted up many a dark and narrow lite. 

Siebenkees pointed out the eagle's perch to Lenette while 
they were still at some distance from it — the alpenstock 
or boat-pole which had so recently helped him out of his 
most, imminent difficulties. When they reached the Club- 
house he took her and showed her the shooter 's-stand where 
he had shot himself with his rifle up to the dignity of bird 
emperor, and out of the Frankfort-Jew's-quarter of duns, 
liberating at his coronation at least one debtor, namely, 
hitm«elf. They had room and to spare to " spread them- 
selves out " (so to speak) upstairs in the members' hall — he 
at a writing-table by the right-hand window, and she with 
her work at another on the left. 

How the coffee gave warmth to this December festival 
may be imagined, but not described. 

Lenette put on one stocking of her husband's after 
another — put them on her left arm, that is, while her right 
wielded the darning-needle ; and as she sat, with a stocking 
generally quite open at the bottom, she was, as regarded 
one of her arms at all events, like a lady with the long, 
fashionable Danish mittens, with holes for the fingers. 
However, she did not raise these arm-stockings of hers 
high enough to be seen by the people walking in the upper 
walks, but kept nodding down her " your very humble 
and obedient servant " from the open window to numbers 
of the mo>t genteel she-heretics as they passed, wearing 
her own works of art upon their heads, in honour of the 
Annunciation-feast ; and more than one sent an obliging 
salute up to her roof-thatcher. 

The strictest religious and political parity being esta- 
blished by law in Kuhschnappel, it was natural that 
Protectants of position should also go a- walking on this 
Catholic holiday. However, the advocate was perhaps 
enjoying himself quite as much as his wife ; he went on 
writing his ' Devil's Papers,' and at the same time feasting 
his gaze upon the high places, the sommites of the land- 
scape, if not of Kuhschnappel society. 

When he first entered the room he had a most agreeable 



CHAP. IX. J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 287 

reception from a child's trumpet, left there by accident ; 
the paint was not quite all licked away from it, and it was 
the smell of this paint, more even than the squeak of the 
trumpet, which pleased him so very much, by recalling 
the vague delights of Christmases of the past : so that 
pleasure was heaped upon pleasure. He could rise from 
his satires and point out to Lenette the great rooks' nests 
in the leafless trees, and the bare tables and benches in the 
arbours, and the invisible guests who had occupied seats of 
the blessed there on summer evenings, and still remem- 
bered the time, looking forward to a repetition of it ; and 
he could draw her attention to the fields, where, late as it 
was in the year, volunteer gardeneresses were gathering 
salad for him, namely, corn salad or rampion, which be 
might have some of for supper if he had a mind. 

And now he sat at his window, with his eyes fixed upon 
the hills, all flushed with the evening red, the sun growing 
larger as it sunk towards them. Beyond these hills lay 
the lands where wandered his Leibgeber, sporting away 
his life. 

" How delightful it is, wife," he said, " that what parts 
me from Leibgeber is not a mere wide level plain, with 
nothing but a hillock or two cropping up here and there 
on it, but a grand, lofty wall of mountains, behind which 
he stands as if behind the grating of a monastery." This 
sounded to her almost as if her husband was glad that 
this barrier stood between them ; she herself had but little 
liking fur Leibgeber, and considered him to be a sort of 
coin-clipper to her husband, who cut all his angles sharper 
than they were by nature ; however, in dubious cases like 
this, she was always glad to ask no questions. What he 
had meant was exactly the reverse of what she supposed ; 
he had meant that it is good, if parted from those we love, 
that it should be by holy hills, because they are, as it were, 
lofty garden-walls, behind which we picture the flowery 
thickets of our Edens ; whereas, on the other verge of the 
broadest barnfloor of a level plain we only picture to 
ourselves a repetition of it sloping the other way. And 
this applies to nations as well as to individuals. The 
Luneburg moors or the Marklands of Prussia will not draw 
even an Italian's longing gaze towards Italy; but when a 



288 JEAN TAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

Markman in Italy sees the Apennines, his heart yearns to 
his German loved ones behind them. 

As Firmian looked upon that sunny mountain-barrier 
between two severed spirits, there was that in his eyes 
which much resembled tears ; but he only turned his chair 
a little away, that Lenette might ask no questions ; he was 
well aware of his old ingrained habit of getting angry when 
anybody asked what brought tears to his eyes, and he 
strove with it. Was he not, in fact, tenderness personified 
to-day, only acting his comedy in the palest middle-tints 
before his wife, because he was delighting in the fresh- 
growth of this enjoyment of hers, of which he was himself 
the origin. It is true she did not discover the existence of 
this, his feeling of delicate consideration for her ; but just 
as he was quite content when no one but himself (least of 
all, she) perceived that he was poking fun at her (in the 
most delicate manner), so was he content that she should 
be in utter ignorance that he was causing her a little 
happiness. 

At last they left the spacious room, the sun now robing 
them in purple hues ; and as they went he drew Lenette's 
attention to the liquid, golden splendour shining upon 
the roofs of the greenhouses, and he hung himself on to the 
sun — at that moment cut in two by the mountain-range — 
that he might sink, with it, to his far-away friend. Ah ! 
how strong is love in distance — be it distance of space, or 
of time, of the future or the past — ay, or that greater dis- 
tance still — beyond this world ! And so the evening 
might very well have ended in an altogether delightful 
manner, had not something intervened. 

For some particularly ingenious evil spirit or other had 
taken the Heimlicher von Blaise, and so set him down, 
promenading in the open air, that the advocate mutt needs 
come within shooting range and hailing distance of him 
just on a feast of the Annunciation for good folks only. 
When the guardian went through the proper forms of 
salutation — accompanying them with a smile such as, 
fortunately, can never be seen on a child's face — Siebenkaes 
returned his salutes politely, although with a mere clutch- 
ing and jerking at his hat — which he didn't take off. 
Lenette tried to make amends for this, by doubling the 



CHAP. IX."] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 289 

profundity of her own bow and curtsey; but as soon as 
practicable she administered to her husband a gaiden 
lecture, or, rather, a garden 'paling lecture, on his always, 
as if on purpose, irritating his guardian whenever he had 
an opportunity. " Indeed, love," he said, " I couldn't 
help it. I really meant nothing of the kind to-day, of all 
days in tho year." 

The truth of the matter, indeed, is, that Siebenkses had 
sometime before complained to his wife that his hat, 
which was of softish felt, was getting a good deal spoiled 
by having to be so often taken off to people in the streets, 
and that he could think of nothing better than to protect 
it with a coat of mail in the shape of a stiff cover of green 
oilskin, so that when packed up in this pudding roll he 
mi^ht go on daily employing it in those offices of out-door 
politeness which men owe one to another, without ever 
having to take hold of the hat itself at all. Well, the first 
walk he took after assuming this double hat, or hat's hat, 
was to a grocer's, where he disembowelled the inner one 
from its envelope and swopped it away for six pounds of 
coffee, which warmed the four chambers of his brain better 
than the hare-skin had ever done ; he then went tran- 
quilly home, with only the coadjutor hat on his head, un- 
detected, and thenceforward bore the empty case through 
the streets with a secret, joy that, in a sense, he now really 
took off his hat to nobody — with other entertaining fancies 
bearing on the subject of his sugar-loaf. 

Of course, when he forgot — and on that day in particu- 
lar, it was perhaps excusable that he did so — to support 
his hat-case with the necessary framework of artificial 
rafters, it was really almost an impossibility to take this 
mere shell of a hat rigid off for purposes of salutation. 
The most he could do was just to touch it courteously, like 
an officer returning a salute ; and thus, against his will, 
play the part of a rude and ill-bred individual. 

And it so happened that just on this very day get it off 
he could not. 

It was so ordained, however, that matters should not 
even rest here (as regarded our couple's promenade), but 
one of the above-mentioned ingenious evil spirits changed 
the scene of the drama with such nimblencss, that we 

II. u 



290 JEAN PAUL FRIEDEICH EICHTER. [BOOK IIL 

have a fresh combination before our eyes before we 
know where we are. Just in front of our wedded pair, 
a master tailor of the Catholic confession was taking 
his walk, most sprucely attired in honour of the Feast 
of the Annunciation, like all the rest of his pro- and 
oON-fession. As ill luck would have it, this tailor, 
being in a narrow walk, had (whether for fear of mud, or 
in the delight of his soul over his holiday) so elevated 
his coat-tails that the vertebral extremity, the os coccygis, 
or (shall we call it) insertion of the spinal cord, of 
his waistcoat, was clearly exhibited ; in other words, 
the background of his waistcoat, which, as we know, is 
generally executed in colours more subdued thail those 
used for the brighter and more prominent foreground on 
the chest of the wearer. " Hy ! Mr.!" cried Lenette; 
" what are you doing with a lot of my chintz on the back 
of you?" 

The truth was that this tailor had put aside and taken 
possession of so much of a nice green Augspurg chintz (sent 
to him by Lenette, on her becoming a queen, to make her 
a new body) as he considered proper and Christianly honest, 
calculating on the principle of " no charge for wine 
samples," and this trifle of a sample had just barely 
sufficed to form a sober background to his pea-green waist- 
coat; and he had contented himself with so dim a reverse 
side for this waistcoat in the confident expectation that 
it would never be seen. However, as the tailor went on 
with his walk (after Lenette had shouted her query at 
him), as utterly unmoved as if it had nothing on earth to 
do with him, the little spark of her anger became a blazing 
flame, and, regardless of all her husband's winks and 
whispers, she cried aloud, " Why, it's my very own chintz, 
that I got all the way from Augspurg ; do you hear, Mr. 
Mowser, you've stolen my chintz, you blackguard, you ! " 
Then, and not till then, the guilty chintz-robber turned 
round with much sangfroid, and said, " Prove that, if you 
please ! But, mind, Til chintz you, if there be such a thing 
as law in all Kuhschnappel." 

At this she burst into a conflagration. Her husband's 

prayers and entreaties were but as wind to her. " Ey ! 

, you riff-ran ," she snapped out. " But I'll have what's 



CHAP. IX.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 291 

my own — you villain ! " she cried. The only reply the 
tailor vouchsafed to this attack was this — he simply 
lifted his coat-tails with both hands high above the en- 
dorsed waistcoat, and, bending a little forward, said, 
"There!" after which he strode slowly on, keeping at 
the same focal distance from her, so as to bask in her 
warmth as long as possible. 

Siebenkaes was the most to be pitied on this rich feast 
day, when, in spite of all his juristic and theological 
exorcisms, he could not cast out this devil of discord — 
when by good luck his guardian angel suddenly emerged 
from a side path, Peltzstiefel to wit, taking his walk. 
Gone, so far as Lenette was concerned, were the tailor, the 
quarter-ell of chintz, the apple of discord, and the devil 
thereof; the blue of her eyes and the blush on her cheek 
fronted Stiefel as bright and as fresh as the blue of the 
evening sky and the blush on its sunset clouds. Ten ells of 
chintz and half that number of tailors with waistcoat-backs 
of it into the bargain, were to her, at that moment, feathers 
light as air, not worth a word or a farthing; so that 
Siebenkaes saw on the instant that. Stiefel's coming was as 
that of -a regular Mount of Olives all full of mere olive- 
branches of peace ; although for discord devils hailing from 
another quarter there might without difficulty be pressed 
from the olives on said mountain an oil which could not be 
poured on any fire of matrimonial difference which Stiefel'e 
would be the bucket to put out. If Lenette was a tender, 
delicate, white butterfly, silently hovering and fluttering 
about Peltzstiefel's flowery path, out of doors — when she 
got him into her house she was an absolute Greek Psyche ; 
and, in spite of all my partiality for her, I am bound, under 
pain of having all the rest discredited, to insert in this 
protocol a clear statement (much as I regret to do so) to 
the effect that on this particular evening she gave one the 
idea of being nothing but some clear-winged translucent 
soul free from all trammels of body — which, at some 
former time, while as yet in the body, had stood in some 
love-relationship to the Schulrath, but now hovered about 
him with upraised pinions, and fanned him with fluttering 
downy plumes, and which at length weary of hovering, 
and pleased to rest once more on the loved perch of a body, 

u 2 



292 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK HI. 

nettled upon Lenette's, there being no other feminine one 
at hand, and there folded its wings to rest. Such seemed 
Lenette. But why was she thus to-day? Stiefel's igno- 
rance and delight at it were great; Firmian's very small. 
Before I explain it, I will say, " I pity thee, poor husband, 
and thee, too, poor wife. For why must the smooth flow 
of the stream of your life (and of our own) be always 
broken by sorrows or by sins, and why cannot it fall 
into its grave in the Black Sea, without having to pass 
over thirteen cataracts, like the river Dnieper ? However, 
the reason why Lenette on this day in particular exhibited 
all her heart toward Stiefel, almost bared of the cloister 
grating of the breast, was that she was, just on this 
day, so keenly suffering under her misery — her poverty. 
Stiefel was full of genuine, solid treasures ; Firmian's 
were all lacquered. I know that her Siebenkaes, whom 
before marriage she had loved with the calm and cool 
regard of a wife, would have found that she would have 
come to love him after marriage with the warm affection 
< >f a fiancee, if he had only been able to give her the bare 
necessaries of life. There are hundreds of girls who bring 
themselves to believe that they love the man to whom 
they are engaged, whereas it is not till after marriage 
that the play becomes a reality — and that for good reasons, 
both metallic and physiological. In a well-filled room 
and kitchen, filled with a comfortable income, and twelve 
household labours of Hercules, Lenette would have been 
quite true to the advocate, though an entire philosophical 
society of Stiefels had sat down all round her, and would 
have said and thought, every hour of the day, " No 
more, thank you — I am helped;" but as things were, in 
a house and kitchen so empty as hers, the chambers of 
a woman's heart grow full ; in one word, no good comes 
of it. For a woman's soul is by nature a beautiful fresco 
painted on rooms, table-leaves, dresses, silver salvers, and 
household plenishing in general. A woman has a large 
stock of virtue, but few virtues; she needs a confined 
sphere and social forms, and without these flower-sticks 
the pure white flowers' trail in the dust of the border. A 
man may be a citizen of the world, and if he has nothing 
else to put his arms round he can press the entire earthly 



CHAP. IX.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 293 

ball to his bosom, although he can't put his arms round 
much more of it than will make him a grave. But a citizen ess 
of the world is a giantess, and goes through the world 
with nothing but spectators, and is nothing but a charac- 
ter on the stage. 

I ought to have described the whole of this evening much 
more circumstantially than I have done, for it was upon 
this evening that the wheels of the vis-a-vis phaeton of 
wedded life began to smoke, as a consequence of the 
friction they had recently been subjected to, and threatened 
to break out into a blaze of the fire of jealousy. Jealousy 
is like Maria Theresa's small-pox, which allowed that 
princess to pass with impunity through thirty hospitals, 
full of small-pox patients, but attacked her beneath the 
Crowns of Hungary and Germany. Siebenkaes had had 
on that of Kuhschnappel (the Bird-one) for a week or two 
now. 

After this evening Stiefel, who took an increasing 
delight in sitting basking in the rays of the still rising 
Sun of Lenette, came oftener and oftener, and considered 
himself the peace-maker, aot the peace-breaker. 

It is now my duty to paint with the utmost minutiae of 
detail the last and most important day of this year, the 
31st of December, with its background and foreground all 
complete, and with all accessories. 

Before the 31st of December arrived, of course Christmas 
came, a time which had to be gilt, and which turned 
Siebenkaes's silver age (after the Boyal shot) into a brazen 
and a wooden age. The money went. But, worse than 
that, poor Firmian had fretted, and laughed, himself into 
an illness. A man who has all his life, upon the upper 
wings of Fantasy and the lower wings of good spirits, 
skimmed lightly away over the tops of all the spread-net 
snares and the open pitfalls of life, does, if once he chances 
to get impaled upon the hard spines of the full-blown 
thistles (above the purple blossoms and the honey-vessels 
of which he used to hover) beat in a terrible way about 
him, hungiy, bleeding, epileptically — a glad, happy man 
finds in the first sunstroke of trouble well-nigh his 
death-blow. To the polypus of anxiety daily growing 
in Siebenkaes's heart add the effects of the work and ex* 



29 1 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

citement of authorship. He was very anxious to get done 
with his ' Selections from the Devil's Papers ' at the 
earliest moment possible, so as to live on the price of them 
and carry on the law-suit besides. So that he sat through 
entire nights almost (and chairs as well). And in this 
way he wrote himself into an affection of the chest, such 
as the present author brought upon himself, and that, as 
far as he could make out, simply by excess of bountiful 
generosity towards the world of letters. He was attacked, 
ju.»t as I was, by a sudden pausing of the breath and of 
the action of the heart, succeeded by a blank disappearance 
of the spirit of life, and then by a throbbing rush of blood 
up to the brain ; and this came on most frequently while 
he was sitting at his literary spinning-wheel and spool.* 

However, not a soul offers either of us one single 
farthing, by way of indemnification, on account of it. It 
would appear to be ordained that authors are not to go 
down to posterity in the body, but only in the form of 
portraits or plaster-casts ; as delicate trout are boiled 
before being sent away as presents, people don't put in 
the laurel-sprig (which is stuck into our mouths as lemons 
are into the wild boar's) until we have been killed and 
dished. It would be a giatification to my colleagues and 
to me if a reader whose heart we have moved (as well as 
its auricles) were only to say as much as, " This siceet 
emotion of my heart was not produced without a hypo 
chondriac palpitation of theirs." We brighten and 
illuminate many a head which never dreams of thinking. 
" Yes, 1 have to thank them for this, it is true, but what 
is their reward ? Why, pains in their own heads — kephal- 
algia and neuralgia in various forms ! " Ay, he ought to 
interrupt me in the middle of a satire like this, and cry, 

* Particularly on cold bright winter mornings and evenings. I (and 
Sicbenkajs for the same reason) have been troubled with this complaint 
lor more than twenty years, and I bave bad an attack of it on this 
coldest of Christmas eves, iust as I was describing it. It is nothing 
but a passing paralysis of the nerves of the lungs — paiticularly of the- 
nereus vagus— and In course of time (tor you see even twenty years have 
not been enough), leads to that pulmonary apoplexy which Leville in 
Paris, and recently Hohnbaum, have held to be a new form of the 
disease, and which, perhaps, after the precedent of " Miller's Asthma." 
may receive tbe name of " Siebtnl-aesian," or " Jean Paulish apoplexy." 



GHAP. IX.l FLO WEE, FEOIT, AND THOEN PIECES. 295 

M Great as is the pain which his satires cause me, they cause 
him far more ; luckily, my pain is only mental ! " Health 
of body only runs parallel with health of mind ; it turns 
aside and departs from erudition, from over-much imagina- 
tion, and from great profundity. All these as little indicate 
health of mind as corpulence, a runner's feet, a wrestler's 
arms, indicate health of body. I have often wished that 
all souls were bottled into their bodies as the Pyrmont 
water is put into its flasks. The best strength of it is 
allowed to escape first, because, otherwise, it would break 
the bottle ; but it would seem that it is only in the case of 
colleges of cardinals (if we are to credit Gorani), cathedral 
chapters, &c, that this precaution is adopted, and that 
their extraordinary power of ability, which would other • 
wise have burst their bodies up, is, as a preliminary 
measure, let off a good deal before they are put into bodies 
and sent upon earth ; so that the bottles last quite well for 
seventy or eighty years. 

With a sick mind, then, and a sick heart, without 
money, Siebenkass begun the last day of the year. The 
day itself had put on its most beautiful eummer-dress — one 
of Berlin blue ; it was as cerulean as Krishna, or the new 
sect of Grahamites, or the Jews in Persia. It had had a 
fire lighted in the balloon-stove of the sun, and the snow, 
delicately candied upon the earth, melted into winter- 
green, like the sugar on some cunningly-devised supper- 
dish, as soon as the hills were brought within reach of its 
warmth. The year seemed to be saying good-bj'e to Time 
as if with a cheerful warmth, attended with joyful tears. 
Firmian longed to run and sun himself upon the moist, 
green sward ; but he had Professor Lang, of Baireuth, to 
review first. 

He wrote reviews as many people offer up prayers — only 
in time of need. It was like the water-carrying of the 
Athenian, done that he might afterwards devote himself 
to the studies of his choice without dying of hunger. But 
when he was reviewing, he drew his satiric sting into its 
j-heath, constructing his criticisms of material drawn only 
irom his store of wax and his honey-bag. " Little authors," 
h said, " are always better than their works, and great 
ones are worse than theirs. Why should I pardon moral 



296 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

failings — e.g. self-conceit — in the genius, and not in the 
dunce? Least of all should it be forgiven the genius. 
Unmerited poverty and ugliness do not deserve to be 
ridiculed ; but they as little deserve it when they are 
merited — though I am aware Cicero is against me here — 
for a moral fault (and consequently its punishment) can, of 
a certainty, not be made greater by a chance physical con- 
sequence, which sometimes follows upon it, and sometimes 
does not. Can it? Does an extravagant person who 
chances to come to poverty deserve a severer punishment 
than one who does not ? If anything, rather the reverse." 
If we apply this to bad authors, from whose own eyes their 
lack of merit is hidden by an impenetrable veil of self- 
conceit, and at whose unoffending heart the critic dis- 
charges the fury which is aroused in him by their (offend- 
ing) heads, we may, indeed, direct our bitterest irony 
against the race, but the individual will be best instructed by 
means of gentleness. I think it would be the gold-test, the 
trial-by-crucible, of a morally great and altogether perfect 
scholar to give him a bad, but celebrated book to review. 

For my own part, I will allow myself to be. reviewed by 
Dr. Merkel throughout eternity if I digress again in this 
chapter. Firmian worked in some haste at his notice of 
Lang's essay, entitled ' Prasmissa Historiai Supei intenden- 
tium Generalium Bairuthi non Specialium — Continua- 
tione XX." It was quite essential that he should get hold 
of a dollar or two that day, and he also longed to go and 
take a walk, the weather was so motherly, so hatching. The 
new year fell on the Saturday, and as early as the Thursday 
(the day before the one we are writing of) Lenette had 
begun the holding of preliminary feasts of purification 
(she now washed daily more and more in advance of actual 
necessities) ; but to-day she was keeping a regular feast of 
in-gathering among the furniture, &c. The room was 
being put through a course of derivative treatment for the 
clearing away of all impurities. With her eye on her 
index expuryandorum, she thrust everything that had 
wooden legs into the water, and followed it herself with 
balls of soap; in short, she paddled and bubbled, in the 
Levitical purification of the room, in her warm, native 
element, for once in her life to her heart's full content. 



CHAP. IX.] FRUIT, FLOWER, AND THORN .PIECES. 297 

As for Siebenkaas, lie sat bolt-upright in purgatorial fire, 
already beginning to emit a smell of burning. 

For, as it happened, he was rather madder than usual 
that day, to begin with. Firstly, because he had made up 
his mind that he would pawn the striped calico-gown in 
the afternoon, though whole nunneries were to shriek 
their loudest at it, and because he foresaw that he would 
have to grow exceedingly warm in consequence. And this 
resolve of resolves he had taken on this particular day, 
because (and this is at the same time the second reason 
why he was madder than usual) — because he was sorry that 
their good days were all gone again, and that their music 
of the spheres had all been marred by Lenette's funereal 
Misereres. 

" Wife ! " he said, " I'm reviewing for money now, recol- 
lect." She went on with her scraping. " I have got 
Professor Lang before me here — the seventh chapter of 
him, in which he treats of the sixth of the Superintendents- 
General of Bayreuth, Herr Stockfleth." She was going to 
stop in a minute or two, but just then, you know, she 
really could not. Women are fond of doing everything 
" by and bye " — they like putting a thing off just for a 
minute or two, which is the reason why they put off even 
their arrival in this world a few minutes longer than boys 
do.* " This essay," he continued, with forced calmness, 
" ought to have been reviewed in the ' Messenger ' six 
months ago, and it'll never do for the ' Messenger ' to be 
like the ' Universal German Library' and the Pope, and 
canonise people a century or so after date." 

If he had only been able to maintain his forced calmness 
for one minute longer, he would have got to the end of 
Lenette's buzzing din ; however, he couldn't. " Oh ! the 
devil take me, and you, too, and the ' Messenger of the 
Gods' into the bargain," he burst out, starting up and 
dashing his pen on the floor. " I don't know," he went on, 
suddenly resuming his self-control, speaking in a faint, 
piteous tone, and sitting down, quite unnerved, feeling 
something like a man with cupping-glasses on all over 
him — " I don't know a bit what I'm translating, or whether 
I'm writing Stockfleth or Lang. What a stupid arrange- 
* Buffon. 



298 JEAN PAUL FKIEDKICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

merit it is that an advocate mayn't be as deaf as a judge. 
If I were deaf, I should be exempt from torture then. Do 
you know how many people it takes to constitute a tumult 
by law ? Either ten, or you by yourself in that washing 
academy of music of yours." He was not so much inclined 
to be reasonable as to do as the Spanish innkeeper did, who 
charged the noise made by his guests in the bill. But 
now, having had her way, and gained her point, she was 
noiseless in word and deed. 

He finished his critique in the forenoon, and sent it to 
Stiefel, his chief, who wrote back that he would bring the 
money for it himself in the evening, for he now seized 
upon every possible opportunity of paying a visit. At 
dinner Finnian (in whose head the sultiy, foetid vapour of 
ill-temper would not dissolve and fall), said, "I can't 
understand how you come to care so very little about 
cleanliness and order. It would be better even if you 
rather overdid your cleanliness than otherwise. People say, 
what a pity it is such an orderly man as Siebenkses should 
have such a slovenly kind of wife ! " To irony of this sort, 
though she knew quite well it was irony, she always 
opposed regular formal arguments. He could never get 
her to enjoy these little jests instead of arguing about 
them, or join him in laughing at the masculine view of 
the question. The fact is, a woman abandons her opinion 
as soon as her husband adopts it. Even in church, the 
women sing the tunes an octave higher than the men that 
they may differ from them in all things. 

In the afternoon the great, the momentous, hour ap- 
proached in which the ostracism, the banishment from 
house and home, of the checked calico gown was at, last to 
be carried out — the last and greatest deed of the year 1785. 
Of this signal for fight, this Timour's and Muhammed's 
red battle-flag, this Ziska's hide, which always set them 
by the ears, his very soul was sick : he would ha-\ e been 
delighted if somebody would have stolen it, simply to be 
quit of the wearisome, threadbare idea of the wretched 
rag for good and all. He did not hurry himself, but intro- 
duced his petition with ail the wordy prolixity of an M.P. 
addressing the house (at home). He asked her to guess 
what might be the greatest kindness, the most signal 



CHAP. IX.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 299 

favour which she could do him on this last day of the old 
year. He said he had an hereditary enemy, an Anti- 
Christ, a dragon, living under his roof; tares sown among 
his wheat by an enemy, which she could pull up if she 
chose ; and, at last, he brought the checked calico gown 
out of the drawer, with a kind of twilight sorrow : " This," 
he said, " is the bird of prey which pursues me ; the net 
which Satan sets to catch me ; his sheep-skin my martyr- 
robe, my Cassim's slipper. Dearest, do me but this one 
favour — send it to the pawn-shop I " 

" Don't answer just yet," he said, gently laying his hand 
on her lips ; u let me just remind you what a stupid parish 
did when the only blacksmith there was in it was going 
to be hanged in the village. This parish thought it pre- 
ferable to condemn an innocent master-tailor or two to the 
gallows, because they could be better spared. Now, a 
woman of your good sense must surely see how much 
easier and better it would be to let me take away this 
mere piece of tailor's stitch-work, than metal things 
which we eat out of every day ; the mourning calico won't 
be wanted, you know, as long as I'm alive." 

" I've seen quite clearly for a long while past," she said, 
" that you've made up your mind to carry off my mourning 
dress from me, by hook or by crook, whether 1 will or 
no. But I'm not going to let you have it. Suppose I 
were to say to you, pawn your watch, how would you 
like that ? " Perhaps the reason why husbands get into 
the way of issuing their orders in a needlessly dictatorial 
manner is, that they generally have little effect, but rather 
confirm opposition than overcome it. 

" Damnation ! " he cried ; " that'll do, that's quite 
enough ! I'm not a turkey-cock, nor a bonassus neither, 
to be continually driven into a frenzy by a piece of 
coloured rag. It goes to the pawn-shop to-day, as 6ure as 
my name's Siebenkaes." 

" Your name is Leihgeber as well," said she. 

" Devil fly away with me, if that calico remains in this 
house !" said he. On which she began to cry, and lament 
the bitter fortune which left her nothing now, not even 
the very clothes for her back. When thoughtless tears 
fall into a seething masculine heart, they often have the 



30C JEAN PAUL FEIEDRICH FJCHTER. [BOOK III. 

effect which drops of water have when they fall upon 
bubbling molten copper; the fluid mass bursts asunder 
with a great explosion. 

" Heavenly, kind, gentle Devil," said he, " do please 
come and break my neck for me. May God have pity on 
a woman like this! Very well, then, keep your calico; 
keep this Lenten altar-cloth of yours to yourself. But 
may the Dovil fly away with me if I don't cock the old 
deer's horns that belonged to my father on to my head this 
very day, like a poacher on the pillory, and hawk them 
about the streets for sale in broad daylight. Ay. I give 
you my word of honour it shall be done, for all the fun it 
may afford every soul in the place. And I shall simply 
say that it is your doing; I'll do it, as sure as there's a 
devil in hell." 

He went, gnashing his teeth, to the window, and looked 
into the street, seeing vacancy. A rustic funeral was 
passing slowly by ; the bier was a man's shoulder, and on 
it tottered a child's rude coffin. 

Such a sight is a touching one, when one thinks of the 
little, obscure, human creature, passing over from the foetal 
slumber to the slumber of death, from the amnion-mem- 
brane in this life to the shroud, that amnion-membrane of 
the next ; whose eyes have closed at their first glimpse of 
this bright earth, without looking on the parents who now 
gaze after it with theirs so wet with tears; which has 
been loved without loving in return ; whose little tongue 
moulders to dust before it has ever spoken ; as does its 
face ere it has smiled upon this odd, contradictory, incon- 
sistent orb of ours. These cut buds of this mould will 
find a stem on which great destiny will graft them, these 
flowers which, like some besides, close in sleep while it is 
still early morning, will yet feel the rays of a morning 
sun which will open them once more. As Firmian looked 
at the cold, shrouded child passing by, in this hour, when 
he was ignobly quarrelling about the mourning dress 
(which should mourn for Am)— now, when the very last 
drops of the old year were flowing so fast away, and his 
heart, now becoming so terribly accustomed to these 
passing fainting fits, forbade him to hope that he could 
ever complete the new one — now, amid all these pains 



C1IAF. IX.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 301 

and sorrows, he seemed to hear the unseen river of Death 
murmuring under his feet (as the Chinese lead rushing 
brooks under the soil of their gardens), and the thin, 
brittle crusr of ice on which he was standing seemed as if 
it would soon crack and sink with him into the watery 
depths. Unspeakably touched, he said to Lenette, " Per- 
haps you may be quite right, dear, after all, to keep your 
mourning dress ; you may have some presentiment that I 
am not going to live. Do as you think best, then, dear; 
I would fain not embitter this last of December any 
more; I don't know that it may not be my last in another 
sense, and that in another year I may not be nearer to 
that poor baby than you. I am going for a walk now." 

She said nothing ; all this startled ami surprised her. 
He hurried away, to escape the answer which was sure to 
come eventually ; his absence would, in the circumstances, 
be the most eloquent kind of oratory. All persons are 
better than their outbreaks (or ebullitions) — that is, than 
their bad ones; for all are worse than their noble ones, 
also — and when we allow the former an hour or so to dis- 
sipate and disperse, we gain something better than our 
point — we gain our opponent. He left Lenette a very 
grave subject for cogitation, however, — the stag's horns 
and his word of honour. 

I have already once written it. The winter was lying 
on the ground all bare and naked, not even the bed-sheet 
and chrisom-cloth of snow thrown over it ; there it lay 
beside the dry, withered mummy of the by-gone summer. 
Firmian looked with an unsatisfied gaze athwart unclothed 
fields (over which the cradle-quilt of the snow, and the 
white crape of the frost, had not yet been laid), and down 
at the streams, not yet struck palsied and speechless. 
Bright, warm days, at the end of December soften us with 
a sadness in which there are four or five bitter drops more 
than in that belonging to the af er-summer. Up to twelve 
o'clock at night, and. until the thirty-first day of the 
twelfth month, the wintry, nocturnal, idea of dissolution 
and decay oppresses us ; but as soon as it is one in the 
morning, and the first of January, a morning breeze, 
speaking of new life, moves away the clouds which were 
lying over our souls, and we begin to look for the dark, 



302 JEAN PAUL FEIEDE1CH EICHTER. [BOOK III. 

pure, morning blue, the rising of the star of morning and 
of spring. On a December day like this the pale, dim, 
stagnant world of stiffened, sapless, plants about us op- 
presses and hems us round ; and the insect-collections 
lying beneath the vegetation, covered with earth ; and 
the rafter-work of bare, dry, wrinkly trees ; the December 
sun hanging in the sky at noon no higher than the Juue 
sun does at evening; all these combined shed a yellow 
lustre as of death (like that of burning alcohol) over the 
pale, faded meadows ; and long giant shadows lie ex- 
tended, motionless, everywhere — evening shadows of this 
evening of nature and of the year — like the ruined re- 
mains, the burnt-out ash-heaps of nights as long as them- 
selves. But the glistening snow, on the other hand, spread 
over the blooming earth under us, is like the blue fore- 
ground of spring, or a white fog a foot or two in depth. 
The quiet dark sky lies above, and the white earth is like 
some white moon, whose sparkling ice-fields melt, as we 
draw nearer, into dark waving meadows of flowers. 

The heart of our sorrowful Firmian grew sadder yet as 
ho stood upon this cold, burnt-out hearth-place of nature. 
The daily-recurring pausings of his heart and pulse were 
(he thought) the sudden silences of the storm-bell in his 
breast, presaging a speedy end of the thunder, and dissolu- 
tion of the storm-cloud, of life. He thought the faltering 
of his mechanism was caused by some loose pin having 
fallen in among the wheels somewhere ; he ascribed it to 
polypus of the heart, and his giddiness he felt sure gave 
warning of an attack of apoplexy. To-day was the three 
hundred and sixty-fifth Act of the year, and the curtain 
was slowly dropping upon it already: what could this 
suggest to him save gloomy similes of his own epilogue — 
of the winter solstice of his shortened, over-shadowed life ? 
The weeping image of his Lenette came now before his 
forgiving, departing soul, and he thought, " She is really 
not in the right ; but 1 will yield to her, as we have not 
very long to be together now. I am glad for her sake, 

Eoor soul, that my arms are mouldering away from about 
er, and that her friend is taking her to his." 
He went up on to the scaffold of blood and sorrow where 
his friend, Heinrich, had taken his farewell. From that 



CHAF. IX.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 303 

eminence, as often as his heart was heavy, his glance would 
follow Leibgeber's path as far as the bills ; but to-day his 
eyes were moister tban before, for he had no hope that he 
would see the spring again. This spot was to him the bill 
which the Emperor Adrian permitted the Jews to go up 
twice in the year, that they might look towards the ruins 
of the holy city and weep for the place wherein their steps 
might tread no more. The sun was now assembling the 
shadows which were to close in upon the old year, and as 
the stars appeared — the stars which rose at evening now 
being those which in spring adorn the morning — fate 
snapped away the loveliest and richest in flowers of the 
liana-branches from his soul, and from the wound flowed 
clear water. " 1 shall see nothing of the coming spring," 
he thought, " except her blue, which, as in enamel-paint- 
ing, is the first laid on of all her colours." His heart — one 
educated to be loving — could always fly for rest from his 
satires and from dry details of business-duty, sometimes, 
too, from Lenette's indifference and lack of sympathy, to 
the warm breast of the eternal goddess Mature, ever 
ready to take us to her heart. Into the free, unveiled, and 
blooming out-door world, beneath the grand wide sky, he 
loved to repair with all his sighs and sorrows, and in this 
great garden he made all his graves (as the Jews made 
them in smaller ones). And when our fellows forsake and 
wound us, the sky and the earth, and the little blooming 
tree, open their arms and take us into them ; the flowers 
press themselves to our wounded hearts, the streams mingle 
in our tears, and the breezes breathe coolness into our 
sighs. A mighty angel troubles and inspires the great 
ocean-pool of Bethesda ; into its warm waves we plunge, 
with all our thousand aches and pains, and ascend from 
the water of life with our spasms all relaxed and our health 
and vigour renewed once more. 

Firmian walked slowly home with a heart all concilia- 
tion, and eves which, now that it was dark, he did not 
take the pains to dry. He went over in his mind every- 
thing which could possibly be adduced in his Lenette's 
excuse. He strove to win himself over to her side of the 
question by reflecting that she could not (like him) arm 
herself against the shocks, tho stumbling-stones, of life by 



304 JEAN PAUL FBIEDBICn BICHTEB. [BOOK III. 

putting on the Minerva's helm, the armour of meditation, 
philosophy, authorship. He thoroughly determined (he 
had determined the same thing thirty times before) to be 
as scrupulously careful to ol & i ve in all things the outside 
politesses of life with her as with i lie most absolute stranger; * 
nay, he already enveloped himself in the fly-net or mail- 
shirt of patience, in case he should really find the checked 
calico untranslated at home. This is how we men con- 
tinually behave — stopping our ears tight with both hands, 
trying our hardest to fall into the siesta, the mid-day sleep, 
of a little peace of mind (if we can only anyhow manage 
it); thus do our souls, swayed by our passions, reflect the 
sunlight of truth as one dazzling spot (like mirrors or 
calm water), while all the surrounding surface lies but in 
deeper shade. 

How differently all fell out ! He was received by Peltz- 
stiefel, who advanced to meet him, all solemnity of deport- 
ment, and with a church-visitation countenance full of 
inspection-sermons. Lenette scarcely turned her swollen 
eyes towards the windward side of her husband as he came 
in at the door. Stiefel kept the strings tight which held 
the muscles of his knit face, lest it might unbend before 
Firmian's, which was all beaming soft with kindliness, 
and thus commenced : " Mr. Siebvnkses, I came to this 
house to hand you the money for your review of Professor 
Lang; but friendship demands of me a duty of a far more 
serious and important kind, that I should exhort you and 
constrain you to conduct yourself towards this poor unfor- 
tunate wife of yours here like a true Christian man to a 
true Christian woman." " Or even better, if you like," he 

* The husband should always play the lover by rights — and the 
lover the husband. It is impossible to describe the amount of soothing 
influence which little acts of politeness and innocent flatteries exercise 
upon just the very people who usually expect, and receive, none — 
wives, sisters, relations — and this even when they quite understand 
what this politeness really amounts to. We ought to be applying this 
emollient pomade to our rude rough lips all day long, even if we have 
only three words to speak, — and we should have a similar one for our 
hands, to soften down their actions. I trust that I shad always keep 
my resolution never to flatter any woman, not even my own wife, but 
I know I shall begin to break it four months and a -half after my 
betrothal, and ex> on breaking it all my life. 



CHAP. IX.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 305 

said. " What is it all about, wife?" She preserved an 
embarrassed silence. She had asked Stiefel's advice and 
assistance, less for the sake of obtaining them than to have 
an opportunity of telling her story. The truth was, that 
when the Schulrath came unexpectedly in, while her burst 
of crying was at its bitterest, she had really just that very 
moment sent her checked, spiny, outer caterpillar-skin (the 
calico-dress, to wit) away to the pawnshop ; for her husband 
having pledged his honour, she felt sure that, beyond a 
doubt, he would stick those preposterous horns on his head 
and really go and hawk them all over the town, for she 
well knew how sacredly he kept his word, and also how 
utterly he disregarded " appearances," — and that both of 
these peculiarities of his were always at their fellest pitch 
at a time of domestic difficulty like the present. Perhaps 
she would have told her ghostly counsellor and adviser 
nothing about the matter, but contented herself with 
having a good cry when he came, if she had had her way 
(and her dre-s) ; but, having sacrificed both, she needed com- 
pensation and revenge. At first she had meiely reckoned 
up difficulties in indeterminate quantities to him ; but 
when he pressed her more closely, her bursting heart over- 
flowed and all her woes streamed forth. Stiefel, contrarily 
to the laws of equity (and of several universities), always 
held the complainant in any case to be in the right, simply 
because he spoke first : most men think impartiality of 
heart is impartiality of head. Stiefel swore that he would 
tell her husband what he ought to be told, and that the 
calico should be back in the house that very afternoon. 

So this father-confessor began to jingle his bunch of 
binding-and-loosing keys in the advocate's face, and re- 
ported to him his wife's general confession and the pawning 
of the dress. When there are two diverse actions of a 
person to be given account of — a vexatious and an agreeable 
one — the effect depends on which is spoken of the first ; it 
is the first narrated one which gives the ground-tint to the 
listener's mind, and the one subsequently portrayed only 
takes rank as a subdued accessory figure, lirmian should 
have heard that Lenette pawned the dress first, while he 
was still out of doors, and of her tale-bearing not till after- 
wards. But you see how the devil brought it about, as it 

a. x 



306 JEAN PAUL FKIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

really did all happen. "What!" (Siebenkses felt, if not 
exactly tliought) " What ! She makes my rival her confi- 
dant and my judge!* I bring her home a heart all kind- 
ness and reconciliation, and she makes a fresh cut in it at 
once, distressing and annoying me in this way, on the very 
last day of tha year, with her confounded chattering and 
tale-telling." By this last expression he meant something 
which the reader does not yet quite understand ; for I have 
not yet told him that Lenette had the bad habit of being — 
rather ill-bred ; wherefore she made common people of her 
own sex, such as the bookbinder's wife, the recipients of 
her secret thoughts — the electric discharging-rods of her 
little atmospheric disturbances ; while, at the same time, 
she took it ill of her husband that, though he did not, 
indeed, admit serving-men and maids and " the vulgar " 
into his own mysteries, he yet accompanied them into theirs. 
Stiefel (like all people who have little knowledge of the 
world, and are not gifted with much tact, — who never 
assume anything as granted in the first place, but always 
go through every subject ab initio) — now delivered a long, 
theological, matrimonial- service sort of exhortation con- 
cerning love as between Christian husband and wife, and 
ended by insisting on the recall of the calico (his Necker, 
so to say). This address irritated Firmian, and that 
chiefly because (irrespectively of it) his wife thought he 
had not any religion, or, at all events, not so much as 
StiefeL "I remember" (he said) "seeing in the history 
of France that Gaston, the first prince of the blood, having 
caused his brother some little difficulties or other of the 
warlike sort on one occasion, in the subsequent treaty of 
peace bound himself, in a special article, to love Cardinal 
Eich'dieu. Now I think there's no question but that an 
article to the effect that man and wife shall love one another 
ought to be inserted as a distinct, separate, secret clause, in 
all contracts of marriage ; for though love, like man himself, 
is by origin eternal and immortal, yet, thanks to the wiles of 
the serpent, it certainly becomes mortal enough within a 
short time. But, as far as the calico's concerned, let's all 
thank God that that apple of discord has been pitched out of 
the house." Stiefel, by way of offering up a sacrifice, and 
burning a little incense before the shrine of his beloved 






CHAP. IX.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 307 

Lenette, insisted on the return of the calico, and did so very 
firmly ; for Siebenkaes's gentle, complaisant readiness to yield 
to him, up to this point, in little matters of sacrifice and 
Bervice, had led him to entertain the deluded idea that ha 
possessed an irresistible authority over him. The husband, 
a good deal agitated now, said, " We'll drop the subject, if 
you please." " Indeed, we'll do nothing of the kind," said 
Stiefel ; " I must really insist upon it that 3 our wife has 
her dress back." "It can't be done, Herr Schulrath." " I'll 
advance you whatever money you require," cried Stiefel, 
in a fever of indignation at this striking and unwonted 
piece of disobedience. It was now, of course, more impos- 
sible than ever for the advocate to retire from his position; 
he shook his head eighty times. " Either you are out of 
your mind," said Stiefel, "or Jam; just let me go through 
my reasons to you onee more." " Advocates," said Sie- 
benkaes, " were fortunate enough, in former times, to have 
private chaplains of their own ; but it was found that there 
was no converting any of them, and therefore they are now 
exempt from being preached at." 

Lenette wept more bitterly — Stiefel shouted the louder 
on that account ; in his annoyance at his ill success, he 
thought it well to repeat his commands in a ruder and 
blunter form ; of course Siebenkass resisted more firmly. 
Stiefel was a pedant, a class of men which surpasses all 
others in a bare-faced, blind, self-conceit, just like an un- 
ceasing wind blowing from all the points of the compass 
at once (for a pedant even makes an ostentatious display 
of his own personal idiosyncrasies). Stiefel, like a care- 
ful and conscientious player, felt it a duty to thoroughly 
throw himself into the part he was representing, and 
carry it out in all its details, and say, "Either'' "Or" 
Mr. Siebenkass ; " either the mourning gown comes, or 1 
go, autaut. My visits cannot be of much consequence, it's 
true, still they have I consider, a certain value, if it were 
but on Mrs. Siebenkaes's account." Firmian, doubly 
irritated, firstly at the imperious rudeness and conceit of 
an alternative of the sort, and secondly at the lowness of 
the market price for which the Eath abandoned their 
society, could but say, " Nobody can influence your deci- 
sion on that point now but yourself. I most certainly 

x 2 



308 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III, 

cannot. It will be an easy matter for you, Herr 
Schulrath, to give up our acquaintance — though there is 
no real reason why you should — but it will not be easy 
for me to give up yours, although I shall have no choice." 
Stiefel, from whose brow the sprouting laurels were thus 
so unexpectedly shorn — and that, too, in the presence of 
the woman he loved — had nothing to do but take his leave ; 
but he did it with three thoughts gnawing at his heart — 
his vanity was hurt, his dear Lenette was crying, and her 
husband was rebellious and insubordinate, and resisting 
his authority. 

And as the Schulrath said farewell for ever, a bitter, 
bitter sorrow stood fixed in the eyes of his beloved 
Lenette — a sorrow which, though the hand of time has 
long since covered it over, I still see there in its fixity ; 
and she could not go down stairs, as at other times, with 
her sorrowing friend, but went back into the dark, un- 
lighted room, alone with her overflowing breaking heart. 

Firmian's heart laid aside its hardness, though not its 
coldness, at the sight of his persecuted wife in her dry, 
stony grief at this falling to ruin of every one of her little 
plans and joys ; and he did not add to her sorrow by a 
single word of reproach. "You see," was all he said, 
" that it is no fault of mine that the Schulrath gives up 
our acquaintance ; he ought never to have been told any- 
thing about the matter, — however, it's all over now." She 
made no reply. The hornet's sting (which makes a triple 
stab), the dagger, thrown as by some revengeful Italian, 
was left sticking firm in her wound, which therefore could 
not bleed. Ah ! poor soul ; thou hast deprived thyself of 
so much ! Firniian, however, could not see that he had 
anything to accuse himself of; he being the gentlest, 
the most yielding of men under the sun, always ruffled all 
the feathers on his body up with a rustle in an instant at 
the slightest touch of compulsion, most especially if it con- 
cerned his honour. He would accept a present, it is true, 
but only from Leibgeber, or (on rare occasions) from others 
in the warmest hours of soul communion ; and his friend 
and he both held the opinion that, in friendship, not only 
was a farthing of quite as much value as a sovereign, but 
that a sovereign was worth just as little as a farthing, and 



CHAP. IX.] FLOWER, FEUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 309 

that one is bound to accept the most splendid presents 
just as readily as the most trifling ; and hence he counted 
it among the unrecognised blessings of childhood that 
children can receive gifts without any feeling of shame. 

In a mental torpor he now sat down in the arm-chair, 
and covered his eyes with his hand ; and then the mists 
which hid the future all rolled away, and showed in it a 
wide dreary tract of country, full of the black ashy ruins 
of burnt homesteads, and of dead bushes of underwood, 
and the skeletons of beasts lying in the sand. He saw 
that the chasm, or landslip, which had torn his heart and 
Lenette's asunder, would go on gaping wider and wider ; 
he saw, oh ! so clearly and cheerlessly, that his old 
beautiful love would never come back, that Lenette would 
never lay aside her self-willed pertinacity, her whims, the 
habits of her daily life ; that the narrow limits of her 
heart and head would remain fixed firmly for ever ; that 
she would as little learn to understand him, as get to love 
him ; while, again, her repugnance to him would get the 
greater the longer her friend's banishment endured, and 
that her fondness for the latter would increase in propor- 
tion. Stiefel's money, and his seriousness, and religion, 
and attachment to herself combined to tear in two the 
galling bond of wedlock by the pressure of a more com- 
plex and gentle tie. Sorrowfully did Siebenkaes gaze into 
a long prospect of dreary days, all constrained silence, and 
dumb hostility and complaint. 

Lenette was working in her room in silence, for her 
wounded heart shrunk from a word or a look as from 
a cold fierce wind. It was now very dark, she wanted 
no light. On a sudden, a wandering street-singing 
woman began to play a harp, and her child to accom- 
pany her on a flute, somewhere in the house downstairs. 
At this our friend's bursting heart seemed to have a 
thousand gashes inflicted on it to let it bleed gently away. 
As nightingales love to sing where there is an echo, so our 
hearts speak loudest to music. As these tones brought 
back to him his old hopes, almost irrecognisable now, — as 
he gazed down at his Arcadia now lying hidden deep, 
deep, beneath the stream of years, and s iw himself down 
in it, with all his young fresh wishes, amid his long lost 



310 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK HI. 

friends, gazing with happy eyes round their circle, all con- 
fidence and trust, his growing heart hoarding and cherish- 
ing its love and truth for some warm heart yet to be met 
in the time to come : and as he now burst into that 
music with a dissonance, crying, " And I have never 
found that heart, and now all is past and over," and as 
the pitiless tones brought pictures of blossomy springs 
and flowery lands, and circles of loving friends to pass, as 
in a camera obscura, before him — him who had nothing, 
not one soul in all the land to love him ; his steadfast 
spirit gave way at last, and sank down on earth to rest as 
quite overdone, and nothing soothed him now but that 
which pained. Suddenly this sleep-walking music ceased, 
and the pause clutched, like a speechless nightmare, 
tighter at his heart. In the silence he went into the room 
and said to Lenette, " Take them down what little we have 
left." But over the latter words his voice broke and failed, 
for he saw (by the flare of some potash-burning which 
was going on opposite) that all her glowing face was 
covered with streaming, undried tears, though when he 
came in she pretended to be busily wiping the window- 
pane dimmed by her breath. She laid the money down 
on the window. He said, more gently yet, " Lenette, you 
will have to take it to them now, or they will be gone.'* 
She took it ; her eyes worn with weeping met his (which 
were worn with weeping too) ; she went, and then their 
eyes grew well-nigh dry, so far apart were their two souls 
already. 

They were suffering in that terrible position of circum- 
stances when not even a moment of mutual and reciprocal 
emotion can any longer reconcile and warm two hearts. 
His whole heart swelled with overflowing affection, but 
hers belonged to his no more ; he was urged at once by 
the wish to love her, and the feeling that it was now im- 
possible, by the perception of all her shortcomings and the 
conviction of her indifference to him. He sat down in the 
window seat, and leaned his head upon the sill, where it 
rested, as it chanced, upon a handkerchief which she had 
left there, and which was moist and cold with tears. She 
had been solacing herself after the long oppression of the 
day, with this gentle effusion, much as we have a vein 






CHAP. IX. FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 311 

opened after some severe contusion. When he touched 
the handkerchief, an icy shudder crept down his back, like 
a sting of conscience, but immediately after it there came 
a burning glow as the thought flashed to his mind that her 
weeping had been for another person than himself altogether. 
The singing and the flute now began again (without the 
harp this time), and floated in the rising, falling waves, 
of a slow-timed song, of which the verses ended always 
with the words, " Gone is gone, and dead is dead." 
Sorrow now clutched him in her grasp, like some mantle- 
fish, casting around him her dark and suffocating folds. 
He pressed Lenette's wet handkerchief to his eyes hard, 
and heard (but less distinctly), " Gone is gone, and dead 
is dead." Then of a sudden his whole soul melted and 
dissolved at the thought that perhaps that halting heart 
of his would let him see no other new year save that of 
the morrow, and he thought of himself as dying ; and the 
cold handkerchief, wet with his own tears now as well as 
hers, lay cool upon his burning brow, while the notes of 
the music seemed to mark like bells each stroke of time, 
go that its rapid flight was made distinguishable by the 
ear, and he saw himself asleep in a quiet grave, like one in 
the Grotto of the Serpents, but with worms in place of the 
serpents, licking off the burning poison of life. 

The music had ceased. He heard Lenette moving in 
the next room and getting a light ; he went to her and 
gave her her handkerchief. But his heart was so pained 
and bleeding that he longed to embrace some one, no 
matter whom ; he was impelled to press his Lenette to 
his heart, his Lenette of the past if not of the present, his 
suffering, if no longer his loving, Lenette; at the same 
time he could not utter one word of affection, neither had 
he the slightest wish to do so. He put his arms round her 
slowly, unbent, and held her to him, but she turned her 
head quickly and coldly away as from a kiss which was 
not proffered. This pained him greatly, and he said, 
" Do you suppose I am any happier than you are your- 
self?" He laid his face down on her averted head, pressed 
her to him again, and then let her away ; and this vain 
embrace at an end, his heart cried, " Gone is gone, and 
dead is dead." 



312 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK III. 

The silent room in which the music and the words 
had ceased to sound was like some unhappy village 
from whence the enemy has carried off all the hells, 
and where there is nothing but silence all the day and 
night, and the church tower is mute as if time itself 
were past. 

As Firmian laid him down on his bed, he thought, " A 
sleep closes the old year as if it were one's last, and ushers 
in the new as it does- our own lives ; and I sleep on 
towards a future all anxiety, vague of form, and darkly 
veiled. Thus does man sleep at the gate behind which 
the dreams are barred ; but although his dreams are but 
a step or two — a minute or two — within that gate, he 
cannot tell what dreams await him at its opening ; whether 
in the brief unconscious night beasts of prey with glaring 
eyes are lying in wait to dash upon him, or smiling 
children to come trooping round him in their play ; nor if, 
when the cloudy shapes beyond that mystic door come 
about him, their clasp is to be the fond embrace of love, 
or the murderous clutch of death." 



CHAPTEK X. 



A LONELY NEW-YEARS DAY — THE LEARNED SCHALASTER — 
WOODEN-LEG OF APPEAL — CHAMBER POSTAL DELIVERY — THE 
llTH OF FEBRUARY, AND BIRTH-DAY OF THE YEAR 1786. 

I really cannot wish my hero a happy new year on a 
Aew year's day when, on his awaking in the morning, he 
rolls his swollen eyeballs heavily in their sockets towards 
the dawn, and then buries his worn and stupefied head 
deep again in his pillow, as ho does now. A man who 
scarcely ever sheds a tear is always attacked in this way 
by physical, as a consequence of moral, pain. He lay in 
bed much later than usual, thinking over what he had 
done, and what he had now to do. He awoke, feeling 
much cooler towards Lenette than he had done when he 
went to bed. When two hearts can no longer be brought 



CHAP. X.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 313 

together by the influence of some mutual, warm emotion, 
when the glow of enthusiasm no longer links them together, 
still less can they mingle and unite when the glow has 
passed away, and chilly reserve has resumed its sway. 
There is a certain half-and-half state of partial reconcilia- 
tion in which the vertical index of the jewel-balance, in 
its glass-case, is turned by the lightest breath from the 
tongue of a third person ; to-day, alas ! the scale on Fir- 
mian's side sunk a little, and that on Lenette's went down 
altogether. He prepared himself, however, and dreaded 
at the same time, to give and to return the new year 
greetings. He took heart, and entered the room with his 
usual hearty step, as if nothing had happened. She had 
let the coffee-pot turn into a refrigerator rather than call 
him, and was standing with her back to him, at the drawer 
of the commode, tearing hearts to pieces, to see what was 
inside them. The hearts in question were printed new 
year's wishes in verse, which she had received, in happier 
days, from her friends in Augspurg ; the kindly wishes 
were hidden behind groups of hearts clipped out and twined 
together in spiral lines. As the Holy Virgin gets behung 
with " assigned " hearts of wax, so do other virgins with 
paper ones ; for with these fair maidens all warmth and 
enthusiasm gets the name of " heart," much as map-makers 
fancy that the outline of burning Africa has a considerable 
resemblance to a heart. 

Firmian could well divine how many a longing sigh the 
poor soul had heaved over so many a ruined wish and 
hope, and all her mournful comparisons of the present 
time — with those smiling days gone by — and all that sor- 
row and the memory of the past spake to the gentle, 
tender heart. Alas ! since even the happy greet the new 
year with sighs, the wretched may well be allowed a tear 
or two. He said his " good morning " gently, and had he 
received a gentle answer, would have gone so far as to add 
his wishes to the stock of printed ones ; but Lenette, who 
had been oftener hurt, and more deeply too, on the previous 
day, than he had, snarled back at him a cold and hasty 
reply. So that he could not offer any wishes ; she offered 
none ; ard thus stonily and thus miserably they went 
elbowing one another through the gate of the new year. 



314 JEAN PAUL FEIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

I must say it ; he had been looking forward for some- 
thing like eight weeks to the happiness of this new year's 
morning — to the blissful union of their hearts — to the 
thousands of loving wishes which he would offer — to their 
close embraces and happy silences of lips upon lips ! Ah ! 
how different it all was ; cold, deathly cold ! On some 
other occasion, when I have more paper, I must explain at 
full length why and wherefore his satirical vein served 
the purpose of a ferment, a leaven or yeast, or, say a kind 
of irrigating engine to that sensitive heart of his of which 
he was both proud and ashamed at once. The royal burgh 
of Kuhschnappel itself had more to do with it than any- 
thing else. Upon this town, as upon some others in Ger- 
many, the dew of sensibility has never fallen (as if these 
places were made of metal), whilst their inhabitants have 
provided themselves with hearts of bone, on which, as on 
frozen limbs, and witches bearing the stigmata of the devil, 
it is impossible to inflict wounds of any consequence to 
speak of. Amid a population possessed of this sort of 
frigidity, one is, of course, inclined to pardon — and even 
go out of one's way in search of — a little warmth, even of 
an exaggerated kind, — whereas a man who had been living 
about 1785 in Leipzig, where nearly all hearts and arteries 
were injected full of the spirit of tears, might have been 
disposed to carry his humorous indignation at that cir- 
cumstance a little too far, in the same way that cooks dish 
up watery vegetables with more pepper in wet weather 
than in dry. 

Lenette went three times to church that day, not that 
there was anything extraordinary in that. It is not so 
much with respect to the church-goers that the words 
" three times " in this connection, alarming as they are, 
horrify one. The church-goers may sometimes, perhaps, 
be all the better for going so ofien ; but it is for the sake 
of the unfortunate clergy who are obliged to preach so 
many times in one day, that they may think themselves 
lucky if all that happens to them is that they go to the 
devil and don't lose their voices into the bargain. The 
first time a man preaches, he certainly moves himself more 
than anybody else, and becomes his own prosel3 r te ; but 
when, it comes to the millionth time or so of his laying 



CHAP. X.] FLOWEK, FRUIT, AND THOEN PIECES. 315 

down the moral law, it must be much the same with him as 
with the Egerian peasants, who drink the Egerian waters 
every day, and consequently cease to be susceptible to 
their derivative qualities, however visitors may be affected 
by them. 

At dinner our melancholy pair sat silent, except that the 
husband, seeing the wife preparing to go to the afternoon 
service at church, which she had not been in the habit of 
attending for some time, asked her who was going to preach. 
" Most probably Schulrath Stiefel," she said, although he 
usually preached only in the morning, but just now the 
evening preacher couldn't preach, he had received " a chas- 
tisement from God — he had put out his collar-bone." At 
another time Siebenkees would have had a good deal to say 
as touching the latter clause of her sentence ; but on the 
present occasion (circumstances being as they were), all he 
did was to strike his plate with one of the prongs of his 
fork, and then hold it up to one of his ears, while he 
stopped the other ; this droning bass, this humming har- 
mony, bore his tortured soul away upon the waves of music, 
and this echoing sound-board, this vibrating bell-tongue, 
seemed to be singing to him (by way of new year's greet- 
ing), " Hearest thou not the distant bell ringing at the 
close of thy chill life's high mass ? The question is, shalt 
thou, when next new year's day comes, be able to hear ; or 
lying, by that time, crumbling into dust?" 

After dinner he looked out of window, directing his 
gaze less to the street than to the sky. There, as it 
chanced, he saw two mock suns, and almost in the zenith 
the half of a rainbow with a paler one intersecting it. 
These tinted stars began strangely to sway his soul, 
making it sad, as if he saw in them the reflected image 
of his own dim, pale, shattered life. For to man, when 
swayed by emotion, Nature is ever a great mirror, all 
emotion too ; it is only to him who is satisfied and at rest 
that she seems nothing but a cold, dead window between 
him and the world beyond. 

When he was alone in the room after dinner, and the 
jubilant hymns from the church, and the glad song of a 
canary in a neighbour's room came upon his weary soul 
like the movement and the tumult of all the joy of hia 



316 JEAN PAUL FKIEDEICII KICHTER. [BOOK III. 

youth, now buried alive in the tomb ; and when the bright 
magic sunshine broke into his chamber, and light cloud- 
shadows slid athwart the spot of light upon the floor, 
questioning his sick, moaning heart in a thousand melan- 
choly tropes, and saying, " Is it not thus with all things ? 
Are not your own days fleeting by like vapours through 
a chilly sky, above a dead earth, floating away towards 
the night?" — he could but open his swelling heart by 
means of the soft-edged sword of music, that so the nearest 
and heaviest of the drops of his sorrow might be set free 
to flow. He struck a single triad chord upon his piano, 
and struck it once again, letting it gradually die away ; 
the tones floated away as the clouds had, the sweet har- 
mony trembled more slowly and more slowly, grew fainter 
and fainter, and ceased at last ; silence, as of the grave, 
was all that was left. As he listened, his breath and his 
heart stopped, a faintness came over him which extended 
to his very soul ; and then — and then — as floods wash the 
dead from out of the churches and the graves, in this 
morbid hour of dreams, the stream of his heart came flow- 
ing again, and bearing upon its billows a new corpse from 
out the future, torn all unshrouded from its earthly bed ; 
it was his own body; he was dead. He looked out of 
window towards the comforting and reassuring light and 
star of life, but the voice within him cried on still, " Do 
not deceive thyself; before the new year's wishes are said 
again, thou wilt have departed hence." 

When a shivering heart is thus all shorn of its leaves 
and standing bare, every breeze that touches it is a freez- 
ing blast. With what a soft, warm, gentle touch Lenette 
would have had to touch it so as not to startle it. A heart 
in this condition is like a clairvoyante, who feels a chill 
as of death in every hand which touches from beyond the 
charmed circle. 

He determined to join the corpse-lottery (as it was 
called) that very day, so as to be able at all events to pay 
the toll or tax on his departure for the next world. He 
told Lenette so, but she thought this was only another 
of his harpings on the subject of the mourning dress. 
Thus cloudily passed the first day of the year, and the 
first week was even more rainy. The garden-hedge and 



CHAP. X.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 317 

fencing round Lenette's love for Stiefel were completely cut 
down and pulled up now, and the love was to be clearly 
seen of every passer-by. Every evening at the time when 
the Schulrath used formerly to come, vexation and regret 
graved a deeper furrow on her round young face, which 
as time went on turned wholly into a piece of carving 
fretted by the hand of grief. She found out the days 
when he was to preach, so that she might go and hear 
him, and whenever a funeral passed, she went to tbe win- 
dow to see him. The bookbinder's wife was her " corres- 
ponding member," from whom she constantly drew fresh 
discoveries concerning the Schulrath, and repeated the old 
ones with her over and over again. What an amount of 
warmth the Schulrath must bave gained by reason of his 
focal distance, and her husband have lost on account ot 
his proximity will be at once apparent ; just as tbe earth 
derives least warmth from the sun when they are nearest 
together, i.e. in winter ! Moreover another event came just 
then to pass wbich increased Lenette's aversion. Yon 
Blaize had secretly circulated a report that Siebenkaes was 
an atheist and no Christian. Eespectable old maiden 
ladies and the clergy, form a charming contrast to the 
vindictive Eomans under tbe Empire, who often accused 
the most innocent people possible of being Christians, in 
order that they might obtain a martyr's crown. The old 
maids and parsons aforesaid rather take the part of a man 
who is in a position of this kind, and deny that he is a 
Christian; and in tbis they contrast, likewise with tho 
Eomans and Italians of the present day, who always say 
" there are four Christians here," when they mean " four 
men." In St. Ferieux, near Besancon, the most virtuous girl 
used to be presented with a lace veil of the value of rive 
shillings by way of a prize ; and people like Blaize are fond 
of throwing a prize for virtue of this kind, namely, a moral 
veil, over the good. This is why they are fond of calling 
thinking men infidels, and the heterodox wolves, whoso 
teeth help to smooth and polish, — which is the reason why 
wolves are engraved upon the best steel blades. 

When Siebenkaes first told his wife this report of Blaize's 
(that he was no Christian, if not, indeed, altogether an 
infidel), she didn't pay very much attention to it, inasmuch 



318 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICfl RICHTEE. [BOOK III. 

as it seemed out of the question such a thing could be true 
of a man to whom she had united herself in the holy state 
of matrimony. It was not until sometime afterwards that 
she remembered that, one month when there had been a 
long period of dry weather he had spoken disparagingly 
(without the least hesitation), not only of the Roman 
Catholic processions (for she did not think they were ot 
very much use herself), but concerning the Protestant's 
prayers for rain, inquiring, " Do the processions, miles 
long, in the Arabian deserts, which go by the name of 
caravans, ever lead to the production of a single cloud in 
the sky, let them pray for rain as hard as they choose ?" 
And " Why do the clergy get up processions only for rain 
or fine weather ? why not to get rid of a severe winter, 
when at all events those who took part in the processions 
would feel a little warmer; or, in Holland, for bright 
sunny weather and the dispersion of fog ; or against the 
aurora-bo realis in Greenland?" " But what he wondered at 
most," he said, " was why those converters of the heathen, 
who pray so often, and with so much success for the sun 
when he's only behind a cloud or two, should not suppli- 
cate for him in circumstances of infinitely greater import- 
ance — in the polar regions, namely, where for months at a 
time he never appears even when the sky is altogether 
cloudless ? Or why," he asked in the last place, " do they 
take no steps to petition against the great solar eclipses 
(which are seldom very enjoyable occurrences), suffering 
themselves to be outdone by savage nations in this respect, 
for as the latter do howl and pray them away ?" Many 
speeches, in themselves innocuous at first, nay sweet, 
acquire poisonous properties in the storehouse of time, as 
sugar does when kept for thirty years in a warehouse.* 
These few words, candidly spoken out in the course of 
common conversation, took a great hold upon Lenette now 
that she sate under Stiefel's pulpit (made of apostles all 
carpentered up together), and heard him offering up one 
prayer after another, for, or against (as the case might be), 
sickness, government, child-birth, harvest, &c, &c. ! How 
dear, on the other hand, Peltzstiefel grew to her ; his 
very sermons became, in the most charming manner, 
* Sander, on " The Great and Beautiful in Nature." 



CHAP. X.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 319 

regular love-letters to her heart. And indeed clericality 
does, at all times, stand in a very close relation to the 
feminine heart ; that's why " hearts " formerly meant trie 
clergy on German playing cards. 

Now what all this time did Stanislaus Siebenkags think 
and do? Two contradictory things. If a hard word 
escaped him, he was sorry for the feeble, forsaken soul, 
whose whole rose-border of enjoyment had been hoed up, 
whose first love for the Schulrath lay languishing in sorrow 
and famine ; for the thousand charms of that imprisoned 
nature of hers would have opened in all their beauty to 
some heart she loved, which his was not. " And can 1 not 
see," he said further, M how impossible it is that the pin's 
or needle's point can act as a lightning conductor to the 
sultry, lightning-charged clouds of her life, in the same 
way that the pen's point does for mine. One can write a 
good deal of one's mind, but one can't stitch very much off 
it. And when I consider what swimming-belts and cork- 
jackets for the deepest floods I am prepared with, in the 
shape of the self-contemplation of the Emperor Antoninus 
and in Arrianus Epictetus, of neither of whom she knows 
even the binding, let alone the name (to say nothing of 
my astronomy and psychology) ; and what splendid hands 
a£ the fire engine-pumps they are to me when I blaze up in 
a conflagration of anger as I did just now, while she has 
to let her anger burn itself out, verily I ought to be ten 
times more gentle with her, instead of being ten times 
more irritable." If it happened, on the other hand, that 
he had not given but had received a few hard words, he 
thought of her warm longing for the Schulrath which she 
could so readily increase and magnify in secret during her 
wholly mechanical work, to any extent ; and of the con- 
tinual yielding of his own too soft heart ; a thing for which 
his strong-souled Leibgeber would have scolded him, while 
his wife would have done so for the contrary defect, which 
she was not likely to encounter in her stiff unyielding 
Stiefel, judging by the recent unceremoniousness of style 
in which he, the other day, gave his notice of the calling 
in of his capital of Eegard. 

In this frame of mind, one day when his spirit was heavy 
with anger, he put to her, as bhe was starting again tc gc 



320 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IIL 

to the Schulrath's evening sermon, the simple little ques- 
tion, why it was she used formerly to go so seldom to the 
evening service, and now went so often ? She answered 
that it was because the evening preacher, Mr. Schalaster, 
always used to preach in the evenings, but that since he 
had put out his collar-bone the Schulrath had taken his 
duty. Heaven forbid that she should go to the evening 
services when Mr. Schalaster 's collar-bone was well again. 
By slow degrees he drew out of her that she considered 
this young Mr. Schalaster a most dangerous disseminator 
of false doctrine, a man who by no means adhered to 
Luther's bible, but believed in Mosheh, and in Jesos 
Christos, Petros and Paulos, and, in fact, osd all the 
Apostles in such a manner as to be an offence to all 
Christian folks; nay he had gone the length of naming 
the Holy Jerusalem in such an extraordinary way that 
she couldn't so much as say it after him ; it was soon after 
this that he had put out his collar-bone, but far be it from 
her to judge the nv\n. "No, don't, dear," her husband 
said, " perhaps the young gentleman may be a little near- 
sighted, or he mayn't know his Greek Testament so well 
as he ought, the u's in it are sometimes a good deal like 
o's. Ah 1 how many Schalasters there are who do in their 
several sciences and doctrines, say Petros for Petrus, and 
where there's not the slightest occasion, and nothing in 
the shape of a stumbling-block in the path, breed dissen- 
sion among mankind by means of consanguineous vowels." 
On this particular occasion, however, Schalaster drew 
our couple a little nearer together again. It was a satis- 
faction to Siebenkaes to find that he had been a little 
mistaken up to this point, and that it was not only love 
to Stiefel which had taken her to evening church, but that 
regard for purity of doctrine had something to do with it 
as well. The distinction was fine, it is true ; but in time 
of need one catches at the minutest fragment of comfort ; 
>r,nd Siebenkaes was delighted that his wife wasn't quite so 
'ieeply in love with the Schulrath as he had been sup- 
posing. Let no one hear speak lespairingly of the delicate 
gossamer web which suppoi i& us and our happiness. If 
wo do spin and draw it out of ourselves, as the spider 
does hers, yet it bears us pretty firmly up, and, like tha 



CHAP. X.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 321 

spider, we hang safe and sound in the middle of it, while 
the storm-wind rocks both our web and us uninjured to 
and fro. 

From this day Siebenkses went straightway back to 
Lis only friend in the place, Stiefel, whose little mistake 
he had forgiven from his heart long long since — half 
an hour after it happened, I believe. He knew that the 
sight of him would be a consolation to the exiled evange- 
list in his Patmos- chamber, and that his wife would find 
a consolation in it too. Yea, he carried greetings which 
had never been intrusted to him backwards and forwards 
between the two. 

The little scraps of news of the Schulrath, which he would 
let drop of an evening, were to Lenette as the young green 
shoots which the partridge scratches up from beneath the 
snow. At the same time, I am not concealing the fact that 
I am very sorry both for him and fcr her ; although I am 
not such a wretched partisan of either as to withhold my 
love and my sympathy from two people who are mutually 
misunderstanding and making war upon each other. 

Out of this grey sultry sky, whose electrical machines 
were being charged fuller and fuller every hour, there 
broke, at last, a first harsh peal of thunder — Firmian lost 
his law suit. The Heimlicher was the catskin rubber, the 
foxtail switch, which charged the Inheritance Chamber, 
the goldsmith's pitch-cake of Justice, full of pocket- 
lightning. But the suit was adjudged to be lost on the 
simple ground that the young notary, Giegold, with whose 
notarial instrument Siebenkaes had armed himself, was 
not as yet duly matriculated. There cannot be very 
many persons unaware that in Saxony no legal instrument 
is valid unless drawn up by a notary who has been duly 
matriculated, while, at the same time, documentary evi- 
dence can be of no greater force in another country than 
of that which it possessed in the country where it was 
drawn up. Firmian lost his suit, and his inheritance along 
with it. However, the latter remained untouched, for, 
perhaps, nothing can keep a sum of money safer from the 
attacks of thieves, clients, and lawyers, than the fact of its 
being the subject of a lawsuit — nobody can touch it then. 
The sum is clearly specified in all the documents, and 

B. T 



322 JBA.N PAUL FKIEDRICH KICHTEK. [BOOK HI. 

these documents would have, themselves, to be got out of 
the way before the money could be got at. Similarly, the 
good man of the farm rejoices when the weevil has papered 
his ccrnricks all over with white, because then the corn 
which has not had the heart of it eaten out by the spinner 
is safe against the ravages of all other corn worms. 

A lawsuit is never more easily won than when it is 
lost — one lodges an appeal. After payment of the costs, 
ordinary and extraordinary, the law concedes the beneficium 
appellationis (benefit of appeal to a higher tribunal), 
although this benefit-farce cannot be of much avail to 
anybody who has not had certaiu other benefits conferred 
upon him beforehand. 

Siebenkaes had the right to appeal ; he could with 
ease adduce evidence of his name and wardship through a 
duly matriculated Leipzig notary. All he wanted was 
the worktool — the weapon for the fight, which was also 
the subject of it — to wit, money. During the ten days 
which the appeal (foetus-like) had wherein to come to 
maturity, he went about sickly and thoughtful. Each of 
these decimal days exercised upon him one of the persecu- 
tions of the early Christians and decimated his hours of 
happiness. To apply to his Leibgeber, in liayreuth, for 
money, the distance was too long and the time too short ; 
for Leibgeber, to judge by his silence, had probably leapt 
over many a mountain on the leaping-pole, the climbing- 
spurs, of his silhouette-clipping. Firmian cast everything 
to the winds, and went to his old friend, Stiefel, that he 
might comfort himself and tell all the story. Stiefel fumed 
at the sight of marshy bottomless paths of the law, and 
pressed upon Siebenkses the acceptance of a pair of stilts 
whereon to traverse them, namely, the money necessaiy 
for the appeal. Ah ! this to the disconsolate, longing, 
Schulrath was almost tantamount to another clasp of 
Lenette's beloved, clinging hand ; his honest blood, coagu- 
lated by all these days of mere icy cold, thawed once more 
and began to flow. It was through no cheating of his 
sense of honour that Firmian, who preferred starving 
to borrowing, at once accepted Stiefel's money, looking 
upon each dollar as a little stone wherewith to pave the 
path of the law, and so pass over it unbemired. His 



CHAP. X.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 323 

principal idea was that he would soon be dead, and that, 
at all events, his helpless widow would have the enjoy- 
ment of his inheritance. 

He appealed to the Supreme Court and ordered another 
instrument to be drawn up in Leipzig. 

These fresh nail-scratches of fortune, on the one hand, 
and Stiefel's kindness and money, on the other, laid up a 
fresh accumulation of oxygenous, or acidifying, matter in 
Lenette, and, at the same time, the acid of her ill-humour 
became (as acids in general do) stronger in a time of frost, 
and on this subject I shall here communicate the few 
meteorological observations which I have to make. 

They are as follows : — Since the misunderstanding with 
Stiefel, Lenette was mute the whole day long, recovering 
from this lingual paralysis only in the presence of stran- 
gers. I presume there must exist some physical cause for 
the phenomenon that a woman is frequently unable to speak 
except in the presence of strangers, and we should be able 
to discover the reason of the converse phenomenon, that a 
mesmerized subject can converse only with the mesme- 
rizer or with persons who are en rapport with him. In St. 
Kilda everybody coughs when a stranger arrives in the 
island, and although coughing is not exactly speaking, per- 
haps, yet it is a preliminary whirring of the wheels of the 
mechanism of speech. This periodic or intermittent dumb- 
ness, which, perhaps, like the non-periodic or continued 
form of the complaint may be the result of the suppres- 
sion of (surface) outbreaks, is nothing new to the medical 
world. Wepfer mentions the case of a paralytic woman 
who could say nothing except the Lord's Prayer and the 
Creed ; and cases of dumbness are of frequent occurrence 
in matrimonial life, in which the wife can say nothing to 
the husband beyond a word or two of the extremest 
necessity. There was a fever-patient at Wittenberg who 
couldn't speak a word the whole day long except between 
12 and 1 o'cluck; and we meet with plenty of poor dumb 
women who are only in a condition to speak for about a 
quarter of an hour in the course of the day, or can just 
manage to get out a word or two in the evening, and ar< 
obliged to have recourse to dumb-bells by way of helping ou t 
their meaning, using for that purpose plates, keys, and doors, 

T2 



324 JEAN PAUL FRIEDEICH EICHTER. [BOOK III. 

This dumbness, at last, so worked upon poor Siebenkaea 
that he caught it himself. He mimicked his wife as a 
father does his children for their good. His satiric 
humour often had a good deal the appearance of satiric 
i7Z-humour ; but this was done with the sole view of 
keeping himself at all times perfectly calm and cool. 
"When chamber-wenches distracted him most utterly as he 
was in the depths of his auctorial sugar-refinery and beer- 
brewery, by converting (with Lenette's assistance) his 
room into a regular herald's chancellery and orator's 
tribune, he could always bring his wife, at all events, 
down from the platform by striking three blows on his 
desk with his bird-sceptre (this was by virtue of an 
arrangement which he had come to with her on the 
subject). Also, on the many occasions when he would 
find himself sitting over against these talking Cicero- 
heads, powerless to frame an idea, or to write a line, and 
regretting the loss (not so much to himself as to the innu- 
merable mass of persons of the highest condition and 
intelligence) of the thousands of ideas which were thus 
abstracted by these adepts in the art of talk — he could 
give a Lemendous thump with hia sceptre-ruler, upon the 
table, such as one gives to a pond to make the frogs cease 
croaking. What pained him most with regard to this 
robbery of posterity was the thought that his book would 
go down to it shorn of its fair and due proportions as a 
consequence of all this fugitive chatter. It is a beautiful 
thing that all authors, even those who deny the immor- 
tality of their own souls, seldom have anything to say 
against that of their names. As Cicero declared that he 
would believe in the second life, even were there none, they 
cleave to a belief in the second, eternal, life of their names, 
however their critics may demonstrate the contrary. 

Siebenkses now most distinctly intimated to his wife, 
that he should not speak any more at all, not even con- 
cerning matters of the utmost necessity, and this because 
he simply could not and would not be distracted or chilled 
in the fervour of composition, by long angry discussions con- 
cerning talking, washing, or the like, neither be induced 
to lose his temper with her about such matters. Any 
given matter of perfect indifference can be spoken of in ton 



CHAP. X.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 325 

different tones and mistones, and, therefore, with the view 
of not depriving his wife of whatever enjoyment she might 
derive from speculating as to the tones in which things 
were capable of being said, he gave her to understand that 
for the future he would speak to her only in writing. 

I am ready, here, with an explanation of the fullest de- 
scription as to this proceeding. That grave and earnest 
person, the bookbinder, was exercised in his mind, all through 
the ecclesiastical year, by nothing to such an extent as by 
the conduct of his " Eascal," as he styled his son, a bit of 
a mauvai8 sujet, who was a better hand at reading a book 
than at binding one — always clipping the edges askew, or 
cropping them too closely, or doubling or halving the 
dimensions of the damp sheets by screwing the press too 
tight. Now these were matters of a sort which his father 
could by no means endure, and he lost his temper over 
them to such an extent that he would not speak to this 
child of the devil and his realm, not so much as a syllable. 
Such sumptuary laws and golden rules connected with 
bookmaking, therefore, as he had to communicate to his 
son he delivered to his wife, in her capacity of post- 
mistress, and she (using her needle by way of rod of 
office) would then get up in her distant corner of the 
room and transmit the commands of the father to the son, 
who would be planing away at no very great distance. 
The son, who had to deliver all Ms questions and answers 
to the postmistress in the same manner, approved of this 
arrangement most thoroughly ; his father's tongue gave 
much less trouble than before. The father got into the 
habit of this system and ceased to treat of anything by 
word of mouth, no matter what. He even got to trying to 
express his views concerning his son's proceedings by 
means of looks, darting burning glances at him, like a 
lover, as he sat opposite to him. An eye full of glances, 
however (notwithstanding the fact that there are ocular 
letters, as well as palatals, labials, and glossals), is at best 
but a box of confused pearl type. But as, by good fortune, 
the invention of writing, and the institution of the post- 
office have enabled a man, who iff drifting round the North 
Pole on a slab of ice, to communicate with another who ia 
sitting in a palm-tree amidst parrots in the torrid zone 



326 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RJ.CHTER. [BOOK III 

— this father and son (when, thus divided, the} 7 sat opposite 
to one another at the work-table) were provided with a 
means of sweetening and lightening their separation by 
help of an epistolary correspondence carried on across the 
table. Business letters of the utmost importance were 
conveyed from one to the other unsealed, and in complete 
safety, for the mail bags, the mail-packet of this penny- 
post, consisted of a pair of fingers. The interchange of 
letters and couriers between these two silent powers took 
place over roads so smooth, and by such an admirable 
system of " Poste aux Anes " without interruption and free 
from all delay, that the father could, without difficulty, 
receive a reply on a subject of importance from his corres- 
pondent within one minute of its despatch (such was the 
facility of communication), in fact, they were quite as near 
to one another as if they had been next door neighbours. 
I would here beg any traveller who may visit Kuh- 
schnappel before I do so to saw off the two corners of the 
table, of which the one served as Bureau d 'Intelligence to 
the other, put both these bureaux in his pocket and exhibit 
them to the curious in some great city or company — or to 
me in Hof. 

Siebenkses partially copied the bookbinder's system. 
He cut out brief letters of decretal in anticipation, to be 
ready for the occasions when they should be required. If 
Lenette put an unforeseen question to which there wasn't 
an answer in his letter-bag, he would write three lines and 
pass them across the table. Such notes of hand or orders 
in council as had to be renewed daily, he ordered the return 
of in a standing requisition, so as to save paper, and not be 
obliged to write a fresh order on this subject every day ; 
for he merely passed this particular paper back across the 
table again. But what said Lenette to all this ? I shall 
be better able to answer this question after relating what 
follows here. There was only one occasion on which he 
spoke in this deaf and dumb institution of a house of his ; 
it was while he was eating salad out of an earthenware- 
dish, which had poetical as well as pictorial flowers on it 
by way of ornament. Lifting the salad with his fork, he 
disclosed to view the little carmen which bordered this 
dish, and which ran as follows : — 



CHAP. X.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 327 

" Peace feeds, but strife 
Consumes our life." 

Whenever he lifted up a forkful of his salad, he was in 
a position to read one or the other foot of this didactio 
poem ; and he did so aloud. 

" Well, and what said Lenette to all this?" we inquired 
above. Not a word, I answer. She wasn't going to let 
his sulks and silence diminish hers in the slightest degree, 
for in the end it seemed clear to her that he was holding 
his tongue out of sheer ill-temper, and she wasn't going to 
be outdone by him in that respect. And, in fact, he carried 
matters further and further every day, continually passing 
new broken tables-of-the-law across the table to her, or 
carrying them round to her side. I shall not catalogue 
the whole of them, but merely quote a few specimens, e. g. 
' The Forty-eight-pounder Paper ' (he gratified himself by 
continually inventing new titles for these missives), of 
which the contents were : " Stop the mouth of that tall 
sewing creature there, who sees perfectly well how busy I 
am with my writing, or I shall seize her by that throat 
with which she's haiting me." 

" The ' Official Gazette ' paragraph :" — " Let me have a 
little drop of some of your dirty wash- water; I want to 
get the ink off these raccoon paws of mine." " The Pas- 
toral Letter :" — " I want to get a glance or so at ' Epictetus 
on what Man has to endure,' could I find a moment of some 
sort of peace ; don't disturb me." " The Pin-paper :" — " I 
happen to be in the middle of a satire, of the hardest and 
severest nature, on the subject of women ; take that screech- 
ing bookbinderess down stairs to the hairdresseress, and 
yell away there as sprightlily as ye have a mind." " Tor- 
ture-bench Note," or rather " Folio :" — " I have held out, 
this forenoon, through well-nigh as much as is possible ; 1 
have fought my course through besoms, feather-dusters., 
women's bonnets, and women's tongues. Is there no bopp> 
that, now that evening is falling, I may have a little, brief 
hour of peace, in which to try to get some slight idea of the 
sense of these terrible Acts of Parliament before me here ?" 
Nobody can convince me that it was any blunting of the 
stings of these vioiting cards of his (which he left upon her 
so very frequentty), that he occasionally translated writing 



328 JEAN PAUL FRIEDEICH RICHTER. [BOOK 1IL 

into speech, and when other people were present, jested 
with them concerning cognate subjects. Thus he said on 
one occasion to Meerbitzer, the hairdresser, in Lenette's 
presence, " Monsieur Meerbitzer, it's incredible what my 
housekeeping costs in the course of the year. Why, that 
wife of mine, there as she stands, gets through half-a-ton 
of food or so by herself alone, and" (when she and the 
barber both beat their hands together above their heads) 
" so do I, too." He showed it to Meerbitzer, printed in 
Schotzer's book, that every one does consume about that 
quantity of sustenance in the course of the year ; but did 
anybody in that room fancy such a thing was possible ? 

Ill-will towards a person is a kind of catalepsy of the 
mind, and so is sulking ; and in this mental catalepsy, as 
in the bodily, every limb remains immovably fixed in the 
position which it chanced to be in when the attack came 
on. Moreover, mental catalepsy has this feature in com- 
mon with corporeal — that women are more subject to it 
than men. Consequently the only effect upon Lenette of 
her husband's little joke (which had the outward semblance 
of being a piece of ill temper, although it was in reality 
only carried on with a view to the complete maintaining 
of his own calmness and self-control) was to redouble her 
stiffness and chilliness. Yet how very little she would 
have minded it had she but seen Stiefel even once in the 
course of the week, and had not the cares connected with 
those house expen>es of hers (which melted down and 
swallowed up all the pewter-plattery of the eagle's perch) 
decomposed and dried up the veiy last drop of happy warm 
blood in her wretched heart. Ah ! sorrow-laden soul ! 
But, as things were, there was no help for her, nor any 
for him whom she so terribly misunderstood. 

Poverty is the only burden which grows heavier in pro- 
portion to the number of dear ones who have to help to 
bear it. Had Firmian been alone, he would scarcely have 
so much as glanced at the holes and ruts in the streets of 
life ; for destiny lays down little piles of stones for us every 
thirty steps with which we may fill the holes up. And he 
had a haven of refuge, a diving-bell, to fly to in the strongest 
gale tnat might blow — in the shape of his watch (to say 
nothing of his glorious philosophy), which he could always 



CHAP. X.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN IIECES. 329 

turn into cash. But that wife of his, and all her funereal 
music and Kyrie Eleisons, and a thousand things betides, 
and Leibgeber's inexplicable silence, and his growing 
ill-health — the continual immixture of all these impure 
matters into the breeze of his life converted it into a sultry, 
unnerving sirocco blast — a wind which creates in a man a 
dry, hot, sickly thirst, which often makes him put that into 
his breast which soldiers put into their mouths to cure 
bodily thirst, namely, cold powder and lead. 

On the 11th of February, Firmian sought relief. 

On the 11th of February, Euphrosyne's day, 1767, Le- 
nette was born. 

She had often mentioned this to him, and oftener yet to 
her sewing- customers. However, he would have forgotten 
all about it but for the Superintendent-General Ziethen, 
who had printed a book in which he reminded him of the 
11th of February. The superintendent had given due 
notice, in this work of his, that on the 11th of February, 
1786, a segment of South Germany would be sent down, 
by an earthquake, into the realms below, like so much corn 
laid by a summer storm. As a consequence, the Kuh- 
schnapplers would have been lowered, upon the dropped 
coffin-cords or lowered drawbridges of sinking soil, into 
hell by entire companies at a time, instead of going there 
as single envoyes, as theretofore was the usage. However, 
nothing came of all this. 

On the day before the earthquake, and before Lenette's 
birthday, Firmian repaired to the lifting-crane — the spring- 
board of his soul — namely, the old height where his Henry 
had taken his farewell. The forms of his friend and wife 
stood, dim and vague, before his soul's sight. He thought 
upon the circumstance that since his friend had left him there 
had been about the same number of ruptures and divisions 
in his married life as, according to Moreri, took place 
in the Church from the time of the Apostles down to 
Luther's days, namely, 124. Labourers, innocent and 
simple, silent and happy, were smoothing the spring's path. 
rJ e had passed by gardens where they were clearing the 
moss and the autumn-leaves away from the trees — by 
beehives and vine-stocks being transplanted, cjeaned, 
pruned — by osiers being trimmed and dressed. The sun 



330 JEAN PAUL FKIEDEICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

shone bright and warm over the land, all rich with buds ; 
and suddenly he was struck by one of these sensations 
•which often come upon imaginative men — and this is why 
these are somewhat apt to be a little fanciful and visionary 
— it seemed to him as if his life dwelt, not in a bodily 
heart, but in some warm and tender tear, as if his heavy- 
laden soul were expanding and breaking away through 
j*ome chink in its prison, and melting into a tone of music 
— a blue aether wave. 

" I must and will forgive her, on her birthday," cried 
his softened heart and soul ; " I have little doubt that I 
have been too hard upon her all this time." He resolved 
that he would have the Schulrath into the house, and the 
calico-gown beforehand, and make her a birthday present 
of the pair, and of a new sewing-cushion. He grasped his 
watch-chain and pulled out that Elijah's and Faust's 
mantle, which was to bear him away over all his ills 
by being converted into cash. He went home with every 
corner of his heart glowing with sunshine, artfully made 
his watch stop, and told Lenette he must take it to 
the watchmaker's to be repaired (and indeed its move- 
ments hitherto had been like those of the planets above us, 
a forward movement at the beginning of the terrestrial or 
clock-day, afterwards stationary, and latterly retrograde). 
In this fashion he concealed his projects from her. He took 
the watch himself to the market-place and sold it, though 
he knew very well he would never be able to write with 
comfort unless it was ticking on his table (like the noble- 
man mentioned by Locke, who could only dance in one 
particular room, in which there was an old box standing). 
Also, in the evening, the redeemed, checked shirt-of-blood, 
or seedbag of evil weeds, was clandestinely introduced 
into thp house. Towards evening Firmian went to the 
Schulrath, and with all the warmth of his eloquent heart 
told him of his resolve and everything connected with it — 
the birthday, the return of the calico, his request to Mm to 
come and see them again, his own imminent death, and 
his resignation to everything. Warm breath of life was 
breathed into Stiefel, long languishing in absence and 
love (which, together, had gnawed him into paleness, as 
lime does the shadows of a fresco), when he heard that on 



CHAP. X.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 331 

the morrow the beloved voice of his Lenette, longed for 
during all this weary time (she could hear his, hy-the-by, 
in church, of course), would once more stir the chords of 
his being. 

I must here just glance at a defence, for a moment, 
as well as an accusation. The former relates to my hero, 
who seems rather to have rumpled his honour's patent of 
nobility to a greater or less extent, by having made this 
request to Stiefei; but, then, we must consider that his 
intention in making it was to do a great kindness to his 
suffering wife, and a small one to himself. The fact is, 
that the very strongest and roughest of men cannot hold 
out in the long run against the everlasting feminine 
sulking and undermining. For the sheer sake of a little 
peace and quietness, a man who may have sworn a thou- 
sand oaths before marriage that he would have his own 
way in that condition of life, comes, in the long run, to let 
his wife have Tiers. The remainder of Siebenkaes' conduct 
I have no need to defend, since 'tis not possible to do so, 
but only necessary. The accusation to which I alluded is 
against my own fellow-labourers, and it is — that they differ 
so widely in their romances from this Biography and from 
real life, in describing the ruptures and reconciliations of 
their characters as being possible, and as actually occur- 
ring, in periods of time so brief that one might stand by 
and time them with a stop-watch in one's hand. But 
a man does not break with a person he loves all in an 
instant; the rendings alternate with little re-bindings 
with bands of silk and flowers, till at length the long 
alternation between seeking and shunning ends in com- 
plete separation, and it is then, and not till then, that we 
wretched creatures are at our wretchedest. The same is 
generally true of the union of souls ; for though at times 
an unseen infinite Arm seems suddenly to press us upon 
some new heart, yet we have always long known this 
heart, in the Gallery of the Saints of our longing devo- 
tion — and often taken the picture down, uncovered, and 
adored it. It became impossible to Firmian (sitting in 
the evening in his lonesome chair of anxiety and sus- 
pense) to keep all that love of his waiting with any sort 
of patience for the morrow. The very restraint which 



332 JEAN PAUL FKIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IIL 

was upon him made his love wax warmer ; and when his 
old familiar fear — that he would die before the equinox 
came round — fell upon him, it terrified him more than it 
was wont; but not the thought of death. What shook 
him was the idea of Lenette's difficulties, and how she 
would ever find the money requisite for the performance 
of the final trial, the anchor-proof* of his humanity. As 
it chanced, he had plenty of money among his fingers 
at this very moment. He sprang up and ran that very 
evening to the manager of the corpse lottery, so that, at 
all events, his wife should be entitled to a capital of fifty 
florins at his death, and be able to cover his body de- 
cently over with a little earth. I don't know the exact 
sum he paid; but I am quite accustomed to embarrass- 
ments of this description, which novel-writers, who can 
invent any sum they please in a case of this sort, have 
no idea of, but which are exceedingly troublesome to a 
writer of actual biography, who does not put down any- 
thing which he is not in a position to substantiate by 
documentary evidence, and a reference to records. 

On the morning of the 11th of February, that is to say 
on the Saturday, Firmian entered his room, feeling very 
tender-hearted (for every illness and weakness softens our 
heart — loss of blood, for instance, and trouble), and all 
the more so because he was looking forward to a kindly, 
peaceful day. We love much more warmly when we are 
looking forward to making somebody happy than we do 
half an hour after, when we have done it. It was as 
windy this morning as if the gales were holding tourna- 
ment, or riding at the ring, or as if iEolus were shooting 
his winds out of air-guns. Hence many people thought 
either that the earthquake was beginning, or that a few 
people here and there had hanged themselves for fear of 
it. Firmian met a pair of eyes in Lenette's face, from 
which, even at that early hour, there had fallen a warm 
blood-rain of tears, on this first of her days. She had not 
in the slightest degree guessed at his tenderness towards 
her, or at that which he had in his mind. She had had 
no thought of anything of the kind ; her only idea had 

* The anchor proof consists in casting the anchor forcibly down upon 
ft deep hard bottom. 



CHAP. X.J FLOWER, FEUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 333 

been, " Ah, me ! since nay poor father and mother have 
been dead and gone, there is not a soul that ever re- 
members I have a birthday." Something or other was 
evidently pre-occupying her. She looked once or twice, 
very inquiringly, into his eyes, and seemed to be making 
up her mind to something ; so he put off for a time the 
outpouring of his full heart, and the unveiling of his two- 
fold birthday-present. At last she came up to him slowly, 
with the colour in her face, tried in a troubled way to 
get his hand into hers, and said, with downcast eyes, in 
which, as yet, there were no tears, " We will be friends 
again to-day. If you have hurt me, and given me a little 
pain, what I want is to forgive you from my heart. Do 
you the same to me." This address rent his warm breast 
in twain, and at first all he could do was to be dumb, and 
clasp her in this silence to his o'er-fraught heart, saying, 
after a time, " Forgive thou me only ! for, ah ! I love the© 
far more than thou lovest me." And here, at the thought 
of bygone days, the heavy tear-drops rose from the 
depths of his laden heart, and flowed, silent and slow, as 
the deep streams flow. She gazed at him much astonished, 
saying, " We are going to be friends, then, are we, to-day? 
and it is my birthday. But, ah, me ! it is a sad, sad 
birthday, too." It was only at this point that he remem- 
bered his birthday-present. He ran and brought it — that 
is to say, the oushion, the calico-dress, and the news that 
Stiefel was coming in the evening. At this she began to 
shed tears, and said, "Ah! did you really do all this 
yesterday ? And you remembered that this was my birth- 
day ? Oh ! it was so kind of you, and I do so thank you 
for it ; particularly — particularly— for the delightful — 
cushion. I never thought you would remember anything 
about my wretched birthday at all I " His manly, beau 
tiful soul, which kept no watch upon its enthusiasm (aa 
women's do), told her everything, including the fact that 
he had joined the corpse-lottery the day before, so that 
Bhe might be able to put him under ground at less ex. 
pense. Her emotion became as strong and as visible as his 
own. " No, no," she cried at length, " God will preserve 
you; but, then, there's this terrible day; who knows if 
we shall ever see another morning. Tell me, what does 



334 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IIL 

Mr. Stiefel think about the earthquake ? " " Don't dis- 
tress yourself on that score," said Firmian ; " he says there 
won't be anything of the kind." 

Keluctantly he let her away from his glowing heart. 
Until he went out into the free air (for writing was utterly 
impossible) he gazed continually upon her bright, shining 
face, whence all the clouds were quite cleared away. He 
practised upon himself an old trick he had (which I have 
learnt from him) ; when he wished to love some dear 
person very dearly, and forgive him everything, he looked 
long on his face. For we (that's to say he and I) see in a 
human face, when it is old, the finger-board, the counting 
board, of all the bitter pains and sorrows which have 
passed so rudely over it ; and when it is young, it is like 
a bed of flowers on the slope of a volcano, whose next 
eruption will split it into shivers. Either the future or 
the past is written on every face — making us gentle and 
tender, if not sad. 

Firmian would have been delighted to have held his 
new-found, restored Lenette to his heart all the day long ; 
at all events till evening came ; but her house -work and 
other occupations were so many bars' rest in this music, 
and her lachrymal ducts were sources of appetite, as well 
as of tears. And she had not the courage to question him 
concerning the metallic source of his gold-bearing stream, 
upon whose gentle waves she was floating now. But her 
husband gladly divulged the secret of the sale of his 
watch. The actual estate of matrimony was to-day to 
him what the pre-nuptial period is always — a ajmbale 
d'amour — having a sounding-board at each of its faces 
which doubles, not the strings of the instrument, but the 
tone of those it has. The entire day was like a piece cut 
out of the full moon, unclouded by the slightest haze, or 
rather out of the second world, into which the people of 
the moon themselves proceed. Lenette, in her morning 
glow, was like the (so-called) Moss of Violet Stone — the 
Iolite — which gives out the perfume of a miniature-bed 
of violets, if you but rub it till it gets a little warm. 

At evening finally appeared the Eath, all a-shake with 
agitation. He looked just the least bit haughty, but 
when he tried to wish Lenette many happy returns of 



CHAP. XI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 335 

the day, lie could not do it for tears, which were in his 
throat quite as much as in his eyes. His embarrassment 
served to conceal hers ; but at length the opaque mist 
cleared away from among them, and they were able to 
look at one another. And then they were very happy ; 
Firmian forced himself to be so ; the other two required 
no constraining. 

The heavy storm-clouds, then, ceased for a time to hang 
and sweep so low, as they had been doing of late, over 
their comforted, softened hearts. The boding comet of 
the future was shorn of its sword, and went sweeping 
on, far brighter and whiter, into the blue expanse of 
heaven, passing athwart more brilliant constellations. 
And there came into their evening a brief letter from 
Leibgeber, of which the joy-bringing lines bedeck and 
adorn our hero's evening, as well as our next chapter. 

Thus did the quick, transient, quivering Flower-pieces of 
Fantasy mature in the brains of our triple alliance (as in the 
reader's own) into actual and living flowers of joy — as the 
fever-patient takes the flowers patterned upon his waving 
bed-curtain to be real and tangible forms. In truth, this 
winter night, like one of summer, would hardly quite cool 
down and die out on their horizon, and when they parted 
at midnight they said, "We have all had a very happy 
time." 



CHAPTER XI. 

leibgeber's disquisition on fame — firmian's "evening 

PAPER." 

S i T <N my last chapter I practised a deception on the reader 
ou\t of pure goodwill towards him; however, I must let 
hinA remain undeceived until he has read the following 
letter of Leibgeber's : — 
" MyIfirmian Stanislaus, " Vaduz > February 2, 1786. 

1" In May I shall be in Bayreuth, and you must be 
there W. I have nothing else of any consequence to write 
to yoii- now — however, this is quite important enough, 



386 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK III. 

namely, that I order you to arrive in Bayreuth upon the 
first day of the month of gladness, because I have some- 
thing of the most extraordinarily mad and important kind 
in my head concerning you, and that as sure as there is a 
heaven above us. My joy and your happiness depend on 
your making this journey. 1 would reveal the whole 
mystery to you in this letter if I were certain that it would 
fall into no hands but your own. Come ! You might travel 
in company with a certain Kuhschnappler, of the name of 
Rosa, who is coming to Bayreuth to fetch his bride home. 
But if (which God forbid) this Kuhschnappler be that 
Meyern, of whom you have written to me, and if the said 
goldfish is about to come swimming here to freeze (rather 
than to warm) his pretty bride with his dry, wizzened arms 
(as in Spain they put serpents, something like him, round 
bottles to cool them), I shall take care, as soon as I get to 
Bayreuth to give her a very distinct idea of him, and shall 
maintain that he's ten thousand times better than the 
Heresiarch Bellarmin, who committed adultery a great deal 
oftener during his career — two thousand two hundred and 
thirty-six times, to wit. I have the most anxious and 
heartfelt longing to behold the Heimlicher von Blaise ; 
were he but a little nearer at hand I should — (seeing that 
there's always something sticking in that throat of his 
which he has some difficulty in getting down, such as an 
inheritance, or somebody else's house and land), — I say, I 
should give him a good hard thwack every now and then 
in the small of his back (by way of a cure) and await the 
outcome — I mean, of the mouthful. I myself have been 
limping about the world in all directions, with my sil- 
houette scissors, and am now taking a little rest in Vaduz 
at a studious, bibliothecarian Count's, who really deserves 
that I should like him ten times better than I do. But, 
you see, my fondness for you is fully as much as my hearse 
can hold ; and (to speak in general terms') the human ra<*oe, 
and this green cheese of a world which it keeps on gnawing 
at, seem to me more and more rotten and stinking every 
day. I must say to you, ' Fame may go to the devil ! ' I 
think I shall decidedly dip down, disappear, and ge>t out 
of the way altogether, almost immediately, run right into 
the thick of the crowd, and come to the surface every week 



CHAP. XI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 337 

under a new name, so that the fools shan't know who I am. 
Ah ! there were a few years, once on a time, when I really 
did wish to be something — if not a great author, at least a 
ninth elector — to be mitred, at any rate, if not belaurelled 
— if not (now and then) to be a pro-rector, certainly (and 
very often) to be a dean. At that period of my life I should 
have been exceedingly delighted had I suffered the most 
atrocious tortures from gallstones, because I should have 
been able to erect (with those eliminated from my system) 
an altar or temple in my own honour, higher than the 

Eyramid mentioned by Ruysh in his ' Cabinet of Natural 
cience ' as having been constructed of the forty-two gall- 
stones of a certain noble lady. Siebenkass, in those days 
I could have gotten me a beard of wasps (as Wildau used 
to have one of bees) — a stinging beard of wasps, for nothing 
else but to become famous thereby. ' I quite admit ' (said I, 
at the period in question) ' that it is not accorded to every 
son of earth (neither should he expect it), as it was to Saint 
Eomuald (as Bembo mentions in his life of him), that a 
city shall beat him to death, merely to be enabled to filch 
his holy body by way of a relic ; but he may, I think, 
without being unduly conceited, entertain a desire that a 
few hairs, if not of his fur-coat (as of Voltaire's, in Paris), 
yet, at all events, of his head, may have the good luck to 
be plucked out as a souvenir by people who have a certain 
opinion of him. (Here I chiefly allude to the reviewers.)' 
" At the time in question I thought as above set forth, 
but now my views are far more enlightened. Fame is a 
thing altogether un .vorthy of fame. 1 was once sitting, on 
a cold, wet evening, on a boundary-stone, considering myself 
carefully, and I said, ' Now, is there really anything in the 
wide world that can be made of you? What is it? Have 
you any chance of becoming (like the deceased Cornelius* 
Agrippa) Secretary of State for War to the Emperor Maxi- 
milian, and Historiographer to the Emperor Charles the 
Fifth? Will you ever hoist yourself up to the position of 
Syndic and Advocate of the city of Metz, Physician in 
Ordinary to the Duchess of Anjou, and Professor of Theo- 
logy in Pavia ? Do you find that the Cardinal of Lorraine 
is as anxious to stand godfather to your son as he was to 
Agrippa's ? And would it not be ludicrous if you were to 
II. z 



338 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH BICHTER. [BOOK IIL 

give out (and give yourself airs about it) that a Margrave 
in Italy, and the King of England, the Chancellor Mercu- 
rius Galinaria, and Margarita (a Princess of Austria), had 
all wished to have you in their service in the same year ? 
Wouldn't it be ludicrous, and a lie into the bargain, to say 
nothing of the utter impossibility of the thing, seeing that 
all these people exploded into the sleeping-powder of death so 
many years before you flashed up in the shape of the priming 
and detonating powder of life ! In what well-known work 
(let me ask you) does Paul Jovius style you a portentosum 
ingenium f What author reckons you among the clarissima 
sui 8oeculi lumina ? If it had been the case that you stood in 
extraordinary credit with four cardinals and five bishops 
— with Erasmus, Melancthon, and Capellanus — wouldn't 
Schrockh and Schmidt have mentioned it, en passant, in 
their " History of the Eeformation " ? Even supposing that 
I were actually reposing side by side with Cornelius 
Agrippa under his great grove of shrubbery of laurels, the 
same lot would be mine and his ; we should both rot away 
in obscurity beneath the thicket, and it would be centuries 
before anybody came to lift the branches and take a look 
at us.' 

" It would do me no more good were I to go about the 
matter more knowingly, and have myself belauded in the 
4 Universal German Library.' I might stand for many a 
long year, with my wreath of bays round my hat in that 
chill pocket-Pantheon, in my niche amongst the great 
literati lying and sitting round me on their beds of 
state — we might all (I say) wait begarlanded there, all 
alone together in that Temple of Fame of ou^s for many a 
long year before a single soul came and opened the door, 
and looked in at us, or entered and knelt down before 
me ; and our triumphal car would be nothing but a wheel- 
barrow, on which our temple, with all its riches, should 
be whirled occasionally to a public auction. Yet I might, 
perhaps, soar above all that, and make myself immortal, 
could I but indulge a demi-hope that my immortality 
would reach the ears of any but those who are themselves 
as yet in this mortal life. But can it afford me the smallest 
gratification when I am compelled to perceive that it is 
exactly to all the most renowned and cele -/talnd of people, 



CHAP. XI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 339 

over whose faces the laurel is growing, year by year, in 
their coffins (as the rosemary does over humbler dead), 
that I can never be anything but an unexplored Africa — 
particularly to Shem, Ham, and Japhet; to Absalom and 
his father; to both the Catos, the two Anthonys, Nebu- 
chadnezzar, the Seventy Interpreters, and their wives ; t« 
the seven wise men of Greece ; even to mere fools, such as 
Taubmann and Eulenspiegel ? When a Henry IV., and 
the four Evangelists, and Bayle (who knows all the rest 
of the learned), and the charming Ninon (who knows them 
better still), and Job, the bearer of sorrows — or, at all 
events, the author of Job — don't know that there ever was 
such a thing as a Leibgeber on the face of the earth : when 
I am, and must ever remain, to a whole bj'e-gone world 
(i.e., six thousand years replete with great and grand men 
and nations), a mathematical point, an invisible eclipse, a 
wretched je ne sais quoi, I really do not see how posterity 
(in which there mayn't be so very much after all), or the 
next six thousand years, can do anything to speak of by 
way of compensation. 

" Besides, I cannot tell what description of glorious 
heavenly hosts and archangels there are upon other world- 
balls, and on the little spheres in the milky way — that 
paternoster bead-chaplet of world-balls — seraphs, com- 
pared to whom T cannot be looked upon as anything but 
a sheep. We souls do, it is true, progress to a consider- 
able extent, and ascend to loftier levels. Even here upon 
earth the oyster-soul develops into a frog-soul, the frog- 
soul into a cod-fish, the cod-fish into a goose, thence to a 
sheep, an ass — aye, or even an ape — and ultimately into a 
Bush Hottentot (for we can suppose nothing higher than 
that). But a peripatetic climax of this kind begins to 
cease inflating one with pride when the following reflection 
occurs to one. Among the various individuals which 
compose a species of animals (among whom there must 
certainly occur geniuses, good, sound, common-sense intel- 
ligences, and absolute blockheads), we find that we remark 
and take notice only of the latter, or, at most, of the 
extremes. No species of animals (considered collectively) 
is close enough to our retina to admit of our perceiving its 
delioate middle tints and gradations : and thus must it be 

z 2 



340 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

with us when some spirit, sitting in heaven, looks at us 
in the mass. He is so far away, that he will find some 
trouble (very vain trouble, too) in drawing a proper dis- 
tinction between Kant, and his shaving looking-glasses — 
the Kantists; between Goethe and his imitators; and will 
see little or no difference between members of faculty and 
dunces, professors' lecture-rooms and lunatic asylums ; for 
little steps are wholly lost to the sight of one who is 
standing on the uppermost of them. 

" Now this deprives a thinker of all pleasure and cou- 
rage ; and. Siebenkses, hang me if I ever sit down and 
grow one bit famous, or give myself the trouble either to 
build up or to pull down any learned or ingenious system 
whatever, or write anything at all of greater length than 
a letter. 

" Thy (not my) Self, 
"L. 

" P.S. — I wish it would please God to grant me a second 
life after this, that I might have the opportunity of dealing 
with a few realities in the next world ; for this one is really 
altogether too hollow and stupid ; a wretched Nurnberg 
toy ; nothing but the falling froth of a life ; a jump through 
the hoop of eternity; a rotten, dusty, apple of Sodom, 
which, splutter as much as I will, I can't get out of my 
mouth. Oh !— " 

To readers who think the above piece of humour not suffi- 
ciently serious, I shall prove, in another place, that it is too 
serious, and that it is only an oppressed heart which can jest 
in this fashion ; that it is only an eye which is in much 
too feverish a condition —with the fireworks of life darting 
round it like the flying fire-flashes which precede amaurosi$ 
— which is capable of seeing and picturing such fever-forms. 

Firmian understood it all, at the time in question at all 
events. But I must go back to the 11th of February, in 
order to half-deprive the reader of his sympathising enjoy- 
ment of the re-union of the trefoil of friends which then 
took place. Lenette's trembling petition that her husband 
would pardon her, was but the forced hot-bed fruit of Ziehen's 
earth-shaking prophecy. She thought that she herself, and 
the ground she stood upon, were about to be let down ; and 



CHAP. XI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 341 

it was at the near approach of death (whom she thought she 
already saw wagging his tiger's tail) that she held out to her 
husband a hand of Christian peace. For (and to) that beau- 
tiful soul of his (disembodied) hers wept tears of love and 
of rapture. But very probably she, to some extent, con- 
fused her happiness with her love — satisfaction with 
fidelity ; and (it may be suspected) the eagerness with 
which she was looking forward to enwrapping the Schul- 
rath, that very evening, in a warm and tender — gaze, 
found outward expression in the shape of an unusual 
degree of affection for her husband. It is here most es- 
sential that I should communicate to all and sundry per- 
sons one of the most valuable of all my maxims; in 
dealings with even the very best woman in the world, it 
is of the utmost importance that we should make exces- 
sively certain, and discriminate with the utmost accuracy, 
what it is which she really wants (at the time being), and 
particularly whom — (this is not always the person who is 
thus discriminating). There is in the female heart such a 
rapid coming and going, and fluctuation, of emotions of 
every kind ; such an effusion of many-tinted bubbles which 
reflect everything, but most particularly whatever chances 
to be nearest, that a woman, under the influence of emotion, 
shall, while she sheds a tear for you out of her left eye, 
go on thinking, and drop another for your predecessor or 
successor (as the case may be) out of her right. Also a 
feeling of tenderness for a rival falls half to a husband's 
share ; and a woman, even the most loyally faithful, weeps 
more at what she thinks than at what she hears. 

'Tis very stupid that so many masculine persons among 
us are stupid precisely on this point ; that a woman thinking 
(as she does) more of other people's feelings than of her 
own, is, in tliis matter, neither the deceiver nor the de- 
ceived ; what she is is the deception itself — the optical 
deception and the acoustic. 

But Firmians seldom make well-digested reflections of 
this sort concerning elevenths of February until the 
twelfth. Wendeline was in love with the Schulrath ; that 
was the fact of the matter. Like all women of any sense 
(in Kuhschnappel), she had believed in the superintendent- 
general, and in the kick he had administered to the earth, 



342 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

until Peltzstiefel, in the evening, unhesitatingly pronounced 
the idea of such a thing to be simply impious, when she 
abandoned the prophetic superintendent and gave in her 
adhesion to the incredulous worldling, Firmian. We all 
know that he had every bit as much of the masculine 
failing of overdoing consistency as she had of the feminine 
one of carrying inconsistency too far. It was foolish, there- 
fore, in him to think that he was going to regain, by 
means of one grand effusion of the heart, an affection em- 
bittered by so many small effusions of gall. The grandest 
benefits, the loftiest manly enthusiasm, are incapable of 
uprooting, all in an instant, a feeling of ill-will which has 
rooted itself all over a person's heart with a thousand 
little spreading fibres. The affection which we have de- 
prived ourselves of by means of a long-continued, gradual 
process of chilling, is only to be regained by an equally 
lengthy process of warming. 

In a word, it became evident in the course of a day or 
two that things were just as they had been three weeks 
before. Lenette's love had flourished and grown to such 
an extent, by reason of Stiefel's absence, that there was 
not room for it any longer under its bell-glass — it was 
shooting out leaves beyond the edge of it into the open- 
air. The Aqua Toffana of jealousy at last permeated every 
vessel in Firmian's body, flowed into his heart, and gnawed 
it slowly in pieces. He was but the tree on which Lenette 
had inscribed her love for another, and was withering by 
reason of the incisions. He had so hoped that the Schulrath, 
recalled to them on Lenette's birthday, would have healed 
all wounds, however deep ; or at all events cicatrized them 
over : whereas, what he really had done was to open them 
all wider than ever — all unconscious as he was of it. Ah ! 
what pain this was to the wretched husband ! He grew 
poorer and weaker, and more miserable — both outwardly 
and inwardly — as the days went by, and gave up all hope 
of ever seeing the First of May and Bayreuth. February, 
March, and April passed over head — all heavy, dripping 
clouds, without a single break of blue sky or blink of 
evening-red. 

On the 1st of April he lost his law-suit for the second 
time ; and on the 13th (Maunday Thursday) he finished, 



CHAP. XI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 343 

for ever, his • Evening Paper ' (this was the name he gave 
to his diary, because he wrote it of an evening), meaning 
to consign that, along with his ' Selections from the Devil's 
Papers ' (as far as they were completed) into Leibgeber's 
most faithful hands (at Bayreuth), in place of his body, so 
soon to vanish and be resolved into its elements. For, he 
thought, those hands would fanner clasp his soul (which 
was in the papers) than his poor meagre body — of which, 
du reste, Liebgeber always possessed a second unaltered 
edition (a perfect facsimile copy, so to speak) at all times 
at hand, in the shape of his own. I have no hesitation 
in here quoting, without emendation, the whole of this con- 
cluding page of the 'Evening Paper' — Firmian's 'Swan 
Sung,' which — which went off by the following post. 

" Yesterday, my law-suit was wrecked on the shoal of the 
Court of Appeal of the second instance. The defendant's 
counsel, and the Court, brought to bear upon me an old Sta- 
tute, of force in Kuhschnappel as well as in Bayreuth, which 
enacts that a deposition made before a notary is not valid 
— depositions having to be made before the Court. These 
two hearings of my case render the uphill path to the 
third a little easier. For my poor Lenette's sake I have 
appealed to the Lower House, my kind Stiefel advancing 
me the necessary cash. Truly, in applying to the oracles 
of Justice we have to fast and mortify, just as much as 
was de rigueur in consulting the heathen oracles of old. I 
have reason to hope that I shall be able to effect my escape 
from the clutches of the knaves of the State ;* or (shall I 
say), from these game-keepers and their couteauz de chasse, 
and hunting-spears or swords of Themis. I think I shall 
get through their hunting-tackle of legal proceedings, the 
toils, nets, and gins of their Acts of Parliament — not by my 
purse (which is fallen away to the thickness of an insect's 
feeler, and could be drawn, like a leather queue, through 
the smallest mesh in any of their legal nets) — but with my 
body, which, as it approaches the topmost of their nets 
will be turned into dust of death, and will then fly free 
through and over every trap they can set. 

* Servants were called "knaves" of old, and deserve the name 
pretty often at the present day. 



344 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK III. 

" I desire to lift my hand away from this, my evening 
paper, to-night for the last time, ere it becomes an absolute 
martyrology. If one could give away his life as a gift, I 
should be very happy to give mine to any dying person 
who would care to accept it. At the same time, let 
nobody suppose that because there chances to be a total 
eclipse of the sun above my head, I think, for a moment, that 
there must be one in America as well ; or that I imagine 
the Gold Cuast must be snowed up for the winter because 
a snowflake or two happen to be falling in front of my 
own nose. Life is warm and beautiful ; even mine was so 
once. If it must be that I am to melt away, even before 
these snowflakes, I beg of my heirs,- and of all Christian 
people, that they will not publish any part of my selection 
from the * Devil's Papers,' except that which I have copied 
out fair, which extends as far as the ' Satire upon Women ' 
(inclusively). And as regards this diary of mine, in which 
one or two satirical fancies crop out here and there, I beg, 
also, that not a single one of these may be put into print. 

" Should any curious inquirer into the history of this 
flay-and-night-book of mine be anxious to discover what 
the heavy weights, the nests, the clothes hung out to dry 
upon my branches, really consisted of, that they should so 
bend my top shoot and my branches down (and all the more 
curious to know it, inasmuch as I have written humorous 
satires) — (though, indeed, my sole object has been to nourish 
and support myself by help of these satire prickles of mine, 
absorbent vessels, to me, like those of the torch-thistle), I 
beg to inform him that he seeks to know more than I know 
myself, and more than I mean to tell. For man and the horse- 
radish are most biting when grated ; and the satirist is 
sadder than the jester, for the same reason that the Urang- 
Utang is more melancholy than the ape, namely, because he 
is nobler. If this paper does really reach your hands, my 
Henry, my beloved, and you wish to hear somewhat con- 
cerning the hail which has kept falling deeper and deeper 
upon my young seed-crop — count not the melted hail- 
stones, but the broken stalks. I have nothing left to give 
me joy, save your affection — everything else is battered 
down into ruin. Since, for more reasons than one,* it is 
* Lack of money and of health. 



CHAP. XI.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 345 

most unlikely that I shall ever come to you at Bayreuth, 
let us part, on this page, like spirits, giving each other 
hands of air. I detest the sentimental, but Fate has well- 
nigh grafted it on to me at last, in spite of myself, and 
I swallow great spoonsful of that satiric Glauber's salt, 
which is generally so good a remedy for it— as sheep, who 
have caught the rot from feeding in damp meadows, are 
cured by licking salt. I say I swallow great spoonsful, 
about the size of my prizes at the bird-shooting, without 
the least perceptible eifect. But, on the whole, it matters 
little. Fate, unlike our Sheriffs' Courts, does not wait 
until we are well before she inflicts her sentence. My 
giddiness and other premonitory symptoms of apoplexy, 
give me to understand, with sufficient clearness, that I 
shall soon be subjected to a good Galenian blood-letting,* 
by way of remedy for the nose-bleedings of this life. I 
cannot say that I am particularly glad of it, or anxious 
for it. On the contrary, I am annoyed with people who 
demand that Fate shall at once unswaddle them (for we 
are swaddled in our bodies, the nerves and arteries being 
the swaddling-bandrs) — as a mother does her infant just 
because it cries, and has a little pain in its stomach. I 
should be glad to remain swaddled for a whil© to come 
among the rest of the ' Children of the Bope,'")" particu- 
larly as I cannot but fear that, in the next world, I shall 
be able to make little or no use of my satirical humour. 
However, I shall have to go. But when that comes to 
pass, I should like to ask you, Henry, to come some day 
to this town, and make them uncover your friend's quiet 
face, which will scarce manage to put on the Hippocratic 
mien again. Then, my Henry, when you gaze long upon 
the grey, spotty, new moon-face there, and think that 
very little sunshine ever fell thereon — no sunshine of 
love, of fame, or fortune — you will not be able to look 
up to heaven, and cry out to God, 'And now, at last, 
after all his sorrows and troubles, Thou, God, hast 
annihilated him altogether ; when he stretched his arms, 
in death, towards Thee, and that world of thine, Thou hast 
broken him in sunder as he lies there — poor soul ! ' No, 

* One continued until fainting supervenes. 

f Persons condemned by the seore tribunals were so styled. 



846 JEAN PAUL FRIEDR1UII RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

Henry, when I die, you will be compelled to believe in 
Immortality. 

"Now that I have finished this 'Evening Paper' of mine, 
I am going to put out the light, for the full moon is 
shedding broad, imperial sheets of brightness into tho 
room. Then, as there is no one else awake in the house, 
I will sit down in the twilight stillness, and, while I gaze 
at the moon's white magic amid the black magic of night, 
and listen to great flocks of birds of passage as they come 
flying hither from warmer lands through the blue, clear 
moonlight — while I am passing away into a sister country — 
I will stretch my feelers out from my snail's shell once more 
before the last frost closes it up for ever. Henry, I want 
to picture to myself to-night, clearly and brightly, all 
that is now over and past ; the May of our friendship — 
every evening when we were too much moved by emotion 
and could not but fall into each other's arms — my hopes, 
so old and grey now that I hardly know them to be mine 
— five old, but bright and happy, springs which I still 
remember — my dead mother, who, when she was dying, 
gave me a lemon, which she thought would be put into 
her coffin, and said, ' Ah, 1 wish it were going into my 
bridal garland.' And I will picture to myself, also, that 
moment, now so near, of my own death, when thy image 
will rise before the broken sight of my soul for the last 
time — wheu I shall part from thee, and, with a dark, 
inward pang, which can no more bring a tear into my 
cold and glazing eyes, sink away from thy shadowy form 
into the dark, and from amid the thick and heavy clouds 
of death, call to thee with a faint and hollow cry, ' Henry, 
good-night ! good-night ! Ah, fare thee well ! for I can 
say no more.' " 

End of the • Evening Paper.' 



CHAP. XII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 347 



CHAPTEE XII. 

THE FLIGHT OUT OF EGYPT — THE GLORIES OF TRAVEL — THK 
UNKNOWN — BAYREUTH — BAPTISM IN A STORM — NATHALIE 

AND THE HERMITAGE THE MOST IMPORTANT CONVERSATION 

IN ALL THIS BOOK — AN EVENING OF FRIENDSHIP. 

Once, in the Easter week, when Firmian came home from 
a half-hour's pleasure-trip full of forced marches, Lenette 
linked him why he had not come back sooner, because the 
postman had been with a great, enormous packet, and had 
6aid that the husband must sign the receipt for it himself. 
In a small establishment like Siebenkae.s' an occurrence 
such as this ranks among the world's greatest events, or 
the principal revolutions in its history. The moments of 
waiting lay on their souls like cupping-glasses and drawing 
plasters. At length the postman, in his yellow uniform, put 
an end to the bitter- sweet hemp beating of their arteries. 
Firmian acknowledged the receipt of fifty dollars, while 
Lenette asked the postman who had sent them, and where 
they came from. The letter commenced thus : — 

" My dear Siebenkaes, 

" I have received your ' Evening Paper ' and ' Devil's 
Selections ' all safely. The rest by word of mouth. 

" Postscript. 
" But listen ! If the future course of my waltz of life 
is a matter of the slightest interest to you — if you care in 
the least degree about my happiness, my plans, or ideas 
— if it is anything to you but a matter of the supremest 
indifference that I frank you as far as Bayieuth, providing 
you with board, lodging, and travelling expenses — all on 
account of a project whose yarn the spinning-mills of the 
future must either manufacture into gin-snares and gallows- 
ropes (for my life), or else into rope-ladders and best bower 
anchor-cables — if this, and other matters more momentous 
still, have the smallest power over you, Firmian, for 

heaven's sake, on with a pair of boots and start ! " 

****** 

"And, by thy holy friendship!" said Siebenkass, "1 



348 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

will on with a pair, though the bolt of apoplexy should 
flash out of the blue sky of Swabia, and strike me down 
beneath a cherrv-tree in full blossom. Nothing shall 
prevent me now ! " 

He kept his word, for in six days from thence we find 
him, at eleven o'clock at night, ready for his journey, with 
clean linen on his back, and in his pockets — with a hat- 
cover on his head (secretly freighted and stuffed with an 
old soft hat) — his newest boots (the antediluvian pair s 
relieved from duty, being left behind in garrison) — and a 
tower-clock, borrowed from Peltzstiefel, in his pocket — 
and fresh bathed, shaven, and kempt, standing by his wife 
and friend — both of whom kept their eyes fixed, with a 
gladsome, courteous watchfulness upon the departing 
traveller only, and did not, for the time being, look at all 
at one another. He took his leave of the pair while it 
was still night, being minded to pass the rest of it in his 
arm chair (of many sorrows), and be off about three 
o'clock, while Lenette should still be snoring. He com- 
mitted to the Schulrath the office of treasurer-in-chief of 
the widow's fund to his grass-widow, and the manager- 
ship, or, at least, the '• leading business," of his miniature 
Covent Garden full of Gay's Beggar's Operas, the 
theatrical journal whereof I am here writing for the 
edification of a full half of the world. " Lenette," he said, 
" when you want any counsel, apply to the counsellor 
here ; he is going to do me the favour to come and see you 
very often indeed." Peltzstiefel made the most solemn 
promises to come every day. Lenette did not go down 
stairs to the door with the Schulrath when he went 
away, as she usually did, but remained above, and draw- 
ing her hand out of her replenished money-bag (the starved 
stomachic coats of which had hitherto been rubbing 
together), snapped it to. It is not of sufficient import- 
ance to be recorded that Siebenkaes asked her to put out 
the light, and go to her bed, and that he gave her charm- 
ing face his long parting kiss, and said good night, and 
took the tender farewell, almost within the Eden-gate of 
the land of dreams with that redoublement of fondness 
with which we take our leave of those we love, and 
greet them when we come back to them again. 



CHAP. XII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 349 

The watchman's last call at length drew him from his 
Bleeping chair out into the starlight, breezy morning ; but, 
first, he crept once more into the bed-room to the rose- 
maiden dreaming there, warm and happy, pulled the 
window to (for there was a cool air from it falling upon 
her unprotected breast), and would not suffer his lips to 
touch her in an awakening kiss. He gazed at her by 
the light of the stars and early blush of dawn, till he 
turned his eyes away (fast growing dim) at the thought, 
" perhaps I may never see her again." 

As he passed through the sitting-room, her distaff seemed 
to look at him as if it were a thing of life ; it was wrapped 
in broad bands of coloured paper (which she had put on it 
because she had not got silk) ; and there was her spinning- 
wheel, too, which she used to work at in the dark morn- 
ings and evenings when there was not light enough for 
sewing. As he pictured her to himself working indus- 
triously at them while he was away, every wish of his 
heart cried out, " Ah, poor darling ! may all go well with 
her, always, whether I ever come back to her or not." 

This thought of the last time grew more vivid still when 
he was out in the open air, and felt a slight giddiness 
produced, in the physical part of his head, by agitation 
and broken sleep, as well as natural regret at the sight 
of his home receding from view, and the town growing 
dimmer, and the foreground changing into background, 
and the disappearance of all the paths and heights on 
which he had so often walked a little life into his be- 
numbed heart, frozen by the past winter. The little leaf 
whereon, like a leaf roller, or miner-worm, he had been 
crawling and feeding, was falling now to earth behind him, 
a skeleton leaf. 

But the first spot of foreign, unfamiliar soil, as yet 
unmarked by any " Station of his Passion," drew, like a 
serpent-stone, an acrid drop or two of sorrow-poison out 
of his heart. 

And now the solar flames shot higher and higher up 
upon the enkindled morning clouds, till, at length, 
hundreds of suns rose in an instant in the sky, in the 
streams and pools, and in the dew-cups of the flowers, 
while thousands of varied colours went flowing athwart 



350 JEAN PAUL FEIEDRICH BICHTEE. |_BOOKI. IX « 

the face of earth, and one bright whiteness broke from 
the sky. 

Fate plucked away most of the yellow, faded leaves 
from Firmian's soul, as gardeners remove those of plants 
in spring. His giddiness diminished rather than other- 
wise as he went on ; the walking did it good. As the 
bun rose in heaven, another, a super-earthly sun, rose 
in his soul. In every valley, in every grove, on every 
rising ground, he broke and cast away a ring or two 
of the chrysalis-case of wintry life and trouble (which 
had been clinging so tightly to him), and unfolded his moist 
upper and nether wings, and let the breeze of May waft 
him away, on four outspread pinions, up into the bright 
air among the butterflies, but higher than they, and over 
loftier flowers. 

And then with what a burst of power the life within him 
began, under this new impetus, to boil and seethe, as, issuing 
from a diamond-mine of a valley all shade and dew- 
drops, he walked a pace or two up through the heaven- 
gate of the spring It was as if some great earthquake had 
upheaved a new-created flowery plain, all dripping from 
the ocean, stretching further than the eye could reach, all 
rich in youthful powers and impulses. The fire of earth 
glowed beneath the roots of this great hanging garden, 
and the fire of heaven flamed above it burning the colours 
into the trees and flowers. Between the white mountains, 
as between porcelain towers, stood the bright tinted, 
flowery slopes like thrones for the fruit goddesses. And 
all over the face of this great camp of gladness, the cups 
of the flowers and the heavy dewdrops were pitched, like 
peopled tents. The earth teemed with young broods, and 
sprouting grasses, and countless little hearts ; and heart 
after heart, life after life, burst forth into being from out the 
warm brooding-cells of Mother Nature — burst forth with 
wings, or silken threads, or delicate feelers — and hummed, 
and sucked, and smacked its lips and sang And for 
every one of these countless honeysucking trunks a cup 
of gladness had long since been filled and ready. 

In this great market-place of this living city of the 
sun, so full of glory and sounding life, the pet child of 
the infinite Mother stood solitary — gazing, with bright 



CHAP. XII. j FLOWEK, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 351 

and happy eyes, delighted, around him into all its innu- 
merable streets. But his eternal Mother wore her veil 
of immeasurable immensity, and it was only the warmth 
which pierced to his heart which told him that he was 
lying upon her breast. Firmian reposed from this two 
hours' intoxication of heart in a peasant's hut. The 
foaming spirit of a cup of joy like this went quicker to 
the heart of a sick man such as he than to those of the 
commoner run of sufferers. 

When he went out again the glory had sobered down 
into brightness, and his enthusiasm into simple happiness. 
Every red ladybird fluttering on its way, every red 
church-roof, and. every sparkling stream as it glittered and 
glistened with dancing stars, shed joyous lights and 
brilliant colours upon his soul. When he heard the cries 
of the charcoal burners in the wood, the resounding crack- 
ing of whips, and the crash of falling trees, and then, when 
coming out into the open, he saw the white chateaux and 
roads standing out against the dark-green background like 
constellations and milky ways, and above the shining 
cloud specks in the deep blue sky ; while lights flashed 
and darted everywhere, now down from trees, now up 
from streams, now athwart saws in the distance — there 
was no such thing as a foggy corner left in his soul, nor 
a single spot in it all unpenetrated by the spring sun- 
shine : the moss of gnawing, corroding care, which can 
grow only in damp shade, fell from his bread-trees and 
trees of liberty out here in the glad, free air, and his soul 
could not but join in the great chorus of flying and 
humming creatures which was rising all round him, sing- 
ing, " Life is beautiful, and youth is lovelier still ; but 
spring is loveliest of all." 

The bygone winter lay behind him like the dark, 
frozen South Pole ; the royal burgh of Kuhschnappel like 
some deep, dreary school-dungeon with dripping walls. 
The only spot in it over which broad, gladsome sunbeams 
were intertwining was his own home, and he pictured to 
himself Lenette in that home as commander-in-chief, free 
to talk, cook, and wash at her own sweet will, and with 
her head (and hands, too) full all day long of the delight 
that was coming in the evening. He was glad from the 



352 JEAN PAUL TOIEDRICH EICIITER. [BOOK III. 

very depths of his heart that, in that little egg-shell of 
hers, that sulphur-hut and chartreuse, she should enjoy 
the glory and brightness which that angel Peltzstiefel 
would bring with him into her St. Peter's prison. " Ah ! 
in God's name," thought he, " may she be as happy as I 
am — nay, and happier, too, if that be possible." 

The more villages he came to, with their troupes of 
strolling players (of inhabitants), the more did life in 
general seem to assume a theatrical guise — his past 
troubles were transformed into leading parts in the drama, 
or Aristotelian problems — his clothes into stage costumes 
— his new boots became loihurna — and his purse a theatre 
treasury — while a delicious stage-recognition was await- 
ing him in the arms of his beloved Henry. 

About half-past three in the afternoon, in a Swabian 
village, whose name he did not inquire, his whole soul 
melted of a sudden to tears, so that he was completely 
astonished at the unlooked-for and rapid attendriasement 
His surroundings at the time would have rather led him 
to anticipate a contrary effect. He was standing by an 
old thorn-tree, rather crooked, and dead at the top; the 
village women were on the green washing their clothes, 
which glistened in the sunlight, and throwing down 
chopped eggs and nettles to feed the downy, yellow gos- 
lings ; a gentleman's gardener was clipping a hedge, while 
a herd-boy was summoning his sheep (clipped already for 
their part) round the thorn-tree, with his cornemuse. It 
was all so youthful, so pretty, so Italian ! The beautiful 
May had half (or wholly) unclad everything and every- 
one — the sheep, the geese, the women, the shepherd-min- 
strel, the hedger, and his hedge. . . . 

Why was he thus moved to tenderness in this gladsome 
ind smiling scene ? Partly because he had been so happy 
all day, but chiefly by the shepherd bassoonist calling his 
flock together with that stage instrument of his beneath 
the thorn. Firmian had helped a shepherd of this sort, 
with a crook and a reed-pipe, to drive his own father's 
sheep home hundreds of times when he was a boy ; and 
the tones of the Banz des Vaches brought back in an instant 
his own rose-coloured childhood — it arose from out its 
dew of the morning, its bowers of budding blossoms and 



CHAP. XII.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 353 

sleeping flowers, and stood before him in heavenly guise, 
and smiled in all its own innocence dressed in its thousand 
hopes, saying, " Behold me ! see how lovely T am ; we 
used to piay together, you and I ; how much I used to 
give you ! — grand kingdoms, broad meadows, and gold, 
and a great, endless Paradise beyond the hills. But it 
seems you have nothing left now. And how pale you are, 
and worn I Come and play with me again !" 

Who is there amongst us to whom Music has not brought 
back his ohildhood a thousand times? She comes and says, 
"Are not the rosebuds blown yet which I gave you?" 
Yes, yes, they are blown ; they were white roses, though ! 

The evening made his joy-flowers close, folding their 
petals together above their nectaries ; and an evening dew 
of melancholy fell ever heavier and thicker upon his soul 
as he went on his way. Just before sunset he came to a 
village ; I am sorry to say I cannot remember whether it 
was Honbart, or Houstein, or Jaxheim ; but of this I am 
pretty certain, that it was one of the three, because it was 
near the Paver Jagst, and in Anspach, on the borders of 
Ellwangen. His night-quarters lay smoking down in the 
valley before him. Before going on into them he lay 
down on the hill-side beneath a tree, whose branches were 
the cathedral chancel of a choir of singing creatures. 
Not far from him gleamed the trembling tinsel of a piece 
of water, glittering in the evening sun ; and above him 
the gulden leaves and the white blossoms rustled like 
grasses waving over flowers. The cuckoo (always her 
own sounding-board and multiplying echo) talked to him 
from the tree-top in mournful tones of sorrow ; the sun 
was goue ; the shadows were throwing thick veils of crape 
over the brightness of the day. He asked himself, " Wliat 
is my Lenette doing now ? Of whom is she thinking ? 
Who is with her?" And here there fell about his heart, 
like a band of ice, the thought, " Ah ! but I have no loved 
one whose hand I can clasp ! " 

After drawing to himself a vivid picture of the tender, 
delicate, beautiful, woman whom he had so often invoked, 
but never met — to whom he would have given and sacri- 
ficed — oh ! so gladly — so much ! — not only his heart and his 
life, but his everv wish, his every whim — he went down the 

ii. 2 x 



354 JEA.N PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

hill with streaming eyes, which he strove in vain to dry ; 
but, at all events, any kind womanly heart (among the 
readers of this tale) which has loved in vain, or to its own 
detriment, will forgive him these burning tears, knowing, 
from sad personal experience, how the soul seems to 
journey on through a desolate wilderness, where the 
deathly Samiel wind blows ceaselessly, while lifeless forms 
lie scattered around, dashed to earth by the blast, their 
arms breaking from their crumbling trunks when the 
living touches them in act to clasp them to his own warm 
heart. But ye, in whose clasp so many a heart has grown 
cold, chilled by inconstancy or by the frost of death — ye 
should Qot mourn so bitterly as do those lonely souls who 
have never lost, because they have never found ; who yearn 
for that immortal and eternal love of which even the mortal 
and transient reflex has never been vouchsafed to bless 
them. 

Firmian carried with him into his night-quarters a 
tranquil, though a tender, heart, which healed itself in 
dreams. When he looked up from his slumbers, the con- 
stellations, set in his window as in a picture-frame, 
twinkled lovingly before his bright and happy eyes, and 
beamed upon him the astrological prophecy of a happy 
morrow. 

He fluttered, with the earliest lark, up out of the furrow 
of his bed, with as many trills as he, and quite as much 
energy. That day, fatigue plucking the bird-of-paradise 
wings from his fancy, he could not quite get out of the 
territory of Anspach. The day after, he reached Bam- 
berg, leaving on the right hand Nurnberg — that and its 
Pays Coutumier8 and Pays de Droit ecrit. His path led 
him from one paradise to another. The plain seemed to 
be one great mosaic of gardens ; the hills seemed to crouch 
closer to the earth, as if to let men the more readily climb 
up upon their backs and humps. The groves of deciduous 
trees were like garlands, twined and placed to adorn Na- 
ture on some great festal day ; and the setting sun often 
glowed through the trellis-work of some leafy balustrade 
on a hill-side, like a purple apple in some perforated fruit- 
vase. In one valley one longed to take one's mid-day 
sleep ; in another, one's breakfast ; in this stream, to see tha 



CHAP. XII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 355 

moon reflected when she stood in the zenith ; to see her 
rise behind this group of trees ; to see the sun rise out of 
that green trellised bed of trees at the Streitberg. 

When he arrived the next day at Streitberg, where all 
those delights could be indulged in at once, he might easily 
have seen the top of the spire of Bayreuth put on the 
blushing tints of the evening Aurora — unless he was a 
much worse walker than his historian ; however, he did 
not care to do so. He said to himself, " I should be an 
ass were I to go rushing, all dog-tired and dried up as I 
am, upon the first hour of a delicious reunion and meeting 
of this sort; neither he (Leibgeber) nor I would get a 
wink of sleep ; and what should we have time to talk 
about at this hour in the evening ? No, no, better wait, 
and get there the first thing in the morning, about six 
o'clock, and so have the whole day before us for our mil- 
lennium." 

Accordingly he passed the night in Fantaisie, an arti- 
ficial pleasure, rose, and flower-valley, half a mile from 
Bayreuth. I find it a very hard and difficult matter to 
reserve the erection of my paper model of this Seifersdorf 
miniature valley (which I should so much like to intro- 
duce at this point), until I find a roomier place for it than 
the present ; however, I can't help it, and should I not find 
such a place, there is sure to be ample space in the blank 
pages at the end of the book. 

Firmian started, then, in oompany with a body of bats 
and beetles — the advanced guard of a beautiful bright 
day — and bringing up the rear (so to speak) of the people 
of Bayreuth, who had just finished their Sunday and Feast 
of the Ascension (it was the 7th of May) : and he walkocl 
so late that the moon, in her first quarter, was castin<>- 
deep, strong shadows of the blossoms and branches upon 
the greensward. Thus late in the evening, then, Firmian 
climbed a height from whence he could look down, with tears 
of joy, to Bayreuth — where the beloved brother of his soul 
was waiting for him and thinking of him — as it lay softly 
veiled in the bridal night of spring, and broidered over with 
shining flakes of Luna's radiance. I can affirm in his name 
with a " Verily " that he nearly did what I should have 
done myself; that is to say, /, with a heart welling up in 

2 a 2 



356 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [LOOK III. 

such a warm sort of manner as his was, and on a night all 
so adorned and pranked out with gold and silver, should 
have made but one bound into the Sun Hotel, and into 
my Leibgeber's arms. However, he went back again into 
his odour-breathing Capua (Fantaisie), and there, in the 
brief intervening spar-e of time between his return and 
supper and evening prayer time, he met — beside a dried- 
n p water-basin or fish-pond, peopled by a race of deities 
transformed into stone — he met with nothing less than 
an exceedingly charming adventure. I proceed to give an 
account of it. 

Beside the wall which surrounded the little lake in 
question, there was a lady standing; she was dressed all 
in black except her veil, which was white; she had a 
bouquet of faded flowers in her hand, and was turning it 
over with her fingers. She was looking towards the west, 
that is to say, away from him, and seemed to be con- 
templating partly the confused mass of stone Suisseries, 
and the coral-ieef of sea-horses, tritons, and so on, and 
partly a temple, in artificial ruins, which was close by. 
As he passed slowly on he saw, by ,' side glance, that she 
threw a flower, not so much at as over him, as if this sign 
of exclamation were meant to rouse a pre- occupied person 
from his reverie. He looked round a little, just to show 
that he was really awake and observant, and went up to 
the glass-door of the artificially-ruined temple, in order 
to linger a little longer in the vicinity of this enigma. 
Inside the temple, facing him, there was a mirrored pillar, 
which reflected all the foreground and middle distance 
(including the fair unknown) in the green perspective of 
a long background. Firmian saw, in the mirror, the lady 
throw her bouquet at him bodily, and then roll an orange 
(which would not fly so far is the flowers) towards his 
ieet. He turned round with a smile. A soft voice cried 
m an eager, hasty way, " Don't you know me ?" He said, 
" No ; ' and ere he had added, more slowly, " I am a 
stranger," the unknown Lady Abbess had drawn near to 
him, and lifted the Moses veil rapidly from her face, and 
asked, in a louder tone, " Don't you, now?" And a female 
head which might have been sawn from the shoulders of 
the Vatican Apollo (only softened by some eight or ten 



CHAP. XII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 357 

feminine traits, and a narrower brow) glowed upon him 
like some bust illumined by the flare of a torch. But, on his 
repeating that he was a stranger, and when she examined 
him more closely, and without her veil, and let her gauze 
portcullis down again (which movements took altogether 
about as long as one beat of the pendulum of an astro- 
nomical clock), she turned away saying, " I beg your par- 
don," in a tone which expressed more womanly annoyance 
than embarrassment. 

A very little thing would have set him off to follow her 
in a mechanical sort of manner. He immediately set 
about adorning all Fantaisie with plaster-casts of her head 
(instead of the stone goddesses) — of her head, which had 
but three pleonasms in the face of it — too .much colour in 
the cheeks, too much curve in the nose, and too much wild 
fire (or rather material for kindling it) in the eyes. " That 
is the sort of head," he thought, " which would be well in 
its place in an opera-box, beside the sparkling one of some 
royal bride (ay, and hold its own there), and might contain 
all the wisdom it might deprive — other people of." 

One carries a magic adventure such as this into one's 
dreams with one, for it is like a dream itself. The month 
of May now stuck in little flower-sticks to all Firmian's 
drooping, trembling, joy-flowers (as she had done to Na- 
ture's), and lightly bound them to them. Ah ! with what 
brightness do even little joys beam upon the soul when it 
stands on some spot all darkened by clouds of sorrow — 
as stars shine out in the empty sky when we look up at it 
from a cellar or deep well. 

On the exquisite morning which followed, the earth rose 
with the sun. Siebenkaes had his friend of all time in his 
head and heart more than the unknown of yesterday ; 
although, at the same time, he took care that his path 
should lead him by the ocean, and the shell out of which 
that Venus had arisen — for mere curiosity's sake — which 
led to no result. And so he waded away through the 
moist radiance and cloudy vapour of the glittering silver- 
mine, tearing down in his passage the gossamer- wreaths 
all behung with seed-pearls of dew which hung upon the 
flowers ; brushing (in his eagerness to reach his Olympus 
of yesterday) the chilled butterflies and dew-drops from 



358 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

off the branches, all a-flutter with the insect swarms (the 
ke} r -board of a harmonica framed in flowers). He climbed 
to his place in the great " Auditorium " all delight at 
length. Bayreuth la}' behind a glowing drop-curtain of 
mist. The sun (in his character of " king" of this drama) 
stood on a hill-top, and looked down at this many-tinted 
curtain, which took fire and blazed, while the morning 
breezes caught and bore away its fluttering, sparkling, 
tinder fragments, and scattered them over the gardens and 
the flowers. And soon nothing save the sun was shining ; 
nothing round him now except the sky. Amid this radi- 
ance Siebenkaes made his entry into his dear friend's camp 
of recreation and head-quarter city, whereof all the build- 
ings looked as if they were a glittering, solider sort of 
air-and-magic castles fallen down from the sether. It was 
strange, but, on noticing certain window-curtains drawn 
in (which the street breeze had been toying with), he 
could scarcely help feeling certain that it was the " Un- 
known " of yesterday who was doing it, although at that 
time of the morning (it was barely eight o'clock) a Bay- 
reuth lady would have as little got through her flower- 
sleep as the red mouse-ear, or the Alpine hawksbeard.* 
His heart beat quicker at every street. It was quite a 
pleasure to him to lose his way a little, as to some extent 
delaying and adding to his happiness. At length he 
attained his perihelion — that is to say — reached the Sun 
(Hotel), where was the metallic sun which had attracted 
to it hi8 comet, as the astronomical sun does ccmets in 
general. He inquired the number of Leibgeber's room ; 
they said it was number 8, at the back of the house, but 
that he had gone that day on a trip into Swabia, unless he 
was still upstairs. Fortunately there just then came in 
from the street an individual who testified to the correct- 
ness of the latter hypothesis, and wagged his tail at sight 
of Siebenkaes — Leibgeber's dog to wit. 

To storm up the stairs, to burst open the door of joy, to fall 
upon the beloved breast, was the work of a single instant ; 
and then the barren minutes of life passed unseen and 
unheard by the close, silent union of two human creatures, 

* The former plant opens after eight in the morning, the latter at 
eleven. 



CHAP. XII.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 359 

who lay clinging together on the waters of life, like two 
shipwrecked brothers floating, embracing and embraced, on 
the chill waves, with nothing left them save the heart 
they die upon. . . . 

As yet they had not said a word to one another. Fir- 
mian, whom a longer continuance of troubles had made 
the weaker of the two, wept without disguise at sight of 
the face of his newly recovered friend. Heinrich's features 
were drawn as if by pain. They both had their hats still 
on. Leibgeber, in his emharrassment, could think of 
nothing to hold on to except the bell-rope. The waiter 
came running in. " Oh ! it's nothing ! " said Leibgeber ; 
" except, by the way, that I shan't go out now. Heaven 
grant," he added, " that we may get fairly into the thick 
of a long talk ! Drag me into one, brother !" 

He had no difficulty in beginning one with the pragmatic 
detailing of the Nouvelle du Jour — or rather de la Nuit — 
in short, the town (or, more properly speaking, the 
country) news of what had taken place on the previous 
day in the vicinity of the veil of the beautiful Je ne sais 
quoi. 

" I know her " (Leibgeber answered), " as I know my 
own pulse ; but I don't intend to say anything whatever 
about her just now. I should be obliged to sit still and 
wait here for such a time. Put the whole thing off till 
we are sitting in Abraham's warm bosom in the Hermitage, 
which is the second heaven of Bayreuth, next to Fan- 
taisie, — for Fantaisie is the first heaven, and the whole 
country is the third." 

They then made an ascent into heaven in every fresh 
street they came to, and also in every subject of conversa- 
tion which they fell upon. " You shall knock my head 
off its stalk like a poppy," said Leibgeber, on Firmian's 
betraying (I regret to say) as great a curiosity as the 
reader's own to know the secret, " before I transform my 
mysteries into yours, either to-day, 3r to-morrow, or the day 
after that. Thus much I will tell you, that your ' Selec- 
tions from the Devil's Papers ' (your ' Evening Journal ' 
contains matter more morbific) are perfectly divine, and 
very heavenly indeed, and not at all bad, and by no 
means without beauties ; but, on the whole (let us say), 



360 JEAN PAUL FRIEDKICH RICHTEE. [BOOK III. 

passable enough." Leibgeber then toldhitn how delighted 
he was with the work, and how it surprised him that he, a 
lawyer in a little country town, with nobody in it but a 
parcel of shopkeepers and juristic souls, with a sprinkling 
of higher officialities, should have managed to rise in these 
satires to such a freedom and purity of art; and, indeed, 
when I first read the ' Selections from the Devil's Papers,' 
I said, myself now and then, " I am sure I couldn't have 
written anything of the kind in Hof in Voigtland, and 1 
have written one or two pretty good, things there, too." 

Leibgeber placed a crown on the top of the laurel 
wreath by declaring that it was much easier for him to 
laugh at the world aloud, and with both lips, than under 
his breath and with the pen, and this in accordance with 
well-tried rules of art. Siebenkses was beyond himself 
with delight at his friend's praise. But let no one grudge 
a pleasure of this sort to our advocate, or to any other 
worker who, in solitude, and without a single soul to give 
him a word of prahe, has gone steadfastly forward along 
the path of art which he has honestly chosen, unsup- 
ported, unassisted by the smallest encouragement of any 
kind, whom, at last, on reaching the goal, the fragrance 
of a leaf or two of laurel from a friend'6 hand, penetrates, 
strengthens, and recompenses, with an aroma as of Araby 
the Blest. If even the far-famed and the self-satisfied stand 
in need of a little of the warmth which is derived from 
other people's opinions, how much more the diffident and 
the unknown ! Ah ! lucky Firmian ! to what a distanco 
in the far south-south-west did the passing thunder-storms 
of thy life now go drifting away. AY hen the sun fell upon 
them, nothing of them was to be seen but a gentle fall 
of rain. 

At the table d'hote he observed with delight, in the case 
of Leibgeber, how wonderfully a constant intercourse 
with men and cities loosens the tongue — though, at the 
same time, the heart puts on the bridle which has been 
taken from the lips. Leibgeber thought nothing of talk- 
ing about himself, and this in the most humorous 
manner, before all sorts of grand councillors of state and 
chancery officials dining at the Sun — a thing which he, 
a cabined, cribbed, confined parish advocate would scarce 



CHAP. XII.] FLOWER, FRUIT. AND THORN PIECES. 361 

have dared ever, after a good bottle of wine. As the 
discourse which he delivered on this occasion pleased 
the parish advocate, I shall build it into this history, and 
place over it the superscription — 

Leibgeber's Dinner Speech. 

" I think I may venture to say that of all the Chris- 
tians and persons of name and title seated at this table, 
not one was made into one with such wonderful diffi- 
culty as 1 was. My mother, a native of Gascony, 
■was on her way to Holland, by sea, from London, where 
she had left m} r father as diocesan of a German com- 
munity. But, never since there has been such a thing 
on the face of the earth as a councillor of the Ger- 
man empire, did the German Ocean rage and in surge 
so teirifically as upon the occasion in question when it 
Avas my mother's lot to he crossing it. Pour all hell, 
hissing lakes of brimstone, boiling copper, splattering 
devils, and all, into the cold ocean, and observe the 
crackling, the roaring, and the seething of the hell-flames 
and ocean -waves contending, till one of these hostile ele- 
ments swallow up the other, and you have a faint (but, 
at dinner-time, a sufficient) idea of the infernal storm 
in which I came upon the sea, and into the world. 
When I tell you that the main braces, the topsail sheets, 
and the main topgallant stays (to say nothing of the cross- 
jack braces and fore topgallant halyards, which were in 
a worse state still) — and when, moreover, the mizen 
topsail, and the foretop mast staysail rigging, and the 
flying jib (to say nothing of the spanker) — when things 
so accustomed to the sea as these (I say) felt as if their 
last hour was come, it was a real ocean miracle that a 
creature so tender as I was at that time should have 
managed to commence his first. I had about as much 
Jiesh on my body then as I have fat now, and may have 
weighed, at the outside, about four Kurnberg pounds, 
which (if we may credit the authority of the best ana- 
tomical theatres) is at the present moment about the weight 
of my brain alone. Besides which, I was the merest of 
beginners. I had seen absolutely nothing of the world, 
except this infernal gale. I was a creature, not so much 



362 JEAN PAUL FRTEDEICH KICHTEK. [BOOK ITI. 

of few years as of none at all (though everybody's life 
commences some nine months sooner than the parish 
registers indicate), excessively tender and delicate — 
having been (in opposition to all the rules of hygiene) 
kept much too warm, swaddled, and coddled during these 
very first nine months in question, when I ought rather 
to have been undergoing a preparation of some kind to 
enable me to bear the chill atmosphere of this world. And 
thus, quarter-grown, a tender flower-bud, liquidly soft as 
first love, when I made my appearance during a storm 
such as was raging (1 added one or two feeble squeaks, 
with some difficulty, to its roar), what was to be expected 
was, that I should be extinguished altogether, even before 
it calmed down. People didn't like the idea of my going 
without something in the shape of a name — without some 
little vestige of Christianity of some kind — out of this 
world, which is a place whence we do carry away even less 
than we bring into it with us. But the grand difficulty 
experienced was that of standing godfather, in a rolling, 
plunging vessel, which pitched everything and everybody 
higgledy-piggledy that wasn't made fast. The chaplain 
was (luckily) lying in a hammock, and he baptized down 
out of thence. My godfather was the boatswain, who held 
me for five whole minutes ; but inasmuch as he couldn't, 
without help, stand steady enough to enable the chaplain 
to touch my brow with the water without missing me, 
he Wiis held by the barber's mate, who was made fast 
to a marine, who was made fast to a boatswain's mate, who 
was made fast to the master-at-arms, who sat upon the 
knee of an old bluejacket, who held on to him like grim 
death. 

" However, neither the ship nor the child (as I after- 
wards ascertained) came to any detriment ; but you all 
see, do you not, that, hard as it is for any one amid the 
storms of life, to become, and continue, a Christian, or to 
get a name — be it in a directory, in a literary gazette, in 
a herald's college, or upon a medal — yet there are few 
who have had the same difficulty as I have had in acquir- 
ing the mere first elements of a name — the groundwork, 
the binomial root, of a Christian name, whereon, at a sub- 
sequent period, the other great name might be engrafted-- 



CHAP. XII. J FLO WEE, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 363 

and to get hold of a faint smattering of Christianity, as much 
as a catechumen and candidate as yet in a speechless and 
sucking condition might be capable of. There is but 
one thing more difficult to make; the greatest princes 
and heroes can only doit once in their lives — the mightiest 
geniuses — even the three electors of the Church, the 
Emperor of Germany himself, with all their united 
efforts, can't do more, were they to sit for years, stamping 
in the mint with all the latest improvements in coining 
machinery." 

The whole of the company entreated him to explain 
what this was that was so hard to frame. 

" 'Tis a crown prince," he answered, quietly ; " even a 
reigning sovereign finds it no easy matter to produce an 
appanaged prince — but, let him try as he will, even in 
the best days of his life, he can never produce more than 
one specimen of a crown prince ; for a Seminarist of that 
sort is none of your accessory- works, but the prime mover, 
the regulator, the striking and driving-wheel of the whole 
nation. On the other hand, gentry, counts, barons, 
chamberlains, staff-officers, and, above all, common people 
and subjects of the altogether every -day sort — to be brief, a 
scurvy crew of that description — a generatio cequivoca — can 
be brought into being by a prince with such wonderful ease 
that he creates these lusus natures, and virgin swarms, or 
protoplasmata, in considerable numbers even in his earlier 
days, although in riper years he may not manage to turn 
out an heir to his throne. Yet, after so much preliminary 
drill, so many trial-shots, one would have taken one's oath 
the other way ! " 

End of Leibgeber's Table-Talk. 

In the afternoon they paid a visit to that verdant, plea- 
sure place, the Hermitage, and the alley leading thither 
seemed to their happy hearts to be a path cut through 
some beauteous grove of gladness. That young bird of 
passage, Spring, was encamped all over the plain around, 
her unladen floral treasures scattered about the meadows, 
and floating down the streams, while the birds were drawn 
up into air upon long sunbeams, and the world of winged 



364 JEAN PAUL FRIEDEICH EICHTER. [BOOK III. 

creatures hovered all about in intoxication of bliss amid 
the exquisite scents shed abroad by kind Nature. 

Leibgeber determined to pour out his heart and his 
secret at the Hermitage that day, and (by way of pre- 
liminary) a bottle of wine or so to begin with. 

He begged and constrained Siebenkaes first of all to 
deliver a diary-lecture concerning his adventures by land 
;md by water up to the present time. Firmian complied, 
but with discretion. Over his stomach's barren year, 
over Ids hard times, over the (metaphorical) winter of 
his life (upon whose snow he had had to make his nest, 
ioobird-like), and over all the bitter northerly wind, 
which drives a man to bury himself in the earth (as 
suldiers do) — over all these he passed lightly and quickly. 
I myself must approve of him for so doing ; firstly, be- 
cause a man would be none who should shed a bigger 
tear over wounds of poverty than a young lady drops at 
the piercing of her ears, for in both cases the wounds 
become points of suspension for jewels ; secondly, because 
Siebenkaes would not cause his friend the slightest pain 
on the score of their change of names, the main source of 
all his hunger-springs. However, his friend knew, and 
sympathised with him sufficiently to consider that his 
pale, faded face and his sunken eyes constituted a sufficient 
almanac month-emblem of his frost-month or winter- 
picture of the snowed-up tracts of his life-road. 

But when Siebenkaes came to speak of the deep and 
secret wounds of his soul, it was all he could do to keep 
Iwck the drops of blood-water which pressed to his eyes ; 
I mean the subject of Lenette's hatred and love. But 
while he drew a very indulgent picture of her little love 
lor him, and her great love for Stiefel, he used much 
brighter colours for the historical piece which he painted 
of her admirable behaviour to the Venner, and of that 
gentleman's wickedness in general. 

" As soon as you have done," said Leibgeber, " you must 
allow yourself to be informed that women are not fallen 
angels, but falling ones. By all the heavens ! while we 
stand patient, like sheep being shorn, they stick the shears 
oftener into our skins than into our wool. I should think 
of the fair sex if I were to cross the bridge of St. Angelo 



CHAP. XII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 365 

at Eome, for there are twelve statxies of angels there, 
holding the implements of the Passion, each a different 
one ; one has the nails, another the reed, another the 
dice, and similarly each woman has a peculiar torture- 
instrument of her own to apply to us poor lambs. Whom, 
think you, for instance now, is the Palladium of yesterday, 
your unknown beauty, going to tether to her bed-post 
with the nose-ring of a wedding-ring ? But I must tell 
you about her. She is altogether glorious : she is poetic ; 
full of romantic, enthusiastic admiration for the British, 
and for intellectual people in general (consequently for 
me), and lives with an aristocratic English lady, a sort 
of companion to Lady Craven and the Margrave at Fan- 
taisie yonder. She has nothing, and accepts nothing ; is 
poor and proud, daring to rashness, and pure as the day ; 
and she signs hei self ' Nathalie Aquiliana.' Do you know 
who's going to be her husband ? A horrible, burnt-out, 
used-up wretch — a feeble, puny creature, whose egg-shell 
was chipped a week or two before its time, and who now 
goes cheeping about our toes like a chicken with the pip ; 
a fellow who copies Heliogabalus (who put on a new ring 
every day) in the matter of wedding-rings ; a hop-o'-my- 
thumb whom I could sneeze over the Korth Pole (and I 
should like very much to do it), and whom I have the less 
need to give 3 ou any description of, inasmuch as you have 
just given me one of him yourself : when I tell you his 
name, you will see that you know him pretty well. This 
magnificent creature is going to be married to the Venner 
Iiosa von Meyern ! " 

Firmian fell, not from the clouds, but right into them. 
To make a long tale short, this Nathalie is the Heimlicher's 
niece, of whom Leibgeber wrote some account in our first 
volume. " But, listen," continued Leibgeber, " I will let 
myself be hewn and hacked into crumbs smaller than those 
of Poland — into clippings not big enough to cover a 
Hebrew vowel — if this affair comes to anything ; for I 
am going to put a stop to it." 

Since Leibgeber (as we know) was in the habit of talking 
to the lady every day (his spotless soul and his bold mind 
having unspeakable attractions for her), all he had to do 
in order to break the marriage off, was simply to repeat to 



366 JEAN PAUL FRIEDKICH UICHTEB. [BOOK III. 

her what Siebenkaes had told him concerning her bride- 
groom elect. It was his intimacy with her, and his re- 
semblance to Siebenkaes which had led to her mistaking 
Firmian for him on the evening of his arrival. 

The majority of my readers will urge against me and 
Leibgeber the same objection which Siebenkaes brought 
forward — that Nathalie's love and marriage for money 
were quite out of harmony with her character, and her 
disregard for riches. But, in one word, all she had ever 
as yet seen of that gaudy flycatcher, Mr. Eosa, was his 
Esau's hand, that is to say, his writing, t. e. his Jacob's 
voice ; he had only written her a few irreprehensible, 
sentimental letters of assurance (pin-papers, stuck full of 
Cupid's darts and stitching -needles), and so given guarantee 
of the documentary nobility of his heart. . . . The Heim- 
licher, moreover, had written to his niece, saying, on St. 
rancrasius' day (May 12th, that is in four days' time), 
the Venner would come and present himself, and if she 
refused him, let her never call herself his niece again, 
and starve in her native village for all he cared. 

But, speaking as a man of honour, I really have never 
had above three of Bosa's letters in my hands for two or 
three minutes, and in my pocket for about an hour ; and 
they were really not so very bad — far more moral than 
their author. 

Just as Leibgeber said he would assume the office of 
consistory, and divorce Nathalie from Kosa before their 
marriage, she came driving up, with one or two lady friends, 
and got out of the carriage ; but instead of going with 
them to where the company were assembling, she went 
away alone, by a solitary side walk, to the so-called 
Temple. In her haste she had not noticed her friend 
Leibgeber sitting opposite the stables. I ought to explain 
here that when the Bayreuthians go to the Hermitage they 
have been in the habit, ever since the days of the Mar- 
grave, of sitting in a little wood, all breezes and cool 
shade, in front of the extensive farm-buildings and stables, 
but having the loveliest of prospects just at their backs, 
which they could easily substitute for the blank wall 
upon which they feast their gaze, by merely getting up 
and going a little way out of the wood on either side. 



CHAP. XII.] FLOWEK, FRUIT, AND THOEN PIECES. 367 

Leibgeber told Siebenkaes he could take him to her in a 
moment, as she would be sure to sit down in the temple 
(as she usually did) to enjoy the enchanting view of the 
city towers and the hills, as they lay in the light of 
the evening sun beyond the shrubberies. He added that, 
unfortunately, she cared too little about appearances ; and 
would go to the summer-house all by herself, greatly to the 
distress of the English lady, who, after the manner of her 
countrywomen, didn't like going anywhere alone, and 
wouldn't trust herself to go near even a gentleman's 
clothes cupboard without an Insurance Company and 
Bible Society of women with her to protect her. He said 
he had it on good authority that a British lady never per- 
mitted the idea of a man to enter her head without at once 
surrounding it with the number of ideas of women, neces- 
sary to bridle and restrain him, should he begin behaving 
(in the four chambers of her brain) with that amount of 
freedom which he might employ if at home there. 

They found Nathalie in the open temple, with some 
papers in her hand. "I bring you our author of ihe 
' Selections from the Devil's Papers,' " said Leibgeber, 
" which I see you are just reading ; will you allow me to 
introduce him to you ? " After a passing blush at having 
mistaken Siebenkaes for Leibgeber, in Fantaisie, she said 
to him, very kindly and pleasantly, " It would take very 
little to make me mistake you for your friend again, Mr. 
Siebenkaes ; and you seem almost exactly alike in mind, 
as well as in body. Your satire is often exactly like his ; 
it is only your graver ' Appendices ' which I was just read- 
ing, and which I like very much, that seem to me as if 
they hadn't been written by him." 

I have not at present time to make — (for Leibgeber's 
unauthorized communication to one friend of the papers of 
another) — excuses occupying long pages of print to readers 
who may insist upon extreme delicacy in matters of this 
description. Suffice it to say that Leibgeber took it for 
granted that every one who liked him would join with him 
in liking his friends, and that Siebenkaes (and even Na- 
thalie) would see nothing in his unhesitatingly communi- 
cating these papers, but a mere passing on of a friendly 
circular letter, pre-supposing, as he did, the existence 
between them of a triple elective affinity. 



868 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK lit 

Nathalie scanned the pair — particularly Leibgeher, whose 
big dog she was stroking — with a kindly and observant 
look of comparison, as if she were trying to find out di— 
similarities between them ; for, in fact, Siebenkass seemed 
to her to be scarcely as like his fiiend as she had thought. 
He was taller and slighter, and younger in the face ; but 
this was because Leibgeber, whose shoulders and chest 
were more strongly built, bent his strange, earnest face 
more forward when he talked, as if he were spenking into 
the earth. He himself said he never had looked really 
young, not even at his baptism — as his baptismal certificate 
would prove — and wasn't likely to grow much younger 
now till he arrived at his second childhood. But when 
Leibgeber straightened his back somewhat, and Siebenka j s 
bent his a little, they looked very much like one another ; 
however, this is more a hint fur the drawer-up of their 
passports than anything else. 

Let us felicitate the Kuhschnappel lawyer on this oppor- 
tunity of enjoying a few minutes' conversation with a lady 
of position, and of such many-sided cultivation as even to 
be capable of appreciating satires. All he wished was that 
a phoenix of this sort — such as, hitherto, he had only seen 
a pinch or so of the ashes of in actual life, or a phoenix- 
feather or two preserved in a book — might not take wing 
and disappear instanter ; but that he might be lucky enough 
to listen to a long talk between her and Leibgeber, as well 
as help to spin it out himself. But suddenly her liayreuth 
friends came hurrying up to say that the fountains were 
just going to play, and there wasn't a moment to be lost. 
The whole party, therefore, went towards the waterworks, 
Siebenkaes' whole care being to keep as close as he could to 
the noblest of the spectatresses. 

The) r stood by the basin, and dooked at the beautiful 
water artifices, which, no doubt, have long since played 
before the reader, either on the spot, or in the pages of the 
various writers of travels, who have expressed themselves 
on the subject of them at sufficient length, and in adequate 
terms of laudation. All kinds of mythologic demigod-ical 
demibeasts spouted forth streams ; and from out this world, 
peopled with water-gods, there spouted a crystal forest, 
whose descending branches, liana-like, took root again in 






JHAP. XII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 369 

the earth. They enjoyed for a long while the sight of this 
talkative, intercommingling water-world. At length the 
fluttering, ever-growing water-forms sank down and died ; 
the transparent lily-stems grew shorter and shorter, as they 
watched them. "Why is it, I wonder? "said Nathalie 
to Siebenka?s, "that a waterfall lifts up one's heart; but 
tiiis dying-down of these springing jets, this visible sinking 
away uf these grand streaming beams of water, always 
makes me sad and anxious ? We never see any such falling 
in of high things in real life." 

Siebenkaes was thinking out the apt and comprehensive 
reply to this true and just expression of Nathalie's feeling, 
when all at once she jumped into the water to rescue, with 
as little delay as possible, a child who had fallen in, a few 
steps away from her ; for the water was there about waist- 
deep. Before the men who were present had so much as 
thought about it, she had done it ; and she was right, for in 
this case rapidity without reflection was the good and true 
thing. She lifted the child out, and gave it to the women ; 
but Siebenkass and Leibgeber took her hands, and lightly 
raised the fiery creature (all blushes, of body and of soul) 
on to the bank. " What does it matter?" she said, with 
a smile, to the alarmed Siebenkass, " I shall be none the 
worse," and hurried away with her friends (who were all 
shocked into speechlessness), having first begged Leib- 
geber to come next evening, with his friend, to Fantaisie. 
" That of course I shall do," he said ; " but first of all, I am 
coming to see you by myself early in the morning." 

The crying need of our two friends was now to be alone 
with one another. Leibgeber, under the new excitement, 
could scarce wait to attain the birch wood, where he meant 
to continue their previous conversation regarding Sie- 
benkges' domestic and conjugal affairs. With respect to 
Nathalie, he briefly pointed out to his astonished friend 
that what so much delighted him in her was just the un- 
hesitating, downright straightforwardness which marked 
all her thoughts and actions, and her manly cheerfulness, 
athwart which the world, and poverty, and chances and 
accidents of every kind merely passed floating away, like 
light, shining summer clouds, never darkening her day. 
■ Now as regards you and your Lenette " he went on 

ii. 2 b 



370 JEAN PAUL FRIEDKICH EiCHTER. [BOOK III. 

(when they reached the solitude of the little wood), as 
quietly as if he had been talking continuously up to that 
instant, " if I were in your place, I should take an alter- 
ative, and get rid of the hard gall-stone of matrimony for 
good and all. You will never really be able to bear the 
pain of the bonds of wedlock, though you scrape and scratch 
away at them for years to come with all your finest hair- 
saws and bone-saws. The Divorce Court will give one 
grand cut and tear — and there you are, free of one another 
for ever and ever." 

The idea of a divorce terrified Siebenkses, although he 
saw very clearly that it was the only possible breaking- 
point for the storm-clouds of his life. He was far from 
grudging to Lenette either her freedom, or the marriage 
with Stiefel, which would infallibly result ; but he felt 
quite sure that, however much she might wish for it, she 
never would consent to an enforced separation, on account 
of her strong regard for appearances, — also that on their 
road to this parting both she and he would have to pass 
many a bitter hour of heart-strain and nerve-fever, — and 
that they could hardly afford to pay for a, betrothal, much 
less for a divorce. 

It was likewise an accessory circumstance, that it was 
more than he could bear to think of the sight of the 
poor innocent soul, who had shivered at his side through 
so many a cold storm of life, going away for ever from his 
home, and from his arms — ay, and with tlwit handkerchief in 
her hand, too ! 

All these considerations, with many stronger, and many 
weaker, he laid before his friend, finishing up with tins 
final one : " I assure you, moreover, that if she went away 
from me, lag and baggage, and left me by myself in that 
empty room (as in a grave), and in all the blank, cleared- 
out spaces, where, when all's said and done, we have sat 
together through so many kindly happy hours, and seen 
the flowers growing green about us — she never could pass 
by my window (while she bore my name, at all events, 
though no longer mine), but something within me would bid 
me throw myself down, and dash myself in pieces at her feet. 
Would it not be ten times better," he continued in an 
altered tone, " to wait till I fall down upstairs in the room 



CHAP. XU.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIEOES. 371 

(or what does my giddiness mean), and be taken out of 
the window, and out of the world, in a better fashion ? 
Friend Death would take his long erasing knife, and 
scrape my name (and other blots into the bargain) out of 
her marriage-lines." 

Contrary to all expectation, this seemed to make Leib- 
geber merrier and livelier than ever. " Do so ! " he said ; 
" it's tho very thing ! Die by all means ! The funeral 
expenses can't possibly come to anything approaching the 
costs of the other kind of separation ; and besides, you belong 
to the Burial Society." Siebenkses stared at him in asto- 
nishment. 

He went on in a tone of the utmost indifference : " Only I 
must tell you it will do neither of us much good, if you 
dawdle a long time at your saddling and bridling, and take a 
year or two about your dying. I should think it much more 
to the purpose were you to be off to Kuhschnappel as soon 
as ever you can, take to your sick-bed and death-bed 
directly you get there ; and die as quickly as ever you can 
manage it. And I'll give you my reasons. For one thing 
your Lenette's year of mourning would be out just before 
Advent, so that she would require no dispensation, if she 
wanted to marry Peltzstiefel before Christmas. It would 
suit me very well, too, for I could then disappear in the 
crowd, and I shouldn't see you again for some considerable 
time to come. Besides, it is anything but a matter of 
indifference to yourself, for of course the sooner you're 
appointed Inspector the better." 

" This is the very first of your jokes, dear old Henry," 
said Siebenkses, " of which I don't understand one single 
word." 

Leibgeber, with a disturbed countenance, whereon a 
whole history of the world was legible, and which indi- 
cated, as well as gave rise to, the greatest possible anti- 
cipation of something of immense importance to come, 
pulled a letter from his pocket and handed it to Siebenkaes 
in silence. It was a letter of appointment by the Count 
von Vaduz, constituting Leibgeber Inspector of the Chief 
Bailiwick of Vaduz. He next handed him a letter in 
the count's handwriting. While Firmian was reading the 
letter, Leibgeber brought out his pocket-diary, and calmly 

2b2 



372 JEAN PAUL TRIEDRICH RICHTEK. [ BOOK III. 

muttered to himself, " From the quarter-day after Whit- 
sunday, it says, does it not? to the time when I am to 
enter upon my office; that is to say, from to-day — St. 
Stanislaus' Day. Ah ! only think of that — how odd it 
seems — from St. Stanislaus' day one, two, three, four — 
four weeks and a half." • 

Firmian, much pleased, was handing him back the letter, 
but he wouldn't take it, but pressed it back to him, saying, 
u I read it long ago, long before you did. Put it in your 
pocket." 

And here Heinrich, in a burst of solemn, impassioned, 
liumoristic enthusiasm, knelt down in the middle of a 
]<>ng narrow path, which looked between the trees of the 
thick grove like some subterranean passage (the weather- 
cock of the distant steeple ended off the perspective of it 
as if with a turnstile) — knelt down facing the west, and 
gazed through the long green hollow way upon the even- 
ing sun, sinking earthward like some brilliant meteor, its 
hroad beams darting down upon the long green path, liko 
forest-water gilt by the spring; he gazed fixedly at it, and 
his eyes all blinded (and lighted up) by its sheen, he began 
to speak as follows : — 

" If there be a good spirit near me, or a guardian angel 
of mine or of his, or if thy spirit surviveth still thine ashes, 
oh ! my old, hind, loving father, so deep in thy grave, then 
draw near, oh ! thou dim and ancient shade, and grant to 
thy stupid, silly son (still limping about here in this flut- 
tering, ragged shirt of a body) this one, one favour, the 
first and the last, and enter into Firmian's heart, and 
(while giving it a good sound shaking) address it as fol- 
lows : ' Die, Firmian, for my son's sake, though it be but 
in jest and in appearance only. Throw away your own 
name, go in his (which was yours before) to Vaduz as 
Inspector, and give yourself out to be him. My poor son 
here (like that Joujou de Normandie whereon he is sticking, 
which circles round the sun upon strings of sunbeams) 
would fain go whirling about upon said Joujou himself for 
a little while longer. Before all you parrots the ring of 
eternity is still hanging, and you can hop on to it and 
rock upon it if you will. But he does not see the ring ; 
don't deprive the poor Poll-parrot of the pleasure of hop- 



CHAP. XII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 373 

ping about on the perch of this earth till, when he has wound 
his life's thread some sixty times about its reels, the reel 
gives a ring and a snap, the thread breaks, and all his fun 
is over and done ! ' Oh ! kind spirit of my father, stir up 
my friend's heart this day, and guide his tongue, that it 
may not say ' No,' when I ask him, ' Will you do all this.' " 
Blinded by the evening sun, he felt for Firnrian's hand, 
crying, "Where's your hand, dear friend? and do not 
say « No.' " 

But Firmian, quite carried away by emotion (for this 
sudden outburst of Leibgeber's long pent-up excitement 
was most contagious), speechless, and all in tears, like 
an evening shade, knelt down before his friend and fell on 
his breast, and said in a low tone (for he could do no 
otherwise), " 1 am ready to die for you a thousand deaths, 
any death you please : only say what death I can die for 
you. All I ask is, tell me plainly what you would have 
me do. I swear to you beforehand that I will do what- 
ever you tell me ; I swear it by your dear father's soul. I 
will gladly give my life for you, and you know I have 
nothing but that to give." Heinrich said, in a most 
unusually subdued voice, Let's get away in among the 
Bayreuthians. I certainly have an attack of hydrothorax 
this afternoon, or else a hot mineral spring inside my 
waisteoat ; 'pon my word, any ordinary heart ought to 
have a swimming-belt on, or a scaphander, in a vapour-bath 
of this kind." But up at the table under the trees, among 
the people come to keep the Whitsuntide fair, the great 
holiday and festival of spring — up there among people all 
happy and enjoying themselves, emotion was easier to 
conquer. Here Heinrich quickly unrolled the ground- 
plans and elevations of his castle in the air, the building 
grants of his Tower of Babel. To the Count von Vaduz 
(whose ears and heart opened and expanded to him hun- 
grily) he had given his saored word of honour that he 
would return to him as Inspector. But his idea was that 
his dear coadjutor and substitute, cum spe succedendi, Fir- 
mian, should take his place and personate him : Firmian, 
who was such a tautology of him in mind and body, that 
both the count, and the theory of distinctive differences 
itself, would have been puzzled to tell one of them from 



o74 JEAN PAUL FBLEDBICH BICHTEB. [BOOK III. 

the other. Even in the worst of years the Inspectorship 
brought in an income of 1200 thalers ; that is to say, the 
exact amount of Firmian's whole inheritance (now sealed 
•up with the law's leaden signet) ; so that when Siebenkses 
re-assumed his old name of Leibgeber, he would regain 
just what he had lost by changing it. " For," said Leib- 
geber, " now that 1 have read your ' Devil's Papers,' I can't 
endure or swallow the notion of your lying fallow any 
longer in Kuhschnappel ; sitting there in solitude, like a 
pelican (or an unicorn, or an unknown hermit) in the 
wilderness. Now, will it take you as long to think about 
the matter as it takes the Chief Clerk of the Chancellery 
there to shake the ashes out of his pipe, when I tell you 
that, though you are a fellow who could fill any and every 
office in the world splendidly, there's only one calling I 
can follow — that of a Grazioso ; for though I know more 
than most people, I can't put my knowledge to any prac- 
tical use except satirising, and my language is a parti- 
coloured Lingua Franca, my head a Proteus, and I myself 
a delightful compilation of the devil and his grandmother. 
Besides, if I could do anything else, I wouldn't. What, am I, 
in the very flower of my days, to stamp and neigh, like a 
state draught-horse, a government prisoner in the donjon- 
keep, the shoeing travis of some miserable office counting- 
houge, with nothing to look at but my saddle and bridle 
hanging on the stable-wall, and the loveliest Parnassuses 
and Tempe valleys wooing the free feet of the sons of the 
Muses just outside ! In the very years when my milk of 
life is inclined to throw out a little cream — (and the years 
when a fellow sours and turns to curds and whey come on 
so fast) — shall I go and throw the rennet of an appoint- 
ment into my morning milk? Now, as for you, you have a 
different song to sing altogether; you are half a man of 
office already, and you are married into the bargain. Ah ! 
it will beat all ' Bremish Contributions to the Pleasures of 
Wit and Understanding;' it will be a business far beyond 
every existing comic opera, and every funny novel that 
ever was written, when I go back to Kuhschnappel with 
you, and you make your will and depart this life. And 
then when, after we have paid you the last honours, you 
jump up again (in a good deal of a hurry) and take 



CKAP. XII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 375 

yourself off to receive greater honours still ; not to enter 
into the bliss of the departed so much as to become a 
bond fide live Inspector; not to appear before a tribunal, 
but to take your seat upon one yourself. Joke upon joke 
wherever we turn ! I can't quite see all the consequences 
of it yet, or only in a very half-and-half sort of way ; the 
burial club will have to pay your afflicted widow (you can 
pay them back again when you're in cash). Death will 
lop off your ring-finger, all swollen with the betrothal 
ring. Your widow will be able to marry anybody she 
pleases (yourself if she likes), and so will you." 

Here, all of a sudden, Leibgeber slapped his leg forty 
times running, and cried, "Ey! Ey ! Ey ! Ey! Ey! i 
can hardly wait till you're fairly dead and off the hooks ; 
only think of this, your death may make two women 
widows instead of one. I will persuade Nathalie to insure 
herself a pension of 200 dollars a year, payable on your 
death, in the Royal Prussian Provident Widows' Fund * 
(you can pay them it back again as soon as you get your 
money). When your widow that is to be gives the Venner 
the sack, you must privately provide her with a sack of bread- 
fruit. And supposing you really could never pay them back, 
and were to die in sober earnest, I should take care that 
their treasury was none the worse for it as soon as I was in 
funds again." For Leibgeber lived in a constant myste- 
rious state of intermittent fever between riches and poverty 
(which he has never explained), or, to use his own ex- 
pression, between the inspiration and expiration of that 
breath of life (Aura Vitalis) called money. Any other but 
this man, who played his game of life with such a dashing 
boldness, whose blazing fire for the true, the right, and the 
unselfish, had gleamed upon the advocate for so many a 
year as if from a lighthouse-tower, would have startled 
Siebenkaes, particularly in his capacity of lawyer, or have 
made him very angry, instead of over-persuading him. 
But Leibgeber thoroughly saturated him, nay, burnt him 
through and through with the etherial playfulness of his 
humour, and hurried him resistlessly on to the commission 

* It is explained in a long note in the original, that she could ilc 
this even before being married. 



376 JEAN PAUL FKIEDEICH EICHTER. [BOOK III. 

of a mimic deception, which had no aim of selfish untruth- 
fulness or deceit. 

Firmian, however, notwithstanding his intoxication of 
mind, retained sufficient control over himself to think, at 
least, of the risk which Leibgeber would run in this trans- 
action. " Suppose," said he, " anybody should come across 
my dear real Heinrich (whose name I steal) in the vicinity 
of me, a coiner of false names, what then ? ' 

" Nobod} 7 ever will," said Heinrich, " for as soon as you 
have re-assumed your own canonical name of Leibgeber, 
and given up ' Firmian Stanislaus,' which was conferred 
upon me at such a stormy baptismal font (and Heaven 
grant you may do so!), I shall, under names altogether 
unheard of — (perhaps, indeed, that I may have the gra- 
tification of being able to keep 365 name-days in the 
course of the year, I shall take every name in the calendar, 
one after the other) — I shall throw myself off the dry 
land (under these names or some of them) into the great 
ocean, and propel myself with my dorsal, ventral, and 
caudal fins (and any others I may have besides), through 
the waves and the billows of life towards the thick, muddy 
sea of death • so that 'twill probably be many a day before 
we meet again." 

He gazed fixedly towards the sun, then sinking in glory 
beyond Bayreuth ; his motionless eyes shone with a moister 
sheen, and he continued, more slowly, thus : " Firmian, 
the Almanac says this is St. Stanislaus' Day; it is your 
name-day, and mine, and the death-day of that wandering, 
migratory name, because you will have to give it up afier 
your mock death. I, poor devil as I am, would fain be 
serious to-day — for the first time this many a long year. 
Go you home, alone, through the village of Johannes ; I 
shall go by the alley; we'll meet again at the inn. By 
Heaven ! everything is so beautiful here, and so rose- 
coloured, that one would think the Hermitage was a piece 
of the sun. Don't be very long, though ! " 

But a sharp pang of pain shot, with swelling folds, athwart 
Heinrich's face, and he averted that image of sorrow and his 
blinded eyes — (which were full of radiance, and of water, too) 
— and marched rapidly off past the spectators, looking as if at 
something very far away with a face of apparent attention. 



CHAP. XII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 377 

Firmian, alone, with tearful eyes, fronted the gentle sun- 
light dissolving into varied tints over the face of the green- 
hued world. Close beneath the sun-fire the deep gold-mine 
of an evening cloud was falling in drops upon the hill-tops 
which lay under it; the wandering shifting gold of the 
evening sky lay, all transparently, upon the yellow-green 
buds and red and white hill-tops, whilst a great, grand, 
immeasurable smoke, as if of an altar, cast a strange, magic 
reflection — all shifting, distant, translucent hues — athwart 
the hills. The hills and the happy earth, reflecting the 
sun as it sank, seemed to be receiving him in their arms, 
and taking him into their embrace. But at tho moment 
when the sun dipped wholly beneath the earth, there came 
(as it were) the angel of a higher light into this gleaming 
world (which seemed, to Firmian's tearful eyes, to tremble 
like some flickering fiery meteor of the air); this angel 
advanced, flashing like day, into the midst of the night- 
torch-dance of the living, who, at his coming, turned pale, 
and halted still. But, as Firmian dried his e} - es, the sun 
set, the earth grew stiller and paler yet, and night, dewy 
and wintry, came forth from the woods. 

But that melted heart of his longed for its fellows, and 
for all whom it knew and loved ; it throbbed insatiate in 
this lonely prison-cell, our life ; it yearned to love all 
humanity. Ah ! the soul which has had to give up much, 
or has lost much, is too, too wretched on such an evening 
as this. 

In a blissful, tranced reverie, Firmian went his way 
through the blossomy fragrance, among the American 
flowers which open to the sky of our night, through the 
closed meadows ("chambers of sleep), and under dew-drop- 
ping flowers. The moon stood on the pinnacle of the 
heavenly temple in the midday effulgence which the sun 
cast up to her from the deeps beneath the earth and her 
evening-blushes. As Firmian passed through the leaf- 
hidden village of Johannes (where the houses were all 
scattered about in a great orchard), the evening bells from 
the distant hamlets were lulling the slumbering spring to 
sleep with cradle-songs. iEolian harps, breathed on by 
zephyrs, seemed to be sending forth their tones from out 
the evening-red, their melodies flowed softly on iuto the 



378 JEAN PATH- FKIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

wide realm of sleep, and there took the form of dreams. 
Firmian's heart, moved to its very centre, yearned for love — ■ 
and for very longing he felt impelled to press his flowers 
into the white hands of a pretty child in Johannes — just 
that he might touch a human hand. 

Go, dear Firmian, with tliat softened heart of yours, to 
your deeply-moved friend, whose inner being, too, stretches 
its arms out towards its likeness ; for, to-day, you are no- 
where so happy as together. When Firmian entered their 
common chamber (which was dark save for the glow of the 
red twilight in the west), Heinrich turned to meet him ; 
they fell silently into each other's arms and forgot all the 
tears which burned within them, even those of joy. Their 
embrace ended, but their silence did not. Heinrich threw 
himself on his bed, in his clothes, and covered himself up. 
Firmian sank upon the other bed and wept there, with 
closed lids. After an hour or two of excited fancy, heated 
by visions and by pangs of pain, a soft light fell upon his 
burning eyelids ; he opened them, and there hung the pale, 
glowing moon over against his window. He rose up; 
but when he saw his friend standing pale and motionless, 
like a shadow cast by the moon upon the wall — and sud- 
denly there came up from a neighbouring garden (like a 
nightingale's voice awaking), Bust's melody to the words — 

" Tis not for this earthly land 
TL -t Friendship weaves her holy band " — 

he fell back under the load of bitter memory ; an emotion, 
too great to bear, a spasm, closed his sad eyes, and he said, 
:n hollow accents, 

" Heinrich ! oh believe in immortality. How can we 
love, if we perish ! " 

" Peace, peace ! " said Heinrich. " To-day I am keeping 
my name-day, and that is enough ; for man, certainly, hag 
no birth-day, and, consequently, no death-day either." 



CHAP. XIII.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 379 



CHAPTER XIII. 

A CLOCK OF HUMAN BEINGS — A COLD SHOULDER— THE VENNER. 

When, in my last chapter, I spoke of ladies who were 
given to brevity of sleep, and awoke six hours before their 
sisters at the Antipodes, I think I did well not to cram 
into my twelfth chapter (among the numerous events so 
tightly packed there) a model of a certain clock, composed 
of men and women, which I invented a considerable rime 
ago. but to reserve it for this thirteenth chapter, where I 
shall now introduce it, and set it up. I believe this 
humanity clock of mine was suggested to me by Linnaeus' 
flower clock at Upsal, whose wheels were the earth and 
the sun, and the figures on its dial were flowers, whereof 
one always awoke and opened later than another. I was 
living at the time in Scheerau, in the middle of the market- 
place, and had two rooms. From the front room I was 
able to see all the market-place and the palace buildings, 
while my back room looked into the Botanical Gardens. 
Whoever maybe living in these rooms now is in possession 
of a delightful, ready-tuned harmony between the flower 
clock in the garden and the mankind clock in the market- 
place. 

At 3 a.m. the yellow meadow goatsbeard awakes — also 
brides— and then, too, the stable-boy begins rattling and 
feeding the horses under the lodger. At 4 (on Sundays) 
awake the little hawksweed, and ladies who are going to 
the Holy Communion (chiming clocks these may be called) 
and the bakers. At 5, kitchen-maids and dairy-maids 
awake, and buttercups ; at 6, sowthistles and cooks. By 7, 
a good many of the wardrobe women of the palace, and the 
salad in the Botanical Gardens, are awake, as well as several 
tradeswomen. At 8, all their daughters and the little 
yellow mouse-ear — all the colleges and the leaves of flowers, 
piecrust, and law-papers, are open. At 9, the female aris- 
tocracy begin to stir, and the marygolds, to say nothing of 
a number of young ladies from the country, in town on a 
visit, glance out of their windows. At 10 and 11, the 
Court ladies, the whole staff of lords of the bedchamber, 



380 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

the green colewort and pippau of the Alps, and the Prin- 
cesses' reader, arouse themselves from their morning slum- 
ber ; and (so brightly is the morning sun breaking in 
through the many-tinted silken curtains) the whole Court 
curtails a morsel or so of its sleep. At 12, the Prince; 
at 1, his consort, and the carnation in her flower-vase — 
have their eyes open. What gets up at later hours in the 
afternoon — about 4 o'clock, say — is nothing but the red 
hawksweed and the night watchman (a cuckoo clock), and 
these two are but evening dials, or moon clocks. From the 
hot eyes of the poor devil who opens them only at 5 (with 
the jnlap), we turn our own away in sorrow ; he is a sick 
man, who has taken some of it (the jalap), and only passes 
from fever-fancies of being griped with hot pincers to 
genuine, waking spasms. 

I could never tell when it was 2 o'clock, because I, and 
a thousand other stout gentlemen and the yellow mouse- 
ear, were always asleep at that hour ; though I awoke, with 
the regularity of an accurate repeater, at 3 in the afternoon 
and at 3 in the morning. 

Thus may we human creatures serve as flower clocks to 
higher intelligences when our petals close upon our last 
bed, or as sand-glasses when our sands of life are run so 
far out that they are turned over into the other world. 
On such occasions, when seventy of man's years have ended 
and passed away, these higher intelligences may say, 
" Another hour already ! Good God ! how time flies !" 

And this digression reminds me that it really does fly ! 
Firmian and Heinrich lived on in great cheerfulness of 
spirit towards the jocund morning which was so close at 
hand, though the former could b}' no means take root upon 
any chair or room-floor all the forenoon ; for, in his mind's 
eye, the curtain kept always rising upon the opera buffa 
e seria of his mock death, and displaying its burlesque 
situations. And at present (as was always the case, in- 
deed) the presence and example of Leibgeber heightened 
his sense of humour and power of expressing the same. 
Leibgeber, who had gone through all the stage-business 
and scene-shifting of the sham death in an exhaustive 
manner weeks ago (in fancy), was thinking little about it 
now. The problem occupying him at present was how to 



i 



CHAP. XIII. J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 381 

extract the wick (that is to say, the bride) out cf Eosa's 
wedding-torch, all painted and moulded as it was. Hein- 
jich was at all times forcible, free, and bold, furious and 
implacable as regards anything unjust; and his righteous 
indignation often had much the appearance of vengeance, 
us here in Rosa's case, and in that of Blaise. Firmian was 
more kindly ; he spared and pardoned, often, indeed, at 
the (apparent) expense of honour. He could never have 
plucked Nathalie's epistolary lover out of her bleeding heart 
with Leibgeber's forceps and knife. His friend, at leaving 
fur Fantaisie that day, had to promise the gentlest of 
behaviour, and, for a time, silence on the subject of the 
Eoyal Prussian Widows' Fund. It would, of course, have 
made a terrific, bleeding wound in Nathalie's feeling of 
rectitude had the most distant hint been Tittered of such a 
matter as metallic compensation for a spiritual loss such 
as that involved in her separation on moral grounds from 
the immoral Venner. She deserved to conquer (and was 
well able to do so), with the prospect of her victory 
: educing her to poverty. 

Heinrich did not come back till it was somewhat late, 
and his face was a little troubled, though it was a happy 
face too. Bosa was discarded, and Nathalie pained. The 
English lady was at Anspach with Lady Craven, eating 
her butter — (for she made butter as well as books). When 
he had read out to Nathalie all that was written on Eosa's 
black board and sin-register (which he did gravely, but 
perhaps louder than was necessary, and with scrupulous 
truth), she rose up with that grand grace which is a cha- 
racteristic of enthusiasm of self-sacrifice : " If you are your- 
self deceived in this as little as you are capable of deceiving, 
and if I may believe your friend as I do you, I give you 
my sacred word that I will not allow myself to be per- 
suaded, or constrained, to anything. But the subject of 
this conversation will be here himself in a few days, and 
I owe it to him as well as to my own honour, to hear him, 
as I have given my letters into his hands. Oh ! it is 
hard to have to speak so coldly ! " As the moments pas.sed, 
the rose red of her cheek paled to rose-white. She leant 
it on her hand, and as her eyes grew fuller, and tears 
dropped at last, she said, strongly and firmly, " Be in 



382 JEAN PAUL PRIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK III. 

no anxiety, I shall keep my word ; and then, cost what 
it may, I will tear myself from my friend, and go hack to 
my poor people in Schraplau. i have lived quite long 
enough in the great world, though not too long." 

Heinrich's unusual seriousness had overpowered her. 
Her confidence in his truth was immovable, and that 
(strange reason!) just because he had never seemed to 
fall in love with her, or to pass beyond the condition of 
friendship, and so did not measure her affection by his 
own. Perhaps she would have been angry with her 
bridegroom's married attorney (i.e. Firmian), had he not 
had three or four of the best possible excuses ; to wit, his 
general mental resemblance to Leibgeber, and his phy- 
siognomical resemblance to him (which his paleness puri- 
fied and refined at this juncture). 

Her yesterday's request to Leibgeber to bring Siebenlsges 
with him in the evening was now repeated (to the former's 
joy), though her heart was aching in every corner. But 
let none take umbrage at her half-mourning for the 
Venner (now setting and near the horizon), or her erro- 
neous estimate of him ; for we all know that women 
(Heaven bless them !) often think sentiment and integrity, 
letters and actions, tears and honest warm blood, to be 
equivalent one to another. 

In the afternoon Leibgeber took Siebenkses to her as a 
sort of syllogistic figure in support of his argument, or 
set of rationes decidendi (for the Venner was a collection of 
rationes dubitandi). Aquiliana received Siebenkses with a 
blush, which came and went in an instant; and then with 
the least dash of hauteur (result of modesty !), yet with all 
the kindness and good-will which she owed to his interest 
in her future. She lived in the English lady's rooms. 
The flowery valley lay without, like a world before its 
sun. One advantage connected with a rich pleasure- 
garden of this sort is that a stranger advocate finds that 
he can attach the floating spider-threads of his talk to 
the branches of it, until they have been woven into the 
finished art-work of a glittering web, which can float in 
the free air. Firmian could never emulate these clever 
men of the world, who only need a listener to be able to 
begin spinning a conversation ; who, like the tree-frogs, 



CHAP. XIII. J FLO WEE, FRUIT, AND THOEN PIECES. 383 

can cling firmly to anything they chance to hop on to, 
however smooth and polished it may be; yea, who can 
even keep afloat in a space devoid of air, and all objects 
whatever (which a tree-frog cannot). A man of Siebenkaes' 
free and independent soul cannot, however, long remain 
embarrassed by his unfamiliarity with his surroundings ; 
he must speedily recover his freedom by virtue of his 
innate superiority to chance, external circumstances ; and 
his unassumed and unassuming simpleness soon amply 
compensates for his lack of the great world's artificial and 
assuming simplicity. 

Yesterday he had seen this Nathalie in the happy 
exercise and enjoyment of all her powers, and of nature 
and friendship, smiling and enchanting, and crowning the 
delightful evening with an act of brave self-devotion. 
Alas! how little remained to-day of all these joys, so 
tender and so bright. In no hour is a lovely face lovelier 
than at that immediately succeeding the bitter one, when 
tears for the loss of a heart have passed over it; for the 
sight of the loveliness in its sorrow, during that hour itself, 
would be too sad to bear. For this beautiful creature, 
who hid the sacrificial knife deep m her heart, where it 
had been plunged, and gladly let it smart there, that but 
the wound's bleeding might be delayed, Siebenkaes would 
gladly have died — in a way more serious than had been 
intended — could it have been of any service to her. Is it 
a thing so strange that the bond between them grew closer 
and stronger as the sand run down in the hourglass, when 
we consider that, swayed by an unwonted three-sided 
seriousness (for even Leibgeber was overtaken by this 
feeling), their hearts, at sight of the gala-beauty of the 
spring, were filled with tender, longing wishes? — that 
Siebenkaes, with his pale face, worn, and stamped with all 
the traces and marks and signs of recent, bygone, trouble 
and pain, shone, this day, with a soft and pleasing sheen, 
as of evening sunlight, on her sight, all weakened by her 
tears? — that she thought with pleasure on his (rather 
singular) merit of having, at all events, embittered some 
of her faithless suitor's infidelities — and that every note 
be touched was in the minor mode of his tender nature, 
because he was. seeking to atone for, and cast into shade, 



384 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTER. L 300K III 

the circumstance that it had fallen to his lot to lay waste 
at one fell stroke so many of this innocent, unknown 
creature's hopes and joys — that even his greater share of 
modest, respectful reserve, became him, and set him off bj 
contrast with his counterpart, the bolder and more out- 
spoken Heinrich? With all these charms of accidental 
circumstance (which win the female world far sooner than 
charms of a bodily kind), Firmian was endowed in Nathalie's 
eyes. In his eyes she had attractions greater still, and 
altogether new to him : her cultivation and acquirements ; 
her manly enthusiasm, her delicate refinement; her (most 
flattering) way of treating Mm — (none of her sex had ever 
before glorified him with anything like it, and this par- 
ticular species of charm plunges many a man who is un- 
used to female companionship, not only into rapture, but 
into matrimony), — and (two crowning delights) the facta 
that the whole affair was fortuitous and out of the common, 
and that Lenette was the exact antipodes of her in each 
and every respect. 

Alas ! poor starved, hungering Firmian. There are 
always a gallows, and a notice-board marked "No tho- 
roughfare," on the banks of the streamlet of your life, even 
now that it has become a pearl-bearing brook. Your 
marriage ring must have pinched you a good deal, and 
felt very tight in a warm temperature like this, as, in- 
deed all rings feel tight in a warm bath, and loose in a 
cold one. 

But either some naiad of a diabolical turn of mind, or 
fome ocean god who loved a jest, took always the greatest 
delight in perturbing and disturbing the sea of Firrnian's 
life, and stirring up the sand at the bottom of it just when 
its waters were sparkling and glowing enchantingly with 
phosphorescent sea creatures, or some electric matter or 
other, and his ship leaving a long shining wake behind 
her in it. For just as the glory and the beauty of the 
garden outside were growing moment by moment, and 
embarrassment vanishing away with equal rapidity, the 
painful memory of the late bereavement fading out of 
remembrance; just when the pianoforte (or, say, the 
pianissimo fortissimo), and the songs, duets, and trios 
were being opened and got ready ; in line, just as the 



CHAP. XIII.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN TIECES. 385 

honey-cells of their orangery of happiness, their permitted 
flesh-pots of Egypt, and deep communion cup of love were 
all ready to their lips, who came with a pop into the 
room but a certain bluebottle fly on two legs, who had 
often flown into Firmian's cup of joy before now. 

The Venner, Rosa von Meyern, made his appearance on 
the scene, lovelily attired in saffron silk, to pay his bride 
his privileged ambassadorial visit. 

N^ver in all his career did this young gentleman arrive 
otherwise than too soon or too late ; just as he was never 
serious, but either lachrymose or jocular. The three 
faces were now each a long duodecimo edition of them- 
selves ; Leibgeber's was the only one which was not 
stretched on the wire-drawing press, but it was dyed a 
fine red by his inborn detestation of fops and maiden- 
hawks of every kind. Everard had come primed with 
one idea (taken from Stolberg's ' Homer'), which was, to 
ask Nathalie, on his entrance, whether she were a goddess 
or a mortal (in the manner of Homer's heroes), since he 
could only pretend to contend with the latter race. But 
at sight of the masculine pair whom the Devil levelled 
at his head like a double-barrelled gun, everything inside 
it turned to cheese and curd, immobile ; twenty kisses 
wouldn't have enabled him to get his great idea a-flow 
again. It was five days before he got what little there 
was inside the bones of his head into such a fair way 
of recovery as to make shift to deliver himself of this 
idea to a distant relation of my own (how else should 
I have known anything about it ?) in a tolerable degree 
of preservation. At all times nothing so paralysed him 
in female society as the presence of a man ; he would 
have stormed an entire convent of women sooner than have 
laid siege to a single couple of novices (to say nothing of 
a canoness), had but a single wretched man been alongside 
them. 

A standing troupe of players, such as I now see before 
ray pencil, never performed in Fantaisie. Nathalie was lost 
in amazement (little polite), and in a quiet comparison 
of this original edition with her epistolary ideal. The 
Venner, who took for granted that the result of her observa- 

u. 2 c 



386 JEAN PAUL PEIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK IIL 

tions was just the opposite of what it really was, would have 
been delighted had he had it in his power to be a manifest 
contradiction, an antipodes to himself. I mean, he would 
fain have shown himself both cold and angry at finding 
her in the society of this couple, and also confidential and 
tender, so that this beggarly pair might be filled with 
envy and vexation at the isight of his harvest and vintage. 
And inasmuch as he was quite as greatly (only much 
more agreeably) struck with, and surprised at her ap- 
pearance, as she with his, and as he had time enough 
before him for revenge and punishment, he chose rather 
to adopt the line of bragging and vaunting with the 
view of seasoning and blessing the visit of these two 
lawyer fellows with a good spice of envy. Moreover, he 
had the advantage of them in possessing a light horse- 
artillery body, and he could mobilise his army of physical 
charms quicker than they could. Siebenkses was thinking 
of nothing nearer at hand than — his wife. Before Bosa's 
arrival he had been browsing on the idea of her as on a 
meadow of bitter herbs, for the rough, chapped bark of the 
conjugal hand was by no means capable of touching his 
self-love with the delicate, etherial, gentle, snail-antennm 
touch of this unmated beauty's eiderdown fingers. But 
now the idea of Lenette became a pasture of sweet and 
succulent verdure ; for his jealousy of Bosa (domiciled in 
two different quarters) was less awakened by Lenette's 
behaviour to him than by Nathalie's relations with him. 
The grimness of Heinrich's glances increased amain ; they 
wandered up and down over Bosa's summer hare-skin of 
yellow silk with a jaundiced glare. In an irritable impulse 
to be doing something or other, he fumbled in his waist- 
coat pocket, and got hold of the profile of Herr von Blaise 
which he had clipped out (as we may remember) on the 
occasion when he stamped the glass wig to pieces (and with 
respect to which profile the only thing which had been 
distressing him for a twelvemonth past was that it was 
in his pocket, and not affixed to the gallows, where he 
could have stuck it with a hairpin the evening he went 
away). He pulled it out, and tousling it between his 
fingers, he glided nimbly backwards and forwards between 



CHAP. XIII.] PLOWEE, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 387 

Nathalie and Eosa, murmuring to Siebenkees (with his eyes 
fixed on the Venner), " A la silhouette." * 

Everard's self-love divined these flattering (and involun- 
tary) sacrifices of the self-love of the other two, and he went 
on firing off at the embarrassed girl (with ever-growing 
superciliousness, directed to Siebenkses's address) frag- 
ments from the story of his travels, messages from his 
friends, and questions concerning the arrival of his letters. 
The brethren. Siebenkass and Leibgeber, sounded a retreat, 
but did so like true males ; for they were the least bit 
annoyed with poor, innocent Nathalie, just as though she 
could have marched up to this sponsus and letter bridegroom 
of hers the moment he came into the room, with a saluta- 
tation such as, " Sir, you can never be lord of mine, even 
were you nothing worse than a scoundrel, idiot, fright, 
prig, man-milliner," &c. But must we not, all of us (for 
I don't consider myself an exception), smite upon our bony, 
sinful breasts, and confess that we spit fire the moment 
modest girls refrain from spitting it instantty at those 
whom we may have nigrified or excommunicated in their 
presence ; that further we insist upon their discarding 
wicked squires instantaneously, although they may not 
be in such a hurry to receive them — that they should care 
as little what forced marches and honourable retreats their 
cottiers and dependents may have to make, as we fief- 
holders do ourselves ; and that we are offended with them 
when they have an innocent opportunity of being false ; 
even when they do not avail themselves of it? May 
Heaven improve the class of persons of whom I have just 
been treating. 

Firmian and Heinrich roamed for an hour or two about 
the enchanted valley ; it was full of magic flutes, magic 
zithers, and magic mirrors. But they had neither ears 
nor eyes. What they found to say concerning events 
heated their heads to the temperature of balloon furnaces, 
and Leibgeber blew a fanfare of mere satiric insults out of 
the reverse end of Fame's trumpet at every female Bay- 
reuthian he met taking her evening walk. He announced 

* The Silhouette took its name from the Controller-General hc 
called. In Paris, an empty, blank physiognomy is called a face " a la 
silhouette." 

2c2 



388 JEAN PAUL FRTEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK HI. 

it as his opinion that women were the unsafest ships in 
which a man could embark on the great open ocean of life 
— slaveship8 in fact, or bucentaurs (or shuttles * which the 
Devil weaves his nets and gins with) — and the more so 
that, like other ships of war, they are so often and so 
scrupulously washed, sheathed on the outside with poisonous 
copper, and have about the same amount of bunting and 
tarry tackle (ribbons) flying about them. Heinrich had gone 
to Nathalie's, indulging the (highly improbable) anticipa- 
tion that she would at once unhesitatingly accept and act 
npon his friend's deposition of evidence in his capacity of an 
eye- and ear-witness concerning Rosa's canonical impedi- 
menta (or ecclesiastical marriage disabilities), and it was 
his disappointment on this score which was so gnawing 
upon his mind. 

But just as Firmian was discussing and expatiating 
apon the Venner's lisping and indistinct mode of speaking 
(his words seemed to curl about the top of his tongue with no 
power of expression in them), Heinrich cried out, " Hallo ! 
there the dirt-fly goes ! " It was the Venner, floundering 
as a pike does in the net he has been brought to market 
in. As the woodpecker (naturalists call most gaudy-plu- 
maged birds woodpeckers) winged his flight closer by them, 
they saw, as he passed them, that his face was a-glow with 
anger. Doubtless the cement which had attached him to 
Nathalie was broken and dissolved. 

The two friends waited a little while longer in the 
shady walk, hoping that they might meet her ; but at 
length they made their way back to town, meeting, as they 
went, a maid of hers, who was taking the following letter 
to Leibgeber : — 

" You and your friend were, alas ! quite right, and all 
is now at an end. Please to let me rest, and reflect for a 
time in solitude over the ruins of my little future. When 
people's lips are wounded and stitched, they are not allowed 
to talk, although it is not my lips but my heart that bleeds, 
and that for your sex. Ah ! I blush when I think of all 
the letters I have written, which it has been such happiness 
to me to write — and, # alas I under such a delusion! — yet I 

* Which are called " weavers' ships " in German. 



CHAP. XIII. j FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 389 

have no real reason to do so after all. You have yourself 
said that innocent pleasures should give us as little cause 
to be ashamed as blackberries, although, when the en- 
joyment is past, there may be a black stain on the lips. 
But, at all events, 1 thank you from my heart. As I must 
have been disenchanted one day, it was kind that it was 
not done by the wicked sorcerer himself, but by you and 
your most honest and truthful friend, to whom please to 
offer my very kind regards and remembrances. 

" Yours, 

" A. Nathalie." 

Heinrich had expected the letter to be one of invitation, 
" for " (said he) " her empty heart must feel a cold void, 
like a finger with its nail cut too short." Firmian, whom 
matrimony had taught, and furnished with barometer 
scales and meteorological tables for observance of women, 
knew enough to be of opinion that a woman must, in the 
very hour when she had dismissed one lover (on purely 
moral grounds) be a little over-cool towards the person 
who has persuaded her thereto, even were he her second 
lover. And (I take leave here to add, myself) for the very- 
same reasons she will exceed in warmth towards this second 
immediately afterwards. 

" Ah ! poor ^Nathalie ! " Firmian wished unceasingly — 
" May the flowers and blossoms be court-plaister for the 
wounds of your heart; may the soft aether of spring be 
a milk-cure for your oppressed panting bosom." It seemed 
unspeakably sad to him that an innocent creature like 
this should be thus tried and punished, as though she were 
guilty, and be compelled to draw the purifying air of her 
life from poison plants, and not from wholesome ones. 

The next day all Siebenkaes did was to write a letter 
(in which he signed himself Leibgeber), informing the 
Count von Vaduz that he was unwell and as grey and 
yellow as a Swiss cheese. Heinrich had left him no 
peace until he did this. " The count," said he, " is 
accustomed, in my person, to a fine, blooming, sturdy In- 
spector ; but, if he is properly prepared for the thing by 
a letter, he will really believe you to be me. Luckily we 
are neither of us men who would be asked to unbutton 



390 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

in any custom-house ; nobody would fancy there was any- 
thing inside our waistcoats but skin and bone." * 

On the Thursday Siebenkses, standing at the hotel-door, 
saw the Venner, in an Electoral habit, with a full-dress 
parade head, and a whole Barth's vineyard in his face, 
driving to the Hermitage between two young ladies. When 
he carried this news upstairs, Leibgeber swore — (and also 
cursed) — to the effect that the scoundrel wasn't worthy of 
the society of any young lady, unless her head was a 
Golgotha and her heart a gorge (or cut) tie Paris. He was 
quite bent on going to see [Nathalie then and there, and 
telling her the news, but Firmian prevented him by main 
force. 

On the Friday she herself wrote to Heinrich as follows : — 
" I have mustered up courage to revoke my prohibition, 
and beg that you and your friend will come to-morrow to 
beautiful Fantaisie, when (it being Saturday) it will he 
depopulated. I keep my arms about Nature and Friend- 
ship ; there is no room in them for anything besides. Do 
you know, I dreamt last night that 1 saw you both in one 
coffin — there was a white butterfly fluttering above you, 
and it grew larger and larger till its wings were like 
great white shrouds ; and then it covered you both over 
and hid you with them, and there was no motion beneath. 
My dear, dear friend arrives the day after to-morrow — and 
to-morrow, you. And then, I must bid you all adieu. 

"N. A." 

The Saturday in question occupies the whole of the next 
chapter, and I can form some sort of idea of the reader's 
eagerness to be at it from my own ; and all the better, 
seeing that I have read (to say nothing about writing) 
the said chapter already, which he has not. 

* In Engelhardszell, for instance, the Austrian custom-house olB-eri 
unbutton paunches to see whether they be fat or — cloth. 



CHAP. XIV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 391 



CHAPTER XIV. 

A LOVER'S DISMISSAL — FANTAISIE — THE CHILI) WITH THE 
BOUQUET — THE EDEN OF THE NIGHT, AND THE ANGEL AT 
THE GATE OF PARADISE. 

It was not the deeper blue of the sky (which, on the 
Saturday, was as rich and pure as in winter, or by night) 
— nor the thought of actually standing in the very pre- 
sence of the sorrowing soul whom he had driven from 
Paradise with the Sodom apple of the serpent (Venner) 
— nor his own feeble health — nor memories of his own 
domestic life ; — it was none of these matters taken singly, 
but the combination of all these semitones and minor 
intervals together which attuned our Firmian to a melting 
maestoso, and gave to his looks and thoughts (for his after- 
noon visit) much such a kind and degree of tenderness as 
he expected he should find in Nathalie's. 

What he did find was precisely the reverse. In and 
about Nathalie there reigned such a noble cold, serene 
gladsomeness as you may find upon the loftiest mountain 
peaks ; the cloud and the storm are beneath, while around 
there rests a purer, colder air, but a deeper blue, too, and 
a paler sunlight. 

It cannot, of course, surprise me that you are on the 
tenter-hooks of anxiety to hear the account she is going 
to give of her rupture with Everard. But her account of 
it was so brief — it might have been written round a Prus- 
sian dollar — so that I must supplement it with mine, 
which I have taken from Rosa's own written record of it. 
The fact is, the Venner, five years afterwards, wrote a 
very passable novel (if we may credit the praise bestowed 
upon it in the ' Universal German Library '), into which 
he artfully built the whole of the rupture with Nathalie — 
(that severance between soul and body) ; at all events, 
this is the conclusion to which sundry hints of Nathalie's 
would point us. The said novel, accordingly, is my 
fountain of Vaucluse. Emasculate intelligences, such as 
Rosa's, can only reproduce experiences; their poetic fwtu&eg 
are nothing but adopted children of the actual. 



3Uli JEAN PAUL FEIEDEICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

To be brief, what took place was as follows. Scarce 
were Firmian and Heinrich gone out among the trees, 
when the Venner brought up his reserve of vengeance, 
and asked Nathalie, in a tetchy manner, how it was that 
she could tolerate visitors of such a poor and plebeian 
sort. The haste and the coldness of the departed pair 
had already set Nathalie on fire, and this address made her 
blaze forth in a flame upon her yellow-silken questioner. 
" A question such as that," she answered, " is very little 
short of an insult;" and she immediately added one of 
her own — for she was too warm and too proud to dissem- 
ble in the slightest, or to hold other than the straightest 
course with him. "You call at Mr. Siebenksas's pretty 
often yourself, do you not ? " " Oh !" said this empty 
braggart, " I call on his wife (to speak the simple truth) ; 
he is merely my pretext." "Really," said she, making her 
syllables last as long as her look of scorn. Meyern, amazed 
at this behavour, so very unlike the tone of the antecedent 
epistolary correspondence (he gave the twin cronies the 
credit of it) — Meyern, whom her beauty, his own money, 
and her poverty and dependence upon Blaise (to say 
nothing of his position of betrothed bridegroom), had now 
inspired with the utmost audacity — Meyern, this brave and 
courageous lion, undertook, without a moment's hesitation, 
a task which nobody else would have ventured upon, 
namely, that of humiliating and bringing to her proper 
senses this irate Aphrodite, by reading to her the cata- 
logue of his Cicisbean appointments, and, in general 
terms, unfolding before her the long perspective of the 
hundreds of gynsecoea and jointure-houses open to him. 
" It is such an easy matter to worship false goddesses and 
open their temple doors, that I am charmed to be restored 
to the worship of the true feminine godhead, through my 
Babylonish captivity to you." 

All her crushed heart sighed forth, " Ah ! then it is all 
true — he is a wicked wretch, and I am miserable indeed." 
But she kept silence, outwardly, and went and looked out 
of the window, in anger. Her soul was one of those whose 
seats are the knight's upper dais of womankind ; it was 
ever eager to do rare, heroic acts of self-devotion and self- 
sacrifice ; indeed, a fondness for remarkable and out-of- 



CHAP. XIV.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 393 

the-way greatness was the only littleness about it. And 
now, when the Venner tried to make amends for his brag- 
gadocio by a sudden jump into a light and sportive tone 
(a tone which, in minor warfares with the ordinary fair 
sex, heals breaches much quicker and better than a more 
serious one) — and proposed a walk in the prettj'- park to 
her, as being a spot better adapted for a reconciliation — 
.this noble soul of hers spread wide its pure white pinions 
and soared away from out the foul heart of this crooked 
pike with his silver scales for ever! And she drew near 
to him and said (all a-glow, but dry-eyed wholly), " Mr. 
von Meyern, I have quite decided - — we are parted for 
ever. We have never known each other, and our acquaint- 
ance is at an end. I will send you back your letters 
to-morrow, and you will have the goodness to return mine 
to me." Had he employed a more serious tone, he might 
have kept hold of this strong soul for some days — perhaps 
weeks — longer. Without looking at him anymore, she 
opened a casket and began arranging letters. He tried, 
in a hundred speeches, to flatter and pacify her; she 
answered never a word. His heart boiled within him, fi/i 
he gave the two advocates the blame for all this. At 
length he thought he would humble this deaf mute (as 
well as make her alter her determination), by saying, as he 
now did, " I don't know what your uncle in Kuhschnappel 
will say to all this. He appears to me to set a much 
greater value upon my sentiments towards you than you 
do yourself; indeed, he seems to consider our marriage as 
essential to your happiness as I think it to mine." This 
was a burden heavier than her back, so sore bent down 
by Fate, could bear. She shut up the casket hurriedly, 
sat down, and rested her bewildered head upon her trem- 
bling arms, shedding burning tears, which her hands 
strove in vain to hide. A reproach of our poverty uttered 
by lips we have loved, darts like red-hot iron into the 
heart, and scorches it dry with fire. Rosa, whose ven- 
geance, now wreaked, gave place to the most eager love, 
(in hopes that her feelings were of the same selfish type as 
his own), threw himself on his knees before her, crying, 
" Oh ! forget it all ! What are we breaking with one 
another for, if we *conie really to think about it ? Your 



394 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

precious tear-drops wash it all away. I mingle mine with 
them is rich abundance." 

She arose with haughty port, leaving him on his knees. 
" My tears," she said, " have not the smallest reference to 
anything connected with you. I am poor, and I would 
not be rich. After the base, ignoble insult you have put 
upon me, you shall not stay and see me weep. Have the 
goodness to leave the room." So that he retired ; and — 
when one considers the weight of the sacks he had to carry 
— sacks of every kind (including one full of muzzles) — 
he really did it in a surprisingly brisk and lively manner, 
holding his head pretty high. His command of his temper 
and his apparent good humour strike one the more (for 
I may give him what praise he deserves), that lie retained 
them and took them home with him, and this on an after- 
noon when, with the two finest and longest levers in all 
his collection he had utterly failed in touching the smallest 
point in Nathalie's heart, or the auricles thereof. One of 
these levers was his old one, which he had tried upon 
Lenette — that of gradually twisting himself in, corkscrew 
fashion, in spiral serpentine lines of petty advances, ap- 
proaches, attentions and illusions ; but Nathalie was neither 
weak nor light enough to be penetrated thus. The other 
lever was one from which something might really have 
been expected in the way of effect — though it actually had 
less than even the first. It consisted in showing his old 
scars (like an old warrior), and rejuvenating them into 
wounds ; in this manner he bared his suffering heart, 
pierced by so many a false love, and which (like a dollar 
with a hole in it), had hung as a votive offering upon so 
many a shrine. His soul put on Court mourning (of 
sorrow) of all degrees, whole and half, in hopes of being, 
like a widow, more enchanting in black. The friend of a 
Leibgeber, however, could be softened by manly sorrows 
only — the womanly sort could but harden her. 

Meanwhile (as we have said), he left his fiancee without 
any pity for her self-sacrifice indeed, and equally with- 
out the slightest indignation at her refusal of him. He 
merely thought, " She may go to the devil ;" and he could 
scarce sufficiently congratulate himself that he had so 
easily escaped the incalculable annoyance of having to 



CHAP. XIV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 395 

endure life with a creature of the kind from one year's 
end to another, and to pay her the necessary respect through- 
out an infernal, long matrimonial life. On the other hand, 
his bile was mightily stirred against Leibgeber, but more 
particularly against Siebenkaes (whom he suspected of 
being the real judge of his Divorce Court), and he laid 
the foundation of several gall-stones in his gall-bladder, 
and of a slight bilious yellow tint in his eyes, with hating 
the advocate, which he could not do enough. 

We return to the Saturday. Nathalie deiived her calm- 
ness and serenity partly from her own strength of mind, 
but also in good measure from the pair of horses (and of 
rose maidens) with whom Kosa had been seen driving 
to the Hermitage. A woman's jealousy is always a day 
or two older than her love. Moreover, I know of no 
excellence, no weakness, shortcoming, virtue, womanliness, 
manliness, in a woman which does not tend rather to en- 
kindle than to appease jealousy. 

Kot only Siebenkses, but even Leibgeber (anxious to 
breathe some warmth upon her freezing soul, all stripped 
of its warm plumage), was this afternoon serious and 
cordial, not (as he usually did) dressing his rewards and 
punishments up in irony. Perhaps, too, her gratifying 
(and flattering) readiness to obey him tamed him down 
to some extent. Firmian had, in addition to the reasons 
above set forth, the more powerful ones— that the English 
lady was expected home the next day but one, and her 
coming would put a stop to all this garden pleasure, or 
interfere with it at all events — that he who knew well, 
from his own experience, what the wounds of a lost love 
were, had a boundless compassion for hers, and would 
gladly have given his own heart's blood to make up for 
the loss of hers — moreover, accustomed all his life to bare, 
mean and empty rooms, he felt a keen enjoyment in being 
in the richly-furnished, bright and tasteful chamber he 
was now in, and naturally carried over a portion of this to 
the account of their inhabitant and hermit. 

The maid-servant, whom we have seen this week 
already, came in just then, with tears in her eyes, falter- 
ing out that she was going to confession, and hoped she 
had done nothing to displease her, &c, &c. " Anything 



396 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

to displease me ?" cried Nathalie; " most certainly not— 
and 1 know I can say the same in your mistress's name ;" 
and went out of the room with her and kissed her, unseen, 
like some good genius. How beautiful are pity and kind- 
ness to distress, in a soul which has just risen up in might 
to resist oppression. 

Leibgeber took a volume of ' Tristram Shandy ' from the 
English lady's library, and lay down with it on the lawn 
under the nearest tree, with the view of making over to 
his friend the undivided fruition of this anise, marchpane 
and honeycomb of an afternoon of talk, which to him was 
merely so much every-day household fare. Moreover, all 
that day when he made any sign of jesting, Nathalie's eyes 
would implore him, " Please do not, for just this one day. 
Do not take pains to point out every pock-pit which Fate 
has left upon my inner soul to him — spare me for this once." 
And lastly (which was his principal reason), it would be 
much easier for Firmian to tell this sensitive Nathalie (now 
upon one-eighth pay) all his project of making her his 
appanaged widow, his heiress in jest — to tell it to her 
wrapped in a triple shroud, written in distorted characters. 

Siebenkaas looked upon this undertaking as a sort of 
day's work at fortification making, a journey across the 
Alps — round the globe — into the grotto of Antiparos, a 
discovery of the longitude ; he had not the slightest notion 
how even to begin to set about it. Indeed, he had pre- 
viously told Leibgeber that, if his death were but a real 
one, nobody would be more ready to talk to her about it, 
but that for a sham death, he really could not sadden her; 
so that she would have to consent, altogether by some 
chance, and unconditionally, to become his widow. " And 
is my death a thing so very improbable after all ? " he 
said. " Of course it is," answered Leibgeber. " If it 
were not, what would become of our death in jest. The 
lady will e'en have to make the best of it." It would 
appear that he dealt with women's hearts in a fashion 
somewhat colder and harder than Siebenkass, in whose 
opinion (hermit connoisseur as he was of rarities in the 
shape of strong female souls) a delicate, suffering one like 
this could not 'be too tenderly treated. However, I dc 
not set up to judge between the two friends. 



OHAP. XIV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 897 

When Leibgeber had gone out with Yorick, Sieben- 
kees went and stood before a fresco representing the said 
Yorick, and poor Maria with her flute and her goat. For 
the chambers of the great are picture-bibles, and an 
orbis pictus, — they sit, eat and walk in picture exhibitions, 
which makes it all the harder a matter for them that two, 
at least, of the greatest expanses in nature — the sky and 
the sea — cannot be painted over for them. Nathalie went 
up to him, and at once cried out, " What is there to see in 
that to-day ? Away from it !" She was just as open and 
unconstrained in her manner with him as he could not 
manage to be with her. She displayed the warmth and 
beauty of her soul in that wherein we (unconsciously) 
unveil, or unmask (as the case may be), ourselves more 
completely than in anything — namel}', her mode of be- 
stowing praise. The illuminated triumphal arch which 
she erected over the head of her English lady-friend, 
elevated her own soul so that she stood at that gate of 
honour as conqueror, in laurel wreath, and glittering 
collar of the Order of Goodness and Worth. Her praises 
were the double chorus and echo of the other's excellence ; 
she was so warm and so earnest ! Ah ! maidens, fairer are 
ye a thousand times when ye twine bridal-wreaths and 
laurel garlands for your companions than when ye plait 
them crowns of straw, and bend them collars of iron. 

She told him how fond she was of British men and 
women, both in and out of print, although she had never 
seen any until the previous winter. " Unless," she said, 
with a smile, "our friend outside may be considered 
one." 

Leibgeber, out on his grass mattress, raised his head 
and saw the couple looking down at him with faces of 
regard ; and the shimmer of love shone forth in three pairs 
of eyes. One single moment of time thus clasped three 
sister souls together in one tender embrace. 

The maid coming back from confession about this junc- 
ture in her white dress — ('twas heavy-wing cases rather 
than light butterfly wings to her) — with a trifle of pretty- 
tinted ribbon about it here and there ; Firmian looked at 
this absolved one for a minute or two, and then took up 
her black and gold hymn-book, which she had laid down 



398 JEAN PAUL FRIEDEICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

in her haste, finding inside it a whole pattern-card of silks, 
besides peacock's feathers. Nathalie, who saw a satirical 
expression dawning on his face, drove it away in an 
instant. " Your sex attaches just as much value to adorn- 
ment as ours. Look at your Court dresses, the Coronation 
robes at Frankfort, and uniforms and official costumes of 
all kinds. Then, the peacock was the bird of the old 
knights and poets, and if you make vows upon his 
feathers, or wear garlands of them, we may surely wear 
them, or at all events mark (if not reward) songs with 
them." Every now and then a barely polite expression of 
astonishment at what she knew escaped the advocate in 
spite of himself. He turned over the leaves of the festival 
hymns, and came upon gilt figures of Our Lady, and found 
a picture wherein were two parti-coloured blotches (sup- 
posed to represent two lovers), and a phosphorescent heart, 
which the male blotch was offering to the female with the 
words: 

" And is to thee my fond love all unknown ! 
How my heart burns is here full plainly shown " 

— the whole surrounded by a tracery of leafwork. Firmian 
loved family and society miniature pictures when (as in 
this case) they were exceedingly poor as works of art. 
Nathalie saw and read this ; she took the book in haste, 
snapped the clasp to, and then, when she had done so, 
said, " You have no objection, have you ?" 

Courage towards women is not inborn, but acquired. 
Firmian had had familiar experience of very few ; where- 
fore this natural awe made him look upon every feminine 
body — particularly if of any standing in society — as a 
kind of sacred Ark of the Covenant whereon no finger 
might be laid ; (for though it is proper to rise superior to 
considerations of rank where men are concerned, it is other- 
wise with women), and upon every female foot as that on 
which a Queen of Spain stands, and every female finger as 
a Franklin point emitting electric sparks. If in love with 
him, I might have likened her to an electrified person, 
feeling all the sparks and mock pains she emitted. At 
the same time, nothing could be more natural than that 
his reverent timidity should diminish as time went on, 



CHAP. XIV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 399 

and that at length (at a moment when she was looking 
the other way) he should take courage to deftly snatch 
hold of the end of one of the ribbons in her hair between 
his fingers — and she never be aware of it. It may have 
been by way of preliminary studies towards the execution 
of this feat that he had previously once or twice tried the 
effect of taking up into his hands things which had been a 
good deal in hers — such as her English scissors, a broken 
pincushion, and a pencil-case. 

Taking heart of grace hereupon, he thought he would 
venture to take up a bunch of wax grapes (which he 
imagined to be made of stone, like those upon butter- 
boats). He gripped them, accordingly, in his fist as in 
a wine-press, crushed two or three of them to pieces, and 
then proffered as many petitions for mercy and pardon as if 
he had knocked over and broken the porcelain Pagoda of 
Nanking. " There's no harm done," she said, laughing. 
** We all find plenty such berries in life —with fine ripe skins 
— no intoxicating juice — and as easily broken — or easier." 

He was in terrible dread lest this glorious, many-tinted 
rainbow of happiness of his should melt away into even- 
ing dew, and it disconcerted him that he no longer saw 
Leibgeber reading upon the flowery turf. Outside, the 
world was brightened into a land of the sun — every tree 
was a rich, firm-rooted joy-flower — the valley a condensed 
universe, ringing with music of the spheres. Never- 
theless he had not the courage to proffer his arm to this 
Venus for a stroll through the sun, i.e. the sunny Fan- 
taisie ; the Venner's fate, and the fact that there was a 
late harvest of a few visitors still walking about the gar- 
dens, rendered him bashful and mute. Of a sudden 
Leibgeber knocked at the window with the agate-head ot 
his stick, crying, " Come over to dinner. My stick-head 
is the Vienna lantern.* We are sure not to get home 
before midnight.'' He had ordered a dinner in the cie. 
Presently he cried out, "There is a pretty child here 
asking for you." Siebenkaes hurried out, and found it 

* We have all read in the newspapers that at the Vienna balli a 
paper lantern is carried through the rooms, with the inscription 
" Supper ready." This may be called Vienna lanteraing. 



400 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

was the very child into whose hand he had pressed his 
flowers on the evening when, after the great feast-eve at 
the Hermitage, he had been soaring along on the wiugs 
of fancy through the village of Johannis. " Where is 
your wife, sir ? " asked the child ; " the lady who took 
me out of the water the day before yesterday ? I have 
some beautiful flowers here that my godpapa cent me to 
give her. Mother will come and give her best thanks, 
too, as soon as she can, but just now she's in bed very 
unwell." 

Nathalie, who had heard what the child said, came down, 
and said, with a blush, " Is it I, darling? Give me your 
flowers, then." The child, recognising her, kissed her 
hand, the hem of her dress, and, lastly, her lips, and 
would have recommenced this round of kisses, when Na- 
thalie, in turning the flowers over, came upon three silken 
counterfeits amidst its living forget-me-nots and red and 
white roses. To Nathalie's questions as to whence these 
costly flowers came, the child answered, " Give me a 
kreuzer or two, and I'll tell you." This was done, and 
she added, "I got them from my godpapa, and he is a 
very, very grand gentleman ;" then ran away among the 
bushes. 

This bouquet was a veritable Turkish Selam-and- Flower 
riddle to them all. Leibgeber accounted with ease for 
the child's sudden marriage of Nathalie and Siebenkass, by 
the circumstance that the advocate h««d been standing 
beside her at the water-side, and people, who had seen 
no one so constantl)' with her as himself, had been mis- 
led by the bodily likeness between them. 

Siebenkass's mind, however, ran more on the machine- 
master, Eosa (so fond of setting his patchwork life-scenes 
tor every woman to play her part before), and the re- 
semblance these silk flowers bare to those which the 
Venner had once redeemed from pawn for Lennette in 
Kuhschnappel struck him at once ; yet how could he 
sadden this gladsome time, and spoil the pleasure of re- 
ceiving these votive flowers, by giving words to his sus- 
picions ? Nathalie insisted upon a distribution of this floral 
inheritance, inasmuch as each of the three had taken part 
in the rescue, and Siebenkaes and Leibgeber had, at all 



CHAP. XIV.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 401 

events, rescued the rescuer. She kept the white silk 
roses for herself, allotted the red ones to Leihgeber (who 
would not have them, but asked for a proper, real, living 
rose instead, which he immediately put in his mouth) ; to 
Siebenkaes she gave the silken forget-me-nots, and one or 
two living, perfume-breatliing ones as well (souls, as it 
were, of the artificial ones). He took them with rapture, 
aud said the tender real ones should never wither for him. 
Nathalie here took a brief temporary leave of the pair, but 
Firmian could not find words to express all his gratitude 
to his friend for the means he had adopted to prolong this 
little day of grace which orbed his whole life round with 
a new heaven and a new earth. 

No King of Spain ever took as little out of some six, 
or so (at the outside), of the hundred dishes which, by the 
laws of the realm, are daily served at his table, than 
Siebenkaes did that day out of one. Historians, worthy of 
credence, inform us, however, that he managed to drink a 
very little — a little wine it was — and that in a considerable 
hurry — for he could not be happy enough that day to 
satisfy Leibgeber. The latter, not apt to be easily swayed 
by heart and feeling, was all the more delighted that his 
beloved Firmian should at last have a pole star of happi- 
ness shining in the zenith point of the heavens above his 
head, beaming down genial warmth upon the blossoming 
time of his few scattered flowers. 

The rapid rate at which his duplex enjoyment kept on 
moving enabled him to steal a march upon the sun, and 
he arrived once more at the villa, whose walls were now 
tinted red by his beams, while the glory of evening was 
gilding its windows into fire. Nathalie, on the balcony, 
was like some sunlit soul, just ready to take wing after 
the departing sun, hanging with her great eyes upon the 
shiuing, quivering world rotunda all full of church-music 
— and on the sun flying downward from this temple, like 
some angel — and at the holy, luminous tomb of nignt into 
which earth was sinking. 

When they came under the balcony (Nathalie becsoning 
♦hem to come up to her) Heinrich handed him his suck, 
saying, " Keep that for me. I have enough to carry 
without it — if you want me, blow the whistle.' As ra- 
il 2d 



402 JRAN PAUL FRIEDR1CH RICHTER. | BOOK IIJ. 

gai ded his morale and physique, our good Henry had the 
kindest and softest of human hearts within his shaggy, 
Bruin breast. 

Ah ! happy Firmian, happy in spite of all your troubles. 
When now you pass through the door of glass and on to 
the floor of iron, the sun confronts you, and sets for a 
second time. Earth closes her great eye, like some dying 
goddess ! Then the hills smoke like altars — choruses call 
from the woods — shadows, the veils of day, float about 
the enkindled, translucent tree-tops and rest upon their 
many-tinted breast-pins (of flowers), and the gold-leaf of 
the evening sky throws a dead-gilt gleam towards the 
enst, and touches with a rosy ray the vibrating breast of 
the hovering lark, far up evening bell of Nature. Ah ! 
happy Firmian, should some glorious spirit from realms 
afar wing its flight athwart earth and her spring tide, and, 
as he passes, a thousand lovely evenings be concentrated 
into one burning one — it would not be more Elysian than 
this, whereof the glow is now dying out around you as 
the moments fly. 

When the flames of the windows paled, and the moon 
was rising heavily behind the earth, thev both went back 
into the twilight room, silent, and with full hearts. Firmian 
opened the pianoforte and, in musio, went through his 
evening once more. The trembling strings were as 
tongues of fire to his full heart ; the flower-ashes of his 
youth were blown away, and two or three youthful minutes 
bloomed back into life. 

But as the music poured its warm life-balsam upon 
Nathalie's swollen heart in all its constraint (for its wounds 
were only closed, not healed), it melted and gave way, 
the heavy tears which had been burning within it flowed 
forth, and it grew weak and tender, but light. Firmian, 
who saw she was passing once more through the gate of 
sacrifice towards the sacrificial knife, stopped the sacrificial 
music, and tried to lead her away from the altar. Just 
then the first beam of the moon alighted, like a swan's 
wing, upon the waxen grapes. He asked her to come 
out into the silent, misty, after-summer cf the day, the 
moonlit evening. She plaoed her arm in his without 
saying yes. 



CHAP. XIV.J FLOWEH, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 403 

What a sparkling, gleaming world ! Through the 
branches, through the fountains, over the hills and over 
the woodlands, the flashing molten silver was flowing, 
which the moon was fining from out the dross of night, 
Swiftly shot her glance of silver athwart the rippling 
wavelet, and the glossy, shining, gently-trembling apple- 
leaves, pausing to rest upon the marble pillars and birch-tree 
stems. Nathalie and Firmian paused upon the threshold 
of the magic valley (it gleamed like some enchanted cavern, 
where night and light were playing, and all the founts of 
being— which by day cast up sweet odour, melody of songs 
and voices, feathery wings, translucent pinions — seemed 
sunk in voiceless slumber deep into some silent chasm). 
They looked up to the mountain, the Sophienberg, with 
its summit flattened as by the weight of years ; a great 
mist Colossus was veiling all its Alp-like peak ; next at 
the pale-green world, lying asleep beneath the shimmering 
radiance of the far-off silent suns, gleaming depths of 
silver star-dust, flowing faint and far before the ever- 
brightening rising moon ; and then at one another, with 
hearts lull to the brim of holy friendship, such a gaze as 
only two blest angels, new created, free and gladsome, 
bend in rapture on each other. " Are you as happy as 
I ?" he asked. " No," she answered, involuntarily pressing 
his arm, " that I am not ; for, on a night like this should 
follow, not a day, but something far lovelier and richer — 
something that should satisfy the heart's thirst, and staunch 
its bleeding for ever." "And what should that be?" he 
asked. " Death," was her answer. She lifted her streaming 
eyes to his and said, "You think so, too, do you not? 
Death for me." " No, no," he added quickly, " for me, if 
you will, not for you." To break the course of this over- 
powering moment, she added hurriedly, " Shall we go 
down to the place where we first met, and where, two 
days too soon, J became your friend ; * and yet it was not 
too soon. Shall we?" 

He obe3 r ed her; but his soul was still a-swim among 
his precious thoughts, and as they went down the long, 
hollow, gravel-way, besprent with the shadows of the 

* Alas ! that the English word " friend " is such a poor representative 
of the German original. Yet I cannot hit upon any other. — Tr. 

2d2 



404 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

FhrnKs, and moonlight rippling over its white bed (flecked 
with shadows for stones), he said, "Yes, in an hour like 
this, when death and sleep send forth their brothers to us, 
a soul like yours may think of death.* But I have more 
cause than you, for I am happier. Oh ! of all guests at 
Joy's festival-banquet, Death is the one whom she loves 
best to see ; for he is himself a joy, the last and highest 
rapture upon earth. None but the common herd can asso- 
ciate humanity's lofty flight of migration into the distant 
land of spring with ghosts and corpses here below on 
earth ; as when they hear the owls' voices when they are 
going away to warmer countries they take them for the 
cries of goblins. But, oh ! dear, dear, Nathalie, I cannot 
and will not bear to think of what you say as in any shape 
connected with you. No, no, so rich a soul must come 
into full bloom in a far nearer, earlier spring than that 
beyond this life ! Oh, God ! it must /" They had reached 
a wall of rock over which a broad cascade of moonlight 
was falling; against it leant a trellis of roses, whence 
Natalie gathered a spray, all green and tender, with two 
young rose-buds just beginning to swell, and, saying " You 
will never blow," she placed it on her heart, and said 
(looking at him with a strange expression), " While they 
are young they scarcely prick at all." 

And when they got down to the stone water-basin — the 
sacred spot where they first met — and could as yet find no 
words to utter what was in their hearts, they saw some 
one come up out of the dry basin. Though they smiled, 
it was a smile full of emotion— in all three cases — for this 
was their Leibgeber, who had been lying in wait for them 
in hiding, with a bottle of wine, among the imaged water- 
gods. A certain something there had been in his troubled 
eyes, but it had been poured out by way of libation to this 
spring night from our cup of joy. " This port and haven 
of your first landing here," said he, "must be properly 
consecrated, and you (to Nathalie) must join in the pledge. 
I swear by Heaven that there is more fruit hanging on its 
blue dome to-night within reach than ever hung on any 
green one." They took three glasses, pledged one another, 

• Death sends sleep, Heaven the dream. 



CHAP. XIV.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 405 

and said (some of them, I imagine, in somewhat subdued 
tones). "To friendship! may it live for ever.' may the 
spot where it commenced be always green ! May every 
place blossom where it has grown, and, though all its 
flowers ma} r fade, and its leaves fall and wither, may it 
live on for ever and for evermore ! " Nathalie was obliged to 
turn her eyes away. Heinrich laid a hand upon the agate 
head of I lis stick (but only because his friend's hand which 
was holding it was over the top of it. that he might give 
the latter a warm and hearty pressure), and said, " Give it 
me ; you shall have no clouds in your hand to-night ; " 
for nature had graven cloud-streaks on the agate in her 
subterranean studio. Any heart — not Nathalies only — 
must have been touched by this bashful cloaking of the 
warm token of friendship. "Are you not going to stay 
with us?" she asked somewhat faintly, as he was leaving 
them. " I'm going up to the landlord," he said, " to see if 
I can get hold of a flute or a horn, and if 1 do 1 shall come 
out and musicise over the valley, and play the spring- 
time in." 

When he was gone his friend felt as if his youth had 
gone with him. Suddenly he saw, high above the whirling 
may-beetles and the breeze-born night-buttei flies, and 
their arrow-swift pursuers, the bats, a great train of birds 
of passage winging their way through the blue, like some 
broken cloud, coming back to our spring. Then flashed 
upon his open heart the memory of his lodgings in the 
market-town, and the time when he saw a similar flight 
of (earlier) birds of passage, and thought that his life 
would soon be at an end. These recollections, with all 
their tears, brought back the belief that he was soon to 
die; and this he must tell Nathalie. He saw the wide 
expanse of night stretched over the world like some great 
corpse but her shadowy limbs quiver under the moonlit- 
branches at the first touches of the morning breeze awaking 
in the east. She rises towards the coming sun as a di.>- 
solving vapour, an all-embracing cloud, and man says 
"It is day." Two crape-covered thoughts, like hideous 
spectres, fought within I'irmian's soul. The one said, " He 
is going to die of apoplexy, so he never can see her more." 
And the other said, " He is going through the farce of a 



406 JEAN PAUL FRIEDKICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

pretended death, and then he never must see her more." 
Overborne by the past as well as by the present, he took 
Nathalie's hand, and said, " You must pardon ray being so 
deeply moved to-night. I shall never see you more. You 
are the noblest of your sex that I have ever met, but we 
shall never meet again. "Very soon you must hear that 
I am dead, or that nry name, from one cause or other has 
passed away, but my heart will still be yours, be thine. 
Oli ! that the present, with its mountain-chains of grave- 
hillocks, but lay behind me, and the future were come, 
with all its open graves, and I stood on the brink of my 
own! For 1 would look once more on thee, then throw 
myself into it in bliss." 

Nathalie answered not a word. She faltered suddenly in 
her walk, her arm trembled, her breath came thick and 
fast. She stopped, and, with a face as pale as death, said, 
in trembling accents, "Stay here on this spot; let me 
sit alone f<»r a minute on that turf-bank. Ah! I am so 
headlong!" He saw her move trembling away. She 
hank, as if overwhelmed with some burden, down upon a 
bank of turf. She fixed her blinded eyes upon the moon 
(the blue sky around it seemed a night, the earth a 
vapour) ; her ami lay rigid on her lap ; she did not move, 
except that a spasm, distantly resembling a smile, played 
about her lip ; her eyes were tearless. But to her friend, 
life at that moment seemed a realm of shadows, whose 
outlines were floating and blending in endless changes of 
confusion; a tract all hollow, sunken mine-shafts full of 
mists in the likeness of mountain-spirits, with but one 
bingle opening of outlet to the heavens, the free air, the 
spring, the light of day ; and that outlet so narrow, so 
remote, and far above his head. 

There sat Nathalie in the white crystal shimmer, like 
some angel upon an infant's grave ; and, suddenly, the 
tones of Heinrich's music broke in, like bells pealing in 
a storm, upon their souls as they paused, all stunned (like 
Nature before the thunder breaks), and the warm river of 
melody bore away their hearts, dissolving them the while. 
Nathalie made an affirmative sign with her head, as if she 
had come to some conclusion : she rose and came forward 
from th*> green, flowery grave like some enfranchised, 



CHAP. XIV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORU PIECES. 407 

glorified spirit ; she opened her arms wide, and came 
towards him. Tear after tear came coursing down her 
blushing face, but as yet her heart could find no words ; 
sinking under the world which was in her heart, she 
could totter no further, and he flew to meet her. She 
held him back that she might speak the first, her tears 
flowing faster and faster, but when she had cried, " My 
first friend, and my last — for the first and las 4 time," she 
grew breathless and dumb, and, overburdened with sor- 
row, sank into his arms, upon his lips, upon his heart. 

" No ! no ! " she murmured ; " Oh ! Heaven, give me but 
the power to speak. Firmian ! my Firmian ! Take all 
my happiness away with you — all that I have on earth. 
But never, by all you hold most sacred, never see me 
more in this world. Now " (she added very softly), " you 
must ewear this to me." She drew her head back, and the 
tones of Heinrich's music flowed between and around them 
like the voice of sorrow. She gazed at him, and his pale 
care-worn face wrung her heart with agony; with eyes 
dim with tears, she implored him to swear that he would 
never see her more. 

" Yes, noble, glorious soul," he answered, in trembling 
tones ; " yes, then, I swear to thee I will never see thee 
more." Mute and motionless, as if smitten by the hand 
of death, she sank with drooping head upon his breast ; 
and once again, like one dying, he said, " I will never 
see thee more." Then, beaming like some angel, she raised 
her face, worn with emotion to him, saying, " All is over 
now ; take the death kiss, and speak no more." He took 
it, and she gently disengaged herself from his arms. But 
as she turned away, she put back her hand and gave him 
the green rosebuds with the tender thorns, and saying, 
" Think of to-night," went resolutely away (trembling, 
nevertheless), and was soon lost in the dark-green alleys, 
where but few beams of light struck through. 

And the end of this night every soul that has loved can 
picture for itself without the aid of any words of mins. 



408 JEAN PAUL FRIEDBICH RICHTEE. [BOOK III. 



FIBST FRUIT PIECE. 

LETTER OF DR. VICTOR TO CATO THE ELDER, ON THE CONVERSION 
OF I INTO THOU, HE, SHE, TE, AND THEY; OR, THE FEAST OF 
KINDNESS OF THE 20fH MARCH. 

Flachsenfingen, 1st April, 1795. 

My dear Cato the Elder, 

A breaker of his word like you — who made such a 
6olemn promise to come to rny feast, and yet did not come 
— will have to be punished by having his mouth — not 
stitched up (which is what savages do to word-breakers,) 
for that would be a loss only to your hearers — but made 
to water. When I shall have painted a full and faithful 
picture of our peace-festival of the soul for you, I shall 
stop both my ears against the curses which you will 
pour out on your evil genius. At this feast we all philo- 
sophised, and we were all converted, except me, who could 
not be reckoned a convert, inasmuch as I was myself the 
converter of the heathen. 

Our flotilla of three boats — (the third we were obliged 
to take in deference to the timidity of the ladies)— got. 
under way about one o'clock in the afternoon of the 20th of 
March, ran into the stream, gained the open water, and 
soon after one we were well in sight of the very anther- 
filaments and spider's-webs on the island. At a quarter-past 
two we landed — the professor, his wife, and a girl and boy 
— Melchior — Jean Paul — the Government Counsellor, Fla- 
min — the lovely Luna — (off goes the first of your curses 
here !) — the undersigned, and his wife. 

Some Burgundy was then disembarked. At the com- 
mencement of spring (which was to take place that day at 
38 minutes past 3 o'clock) we meant to enter upon a 
" stream of life," coloured and sweetened after a most 
superlative sort. With the island, Cato, many of us were 
quite enraptured, and nearly all of us wished we had paid 
a visit to this beautiful bowling-green in the Rhine — thin 
pleasure camp amid tLe waves — long before. Luna, elder 
Cato — if* I mistake nut thou hast seen, certainly once at 



CKAF. XIV.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 409 

the very least, that tender soul, which ought to dwell in 
(and heighten the tint of) a white rose in place of a 
body — Luna shed tears, half of delight (for they were 
half of sorrow for everybody who was not there), half of 
delight not so much at the families of alders upon the 
rounded bank, or the Lombardy poplars lying trembling 
in intoxication of bliss in the gentle air which breathed 
about them, or the sunny green paths, as at all this 
together (in the first place), and at the spring sky and 
the Khine (which was showing that sky a picture, as it 
were, of its antipodean sky somewhere over America), and 
at the peace and gladness of her soul — but (above all) at 
the Alp in the centre of the island. 

The Alp will be sketched, if an opportunity offers, in 
this letter. I at once a!>ked Luna where you were, £jhe 
said, " At the Frankfort Fair." Was she light? 

When a party arrives at a place it is not, like the Anguis 
Fragilis, to be broken into ten twitching fragments by 
every touch of chance. Even the ladies kept with us, for 
I had deprived them of all opportunity of doing anything 
in the shape of household labour, by the arrangements 1 
had made for the dinner. This Barataria Island was going 
to be an intellectual Place d'Armes and theatre of wai 
that day. I love disputation. Intellectual bickerings 
further and heighten the happiness of congenial society, 
just as lovers' quarrels are a renewal of love, and fisticuffs 
a necessity of Marionette operas. Certain people are like 
the Moravians, among whom the confessor and penitent 
change places, each laying a picture of his soul before the 
other, his own police-notice of an absconded criminal — his 
own advertisement in the " Hue and Cry " ; and I am like 
them. Any blemish or shortcoming which I discover in 
myself or other people I immediately publish over halt' 
the town in a universal German gazette, as ladies do the 
witnesses' depositions of evidence concerning strangers. 
For the last three weeks, dear Cato, my soul has been 
glowing in the brightest sunlight of peace and love, cast 
upon me by the deceased chief Piqueur (a man who had 
not a trace of either the one or the other about him) — and 
now 1 cannot rest till 1 entail this precious legaoy upon 
all of you. 



410 JEAN PAUL FR1EDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

As Lieutenant de Police of the island, I possessed the 
power of issuing police regulations with respect to the 
conversation permissible thereon, and I directed the thread 
of our talk towards the Piqueur in question. But the 
wasps came buzzing out of their nests ; the first of them 
being your brother, Melchior, who drove his sting into 
the Piqueur 8 avarice, saying that people who didn't bestow 
their plunder upun the poor till they were in their own 
coffins, were like pikes who eject their (swallowed) prey 
when caught themselves ; they should rather do as Judas 
Iscariot did — cast their pieces of silver into the church 
before their hanging. The next wasp was your second 
brother, Jean Paul, who said, " Misers are the only people 
who haven't had enough of life when they die. Even 
when they are in the very grip of Death's hand, they 
would fain grasp hold of money with their own. Like 
cap-mushrooms, when they are broken off, they cling ter- 
ribly to the earth's surface with their bleeding moiety." 

" Ah ! " said I, " everyone is a thorough miser as re- 
gards something or other, I am sorry to say. I cannot 
now be so hard upon a man who confines himself to morti- 
fying and chastening himself as I used to be. Where is the 
extraordinary difference between one of your learned anti- 
quary mint-assayers who distils, evaporates, and injects 
all the pleasures of his life into the rust of a collection of 
coins — and a miser who counts and weighs the specimens 
in his cabinet like so many votes at an election? Not, 
in reality, so great a difference as there is between our 
opinions of the two." I thought I had a fine chance of 
turning deftly to the subject of the Piqueur at this point, 
but the entire company called out to me to tell them 
what o'clock it was. In my capacity of Viceroy, I had 
disarmed all the islanders of their watches at the landing- 
place (as if they had been so many swords), that they 
might pass their day in a blissful eternity, where time was 
not. The only one allowed to keep his was Paul — and 
this was because it was one of the new Geneva sort, whose 
hands always point to 12 o'clock, only telling the real 
time when one touches a spring. 

It was now past three. In thirty-eight minutes, spring, 
that pre-heaven upon earth — that second paradise — would 



CHAP. XIV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 411 

make her grand processional progress over the ruins of 
the first. Already the clouds were all cleared away from 
the sky, spring breezes played coolingly about the sun, 
burning in the blue; on a vine-clad hill by the Rhine 
bhore, a solo-singer from the great choir of spring — a 
nightingale — sent on in advance of her — was pouring out 
her song in a smooth-grown thicket of pruned cherry- 
trees ; through the open trellis -work of the boughs 
we could see the notes vibrate in the feathers of her 
throat. 

We climbed up the artificial Mount St. Gothard. It was 
set round with turf- banks and leafy niches ; an oak stood 
on its summit by way of crown. Man (day-fly, as he is, 
playing above a ripple of time) cannot do without 
watches and date-indicators on the banks of the time- 
stream. Although every day is a birthday and a new 
year's day, he must have one of his own into the bargain. 
Thirty-eight minutes struck in us. And down from the 
waves of throbbing blue above us came floating a broad 
breath of breeze, rocking tha swelling grapes and the bare 
grafts, the delicate young branchlets, and the strong, 
sharp-pointed winter-corn, and lilting the soaring pigeons 
higher in their flight. The sun, above Switzerland, 
looked, in blissful intoxication, at his own face reflected 
in the sublime glittering ice-mirror of Mont Blanc, part- 
ing (unaware) day and night into equal halves, as if with 
two arms of fate, and throwing down equal portions to 
every land and every eye. We sang Goethe's ' ; Hymn to 
the Spring." The sun sent us down (like dew) from 
the hill-top to the valley — the earth swelling loose fell 
rustling at our feet ; and wine (Lethe of life) hid from our 
sight the misty banks within which it rolled its way — 
mirroring only heaven and flowers. Clotilda s tid (not to 
us, but to her Luna) — (and here, dear Cato, I am drunk 
with remembering ; and I beg, accordingly, to invite you, 
at once, for the 10th of April), " Ah ! dearest, how beautiful 
the world is sometimes. We ought not to think so 
poorly of it. Are we not like Orestes in the 'Iphigenia' — 
fancying we are in exile, though we really are in our own 
native land." 

With every downward step from the hill we sank back 



412 JEAN PAUL FRIEDEICH R1CHTER. [BOOK III. 

into the workaday marsh-meadow of life. '• What the 
better are we,'' cried Melchior, quite angrily, " for all this 
splendour in and around us, when to-morrow a single 
passionate earthquake may hurl down an av danche of 
snow-masses upon all that is warm and blooming in us ? 
it is the April of the human heart — not the April of the 
universe — that causes me such vexation. We are always 
at our hardest just after an attendrissement — and moved to 
tears just after some murderojs rage — as earthquakes set 
warm springs flowing. Now I know quite well that, 
to-morrow, at the sitting of the council, I shall attack and 
oppose everybody and everything. Pitiable ! pitiable ! 
And you are not a whit better, Flamin." 

" Not a whit," said Flamin, with touching candour. 
Luna and my wife took the Professor's wife between them 
(each taking one of her children in her lap), and bat down 
upon the green nether slope of the hill, on the sunny side 
of the nightingale. We, however, were too restless to sit 
down. " Alas ! " (said Jean Paul, walking up and down, 
with his hands folded and hanging, and his hat thrown 
away, so that his eyes, at all events, might be higher and 
freer). " Alas ! is any one a whit better ? We take a vow 
of universal love to our fellow men whenever we are deeply 
touched — when we have buried some one, or have been 
thoroughly happy, or have committed some grand trans- 
gression, or looked long and closely at Nature, or are in- 
toxicated with love, or some earthly form of intoxication : 
but we are really only perjurers, not philanthropists, as we 
fancy ourselves. We long and thirst for the love of others 
— but it is like mercury, it feels and looks like fountain 
water, and flows and glitters like it — but it is cold, dry, 
and heavy in reality. It is just those very people upon 
whom Nature has bestowed most gifts (and who, conse- 
quently, should not covet other people's, but be content 
with distributing their own), who, like princes, demand the 
more from their fellow men the more they have to give 
them, and the less they do give them. Dissensions are the 
more bitterly painful, the more alike the souls are between 
whom they take place, just as discords are harsher the 
nearer they approach the unison. \\ e forgive without 
reason because we have found fault without reason, for a 



CHAP. XIV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 413 

rightful and righteous anger must, of necessity, he ever- 
lasting. M othing is a stronger evidence of the miserable 
subordination of our reason to our ruling passion than the 
fact that we place such a flat every-day matter as time 
among the cures for hate, grief, love, &c. ; our impul-es 
are to forget to conquer, or to grow tired of doing so — our 
wounds are to be sanded over with the Margrave's sympa- 
thetic powder of drift-sand out of Time's sand-glass ! Too 
miserable a business altogether ! But can anything make 
a better of it? Certainly, least of all my complaints of it ! " 

"The fact is," said the serene, gentle, Professor (who 
only uses a very few pedantic tints in his style of painting), 
"feelings of love to our fellow men * are useless without 
reasons." " Saare reasons without feelings," said Paul. 

" Consequently," continued the Professor (for I could 
riot manage to get my Piqueur brought to bear anyhow, 
but had to keep him idly in reserve), " the two have to be 
combined like genius and criticism — of which the former 
can produce only master-pieces and scholar-pieces, the 
latter only something of an everyday sort between the two. 
What I think is, that our lack of love arises, not from our 
coldness, but from a conviction that others do not deserve 
it. The coldest of men would acquire a greater warmth of 
feeling for their fellows if they acquired a higher opinion 
of them." 

" But," asked Clotilda, " must we not forgive even the 
wrong done by our enemies ? The right is not matter for 
forgiveness." 

M Of eourse it is not," he answered, but would let him- 
self be no further diverted from his point. " The only 
ugliness and hatefulness which we can truly experience 
hatred for is that of a moral sort." 

* In all this discussion what we are talking of is not that practical 
love of our fellow men, and of our enemies, which expresses itself in 
action, and in refraining from revenge (and which must be easy to 
every properly constituted person), but that feeling of misanthropy, or 
of philanthropy (as the case may be), over which the moral sense has 
but little power — of inward love, as distinct from actions; of secret 
indignation with sinners and fools. It is easier to sacrifice one's self 
for people than to love them — easier to do good to our enemies th .n t > 
forgive them. The lonjring of love, as well as its seldomne&s, have had 
but one painter — F. Jakobi : we do not need a st cond. 



414 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH KICHTER. [BOOK III. 

" In opposition to that, view of the question," said Jean 
Paul, "I might adduce the fierce combats of animals, and 
nurseries in a state of war ; for in neither of the.se cases is 
there any idea of immorality of the enemy, although hatred 
of him exists. But were I to adduce these cases, I could 
answer m\ self— at least, so so. If we directed our hatred 
against things other than the immoral, we should be just as 
angry with the hanging branch which strikes us in the face 
as wiih the person who broke it so that it should be so placed 
as to do so. The rage of a chastised child is quite a different 
thing from the alarmed instinct of self-conservancy — the 
feeling of avoidance of nitric acid, or of bodily hurt. The 
former has in it a duplex sense of dislike, the two com- 
ponents of which are most dissimilar — the one referring to 
the cause, the other to the effect. We must distinguish 
between beings which are capable of morality, and such 
as are not, in kind — not in degree; those incapable of 
morality can never be made capable of it by the mere 
lapse of time, or step by step. Whence, if children at any 
period of their age were utterly non-moral beings, it would 
follow that they could never, at any period, begin to become 
moral beings. In brief, their anger is nothing other than 
a dim sense of other people's injustice. As to the animals, 
I don't know what else to say than that there must be in 
them something analogous to our moral sense. Those who 
(like us) believe them to have immortal souls, must, as a 
matter of course, concede them some beginnings — some 
pre-existent germs of morality — although these may be 
overpowered and kept in the background by their animal 
natures even to a greater extent than (for instance) con- 
science is in sleep, drunkenness, or insanity. But alas ! 
all this is night within night! And I hope this obscu- 
rity will be considered some excuse, Professor, for the 
manner in which I have obstructed and built out your 
light." 

" Now," he went on, " since hatred only concerns itself 
with moral defects, how strange it is that we never hate 
ourselves, even for the gravest moral defects." 

" I" think," said Flamin, that one does sometimes feel the 
deadliest hatred of one's self, for over-haste." 

M And then," said Jean Paul, " your argument would 



CHAP. XIV.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 415 

apply just as well to love — at least it would half apply. 
Coine, let's hear what you've got to say to that?" 

" We never hate ourselves," I said. " We despise and 
pity ourselves, when we have done wrong. Although — I 
must add this — we hate all men, our ownselves excepted, 
for vices. Can this be right?" " Self-hatred/' went on 
the Professor, "is not possible, for hatred is nothing but 
the wishing of evil to the object of it — t. e., a desire to 
punish, not for bettering 's sake, but for punishing's. But the 
most repentant of sinners never can wish himself made the 
subject of a chastening of this kind ; and even if he could, 
such a wish would be merely a disguised desire for bettering 
— i. e., for greater happiness. But to a transgressor other 
than ourselves we hardly can concede rapidity of conversion, 
not, at all events, until he has gone through a proper ex- 
piation. What distinguishes our feeling concerning other 
people's errors from our feeling concerning our own is a 
sham self-love. The very minutest particle of hatred 
desires the unhappiness of its object ; that is what I have 
got to prove now." 

His own wife here interrupted him with the words, 
"My heart tells me, as plainly as possible, that I could 
never wish any serious misfortune to happen to my 
bitterest enemy — such as money troubles, or anything 
about her children. I could not bear even the idea of a 
tear being brought to her eyes on my account." 

" No, I suppose not," he went on. " The better nature 
within us never wishes its antipode a broken leg, would 
not leave him without a strip of lint, or a wish for his 
recovery. But I know that that same ' better nature ' does 
take a delight in his minor skin-wounds — his being put to 
confusion, his sleigh slipping down hill backwards, his 
losing his hair. The gentlest of souls hides, at the back of 
its tender sympathy with great troubles, its untender satis- 
faction with small ones, such as call for condolence (a 
smaller thing than sympathy). The tenderest of people, 
people incapable of inflicting the smallest wound imagin- 
able on their enemy's skin, are delighted to make a thousand 
deep ones in his heart." " Ah 1 " said Luna, " how can 
that be possible ? " "I don't think it would be pos- 
sible," Clotilda answered her, "if the pain of the sota 



416 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICn RICIITER. [BOOK III. 

had as definite a physiognomy, and as real tears, as that of 
the body." 

"Exactly," said the Professor; "that is just where it in. 
To make ourselves feel more gently towards the wicked 
we have only to think of them as delivered wholly over 
into our hands. For what harm would one do them then ? 
The moment they acknowledged their fault we would stay 
the rack, and bid the torture cease. What redoubles our 
indignation, and renders it everlasting, is the very im- 
possibility of inflicting any punishment." 

" Yes, that is quite true," said Melchior. " The oftener 
I read of these two live guillotines of their age, Alba and 
Philip (whose lips were shears of the Parcse), or of those 
two other mowers of mankind, Marat and Robespierre, the 
deeper does the aquafortis of anger etch their condemna- 
tion into my heart, although death has drawn up their 
Acts of Amnesty." 

" And yet, after all," I put in (leaving the Piqueur in 
the rear for the present), " if anybody would deliver over 
the King and the Duke to you and me here this afternoon, 
and a couple of caldrons of boiling oil into the bargain, 
I feel quite certain I couldn't throw one of them in — at 
any rate till the oil had stood a long time in the cold. I 
should let them oft' with a good flogging — say 100 lashes, 
or so. Ah 1 what a cast-iron sort of fellow were he who 
should not soothe, and comfort with cooling, healing 
touch (had he the power) a heart breaking with anguish, 
a face whereon the worm of suffering was ploughing its 
tortuous track ! At the same time (I continued, rapidly ; 
for I was determined to bring in my Piqueur somehow or 
other), where emotion is concerned, the memory of past 
errors is not the smallest safeguard against new ones." 

" You see, you won't allow me to speak," the Professor 
broke in. " I still owe you a tremendous number of 
proofs, and I am most anxious to acquit the debt. Our 
hatred, being an emotion, always turns every action into a 
whole life; every attribute inlo a personality (or, to speak 
more accurately, because our only mode of seeing any per- 
sonality is by its reflection in the mirror of its attributes) 
converts one attribute into the sum of them. It is only in 
the case of liking — of friendship — that we find it easy to 



OHAr. XIV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 417 

separate the attribute from the personality. Hatred can 
not do it. Nay, in the case of liking, the converse trans- 
formation takes place — that of the personality into the 
attribute. We hate as if the object of our hatred had 
never possessed any virtues, or inclination to them — 
neither pity nor truthfulness, love of the young, one 
single good hour, anything whatever. In brief, since it 
is with the individuality of the person whose punishment 
we are decreeing that we are angry (not with its character- 
istic of the moment), we make him out to be a wholly 
wicked being. Yet such a being is not conceivable. The 
voice of conscience speaking in that being would be of 
itself one goodness in him, even though it spoke in vain ; 
the pain of that conscience would be another ; each joy 
and each impulse of his life another." 

" Ah ! how delightful," said Luna, " that there is nobody 
so utterly bad; nobody whom one would have to hate 
altogether." 

" You see," he continued, " it cannot be the me of a 
person that jve hate ; for the me is still the same me when 
it improves, and wins our regard." 

In the warmth of our discussion we were losing sight 
altogether of one of the two concave mirrors which distort 
other people's moral distortions for us even more wildly 
than they are distorted to begin with — I mean, our own 
egotism. Often, when I have seen and heard women 
squabbling in the market-place (women of whom one was 
just as good as the other, and with just as good an opinion 
of herself), and one hurling her invectives with delight, 
like a red-hot stone, at the other's head, which seethed 
and swelled in waves of anger around that stone, while 
a third woman kept calm and cool in the midway-path 
between, I have been ashamed of the human race — 
ashamed that the self-same reproach, or immorality, 
which ought to produce exactly the same effect upon all 
the three, should make too strong an impression on the 
one, too weak a one on the other, none whatever on 
the third. 

Paul pointed to the second of these distorting mirrors — 
oar Dodily senses. For these render the vinegar of hatred 
doubly bitter by throwing into its fermenting- vat these 

IL 2B 



418 JEAN PAUL FIUEDK1CH BICHTEB. [BOOK III, 

parts of the enemy which they take cognizance of — his 
clothes, movements, gestures, tones, &c. 

Here we reached the Gordian knot which only I could 
cut with the Piqueur. " Who is to save us from these 
bodily senses?" I inquired (with a certain amount of 
hopeful expectancy). Mclchior answered, " I do not allow 
them to influence my philanthropy, at all events. They 
are the straw which feeds the flame under that ascending 
windbag balloon, the heart." 

Jean Paul thrust me back from the Gordian knot. " I," 
he said, " have an admirable sweetener at all times in 
readiness to apply when a dinner embitters my senses. I 
take him, and (like a victorious enemy) strip all the 
clothes off him, not leaving him so much as his hat or his 
wig. When once I've got him standing there before me, 
cold and wretched as any corpse (I mean, of course, in 
imagination), I begin to feel sorry for the scoundrel. But 
this is not enough. I have got to sweeten myself a good 
deal more than this ; so I proceed to slit him up with a 
long, slicing cut from top to bottom into three cavities (as 
if he were a carp), so that I can see his heart and brain 
pulsating. The mere sight of a red human heart (Dauaid's 
bucket for happiness — safe storehouse of so many a sorrow) 
makes my own soft and heavy ; and I have often not for- 
given a street robber till the Professor has been shewing 
us his heart and brain in the anatomical theatre. ' Thou 
unhappy, sorrowful heart,' I have always found myself 
thinking, with deep, sympathetic emotion, ' how many a 
blood-billow has gone surging through thee, glowing and 
freezing in the same moment.' But if all this process 
failed to have its effect, 1 should proceed to extremities, 
and smite my enemy dead ; then take the naked, fluttering, 
trembling soul— like an evening moth -out of its brain- 
chamber chrysalis, and. holding up the quivering night- 
creature between my forefinger and thumb, gaze at it 
without a trace of rancour left in me." 

" To picture one's enemy to one's pelf as unclothed, or 
disembodied," said I, "so as to be aide to put up with 
him, as though he were dead (perhaps that is the chief 
reason why we love the dead), is just the operation 1 
perform too. I often try to soften the unpleasant effect 



CHAP. XIV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 419 

which some repulsive physiognomy produces upon me by 
thinking of it as scalped, and with its skin folded hack." 

And now I determined, seriously and in earnest, that 
the sceptre and throne insignia of the conversation, should 
no more depart from my hands. Wherefore I commenced 
as follows : " But who is to provide us with the time and 
the power, n<t only to remember, hut to act upon, this 
precious and reliable principle, or rule of conduct, right in 
the thick of this world's Pyrrhic war-dance, and the rapid 
evolutions of our emotions ? Who is to stoke the rether- 
flame of philanthropy with a sufficient supply of com- 
bustible matter, seeing that there are such hosts of people 
continually drowning it out, smothering it up, and build- 
ing it in ! Who is to make up to us for the lack of a 
gentle, quiet temperament? Who, or what?" 

Just as I was going to fix the Piqueur on to this lance- 
shaft by way of point, the cold dinner was brought, and 
the Professor's wife went to fetch her children. For the 
dinner had to be over before sunset ; because, like a fresh 
supply of green firewood, it would drown out the flame of 
enthusiasm for a time, and break the unity of its vertical, 
purple fire pyramid. The company, therefore, waited in 
vain for me to go on with what I had to say. I shook my 
head, expressing, by nods, that I should do so when wo 
were all together again, and sitting down. 

While we were at dinner I was able to set up my speak- 
ing machine, and set it a-going at my ease. 

" I asked you once or twice before dinner," I com- 
menced, *' who can invigorate and quicken our principles 
of love to our fellows, and set them fully to work? I 
answer, the chief Piqueur can ; only I'm afraid I've made 
8" many false starts, and baulked in so many of my runs 
before making this grand jump of mine, that I have led 
you to entertain far greater expectations concerning it 
than it (or I) may be able to fulfil. A day or two before 
the stump-end of the chief Piqueur's life-candle fell 
down and went guttering out in its candlestick-socket, he 
sent for me to the side of his bed of suffering and begged 
me — not to prescribe for him, but — to make a thorough 
inspection of his house. He drew my head down close to 
ilia wretched pillow, and said, ' You see, doctor, Death haa 

2 e2 



420 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [B OK III. 

got his hunting-knife at my throat. Btit I'm not Borry to 
go, and what little I leave behind me in the shape of 
worldly gear goes all to the poor. It's but little that I 
have ever thought of scraping together for myself, and that 
is a comfort to think or> now. It's for the poor that I 
have screwed and saved, pinched and pared ; and when a 
man has done that it's a pleasure to him to make his will ; 
lie knows it will be paid back again elsewhere. But there's 
one hard stone at my heart still. You see I have neither 
chick nor child belonging to me, and when the breath is 
out of my body, the old woman who keeps my room in 
order will be in the house by herself. She's an honest 
body enough, but as poor as a church mouse, and pretty 
sure to help herself to something before the seals are put 
on my effects. Now, doctor, you are a man who are just 
as good to the poor as I am myself; you often prescribe 
for them gratis ; I want to ask you to go through the house 
with the notary (I don't trust him a bit more than I do 
the old woman), take an inventory of what there is, and 
have a regular notarial instrument drawn up concerning 
my property. I've left the whole of it to the Poor-house 
and the Institution for Destitute Gamekeepers. The 
notary must begin with my breeches under the pillow 
here, because my purse is there.' 

" A man whose stubble Death is in the very act of turn- 
ing up with his plough, has, upon me, a more powerful 
claim than that of the first request — that of the last. I 
came the next day, bringing with me the notary, and also 
my dislike to the dying man and his distrustful suspicions. 
"With gay indifference I helped to protocol the effects in the 
sick-room — his shooting-jacket, worn into shining patches 
by his Did game-bag — his old guns and knives — even such 
matters as a leather over-shoe for his thumb, and a long 
mummy bandage for his nose, which he had worn on 
occasions when he had hurt himself in these members 
with his gun. 

" As we went through the other silent chambers — 
empty snail-shells of his shrivelled, dried -up life— my 
frozen blood began to thaw within me, and to move in 
warm, light mercury-globules. But when I came to the 
lumber-room, with the notary, and tuned over the rag- 



CHAP. XIV. j FLOWEK, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 421 

fair of his old nightshirts — (caterpillar cases and blood- 
shirts of his feverish nights, in which I seemed still to see 
him groaning and thirsting) — and his Pathebrief* and his 
name copied from thence with all its flourishes on to his 
pointer's collar — and the picture of his pretty mother 
with him as a smiling infant in her lap — and his wife's 
bridal garland of wire, covered with green silk — (Oh ! for 
goodness' sake do not interrupt me with talk — I've had 
enough of that, Heaven knows). When I took in my 
hands these opera-costumes, these theatrical properties, 
in which the sick player down-stairs had performed his 
probe-rolle f of a Harpaxus for the benefit of the poor — not 
only did the poor fellow's moral emptiness of treasury, and 
miserable rate of monthly salary, strike me with pain, but, 
moreover, I wished him no heavier suffering, no severer 
punishment, than he would wish for himself, were he really to 
repent in good earnest before his plunge into the depths of the . 
s<nl. No, not so much, for the matter of that. Therefore, 
my dislike to him was gone. For I put myself in his 
place — not outwardly only, as people generally do, fancy- 
ing themselves in another person's physical place with 
their own souls, their own wishes, habitudes, &c. — but 
inwardly — in his mind, his youth, wishes, sufferings, 
thoughts. 

" ' Poor Piqweur,' I said, as I went down-stairs ; ' I have 
no more satiric pleasure now over your gnawing suspicion, 
your errors, your self-shooting covetousness, your hungry 
avarice. You have got to live through a long eternity 
with that self, that "mo " of yours, the best way you can, 
just as I have with mine. You have got to rise with that 
self of yours at the Resurrection, and go about with it, and 
look after it, and care for its welfare. And, of course, you 
can't but be fond of yourself, just as I am of myself and put 
up with all that selfs defects and shortcomings whether 
you will or not. Go in peace then into the other world, 
where the broken glasses of your harmonica of life will be 
replaced with fresh-tuned ones — in the great home of all 
the spirits ! ' 

* A paper, printed with symbols, &c, iu which the present for a 
godchild is wrapped. 
t Part which a player selects as a specimen of his powers. 



422 JEAN PAUL FMEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK III. 

" The old woman met us on the stairs crying out that 
the man was dying. I went to his bed-wide, looked upon 
his cold, yellow, senseless form, and saw that he would 
very soon throw off his last, stage-dress, his body. Next. 
day the tolling bell announced that he had returned to the 
dust — gone back into the ground — that stage dressing-room 
of souls and flowers. (And we are rung off and on to that 
stage, as well as others.) 

"Meanwhile 1 made an experiment with my modified 
and mildened system of treatment, upon the poor notary 
devil; the day after I tried it on the jurists who came 
from the college. (Jean Paul ! communicate your idea to 
us by-and-bye— do not interrupt me just now) — I did this, 
I say, and found that I was able to establish a heart-peace 
even with the plebeians among them — who dishonour 
their calling — the only really free one in all the body 
•politic. For in the cases of these lawyers, and those of my 
own medical colleagues fioiu whose breasts I have been 
so ofren in such a hurry to cut off, and melt, down, the 
medals of honour which they have cast for themselves, 1 
have had merely to take away the roof from over their 
heads, lift the rafters from their walls, and bare their 
houses to the four winds of heaven. Then I could look 
in and see everything there — their housekeeping, their 
unoffending wives, their sleep (i. e., mock-death), sick- 
nesses, sorrows, birth-da3 T s, and funeral-days, aid this 
reconciled me to them! Of a truth, to love a man, I have 
only to think of his children, his parents — the love he 
feels and inspires. One can easily perform this philan- 
thropic transmigration of soul at any moment, without 
help of the balloon of phantasy, or the diving-bell of pro- 
found reflection. Good heavens ! it does seem hard (and a 
shame and disgrace into the bargain) that it should have 
taken me thirty years of my life to understand properly 
what it is that self-love is really driving at — my own and 
everybody else's — what it wants is, to be surrounded with 
mere repetitions of its own 'me.' It insists upon every 
infant on earth being a parson's son (as I am) — that 
everybody shall have lost, and gained, noble friends — that 
everybody shall be an m.d., and have studied at G6tti^g<n 
--that his name shall be Sebastian, and that he shall be 



CHAP. XIV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES 423 

an overseer of mines, and write his life in forty-five dog- 
post-days — in brief, that this world shall contain a thou- 
sand million Victors instead of one. 1 beg that everybody 
may send spies into his soul, to look carefully about them 
and see whether it be not the case that there are thousands 
of instances in which what we hate a man for ib, either 
that he is as fat as a prize pig, or as lean as a stick of 
vermicelli — or that he is a district secretary, or a Eoman 
Catholic watchman in Augspurg, and wears a coat white 
on the one side, and green on the other — or that he eats 
his veal with melted butter ;* (or, at all events, hate them 
more for these reasons ; for when we are indifferent to 
people, all their external characteristics, beautiful or ugly, 
merely increase our indifference). People are so deep sunk 
in their dear selves that everybody yawns at the menu 
of everybody else's favourite dishes, but expects them to be 
interested when he reads out his to them." 

That feathered echo, the- nightingale, was singing to 
us phrases of the music of the spheres, to us inaudible 
until thus repeated to us by her. But I had my rapid 
descent from my Mont Cenis to finish, and could but give 
utterance to my applause (of the bird and her music) by a 
hasty nod. " Heavenly ! Elysian ! I've been hearing it 
every now and then. But, one thing more. Since my 
sentimental journey in other people's souls, I have been 
happier and fatter than I used to be, in ball-rooms, ante- 
rooms, and large assemblages (hot lark-spits which roasted 
all the fat out of a Swift). This enduring of transgressors 
includes a greater enduring still of fools and dunces, 
although the great world makes war on these three 
tolerated sects in just the contrary ratio. 

" The amnesty thus granted to humanity makes the 
duty of loving more easy to perform ; moreover, it renders 
the deep blisstulness of friendship and love more justi- 
fiable ; for the glow, the fire of the latter often vitrifies 
and calcines the heart towards the rest of mankind. And 
this is the reason why the last and best fruit. . . ." 

Clotilda looked inquiringly here, as if begging to be 

* A Frenchman vowed he could not abide the English : " Parce 
qu'iLj versent du beurre fondu eur leur veau ioti." 



424 JEAN PAUL FBIEDB1CH EICHTEB. [BOOK III. 

allowed one word of remonstrance with me for forgetting 
to put myself in the place of those whose transformation 
•1 Was thus extolling. I reddened, and paused. "This," 
observed Jean Paul, "is the reason why a concert-room 
audience cries out the loudest against noise or disturb- 
ance just during the loveliest adagios — when people are 
most deeply touched — and swear and weep at the same 
time. 

"I cannot help being ashamed of an experience of my 
own," said Clotilda. " The other day I cried so at reading 
Silly's letters (in Allwill's Papers) that I was obliged to 
put the book down. Then I went to the casino with 
my head full of what I had been reading — and I daro 
not tell you what hard opinions I entertained, several 
times that very evening, of several people of my ac- 
quaintance. I expected of them that they should all be 
in exactly the tame mood of mind as myself — although, 
of course, they had not just come from reading Silly's 
letters." 

" That is exactly what I was coming to," concluded I. 
" The last and best fruit, which ripens late in a soul ever 
warm, is tenderness towards the hard — patience with the 
impatient — kindly feeling for the selfish — and philan- 
thropy towards the misanthropic." 

It is a very odd thing, beloved Cato, but Jean Paul 
has just come and told me a murder- tale of human ini- 
quity, which goes hissing through my heart like a red-hot 
iron. All my theories stand blight and clear as stare around 
my soul, but I can do nothing save look inactively down 
upon the billows in which my blood is foaming, heated by 
this subterranean earth-fire, and wait until they cool 
down and subside. Alas ! we poor, poor mortals ! Jean 
Paul, who knew the story the day before yesterday, and 
had consequently all that time to put the cooling process 
in practice in advance of me, is going to take charge ot 
the picture exhibition of our insular flower-pieces in my 
stead, and add a postscript to this. Which is well, for 
to-day I really could not do it. By the 10th of April the 
air will have cooled ; then you are sure to be coming, as 
the French election meetings begin then. We must keep 
the " settling -weeks" of your great feast and fairtide here 



CH\P. Xrv.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 425 

Alas ! in what a disquiet condition have I to stop writing 
to you. You will go on reading, but not 

* 8 Your ^Mttjb 




POSTSCRIPT BY JEAN PAUL. 

Dear Brother. {$* vt tl f ( 

Our Victor's virtuous indignation will soon be over 
and past. The reason why he, and I too, now, have made 
a written confession of the cure of our disposition to cen- 
sure our fellows, is, that we maybe compelled to be exces- 
sively ashamed of ourselves if ever we chide for more than 
a minute, or hate for more than a moment. This all 
embracing love demands a sacrifice, which is made with 
greater hesitation than one would expect — the sacrifice of 
the pleasure of being satisfied with one's self — which 
anger adds to the contemplation of other people's faults 
(and satire to the contemplation of other people's follies) — 
by way of a sweetening ingredient, and whose place is 
taken by a pure and unalloyed regret at the frequency 
with which the disease shifts its seat, and at the chioni- 
city of the bleeding of the wounds and scars of helpless 
man. 

However, for the present, what I would fain do is to steer 
our floating island, and its blessed twilight, close up to 
your view. 

The sun was sinking towards the cloud Alps, and glowing 
white over France in the west as if it should shortly drop 
down on its plains as a gleaming shield of freedom, or fall 
into its billowy ocean as a wedding-ring between heaven 
and earth. The shades of evening were already overflow- 
ing the first two steps of the hill, and the darkening Ehine 
seemed to be passing an arm of night around the earih. 
We ascended our little steps as the sun descended his great 
ones, seeming, as we ascended, to rise from his burning 
grave with the face of a saint at the Kesurrection. The 
hill lifted up our eyes and our souls. Remembering my 
shortcomings I took Victor's hand, and said, " Ah ! dear 
Victor ! could it but come to pass that one could make a 



426 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH P.ICHTER. JBOOK III. 

treaty of peace with all mankind, and with one's own self — 
if one's shattered heart could absorb and retain, from out the 
leaven of the hating and hated world, nothing but the 
sweet, mild, life-sap of love— as the oyster, amid mud and 
slime, takes nothing save bright pure water into his house. 
Ah ! if one but knew that such an event were about to 
come to pass of a truth, an evening of happiness such as 
this would refresh and fill one's thirsting breast, (all cracked 
with thirst and dryness) — would still the everlast : ng sigh." 
Victor answered (not looking round, but keeping his glow- 
ing and beglowed face — which his loving heart suffused 
with a brighter tint — turned to the sun, now burning 
half sunk in the earth), " Perhaps,'' he said, " that time 
may come ; a time when we shall all be happy when a 
human being smiles — even should he not deserve it — when 
we shall speak kindly to every one — not by way of a 
mere sacrifice to the laws of polite society, but for very 
love — and there will be no difficulties, no complications, 
for hearts which will no longer have any inward annoy- 
ance to conceal. To-day the spring sun rests upon the 
world like the eye of a mother, and shines warm upon 
every heart, the wicked as well as the good. Yes, thou 
Eternal One, we here now give our hands and our hearts 
to thy whole creation, and no longer hate anything which 
thou hast made." We were overpowered, and we em- 
braced with tears, and no words, in the first darkening of 
the night. Over the sun's burial place stood the zodiacal 
light, a red grave pyramid, flaming unmoved up into the 
silent deep of blu v 

The City of God which hangs displayed on high above 
our earth, built on the arch of the Milky Way, appeared 
from out the endless distances with all its shining sun- 
lights. 

We came down from the hill — each spot of earth was a 
hill just then ; an unseen hand lifted our souls on high 
ahove the dark vapour-circle, and they looked down as if 
from alps, seeing nothing save gleaming peaks of other 
mountain ranges — for all the mean, all that was not the 
high, all graves, petty goals, and life careers of humanity, 
were veiled in heavy mist. 

We lost each other amongst the paths, but in our hearts 



CHAP. XIV.] FLOWER. FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 427 

we were all together. We met again, but the silence in 
our souls was not broken, for each heart beat just as did 
nil the others, and there was no difference, save the being 
alone, between a prayer and an embrace. 

The scattered flames of our emotion had gradually 
merged into one glowing sun sphere, as the ancients 
believed that the fluttering after-midnight fires thickened 
ere morning into a sun. * 

But 1, a stranger, alas ! in this paradise stood beneath 
the leafless branches, sad, and alone, beside the dark-blue 
[Rhine stream where the stars were mirrored — it glided, 
with gently heaving wavelets, over the German soil, 
binding two great republics f together, like some heavenly 
band ; and to me it seemed as though the thirst, the 
fire, of a breast no broader even than mine could be 
quenched with nothing les than the waters of this great 
river. Alas! we are all like this. In the transient clasp 
of our little grandeurs and blisses, we long to rest, and die, 
upon something great. We long to cast ourselves into the 
depths of the heavens when we see them glitter and sparkle 
above us — or down upon the many-tinted earth, when her 
flowers and grasses wave — or into the endless river, flowing 
jis if from out the past onwards into the future. 

Our ladies and the children had gone away — departing 
in silence from this anchorage of hours so happy — I saw 
them as they floated over the wavelets, singing like swans, 
and dropping spring flowers into the ripples, that they 
might float back as souvenirs to us upon our island shore. 
The children were sleeping softly in their arms, between 
the glories of the heaven and of the earth, lulled by the 
aims, the songs, and the ripples. 

When it was 12 o'clock, and the first morning of spring 
was come, Victor summoned us all to the hill, we knew 
not wherefore. All around and beneath us was the music 
of the rush of the Rhine, and through it, came gliding clear 
the bright spring-melody of the nightingale ; the stars of 
the twelffh hour sank, drop by drop, into the darkened 
grave of the sun, and went paling out among the grey 
ashes of the western clouds. Suddenly a straight, beautiful 

* ' Pomp. Mel. de S. O." i. 18. f Switzerland ami Holland. 



428 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTEB. [BOOK III, 

flame shot up in the west, and music came palpitating 
through the darkness. 

" Do you not think of your France," said Victor, " the 
first hour of day is breaking for her this 21st of March — 
the day when the six thousand primary assemblies form 
themselves, like stars, into one constellation, that one law- 
may brrst into being from out a million hearts." 

As I looked up to the sky, the Milky Way struck me 
as being the beam of the balance of hidden destiny, in 
whose weighing-pans (which are worlds) the broken, 
shattered, bleeding nations are weighed out for eternity. 
These destiny scales waver up and down as yet, because 
it was only a century or two ago that the weights were 
put into them. 

\\'e drew closer together, and (inspired by the night 
and the music) said, " Thou, poor country ! may thy sun 
and thy day rise higher ere long, and cast away the blood- 
shirt of its morning red. May the higher genius wipe 
away the blood from thy hands, and the tears from thine 
eyes! Oh! may that genius build, support, and guard 
for ever the Grand Freedom Temple which is vaulted over 
thee like a second heaven : but also comfort every mother 
and every father, every child and every wife — and dry all 
eyes which weep for the beloved, crushed hearts which 
have bled and fallen, and now lie under that temple as 
basement stones." 

What I am going to say now can only be said to my 
brother, for nobody else wouid pardon it. Victor and I 
got into a boat, which was made fast with a rope to the 
b.mk, and which was drifting about with the current. 
We worked ourselves back to the bank, and then let the 
boat drift, northwards again upon the ripples. In our 
souls (as in the world without, us) sadness and exaltation 
were strangely blent: the music on the bank came and 
went — tones and stars rose and fell. The vault of heaven 
showed in the Rhine like some shattered bell, and up 
above us the dome of the temple wherein dwelleth Eternity 
lay in calm and motionless rest, with all its unchanging 
suns. From the eastward the spring breathed upon us, 
and the tree skeletons in the churchyard of the winter 
felt the presage of a near resurrection. Of a sudden 



CHAP. XIV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORX PIECES. 429 

Victor said — "It feels to me as though the river here 
were the stream of Time — our fluctuating life is cariied 
along upon the waves of both towards the midnight." 
Here my brother called to me from the island, " Bro'hfr, 
come into harbour and sleep ; it is between one and two 
o'clock.' 

This fraternal voice, coming to me athwart the music 
of the wavelets, suddenly brought a new world — perhaps 
the under-world — into my open soul. For a lightning 
flash of memory gleamed in a moment over all my dim 
being, reminding me that it was on this very night two- 
and-thirty years ago that I had made my entry upon this 
overclouded earth, shrouded with daily nights — and that 
this hour, between one and two o'clock, in which my 
brother was calling me into haven and to sleep, was the 
hour of my birth (which so often deprives man of both). 

There come to us moments of twilight in which it 
seems as though day and night were in the act of dividing 
— as if we were in the very process of being created or 
annihilated; the stage of life and the spectators fly back 
out of view, our part is played out, we stand far off, 
in darkness and alone, but we have still got on our theatre 
dress, and we look at ourselves in it, and ask, " What is 
it that thou art, now, my me ! " When we thus ask our- 
selves this, there is, beyond ourselves, nothing of great or 
of firm — everything has turned to an endless cloud of 
night (with rare and feeble gleams within it), which 
keeps falling lower and lower, and heavier with drops. 
Only high up above the cloud shines a resplendence — 
and that is God; and far beneath it a minute speck of 
light — and that is a human " Me"! 

The heart is made of heavy earth, and therefore it 
cannot long endure such moments. I passed on to those 
sweeter seasons in which the full, tear-intoxicated hoart 
neither can, nor will, do aught but simply weep. 1 
had not the courage to drag my dear Victor Jown from 
the sublime region in which he was to my trifling petti- 
nesses — but I asked him to remain beside me for a little 
time in this stillness which lay so silently upon the dark 
stream as it went flowing toward midnight and the south, 
Then I leant and pressed myself fondly to his side — and 



430 JEAN PAUL FIUEDRICH RICHTEK. [BCOK III. 

my little tears fell unseen into the great river — as though 
it had been ihe great stream of Time itself, into which 
all eyes drop their tears, and so many thousand hearts 
their blood-drops — for all which it neither swells nor 
flows the faster. 

1 thought as I gazed at the Rhine, " And thus, too, the 
dancing, billowy current of Life goes flowing on its course 
from out its source — hidden like the Nile's. How little, 
as yet, have I done, or enjoyed ! Our deserts, and o»r 
enjoyments, what petty things they are ! Our metamorphoses 
are greater ; our heads and our hearts go into the ground 
irrecognisahle— altered a thousandfold — like the head of 
the man with the iron mask.* Ay ! and did we but 
change! but we change so little in the earth, or even in 
ourselves. Every moment is to us the goal of all that 
have come before it. V\ e take the seed of life for the 
harvest of it — the honey-dew on the ears for the sweet 
fruit — and we chew the flowers, like cattle ! Ah ! thou 
great God ! what a night lieth around our sleep ! we fall 
and rise with closed eyelids, and fly about blind, and in 
a deep slumber." f 

My hand was hanging into the water, and the cool 
ripples buoyed it up and down. I thought, " How straight 
and immovable the little light within us burns, amid the 
blasts of Nature's storm! Everything around me con- 
tends and clashes together with gigantic might. The 
stream seizes upon the islands and the cliffs — the night- 
wind comes upon the river, and stalks across it, thrusting 
ite wavelets back, and wages its strife with the forests — 
even up there in the tranquil blue, worlds are working 
against worlds — the eternal, endless mights flowing and 
rushing, like rivers, one against another, they come 
together in whirl and roar — and on the face of that eternal 
whirl the little worlds float eddying round the sun-vortex ; 
nay, those shimmering constellations themselves rising 
zenithwards with that grand and gentle peace and calm — 

* Which was so altered in appearance after hie death by innume- 
rable wounds, that they masked it as effectually as the iron one hatf 
done. 

t There is a kind of sea-bird which sleeps on the wing, or floats up 
and down ; and the motion of the sea is often what awakes it. 



CIIaP. xiv.J flower, fruit, and thorn pieces. 431 

what are they but mountain ranges of raging sun-vol- 
canoes, stretching into infinity be^onf. the reach of mind 
to follow. And yet the human spirit lies at rest amid 
this storm, peaceful as a quiet moon above a windy night. 
In me, at this moment, all is gentle peace. I see my own 
little life-brook running by me, falling, with all the rest, 
into the river of Time. The clear-eyed soul looks through 
the racing blood-rivers which are flowing round it, and 
through the storms which darken and obscure it, and 
sees, beyond them all, quiet meadows, gentle, peaceful 
waters, moon-shimmer, and a lovely, beautiful, tranquil, 
placid, peaceful angel slowly wandering there." Yes, 
yes ; within my soul there was a quiet Good Friday — 
wind-still, rain-free, and mild — neither cold nor over- 
warm — though shrouded in a tender cloud. 

But a clear consciousness of rest is speedily the undoing 
thereof. I saw, floating near the island, three hyacinths 
which Clotilda had dropped into the wavelets as she went 
away. " Now, in this, thy birth-hour," I said to myself, 
" the ocean of eternity is washing thousands of little hearts 
on to the stony shore of this world; how will it be with 
them one day when their birthday feast comes round? 
And what are your countless brothers who, with you, came 
thirty-two years ago into this vapour-ball, thinking now? 
Perhaps some terrible sorrow makes them think with bitter- 
ness of their first hour. Perhaps they sleep now — as I have 
slept — and must again — only deeper, deeper." And then 
all my younger and older friends, now sleeping that deeper 
sleep, fell heavy upon my broken breast. 

" I know, I think," my Victor said, " what you are 
reflecting on so silently, and regretting so mutely." I 
answered " No," and then I told him all. 

Then we went quickly back, and I put my arms about 
my other brother, and my heart went out in longing 
towards thee. At length we took our departure from this 
building-place of a more peaceful system of doctrine for 
our hearts — this quiet island ; and the lofty hill — grand 
pedestal of the vases of our joy-flowers, chancel of the 
great temple, light-house tower in our haven of rest — 
seemed to gaze long after us, the hanging garden of our 
souls lying upon it in starry light. 



432 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH KICHTER. [BOOK III. 

And as we came to the shore, Hesperas, as star of the 
morning (spark which springs and shines so near the 
sun), rose up above the morning mists, and earlier than 
even the Aurora of morning, proclaimed his sire's approach. 
And as we thought that he shines, too, as the star of evening 
upon our nights here below, and yet adorns the east, and 
the after-midnight hours with the first of the glittering 
pearls of dew, each said to his gladsome heart, " And so 
shall all the evening stars of this our life shine upon us as 
stars of morning at a future day." 

Think thou, too, of morning, my brother, when thou art 
looking upon the even ; and when a sun is setting for 
thee, turn thee about and thou may est see a moon rising 
in the east. The moon gives warrant that the sun is 
shining still — as Hope says, there still is happiness. But 
come now soon to thy Victor — and to 

Thy Brother, 

J. P. 



rare of book in. 



BOOK IV. 



CHAPTEE XV. 

B03A VON MEYERN — TONE-ECHOES AND AFTER BREEZES FROM 
THE LOVELIEST OF ALL NIGHTS — LETTERS OF NATHALIE AND 
FIRMIAN — TABLE-TALK BY LEiBGKBER. 

If on some dewy, warm and starry night of spring the 
miners in some salt mine were to have their great pent- 
house-roof of earth lifted away from over their heads, and 
find themselves thus, of a sudden, brought out from their 
confined, candle-lit cellar into the wide, dim, sleeping-hall 
of nature — out of their subterranean stillness in among the 
breezes, the perfumes, the whisperings of the spring — these 
miners would be exactly in Firmian's case, whose here- 
tofore prisoned, silent, and serene soul the night just past 
had driven out of its prison with might, darkening it with 
new sorrows and joys, and a whole new world. Heinrich 
maintained a most speaking silence concerning the night 
in question, and, on the other hand, Firmian betrayed a 
mute hunting after speech. Strive as he might to fold 
those wings of his (which had been stretched all moist from 
under their wing-covers on that foregoing night for a 
first time), they would not fold quite short enough to go 
back under them again. Matters got to feel very oppres- 
sive and sultry for Leibgeber after a time. On that 
previous night they had come back in perfect silence to 
Bayreuth and to bed, and he wearied at the thought of all 
the demi -shades and demi-tints which would have to be 
got ready on the palette before so much as four bold touches 
could be given to the picture of the night. 

Perhaps there is nothing more regrettable than that we 
do not all have the hooping-cough at one and the same 
time — or are not all suffering the sorrows of Werther — or 
are not all twenty-one. or sixty-one — or have not all hypo 

n. 2f 



434 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IV. 

ehondria — or are not all spending our honeymoons — or 
indulging in games of banter. How charming it would 
be (were we all choristers singing in the same coughing- 
tutti) to find everybody else in just the same oondition as 
ourselves— and put up with them therefore, and fin-give 
in them that in which they were just like us! But as 
things really are — now when the one coughs to-day, and 
the other not till to-morrow (the simultaneous company- 
coughing in church always excepted); when one has to 
be taking dancing-lessons while another is saying his 
prayers in the conventicle; when one father's daughter 
is being held up at the font while the other's son is being 
lowered into his little grave ; — now, when destiny is always 
striking on the hearts about us chords quite unrelated to 
the key of our own, or, at any rate, superfluous sixths, 
major sevenths, minor seconds; — now, as things are, in 
this universal lack of unison and harmony, what can be 
expected but a screeching cat-charivari — and, if we can't 
have a little melody, we must be content with a little 
arpeggio-ing up and down. 

By way of a fever for conversation, or pump-handle 
wherewith to force a drop or two up from the heart, Leib- 
geber caught hold of Firmian's hand, and embraced it 
softly and warmly with all his fingers. He put one or 
two unimportant questions concerning what walks and 
expeditions they should think of for the day. But he had 
not foreseen that this hand-clasp would be the means of 
landing him in deeper difficulties of embarrassment, — for 
he found that it was now incumbent on him to keep a 
control on his hand as well as on his tongue — and he 
couldn't let Firmian's hand drop all in a moment, like a 
hot potato, but found it necessary to let it out of his clasp 
by a gradual diminuendo. This species of careful watch 
over his feelings was a process which made Leibgeber 
blush with shame, and drove him nearly frantic ; and, 
indeed, he would have thrown even this description of 
mine of it into the fire. I am given to understand that he 
never could bring himself to utter the word " heart" even 
to women — who always have their heart (namely the word) 
on their tongues, like a kind of globus hystericus. He said, 
•'It is the bullet-screw of their real hearts, — the button 



CHAP. XV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 435 

on their fanfoil ; and, to me, it is a poison bolus, a pitch- 
ball for the Bel of Babel." 

So his hand escaped, on a sudden, from its close arrest ; 
he seized his hat and stick, and cried : " I see you are just 
as great a goose as I am myself: imtanter, imtantius, 
imtantimme, in three words, did you talk to her about the 
Widows' Fund ? Yes or no — not another syllable. I go 
Out at that door this instant !" Siebenkaes brought out all 
his items of news on this subject as rapidly as possible, so 
as to be quit of each and all of them for ever. " She is 
certain to agree to it. I said nothing to her about it. 
I can not. But you can quite easily. And you must. I 
am going no more to Fantasie. And we shall have a grand 
time of it this afternoon, Heinrich ! The music of our 
lives shall be of a sounding sort. The pedals of the joy- 
notes are all ready on our harps to be pressed down ; and 
we'll press them !" Heinrich, partly recovering his equa- 
nimity, said, as he went out, " The Cremona strings of 
the human instrument are made of living membrane, the 
breast is only the sounding board — and the head is the 
damper." 

Solitude lay around our friend like some beautiful 
country — all the echoes, diiven away from him, and 
wandering, lost and astray, could find their way back to 
him now athwart it. And on the crape-veil, woven of the 
twelve past hours, which had laid itself over his life's 
loveliest historical picture, he could tremblingly trace that 
picture's lines with crayon-pencil, and trace, and trace 
them over again, a thousand and a thousand times ! But 
a visit to the beautiful Fantasie — blooming richer and 
fairer as the hours went by — this he must deny himself; 
for he must not be a living hedge, to fence and bar Nathalie 
from that Valley of Blossom. He must pay for bliss with 
privation. The charms of the town and neighbourhood 
had still their bright, many-tinted skins — but their sweet 
kernels were gone. Everything was to him as some dessert 
dish which had, in the older time, had coloured sugar 
sprinkled over it, which was now, somehow, turned to 
coloured sand. All his hopes — all the flowers and fruit oi 
his life (as is the case with our higher ones) — now grew 
and matured beneath the ground, like those of the sub- 

2f2 



4;56 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IV. 

terranean vetch; * I mean, in the sham grave into which 
he was going. How little he had — and yet, how much ! 
His feet were upon prickly rose hranches, and all round 
the Elysian fields of his future he saw thorny hushes, 
bristly undergrowth, and a wall built, beginning at his 
grave. His Leipzig rose valley was dwindled into the 
one green rosebud-twig, which had been transplanted, 
unblown, from Nathalie's heart to his. And yet, how 
much he had. A forget-me-not, from Nathalie, for all his 
life to come (the silken ones she gave him were but the 
hulls of that whose blossom was immortal and eternal) ; a 
springtime in his soul at last, at last after all these many 
springs — to be so beloved, for the first time by a woman as 
an hundred dreams and poets had pictured to him that men 
might be beloved. To puss, in an instant, at a single step, 
from his dingy lumber room of old law papers and books 
into the fresh, green, flowery, golden age of love, — for the 
first time, not only to gain a rare and priceless love like 
this, but to take away with him such a parting kiss, like a 
sun into all his coming life, to light and warm it through 
and through for eve) - ! This was bliss for one who had had 
his cross to bear in former days. But, more than this, he 
was free to let himself be borne along upon the beauteous 
waves of this river of Eden without care or constraint, 
inasmuch as Nathalie never could be his, nor should he 
ever see her more. In Lenette he had loved no Nathalie 
as in the latter no Lenette. His wedded love was a prosaic 
summer day of sultry hay-making, but this was a poetic 
spring night of starlight and flowers, and his new world 
was like the name of the spot where it. was created — 
Fantaisie. He did not deceive himself as to the fact that, 
as he was going to die before Nathalie, he was loving, in 
her, merely a departed spirit, and that as a departed spirit 
— nay, while yet in this life, of a truth, for him, a pure and 
glorified risen soul; and he freely put the question to 
himself whether there were any reason why he should not 
love this Nathalie (thus departed into the past, for him) 
as truly and fondly as any other, departed long since into 
a yet remoter past — the Heloise of an Abelard or St. Preux, 

* This vetch has some of its flowers and fruit above ground, but most 
of them under it; though the latter are white. — Linn-eus. 



CHAP. XV.J FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THOrtN IMECES. 437 

or a poet's Laura, or a Werther's Lotte for whom his dying 
was not even to be as real as Werther's. 

With all his efforts, he could not manage to say more to 
Leibgeber than, " She must have been very, very fond of 
you, this rare, exceptional soul — for it is only to my re- 
semblance to you that I can ascribe her heaventy kindness 
to me — who am so little like other men — and have never 
been cared fur by women." Leibgeber — and he himself 
as soon as he said it — laughed at this almost idiotic state- 
ment ; but what is any and every lover, during his May 
month, but a dear, genuine, simple sbeep? 

Leibgeber soon came back to the hotel with the news 
that he had seen the English lady on ber way to Fantaisie. 
Firmian was very glad of it. She rendered his resolve 
to shut himself out of the entire circle of delight easier to 
execute. For she was the Count von Vaduz's daughter, 
and consequently must not see him (Siebenkses) at present, 
having to believe him hereafter to be Leibgeber. Hein- 
rich botanised, however, the whole day on the flowery 
slope of Fantaisie, with the view of discovering and ob- 
serving the flower goddess, rather than the flowers, with his 
botanical glasses (to wit, his eyes). But no goddess ap- 
peared. Alas! our poor wounded Nathalie had so many 
reasons for keeping aloof from the ruins of her loveliest 
hours — for fleeing the scene of conflagration (now over- 
grown with flowers) where she might encounter him whom 
she meant to meet no more. 

A few days after this, the Venner Kosa von Meyern 
honoured the company at the table d'hote in the ' Sun' 
with his .... If the author's calculations as to dates do 
not wholly mislead him, he was at dinner there on that 
occasion himself. But I have only an indistinct recollec- 
tion of the two advocates, and none at all of the Venner — 
because coxcombs of his description are an uninteresting 
species of animals, and there are whole game-preserves 
and zoological gardens full of them to be met with at all 
times. I have more than once met with characters, in the 
body, whom I have subsequently taken careful wax casts 
of from the crowns of their heads to the soles of their boots, 
and then exhibited them about the country in my col- 
lection of wax-work figures. But I wish I always knew 



438 JEAN PAUL TKIEDRICH EICHTER. [BOOK IV. 

beforehand exactly which of the people whom I happen to 
be dining or travelling with chances to be the one who is 
going to have his portrait painted in this way. I should 
note down, and store up a thousand trifling, minute pecu- 
liarities, and lay them down in my epistolary cellais. As 
it is, I hometimes find myself obliged (and I confess it 
freely) to set to work and coolly lie a number of matters of 
minor importance — for instance, that a thing takes place 
about six o'clock, or abont seven — if I happen to he wholly 
without documentary evidence on the point. Wherefore 
it. is a moral certainty that if three other authors had sat 
down, on the same morning with me, to give the world an 
account of Siebenkaes's wedded life derived from the same 
historical sources as mine, that we four, however great 
our devotion to truth, would have produced family histories 
containing much the same amount, and description of in- 
accuracy as we find in those which the four Evangelists 
have given us; so that our tetrachord would have stood 
in need of a good tuning with a tuning-pipe in the shape 
of a " Harmony " of our Gospels. 

Meyern dined at the • Sun,' as we have said. He told 
Siebenkaas with a triumph, which was not without a dash 
of menace, that he was going back to Kuhschnappel next 
day. He was vainer than ever — probably he had offered 
his hand to some fifty of the fair sex of Bayreuth, as though 
he had been the giant Briareus, with fifty wedding-rings 
on his hundred hands. He was as greedy of the fair sex 
as cats are of marum verum ; which is why both are sur- 
rounded with metallic guards by their possessors. When the 
clergy rivet poachers of this description, alive, to one par- 
ticular animal of their chase by means of a strong wedding- 
ring, and the animal of the chase in question drags them 
through every thicket till they are scratched and bled to 
death, philanthropic weekly -papers would say that it is too 
severe a punishment ; and it is so, no doubt, for the poor 
animal of the chase. 

Or the following day Kosa really did send to ask whether 
Siebenkses had any message to send to his wife, as he was 
going back to see her. 

Nathalie was invisible still. All that Firmian saw of 
her was a letter for her which he saw shaken out of the 



CHAP. XV. J FLOWER, FRUIT. AND THOItN PIECES. 439 

post-bag when he went (as he did every day) to see if 
there was one from his wife. Lenette did not require more 
hours to write a letter than Isoc rates did years for a pane- 
gyric on the Athenians — no more, but just the same number, 
namely about ten. Judging by the handwriting and the 
seal, the letter for Nathalie was from the (step) father of 
his country, Herr von Blaise. " Thou darling girl," 
thought Firmian, " with what deliberation he will pass 
the burning focus of his burning-glass (formed of the ice 
of his heart) over every wound of thy soul ! How many 
secret, tears wilt thou weep — and no one to count them ; 
and thou hast no hand now to dry them and hide them, 
except thine own !" 

One exquisite, blue afternoon he went alone to the only 
pleasure garden which was not barred against him — the 
Hermitage. Memories met him every where — all painfully 
sweet memories. At every spot he had lost, or renounced, 
something of life or heart — had become a hermit, in ac- 
cordance with the place's name. Could he forget the great, 
dim glade where, beside his kneeling friend, and before 
the setting sun, he had sworn to die, and part from his 
wife and from all the world he knew ? 

He left the joy-place, turned his face to the setting sun 
(which almost hid, in its brightness, the prospect from his 
sight), and strolled in circles round the town. With a 
deeply moved heart he gazed after the gently radiant 
luminary as it sank, amid the glowing cloud-embers, towards 
that distant spot where bis widowed Lenette would be 
standing in her silent room, with her face lighted up by 
the evening red. " Ah ! dear, good Lenette," the voice 
within him cried, "why can I not press thee to this full, 
tender heart, here in this paradise, in bliss ? I should love 
thee better here, and forgive thee easier." 

Yes, of a truth, it is thou, kind Nature — never ending 
Love, who changest, in us, distance of body into nearness 
of soul. It is thou who, when we are utterly happy in 
some distant spot, bringest to us from afar, in fancy, the 
beloved forms of those whom we have had to leave — they 
come like beautiful music, or like happy years — and we 
stretch out our arms to the clouds that go soaring over the 
hills beyond which lie the dwellings of those whom we 



440 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH KICIITER. [BOOK IT. 

love the best. Our severed hearts open to those distant 
ones as the flowers which open to the sun unfold their 
petals even on days when there are clouds between them. 

The splendour died away, leaving the blood-like track 
of the sunken sun in the blue ; the earth with her gardens 
seemed to stand out brighter and clearer. Then suddenly 
Firmian came on the green Tempe Vale of Fantaisie, lying 
before him all loveliness of sight and of sound, tinted with 
the red of the evening clouds and with the white of 
blossoming boughs. But over it stood an angel with a 
gleaming cloud streak for sword, saying, " Here enter 
thou not ! Knowest thou not the Eden from whence thou 
hast gone out ?" 

Firmian tinned him about, and there, in the gloaming 
of spring, leaned upon the wall of the first of the Bay- 
reuth houses he reached on his homeward way ; so that 
the wounds of his eyes might have a chance to grow 
whole — that he might not meet his friend bearing scars 
which would have to be " explained." Leibgeber was not 
in, however, but there was something there of a very 
unexpected kind — a letter from Nathalie to him. 

Ye who have keenly felt — or deeply regretted — that 
there is a Moses-veil, an altar-railing, a prison-grating, 
made both of body and earth — stretched out for ever and 
aye, between one soul and another — ye cannot well blame 
this poor, deop-touched, solitary firend, that he took up 
the cold paper unseen, and pressed it to his burning lips, 
and to his trembling heart. For of a truth, every body — 
even the human body, is, from the soul's point of view, 
merely the sacred reliquiae of an invisible spirit ; and not 
only the letter, which you kiss, but the hand which wrote 
it, too, is, like the lips, whose kiss you think, assures you — 
(but it is a deceptive assurance)— -of the closeness of your 
union, your flowing or fusing into one, only the sacred out- 
ward and visible sign of a something higher and dearer ; 
and these deceptions diifer only in their sweetness. 

Leibgeber came in, opened the letter, and read it aloud : 

" To-morrow morning at five o'clock, I shall be turning 
my back upon your beautiful town. I am going to Schrap- 
lau. But I cannot leave this lovely valley, oh dear friend, 
without once again giving you the ass\Trance of my un- 



CHAP. XV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 441 

changing friendship, and conveying to you my thanks 
aud wishes for yours. I should so have liked to say 
good-bye to you in a more living manner ; but my long 
leave-taking from my English friend is not yet over, and 
I have now her wishes to combat (as I had my men before) 
before I can bury myself in, or rather, wing my flight to 
my village solitude. This beautiful spring has sorely 
wounded me, and that with joys as well as with sorrows. 
But (if I may go so far afield for a comparison), my heart, 
like Cranmer's, is left for those I love, unconsumed amid 
the ashes of my funereal pyre. May all go well ! well ! 
with you— better than can ever be the case with me, a 
woman. Fate cannot take much from you, nay, nor give 
you much either. There are smiling eternal rainbows 
playing around all the waterfalls for you ; but the rain- 
clouds of a woman's heart must drop for many a long day 
ere they are brightened by the sad, yet cheering tints of 
the Iris which memory ca«ts upon them at length. Your 
friend is with you still, no doubt. Press him warmly to 
your heart, and tell him, all that yours wishes, and gives 
him, mine wishes him ; and never will he, or you, whom 
he loves, be forgotten by me. Always 

" Your Nathalie." 

During the reading of this, Firmian stood with his face 
pressed to the window, and lifted towards the evening 
sky. Heinrich, with a true friend's delicacy of perception, 
took the answer out of his lips, and said, looking to him, 
" Yes, this Nathalie is good and kind, in very truth, and 
a thousand times better than thousands of other people 
are ; but I will let myself be driven over by her carriage, 
and crushed beneath the wheels of it, if I don't wait for her 
at four o'clock in the morning, get into the carriage, and sit 
down beside her. Ay, verily ! I will get her to lend me both 
her ears, and I will fill them full — or my own are longer 
than any elephant's, though he does use his for fly-flappers." 

" Yes, do, dear Henry," said Firmian, in the most cheer- 
ful tones he could force from his oppressed throat. " I 
shall give you thre6 lines to take in your hand, just that 
you may have something to give her, since I am never to 
tee her again." 



442 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH EICHTEE. [BOOK IV. 

There is a certain lyric intoxication of heart, during 
which people never ought to write letters, because, in the 
course of fifty years or so they may, perhaps fall into 
the hands of people who are without either the heart 
or the intoxication. However, Firmian wrote, and did not 
seal ; and Leibgeber did not read. 

" I bid you farewell, too ! But I cannot say ' Don't for- 
get me.' Ah ! forget me ! But leave me the forget-me- 
not which you gave me — to keep for evermore. Though 
Heaven is past and over, death has yet to come. And 
mine is now very near, and it is for this reason alcne that 
I, and my dear Leibgeber even more urgently, have a 
favour to beg of you ; but such a strange favour. Nathalie, 
do not refuse. Your soul's sphere is far, far above that of 
the feminine souls which are shocked and frightened at 
everything out of the commonplace track. You can dare, 
and can venture, nor need you fear to risk that great heart 
of yours (and happiness) on any cast. And now, as I 
spoke to you on that night, for the last time, this is the 
last time I shall write to you. 

" But Eternity remains for thee and me ! 

" F. S." 

His sleep was nothing but dreams all night, that he 
might be sure to awaken Leibgeber in the morning. But 
as early as three o'clock, the latter, in his capacity of 
letter-carrier, and Maitre des Bequetes, was posted under 
a great linden-tree, whose hanging beds, thronged with a 
sleeping world of inhabitants, overhung the alley by which 
Nathalie was to come. Firmian, in bed, enacted Henry's 
part along with him, in fancy, thinking to himself, " Now 
she is bidding the English lady good-bye ; now she is 
getting into the cairiage; now she is passing the tree, 
and he is taking her horses by the bridle." He phan- 
tnsised himself into dreams which stabbed his heart 
with pictures of her repeated refusals of his petition. 
What a quantity of dark and cloudy weather is born of 
one single, bright, starry night, in the physical world 
as well as in the moral. At last he dreamed that she 
sti etched her hand to him, from her carriage, with tears in 
her eyes, and the green rose-twig on her breast, and said, 



CHAP. XV.] FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 443 

in low sweet tones, " I must my no ! Could I live long, 
if you were dead ? " She pressed his hand so warmly that 
he awoke. The pressure was there, and lasted, and before 
hiru was the beaming daylight, and his beaming friend, 
who said, " She has agreed, while jou've been snoring here." 
He had been within a hair's breadth of missing her. 
She had not taken so much time to dress and depart as 
others do to undress and arrive. A rose-branch, wet with 
dew, whose leaves pricked sharper than its thorns, was 
on her heart, and the long parting had tinted her lids with 
red. She was delighted to see him. though a little 
frightened, and anxious to hear. He gave her Firmian's 
open letter, to begin with, by way of credential. Her 
eager eyes shone out once more through two teir-drops, 
and she asked, "What am I to do?" "Nothing," said 
Leibgeber, in an artful manner, half jest, half earnest, 
" except allow the Prussian Treasury to remind you of 
his death twice a-year, as if you were his widow." She 
answered, "No!" pronouncedly, on one note, behind 
which, however, there was only a comma, not a full stop. 
He once more went through his petitions, and his reasons, 
adding, " Do it, at least, for my sake, if for no other 
reason. I can't bear to see him baulked of a wish, or dis- 
appointed in a hope. He is a bear whom that bear- 
leader, the State, keeps dancing all the winter, without a 
wink of winter sleep, whereas I seldom take my paw out 
of my mouth, but suck away continually. He kept 
awake all last night, s > as to make sure of calling me in 
time, and he is counting the moments anxiously at home 
now." She read the letter again, syllable by syllable. 
He did not ask for a final answer, but spun out a talk on 
other subjects— the morning, her journey, the village of 
Schraplau. The morning had already raised her pillar 
of fire beyond Bayreuth, the town kept adding pillars of 
smoke; in a few minutes he must out of the carriage and 
back. " And so, fare you well," he said, in the softest of 
tones, with one foot on the carriage-step; "may your 
future grow brighter and brighter, like the day about, us. 
And now, what last word am T to carry to my good, dear 
beloved Firmian ? " (I shall make a remark in a minute 
ur two.) She lowered her travelling-veil like the drop 



444 JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER. [BOOK IV 

curtain of a drama which is done, and said in low and 
6tifled accents, "If I must, I must; so let this be, also, 
hut you are giving me another great sorrow to take with 
me on my way." Here he jumped down, and the carriage, 
V>earing this poor soul — poor now in so many ways — 
rolled on with her over the shattered ruins of her youthful 
life. 

If he had got a " No " instead of this hard wrung-out 
" Yes," he would have caught her again on the oiher side 
of the town, and been her fellow-traveller for another 
fragment of her journey. 

1 said above, that I should "make a remark;" it is 
this : that the friendship op love which a woman has for a 
man is fed by that which she sees existing between him 
and his friends, and grows visibly in consequence— con- 
verting it, polyp -fashion, into its own substance. It was 
for this reason that Leibgeber, by instinct, had given 
such warm expression to his. Jn the case of us, masculine 
lovers, again, this sort of electric coating, or magnetic 
armature of our love with the friendship of our beloved 
object with other women is most uncommon. What 
pleases us, is to see her shrinking from everybody ehe, 
growing hard and frozen to them on our account, handing 
them nothing but ices and cold pudding, but serving us 
with glowing goblets of love. This process of making the 
heart, like wine, more fiery and strong, and generous, by 
fi eezing it at the boiling-point, may please a short-sighted 
selfish soul ; but never a clear-seeing, kindly, loving one. 
At all events, the author declares that, whenever he has 
caught a glimpse — in a minor or in water — of the reverse 
side of the Janus-head, of which the other side has been 
smiling in love upon him, frowning in dislike upon the 
rest of the world, he has made a face or two of the same 
disliking sort on the spot— at the Janus-head. For the 
mere contrast's sake, a girl should never slander, find fault, 
or dislike, at all events, while she is a lover; when she is 
a married woman, the mistress of a house, and has chil- 
dren, and cows, and servants, <>f course no reasonable man 
or husband, can possibly object to a moderate amount oi 
bad temper, and a little scolding now and then. 

Nathalie had acceded to the strange proposal for many 



CHAP. XV.] FLOWED, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 445 

reasons ; just "because it was a strange ore ; and then the 
word "widow" would, to her romantic heart, be con- 
stantly weaving a mourning-band of sorrow, binding her 
and Firmian together, and winding in charming and 
fanciful wreaths round the events, and the vows, of the 
night of their good-bye. Besides, to-day, she had been 
gradually ascending from one emotion to another, and had 
reached a height where her head began to reel. More- 
over, she was boundlessly unselfish, and consequently 
never troubld herseelf to think whether a thing had the 
appearance of selfishness or not. And, lastty, she cared 
less about appearances in general, and the conclusions 
people drew from them than, perhaps, a young lady should 
care. 

Leibgeber, now that all his goals were reached, emitted 
a long, gladsome zodiacal light ; and Firmian did not 
darken it with the full depth of his mourning night - 
shadow, but only with the half-tints thereof. At th'e 
s