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pose. As early as eight o'clock in the ber away in beautiful bowers the evening the party breaks up; the sun brief, warm hours until the re-appearis now burning more gently over the ance of the sun. This proposal is half-closed sleepy flowers: ' about generally adopted : and the garden nine he has mitigated his rays, and is occupied : many a lovely pair are is beheld bathing as it were naked in making believe to sleep, but, in fact, the blue depths of heaven: about are holding each other by the hand. ten, at which hour the company re- The happy priest walks up and down assemble at the parsonage, the priest through the parterres. Coolness is deeply moved, for throughout the comes, and a few stars. His nights bamlet, though the tepid sun, now violets and gillyflowers open and sunk to the horizon, is still shedding breathe out their powerful odours. a sullen glow upon the cottages and To the north, from the eternal mornthe window panes, every thing re- ing of the pole, exhales as it were a poses in profoundest silence and golden dawn. The priest thinks of sleep: the birds even are all slum- the village of his childhood far away bering in the golden summits of the in Germany; he thinks of the life of woods: and at last, the solitary sun man, his hopes, and his aspirations : himself sets, like a moon, amidst the and he is calm and at peace with universal quiet of nature. To our himself. Then all at once starts up priest, walking in his romantic dress, the morning sun in his freshness. it seems as though rosy-coloured Some there are in the garden would realms were laid open, in which fai- fain confound it with the evening sun, ries and spirits range; and he would and close their eyes again: but the scarcely feel an emotion of wonder, if, larks betray all, and waken every in this hour of golden vision, his bro- sleeper from bower to bower. ther, who ran away in childhood, Then again begin pleasure and should suddenly present himself as morning in their pomp of radiance ; one alighting from some blooming and almost I could persuade myself heaven of enchantment.
to delineate the course of this day The priest will not allow his com- also, though it differs from its predepany to depart: he detains them in cessor hardly by so much as the leaf the parsonage garden,--where, says of a rose-bud. he, every one that chooses may slum
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT-THE HOUSE OF WEEPING.
Since the day when the town of Has- hopes, however, were but faint and lau first became the seat of a court, no weakly; for they could not repose man could remember that any one any extraordinary confidence in his event in its annals (always excepting good faith—not only because, in all the birth of the hereditary prince) had cases, he conducted his affairs in been looked for with so anxious a cul a disinterested spirit, and with a riosity as the opening of the last will perverse obstinacy of moral princiand testament left by Van der Kabel. ple, whereas his seven relatives This Van der Kabel might be styled were mere novices, and young bethe Haslau Cresus; and his whole ginners in the trade of morality,—but life might be termed, according to also because, in all these moral extrathe pleasure of the wits, one long fes- vagances of his (so distressing to the tival of God-sends, or a daily wash- feelings of the sincere rascal), he ing of golden sands, nightly impreg- thought proper to be very satirical, nated by golden showers of Danaë. and had his heart so full of odd caSeven distant surviving relatives of prices, tricks, and snares, for unsuspiseven distant relatives deceased, of cious scoundrels, that (as they all the said Van der Kabel, entertained said) no man, who was but raw in some little hopes of a place amongst the art of virtue, could deal with his legatees, grounded upon an as- him, or place any reliance upon his surance which he had made, “ that intentions. Indeed the covert laughupon his oath he would not fail to ter which played about his temples, remember them in his will.” These and the falsetto tones of his sneering
voice, somewhat weakened the ad- office of the council, to the councilvantageous impression which was chamber: both were exhibited in romade by the noble composition of his tation to the members of the council face, and by a pair of large hauds, and the heirs, in order that they from which were daily dropping fa- might see the privy seal of the town vours little and great, benefit-nights, impressed upon them: the registryChristmas-boxes, and new-year's of-consignment, indorsed upon the gifts: for this reason it was that, by schedule, was read aloud to the the whole flock of birds who sought seven heirs by the town-clerk: and shelter in his boughs, and who fed by that registry it was notified to and built their nests on him, as on them, that the deceased had acany wild service-tree, he was, not- tually consigned the schedule to the withstanding, reputed a secret ma- magistrate, and entrusted it to the gazine of springes; and they were corporation-chest ; and that on the scarce able to find eyes for the vis. day of consignment he was still of ble berries which fed them, in their sound mind :-finally, the seven scrutiny after the supposed gossamer seals, which he had himself affixed snares.
to the instrument, were found unIn the interval between two apo- broken. These preliminaries gone plectic fits he had drawn up his will, through, it was now (but not until and had deposited it with the ma a brief registry of all these forms had gistrate. When he was just at been drawn up by the town-clerk) the point of death he transferred to lawful, in God's name, that the will the seven presumptive heirs the cere should be opened and read aloud by tificate of this deposit ; and even Mr. Mayor, word for word as folthen said, in his old tone-how far lows:it was from his expectation, that by “ I Van der Kabel, on this 7th of any such anticipation of his ap- May, 179–, being in my house, at Hasproaching decease, he could at all lau, situate in Dog-street, deliver depress the spirits of men so steady and make known this for my last and sedate, whom, for his own part, will; and without many millions of he would much rather regard in the words; notwithstanding I have been light of laughing than of weeping both a German notary, and a Dutch heirs: to which remark one only schoolmaster. Howsoever I may disof the whole number, namely, Mr. grace my old professions by this par. Harprecht, inspector-of-police, re- simony of words, I believe myself to plied as a cool ironist to a bitter be so far at home in the art and one—“ that the total amount of con- calling of a notary, that I am comcern and of interest, which might petent to act for myself as a testator severally belong to them in such in due form, and as a regular devisor a loss, was not (they were sincerely of property. sorry it was not) in their own power is It is a custom with testators to to determine.”
premise the moving causes of their At length the time is come when wills. These, in my case, as in most the seven heirs have made their others, are regard for my happy appearance at the town-hall, with departure, and for the disposal of their certificate-of-deposit; videlicet, the succession to my propertythe ecclesiastical councillor Glantz ; which, by the way, is the object of Harprecht, the inspector-of-police; a tender passion in various quarters. Neupeter, the court-agent; the To say any thing about my funeral, court-fiscal, Knoll; Pasvogel, the and all that-would be absurd and bookseller ; the reader of the morn- stupid. This, and what shape my ing lecture, Flacks; and Monsieur remains shall take, let the eternal Flitte, from Alsace. Solemnly, and in sun settle above, not in any gloomy due form, they demanded of the ma- winter, but in some of his most vergistrate the schedule of effects con- dant springs. signed to him by the late Kabel, and “ As to those charitable foundathe opening of his will. The principal tions, and memorial institutions of beexecutor of this will was Mr. Mayor nevolence, about which notaries are so himself: the sub-executors were the much occupied, in my case I appoint rest of the town-council. Thereupon, as follows: to three thousand of my without delay, the schedule and the poor townsmen, of every class, I will were fetched from the register- assign just the same number of flo
rins, which sum I will that, on the vitated downwards into the dimen-
cepted, my present house in Dog-
At this point, seven faces, like or tears on behalf of the testator. those of the seven sleepers, gra
That since the terraqueous globe dually elongated into preternatural has moved or existed, there can extent. The ecclesiastical councillor, ever have met a more lugubria young man, but already famous
ous congress, or one more out of throughout Germany for his sermons temper and enraged than this of printed or preached, was especially Seven United Provinces, as it were, aggrieved by such offensive per all dry and all confederated for the sonality: Monsieur Flitte rapped purpose of weeping,- I suppose no out a curse that rattled even in the impartial judge will believe. At ears of magistracy: the chin of first some invaluable minutes were Flacks, the morning lecturer, gra- lost in pure confusion of mind, in
astonishment, and in peals of laugh- and in this way of going to work: ter: the congress found itself too he had fair expectations that in the suddenly translated into the condi- end he should brew something or tion of the dog to which, in the very other : as yet, however, he looked moment of his keenest assault upon very much like a dog who is slowly some object of his appetites, the licking off an emetic which the Parifiend cried out-Halt! whereupon, sian surgeon Demet has administered standing up, as he was, on his hind by smearing it on his nose: time,legs, his teeth grinning, and snarl- gentlemen, time was required for the ing with the fury of desire, he halted operation. and remained petrified :~from the Monsieur Flitte, from Alsace, fairgraspings of hope, however distant, ly danced up and down the Sessionsto the necessity of weeping for a chamber : with bursts of laughter he wager, the congress found the tran- surveyed the rueful faces around sition too abrupt and harsh.
him: he confessed that he was not One thing was evident to all—that the richest among them; but for the for a shower that was to come down whole city of Strasburg and Alsace to at such a full gallop, for a baptism boot, he was not the man that could of the eyes to be performed at such or would weep on such a merry occaa hunting pace, it was vain to think sion. He went on with his unseasonof raising up any pure water of grief: able laughter and indecent mirth, no hydraulics could effect this : yet until Harprecht, the Police Inspector, in twenty-six minutes (four unfor- looked at him very significantly, and tunately were already gone), in one said--that perhaps Monsieur flatterway or other, perhaps, some busi- ed himself that he might by means of ness might be done.
laughter, squeeze or express the tears “Was there ever such a cursed act,” required from the well-known Meibosaid the merchant Neupeter, “ such mian-glands, the caruncula, &c. and a piece of buffoonery enjoined by any might thus piratically provide himself man of sense and discretion? For my with surreptitious rain ;* but in that part, I can't understand what the case, he must remind him that he d- it means.” However, he under- could no more win the day with any stood thus much, that a house was sych secretions, than he could carry by possibility floating in his purse to account a course of sneezes or wilupon a tear: 'and that was enough to fully blowing his nose; a channel cause a violent irritation in his lachry- into which it was well known that mal glands.
very many tears, far more than were Knoll, the fiscal, was screwing up, now wanted, flowed out of the eyes twisting, and distorting his features through the nasal duct; more inpretty much in the style of a poor deed, by a good deal, than were ever artisan on Saturday night, whom known to flow downwards to the some fellow-workman is barber-ously bottom of most pews at a funeral razoring and scraping by the light of sermon. Monsieur Flitte of Alsace, a cobler's candle: furious was his however, protested that he was laugh wrath at this abuse and profanation ing out of pure fun, and for his own of the title Last Will and Testament: amusement; and, upon his honour, and at one time, poor soul! he was with no ulterior views. near enough to tears-of vexation. The inspector, on his side, being
The wily bookseller, Pasvogel, pretty well acquainted with the hopewithout loss of time, sate down less condition of his own dephlegmaquietly to business: he ran through tised heart, endeavoured to force into a cursory retrospect of all the works his eyes something that might meet any ways moving or affecting, that the occasion by staring with them he had himself either published or wide open and in a state of rigid exsold on commission ; – took a flying pansion. survey of the Pathetic in general: The morning-lecturer Flacks, look
* In the original, the word is Fenster-schweiss, window-sweat; i. e. (as the translator understands the passage) Monsieur Flitte was suspected of a design to swindle the company, by exhibiting his two windows streaming with spurious moisture, such as hoar frost produces on the windows when melted by the heat of the room, rather than with that genuine and unadulterated rain which Mr. Kabel demanded.
ed like a Jew beggar mounted on a all, Flacks was the only one who
demned as he was in the bloom of The ecclesiastical councillor, who youth, by the second clause of Van had become acquainted with his own der Kabel's will, to tribulation, and nature by his long experience in tears, and struggles :-Well done, preaching funeral sermons, and ser- Flacks! Three strokes more with the mons on the new year, and knew pump-handle, and the water is pumpfull well that he was himself always ed up-and the house along with it. the first person, and frequently the Meantime Glantz, the ecclesiasti. last, to be affected by the pathos of cal councillor, proceeded in his pahis own eloquence,-now rose with thetic harangue :-"Oh, Kabel, my dignified solemnity, on seeing himself Kabel,” he ejaculated, and almost and the others hanging so long by the wept with joy at the near approach dry rope, and addressed the chamber: of his tears, “ the time shall come
No man, he said, who had read his that by the side of thy loving breast, printed works, could fail to know covered with earth, mine also shall that he carried' a heart about him as lie mouldering and in corwell as other people; and a heart, he -ruption, he would have said: but would add, that had occasion to re- Flacks, starting up in trouble, and press such holy testimonies of its with eyes at that moment overflowtenderness as tears, lest he should ing, threw a hasty glance around thereby draw too heavily on the sym- him, and said," with submission, pathies and the purses of his fellow- gentlemen, to the best of my belief i men, rather than elaborately to pro- am weeping;" then sitting down, voke them by stimulants for any see with great satisfaction he allowed condary views, or to serve an indirect the tears to stream down his face ; purpose of his own : “ this heart,” that done, he soon recovered his said he, “has already shed tears cheerfulness and his aridity. Glantz, (but they were shed secretly), for the councillor, thus saw the prize Kabel was my friend :” and, so say- fished away before his eyes,-those ing, he paused for a moment and very eyes which he had already looked about him.
brought into an Accessit,* or inchoate With pleasure he observed, that all state of humidity: this vexed him: were still sitting as dry as corks: ine and his mortification was the greater deed, at this particular moment, on thinking of his own pathetic exerwhen he himself by interrupting their tions, and the abortive appetite for several water-works had made them the prize which he had thus uttered furiously angry, it might as well have in words as ineffectual as his own been expected that crocodiles, fallow. sermons: and, at this moment, he deer, elephants, witches, or ravens, was ready to weep for spite and should weep for Van der Kabel, as
the more because he wept his presumptive heirs. Among them in vain.” As to Flacks, a protocol was
* To the English reader it may be necessary to explain, that in the Continental Universities, &c. when a succession of prizes is offered, graduated according to the degrees of merit, the elliptical formula of “ Accessit” denotes the second prize : and hence, where only a single prize is offered, the second degree of merit may properly be expressed by the term here used.