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Title: Waldfried
       A Novel

Author: Berthold Auerbach

Translator: Simon Adler Stern

Release Date: May 20, 2010 [EBook #32446]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Charles Bowen, from page scans provided by the Web Archive

Transcriber's Notes:

1. Page scan source:


Authorized Editions.

WALDFRIED. A Novel. Translated by Simon Adler Stern, 12mo, cloth, $2.00.

THE VILLA ON THE RHINE. A Romance. Translated by James Davis. With a portrait of the author. 16mo. Leisure Hour Series. 2 vols., $1.25 per vol.; Pocket Edition, four parts, paper, uniform with the Tauchnitz books, 40 cents per part, or $1.50 complete.

BLACK FOREST VILLAGE STORIES. Translated by Charles Goepp. Illustrated with fac-similies of the original German wood-cuts. 16mo, Leisure Hour Series, $1.25.

THE LITTLE BAREFOOT. A Tale. Translated by Eliza Buckminster LEE. Illustrated, 16mo, Leisure Hour Series, $1.25.

JOSEPH IN THE SNOW. A Tale. Illustrated, 16mo. Leisure Hour Series, $1.25.


25 Bond Street, New York.












Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Stereotyper and Printer, 56, 58 and 60 Park Street, New York.




In a letter bringing me his greetings for the New Year, 1870, my eldest son thus wrote to me from America:

"We have been sorely tried of late. Wolfgang, our only remaining child, lay for weeks at death's door. I avoided mentioning this to you before; but now he is out of danger.

"'Take me to your father in the forest,' were the first distinct words he uttered after his illness. He is a lusty youth, and inherits his mother's hardy Westphalian constitution.

"In his feverish wanderings, he often spoke of you, and also of a great fire, in strange phrases, none of which he can now recall.

"He has awakened my own heartfelt desire to return, and now we shall come. We have fully determined to leave in the spring. I lose no time in writing to you of this, because I feel that the daily thought of our meeting again will be fraught with pleasure for both of us.

"Ah, if mother were still alive! Oh, that I had returned in time to have seen her!

"Telegraph to me as soon as you receive tidings of brother Ernst. I am anxious once again to behold Germany, which is at last becoming a real nation. We who are out here in America are beginning to feel proud of our Fatherland.

"We are surely coming! Pray send word to my brothers and sisters.

"Your Son Ludwig."

The postscript was as follows:

"Dear Father,--I shall soon be able to utter those dear words to you in person.

"Your Daughter Constance."

"Dear Grandfather,--I can now write again, and my first words are to you. We shall soon join you at 'grandfather's home.'

"Your Grandson Wolfgang."

* * * * *

I had not seen Ludwig since the summer of 1849, and now I was to see him, his wife, and his son. I instructed Martella to send the news to my children and sons-in-law; and to my sister who lives in the Hagenau forest I wrote in person.

Joyous answers were returned from every quarter. But the happiest of all was Rothfuss, our head servant. And well he might be, for no one had loved and suffered so much for Ludwig's sake as he had done.

Rothfuss is my oldest companion. We have known each other so long that, last spring, we might have celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of our first meeting. When that occurred, we were both of the same age--he a soldier in the fortress in which I was confined as a political prisoner. For one hour every day I was permitted to leave my cell for a short walk on the parapet. On those occasions a soldier with loaded musket walked behind me; and it often happened that this duty was assigned to Rothfuss. His orders were not to speak to me; but he did so, nevertheless. He was constantly muttering to himself in an indistinct manner. This habit of talking to himself has clung to him through life, and I doubt if any human being has a greater fund of curses than he.

One day, while he was thus walking behind me, I heard him say quite distinctly: "Now I know who you are! Oh!"--and then came fearful oaths--"O! to imprison such a man! You are the son of the forest-keeper of our district! Why, we are from the very same part of the country! I have often worked with your father. He was a hard man, but a just one; a German of the old sort."

"I am not allowed to accept money from you, but if you were to happen to lose some, there would be no harm in my finding it."

"Of course you smoke? I shall buy a pipe, tobacco, and a tinder-box for you, and what you give me over the amount will not be too much for me."

From that day, Rothfuss did me many a service. He knew how to circumvent the jailer,--a point on which we easily silenced our scruples. Five years later I regained my freedom, and when I settled on this estate, Rothfuss, as if anticipating my wishes, was at my side. Since that time he has been with us constantly, and has proved a faithful servant to me, as well as the favorite of my children.

I had inherited the estate and the grand house upon it from my father-in-law. As I was a forester's son, I found but few difficulties in attending to the timber land, but the two saw-mills and the farm that belonged to the estate gave me much trouble. For this reason, so faithful and expert an assistant as Rothfuss was doubly welcome to me.

He is a wheelwright by trade, and can attend to anything that requires to be done about the house. Near the shed, he built a little smithy, and my boys were his faithful apprentices. They never asked for toys, for they were always helping him in making some article of use. But my son Richard had no liking for manual labor. He was a dreamy youth, and at an early age manifested a great love of study.

Of my daughters, Bertha was Rothfuss' favorite. Johanna avoided him. She had a horror of his oaths, which, after all, were not so seriously meant.

While quite young she evinced much religious enthusiasm, and Rothfuss used to call her "The little nun," at which she was always very angry, for she was quite proud of her Protestantism. While preparing for confirmation she even went so far as to make repeated attempts to convert both myself and my wife.

While Richard was yet a mere student at the Gymnasium of our capital, Rothfuss dubbed him "The Professor;" but when Ludwig came home from the Polytechnic School to spend his holidays with us, he and Rothfuss were inseparable companions. He taught Rothfuss all of the students' songs, and insisted that this servant of ours was the greatest philosopher of our century.

Ludwig had settled in the chief town as a master builder. He was also known as "The King of the Turners." He was President of his section, and his great agility and strength gained him many a prize. He was of a proud disposition, and followed his convictions, regardless of consequences. Older persons remarked that in appearance and bearing he was the very picture of what I had been in my youth.

I am glad that all of my children are of a large build. Ludwig resembles me most of all. Fortunately his nose is not so large as mine, but more like the finely chiselled nose of his mother. His eloquence, however, is not inherited. His oratorical efforts were powerful and convincing, and his voice was so agreeable that it was a pleasure to listen to it. He had very decided musical talent, but not enough to justify him in adopting music as his profession. In spite of the advice of his music teachers, he determined on a more practical calling. His refined and easy manner soon won all hearts; and he was beloved by those who were high in station as well as by the lowly laborers.

In the year 1849, Ludwig was laying out a portion of the great road which was being built along the low land beyond the mountain. He was the idol of his workmen, and always said, "For me they will climb about the rocks that are to be blasted, like so many lizards, just because I can myself show them how it is done." The road was divided into many so-called tasks, each of which was assigned to a separate group of workmen who had agreed to finish it by a certain day. As one of these gangs was unfortunate enough to chance upon springs at every few steps, the soft soil gave it much trouble, and greatly prolonged its labors.

The other engineers avoided the soft places when making their surveys. But Ludwig, with his high boots, stepped right into the midst of the laborers, and helped those who were working with their shovels and spades.

He had also arranged the fire service of the whole valley, and had so distinguished himself at the fire in the little town that he received a medal in recognition of his having saved a life. The more excited members of our political party were of the opinion that he ought to refuse it, alleging that it was wrong for him to receive so princely a decoration; but he replied: "For the present the Prince is the representative of the popular voice." He accepted the badge, but fastened it to the fireman's banner.


I had been elected a member of the Frankfort Parliament.

September's days of terror were doubly terrible to me. I had been told that my son Ludwig was leading a body of Turners who had joined the malcontents, and that they had determined to reverse the decision of the majority of the popular delegates, and to break up the Parliament.

At the imminent peril of my life, I climbed from barricade to barricade, hoping to be able to induce the Turners to retreat, and perhaps to find my son.

One of the leaders, who accompanied me as a herald, called out at the top of his voice, "Safe-conduct for the father of Ludwig Waldfried!"

My son's fair fame was my best protection; but T could not find Ludwig.

I have suffered much, but those hours when, with my wife and my next son Ernst, then six years old, I heard the rattling of muskets without the door, were the most wretched that I can now recollect.

In the following spring, when the Parliament was dissolved, the revolution had already begun with our neighbors in the next state.

For a long time the fortunes of battle seemed doubtful. I never believed that the uprising would succeed; but yet I could not recall my son. At that time we no longer heard the rattling of musketry, and I can hardly bear to think of how we sat at home in sad but fearful suspense. One thing, however, I would not efface from my memory. My wife said, "We cannot ask for miracles. When the hailstorm descends upon the whole land, our well-tilled fields must suffer with the rest." Oh, that I could recall more of the sayings of that wise and pure hearted being!

The uprising had been quelled; but of Ludwig we had no tidings. We knew not whether he was lost, had been taken prisoner, or had escaped into Switzerland.

One day a messenger came to me with a letter from my wife's nephew, who was the director of the prison in the low country. He wrote to me to come to him at once, to bring Rothfuss also, and not to omit bringing passports for both of us. He could tell me no more by letter, and cautioned me to burn his epistle as soon as I had read it.

"It is about our Ludwig: he lives!" said my wife. The event proved that she was right. She induced me to take my daughter Bertha with me. She was then but sixteen years old--a determined, courageous girl, and as discreet withal as her mother. For to a woman paths often become smooth which to men present insurmountable obstacles. Bertha was glad to go; and when in the cool of the morning she stood at the door ready to depart, with her mother's warm hood on her head, and her face all aglow with health and youth, she said to me roguishly: "Father, why do you look at me so strangely?"

"Because you look just as your mother did when she was a bride."

Her bright merry laughter at these words served in a measure to raise our depressed spirits.

Terror and excitement reigned on every hand. When we reached the first village of the next state, we found that the side nearest the river bank had been destroyed by artillery. I learned that Ludwig had been in command there, and had shown great bravery.

On the way, Bertha's constant cheerfulness lightened our sorrow. To know a child thoroughly, you must travel with one alone. When Bertha saw that I sat brooding in silence, she knew how to cheer me up with her childish stories, and by engaging me in memories of an innocent past, to dispel my sad thoughts. At that early day she gave an earnest of what she was so well able to accomplish later in life.

In spite of our having the proper passports, we were everywhere regarded with suspicion, until I at last fortunately met the son of the commandant of our fortress. While he was yet a lad, and I a prisoner at the fortress, I had been his teacher, and he had remained faithful and attached to me. I met him at an outlying village where he was stationed with a portion of his regiment.

He recognized me at once, and exclaimed, "I am doubly glad to see you again. So you were not with the volunteers? I heard your name mentioned as one of the leaders."

I was about to reply, "That was my son;" but Bertha quickly anticipated me, and said, "That was not my father."


After that the young officer bestowed but little attention upon me; his glances were now all for Bertha, to whom he addressed most of his remarks.

Who can foretell what germs may awaken into life in the midst of the storm? My young pupil, who had but the day before been appointed first lieutenant, gravely delivered himself of the opinion that there was no real military glory in conquering volunteers. When speaking of me to Bertha, he was profuse in his assurances of gratitude and esteem.

Bertha, generally so talkative, was now silent. The young officer procured a safe-conduct for us, and we continued on our journey.

I have never yet seen the ocean, but the country, as it then appeared to me, awakened impressions similar to those which must be aroused when the tide has ebbed and the objects which before that dwelt in the depths of the sea are left lying upon the strand.

At last we reached my nephew's. He conducted me to his official residence, where I followed him through numerous apartments, until I at last reached his room, where we were closeted under lock and key.

He then told me that, while walking through the town the day but one before, he had met a young peasant with a rake on his shoulder, who, while passing, had hurriedly said to him, "Follow me, cousin; I have something to tell you."

The director followed, but not without first making sure of his revolver.

When they had got into the thicket, the peasant suddenly turned about and said to him, while he removed his hat, "Don't you know me? I am Ludwig Waldfried." The director's heart was filled with terror. Ludwig continued, "You, and you alone, can save me. Put me in prison until I have a chance to run away. Our cause is lost; but for my parents' sake as well as my own, I must escape."

The cousin was not unwilling to assist Ludwig, but was at a loss how to go about it. Ludwig, however, had studied strategy. He had carefully considered every step in advance, and now caused the director to enter him on the list of prisoners under the name of Rothfuss.

A state of siege, dissolving as it does all forms of civil procedure, made it possible to carry out so irregular a proceeding; aside from which there was the inspiring effect of being engaged in a task that required shrewd and delicate manœuvring. It was this, too, that helped to relieve my meeting with Ludwig of much of its sadness.

Still it could not but pain me to find that in order to save one person it was necessary to victimize others. Ludwig guessed my thoughts, and said to me, "I am sorry, father, that I am obliged to drag you into this trouble. I know that such affairs are not to your taste; but there is no help for it."

Rothfuss looked upon the whole affair as a merry farce. He did not see the least harm in outwitting and deceiving the officers and the state. And in those days there were many thousands who felt just as he did. It is a fit subject for congratulation, and perhaps an evidence of the indestructible virtue of the German people, that in spite of Metternich's soul-corrupting teachings there is yet so much righteousness left in our land.

When Ludwig had donned the Rothfuss' clothes, one could hardly recognize him. The transformation afforded Rothfuss great delight.

"They can do no more than lock me up by myself, and I have always said that 'he who is wet to the skin need not dread the rain.'"

This was a favorite saying of his. He had but one regret, and that was that he would not be allowed to smoke in the prison; but, for Ludwig's sake, he would gladly make that sacrifice.

We departed, taking Ludwig with us. My heart trembled with fear. The knowledge that I was committing a breach of the law, even though it was only caused by necessity and for the sake of rescuing my son, filled me with alarm. I felt as if every one knew what I was doing; but it seemed as if the people we met along the road did not care to interfere.

Here again Bertha proved a great treasure to us. She had a wonderfully cheerful flow of spirits; and perhaps, after all, women are greater adepts in the arts of self-control and deception than we are.

When we arrived near the borders of the Palatinate, Ludwig met a companion who had been hiding there. He was a man of about my age. It now became my turn to take part in the dangerous game. I was obliged to remain behind and allow the fugitive to take my place at Bertha's side. Bertha was equal to the situation, and at once addressed the stranger as "father."

I followed on foot, imagining that every step would be my last.

I passed the border without mishap, and in the first village found the rescued ones awaiting me. As our old comrade had already become drunk on French wine, we left him behind at the village and took up our journey to my sister, the wife of the forester at Hagenau.

The most difficult task of all was to endure the vainglorious boasting of the Frenchmen. My brother-in-law treated us as if he were a gracious nobleman, who had taken us under his protection. His neighbors soon joined the party, and proud words were heard on every hand: the French were the great nation--theirs was the republic--their country the refuge of the oppressed and persecuted. And we--what were we? Rent asunder and bound down, while our Rhine provinces were happy in the faith that they would soon become a portion of proud and beautiful France. Another brother-in-law, the pastor of Hünfeld, who had studied at Erlangen, gave us some little consolation, for he said that in science the Germans were the greatest of nations.

"Father," said Ludwig, "I cannot endure this; I shall not remain here another day."

I felt as he did, and we took our departure for Strasburg. At the Gutenberg Platz we were obliged to halt our horses, for the guard were just marching by. All seemed as happy if a piece of good fortune had just befallen them. All was as merry as a wedding-feast, while with our neighbors beyond the line there was funereal sadness.

Strasburg was crowded with fugitives, by some of whom Ludwig was at once recognized. We went with a party of them to the Grape Vine Tavern, and whom should we meet at the door but the very comrade we had left behind.

He had a curious contrivance about his throat. It was a simple rope with a knot tied in it; and he called out to Ludwig that he too was entitled to wear this grand cordon. He conducted us into the room where, at a table apart from the rest, were seated young men and old, all of whom had ropes around their necks.

"Ah! here comes the father of 'the King of the Turners'!" were the words with which a large and powerfully built man welcomed me. I recognized him as the man who had been my guide during the September riots. "Hurrah, comrades! Here comes another companion. This way, Ludwig; this is the seat of honor. All who are seated here are under sentence of death, and as a badge we wear this rope about our necks." And they sang:

Should princes ask: "Where's Absalom?"
And seek to learn his plight--
Just tell them he is hanging high;
The poor, unlucky wight.
And though he's dead, he hangeth not
From tree, nor yet from beam.
He dreamt that he could Germans free
And 'twas a fatal dream.

Their ribald jokes disgusted me, and I was therefore glad to chance upon one who had been a fellow-member of the Frankfort Parliament, and who shared my feelings at such distorted views of an unsuccessful attempt at revolution.

I have known many pure-hearted, unselfish men, but never have I met with one whose love of freedom was greater than that of our friend Wilhelmi. Over and above that, he had a genuine love for his fellow-men. There are, unfortunately, many lovers of freedom who are not lovers of mankind, a contradiction which I have never been able to understand.

Friend Wilhelmi gave me an insight as to the character of the old refugee, who was by nature of a peaceable disposition, but, giving way to the frenzy which in those days seemed to fill the very air, had lost all self-control. He was unable to endure the sufferings of exile. A deep longing for home preyed upon his spirits. To drown his grief, he indulged in wine, and the result of his copious draughts was that he became bold and noisy. This seemed to be his daily experience. In his sober moments he sat brooding in silence, and was often seen to weep. Wilhelmi had of course painted his picture in mild colors.

I must add that the refugee at last died in a mad-house in America. It is sad to think of the many noble beings who were ruined and sacrificed during those terrible days.

There was something inspiring in the words and thoughts of Doctor Wilhelmi. When I heard his voice I felt as if in a temple. And at this very moment memory revives the impression then made upon me.

Meanness and detraction were without any effect upon him; for he could look over and beyond them. He had determined to emigrate to America with his wife, who was his equal in courage and confidence. Bertha, who found but little to her fancy in the rude and dreary life that here environed us, and who was especially indignant that the soldiers who had simply done their duty were referred to so contemptuously, spent most of her time in Madame Wilhelmi's room. She was constantly urging our speedy return. And Wilhelmi could endure neither the mockery of one class of Frenchmen nor the pity of the others. Ludwig determined to join his friend. Wilhelmi had a serious task with his comrades, for nearly all of them were firmly convinced that the troubles in Germany would be renewed with the morrow, and that it was their duty to remain on the borders so that they might be at hand when needed. Wilhelmi, on the other hand, warned them against such self-deception, which, if persisted in, would only lead to the destruction of the mere handful that was left of them. He often declared to me that he at last acknowledged that our German nation is not fitted for revolution. It has too many genial traits, and is devoid of the passion of hate. He felt assured that, when the crisis arrived, the German monarchs would of themselves see that, both for their own sakes and that of their people, it would be necessary to introduce an entire change in our political system. But when and how this was to be done (whether in our lifetime or afterwards), who could foretell?

"We should not forget," said Wilhelmi, "the significance of the fact that the German people, so long bound down by a system of police espionage, has at last become aroused; nor will its oppressors forget it. Now they are furious against the evil-doers; but a second generation will not find so much to blame in their deeds, and, as you well know, my dear friend, for you are a forester, there is an old proverb which tells us that 'vermin cannot destroy a healthy tree.' The May beetles would rather prey on the oak than on any other tree, but although they destroy every leaf, and cause the tree to look like a dry broom, it renews its leaves with the following year."

In olden times when men swore eternal friendship, a man would sometimes say, "This is my friend, and without knowing what he intends to say, I will swear that it is the truth, for he cannot tell a lie." In my own heart I had just such faith in Wilhelmi.

I found it as sad to part from him as from Ludwig, and this circumstance overshadowed the grief I felt when saying "farewell" to my son.

"What does fate intend by driving such men away from home, and far beyond the seas?" These were the parting words of my friend Wilhelmi. They moved me deeply; but I could not answer his question.

I felt as if beholding a hail-storm beating down a field of ripened grain. How many a full ear must have fallen to the ground?

I also met a young schoolmaster by the name of Funk. Although there had been no real reason for his leaving home, he had fled with the rest. I easily persuaded him to return with me.

He was full of gratitude and submissiveness. In spite of this, however, my daughter even then, with true foresight, concluded that he was deceitful. I was for a long while unwilling to believe this, but was at last forced to do so.

Funk had done nothing more than attend to some of the writing in the ducal palace which the revolutionists had taken possession of. But it was with great self-complacency that he spoke of his having dwelt in the very palace which, during his student years, he had never passed without a feeling of awe.

I often thought of my son, but quite as frequently of that good old fellow, Rothfuss. Ludwig is free, but how does Rothfuss endure his captivity? And as it was just harvest time, it was doubly inconvenient to be without him.

We were bringing home our early barley. I had walked on ahead and the loaded wagon was to follow. I opened the barn door, the wagon approached, and on it was seated Rothfuss, who call out at the top of his voice, "Here I am on a wagon full of beer. So far it is only in the shape of barley. Hurrah for freedom!"

As Rothfuss had been imprisoned by mistake, he was soon set at liberty, and it was both affecting and diverting to listen to his accounts of his experience as a prisoner.

He told us how good it is to be in jail and yet innocent. While he was there, he was reminded of all the sins he had ever committed, and he at last began to believe that he deserved to be locked up.

"By rights," said he, "every one ought to spend a couple of years in jail, just because of what he has done. When we meet a man who has just got out of prison we ought to say to ourselves: 'Be kind to him for it is mere luck that you have not been there yourself.'" Thus spoke Rothfuss. He had thought he would find it pleasant to be sitting in his cell while the other folks were hard at work with the harvest, but it had proved terribly monotonous. The meals were not to his taste, nor could he enjoy his sleep. He could not endure such idleness, and after the second day, he begged the inspector to set him at chopping wood; a request which was not granted.

And was not Rothfuss the happiest fellow in the world, when he heard the news of Ludwig's return?

He complained that it was rather hard to know of a thing so long beforehand. Impatience at the delay would make one angry at every day that intervened.

When I consoled him with the idea that the chief part of enjoyment lies in anticipation, his face lighted up with smiles, and he said, "He is right." When he praises me, he always turns away from me as if talking to some one in the distance, and as if determined to tell the whole world how wise I am. "He is perfectly right. It is just so. It is a pleasant thirst when you know that there are just so many steps to the next inn, and that the cooling drink which is to wash your insides and make you jolly, lies in the cellar there, waiting for you."

Rothfuss had already started for the village, when he came running up the steps and called out: "I have found another nest; the locksmith's Lisbeth and our three Americans will be happiest of all when they hear the news. It is well to drink, but if one can first pour out a joyous cup for another, it is still better. I shall be back soon," he called out as he hurried up the road.

The widow of Blum the locksmith lived in the back street. Her husband had settled in the village, intending to follow his trade, and also to till a small piece of land. Partly by his own fault, and partly through misfortune, he had not succeeded.

He then desired to emigrate to America. His wife, however, had been unwilling to do so until she could feel assured of their being able to get along in the new world.

At home she had her own little house and her three children. For some time the locksmith worked at the factory in the neighboring town, returning to his home only on Sundays. His idea of emigrating had, however, not been given up, and at last he departed for America with the hope of mending his fortunes, and then sending for his wife and children.

When he arrived there, the war between the North and the South was at its height. He heard my son's name mentioned as that of one of the leaders, and at once enlisted under him. Ludwig was delighted to have one at his side who was both a countryman of his and a good artilleryman.

It was not until after the locksmith had enlisted that he spoke of his having left a family at home. At the battle of Bull Run he lost his life, and his wife and children, who are still living down in the village, are in regular receipt of the pension which Ludwig secured for them.

When the widow heard the news, she came to me at once, and told me with tears in her eyes, that she could hardly await Ludwig's return. She speedily acquainted the whole village with the event that was to prove a festival to my household, and when I went out of doors every one whom I met wished me joy; especially happy was one of the villagers who had been among Ludwig's volunteers in 1848, and was quite proud of his having been able to lie himself out of that scrape.


Before I proceed further, I must tell you of Martella.

It were of course better if I could let her speak for herself; for her voice, though firm, has an indescribably mellow and touching tone, and seems to hold the listener as if spell-bound. She had thick, unmanageable brown hair, and brown eyes in which there was hardly any white to be seen. She was not slender, but rather short, although there were moments when she would suddenly seem as if quite tall. Her manner was not gentle, but rather domineering, as if she would say, "Get out of the way there! I am coming!" In disposition she was wayward and passionate, vain and conceited. It was only in our house that she became pliant and yielding, and acquired mild and modest ways. I do not mean modest in the current acceptation of the word; she had genuine respect for those who were higher and better than she. My wife effected a miraculous change in her without ever attempting to instruct, but simply by commanding her. She was the betrothed of my son Ernst, who, as I have already mentioned, was with us at Frankfort in the year 1848.

It is difficult, and to us of an older generation perhaps impossible, to discover what impression the events of 1848 must have made on a child's mind.

For my part, I have learned through this son, that failure on the part of the parents induces in their offspring a feeling which can best be described as pity mingled with a want of respect. Like William Tell, we had long carried the arrow of revolution in our bosoms, but when we sent it forth it missed the mark.

In the autumn of 1848 my wife came to visit me at Frankfort and brought Ernst with her.

Old Arndt was particularly fond of the lad, and often took him on his knee and called him his "little pine-tree." When the Regent, on the day after his triumphal entry, appeared in public, he met Ernst and kissed him.

During the summer Ernst attended a preparatory school in the neighboring town. But he seemed to have no real love for study, while the teachers were over-indulgent with the handsome lad, who was always ready with his bold glances and saucy remarks.

When I asked him what he intended to become, he would always answer me, "Chief forester of the state."

To my great horror, I learned that he often repeated the party cries with which members of the different factions taunted each other. I sent him home after September, for I saw that his intercourse with those who were high in station was making him haughty and disrespectful.

I am unable to judge as to the proper period at which a youthful mind should be induced to interest itself in political questions. I am sure, however, that if such participation in the affairs of the country be chiefly in the way of opposition, it must prove injurious, for its immediate effect is to destroy every feeling of veneration.

Years passed on, Ernst was educated at the house of my wife's nephew, who was a professor at the Gymnasium at the capital. He also spent much of his time with his sister Bertha, who had married Captain Von Carsten.

I must here remark that my son-in-law, in spite of the obstinate opposition of his haughty family, and the strongly marked disapproval of all of his superiors, up to the Prince himself, had married the daughter of a member of the opposition, and had become the brother-in-law of a refugee who was under sentence of death. He is a man of sterling character.

When it was time for Ernst to leave for the university, or, as he had always desired, to attend the forester's school, he declared quite positively that it was his wish to enter the army. He remained there but one year. "The army of the lesser states," he said, "is either mere child's play, or else all the horrors of civil war lurk behind it." He visited the university only to remain there two terms, after which he entered himself with Hartriegel, the district forester.

Ernst's unsteadiness gave us much concern, and I was especially shocked by the sarcastic, mocking manner, in which he spoke of those objects which we of the older generation held in reverence.

He was disputatious, and maintained that it was one's duty to doubt everything. Indeed he did not even spare his parents in that regard, and was bold enough to tell me and my wife which of our qualities he most admired.

He once uttered these wicked words: "The present generation does not look upon the fifth commandment as really a command: but I have a reason for honoring my parents; and I am especially grateful to you, father, for the good constitution I have inherited from you."

My hand itched when I heard Ernst's words; but a glance from my wife pacified me, and I shall forever be grateful to her that I succeeded in controlling myself. Had I given way to my just anger, I would have had myself to blame for Ernst's desperate course and his lost life. That would have been adding guilt to misfortune, and would have been insupportable.

I had yet much to learn. As a father I was sadly deficient in many respects. But, with every desire to improve herself, my wife was already a perfect being, and could therefore be more to the children than I was. I was disposed to neglect my family on account of what was due my office. She was vigilant and severe, and supplied what was lacking on my part. But although she was sterner than I was, the children were more attached to her than to me.

Although Ernst's views of life gave me deep concern, he was often kind and affectionate; for his good-nature was, at times, stronger than his so-called principles.

I sought consolation in the thought that children will always see the world in a different light from that in which it appears to their parents. Even that which is ideal is subject to constant change, and we should therefore be careful not to imagine that the form which is pleasing to us, and to which we have accustomed ourselves, will endure forever. And, moreover, was it not our wish to educate our children as free moral agents, and was it not our duty to accord full liberty even to those who differed with us?

I have often seen it verified that a perfect development cannot take place with those who, either through birth or adverse circumstances, are deficient in any important moral faculty. With all of Ernst's love of freedom, he was entirely wanting in respect or regard for the feelings of others. Piety, in its widest sense, he was utterly devoid of. From his stand-point, his actions were perfectly just; as to their effects upon others, he was indifferent.

On the Wiesenplatz in Frankfort, during the autumn of 1848, I had gone through a heart-rending experience. And now, after many years, I returned to the same spot only to be reminded of my former grief by painful and conflicting emotions. I had gone to Frankfort to attend the Schützenfest. The city was alive with joy; a spirit of unity had for the first time become manifest. I was standing close by the temple for the distribution of the prizes. Although surrounded by a gay and laughing crowd, I was quite absorbed in my own reflections, when suddenly a voice thus addressed me:

"Ah, father! Are you here, too?" I looked around to see who it was, and beheld my son Ernst. He carried his rifle on his shoulder, and the rewards for his well-aimed shots were fastened under the green ribbon of his hat. Before I could get a chance to congratulate him, he had said to me, "Father, you should not have come; I am sorry that I meet you here."

"Why so?"

"Why! Because this is for us young lads. We are here for the purpose of gaining prize-goblets by our lucky shots; and the great speeches that are being held in yonder hall are nothing more than a mere flash in the pan. They are trying to persuade each other that they are all heroes and willing to bear arms for their Fatherland, and their talk is, after all, a mere sham. The good marksmen have not come here for the sake of their Fatherland and such stuff: all they desire is simply to gain the prize--that, and nothing more."

"Do you not know that I, too, made a speech in there yesterday?"

"No. I was informed that some one named Waldfried had been speaking; but I could not imagine it was you. One should have nothing to do with such inflammable thoughts when fire-arms are at hand. If we were to govern ourselves by your speeches, our brotherly-feeling would very soon be at an end, and there would be naught but violence and murder among us riflemen."

I tried to explain to him that our hope lay in our able-bodied youth, and that we would not rest content until we had a real, united Fatherland. To which he answered:

"Ah, yes. The students, those of brother Richard's sort, live on yesterday: the politicians live on to-morrow: we live in the present."

His features trembled, and it was with an effort that he added, "Forgive me, father; perhaps I, too, will have as much confidence in mankind as you have, when I am as old as you are."

What could I answer to this? While all about me was loud with joy, my soul was filled with sorrow. My youngest son denied the gods to whom I offered up my prayers.

And yet, when I saw him among a group of riflemen, my fatherly pride was aroused. His proud, lithe form towered above the rest. New-comers saluted him, and the eyes of all seemed to rest upon Ernst with serene satisfaction.


One day Ernst visited us and went about for a long while in silence,--now going out to Rothfuss in the stable, and then again joining us in the room; but here again he uttered no word. Although I could see that he was agitated, I did not ask him the reason. I had been obliged to accustom myself to allow him to speak when it suited him, and to avoid any advances on my part until it pleased him to seek them.

We were just about to rise from the dinner-table when he said to us in a hurried manner, "Before you hear it from others, I must announce it to you myself:--I am engaged to be married."

We looked at each other in silence. Not a sound was heard, save the ticking of the two Black Forest clocks in our room. At last my wife asked: "And with whom?"

I could tell by the tone of her voice how many heavy thoughts had preceded these words.

"With a healthy girl. I--I know all about selection in breeding," answered Ernst, while he lit his cigar.

I reprimanded him severely for his tone. Without changing a feature, he allowed me to finish my remarks. After that he arose, threw his rifle over his shoulder, put on his green hat, and left the house. I wanted to call him back, but my wife prevented me. I reproached myself for the violent manner in which I had spoken to him. Now he will rush into misfortune--who knows what he may do next? With mild words, I might have been able to direct him on the right path; but now he may, perhaps, not return, and will even persuade himself to hate me.

My wife consoled me with the words: "He will return before nightfall."

And it was so. In the evening he returned, and addressing me with a voice full of emotion, said: "Father, forgive me!"

Rothfuss was in the room at the time, and I beckoned to him to leave; but Ernst requested that he should remain, and continued:

"I have done wrong. I am heartily sorry for it. I have also done wrong to Martella. I should not have acted as I have done, but ought to have brought her to you first of all. She deserves quite different treatment--better indeed than I do. I beg of you, give back the words that I uttered! Forgive me! and, above all things, do not make Martella suffer for what I have said."

He uttered these words with a trembling voice. Rothfuss had left the room. I held out my hand to Ernst, and he continued firmly:

"You have so often told me, and as I am always forgetting it, you will have to tell it to me many a time again, that there is something in me which causes me at times to express myself quite differently from the way in which I intended to. I also know, dear father, that such a word lingers in your memory like a smouldering spark, especially when the word is uttered by your own child; and that in your grief you picture to yourself the utter ruin of a character that can indulge in such expressions. I understand you, do I not? Trust in me: I am not so bad, after all.

"I do not believe in the possessed; and yet there must be something of that kind. Enough on that point, however. Though I seemed cheerful, I had a heavy heart; but now I am one of the happiest beings alive; and if I were obliged to be a wood-cutter for the rest of my days, I could still content myself. O mother, I would not have believed that I could have found such a creature in a world in which all others are mere pretence and rouge, lies and deceit.

"She is in perfect health, and as pure and as fresh as a dewdrop. Although she has learned nothing, she knows everything. She cannot couch it in words, but her eyes speak it. Her heart is so thoroughly good,--so strong,--so pure,--indeed, I cannot find the right word for it. She has no parents, no brothers or sisters. She is a child of the woods, and as pure and as holy as the primeval forest itself.

"O, forgive me all! I cannot describe my emotions. Now I understand and believe everything. They tell us that in the olden time, a Prince once lost his way while hunting in the forest, and that he found a maiden whom he placed upon his horse and led to his castle and then made her his queen. Those stories are all true. I cannot make a queen of Martella, but through her I am ennobled; and it grieves me that it will not do to have our wedding at once. But I will wait. I can wait. Or, if you like it better, we will wander forth to America, and, far from the world, shall live there as our first parents did in Paradise. Believe me, there is indeed a paradise.

"O mother! You are certainly all that a human being can be, but still you have one fault;--yes, yes; you have wept--and the first commandment should be, 'Man, thou shalt not weep.' And, just think of it, mother, Martella has never yet wept! She is as healthy as a doe, and I swear it to you, she shall never know what it is to weep. O mother! O father! in the depths of the forest I have found this pure, innocent child, so wise and clever, so strong and brave. This flower has blossomed in the hidden depths of the forest; no human eye had ever seen her before. I am not worthy of her, but I will try to become so."

His voice became thick. He beat his breast with both hands, and drew a long deep breath. I have never yet seen a being so refulgent with happiness. Thus, in the olden time, must they have looked who thought they were beholding a miracle; and even now, when I write of these things, feeble as my words seem, I tremble with emotion.

And could this be my child, my son, my madcap, who now felt so humble and contrite. I had lost all memory of his former rudeness and sarcasm. It was some time before we could answer his words.

The sun was going down in the west, its last broad rays fell into the room, shedding a glow of light over all, and as we sat we heard the evening chimes.


"I believe in your love," said my wife at last.

"O mother!" cried Ernst, throwing himself at her feet; and then kissing her hands, he wept and sobbed while he rested his head on her knee.

I lifted him up and said, "We are independent enough not to ask where our daughter-in-law comes from, so that she be but good and will make our child happy."

Ernst grasped both of my hands and said, "I knew it. I do not deserve your love, but now I shall try to be worthy of it."

"But where have you been since dinner-time?" said my wife, trying to change the conversation.

Ernst replied that he had left the road and had wandered far into the forest, where he had lain down and fallen asleep; and that within him two sorts of spirits had been battling. The spiteful spirit had urged him not to take back the rude words, and desired him, without heeding father or mother, to wander forth into the wide world with his Martella; she would follow him wherever he led.

The humble spirit had, however, warned him to return and undo the harm he had done. The conflict had been a long one. At last he rose to his feet and ran home as if sent by a messenger of happiness.

My wife listened attentively, and regarded him with that glance of hers which seemed to penetrate the deepest recesses of the soul. No other being can listen so attentively as she could, and no glance is as soothing as hers was. She would not attempt to assist you when at a loss for words, or by her manner imply that she knew what you meant. She patiently permitted you to explain yourself, to stop or to continue; and when she was listening, you could not but feel wiser than you really were. Her glance illumined your very soul.

When Ernst had finished she said to him: "You are on the right path at last. I know that you think you have already reached the goal, and that all is done. But, believe me, and do not forget what I now tell you,--the spiteful spirit will return again; now he only feigns death. But rest content, for from this day you will be his master. I see this as clearly as I see your very eyes. The best possession in the world is now yours--pure, righteous love. Yes, you may well laugh, for now it is your goodness that laughs."

Rothfuss came to tell me that the Alsatian cattle-dealer who wanted to purchase our fat oxen, wished to see me. I was about to send word to him to wait or to come some other time, but I understood my wife's glance, which told me that I had better leave her alone with Ernst.

I left the room, and, while going, I heard her say, "Ernst, you must now eat and drink something; such emotions as you have felt awaken hunger and thirst."

When I returned, Ernst sat at the table eating his supper. He called out to me, "Father, mother has arranged everything nicely, and if you are satisfied, why--"

"Eat now, and let me speak," said my wife. And then she continued:

"From all that Ernst has told me--and we depend upon his truthfulness--I am convinced that Martella is a real treasure-trove. No one but such a girl could banish this spirit of unrest. We are, thank God, so circumstanced that besides a good family name we can also bestow worldly goods upon our children. Ernst and his bride1 are both young and can work for themselves. He loves in her the child of nature; but he understands that there is much of good which she can and must yet take up into this pure nature of hers. He used to say that he could never be happy except with a woman who sang beautifully, but now he no longer finds singing a necessity. But he cannot do without spiritual sympathy and harmony in his higher life. She need not learn French; I have forgotten what I once knew of it. But Ernst is accustomed to a refined home; and when he goes home to his wife in his forest house, he should be able to find refreshment and rest in noble and elevating thoughts.

"If a forester is denied the proper delights of home and married life, there is nothing left him but the pleasures of the tavern; and they will certainly ruin him.

"Martella must not be confused or taught in school-girl fashion. That which is noble and refined in life cannot be imparted by precept or command. It must become a necessity to her, just as it has become to our own son, and not until then can they both be happy.

"Neither will the world be satisfied with mere nature and forest manners. Does it not seem the very thing that she of her own accord has said to Ernst, 'Let me spend a year as a servant to your sister, the captain's wife, or what would be still better, with your mother, and then come for me? If you do not object, I think we had better do this. Early to-morrow morning I shall drive over into the valley with Ernst, and in the evening I shall return with Martella, who will remain with us until all is arranged and she has become used to our ways and customs, so that Ernst may live happily with her, not only in his youth, but until his eighty-third year--for my father lived to that age."

I do not know which to admire most in my wife--her shrewdness or her kindness. She always had the right word at the right time.

I, of course, approved of her plan, and on the morrow she started off with Ernst in the wagon. Rothfuss drove the two bays.

Towards evening, I walked down the road to meet them on their return.

The sun was going down behind the Vosges Mountains. The rosy sunset shed its glow over the rocks and the waters of the brook.

The Englishman stood at the bank angling. He never saluted those whom he met, but lived entirely for himself. Every year, as soon as the snows began to melt, he came to our valley, and remained until the winter returned. He dwelt with Lerz the baker, and was always fishing up and down the valley. He gathered up his complicated fishing-tackle and departed, followed by a day laborer carrying a fish basket.


I waited down by the village saw-mill, where they already knew that Ernst's bride was coming to live with us. With all his gentleness and candor, Ernst had announced this in order that we should be bound by it. I met Rautenkron the forester, who was known in the whole neighborhood as "The wild huntsman."

He was the best of shots, and could endure no living object. The people thought he merely avoided men, but I knew that he hated them. He always considered it a piece of good fortune when he heard bad news of any one. He lived in solitude, for whenever he had been seduced into helping some one he had always repented of it afterward. A ball had once passed through his hat, and, during the examination, the magistrate had said to the officer, "If he should ever be killed by a shot, you had better examine the whole village, for we shall all have had a share in it." He lived strictly within the law, however. He did not want to be beloved: it was his boast that every one could say, "He is severe, but just." He had no consideration either for rich or poor.

He was in the vigor of life, with a gray beard, aquiline nose, and wondrously clear liquid blue eyes, of a piercing brilliancy.

He came up to me with a friendly air, that was quite unusual on his part, and told me that Ernst had been with him that day.

Ernst had said nothing to me of this. Rautenkron declared that he did not concern himself about other people, but that he was really sorry that Ernst was about to throw himself away. Here was another young man who was fit for heroic deeds, but was ruined in this good-for-nothing age, and was about to sacrifice his life to a coquettish forest girl. It was unpardonable that we should countenance him in this, and consent to take a creature from out of the thicket into a house which had always borne so honorable a name.

"Mark my words! She will be just like a young fox that is caught before he has finished his growth,--he will never be perfectly tamed, but will run away to his home when you least expect it, and be right in doing so."

It is always galling to hear pure affection thus abused and misconstrued.

I endeavored to change the subject, but Rautenkron affected not to hear me, and indulged in the most violent language against the stranger. Indeed, he prophesied that our thoughtless conduct would drag us into misfortune, and called the miller to bear witness to what he thus told me.

I abruptly refused to continue the subject, and now Rautenkron called out to me, his eyes beaming with joy, "Enough. Let us speak of something else. I have to-day done one of the prettiest deeds of my life. Shall I tell you what? All right! You know Wollkopf the wood dealer. He has such a mild, insinuating way about him, but always eyed me as the usurer does a suspicious-looking pledge. He did not trust me. 'But,' thought I to myself, 'just wait! I will bide my time; he will come yet.' And he has come at last, within shooting distance too. At the last sale of wood in my district, he had bought a large lot of logs, and then came up to me and said that he wanted to speak plain German with me. Now listen to what the honored town-councillor--you know that is his position--the acknowledged man of honor, calls plain speaking! He offered me a bribe if I would keep such and such logs out of his lot. Of course I agreed. Smoking our cigars, we went on walking through the woods. I quickly cut down an oak sapling, pulled the branches from it, and with the green wood beat the lean man of honor to my heart's content. He cried out with all his might, but no one heard him save the cuckoo, and I enjoyed beating him until he was black and blue; just as the cuckoo enjoys swallowing the caterpillar which poisons the fingers of your soft-skinned gentry. I tell you there is no greater pleasure than administering personal chastisement to a sharper. Men say that the kiss of the beloved one is good; perhaps it is, but this is better.

"And when I was satisfied, and he too, I suppose, had enough, I let him run, and said to him, 'Now, my sweet gentleman, you may sue me if you choose; but, if you do, it will be my turn to tell my story.'"

While Rautenkron told his story, his features acquired an uncanny expression of glee. I must admit that I did not begrudge the sharper the beating he had received; and besides that, the recital had engaged my attention, and thus had relieved me from the sad thoughts which had before that filled my mind.

It was already dusk when the wagon arrived. It halted. My wife said to the girl who was sitting at her side, "This is father. Speak to him."

"I hope you are well, father!" exclaimed the girl.

I heard Rautenkron beside me muttering angrily. His words, however, were unintelligible. Without saying more he hurried off into the forest.

"What ails the misanthrope now?" said my wife. "But why need that trouble us? My child, you had better get out here and follow with father."

I helped the child to alight. She seemed loth to obey.


I was obliged to halt. I felt as if trying to drag a heavily laden wagon up the hill.

But let me proceed. I have many a steep path yet to climb.

I stood with the girl on the highway. I extended my hand and uttered a few words of welcome, but they did not come from the heart. Our wayward son had imposed a great burden on us. The young maiden appeared to pay no attention to what I was saying, but looked about in every direction. As it was dusk, I could not see her distinctly. I could perceive, however, that she was a powerful creature. She did not regulate her step by mine, but I was forced to keep step with her unless I wished to be left behind.

"What dog is this running after us?" said I.

"It is my dog. Isn't it so, Pincher? Aren't you my dog?"

The dog answered with a bark, and kept running back and forth, now up the road and now down. When she whistled to him, in huntsman's style, he obeyed.

"Master," asked she, without resting a moment while speaking, "and does all as far as the eye can reach belong to you?"

"Why do you inquire?"

"Why? because I want to know. It must be jolly here in the daytime."

"Indeed it is."

"Is that the graveyard where I see the crosses and the white stones?"


"Can it be seen from your house?"

"It can."

"Too bad! that will never do. I can't bear to look out of the window. I can't stay there, I won't stay; you must take away that graveyard; how can one laugh or sing with that constantly before one's eyes? Or how could I eat or drink? I once found a dead man in the forest. He had been lying there ever so long, and was quite eaten away. I can't bear to have Death always staring me in the face. I won't stay here."

I was obliged to stop. I felt so oppressed that I could not move from the spot.

The oxen that I had sold the day before were just being led down the hill. When Martella saw them she cried out, "Oh what splendid beasts! are they yours?"

"They are no longer mine. I sold them yesterday, and they are to be led to France."

"A pleasant meal to you, France!" said Martella, laughing boisterously. I could not help noticing her hearty laughter, for I felt quite shocked by it. What can this child be, thought I? What will become of our tranquil household?

We arrived at the house. The room seemed lighted up more brilliantly than usual. We ascended the steps, Martella preceding me. My wife was waiting for us on the threshold, and taking both of Martella's hands in hers, said, "Now, child, thou art at last at home."

"I am at home everywhere. And so is my dog. Isn't it so, Pincher?" said Martella in a bold tone.

We entered the room. There were three lights on the table. My wife's eloquent glance told me to have patience, and when I saw her lay her hand on her heart I felt that she was confident that she could direct everything for the best.

I now, for the first time, had a good look at Martella. In carriage and feature she seemed as wild and defiant as a gypsy. Her face was full of an expression of boldness. But she was indeed beautiful and fascinating when she spoke, and even more so when she laughed.

"Why do you have three lamps on the table?" said she.

"That is the custom," answered my wife, "when a bride comes to the house."

"How lovely!" exclaimed Martella. "The one light stands for us who are as one. The other two lights represent the parents." And she laughed most heartily. Her next question was, "Why do you have two clocks in your room?"

"You ask a great many questions," I could not avoid answering. But my wife said, "That is right. Always ask questions, and you will soon learn all that you need know."

Martella may have imagined that she had been too precipitate, for she soon said:

"To-morrow is yet another day. I am so tired. I would like to go to sleep now. But I must have my dog with me, or else I cannot rest."

Indeed, her gentle good-night and her curtsey seemed strangely at variance with her usually bold and defiant manner.

When she had left us, my wife said to me, "Do not take this affair to heart. It is indeed no trifle. But remember that Ernst might have made a much more serious mistake. He loves the wild creature, and our duty is to help him as best we can. Let Rothfuss and me take charge of the girl. For the present, you had better treat her with an air of reserve. We two will attend to all. You may be glad that we have so faithful a servant as Rothfuss. They are friends already, and he says, 'By the time the potatoes are brought home, she will lay aside her red stockings.' I was wishing for that on our way here. But she refused so positively, that I desisted from my endeavors to persuade her."

After a little while, she continued:

"A voice in the forest helped me to bring all things about as they should be. I heard the cuckoo's cry, and was reminded by that, that he would leave his young in a strange nest, and that other birds would patiently and affectionately nurture the strange birdling. We are something like these cuckoo parents. What they do without thought, we do consciously."

When at early dawn on the following day, I looked out of my window, I saw Martella and her dog at the fountain in front of the house. Seen by day, and in her light attire, she seemed wondrously beautiful and fascinating.

She washed her face and plaited her thick brown hair. Her every movement seemed free and noble, and almost graceful enough to please an artist's eye.

She sang in a low voice, and would from time to time exclaim, "Cuckoo!"

Rothfuss, who saw that she was washing herself, called out to her that she must not do that again. "The cows drink there, and if you wash yourself in that basin, they will never go there again."

"I have already noticed," she replied, "that the cattle have the first place in this house."

When she saw me, she called out in a clear, ringing voice:

"Good-morning, master. Ernst was certainly right when he told me that it is lovely here. One can see so far in every direction. I shall yet climb every one of those hills. How good the water is! Do you, too, hear the cuckoo? He is already awake, and has bid me good-morning. Old Jaegerlies2 has often told me that I was the cuckoo's child. And do you know that the cow got a calf during the night? A spotted cow-calf? We have already given the cow something warm to drink. The calf drank milk when it was hardly two minutes old. Rothfuss said it would be a pity to kill the calf. I am going to drive out into the fields with Rothfuss to get some clover. Yes, a cow has a good time of it in your house. But look! the cuckoo is flying over your house! That is an omen!"

She went to the stable, and I followed her a short time afterwards. She looked on dreamily while the cow was licking the new-born calf, and said at last,

"That is what you folks call kissing."

Rothfuss asked her:

"Are you fond of cows?"

"I don't know; I never had one."

He showed her our best cow and said,

"Three years ago, when she was a calf, she got the first prize at the agricultural exhibition. She puts food to the best use. Everything that she eats turns either to meat or to milk."

Rothfuss told Martella to put on a little jacket. They soon drove out to the fields, and when she held up the scythe, she exclaimed, "Cuckoo!" It seemed to me as if I were dreaming, and yet I remembered quite distinctly that my wife had spoken to me on the previous night of the cuckoo's young ones.

What a strange coincidence it seemed!

Martella returned from the fields in good spirits, and during the morning lunch was quite cheerful. She was constantly talking of the daughter-in-law, and the cow-calf that had come into the family during the night before.

I then said to her, "I will give you the cow-calf. It is yours."

She made no answer, but looked at me with an air of surprise.

Rothfuss told me that when in the stable, she had said to the calf: "You belong to me. But of course, you know nothing of it. You really belong to your mother. But your mother belongs to the master, the master belongs to Ernst, and Ernst belongs to me; and that is how it is."

When evening came, Rothfuss expressed his opinion in the following words:

"If her inside is like her outside, she need not be made any better than she already is."

Our oldest maid-servant, Balbina, seemed quite kindly disposed to the new arrival, and Martella said that Balbina had told her something with the air of imparting a secret of which she was the only possessor. And what was it? "Why, nothing more than that it is sinful to lie and steal."

I have given the story of this first day in its smallest details. It is only for the first green leaves of spring that we have an attentive eye. They go on, silently increasing, until they become so numerous that they excite no comment.


Martella did not become attached to any one in the house except Rothfuss, whom she was constantly plying with questions about Ernst's childhood. When in pleasant evenings during the week, and on Sunday afternoons in clear weather, the youths and maidens would march through the village, with their merry songs, she would sit with Rothfuss on the bench by the stable, or, unattended by any companion save her dog, would be up in the woods that lay back of our house.

When she had any special request, she would communicate it through Rothfuss.

Among other things, she wanted to go out into the forest with the wood-cutters. From her thirteenth year she had wielded the axe, and could use it as cleverly as the men. We did not grant this wish of hers.

Her craving for knowledge was insatiable, and I marvelled at the patience and equanimity with which my wife told her everything she wanted to know.

Things to which we had become accustomed were to her occasions of the liveliest surprise. This did not seem to change, for she never could get used to what with us had, through daily habit, become a matter of course. To her all seemed a marvel.

Her glance was full of courage. Her voice seemed so full of sincerity, that her strangest utterances required no added assurance of their truthfulness. Her laughter was so hearty that it seemed contagious.

Rothfuss was quite proud that he could control Martella, just as he did the two bays that he had raised from the time they were foals, and delighted to speak of the fact, that our youngest--as he called Ernst--was the best of marksmen. He had secured the best prize. For there could be no other girl so wise and merry as Martella. And she was so full of merry capers that the very cows looked around and lowed, as if to say, "We, too, would be glad to laugh with you, if we only could. But, alas! we cannot. We have not the bellows to do it with."

She had named her calf "Muscat." She would nurse it as if it were a younger sister. She maintained that it was a perfect marvel of health and wisdom, and that the old cow was jealous, and tried to butt her because she had noticed that the calf had greater love for Martella than for its own mother.

There was one point on which she and Rothfuss always quarrelled. She had an inexplicable aversion to America, of which Rothfuss always spoke as if it were Paradise itself. The manner in which Lisbeth, the locksmith's widow, had been provided for, was his chief argument in its favor. "None but a free state would provide so well for the families of the men killed in battle. How different our Germans are about that."

Towards my wife and myself, Martella was respectful, but diffident.

Ernst came to us but twice during the summer, remaining but a few hours each time.

He wanted Martella to walk or drive around the neighborhood with him, but she refused, saying "that she would not leave home. She had been away long enough."

Ernst was evidently provoked that Martella refused to go with him, but kept his anger to himself.

In that summer, 1865, we had charming harvest weather, and I shall never forget Martella's saying, "I shall help gather the harvest. I was a gleaner once, and know that this is good weather for the farmers. To cut the ears in the morning and carry home the rich sheaves in the evening, without having had a storm during the day, is good for the farmer, but not so pleasant for the poor gleaner. Storms during the harvest time scatter the grain for the poor; for the farmers give nothing away of their own accord."

Rothfuss looked towards me, and nodded approval of her words.

Towards the end of summer, Richard paid us a visit.

Richard had written to us some time before, and had referred to Ernst's conduct in indignant terms. He felt shocked that one who had not yet secured a livelihood for himself, had already linked the fate of another with his own, and had inflicted her presence upon the household. But from the first moment that he saw Martella, he admired her more than any of us had done.

When he offered her his first brotherly greeting, she gazed at him with her brilliant eyes, and said,

"I can see ten years ahead."

"Have you the gift of prophecy?"

"Oh pshaw! I don't mean that. What I mean is that in ten years from now Ernst will look as you now do. But I hope that when that time comes, he will not have to use spectacles."

Richard laughed, and so did Martella quite heartily.

There is nothing better than when two people laugh together at their first meeting.

Later in the season, my daughter Johanna, who is the wife of a pastor in the Oberland who had once been Ludwig's teacher, came with her grown-up daughter to pay us a visit. Johanna's object in coming was to receive the benefit of the milk cure.

At their very first meeting, she unintentionally affronted Martella. Johanna always wore black silk netted gloves, and when, with too evident an air of assumed kindness, she offered her hand to Martella, the latter said to her:

"There is no need for a fly-net on your hand. I do not sting."

After this trifling circumstance, there was many a heart-burning between Martella and Johanna. They were always at cross purposes. Rothfuss was provoked, as he was unable to satisfy Martella that the pastor's wife had not intended to affront her. Martella refused to be convinced, and persisted in calling Johanna a "fly-net."

When she had once conceived an aversion for any one, she was immovable. And when Johanna came to the cow stables, which she did twice every day at milking-time, she would always in an ironical tone say, "Good-day, madam sister-in-law."

Johanna found in this a cause for continued ill-feeling, to which, in her discontented and susceptible condition, she readily gave way.

Johanna imagined that she had found the way to Martella's heart, by assuring her how much she pitied her. But that only served to make matters worse; for Martella resented any manifestation of pity.

As our household was conducted on a generous scale, there was much that, in Johanna's eyes, contrasted unpleasantly with her own home. She frequently alluded to the small pay her husband was earning, and often gave us cause to remember that he would have been advanced much more rapidly, if he had not been the son-in-law of a member of the party in opposition to the government. She, in fact, made no concealment of her belief that I was the cause of her husband's and her daughter's infirm health. If it were not that I was in such great disfavor with the government, they would long ago have been stationed in a more genial climate, and would thus have recovered their health.

She maintained that our mode of living was not pious enough, and thought it most atrocious that we indulged Martella in her heathenish ways.

She did not care to go to the village pastor, with whom we had but little intercourse, for she was angry at him. His position brought him little work but generous pay, and she therefore coveted it for her own husband. But then, the wife of our pastor happened to be the daughter of a member of the consistory, which, of course, explains the whole matter.

One peculiarity of Martella's afforded Johanna many an opportunity to read us homilies on our neglect of the child. No matter whether you did her a service or gave her a present, Martella never uttered a word of thanks.

I am unable to explain the trait. It may have been the result of the simple life of nature in which she had been reared.

My son Richard, who passed a portion of the autumn holidays with us, was of that opinion.

Richard had a way of laying aside his spectacles after he had been with us for a day or two, and getting along without them until the day of his departure. He thus, with every succeeding year, did much to strengthen his overtasked eyes. I think he used to put his spectacles in the keeping of Rothfuss, who would return them to him on the day he left home.

On this occasion, however, he retained his spectacles, and spent less of his time with Rothfuss than with Martella, who seemed to have become fonder of him than of any of us. In the evenings and on Sundays, she would take long walks with him in the woods, and would talk unceasingly.

One evening Richard said:

"I received the great academical prize to-day. Martella said to me: 'I can hardly believe that you are a professor; you are so--so wise, and have so much common-sense, and can talk like--like a wood-keeper's servant.' Can you imagine greater praise than that?

"And let me tell you, moreover, that Martella is full of wisdom. She knows every creature, the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. And besides that, she can read the human heart thoroughly. I could not repeat some of her opinions to you without committing a breach of confidence. But I can tell you that she has split many a log, and knows how to swing her axe to the right spot.

"Yes, Ernst is a lucky fellow; I am only fearful that he may not understand her simple nature. She is too wayward. I trust that he may learn to see in her a real incarnation of undefiled holiness and majesty. It is true that in her case they manifest themselves in the form of a girl not given to blissful tears, but the very embodiment of joy itself.

"While walking along the road, she was chewing twigs of pine, and handed a few to me, with the words: 'Taste them; there is nothing half so good as these.'

"When I told her that, as she could get better and more regular fare, she had better give up this habit of chewing pine needles, especially as it excited her nerves, she answered: 'I think you are right. They always excite me terribly.'

"We were about to cross a meadow. I was afraid of the wet places. 'Follow me,' said she, 'and be careful to look out for the molehills, for there is always dry soil underneath them.'"

While Richard was thus discoursing with unwonted enthusiasm, Johanna had risen from the table and had beckoned to her daughter to follow her.

Richard and my wife had noticed this as well as I had done. They did not allude to it, however, but continued their conversation, agreeing that it was best for the present to let Martella have her own way. They thought that she would in due time undoubtedly awaken to a longing for life's nobler forms, and the deeper meaning that lay beneath them.

My wife had no set plan on which to educate Martella.

"She is to live with us, and that of itself will educate her. She sees every one of us attending to his appointed labor. That will, of itself, soon teach her where her duty lies, and will help to make her orderly and methodical. She sees that our lives are sincere, and that, too, must do her good."

My wife was careful to caution Richard against teaching her any generalities, as they could be of no use to her.

Martella was not gentle in her disposition. She was severe towards herself as well as towards others. She had no compassion for the sufferings of others. Her idea was that every one should help himself as best he could.

She had never cared or toiled for another being. Like the stag in the forest, she lived for herself alone. My wife nodded silent approval when Richard observed, "In a state of nature, all is egotism; gentleness, industry, and the disposition to assist others are results of culture."

On the very day on which Richard had to leave us, the Major arrived at our house. He was on a tour of inspection, and had been examining the horses which the law required the farmers to hold ready for government uses.

Our village was not included in his district, and he had gone out of his way to pay us this visit. He was in full uniform. His athletic, hardy figure presented quite a stately appearance, and his honest, cheerful manner was quite refreshing.

He was glad to be able to inform us that the ill-will of his superior officers, in which even the minister of war had participated, had not injured him with the Prince. Although there had been three competitors for the position, the Prince had selected him, and had personally informed him of his promotion with the words, "I have great respect for your father-in-law, and believe that he is a true friend of the state."

The Major was not wanting in respect and affection for me, and his behavior to my wife was marked by a knightly grace, and filial veneration. When Richard told him how Martella had in himself seen her own betrothed with ten years added to his real age, he replied: "I have never said so, but it has often occurred to me that, when she is older, Bertha will be the very picture of her mother as we now see her."

Richard was an excellent go-between for Martella and the Major, who had brought a necklace of red beads which Bertha had sent to the new sister-in-law.

Although Martella's face became flushed with emotion, she did not utter one word of thanks. She pressed the beads to her lips, and then stepped to the mirror and fastened the necklace on. Then she turned towards us, while she counted us off on her fingers and said, "I am a sister-in-law. Now I know everything, and have everything. I have a pastor, a professor, a major, a forester, a great farmer, and--what else is there? Ah, yes, now I know--a builder."

"Yes, we have one; but he is in America."

"I will have nothing to do with America," said Martella.

The Major ventured the remark that Ernst had acted unwisely in leaving the service; he seemed made for a soldier, and the best thing he could do would be to return to the army. But in that case he would have, for a while at least, to postpone all thoughts of marrying.

"He need not hurry on my account," interrupted Martella; "I am sure I shall put nothing in his way. I, too, shall need some time to make myself fit. I shall have to put many a thing in here," pointing to her forehead, "before I shall deserve to be a member of this family. Now I have the necklace that my sister-in-law sent me, around my neck, and do not mind being tied, and--Good-night!"

She reached out her hand to my wife, and then to each one of us. After which she again grasped my wife's hand, and then retired.

Richard explained Martella's peculiar characteristics to the Major. Both in thought and in action she was a strange compound of gentleness and rudeness.

The Major asked whether we knew anything about her parents. Richard replied that she had imparted facts to him that bore on the subject, but that they were as yet disconnected and unsatisfactory, and that he had given her his word of honor that he would reveal naught, until she herself thought that the proper time had come.

We kept up our cheerful conversation for some time longer. Suddenly it occurred to the Major to observe that the dispute between Prussia and Austria was taking a dangerous shape, and that, according to his views, Prussia was in the right. The military system of the confederation could not last long in its present condition.

Thus we were brought face to face with serious questions.

Of what import was the transformation of a child of the forest, when such weighty matters were on the carpet.

But while the clouds pass by over our heads, and the seasons depart, the little plant quietly and steadily keeps on growing.


In the winter of 1865 I left home to attend a session of the Parliament.

My neighbor Funk, who was also a delegate, accompanied me.

It grieves me to be obliged to describe this man or even to mention him.

He caused me much sorrow. He humiliated me more than any other man has ever done, for he proved to me that I have neither worldly wisdom nor knowledge of men. How could I have so egregiously deceived myself in him? I am too hasty in determining as to the character of a man, and when I afterwards find that his actions are not in keeping with my conception of what they should be, the inconsistency torments me as if it were an unsolved enigma. In one word, I have suffered much because of a lack of reserve. Unfortunately I must give all or nothing. Even now I cannot help thinking that he must be better, after all, than he seems. I find, on comparing myself with him, that he has many an advantage over me. He is twenty years younger than I am, and yet he seems as if he had matured long ago. I shall never be that way, no matter how long I live. I am always growing.

He had failed in the examination for a degree, and, disappointed and vexed, had entered the teachers' seminary. He afterward actually became a schoolmaster, but never forgot that he had once aspired to enter a higher sphere of life.

When the revolution broke out he had hoped to find his reckoning in it. He speedily found himself in a high position, and had no trouble in accustoming himself to the princely palace in which the provisional government had located itself.

I have already mentioned that I had brought Funk home from Strasburg with me. I felt so firmly convinced of his innocence that I used all my influence in his behalf, and even deposited a considerable sum as his bondsman, in order that he might be tried without having to surrender his liberty. He was pronounced innocent.

He made me shudder one day when he told me that the judges had evidently imbibed my belief in his innocence.

Funk was a handsome man, and still retains his good looks. Annette, the friend of my daughter Bertha, called him a perfect type of lackey beauty. She was sure, she said, that he was born to wear a livery. There was something so abject and cringing about him. She was not a little proud of her discernment, when, some time after, I confirmed her judgment by the announcement that Funk was actually a son of the Duke's valet.

Funk did not resume his former position as a teacher. He became an emigration agent. For during the first years of the reaction there was a great increase in the number of emigrants from this country to America.

Besides this, he had also become an agent for Insurances of all sorts Fire, Life, Hail, and Cattle. His window-shutters were so covered with signs that they presented quite a gay appearance.

He was chosen as one of the town-council, but the government did not confirm him in office, which action of theirs gained him much credit with the people. Two years after that, when he was elected burgomaster, he knew how to bring it about that a deputation should wait upon the Prince in person to urge his confirmation.

Funk induced his wife always to wear the old-time costumes of the country people.

"That, you must know," he said to me one day, "awakens the confidence of the country people." When I reproved him for this trick, he laughed and showed his pretty teeth. There was, to me at least, always something insincere and repulsive in his laugh, and in the fact that he never wearied of repeating certain high-sounding phrases. But what was there to draw me towards this man? I will honestly admit that I have a certain admiration for combativeness, courage, and shrewdness--qualities in which I am deficient.

My unsuspecting confidence in others is a mistake. But I have been thus for seventy years, and when I reckon up results, I find that I am none the worse for it. Although over-confidence in others has brought me many a sorrow, it has also given me many a joy.

I have suffered much through others, and through Funk especially; but I still believe that there are no thoroughly bad men, but that there are thoroughly egotistical ones, and that the pushing of egotism beyond its due bounds is the source of all evil.

If I had not helped him with all my influence, Funk would not have been chosen a delegate to the Parliament. When he visited me, on the day following the election, he addressed me in a tone of unwonted and unlooked-for familiarity, much to the disgust of my wife.

After he had left she said to me, "I cannot understand you. I did not interfere when I saw that you were trying to gain votes for Funk; that, I presume, is a part of politics, and perhaps the party needs voters, and just such bold and irreverent people. They can say things that a man of honor would not permit himself to utter. But I cannot conceive how you can allow yourself to be on so familiar a footing with that man."

I assured her that the first advances had been made by him, and that although they were undesired by me I did not choose to appear proud.

She said no more. But there was yet another reproof in store for me.

When I entered the stable Rothfuss said to me, "Why did you let that grinning fellow get so near to you? Is he still calling out, 'God be with thee, Waldfried! You will come to see me soon, will you not?' Such talk from that quarter is no compliment."

I did not suffer him to go on with his remarks. My weak fear of hurting the feelings of others had already worked its own punishment on myself.

When I left home for the session of 1865, Funk was waiting for me down by the saw-mill. I found him with a young man, the son of a schoolmaster who lived in the neighborhood. He took leave of his companion, and turning to me exclaimed with a triumphant air, "I have already saved one poor creature to-day. The simple-minded fellow wanted to become a teacher. A mere teacher in a public school! A position which is ideally elevated, but financially quite low. I convinced him that he would be happier breaking stone on the road. We ought to make it impossible for the Government to get teachers for its public schools."

When I answered that he was wantonly trifling with the education of our people, he replied, "From your point of view, perhaps you are quite right." It was in this way that I first got the idea that Funk thought he was controlling me. His subordination was a mere sham, and we were really at heart opposed to each other.

He voted as I did in the Parliament, but not for the same reasons.

If Funk had been insincere towards me, it was now my turn--and that was the worst of it--to be insincere towards him.

I was determined to break off my relations with him, and only awaited a favorable opportunity for so doing. And yet while awaiting that opportunity I kept up my usual relations with him.

It is x indeed sad, that intercourse with those who are insincere begets insincerity in ourselves.

We reached the railway station, where we found numerous delegates, and indeed two of our own party, who were cordially disliked by Funk. One of them was a manufacturer who lived near the borders of Switzerland. He was a strict devotee, but was really sincere in his religious professions, which he illustrated by his pure and unselfish conduct. We were on the friendliest footing, although he could not avoid from time to time expressing a regret that I did not occupy the same religious stand-point that he did.

The other delegate was a proud and haughty country magistrate--a man of large possessions, who imagined it was his especial prerogative to lead in matters affecting the welfare of the state. He had been opposed to Funk during the election, and had ill-naturedly said, "Beggars should have nothing to say." Funk had not forgotten this, but nevertheless forced him, as it were, into a display of civility.

The two companions were quite reserved in their manner towards Funk, and before we had accomplished our journey I could not help observing that there was a pressure which would induce a clashing and a subsequent separation of these discordant elements.


During the winter session of the Parliament I did not reside with my daughter Bertha.

At a future day it will be difficult to realize what a separation there then was between the different classes of our people.

There was a feeling of restraint and ill-will between those who wore the dress of the citizen and that of the soldier. The Prince was, above all things, a soldier, and when in public always appeared in uniform.

We delegates, who could not approve of all that the Government required of us, were regarded as the sworn enemies of the state, both by court circles and by the army, to whom we were nevertheless obliged to grant supplies.

An officer who would suffer himself to be seen walking in the street with a citizen who was suspected of harboring liberal opinions, or with one of the delegates of our party, might rely upon being reported at head-quarters.

Although he did not say anything about it, my son-in-law was much grieved by this condition of affairs. Whenever I visited him he treated me with respect and affection, as if he thus meant to thank me for the reserve I had maintained when we met in public, and desired to apologize for the rigid discipline he was obliged to observe.

We had a long session, full of fury and bitterness on the part of the ministers and officers of the Government, and of the depressing consciousness of wasted effort on ours. The morning began with public debate; after that came committee-meetings, and in the evenings our party caucuses, which sometimes lasted quite late. And all of these sacrifices of strength were made with the discouraging prospect that the fate of our Fatherland still hung in doubt, that our labors would prove fruitless, and that our vain protest against the demands of our rulers would be all that we could contribute to history.

The air seemed thick as if with a coming storm. We felt that our party was on the eve of breaking up into opposing fragments. There was no longer the same confidence among its members, and here and there one could hear it said: "Yes, indeed, you are honest enough, and have no ambitious or selfish views to subserve."

Funk was one of the most zealous of all in the attempt to break up the party.

For a while he had undoubtedly aspired to the leadership. But when it was confided to a gifted man who had availed himself of the declaration of amnesty and had returned to his Fatherland some years before, Funk acted as if he had never thought of the position.

Who can recall all of the changes in the weather that help to ripen the crop!

A spirit of fellowship is praised both in war and in voyages of adventure. The life of a delegate, it seems to me, combines the peculiar features of both of those conditions. It is no trifling matter to leave a pleasant home and to bid adieu to wife and children, and to stand shoulder to shoulder, laboring faithfully day and night for the common weal.

I have had the good fortune to gain the friendship of man. It differs somewhat from the love of woman, but is none the less blessed.

I was not only a delegate from our district but also a member of the German Parliament. I was in accord with the best men of my country, and we were true to one another at our posts. May those who in a happier period replace us act as faithfully and unselfishly as we did!

During the winter session my wife's letters were a source of great enjoyment to me. She kept me fully informed of all that happened at home, and especially in regard to Martella.

On the morning that I left home she came to my wife and said, "Mother--I may call you so, may I not?--and I shall try to be worthy of it; and when master returns, I shall call him father."

She pointed to her feet. My wife did not know what she meant by that, until she at last said, "Rothfuss said that if I were to lay aside my red stockings, I would be making a good beginning."

And after this she began again: "I shall learn all that you tell me, but not from the schoolmaster's assistant. When he was alone with me the other day, he stroked my cheeks and I slapped him for his impertinence. I shall gladly learn all that you wish me to learn."

She remained with my wife, and appeared quite pliant and docile. My wife had her sleep in her own bedchamber, and on the first night she exclaimed, with a voice full of emotion, "I have a mother at last? O Ernst, you ought to know where I am! How happy you have been to have had a mother all your life!"

I took these letters to my daughter Bertha, who thoroughly appreciated and loved Martella. She said that her own experience had been somewhat similar; for her marriage had introduced her to an aristocratic and military circle, in which she was at first considered as an interloper, and where it took some time before she could acquire the position due her. For even to this day the aristocracy retain the advantage that those who are well born can enter good society, even though they be utterly devoid of culture.

Annette, who had also married an officer, had become quite attached to her, and the result of their combined efforts was that they at last achieved quite a distinguished position. Annette, who was a Jewess by birth, and very wealthy, had at first attempted to conquer her way into society by dress and show. Yielding, however, to the counsels of Bertha, she took the better course; and by adopting a simple and dignified manner, free from any craving for admiration, the recognition she merited was accorded her.

This friend of Bertha was, I confess, not at all to my liking. She had received a good education, and even had a cultivated judgment; but she was fain to mistake these gifts for genius, and imagined herself a thoroughly superior woman--a piece of self-deception in which flatterers encouraged her.

Her husband regarded her as a woman of superior gifts, and succeeded in this way in consoling himself for the inconvenient fact of her being of Jewish descent. His faith in her genius seemed to increase rather than diminish, and it was his constant delight to sound its praises to others.

Annette treated me with exceptional admiration, but she always seemed desirous of making a parade of her appreciation of me, or in other words, having it minister to her own glory. Mere possession or undemonstrative emotion afforded her no pleasure. Her talents and her reflections afforded her great enjoyment, and it was her constant desire that others should have the benefit of it. She was always inviting you to dine with her; and if you accepted her invitations, she was never satisfied until you had praised the dishes which she could so skilfully prepare. She sang with a powerful voice and drew very cleverly, but wanted the world to know it, and to pay her homage accordingly.

She always addressed me as "patriarch," until I at last forbade her doing so. I was, however, obliged to submit to some of the other elegant phrases in which she was wont to indulge. She had no children, and often spent the whole day in the private gallery of the House of Parliament, where she would not cease nodding to me until I at last returned her salute.

One evening there was a party at Bertha's. The wife of the Intendant-in-chief was among the guests. She was a beautiful creature, slender and undulating in form, of majestic carriage, and yet withal simple and unaffected. She had a charming voice, and sang many pretty songs for us. She was so obliging too, that, yielding to the repeated requests of her delighted auditors, she sang song after song.

I had known her as a young girl. She was the daughter of the chief forester, and seemed to retain the woodland freshness of her childhood days. But she had always been ambitious, and had thirsted for the pleasures of city life, with which she had become acquainted while going to the school which was patronized by the reigning Princess.

At one of the public examinations she had sung so delightfully that the Princess had praised her performance; and I believe that her desire for a brilliant life dated from that incident.

She was fond of dress and show, and had married the Intendant, who was a dried-up, conceited fellow.

Her marriage had not been a happy one; and now she sang love-songs full of glowing passion, of sobs and tears.

I was thinking of this, and asking myself how it could be possible, when Annette sat down by my side and softly whispered to me:

"Do explain, if you can, how this woman, after singing such songs, can leave the company and ride home with her disagreeable husband? I could not sing a note if I had such a husband."

Annette cannot conceive of her ever having been in love. All her singing of the pleasures and the pains of love is nothing more than poetical or musical affectation. "But how did she thus learn to simulate emotion. If she really felt all this she would either die or become crazed on her way home."

From that moment I began to like Annette. She had gone much further than I had dared even in my thoughts, and proved, at the same time, that her heart was true, and that she could not separate her feeling for art from the rest of her life.

Bertha showed my wife's letters to her friend, who conceived the most enthusiastic affection for Martella. She often inquired whether there was anything she could do for the charcoal-burner's daughter.

There was danger of offending her by refusing her gifts. Even a virtue may at times assume a repulsive form. Annette's complaint--I cannot express it otherwise--was a passion for helping others.

My wife wrote that Martella was like a fresh bubbling spring, which only needed to be kept within bounds to become a refreshing brook; but that this must be carefully done, for inconsiderate attempts to deepen the channel or divert its course might ruin the spring itself.

My wife also informed us that Ernst had been home to pay a short visit. He seemed quite pensive, and expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that Martella was looking so pale. He approved of the education which she was receiving, but thought that her freshness and strength should not be sacrificed. He said he had formed a plan to live with Rautenkron, with whom he intended to practice, and also said that when once in the quiet forest he would study industriously.

My wife strenuously objected to this course. She maintained that where there was a will, one could attend to his duty in any position; and moreover, that at the present time it was not well for Ernst and Martella to see each other so often.

Martella was of the same opinion; and my wife could hardly find words to express her delight that Martella was constantly acquiring gentleness and consideration for others. Although at first she had been loud and noisy, there was now something graceful and soothing in her manner. She would arise early in the morning and dress herself in silence, while my wife would feign sleep in order that Martella might become confirmed in her gentle manners.

One evening, when Martella had been the subject of protracted conversation, I returned to my room, and for the first time noticed a colored lithographic print that had been hanging there. It was the picture of a danseuse who had been quite famous some years before. It represented her in a difficult pose, and with long, flowing hair. The print startled me.

It was wonderfully like Martella; or was it simply self-deception caused by her having been in our thoughts during the whole evening?

I felt so agitated that I lit the lamp again and took another look at the picture. The likeness seemed to have vanished.


Towards the end of November, my wife wrote to me that Ernst had been at home again, and that, several hours after his arrival, he had, in the most casual manner, mentioned that he had successfully passed his examination as forester. When my wife and Martella signified their pleasure at this piece of news, he declared that he had only passed his examination in order to prove to us and the rest of his acquaintance, that he, too, had learned something, but that he was not made to be put just where the state desired to place him, and that, in the spring, he and Martella would emigrate to America, as he had already come to an understanding with Funk in regard to the passage.

When he asked Martella why she had nothing to say on the subject, she replied:

"You know that I would go to the end of the world with you. But we are not alone. If we go, your parents and your brothers and sisters must give us their blessing at parting."

"Oh! that they will."

"I think so too. But just consider, Ernst! We are both of us quite young, and I have just begun to live. Do not look so fierce; when you do that, you do not look half so handsome as you really are. And besides, there is something yet on my mind which I must tell you, and in which I am fully resolved."

"I cannot imagine what you mean; it seems, at times, that I really do not know you as I once did."

"You do know me, and it grieves me to be obliged to tell you so."

"What is it? What can it be? You have become quite serious all at once."

"I am glad that you can say so much in my praise, for I have need of it; and I feel quite sure that you will approve of what I am going to say.

"Just see, Ernst! I won't speak of anything else--but with mother's aid I have begun so much that is good, that I cannot bear to think of hurrying away while the work is half finished. You have passed your examination; let me pass mine too. First let mother tell me that my apprenticeship is at an end, and then I will wander with you; and we shall be two jolly gadabouts, and have lots of money for travelling expenses. Isn't it so? You will let me stay here ever so long; won't you?

"Ah, that is right. You are laughing again, and I see that you approve of what I have said. If you had not done so you should have had no peace, for my mind is made up.

"The canopied bed next to your mother's is now mine; and indeed it is a heavenly canopy that one must be slow to leave. And, as I told you before, I have just begun to live."

Ernst looked towards my wife. It seemed as if doubt and pride were struggling within him. When Martella had left the room and my wife urged him to remain with us and to afford us the joy of having such a daughter-in-law in our home, he was vanquished, and exclaimed:

"Yes, I am indeed proud of her! I must admit I never expected so much of her. If she only does not grow over my head."

My wife wrote me that she only remembered a portion of what had happened. The wisdom and feeling evinced by the child had surprised her; and the subdued, heartfelt voice in which she had spoken had been as delightful as the loveliest music. She had been obliged to ask herself if this really was the wild creature who had entered the house but three-quarters of a year ago. The change that she had devoutly wished for had been brought about with surprising rapidity. Martella had awakened to a sense of the duties life imposes on all of us.

Nothing can be more gratifying than to find that a just course of action has produced its logical results.

Thus all was well. Ernst went out hunting with Rautenkron, and once even prevailed on him to visit our house.

Rautenkron had but little to say to Martella. He would knit his heavy eyebrows, and cast searching side-glances on the child. This was his custom with all strangers. When taking leave of my wife, he inquired whether we knew anything of Martella's parentage. All that we knew was that she had been found in the forest when four years old. Jaegerlies had cared for her until Ernst brought her to our house. Martella had told more than that to Richard, but he had firmly refused to tell us what it was. When Rautenkron had left, Martella said:

"He looks like a hedgehog, and I really believe that he could eat mice."

In the last letter that I received before returning to my home, my wife wrote me that Martella had displayed a very singular trait.

Rothfuss had become sick, and Martella, who was as much attached to him as if she were his own child, could neither visit nor nurse him. She had an unconquerable aversion to sick people. She would stand by the door and talk to Rothfuss, but she would not enter his room. She was quite angry at herself because of this, but could not act differently.

"I cannot help it--I cannot help it," she said. "I cannot go near a sick person." He begged her to procure some wine for him; some of the red wine down in the glass house. He knew that would make him well again. Rothfuss found as much pleasure in deceiving the doctor as he usually did in outwitting the officers.

Martella cheerfully entered into his plan; she got the wine for him, and from that day he gradually improved in health.

It was quite refreshing to me to have my thoughts recalled to our life at home. While the most difficult political questions and a struggle against a system of police espionage were engaging us, a concordat with the Pope had been submitted for our approval. It was the result of deep and long-protracted intrigues, and was full of carefully veiled and delicately woven fetters. I had been appointed as one of the committee to whom the matter was referred, and after a heated debate, we succeeded in securing its abrogation. The minister who had made the treaty was disgraced. His accomplices allowed him to fall while they saved themselves. Funk, in his own name and that of two associates, gave his reasons for declining to vote on the question. They demanded perfect freedom for every religions sect, and the abandonment on the part of the state of its right to interfere with matters of faith.

It had been proposed that my son Richard, who was Professor of History at the University, should be appointed as Minister of Education.

He had published a powerful work on this topic. My son-in-law informed me that he had heard Richard's name mentioned in Court circles. In a few days, however, the rumor proved to be an ill-founded one. A declamatory counsellor received the appointment.

Although encouraged by my success, it was with a sense of overpowering fatigue that I returned home at Christmastime. I felt as though I had not been able to enjoy a night's sleep while at the capital: it was only at home that I could breathe freely again and enjoy real repose.


At home I found everything in excellent order. Rothfuss was still complaining, and was not allowed to leave his bed; but he was mending, and had naught to complain of but ennui and thirst.

I cannot remember a merrier Christmas than that of 1865. We could quietly think of our children we knew how they lived. Every Christmas we would receive a long letter from Ludwig; and Johanna wrote us that affairs were improving with her husband.

On the day before Christmas, Ernst arrived. He carried a roebuck on his shoulder, and stood in front of the house shouting joyously. He waited there until Martella went out to meet him. He reached out his arms to embrace her, but she said, "Come into the house. When you get in there, I will give you an honest kiss."

When I congratulated Ernst on his success in his examination, he replied, "No thanks, father; I was lucky; that is all. I really know very little about the subjects they examined me upon. I know more about other things. But I passed nevertheless." It was delightful to listen to Richard's sensible remarks; Ernst's conversation, however, was so persuasive and so varied as to prove even more interesting than that of Richard. He expressed himself quite happily in regard to the manner in which one should, by stealth as it were, learn the laws of the forest by careful observation, and referred to a point which is even yet in dispute among foresters--whether a fertile soil or a large return in lumber is most to be desired. I began to feel assured that my son, who had so often gone astray, would yet be able to erect a life-fabric that would afford happiness both to himself and to others.

Towards evening, when we were about to light the lamps, the Professor arrived, to Martella's great delight.

"I knew you would be glad to see me," said Richard, "and I must confess I like to come to my parents; but I have come more for the sake of seeing you than any one else."

Richard congratulated Ernst, and promised to prepare a grand poem for the wedding day.

The lights shone brightly, and joy beamed from every eye.

The Professor had brought some books for Martella, but had not been fortunate in his selections. There were children's books among them, and these Martella quietly laid aside.

Bertha had sent her a dress, Annette had contributed some furs, and Johanna had sent her an elegantly bound Bible.

"I see already," said Martella, "that naught but good things are showered down on me. Let them come. God grant that the day may arrive when I, too, can bestow gifts. But now let us be happy," she said, turning to Ernst. "When we are alone together in the wild-woods, let us remember how lovely it is here. Look at the Christmas-tree. It was out in the cold and was freezing; but now they have brought it into the warm room, and decked it with lights and all sorts of pretty gifts. And thus was I, too, out of doors and forgotten; but now I am better off; the tree is dead, but I--" Richard grasped my hand in silence, and softly whispered:

"Don't interrupt her. Always let her finish what she has begun this way. When the bird singing on the tree observes that the wanderer is looking up to it with grateful eyes, it flies away."

Martella tried on her furs, stroked them with her hand, and then lit the lights on a little Christmas-tree on which were hanging some large stockings--the first she had ever knit.

"Come along," she said to Ernst, "let us go to Rothfuss; and, Richard, you had better come with us, too, and help us sing."

Carrying the burning tree in her hand, and accompanied by Ernst and Richard, she went, singing on her way, to the room in which Rothfuss lay.

"You are the first person," she said to Rothfuss, "to whom I can give something. I only knit them; the wool was given me by my mother."

"Oh!" exclaimed Rothfuss, "no wizard can do what is impossible. Our Lord makes the wool grow on the sheep; but shearing the sheep, spinning the wool, and knitting the stockings we have to do for ourselves."

On the next day, while we were seated at table, Rothfuss entered, crying, "A proverb, and a true one; she has put me on my feet again. I have got well."

I cannot recall a merrier Christmas than the one we then enjoyed. There were no more like it, for in the following year the crown had departed.

My wife's father had, after withdrawing from his position as a teacher, employed himself in translating Göethe's Iphigenia into Greek. He had left his task incomplete. As a Christmas present for mother, Richard had brought lovely pictures to illustrate the poem, and in the antique room of our house, in which we had casts of the best Greek and Roman statues, Richard would read aloud to my wife.

Martella always had an aversion to this large room, and when she was called in there would look around for a while, as if lost, and then with scarcely audible steps leave the apartment.

My wife loved all her children, but she was happiest of all with Richard. He seemed to have succeeded to her father's unfinished labors, and when he was in her presence she always seemed as if in a higher sphere. Richard had a thoroughly noble disposition and dignified bearing.

Mother repeatedly read Ludwig's letter, and said:

"The Free-thinkers could not bring about what we are now experiencing: that on a certain evening and at an appointed hour all mankind are united in the same feeling. Do you believe, Richard, that you philosophers could bring about such a result?"

Richard thought not; but added that the forms assumed by higher intellectual truth were constantly changing, and that just as they had given the church in heathen ages a different character, so they might at some future time effect changes in later forms of religious belief.

Martella entered the room at that moment, and my wife's significant glance reminded Richard that he had better not prolong the discussion. We were a happy circle, and Richard was especially so because he had made common cause with me in the last exciting question. The future of our Fatherland, however, did not afford him a pleasant outlook. He believed that the great powers were playing a false game and were only feigning to quarrel in order that they might the more successfully divide up the lesser states among themselves. He felt sure that their plan was to divide up all the rest of Germany between Prussia and Austria. I, too, had sad thoughts in this connection, but could not picture the future to myself. This alone was certain: our present condition could not last. In the meanwhile we awaited Napoleon's New Year's speech. His words would inform the world what was to become of it.

In our happy family circle we forgot for a little while the feeling of deep humiliation that hung over all, and the doubts that always caused us to ask ourselves, "To whom will we belong?"

It is indeed sad when one is forced to say to himself, "To-morrow you and your country may be handed over to some King."


Whenever I returned from Parliament, it seemed as if I had left a strange world. Although my labors there were in behalf of those dearest to me, I was too far removed from them to have them constantly in my mind. And for many a morning after my return the force of habit made me wonder why the usual amount of printed matter that had been handed me while at the capital was not forthcoming.

I found the affairs of the village in good order.

That was the only time that I can write about--the time when my wife was still ...

I have been gazing out over the mountain and into the dark wood, that I, or rather she, planted, and then I lifted my eyes up to heaven. The stars are shining, and it is said that light from stars that have already perished is still travelling towards us. May the light that was once mine thus flow unto you when I am no longer here. But to proceed.

For three-and-twenty years I filled the office of burgomaster, and was of great use to our parish. Above all things, I built up its credit. To accomplish this I was obliged to be severe and persistent in prosecuting the suit. But now things have so far improved that the people at Basle regret that no one in our village desires to borrow money from them.

The two chief benefits that I have procured for our village are good credit and pure water.

Just as credit is the true measure of economical condition, so is water the measure of physical well-being.

I converted the heath into a woodland. It was twenty-three years ago, and I was the youngest member of the town council; but, aided by my cousin Linker, I induced the people of our parish to plant trees in the old meadow, and to this day every one of our people derives a moderate profit from the little piece of woodland that we now have there. Its value increases from year to year.

My cousin Linker had been a book-keeper in the glass-house down in the valley. He married a daughter of the richest farmer in the village, and became quite a farmer himself.

I learnt a great deal from him. In business matters he was greatly my superior, for he was shrewder, or in other words, more distrustful, than I.

Until about five years ago, we were partners in an extensive lumber business. We built the first large saw-mill in the valley. It had three saws, and all the new appliances, and a part of our business was to saw up logs and beams. I also built a saw-mill, which is conducted on the co-operative system, for the benefit of the villagers.

When the Parliament had determined upon having a fortress erected in our neighborhood, our business friends offered us their congratulations. They well knew that this would require so much lumber as to give rise to a profitable business. And this, I must confess, is a point which I would like to forget. But who, after all, leads a life which is entirely pure, and without being in the slightest spoiled with intercourse with the world.

Cousin Linker conducted a large business in his name and mine. I did not take any active part in the negotiations, although I was responsible for what was done. He would often say, "You are absurdly virtuous. One like you will never get on in the world."

Joseph, my cousin's only son, and of the same age as our Ludwig, had married my daughter Martina, who died shortly after the birth of their first child. Her son Julius was a forester's apprentice. Joseph married again, but he is still faithful to me and mine, while we are quite attached to his second wife and her three daughters.

Joseph is now burgomaster, and I hope he will one day occupy my position as a member of the Parliament. He works zealously for the public good, and has one great advantage that did not exist in my time. For nowadays there are numerous good burgomasters in the neighborhood, and it is therefore easier to carry out desirable measures.

Last winter, Joseph induced the people of Brauneck, the next village, to combine with ours in laying out a road through the common woods, and the wood taken out was worth more than twice the cost of the labor.

Joseph inherited my cousin's shrewd business notions. He caused hundreds of little branches to be gathered up and prepared for Christmas-trees, and at the proper time would send them to the railway, and have them sent down the country. I did my share in building the road, for it passes right by my land, and is of great use to me. I do not think of cutting down any of the lumber. The red pine may stand for another twenty years. I could almost wish that this wood might remain forever, for it is hers!

In the following spring, a gust of wind tore away some of the finest branches, and the first planks made of them were used to construct a coffin.

But I will not anticipate. It was in the third year after our marriage that I returned home one evening with a large load of red-pine saplings. I was sitting on the balcony with my wife, later in the evening, and was telling her that I intended to set the five-year-old shoots down by the stone wall, and that I had therefore chosen hardy plants, in which the root was in proper proportion to the crown, but that it was always difficult to find conscientious workmen, who would look out for one's interest while attending to the matter.

My wife listened patiently while I explained the manner in which the shoots should be planted.

"Let me attend to this work," said she. "It is well that forest-trees do not require the same care as animals, or fruit-trees. Rude nature protects itself. But it will afford me pleasure to tend the shoots with great care."

"But it is fatiguing."

"I know that, but I can do something for the forest that brings us so many blessings."

I gladly consented. And thus we have a fine grove down by the stone wall.

While the children were growing up, my wife knew how to invest the planting of trees with a festive character. Richard and Johanna soon grew tired of it. But Bertha, Ludwig, Martella, and at a later day Ernst, were full of zeal, and had an especial affection for the trees which they had planted with their own hands.

My wife was perfectly familiar with every nook in the woods, and when the new road was laid out she pointed out to Joseph a clear and fresh spring which had remained undisturbed, while we in the village were often poorly supplied with good drinking water. She persuaded him to alter its course so that it would flow towards the village; and now, thanks to her, we have a splendid spring which even in the heat of summer furnishes us with an abundance of cool and pure water.

To this day we call it the Gustava spring.

Every year, at my wife's birthday, it is decorated by the youth of the village.

She seemed to live with the woods that she had planted. Without a trace of sentimentality, I mean exaggerated susceptibility, she rejoiced in the sunshine and the rain, the mists and the snow, because they helped the plants, and this state of mind contributed to the quiet grace and dignity which so well became her.

On Christmas afternoon we could, in our sleighs, ride as far as the wood and the village beyond it.

Martella told us that she, too, had planted thousands of white and red pines, but that there was not a tree that she could call her own.

She called out unto the snow-covered plantation: "Say: Mother."

"Mother," answered the distant echo.

"And now say: Waldfried."

"Waldfried" was the answer. We returned home, happy and light-hearted. Ernst remained with us until New Year's Day, and seemed to have regained his wonted cheerfulness.

It was with pleasure not unmixed with jealousy, that Ernst saw how Martella hung on Richard's lips while listening to his calm and clear remarks on the topics that arose from day to day. His explanations were such that the simplest intellect could comprehend them. I cannot help thinking that Ernst's glances at Martella often were intended to convey some such words as these: "Oh, I know all that, too, but I am not always talking about it!"

"I did not know that you could talk so well," said Martella on one occasion. At times we had quite heated discussions.

With my sons it cost me quite an effort to defend my faith in the people.

Ernst and Richard, who rarely agreed on any question, united in their low opinion of the people.

Ernst despised the farmers, and said he would not confide the charge of the woods to them, as they would inconsiderately destroy the whole forest if they had the chance.

Richard adduced this as a proof that it would always be necessary to teach the people what, for their own good, should be done as well as left undone.

He dwelt particularly on that severe sentence, terrent nisi metuant. The mass of the people is terrible unless held in subjection by fear. History, which was his special science, furnished him with potent proofs, that the people should always be ruled with a firm hand.

Joseph listened silently to the discussions carried on by the brothers. He was always glad to hear what those who were educated had to say. He never took part when generalities were discussed. It was not until they began to conjecture as to what Napoleon, the ruler of the world, might say in his next New Year's address, that his anger found vent in sharp words.

Later generations will hardly be able to understand this. These men were seated together in a well-ordered house in the depths of the forest; and even there the spirit of doubt and questioning, that could not be banished, was constantly at their side, and pouring wormwood into their wine.

There was no unalloyed happiness left us--no freedom from care. Will not the Emperor of the French hurl his bottles at us in the morning! What will he not attempt for the sake of securing his dynasty and gratifying the theatrical cravings of his people! The whole world was in terror. Everything was in a state of morbid excitement, and, as Ernst said, "watching like a dog for the morsel that the great Parisian theatrical manager might throw to it;" and here Richard interrupted him.

Richard had a great love for established forms. He always expressed himself with moderation. Ernst, however, would allow his feelings to run away with him, and would often find that he had gone too far.

Richard, who had had his younger brother at his side during the years spent at the Gymnasium, still regarded himself as a sort of teacher and guide to Ernst, and could hardly realize how that youth could have been so self-reliant as to get himself a bride under such peculiar circumstances.

Richard confessed that he desired to achieve a career. "My time will come. Perhaps I may have to wait until I have gray hairs, or none at all; but I shall, at all events, not allow love to interfere with my plans. I shall not marry, unless under circumstances that will help to secure the end I have in view."

I had accustomed myself to leave both sons undisturbed in their views of life. They both agreed in regarding me as an idealist, although their reasons for reaching this conclusion were dissimilar.

I love to recall the passage in Plutarch's Lycurgus. The old men are singing, "We were once powerful youths;" the men sing, "But we are now strong;" and the youths sing, "But we will be still stronger than you are!"

The world progresses, and every new generation must develop the old ideas and introduce new ones. It will go hard with us old folks to admit that these are better than ours; but they are so, nevertheless.

When Richard was alone with me, he expressed his great delight in regard to his youngest brother; and as the journals of that day contained a call for participants in the German Expedition to the North Pole, Richard would gladly have seen Ernst take a part in the enterprise. He maintained that Ernst was endowed with qualities that would gain him distinction as a student of nature, and that a voyage of discovery would make a hero of him. For he had invincible courage, fertility of invention, fine perception, and much general knowledge, combined with the ability to see things as they are.

Ernst was full of youthful buoyancy, just as he had been in the earliest years of his student life. He was the life of the house, constantly singing and yodling; and his special enthusiastic friend, Rothfuss, one day said to me while in the stable, "I knew it. I knew all about it. Our Ernst cannot come to harm. Why, just listen to his singing. A tree where a bird builds its nest is in no danger from vermin."


At a meeting of the burgomasters of the neighborhood, held on New Year's day, it was determined to call a general meeting of electors, to assemble in the chief town of the district, and to receive a report in regard to the last session of the Parliament.

On New Year's Day Ernst left us, as the Prince and his ministers intended to hunt during the next few days in the district which was in charge of his chief.

When he was about to leave, Martella said to him, "You have good reason to feel happy. The walls have heard you with joy, and every being in there thinks well of you and me."

"And you?" asked he.

"I need not be thinking of you. For you are my other self."

It was a clear, mild, winter day when, accompanied by Joseph and Richard, I drove to the neighboring town in which the meeting was to be held. It was Richard's intention to return to the University at the close of the meeting.

Rothfuss had fully recovered. Displaying his new stockings, and wearing his forester's coat, he sat up on the driver's box, while he managed the bays. Although he entertained a deep contempt for mankind in general, and for that portion of it that lived in our neighborhood in particular, he was always willing to take part in anything that was done in my honor.

He often remarked that the people did not deserve that one should walk three steps for their sake. He would never forget the way in which they had treated the chieftains of 1848; or that a man like Ludwig, to whom he always accorded most generous praise, was obliged to leave his home, while no one had a thought for him, or for the one who had suffered himself to be imprisoned for his sake.

The road led through the valley, and was cheerful with the sound of the sleigh-bells. Rothfuss cracked his whip, and soon distanced all the other drivers.

Here and there, sleighs might be seen coming down the hillside. At the village taverns, teams were resting, and from every window, as well as from passers on the highway, came respectful greetings, and at times even enthusiastic cheers.

In token of his thanks, Rothfuss cracked his whip still more loudly.

He would look around from time to time, as if noting how much pleasure these tokens of respect afforded me. But once he said to Richard, "It is all very well, Mr. Professor; but if the weather were to change, all these cheers would freeze in the mouths that are now uttering them. We have known something of that kind already."

I must admit, however, that these attentions did my heart good. There is nothing in the associations of home that is more grateful than to be able to say to one's self, "I live in the midst of my voters. I do my duty without fear or favor, and without my asking for office, my fellow-citizens select me as their representative in the councils of the nation."

Like the breath of the woods such homage has a fragrance peculiarly its own. I cannot believe in the sincerity of one who, from so-called modesty, or affected indifference to the opinions of his fellow-citizens, would refuse office when thus offered to him. I frankly admit that it is not so unpleasant to me to find that others think at least as well, or even better of me, than I do.

This of course brings to mind Rautenkron the forester, who would stoutly combat my opinion in this matter, for he thinks that a love of such honors is the worst sort of dependence.

When I arrived at the meeting, I made my report in a quiet matter-of-fact manner. It is time for our people to learn that the affairs of the state should have a higher use than merely to serve as the occasion for fine speeches. Funk was sitting on the front bench, with a follower of his on either side of him. One of them was known as Schweitzer-Schmalz. He was a fat, puffed up farmer, who, to use his own words, took great delight in "trumping" the students and public officials.

But a few words as to Schmalz. A man of his dimensions requires more space than I have just given him. He was one of those men who, when prosperous, continually eat and drink of the best. A red vest decked with silver buttons covered his fat paunch, and was generally unbuttoned.

His name was Schmalz, but he had been dubbed Schweitzer-Schmalz, because of his having once said, "I do not see why we should not be as good as our neighbors the Swiss."

He hated the Prussians; first and foremost, for the reason that one ought to hate them. This is the first article of faith in the catechism of the popular journals. And although questions as to the religious catechism might be tolerated, this article must be received without a murmur. Besides, they were impertinent enough to speak high German; and he knew, moreover, that abuse of the Prussians was relished in certain high quarters.

He attempted by his boasting to provoke every one, and was himself at last provoked to find that the whole world laughed at him. He had a habit of rattling the silver coins in his pocket while uttering his unwelcome remarks.

Funk aided and encouraged him in his swaggering ways. Funk's other follower was a lawyer of extremely radical views. Funk always acted as if he were their servant, although, as he himself said, he was the bear-leader.

In his confidential moments, he would often say: "The people is really a stupid bear; fasten a ring in its nose, and you can lead it about as you would a sheep, and the best nose-ring for your purpose is the church."

The question of extending a branch of the valley road into the neighboring state, gave rise to a lively debate. I declared that no private association would undertake the enterprise, unless interest on the investment were guaranteed, and that I would oppose it, because its promised advantages were not sufficient to justify us in voting the money of the state for the purpose, instead of spending our own.

The effect of this was a very perceptible diminution of the favor with which I had been regarded. And when, afterward, a vote of thanks to me was proposed, it was coldly received.

I was just about to descend from the tribune, when I heard Funk say to Schmalz, who was sitting by his side, "Speak out! It is your own affair." Schmalz now asked me why I had voted for the abolition of the freedom of the woods, or, in other words, the privilege of gathering up the moss, and the small sticks of wood with which to cover the floor of the stables. To him personally it was a matter of little concern, but humbler and poorer people could not so well afford to do without it.

This gave rise to much loud talk. All seemed to be speaking at once, and saying, "Such things should not be tolerated."

When I at last obtained an opportunity to make myself heard, I told them that the community had an interest in the preservation of the forests, and suggested that it was necessary to seek other means of gaining the object to be attained, in order that the forests need not suffer.

And when I went on to tell them that we would be unable to take proper care of our forests until we had a general law on the subject applying to the whole empire, and that the lines separating our different states ran through the midst of our woods, I heard some one call out, "Of course! He owns forests on both sides of the line." And Schmalz laughed out at the top of his voice, holding his fat paunch the while. "What a fuss the man is making about a few little sticks!" he said.

I descended from the tribune, feeling that I had not convinced my constituents.

At the banquet all was life again. Herr Von Rontheim was among the guests. He had courage enough to confess to being one of the opposition, of which he had become a member against his will. He was an impoverished member of the old nobility. In figure and in education he seemed intended for a courtier. But now he was filling an office that entailed much labor upon him. He attended to his duties punctually and carefully, but in a perfunctory manner. He had given in his adhesion to the late liberal ministry. In view of his position at Court, this was an ill-considered step; for, when the ministers were removed, he was at once ordered to the capital, and assigned to official duties that he found it hard to do justice to, for his education had better fitted him for the life of a courtier than for that of a painstaking government deputy.

Rontheim sat beside me, and assured me that the fall of the one man who had been appointed minister to the federation would soon draw that of the rest after him.

He spoke as if he knew all about the matter, and merely wanted to find out how much I knew on the subject. The artifice was too apparent, however; he knew just as little as I did. In the course of conversation, he asserted that the existence of the lesser German States does not find its justification in greater privileges than are accorded by the general government, but because they can thus secure a more perfect administration of the minor details of government--a view on which I had touched in my report.

I was not a little astonished when he told me, in the strictest confidence, that I had been mentioned at Court with special approval. He assured me that he knew this, for he had lots of relatives there. He had indeed once been called upon to furnish information in regard to myself and my family; and he felt assured that his report had reached the ears of the Prince. He felt convinced that, with the next decided turn in affairs, it would not be my son Richard, but myself, to whom an exalted position would be offered. He said that he intended to report my behavior of that very day, in a quarter where the courage which can face popular disfavor would be appreciated. He treated me more cordially than ever, and plainly signified that he felt assured of my good-will.

I had never given him an occasion to joke with me, and when I replied that what he had told me was so great a surprise that I did not know how to answer him, he said that he fully appreciated my feelings. He furnished me with another bit of information, which was a much greater surprise. He told me that my son Ernst had, but a short time before that, applied at the office of the kreis-director3 for permission to emigrate to America, and had requested them to furnish him with the requisite documents, at the earliest possible moment.

Ernst still owed two years of military service, and his release could only be effected as an act of grace on the part of the government. This, the director added, presented no difficulty, if I chose to exert my influence. The whole affair seemed a riddle to me.

Ernst had, in all likelihood, committed this hasty action during a sudden fit of impatience, and I determined to reprove him at the first opportunity. It seemed very strange that he should be so careful to prevent me from knowing of an undertaking which he would be unable to accomplish without my assistance.

I must have looked very serious, for several old friends of mine approached me and assured me that in spite of the popular opposition they still were true and faithful to me.

I feel tempted to give the names of a large number of wealthy farmers and magistrates, who are of much more consequence than Schweitzer-Schmalz, and who represent the very backbone of our country life. But when I have said that they are conscientious in public affairs and just and honorable in private ones, I have told all that is necessary.

Among the guests there was the so-called "peace captain," a tall and well-dressed wealthy young dealer in timber. While still an officer, he had fallen in love with a daughter of the richest saw-mill owner in the valley. The father refused his consent to the marriage unless the lieutenant would give him a written promise to resign from the army as soon as a war should break out. The lieutenant did not care to do this and preferred resigning at once, which he did with the rank of captain. He had become quite conversant with his business, although there was something in his manner that made it seem as if he had just laid off his uniform.

He still retained one trait of his military life, and that was an utter indifference to politics. It was merely to honor me that he attended the banquet; and besides, was I not the father-in-law of an officer in active service? The captain, whose name was Rimminger, seated himself at my side.


The banquet seemed to be drawing to a close, and conversation had become loud and general, when we were suddenly called to order and told that Funk was about to address us. I ought to mention, in passing, that Funk belonged to the next district, and was therefore not one of our voters. He ascended the platform. He generally seemed loth to ascend the tribune; but when there, his fluent discourse and ready wit enabled him to control the most obstinate audience.

He began, as usual, by saying that it hardly became him to speak on this occasion. He was not a voter, and if he were to express the praise and the thanks due me, to whom he owed his present position, it might appear as if he were endeavoring to make his private feelings the sentiment of the audience.

He repeatedly referred to me as the "estimable noble patriarch," and inveighed in fierce terms against those who would, by a vote of want of confidence, express their disapproval of the actions of their representative, who had followed his honest convictions instead of the opinions of this or that constituent.

He then indulged in an explanation of his reasons for having voted with the opposition. He possessed the art of repeating the speeches of others as if they were his own. He repeatedly used the expression "a free church in a free state," and several times used the word "republic," when he would immediately correct himself in an ironical manner, and to the great delight of many of his auditors.

Funk's words filled me with indignation.

When I beheld him standing up before this audience and expressing such sentiments, I felt as if it were a punishment that I had richly deserved; for in his case I had assisted a man in whom I had not full confidence, to a position of honor and importance. I was so occupied with thoughts of the speaker that I hardly noticed what he was saying, until I was aroused by hearing him defend me against the charge of being a Prussian.

"And even if he were a Prussian, we should not forget that the Prussians are Germans as well as the rest of us. We are far ahead of them, and for that very reason it is our duty to help them." And then he began to praise me again, and told them what a noble action it was that a man who had a pastor for one son-in-law, and one of the first nobles in the land for another, whose son was to-day a professor, and might to-morrow be a minister, to receive into his house a girl who had come to him naked and destitute.

Uproarious laughter followed these words, and Funk exclaimed:

"O you rogues! you know well enough that when I said 'naked and destitute,' I only meant poor and without family connections."

He described me and my wife as the noblest of beings, and repeatedly referred to Martella.

I asked myself what could have been his reason for introducing Martella's name before this audience; and then it occurred to me that he had cherished hopes that my son Ernst would have married his daughter, who was at that time receiving her education at a school in Strasburg.

He closed by proposing cheers in my honor. They were immediately followed by cries of "Hurrah for citizen Funk!"

Funk was impudent enough to walk up to me afterwards and offer me his hand, while he assured me that he had put a quietus on the opposition of the stupid bushmen, a term which he was fond of using when referring to the farmers.

I declined to shake hands, and ascended the tribune without looking at him. "We have had enough speeches," cried several of the audience, while others began to stamp their feet and thus prevent me from speaking. Silence was at last restored, and I began. I am naturally of a timid disposition, but when in danger, I am insensible to fear, and quietly and firmly do that which is needed.

I told them that Herr Funk had spoken as if he were a friend of mine, but that I here publicly declared that he was not my friend, and that I was no friend of his; and that if he and his consorts really believed the opinions that they professed, I had nothing in common with them. For reasons best known to himself, Herr Funk had dragged my family affairs before the assembly. I was happy to say that I had done nothing which I need conceal. And further, as Herr Funk had found it proper to defend me against the charge of being a friend of Prussia, I wished it known that I was a friend of Prussia, on whose future course I based all my hopes for the welfare of Germany.

I should not give up my office until the term for which I was elected expired: when that time came they might reelect me, or replace me by another, as they thought best.

Virtuous indignation aided me in my effort, and when I finished my remarks, Richard told me that he had never heard me speak so well. I am by nature soft-hearted, perhaps indeed too much so; but I can deal unmerciful blows when they are needed. There is an old saying that a rider should alight and kill the mole-cricket that he sees while on his way, for it destroys the roots of the grass. It was a similar feeling that made me refer to Funk in the way I had done.

To the best of my knowledge, I had never before that had an enemy; now I knew that I had one. And an enemy may be likened to a swamp with its miasmatic vapors and noisome vermin. It had been reserved for my later years to teach me what it is to have enemies and how to meet their works.

The worst of all is, that a fear of committing injustice makes us insincere. And when at last this fear gives way to one's horror of wickedness, they say, "He was not truthful; he was hypocritical, and simulated friendship for one whom he despised."

Be that as it may, I was, at all events, glad that I would not again have to take Funk by the hand. It has been my great fault and misfortune that I could never learn to believe in the utility of falsehood. Perhaps it was nothing more than a love of comfort that actuated me; for it is very troublesome to be always on one's guard. Where I might have done myself good through shrewdness and foresight, I had simply made myself an object of pity.

It seemed that the affair was not to pass over without a fracas. The anger which I had controlled found vent through another channel, none other than Rothfuss.

I saw him standing in the midst of a crowd, and heard Schmalz cry out, "Let me talk; I would not soil my hands to beat the servant of that man!"

"What?" cried Rothfuss; "I want nothing to do with the 'fat Switzer,' for wherever his shadow falls you can find a grease-spot."

Uproarious laughter followed this sally. Funk forced himself into the midst of the crowd, and placing himself before Schmalz called out, "You had better hold your tongue, Rothfuss, or you will have to deal with me."

"With you?" said Rothfuss, "with you? I have but one word to tell you."

"Out with it!"

"Yes," said Rothfuss, "I will tell you something that no human being has ever yet said to you."

"Out with it!"

"What I mean to tell you has never before been said to you--You are an honest man."

Contemptuous laughter and wild shouts followed this sally, and, when it looked as if blows were about to fall, and the kreis-director approached and ordered them to desist, Rothfuss called out, "Herr Director, would you call that an insult? I said Herr Funk was an honest man. Is that an insult?"

The officer succeeded in restoring order and we departed, taking Rothfuss with us.

I had paid the full penalty of my acquaintance with Funk, but felt so much freer and purer than when I entered the banqueting room, that I did not regret what had occurred.

Richard wanted to meet his train, and Joseph left for a point down the Rhine in order to close a contract for railroad ties. I went to the station with them, and when the train had left, I accepted the invitation of Rontheim, who had walked down to the railroad with us, and went home with him.


There are houses in which you never hear a loud word, not because of any previous agreement on the part of its inmates, but as a natural result of their character. He who enters there is at once affected, both in mood and in the tones of his voice, by his surroundings. Such is the peaceful household in which kind and gentle aspirations fill all hearts and where every one works faithfully in his own allotted sphere.

I felt as if entering a new and strange phase of life when Rontheim ushered me into the richly carpeted and tastefully furnished drawing-room. I was cordially received by his wife, a graceful and charming woman, and his two beautiful and distinguished-looking daughters.

Although in exile, as it were, the mother and the daughters had succeeded in creating a pure and lovely home, and had held aloof from the petty jealousies and small doings of the little town in which they were residing. Although they saw but little company, they exchanged visits with some of the so-called gentry. They had paid several visits to our village, and a friendly intimacy with my wife had been the result. She did not allow this, however, to induce her to visit the town more frequently than had been her wont. She carefully avoided excursions of any kind, from a fear that they might interrupt the quiet tenor of her life or render society a necessity.

Rontheim's wife and daughters had been used to the life of a court, and even now acted as if with the morrow they might be recalled to court. When they accompanied the director, on his frequent official journeys, they would discover every spot in which there were natural beauties. Scenes that we had become indifferent to, through habit, or in which we saw nothing but the uses to which they might be put, had in their eyes quite a different meaning. They would spend whole days in the valleys where no one resorted but the harvesters, or on the mountains where they would meet no one but the foresters. They sketched and gathered flowers and mosses, and their tables and consoles were decorated with lovely wreaths of dried leaves and wild flowers. They would often assist the poor children who were gathering wild berries, and show them how to weave pretty baskets out of pine twigs. They were in frequent intercourse with our schoolmaster's wife, who was quite a botanist.

The second daughter, who was interested in drawing, asked me about the new paintings in the Parliament House; and the elder daughter jokingly declared that it was a pity that one could never find out what had been played at the theatre until the day after the performance.

I was forcibly impressed by the evident effort with which Herr Von Rontheim endeavored to suppress any sign of a consciousness of superior birth. He showed me a recently restored picture of one of his ancestors, who had been a comrade of Ulrich Von Hutten, and had distinguished himself during the Reformation. He intimated that although the noble families had built up the state, he cheerfully admitted that its preservation had fallen into other hands.

His kind manner did not quite serve to veil a certain air of condescension.

During the course of our rather desultory conversation, Madame Rontheim had rung for the servant, and had given her orders to him in a whisper, of which I heard the last words, "Please tell Herr Ernst to come in."

The words startled me. Could she have meant my son?

A few moments afterward, a bright-cheeked and erect-looking ensign entered the room, and saluted us in military fashion. I had forgotten that Rontheim's only son was also named Ernst, and I now recalled the fact of his being in my son-in-law's regiment. The ensign referred to the fact, and also told me that all of his comrades had regretted my son's leaving the army. His constant flow of spirits and fertility of invention, had won him the admiration of all of his companions.

Madame Rontheim spoke of my daughter Bertha in the kindest terms, and praised the tact she had displayed in introducing a new element into their circle.

The eldest daughter ventured to speak in disparagement of Bertha's friend, Annette, but the mother adroitly changed the subject, and began talking about Martella.

As I felt that, in all probability, there had been all sorts of false tales in regard to Martella, I told them her story. When I ended, Madame Rontheim said to me, "In taking such a child of nature into a well-ordered and cultured home, you have pursued the very best plan. I feel assured that the result of your wife's quiet and sensible course will both surprise and delight you. Pray tell your wife that I have for some time intended to visit her, but have concluded to wait until it may be convenient to her and her charge to receive me."

While seated with this charming circle at their tea-table--an institution which this family had introduced in our forest neighborhood--I had quite forgotten that Rothfuss was outside taking charge of the sleigh. But now I heard the loud crack of his whip, and bade my hosts a hasty farewell.

When I got into the sleigh, Rothfuss said, "Madame, the baroness, has sent out a hot jug as a foot-warmer for you."

On our way down the hill, Rothfuss walked at the side of the sleigh, and said to me, "She sent me some tea: it is by no means a cooling drink, but does not taste so bad after all; it warmed me thoroughly. Before I drank it, I felt as wet as a drenched goat. Ah, yes! One of your people of rank is worth more than seventy-seven of your stupid voters. In all of the crowd that we met to-day there were not a dozen people with whom I would care to drink a glass of wine."

Rothfuss judged of all persons by their fitness as boon companions. He would drink gladly with this one, but would not care to drink with the next; and he would often say that there were some whose very company sours the wine they pay for.

I felt sure that he had heard some one abusing me.

When I left home in the morning, I felt as if supported by the consciousness of the respect and confidence of my fellow-citizens, but now--

Suddenly the remarks of the kreis-director recurred to me.

Had the confidence of one party been withdrawn from me, because it was suspected that the others were trying to lure me to their side? I have neither the desire nor the proper qualifications for a more exalted position in the service of the State.

And what could Ernst's notion of emigrating have meant? "Who knows," thought I to myself, "what I may yet have to witness on the part of this son who is always flying the track?"

The night was bitter cold; the snow which had melted during the day had frozen hard, and our sleigh creaked and rattled as we hurried along the road.


I have always discouraged a belief in omens, and yet when I saw the strange cloud-forms that floated before the face of the moon that night, shadowy forebodings filled my soul. The ringing of the sleigh-bells was full of a strange melody, and, down in the valley, I could hear the raging of the torrent which seemed as if angered at the thought that the frost king would soon again bind it with his fetters.

The sleigh halted at the saw-mill. When I looked up towards the house I saw that there was a light in the room.

"What are you doing?" I asked Rothfuss.

"I am taking the bells off, so that the mistress may not hear us."

Although we had supposed that no one had noticed our coining, we heard soft steps advancing to meet us when we reached the house. Martella opened the door for us.

I entered the room. It was nicely warmed and lighted. The meal which had been prepared for me was still on the table.

Rothfuss drew off his boots and went off to his room on tiptoe.

"Do you not want to go to bed, Martella? Have you been sitting up all this time?"

"Indeed I have; and oh, do take it from me!"

"What ails you?"

"Oh, what a night I have passed! I do not know how it all came about; but mother had gone to bed, and I sat here quite alone in this great, big house. I looked at the meal that was waiting for our master; at the bread that had once been grain, the meat that had once been alive, and the wine that had once been grapes in the vineyard.

"It seemed to me as if the fields and the beasts all came up to me and asked, 'Where are you? What has become of you?' And then I could not help thinking to myself, 'You have so many people here--a father, a mother, one brother who is so learned, and another who is in another world, a sister who is a major's wife, and one who is a pastor's, and besides this, my own Ernst; and all these say: "We are yours and you are ours."' When I thought of that, I felt so happy and yet so sad. And then the two clocks kept up their incessant ticking. It seemed as if they were talking to me all the time. The fast one said to me, 'How did you get here, you simple, forlorn child, whom they found behind the hedge? Run away as fast as you can! Run away! you cannot stay here; you must go off. All these people about you have made a prisoner of you; they feel kindly towards you, but you cannot stay. Run, run away! Run, child, run!'

"But the other clock, with its quiet and steady tick, would always say, 'Be thankful, be thankful, be thankful! You are snugly housed with kindly hearts; do what you can to earn their kindness by your goodness.'

"They kept it up all the time. All at once I heard the cry of an owl. I had often heard them in the forest, and I am not afraid of any of the birds or beasts. Then the owl went away and all was still. I don't know how it happened, but all at once I thought of summer and cried out 'Cuckoo!' quite loud. I was frightened at the sound of my own voice, for fear that I might wake up the mistress; and when I thought of that I felt as if I could die for grief. And then again I felt so happy to think that the heart that was sleeping there was one that had taken me up as its own. When the large clock would say 'Quite right, quite right,' the busy little one would interrupt with 'Stupid stuff, stupid stuff; run away, run away!'

"When the hour struck midnight, I opened the window and looked out towards the graveyard. I am no longer afraid of it; the dead lie there; they are now resting and were once just as happy and just as sad as I now am.

"I do not know how all these things should have come into my mind. I felt cheered up at last, and closed the window. Everything seemed so lovely in the room, and I felt as if I were at home. At home in eternity, and could now die. I did not fear death. I had fared so well in the world--better than millions--and master," said she, kneeling down before me and clasping my knee, "I will surely do all in my power to deserve this happiness. If I only knew of something good and hard that I might do. Tell me if there is such a thing; I will do it gladly."

It seemed that night as if an inexhaustible spring had begun to bubble up in the heart of the child.

She sat down quite near me and told me, with a pleased smile, that mother had bidden her to go to bed; but that she had stealthily gotten up, had sent Balbina, the servant, to bed, and had herself watched for me; and that she now felt as if she did not care to sleep again.

"I am living in eternity, and in eternity there is no sleep," she repeated several times.

The child was so excited that I thought it best to engage her mind in some other direction. I asked her about Ernst's plan of emigration. She told me that he had had that in view some time ago, but had now given up the idea.

We remained together for some time longer, and when I told her that she should always call me father now, she cried out with a happy voice:

"That fills my cup of joy! Now I shall go to bed. He whom you have once addressed as 'father' can never find it in his heart to send you out into the world. I shall stay here until they carry me over to the graveyard yonder; but may it be a long while before that happens! Father, good night!"

How strange things seem linked together! On the very day that Funk had so unfeelingly dragged the child's name before the public, her heart had awakened to a grateful sense of the world's kindness.


Nothing so nerves a man for the battle with the outer world as the consciousness of his having a pleasant home, not merely a large and finely arranged household, but a home in which there reigns an atmosphere of hope and affection, and where, in days of sorrow, that which is best in us is met by the sympathy of those who surround us. Through Gustava, all this fell to my lot. Although the battle with the world would, at times, almost render me distracted, she would again restore my wonted spirits; and it is to her faithful and affectionate care that I ascribe the fact that the long struggle did not exhaust me. She judged of men and actions with never-failing equanimity, and her very glances seemed to beautify what they rested upon. Where I could see naught but spite or malice, she only beheld the natural selfishness of beings in whom education and morals had not yet gained complete ascendancy.

She judged everything by her own lofty standard, but strange to say, instead of belittling men, this seemed to make them appear better. When she found that she could not avoid assenting to evil report in regard to any one, she did so with an humble air that plainly signified how grieved she was that men could be thus.

Speaking of Funk, she would say, "I have no desire to hurt any one's feelings. In nature there is nothing that can properly be called aristocratic. In botany the nettle is related to hemp and to hops; and if Funk seems to have somewhat of the nettle in his composition, one should be careful to handle him tenderly, and thus avoid pricking one's fingers."

It was during that very winter, in 1866, that the purity and dignity that were inborn with her seemed more than ever infused with new and added grace. She always lived as if in a higher presence.

It soon proved that my anticipations of evil were overwrought. My compatriots were, for the greater part, in accord with me. On every hand I received assurances of that fact; and, above all, Joseph omitted no opportunity of repeating to me the respectful terms in which he had heard my name mentioned among the people. I really think that he was instrumental in causing others to bring these good reports to my notice. Martella had become the blessing, the life and the light, I may say, of our house. Her readiness to oblige, her adaptability and her desire for self-improvement, had so increased that we felt called upon to restrain rather than to urge their exercise.

My wife had learned of Funk's attempt to injure us by dragging the child's name into publicity. Perhaps the news had been carried even further; for a letter reached us from my daughter, the pastor's wife, in which she informed us that the illness of her husband made such demands upon her time that she required an assistant about the house, and desired us to send Martella to her. She added that her husband joined her in this wish, because it seemed improper that Martella should remain in our house any longer. My wife was not unwilling to send Martella to her for a while; but I insisted that she should stay with us in spite of all idle talk.

About that time we received letters from the major and from Richard, both of whom wrote without the other's knowledge, and to the effect that Prussia's proposal to the German Diet might lead to a conflict, the consequences of which it was impossible to foretell. Thus public and private affairs kept us in unusual excitement, when an unexpected event claimed our attention.

A rumor had long been current in our family that we had relatives of high rank living in Vienna. Up to the year 1805, our village and the whole district had belonged to Austria. All of the more ambitious and talented among our people had been drawn to Vienna, either by their own desire to advance themselves, or by the inducements the government held out to them; for it was the constant aim of Austria to gain the attachment of the landed interests.

At the beginning of the last century, an uncle of my father had moved to the Imperial city, where he attained a high position. He had embraced the Catholic religion, and had been ennobled. Ernst, who always called that branch of the family "the root brood," had long cherished the plan of hunting up our relatives, in the hope of thus finding a better opening for himself.

Towards spring we received a visit from our neighbor, Baron Arven. He was accompanied by a young bridal couple. He introduced the husband, who was an officer at the garrison of Mayence, as a relative of mine. The wife belonged to the family of the Baroness Arven, and was from Bohemia. They seemed sociable and charming people, and both sides were inclined to make friends with each other, but without success. Our thoughts and feelings were pitched in different keys.

The young couple left us in order to repair to the capital. On their departure, I gave them a letter to Bertha, and the Major. They wrote to me in the kindest manner, and remarked that they would be pleased if Ernst could assume the charge of the forests on their estate in Moravia.


Spring had come, and the air was filled with the resinous odor of the pines. I was sitting by the open window, and reading in a newspaper that Bismarck had asked the Diet for a constituent national assembly, to be voted for directly by the people. Could it be possible? I took up the country journals: they reviled this proposal, and could not conceal their fear that the most powerful weapon of the revolutionary party had been destroyed.

While I was sitting there, buried in thought, I heard a rider rapidly approaching. It was Ernst. He hurriedly greeted us, and showed us an order recalling him to his regiment.

Martella cried out aloud. Ernst pacified her. He told us that he was no longer a subject of this country. He had given notice of his intention to emigrate, and that would protect him. It was spring-time, and the best season of the year to go forth into the wide world. I could only tell him that I doubted whether he would be allowed to leave the confederation.

"Confederation!" he exclaimed; "what a glorious name!"

He gave me a look that I shall, alas! never forget. He seemed to be collecting his senses, and as if struggling with his thoughts, and then said: "As far as I am concerned, my life is of no consequence to me. But, father, there will be war, in which what the books call Germans will be fighting against Germans. Have you raised me for this? Is this all that you are in the world for--that your son should perish, or even conquer, in a war between brethren? Either issue is equally disgraceful. I do not know what I would not rather do than take part in that."

I endeavored to pacify Ernst, and told him that these were diplomatic quarrels, that would not lead so far after all. I could not conceive of the possibility of war. However, I consented to Ernst's request to accompany him to the borough town, in order to confer with the kreis-director in regard to the steps that were necessary. I sincerely hoped to obtain further particulars there, and felt that all would again be peacefully arranged.

My wife had sent for Joseph and had asked him to accompany us, for she saw how fearfully excited Ernst was, and desired us to have a mediator with us. She judged wisely.

"I shall return to-morrow," said Ernst to Martella, when all was ready for our departure.

"And if you do not return to-morrow," she answered, "and even if you must go to war at once, nothing will happen to you. You are the cleverest of all; and if you care to become a major, do so; and I shall learn how to be a major's wife--for I can learn anything."

She was wondrously cheerful; she seemed to have vanquished her fears, and thus, both for herself and Ernst, lightened the pain of parting.

Joseph informed me that Funk was everywhere joyously proclaiming that now at last the crash must come, and that proud Prussia with its Junkers would be cut to pieces, or, to use his own words, demolished. Ernst beat the bays so unmercifully and drove so furiously, that I ordered him to halt, and insisted on Joseph's taking the reins. Ernst, in a sullen mood, seated himself beside me.

In the valley we a saw lumber wagon halting on the road, and from afar recognized the horses as Joseph's.

Carl, a servant of Joseph's, and son to the spinner who lived up on the rock, was surrounded by a group of raftsmen, woodsmen, and teamsters, who were all gesticulating in the wildest manner.

We halted as soon as we reached the team. Carl, a handsome, light-haired fellow, with a cheerful face and good-natured eyes, came up to us and told us that this would be his last load; he had been summoned as a conscript, and would have to leave that very evening and walk all night, in order to reach the barracks in time.

The old meadow farmer, who had joined the crowd exclaimed, "Yes, Napoleon is master. When he fiddles, Prussia and Austria must dance as he chooses, and the small folk will soon follow suit. Yes, there is a Napoleon in the world again. I knew the old one."

We did not think it necessary to answer the man. While Joseph was giving his servant money to use by the way, others approached and declared that they, too, had been conscripted, and requested us to tell them why there was war.

"You simple rogues," cried out Ernst, "that is none of your business! If you didn't wish it, there could be no war. You are fools, fearful fools, if you obey the conscription!"

I snatched the whip from Joseph's hand, and beat the horses furiously while I called out to the crowd:

"He was only joking!"

Joseph assumed the task of bringing Ernst to reason. He declared that if I had not been present, he would have written the answer that Ernst deserved in his face.

"Do so, you trusty Teuton!" replied Ernst.

Speedily controlling himself, Joseph added, "Forgive me; but you are most exasperating. How can you bear to drag yourself and your father to the very brink of ruin with such idle speeches? You are unworthy of such a father."

"Or of such a Fatherland," answered Ernst.

I felt so oppressed that I could hardly breathe.

We rode on for a little while, and at last Ernst inquired, in a submissive tone, "Will you permit me to smoke a cigar?" I nodded approval, and from that time until we reached the town, not a word was uttered.

On the road that led up to the kreis-director's house, we saw the young iron merchant, Edward Levi, an honorable and well-educated young man. He was standing at the door of his warehouse, and saluted us in military fashion.

Ernst beckoned to him to approach.

"Have you not already received your discharge?"

"I have; and you, I suppose, will now soon be an officer?"

"So I have heard."

We reached the director's house. The director could of course only confirm the fact that Ernst's notice of his intention to emigrate was as yet without legal effect. He furnished us with a certified copy of it, and added that he might be able to procure Ernst's discharge; but that, at all events, Ernst would be obliged for the present to join the troops.

Rontheim believed that war was imminent, and I could not help noticing an expression of deep emotion in the features of the man whose face was always veiled in diplomatic serenity. In those days I heard the sad question which so often afterward would seem to rend our hearts:

"What will become of Germany--what will become of the world--if Austria be successful?"

I could easily see that it was as painful to him as it was to me to have a son go forth to war.

On our way down the steps we met the director's daughter.

She extended her hand to Ernst, while she said, "I congratulate you."

"For what, may I inquire?"

"Your betrothal."

"Ah, yes; I thank you."

"I presume your intended is full of sad thoughts now."

"She does not do much thinking on the subject."

"Is your nephew obliged to join the army?"

"My nephew! Who can you mean?"

"Julius Linker," blushingly answered the young girl.

"No; he is not yet liable to military duty."

"Will you be good enough to give my kindest greetings to my brother?"

"With pleasure."

On our way Ernst seemed quite amused, and indulged in jokes at the thought of Julius' being such a child of fortune. His life was evidently moving in a smooth current, for the half-fledged youth had already been lucky enough to win the love of so charming a girl.

I felt quite reassured to find that Ernst's thoughts had taken another direction. He emphatically declared himself ready to join his regiment, and asked me to let him have some money. He thought there was no need of my accompanying him to the capital, but I felt loth to leave him, and, although I should not have done so, I promised to endeavor to procure his discharge.

We again met Joseph, who expressed his regret that the conscription of his valuable servant Carl would oblige him to return to his home, for he had intended to accompany us to the capital.

It was necessary for him, however, to go to the fortress, for he had accepted a contract to furnish fence rails.

Joseph is a very active patriot, but he is quite as active as a business man. He has the art of combining both functions, and Richard once said of him with justice: "With Joseph, everything is a stepping stone, and all events contribute to the success of his business plans."

We were seated in the garden of the Wild Man Tavern, when we heard a great uproar in front of the house of Krummkopf, the lumber merchant.

A company of conscripts had marched up before the house, in which there resided a young man who had purchased his discharge from military service, and they cursed and swore that they who were poor were obliged to go to war, while the rich ones could remain at home.

Joseph, who recognized many of his workmen among the young folks, succeeded in pacifying them.

We accompanied Ernst to the railway. At the depot I found Captain Rimminger, the lumber merchant, who was just superintending the loading of some planks. When I told him that he ought to feel glad that he was no longer a soldier, he silently nodded assent. He did not utter a word, for he was always exceedingly careful to avoid committing himself.

At the depot we saw conscripts who were shouting and cheering, mothers who were weeping, and fathers who bit their lips to control their emotion.

At every station where Ernst left the train, I feared that he would not come back; but he did return and sat by my side quietly, speaking only in reply to my questions. For a while he would sit absorbed in thought, and then he would stand up and lean against the side of the railway coach, in which position he would remain immovable. I felt much grieved that the heart of this child had become a mystery to me.

We arrived at the capital. I had lost sight of Ernst in the crowd, but afterwards found him talking with the ensign, the director's son. Ernst desired to go to the barracks at once. I accompanied him to the gate, which he entered without once turning to look back.


I remained standing near the gate and saw constant arrivals of more young men. Men and women desired to accompany them inside the barracks, but were always ordered back by the guard.

Carl, the son of the spinner who lived on the rock, was also among the arrivals. Without any solicitation on my part, he promised to keep an eye on Ernst.

It had become night; the gas-lamps were lit, and yet I stood there so buried in thought, that the lamp-lighter was obliged to tell me to move on.

There I was, in the capital in which there lived so many of my friends, and my own child; indeed, two of my children.

Where should I go first? Our club-house was in the vicinity, and I went there. They praised me for having come so soon, for while I had been at the borough town they had telegraphed for me.

They were in hourly expectation of a government order, convoking the Parliament. What we were expected to discuss no one knew; but every one felt that it was necessary for us to assemble. I could not bring myself to believe that war was really possible, and there were many who shared my opinion.

Funk was there also. He offered me his hand in a careless manner, and, feeling that in such times enmity should be at an end, I shook hands with him.

Funk rejoiced that the grand crash was at last to come. Prussia would have to be beaten to pieces, and a federation founded; for the present, with a monarchical head.

The minister, who was well known as an arch-enemy of Prussia, had sent word to the committee of our party that he would come to us that same evening, and bring the order convoking us with him. He did not come in person, but contented himself with sending the written order. Of what use could we be when the harm had already been done. What were we? Nothing but a flock without any will of our own.

I went to Bertha's house. I found her alone; her husband was at his post, busy day and night. It had suddenly been discovered that the troops were not fully prepared.

I had not been there long, before her friend Annette entered, from whom as usual I was obliged to endure much praise. Annette found it quite--she was about to say "patriarchal," but checked herself in time--that I had come to assist Bertha.

"Only think of it," she continued, putting all her remarks in the form of questions, as was her wont: "Would you have thought that Bertha would be much less resigned than I? I have always wished that I might be so gentle and self-controlled as Bertha; and now I am the quieter of the two. Have I not as much love for my husband as any woman can have for hers? Have I not given up everything for his sake? Now I say to myself, 'Did you not know what you were doing when you married a soldier? Is the uniform merely for the parade and the court ball? Therefore, rest content. In this world everything must be paid for. It is necessary to accept the consequences of one's actions.' Am I right or wrong?"

Annette always closed with a note of interrogation, and of course I was obliged to respond affirmatively.

Bertha smiled sadly, and said in a weary voice: "Yes, father, I must admit it; I have always thought that war was one of those things of which one only learned in the hour devoted at school to history. I only knew of the Punic wars and the Peloponnesian war--for we never got as far as modern history--and thought of these things as of what had once been. But I honestly admit that I did not think they would come to pass again in our time."

"Just think of it, Bertha," said Annette, while she drew a thick volume from her satchel, "this is the Bible. You know that I never take quotations at second-hand, but prefer looking them up myself. This morning while the hairdresser was with me, it occurred to me that the Bible says the wife should leave her father and her mother for his sake. So I sent for the Bible, the very one that the dowager princess presented me with when I was christened. I hunted up the passage, but what did I find? Why, that for this the 'man would leave his father and mother,'--the man. Now just look, it says the man; and why should it say the man? He is not a domestic plant, like us girls!"

The vivacity of the pretty and graceful woman cheered me, and I must admit that from that time my opinion of Annette changed. She seems imbued with much of that power of self-reliance which is a peculiar characteristic of the Jews; they are nothing by inheritence, and are obliged to make themselves what they are.

But Annette seemed to guess at my silent thoughts, and continued, "Do not praise me, I beg of you! I do not deserve it. I am quite different when I am alone; then I am tormented with horrible fancies. And let me tell you, Bertha, when our husbands leave, you must keep me with you. I cannot be alone. I am beginning to hate my piano already. I do not go into the room in which it stands. Ah, here come our husbands!"

We heard advancing steps. The Major entered, and greeted me politely, but seemed quite gloomy.

I told him that I had brought Ernst.

"I hope he will do himself credit," said the Major in a hard voice.

I told him that the Parliament was about to reassemble, whereupon the Major with great emphasis said, "Dear father, I beg of you do not let us talk politics now. I have the greatest respect for your patriotism, your liberalism, and for all your opinions. But now it is my uniform alone that speaks; what is inside of it has not a word to say."

He pressed both hands to his heart, and continued:

"Pshaw! I, too, once believed in 'German unity,' as they are fond of calling it,.... and even had hopes of Prussia. But now we will show these impudent, mustachioed Prussian gentlemen what we are made of."

I was careful not to reply to his remarks, in which I could easily notice the struggle that was going on within him. He was on duty; and it is wrong to talk to a man who is at his post.

What sort of a war is it in which they know no other cry but "Let us show them what we are made of!"

And if the victory is achieved, what then? An invisible demon sat crouching on the knapsack of every soldier, making his load heavier by a hundred-fold.

We seated ourselves at the table. The Major seemed to feel that he had been harsh towards me, and was now particularly polite. He asked about mother, Martella, and Rothfuss. He told us that he had that day heard from our newly discovered cousin, in a letter from Mayence, in which he had expressed the hope that they might stand side by side on the battle-field, and thus again become bound to each other.

The Major had nothing more to say. He poured out a glass of wine for me, and drank my health in silence. Annette used every exertion to dispel the dark cloud under which we were laboring.

She asserted that her saddle horse seemed to know that it would soon be led forth to battle, and told us a number of marvellous stories about that clever animal. She was very fond of telling anecdotes, and had considerable dramatic talent.

"Dear father," said the Major, "I believe I have not yet acquainted you with my darling wish."

"I do not remember your having done so."

"My request is, that when we leave, Bertha and the children should remain with you until the end of the campaign, which from present indications will not extend to your neighborhood.

"They are now, at last, constructing a telegraph line through your valley--it has been deemed a military necessity, and that will enable us to hear from each other with dispatch."

"And will you accept an unbidden guest?" interposed Annette. "I know that you will say 'yes,' and I promise you that I will be quite good and docile."

I extended my hand to her, while she continued:

"You know that it has for a long while been my wish to be permitted to spend some time with your wife. Iphigenia in the forest, in the German pine forest! Oh, how charming it was of your father-in-law to name his daughter so! Are pretty names only intended for books? Of course, Grecian Iphigenia should not knit stockings. Did not your father-in-law begin to translate Goethe's 'Iphigenia' into Greek, but fail to complete it? Is not Iphigenia too long a name for daily use? How do you address your wife?"

"By her middle name, Gustava."

"Ah, how lovely! 'Madame Gustava.' And the forest child? I presume she is still with you? And now I shall at last become acquainted with your noble and faithful servant, Rothfuss, who said that 'one who is drenched to the skin need not dread the rain.'"

As far as our all-engrossing anxiety would permit it, Annette's volubility and liveliness contributed greatly to our relief.

We had just left the table when Rolunt, the Major's most intimate friend, entered. He had at one time been an officer in the service of the Duke of Augustenberg, and had thence returned to his home, where he was now professor at the military school.

Now political conversation could not be restrained, although the Major refrained from taking part in it.

Rolunt was furious that, no matter how the war might end, Germany would be obliged to give an indemnity, in the shape of Nice, to France.

We had the galling consciousness that one nation presumed to decide the affairs of another, with as much freedom as it would regulate the taxes or the actions of its own citizens.

We remained together until it was quite late, and when we separated, it was with crushed hearts.

The Major insisted on my staying at his house; the war, he said, had done away with all minor considerations.

On the following day there was another session of the Parliament. The government demanded an extraordinary credit, which was accorded, although it was hoped that we might escape being drawn into war; for both the government and the legislature fondly expected that our troubles might be arranged by diplomacy.

Who, after all, was the enemy that we were fighting against?

I went to the barracks. I was refused admission. Fortunately, I saw the ensign approaching, and, under his protection, I was allowed to enter. Ernst, who had already donned the uniform, was lying on a bench. He seemed surprised to see me.

"Pray do not say a word until we get outside."

He received permission to go out for half an hour, and soon stood before me in his smart attire. There was something graceful and yet determined in his bearing.

When we gained the street, he asked me whether there was any chance of his discharge.

I was in a sad dilemma. I had taken no steps, because it was only too evident that my efforts would have been of no avail.

It was this that made me hesitate in answering him, and Ernst exclaimed, "All right. I know all about it."

My very heart bled, pierced as it was by the same sword that rent my Fatherland in twain.

I endeavored to persuade my son that there are times when our own wills and thoughts are of no avail against the great current of Fate.

"Thanks, father, thanks," answered Ernst, in a strangely significant tone.

I could only add, "I feel assured that you will do your duty. Do not forget that you have parents and a bride."

He seemed to pay but little attention to my words.

He took off his helmet, and said, "This presses me so: I am unused to it. It seems to crush my brain."

He looked very handsome, but very sad. We were standing before the office of the State Gazette, when suddenly the street seemed filled with groups of excited people, listening to a man who had climbed to the top of a wagon and was reading off a dispatch just received from Berlin, to the effect that there had been an attempt to shoot Bismarck, but that the ball had missed aim.

"Curse him!" cried Ernst; "I would not have missed aim."

I reproved him with great severity, but he insisted that one had a right to commit murder. I replied that no one would ever have that right, and that this deed had been as culpable as the assassination of Abraham Lincoln; for if any one man has the right to be both the judge and the executioner of his enemies, you will have to accord the privilege to the democrat as well as to the aristocrat.

"Let us cease this quarrelling," he answered; "I have no desire to dispute with you. I am firm in my belief that one is justified in doing wrong for the sake of bringing about a good result. But, I beg of you, father, let us now and forever cease this quarrelling."

His face showed his conflicting emotions, and he kissed my hand when I gently stroked his face.

The crowd had dispersed in the meanwhile, and we proceeded on our way.

Ernst suddenly stopped and said to me: "Farewell, father. Give my love to mother and Martella."

He held on to my hand quite firmly for a moment or two longer, and then said, "I must go to the barracks."

His eyes plainly told me that he would like to say more that he could not express; but he merely nodded, and then turning on his heel, departed.

"Write to us often!" I called out to him. He did not look back.

I followed after him for a while, keeping near enough to hear his firm step and the rattling of his spurs. I fondly hoped that he would yet return to me, and tell me of the thoughts that oppressed his heart.

I met many acquaintances on the way, who saluted me and extended their hands. They wanted me to stop and talk with them, but I merely nodded and passed on.

In my eager haste I ran against many people, for I did not want to lose sight of my son. There he goes! Now he stands still--now he turns. Surely-- At that moment a company of soldiers marched down the street to the sound of lively music; we were now separated. I could not see my son again. I returned to Bertha and the Major, and the latter promised me to keep a watchful eye on Ernst, and to send us frequent tidings in regard to him, in case he should neglect to write.

I rode to the depot. I was fearfully tired, and felt as if I could not walk another step.

As the trains were quite irregular, I was obliged to wait there for a long while.

I felt--no, I cannot--I dare not--revive the painful emotions that rent my bosom. Of what avail would it be? My son was going forth to war, and I had brought him here, myself.

"Brother fighting against brother." I fancied that I had been talking to myself and had uttered these words; but I found that they were frequently repeated by the excited groups that were scattered about the depot. All about me there was ceaseless turmoil. People were rushing to and fro, yelling, shouting, cursing, and laughing. I sat there absorbed in thought, not caring to see or hear anything more of the world, when a familiar voice said to me, "How charming, father, that I should meet you here!"

My son Richard stood before me; he had finished his lectures and was about to return home.

Accompanied by him, I started for home.

Richard informed me of the political divisions among the professors, and thus afforded me a glimpse of a sphere of life entirely different from my own. Even the immovable altars of science were now trembling, and personal feeling had become so violent that the friends of Prussia, of whom Richard was one, could not appear in public without being subjected to insults. On our way home, we stopped for dinner at the garrison town, where we heard the most contemptuous allusions to the "Prussian braggarts," as they were termed.

It was said that they had no officers who had ever smelt powder. That what had been done in Schleswig-Holstein had been achieved by the Austrians; and that if they ever dared go so far as to fight, they would be sent home in disgrace.

I do not know whether they really believed what they said, or whether they were simply trying to keep up their courage. But, on every hand, one could hear them say, "They will not let matters proceed so far; they are loud talkers and nothing else."

I was quite beside myself; but Richard begged me to remain silent. He thought it was well that matters had come to this pass.

Whoever had brought on this war had assumed a great, but perhaps unavoidable, responsibility. It was the sad fiat of fate, and none could foretell where the sacrifice and suffering would end. History would march on in its appointed path, even though sin and suffering be its steppingstones.

And then he pointed to our surroundings, and added, "Such fellows as these will never be converted by speeches; nothing but a thorough beating will teach them reason."

I have found that sober history tells us very little of all those things. She brings the harvest under shelter and enters the result; but who stops to ask how the weather may have changed while the grain was ripening?

But to us who live in the present, such things are not trifles; and I cannot help maintaining that the war of 1866 was forced on the people against their will, as far as I can judge, and I have spoken to many on the subject. The Prussians did not desire war; the conservatives did certainly not wish for it, for Austria was, spite of all, the bulwark of their principles. The liberals did not want it; nor did the soldiers go forth with cheerful hearts. But necessity had become incarnate in the brain of a single statesman: separation from Austria was the end to be gained, and though it went hard, that result must be achieved.

But the operation was a difficult and a painful one.


Before the train left the station, the newsboys were running about offering copies of extra issues of the journals, with news that the Diet had raised the German colors: black, red, gold.

And thus the Diet dared to unfurl the flag which we had always regarded with devotion,--for the sake of which we had been persecuted, imprisoned, or exiled. It seemed as if the holiest of holies had been denied and dishonored.

"It is the death-bed repentance of a sinner who has not enough time left to do good in," said Richard, who divined the thoughts that were passing through my mind.

A large company of soldiers was on the train, and went as far as the next garrison town.

But how could they have found it in their hearts to sing?

Haymaking had begun, the cars were filled with the fragrant odor of the newly mown grass. The laborers in the fields would look up from their work, and raise their scythes on high when they saw us pass.

And now, when it seemed as if my Fatherland was to be laid waste and destroyed, I became more than ever sensible of my great affection for it.

These woods, these fields and villages, were all to be laid waste, and shrieks of woe would resound from the flames. I felt it as keenly, as if beholding a beloved relative in the grasp of death.

The train was just moving away from the station when I heard a soldier call out to me, "Grandfather!"

I recognized him: it was my grandson Martin, the son of my daughter Johanna. He nodded to me, and when I turned to look at him, I saw the lieutenant collaring and buffeting him for speaking without orders while in the ranks.

We had proceeded but a short distance when I observed that Funk was on the train. He kept at a distance from us. He had bought a large bundle of extra newspapers, which he distributed to the people at the different stations.

When we reached our circuit town we repaired to the Wild Man Tavern, where, while waiting for a conveyance, we seated ourselves under the newly planted lindens. While sitting there, engrossed by thoughts of the country's troubles, I learned of another trouble nearer home.

I am old enough to know something of human wickedness, but I admit that I am, even to this day, frequently surprised by the shape that human meanness will sometimes take.

At a side table was seated Funk's special satellite--the baker Lerz, of Hollerberg. He was accompanied by his wife, and both looked about them with an air of serene contentment. The baker was a sensual, self-complacent man, who had a habit of smiling and moving his lips, as if he were smacking them at the thoughts of a feast he had just been enjoying. He had just been involved in an unclean piece of business, in which he had sworn that he was innocent, although, according to my conviction and the general belief, he had perjured himself in so doing. But what does such an unconscionable voluptuary care for that? When the peril was passed, all care was at an end.

The baker approached me and inquired if I would like to ride home with him; for the government levies had rendered it difficult to obtain a conveyance. I declined; Fortunately, my neighbor, the young meadow farmer, who had been taking hay over to the railway station, was passing by at the time, and so I rode home with him.

A little way out of the town, we came up with a young woman who was walking along the road. She had covered her head with a large white kerchief, and was carrying an infant in her arms.

Her head was bent forward; and it is generally a sign of deep thought if one who is walking along a road does not look around at the rapid approach of a vehicle. And this woman was Lerz's victim.

The meadow farmer, who was, usually, a man of few words, leaned back from his seat on the front bench, and whispered to me, "Such a fellow as Lerz ought not to be permitted to take an oath."

The meadow farmer had for a long while been my worst enemy, simply because I had deprived him of his greatest enjoyment--venting his spite on others.

Although it may, in these pages, seem as if I had cherished too high an ideal of the people, I desire right here to say that I have found among the lower classes that which is noblest and highest in man. But I have also found much that is mean and revolting. Envy and malice are characteristics almost peculiar to the farmer, and are especially shown about the time of irrigating the meadows. It affords him peculiar pleasure to wait until a neighbor has set his water-traps, and to sneak out and reverse them so as to make the water flow on to his own meadows.

The authorities had forbidden the watering of meadows after two o'clock on Sunday morning, but it availed nothing. I appointed a servant who was to have the sole right of setting the water-gates and opening them again; and the meadow farmer could not forgive me for this. I had robbed him of the pleasure of wreaking his spite on others.

It was not so much on account of the advantage he had gained thereby; but, like the rest of them, he had found it great sport to outwit the "gentleman farmer," as they called me.

The meadow farmer really hated me and Joseph; for if it had not been for us he would have been the first man in the village. Wherever he went, they inquired, "How goes it with Waldfried?" or "How is Joseph Linker?" It annoyed him that they did not ask after him first of all.

He would have been glad to take a share in politics, but was too mean to bestow the requisite amount of time upon such matters; and then he would say, "Such folks as Funk should not be permitted to put in their say; there is nothing behind him."

We had just reached the saw-mill, down in the valley, when we saw a large hay-wagon coming along the road in the direction of the meadow. Martella sat on top: Rothfuss was walking beside the horses.

Martella alighted. She looked quite troubled. She welcomed Richard, and asked me, "Where have you left Ernst?"

"He is not with us."

"Where then?"

We had no time to reply before Martella called out, "So he must go to war after all!"

"Of course."

"Of course? Of course?" Martella asked repeatedly. She stopped for a moment, and removing the rake from her shoulder rested herself upon it.

I told her that in all likelihood there would be no war, and that all the clamor was nothing more than angry threatening on both sides.

"That is not true!" cried Martella; "you should not tell me an untruth!"

"Martella, this is my father!" cried Richard.

"And mine too," she interrupted; "forgive me! Because you are my father you should forgive me; if you did not you would not and could not be my father. Forgive me! Oh! they will shoot my good, kind Ernst!"

She sat down by the roadside and covered her face with both her hands. In a little while, however, she yielded to our entreaties, and accompanied us to the house, but without speaking a word on the way. As soon as we arrived there, she hurriedly left us and hastened to the barn. In a few moments she returned and cried out with a loud voice, "Mother, Richard is here!"

The child's temperament was strangely variable.

My wife was especially delighted at Richard's return. "With one exception," she said, smiling (for she could not reconcile herself to Richard's remaining unmarried), "you always did the right thing at the right time. We need both a son and a Professor. Perhaps you will be able to make Martella understand what is meant by the words State and Fatherland."

She told us that Martella, who was generally so quick of apprehension, found it impossible to form any conception of those ideas, and that, naturally enough, in her present troubles, this was doubly difficult. For, even in our eyes, the events as well as the duties of that sad period seemed like a horrible enigma.

It seemed as if thinking of Martella had relieved my wife from the weight of her own trouble. When I informed her of the expected arrival of Bertha and the children, her face beamed with joy. She at once repaired to the rooms that they were to occupy, and seemed, in anticipation, to enjoy the thought of entertaining those who were dearest to her.

I had told my wife nothing of Annette's coming. She was, however, gifted with a prophetic insight that bordered on the marvellous. Results which to others were yet invisible were, by her, discerned with unerring foresight. She at once devoted two large rooms opening on the garden to Annette.

Martella hurried about, helping to get the house in order, and seemed as if there was nothing to depress her spirits.

Rothfuss complained to me that the "forest imp," as he at times called Martella, left him no peace, day or night. She wanted him to tell her why people had to be soldiers, and why there was such a thing as war; and she had abused the Prince in terms that would secure her seven years in the fortress of Illenberg, if her remarks were reported to the authorities.

She had once even wanted to run off to the Prince and tell him how wicked it was to command human beings to shoot one another, and that he should, at all events, give her lover back again, for the war was nothing to Ernst or to her.

Rothfuss called the professor to his assistance.

Richard declined the commission, remarking that it was not necessary for every maiden to know why her lover was forced to go to the wars, and that, in the present instance, he hardly knew the reason himself.

Notwithstanding this remark, he essayed to speak with Martella on the subject, and I have never seen him so nervous and confused as on that occasion; for Martella called out to him, "Do not say a word: it is all of no use." Then she embraced him, and kissed him, and pressed him to her heart.

Martella's ardent kisses had so surprised and confused him that it was some time before he could collect himself. I had never seen him so unnerved before. I believed that I understood the cause of his emotion.

Martella was a riddle which to Richard seemed more difficult of solution than to any of us.

What we had all failed to accomplish was brought about by the simple-minded Spinner.

Had she been told that she could be of use, or had she divined it? She came up to Martella and said, "Child, your lot is a hard one; but look at me: mine is still harder. My best child, indeed my only one,--for the others had left me to starve,--has also gone to the war; and though a lover be ever so dear, he is not a son, as you will sometime know when you have a son of your own."

After that, Martella was quite resigned. She had, of course, not acquired any idea of the significance of the word "State;" but she now felt that the fate of all beings was ordained by a great overruling power.

Joseph kept us constantly informed of the excitement that reigned through the neighborhood. Funk was the chief spokesman. He announced that the time was about to arrive when Germany would become a free confederation like our neighbor Switzerland.

I do not think that one of those loud talkers believed in the fulfilment of such hopes; but, for the time being, it afforded them an opportunity of indulging in high-sounding phrases. On the other hand, we knew that to "abolish Prussia," as their phrase ran, would simply be the first step towards preparing for Germany the fate of Poland. And yet my own kindred--my son, my son-in-law, and Martin, my grandson--were fighting to accomplish that very object.



We were seated on the balcony when we saw Bertha and her children coming up the hill towards the house. My wife at once arose, and opened the two folding-doors, as if with that action she were opening wide our hearts to receive them.

Realizing the fact that there was no escaping from our troubles, Bertha had conquered her sorrow, and now appeared as fresh and cheerful as if she had just been drinking at the fountain of youth.

As soon as the first greetings were over, my wife inquired about Ernst.

Bertha had seen him but once, as his captain had sent him up the country to get transportation for horses.

"That is bad; they should not have sent him there. O Ernst, poor, dear Ernst!" suddenly shrieked my wife.

She grew pale and fell back on a chair. We feared that she would faint. Bertha rushed to her aid, but she speedily recovered herself, and her trembling lips were the only sign, of the emotion she had passed through. She did not tell us why she had found it so wrong of them to send Ernst on that errand. She accompanied Bertha to her room, and stroking the light locks of little Victor, whom she had taken on her lap, said, "He looked just as you do when he was a little boy, except that he had blue eyes."

"Yes," said Bertha, "my husband has often noticed that Victor bears great resemblance to Ernst."

"And Uncle Ernst promised me a horse," said Victor.

"Did he?" said my wife, with pleased looks: "If he did that, it is all right, but sad enough for all. Still, others have their burdens to bear as well as we."

Martella's first meeting with Bertha as well as with Annette, resulted in mutual attraction.

Bertha was obliged to tell Martella all that she knew about Ernst, and while she was holding the hand of the strange child, the latter must have felt a consciousness of the candor and straightforwardness of Bertha's character, for she looked into her face with sparkling eyes.

Martella asked Bertha whether Ernst had sent the broken ring by her.

Bertha said he had not.

She removed a ring from her finger and offered it to Martella, who declined it.

When Annette offered both her hands to Martella, and said that she had for a long while been anxious to make her acquaintance, Martella was quite confused, and looked down towards the ground. When she raised her head, her eyes fell on a light green necktie which Annette wore.

"How pretty it is!" were her first words.

Annette immediately removed the tie, and fastened it about Martella's neck.

"It is quite warm, yet," said Martella; and Annette replied, "How lovely! Let us regard that as a good omen."

When Bertha, who rarely gave way to sentiment, returned and joined us again, she said, "Let us now be thrice as kind and loving to one another as we have been, and be indulgent with each other's moods. It is only by such means that we can manage to live through these terrible times."

Bertha and her daughter Clotilde, a charming, graceful child about nine years of age, were so clever in anticipating every wish of my wife's, that, although it had always been her wont to be serving others and providing for their comfort, she was now obliged to let them have their own way.

Martella seemed almost inseparable from Rothfuss, and Victor was always with the two. He accompanied them out to the fields and into the woods; and it was difficult to say which of the two was the happier, Rothfuss the old, or Victor the young, child.

It would have been difficult also to say which of the two, Victor or Martella, cut wilder capers, for the young play-fellow with the soldier cap seemed to make her forget all her trouble. She was quite proud of her skill in leaping, and loved to display it.

Bertha maintained that, in spite of rough manners, many of Martella's movements were full of wondrous grace; and when she would turn around five or six times on one foot, Victor could never imitate her.

On the very day of her arrival, Annette awakened great interest in the village.

She ascended to the top of the church steeple, where none of us had ever been. She waved her handkerchief from the little window in the belfry, until we took notice of her and returned her salute. All of the villagers who were not engaged in the fields had gathered in groups, and were looking up at the church steeple.

When she joined us at dinner, she told us that she had already found out everything. The school-master had told her of the woods that had been planted by my wife, that she had already been at the Gustava Spring, and that the water had tasted as if it were pure dew.

"Ah, how fortunate you are to own all this! The very air you breathe is your own."

She talked incessantly, and many of her remarks were quite entertaining. She plied Richard with so many questions that he looked quite displeased, and soon left the table.

"I can tell by the professor's looks that he is musical; is he not?"

"Indeed he is; he is esteemed an excellent violincello player."

"I can assure you that I asked no one, and I am so glad that my intuitions did not deceive me."

While Annette was paying a visit to the school-mistress, Richard gave vent to his anger at her; but my wife pacified him. Annette could not enjoy the quiet possession of anything, and was always anxious to impart what she knew and felt to others. She was evidently of a very hospitable nature, and would, in good time, acquire repose of manner.

During the first few days, while we were yet without news of any kind, and before the journals had given us any information as to the movements of the troops, Annette did not allow us to get a moment's rest.

The way she worried us all, and Richard in particular, was quite provoking; and yet this lesser trouble made us forget the greater one.

My father-in-law had converted the large corner room on the ground floor of our house into a veritable temple of beauty. He had, from time to time, purchased casts of the best antique statues, and had carefully arranged them along the walls and on pedestals, placing beautiful engravings between them.

He had thus brought the immortal types of beauty into the depths of the forest. The room in which he had placed the statues, and which Richard jokingly entitled "Athens," was a favorite haunt of ours.

Annette was greatly surprised to find such treasures with us, and said to Richard, "These undying types of a past great civilization are at home everywhere. It is because they no longer have, and indeed never did have, anything in common with the life of fashion, that they are thus immortal. Do you not agree with me?"

She always insisted on having an answer to her questions. Then she would briskly add: "Now I understand the meaning of the Niobe; she is the old spinner who lives out on the rock." When we laughed at this conceit of hers, she told us, "Oh! I beg your pardon, I mean that she is the embodiment of a mother's grief in time of war."

Pointing to a statue of Iphigenia, she inquired, "Herr Professor, can you tell me how the Grecian priestesses spent their time? Do you think it possible to be constantly offering sacrifices and uttering lofty thoughts?"

Richard admitted that he could not give her the desired information; and Annette was quite delighted that she had posed the professor. She did not give up troubling him, however.

All her notions of life in the country had been derived from books, and she was quite shocked to find that the mere money value or utility of trees was the only point of view in which they were regarded.

Notwithstanding her overflowing, emotional temperament, she had quite a taste for details, and even for figures. At the first sight of a prettily situated village, she would always make inquiries in regard to the number of its inhabitants, their means, and manner of living. I was obliged to tell her all about my own household--how many acres of timber there were ready to cut, and how much was young timber; the amount of our annual production, how much live-stock my meadows would support, how much fruit my orchards gave me, and also how the work was divided amongst the four men-servants and three maids that we employed.

She examined the whole establishment, from the stable to the loft. She seemed to take especial delight in the happy combination we had effected between the fruits of culture and the pursuit of husbandry. There was a certain air of solid comfort and good taste in our home. It had descended from the times of my father-in-law, and had been kept up by us.

With good judgment, Annette thought that the very best site had been selected for our house. The hill beyond the hollow at the back of the house protected us on three sides, but was not near enough to deprive us of fresh air, or to keep out the gentle breezes that would come up from the valley after sunset and carry away the miasmatic vapors, thus affording us healthful and refreshing sleep during the night. A barn, which the meadow farmer had so placed that it destroyed part of the view down the valley, was a great eyesore to Annette.

She asked Richard why the air with us was so cool and invigorating, and was very grateful when he explained the theory of the dew-fall to her.

She was full of charming ingenuousness, for she once said. "I do not doubt that you enjoy the singing of the birds, but I honestly confess that I do not. It is pleasant to know that the little animal up in the trees is so joyful; but, nevertheless, there is no beauty in tones without connection or expression. I find that there are no more tones in the scale of the finch than in that of the barn-yard rooster; and why do we prefer the notes of the finch?"

Richard often felt annoyed that Annette was constantly keeping every one about her on pins and needles, and seemed to desire his special approval of all that she did. He maintained that she was entirely deficient in mental balance.

The temperaments of Annette and Bertha were in marked contrast to each other.

When they were seated opposite each other and engaged in conversation, Bertha would bend forward, while Annette would lean back in her chair, as if immovable.

Bertha's mere presence exerted a grateful influence, while Annette felt that she must always be doing something, in order to inspire others with an interest in her.

Bertha, with all her affection for Martella, remained somewhat reserved towards her, while Annette was open and confiding, as with a sister. She was incapable of any other relations than those of perfect intimacy or absolute indifference.

Richard noticed all these peculiarities, and when he mentioned them to me, I was almost startled to find how carefully he had been observing Annette.

He was obliged, however, to agree with my wife when she said, "Annette's habit of requiring her friends to interest themselves in whatever engages her attention, is both innocent and childlike. A child will always think that its whip or its ball is of as much importance to others as to itself. Bear in mind, moreover, that Annette takes a lively interest in all that others do, and naturally enough supposes that they resemble her in that respect."

Annette had gone from the school-house one day, to pay a visit to my nephew Joseph, who was a friend of her brother, the lawyer, who resided in the capital. She found that there were well-furnished rooms in his house, and a few days later removed there. She frankly admitted that she was too noisy for our home, and that it were better that she should visit us for a few hours at a time, instead of living with us.

She at once set about rearranging the furniture and removing unnecessary decorations in her new quarters; and, on the next day, while the carpenters were busily engaged in making the changes she had ordered, she drove over to the city to visit the family of the kreis-director, with whom she had formerly been intimate.

She returned in the evening, bringing their eldest daughter, whom she intended to keep with her as a companion. A large wagon carrying sofas, rocking-chairs, and all sorts of furniture followed.

Although Annette had intended to lead a quiet and contemplative life, she might have been seen in the village at any hour of the day. She speedily acquainted herself with all of its features. She had, by rearranging the furniture in her own rooms, made them habitable and tasteful, and she now desired to effect a corresponding transformation in the houses of the wood-cutters; but the wives of the well-to-do farmers looked askance. Whenever she met one of the villagers, she would greet him or her politely, and would ask both old and young what they had had for dinner. She insisted that this was the most important of all questions. The people, however, found it great sport to answer her with lies.

She had speedily become attached to the wife of the school-master, but disliked to go to the clergyman's house.


Our clergyman was the son of poor parents. His father had been a beadle. He is without a single spark of genius, but is said to have distinguished himself by great application. He attends to his duties methodically, but in a cold and perfunctory manner. During the summer, he spends much of his time fishing; in the winter, he is almost always at home. He is well-skilled in that game of chess which requires but one player. He lost his father while he was quite young, and in order to be able to aid his mother and his many brothers and sisters, he married a wealthy, but half-witted girl, whom he never cared to take into society. Politics had no attractions for him.

Formerly, if a beggar applied to him for alms he would have him sent up into his room, and would ask him, "What good will it do if I give you that which will only help you for a moment or so? Come and listen"--and he would then read the beggar a sermon, or a chapter out of the Bible. But, of late years, the beggars had piously avoided his house.

Our school-master, on the other hand, is a clever and wide-awake man. He, too, had taken part in the political movements of 1848, but when placed on trial was acquitted. Ever since that time, he has held aloof from political affairs. He married a woman who is exceedingly clever, and who brought him some money besides.

The clergyman has no children: the school-master has three--two sons, one of whom is a merchant down by the fortress; the other is a machinist, and resides in America. He is said to have quite a large business. The daughter is the wife of the inspector of roads. The school-master is quite proud that he can say, "If I were to give up my position to-morrow, I could afford to live without work"--a state of affairs to which the skill and economy of his wife has greatly contributed. The couple lead a loving and tranquil life. They are hale and hearty, and, as it often happens when two persons have lived together many years, they have grown to look very much alike. Their garden was filled with teeming flower-beds. Florists from the neighboring watering-places would come daily to purchase flowers, and thus the garden had become a source of considerable profit.

But now that the war had emptied the watering-places, the flowers were left to perish for want of purchasers.

Annette instructed the school-master's wife in the art of drying flowers, and making pretty bouquets of them.

Carl's mother, who lived in a little house out by the rock, worked every day in the garden of the school-master's wife.

Annette was attracted by the woman. She was short and thin, old and stooping, but had wonderfully clear and sparkling eyes, and Annette felt quite happy to think that this old woman, who was almost deaf, could by means of her eyes still have so much enjoyment.

During the summer, the spinner, as had been her wont every year, would scrape off the bark from the branches of the elderberry tree, and afterward tie up the branches in bundles. Annette did great damage by explaining to her--she had only learned it herself the day before--that they would be used to make gunpowder. When the old woman heard that, she felt as if she could not bear to touch the wood; but, as she had undertaken the task, she was obliged to finish it, and so went on with her work, although it was not without murmuring.

Through Annette's insinuating herself into the intimacy of others, much that happened in our village acquired clearer colors, and greater importance in my eyes.

I told her the history of the spinner. She had had a husband, a tall, handsome man. He had been employed as a laborer on the road, but had wasted all his earnings at the tavern.

Besides that, he had been a sportsman, and had loved, above all things, to roam through the woods with the forester and his attendants, in search of game.

While these things were going on, the wife had, with her own earnings, reared four children, who were always among the tidiest in the village. Whenever anyone expressed pity that she had so thoughtless and inconsiderate a husband, she would say, "Oh, that's all right. If he were not so shiftless a fellow, he would never have married me; he would have gone and married some woman better, handsomer, and richer than I was."

When the building of the railway was begun, he gave up his situation and went to work in the valley; but he would never bring home a groschen of money. Indeed, on one occasion, when he received a larger sum than usual, he drove up in a carriage with two comrades, and the three were not content until the last kreutzer had been spent.

But yet with all this no word of complaint ever fell from the lips of his wife; and when, at last, her husband lost his life while blasting a rock, she bewailed his death, saying that he was the best man in the world.

Two of her sons and one daughter were employed at Mulhausen; but they would not help the mother. Carl, who had been Joseph's servant, and was now with the troops, gave all his earnings to her, and would not suffer her to accept a gift from any one.

When Annette knew this, she was all attention to the spinner; but it required much clever management to be able to do her a service. Besides that, it was awkward that the spinner was so indistinct of speech, that with the exception of her son Carl and the school-master's wife, there was hardly any one who could understand her.

Richard and Bertha shook their heads while watching Annette's movements, and could not refrain from commenting on them. But my wife would always tell them that Annette was of an active temperament, and was only happy when assisting others. She also told them that Annette had interested herself for the baker Lerz's victim and her child, and that she had given the clergymen of the neighboring villages considerable sums to be distributed among the poor. And, further, that it was much to her credit that she would not allow herself to be driven away from her work by rudeness on the part of those whom she was trying to benefit.

We soon had an amusing instance of this.

One Sunday afternoon, while we were up in the arbor, Annette had seated herself with Rothfuss and Martella on a bench in front of the house. She was trying to find out from Rothfuss how much he loved his horses and cattle.

Rothfuss knew nothing about loving them. All he said was, "Feed them well, and they will work for you."

She was quite provoked that the tinkling of the bells of the cows that were grazing on the mountain patches was inharmonious. She said that she would buy bells that were in accord with each other, and present them to the owners of the cows.

She conversed quite familiarly with Rothfuss and Martella, and asked them to look upon her as their companion.

To which Rothfuss replied, "I have nothing against the Jews--they are all the same to me. In the place where I was born, there were lots of Jews, and I was on good terms with all of them. Two of them served in the same regiment with me; and in my village there was a splendid girl whom they called 'the little beauty;' she was strong and healthy and jolly. She loved to dance with me; and, if I could only have afforded to marry, I would have been bound to have her. And you may take my word for it, she would not have refused me.

"You are a sensible woman; one can talk to you about all sorts of things. You are not like Baroness Arven, who once ordered me to take my cap in my hand while I was speaking to her. You are better than she is.

"Yes, indeed; my first love was a Jewess.

"And then there was Myerle the horse-dealer, who often came to see us. He looks just like you;--are you related to him? I know him intimately; he is a sharp fellow, and a man of his word, and always gives two crown thalers drink-money. Of late he has been trying to make it Prussian thalers, but that won't go down.

"The Jews are just like us in everything. There is only one thing that they cannot do--they don't know how to drink; and they don't try it, either. But in all other respects they are just like us. 'He who is wet to the skin need not dread the rain.'"

"And you, Martella," asked Annette, "what do you think of the Jews?"

"I? I don't think of them at all. I want nothing to do with them. In the forest they always told me that my mother must have been a Jewess; but it is not true."

"Who is your mother, then?"

"Who? Why, Madame Cuckoo;--just ask her."

Martella walked away.

Annette joined us and told us all that had happened, adding: "One is always getting new and interesting ideas. Rothfuss and Martella, comparing their religion with mine, look upon themselves as nobles who vouchsafe me their favor. I accept it with thanks."

My wife, however, looked over to us with a significant glance that seemed quite distinctly to say, "There, you can see now that she is free from prejudice, and full of imperturbable kindness."

Notwithstanding her love and respect for us, Annette found great pleasure in her intimate relations with the neighboring family of Baron Arven. This may have been the result of her having formerly been kept in the background.

Her constant journeyings to and fro were the occasion of our making some delightful acquaintances.

Just beyond the boundary line, where I owned a large piece of woodland, there resided a young forester, who was of noble birth, and a relative of Annette's husband. We had before that been strangers to each other; but Annette knew how to draw him and his wife into our circle, and we were charmed by the simple manners of these highly cultivated people.

Our family was so widely extended that we found it quite easy to trace a distant relationship to our newly discovered friends. The young wife was the daughter of a high official. Though living in the woods, she did not neglect her intellectual life, and found good music of great assistance in that regard. She had also been able to bring up sturdy boys; and we were quite pleased to learn that her only rule with them had been truthfulness and obedience. These two requisites had been firmly and inexorably insisted upon, and as a result the boys did their parents great credit.

The new element that Annette had thus introduced into our circle often caused us to forget that the very next hour might bring us the saddest news.


It was eventide. The clear tones of the village bell filled the valley and were echoed back from the mountains opposite. The young woods down by the stone wall seemed transparent with the reflection of the rosy sunset, and all looked as if bathed in golden clouds.

We were sitting in the arbor, and every one was probably thinking to himself, "Perhaps at this very moment men of the same nation--yea, brothers--may be murdering one another on the battle-field."

In a low voice, and with an absence of all that resembled her usual excessive excitability, Annette remarked that my wife ought to feel very happy to think that she had planted yonder wood.

At that moment we saw a carriage coming up the hill.

"It is father!" exclaimed the daughter of the kreis-director, and ran to meet him.

We observed that he opened the carriage door for her, and that she entered it and remained with him.

Annette remarked that she had given orders that all telegrams should be sent to Herr Von Rontheim, who would forward them to us as speedily as possible. This must be a matter of importance, however, as he had come in person. But let his tidings be what they may, we would stand by and support one another.

Rontheim entered.

He brought us the news of a great victory gained by the Austrians, who were said to have penetrated into Silesia. His manner of imparting this was in accord with our feelings, and was quite free from any spirit of rejoicing. A brief telegram had brought the news.

Rontheim seemed quite ill at ease and soon left, taking his daughter and Annette with him. A little while after that, Joseph arrived, and told me privately that he wished that Richard and I would come over to his house.

I was struck with fear, and felt that there was bad news in store for me.

Without knowing why, I felt alarmed.

When I entered Annette's apartment, Rontheim was seated at a table on which there was a lighted lamp. In his hand there was a newspaper. He did not rise to receive me, but requested me to be seated.

He grasped my hand firmly while he said, "You are a strong man, a just father--no father can be blamed for what his child may do.--Your son Ernst has deserted."

Those were his words: I have written them down with my own hand. Could I, at that time, have believed that I would ever be able to do this! But to this day, I cannot tell what rent my heart and crazed my brain. All that I can recollect is that I felt as if a bullet were piercing my brain, and found it strange that I knew even that much of what was going on. I remember Richard's throwing his arms about my neck, and crying, "Father! Dear father!" and all was over.

When I recovered consciousness my first thought was, "Why live again? Death has been conquered."

The next thought that flashed upon me was, "But my wife!--She foresaw it all, yet how will she bear this burden?"

Annette came up to me and seemed to guess at my thoughts, for with a voice choked with tears she said:

"Do not tell your wife of this to-night. In the morning, when day approaches, if you wish me to tell her of this, I am at your service. But how cold your hands are!"

She knelt down and kissed my hands.

The director handed the newspaper to Richard. I noticed how his hand trembled while he held it. I asked to have it handed to me, and read the proclamation of my son's dishonor and the order for his arrest.

When I at last started to return home, I was obliged, for the first time in my life, to lean on my son Richard for support. Annette had asked permission to accompany me. We declined her proffered aid. The kind-hearted, impulsive creature was all gentleness and desire to assist me.

I arrived in front of the house. There stands the large and well-ordered house,--but no joy will ever enter there again.

The wind from the valley was swaying the red beech to and fro; the fountain swelled and roared while its waters glistened in the broad moonlight. All this to be seen again and again, and yet--"daily suicide"--

"What are you saying, father? What do you mean by those words?" asked Richard.

It was not until then that I became aware of my having uttered them.

For Ernst, for my poor child, no day would ever more begin with the love of life. "Daily suicide"--in this phrase his deed and its consequences seemed to concentrate themselves. I was obliged to sit clown on the steps, and not until then was I able to shed tears.

How often Ernst had run up and down there! I could yet remember the first time that he climbed those steps on all fours, turning his pretty head with its light curls towards me when I called out to him, and waiting quietly until I would come and take him up in my arms!

But now he had conjured up a restless demon whom no cry or supplication could exorcise.

At this very moment I can distinctly remember how I wished that all the sorrow and pain might descend on my own head and be gathered up into my own heart, in order that I might bear them for others.

"Master, why are you sitting at your own threshold like a strange beggar?" were the words with which Rothfuss surprised me. "I have already heard what our madcap Ernst has done; do not let that grieve you to death--that will do you no good. In this world, every one must carry his own hide to market. It is bad enough in all conscience, but there is courage in it for all. There are hundreds and thousands of them who would like to do what he has done; but they follow the drum with its rat-tat-tat, and put on airs into the bargain. Do you know what I think of this matter?--Do not interrupt me, Heir Professor; I know what I am talking about--I say that every large family must have its black sheep, and I would rather a thousand times have a good-for-nothing than an idiot, the very sight of whom makes one's hair stand on end.

"Yes, indeed; my mother was right. Her favorite maxim was: 'Better sour than rotten,' and 'To be hard of hearing is not half so bad as to have poor eyes.'

"In every family there is something; or, as the poor woman once said: 'There is something everywhere,--except in my lard-pot, where there is nothing at all.'"

Rothfuss would not rest until I got up again.

I went up the steps with him and into the room. He drew off my boots, and was full of kind attentions.

Addressing me in a whisper, he offered to tell the news to his mistress in the morning, as he thought that he was best fitted for the task.

He meant to speak of it in such a way that she would take it as his stupid talk and give him a thorough scolding, and thus wreak her anger on him. He thought that would be the best way, because that would help to break the first shock of the news, and then it would be easier to endure the rest.

The only other thing that troubled Rothfuss was how he might stop Funk's evil tongue. He felt sure that with the exception of Funk, others would be as much grieved as we were.

That was the trouble. The news would enlist the attention of the busy world, those who pitied as well as those who rejoiced in the sufferings of others.

But what matters the world: it can neither help nor hinder our griefs.

I have experienced much bitter suffering:--I have gazed into the grave that had received all that had been dearest to me on earth, but no pain can be compared to that of grief for a son, who, though living, is lost.

Morning had already dawned. The birds were singing in the trees; the sun had returned; all life seemed to awake anew; and at last I found an hour's sleep.

"Destroyer of sleep!" were the first words I uttered when I awoke.

How can he enjoy a moment's rest, or swallow a morsel of food while he knows that his parents are sorrowing for him.

I have often been advised--it is easy enough to say the words--"Make up your mind to blot his name from your memory." But it is not so easy to follow such counsel.

My wife softly slumbered through the whole night. Will she ever again have so refreshing a sleep?


The morning was bright and clear. We were seated around the breakfast table, every one of us doubly oppressed. We were grieved on our own account, and troubled by the thought that the mother's heart was soon to become rent by the sad tidings.

Richard had told the news to Bertha.

My wife seemed to be watching Bertha, and at last reproved her for having been weeping again. "It is our duty," said she, "to accept the inevitable with resignation. Mankind might well be likened to the plants in the field, which are obliged quietly to submit to the storm that descends on their heads."

We exchanged hurried glances, but Bertha did not reply.

"Will my wife be as strong in a few moments from now?" was the question I inwardly asked myself.

Rothfuss was heard cracking his whip in front of the house. He was about to drive out into the fields, taking Martella with him.

His intention was to tell her all that had happened as soon as he reached the fields, so that she might there spend her rage, and not annoy the household by her noise.

Victor rode along with them.

My wife inquired whether the newspaper had not yet come, or why I was not reading it, and wished to know what was the matter.

The moment had arrived. I gathered up all the courage that was yet left me, and said, "We will take you at your word--'It is our duty to accept the inevitable with resignation.'"

"What is it? Tell me."

"Our son Ernst has--deserted!"

"After all!" exclaimed my wife, while she laid her clinched fists on her heart, as if to prevent it from bursting, and with compressed lips stared into vacancy.

Fearing that she would faint, the children and I rushed to her assistance.

"Never mind; all will be over in a moment. I can now breathe again. And now, I beg of you all, be silent." She closed her eyes. We remained standing around her in silence. Not a sound was heard, save the rapid ticking of the clocks and the innocent singing of the thistle-finch.

At last, she removed her hands from her face and gave way to a torrent of tears. With her hands folded on her breast, and softly, without a loud sign of pain, she thus lamented:

"O my son! My poor son! My poor, unhappy child! You are now a fugitive in the wide world, and without a home--lost and distracted--a wandering proof of the confusion of our broken household, now rent in twain and bereft of peace. His heart is a wayward one. It is easier to spoil a human being than to improve one. Let him who believes that this war is just before God rise up and plunge his sword into my son's heart!"

She had raised herself while uttering the last sentence; when she finished, she fell back in her seat again. She then suddenly and energetically sat up again, and asked, "Does Martella know of this?"

I replied that Rothfuss had taken her out into the fields with him in order to tell her all.

"It is well," she answered. "Give me the newspaper, that I may read the letter of arrest. This was the reason the director came to us yesterday and departed without saying good-by. Give me the advertisement which thousands are now reading--I am his mother."

I was obliged to tell her that I had given the paper to Rothfuss, who had asked for it in order that he might show it as a proof to Martella.

My wife nodded approvingly, and said, "Yes, Martella. Listen to what I am about to say. Ernst has run away because he was unwilling to fight in this fratricidal war. That is true enough, as far as it goes; I feel assured of that. But let me tell you something more--he is unfaithful--unfaithful to his parents, his brothers and sisters, and his betrothed. I beg of you, Henry, do not contradict me! Promise me one thing."

"Whatever you wish."

"You, my husband, and you, my children, faithfully promise me that, when I am no longer with you, you will firmly and inviolably cherish Martella as a child of the house and as one of the family."

We promised all that she asked.

"I have one other request to make. Whatever may happen, do not for a moment conceal aught from me; do no violence to yourselves for my sake. I can support everything as long as I know all."

Her next wish was that we should all go out into the fields, for she felt sure that Rothfuss would not be able to control Martella, who, she feared, might run away and rush into suffering or death.

Richard said that he would be able to assist Rothfuss, and that he knew the direction in which they had gone.

He hurried away to meet them.

"You had better go in and join them," we heard Richard say as he left the house, and then he ran off on his errand.

A moment later, Annette joined us. Although usually quite courtly in her manner, she was now diffident and timid, and in heartfelt tones begged us to consider her as one of us, and permit her to assist in bearing our affliction.

My wife extended her arms towards her, and for the first time embraced and kissed Annette.

"I have brought smelling-salts and other restoratives," said Annette in a cheerful tone, while the thick tears were running down her cheeks. "But, dear Madame Gustava, you need nothing of that kind; you are as firm as a forest-tree."

"Ernst will never again return to his forest," complained my wife.

Neither Bertha nor I were able to utter a word, but Annette said to my wife, "You have a right to indulge in the deepest grief. I shall never attempt to persuade you otherwise. I know how galling it is when friends come and imagine that they can console us by smoothing over or belittling our griefs. It is well, after all, that I am with you. It is indeed true that I only feel your sorrows through sympathy, while the blow itself has descended on your heads. With all my sincere sympathy, there are hours when I can forget your sorrows, and am thus better able to be of use to you."

My wife again took Annette's hand and pressed it to her own forehead.

"Do you believe," said my wife, addressing Annette; "do you believe that Ernst sees his actions in their true colors?"

"I do not."

"I hope that it is so. Indeed, I really trust that my child does not reason clearly on this subject. I would rather have him think himself right in what he is doing; for he will then be able to endure his days, and to sleep peacefully at night."

"How happy one is to watch the growth of bright, youthful memories in a child's soul; but after such a deed, it were kindest to wish that he might forget everything." And then turning towards me, she added, "I feel so badly to think that my favorite maxim is now dead."


"When I was asked how one could best bring up children, I would always answer, 'Let your married life be pure, for thus alone can you have good, righteous children.' But it seems that even this is no longer the case."

No one replied. Annette told us that she had just received a dispatch. The tidings of victory were false, and the very reverse of the first news was the true report, for the Prussians had penetrated into Bohemia.

"Ah, how soon there will be more grieving mothers! If the woful cries of all these mothers could be concentrated into one utterance, who is there that could hear it, and still live?"

Thus lamented my wife. We sat in silence.

Richard entered, saying, "Mother is right; she looks far ahead." He told us that Martella had shouted with joy when Rothfuss had told her of Ernst's flight; she had praised his adroitness.

And Victor called out, "For shame! Uncle Ernst is a coward! For shame! Uncle Ernst is a bad man!"

Martella raised the scythe and was about to hurl it at Victor, but Rothfuss fortunately parried the stroke. Martella now wrestled with Rothfuss, and called out to Victor, "You soldier's child! Keep quiet, you soldier's child!" She seemed to use the words reproachfully.

Suddenly she exclaimed, "I know where Ernst is! I am going to him--away, away from all of you!"

She started on a brisk run, but was caught in the arms of Richard, who was just coming up.

When Richard told us all this, his voice seemed broken, and, for some time, he stood with his eyes cast on the ground. Then he went on to tell us that Martella had become quiet and gentle, and had willingly consented to ride home again, when he told her that mother wanted to see her; and that now she was down in the barn, and was sitting on the clover, waiting until she was sent for.

Martella was called up to the house. When she entered the room, my wife requested us to leave. I have never learned what passed between them.

I was quite surprised at what Rothfuss told me.

When Richard caught Martella in his arms, she cried out, "No, no; you shall not kiss me!" and pushed him from her with such force, that he would have been thrown to the ground if Rothfuss had not come to his assistance.

Richard had told us nothing of that.


When Edward Levi, the iron merchant, came to out village, he cautiously went, first of all, to my nephew Joseph; he then sent for me, and handed me a letter from Ernst. It was written in a firm hand, and read as follows:

"To my parents I say farewell. I leave my so-called Fatherland forever.

"It grieves me to know that I must grieve you, but I cannot help it.

"If thousands had done what I did, it would have been praised as a noble deed. Must we sacrifice ourselves to this degenerate Fatherland?

"I cannot murder my compatriots, nor do I care to allow them to murder me.

"Take care of Martella for my sake. I will write to her myself.

"Your Lost Son."

"You must pluck such a child from your heart--you must forget him entirely."

These were Joseph's words after he had read the letter. Many others spoke just as he did. But he who has ever heard the word "father" from the lips of his child, knows that this is impossible. From that time I always said to myself, "No day without sorrow." Do you know what it means never to have a pure, bright, happy day?--"no day without sorrow?" And yet, I admit it, I was not without hope. I felt a quiet assurance that Ernst would be all right in the end. How it was to be brought about, I did not know; but I felt that the seeds of indestructible virtue and purity were yet lurking amidst this mass of ruin and rottenness. There might yet be a turn in the tide of affairs, that would draw the current of my son's life into the proper channel. My wife mentioned his name only once after that. But her love for the child was stronger and firmer than her resolution.

She took pains to be about and to keep up an interest in all that was going on: but, from the moment that she was shocked by the news of Ernst's desertion, it was evident that it cost her an effort to control her will.

She seemed constantly tired. She rarely went out--hardly ever as far as the garden, where she would walk but a short distance before sitting down on a bench. She would often sit in an absent manner, gazing into vacancy, and when addressed would seem as if hurriedly collecting her thoughts.

Martella had also received a letter. It contained a ring; but she would not show any one, not even my wife, what Ernst had written. Edward Levi, the iron merchant, acted with great good sense and delicacy. He attempted neither to explain things nor to console us; but gave us the simple account of how the affair had happened. If it had not related to my own son, and had not been so full of sadness, Ernst's ingenuity in the matter would even have afforded us amusement.

It was late in the evening when he arrived at the town in which Levi resided. He went to the police-office at once, and ordered a forester whom he found there to produce Edward Levi, who arrived shortly afterward, and to whom Ernst used these words:

"You have been a soldier and can be trusted. I shall confide my secret to you."

He then informed him, with an air of great secrecy, that he had been ordered to enter the Prussian lines as a spy, and requested him to provide him at once with some French money and the dress of a Jewish cattle-dealer; and also to bring to him a cattle-dealer provided with a correct passport.

After all this had been successfully accomplished, Ernst wrote the two letters and handed them to Levi, with instructions not to deliver them until three days had elapsed.

He started off with his companion. On the way, he asked him to show him his passport: it was handed to him but not returned. He carefully instructed the cattle-dealer to address him by the name of Rothfuss.

"Why, that is the name of the old servant that your father thinks so much of!"

"That is the very reason I have chosen it; you will have no difficulty in remembering it. What is my name?

"The same as the servant's."

"No--but what is it?"

"Rothfuss. Why, every child knows the name. Might I inquire--"

"No; you need ask no questions."

They journeyed on together as far as Kehl, where Ernst suddenly disappeared. The drover waited all day, in the vain hope of seeing him again, and at last returned home.

Ernst had in all likelihood gone to my sister, who lives in the Hagenau forest, or to my brother-in-law, the director of the water-works on the Upper Rhine. Before leaving, he handed a bag of money that belonged to the state to Edward Levi, for safe-keeping.

Joseph, who was always ready to assist others, at once offered to journey after Ernst, in the hope of overtaking him and consulting with him as to his future.

I had instructed Rothfuss to make up a package of the clothes that Ernst had left behind him, and I was at Joseph's house when he brought the bundle there.

Martella wanted to accompany Joseph; but, finding that he would not consent, she turned around to her dog, and said: "Pincher, go with Joseph and hunt your master!"

The dog looked up at her, as if knowing what she said, and then ran after Joseph.

While I was yet with Joseph, a copy of our newspaper came to hand; it had been sent to me marked.

The marked passages read as follows:

"Father Noah, the Prussian lickspittle"--I recognized Funk by these very words--"has allowed a dove to desert from his ark.

"We cannot but regard the rumor that the father had urged his son to take this step, because of his own aversion to fighting against the beloved Prussians, as a malicious invention.

"We do not believe the party of these beggarly Prussians, or this weak-minded old gray-beard, endowed with the requisite firmness.

"But the noble Caffre's pride in his virtue must have received a fearful blow."

I must admit that this low personal attack gave me much pain. I was, however, more grieved to think that party hatred could induce men to indulge in such abuse.

Joseph remarked, "One should indeed always have an enemy, in order to find out what criticism and explanation our deeds may be subjected to."

Joseph was a burgomaster. The game-keeper came to report to him.

My very heart trembled with fear, and I felt ashamed of myself in the presence of the game-keeper.

He had the description and order of arrest for my son in his pocket.

One does not find how far and how deep honor has spread its roots, until it is lost.

Unrest, the most hateful demon in the world, had been conjured up in our house.

Now that our pride was broken, we at last noticed how proud we had been.

One day, when walking through the village, I met the perjured baker, Lerz of Hollerberg. He extended his hand to me in a friendly manner. Did he regard me as one of his equals? I withdrew my hand.

He shrugged his shoulders contemptuously and went on his way.

The first neighbor who visited me was Baron Arven, who lives about a mile and a half from our house.

I believe I have not yet referred to this man. His dignified and quiet demeanor betokened a really brave and noble character. He was just what he seemed to be--free from all pretence or deceit.

I must add a few words in regard to his family. Following the bent of most of the dwellers in our part of the country, he had gone down the Danube and had entered the Austrian army. He afterward left the service and returned to the family estate, bringing with him a wife who was a native of Bohemia, and who held but little intercourse with the neighborhood. Her only familiar companions were the clergy.

The Bishop had stopped there on two occasions while making his pastoral journeys.

She led a life of seclusion in the castle, or rather the convent; for the estate on which they lived had, at one time, belonged to a religious order.

The Baron had two sons, splendid fellows, who were serving in the cavalry. He is a member of our upper chamber. He is a man of but few words, but always votes with the moderate liberals.

He has no respect for the people; their coarse morals and manners are repugnant to him. He does not deny that mankind in general have equal rights; but, as individuals, he would only accord them such consideration as their education, their means, or their social position would entitle them to. In this respect he is a thorough aristocrat.

The farmers speak of him with love and veneration, although he is never friendly towards them. He is very active as the President of our Agricultural Association. He has the finest cattle and the best machines, and his special hobby is to stock the many woodland streams and lakes of our vicinity with fish.

He is passionately fond of the chase and of fishing, and possesses the art of getting through with his day in the most approved and knightly manner. Rautenkron acts as his forest-keeper.

That very day, the Baron came riding along, followed by his two fine, large dogs. He alighted at Joseph's house and saluted Annette, with whom he had become acquainted at the capital, for he spent several months there with his family every winter. The family of Von Arven owned an old mansion in the city.

He came up to me, offered me his hand in silence, and seated himself.

I could not help thinking of some words from the Book of Job, that had always so deeply affected me: "And none spake a word unto him, for they saw that his grief was very great."

"My dear neighbor," he at last said, "I see that you, too, have been highly assessed in the impost of misfortune that every one of us must pay. I shall spare you any words of attempted consolation, and only add that there are thousands who would like to do just as your son has done."

And then, in his calm and collected tone, he spoke of this horrid war, in which Germans were fighting against each other. Napoleon's darling hope was that Austria and Prussia might mutually weaken each other, so that he might be the master and the arbiter of peace, and could then dictate his own terms. Arven had at one time been an Austrian officer, and was naturally not partial to Prussia. He had an inborn aversion to Northern harshness; but with his knowledge of the organization of the Austrian armies, he felt free to say that Prussia would be victorious. Although both of his sons were in our army, he said this with great calmness.

The Baron's presence exerted a gentle, soothing influence on our household. When I told my wife that he had expressed a wish to speak with her, she came into the room; and when the two were conversing with each other, it was like a beautiful song of mourning.

The Baron's presence always produced a subdued tone, an atmosphere of quiet refinement--an influence like a subtile, pleasing perfume lingered in the room long after he had taken his departure.

And now, when he was conversing with my wife, she gave utterance to thoughts that otherwise we might never have become acquainted with. When conversing with strangers, she revealed far more of her pure and elevated views of the world than when she was with us alone.

Shortly after the Baron's departure, we were visited by Counsellor Reckingen, who came over from the city to see us. He usually lived in strict seclusion from the world. While sailing on Lake Constance, he had lost his young wife. He had plunged in after her, and had succeeded in reaching the bank with her, only to find that life had fled. Since that time, he had lived in solitude, devoting himself to the education of the little daughter who was left to him.

Under these circumstances, I could not but appreciate his kindness in paying me this visit.

He seemed to have become quite unused to conversation. He said but little, and soon went out into the garden in front of our house, in order to plant some rose-slips that he had brought with him.

I was greatly gratified by the visit of a deputation of my constituents. It consisted of three esteemed farmer-burgomasters of the neighborhood. They made no allusion to the grief which had befallen me; our conversation referred only to the war; and when Martella brought in wine, they looked at the child with curious eyes.


Ought we to bear the blame of our son Ernst's having wandered from the right path?

By our example and precept we have guided our children in the path of virtue, but who can control their souls? I have caused many a fallow soil to bear fruit, and up on the bleak hills have raised sturdy trees. Nature's law is unchanging; but if not even a tree can mature without harm coming to it, how much less can a human soul be expected to do so. We have lived to see naught but what is good and proper in our son Richard. His development is so natural and consistent. In his earliest youth, he decided to devote himself to science. He has steadily advanced, swerving neither to the right nor the left, and has always been full of the conscious power of the clear and temperate mind that grasps the laws underlying the phenomena presented by the world of thought and of action.

We can neither take credit to ourselves, in the one instance, nor acknowledge that we were in fault in the other.

My wife had been true to herself, and yet full of resignation in the first shock of this bitter grief; but now there came an insurmountable desire to quarrel with her lot, and the puzzling question, "Why should this happen just to us?" was again awakened.

I dislike to admit it, but truth forces me to say that this was brought about by the arrival of my daughter Johanna.

Johanna also had her troubles. Her husband was sickly, her son was in the army, and she seemed chosen for suffering; but chosen by reason of a higher faith. With inconsiderate zeal, she attempted to awaken the same faith in us. At that very moment, she thought, when we were crushed and bowed down by sorrow, our redemption should take place. She assigned the impiety of our household as the cause of our son's disobedience.

The education which my wife had received from her father was, as some would call it, a heathen one; for she had received more instruction from the classics than from the Bible.

We were seated in our statue gallery. The door that led to the garden was open; my wife had been eagerly reading from a book, which she now laid aside with the remark, "That does one good."

"What were you reading?" inquired Johanna.

My wife made no answer, and Johanna repeated her question, when she said, "I have been reading the Antigone of Sophocles, and I find that I am right."

"In what respect?"

"It has renewed my recollection of an idea of my father's. When I was reading the Antigone aloud to him for the first time, he said, If a woman acted in this way, she would be doing right; but a brother should not have done so. With a sister, or with a mother, the natural law of love of kindred is above that of the state, which would have treated the brother as a traitor to his country. And in this lies the deeply tragic element--that innocence and guilt are so closely interwoven, and that two considerations are battling with each other. You men may pass judgment on Ernst; you require unconditional submission to the lawful authorities. You are right, because you are men of the law. But, with Antigone, I rest myself upon that higher law which is far above all laws that states may frame!

"'It lives neither for to-day nor for yesterday, but for all time,

And none can know since when.'

"This book is to me a sacred one."

"Mother!" cried Johanna, with a voice trembling with emotion, "mother, how can you say that, while I here have the only sacred book in my hand?"

"In its own sense, that, too, is sacred; but it teaches me nothing of the deep struggles between the human heart and the laws of the state."

"Mother," cried Johanna, kneeling before her; "here is the Bible. I implore you to give up those profane books; they cannot help you. Listen to the Word of God!"

"To me he speaks through these books," answered my wife.

"Mother, we are mourning for the lost son."

"Our son is not lost; he is a sad sacrifice."

Richard entered. Mother said to him, "Read me the story from the Gospel."

"What do you refer to?" inquired Richard.

"Mother means the Parable of the Prodigal Son," interrupted Johanna; and holding the Bible on high, she continued: "Here it is: Gospel of St. Luke, fifteenth chapter, eleventh verse."

"Not you, but Richard, shall read it."

"But, mother--"

"Richard, I wish you to read it."

He had just taken the book, when Annette entered. She asked whether she was disturbing them.

My wife said that she was not, and requested her to sit down at her side.

In a calm and full voice Richard read:

"'And he said, A certain man had two sons:

"'And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

"'And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

"'And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

"'And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

"'And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.

"'And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

"'I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee.

"'And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

"'And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

"'And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

"'But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

"'And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

"'For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

"'Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.

"'And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

"'And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.

"'And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out and entreated him.

"'And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandments; and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.

"'But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

"'And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

"'It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.'"

When Richard had finished, he placed his hand on the open book and said, "This story has much dramatic interest. The father, the two sons, the servant, are clearly and strikingly drawn; and with correct judgment; the mother is not mentioned, for here it would not do to have double notes--a variation of emotion on the part of the father and one on the part of the mother. I might, indeed, say that a mother would have dwelt on the appearance her son presented on his return; while here it is left unnoticed. Further--"

"What do you mean? You are not among your students," angrily interrupted Johanna.

"You are right," continued Richard, with a quiet smile; "my students are polite enough to permit me to finish a sentence without interrupting me. I will also state, first of all, that this ingenious parable makes no mention of the sister. I do not know what a sister would have said in that affair."

Johanna jumped from her seat in anger; her features seemed distorted with passion. She opened her mouth to answer him, but could not utter a word.

"Shall I go on, mother?" asked Richard.

"Of course; speak on."

"In the first place, the pure spirit which here reveals itself is as fully acknowledged by us as by the pious believers.

"To me the all-important point is, that it illustrates a view of the relation between parents and children, which is completely the reverse of that fostered by the ancient civilization, in which the children suffer for the sins of their parents. Just think of the curse of the Atrides. In our days, it is quite different, and the fate of the parents--their happiness as well as their sorrow--depends upon the conduct of their children.

"The individual to whom such affliction comes is subject to the great and universal law of the newer life."

"Is there anything else you would like to say?" inquired Johanna, in an angry voice. She had some time before that snatched the Bible out of Richard's hands, and had been reading in it ever since, as if she thought that the best way to counteract the influence of the heresies he had been uttering. With all that, she seemed to hear every word that was said.

"I certainly have, if you will permit me. To me this story seems a repetition, in a new shape, of a subject already treated in the same book. The story of Joseph in Egypt is a family history that borders on the region of fable, narrated without any regard to the moral that underlies it, and yet representing to us the reward of innocence. This story which tells of a son who had been a real sinner, and for that reason was not permitted to return as a viceroy amid joy and splendor, but in the garb of a beggar, has another lesson for us. Viewed from the stand-point of the Old or New Testament, or even by our own feelings, it tells the story of redemption. Yes, every human being who falls into sinful ways, shall be obliged to eat the husks;.... but he is not lost. When through self-knowledge his soul has been humbled in the dust, He who never fails will lift him up again, for it is far easier to avoid sin than, before God and one's own soul, to confess having sinned."

After a pause of a few moments, Richard continued: "There is an excellent painting of the Prodigal's Return. It is by Führich. The artist has chosen the moment when the father is embracing his long-lost son, now kneeling at his feet; the son, however, dares not venture to embrace his father; bent down towards the earth, he folds his hands upon his breast in humble, silent gratitude."

Johanna seemed to think that she might as well abandon all attempts to change our views of religious matters. She arose from her seat and, pressing the Bible to her bosom, left the room without uttering another word.

"Come into the garden with me," said my wife to Richard. I was left alone with Annette. Great tears were rolling down her cheeks. After a little while she said that now she was at last really converted, but not in the way that the church would wish her to be. She could at last understand that the best consolation and the most elevating reflection, in time of sorrow, is to consider individual suffering a part of a great whole, and as a phase of the soul-experience of advancing humanity.

She regretted that Bertha had not been with us. She felt sure, also, that her husband would have been a delighted listener. He had always felt attracted to Richard, although he had never become intimate with him.

She hurried home in order, as I fancy, to write out for her husband's benefit her impressions of what she had just heard.

Johanna left us that very day. She said that she now felt as a stranger in our home, and consoled herself with the thought that she could feel at home in the house of a Father whom we, alas! did not know.

We were neither anxious nor able to prevent her departure. And why should I not confess it?--we felt more at our ease without her.


As far as she could, Bertha led a self-contained and secluded life. She frankly admitted that she was not in the mood to worry about her lost brother; her heart was filled with thoughts of her husband, the father of her children.

When haymaking began on the mountain meadows, Bertha would go out and assist in scattering the newly mown grass. She hoped that physical exercise would enable her again to enjoy the refreshing sleep of her childhood, and was quite happy when, in the morning, she found herself able to tell us that she had passed a night in dreamless sleep.

Annette suffered greatly from the heat. Bertha, however, said that it was best to expose one's self to the sun, because the heat would then be less oppressive. She was quite delighted to see how the sun browned her own children.

Annette again introduced the subject of the parable of the Prodigal Son, when Richard, with an ironical smile, replied, "I am glad to see that you can dwell on a subject and again return to it; and I shall only add, that in the Old Testament the history of a nation is conceived in a popular manner, while the New Testament is a history in which one exalted and idealized man serves as the sole and central figure. The real life of the family, the relations of parents and kindred, is not emphasized in the latter. Life, there, is isolated, and looks only towards heaven.

"In the Old Testament, the life of the family is in constant action, and superfluous figures which serve no moral in themselves are also introduced.

"To express myself symbolically, I should say Moses has a brother and a sister who are also important figures. Jesus, on the other hand, stands alone against the golden background, and no relationship of His is mentioned except that to His mother, which was afterward poetically invested with a higher significance."

"Accept my thanks; I believe I understand you. If one were able always to regard individual suffering as merely part of the world's development, one would be saved from all pain," said Annette.

Richard's look was one of surprise, almost of anger, at these words.

When we were together, most of his attentions were for the daughter of the kreis-director. Her calm and gentle manner seemed to him the very opposite of Annette's; and it may have been his desire to let Annette see that cultivated womanhood consists of something more than incessantly propounding questions, or in keeping a man in a constant trot to prove his gallantry by providing for the intellectual requirements of the ladies.

"I greatly fear," said Richard to my wife, "that Annette is one of that class of beings with whom everything resolves itself into talk, and of whom one might well say that what to us is a church, is to them a concert." And he went on to complain that, in the strict sense of the word, Annette did not have a nice ear; that where she thought she fully understood one's meaning, she usually misconceived it. When he had finished, my wife answered with a quiet smile:

"Be careful: the professor is again showing himself in you. It seems to me that the professor finds it annoying to have listeners who are not all attention."

Richard was a severe judge of his own motives and actions, and frankly confessed that he deserved the reproach. Nevertheless ne could not accustom himself to Annette's presence.

He had much knowledge of men, and constantly lived in a certain equable atmosphere of his own; and the impulsive, changeable traits of Annette were therefore repugnant to him.

She, too, felt the antagonism, and one day said to him, quite roguishly, "The forester is the type of many men. I had always thought that he found it refreshing to breathe the pure air of the woods; but I find that he is constantly smoking his vile tobacco."

The petty war between Richard and Annette enabled us, for many an hour, to forget the greater war that was raging out of doors. Annette was quite anxious in her care for my wife, and could never fully gratify her desire to be with her always.

Although Richard attempted to conceal it, it was quite evident that he had a decided aversion to Annette.

He would sometimes spend whole days with Rautenkron the forester, and was more frequent in his visits to Baron Arven than he had formerly been.

But in the evenings, when we were all together, Annette seemed to possess the art of drawing him out in spite of himself.

And thus we led a simple and yet intellectual life, while, without doors, armies speaking the same language were arrayed against each other with deadly intent.


"Pincher is here again; he could not find him," said Martella one morning. Her dog had returned during the night.

At noon, Joseph returned from Alsace. He had not succeeded in finding Ernst, who had remained at my sister's house but one day, and had seemed excited and troubled while there.

He had understood that Ernst had met some one at the railway station, as if by appointment.

Joseph, who was always so cool and collected, seemed remarkably nervous and excited.

I thought that he had perhaps seen Ernst after all, and was not telling us all that he knew; but he assured me, in a somewhat confused manner, that he had concealed nothing. He told me that he was out of sorts, simply because of the triumphant and malicious airs that the Alsatians had displayed. Business friends of his, among whom there was a deputy who seemed to be well posted, insisted upon it as a fact that the Prussian statesman had offered the French Emperor a considerable portion, if not all, of the left bank of the Rhine, on condition that the Emperor would not prevent him from using his own pleasure towards Germany, if conquered.

The left bank of the Rhine! How often I, too, while in Alsace had heard it said that France must take possession of this left bank, as a matter of course; for the Frenchmen thought themselves the lords of creation, with whom it was only necessary to express a wish in order to have it gratified.

Would I yet live to see the ruin of my Fatherland? At that very moment, Germans were battling against Germans, in order that the aims of France might be served.

I asked Joseph and Richard whether they could conceive of such a thing as a German selling and betraying his Fatherland.

We had no assurance of this, and thought it best to encourage each other's faith in humanity.

The failure of Joseph's mission had only served to arouse my own deep sorrow anew.

My son lost! When night came, I could not make up my mind to retire. For a long while, I sat gazing at the starry heavens, and the dark forest-covered mountains. Where is he now? Can it be possible that he is not thinking of us? He is in danger, and may work his own ruin. How gladly would I fly to his help, if I only knew how!

At last one goes to his couch, thinking: "To-morrow something definite must be done." But the morning comes, and the deed is left undone. Thou hast waited this long, and shalt wait still longer. And thus the days pass by, while naught is accomplished. When I lay awake at nights, thinking of my son, I felt as if with him; and when, by chance, other thoughts arose in my mind, the one great grief would thrust them aside. It seemed as if my soul had for a time left the body and had now returned to it again.

The fear of sleeplessness is almost worse than the reality; but one falls asleep at last without knowing how, and so it shall some day be with our final sleep.

And, often, when the tired body had fallen asleep, the troubled soul would awaken it again.

At these moments I would say to myself, "Life is a solemn charge." It went hard with me to renounce perfect happiness.

One morning, when I was just about to go out into the fields, Martella came running towards me. She was almost out of breath, and told me that the captain's wife was over in the garden of the school-master's wife, and had fainted. She had received a letter with bad news. Her husband had been shot in the forehead, and was dead.

My wife hurried on ahead of me, and stepped as quickly as in the days of her youth.

When I reached the garden gate, Annette was already sitting on a bench. She had her arms around Gustava's neck, and had buried her face in my wife's bosom.

She raised her head and said, "The flowers still bloom." Then she covered her face with her hands, and sobbed bitterly.

My wife placed her hand on Annette's head, and said, "Weep on. You have a right to lament. Let them not dare come and say, 'Conquer your pain, for hundreds suffer just as you do.' Were there thousands to suffer this same grief, every one must suffer it for himself, and through life carry a wounded heart. You are very, very unhappy. You were life and joy itself: you must now know what it is to be sad. It is a hard lesson, and although I bear my burden, that will not lighten yours. That you must bear for yourself, as none besides you can."

Annette raised her head, and when she saw me, extended her hand, saying at the same time:

"You knew him well; but no one knew him as I did. He was a hero, with a soul as pure as a child's. Can it be? Can it be possible that he lives no more? Can a mere bullet put in end to so much beauty, so much happiness? Surely it cannot be! Why should it have been he? Why should this stroke fall on me? Forgive me, Bertha, you were stronger and more determined than I. And how your husband will mourn him! Victor, do you know what has happened? Uncle Hugo is dead! And in the very hour of his death I may have been laughing. Alas, alas! Forgive me for making you all so sad. I cannot help myself."

We had not yet left the garden, when the kreis-director entered. He was accompanied by a tall gentleman who was a stranger to us.

"Max, you here!" exclaimed Annette. "While I was happy, you did not come to me, but now you do come. How kind!"

She threw her arms around his neck, and I then learned that he was her brother.

We retired, leaving them together.

I had known that Annette was an orphan. I now learned that her brother, who was a lawyer of renown, had given up all intercourse with his sister, because of her having embraced Christianity. He had wished her to remain true to the faith of her ancestors, and to contract only a civil marriage. For her husband's sake, however, she had embraced the Catholic religion. This was the first intimation I had of her being a Catholic.

A sudden shower forced us to withdraw into the house.

It is depressing to think that while we were absorbed by the deepest despair, a petty annoyance could cause us to flee. We entered the school-room.

"There it is!" exclaimed Annette, pointing to the blackboard; "there it stands!"

On the blackboard were the words, "War, Victory, Fatherland, Germany," as a writing-copy for the children.

"Children are taught to write it," said Annette, "but where is it? All life is a blackboard, and on it are written the words, 'Death, Grief, Tears.'"

The old spinner entered. She walked up to Annette, took her by the hand, and uttered a few words which none of us could understand.

Annette called upon us all to bear witness, that from that very hour she would give the spinner a considerable annuity in case her son should lose his life; but that, even if he were to return in safety, she would nevertheless make her a yearly allowance.

Her brother objected that at such a time it were wrong to make a vow. She could, from year to year, give the old woman as much as she thought proper; but that she ought not, at this moment, to make a promise which would be irrevocable, and for life.

We all looked at him with surprise.

He added that he, too would be happy to contribute a generous sum to the annuity.

Annette returned to her dwelling, in order to prepare for her departure. Her orders were, that her rooms should remain in the same condition as she left them, as it was her intention to return.

"Your master is dead," she said to the brown spaniel; "your eye tells me that you understand my words. You must remain here; I shall return again. He loved you, too; but rest quiet: we can neither of us die yet. You are well off--you can neither wish for death for yourself, nor seek it: you cannot think of these things. Yes, you are well off."

I can hardly find room to mention all the strange images that were called up by Annette's words. Her richly endowed and many-sided mind was in unwonted commotion.

The shower had passed away; the grass and the trees were radiant with the sunlight, and the lines of the opposite hills were clear and distinct.

Annette stood at her window gazing into the distance, while she uttered the words:

"While the earth decks itself with verdure and brings forth new life, it receives the dead. Let no one dare come to me again and say that he understands the world and life!

"Where is the professor?"

My wife was the only one who could quiet Annette, and she said, "If I could only go with you!"

"You will be with me in spirit, I am sure," replied Annette.

She extended her hand to my wife, saying, "I can assure you of this: I will so conduct myself, that you could at any moment say to me, 'This is right.'--I have been wild and wayward; I am so no longer; hereafter, I will be strong and gentle."

The carriage drove up and we accompanied Annette down the hill as far as the saw-mill.

There was a rainbow over our heads; it reached from our mountains to the Vosges.

Annette held a handkerchief to her eyes. My wife and Bertha were walking on either side of her.

The only time I heard her speak was when she said to Bertha:

"Your husband has lost his best comrade. The Major will live; there shall yet be some happy ones on earth. I shall write you from the camp."

Rothfuss was ploughing the potato field. He was walking with his back towards us.

Annette called to him. He came out into the road and inquired what was the matter.

"My husband is dead. I am going to bring him and lay him in the earth which you are now ploughing," said Annette in a firm voice.

Rothfuss extended his hand to her. He seemed unable to utter a word, and was excitedly swinging his cap about with his left hand.

At last, in a loud voice, and stopping after every word, he exclaimed:

"I would--rather--not--be--King--or Emperor--than have--that--rest--on me."

He returned to the field and continued his work.

When we reached the valley, Annette said, "I shall not say 'good by;' I shall need all my strength for the other sad affair."

She quickly stepped into the carriage; her brother, Rontheim, and the daughter of the latter following her.

The carriage rolled away.

On our way back to the house, my wife was several times obliged to sit down by the roadside. The sad events of this day had deeply affected her.

We were seated under an apple-tree, when my wife, taking me by the hand, said, "Yes, Henry, how full of blossoms that tree once was; but May-bugs and caterpillars and frost and hail have destroyed it. And thus it is with him, too."

She was not as demonstrative as I was; she could bear her sorrow silently; but the thought of Ernst did not leave her for a moment.

When we got back to the house she fell asleep in the armchair, and did not awaken until sunset, when Richard, whom we had not seen all day, returned.

He admitted that he had heard of Annette's bereavement, but had kept out in the woods to be out of the way, as he thought there were enough sympathizers without him, and that he could not have been of any service.

My wife looked at him with surprise.

Richard told us that during the rain-storm, which had been quite heavy in the woods, he had been with Rautenkron.

The gloomy man had spoken of Ernst with great interest, and had incidentally inquired in regard to Martella. He was quite enraged that he, who never read a newspaper and did not want to have anything to do with the world, was obliged to know of this war, as one of his assistants and a forest laborer had been conscripted. He felt quite convinced, too, that Prussia would be victorious.

For a long while there was no news from the seat of war, except reports of marching and countermarching.

After that, there came a letter from the Major, who lamented the death of the Captain, and wrote in terms of admiration of the noble and composed bearing of Annette.

Richard, who, during Annette's presence, had, as far as possible, affected solitude, was now again with us almost constantly.

He spoke quite harshly of Annette, and said that she was always expressing a desire for repose and a quiet life, while at the same time she was constantly disturbing every one. She would allow no one to live in his own thoughts; her only desire was, that the thoughts and feelings of others should be the reflection of her evanescent emotions.

He thought it likely, however, that she might emerge from the refining fire of a great grief, purer and firmer than she had ever been.

"I know now," said my wife to me one evening, "why Richard went out into the woods. It was well of him."

I did not understand it, and she, in order to tease me, refused to explain. She seemed quite pleased with her secret, and I was only too happy to see her smile once again.


"Thank God, they have beaten us!" were the words with which Joseph entered our house the next morning, carrying an extra paper in his hand. In those words was concentrated the whole misery of those days. "If Prussia would only march into the South German palaces! That is the only way to bring about a proper understanding."

This was the second idea that Joseph expressed.

An armistice was concluded. Bertha wished to return home at once. A letter from her husband was received, requesting her to remain at our house, and informing her that he would join her there immediately after the return of the troops.

He also informed us that he had received a letter from the widow of our Austrian cousin; her husband had lost his life at Königgratz.

We also received news from Annette. In a few short words she informed us of her wretched journey with the corpse of him who had been all her joy, and had been sacrificed to no purpose.

The postscript contained special greetings for Richard, both from her and from his friend, a medical professor, who had introduced himself to Annette as a friend of ours, and had been of great service to her.

Sad tidings threw the village into excitement.

Carl, who had been the favorite of the whole village, had fallen. It was both sad and gratifying to hear how every one praised him. Even the taciturn meadow farmer stopped me on my way to the spinner's cottage, and said, "He was a steady young fellow."

If I had replied by asking him to contribute a stated sum for the support of the destitute widow, he would have looked at me as if I were crazy, to think of making such a suggestion to him. According to his views of life, poor people were sent into the world to starve, and the rich in order that they might eat to their heart's content and fill their iron cooking-pots with gold.

The meadow farmer was accompanied by a peasant-prince from the valley on the other side of the mountains, where the succession falls to the minor, the youngest son inheriting the estate.

It was said that the only daughter of the meadow farmer had been determined on as the wife of this young peasant. He had inherited a considerable sum in securities, and now sought a wife. Love did not enter into the question; all that was required was to keep up the name and the honor of the peasant-court; and, while a noble life cannot result from such a union, it generally proves a respectable and contented marriage.

I remembered that there had been a rumor in the village that Marie, the daughter of the meadow farmer, loved Carl.

When I drew near to the house of the spinner, I saw Funk coming out, Lerz the baker following him. I think Funk must have seen me; otherwise there could have been no reason for his remarking to his companion in quite a loud voice, "What do you think of your beggarly Prussians now? This is their work--to kill the son of a poor widow. If he had been a prince, they would have gone into mourning, and for seven weeks would have eaten out of black bowls and with black spoons!"

It went hard with me to enter the widow's cottage, after hearing those words. The old woman, who had always been so quiet and contented, and who had never left her dwelling, unless it was to go earn her daily bread, was now quite urgent in her demands. She asked for money, so that she might go and witness the burial of her son, and know where they laid his body. She also wanted to go to the Prince, for whom her son had lost his life. She knew that she, a poor woman, had a better right to a good pension than the Captain's widow, who was a great lady.

When my wife came, the old woman said, "You are better off than I am. Your son still lives, but mine is dead. They told me that you once said your son was more than dead. But, tell me, what does it mean to be more than dead? Ah, you do not know. The Prussian sought out the best heart of them all. He knew what he was about. Of all the thousands who say 'mother,' there was no better child than my Carl. Your Ernst is also a good lad. They were born on the same day. Don't you remember? My husband was quite tipsy when he came home that evening. He was gloriously full, and so jolly! He must have known that he was soon to be the father of such a splendid boy.

"Oh, my poor Carl! You may hunt the land through, but you will never find so handsome a lad as my Carl. He did not get his good looks from me; but his father was just as good-looking as he--nay, almost more so.

"Ah, it will be a long while before you find so pretty a fellow as Carl--one who will sit down beside his mother of a Sunday afternoon and tell her merry jokes, so that her heart may be gladdened, although his own be sad.

"Yes, go and seek another such as he!

"Don't go away, Waldfried! There is no one left with whom I can talk. Or send Martella--to me she will do."

On our way home, my wife gently said, "His regiment was not once in battle."

This was the first intimation I had received of her careful reading of the newspapers. Ernst's regiment had not fired a single shot, and all our suffering had been to no purpose.

We sent Martella over to the spinner's cottage, where she remained all night.

On the following morning, Martella returned. She was quite joyful, and maintained that Ernst had been saved and would soon return to us.

She had arranged everything with the old spinner. The two of them would go to the Prince, and the spinner would say to him, "My son is dead! but give me the one who was born on the same day, and wipe out all that stands against him!" Or else the spinner would say, "My tears shall wash away all the charges that stand written against him on the slate."

It went hard to make Martella understand that this plan was nothing more than an idle dream.

The battle was over, and peace had been concluded.

Although Austria was separated from Germany, there was, as yet, no real Germany. While the high contracting parties were framing the chief clauses of their treaty, the Frenchman who was looking over their shoulders took the pen in his own hand and drew a black mark across the page, and called it "the line of the Main."

The Major came home, and the joy of Bertha and her children knew no bounds. The Major, however, seemed unable to shake off a deep fit of melancholy.

He was a strict disciplinarian. He never allowed himself to say aught against his superiors or their orders; but now, he could not keep down his indignation at the manner in which the war had been conducted. When a nation really goes to war it should be in greater earnest about its work.

There was much distrust, both as to the courage and the loyalty and firmness of the leaders. While the Major's feelings as a soldier had been outraged, there were many other thoughts which suggested themselves to him as a lover of his country, and in regard to which he maintained silence.

He told us that Annette had behaved with dignity and composure when she went to receive the body of her husband. But now it was evident that she had attempted too much; that she was unwell, and would be obliged until autumn to repair to the sea-side, where her mother-in-law would be with her.

When the Major remarked that he had heard it said that in this war even slight wounds might prove fatal, because every one was so filled with mortification, on account of this unholy strife, that the very idea itself would serve to aggravate even the slightest wound, my wife exclaimed, "Yes, it is indeed so. There are wounds which are made fatal by the thoughts of those who receive them."

We all felt that she was thinking of Ernst, and remained silent.

The Major did not mention Ernst's name, nor did he inquire whether we had heard from him.

He had heard of the death of Carl, and was just about to pay a visit to his mother, when Rothfuss came rushing into the room in breathless haste, and told us that Carl was down in the stable, and begged that we would go to his mother and gently break the news of his safe return to her.

We had Carl come up to us, and learned from him that he had been cut off from his companions during a reconnoissance, and taken prisoner, and had thus by mistake been entered in the list of the killed.

When he heard this, the Major inveighed furiously at the want of system that obtained everywhere.

I decided that I would go to his mother, and that Carl and the Major should follow me a little while later.

I went to the spinner's cottage. She sat at her spinning-wheel; and I could not help believing myself the witness of a miracle, for as soon as she saw me, the old woman called out, "Will he come soon?"

She then told me that she had awakened during the night--she was quite sure it was not a dream--and had heard the voice of her son saying quite distinctly, "Mother, I am not dead--I will soon be with you. I am coming--I am coming!" And she had heard his very footsteps.

"I went to the pastor's," she said, taking off one spindle and putting on a new one; "the pastor had given orders to have the church-bell tolled on account of Carl's death; but I will not allow it--my Carl is alive, and I do not want to hear the bells tolling for his death."

I told her that in time of war there was necessarily much confusion, and that I, too, believed that her son was still alive, and would return again. I was just about to say that I had already seen Carl, when he stepped out from behind the wood-pile, and called out, "Mother!"

The spinner remained seated, but threw her spindle to the far end of the room.

Carl fell on his knees before her and wept.

"You need not weep--I have done enough of it myself, already," said she. "But I knew it--you are a good child, and you would not be so cruel as to die before me. Get up and pick up my spindle. Have you eaten anything, Carl? You must be hungry."

When Carl told her that he did not wish for anything, she replied, "Indeed, I have nothing but cold boiled potatoes. Now, do tell me, how did it seem when you were dead? You surely thought of me at the last moment? Tell me, did you not last night at three o'clock, wherever you were, say to yourself, 'Mother, I am not dead: I shall soon be with you--I will come soon--I will come soon?"

Carl answered that he had really uttered those very words at the time mentioned.

"That is right," said the old woman.

She arose from her seat, took her son by the hand, and went on to say, "Now, come up into the village with me. Let us go with these gentlemen. Major, I thank you for the honor of your visit. I suppose I may go along with you?"

We returned homewards.

It was already known through the whole village, that the young man who had been lost and so sincerely deplored had returned. Friends poured forth from every doorway, while from the windows cries of "Welcome Carl!" were heard.

On our way we met Marie, carrying a bundle of clover on her head. She threw her bundle away and hurried towards Carl; but when she came up to him she suddenly stopped, as if frightened.

"Good-day, Marie. I am glad that you, too, have come to bid me welcome," said Carl.

He extended both his hands to her, and she took hold of them, but did not utter a word.

We walked on, and when I turned to look back, I saw Marie sitting on the bundle of clover, with her face buried in her hands.

Rothfuss was the jolliest in the party.

"Now one can see how untruthful the world is," he exclaimed. "Did not every one say how much he would give if only Carl were alive! He is here, now, and is alive again, and what do they give? Nothing. One ought not to do people the favor to die; anything in the world but death."

We reached the house. Carl's mother walked up to my wife and said, "Madame Waldfried, here he is--my son Carl. Just as he has come back to all that is good, so will Ernst surely return. They were born on the same day--do you remember? There was a great storm at the time; and the nurse came directly from your house to mine. And at that very moment the lightning struck the tree that stands behind my house and tore it to pieces; and then the nurse said, 'This boy will see something of war.'

"You did not believe in it, but it came to pass, nevertheless. Down in the valley there is a spring, and a mother's heart is like a spring, for it flows by day and night. Your Ernst--my Ernst--will return again."

No one dared reply, but with Ernst everything was different.

The old woman now begged that we would inform "the great lady," as she always called Annette, of Carl's return. The Major promised to do so; and when he and I were alone together, he mentioned Ernst's name for the first time, and informed me that the commander of his division had, in the presence of the entire corps of officers, expressed his great regret that his brother-in-law had deserted.

Ernst had brought pain and disgrace on us all; but there was still another trouble in store for us.

A letter reached us from Johanna, in which she informed us in short, hard sentences that her son Martin had died of the wound he had received; and that her husband, who had been an invalid for many months, could not long survive him. I told the Major of this, but kept the news from the rest of the family.

On the day before the Major left us, we had received a letter from Ludwig in America. He was delighted to know that the Diet had been dissolved, and thought that he now saw the dawning of a great era for our Fatherland. The Americans already spoke with great respect of Germany, and of the power of Prussia and its leaders.

There was a bitter tone in the remarks of the Major when he said, "Ah, yes; thus things seem to those who are far away, and get all their information from newspaper reports. If I only knew how I could turn my talents to use in the New World, I would ask for my discharge and emigrate to America."

This man, who had never known anything of discord or dissension, was now, like many others, torn by conflicting doubts.

The children had left; the house was quiet again, and winter approached.

Martella seemed filled with new life, and was glad that she could be alone with my wife again. When Annette wrote to us that she would spend the whole or a part of the winter in the village, Martella said, "That is well, too: she is so entertaining to mother."


The Diet was again convoked; and I can hardly describe how hard I found it to leave my home and resume the disagreeable and exhausting occupations that now devolved on me.

In company with Joseph, I drove into town, on my way to the capital, when Annette called to me from the warehouse of Edward Levi. Her mourning attire invested her with an air of majestic gloom; but her brilliant glance and her clear complexion prevented her black habit from looking too sombre. She must have noticed that I was pleased with this, for she said, "I am trying to recover my health, and avail myself of the two greatest remedies; I have just left the ocean, and shall now go into the woods. My mother-in-law has gone to Paris to join her daughter, who is the wife of our minister. She has an idea that one cannot exist, save in Paris. I shall come and see you; you and your wife can do me much good, and I may perhaps be of some use to you. I have never learned how to lead a life of repose. I shall now learn it; in your house I shall find the best school, and your wife will have patience with a sad, yet wayward pupil."

She bought an ingeniously constructed stove with all sorts of cooking utensils belonging to it, and presented it to Carl's mother. Besides this, she had bought all sorts of new furniture for herself, as she intended to spend the winter at the village. She was so glad to see Rothfuss again that she left her carriage and got into ours, so that he might tell her of all that had happened during her absence. Her driver had been instructed to take all her new purchases up to Joseph's house and deliver them to her maid.

I went on towards the capital, and Annette towards the village.

On the way, Joseph told me that he had done very well by the war. The South Germans, he told me, had been such violent partisans of Austria because the greater portion of the proprietors in the neighborhood had invested their money in Austrian securities.

Annette's brother had, however, in good season, called his attention to the fact that a great change was taking place in financial affairs. America had already successfully passed through a great war, and the current of capital was now tending in the direction of the United States, where its investment was both safe and profitable.

Joseph's object in visiting the city was to dispose of his American bonds, which were then commanding a very high price.

It has always been, and will ever remain, a marvel to me how Joseph, with all his real interest in public life, could at the same time manage to reap a profit from the movements of capital.

I had the good fortune to travel in company with Baron Arven, who was a member of the Upper Chamber, and was also on his way to the capital. He seemed greatly depressed, and admitted that the realization of hopes one could not help entertaining sometimes produced new and unforeseen griefs.

Thus it had been, he said, with the separation of Austria from the rest of Germany. It had long been recognized as necessary to the proper development of our own political life, and as an advantage to Austria; and yet, when it was brought about, it seemed more like a death that one had felt it his duty to wish for.

From many hints that he threw out, I could not but feel assured that the painful political dissensions had been deeply felt by the Arvens, who were connected with the empire through so many family ties.

The Baron invited me to take up my quarters, while in the capital, in his mansion, as his wife did not intend going there during that winter. I declined with thanks, as I had promised Annette to make use of the vacant dwelling that belonged to her.


The deputies were all in a state of great excitement. There is no greater test of accord among a body of men than a sudden calamity. Just as, with an individual, a lazy resignation will, in times of doubt and indecision, alternate with vehement energy, and self-distrust succeed overconfidence, so did it happen with this large assembly. All felt that a bold operation was necessary, but who was to be the surgeon, and whence was he to come. It was necessary to wait for the hour of danger, and even then there was great reason to fear that when the treatment had been decided on, our cousin on the other side of the Rhine, who had been praised as the great saviour, might interpose his objections.

In a secret session, we were informed of the stipulations that had been determined on by the North German Confederation in regard to a union of German forces, in case of coming danger. We were sworn to secrecy, for all were afraid of our neighbor in the west.

My son-in-law, the Major, left on a long furlough. I have never yet been able to discover whether he passed his time in Paris or in Berlin.

The work and the angry debates in Parliament taxed our patience and endurance to the utmost.

When I returned to my home, I was frightened by my wife's appearance; her face showed the traces of great suffering. Although I took all pains to prevent her from seeing that I noticed it, she discovered my concern, and assured me that she was feeling quite well, but was sometimes weak; and that all would be right again in the summer, when she would accompany Annette to the springs. She was so active and cheerful that I silenced my fears. She had already learned of the death of our grandson Martin, and spoke of it with calmness.

She informed me of Martella's kind and considerate behavior. Rothfuss had been sick again, and even now was only able, with great exertion, to drag himself about the house. Martella took charge of all his duties, and, what with this and her instructions from mother and Annette, was kept quite busy; but she was never so happy and cheerful as when full of work.

My wife took great pleasure in explaining to me what strange counterparts Annette and Martella were.

Annette was endeavoring to free herself from the effects of overwrought culture and to get back to simplicity. Martella, who had become conscious of her own simplicity, was vexed thereat, and with iron industry sought to acquire the rudiments of an education. Annette had always lived out of herself; Martella had always lived within herself. Annette had always tried to subject everything to critical analysis: Martella was merely artless impressibility.

It was certainly a strange pair that my wife was teaching to keep step with each other.

With great self-control Annette had accustomed herself to the quiet winter life of the village. She often said that she would leave in a few days. She seemed determined not to commit herself by any promise, in order that she might from day to day make new resolutions. When I told her that she was thus making both herself and us uncomfortable, she promised to remain until I should advise her to leave. She admitted that it was pleasant to her to be guided by another's will. She spun assiduously, and, like a diligent child, showed me the result of her labor.

The old spinner maintained that Annette was learning all the secrets of her art. In spite of this, she was at times unable to control her restless spirits. She had the snow cleared away from the pond, and went skating on the ice, while half of the village stood around looking at her. My sons had sometimes skated on this pond; but it was quite a different sight to see the tall, handsome lady, with the black feather in her hat and the closely fitting pelisse trimmed with fur. She ordered a pair of skates for Martella, but could never induce the child to try them.

Annette left us occasionally in order to spend a few days with Baroness Arven. On her return it would always seem as if a wondrous change had come over her.

One day she came back in great excitement and exclaimed:

"Oh, if I could only have faith! I think I shall have to administer chloroform to my soul."

We could make no reply to this, and she soon again adapted herself to the quiet tenor of our life.

I was obliged to introduce a change that gave me almost as much trouble as my opponents in the House of Delegates had done. It was necessary to engage some one to replace or assist Rothfuss. I could do nothing without his consent; several whom I had proposed he had rejected, and when I at last obtained Joseph's consent to engage Carl, Rothfuss was scarcely pleased, although he interposed no objections.

Rothfuss always insisted that Carl, while a soldier, had behaved in the same way as the girl who said, "Catch me: I'll hold still."

He had allowed himself to be caught. If Ernst had only been smart enough to do likewise!

For the sake of his affection for Ernst, Carl submitted to this unjust reproach. He was indeed a brave and daring soldier, and felt provoked that during the whole war there had been nothing but marching hither and thither, back and forth, without once meeting the foe.

Rothfuss and Martella had much to say to each other about Ernst, to whom Martella clung with unshaken confidence.

Whenever the letter-carrier came, she was all anxious expectation, but had enough self-control to conceal her feelings for my wife's sake.

My wife never mentioned Ernst's name, but ever since the day on which news had come from him, her sleep had been restless.

When I returned from the session she said to me, "I am sure you have no news that you are concealing from me?"

I could truthfully assure her that I had none, and after that she seemed as tranquil as if she had been speaking of an indifferent subject. And yet this grief preyed on her incessantly.

Annette received many letters; and, as she could have nothing to do with any one without feeling a personal interest in him, she would always have something to eat and drink ready for the country letter-carrier. She soon knew all about the toil and trouble inseparable from his work, and also inquired in regard to his family circumstances, and assisted him as well as she could.

She ordered a sheep-skin coat for him, but he was obliged to decline it, because in his walks over hill and dale the weight of it would have been insupportable. She presented the skin to a poor old man; and, indeed, tried to do good to every one in the village and neighborhood. The oldest house in the neighborhood is yet standing down in the valley. It is built of logs, and is known as the hut. The smoke fills the whole house and forces its way out through the crevices.

Annette found this smoky atmosphere particularly grateful. She often went down to the hut, and the people would come from the houses near by and listen to her stories and her strange jokes. She was always in good spirits on her return.

Annette had once encountered Rautenkron. She attempted to engage him in conversation, but he rudely turned on his heel; and when she was telling us of the manhater, my wife made a remark which I shall never forget:

"This man must have come from a respected and well-to-do family, for the child of poor parents can never become a misanthrope."

Although Annette kindly cared for the poor and did not permit herself to be repelled by any rudeness or vulgarity on their part, she was both severe and void of pity with the faults of those who were in better circumstances.

Rimminger, who had taken his discharge and had married the only daughter of the rich owner of the saw-mill, endeavored, as an old comrade of her deceased husband, to bring about friendly relations between Annette and his household. She kept him at a distance, however, and expressed herself quite forcibly on the subject. She maintained that the young wife always looked like an ennuied duchess, and was constantly trying to show that she had been educated in Paris.

My wife said that she disapproved of such personalities. Annette looked at her with surprise and then cast her eyes to the ground.

Our days were full of work, our evenings all leisure; and Annette called our attention to something that had never occurred to us. She found it very strange that there were no playing-cards in our house. She could not conceive how, living in the country, we could have overlooked this pastime. But we had never felt the want of it.

Annette had a rich, musical voice, and would often read aloud to us.

Joseph and his wife would come and listen, while Martella would spin so softly that one could not hear her wheel.

Rothfuss would sit on the bench near the stove, and would artfully prevent us from noticing when he fell asleep. When the reading was over, he was always wide-awake, and would insist on being permitted to light the way to Joseph's house for Annette.

In her letters to Richard, my wife described our pleasant genial life; and yet, for the first time, Richard did not visit us once during the whole winter. He regretted that he had an extensive work in hand which could not be laid aside, and believed that he was about to finish a novel and important contribution to his favorite science.

Annette had procured various fugitive articles of Richard's that had been published in scientific journals, and during the winter had read all of his books, as well as an essay of his on the "Origin of Language."

She once said: "I do not consider it vanity when a writer asks me, 'Have you read such and such work of mine?' How can he believe that one faithfully listens to his words if one does not care to become acquainted with the best that he has done--the fruit of the deepest labors of his calmer hours?

"I read the Professor's writings, and find much in them that I cannot understand; but he wrote them, and I read them for that reason, if for no other. And then again, I often chance on passages which are quite clear to me."

My wife looked at me with a significant glance, and for the first time it occurred to me that it might be possible that Richard was in love with Annette, and for that reason held himself aloof from her.

It was towards the end of February. There was grief among our nearest friends. Joseph's father died. On the day that he was buried, Annette received a letter informing her of the illness of her mother-in-law in Paris.

I, of course, advised her to depart at once; and thus we were again left to ourselves. We all felt the void that Annette's departure had made, but soon after new and heavy troubles fell upon us.


Days have passed in which I did not once take my pen in hand; I could not. Must I indeed write of this? What forces me to do so?

"Above all things, leave nothing unfinished that you have once begun," was a maxim of hers; and I must therefore tell of her death. When the fogs of autumn and the frosts of winter scatter the foliage of the trees, a branch may here and there be seen to which a few leaves are still clinging. Why should those alone have remained?

My memory has remained true to me; but of that grief which seemed to divide my life I have but little recollection. I constantly thought of the saying of Carl's mother, "You are a good child: you cannot be so cruel as to die before me." From the garret, I looked on while they were filling up her grave. The spade shone in the sunshine. No one knew that I was looking on. Shall I again renew the feelings that then passed through my soul? Let it be so.

My wife was ill. She uttered no complaint, but she was feeble, and took no interest in what was going on about her. During the day, she would sleep for hours; and at night, when she awoke, would seem surprised by the surrounding objects. During her sleeping hours, she may have dwelt in quite a different region; but she never alluded to it. The physician gave her but little medicine, and consoled us with the hope that the return of summer, and a visit to a watering-place, with cheerful companions, would help her.

Annette soon returned to us. She was followed by my daughter Johanna, who had, in the meanwhile, lost her husband, and was accompanied by her daughter Christiane. She took up her abode with us. Her only son was living as a vicar in the Unterland.

Assisted by Balbina, Johanna took charge of our entire household. When my wife told Martella that she had better submit to Johanna in all things, she replied, "I shall gladly do so; this was her home before it was mine; and I shall thus be better able to spend all of my time with mother." My wife indeed preferred to have this stranger-child about her; for Johanna could not help treating us in a patronizing, pitying manner, because we were not as pious as she would have us be.

Spring returned, and my wife's health seemed to improve. I was quite happy again. At that time, I did not understand what the prudent and sensible physician meant, when he told me that it would be better for me to moderate my joy.

All preparations for a journey to the springs had been made. Bertha had promised to join us there, and bring her daughter with her.

Suddenly the physician decided that it would be better if my wife would remain yet awhile among the surroundings she was accustomed to. He was a young and kind-hearted man, constantly endeavoring to improve himself by study; full of love for his calling, and beloved by all throughout the valley. His visits now became longer than they had been. He would, at times, acquaint me with the details of his own life, and tell me that, although he had lost his wife while quite young, he endeavored to console himself by the remembrance of the happy days he had passed in her society. I listened to his words without giving them further thought; but afterwards it became clear to me why he had spoken so impressively on the subject.

The days passed on. I gradually accustomed myself to the thought of my wife's illness; but when out in the fields, I would suddenly become alarmed, and imagine that something terrible must have taken place at the house. I would hurry home and find that all was going on as usual.

Back of my house, where the road makes a descent, the young teamsters would crack their whips quite loudly. I observed that this startled Gustava, and she overheard me telling Rothfuss to ask the young fellows not to make so great a noise.

"Do not interfere with them," said she. "A man who saunters along the road and has an instrument that is capable of making a noise, finds pleasure in using it. Do not stop him."

I had never, before that, seen Rothfuss in tears; but when he heard those words, he wept, and that evening he said to me, "The angels who look down from heaven to see what we human beings on earth are doing, must be just as she is. She is no longer human--she will not stay with us. Pardon me: I am a stupid fellow to be talking this way. You know I am a simpleton, and do not understand such things. She is right, though; stupid people must always make a noise, be it with their mouths or with their whips."

He had, however, in the meanwhile persuaded the youths not to crack their whips.

My wife was determined that Annette and Bertha should go to the springs without her; and, as she would listen to no refusal, they were obliged to comply with her desire.

Several weeks had gone by, when, one evening, the physician told me that she could last but a few days longer. I cannot describe my feelings at that moment.

Joseph telegraphed for the children. They came.

Strangely enough, my wife was not surprised by their speedy return. She conversed with them as if they had not been away more than an hour.

The physician said that perhaps there might still be a chance to save my wife by injecting another's blood into her veins, and that, at all events, the attempt should be made. Johanna immediately declared her readiness, and though her offer was well meant, the manner in which it was made jarred on my feelings. She said that, as a daughter, she had the first right; but, if they did not want her blood her child must be willing.

The physician declared that neither her blood nor that of her child would serve the purpose.

The choice now lay between Martella and Annette, and when the physician decided in favor of Martella, her face brightened, and she exclaimed:

"Take my blood--every drop of it--all that I have."

Some of Martella's blood was injected into my wife's veins, and during the night, she gained in strength. But it was very sad to find that she had almost lost her hearing, and that the only medium of pleasure yet left her was the sense of sight.

Martha, the eldest daughter of the kreis-director, had painted a picture of the view from our balcony, looking towards the woods down by the stone wall, and now brought it to my wife, who was delighted with it. The only figure was a hunter coming out of the woods.

Martha told us that she could not draw figures, and that Annette had been kind enough to sketch the huntsman for her; and she kissed my wife's hands on hearing her say, "I think the hunter looks like our grandson, Julius."

It was on the 22d of July, when she said, "Have a little pine-tree brought for me, from my woods, and placed here beside my bed."

I sent Rothfuss out to the woods; he brought a little pine, placed it in a flower-pot, and I observed, while he was leaning over it, how his tears dropped upon the branches.

He turned around to me and said, "I hope that will not harm the little tree."

When I placed the tree at her bedside, she smiled and moved her left hand among its branches, but the hand soon fell down by her side.

What wonderful powers of memory lie in a mother's heart! She would tell us of a thousand and one little stories and sayings of Ernst, and of his bright, clever freaks, with as much detail as if they had happened but the moment before; but, strangely enough, she did all this without mentioning his name. She praised his flaxen hair, and moved her hand as if passing it through his locks.

"Do you not recollect how he once said, 'Mother, I cannot imagine how you could have been in the world without me: of course I have never been in the world without you'?"

She repeated the words, "without you--without me," perhaps a hundred times during the night: and she was almost constantly humming snatches of old songs.

In the morning, just as day was breaking, she turned around to me, and said with a smile, "This is his birthday." And that was her last smile. "This is Ernst's birthday."

And when the lost son returned, there was no mother to receive him.

Her silent thoughts had always been of him, but now they were deeper than ever.

She had lost her hearing. Suddenly she exclaimed in a loud voice, "God be praised; Richard will marry her after all!" and then--I cannot go on with the story--I must stop.

It was eleven o'clock (I do not know why I was always looking towards the clock that day) when she said, "Water from my spring."

Richard hurried to bring it.

What must his thoughts have been while on his way there and back!

He soon returned, bringing the water with him, but she seemed to have forgotten that she had asked for it. When Richard lifted her up in bed, and placed the glass to her lips, she motioned him away.

I heard a voice from without the house. A cold shudder came over me; my hair stood on end.

It is the voice of our son Ernst!

If Ernst were to come at this time! Could he have been drawn here by a presentiment of what is happening? And if he were here, what power could dare take him away from us, at this moment--and how will he enter his mother's presence?

I hurried out. It was Julius--his voice is just like Ernst's. He brought a letter that Edward Levi had handed to him. It was from Ernst, and was dated at Algiers.

I could not stop to read the letter. I could not remain away from the bedside--every moment was yet a drop of blood to me, and everything glimmered before my eyes. I hurried back to the sick-room; my wife looked at me with strangely bright eyes.

"There is a letter here from Ernst!" I called out.

I do not know whether she understood me, but she reached for the sheet that was in my hand, and held it with a convulsive grasp.

I lifted her head, and moved it towards the cooler side of the pillow; she opened her eyes, and tried to raise her arms; I bent towards her and she kissed me.

It was just striking the hour of noon, when she breathed her last.

I tottered to her room at last; it seemed to me as if I must still find her alive; and when I was in her chair, I could not realize that I was seated there, and that she lay so near me, while I could do nothing for her.

I do not know how it was, but I felt awed by the very silence of the place.

Martella said, "I have stopped the clock; it, too, shall stand still."

They had withdrawn the letter from her convulsively closed hand, and I read it. It has since disappeared--whither, I know not. I remember only this--that it contained news from Algiers, and that Ernst said in it that if Martella and Richard were fond of one another, he was quite ready to release her from any promise to him.

With the exception of Ernst and Ludwig, all of my children were present. Many friends, too, were there. I recollect that I grasped the hands of many of them; but what avails that? They all have their own life left them--I have none.

All arose to attend to the funeral. They set down the coffin in front of the house, and not far from the spring. They told me that my grandson, the vicar, delivered an impressive address in the name of the family. I heard nothing but the rushing of the water.

How I reached her grave, or who led me, I know not.

This alone do I know. I saw how Martella kissed the handful of earth that she threw into the empty grave, and when I returned homeward, the waters were still roaring in our fountain. It roars and roars.

I felt borne down as if by a load of lead. Tears were not vouchsafed me. I could not realize that my hands could move, my eyes see--in fact that I was still alive.

When I looked out again over the valley and towards the hills, it suddenly seemed as if my eyes had become covered with a film, and then all--the forest, the meadows, and the houses seemed of a blood-red color, as if steeped in the dark glow of evening.

I closed my eyes for a long while, and when I opened them again, I saw that the meadows and the woods were green, and everything had its natural color.

The water flows over the weir and bubbles and rushes and sparkles to-day, just as it did yesterday, and as it will tomorrow. How can it be possible that all continues to live on, and she not here. Do not tell me that nature can comfort us against real grief. Against a loss for aye she availeth nothing.

If, in your closet, you have grieved because of insult and falsehood and meanness, do but go out into the fields or woods. While gazing upon the bright and kindly face of nature, or inhaling the sweet perfume of the trees and flowers, you will soon learn to forget such troubles. How weak is all the world's wickedness, when compared with such undying grandeur? That which is best on earth is still yours, if these things but preserve their sway over you. But, if your wife has been torn away from you, neither tree, nor stream, nor the blue heavens, nor the flowers, nor the singing birds will help you. All nature lives a life of its own, and unto itself, and of what avail is it all, when she no longer shares it with me?

The first thing that recalled me to myself, was hearing the old spinner say to Carl, "Why am I yet here? She was so good and so useful, and I am nothing but a burden to you and to the world. Why must I stay behind? I would so gladly have gone in her stead."

The poor people were gathered all about the house, and one old woman cried out, through her tears, "The bread she gave us was doubly welcome, for it was given cheerfully."

I felt that my energies would never again arouse themselves. I cannot say that the thought alarmed me; I merely felt conscious that my mental powers were either failing or torpid. For days I could not collect my thoughts, and led a dull, listless, inanimate life. My children were about me, but their sympathy did not help me. Ernst's evil letter was the only thing that had any effect on me.

I could not realize that what had once been life, was now nothing more than a thought, a memory.

When I heard some one coming up the steps, I always thought it must be she returning and saying, "I could not stay away; I must return to you, you are so lonely. The children are good and kind, but we two cannot remain apart." And then I would start with affright, when I noticed how my thoughts had been wandering.

When I walked in the street, I felt as if I were but half of myself. As long as she was with me I had always felt myself rich, for my home contained her who was best of all.

No one can know what a wealth of soul had been mine; through her, and with her, I had felt myself moving in a higher spiritual sphere. But now I felt so broken, so bereft, as if my entire intellectual possessions had gone to naught. The children are yet here; but they are for themselves. My wife alone was here for me--was indeed my other self.

Before that, when I awakened of a morning it was always a pleasure to feel conscious of life itself; but now with every morrow I had to begin anew and try to learn how to reconcile myself to my loss. But that is a lesson I shall never learn. My sun had gone down; I did not care to live any longer, because all that I experienced seemed to come in between her and me, and I did not wish to live but in thoughts of her.

I looked at her lamp, her table, her work-basket--all these had survived her, are still here, and will remain. The one clock was never wound up afterward. From that day, there was but one clock heard in our room.

I can now understand why the ancients buried the working implements with their dead.

I looked out of the window. The neighbors' children were in the street; their noise grated on my ears. I could not but think how she once said to me, "Why should it annoy us? Is it anything more than the singing of the birds? The children are like so many innocent birds."

All things remind me of her. I could sit by the window for hours and look at the chickens running back and forth, picking up crumbs, and watching the strutting cock.

I must have been like a little child that, for the first time, begins to take notice of the objects that surround it.

I seemed as if awaking from darkness, as if dreaming with my eyes open. Everything seemed new and strangely mysterious to me, although I had nearly attained my seventieth year.

When, after many weeks, I again saw my face in the mirror, I was surprised at the saddened, sunken features of the old man. Could that be I!

I had gone to the neighboring village to order a gravestone. On my way home, night overtook me. Suddenly a storm burst upon the valley. Like a child, I counted the interval between the lightning and the thunder. At first I could count up to thirty-two, afterwards only to seven; and then I stopped counting. I saw the houses by the roadside, and knew who lived in them here and there, I might have found shelter, but what should I do in a strange house, wet to the skin as I was? I kept in the middle of the road, on the broken stone. When I came to where the little bridge was, I had to wade through the water.

I noticed that I was in the midst of the storm-cloud. How glorious it would have been to die at that moment--to be struck dead by lightning!

"But my children, my children!" I uttered the words in a loud voice, but the thunder drowned my cries.

The flashes of lightning succeeded each other so rapidly that they blinded me; I could see nothing more. I closed my eyes and held fast to a rock by the wayside. I had never heard such fearful roaring of the thunder, or seen such uninterrupted flashes of lightning. I stood still and concluded to wait there, while I thought of the many other beings who were also exposed to this storm; and at last, I could weep. I had not wept since her death, and now it did me good. The hail beat into my face, already wet with tears.

Suddenly Rothfuss appears and exclaims: "Martella sends me. Oh, God be praised! there is a good bed waiting for you at home."

Guided by Rothfuss, I reached the house. Although my family were greatly concerned as to the effect it might have, the shock that I had undergone had really benefited me. I slept until noon, and when I arose I felt as if breathing a new life.

I must stop here. I cannot go on. I was obliged to learn how to begin life anew. When one has buried his dearest love in the earth, the earth itself becomes a changed world, and one's step upon it a different one. I trust that I shall not be obliged hereafter to repeat my lamentations for my own life. The first tranquillizing influence I found was in the statue gallery, with its figures from another world, so silent, so unchanging. We can offer them nothing, and yet they give us so much: they are without life or color, but they represent life in its imperishable beauty.

Rothfuss offered me a strange solace. He said, "Master, there must be another woman somewhere in this world just as she was."


"I always thought that God only suffered the sun to shine because she was here, but I see that the sun still shines, and so there must be others like her."

Martella, however, could not realize that she was dead.

"It cannot be: it is not true: she is not dead. She is surely coming up the steps now. How is it possible that a being can remain away from those who love her so? I have one request to make. I wish you would give the pretty dresses to Madame Johanna and Fraulein Christiane; a few of the work-day clothes you can give to me, and the good woollen dress you can give to Carl's mother. Let no one else have any of her clothes. It would grieve me to the heart to know that a strange person was wearing anything that she had worn. Whoever wears a dress of hers can neither think an evil thought nor do an evil deed."

My son Ludwig wrote a letter, in which he lamented my wife's death with all the feeling of which a son is capable, and yet spoke of death as a wise man should. My daughter Johanna lost the letter. I think she must have destroyed it on account of the heresies it contained.

My consolation is that I have been found worthy of the perfect love of so pure a being; that, of itself, is worth all the troubles of life. Let what may come hereafter, what I have experienced cannot be taken from me.

I have had a tomb-stone placed at her grave. It has two tablets on one are the words:

Born December 15th, 1807,
Died July 23d, 1867."

On the other, my name shall one day be placed.



Life is indeed a sacred trust. I now began to feel that great and noble duties yet claimed me.

I had become dull and listless. I had taken life as it came, resigning my will to outer influences, just as one without appetite sits down to a meal, merely to gain nourishment.

I had become morbidly sensitive; every effort that was made to alleviate my sufferings and restore my accustomed spirits only served to pain me anew.

I was now experiencing the worst effect of grief--indifference to the world.

My path seemed to lie through dismal darkness; but at last I stepped out into the bright light of day and into the busy haunts of men.

The village street leads into the highway; the forest-brooks flow on until they reach the river that empties itself into the ocean.

Thus too has it been with my life.

Yielding to Joseph's earnest wishes, I had made a collection of specimens illustrating every stage in the cultivation and growth of the white pine. When the collection was complete, I sent it to the great Paris Exposition.

I received a medal of honor. I did not really deserve it; it should in justice have gone to Ernst, who had acquainted me with the results of his careful study of the subject.

I have the diploma, and the medal bearing the effigy of Napoleon. I looked at them but once, and then enclosed them under seal. They will be found in the little casket that contains my discharge from the fortress and other strange mementoes of the past.

Joseph asked me to accompany him to Paris, and would listen to no refusal. He wanted to acquaint himself with the new methods of kyanizing railroad ties, and insisted that he could not get along without my aid.

I had not yet escaped from that condition in which it is well to resign one's self to the guidance of others.

I saw Paris for the second time. My first visit was in 1832 or 1833, and was undertaken with the object of making the acquaintance of La Fayette. In those days we fondly believed that Paris was to save the world.

Compared with what I now saw, all that had been done in the Parliament that was held in the High street of our little capital seemed petty and trifling.

Though storms were gathering, Jupiter Napoleon sat enthroned over all Europe, and ruled the thunder and the lightning.

I saw him surrounded by all the European monarchs, and often asked myself whether the world's life is, after all, anything but mummery.

One day, while I was sitting on a bench in the Champs Elysées, and gazing at the lively, bustling throng that passed before me, I was approached by a Turco, who said to me:

"Are you not Herr Waldfried?"

My heart trembled with emotion.

Was it not Ernst's voice? Before I could collect my thoughts, the stranger had vanished in the great crowd that followed in the wake of the Emperor, who was just passing by.

I caught another glimpse of the man with the red fez and called out to him; but he had vanished.

Had I been awake or dreaming?

It could not have been Ernst. He would not have left me after thus addressing me. And if it were he after all! I felt sure that he would return; so I waited in the hope of again seeing the stranger. The people who passed me seemed like so many shadows, and I felt as if withdrawn from the world.

Night approached, and I was obliged to go to my lodgings. I told Joseph of all that had happened. He stoutly maintained that I must have been dreaming; but nevertheless went with me the next day to the Champs Elysées where, seated on a bench, we waited for hours without seeing any sign of the stranger.

On my journey homeward, I spent a whole week with my sister who lives in the forest of Hagenau. She can cheer me up better than any of my children can. Her excellent memory enabled her to remind me of many little incidents connected with our childhood and our parental home. In her house, I was, for the first time since my affliction, able to indulge in a hearty laugh.

In the eyes of my brother-in-law, the medal awarded me at the Exposition invested me with new importance; he never omitted to allude to this mark of distinction, when introducing me to his acquaintances. On the 15th of August, Napoleon's fête day, he actually wanted me to wear the medal on my coat. He could not understand why I would not carry it about with me constantly, so as to make a show of my medal of honor, notwithstanding the fact that the French consider their whole nation as the world's legion of honor. Every individual among them seems anxious to thrust himself forward at the expense of the rest.

My sister privately informed me that the young sergeant whom I met at her house was a suitor for the hand of her eldest daughter, and was only awaiting the satisfactory settlement of the proper dowry on his future wife. He was a young man of limited information, but was very polite and respectful towards me. He hoped to win his epaulets in an early war with Prussia, which had been so bold as to gain Sadowa and conclude a peace without paying France the tribute of a portion of her territory.

The young man evidently thought himself vastly my superior, and spoke of the future of the South German States in a patronizing and pitying tone. As I did not think it worth while to contradict him, he fondly thought that he was instructing me.

As a German, I found the Hagenau Forest of especial interest, from the fact that a part of it had been presented to the town of Hagenau by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

I gave my brother-in-law many councils in regard to arboriculture; but, as the new ideas entailed work, he declined making use of them. He was very proud of his epaulets which were displayed in a little frame that hung on the wall; but he was devoid of all love for the forest, and indifferent to anything that helped the State without at the same time contributing to his personal advancement.

I passed a delightful day with my brother-in-law the pastor.

I accompanied him to church, and was greatly moved to once again hear German preaching and German hymns. The organist was one of the most respected men of the neighborhood, and was the owner of a large forge.

I was introduced to him after the service. In the presence of others, he was quite reserved towards me; but during the afternoon, he visited the pastor, and, while we were seated in the arbor under the walnut-tree, we conversed freely in regard to the dangers that, in Alsace, menaced the last remnant of German institutions and the Evangelical Church.

"France was happiest under Louis Philippe," said the pastor; and when the manufacturer ventured to inveigh against the Emperor, he replied that Napoleon was not so bad a man after all, but that the Empress was spoiling everything; that she was a friend of the Pope, and was endeavoring, at one and the same time, to destroy Protestantism and increase luxury.

I returned home. Johanna superintended my household affairs, and also the farm, with great judgment.

During the whole winter I was in delicate health, and in the following year I was obliged to visit the springs of Tarasp. Richard accompanied me.

I was indeed unwell, for when I rode through the Prattigau and the wild waters of the Land-quart roared at the side of the road, it seemed to me as if the stream were a living monster that was climbing up and seeking to devour me.

When on Fluella, I plucked the first Alpine rose. I wept. There was no one left to whom I could carry the flower that bloomed by the wayside.

Richard regarded me for a long while in silence, and at last said, "Father, I know what it is that moves your soul. Let it content you that you did so much to make her life a lovely one."

On those heights, where no plant can live, where no bird sings, where nothing can be heard but the rushing of the snow currents, where the fragments of rocks lay bare and bleak, and eternal snows fill the ravines, I felt as if I were floating in eternity--released from all that belonged to earth--and I called out her name--"Gustava!"

Ah, if one could wait until death should overtake him in this cold, bleak region, where naught that has life can endure.

I went on, and met people who had pitched their dwellings in lofty spots, in order to shelter and entertain tourists. My heart seemed congealed; but I can yet remember where I was when it again thawed into life. Neither the lofty mountains nor the mighty landscape helped me. I sat by the roadside and saw a little bush growing from among the rubble-stones and bearing the blue flowers called snakeweed. And it was there that I became myself again.

But look! A bee comes flying towards the bush. She bends down into the open blossoms; she overlooks none of them, from the top to the bottom of the bush, but seems to find nothing, and flies off to another flower. On the next branch she sucks for a long while from every flower-cup.

A second bee, apparently a younger one, approaches. She, too, tries flower after flower, and does not know that some one has been there before her. At last, however, she seems to become aware of the fact, and skips two or three of the blossoms until she at last finds one that contains nourishment for her.

Here by the wayside, just as up above where human footsteps do not reach, there grows a flower that blooms for itself, and yet bears within it nourishment for another.

I do not know how long I may have been seated there, but when I arose I felt that life had returned to me, and that I was in full sympathy with all that was firmly rooted in the earth or freely moving upon its surface.

My soul had been closed to the world, but was now again open to the air and the sunshine of existence. From that moment, I felt the spell of the lofty peaks and lovely scenery, and, yielding to it, at last became absorbed in self-communion.

I was again living in unconstrained and cheerful intercourse with human beings; and indeed I could not, at times, refrain from showing some of the well-informed Swiss that I met how carelessly and sinfully their countrymen were treating the forests. They complained that the independence of the cantons and the unrestrained liberty of individuals rendered it useless to make any attempt to protect the forests.

I made the acquaintance of many worthy men, and that, after all, is always the greatest acquisition.

We met the widow of our cousin who had fallen at Königgratz. She was exceedingly gay, was surrounded by a train of admirers, and flaunted in elegant attire. She nodded to us formally and seemed to take no pride in her citizen relatives.

I must report another occurrence.

On the very last morning, Richard had succeeded in plucking a large bunch of edelweiss. He was coming down the mountain where the wagon was waiting for us. Just then another wagon arrived, and in it was Annette with her maid.

Richard offered the flowers to Annette.

"Were you thinking of me when you plucked them?" she asked.

"To be truthful, I was not."

"Thanks for the flowers--and for your honesty."

"I did not know, when plucking them, for whom they were; but I am glad to know that now they are yours."

"Thanks; you are always candid."

We continued our journey. On the way, Richard said, "Our cousin, the Baroness, is quite a new character; she ought to be called 'the watering-place widow.' She travels from one watering-place to another, wears mourning or half-mourning, is quite interesting, and always has a crowd buzzing around her. It were a great pity if Annette were to turn out in the same way."

I replied, "If she were to marry, which indeed, were greatly to be desired, she would no longer be 'the watering-place widow.'"

He made no answer, but bit off the end of a cigar which he had been holding in his hand for some time.

On our way home, we rested in the shadow of a rock on a high Alpine peak, and there I found a symbol of what was passing between Annette and Richard--a forget-me-not growing among nettles.


I reached home refreshed and invigorated. The china-asters that she had planted were blooming. Martella had decorated her grave with the loveliest flowers, and maintained that the wild bees affected that spot more than any other. Her memory gradually began to present itself to me as overgrown with flowers.

I went to attend the winter session of the Parliament, and Martella accompanied me. We lived with Annette--she would take no refusal, and we were both at ease in her beautiful house.

Annette always wanted to have Martella about her, but Martella had an unconquerable--I cannot say aversion, but, rather, dread of Annette; for Annette had an unpleasant habit of calling attention to every remark of Martella's, and had even quoted several of them in society.

Richard, who, as the representative of the University, had become a member of the Upper Chamber, seemed provoked; not on account of my having brought Martella with me, but because I had allowed myself to be induced to stay at Annette's house.

He hinted that Annette's marked hospitality was not caused by regard for me; and it really seemed as if she desired to see much of Richard at her house, although he had been cold and distant, and, at times, even scornful towards her. Nevertheless, he often visited us and allowed Annette to draw him into all sorts of discussions.

One evening when we three were alone,--Annette had been invited to the house of a friend,--Martella said:

"Richard, do you know what Madame Annette admires most in you?"


"Your fine teeth. She lets you use your good teeth to crack her hard nuts."

Richard jumped up from his seat embraced Martella, and kissed her.

Martella blushed crimson and called out, "Richard, you are so polite and yet so rude! Is that proper?"

But Richard was quite happy to know that Martella had guessed at what had so often displeased him.

Martella, who never wanted to leave me, one day suddenly expressed a wish to return home. Annette had on the previous evening taken her to the theatre, where a ballet had been produced in addition to the drama. A little child, representing a winged spirit, had descended from above, and Martella had called out in a loud voice, "That hurts!"

All eyes were turned to Annette's box, in which Martella sat with her eyes wide open and looking towards the stage as if oblivious of aught else.

Annette left the theatre with her. Martella could not be induced to utter a single word in explanation of her sudden fright. I was surprised to find how Annette bore this mishap, in which she herself had been subjected to the unkind glances of all the audience. "How strange," said she; "we are all, unconsciously, slaves of ceremony. There seems to be a tacit understanding that every member of a theatre audience or art-gathering must either remain silent or confine himself to one of two childish expressions--clapping the hands and hissing. And here this child is perfectly innocent, and I thank her for having solved another problem for me."

In the morning, Martella wanted to go home. We accompanied her to the depot, and I telegraphed to Rothfuss to meet her at the station.

My active labors for the Fatherland had restored me. In my solitary walks, my mind was now occupied by something besides constant thoughts of myself.

Spring was with us again, and the wondrous power that revives the human soul had its influence on me.

I was often invited to consultations in regard to matters affecting the common weal, and it seemed as if my little world was extending its area, when I made the acquaintance of many brave men, who lived in a neighboring district, and who kept alive their hopes for the future of our Fatherland.

During the summer holidays, Richard paid us a visit. He and Baron Arven had stocked the forest-streams with choice varieties of fish. In some instances they had not succeeded in getting a pure breed; there were pikes among their fish.

He was fortunate enough with several of the streams, but was greatly provoked to find that the farmers of the neighboring villages would not wait until the young brood had grown, and had already begun to catch the fish. He induced the authorities to threaten the farmers with a fine, but on the next day found the notice floating on the stream.

He appointed a forester as watchman, and spent the night in a log cabin hastily built near by. Once they were fortunate enough to catch the thief.

Richard and the forester brought the culprit before the authorities, and he was sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment. While we were seated at table, Richard expressed his satisfaction at the punishment which had been meted out to the offender. This made Martella as angry as I have ever seen her, and she became the more provoked when Richard quickly took down the mirror and held it up to her, saying:

"Here, look at yourself; you are prettiest when you are angry."

"It is nothing to you, how I look!" cried Martella. "Tell such things to your Madame Annette, but not to me."

The color left Richard's cheeks.

Annette had for several weeks been living in the neighborhood, with Baroness Arven, and Martella had hardly finished speaking, when we heard the clatter of horses' hoofs in front of the house. Annette and Baron Arven came riding up the road. The Baron congratulated Richard on having caught the first of the pirates, and Annette was in quite a merry mood.

The Baron also brought us a piece of news that he had just received from his brother, the forester-in-chief, to the effect that my grandson Julius had been appointed assistant forester, and that the next official gazette would announce the appointment.

We sent for Joseph. We were all very happy at the news, and Martella exclaimed, "That is the position Ernst wished for. But I congratulate Miss Martha with all my heart she will make a handsome young wife for the town forester."

We had always avoided alluding to this connection, but now that it had been openly mentioned, we made no concealment of our joy.


Richard and the Baron rode over to the Wild Lake which they had intended to stock. Annette accompanied them.

It was already night, but Richard had not returned; I was seated alone at the table, and waiting for him. It had always been his habit to tell us when he intended to remain out longer than the usual time.

Martella entered. Her cheeks were flushed, and she said, "Father, send me away--wherever it be. I cannot remain here. It shall not be my fault if any one is bad."

Trembling, and covering her face with her hands, she declared that Richard had told her that Ernst was unworthy of her, even if he were yet living, and that he would never return again. And after that he said--it was some time before she would tell what it was, and at last she exclaimed: "that he loves me with all his heart, and wanted to make me his wife! He! His brother! I would rather he should tie a stone about my neck, and throw me into the lake where his young fishes are! I could hardly believe at first, that he had said it, and answered him: 'That is a poor joke: just think of how your mother would feel if she knew that you would joke in this way!' and then he swore that mother had said Ernst was untrue to me, and had for that very reason gone out into the wide world. Can mother have said that? My eyes would start from their sockets, before Ernst would forsake me. But let me never see Richard again. Never! Let me go away. You can send me away, but Richard cannot cease to be your son. Nor can I cease to be your child, but I can go away."

It is impossible to find words for all that bubbled forth from Martella's soul. I pacified her, and she promised to remain until the next day.

I sat up alone to await Richard's return. He did not come until near midnight.

He wanted to bid me a short "good-night," but I detained him. He sat down and told me that the Baron and Annette had met Rautenkron down by the lake, and that he had ridiculed their undertaking. He had said, and rightly too: "Where there are no frogs, there is no stork; where there are no flies and worms, there are no birds or fishes. In what was called 'all-bountiful nature' one beast used the other for its blessed meal; and, besides that, the lake was entirely frozen over every winter, and had no outlet that was open through the whole year. If fishes were in it, they would become suffocated for want of air."

Rautenkron had displayed much knowledge in the matter, but he would not consent to assist them. He was delighted, moreover, that nature contained much that was egotistic and was of no use to mankind. Thus spoke Richard.

I was indignant. I could hardly conceive how Richard could talk about such subjects, and not make the slightest allusion to what had happened between him and Martella. I thought of Ernst's letter that I had received on the day of my wife's death. No one had seen it but I; for why should I have cared to spread the knowledge of Ernst's wickedness in offering his betrothed to another? Could it be that an open rupture with Annette had urged Richard to this unheard-of deed?

I endeavored to stifle my indignation, and said, "You talk of the Wild Lake--Wild Lake, indeed; you have an unfathomable one in yourself."

He looked at me with surprise.

"What do you mean, father?"

"How can you ask? You dare to touch that which should be holy in your eyes--the betrothed of your brother!"

"Father, did she tell you herself?" he said hesitatingly.

And I replied:

"What matters that? Until now, I had always thought that you were even a better man than I was at your age; do not undeceive me."

I said nothing more, and that was enough.

On the following morning, Richard announced that he was about to depart, and it cost me a great effort to induce Martella to permit him to take leave of her. At last she came, on condition that I would remain present while Richard bade her farewell.

Richard said:

"Martella, you have a right to be angry with me, but I am angrier at myself than you can possibly be. I make no protestations, no oaths; but I pledge my honor as a man, that you will nevermore hear a wrong word or receive a wrong glance from me. Farewell."

Thus, this trouble was arranged; but it seemed as if there could be nothing perfect in this world.

I do not know whether Johanna had been eavesdropping, or how she happened to find it out; but, at dinner, she spitefully hinted at what had happened, for when we were talking of the imprisoned fish poacher, she said, "People who are without religion are capable of anything, and the irreligious ones who catch a thief are no better than the thief himself. They stretch forth their hands to grasp things that ought to be sacred in their eyes."

During the whole of that winter I saw nothing of Richard, and received but one letter from him, in which he informed me that he had been offered an appointment at a distant university, and that, for many reasons, he would gladly have accepted it, but that the Prince had requested him to remain in the country. He added that he was now again able to say that his only happiness lay in the pursuit of science.

It was a great pleasure to me to have Julius stationed in our neighborhood. He was so pure, so fresh, and so bright, that whenever he came to our house, his presence seemed like the odor of flowers.

I am indebted to Julius for joys which even transcend those my children have given me, and my pride in my eldest grandson was now about to be mingled with that I cherished for my eldest son.

My joy was fully shared by Rothfuss. He counted how many days it would be before Ludwig arrived, and said:

"There are but seven steps yet--right foot, sleep; left foot, get up; or, taking it the other way, the two together make one step."

The last days of waiting seemed long, even to me. Ludwig had particularly requested that I should not go to meet him.

On the night before his arrival, I suddenly felt so oppressed that I thought I should die.

I heard footsteps on the stairs, and, afterward, the breathing of some one in front of my door. Assuredly, he has wished to prevent my worrying--he is here already.

"Who is there?"

"It is I,--Rothfuss. I thought to myself that you would not be able to sleep, and then it suddenly occurred to me that everybody says I am so entertaining that I can put any one to sleep, and so I thought--"

Rothfuss' allusion to this peculiar art made me laugh so heartily that I felt quite well again. After he left the room, I was obliged to laugh again at the thought of what he had said; and then I fell asleep, and did not awake until the bright daylight shone into my room.


May 28, 1870.

"Good-morning, dear Henry," she said to herself, this day forty-six years ago, when she awoke on the last morning she spent in her own chamber.

"Good-morning, Gustava," said I, opening my eyes. It was the anniversary of our wedding-day, and every year while we were together, these were the first accents from her lips and mine--in joy and in sorrow, always the same.

And this very morning, when awakening, I heard her quite distinctly in my dream saying, "Good-morning, Henry." But I am alone. She has been snatched away from me.

On this day our first-born returns from the new world. I am writing these words in the early dawn, as it will be a long while before I again have a chance quietly to set down my recollections. I will now prepare myself to go forth and meet my son.

June, 1870.

Ludwig and Richard have gone to the capital, and I have at last quiet and time to note down his arrival and his presence with us.

I had just finished writing the above lines, on the twenty-eighth of May, when I heard Rothfuss drawing the chaise up from the barn to the front of the house. He then placed the jack-screw under the frame and took off one wheel after the other and greased the axles, singing and whistling while at his work.

He saw me seated at the window, and called out in a joyful voice:

"One waits ever so long for the Kirchweih,4 but it comes at last. Martella is up already, and has been fixing up the beehives with red ribbons; the bees, too, are to know that joy comes to this house to-day. While busy at her work, she called out Ernst's name, as if she could drag him here that way. But to-day we must not let ourselves remember that any one is missing."

There it was again. No cup of joy without its drop of gall.

But the mind has great power, and one can force himself to forget things.

It would be wrong towards my son Ludwig, if I were to mix other feelings with joy at his return; and it is also wrong towards myself not to permit a single pleasure to be without alloy.

My spirits were, however, not a little checked on my being reminded of Ernst. Every nerve in me trembled, so that I began to believe that I would not be able to survive the hour in which I should again see Ludwig. But now the sad thought that had floated across my mental horizon soothed my excited nerves.

Ludwig had sent me his photograph from Paris, in order that I might recognize him at once.

He had placed the pictures of his wife and of his son in the same package.

I read over his last two letters again.

In a letter from Paris, dated Sunday, April 24th, he wrote:

"Here I am in the midst of the hubbub in which the 'saviour of the world' is permitting the people to vote. It is truly a demoniac art, this power of counterfeiting the last word of truthfulness. In order that nothing may remain uncorrupted, the ministers declare that the question of the day is to secure tranquillity to the land for the future, so that, both on the throne and in the cottage, the son may peacefully succeed his father. The last lingering traces of modesty and purity are being destroyed; the last remnant of piety is appealed to in order to carry out the deceit.

"How glad I should be, on the other hand, to bathe my soul in the pure waves of great harmonies. The thought that I shall enter my Fatherland in time to assist in celebrating the Centennary of Beethoven's birth is an inspiring and an impressive one to me."

Joseph was at Bonn, awaiting the expected guests. He was again successful in combining high objects with business profits; he concluded a contract to build the festival building out of trees from the Black Forest.

I looked at Ludwig's picture, and it seemed to me, indeed, as if I were looking at my father in his youth. All generations seemed to be combined in one, as if there were no such thing as time.

Martella came into the room, dressed in her Sunday attire.

"Good-morning, father," said she. "To-day you will hear somebody else say, 'Good-morning, father.'"

I could not help wondering how Martella would appear to Ludwig. She seemed new to me. It seemed as if during the four years that she had been with us she had become taller and more slender. She wore the pearl-colored silk dress that had been my wife's, and had about her throat the red coral necklace that Bertha had sent her. Her unmanageable brown hair was arranged in the form of a coronet; and her walk and carriage were full of grace and refinement. Her face seemed lengthened, instead of being as round as it had once been; and her old defiant expression had given way to one of gentleness. Indeed, since the death of Gustava, a certain look of pain seemed to have impressed itself on her features, her large eyes had become more lustrous, and seemed full of unsatisfied longing.

Johanna and her daughter had also arrayed themselves in their best clothes; at least, as far as that was possible with Johanna, for, since the death of her husband, she had always worn mourning.

I rode off in the chaise with Rothfuss; Julius, with Johanna and her daughter, followed us.

Martella remained in the house with Carl; and the schoolmaster's wife had come to assist in baking and cooking.

When we reached the saw-mill, the miller said, "I have heard the news already--this is Ludwig's day."

We drove on, and after a while Rothfuss said, "It seems to me that the trees are stretching and straightening themselves in order to appear at their best when our Ludwig goes by."

When we arrived at the top of the last hill, Gaudens, who was breaking stones on the road, said: "Ludwig will have to own that the roads are not kept better in America than here." It was strange how the news of his return had been noised about.

At the last village before reaching the station, Funk came out of the tavern and called out, "Rothfuss! Stop!"

Rothfuss turned towards me with an inquiring look, and I told him to stop.

Funk now informed me that he had succeeded in inducing the members of Ludwig's party to refrain from receiving him at the railroad station with a festive procession. He did not wish to interfere with the family festivities; but on the following Sunday, the friends of freedom would take the liberty of greeting Ludwig as one who belonged to mankind.

I could only reply that I could decide nothing for my son,--that he was free and would act for himself.

Funk went back into the tavern. We drove on. Rothfuss remarked, "That fellow is like a salamander; when he tries to climb a rock and falls on his back, he turns about and is on his feet again quicker than thought."

We were much too early when we got into town, and I walked about the streets as if I had never been there before, and as if there were nowhere a chair on which one might rest.

It suddenly occurred to me that I ought to have sent my picture to Ludwig, so that he might know me; I had grown a full beard since his departure, and it would grieve me if he did not at once recognize me.

I decided at once. There was yet time enough to have my beard removed; and when I returned, Johanna and Rothfuss were greatly astonished by the change in my appearance. But I did not tell them my reason for removing my beard.

I had a presentiment that Ludwig would bring Ernst with him. I note this down, because we frequently speak of fulfilled presentiments, but never of those which are not fulfilled.

At the depot, there were numbers of emigrants who were about to leave the valley. I knew many of them, and they guessed at my innermost thought; for now one, and then another, would come to me and say, "If I learn anything about Ernst, I will write to you immediately."

The locksmith's widow was there, with her three children. The children had bouquets in their hands, and I begged them to stand aside until the first meeting was over.

A young stone-cutter who lived at a village in our neighborhood, and was employed in the shops at the depot, greeted the locksmith's widow in the most friendly manner. He held her hand in his for some time, and she seemed pleased thereat. How strange that at such moments one can see more than is transpiring about him! It suddenly occurred to me, "Who knows--they may yet be a couple."

The Inspector invited me to his dwelling; I accompanied him. A short time afterward, he returned and told me that the train had been signalled. He led me down the steps and remained at my side. Now we hear the whistle;--now the train is coming round the curve; now it is slacking its speed. No one is beckoning to me from the car windows. Can he have failed to come? Many passengers alight; but I see no sign of my son.

Suddenly a guard calls out to me, "Herr Waldfried, you are to come this way!" He opens the door of the car and I am lifted up into it.

I hear a voice exclaim, "Father!" and I know nothing of what happened for some time afterward.

"Grandfather, give me your hand," says another voice. But, before that, I am embraced by a lovely woman, who sheds tears of joy.

Leading my son with my right hand and my grandson with the left, I walked out as if marching in triumph. My daughter-in-law was escorted by Johanna and her daughter.

Suddenly Ludwig dropped my hand and called out, "You here, Ernst?"

"I am not your brother Ernst; I am Julius, the son of your sister Martina."

"Where is Rothfuss?" inquired Joseph, who had also come on the train with Ludwig.

I had already seen him. He stood aside, lighting one match after another, and seemed to be waiting for Ludwig to come to him to get a light for his cigar.

At last he threw the match away and called out, "Hurrah! Shout till you burst your throats!"

They all shouted "hurrah," and when Ludwig and his son had shaken hands with Rothfuss, and the wife had taken him by the hand, Rothfuss said, "She has a firm hand; you have done this thing well, Ludwig."

A middle-aged man, erect in figure, and with a red mustache, was looking after Ludwig's luggage. Ludwig now called to him, "Willem, just leave those things and come here. Here, Rothfuss, let me recommend to you my servant and friend, Willem. Shake hands with each other, and be good friends."

Rothfuss extended his hand, and asked, with an air of doubt:

"He speaks German, of course--does he not?"

"Yours to command; I know nothing else."

It was on a Saturday, and the Jews of the little town were accustomed on that day to loiter about the station. We were just about to leave, when the Jewish teacher came up to me and said, "Herr Waldfried, the verse in the Bible which tells of Jacob again seeing his son Joseph, applies to you. It says, 'And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.'" The words of the little old man did me much good.


Funk had been unable to deny himself the pleasure of being on hand.

When we passed the garden of the "Wild Man" tavern he stood at the fence, surrounded by several of his companions. They lifted their foaming beer-glasses on high, and cried, "Long live Ludwig, the republican!" Ludwig merely nodded his thanks, and then said to me:

"Father, let us get in and ride home."

The carriages were awaiting us.

I wanted my daughter-in-law to sit with me, but she insisted that Ludwig and Wolfgang should do so, while she joined Johanna and the rest of the party.

Rothfuss, who at other times took so great a pleasure in cracking his whip, now sounded it but lightly.

"Rothfuss, how long have you been with us?" asked Ludwig.

"Longer than you have been in this world," was the answer.

My grandson, Wolfgang, laughed out loud, and told us that his father had prophesied that very answer.

As we drove through the village, every one came to the windows to greet us.

We were passing the house of the kreis-director. The family were seated in the garden, and we were obliged to stop with them for a little while. The roses were lovely, and the faces of our friends were bright with kindness.

The husband, the wife, and the daughters welcomed the new-comers most cordially, and the wife handed my daughter-in-law a bouquet of roses.

Their son was also present. He had become a lieutenant, and his countenance seemed to combine the clear, bright expression of the mother, with the sternness of the father.

Julius and Martha were standing a little way off, beside a blooming rose-bush, and when I said to Ludwig, "Behold your future niece," they were both so suffused with blushes, that they resembled the roses. My daughter-in-law embraced Martha, and was afterward embraced by the Privy Councillor's wife.

Ludwig urged our departure for home, and the charming woman thanked us heartily for the short visit we had paid her. In the meantime, Rontheim had opened a bottle of wine and filled our glasses.

Our glasses clinked; we emptied them, and started on our way; and Rothfuss said, "The Privy Councillor did the right thing in pouring out some wine; eating and drinking is the best half of nourishment." Ludwig laughed heartily.

Ludwig held me by the hand while we drove along the valley road.

"The houses have been rebuilt," he said, pointing towards the right bank of the stream. It was there that, during the uprising of 1848, he had been in command, and where the houses had been burned to the ground.

"We have him in a sack; if we could only keep him there for ourselves for a couple of weeks," called out Rothfuss.

My grandson did not understand him, and I was obliged to explain how Rothfuss always managed to catch my very thought.

I had wished to be able to have Ludwig's society for myself, and to give no one a part of him, except of course his brothers and sisters. From a few remarks of Ludwig's, I gathered that he was aware of my thoughts, and the first thing he said to me was a text for all that followed.

"I have not forgotten mother's saying, and it has often been a guide for me: 'We have part in the world, and the world ought to have part in us.'"

It seemed to me that Rothfuss was laughing to himself. I had been mistaken, however, for Wolfgang, who was seated on the box with Rothfuss, now called out, "Father, Rothfuss is crying!"

"Is there anything that such an American wouldn't notice?" replied Rothfuss, sitting upright on the box, and cracking his whip with all his might.

"And so the new road through the valley is finished," said Ludwig; "I suppose Antonin built that. It would have been better, though, if they had carried it along the other bank."

The new road had, however, only been laid out as far as the boundary line; from there unto my dwelling, which was fully two hours distant, there was only the old road, which was in a horrible condition.

"Father," exclaimed Wolfgang, "here are the boundary posts that you told me of."

"Yes," said Ludwig; "this is yet old Germany. Here, there is still separation."

I believe that I have not yet mentioned that I live near the border. Our village is the last point in our territory, and further down the valley is the beginning of the neighboring principality.

How strange! There was so much that we wished to speak of to one another, and the first subject of conversation was the laying out of the new road.

And it is well that it is so; for this helps one over the heart-throbs that otherwise would be almost insupportable.

Ludwig had mentioned mother, and for the present she was not referred to again.

He had a quick glance, and always thought of what might benefit the community; and when Wolfgang expressed his delight at the wild, rushing valley stream, Ludwig said to me, "That stream could do much more work. There is a fortune floating there, thrown into the water, as it were, and flowing away from our valley out into the ocean."

"To whom does water-power belong?" inquired Wolfgang.

We gave him the desired information, and this question was a happy proof of his active, inquiring mind.

"Over yonder," said Rothfuss, "there is a miller who has his water-power direct from the heavens." He pointed to the house of the so-called "thunder miller," who had built his mill in such a way that its wheel would only go after there had been a storm.

The ground for some distance before we reached the tunnel, was covered with cherry-trees with straight trunks, the branches of which looked like a well-arranged bouquet; and on the heights were the beech-trees with their red buds, and one could follow the gradual development of the foliage.

"Look, Wolfgang," said Ludwig, "you can see here how spring gradually climbs up the mountain side."

"Father," exclaimed Wolfgang, "the people in the fields are all looking up at us."

"They all know grandfather," replied Ludwig; and, turning to me, he explained: "It seems strange to the boy, for the American never looks up from his work, even if seven trains of cars rush by within ten paces of him."

At the boundary line, Gaudens greeted us.

We halted there for a while. He came up to the carriage, stretched out his hand, and exclaimed, "Do you know me yet?"

"Certainly I do; you are Gaudens."

"Yes, it is easy to find me; from here around the corner, down to the Maiengrund is my district. I was in the revolution too, but I lied my way out. Yes, Ludwig, you have wandered about a great deal in the wide world. It is best at home, after all; isn't it? Is this your son?"

"It is."

"God bless him. And what a splendid wife you have!--What a pity about Ernst; he has such a good heart and is such a sensible fellow, and yet commits such wicked and foolish tricks. All I wish for is to have a place where I might have some little extra profits from fruit and grass by the road; nothing ripens here but pine cones."

When Wolfgang shook hands with him at parting, he said, "He has a soft hand; he cannot swing the pickaxe as you did when you were building your first road."

"How lovely it is here," said Wolfgang. "Here you know every one, and every one knows you; you cannot meet a stranger."

He was right; it is so; and this makes a full life, but a hard one too.

We left the forester's house, where the forester's pretty wife, holding a child on her arm, greeted us. Our way lay along the crest of the mountain, and looked down into the valley, where the haystacks were scattered about the meadow, in the hollow, and along the hillside. Ludwig said:

"Whenever I thought of home, this view of the valley always came back to me. I was walking here once with Ernst, while he was yet quite a little fellow, and he said to me, 'Ludwig, look at the haystacks. Don't they look like a scattered herd of cows on the meadow?'"

He must have noticed that his allusion to Ernst had agitated me, and he added, "Father, we must be strong enough to think calmly of the dead and of the lost ones."

When we passed the woods that belonged to Uncle Linker and me, Ludwig was delighted to find how nicely they had been kept.

He then inquired about Martella, and when I said that she had a strange aversion to America, and disliked to hear it mentioned, he replied:

"Do you not believe, father, that she has an unexplained, and perhaps sad, past, which is in some way associated with America?" I was startled;--the case seemed to present new and puzzling difficulties.

Ludwig was pleased with the meadow-valley where he had arranged the trench with sluices. In very good seasons, there were four crops; but one was always sure of at least three. The value of the meadow-farmer's property had in this way been doubled.

Down by the saw-mill, we met Carl, who was just using the windlass to drag a large beam from the wagon.

He turned around as we approached and saluted us, and Ludwig's wife said, "What a handsome fellow! He is just as I have imagined all your countrymen to be."

We alighted, and walked up the hill and on towards the village.

When Ludwig saw the churchyard, he removed his hat from his head, remained standing for a moment in silence, and then walked on briskly.

At the steps of the house he extended his hand to his wife and said, "Welcome to the house of my parents!"

Martella was standing on the piazza: she stood there immovable, holding herself by the railing.

"That pretty girl there, with large staring eyes, is Ernst's betrothed, I presume?" said Ludwig.

I said, "Yes."

We went up the steps and entered the room. Without speaking a word, Martella offered her hand to every one of the new arrivals. She seemed absent minded and was silent.

My daughter-in-law and Wolfgang were surprised to find that we still had fires in our stoves.

A little pleasantry at once made us all feel at home with one another. I told my new daughter-in-law how happily I had lived with my wife, but that even we had been obliged to adapt ourselves to each other's ways.

From the earliest days in autumn until far into the summer, it had been our custom to have our sitting-room heated every morning and evening. At first it went hard with me, but after a while we accustomed ourselves to the same outer temperature, and the nicely warmed room at last became a great comfort to me, whenever I returned from the fields.

"I understand perfectly, and thank you for telling me of mother first of all," said my daughter-in-law.

Martella remained silent and reserved towards the newcomers, and, for the rest of the evening, we did not see her again. She remained in the kitchen and instructed one of the servants to serve the meal. With the help of the schoolmaster's wife she had prepared us a fine feast.

Wolfgang suddenly asked to see the family woods, and as it was still broad daylight, Ludwig took him out to gratify his curiosity.

I was left alone with my daughter-in-law, and when I conducted her through the house and showed her, above all things, the apartment with the plaster casts, her pure and tranquil nature became revealed to me for the first time.

When Ludwig returned, he expressed great pleasure with the fountain that mother had ordered to be repaired at the time the new forest path was laid out. He promised to send to the iron foundry at once, and order a pretty column with a pipe through it.

"Mother inspired me with an affection for this spring," said he. "While building the aqueduct, I thought of her almost every day; and along the space where the pipes were running under ground, I planted pines, in order that pretty woods might grow there, and the temperature of the water always remain the same. Of all the great and impressive things I beheld in America, one little monument impressed me most of all; it was that to Fredrick Graff, who built the waterworks of Philadelphia."

Night approached. We were seated in the arbor, and Wolfgang exclaimed, "The stars shine more brightly here than elsewhere."

"The dark woods make it appear so," said Ludwig. And just over the family woods, seeming to touch the tops of the trees as if fixed there, a star glistened and shone with a brightness that was marvellous even to me.

Ludwig conducted himself with great self-control and moderation. He spoke slowly and in a low voice, in order to keep down all agitation.

Long after the new-comers had retired to rest, Rothfuss and I were still sitting in front of the house.

Rothfuss could not come to an understanding with himself. He said, "Our Ludwig is still the same, and is changed for all; he has not grown, and yet he is larger."

He told me that Ludwig had come out into the stable to him, and when he had told Ludwig that the sorrel horse was the son of our gray stud, he had taken the horse firmly by the mane and said, "Rothfuss, you have been faithful to my father; I cannot fully recompense you for it, but express a wish and I will do what I can for you."

Rothfuss had heard no more of what was said.

He could not help crying like a child; and now he would like to know what he ought to wish for. He said that he wanted no one to advise him; he must find it out himself. For a long while, neither of us spoke a word. There was not a sound to be heard, save the bubbling of the fountain in front of the house.

I retired to my room, but could find no rest, and sat by the window for a long while.

It seemed to me as if an invisible and inaudible spirit was wandering through the house and bestowing upon it peace and quiet, above all other spots upon this earth.

Just then the watchman called the hour of midnight; the window of Ludwig's chamber opened, and Ludwig called out, "Tobias, come and see me to-morrow: I have something for you."

"Are you still awake?" cried I.

"Yes, father; and when I heard the watchman I knew for sure that I am at home. Now I understand the proverb, 'He who does not wander, does not return.' It is only among strangers that one learns to appreciate his home.

"But now go to sleep. Good-night, father."


"The Herr Professor has arrived," were the words with which Martella greeted me early the next morning. I must observe that Martella now always spoke of Richard as "Herr Professor." The meeting of the brothers was a most affectionate one.

Ludwig's wife and Richard were friends at once. She introduced herself to him as the daughter of a professor, and Richard's impressive manner seemed to please her greatly.

Wolfgang was greatly moved, and whispered to me:

"I can now for the first time, say the best words: 'grandfather,' 'uncle;' and"--turning quickly to Johanna--"'aunt;' to Julius I have already said 'cousin,' and I shall soon have more cousins."

The brothers were soon involved in a most zealous discussion of the great questions of the day. Richard warned Ludwig against permitting the demagogues to make use of him, as their only aim was to foment disturbance, and to abuse all existing institutions. They were wholly without lofty or honest aims of their own. When he warned him to be on his guard and not to permit this or that one to influence his views of affairs in the Fatherland, Ludwig replied: "With your permission, I shall begin with you." Richard observed that, just as time helps to correct our judgments, in regard to past events, so does distance aid us in criticising contemporary history. It may take ten years before we can see the Europe of the present in the light in which it appears to the unprejudiced American of to-day; and when he asked Ludwig whether we might not cherish the hope that he would now remain in the old world, Ludwig answered that, with all his love of home, he did not believe he would be able to give up the perfect independence of American life.

"And what do you think on the subject, my dear sister-in-law?"

"I am of the same opinion as my husband."

Richard expressed a wish that Ludwig might, at some future day, take charge of the family estate, as there was no one else who could do it. It seemed to me, indeed, that, in all that he said, Richard was trying to determine Ludwig to unite his fortunes with those of the Fatherland.

Ludwig, who had come by way of France, could tell us much of the great excitement that had been produced there by the plebiscite.

The brothers were agreed that the expression of the popular will had been accompanied by fearful deceit on the part of the authorities; but they did not agree as to the object contemplated by that deceit.

"I was often obliged," said Ludwig, "to think of our old schoolmaster, who explained the philosophic beauty of the Latin language to us by the fact that volo has no imperative; but the author of the 'Life of Cæsar' has shown us, by means of the plebiscite, that volo has an imperative."

Ludwig asserted that the majority of educated Frenchmen hated and despised Napoleon; for all the large cities, with the exception of Strasburg, which gave a small majority on the other side, had voted no. At the same time, what they hated and despised in him was just what they themselves were; for every individual Frenchman really desires to be a Napoleon; and the no that a portion of the army had voted, simply meant, "We want war." Napoleon had undermined every sense of duty, and the misfortune of France was that no one there believed in the honesty or the unselfishness of another creature.

"I have also made the acquaintance of French emigrants in America. It is, of course, unfair to judge of a nation by its emigrants; but I could not help being struck by the fact that those whom I met had no confidence in any one."

Richard, on the other hand, had a very good opinion of the French. He told us that about the time he was working in the library at Paris, he had travelled much through France, and had made the acquaintance of Frenchmen of every station in life.

"The French are industrious and temperate, and a people of whom that can be said, has a noble destiny awaiting it. They have a great desire to please, which makes them agreeable, and gives all their work the impress of good taste. They are fond of all that partakes of the decorative, whether it be a glittering phrase or a badge. If that which, from its very nature, ought to be general, could gain distinction for them--if there could be an aristocracy in republican virtue, I cannot help believing that the Frenchmen would be unbending republicans."

"Yes," said Ludwig; "and they are humane, also. The vain and conceited man is usually generous and communicative: he thinks he has so many advantages that he is glad to bestow a share on others, and is annoyed and almost angry if they do not care to accept his bounty; for he considers their declining it as a want of belief in his superiority, and is surprised to find that others do not hunger and thirst for the things that he regards as delicacies."

The brothers became involved in all sorts of discussions, and, although Richard was the younger of the two, he showed, in a certain patronizing way, how pleased he was to find that the school of experience had moderated Ludwig's views. For the brothers agreed on one point--that, as there was no one church which could alone save mankind, so there was no one form of government which could alone make all men free. After all, everything depended on the honesty and the morality of the citizen, and, for that reason, it could not be maintained that the republican form of government was a guarantee of freedom, or that a monarchy necessarily implied a condition of servitude.

The brothers now understood each other better than they had done in former times.

Richard always occupied himself with general principles, while I can only interest myself in particulars. The first question that I ask myself is, How does the rule apply to this or that one? Richard is different. He has no eye for isolated cases, but a far-seeing glance where general principles are concerned. He looks upon everything from a certain lofty historical point of view. He regards the hilly region in which we live with the eye of an artist and a scientist, noticing the elevations and the depressions, without giving a thought to the people who dwell among them. He does not see the villages, much less a single villager.

My experience with Richard solved a question which had always been a riddle to me. He has no love for the people, and is, nevertheless, an advocate of liberty. Until now, I could not understand how it was possible; now it is clear to me.

Advocates of liberty are of two classes. The one class ask for it as a logical necessity; the other are disappointed when the people, or portions thereof, become obstinate or prove themselves unworthy of freedom. The former have nothing to do with mankind, but simply busy themselves with the idea of liberty, and are, for that reason, more positive and exacting and less given to fine talk.

Formerly, Richard had been dissatisfied with all of Ludwig's actions and opinions. He was opposed to all that was violent; but now Richard had become the more liberal, and Ludwig the more conservative, of the two. It was in America, where the tendency seemed towards a loosening of all restraint, that Ludwig had for the first time learned to attach importance to the preservation of established institutions. While they were yet children under the instructions of Pastor Genser, who afterward became my son-in-law, the two boys had given much of their time to music. To listen to Richard playing the violincello and Ludwig playing the piano, was one of the greatest pleasures that our household afforded Gustava and myself.

Ludwig has given up music, and they can now no longer play together. But when I heard them talking in unrestrained converse, and observed how the one transposed the mood and the thoughts of the other into his own key, and developed it, adding new combinations of ideas; and when I noticed how the eye of either speaker would, from time to time, rest upon the other with a joyful expression, it seemed yet more beautiful and more grateful to my heart than any music could be. And withal, each temperament preserved its own melody. Richard looked forward for some event that would mark a turning-point in the affairs of men, or for the advent of some great man, to utter the command, "Come, and follow me." Ludwig added that liberation could only be brought about by one who possessed a cool head and a firm hand, so that, without swerving a hair's breadth to either side, he could put in the knife where it was needed.

Richard, with more than his wonted animation, spoke joyfully of being released from the opposition party, and when Ludwig approvingly said that the time was now coming for Germany in which those who were dissatisfied with its laws and institutions would not be the only free ones, Richard again urged him to consider how hard it would be if no one of us should take charge of the estate, and it should thus at some day fall into the hands of strangers.

"That is no misfortune," replied Ludwig. "Our posterity may again become poor, just as our ancestors were; all property must change hands at some time or other. To encourage the fond desire of retaining possession of a so called family estate, savors of aristocratic feeling."

Richard was struck by this reply, and said: "You are more familiar with the history of the Indians than I am; but do you recollect the reply of the chief whom they were endeavoring to persuade to move off with those who belonged to him, into another territory--'Give us the graves of our ancestors to take with us?' And, Ludwig, over there is the grave of our mother."

There was a long silence after that, and Ludwig merely replied, "You do wrong to urge me so."

Martella had been sitting near by while the two had been carrying on their familiar conversation. In all likelihood, she had understood but little of what was said, for, while discussing the improvement of the whole world, they indulged themselves in vistas of the distant future. But Martella would look first at one and then at the other, and then at me, nodding approval each time. And afterward, when she and I were alone together, she said, "Father, your eyes told me how happy you were, and you must have thought just as I did; did you not? Ah, if Ernst only knew how his brothers are here talking with each other from their very hearts! Indeed, if he were here he would be the most sensible of all, for there is no one like Ernst."


Ludwig's servant entered and inquired whether he might accompany "madame" (meaning Johanna) to church.

"You may go," replied Ludwig to the servant, who saluted in curt military style and left the room.

Richard inquired where the man was from, for his pronunciation would prove him a North German.

Ludwig replied, "Yes, he is a specimen of North German discipline and reliability.

"Although he was willing to work at anything, he was almost perishing with want when I made his acquaintance. I took him into my service, and every order I gave was executed by him as implicitly as if he were obeying an imperative law of nature.

"One evening I had an appointment to meet several persons at the town hall; I took him with me, and said to him, 'Willem, wait here for me.'

"I entered and had a lengthy interview--forgot Willem, and left through another door.

"The next morning I came back to the town hall, and there stood Willem.

"'What are you doing there?' I asked.

"'Ik warte.'5 said he.

"He had waited there all night, and would probably have waited the whole of that day, if I had not by chance come there.

"After that, we always called him 'Ik-warte.'"

We were so happy together. It was one of those moments that one wishes might be prolonged forever, and in which one dreads to move from his seat for fear of breaking the spell. Our happiness was, however, not to be of long duration.

The locksmith's widow came, bringing her children with her. They brought a pot of fine honey, and fresh garlands of daisies and violets.

Ludwig advised the children--they were two girls and a boy--above all things not to consider themselves Americans; for if Germans would work as they do in America, they could do just as well as the Americans.

The widow said that she would like to have a talk with Ludwig alone, for she looked upon him as the guardian of her children. Ludwig promised to pay her a visit at an early day.

She was about leaving when new guests arrived.

Funk called, but he had discreetly sent in advance his parade horse, Schweitzer-Schmalz, who was attired in the national costume she was so fond of, with large, round, silver buttons. He walked along with an air of great importance, with his bull neck, his face shining with good living, and his thick eyelids, from beneath which his little eyes cast their contemptuous glances. He was followed by the village lawyer, a man of pleasing appearance, and, indeed, a noble being who had but one fixed idea, and that was that the world was to be protected against all corporalism.

Funk followed after these two fit companions of his. He had not been in my house for four years.

Schweitzer-Schmalz was the first to speak, and uttered a short, hearty, "Welcome, Ludwig!"

For the first time, he avoided his haughty manner of treating every one as "little fellow." The tall, commanding appearance of Ludwig awed him.

After that, the lawyer delivered a somewhat longer and quite fervent speech, and I was obliged to beg Richard to keep quiet, for he whispered to me, "All this so early in the morning, and without an audience of empty bottles!"

Funk extended his hand in silence and nodded significantly, as if he meant to say, "You know already what I mean."

Martella brought wine and glasses. It hurt me to feel that she was in the presence of Funk, who had, years ago, so maliciously dragged her name before the political meeting.

I had told Ludwig nothing of my rupture with Funk.

Funk inquired about several who had been their companions in revolution and who had emigrated. Of many, Ludwig could give no information, while of some he could give us good report, and of many others, sad news.

Ludwig disapproved of the emigration fever.

The turn that the conversation had taken did not seem to Funk's taste; but Ludwig was able to direct it as he desired, and, addressing himself more especially to the lawyer, he spoke of the intimate relations that existed between our country--South Germany in particular--and America.

Owing to their innate energy, and in spite of want, misery and ignorance of the language, the proportion who succeed in attaining wealth, position, and honors is much larger with the first generation of emigrants than with their children who are born in America.

Statistics had proven that, in spite of want and temptation, the first generation offered far fewer objects for the jails than did the second. On the other hand, the former were more largely represented in the insane asylums.

Funk was evidently displeased, and emptied his glass at one draught. Although he laughed, he seemed ill at ease when Schweitzer-Schmalz said, "There you have it. I have always told you little folk may emigrate; but the right sort of a man," he said, stroking his fat belly at the same time, "knows where he is best off, and keeps at home."

"I believe that you are also one of the deceived ones," said Ludwig, supplementing his remarks. "You cannot know, or, at all events, only know it superficially, that the projectors of new railroads attempt to help the price of their shares by encouraging emigration into the territory traversed by their road, and that many who get gratuities by them do not even know this."

Funk suggested that a festive gathering of people from the village and surrounding country should take place on any Sunday that Ludwig might fix upon. The meeting was to be in honor of his arrival. At this time he was doubly welcome, for he would assist in dispelling the Prussian pestilence.

"I see you are still fond of set phrases," replied Ludwig, and added: "How strange it is since the congress of Vienna, all friends of the Fatherland have been clamoring for a man who, with firm hand and shrewd judgment, would, regardless of consequences, force Germany into unity; and now that he is with us, they hurl stones at him. And do you know, Professor, what it is that particularly pleases me in Bismarck?" he exclaimed roguishly.

"How should I know?"

"He has fortunately one of those rare names that can be pronounced the same in all languages."

"We had thought we should meet an old republican--an enemy of tyrants!" exclaimed Funk.

"I have not changed in that respect," answered Ludwig. "The question whether a republic or a monarchy should be preferred, is about the same as if one were to ask which is better, meat or farinaceous food? All depends upon the manner in which the food is prepared, and upon the digestive powers of the stomach. But don't let us dispute now. I trust we shall have a chance yet to discuss these matters more calmly."

"What day have you determined on?" inquired Funk.

Ludwig said that he desired no such compliment. He preferred to renew his acquaintance with the people and their circumstances in a quiet, unobtrusive manner.

The church bells began tolling, and Funk said: "Perhaps you wish to go to church? You have probably grown religious, too?"

"Thanks for catechizing me," said Ludwig.

"Ah, I forgot to address you as 'Colonel,'" said Funk.

"That makes no difference, although my rank is that of colonel. I was promoted at the front, and it is the greatest pride of my life that I did my duty in the war for wiping out slavery."

I do not know whether it was shrewdness or arrogance towards his companion or ourselves, that induced Schweitzer-Schmalz to assume his wonderfully self-complacent air.

"Yes, Colonel," said he, "another American war would not be so unpleasant to us after all?"

"What do you mean by that?"

"Why, that we gained one great advantage from it, or, as my student says, 'pitch.'"

"I do not understand you."

"Yes," began Schweitzer-Schmalz, after emptying his glass, "your father doesn't like rosin; but, for the little farmers, the pine-trees which give rosin are just like so many milchcows. I have a piece of woodland that I milked hard, because, so long as the war lasted, no rosin came from America, and the price of ours went up very much."

Richard could not refrain from remarking on the wonderful connection that made changes in one country affect the most distant portions of the globe. And thus the visit, which had promised to be so disagreeable, ended quite pleasantly.

Funk and his companions left, and when Richard was about to speak of Funk's emptiness, Ludwig replied:

"You are deceived in him. He is full of what we, in America, call 'steam.' He has a restless spirit of enterprise."

My daughter-in-law and Johanna went to church together, and Ikwarte followed after them.

The watchman came, and Ludwig gave him a considerable present.

After that, Ludwig requested me to accompany him to the statue gallery, where he said: "Father, I have brought nothing for you; but I know that your greatest pleasure is to do acts of beneficence; let me, therefore, place this sum of money in your hands, so that you may distribute it according to your best judgment. If I can do good through you, I shall be doing good to myself; and, as mother is no longer living, I must ask you to attend to this for me."

I doubt whether in yonder church there was one heart more piously inclined than ours were on that day.

But it seems that nothing in life can remain perfectly pure and undisturbed.

We were just about sitting down to dinner, when a wretched-looking creature, called Wacker, entered. He lived in the neighboring valley, and had once been a comrade of Ludwig's at the Polytechnic school. He had left school at an early day, in order to take charge of a beer brewery, and had become a drunkard. His place had been sold out, and he now wandered about from one little tavern to another, where he would spend the day between maudlin curses and drunken slumbers. When he entered the house, it was only noon, and he was already intoxicated.

"Brother," he exclaimed, "give me one of your California lumps of gold; or, if that is asking too much, see that I have free tap for one year at the 'Lamb.' Here is my hand. If the war begins again, I will help. Give me hand-money--throat-money--throat-money!"

He offered his hand to Ludwig, who declined it. I saw his indignation; his glance fell on Ludwig's wife and on Wolfgang, for the latter seemed surprised that the degraded creature should address his father in such familiar terms. Wacker begged for a gift, but Ludwig refused it with the words, "Get some employment, and then I will help you, but not before."

Wacker replied in vile, abusive terms.

Ludwig instantly collared him and led him from the room.

We could hear him cursing, after he got out into the road; and then he staggered down the hillside.

There was something cold and hard as iron in Ludwig's manner towards all except his nearest kindred, to whom he was kind and gentle.

This interruption was a shrill dissonance in our Sunday's pleasure. We soon forgot it, however.


In the afternoon, Julius and his betrothed visited us, and, in a little while, letters containing uniform messages were sent in all directions. The Professor, my daughter-in-law, Wolfgang, Johanna and her daughter, Julius and his intended, all wrote; for every one was to have a separate invitation to the great family gathering on the following Sunday. At Ludwig's request, all of our relatives were informed that he insisted on their making the journey at his charge. Those who did not need it should state the amount, nevertheless, and if they so wished might give it to the poor. In this way, no one who could not afford the expense would be prevented from undertaking the journey.

Rothfuss and Ikwarte walked off to town to mail the letters, of which there were nearly fifty. To my sister who lived in the Hagenau forest, I wrote in person.

Rothfuss had told Ikwarte all that he had done for Ludwig, and was not a little surprised to receive, instead of praise, a nod of disapproval and the reproach, "It was not right, after all." He told me of it, and could not understand how that "up there in Prussia," they were not all opposed to the government and glad to deceive it. He seemed to think that Ikwarte, and all like him, were exceedingly simple.

Rothfuss was as jealous of Carl as a reigning prince of the heir apparent. He noticed that Ikwarte was well inclined toward Carl, whose good looks and military air were much in his favor, and he went so far as to confide to Ikwarte that Carl had suffered himself to be taken prisoner in order to avoid fighting.

After that Rothfuss was the sole favorite of Ikwarte, who hardly bestowed a glance on Carl, and barely answered his questions.

A soldier who voluntarily allows himself to be captured! He could not understand how such a man could walk erect, and on Sundays wear his soldier's cap with the red pompon.

"He knows nothing about oxen, but he is a first-rate judge of horses," said Rothfuss, speaking of Ikwarte; "and he holds the plough as if he were screwed fast to it. And he can work, too; that's certain. And he is modest. Instead of saying 'No,' he always says, 'I am not sure;' and instead of saying 'Yes,' he says, 'It is so.' He can't sing, nor even yodel; and the greatest praise he gives any one is to say, 'He is a steady fellow.' And when he wishes to say that you are right, he says, 'It agrees.' And he is not at all inquisitive; he never asks who any one is."

Willem was just as sparing of words as Rothfuss was lavish of them; and it was a droll sight to watch the two sitting together. I think that each one considered himself the superior of the other and patronized him accordingly. Rothfuss did it with words, Ikwarte with glances. He evidently regarded Rothfuss as an old child; and Rothfuss, in turn, looked upon him as a poor awkward being who had not learned how to express himself properly. When they spoke to each other, they always screamed at the top of their voices; each only understood about half of what was said by the other, and they thought they might help matters by screaming.

Rothfuss could hardly be brought to believe that Ikwarte had not emigrated on account of his being unable to endure German oppression; but Ikwarte was without a trace of political opinion. All that he knew of the state was that one should serve it as a soldier and pay taxes. Of Ludwig, he said, "My master is a man, and a man of his word at that."

Towards his master, he had a certain feeling of implicit and dutiful obedience; he was fond of saying, "Let everything be well grounded."

Rothfuss consoled him with the words: "Don't mind it, if they try to tease and worry you here. If you plant a strange tree in the forest, the stags will rub their horns against it and tear the bark, but the tree is not harmed, after all."

Rothfuss was quite beside himself with laughter when Ikwarte asked him what bodily infirmity had prevented my two servants, who had not been soldiers, from entering the army. He could not understand that we still drew lots in our neighborhood.

Ludwig had gone to the capital to make various arrangements for the family meeting, and I remained at home working in the forest with Carl and Ikwarte, whose clever ways and even temper greatly pleased me.


The schoolmaster's wife and Martella had decorated our steps and the doorway with flowers and garlands, to the great delight of all of us, and Ludwig in particular. But on the second day, Ludwig said to Rothfuss:

"Take down the wreaths; nothing is uglier than to let flowers hang until they wilt."

"He is right," said Rothfuss, smiling. "My mother always said that Sunday clothes should not be worn on week days. Ludwig's mother had good sense, and so had mine."

On the third day, Ludwig said, "Father, I shall now leave my wife and son with you for a few days."

He sent his little trunk ahead, and, throwing his plaid over his shoulder, took up his walk through the valley and over the mountains. Richard, who was obliged to examine several candidates for the doctor's degree, accompanied him.

I felt surprised that Ludwig should leave me so soon, but by noon it was clear to me that he had acted wisely. His wife and son were much more at their ease when they found themselves alone with me; for, with all his kindness, there was something commanding in Ludwig's manner which made every one feel as if under restraint while in his presence.

His wife was quiet and self-contained, and, seeing that I noticed this, told me that she had been living on a lonely farm with her father, who was very sparing of his words, and that she had thus acquired a habit of silence. After her marriage and her father's death, which soon followed it, Ludwig had been obliged, by his engagements as constructor of water-works, to spend days and weeks away from home. It was not until the last year, when they had moved into a city, that he was more at home; but, even then, public affairs claimed a great share of his time. During the war, he had been in the field with the army for at least two years.

She had seen much trouble. She was but twelve years old when the family emigrated to America. During the first few years, her parents employed themselves as teachers; and when, in rapid succession, the mother and her brother and sister died, she and her father moved to the farm. Assisted by a couple of free negroes who helped in the field, she was obliged to conduct the whole household. The two children she had lost had died because medical assistance could not be obtained in time, and, for that reason, they had moved to the city. Their eldest son had died while Ludwig was in the army, fighting against the secessionists.

She gently hinted that it was her wish to remain in Europe, but that she would not urge this, as she feared Ludwig would not find a large enough field for his energy. She said that he was accustomed to constant and varied activity, and stood very high at home.

It was with some hesitation that she asked me whether I objected to the fact of her having only been married by civil process, and that Wolfgang belonged to no church. I reassured her, for I felt well satisfied that Johanna had already made persistent attempts at conversion in this quarter. My daughter-in-law became much attached to Joseph's wife and the school-master's. She was very fond of raising flowers, and determined to take many different kinds of seeds back to America with her.

While the presence of my newly found daughter was a quiet pleasure, my grandson was an incomparable joy to me. He was at my side from morning till night. I think he must have asked Martella to tell him what pleased me, for he seemed to anticipate my every wish.

I showed him our own saw-mill, and also the one that belonged to the village. He readily understood the principle of the machinery, and seemed to have quite a store of general information.

I had a little nursery of forest-trees; it was well situated. Martella was always my best assistant: she knew all about planting and how to care for the plants that had been raised from the seed, and, morever, had a watchful eye for the grubworm. Since she came to us there had not been one of these to destroy the seed.

I now went there with Wolfgang, and his first question, on seeing the thriving bed, was whether it were still early enough in the year to sow seeds of forest-trees.

We had some soaked one-year-old seeds. We marked his name in the ground, and he laid the seeds in the furrow, after the subsoil had been trodden down so that the seeds might at once have firm soil in which to take root. After that, we placed loose and fertile earth on top.

I explained to him our manner of working: how we mixed lime with the barren soil of the heath, and thus produced the best and most nourishing soil for the young shoots; how the seed should be sown after spring had fairly set in, and how, after the tender plants had reached the age of two years, they should be transferred to the nursery, there to remain until their fifth year, when they were to be set out in the place they were finally to occupy; how the new nursery should not face directly towards the north, on account of the absence of light, and because the plants could not then be transplanted to land exposed to direct rays of the sun, on account of their not being accustomed to such intense light.

"Grandfather, how long does it take, after planting the seeds, before the plant shows itself through the soil?"

"Two, or, at the most, three weeks; it generally shows before that time."

I shall never forget the look that Wolfgang then gave me, and it moved my heart to think that my grandson, who was born in America, had planted his name in German soil.

I asked Wolfgang if he did not wish to accompany me up into the woods where my wood-cutters were at work. He took my hand in silence.

I took my gun with me, for I was on the lookout for a fox which had its cave a short distance from the road; but it had slipped out with its young ones. I handed my second gun to Wolfgang; we shot wild pigeons, and my setter brought them to us, laid them down before Wolfgang, and looked up into his face.

I must be brief, however. I have always been fortunate enough to see something more in the forest than merely so many cords of wood. But how weakly words describe the sunshine, the forest-breezes, the singing of the birds, or cheerful walks through shady groves, with resting-places on heights where the lovely valley is spread before one's eyes. It had never been so charming as on that very day.

We met Rautenkron, and he was carrying two young does whose mother had been driven away by a strange hound. I introduced Wolfgang to him; but he shook his head and made no reply.

"What a sullen, gloomy man," said Wolfgang. "Can one become so in these lovely woods, so full of sunshine and the songs of birds? But yet he must be good, for all that; he carried the does."

I felt obliged to explain how that might have come about. The roe lures the dogs on false scents, in order to save its young ones.

We heard sounds of a church-bell coming up from the valley, and met Rautenkron's laborers carrying their caps in their hands; they passed us in silence.

I explained to Wolfgang that these were Catholics, and that they were praying.

I grasped his hand, and said, "Since you confess no especial form of religion, it is doubly your duty, both for your own sake and for that of freedom, always to remain brave and steadfast, so that people shall not be able to say--"

"I know already, grandfather, what you wish to say. You can depend upon me."

We continued our walk up the mountain, which was known as Silvertop. From its peak one can see far over the mountain-peaks, with their dark-green mantle, in which the ravines form majestic folds. There were remnants of a fire at which the forest-laborers had prepared their noonday meal. I threw a few handfuls of brushwood on the fire; the flames arose on high. Wolfgang exclaimed: "Grandfather, it was just like this! It was just so that I saw you in my dreams. And now I can remember what you said. It often annoyed me to think that I had forgotten it; the voice was powerful, and said, 'The water nourishes the tree, and the fire destroys it; the water roars, and the fire gently sleeps.' Thus ... and so on."

Wolfgang's eye glowed with a strange expression, and I had just opened my lips to address him, when he vehemently motioned me away with both hands, and, gazing into the distance, said in an impressive tone, "Yes, I hear the sound; it came from the blazing fire."

Far above us,
In the heavens,
Hovers now
The darkening cloud.
Still united,
Soon divided;
Now creating,
Now destroying:
Joined divinely,
Fire and water
In its bosom,
Peaceful, dwell.

The youth looked about him as if in ecstasy, and then grasping my hand in both of his, he said: "Yes, grandfather; daring my illness I saw you standing in the forest at such a fire. You can ask father--but you believe me, don't you?"

"Of course."

The countenance of the youth seemed illumined with joy.

We seated ourselves on a bench, and silently gazed at the distant prospect.

At last Wolfgang spoke. "Grandfather, now I have it. In your forest garden are your grandson trees. The seed comes from the trees that you planted. And now I know something. I know it quite positively, but I can keep it to myself. Father always says that one should not be too hasty in talking of important things that one intends to do; it is best to sleep on them first. If one is of the same mind the next morning, it is all right. I shall tell it you tomorrow, but not to-day. My idea is a good one, and I think it will please you as much as it does me."

We took up our path, and stopped where some woodcutters were rolling the trunk of a tree down the mountainside; it bounded over young trees in its way, and Wolfgang said. "Won't it crush them?"

"Oh, pshaw!" said a wood-cutter, "They'll straighten themselves again. We have to do the same thing ourselves."

We reached the spot where my woodmen were at work. Wolfgang at once took hold of an axe and helped them lustily. But here, too, he showed his good judgment. He was not hasty, as novices usually are, and soon succeeded in copying the manner of the workmen.

We kept up our walk until we reached the mountain lake. The last time I had been in this spot was twenty years ago, with Gustava; and now it seemed as if I were there for the first time in my life.

There lay the lake, surrounded by steep, pine-covered walls; not a sound was heard, save at times the roaring of the trees, and the solemn beating of the waves against the shore. The sun shone on the water, and its ripples sparkled like so many glittering diamonds.

"Do you come here often?" asked Wolfgang.

"No; the last time I was here was with grandmother, twenty years ago."

It went hard with me to leave the lake. Who knows whether I shall live to return there again? It will ever remain unchanged; for generation after generation shall come here, as to a shrine, and yield itself up to the mysterious influence of the place.

When we at last started to leave, I was often obliged to turn and look back. I constantly felt that now it must be full of its awful beauty, and that I had seen it for the last time.

It was towards evening when I reached the house. I had not been so tired for a long time; for climbing forest-clad mountains, while excited by emotions, be they ever so joyous, is apt to exhaust one. But I was looking forward into a happy future.

When I awoke on the following morning, Wolfgang stood at my bedside, and said: "Grandfather, it has rained during the night; our plants are thriving beautifully. Now I can tell you--I have determined to become a forester."

I had, on the previous day, explained to Wolfgang a beautiful provision of nature; how, when, through accident, the growth of the main trunk of the pine-tree is interfered with, a side branch becomes converted into the main trunk. None of my sons had become foresters, and now Julius and Wolfgang were side-branches that made up for it.

I believe it was fortunate that Wolfgang's resolve to become a forester sprang from his affection for the forest, and not from his love of the hunting.

Unfortunately, the other motive had been Ernst's. I had often warned him, but in vain.


A few days after that, I was surprised by a newspaper article, which had been written by my son Ludwig.

I have preserved it. It read as follows:


"All hail to the friends of my youth, and of my Fatherland!

"Every one has a right to address three questions to me; and, as it is not one of the pleasures of life to repeat the same thing a hundred times, I hope I may be permitted to answer in this public manner.

"First: How goes it with you, and do you intend to remain with us?

"It goes well with me. For the first few years I spent in America, I had hard times; but I worked my way through. I am not rich, but have enough. I married a German, the daughter of Professor Uhlenkemp. I lost my eldest son during the war with the South, and have another son sixteen years of age, who belongs to no religious denomination.

"As to my remaining here, or leaving, I am for the present, unable to answer.

"Second: What do you think of emigration to America?

"Answer: The United States afford elbow-room and freedom, and are a good refuge for people who are willing to work hard in order to achieve independence. But he who emigrates must make up his mind to forego many pleasures, with which we at home are so familiarized that we do not know that we are enjoying them; just as we do not miss the drink of fresh, pure water, until it can no longer be had, and do not think of the pure air while it is ours to breathe.

"Third: How do you find Germany?

"I find only halves of Germany; but they must and will--who knows how soon--become a whole Germany.

"The German people have become more practical and well-to-do than they were formerly. As far as I have been able to observe, there is an abundance of well-directed energy; great activity in all that pertains to the trades, to science or to art, and enough liberty to achieve what is still needed to make a complete whole. Let all remain strong and firm, and, without faltering, faithfully labor for the common weal.

"These are my answers; and to every one whom I meet and find true to the Fatherland and to liberty, I shall cordially extend the hand of fellowship.


"Hydraulic and Civil Engineer,


This explanation of Ludwig's naturally caused me some surprise. But it was practical, at all events, although the reference to Wolfgang seemed unnecessary, and calculated to provoke unpleasant comment.

I soon became aware of its effect, in a manner which, at first, promised to be unpleasant, but afterward proved for the best.

Although Annette was still living in our neighborhood, I have not mentioned her for some time. She would ride over to see us, but paid us only short visits, and would occasionally inquire about the Professor, as she, too, now termed Richard.

She seemed provoked at him, and probably felt resentment that the friendship, and, perhaps, affection, which she had offered him were not returned.

She visited the spinner and the schoolmaster's wife; she greeted Martella and Rothfuss, but her whole manner seemed strange and constrained. I soon knew the reason for this; for Johanna expressed her satisfaction that Annette, who had been so worldly, had at last been saved; "for," as she said, "safety can be found even in the Catholic faith."

The Baroness and her clerical assistants had succeeded in drawing Annette into their toils.

One day, Annette came to us looking pale and greatly excited. She said that, although I had so many guests, she begged me to permit her to stay with us for a few days. She frankly confessed that she had, now and forever, broken with the Baroness and all her adherents. The Baroness had endeavored to bind all who were in the faith to break off intercourse with our family; for it is written, "woe to that man by whom the offense cometh," and the worst offense had issued from our house. The fact that my daughter-in-law considered herself a wife, although her marriage had not been solemnized by a clergyman, might have been passed over in silence; but the public proclamation of the grandson's want of religion was exasperating.

Annette had determined to flee from such fanatical surroundings.

I told her of Wolfgang's power of self-control, and how he had held back a resolution which illumined his whole being until he had quietly matured it; and Annette exclaimed, "Yes; that is the best religion; that is a holy spirit."

I was obliged to restrain her from expressing herself thus to Wolfgang. On the following day, Ludwig returned; and this afforded her an opportunity to unbosom herself to him. At their first meeting, he conceived a great liking for her.

He told her of the great family gathering that was to be held.

As she was not related by ties of kindred, she did not wish to remain with us.

But Ludwig induced her to stay; and when he and I were alone, he said, "I cannot understand why Richard does not sue for her hand; she seems to be made for him."

I told him that, on her deathbed, mother had said, "He will marry her for all."

I now felt satisfied that Gustava had, in all likelihood, referred to Annette. Ludwig felt sure of it; but, as if at the same time marking out his own course, he said, "Father, do not let Richard notice our feelings in this matter, or we may frighten him away."

Wolfgang's desire to become a forester met with the glad approval of his father, who said: "It will soon turn out with the American forests just as it does with the fishes of the sea. One cannot always be harvesting and preying on others; it is necessary to plant and to cultivate as well."

He requested Annette, who was very much interested in Wolfgang, and spent much time with him, not to interfere with his wonted equanimity; for she was constantly trying to discover how Wolfgang felt when he saw a church-steeple, or heard the church-bells. She had just emerged from an atmosphere which was religious to the exclusion of all other considerations, and the youth was therefore a mysterious and marvellous contrast to all that she had left behind her. He seemed to her the representative being of later centuries; and she tried to discover how things would be after our generation. She was pleased to call Wolfgang 'Emile, and reminded us of Rousseau's work of the name.

Ludwig's wife avoided Annette, who, in her impulsive way, had at once desired to cultivate intimate relations with her. Conny, who was quiet and reserved, had a dread of the restless fluttering of such a being as Annette.


One evening, Martella came to me, and, with a timid manner to which I was quite unused in her, asked me to allow her to return to Jaegerlies, with whom she had formerly lived. She had heard that the old woman was sick, and at the point of death. She had left her quite suddenly, and now wanted to return; and thought it would be far better if she were not to come back until our guests had left.

She extended her hand to me, and said, "I promise you that I will surely return."

Her behavior puzzled me; and when I endeavored to find out why she really wished to leave, she said that it might be a stupid feeling, but she had a constant presentiment of some great misfortune near at hand.

I tried to persuade her that there were no grounds for this uneasy feeling, as Ludwig, his wife, and Wolfgang all treated her as one of the family. She persisted in her determination; and I at last reminded her that she had promised my wife never to leave me.

"I did not think you would remind me of that," she said; "but, of course, if you fall back on that, I shall remain here even if they try to drive me away."

Martella might well feel anxious, for she was a living proof that our family was incomplete; she, too, had been obliged to accustom herself to constant sorrow, and to learn to lead a life tranquil and resigned.

Nearly all to whom invitations had been sent, promptly answered that they would come. My sister wrote that she would bring her daughter, and her future son-in-law; but, that, on account of his duties, her husband would be unable to leave home. My brother-in-law, the pastor, who lived in Alsace, was also unable to come.

With every letter that came, I felt as if I must read it to my wife. Who could so help me to celebrate such a day, as she would have done? The life of the best of children is really for themselves. It is only the wife who lives entirely for and with her husband--one life consisting of two lives inseparably united. Inseparably! They have been separated, and a portion yet lives, leading a fragmentary existence.

I succeeded in repressing my emotions, and prepared myself for the great joy which was yet vouchsafed me.

On his return from his short trip, Ludwig had much to tell us, giving us quite a medley of merry and sad experiences. He had met many of his old comrades; and, among others, had visited his most intimate friend, a Professor at the teachers' seminary, in a town of the Oberland. The Professor was a model of quiet unobtrusive learning.

"I am shaping my block of stone," were the Professor's words: "what place it may occupy in the great Pantheon I do not know; but, nevertheless, I fulfil my little task as well as I know how."

He felt quite sad to find one of his old comrades in the very position he had occupied twenty-five years before. He might have become one of the best of men, for he has a good wife, and fine children; but he is the slave of drink, and is intoxicated from morning till night. Indeed, in the country one must constantly renew his intellectual life, or there is danger of giving way to drunkenness.

Ludwig had also visited his uncle, the Inspector of the water-works at the Upper Rhine, under whom he had worked for a year. He regretted his inability to attend our festival, but promised to send his son; and Ludwig was quite pleased when he told us how his uncle had said:

"The Rhine seems as if lost, and does not know whither it should flow. It is against nature that one bank of a stream should belong to one country, and the opposite bank to another."

Sister Babette and her family were the first to arrive; and, shortly after their first greeting of Ludwig and his family, they inquired for Martella. She was delighted to find that they were so much interested in her, and also to obtain from them some little news in relation to Ernst's short stay with them. Even Pincher recognized the Alsatians.

The bridegroom-elect, who was now an officer of the customs, had come in his uniform, and was quite condescending in his manner, as if he intended, with every word, to say, "I am superior to you all, for I am a Frenchman." And yet, in spite of this, he had the very German name of Kräutle.

Annette did him the favor to speak French with him. He was quite delighted, and Annette asserted that he and his bride were ashamed of the Alsatian language; when speaking French, they evidently felt that they appeared at their best, and to ask them to forego that pleasure would be much the same as requiring one never to wear his Sunday clothes.

Annette was embroidering a silk ribbon; and Richard picked up the end of it and held it in his hands. But she generally managed to spoil the effect of her pretty speeches, and added that people could talk French without having ideas; but that, when speaking German, they noticed the absence of costume, and were ashamed thereat. When she uttered these last words, Richard dropped the ribbon he had been holding, and walked away.

Annette was happy whenever she could express her pleasure with any one, and Ludwig was not wrong in saying:

"She will be one of the best of wives when she is once a mother. Now she is fluttering about, hither and thither; is herself restless, and disturbs others."

With every hour, new guests arrived, and Martella said: "It was stupid of me to have wanted to go away; I am needed here, where there are so many strangers--no, not strangers--O dear Lord, so many beings who belong to one! If mother were only living yet, she could help me love them. O dear father, when we step over into eternity, and meet all the beings who belong to us--so many! so many! Indeed, father, you are now experiencing a part of eternity."

And it was so.

But I felt that age was coming on me. I could not walk about much, and was obliged almost constantly to remain seated in my room, where they all came to me. To see Wolfgang and Victor together, was to me joy unutterable. My sister asserted that, when a child, I had looked just as these two now did. I cannot imagine that I ever looked so elegant and distinguished-looking.

After the Major joined us, the customs officer became much quieter in his manner; for the Major had come in full uniform.

Johanna, who, since Ludwig's arrival, had become even more reserved and austere, seemed to find the meeting with her son, the vicar, a pleasant change. Nothing daunted by my presence, she complained to him that, with a sister-in-law who had only been married by a civil magistrate, and with a nephew who had not even been christened, she felt as if living among heathens.

The vicar, who was more liberal in his views, and yet felt quite at home in his vocation, pacified his mother, and she concluded to take part in the family festival.

The eldest son of the inspector of the water-works came with his two sisters, and the Major was delighted to find that this young man, my godson, had determined to follow the sea.

Ludwig told us that a sea-captain had assured him that the naval cadets were principally recruited from the inland provinces, while the sailors naturally came from among the dwellers along the sea-coast.

The medical counsellor, who had formerly been director of the jail in which Ludwig and Rothfuss had been imprisoned, but who had now retired on a pension, was also among the guests, and Rothfuss was delighted beyond measure to meet him again.

Baron Arven did not fail to offer his congratulations. He seemed quite surprised to find Annette dressed in colors. He cordially greeted us all, and constantly addressed Ludwig as "Colonel." He remained but a short time, and had probably only visited us in order to show that it was his desire to keep on good terms with us, and that he wished to have nothing to do with any enmities or unpleasant feelings which other members of his household might cherish towards us.

Ah, I thought I could have given the names of them all, but I find it impossible. The hearty greetings of so many guests had so fatigued me, that I slept until late on Sunday morning. When I awoke, I heard a lovely chorus, accompanied by an harmonium; and, after that, a quartette of female voices.

This was the first intimation we had of Conny's powerful and sympathetic contralto voice.

The other voices I recognized at once. They were Bertha's, Annette's, and Martha's.

If it was pleasant to see Wolfgang and Victor together, it was, perhaps, yet more lovely to see the sympathy between Conny and Bertha; and Martella expressed my own feelings, when she said, "Dear sister Conny, you did not have the happiness to know mother, but Bertha is very much like her."

When I at last joined all my kindred, there was a new surprise in store for me. Before retiring, I had inquired about Julius. I do not know whether you have already observed it, but he is a special favorite of mine. He is well-off in every respect--well provided for, both intellectually and in regard to the world's goods, though without great riches or luxury. He is like a healthy forest-tree; without bright blossoms, but silently thriving, nevertheless. I shall not indulge in further praise of him, for he dislikes praise.

And now Julius came and told me that Ludwig had obtained a dispensation for the marriage of the young people without the delay of publishing the banns. Rontheim and his wife had at first been disinclined to consent to such haste, but Ludwig had persistently urged them. And now it was determined that the wedding should take place to-day, and that his cousin, the vicar, should marry them, for Martha had insisted that they should be married by a clergyman. Whereupon Ludwig said: "We are certainly very tolerant towards these believers."

I had ceased to be surprised by anything.

We marched towards the church to the sound of music, the ringing of bells, and the noise of cannon, which the mountains re-echoed. But when we reached the spring, which, as I afterwards learned, had been decorated by Martella, I felt a pang. Why could Gustava not have lived to enjoy this? And then, repressing the sad thought, I let joy descend upon me, and said to myself, "Keep thyself erect, and in health, so that thou mayest not disturb the happiness of the many who belong to thee."

When we reached the spring at the edge of the woods, we halted. What to us had seemed impossible, Ludwig had already accomplished. The iron column was already there, and around it were stone seats, and also a high bench, where people might lay aside their burdens.

"One learns these things in America," said Ludwig. "There they do not care for yesterday, and do not console themselves with the hope of to-morrow: all must live in the present."

After leaving the church, where the wedding was celebrated in a simple manner, we marched in procession to the family woods, where, by Ludwig's orders, great tables had been erected; and on our way there he told me how clever Ikwarte had been in the work.

I cannot find words to speak of the great table in the woods.

Before we seated ourselves, we were all obliged to remain perfectly still for a short time. Ludwig had made arrangements to have the whole group photographed. They all say that I look very sad in the picture; it may be so, for I could not help thinking, "Where is Ernst now? Does the sun that now shines on us, shine on him too?" It is especially pleasant to see Martella and Rothfuss in the background, holding each other's hands. Annette is also in the family picture; her eyes are downcast, while Richard is looking towards her. Since the loss of her husband, she had never laid aside her mourning, but to-day she wore colors.

The Major's speech at the dinner was even better than the vicar's in the church.

Martella's best and only treasure was Ernst's prize cup. She had placed it before me on the table, and Annette had wound a garland of flowers around it.

After the Major's speech, the wine-cup travelled the rounds of the whole table.

After the clinking of glasses, and the drinking of healths, the conversation had become loud and excited; after that, all became as noiseless as in a church during silent prayer. It was one of those pauses that ensue after the soul has unburdened itself, and when, for a moment, there is nothing new to engage it.

And during that pause I could hear Annette saying to Conny, "Yes, dear Conny, I, as a stranger, beloved and loving in return, can speak more impartially than relatives can. I cannot describe the mother to you; and yet I have seen her to-day, or at least her counterpart. When Julius was standing at the altar, he had her very expression. He resembles her more than any one--he has her eyes.

"Ah, what a pity that you did not know her! She was full of life, and yet gentle withal; and when she spoke with you, she never looked to right or left. She never tried to create an impression, and yet in her presence one always felt exalted; and while her glance rested on one, it was impossible to indulge in vile or ignoble thoughts. What to others seemed exalted and great, was with her a matter of course. She practised and expressed all that is highest as easily as others say 'Good-morning.' In her hands, even the common-place became invested with beauty. She judged of people with love, and yet with freedom.

"Thus, she once said, 'I felt inclined to be angry with Baroness Arven, because she does not understand her excellent husband; but he, on the other hand, does not do his wife justice. She is created for society--for interesting, witty small talk--and he desires to feed her soul with thoughts of nature and Fatherland. Fanaticism, in every one of its thousand shapes, endeavors to force its own convictions on others, and this is both good and evil at the same time.'

"She said something to me which I have worn as an amulet, and it is, after all, but a simple maxim.

"When I complained to her that it was so difficult with me to fix the proper relation towards others, she replied:

"'Child, you do not maintain the right distance between yourself and others. With every one, even though it be a Rothfuss, you move into most familiar contiguity.' Her words impressed me deeply, and were of great help to me.

"She understood herself, and that made every one else feel on sure ground. When one felt depressed or sad, without hardly knowing why, the mere fact that you were suffering was enough to arouse her sympathy: and that would always cure the pain.

"But what avails it to speak of separate disconnected traits. I might as well try to give you an idea of a glorious symphony by singing a few bars of one of its melodies. When with her I felt in a higher world."

Thus spoke Annette. She did not seem to notice that all were silent while she was talking.

And then Bertha and Conny arose from their seats and covered her with their caresses.

I could not move from the spot. I saw Richard rising, but he sat down again at once.

Ludwig turned to him and said: "Her mind and her exterior correspond. At first she does not impress one as wondrously beautiful; but, day by day, she grows in loveliness."

This invocation of my wife had, for the time being, invested the festival with a certain solemn impressiveness; but soon mirth burst all bounds, and the young couple again became the centre of joy.

Rontheim was so happy that he drank fellowship with the Major, with Ludwig, and with Richard. A blissful feeling of brotherly affection seemed to unite all.

Rothfuss afforded us great amusement. He wore a bouquet in his hunter's coat, and another, with a red ribbon streaming from it, in his hat. "Colonel," he called out to Ludwig, "may I be permitted to say one word?"

"Have you made up your mind what to wish for?"

"No; this is something else. All I wish is that you shall say 'Yes,' and that will do."

"What do you mean?"

"Listen. You are Colonel of the negroes--of the blacks--and there are people who say that negroes are not human beings. Now listen! What is it that man alone can do, and that neither horse nor ox nor stag can do like him?"

"Why, speak, to be sure."

"Wrong: The beasts do speak; but we are too stupid to understand them. No; I mean something quite different: man alone can drink wine. If the negroes can drink wine, they are men just as we are. Tell me, can negroes drink wine?"


"All right, then. Here's to the health of our black brethren."

He emptied his glass and was about to walk away, when Richard called out: "Stop! I ask all to join me in drinking the health of the great man who has solved the question of slavery, in wine. Long live our great philosopher--Rothfuss!"

It seemed as if the cheers would never end, and Rothfuss called out, "To-day I will get jolly drunk seven times at least--no, seven times is not enough!"

When we at last arose from the table, I inquired for Rothfuss. I was concerned about him, for he had been acting like a crazy man.

Ikwarte said that, although Rothfuss showed signs of having drunk too much, he had gone up into the woods and had taken a bottle of champagne with him.

They hunted and hunted, and at last found him. He was asleep, and the empty bottle was lying on the ground by his side.

"Oh," he complained, "why did you wake me? I died so happy. To die drunk is the best way, after all; now, I've got to die over again. No matter; I'll wait for master, and then we will ride to heaven in double harness; or, if the parson is right in what he says, to hell. It's all the same to me; I shall stay with master."

Then he embraced Ludwig, and repeatedly said to him; "Let me go to jail once more for you." They managed to get him home without further trouble.


The newly married couple left; but the young people were averse to breaking up, and kept up the dance until long after nightfall. A little circumstance occurred which greatly excited Martella.

Julius's friends had come in their smart hunter's suits; even Rautenkron had overcome his scruples, and attended the festival, although he did not join us at table.

We were told that Rautenkron had always been angry that Martella was permitted to keep her own dog, and Pincher, moreover, had a special aversion to Rautenkron.

At the same time that Rothfuss was being looked up, a terrible barking and yelling arose. The strange dogs had fallen upon Pincher, and it was even said that Rautenkron had called out to his dog, "At him, Turenne! Break his neck for him!"

When they at last succeeded in separating the dogs, Pincher was dead, and Martella's lamentations were heart-rending. She indulged in expressions that I would not have expected of her: "It was the only living thing that belonged to me, and that Ernst had left me. Now I am all alone in the wide world!"

When I spoke to her, she hastily said, "Forgive me; I am sometimes very silly."

She could not bear the sight of the dead dog, and begged that he might be buried in the woods.

In the meantime, Rautenkron was explaining to Wolfgang that his ambition to become a forester was based on a false ideal; that dealing in rags was a much prettier occupation. For then one need know nothing of the people who once wore the rags; but that the forest people were all cheats, and, if they could, would convert the trees into as great cheats as they were.

We were still engaged watching the dancers, and it was a great pleasure to see Wolfgang dance with Clotilde, the Major's daughter. Wolfgang arranged an American dance, which was so wild that it evidently originated with the Indians.

The young Alsatian couple also joined in the dance.

Carl had allowed Marie to dance with another one of the village lads, and stood holding the hand of Martella, whom he had led to the dancing floor. She said that she did not wish to dance, and that for tenfold reasons she ought not to, especially as her betrothed was far away. But all persuaded her. Rothfuss--who, having been aroused by the music, had gathered himself up again, and was now seated at the table by the side of Ikwarte--was especially anxious that she should dance.

When Martella began to dance, a great change seemed to come over her. There was something uncanny in her features and in her eyes.

Nearly all of us left the dancing floor, and Annette requested Martella to go with us.

"Oh, no," she exclaimed, while her eyes rolled and her lips quivered; "I have now begun, and I cannot stop so soon. Good-night, my lady."

She remained, and all were filled with admiration of her light movements and her wonderful tours de force.

"Why, you can jump about like a squirrel, and fly like a bird," said Rothfuss.

"So I can," cried Martella. "Do you know how it is when one of the cuckoo's brood leaves its nest in which the simple tomtits have fed it? None of you have ever seen it, but I have. I, too, am one of the cuckoo's brood. It flies away it flies away. Play on, fiddlers. Let us have the cuckoo's song. Keep quiet, all of you; I will dance for you."

And then she began to dance, raising herself and bending towards the ground again as if she really had wings; and all were delighted.

When she stopped all cried out, "Again! again!" and the Alsatian exclaimed, "Da-capo!"

Ikwarte arose and said, "Miss, do not let them abuse your good-nature; do not let them make a fool of you. There is enough of it."

"This is not your affair," exclaimed Carl, "you Prussian!--you starveling!"

"I have nothing to say to you," answered Ikwarte; "you are not worth answering."

Martella danced again, to the great delight of all.

But while she was dancing, one could see that it took several of the lads to hold Carl.

When the dance was over, Carl rushed up to Ikwarte, and cried:

"You cursed Prussian! why do you think that I am not worthy of being answered?"

"I have no respect for a man who would put himself in the way of being captured."

"Is that it?"

"Carl, take none of the Prussian's impudence," called out Martella. "It is the Prussians' fault that my Ernst had to go forth into misery. Pay him up for it!"

And then followed terrible scuffling and fighting.

Ikwarte seemed, at first, unable to realize that he was actually involved in a fight; but when he saw that matters were in earnest, he seized Carl, and held him as firmly as in a vise. Rothfuss urged them on, for fighting was his delight. They were at last separated, and then Martella threw herself on the ground, tore her hair, and cried out, "It is all my fault! It is my fault! I am ruined!"

Rothfuss succeeded in leading her away. She tried to escape from him and to run out into the woods, saying, "Anything rather than go back home, for I don't deserve to go there."

He succeeded, at last, in inducing her to enter the house of Carl's mother. Accompanied by Annette and Conny, I went there to bring her home, and was startled when I saw what a change had come over the poor child. Nevertheless, her agitation had not disfigured her; she seemed more lovely than ever--almost supernaturally beautiful.

"O father!" she cried. "Indeed, I have no longer the right to use those words. I knew it; I felt a presentiment of it all, and I wanted to go away. Why didn't you let me go? I don't belong here, and now less than ever. The worst that could have happened to me has happened. I have relapsed into savage folly. And yet she who is up there said, 'Do not lose faith in yourself and in your goodness, and you can accomplish everything.' The worst punishment is mine, for I have lost faith in myself. I may become crazed again any moment; I no longer believe in myself."

When Conny and Annette spoke to her in their kind way, she exclaimed, "Every kind word of yours gives me new pain. Scold me, beat me, kick me--I deserve such treatment, and shall find it less painful than kind words that I do not deserve. I was so happy in thinking that I had accomplished all, but it is not so. Now I see how much love and respect you all had for me; and when Ernst returns I shall tell him everything. He may scold me heartily, for I have deserved it."

We conducted her to the house, where we found Ikwarte, whose appearance seemed the very opposite of what it usually was. He seemed as if crushed, and continually said, "Colonel, I admit that it was highly improper on my part, especially as it happened in a strange land."

Ludwig took it all in good part, and laughingly remarked that North and South Germany had again been scuffling with each other. Then he apologized for Ikwarte, by saying that he could not stand wine; that, except when taking communion, he had not tasted a drop of wine up to his twentieth year.

Ikwarte stood by, nodding his assent and pulling his red mustache. After that, he went off with Rothfuss.

In the meanwhile, Martella sat crouching on the floor in a corner of the room.

Ludwig softly said to me, "Now is the time to let Martella tell us who and whence she is."

I thought that as the child was overmuch agitated, it might be better to wait until the next day; but he insisted that this was the proper time.


Ludwig went up to Martella and said, "Martella, there is a woman in America who knows you."

Martella jumped to her feet and, brushing her hair from her face with both hands, asked, "How do you know that?"

"I will tell you how, when you have told your history. Will you do so?"

"I will. It is well and proper that I should. But no one shall be present but you and father. Forgive me, kind ladies," she said, addressing Conny and Annette in an unwonted tone. "I can only tell this to father and to brother."

She drank a few drops of water, and then, seating herself behind the table that was next to the wall, began:

"I can only remember as far back as my sixth year. I have no distinct recollection of anything that happened before that time. We lived in a city on the Rhine,--I believe it is called Mayence. There are two sorts of soldiers there--Prussians and Austrians. The Austrians have white coats, like the cousin who once visited us with Baron Arven. Under the small golden mirror in my mother's room on the opposite wall, there was quite a large glass that reached from the ceiling to the floor there was a portrait of a handsome officer, whom I believe I have already seen. My mother always addressed him as 'Prince,' and he laughed when she did so. His eyes were of a light blue; I cannot recall any of his other features. My mother would often say to me, while she pointed to the picture, 'Martella, do not forget, this is your father. He has great love for me, and for you too.' It was a long while before I knew how my mother gained her living. She would sleep until near mid-day, and would often stand on her toes, or walk on them around the room. Then she would suddenly let herself fall to the ground, spring up again and take long steps. Then she would place herself before the mirror, and bow and kiss her hands to herself. Once she looked so lovely, with a thin gauze-like robe about her body, and various kinds of gauze over that. She looked just like a beautiful bird, and almost like the peacock down in the garden. And I was prettily dressed also. I had wings on my shoulders, and they had two mirrors for me, so that I might see how I looked in front, and in the back. And I had golden shoes on, and had to learn how to spread out my hands and then bring them together quite slowly. With a girdle around my waist--it was golden, and studded with diamonds--I floated in the air, and could hear the people screaming with delight and clapping their hands; but I could not see where I was, or how many people were there. We rode home in a carriage--I can recollect that, but cannot remember what happened for some time afterward. One day, my mother showed me a man who wore a green dressing-gown and had curled hair; then she said to me: 'My child, this is your father now--you must say "father" to him.'

"He spoke to me, but I could not understand what he said; and mother said, 'The child is worth ten thousand florins, and can earn a great deal of money.'

"About that time, I often heard the word 'America,' and, as I was told to call everybody 'uncle,' I once inquired where 'Uncle America lived?' whereupon they laughed very loud, and the man with the curled hair, whom I had to call father, kissed me.

"There was a maid living with us, who would always say, 'You poor child, you must go to America, among the savages. O you poor child!'

"And one morning, I heard them say that we would go to America that day. Down by the Rhine there was a great crowd and noise, and when we were on the vessel, some one said, 'Keep your seat here, or you will be left behind?' And when all was confusion on shipboard, I stealthily crept on shore, and hid myself behind some hogsheads in which the bees were humming; they did not trouble me. I heard the ringing of the bell, and the paddling of the wheels--but did not move. I had a little satchel full of cakes, which I ate.

"The embroidered satchel had been presented to me by the Prince, whose picture hung under the mirror. I still own it; it is the only memento I have of that time. And we had a dog whose name was Pincher, and for that reason I called my poor departed dog by the same name.

"When at last evening came, I crept out of my hiding-place, and saw a great crowd gathered about an old woman who was sitting on the ground and lamenting: They have purposely left me behind; they did not want to take me with them!'

"The people told her they would help her, and would give her money that she might follow her relatives. But she always replied, 'No, I will not do that; they do not want me.' And they gave the old woman money and went on their way. And when they had all gone, I said to her, 'Take me with you; I am worth ten thousand florins.'

"Then she laughed and said, 'Indeed you are!' And then I told her that I had secretly remained behind--that I did not want to go to America.

"She laughed again, and took me on her lap, saying: 'That is right. We two will stay together.'

"And we wandered far and near, and she told every one that I was her granddaughter. We received many gifts, and every one told me that I was so pretty; and I told the old woman--her name was Jaegerlies--that I had wings, and she said, 'I believe it: they will grow again when I am dead.' But I am telling you silly stuff--am I not?"

"No, no; go on."

"At last we reached yonder forest, and then Jaegerlies said, 'Let us stay here.' She had acquaintances who lived in the neighborhood, but she had no desire to meet any one, as they always laughed at her because her folks had left her behind when they emigrated to America.

"The gifts that we had received, had enabled us to buy cooking utensils, coverings for our moss beds, and a goat; and of food we could always have plenty.

"The summers were pleasant, but the winters were not so. We caught many birds, which served as food.

"I was also sent to school, and it was quite humiliating to me to be always told that I was a 'Jew girl.' I did not know what was meant by Jew, but I knew, that it was intended as a term of disgrace. I am not sure, but I think my mother was a Catholic.

"And thus I grew up and could wield the axe as well as the strongest wood-cutter; and no one dared to lay a finger on me.

"You might blind-fold me, and I could, by my sense of smell, recognize trees or their leaves. I carried a serpent's egg on my person; I had found it one morning between eleven and twelve, and had pocketed it. I had also a gift of finding wild honey, and the bees never harmed me when I took the combs. I was once employed that way, when Ernst came up to me. He acted as if he were about to punish me for what I had done; but I told him that this was not breaking of the laws of the forest, and that it was not poaching. And then he said to me, 'You are wild honey yourself.'

"Thus Ernst found me and brought me here, where I now am. But I do not deserve it. They say that Ernst is in Algiers, with the wild Turks. Give me some money that I may go to him--I can find him.

"But tell me now, Ludwig, how do you know that my mother is in America?"

"I know nothing of it; I simply guessed so, because you always have such a fear of America."

"So you are the son of such parents--and yet can lie? Your mother in heaven will never forgive you for that."

Ludwig was moved by this apostrophe, and asked Martella to forgive him. She nodded assent and shook hands with him and with me, saying at the same time: "Father, I shall do nothing more but what you tell me to do. I shall never again act of my own free will."

"Were you always called Martella?" inquired Ludwig.


"How, then?"


"Who gave you the name of Martella?"



"Because, she said, 'No one will know you by that name, and if they seek you they cannot find you.'"

"But how did she chance on that name?"

"That you ought to have asked her. And that is enough. Good-night."

Martella walked away.

Ludwig afterward told me that he had been making inquiries over in the valley where Jaegerlies had been living. He could not understand why we had not done so long before. Now it might be very difficult to discover anything, as Jaegerlies had died a few days before.

He had learned, from the neighbors, that she often spoke of America in a mysterious and indistinct manner, and that, together with Martella's aversion to the very mention of America, caused him to question her in the way he had done.


In spite of Martella's and Ikwarte's trouble, the great feast was pleasantly remembered in our house and throughout the village. Annette said: "Whenever I gave a large entertainment, it always grieved me to see the many people, who had just been together so cheerful and so lively, suddenly disappear. And it was always especially agreeable to me when several of my more intimate friends would remain. We would then gather together for a little quiet enjoyment, and so a smaller and more congenial circle succeeded the larger one; for that reason, I think some of us ought to remain here."

I saw Richard looking at Annette, and it was the first contented, happy glance I had ever seen him direct towards her. He had intended to leave, but now concluded to stay. It seemed as if, in spite of themselves, they had always chanced on points on which they could not agree, but now at last, and to their great delight, found themselves in accord.

Annette had greatly changed. She would no longer suddenly bound from one subject to another. Her manner had become calmer. She had learned how to put her questions modestly and yet firmly, and also how to be quiet.

Once she said, "Martella has told us what is the severest punishment. It is this: to lose faith in one's self, and to learn that excitement and weakness place us in the hands of chance or of strangers, and cause us to express the very things that we have desired most of all to keep within ourselves."

The festival brought painful consequences to Rothfuss, Ikwarte, and Carl, as well as to Martella. They went about without saying a word, and Annette, who was anxious to help, and quick to sympathize with others, tried her best to cheer them up.

One morning, we were sitting in the garden. Richard and Conny had gone over to the village, and Ludwig said to Annette, "We do not know how to thank you for having given my wife so true and feeling a description of mother."

Annette now expressed her delight with Conny, and when she asked Ludwig how he had made her acquaintance, he said,

"If father does not object to hear the story over again, I will tell you."

I consented, and Ludwig went on:

"The Americans have one thing in common with the old Romans; whenever they found a city, they provide, above all things, for pure water. There happened at the time to be a lively discussion in regard to the building of water-works. I hoped that the contract would be assigned to me, and travelled about for some distance through the neighboring country, in order to find the best springs. A mountain brook whose stream could easily be led into another, seemed to me best adapted for the purpose.

"I followed it up to its source, and was fortunate enough to find rich and copious springs. I had been wandering all day, when, towards evening, I saw a log-cabin half-way down the hillside. I walked up to it, and at last reached the house. The doors were open, and a dog, that seemed to be the only guardian of the place, jumped towards me as if glad to welcome me. I went into the entry and called out, but no one answered. I opened the door, and found a cosy, pretty room.

"Mother always used to say that the walls of a room are an index of the culture of its inmates. There were two engravings, copied from the paintings of the great masters, an open piano, and above it a bust of Mozart. I ventured to approach the piano. Mozart's G minor symphony lay open on the music-desk.

"Although I had not touched an instrument for a great while, I felt a great longing to touch the keys.

"I began to play, and felt as happy as a skilful swimmer breasting the waves. I played on and on, forgetting where I was; and when I stopped and looked around, I saw a fine-looking old man and a lovely, blooming maiden standing in the doorway.

"I suppose I need not tell you more.

"I remained in the hospitable house over-night, and soon discovered that my host was a refugee, and had been a comrade of father's. Constance, or, as she was familiarly called, Conny, became my betrothed, and afterwards my wife; and our son, who was born on the anniversary of Mozart's birthday, received his name.

"Our marriage is a happy one, blest with perfect harmony in thought and feeling.

"When I entered the army my wife merely said, 'You are doing right.'

"When my eldest son died, she was deeply afflicted, but soon resigned herself to the thought that all must make sacrifices.

"I was not a good commander--not that I was deficient in courage or endurance; but soldiering must be studied just like other things. My long experience in topographical studies, was, however, of great use to me. I had a quick eye for the advantages and the disadvantages of positions on our side, or that of the enemy. On the other hand, the Southerners had much better leaders than myself and many others who, like me, had not studied the art of war.

"Now you know the most important facts; and I must stop, for I see Conny and Richard coming."

They came, and Annette had enough self-command not to betray what she had just heard.


Richard and Ludwig left with the intention of entering Wolfgang at the forester's school. Richard and Annette now understood one another, and Richard's parting words were: "I think you will do well to remain here for some time. Your stay will be of benefit to yourself as well as to others."

Annette made no answer, but I could not help observing how her breast heaved with emotion.

She and Conny seemed also to be on excellent terms with each other.

Annette now understood how the intellectual life can be kept up, and even developed, in solitude, and, as usual, she was always delighted to find words in which to couch a new impression. She said to me, "There are hermits of education as well as of religion, and they attain the highest degree of development."

She often expressed her admiration of Conny's light hair, and endeavored to persuade her that it might be dressed in a far more effective style than the braids in which she wore it. Conny, however, did not care to act on this suggestion of Annette's.

On his return, Ludwig told me that he would not be able to remain through the summer, unless he had some fixed occupation. He was anxious to carry out a plan for a new and large builder's mill. He would be willing to superintend the erection of the building, but did not have enough ready money to undertake the enterprise. When I told him that I was no better off than he, Annette asked that she might be permitted to advance the sum. I declined, but, as Ludwig at once accepted her offer, I could make no further objection.

"Father," exclaimed Ludwig, with unwonted enthusiasm, "I firmly believe that water-power will assist us to solve the great labor question.

"What we are about to undertake makes me, in many respects, feel both free and happy. I hope to be able to set the two great levers of our age--enterprise and economy--in operation. I felt the so-called social question as a personal affront. I asked myself, 'Are you so old that you need fear a great change? In your younger years, you felt offended when you heard the old ones say, that is overdone, or utopian or demagogical, or whatever it might be, but now you use these very terms yourself.' I honestly examined myself in this, and felt obliged to act as I have done.

"If we domesticate industry, and open new sources of profit to those who dwell in the neighborhood, we are strengthening the best possession we have in this woodland region--our love of home.

"Love of home is a life artery, which, if not killed, is at least compressed by emigration.

"The old maxim advises us to remain at home and gain a living among those whom we know best. We extend its application by enabling others to do as we would do. We must learn how to keep up with the progress of the age. At first, we sent rough logs down the stream, towards Holland; now we send planks; and after this we must send them doors and window-frames and steps."

It was a pleasure to hear him explain his plans. He was determined that the people hereabouts should have better doors and windows, steps and flooring, than ever before. Besides that, he would see that there should be pretty designs for balconies. "The result of all which will be, that both we and our countrymen will make lots of money. Actions which are for the benefit of the general public will, if managed rightly, turn out to the profit of the individual."

Annette wanted to know whether he would not destroy all individuality, by attempting to provide people with ready-made houses just as they could buy ready-made clothes.

"That is what I propose to do," exclaimed Ludwig, cheerfully. "All should be uniform, for, after all, every one wears his coat in his own peculiar way. And I think I can anticipate another objection you are about to make--that the machines will disturb the landscape."

"That is my meaning exactly."

"And there are thousands who think just as you do. But mankind must accustom themselves to new ideas. It is the question of spinning-wheel or sewing-machine over again. Just as, in old times, the spinning-wheel occupied the most exalted station in the household, so does the sewing-machine now occupy the place of honor; and the spirit of beauty and the force of custom will soon adorn the latter as it once did the former--although that was a simple machine, while this is a complicated one."

"Thanks," said Annette, extending her hand to Ludwig; "you are really a citizen of the new world."

Ludwig's plan was to connect an island which lay in the valley-stream with the mainland, by blasting out and turning in some rocks from shore. He would thus be able to turn what had heretofore been useless, to good account, and at the same time increase the water-power. He went to work in true American style, and was delighted when I told him that the raftsmen were not allowed to pass down the stream except during two hours of the day, and that we could thus arrange our time in such a way that they would not interfere with us. He felt pleased that the people were no longer allowed to dilly-dally about their work, but were obliged to make use of an appointed time. He decided that the time for floating the rafts past the island should be fixed for the dinner hour, when the workmen in the mill were taking their rest.

"Ah," said he at last, "I can remember the very minute when mother explained to me what work really is. We were standing at the blacksmith's shop when she said to me, 'Look, Ludwig, this pound of iron is worth but a few groschen, but a pound of watch-springs is worth many hundred thalers. This shows you what labor is.' The recollection of that moment at the blacksmith's shop has remained alive in my memory ever since. I can yet see the blacksmith's journeyman at his work, forging the spikes with which the rafts were held together, and while he was shaping one spike the other was heating in the fire. I have always worked on the same principle."

We were visited by Annette's brother, who was just from Wildbad, and told us that on the day previous the French Ambassador had left there under instructions to visit the King of Prussia; and, it was further rumored, to bring it about that no German Prince should ascend the Spanish throne. There was great excitement everywhere, and he thought it hazardous to invest large sums in new enterprises; especially so for those who were near the French borders. The air seemed heavy as with an impending storm, and no one could tell how soon the cloud might burst.

Napoleon would be obliged to justify the new lease of power that the plebiscite had given him; he would find it necessary to furnish amusement for the French, who looked upon a war with us as a most agreeable diversion. Anything would serve him as an excuse.

For this reason, he thought it his duty to dissuade Annette from joining in our enterprise. He was willing, however, to advance the required sum out of his own funds, for, after all, there must be peace at last; and, if the undertaking should prove successful, it was his intention to transfer either the whole or a half of his share to Annette.

Ludwig wanted to employ none but discharged soldiers. He had no confidence in workmen who had not served in the army; and, as the stonecutter had been a soldier, he appointed him as chief of the stone-masons. He engaged an older man to superintend the erection of the building, who had been recommended as thoroughly honest; and it was Ludwig's intention to take him back to America with him.

We learned that this man had formerly been an officer of engineers. He had been obliged to resign, and now led a simple and industrious life, eating and sleeping with the quarry-men. It was only when at work, that one could notice that he was of a higher caste. But he seemed to have no judgment of his own, and always required instructions; when he received these he would execute them with care and precision. He was a man of very few words, and always seemed as if seeking something which he either could not or dared not name.

And then Ludwig sent for Wacker, the dissipated fellow who lived in the valley beyond the mountains. He was only slightly intoxicated when he arrived, and Ludwig said to him, "Wacker, I will give you a good situation on one condition: you may get drunk three times; but after the third, you will be summarily discharged. If you are agreed, all right; and I shall only add, beware of the first time: it will not cost you your situation, but it will make an inroad on your capital."

For a while, Wacker conducted himself properly; but he gave way at last. He had his three drunks, and was consequently discharged.

It was now time to begin measuring and other preparations, and to employ the laborers; for the first thing in order was to regulate the bed of the stream.

Annette found great pleasure in watching the progress of the building.

Ludwig had ascertained where the stream had the greatest fall. He had an instrument, by means of which one can, while on land, quickly ascertain the descent of the current; and this, too, afforded Annette much amusement. She was anxious to know whether the power of water was measured by so many horse-power. In her desire for information, she was constantly asking questions. Ludwig, being more practical than Richard, was naturally more indulgent with Annette's questionings. Annette had, moreover, ceased to speak as if she felt herself a privileged person; she had become more simple and retiring in her ways.

One day when Annette exclaimed, "Ah, what a pity to make the pure water work so!" Ludwig imitated her voice, and replied, "Ah, what a pity that the beautiful horses must draw Madame Annette's carriage!"

Annette blushed crimson; but she controlled herself, and said, "You are right; I spoke quite childishly."

"Oh, you angel!" cried Ludwig; "a woman who can say, 'You are right; I have been wrong,' really is a marvel."

We received permission to carry the road farther down the mountain, and in that way secured the best place to store our material.

There was another obstacle which we were obliged to overcome, and one of which we had never thought. The Englishman had leased the right to fish in the valley, from the villagers and farmers along the banks of the stream; and he now attempted, through the courts, to enjoin us from blasting the rocks; for just there was the best spot for trout.

Ludwig went before the court in person, and he succeeded in having the injunction set aside.

Before that, the Englishman had been a mere stranger to us; but now he was our enemy, and would not deign to bestow a glance on us. When any one of us walked or drove by, he would turn his back on us.

In all this trouble, Ludwig was calm and kind; but careless work made him so indignant that he characterized it as crime and villany. He was dissatisfied, because, in their own home, he found that the German workmen had two great faults--they were awkward, and wasted too much time. In the new world, these very people would act quite differently.

Annette wanted to erect kitchens down by the banks of the stream for the workmen. She had already discussed the matter with the schoolmaster's wife, and the locksmith's widow was ready to assist; but the people took no interest in the affair.

Although she had already made up her mind, the locksmith's widow considered it her duty to consult Ludwig in regard to her marrying again. She had chosen the young stone-mason, who was hardly as old as she.

The wedding took place on a Sunday; and Annette busied herself conjecturing how the three children must have felt at their mother's marriage.

We were obliged, out of compliment, to be present at the marriage feast; and Schweitzer-Schmalz, who was a relative of the bridegroom, called out, at the top of his voice, that the bridegroom had not needed to marry so soon for fear of being obliged to go to war again. The blatant Prussian would not venture to try conclusions with France; and if he did really attempt it, the real Germans, that is, the South Germans, would not assist.

In a loud voice, he retailed the wisdom of the popular journals; and I verily believe that he did it with the intention of drawing us out.

Ludwig whispered to me, "It is not worth while trying to convert this man; events will teach him."

Although I did not believe there would be war, Ludwig looked forward to it with great certainty, and only feared that we might neglect the proper moment to let the whole world see that it was France that was wantonly and impiously forcing war upon us.

We went down to the valley stream in order to see that no accident should happen while the rocks were being blasted.

Ludwig superintended the blasting in person. With Annette and Conny, I was stationed down the road, while Rothfuss and Martella were on the other side, in order that all might be warned of the danger.

Suddenly there was a loud report which reverberated through the valleys and the forests; the blasting was a complete success.

Soon after, we were assembled on the road, and even the quarry-men were with us, when Ikwarte, accompanied by one of the forester's men, came running up to us, out of breath, exclaiming, before he reached us:

"War has been declared!"

The forester brought me a message informing me that France had declared war, and calling on me to repair to the meeting of the Parliament at once.

Ludwig gave instructions that the work should be continued without interruption, and placed the completion of the new building in charge of the engineer. That very evening he accompanied me to the capital, Martella going with us.

The Englishman stood by the bank, angling.

It was not until after I had left home, that I began to realize what was in store for us.



The great crisis which we have dreaded and yet hoped for has at last arrived. We are again obliged to contend with our hectoring neighbor, whose lust of power goads him to trample on our rights. We must fight, if we wish to endure; and will all Germany be united? If in this juncture we are not as one, our ruin is assured, and will be richly deserved.

To know that the decisive moment is at hand, and that you cannot actively participate--that you are only a single wave in the current, is at once an oppressive and an exalting thought.

In my mind, I go over the list of my fellow-members in the Parliament. The decision seems to hang in doubt. Eccentricity is still rampant, and decks itself with all sorts of revolutionary ideas.

And how is the Prince inclined? Were it better if it rested with one man to decide whether we should have war or peace?

And there is another bitter experience that is forced upon us in periods of doubt and indecision; namely, that fixed principles begin to waver.

I found it a great comfort to have Ludwig with me. He was so thoroughly in sympathy with me, and yet, at the same time, a foreigner. He had become a citizen of the New World, in which he had lived over twenty years, and his views were freer from prejudice than ours could be.

In spite of the declaration of war on the part of the French government, the ravings in the French Legislative Chambers, and the outcry in the streets of Paris, I yet encouraged a hope that war might be averted. But Ludwig thought--and I was obliged to agree with him--that it were both treachery and folly now, when the right was on our side, not to accept the battle which would thus only be postponed. For this constant waiting and watching for what others may do, is a painful state of dependence.

Ludwig was younger; his pulse was steadier. He had already fought in this country with undisciplined crowds, and, in the United States, had taken part in the great war.

He said in confidence that if he had known that the decision was so near at hand, he would have kept on better terms with Funk; because, at that moment, the great object was to gain his allegiance and that of his party, in which there was no lack of noble enthusiasts. Ludwig held that, in politics, it was not alone permissible, but even necessary, to use strategy and double-dealing.

Martella so urgently entreated me to permit her to accompany us, that, for her sake, Ludwig's wife remained at home.

At the village down by the railway station, and at nearly every station on the road, I was asked whether I believed there would be war, and whether I would advise the people to drive their cattle into out-of-the-way ravines and valleys, and to hide their household goods, on account of the threatened invasion of the French hordes.

I took great pains to explain my views; but, at the second station, Ludwig said: "Father, you are giving yourself unnecessary trouble. The people do not wish to learn anything. They think that you cannot know any more about it than they do. They simply ask you idle and anxious questions, just as they would at other times, 'What kind of weather do you think we will have?' Father, do not pour out the deepest feelings of your heart."

After that, I replied that one could not say much upon the subject; and I observed that the people, were more respectful because I was so reserved. They assumed that, as I was a delegate, I was fully informed on all subjects, and neither dared nor desired to unbosom myself.

It was rather late, but not too late. From that day, I learned that it is not best to open one's soul to another and reveal all that is within it; and for that reason, it is said of me that, since the beginning of the war, I am a changed man. In those days, I learned things that never were suffered to pass my lips.

The first one whom we met at the capital was my son-in-law, the Major.

"What is the opinion in the army?" inquired Ludwig.

The Major looked at him steadily, and, after a pause, answered, "Opinion? In the army there is obedience." With forced composure, he added, "As far as I know, the army neither debates nor votes."

He turned to me and said that this time we were better prepared than four years ago.

I asked whether the army orders had already been promulgated.

He shrugged his shoulders, and evidently did not care to divulge anything. He told me, though, that since the evening previous, he had been advanced to the rank of colonel, and had been placed in command of a regiment. When I spoke of this, as indicating that the Prince had decided for war, he lapsed into silence.

We soon parted, regretting that we could not go to his house, for Annette had already prepared quarters for our reception.

I then went to our club-house and learned that our party was already broken up. The Funk faction--I must give it this name, although he was not its leader--held separate meetings.

Ludwig determined logo at once to the meeting of Funk's party, because it was important above all things to know what was being done there.

"I believe in Lincoln's maxim," said he, "that 'it will never do to swap horses while crossing streams.'"

In little more than an hour, he returned and told us that he had been coldly received, although the leadership was shared with Funk by two members who had once been among his most intimate friends. He was now, however, able to tell that their plan was to insist on neutrality. They did not dare to think, much less to speak, of an alliance with France. Their intention, however, was to call together a large meeting of the popular party, in order to exert a moral influence on Parliament, and perhaps to overawe it.

At our meeting, we were expecting the arrival of the prime minister; the right wing of our party sided with the ministry.

The minister did not come; but sent one of his councillors, who informed me that the session would not be opened unless a quorum of delegates was present.

He told us that there was great disorder among the telegraphs.

After the councillor had left, Loedinger, my old associate and prison-mate, told me in confidence, that he expected a coup d'etat. He felt that the Prince had no desire to take counsel with the country, and had determined that his glory as a warrior should be shared by no one.

Loedinger was one of those imaginative persons who, whenever they form suspicions against any one, carry them to their extremest consequences.

The President, who was a member of our party, told us under the seal of secrecy, that the reason for delaying the opening of our session was that they might first ascertain what action the delegates in the next state would decide upon.

We were thus held in anxious suspense.

During the night, I found it impossible to sleep; and Ludwig, who was in the next room, called out to me: "Father, you must sleep; to-morrow will be a trying day. Just think of it!--the Emperor of Germany--I should say, the King of Prussia--must also sleep to-night, and he is three years older than you are."

Yes, it was on that night, the 16th of July, that my son announced the German Emperor to me. I could not help smiling with joy, and at last fell asleep. And, strange to say, I dreamed that I was again at Jena, and that the fantastic mummery of those days was being renewed. Because I had a round head and a ruddy complexion, I was termed the "Imperial Globe," and they maintained that, with my large stature and broad shoulders, the imperial mantle would fit me best of all. They placed it on me, and I was obliged forthwith to distribute offices. And suddenly, I was no longer the Emperor, but Rothfuss, who laughed most terribly. I, too, was obliged to laugh--and, laughing, I awoke.


When I opened my eyes, Ludwig stood at my bedside and said, "You have slept well, father, and it is well that you did. You will need all your strength to-day; for to-day it will be--Good-morning, Germany."

I cannot describe how my son's presence helped to strengthen me. I felt that, with his power added to mine, I was doubly prepared for all that might happen.

There is nothing more encouraging, in troubled times, than to have a faithful friend at one's side,--a truth which was proved to me on that day and many a time since.

I could not help recounting my strange dream, and when I added that it gave me incomparable joy to think that the day had at last arrived in which one might say the hearts of all Germans throbbed in unison, Ludwig begged me not to talk so much. He said that he could sympathize with me, and feel what a satisfaction it must be to me, after having fought and suffered for fifty years, at last to witness the fruition of my hopes, even though the price paid be war and bloodshed.

He was indeed right. He responded to all my feelings; I may indeed say that he anticipated them.

When I reached the street, the throng was such that it seemed as if all the houses had been emptied of their inhabitants. Here and there, were groups talking aloud, and before the printing-office of the principal newspaper, it was almost impossible to work one's way through the crowd.

It was there that I met an old friend, the incorruptible Mölder. In 1866 he had resigned a high position under the state, in order, thenceforth, to devote himself to his Fatherland, and, above all, to the cause of German unity.

"It is well that I meet you," he said; "we have war now, and have stolen a march on the French. Here, in the capital, the majority of the citizens are on our side, but in the country, as you well know, the so-called popular party is to a certain extent in the majority. The common people are not so willing to follow our advice, for they are in the hands of the clergy and the demagogues, who, for a little while longer, will travel together on the same road. For this reason, we have issued the call for a mass meeting at the Turners' Hall for this evening."

"Would it not be best for us delegates to hold aloof from it?" I inquired.

"No; it is too late for that. You will have to speak there, and so will your son from America. We did not care to arouse you so late last night, and I have, therefore, on my own responsibility, signed your name to the call. But look!"

I saw crowds standing at the street corners, and reading a large placard, calling on all whose hearts beat with love of Germany to meet together--and I really found my name at the foot of it.

I could not object; our actions were no longer at our own disposal.

Excited crowds filled the streets during the whole day. The whole population seemed like one restless being in anxious suspense. It was said that the telegraph wires had been connected with the palace, and as the people knew nothing of this before, the information caused great surprise. The afternoon paper brought the official news that they had wanted the King of Prussia to address the French Emperor in an humble letter, in which he was particularly forbidden to refer to the relationship existing between the French Emperor and the Prince of Hohenzollern, who had been elected King of Spain--a pleasant preparation for what was to ensue in the evening.

I did not see the Colonel during the whole day, but his friend, Professor Rolunt, hunted me up; and, from the manner in which he spoke of our project, it seemed to me that my son-in-law approved of it, and that the popular movement about to be set on foot, was not looked upon with disfavor by the government. Moreover, the Professor had become very cautious, and was known to stand well with government circles. He was believed to be an anonymous contributor to the official organ.

In the evening, we repaired to the place of meeting.

Mölder arrived, and with pale and trembling lips, told us:

"It is rumored that the friends of the French will attempt to break up the meeting. But I have called on the Turners. They are all on our side, and your son stands as well with them as he once did."

The proceedings began.

Mölder was the first speaker. I have never seen any one more excited than he was. His lips trembled, and he held fast to the rail with a convulsive grasp, while he began:

"We do not desire to become Prussians; but we wish to be Germans, as we must and shall be. Is there one among you who would dare to utter the accursed words, 'Rather French than Prussian!' If there be one who dares to think it, let him dare to say it."

He paused for a while, and then exclaimed:

"Is there such a one among you? Answer me! Yes or no!"

"No!" resounded from a thousand throats, and he responded with joyous voice, "Then we are all friends." He then concluded his address, eloquently maintaining that to attempt to remain neutral were both treachery and folly.

A young advocate who had been defeated in the recent elections, by one of the clerical party, followed. He spoke with that studied eloquence which talks glibly and in nicely rounded phrases. He concluded by demanding that the whole meeting should proceed to the palace and request the Prince to discharge his hesitating ministry; or, at all events, the one minister who seemed to be unpatriotically inclined.

Enthusiastic and joyous shouts of approval were showered upon him.

I saw the danger that threatened, and asked for the floor.

"There has been enough talking; it is time now for deeds!" cried a voice in the assembly, and it seemed as if the crowd were already on the move.

My heart stood still. We were no longer masters of our own actions.

Then Ludwig cried out, in a voice so powerful that the very walls seemed to tremble, "If you are men, listen! My father wishes to speak."

"Hurrah for the King of the Turners! Let old Waldfried speak! Silence! Order! Let old Waldfried speak!"

It was a long while before the shouting and the cheering ceased, and I think I spoke the right word at the right time.

I had a right to refer to my past, and to explain to them that it would only create disturbance and confusion to adopt such violent measures before anything had really been decided upon. If I were the Prince, I would not yield to their wishes until the voice of the representatives of the people had been heard.

The temper of the meeting changed, and I received many signs of approval.

When I had finished, there were shouts of, "We want to hear the King of the Turners speak!"

Ludwig mounted the rostrum; but so great was the applause, that it was several minutes before he could speak.

At last he began, in a cheerful tone, saying that we Germans were still full of the haughty arrogance of youth, and that this very meeting was a proof of it.

Then, with words that carried conviction to all who listened, he told them how the events of the last year had been a blessing to the emigrants in America; a blessing, indeed, which could not thoroughly be appreciated by those who were yet at home. The German had been respected, if he could call himself a Prussian; but now the time had come when the word German must be an honored name. And if, as some maintained, the South Germans are the real Germans, let them prove it.

If the Prussians are not yet Germans, they shall, and must, and will become so. They delivered us from the real Napoleon; they will also be able to free us from the counterfeit one. The first was not made of gold, but this one is mere pinchbeck.

"I have fought against negro slavery; now the battle is against the slavery that French ambition would submit us to."

While Ludwig was speaking, the chairman handed me a little slip of paper, on which were written the words, "Your son knows how to allow the heated steed to cool off before tying him."

Ludwig could, indeed, direct the mood of the meeting at will.

To the great amusement of his audience, he said that he had the rare good fortune of having been born near the boundary line, and that, consequently, the first object he had become sensible of, were the two brightly painted posts which stood side by side on the road; and that, while yet a child, he had often looked up to the trees in the woods, to see whether they knew to which of the posts they belonged.

"And when I returned, the abject life that we had been leading was again brought to my mind. On the one side marked by the bright post, all is Catholic, and on the other side all is Protestant, because in those times the people were obliged to accept their so-called religion from their masters.

"Allow me to take a comparison from my own trade. It requires many strong posts to make the scaffolding of a building. The departed martyrs for German unity were the scaffolding. It has been torn down, and now we behold the building, pure and simple, firmly and regularly built, and appropriately adorned.

"Or another simile: Have you ever observed a raft in the valley stream? It floats along slowly and lazily, but when it reaches the weir it hurries; and then is the time to find out whether the withes are strong and hold the planks firmly together.

"The German logs must now pass through the weir. There is a cracking and a straining, but they hold fast to each other, and right merrily do they float down into the Rhine and out into the ocean.

"The bells in the neighboring state have a different tone from ours; but if the two are in accord, the effect is so much the more beautiful. And from this moment let all bells chime in harmony."

Ludwig had the rare faculty of introducing apt illustrations while his audience was all aglow with enthusiasm, and thus kept the meeting in the best of humor and ready to agree with him when he concluded by saying: "We have been patient so long--for more than half a century: indeed, ever since the battle of Leipzig--that we can well afford to be patient for a few days, perhaps only a few hours longer."

The meeting which had been so excited closed with singing. It was on that evening that I heard "Die Wacht am Rhein," for the first time. It must, before that, have been slumbering on every lip, and had now at last awakened.

The young advocate who had proposed the immediate removal of the minister, whispered to me, "I thank you for having defeated my motion."

I looked at him with surprise, and he continued: "I do, indeed, thank you. The only object was to show the friends of the French that even though it might require extreme measures, no demand that liberalism could make would surprise us."

That sort of worldly wisdom was not to my taste.

The chairman then put the following resolution to a vote:

That we would remain true to the articles of confederation and to the German cause, with all our means and at every sacrifice.

They shouted their approval with one voice; and now he closed the meeting with a few cheerful remarks, announcing that we would adjourn to the garden, where the beer was very good, and where there would be no more speeches except the clinking of the mugs.


"Father, you had better go home; you need sleep. I will accompany you to our quarters, but I must return again, as they all insist upon my doing so."

Ludwig and I took our way through the streets. They were still filled with a surging crowd, and in front of the palace the entire guard was under arms. They had evidently made preparations against a popular disturbance.

When I arrived at the dwelling, Ludwig left me.

Annette was still awake, and informed me, as soon as I entered, that a member of the cabinet had been there, had left word that I should come to the palace that evening, and that if I would mention my name at the left entrance I would be admitted. He had also said that, no matter how late it was when I returned, I should not fail to come. I said that there must have been some mistake--that they probably meant my son Richard, or Ludwig; but Annette repeated that "Father Waldfried" had been especially mentioned.

I replied that I was so tired that I would have to leave it until the next day, but Annette thought that such a command must be implicitly obeyed, and believed that the Prince himself desired to speak with me.

I repaired to the palace. The whole of the left wing was illuminated.

When I gave my name to the lackey at the foot of the staircase, he called it out, and a secretary appeared and said, in a respectful voice; "The Prince awaits you."

I pointed to my workday dress, but was assured that that made no matter.

I ascended the staircase. On every hand there were guards. I was conducted into a large saloon, where the secretary left me. He soon reappeared, holding the door open and saying, "Please enter."

I went in. The Prince advanced to meet me, and took me by the hand, saying: "I thank you sincerely for having come. I would gladly have allowed you to rest overnight, but these times do not permit us to rest. Pray be seated."

It was well that I was allowed to take a seat.

The Prince must have observed that I was almost out of breath, and said: "Do not speak; you are quite exhausted. Permit me to tell you that, in this trying hour, I repose full confidence in you. I have, for a long while, desired to make your acquaintance. I have known your son, the Professor, ever since he was at the university."

He added other highly complimentary remarks.

A pause ensued, during which I noticed, on the opposite wall, a picture of the deceased Princess, who, as I had often heard, had been a great benefactress to the country during the famine of 1817. This picture revived my recollections of Gustava, and I felt as if I were not alone, but as if she were with me.

All this passed through my mind during the few moments of silence.

The Prince went on to say that he had been informed of what I had said an hour ago at the popular meeting. It had, for several days, been his desire to act in union with me, but that he had entertained doubts on various points,--among others as to whether I could attach myself to him; and that the information he had just received had at last aided him to form his conclusion.

"Excuse the question, but are you a republican?"

"I have sworn to support the government," was my answer.

"Are you a republican in theory?"

"In theory? The days of Pericles and Scipio are reflected in the soul of every German who has received a classical education, and, logically considered, a republic is the only form of free government. But neither the life of nature, nor that of human history, is absolutely logical, for actual necessity sets aside the systems erected by abstract reason."

"That is well, and we shall, therefore, no doubt agree on all that follows. But let me ask you one other question: Do you candidly and heartily desire the continued existence of my sovereign dynasty?"

"Sovereign--no; dynasty--yes."

At these words the Prince arose from his seat, and hurriedly walked across the floor. It seemed as if he involuntarily placed a distance between himself and me. He remained standing in a dark corner of the room.

There was a long pause, during which nothing broke the silence except the ticking of the little clock on his table.

Such words had never been uttered in those halls. I had done my duty; but I distrusted the Prince. Although suspicion is foreign to my nature, his entire behavior aroused it in me. The Prince returned, and stood opposite me, while he rested his clenched fist on his writing-desk. The full light was streaming on his face.

"Explain yourself more fully," he said.

"Your Highness," I replied, "what I said to you was said after full reflection."

"I feel assured of that; but speak out fearlessly."

"I have fought, thought, and lived for this during my whole lifetime. If we are to gain a real Fatherland, the princes must relinquish their claim to sovereignty: that belongs only to the whole.

"The growth of the idea of German unity has been in geometrical progression. During the period of the rotten restoration, from the battle of Leipzig down to 1830, those who entertained it might have been counted by hundreds, or, at most, thousands, and they were to be found only among the cultured or learned classes. After 1830, they were counted by hundreds of thousands, and after 1848, by millions; and to-day the thought of German unity is alive in all who know that they are Germans.

"One system of laws within our borders, a united army, and united representation in foreign lands. But the league of the states, that through joy and sorrow have achieved unity for themselves, should be faithfully preserved. The forest is one united whole, and yet every tree has its individual life.

"Your Highness, I live near the borders. The obstinacy of the Vienna congress has so cut up the country that we are obliged to go out of our state to get salt. I have fields and woods beyond the boundary post, and this has given rise to a thousand and one annoyances. Even the protection of the forests, on which depends the life of our landed interests, is obstructed by the diversity of laws. The hailstorm we had last week paid no regard to boundary posts."

From the depths of my heart, I said: "Your dynasty, you and your house, should remain our chief; but they should be subject to the greater commonwealth."

"Subject?" said the Prince. He evidently expected that I would withdraw or modify the word; but I felt that I could not do so.

And then he took my hand in his and said:

"I knew that these were your thoughts; I assumed as much. But I feel grateful that you have allowed me to hear them from your own lips. Do you believe that the majority of my--or our--people feel as you do?"

"No, I do not believe so. That is, they do not feel so to-day, but they will to-morrow. Deeds--deeds of sacrifice--are the most powerful instructors; they teach men what they should think, and even find a voice for what has been slumbering in their souls, but which--through pride and anger, or through want of courage--they have not even dared to think of."

"You are not an enthusiast."

"I do not believe I am one. The people love the princes from force of habit, and will be none the less glad to love them when reflection and reason permit them to do so."

"Have you ever had the desire to occupy a position of authority under the government?"

"Certainly; it was my greatest desire, and I believe--"

"You ought to be President of the ministry."

I replied that I was a practical farmer, and had never been in the government service.

"Tell me how you have become what you are," said the Prince, taking a seat opposite me.


"I shall gladly tell you all."

"The less reserve on your part, the greater my thanks."

"I was one of those who were persecuted on account of what at that time was called demagogism.

"The soldier who guarded me--he is now a servant in my employ--informed me that I had been sentenced to death, and offered to change clothes with me, in order that I might escape. I refused the offer and remained. We were not sentenced to death, but to imprisonment for ten years. Ten years! A long, long night stared us in the face.

"Your Highness has taken me by the hand. Your father declared that he would never voluntarily offer his hand to me or my confederates, although it were necessary to do so if we meant to give him a pledge of our allegiance.

"You cannot remember the circumstance.

"After being imprisoned for five years, we were pardoned, and I and two of my prison-mates were elected members of the Parliament.

"The Jurists objected to our assuming the privileges of citizenship.

"The House which acknowledged our election was dissolved, naturally enough, by Metternich's order. A new one met, and, as we had in the meanwhile been re-elected, it confirmed the validity of our election. Your father--I fully acknowledge his many acts of benevolence--was obliged to extend his hand to us in order that we might take the oath.

"There are no words that fitly describe the wicked man who lived in the imperial city, and to whom the sovereign German princes were obedient subjects. In future days it will seem incredible, that, in obedience to orders from Vienna, the German princes ordered our youth, under heavy penalties, to desist from improving their physical strength by gymnastic exercises.

"Perhaps you never knew that even singing clubs were forbidden, and that officials who had been connected with them were regarded with suspicion.

"Is it conceivable that a government which forbids physical development by means of gymnastics, and spiritual elevation by means of song, can for a moment have faith in its own stability?

"I am not easily moved to hatred; but, even now, the name of that man fills me with indignation.

"What crime had we been guilty of? Why, only this: with a youthful confidence in solemn promises, we had simply held fast to the idea that Germany had freed itself from the Corsican yoke in order to become a free, united empire.

"You cannot conceive, your Highness, how many noble-hearted men were thrown into dungeons, or driven into exile in those days. Who can measure what noble gifts ran to waste.

"When I think of these things, a sad picture presents itself to my mind's eye.

"Among our fellow-prisoners at the fortress, there was a young man who had already begun to lecture at the university.

"His father was an eminent philologist, and had been removed from his professorship for permitting himself, while lecturing, to indulge in expressions in favor of liberty. In a material sense, he was, fortunately, well-to-do. His family owned a large estate in the forest country, whither he repaired, taking with him his collections of antiques and his books.

"The son sickened while in prison, and a wasting fever undermined his youthful strength; and, as his days were numbered, the physician at the fortress requested the authorities to release him.

"I have positive information--as the sister of that young man afterward became my wife--that our Prince, your father, was willing to grant the discharge. But, before it could be carried into effect, it was necessary to ask for Metternich's permission--and Metternich refused it.

"The commandant of the fortress held me in great esteem, and permitted me, on his own responsibility, to be placed in the same cell with the sick prisoner.

"I nursed him faithfully, and watched his every movement. I shall never care to recall the thoughts that passed through my mind during the long days, and still longer nights, that I passed at his bedside. He was slowly sinking; for confinement was killing him, and yet no word of complaint ever fell from his lips.

"His father came and--could you imagine it?--was not allowed to converse with his son except in the presence of a guard.

"Then came his sister, only fifteen years old--but of that no matter at present.

"The noble martyr died. He was buried in the village at the foot of the fortress.

"While these things were going on, there was dancing and dining at Court, and Metternich was writing witty billet-doux.

"You, of course, have never heard of these things.

"Through the bars of our prison, we could look out into the fortress-yard and see the coffin placed on the wagon that was to carry it to the grave. But why should I revive the anger and sense of disgrace that filled our hearts at that moment? And who, on the other hand, would have the right to condemn us prisoners if, when at last free, we should indulge in deeds of vengeance?

"Your Highness will understand that I am only telling you of these matters so that you may have an idea of the sacrifices that were made to bring about the result which is now to be consummated through a struggle of life and death."

"I know it--I know it well; pray go on."

I plucked up my courage and continued: "My parents died while I was a prisoner. When I was at last discharged, I had lost all taste for a clerical calling. I was down in the village standing by the smithy, saw the blazing fire and watched the heavy hammers, and I yearned for just such hard manual labor. I begged the smith to take me as his apprentice, and he at once handed me a hammer. I was there but a week, when the father of the young man who had died in prison came and took me to his estate."

"And you married his daughter?"


"And does she still live?"

"No; she died, as I am unfortunately forced to believe, through grief on account of the desertion of our youngest son just before the war of 1866."

"I know it, I know it. I hear that your son is serving in the French army in Algiers? I know," he said, interrupting himself when he saw my painful agitation, "what grief this son has caused you. If it were in your power to send him word, he might, if he would deliver himself up of his own will, be received back into the army with some trifling punishment, and might afterward by his bravery distinguish himself, and all would be well again. But, of course, at present, communication is impossible either through diplomatic or private channels."

I was obliged to admit that I did not know of Ernst's whereabouts.

Strange it is how a poet's words will suddenly come to one's aid.

"My son is like a different man,'" said I, with the words taken from the history of my friend; and I was myself astonished by the tone in which I spoke. I had enough self-command to say that our present troubles required that all should be united, and, that we should, therefore, not complicate them by introducing our own personal interests; nor did I conceal the fact that I had lived down my sorrow on account of Ernst, and had almost ceased to be haunted by the thought of him. It pained me, nevertheless, to listen to the well-rounded, sentences in which the Prince praised the Roman virtue that indulged my love of country at the expense of my feelings as a father. He seemed pleased with this conceit of his, and repeated it frequently. I felt quite disenchanted.

Thoughts of Ernst almost made me forget where I was, or what I was saying, until the Prince requested me to resume my story, unless I found it too fatiguing.

I continued:

"When I think of the times before 1830, I see opposed to each other extravagant enthusiasm and impotence, courageous virtue and cowardly vice, chaste and devoted faith in the ideal, and mockery, ridicule, and frivolous disbelief in all that was noble--the one side cherishing righteousness, the other scoffing at it. In other words, on the one side, Uhland; on the other, Metternich.

"My relations with my family, with the community in which I lived, and even in a wider circle, were happy enough. But the thought of my distracted Fatherland remained, and filled my heart with grief that could not be assuaged. I lived and suffered for the general good, and my associates did the like; but the storm-cloud was always impending over us, and we were obliged to learn how to go about our daily work with fresh and cheerful hearts, although danger threatened; to be patient for the sake of the people, and to look into our own hearts for strength.

"The best men of our Fatherland were deeply anxious to be up and doing, but we were condemned to the worst lot of all: a life-long opposition.

"While we were languishing for healthy political action, our minds were filled with a bitter and consuming protest against the miserable condition of our affairs.

"It is hard when one's whole being is in conflict with his surroundings."

I went on to tell him of the great hopes that the spring of 1848 had inspired us with, and that I, too, had had the good fortune to be permitted to assist in building up the great Fatherland, and to have been in the confidence of the best men of my time. I told him of the sad days when our so-called "Rump Parliament" was dispersed by the soldiers, and also spoke of my son Ludwig.

"I understand that your son has become a man of great ability and force of character, and that he distinguished himself in the war with the slave States?" said the Prince.

I was surprised to find how well he was informed.

And then the Prince added, in an animated voice: "You are an enthusiastic friend of Prussia?"

"I am; for in Prussia I recognize the backbone of our national existence; she is not prepossessing, but steadfast and reliable.

"I lived at the time of the war of liberation; many who were of my age took part in the war that saved us. Our section stood with Napoleon, but Prussia saved Germany. She has dallied a great while before claiming her reward for that service; but at last she receives it."

The Prince arose, and, resting both hands on his writing-table, said, "That is the very reason I sent for you. Both they and we--both high and low--must extinguish the memories of 1866. We have all much to forgive, and much to learn."

And then the Prince asked me whether I believed that the majority of the House of Delegates agreed with us?

I was obliged to express my doubts on that head.

"I have made up my mind, however," exclaimed the Prince, "whether the delegates agree with me, or otherwise. You are an old, tried soldier. Are you ready to ally yourself with me--no, not with me--with the Fatherland?"


"Call it a coup d'etat, if you choose--we dare not let names frighten us--these are times in which legal forms must be disregarded. Are you willing to accept the presidency of my cabinet, so that your fair name may lend its lustre to my actions? You shall bear testimony to my love of country."

"I am willing, your Highness, to sacrifice the short span of life that is yet left me; but I am not an adept in state affairs."

"That is no matter; others will attend to that. What I require is the moral influence of your presence. Your son-in-law, Colonel Karsten, is willing to accept the portfolio of Secretary of War."

I informed the Prince that I would be obliged to insist on important conditions: not from distrust of him, but of his noble associates who had deserted us in 1848, and had used us liberals as cat's-paws.

I told him that, in my opinion, Germany would either emerge from this war as a great power, or disappear from the roll of nations.

"We hope for the best, and we must conquer, for defeat would be destruction."

As a first condition, I requested the Prince to give me a written assurance that he resigned all privileges which would interfere with German unity.

He smiled. I do not know whether it was in scorn, or whether he had not heard my last words. He rose, placed his hand on my shoulder, and said, "You are a good man."

I, too, was obliged to smile, and answered, "What else should I be, your Highness?"

"Is not what you demand of me equivalent to an abdication?"

"No; it is nothing more than retiring to the position held by the princes before domestic dissensions enabled Louis XIV. to wrest Alsace and Lorraine from the German Empire."

It was with an air of embarrassment that the Prince said:

"Here is my hand. I have a right to do this, and desire to be the first to hail the victorious King of Prussia as Emperor."

The Prince touched a bell, and a lackey entered, whom he told to bid Colonel Karsten come.

My son-in-law Minister of War, and I president of the cabinet! Was it all a dream? My eye fell on the picture of the deceased Princess, and it seemed to resemble Gustava and to smile upon me.

The Colonel entered. He remained standing, in the erect attitude of a soldier.

The Prince informed him, in a few words, that we agreed with each other, and submitted a proclamation with which the Chamber was to be dissolved, in case the majority should decide for neutrality. For the present, this was to be kept a secret.

The Prince then withdrew.

Arm in arm with my son-in-law, I returned to my dwelling.

To think of all that had happened to me during that one day

Could this be myself? I could scarcely collect my senses.

Ludwig had not returned, and I was almost glad that it was so, for I was not permitted to reveal what had been secretly determined on.

Martella was still awake. She came to meet me with the words:

"Father, you have heard news of Ernst. Did the Prince give you his pardon?"

I could not conceive how the child could have had this presentiment, and when I asked her, she told me that a brother of the porter at Annette's house had returned from Algiers and had told her about Ernst.

I could not enter into Martella's plans. What mattered the life of a son, or the yearning affection of a girl? I scarcely heard what she said--my heart was filled to overflowing; there was no room left for other cares.

One memory was revived. Years ago, the Privy Councillor had told me that I was well thought of at court. At that time it was scarcely probable. But could it have been true, after all?

Morning was dawning when I reached my bed. I felt that I would never again be able to sleep, and only wished that I might live a few days longer, so that, if nothing else was left, I might plunge myself into the yawning abyss for the sake of my country.

It was fortunate that the session was not to begin until noon. I slept until I was called.


The Colonel came and told me that the troops were under orders.

I was startled. I shuddered at the idea of using force against our fellow-citizens, and felt as if I could by my own strength, oppose and conquer the demon of dissension. I felt assured that I must succeed, and as confident as if success had already been achieved.

Ludwig accompanied me through the streets; they were even more crowded than on the day before.

Annette and Martella had preceded us, in order to secure good seats. It was with difficulty that we forced our way through the crowd. Ludwig was obliged to shake hands with many whom we met, and was often greeted by men whom he did not recognize, and who seemed annoyed that, in spite of the changes that twenty-one years had made in them, he did not at once address them by their names.

A company of soldiers were mounting guard before, the House of Parliament. Ernst Rontheim, son of the Privy Councillor, was in command. He saluted me in military fashion.

I gazed upon the vigorous youth, with his ruddy face and bright eyes, and asked myself: "Will he this very day be forced to command his troops to fire upon his fellow-citizens?" Did he know how full of danger his post was? It required a great effort, on my part, to refrain from speaking to him. At that moment, the minister of war arrived, and the young officer called out, "Present arms!"

In the ante-chamber, and in the restaurant attached to the House, there were many groups engaged in lively and animated discussions, in which the speakers accompanied their remarks by forcible gesticulations.

The three members who had been fellow-prisoners o f mine at the fortress, were still faithfully attached to me. The one whom we had termed "The Philosopher" had distinguished himself by new theories in political science, and the other two were eminent lawyers.

Only one of the members of the old student corps had gone over to the radicals, but he was recognized as the most independent and the purest of men, and was everywhere spoken of as "Cato."

The others had remained true to our colors; and one who was known as Baribal called out "What! Bismarck? If that black devil will bring about union, I shall sell my soul to him!"

I spoke with "Cato," when no others were by, and he frankly confessed that he feared that this war would strengthen monarchism, and that, therefore, he still was, and ever would be, a republican.

"We have, thus far, been forced to act against our wishes, and have complained in secret," he said, "but if we conquer in this war, we shall have voluntarily become subjects, and be happy in the favor of their high mightinesses. I am not a subject, and do not wish to become one."

He gave me a fierce look, and I felt obliged to tell him that he could not be at his ease while receiving honors from people whom he despised.

He did not feel that war was inevitable, but was inclined to favor it, if the German princes would promise that the constitution of the German Empire, as proposed in the Frankfort Parliament, would be adopted in the event of our success.

"Cato" assured me that even if we were to bring about a union, it would be such only in name. Organic life cannot become a harmonious whole unless there is freedom of action; and therefore, we must, first of all, insist on guarantees for freedom.

"Why do you," said he in conclusion, "who aided and abetted the Frankfort Parliament, never mention it?"

When I told him that this was political orthodoxy, he paid no regard to what I said.

Funk once furtively looked towards me, and then turned to his neighbor, with whom he conversed in a low voice.

Various members who, it was evident, desired to take the lead, were walking up and down absorbed in thought.

I heard that telegrams had been received to the effect that France would not consent to further delay, and insisted that all must be absolutely neutral or else avowedly take sides.

Loedinger, my former prison-mate, approached me and said that it would be necessary to prevent any conclusion being reached on that day, and that we should govern ourselves by the course that the neighboring state decided upon.

I asked him whether the party had determined on this. He said, "No," and told me that his only object was to bring about a postponement in case the probable issue seemed adverse to us.

I felt that this would be impossible. I entered the chamber more agitated than I have ever been. I had never in all my life been obliged to conceal anything, and now I had to face my associates with a weighty secret on my mind. I saw the ministers enter and take their seats, and could not help thinking, "You will soon be seated there."

One minister whom we knew to be of our party came down to where I was sitting and shook hands with me. He spoke with confidence and hopefulness.

I noticed Funk pointing at me, and could hear the loud laughter that followed on the part of the group that surrounded him.

The President took his seat; the ringing of the bell agitated me; the decisive moment approached.

I looked up. Annette nodded to me. Richard was seated at her side.

I was obliged to drive out all roving thoughts, for it was now necessary to concentrate all my energies on one object.

The proceedings began. My friend Loedinger, who had been seated at my side, was the first speaker, and supported the motion in favor of taking the field. He spoke with great fervor, and invoked the spirits of those who had gone before us.

"Would that the mighty spirits of the past could descend to us this day," were his words, while his own utterances were those of a spirit pure and beyond reproach. When he finished his remarks, a storm of applause followed. I grasped his hand; it was cold as ice.

Funk requested the President to preserve order in the galleries, and said that this was not a Turners' festival.

The President reminded him that he knew his duty, and meant to perform it, and that Funk, in his eagerness, had only anticipated him.

The next speaker was "Cato." He unearthed all the grievances that Prussia had inflicted on the patriots. He called on the spirits of those who had fallen during the war of 1866, and said they might well ask those who now counselled aiding Prussia, "Are you willing to stand side by side with those who murdered us in a fratricidal war?"

When he closed, it was evident that his words had deeply moved the assembly.

I was the next to have the floor, and explained that, although brothers may quarrel among themselves, they are brethren nevertheless, and that, when an insolent neighbor endeavors to invade and destroy their home, they must unite to defend it. Addressing my opponents, I exclaimed, "You know full well what the decision will be, and I am loth to believe that you desire to embarrass or disgrace it by opposition and dissension."

Great excitement followed this remark, and prevented me from going on. I was called to order, but the President decided that my remarks had not been personal.

I endeavored to keep calm, and to weigh every word before uttering it.

In spite of this resolution, I forgot myself, and aroused a perfect storm of anger, when I expressed my deepest convictions in the following words:

"You who are seated on the other side do not believe in neutrality. Ask yourselves whether this be an honest game that you are playing. Neutrality is a hypocritical word which, translated into honest German, means willingness to aid France, a Rhenish confederation, and treason to the Fatherland!"

I was called to order and was obliged to admit that I had gone a little too far.

The President interrupted the debate, and inquired whether the Chamber would permit him to read a telegram which had just been received, and was of some importance in relation to the subject under consideration.

"No! No!" "We are debating this among ourselves!" "Our deliberations must be free and untrammelled!" "No outside parties have a right to interfere!" cried the one side.

"Yes! Yes!" "Let us have it!" "Read it to us!" cried the others, and all was confusion.

The President at last restored order, and then informed us that the telegram was from the House of Parliament of the neighboring state. He desired to know whether he might read it to the assembly. He would permit no debate on the subject; those who were in favor of the reading, would simply rise.

The majority arose, and Loedinger was almost trembling with emotion when he grasped my hand and said, "Brother, the day is ours!"

The President read the telegram. It was to the effect that a small though decided majority of the Parliament of the next state had determined that their forces should take the field.

Then followed, both on the floor and in the galleries, a few moments of terrible confusion and excitement.

Order was at last restored, and the President announced that the business would now be proceeded with.

I had the floor.

"Make no speech--ask for a vote at once," said Loedinger, as I arose. I acted on his advice.

The vote was taken; the majority was ours.

Loud shouts of joy filled the air, but I felt happier than all the rest. I had been saved from a fearful danger.

Annette's carriage stood in a by-street, awaiting us. We rode to our dwelling, and, when I reached there, I felt like one who, after long and weary wandering over hill and dale, can at last sit down and rest. And while I sat there, with myriad thoughts passing through my brain, I could not help thinking, "The dream of my youth has repeated itself--they only tried the mantle on me."

Shortly after that, Ludwig returned home to join his wife and to look after his workmen.


How often we had yearned for unity of feeling, and an interchange of sympathy with our compatriots! How sad it was to keep in our path with the knowledge that the feelings and aspirations of those whom we met had nothing in common with our own!

The unity of feeling had at last been brought about. Every street had become as a hall of the great temple in which love of country testified its readiness to sacrifice itself. Every valley resounded with the joyful message, "Awake! Our Fatherland has arisen in its might! Hasten! for the battle is not yet over. The soul of him who falls will live on in the comrade who marched at his side. Now none can live for himself alone, but for the one great cause."

After my sad bereavement, life had ceased to be aught but duty, and I would have been ready, at any time, calmly to leave the world. But now my only desire was to live long enough to witness the fruition of the hopes which, during my whole life, had filled my soul.

My children and grandchildren, each in his own way, showed their love of country.

Society at large was now like one great family, united in sentiment.

The vicar was the first of my family to visit me. He came to offer his services as chaplain to the troops. Julius followed soon after. It had gone hard with him to leave his wife, but he was happy to know that he could at last serve his country. It moved me deeply when he told me of the courage and resignation his wife had shown at parting. He was accompanied by his brother-in-law, the lieutenant, who joyously confessed that he was filled with hopes of glory and rapid advancement. He drew his sword a few inches from its scabbard, and said, "This blade has lost patience--it is all athirst."

My grandson Wolfgang returned from the forester's school.

"Grandfather, have my pine-seeds sprouted?" was his first question.

"They do not grow so fast, my child; the bed is still covered with brushwood."

He wanted to enter the army as a volunteer, and was quite sad when we told him that foreigners would not be accepted, and that it would, moreover, take a good while before he could learn the drill. He could with difficulty reconcile himself to the fact that he was not permitted to take part in the war, and with a voice full of emotion, exclaimed, "Although my name is growing on its soil, I am not allowed to fight for Germany!"

Wolfgang was accompanied by Annette's nephew, the son of Offenheimer the lawyer. He desired to offer his services as a volunteer. He was a comrade of Wolfgang's, and a student in the agricultural department of the forester's school. His face was marked by several scars, and although he was not of a quarrelsome disposition, he had been in several duels. He had served in the Young Guard, which, during the past few years, had been recruited from the students of Gymnasiums and polytechnic schools.

I inquired whether his father consented to his entering the service, and he answered me in the affirmative.

Shortly afterward, his father entered the room. In a few words he told us that he had expected this war, and then, turning to his sister, he remarked that his son Alfred had entered the regiment which had formerly been the Captain's, as Colonel Karsten could not take him in his regiment. He also told me that he had fully determined, in case the war resulted in our favor, to withdraw from practice, and to devote himself to public affairs.

Offenheimer was an able, clear-minded man, of liberal opinions, and free from prejudice; and yet it seemed as if this vow of his had been made in order to assure himself of the success of our cause and the preservation of his only son.

Annette had always observed a certain distance with her kindred, and was, indeed, kinder to Martella than to her own nephew. But now, the war and the unanimity of feeling which it had induced, seemed, even in her case, to awaken new sympathies.

On the following morning, when I was preparing for my journey homeward, a messenger came from the palace to inform me that the Prince required my presence. And now I went, in bright daylight and with a peaceful soul, to the same place that I had approached during the night, ignorant of what was in store for me. I was happy to know that the serious charge, which I was hardly fitted to undertake, had not been imposed on me, and I was, at the same time, encouraged by the feeling that I had shown my willingness to do all in my power.

On the staircase, I met the French ambassador, who had just received his parting audience; and thus I saw the last French ambassador who witnessed our dissensions.

The antechamber of the Prince's apartments was full of life and bustle. Adjutants and orderlies were constantly coming and going.

I saw my son-in-law, but only for a few moments. He shook me by the hand, and said, "My regiment marches through your valley; I shall see you again at home."

I was called into the Prince's presence. His cheeks were flushed and his eye sparkled. He took me by the hand and said: "I can only briefly thank you. I shall never forget your fidelity and your candor. Unfortunately, I can be of no service to you, for you need no favors; but my heart shall ever be filled with gratitude to you."

His kind words so moved me that I was unable to utter a word in reply, and the Prince continued: "Like you, I am forced to remain at home. It is well and proper that princely rank does not require its possessor to command his armies. Leaders have been selected, from whom we have a right to look for the greatest results with the least bloodshed. Excuse me; I regret that I cannot speak with you any longer. I shall be glad to have you visit me soon again."

He shook hands with me again, and I was about to withdraw in silence, when a lackey entered and said that a daughter of mine had requested to see the Prince, and begged that she might speak with me in his presence.

"Let her enter. You had better remain here, Herr Waldfried."


The door was opened and in rushed Martella, who threw herself on her knees at the Prince's feet and exclaimed: "Your Highness, Prince by the grace of God, be gracious and merciful! Give me my betrothed, my Ernst! I shall not rise from this spot until you have restored him to me again!"

The Prince gazed at me in surprise, and I told him that this was Ernst's betrothed.

The Prince extended his hand to Martella. She kissed it and covered it with tears, when he said to her:

"I shall do all that I can."

"Oh, God is gracious to you! you are all-powerful. O how happy you are that you can do all these things! I knew it!"

The Prince said that he was occupied at the moment; that she might go, and he would attend to all that was necessary afterwards.

"No, no!" cried Martella; "not so. I shall not leave in that way. Now is the right time. Let the whole world wait until this is done."

"I have already informed his father that the deserter will receive but a mild punishment, if he now returns and helps us to fight for our Fatherland."

"Yes, yes; I believe all that; but I must have it in writing, with a great seal under it, or else it is of no avail, and your subordinates will not respect it.

"O Prince! the winter before the fearful war you were hunting in the district to which my Ernst belonged, and he had much to tell me about you; and he said that, if one considered how you had been spoiled, it was wonderful to find our Prince so well behaved, so just and upright a man.

"And Rothfuss said, 'In such a war as that of 1866, the Prince would have been just as willing to desert as Ernst was, if he only could have done so; but he could not get away.'"

The Prince gave me a look full of meaning, while a sad smile played on his lips. Suddenly he turned to Martella and asked, "And do you know where your lover is?"

"Yes; he is with the savages in Algiers. He, too, was a savage, but, by this time, he must have become tamed. O Prince! give me the writing, and what you write will be set down to your credit in heaven!"

The Prince seated himself, and then looked up from his desk and asked, "But what will you do with this letter of pardon?"

"Let your gracious Highness leave that to me. Just you write--and blessed be the pen and the ink and your hand--"

I implored her to remain quiet, so that the Prince could write, and she grasped my hand with one of hers, and with her other pointed towards the Prince's pen and moved her finger as if following its every stroke.

When the Prince bad finished writing, he lit a lamp, and Martella exclaimed: "Oh, if Ernst were only here, that he might thank you! But mother, who is above, knows of this already, and joins me in thanking you."

Her vigor and beauty, her touching voice, the powerful and dazzling brilliancy of her eyes, all seemed as if increased by an irresistible charm.

The Prince attached the seal to the document and handed it to her with the words, "I wish you success;" and, turning to me, added, "I am glad, at all events, that I have been able to be of some service to you."

Martella was about to kneel to him again, but he begged her to withdraw.

We went through the antechamber and down the steps, and, when we reached the foot of the staircase, Martella suddenly stopped and said: "I have something in which I can keep the letter of pardon. I still have the embroidered satchel, but now I will put in it something better and sweeter than the cake it once held."

When we left, the guard was just marching up to the palace, and the band was playing "Die Wacht am Rhein." A crowd extending farther than the eye could reach joined in the song, and Martella exclaimed, "The whole world is singing while--" and then her clear voice helped to swell the chorus.

No one was happier at Martella's good fortune than Annette, who, to give vent to her joy, overwhelmed Martella with presents.

Richard rushed into the room, exclaiming, "The Crown-Prince of Prussia has been appointed commander of the South German forces!" His face beamed with emotion, and he triumphantly declared that this would seal the union of North and South Germany.

Although the younger members of my family were full of ardent courage, Richard had more determination and elasticity of spirit than any of them. We had at one time mockingly called him "Old Negligence." But he was no longer the man who procrastinated in all things, and who, while conscientious withal, was nevertheless so swayed by a thousand imaginary obstacles that it was difficult for him to make up his mind on any subject. He told us that he had offered to accompany the commander of our army; he had written enough of history in dead letters, and now he was anxious to witness living history, and perhaps to assist in making it.

Annette had ordered the servant to bring wine, and Richard exclaimed: "O father! it has come at last. Self-reliance now fills every heart, and that is the rock of safety for the whole nation. I see it now; a new element has entered our German world--a feeling that we are all one. It is not a mere conglomerate of many thousand individuals; it is something quite new and exalted--a divine revelation--the fire of pure patriotism. We stand in the midst of a pillar of fire; every individual is a spark; of no value by itself, but only as a portion of the pillar of fire."

Richard's tall and commanding form trembled with emotion.

Annette placed her hand upon her heart and exclaimed, "And I too--I too."

She had stretched forth her hand, but suddenly cast her eyes upon the picture of her dead husband, and buried her face in her hands.

After a short pause, she said to Richard:

"Your mother announced this to me. 'He will live to see the day,' she said, 'on which great things will happen to the world and to you all.' I did not understand her words then, but now I believe I understand them."

Richard replied, "How strange it is that you should be thinking of mother at this moment; for I was thinking of her at the same time.

"Ah, father, when mother asked for water from her spring, and I ran through the village down into the valley, and was nothing but a child running to fetch a draught that would cool her parched lips and, perhaps, save her, I could not, at times, help thinking of the story told by Apuleius--how Psyche was obliged to bring water from the rocky springs of the Styx.

"And, father, hard and puzzling as it then was to understand how trees and houses could exist, and that men were working in the fields, while the breath of life was flickering and expiring--now, all is clear to my vision. I shall go off with the army; and if I can do nothing more, I will, at all events, endeavor to refresh the spiritual and physical wants of the children of the Fatherland for the sake of our mother--unity. It would be glorious and happy to die when filled with such emotions; but it is more genuine and more brave to persevere in small services and sacrifices."

Annette, with her hands clasped upon her breast, gazed at Richard. Bertha entered the room at that moment, and, by her presence, brought about a calmer and serener atmosphere than we had just been moving in.

Bertha, four years before, had been full of unrest; but now, her calm, equable disposition manifested itself in all its beauty.

"That war," she said, "was an unnatural one, but this contest is waged in a holy and just cause, and its consequences must therefore be calmly accepted. And things, too, have changed with my husband; for now fortune smiles upon him."

She told us that an association had been formed under the auspices of the Princess, for the purpose of aiding the families of those who were obliged to go to the war, and to prepare aid for the sick and wounded.

"I shall be one of you," exclaimed Annette. "I, too, wish to do my share in the good work. And, Professor, I shall remember your words, 'It is braver to persevere in small services and sacrifices.'"

Richard soon left for the university town, where he had yet to make some preparations before starting with the army. He grasped Annette's hand, and it seemed to me as if he held it longer than usual; but he only said, "We shall meet again."

His long face, with its large, full brown beard, bright blue eyes, and arched forehead, seemed more beautiful than ever, and his splendid, powerful form seemed almost heroic.

In the evening I was crossing our principal street, and met Annette carrying several packages under her arm.

War kills one weakness which in men is insufferable, and in women difficult to bear; namely, false pride.

In such times, who can stop to think how he may appear to others? You are nothing more than a wonderfully small fraction of a great and complete whole. And it is this idea which makes you great, and lifts you above all petty thoughts.

How absurd we had grown to be. It had come to be regarded as improper for a well-dressed man or woman to carry a package while in the street; the dress of the ladies was so fashioned that they were obliged to use their hands to prevent it from dragging, and thus it was impossible for them to carry even the smallest package; but now all that was changed.

Annette told me that she and some other ladies were about to take a course of instruction from a surgeon, in the art of dressing wounds. She said this simply and unostentatiously.


While Martella and I were on our way to the depot, in order to return to our home, we were encountered by a dense and impenetrable crowd.

What could be the matter?

"The Crown-Prince of Prussia is coming."

We stopped.

The sounds of distant music were heard mingling with the joyous shouts of thousands of voices. It was the cry with which a race welcomed its brothers from whom it had long been estranged, and who were now advancing to save it. How this must have stirred the heart of the Crown-Prince!

I was so wedged in by the crowd, that I could see nothing. Martella had ascended some steps back of me, and called me to follow her; but it was impossible to do so.

I heard a carriage approach; the men who were in front of me spoke of the splendid appearance, and the calm, yet determined expression of the Prince.

"Father!" exclaimed Martella, "he looks just like him--indeed, more like Richard."

The crowd at last scattered, and cheers were still heard in the distance.

We started for home. The railway on the other side, which for some distance ran into our valley, was obstructed. They were momentarily expecting an invasion of the French, and, after that day, the other line was only to be used for military trains.

We rode on for a part of the way, and, at the intersection, met a large crowd of persons from the watering-places. They had suddenly been obliged to give up the springs and the amusements that had there been at their disposal.

The gambling banks are closed, it was said. I hoped that they might never again be reopened.

Ludwig and his servants were there awaiting me. I also met Carl, who had been conscripted, and with him were two of the meadow-farmer's servants.

Carl laughed while he told us how the meadow-farmer grumbled that he was now obliged to harness and feed his oxen himself. He cheerfully added that Marie could do the service of two laborers.

His joyous face made it plain that before leaving home he had come to an understanding with Marie. When he spoke of her he pressed his left hand to his heart. I think he must have had a keepsake there.

When Carl saw Ikwarte, he went up to him and extended his hand saying: "I forgive you. I cannot remain at enmity with any one whom I leave behind when I go forth to battle. Forgive me, too."

Ludwig asked Ikwarte, "Willem, would you like to go?"

"I am waiting until the Colonel gives me leave."

"You have never asked my permission."

"I have waited until the Colonel would speak of it himself."

"Pray speak a few kind words to my mother, for my sake," said Carl; and I saw the old spinner sitting on the lower step of the depot. She gazed into vacancy as if she were dreaming with open eyes.

"This gentleman will take you home with him," said Carl to his mother.

"Then you will not take me along? I must go home--home--home," said the old woman; and Carl told me that Rothfuss had brought the conscripts to this spot, and was in a neighboring inn where he was feeding the horses.

I endeavored to persuade the spinner to control her feelings. She murmured a few words that I could not understand, and which Carl explained to me. She had, by hard savings, gotten seven thalers together, and wanted Carl to take them with him, because he would need them while away; and that now she was quite inconsolable, because he wanted to leave the money at home with her.

I took the money from her, and promised to send it to Carl whenever he should need it, through my son-in-law the Colonel.

"And how is the great lady?" said the old spinner. "She ought to have married my Carl--she always looked at him with so much favor; and if he were now married, he would not have to go to war."

His mother's words were unintelligible to me, and it was with a sad smile that Carl interpreted them.

"Why have you not told her about Marie?"

"I have done so, but she wishes to know nothing about her."

Ludwig, accompanied by Ikwarte, started towards the Rhine. He said that he did not yet know how he could take part in the war, as he was an American citizen; but he was resolved not to remain a quiet spectator.

Carl's parting from his mother was heart-rending. She refused to get on our wagon, and Carl, with tears in his eyes, lifted her in his arms and placed her there. During the greater part of our journey home, she bewailed the loss of her son, and we drove on in silence, for we felt so sad that we could not utter a word.

Martella was the first to speak, saying, "It is, after all, the greatest happiness to have a mother."

I could well understand what it was that agitated her.

Up at the top of the mountain, where we always stopped to rest our horses, there is a large and shady beech-tree, to which was fastened the image of a saint.

While at a distance I could see a white object on the tree, and when I drew near, I recognized it. It was the proclamation of the King of Prussia, in which, in simple but well-considered words, he declared that he was forced into waging this war.

Soon after that, I met Joseph, who was delighted to see me again. He had engaged the guard of the stage-coach that passed by there every day to fasten the "extra" papers to the tree, so that the forest laborers, who at this point separated in order to repair to their different villages, could know what was going on.

On the following day, the young Catholic pastor of the village had the words of the heretical king removed from the tree on which the holy image had been placed, and was about to lodge a complaint against Joseph for his sacrilegious conduct. But, on the advice of a lawyer who belonged to his own party, he desisted, and the tree, to this day, is known as "the newspaper tree."

I crossed the boundary line and was in our own territory. The people were busily employed in changing the bed of the stream; and the newly married stone-mason asked me whether work would be continued during the war. I told him that it would be, and that we intended to give employment to the people as long as possible.

Shortly after that, I even employed the old spinner's two sons who had been ordered out of Mühlhausen; and it was a very happy thought to do so, as the younger of the two was an excellent cabinet-maker.

I walked on. All along the roadside I had planted pear-trees; they were laden with fruit. Will the enemy pluck the fruit or destroy the trees?

I saw the young meadow-farmer. He was setting his water-gates, and appeared as unconcerned as if we were living in peaceful times. When I passed, he looked up from his work, and said, "The war does not affect me, thank God. None of my kindred are in it."

The first house in the village belongs to the meadow-farmer. He had relinquished the farm to his son, and was now living on a pension which the latter had settled on him. When he saw me, he called out, "Now you have it! The accursed Prussian is at the root of the whole affair; but the Frenchman will give him a beating, for he has caught hold of the wrong fellow this time."

At home all were in good spirits, and for the first time in a long while, I found myself in some sort of sympathy with Johanna.

"It will soon be seen," she said, "whether the godless Frenchmen are as willing to sacrifice themselves for their country as we are."

She praised the King as a God-fearing man; but to me he was simply a righteous German.

A happy change had taken place with Johanna's daughter. She had always been sickly, and had thought herself of no use in this world; but now she knew nothing more of sickness. She had determined to join a society which had just been organized by the wife of the Privy Councillor, in order to obtain instruction in the art of nursing the sick and wounded.

I was now again in my own calm and peaceful home. Rothfuss informed me that during my absence parties had been there to buy up oats and hay,--we still had a good supply left from last year,--and Rothfuss had promised the refusal of it to Kuhherschel, whom he always favored.

The old hay was sent off, and the new was brought in. In Carl's place we engaged a Tyrolese farmer. The early barley was harvested, the ground was ploughed over again, and the potatoes were dug up. How long would affairs remain thus? The enemy might break in on us the very next day, as we were very near the border. Our enemies claimed that they were fighting in the interests of civilization, but sent Asiatic hordes against us.

The schoolmaster's wife told us that Baroness Arven had left for Switzerland, taking a great amount of luggage with her.

I was determined to await the enemy in my own home, and when Johanna asked me whether she, too, could go to the city and try to be of some use, I consented.

"But you will remain with me, Martella, for you do not fear the French?"

"Oh, I am not afraid of them," answered Martella.

She had only answered the latter portion of my question, but I did not think of that until afterwards.


My solitude was soon broken in upon by a visit from Baron Arven. I was astonished to find him looking so sad. "Is there still so much of the old Austrian officer left in him?" I asked myself. He soon relieved me of all doubts on that head, and, in a tone which showed how he had struggled with and conquered his grief, told me that in many things, and especially in religious matters, he and his wife had not agreed. He had, at last, conquered himself, and had determined to let her have her own way; but now--he said it with apparent reluctance--the long-impending rupture had occurred, under circumstances almost too terrible to bear. Although he knew that, as a Czech and a Catholic, his wife hated Prussia, he could hardly believe his ears when she said, "All saints be praised! The French are coming! Our deliverance is at hand!" Her words had provoked him into unpardonable vehemence of language.

He hardly dared say it, but she had actually made a French flag, with the intention of displaying it as soon as the enemy should arrive,--an event of which she had felt perfectly assured. He never thought that his wife had political opinions of any kind, because mere abuse of Prussia does not argue the presence of political convictions. He had carefully avoided affronting her feelings as a Czech; for he well knew how the Czechs resent the fact of their being dependent on German culture. But he could never have believed that her hatred of Germany could have carried her so far as to allow her to connive at the correspondence with France, which was carried on under cover of her address, and with complete ignorance, on her part, of its origin.

The village clergyman had been to see her, and must have given her strange information, for she now insisted on leaving for Switzerland at once.

"God be praised!" said I, "let her go." I told him that her intended departure was already the topic of common talk.

The Baron, however, feared that her course might be fraught with evil consequences to the whole neighborhood, as he thought that her fleeing to Switzerland might awaken a panic.

To me, it seemed as if he were trying to justify his course in allowing her to leave. I assured him that no one doubted his patriotism, and he begged me not to divulge what he had told me.

I succeeded in reassuring him, and he seemed to recover from his depression. He felt that I fully sympathized with him. And can anything be sadder than to find that one's love of country is opposed and ridiculed in his own home? The antagonism which had so long been veiled under courteous forms, now broke forth with redoubled venom and fury.

"Your hearty sympathy does me good," said the Baron; "and I feel like a changed being since I have unbosomed myself to you--just as if I had withdrawn my hand from a bleeding wound, which can now flow freely."

I understood him. Grief which has been long repressed, and at last finds vent in words, renews itself while the sufferer speaks of it.

When I mentioned this to him, he took my hand and held it in his for a long while.

"But we must not think of our own little lives," he added; "great questions now claim us. If France should fail of success, she is still France; but if we meet with defeat, we shall become the prey of others."

I learned from him, for the first time, that the opposing bishops had handed in a protest against the promulgation of the doctrine of Papal infallibility, and that, as the measure had been determined on, in spite of their protest, they had left Rome.

When I told him of what had happened in the city--omitting, of course, all mention of my interviews with the Prince--his features assumed an expression of cheerfulness.

He was about to leave, when Martella entered, and asked, "May I show it to the Baron?"

Before I could answer her question, she took the letter of pardon from her satchel and spread it out on the table, at the same time saying that Rothfuss and Ikwarte were foolish enough to think that it was of no account, because it came from so petty a prince.

Baron Arven assured her that the paper would be of immense importance, if Ernst could be found again.

"Now I shall not ask another person," joyfully exclaimed Martella; "that seals it doubly--and just see how nicely it fits into my little satchel!"

She replaced it in the satchel and rubbed her hands over the embroidery, which represented a dog carrying a bird between his teeth.

The Baron rode off just as the letter-carrier arrived. He brought me a letter from my sister-in-law, who lives in the forest of Hagenau. She wrote to tell me that, on account of the war, her daughter's marriage had been hastened, and that, as there was danger that the incendiaries might come, she had instructed her daughter to remain at Strasburg, to which place she had sent all her stores of linen and other valuables. In case any of our ladies were alarmed, she would be willing, she wrote, to place them under protection at Strasburg.

About that time, we had sorrow in our house on account of the death of old Balbina. She had been our faithful servant for thirty years. When we attempted to console her by saying that she would recover from her illness, she would answer, "Don't mind me; I shall go to my good mistress, and she will give me the best place."

It was not until after my wife's death that I learned how much she had done for this servant, for then Balbina said to me:

"I was very wicked, but she converted me."

"Wicked? why, what could you have done?"

"I committed a theft when I had only been in the house a week. She caught me and spoke to me in private, saying: 'Balbina, I dare not send you off; for then you will steal from others, just as you have done here. I must keep you with us until you conquer this habit.' And it turned out just as she said, for during the thirty years I've lived in this house, my hands and lips have never touched a morsel that was not mine."

Balbina died without receiving extreme unction. She regarded her confession to my wife as having fully absolved her.

We never interfered with the religious opinions of our servants, but when the priest told Balbina that Protestants would not go to heaven, she answered, "I don't want to go to any other heaven but the one where my mistress is."

We were now on the high road towards political unity, but was not the antagonism in religious matters greater than ever before?

Ludwig wrote to Conny, informing her that he would soon return. She often told me that her father, had, until his dying hour, cherished a love of the Fatherland, and that no two men had ever had more beautiful and affectionate relations with each other than Ludwig and her father.

Their projected journey to Italy was out of the question. How could they now find pleasure in works of art? Ludwig would not rest content until he could, in some way, be of service to his country.

Suddenly, there was great commotion in the village and cries of "The French are coming!" were heard.

Lerz the baker had been driving along the valley-road at full tilt, and had called out to the people who were working in the fields, "Unhitch your horses! the French are coming!" They took the animals from their wagons and ploughs and hurried homeward. But it soon turned out that the news was false.

I do not think that this was wanton spite on the part of Lerz. He swore--although his oath was of but little value--that a farmer from down the valley had told him that he had seen the French. The rumor had indeed been spread far and near, but no one could tell who had started it.


What could it have been that made me feel so proud when my fellow-citizens elected me as their delegate? I was still full of self-love, for, when I searched in my own heart, for the real cause, it lay in a self-complacent satisfaction in the fact of my being the chosen representative of many others.

All this was now changed. Now none were chosen, but all were called. The whole people had become freed from egotism, and no one was isolated. Of course the sacrifice was not made without a pang. All thoughts were no longer centred on one man, but were directed towards a great invisible object which was cherished by the whole people.

Sunbeams seemed to light up every tree and house, and the whole world seemed to have undergone a change.

And how all felt drawn towards each other; they had ceased to be strangers--we could not have enemies in our own land.

I met Funk and could not avoid shaking hands with him and saying, "I admit that you thought you were acting for the best, in all you have done."

"Thanks for your good opinion," answered Funk, while he barely returned the pressure of my hand. I made no reply. I had followed my own convictions, and that is always well, even though others do not approve of one's course.

I drove to town with Joseph, in order to attend the weekly market. It had never been so numerously attended, for every one that could manage to procure a vehicle, or get away from home, hurried to town in order to learn what was going on in the world. And, besides that, all wanted to assure themselves whether it would be best to sell supplies to the dealers at present prices, or, to wait for an advance, and run the risk of being plundered by the French in the meanwhile.

It was soon seen who believed that the Germans would succeed, and who believed in the French. Schweitzer-Schmalz, and a large number who followed his example, sold their hay, their oats, and their bacon.

Joseph speedily became the centre of a large crowd. He excels us all in knowing how to adapt himself to people of every kind. His fine, large figure and cordial manner make him a universal favorite, while his well-known riches are not without weight.

The crowd were impatient, and complained that we had not yet heard of any actual hostilities. He asked them:

"Have you never been in a saw-mill?"

"Certainly we have."

"Well, how do they manage there? They set the wheel and let the water run until the log is in the proper position; then they go ahead and saw it right through. Have a care. The Prussian, or, as we had better say, the German, waits until the log is in the proper position, and then he goes to work with seven saws at once."

Joseph understood the feelings of the people, and felt especial satisfaction that Schweitzer-Schmalz seemed quite lonely and deserted in the midst of the crowd. He simply smiled, when Schweitzer-Schmalz said, "This little fellow. Joseph is all talk, like the Prussians."

Joseph and I called on Martha, for I had promised Julius to visit his wife as soon as possible.

We found her and the rest of the family calm and resigned, although the son and the son-in-law were in the field.

For the first time since I had known him, the Privy Councillor revealed a sense of his noble birth. He dwelt on the fact that, as a member of one of the oldest families in the land, he belonged to the order of St. John, and that he and Baron Arven would soon enter on their duties as members. He explained to me that it was an old order, but that a man like myself might also become a member. I had never thought of that before, but now it struck me forcibly.

The ladies requested me to accompany them to the courthouse, where the Sanitary Commission was to assemble. On the steps, I met Remminger, the so-called "peace-lieutenant."

He seemed quite agitated, and urgently requested me to accompany him to the house of his father-in-law, where he wanted me to act as umpire. He gave me no further information, but said that I should find out all about it when we arrived there.

I found the family in great distress. The lieutenant, who had left the army on account of marrying the daughter of Blank, the rich lumber-merchant, had become quite an adept in his new calling, but had been even more devoted to the pleasures of the chase. He had just announced his intention to enter the army again; in justice to himself, he could not remain a mere looker-on in the moment of danger.

Old Blank maintained that this was a breach of promise, and I saw how the lieutenant clenched his fists when he heard that expression; but he controlled himself and calmly explained the matter, stating, at the same time, that he asked me to decide between them.

I knew all about Blank. He was one of those men of whom one can say nothing evil, and nothing good. All that he asked of the world was to be left undisturbed while attending to his business and adding to his wealth. He was a zealous reader of the newspapers, and would smoke his good cigar while enjoying them. It suited him best when there was lots of news. Others might act for the state, the district, and even for the community, so that he might read about what they had done. He could not realize that one who belonged to his family could care to exert himself for the general good. I saw this in every word that he uttered. I allowed him to speak for some time without replying.

"And what is your opinion?" I said, addressing the lieutenant's wife, who stood by the window, plucking dead leaves from the plants that were placed there.

"Shall I call in our three children, so that you can ask them?" she answered, in a harsh voice.

"Little children have no opinions as yet; but their parents ought to think for them."

I asked old Blank whether he would be satisfied with my decision.

"Since you ask in that way, you are, of course, opposed to me, and for that reason I say no."

I saw that I could be of no use, declared that I would not attempt to decide, and left the family to settle their dispute among themselves.

When I left there, I was the more pleased to meet the Councillor Reckingen, who lived in the town, and who had visited me shortly after Ernst's flight. He had conquered his feeling of loneliness and grief at the shocking death of his wife. He lived alone with his only daughter, and had devoted all his time to her education. She was just budding into womanhood.

This man, who had always seemed troubled and absentminded, now approached me with a cheerful smile, and said that he had the good fortune to be again permitted to enter on his calling; and that, as a result, his child, who had been so constantly with him that he had begun to be alarmed for her future, would now be obliged to accustom herself to a life of self-reliance and activity; for the wife of the Privy Councillor had already expressed her willingness to have his daughter stay with her during the campaign.

We were standing by the stream, where the water rushes over the dam with a mighty roar, and he said:

"You are like me; in great times all little troubles disappear, just as the thundering of these falling waters drowns all other sounds."

I passed a delightful hour with the Councillor in his lovely garden, which was carefully and tastefully kept. He had been very fortunate in cultivating roses, and I was obliged to permit him to pluck a lovely one for me from every bush.

"She loved roses, and cared for them above all things," were his words while he handed me the nosegay.

According to promise, Ludwig returned, bringing Ikwarte with him. He had written to Conny and Wolfgang to come to town. He told us that he had caused his name, and also Wolfgang's and Ikwarte's, to be entered with the Sanitary Corps. They wore the white band with the red cross on their arms, and soon started in the direction of the Rhine to join the main army.

Conny went home with me.


When we reached the saw-mill, a wood-cutter was waiting for me, and told me that Rautenkron, the forester, urgently requested that I would come to him at the bone-mill which lay in the adjacent Ilgen valley.

The wood-cutter told me that one could hardly recognize Rautenkron--something horrible must have happened to him.

I found Rautenkron seated in the bone-miller's room. He said to the miller, "Put enough bones into your kiln, old Adam, so that you may keep away for an hour, and then go and leave us by ourselves."

The miller left.

"Take a seat," he said, in a tone to which I was unused in him; his features and his manner seemed changed.

After a forced laugh, he thus began: "I have bought my bones back from this man--I had sold them to him for a bottle of gentian; and it used to amuse me to think how my noble self would, at some future time, be converted into grass and flowers on the hillside, and perhaps furnish food for cattle.

"But, pardon me," he said, interrupting himself; "forgive me, I beg of you; I ought not to address you in that tone. Forget this, and listen to me with patience. I will confide my last will to you; you have often provoked me, but now I am glad that you are here. The thought of you followed me in the woods, sat by me at my bedside, and has deprived me of rest. I have always wanted to learn what your weak side was, and now I have found it out.

"My father was a worldly-wise man. He divided mankind into two classes--charlatans and weaklings. He maintained that in all that is termed love, be it love of woman or love of the people, there is a large portion of charlatanry, which at first consciously, and afterward without our knowing it, deceives both ourselves and others. You are not a charlatan--but you are vain.

"Do not shake your head, for it is so. Of course, vanity is not a vice; but it is a weakness, for it shows dependence on others. You offered your hand to Funk, because you felt too weak to have an enemy running about in this world. Since I have made that discovery and convinced myself on that point, you no longer worry me. You too have your share in the misery that belongs to the species of vermin that terms itself man. It is out at last--now I have nothing more against you. Indeed, I cannot better prove this than by the fact of my asking you to help me. Usually, I have not required the assistance of others, but now I need yours; and I think that is enough to make you feel that you must aid me."

I consented, but in my own mind I felt a dread of this man, who, in his bitter candor, seemed much more terrible than when taciturn.

"I request, nay I demand--" he continued--"do not interrupt me; let me speak for myself.

"Do you know who I am? For years, I have been called by a strange name. You cannot imagine how pleasant it is to be so constantly a masker, in the mummery known as life. I shall not, at present, mention my true name, but you may rest assured it is an old and a noble one, and related to that of Johannisberg.

"My father--he was indeed my father--had become reduced, and he led a merry life, although I did not know where the means came from. At a later day, I discovered all. He purchased a captaincy for me. 'Purchased,' he said, but it had really, so to say, been presented to him. He had carried others' hides to market; perhaps a couple of human skins to be tanned. His master had many of these tanners in the state vade mecums known as prisons.

"I was, as I have told you, a captain at Mayence, and my father lived near there, at Wiesbaden. He was known as Hofrath.

"I do not know whether what people call conscience ever pricked him, but he was always merry and fond of good living, and enjoyed it as much as the stupidest monk might do. He would always say to me, 'Conrad, life is a comedy; he who does not take it in that light, but looks upon it in a serious manner, spoils his own game.'

"I thought I had much to tell you, but I have not. My story is simply this:

"My father had a habit of asking me about my comrades,--what they were doing, what they were thinking of, and to whom they wrote; and I faithfully told him all I knew. You may believe me! I, too, was once open-hearted. But, one day, two of my comrades were suddenly cashiered. Letters of theirs had been found--not found, but sought--which, it was said, contained treasonable expressions. All of us at the garrison were beside ourselves with surprise, and I suspected nothing.

"Until the year 1848, our regiments had recruiting stations where soldiers were enlisted and received a good bounty. In a Gallician regiment which formed part of the garrison of the fortress--there were also Italian regiments in it--a very clever young Pole had been enlisted. He learned the drill, was a good horseman, and his captain wished that he would study German, in order that he might become an officer; but he did not care to do so, and said that he could not write. One day we learned that he had deserted. They found a letter from him, although he had said that he could not write. It was in choice French, thanked the captain for his kind treatment, and added that he had come and gone by the command of others, high in station. For some days they spoke of the fact that the Russians were even more successful than we as spies. For this man had evidently joined us only in order to inform himself as to the disposition of the Gallicians. It did not strike me at first, but afterward I could not but notice the fact that they always talked to me about spies.

"A young Prince joined our regiment. He became an intimate associate of mine, and seemed to take a special liking to me. My father seemed much pleased with this, but gave me less money than he had formerly done. I was obliged to borrow from the young Prince and to ask favors at his hands. Yes, the world is wise, if one only knew it at the right time. I found it out too late. Is it not ingenious, and does it not do all honor to the human intellect, to discover that it is well to incur an obligation in order to acquire more perfect confidence on the part of those to whom we owe a debt? Although the lynx out there is ever so cunning, it cannot do such work; that is reserved for the image of God.

"One day my father said to me--yes, my father--'Conrad, (that is my baptismal name), 'you are now employed at the officers' quarters; the adjutant of the post cannot be trusted; be careful that you get hold of something that involves him; but let it be in writing. That aroused my suspicions that something was wrong. One day, a fellow-officer said to me, 'There is a spy in our regiment,' and all the other comrades laughed. I challenged the one who had thus spoken to me, and--shot him.

"But I am anticipating--I must first tell you of another matter. I always had a great desire to be a forester. I often begged my father to permit me to leave the army, but he would not consent. And I would have been so glad to marry and live quietly in the woods; for I had a child, a lovely, beautiful child.

"And then, on account of the duel, I was imprisoned in the citadel. No comrade visited me.

"When I left the prison, my child and the mother had vanished. She had received a letter, in my handwriting--my father knew how to imitate the writing of others--in which was contained a considerable sum, to enable her to emigrate--and she had left. A companion of hers in the ballet, who had been a suitor for her affection, and had, heretofore, been rejected, had accompanied her.

"My papers had been confiscated, and I feel quite sure that it was done at my father's instance, for he distrusted me, and wished to get me out of harm's way.

"Among them there was also a memento of my beloved; it was a little narrow red ribbon tied in a knot and torn off at both ends. She had given it to me in a happy moment, and I had fastened it on a sheet of paper and had written under it 'talisman.'

"All of my papers were returned to me, but not the ribbon. My father had sent it in the letter to my beloved, and had, moreover, written, in my name, 'By this sign I request you to obey the bearer of this in all that he may require of you.'

"My father said to me: 'She whom you call your wife has left by my orders.' Through a former friend of hers, I received a letter in which she asked me whether I had caused the child to be taken from her; because it had suddenly vanished about the time the vessel was leaving."

"What ails you? What alarms you?" suddenly exclaimed Rautenkron.

I controlled myself and begged him to go on with his story.

"I left my father and led an adventurous life. Pshaw! I have even been croupier at a gaming-table. And there I heard that my father was dead. On the day before, I had seen him staking rouleaus of gold--he had not recognized me.

"By chance I made the acquaintance of Baron Arven, and through him I received the appointment of forester in his woods, after having, as assistant-forester, learned my profession from Hartriegel.

"I bear a strange name, and shall die with it. But, before I die, I shall put my living bones to use.

"I could not make up my mind, but now something has helped me to decide. The engineer whom you are employing down by the new mill which you are building is one of my victims. I recognized him at once, although he has changed greatly. I do not know whether he remembered me, but I almost believe that he did. He looked at me carelessly and then turned away. It is well that I have had a look at one of my victims. That destroyed the last traces of indolence and the desire to hide myself from the world. I must and will live. The French are coming. They have made all preparations to burn our woods. The little spectacled forest Junker--you know that I dislike him; he still acts, the proud and overbearing corps student, and, besides that, is happily married, has a fine hearty wife and boys like young wolves. I have always avoided him; but I met him to-day and he handed me the French newspaper, in which it is joyfully proclaimed that our woods will soon be in flames. When I read that, I fled. That was enough for me. I am a good shot. If they wish me to, I can single out my man among the enemy and bring him down at the first fire. The little forest Junker has promised to look after my duties as forester. He said that would be the same as helping in the war, as he could not leave home. Let him make a virtue of it if he chooses. My woods are in safe hands, and I can go."

He now requested me to use my influence with my son-in-law, the Colonel, and I faithfully promised that I would.

I asked him whether he had no memento of the mother and the child. He said that he had none.

"And has the child, perhaps, a keepsake from you?"

"I can remember none. But, yes! When I saw it for the last time, I brought it cakes in a satchel on which was embroidery representing a dog holding a bird between his teeth."

My hair stood on end.

"What was the name of your child?"


"Then all agrees--Martella is your child."

And the man seized my arm as if he would break it, and gave a cry like a felled ox.

After a while, he regained his self-control. We hurried to the village. On the way, he told me that he would now confess to me that he had had a letter from Ernst. He was in Algiers; had entered the army there and had become an officer. He had told me nothing about it, because he had thought it was of no use. Ernst had also given him messages for his betrothed: but he had always kept them to himself. "Spare me all reproaches," he concluded; "I am punished bitterly enough. Oh, if they had only been united! How shall I utter the word 'child,' and how can I listen to the word 'father'?"

When, after leaving the saw-mill, we began to ascend the hill, he called out in a hoarse voice: "It was here, in this spot, that she stepped down from the wagon in the twilight. Here, by this very tree, I heard her voice. It was that of her mother--I could not believe it at the time. Here, by this very tree."

Rothfuss came towards us. "Have you seen her--is she with you?"

"Whom do you mean?"

"She is gone off with Lerz the baker, who has become a sutler. Oh, the damned hound!"


"Martella is gone!"

Rautenkron grasped a young tree by the roadside, and broke it in two; then he sank on his knees. We lifted him up.

"It is right thus. So it should be," he said. "Here, on this very spot--do you remember?--I warned you when your wife went to bring her home. Tell me, wise man, what was that? I heard something in her voice, and did not wish to believe it. Turenne," he said, turning to his dog, "you killed her dog. Be quiet; I told you to do it."

He followed us to the house, but did not utter a word on the way.

We went to her room. She had taken nothing with her but the embroidered satchel, which, before that, had always hung over the mirror; and also Ernst's prize cup. The clothes that she had inherited from my wife she had carefully arranged and placed to one side.

We asked Rothfuss how long it was since she had disappeared.

They had been hunting for her ever since the morning of the day before, but in vain. No sign of where she had gone could be found.

Rautenkron left the room and went out into the garden. He sat there for a long while, holding his rifle between his knees. I begged him to return to the house with me. He was looking on the ground, and did not raise his head. I asked him to give me his rifle. He looked up towards me, and, with a strange smile, said: "Don't be alarmed; I am not such a fool as to shoot myself."

I walked away. A little while afterward, I heard a shot, and hurried out again. Rautenkron sat there, holding his gun with both hands, but his beautiful brown spaniel lay dead at his feet.

When he saw me, he exclaimed:

"Now I am quite alone. I had intended to give Turenne to you, but it is better thus. The beast might have been stupid enough to long for me."

The sound of drums was heard from over the hills. The Colonel arrived with his regiment, and all hurried out to meet him.

And the Englishman stood at the brook, angling.



Trumpets sounded, drums rolled, and songs from thousands of voices were heard in the valley and on the hills. All was joyous commotion. Thus, singing, does a nation take the field for its protection and salvation.

In the midst of anxiety for great things, for one's country, we ought to be troubled by no mere personal cares. But who can avoid them? The general sorrow is infinitely divided, and every one must bear his share.

That my son-in-law, two grandchildren, and a faithful servant had gone to face the dangers of the battlefield, was a sorrow like that which many thousands besides myself had to bear. What a heavy burden is that borne by the lonely widow down by the rock! But the knowledge that one child is already in the whirlpool of trouble, and is dragging another after him--that has been given to me alone. How often it occurred to me at that time: had my wife but lived to see the uprising of our Fatherland! It was better thus. She was spared the sight of our youngest son enrolled in the enemy's ranks. That phrase from the Bible, which, when thinking of her, I had so often consoled myself with, remained true: "But for the elect those days shall be shortened." Why had Rautenkron, after keeping his story so long to himself, now divulged it? Had the secret become too burdensome? And why did he cast the load on me? Enough, I had to overcome it.

The presence of my son-in-law had given me new courage, and I agreed with Rothfuss, who said, "When the Colonel is about, every one is more erect in his movements. Yes, he commands even when he says nothing."

I had never seen the Colonel thus. Such joviality beamed from his face that a glance from him was strengthening and reassuring. His only fear was that a premature peace might be concluded with the insolent successor of the tyrant, before all was decided by battle!

Our village and the entire neighborhood were in commotion while the regiment was quartered there. They even constructed a redoubt on Silvertop.

My son-in-law confided to me that the redoubt was perhaps unnecessary, but that his men would lose their good qualities if allowed to lounge about idly; he also hoped that the news of their doings would spread across the Rhine.

The peasants became refractory, and appointed a deputation, and among them was their ruler, the meadow farmer. They said that they had not forgotten how dreadfully the French had behaved in 1796, on account of the building of a fortification in the neighborhood. But the Colonel announced that whoever opposed any military ordinance, would be brought before a court-martial and shot forthwith. From that moment my son-in-law received the name of "Colonel Forthwith." Several of the most notable farmers from the neighboring valley, earnest, patriotic men, led by the burgomaster of Kalkenbach, wanted me to help them to an interview with the colonel. They complained that a young lieutenant wanted to destroy the bridges over the creek, and that he was about to cast burning rosin and tar-barrels into the stream, without reflecting that he thereby ran the risk of setting fire to the whole valley.

The Colonel countermanded this at once. He sent small detachments hither and thither in all directions to build camp-fires on all the hills, leaving often only men enough about them to keep up the fires, which were visible from across the Rhine.

People were to be made to believe that a large army was collected here, and he therefore notified all the towns and villages lying far beyond our valley, of the fact that large numbers of soldiers would be quartered there. On the houses they would chalk the number of men and of horses that were to be provided for. To judge by appearances, it seemed as if hundreds of thousands were at hand.

The Colonel asked Rothfuss if he knew any French sympathizers. He evidently wished that the French should get the most alarming news from us. Rothfuss thought that Funk would be his man; but when my son-in-law consulted me about Funk, I dissuaded him from employing such an instrument. Rothfuss then brought us the news that a journeyman baker from Alsace, who had worked for Lerz, was prowling around and preparing to return home.

The Colonel got Rothfuss to carry the news to this journeyman, that more than a hundred thousand men were encamped in the forest. The few pieces of artillery under his command were constantly moved from place to place, so that all were led to suppose that he had a large number of guns.

The Colonel had orders, in case the enemy should advance on us, to destroy the roads; we supposed that Napoleon's plan must be to separate North and South Germany by a sudden invasion. This was no small matter: we were the first who would have to resist the shock of the enemy's advance, and, so far as I could learn, I felt that the main forces of Germany could not furnish us with immediate protection. We would be sacrificed first, and afterwards would be helped by an offensive movement from the Middle Rhine region.

Rautenkron received, provisionally, the uniform of a hospital steward; for the Colonel was waiting for permission to enroll him. I was present when he asked Rautenkron:

"Do you speak French well?"


The Colonel whispered something to him; but Rautenkron with burning cheeks, cried:

"I can never do that; never!"

He then talked confidentially and excitedly to the Colonel; I believe he imparted to him his real name.

The Colonel then ordered him, as he was so well acquainted with the wooded heights, to attend to the further extension of the camp-fires on their tops.

Conny carefully helped in attending to the wants of the numerous garrison. The soldiers were treated in the best manner by the villagers, all of whom were anxious to do their share in the good work.

The old meadow farmer was the only one who did not show himself. He, who was always either at his door or window, and who stopped every passer-by to have a chat which should drive dull care away, lay in his little back room and declared that he was ill.

Carl's mother, on the contrary, did not stay in her house for a minute. She would approach one group of soldiers after another, and ask each man if he had a mother at home. And then she would begin to talk of her Carl, how he was in the lancers, and how they could hunt through every regiment and not find a better or a handsomer fellow. The two sons, who were working as carpenters, had estranged themselves from their mother. They lived down in the valley, and did not even visit her on Sundays. They boasted in the taverns that they could sing French songs.

While all this bustle was going on, I was constantly searching for Martella.

Rothfuss was of opinion that she had escaped in male attire; for, wherever he asked after Lerz, the baker,--he had quickly lost all traces of him, however,--he was told of a young man that had been in his company, and who would never enter the room with him.

The Colonel had, of course, no time to sympathize with my concern about Martella, and once when I spoke of her he said:

"We should be glad to be thus rid of her. Such a creature does not, after all, belong in our family. You and mother have very likely been wasting all your kindness on an unworthy person."

I did not agree with him. Yes, now at last I could understand many things in Martella' s disposition that had heretofore been mysteries to me. But I dared not talk about them, and the time to mourn for a single grief had not arrived.


On the evening of the last day of July, the Colonel returned, heated from the effects of a long ride. A sharpshooter brought in a despatch. He opened it, and forthwith sent his adjutant off; then he asked me to have a good bottle of wine brought up, and to sit down beside him. He confided to me that his detachment was getting ready to march, that he would move off by daylight, and that he would leave but a few men behind to attend to the campfires. I became much moved on Bertha's account, and asked the Colonel whether he had any wishes which he desired to have attended to.

"No," answered he, "my will is in the hands of Herr Offenheimer, the lawyer. But the time is come for me to speak to you, dear father, of myself. Perhaps we shall never be together again. I do not wish to leave the world and not be really understood by you."

And so, leaning back in the large chair, he began in his peculiarly sonorous, firm voice: "I do not like to speak of myself. I have learned to move through life with closed lips. You are my father, and were my comrade in a bold and hazardous undertaking. I am your pupil, although you have shown great discretion in keeping everything from me which might interfere with the profession I was to follow. Without your knowing it, I developed at an early age. When crossing the prison yard as a boy, I often saw the brother of Bertha's mother leaning against the iron bars; The picture of this refined man, with his delicate features, his large eye, his white brow, and light beard, haunted me in my dreams. Do criminals look like that? I do not know whether my childish heart put that question, but I believe it did. I stood on the balcony as they carried his body away. I saw it placed on the wagon. At that moment a feeling awoke in me that there are other and higher objects in this world than princes, discipline, parole, epaulettes, and orders.

"On that same day, I heard, for the first time, the words, German unity. It became a sort of secret watchword for me; of that I am sure. My father spoke of the noble enthusiast; the post-adjutant called him a demagogue. I looked the word up in my Greek dictionary.

"I entered the military school. I learned about the Greek and Roman heroes; I heard of Socrates, and always pictured him to myself like the pale man behind the prison bars. I soon became reserved, and kept my thoughts to myself; outwardly I was obedient and punctilious. My father became commandant of the capital; as ensign, I was appointed as page to our Prince. I was present at the great festivities in honor of the sons of Louis Philippe, who were visiting our Court. I heard some one in the crowd say they were only princes of the revolution. I studied modern history in secret. The Opposition in our Parliament was also often discussed. I heard some names mentioned with derision and hate--yes, with scorn. These men were pointed out to me in the street. I did not understand how they could thus walk the streets, since they were in opposition to our Prince.

"The year 1848 came. The men that had been named with scorn became ministers of state; they were entitled the saviours of the Fatherland.

"On that 6th of August, on which we did homage to the regent Archduke John, I was as in a dream. The face of that man behind the prison bars accompanied me everywhere. That for which he suffered and died--had it not come? What are we soldiers? Are we nothing but the body-guard of the Prince? Against whom are we fighting?

"Soldiering does not allow of much thinking. In the spring of 1849 we took the field. The first order I gave was directed against the revolutionary volunteers; the first man I killed looked wonderfully like him who had been behind the bars. I tried to forget all this, and succeeded. Then I met you and Bertha.

"What has happened since, you know; what went on within me I will not bring to light.

"For a long time I have lived quietly, and have worked industriously. I desired, above all things, to be a good soldier; to be well grounded in my profession.

"I had asked for leave of absence to fight the Circassians; I wanted to see real war. Leave was not granted me, but I was appointed as teacher in the school for non-commissioned officers. I studied many things there, and worked earnestly with my friend, Professor Rolunt.

"In 1859 I felt our alienation most bitterly. We were not allowed to join in the Schiller festival. What would our civilization be without our poets? Whole dynasties of princes can be wiped away, and no one misses them; but just think of Schiller's name and works being obliterated! And why should we soldiers not join in the festivities? Has he not elevated our Fatherland and all of us? But he who would have dared to give utterance to such thoughts at that time would have been cashiered.

"In the year 1866, I had the good fortune to fight against a foreign foe in Schleswig-Holstein, and while at the front was promoted to a captaincy. I had a major who was, now that I consider it, merely stupid, and who was, therefore, of most revolting military orthodoxy. Had he not been of noble birth, he would scarcely have been made a woodcutter. As it was, he barely managed to get himself advanced in grade. As long as I was a lieutenant, it was easier to bear; but when I was made a company commander, I was inwardly rebellious and had to remain silent. Yes, you political gentlemen complain of tyranny, but we suffer far more from it than you do. Discipline is necessary, but to bear with such blockheads who disgrace you, and can do nothing but curse and swear--and this fellow did not even understand his duties--is harder than you think.

"The year 1866 came. No one, not even you, could see what was going on within me. My misery began. What are we? Were we to have a different commander every day? We were--now I can utter the word--prætorians, nothing else; and Prussia is quite right in altering our military system. We must know who our chief is. Up to now, we merely fought as soldiers, and dared not ask what the end would be. Everything was discipline; we partook of the Lord's Supper on account of discipline, and as an example for the troops.

"When Annette's husband fell, I thought him lucky; I had a wife and child, and yet wished for death. That fratricidal war was fortunately soon over. I can see now that it was necessary for our preparation. My feelings always revolted at the recollection of it, but now events are at hand which will remove those memories. I shuddered when I learned that monuments were being raised to those who had fallen in 1866. Now I can see that they have died twice over for their Fatherland; they had already sacrificed their hearts while living. Our profession is now at last in entire sympathy with the nation's wishes, and it is revolting that those who call themselves 'liberals' refuse to acknowledge the 'casus belli.'"

"Is the Prince aware of the patriotic ideas which you have kept to yourself for so long a time?" I asked as the Colonel paused.

"No! at least I do not think so! He merely knows that I sometimes write for our Military Journal, and that I am a good soldier. I never dreamt that I would be appointed Minister of War. And on that night I knew that we were simply to act as a reserve, and to be a sort of target for the enemy's bullets. You must surely have been of the same opinion."

I could not boast of having been so wise.

But the time had not come to think of the past. The Colonel gave me a copy of his will, which I was to deposit with the recorder. He did this calmly, without showing the slightest emotion. A few hours later we went to bed.


The reveille was sounded. The soldiers marched off, and nearly the whole town, young and old, followed them on their way. When I saw these merry men, and thought in how short a time so many of them would lie down in death, I became oppressed with the thought that I had raised my voice for war. But this feeling soon passed away. We are acting in self-defence, and this will bring about a happy ending, for we shall no longer have to live in dread of the insolence and presumption of our neighbors.

The soldiers sang as they marched along, and up by the newspaper-tree sat Carl's mother, looking at them passing by. Marie stood at her side, but the old woman motioned her away, and when I asked her to return home with us, she said:

"I have seen the thousands and thousands of mothers, who bore them all in pain, and have cared for and raised them, floating in the air over their heads. O my Carl! Have you heard nothing of him yet?"

We found it difficult to get her back to the village. Marie walked along at her side, and said:

"Do you know what I should like to be?"


"Do you hear the hawk that is circling in the air over the hill-top? Alas, you cannot hear him, but you can see him. Like him, I should wish to fly, and I would fly to Charles and back again, and tell you everything."

The village and the country round about had been in an uproar; but now that the troops had left, everything was wonderfully quiet. Rothfuss was right; for if we had not seen the occasional remains of a camp-fire, we would not have known that the soldiers had been there. The old meadow farmer, who had been pensioned off by his son, and whom the departure of the troops had aroused, sat at his door, and seemed to enjoy watching the little pigs that were disporting themselves in the gutter.

A little coach stood before him, in which lay a child that he had to feed with milk; for his son wanted to get all he could from his father. He thought of nothing but the increase of his property, and acted meanly towards his father. He made him presents of the cheapest kind of tobacco, so that he should not buy an expensive sort; but the old man saw through the trick, and gave the tobacco money away, so that his son should not inherit it.

I gladly avoided all intercourse with these people.

As I approached the house, the old man beckoned to me to come to him, and, like a child, told me of his latest pleasure.

"I kept them locked up in my room as long as the soldiers were here. Soldiers have a great liking for such tender morsels. I used to be so myself."

I knew, of course, that he was talking about his pigs, and he added as a sort of consolation:

"Yes, yes, Mr. Ex-Burgomaster"--he gave me my title--"yes, yes, you are also retired at last, and squat by the stove. Yes, yes, we are old fellows and must stick at home, while the young ones are out yonder, fighting the enemy."

The old man kept on steadily smoking his pipe, and talked of war times, and particularly of the Russian campaign, of which he was a survivor. But on this day I could not listen to him, and while walking home I began thinking, am I really fit for nothing but to observe from afar the great deeds that are now being wrought?

Just as I was turning away from the old man, his son, the meadow farmer, came along with a large load of hay, and said in a mocking manner, "The French let us gather our hay; our houses will burn so much the better when they come to set them on fire." Then he added with malicious pleasure, "Your house is insured, but there is no insurance on your woods." Here he laughed aloud. When troubles are on us, a man's true nature shows itself.

After telling me his fears, he repeated them more fully to Rothfuss. The latter shifted his pipe from one side of his mouth to the other, and asked, "What would you give not to suffer any damage?"

"How? what do you mean?

"They won't hurt my house; my father has the cross of St. Helena. And I have no cash. I can swear that I haven't a farthing in the house."

He spoke the truth, for he had buried his money.

"You need no money; it's something else. Do you know the story of the dragon of Rockesberg?"

"What do you want? What do you mean?"

"Why, to quiet the dragon, they had to sacrifice a maiden."

"Those are old tales. Don't try to make a fool of me. If you want a fool, whittle one for yourself."

"Stay! I know how you can buy yourself free. You needn't deliver your daughter Marie to the dragon. Will you promise to give her to Carl in case everything should turn out well?"

"Ho! he'll never come back."

"But in case he should?"

"Well--do you think that will be of any use?"

"Certainly. Such a promise will save you."

"You ought to be ashamed of yourself for being so superstitious. You are a fool," said the meadow farmer, and went off.

The exciting events of the last few days had so entirely exhausted me that I could not keep my eyes open in the day-time, if I sat down; and I was so tired. I still refused to believe that I was growing old. But I was strongly reminded of it, for I feared to die. Formerly, since I stood alone, I thought death an easy matter; now I wanted to live long enough to be laid in the soil of a united Fatherland.

I was much refreshed by the arrival of Julius's wife. When I awoke from my afternoon nap and saw her standing before me, it seemed as if it were my wife in her youth. She had a most charming presence, and the resignation with which she bore her separation from husband and brother gave great impressiveness to her manner. Every movement of hers had a quiet grace. She lived in entire harmony with my daughter-in-law Conny; and these two children, who had now become mine, petted and caressed me with such kindness and consideration, and listened so attentively to all I said, that I could speak to them of things which I usually kept to myself. Martha was an adept in making remarkably beautiful bouquets out of grasses and wild flowers, and when I entered the room in the morning, I always found a fresh nosegay on the table. She was such a pleasant table companion that the dishes tasted twice as good, and I soon regained my strength.

Marie often came to visit me. Martha felt very kindly towards the girl; besides, there was a bond of union between them, for each had her greatest treasure in the field.

Marie had hitherto confided in no one in the village; for it would be contrary to the peasant's standard of honor to tell any one how she loved, and what her father made her suffer. Her grandfather strengthened her in her love, and when I said that the old fellow did it merely to hurt his son's feelings, Martha declared I was wronging him.

Martha, like my wife, embellished what she looked upon. The light of her eyes made all things radiant with light, and as a happy young wife she was particularly inclined to favor and give consolation in an unhappy love affair. Forgetting all her own troubles, she gave me a lively account of the patience and energy with which Marie worked, while her father would go about the house, scolding and cursing, because he now was forced to do things which his servants had formerly attended to. Yesterday, while she was engaged in stacking some green clover, the father called out in the direction of the shed behind the cattle-rack. "To whom are you talking there?"

"To him."

"To whom?"

Marie shoved the clover aside, and said, "Father, look at me! Can you not see that it is written here that Carl loves me? There is not a spot in my face that he has not kissed. See here, father, look at this half-ducat. We chopped one in two; Charles has the other half. There!"

Then she piled the clover up again so that her father should not see her. He kept on cursing and swearing. She was glad, however, that she had spoken out at last. Still, Marie was greatly embarrassed. The little circle in which she moved was her world, and she could not bear being talked about by the world, for preferring the son of the poorest cottager to the son of the rich miller.

On the other hand, she took great pleasure in hearing Carl discussed. He had always said, "I don't like it that Marie is so rich. I don't need much. If I have enough to eat and drink and my clothes, I am satisfied; and if I have any children, they shall be like me in this respect. I do not care to be like the great farmers, and have money in the funds. I do not find that they are happier, more jovial, and healthier than their servants."

The schoolmaster also spoke of Carl: "He was my best pupil, and learnt the most; and when, as a soldier, he received his first furlough, he came to visit me first of all. He waited before the door until the school was dismissed, when he accompanied me home and thanked me. Yes, he will succeed in life."

In short, Carl has the qualities which we wish the people to possess: he is bright, clever, and active; is not dissatisfied with his lot, and is modest and frugal.

Martha did not merely place the flowers from the meadow before me, she also brought blossoms from the kind hearts of our villagers; for, as beautiful flowers grow among nettles, so can genuine feeling be found coupled with rudeness. We had to return to our quiet life, for, in spite of our heavy thoughts which were far away, the present demanded our attention.

In irrigating our meadows, we were frequently forced to protect ourselves against the tricks of the meadow farmer. The traps are set in the evening, and at night or early in the morning they are drawn up; for the meadows need cool water, that which the sun has warmed being injurious.

As the meadow farmer did not sleep well, he used to go out to the ditch and turn our water into his meadows.

Rothfuss found this out, and I caught the meadow farmer stealing the water. He feared the French, and yet he tried to rob his neighbors.

Martha, when she heard of this, thought that his love for his meadows might excuse this wickedness; but my daughter-in-law reproved her with a severity which I had never observed before. She looked upon such trespassing as being a most serious matter; for the growth of all that belongs to us out of doors depends on public confidence.

Alas! how we cared for such little matters, while such great affairs were being settled yonder. The French might come upon us at any moment. But it is always thus. You stoop to pick a strawberry, and do not notice the mountain range. Why, as I was walking through the woods I was delighted at the prospect of a good crop of huckleberries. This is of importance to the poor people; for the productions which those who are better off do not care to cultivate, furnish food for the poor.

On the evening of the 1st of August, I was again on top of the Hochspitz Mountain, where Wolfgang had been with me the last time. The whole valley of the Rhine was bathed in the glow of the setting sun, which filled the air like a golden stream, and beyond lay the blue Vosges Mountains.

What is going on there? Will the French soon be here, killing and burning as they go?

To protect the pine-tree seeds against the birds, Wolfgang had placed brushwood over the spot on which he had sowed them. This had already become dry, and the leaves, therefore, covered the ground from which the young plants were starting.

On my way home I could hear the murmur of the brook below; and everything was so still, that I could even hear the noise made by the fountain in front of my house. Sometimes the shrill sound of the saw-mill would be carried up to me by the breeze. The grain-fields were in bloom; a nourishing haze lay upon them; the forest-trees were silently growing; the sun shone so clear by day; the moon was so bright by night. We seemed to be separated from that world in which a dreadful slaughter was just beginning.

The next morning I looked from out my quiet home, into the far distance. It had rained during the night. Everything was cooled off, the sun shone brightly, and the air from the fields was most refreshing. We had brought in our hay the day before, and the thunder-storm during the night had nourished the meadows. It seemed as if the myriads of refreshed plants joyfully gave token of new vigor. I said to myself: Thus may it be with our country and our people; perhaps, while you slept, a dreadful storm--and, let us hope, a beneficent one--may have passed over us.

Just then Joseph brought the news: "Fighting has begun. We have been beaten at Saarbrücken."

"None of our people are there: only Prussians are there," cried Rothfuss.

Joseph saw how angry these words made me, and, to turn away my wrath, he begun to tell about Funk, who was down in the tavern boasting of his knowledge of French, and saying that he would get along with the Frenchmen. He also had several little books for sale, from which the ordinary French phrases could be learnt.

Funk went about in jack-boots, carrying on a heavy business in grain, butter, and bacon with the army. Schweitzer-Schmalz had advanced him money for the purpose. He boasted of his generosity in putting the poor fellow on his feet, but at the same time had wisely bargained for the lion's share of the profits.

An hour afterwards, the wife of the councillor sent word that the news of our defeat was false.

That afternoon a message came from Hartriegel, informing us that, from the top of a hill in his neighborhood, a great movement of the opposing armies could be seen. I hurried up there with Joseph, Martha, and Conny. The engineer, who had been engaged at a neighboring stone-quarry while the troops had been stationed about us, reappeared and accompanied us.

We stood on the top of the tower of the ruined castle and gazed over into Alsace, where we could see the movements of the battle.

It was going on near Weissenburg, the region which was so familiar to me. Looking on thus from a distance, with fear and trembling as we saw the sudden flashes, the clouds of smoke, the burning villages, and hearing, occasionally, the sound of the guns which the echo from the hills brought us--all this oppressed me so much that Martha persuaded me to take some wine. It went hard with me to do so, for I first had to drown the thought of the many men yonder who might be restored to life if we could but wet their lips.

Martha prayed; I could only think of the new epoch that was just beginning. Happiness and victory must be the share of those who desire their own good and that of others. One great step was already gained, for the war had been carried into the enemy's country.

We did not return before nightfall. Joseph drove to town to bring the latest news. The morrow came, so calm and clear. What has been the result?

At noon a shot was fired down at the saw-mill; this was the signal that Joseph was to give in case we had triumphed. He came and brought the news of the glorious victory at Wörth.

"We have beaten the French on their own ground," he cried; "it was their own ground, but it must be ours again. Our boys were there," he added, after a pause. "Father! sisters! let us be prepared for everything."

Our resolve was a timely one.


Martha, who had hitherto shown such self-possession, was now seized with the greatest anxiety. She changed color constantly. She tried in vain to control her feelings, but at last her anxiety as well as mine became so great that we drove to the city. The crops were being already gathered from such fields as lay facing the south; nearly all the reapers were women.

While driving up the hill towards the court-house, I saw Edward Levi, the iron merchant, turn about suddenly as he caught sight of us and go towards his house. That was not the way he usually received us; so at once I feared that there was some bad news awaiting us, and that he did not wish to be the first one to tell it to us.

We halted before the court-house, but no one came to the windows; no one came to meet us. We went upstairs into the hall. The councillor's wife stood by the round table in the centre. She kept her hand on the table for a moment; then advancing towards Martha, and taking her hand, she said, "I awaited you here; I did not wish to cause you any emotion on the stairs, much less in the street. Your brother--dear Martha--your brother--died--an heroic death."

She said this with a firm voice; but when she had finished, she sobbed aloud and embraced Martha. The latter sank down beside her. We raised her; her faintness was of short duration, and her mother whispered, "Don't be alarmed! the shock will not harm her."

"My brother!" cried Martha, "I shall never see you more; never call you brother again. Pardon me, mother, I distress you instead of helping you. Where is father?"

"He is gone to the battle-field with Baron Arven. He has telegraphed that he is bringing the body with him. Ludwig, Wolfgang, and that sturdy Ikwarte are of the greatest assistance to him."

"Where is my sister?"

"She is at work in the town-hall. That is the best, the only thing to do--to care for others while you are bowed down with grief. As soon as you are restored, we will go to work together. Only do not idly mourn now! I have had your brother's room put in order; we will take charge of some wounded man and nurse him."

Martha looked wonderingly at her mother. How was such self-control possible! That is the blessing which long and careful culture brings, while it, at the same time, strengthens the moral sense. Her mother was dressed with care; she looked as she did in more peaceful days, and displayed no emotion, deeply as her heart was torn by the loss of her dearly beloved son. She told me that a messenger had come after bandages and to get help for the battle-field, and that her husband had sent word by him that the young lieutenant had been the first officer that had fallen. He had not been rash, but had moved forward at the head of his men with steadfast courage, had broken the ranks of the enemy, and, while crying, "The day is ours! the day is ours!" he had fallen with a bullet in his heart.

Martha was now restored, and a half hour after our arrival we were on our way to the town-hall. Her sister, who was engaged in cutting out garments, came towards us, gave Martha her hand, and repressed the rising tears. She spoke softly to Martha: she evidently begged her not to give vent to her grief before those who were present. Martha accompanied her quietly to the table, and helped to spread out the linen.

The daughter of Councillor Reckingen, who was just budding into womanhood, and who had hitherto been a stubborn, proud girl, lording it over every one, sat among the workers and was in entire harmony with them, while her father had cast aside his grief and joined his comrades in the field. She was placed specially in Christiane's charge.

The children, who were making lint in the basement, were singing the song of "The Good Comrade"--in the hall upstairs everything was still. Orders were given quietly, and the women and maidens passed silently to and fro. It seemed as if some one was lying dead in the adjoining room; but, above all this affliction and sorrow, there was a spirit which had never before shown itself among those present. All class distinctions had ceased, for all were united in their sympathy for their fellow-men.

Why does this spirit of friendship, this unanimity, appear only in times of trouble and sorrow; why not in every-day life?

I felt sure that this union of hearts would remain with us and beautify our lives, and this thought was strengthened by the remark of the lady at whose side I sat, who said, "You see,--this activity is the salvation of many, as you can perceive in your grand-daughter Christiane. She is untiring, and the dissatisfied air her face used to wear is gone. We are now all united. It will not last; but hereafter the thought that there once was a time when the children of the poorer and of the upper classes did not ask 'Who are you, after all?' will greatly benefit us."

I stayed in the city. The next evening, just as it was growing dark, the councillor arrived with his son's body. The whole town, young and old, was collected at the railway station. The children carried wreaths and flowers, the bells were ringing, and thus was the body taken from the station to the churchyard. After a hymn was sung, the clergyman delivered his address. What could he say? He explained in few words that this was not an ordinary funeral, but that we were now parts of one great whole, even in death.

The father, mother, and sisters cast the first clods of earth on the young hero's coffin; the grave was then filled in and covered with flowers.

We had buried the first one who had died for the union and independence of our Fatherland. I was staying with the family which had thus lost its only son. They sat at home in silence; indeed, what could be said?

The parson had added a text from the Bible, and had made some earnest remarks thereon; yet I thought, and am sure that these stricken ones thought as I did, that all political feeling is foreign to that holy book. Patient endurance here, and the hope of better things beyond, suit a nation that is kept in subjection, but not one that is gladly battling and sacrificing itself for its existence. What an entirely different comprehension the Greeks had of exertion carried to its utmost limit. I remembered how, while in prison, the speech of Pericles, delivered at the funeral rites in Athens, had illumined and elevated my soul; and I could almost see the words, for they seemed to have been hewn out of stone, like a finely chiselled piece of sculpture. I found the book in the house, and read the address to the parents and children. I had to stop frequently, for sometimes the father and sometimes the mother would exclaim: "That is intended for us, for to-day."

"No enemy has ever seen our entire forces," says Pericles, and so say we.

"Bold, daring, and calm consideration of what we undertake, are united in us. He among us who does not concern himself about matters of state, is not regarded as a peaceable, but as a useless, man." Pericles shows that he possesses the true religion when he cries: "You must constantly keep before your eyes the powers of the state, and must love them. Seek for happiness in liberty, and for liberty in your own courage."


"A Prussian doesn't let go his grip from anything he holds," said Ikwarte to the councillor, when the latter called to him not to let a badly wounded man, who was being carefully carried by, drop. This was, in a certain sense, a motto for us all.

Prussia has the Frenchman in her grip, and will not let him go; and our troops have gone bravely on. The blood of the South and North German has been shed together. Grief for the individual was assuaged by the thought of the result which would be achieved.

The union of the German people is now indissoluble.

The councillor returned to the army.

I was greatly grieved that I could not also lend a hand, and that I was forced to return home, there to watch and wait. But the councillor assured me, and I dare say he was right, that I would be unable to stand the sights of the battle-field. On the first day, he himself, even before he knew of his son's fate, had become so crushed and dazed that he could hardly keep his feet. Now he no longer thought of the misery itself, but solely of the means of remedying it.

Rontheim related, to our momentary amusement, how the vicar had lost the trunk containing his robes of office, and how he therefore had to perform his duties without his distinctive dress: a circumstance which worked no harm, as he was of great service at any rate. Martha took a quantity of goods along, which she wanted either to finish up at home, or to use as a means of instructing the children of our village. We drove home. It seemed like a dream to me that the saw-mill was running, that wagons loaded with wood met us, and that people were at work in the fields. Everything goes its gait, and yonder rages the battle.

At the newspaper-tree we met Carl's mother and Marie, and she called out to me, "Do you see the flock of hungry crows! They are flying beyond the Rhine, to where the boys who used to sing are lying dead--and each of them had a mother."

"Your Carl has written that he is safe and sound."

"Yes, yes, until to-morrow. Come! We'll go home."

The two boundary posts were united by means of a black, red, and gold flag, which had been wound around them. Joseph, whom we met there, had done it. He was greatly shocked at the sight of Martha in mourning, although he had already heard that her brother had fallen; but all life was now so uncertain, that he feared she might also be mourning for Julius. She gave him a letter which her father had brought from Julius. It was full of sadness, but at the same time he wrote with pride of his dead brother-in-law, and expressed himself as being convinced that he would return from the war uninjured.

The days passed by quietly. The school-master reported that the children had become so inattentive that he did not know what to do, for they would not study their lessons, and talked of nothing but the war. He determined to let the children read the newspapers aloud, and copy the reports from the seat of war.

The game-keeper who reported to Joseph told us that fewer crimes were being committed than usual, although the taverns were constantly full. There was a good deal of trespassing on the woods; but that was none of his business.

Short and precise letters came from Carl, and he never forgot to mention that he had enough to eat and drink, for he knew that such news would gladden his mother's heart.

Martha reported that Marie and Carl's mother had stopped going to the newspaper-tree. Marie had learned, to her astonishment, that you could buy your own newspapers, and so she procured one daily. Living in constant dread of her father, she subscribed for it in the name of the schoolmaster, and receiving it every evening, she undertook the troublesome task of reading it aloud to the old woman at night. The worst part of it was that the latter insisted on having the lists of the dead and wounded read to her. She did not know what she should do in case the awful news were to come.

I live among peasants, and see a great deal of rudeness, as well as good feeling; but the greatest affection I ever saw lay in the conduct of Marie towards Carl's mother.

The wagons of our district were ordered to Alsace, and my wagon and team of bays had to go along. I wanted to employ one of the workmen engaged in regulating the course of the river to drive them, but Rothfuss insisted on taking charge of the team himself, so I had to let him go. He was in great spirits, and declared that he would return with the wagon wreathed in flowers, and that Martella and Ernst would sit in it.

Our house became still more quiet now, and when our horses were gone, we felt as if we were cut off from the world.

The nights were so calm and peaceful, the moon shone so clear; no leaf stirred, and even the brook ran dreamily along. And yet, at this time, there were thousands attempting to kill each other.

Martha was often busy looking at the pages of an album through a magnifying glass. This book contained a collection of mosses and ferns, which Julius had arranged for her. Underneath each specimen was noted the place from which it came and when it had been gathered; and there were always added the words "for Martha."

We were in almost daily receipt of postal cards from Julius, and with the same minuteness which he had shown in the album, he gave us the day, hour, and place of writing. Sometimes a sealed letter from him would also reach us. Martha let me read them, and only once did she blushingly cover a postscript with her hand. Conny called my attention to Martha; what a touching and hallowed vision she seemed to be, and how humbly and modestly she bore her life's great secret!

While I was examining the mosses, Martha told me, with radiant face and sparkling eyes, how she had become acquainted with Julius. She had danced with him at a country ball, but they had seen no more of each other.

On the next morning, as she and her sister were walking in the "Rockenthal" and were passing through the shrubbery, they suddenly came to a large pine-tree under which a hunter was sleeping. His dog sat at his side, and they motioned to him to remain quiet, while they both stood there examining the man's youthful, browned features and white brow. Martha summoned up her courage, seized his hat and took out the feathers, replacing them with a bunch of freshly gathered flowers. After this bold deed, the sisters fled to the shrubbery; but the dog barked, and the hunter awoke. He stared about him, seized his gun and hat, apparently puzzled to find the alteration that had been made, and uttered an energetic oath. He just caught sight of the two sisters in their light-blue summer dresses, as they disappeared in the shrubbery. He called after them, and they ran, until Martha stumbled over the root of a tree and fell. "Your voice is too good to swear with," said the sister who had remained standing, and then the young hunter pulled off his hat, and looked confused. Recovering himself immediately, he said, "It was not you, but your sister, who played the robber. She has the feathers yet. I--I thank you for the exchange." Then, as Martha handed him the feathers, and as he held his hat out towards her, he succeeded in touching her hand with his lips. He escorted the two girls through the woods, and starting with the joke of having caught them trespassing, they ended by having a merry talk. He soon begged Martha to sing, for he said that he could see that she, like him, was in the humor of singing. So these two began to sing their favorite songs, which, strangely enough, were the same; and when they reached the road, both of the sisters stretched out their hands to Julius. He held Martha's hand in his the longest, and from that moment their fate was fixed, and became more blissful every day.

He arranged the album while they were engaged. It was filled with the fondest memories, and even I learned much from it that was new to me. Each tree showed me new forms of existence, and in a little while I was able to forget, while contemplating these minute products of nature, the great commotion that was raging so near us. A bird is perched on the telegraph wire, while beneath it the most stirring news is passing silently and invisibly. I often regarded the wires that were stretched in front of my woods. Who knows the news that is flashing through them? We were soon to hear it.


"It thunders, booms, tumbles, and crashes; the mountains are falling, the world is coming to an end!"--thus did Carl's mother cry out in the village street. She refused to be comforted, and when she saw Martha in mourning, she began to shriek out: "Black! black! We shall all be charred to death!"

We succeeded at last in calming her, and then led her home, while round about us a noise like thunder seemed to come from the hills; although not a cloud was visible in the sky.

We knew that Strasburg was being bombarded. The fact was, that the sound of the cannonade struck against the rock behind the spinner's cottage, and rolled thence along the little valleys between the hills.

This lone woman, who could scarcely hear a man's voice, could distinctly perceive the roar of the artillery which shook her cottage.

"My boy is there, my good, my brave son," she cried, when she was told that Strasburg was being bombarded. Then she broke out into a sort of chant: "In Strasburg is the minster; I was in service for five years in the Blauwolken Street; in Strasburg, in Strasburg, in Strasburg,"--it sounded like a doleful song. We wanted to induce her to come to us; even Marie wanted to take charge of her; but she caught hold of her table, crying, "No, no! I shall not go from here until I am carried out."

That evening Joseph came for me, saying, that from the top of the stone-wall, the shells could be seen flying through the air. We accompanied him to the spot, and could see the shells rising, then falling and disappearing in little clouds of smoke. The stone-cutter, who had seen service as a soldier, pointed out to us the shells that exploded harmlessly in the air, and those which spread destruction as they burst.

How is it with the people over there on whom this rain of fire is falling? What are they doing at home? What do they say, and think, and what consolation and support do they bring each other? I imagined myself among them, living with them. And my niece was there, too. She had thought to find protection there, and now she was in the greatest danger. And how must my sister, yonder in the forest of Hagenau, be wringing her hands at these sounds and sights! And we are sending death and destruction among those to whom we want to cry, "Come to us, stay with us." The language the cannon speak is a dreadful one.

We had to return home at last. I was so confused and shocked, that Joseph had to lead me. I could hear the guns as I lay in bed; but after a while sleep comes to you in spite of noise and sorrow.

Marie told me the next morning that the spinner had counted the shots by the hour during the night. When she had reached one hundred, beyond which she could not count, she buried her head in the pillow, crying, "I can count no further; I cannot; it is enough!" and had then fallen asleep. Marie asked our aid, for the spinner had said that, when daylight came, she would stand it no longer; she would go to her son.

However, when the next day came she had forgotten her intention. She sat in her room, spinning, and whenever she heard the sound of a gun, would merely open her mouth, but say nothing. Not a word passed her lips for days.

Joseph wanted to visit the besiegers, but I asked him to remain with us, as I wanted to have one of my men about the house.

Every evening the young folks from the village would climb to the top of the hill behind the little stone wall, and, with the light-heartedness of youth, would enjoy themselves in spite of the destruction that was going on before their very eyes.

My sister and her daughter surprised us. The former had visited the camp; had luckily found Julius, and through him had obtained permission for her daughter to leave the fortress. She had left all her property at the mercy of the shells and of the plundering soldiers; for the opinion of the citizens was, that the German soldiers would sack the city. As Germans, they had been regarded with aversion by their neighbors and acquaintances. She left us soon again, so as to be with her husband; but her daughter, who was greatly overcome, remained with us.

Martha and Conny nursed the young wife carefully; and Martha spoke French to her, so as to please her.

A large detachment of captured and wounded French and Algerians came through our valley. The people from all the villages flocked to the high-road to see them pass. I feared that the people would show their irritation, and jeer these unfortunates: but, as if by a tacit agreement, every one kept aloof, and only words of sympathy were heard. It was only when the fantastic, and sometimes terrible-looking Africans appeared, that the dismay of the people showed itself, as they called out, "There they are, the men that were going to burn our towns and forests, the cannibals!"

Rothfuss, with my team of bays, was also in the procession. He halted a moment at the saw-mill near the bridge, and gave a merry account of the kind of load he was carrying. It consisted of wounded Turcos, and he laid great stress on the fact that the French would have nothing in common with these wicked apes. He had to keep on his way.

Great excitement was caused in the village when it was reported that Carl had returned. We all accompanied his mother and Marie down the valley, where he had halted with a squad of prisoners. Marie embraced him before us all, and the prisoners smiled, and imitated the sound of their smacking lips.

Carl had much to tell me, and could not find words to say all he wanted to, particularly in praise of the Pomeranian lancers. He said they were the right sort of fellows--as quiet and strong as the pine-trees; and it was strange to see, when they first saw the Rhine, about which so much had been sung and said, how, in their enthusiasm, they wanted to ride directly into the stream.

His mother and sweetheart accompanied him for some distance on the road, and when they turned to come back the old woman said, "Now I am satisfied; now no one shall hear me complain; I am sure that nothing will happen to him in this war."

We harvested our crops; we placed the green bough on the top of the new mill down in the valley; we began to cut wood in the forest; yet still the thunder of the bombardment of Strasburg continued.

The old meadow farmer lay at home very ill, and often said, "I shall be buried like a soldier; they will fire over my grave."

We buried the old fellow on the morning of September 2d. He had given orders that his St. Helena medal should be buried with him; but his son did not see fit to let this be done. He looked upon this so-called mark of distinction as a means of preservation, in case the French should come after all.

While we were standing at the open grave, Joseph came riding up the hill, his horse very much blown, and cried, "Napoleon is a prisoner!" We all hurried to the road where Joseph, still on horseback, read the extra aloud. It was the account of the capture of Napoleon at Sedan.

What strange coincidences occur in life! We had just buried the last man in our village who wore on his breast the badge of the infamy of our alliance with Napoleon; and now we had his successor and heir a prisoner in our hands.

As if by a preconcerted signal, the young people of the village struck up, "Die Wacht am Rhein."

Without awaiting the parson's permission--very likely he wouldn't have given it--the church-bells were rung, and the German flag was thrown to the breeze from the top of the church spire. We returned home as if in a dream.

When my niece, the Alsacienne, heard the news, she shook her head, and refused to be convinced of its truth.

She had been always accustomed to hear the lying despatches of her countrymen.

After the Sedan campaign, we all thought that the war was ended; but the French people, in their overweening confidence, still insisted on retaining the first place among nations, and resented the idea of their giving up the German provinces, of which in former days they had robbed us.

The war went on without ceasing.


We cannot be astonished anew every day at the phenomena of existence: how the sun rises, how the plants grow and bloom. We must accustom ourselves to the homely changes that are being wrought; to life and death among us, to love and hate, to union and discord.

We ended by becoming accustomed to the fact that the war was raging, and as surely as the sun rose we expected news of another victory; for that we should ever be beaten seemed, to judge from what had happened, impossible.

The daily question was, "Has Strasburg surrendered yet?"

On the morning of the 29th of September, I attended the weekly market to sell my grain. It was the crop of 1870.

Everything went on as usual; there was the same chaffering, bargaining, and cheating, and occasionally the war was discussed.

Suddenly I heard a noise of shouting and rejoicing, and saw flags hung out of the windows. "Strasburg has fallen," was the cry.

People called to each other, "Strasburg has fallen at last," as if some one who had been long lost had returned at last.

Joseph brought the Alsacienne to town. We made up a store of food and clothing for her, and accompanied by Christiane, who had been despatched to the afflicted city by the Aid Society, she returned to Alsace. Every one went over to Strasburg, partly from curiosity, and partly out of pity. I refused to go.

Then came letters from Alsace for Martha and me.

I did not know the handwriting of the one for me. It turned out to be from Baron Arven. He wrote that he had had frequent conferences with those high in office on the importance of quieting the minds of the Alsatians, and of coming to an understanding with them. Unfortunately they had been forced to take sharp measures against those who were untractable and traitorous, and now they desired to take such measures as would stop any further sacrifices. There were other nurses required besides those who attended the wounded, and he believed I would suit his purpose.

The following sentence in his letter pierced my heart like a dagger: "Your family ties make it your duty to aid the lost son to return to his father's house."

How? Has Ernst been found, and is the preceding portion of the letter simply written to prepare me for the shock?

I read on, and found I was mistaken. A troubled mind interprets everything in its interest. Arven simply meant that I should aid in the work of attaching Alsace to Germany; for he informed me that men of all classes, who were known to have friends and relatives in Alsace, had been requested to visit those sections of the country with which they were acquainted, there to work in the interest of union. Those who had been in opposition to the government were especially wanted, for the reason that their conduct would be regarded as being founded on a pure love for the Fatherland.

He asked me to visit the villages in the forest of Hagenau, with which I was acquainted through my relations, and see what I could do towards furthering the good work.

I had to laugh when he added: "Your presence and your white hair will do much, I think, to create confidence in you."

The Baron was in the confidence of the government. It seemed, therefore, to be decided that we should take back the provinces of which we had been robbed. Yes, I am ready to do what I can. It is true, I doubted my capacity; but a love of the cause and encouraging hopefulness strengthened me. Arven's letter gave me courage. He had never praised me to my face, but he displayed the best feeling in his letter.

"I am going to Alsace," said I to Martha.

"Oh, that is splendid, and you can take me along."

She showed me a letter from Julius, in which he asked her to visit him in Strasburg for a short time, until he should march off again.

He wrote: "We will meet among saddening ruins, but we shall remain erect, and while we help rebuild the great fabric of the state, shall also strengthen our own life-fabric."

We journeyed to Strasburg. Julius met us in Kehl. What a meeting between the young couple!

"I have also seen Martella," Julius said. "I wanted her to enter a hospital as nurse, but she has retained her old dislikes, and refuses to have anything to do with the sick. She was engaged with a number of other women in distributing supplies, but I don't know whether she is near here now. I have been told that she has gone to Lorraine with another detachment of the supply commission. She parted from Lerz, the baker, after a few days. The Prince's letter of pardon has passed her everywhere, and she is now with Ikwarte and Wolfgang, who will protect her."

I shall not speak of the effect the appearance of the bombarded city produced on me. I had been in Strasburg frequently, and knew many there who could not forget the ties which bound them to Germany. Forty years ago I was here with Buchmaier, and at that time this great broad fellow planted himself before the Cathedral, and called out, "I say, tumble down, or turn German."

Now it stood there, a German monument. It had been, unfortunately, struck by our shot, but had been only slightly injured; and from far and near one could behold this edifice, every stone and ornament of which is German.

Martha could look on nothing but the face of her Julius, and on one other thing--the iron cross on his breast. She asked why he had not written about having received it; and Julius confessed that he had not done so because a promise that was not yet binding, but which required him to arrive at some conclusion, was connected with it.

He related that the commanding general, while fastening the cross on his breast, had said, "You intend remaining in the service?" to which he had not answered, but believed that he had nodded "yes," although he was not sure.

And now he wanted to learn from Martha's lips whether he had nodded or shaken his head.

Martha looked at me and said, "What do you say, grandfather?"

I said, of course, that this could be decided on when the war was over, and that meanwhile Julius could consider himself a professional soldier. I thought him too tenderhearted for a soldier, for he had said to me, "Grandfather! the worst feature about war, is not the fighting, but the foraging. It is heart-rending to force people to deliver up everything, yet it must be done."

The thought that Julius would remain a soldier was painful to me, for I had cherished the hope that, at some time or other, he would take charge of his patrimonial estate. I could not agree with Ludwig's American ideas, that all property should be personal. But what matters all that at present?

I hunted up Baron Arven. Although he had written such hearty letters to me, I found that he had again become formal and brusque. I had to learn that in war times small matters can receive but little attention.

The Baron directed a servant to accompany me to the provisional governor of the province. Although I had been sent for, I found myself treated as if I were a suitor. I had to accustom myself to the North-German manner, which regards every sacrifice you may bring as a mere matter of duty.

The governor remembered that Arven had spoken of me. He begged me to take a look, for the present, at the part of the country with which I was acquainted, and then to report to him.

This interview sobered me. Was this the frame of mind in which a part of our country was to be regained? I decided to visit my sister, and then to return home. That evening Arven changed my resolution.


Arven lived in the hospital, and on my arrival there I was welcomed by a tall, fine-looking woman in a white cap and white apron. It was Annette, and I was not a little astonished to meet her there; but even she had no time to spare, for she said she had to return to her patients, and that Arven was waiting for me in his room.

This was really the case. Arven gave me a hearty welcome, and said that he had given orders that he was not to be disturbed excepting in case something of great importance needed his attention, and that, for this evening, he would be a thorough egotist.

When I told him how repellent the angularity and coldness of the Prussians had appeared to me, he said that this was just what he wanted to talk to me about.

He had been exceedingly provoked at their cold-blooded manner. He had already determined to leave them; but after a while he had made up his mind that this sharpness, bitterness, and decision were the forces that made them the men they were. Obedience is with them a habit that can be depended on. We South Germans are too soft and easygoing, and we ought to breathe some of the salt-sea air that blows across that northern country. This want of attention towards others, this disregard of people's feelings, lay in the fact that they had no consideration for themselves. The French, who, whatever they do, want to be observed and applauded, will be beaten by these men, whose whole power rests in their self-respect. We used to think the Prussians were braggarts; but now we found no trace of boastfulness, and in spite of their constant victories, they took every precaution as they advanced, and were prepared for defeat. Yes, orders describing the manner of retreat were issued before every battle.

He could not cease praising them, and only stopped when he added that he thought their self-esteem was a result of Protestantism. The Baron stopped when he had said this, and, after we had eaten and drunk to our hearts' content, he said that, although he was a Catholic, he would never confess to a priest again, but that he would confess to me; and in case he should not return from the war, he would have the satisfaction of feeling that his inner life had been laid before another, for an hour at least.

He confessed to me that his desire had been to die in this campaign, and it was for this reason that he had exposed himself so recklessly when collecting the wounded. It seemed strange to him that people should praise his courage, while he was engaged in seeking death. He thought it would be the best thing for himself and his children, if the great sorrows that had come upon them, and which might come again, could be buried with him.

He then groaned aloud, saying, "I do not want to die before their eyes."

I saw before me a life that had been most cruelly broken. The Baron had once been in the Austrian army. He had never expected to find himself at the head of his family, for he belonged to the younger branch.

In Bohemia he made the acquaintance of a girl belonging to a noble family, and was subdued by her.

Feodora was tall and majestic, of a warm, sensual nature, but cold-hearted. Persuaded by his sister, he became engaged to her; but felt that he would have to stand alone in life, with her as his spouse.

On the day after his engagement, he suddenly awoke to a horror of what he had done. He was visiting the large estate of her father. He walked through the park, wrestling with the resolve to drown himself in the pond; but he did not do so, because he considered it his duty to keep his plighted word; and besides, the hope arose in his breast that, at some future time, a closer sympathy would be brought about. Her beauty fettered him; in short, the marriage was celebrated, and he lived for thirty-one years married, but lonely. One by one, his hopes had all been shattered. He had persuaded himself that congeniality was not necessary to happiness.

But after awhile he discovered what it was to be united to some one, and at the same time to be alone. The sudden death of the last of the main line of his family placed him at the head of the house. He resigned his position in the army, and devoted himself to agriculture. He had no control over his children--scarcely any influence in fact, but as his sons grew up, they espoused the cause of Germany, and would have nothing to do with the conflict which their mother and her ghostly advisers tried to stir up.

In the campaign of 1866, the Baron suffered unspeakably. He was homeless in his own house. But when the present war began, and he discovered plots that he would never have suspected, the conflict broke out openly. The two sons joined the German army, and did not, or would not, know of what was going on at home. I dare not speak of the bitterness, hate, and despair that filled the soul of this naturally good-hearted man, and appeared in the course of his story. "I had to confess to you some time," said he finally, "and I chose the best time.

"I believe that your wife intuitively knew everything that I have told you."

The deep misery of his life seemed again renewed when he cried, "I do not wish to die before their eyes."

He mentioned Rautenkron, and said that their cases were similar. Their devotion in the present great movement was not a joyful sacrifice, but indifference and contempt for life; they wanted to die.

I was deeply pained, and also gratified, when he took my hand at last, saying that my wife and I had kept him up in the faith that happiness was yet to be found on earth. "And now I must make a further confession. It was a great sacrifice on my part, considering the comfort I enjoyed in your house, and the deep sympathy your wife showed me, to deny myself frequent, yea, daily visits, whenever I felt like a stranger in my house; and as one banished from home, I would ride across the hills, and down into the valley towards you and your wife; but when I had reached the saw-mill, I would turn back. It was better thus. I felt that your wife knew everything. Though I was a man who had sons in the army, I was again tossed hither and thither by youthful feelings; but I overcame them. I think I ought to tell you this too; it relieves me, and cannot oppress you. Of all men who were affected by her sterling qualities, there is no one who worshipped her more profoundly than I did," said the Baron finally, again taking my hand.

We sat there in silence for some time, and I was made happy by the thought that her spirit was hovering over us, bringing us peace. The Baron then arose and said, "Now I have unburdened myself, and am free. I thank you for your share in this relief. And now, no more of this. Now duty calls."

He again told me how much good I could accomplish, by going from village to village, and from house to house, in the region in which I had long been known, there to teach the Alsatians what they ought to learn.

"You may depend on one thing," said he: "you will have bitter experiences. You will be looked upon as a spy. But do you remember what your wife once called you?"

I did not know what he meant.

"She called you the spy of what was good, because you always discover the good qualities in every one. Well, be one again."

I made up my mind to cope willingly with everything, and went to my sister's the next day.


We of the mountains had heard the cannonading; but how differently had it affected those of the neighborhood, whose homes and whose all were at stake. We could see the destruction that had been wrought on the houses, but not that which had wasted the nerves of the people. Wherever I went, I found every one feeling restless and homeless, like the swallows that flew about, settling here and there; but only for a moment, for their nests had been destroyed, along with the houses and towers and fortifications.

Every one I met had a puzzled look: the alarm and fear caused by the incredible disasters that had overwhelmed them, had dazed them, and they seemed hurt by friendly greetings--yes, even by offers of assistance.

My brother-in-law, the forester, a man who ordinarily bore himself well, seemed entirely broken down. He stared at me in silence as I entered his house, and scarcely answered my greeting with a slight nod.

My sister told me that, since the siege of Strasburg, he had suffered from asthma, and that he constantly repeated, "General Werder's shots have taken my breath away."

On looking at the pictures hanging on the wall, I could see plainly what these people would have to thrust aside. The pictures on the walls, as well as those that dwelt in their memory, were to be changed. In our every-day life, we soon forget what the ornaments on the wall are like. But if they are not in accord with the times, then we find out what was once ours, but has now ceased to belong to us. On my hinting that Germany would adopt the regained provinces with increased affection, my brother-in-law sprang up, rolling his eyes and striking the table with his fist, and swore that he would emigrate. My sister then said that an oath at such a time was worthless; but he answered in bitter scorn--he could speak nothing but French--"And if no one will accompany me--I cannot force the trees in the forest to go along--my dog, at least, will be my companion. What do you say, Fidele--you'll go with me? You won't take bread from a German; you will rather starve with me?" The dog barked and licked his master's hand.

I could see what a difficult task I had before me, but I did not give it up. In the village, in the houses, and before the court-house, wherever the people were gathered together, I spoke words of peace and encouragement to them. They would listen to me as if they were forced to do so; and once I heard a man behind me say, "The whole thing is a lie, white hairs and all; he is some young fellow in disguise." I seldom received a straightforward answer; the nearest approach to a reply was, "What are we to do?" "What are we to learn." The feeling at the bottom of all this was,--to-morrow the French will be back, and drive the Germans away. It is impossible to conquer the French.

I then visited my brother-in-law, the parson, who lived a few miles further on. He spoke of nothing but the excellent behavior of the soldiers that had been quartered on them. They went to church on Sundays and joined in the singing; and officers of high rank had been there, too. He seemed nervous, and did not dare to express his joy--either because he feared the maid-servant who was going in and out, or else because he disliked to lay bare his thoughts. It was only while walking in the woods that he unbosomed himself. I do not like to repeat what he related, as I preferred not to believe his story. He told me that the French government had received the assurance from the priesthood, that the South Germans would not take the field against France. I do not believe this, but it is the current opinion, and so I feel forced to repeat it.

He also said that the beggars from the Catholic villages of the vicinity had, for some time past, ceased asking for alms. They had walked around boldly in his village, selecting the houses they intended to occupy as soon as the Protestants had been exterminated.

Thus wickedly had religion been mixed up with this war.

"The thought of Germany," said the parson, "always seemed to me like a silent, yea, a criminal dream. Now I see it realized in broad daylight. We are like the prodigal son of Scripture, but the truant in Alsace is this time not in fault, and it is that which makes his return to his home so painful. I have often thought that the father of the prodigal must have offended against his son, although the Scriptures do not say so, otherwise he would not have been thus afflicted."

He was merely drawing a parallel, yet he made my heart beat with the thought of Ernst.

The father of the prodigal son is also at fault. What had I been guilty of?

When we returned from our walk, we were told that a French soldier, who had served his time, had called to see me; he had not given his name, and would return.

Who can he be? I must wait to find out. But I met a man in the village whom I had forgotten.

The advocate Offenheimer, Annette's brother, met me, and his first words were, "You are a great consolation to me. Come with me and give my son an escort."

I now perceived that his only son had fallen, and that the father desired him to be buried in the Jewish cemetery here.

As he divined my thoughts, he said, "It is true, I could not allow them to bury my son out there with the others; but it is, perhaps, well if there is some sign here of our having fairly and joyfully taken our part in the fight. Perhaps it will have a mollifying effect upon our new countrymen of the Jewish faith, who were particularly contumacious."

I was astounded to find the man so placid. But, as if guessing my thoughts, he said he had no more strength for complaints and tears, and that a fact must at last be accepted.

I thought of the handsome, spirited lad, that had one time come to me with Wolfgang. But I greatly desired to find a favorable opportunity for addressing the Jewish inhabitants of the village. They had an especial fear of the Germans, and were proud of French equality.

The advocate's son was buried with all the ceremonies of his church. Two slightly wounded South German officers, who were lying in the village, acted as the escort. They recognized in me the Colonel's father-in-law, and had much to tell me in his praise.

"He shows that we are not inferior to the Prussians." Such appeared to be the highest compliment they could bestow upon him.

Upon our return from the cemetery, to which the Jews here in Alsace give the peculiar name of the "good place,"6 the advocate leaned upon my arm, and, as I sat next to him in the little room, after quietly meditating for a long while, he exclaimed, "In my youth I had willingly died for the true Fatherland; now, my son has been permitted to die for it."

For years had I been in constant intercourse with this man; now, in his grief and in the hour of civil commotion, I first learned to know him; and to learn to know an upright man is to learn to love him.

I have, like suffering Odysseus, participated in the experiences of many men; Rautenkron, the Colonel, and Arven have revealed to me their life-secrets. Now I was to hear still another's: the history of a step-child in his step-fatherland, who still longed for affection, for the closest friendship, and who, though repulsed and oppressed by the laws and his fellow-men, had not yet lost his love for them.

As Offenheimer recounted the grievances he had suffered in the schools, and the incivilities and insults of later years, it seemed to me that I should ask his forgiveness for all this suffering and uncharitableness, of which, because of what we had done to him, and of what our ancestors had done to his, we were to-day guilty. Those who style themselves believers in the religion of love, would be much astonished at the strength of this man's affections, who, though repulsed and scorned; still preserved them pure. We live a whole human life and know nothing of the inward emotions of many of our contemporaries. Offenheimer spoke with great severity concerning the attempt to obtain recognition by means of extravagant display, that caused many Jews to appear unpatriotic and presumptuous. He explained this, indeed, as arising from the necessity, imposed by the prejudice against his race, of proving its claim to respectability, and was frank enough to refer to the early conduct of his sister as an example.

Offenheimer then told me how happy it had made him to find his son growing up in comparative ignorance of such persecutions--he had thus developed naturally. He smiled sadly, as he added that he, though he had grown physically larger and more active, had acquired a lightness of heart which the man who is obliged to win his freedom before enjoying it, never acquires.

"I do not mourn for my son," were his words: "he had reached the most beautiful period of life, and it is all the same, whether a man lives seventeen years or seventy. No man liveth to himself, and no one dieth to himself, says the apostle; and that is true. I understand it to be true in another sense as well. Each of us dies only to his connections and his posterity."

It was a novelty to me to hear Holy Writ referred to as simply the teachings of wisdom. I have since then often found educated Israelites are not so much Jews, as simply not Christians.

Offenheimer thanked me with great tenderness for the wonders that we had accomplished with Annette. She had been proud and selfish; now she had become humble, and lived for others.

As I sat with him, the Rabbi of the place came and expressed his thanks for the generous subscription that had been made in memory of the fallen.

One word, which the priest then uttered, went straight to my heart. He said the bereaved father would find consolation; for the Talmud declared that the patriarch Jacob could not suppress his sufferings and his tears for his lost son Joseph, because he felt within himself that his son still lived. Grief for one who is dead vanishes when the corpse becomes clay; for a living lost one, the grief endures.

Oh! my lost son Ernst!

Upon my return home, I found, awaiting me in the village, a man in a blue blouse, with a short pipe in his mouth, and wearing his cap awry. He approached me with a military salute, and said, "Yes, it is you."

"Who am I?"

"His father."

"Whose father?"

"Our sergeant's, Ernst Tännling."

"That is not my name."

"Of course! But he has confided to me--he took me, indeed, for a German--that his name was Waldfried. Do you remember that I met you in Paris during the World's Exposition. Your son deserted in 1866, and has a bride. Have I the correct signs now?"

Alas! he had them, and again I heard that Ernst had entered the service in Algiers, and now, probably, was in the onward movement against Germany.

The veteran allowed me no time for reflection. He confided to me, with great urgency and secrecy, that he could be of great service. He knew that I had great influence, and wanted me to conduct him to some officer of high rank; he could be of great service, but must receive liberal pay.

I had learned much in life, but for the first time there stood before me a man who offered me his services as a spy. He had seized my hand, and it seemed as if his touch had soiled it.

I sought further intelligence from him concerning Ernst, but he knew nothing more. I took him with me and handed him over to an officer that lay here. I considered it to be my duty not to discard the dirty, but perhaps useful, tool.

With thoughts of Ernst in my breast, with the consciousness that my only son was in arms against the Fatherland, I was not in the mood to unburden my heart to others; and besides, it was evidently too early. Now, since force yet speaks, the good-will of the oppressed cannot be won.

I turned back to my sister's, and was much delighted to meet Hartriegel, the so-called forest professor, who had been sent by the administration to inspect the forests.


With Hartriegel and my brother-in-law, who had again in a measure regained his composure, I roamed through the great forest district; and this refreshed my soul, though the terrible thoughts about Ernst accompanied me by day and by night like a restless ghost.

It was the night of the twenty-sixth of October. Hartriegel remained in the town. I had stayed with my sister; a storm was raging that seemed to portend the destruction of the world. Dogs howled, the cattle in the stalls bellowed unceasingly; there seemed a fearful wailing in the rattling of the thunder, and the turmoil and uproar of the elements. We heard sounds like the splitting of trees, continually nearer and nearer. We all sat together in the room, keeping watch, and my brother-in-law exclaimed, "It is just so! The trees even will clear out forthwith. They will not be German."

As he said this, a tree behind the house cracked and fell over on the roof: the slates rattled, the timbers bent, and the storm now raged through the house, which we could not forsake; for out of doors the tempest raged so wildly, that it seemed as if everything that stood upright would be stricken to the ground. We waited until daylight, and at early morning a messenger arrived who came to tell me that Julius must depart, and to ask whether I would not bring Martha home with me. The messenger also showed us an "extra," that announced the capture of Metz, and the capitulation of 173,000 men.

When my brother-in-law heard this, he exclaimed, "We are betrayed!" tore down the epaulettes, and the portrait of Bazaine, under whom he had served, from the wall, threw them on the floor, and trampled them under his feet.

The messenger told us the roads were impassable; every where there lay trunks of trees, and near the house a slain stag. He, a very credulous man, had spent the night at the Oak of Saint Arbogast, and with pious fervor praised the saint who had protected him.

After he had partaken of refreshments, he escorted my brother-in-law, who soon came back with the dead stag.

We were separated from the world, and my sister rejoiced that she still had something for us to eat.

At noon there came a neighboring forester with his men, and everybody was called upon, and worked through the entire night to make the roads again passable. Soldiers were also ordered from Hagenau to assist, and soon I heard the singing of German songs in the woods.

The next morning Joseph arrived with his companion. He had been ordered by the chief forester to buy wood here, and had now decided, since it was so conveniently arranged, to purchase the greater portion of the windfall. What terrified us, awakened in him a speculation.

"In the forest of Hagenau," said he, "there's also oak wood for Ludwig's mill."

It was, and remained so; everything served as a stepping-stone to Joseph.

He gave us further particulars of the capture of Metz, and of the march towards Paris. At the name of Paris, my brother-in-law's face became flushed and excited. "That you will never get, never!" he said; "the world will go to pieces, first! But Metz, indeed! And 173,000 men! believe in nothing after this!"

I told Joseph of Ernst; I must impart it to some one. But Joseph urgently implored me to eradicate every thought of the lost one from my breast.

I went to Strasburg, but the governor there had nothing to tell me. I was so weak that I longed for home again; there I hoped to regain my strength. I journeyed homewards with Martha.

At the last railway station I met a large force of Tyrolese woodsmen that, upon Joseph's order, had been sent to work for him in Alsace, and as I neared home, I saw, here and there, clearings in the woods. The tempest had also raged here, and the newspapers brought the intelligence that over the whole continent great devastation had been occasioned by it.


We had much to do to set up trees that had been prostrated by the wind; for dead trees, because of their harboring all sorts of noxious insects, imperil the existence of a whole forest.

There came good letters from Julius, Richard, and the vicar, and we saw war life from three quite different aspects. Bertha sent us letters from the Colonel. He wrote but briefly. He must have been suffering great hardships, especially in the protracted rains; but he wrote, "when one feels inspired, he can endure much."

They tell me of the noble courage of the olden time. When man fights with man, he receives invigorating impulse from the personal struggle. But to stand under a shower of fire, then advance on the enemy and be struck by far-carrying bullets, without firing a shot until one is at the right distance--all that is much more.

Away off, the cannon thundered; we at home heard nothing but the measured beat of the thrasher, and that lasted a long while, for we lacked men at home.

When it rained and snowed, and we sat sheltered in the room, we naturally fell to thinking of those who, for nights and weeks, fought on the now thoroughly drenched soil, and for their brief rest had no couch but the wet or icy earth.

Ludwig wrote from Hamburg that he was about going to America. He was to make the journey with the secret approval and authority of an officer of high rank, in order to prevent the transmission of arms and ammunition to our foes.

How much war demands of human nature!

Snow had fallen; it snowed again and again, and we knew that what here was snow, up there was cold rain.

I sat in the large arm-chair, and read the gazette. Here stands in few words, in peaceful paragraphs, what up there is blood and mangling of human bodies. It is indeed grand and sublime how the French, after the annihilation of their forces, again quickly gather together, and venture everything. A nation cannot surrender, and a nation that is so consciously proud and all-powerful cannot easily acknowledge, "I am conquered, and am wrong."

They would not give us security for our boundary, and so the fighting and the devastation must still go on.

While I thus sat quietly thinking, a telegram from the cabinet of the Prince was brought to me; I must forthwith hasten to the capital, and upon my arrival at the palace should cause myself to be immediately announced, be it night or day.

What could be the matter? why was I so urgently summoned? Was it on Ernst's account? or Richard's, or the Colonel's? It seemed to me a great injustice that not a word of explanation accompanied the message, yet I equipped myself immediately for my departure. The stonecutter conducted me to the railway station. Joseph was not there; he had gone on to Lorraine. I was not familiar with his business enterprises.

That--it was indeed, strange--kept my thoughts busy during the journey, and yet was I much oppressed by suspense as to the reason of my being called away. But happily the human mind can engage itself with new problems, and thus, for a while at least, forget the care and vexation that lie near at hand.

I reached the capital, and found it as I had expected. What was snow with us in the mountains, was here a penetrating rain.

On my way to the palace, I passed a brilliantly lighted theatre, and heard from within the sounds of music. Ah, that men should sing and juggle at such a time! But is not life a mighty aggregation of many incongruous individual activities?

I reached the castle; the great entrance hall was lighted up and thoroughly warmed; I was obliged to wait a long time. When, at last, I saw the Prince, I found him unusually distressed or disturbed. He began by observing how different times were when we last had met; he said how deeply it pained him that so much blood must be shed--so much noble blood. He said this with deep emotion, and finally added, he had faith in me as a man of stout heart; I had so nobly borne so much suffering, that he had courage to tell me that the Colonel had been wounded by a shot through the breast. He was still living, but quite unconscious, when the bearer of the news left, and perhaps we had already a dead one to mourn.

I could not utter a word; what was there to say?

The Prince continued to speak of his grief at the shedding of so much blood, and expressed his dissatisfaction that his countrymen should have placed themselves in alliance with foreigners.

I had no time nor mind for such discussions. I asked if the news had been sent to my daughter. He appeared disturbed by my question, and somewhat unwillingly answered, "I considered that a father's right and duty."

He added, that this evening a sanitary commission would depart, with whom I and the Colonel's wife could go to the front.

I know not what suggested the thought, but suddenly it occurred to me: The Prince would never make a minister of you; you were only a clever story-teller, who drove away the recollections of his own sufferings by the recital of your life-history. And of that was I thinking all the while I was talking to the Prince of other things.

The demeanor of the Prince towards me seemed cold and distant. He called after me without extending his hand, "Adieu, Herr Waldfried!"

Formerly, I had been called "dear Waldfried;" yes, at times, "dear friend."

I mention this here, although it first struck me like a waking dream, during the journey. I was glad to be independent, and to be relieved from rendering homage to princes, and troubling myself as to whether I was addressed in one way or another. Although in my inmost heart I believe in a constitutional monarchy, I tell you, keep yourself free, and be dependent on no stranger's favor, or else you will be the most degraded of slaves.

But now I must tell of my sad journey; and I think of the saying of the Colonel's: Human nature in its elevated moods can endure much.

I came to Bertha's house. My heart beat wildly at the thought of the news I should bring to her. But as I ascended the steps, Professor Rolunt, the Colonel's friend, approached me, and said, "After the first dreadful shock, you were your daughter's first thought. She has asked for you."

"And so she knows of it?"

"Yes! I have told her, and we are off in an hour."


"Yes! I go with her; and keep up Bertha's spirits. Should the worst have happened, we must bear it all."

I went to Bertha. Speechless, she threw herself upon my neck, clasped me to her bosom, and wept and sobbed; nor could I utter one word.

"Father!" she said, at last, "you will remain here with the children--or will you take them home with you?"

"No, I will go with you. Don't refuse me. Don't let us waste useless words. I will go with you."

We departed in the evening. We rested in beds, upon which soon should lie the sorely wounded. But, indeed, we, too, bore painful wounds in our hearts.


It was well that Rolunt accompanied us; for I had not the strength to support Bertha in this wearisome journey, and to distract and lead her away from her quiet, noiseless brooding, and her counting the minutes as they slowly passed.

The Professor had continually something to tell us, either of the points that we hurriedly passed, or of the sanitary aids who were with us. He told us of this and that one who had been a spoiled child--the pet of some fond mother--and now was suffering great hardships. This was the second supply train that he had accompanied; he had been the chief of the first one, and had much that was moving to tell us of the self-sacrificing conduct of the non-combatants. The employés of the post-office and the railroads were specially endeared to him, and he related wonderful instances of their activity and endurance.

Bertha scarcely uttered a word; for the most part she only quietly held my hand. At times, she said, "Ah! the locomotive might be urged to move faster; it seems to me that it goes much too slowly."

The Professor assured her that we should esteem ourselves lucky to reach our destination. Who knows how soon we should hear, "Halt, we go no further."

Once Bertha arose; her face had in it something mysterious and strange, and she cried out, "Father, hold me!"

"What is the matter? What is it?"

"I think I must escape from myself. I will not live if he is dead. Oh! pardon me," she again exclaimed, sinking back into her seat, "I cannot endure the torment of my thoughts. How is it possible--how can it agree with any order in human affairs, that a piece of lead can destroy a full, rich, noble, human life!"

She gazed at me with a peculiarly alarming expression; it was as if pale, pulsating strands were tightly drawn under the surface of her skin. Then she seized my hand and said, "Pardon me for inflicting all this upon you. I dare not now waste my strength in suffering; it is sinful, it is selfish, and it is terrible to wish for death. All my strength belongs to him. I will no longer complain, and will no longer give up to despair. Oh! if I could only sleep! One can give to another the sleep of death, but--I will be very quiet; indeed, I will not think any more."

She leaned back and closed her eyes.

While Bertha appeared to sleep, I told Rolunt of the last interview with the Prince. He explained matters to me. He said the Prince had believed that I knew all, and merely feigned ignorance for his sake. It was no secret that the Prince was beside himself with rage, because the general commanding had telegraphed the news not only to him, but also to the Prussian embassy. The latter made no secret of it, and the Prince saw in this an attempt to obtain popularity and favor at his expense. He hated the ambassador, as a legalized superintendent over him, who left him daily conscious that he no longer possessed his former sovereignty.

It was fortunate that the Professor had prepared us; for--I cannot give the name of our halting place--we suddenly came to a stop. We had to wait an entire day, and it was only a day's journey to where the Colonel lay.

Rolunt tried negotiations here and there; he had become hoarse from much talking. At last he came to us with a cheerful countenance. A shrewd, energetic man, he had succeeded in obtaining a wagon, and we travelled through the country. During the entire night we drove over torn-up roads. In the distance we saw burning villages. How many hundreds of peaceful homes were there destroyed. We turned our eyes from the sight. We went through villages riddled with shot and shell, and through others, in which here and there a light shone, and where we halted to feed the horses, we were observed with ugly, threatening glances. But the country was safe; for it was everywhere occupied by detachments of our troops.

We reached the village where the Colonel was reported to be lying. We inquired here and there, but found him not: he must be in the next village. Thither we now journeyed.

We met an artillery corps, and had to move into a field and await its passing. This took a terribly long while. They mocked us and cried at us in sport as they passed, and we were almost beside ourselves with impatience. And still we sat there protected from the drizzling rain, while our soldiers were steaming like horses.

Rolunt got out. He asked the officers of the column after the Colonel. They knew nothing of him; they had only just arrived from a long march.

At last we were permitted to proceed.

At the entrance of the next village, Bertha recognized a soldier of her husband's regiment.

"Is your Colonel living?" she asked.

"Yes, yesterday he was still alive."

"And to-day?"

"Don't know. Haven't heard anything about him."

I felt confident that he was yet living. I could not think that the strong, powerful man could be dead, and my hopefulness helped to support Bertha. We reached the house from which the white flag with the red cross was floating. I commanded my daughter to remain seated in the wagon, and to inquire of no one until I returned. She gave me her promise, but she could not keep her word, and it was indeed requiring too much of her. She saw her husband's servant, and called to him, and the lad said, "The Colonel is living, but--"

"But what?"

"He is very low."

We entered the house, and the first one we met was Annette.

"Be composed, Bertha! he lives. I came here immediately on receiving the intelligence of his being wounded, that I might do all that was possible for him," she said. She embraced her friend, and added, that we could not see him: he could not bear the shock.

The Professor begged that he, at least, might be admitted. Annette called the doctor, and he gave permission to the Professor to see the wounded man.

Annette remained with us, and said, "The bullet has not yet been found." The shot had entered the breast just above the heart, only escaping it by a hair's-breadth.

The Colonel led his regiment independently and separated from the Prussians, and it was a piece of jealousy, and the ambition to distinguish himself, that caused him to press forward so recklessly and thrust himself in danger's way. He had to march over a plain, to take a battery planted on a height, and it was there that he was struck.

When he had fallen, and saw death before him, he exclaimed, "The Romans were right; it is glorious to die for one's country. I want no other grave; let me be buried with my soldiers." Then for a long while he was unconscious.

After a little while Rolunt came to us, and said that the Colonel was unable to speak, but by his glances had shown that he recognized him.

Bertha begged for the dress of a nurse, so that she could at least venture into the sick-room. She promised not to go near her sick husband. But the doctor emphatically forbade it. There was no certainty that the wounded man would not recognize her, if only by her step or carriage. He almost feared that the sick man might suspect something from the presence of the Professor; for he opened and shut his eyes so quickly. And so we had to wait and listen, and were condemned to inactivity.

We met still another friend: Baron Arven. He had forgotten his own griefs, was restlessly active and appeared wondrously rejuvenated. In an hour he had to go to another hospital, and transferred to us his quarters, in which we could rest.

Bertha said she could not sleep; but consented to lie down and rest herself, in order to gather strength for what might be in store for her. She lay down and was soon fast asleep. She often moved convulsively, as if troubled with fearful dreams, but still continued to slumber. I at last also fell asleep. Towards morning, I was awakened by a loud voice:

"I must see him; I have found him."

Is not that the voice of Rothfuss? Yes, it was.

Bertha also awoke, and asked, "Where are we? Has the train stopped?" I explained to her where we were. With difficulty, she collected herself. She went directly with us to the house where the Colonel lay, and remained with Annette. She heard that the Colonel had also slept, and Annette, who had sat with him, remarked, he had lightly whispered, "Bertha;" he must suspect that she is here.

Rothfuss took me aside and said, "We have him and her also."

"Yes, the Colonel and Bertha."

"No, no! Ernst and Martella. 'The Lord God is the best child's nurse for wild lads,' my mother has often said."

I felt as if reason had forsaken me.


Only gradually did I clearly comprehend all that had happened to me.

I can no longer count the shots, nor specify whence or by whom they were discharged against me, and how it was that I remained unharmed. But I have passed through it all, and must also permit you to experience it.

Rothfuss related to me, very composedly, that he had done Carl injustice; one might be imprisoned, although innocent, and it happened to him with horse and wagon. He and the bays had been captured by the wild Turcos, and he had almost fancied himself in hell while with those savages, who did not even know how to talk intelligibly.

"Sir! they would have shot me for a spy. They placed me against the wall. And there I stand and they aim at me. I take a last look at the sky and the trees, something dims my sight, and I think to myself, if it were only over! Then some one calls out, 'Halt!' And I think I recognize the voice. He talks gibberish, of which I do not comprehend a word, but they don't shoot. He orders me to be tied tighter. And there I lie in a miserable stall and can't stir. And then comes some one sneaking along, and whispers, 'Keep yourself quiet, Rothfuss.' And who do you think it is? Our Ernst. And then we cried together, like little children, and Ernst said, 'Keep yourself quiet! What I have been through, couldn't be told in a thousand years. Now come with me!' And for a long while there we were, creeping along the ground like frogs, until we reached the horses, which were fastened outside. To unloose them, spring upon them, and gallop away, took but a moment. The French fired at us, but they didn't hit us, and away we went until we reached our lines, and there Ernst said to me, 'You once passed for my brother Ludwig; now do as much for me! Give me your clothes!'"

Rothfuss had to give him his blue blouse. Then Ernst transferred his horse to him, and said, "Leave me now! we will soon meet again."

Rothfuss was about relating how he had found Martella, when she entered. She had become very thin, but otherwise unchanged; was gayly attired, and cried out as she perceived me: "Oh! father, happily met again! To-day is Ernst's wedding-day, and my Sunday, my greatest holiday, my ascension-day."

She offered no excuse for having run away; she made no mention of her recent experiences, and as I could not avoid telling her what pain and anxiety she had occasioned me, she exclaimed, "I know it better than you can tell me; but indulge me for to-day: to-morrow, when I have Ernst by the hand, we will set everything straight. He rescued Carl, who would have bled to death, if he had not found him.

"Ernst carried him; yes, he is strong; he brought him all the way here. His face, his hands, his clothes, were all full of blood. But that doesn't hurt; it can all be washed off. Everything can be washed away if one is sound within; and now everything, everything will be washed away.

"Now I heard that Ernst had come to the regiment in which Carl was. He introduced himself as a German with the name of Frohn." Martella added, "That is the name of a comrade, who on the voyage threw himself in despair into the sea."

Ernst had declared that he would not fight against his countrymen, but with them against the French. What proofs of loyalty he was submitted to have never been made known to me. He was uniformed and placed at a post of danger, where a strict watch could be kept upon him. He conducted himself bravely, and when Carl was struck, he rescued him at the risk of his own life. But he was never recognized, and none but Carl, Martella, and Rothfuss knew who he was.

They had, during the night, heard of my arrival, and Ernst had stood guard before the house for hours. Martella had shown him the letter of pardon; but he exclaimed that he wished no pardon, and would not examine the letter.

Martella begged him to show himself to me. But he said, "I know of how many nights of rest I have robbed my father; I will not now disturb his slumbers, and will for the first time appear before him, and clasp his knees, when by I have done something to show him what I am at heart. When I come out of the battle, I will go to my father: then I can look him in the face."

"Right, right," said Martella; "if you go into the fight with such thoughts, you will surely come out of it safe and sound, and your mother in heaven will stretch her hands in blessings over you."

"My mother in heaven? Is she dead?"

"Didn't you know it? Alas! already over three years; she died upon your birth-day."

"On my birth-day!" He said this, and was then for a long time silent. Then again he said, "I think I dare not kiss you again to-day."

"Your mother loved you to her latest breath, and she kissed me just before she died."

"He sighed heavily and then kissed me," said Martella, "Only once again; for the last time. No, not for the last time! he must live!"

Just as Ernst had again gone away, there came the order to march immediately without baggage. The people never knew beforehand when there was to be a battle; but such a command naturally gave rise to anticipations of a fight.

As Martella turned away, while Ernst prepared for his departure, she heard the voice of Rothfuss, who told the baker Lerz that his bays were ruined, but that he had received two fine Burgundians in exchange.


It was now highly important to find Ernst. We left the house before day-break; Bertha was still sleeping.

I permitted Martella and Rothfuss to conduct me to the hospital in which the Colonel was lying. I was scarcely conscious where I was, or whither I was going; I felt as if there was a heavy burden upon my shoulders, and could not help looking to the right and left, as if something was threatening me. But I could endure it and could proceed without assistance.

Rolunt seemed to have expected me. He said the Colonel was in about the same condition, neither better nor worse. I bade him send one of the female attendants to Bertha; I could not tell him who it was I sought.

When we left the house, my grandson, the vicar, approached me. "Grandfather, I know all," said he, "but at such a time one can bear manifold troubles. I also endure them; I have just come from my sad duties at a deathbed."

I told him that we were seeking Ernst, and we thought he might be with those with whom, just before the march, he had held a brief divine service. We went with him. The day began to dawn.

The graceful figure of Martella seemed to hover in the gray twilight, and as she turned and looked upon me, it seemed to me that the extraordinary depth of the sockets of her eyes was greater than ever. There was something sadly brilliant in her glance, and it seemed directed to a distance.

Before the village, on a plain in front of a small hill, the regiments were formed in deep squares, presenting masses that looked like church walls.

We searched around. Martella went to the left, Rothfuss to the right. They came back; they had not found Ernst, and yet he must be there. Martella stood quietly near me; only once did she look up at me, and her eye was piercingly brilliant. She folded her hands together convulsively, apparently, also, to conceal her trepidation.

A chorale was performed by the band, in which all the troops present joined, while the heavens reddened as the vicar, with steady steps, descended the hill, and wended his way towards us. Every one held his breath; perhaps Ernst is down there among them.

The vicar spoke with a clear voice. He had pleased by his written words, but when he spoke, it was still better and more inspiring.

"See here!" he exclaimed. "I have come here without any Bible. Holy is the Book of Revelation, thrice holy. With it the world has learned to comprehend itself and God, and will gather instruction from it to all eternity.

"I carry it in my heart, and from my heart I call out to you in the words of the Apostle Paul (Romans xiv. 7): 'For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.' That should be in your soul, in your memory, should your soul be in a struggle, and, if it must be so, in death. Thou art not for thyself in this world, and goest not for thyself from this world. Thou art called, thou art mustered for the great universal battle for the holy kingdom of the spirit, of honor, of freedom, of unity.

"Just imagine, ye who have achieved the victory and must again win it, how it would be if all these things were reversed.

"The spirit of darkness hovers in the air like millions of black ravens, hiding the sun and blighting everything that hath life. Through the streets of thy native villages rage the wild hordes of Asia, and murder, robbery, outrage, and fire prevail everywhere.

"Thou who mournest thy brother, or thy fallen comrade, thou that liest wounded, forget thy pain. Open thine eyes! Through thee, through thy comrades, the light of the world is rescued: knowledge, justice, decency, honor, integrity. I say it to you and you may say it to each other; for thus has God willed it.

"And thou who still holdest the weapon in thy firm grasp, be of cheerful heart! The saints hover over the banners that you shall victoriously bring home; and when the bloody, cruel, terrible work is done, then you will permit no other pride to possess you, than that you were summoned to labor for the kingdom of freedom and unity, for the kingdom of the spirit, in which there is no enemy to be conquered, but in which each shall be a moving temple of the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves firm: for none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. Amen!"

A quiet prayer was offered up; then the regiments moved into column, and the whole army set itself in motion.

The vicar came to me, and for a long while held me by the hand. We uttered no word. Then he followed the army, and I went with Rothfuss and Martella back to the hospital.


We met Annette, whose presence had greatly improved Bertha's spirits.

Annette took us into an out-of-the-way room, and there said, "I have for a long time called you father from mere sentiment. You allowed me, but now I dare to do so because it is my right."

She gave me a letter from Richard, from head quarters, and the letter was addressed, "My beloved bride."

Annette kissed my trembling hands, and she kissed me again and again, when I told her that my wife in her dying hour had called out, "Richard will marry her after all."

Annette added that they did not intend to get married until peace was concluded.

"Of course," said Bertha, as if addressing me, "you will understand that we can give no expression to our joy just now."

Annette, indeed, did not permit us to linger long over this joyful message. She said that her patients now claimed all her time, and only while we were descending the steps, she once stopped and quietly related to us how her old custom of pouring out her feelings with every new experience had suddenly opened the hearts that had so long been as if sealed towards each other. She had said to Richard, who recently passed through here, "So long as men are well, they are all alike. When they are wounded or sick, each one displays the traits that are peculiar to him." Then Richard replied, "You speak from my mother's soul;" and on that day they were betrothed.

"Now I no more need," said Annette, as we went on, "to chloroform my soul with religion. I have learned to apply the real chloroform, and in helping others we help ourselves also."

Annette invited us to go with her to the patients; she might thereby make the tedious hours of watching more easy for Bertha. She first conducted us to a handsome young man with a full, blond beard, whose thigh had been fractured. Her mere appearance seemed to revive the sick man.

It was a pathetic look with which he gazed upon her, and stretched his thin hand towards her.

Annette introduced him to us as an artist of great repute, and, assuming a merry tone of voice, she said, "He has painted me in other colors. He does not like the dull and sombre black; indeed, the silver-gray dress with the white apron is much more cheerful. And why should we not be cheerful?"

The face of the young man brightened, and Annette bade Bertha to read something to him. In going the rounds, she made us acquainted with a wounded German officer, who never ceased heaping extravagant praises upon his nurse. Annette bade me to come quickly to a man from my village, for whom I could perhaps do something, and, with a trembling voice, mentioned Carl's name to me.

We approached his bed. He gazed upon me with staring eyes, and cried, in heart-rending tones, "Mother, mother!" I spoke to him; I asked him if he knew me. But he continually exclaimed, "Mother, mother, mother!"

The surgeon came and bade us leave the patient. Then he said to Annette, "Have a screen placed here. This young man may die at any moment, and the others should neither see nor know of it."

Just as the screen was put in its place, the door opened, and a voice was heard, "My child! my child! Carl! my child! Carl!"

"Mother, mother!" cried the wounded man, and he raised himself up, and mother and son were folded in each other's arms. Then Carl cried out, "Marie! you too! you too, there! Come!"

He then fell back.

The surgeon then approached and said, "He is extremely weak, and in a critical condition!" Restoratives were applied and he opened his eyes.

After a while he said, "How did you know that I--"

"Be quiet! don't speak so much! Don't exert yourself too much. Your eyes have already told me everything. And now, yes, it was the vicar, Waldfried's grandson, who wrote me where you were."

"I am hungry. Give me something to eat!"

"I have brought you one of our hens; I brought it all the way from home," said the old woman.

"I must eat, I must eat!" exclaimed Carl. His strength, wasted and exhausted through loss of blood, appeared to return, and he seemed rescued by the magic of love.

His mother ought to have left him, but she would not obey the surgeon. She obeyed me, however. When she saw Bertha, she cried out, "My son, my Carl, my child lives! Bertha! I tell you, your husband who lies there--Bertha, your husband is saved too: he will be saved."

"Bertha!" We heard a call from the adjoining room; it was the voice of the colonel.

Bertha almost swooned; I caught her in my arms. She collected herself and hurried towards the door; it was closed. Annette called to us from within, that we should wait quietly, for it was a critical moment.

What anxious moments were those, while we stood at the door listening to the movements and groans within.

After a while, the surgeon hastily opened the door, and said, "Now go away softly! There has been a hemorrhage, and the ball has come with it. There is now a chance of his recovery, but I must insist on perfect quiet!"

Bertha sank to the floor, while she placed her finger on her lips, and motioned me to be silent. They say that we were only waiting a quarter of an hour. But oh! how long it seemed! Then the surgeon opened the door again, and, seeing Bertha on the floor, said, "You may go in now and shake hands with the Colonel, but do not say anything to him, as he is not allowed to speak for the present."

Bertha went in. She reached her hand to her husband. He moved his eyes in recognition; then the surgeon motioned us to depart.

We went away. From afar, we could hear the rattle of musketry and the roar of artillery, and the reports constantly became louder and more frequent.


Evening was approaching, when the surgeon sent us word that his patient had been sleeping. He had awakened and asked for Bertha and me.

We went to him. He could only recognize us by glances, and a wonderful smile overspread his features. He turned his eyes to the surgeon, who understood him, and said, "Yes, your wife may sit here for a quarter of an hour. But you must both be perfectly quiet."

And so we sat there speechless, and heard the din of battle gradually cease; only occasional shots were now fired.

I was called to the front of the house. Martella and Rothfuss stood before me. Martella, breathless, told me that Ernst's company had again been in the fight, many were missing, and, among them, Ernst; he ought to be hunted up.

Rothfuss desired that I should stay behind; but Martella exclaimed, seizing my arm, "What do you mean? Father goes with us!"

She had made a wreath to take to Ernst, and she held it in her trembling hands. She carried Ernst's prize-cup and a bottle of wine in a basket on her arm.

We went through the village towards the hill. Four men approached with a litter.

"Ernst! Ernst!" cried Martella.

The two men stopped, and one asked, "Who's there? Who calls?" It was Ikwarte's voice.

"Set it down!" commanded the other. "Isn't that Martella?" It was Wolfgang who spoke.

We stepped nearer. They carried a man who had been shot in the leg. The man raised his head, and said, "That is his father." It was the son of the owner of the saw-mill down in the valley. "He commissioned me to carry his love to you. He made himself known to me."

"Where is he? Is he dead?"

"He must be lying up there. Oh! he has done great things."

"What has he done? Where is he?" anxiously inquired Martella. "Speak! be quick! listen, father!"

The wounded man raised himself with difficulty and spoke:

"We stood within range of the enemy's batteries. Shot after shot tore through our ranks. Many were falling. Everybody sheltered himself. Ernst stood upright, and said in a clear voice, 'Stand firm! Face the bullets! That's the way to be brave.' Finally, we advanced, when a lieutenant was shot in the forehead; our sergeant stepped into his place, and he also fell. Then Ernst took command, and marched along by the drummer. Bang! then the drummer was shot. Ernst unloosened the drum from his body, and drummed for us. He beat a powerful flourish, and cried out, 'Give it to them!' Then there came a shell, and I lay on the ground and saw nothing more. When I came to myself, I still heard drumming. But all at once there was a report, a cry--and the drumming ceased."

Martella tore up the wreath; but she quickly seized the grasses and flowers and held them with a convulsive grasp.

"Away! away! we must find him!" she exclaimed. "We must find him! He is living!"

Ikwarte and Wolfgang hastened with the wounded man into a neighboring house. Not far off, a wagon stopped. They returned with it, and Wolfgang and Martella sat in it with me. So we drove on through the entire night. Ikwarte knew where the miller's son was sheltered. We were silent; only Martella murmured to herself, "Keep up, Ernst; keep up! We are coming! Oh! mother in heaven, look down upon him!"

We were obliged to get out--the road crossed the fields. I went a little distance, but could go no farther. Both of the faithful servants begged that Wolfgang would stay with me. We sat down by the roadside, and noticed a moving object quite near us. It was a wounded horse, that raised its head, and then, with a rattle in its throat, fell back dead.

We heard Martella, across the field, calling, "Ernst! Ernst! my Ernst! where are you! Ernst! we are here, your father and I!" Then we heard nothing more.

A chill seized me. The ground was damp, and Wolfgang insisted that I should sit upon the dead horse, whose body was still warm. We quietly waited. In the heavens the clouds were scudding by, and here and there the stars sparkled. In the village a clock commenced striking. Wolfgang counted aloud: it struck eleven.

Now some one approached; my name was called. It was Ikwarte.

"We have found him," he joyfully exclaimed. "Come quickly!"

"Is he living?"


Accompanied by Ikwarte and Wolfgang, I went along. Oh! I cannot tell the horrors I then saw and heard.

"There, by the torch, there he is!"

My knees shook under me. Then a man came again towards us, and cried out, "Grandfather, come! There is yet time!"

It was my grandson, the vicar. We reached the place. There lay Martella on the ground bending over a figure. Rothfuss stood by her with the torch, and Martella cried, "Ernst, wake up! Your father is here!"

I kneeled down by him. I saw his face. His eyes were closed, but his breast rose and fell quickly.

"Ernst! my beloved child! my long-lost child! Ernst! your father calls you! Your mother calls you from eternity! Ernst, you shall live! you have repented; you have atoned! Ernst, Ernst! my son, my son!"

He opened his eyes and moved his hand towards me. I seized it; it was stiff.

"Father, forgive!" he moaned. "Martella, pardon! Oh! mother--father!"

He breathed his last breath. I just saw Martella throw herself upon him, with an agonizing cry; then I saw and heard nothing more.



"Stand firm! Face the bullets!" With these words, Ernst had encouraged his men to the last. My own experience illustrated them.

For a considerable time, I did not know what had happened, either to me or to those about me. I only knew that I lay behind a white curtain with blue flowers, and could not keep my eyes open for any length of time. The flowers assumed all sorts of odd shapes, and the fantastic figures seemed to be ever changing and rushing towards me.

I think I was not really sick, only inexpressibly weak; and the fatigue and exhaustion prevented me from directing my thoughts at will. I was childishly grateful for everything. I looked at the wood in the door and rejoiced that it was firm; I heard the fire in the stove and was delighted that it warmed me; I was grateful to the bed that supported me, so that I did not need to do it myself.

I remember that Bertha and Annette would occasionally visit me; but my grandson Wolfgang stayed with me nearly all the time. Through the hardships of war and constant exposure, Wolfgang had almost ripened into manhood. He had become stronger and stouter than of old, and his voice was now more manly.

"I am so glad, grandfather, to hear you call me by my own name again; you always used to call me Ernst," said Wolfgang one day, and from that hour I felt that the heavy clouds were slowly clearing away; and when they had disappeared, I saw everything around me distinctly, and by degrees I remembered what had happened.

"Is Ernst--buried?"

"Yes, grandfather."

I now asked Wolfgang to inform me what had occurred while I was unconscious, and what had become of Martella.

"Grandfather," said Wolfgang, "I must tell you the truth. Martella is no longer separated from Ernst. She has reached the goal."

I felt as if the clouds were again gathering before my eyes, but, through the mists, I met Gustava's lustrous eyes, saying, "She was true till death."

Wolfgang took my hand in his, and the youth's firm grasp gave me renewed strength. I begged him to tell me all, and he began:

"We brought you down to Aunt Annette, who, foreboding evil, had met us half-way. It then suddenly occurred to us that in our dreadful excitement and anxiety about you, no one had taken care of Martella, and that she had not followed us. Rothfuss said he was completely worn out, and must stay with his master. Ikwarte has nerves and muscles of steel. I felt as if my eyes burnt in their sockets; never before had I been so tired; but I returned with him, nevertheless, to the battle-field, half dead with sleep and fatigue." Wolfgang shivered, stopped awhile, and then continued: "We knew the place where Ernst lay, and soon found him. The moon lit up his face wonderfully. Beside him lay Martella, motionless; she clung to him in a close embrace, cheek to cheek, hand in hand. Is she dead, too? It were best! I bent down to her; she breathed heavily. I called her name. How she stared at me wildly and vacantly! Then she motioned us to be quiet, and whispered, 'He will soon be warm again; soon, very soon.' I tried to persuade her to follow us; she answered, 'O Wolfgang! you are so good; bring some wild honey. Oh, wait, Ernst! your nephew is coming with wild honey, and here I have your cup, your hunting cup.' I tried to persuade her, and she answered, 'Oh, you have mother's voice. Mother, tell him, oh, tell him to rise again.' She threw herself beside the corpse, and when I cried, 'Martella, get up; come with us,' she answered, 'You see he cannot move now, but I will follow you; you have my mother's voice.' She did not then seem to remember the dead. She went with me and let me lead her by the hand; but suddenly she tore away and returned, crying, 'They leave him lying alone on the cold ground, in the dark night.'

"She broke down. We tried to administer some restorative, but her mouth was firmly closed, and her breast was heaving violently. At last Ikwarte succeeded in administering the draught. We brought her to a ruined house in the vicinity. The doors had all been taken off--I had helped at the work myself; they had done service as litters.

"We placed Martella on a seat by the hearth, and I succeeded in gathering some wood and starting a fire. 'Oh, how good! Oh, how warm!' said she to the flickering flames. Her teeth chattered. We hoped that, after she was well warmed, she would be able to go farther with us. She sat there quietly, her elbows resting on her knees, her face covered with both her hands.

"'Wolfgang, keep me with you,' she said suddenly. 'Be good to me; you are his brother's child; keep me with you--do not leave me. Tell me how many years it is since he died? O Ernst, you are so happy that I cannot weep. Why are you glad? Oh, if I could but weep! You have been away so long, and why do you not return? What shall I do in this world without you! Mother, Ernst is with you; you do not need him; send him to me--he is mine. I have nothing more in this world. My dog is dead, too. My little red stockings--oh, I was so happy. Martella is lost. Hunt for her in the woods where the wild honey grows. Do you hear the cuckoo? Cuckoo!'

"She stared vacantly into the flames; then she cried: 'My eyes burn like fire! I cannot weep. O Ernst! Ernst!'

"She tore the satchel from her girdle, tore the letter of pardon into fragments, and cried: 'Everything shall burn just as my eyes do. Come here, your Highness, and see how your handwriting burns.'

"Dawn was breaking. Through the open door, we saw some men approaching with a litter.

"'Here is Herr Rautenkron,' said Ikwarte. Martella rushed out and saw the men carrying Ernst's body. She rushed towards them, sank beside the litter and cried: 'My Ernst! You are not dead!'

"A fearful shriek, which rang out far over the barren fields, was forced from her tortured breast. She clasped her hand to her heart while a flood of tears streamed over her cheeks. Suddenly she broke down and sank on the body of Ernst. A physician, who had come with the men, laid his hand on her heart. It was still: he listened for her breathing; it had ceased.

"'My child! my child!' cried Rautenkron; she heard nothing more."

So ended Wolfgang's story. His firm hand clasped mine, and I felt as if that alone held me there among the living.

"And what became of Rautenkron?" I was able to ask after a long interval.

"He had suddenly become an old man, with hollow cheeks and lustreless eyes. He sat on the ground, stared at the corpse, and did not speak a word. It rained in torrents. Every one endeavored to induce Rautenkron to seek the shelter of the hut, but he did not answer. At last he arose, pulled the hood of his cloak over his head, lit a cigar, and said to me, 'Stay here; I shall come back presently.' After a while, he returned with axe and spade. Alone, he dug the grave in which Ernst and Martella were laid."

Wolfgang paused, and I remembered the sacred verses from the lament of David for Jonathan:

"In death they were not divided."

"Where is Rautenkron?" I asked at last.

"When the grave was filled up, he disappeared. Later, we learned his fate. You remember that our men had taken the city near by and occupied it; but the French had so strengthened the castle which commanded it, that it seemed impossible to drive them out. Rautenkron volunteered to discover the mines which doubtless were under it. No one knows how he gained an entrance, but on the following day the powder-magazines in the cellars of the castle exploded and destroyed part of the castle, which was then stormed. Great numbers of the enemy were killed. Careful search was made for Rautenkron, but no trace of him was discovered, and as, up to this time, nothing has been heard of him, it seems sure that he was buried beneath the ruins."


Bertha informed me that the Colonel was out of danger, and was staying in the city during his convalescence. The physician thought he would be able to lead his regiment within a few weeks. The old spinner had returned homewards with Carl. He had been taken to the hospital of our capital.

"And Anton, of the saw-mill--is he dead?"

"Father, I am telling you the whole truth; but I beg of you, do not seek to learn all these things to-day. Take care of yourself, for our sakes."

I was soon again able to be up, and Bertha could not say enough in praise of the kindness and sympathy of the French people, in whose house I lay.

The housewife now wanted to speak to me, too.

She came, and was quite delighted to receive my heartfelt thanks.

A few days later, I was permitted to visit the Colonel, and the first words he uttered were, "Bertha, now I firmly believe in my recovery. You wear your hair in curls again."

He informed me that he had considered it an ill omen, when Bertha had worn her hair plain. Now that he was out of danger, the curls and happiness were back again.

Then he recounted everything, from the first moment of his being wounded, when he seemed to realize what death is. It seemed like a stroke of lightning; then all was night and utter darkness. His adjutant stepped to his couch, grasped his hand, kissed it, and wept over it. He felt the kisses and the tears, but was unable to give a sign of consciousness, either by a pressure of the hand or by a word; within him, all was life, like a subterranean stream.

I did not long have the pleasure of listening to the reminiscences of the convalescent Colonel. I longed to return home. When the next train started for Germany, it was in charge of Professor Rolunt, who had nursed the Colonel like a brother; they yielded to my entreaties, and, in a well-heated car, I journeyed homewards.

Wolfgang accompanied me to the State capital, and then, in company with Christiane, returned with a load of medicines and delicacies to the theatre of war.

I felt as if I could not get thoroughly well again except at home, and so it proved. When I inhaled the air of our forest-covered mountains, it gave me new life.

The Privy Councillor's wife insisted on my resting at her house for a few days, and by the careful nursing of our physician as well as his confident manner, which of itself was a remedy, I soon gained fresh vigor. It did me good to hear Lady Von Rontheim entwine the memories of our fallen sons. She informed me, briefly and clearly, of what had happened during my illness; for now, when I could again read and understand the papers, I noticed many lapses in my knowledge of events.

While I was living in the little town, Ludwig came. I did not comprehend how I could have omitted to inquire about him; and now he brought with him a refreshing breeze from another hemisphere. As he had previously informed me by letter, he had journeyed to England and then to America, to prevent shipments of arms for the French. He had not had much success, although he offered, through the newspapers, a large reward for any information regarding such shipments.

I felt pained when he said, "We Germans have no friends abroad, because we have not hitherto presented to the world an imposing front. During the last half-century, the German nation was like a man who has the consciousness of honest intentions, and who counts on the recognition of them by others. But neither an individual nor a people obtains recognition gratuitously. They must wrest it from the world; and the best and the easiest way is not to wait for it, but to put your shoulder to the wheel. Now the nations speak in another key; but they would all have rejoiced if the brilliant Frenchman had overpowered us."

This pained me, and I did not wish to believe it. Ludwig proved to me that, in England and America, some of the more far-sighted favored our cause, and that the governments could have easily prevented the shipment of arms and much useless carnage, had they seriously desired it. He considered it infinitely better that we did not need to ask, as we had hitherto done, "What do other nations think of us? How are they inclined towards us?" but that in future others would have to ask, "What do the Germans think of us? How are they inclined?" Ludwig, while abroad, had, with delight, perceived the general curiosity and amazement, in regard to the newly discovered wonder-land--Germany. He declared that we had no idea of the effect our wonderful achievements had had upon the people of all lands. He had everywhere announced the German Emperor, before he even was proclaimed at home.

We at home scarcely know how much we have gained in the esteem of others, and how gigantically our future looms up before the eyes of astonished mankind. They see a thousand different effects flow from this new birth; and I believe they are in the right.

Conny came to town, and, with her and Ludwig, I returned home.


When I rode along the forest road, I saw Gaudens at his work. He wore a soldier-cap, and whistled "Die Wacht am Rhein," while clearing up the ditch beside the footpath.

The valley stream was frozen tight, the trees were heavily laden with snow. Ludwig reported that he had purchased machines in America and England for our mill. With the aid of these, the winter would, in future, not prevent operations. Finished work could be set up, except when the orders were to ship the articles in separate parts. It seemed as if he contemplated remaining with us, as he had settled up much of his business in America. Besides, on his way home, he had taken some large contracts from building associations. When I expressed surprise at the varied fields of his activity, he said, "Father, I have remembered this from what I have learned of music; you may play a different air with each hand, and still both must be in harmony. My right hand plays the melody 'personal advantage,' my left, the melody 'public weal;' sometimes they change about, too. I have built water-works, that were for the good of many; but they were good for me, too, and I do not think that without this I would have built them so cheerfully. Just now a great mania for building prevails among the people, and we shall be able to give employment to many good laborers who have been driven out of France."

We came to the saw-mill near the bridge. Here, on the same day that the news arrived of Anton's death, a workman had lost three of his ringers by the circular saw. Ludwig went to the man and engaged him as sorter of the different kinds of timber.

The saw-mill was stopped, and all the shutters were closed. Here we met Joseph, who informed us that since the death of his son, the owner of the mill had lost all energy and pleasure in his business. He had removed to a daughter of his in the opposite valley, and wanted to sell the property. "You must buy this, and work for us," cried Ludwig.

Joseph answered sadly that he could not; he said he was in danger of losing everything. He had invested almost his entire property in wood in the Hagenau forest, and if Bourbaki and his army should force their way through, all would be lost over there as well as here.

These were certainly very gloomy prospects, and we could not get any comfort at home; we daily expected the advance of Bourbaki's army, and it was said that preparations were being made to lay the whole country waste.

My sister wrote that in Alsace it was the general belief that there would now be a change. Bourbaki would strike down Germany. Her husband had hung up the pictures and epaulettes again; but with this proviso, that if the French would not deliver them this time, he would have nothing further to do with them, and would become a forester in Germany.

Bertha had returned to the capital, and wrote that the Colonel, with whom Rothfuss had remained, was again at the head of his regiment in the division that opposed Bourbaki's advance towards the Rhine.

At home, I found another cause for deep emotion; it was a letter for me from Ernst. It had been forwarded from the field by the army post. The paper showed the traces of many tears. I was so much overcome, every time I read the letter, that my children took it away from me; but I asked them to return it, and here it is:

"Dear Father and Mother:--See me prostrate at your feet; what I desired to do a thousand times, and again and again postponed, I must now finish.

"I know that, both for you and for me, my deeds have filled many days and nights--nay, whole years--with sadness. I cannot express in words what I have thought and felt while on the march in the hot sun, or at night when I looked up to the stars that shone also on my paternal home. And, oh! how, when on the march and parched with thirst, I longed for a drop of water from our fountain. I write with burning tears, but they cannot blot out the past, nor recall a single wasted hour. Lost! lost! I repent, I suffer deeply. You often told me, mother, 'You must curb your spirit.' I could not succeed in my peaceful home, although I had so many to help me you, father, Martella, my brothers and sisters. From afar, the sound of ardent prayer swells into an eager wail for redemption. I have wasted all. Am I a sacrifice to my country's misery? And now comes the most dreadful consequence of my misdeeds. We have received orders to take ship to fight against Germany. No, not against Germany. The old misery is here again with redoubled force. An officer has confided to me, that several of the lesser German states had called upon France to release them from the tyranny of Prussia.

"I had loaded my gun and pointed it at my head, but, thinking of you, I fired into the air.

"Is it my guilt, or am I but a drop in the stream that overflows its bed?

"O my parents! He who leaves his country is suspended in mid-air, and has no ground to stand upon. It is well that the end is near; but I wish you to know that my soul is with you at home. At this moment, I feel your hands on my head, blessing me.

"May Martella remain forever true! I can say nothing to her. Oh, Richard was in the right. How dared I, who was nothing for myself, bind another life to mine?

"I thank you a thousand times for all the kindness, all the love you bestowed upon me who am unworthy of it, and upon Martella who deserves it.

"I beg forgiveness of my brothers and sisters for the wrongs I have done them.

"Do not mourn for me; I shall find the way to atonement. Console and comfort yourselves with the thought of one who will remember you till death.



"Father, I did not hitherto wish to speak of it, but now I must tell you," said Ludwig, one day.

"For God's sake, what can have happened?"

"Nothing bad, quite the contrary; I am resolved to remain here. I did not wish to tell you until peace was restored, but I think that this is the time when the news will do you most good."

I deemed it my duty to advise him to delay before making up his mind, but he replied, "I have considered everything. Whatever a man may achieve in this world, be it ever so great or important, if he has not done his whole duty to his parents, all else is vain. I remain with you, and to public duties I will devote as much of my life as can be spared from you."

Thus spoke my son, whose roving life in America we thought had made him harsh and cold.

I inquired whether he had already consulted his wife. He replied that there was no doubt of her consent, because she would simply and gladly consent as soon as he should tell her that it was for the best.

Conny at once consented. She mentioned that her father had always prophesied that she would some time return to Europe. She now felt particularly happy, because, if it should turn out that a German confederation with an emperor at its head would be established, the ideal of her father's life, and for the sake of which he went into exile, would be realized.

While our eyes were wandering from the warlike past to a peaceful future, we were thrilled over and over again by the thought that our army stood like a gigantic wall in the path of the advancing Bourbaki.

Ludwig told me that, in connection with some friends, he intended to start a new building association for the public benefit. He had found the starting point with some former friends from the gymnasium. Their object was to locate some grand industrial establishments in the country, in order to avert the threatened overcrowding of the large cities, by giving profitable employment to the dwellers in the rural districts. He intended to transfer his mill to the company, and also to enlarge it.

Martha, who had remained with her mother in the city, sent us a letter from Julius. He wrote about the great sortie from Paris, and what heavy sacrifices it had cost us. He was very happy to have been able to give proofs of his valor, and he had received the Iron Cross of the first class on the field of battle.

Madam Von Rontheim begged me to hold myself in readiness to return to the city within a few days.

It was towards evening when the sounds of great rejoicing were heard in the village. All flocked together, and we heard loud cries, "Rothfuss is here again!" Rothfuss came with two horses harnessed to his vehicle, and two following in the rear.

"I bring four captured Frenchmen," he cried: "I have bought them honestly. Of course I paid only for their hides. They are not much more than skin and bone anyway, but in a week I shall feed four new horses into their skins. When they taste the fodder from our mountain forests, they will think, 'What a fine country Germany is; there they feed horses on sweet herbs.'"

Rothfuss also brought the great news that our German troops had pushed Bourbaki and his men to the wall; just as might have been done in a tavern fight.

We did not quite understand what he really meant. Then Joseph brought the newspaper. Alsace was free; and his joy over the victory was enhanced by the certainty that his timber in the Hagenau forest was now all safe.

We read about the three days' battle before Belfort; and as long as valor and endurance are remembered, history will have a glorious page to unfold there.

My daughter Johanna came down to enjoy a few days' rest with us. In spite of the great hardships she had undergone, she had become stronger, and looked more cheerful. She wanted to deliver her good news in person. Her daughter had become engaged to a man who had lost his right arm. Christiane had nursed him faithfully, and fallen in love with him, and Johanna is right in saying, "She will always love him the more because of her having to take care of him; she is just the wife for an invalid."

On the very next day, we had a triumphal entry in our village. Carl was well again, but carried his left arm in a sling. Rothfuss harnessed his four "Bourbakis" (they were lean as yet, but lively) and drove Carl and his mother, four-in-hand. Down at the saw-mill, Marie mounted beside Carl and rode along into the village.

Rothfuss stopped before the house of the meadow-farmer. Nobody was to be seen there, but all cried, "Hurrah for the meadow-farmer!"

"You must say the old farmer," commanded Rothfuss, "because Carl is now the young meadow farmer. Come out, old fellow; Napoleon had to abdicate, too. Give up your flail to Carl, the conqueror."

At last the door opened. The old meadow farmer came out and welcomed Carl. It seemed as if the cheering would never end. Carl becomes the meadow farmer! After this everything is possible.

"Have you any news of my faithful nurse, the Captain's wife?" asked Carl, when he entered our room; and the old woman, who had not heard a word, also asked, "How is the worthy lady?"

Just then, as it happened, a letter arrived from her.


Annette wrote:

"What happiness it is to write to you! This is the first time that I address you as your real and true daughter. Do you remember how ill you took it when I once called you Patriarch? You were right, because bandying sharp speeches was a great fault of mine. Too much of the intellectual was my misfortune and that of all of us. Now I am nothing but a quiet ant, crawling up a tree and bearing my tiny mite; to be one ant amongst a thousand is now my only ambition. I do not wish to be anything for myself. I must give you an extract from Richard's letter. What is dearest and most beautiful in it, I cannot, of course, repeat to you. He writes:

"'Hitherto, our happiness consisted in the general belief that every one was a nobody, unless he was something quite apart, because the people as a whole were held in but little esteem. Germany was like the educated Jew, who is always intent on hearing from others, "How do they regard me?" "What do they think of me?" You yourself,'--but here he begins praising me--enough of that.

"'It gave me great pleasure to have Johanna with us in the hospital for a few days, which enabled us, by working together, to gain a better appreciation of each other. She has gathered experience and insight from other sources than myself, and she insists that nature is better than what we call principle. We can afford to let the latter pass, here and there. She acknowledges that unbelievers, as she calls us, are capable of virtuous actions. This war has taught all of us not to ask for dogmas, but for deeds.

"'I am scarcely able to-day, to write a letter in my own name. It was general mail-day, and I sat for hours at the bedside of the sick, writing word for word as they dictated. I am glad to have learnt enough French to be able to write for the officer whom you may remember. How manifold are the relations of life with which I have become familiarized! There is much wonderful beauty hidden in the world, and every people and every station in life has its share.

"'I had to add postscripts to two letters announcing the death of those in whose name they were written. One was the son of honored parents, and the other was himself the head of a family, and leaves four children.

"'Midnight.--I could not write further. Now all is hushed; and I do not wish to sleep before fulfilling my duty towards you. I find it hateful, when in full health, to say, "I cannot," and, therefore, continue writing. I feel as if mother were sitting beside me and saying, "Tell my husband everything. The best remedy against fear is to know the whole truth." But I must inform you about Martella.

"'The next day.--Last night, while I was writing the last sentence, Wolfgang came. He informed me that he had told you all. I may then speak of ourselves again.'

"Richard has written me: 'Remember that you once told me you would go through the wide world with me. That may now come to pass. Through varied labors which have given entire satisfaction, I have received an offer of employment in the foreign service, and it may happen that we shall have to begin our married life in the new world. I leave my quiet study, or rather I shall not return to it. I may be able to influence the living present, and you, my good and lovely wife, shall win admiration and respect in the highest circles. I am proud to place you in life's highest stations, and for this reason I joyfully surrender my solitary, peaceful studies and long-cherished plans of scientific investigation.'

"How I replied to Richard you will see by these lines, which I copy for you without conventional modesty; they are from a second letter, in answer to mine:

"'A thousand times, I kiss your hands and press you to my heart. You are my good genius. Pardon every unpleasant thought which, in the erring past, I may have harbored against you. Even then, despite myself, my mother knew you better than I did; her blessing rests upon your head. You have liberated me and brought me back to myself; I receive all willingly from your hands.

"'How clever and how pointed are your accounts of the nothings of diplomatic life which you noticed in Paris at the house of your sister-in-law, the wife of our ambassador.

"'Pardon me that I was just a little jealous of the title of nobility, and that I thought you might regret having to change it for a plain civilian name. I thank you for scolding me so merrily about it; but I reproach myself very seriously that I could entertain such a thought for a single instant.

"'How much you are in the right! I dare not abandon my innermost convictions. Your Christian admonition has gone right to my heart: yes, I would have been doing violence to my soul.

"'Now all is bright and free within and around me. It is settled. I shall keep on the straight line marked out for me; I am born and bred a man of letters. You see clearly what I could not confess to you or myself. For your sake the glitter of life allured, and attracted me. I fondly imagined your queenly form moving among those the world call noblest; but you, my lovely wife, are greater, purer, and freer than I am. You do not wish to shine; you will live for me, and I am to live for my ideal. It is decided; I am fortified against all temptation. I shall remain true to my calling, to you, and to myself.'

"I have told you all. I hope the time is not far off when this horrible war, this killing and dying, will be but as a shadowy dream in our memories. There must be peace at last, and peace will bring home to you

"Your happy daughter,



The very same day, a messenger arrived from the Counciller's wife, to call me, and I drove to the city with Joseph and Ludwig. From afar, we heard the booming of cannon, and at the new saw-mill the lumber merchant Schwarzenberg, an ever-faithful patriot, told me: "We have an Emperor; he has been proclaimed at Versailles." This was as it should be. Our great achievements in war were consecrated by the establishment of the German Empire.

Ludwig was dissatisfied because the celebration was held on a Prussian anniversary. He had to acknowledge, however, that the history of Prussia now glided into that of Germany, and that it was not improper thus to exalt a family festival.

O fortunate posterity! you can never know or appreciate our feelings during those days. We had long cherished these aspirations for our country, for a United Germany; the less we could hope for their realization, the deeper they lay in our hearts. Patriotism was like religious martrydom. Our country did not return our love. On the contrary, it was requited by hate and persecution from those high in station, and by neglect and ridicule from the lowly. And, in spite of all, for more than fifty years we stood firm and true, without hope of reward.

In the city, the bells were ringing and all the houses were decorated with flags. The Councillor's wife received us on the stairs and said, "Welcome, great-grandfather! Martha has given birth to a son."

How can I express the emotions that filled my heart! My country united under a powerful, victorious chief, and on the same day a great-grandchild born to me. How can I deserve such unspeakable bliss!

I was allowed to speak to Martha for a minute, and to take my great-grandson in my arms. He opened his eyes, and Martha cried, "He has his grandmother's eyes. When at Strasburg, Julius asked that his name should be Erwin."

The Councillor's wife ordered her to be quiet, adding: "You can now be perfectly happy; the conflict is over, and your husband returns full of honors. You are blessed indeed, and we are blessed through you. Sleep now; when you really want to sleep, you can do so."

I had to leave the room; and, after a while, the new grandmother came to tell me that Martha was sleeping quietly.

I remained in the city. The grandfather came for a day, and told me that he agreed with Julius, who, as he had so greatly distinguished himself, wished to remain in the military service.

My eyes have looked upon the third generation; I was also to see the dream of my youth realized in the establishment of the German Empire, and my family had fairly done their share towards it. But our joys are never unalloyed. No tree in the forest has an uninterrupted growth. A raven comes, rests on its top, and bends and blights the tender sapling.

Yes, a raven of misfortune came. A letter from Annette reported, in a few hasty words, that Richard had disappeared, and that he had probably fallen into the hands of the franc tireurs. There was still some hope of his life. She had started out with Wolfgang to hunt him up. Wolfgang, being an American citizen, could get through the lines. She asked us to move heaven and earth to save Richard. In a postscript, she reminded me of the wounded French officer whom she was nursing when I searched for the Colonel. How wonderful! every good deed meets its reward. The officer had given her a pass, from which she promised herself the best results.

Ludwig was not for a moment alarmed by the danger into which his only son had ventured. He had full confidence in Wolfgang's discretion, and his words were full of assurance that he would not be found wanting.

I believe that this confidence was genuine, but I also believe that he tried, for my sake, to mitigate the shock which the news about Richard had given me.

It puzzled me how Richard, who did not belong to the combatants, could be captured by the enemy; but Ludwig stopped all brooding over it by saying: "Father, will you accompany me to the capital? I wish to see our ambassador; he must give me all possible assistance."

In the capital, all the bells were ringing, and at the railroad station "extras" were announced with the Emperor's proclamation. In the midst of a group of people in the street stood a man reading the words of the Emperor. I knew him; it was Loedinger. His voice trembled; and when he had finished, and the joyful crowd marched through the streets, he saw me and embraced me heartily.

"What have we lived to see?" he cried. "Now we can die in peace. But what is the matter with you? Why do you not cheer with us?"

I told him, in a few words, of the capture of my son, and the worst fears which it justified.

Ludwig went at once to his ambassador, and I to the palace to see the Prince, who would doubtless use his influence for the rescue of my son. In the palace, there was great commotion. They said that no message could be taken to the Prince now, as he was presiding at a session of the Privy Council. I had to wait a long while. In the streets, the rejoicing went on; it could be faintly heard from afar. The whole city was illuminated.

At last I was told that the Prince could not see me today; I must leave my petition with the chief of the Cabinet. He was a relative of my son-in-law, and was favorably inclined towards me. He said that from there no effective steps could be taken; that it was the business of the Imperial government, and that I should address myself to the Prussian ambassador, to whom he gave me a few lines. I felt like a beggar who is sent from house to house.

At the Prussian Embassy, I was informed that the American Minister was attending a conference, and that there was a stranger with him.

I was called in, and found Ludwig with the two ambassadors. All necessary steps had already been agreed upon, and dispatches were at once forwarded to Versailles.

We drove to the station in the American Minister's coach, and Ludwig started for France, at once.

I went to Bertha, and, in spite of the new trouble that poured in upon me, I felt somewhat relieved when with my daughter and her children. Victor looked splendidly in his cadet uniform. Bertha met me with outstretched arms, saying, "Father, we shall soon have peace, and he is now almost a general."

It was not the least part of my sorrow that I had to inform Bertha of our deep anxiety for Richard. In the gladness of her heart, she ascribed it all to the exaggerated fears of Annette. The human heart is selfish; in moments of great happiness it wants to hear nothing of the sorrows of others, and refuses to believe them.

I was compelled to mar the joy of the proud, loving wife; and when Bertha too was filled with alarm, she pitied Annette even more than her brother. She thought it particularly hard that Annette, who was so good and self-sacrificing, should again and again be overwhelmed with sorrow. She believed that Richard had loved Annette before the death of her husband, and that his repentance and severity towards himself caused him to be so bitter to her. He struggled with his love for the woman on whom his eyes had rested with admiration at a time when such admiration was sinful.

On the other hand her natural good humor and buoyancy of spirits made her confident that Richard would surely soon be saved. Richard always was a lucky fellow. She remembered, from childhood, that once while I was coming down the river on a raft with my raftsmen, Richard stood on shore, and, crying "Father!" rushed out into the stream till the water came up to his chin. Balbina ran to the rescue, and, when he was safely ashore he laughed heartily. He had not been conscious of danger or fear.

While Bertha recalled all this, I became more tranquil, and when she expressed her confident hope that we would not live to see another war, I heartily agreed with her.


It was well that I had come up to the capital, for Parliament had been convoked, in order to consider the new constitution, or rather, the question of giving in our adhesion to the North German Confederation.

I scarcely heard the speeches, and did not have the strength to take the floor myself.

When a vote was at last reached, it went hard with me to vote "aye." In spite of my joy that there was now a United Germany, I had labored too long for the establishment of German landed rights, to content myself without their being embodied in laws.

I was deeply moved by a remark of my old and faithful colleague, Loedinger: "I fear that in the new German constitution, it will only be too evident that the movement which brought it about, was not initiated by the people."

We heard from Annette and Wolfgang, who wrote that they had at last obtained a clue to aid them in the search for Richard. He had, for a long time, been dragged about the country, and had then been sent to the Isles d'Hyéres.

Now, for the first time, I learned the details of his capture. Richard had crossed our lines into the enemy's country, being tempted to do so by a desire to investigate certain points of local history. He was arrested by the franc tireurs, who took him for a spy and wanted to shoot him. It was only through the interference of a man who was able to read Richard's journal that he was saved from instant death.

This was all they had been able to discover, up to the arrival of Ludwig, who sent Wolfgang home, and continued the search with Annette.

They were often led astray, and shown prisoners whom they did not know. They would have liked to console and encourage them by the news of the progress of our victorious armies and the certainty of a speedy peace, but they dared not risk it.

Ludwig added to his letter minute directions concerning the mill.

We were now perfectly safe in pushing the enterprise forward, as Bourbaki's forces had been driven into Switzerland and disarmed.

I could not content myself at the capital, and journeyed homewards. On the way, I met Baron Arven, who had returned from the field seriously ill, and who hoped to regain his health at home. I accompanied him, and found some pleasure in bearing him company in his deserted mansion--his wife was in Rome, both his sons still in the field. "I shall die at home after all," was his invariable answer whenever we attempted to console him. Our excellent physician prepared me for the worst. I was with Arven in his last hour, and was present when his remains were deposited in the family vault.

Joseph came to take me home.

In war times, one's feelings at last become familiarized with death scenes.

I soon again was called upon to take a part in public life.

The election campaign opened. Remminger, who had returned from the field to get cured of severe rheumatism, brought me the paper which represented our party. In it, he was recommended as delegate to the Reichstag from our district, as a man of merit, and of experience in military matters. I did not begrudge him the honor, nor the office. It gave his life a greater value, though I did not know that he ever took any part in political matters, or even showed any desire in that direction.

I thought it remarkable that in the article, particular stress was laid on the fact, that he was a friend and former comrade of my son-in-law, who had so greatly distinguished himself in the three days' battle against Bourbaki.

What motive could there have been for referring to that fact? However, if it could be of any use to the man, I was content.

He asked me whether I had had any hand in the publication of the article. He had never thought of taking part in politics, but if the place were offered him, he would not shirk the duty. I heard that the article was supposed to have emanated either from Joseph or myself.

We inquired at the office, and were informed that the nomination had been sent in with the stamp of our nearest post-office, and with a rather indistinct signature, which might well be Joseph's.

Joseph asserted that Funk was the author. I did not believe it, because the entire article did not contain a single superlative. He never could, even while writing, restrain his peculiar talent for screaming.

Great thoughts stirred the hearts of men, but littleness, cunning, and mischief-making had not ceased either. But what matters it? A tree grows all the same, whether ants and beetles crawl upon it or not.

A second article shortly afterward appeared in the country papers, in which it was said that military despotism had unmasked its batteries. But the people were awake; the people, who did not pray to the god whose name is Success; but were true to their own eternal aims and ideas. The clamor of victory must not drown the cries for liberty. We still had approved champions in our midst; our district still owned an independent man of large landed property; he should be deputy; they should be made to see at Berlin what plain, strong men tilled our land.

Joseph asserted that the papers of the popular party wanted to draw me to their side. There were inquiries in the journals from different quarters as to who was meant by "the firm man of solid worth," until he was named at last. It was Schweitzer-Schmalz. As usual, it was claimed that South Germany was the only real Germany, just as peasants were said to be the only genuine people. To-day, the peasants; to-morrow, perhaps the so-called laborer. The red waistcoat of Schweitzer-Schmalz was to do service as the popular flag.

Joseph was filled with anger and disgust, and I urged him to accept the nomination himself. He had much influence, and there were few other men in the district so well thought of as he.

I can say much in Joseph's favor; he wishes to see the state honestly served; but he also likes to attend to his business. Just then, Joseph had indeed a heavy load to carry. He had brought a large squad of foresters from the Tyrol, and had to provide several new teams.

We heard that Schweitzer-Schmalz had, at first, declined the proffered offer; but when he found the election was not to cost him any money, only some little condescension towards the poorer people, a few casks of beer, and, more than all else, strong language against military dictation, he declared his readiness. He was plain spoken, and yet cunning enough to declare, at the valley tavern, that, if he should be defeated it would be more of an honor than a disgrace to him. People would then always say, "Here is the man who ought to have been our deputy at the Reichstag. He is a man of the right sort."

The movement continued. It was a sorrowful spectacle for me, to see how the domestic enemies of the Empire inscribed our Frankfort Constitution on their flag, and cried that it must be accepted without debate. What should be done in case it was not accepted, they would not say; they knew as well as we did, that the adoption of the constitution of 1848 was an impossibility. But they wanted to start an opposition, and to surround it with a halo of glory.

On the last day of February, we received the news that the preliminaries of peace were agreed upon, and our German Emperor announced, "We have arrived at the end of the glorious but bloody war which was so wantonly and wickedly forced upon us."

We who lived on the borders were delighted beyond measure to know that Alsace-Lorraine had been brought home to us again; and when I was speaking with my folks about it, Rothfuss remarked:

"Now I know how it worked. Those who live along the Rhine, from Basle downward, felt the way you do, when you lie abed in winter time and have too narrow a blanket. Whenever you move, you are uncovered and get cold. Now we have a good double bed; now we can stretch ourselves, and, over there, stand the Vosges mountains; that is a good solid wall; no draft gets through that."


The ides of March had returned as they had twenty-three years before, but how different now! We stood on a basis of real power, which had been wrested in battle from our restless neighbor.

The armistice with the enemy without was concluded, but at the polls we had to struggle against adversaries within.

The best men of our district came and explained to me how false a game was being played. "They are electioneering for Schweitzer-Schmalz, who would not be so bad a man, but, at the last moment, they mean to drop him and transfer the votes to Funk, who has acquired a considerable fortune by the war."

The men urged me, and Schwarzenberg, the lumber merchant, was not the least among them, to allow myself to be put up as a candidate, both as a matter of right and duty. He claimed that I, who had assisted at the vexatious and fruitless labors at Frankfort, should have the nomination. Only in that way, could the defeat of the Funk party be assured.

I told them what trouble I had, and that I was too old, and unequal to the duties the office would impose upon me.

Then the burgomaster of Kaltenbach, a quiet, worthy man, reminded me that I had often said one should drown domestic griefs in active labors for the Fatherland. He bade me consider what would become of us Germans, if we should fail to secure true unity.

Those who had fallen in France, would, in that case, be disgraced and dishonored by the result.

I could not yield, in spite of all that was said; and Joseph asked me, "If Richard is saved, will you consent?"

"I do not make vows!"

"I did not mean it in that way; but would your mind be sufficiently at ease?"

I asked for time to consider the matter.

There was to be a meeting of electors on the next evening. I was alone, buried in thought; but soon a true and encouraging companion arrived. It was a letter, the handwriting of which I did not recognize; but when I had broken the seal and read the signature, I seemed to hear the voice of sincerity itself--it was a letter from Doctor Wilhelmi, of Berlin.

Ludwig had already informed me that Wilhelmi had returned years ago, and I had heard of his labors with genuine delight. I had often wished to send him a word of cheer, but had not found the opportunity. Now he wrote:

"All hail! thus do I salute you in your forest home. And now let me tell you all about ourselves. My wife and other ladies are at work day and night at the railroad depots, providing the troops, and particularly the sick and wounded ones, with refreshments. One day, a large body of prisoners arrived in charge of one of your country people. My wife observed this as soon as he opened his mouth, and asked him about you. The man had been servant to a sullen and ill-natured forester in your neighborhood, and you may imagine how glad we were to hear of you. For years I have often read your name, and often intended to write to you; now, a messenger had come to us from you.

"We provided him with quarters. He is really becoming spoiled by our friends, for the Berlin folks find the Suabian dialect 'charming, delightful,' and your countryman is a rogue.

"He outherods Herod; speaks the dialect more emphatically than ever Suabian did before, and, when his bravery is praised (he has received many orders) is condescending enough to confess, 'We did not do everything; the Prussians too behaved quite decently.'

"'Quite decently,' is the highest compliment your countrymen ever bestow on any one. When the man gets home he will tell you that the Berlinese are all angels. I sincerely trust that you, too, will soon make their acquaintance.

"How are your children? above all, the daughter who was with you in Strasburg years ago.

"I hear that Ludwig is with you. Tell him to remain; we need men like him.

"What has become of the handsome boy, Arndt's favorite, who was with us in Frankfort? And what of the young student who came to visit us there?

"Write to me, or, what would be better still, come here soon. We need old masons to build up the new state."

His wife had added a postscript saying: "When you come to Berlin, you must stay with us."

Joseph thought the best way to keep Ludwig at home would be to elect him a member of the Reichstag. He had made inquiries of an attorney in the little neighboring town, and had been told that Ludwig had not resided long enough in Germany to be eligible; but that as these were extraordinary times, the Reichstag would probably admit him.

The matter was brought before the election committee, but was not carried, as we should not be so sure of our voters if we had to go before the county a second time. The country people could with difficulty be induced to lose a work-day; the high pitch of patriotic sentiment that now obtained might not last long.

I accepted the nomination.

I have nothing to report in regard to the election campaign, except this; it was the first time we had been obliged to fight the new clerical party.

I do not like to speak of clerical machinations. France was conquered, and France was the last stay of the Papal power. Our victories had enabled the King of Italy to enter Rome. There was now an attempt to set on foot a carefully disguised opposition in our own country. A prebendary belonging to the diocese, travelled through our district, and held secret conferences with the pastors, to induce them to influence votes for a champion who had made himself notorious, by the strong language he had used.

Joseph finds out everything, and thus he soon learned that the lower clergy leaned towards the patriotic side, but that they would not risk open opposition. And, apropos of that, an amusing story was in circulation.

The prebendary asked the sleek and wily pastor of Rottenhoch, "And how do matters stand in your village? What are you able and willing to do?"

"Whatever the Right Reverend Bishop commands, shall be done."

The Right Reverend turned and twisted as best he might: but the priest could not be made to understand that his superiors desired to avoid giving explicit orders; and the others, who saw that the attempts to secure his compliance always elicited the same reply, bit their tongues to keep from laughing outright.

It was the first Sunday after Easter, on a bright spring day, when my friends came to take me to the meeting of the voters.

Rothfuss went with Carl, the young meadow-farmer, and said, "Yes, Carl, you are lucky; you begin in your young days. This is the first chance I have ever had to tell our man what he should say to the Emperor for me. But it is a good thing after all; and mind what I tell you--before the election we will only take one drink; not a drop more."

At the same time, he swore at the workmen at the mill, who had allowed themselves to be influenced by Funk. He declared that they were even capable of voting against me. Carl said that, as far as his two brothers were concerned, it was true. They had been expelled from Alsace, had received employment in Ludwig's mill, and now publicly said that they would give their votes to Funk.

At the meeting, it happened just as Joseph had predicted. Schweitzer-Schmalz stepped forward and declared that a man like himself could not leave his large estate and go to Berlin; they should, therefore, give the votes intended for him, to that intrepid man of the people--Funk.

But now something happened that took us all by surprise. Funk mounted the rostrum. He laid it down that a constitution without fundamental rights was a farce, and it cut me to the quick when he dared to add, "We uphold the old German flag--the sacred flag of freedom--immaculate, and shall not desert our colors."

In conclusion, he said. "I implore you not to call on me now. The time will come when they must call us to save our liberties; that time has not yet arrived.

"For the present, we will leave the pseudo-Prussian to the undisturbed enjoyment of the national beggars' broth filled with imperial dumplings, which is being served up in the famous spiked helmet.

"I thank you," he cried, when the yelling which followed this speech had somewhat abated, "for the votes with which you honor me. I esteem them highly, but we must wait. So let us bide our time."

Joseph prevented me from answering. He mounted the stand, and said that Herr Funk deserved all possible praise for his shrewdness. He knew that he could not be successful, and had therefore declined, in order to try his chances at some future time. "Herr Funk waits; we, too, can wait."

I was elected by a large majority; and the walk homeward, surrounded by my electors, was one of the happiest hours of my life. It was even more joyful than when, twenty-three years earlier, I was elected a delegate to Frankfort. I forgot my anxiety about Richard.

When I took leave of Rothfuss at the railway station, he held me by the hand, a long while, and said: "Oh master, if it was only not so far to Berlin, you should have taken me along, anyhow. Keep yourself well, right well; and don't drink any water; Willem says there is good wine to be had at Berlin, too."

A tear glistened in his eye, and the leave-taking from this faithful companion moved me deeply. He had never before been so anxious and concerned about me.

Many friends told me, "This new labor will wear you out."

Be it so, I am here to be of use.


THE old Burschenschafter7! Yes, treasured in secret and worn like an amulet of magic power, for the sake of which we suffered, are the colors of the new confederation. At first, the thought pained me; but perhaps it is all for the best. The Empire which is now being established, is not quite the one of which we sang and dreamed, or for the love of which we were thrown into dungeons. But it is full of a new and vigorous life, and instead of the golden glitter of poesy, we have the simple white of prose.

I am not of a combative disposition, and have always longed for a condition of affairs to which I could heartily assent. And now my greatest happiness is to know that I am no longer condemned to what I had feared would prove a life-long opposition to the powers that be.

The newly elected members had their rendezvous at the railroad junction. A majority were faithful to the Empire. The few who belonged to the progressives, or to the ultramontanes, were loud in their protestation of love for our newly-cemented union.

My friend Loedinger, that true old soul, was also elected. He studied with me at Jena, was with me in prison, and, for many years, sat near me in the Parliament. "We two have by this time become quite used to each other," were his words, as he took the seat next to me. And, as if by previous agreement, we were always together during the whole journey.

The days were fresh and spring-like, and, although our hearts were filled with solemn thoughts, nothing but jokes were heard. Next to Baribal, the gayest was Professor Rolunt, who, before he entered the military service, had studied in Berlin, and had here received the so-called finishing touch. On the way, there was much cheerful discussion of the peculiarities that distinguish various sections of our country and the fanaticism with which every district believes that its customs and modes of expression alone represent the real German mind.

Offenheimer, the lawyer, who had also been elected a member of the Reichstag, spoke quite forcibly on this subject, by demonstrating that we South Germans believed ours to be the veritable language of the soul. When there is a prejudice to combat, Offenheimer always is particularly eloquent. He knows Berlin, and lives here with relatives of his.

Cato Debold, the inveterate South German, thought it hard that the rough North German manner should now gain the supremacy. When he saw the first windmills, he scoffed at North German windbags; and when the Professor added that in North Germany there were no running springs, but only pumps, he was quite happy, and vaunted the number of springs we possessed at home.

Rolunt allowed him to finish his harangue, and then replied that the North Germans, finding themselves without fast flowing streams, had made an invisible power, the winds, work for them; and that pump water was as refreshing as that from fountains.

But, against that, Debold showed that the portion of Germany, that lay on the other side of the Thuringian Mountains had, through being divided into small farms, become quite different, and far advanced in comparison with the North. And in municipal liberty, we also stand far ahead of North Germany; and shall we now submit to have that encroached upon?

"That will regulate itself. The others will become more agreeable, and we will get sharper," said the Professor.

At many stations we heard the people say: "Here are the South German Representatives."

Our reception was not so stormy and excited as the one accorded us twenty-three years before when we went to Frankfort. The public mood was now calm and earnest.

On the road, one of the members said, "If your Richard had returned, he would doubtless have been elected." Ah! when one has a sorrow, he expects others to have some consideration, and not touch upon it, even though it be in the way of kindness.

At Gotha, where many new delegates joined us, we all received bouquets, and the principal of the gymnasium cleverly said that we should adorn ourselves with wedding favors, as we were going to the wedding of North and South Germany.

At Eisenach, my granddaughter Christiane and her affianced awaited me. He was still walking on crutches, but hoped to lay them aside in a few months, and to depend upon his wife's arm for support. Christiane had become quite youthful in appearance. She fairly beamed with happiness, as she looked now at me, and now at her betrothed.

The others continued on their journey, but Loedinger and I remained behind to visit a hallowed shrine. I spent the evening with Christiane and her betrothed. I promised to attend the wedding on my return from the Reichstag.

At early dawn, Loedinger and I ascended the Wartburg. We knew that each other's thoughts wandered back to the companions who, more than half a century ago, had come here, filled with the enthusiasm of youth. An invisible band of warriors marched at our side.

Silently, we walked through the halls of the castle. When we looked out over the country, far and wide, Loedinger grasped my hand and said: "It is hard, after all, that our flag, with its sacred colors, does not float here in the morning breeze. They should have left us that. There is great danger in the fact that it is now the banner of the opposition, and is raised by the hands of those who are against us and the unity we have labored so hard to win."

While trying to console him, I consoled myself, and the ardor of youth seemed to return to us.

Descending the mountain, we sang our old student songs, and felt young again.

Yes, this mountain is the altar of all that is great and pure and beautiful in our united Fatherland.

When we passed Weimar, where the creators of the unity of German thought had dwelt and labored, Loedinger said, "We might well cry out: 'Hearken, ye heroes of the mind, your words have become deeds.'"

Doctor Wilhelmi and his wife received me at the railroad depot.

Friend Wilhelmi, once a handsome, slender man, has grown stout, but the sound of his hearty, musical voice, the warm and kindly glance, the grasp of his hand, are all unchanged.

Loedinger was lodged with a friend of his, who lived in the neighborhood, and I soon felt at home with my old friends. The best people of the city, yes of the whole country, made their house a rendezvous. I have here made the acquaintance of a great number of men of distinguished merit. We are well supplied in that respect.

I also made the nearer acquaintance of some of those sharp Prussians. I felt at first as if they were setting my teeth on edge. But, after awhile, I recognized their good traits.

Doctor Wilhelmi still has an album of the members of the Frankfort Reichstag. We renewed our memories of olden days while looking at the pictures, and supplemented each other's information with what we knew of this or that old friend.

In every word that Wilhelmi speaks, I recognize his lofty ideality; but life in America has made him more practical than he once was.

The hospitality of the Greeks is vaunted. We possess it in a new shape; for a whole city considers itself our host.

I had to tell my friend Wilhelmi of my troubles; of my grief for Ernst, of my deep anxiety about Richard, and the thought struck me: "Must the old friend, whom we meet after long absence, have his heart saddened by the recital of our woes."


I make no mention of the proceedings of the Reichstag; you can read all about them in the newspapers.

I did not once take the floor.

In committee, I protested energetically, when we understood that some of the states were to be rewarded for their share in our triumph, by having certain portions of Alsace assigned to them. This plan was barely alluded to in the public meetings, and I am inclined to think that the rumor was merely a piece of diplomatic finesse.

I cannot avoid repeating the words addressed to me by the Emperor, when I was presented at the palace. "I have a son and you have a grandson in the field, and they have, both of them, proved their courage."

His voice betokened sincerity; his countenance was kind and gentle.

I was surprised; even if the Emperor had informed himself beforehand, it was so kind of him to speak thus of Julius.

In replying I told him that, during the absence of my grandson in the field, a son had been born to him.

The Emperor congratulated me. He took me by the hand! For a second, I held the palm of my beloved Emperor in warm, living embrace. He must have felt my glance following him when he walked away. For the great and glorious monarch turned again and nodded to me.


The festivities have been gloriously ushered in. The bells were ringing, and the streets were alive with a gay and bustling throng.

I roamed about alone, admiring all that was beautiful and enjoyable in the streets that had been transformed by the beautiful festal decorations. A bit of Olympian life had descended upon our homes.

We sometimes persuade ourselves that we have often thought of, or wished for, something that suddenly comes to pass: the rapidity with which our ideas succeed each other is apt to deceive us. But I am sure that while looking at the Academy of Arts, decorated as it was with the portraits of heroes, I involuntarily thought, "If I only had one of my own family with me now; I am so lonely in this surging crowd."

All at once, I heard a clear, ringing voice exclaim, "Good evening, grandfather."

My grandson Julius stands before me, sunburnt, and with several orders glistening on his breast. He belongs to the combined South German Corps that is detailed here to take part in the triumphal entry. His quarters are in a neighboring village, and he must return early.

Julius asked me whom his son resembled, and when I told him that little Erwin had the eyes of his grandmother, his face was radiant with joy.

Taking his arm in mine, I went as far as the city gate with him. I had to tell him all about Richard, but my pride in this noble, happy grandson, in a great measure thrust aside my grief for my son.


(June 18th.)

And now I write of the great day, the greatest known to me and to all men living.

It was the morning of the triumphal entry. I went out early and wandered through the joyous streets. I saw, beneath the chain of gay triumphal arches, the long row of conquered cannon, and, behind them, the seats for the wounded, the convalescents and their nurses. Music resounded from all the side streets. It was the great jubilant heart-throb of a whole people.

For a long time, I sat on a chair, which had been placed there for some invalid. My heart was so full when I thought that I had lived to see this day; and, amidst this high swelling tide of joy, I could not help looking into my own heart, and asking myself how I had met the duties that life imposed upon me.

Were I to die now--this very day--I have served the truth to the best of my ability; I have intentionally offended no one, and have loved mankind and my country with all my soul. I was often weak, but my weakness has harmed no one but myself.

As this was passing through my mind, I had to stop suddenly. My friend Wilhelmi said to me in the heartiest manner, and without sarcasm, "You have within you an overflowing fountain of sentimentality." It is true; it has brought me much sorrow, but it has afforded my soul many pure and tranquil experiences, and I said to myself, "This is not the time for tender sensibility. To be strong is now the word. Look at the Emperor! What must this man who, to-day, bears the impress and the majesty of great historical memories, feel in his innermost soul; and yet he stands erect and firm." And as I thought this, I, too, walked along more firmly than before.

I went to the stand which had been erected for the deputies. It was, as yet, almost empty; gradually, it filled up. My early walk, my deep emotions, and, more than all, the heat and strained expectation had thoroughly fatigued me.

Then came my friend Wilhelmi. He motioned to me from afar and waved his hat. "Waldfried, I bring you glorious news!" he cried. "Just read this; you had gone out so early; we hunted everywhere, but could not find you. A telegram for you has arrived; your children are coming."

"My children!"

"Yes. Richard and Ludwig and their wives, and your grandson Wolfgang."

I read the telegram; there it was--they were all coming. Richard was saved. At Bertha's house, he was married to Annette.

Wilhelmi saw me turning pale, and called to a stately Rhenish deputy behind us, one who had brought some good wine of his own raising: "Westerwalder, give us a glass of your best Rüdesheimer."

O how the drink refreshed me! Then Wilhelmi continued: "I have more to tell you, for now you are strong enough to bear the joyful news. Your children are already here. The telegram had been delayed, and they arrived half an hour in advance of it. They could not push through to this place, and so they went to the house of one of Annette's relations, with whom Offenheimer lives. That is what I am to tell you. After the procession we will meet them there."

Wilhelmi had to tell me, first of all, how my children looked. He said that Richard still bore traces of his recent sufferings, but that his eyes would brighten and his whole face light up, whenever he looked at his wife. Wilhelmi regretted that he did not have a son to bring him such a daughter-in-law.

He evidently wanted to cheer me up, for he bade me review in memory the triumphal march of my joys,--my children, my grandchildren, my sons and daughters-in-law, and my great-grandson.

During the last words of Wilhelmi, we heard from afar, a noise as of the roaring sea--a wave of history came rolling onward.

Cannon thundered, bells rang, and on came the great procession; and when the French flags were carried by and fluttered in the gentle breeze, I felt that I had seen the world wing itself for a new flight.

From among the South German troops, a young officer nodded to me. It was Julius. My grandson was among the marching conquerors.

The Emperor comes, and with him, all the heroes. The Emperor steps to the statue of his father, and the old man so greatly exalted by fortune, now becomes an humble son, and lays the captured flags at the feet of his father.


Led by Wilhelmi, I went to the house of our friends. Ikwarte stood in the door; he saluted me silently. I asked him whether my family were above.

"Yes, sir."

As we go up the stairs, we hear, behind us, hasty footsteps and a clattering sabre. It is Julius, his helmet adorned with a wreath of oak leaves.

"Grandfather, have you seen them?"


"Martha and Erwin."

"Are they here, too?"

"Julius" is called from above, and, the next moment, he is in Martha's arms. Then he embraces his father.

"Come in; he sleeps," said Martha. "Come in all, fathers three."

We walked through a glass-covered entry, then across a wide floor to the quietly-situated back-building, where the noise of the street could not penetrate.

In the silent room, Julius knelt beside the cradle. Gently he raised the curtain; the boy awoke, and, for the first time, the eyes of father and son met.

"Erwin, my son!" cried Julius, and kissed the child, who stared at him, and tried to clutch his eyes with his hands.

Martha, too, knelt beside the cradle. She laid her hand on the husband's forehead, and said, "And at this head hostile bullets were aimed!"

"Oh don't let us give way to our feelings," said Julius, rising.

Martha took the wreath from her husband's helmet, and wanted to place it on my head. I seized it and laid it on the cradle of my great-grandson. After that, we left the young couple, and hunted up the other returned wanderers.

Our hosts resigned their house to us, and saved us from all restraint by kindly keeping themselves in the background.

Richard and Annette, Ludwig, Conny, and Wolfgang, by turns clasped me in their arms. O how many good, true hearts beat against mine to-day! How many lives I could call my own!

Richard was still somewhat pale. Annette was radiant with glorious beauty, and her modest, gentle demeanor was the more attractive because she had the appearance of one born to command.

When the first emotions awakened by the overwhelming fulness of my joy had subsided, I had a wonderful vision. I saw great tables loaded with meat and drink and fragrant flowers, and from the streets resounded cheering and song. One of those wonderful visions, or phantasms, as you may call it, that supplement our life and withdraw us from the actual world, seized me. The beaming faces, the brilliant lights reflected again and again in the mirrors and the wine-glasses, the sumptuous table, and the lovely flowers,--methought I had seen them all before.--I felt as if in the midst of one of those wonderful, color-steeped groups of Paul Veronese, and, like soft music, or an apparition gently gliding through the air, memories of Gustava filled my soul.

"You seem so happy," said Annette; and I could only tell her this: "The dreams of former days, and the loftiest impressions that our souls have taken up from art, are now our actual life; our highest ideal has been attained."

Joseph informed me that the army corps consisting of the troops from our State, would make its entry into our capital under the Crown Prince, who had commanded it during the war, and that the Colonel, who was now a General, would take part in the ceremony. Bertha expected that we would all be with her on that day of honor.

Richard told us of his experiences while with the French, and we could not help asking ourselves: "Shall we ever be at peace with these neighbors of ours?"

"I have learned to know the French," said Richard, "and suffered much at their hands. The people amused themselves by insulting me while I was being led through the streets; I had to march in chains for a whole day; and still, through all the ravings of this sanguine people, I could see its mighty soul."

At these words, Offenheimer rushed up to Richard, and, embracing him, said, "A wounded enemy is an enemy no longer, and thus we have ceased to be enemies of suffering France."

He begged Richard to tell him more, and so he continued: "In spite of their impassioned feelings, and of the fact, utterly incomprehensible to them, that we were impolite enough not to let them whip us, there is a real elevation of soul in them, although it is obscured by their theatrical phrases. But their belief in themselves is something grand. They cling to it, even now, when they are sorely beaten. I am confident that the French will, in time, become honestly tolerant, and not in the sham sense that makes its professors say: 'You, poor fellow, have a false belief, but I do not attack it.' The French have a beautiful faith in themselves, but they must acquire faith in others, and not consider themselves the whole of humanity."

Nations have much the same ideas as individuals. After a silent combat, they can scarcely believe that it arose from a trifling cause, and now the French will not remember what a trivial pretext they had for this war.

The Chinese self-sufficiency of the French, who believed themselves to be the sole representatives of civilization, is now broken down. Their morbid desire for revenge can only be temporary. The people, deeply wounded in its vanity, and swindled out of its love of truth by sycophantic word-mongers, will come to reason.

Wilhelmi based great hopes on the projected university of Strasburg. It was to form an intellectual bond of union. With great warmth of feeling, he demonstrated that it was typical of the real character of our people, that, first of all, an institution of learning was established in the newly recovered province.

Then Ludwig rose, and with an enthusiasm in which all the fervor of his youth broke forth, again said: "And something more is in store for us, and, for that reason, I wish to remain an American citizen. You, Wilhelmi, and I have learned to know America. We love our old home, but we also love the New World, which is the land to initiate great thoughts, the land in which humanity, through untrammelled liberty, cannot but reach great results. It is pitiful and, at the same time, sad, that the American who has made money, and wishes to do something for the public good, knows of nothing better than to build a church.

"My idea--and I have distinguished friends who agree with me--is to establish, as our celebration of the centennial of American independence, a German University in America; an International High-School. I need not point out to you, how great a significance such an institution would possess for the New World, as well as for the Old. After our German students have studied for a year at the American Athens, how much wider their range of vision will be, and how much greater their knowledge of the world! In this way, a cable of quite a different kind would be laid; an intellectual electric current, binding the Old World to the New."

Richard took Ludwig's hand, and congratulated him on having conceived this grand idea.

"Thus should it be," he cried; "let Germany be fully and entirely its own, and then send the messengers of its intellectual life to all the world. The ancients carried their gods of marble and bronze, wherever they went; we carry divine thoughts over the whole inhabited globe."

Offenheimer whispered something to Richard, who pressed his hand gratefully.

I sat there quietly and felt unutterably happy, because my children possessed new ideals so different from our own. Their clear, organizing minds stretched into the far distance, and their schemes embraced the welfare of all mankind.

When in Strasburg, I felt deeply pained that such men as Ludwig and Wilhelmi should be driven into exile. Not always does our life give an answer to such questions. I received one now.

We were interrupted by Ikwarte, who begged to be excused. He had noticed his brother among the marching soldiers. He was sergeant and had received the Iron Cross; he had recognized him, and called out to him from the procession. Ikwarte now asked permission to go and seek his brother.

Ludwig granted it of course. We were all pleased with Ikwarte's firm sense of duty, to which even his brotherly love had to yield.

As Ikwarte was leaving the room, Julius entered with his wife. She carried my great-grandson on her arm.

For a while, every one turned to them. Then Ludwig began:

"It is well that you have come, Julius! We are here among friends; are you ready to answer a question regarding your future?"

In a quiet tone, Julius answered, he would first have to know what it was all about.

Smiling, Ludwig said: "Allow me to tell you that I am a Colonel."

Julius bowed, and Ludwig continued: "How grand it was that the American officers, at the end of their war, returned to civil life, while here in Germany a standing army draws our best energies away from productive labor."

Quietly but not without confidence, Julius replied: "It seems to me that Uncle Ludwig is still thinking of the revolutionary times, of the long forgotten stone age of German history. There is no separation now between soldier and citizen, and it is very questionable whether any one has the right to call us soldiers unproductive laborers. Our work creates a race of men who give firmness and character to our political life. What the schools are unable to finish, we perfect. To cultivate the great forest of men, is a higher aim than to reclaim a forest of trees."

"Oh," interrupted Wolfgang, and Julius turned to him and said: "Dear Wolfgang, I do not think meanly of that either; it is also a part of the work that society has before it. But each one must choose his post and guard it faithfully."

Ludwig insisted to the contrary, and squarely put it to Julius that he should leave the army, and take charge of his grandfather's estate. He could, if his country called him, always return to his duty. He hinted, and not very delicately, that one should not allow one's self to be seduced by the outward glitter of the soldier's life.

Without any irritation, but in determined language, Julius declared that he fully recognized how great a spectacle it was to see a victorious army return home in triumph, and lay down its arms; that it would have been desirable that the conclusion of peace should produce the disarmament of Europe. Such a disarmament, however, is only possible in America, where there is but one powerful nation. In conclusion, he eulogized the high mission of the soldier's life as a school for men.

Ludwig rose and said: "Here is my hand; I am converted. Father, I have now decided. I shall accept the estate."

I do not know how it came to pass, but Martha had laid my great-grandson in my arms, and when the boy raised his eyes to mine, I felt as if I was looking forward into the future.

You, my child, rested beside a mother's heart during the battles; you slept during the triumphant march, and now, around you, great words and thoughts wander forth into the world. When, at some future time, you shall learn how your father fought and suffered for home and country, may it sound to you like a fable from the old, dark days, that, long ago, we had to fight the monsters who despised the people. Stand firm and pure in the new life of nations, amongst whom the battle will only be for the possession of the noblest treasures of the intellectual world.

AT HOME, July 22.

I did not find my comrade Rothfuss. He died full of happiness and peace. On the last morning, he said to Johanna: "The German Empire is not the right thing after all. One must die in it, just as before. Our Emperor should order a different state of things, but never mind. 'He who is wet to the skin, need not dread the rain.' If I could only lie down in my grave for my master, as I once had myself locked up for Ludwig."

My grandson the vicar, who is chaplain at the neighboring fortress, was with him in his last hours.

Ludwig has taken the family estate for his son Wolfgang; not, as is customary, at the family valuation, but at its full market value.

I shall resign my post.

So far, the memoirs up to the evening before the anniversary of Gustava's death. They were written in the afternoon, with a firm hand. After that, he walked out into the forest. Carl, who was in the fields, saw him drinking from the Gustava fountain, and rejoiced to see the master walking so sturdily.

He was found in the woods he had planted, beneath a white pine tree, stretched out in death. His face was toward the earth, and rested on the wild thyme.

The second tablet of the grave-stone bears the following inscription:

Heinrich Waldfried,
BORN MAY THE 10TH, 1800;


Footnote 1: Throughout, the translator will, according to the German custom, use the word "bride" to designate a woman who is only betrothed.

Footnote 2: This name means: Lizzy, the huntress.

Footnote 3: Director or governor of the district or department.

Footnote 4: Feast commemorative of the dedication of a church.

Footnote 5: I am waiting (dialect).

Footnote 6: Guten Ort.

Footnote 7: A member of the Burschenschaft, the name of an association of the students of Germany, formed in 1815, and having for its object the political regeneration of their Fatherland.


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