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that infested the place were in too the dignity of privacy and potentialmuch awe of him to sting him; they ities. This, at least, as time passed and certainly never did sting him, and I he still did nothing, was the belief of naturally concluded it must be because the simple people around. People he had forbidden such familiarities. Al. must believe in somebody, and having though I had played there for so many pinned their faith on my grandfather years since his death, my memory in the promising years that lie round skipped them all, and went back to thirty, it was more convenient to let it the days when it was exclusively his. remain there. He pervaded our family Standing on the spot where his arm- life till my sixth year, and saw to it chair used to be, I felt how well I knew that we all behaved ourselves, and then him now from the impressions he made he died, and we were all glad that he then on my child's mind, though I was should be in heaven. He was a good not conscious of them for more than German (and when Germans are good twenty years. Nobody told me about they are very good) who kept the Comhim, and he died when I was six, and mandments, voted for the Government, yet within the last year or two, that grew prize potatoes and bred innumerstrange Indian summer of remem- able sheep, drove to Berlin once a year brance that comes to us in the with the wool in a procession of wag. leisured times when the children have ons behind him and sold it at the annual been born and we have time to think, Wollmarkt, rioted soberly for a few has made me know him perfectly well. days there, and then carried most of It is rather an uncomfortable thought the proceeds home, hunted as often as for the grown-up, and especially for the possible, helped his friends, punished parent, but of a salutary and restrain- his children, read his Bible, said his ing nature, that though children may prayers, and was genuinely astonished not understand what is said and done when his wife had the affectation to before them, and have no interest in it die of a broken heart. I cannot preat the time, and though they may forget tend to explain this conduct. She it at once and for years, yet these things ought, of course, to have been happy that they have seen and heard and not in the possession of so good a man; but noticed have after all impressed them- good men are sometimes oppressive, selves for ever on their minds, and and to have one in the house with you when they are men and women come and to live in the daily glare of his crowding back with surprising and goodness must be a tremendous busioften painful distinctness, and away ness. After bearing him seven sons frisk all the cherished little illusions in and three daughters, therefore, my flocks.
grandmother died in the way described, I had an awful reverence for my and afforded, said my grandfather, angrandfather. He never petted, and he other and a very curious proof of the often frowned, and such people are impossibility of ever being sure of your generally reverenced. Besides, he was ground with women. The incident a just man, everybody said; a just man faded more quickly from his mind than who might have been a great man if it might otherwise have done from its he had chosen, and risen to almost any having occurred simultaneously with pinnacle of worldly glory. That he had the production of a new kind of potato, not so chosen was held to be a con- of which he was justly proud. He called vincing proof of his greatness, for he it Trost in Trauer, and quoted the text was plainly too great to be great in the of Scripture Auge um Auge, Zahn um vulgar sense, and shrouded himself in Zahn, after which he did not again al
lude to his wife's decease. In his last years, when my father managed the estate, and he only lived with us and criticised, he came to have the reputation of an oracle. The neighbors sent him their sons at the beginning of any important phase in their lives, and he received them in this very arbor, administering eloquent and minute ad. vice in the deep voice that rolled round the shrubbery and filled me with a vague sense of guilt as I played. Sitting among the bushes playing muffled games for fear of disturbing him, I supposed he must be reading aloud, so unbroken was the monotony of that majestic roll. The young men used to come out again bathed in perspiration, much stung by mosquitoes, and looking bewildered; and when they had got
the impression made by my grandfather's speech and presence, no doubt forgot all he had said with wholesome quickness, and set themselves to the interesting and necessary work of gaining their own experience. Once, indeed, a dreadful thing happened, whose immediate consequence was the abrupt end to the long and close friendship between us and our nearest neighbor. His son was brought to the arbor and left there in the usual way, and either he must have happened on the critical half hour after the coffee and before the Kreuzzeitung, when my grandfather was accustomed to sleep, or he was more courageous than the others and tried to talk, for very short: ly, playing as usual near at hand, I heard my grandfather's voice, raised to an extent that made me stop in my game and quake, saying with deliberate anger, “Hebe dich weg von mir, Sohn des Satans!” Which was all the ad. vice this particular young man got, and which he hastened to take, for out he came through the bushes, and though his face was very pale, there was an odd twist about the corners of his mouth that reassured me.
This must have happened quite at the end of my grandfather's life, for almost immediately afterwards, as it now seems to me, he died before he need have done because he would eat crab, a dish that never agreed with him, in the face of his doctor's warning that if he did he would surely die. "What! Am I to be conquered by crabs ?” he demanded indignantly of the doctor; for, apart from loving them with all his heart, he had never yet been conquered by anything. “Nay, sir, the combat is too unequal-do not, I pray you, try it again," replied the doctor. But my grandfather ordered crabs that very night for supper, and went in to table with the shining eyes of one who is determined to conquer or die, and the crabs conquered, and he died. “He was a just man,” said the neighbors, except that nearest neighbor, formerly his best friend, “and might have been a great one had he so chosen.” And they buried him with profound respect and the sunshine came into our home life with a burst, and the birds were not the only creatures that sang, and the arbor, from having been a temple of Delphic utterances, sank into a home for slugs.
Musing on the strangeness of life, and on the invariable ultimate triumph of the insignificant and small over the important and vast, illustrated in this instance by the easy substitution in the arbor of slugs for grandfathers, I went slowly round the next bend of the path, and came to the broad walk along the south side of the high wall dividing the flower garden from the kitchen garden, in which sheltered position my father had had his choicest flowers. Here the cousins had been at work, and all the climbing roses that clothed the wall with beauty were gone, and some very neat fruit trees, tidily nailed up at proper intervals, reigned in their stead. Evidently the cousins knew the value
of this warm aspect, for in the border first joy into grief. This walk and beneath, filled in my father's time in border reminded me too much of my this month of November with the wall- father, and of all he had been to me. flowers that were to perfume the walk What I knew of good he had taught in spring, there was a thick crop of me, and what I had of happiness was -I stooped down close to make through him. Only once during all the sure-yes, a thick crop of rad- years we lived together had we been ishes. My eyes filled with tears at of different opinions and fallen out, the sight of those radishes, and it is and it was the one time I ever saw probably the only occasion on record him severe.
I was four years old, and on which radishes have made anybody demanded one Sunday to be taken to cry. My dear father, whom I so pas- church. My father said, No; for I had sionately loved, had in his turn passion- never been to church, and the German ately loved this particular border, and service is long and exhausting. I imspent the spare moments of a busy life plored. He again said, No. I implored enjoying the flowers that grew in it. again, and showed such a pious disHe had no time himself for a more position, and so earnest a determinanear acquaintance with the delights of tion to behave well, that he gave in, gardening than directing what plants and we went off very happily hand in were to be used, but found rest from hand. "Now mind, Elizabeth," he said, his daily work strolling up and down turning to me at the church door, here, or sitting smoking as close to the “there is no coming out again in the flowers as possible. “It is the Purest middle. Having insisted on being of Humane pleasures, it is the Greatest brought, thou shalt now sit patiently Refreshment to the Spirits of Man," he till the end." "Oh, yes, oh, yes," I would quote (for he read other things promised eagerly, and went in filled besides the Kreuzzeitung), looking round with holy fire. The shortness of my with satisfaction on reaching this fra- legs, hanging helplessly for two hours grant haven after a hot day in the fields. midway between the seat and the floor, Well, the cousins did not think so. Less was the weapon chosen by Satan for fanciful, and more sensible as they my destruction. In German churches probably would have said, their posi- you do not kneel, and seldom stand, tion plainly was that you cannot eat but sit nearly the whole time, praying flowers. Their spirits required no re- and singing in great comfort.
If you freshment, but their bodies needed are four years old, however, this unmuch, and therefore radishes
changed position soon becomes one of more precious than wallflowers. Nor torture. Unknown and dreadful things was my youth wholly destitute of rad- go on in your legs, strange prickings ishes, but they were grown in the de- and tinglings and dartings up and cent obscurity of odd kitchen garden down, a sudden terrifying numbness, corners and old cucumber frames, and when
you think they must have would never have been allowed to dropped off, but are afraid to look, then come among the flowers. And only be- renewed and fiercer prickings, shootcause I was not a boy, here they were ings and burnings. I thought I must profaning the ground that used to be be very ill, for I had never known my so beautiful. Oh, it was a terrible mis- legs like that before. My father sitting fortune not to have been a boy! And beside me was engrossed in the singing how sad and lonely it was, after all, of a chorale that evidently had no end; in this ghostly garden. The radish bed each verse finished with a long-drawnand what it symbolized had turned my out hallelujah, after which the organ
played by itself for a hundred years serenely to the next hallelujah. For a by the organist's watch, which was moment I was petrified with astonishwrong, two minutes exactly—and then ment. Was this my indulgent father, another verse began. My father, be- my playmate, adorer
and friend? ing the patron of the living, was care- Smarting with pain, for I vas a round ful to sing and pray and listen to the
baby, with a nicely stretched, tight sermon with exemplary attention, skin, and dreadfully hurt in my feelaware that every eye in the little ings, I opened my mouth to shriek in church was on our pew, and at first I earnest when my father's clear wbistried to imitate him; but the behavior per fell on my ear, each word distinct of my legs became so alarming that and not to be misunderstood, his eyes after vainly casting imploring glances before gazing meditatively into at him and seeing that he continued his space, and his lips hardly moving. singing unmoved, I put out my hand “Elisabeth, wenn du schreist, kneife ich and pulled his sleeve.
dich bis du platzt." And he finished the “Hal-le-lu-jah," sang my father with verse with unruffled decorumdeliberation; continuing in a low voice
Will Satan mich verschlingen, without changing the expression of his
So lass die Engel singen face, his lips hardly moving, and his
Hallelujah. eyes fixed abstractedly on the ceiling till the organist, who was also the post- We never had another difference. Up man, should have finished his solo, to then he had been my willing slave, "Did I not tell thee to sit still, Eliza- and after that I was his. beth?”
With a smile and a shiver I turned “Yes, but,"
from the border and its memories to “Then do it."
the door in the wall leading to the "But I want to go home."
kitchen garden in a corner of which "Unsinn.” And the next verse begin. my own little garden used to be. The ning, my father sang louder than ever. door was open, and I stood still a What could I do? Should I cry? I be- moment before going through, to hold gan to be afraid I was going to die on my breath and listen. The silence was that chair, so extraordinary were the as profound as before. The place seemed sensations in my legs. What could my deserted; and I should have thought father do to me if I did cry? With the the house empty and shut up but for quick instinct of small children I felt the carefully tended radishes and the that he could not put me in the corner recent footmarks on the green of the in church, nor would he whip me in path. They were the footmarks of a public, and that with the whole village child. I was stooping down to examine looking on, he was helpless, and would a specially clear one, when the loud have to give in. Therefore I tugged caw of a very bored-looking crow sit. his sleeve again and more peremptorily, ting on the wall just above my head and prepared to demand my immediate made me ju as I have seldom in my removal in a loud voice. But my fa- life jumped, and reminded me that I ther was ready for me. Without inter- was trespassing. Clearly my nerves rupting his singing, or altering his de- were all to pieces, for I gathered up vout expression, he put his hand slowly my skirts and fed through the door as down and gave me a hard pinch-not a though a whole army of ghosts and playful pinch, but a good hard unmis- cousins were at my heels, nor did I takable pinch, such as I had never stop till I had reached the remote imagined possible and then went on corner where my garden was. “Are
you enjoying yourself, Elizabeth ?” asked the mocking sprite that calls it. self my soul; but I was too much out of breath to answer.
This was really a very safe corner. It was separated from the main garden and the house by the wall, and shut in on the north side by an orchard, and it was to the last degree unlikely that any one would come there on such an afternoon. This plot of ground, turned now as I saw into a rockery, had been the scene of my most untiring labors. Into the cold earth of this north border on which the sun never shone I had dug my brightest hopes. Ail
my pocket-money had been spent on it, and as bulbs were dear and my weekly allowance small, in a fatal hour I had borrowed from Fräulein Wundermacher, selling her my independence, passing utterly into her power, forced as a result till my next birthday should come round to an unnatural suavity of speech and manner in her company, aganst which my very soul revolted. And after all, nothing came up. The labor of digging and watering, the anxious zeal with which I pounced on weeds, the poring over gardening books, the plans made as I sat on the little seat in the middle gazing admiringly and with the eye of faith on the trim surface so soon to be gemmed with a thousand flowers, the reckless expenditure of pfennings, the humiliation of my position in regard to Fräulein Wundermacher,-all, all had been in vain. No sun shone there, and nothing grew. The gardener who reigned supreme in those days had given me this big piece for that sole reason, because he could do nothing with it himself. He was no doubt of opinion that it was quite good enough for a child to experiment upon, and went his way when I had thanked him with a profuseness of gratitude I still remember, with an unmoved countenance. For more than a year I worked and
waited, and watched the career of the flourishing orchard opposite with puzzled feelings. The orchard was only a few yards away, and yet, although my garden was full of manure and water, and attentions that were
never bestowed on the orchard, all it could show and ever did show were a few unhappy beginnings of growth that either remained stationary and did not achieve flowers, or dwindled down again and vanished. Once I timidly asked the gardener if he could explain these signs and wonders, but he was a busy man with no time for answering questions, and told me shortly that gardening was not learned in a day. How well I remembered that afternoon, and the very shape of the lazy clouds, and the smell of spring things, and myself going away abashed and sitting on the shaky bench in my domain and wondering for the hundredth time what it was that made the difference between my bed and the bit of orchard in front of me. The fruit trees, far enough away from the wall to be beyond the reach of its cold shade, were tossing their flower-laden heads in the sunshine in a careless, well-satisfied fashion that filled my heart with envy. There was a rise in the field behind them, and at the foot of its protecting slope they luxuriated in the insolent glory of their white and pink perfection. It was May, and my heart bled at the thought of the tulips I had put in in November, and that I had never seen since. The whole of the rest of the garden was on fire with tulips; behind me, on the other side of the wall, were rows and rows of them --cups of translucent loveliness, a jewelled ring flung right round the lawn. But what was there not on the other side of that wall? Things came up there and grew and flowered exactly
my gardening books said they should do; and in front of me, in the gay orchard, things that nobody ever