The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 363 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01.

MARGARET

But, who, I wonder, could the caskets bring? 
I fear there’s something wrong about the thing!

[A knock.]

Good heavens! can that my mother be?

MARTHA (peering through the blind)

’Tis a strange gentleman, I see. 
Come in!

[MEPHISTOPHELES enters.]

MEPHISTOPHELES

I’ve ventur’d to intrude today. 
Ladies, excuse the liberty, I pray.

[He steps back respectfully before MARGARET.]

After dame Martha Schwerdtlein I inquire!

MARTHA

’Tis I. Pray what have you to say to me?

MEPHISTOPHELES (aside to her)

I know you now,—­and therefore will retire;
At present you’ve distinguished company. 
Pardon the freedom, Madam, with your leave,
I will make free to call again at eve.

MARTHA (aloud)

Why, child, of all strange notions, he
For some grand lady taketh thee!

MARGARET

I am, in truth, of humble blood—­
The gentleman is far too good—­
Nor gems nor trinkets are my own.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Oh ’tis not the mere ornaments alone;
Her glance and mien far more betray. 
Rejoiced I am that I may stay.

MARTHA

Your business, Sir?  I long to know—­

MEPHISTOPHELES

Would I could happier tidings show! 
I trust mine errand you’ll not let me rue;
Your husband’s dead, and greeteth you.

MARTHA

Is dead?  True heart!  Oh misery! 
My husband dead!  Oh, I shall die!

MARGARET

Alas! good Martha! don’t despair!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Now listen to the sad affair!

MARGARET

I for this cause should fear to love. 
The loss my certain death would prove.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Joy still must sorrow, sorrow joy attend.

MARTHA

Proceed, and tell the story of his end!

MEPHISTOPHELES

At Padua, in St. Anthony’s,
In holy ground his body lies;
Quiet and cool his place of rest,
With pious ceremonials blest.

MARTHA

And had you naught besides to bring?

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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