The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 04 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 463 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 04.

Sixteen years after Richter’s death the King of Bavaria erected a statue to him in Bayreuth.  But his most enduring monument had already long been raised in the funeral oration by Ludwig Boerne at Frankfurt.  “A Star has set,” said the orator, “and the eye of this century will close before it rises again, for bright genius moves in wide orbits and our distant descendants will be first again to bid glad welcome to that from which their fathers have taken sad leave. * * * We shall mourn for him whom we have lost and for those others who have not lost him, for he has not lived for all.  Yet a time will come when he shall be born for all and all will lament him.  But he will stand patient on the threshold of the twentieth century and wait smiling till his creeping people shall come to join him.”

QUINTUS FIXLEIN’S WEDDING[1]

From The Life of Quintus Fixlein (1796)

By JEAN PAUL

TRANSLATED BY T. CARLYLE

At the sound of the morning prayer-bell, the bridegroom—­for the din of preparation was disturbing his quiet orison—­went out into the churchyard, which (as in many other places) together with the church, lay round his mansion like a court.  Here, on the moist green, over whose closed flowers the churchyard wall was still spreading broad shadows, did his spirit cool itself from the warm dreams of Earth:  here, where the white flat grave-stone of his Teacher lay before him like the fallen-in door of the Janus-temple of life, or like the windward side of the narrow house, turned toward the tempests of the world:  here, where the little shrunk metallic door on the grated cross of his father uttered to him the inscriptions of death, and the year when his parent departed, and all the admonitions and mementos, graven on the lead—­there, I say, his mood grew softer and more solemn; and he now lifted up by heart his morning prayer, which usually he read, and entreated God to bless him in his office, and to spare his mother’s life, and to look with favor and acceptance on the purpose of today.  Then, over the graves, he walked into his fenceless little angular flower-garden; and here, composed and confident in the divine keeping, he pressed the stalks of his tulips deeper into the mellow earth.

But on returning to the house, he was met on all hands by the bell-ringing and the Janizary-music of wedding-gladness; the marriage-guests had all thrown off their nightcaps, and were drinking diligently; there was a clattering, a cooking, a frizzling; tea-services, coffee-services, and warm beer-services, were advancing in succession; and plates full of bride-cakes were going round like potter’s frames or cistern-wheels.  The Schoolmaster, with three young lads, was heard rehearsing from his own house an Arioso, with which, so soon as they were perfect, he purposed to surprise his clerical superior.  But now rushed all the arms of the foaming

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 04 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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