The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 08 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 508 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 08.

CHAPTER XIX

A DAUGHTER APPEARS AND WOULD EDUCATE ULI

[The other servants had been wondering at Uli’s good behavior, and, not being able to understand it from their viewpoint, had sought for the explanation in self-interest; for Elsie had begun to be very silly with Uli.  As time goes on, this becomes more and more noticeable, and Uli him self is not a little put out by it.  Elsie proposes to visit her brother, and Uli is to drive her.  On the open road, where there is none to see, she bids him sit beside her; when they come to a village she sends him back to the front seat, and it is “My servant” this and “My servant” that.  Uli is offended, but Elsie excuses herself and finally weeps until Uli yields and joins her again.  She coaxes him and flirts with him all the way.  Johannes welcomes them cordially enough.  The “visit,” however, consists principally in a clothing contest between Elsie and Trinette, from which the latter, by a shrewd stroke, issues victorious, and thus accelerates Elsie’s discomfited departure.  Johannes’s mismanagement is mercilessly exposed, and his ultimate ruin clearly foreshadowed.  On the homeward road Elsie waxes affectionate, and spends most of the time after nightfall in kissing Uli, who, however, is indifferent to her advances.]

CHAPTER XX

ULI HAS THOUGHTS AND BECOMES A CALCULATOR

So the trip went off safely and innocently, but not without consequences.  Little by little the thought began to turn Uli’s head that he could easily make himself happy by getting a rich wife; for, unreasonable as it is, in our ordinary speech to get happiness and to get wealth are synonymous.  So often we hear it said, “He’s lucky; he made a fine marriage and got over ten thousand gulden with his wife.  Of course she’s a fool and gives him lots of trouble; but what’s the odds if you’ve got money?  Money’s all that counts.”  Uli was not free from this general and yet so baseless notion; for did he not wish to become a rich man himself?  When he thought of Elsie’s utterances, which, to be sure, were made in the rain and mist, it seemed more and more probable to him that she would take him if he tried hard to get her.  The brother had treated him so amicably and shown him so much confidence that he probably would really not greatly oppose it; if Elsie was to marry somebody, Uli might suit better than many another.  The parents, he thought, wouldn’t like it at first, and would make a fuss; but if Elsie managed it and the thing was done, he wasn’t afraid of not winning them over.  The thought of one day living on Slough Farm and being his own master there, was infinitely pleasant to him.  In twenty years, he sometimes calculated, he would easily double his wealth; he would show the whole district what farming could bring in.  One plan after the other rose before him—­how to go about it, all the things he would do, what the

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 08 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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