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.
“) the author had raised a bitter cry of distress over the social injustice and the deceit and arrogance of the ruling classes.  In spite of a ray of sunshine at the end, the treatment was essentially tragic.  Now he has found a harmonious solution of the problem; the true nobility of human nature triumphs over all social distinctions; aristocracy of birth and yeomanry are forever united.  Thus the marriage of Louise Havermann with Franz von Rambow both symbolizes the fusion of opposing social forces and exemplifies the lofty teaching of Gotthelf—­“The light that is to illumine our fatherland must have its birth at a fireside.”  With his gospel of true humanity the North German poet supplements and brings to its full fruition the religious austerity of the doctrines and precepts of Jeremias Gotthelf, the preacher on the Alpine heights of Switzerland.

* * * *

BERTHOLD AUERBACH

LITTLE BAREFOOT[2] (1856)

A TALE OF VILLAGE LIFE

TRANSLATED BY H.W.  DULCKEN, PH.D.  REVISED AND ABRIDGED BY PAUL BERNARD THOMAS

CHAPTER I

THE CHILDREN KNOCK AT THE DOOR

Early in the morning through the autumnal mist two children of six or seven years are wending their way, hand in hand, along the garden-paths outside the village.  The girl, evidently the elder of the two, carries a slate, school-books, and writing materials under her arm; the boy has a similar equipment, which he carries in an open gray linen bag slung across his shoulder.  The girl wears a cap of white twill, that reaches almost to her forehead, and from beneath it the outline of her broad brow stands forth prominently; the boy’s head is bare.  Only one child’s step is heard, for while the boy has strong shoes on, the girl is barefoot.  Wherever the path is broad enough, the children walk side by side, but where the space between the hedges is too narrow for this, the girl walks ahead.

[Illustration:  BERTHOLD AUERBACH Hans Meyer]

The white hoar frost has covered the faded leaves of the bushes, and the haws and berries; and the flips especially, standing upright on their bare stems, seem coated with silver.  The sparrows in the hedges twitter and fly away in restless groups at the children’s approach; then they settle down not far off, only to go whirring up again, till at last they flutter into a garden and alight in an apple-tree with such force that the leaves come showering down.  A magpie flies up suddenly from the path and shoots across to the large pear-tree, where some ravens are perched in silence.  The magpie must have told them something, for the ravens fly up and circle round the tree; one old fellow perches himself on the waving crown, while the others find good posts of observation on the branches below.  They, too, are doubtless

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