The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 05 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 605 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 05.

The goblet kept passing from hand to hand; the reverend gentleman had a kind word for every one, so that all liked him, and finally the entire company chatted gaily together.  The students grew more and more loquacious, recounting their experiences in the mountains, and at last brought out their instruments and played away merrily.  The cool breeze from the water sighed through the leaves of the arbor, the afternoon sun gilded the woods and vales which flew past us, while the shores echoed back the notes of the horn.  And when the reverend gentleman, stimulated by the music, grew more and more genial, and told us stories of his youth, how in vacation-time he too had wandered over hills and dales, and had been often hungry and thirsty, but always happy, and how, in fact, a student’s whole life, from its first day in the narrow, dry lecture-room to its last, is one long vacation, then the students drank all around once more, and struck up a song, that reechoed among the distant mountains

  “The birds are southward winging
    Their yearly, airy flight,
  And roving lads are swinging
    Their caps in morning’s light;
  We students thus are going,
    And, when the gates are nigh,
  Our trumpets shall be blowing,
    In token of good-bye. 
  A long farewell we give thee,
  O Prague, for we must leave thee,
  Et habeat bonam pacem,
  Qui sedet post fornacem

  “When through the towns we’re going
    At night, the windows shine,
  Behind their curtains showing
    Full many a damsel fine. 
  We play at many a gate-way,
    And when our throats are dry
  We call mine host, and straightway
    He treats us generously;
  And o’er a goblet foaming
  We rest awhile from roaming.
  Venit ex sua domo—­
  Beatus ille homo

  “When roaming through the forest
    Cold Boreas whistles shrill,
  ’Tis then our need is sorest;
    Wet through on plain and hill,
  Our cloaks the winds are tearing,
    Our shoes are worn and old,
  Still playing, onward faring,
    In spite of rain and cold.
  Beatus ille homo
  Qui sedet in sua domo
  Et sedet post fornacem,
  Et habeat bonam pacem!"

I, the captain, and the girl, although we did not understand Latin, joined gaily in the last lines of each verse; but I was the gayest of all, for I had caught a glimpse in the distance of my toll-house, and soon afterward the castle shone among the trees in the light of the setting sun.


The boat touched the shore, and we all left it as quickly as possible, and scattered about in the meadows, like birds suddenly set free from the cage.  The reverend gentleman took a hasty leave of us, and strode off toward the castle.  The students repaired to a retired dingle, where they could shake out their cloaks, wash themselves in the brook, and shave one another.  The new lady’s-maid, with her canary-bird and her bundle, set out for an inn, the hostess of which I had recommended to her as an excellent person, and where she wished to change her gown before she presented herself at the castle.  As for me—­the lovely evening shone right into my heart, and as soon as all the rest had disappeared I lost not a moment, but ran directly to the castle garden.

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 05 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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