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.
Above all, he mustered and arranged his calligraphic masterpieces and his drawings, to show them to the Archivarius, in proof of his ability to do what he wished.  All prospered with the student; a peculiar happy star seemed to be presiding over him; his neckcloth sat right at the very first trial; no tack burst; no loop gave way in his black silk stockings; his hat did not once fall to the dust after he had trimmed it.  In a word, precisely at half-past eleven, the student Anselmus, in his pike-gray frock, and black satin lower habiliments, with a roll of calligraphics and pen-drawings in his pocket, was standing in the Schlossgasse, in Conradi’s shop, and drinking one—­two glasses of the best stomachic liqueur; for here, thought he, slapping on the still empty pocket, for here speziesthalers will be clinking soon.

Notwithstanding the distance of the solitary street where the Archivarius Lindhorst’s very ancient residence lay, the student Anselmus was at the front door before the stroke of twelve.  He stood here, and was looking at the large fine bronze knocker; but now when, as the last stroke tingled through the air with loud clang from the steeple-clock of the Kreuzkirche, he lifted his hand to grasp this same knocker, the metal visage twisted itself, with horrid rolling of its blue-gleaming eyes, into a grinning smile.  Alas, it was the Apple-woman of the Black Gate!  The pointed teeth gnashed together in the loose jaws, and in their chattering through the skinny lips there was a growl of:  “Thou fool, fool, fool!—­Wait, wait!—­Why didst run!—­Fool!” Horror-struck, the student Anselmus flew back; he clutched at the door-post, but his hand caught the bell-rope and pulled it, and in piercing discords it rung stronger and stronger, and through the whole empty house the echo repeated, as in mockery:  “To the crystal fall!” An unearthly terror seized the student Anselmus, and quivered through all his limbs.  The bell-rope lengthened downward, and became a white, transparent, gigantic serpent, which encircled and crushed him, and girded him straiter and straiter in its coils, till his brittle, paralyzed limbs went crashing in pieces, and the blood spouted from his veins, penetrating into the transparent body of the serpent, and dyeing it red.  “Kill me!  Kill me!” he would have cried, in his horrible agony; but the cry was only a stifled gurgle in his throat.  The serpent lifted its head, and laid its long peaked tongue of glowing brass on the breast of Anselmus; then a fierce pang suddenly cut asunder the artery of life, and thought fled away from him.  On returning to his senses, he was lying on his own poor truckle-bed; Conrector Paulmann was standing before him, and saying:  “For Heaven’s sake, what mad stuff is this, dear Herr Anselmus?”


    Archivarius Lindhorst’s Garden, with some Mocking birds.  The Golden
    Pot.  English current-hand.  Pot-hooks.  The Prince of the Spirits.

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