The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 09 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 505 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 09.
old.  For me too, then, it was a moment never to be forgotten, and one whose influence continues to be felt to the present day, when my mother took me with her for the first time on the evening walk which she indulged in on Sundays and holidays during the beautiful summer months.  Good gracious, how large this Wesselburen was!  Five-year old legs were nearly tired out before they had made the entire round!  And what did one not meet on the road!  The very names of the streets and squares sounded so puzzling and fantastic!  “Now we are on the Lollard’s Foot!  That is White Meadow!  This way goes over to Bell Mountain!  There stands the Oak Nest!” The less apparent reason there was for these names, the more certain it seemed that they concealed some mystery!  And then the objects themselves!  The church whose pealing voice I had already heard so often; the graveyard with its dark trees and its crosses and tombstones; a very old house, in which a, “forty-eighter” had lived, and in the cellar of which a treasure was said to lie buried, over which the devil kept watch; and, finally, a big fish-pond:  all these details coalesced in my mind, as though like the limbs of a gigantic animal they were organically related, into one huge general picture, and the autumn moon shed a bluish light over it.  Since that time I have seen St. Peter’s and every German cathedral, I have been to Pere la Chaise and the Pyramid of Cestius, but whenever I think in general of churches, graveyards and the like, they still hover before me today in the shape in which I saw them on that evening.

X

About the same time that I exchanged Susanna’s gloomy room for the newly-built bright and pleasant primary-school, my father also had to leave his little house and move into a hired lodging.  That was a strange contrast for me.  School had broadened:  I gazed out of clear windows with wide frames of fir wood, instead of trying my curious eyes on green glass bottle panes with dirty leaden rims; and the daylight, which at Susanna’s always commenced later and stopped earlier than it should, now came into its full rights.  I sat at a comfortable table with a desk and an ink bottle; the odor of fresh wood and paint, which still has some charm for me, threw me into a sort of joyous ecstasy, and when, on account of my reading, I was told by the inspecting minister, to exchange the third bench, which I had modestly chosen, for the first, and moreover to take one of the highest places on the latter, my cup of felicity was nearly full.

Our home, on the contrary, had shrunk and grown darker; there was no more garden now in which I could romp with my comrades when the weather was fine, no hallway to receive us hospitably when it rained and blew.  I was restricted to a narrow room in which I myself could hardly move around and into which I dared not bring any playmates, and to the space before the door, where it was seldom that any one would stay with me very long, as the street ran directly past it.

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 09 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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