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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.

LINDENSCHMIED (with a gesture, as before).

Ha!  Ha!

FREI.

Weiler himself heard the Hereditary Forester say it.  And, I tell you, what the Hereditary Forester says—­that’s as good as if another fellow had already done it.

LINDENSCHMIED.

He’ll look out for his skin, the Hereditary Forester will.

[Softly.]

If there were no judges that sit around the green table, and if there were no—­

[Indicates by a pantomime that he means the hangman.]

FREI.

His reign is at an end.  He—­For now it is

[Strikes the table.]

Liberty!  Long life to the Hereditary Forester!  And whoever has any evil intentions toward him—­I am alluding to no one—­

MOeLLER (hurriedly).

Here, host.  Almost eight o’clock!

HOST.

Are you in such a hurry, Mr. Moeller?

MOeLLER.

At the blast-furnace they are waiting for me.

HOST.

Your change—­

MOeLLER (already at the door).

Never mind!  Credit it to me for tomorrow.

[Exit.]

SCENE II

LINDENSCHMIED; HOST; FREI.

FREI (rises, shaking his fist after him).

Nothing shall be credited to you and fellows of your kind.  Everything shall be paid to you.  Lindenschmied, are you coming along to the duke’s estate?

LINDENSCHMIED.

I’m going my own way. [Advances.]

Those judges around the green table!  The idea, that an honest fellow should be frightened when a leaf rustles, and look behind him to see whether the constable isn’t after him!

FREI.

We’ll knock it down—­the green table—­I tell you.  We’ll see to it that in ten years from now nobody will be able to get any information as to what sort of thing a constable ever was.  Now it is Liberty, and Order has ceased to exist:  everybody can do what he pleases.  No more constables, no green table, I tell you.  No tower, no chains.  If the Lord had created the hares expressly for the nobleman, he would at once have stamped his coat of arms into their fur.  That would have been an easy matter for a person like the Lord.  Now men know that those who are in prisons are martyrs worthy of veneration, and that the noblemen are rascals, be they ever so honest.  And the industrious people are rascals, for it is their fault that honest people who do not like to work are poor.  That you can read printed in the newspapers.  And if the Hereditary Forester gets hold of Godfrey [pantomime] nobody can hurt him for that; for Godfrey got honest people into prison, when they had stolen.

LINDENSCHMIED.

And he will not be punished?  No?  And another fellow neither, if he does it?

FREI.

Another fellow neither, I tell you.  Over yonder the honest people set fire to the castle and plundered it; several people lost their lives in the affair; nobody cares a fig.  Lucky he who now has an old grudge.  And Ulrich need not run far.  Godfrey is reeling around there in the Dell; he’s lost his hat—­

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