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.

I must go into the kitchen! [Exit.]

LEONARD (alone).

Well, I guess there is nothing to be got here!  I can’t understand it at all; for Master Antony is one of those fellows whose ghost, if you should accidentally put one too many letters on his gravestone, would haunt you until you took it off.  For he would regard it as dishonest to appropriate more of the alphabet than he was properly entitled to.

SCENE V

Enter LEONARD; Master ANTONY.

ANTONY.

Good morning, Mr. Cashier! [He takes off his cap and puts on a woolen cap.] Is it permissible for an old man to keep his head covered?

LEONARD.

You know then—­

ANTONY.

Since yesterday evening.  When I was going over in the dusk to take the deceased miller’s measure for his final sleeping room, I heard a couple of your good friends slandering you.  I thought right away:  I guess Leonard has not broken his neck.—­At the house I heard more about it from the sexton, who had come to console the widow, and, incidentally, to get drunk.

LEONARD.

And you had to let Clara find out about it from me?

ANTONY.

If you didn’t care enough about it to give the girl that pleasure yourself, why should I do it?  I don’t light any candles in my house except those that belong to me.  Then I know that nobody is going to come and blow them out, just as we are beginning to enjoy them.

LEONARD.

Surely you don’t think that I—­

ANTONY.

Think?  About you?  About anybody?  I smooth over boards with my plane, but I never smooth over men with my thoughts.  I stopped that sort of foolishness long ago.  When I see a tree growing, I think to myself:  It will soon be blossoming; and when it sprouts:  It will soon bear fruit.  In that I never see myself disappointed, and for that reason I don’t give up the old habit.  But about men I never think anything, good or bad, and then I don’t have to turn alternately red and white when they disappoint my fears one minute and my hopes the next.  I merely observe them and use the evidence of my eyes, which likewise do not think, but only see.  I thought I had made a complete observation of you, but now that I find you here I must confess that it was only half an observation.

LEONARD.

Master Antony, you have it all upside down.  Trees are dependent upon wind and weather, whereas men have laws and rules in themselves to govern them.

ANTONY.

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