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about this great event, and the conclusion is, that the rector has probably played in the lottery and won a great deal, that the burgomaster has allowed himself to be bribed, or that the doctor has received some gold pieces from the apothecary in order to prescribe very expensive medicines. You may easily imagine, Sir, how unpleasant it must have been for such a well-ordered town as Grünwiesel when a man took up his residence there of whom no one knew whence he came, what he wanted, or how he lived. Although the burgomaster had seen his passport, a paper which everyone in our country must have
"Is it then so unsafe in the streets," interrupted the Sheik, "that you must have a firman of your Sultan in order to enforce proper respect from the robbers?"
'No, Sir," replied the former, "these papers do not preserve us from thieves, but it is only for the sake of order, so that one knows everywhere with whom one has to deal. Well, the burgomaster had examined the passport, and said in a coffee-club of doctors that the passport had been very properly viséed from Berlin to Grünwiesel, but yet there was something wrong about it, for the man had a somewhat suspicious appearance. The burgomaster commanded the greatest respect in the town, and no wonder that the stranger was henceforth looked upon as a suspicious individual, and his mode of living could not change the opinion of my countrymen. The stranger hired for himself a whole house which had hitherto been empty, for a few gold pieces, had a whole vanful of quaint furniture, such as stoves, roasting-jacks, large saucepans and the like put into it, and henceforth lived entirely by himself. Nay, he even was his own cook, and not a human being entered his house except an old man from Grünwiesel, who had to buy his bread, meat and vegetables for him. And he was only allowed to come into the porch of the house, where the stranger received the purchased articles.
I was a boy ten years old when the man came to live in my native town, and I can even remember to-day, as if it had happened only yesterday, the disturbance this man caused in the little town. He did not come in the after
noon to the skittle-ground like other men, or into the public-house at night like the others in order to discuss the newspaper and a pipe of tobacco. In vain did the burgomaster, the justice of the peace, the doctor and the rector invite him in turn to dinner or a cup of coffee-he always excused himself. Some therefore considered him a madman, others a Jew, a third party strongly maintained that he was a magician or wizard. I grew to be eighteen, twenty, and yet the man in the town was still called the strange gentleman.
It happened however one day that people with wild animals entered the town. These are a vagrant rabble, having a camel which can bow, a bear that can dance, some dogs and monkeys who look very comical in men's clothes, and perform all sorts of tricks. Such people generally travel through the town, halt at cross roads and squares, make discordant music upon a little drum and pipe, make their troop dance and jump, and then collect money from the houses. The troop however which made its appearance this time in Grünwiesel was distinguished by a tremendous orang-outang, who was almost as tall as a man, walked upon two legs, and could perform all sorts of clever tricks. This dog and monkey show also came before the house of the strange gentleman. When the drum and pipe sounded he made his appearance, unwillingly at first, behind the dark windows dim with age. But soon, however, he became more cheerful, looked out of the window to everybody's surprise, and laughed heartily at the tricks of the orang-outang. Nay, he even gave for the fun such a large silver piece that the whole town talked about it.
On the following morning the wild beast show went on its way. The camel had to carry many paniers, in which dogs and monkeys sat very comfortably; the animal drivers and the great monkey walked behind the camel. Scarcely had they gone a few hours' distance outside the town gate when the strange gentleman sent to the postoffice, and demanded, to the great surprise of the postmaster, a carriage and extra horses, and went out of the same gate and on the same road the animals had taken. The whole town was wroth that it could not be ascertained
whither he had travelled. Night had already set in when the strange gentleman again reached, in his carriage, the gate of the town. There was, however, another person in the carriage with him, having a hat drawn over his face, and a silk scarf tied over his mouth and ears. The tollreceiver considered it his duty to address the other stranger and ask him for his passport; the latter, however, answered very rudely, whilst muttering something in quite an unknown language.
"He is my nephew," said the strange gentleman to the toll-receiver in a friendly manner, whilst putting into his hand some silver coins; "he is my nephew, and understands at present only a little German. He has just been uttering oaths in his vernacular, for having been stopped here."
"Well, if it is your nephew," replied the toll-receiver, "he may enter without a passport. Undoubtedly he is going to live with you; is he not?"
Certainly!" said the stranger; "and is likely to remain here for some time."
The. toll-receiver offered no further objection, and the strange gentleman together with his nephew drove into the little town. The burgomaster as well as the whole town expressed their disapproval of the toll-receiver's conduct. He ought at any rate to have taken notice of some words of the nephew's language, from which one might have easily recognised what countrymen he and his uncle were. The toll-receiver however asserted that it was neither French nor Italian, but that it had sounded as broad as English; and, if he mistook not, the young gentleman had said "Confound it!" In this way the toll-receiver extricated himself from his difficulty and the young man received a name, for the people in the little town never talked about anything else now than the young Englishman.
But the young Englishman did not put in an appearance, either in the skittle-ground or beer-cellar; yet he caused the people a great deal of trouble in a different way. It very frequently happened that in the usually quiet house of the stranger a terrible crying and noise arose, so that the people congregated in crowds before the
house and looked up. The young Englishman was seen attired in a scarlet frock-coat and green trousers, his hair dishevelled, and a fearful mien, running as quick as lightning past the windows and about all the rooms; the old stranger pursued him in his scarlet dressing-gown, a hunting-whip in his hand, often missed him, but sometimes it appeared to the crowd outside that he must have struck the young fellow, for innumerable plaintive sounds of anguish and the cracking blows with the whip were heard. The women of the little town took such a lively interest in the cruel treatment of the strange young man that they at last induced the burgomaster to investigate the matter. He wrote a note to the strange gentleman, in which he reproached him, in somewhat severe terms, for his harsh treatment of his nephew, and threatened him that if such scenes were to occur again he would take the young man under his special protection.
But who was more astonished than the burgomaster himself on seeing the stranger enter his house for the first time in ten years. The old gentleman apologised for his treatment, which was by the special orders of the young man's parents, who had entrusted him to his care to be educated; he was anxious to teach his nephew to speak German fluently, in order to take the liberty of introducing him afterwards into society in Grünwiesel, and as he had the greatest difficulty in making him understand the language, he could do nothing better than whip him thoroughly. The burgomaster expressed his entire approval of this communication, advised the old gentleman to act with less severity, and related at night in the beer-cellar that he had seldom met with such a wellinformed and polite man as the stranger. "It is a great pity," he added, "that he comes so little into society; but I think as soon as his nephew can speak a little German he will attend my gatherings oftener."
Through this single occurrence the opinion of the small town had completely changed. The stranger was considered a polite man, people were eager to become intimate with him, and thought it quite proper if now and again a terrible howling was heard in the deserted house. "He is giving his nephew lessons in the German
language," said the inhabitants of Grünwiesel, and no longer collected outside his house. After the lapse of nearly three months, instruction in the German language seemed to have been finished; for the old man now went a step further. There lived an old infirm Frenchman in the town, who gave young men instruction in dancing; the stranger sent for him, and told him that he was desirous of letting his nephew have lessons in dancing. He gave him to understand that although his nephew was very docile, yet as regards dancing he was somewhat obstinate; he had formerly learned dancing of some other master, and that after such a peculiar fashion that he could not figure properly when in society. His nephew however considered himself on that very account a fine dancer, although his dancing had not the slightest resemblance to a waltz or galop (dances which are danced in my native land), not even a resemblance to Scotch or French dances. He promised him a dollar an hour, and the dancing-master undertook with pleasure to instruct the obstinate pupil.
There was, as the Frenchman told me privately, nothing more peculiar in the world than these dancing lessons. The nephew, a tolerably tall slim young man, whose legs were somewhat short, appeared in a scarlet frock-coat, wide green trousers and kid gloves, and with his hair neatly done. He spoke little and with a foreign accent, was at first very polite and clever, but often however he suddenly made comical jumps, and danced in the wildest fashion, so that the dancing-master almost lost his senses: whenever he wanted to point out to him his mistakes, the nephew would take off his elegant dancing shoes, throw them at the Frenchman's head, and then caper about the room on all fours. At this noise the old gentleman, in a loose scarlet dressinggown, a gold-paper cap on his head, would then rush out of his room, and let the hunting-whip fall somewhat roughly upon his nephew's back. The nephew then began to howl terribly, jumped upon tables and a high chest of drawers, nay even up to the cross bars of the window, and spoke in a foreign and strange language. The old man in his scarlet dressing-gown, however, did