IN the most fashionable street in the city stood a fineold house£» the wall around it had bits of glass worked intoit£¬ so that when the sun or the moon shone it looked as if itwere covered with diamonds£®That was a sign of wealth£¬ and there was great wealth inside£® It was said that the mer£chant was a man rich enough to put two barrels of gold intohis best parlor and could even put a barrel of gold pieces£¬as a savings bank against the future£¬ outside the door of theroom where his little son was born£®
When the baby arrived in the rich house£¬ there was great joy from the cellar up to the garret£»and up there£¬ there was still greater joy an hour or two later£® The ware£houseman and his wife lived in the garret£¬ and there£¬ too£¬at the same time£¬ a little son arrived£¬given by our Lord£¬brought by the stork£¬ and exhibited by the mother£®And there£¬ too£¬ was a barrel outside the door£¬quite accidental£ly£» but it was not a barrel of gold¡ªit was a barrel of sweepings£®
The rich merchant was a very kind£¬fine man£®His wife£¬ delicate and always dressed in clothes of high quali£ty£¬was pious and£¬ besides£¬was kind and good to the poor£®Everybody rejoiced with these two people on now having a little son who would grow up and be rich and hap£py£¬ like his father£® When the little boy was baptized he was called Felix£¬ which in Latin means"lucky£¬" and thishe was£¬ and his parents were even more so£®
The warehouseman£¬ a fellow who was really good to the core£¬ and his wife£¬ an honest and industrious woman£¬were well liked by all who knew them£® How lucky they were to have their little boy£» he was called Peer£®
The boy on the first floor and the boy in the garret each received the same amount of kisses from his parentsand just as much sunshine from our Lord£» but still theywere placed a little differently¡ªone downstairs£¬ and oneup£®Peer sat the highest£¬way up in the garret£¬ and he had his own mother for a nurse£»little Felix had a strangerfor his nurse£¬ but she was good and honest¡ªthat was written in her service book£® The rich child had a prettybaby carriage£¬ which was pushed about by his elegantly dressed nurse£» the child from the garret was carried in thearms of his own nither£¬both when she was in her Sunday clothes and when she had her everyday things on£¬ and hewas just as happy£®
Both children soon began to observe things£» they were growing£¬ and both could show with their hands how tall they were£¬ and say single words in their mother tongue£®They were equally handsome£¬ petted£¬and equallyfond of sweets£® As they grew up£¬ they both got an equalamount of pleasure out of the merchant's horses and car£riages£®Felix was allowed to sit by the coachman£¬ alongwith his nurse£¬ and look at the horses£» he would fancyhimself driving£®Peer was allowed to sit at the garret win£dow and look down into the yard when the master and mistress went out to drive£»and when they had left£¬ hewould place two chairs£¬one in front of the other£¬ up there in the room£¬ and so he would drive himself£» he wasthe real coachman¡ªthat was a little more than fancying himself to be the coachman£®
They got along splendidly£¬ these two£» yet it was notuntil they were two years old that they spoke to each oth£er£®Felix was always elegantly dressed in silk and velvet£¬with bare knees£¬ after the English style£®"The poor childwill freezer£¡"said the family in the garret£®Peer had trousers that came down to his ankles£¬ but one day his clothes were torn right across his knees£¬ so that he got asmuch of a draft and was just as much undressed as the merchant's delicate little boy£®Felix came along with hismother and was about to go out through the gate when Peer came along with his and wanted to go in£®
"Give little Peer your hand£¬"said the merchant'swife£®"You two should talk to each other£®"
And one said£¬"Peer£¡"and the other said£¬"Felix£¡"Yes£¬ and that was all they said at that time£®
The rich lady coddled her boy£¬but there was one who coddled Peer just as much£¬ and that was his grandmother£®
She was weak£sighted£¬ and yet she saw much more in little Peer than his father or mother could see£» yes£¬ more thanany person could£®
"The sweet child£¬"she said£¬"is surely going to get on in the world£®He was born with a gold apple in his hand£» I can see it even with my poor sight£®Why£¬ there is the shining apple£¡" And she kissed the child's little hand£®His parents could see nothing£¬and neither could Peer£»but as he grew to have more understanding£¬ he liked to believe it£®
"That is such a story£¬ such a fairy tale£¬ that Grand- mother tells£¡"said the parents£®
Yes£¬ Grandmother could tell stories£¬ and Peer wasnever tired of hearing always the same ones£®She taught him a psalm and the Lord's Prayer as well£¬ and he could say it£¬ not as gabble but as words that meant something£»
she explained every single sentence in it to him£® He gave particular thought to what Grandmother said about the words£¬"Give us this day our daily bread"£» he was to un-derstand that it was necessary for one to get wheat bread£¬for another to get black bread£» one must have a great housewhen he had many people in his employ£» another£¬ in small circumstances£¬ could live quite as happily in a little roomin the garret£®"So each person has what he calls 'daily bread£®'"
Peer£¬ of course£¬ had his good daily bread¡ªand the most delightful days£¬ too£¬ but they were not to last forever£®The sad years of war began£» the young men were to goaway£¬ and the older men as well£® Peer's father was amongthose who were called in£» and soon afterward it was heard that he had been one of the first to fall in battle against thesuperior enemy£®
There was bitter grief in the little room in the garret£®The mother cried£» the grandmother and little Peer cried£»
and every time one of the neighbors came up to see them£¬ they talked about"Papa£¬ and then they cried all together£®
The widow£¬ meanwinle£¬ was given permission to stay in hergarret flat£¬rent-free£¬during the first year£¬and afterward she was to pay only a small rent£® The grandmother stayed with the mother£¬ who supported herself by washing forseveral"single£¬ elegant gentlemen£¬"as she called them£®Peer had neither sorrow nor want£® He had plenty of food and drink£¬ and Grandmother told him stories£¬ such strangeand wonderful ones about the wide world £¬that he asked her£¬one day£¬ if the two of them might not go to foreign lands some Sunday and return home as prince and princess£¬ wearing gold crowns£®
"I am too old for that£¬"said Grandmother£¬"and youmust first learn a good many things and become big and strong£» but you must always be a good and affectionate child¡ªas you are now£®"
Peer rode around the room on hobbyhorses£» he had two such horses£® But the mer- chant's son had a real live horse£» it was so small that it might well have been called a baby horse£¬ which£¬ in fact£¬ Peer called it£¬ and it never could become any bigger£®Fe£ lix rode it in the yard£» yes£¬ and he even rode it outside the gate£¬when his father and a riding master from the king's stable were with him£®For the first half£hour£¬ Peer had not liked his horses and hadn't ridden them£¬ for they were not real£» and then he had asked his mother why he could not have a real horse like little Felix had£¬ and his mother had said£¬"Felix lives down onthe first floor£¬ close by the stables£¬ but you live high upunder the roof£® One cannot have horses up in the garret ex£cept like those you have£® You should ride on them£®"
And so now Peer rode¡ªfirst to the chest of drawers£¬the great mountain with its many treasures£»both Peter'sSunday clothes and his mother's were there£¬ and there were the shining silver dollars that she laid aside for rent£»then he rode to the stove£¬which he called the black bear£»it slept all summer long£¬but when winter came it had to be useful£¬ to warm the room and cook the meals£®
Peer had a godfather who usually came there every Sunday during the winter and got a good warm meal£®
Things had gone wrong for him£¬ said the mother and the grandmother£® He had begun as a coachman£®He had been drinking and had fallen asleep at his post£¬ and that neither a soldier nor a coachman should do£® He then had become acabman and driven a cab£¬ or sometimes a carriage£¬ and of£ten for very elegant people£®But now he drove a garbage wagon and went from door to door£¬ swinging his rattle£¬ "snurre£rurre£ud£¡"and from all the houses came the ser£ vantgirls and housewives with their buckets full£¬ and turned these into the wagon£»rubbish and junk£¬ ashes and sweep£ings£¬ were all thrown in£®
One day Peer came down from the garret after his mother had gone to town£® He stood at the open gate£¬ andthere outside was Godfather with his wagon£®"Would you like to take a drive£¿" he asked£® Yes£¬ Peer was willing to indeed£¬but only as far as the corner£® His eyes shone as he sat on the seat with Codfather and was allowed to hold the whip£®Peer drove with real live horses£¬drove right to the corner£® Then his mother came along£» she looked rather du£ bious£¬ for it was not very nice to see her own little son rid-ing on a garbage wagon£®She told him to get down at once£®
Still£¬she thanked Godfather£»but at home she forbade Peer to drive with him again£®
One day he again went down to the gate£® There was no Codfather there to tempt him with a drive£¬ but therewere other temptations£® Three or four small street urchinswere down in the gutter£¬poking about to see what they could find that had been lost or had hidden itself there£®Frequently they had found a button or a copper coin£¬but frequently£¬ too£¬ they had cut themselves on a broken bot£ tle£¬ or pricked themselves with a pin£¬ which just now was the case£®Peer simply had to join them£¬ and when he got down among the gutter stones he found a silver coin£®
Another day he was again down digging with the other boys£» they only got dirty fingers £» he found a gold ring£¬ andthen£¬with sparkling eyes£¬ showed off his lucky find£»whereupon the others threw dirt at him and called himLucky Peer£®They wouldn't permit him to be with them any more when they poked in the gutter£®
Back of the merchant's yard there was some low ground that was to be filled up for building lots£»graveland ashes were carted and dumped out there£¬great heaps of it£® Godfather helped deliver it in his wagon£¬ but Peerwas not allowed to drive with him£® The street urchins dug in the heaps£¬ dug with a stick and with their bare hands£»they always found one thing or another that seemed worth Picking up£®
Then little Peer came along£® They saw him and cried£¬"Get away from here£¬Lucky Peer£¡"And when£¬ despite this£¬ he came closer£¬ they threw lumps of dirt athim£® One of these struck against his wooden shoe and crumbled to pieces£® Something shining rolled out£¬ and Peer picked it up£» it was a little heart made of amber£® Heran home with it£® The other boys did not notice that even when they threw dirt at him he was a child of luck£®
The silver coin he had found was put away in his savings bank£® The ring and the amber heart were shown to the merchant's wife downstairs£¬ because the mother want-ed to know if they were lost articles that should be returned to the police£®
How the eyes of the merchant's wife shone on see£ing the ring£¡ It was her own engagement ring£¬ one that she bad lost three years before£¡ That's how long it hadlain in the gutter£® Peer was well rewarded£¬ and the money rattled in his little box£® The amber heart was a cheap thing£¬ the lady said£»Peer might just as well keep that£®
At night the amber heart lay on the bureau£¬and the grandmother lay in bed£®
"My£¬ what is it that burns so£¡" she said£®"It looksas if a small candle is lighted there£®"She got up to see£¬and it was the little heart of amber¡ªyes£¬Grandmother£¬ with her weak sight£¬frequently saw more than anyone else could see£®She had her own thoughts about it£®The next morning she took a narrow£¬strong ribbon£¬drew it through the opening at the top of the heart£¬ and put it around her little grandson's neck£®
"You must never take it off£¬ except to put a new ribbon into it£¬ and you must not show it to the other boys£¬ either£¬ for then they would take it from you£¬ andyou would get a stomachache£¡"That was the only painful sickness little Peer had known so far£® There was a strange power£¬ too£¬ in that heart£® Grandmother showed him that when she rubbed it with her hand£¬ and a little straw wasput next to it£¬ the straw seemed to be alive and was drawn to the heart of amber and would not let go£®
The merchant's son had a private tutor who taught him his lessons and who took walks with him£¬ too£® Peerwas also to have an education£¬ so he went to publicschool with a great number of other boys£® They played to£ gether£¬ and that was much more fun than going along with a tutor£® Peer would not have changed places with him£®
He was a lucky Peer£¬ but Godfather was also a lucky peer£¬although his name was not Peer£® He won a pnize in the lottery£¬ of two hundred dollars£¬on a ticket he shared with eleven others£® He immediately bought some better clothes£¬ and he looked very well in them£®
Luck never comes alone£» it always has company£¬ and soit did this time£®Godfather gave up the garbage wagon and joined the theater£®
"What's that£¡" said Grandmother£®"Is he going into the theater£¿ As what£¿"
As a machinist£® That was an advancement£® He be-came quite another person£» and he enjoyed the plays very much£¬ although he always saw them from the top or from the side£® Most wonderful was the ballet£¬ but that gavehim the hardest work£¬ and there was always danger of fire£® They danced both in heaven and on earth£® That was something for little Peer to see£» and one evening when there was to be a dress rehearsal of a new ballet£¬ inwhich everyone was dressed and made up as on the open£ ing night when people pay to see all the magnificence£¬ he had permission to bring Peer with him and put him in a place where he could see the whole show£®
It was a Biblical ballet¡ªSamson£® The Philistinesdanced about him£¬ and he tumbled the whole house downover them and himself£» but there were both fire engines and firemen on hand in case of any accident£®
Peer had never seen a stage play£¬ not to mention a ballet£®He put on his Sunday clothes and went with God£ father to the theater£®It was just like a great deying loft£¬with many curtains and screens£¬ big openings in the floor£¬ lamps£¬and lights£® There were so many tricky nooks and corners everywhere£¬ from which people appeared£¬ just as in a great church with its gallery pews£® Peer was seat£ed down where the floor slanted steeply and was told to stay there until it was all finished and he was sent for£®Hehad three sandwiches in his pocket£¬ so that he need notstarve£®
Soon it grew lighter and lighter£» then up in front£¬ just as if straight out of the earth£¬ there came a number ofmusicians with both flutes and violins£® In the seats next toPeer sat people dressed in street clothes£»but there also appeared knights with gold helmets£¬ beautiful maidens ingauze and flowers£¬ even angels all in white£¬ with wings on their backs£®They seated themselves upstairs and downstairs£¬ on the floor and in the balcony seats£¬ towatch what was going on£®They were all members of the ballet£¬ but Peer did not know that£® He thought they be£longed in the fairy tales his grandmother had told him about£® There then appeared a woman£¬ and she was themost beautiful of all£¬ with a gold helmet and spear£» she seemed to be above all the others£¬ and sat between an an£gel and a troll£® Ah£¬ how much there was to see£¡ And yet the ballet bad not even begun£®
Suddenly everything became quiet£®A man dressed in black moved a little fairy wand over all the musicians£¬ and then they began to play£» the music made a whistling sound through the theater£¬ and the whole wall in front be- gan to rise£®One looked into a flower garden£¬ where the sun shone and all the people danced and leaped£® Such a wonderful sight Peer had never imagined£® There weresoldiers marching£¬ and there was war£¬ and there was a banquet£¬ and there were the mighty Samson and his lover£®
But she was as wicked as she was beautiful£» she betrayed him£® The Philistines plucked his eyes out£» he was forced togrind in the mill and to be mocked and insulted in the great house£» it fell£¬ and there burst forth wonderful flames of redand green fire£®
Peer could have sat there his whole life long and looked on£¬ even if the sandwiches were all eaten¡ªand they were all eaten£®
Now here was something to tell about£¬ when he gothome£®It was impossible to get him to go to bed£®He stood on one leg and laid the other on the table¡ªthat was what Samson's lover and all the other ladies had done£® He madea treadmill out of Grandmother's chair and upset two chairsand a pillow over himself to show how the banquet hall had come down£®He showed this¡ªyes£¬and he even presented it with the music that belonged to it£»there was no talking in the ballet£® He sang high and low£¬[with words andwithout words£¬] and it was quite incoherent£® It was like awhole opera£® The most noticeable thing of all£¬ meanwhile£¬was his beautiful£¬ bell£clear voice£¬ but no one spoke ofthat£®
Peer previously had wanted to be a grocer's boy£¬ tobe in charge of prunes and powdered sugar£® Now he foundthere was something much more wonderful£¬ and that was toget into the Samson story and dance in the ballet£® A great many poor children had taken that road£¬ said the grand£mother£¬ and had become fine and honored people£» yet no little girl of her family would ever be permitted to do so£»but a boy¡ªwell£¬ he stood more firmly£® Peer had not seen a single one of the little girls fall down before the whole house fell£¬ and then they all fell together£¬ he said£®
Peer wanted to£¬and felt he must£¬be a ballet dancer£®
"He gives me no rest£¡"said his mother£®
At last£¬ his grandmother promised to take him to theballet master£¬ who was a fine gentleman and had his ownhouse£¬ like the merchant£® Would Peer ever be that rich£¿Nothing is impossible for our Lord£®Peer had been born with a gold apple£» luck had been laid in his hands¡ªper£haps it was also in his legs£®
Peer went to the ballet master and knew him at once£»it was Samson himself£®His eyes had not suffered atall at the hands of the Philistines£® That was only acting inthe play£¬ he was told£® And Samson looked kindly and pleasantly at him£¬ and told him to stand up straight£¬ lookright at him£¬ and show him his ankle£®Peer showed his whole foot and leg£¬ too£®
"So be got a place in the ballet£¬"said Grandmother£®
This was easily arranged with the ballet master£»
but before that£¬ his mother and grandmother had spo£ ken with several understanding people¡ªfirst with the merchant's wife£¬ who thought it a good career for ahandsome£¬ bonest boy like Peer£¬ but without any fu£ ture£® Then they had spoken with Miss Frandsen£» she knew all about the ballet£¬ and at one time£¬ in Grand-mother's younger days£¬ she had been the most beauti£ful danseuse at the theater£» she had danced goddesses and princesses£¬ had been cheered and applauded wher£ever she had gone£» but then she had grown older¡ªweall do¡ªand so no longer had she been given principal parts£» she'd had to dance behind the younger ones£»and when finally her dancing days had come to an end£¬ she had become a wardrobe woman and dressed the others as goddesses and princesses£®
"So it goes£¡"said Miss Frandsen£®"The theater road is a delightful one to travel£¬ but it is full of thorns£®Jealousy grows there£¡Jealousy£¡"
That was a word Peer did not understand at all£»but he came to understand it in time£®
"No force or power can keep him from the bal£ let£¬"said his mother£®
"A pious Christian child£¬that he is£¬"said Grandmother£®
"And well brought up£¬"said Miss Frandsen£®
"Well formed and moral£¡ That I was in my heyday£®"
And so Peer went to the dancing school and got some summer clothes and thin£soled dancing shoes to make himself lighter£®All the older girl dancers kissed him and said that he was a boy good enough to eat£®
He had to stand up£¬ stick his legs out£¬ and hold on to a post so as not to fall£¬ while he leaned to kick£¬ firstwith his right leg£¬ then with his left£® It was not nearly sodifficult for him as it was for most of the others£¬ The bal£let master patted him and said that he would soon be in the ballet£» he was to play the child of a king who was carried on shields and wore a gold crown£® This was prac£ticed at the dancing school and rehearsed at the theater itself£®
The mother and grandmother had to see little Peer in all his glory£¬ and when they saw this£¬ they both cried£¬ al£though it was such a happy occasion£® Peer£¬ in all his pomp and glory£¬ did not see them at all£» but he did see the mer£chant's family£¬ who sat in the loge nearest the stage£®LittleFelix was with them£¬[in his best clothes£®]He wore but£ toned gloves£¬just like a grown£up gentleman£¬ and although he could see perfectly well£¬he looked through an opera glass the whole evening£¬ just like a grown£up gentleman£®
He looked at Peer£¬ and Peer looked at him£» Peer was a king's child with a crown of gold£® This evening brought thetwo children into closer relationship with one another£®
A few days later£¬when they met each other at home in the yard£¬Felix went up to Peer and told him he had seen him when he was a prince£® He knew very well that he was not a prince any longer£¬ but then he had worn a prince's clothes and a gold crown£®"I shall wear them again on Sunday£¬"said Peer£®
Felix did not see him Sunday£¬ but he thought about it the whole evening£®He would have liked very much to have been in Peer's place£» he had not heard Miss Frandsen'swarning that the road of the theater was a thorny one and that jealousy grew along it£» nor did Peer know this yet£¬ buthe would very soon learn it£®
His young companions£¬the dancing children£¬were not all so good as they ought to be£¬ although they often played angels and had wings on them£® There was a little girl£¬ Malle Knallerup£¬who always¡ªwhen she was dressedas a page£¬ and Peer was a page¡ªstepped maliciously on the side of his foot£¬ so as to dirty his stockings£® Therewas a wicked boy who always was sticking pins in his back£» and one day he ate Peer's sandwiches¡ªby mis£take£» but that was impossible£¬ for Peer had meat balls onhis sandwiches£¬ and the other boy had only bread withoutbutter£» he could not have made a mistake£®
It would be impossible to recite all the annoyances that Peer endured in two years£¬and the worst was yet to come£®
There was a ballet per£ formed called The Vampire£®
In it the smallest dancing children were dressed as bats£¬ wore gray£¬knitted tights that fitted snugly to their bodies£»
black gauze wings were stretched from their shoulders£®
They were to run on tiptoe£¬ as if they were light enough to fly£¬ and then they wete to whirl around on the floor£®
Peer could do this especially well£»but his trousers and jacket£¬all of one piece£¬were old and worn and could not stand the strain£®So just as he whirled around before the eyes of all the people£¬ there was a rip right down his back£¬ straight from his neck down to where the legs are fastenedin£¬ and all of his short£¬ white shirt could be seen£® Allthe people laughed£®Peer felt it and£¬knew what had hap£ pened£» he whirled and whirled£¬ but it grew worse andworse£®People laughed louder and louder£»the other vam£ pires laughed with them£¬and whirled into him£¬and all the more dreadfully when the people clapped and shouted£¬ "Bravo£¡"
"That is for the ripped vampire£¡"said the dancing chil£dren£®And from then on they always called him Rippy£®
Peer cried£® Miss Frandsen comforted him£®"It is only jealousy£¬"she said£» and now Peer knew what jealousywas£®
Besides the dancing school£¬ they had a regular school at the theater where the cinldren were taught arithmetic and writing£¬history and geography¡ªyes£¬ and they even had a teacher in religion£¬ for it is not enough to know how to dance£»there is something more important in the world than wearing out dancing shoes£® Here£¬ too£¬ Peer was quick£¬ the very quickest of all£¬ and got plenty of good marks£»but hisfellow students still called him Rippy£® They were only teas£ ing him£»but at last he could not stand it any longer£¬and he swung and hit one of the boys£¬ so that he was black and blue under the left eye and had to have grease paint on it in the evening when he appeared in the ballet£®Peer got a scolding from the dancing master£¬and a worse one from the sweeping woman£¬ for it was her son he had"given asweeping£®"
A good many thoughts went through little Peer's head£® And one Sunday£¬ when he was dressed in his bestclothes£¬ he went out without saying a word about it to hismother or his grandmother£¬ not even to Miss Frandsen£¬ who always gave him good advice£» he went straight to the or£chestra conductor£» he thought this man was the most impor£ tant one there was outside the ballet£® Cheerfully he stepped in and said£¬"I am at the dancing school£¬ but there is so much jealousy there£¬and so I would rather be a player or a singer£¬ if you would help me£¬ please£®"
"Have you a voice£¿"asked the conductor£¬ and looked quite pleasantly at him£®"Seems to me I know you£® Where have I seen you before£¿ Wasn't it you who was ripped down the back£¿" And now he laughed£® But Peer grew red£»he was surely no longer Lucky Peer£¬ as his grandmother had called him£®He looked down at his feet and wished he were far away£®
"Sing me a song£¡"said the conductor£®"Come now£¬cheer up£¬ my boy£¡"And he tapped him under the chin£¬and Peer looked up into his kind eyes and sang a song£¬ "Mercy for Me£¬"which he had heard at the theater£¬in the opera Robert le Diable£®
"That is a difficult song£¬but you did it pretty well£¬"
said the conductor£®"You have an excellent voice¡ªas long as it doesn't rip in the back£¡"And he laughed and calledhis wife£® She also had to hear Peer sing£¬ and she nodded her head and said something in a foreign tongue£®Just at that moment the singing master of the theater came in£»itwas really to him Peer should have gone if he wanted to be a singer£» now the singing master came to him£¬quite acci£ dentally£¬ as it were£» he also heard him sing"Mercy for Me£¬" but he did not laugh£¬ and he did not look so kindlyat him as the conductor and his wife£» still it was decided that Peer should have singing lessons£®
"Now he is on the right track£¬"said Miss Frandsen£®
"One gets much farther with a voice than with legs£® If I had had a voice£¬ I would have been a great songstress andwould perhaps have been a baroness by now£®"
"Or a bookbinder's wife£¬" said Mother£®"Had you become rich£¬ you surely would have taken the book£ binder£®"
We do not understand that hint£¬ but Miss Frandsendid£®
Peer had to sing for her and sing for the merchant's family£¬ when they heard of his new career£® He was calledin one evening wnen they had company downstairs£¬ ana hesang several songs£¬ among them"Mercy for Me£®"All the company clapped their hands£¬and Felix did£¬too£»he had heard him sing before£» in the stable Peer had sung the en£tire ballet of Samson£¬ and that was the most delightful of all£®
"One cannot sing a ballet£¬"said the lady£®
"Yes£¬ Peer can£¬"said Felix£¬ and so they asked him to do it£® He sang£¬ and he talked£» he drummed and hehummed£»it was child's play£¬but fragments of well£known melodies came forth which really illustrated what the ballet was about£® All the company found it very entertaining£»they laughed and praised it£¬ one louder than another£®
The merchant's wife gave Peer a huge piece of cake and a silver dollar£®
How lucky the boy felt£¬ until he discovered a gen£tleman who stood somewhat in the background£¬ and wholooked sternly at him£® There was something harsh and se£ vere in the man's black eyes£» he did not laugh£»he didnot speak a single friendly word£» this gentleman was the singing master from the theater£®
Next forenoon£¬ Peer went to him£¬ and he stoodthere quite as severe£looking as before£®
"What was the matter with you yesterday£¡"he said£®
"Could you not understand that they were making a fool of you£¿Never do that again£¬and don't you go running about and singing at doors£¬ either inside or outside£® Nowyou can go£®I won't give you any singing lesson today£®"
When Peer left£¬he was dreadfully downcast£» he had fallen out of the master's good graces£® On the contrary£¬the master was really more satisfied with him than ever before£® In all the absurdity which he had seen him per£ form£¬ there was really some meaning£¬ something quite unusual£® The boy had an ear for music£¬ and a voice asclear as a bell and of great compass£» if it continued likethat£¬ then the little fellow's fortune was made£®
Now began the singing lessons£®Peer was industrious and Peer was clever£® How much there was to learn£¬ howmuch to know£¡ The mother toiled and slaved to make an honest living£¬ so that her son might be well dressed and neat and not look too shabby among the people to whom he now was invited£® He was always singing and jubilant£»
they had no need at all of a canary bird£¬ the mother said£®Every Sunday he had to sing a psalm with his grandmoth£ er£® It was delightful to hear his fresh voice lift itself upwith hers£®"It is much more beautiful than to hear him sing wildly£¡"That's what she called his singing when£¬ like a little bird£¬ his voice jubilantly gave forth with tonesthat seemed to come of themselves and make such music as they pleased£® What tones there were in his little throat£¬ what wonderful sounds in his little breast£¡ In£ deed£¬ he could imitate a whole orchestra£® There wereboth flute and bassoon in his voice£¬ and there were violinand bugle£® He sang as the birds sing£» but man's voice is much more charming£¬ even a little man's£¬ when he cansing like Peer£®
But in the winter£¬ just as he was to go to the pastor to be prepared for confirmation£¬ he caught cold£» the littlebird in his breast said£¬ pip£¡ The voice was ripped like thevampire's back£piece£®
"It is no great misfortune£¬after all£¬"thought Moth£ er and Grandmother£®"Now he doesn't go singing£¬ tra£la£¬ so he can think more seriously about his religion£®"
His voice was changing£¬ the singing master said£®Peer must not sing at all now£® How long would it be£¿ Ayear£¬ perhaps two£» perhaps the voice would never comeagain£®That was a great grief£®
"Think only of your confirmation now£¬"said Mother and Grandmother£®"Practice your music£¬"said the singing master£¬"but keep your mouth shut£®"
He thought of his religion£¬and he studied his mu£ sic£»it sang and resounded within him£® He wrote entire melodies down in notes£¬ songs without words£® Finally he wrote the words£¬ too£®
"You ale a poet£¬too£¬little Peer£¬"said the mer£ chant's wife£¬ to whom he carried his text and music£®Themerchant received a piece of music dedicated to him£¬ a piece without words£®Felix got one£¬ too£» and£¬yes£¬ MissFrandsen also did£¬and that went into her scrapbook£¬in which were verses and music by two who were once young lieutenants but now were old majors on half pay£» the book had been given by"a friend£¬"who had bound it himself£®
And Peer was confirmed at Easter£®Felix presented him with a silver watch£® It was the first watch Peer had owned£» he felt that this made him a man£¬ for now he didnot have to ask others what time it was£®Felix came up to the garret£¬ congratulated him£¬ and handed him thewatch£» he himself was not to be confirmed until the au£ tumn£® They took each other by the hand£¬these two chil- dren of the house£¬both the same age£¬born the same day and in the same house£®And Felix ate a piece of the cake that had been baked in the garret for the occasion of the confirmation£®
"It is a happy day with solemn thoughts£¬"saidGrandmother£®
"Yes£¬very solemn£¡"said Mother£®"If only Father had lived to see Peer today£¡"
The following Sunday all three of them went to Com£munion£® When they came home from church they found a message from the singing master£¬ asking Peer to come tosee him£» and Peer went£® Some good news awaited him£¬and yet it was serious£¬ too£® While he must give up singingfor a year£¬ and his voice must lie fallow like a field£¬ as apeasant might say£¬during that time he was to further hiseducation£¬not in the capital£¬ where every evening he wouldbe running to the theater£¬ from which he could not keepaway£¬ but he was to go one hundred and twenty miles fromhome£¬ to board with a schoolmaster who boarded a coupleof other young men£® There he was to learn language andscience£¬ which someday would be useful to him£¬ The charge for a year's coirse was three hundred dollars£¬ andthat was paid by a"benefactor who does not wish hisname to be known£®"
"It is the merchant£¬"said Mother and Grandmother£®
The day of departure came£®A good many tears were shed£¬ and kisses and blessings given£» and then Peer rodethe hundred and twenty miles on the railway£¬ out into thewide world£® It was Whitsuntide£® The sun shone£¬ and thewoods were fresh and green£» the train went rushing through them£»new fields and villages were continually coming into view£» country manors peeped out£» the cattle stood in the pastures£® Now they passed a station£¬ then another£¬and market town after market town£®At each stopping place there was a crowd of people£¬ welcoming or saying good£by£» there was noisy talking£¬ outside and inthe carriages£®Where Peer sat there was a lot of entertain£ ment and chattering by a widow dressed in black£® She talked about his grave£¬ his coffin£¬and his corpse¡ªmean£ ing her child's£® It had been such a poor little thing thatthere could have been no happiness for it had it lived£® It had been a great relief for her and the little lamb when it had fallen asleep£®
"I spared no expense on flowers on that occasion£¡"
she said£»"and you must remember that it died at a veryexpensive time£¬ when the flowers had to be cut from pot£ted plants£¡ Every Sunday I went to my grave and laid a wreath on it with great white silk bows£» the silk bows were immediately stolen by some little girls and used for dancing bows£» they were so tempting£¡One Sunday I wentthere£¬ and I knew that my grave was on the left of themain path£¬ but when I got there£¬ there was my grave onthe right£®'How is this£¿' says I to the gravedigger£®'Isn't my grave on the left£¿'
"'No£¬it isn't any longer£¡'the gravedigger an£ swered£®'Madam's grave lies there all right£¬but the mound has been moved over to the right£» that placebelongs to another man's grave£®'
"'But I want my corpse in my grave£¬'says I£¬'andI have a perfect right to say so£®Shall I go and decorate a false mound£¬ when my corpse lies without any sign on theother side£¿Indeed I won't£¡'
"'Then Madam must talk to the dean£®'
"He is such a good man£¬ that dean£¡ He gave me per£ mission to have my corpse on the right£®It would cost five dollars£® I gave that with a kiss of my hand and walked back to my old grave£®'Can I now be very sure that it is my own coffin and my corpse that is moved£¿'
"'That Madam can£¡' And so I gave each of the men a coin for the moving£® But now£¬ since it had cost so much£¬I thought I should spend something to make it beautiful£¬ and so I ordered a monument with an inscription£® But¡ª
will you believe it¡ªwhen I got it£¬ there was a gilded but£ terfly painted at the top£®'Why£¬ that means Frivolity£¬'
said I£®'I won't have that on my glave£®'
"'It is not Frivolity£¬ Madam£» it is Immortality£®'
"' I never heard that£¬' said I£®Now£¬ have any of youhere in the carriage ever heard of a butterfly as a sign for anything but Frivolity£¿ I kept quiet£® I don't like long con£versations£® I composed myself£¬ and put the monument away in my pantry£®There it stood till my lodger came home£®He is a student and haa so many£¬ many books£® He assured methat it really stood for Immortality£¬and so the monument was placed on the grave£®"
And during all the chatter£¬ Peer arrived at the station of the town where he was to live£¬ and become just as wiseas the student£¬ and have just as many books£®
Herr Gabriel£¬ the honorable man of learning withwhom Peer was to live as a boarding scholar£¬ was at therailway station£¬ to call for him£® Herr Cabriel was a man asthin as a skeleton£¬ with great£¬ shiny eyes that stuck out sovery far that one was almost afraid that when he sneezed they would pop out of his head entirely£®He was accompa£ nied by three of his own little boys£» one of them stumbledover his own legs£¬ and the other two stepped all over Peer's feet in their eagerness to get a close view of him£®Two larger boys were with them£¬ the older about fourteenyears£¬ fair£skinned£¬ freckled£¬ and full of pimples£®
"Young Madsen£¬ who will be a student in aboutthree years£¬if he studies£¡ Primus£¬ son of a dean£®"Thatwas the younger£¬ who looked like a head of wheat£®"Bothare boarders£¬ studying with me£¬"said Herr Gabriel£®"Oursmall stuff£¬" he called his own boys£®
"Trine£¬bring the newcomer's trunk on your wheel- barrow£® The table is set for you at home£®"
"Stuffed turkey£¡" said the other two young gentle£men boarders£®
"Stuffed turkey£¡" said the"small stuff"£» and againone of them fell over his own legs£®
"Caesar£¬look after your feet£¡"exclaimed Herr Gabriel£®
And they walked into town and then out of it£® Therestood a great half-tumbled£down timber house£¬ with a jas£mine£covered summerhouse£¬facing the road£® Here MadamGabriel waited with more"small stuff£¬"two little girls£®
"The new pupil£¬" said Herr Gabriel£®
"A most hearty welcome£¡" said Madam Gabriel£¬ ayouthful£¬ well£fed woman£¬ red and white£¬ with spit curlsand a lot of pomade on her hair£®
"Good heavens£¬how grown£up you are£¡"she said toPeer£®"Why£¬ you are a fully developed gentleman al- ready£® I thought that you were like Primus or young Mad-sen£®Angel Gabriel£¬ it's a good thing the inner door isnailed£® You know what I think£®"
"Nonsense£¡"said Herr Gabriel£® And they stepped into the room£® There was a novel on the table£¬lying open£¬and a sandwich on it£®One might have thought that it had been placed there as a bookmark¡ªit lay across theopen page£®
"Now I must be the housewife£¡"And with all five ofher children£¬ and the two boarders£¬ she showed Peer through the kitchen£¬ and the hallway£¬and into a littleroom£¬ the windows of which looked out on the garden£»that was to be his study and bedroom£»it was next to Madam Gabriel's room£¬ where she slept with all the fivechildren£» the connecting door£¬ for decency's sake£¬ and toprevent gossip"which spares nobody£¬"had been nailed up by Herr Gabriel that very day£¬at Madam's express re£ quest£®
"Here you can live just as if you were at your par£ ents'£® We have a theater£¬ too£¬ in the town£®The pharma- cist is the director of a private company£¬and we have trav£ eling players But now you are going to have your turkey£®"
And so she showed Peer into the dining room£¬ where the wash was drying on a line£®
"That doesn't do any harm£¬" she said£®"It is only cleanliness£¬ and that you are surely accustomed to£®"
So Peer sat down to eat the roast turkey£¬ while thechildren of the house£¬ but not the two boarders£¬ who hadwithdrawn£¬gave a dramatic show for the entertainment of themselves and the stranger£® There had lately been a trav£eling company of actors in town£¬which had played Schiller's The Robbers£® The two oldest boys had been im£ mensely taken with it£® And they now performed the whole play at home¡ªall the parts£¬ notwithstanding that they re-membered only these words£º"Dreams come from the stom£ ach£®"But they were spoken by all the characters in differ£ ent tones of voice£®There stood Amelia£¬with heavenly eyes and a dreamy look£®"Dreams come from the stomach£¡"she said£¬ and covered her face with both her hands£® Carl Moorcame forward with a heroic stride and manly voice£¬ "Dreams come from the stomach£¬" and at that the wholeflock of children£¬ boys and girls£¬rushed in£» they were allrobbers£¬and murdered one another£¬ crying out£¬"Dreams come from the stomach£®"
That was Schiller's The Robbers£® This performance and stuffed turkey were Peer's first introduction into HerrGabriel's house£® He then went to his little chamber£¬ wherethrough the window£¬ into which the sun shone warmly£¬ he could see the garden£®He sat down and looked out£®Herr Gabriel was walking there£¬ absorbed in reading a book£® Hecame closer and looked in£» his eyes seemed fixed upon Peer£¬who bowed respectfully£®Herr Gabriel opened his mouth as wide as he would£¬ stuck out his tongue£¬ and letit wag from one side to the other right in the face of theastonished Peer£¬who could not understand why he wastreated in such a manner£®Whereupon Herr Gabriel left£¬but then turned back to the window and again stuck histongue out of his mouth£®
Why did he do that£¿He was not thinking of Peer£¬or that the panes of glass were transparent from the out£side£»he saw only the reflection of himself in them£¬andhe wanted to look at his tongue£¬as he had a stomach-ache£¬but Peer did not know all this£®
Early in the evening Herr Gabriel went into hisroom£¬and Peer sat in his£®Much later in the evening heheard quarreling£female quarreling£in Madam Gabriel'sbedroom£®
"I am going up to Gabriel and tell him what rascalsyou are£¡"
£Û"We will also go to Gabriel and tell him whatMadam is£¡"£Ý "I shall have a fit£¡"she cried£®
"Who wants to see a woman in a fit£¡Four shillings£¡"
Then Madam's voice sank deeper£¬but was distinct£ly heard£®"What will the young man in there think of ourhouse when he hears all this vulgarity£¡"At that the quar-rel subsided£¬but then again rose louder and louder£®
"Period£¡Finis£¬"cried Madam£®"Go and make thepunch£»it's better to agree than to quarrel£¡"
And then it was still£®The door opened£¬and thegirls left£¬and then Madam knocked on the door to Peer'sroom£®
"Young man£¬now you have some idea of what it isto be a housewife£®You should thank heaven that youdon't have to bother with girls£®I want to have peace£¬soI give them punch£®I would gladly give you a glass-onesleeps so well after it-but no one dares go through thehallway door after ten o'clock£»my Gabriel will not permitit£®But you shall have some punch£¬nevertheless£®There isa big hole in the door£¬stopped up with putty£»I will pushthe putty out and put a funnel through the hole£»you holdyour waterglass under it£¬and I shall pour you some punch£®Keep it a secret£¬even from my Gabriel£®You must notworry him with household affairs£®"
And so Peer got his punch£¬and there was peace inMadam Gabriel's room£¬ peace and quiet in the wholehouse£®Peer went to bed£¬thought of his mother and grand-mother£¬said his evening prayer£¬and fell asleep£®What onedreams the first night one sleeps in a strange house hasspecial significance£¬Grandmother had said£®Peer dreamedthat he took the amber heart£¬which he still constantlywore£¬laid it in a flowerpot£¬and it grew into a great tree£¬up through the ceiling and the roof£»it bore thousands ofhearts of silver and gold£¬so heavy that the flowerpotbroke£¬and it was no longer an amber heart-it had be-come mold£¬earth to earth-gone£¬gone forever£¡Then Peerawoke£»he still had the amber heart£¬and it was warm£¬warm against his own warm heart£®
Early in the morning the first study hours began atHerr Gabriel's£®They studied French£®At lunch the onlyones present were the boarders£¬the children£¬and Madam£®She drank her second cup of coffee here£»her first she al-ways took in bed£®"It is so healthy when one is liable tospasms£®She asked Peer what he had studied that day£®
"It is an expensive language£¡"She said£®"It is thelanguage of diplomats and one used by distinguished peo£ple£®I did not study it in my childhood£¬but when one ismarried to a learned man one gains from his knowledge£¬asone gains from his mother's milk£®Thus£¬I have all thenecessary words£®I am quite sure I would know how to ex£press myself in whatever company I happened to be£®"
Madam had acquireed a foreign name by her marriagewith a learned man£®She had been baptized Mette after arich aunt£¬whose heir she was to have been£®She had gotthe name£¬but not the inheritance£®Herr Gabriel rebaptizedMette as Meta£¬the Latin word for measure£®At the time ofher wedding£¬all her clothes£¬woolen and linen£¬weremarked with the letters M£®G£®£¬Meta Gabriel£»but youngMadsen£¬who was a witty boy£¬interpreted the letters M£®G£®to be a mark meaning"most good£¬"and he added abig guestion mark in ink£¬on the tablecloths£¬the towels£¬and the sheets£®
"Don't you like Madam£¿asked Peer£¬when youngMadsen made him privately acquainted with this joke£®"She is so kind£¬and Herr Gabriel is so learned£®"
"She is a bag of lies£¡"said young Madsen£»"andHerr Gabriel is a scoundrel£®If I were only a corporal£¬and he a recruit£¬oh£¬how I would discipline him£¡"And abloodthirsty expression came to young Madsen's face£»hislips grew narrower than usual£¬and his whole face seemedone great freckle£®
There were terrible words to hear£¬and they gavePeer a shock£»yet young Madsen had the clearest right tothink that way£®It was a cruel thing on the part of parentsand teachers that a fellow had to waste his best time£¬de£lightful youth£¬on learning grammar£¬names£¬and dates£¬which nobody cares anything about£¬instead of enjoyinghis liberty relaxing£¬and wandering about with a gun overhis shoulder like a good hunter£®"No£¬one has to be shutin and sit on a bench and look sleepily at a book£»HerrGabriel wants that£®And then one is called lazy and getsthe mark'passable'£»yes£¬one's parents get letters aboutit£»that's why Herr Gabriel is a scoundrel£®"
"He gives lickings£¬too£¬"added little Primus£¬whoagreed with young Madsen£®This was not very pleasant forPeer to hear£®But Peer got no lickings£»he was too grown£up£¬as Madam had said£®He was not called lazy£¬either£¬for that he was not£®He had his lessons alone£®He wassoon well ahead of Madsen and Primus£®
"He has ability£¡"said Herr Gabriel£®
"And one can see that he has been to dancingschool£¡"said Madam£®
"We must have him in our dramatic club£¬"saidthe pharmacist£¬who lived more for the town's privatetheater than for his pharmacy£®Malicious people appliedto him the old stale joke that he must have been bittenby a mad actor£¬for he was completely insane about thetheater£®
"The young student was born for a lover£¬"said thepharmacist£®"In a couple of years he could be Romeo£»andI believe that if he were well made up£¬and we put a littlemustache on him£¬he could very well appear this winter£®"
The pharmacist's daughter-"great dramatic talent£¬"said the father£»"true beauty£¬"said the mother£was to beJuliet£»Madam Gabriel had to be the nurse£¬and the phar-macist£¬who was both director and stage manager£¬wouldtake the role of the apothecary£¬which was small but ofgreat importance£®Everything depended on Herr Gabriel'spermission for Peer to play Romeo£®This had to be workedthrough Madam Gabriel£»one had to know how to win herover-and this the pharmacist knew£®
"You were born to be the nurse£¬"he said£¬andthought that he was flattering her exceedingly£®"That is ac£tually the most important part in the play£¬"he continued£®"It is the comedy role£»without it£¬the play would be toosad to sit through£®No one but you£¬Madam Gabriel£¬hasthe quickness and life that should sparkle here£®"
All very trne£¬she agreed£¬but her husband wouldsurely never permit the young student to contribute whatev-er time would be required to play the part of Romeo£®Shepromised£¬however£¬to"pump"him£¬as she called it£®Thepharmacist immediately began to study his part£¬and espe£cially to think about his make-up£®He wanted to look al£most like a skeleton£¬a poor£¬miserable fellow£¬and yet aclever man-a rather difficult problem£®But Madam Gabrielhad a much harder one in"pumping "her husband to givehis permission£®He could not£¬he said£¬answer for it toPeer's guardians£¬who paid for his schooling and board£¬ifhe permitted the young man to play in tragedy£®We cannotconceal the fact£¬however£¬that Peer had the greatest desireto do it£®"But it won't work£¬"he said£®
"It's working£¬"said Madam£»"only let me keep onpumping£®"She would have given him punch£¬but HerrGabriel did not like to drink it£®Married people are oftendifferent£»this is said without any offense to Madam£®
"One glass and no more£¬"she thought£®"It elevatesthe mind and makes one happy£¬and that's what we oughtto be-it is our Lord's with us£®"
Peer was to be Romeo£»that was pumped through byMadam£®The rehearsals were held at the pharmacist's£®They had chocolate and"genii"-that is to say£¬smallbiscuits£®These were sold at the bakery£¬twelve for a pen£ny£¬and they were so exceedingly small£¬and there wereso many£¬that it was considered witty to call them genii£®
"It is an easy matter to make fun£¬"said HerrGabriel£¬although he himself often gave nicknames to onething and another£®He called the pharmacist's house"Noah's ark£¬with its clean and unclean beasts"£¬andthat was only because of the affection which was shown bythat family toward their pet animals£®The young lady hadher own cat£¬Graciosa£¬which was pretty and soft£skinned£»it would lie in the window£¬in her lap£¬on hersewing work£¬or run over the table spread for dinner£®Thewife had a poultry yard£¬a duck yard£¬a parrot£¬and ca£nary birds-and Polly could outcry them all together£®Twodogs£¬Flick and Flock£¬walked about in the living room£»they were by no means perfume bottles£¬and they lay onthe sofa and on the family bed£®
The rehearsal began£¬and it was only interrupted amoment by the dogs slobbering over Madam Gabriel's newgown£¬but that was out of pure friendship and it did notspot it£®The cat also caused a slight disturbance£»it in£sisted on giving its paw to Juliet and sitting on her headand wagging its tail£®Juliet's tender speeches were divid£ed equally between cat and Romeo£®Every word that Peerhad to say was exactly what he wished to say to the phar£macist's daughter£®How lovely and charming she was£¬achild of nature£¬who£¬as Madam Gabriel expressed it£¬was perfect for the role£®Peer began to fall in love withher£®
There surely was instinct or something even higherin the cat£®It perched on Peer's shoulders as if to sym-bolize the sympathy between Romeo and Juliet£®With eachsuccessive rehearsal Peer's fervor became stronger£¬moreapparent£»the cat became more confidential£¬the parrotand the canary birds noisier£»Flick and Flock ran in andout£®
The evening of the performance came£¬and Peer wasa perfect Romeo£»he kissed Juliet right on her mouth£®
"Perfectly natural£¡"said Madam Gabriel£®
"Disgraceful£¡"said the Councilor£¬Herr Svendsen£¬the richest citizen and fattest man in the town£®The perspi£ration poured from him£»it was warm in the house£¬andwarm within him as well£®Peer found no favor in his eyes£®"Such a puppy£¡"he said£»"a puppy so long that one couldbreak him in half and make two puppies of him£®"
Great applause-and one enemy£¡That was havinggood luck£®Yes£¬Peer was a Lucky Peer£®Tired and over£come by the exertions of the evening and the flatteryshown him£¬he went home to his little room£®It was pastmidnight£»Madam Gabriel knocked on the wall£®
"Romeo£¡I have some punch for you£¡"
And the funnel was put through the hole in thedoor£¬and Peer Romeo held his glass under£®
"Good night£¬Madam Gabriel£®"
But Peer could not sleep£®Everything he had said£¬and particularly what Juliet had said£¬buzzed through hishead£¬and when he finally fell asleep he dreamed of awedding-a wedding with Miss Frandsen£¡What strangethings one can dream£¡
"Now get that play£acting out of your head£¬"saidHerr Gabriel the next morning£¬"and let's get busy withsome science£®
Peer had come near to thinking like young Madsen£¬that a fellow was wasting his delightful youth£¬being shutin and sitting with a book in his hand£®But when he satwith his book£¬there shone from it so many noble andgood thoughts that Peer found himself quite absorbed init£®He learned of the world's great men and theirachievements£»so many had been the children of poorpeople£ºThemistocles£¬the hero£¬son of a potter£»Shake£speare£¬a poor weaver's boy£¬who as a young man heldhorses outside the door of the theater£¬where later he wasthe mightiest man in poetic art of all countries and alltime£®He learned of the singing contest at Wartburg£¬where the poets competed to see who would produce themost beautiful poem-a contest like the old trial of theGrecian poets at the great public feasts£®Herr Gabrieltalked of these with especial delight£®Sophocles in his oldage had written one of his hest tragedies and won theaward over all the others£®In this honor and fortune hisheart broke with joy£®Oh£¬how blessed to die in the midstof one's joy of victory£¡What could be more fortunate£¡Thoughts and dreams filled our little friend£¬but he hadno one to whom he could tell them£®They would not beunderstood by young Madsen or by Primus-nor by Madam Gabriel£¬either she was either in a very good hu-mor£¬or was the sorrwing mother£¬in which case she wasdissolved in tears£®
Her two little girls looked with astonishment at her£®Neither they nor Peer could discover why she was so over£whelmed with sorrow and grief£®
"The poor children£¡"she said£®"A mother is al£ways thinking of their future£®The boys can take care ofthemselves£®Caesar fslls£¬but he gets up again£»the twoolder ones splash in the water tub£»they ought to be inthe navy£¬and would surely marry well£®But my two littlegirls£¡What will their future be£¿They will reach the agewhen the heart feels£¬and then I am sure that whoevereach of them falls in love with will not be at all afterGabriel's liking£»he will choose someone they'll despise£¬and that will make them so unhappy£®As a mother£¬Ihave to think about these things£¬and that is my sorrowand grief£®You poor children£¡You will be so unhappy£¡"She wept£®
The little girls looked at her£®Peer looked at her andfelt rather sad£»he could think of nothing to say£¬so hereturned to his little room£¬sat down at the old piano£¬andtones and fantasies came forth as they streamed throughhis heart£®
In the early morning he went to his studies with aclear mind and performed his duties£¬for someone waspaying for his schooling£®He was a conscientious£¬right£minded fellow£®In his diary he recorded each day what hehad read and studied£¬and how late he had sat up playingthe piano-always mutely£¬so that he wouldn't awakenMadam Gabriel£®It never said in his diary£¬except onSunday£¬the day of rest£¬"Thought of Juliet£¬""Was atthe pharmacist's£¬""Wrote a letter to Mother and Grand£mother£®"Peer was still Romeo and a good son£®
"Very industriously£¡"said Herr Gabriel£®"Followthat example£¬young Madsen£¡Or you'll fail£¡"
"Scoundrel£¡"said young Madsen to himself£®
Primus£¬the Dean's son£¬suffered from sleepingsickness£®"It is a disease£¬"said the Dean's wife£»he wasnot to be treated with severity£®
The deanery was only eight miles away£»wealth andcomfort were there£®
"That man will die a bishop£¬"said Madam Gabriel£®"He has good connections at the court£¬and the Deanessis a lady of noble birth£®She knows all about heraldry-that means coats of arms£®
It was Whitsuntide£®A year had passed since Peercame to Herr Gabriel's house£®He had gained muchknowledge£¬but his voice had not come back£»would itever come£¿
The Gabriel household was invited to the Dean's toa great dinner and a dall later in the evening£®A goodmany guests came from the town and from the manorhouses about£®The pharmacist's family was invited£»Romeo would see his Juliet£¬perhaps dance the first dancewith her£®
The deanery was a well£kept place£¬whitewashed£¬and without any manure heaps in the yard£¬£Ûand it had a dovecot painted green£¬around which twined an ivy vine£®£ÝThe Deaness was tall£¬corpulent woman£»"Athene£¬Glaucopis£¬"Herr Gabriel called her£»"the blue£eyed£¬"not"the ox£eyed£¬"as Juno was called£¬thought Peer£®Therewas a certain distinguished kindness about her£¬and aneffort to have an invalid look£»she probably had sleepingsickness just like Primus£®She was in a light-blue silkdress and wore great curls£»the one on the right side wasfastened with a large medallion portrait of her great-grand-mother£¬a general's wife£¬and the one on the left with anequally large bunch of grapes made of white porcelain£®
The Dean had a ruddy£¬plump face£¬with shiningwhite teeth£¬well suited to biting into a roast fillet£®Hisconversation always consisted of anecdotes£®He could con£verse with everybody£¬but no one ever succeeded in carry£ing on a conversation with him£®
The Councilor£¬too£¬was there£¬and among the strangers from the manors was Felix£¬the merchant's son£»he had been confirmed and was now a most elegant younggentleman£¬both in clothes and manners£»he was a mil£lionaire£¬they said£®Madam Gabriel did not have courageenough to speak to him£®
Peer was overjoyed at seeing Felix£¬who came tohim in a very genial manner and said that he had broughtgreetings from his parents£¬who read all the letters Peerwrote home to his mother and grandmother£®
The dancing £®The pharmacist's daughter was to dance the first dance with the Councilor£»that was apromise she had made at home to her mother and to theCouncilor£®The second dance had been promised to Peer£»but Felix came and took her with a good£natured nod£®
"Permit me to have this one dance£»the young ladywill give her permission only if you say so£®
Peer kept a polite face£»he said nothing£¬and Felixdanced with the pharmacist's daughter£¬the most beautifulgirl at the ball£®He also danced the next dance with her£®
"You will grant me the supper dance£¿"asked Peer£¬with a pale face£®
"Yes£¬the supper dance£¬"she answered with her mostcharming smile£®
"You surely will not take my partner from me£¿"saidFelix£¬who stood close by£®"That's not being very friend£ly£®We two old friends from town£¡You say that you are soglad to see me£®Then you must allow me the pleasure oftaking the lady to supper£¡"And he put his arm aroundPeer and laid his forehead jestingly against him£®"Granted£¬isn't it£¿Granted£¡"
"No£¡"said Peer£¬his eyes sparkling with anger£®
Felix gaily raised his arms and set his elbows akimbo£¬as if he were trying to look like a frog ready to leap£®"Youare Perfectly right£¬young man£¡I would say the same if thesupper dance were promised me£¬sir£¡"He drew back witha graceful bow to the young lady£®
But shortly after£¬when Peer stood in a corner and ad-justed his necktie£¬Felix returned£¬put his arm around hisneck£¬and£¬with the most coaxing look£¬said£¬"Be big-hearted£¡My mother and your mother and old grandmotherwill all say that is just like you£®I am leaving tomorrow£¬and I will be terribly bored if I do not take the young ladyto supper£®My own friend£¬my only friend£¡"
Peer£¬as his only friend£¬could not resist that£»hepersonally led Felix to the young beauty£®
It was bright morning of the next day when the guestsdrove away from the Dean's£®The Gabriel household was inone carriage£¬and the whole family went to sleep£¬exceptPeer and Madam£®
She talked about the young merchant£¬the nich man'sson£¬who was really Peer's friend£»she had heard him say£¬"Skaal£¬my friend£¡To Mother and Grandmother£¡"Therewas something so"uninhibited£¬gallant in him£¬"she said£»"one saw at once that he is the son of rich people£¬or acount's child£®That£¬the rest of us can't acquire£®Onemust bow to that£¡"
Peer said nothing£®He was depressed all day£®Atnight£¬when bedtime had come and he lay in bed£¬sleepwas chased away£¬and he said to himself£¬"One has tobow£»one has to please£¡"That's what he had done£»hehad obeyed the rich young fellow£»"because one is bornpoor£¬he is placed under obligation and subjection to theserichly born people£®Are they then better than we£¿And whywere they created better than we£¿"
There was something vicious rearing up in him£¬some£thing that his grandmother would he grieved at£®He thoughtof her£®"Poor Grandmother£¡You have also known whatpoverty is£®Why has God permitted that£¿"And he feltanger in his heart£¬and yet at the same time he was con£scious of having sinned in thoughts and words against thegood God£®He was grieved to think he had lost his child'smind£»and his faith returned£¬as wholesome and rich as be-fore£®Happy Peer£¡
A week later a letter came from Grandmother£®Shewrote in the only way she could£¬mixing up big letters andsmall letters£¬but all her heart's love was in everything£¬big and small£¬that concerned Peer£º
My own sweet£¬blessed boy£º
I am thinking of you£»I am longing for you£¬and sois your mother£®She is getting along well£»she takes wash£ing£®And the merchant's Felix came up to see us yesterday£¬with a greeting from you£®You had both been dt the Dean'sball£¬and you had been such a gentleman£¬but that youwill always be£¬and make your old grandmother and yourhardworking mother happy£®She has something to tell youabout Miss Frandsen£®
And then followed a postscript from Peer's mother£º
Miss Frandsen is going to be married£¬the oldthing£®The bookbinder£¬Herr Hof£¬has been appointedcourt bookbinder£¬in accordance with his petition£®Hehas a great new sign£¬"Court Bookbinder Hof£®"And shewill become Madam Hof£®It is an old love that does notrust£¬my sweet boy£®
YOUR MOTHER Second Postscript£ºGrandmother has knitted you sixpairs of woolen socks£»you will get them at the first opportu£nity£®I am also sending you a pork pie£¬your favorite dish£®I know that you never get pork at Herr Gabriel's£¬since hiswife is so afraid of what I have difficulty in spelling£"trichines£®"You must not believe in these£¬but just goahead and eat£®
YOUR OWN MOTHER Peer read the letter£¬and it made him happy£®Felixwas so good£»what a great injustice he had done him£¡Theyhad separated at the Dean's without saying good£by to eachother£®
"Felix is better than I£¬"said Peer£®
In a quiet life£¬one day slips into the next£¬andmonth quickly follows month£®Peer was already in thesecond year of his stay at Herr Gabriel's£¬who with greatearmestness and determination£¬though Madam called itobstinacy£¬insisted that he should not again go on thestage£®
Peer received from the singing master£¬who monthlypaid the stipend for his instruction and support£¬a seriousreminder not to think of the stage as long as he wasplaced there£®And he obeyed£»but his thoughts frequentlytraveled to the theater at the capital-they carried him£¬as if by magic£¬onto the stage there£¬where he was tohave appeared as a great singer£®Now his voice was gone£¬and it did not return£¬which often deeply grieved him£®Who could comfort him£¿Neither Herr Gabriel nor Madam£¬but our Lord surely could£®Consolation comes tous in many ways£®Peer found it in sleep£»he was indeed aLucky Peer£®
One night he dreamed that it was Whitsunday£¬and hewas out in the beautiful green forest£¬where the sun shonethrough the branches and where all the ground was coveredwith anemones and primrose£®Then the cuckoo began£¬"Cuckoo£¡""How many years shall I live£¿" asked Peer£¬forone always asks the cuckoo that£¬the first time in the yearone hears it cuckoo£»and the cuckoo answered£¬"Cuckoo£¡"but no more£»it was silent£®
"Shall I live only one more year£¿"asked Peer£®"Thatis really too little£®Be so good as to cuckoo again£¡"Thenthe bird began again£¬"Cuckoo£¡Cuckoo£¡"Yes£¬and it wenton without stopping£¬and Peer cuckooed with it£¬as realisti£cally as if he£¬too£¬were a cuckoo£»but his notes werestronger and clearer£®All the song birds joined in the war£bling£®Peer sang their songs£¬but far more beautifully£®Hehad all the clear voice of his childhood£¬and rejoiced insong£»he was so happy at heart£®And then he awoke£¬butwith the assurance that the"soundboard"was still in him£¬that his voice still lived and£¬some bright Whitsun morning£¬would burst forth in all its freshness£»and so he slept£¬hap£py in this assurance£®
But in none of the following days£¬weeks£¬or monthsdid he have any feeling of his voice returning£®
Every bit of news he could get of the theater at thecapital was a true feast for his soul£»it was spiritual breadto him£®Crumbs are also bread£¬and he received crumbsthankfully-the smallest bits of news£®
There was a flax dealer's family living near theGabriels'£®The mother£¬a highly respectable housewife£¬lively and laughing£¬but without any acquaintance or knowl£edge of the theater£¬had been at the capital for the first timeand was delighted with everything there£¬even with the peo£ple£¬who had laughed at all she had said£¬she assured-and that was very likely£®
"Were you at the theater also£¿"asked Peer£®
"That I was£¬"replied the flax dealer's wife£®"How Isteaned£¡You should have seen me sit and steam in thatheat£¡"
"But what did you see£¿What play£¿"
"I will tell you that£¬"she said£®"I shall give youthe whole play£®I was there twice£®The first evening itwas a talking play£®Out came the princess£'Ahbe£¬dahbe£¡Abe£¬dabe£¡'-how she could talk£¡Next came aman-'Ahbe£¬dahbe£¡Abe£¬dabe£¡'And then down fellMadam£®Now they began again£®The prince£'Ahbe£¬dahbe£¡Abe£¬dabe£¡'Then down fell Madam£®She felldown five times that evening£®The second time I wasthere£¬it was all singing-'Ahbe£¬dahbe£¡Abe£¬dabe£¡'And then down fell Madam again£®It so happened that acountrywoman was sitting next to me£»she had never beenin the theater£¬and thought the show was all over£»but I£¬who now knew all about it£¬said that when I was therelast£¬Madam fell down five times£®The singing eveningshe only did it three times£®Yes£¬there you have both theplays£¬as true to life as I saw them£®"
Was it tragedy she bad seen£¬since she said thatMadam always fell down£¿Then it dawned on Peer whatshe meant£®The great theater curtain that fell between theacts had a large female figure painted on it£¬a Muse withthe comic and the tragic masks£®This was the Madam whofell down£®That had been the real comedy£»what they hadsaid and sung had been only"Ahbe£¬dahbe£¡Abe£¬ dabe£¡"to the flax dealer's wife£»but it had been a greatpleasure£¬and so it had been to Peer£¬too£¬and not less toMadam Gabriel£¬who had heard this recital of the plays£®She had sat with an expression of astonishment and a con£sciousness of mental superiority£¬for the pharmacist hadsaid that she£¬as the nurse£¬had"carried"Shakespeare'sRomeo and Juliet£®"Down fell the Madam"as explainedby Peer£¬afterward became a witty byword in the houseevery time a child£¬a cup£¬or one or another piece of fur-niture fell on the floor in the house£®
"That is the way proverbs and familiar sayings arecreated£¬"said Herr Gabriel£¬who carried everything intothe sphere of learning£®
New Year's Eve£¬at the stroke of twelve£¬theGabriels and their boarders stood£¬each with a glass ofpunch£¬the only one Herr Gabriel drank the whole year£¬because punch is bad for a weak stomach£®They drank atoast£¬"Skaal£¬"to the new year£¬and counted the strokesof the clock£¬"One£¬two-"to the twelfth stroke£®"Downfell the Madam£¡"they said£®
The new year rolled up and rolled along£®By Whit£suntide£¬Peer had been two years in the house£®
Two years were gone£¬but the voice had not re£turned£®How would the future be for our young friend£¿
He could always be a teacher in a school£¬opinedHerr Gabriel£»there was a livelihood in that£¬though noth£ing to be married on£»however£¬that hadn't entered Peer's mind£¬no matter how large a place in his heart the phar£macist's daughter had£®
"Be a teacher£¡"said Madam Gabriel£»"a school-master£¡Then you'll be the most boring individual onearth£¬just like my Gabriel£®No£¬you were born for thetheater£®Be the greatest actor in the world£»that is some-thing more than being a teacher£®"
An actor£¡Yes£¬that was the goal£®
He mentioned this in a letter to the singing master£»he told of his longing and his hope£®He longed most ea£gerly for the great city£¬where his mother and grandmotherlived£»he had not seen them for two long years£®The dis£tance was only one hundred and twenty miles£»by fasttrain£¬he could be there in six hours£®Why had they notseen one another£¿That is easily explained£®On his depar£ture£¬Peer had given his promise to stay where he was be£ing sent and not to think of a visit£®His mother was busyenough with her washing and ironing£»yet she had oftenthought of making the great journey£¬even if it would costa good deal of money£¬but this never materialized£®Grandmother had a horror of railways£»to travel by railwas to tempt the Lord£®Nothing could induce her to travelby steam£»she was an old woman£¬and she was not goingto travel until she traveled up to our Lord£®
That she said in May£¬but in June the old womanwould travel£¬and all alone£¬the one hundred and twentylong miles£¬to the strange town£¬to strange people£¬and allto get to Peer£®It would be a big occasion£¬yet the mostdismal one that could occur to Mother and Grandmother£®
The cuckoo had said"Cuckoo£¡"without end whenPeer had asked it the second time£¬"How many years shallI live£¿"His health and spirits were good£¬and the futurelooked bright£®He had received a delightful letter from hisfatherly friend£¬the singing master£®Peer was to go home£¬and they would see what could be done for him£whatcourse he should take now that his voice was still gone£®
"Appear as Romeo£¡"said Madam Gabriel£®"Nowyou are old enough for the lover's part and have someflesh on your bones£®You don't need to use make£up£®"
"Be Romeo£¡"said the pharmacist and the pharma£cist's daughter£®
Many thoughts went through his head and heart£®But"Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring£®"
He sat down in the garden that stretched out to themeadow£®it was evening£¬and there was moonlight£®Hischeeks burned£»his blood was on fire£»the air brought adelightful coolness£®Over the moor hung a mist that roseand sank and made him think of the dance of the elfinmaidens£®Then into his mind came the old ballad aboutKnight Olaf£¬who rode out to ask the guests to his wed£ding£¬but was stopped by the elfin maidens£¬who drewhim into their dance and play and thereby caused hisdeath£®It was a piece of folklore£¬an old poem£®Themoonlight and the mist over the moor formed pictures of itthis evening£®
Peer was soon in a state of half dreaming£¬lookingout upon it all£®The bushes seemed to have shapes ofboth humans and beasts£»they stood motionless£¬while themist rose like a great waving veil£®Peer had seen some£thing like this in a ballet at the theater£¬when elfin maid£ens were represented whirling and waving with veils ofgauze£»but here it was far more charming and more won£derful£®A stage as large as this£¬no theater could have£»none had so clear an air£¬so shining a moonlight£®
Right in front in the mist£¬there distinctly appeared afemale shape£»the one became three£¬and the three becamemany£»hand in hand they danced£»they were floatinggirls£®The air bore them along to the hedge where Peerstood£®They nodded to him£»they spoke£»it was like thesound of silver bells£®They danced into the garden abouthim£»they enclosed him in their circle£®Withoutthought£¬he danced with them£¬but not their dance£®Hewhirled about£¬as in the unforgettable vampire dance£¬but he didn't think of that£»he really didn't think atall£»he was completely overwhelmed by all the magnifi£cent beauty he saw about him£®
The moor was a sea£¬so deep and dark blue£¬withwater lilies that were bright with all conceivable colors£®Dancing over the waves£¬they carried him upon their veilto the opposite shore£¬where the old viking burial moundhad thrown aside its grassy turf and risen into a castle ofclouds£¬but the clouds were of marble£®Flowering treesof gold and costly stones twined about the mighty blocksof marble£»each flower was a brilliantly colored bird thatsang with a human voice£®It was like a choir of thou£sands and thousands of happy children£®Was it heaven£¬or was it Elfin Hill£¿
The castle walls moved£»they glided toward eachother£®They closed about him£®He was inside£¬and theworld of man was outside£®He then felt anguish£¬astrange fear£¬as never before£®There was no exit to befound£¬but from the floor way up to the roof£¬and fromall the walls£¬there smiled at him lovely young girls£»they were so lifelike to look at£¬and yet he thought£ºArethey but paintings£¿He wanted to speak to them£¬but histongue found no words£»his speech was completely gone£»not a sound came from his lips£®Then he threw himselfupon the earth£¬more miserable than he had ever been£®
One of the elfin maidens approached him£»surely shemeant well£¬for she had taken the shape he would mostlike to see£»she looked like the pharmacist's daughter£»he was almost ready to believe that it was she£¬but soonhe saw that she was hollow in back and had only abeautiful front-open in the back£¬with nothing at allinside£®
"One hour here is a hundred years outside£¬"shesaid£®"You have already been here a whole hour£®Ev£eryone you know and love outside these walls is dead£®Stay with us£¡Yes£¬stay you must£¬or the walls willsqueeze you until the blood flows from your brow£¡"
And the walls trembled£¬and the air became likethat of a glowing bake oven£®He found his voice£®
"O Lord£¬O Lord£¬have You forsaken me£¿"he criedfrom the depths of his soul£®
Then Grandmother stood beside him£®She took himin her arms£»she kissed his brow£»she kissed his mouth£®
"My own sweet little one£¡"she said£®"Our lordwill not forsake you£»He forsakes none of us£¬not eventhe greatest sinner£®God be praised and honored for alleternity£¡"
And she brought forth her psalmbook£¬the same onefrom which she and Peer had sung on many a Sundny£®How her voice rang£¡How full were her tones£¡All theelfin maidens laid their heads down for a well£neededrest£®Peer sang with Grandmother£¬as before he had sungevery Sunday£»how wtrong and powerful£¬ yet how soft£¬hisvoice was all at once£¡The walls of the castle moved£»theybecame clouds and mist£®Grandmother walked with himout of the hill into the tall grass£¬where the glowwormsgleamed and the moon shone£®But his feet were so tirednow he could not move them£»he sank down on the turf£»it was the softesd bed£»there he rested well and awoke tothe sound of a psalm£®
Grandmother sat beside him£¬sat by his bed in thelittle chamber in Herr Gabriel's house£®The fever wasover£»health and life had returned£®He had been deathlyill£®They had found him in a faint on that evening downin the garden£»a violent fever had followed£®The doctorhad thought that he would not get up from it£¬but woulddie£¬and they had written to his mother about it£®She andGrandmother had wanted to£¬and felt they must£¬go tohim£»both had not been able to leave£¬and so the oldgrandmother had gone£¬and gone by the railway£®
"That I would only do for Peer£¬"she said£®"I did itin God's name£»otherwise I would have had to believethat I flew with the evil ones on a broomstick on Midsum£mer Eve£¡"
The journey home was made with a glad and lightheart£®Grandmother deeply thanked our Lord that Peerwas to outlive her£®She had delightful traveling compan£ions in the railway carriage-the pharmacist and hisdaughter£»they talked about Peer£¬and loved Peer as ifthey were of the same family£®He was to become a greatactor£¬said the pharmacist£®His voice had now returned£¬too£¬and there was a fortune in such a throat as his£®
What a pleasure it was to the grandmother to hearsuch words£¡She lived on them£»she believed them thor£oughly£®And then they arrived at the station in the capi£tal£¬where the mother met her£®
"God be praised for the railway£¡"said Grandmoth-er£¬"and be praised£¬too£¬that I quite forgot I was on it£¡I owe that to these splendid people£®"And she pressed thehands of the pharmacist and his daughter£®"The railway isa blessed discovery when one is through with it£¡One is inGod's hands£¡"
And then she talked of her sweet boy£¬who was outof all danger£¬and who lived with well£to£do people£¬whokept two servant girls and a manservant£®Peer was like ason in the house£¬and on the same footing with two chil-dren of distinguished families£¬one of whom was a dean'sson£®The grandmother had lodged at the post inn£»it wasterribly expensive£¬but then she had been invited toMadam Gabriel's£»there she had stayed five days£¬andthey were simply wonderful people£¬particularly the wife£»she had urged her to drink punch£¬splendidly made butstrong£®
With God's help£¬Peer would be strong enough tocome home to the capital in a month£®
"He must have become very elegant and spoiled£¬"said the mother£®
"He will not feel at home here in the garret£®I amvery happy that the singing master has invited him to staywith him£®And yet£¬"cried the mother£¬"it is awfully sadthat one should be so poor that one's child cannot live inhis own home£¡"
"Don't say those words to Peer£¡"said Grandmother£®"You don't understand him as I do£®"
"But he must have food and drink£¬no matter howfine he has grown£¬and he shall hot go hungry so long as Ican move my hands£®Madam Hof has told me that he caneat his dinner twice a week with her£¬now that she is welloff£®She has known both prosperity and hard times£®Shehas told me herself that one evening£¬in the box at the the£ater where the old danseuses have a place£¬she felt sick£®The whole day long she had only had water and a caraway-seed bun£¬and she was ill from hunger£¬and very faint£®'Water£¡Water£¡'cried the others£®'No£¡Some food£¡'shebegged£®'Food£¡'She needed something nourishing£¬andhad not the least need of water£®Now she has her ownlarder and a wellspread table£®"
Peer was still one bundred and twenty miles away£¬but happy in the thought that he would soon be in the city£¬and at the theater£¬with all his dear old friends£¬whom nowhe would know how to value£®Happiness sang and resound£ed within him and all about him£»there was sunshine every£where£¬in this happy time of youth£¬the time of hope andexpectation£®Every day he grew stronger£»his good spiritsand his color returned£®But Madam Gabriel became verymoved as the time for departure drew near£®
"You are on your way to greatness£»and there will bemany temptations£¬for you are handsome£that you havebecome in our house£®You are natural£¬just as I£¬and thatwill help when temptations come£®One must not be too sen£sitive or unruly sensitive like Queen Dagmar£¬who on Sun-day laced her silk sleeves and then had pangs of conscienceover such a minor thing£»it should take more than that toaffect one£®I would never have grieved as Lucretia did£®What did she stab herself for£¿She was pure and honest£»she knew that£¬and everybody in the town knew that£®Whatcould she do about the misfortune which I won't talk aboutbut which you at your age understand perfectly well£¿Soshe gave out a shriek and took the dagger£¡That wasn'tnecessary at all£®I would not have done it£¬and neitherwould you£»we are both natural people£»one should benatural at all times£¬and that you will continue to be inyour artistic career£®How happy I shall be to read aboutyou in the papers£¡Perhaps sometime you will come to ourlittle town and appear as Romeo£¬but I shall not be thenurse then£®I shall sit in the parquet and enjoy myself£®"
Madam had a lot of washing and ironing done theweek he went away£¬so Peer could go home with a cleanwardrobe£¬as he had had on his arrival there£®She drew anew£¬strong ribbon through his amber heart£»that was theonly thing she wanted as a"remembrance souvenir£¬"butshe did not get it£®
From Herr Gabriel he received a French lexicon£¬theone he had used during his school hours£¬and it hadmarginal notes in Herr Gabriel's own hand£®MadamGabriel gave him roses and quaking grass£®The roseswould wither£¬but the grass would keep all winter if itwasn't put into the water but was kept in a dry place£®And she wrote a quotation from Goethe on a kind of albumleaf£ºUmgang mit Frauen ist das Element guter Sitten£®She gave a translation of it£º"Companionship with womenis the foundation of good manners£®Goethe£®"
"He was a great man£¡"she said£®"If he had onlynot written Faust£¬for I don't understand it£®Gabriel saysso£¬too£®"
Young Madsen presented Peer with a not badly donedrawing he had made of Herr Gabriel hanging from thegallows£¬with a birch rod in his hand£¬and the inscrip£tion£¬"A great actor's first conductor on the road of sci-ence£®"Primus£¬the Dean's son£¬gave him a new pair ofslippers£¬which the Deaness herself had made£¬but solarge that Primus could not fill them for a year or two yet£®Upon the soles was written in ink£¬"A reminder of a sor-rowing friend£®Primus£®"
Herr Gabriers'entire household accompanied Peerto the train£®
"It shall not be said that you left us sans adieu£¡"said Madam£¬and she kissed him at the railway station£®
"I am not bashful£¡"she said£®"When one does not doa thing secretly£¬one can do anything£¡"
The signal whistle blew£young Madsen and Primusshouted hurrahs£»the"small stuff"joined in with them£»Madam dried her eyes and waved with her pocked hand£kerchief£»Herr Gabriel said only the word£¬"Vale£¡"
The villages and stations flew by£®Were the peoplein them as happy as Peer£¿He thought of that£¬praised hisgood fortune£¬and thought of the invisible golden applethat Grandmother had seen lying in his hand when he wasa child£®He thought of his lucky find in the gutter and£¬above all£¬of his new£found voice and of the knowledgehe had now acquired£®He had become altogether anotherperson£®He sang inwardly with happiness£»it took greatself-control for him to keep from singing aloud in the car£®
Now the towers of the city appeared£¬and the build£ings began to show themselves£®The train reached the sta-tion£®There stood Mother and Grandmother£¬and someonewith them£¬Madam Hof£¬well bound£¬Court BookbinderHof's wife£¬born Frandsen£®Neither in want nor in pros£perity did she forget her friends£®She had to kiss him ashis mother and his grandmother did£®
"Hof could not come with me£¬"she said£»"he ishome at work£¬binding a set of collected works for theking's private library£®You have your good luck£¬ and Ihave mine£®I have my Hof and my own fireside cornerwith a rocking chair£®Twice a week you are to eat withus£®You will see my life at home£»it is a completeballet£¡"
Mother and Grandmother bardly had an opportunityto talk to Peer£¬but they looked at him£¬and their eyesshone with delight£®Then he had to take a cab to get tohis new home at the singing master's£®They laughed andthey cried£®
"What a wonderful man he is£¡"said Grandmother£®
"He still has such a kind face£¬just as when he wentaway£¬"said Mother£»"and that he will keep in thetheater£®"
The cab stopped at the singing master's door£¬butthe master was out£»his old servant opened the door andshowed Peer up to his room£¬where there were portraits ofcomposers on the walls and a white plaster bust stoodgleaming on the stove£®The old man£¬a little