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order to drink full draughts of it. But a lock hung before this fountain :-I COULD NOT READ. I thought, however, that it was no disgrace to learn; and requested the magistrate's daughter, a girl of twelve years of age, to instruct me in reading. I applied myself with great ardour and diligence to this occupation, so that in a few weeks I was able to satisfy my thirst, and was inconceivably happy in seeing this divine repository unfold itself to my view.
I found, indeed, many things which I could not immediately understand; however, I had some one to whom I was at liberty to apply; this was the magistrate's sister, the lady of Dr. Commerell, of Stuttgard, a very amiable and extremely intelligent person, who used the baths at Liebenzell during the summer months, and resided in the house with us. This lady displayed the tenderness of a mother towards me, and by her kindness gained my entire confidence; so that I felt at liberty to ask her concerning every thing that was obscure to me, and never experienced a refusal. This was of essential service to me.
I took a particular pleasure in the amiable children of the magistrate, all of whom manifested great intelligence and quickness of perception. We often delighted ourselves with their child-like ideas, some of which I still remember.
Theodore, a boy of five years of age, awoke early one morning, just as his father was preparing to set out for Wildbad. It was a beautiful morning in April; the sun had just risen, and shone brightly into the room. Theodore inquired why the sun had awoke so early that morning. “Was it not, father,” said he,“ to light you on your way to Wildbad ?”
Another time, when taking an evening walk, the moon was occasionally hidden by the clouds, and the planet Jupiter not far from him. Theodore said, “ Father, the moon is trying to catch the star!”
When his grandmother was ill, he asked her the reason of it; she replied, “God alone can tell.”
THEODORE. Dare one ask him why? GRANDMOTHER. No, we must be satisfied with all that God does.
THEODORE. But may we ask him, when we go to heaven, why he lets us be ill here?
GRANDMOTHER. O, we shall be so happy with God in heaven, that we shall not then think of asking him such questions.
He once said, “Why have the pear-trees white blossoms, and the apple-trees red ones? Is it not because the former bear white pears, and the latter, apples with rosy cheeks ?”
Another time he said men should be called “ out-of-door people,” because so many of them were seen in the streets ; and the women, “in-door people,” because they remained more at home.
Caroline, who was often rather obstinate, although she looked so gentle, said to her mother, “Why do you blame me so often, when other people are always praising me?" A proof how careful we ought to be in our expressions respecting even little children, when they are present.
Caroline said of the flies, that they were idle and dainty. Another time, on seeing the child's maid shake the table-cloth over the fire, she said to her, “O, Regina, do you
not know that God provides for the sparrows, and must it not displease him, when you destroy so many crumbs, which would have made a breakfast for the sparrows ?”
She said to her grandfather, who was hard of hearing, “ Grandfather, is it not because you are so old, that you do not hear well ?” “Yes," answered he. “But," rejoined she, "you are not as old as God in heaven, and yet he hears every thing."
Similar expressions occurred almost daily, and caused us many a pleasant hour.
The magistrate had also two boys, the one of nine and the other of ten years
age, who, though very lively, manifested also much good nature; and when their liveliness occasionally degenerated into wildness, yet they had the good quality of instantly obeying the commands of their parents. One fine afternoon in May, we had taken a walk to the Monastery of Hirsau, which is only a league distant from Liebenzell, in order to visit the pious abbot, Matthew Aulber, who was near his end, and take leave of him. He was taken away before the misfortune which befel this large and beautiful convent, three
years after, when it was set on fire by the French. We were all full of the impression made on our hearts by the appearance of this dying and venerable servant of Christ; and when, at our departure, the great window of the elevated abbey glittered in the last rays of the evening sun, the idea took possession of us, that within the building, also, a bright light of the church was about to become extinct, whose last rays we had seen glimmering through the windows of his eyes.
In serious mood we walked along the side of the river, down the narrow valley. A couple of wicked boys met us, who were mocking at a poor old man, because his old brown coat was mended with white linen. The magistrate's two sons were also tempted to join in the laugh; but a stern look from their father immediately reproved them for it. A short time afterwards, he said to them,
Boys, why is it wrong to laugh at yonder poor old man ?
” “We did not laugh at the man,” said Ernest, "but at his coat."
“What do you intend by that?” continued his father: “if the coat is ridiculous,