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and sawed into paling, where thou doing nothing earthly, and gets rottest and art burned after a single thrice the victuals I do, and is casummer : of me are fashioned bat- ressed all day ! By the cock of tle-ships, and I carry mariners and Minerva, they shall give me a douheroes into unknown seas.” ble portion of oats, or they have The richer a nature, the harder eaten their last egg
!" But much and slower is its development. Two as she cackled and creaked, the boys were once of a class in the scullion would not give her an extra Edinburgh grammar-school : John grain. Whereupon, in dudgeon, ever trim, precise, and dux ; Walter she hid her next egg in the dungever slovenly, confused, and dolt. hill, and did nothing but cackle and In due time, John became Baillie creak all day. The scullion sufferJohn of Hunter-square ; and Wal- ed her for a week, then (by order) ter became Sir Walter Scott of the wrung her neck, and purchased Universe.
other eggsmat sixpence the dozen. The quickest and completest of all vegetables, is the-cabbage.
Man! why frettest and whinest thou ? This blockhead is happier
than thou, and still a blockhead ? " It is I that support this house- Ah, sure enough, thy wages are too hold,” said a hen one day to her- low! Wilt thou strike work with self; “the master cannot breakfast Providence, then, and force Him to without an egg, for he is dyspeptic- an “ alternative ?" Believe it, He al and would die ; and it is I that lay will do without thee : il n'y a point it. And here is this ugly poodle, d'homme necessaire.
THE DISASTERS OF JAN NADELTREIBER.
BY WILLIAM HOWITT.
THERE are a multitude of places on pleasant adventures I flatter myself this wide globe that were never I am destined still further to diffuse. heard of since the day of creation ; Jan Nadeltreiber was the son of old and that never would become known Strauss Nadeltreiber, who had, as to a soul beyond their own ten well as his ancestors before him, miles of circumference, except to for six generations, practised, in the those universal discoverers, the tax same little place, the most gentlegatherers,—were it not for some manly of all professions—that of a spark of genius which suddenly kin- tailor, seeing that it was, before all dles there, and carries their fame others, used and sanctioned by our through all countries and all gene- father Adam. rations. This has been the case Now Jan was, from his boyhood, many times, and will be the case a remarkable person. His father again. We are destined to hear had known his share of trouble ; the sound of names that our fathers and, having two sons, both older never dreamt of; and there are than Jan, naturally looked, in his other spots now basking in God's old age, to reap some comfort and blessed sunshine, of which the assistance from their united labors ; world knows and cares nothing, but they had successively fled from that shall, to our children, become the shop-board. One had gone for places of worship and pilgrimage. a soldier, and was shot ; the other
Something of this sort of glory had learned the craft of a weaver, was cast upon the little town of but, being too fond of his pot, had Rapps, in Bohemia, by the hero broken his neck by falling into a whose name stands conspicuously quarry as he returned home one at the head of this story; and whose night from a carousal. Jan was
Jeft the sole staff for the old man to came to take stock, however, and lean upon, and truly a worthy son make an inventory of what he he proved himself.
as was worth, it was precious little. gentle as a dove, and as tender as His father seldom had much bea lamb. A cross word from his fore hand when he had the whole father when he made a cross stitch place to himself; and now, behold! would almost break his heart ; but another had come from nobody half a word of kindness revived him knew where ; had taken a great again, and he seldom went long house opposite, hoisted a tremenwithout it,-for the old man, though dous sign, and threatened to carry rendered rather testy and crabbed away every shred of Jan's business. in his temper by his many troubles In the depth of his trouble he took and disappointments, was naturally to his fiddle ; from his fiddle to his of a loving, compassionate disposi- bed ; and in his bed he had a dream, tion, and, moreover, regarded Jan by which he was assured that could as the apple of his eye. Jan was he once save the sum of fifty dolof a remarkably light, slender, ac- lars it would be the seed of a fortive make, full of life and mettle. tune-that he should flourish far This moment he was on the board, beyond the scale of old Strauss ;stitching away with as much veloci- should drive his antagonist in dety as if he was working for a fune- spair from the ground ; --should, in ral or a wedding at an hour's no- short, arrive at no less dignity than tice ; the next he was despatching mayor of Rapps. his dinner at the same rate ; and Jan was, as I have said, soon set the third beheld him running, leap- up with the smallest spice of encouing, and playing among his com- ragement ;-he was, moreover, as panions as blithe as a young kid. light and nimble as a grasshopper, If he had a fault it was being too and that little animal would exactly fond of his fiddle—it was his ever- represent him, could it be made to lasting delight. One would have stand on end. His dream, therefore, thought that his elbow had labor was enough ; he vowed a vow of enough with jirking his needle some unconquerable might, and to it he thirty thousand times in a day ; but went. Day and night he wrought it was in him a sort of universal -work came-it was done ; he joint-it never seemed to know wanted little-a crust of bread and what weariness His fiddle a merry tune were all he needed, stood always on the board in a cor- The money grew, the sum was ner by him; and no sooner had he nearly accomplished, when, returnceased to brandish the needle than ing one evening from carrying out he began to brandish the fiddle- some work-behold !-his door was stick. If he could ever be said to open !—behold ! the lid of his pot be lazy, it was when his father was where he deposited his treasure, gone out to measure, or try on, and was off! the money was gone! his fiddle being too strong a temp- This was a terrible blow. Jan tation for him, he would seize upon raised a vast commotion ; he did it, and labor at it with all his might not even fail to insinuate that it till he spied his father turning the might be the interloper opposite : next corner homewards. However, who so likely as he who had his he was a pattern of filial duty with eye continually on Jan's door? this trifling exception. And now the But no matter, the thief was clear time was come that his father must off, and the only comfort he got die. ;- his mother was dead long from his neighbors was being rated before, and he was left alone in the for his stinginess.
« Ay !!
said world ; but his fiddle, and the whole they, “this comes of living like a house, board, trade-what there curmudgeon in a great house by was of it—all were his. When he yourself, working your eyes out
to hoard up money. What must a you get somebody to take care of young man like you do with scrap things in your absence ? " ing up pots full of money like a mi Jan stood corrected ; for, as I ser?" It is a shame, it is a sin, it have said, he was soon touched to is a judgment; nothing better could the quick ; and when his anger was come of it! At all events you a little abated, he thought there was might afford to have a light in the reason in what they said. So, bathouse. People are ever likely to ing not a jot of his determination to rob you. They see a house as save, he took the very next house, dark as an oven, they are sure no- which luckily happened to be at libody is in it; they go and steal, berty, and he got a journeyman. nobody can see them come out ; For a long time it appeared hard but, was there a light burning, they and hopeless: there were two would always think there was some- mouths to feed, instead of one ; body in too. At all events you wages to pay; and not much more might have a light ! ”
work done than he could manage There is something in that,” himself
. But still the money grew, said Jan. He was not unreason- slowly-very slowly—but still it able, so he determined to have a grew; and Jan pitched upon a selight in future, and he fell to work cure place, to his thinking, to conagain. Bad as his luck had been, ceal it in. Alas, poor Jan ! he had he resolved not to be cast down,-he often, in his heart, grumbled at the was as diligent and as thrifty as slowness of his journeyman's hands, ever; and he resolved, when he but his eyes had been quick enough; became Mayor of Rapps, to be spe- and one morning before Jan was cially severe on sneaking thieves, up, the fellow had cleared out his who crept into houses that were hiding-place, and was gone. This left to the care of Providence and was more than he could bear. He the municipal authorities. A light was perfectly cast down-disheartwas everlastingly burning in his ened-and inconsolable. « Ah !" window now, and people, as they said his officious neighbors, coming passed in the morning, said, “this in to condole with him, “ cheer up, man must have a good business man ! there is nothing amiss yet. which requires him to be up so What signifies a few dollars? You early ;” and they who passed in will soon get plenty more with those the evening said, “this man must nimble fingers of yours ; you want be making a fortune, for he is busy only somebody to help you to keep at all hours." He leapt down from them. You must get a wife. his board, at length, with the work Journeymen were thieves from the that was to complete his sum—went first generation ; you must get mar-returned, with the future Mayor ried. “ Get married !” thought growing rapidly upon him ; when, Jan-he was struck all in a heap at as he turned the corner of the the very mention of it.
« Get marstreet-men and mercies !-his ried! what ! fine clothes to go a house was in a full burst of flame, wooing in ; and fine presents to go illuminating with a ruddy glow half a wooing with ; and parson's fees, the town, and all the faces of the and clerk's fees, and wedding-dininhabitants, who were collected to ner, and dancing, and drinking; witness the catastrophe. Money, and then doctor's fees, and nurse's fiddle, shop-board, all were con- fees, and children without end-it sumed ; and when poor Jan danced is ruin upon ruin ! The fifty doland capered in the very extasy of lars, and the mayoralty-they might his distraction, “Ay," said his wait till doomsday. Well, that is neighbors, “this comes of leaving a good,” thought Jan, as he took a light in an empty house. It was little more breath, -"they first just the thing to happen ; why don't counseled me to get a light-then
18 ATHENEUM VOL. 5, 3d series.
went house and all in a bonfire ;- fresh, pleasant, growth of the open next, I must get a journeyman-air and the hills, as she was, she then went the money ; and now they never dreamt of despising the little would have me bring on myself more skipping tailor of Rapps, though he plagues than Moses brought upon was a head shorter than herself, and Egypt. Nay, nay,” thought Jan, not a third of her weight. She had “you'll not catch me there neither.” heard his music, and she had never
Jan all this time was seated on heard of such a thing as family pride. his shop-board, stitching away at an But the old people ! they were in amazing rate on a-garment that the perfect hysterics of wrath and conrascally Wagner should have finish- tempt. Their daughter ! the sole ed to order at six o'clock that morn- remnant, with the exception of one ing, instead of absconding with his brother now on a visit to his uncle money; and, ever and anon, so far in Germany, of an old substantial forgetting his loss, in what appeared house, who had fed their flocks and to him the ludicrousness of this ad- their herds on the hills for three vice, as freely to laugh out. All generations —it was death! poison ! that day the idea continued to run pestilence! Nevertheless, as Jan in his head; the next, it had lost and the damsel were agreed, everymuch of its freshness; the third, it thing else was nothing--they were appeared not so odd as awful; the married. Jan, it must be confessed, fourth, he began to ask himself whe- was exceedingly exasperated that ther it might be quite so momentous the future mayor of Rapps should as his imagination had painted it ; be thus estimated and treated, and the fifth, he really thought it was determined to show a little spirit. not so bad neither ; the sixth, it had As his fiddle entered into all his so worked round in his head, that it schemes, he resolved to have music had fairly got on the other side,-it at his wedding ; and, no sooner did appeared clearly to have its advan- he and his bride issue from the tages-children did not come scam- church-door, than out broke the pering into the house all at once harmony which he had provided. like a flock of lambs—a wife might The fiddle played merrily, "you'll help to gather as well as to spend, repent, repent, repent-you'll remight possibly bring something of pent, you'll repent-you'll repent, her own, would be a perpetual watch repent, repent ;” and the bassoon and housekeeper in his absence, replied, in surly tones, “and soon, and might speak a word of comfort and soon.” Thus they played till in trouble when even his fiddle was they reached the inn, where they dumb; on the seventh, he was off! dined, and then set off for Rapps. whither?
It is true, that there was little Why it so happened, that once he happiness in this affair to any one. had accompanied his father to see The old people were full of anger, an old relation in the mountains of curses, and threats of total disownthe Behmer-Wald, and there, among ment ; Jan's pride was pricked and the damsels who danced to the sound perforated till he was as sore as if of his fiddle, was a certain bergman's he had been tattooed with his own comely daughter, who, having got needle and bodkin; and his wife was into his head in some odd associa- completely drowned in sorrow at tion with his fiddle, could not be got such a parting from her parents, and out of it again ; especially as he with no little sense of remorse for fancied, from some cause or other, her disobedience. Nevertheless, that the simple creature had a lurk- they reached home--things began ing fondness for both his music and to assume, gradually, a more comhimself. Away he went, and he posed aspect ; Jan loved his wife, was right : the damsel made no ob- she loved him-he was industrious, jection to his overtures. Tall, stout, she was careful; and they trusted,
in time, to bring her parents round, and nineteen days. He was pacing, when they should see that they were step by step, after his lost treasure, doing well in the world.
when up came his wife, running like Again the saving scheme began one wild, and telling him, as well as to haunt Jan ; but he had one luck- she could for want of breath, that he less notion, which was destined to must come that instant, for the Ritcost him no little vexation. He ter of Flachenflaps had brought new had inherited from his father, toge- liveries for all his servants, and ther with his stock in trade, a stock threatened, if he did not see Jan in of old maxims, amongst which one five minutes, to carry the work over of the chief was, that a woman can- to the other side of the street. Here not keep a secret. Acting on this was a perplexity! The money was creed, he not only never told his not to be found, and if it were found wife of his project of becoming may, in the presence of his wife, he reor of Rapps, but he did not even garded it as no better than lost ; but give her reason to suppose that he found it was not, and he was forced had laid up a shilling; and that she to tell a lie into the bargain, being might not happen to stumble on his caught in the act of searching for money, he took care to carry it al- something, and say he had lost his ways about him. It was his delight, thimble ; and, to make bad worse, when he got into a quiet corner, or he was in danger of losing a good as he came along a retired lane from job, and all the Ritter's work forehis errands, to take it out, and count ver, as a consequence. Away he it, and calculate when it would ran, then, groaning inwardly, at full amount to this sum, and to that, and speed ; and arriving, out of breath, when the proposed sum would really saw the Ritter's carriage drawn up be his own. Now it happened one at his opponent's door! Wormwood day that having been a good deal upon wormwood ! His money was absorbed in these speculations, he lost ! and his best customer was not had loitered away a precious piece only lost, but thrown into the hands of time ; and, suddenly coming to of his detested enemy! There he himself, he set off, as was his wont, beheld him and his man in a prime on a kind of easy trot-in which his bustle from day to day, while his small, light form thrown forward, own house was deserted. All peohis pale, grey-eyed, earnest-looking ple went where the Ritter went, of visage thrown towards the sky, and course. His adversary was flourishhis long sky-blue coat flying in a ing out of all bounds, he had got a stream behind him, he cut one of horse, to ride out and take orders, the most extraordinary figures in the and was likely to become mayor ten world. On checking his pace as he years before Jan had ten dollars of entered the town, he involuntarily his own. It was too much for even clapped his hand upon his pocket, his sanguine temperament : he sank when, behold! his money was gone; down to the very depths of despair; it had slipped away through a hole his fiddle had lost its music; he it had worn. In the wildness and could not abide to hear it; he sat bitterness of his loss he turned back, moody and disconsolate, with a beartily cursing the spinner and beard an inch long. His wife, for weaver of that most detestable piece some time, hoped it would go off ; of buckram that composed his but, seeing it come to this, she bebreeches-pocket ; that they had put gan to console and advise, to rouse it together so villainously as to his courage and his spirits. She told break down with the carriage of a him it was that horse which gave
the few dollars, halfpence, thimbles, advantage to his neighbor. While balls of wax and thread, and a few he went trudging on foot, wearying other sundries, after the trifling himself and wasting his time, peowear of seven years, nine months, ple came,
grew impatient, and