FATE AND SYMPATHY
"Truly, I never have seen the market and street so deserted!
How as if it were swept looks the town, or had perished! Not fifty
Are there, methinks, of all our inhabitants in it remaining,
What will not curiosity do! here is every one running,
Hurrying to gaze on the sad procession of pitiful exiles.
Fully a league it must be to the causeway they have to pass over,
Yet all are hurrying down in the dusty heat of the noonday.
I, in good sooth, would not stir from my place to witness the sorrows
Borne by good, fugitive people, who now, with their rescued possessions,
Driven, alas! from beyond the Rhine, their beautiful country,
Over to us are coming, and through the prosperous corner
Roam of this our luxuriant valley, and traverse its windings.
Well hast thou done, good wife, our son in thus kindly dispatching,
Laden with something to eat and to drink, and with store of old linen,
'Mongst the poor folk to distribute; for giving belongs to the wealthy.
How the youth drives, to be sure! What control he has over the horses!
Makes not our carriage a handsome appearance, — the new one? With comfort,
Four could be seated within, with a place on the box for the coachman.
This time, he drove by himself. How lightly it rolled round the corner!"
Thus, as he sat at his ease in the porch of his house on the market,
Unto his wife was speaking mine host of the Golden Lion.
Thereupon answered and said the prudent, intelligent housewife:
"Father, I am not inclined to be giving away my old linen:
Since it serves many a purpose; and cannot be purchased for money,
When we may want it. To-day, however, I gave, and with pleasure,
Many a piece that was better, indeed, in shirts and in bed-clothes;
For I was told of the aged and children who had to go naked.
But wilt thou pardon me, father? thy wardrobe has also been plundered.
And, in especial, the wrapper that has the East-Indian flowers,
Made of the finest of chintz, and lined with delicate flannel,
Gave I away: it was thin and old, and quite out of the fashion."
Thereupon answered and said, with a smile, the excellent landlord:
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