Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (German II).djvu/25

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23
CHRISTIAN GELLERT'S LAST CHRISTMAS.

would like to be made local magistrate, he would in no wise confess to himself.

He sat still a long while; then he went back again to the sitting-room, past the kitchen, where the fire was burning cheerily. He seated himself at the table and waited for his morning porridge. On the table lay an open book; his children had been reading it the previous evening: involuntarily taking it up, he began to read. Suddenly he started, rubbed his eyes, and then read again. How comes this verse here just at this moment? He kept his hand upon the book, and so easily had he caught the words, that he repeated them to himself softly with his lips, and nodded several times, as much as to say: "That's true!" And he said aloud: "It's all there together: short and sweet!" and he was still staring at it, when his wife brought in the smoking porridge. Taking off his cap, he folded his hands and said aloud:

"Accept God's gifts with resignation,
 Content to lack what thou hast not:
 In every lot there's consolation;
 There's trouble, too, in every lot!"

The wife looked at her husband with amazement. What a strange expression was upon his face! And as he sat down and began to eat, she said: "What is the meaning of that grace? What has come to you? Where did you find it?"

"It is the best of all graces, the very best,—