Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (German II).djvu/33

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31
CHRISTIAN GELLERT'S LAST CHRISTMAS.

his own lectures, which must be paid for, he has so many the fewer. To be sure, he has now and then presents from grand patrons; but no one gives him, once and for all, enough to live upon, and to have all over with a single acknowledgment."

Our friend Christopher started as he heard this; he had quite made up his mind to take Gellert the wood: but he had yet to do it. How easy were virtue, if will and deed were the same thing! if performance could immediately succeed to the moment of burning enthusiasm! But one must make way over obstacles; over those that outwardly lie in one's path, and over those that are hidden deep in the heart; and negligence has a thousand very cunning advocates.

How many go forth, prompted by good intentions, but let little hindrances turn them from their way—entirely from their way of life! In front of the house Christopher met other woodmen whom he knew, and "You are stirring betimes!" "Prices are good to-day!" "But little comes to the market now!" was the cry from all sides. Christopher wanted to say that all that did n't concern him, but he was ashamed to confess what his design was, and an inward voice told him he must not lie. Without answering he joined the rest, and wended his way to the market; and on the road he thought: "There are Peter, and Godfrey, and John, who