Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (German II).djvu/39

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37
CHRISTIAN GELLERT'S LAST CHRISTMAS.

courteous that he motioned to the peasant to enter first; however, Sauer went close after him: he thought it must be a madman; he must protect his master; the man looked just as if he were drunk. Gellert, with his amanuensis, Gödike, followed them.

Gellert, however, felt that the man must be actuated by pure motives: he bade the others retire, and took Christopher alone into his study; and, as he clasped his left with his own right hand, he asked: "Well, my good friend, what is your business?"

"Eh? oh! nothing—I've only brought you a load of wood there—a fair, full load; however, I'll give you the few logs which I have in my wagon, as well."

"My good man, my servant Sauer looks after buying my wood."

"It is no question of buying. No, my dear sir, I give it to you."

"Give it to me? Why me particularly?"

"Oh! sir, you do not know at all what good you do, what good you have done me; and my wife was right; why should there not be really pious men in our day too? Surely the sun still shines as he shone thousands of years ago; all is now the same as then; and the God of old is still living."

"Certainly, certainly; I am glad to see you so pious."