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- Barbara Blomberg, Volume 1. - 10/10 -


not beseem us women. We progress much farther if we hold back timidly. Therefore, often as it impels me to resistance, I yield unless it is too strong for me. Besides, but for your interruption, I should have said nothing about my father. What concerns us I inherited from my mother, and, as I mean kindly toward you, this very heritage compels me to warn you against marrying me if you are unable to support me so that I can make a good appearance among Ratisbon wives. Moreover, poor church mouse though I am, I sometimes give them one thing and another to guess, and I haven't far to travel to learn what envy is. In my present position, however, compassion is far more difficult to bear than ill-will. But I by no means keep out of the way on that account. I must be seen and heard if I am to be happy, and I shall probably succeed so long as my voice retains the melting tone which is now peculiar to it. Should anything destroy that, there will be a change. Then--I know this in advance--I shall tread in the footsteps of my mother, who had no means of satisfying her longing for admiration except her pretty face, her beautiful figure, and the finery which she stole from the poverty of her husband, and her only child. How you are staring at me again! But I can not forget that now; for, had it not been so, we should still be living in our own house as a distinguished family of knightly rank, and I should have no need to spend my best hours in secretly washing laces for others- -yes, for others, Wolf--to gain a wretched sum of which even my father must be ignorant. You do not know how we are obliged to economize, and yet I can only praise the pride of my father, who induced me to return the gifts which the Council sends to the house by the town clerk when I sing in the Convivium musicum. But what a pleasure it is to show the bloated fellow the door when he pulls out the linen purse! True, many things must be sacrificed to do it, and how hard that often is can not be described. I would not bear it long. But, if I were your wife and you had only property enough for a modest competence, you would scarcely fare better, through my fault, than my poor father. That would surely be the result"--she raised her voice in passionate eagerness as she spoke:

"I know myself. As for the immediate future, I feel that the ever- increasing longing for better days and the rank which is my due will kill me if I do not satisfy it speedily. I shall never be content with any half-way position, and I fear you can not offer me more. Talk with my father, and think of it during the night. Were I in your place, I would at once resign the wish to win a person like me, for if you really love me as ardently as it seems, you will receive in exchange only a lukewarm liking for your person and a warm interest in what you can accomplish; but in other respects, far worse than nothing--peril after peril. But if you will be reasonable and give up your suit, I shall not blame you a moment. How bewildered you still stare at me! But there comes father, and I must finish my work before the irons get cold."

Wolf gazed after her speechlessly, while she withdrew behind the table as quietly as if they had been discussing the most commonplace things.

ETEXT EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:

A live dog is better than a dead king Always more good things in a poor family which was once rich Harder it is to win a thing the higher its value becomes No happiness will thrive on bread and water


Barbara Blomberg, Volume 1. - 10/10

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