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"What is it to be, Tintefleck?" asked he.
"How am I to figure this time?"

She shook her head without replying, and,
making a sign that she was not to be questioned
or interrupted, she nestled down at the foot of
the fig-tree, and began to draw.

The old man now drew near me, and
proceeded to give me further details of her strange
temper and ways. I could mark that throughout
all he said a tone of intense anxiety and
care prevailed, and that, he felt her disposition
was exactly that which exposed her to the
greatest perils for her future. There was a
young artist who used to follow her through all
the South Tyrol, affecting to be madly in love
with her, but of whose sincerity and honour
Vaterchen professed to have great misgivings.
He gave her lessons in drawing, and, what was
less to be liked, he made several studies of
herself. "The artless way," said the old man, "she
would come and repeat to me all his raptures
about her, was at first a sort of comfort to me.
I felt reassured by her confidence, and also by
the little impression his praises seemed to make,
but I saw later on that I was mistaken. She
grew each day more covetous of these flatteries,
and it was no longer laughingly, but in earnest
seriousness she would tell me that the
'Foruarina' in some gallery had not such eyes as
hers, and that some great statue that all the
world admired was far inferior to her in shape.
If I had dared to rebuke her vanity, or to
redicule her pretensions, all my influence would
have been gone for ever. She would have left us,
gone who knows whither, and been lost, so that
I had nothing for it but to seem to credit all
she said and yet hold the matter lightly, and I
said beauty has no value except when associated
with rank and station. If queens and
princesses be handsome, they are more fitted to
adorn this high estate, but for humble folk it is
as great a mockery as these tinsel gems we wear
in the circus.

"' Max says not,' said she to me one evening,
after one of my usual lectures. 'Max says,
there are queens would give their coronets to
have my hair, ay, or even one of the dimples in
my cheek.'

"' Max is a villain,' said I, before I could
control my words.

"' Max is a vero signor!' said she, haughtily,
'and not like one of us; and more, too, I'll go
and tell him what you have called him.' She
bounded away from me at this, and I saw her
no more till nightfall.

"' What has happened to you, poor child,'
said I, as I saw her lying on the floor of her
room, her forehead bleeding, and her dress all
draggled and torn. She would not speak to me
for a long while, but by much entreating and
carressing I won upon her to tell me what had
befallen her. She had gone to the top of the
' Glucksberg' and thrown herself down. It was
a fearful height, and only was she saved by being
caught by the brambles and tangled foliage of the
cliff, and all this for 'one harsh word of mine,'
she said. But I knew better; the struggle was
deeper in her heart than she was aware of, and
Max had gone suddenly away, and we saw no
more of him."

"Did she grieve after him?"

"I scarcely can say she did. She fretted, but I
think it was for her own loneliness and the want
of that daily flattery she had grown so fond
of. She became overbearing, and even insolent,
too, with all her equals, and though for
many a day she had been the spoiled child of
the  troop, many began to weary of her
waywardness. I don't know how all this might
have turned out, when, just as suddenly, she
changed and became everything that she used
to be."

When the old man had got thus far, the girl
arose, and, without saying a word, laid the slate
before us. Vaterchen, not very quick-sighted,
could not at once understand the picture, but I
caught it at once, and laughed immoderately.
She had taken the scene where I had presented
Vaterchen and herself to the ladies at the
teatable, and with an intense humour sketched all
the varying emotions of the incident. The
offended dignity of the old lady, the surprise
and mortification of Miss Herbert, and my own
unconscious pretension as I pointed to the
"friends" who accompanied me, were drawn
with the spirit of high caricature. Nor did she
spare Vaterchen or herself; they were drawn,
perhaps, with a more exaggerated satire than all
the rest.

The old man no sooner comprehended the
subject, than he drew his hand across it, and
turned to her with words of anger and reproach.
I meant, of course, to interfere in her behalf, but
it was needless; she fled, laughing, into the
garden, and before many minutes were over we
heard her merry voice, with the tinkle of a guitar
to assist it.

"There it is," said Vaterchen, moodily. "What
are you to do with a temperament like that?"

That was a question I was in no wise prepared
to answer. Tintefleck's temperament seemed to
be the very converse of my own. I was over
eager to plan out everything in life. She
appeared to be just as impulsively bent on risking
all. My head was always calculating eventualities;
hers, it struck me, never worried itself
about difficulties till in the midst of them.
Now, Jean Paul tells us that when a man detects
any exaggerated bias in his character, instead of
endeavouring, by daily watching, to correct it,
he will be far more successful if he ally himself
with some one of a diametrically opposite
humour. If he be rash, for instance, let him seek
companionship with the sluggish. If his
tendency bear to over-imagination, let him frequent
the society of realists. Why, therefore, should
not I and Tintefleck be mutually beneficial?
Take the two different kinds of wood in a bow:
one will supply resistance, the other flexibility.
It was a pleasant notion, and I resolved to
test it.

"Vaterchen," said I, " call me to-morrow,
when you get ready for the road. I will keep
you company as far as Constance."