+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

hundred dollars. And Mari is to have this

"It is all very well with the farm," rejoined
Tram, "but after all it is no such great things.
Nay, you should see the house Karsten has
built for himself; Mari might go over and
have a look at it."

"Buten blank, binnen krank," (outside
bright, inside poor,) answered Lanesen with
a shake of his head. " What do you say to it,
little Mari?" he continued, to his daughter
who had just entered; "here is Tram who
has come to ask you in marriage for Karsten
Karstensen, who has but a bit of a farm
with half a score of cows."

"Hm!" said Mari.

"Nay, he has twelve cows," said Tram.

"We bought the thirtieth at the last
Brarup Fair," observed Mari, calmly, while
putting by her bonnet and shawl.

The men discussed the matter some time
longer, and at length Tram rose to depart.

"I see that there is no chance of our
settling this bargain," said he. "Well, well,
I dare say Karsten will get a wife soon
enough, though he may not get your Mari."

"He! he! he!" laughed my host. "But
can't you look in upon us another time,

Claus Tram is a personage of no little
importance. He has a nice little farm, with
half a score of cows; and has a most extensive
acquaintance for several miles around.
He knows the exact amount of their fortunes,
and keeps a list of all the marriageable young
men and women. He can at any time procure
a man a wife; and, if there be a widow
who is looking out for another husband with
a little money to set up the farm again, she
need only apply to Claus Tram. For a
consideration he will at once settle the affair,
without the parties concerned being at the
trouble of falling in love, or making calculations,
or going through a courtship.

In Angel, "the great folks," i.e. the
farmers, often prefer their suit by agency.
The little folks are allowed to choose their
own partners for life: in their case, there
are not so many points to consider. With
the owner of a farm, it is quite another
thing. "Money will have money," or, as the
Angles say, "silver coin sounds best when
struck against silver coin;" and it would be a
dreadful mis-marriage, were a rich man to
marry a poor girl. In truth, the Angle has
but one passion, and that is a passion for
moneyunless perhaps it be a passion for

Claus Tram took my host at his word, and
not more than a fortnight afterwards the
matchmaker again made his appearance at
the farm. Johan gave him rather a sorry
welcome; but, after they had conversed
some time together in the "Pesel," they
both came out into the kitchen with smiling
countenances; and Lanesen said to his

"Yes, to-day there is some sense in Claus!
He has been speaking for the rich Niels
Skytte's son."

"I don't know him," said Mari.

"Well, well, little Mari, you may have
a look at him," said Tram. "If you and
your father would like it, we might come
here on Sunday."

"That's right," said my host, and the
matter seemed settled; but things were
changed since Claus was last here. This day
the matchmaker was made to sit down, and
to drink I do not know how many cups of
coffee; and when he left, Johan accompanied
him off the farm premises.

Sunday came, and the whole house was
turned topsy-turvy. The kitchen looked
like an upholsterer's shop: there were all
kinds of household utensils, saucepans, jugs,
bowls, &c., and in the plate-racks double as
many plates and dishes as usual, decorated
with painted roses, and all kinds of figures,
and with inscriptions, such as "token of
love," "token of remembrance," "token of
friendship," "for the birth-day," "Peter,"
"Doris." On the hearth blazed a bright fire,
which was reflected by the polished copper
and brass kettles, and the flames of which
licked greedily the sides of two huge cauldrons,
which were boiling over; while the
cook, with the  skimming-ladle in her hand,
was having a gossip with the maid-servants.
The sitting-rooms were freshly swept and
decorated. The doors of the sleeping berths
in the D├Ârnsk were thrown open, and
disclosed mountains of red and blue striped
feather-beds, reaching all the way up to the
ceiling. The chests in the bridal chamber
were only half closed, and the corner of a
feather-bed, or the snippet of a sheet stuck
out here and there; ticking for pillow-cases,
linsey-woolsey, and new linen peeped forward
from half-closed drawers; and round the
walls hung Marl's wardrobe: fine dresses,
linsey-woolsey shirts, cloaks, bonnets,
umbrellas, in such profusion, that the suitor
could not but feel easy as to the expense of
his wife's wardrobe, during the first year at
least. In the Pesel, a well-decked board was
laid out; and, on many a dish, love lay
deeply buried under butter, and friendship
was eclipsed by bread. The door into the
dairy was open, and allowed a view of the
milkroom, on the red brick floor of which full
milk-pans stood in close array, while, against
the wall, stood a huge trough of new-churned

The people of the farm were, of course, in
their Sunday's best. Mari looked like a fine
lady on a colossal scale; but she was,
nevertheless, really pretty, with her fresh, blushing
cheeks, and her good-natured, blue eyes, had
she only not endeavoured to force the fingers
of a hand, hardened by labour, into golden
rings with coloured glass for stones. Her
father went in and out with his long
frock-coat and his short pipe: he had