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saw the peaceful sun going down upon a wide
purple prospect, he came to an old man
sitting on a fallen tree. So, he said to the old
man, "What do you do here?" And the old
man said with a calm smile, "I am always
remembering. Come and remember with

So, the traveller sat down by the side of
that old man, face to face with the serene
sunset; and all his friends came softly back
and stood around him. The beautiful child,
the handsome boy, the young man in love,
the father, mother, and children: every one
of them was there, and he had lost nothing.
So, he loved them all, and was kind and
forbearing with them all, and was always pleased
to watch them all, and they all honored and
loved him. And I think the traveller must
be yourself, dear Grandfather, because this is
what you do to us, and what we do to you.


A WHOLE year of Christmas days have come
and passed, since a wealthy tun-maker, named
Jacob Elsen, was chosen Syndic of the
Corporation of tun-makers, in the town of
Stromthal, in Southern Germany. His family
name is not to be met with, perhaps,
anywhere now. The town itself is gone. The
inhabitants once unjustly taxed the Jews who
dwelt there, with the murder of some little
children, and drove them out; forbidding
any Jew to enter their gates again. But the
Jews took their quiet revenge; for they
built another town, at a distance, and carried
all the trade away, so that the new town
gradually increased in wealth, while the old
town dwindled to nothing.

But, Jacob Elsen had no knowledge of
this persecution. In his time, Jews walked
about the sombre, winding streets, and traded
in the market-place, and kept shops, and
enjoyed with others the privileges of the town.

A river flows through the town, a narrow
winding stream, navigable for small craft,
and called the "Klar." This river, being of
very pure sweet water, and moreover very
useful for the commerce of the town, the
people call their great friend. They believe
that it will heal ills of mind and body; and
although many afflicted persons have dipped in
it, and drunk of the water, without feeling
much the better for it, their belief remains
the same. They give it feminine names, as if
it were a beautiful woman or a goddess.
They have innumerable songs and stories
about it, which the people know by heart;
or did in Jacob Elsen's timefor there were
very few books and fewer readers there, in
those days. They have a yearly festival,
called the "Klarfluss-day," when flowers and
ribbons are cast into the stream, and float
away through the meadows towards the great

"Is not the Klar," said one of their old
songs, "a marvel among rivers? Lo, all
other streams are nourished, drop by drop,
with dews and rains ; but the Klar comes
forth, full grown, from the hills." And this,
indeed, was no invention of the poet; for no
one knew the source of this river. The Town
Council had offered a reward of five hundred
gold gulden to any one who could discover
it ; but all those who had endeavoured to
trace it, had come to a place, many leagues
above Stromthal, where the stream wound
between steep rocks ; and, where the current
was so strong that neither oar nor sail could
prevail against it. Beyond those rocks were
the mountains called the Himmelgebirge ; and
the Klar was supposed to rise in some of
those inaccessible regions.

But, though the people of Stromthal
honoured their river, they loved their
commerce better. Therefore, they made no
public walks along its banks; but built their
houses, mostly, to the water's brink on both
sides. Some, indeed, in the outskirts, had
gardens; but, in the centre of the town, the
stream caught no shadows, except from
warehouses and the overhanging fronts of ancient
wooden houses. Jacob Elsen's house was one
of these. The sides of the bank before it had
been lined with birch-stakes, and the foundation
was dug so close to the water, that you
might open the door of his workshop, and
dip a pitcher in the stream.

Jacob Elsen's household consisted of only
three persons besides himself; namely, his
daughter, Margaret; his apprentice, Carl;
and one old servant woman. He had workmen;
but they did not sleep in the house.
Carl was a youth of eighteen, and, his master's
daughter being a little younger, he fell in love
with heras all apprentices did in those days.
Carl's love for Margaret was pure and deep.
Jacob knew this; but he said nothing. He
had faith in Margaret's prudence.

Whether Margaret loved Carl at this time,
none ever knew but herself. He went to
church with her on Sundays; and there, while
the prayers that were said were sometimes
mere meaningless sounds to him, through his
thinking of her, and watching her, he could
hear her devoutly murmuring the words; or,
when the preacher was speaking, he saw her
face turned towards him, and felt almost vexed
to see that she was listening attentively. She
could sit at table with him, and be quite calm,
when he felt confused and awkward; at
other times she seemed always too busy to
think of him. At length, his apprenticeship
being completed; the time came for his leaving
Elsen's house to travel, as German workmen
are bound by their trade-laws to do:
and he determined to speak boldly to Margaret
before he went. What better time could
he have found for this, than a summer evening,
when Margaret happened to come into
the workshop, after his fellow-workmen were
gone? He called her to the door that opened
on the river, to look out at the sunset, and
he talked about the river, and the mystery of