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in knowledge.” He paused a few seconds, and then continued : “ After all that I have seen and heard, in this short time, of your dear young scholar Friedrich there, he seems to me the prototype of my lost son—in size, in voice, and in mind, which speaks in looks and actions. All this reminds my wife livingly of her loss."
“And yet, at the same time,” interrupted the lady, “this great resemblance consoles me; and I should be greatly obliged to my husband's friend, if he would allow his young pupil to pass a few days of the just now commenced midsummer vacation with us in Nürnberg. The ink in my son's writingdesk is not yet dry: his pen lies as he laid it last out of his hand: his chair stands as he left it when he pushed it back and rose, complaining to me of that headache which ended in his being removed from us.—Dear youth,” said she, turning to Friedrich, whom the Curate had beckoned forward, “ will not you pass at least a few weeks in this little chamber, that it may become again pleasant to me; that therein, once more, a being may dwell, of whom I may ask, now and then, as I did from my good Fritz, ‘ How is it with thee ?'”
Friedrich and the Curate had both tears in their eyes, and were both of them about to answer, when one of his school companions started forward and said, “Oh, gracious lady, yes! He will go with you, without doubt. The apothecary, the gingerbread-baker, and the butcher, have all tried him; but he was good for nothing! He will be glad to go with you!"
The Curate gave the boy a box on his ear for his pains, and then began to explain to the good rector and his lady the exact situation of his young favourite. “If,” concluded he, “you have compassion on this poor orphan, and will give to him, even in the lowest degree, the place of your deceased son, in house and heart, then will the Lord have heard the prayer which I this morning put up on his behalf !”
“May I then, wholly and for ever, take him to myself ?” asked the stranger.
The Curate assented, adding that it was the Lord who had provided for him.
“Now then, my son,” said the stranger, addressing Friedrich, “follow us. All that I' ask from you is love to God, love to me and to your second mother, and love for learning."
Friedrich laid his hands in those of his newly adopted parents, and wished to say something which might express his thanks, but he could only say, in a voice scarcely audible, “ Lord, I am not worthy of the love and kindness which thou hast shewn to me, thy poor servant!”
The friendly young reader can now imagine the rest: can imagine how the good Nürnbergers agreed to pass a few days with the friendly Curate at Pappenheim ; and furthermore, can imagine how, on the fourth day, they set off, Friedrich sitting between his foster-parents in their large family chaise. The roads in those days were not as good as they are now, and travellers had to encounter marshes and sands, flats and rocks, of which people now-a-days know nothing ; but, for all that, the reader can imagine how the rector's strong horses drew them merrily onwards; and how, on the evening of the third day of their journey, they arrived safely at their home in the old city of Nürnberg.