« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
a tone of hasty alarm, as if he were ordered to take care of me through all my earthly way.
"Stop at B !who can you want at
"Westermann! that is me."
The last comer raised his eyes, or rather withdrew them from my face, and directed them slowly to that of his combatant.
"N-a-y; n-a-y!—it is Carl Olof Westermann I want."
"I tell you that is me," cried my friend, laying his open hand on his breast, "Carl Olof Westermann, of B , must be me."
"My brother! my brother!" was the cry that actually rung in my startled ears, as the other elderly man shoved over his bulky person, and threw himself on his brother's neck and wept.
To see the two old men—the youngest was nearly old—embracing and kissing each other, looking at each other in doubt, denying and acknowledging each other's identity, pushing each other back and drawing each other forward, wiping their eyes, and weeping again, was, together with the manner of their meeting in the railway carriage, one of the very drollest scenes I ever beheld.
"Ach! Earl, Karl," said the younger,—the returned brother at last, sopping up his tears with his red handkerchief, but still clasping his brother's hand, "it was thy iMusf sent me off to America after our father's death, now nearly thirty years ago; I might have known it again when I heard it at the door. I couldn't bear it, Karl, I couldn't bear it; yet somehow I have missed it ever since."
My old friend sat, as if half stupefied, holding his new-found brother's hand, but at these words he grasped it closer, and cried, "It is little Henrich! it is little Henriech!" And then Henriech began an outline of his story.
"I have been married twice since I left you, my brother. My first wife was a good woman, ach! a wonderfully good woman; she had her 1 Must' too Karl, and,—and—I got used to it, and—" the red handkerchief began its work again, "when she died, I missed her, and I felt then just as I had done when I first left you, and had no one to say, Henriech you must do this, or you must not do that." He stopped. "Henriech, thou must go on!" cried the older brother in a tone that made me jump.
"Ach! my brother ! yes, it is my own brother Karl;" and another series of embracing. "Well, my brother, she died," continued Henriech, rubbing his large, soft, hazel eyes with the red handkerchief; "she died, and I was broken-hearted; my spirit was quite gone. There came just then a powerful woman to our country, a fine woman; she liked me and married me, and took me back with her to her own place. It was in a slave country, and she had slaves, and her Must too. Ach ! what a Must that was!
"I got soon accustomed to it; but she had a whip too, and I could not get accustomed to that. One day some of her slaves ran away, she said I made them go. 1 Henriech,' she said, 'thou must hunt these niggers, and catch them, and when they are caught, thou must punish them thyself.' We went out after them with dogs and guns; they were hid in the woods, and we were sure of catching them, but—I know not how that was—I got lost in the wood, and they went off home without me. I got thinking of old times, and I said to myself, 'I wonder if brother Karl keeps up his Must still, for it seems to me every one has a Must of their own, and his was no worse than others. So as I was out, and had brought money enough with me, I thought I would just come back to Germany to see if I could not bear thy Must now, brother Karl."
"And so thou shalt, thou stupid, soft-headed, dear little Henriech, thou shalt bear it," shouted the other; "hear this now—thou must never leave thy old brother again, thou must not." Such a Must as that was seemed to bring the' train to a stand! The brothers left it; I saw them on the platform shaking hands as if they were going to part for ever, while they were fervently promising to part no more. Karl Olof Westermann ran back, and throwing a card with this name on it through the window, called out, "I have told the conductor he must not let any one in there who smokes. If you come back this way you must come to see me."
Here, while I have been telling this long story, the sun has gone down—quite down; a short time since the swans only were sailing on that formal but still refreshing Alster lake, now boats are gliding over it; Hamburg life is moving, the Jungfrunstein is gay, carriages are driving out to the country, the suburbs are full of pleasure haunts. Surely the good Hamburgers know
Vol. i. n
how to unite pleasure and business; work first and play afterwards, seems the motto here.
Like other resuscitated towns of the oldHanseatic League, Hamburg has an external and internal aspect—modern and ancient; the great fire has also contributed much to the present handsome appearance of its modernized part. In point of commerce, I am told its wealthy merchants say "Hamburg first and London second." They are welcome, for my part, to say so, if it pleases them. In another respect, however, I think they have a less disputed advantage over our commercial towns; the aspect of modern Hamburg, on a first approach, most agreeably surprised me, for accustomed only to think of it as a place of transit, a commercial town, I was unprepared for the air of greatness, of brightness, and pleasure that strikes one even on a first view. The water, the trees, the Maiden's Walk, with all its evening animation, and the large white houses, contrast strongly with the gaunt and gloomy warehouses that greet the eye on our approach to Liverpool, and with the dull, heavy atmosphere of factory life and business that overhangs smokeenveloped Manchester. The bright and pleasant