Then from their seats they rose, and both of them turned to the fountain One more look behind, and a tender longing possessed them. Both of the water-jars then in silence she took by the handle, Carried them up the steps, while behind her followed her lover. One of the pitchers he begged her to give him to lighten the burden. "Nay, let it be!" she said: "I carry them better so balanced. Nor shall the master, who is to command, be doing me service. Look not so gravely upon me, as thinking my fortune a hard one. Early a woman should learn to serve, for that is her calling; Since through service alone she finally comes to the headship, Comes to the due command that is hers of right in the household. Early the sister must wait on her brother, and wait on her parents; Life must be always with her a perpetual coming and going, Or be a fetching and carrying, making and doing for others. Happy for her be she wonted to think no way is too grievous, And if the hours of the night be to her as the hours of the daytime; If she find never a needle too fine, nor a labor too trifling; Wholly forgetful of self, and caring to live but in others! For she will surely, as mother, have need of every virtue, When, in the time of her illness, the cries of her infant arouse her Calling for food from her weakness, and cares are to suffering added. Twenty men bound into one were not able to bear such a burden; Nor is it meant that they should, yet should they with gratitude view it."
Thus she spoke, and was come, meanwhile, with her silent companion, Far as the floor of the barn, at the furthermost end of the garden, Where was the sick woman lying, whom, glad, she had left with her daughters, Those late rescued maidens: fair pictures of innocence were they. Both of them entered the barn; and, e'en as they did so, the justice, Leading a child in each hand, came in from the other direction. These had been lost, hitherto, from the sight of their sorrowing mother; But in the midst of the crowd the old man now had descried them. Joyfully sprang they forward to meet their dear mother's embraces, And to salute with delight their brother, their unknown companion. Next upon Dorothea they sprang with affectionate greeting, Asking for bread and fruit, but more than all else for some water. So then she handed the water about; and not only the children Drank, but the sick woman too, and her daughters, and with them the justice. All were refreshed, and highly commended the glorious water; Acid it was to the taste, and reviving, and wholesome to drink of.
Then with a serious face the maiden replied to them, saying: "Friends, for the last time now to your mouth have I lifted my pitcher; And for the last time by me have your lips been moistened with water. But henceforth in the heat of the clay when the draught shall refresh you, When in the shade ye enjoy your rest beside a clear fountain, Think of me then sometimes and of all my affectionate service, Prompted more by my love than the duty I owed you as kindred. I shall acknowledge as long as I live the kindness ye've shown me. 'Tis with regret that I leave you; but every one now is a burden, More than a help to his neighbor, and all must be finally scattered Far through a foreign land, if return to our homes be denied us. See, here stands the youth to whom we owe thanks for the presents. He gave the cloak for the baby, and all these welcome provisions. Now he is come, and has asked me if I will make one in his dwelling, That I may serve therein his wealthy and excellent parents. And I refuse not the offer; for maidens must always be serving; Burdensome were it for them to rest and be served in the household. Therefore I follow him gladly. A youth of intelligence seems he, And so will also the parents be, as becometh the wealthy. So then farewell, dear friend; and mayst thou rejoice in thy nursling, Living, and into thy face already so healthfully looking! When thou shalt press him against thy breast in these gay-colored wrappings, Oh, then remember the kindly youth who bestowed them upon us, And who me also henceforth, thy sister, will shelter and nourish. Thou, too, excellent man!" she said as she turned to the justice; "Take my thanks that in many a need I have found thee a father." Then she knelt down on the floor by the side of the newly made mother, Kissing the weeping woman, and taking her low-whispered blessing. Thou, meanwhile, worshipful justice, wast speaking to Hermann and saying: "Justly mayst thou, my friend, be counted among the good masters, Careful to manage their household affairs with capable servants. For I have often observed how in sheep, as in horses and oxen, Men conclude never a bargain without making closest inspection, While with a servant who all things preserves, if honest and able, And who will every thing lose and destroy, if he set to work falsely, Him will a chance or an accident make us admit to our dwelling, And we are left, when too late, to repent an o'er hasty decision. Thou understandest the matter it seems; because thou hast chosen, Thee and thy parents to serve in the house, a maid who is honest. Hold her with care; for as long as thy household is under her keeping, Thou shalt not want for a sister, nor yet for a daughter thy parents."
Many were come, meanwhile, near relatives all of the mother, Bringing her various gifts, and more suitable quarters announcing. All of them, hearing the maiden's decision, gave Hermann their blessing, Coupled with glances of meaning, while each made his special reflections. Hastily one and another would say in the ear of his neighbor: "If in the master a lover she find, right well were she cared for." Hermann took her at last by the hand, and said as he did so: "Let us be going; the day is declining, and distant the city." Eager and voluble then the women embraced Dorothea; Hermann drew her away; but other adieus must be spoken: Lastly the children with cries fell upon her and terrible weeping, Clung to her garments, and would not their dear second mother should leave them. But in a tone of command the women said, one and another: "Hush now, children, she's going to the town, and will presently bring you Plenty of nice sweet cake that was by your brother bespoken When by the stork just now he was brought past the shop of the baker. Soon you will see her come back with sugar-plums splendidly gilded." Then did the little ones loose their hold, and Hermann, though hardly, Tore her from further embraces away, and far-waving kerchiefs.
Towards the setting sun the two thus went on their journey: Close he had wrapped himself round with clouds portending a tempest. Out from the veil, now here and now there, with fiery flashes, Gleaming over the field shot forth the ominous lightning. "May not these threatening heavens," said Hermann, "be presently sending Hailstones upon us and violent rains; for fair is the harvest." And in the waving luxuriant grain they delighted together: Almost as high it reached as the lofty shapes that moved through it.
Thereupon spoke the maiden, and said to her guide and companion: "Friend, unto whom I soon am to owe so kindly a fortune, Shelter and home, while many an exile's exposed to the tempest, Tell me concerning thy parents, I pray thee, and teach me to know them, Them whom with all my heart I desire to serve in the future. Who understands his master, more easily gives satisfaction, Having regard to the things which to him seem chief in importance, And on the doing of which his firm-set mind is determined. Tell me therefore, I pray, how to win thy father and mother."
And to her question made answer the good and intelligent Hermann: "Ah, what wisdom thou showest, thou good, thou excellent maiden, Asking thus first of all concerning the tastes of my parents! Know that in vain hitherto I have labored in serving my father, Taking upon me as were it my own, the charge of the household; Early and late at work in the fields, and o'erseeing the vineyard. But my mother I fully content, who can value my service; And thou wilt also appear in her eyes the worthiest of maidens, If for the house thou carest, as were it thine own thou wast keeping. Otherwise is it with father, who cares for the outward appearance. Do not regard me, good maiden, as one who is cold and unfeeling, That unto thee a stranger I straightway discover my father. Nay, I assure thee that never before have words such as these are Freely dropped from my tongue, which is not accustomed to prattle; But from out of my bosom thou lurest its every secret. Some of the graces of life my good father covets about him, Outward signs of affection he wishes, as well as of honor; And an inferior servant might possibly give satisfaction, Who could turn these to account, while he might be displeased with a better."
Thereupon said she with joy, the while her hastening footsteps Over the darkening pathway with easy motion she quickened: "Truly I hope to them both I shall equally give satisfaction: For in thy mother's nature I find such an one as mine own is, And to the outward graces I've been from my childhood accustomed. Greatly was courtesy valued among our neighbors the Frenchmen, During their earlier days; it was common to noble and burgher, As to the peasant, and every one made it the rule of his household. So, on the side of us Germans, the children were likewise accustomed Daily to bring to their parents, with kissing of hands and with curtseys, Morning good-wishes, and all through the day to be prettily mannered. Every thing thus that I learned, and to which I've been used from my childhood, All that my heart shall suggest, shall be brought into play for thy father. But who shall tell me of thee, and how thyself shouldst be treated, Thou the only son of the house, and henceforth my master?"
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