Who is your favorite preacher

Julius Wolff
The Sülfmeister
Julius Wolff

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Chapter ninth

After the service was over, Gilbrecht and Ilsabe waited for Hildegund to go with her to the Viscules Garden as agreed and to inspect the arbor, which was to receive its canvas roof, which had been finished in the next few days. Fraulein Barbara von Erpensen did not have a bad desire to accompany her, or rather she tried to deter the two Hennebergs from accompanying Hildegund and for this purpose put on a true scarecrow face, which was balanced between icy cold arrogance and devout piety. The youth comrades did not intend to disturb the noble young lady in her lasting edification, but neither did they want to be disturbed by the whims of the ill-favored. Hildegund mentioned in passing that Baldwin had promised to also be in the garden after church, for she knew well that the presence of her brother, whose ruthless mockery the cousin liked to avoid as far as she could, was a sure means of the latter To disguise passage to the garden. That also helped; Miss Barbara said goodbye to Gilbrecht and the two girls with a cool greeting, and the three of them continued on their way alone, happy to have got rid of the cousin, but in a more or less worried mood because they could leave not yet relieved of the pressure which the sermon, so cleverly calculated in its effect, had placed on everyone's heart. And clouds rose on their own behalf too.

Ilsabe found it very strange that Baldwin was absent from the church and wanted to justify his absence with the somewhat suspicious declaration that he had a favorite preacher in St. Michaelis. Junker Baldwin, a churchgoer who was not exactly pious, should be so attracted by a certain pulpit speaker that he gave up his place in his own community and sought his edification elsewhere? With the best will in the world, she could not really believe in this sudden breakthrough spiritual inclination of her beloved friend. With the sensitive intuition of the female heart, she sensed other reasons for this striking phenomenon, looked for it without being able to find it, and thought agonizingly about it.

These were Ilsabe's concerns; the Gilbrechts were not lighter, but grew on very different grounds. As if he had heard his parents talking in the room through all the noise of knocking and clattering that afternoon when he was helping in his father's workshop, the same misgivings his father had raised against his mother when he was considering came to him the next day a possible connection between their children and the Viskules. As a consolation, he also used his own mother as an example that a young lady could marry a simple master craftsman and become happy, completely happy with him; but his mother, whom he loved and adored above all else, was far from being the daughter of Viscula, the most distinguished one and the richest of all in town, like Hildegund. Gilbrecht was convinced that his friend would not lack suitable applicants, and knew that the old city families, apart from extremely rare exceptional cases, only entered into marital relations with families of their own kind. He was a boozer's son, but he couldn't become more than a cooper, and even if he was in high favor with Heinrich Viskule, his courage did not dare to hope that the councilor would be his only one Give daughter to wife. He himself could also imagine Hildegund as an honorable, satisfied housewife in a cooper's workshop, not talking, and how should he get from his craft to rank and wealth in order to be a welcome suitor for Hildegund Viskule? If heaven did not have mercy on him with a completely unforeseeable turn of fate, if an ineffable happiness did not fall from the stars, what would become of his love? He hoped for such happiness, the nature of which he could not imagine or imagine, which he could therefore not draw towards himself, but to which, when it came, he wanted to stretch out his hand as far as possible. Only one thing was certain: as a cooperage boy he was not allowed to woo Hildegund's love.

Gilbrecht hovered between hope and renunciation, and his heart was heavy.

Hildegund, on the other hand, did not think about the future at all, because she was happy in the present and had no inkling of the worries of the other two next to her. The earlier sibling impartiality between her and Gilbrecht was gone and had given way to unconfirmed love that notices everything and interprets everything. In the process, they had doubts upon doubts as to how words and gaze were meant, whether in the familiar familiarity of young people or in a blossoming affectionate heart. Hildegund believed, if not necessarily, more confidently in the latter, also with Gilbrecht, and was therefore happily moved and happy. If, with particularly kind words from Hildegund, this hope also grew in Gilbrecht, the restraint he imposed on himself only became all the more difficult, and the thought of complete renunciation escaped him further and further, just as little as the possibility or even the probability of the fulfillment of his highest desires therefore moved closer.

But - as is now the youth; in all obstacles and sorrows she hopes and believes: it won't be that bad! Lock your blissful dreams in the deepest room of your heart and cherish and care for them there in spite of all the storms outside. No matter how threatening dangers lay before the walls of the city, how heavy bars were placed on the happiness of lovers, the moment exercised its mighty power over them without limitation. Hildegund, in her joyous mood, let herself go unguarded and unconstrained next to Gilbrecht, and Gilbrecht relentlessly surrendered to the blissful feelings that the sight of his beloved kindled him.

In the garden, spring wove its delicate green veils around bush and bush and swelled the buds of the trees, in whose branches lively birds sang and jumped. Lawns and flowerbeds with bushes of hazelnut, blackthorn, snowball and Jelängerjelieber formed the ornamental part of the garden, surrounded by birch, oak and pine trees, behind which the orchard with vegetable fields was somewhat hidden. Across the Staket you could see neighboring gardens on both sides as far as the Ilmenau and the ramparts towered over by the towers and gables of the city. Furthermore, across the river, Lüne Monastery was quiet and lonely, and across from it was the solid tower built by the council, the Stürlüne.

The arbor, erected in a well-chosen spot in the garden and provided with nicely carved latticework, on which spinning, shadowy tendrils were supposed to climb up, was inspected and found good, and the three friends now wandered up and down the garden paths and set out on the merry Sprout and greens all around attentively. Ilsabe was restless and more withdrawn than participating in the conversation and occasionally peered at the entrance or over the fence on the way to the city. Hildegund's eyes wandered searchingly on the ground, or she looked at Gilbrecht with laughing eyes, who had more sense for the beautiful, blooming girl at his side than for the young leaves on the gooseberry bushes. Suddenly she bent down and called out happily: “At last, there you are, blue-eye of spring! Come quickly! I know a place for you. ”With that she plucked a dark blue violet and handed it to Gilbrecht, who gratefully took it from her hand with gentle pressure and put it on his Sunday tunic. "Gilbrecht," she then asked teasingly, "to whom did you give your first violet in the previous spring?"

“At that time I was in Elfeld,” he replied, “and I wasn't looking for a violet there. And if I had found one by chance, I had no one to give it to. "

"The girls on the Rhine, it is said, should be freer and funnier than those on the Elbe," said Hildegund; "is that true?"

"Oh, they're funny, but -"

"Now? But? You falter. "

"But my favorite," he smiled, "is the ones on the Ilmenau."

"Flatterer!" She threatened. "Did you say the same to the Mainz women?"

"The Mainz women heard your name from me," he said, "but they believed that the cooper only wanted to boast when he celebrated that he had joked and played with a proud young lady."

“Proud, Gilbrecht? Have I ever been proud of you? "

“No, Hildegund! It wasn't meant like that. "

Ilsabe, who was walking ahead of them, turned around, but the word she wanted to speak did not come from the already parted lips; with a flushed, joyful face she looked past the two of them into the expanse of the garden, so that Hildegund and Gilbrecht also looked around for what might attract Ilsabe's bright gaze.

In the garden, Baldwin and two friends came hurrying down the aisle, all three in splendid clothes. The others were the Junkers Giso Stöterogge and Leonhard Düsterhop, who greeted the two young girls and Gilbrecht most politely with a somewhat graceful chivalry.

"Well," Hildegund immediately asked her brother, "has your favorite preacher really edified you, Baldwin?"

"Favorite preacher?" Repeated Leonhard, turning to Baldwin in astonishment, "is Father Cornelius, whom you heard for the first time today, your favorite preacher?"

Ilsabe listened with the utmost tension to Baldwin's answer. He said somewhat embarrassed: "You like to hear someone else and take the best of everything."

"I would like to know what good would have been heard of that today!" Scoffed Giso Stöterogge.

"How come? Why not? ”Asked Baldwin, even more embarrassed.

"In the Sermon? In stirring up and rooting against the council? "

"Against the Council?"

'So he wasn't listening,' thought Ilsabe; ›Why in the world did he go?‹

"You are a brave Christian to me!" Teased Hildegund. "And we believed that your eyes would hang on the speaker's lips in deep devotion."

"Balduin's eyes were devoted to something much more beautiful, Fraulein Hildegund," said Junker Leonhard. "Do you want to know what?"

"Certainly! I'm curious, "said Hildegund. Ilsabe heard her heart beating.

"What you want to see again!" Said Baldwin impatiently.

"I saw your steadfast looks into the dark, fiery eyes of Frau Walpurg Grönhagen, friend!" Laughed Leonhard. "You chose your place well, across from her."

“Baldwin! Is that why? ”Said Hildegund. But Junker Leonhard interrupted her: "And the beautiful young widow didn't owe him any, she gave them all back to him in full and in all respects."

“What a stupid chatter! Believe him nothing! 'Exclaimed Baldwin, confused.

"Giso," said Leonhard, "what do you think of that?"

"Baldwin!" Laughed Giso. “Denial doesn't help here. When we spoke to Frau Walpurg after church, or rather when you spoke to her and we stood by as witnesses of what seemed to be your very welcome homage with so many flattering words - «

"Please stop it!" Said Baldwin sharply and darkly.

“As you command, strict friend! Maybe we were wrong. "

Now Ilsabe knew why Baldwin had gone to Michaeliskirche. Embarrassed and hurt, she looked for a decent pretext to be able to go away, did not want to see him, did not want to hear the reckless, fickle. Unaware of what she was doing, she bent a rice with the catkins of hazelnut from the bush and tore and rubbed it with hasty, trembling hands.

Giso Stöterogge saw the violet on Gilbrecht's doublet and said: "You probably didn't pick the violet yourself, Henneberg, otherwise you would certainly have given it to the young lady or the lovely sister."

“No,” smiled Gilbrecht, “cooper's fists are not good for picking flowers; a more beautiful hand broke the flower for me. "

"Whoever can boast of such favor!" Said the Junker with a tender look at Hildegund, whom Gilbrecht must have noticed.

"The next violet should be yours, maiden Ilsabe," said Leonhard Düsterhop aloud to the one who had walked ahead alone in the garden path.

"Even if I find it," added Baldwin, as he followed her.

"If you find it," said Ilsabe with a bright laugh, "you will probably know where else to get your thanks for it."

"Do you forbid me to bring you violets?" He asked, struck by Ilsabe's sharp rejection.

"I don't forbid it because I don't expect it."

"Then I hope you'll take it from me unexpectedly," he said urgently.

“Don't bother on my account!” She replied and turned away, calling out to her brother: “I'm going home, Gilbrecht. Are you coming with me?"

"We probably still have time," said Gilbrecht, who, like the others, had not heard the conversation between Baldwin and Ilsabe.

“If you want to stay, stay; I'm going, I have to go home, "said Ilsabe, held out her hand to Hildegund and walked away with quick steps, greeting the two Junkers without looking at Baldwin.

Baldwin looked after her indecisively, annoyed by the chatter of his friends, but did not try to hold her.

"Don't we want to accompany Ilsabe and make our way home?" Asked Hildegund.

"Oh, stay a little longer!" Asked Giso Stöterogge. "I haven't seen you in a long time, Fraulein Hildegund!"

"I mean, we talked only three days ago."

"It was five days ago, and that's a long time for someone who longs to see you."

"You are very polite, Junker Giso!" Said Hildegund.

"I didn't think I'd meet you here."

"Certainly not!" Gilbrecht intervened in rising jealousy. "Because we only came here for the new arbor."

"I regret if I disturb you," Giso remarked a little mockingly and, seized by the same feeling, added with exaggeration: "By the way, Böttcher Henneberg, we are both guests here, you as well as me, only I don't know whether both of you will be equally welcome . "

"I don't know either, Junker Stöterogge!" Replied Gilbrecht with a challenging laugh.

Before Giso could reply, Hildegund said: "You are both welcome, Gilbrecht is at home here, and now follow me, Junker Giso, and take a look at the airy building."

They went to the arbor a little disgruntled and chatted about all sorts of trivial things. Gilbrecht, to whom the reason for Ilsabe's departure had subsequently become clear, remained rather silent, and Baldwin also did little to hide his bad mood. The funniest was Leonhard; he used to say: Precisely because my name is Dark Hop, I have to be cheerful! And then lived briskly, lightly and easily.

Soon they got up to return to town, and when the little company parted, Leonhard Düsterhop said, but in such a way that Hildegund and Gilbrecht did not hear: "Balduin, we are expecting you in Schütting this evening; In the back of the junker's room there is a little barrel of Romenye, and then - - «

He made a movement with his hand, as if he were holding a mug in it, which he was shaking. Balduin nodded: "I'm coming!" And Leonhard sang half aloud:

»Women, wine and dice game,
Who dares little, does not gain much. "

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