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The counsellor laughed with mischievous joy, and requested an explanation.

It is a long history, and there is a piece of innocent deceit connected with it, which I aided a friend of mine to practise. I have not thought about it for a long time, but your holy graal now recalls the whole to


mind. A friend of my mother's, who had greatly aided her in bringing me up, resided with her husband, who was an · amtman, in a retired cloister, which had been converted into an amthaus for his abode. The country around was very agreeable, and I passed a good deal of time there with much pleasure. The only drawback to my friend's comfort was the very limited extent of the habitable part of the building, though it was otherwise spacious enough. Her husband was like some professors and counsellors of my acquaintance—a great admirer of antiquities and graals; and found in the old convent an inexhaustible fund for the indulgence of his favourite pursuit. For this purpose he scrupled not to crowd his family into the smallest possible space, and propped up the tumbling walls with beams in every direction, because he could not resolve to have the old house repaired, or a new one built. All our remonstrances were vain; and finally he carried it so far that no domestics would remain in the family for fear the house should tumble down and bury them in its ruins. At length, to our great joy, we heard that a commission was appointed, and the place was to be examined; but as the amtman knew well that if an

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inspection were to take place he could not prevent a new building being ordered, and he should be deprived of his hobby-horse, he made a journey to the capital to protest against the commission for a new edifice. My friend, with whom I happened to be at the time, was inconsolable over her disappointment, when a secretary, an acute and sensible man, suggested to her, in jest, a remedy, which however she eagerly seized on, as it was founded on an event very likely to happen, and we all agreed to assist her in the execution. This secretary remarked, that the first great storm would most probably blow down the house and bury many people in its ruins; but if we were to remove all the props it would tumble of itself, which could be done by night, after first taking care that everybody and all the animals were removed to a place of security: so we chose a time when the amtman was absent on a journey. We had only to select clever and discreet people to help us; and when it was done, we agreed to tell him that a gust of wind in the night had, we supposed, overthrown the old place, or that it had fallen of itself. My friend was delighted with this scheme, and we made every preparation accordingly. We removed all the valuable furniture, and especially all the curiosities of the master of the house. The messengers

, who dwelt in the ruinous part, were instructed in our intentions, and even helped us in our labour ; the uninitiated we sent out of the way on different pre

was ready; the props were bound

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round with strong ropes, which were to be pulled by horses to draw them suddenly from under the roof and walls, and we only waited for midnight; but while we were thus busy a coach drove up to the door, and the expected commissioner made his appearance.

But I really believe you are laughing at me and my story, which is very uncivil : well, I will keep it to myself.”

“ Quite the contrary,” said the professor ; “ your story is very interesting to us, and I beg you most earnestly to continue : our laughing was occasioned by a similar history we heard no great while ago.”

Oh, you must tell us that !” exclaimed the lady.

Afterwards,” replied the professor; mit us to hear the conclusion of your adventure.”

“ You left off at the arrival of the commissioner,” said the counsellor. Ah, true,” replied his lady, smiling;

" I had more business to perform yet that evening. He was a young and handsome man what was his name? let me recollect--oh! Ettmüller.”

The Herr Ettmüller !” exclaimed her husband gaily. “Ettmüller a young and handsome man! Why he was a dry, withered old fellow, who died five years ago in his eighty-sixth year.”

What then ?” observed she, " that must have been another person; this commissioner, I tell you, was a well-formed man about your size; and, as I recollect, his voice resembled yours very niuch ; so you may


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imagine I was not a little taken with him ;-but, pro-
fessor, you make me quite angry with your laughing ;
and you, too, are beginning again, my dear: you are
both of you making a jest of me.”

The professor deprecated, the husband flattered, and
both begged her to proceed with her story.

But then let no one laugh again!” threatened the fair narrator, “ else I am quite mute. Well, this handsome commissioner arrived ; but he was by far too polite, for he prated such fine things to my friend about her romantic abode in the old convent, and his own fondness for these fatal antiquariau researches, that she lost all hope that he would be opposed to her husband, and report the necessity of a new building. She therefore desired me to superintend the remaining preparations, whilst she entertained her guest ; but I presume she was little edified by this antiquarian commissioner, for she soon had hini conducted to his room, and came to assist us in our arrangements for our work. But we were not a little frightened as we were going about the court to look after the workmen, who were already chopping at props,

that they might give way the easier, to see a light in one of the windows of the very part of the house about to be precipitated ; and in the instant it occurred to us that the stupid servant Peter, who was ignorant of our intentions, had conducted the stranger into the former state-room, which was at that instant expected to

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fall. We instantly called to the workmen to stop, and ordered the horses to be unfastened from the ropes ; but the question now was, how we were to get the guest out of the tottering building without betraying all. My friend was so agitated by fear that she could hardly stand; I do not know how, but I mustered courage enough to determine to call him myself. Let him conjecture what he will, thought I, so he be once rescued. I accordingly ran to his chamber, and knocked at the door, and when I heard him move I quickly withdrew ; but, as I saw nothing of him, I knocked again; the

come in,' which he called out lustily, frightened me away again ; I now felt the floor begin to shake under me. In my terror, I forced open the door, and was about to enter, when he approached me with a light. He may, I dare say, have taken me in my white dress for a ghost, or for a nun come back again, but I was very glad to see him up, and to hear him follow me, as I hastened back again. He continued to pursue me till I got into a little court at some distance; I returned by a shorter way the workmen, and upon my giving them a sign that the stranger was in safety, the old walls with a tremendous crash fell in. I took care not to be seen by him again, as he might have recognized me, and that would have betrayed our roguery; but I would not willingly experience the anxiety of that night's adventure again.”

And is it then really possible," exclaimed the coun


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