And Elsa this time thinks that one cannot expect too much industry from such a tiny little bit of humanity, so she kisses the child and says, "Well, put them to bed, then." Whereupon, Litzi, with much pretext of business, puts the alphabet away in the drawer, while Elsa, leaning back comfortably in her arm-chair, her feet crossed, her arms clasped around her knees, gives herself up to that lazy thinking which with happy people is called reverie, with unhappy ones brooding. The room in which she sits, half boudoir, half library, furnished with tall book-cases, etageres, old faience and Japanese lacquer work, and filled with the perfume of the sweetest flowers, is an ideal nest for a young woman of good taste and serious habits.
"Mamma, why must I learn to read?" asks Litzi after a while.
"So as to be a wise girl," replies Elsa, absently.
"Mamma, can the dear God read too?"
"The dear God can do everything that He wishes," says Elsa, with difficulty restraining her laughter.