Translated by Bertha Overbeck
ak of limb and almost careworn in face--for he had really retained the old look--he was a healthy boy, who gave promise of long life.
At this time his first recollections begin. The earliest, which in after-years he often recalled, was as follows:
The room is half dark. Icicles are clinging to the windows, and through the curtains shines the red glow of the sunset. The elder brothers have gone skating, but he is in his little bed--for he has to go to bed early-- and near him sits his mother, one hand encircling his neck, and the other on the edge of the cradle, in which the two little sisters sleep, which Master Stork brought a year ago, both on the same day.
"Mamma, tell me a fairy tale," he pleads.
And his mother told him one. What? He could only remember very faintly, but there was something in it about a gray woman who had visited his mother in all her sad hours, a woman with a pale and haggard face, and dark, tear-stained eyes. She had come like a shadow, like a shadow she had gone, had exten