And at once he set about the first lesson, scolding and growling about the child setting his teeth like a dog, and mincing his words like a fine lady, till poor Gottlieb's hopes more than once sank very low.
But, at the end of a quarter of an hour's practice, the artist in the choir-master entirely overcame the diplomatist.
He behaved like a madman. He took the child in his arms and hugged him, like a friendly bear; he set him on the table and made him sing one phrase again and again, walking round and round him, and rubbing his hands and laughing with delight; and, finally, he seized him and bore him in triumph to the kitchen, and said to his housekeeper:
"Ursula, bring out the finest goose and the best preserves and puddings you have. We must feast the whole choir, and, may be, the dean and chapter. The archduke and the young archduchess will be here at Easter. But we shall be ready for them. Those beggarly Cistercians haven't a chance. The lad has the voice of an angel, an