THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE 101
over, I must say to your speech, mihi secus videtur ; yet I will gladly suspend my judicium? **
1 May I ask with whom I have the pleasure of speaking ? ' asked the councillor.
' I am a bachelor of theology,' replied the man.
This answer sufficed for the councillor ; the title corresponded with the garb.
1 Certainly,' he thought, ' this must be an old village schoolmaster, a queer character, such as one finds sometimes over in Jutland.'
' This is certainly not a locus docendi,'' began the man ; ' but I beg you to take the trouble to speak. You are doubtless well read in the ancients ? '
' Oh, yes,' replied the councillor. ' I am fond of reading useful old books ; and am fond of the modern ones, too, with the exception of the " Every-day Stories ", of which we have enough, in all conscience.'
1 Every-day Stories ? ' replied the bachelor, inquiringly. Yes, I mean the new romances we have now.'
1 Oh ! ' said the man, with a smile, ' they are very witty, and are much read at court. The king is especially partial to the romance by Messieurs Iffven and Gaudian, which talks about King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. He has jested about it with his noble lords.'
' That I have certainly not yet read,' said the councillor ; ' that must be quite a new book published by Heiberg.'
' No,' retorted the man, ' it is not published by Heiberg, but by Godfrey von Gehmen.'1
' Indeed ! is he the author ? ' asked the councillor. ' That is a very old name : was not that the name of about the first printer who appeared in Denmark % '
' Why, he is our first printer,' replied the man.
So far it had gone well. Now one of the men began to speak of a pestilence which he said had been raging a few years ago : he meant the plague of 1484. The councillor supposed that he meant the cholera, and so the conversation went on tolerably. The Freebooters' War of 1490 was so recent that it could not escape mention. The English pirates had taken ships from the very wharves,
1 The first printer and publisher in Denmark, under King Hans.