572 THE OLD BACHELOR'S NIGHTCAP
tree than in the Danish land. This he remembered very vividly. A glittering tear rolled down over his cheek ; and in this tear he could plainly see two children playing— a boy and a girl. The boy had red cheeks, and yellow curling hair, and honest blue eyes. He was the son of the rich merchant, little Anthony—himself. The little girl had brown eyes and black hair, and had a bright clever look. She was the burgomaster's daughter Molly. The two were playing with an apple. They shook the apple, and heard the pips rattling in it. Then they cut the apple in two, and each of them took a half ; they divided even the pips, and ate them all but one, which the little girl proposed that they should lay in the earth.
' Then you shall see,' she said, ' what will come out. It will be something you don't at all expect. A whole apple-tree will come out, but not directly.'
And she put the pip in a flower-pot, and both were very busy and eager about it. The boy made a hole in the earth with his finger, and the little girl dropped the pip in it, and they both covered it with earth.
1 Now, you must not take it out to-morrow to see if it has struck root,' said Molly. ' That won't do at all. I did it with my flowers ; but only twice. I wanted to see if they were growing—I didn't know any better then—and the plants withered.'
Anthony took away the flower-pot, and every morning, the whole winter through, he looked at it; but nothing was to be seen but the black earth. At length, however, the spring came, and the sun shone warm again ; and two little green leaves came up out of the pot.
1 Those are for me and Molly,' said the boy. ' That's beautiful—that's marvellously beautiful!'
Soon a third leaf made its appearance. Whom did that represent ? Yes, and there came another, and yet another. Day by day and week by week they grew larger, and the plant began to take the form of a real tree. And all this was now mirrored in a single tear, which was wiped away and disappeared ; but it might come again from its source in the heart of old Anthony.
In the neighbourhood of Eisenach a row of stony mountains rises up. One of these mountains is round in outline,