750 THE OLD CHURCH BELL
fashion of clay a noble form that was to be cast in bronze —a statue of him whose name the father in Marbach had inscribed in the old Bible as Johann Christoph Friedrich.
And the glowing metal flowed into the mould. The old church bell—of whose home and of whose vanished sounds no one thought—the bell flowed into the mould, and formed the head and bust of the figure that was soon to be unveiled, which now stands in Stuttgart, before the old palace—a representation of him who once walked to and fro there, striving and suffering, harassed by the world without—he, the boy of Marbach, the pupil of the ' Karl-schule5, the fugitive, Germany's great immortal poet, who sang of the liberator of Switzerland and of the Heaven-inspired Maid of Orleans.
It was a beautiful sunny day; flags were waving from roofs and steeples in the royal city of Stuttgart; the bells rang for joy and festivity ; one bell alone was silent, but it gleamed in another form in the bright sunshine—it gleamed from the head and breast of the statue of honour. On that day, exactly one hundred years had elapsed since the day on which the bell at Marbach had rung comfort and peace to the suffering mother, when she bore her son, in poverty, in the humble cottage—him who was afterwards to become the rich man, whose treasures enriched the world, the poet who sang of the noble virtues of woman, who sang of all that was great and glorious—Johann Christoph Friedrich Schiller.
TWELVE BY THE MAIL
It was bitterly cold; the sky gleamed with stars, and not a breeze was stirring.
Bump ! an old pot was thrown at the neighbours' house doors. Bang ! bang! went the gun; for they were welcoming the New Year. It was New Year's Eve ! The church clock was striking twelve !
Tan-ta-ra-ra ! the mail came in. The great carriage stopped at the gate of the town. There were twelve persons in it; all the places were taken.