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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/235

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223
THE UNDERTAKER.

with small white Doric pillars, and Yoorko in gray cloth armour and axe[1] was again seen pacing before it. Almost all the Germans who lived in the vicinity of the Nikitsky gates knew him, and some had even chanced to spend the night of Sunday to Monday morning under his roof. Adrian hastened to make his acquaintance as he would that of a man of whom he might stand in need, sooner or later, and when the guests took their seats at dinner, they sat next to each other. Monsieur and Madame Schulz and their daughter Lottchen, who had seen but seventeen summers, whilst dining with and entertaining their guests, assisted the cook to wait upon them. Beer flowed. Yoorko ate for four; Adrian did not cede to him; his daughters, however, stood on ceremony. The conversation kept up in the German language, was becoming louder and louder. Suddenly the host begged for a few moments' attention, and drawing the cork of a sealed bottle, exclaimed in a loud voice, in Russian: "The health of my good Louisa!" The so-called champagne sparkled. The host tenderly kissed the fresh face of his forty-year-old helpmate, and the guests drank noisily to the health of the good Louisa. "The health of my amiable guests!" exclaimed the host opening a second bottle. And his guests thanked him, and again drained their glasses. Here toast followed upon toast; the health of each guest was drunk separately; they toasted Moscow and an entire dozen of little German towns, all corporations in general, and each one in particular; they drank to masters, and they drank to foremen. Adrian drank sedulously, and

  1. Ismailoff's fables.—Tr.