was so elated that he himself proposed some jocular toast. Suddenly, one of the guests, a fat baker, raised his glass, and exclaimed: "To the health of those we work for—unſerer Kundleute!" This proposal, like all the others, was joyously and unanimously applauded. The guests saluted each other, the tailor bowed to the bootmaker, the bootmaker to the tailor, the baker to both; all to the baker, and so on. Yoorko, in the midst of these mutual salutations, exclaimed, turning to his neighbour:
"What, now? drink, sir, to the health of thy dead ones."
All laughed, but the undertaker considering himself affronted, became sullen. Nobody noticed him; the party continued its carouse, and the bells had already rung for vespers when all rose from the table.
The guests dispersed at a late hour, and most of them were elevated. The fat baker and the bookbinder, whose face appeared as if bound in red morocco, led Yoorko between them to his box, carrying out in this case the Russian proverb: A debt is rendered honourable by payment. The undertaker returned home tipsy and wrathful. "Why, indeed," reasoned he aloud: "Why is my craft worse than any other? Is an undertaker, then, brother to an executioner? What had the heathens to laugh at? Is an undertaker a Christmas harlequin? I meant to have asked them to a house-warming, to have given them a feast; but let them wait till they get it. And I shall now invite instead those for whom I work, my orthodox dead."
"What, sir?" said the maid, who was pulling off his