Page:Specimens of German Romance (Volume 3).djvu/34

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ginary mourners, for no sooner was the coffin set down than the funeral measure ceased, and the band struck up a lively allegro. On the removal of the lid all pressed forward to the coffin, and the mourners retired as if to give way to the general curiosity. I was amongst the curious. Although no one dared to pronounce the name of the mask within the coffin, yet every one recognised in it the imitation of that fearful man, who was then the dread of Europe. The police pressed forward to possess themselves above all things of the mask in the coffin, but the laugh was loud and general, when the officers, deceived by the excellent imitation, darted upon the supposed man, and found that all their fury had been wasted upon a figure of straw. Their next impulse was to seize the coffin-bearers, and here too they were disappointed; no one was to be found except a few well-known common porters, who knew nothing of those that had fled. This affair vexed me considerably; the originators of it might, indeed, have satisfied their own petu-