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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by


in the Clerk's office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.


122 Washington Street, Boston.



were not, the greatest good-for-nothing in

town. Aunt Louise asserted her yes! The position of the opposing elements Uncle Zachary said no! The “yes” of the in our family was one so strongly marked, aunt, however, was an absolute one, while that eren in countries convulsed with vio- my uncle gave his “no” with modificalent rerolutions one similarly defined tions. He said, frankly, that by his no might rarely have been met with.

he did not in the least intend to deny my The two most prominent characters in qualifications as a good-for-nothing, but our family-feuds, who stood up with the merely objected to the attribute “greatgreatest tenacity for their conflicting opin- est,” inasmuch as he was fully convinced ions, were my uncle, the pensioned high- that I did not deserve it, since there was forester, Zacharias Aumann, and his sister, many a greater scamp in town, and were my aunt, Louise Rancke, née Aumann, it no other than his dear nephew, the stuwidow of the late Counsellor of Appeals diosus juris, Albert Rancke! of that name. The latter was the leader Besides the numerical preponderance, of the opposition, the attacking party, and my Aunt Louise possessed the additional had, for that very reason, gained an as one of a rare, almost masculine energy; cendency, which otherwise she would for when Uncle Zachary occasionally came hardly have obtained. Her adherents out with a complaint against Albert, she were, in the first place, her son, my cousin defended her son with such firmness and Albert, studiosus juris in his first term; circumspection that the old gentleman secondly, her sister, my Aunt Elizabeth rarely succeeded in making a breach into Aumann; and lastly, — only think!- my the wall of her maternal tenderness; Uncle Zachary's own daughter Hildegard, whilst, in an opposite case, when one of the prettiest, but also the pertest, little girl my innumerable pranks became the topic of eleven years in the whole town. of conversation, served up with great rel

If we now turn to the forces which ish by Aunt Louise, Uncle Zachary only Uncle Zachary could oppose to this august muttered something in an undertone, and majority, the final result of the combat my poor mother's eyes filled with tears may easily be foretold. Beside this leader immediately. of the minority, the whole party consisted When I happened to be present on such solely, first, of my poor, constantly ailing occasions, those tearful eyes had a remarkmother, widow of the late Colonel Baron able effect upon me. As a rule, I left the von Oberg, and third sister of my uncle; room without saying one word; once in and of myself, Baron Leo von Oberg, fif- the entry, I promised solemnly to myself teen years old, and a scholar in the fifth that I would be more prudent; and it class. Strictly speaking, however, I could rarely happened that I did not carry out hardly be counted at all, for I was alto- my good resolution for twenty-four hours, gether too deeply interested in the feud at least. Afterwards, to be sure — Well, personally, to make my opinion have any but why was it, that not a single mad weight whatever.

prank in the whole town could be thought The great question at issue - let me say of, without my being compelled, as it it at once

was, as to whether I, the fifth- were, by my playmates, to take a leading class scholar, Leo von Oberg, were, or part in executing it?

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