The Mysterious Picture

The Mysterious Picture part 5

well,” said the Landgrave, and at his command the aforesaid notabilities
appeared. Ulenspiegel took his stand in front of the curtain, which was still
carefully drawn.

Lord Landgrave,” he said “and you, Madame the Landgravine, and you, my Lord of
Luneburg, and you others, fine ladies and valiant captains, know that behind
this curtain have I portrayed to the best of my abilities, your faces, every
one warlike or gentle, as the case may be. It will be quite easy for each one
of you to recognize himself. And that you are anxious to see yourselves is only
natural. But I pray you, have patience and suffer me to speak a word or two
before the curtain is drawn. Know this, fair ladies and valiant captains: all
you that are of noble blood shall behold my paintings and rejoice. But if there
be any among you that is of low or humble birth, such an one will see nothing
but a blank wall. So there! And now, have the goodness to open wide your noble


The Mysterious Picture part 4

lady went away, and now there appeared a young maid-of- honor, fair, fresh and
comely, only that she lacked three teeth under her upper lip.

painter,” said she, “if you do not paint me smiling and showing through my
parted lips a perfect set of teeth, I’ll have you chopped up into small pieces
at the hands of my gallant. There he is, look at him.”

she pointed to that captain of artillery who a while ago had been playing dice
on the palace steps. And she went her way.

procession continued until at last Ulenspiegel was left alone with the
Landgrave. The Landgrave said to him, “My friend, let me warn you that if your
painting has the misfortune to be inaccurate or false to all these various
physiognomies by so much as a single feature, I will have your throat cut as if
you were a chicken.”

I am to have my head cut off,” thought Ulenspiegel, “if I am to be drawn and
quartered, chopped up into small pieces a

The Mysterious Picture part 2

Mysterious Picture is found in Section 33 of the First Book. Translated by
Geoffrey Whitworth in the volume, The Legend of Tyl Ulenspiegel, published by
Chatto and Windus, by whose permission it is here used. There is no title in
the original.

The Mysterious Picture

two captains of artillery were playing dice upon the steps of the palace, and
one of them, a red-haired man of gigantic stature, soon noticed Ulenspiegel as
he approached modestly upon his ass, gazing down upon them and their game.

do you want?” said the captain, “you fellow, with your starved pilgrim’s face?”

am extremely hungry,” answered Ulenspiegel, “and if I am a pilgrim, it is
against my will.”

you are hungry,” replied the captain, “go, eat the next gallows- cord you come
to, for such cords are prepared for vagabonds like you.”

Captain,” answered Ulenspiegel, “only give me the f

The Mysterious Picture part 1



was not until 1880 that the Belgians could claim to have established an
indisputably original literature of their own. Before that time a few national
writers, like Henri Conscience, made a sporadic appearance, but either they
joined the ranks of French writers in Paris or they remained more or less
isolated phenomena in their own country.

between the earlier period and the foundation of Max Waller’s epoch-making
magazine, La Jeune Belgique, in 1880, stood Charles de Coster, whose Legend of
Tyl Ulenspiegel is now regarded as one of the chief sources of inspiration to
the generations that followed. But De Coster died before the opening of the
period that marks the birth of a genuine Belgian literature.

Belgium is rich in prose fiction. Though Maeterlinck spe-cialized in the drama
and the essay, and Verhaeren was essentially a poet, the most significant
products of the