The 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
There 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.“What do you want?” said the captain, “you fellow, with your starved pilgrim`s face?”“I am extremely hungry,” answered Ulenspiegel, “and if I am a pilgrim, it is against my will.”“An you are hungry,” replied the captain, “go, eat the next gallows- cord you come to, for such cords are prepared for vagabonds like you.”“Sir Captain,” answered Ulenspiegel, “only give me the fine golden cord you wear on your hat, and I will go straightway and hang myself by the teeth from that fat ham which I see hanging over there at the cook-shop.”The captain asked him where he came from. Ulenspiegel told him, “From Flanders.”“What do you want?”“To show His Highness the Landgrave one of my pictures. For I am a painter.”“If it is a painter that you are,” said the captain, “and from Flanders, come in and I will lead you to my master.”When he had been brought before the Landgrave, Ulenspiegel saluted thrice and again.“May Your Highness deign,” said he, “to excuse my presumption in daring to come and lay before these noble feet a picture I have made for Your Highness, wherein I have had the honor to portray Our Lady the Virgin in her royal attire.”And then after a moment`s pause:“It may be that my picture may please Your Highness,” he continued, “and in that case I am sufficiently presumptuous to hope that I might aspire even unto this fine chair of velvet where sat in his lifetime the painter that is lately deceased and ever to be regretted by Your Magnanimity.”
Ulenspiegel showed him
Now, the picture which Ulenspiegel showed him was very beautiful, and when the Landgrave had inspected it he told Ulenspiegel to sit down on the chair, for that he would certainly make him his court painter. And the Landgrave kissed him on both cheeks most joyously, and Ulenspiegel sat down on the chair.“Of a truth, you are a very talkative fellow,” said the Landgrave, looking him up and down.“May it please Your Lordship,” answered Ulenspiegel, “Jeff—my donkey—has dined most excellently well on thistles, but as for me, I have seen nothing but misery these three days past, and have had nothing to nourish me but the mists of expectation.”
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