The Mysterious Picture part 2

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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