July 15, 2020

The Mysterious Picture part 4

The 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.“Sir 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.”And she pointed to that captain of artillery who a while ago had been playing dice on the palace steps. And she went her way.The 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.”“If I am to have my head cut off,” thought Ulenspiegel, “if I am to be drawn and quartered, chopped up into small pieces and finally hung, I should do better to paint no portrait at all. I must consider what is best to be done.”“And where is the hall,” he asked the Landgrave, “which I am to adorn with all these likenesses?”“Follow me,” said the Landgrave. And he brought him to a large room with great bare walls. “This is the hall,” he said.“I should be very grateful,” said Ulenspiegel, “if some curtains could be hung right along the walls, so that my paintings may be protected from the flies and the dust.”“Certainly,” said the Landgrave.

Thirty Days Ulenspiegel

When the curtains had been hung as directed, Ulenspiegel asked if he might have three apprentices to help him with the mixing of his colors. This was done, and for thirty days Ulenspiegel and the apprentices spent the whole of their time feasting and carousing together, with every extravagance of meat and drink. And the Landgrave looked on at it all. But at last, on the thirty-first day, he came and thrust his nose in at the door of the chamber where Ulenspiegel had begged him not to enter.“Well, Tyl,” he said, “and where are the portraits?”“They are not finished,” answered Ulenspiegel.“When shall I be able to see them?”“Not just yet,” said Ulenspiegel.On the six-and-thirtieth day the Landgrave again thrust his nose inside the door.“Well, Tyl,” he inquired, “how, now?”“Ah, Sir Landgrave,” said Ulenspiegel, “the portraits are getting on.”On the sixtieth day the Landgrave grew very angry and, coming right into the room, “Show me the pictures at once,” he cried.“I will do so,” answered Ulenspiegel, “but pray have the kindness not to draw the curtains until you have summoned hither the lords and captains and ladies of your court.”

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