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Seed-time and Harvest A Novel   By: (1810-1874)

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1. Page scan source:

2. Compare the "Authorized Edition" issued in Leipzig (1878) under the title "An Old Story of My Farming Days ( Ut Mine Stromtid )".

3. The diphthong oe is represented by [oe].








Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by


In the Office of the Library of Congress at Washington.

Lippincott's Press. Philadelphia .

Seed Time and Harvest;




In the year 1829, on St. John's day, a man sat in the deepest melancholy, under an ash tree arbor, in a neglected garden. The estate, to which the garden belonged, was a lease hold estate, and lay on the river Peene, between Anclam and Demmin, and the man, who sat in the cool shade of the arbor, was the lease holder, that is to say, he had been until now; for now he was ejected, and there was an auction to day in his homestead, and all his goods and possessions were going to the four winds.

He was a large, broad shouldered; light haired man, of four and forty years; and nowhere could you find a better specimen of what labor could make of a man than she had carved from this block. "Labor," said his honest face, "Labor," said his firm hands which lay quiet in his lap, folded one upon another as if for praying.

Yes, for praying! And in the whole broad country of Pomerania, there might well have been no one with greater need and reason to speak with his Lord God, than this man. 'Tis a hard thing for any one to see his household goods, which he has gathered with labor and pains, piece by piece, go wandering out into the world. 'Tis a hard thing for a farmer to leave the cattle, which he has fed and cared for, through want and trouble, to other hands that know nothing of the difficulties which have oppressed him all his life. But it was not this which lay so heavy on his heart; it was a still deeper grief which caused the weary hands to lie folded together, and the weary eyes to droop so heavily.

Since yesterday he was a widower, his wife lay upon her last couch. His wife! Ten years had he striven for her, ten years had he worked and toiled, and done what human strength could do that they might come together, that he might make room for the deep, powerful love which sung through his whole being, like Pentecost bells over green fields and blossoming fruit trees.

Four years ago he had made it possible: he had scraped together everything that he had; an acquaintance who had inherited from his parents two estates had leased one of them to him, at a high rent, very high no one knew that better than himself, but love gives courage, cheerful courage, to sustain one through everything. Oh, it would have gone well, quite well, if misfortunes had not come upon them, if his dear little wife had not risen before the daylight and ere the dew was risen, and got such feverish red spots on her cheeks. Oh, all would have gone well, quite well, if his landlord had been not merely an acquaintance but a friend he was not the latter; to day he allowed his agent to hold the auction.

Friends? Such a man as the one who sat under the ashen arbor, has he no friends? Ah, he had friends, and their friendship was true; but they could not help him, they had nothing either to give or to lend... Continue reading book >>

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