The Mysterious Picture part 3


“You shall soon have some better fare than that,” answered the Landgrave, “but where is this donkey of yours?”“I left him on the Grande Place,” Ulenspiegel said, “opposite the palace; and I should be most obliged if he could be given lodging for the night, some straw, and a little fodder.”The Landgrave gave immediately instructions to one of his pages that Ulenspiegel`s donkey should be treated even as his own.The hour for supper soon arrived, and the meal was like a wedding festival. Hot meats smoked in the dishes, wine flowed like water, while Ulenspiegel and the Landgrave grew both as red as burning coals. Ulenspiegel also became very merry, but His Highness was somewhat pensive even in his cups.“Our painter,” said he suddenly, “will have to paint our portrait, for it is a great satisfaction to a mortal prince to bequeath to his descendants the memory of his countenance.”“Sir Landgrave,” answered Ulenspiegel, “your will is my pleasure. Nevertheless, I cannot help feeling sorry at the thought that if Your Lordship is painted by himself he will feel lonely perhaps, all there in solitary state through the ages to come.Surely he should be accompanied by his noble wife, Madame the Landgravine, by her lords and adies, and by his captains and most warlike officers of state. In the midst of these My Lord and his Lady will shine like twin suns surrounded by lanterns.”“Well, painter mine, and how shall I have to pay you for this mighty work?”“One hundred florins, either now or later, just as you will.”“Here they are, in advance,” said the Landgrave.“Most compassionate master,” said Ulenspiegel as he took the money, “you have filled my lamp with oil, and now it shall burn bright in your honor.”

Landgrave to let him

On the next day Ulenspiegel asked the Landgrave to let him see those persons who were to have the honor of being painted. And first there came before him the Duke of Liineburg, Commander of the infantry of the Landgrave.He was a stout man who carried with difficulty his great paunch swollen with food. He went up to Ulenspiegel and whispered in his ear, “When you paint my portrait, see that you take off half my fat at least, else will I order my soldiers to have you hung.”The Duke passed on. And next day there came a noble lady with a hump on her back and a bosom as flat as a sword-blade.“Sir painter,” said she, “unless you remove the hump on my back and give me a couple of others in the place where they should be, verily, I will have you drawn and quartered as if you were a prisoner.”

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