LM3

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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