frenchman 5.fre.004004 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

My most precious!

At the moment the equinoctial gales are raging frightfully; in our house a window was blown in last night and the trees are creaking most pitiably. Tomorrow and the day after there will be news of shipwrecks coming in! The Old Man [Heinrich Leupold] is standing by the window and pulling a wry face because the day before yesterday a ship went to sea in which he has 3,000 talers’ worth of linen which is not insured. You don’t say anything about the letter to Ida [Engels] which I enclosed in my previous letter; or did I forget to put it in? — I am now really staying here till Easter, which for various reasons is most welcome to me. So Ida has gone now; that will be very awkward for you.

We have quite a good camp here too, almost 3,000 men strong, Oldenburg, Bremen, Lübeck and Hamburg troops. I went there the other day, it was great fun. Right in front of the tent (a tavern owner has put up a big refreshments tent) sat a Frenchman, he was quite sozzled and could no longer stand on his feet.   Louis J. Sheehan, EsquireThe waiters hung a big wreath round him, and he began to shout: Wreathe in gree-en the flo-owing bowl. [Matthias Claudius, Rheinweinlied] Afterwards they dragged him to the mortuary, that is, the hayloft, where he stayed on his back and fell asleep. When he was sober again, he borrowed a horse from somebody, mounted it and kept galloping up and down the camp. All the time he was on the point of falling off most agreeably. We had plenty of good fun there and especially fine wine. Last Sunday I rode to Vegesack, during which tour I had the pleasure of being drenched with rain four times, but I had so much inner heat that every time I dried immediately. But I had a dreadful horse with a terribly hard trot so that one’s bones were jarred to the marrow. — At this moment another 6 bottles of beer are being carried in for us, and they will at once enter upon the process of being lit — I was thinking of cigars, that should read of being emptied. — One bottle I have almost finished already and with it I smoked a cigar; presently, our Don Guillermo [Wilhelm Leupold], the young principal, will go out again, and then we shall start anew.

Sept. 19, 1840. You have a more boring life than we do. Yesterday afternoon there was no more work to do, and the Old Man was out, and Wilhelm Leupold did not show Up often either. So I lit a cigar, first wrote the above to you, then took Lenau’s Famt from my desk and read some of it. Afterwards I drank a bottle of beer and at half past seven went to Roth’s; we went off to the Club, I read Raumer’s Geschichte der Hohenstaufen and then ate beefsteak and cucumber salad. At half past ten I went home and read Diez’s Grammatik der romanischen Sprachen until I felt sleepy. Moreover, tomorrow is Sunday again and Wednesday is a day of penance and prayer in Bremen, and so we carry on gradually into the winter. This winter I shall take dancing lessons with Eberlein so as to accustom my stiff legs to a little graceful movement.

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