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    THERE was an old mansion1 surrounded by a marshy2 ditch with
a drawbridge which was but seldom let down:- not all guests
are good people. Under the roof were loopholes to shoot
through, and to pour down boiling water or even molten lead on
the enemy, should he approach. Inside the house the rooms were
very high and had ceilings of beams, and that was very useful
considering the great deal of smoke which rose up from the
chimney fire where the large, damp logs of wood smouldered. On
the walls hung pictures of knights3 in armour4 and proud ladies
in gorgeous dresses; the most stately of all walked about
alive. She was called Meta Mogen; she was the mistress of the
house, to her belonged the castle.

    Towards the evening robbers came; they killed three of her
people and also the yard-dog, and attached Mrs. Meta to the
kennel by the chain, while they themselves made good cheer in
the hall and drank the wine and the good ale out of her
cellar. Mrs. Meta was now on the chain, she could not even

    But lo! the servant of one of the robbers secretly
approached her; they must not see it, otherwise they would
have killed him.

    "Mrs. Meta Mogen," said the fellow, "do you still remember
how my father, when your husband was still alive, had to ride
on the wooden horse? You prayed for him, but it was no good,
he was to ride until his limbs were paralysed; but you stole
down to him, as I steal now to you, you yourself put little
stones under each of his feet that he might have support,
nobody saw it, or they pretended not to see it, for you were
then the young gracious mistress. My father has told me this,
and I have not forgotten it! Now I will free you, Mrs. Meta

    Then they pulled the horses out of the stable and rode off
in rain and wind to obtain the assistance of friends.

    "Thus the small service done to the old man was richly
rewarded!" said Meta Mogen.

    "Delaying is not forgetting," said the fellow.

    The robbers were hanged.

    There was an old mansion, it is still there; it did not
belong to Mrs. Meta Mogen, it belonged to another old noble

    We are now in the present time. The sun is shining on the
gilt knob of the tower, little wooded islands lie like
bouquets on the water, and wild swans are swimming round them.
In the garden grow roses; the mistress of the house is herself
the finest rose petal5, she beams with joy, the joy of good
deeds: however, not done in the wide world, but in her heart,
and what is preserved there is not forgotten. Delaying is not

    Now she goes from the mansion to a little peasant hut in
the field. Therein lives a poor paralysed girl; the window of
her little room looks northward6, the sun does not enter here.
The girl can only see a small piece of field which is
surrounded by a high fence. But to-day the sun shines here-
the warm, beautiful sun of God is within the little room; it
comes from the south through the new window, where formerly
the wall was.

    The paralysed girl sits in the warm sunshine and can see
the wood and the lake; the world had become so large, so
beautiful, and only through a single word from the kind
mistress of the mansion.

    "The word was so easy, the deed so small," she said, "the
joy it afforded me was infinitely8 great and sweet!"

    And therefore she does many a good deed, thinks of all in
the humble9 cottages and in the rich mansions10, where there are
also afflicted11 ones. It is concealed12 and hidden, but God does
not forget it. Delayed is not forgotten!

    An old house stood there; it was in the large town with
its busy traffic. There are rooms and halls in it, but we do
not enter them, we remain in the kitchen, where it is warm and
light, clean and tidy; the copper13 utensils14 are shining, the
table as if polished with beeswax; the sink looks like a
freshly scoured15 meatboard. All this a single servant has done,
and yet she has time to spare as if she wished to go to
church; she wears a bow on her cap, a black bow, that
signifies mourning. But she has no one to mourn, neither
father nor mother, neither relations nor sweetheart. She is a
poor girl. One day she was engaged to a poor fellow; they
loved each other dearly.

    One day he came to her and said:

    "We both have nothing! The rich widow over the way in the
basement has made advances to me; she will make me rich, but
you are in my heart; what do you advise me to do?"

    "I advise you to do what you think will turn out to your
happiness," said the girl. "Be kind and good to her, but
remember this; from the hour we part we shall never see each
other again."

    Years passed; then one day she met the old friend and
sweetheart in the street; he looked ill and miserable16, and she
could not help asking him, "How are you?"

    "Rich and prospering17 in every respect," he said; "the
woman is brave and good, but you are in my heart. I have
fought the battle, it will soon be ended; we shall not see
each other again now until we meet before God!"

    A week has passed; this morning his death was in the
newspaper, that is the reason of the girl's mourning! Her old
sweetheart is dead and has left a wife and three
step-children, as the paper says; it sounds as if there is a
crack, but the metal is pure.

    The black bow signifies mourning, the girl's face points
to the same in a still higher degree; it is preserved in the
heart and will never be forgotten. Delaying is not forgetting!

    These are three stories you see, three leaves on the same
stalk. Do you wish for some more trefoil leaves? In the little
heartbook are many more of them. Delaying is not forgetting!

                            THE END


1 mansion 8BYxn     
  • The old mansion was built in 1850.这座古宅建于1850年。
  • The mansion has extensive grounds.这大厦四周的庭园广阔。
2 marshy YBZx8     
  • In August 1935,we began our march across the marshy grassland. 1935年8月,我们开始过草地。
  • The surrounding land is low and marshy. 周围的地低洼而多沼泽。
3 knights 2061bac208c7bdd2665fbf4b7067e468     
骑士; (中古时代的)武士( knight的名词复数 ); 骑士; 爵士; (国际象棋中)马
  • stories of knights and fair maidens 关于骑士和美女的故事
  • He wove a fascinating tale of knights in shining armour. 他编了一个穿着明亮盔甲的骑士的迷人故事。
4 armour gySzuh     
  • His body was encased in shining armour.他全身披着明晃晃的甲胄。
  • Bulletproof cars sheathed in armour.防弹车护有装甲。
5 petal IMIxX     
  • Each white petal had a stripe of red.每一片白色的花瓣上都有一条红色的条纹。
  • A petal fluttered to the ground.一片花瓣飘落到地上。
6 northward YHexe     
  • He pointed his boat northward.他将船驶向北方。
  • I would have a chance to head northward quickly.我就很快有机会去北方了。
7 seethe QE0yt     
  • Many Indians continue to seethe and some are calling for military action against their riotous neighbour.很多印度人都处于热血沸腾的状态,很多都呼吁针对印度这个恶邻采取军事行动。
  • She seethed with indignation.她由于愤怒而不能平静。
8 infinitely 0qhz2I     
  • There is an infinitely bright future ahead of us.我们有无限光明的前途。
  • The universe is infinitely large.宇宙是无限大的。
9 humble ddjzU     
  • In my humble opinion,he will win the election.依我拙见,他将在选举中获胜。
  • Defeat and failure make people humble.挫折与失败会使人谦卑。
10 mansions 55c599f36b2c0a2058258d6f2310fd20     
n.宅第,公馆,大厦( mansion的名词复数 )
  • Fifth Avenue was boarded up where the rich had deserted their mansions. 第五大道上的富翁们已经出去避暑,空出的宅第都已锁好了门窗,钉上了木板。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
  • Oh, the mansions, the lights, the perfume, the loaded boudoirs and tables! 啊,那些高楼大厦、华灯、香水、藏金收银的闺房还有摆满山珍海味的餐桌! 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
11 afflicted aaf4adfe86f9ab55b4275dae2a2e305a     
使受痛苦,折磨( afflict的过去式和过去分词 )
  • About 40% of the country's population is afflicted with the disease. 全国40%左右的人口患有这种疾病。
  • A terrible restlessness that was like to hunger afflicted Martin Eden. 一阵可怕的、跟饥饿差不多的不安情绪折磨着马丁·伊登。
12 concealed 0v3zxG     
  • The paintings were concealed beneath a thick layer of plaster. 那些画被隐藏在厚厚的灰泥层下面。
  • I think he had a gun concealed about his person. 我认为他当时身上藏有一支枪。
13 copper HZXyU     
  • The students are asked to prove the purity of copper.要求学生们检验铜的纯度。
  • Copper is a good medium for the conduction of heat and electricity.铜是热和电的良导体。
14 utensils 69f125dfb1fef9b418c96d1986e7b484     
器具,用具,器皿( utensil的名词复数 ); 器物
  • Formerly most of our household utensils were made of brass. 以前我们家庭用的器皿多数是用黄铜做的。
  • Some utensils were in a state of decay when they were unearthed. 有些器皿在出土时已经残破。
15 scoured ed55d3b2cb4a5db1e4eb0ed55b922516     
走遍(某地)搜寻(人或物)( scour的过去式和过去分词 ); (用力)刷; 擦净; 擦亮
  • We scoured the area for somewhere to pitch our tent. 我们四处查看,想找一个搭帐篷的地方。
  • The torrents scoured out a channel down the hill side. 急流沿着山腰冲刷出一条水沟。
16 miserable g18yk     
  • It was miserable of you to make fun of him.你取笑他,这是可耻的。
  • Her past life was miserable.她过去的生活很苦。
17 prospering b1bc062044f12a5281fbe25a1132df04     
成功,兴旺( prosper的现在分词 )
  • Our country is thriving and prospering day by day. 祖国日益繁荣昌盛。
  • His business is prospering. 他生意兴隆。