Excerpt from Select Popular Tales: From the German
Melchior one day partaking rather too freely of a rich liquor at a city feast, died suddenly, without having time even te make his will. His son, however, having just attained the age of manhood, succeeded to the whole of the property. Franz was a noble-spirited youth, endowed with many excellent qua lities. Health glowed on his cheek, while content and anima tion shone in his dark eyes. He grew like a vigorous plant, which only requires water and a hardier soil to bear noble fruit, but which shoots to waste in too luxuriant ground. The father's prosperity, as is often the case, was unhappily the son's ruin; for no sooner did Franz find himself possessed of so princely a for tune, than he contrived how he could best get rid of it: and instead of smiling in scorn at the rich man in the parable, he imitated his example only too closely. He feasted in the most sumptuous manner, and altogether forgot his duties in the con tinual round of pleasure into which he had plunged himself.
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