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THE DAYS OF THE WEEK

 

 THE Days of the Week once resolved to get freefrom workmeet togetherand have a social partyEverydayhoweverwas so occupiedthat all the year roundthey had no free time at their disposalthey must have awhole day to themselvesand this they really had everyfourth year,—the day that is put into February to keepthe reckoning of time correct

On that day therefore they decided to have theirmeetingand as Shrove Tuesday falls in Februarytheywould come in carnival dresseach according to his tasteand usual characterthey would eat welldrink wellmake speechesand say pleasant and unpleasant things toeach other in the most unconstrained good fellowshipTheheroes of old timeswhen at their mealsthrew at eachother's heads the bones from which they had gnawed thebeefbut the Days of the Week would overwhelm eachother with showers of wit and satireall in innocentShrove Tuesday merry-making

So the extra day cameand they all met together

Sundaythe leader of the daysappeared in a blacksilk gownpious people would have supposed that he wasdressed as a clergyman about to go to churchbut thechildren of the world saw that he was in domino in orderto go and enjoy himselfand that the blushing carnationhe had in his buttonhole was the little red lantern at thetheatrewhich announced"All tickets soldsee that youenjoy yourselves" Mondaya young fellowa relative of Sunday andespecially given to enjoymentcame nextHe left theworkshophe saidwhen the guard-parade took place

"I must go out and hear Offenbach's musicIt doesnot affect my head nor my heartbut it tickles the mus- cles of my legsI must dance and enjoy myselfget ablack eyeand begin work again next dayI am the newmoon of the week"

Tuesday takes its name from Tiwthe old god ofstrength and power"YesI am the day of that"saidTuesday"I set to workfasten the wings of Mercury tothe boots of the merchantand see whether the factorywheels are oiled and spinning properlyI insist that thetailor shall be on his board and the paviour on the streetLet each attend to his own workI keep an eye on thewhole"

"Now I come"said Wednesday"I stand in themiddle of the weekThe Germans call me MrMidweekI stand like the shopman in the shoplike a flower in themidst of all the other respected days of the weekIf weall march togetherI have three days before and three behindlike a guard of honourI must suppose that I amthe most distinguished day in the week"

Thursday came dressed as a coppersmith with ahammer and a copper kettlethese were the marks of hisnobility"I am of the highest birth"he said"heathenand divineIn the northern lands I am named after Thorand in the southern after Jupiterwho both knew how tothunder and lightenThat has remained in the family"And then he beat on the copper kettle and demonstratedhis high birth

Friday was dressed like a young girland calledherself Freiaand by way of change also Venusit depended on the language of the country in which she ap- pearedShe was usually of a quiet happy natureshesaidbut today she was dashing and freefor it was leapyear's dayand that brings freedom to womanby oldcustom she may then woo for herselfand need not wait tobe wooed

Saturday appeared as an old housekeeper with broomand cleaningthingsHer favourite dish was a broth madeof the week's breadcrustsbut she did not demand thaton this festive occasion it should be set on the table for allof thembut only that she herself might have itand shegot it

And so the Days of the Week took their places at thetable

Here they are now describedall the sevenreadyfor use in tableaux for the family circleIn these theymight be presented in the most amusing manner possiblewe give them here only as a playful jest for Februarytheonly month that gets an extra day given to it

 


 

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