The Professor and His Family

Onthe24thofMay,1863, myuncle,ProfessorLiedenbrock,rushedintohislittlehouse,No.19Königstrasse, oneoftheoldeststreetsintheoldestportionofthecityofHamburg.  

Marthamusthaveconcludedthatshewasverymuchbehindhand, forthedinnerhadonlyjustbeenputintotheoven.  

“Well,now,”saidItomyself,“ifthatmostimpatientofmenishungry, whatadisturbancehewillmake!”  

“M.Liedenbrocksosoon!”criedpoorMarthaingreatalarm, halfopeningthedining-roomdoor.  

“Yes,Martha;butverylikelythedinnerisnothalfcooked, foritisnottwoyet. SaintMichael’sclockhasonlyjuststruckhalf-pastone.”  

“Thenwhyhasthemastercomehomesosoon?”  

“Perhapshewilltellusthathimself.”  

“Hereheis,MonsieurAxel;Iwillrunandhidemyselfwhileyouarguewithhim.”  

AndMartharetreatedinsafetyintoherowndominions.  

Iwasleftalone. ButhowwasitpossibleforamanofmyundecidedturnofmindtoarguesuccessfullywithsoirascibleapersonastheProfessor? WiththispersuasionIwashurryingawaytomyownlittleretreatupstairs, whenthestreetdoorcreakeduponitshinges; heavyfeetmadethewholeflightofstairstoshake; andthemasterofthehouse,passingrapidlythroughthedining-room,threwhimselfinhasteintohisownsanctum. 

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