Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Freeman's Journal February 28 - March 2 1784

Foreign Intelligence

Vienna, Feb 4. During the emperor's voyage in Italy, one of the wheels of his coach broke down on the road. With much difficulty he reached a poor village. On his arrival there, his majesty got out at the door of a blacksmith; and desired him to repair the damaged wheel without delay. "That I would very willingly," replied the smith, "but it being holiday, all my men are in church : my very apprentice who blows the bellows, is not at home." - An excellent method then presents to warming one's self, replied the emperor, still preserving the incognito ; and the great Joseph set a bout blowing the bellows, while the blacksmith forged the iron. The wheel being repaired, six sous were demanded for the job ; but the emperor instead of them, put into his hand six ducats. The blacksmith on seeing them, returned them to the travellor, saying, Sir, you have undoubtedly made a mistake owing to the darkness ; instead of six sous, you have given me six pieces of gold, which nobody in this village can change. Change them where you can, replied the emperor ; the overplus is for the pleasure of blowing the bellows.His majesty then commanded his voyage without waiting an answer.


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