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Title: Max and Maurice
       a juvenile history in seven tricks

Author: William [Wilhelm] Busch

Translator: Charles T. Brooks

Release Date: May 16, 2009 [EBook #28847]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Remark (Goetz Kluge, 2022-05-20): 1871 version in


Produced by Suzanne Shell and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



Title page

Max and Maurice

Juvenile History
Seven Tricks,


William Busch.







Ah, how oft we read or hear of
Boys we almost stand in fear of!
For example, take these stories
Of two youths, named Max and Maurice,
Max and Maurice
Who, instead of early turning
Their young minds to useful learning,
Often leered with horrid features
At their lessons and their teachers.
Look now at the empty head: he
Is for mischief always ready.
Teasing creatures, climbing fences,
Stealing apples, pears, and quinces,
Is, of course, a deal more pleasant,
[4]And far easier for the present,
Than to sit in schools or churches,
Fixed like roosters on their perches.
But O dear, O dear, O deary,
When the end comes sad and dreary!
'Tis a dreadful thing to tell
That on Max and Maurice fell!
All they did this book rehearses,
Both in pictures and in verses.


To most people who have leisure
Raising poultry gives great pleasure
First, because the eggs they lay us
For the care we take repay us;
Secondly, that now and then
We can dine on roasted hen;
Thirdly, of the hen's and goose's
Feathers men make various uses.
Some folks like to rest their heads
In the night on feather beds.
Widow Tibbets
One of these was Widow Tibbets,
Whom the cut you see exhibits.


Three hens
Hens were hers in number three,
And a cock of majesty.
Max and Maurice took a view;
Fell to thinking what to do.
One, two, three! as soon as said,
They have sliced a loaf of bread,
Cut each piece again in four,
Each a finger thick, no more.
These to two cross-threads they tie,
Like a letter X they lie
In the widow's yard, with care
Stretched by those two rascals there.
The X


Cock crew
Scarce the cock had seen the sight,
When he up and crew with might:
Tack, tack, tack, the trio flew.
Gobbled each
Cock and hens, like fowls unfed,
Gobbled each a piece of bread;


Badly caught
But they found, on taking thought,
Each of them was badly caught.
Pull and twitch
Every way they pull and twitch,
This strange cat's-cradle to unhitch;


Into the air
Up into the air they fly,
Jiminee, O Jimini!
On a tree
On a tree behold them dangling,
In the agony of strangling!
And their necks grow long and longer,
And their groans grow strong and stronger.


Lays one egg more
Each lays quickly one egg more,
Then they cross to th' other shore.
Wakes from her slumber
Widow Tibbets in her chamber,
By these death-cries waked from slumber,


Rushes out
Rushes out with bodeful thought:
Heavens! what sight her vision caught!
The tears are streaming
From her eyes the tears are streaming:
"Oh, my cares, my toil, my dreaming!
Ah, life's fairest hope," says she,
"Hangs upon that apple-tree."


With carving knife
Heart-sick (you may well suppose),
For the carving-knife she goes;
Cuts the bodies from the bough,
Hanging cold and lifeless now
And in silence, bathed in tears,
Through her house-door disappears.
Through her house-door
This was the bad boys' first trick,
But the second follows quick.



When the worthy Widow Tibbets
(Whom the cut below exhibits)
Had recovered, on the morrow,
From the dreadful shock of sorrow,
She (as soon as grief would let her
Think) began to think 'twere better
Just to take the dead, the dear ones
(Who in life were walking here once),
And in a still noonday hour
Them, well roasted, to devour.
True, it did seem almost wicked,
When they lay so bare and naked,
Picked, and singed before the blaze,—
They that once in happier days,
In the yard or garden ground,
All day long went scratching round.
Ah! Frau Tibbets wept anew,
And poor Spitz was with her, too.
Wept anew


Max and Maurice smelt the savor.
"Climb the roof!" cried each young shaver.
Climb the roof
Through the chimney now, with pleasure,
They behold the tempting treasure,
Headless, in the pan there, lying,
Hissing, browning, steaming, frying.
Frying pan


Widow Tibbets went
At that moment down the cellar
(Dreaming not what soon befell her)
Widow Tibbets went for sour
Krout, which she would oft devour
With exceeding great desire
(Warmed a little at the fire).
Up there on the roof, meanwhile,
They are doing things in style.
Max already with forethought
A long fishing-line has brought.


Hen dangling
Schnupdiwup! there goes, O Jeminy!
[16]One hen dangling up the chimney.
Schnupdiwup! a second bird!
Schnupdiwup! up comes the third!
Presto! number four they haul!
Schnupdiwup! we have them all!—
Spitz looks on, we must allow,
But he barks: Row-wow! Row-wow!
The rogues
But the rogues are down instanter
From the roof, and off they canter.—
Ha! I guess there'll be a humming;
Here's the Widow Tibbets coming!
Rooted stood she to the spot,
When the pan her vision caught.


Gone was every bird
Gone was every blessed bird!
"Horrid Spitz!" was her first word.
Horrid Spitz
"O you Spitz, you monster, you!
Let me beat him black and blue!"


Heavy ladle
And the heavy ladle, thwack!
Comes down on poor Spitz's back!
Loud he yells with agony,
For he feels his conscience free.
Dinner over
Max and Maurice, dinner over,
In a hedge, snored under cover;
And of that great hen-feast now
Each has but a leg to show

This was now the second trick,
But the third will follow quick.



Through the town and country round
Was one Mr. Buck renowned.
Mr. Buck
Sunday coats, and week-day sack-coats,
Bob-tails, swallow-tails, and frock coats,
Gaiters, breeches, hunting-jackets;
Waistcoats, with commodious pockets,—
And other things, too long to mention,
Claimed Mr. Tailor Buck's attention.
Or, if any thing wanted doing
In the way of darning, sewing,
Piecing, patching,—if a button
Needed to be fixed or put on,—
Any thing of any kind,
Anywhere, before, behind,—
Master Buck could do the same,
For it was his life's great aim.
Therefore all the population
Held him high in estimation.
Max and Maurice tried to invent
[20]Ways to plague this worthy gent.
Right before the Sartor's dwelling
Ran a swift stream, roaring, swelling.
Swift stream
This swift stream a bridge did span,
And the road across it ran.
Took a saw
Max and Maurice (naught could awe them!)
Took a saw, when no one saw them:
Ritze-ratze! riddle-diddle!
[21]Sawed a gap across the middle.
When this feat was finished well,
Suddenly was heard a yell:
Was heard a yell
"Hallo, there! Come out, you buck!
Tailor, Tailor, muck! muck! muck!"
Buck could bear all sorts of jeering,
Jibes and jokes in silence hearing;
But this insult roused such anger,
Nature couldn't stand it longer.
Wild with fury
Wild with fury, up he started,
With his yard-stick out he darted;
For once more that frightful jeer,
"Muck! muck! muck!" rang loud and clear.


On the bridge one leap he makes;
Crash! beneath his weight it breaks.
In headforemost
Once more rings the cry, "Muck! muck!"
[23]In, headforemost, plumps poor Buck!
While the scared boys were skedaddling,
Down the brook two geese came paddling.
Two Geese
On the legs of these two geese,
With a death-clutch, Buck did seize;
Flutters out
And, with both geese well in hand,
Flutters out upon dry land.


Wet Buck
For the rest he did not find
Things exactly to his mind.
Soon it proved poor Buck had brought a
Dreadful belly-ache from the water.


Noble Mrs. Buck
Noble Mrs. Buck! She rises
Fully equal to the crisis;
With a hot flat-iron, she
Draws the cold out famously.
With a flat-iron
Soon 'twas in the mouths of men,
All through town: "Buck's up again!"

This was the bad boys' third trick,
But the fourth will follow quick.



An old saw runs somewhat so:
Man must learn while here below.—
Not alone the A, B, C,
Raises man in dignity;
Not alone in reading, writing,
Reason finds a work inviting;
Not alone to solve the double
Rule of Three
shall man take trouble:
But must hear with pleasure Sages
Teach the wisdom of the ages.
Master Lämpel
Of this wisdom an example
To the world was Master Lämpel.
For this cause, to Max and Maurice
This man was the chief of horrors;
For a boy who loves bad tricks
[27]Wisdom's friendship never seeks.
With the clerical profession
Smoking always was a passion;
And this habit without question,
While it helps promote digestion,
Is a comfort no one can
Well begrudge a good old man,
When the day's vexations close,
And he sits to seek repose.—
Max and Maurice, flinty-hearted,
On another trick have started;
Thinking how they may attack a
Poor old man through his tobacco.
Once, when Sunday morning breaking,
Pious hearts to gladness waking,
Poured its light where, in the temple,
At his organ sate Herr Lämpel,
Playing the organ


These bad boys, for mischief ready,
Stole into the good man's study,
Where his darling meerschaum stands.
This, Max holds in both his hands;
Filling the pipe
While young Maurice (scapegrace born!)
Climbs, and gets the powderhorn,
And with speed the wicked soul
Pours the powder in the bowl.
Hush, and quick! now, right about!
For already church is out.
Closing the church door
Lämpel closes the church-door,
Glad to seek his home once more;


Takes keys and music
All his service well got through,
Takes his keys, and music too,
And his way, delighted, wends
Homeward to his silent friends.
Full of gratitude he there
Lights his pipe, and takes his chair.
Lights pipe


"Ah!" he says
"Ah!" he says, "no joy is found
Like contentment on earth's round!"
Fizz! whizz! bum! The pipe is burst,
Almost shattered into dust.
Coffee-pot and water-jug,
Snuff-box, ink-stand, tumbler, mug,
Table, stove, and easy-chair,
All are flying through the air
In a lightning-powder-flash,
With a most tremendous crash.


Smoke-cloud lifts
When the smoke-cloud lifts and clears,
Lämpel on his back appears;
God be praised! still breathing there,
Only somewhat worse for wear.
Now are black
Nose, hands, eyebrows (once like yours),
Now are black as any Moor's;
Burned the last thin spear of hair,
[32]And his pate is wholly bare.
Who shall now the children guide,
Lead their steps to wisdom's side?
Who shall now for Master Lämpel
Lead the service in the temple?
Now that his old pipe is out,
Shattered, smashed, gone up the spout?
Shattered, smashed
Time will heal the rest once more,
But the pipe's best days are o'er.

This was the bad boys' fourth trick,
But the fifth will follow quick.



If, in village or in town,
You've an uncle settled down,
Always treat him courteously;
Uncle will be pleased thereby.
In the morning: "'Morning to you!
Any errand I can do you?"
Fetch whatever he may need,—
Pipe to smoke, and news to read;
Or should some confounded thing
Prick his back, or bite, or sting,
Nephew then will be near by,
Ready to his help to fly;
Or a pinch of snuff, maybe,
Sets him sneezing violently:
"Prosit! uncle! good health to you!
God be praised! much good may't do you!"
Or he comes home late, perchance:
Pull his boots off then at once,
Fetch his slippers and his cap,
And warm gown his limbs to wrap.
Be your constant care, good boy,
What shall give your uncle joy.
Max and Maurice (need I mention?)
Had not any such intention.
See now how they tried their wits—
[34]These bad boys—on Uncle Fritz.
What kind of a bird a May-
Bug was, they knew, I dare say;
In trees
In the trees they may be found,
Flying, crawling, wriggling round.
Tree shaking
Max and Maurice, great pains taking,
From a tree these bugs are shaking.


In their papers
In their cornucopiæ papers,
They collect these pinching creepers.
Foot of the bed
Soon they are deposited
In the foot of uncle's bed!


Nightcap on
With his peaked nightcap on,
Uncle Fritz to bed has gone;
Tucks the clothes in, shuts his eyes,
And in sweetest slumber lies.
Sweetest slumber


Come the Tartars
Kritze! Kratze! come the Tartars
Single file from their night quarters.
Captain boldly goes
And the captain boldly goes
Straight at Uncle Fritzy's nose.


"Baugh!" he cries
"Baugh!" he cries: "what have we here?"
Seizing that grim grenadier.
Wild with fright
Uncle, wild with fright, upspringeth,
And the bedclothes from him flingeth.


He seizes
"Awtsch!" he seizes two more scape-
Graces from his shin and nape.
Crawling, flying
Crawling, flying, to and fro,
Round the buzzing rascals go.


Wild with fury
Wild with fury, Uncle Fritz
Stamps and slashes them to bits.
All gone by
O be joyful! all gone by
Is the May bug's deviltry.


Eyes can close
Uncle Fritz his eyes can close
Once again in sweet repose.

This was the bad boys' fifth trick,
But the sixth will follow quick.


Easter days have come again,
When the pious baker men
Bake all sorts of sugar things,
Plum-cakes, ginger-cakes, and rings.
Max and Maurice feel an ache
In their sweet-tooth for some cake.


Locks his shop
But the Baker thoughtfully
Locks his shop, and takes the key.
Down the chimney
Who would steal, then, this must do:
Wriggle down the chimney-flue.


Black as ravens
Ratsch! There come the boys, my Jiminy!
Black as ravens, down the chimney.
Into a chest
Puff! into a chest they drop,
Full of flour up to the top.


White as chalk
Out they crawl from under cover
Just as white as chalk all over.
On a shelf
But the cracknels, precious treasure,
On a shelf they spy with pleasure.


The chair breaks
Knacks! The chair breaks! down they go—
Into a trough
Schwapp!—into a trough of dough!


Enveloped in dough
All enveloped now in dough,
See them, monuments of woe.
The  Baker comes
In the Baker comes, and snickers
When he sees the sugar-lickers.


The brats behold
One, two, three! the brats, behold!
Into two good brots are rolled.
There's the oven
There's the oven, all red-hot,—
Shove 'em in as quick as thought.


They are brown
Ruff! out with 'em from the heat,
They are brown and good to eat.
Paid the debt
Now you think they've paid the debt!
No, my friend, they're living yet.


They gnaw in a trice
Knusper! Knasper! like two mice
Through their roofs they gnaw in a trice;
Rascals living yet
And the Baker cries, "You bet!
There's the rascals living yet!"

This was the bad boys' sixth trick,
But the last will follow quick.



Max and Maurice! I grow sick,
When I think on your last trick.
Cut those gashes
Why must these two scalawags
Cut those gashes in the bags?
Carries corn off
See! the farmer on his back
Carries corn off in a sack.


Runs out like gravel
Scarce has he begun to travel,
When the corn runs out like gravel.
Darn it!
All at once he stops and cries:
"Darn it! I see where it lies!"


He espies
Ha! with what delighted eyes
Max and Maurice he espies.
Shoves the rogues in
Rabs! he opens wide his sack,
Shoves the rogues in—Hukepack!


To the mill
It grows warm with Max and Maurice,
For to mill the farmer hurries.
Master Miller
"Master Miller! Hallo, man!
Grind me that as quick as you can!"


Into the hopper
"In with 'em!" Each wretched flopper
Headlong goes into the hopper.
Farmer turns his back
As the farmer turns his back, he
Hears the mill go "creaky! cracky!"


The bits
Here you see the bits post mortem,
Just as Fate was pleased to sort 'em.
Ducks gobbled up
Master Miller's ducks with speed
Gobbled up the coarse-grained feed.
The ducks



In the village not a word,
Not a sign, of grief, was heard.
Widow Tibbets, speaking low,
Said, "I thought it would be so!"
"None but self," cried Buck, "to blame!
Mischief is not life's true aim!"
Then said gravely Teacher Lämpel,
"There again is an example!"
"To be sure! bad thing for youth,"
Said the Baker, "a sweet tooth!"
Even Uncle says, "Good folks!
See what comes of stupid jokes!"
But the honest farmer: "Guy!
What concern is that to I?"
Through the place in short there went
One wide murmur of content:
"God be praised! the town is free
From this great rascality!"



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1. AGAINST WIND AND TIDE. By Louise Chandler Moulton, author of "Bed-Time Stories," etc.

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3. A LITTLE KNIGHT OF LABOR. By Susan Coolidge, author of "What Katy Did," etc.

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6. COTTAGE NEIGHBORS. By Nora Perry, author of "Another Flock of Girls," "Hope Benham," etc.

7. CURLY LOCKS. By Susan Coolidge, author of "What Katy Did," etc.

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