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The National Music of America. 15
one of the citizens of Goldberg, in Germany, save his life until a Christmas eve in 1353.' He thought himself the last inhabitant of the plague-stricken city, and as the time of the joyous festival approached he could not but recall how many of his old companions had joined with him in merrymaking in the past years; and now he was left alone, in the midst of desolation. The thought must have been borne in upon him that his life was not worth saving at the price of such loneliness, for he unbarred his door and went out into the street to take the plague, if God willed it, and to die. As he went forth he sang the Christmas song that he had sung in the old days with his friends, a " Marien-lied," entitled " Uns ist ein Kind-lein heut' geborn." He was astounded to hear a voice respond to his own, and in a
x There is some doubt as to the date. Riemann, in his " Deutsche Volkfeste," gives it as 1553, which is probably an error.