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Chapter VII
 Having set up the pole and cap in the meadow, Gessler sent two of his , Friesshardt (I should think you would be safe in pronouncing this Freeze-hard, but you had better ask somebody who knows) and Leuthold, to keep watch there all day, and see that nobody passed by without kneeling down before the pole and taking off his hat to it.  
But the people, who prided themselves on being what they called üppen zie schnuffen, or, as we should say, "up to snuff," and equal to every occasion, had already seen a way out of the difficulty. They knew that if they crossed the meadow they must bow down before the pole, which they did not want to do, so it occurred to them that an ingenious way of preventing this would be not to cross the meadow. So they went the long way round, and the two soldiers spent a lonely day.
"What I sez," said Friesshardt, "is, wot's the use of us wasting our time here?" (Friesshardt was not a very well-educated man, and he did not speak good grammar.) "None of these here people ain't a-going to bow down to that there hat. Of course they ain't. Why, I can remember the time when this meadow was like a fair--everybody a-shoving and a-jostling one another for elbow-room; and look at it now! It's a desert. That's what it is, a desert. What's the good of us wasting of our time here, I sez. That's what I sez.
"And they're artful, too, mind yer," he continued. "Why, only this morning, I sez to myself, 'Friesshardt,' I sez, 'you just wait till twelve o'clock,' I sez, ''cos that's when they leave the council-house, and then they'll have to cross the meadow. And then we'll see what we shall see,' I sez. Like that, I sez. Bitter-like, yer know. 'We'll see,' I sez, 'what we shall see.' So I waited, and at twelve o'clock out they came, dozens of them, and began to cross the meadow. 'And now,' sez I to myself, 'look out for .' But what happened? Why, when they came to the pole, the priest stood in front of it, and the sacristan rang the bell, and they all fell down on their knees. But they were saying their prayers, not doing to the hat. That's what they were doing. Artful--that's what they are!"
And Friesshardt kicked the foot of the pole viciously with his iron boot.
"It's my belief," said Leuthold (Leuthold is the thin soldier you see in the picture)--"it's my firm belief that they are laughing at us. There! Listen to that!"
A voice made itself heard from behind a rock not far off.
"Where did you get that hat?" said the voice.
"There!" Leuthold; "they're always at it. Last time it was, 'Who's your hatter?' Why, we're the laughing-stock of the place. We're like two in a . 'Tis rank disgrace for one who wears a sword to stand as o'er an empty hat. To make obeisance to a hat! I' faith, such a command is downright foolery!"
"Well," said Friesshardt, "and why not bow before an empty hat? Thou hast oft bow'd before an empty . Ha, ha! I was always one for a joke, yer know."
"Here come some people," said Leuthold. "At last! And they're only the , after all. You don't catch any of the better sort of people coming here."
A crowd was beginning to collect on the edge of the meadow. Its numbers every minute, until quite a hundred of the commoner sort must have been gathered together. They stood pointing at the pole and talking among themselves, but nobody made any movement to cross the meadow.
At last somebody shouted "Yah!"
The soldiers took no notice.
Somebody else cried "Booh!"'
"Pass along there, pass along!" said the soldiers.
Cries of "Where did you get that hat?" began to come from the body of the crowd. When the Swiss invented a catch-phrase they did not drop it in a hurry.
"Where--did--you--get--that--HAT?" they shouted.
Friesshardt and Leuthold stood like two statues in , paying no attention to the remarks of the rabble. This annoyed the rabble. They began to be more personal.
"You in the lobster-tin," shouted one--he meant Friesshardt, whose suit of armour, though no longer new, hardly deserved this description--"who's your hatter?"
"Can't yer see," shouted a friend, when Friesshardt made no reply, "the pore thing ain't alive? 'E's stuffed!"
Roars of laughter greeted this sally. Friesshardt, in spite of the fact that he enjoyed a joke, turned pink.
"'E's blushing!" a voice.
Friesshardt turned purple.
Then things got still more exciting.
"'Ere," said a rough voice in the crowd impatiently, "wot's the good of torkin' to 'em? Gimme that 'ere egg, missus!"
And in another instant an egg flew across the meadow, and burst over Leuthold's shoulder. The crowd howled with delight. This was something like fun, thought they, and the next moment eggs, cabbages, cats, and missiles of every sort darkened the air. The two soldiers and shouted, but did not dare to leave their post. At last, just as the storm was at its height, it ceased, as if by magic. Everyone in the crowd turned round, and, as he turned, jumped into the air and waved his hat.
A cheer went up.
"!" cried the mob; "here comes good old Tell! Now there's going to be a jolly row!"

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