The real reason why Marie didn't want to leave the Christmas table was that she had just caught sight of something she hadn't noticed before. Fritz's hussars had been parading near the tree. When they marched away, an excellent little man came into view. He stood there quietly, as though patiently waiting his turn.
One might have found fault with his build: his torso was too long and stout for his short, skinny legs, and his head was much too big for the rest of him. But, to make up for these disadvantages, the distinction of his dress showed him to be a man of taste and breeding. He was wearing a well-cut lavender hussar's jacket with lots of white frogging and buttons, breeches of the same stuff, and the daintiest little boots that had ever graced the feet of a student or even an officer. They were molded as neatly to his dainty little legs as if they had been painted on. Oddly enough, though, in view of these fine clothes, he had, hanging from his shoulders, a skimpy, ungainly cloak that looked almost as if it were made of wood, and he was wearing what appeared to be a miner's cap. But Marie remembered that Godfather Drosselmeier often wore a wretched-looking morning coat and a hideous cap, neither of which prevented him from being a dear, sweet godfather. And it also occurred to Marie that even if Godfather Drosselmeier were to dress as prettily as this little man, he wouldn't be as handsome. With Marie it was love at first sight, and the longer she gazed at the sweet little man, the more delighted she was with his good-natured face.
- Nutcracker and Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman