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Title: Titan: A Romance v. 1
Author: Jean Paul, 1763-1825
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Titan: A Romance v. 1" ***

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of




The "Titan" is Jean Paul's longest--and the author meant it, and held
it, to be his greatest and best--romance; and his public (including Mr.
Carlyle) seems, on the whole, to have sustained his opinion. He was ten
years about it, and his other works, written in the interval, were
preparatory and tributary to this.

As to the _general_ meaning of the title there can hardly, on the whole,
be any doubt. It does _not_ refer, as the division into Jubilees and
Cycles might, to be sure, suggest to one on first approaching it, to the
titanic scale and scope of the work, but to the titanic violence against
which it is aimed.

It seems, indeed, from a letter of the author's, that he thought at
first of calling it "Anti-Titan." The only question in regard to the
_application_ of the title seems to be, whether the champion of truth
and justice against the moral Titans in this case was meant to be
understood as represented by the hero of the story, with his friends,
resisting the iniquity which moved earth and hell to ruin him, or
whether the book itself is the Anti-Titan, and an age of extravagance
the Titan.

A French critic says of the "Titan":--

"It is a poem, a romance; a psychological _résumé_, a satire, an elegy,
a drama, a fantasy; having for theme and text the enigma of civilization
in the eighteenth century.

"How is it to end, this civilization which exaggerates alike
intellectual and industrial power at the expense of the life of the
soul,--wholly factitious, theatrical,--intoxicating, consuming itself
with pleasure, seeking everywhere new enjoyments,--exploring all the
secrets of nature, without being able to penetrate the first causes, the
secrets of God,--what will be the fate of these generations
supersaturated with romances, dramas, journals, with science, ambition,
with vehement aspirations after the unknown and impossible?...

"In augmenting the sum of its desires, will it augment the sum of its
happiness? Is it not going to increase immensely its capacity of

"Will it not be the giant that scales heaven--

"And that falls crushed to death?


In giving his romance the title of "Titan," says the same writer, "it is
not Albano de Cesara the author has in view, but his antipode, Captain
Roquairol,--that romantic being, that insatiable lover of pleasure, that
anticipated Byron, that scaler of heaven,--who, after having piled
mountain upon mountain to attain his object, ends in finding himself
buried under the ruins....

"Even while at work upon 'Hesperus,' he had formed the resolution of
placing a pure man, great and noble, by the side of a reprobate, and of
surrounding them both with a multitude of beings corresponding to them.
He wished to concentrate in a single work all the ideas of high
philosophy which he had disseminated in his other creations, and to show
them followed by their natural consequences. So strong a mind could not
stop there: he resolved to show the absurdity of exaggeration, whether
in good or in evil, in virtue or in vice.

"Hence those reproductions of the same types, those satellites
gravitating around their respective planets; in fine, those parodies of
the principal personages of the drama.

"By the side of the coldness and the vast plans of Don Gaspard de
Cesara, we have the no less dangerous intrigues, though upon a less
elevated scale, of the Minister von Froulay; by the side of the
ventriloquist Uncle, the lying Roquairol; the Princess Isabelle is
opposed to Linda de Romeiro, the aerial Liana to her physical
counterpart, the Princess Idoine; the comic vulgarity of Dr. Sphex
contrasts with the more elevated buffoonery of Schoppe; and if we have
Bouverot, we have also Dion, that Greek so elegant and so noble, happy
mixture of the antique and the modern, that artist so sensible and so

"The history of Albano, opposed to Roquairol, is the history, taken from
his tenderest childhood to the epoch of his greatest development, of a
being who, as the strictest consequence of a quite special education,
goes through life, wounding himself with all its griefs, drinking at the
source of all its lawful pleasures; suffering with nobleness, tasting of
happiness, but only the purest kind; exposed every instant to see
himself drawn away by fallacious principles, and nevertheless moving on
with a steady step towards the end which his reason has marked out for
him; sacrificing to the fulfilment of his duties all the delights that a
debauched court can offer a young man entering into the world. While all
the personages who gravitate around him, and who represent each a
different aberration from the fundamental principle of the work, fall
successively at his side, victims of the natural consequences of their
passions, he, strengthening himself by every fall of which he is
witness, ends by attaining the loftiest position which the ambition of
man can desire,--a position which he could not have expected, and for
which, consequently, he had not been able to make the sacrifices that,
in the course of the work, he does not cease to achieve."

The author whom we have thus copiously quoted alludes to Jean Paul's
having had the idea of "Titan" while writing "Hesperus." This reminds us
of a Philistine disparagement of the "Titan," that so many of the
characters of the other work reappear here under new names. There are
some critics who ought to object to the full moon, that she is only the
same old moon that we had, in her first quarter or half, several nights
ago. However, as we have not yet had "Hesperus" in English, nor are
likely to for some time, this kind of objection will not trouble English
readers of "Titan."

Jean Paul has been justly praised for his success in drawing and shading
female characters. Our French critic says: "Richter has the rare merit
of placing on the stage in the same work six female personages, who have
not a shadow of resemblance to each other, and who, from the moment of
their appearance on the scene to that of their quitting it, never
deviate a single minute from the character the author has given them."

The fate of his Titanide, Linda, created a loud remonstrance in Germany;
and one can hardly, indeed, help feeling as if poetic justice had been a
little caricatured, at least, in Richter's disposal of that half
strong-headed and half headstrong woman. Painful, however, as her end
is, the Translator could not listen an instant to the suggestion of
omitting a line of the scenes in which that terrible tragedy is brought
to a close.

When the "Titan" first appeared, complaint was made by some that there
was too much of drollery, by others that there was not enough; some
found too much sentimentality, others too much philosophy; the
Translator has found it full, if not of that brevity which is the soul
of _wit_ (not, however, of humor), yet of that variety which is the
spice of life.

The Translator (or Transplanter, for he aspires to the title) of this
huge production, in his solicitude to preserve the true German aroma of
its native earth, may have brought away some part of the soil, and even
stones, clinging to the roots (_stones of offence_ they may prove to
many, stones of stumbling to many more). He can only say, that if he had
made Jean Paul always talk in ordinary, conventional, straightforward,
instantly intelligible prose, the reader would not have had _Jean Paul
the Only_.

And yet it is confidently claimed that, under all the exuberance of
metaphor and simile, and learned technical illustrations and odd
digressions, and gorgeous episodes and witching interludes, that
characterizes Richter, every attentive and thoughtful reader will find a
broad and solid ground of real good sense and good feeling, and that in
this extraordinary man whom, at times, his best friends were almost
tempted to call a crazy giant, will be found one whose _heart_ (to use
the homely phrase) is ever _in the right place_.

It has seemed necessary to give a few notes, and only a few. Properly to
furnish such a work with annotations would require Jean Paul's own
voluminous un-commonplace-books of all out-of-the-way knowledge, and
that _Dictionary to Jean Paul_ which one of his countrymen began, but
unfortunately carried only through one of his works, the work on
Education, _Levana_.

The Translator desires emphatically to express his obligations to his
friend, Rev. Dr. Furness, of Philadelphia, and to _his_ friend, the
accomplished scholar, Mr. Knorr, to whose kind and patient care whatever
of accuracy or felicity there may be in his version of the first Jubilee
is largely due; also, to Rev. Dr. Hedge, and all the friends who have
helped him with suggestion and encouragement in this large and difficult
undertaking, he makes his warmest acknowledgments;--and he closes by
commending the Titan to all lovers of the humanities, confident (in the
words of Mrs. Lee, in her Life of Jean Paul) that "the more it is read,
the more it will be acknowledged a work of exalted genius, pure
morality, and perennial beauty."

                            C. T. B.
    NEWPORT, R. I.




Aphrodite, Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia once looked down into the
clear-obscure of earth, and, weary of the ever-bright but cold Olympus,
yearned to enter in beneath the clouds of our world, where the Soul
loves more because it suffers more, and where it is sadder but more
warm. They heard the holy tones ascend, with which Polyhymnia passes
invisibly up and down the low, anxious earth, to cheer and lift our
hearts; and they mourned that their throne stood so far from the sighs
of the helpless.

Then they determined to take the earthly veil, and to clothe themselves
in our mortal form. They came down from Olympus; Love and little loves
and genii flew playfully after them, and our nightingales fluttered to
meet them out of the bosom of May.

But, as they touched the first flowers of earth, and flung only rays of
light, and cast no shadows, then the earnest Queen of gods and men,
Fate, raised her eternal sceptre, and said: "The immortal becomes mortal
upon the earth, and every spirit becomes a human being!"

So they became human beings and sisters, and were called _Louisa_,
_Charlotte_, _Theresa_, _Frederica_; the little loves and genii
transformed themselves into their children, and flew into their maternal
arms, and the motherly and sisterly hearts throbbed full of new love in
a great embrace. And when the white banner of the blooming spring
fluttered abroad, and more human thrones stood before them,--and when,
blissfully softened by love, the harmonica of life, they looked upon
each other and their happy children, and were speechless for love and
bliss,--then did Polyhymnia, invisible, float by over them, and
recognize them, and gave them the tones wherewith the heart expresses
and awakens love and joy.

And the dream was ended and fulfilled; it had, as is always the case,
shaped itself after waking reality. Therefore, be it consecrated to the
four fair and noble sisters, and let all which is like it in _Titan_ be
so consecrated too!

                               JEAN PAUL FR. RICHTER.


[1] The Titan was published during the years 1800-1803. The four
sisters were the four daughters of the Duke of Mecklenburg, viz.
the Duchess of Hildburghausen, the Princess von Solms, the
Princess of Thun and Taxis, and the Louisa who afterward became
Queen of Prussia, and was so in the Liberation War.--TR.



OF FANCY                                                          1


WITH A SHOT.--THE RECONCILIATION                                 70


OF FRIENDSHIP.--MORNING STAR OF LOVE.                           110


ULTIMATUM OF THE SCHOOL-YEARS                                   128










CATACOMB, AND THE TWO UNITED MEN                                268


FRIENDSHIP                                                      310




STAIRWAY.--THE APPARITION                                       351


RIDE TO BLUMENBÜHL                                              384


ALBANO AND LIANA                                                405


MAN AND WOMAN                                                   432


THE SORROWS OF A DAUGHTER                                       481



     OF FANCY.


On a fine spring evening, the young Spanish Count Cesara came, with his
companions, Schoppe and Dian, to Sesto, in order the next morning to
cross over to the Borromæan island, Isola Bella, in Lago Maggiore. The
proudly blooming youth glowed with the excitement of travelling, and
with thoughts of the coming morrow, when he should see the isle, that
gayly decorated throne of Spring, and on it a man who had been promised
him for twenty years. This twofold glow exalted my picturesque hero to
the form of an angry god of the Muses. His beauty made a more triumphal
entry into Italian eyes than into the narrow Northern ones from the
midst of which he had come; in Milan many had wished he were of marble,
and stood with elder gods of stone, either in the Farnese Palace or in
the Clementine Museum, or in the Villa of Albani; nay, had not the
Bishop of Novara, with his sword at his side, a few hours before, asked
Schoppe (riding behind) who he was? And had not the latter, with a droll
squaring of the wrinkle-circle round his lips, made this copious answer
(by way of enlightening his spiritual lordship): "It's my Telemachus,
and I am the Mentor. I am the milling-machine and the die which coins
him,--the wolf's tooth and flattening mill which polishes him down,--the
man, in short, that regulates him"?

The glowing form of the youthful Cesara was still more ennobled by the
earnestness of an eye always buried in the future, and of a firmly shut,
manly mouth, and by the daring decision of young, fresh faculties; he
seemed as yet to be a burning-glass in the moonlight, or a dark precious
stone of too much color, which the world, as in the case of other
jewels, can brighten and improve only by cutting _hollow_.

As he drew nearer and nearer, the island attracted him, as one world
does another, more and more intensely. His internal restlessness rose as
the outward tranquillity deepened. Beside all this, Dian, a Greek by
birth and an artist, who had often circumnavigated and sketched Isola
Bella and Isola Madre, brought these obelisks of Nature still nearer to
his soul in glowing pictures; and Schoppe often spoke of the great man
whom the youth was to see to-morrow for the first time. As the people
were carrying by, down below in the street, an old man fast asleep, into
whose strongly marked face the setting sun cast fire and life, and who
was, in short, a corpse borne uncovered, after the Italian custom,
suddenly, in a wild and hurried tone, he asked his friends, "Does my
father look thus?"

But what impels him with such intense emotions towards the island is
this: He had, on Isola Bella, with his sister, who afterward went to
Spain, and by the side of his mother, who had since passed to the
shadowy land, sweetly toyed and dreamed away the first three years of
his life, lying in the bosom of the high flowers of Nature; the island
had been, to the morning slumber of life, to his childhood's hours, a
Raphael's painted sleeping-chamber. But he had retained nothing of it
all in his head and heart, save in the one a deep, sadly sweet emotion
at the name, and in the other the squirrel, which, as the family
scutcheon of the Borromæans, stands on the upper terrace of the island.

After the death of his mother his father transplanted him from the
garden-mould of Italy--some of which, however, still adhered to the
tap-roots--into the royal forest of Germany; namely, to Blumenbühl, in
the principality of Hohenfliess, which is as good as unknown to the
Germans; there he had him educated in the house of a worthy nobleman,
or, to speak more meaningly and allegorically, he caused the pedagogical
professional gardeners to run round him with their water-pots,
grafting-knives, and pruning-shears, till the tall, slender palm-tree,
full of sago-pith and protecting thorns, outgrew them, and could no
longer be reached by their pots and shears.

And now, when he shall have returned from the island, he is to pass from
the field-bed of the country to the tanvat and hot-bed of the city, and
to the trellises of the court garden; in a word, to Pestitz, the
university and chief city of Hohenfliess, even the sight of which, until
this time, his father had strictly forbidden him.

And to-morrow he sees that father for the first time! He must have
burned with desire, since his whole life had been one preparation for
this meeting, and his foster-parents and teachers had been a sort of
chalcographic company, who had engraved in copper a portrait of the
author of his life-book so magnificently opposite the title-page. His
father, Gaspard de Cesara, Knight of the Golden Fleece (whether Spanish
or Austrian I should be glad to be precisely informed myself), a spirit
naturally three-edged, sharp, and brightly polished, had in his youth
wild energies, for whose play only a battle-field or a kingdom would
have been roomy enough, and which in high life had as little power of
motion as a sea-monster in a harbor. He satisfied them by playing
star-parts with all ranks in comedies and tragedies, by the prosecution
of all sciences, and by an eternal tour: he was intimate and often
involved with great and small men and courts, yet always marched along
as a stream with its own waves through the sea of the world. And now,
after having completed his travels by land and sea round the whole
circumference of life, round its joys and capacities and systems, he
still continues (especially since the Present, that ape of the Past, is
always running after him) to pursue his studies and geographical
journeyings; but always for scientific purposes, just as he visits now
the European battle-fields. As for the rest, he is not at all gloomy,
still less gay, but composed and calm; he does not even hate and love,
blame and praise other men any more than he does himself, but values
every one in his kind, the dove in hers and the tiger in his. What often
seems vengeance is merely the determined, soldier-like tread wherewith a
man, who can never flee and fear, but only knows how to advance and
stand his ground, tramples down larks'-eggs and ears of corn.

I think that the corner which I have thus snipped off from the
Whistonian chart of this comet, for the benefit of mankind, is broad
enough. I will, before I discourse further, reserve the privilege to
myself, of sometimes calling Don Gaspard _the Knight_, without appending
to him the Golden Fleece; and, secondly, of not being obliged by
courtesy towards the short memory of readers to steal from his son
Cesara (under which designation the old man will never appear) his
Christian name, which, to be sure, is _Albano_.

As Don Gaspard was about leaving Italy for Spain, he had, through
Schoppe, caused our Albano, or Cesara, to be brought hither without any
one's knowing why he did it at so late a period. Was it his pleasure,
perhaps, to gaze into the full spring-time of the young twigs? Did he
wish to unfold to the youth some rules for rustics in the
century-almanac of court life? Would he imitate the old Gauls, or the
modern inhabitants of the Cape, who never suffered their sons in their
presence till they were grown up and capable of bearing arms? Was
nothing less than that his idea? This much only I comprehend, that I
should be a very good-natured fool if I were, in the very fore-court of
the work, to suffer myself to be burdened with the task of drawing and
dotting out from the few data that I now have, in the case of a man so
remarkable, and whose magnetic needle declines so many degrees,--a
Wilkes's magnetic table of inclinations;--he, not I, is the father of
his son, to be sure, and he knows of course why he did not send for him
till his beard was grown.

When it struck twenty-three o'clock (the hour before sundown), and
Albano would have counted up the tedious strokes, he was so excited that
he was not in a condition to ascend the long tone-ladder;[2] he must
away to the shore of the Lago, in which the up-towering islands rise
like sceptred sea-gods. Here stood the noble youth, his inspired
countenance full of the evening glow, with exalted emotions of heart,
sighing for his veiled father, who, hitherto, with an influence like
that of the sun behind a bank of clouds, had made the day of his life
warm and light. This longing was not filial love,--_that_ belonged to
his foster-parents, for childlike love can only spring up toward a heart
whereon we have long reposed, and which has protected us, as it were,
with the first heart's-leaves against cold nights and hot days,--his
love was higher or rarer. Across his soul had been cast a gigantic
shadow of his father's image, which lost nothing by Gaspard's coldness.
Dian compared it to the repose on the sublime countenance of the Juno
Ludovici; and the enthusiastic son likened it to another sudden chill
which often comes into the heart in company with too great warmth from
another's heart, as burning-glasses burn feeblest precisely in the
hottest days. He even hoped he might perchance melt off by his love this
father's heart, so painfully frozen to the glaciers of life: the youth
comprehended not how possible it was to resist a true, warm heart, at
least his.

Our hero, reared in the Carthusian monastery of rural life, and more in
past ages than his own, applied to every subject antediluvian gigantic
standards of measurement; the invisibility of the Knight constituted a
part of his greatness, and the Moses'-veil doubled the glory which it
concealed. Our youth had, in general, a singular leaning toward
extraordinary men, of whom others stand in dread. He read the eulogies
of every great man with as much delight as if they were meant for him;
and if the mass of people consider uncommon spirits as, for that very
reason, bad,--just as they take all strange petrifactions to be Devil's
bones,--in him the reverse was the case: in him _love_ dwelt a neighbor
to _wonder_, and his breast was always at the same time wide and warm.
To be sure, every young man and every great man who looks upon another
as great, considers him for that very reason as too great. But in every
noble heart burns a perpetual thirst for a nobler, in the fair, for a
fairer; it wishes to behold its ideal out of itself, in bodily presence,
with glorified or adopted form, in order the more easily to attain to
it, because the lofty man can ripen only by a lofty one, as diamond can
be polished only by diamond. On the other hand, does a litterateur, a
cit, a newspaper carrier or contributor wish to get a glimpse of a great
head,--and is he as greedy for a great head as for an abortion with
three heads,--or a Pope with as many caps,--or a stuffed shark,--or a
speaking-machine or a butter-machine,--it is not because his inner man
is burdened and beset by the soul-inspiring ideal of a great man, pope,
shark, three-headed monster, or butter-model, but it is because he
thinks, in the morning, "I can't help wondering how the creature looks,"
and because, in the evening, he means to tell how he looks, over a glass
of beer.

Albano looked from the shore with increasing restlessness across the
shining water toward the holy dwelling-place of his past childhood, his
departed mother, his absent sister. The songs of gladness thrilled
through him as they came floating along on the distant boats; every
running wave--the foaming surge--raised a higher in his bosom; the giant
statue of St. Borromæus,[3] looking away over the cities, embodied the
exalted one (his father) who stood erect in his heart, and the blooming
pyramid, the island, was the paternal throne; the sparkling chain of the
mountains and glaciers wound itself fast around his spirit, and lifted
him up to lofty beings and lofty thoughts.

The first journey, especially when Nature casts over the long road
nothing but white radiance and orange-blossoms and chestnut-shadows,
imparts to the youth what the last journey often takes away from the
man,--a dreaming heart, wings for the ice-chasms of life, and wide-open
arms for every human breast.

He went back, and with his commanding eye begged his friends to set sail
this very evening, although Don Gaspard was not to come to the island
till to-morrow morning. Often, what he wanted to do in a week, he
proposed to himself for the next day, and at last did it at once. Dian
tapped the impetuous Boreas on the head lovingly, and said: "Impatient
being, thou hast here the wings of a Mercury, and down there too
(pointing to his feet)! But just cool off! In the pleasant
after-midnight we embark, and when the dawn reddens in the sky we land."
Dian had not merely an artistic eye to his well-formed darling, but also
a tender interest in him, because he had often, in Blumenbühl, where he
had business as public architect, been the friend and guide of his
childhood and youth, and because now on the island he must tear himself
from his arms for some time and be absent at Rome. Since he (the public
architect) considered the same extravagance which he would rebuke in an
old man to be no extravagance in a youth,--an inundation to be no
inundation in Egypt, though it would be in Holland,--and since he
assumed a different average temperature for every individual, age, and
people, and in holy human nature found no string to be cut off, but only
at most to be tuned, surely Cesara must have cherished toward the
cheerful and indulgent teacher, on whose two tables of laws stood only,
Joy and moderation! a right hearty attachment, even more hearty than for
the laws themselves.

The images of the present and of the near future and of his father had
so filled the breast of the Count with greatness and immortality, that
he could not comprehend how any one could let himself be buried without
having achieved both, and that as often as the landlord brought in
anything, he pitied the man, particularly as he was always singing, and,
like the Neapolitans and Russians, in the minor key, because he was
never to be anything, certainly not immortal. The latter is a mistake;
for he gets his immortality here, and I take pleasure in giving place
and life to his name, _Pippo_ (abbreviated from Philippo). When, at
last, they paid and were about to go, and Pippo kissed a Kremnitz ducat,
saying, "Praised be the holy Virgin with the child on her _right_ arm,"
Albano was pleased that the father took after his pious little daughter,
who had been all the evening rocking and feeding an image of the child
Jesus. To be sure, Schoppe remarked, she would carry the child more
_lightly_ on her left arm;[4] but the error of the good youth is a merit
in him as well as the truth.

Beneath the splendor of a full moon they went on board the bark, and
glided away over the gleaming waters. Schoppe shipped some wines with
them, "not so much," said he, "that there is nothing to be had on the
island, as for this reason, that if the vessel should leak, then there
would be no need of pumping out anything but the flagons,[5] and she
would float again."

Cesara sank, silently, deeper and deeper into the glimmering beauties of
the shore and of the night. The nightingales warbled as if inspired on
the triumphal gate of spring. His heart grew in his breast like a melon
under its glass-bell, and his breast heaved higher and higher over the
swelling fruit. All at once he reflected that he should in this way see
the tulip-tree of the sparkling morn and the garlands of the island put
together only like an artificial, Italian silk-flower, stamen by stamen,
leaf by leaf; then was he seized with his old thirst for one single
draining draught from Nature's horn of plenty; he shut his eyes, not to
open them again, till he should stand upon the highest terrace of the
island before the morning sun. Schoppe thought he was asleep; but the
Greek smilingly guessed the epicurism of this artificial blindness, and
bound, himself, before those great insatiable eyes the broad, black
taffeta-ribbon, which, like a woman's ribbon or lace mask, contrasted
singularly and sweetly with his blooming but manly face.

Now the two began to tease and tantalize him in a friendly way with oral
night-pictures of the magnificent adornments of the shores between which
they passed. "How proudly," said Dian to Schoppe, "rises yonder the
castle of Lizanza, and its mountain, like a Hercules, with twelvefold
girdles of vine-clusters!" "The Count," said Schoppe in a lower tone to
Dian, "loses a vast deal by this bandaging of his eyes. See you not,
architect, to speak poetically, the glimmer of the city of Arona? How
beautifully she lays on Luna's blanc d'Espagne, and seems to be setting
herself out and prinking up for to-morrow in the powder-mantle of
moonshine which is flung around her! But that is nothing; still better
looks St. Borromæus yonder, who has the moon on his head like a
freshly-washed night-cap; stands not the giant there like the Micromegas
of the German body politic, just as high, just as stiff and stark?"

The happy youth was silent, and returned for answer a hand-pressure of
love;--he only dreamed of the present, and signified he could wait and
deny himself. With the heart of a child from whom the curtains and the
after-midnight hide the approaching Christmas present of the morrow, he
was borne along in the pleasure-boat, with tightly bandaged eyes, toward
the approaching, heavenly kingdom. Dian drew, as well as the double
light of the moonshine and the aurora permitted, a sketch of the veiled
dreamer in his scrap-book. I wish I had it here, and could see in it how
my darling, with the optic nerves tied up, strains at once the eye of
dream directed toward the inner world, and the ear of attention so
sharply set toward the outer. How beautiful is such a thing,
painted,--how much more beautiful realized in life!

The mantle of night grew thinner and cooler,--the morning air fanned
livingly against the breast,--the larks mingled with the nightingales
and with the singing boatmen,--and he heard, beneath his bandage, which
was growing lighter and lighter, the joyful discoveries of his friends,
who saw in the open cities along the shore the reviving stir of human
life, and on the waterfalls of the mountains the alternate reflections
of clouds and ruddy sky. At last the breaking splendors of morn hung
like a festoon of Hesperides-apples around the distant tops of the
chestnut-trees; and now they disembarked upon Isola Bella.

The veiled dreamer heard, as they ascended with him the ten terraces of
the garden, the deep-drawn sigh and shudder of joy close beside him, and
all the quick entreaties of astonishment; but he held the bandage fast,
and went blindfold from terrace to terrace, thrilled with
orange-fragrance, refreshed by higher, freer breezes, fanned by
laurel-foliage,--and when they had gained at last the highest terrace,
and looked down upon the lake, heaving its green waters sixty ells
below, then Schoppe cried, "Now! now!" But Cesara said, "No! the sun
first!" and at that moment the morning wind flung up the sunlight
gleaming through the dark twigs, and it flamed free on the summits,--and
Dian snatched off the bandage, and said, "Look round!" "O God!" cried he
with a shriek of ecstasy, as all the gates of the new heaven flew open,
and the Olympus of nature, with its thousand reposing gods, stood around
him. What a world! There stood the Alps, like brother giants of the Old
World, linked together, far away in the past, holding high up over
against the sun the shining shields of the glaciers. The giants wore
blue girdles of forest, and at their feet lay hills and vineyards, and
through the aisles and arches of grape-clusters the morning winds played
with cascades as with watered-silk ribbons, and the liquid brimming
mirror of the lake hung down by the ribbons from the mountains, and
they fluttered down into the mirror, and a carved work of chestnut woods
formed its frame.... Albano turned slowly round and round, looked into
the heights, into the depths, into the sun, into the blossoms; and on
all summits burned the alarm-fires of mighty Nature, and in all depths
their reflections,--a creative earthquake beat like a heart under the
earth and sent forth mountains and seas.... O then, when he saw on the
bosom of the infinite mother the little swarming children, as they
darted by under every wave and under every cloud,--and when the morning
breeze drove distant ships in between the Alps,--and when _Isola Madre_
towered up opposite to him, with her seven gardens, and tempted him to
lean upon the air and be wafted over on level sweep from his summit to
her own,--and when he saw the pheasants darting down from the _Madre_
into the waves,--then did he seem to stand like a storm-bird with
ruffled plumage on his blooming nest, his arms were lifted like wings by
the morning wind, and he longed to cast himself over the terrace after
the pheasants, and cool his heart in the tide of Nature.

Ashamed, he took, without looking round him, the hands of his friends
and pressed them in mute fervor, that he might not be obliged to speak.
The magnificent universe had painfully expanded, and then blissfully
overflowed his great breast; and now, when he opened his eyes, like an
eagle, wide and full upon the sun, and when the blinding brightness hid
the earth, and he began to be lonely, and the earth became smoke and the
sun a soft, white world, which gleamed only around the margin,--then did
his whole, full soul, like a thunder-cloud, burst asunder and burn and
weep, and from the pure, white sun his mother looked upon him, and in
the fire and smoke of the earth his father and his life stood veiled.

Silently he went down the terraces, often passing his hand across his
moist eyes to wipe away the dazzling shadow which danced on all the
summits and all the steps.

Exalted Nature! when we see and love thee, we love our fellow-men more
warmly; and when we must pity or forget them, thou still remainest with
us, reposing before the moist eye like a verdant chain of mountains in
the evening red. Ah, before the soul in whose sight the morning dew of
its ideals has faded to a cold, gray drizzle,--and before the heart,
which, in the subterranean passages of this life, meets no longer men,
but only dry, crooked-up mummies on crutches in catacombs,--and before
the eye which is impoverished and forsaken, and which no human creature
will any longer gladden,--and before the proud son of the gods whom his
unbelief and his lonely bosom, emptied of humanity, rivet down to an
eternal, unchangeable anguish,--before all these thou remainest,
quickening Nature, with thy flowers and mountains and cataracts, a
faithful comforter; and the bleeding son of the gods, cold and
speechless, dashes the drop of anguish from his eyes, that they may
rest, far and clear, on thy volcanoes, and on thy Springs, and on thy


I could wish nothing finer for one whom I held dear, than a mother,--a
sister,--three years of living together on Isola Bella,--and then in the
twentieth, a morning hour when he should land on the Eden-island, and,
enjoying all this with the eye and memory at once, clasp and strain it
to his open soul. O thou all too happy Albano, on the rose-parterre of
childhood,--under the deep, blue sky of Italy,--in the midst of
luxuriant, blossom-laden citron-foliage,--in the bosom of _beautiful_
nature, who caresses and holds thee like a mother, and in the presence
of _sublime_ nature, which stands like a father in the distance, and
with a heart which expects its own father to-day!

The three now roamed with slow, unsteady steps through the swimming
paradise. Although both of the others had often trodden it before, still
their silver age became a golden age, by sympathy with Albano's ecstasy;
the sight of another's rapture wakes the old impression of our own. As
people who live near breakers and cataracts speak louder than others, so
did the majestic sounding of the swollen sea of life impart to them all,
even Schoppe, a stronger language; only he never could hit upon such
imposing words, at least gestures, as another man.

Schoppe, who must needs fling a farewell kiss back to dear Italy, would
gladly still have conserved the last scattered drops that hung around
the cup of joy, which were sweet as Italian wines, full of German fire
without the German acid. By acid he meant leave-taking and emotion. "If
fate," said he, "fires a single retreating shot, by Heaven, I quietly
turn my nag and ride whistling back. The deuce must be in the beast (or
on him) if a clever jockey could not so break his mourning steed that
the creature should carry himself very well as a companion-horse to the
festive steed.[6] I school my sun-horse as well as my sumpter-horse far

First of all, now, they took possession of this Otaheite-island by
marches, and every one of its provinces must pay them, as a Persian
province does its emperor, a different pleasure. "The lower terraces,"
said Schoppe, "must deliver to us squatter-sovereigns the tithe of fruit
and sack, in citron and orange fragrance,--the upper pays off the
imperial tax in _prospects_,--the Grotto down below there will pay, I
hope, Jews-scot in the _murmur_ of waters, and the cypress-wood up
yonder its princess's tribute in _coolness_,--the ships will not defraud
us of their Rhine and Neckar toll, but pay that down by showing
themselves in the distance."

It is not difficult for me to perceive that Schoppe, by these quizzical
sallies, aimed to allay the violent commotions of Cesara's brain and
heart; for the splendor of the morning enchantment, although the youth
spoke composedly of lesser things, had not yet gone from his sight. In
him every excitement vibrated long after (one in the morning lasted the
whole day), for the same reason that an alarm-bell keeps on humming
longer than a sheep-bell; although such a continuing echo could neither
distract his attention nor disturb his actions or his words.

The Knight was to come at noon. Meanwhile they roamed and revelled and
went humming about in stiller enjoyment with bees-wings and
bees-probosces through the richly-honeyed Flora of the island; and they
had that serene naturalness of children, artists, and Southern people,
which sips only from the honey-cup of the moment; and, accordingly, they
found in every dashing wave, in every citron-frame, in every statue
among blossoms, in every dancing reflection, in every darting ship, more
than one flower which opened its full cup wider under the warm sky,
whereas, with us, under our cold one, it fares as with the bees, against
whom the frosts of May shut the flowers up. O, the islanders are right!
Our greatest and most lasting error is, that we look for life, that is,
its happiness, as the materialists look for the soul, in the combination
of parts, as if the whole or the relation of its component parts could
give us anything which each individual part had not already. Does then
the heaven of our existence, like the blue one over our heads, consist
of mere empty air, which, when near to, and in little, is only a
transparent nothing, and which only in the distance and in gross becomes
blue ether? The century casts the flower-seeds of thy joy only from the
porous sowing-machine of minutes, or rather, to the blest eternity
itself there is no other handle than the instant. It is not that life
consists of seventy years, but the seventy years consist of a continuous
life, and one has lived, at all events, and lived enough, die when one


When, at length, the three sons of joy were about to seat themselves in
the dining-hall of a laurel grove before their meat-and-drink offering,
which Schoppe had stored away in the provision ship at Sesto, at that
moment, a genteel stranger, elegantly dressed in one color, came through
the twigs, with slow, stately steps, up to the reclining company, and
addressed himself, forthwith, without inquiry, to Cesara, in slow, soft,
and precisely pronounced German: "I am intrusted with an apology to Sir
Count Cesara."--"From my father?" asked he quickly. "Beg pardon,--from
my prince," replied the stranger; "he forbade your noble father, who
arose ill, to travel in the cool of the morning, but towards evening he
will meet you. In the mean time," he added, with a gracious smile and a
slight bow, "I sacrifice something on the noble Knight's account, in
commencing the pleasure of being longer with you hereafter, Sir Count,
by bringing you disappointment." Schoppe, who was neater at guessing
than at speaking, immediately broke out,--for he never let himself be
imposed upon by any man: "We are then pedagogic copartners and
confederates. Welcome, dear Gray-leaguesman!"[7] "It gives me pleasure,"
said the stranger, coldly, who was dressed in gray.

But Schoppe had hit it; the stranger was hereafter to occupy the place
of chief tutor to Cesara, and Schoppe was collaborator. To me this seems
judicious; the electric-sparkling Schoppe could serve as the cat's-skin,
the fox-tail, the glass cylinder, which should completely charge our
youth, composed as he was of conductors and non-conductors; the chief
tutor, as principal, being the operator and spark-taker, who should
discharge him with his Franklin's-points.

The man was named Von Augusti, was Lector to the prince, and had lived
much in the great world; he seemed, as is the case with all of this
court-stamp, ten years older than he really was, for he was in fact only
just thirty-seven.

One would have to suffer for it from the inverted ink-pots of the
reviewing Xanthippes, if one should leave the reviewers or Xanthippes in
any uncertainty as to who the prince really was of whom we have all made
mention above. It was the hereditary Prince of Hohenfliess, in whose
village of Blumenbühl the Count had been brought up, and into whose
chief city he was next to remove. The Hohenfliess Infante was hurrying
back, in a great dust and all out of breath, from Italy, wherein he had
left much spare coin and land-scrip, to Germany, in order there to coin,
upon his own account, allegiance-medals, because his reigning father was
going down the steps into the hereditary sepulchre, and was even now
within a few paces of his coffin.

During dinner the Lector Augusti spoke of the lovely scenery with true
taste, but with little warmth and impulse, preferring it by far to some
Tempestas[8] in the Borromæan palace. Thence he passed on, in order to
have occasion of mentioning the Knight as often as possible, to the
personalities of the Court, and confessed that the German gentleman, M.
de Bouverot, stood in especial favor,--for with courtiers and saints
everything goes by grace,--and that the Prince was uncommonly afflicted
in his nerves, &c. Courtiers, who, for the most part, cut their very
souls according to the pattern of another's, do, however, draw up their
ministerial reports of court so copiously and seriously for the
uninitiated, that the reader of their gazettes must needs either laugh
or go to sleep; a court-man and the book _Des Erreurs et de la Verité_
call the general of the Jesuits God, the Jesuits men, and the
non-Jesuits beasts. Schoppe listened with a dreadful pucker and twist of
feature; he hated courts bitterly. Young Albano thought not much better
of them; nay, as he was fond of venture, and liked much better to work
and fight with the arm than with the fingers of the inner man, and
delighted in tackling to the snow-plough and harrow and sowing-machine
of life war-horses and thunder-steeds, instead of a team of clever
home-and field-horses, of course people who went carefully and
considerately to work, and would rather do light, lacquered work, and
delicate ladies' work, than Hercules'-labors, he did not particularly
fancy. However he could not but feel a respect for the modesty of
Augusti, (based as it was upon a noble self-reliance,) which never let
him say a word about himself, as well as for the knowledge he had gained
by travel.

Cesara,--by the way I shall continue through this Cycle to write it with
a C, agreeably to the Spanish orthography; but in and after the 4th,
since I am not used to that letter in my orthography, and cannot be
forever misrepresenting myself through a long book, it will be written
with a Z,--Cesara could not hear enough from the Lector about his
father. He related to him the last act of the Knight in Rome, but with
an irreligious coldness which produced in the youth a chill of a
different kind. Don Gaspard, namely, had laid a wager with a German
Nuncius, picture against picture, that he would take a certain German
(Augusti would not name him), whose life was only one prolonged, moral
filth-month in the princely stable of Epicurus, and in two days, without
seeing him, would convert him for as long a time as the Nuncio should
desire. The latter accepted the wager, but caused the German to be
secretly watched. After two days the German locked himself up, became
devout, pale, still, bed-ridden, and in conduct came near to a true
Christian. The Nuncio watched the mischief for a week, then demanded the
sudden retransformation, or the Circe's wand, which should bring back
again the beastly shape. The Knight touched the German with the wand,
and the Epicurean swine stood there perfectly sound and well. I know not
which is the more inexplicable, the miracle, or the cold-bloodedness of
the thing. But the Lector could not say with what menstrua Gaspard
forced these rapid solutions and evaporations and precipitations.

At length the Lector, who had long been _frappé_ with the vocation and
the collaboratorship of the singular Schoppe, came, by polite
circumlocutions, upon the question, how the Knight had become acquainted
with him. "Through the Pasquino," he replied. "He was just stepping
round the corner of the Palazzo degli Ursini, when he saw some Romans
and our hereditary prince standing round a man who was on his knees
(they were my knees) before the statues of Pasquino and Marforio, and
offering to them the following prayer: Dear Castor and Pollux! why do ye
not secularize yourselves out of the ecclesiastical estate, and travel
through my Germany _in partibus infidelium_, or as two diligent vicars?
Could you not go round among the cities of the empire as missionary
preachers and referendaries, or post yourselves as _chevaliers
d'honneur_ and armorial bearers on either side of a throne? Would to God
they might at least vote thee, Pasquino, royal high-chaplain and master
of ceremonies in the court chapels, or let thee down from the roof by a
rope at the christening as baptismal angel! Say, could not you twins,
now, once come forward and speak as petition-masters-general in the
halls of the Diet, or, as _magistri sententiarum_, oppugn one another
within the walls of the universities on Commencement days? Pasquino, can
no Delia Porta[9] restore thee, were it only so far that thou mightest,
at least, at Congresses and treaty-makings of the diplomatic corps, play
the _silhouetteur_ as the figure-head of the stove, or must you serve at
the highest only in university libraries, as the busts of critical
editors? Ah, gay pair, would that Chigi, who stands here beside me,
might only model you into a portable pocket edition for ladies, I would
put you by, and not take you out of my pocket till I reached Germany! I
can, however, do it even here on the island," said Schoppe; whereupon he
drew forth the satirical work of art; for the renowned architect and
modeller, Chigi, who heard him, had really cast a copy of it. Schoppe
went on to tell how Don Gaspard then seriously stepped up to him, and
asked him, in Spanish, who he was. "I am (he answered also in Spanish)
actual Titular librarian to the Grand Master at Malta, and a descendant
of the so-called grammatical dog, the toothed humanist, Scioppius
(German Schoppe); my baptismal name is Pero, Piero, Pietro (Peter). But
many here call me, by mistake, Sciupio or Sciopio (extravagance)."

Gaspard had an impartial, deep-reaching eye for every spirit, even
though it were most unlike his own; and, least of all, did he seek a
repetition of himself. He therefore took the librarian home with him.
Since, now, the latter seemed to live solely by portrait-painting, and
was besides just meaning to go back to Germany, he accordingly proposed
to this rich, many-eyed, rough spirit, Albano's society, which only the
present fellow-laborer, Augusti, was to share with him. But there were
four things which the librarian demanded beforehand, as
preliminaries,--a sitting from the Count, his profile, and--when both
these had been granted--yet a third and a fourth, in the following
terms: "Must I suffer myself to be _calendered_[10] by the
three estates, and forced to take on gloss and smoothness by
polishing-presses? I will not; whithersoever else, be it to
heaven or hell, I will accompany your son, but not into the
stamping-washing-roasting-melting-and-forcing-works of great houses."
This was granted easiest of all; besides, the second Imperial vicegerent
of the paternal supremacy, Augusti, was appointed to the business in
question. But upon the fourth point they came near falling out. Schoppe,
who would rather be an outlaw than a slave or a freedman, and whose
ground, no less imperially free than fruitful, would not endure a hedge,
could accommodate himself only to accidental, undetermined services, and
felt obliged to decline the _fixum_ of a salary. "I will," said he,
"deliver occasional sermons, but none of your weekly sermons; nay, it
may be, oftentimes, I shall not enter the desk for a half-year
together." The Knight considered it beneath him to be under obligations,
and drew back, till Schoppe hit upon the diagonal road, and said he
would give his society as a _don gratuit_, and should expect of the
Knight, from time to time, a considerable _don gratuit_ in return. As
for the rest, Schoppe was now full as dear to the Knight as the
first-best Turk of the Court who had ever helped him up his
carriage-steps; his trial of a man was like a post-mortem examination,
and after the trial he neither loved nor hated more cordially; to him,
as he looked into the show-piece of blustering life, the manager and the
first and second mistresses, and the Lears and Iphigenias and heroes
were no friends, nor were the Kasperls and the tyrants and
supernumeraries foes, but they were simply different actors in different
parts. Ah, Gaspard, standest thou, then, in the front box, and not also
on the stage of life itself? And dost thou not in the great drama
recognize, like Hamlet, a lesser one? Ay, does not every stage imply,
after all, a twofold life,--a copying and a copied?

Either the glass or two (or more) of wine, or else his annoying contrast
to the elegant, sedate Lector, set Schoppe's winnowing-mill with all its
wheels in motion, though this humor of his found small scope on the
enchanting island; and when Augusti expressed a wish that Schoppe might
go to Germany under happier auspices than other painters, the latter
drew forth a pack of gilded pictures of German patron saints, and said,
shuffling them: "Many a one would here lay a papal miserere on the desk
and sing it off, particularly if, like me, he had to go into winter
quarters among the German ice and fog-banks in the middle of
spring;--and it is with reluctance, I am free to confess, I leave the
Harlequin and Pulzinella and Scapin, and the whole _comedia dell' arte_
behind. But the gentlemen saints whom I here shuffle have brought the
lands under their charge into high and dry condition, and one passes
through them with comfort. Mr. Architect, you laugh, but you know
altogether too little of what these painted heavenly advowees hourly
undertake in behalf of the German circles. Mr. Architect, show me, after
all, a country anywhere, in which so many cudgels, programmes,
professors, _Perukes-allongées_, learned advertisements, imperial
notices, cits and surburbans, ceremonies, coronations, and Heidelberg
tubs, but without indwelling Diogeneses, are to be mustered together as
in the aforementioned? Or I appeal to you, Mr. Von Augusti! Point out to
me, I pray, one single territory which is provided with such a _Long
Parliament_, namely, a most lengthy Diet of the Empire, as it were, an
extraordinarily wholesome _pillula perpetua_[11] which the patient is
incessantly swallowing, and which as incessantly purges him; and who is
not reminded, as well as myself, in this connection, of the _capitulatio
perpetua_, and in general of the body politic of the Empire, that
_perpetuum immobile_,--and on good grounds?" Here Schoppe drank. "The
body of the Empire becomes thereby, like the first principle of morals,
or like virgin earth, altogether insoluble; nay, supposing one of us
were to take an electoral sword, and cut it in two therewith, as if it
were an earwig, still the half with the teeth would, like the cloven
earwig, turn round and eat the latter half clean up,--and then there
would be the whole continuous earwig rejoined and well fed into the
bargain. It is not by any means to be regretted as a consequence of this
close _nexus_ of the Empire, that the corpus can devour and digest its
own limbs, as the brook-crab does its stomach, without any real harm to
itself, so that the corpus, like a Homeric god, can only be wounded, but
not killed. Take this bunchy polypus-stalk, I often say, mash it to a
pulp with Rösel,--turn it wrong side outward like a glove,--like
Lichtenberg, cut the polypus in two dexterously with a hair,--like
Trembley, stick and incorporate several severed limbs into one another,
as other naturalists do imperial cities, abbeys, small provinces into
greater, or the reverse,--and then examine after some days; verily,
magnificent and whole and well, thy polypus will be found sitting there
again, or my name is not Schoppe."

The Count had heard him again and again on this subject, and could
therefore more easily and properly smile; the Lector, however, was
learning all this for the first time, and even the comic actor is not
such to his new hearers. But amidst all these diversions there still
sounded on in Albano's soul a confused tumult, like the murmuring of
the waterfall of the coming times. He peered longingly through the
wavering seams of the laurel-foliage, out toward the shining hills, when
Dian said, in his painter's-language: "Is it not as if all the gods
stood, with thousands of cornucopias, on the mountains around Lago
Maggiore, and poured down wine and cascades, till the lake, like a
goblet of joy, foams over and gushes down with the brimming juice?"
Schoppe replied: "Pleasures of exceeding flavor, like pineapples, have
the misfortune, that, like pineapples, they make the gums bleed." "I
think," said Augusti, "that one ought not to reflect much upon the
pleasures of life, any more than upon the beauties of a good poem; one
enjoys both better without counting or dissecting them." "And I," said
Cesara, "would calculate and dissect from very pride; whatever came of
it I would abide, and I should be ashamed to be unhappy about it. If
life, like the olive, is a bitter fruit, then grasp both with the press,
and they will afford the sweetest oil." Here he rose to remain alone on
the island till evening; he asked indulgence, but gave no excuse. His
lofty, ambitious soul was incapable of descending to the smallest lie,
even towards an animal. In Blumenbühl he used daily to entice the tame
pigeons near him by holding out food; and his foster-sister often begged
him to catch one; but he always said, "No," for he would not betray the
confidence even of a brute creature.

While they followed him with their eyes, as he slowly retired through
the laurel shades, with the shadows dancing after him and stray sunbeams
gliding down over him, and, as in a dream, gently bent the branches
apart with his hands extended before him, Dian broke forth: "What a
statue of Jupiter!" "And the ancients," said Schoppe, joining in,
"believed, moreover, that every god dwelt in his own statue." "A
magnificent, threefold breadth of brow, nasal bridge, and breast!"
continued Dian. "A Hercules planting olive-trees on Olympus!" "It struck
me very much," said the Lector, "that, after considerable study, I could
read in his countenance what I wished and what was mutually
contradictory,--coldness, warmth, innocence and gentleness, most readily
defiance and force." Schoppe added: "It may be still harder for himself
to compel such a congress of warring powers within him to become a
peace-congress." "How beautifully," said the humanly feeling Dian, "must
love sit upon so mighty a form, and how sublimely must anger!" "Those
are two poetic beauties," replied Schoppe, "out of which two
Pedagogiarchs and Zenophons, like us, can make little with their Cyrus
in their Cyropædia."


Zesara had tasted only three glasses of wine; but the must of his thick,
hot blood fermented under it mightily. The day grew more and more into a
Daphnian and Delphic grove, in whose whispering and steamy thicket he
lost himself deeper and deeper,--the sun hung in the blue like a white
glistening snow-ball,--the glaciers cast their silvery glances down into
the green,--from distant clouds it thundered occasionally,[12] as if
spring were rolling along in his triumphal chariot far away towards us
at the north,--the living glow of the climate and the hour, and the holy
fire of two raptures, the remembered and the expected, warmed to life
all his powers. And now that fever of young health seized upon him, in
which it always seemed to him as if a particular heart beat in every
limb,--the lungs and the heart are heavy and full of blood,--the breath
is hot as a Harmattan wind,--and the eye dark in its own blaze,--and the
limbs are weary with energy. In this overcharge of the electrical cloud
he had a peculiar passion for destroying. When younger, he often
relieved himself by rolling fragments of rock to a summit and letting
them roll down, or by running on the full gallop till his breath grew
_longer_, or most surely by hurting himself with a penknife (as he had
heard of Cardan's doing), and even bleeding himself a little
occasionally. Seldom do ordinary, and still seldomer extraordinary, men
attain full-blooming youth of body and spirit, but when it does happen,
so much the more luxuriantly does one root bear a whole flower-garden.

With such emotions Albano now stood alone behind the palace towards the
south, when a sport of his boyish years occurred to him.

He had, namely, often in May, during a heavy wind, climbed up into a
thick-limbed apple-tree, which supported a whole green hanging cabinet,
and had laid himself down in the arms of its branches. And when, in this
situation, the wavering pleasure-grove swung him about amidst the
juggling play of the lily-butterflies and the hum of bees and insects
and the clouds of blossoms, and when the flaunting top now buried him in
rich green, now launched him into deep blue, and now into the sunshine,
then did his fancy stretch the tree to gigantic dimensions: it grew
alone in the Universe, as if it were the tree of endless life, its root
pierced far down into the abyss, the white-red clouds hung upon it as
blossoms, the moon as a fruit, the little stars glistened like dew, and
Albano reposed in its infinite summit, and a storm swayed the summit
from day into night and from night into day.

And now he stood looking up to a tall cypress. A southeast breeze had
arisen from its siesta in Rome, and flying along had cooled itself by
the way in the tops of the lemon-trees and in a thousand brooks and
shadows, and now lay cradled in the arms of the cypress. Then he climbed
up the tree, in order at least to tire himself. But how did the world
stretch out before him, with its woods, its islands, and its mountains,
when he saw the thunder-cloud lying over Rome's seven hills, just as if
that old spirit were speaking from the gloom which once wrought in the
seven hills as in seven Vesuviuses, that had stood before the face of
the earth so many centuries with fiery columns, with erect tempests, and
had overspread it with clouds and ashes and fertility, till they at last
burst themselves asunder! The mirror-wall of the glaciers stood, like
his father, unmelted before the warm rays of heaven, and only glistened
and remained cold and hard,--from the broad expanse of the lake the
sunny hills seemed on every hand to rise as from their bath, and the
little ships of men seemed to lie fast stranded in the distance,--and,
floating far and wide around him, the great spirits of the past went by,
and under their invisible tread only the woods bowed themselves, the
flower-beds scarcely at all. Then did the outward past become in Albano
his own future,--no melancholy, but a thirst after all greatness that
inhabits and uplifts the spirit, and a shrinking from the unclean baits
of the future painfully compressed his eyelids, and heavy drops fell
from them. He came down, because his internal dizziness grew at last to
a physical. His rural education and the influence of Dian, who
reverenced the modest course of nature, had preserved the budding garden
of his faculties from the untimely morning sun and hasty growth; but the
expectation of the evening and the journey he had taken had conspired
to make the day of his life now too warm and stimulating.

Roaming and dreaming, he lost himself among orange-blossoms. Suddenly it
was to him as if a sweet stirring in his inmost heart made it enlarge
painfully, and grow void, and then full again. Ah, he knew not that it
was the fragrances which he had here in childhood so often drunk into
his bosom, and which now darkly but powerfully called back every fantasy
and remembrance of the past, for the very reason that fragrances, unlike
the worn-out objects of the eye and ear, seldomer present themselves,
and therefore the more easily and intensely renew the faded sensations.
But when he happened into an arcade of the palace, which was colored
mosaically with variegated stones and shells, and when he saw the waves
playing and dancing on the threshold of the grotto, then did a
moss-grown past all at once reveal itself: he sounded his
recollections,--the colored stones of the grotto lay as it were full of
inscriptions of a former time before his memory. Ah, here had he been a
thousand times with his mother! She had showed him the shells and
forbidden him to approach the waves; and once, as the sun was rising and
the rippled lake and all the pebbles glistened, he had waked up on her
bosom, in the midst of the blaze of lights.

O, was not, then, the place sacred, and was not here the overpowering
desire pardonable, which he had so long felt to-day, to open a wound in
his arm for the relief of the restless and tormenting blood?

He scratched himself, but accidentally too deep, and with a cool and
pleasant exaltation of his more lightly-breathing nature he watched the
red fountain of his arm in the setting sun, and became, as if a burden
had fallen off from him, calm, sober, still, and tender. He thought of
his departed mother, whose love remained now forever unrequited. Ah,
gladly would he have poured out this blood for her,--and now, too, love
for his sickly father gushed up more warmly than ever in his bosom. O
come soon, said his heart, I will love thee so inexpressibly, thou dear

The sun grew cold on the damp earth,--and now only the indented mural
crown formed by the gold wedges of the glacier-peaks glowed above the
spent clouds,--and the magic-lantern of nature threw its images longer
and fainter every moment, when a tall form, in an open red mantle, came
slowly along towards him round the cedar-trees, pressed with the right
hand the region of its heart, where little sparks glimmered, and with
the half-raised left crushed a waxen mask into a lump, and looked down
into its own breast. Suddenly it stiffened against the wall of the
palace in a petrified posture. Albano placed his hand upon his light
wound, and drew near to the petrified one. What a form! From a dry,
haggard face projected between eyes which gleamed on, half hid beneath
their sockets, a contemptuous nose with a proud curl,--there stood a
cherub with the germ of the fall, a scornful, imperious spirit, who
could not love aught, not even his own heart, hardly a higher,--one of
those terrible beings who exalt themselves above men, above misfortune,
above the earth, and above conscience, and to whom it is all the same
whatever human blood they shed, whether another's or their own.

It was Don Gaspard.

The sparkling chain of his order, made of steel and precious stones,
betrayed him. He had been seized with the catalepsy, his old complaint.
"O father!" said Albano, with terror, and embraced the immovable form;
but it was as if he clasped cold death to his heart. He tasted the
bitterness of a hell,--he kissed the rigid lip, and cried more
loudly,--at last, letting fall his arm, he started back from him, and
the exposed wound bled again without his feeling it; and gnashing his
teeth with wild, youthful love and with anguish, and with great
ice-drops in his eyes, he gazed upon the mute form, and tore its hand
from its heart. At this Gaspard, awaking, opened his eyes, and said,
"Welcome, my dear son!" Then the child, with overmastering bliss and
love, sank on his father's heart, and wept, and was silent. "Thou
bleedest, Albano," said Gaspard, softly holding him off; "bandage
thyself!" "Let me bleed; I will die with thee, if thou diest! O, how
long have I pined for thee, my good father!" said Albano, yet more
deeply agitated by his father's sick heart, which he now felt beating
more heavily against his own. "Very good; but bandage thyself!" said he;
and as the son did it, and while hurrying on the bandage, gazed with
insatiable love into the eye of his father,--that eye which cast only
cold glances like his jewelled ring; just then, on the chestnut-tops
which had been to-day the throne of the morning sun, the soft moon
opened soothingly her holy eye, and it was to the inflamed Albano, in
this home of his childhood and his mother, as if the spirit of his
mother were looking from heaven, and calling down, "I shall weep if you
do not love each other." His swelling heart overflowed, and he said
softly to his father, who was growing paler in the moonlight, "Dost thou
not love me, then?" "Dear Alban," replied the father, "one cannot answer
thee enough: thou art very good,--it is very good." But with the pride
of a love which boldly measured itself with his father's, he seized
firmly the hand with the mask, and looked on the Knight with fiery eyes.
"My son," replied the weary one, "I have yet much to say to thee to-day,
and little time, because I travel to-morrow,--and I know not how long
the beating of my heart will let me speak." Ah, then, that previous sign
of a touched soul had been only the sign of a disordered pulse. Thou
poor son, how must thy swollen sea stiffen before this sharp air,--ah,
how must thy warm heart cleave to the ice-cold metal, and tear itself
away not without a skin-peeling wound!

But, good youth! who of us could blame thee that wounds should
attach thee as it were by a tie of _blood_ to thy true or false
demigod,--although a demigod is oftener joined to a demi-beast than a
demi-man,--and that thou shouldst so painfully love! Ah, what ardent
soul has not once uttered the prayer of love in vain, and then, lamed by
the chilling poison, like other poisoned victims, not been able any
longer to move its heavy tongue and heavy heart! But love on, thou warm
soul! like spring-flowers, like night-butterflies, tender love at last
breaks through the hard-frozen soil, and every heart, which desires
nothing else than a heart, finds at last its bosom!


The Knight took him up to a gallery supported by a row of stone pillars,
which lemon-trees strewed all over with perfumes and with little, lively
shadows, silver-edged by the moon. He drew two medallions from his
pocket-book,--one represented a remarkably youthful-looking female face,
with the circumscription, "Nous ne nous verrons jamais, mon fils."
"Here is thy mother," said Gaspard, giving it to him, "and here thy
sister"; and handed him the second, whose lines ran into an indistinct,
antiquated shape, with the circumscription, "Nous nous verrons un jour,
mon frère." He now began his discourse, which he delivered in such a low
tone and in so many loose sheets (one comma often coming at one end of
the gallery and the next at the other), and with such an alternation of
quick and slow paces, that the ear of any eavesdropping inquisitor
keeping step with them, under the gallery, had there been one down
there, could not have caught three drops of connected sound. "Thy
attention, dear Alban," he continued, "not thy fancy, must now be put on
the stretch. Thou art, unhappily, to-day too romantic for one who is to
hear so many romantic things. The Countess of Cesara ever loved the
mysterious; thou wilt perceive it in the commission which she gave me a
few days before her death, and which I was obliged to promise I would
execute this very Good-Friday."

He said further, before beginning, that, as his catalepsy and
palpitation of the heart increased critically, he must hasten to Spain
to arrange his affairs, and, still more, those of his ward, the Countess
of Romeiro. Alban made one brotherly inquiry about his dear sister, so
long separated from him; his father gave him to hope he should soon see
her, as she intended to visit Switzerland with the Countess.

As I do not perceive what people will gain by it, if I insert those (to
me) annoying geese-feet[13] with the everlasting "said he," I will
relate the commission in person. There would, at a certain time (the
Knight said), come to him three unknown persons,--one in the morning,
one at noon, and one in the evening,--and each one would present him a
card, in a sealed envelope, containing merely the name of the city and
the house wherein the picture-cabinet, which Albano must visit the very
same night, was to be found. In this cabinet he must touch and press all
the nails of the pictures till he comes to one behind which the pressure
makes a repeating-clock, built into the wall, strike twelve. Here he
finds behind the picture a secret arras-door, behind which sits a female
form with an open souvenir and three rings on her left hand, and a
crayon in her right. When he presses the ring of the middle finger, the
form will rise amidst the rolling of the internal wheel-work, step out
into the chamber, and the wheel-work, which is running down, will stop
with her at a wall whereon she indicates, by the crayon, a hidden
compartment, in which lie a pocket-perspective glass and the waxen
impression of a coffin-key. The eye-glass of the perspective arranges by
an optical anamorphosis the snarl of withering lines on the medallion of
his sister, which he had to-day received, into a sweet, young form, and
the object-glass gives back to the immature image of his mother the
lineaments of mature life. Then he is to press the ring-finger, and
immediately the dumb, cold figure will begin to write with the crayon in
the souvenir, and designate to him, in a few words, the place of the
coffin, of whose key he has the waxen impression. In the coffin lies a
black marble slab, in the form of a black Bible; and when he has broken
it he will find a kernel therein, from which is to grow the
Christmas-tree of his whole life. If the slab is not in the coffin, then
he is to give the last ring of the little finger a pressure,--but what
this wooden Guerike's weather-prophet of his destiny would do, the
Knight himself could not predict.

I am fully of opinion that from this bizarre testament the
repeating-work and half of the wheel-work might easily be broken out,
(just as clocks are now made in London with only two wheels,) without
doing the dial-work or the movement of the hands the least injury.

Upon Albano all this testamentary whirl and whiz had, contrary to my
expectation, almost no effect; excepting to produce a more tender love
for the good mother who, when she already beheld, in the stream of life
below, the swift image of the pouncing hawk of death, thought only of
her son. Upon the fixed, iron countenance of his father he so gazed
during this narrative with tender gratitude for the pains he had taken
to remember and relate, as almost to lose the thread of the discourse,
and in the moonshine and to the eye of his fancy the Knight grew to a
Colossus of Rhodes, hiding half the horizon of the present, a being for
whom this testamentary memory-work seemed almost too trivial.

Thus far Don Gaspard had spoken merely as a genuine man of the world,
who always excludes from his speech (into which no special, intimate
relations enter) all mention or flattery of a person, of others as well
as of himself, and regards even historical persons merely as conditions
of things, so that two such impersonalities with their grim coldness
seemed to be only two speaking logics or sciences, not living beings
with beating hearts. O, how softly did it flow, like a tender melody,
into Albano's lovesick heart, which the pure and mild moon, and the
glimmering island-garden of his early days, and the voice of his mother
sounding on and echoing in his soul, all conspired to melt, when at
length the _father_ said: "So much have I to tell of the Countess. Of
myself I have nothing to say to thee but to express my constant
satisfaction hitherto with thy life." "O, give me, dearest father,
instruction and counsel for my future government," said the enraptured
man, and as Gaspard's right hand twitched convulsively toward his more
hurriedly beating heart, he followed it with his left to the sick spot
and pressed intensely the hysterical heart as if he could arrest by
grasping at the spokes this down-hill-rolling wheel of life. The Knight
replied: "I have nothing more to say to thee. The _Linden City_
(Pestitz) is now open to thee; thy mother had shut it against thee. The
hereditary Prince, who will soon be Prince, and the minister, Von
Froulay, who is my friend, will be thine. I believe it will be of
service to thee to cultivate their acquaintance."

The sharp-sighted Gaspard saw at this moment suddenly flit across the
pure, open countenance of the youth strange emotions and hot blushes,
which nothing immediate could explain, and which instantly passed away,
as if annihilated, when he thus continued: "To a man of rank, sciences
and polite learning, which to others are final ends, are only means and
recreations; and great as thy inclination for them may be, thou wilt,
however, surely, in the end give actions the preference over enjoyments;
thou wilt not feel thyself born to instruct or amuse men merely, but to
manage and to rule them. It were well if thou couldst gain the minister,
and thereby the knowledge of government and political economy which he
can give thee; for in the sketch of one country as well as of one court
thou hast the grand outlines of every greater one to which thou mayest
be called, and for which thou wilt have to educate thyself. It is my
wish that thou shouldst be even a favorite of the Prince and the Court,
less because thou hast need of connections than because thou needest
experience. Only through men are men to be subdued and surpassed, not
by books and superior qualities. One must not display his worth in order
to gain men, but gain them first, and then, and not until then, show his
worth. There is no calamity like ignorance; and not so much by virtue as
by understanding is man made formidable and fortunate. Thou hast at most
to shun men who are too like thee, particularly the noble." The
corrosive sublimate of his irony consisted here, not in his pronouncing
"noble" with an accented, ironical tone, but in his pronouncing it,
contrary to what might have been expected, coldly and without any tone
at all. Albano's hand, still on his, had for some time slipped down from
his father's heart along the sharp-edged steel chain of his order to the
golden, metal-cold lamb that hung from it. The youth, like all young men
and hermits, had too severe notions of courtiers and men of the world:
he held them to be decided basilisks and dragons,--although I can still
excuse that, if he means by basilisks only what the naturalists
mean,--wingless lizards,--and by dragons, nothing but winged ones, and
thus regards them only as amphibia, hardly less cold and odious than
Linnæus defines such to be. Besides, he cherished (so easily does
Plutarch become the seducer of youth whose biographer he might have
been, like me) more contempt than reverence for the _artolatry_ (loaf
and fish service) of our age, always transubstantiating (inversely) its
_god_ into _bread_,--for the best bread-studies or bread-carts,--for the
making of a _carrière_,--for every one, in short, who was not a
dare-devil, and who, instead of catapultas and war machines, operated
with some sort of invisible magnetic wands, suction-works, and
cupping-glasses, and took anything in that way. Every young man has a
fine season in his life when he will accept no office, and every young
woman has the same in hers, when she will accept no husband; by and by
they both change, and often take one another into the bargain.

As the Knight advanced the above propositions, certainly not offensive
to any man of the world, there swelled in his son a holy, generous
pride,--it seemed to him as if his heart and even his body, like that of
a praying saint, were lifted by a soaring genius far above the
race-courses of a greedy, creeping age,--the great men of a greater time
passed before him under their triumphal arches, and beckoned him to come
nearer to them: in the east lay Rome and the moon, and before him the
Circus of the Alps,--a mighty Past by the side of a mighty Present. With
the proud and generous consciousness that there is something more
godlike in us than prudence and understanding, he laid hold of his
father, and said: "This whole day, dear father, has been one increasing
agitation in my heart. I cannot speak nor think rightly for emotion.
Father, I will visit them all; I will soar away above men; but I despise
the dirty road to the object. I will in the sea of the world rise like a
living man by _swimming_, and not like a drowned man by _corruption_.
Yes, father, let Fate cast a gravestone upon this breast, and crush it,
when it has lost virtue and the divinity and its own heart."

What made Albano speak so warmly was that he could not avoid an
irrepressible veneration for the great soul of the Knight; he
continually represented to himself the pangs and the lingering death of
so strong a life, the sharp smoke of so great a coldly quenched fire,
and inferred from the emotions of his own living soul what must be those
of his father, who in his opinion had only gradually thus crumbled upon
a broad bed of black, cold worldlings, as the diamond cannot be
volatilized except on a bed of dead, burnt-out, blacksmith's coals. Don
Gaspard, who seldom, and then only mildly, found fault with men,--not
from love, but from indifference,--patiently replied to the youth: "Thy
warmth is to be praised. All will come right in good time. Now let us


The banquet-hall of our Islanders was in the rich palace of the absent
Borromæan family. They conceded to the lovely island the prize-apple of
Paris and the laurel-wreath. Augusti and Gaspard wrote their eulogies
upon it in a clear, easy style, only Gaspard used the more antitheses.
Albano's breast was filled with a new world, his eye with radiance, his
cheeks with joyous blood. The Architect extolled as well the taste as
the purse of the hereditary Prince, who by means of both had brought
with him to his country, not artistic masters indeed, but still
masterpieces, and at whose instance this very Dian was going to Italy to
take casts for him there of the antiques. Schoppe replied: "I hope the
German is as well supplied with painters' academies and painters' colics
as any other people; our pictures on goods, our illuminated Theses in
Augsburg, our margins of newspapers, and our vignettes in every dramatic
work, (whereby we had an earlier _Shakespeare Gallery_ than London,) our
gallows-birds hung in effigy,--are well known to every one, and show at
first sight how far we carry the thing. But I will even allow that
Greeks and Italians paint as well as we; still we tower far above them
in this, that we, like nature and noble suitors, never seek isolated
beauty, without connected advantage. A beauty which we cannot also
roast, sell at auction, wear, or marry, passes with us only for just
what it is worth; beauty is with us (I hope) never anything else but
selvage and trimming to utility, just as, also, at the Diet of the
Empire, it is not the side-tables of confectionery, but the
session-tables, that are the proper work-tables of the body politic.
Genuine Beauty and Art are therefore with us set, painted, stamped only
on things which at the same time bring in something; e. g. fine Madonnas
only in the journals of fashion,--etched leaves only on packages of
tobacco-leaves,--cameos on pipe-bowls,--gems on seals, and wood-cuts on
tallies; flower-pieces are sought, but on bandboxes,--faithful
Wouwermanns, but in horses' stalls before the stallions,[14]--bas-reliefs
of princes' heads, either on dollars or on Bavarian beer-pitcher covers,
but both must be of unalloyed pewter,--rose-pieces and lily-pieces, but
on tattooed women. On a similar principle, in Basedow's system of
education, beautiful painting and the Latin vocabulary were always
linked together, because the Institute more easily retains the latter by
the help of the former. So, too, Van der Kabel never painted a hare to
order, without requiring for himself one freshly-shot model after
another to eat and copy. So again, the artist Calear painted beautiful
hose, but painted them immediately on to his own legs."

The Knight heard such talk with pleasure, though he neither laughed at
nor imitated it; to him all colors in the prism of genius were
agreeable. Only to the Architect it was not enough in Greek taste, and
not courtly enough for the Lector. The latter turned round to the
departing Dian, with a somewhat flattering air, while Schoppe was
recovering breath for renewed detraction of us Germans, and said:
"Formerly Rome took away from other lands only works of art, but now
artists themselves."

Schoppe continued: "So also our statues are no idle, dawdling citizens,
but they all drive a trade;--such as are caryates hold up houses; such
as are angels bear baptismal vessels; and heathen water-gods labor at
the public fountains, and pour out water into the pitchers of the

The Count spoke warmly for us, the Lector brilliantly: the Knight
remarked, that the German taste and the German talent for poetic
beauties made good and explained their want of both for other beauties
(on the ground of climate, form of government, poverty, &c.). The Knight
resembled a celestial telescope, through which the planets appear larger
and the suns smaller; like that instrument, he took away from suns their
borrowed lustre, without restoring to them their true and greater glory;
he cut in twain, indeed, the noose of a Judas, but he extinguished the
halo on a Christ's head, and in general he sought to make out
ingeniously a parity and equality between darkness and light.

Schoppe was never silenced (I am sorry that in his toleration-mandate
for Europe the German Circles should have been left out). He began
again: "The little which I just brought forward in praise of the
serviceable Germans has, it seems, provoked contradiction. But the
slight laurel-crown which I place upon the holy body of the Empire shall
never blind my eyes to the bald spots. I have often thought it
commendable in Socrates and Christ, that they did not teach in Hamburg,
in Vienna, or in any Brandenburg city, and go through the streets with
their disciples; they would have been questioned, in the name of the
magistrates, whether they could not work; and had both been with
families in Wetzlar, they would have extorted from the latter the
_negligence-money_.[15] Touching the poetic art, Sir Knight, I have
known many a citizen of the Empire who could make but little out of an
ode unless it were upon himself: he fancied he could tell when poetic
liberties infringed upon the liberty of the Empire: such a man, who
certainly always marched to his work regularly, composedly, and
considerately in Saxon term-times, was exceedingly pained and perplexed
by poetic flights. And is it, then, so unaccountable and bad? The worthy
inhabitant of an imperial city binds on in front a napkin when he wishes
to weep, in order that he may not stain his satin vest, and the tears
which fall from his eyes upon a letter of condolence he marks as he
would any darker punctuation: what wonder, if, like the ranger, he
should know no fairer flower than that on the posteriors of the stag,
and if the poetical violets, like the botanical,[16] should operate upon
him as a mild emetic. Such were, according to my notion, one way at
least of warding off the reproach which is flung at us Germans."


What a singular night followed upon this singular day! Sleepy with
travelling, all went to rest; only Albano, in whom the hot eventful day
still burned on, said to the Knight that he could not now, with his
breast full of fire, find coolness and rest anywhere but under the cold
stars and the blossoms of the Italian spring. He leaned against a statue
on the upper terrace, near a blooming balustrade of citrons, that he
might sweetly shut his eyes beneath the starry heaven, and still more
sweetly open them in the morning. Even in his earlier youth had he, as
well as myself, wished himself upon the Italian roofs of warm lands, in
order, not as a night-walker, but as a regular sleeper, to wake up

How magnificently there does the eye open upon the radiant hanging
gardens full of eternal blossoms above thee, whereas on thy German
sweltry feather-pillow thou hast nothing before thee, when thou lookest
up, but the bed-tail!

While Zesara was thus traversing waves, mountains, and stars with a
stiller and stiller soul, and when at last garden and sky and lake ran
together into one dark Colossus, and he sadly thought of his pale
mother, and of his sister, and of the announced wonders of his future
life, a figure dressed all in black, with the image of a death's-head on
its breast, came slowly and painfully, and with trembling breath, up the
terraces behind him. "Remember death!" it said. "Thou art Albano de
Zesara?" "Yes," said Zesara, "who art thou?" "I am," it said, "a father
of death.[17] It is not from fear, but from habit, I tremble so."

The limbs of the man continued to quake all over, in a frightful and
almost audible manner. Zesara had often wished an adventure for his idle
bravery; now he had it before him. Meantime, however, he kept a sharp
watch with his eye, and when the monk said, "Look up to the evening star
and tell me when it goes down, for my sight is weak," he threw only a
hasty glance upwards. "Three stars," said he, "are still between it and
the Alps." "When it sets," the father continued, "then thy sister in
Spain gives up the ghost, and thereupon she will speak with thee here
from Heaven." Zesara was hardly touched by a finger of the cold hand of
horror, simply because he was not in a room, but in the midst of young
Nature, who stations her mountains and stars as watchmen around the
trembling spirit; or it may have been because the vast and substantial
bodily world, so near before us, crowds out and hides with its
building-work the world of spirits. He asked, with indignation: "Who art
thou? What knowest thou? What wilt thou?" and grasped at the folded
hands of the monk, and held both imprisoned in one of his. "Thou dost
not know me, my son," said the father of death, calmly. "I am a
Zahouri,[18] and come from Spain from thy sister; I see the dead down in
the earth, and know beforehand when they will appear and discourse. But
their apparition above ground I do not see, and their discourse I cannot

Here he looked sharply at the youth, whose features suddenly grew rigid
and lengthened, for a voice like a female and familiar one began slowly
over his head: "Take the crown,--take the crown,--I will help thee." The
monk asked: "Is the evening-star already gone down? Is _it_ talking with
thee?" Zesara looked upward, and could not answer; the voice from Heaven
spake again, and said the same thing. The monk guessed as much, and
said: "Thus did thy father hear thy mother from on high, when he was in
Germany; but he had me thrown into prison for a long time, because he
thought I deceived him." At the mention of his "father," whose disbelief
of the spiritual Zesara knew, he hurried the monk, by his two hands
held fast in his own single and strong one, down the terraces, in order
to hear where the voice might now be. The old man smiled softly; the
voice again spake above him, but in these words: "Love the beautiful
one,--love the beautiful one,--I will help thee." A skiff was moored to
the shore, which he had already seen during the day. The monk, who
apparently wished to do away the suspicion of a voice being concealed
anywhere, stepped into the gondola, and beckoned him to follow. The
youth, relying on his bodily and mental strength and his skill in
swimming, boldly pushed off with the monk from the island; but what a
shudder seized upon his innermost fibres, when not only the voice above
him called again, "Love the beautiful one whom I will show thee,--I will
help thee," but when he even saw, off toward the terrace, a female form,
with long, chestnut-brown hair, and dark eyes, and a shining, swan-like
neck, and with the complexion and vigor of the richest climate, rise,
like a nobler Aphrodite, revealed down to her bosom, from out the
deepest waves. But in a few seconds the Goddess sank back again beneath
the surface, and the spirit-voice continued to whisper overhead, "Love
the beautiful one whom I showed thee." The monk coldly and silently
prayed during the scene, of which he heard and saw nothing. At length he
said: "On the next Ascension-day, at the hour of thy birth, thou wilt
stand beside a heart which is not within a breast, and thy sister will
announce to thee from Heaven the name of thy bride."

When before us feeble, rheumy creatures, who, like Polypuses and
flowers, only _feel_ and _seek_, but cannot _see_ the light of a higher
element, a flash darts, in the total eclipse of our life, through the
earthly mass which hangs before our higher sun,[19] that ray cuts in
pieces the nerve of vision, which can bear only _forms_, not _light_; no
burning terror wings the heart and the blood, but a cold shudder at our
own thoughts, and in the presence of a new, incomprehensible world,
chains the warm stream, and life becomes ice.

Albano, from whose teeming fancy a chaos might spring as easily as a
universe, grew pale; but it was with him as if he lost not so much his
spirit as his understanding. He rowed impetuously, almost unconsciously,
to the shore,--he could not look the father of death in the face,
because his wild fancy, tearing everything to pieces, distorted and
distended all forms, like clouds, into horrid shapes,--he hardly heard
the monk when he said, by way of farewell, "Next Good Friday, perhaps, I
may come again." The monk stepped on board a skiff which came along of
itself (propelled, probably, by a wheel under the water), and soon
disappeared behind, or in, the little Fisher's island (Isola peschiere).

For the space of a minute Alban reeled, and it appeared to him as if the
garden and the sky and all were a floating and fleeting fog-bank,--as if
nothing _were_, as if he had not lived. This arsenical qualm was at once
blown away from his stifled breast by the breath of the Librarian,
Schoppe, who was piping merrily at the chamber window; all at once his
life grew warm again, the earth came back, and existence _was_. Schoppe,
who could not sleep for warmth, now came down to make his own bed also
on the tenth terrace. He saw in Zesara an intense inward agitation, but
he had long been accustomed to such, and made no inquiries.


Not by reasonings, but by pleasantries, is the ice most easily melted in
our choked-up wheel-work. After a chatty hour, not much more was left of
all that had passed in the youth's mind than a vexatious feeling and a
happy one; the former, to think that he had not taken the monk by the
cowl and carried him before the Knight; and the latter, at the
remembrance of the noble female form, and at the very prospect of a life
full of adventures. Still, when he closed his eyes, monsters full of
wings, worlds full of flames, and a deep-weltering chaos, swept around
his soul.

At last, in the cool of the after-midnight, his tired senses, under a
slow and dissolving influence, approached the magnetic mountain of
slumber; but what a dream came to him on that still mountain! He lay (so
he dreamed) on the crater of Hecla. An upheaved column of water lifted
him with it, and held him balanced on its hot waves in mid-heaven. High
in the ethereal night above him stretched a gloomy tempest, like a long
dragon, swollen with devoured constellations; near below hung a bright
little cloud, attracted by the tempest,--through the light gauze of the
little cloud flowed a dark red, either of two rose-buds or of two lips,
and a green stripe of a veil or of an olive-twig, and a ring of
milk-blue pearls or of forget-me-not,--at length a little vapor diffused
itself over the red, and nothing was there but an open, blue eye, which
looked up to Albano infinitely mild and imploring; and he stretched out
his hands towards the enveloped form, but the water-column was too low.
Then the black tempest flung hailstones, but in their fall they became
snow, and then dew-drops, and at last, in the little cloud, silvery
light; and the green veil swept illuminated in the vapor. Then Albano
exclaimed, "I will shed all my tears and swell the column, that I may
reach thee, fair eye!" And the blue eye grew moist with longing, and
closed with love. The column grew with a loud roaring, the tempest
lowered itself, and pressed down the little cloud before it, but he
could not touch it. Then he tore open his veins and cried, "I have no
more tears, but all my blood will I pour out for thee, that I may reach
thy heart." Under the bleeding the column rose higher and faster,--the
broad, blue ether began to swim, and the tempest was dissipated like
spray, and all the stars that it had swallowed came forth with living
looks,--the little cloud, hovering freely, floated gleaming down to the
column,--the blue eye, as it approached, opened slowly, and suddenly
closed and buried itself deeper in its light; but a soft sigh whispered
in the cloud, "Draw me to thy heart!" O, then he flung his arms through
the flashing light and swept away the mist, and snatched a white form,
that seemed to be made of moonlight, to his glowing breast. But ah! the
melting snow of the light escaped from his hot arms,--the beloved one
melted away and became a tear, and the warm tear found its way through
his breast, and sank into his heart, and burned therein; and his heart
began to dissolve, and seemed as if it would die.... Then he opened his

But what an unearthly waking! The little, white, spent cloud, stained
with storm-drops, still hung bending down over him, in Heaven,--it was
the bright, lovingly near moon, that had come in above him. He had bled
in his sleep, the bandage of his wounded arm having been pushed off by
its violent movement. His raptures had melted the night-frost of
ghostly terror. In a transfiguring euthanasia, his firm being fluttered
loosely around like an uncertain dream,--he had been wafted and rocked
upward into the starry heaven as on a mother's breast, and all the stars
had flowed into the moon and enlarged her glory,--his heart, flung into
a warm tear, gently dissolved therein,--out of him was only shadow,
within him dazzling light,--the wind of the flying earth swept by before
the upright flame of his soul, and it bent not. Ah, his Psyche glided
with keen, unruffled, inaudible falcon-pinions, in silent ecstasy
through the thin air of life....

It appeared to him as if he were dying, for it was some time before he
became aware of the increasing warmth of his bleeding left arm, which
had lifted him into the long Elysium that reached over from his dreaming
into his waking state. He refastened the bandage more tightly.

All at once he heard, during the operation, a louder plashing below him
than mere waters could make. He looked over the balcony, and saw his
father and Dian, without a farewell,--which, with Gaspard, was
only the poisonous meadow-saffron in the autumnal moment of
leave-taking,--fleeing, like blossom-leaves dropped out of the
flower-wreath of his life, away across the waves amid the swan-song of
the nightingales!... O, thou good young man, how often has this night
befooled and robbed thee! He spread out his arms after them,--the pain
of the dream still continued, and inspired him,--his flying father
seemed to him a loving father again,--in anguish he called down,
"Father, look round upon me! Ah, how canst thou thus forsake me without
a syllable? And thou too, Dian! O comfort me, if you hear me!" Dian
threw kisses to him, and Gaspard laid his hand upon his sick heart.
Albano thought of that copyist of death, the palsy, and would gladly
have held out his wounded arm over the waves, and poured out his warm
life as a libation for his father, and he called after them, "Farewell!
farewell!" Languishing, he pressed the cold, stony limbs of a colossal
statue to his burning veins, and tears of vain longing gushed down his
fair face, while the warm tones of the Italian nightingales, trilling in
response to each other from bank and island, sucked his heart till it
was sore with soft vampyre-tongues.----Ah, when thou shalt be loved,
glowing youth, how thou wilt love!--In his thirst for a warm,
communicative soul, he woke up his Schoppe, and pointed out to him the
fugitives. But while the latter was saying something or other
consolatory, Albano gazed fixedly at the gray speck of the skiff, and
heard not a word.


The two continued up, and refreshed themselves by a stroll through the
dewy island; and the sight of the alto-rilievo of day, as it came out in
glistening colors from the fading crayon-drawings of the moonlight, woke
them to full life. Augusti joined them, and proposed to them to take the
half-hour's sail over to Isola Madre. Albano heartily besought the two
to sail over alone, and leave him here to his solitary walks. The Lector
now detected, with a sharper look, the traces of the young man's nightly
adventures,--how beautifully had the dream, the monk, the sleeplessness,
the bleeding, subdued the bold, defiant form, and softened every tone,
and that mighty energy was now only a magic waterfall by moonlight!
Augusti took it for caprice, and went alone with Schoppe; but the fewest
persons possible comprehend, that it is only with the fewest persons
possible, (and not with an army of visitors,) properly only with
two,--the most intimate and like-minded friend and the beloved
object,--one can bear to take a walk. Verily, I had as lief kneel down
to make a declaration of love openly, in the face of a whole court, on
the birthday of a princess,--for show me, I pray, the difference,--as to
gaze on thee, Nature, my beloved, through a long vanguard and rear-guard
of witnesses to my enraptured attitude!

How happy did solitude make Albano, whose heart and eyes were full of
tears, which he concealed for shame, and which yet so justified and
exalted him in his own mind! For he labored under the singular mistake
of fiery and vigorous youths,--the idea that he had not a tender heart,
had too little feeling, and was hard to be moved. But now his enervation
gave him a soft, poetical forenoon, such as he had never before known,
and in which he would fain have embraced tearfully all that he had ever
loved,--his good, dear, far-off foster parents in Blumenbühl; his poor
father, ill just in spring, when death always builds his flower-decked
gate of sacrifice; and his sister, buried in the veil of the past, whose
likeness he had gotten, whose after-voice he had heard this night, and
whose last hour the nightly liar had brought so near to him in his
fiction. Even the nocturnal magic-lantern show, still going on in his
heart, troubled him by its mysteriousness, since he could not ascribe it
to any known person, and by the prediction that at his birth-hour, which
was so near,--the next Ascension-day,--he should learn the name of his
bride. The laughing day took away, indeed, from the ghost-scenes their
deathly hue, but gave to the crown and the water-goddess fresh

He roamed dreamily through all holy places in this promised land. He
went into the dark Arcade where he had found his childhood's relics and
his father, and took up, with a sad feeling, the crushed mask which had
fallen on the ground. He ascended the gallery, checkered with
lemon-shadows and sunbeams, and looked toward the tall cypresses and the
chestnut summits in the far blue, where the moon had appeared to him
like an opening mother's eye. He approached a cascade, behind the
laurel-grove, which was broken into twenty landing-places, as his life
was into twenty years, and he felt not its thin rain upon his hot

He then went back again to the top of the high terrace to look for his
returning friends. How brokenly and magically did the sunshine of the
outward world steal into the dark, holy labyrinth of the inner! Nature,
which yesterday had been a flaming sun-ball, was to-day an evening star,
full of twilight: the world and the future lay around him so vast, and
yet so near and tangible, as glaciers before a rain appear nearer in the
deepening blue. He stationed himself on the balcony, and held on by the
colossal statue; and his eye glanced down to the lake, and up to the
Alps and to the heavens, and down again; and, under the friendly air of
Hesperia, all the waves and all the leaves fluttered beneath their light
veil. White towers glistened from the green of the shore, and bells and
birds crossed their music in the wind: a painful yearning seized him, as
he looked along the track of his father; and, ah! toward the _warmer_
Spain, full of voluptuous spring-times, full of soft orange-nights, full
of the scattered limbs of dismembered giant mountain-ridges, heaped
around in wild grandeur,--thither how gladly would he have flown through
the lovely sky! At length, joy and dreaming and parting were all melted
into that nameless melancholy, in which the excess of delight clothes
the pain of limitation,--because, indeed, it is easier to _overflow_
than to _fill_ our hearts.

All at once Albano was touched and smitten,--as if the Divinity of Love
had sent an earthquake into his inner temple, to consecrate him for her
approaching apparition,--as he read on a young Indian-tree near him the
little sign bearing its name,--the "Liana." He gazed upon it tenderly,
and said again and again, "Dear Liana!" He would fain have broken off a
twig for himself; but when he reflected, that if he did water would run
out of it, he said, "No, Liana, I will not cause thee to weep!" and so
forbore, because in his memory the plant stood in some sort of
relationship to an unknown dear being. With inexpressible longings to be
away, he now looked toward the temple-gates of Germany,--the Alps. The
snow-white angel of his dream seemed to veil herself deep in a
spring-cloud, and to glide along in it speechless,--and it was to him as
if he heard from afar harmonica-tones. He drew forth, just for the sake
of having something German, a letter-case, whereon his foster-sister
Rabette had embroidered the words, "Gedenke unserer" (Think of us): he
felt himself alone, and was now glad to see his friends, who were gayly
rowing back from Isola Madre.

Ah, Albano, what a morning would this have been for a spirit like thine
ten years later, when the compact bud of young vigor had unfolded its
leaves more widely and tenderly and freely! To a soul like thine would
have arisen at such a period, when the present was pale before it, two
worlds at once,--the two rings around the Saturn of time,--that of the
past and that of the future: then wouldst thou not merely have glanced
over a short interval of race-ground to the pure, white goal, but turned
thyself round, and surveyed the long, winding track already run. Thou
wouldst have reckoned up the thousand mistakes of the will, the missteps
of the soul, and the irreparable waste of heart and brain. Couldst thou
then have looked upon the ground without asking thyself: "Ah, have the
thousand and four earthquakes[20] which have passed through me, as
through the land behind me, enriched me as these have enriched the soil?
O, since all experiences are so dear,--since they cost us either our
days, or our energies, or our illusions,--O why must man every morning,
in the presence of Nature, who profits by every dew-drop that stands in
a flower-cup, blush with such a sense of impoverishment over the
thousand vainly dried tears which he has already shed and caused! From
springs this almighty mother draws summers; from winters, springs; from
volcanoes, woods and mountains; from hell, a heaven; from this, a
greater,--and we, foolish children, know not how from a given past to
prepare for ourselves a future, which shall satisfy us! We peck, like
the Alpine daw, at everything shiny, and carry the red-hot coals aside
as if they were gold-pieces, and set houses on fire with them. Ah! more
than one great and glorious world goes down in the heart, and leaves
nothing behind; and it is precisely the stream of the higher geniuses
which flies to spray and fertilizes nothing, even as high waterfalls
break and flutter in thin mist over the earth."

Albano welcomed his friends with atoning tenderness; but the youth
became, as the day waxed, as dull and heavy-hearted as one who has
stripped his chamber at the inn, settled his bill, and has only a few
moments left to walk up and down in the bare, rough stubble-field,
before the horses are brought. Like falling bodies, resolutions moved in
his impetuous soul with increasing velocity and force every new second:
with outward mildness, but inward vehemence, he begged his friends to
start with him this very day. And so in the afternoon he went away with
them from the still island of his childhood, speedily to enter, through
the chestnut avenues of Milan, on a new theatre of his life, and to come
upon the trap-door, which opens down into the subterranean passage of so
many mysteries.


[2] Scale.--TR.

[3] This statue, thirty-five ells high, on a pedestal of
twenty-five ells, in whose head twelve men can find room, stands
near Arona, and is exactly of a height with Isola Bella, which
stands over against it, and which rises on ten gardens or
terraces built one upon another.--_Keysler's Travels, &c._, Vol.

[4] The old Kremnitz ducats have the infant Jesus on the right
arm; but the new and _lighter_ ones on the left.

[5] Franklin advised the preserving and corking up of vessels
from which all the liquor had been drunk, in order thereby to
keep the ship afloat.

[6] The horse, in the funeral procession of a prince, that comes
last, and is decked out gayly for the successor of the

[7] Gray-league (Grau-bünden), the Swiss Canton of the

[8] Pictures by Peter Molyn, who, on account of his fine storms,
was called only Tempesta.

[9] The Pasquino is notoriously mutilated.--Delia Porta was a
great restorer of old statues.

[10] I. e. to be pressed between two wooden cylinders and a
metallic one.

[11] This pill consists of Antimonia Regia, and by reason of its
hardness may be swallowed over and over again with the same
effect each time; only a little wine is sprinkled on it before
each repetition of the experiment.

[12] _Tirare di primavere_, the people call it; and Peter Schoppe
translated it grandly enough, _Electrical pistol-firing of

[13] Quotation-marks.--TR.

[14] A good Wouwermann means, in painters' language, a
well-executed horse, the sight of which has an influence on the
beauty of the future colt.

[15] This name is given to the quantum which is withheld from the
associate judges of the Supreme Court when they have not worked

[16] The Ipecacuanha belongs to the Violet species.

[17] Of the order of St. Paul, or _memento mori_, which died in
France in the seventeenth century. The above address is its usual

[18] The Zahouris in Spain are, as is well known, gifted with the
power of discerning corpses, veins of metal, &c. far under the

[19] According to the account of some astronomers, that the sun,
when eclipsed, has sometimes shone through an opening of the
moon, Ulloa, e. g., assures us that he once witnessed.

[20] In Calabria (1785) a thousand and four earthquakes happened
in the space of three fourths of a year.--_Münter's Travels, &c._



Before I dedicated Titan to the Privy-Legation's-Counsellor and Feudal
Provost of Flachsenfingen, Mr. Von Hafenreffer, I first requested
permission from him in the following terms:--

"Since you have assisted far more in this history than the Russian Court
did in Voltaire's Genesis-History of Peter the Great, you cannot confer
any handsomer favor upon a heart longing to thank you, than the
permission to offer and dedicate to you, as to a Jew's God, what you
have created."

But he wrote me back on the spot:--

     "For the same reason, you might still better, in imitation
     of Sonnenfels, dedicate the work to yourself, and, in a more
     just sense than others, combine in one person author and
     patron. I beg you then (were it only on Mr. Von **'s and
     Mrs. Von **'s account) to leave me out of the play, and
     confine yourself to the most indispensable notices, which
     you may be pleased to give the public, of the very
     mechanical interest which I have in your beautiful work; but
     for the gods' sake, hic hæc hoc hujus huic hunc hanc hoc hoc
     hac hoc.

                                        "VON HAFENREFFER."

The Latin line is a cipher, and shall remain dark to the public.
What the same public has to demand in the way of Introductory
Programme consists of four explanations of title, and one of

The first nominal explanation, which relates to the _Jubilee Period_, I
get from the founder of the Period, the Rector Franke, who explains it
to be an Era or space of time, invented by him, of one hundred and
fifty-two Cycles, each of which contains in itself its good forty-nine
tropical Lunar-Solar years. The word _Jubilee_ is prefixed by the Rector
for this reason, that in every seventh year a lesser, and in every seven
times seventh, or forty-ninth, a greater, Jubilee-, Intercalary-,
Indulgence-, Sabbath-, or Trumpet-year occurred, in which one lived
without debts, without sowing and laboring, and without slavery. I make
a sufficiently happy application, as it seems to me, of this title,
Jubilee, to my historical chapters, which conduct the business-man and
the business-woman round and round in an easy cycle or circle full of
free Sabbath-, Indulgence-, Trumpet-, and Jubilee-hours, in which both
have neither to sow nor to pay, but only to reap and to rest; for I am
the only one who, like the bowed and crooked-up drudge of a ploughman,
stand at my writing-table, and see sowing-machines, and debts of honor,
and manacles, before and on me. The seven thousand four hundred and
forty-eight tropical Lunar-Solar years which one of Franke's Jubilee
periods includes are also found with me, but only dramatically, because
in every chapter just that number of ideas--and ideas are, indeed, the
long and cubic measure of time--will be presented by me to the reader,
till the short time has become as long to him as the chapter required.

A Cycle, which is the subject of my second nominal definition, needs by
this time no definition at all.

The third nominal definition has to describe the _obligato-leaves_,
which I edit in loose sheets in every Jubilee period. The
obligato-leaves admit absolutely none but pure contemporaneous facts,
less immediately connected with my hero, concerning persons, however,
the more immediately connected with him; in the obligato-leaves,
moreover, not the smallest satirical extravasate of digression, no, not
of the size of a blister, is perceptible; but the happy reader journeys
on with his dear ones, free and wide awake, right through the ample
court-residence and riding-ground and landscape of a whole, long volume,
amidst purely historical figures, surrounded on all sides by busy
mining-companies and Jews'-congregations, advancing columns on the
march, mounted hordes, and companies of strolling players,--and his eye
cannot be satisfied with seeing.

But when the Tome is ended, then begins--this is the last nominal
definition--a small one, in which I give just what I choose (only no
narrative), and in which I flit to and fro so joyously, with my long
bee's-sting, from one blossom-nectary and honey-cell to another, that I
name the little sub-volume, made up as it is merely for the private
gratification of my own extravagance, very fitly my _honey-moons_,
because I make less honey therein than I eat, busily employed, not as a
working-bee to supply the hive, but as a bee-master to take up the comb.
Until now I had surely supposed that every reader would readily
distinguish the transits of my satirical trailing-comets from the
undisturbed march of my historical planetary system, and I had asked
myself: "Is it, in a monthly journal, any sacrifice of historical unity
to break off one essay, and follow it up with a new one; and have the
readers complained at all, if e. g. in the annual sets of the 'Horen,'
Cellini's history, as is sometimes the case, breaks off abruptly, and a
wholly different paper is foisted in?" But what actually happened?

As in the year 1795 a medical society in Brussels made the
_contrat-social_ among themselves, that every one should pay a fine of a
crown, who, during a meeting, should give utterance to any other sound
than a medical one; so, as is well known, has a similar edict, under
date of July 9th, been issued to all biographers, that we shall always
stick to the subject-matter,--which is the history,--because otherwise
people will begin to talk with us. The intention of the mandate is this,
that when a biographer, in a Universal History of the World, of twenty
volumes, or even a longer one,--as in this, for instance,--thinks or
laughs once or twice, i. e. digresses, the culprit shall stand out in
the critical pillory as his own Pasquino and Marforio,--which sentence
has been already executed on me more than once.

Now, however, I put an entirely new face upon matters, inasmuch as, in
the first place, I draw a marked line in this work between history and
digression, a few cases of dispensation excepted; secondly, inasmuch as
the liberties which I had taken in my former works are in the present
reduced to a prescriptive right and confirmed into a servitude, the
reader surrenders at once when he knows, that, after a volume full of
Jubilee-periods, one is to follow which is entirely full of nothing but
honey-months. I take shame to myself, when I remember how I once, in
former works, stood with the beggar's staff before the reader, and
begged for the privilege of digression, when I might, after all,--as I
do here,--have extorted the loan, as one has to demand of women, as a
matter of course, not only the _tribute_ as _alms_, but also the _don
gratuit_ as _quarterly assessment_. So does not merely the cultivated
Regent at the Diet, but even the rude Arab, who extorts from the
traveller, besides the cash, a deed of gift for the same.

I come now to the Privy-Legation's-Counsellor, Von Hafenreffer, who is
the subject of my promised _exposé of fact_.

It must have been formerly learned from the 45th Dog-Post-Day, who
governs Flachsenfingen, namely, my revered father. This striking
promotion of mine was, at the bottom, more a step than a spring; for I
was, previously, no less than a Jurist, consequently the germ or bud of
an embryo Doctor _utriusque_, and consequently a nobleman, since in the
Doctor the whole spawn and yolk of the Knight lies; therefore the
former, as well as the latter, when anything chances by, lives upon his
saddle or stirrup, although less in a robber's castle than in a robber's
chamber; I have, therefore, since the preferment, changed less myself
than my castle of residence;--the paternal seat in Flachsenfingen is at
present my own.

I care not now to eat my sugar-cake at court with sin,--although one
earns sugar-cake and manna more comfortably than ship-bread,--but I
represent, in order to make a profit upon my adventure, the whole
Flachsenfingen Department of Foreign Affairs at home here in the castle,
together with the requisite deciphering chancery. This, then, is what we
shall do: we have a Procurator in Vienna, two Residents in five Imperial
cities, a Secretary of the Comitia in Ratisbon under the
Cross-Bench,[21] three Chancery-clerks of the circle, and an
Envoyé-Plenipotentiary at a well-known and considerable court not far
from Hohenfliess, who is no other than the aforementioned Mr. Feudal
Provost Von Hafenreffer. To the latter my father has even advanced a
complete silver-service, which we lend him, till he shall have received
his recall, because it is for our own interest that a Flachsenfingen
ambassador should, while abroad, do extraordinary honor, by his
extravagance, to the princely hat or coronet of Flachsenfingen.

Now it is no joke to stand on such a post as this of mine; the whole
legation-writing-and-reading company write to me under frank, the
_chiffre banal_ and the _chiffre déchiffrant_ are in my hands, and I
understand, as it seems to me, the whole mess. It is unutterable, all
that I thus learn: it could not be read by men nor drawn by horses, if I
were disposed to hatch, biographically, and feed and reel off the whole
silk-worm seed of novels, which the corps of ambassadors send me every
post-day in closely-sealed packages. Yes (to use another metaphor), the
biographical timber which my float-inspection launches for me from up
above,--now into the Elbe, now into the Saale, now into the
Danube,--stands already so high before me in the ship-yard, that I could
not use it up, supposing I drove on the æsthetical building of my
biographical fools'-ships, masquerade-balls, and enchanted castles, day
and night, year out and year in, and never danced, nor rode, nor spoke,
nor sneezed again in my life....

Verily, whenever (as I often do) I weigh my ovary as an author against
many another spawn, I ask out-right, with a certain chagrin, why a man
should come to bear so great a one, who cannot give it forth from
himself for want of time and place, while another hardly lays and
hatches a wind-egg. If I could despatch a picket from my
legation-division to knightly book-makers with its official reports,
would they not gladly exchange ruins for castles, and subterranean
cloister-passages for corridors, and spirits for bodies? whereas, now,
for want of the official reports of a picket, wenches must represent
women of the world, veimers[22] ministers of justice, as well as jesters
pages, castle-chaplains court-preachers, and robber-barons the

I come back to my ambassador, Von Hafenreffer. At the above-mentioned
distinguished court sits this excellent gentleman, and supplies
me--without neglecting other duties--from month to month with as many
personalities of my Hohenfliess hero as he can, by means of his
legation-soothsayers or clairvoyants, ferret out;--the smallest trifles
are with him weighty enough for a despatch. Certainly a quite different
way of thinking from that of other ambassadors, who in their reports
make room only for events which afterwards are to make their entrance
into the Universal History! Hafenreffer has in every _cul de sac_,
servant's chamber and attic, in every chimney and tavern, his
opera-glass of a spy, who often, in order to discover one of my hero's
virtues, takes upon himself ten sins. Of course, with such a
hand-and-horse service of good luck, no one of us can wonder,--that is,
I mean, with such a cistern-wheel turned for me by Fortune herself,--with
such thieves' thumbs affixed to my own writing-fingers,--with
such silhouetteurs of a hero, who make everything except color,--in
short, with such an extraordinary concatenation of circumstances, or
Montgolfiers,[24]--it cannot of course be anything but just what is
expected, if the man who is lifted by them should, on his mountain
height up there, bring together and afterward send down a work which
will be freely translated after the last day (for it deserves as much)
on the Sun, on Uranus and Sirius, and for which even the lucky
quill-scraper who nibbed the pens for it, and the compositor who prints
the errata, will take more airs upon themselves than the author himself,
and upon which neither the swift scythe nor the tardy _tooth_ of
time,--especially since the latter can, if requisite, be cut in two by
the tooth-saw of the critical file,--shall be able to make any
impression. And when to such eminent advantages the author adds that of
humility, then there is no longer any one to be compared with him; but
unhappily every nature holds itself,--as Dr. Crusius does the
world,--not for the best, indeed, but still as very good.

The present _Titan_ enjoys, besides, the further advantage that I at
this moment inhabit and grace the paternal court, and accordingly, as
draughtsman, have certain sins near and bright before my eyes in a
position most favorable for observation, of which at least Vanity,
Libertinism, and Idleness will stay and sit for their likeness; for fate
has sowed these mushrooms and mosses as high as possible among the upper
classes, because in the lower and broader they would have spread too
much, and sucked them dry,--which seems to be the pattern of that same
foresight by which ships always have their assafoetida which they
bring from Persia hanging overhead on the mast, in order that its stench
may not contaminate the freight on deck. Moreover, I have up here in the
court all the new fashions already around me for my observation and
contempt, before they have been, down below there, only traduced, not to
say commended,--e. g. the fine fashion of the Parisians, that women
shall by a slight tuck in their dress show their calves, which they do
in Paris, in order to let it be seen that they are not gentlemen, who,
as is well known, walk on wooden legs,--this fashion will to-morrow or
day after to-morrow (for it has arrived on an individual lady) be
certainly introduced. But the females of Flachsenfingen imitate this
fashion on quite another ground,--for gentlemen among us have no
defect,--and that is, as a way of proving that they are human beings,
and not apes (to say nothing less), since, according to Camper and
others, man alone has calves. The same proof was adduced ten years ago,
only on higher grounds. For since, according to Haller, man is
distinguished from monkey in no other respect than by the possession of
a posterior, the female officers of the crown, the dressing-maids,
sought as much as possible to magnify in the persons of their mistresses
this characteristic of their sex by art,--by the so-called _cul de
Paris_; and, with such a penultimate of the ultimate, it became then a
jest and an amusement to distinguish at a distance of two hundred paces
a woman of the world from her female ape,--a thing which now many who
know their Buffon by heart will venture to do, when they are no nearer
to her than too near.

Similar biographical Denunciantes and Familiars I maintain in several
of the German cities;--my honored father pays for them;--in most places
one, but in Leipsic two, in Dresden three, in Berlin six, in Vienna as
many in every quarter of the city. Machines of such a nature, so much
like perspective-glasses, whereby one can survey from his bed all that
is going on in the street below, of course make it easy for an author,
from behind his inkstand, to see clear down into dark household
operations going on in some by-lane, hidden among buildings twenty miles
distant. Therefore, the singular case may happen to me every week, that
a staid, quiet man, whom nobody knows but his barber, and whose course
of life is like a dark, unfrequented _cul de sac_, but whom one of my
envoys and spies secretly follows, with a biographical concave mirror,
which casts an image of the man, waistcoat, breeches, walk, and all,
into my study, situated at a distance of thirty miles,--the case may
occur to me, I say, that such a secluded man shall accidentally step up
to the counter of the bookseller, and in my work, which lies there
smoking hot from the oven, shall find himself, with all his hair,
buttons, buckles, and warts, as clearly pictured out on the three
hundred and seventy-first page, as the impressions of _Indian_ plants
which are found on rocks in France. That, however, is no matter.

People, on the other hand, who live at the same place with me, as the
people of Hof formerly did, come off well; for I keep no ambassadors
near me.

But this very advantage of getting my anecdotes, not out of my head, but
from despatches, obliges me to take more pains in putting them into
cipher, than others would have in dressing them up or thinking them out.
No less a miracle than that which bars up and hides the masonic mystery,
and the invisible church, and the invisible lodge, has seemed thus far
to avert the discovery of the _true_ names of my histories, and, indeed,
with such success, that of all the manuscripts which have hitherto been
despatched to the publishers, filled with conjectures on the subject,
not one has smelt the mouse,--and truly fortunate for the world; for so
soon, e. g., as one person shall have nosed out the names of the first
volumes of Titan, disguised as they have been in the best hieroglyphic
chancery offices, that moment I upset my inkstand, and publish no more.

Nothing is to be inferred from the names which I use, for I press into
the service God-parents for my heroes in the most singular ways. Have I
not, e. g., often of an evening, during the marching and countermarching
of the German armies, who made their crusades to the holy sepulchre of
freedom, gone up and down through the lanes of the camp, with my
writing-tablets in my hands, and caught and entered the names of the
privates,--which, just before bedtime, were called out aloud, like the
names of saints,--just as they fell, in order to distribute them again
among my biographical people? And has not merit been promoted thereby,
and many a common soldier risen to be a nobleman fit for table and
tournament, and have not provost-marshals been raised to ministers of
justice, and red-cloaks to _patribus purpuratis_? And did ever a cock
crow in all the army after this corps of observation slinking round
mobilized on two legs?

For authors who wish at the same time to narrate and disguise true
anecdotes, I am, perhaps, on the whole, a model and file-leader. I have
studied and imitated longer than other historical inquirers those little
innocent stretching and wrenching processes which can make a history
unrecognizable to the very hero of the same, and I fancy I know how one
is to make good biographies of princes, protocols of high traitors,
legends of saints, and auto-biographies; no stronger touches decide the
matter than those slight ones, by which Peter of Cortona (or Beretino)
in the presence of Ferdinand of Tuscany transformed a weeping child into
a laughing one, and the reverse.

Voltaire demands more than once, as he always does,--for he gave
mankind, like an army, every order of march three times, and repeated
himself and everything else most indefatigably,--that the historian
shall arrange his history after the law-table of the drama, to a
dramatic focal point. It is, however, one of the first dramatic rules
which Lessing, Aristotle, and the Greek models give us, that the
dramatic poet must lend to every historical circumstance which he treats
all that is favorable to the poetic illusion, as well as keep clear of
everything opposite, and that he must never sacrifice beauty to truth,
but the reverse. Voltaire gave, as is well known, not only the easy
rule, but the hard model also; and this great theatre poet of the
world's theatre, in his _benefit_ dramas of Peter and Charles, never
stuck to the truth where he was sure he could attain sooner to illusion.
And that is properly the genuine romantic history corresponding to the
historical romance. It is not for me, but for others,--namely, the
Provost and the Secretaries of Legation,--to decide how far I have
treated a true history illusorily. It is a misfortune that the true
history of my hero can hardly ever see the light; otherwise the justice
might be done me that connoisseurs would confront my poetical deviations
with the truth, and thereafter give each of us more easily his own, as
well the truth as myself. But this reward is what all royal
historiographers and scandalous chroniclers must resign _nolens volens_,
because the true history never appears in conjunction with their works.

But in the composition of a history an author must also keep a sharp
look-out upon this point, that it shall not only hit and betray no real
persons, but also no false ones, and in fact nobody at all. Before I, e.
g., choose a name for a bad prince, I must look through the genealogical
index of all governing and governed families, in order not to use a name
which some person or other already bears; thus, in Otaheite, even the
words which sound like the name of the king are abolished after his
coronation, and supplied by others. Now, as I was formerly acquainted
with no living courts at all, I was not in a situation, when preparing
the battle-pieces and night-pieces which I painted of the Cabals, the
Egoism, and the Libertinism of biographical courts, to succeed in
skilfully avoiding every resemblance to real ones; yes, for such an
idiot as I, it was a miserable help, even, to be often laying
Machiavelli open before me, in order, with the assistance of the French
history, by painting from the two, to turn off the edge of the
application at least upon countries in which no Frenchman or Italian
ever had the influence that is generally attributed to both of them upon
other Germans; just as Herder, in opposition to those naturalists who
derive certain misshapen tribes of men from a half-parentage of apes,
makes the very good remark that most of the resemblances to apes--the
retreating skull of the Calmucks, the prominent ears of the Pevas, the
slender hands in Carolina--appear just in those countries where there
are no apes at all. Formerly, then, as was said, striking unlikenesses I
could not succeed in hitting; now, on the contrary, every court around
which my legation-flotilla coasts is well known to me, and therefore
secure from accidental resemblances, particularly every one which I
describe,--that of Flachsenfingen, that of Hohenfliess, &c. The
theatrical mask which I have on in my works is not the mask of the Greek
comedian, which was embossed after the face of the individual
satirized,[25] but the mask of Nero, which, when he acted a goddess on
the stage, looked like his mistress,[26] and when he acted a god, like

Enough! This digressive introductory programme has been somewhat long,
but the Jubilee-period was so, too: the longer the St. John's day of a
country, the longer its St. Thomas's night. And now let us dance along
together into the book,--into this free ball of the world,--I first as
leader in the dance, and then the readers as hop-dancers after me; so
that, amidst the sounding baptismal and funeral bells in the Chinese
house of this world-building,--welcomed by the singing-school of the
muses,--serenaded from on high by the guitar of Phoebus,--we may dance
gayly from Tome to Tome, from Cycle to Cycle, from one digression to
another, from one dash to another,--till either the work comes to an
end, or the workman, or everybody!


[21] _Querbank_,--Bench for Protestant Bishops in the Germanic

[22] _Veimer_,--old Westphalian judges.

[23] Tellers in faro-banks.

[24] The inventor of the balloon.--TR.

[25] Reflexions Critiques sur la Poesie, etc. de Dubois, Tom. I.
Sect. 42.

[26] Sueton. Nero.



10. CYCLE.

In the bloom of youthful powers, and the brightness of youthful
prospects, the Count, between his two companions, flew back through the
full, glowing Milan, where the ear and the cluster and the olive often
ripen together on the same clod of earth. The very name of Milan
(Mayland) opened to him a whole spring, because, like myself, in all
things which belong to May--in May-flowers, May-chafers, even May
butter--he found, when a child, as much enchantment as in childhood
itself. Add to this, that he was on horseback; the saddle was with him a
princely seat of the blest, while a saddle-room was a Ratisbon bench of
counts, and every nag his Pegasus. While on the island, and during that
mental and bodily exhaustion in which the soul loves better to frequent
clare-obscure and pastoral worlds, than hot, dusty military- and
fencing-schools, all anticipation of the coming riddles and conflicts of
his life had been repulsive to him; but now, with his heart full of the
glow of travel and the blood of spring, he stretched out his young arms
no less for a foe than for a female friend, as if thirsting for a double

The farther the island receded, so much the more did the magic-smoke
around the nocturnal apparition sink to the ground, and leave behind in
full view merely an inexplicable juggler. Now for the first time he
revealed the ghost-story to his companions. Schoppe and Augusti shook
their heads thoughtfully, but each thought of something different;--the
Librarian sought a _physical_ solution of the acoustic and optical
illusion; the Lector sought a _political_ one: he could not at all
comprehend what the stage-manager of this grave-digger's scene specially
meant by it all.

This one comfort the Librarian held to, that Alban on his birthday was
directed to pay a visit to the heart without a breast, which visit he
could just forego, and so make the seer out to be a myops and a liar.
"Would to Heaven," said he, "an Ezekiel would just prophesy to me that I
should bring him to the gallows! I would not do it for any money, but I
would, without mercy, make it fatal, not to his neck, but to his credit
and his brains." To his incredulous father, also, Albano wrote, during
the journey, not without a blush, the incredible history; for he had too
few years over his head, and too much energy and daring, to love reserve
in himself or others. Only weak, caterpillar- and hedgehog-like souls
curl and crumple up into themselves at every touch: under the free brain
beats gladly a free heart.

At last, when sunny mountains and shady forests enough, like days and
nights that have been lived through, had been left behind them, they
approached the goal of their long riding-ground, full of countries, and
now the Principality of _Hohenfliess_ lay only one principality distant
from them. This second principality, which was next-door neighbor to the
first, and which by breaking through the walls might easily have been
merged with it into one common political structure, was called, as is
known to geographical readers, _Haarhaar_. The Lector told the
Librarian, as they approached the armorial and boundary stones, that the
two courts looked upon each other almost as deadly foes; not so much
because they were _diplomatic_ relatives--although it is true that,
among princes, uncle, cousin, brother, signify no more than
brother-in-law applied to postilions, or father and mother to the old
folks among the Brandenburghers--as because they were really relatives,
and each other's heirs. It would cost me too much room, if I were
disposed to set before the reader the family-trees of the two
courts,--which were their Upas-trees and Dragon-trees,--with all their
heraldic leaves, water-shoots, and lichens; the result must content him,
namely, that Hohenfliess, land and people, would fall to the
principality of Haarhaar, in case the hereditary prince, Luigi, the last
hollow shoot and sapling of the male stock of Hohenfliess, were to
wither away. What hordes of Venetian Lion-heads Haarhaar pours into the
land of future inheritance, who are to devour nothing there but learned
advertisements and placards, and what knavish bands of political
mechanics it colonizes there, as in a sort of Botany Bay, cannot be told
for want of time. And yet Haarhaar again, on the other hand, is so
generous as to desire nothing more heartily than to see the financial
estate of Hohenfliess--its business, agriculture, silk manufactures, and
breed of horses--in the highest bloom, and to hate and curse in the
highest degree all public extravagance, that enervation of the great
intercostal-nerve (money), as the mightiest canonical impediment to
population. "The Regent," says the truly philanthropic Prince of
Haarhaar, "is the chief shepherd, not the butcher, of the state: not
even the wool-shears should he take into his hands so often as the
shepherd's-flute; not of the _energies_ and _matrimonial prospects_ of
others is our cousin (Luigi) master, but of his own, these he must

As they rode into the territory of Hohenfliess, they might have made an
excursion to Blumenbühl,[27] which lies aside from Pestitz, and taken a
look, as it were, at the nursery of Albano (Isola Bella being his
cradle), had not the latter felt a burning hunger and thirst for the
city, and a dread like hydrophobia of a second leave-taking, which
besides only confuses the clear echo of the first. His journey, the
conversation of his father, the pictures of the conjurer, the nearness
of the academy, had so ruffled up our bird roc's wing-feathers, which at
his age are always too long as the steering tail-feathers are too short,
that they would only have been sprained in the confinement of
Blumenbühl. By Heavens! he longed to be something in the state or the
world; for he felt a deadly disgust towards that narcotic waste of high
life through whose poppy-garden of pleasure men stagger about, sleepy
and drunken, till they fall down in a twofold lameness.

It may not have been remembered by the readers of the first Jubilee,
because it was in a note, that Albano had never yet been permitted to go
to Pestitz, and on very good grounds indeed, which are known, however,
to the Knight only, but not to me. This long closing of the city-gates
against him only made him the more eager to enter them. And now they
stood with their horses upon a broad eminence, whence they saw the
church-towers of Pestitz before them in the west, and, if they turned
round, the tower of Blumenbühl below them to the east; from the one and
from the other came floating to them a noonday hum: Albano heard his
future and his past sounding together. He looked down into the village,
and up at a neat little red house on a neighboring mountain, which
gleamed after him, like a bright pictured urn of long-extinguished days.
He sighed; he looked over the far building-ground of his future life,
and now with loosened rein dashed onward toward the towers of the
Linden-city, as towards the palms of his race-ground.

But the neat little house played its antics before him like a red
shadow. For, ah! had he not once in that herdsman's hut spent a dreamy
day, full of adventures, and that, too, in the very season of childhood,
when the soul, on the rainbow-bridge of fancy, glides along, dry-shod,
over the walls and ditches of this lower earth? We will now go back with
him into this lovely day, this childhood's eve of life's festival, and
become acquainted with those earlier hours, which sent back to him so
sweetly from this herdsman's hut the Ranz des Vaches of youth.

11. CYCLE.

It was, then, on a magnificent St. James's day--and likewise on the
birthday of the Provincial Director, Wehrfritz, who, however, had not
received the title yet--that this same director--that was to be--had
his chariot trundled out in the morning to ride to Pestitz, and see the
Minister, and, as Factor of the Province, convert the _flail_ of the
state, by way of experiment, into a _drill-plough_. He was a brisk,
bustling man, to whom a day of furlough was longer than a day of drill
to others, and to whom nothing made time pass heavily but pastime. "In
the evening, however," he said to himself, "I'll make a good day of it,
for it happens to be my birthday." His birthday present was to consist
in making one; he proposed, namely, to bring home little Albano an
Oesterlein's harpsichord out of his own purse,--little as there was in
it,--and a music-master, into the bargain, at the desire of Don Gaspard.

But why not, at the outset, explain all this in the clearest manner to
the reader?

Don Gaspard, then, in revising a scheme of education for Albano, had
chosen that more attention should be paid to his bodily health than to
mental superfetation; he thought the tree of knowledge should be grafted
with the tree of life. Ah! whoever sacrifices health to wisdom has
generally sacrificed wisdom too, and only _inborn_ not _acquired_
sickliness is profitable to head and heart. Accordingly, Albano had not
to lug along, bending under the weight, the many-volumed encyclopædia of
all sciences in his book-straps, but merely grammars. That is to say,
the rector of the place,--named Wehmeier, better known by the title of
Band-box-master,--after schooling the village youth for the usual number
of hours, was accustomed to seek his fairest _Struve's spare hours_, his
_Otia_ and _Noctes Hagianæ_, in teaching Albano, and driving into the
mill-wheel axle of the everlastingly active boy--impelled by internal
streams--alphabetic pins,--so as to make it the barrel of a
speech-organ. Of course, however, Zesara soon wished to move something
heavier than the key-board of languages; thus, for example, the
language-organ barrel became, in a proper sense, the barrel of a
hand-organ. For whole hours, without any special knowledge of
counterpoint, would he practise on the parish organ (he knew neither
note nor key, and stood hard, all through the piece, on the thundering
pedal), trying his hand at the most horrible discords, before which the
Enharmonics of all Piccinists must be struck dumb, only to bury himself
so much the longer and deeper in the accidental prize of a chord. So,
also, did his soul, full of sap, work off its energy in leaf-buds, as it
were, and shoots and runners, by making pictures, clay statuary,
sun-dials, and designs of all sorts, and even in the juristical rockery
of his foster-father, for example, in Fabri's State Chancery, it sent
its thirsty roots around and out over the dry leaves, as plants do often
in herbariums. O, how he pined for lessons and teachers vaguely dreamed
of (just as in childhood he had aspired from octavos to quartos, from
quarto to folio, from folio even to a book as large as the world, which
would be the world itself)! But so much the better! only hunger digests,
only love impregnates; the sigh of longing alone is the animating _aura
seminalis_ to the Orpheus egg of knowledge. This you do not consider,
you flying teachers, who give children the draught earlier than the
thirst; you who, like some florists, insert into the split stock of the
flowers ready-made lack-dyes, and put foreign musk into their cups,
instead of simply giving them morning sun and flower-soil,--and who
grant young souls no quiet hours, but bustle round them during the
dusting period of their blooming vine, against all the rules of the
vine-dressers, with your hoeing and your dunging and your clipping. O,
can you ever, when you thus prematurely force them, with their unripe
organs, into the great realm of truths and beauties, just as we all,
alas! with our dark senses, creep into lovely Nature, and blunt
ourselves to the perception of her beauty,--can you ever, in any way,
make good to them the great year which they would have lived to see, had
they, growing up like the new-created Adam, been able to turn round with
their open, thirsty senses, in the glorious universe of spirits? Hence
it is that your _élèves_ so nearly resemble the foot-paths, which in
spring grow green first of all, but at a later period wind along yellow
and hard-trodden through the blooming meadows.

Wehrfritz, as he stood on the carriage-steps and turned his face towards
him, repeated his charge to have an oversight of the young Count, and
made the mark ["with care"] with which merchants commend valuable boxes
of goods to the post, strong and thick upon him: he loved the fiery
child as his own (he had only one, and that not a son); the Knight had
confidence in him, and, to justify it, since the point of honor was the
centre of gravity and pole of all his motions, he would, without
hesitation, if the boy, for instance, should break his head, cut his own
off; and finally Albano must stand a remarkably good examination at
evening before the new teacher from the city.

Albina von Wehrfritz, the spouse, promised everything in the name of all
that was sacred; she might have compared herself to the Evangelists Mark
and John, because her impetuous husband quite often represented the
creatures who are pictured as the companions of the two saints, those
king-beasts, the lion and the eagle, just as many another wife, in
reference to her companion, may be compared with Luke, and mine with
Matthew.[28] Besides, she had bespoken for the evening a little family
feast, full of sportive, party-colored ephemerons of joy, and by great
good luck already, some days before, the diploma had come in which
installed our Wehrfritz as Provincial Director, and which had been laid
up against this day as a birthday christening present.

But hardly had Wehrfritz got beyond the castle garden when Albano
stepped forth with his project, and announced his intention of sitting
out the whole holiday up there in the solitary little shooting-house;
for he loved to play alone, and an elderly guest was pleasanter to him
than a boy to play with. Women are like Father Lodoli, who (according to
Lambert's day-book) shunned nothing so much as the little word, Yes; at
least, they do not say it till after, No. The foster-mother (I will,
however, in future, cut off from her and from the foster-sister,
Rabette, that annoying _foster_) said, without thinking, No, although
she knew that she had never yet carried one through against the stubborn
little fellow. Then she borrowed very good dehortations from the will
and pleasure of the Provincial Director, and bade him consider,--then
the red-cheeked, good-natured Rabette took her brother's part, and
pleaded for him, without knowing why,--then Albina protested at least he
should not expect his dinner to be sent to him on the mountain,--then he
marched out of the yard.... So have I often stood by and watched how the
female elbows and knuckles, during the stemming of a strong opposition,
gradually, before my eyes, became gristle, and bent up. Only in the
presence of Wehrfritz had Albina strength enough for a long No.

12. CYCLE.

Our hero had passed over from those childish years in which Hercules
strangled the serpents, into the years of confirmation, when he warmed
them under his waistcoat, to behead them again in later years.
Exultingly did his new and old Adam--they flew side by side--flap their
wings out there under a blue heaven which had absolutely no anchoring
ground. What cared he for meal-time? All children before and during a
journey carry no stomach under their wings, just as that of the
butterfly shrinks up when his wings are spread. The oft-mentioned
herdsman's hut, or little shooting-house, was nothing less than a
shooting-house with a sentry-box, for a pensioned soldier's wife, with a
shooting-stand in the lower story and a summer-house chamber in the
upper, wherein old Wehrfritz every summer meant to have a rural party
and a bird shooting, but never had it, because the poor man dismasted
and unrigged himself in his work-chamber as others do in their
dining-room. For, although the state entices its servants like dogs for
the tenth time, only to cudgel them off again for the eleventh, and
although Wehrfritz every assize day forswore all state business and
earnings,--because an honest man like him finds always in the body
politic as much to restore as in the antique statues of which only the
stone _drapery_ remains,--nevertheless, he knew no softer couch and
feather-bed to rest on, than a still higher bench of oars, and he was
just now making every exertion to be Provincial Director.

The German courts will have their own thoughts on the subject when I
offer them the following boyish idyl. My black-eyed shepherd stormed the
herdsman's mountain fortification, and received from the soldier's wife
the door-key to the white and green summer cabinet. By Heavens! when all
eastern and western window-shutters and windows were flung open, and the
wind stole fluttering through the papers and cooling through the sweltry
chamber, and when, outside, heaven and earth stood round about the
windows and looked in beckoning,--when Albano beheld, under the window
toward the east, the deep broad valley with the leaping, stony brook, on
which all the glimmering disks of light which, like pebbles, the sun
shot aslant, glanced up the mountain side,--when at the western window
he saw, behind hills and woods, the arc of the sky, the mountain of the
Linden-city, that slept like a coiled-up giant on the earth,--when he
placed himself at one window after another, and said, "How magnificent!"
then his raptures in the chamber grew at last so exalted, that he must
needs go forth, in order, out of doors, to exalt them still higher.

The Goddess of Peace seemed to have here her church and her church seat.
The active soldier's wife was planting early peas in a little garden
full of high bushes, and now and then threw up a clod of earth into the
cherry-tree among the feathered fruit-thieves, and again fell to
sprinkling indefatigably the new linen and the planted salad, and yet
ran willingly from time to time to the little ten-year-old maiden, who,
blind from the measles, sat knitting on the door-sill, and only when she
dropped a stitch called on her mother as interposing goddess. Albano
stationed himself on the outermost balcony of the lovely opening valley,
and every fanning of the wind breathed into his heart the old childish
longing, that he could only fly. Ah, what bliss thus to snatch himself
away from the receding earthly footstool, and cast himself free and
passive into the broad ether!--and so plashing up and down in the cool,
all-pervading air-bath, to fly at mid-day into the darkling cloud, and
unseen to float beside the lark as she warbles below it,--or to sweep
after the eagle, and in the flight to see cities only as sculptured
assemblages of steps, and long streams only as gray, loose threads drawn
between two or three countries, and meadows and hills shrunk up to
little color-grains and colored shadows, and at length alight on the
peak of a tower, and place himself over against the blazing evening sun,
and then to soar upward when he had sunk, and look down once more into
his eye still beaming on, bright and open, in the vault of night, and at
last, when the earth-ball, whirling over, hides his orb, to flutter,
intoxicated with rapture, into the forest-conflagration of all the red

Whence comes it that these bodily wings lift us like spiritual ones?
Whence had Albano this irrepressible longing for heights, for the
slater's weaver-shuttle, for mountain-peaks, for the balloon,--just as
if these were helpers out of bed to the prisoners of this low
earth-couch? Ah, thou dear deluded one! Thy soul, still covered with its
chrysalis shell, confounds as yet the horizon of the eye with the
horizon of the heart, and outer elevation with inner, and soars through
the physical heaven after the ideal one! For the same power which in the
presence of great thoughts lifts our head and our body and expands the
chest, raises the body also even with the dark yearning after greatness,
and the chrysalis swells with the beating wings of the Psyche; yes, it
must needs be, that by the same band wherewith the soul draws up the
body the body also can lift up the soul.

The least Albano could do was to fly on foot down the mountain, to wade
along with the brook, which was running away into the pale-green birch
thicket to cool itself. Often before had his Robinsonading mania blown
him to all points and leaves of the wind-rose,[29] and he loved to go
with an unknown road a pretty piece of way to see what way it would
itself take. He ran along on the silver Ariadne's thread of the brook,
deep into the green labyrinth, and proposed, in fact, to come out
through the back door of the long thicket upon a distant prospect. He
could not accomplish it,--the birches grew now lighter, now darker, the
brook broader,--the larks seemed to sing, out there, far and high
overhead;--but he was obstinate. Extremes had from of old a magnetic
polarity for him; as the medium had only points of indifference. Thus,
for example, except the highest degree of the barometer, no other was so
agreeable to him as the lowest, and the shortest day was as welcome as
the longest; but the day after either was fatal.[30]

At last, after the progress of some hours in time and space, he heard,
beyond the lightening birches, and through a noise louder than that of
the brook, his name uttered repeatedly, in low tones of commendation, by
two female voices. Instantly he galloped panting back again, indifferent
to the risk of lungs and life. He heard his name long after again called
out on all sides of him, but in a cry;--it was his private patron saint,
the castellain of the hut, who fired these shots of distress on his
account at the foot of the mountain.

He went up thither, and the round table of the earth lay clear and with
a singularly softening aspect around his thirsty eye. Truly, the stretch
of distance, together with weariness, must have reminded this bird of
passage, behind the song-grating of the breast, of his own distant
lands and times, and have made him melancholy at the thought, when the
landscape so mottled with red roofs spread out before him its white,
glistening stones and ponds, like light-magnets and sun-splinters,--when
he saw on the long, gray causeway to Linden-town--views of which hung in
the summer-house, and of which two spires shot up among the
mountains--distant travellers plodding on toward the city whose gates
for him were closed,--and when, indeed, everything seemed flying
westward, the pigeons that went whispering by, floating over the
grain-fields, and the shadows of the clouds that glided lightly away
over high gardens.... Ah, the youngest heart has the waves of the
oldest, only without the sounding-lead to fathom their depths! Learned
Germany has, I perceive, for several cycles, held itself ready for great
fates and fatalities, which are to give this herdsman's day of my hero
the necessary dignity; I, who ought to have the first knowledge on the
subject, do not at present know of any such. Childhood--ah yes, every
age--often leaves behind in our hearts imperishable days, which every
other heart had forgotten: so did this day never fade from Albano's.
Sometimes a child's-day is at once made immortal by a clearer glimpse of
consciousness; in children, especially such as Zesara, the spiritual eye
turns far earlier and more sharply upon the world within the breast than
they show or we imagine.

Now it struck one o'clock in the castle-tower. The near and beloved
tone, reminding him of his near foster-mother, and of the denied dinner,
and the sight of the little blind one, who already had her twig of the
bread-tree or her dry reindeer's moss in her hand,--and the thought that
this was the birthday of his foster-father,--and his inexpressible love
for his afflicted mother, upon whose neck he often suddenly fell when
he was alone,--and his heart, bedewed with Nature, made him begin to
weep. But not for this did the stubborn little fellow go home; only the
Alpine shepherdess had run on unbidden to betray the fugitive to his
seeking mother.

He would fain in this noonday stillness extort from the little blind
Lea, upon whose countenance a soft, delicate line-work ran legibly
through the punctuation of the pocks, a few words, or at least, as a
fellow-laborer, the long stick wherewith she had to drive the pigeons
from the peas and the sparrows from the cherries; but she pressed her
arm in silence against her eyes, bashful before the distinguished young
gentleman. At last the woman brought the pottage for the lost son, and
from Rabette a little smelling-bottle of dessert-wine into the bargain.

Albina von Wehrfritz was one of those women who, unlike states, keep
only their promises, but never a threat,--resembling the forest-officers
of Nuremberg, who, upon the smallest violation of the forest-laws,
impose a fine of one hundred florins, and in the same hour modify it to
one hundred kreutzers.[31] They, however, like Solon, who gave out his
laws for a hundred years in advance, give out theirs according to the
proportion of their smaller jurisdiction, to last one hundred seconds.

13. CYCLE.

I would make more out of Albano's commemoration-dinner, which he, like a
grown-up trencher-man, could carve in the little chamber, and distribute
among the family circle, and at which he could fill for himself, were I
not going to meet weightier incidents which befell during the carrying
back of the table dinner-service.

Albano went out, with the whole sea of his inner being sparkling and
phosphorescing under the influence of the wine and the forenoon, and the
blue heaven fluttering in stronger breezes around him. He felt as if the
morning had long since gone by; and he remembered it with a tender
emotion, as we all in youth remember childhood, in age youth,--even as
at evening we remember the morning,--and the forms of Nature drew nearer
to him and moved their eyes like Catholic images. Thus does the present
offer us only shapes for optical anamorphoses, and only our spirit is
the sublime mirror which transposes them into fair human forms. With
what a sweet dip into dreams did he, when he met the fanning of the
eastern wind, close his eyes, and draw the hum of the landscape, the
screaming of the cocks and birds, and a herdsman's flute, as if deeper
and deeper into his shaded soul! And then when he opened his eyes again
on the shore of the mountain, there lay peaceful down below in the
valley the pastured white lambs by the side of the flutist, and overhead
in heaven lay stretched out far away above them the shining, fleecy

Meanwhile, he was fain for once to take the liberty of shutting his eyes
and groping too far into the garden,--besides, the blind girl did not
see,--holding his arms open before him so as not to run against
anything, when all at once his breast touched a second, and looking up,
he found the trembling maiden so near to him, who bent aside,
stammering, "Ah, no! ah, no!" "It is only I," said the innocent one,
holding her fast; "truly, I will not harm thee!"--and as she, with a
modest shyness, trusted him, he held her a little while, and gazed down
on her bowed head with sweet emotion.

Heartily glad would he have been to give the terrified one dole-money
and benefits in this comedy for the poor; he had, however, nothing by
him, till, luckily, his sister Rabette, that bandagist,--from whose
ribbon mania he erroneously concluded that many girls are diabolically
possessed for ribbons, and swallow them like jugglers, but never give
them back,--she, and his new hair-band, came into his mind. He wound
off, joyfully, the long, silken swathing-band from his head on hers. But
the lovely neighborhood, the tie-work of an _inner_, finer band, and the
blessedness of giving, and the vivacity of his inborn exuberance, so
overcame him, that he would gladly have emptied the Green Cellar of
Dresden into her apron, when a Jew pedler, with his smaller, silken one
on his stomach, and with a bagful of bought-up hair on his back, came
trudging up the Pestitz road. The Jew suffered himself, very willingly,
to be called, but nothing to be borrowed from him, despite all bills of
exchange proposed to be drawn upon parents and pocket money. Ah, a
magnificent red cap-ribbon would have been as becoming to Lea's blind
eyes as a red bandage to a wound! For a blind lady loves to prink
herself as much as one who can see, unless she is self-conceited, and
would rather please herself in the glass than others out of it. The
merchant was very glad to let her feel of the ribbon, and said he bought
up hair in the villages, and yesterday the children of the inn, with a
piece of burning punk, had crisped up his whole sackful of queues into
short wool, and if the young gentleman would let him trim his brown hair
down to the nape of the neck, he should, on the spot, have the ribbon,
and a very serviceable leather queue of Würzburg fabric into the
bargain. What was to be done? The ribbon was very red,--so was Lea with
hope,--the Jew said he must pack up,--besides, the hair-queue which he
had hitherto worn ran like a second backbone down over the whole of the
first, and became to Alban, by reason of the tedious swathing, every
morning, a check-rein and snaffle-bridle of his mettle. In brief, the
poor, plucked hare resigned to the Jew the royal French Insigné, and
buckled on the Würzburg sheath.

And now he shook her hand right soundly, and said, with a whole Paradise
of loving joyousness in his face: "The ribbon is, no doubt, very
pleasant to thee, thou poor, blind thing!" Then the everlasting rogue
actually climbed the cherry-tree in order, up there, as a living
scare-crow, to spoil the cherries for the sparrows, and, as a fruit-god,
to throw down several of them to her as rosaries and festoons.

By Heaven! up there among the heart-cherries, it seemed as if real
wolf-cherries must be working in the head of the boy: as the earth had
her dark, middle ages, so have children often dark, middle days, full of
pure _monkery_ and mischief. On the high boughs, the growing landscape,
and the sun declining towards the mountains, and particularly the spires
of Pestitz, gleamed upon him with such heavenly light, that he could not
now imagine to himself anything higher than the bird-pole near him, nor
any more blessedly enthroned crown-eagle than one on the pole....

But now I beg every one of my fair readers either to step into the
shooting-house, or make the best of her way out of it with the soldier's
wife, who is running on to tell the naughty thing to her gracious
lady,--for few of them can stand it out with me to see our hero, the
male support of _Titan_, firmly planted by some farmers' boys--to whom,
moreover, Albina has intrusted the _remarche-règlement_ of hastening his
return--on a cross-stick, which is fitted in just under the crotch of
the bird-pole, and with his belly bound down to it, and so lying
horizontal in the air, gradually lifted through the wide sweep of the
arch, and held up in mid-heaven. It is too bad! but the servants could
not possibly resist the supplications of his mighty eyes, his
picturesque will and spirit, and the offered recompenses and
coronation-coins, in comparison with which he verily weighed only half
as much as the last bird.

I am, nevertheless, partial to thee, little one, despite that stiff
dare-neck of thine built up between head and heart. Thy monstrous
Baroque-pearls of energies will time soon, as the artists in the Green
Cellar do with physical pearls, use up in the finishing of a fine

The imperial history of our imperial eagle on his pedestal, covering at
the same time the events that took place on the mountain, when the
Band-box master and Provincial Director came accidentally to the manned
bird-pole, shall be incontinently resumed, when we have the 14th Cycle.

14. CYCLE.

Master Wehmeier, who could not at a distance explain to himself the form
and motion of the bird, had made up towards it, and now saw his pupil
lifted up on the cross. He fell instantly into the plunge-bath of an icy
shudder at his daring, but soon came out of this into the shower-bath of
a perspiring anxiety, which came over him at the thought of seeing every
minute his _élève_ fall down and be crushed into twenty-six fragments,
like Osiris, or into thirty, like the Medicean Venus; "and this too,
now," he thought besides, "just as I have brought the young Satan so far
along in languages, and lived to win some honor by him." He therefore
scolded only the operators in the raising department, but not the
sentinel aloft, because there was reason to apprehend he might take a
lurch in the effort of answering, and pitch down. Hard upon the heels of
the optical chariot with which the Devil threatened to run over the
master, thus spell-bound in the circle of agonizing anxiety, followed a
real one, wherein sat the future Provincial Director. Ah, good God!
Besides, the Director always filled up his whole gall-bladder full of
bitter extracts at the Minister's house, merely because he found there
better-behaved and stiller children, without, however, reflecting--like
a hundred other fathers who must be included in the charge--that
children, like their parents, appear better to strangers than they are,
and that, above all, city life, instead of the porous, thick bark of
village life, overlays them with a smooth, white birch-roll, while yet,
in the end, like their parents and courtiers, they prove to resemble
chestnuts, being smooth only on the outer shell, but within confoundedly
bristly. Thus surely will the finest man in the country always be
outwitted by at least princes and ministers, who are ten years
old,--supposing even he could manage it more easily with their fathers.

When Wehrfritz saw his foster-son in his eyrie on the Schreckhorn, and
the Band-box master below, looking up at him, he imagined the instructor
had arranged it all, and began loudly to vent upon his neck, from the
locked-up carriage, a little heaven of thunder-storms and thunder-claps.
The persecuted Wehmeier began also, upon the mountain, to bawl up at the
Schreckhorn, by way of making it evident to the Director that he was in
the way of his office, and with the hammer of the law, as with a
forming stamp-hammer, could mould a pupil as well as another man. The
soldier's wife wrung her hands,--the servants arranged themselves for
the taking down from the cross,--the poor little fellow, in a fever,
drew his knife, and called down, "He would instantly cut himself loose
and cast himself down so soon as ever any one should let down the pole."
He would have done it--and put an untimely end to his life and my
Titan--merely because he dreaded the disgrace of the real and verbal
insults he might get from his father before so many people (yes, in the
chariot sat a gentleman who was a perfect stranger) worse than suicide
and hell. But the Director, full of foolhardihood himself, and yet
proportionately hating it in a child, was not to be disconcerted at
that, and cried out, in a terrible tone, after the servant who had the
key of the coach-door; he would get out and go up. He was indescribably
exasperated, first, because behind the coach he had fastened on an
Oesterlein's harpsichord as a gift for the present day of joy;--ah,
Albano! why do thy joys, like the slurs of an ale-house fiddler,
end in a discord?--and, secondly, because he had there a
singing-dancing-music-and fencing-master from the polished and brilliant
house of the Minister for Albano, sitting beside him on the cushion as
spectator of this _début_. Gottlieb sprang from the box, and round
before the coach-door, ran his hand, cursing, through all his
pockets;--the coach-key was not in one of them. The incarcerated
Director lashed himself up and down in his cage like a wagging leopard,
and his fury was like that of a lion, who, when one hunter after another
has shot at him, flies at the third. At all events, there was Alban, in
his noose, sawing the air to and fro. The Band-box master was best off;
for he was half dead, and his cold body, running all away in a sweat of
agony, transmitted little more sense of the outward world; his
consciousness was packed away tight and good as snuff in cold lead.

Ah, I feel more keenly for the tormented boy than if I were sitting with
him up on the pole; over his touchingly noble countenance, with its
finely-curved nose, shame and the western aurora throw a purple hue, and
the low sun hangs with kisses on his cheeks, as if on the last and
highest roses of the dark earth, and he must withdraw his defiant eyes
from the beloved sun and from the day which still dwells thereon, and
from the two steeple knobs of the Linden-city which glimmer on the sides
turned from him, and sorrowfully cast down his strongly-drawn and
sharply-angled eyebrows, which Dian likened to the too heroic and
energetic ones of the infant Jesus in Raphael's ascending Madonna, to
behold the hot and close altercation which was taking place on the
ground below.

Gottlieb, with all his pains, could not squeeze out the key, for he had
it in his pocket, and in his hand, and did not like much to produce it,
from partiality for the young master, whom the whole service loved, "as
if they could eat him,"--as much as they loved the nine-pin alley. He
voted for sending and fetching the lock-smith, but the coachman outvoted
him, with the advice to drive immediately to the door of the
work-shop,--and growled at the horses, and drove off the imprisoned,
controversial preacher in his pulpit, with the packed-up Oesterlein's
harpsichord, at a smart trot. All that the Bombardier, during Gottlieb's
mounting, had time to throw out of the carriage, consisted in his
staving through a window, and firing, from the port-hole, a few of the
most indispensable parting shots at the ill-omened bird on the pole.

By this time the magister had recovered his spirit and vexation, and
boldly commanded the taking down of the Absalom. While the child came
slowly down before him on his perch, he inserted the five incisor-teeth
of his fingers, as a music-pen, into his scalp, and ruled or raked down
along his occiput, with a view to playfully rectifying the crooked line
of the hair, by pulling it moderately with his hand, as with the end of
a fiddle-stick, when, to his astonishment, off came from my hero the
Würzburg queue like a tail-feather.

Wehmeier stared at the _cauda prehensilis_ (the ring-tail), and by his
attention's being thus drawn off to the lesser fault, Albano gained as
much as Alcibiades did from the lopping off of the tail of
his--Robespierre. The magister thanked God that he would not sup to-day
with old Wehrfritz, and sent him, with his mock queue, brow-beaten,

15. CYCLE.

The good-hearted Albina had been all day long removing out of the way of
her lord all inflammatory stuff (for the vitriol naptha of his nervous
spirit caught the fire of anger afar off), in order that nothing might
transform her pleasure-castles into incendiary places of joy,--yes, as a
sort of suburbs to the heavenly Jerusalem of the evening, Rabette had
packed away an orchestra of miners that had chanced to pass by, in the
cabinet of the dining-room,--and for Albano Albina had already contrived
an heraldic costume, in which he should deliver to him the _vocation_ of
the Province. Ah, but what did the lady get from it all but flames,
which Wehrfritz vomited forth at his entrance, while he, as a camel in
his maw, had laid up besides, a long, cold stream of water for the
sprinkling of the magister?

Albina, who, like most women, took the gall-stone pelting of her husband
for the fifty pounds of passengers' ballast, which, to a passenger in
the marriage-stage-coach, go free, cheerfully gave him, at first, as
ever, credit of being right, and concealed every tear of unhappiness,
because cold sprinkling hardens men and salad,--then step by step she
took back the right,--but made the blame at first mild on her tongue, as
nurses make the washing-water of the children lukewarm in their
mouths,--and at last said he should just give the child up to her.

But we are making old Wehrfritz swell under our hand to a dragon of the
Apocalypse, to a beast of Gevaudan, and a tyrant, whereas he is in
reality only a lamb with two little horns. Had he not on his birth-feast
in the drudging year of his slaving life a claim upon one unburdened
evening, at least with a child whom he loved more strongly than his own,
and for whom he had loaded himself down with a harpsichord and a
teacher? And had he not a hundred times forbidden him--though he himself
dared and did too much--to imitate him, and risk himself upon horseback,
or in a tempest, in a pouring rain, or in a snow-storm? And had he not
just come from the pedagogical knout-master, the Minister, whose
educational system was only a longer real territion and a shorter
condemnation? And does not the sight of stern parents make one sterner,
and of mild ones, on the contrary, milder?

Albano first met Rabette with his leathern hind-axle in his hand, on his
defiant way to the father's study, and therefore to the court-martial
punishment of a real revolutionary tribunal. But she caught him from
behind, with the angelic greeting, "Art thou here, Absalom?" and set him
down by force; and, after the necessary astonishment and questioning,
tied on the _vena cava_ of his hair tightly and ungently, and showed up
to him, in a fearful light, the whirlwind of paternal wrath that awaited
him; and again, in a ludicrous light, the lull of the musical
mountain-department, who, near the dining-room, that race-ground and
hunting-ground of the Director, striding up and down in rage and
impatience, were waiting with a pause for times of peace; and finally
she released him with a kiss, saying, "I pity you, you rogue!"

He marched, with a defiance which the tightness of his hair aggravated,
into the dining-room. "Out of my sight!" said the sparkling assailant.
Alban instantly stepped back out of the door, enraged at the injustice
of this wrath, and for that very reason the less troubled at its
unhealthiness; for his benefactor kept passionately running up to the
table, which was spread for the birthday feast, and, after an old bad
habit of his, extinguishing the well-kindled lime-pit of his indignation
with wine.

In a few moments the musical academy and mining company, transformed by
their ill-humor into growling contra-bassists, struck up also. The time
had been tedious to them in the dry cabinet, so the bassoonist and the
violinist had taken it into their heads to entertain themselves with a
low tuning. The Director, who could not comprehend what in the world
that forlorn sound was that floated around him, took it for some time to
be a melodious humming in his ears, when suddenly the hammer-master of
the dulcimer let his musical hammer fall on the stringed floor.
Wehrfritz in an instant tore open the doors, and saw before him the
whole musical nest and conspiracy sitting in a circle, armed and
waiting. He asked them, hastily, "What business they had in the
cabinet?" and, after a flying donation of a few curses and cuffs,
ordered the whole garrison, without any tinkling noise, with their
leather aprons and _culs de Paris_, to take themselves off instantly.

Albina, with a tender look, beckoned her outlawed darling into her
sewing-chamber, where she asked him, quite composedly, because she knew
he would not lie, to tell the truth. After hearing his report, she
represented to him a little his fault (although she blamed the present
child, in comparison with the absent man, pretty much in the style in
which she had previously blamed the present man, in comparison with the
absent child), and still more the consequences; she pointed out (untying
and tying again his cravat the while, and buttoning some of his
waistcoat buttons) how her husband was disgraced in Albano's person
before the second school-consul, (with four and twenty Fasces,) whom he
had brought with him, the music- and dancing-master, Mr. Von Falterle,
who was up-stairs dressing himself; how the dancing-master would
certainly write all about it to Don Gaspard; and how for her good man
the whole sweet, painted jelly-apple of to-day's joy had been turned
into water: and now he must, even on this festive day, afflict his soul
in solitude, and, perhaps, catch his death from drinking so much to
drown his anger. Women, like harpers, usually, during their playing,
convert, with small pedals, the whole tones of truth into semi-tones.
After she had still further enumerated to him all the paternal
evening-tempests which he had ever drawn upon himself by his rides and
his Robinson's voyages of discovery, and whose thunder-claps had, on
every occasion, only melted down the lightning-conductor (namely,
herself), she added, with that touching tone flowing, not from the bony
throat, but from the swelling heart, "Ah, Albano, thou wilt one day
think of thy foster-mother, when it is too late!" and melted into tears.

Hitherto the unmeltable slags and the molten portion of his heart had
been boiling up together within him, and the warm flood had pressed
upward, ever higher and hotter, in his bosom, only his face had remained
cold and hard,--for certain persons have, exactly at the melting point,
the greatest appearance and capacity of hardening, as snow freezes just
before a thaw; but now the strain upon the too tightly-bound queue,
which was the paradoxical sign of the approaching eruption, made him, in
the paroxysm of his fury, tear the Würzburg appendage off over his head.
Before Albina saw it, she had handed him the Directorship appointment,
with the words, "I ought hardly to do it; but just hand it to him, and
say it was my present, and that thou wilt be quite another boy in
future." But when she saw his hand armed, she asked, in a terrified
tone, with the deep echo of a wearied-out grief, "Alban!" and turned
immediately away from the poor child, whose pain she misunderstood, with
too bitter tears, and said: "What new trouble is this? O, how you all
torment my heart to-day! Go away! O, come here," she called after him,
"and relate the circumstances!" And when he had innocently and truly
done this, her voice, overpowered with tears, could no longer blame him,
but only say, mildly, "Well, then, carry the present." Nevertheless, she
had it in mind to represent to her husband the abbreviation of the hair
as an act of obedience to her will, and to the fashion of city children
in high life.

Alban went; but on the painful way, the full glands of his tears and his
long-repressed heart broke forth, and he entered with eyes still weeping
before his solitary foster-father, who was resting his tired and
thinking head; and the boy held out to him, while yet a great way off,
the big-sealed document, and could only say, "The present," and nothing
more, and sparks darted with the storm-drops from his hot eyes. Lay
thyself, innocent one, softly on thy father's unbuttoned bosom; and
while he holds in his right hand the enchanted cup of glory, and makes
himself drunk with it, let him not on any account push thee away with
his left! The repelling hand will by and by come to pulsate languidly
and lightly upon thy wet, fiery cheeks, and warm, penitent eyes: then
will the old man read the _Decretum_ over again still more slowly, so as
almost to postpone the very first sound; then will he, when thou, with
indescribable impetuosity, pressest his hand to thy face to kiss it,
make appear as if he had just awaked, and say, with saltpetre coldness
and glistening eyes, "Call mother"; and then, when thou liftest upon him
thy glowing countenance all quivering with love from under thy
downfallen locks, and when they are flung softly back from thy cherry
cheeks,--then will he look a pretty long time after his departing
darling, and brush away something from his eyes, that he may run over
the address of the diploma at his will.

Say, Albano, have I not guessed right?

16. CYCLE.

Every post of honor lifts the heart of a man who is placed on it above
the vapor of life, the hail-clouds of calamity, the frosty mists of
discontent, and the inflammable air of wrath. I will hold the magic leaf
of a favorable criticism before a gnashing were-wolf: immediately he
shall stand before me as a licking lamb, with little twirling tail; and
if the wife of an author could only play before her heated literary
partner every time a critical trumpeter's piece on Fame's trumpet, he
would become like an angel, and she like that ale-house fiddler who, in
his bear-catching, softened the Saul in Bruin by his jigs.

Wehrfritz came to meet Albina as a new-born seraph, and recounted to her
his glory. Yes, in order to atone to her for the explosions of his Etna,
he said not, as usual, _nolo episcopari_; he did not say he was hemmed
round by an impassable mountain chain of labors; but, instead of that
perverse drawing back of the hand from the out-shaking cornucopia of
fortune,--instead of that virgin bashfulness of rapture which is more
common to brides,--he betrayed the heartiness of a widow, and told
Albina her wishes of the morning had already become gifts; and asked
what had become of the promised supper, and the company, and the
Magister, and the dancing-master (whom the other had not yet seen), and
Rabette, and all.

But Albina had already long since announced to the Magister, through
Albano, the invitation, and the dispersion of all storms, and the
arrival of the new commission. Wehmeier, to tell the truth, had the
greatest reluctance to eat with a nobleman, merely because, as
entertaining _acteur_ of the table, he had so much to do with
conversing, _savoir vivre_, looking out for others, keeping his limbs in
proper attitude, and passing all eatables, that, for want of leisure, he
was obliged to swallow such little things as pickled cucumbers,
chestnuts, crabs' tails, and the like, down whole, and without tasting
them; so that afterward he often had to carry round with him the hard
fodder, like a swallowed Jonah, for three days together in the hunter's
pouch of his stomach. Only this time he gladly dressed himself for the
feast, because he was curious and angry about his pedagogical colleague,
and that out of anxiety lest haply this new joint-tenant should assume
to himself the magnificent _winter crop_ in Alban's sowed field as his
own _summer crop_. He ascribed to his abbreviated method of teaching all
the wonderful energies of his pupil, i. e. to the water-soil the
aromatic essence of the plant which grew therein.[32]

With so much the greater indulgent love he came, leading with his own
hand the halved pupil, to Rabette's cabinet, in a sap-green plush with a
three-leaved collar. "Mr. Von Falterle here," said Rabette on his
entrance, not from raillery, but from inconsiderateness; "thought some
time ago it was you when the dog tried to get in." "My dear sir,"
replied coldly and gravely the _paradeur_ of a Falterle by the side of
our farm-horse, "the dog scratched at the door; but it is usual, as well
at the minister's as in all great houses of Paris, for every one to
scratch with the finger-nail when he wishes admittance merely into a
cabinet, and not into a principal apartment."

What a splendidly picturesque contrast of the two
brothers-in-office!--the master of accomplishments with the motley
scarf-skin or hind-apron of a yellow summer-dress, as if with the yellow
outer wings of a buttermoth, whose dark under-wings represent the
waistcoat (when he unbuttons it); Wehmeier, on the other hand, in a
roomy, sap-green plush, which a tent-maker seemed to have hung on him,
and with belly and shanks quivering in the black velvet half-mourning of
candidates, who wear it till they carbonize into clear black. Falterle
had his glazed frost pantaloons plated and cast round his legs, and
every wrinkle in them produced one upon his face, as if the latter were
the lining of the former; while along the thighs of the Band-box-master
wound upward the cockle-stairs of his swaddling modests.[33] The former
in bridal-shoes, the latter in pump-chambers,--the one flapping up like
a soft, slimy gold tench, with the belly-fins of his bosom-ruffles, with
the side-fins of his hand-ruffles, and with the tail-fins of a trinomial
root or queue hanging on three little ermine tails; the Magister, in his
green plush, looking for all the world like a green whiting or a chub. A
magnificent set-off, I repeat!

The whiting would gladly have eaten up the tench, when the goldfish led
forth on his right arm Rabette, and on his left Albano, to dinner. But
now it grew much worse. Alban, with his usual impetuosity, had his
napkin open first,--which became now, as it were, introductory programme
and dokimasticum of Falterle's system of teaching. "_Posément,
Monsieur_," said he to the novice, "_il est messéant de déplier la
serviette avant que les autres aient déplié les leurs_." After some
minutes, Alban thought he would blow his soup cool; it was one _à la
Brittanière_, with rings. "_Il est mésseant, Monsieur_," said
the master of accomplishments, "_de souffler sa soupe_." The
Band-box-master, who had already made up his mouth to vent a puff from
the bellows of his chest at a spoonful of rings, stopped short,
frightened into a dead calm.

When afterward a veal-stuffed cabbage-bomb fell like a central sun on
the table-cloth, the Magister boldly gobbled down the burning minced
veal, as a juggler or an ostrich swallows glowing coals, and breathed
more inwardly than outwardly.

After the bomb, came in a pike _au four_, to which, as is well known,
the cutting away of the head and tail, and the closing up of the belly
give the appearance of a roe's loin. When Albano asked his old teacher
what it was, the latter replied, "A delicate roe's loin." "_Pardonnez,
Monsieur_," said his rival gourmand, "_c'est du brochet au four, mon
cher Compte; mais il est mésseant de demander le nom de quelque mets
qu'il soit,--on feint de le savoir_."

It is easy to show that this horizontal shot from a double rifle pierced
through the Magister's marrow and bone; the _instruments of passion_
which lay in the cut-off head of the pike _au four_, as in an armory,
continued to do their execution in his. Like most schoolmasters, he
thought himself to have the finest manners, so long as he taught them,
and fought against bad ones; so long he prized them uncommonly, just as
he did his dress; but when he was outdone in either, then he must needs
despise them from his heart. It brought him to his legs again that he
was all the while silently comparing the master of accomplishments with
the two Catos and Homer's heroes, who ate not much better than swine,
and that he thus tied the Viennite to a pillory, and thrashed him most
lustily thereon, with one hand, while with the other he rung above him
the shame-bell. Yes, he placed himself, in order to make his official
brother small, upon a distant planet, and looked down upon the bomb and
the pike _au four_, and could not help laughing up there on his planet,
to find that this yellow-silk shop-keeper of Nature, with his rubbish of
brains, was no bigger than a paste-eel. Then he pitied his forsaken
pupil, and so came down again, and swore on the way to weed as much out
of him every day as that other fellow raked in.

We shall learn quite soon enough how Albano's nerves quivered on this
lathe, and under these smoothing-planes. The Director was indescribably
delighted with this pedagogical cutting and polishing of so great a
diamond, although the cutting (according to Jeffries) takes from all
diamonds half their weight, and although he himself had all his, and
more carats than angles. Wehrfritz could never entirely forgive,--at
which point he was now aiming, because he had brought with him for the
little one the Oesterleins harpsichord,--until at least with one word he
had inflicted a short martyrdom; accordingly, blind to Albano's
concealed bloody expiation of the fault, he communicated to the company
how strictly the Minister educated his children, how they, e. g., for
any involuntary coughing or laughing at the table, like Prussian cavalry
soldiers, who fall off or lose their hats in the wind, suffer
punishment, and how they were, to be sure, no older than Albano, but
quite as well-mannered as grown people. At the house of the Minister he
had, on the contrary, boasted to-day the acquirements of his foster-son;
but many parents build up in every other house smoking altars of incense
for the same child, which in their own they smoke with brimstone, like
vines and bees. Besides, deuse take it! they, like princes (fathers of
their country), make redoubled demands precisely when children have
satisfied immoderate ones; so that the latter, by _opera
supererogationis_ in the shape of advanced lessons, forfeit rather than
win their play-hours. Do we not admire it in great philosophers, e. g.
Malebranche, and great generals, e. g. Scipio, that, after the greatest
achievements which they made in the kingdom of truths, or in a
geographical, they betook themselves to the nursery, and there carried
on real child's fooleries, in order gently to relax the bow wherewith
they had shot so many lies and liars to the ground. And why shall not
this simile, wherewith St. John defended himself when he allowed himself
a play-hour with his tame partridge, also excuse children for being
children, when they have previously stretched too crooked the yet thin

But now on with our story! Old Wehrfritz recounted to Rabette, in a very
friendly manner, "how he had seen to-day the pupil of Don Zesara, the
magnificent Countess de Romeiro, actually only twelve years old, but
with such a deportment as only a court dame had, and how the noble
Knight experienced more joy than usual in his little ward." These hard,
clattering words tore, as if he had hydrophobia, the open nerves of the
ambitious boy, since the Knight had hitherto been to him the
life's-goal, the eternal wish, and the _frère terrible_, wherewith they
kept him under,--but he sat still there without a sign, and choked his
crying heart. Wehrfritz recognized this dumb lip-biting of feeling;
however, he acted as if Albano had not understood him.

Now began the Viennite too, hurling about his fire-balls into all
corners and niches of the Ministerial Vatican, merely to throw a
favorable light upon his dancing and music scholars therein, as well as
himself. Cannot the daughter of the Minister, hardly ten years old,
speak all the modern languages and play on the harmonica, which Albano
has never yet once heard, and even execute four-handed sonatas of
Kotzeluch, and sing already like a nightingale, on boughs that have not
yet put on their foliage too, and in fact passages from operas, which
made her nightingale breast grow hollow, so that he had to leave? Yes,
cannot her brother do far more, and has he not read out all the
circulating libraries, particularly the plays, which he also performs on
amateur stages into the bargain? And is he not at this precise hour
making his case right good in to-day's masquerade ball, if he only meets
there the object that inspires him? Wehmeier did wrong to sit opposite
our jewel-humming-bird, Falterle, like a horned-owl or a bird-spider,
ready to pluck and eat the humming-bird every minute. Verily, Falterle
said nothing out of malice; he could not despise or hate anybody,
because his mental eyes were so deeply buried in his own inflated "I,"
that he could not look with them at all out beyond his swollen self; he
harmed no soul, and fluttered round people only as a still butterfly,
not as a buzzing, stinging horse-fly, and sucked no blood, but only
honey (i. e. a little praise).

"Pray, tell me, Mr. Von Falterle," said Wehrfritz, who, so soon as he
had brought down this cold lightning-flash upon Albano, would no longer
shoot cold and flying insinuations at him, "does the young minister
sometimes sit on a bird-pole, like our Albano here?" That was too much
for thee, tormented child! "No," said Albano, in a brassy tone, and with
the friendliness of a corpse, which signifies another death to follow;
and with an optical cloud of floating complexions, left the seat
cracking under his dumb convulsions, and with clenched fingers went
slowly out.

The poor young man had, to-day, since the apparent forgiveness of his
Adamitish fall, and since the sight of the elegant new teacher, for whom
he had so long rejoiced in hope, and whose fine copperplate encasement
was just of a kind to have an imposing effect upon a child, cast off the
last chrysalis-shell of his inner being, and promised himself high
things. Some hand had within an hour snatched his inner man from the
close, drowsy cradle of childhood,--he had sprung at once out of the
warming-basket, had thrown stuffed-hat and frock far away from him,--he
saw the _toga virilis_ hanging in the distance, and marched into it, and
said, "Cannot I, too, be a youth?"

Ah, thou dear boy! man, especially the rosy-cheeked little man, too
easily cheats himself with taking repentance for reformation,
resolutions for actions, blossoms for fruits, as on the naked twig of
the fig-tree seeming _fruits_ sprout forth, which are only the fleshy
rinds of the _blossoms_!

And now, while all the nerves and roots of his soul lay naked and
exposed to the harsh air, and with such fair, fresh impulses,--just now
must he be so often trampled upon and disgraced. Honor burned in his
bosom,--he determined to pass through the coming years as through a
white colonnade of monumental pillars,--already a mere Alumnus from the
city was, to his soul thirsting for glory and knowledge, a classic
author,--and was he to endure it that the Director should falsely
accuse, and the Vienna master caricature him to the Knight his father?
Hard tears were struck, like sparks, from his proud, insulted soul, and
the heat dissolved the comet nucleus of his inner world into a sweltry
mist. In short, he resolved to run away to Pestitz in the night,--rush
into his father's presence, tell him all, and then come home again
without saying a word of it. At the end of the village he found a
night-express, of whom he inquired the way to Pestitz, and who wondered
at the little pilgrim without a hat.

But first let my readers look with me at the nest of the supper-party.
This very express brought the Vienna master a bad piece of news touching
the so-long-praised son of the Minister, whose name was Roquairol.

The above-mentioned female pupil of the Knight, the little Countess of
Romeiro, was very beautiful: cold ones called her an angel, and
enthusiastic ones a goddess. Roquairol had none of your Belgic veins,
wherein, as in Saturn, all liquids lie as fixed, frozen bodies, but
African arteries, in which, as in Mercury, melted metals run round. When
the Countess was with his sister, he was always trying, with the common
boldness of boys in high-life, to run his heart, filled with a venous
system of quick matches, upon hers, as a good fireship; but she placed
his sister as a fire-wall before her. Unfortunately she had gone, by
chance, dressed as Werther's Lotta, to this evening's masquerade, and
the splendor of her despotic charms was swallowed up and flashed round
by eyes all darkly glowing behind masks: he took his inner and outer
both off, pressed towards her, and demanded, with some haste--because
she threatened to be off, and with some confidence, which he had won on
the amateur-stage, and with pantomimic passionateness, which on that
stage had always gained him the finest serenade of clapping
hands--demanded nothing just now but reciprocal love. Werther's Lotta
haughtily turned upon him her splendid back, covered with ringlets;
beside himself, he ran home, took Werther's costume and pistol and came
back. Then, with a physiognomical hurricane on his countenance, he
stepped up before her and said, showing the weapon, he would kill
himself here in the hall, if she rejected him. She looked upon him a
little too politely, and asked what he wanted. But Werther, half drunk
with Lotta's charms, with Werther's sorrows, and with punch, after the
fifth or sixth "No!" (being already used to public acting,) before the
whole masquerade, pointed the murderous weapon against himself, pulled
the trigger, but luckily injured only his left ear-flap,--so that
nothing more can be hung on that,--and grazed the side of his head. She
instantly fled, and set out upon her journey, and he fell down,
bleeding, and was carried home.

This story blew out many lamps in Falterle's triumphal arch, and lighted
up many on Wehmeier's; but it set Albina at once into agony about her
quite as wild mad-cap Albano. She asked after him in the kitchen, and
the express-messenger helped her to a clew by his account of the boy
without a hat. She hastened, herself, in her usual extravagance of
anxiety, out through the village. A good genius--the yard-dog,
Melak--had proved the antagonist-muscle and turnpike-gate of the
fugitive. That is to say, Melak wanted to go too, and Alban chose rather
that a patron and coast-guard so serviceable to the castle-yard, and who
oftener warned away intruders than the night-watch did themselves,
should go home again. Melak was firm in his matters: he wanted
reasons,--namely, sticks and stones thrown at him; but the weeping boy,
whose burning hands the cold nose of the good-natured animal refreshed,
could not give him a hard word, but he merely turned the fawning dog
right about, and said softly, Go home! But Melak recognized no decrees
except loud ones; he kept turning round again; and in the midst of these
inversions,--during which, in Albano's mind, always on a Brockenberg and
seeing giant forms loom and glide through the clouds, his tears and
every undeserved word burned deeper and deeper,--he was found by his
innocent mother.

"Albano," said she, with a friendly but forced composure, "thou here in
the cold night-air?" This conduct and language of the only soul which he
had injured, took so strong a hold on his full soul, which needed a
vent, whether in tears or in gall, that, with a spasmodic shock of his
overstrained heart, he sprang upon her neck, and hung there, melted in
tears. At her questions, he could not confess his cruel purpose, but
merely pressed himself more strongly to her heart. And now came the
anxious and penitent Director, too, following after, whom the child's
situation had melted over, and said: "Silly devil! was my meaning then
so evil?" and took the little hand to lead the way back again. Probably
Albano's anger was exhausted by the effusion of love, and satisfied
through the appeasing of his ambition; accordingly and immediately,
strange to tell, with greater affection towards Wehrfritz than towards
Albina, he went back with them, and wept by the way, merely from tender

When he entered the room, his face was as if transfigured, though a
little swollen; the tears had washed away, as with a flood, his
defiance, and drawn all his heart's soft lines of beauty upon his
countenance, somewhat as the rain shows in transparent, trembling
threads the heaven-flower (nostock), which does not appear in the sun.
He placed himself in a posture of attention near his father, and kept
his hand the whole evening, and Albina enjoyed in the double love a
double bliss; and even on the faces of the servants lay scattered
fragments of the third mock-rainbow of the domestic peace,--the sign of
the covenant after the assuaging of the waters.

Verily, I have often formed the wish--and afterwards made a picture out
of it--that I could be present at all reconciliations in the world,
because no love moves us so deeply as _returning_ love. It must touch
Immortals, when they see men, the heavy-laden, and often held so widely
asunder by fate or by fault, how, like the Valisneria,[34] they will
tear themselves away from the marshy bottom, and ascend into a fairer
element; and then, in the freer upper air, how they will conquer the
distance between their hearts and come together. But it must also pain
Immortals when they behold us under the violent _tempests_ of life
arrayed against each other on the _battle-field_ of enmity, under double
blows, and so mortally smitten at once by remote destiny and by that
nearer hand which should bind up our wounds!


[27] I have already said that he was brought up there, under the
Provincial Director, _Von Wehrfritz_.

[28] With this Evangelist, as is well known, an angel is

[29] Compass.

[30] Odious, or tabooed.--TR.

[31] To a German President of Finance, Vol. I. p. 296.

[32] For Boyle found in his experiments that ranunculi, mints,
&c., which he suffered to grow large in the water, developed the
usual aromatic virtues.

[33] Some would rather hear this word than _breeches_.

[34] The female Valisneria lies rolled up under the water, out of
which it lifts its bud, to bloom in the open air; the male then
loosens itself from the too short stalk and swims to her with its
dry blossom-dust.



17. CYCLE.

If we open the two school-rooms, we shall see the Band-box-master, in
the forenoon, sitting and brooding upon the two-yolked eggs of the
_élève_, and the accomplishing master, in the afternoon, just as the
cock-pigeon guards the nest the former part of the day, and the female
the latter.

Now Wehmeier, as well as his competitor, was fain to take possession of
his pupil with wholly new instructions; but what were new to him were
new to himself. Like most of the older schoolmasters, he knew--of
astronomy, except the little that was found in the book of Joshua, and
of physics, except the few errors which existed in his rather-forgotten
than torn-up manuscript books, and of philosophy, except that of
Gottsched, which required, however, a riper pupil, and of other real
sciences--strictly speaking, nothing, except a little history. If
ever--in the literary Sahara, to which the tormenting screw of
school-lessons, without end, and the beggar's or cripple's wagon of a
life without pay, that had been turned rather into dross than into ore,
had exiled him--new methods of teaching or new discoveries came to his
ears (they never came to his eyes), he noted, at the moment, that they
were his own, only with a shade of variation; and he concealed from no
one the plagiarism. I heartily beg, however, all silken and powdered and
curly-haired Princes' instructors, blame not too sorely my poor
Wehmeier, so deeply overlaid with the heavy, thick strata of fate, for
his subterranean optics and his crookedness of posture, but reckon his
eight children and his eight school-hours and his approaching fifties in
his life's grotto of Antiparos, and then decide whether the man can,
under these circumstances, come out again into light?

But yet of history he knew, as was said, something; and this he seized
upon as pedagogical lucky-bone and Fortunatus's wishing-cap. Had he not
already, in that epical, picturesque style of paraphrase,--whereby he
could relate the smallest market-town history in such an interesting and
fictitious way, (for whence will a good story-teller draw the thousand
lesser but necessary touches but from his head?)--lectured out to his
Albano Hübner's Biblical History, in a manner extremely touching? And
which wept most during the delivery, teacher or scholar?

Now he had three historical courses open before him. He could strike
into the geographical road, which begins with the wretchedest history in
the world,--the history of countries. But only the British and the
French, at most, can begin history as an epic, and a description of the
earth backward; on the contrary, a Haarhaar, Baireuth, or Mecklenberg
princely patristic gives hollow teeth hollow nuts to crack, without meat
for head and heart. And does not one magnify thereby a twig of history,
on which the accident of birth has deposited the young barkchafer, most
disproportionately into a tree of consanguinity? And what cares one in
Berlin, for instance, to inquire after a lineage of Margraves, or in
Hof, after the pedigree of the Regents of Hohenzollern?

The second method is the chronological, or that which tackles the horses
in front; this starts with the birthday of the world, which, according
to Petavius and the Rabbins, came into the world on the forenoon of the
22d October,[35] hastens on to the 28th of October as the first clown's
and blunderhead's day of the young Adam, then marches away over the
29th, the first Sunday, Fast-day, and Bankruptcy-day, and so on down to
the Bankruptcy- and Fast-day of the latest child of Adam, who is
compelled to listen to the case.

This milky-way was, for our Magister, too long, too dreary, too strange.
He steered the middle track between the foregoing, which leads to the
rich two Indies of history, Greece and Rome. The ancients work upon us
more through their deeds than through their writings, more upon the
heart than upon the taste; one fallen century after another receives
from them the double history as the two sacraments and means of grace
for moral confirmation, and their writings, to which their stone works
of art attach every after age, are the eternal Bible-institute against
every failure of a Kanstein's. But let us now, on a fine summer morning,
walk along several times before the Rectorate-residence, and listen,
ourselves also, outside, to hear with what voice the Magister within,
although in old-fashioned applications, cites out of Plutarch,--the
biographical Shakespeare of Universal History,--not the shadowy world of
states, but the angels of the churches who shine therein, the holy
family of great men, and cast a passing glance at the sparkling eye with
which the inspired boy hangs upon the moral antiques which the teacher,
as in a foundery, assembles around him. O, when the mighty storm-clouds
of the heroic past thus hung around Zesara's soul as on a mountain, and
descended upon it with still lightnings and drops, was not then the
whole mountain charged with heavenly fire, and every green thing that
blossomed thereupon fertilized, quickened, and called forth? And could
he, then, so beautifully beclouded, haply look down into low reality?
Nay, did not teacher as well as scholar, amid the market-din of the
Roman and Athenian forums, where they went round in the train of Cato
and Socrates, remain entirely ignorant that the busy mistress was
cooking, bed-making, scolding, and scouring close beside them? Of the
eight screaming children, on account of the very multitude, they heard
nothing; for a single buzzing fly a man cannot bear, without a terrible
effort, in his chamber, while he could easily a whole swarm. Even so,
from their eyes, the school-room, on whose floor nothing was wanting
which is thrown into canary-cages for nest-building,--hair, moss,
roe's-hair, pulled flannel, and finger-lengths of yarn,--was hidden by
the floor of the (geographical and historical) Old World, which, like
the pavement of St. Paul's church in Rome, consists of marble ruins full
of broken inscriptions.

18. CYCLE.

The reader is now curious about the afternoon, when the _élève_ is sent
into the polishing-mill of the Viennite, in order to know what sort of a
polishing he gets there. It cannot but make him still more curious, when
I repeat that Wehmeier, who, like other literati, resembled the elephant
in clumsiness and sagacity, found nothing more agreeable to think
of--and, therefore, to describe--in ancient history, than a great man,
who had on little, as, for instance, Diogenes, or went barefoot, like
Cato, or unshaven, like the philosophers; nay, he hit the very
Mittel-Mark, and drew out for himself Frederick the Second's clothes,
whereby he gained as much as Mr. Pagé in Paris, and carried _his_
shirts, like the noble Saladin's, and with similar proclamations, on
poles for show, and sketched, as a second _Scheiner_, the best map we
have of the sun-spots of snuff on Frederick. Then he took these naked,
rough colossi, and piled them together into one scale, and threw into
the other the light, wainscoted figures, like Falterle and the nice
Nuremberg Kinder-gärten of modern courts, and besought the scholar to
take notice which way the swaying tongue of the balance would

I am not wholly on thy side here, Magister, since vigorous youths too
easily, without any prompting, tear in pieces the thin plate of the
ceremonial law, and often the platers, the head masters of ceremonies,
into the bargain. For weaklings, the method is good.

Now, when Albano came to the accomplishing master, he could but faintly,
on account of the loud resonance of the previous lesson,--for children
of a certain depth, like buildings of a certain size, give an
_echo_,--apprehend what Falterle commanded; and only when he remained
some days without the historical sensation was he more widely open to
the lesser instructions, as gilded things cannot be silvered over till
the gold is worn off. The misfortune was, too, that he had to go through
his task-dances in the very next room to the study of the Director, who
was there occupied with his own. It often happened that Wehrfritz, when
Alban was as _distrait_ and inattentive in the Anglaise as a partner in
love, would cry out, while he was dictating in there, "In the name of
the three devils, chassez!" Quite as many cases might one reckon in
which, when the music-master, like a bass-drum, with everlasting
exhortations glided away through adagio into piano, the man had to call
out in there, with the strongest imaginable fortissimo, "Pianissimo,
Satan! pianissimo!" Sometimes he was obliged to rise from his labors,
when, in the fencing-lesson, all admonitions to "quart!" availed
nothing, and open the door, and, grim with fury, say to him of Vienna,
"For God's sake, sir, don't be a hare! Prick his leather soundly, if he
doesn't mind!" Whereupon the courtly fencing-master would only gently
encourage him to "quart thrust."

Nevertheless, he learned much. In such early years one cannot rise above
the finery nor the fine arts of a Falterle, who, besides, was reinforced
with the magical advantage of having shone and taught in the forbidden
metropolis. Only the loud stride and the boots were not to be taken from
the pupil; but the shoulders soon grew horizontal, and the head
perpendicular; and the oscillating fingers, together with the restless
body, were steadied with Stahl's eye-holder. In general, men with a
_liberal_ soul in a finely-built body have already, without Falterle's
espalier-wall and scissors, an agreeable shape and stature. Moreover,
he felt toward the neat, friendly Falterle that holy _first love for
men_ wherewith a child's heart twines round all inmates of his home and
village; and simply for this reason, that a lady could wind the Viennite
about her ring-finger,--yes, inside of the gold ring itself,--and
because he spoke and lied about the Knight of the Golden Fleece as about
a king, and because he was the most agreeable creature that ever trod
the earth.

As I mean in my biographies to teach tolerance and even-handed justice
toward all characters, I must here lead the way with a pattern of
toleration, by remarking of Falterle, that his poor, thin soul had not
the power to develop itself under the stone table of the laws of
etiquette, and under the wooden yoke of an imposing station. To whom did
the poor devil ever do any harm? Not even to ladies, for whom indeed he
was always laboring before the looking-glass, like a copperplate
engraver, upon his dear self, but only, like other sculptors, by this
artistic work, to display pure beauties, not to mislead them. The
sea-water of his life--for he is neither a millionnaire, nor even the
greatest _savant_ of the age, although he has read about among many
circulating libraries--is sweetened by the water of beauty, wherein he
hourly bathes. He swills and gormandizes scarcely at all. If he curses
and swears, he does it in foreign languages, as the Papist makes his
prayers, and flatters very few except himself.

The vain man, and still more the vain woman, hate vain persons much too
violently; for such persons, after all, are more diseased in the head
than in the will. I can here cheerfully appeal to every thinking reader,
whether he ever, even when he was going about with an uncommonly vain
feeling, remembers to have detected any deep qualms of conscience or
discords in himself, which, however, were never wanting, when he lied
very much or was too hard. Much rather has he, on such occasions,
experienced an uncommonly agreeable rocking of his inner man in the
cradle of state. Hence a vain man is as hard to cure as a gambler; but
for this further reason,--most sins are occasional sermons and
occasional poems, and must frequently be set aside, from the third to
the tenth commandment inclusive. Marriage, the Sabbath, a man's word,
cannot be broken at any given hour. One cannot bear false witness
against himself, any more than he can play ninepins or fight a duel with
himself. Many considerable sins can only be committed on Easter-Fair or
New-Year's Day, or in the Palais Royal, or in the Vatican. Many royal,
margravely, princely crimes are possible only once in a whole life; many
never at all,--for instance, the sin against the Holy Ghost. On the
contrary, one can praise and crown himself inwardly day and night,
summer and winter, in every place,--in the pulpit, in the Prater, in the
general's tent, on the back seat of a sleigh, in the princely chair, in
any part of Germany,--for instance, in Weimar. What! and must one let
this perennial balsam-plant, which continually perfumes the inner man,
be plucked up or lopped off?

19. CYCLE.

All these occupations and thorns were to Albano right good, sharp
earthquake-conductors, since in his bosom already more subterranean
storm-matter circulated than is needed to burst the thin wall of a man's
chest. Now he began to get on deeper and deeper into the wild
thunder-months of life. The longing to see Don Zesara caught new warmth
from the Roman history, which lifted up on high before him Caesar's
colossal image, and wrote under it, "Zesara." The veiled Linden-city was
carried over by his fancy and set upon seven hills, and exalted to a
Rome. A post-horn rang through his innermost being, like a Swiss Ranz
des Vaches, which builds out into the ether all summits of our wishes in
long and shining mountain-chains; and it blew for him the signal of a
tent-striking, and all cities of the earth lay with open gates and with
broad highways round about him. And when, at this period, on a cool,
clear summer morning, he marched along metrically by the side of a
regiment on its way to Pestitz, so long as he could hear the sound of
the drums and fifes, then did his soul celebrate a Handel's Alexander's
Feast; the past became audible,--the rattling of the triumphal cars, the
movement of the Spartan bands and their flutes, and the clear trumpet of
Fame,--and, as if at the sound of the last trumpets, his soul arose
among none but glorified dead on the unbolted earth, and, with them,
still marched onward.

When History leads a noble youth to the plains of Marathon, and up to
the Capitol, he would fain have at his side a friend,--a comrade,--a
brother-in-arms, but no more than this,--no sister-in-arms; for a
heroine injures a hero greatly. Into the energetic youth friendship
enters earlier than love: the former appears, like the lark, in the
early spring of life, and goes not away till late autumn; the latter
comes and flees, like the quail, with the warm season. Albano already
heard this lark warbling, invisible, in the air: he found a friend, not
in Blumenbühl, not in the Linden-city, not in any place, but in his own
bosom; and the name of that friend was--Roquairol.

The case was this: For people like myself, country life is the honey
wherein they take the pill of city life. Falterle, on the contrary,
could not worry down the bitter country life without the silvering-over
of city life: thrice every week he ran over to Pestitz, either into the
boxes of the amateur-theatre as dramaturgist, or on the stage itself as
actor. Now, on every such occasion, he took his little part-book out
into the village with him, and there, relying on this rehearsal of the
play, studied his part independently of those of his colleagues; just
as, to this day, every state-servant commits his to memory without a
glance at those of his fellow-performers: hence every one of us consists
of only one faculty, and, as in the Russian hunting-music, knows how to
fife only one tone, and must throw his strength into the pauses. Into
these fragments of theatricals, then, borrowed from Falterle, Albano
entered with a rapture which his master soon sought to increase by
exchanging for these limited sectors of the globe the whole dramatic

The Viennite had long since eulogized before him the suicidal mad-cap
Roquairol as a genius in learning,--and himself as particularly such in
teaching; and now he adduced the proof of it from the great parts which
the mad-cap always played so well. For the rest, it was not his fault
that he did not exceedingly disparage the Minister's son, whom he
envied, not only for his theatrical, but for his erotic achievements.
For the inventively rich Roquairol had with that shot at himself in his
thirteenth year saluted and won the whole female sex, and made himself,
out of a sacrificial victim, priest of sacrifices, and manager of the
amateuress-theatre, attached to the amateur-theatre; whereas the shy,
stupid Falterle, with his still-born fancy, could never bring a charmer
to any other step than the pas retrograde in a minuet, or to anything
more than a setting of the fingers, when he wanted to get himself set in
her heart. But the vain man cannot deny others any praise which is also
his own.

How must all this have won our friend's admiration for a youth whom he
saw pass through his soul now as Charles Moor, now as Hamlet, as
Clavigo, as Egmont! As regards the notorious masquerade-shot described
in a former Jubilee period, our so inexperienced Hercules, dazzled as he
was by the naked dagger of Cato, must have accredited that shot to such
a kindred Heraclide, as one of his twelve tragical labors. The
fee-court-provost Hafenreffer even tells me, Albano once disputed with
the Vienna gentleman, who had long since let himself down from a
schoolmaster to a schoolmate, about the finest ways of dying, and, in
opposition to the tender Falterle, who declared _himself_ in favor of
the sleeping-potion, declared himself on Roquairol's side, even with the
stronger addition: "He should like best of all to stand on the top of a
tower and draw the lightning on his head!" In this latter article he
shows the high feeling of the ancients, who held death by lightning to
be no damnation, but a deification; but might not physical causes also
have had something to do with it, for his elbows and his hair often
flashed out, in the dark, electric fire, and more than once a holy
circle streamed out round his head even in the cradle? The Provost is
strong for this view of the matter.

Albano, at last, could find no way to cool his fiery heart but by taking
paper and writing to the invisible friend, and giving it in charge to
the gentleman from Vienna. Falterle, who was complaisance itself--and
withal untruth itself, too--in spite of his aversion to Roquairol, took
the letters with him, and was _heartily glad to do it_ ("I am quite at
home at the Minister's," said he); but never delivered a single one of
them, since he had as little influence in the proud Froulay-palace as
with the son himself, and so he merely brought back with him every time
a new and valid reason why Roquairol had not been able to answer: he was
either too very busy, or in the sick-chair, or in company,--but every
letter _had delighted him_; and our unsuspecting youth firmly believed
it all, and kept on writing and hoping. It would have been handsomely
done of the Legation's-counsellor, had he only, that is to say, if he
could, been so obliging as to hand over to me Albano's palm-leaves of a
loving heart; not for the archives of this book, but merely for my
documents relating to the case, for the catalogue of petals, which I for
my own private use am stitching and gluing together, of Albano's

20. CYCLE.

Our Zesara, on entering into the years when the song of poets and
nightingales flows more deeply into the softened soul, became suddenly
another being. He grew stiller and wilder at once, more tender and more
impetuous, as, for instance, he once flew in the highest rage to the
help of a dog yelping under the blows of the cudgel. Heaven and earth,
which hitherto in his bosom, as in the Egyptian system, had run into
each other, that is to say, the ideal and the real, worked themselves
free from each other, and Heaven ascended and receded, pure and high and
brilliant,--upon the inner world rose a sun and upon the outer a moon,
but the two worlds and hemispheres attracted each other and made one
whole,--his step became slower, his bright eye dreamy, his
athlete-gymnastics less frequent,--he could not now help loving all
human beings more warmly, and feeling them more near to him; and often
with closed eyes he fell trembling upon the neck of his foster-mother,
or out in the open air bade his foster-father, at his starting on his
journeys, a more lonely and heartfelt farewell.

And now before such clear and sharp eyes the Isis-veil of Nature became
transparent, and a living Goddess looked down into his heart with
features full of soul. Ah, as if he had found his mother, so did he now
find Nature,--now for the first time he knew what spring was, and the
moon, and the ruddy dawn, and the starry night.... Ah, we have all once
known it, we have all once been tinged with the morning-redness of
life!... O, why do we not regard all _first_ stirrings of human emotion
as holy, as firstlings for the altar of God? There is truly nothing
purer and warmer than our first friendship, our first love, our first
striving after truths, our first feeling for Nature: like Adam, we are
made mortals out of immortals; like Egyptians, we are governed earlier
by gods than by men; and the ideal foreruns the reality, as, with some
trees, the tender _blossoms_ anticipate the broad, rough _leaves_, in
order that the latter may not set before the dusting and fructifying of
the former.

When, as often happened, Albano came home from his inner and outer
roamings, at once intoxicated and thirsty,--with senses at the same time
_shut_ and _sharpened_, but dreaming like sleepers who feel the more
painfully the putting out of the light,--at such times of course it
needed only a few cold drops of cold words to make the hot, flowing
soul, upon the contact of the strange, cold bodies, scatter in zigzag
and globules; whereas a warm mould would have rounded the fluid mass
into the loveliest form.

Circumstances being such, of course no one will wonder at what I am
presently to report. The dancing-, music-, and fencing-master, who
boasted little of his steps, touches, and thrusts, but so much the more
of his (Imperial Diet-) Literature,--for he had the new names of the
months, the orthography of Klopstock, and the Latin characters in German
letters sooner in _his_ letters than any one of us,--would fain show the
house of Wehrfritz that he understood a little more of literature and
knew a thing or two better than other Viennites (the more so since he
read absolutely nothing, not even political newspapers and novels,
because he preferred real, living men); he therefore never came into the
house without two pockets full of romance and verse for Rabette and
Albano. He was encouraged in this by his endless officiousness, and his
emulous race-running with his colleague Wehmeier in education, and the
interest which he took in the youth now growing so silent, whom he
wished to help out of the sweet _dreams_ which the _ruby_[36] of his
glittering young life inspired with the exegetic _dream-books_, the
works of the poets. The revolution which had taken place in the youth,
who now mowed away whole romantic glades of Everdingen, and plucked
whole poetical flower-borders of Huysum, I have now neither time nor
wish even so much as tolerably to portray, on account of the
above-promised wondrous circumstance; suffice it, that Albano, so
situated,--the heaven of the poetic art open before him, the promised
land of Romance spread out before his eyes,--resembled a planet,
assailed by several whizzing comets, and blazing up with them into a
common conflagration.

But what further? The Vienna master--this I must still premise--was a
vain fool (at least in matters of humility, for example, his pigmy feet,
his literature, his success with women), and particularly loved, by
familiar pictures of great ones and ladies, to have inferred his
confederation with the originals. The poor devil was, to be sure, poor,
and believed, with many other authors, that he--unlike Solomon, who
prayed for wisdom and received gold--had inversely had the misfortune
while supplicating for the latter to receive only the former. In short,
on such grounds as these he would have been very glad, let it be
observed in passing, to know that the belief prevailed in the house of
Wehrfritz that he stood on very good terms with his former pupil, the
Minister's daughter,--_Liana_, I think it was, if I read Hafenreffer's
handwriting correctly,--and that he quite often saw her, and spoke with
her mother. Add to this, that there was not one word of truth in the
whole: through the temple in which Liana was there was no door-way for
him. But so much the less could he let the Director get ahead of him,
who often saw her, and always praised her more warmly at home, merely
for the sake of scolding the rude innocence of Rabette, who had never
been educated by anybody. The Vienna master wished also, of course, to
draw the Count--to whom he only showed the coasts of Roquairol's isle of
friendship afar off, but no point for landing--cunningly away from the
brother through the sister (he had found it impossible longer to deceive
and hold him back); for why did he paint it out before him at such
length, how poisonously, some years before, the night-and death-chill
brought on by that parting shot of a brother whom she too devotedly
loved had fallen upon those tender, white leaves of her heart?

Quite often would he, during a meal, hang up broad merit-tables,
countersigned by Wehrfritz, of Liana's progress in music and painting,
in order, seemingly, to stimulate his pupil on the harpsichord and in
drawing to greater achievements. For if it was not for appearance' sake,
why did he paste up such very long altar-pieces of Liana's charms before
Rabette, that impartial one, who, vying only with parsons' daughters,
and not with those of ministers, heard almost as gladly the praise of
_city_ beauties as we do of _Homer's_, and in whose presence only a
windy fool, that would fain hold himself upright in the saddle before
women by singing the praises of other women, could intone such eulogies
as his were of Liana? Verily, before such a resigned and unenvious soul
as Rabette,--especially as her complexion and hands and hair were none
of the softest, at least harder than Falterle's,--I would not for any
prize-medal in the world have undertaken, as he however did, to bring
near, in high colors, the happy results with which the Minister, in
order to bring over Liana's uncommonly youthful beauty, by proper
training, into her present years, had done his best by means of delicate
and almost meagre fare, by tight lacing, by shutting up his orangery,
whose window he seldom lifted off from this flower of a milder
clime,--still less would I have cared to be able to describe, like him,
how she had thereby become a tender creature of pastil-dust, which the
gusts of fate and the monsoons of climate could almost blow to
pieces,--and that she actually could only wash herself with spirits of
soap, and only with the softest linen dry herself without pain, and
could not pluck three gooseberries without making her finger bleed.

The shallow Viennite, who, if he spied a man of rank standing up on the
cupola of a mountain, could never take off his hat before him, down in
the marsh, without saying, in a low tone, at the same time, "Your most
profoundly obedient servant!" and who spoke of distinguished people, at
the farthest, only in familiar or satirical tones (to show his
connection), but never in earnest criticism, was, of course, as became
him, not the man to call old Froulay a stiff, sharp gravestone, under
which two such tender flowers as his lady with the ivy (Liana) twining
round her, crooked and crowded, had to wind their way out into light.
Mr. Von Hafenreffer, to his honor,--in respect that he is a
Legation's-Counsellor and Fee-Court-Provost,--makes here the quite
different but more feeling observation, that the hard strata of such
connections as those through which Liana's life-rill must needs filter
and force its way, make it purer and clearer, just as all hard strata
are filtering-stones of water,--and all her charms become, indeed,
through her father's tyranny, torments, but also all her torments
become, through her own patience, charms....

But, good Zesara, supposing now thou art compelled, daily, to hear all
this,--and supposing the master of accomplishments forgets not to
depict, besides, how she has never grieved him with a disobedient look,
or a tardiness, how cheerfully she always brought him the paper-marks of
the lessons, and, at the end, her schooling-money or an invitation,--and
how carefully, mildly, and courteously she behaved toward her servants,
and how one must have thought her heart could not be warmer than her
very philanthropy made it, if one had not seen her still more ardent
filial affection for her mother;--good Zesara, I say, what if thou
hearest all this in addition to thy romances, and that, too, of the
sister of thy Roquairol; for every one, if it is only half practicable,
loves to spin himself into one chrysalis with the sister of his
friend,--and beside all this, of a maiden in the consecrated
Linden-city, about which Don Gaspard, as the old Prussians[37] did about
their sacred groves, draws additional mystic curtains; and, what is
harder than all, just after the turning-point of thy seventeenth year,
Zesara, when the monsoons and spring winds of the passions already sweep
over the waves of the blood! For, of course, at an earlier period, in
the midst of the learned club of so many linguists,--i. e. books of
linguists, of eclectics, upper-rabbins,--of ten wise men from the East
and from Greece, and, by reason of the uncommonly dazzling
_Epictetus'-lamps_ which the said Decemvirate of wise men had lighted at
the day-star of the wise ones,--at such a time, I say, it was hardly to
be expected of thee that love's little Turin-lantern, which he kept as
yet unopened in his pocket, should strike thy eye very strongly! But
now, my dear, now, I say! Truly, nowhere could any of us find less
fault, if we are uncommonly attentive to it, with what he does in the
21st Cycle, than in this 20th.


[35] The preceding fine October days, as well as the Dog-holidays
and April, and, in short, the rest of the previous part of the
year, were created on the above-mentioned 22d October, and the
said day itself also, after their time. I thus easily shift the
inquiry about all that earlier period. For if any one dates the
world differently, e. g. from the 20th March, as Lipsius and the
Fathers did, still he must fall in with my after-creation of the
forepart of the year, when I thrust home upon him with his own
previous question.

[36] It used to be believed that a ruby gave pleasant dreams.

[37] Arnold's Ecclesiastical History of Prussia, Vol. I.



21. CYCLE.

How many blessed Adams of sixteen and a half years will be at this
moment enjoying their siesta in the grass of Paradise, and seeing their
future bosom-companion created out of the materials of their own hearts!
But they seek her not, like the first Adam, close beside them on the
building-spot, but at a good distance from their own couch, because
distance of space lends as much enchantment to the view as distance of
time. Accordingly, every youth seats himself in the mail-coach with the
full persuasion that in the cities for which he is booked quite
different and more divine Madonnas stand at the doors of the houses than
in his cursèd one; and the young men of those cities, again, on their
part, take passage in the arriving stage-coach, and go riding hopefully
into his.

Ah, this sounds far too rude and harsh for all that I have in my mind,
and it is to me as if I were offering the reader, instead of the living,
floating rose-fragrance, only the stiff, hard, thick, porcelain-rose!
Albano, I will uncover and unclose thy silent, thickly-curtained heart,
so that we all may see therein the saintly image of Liana, the ascending
Raphael's-Mary, but, like the pictures of the saints in Passion-week,
hanging behind the veil, which thou liftest with trembling to adore it,
when thou openest thy books of devotion,--the Romances,--and when thou
findest therein the prayers which belong to thy saint. Even _I_ find it
hard not to do like thee and the ancients, and make a mystery of the
name of thy guardian goddess,--concerning inner spiritual apparitions
(for outer ones are bodily apparitions) the seer is glad to be silent
nine days long;--and with thy blind belief in Liana's virtuous character
being a thousand times higher than thine is, and with thy holy sense of
honor, which watches over another's, it is, of course, a riddle to thee
how others, for instance the Vienna master or Wehrfritz, without the
least blushing, can talk so loudly and fondly of her, when thou thyself
hardly darest before others to--dream of her much. Truly, Albano is a
good creature! Further, how such a light Psyche as Liana, so
crystallized into solid ether, somewhat like the risen Christ, can at
all eat carps and pick the bones out,--or stir the stack of salad in the
blue dish with the long, wooden, miniature pitch-forks,--or how it can
be that she weighs half a pound more in the sedan than a blue
butterfly,--or how she can laugh loud (but that, however, she never did,
my friend);--all this, and in general the whole petty service of this
incarnate earthly life, was, to the winged youth, a riddle and a real
impossibility, or at least the reality thereof was a sort of _fixed-star
occultation_; why shall I suppress that he would have been far less
astonished at a pair of angel's footsteps stamped into Italian rocks,
than at a pair of Liana's in the ground, and that he would have given
for any one single trace or relic of her--I mention only a thread-spool
or a tambour-flower--nothing less than whole cords of the wood of the
holy cross, together with casks of the holy nails, and several apostolic
wardrobes, together with the holy duplicate-bodies into the bargain.

So have I often longingly wished I could have only a pound of earth from
the moon, or as much as a horn of sun-dust from the sun, before me on my
table and in my hands. So do most of us authors of consequence hover
before a reader out of our own country in like manner as fine, ethereal
images, of whom it is hard to comprehend how they can eat a slice of
bacon, or drink a glass of March beer, or wear a pair of boots; it seems
as if people would collapse when they read anything about Lessing's
razor, Shakespeare's English saddle, Rousseau's bear-skin cap, Psalmist
David's navel, Homer's sleeve, Gellert's queue-tie, Ramler's night-cap,
and the bald-pate under mine, though that is not of much more

The old Provincial Director, seeing that a maiden in no way gains so
much with a youth as by praises which his parents bestow upon her, made
some considerable contributions toward the canonization of Liana, by
frequently weighing against her the rustic Rabette, who laughed just as
he did, and insinuating a contrast between his indulgent wife and the
strict Minister's lady: he then took occasion to set forth in detail
after what strict rules of pure composition this counterpointist (the
Minister's lady) harmoniously arranged the melodious tones of Liana, and
particularly how she discountenanced all rudeness and laughter. Female
souls are peacocks, whose jewelled plumage must be sheltered in nice and
whitened apartments, whereas ours remain clean in duck-coops. Albano
pictured to himself mother and daughter in the double forms in which the
painters give us angels, namely, the intelligent, strict mother, as one
who hides in a long cloud, with only her _head_ visible, and Liana as a
glorified child that, with its tender wings, flutters about a white

How he longed for something, though it were only a fallen, faded rose
of--silk from Pestitz; and yet he could not for shame ask the Vienna
teacher for anything except at the very last, after long thinking,
though with a betraying glow, for one--lesson-mark; "for he had never
yet seen one," he said. Falterle had one at this moment in his
pocket,--the number 15, Liana's former age, was written upon it;--she
might have written the number possibly;--still it was something. Ah,
could he not more willingly have beset the Director for some romances
out of the portable-library of the Minister's lady, in which the
daughter must certainly have read, yes, and might well even have
forgotten some notes of her reading? He actually did it; but Wehrfritz
condemned and cursed in the beginning all romances as poisoned letters;
then he forgot over five times to ask for any;--and finally he brought
with him a novel of Madam Genlis, together with a Gotha pocket-almanac.
These books of the blest--in comparison with which my own works and the
Alexandrine Library and the blue library are only miserable
_remittenda_--had all the stamps of women's books; for they all
contained some ornament or other of female heads, namely, a thimbleful
of hair-powder as they do, fag-ends of silk-ribbon as they do, for
demarcation-lines and memoranda of readings,--and just the same
fragrance (which Semler also praises in the books of alchemy), and which
they seemed to have borrowed from the blossoms of Paradise. Ah, happy
reader of the fairest book (I mean the Count), canst thou ask more?

By all means; and he found more, too, namely, in the latter end of the
Gotha pocket-almanac, on the two blank parchment-leaves, the words,
"Concert for the Poor, the 21st February," and "Play for the Poor, the
1st Nov." I have often, in my chase after mysteries, beaten out, on
these leaves, the weightiest ones from the bush. "Yes, that is my
pupil's hand," said Falterle; "she and her mother seldom let such an
opportunity slip, because the Minister does not allow them otherwise to
give much to the poor." Do not detain me here about the beauty of her
handwriting,--besides one writes better on parchment and slate than on
paper, and a literary lady, exactly unlike a literary man in this, has
more calligraphy than illiterate ones,--but let me hasten on to the
working of these _incunabula_ of Liana, whose Dominical characters
diffuse over a loving man nothing but bright, inner Sundays of the soul,
and whose leaves resemble in sanctity the Epistles which, in the Middle
Ages, fell from heaven upon the earth. Now, for the first time, was it
to him as if the flying angel, whose shadow hitherto had only glided
over the earth, folded up his pinions, and held his downward course in
the track of the shadow, not far from the spot where Albano stands. He
learned the Gotha pocket-almanac by heart.

As he believed Liana to be much tenderer and better than he, and as she
appeared to his fancy like Hesper, who, among all the planets, moves
around the sun with the least eccentricity, and he to himself like the
distant Uranus, who does so with the greatest; and since he could not,
without a blaze of shame on his cheek, think of falling behind the
daughter and mother in moral polish, he became at once (no man knew why)
more gentle, mild, compliant, attentive to his person, obedient to the
Vienna teacher,--for Liana had been so too,--and his whole Vesuvius[38]
was kept under by the veil of a saint. The North American adores the
form which appears to him in dreams, as his guardian spirit. O, does not
even thus, to the youth, a fair dream often become his genius?

22. CYCLE.

A Whitsuntide, such as I am now about to describe, Albano, excepting in
the Acts of the Apostles, one can hardly find anywhere else than in

He had, hitherto, often listened to Liana's invalid-history with the
deafness of a vigorous, fire-proof youth, when, on one occasion, the
Director brought word home, that the pious lady of the Minister would
let her daughter partake the sacrament on the first Whitsuntide holiday,
because she was apprehensive death regarded such a creature as a
strawberry, which must be plucked before the sun had shone upon it. Ah,
Albano saw death at this moment groping about, and with his stony heel
treading on the pale red berry and crushing it. And then this Philomela
without a tongue, because she had hitherto been compelled to be dumb,
had, like a Procne, sent him only the pictured history of her heavy
existence, and only the leaves of parchment! All loving emotions, like
plants, shoot up the most rapidly in the tempestuous atmosphere of life.
Albano felt at once a wide, deep woe, and a tormenting fever-warmth in
his heart, eaten hollow as it was by death. In his musical and poetic
phantasyings on his Oesterlein's-harpsichord, the dreamed tones of
Liana's voice and the weeping music of the harmonica, which she could
play, and which he had never heard, strangely mingled, like her
swan-song, with his harmonies. But this was not enough; he even wrote,
secretly, a Tragedy, (thou good soul!) wherein he, with wet eyes,
intrusted all his tenderest and bitterest feelings to _another's_
lips,--but he only kindled them fearfully, while he expressed them.
Every one can remark that he proposed in this way to escape that babbler
and spy, accident; but not every one observes--something quite original
in the case; in _another's_ name, he might, he thought, venture to give
his deep pain a more passionate expression, for which, in his own name,
before so many stoic classical heroes, he could not for shame muster up
the courage. But in this way the classics could not touch him.

The still, warm enthusiasm grew under the hot covering of this glass
bell much greater yet; namely, to such a degree, that he touchingly
begged his foster-parents to let him on the first Whitsuntide holiday go
to the--Holy Sacrament. The dilapidated state of the village church,
wherein it could hardly be partaken a year longer, must needs speak as
strongly in his favor, as the dilapidated state of Liana's health did in
hers. Always will there remain in our poor human souls, separated from
each other by bodies and wildernesses, the longing to be at least doing
the same thing at the same time with one another, at one and the same
hour to look up at the moon, or (as Addison relates) to send our prayers
above it; and thus is thy wish, Albano, a human, a tender one, to kneel
at the same hour with thy invisible Liana, at the steps of the altar,
and then to rise fiery and commanding after the coronation of the inner
man! He had in the still country built up the altar of religion high and
firm in his soul, as all men of lofty fancy do: on mountains are always
seen temples and chapels.

But I must never accompany him into the Whitsuntide church before
ascending with him the church-tower. Could anything be conceived more
delicious, than when, at this period, on fair Sundays, so soon as there
was nothing but the heavy sun swimming through the wide heavens, he
climbed to the belfry of the tower, and, covered with the murmuring
waves of the chime, looked out all alone over the earth below, and upon
the western boundary hills of the beloved city? When presently the storm
of sound swept and confounded all together, and when the jewel-sparkling
of the ponds, and the flowery pleasure-tent of the frolicking spring,
and the red castles on the white roads, and the scattered trains of
church-going people slowly winding along between the dark-green
corn-fields, and the stream girdling round the rich pastures and the
blue mountains, those smoking altars of morning sacrifices, and the
whole extended splendor of the visible creation poured into his soul
with a glimmering overflow, and all appeared to him as a dim
dream-landscape--O then arose his inner colosseum full of silent,
godlike forms of spiritual antiques, and the torch-gleam of Fancy[39]
glanced round upon them like the play of a moving magic life,--and there
he saw among the gods a _friend_ and a _loved_ one reposing, and he
glowed and trembled.... Then the bells died away with a heavy groan, and
became dumb,--he stepped back from the bright spring into the dark
tower,--he fastened his eye only on the empty, blue night before him,
into which the distant earth sent up nothing save sometimes a butterfly
blown out of its course, a swallow cruising by, or a pigeon hovering
overhead,--the blue veil of Ether[40] fluttered in a thousand folds over
veiled gods in the distance,--O then, then the cheated heart could not
but exclaim, in its loneliness, Ah! where shall I find--where, in the
wide regions of space, in this short life--the souls which I love
eternally and so profoundly? Ah, thou dear one! what is more painfully
and longer sought, then, than a heart? When man stands before the sea
and on mountains, and before pyramids and ruins, and in the presence of
misfortune, and feels himself exalted, then does he stretch out his arms
after the great _Friendship_. And when music, and moonlight, and spring
and spring tears softly move him, then his heart dissolves, and he wants
_Love_. And he who has never sought either is a thousand times poorer
than he who has lost both.

Let us now step into the Whitsuntide church, where the deep stream of
his fancy, for the first time in his life, overflowed, and carried his
heart far away, and sounded on with it in a new channel: a physical
storm had swollen this stream. Early in the forenoon, the dark
powder-house of a storm-cloud stood mute near the hot sun, and was
glowing with his beams; and only occasionally, during divine service,
some distant, strange cloud let fall a clap on the fire-drum: but when
Albano stepped before the altar with exalted, glorified emotions, and
when he ventured only to mask his love for Liana in an inward prayer for
her, and in a picture of her to-day's devotion, and of her pale form in
the dark bride-attire of piety, and when he softly felt as if his
purified, sanctified soul were now more worthy of that lovely one,--just
then, the tempest, with all its playing war-machines and revolving
cannons,[41] marched over from the Linden-city, and passed, armed and
hot, right over the church. Albano, however, in the consciousness of a
holy inspiration, felt no fear; but so soon as he heard the distant
rumbling of the falling avalanche, he thought only of Liana, and of its
striking the Linden-city church; and now, when over his head the sun
kindled with his hot looks the powder-tower of the storm-cloud, and made
it fly into a thousand flashes and claps, then did that partiality for
the death by lightning which had been nourished in him by the ancients
drive the terrible supposition into his heart, that Liana was now dead
and lost to him in the glory of transfigured holiness. O then, must he
indeed also believe that now the wing of the lightning snatches him
above the clouds. And when long flashes blazed about the saint and the
angels of the altar, and when the trembling voices of the singers,
growing louder, and the tolling of the familiar bells, mingled with the
crashing thunder, and he caught, amid the deafening din, a high, fine
organ-tone, which he took for one of the tones of that unheard
harmonica,--then did he mount, deified, upon the triumphal and
thunder-car by the side of his Liana; the theatre-curtain of life and
the stage burned away from under him; and they soared away, linked
together and radiant, far through the cool, pure ether!...

But the twelfth hour banished these spiritual apparitions and the
tempest; Albano stepped out into a bluer, cooler, breezier sky,--and the
glistening sun looked down with a friendly smile on the affrighted
earth, whose bright tears still quivered in all her flower-eyes. And
now when in the afternoon Albano heard of the peaceful march of the
thunder through Liana's city, then by his faith in her newly-assured
life, and by the soft dead-gold of resting fancy, and by the holy
stillness of the regenerated bosom, and by the increased fervor of his
love, there grew up out of all regions of his soul an evening-red, magic
Arcadia,--and never did a man enter upon a fairer one.

23. CYCLE.

IT arises not merely from my courtesy towards a reading posterity, my
dear Zesara, but also from a real courtesy toward thee, that I so
faithfully transcribe all acts in this pastoral of thy life; in thy
later days these melodious ones shall echo in thy ears refreshingly out
of my book, and in the evening, after thy labors, thou wilt read nothing
more gladly than my labors here.

The following night deserves its Cycle. Soon after Whitsuntide he was
tormented with weekly medical notes upon a new malady of poor Liana,
which had begun, just as if he had guessed right, on Sacrament-day. He
heard that she was living or suffering in _Lilar_, the pleasure- and
residence-garden of the old Prince, in company with her brother, of
whose silence the Vienna master had just got up to his thousand and
first reason. Now, around Lilar, although not far from Pestitz, his
father had drawn no chains of prohibition. Liana's night-lamp might,
perhaps, glimmer a welcome, or at all events her harmonica sound
one,--yes, her brother might haply be still walking round in the
garden,--the June night was, besides, serene and magnificent. Ah, in
short, he started.

It was late and still; far out of the sleeping village, of which all the
lights were extinguished, he could still catch the flute-pieces of the
clock in the castle upon the Pestitz mountain. It was a quickener to
him, that his road lay for some distance along the Linden-city causeway.
He fixed his eyes steadily on the western mountains, where the stars
seemed to fall to _her_ like white blossoms. Up on the distant height,
the Hercules' cross-way, the right arm ran downward and wound along
through groves and meadows to the blooming Lilar.

March on, drunk with joy, full of young, light images, through the
Italian night, which glimmers and breathes its fragrance around thee,
and which, as over Hesperia, not far from the warm moon, hangs out a
golden evening-star[42] in the blue west, as if over the dwelling of the
beloved soul! To thee and thy young eyes the stars as yet only shed down
hopes, no remembrances; thou hast in thy hand a plucked, stiff
apple-twig, full of _red_ buds, which, like unhappy beings, become too
_pale_ when they bloom out; but thou makest not, as yet, any such
applications thereof as we do.

Now he stood glowing and trembling in a dell before Lilar, which,
however, a singular round wood, of walks lined with trees, still hid
from his view. The wood grew up in the middle to a blooming mount, which
was embosomed and encircled so curiously with broad sunflowers, festoons
of cherries, and glancing silver-poplars and rose-trees, that it seemed,
by the picturesque _ignes-fatui_ of the moon, to be a single, enormous
kettle-tree, full of fruits and blossoms. Albano was fain to ascend its
summit, and be, as it were, on the observatory of the heaven, or Lilar,
spread out below; he found at last in the wood an open alley.

The foliage, with its spiral alleys, wound him round into a deeper and
deeper night, through which not the moon, but only the heat lightnings,
could break, with which the warm, cloudless heavens were overcharged.
The magic circles of the mount rose ever smaller and smaller out of the
leaves into the blossoms,--two naked children, among myrtles, had twined
their arms caressingly about each other's bent head,--they were statues
of Cupid and Psyche,--rosy night-butterflies were licking, with their
short tongues, the honey-dew from the leaves, and the glowworms, like
sparks struck off from the glow of evening, went trailing like gold
threads around the rose-bushes; he climbed amid summits and roots behind
the aromatic balustrade toward heaven; but the little spiral alley
running round with him hung before the stars purple night-violets, and
hid the deep gardens with orange summits; at length he sprang from the
highest round of his Jacob's-ladder, with all his senses, out into an
uncovered, living heaven; a light hill-top, only fringed with variegated
flower-cups, received and cradled him under the stars, and a white altar
gleamed brightly beside him in the moonlight.

But gaze down, fiery man, with thy fresh heart, full of youth, on the
magnificent, immeasurable, enchanted Lilar! A second twilight-world,
such as tender tones picture to us, an open morning-dream spreads out
before thee, with high triumphal arches, with whispering labyrinthine
walks, with islands of the blest; the pure snow of the sunken moon
lingers now only on the groves and triumphal gates, and on the
silver-dust of the fountain-water, and the night, flowing off from all
waters and vales, swims over the Elysian fields of the heavenly realm
of shadows, in which, to earthly memory, the unknown forms appear like
Otaheite-shores, pastoral countries, Daphnian groves, and poplar-islands
of our present world,--wondrous lights glide through the dark foliage,
and all is one lovely, magic confusion. What mean those high, open doors
or arches, and the pierced groves and the ruddy splendor behind them,
and a white child sleeping among orange-lilies and gold-flowers, from
whose cups delicate flames trickle,[43] as if angels had flown too near
over them? The lightnings reveal swans, sleeping on the waves under
clouds drunk with light, and their flaming trains blaze like gold after
them in among the thick trees,[44] as goldfishes turn their burning
backs out of the water,--and even around thy summit, Albano, the great
eyes of the sunflowers turn on thee their fiery looks, as if kindled by
the sparks of the glowworms.

"And in this kingdom of light," thought Albano, trembling, "the still
angel of my future hides himself and glorifies it, when he appears. O
where dwellest thou, good Liana? In that white temple? or in the arbor
between the rose-fields? or up there in the green Arcadian
summer-house?" If love makes even pangs to be pleasures, and exalts the
shadowy sphere of the earth into a starry sphere, O what an enchantment
will it lend to delight! Albano could not possibly, in this outer and
inner splendor, think of Liana as sick; he represented to himself just
now only the blissful future, and with a yearning embrace knelt down at
the altar; he looked toward the glittering garden, and pictured to
himself how it would be when he should one day tread with _her_ every
island of this Eden,--when holy Nature should lay his and her hands in
one another upon these altar-steps,--when he should sketch to her on the
way the Hesperia of life, the pastoral land of first love, and then its
holy exultation and its sweet tears, and how he should not then be able
to look round into the eyes of that most tender heart, because he should
already know that they were overflowing with bliss. Just then he saw, in
the moonshine above the triumphal arches, two illuminated forms move
like spirits; but his glowing soul went on with its painting, and he
imagined to himself how, when the nightingales trilled in this Eden, he
should look up to her and say, in a delirium of love, "O Liana, I bore
thee long ago in my heart,--once upon that mountain, when thou wast

This startled him, and he came to himself; he was indeed on the
mountain,--but he had forgotten the sickness. Now, kneeling, he threw
his arms around the cold stone, and prayed for her whom he so loved, and
who, also, surely had prayed here; and his head sank, weeping and
darkened, upon the altar. He heard human steps approaching down below on
the winding hill, and, with trembling joy, he thought it might be his
father; but he boldly remained on his knees. At last there stepped in
across the flowery border a tall, bent old man, like the noble bishop of
Spangenberg; his calm countenance smiled full of eternal love, and no
pains appeared upon it, and it seemed to fear none. The old man, in mute
gladness, pressed the youth's hands together as a sign that he should
pray on, knelt down beside him, and that ecstasy to which frequent
prayer transfigures one spread its saintly radiance over that form full
of years. Singular was this union and this silence. The fragment of the
moon, which was all that yet jutted above the earth, burned darklier,
and at last went down; then the old man rose, and, with that easiness of
transition which comes from being habituated to devotion, put questions
about Albano's name and residence; after the answer, he merely said,
"Pray on thy way to God, the all-gracious,--and go to sleep before the
storm comes, my son!"

Never can that voice and form pass away out of Albano's heart; the soul
of the old man peered, like the sun in an annular eclipse, shining, full
circle, out over the dark body, which strove to hide it with its
earth-mould. Deeply struck, to the very roots of his nerves, Albano
rose, and the broadening flashes of the lightning showed him now, down
below near the enchanted garden, a second dark, entangled, horrible one,
a sort of Tartarus to the Elysium. He departed with singular and
conflicting emotions,--the future, and the beings therein, appeared to
him, on his way, to stand very near, and already to run to and fro like
theatre lights behind the transparent curtain,--and he longed for some
weighty enterprise as a refreshment for his inflamed heart; but he had
to rest his head, full of this heath-fire, on the pillow, and the high
thunder, like a god of the night, mingled with its first claps in his

24. CYCLE.

THE unknown old man lingered many days in Albano's soul, and would not
stir. In fact, the channel of his life now needed a bend, to break the
stress of the stream. Fate can educate men like him only by a change of
circumstances, just as it can weak ones only by a continuance of the
same. For if it went on much longer in this way, and the chandelier in
his temple should, by inner earthquakes, be thrown into ever increasing
vibrations, the consequence would be, at last, that no candle could any
longer burn therein. What Imperial-Diet-grievances did not Wehrfritz and
Hafenreffer already jointly present on the subject, when the shipmaster
Blanchard, in Blumenbühl, went up with his aerostatic soap-bubbles, and
Zesara could hardly, by almost the absolute despotism of the Director,
be kept back from embarking! And how divine a thing does he not imagine
it would be, not only to hurl down to the earth its iron rings and
arrest warrants, and soar away, perpendicularly, above all its
market-rubbish and boundary-trees and Hercules'-pillars, and sweep
around it as a constellation, but also to hover above the magic Lilar
and the hermetically-sealed Linden-city with devouring eyes, and to lift
a whole, full, heavy world to his thirsty heart, by the handle of a
single look!

But fate broke the fall of this swift stream. Namely, as good luck would
have it, the Blumenbühl church had this long time been daily threatening
to tumble down,--and I was wishing the Whitsuntide lightning had gone in
there, and had made ears and legs for the building committee,--when by
still greater good luck the old Prince was taken sick. Now in the church
was the hereditary sepulchre of the Prince, which could not conveniently
serve, on the other hand, as the hereditary sepulchre of the church.

About this time it must needs happen that the old Princess, with the
Minister Froulay, passed through the village. The two had long since
commissioned themselves as Imperial vicars, business-agents, and
sceptre bearers of the State, because the feeble old gentleman had been
glad to give up the amusements and burdens, the glitter and weight of
the crown, and admit those two feudal guardians into the hereditary
office of the sceptre. In short, the age of the church, together with
that of the princely couple, decided the building of a new roofing and
covering for the vault.

The Provincial-Director was one of the inspecting committee, and invited
the distinguished company to his house; among whom, the Provincial
architect, Dian, and the Counsellor of Art, Fraischdörfer, as artists,
and the little princess as naturalist, are particularly to be noticed.

The poor dancing-master got wind of the procession through a telescope,
just as he was stretching his feet, full of _pas_, into a warm
foot-bath. It will not gratify anybody, that the Vienna gentleman had
but one thing in common with the old Magister,--what the Devil shares
with the horse, namely, the foot, which measured its good foot and a
half, Paris measure, and that, therefore, his double root, in the narrow
forcing-pots of shoes, shot out into a fruit-bearing, knotty-stock, full
of inoculating eyes, i. e. corns. To-day he would have cut these gordian
knots in a foot-bath; but, as it was, he must, on occasion of such a
visit,--although he had never stretched them,--put on his tightest
children's shoes, for effect. Thus are men often caught with too tight
shoes, as monkeys are with too heavy ones.

Albano, on the contrary, stood in buskins. In general, every one who
simply came from Pestitz, had, in his eyes, consecrated holy earth on
his soles; and here he looked with the loving reverence of a village
youth upon a somewhat oldish, but red-cheeked and tall-built princess,
whose chin was bent up by time, and whose friendly face--perhaps, by way
of hiding the many wrinkles--was buried deep in a whole bush of
millinery. She kept this head moving to and fro with a smiling
comparison, as of brother and sister, between him and Rabette; for
mothers always look, in mothers, for the children first. He should have
further known that he had before him a friend of Liana in the
frizzle-headed _little_ princess, who, although already of his age, yet
with a friendly liveliness, which can never be subscribed to by the
court-marshalship, looked up at all, and even took Rabette by the hand,
and drew from her an indescribably good-natured and stiff smile. The
formidable one of the party was to him the Minister, a man full of
strong parts, both of body and soul, full of furious, murderous
passions, only that they lay bound with flowery chains, and with respect
to whom, although his hard face was written over only out of courtliness
with the twelve friendly signs of the zodiac of love, it would not be
specially apparent how one could be father and guide to the weak-nerved
Liana, when the iron parts, of which man carries more in his blood than
any other animal, had settled, not as in the case of Götz of
Berlichingen, into his hand, but into his brow and heart.

I give merely a flying glance at the only member of the company who was
intolerable to Albano,--the art-counsellor, Fraischdörfer, who had
thrown off his face, like the drapery of the ancients, into folds of
simple and noble greatness. This man, I must explain, had wanted for
many years to have our bashful little hero sit to him, even to the very
pit of his stomach, in order to represent, whether in a crayon likeness
or a medallion I know not, his face, and the broad, high, Plato-like
breast shining out from his shirt-frills. But the bashful child played
about himself with his hands and feet so lustily, that nothing could
possibly be caught and copied except the naked face without the
pedestal, the thorax. Before me, on the contrary, dear academy, must
thou now for years keep thyself on the model-stand, like a stylite, and
expose to my drawing-pen thy head and thy breast, together with its
cubic contents, not to mention the groupings at all.

He had, perhaps, to thank his noble form for it, that the beautifully
built, straight-nosed, and magnificently slender Dian--with his raven
hair and black, eagle eye, who in every pliant motion showed a higher
freedom of carriage than is gained in ball-rooms and court-saloons--came
up to him warmly, and, with very few glances, saw to the green bottom of
the deep but clear sea of the young man, and discerned the pearl-banks
there. Albano, with his too loud, vehement voice,--with his respectful
but sharply-moving eyes,--with his rooted posture,--expressed an
agreeable mixture of inward culture and ascendency with external rustic
modesty and mildness, like a tulip-tree not as yet cut up for a
tulip-bed,--a rural hermitage and log-house with golden furniture. He
had the faults of youth in its recluseness; but men and winter radishes
must be sowed _far apart_, in order that they may grow _large_: men and
trees that stand near together have, it is true, a more slender and
tapering trunk, but no power to brave the tempest, nor such a rich crown
and branching as those that stand free. With the most unembarrassed
heartiness, the architect disclosed to the glowing youth, "They should
from this time forth see each other every week, since he was to come
daily to oversee the building of the church."

The whole Wehrfritz household is now peeping out after the majestic
procession, even to the last disappearing chariot-wheel, and is, of
course, eager to say three words upon the lavender-water of joy that
leaves such a fragrance behind it, which the procession had sprinkled
into all corners and upon all pieces of furniture. From the Master of
exercises--who, with the compression-machines on his feet, stood only so
far as the excrescences in Purgatory, but from there up to the crown of
his head in heaven (because the affable Princess had remembered very
well his five positions)--even to the modest Rabette, the eulogist of
her victorious rival,--and even to Albina, who was agreeably impressed
with such warm, motherly love in a Fürstinn toward the Princess,--and
even to the Director, who looked back with pleasure on the nobly
sustained blade- and anchor-proof of his foster-son and the universal
probity of this converted portion of the great world, because the man
never observed that Princes and Ministers, just as they have in their
wardrobes mountain- and mining-habits, so also carry about in their
dressing-chamber Directorate-dresses, furred gowns of justice,
consistorial sheep-skins, and women's opera-dresses;--from all these,
even to the Director, the glad echo swelled, to die away in Zesara with
an alarm-cannon. His ambition took arms; his liberty-tree shot forth
into blossoms; the standards of his youthful wishes were consecrated and
flung to the breeze of heaven; and on the myrtle crown he covered a
heavy helm with a glittering, high-waving, plumed crest....

The following Cycle is composed merely for the purpose of showing how
all this is to be taken.

25. CYCLE.

It is also my opinion that the antiphonious double choir of the two
educational colleagues, Wehmeier and Falterle, had hitherto trained our
Norman, as well as two similar gymnasiarchs, Governess England and
domestic French instructress France, have actually educated the
charity-school-girl Germany according to the best school-books, so that
now we, in our turn, are in a condition to school the Poles, and, with
the ferule, from the desk of our princely schools, to kantschu them down
as much as is necessary.

But now too much had waked up in Albano. He felt overswelling energies
which found no teacher. His father, roving round through Italy, seemed
to be neglecting him. That seat of the muses, Pestitz,--which now had
_one_ more muse added to its number,--seemed to be unjustly barred
against him. Often he knew not how to stay away. Fancy, heart, blood,
and ambition were at boiling heat. In such a case, as in every
fermenting cask, nothing is more dangerous than an empty space, whether
from a want of knowledge or of occupation.

_Dian filled up the cask._

He came each week from the city, as if he had to arrange the hammer-work
of the church, according to plans, as well as the building of its walls.
A youth who sees his first Greek cannot, at the outset, rightly believe
it at all; he takes him for a classic glorification,--a printed sheet
out of Plutarch. And if his heart burns like that of my hero, and if his
Greek is of Spartan descent, like Dian,--namely, an unconquered
_Mainotte_, who has been brought up in the classic double choir of the
æsthetic singing-schools in Atiniah (Athens) and Rome,--then is it
natural that the inspired youth should stand every day in the dust-and
rubbish-clouds of the falling church-walls, and wait to see his
commander come forth from behind the cloudy pillar.

Dian accompanied his beloved in his walks, often read half the night
with him, and took him with him on the architectural journeys which he
had constantly to make into the country. He introduced him with inspired
reverence into the holy world of Homer and of Sophocles, and went with
him among the loftier beings of this twin Prometheus, those nobly
formed, completely developed men, yet unperverted by a partial
provincial culture, who, like Solomon, had a time for everything
human,--for laughing, weeping, eating, fearing, and hoping,--and who
shunned merely rude immoderateness; who sacrificed on the altars of all
gods, but on that of Nemesis first of all. And Dian, whose inner man was
a whole, from which no member is torn away, no one swollen, and all
fully grown, himself went round with his darling as such a Greek of
Homer and Sophocles. While Wehmeier and the foster-parents were always
running after him with a pulpit and a pew, at every passionate
expression of anger, or desire, or exultation, he, on the contrary, with
fair, liberal freedom, made room for him to unfold himself to his full
breadth and height. He respected in the youth the St. Elmo's or St.
Helena's fire, as he did frost in an old man: the heart of vigorous men,
he thought, must, like a porcelain vase, in the beginning, be turned too
large and too wide; in the furnace of the world it would soon enough
shrink up to a proper size. I too require of youth, at first,
intolerance, then, after some years, tolerance,--that as the stony, sour
fruit of a strong young heart, this as the soft winter-fruit of an older

But while the Architect drew with him, and with him examined casts of
the antiques and works of art, he at the same time made manifest most
beautifully to the youth his love for the artistical _sign of the
Balance_ in man (who ought to be his own work of art), and his aversion
to every paroxysm, which breaks the outward beauty as well as the inward
into folds and wrinkles, and his desire to regulate his form and his
heart after the lofty pattern of repose on the antiques.

The Architect, as artists often do, and the Swiss still oftener,
preserved European culture and rural _naïveté_ and simplicity side by
side, like his beloved profession, wherein, more than in other arts,
beauty and surveying reason border upon each other; he therefore at
first let Albano look in and listen at the window of the philosophical
lecture-hall from without, standing in the open air. He led him, not
into the stone-quarry, lime-pit, and timber-yard of metaphysics, but
directly into the ready-made, beautiful oratory, formed of the materials
thence collected, otherwise called Natural Theology. He did not let him
forge and solder ring after ring of any iron chain of reasoning, but
showed such a one to him as a deep-reaching well-chain, whereby Truth,
sitting at the bottom, is to be drawn up; or as a chain hanging from
heaven, whereby the lower gods (the philosophers) are to draw Jupiter
down. In short, the _skeleton_ and _muscle-preparation_ of metaphysics
he concealed in the _God-man_ of religion. And so it should be (in the
beginning); grammar is learned from language more easily than the latter
from the former; criticism from works of art, the skeleton from the
body, more easily than the reverse; although we always do reverse it.
Unfortunate is it for the youth of our day, that they are obliged to
shake the drops and the insects from the tree of knowledge, before the

And now he boldly threw open to him all the chamber-doors of the
philosophical schools, i. e. the three heavens; for in this youthful
season one still takes the wick of every learned light of the world for
asbestos, as Brahmins dress themselves in asbestos; and the masses of
ice around the poles of our spiritual world represent, at this early
age, like the actual ones in the visible world, cities and temples on
azure-blue columns.

Now when Albano had read himself to the flaming point upon some great
idea or other, as Immortality or Deity, he had then to write upon it;
because the Architect believed, and I too, that in the educational world
nothing goes beyond writing,--not even reading and speaking; and that a
man may read thirty years with less improvement than he would gain by
writing a half. It is just in this way that we authors mount to such
heights; hence it is that even the worst of us, if we hold out, become
somewhat, at last, and write ourselves up from Schilda to Abdera, and
from there away up to Grub Street.

But what a glowing hour then came on for our darling! What are all
Chinese lantern-festivals to the high festival for which an inflamed
youth lights up all the chambers of his brain, and in this illumination
throws out his first essays?

In the forepart, and on the very threshold of the essay perhaps, Albano
still crept along step by step, and made use merely of his head; but as
he got further on, and his heart quivered with wings, and like a comet
he must needs sweep along before only shimmering constellations of great
truths, could he then restrain himself from imitating the rosy-red
Flamingo, who, in his passage towards the sun, seems to paint himself
into a flying brand, and to clothe himself in wings of fire? When at
length he reached the practical application, verily every one was like
the others; in each he formed and sowed an Arcadia full of human angels,
who in three minutes could cross over on a Charon's pontoon thrown in
for the purpose, and land in the Elysium which floated so near: in every
one of these practical applications all men were saints, all saints
beatified; all mornings blossoms, and all evenings fruit; Liana
perfectly well, and he not far from it--her lover;--all nations ascended
more easily the noonday heights; and he upon his own, like men upon
mountains, saw everything good nearer to him. Ah! the whole boggy
present, full of stumps and blood-suckers, had he kicked aside, and was
now encircled only with floating green worlds, full of pastures, which
the sun-ball of his head had projected into the ether.

Blissful, blissful time! thou hast long since gone by! O, the years in
which man reads and makes his first poems and systems, when the spirit
creates and blesses its first worlds, and when, full of fresh
morning-thoughts, it sees the first constellations of truth come up
bringing an eternal splendor, and stand ever before the longing heart,
which has enjoyed them, and to which time, by and by, offers only
astronomical newspapers and refraction-tables on the morning-stars, only
antiquated truths and rejuvenated lies! O, then was man, like a fresh,
thirsty child, suckled and reared with the milk of wisdom; at a later
period he is only cured with it, as a withered, sceptical, hectic
patient! But thou canst, indeed, never come back again, glorious season
of _first love_ for the truth, and these sighs can only give me a
warmer remembrance of thee; and if thou ever shouldst return, it
certainly could not be down here in the low mine-shaft of life, where
our morning splendor consists of the little flames that play upon the
quartz crystals, and our sun is a mine-lamp,--no; but it may happen
then, when death reveals us, and tears away from over the heads of the
pale-yellow workmen the coffin-lid of the mine-shaft, and we now again
stand as first men on a new, full earth, and under a fresh, immeasurable

Into this golden age of his heart fell also his acquaintance with
Rousseau and Shakespeare, of whom the former exalted him above his
century, and the latter above this life. I will not say here how
Shakespeare ruled, sovereign, in his heart,--not through the breathing
of living characters, but by lifting him up out of the loud kingdom of
earth into the silent realm of infinity. When one dips his head at night
under water, there is an awful stillness round about him; into a similar
supernatural stillness of the under-world does Shakespeare introduce us.

What many schoolmasters may blame in Dian is this, that he gave the
youth all books indiscriminately, without any exact course of reading.
But Alban asked, in later years: "Is such a course anything but folly?
Is it possible? For does Fate ever arrange the appearance of new books,
or systems, or teachers, or outward circumstances, or conversations, so
according to paragraphs, that one needs nothing more than to transcribe
all that passes upon the memory, and he shall have the order into the
bargain? Does not every head need and make its own? And does more depend
on the order in which the meats follow each other, or on the digestion
of them?"

26. CYCLE.

While Dian was causing a nobler temple to go up in the heavens than the
stone one in the village, the Princess, whose _castrum doloris_ this was
to be, died; they had, therefore, to deposit her remains for a time in
the accommodations of a Pestitz church. This changed one or two thousand
things. The Crown-prince of Hohenfliess, Luigi, must now, will he nill
he, come back from Italy, to the princely chair, in which the old man,
bent up with years, had, for a long time, diminutive and speechless,
been rather lying than sitting,--although the Minister standing behind
the princely arm-chair took off his figure and voice in a sufficiently
lively manner. Don Gaspard, who had not listened to any of the previous
letters of Albano, now despatched to him the following orders, which
rushed like fiery wine through his veins: "On my way back from Italy we
meet, in thy birthplace, _Isola Bella_. Thou wilt be sent for." Even
readers who have not had a week's practice in folding and sealing
letters of a diplomatic corps, will easily observe that the Knight of
the Fleece is thinking to bring his son acquainted with the young
prince, and to establish and insure their first Pestitz connections.

But I beg the world now to measure the Paradise of a man, who after so
long seafaring at last sees the long shores of the new world stretch out
into the ocean. Was not life at this moment open to him in a hundred
directions? Laurel-wreaths, ivy-wreaths, flower-wreaths, myrtle-wreaths,
wheat-garlands,--all these crowns overhung the great gate of Pestitz and
its house-doors. Thou brother, thou sister, (I mean Roquairol and
Liana,) what a full, yearning soul was marching to meet you! and what a
dreaming and innocent one! Homer and Sophocles, and the ancient history
and Dian, and Rousseau, that magus of youth,--and Shakespeare and the
British weeklies (wherein a higher and more human poesy speaks than in
their abstract poems),--all these had left behind in the happy youth an
everlasting light, an unparalleled purity, wings for every Mount Tabor,
and the fairest but most difficult wishes. He resembled, not the urbane
French, who, like ponds, reflect the hue of the nearest bank, but those
loftier men, who, like the sea, wear the color of the boundless heavens.

In fact, now was the ripest, best point of time for his change. Through
Dian and his journeys, even Albano's _exterior_ man had been trained to
grace in fashionable saloons. Men, like bullets, go farthest when they
are smoothest; besides, there remained sticking on Zesara diamond-points
enough at which mediocrity stumbles and is wounded, and even uncommon
worth is an uncommon fault,--as _high_ towers, for that very reason,
appear _bent over_. Zesara learned, even outside the circle of country
youngsters, a readiness of ideas and words, which formerly stood at his
service only in a state of enthusiasm; for wit, generally a foe of the
latter, was with him merely a servant and child thereof. He did not,
like witty sucklings, coquette with all ideas, but he was either beset
by them or not touched at all; hence came that silent, slow,
unostentatious ripening of his power; he resembled mountains of a
gradual ascent, which always yield more booty than those which rise
abruptly. With great trees, the seed is smaller and in spring the
blossoms later than in the case of small bushes.

The time ere Gaspard's messenger came to take him away was to the
detained youth an eternity, and the village a prison; it shrivelled up
to the household-buildings of a convent. The hidden plan of his life,
written, however, by encaustic into his brain, was, as with all such
young men, this, to be and do nothing more than--everything; that is to
say, to bless, to glorify, and to enlighten at once himself and a
country,--to be a Frederick II. upon the throne; in other words, a
storm-cloud, which should contain thunders of excommunication for the
sinner, electrical light for the deaf, blind, and lame, showers for the
insects, and warm drops for thirsty flowers, hail for enemies, an
attraction for everything, for leaves and dust, and a rainbow for the
end. Now, as he could not succeed Frederick II., he proposes to be
hereafter minister at least,--especially as Wehrfritz made so much out
of this by-sceptre,--this offshoot and chip of the mother sceptre,--and
in his spare hours a great poet and philosopher withal.

I shall be delighted, Count, if thou shouldst become a second Frederick,
the second and only; my book will profit by it and I myself mould my
future thereby as a rare historiographer, compounded of Zenophon,
Curtius, and Voltaire!

27. CYCLE.

Zesara will never forget the spring evening, on which he saw a passenger
in a greatcoat,--a little limping and covered with brown
travelling-paint, to which his white eyeballs formed a shining
contrast,--wade across the shallow brook beside the high bridge, and
how, further, the passenger took with him a watch-man's cane which the
then Lieutenant of the Beggar's Police had just leaned against his
house-door, a vicarious fellow-laborer, and handed the said cane, on his
way, to a cripple, with the words: "Old man, I have nothing by me
smaller than the stick. If anybody asks you about it, just tell them you
are keeping guard in the village against the confounded beggar tribe,
but have not eyes enough." At the same time our pilgrim reached out to a
rector's little son, who needed it for about three minutes, his

It was of course our old Librarian by title, Schoppe, whom Don Gaspard
had despatched with the note of invitation for Isola Bella. Albano's
delight was so great, that only some days later did the youth mistake
the odd humorist, whereas the latter soon correctly weighed the light,
ardent, still wildling. Did it not fare still worse with the old
Provincial Director, who, merely because he rated the _body_ politic of
the Empire as high as if he were the installed _soul_ therein, upon
Schoppe's sallies against the constitution, came out in a patriotic
fury: "Sir," said he, in an excited manner, "even if there were a flaw
anywhere, still a true German would be bound to maintain a profound
silence on the subject, unless he can help the matter, especially in
such cursed times."

The finest of all was, that, at Luigi's request, the Architect had to
set out at the same time, for the purpose of fetching casts of antiques
from Rome.

And now march on, that soon ye may come back again, and we may at last
for once fairly enter Pestitz! It may well be expected that thou, good
child (I should rather say, wild-bee), wilt take thy flight from the
rural honey-tree into the glass beehive of the city, with deeper pangs
than thou hadst imagined beforehand,--has not even the old foster-father
gone off on his journey without saying his farewell, only to escape
thine?--and, as to thy good mother, it seems to her as if one of the
angry Parcæ were tearing a son from her breast, as if his tender
love-bond, woven only of childish familiarity, would not stretch out
into the far future,--and thy sister locks herself up in the attic, her
rustic heart raging with fiery torments, and cannot say anything to
thee, nor give thee anything, but a letter-case previously and privately
worked by her with the silken circumscription: "Remember us!" and even
on thy laurel-seeking head will the triumphal arch or rainbow of
leave-taking, when thou passest under it, fling down heavy, heavy drops,
(ah, they will continue to hang longer on the eyes that look after
thee!) thy honest old teacher Wehmeier will pour out upon thee the last
stream of his words and tears, and say, and thy tender heart will not
smile at it: "He is a worn out, old fellow, and has now nothing before
him but the hole (the grave); thou, on the contrary, art a fresh, young
blood, full of languages and antiquities and magnificent, god-given
talents,--of course he shall not live to see thee make a famous man, but
his children well may; and these poor worms,--thou must one day adopt
them, young master!"

Thou pure soul, on every familiar house, on every dear garden and valley
will sorrow, indeed, sharpen her clasp-knife, and tear open therewith
softly gushing wounds in thy glowing, tender heart. What do I say? even
from thy friendly morning- and evening-heights, the nunnery-gratings of
thy holiest hopes, and from Liana herself, thou wilt seem to be stealing

But cast thy weeping eyes over the broad, blue Italy, and dry them in
the spring breezes. Life begins,--the signals for the martial exercises
and tournaments of manly youth are given, and, in the midst of the
Olympic battle-games, thou wilt hear the music of neighboring concert-
and dancing-halls magnificently pealing around thee.

What phantasies are these I am playing here? What! is it not more than
too well known to all of us, that he has been gone this long time, ever
since the very first Jubilee-period,--yes, and come back again, and has
already, ever since the second--and we are now counting the fourth--been
sitting in company with the Librarian and the Lector, on horseback,
before Pestitz, unable to get in, on account of the barricade of


[38] In Catania, the veil of St. Agatha is the only antidote to

[39] Allusion to the torches, before which the Colosseum and the
Antiques and the glaciers, which are both, are seen magically

[40] As the Queen of Heaven, Juno is always, by the ancients,
clothed in a blue veil.--_Hagedorn on Painting._

[41] An old machine that fires many shots at once.

[42] In Italy the stars look not silvery, but golden.

[43] In a tempestuous atmosphere, little flames are emitted by
orange-lilies, gold-flowers, sunflowers, Indian pinks, &c.

[44] Probably on fluttering gold plates after the birds.



28. CYCLE.

When he came to the fork of the road, of which the right prong points to
Lilar, Albano, with a somewhat heavy heart, spurred his horse across,
and flew up the hill, till the bright city, like an illuminated St.
Peter's dome, blazed far and wide in this spring night of his fancies.
It lay, like a giant, with its shoulders (the upper city) resting on the
heights, and stretched its other half (the lower city) down into the
valley. It was noon, and not a cloud in heaven; at noonday a city stands
before you in full, white disk, whereas a village does not, until
evening, come out of its first quarter into full light. It was well
fortified, not by Rimpler or Vauban, but by a blooming palisade of
lindens. The long wall of the palaces of the mountain-city gleamed from
above a welcome to our Albano, and the statues, on their Italian roofs,
directed themselves towards him as way-guides and criers of joy; over
all the palaces ran the iron framework of the lightning-rods, like a
throne-scaffolding of the thunder, with golden sceptre-points; down
along the side of the mountain lay camped the lower city, by the side of
the stream between shady avenues, with its gay façades towards the
streets, and its white back turned toward Nature; carpenters were
hammering away like a forge on the green-sward among the peeled trunks
of trees, and the children were clattering round with the birch-bark;
cloth-makers were stretching out green cloths like bird-nets in the sun;
from the distance came white-covered carriers'-wagons jogging along the
country-road, and by the sides of the way shorn sheep were grazing under
the warm shadow of the rich, bright linden-blossoms,--and over all these
groups the noonday chime of bells from the dear, familiar towers (those
relics and light-houses that gleamed out of the dusk of his earlier
days), floated like one all-embracing and animating soul, and called
together the friendly throngs of people.

Contemplate the heated face of my hero, who at last is riding into the
open streets, built up in his fancy of temples of the sun, where, who
knows but that at every long window, on every balcony, Liana may be
standing? where the lying or prophetic riddles of Isola Bella must be
unravelled,--where all household gods and household fates of his nearest
future lie hid,--where now the Mont Blanc of the Court and the Alps of
Parnassus, both of which he has to climb, lie with their feet stretching
close before him. All this would have oppressed me not a little; but in
the young man, especially before the chandelier of the sun, a shower of
light gushed down. O, when the morning-wind of youth blows, the inner
mercury-column stands high, even though the external weather be not of
the best.

Few of us, when we have gone on horseback to the academy, may have
happened into such a refreshing stir as met my hero: chimney-sweeps were
singing away overhead out of their pulpits and black holes to the
passers below, and a building-orator,[45] on the ridgepole of a new
house, was exorcising the future conflagration, and quenching one in his
own breast, and slinging the glass fire-bucket far over the scaffolding;
yes, when we have ridden with our hero through the laughing congregation
of the roof-preacher, and through the ranks of blooming sons of the
Muses,[46] who stand arm in arm, among whom Alban sent round his fiery
eye to find his Roquairol,--after all this, when we reach his future
residence, a new clamor salutes our ears.

It came from the Land-physicus[47] Sphex, his future landlord, who is to
resign to him half his palace (for the Doctor is made wealthy by his
cures), because the house lies exactly in the highest part of the upper
city, or the Westminster of the Court; while in the lower town are
domiciled the students and the _city_. The short, thick-set Dr. Sphex
was standing, as our trio rode up, by the side of a tall man, who sat
upon a stone bench, and held in readiness two drum-sticks upon a child's
drum. At a signal from Sphex, the tall man beat a faint roll upon his
drum, and the Doctor said to him, calmly, "Vagabond!" Although Sphex had
turned round a little toward the loud, approaching horsemen, still he
soon made him go on with his tattooing, and said, "Scoundrel!" but
during the last beat he just hastily slipped in, "Scamp!"

The horsemen dismounted; the Doctor led them, without ceremony, into the
house, after he had given the drummer a hint, with his hand, not to
stir. He opened them their four (or twelve) walls, and said, coldly,
"Step into your three cavities." Albano marched out of the warm splendor
of day into the cool, purple Erebus of the red-hung chamber, as into a
picture-hall of painting dreams, into a silver-hut, as it were, for the
dark mine-work of his life. He recognized therein the open hand of his
rich father, from the pictures of the carpet to the alabaster statues on
the wall; and in the cabinet he found, among the gifts of his
foster-parents, all his poetical and philosophical text-books, which had
been sent after him,--fair reflections from the still land of youth,
left far behind him by his journey, in whose flower-vases only
concordias had hitherto bloomed, whereas now wild rockets must be
planted in them. Then (not the goddess of night her mantle, but) the
goddess of twilight threw her veil over his eye, and, in the
clare-obscure, made the forms of youth--many of them armed, many
crowned, a troop of fates and graces--beset his heart, which had
hitherto been so calm, with their arms and levers, until it became soft
and languid _for three minutes_; verily, to a youth, especially this
one, the sea-storms, those favorites of the painter, the laboring
volcanoes of the natural philosopher, and the comets of the astronomer,
are full as precious, in the moral world, as they are to them in the

Albano, now separated from Liana only by streets and days, almost feared
his dreamy raptures might betray their object. "Any letters?" inquired
the Lector, in his short manner, abbreviated for the sake of adaptation
to citizens. "Bring it up, Van Swieten!" said Sphex, to a little son,
who, with two others, named Boerhave and Galen, had hitherto been
acting as a corresponding deciphering-chancery to the new guests behind
a curtain. "Our old Lord," added Sphex, at once, as if it had some
connection with the letter, "has done lording it at last; for five days
he has been dead as a mouse, as I long ago predicted." "The old Prince?"
asked Augusti, with astonishment. "But why have I not yet remarked
anything of funeral bells, knockers hung with black, bottles of tears,
and lamentation in the city?" inquired Schoppe.

The Physicus explained. Namely, he had, as physician in ordinary,
prophesied, with sufficient boldness, the third day's dying of the old
prince, and happily hit it. Only as, exactly one day after the mournful
event, his successor, Luigi, proposed to make his entrance into Pestitz,
and, as the announcement of the high death would have extinguished, with
lachrymal-vessels, the whole oil-fed illumination in honor of the son,
and hung the flowery triumphal arches with mourning-weeds, the people
had not been willing, although to the greatest disadvantage of the
prophetic Sphex, to let matters get wind before the new prince had had
his reception, just as that Greek, at the news of his son's death,
postponed mourning till after the completion of his thanksgiving
sacrifice. Sphex protested that he had many years before fixed, in the
case of the illustrious deceased, the nativity of his consumption by his
white teeth,[48] and never had he hit a death-hour better than at that
time; he would, however, leave it to any and every man to decide whether
a physician, who has made his prophecy everywhere known, can spin much
silk in a period of such political embezzlement. "But," replied
Schoppe, "if people continue to carry along their deceased monarchs,
like their dead soldiers, as if they were alive, in the ranks; still
they can hardly do otherwise; for as in the case of great men it is
generally so plaguy hard to prove that they are living, so is it also no
easy thing to make out when they are dead; coldness and stiffness and
corruption prove too little. To be sure, one may, perhaps, conceal royal
death-beds for the same reason which led the Persians to hide royal
graves, in order to abridge as much as possible for the poor children,
the people, the bitter interval between the death and the new
inauguration. Yes, as according to a legal fiction the king never dies,
we have to thank God that we ever learn the fact at all, and that it
does not fare with his death as with the death of the quite as immortal
Voltaire, which the Paris journalists were not permitted, by any means,
to announce."

Van Swieten and Boerhave and Galen, after staying out a long while,
brought in a letter for Albano, with Gaspard's seal; he tore it open,
with the unsuspecting eagerness of youth, without a glance at the cover;
but the Lector took that into his hand and turned it over and over like
a Post-Office Clerk, Doctor of Heraldry, and Keeper of the Seal, as was
his custom at the inquest of sphragistic wounds, and gently shook his
head over the badly renewed and patched patent of nobility, namely, the
impression of the arms on the wax. "Have the youngsters done any injury
to the seal?" said Sphex. "My father, also," said Albano, reading to
conceal an agitation which reached even to the outer man, and which a
flight of heavy thoughts had suddenly occasioned among all his inner
twigs, "has already heard of the Prince's death." At that Augusti shook
his head still more; for as Sphex had previously jumped at once from
the subject of the letter to that of the Prince's death, this leap
almost presupposed the reading of the same. Let my reader deduce from
this the rule, to take the distance of two tones, from one to the other
of which people jump in his presence, and to infer from that the
intermediate and connecting tone between the two, which they wish to

At present it was very well for the Count that the Doctor showed the
tutors their apartments; ah, his soul, already staggering with the
events of the past day, was now so intensely tossed by the contents of
the letter!

29. CYCLE.

When Sphex opened the Librarian's room for him, the said room was
already occupied with a box of vipers (also arrived from Italy), with
three-quarters of a hundred weight of flax, a white hoop-petticoat, and
three silk shoes, with the holes punched, belonging to the doctoress,
and a supply of camomile. The medical married couple had thought the
pedagogical couple nested together; but Schoppe replied admirably well,
and almost with some irony toward the more politely treated Augusti:
"The more powerful and intellectual and great two men are, so much the
less can they bear each other under one ceiling, as great insects, which
live on _fruits_, are unsocial (for example, in every hazel-nut there
sits only one chafer), whereas the little ones, which only live on
_leaves_,--for instance, the leaf-lice,--cleave together nest-wise."
Zesara would by all means have been glad to hold to his insatiable heart
the friend whom fate had placed thereupon, constantly in every situation
and season as a brother-in-arms; but Schoppe has the right of it.
Friends, lovers, and married people must have everything else in common,
but not a chamber. The gross requisitions and trifling incidents of
bodily presence gather as lamp-smoke around the pure, white flame of
love. As the echo is always of more syllables the farther off our call
starts, so must the soul from which we desire a fairer echo not be too
near ours; and hence the nearness of souls increases with the distance
of bodies.

The Doctor caused his noisy children to run like a cleansing stream
through the Augean stable; but he went down again to the drummer, with
whom, according to his own story, his connection stood thus: Sphex had
already, several years before, ventured certain peculiar conjectures
upon the secretion of fat and the diameter of the fat-cells, in a
treatise which he would not publish till he could append to it the
anatomical drawings thereunto appertaining, for which he was awaiting
the dissection and injection of the drummer that sat there. This sickly,
simple, flabby man, named _Malt_, he had a year since, when certain
symptoms of the fat-eye attached to him, taken to board gratis, on
condition that he should let himself be dissected when he was dead.
Unfortunately Sphex has found, for a considerable time, that the corpse
daily falls away and dries up from the likeness of an eel to a
horned-snake; and he cannot possibly make out what does it, since he
allows him nothing emaciating, neither thinking, nor motion, nor
passions, sensibility, vinegar, nor anything else.

As to the drum, the corpse is obliged--since he is full as hard of
hearing as he is of comprehending, and never can adopt a reason, for the
very reason that he never hears one--to carry that round, strapped to
him, because during its vibration he can better apprehend what his
employer and prosector has to censure in him.[49] The Doctor now began
to scold at him down below--Schoppe stood listening at the window--in
the following wise: "I would the Devil had taken your cursed father of
blessed memory before he had died. You shrink up like army-cloth under
your lamentation, and yet never wake him up, though you cried your nose
away. Drum better, church-mouse! Don't you know, then, scrub, that you
have made a contract with another, to grow into fat as well as you can,
and that it's expensive maintaining a fellow that steals his wages in
this way, till he becomes available? Others would gladly grow fat, if
they had such a chance. And you! speak, rope!" Malt let the drum-sticks
clatter down under his thighs, and said: "Thou hast hit the true secret
of thy trouble with me,--there is no real blessing upon our grease,--and
one of us silently wears away at the thought. As to my blessed father,
verily, I send him out of my head, let him happen in when he will."

30. CYCLE.

The paternal letter, which shook Albano's soul in all its joints, runs,
when translated, thus:--

"Dear Albano: I regret to say, that in the Campanian vale I received a
letter informing me of the continued recurrence and increasing violence
of thy sister's asphyxias; it was written on Good Friday, and looked
forward to her death as a settled thing. I, too, am prepared for the
event. So much the more am I struck with thy account of the juggler of
the Island, who would play the prophet. Such a prediction presupposes
some circumstance or other, which I must trace out more nearly in Spain.
I think I already know the impostor. Be thou, on thy birthday, watchful,
armed, cool, and bold, and, if possible, hold the _jongleur_ fast; but
bring no ridicule upon thyself by speaking of the subject. Dian is in
Rome, working away right bravely. Put on court-mourning for the dear old
Prince, out of courtesy. Addio!

                                  "G. DE C."

"Ah, precious sister!" he sighed inwardly, and drew out her medallion,
and looked through his tears upon the features of an old age which was
denied her, and read with dim eyes the refuted subscription: "We see
each other again." Now, when life was opening before him broad and
smiling, it came home to him much more nearly, that fate laid its hand
so darkly and heavily upon his sister; to which was added, too, the
melancholy question, whether he was not guilty of her disappearance and
decline, since on his account the frightful Zahouri of the Island had
carried on perhaps a sacrificing jugglery: even the circumstance that
she was his weakly twin-sister was a pang. But now his feelings stood
contending against each other in his mind, as on a battle-field. "What
destiny is on its way to meet me!" thought he. "Take the crown!" that
voice had said. "What one?" his ambitious spirit rose up and asked, and
boldly conjectured whether it consisted of laurels or thorns or metals.
"Love the beautiful one!" it had said; he asked not, however, in this
case, "What one?" only he feared, since the father of Death seemed
terribly to certify his name and credentials, that the voice announced
for the ascension- and birth-night might name some other name than the
most beloved.

In the evening, after the three new-comers had fairly got through their
household arrangements,--which, however, had never yet been able to
efface from Albano's undulating soul the multiplied magic splendor of
the Linden-city,--the Lector introduced the Count to the hereditary
prince, Luigi. That individual was engaged half an hour every day
copying in the picture-gallery; and appointed the two to attend him
there. They went in. Any other than myself would have set before the
world a bill of fare _raisonné_ of all the show-dishes in the gallery;
but I cannot so much as present it with the seventeen pictures, over
whose charms those silken shame-aprons or veils hung, which a Paris dame
would gladly take off from her own, merely for the sake of modestly
covering therewith works of art. One may easily conceive that our Alban,
in this picture-gallery, must have been vividly reminded of that one of
his mother's,[50] and that he would gladly have pressed every nail, had
no one been there.

But the Princess Julienne was there, whom he (as we all do) still
recognized right well as a Blumenbühl acquaintance, as she also did him.
She was truly full of youthful charms, but one did not find these out
till one had been for two days violently in love with her; that made her
every minute afterward prettier, as in fact love is rather the father
than the son of the goddess of grace, and his quiver the best casket of
jewels and the richest toilet-box, and his bandage the best _mouchoir
de Venus_ and beauty-patch that I know.

She was just sketching the gypsum-cast of a noble old head, which seemed
to the Count as if it must have been drawn from the antique-cabinet of
his memory, and toward which his swelling heart flowed out right
lovingly; but he could not recall the original. At last Julienne, in
despite of etiquette, said, looking up most kindly, "Ah, dear Augusti,
my father lies dead in Lilar." The word Lilar suddenly colored, in
Albano, the pale image of recollection,--perfectly like this white bust
had the old man in the moonshine looked, who, in that poetical
summer-night, pressed Zesara's hands together on the mountain for
prayer, and said, "Go home to sleep, dear son, ere the storm comes." Now
another would have inquired after the name of the bust, and then, and
not till then, have disclosed the nocturnal history; but the Count, in
his warmth, did merely the latter, after waiting a short time for the
conversation to run out. Augusti, when Albano began the history--to
_him_ a foreign one--of his acquaintance with the original, was on
thorns to interrupt him; but Julienne gave him a nod, to let him go on,
and the youth true-heartedly communicated to the sympathizing soul the
beautiful meeting, with a tenderness of emotion and fire, both of which
increased when her eyes flowed over into her smiles. "It was my
father,--that is his cast," said Julienne, weeping and glad. Albano,
after his manner, clasped his hands together, with a sigh, before the
bust, and said, "Thou noble, heartily-beloved form!" and his large eye
gleamed with love and sorrow.

The good female soul was carried away by a sympathy so uncourtly, and
she gave herself up completely to her inborn fire. Female and court life
is truly only a longer _punishment of bearing arms_ (as, according to
the model of the yes-sirs, there are no-sirs, so royal governesses are
true no-ma'ams); the seven-colored cockade of gay, dancing liberty is
there torn off, or runs into the black of court-mourning; every female
pleasure-grove must be an unholy one; I know nothing more fatal,--but
the curly-haired Julienne, in spite of you and me, broke through the
eternal imprisonment (with sweet bread and strong water), some twelve
times a day, and laughed to the free heavens, and offended (herself and
others never) the royal governess always. She now related to the Count
(while from nervous weakness and vivacity she continued to smile more
brightly and speak more rapidly) how her dear, feeble father, more
childlike than childish, whose old lips and disabled thoughts could not
possibly any longer do more than lisp a response to prayers, had shut
himself up with a snowy-headed mystical court-preacher in an oratory at
Lilar (a gray head loves to hide itself before it disappears forever,
and seeks, like birds, a dark place for going to sleep),--and how she
and Fräulein von Froulay (Liana) had alternately read prayers before the
half-blind old man, and, as it were, tolled the evening-bell of devotion
to the weary, sleep-drunken life. She painted how, in this antechamber
of the tomb, he had outlived or forgotten all that he had once loved;
how he had kept always asking after her mother, whose death was ever
slipping again from his memory; and how the dimmed eye had taken every
hour of the day for evening, and accordingly every one who went out as
one going to bed.

We will not look too long at this late time of life, when men again,
like children, shrink up for the more lasting cradle of the
grave; and when, like flowers sleeping at evening, they become
_undistinguishable_, and grow all alike, even before death makes them

The Lector, like all courtiers, was particularly ill-suited with these
funereals; he would also fain heal the Job's malady of her lamentation
by changing the current of discourse, and bringing it nearer to Liana.
But in the very act of describing the sympathy and sacrifices of this
friend, and when memory brought back to her the long, tearful embrace in
which Liana had locked her and pain at once as it were fast to her
bosom, then came back into her heart anew every dark, heavy drop of
blood which her powerful arteries had sent forth, and she ceased to
portray either this history or the head upon which she had been engaged.

The two female friends were none of those who send a kiss to each other
through two thicknesses of veil, or who know how to hug each other
without wounding or bruising a curl, or whose love-feast every year, as
the sacramental bread every century, breaks lighter and thinner; but
they loved each other intensely,--with eyes, lips, and hearts,--like two
good angels. And if hitherto joy had taken her harvest-wreath and made
it a wedding-ring of friendship, so now did grief seek to do the same
with his girdle of thorns. You good souls! to me it is very easily
imaginable how such a pure, bright linking of souls should at once
painfully distend and blissfully exalt the heart of your friend Albano,
as the aerostatic ball at once destructively swells and soars. For
Liana's entry, there stood besides beautifully decorated triumphal gates
to the highest heavens in his innermost being!

Meanwhile a stranger would not, without this pen of mine (nor I myself
without the fee-provost Hafenreffer), have been able to observe
anything in the Count, while speaking, except a mild, wandering glow in
his face, and rapidity of utterance.

31. CYCLE.

Into the midst of these delineations and enjoyments the successor, or
rather the _afterwinter_ of the cold old man, Luigi, suddenly entered.
With a flat, carved work of spongy face, on which nothing expressed
itself but the everlasting discontent of life-prodigals, and with a
little full-grown miniver[51] on his head (as forerunner of the
wisdom-teeth), and with the unfruitful superfetation of a voluminous
belly, he came up to Albano with the greatest courtliness, in which a
flat frostiness towards all men stood prominent. He immediately began to
dust about him with the bran of empty, rapid, disconnected questions,
and was constantly in a hurry; for he suffered almost more ennui than he
caused; as in general, there is no one with whom life drags so
disagreeably as with him who tries to make it shorter. Luigi had run
over the earth as quickly as through a powdering room, and had, as in
such a room, become decently gray; the milk-vessels of his outer and
inner man had, because they were to be converted into cream-pots and
custard-cups, for that very reason, perverted themselves into
poison-cups and goblets of sorrow. As often as I pass along before a
painted prince's-suite in a corridor, I always fall upon my old project,
and say, with entire conviction: "Could we only contrive for once, like
the Spartans and all the older nations, to get a regent to the throne in
a _healthy_ state, then we should have a _good_ one into the bargain,
and all would go well. But I know these are no times for such a thing.
It is a sin, that only at torture do surgeons and physicians assist, not
at joy, to point out nicely the degree of pleasure as they do of the
rack, and to indicate the innocent conditions."

Albano, a stranger in the company and in the eyes of this class of men,
looked upon the gulf between himself and Luigi as much less deep than it
was; it was merely annoying and uncomfortable to him, as it is to
certain people, when, without their knowledge, a cat is in the chamber.
The progress of moral enervation and refinement will yet so cleanse and
equalize all our exteriors,--and according to the same law, indeed, by
which _physical weakness_ throws back the _eruptions of the skin_ and
drives them into the _nobler_ parts,--that verily an angel and a satan
will come at last to be distinguishable in nothing except in the heart.
Alban had already brought with him from Wehrfritz, whom he always heard
contending for the right of the province against the prince, an aversion
to his successor; so much the more easily flamed up in him a moral
indignation, when Luigi turned toward the pictures and drew aside the
curtains or aprons from several of the most indecent, in order, not
without taste and knowledge, to appraise their artistic worth. A copied
Venus of Titian, lying upon a white cloth, was only the forerunner.
Although the innocent hereditary prince made his _voyage pittoresque_
through this gallery with the artistical coldness of a gallery inspector
and anatomist, and sought more to show than to enrich his knowledge,
still the inexperienced youth took it all up with a deaf and blind
passionateness, which I know not how to vindicate in any way, not even
by the presence of the princess, and so much the less, because in the
first place she busily divided her soul only between the gypsum-bust
and its copy, and because, secondly, in our day, ladies' watches and
fans (if they are tasty) have pictures on them which Albano would want
other fans to hide. The two flames of wrath and shame overspread his
face with a glowing reflection; but his awkward honesty of scorn
contrasted with the ease of the Lector, who with his cold tone, quite as
precise as it was light, preserved independence and protected purity.
"They please me not, one of them," he said, with severity: "I would give
them all away for a single storm of Tempesta's." Luigi smiled at his
scholar-like eye and feeling. When they stepped into the second
picture-chamber, Albano heard the Princess going away. As this apartment
threatened him with still more rent veils of the _un_holiest, he took
his leave without special ceremony, and went back without the Lector,
who had to-day to give a reading.

Never did Schoppe grasp his throbbing hand more heartily than this time;
the aspect of an abashed young man is almost fairer (especially rarer)
than that of an abashed virgin; the former appears more tender and
feminine, as the latter appears more strong and manly, by a mixture of
the indignation of virtue. Schoppe, who, like Pope, Swift, Boileau,
forced into combination a sacred reverence for the sex with cynicism of
dress and language, emptied the greatest vials of wrath upon all
libertinage, and fell like a satirical Bellona upon the best free
people; this time, however, he rather took them under his protection,
and said, "The whole tribe love the blush of shame in others decidedly,
and defend it more willingly than shamelessness, just as (and on the
same kind of grounds) blind persons prefer the _scarlet_ color. One may
liken them to _toads_, who set the costly toad-stone (their heart) on
no other cloth as they do upon a _red_ one."

The Lector--who with all his purity and correctness would, nevertheless,
without hesitation, have helped a Scarron write his ode on the seat of a
duchess--when he would treat the matter of the Count's flight, was at a
loss what to make of it, when the latter sprinkled him with some
rose-vinegar, and said, "The bad man's father is lying on the board, and
one lies before his own iron brow: O, the bad man!" Certainly the
physical and moral nearness of the two fair female hearts, and his love
for them, had done most to excite the Count against Luigi's artistic
cynicism. The Lector merely replied, "He would hear the same at the
Minister's and everywhere; and his false delicacy would very soon
surrender." "Do the saints," inquired Schoppe, "dwell only _upon_ the
palaces and not _in_ them?" For Froulay's bore upon its platform a whole
row of stone apostles; and on one corner stood a statue of Mary, which
was to be seen from Sphex's house among nothing but roofs.

Youthful Zesara! how does this marble Madonna chase the blood-waves
through thy face, as if she were the sister of thy fairer one, or her
tutelar and household goddess! But he took care not to hasten his
entrance into this _Lararium_ of his soul, namely, the delivery of his
father's letter of introduction, by a single whisper, for fear of
suspicion; so many missteps does the good man make in the very gentile
fore-court of love; how shall he stand in the fore-court of the women,
or get a footing in the dim Holy of Holies?

32. CYCLE.

The Court now caused to be made known in writing (it could not speak for
sorrow) that the dead Nestor had departed this life. I set aside here
the lamentation of the city, together with the rejoicing of the same
over the new perspective. The Land-physicus Sphex had to eviscerate the
Regent like a mighty beast,--whereas we subjects are served up with all
our viscera, like snipes and ground-sparrows, on the table of the worms.
At evening, there reposed the pale one on his bed of state,--the
princely hat and the whole electrical apparatus of the throne-thunder
lay quite as still and cold beside him on a Tabouret; he had the
suitable torches and corpse-watchers around him. These Swiss-guards of
the dead (the sound of the word rings through me, and I at this moment
see Liberty lying on her bed of state in the Alps, and the Swiss
guarding her) consist, as is well known, of two regency-counsellors, two
counsellors of the exchequer, and so on. One of the
exchequer-counsellors was Captain Roquairol. It can be only touched upon
here, in the way of interpolation, how this youth, who of financial
matters understood little more than a treasury-counsellor in ----h,[52]
arose, nevertheless, to be a counsellor in war-matters there,--namely,
against his own will, through old Froulay, who (in himself no very
sentimental gentleman) was always reviving and retouching the youthful
remembrances of the old Prince, because, in this tender mood, one could
get from him by begging what one would. How odious and low! so can a
poor prince have not a smile, not a tear, not a happy thought, out of
which some court-mendicant, who sees it, will not make a door-handle to
open something for himself, or a dagger-handle to inflict a wound; not a
sound can he utter which some forester and bugle-master of the chase
shall not pervert to the purpose of a mouth-piece and tally-ho.

Julienne, at nine o'clock in the evening, visited the only heart which,
in the whole court, beat like hers and for hers,--her good Liana. The
latter gladly offered her forehead to her commencing sick-headache, and
sought only to feel and to still another's pain. The friends, who,
before strangers' eyes, only displayed pleasantry, and before each other
only a tender, enthusiastic seriousness, sank more and more deeply into
this mood before the severe and religious lady of the Minister, who
never found in Julienne so much soul as in the soft hour after weeping,
as stock-gilliflowers begin to scent the air when they are sprinkled.
Not the struggle, but the flight of pain, beautifies the person; hence
the countenance of the dead is transfigured, because the agonies have
cooled away. The maidens stood enthusiastically together at the window,
the waxing moonlight of their fancy was made full moonlight by that of
the outer world; they formed the nun's-plan to live together, and go in
and out together for life. Often it seemed to them, in this still hour
of emotion (and the thought made them shudder), as if the murmuring
wings of departed souls swept by over them (it was only a couple of
flies, who, with feet and wings, had caught a few tones on the harp of
the Minister's lady); and Julienne thought most bitterly of her dead
father in Lilar.

At last she begged the sister of her soul to ride with her this night to
Lilar, and to share and assuage the last and deepest woe of an orphan.
She did it willingly; but the "yes" was hard to extort from the
Minister's lady. I see the gentle forms step, from their long embrace in
the carriage, out into the mourning chamber at Lilar,--Julienne, the
smaller of the two, with quivering eyes and changing color; Liana, more
pale with megrim and mourning, and milder and taller than her companion,
having completed her growth in her twelfth year.[53]

Like supernatural beings the two maidens beamed upon Roquairol's soul,
already burning in every corner. A single tear-drop had power to bring
into this calcining oven boiling and desolation. Already this whole
evening had he been glancing at the old man with fearful shudderings at
the childish end of that faded spirit, which once had been as fiery as
his own now was; and the longer he looked, so much the thicker
smoke-clouds floated from the open crater of the grave over into his
green-blooming life, and he heard therein a thundering, and he saw
therein an iron hand glowing and threatening to grasp at human hearts.

Amidst these grim dreams, which illuminated every inner stain of his
being, and which sternly threatened him that a day would come, when, in
his volcano too, there would remain nothing fruitful but the--ashes, the
mournful maidens entered, who, on their way, had wept only over the face
that had grown _cold_, and now wept still more heavily over the form
that had grown _beautiful_; for the hand of death had effaced from it
the lines of the last years,--the prominent chin, the fire-mounds of the
passions, and so many pains underscored with wrinkles, and had, as it
were, painted upon the earthly tabernacle the reflection of that fresh,
still morning light which now invested the disrobed soul. But upon
Julienne a black taffeta-plaster on the eyebrows, which had been left
behind by a blow,--this sign of wounds made a more violent impression
than all signs of healing: she observed only the tears, but not the
words of Liana. "O, how beautifully he rests there!" "But why does he
rest?" said her brother, with that voice, murmuring from his innermost
being, which she recognized as coming from the amateur-stage; and
grasped her hand with agitation, because he and she loved each other
fervently, and his lava broke now through the thin crust: "for this
reason,--because the heart is cut out of his breast, because the wheel
is broken at the cistern, because the fire-wheel of rapture, the
fountain-wheel of tears, moves therein no more!"

This cruel allusion to the opening of the body wrought terribly on the
sick Liana. She must needs avert her eyes from the covered breast,
because the anguish cramped the breath in her lungs; and yet the wild
man, desolating others as well as himself, who had hitherto been silent
by the side of the stiff corpse-guard, went on with redoubled crushing:
"Feel'st thou how painfully this cricket-ball of fate, this Ixion's
wheel of the wishes, rolls within us? Only the breast without a heart is

At once Liana took a longer and more intense look at the corpse; an
ice-cold edge, as if of death's scythe, cut through her burning
brain,--the funeral torches (it seemed to her) burned dimmer and
dimmer,--then she saw in the corner of the chamber a dark cloud playing
and growing up;--then the cloud began to fly, and, full of gushing
night, rushed over her eyes,--then the thick night struck deep roots
into her wounded eyes, and the affrighted soul could only say, "Ah,
brother, I am blind!"

Only hard man, but no woman, will be able to conceive that an æsthetic
pleasure at the murderous tragedy found its way into Roquairol's
frightful anguish. Julienne left the dead, and her old sorrow, and, with
the new one, flung herself around her neck, and moaned: "O my Liana, my
Liana! Seest thou not yet? Do look up at me!" The distracted and
distracting brother led on the sister, upon whose pale cheeks only
single drops fell like hard, cold water, with the sharp question: "Does
no destroying angel, with red wings, whiz through thy night; hurls he no
yellow vipers at thy heart, and no sword-fish into thy network of
nerves, in order that they may be entangled therein, and whet their
saw-teeth in the wounds? I am happy in my pain; such thistles scratch us
up,[54] according to good moralists, and smooth us down too. Thou
anguish-stricken blind one, what say'st thou,--have I made thee truly
miserable again?" "Madman!" said Julienne, "let her alone: thou art
destroying her." "O, he is not to blame for that," said Liana; "the
headache long since made it misty to my eyes."

The friends took their departure in double darkness, and therein will I
leave it with all its agonies. Then Liana begged her maiden to say
nothing of it to her mother so little time before sleep, since it might,
perhaps, go away in the night. But in vain; the Minister's lady was
accustomed to close her day on the bosom and lips of her daughter. The
latter now came in, led along, and sought her mother's heart with a
groping, sidelong motion, and, in this beloved neighborhood, could no
longer refrain from a softer weeping; then, indeed, all was betrayed and
confessed. The mother first sent for the Doctor before she, with wet
eyes and with her gentle arms around her, heard her afflicted daughter's
story. Sphex came, examined the eyes and pulse, and made no more of it
than a nervous prostration.

The Minister, who had everywhere in the house leading-hounds with
fine--ears, came in, upon being informed; and while Sphex stood by, he
made, except long strides, nothing but this little note, "_Voyez,
Madame, comme votre le Cain[55] joue son rôle à merveille_."

As soon as Sphex had gone out, Froulay let loose several
billion-pounders and hand-grenades upon his lady. "Such," he observed,
"are the consequences of your visionary scheme of education (to be sure
his own, in respect to his son, had not turned out specially well). Why
did you let the sick ninny go?" He would himself have still more gladly
allowed it from courtly views; but men love to blame the faults which
they have been saved the trouble of committing; in general, like
head-cooks, they had rather apply the knife to the _white_- than to the
_dark_-feathered fowl. "_Vous aimez, ce me semble, à anticiper le sort
de cette reveuse un peu avant qu'il soit decidé de nôtre._"[56] Her
silence only made him the more bitter. "_O, ce sied si bien à votre art
cosmétique que de rendre aveugle et de l'être, le dieu de l'amour s'y
prête de modèle._" Wounded by this extreme severity,--especially as the
Minister himself had chosen and commanded this very _cosmetic_ education
of Liana, against the maternal wishes, to gratify his political
ones,--the mother had to go and hide and dry her wet eyes in her
daughter's bosom. Married men and the latest literati regard themselves
as flints, whose power of giving _light_ is reckoned according to their
_sharp corners_. Our forefathers ascribed to a diamond belt the power to
kindle love between spouses. I also still find in jewels this power;
only this stone (which appertains to the flint species) leaves one,
after the marriage-compact, as cold and hard as it is itself. Probably
Froulay's marriage-bond was one of such precious stone.

But the lady only said, "Dear Minister, leave we that! only spare you
the sick one." "_Voilà précisement ce qui fût votre affaire_," said he,
laughing scornfully. In vain did Liana eloquently and touchingly pour
out to him her mistaken yet moving convictions, (aimed at the wall,
however,) and plead for her brother, which everlasting advocacy of all
sorts of people (which proved too much) was her only failing;--all in
vain, for his sympathy with an afflicted one consisted in nothing but
fury against the tormentors, and his love toward Liana showed itself
only in hatred of the same. "Peace, fool! But _Monsieur le Cain_ comes
not into my house, madam, till further orders!" Out of forbearance, I
say nothing further to the old conjugal bully than go--to the devil, or
at least to bed.

33. CYCLE.

The German public may still remember the _obligato-sheets_ promised in
the Introductory Programme, and ask me what has become of them. The
foregoing Cycle was the first, most excellent Public; but see through
the matter, how it is with obligato-sheets, and that perhaps as much
history lies therein as in any one Cycle, however it may be called.

The Count had not yet learned anything of Liana's misfortune, when he,
with the others, went down to the dinner of the Doctor, who to-day was
very hospitable. They found him seized with a most violent fit of
laughter, his hands thrust into his sides, and his eyes bent over two
little ointment vessels on the table. He stood up, and was quite
serious. The fact was, he found in Reil's Archives of Physiology, that,
according to Fourcroy and Vauquelin, tears dye violet-juice green, and
therefore contain alkali. In order to prove the proposition and the
tears, he had thrown himself into a chair, and laughed in right hearty
earnest, so as afterward to cry and get a drop or two for the
brine-gauge of the proposition; he would gladly have wrought himself
into another kind of emotion, but he understood his own nature, and knew
that nothing could be got out of it so,--not a drop.

He left the guests alone a moment,--the lady was not yet to be
seen,--Malt sat on an ottoman,--the children had satirical looks,--in
short, Impudence dwelt in this house as in her temple. Ridicule had no
effect upon the old man, and he only countermanded what displeased
himself, not what displeased others.

At length the rosy-cheeked wife of the physician flourished into the
apartment,--as preparatory course or preamble of the dinner,--with three
or four _esprits_ or _feathers in her cap_,--with a dapple
neck-apron,--in a red ball-dress, from which waltzing had taken out the
color in which she had rouged,--and with a perforated fancy-fan. If I
wished, I could be interested in her; for, touching these _esprits_
(since the _esprit_, like the brain in Embrya, often sets itself upon
the brain-pan, and there suns itself), she thought women and partridges
were best served up at table with feathers on their heads; touching the
fan, she meant to have it understood she had just come from a morning
call (whereby she very clearly implied that ladies could no more go
through the streets without their fan-stick than joiners without their
rule); touching the rest, she knew the guest was a Count. Accordingly,
it appears that she belongs to the honorables, who (for the most part),
like rattlesnakes, are never better to be enjoyed than when one has
previously put the head out of the way; but that we have still time
enough to believe, when we come to understand her better.

The beautiful Zesara was for her blind, deaf, dumb, destitute of smell,
taste, feeling; but there are many women whom one cannot, with the
greatest pains and tediousness, displease; Schoppe could do it more
easily. Sphex, for his own personal predilections, made more out of a
cell of fat in Malt than out of the whole cellular texture of a lady,
even of his own; like all business people, he held women to be veritable
_angels_, whom God had sent for the ministration of the saints (the
business men).

The dinner course began. Augusti, a delicate eater, enjoyed much, and
took not only to the fine service, but to the torn napkins; the like of
which he had often had in his lap at court, because there, in morals and
in linen, rents are preferred to plasters. Soon, as usual, came forth
even the outposts and first skirmishes of miserable dishes, the common
prophets and forerunners of the best tit-bits, although at a hundred
tables I have cursed them, that they did not, like good monthly
magazines, give the best pieces first, and the most meagre last. The
Doctor had already said to the three boys,--"Galen, Boerhave, Van
Swieten, what is the polite way of sitting?" and the three physicians
had already shoved three right hands between the waistcoat buttons, and
three left hands into the waistcoat pockets, and sat waiting, "bolt
upright" when good chap-sager was brought in for the dessert Sphex
partly expressed pleasure in cheese, partly a horror of it, just as he
found it in the way of his shop-business. He remarked, on one hand, how
joiners, in their glue-pot, had no better glue than what stood here
before them,--it had just that binding quality in a man,--yet he would
rather, for his own individual self, with Dr. Junker, apply it
externally, like arsenic; but he also confessed, on the other hand, that
the chap-sager for the Lector was poison. "I would pledge myself for
it," said he, "that you, if one could examine you, would be found
hectic! the long fingers and the long neck speak in my favor, and
particularly are white teeth, according to Camper, a bad sign. Persons,
on the contrary, who have a set of teeth like my lady there may feel

Augusti smiled, and merely asked the Doctor's lady, at what time one
could best gain access to the Minister.

Such poisonous reflections, as well as cats'-dinners,[57] he gave out,
not from satirical malice, but from mere indifference to others, whom,
like an honest man, he never suffered in the least to sway him in his
actions. With the liberty-cap of the doctor's hat on his head, he
received, from his medical indispensableness, so many academic freedoms,
that he, between his four house-walls, ate and acted not more freely
than between the showy, bristling pale-work of the court. Did he ever
there--I ask that--let a drop of sweet wine pass his lips without
previously drawing out an Ephraimite, which did not itself outlive the
probation-day, and hanging it in the glass, merely to prove before the
court whether the Ephraimite therein did not grow black? And if the
silver did so, was there not as good as a demonstration of the wine
being oversmoked, and could not the physician have _applied_ the whole
right neatly, court, sweetness, blackening, poisoning, and oversmoking,
if he had been the man to do it?

The Lector's accidentally inquiring about the time of seeing the
Minister was what Albano had to thank for saving him from first learning
the painful misfortune in the house of the Minister, or in the presence
of the blind girl herself. "You can," answered Sara, the Doctoress,
"also despatch the servant; he will subscribe for you all; I, however,
pity none as I do the daughter." Now broke loose a storm of questions
about the unknown accident. "It is so," began the physician, sulkily;
but soon (because he saw in some eyes water for his mill, and because he
sought to roll off all medical blame from himself upon Captain
Roquairol) he set himself as well as he could to pathetic detail, and
lied almost like a sentimentalist. With an unobserved hint to the
_affected_ lady, he pushed an empty dish towards her as a lachrymatory,
in order that nothing might be lost. From the eclipsed eyes of the
vainly struggling youth, this first woe of his life snatched some great
drops. "May recovery be possible?" asked Augusti, exceedingly troubled,
on account of his connection with the family.

"Certainly; it is a mere affection of the nerves," replied Schoppe,
briskly, "and nothing more." Whytt relates, that a lady who had too much
acid in her stomach (in the _heart_ it were still worse) saw everything
in a _cloud_, as girls do at the approach of sick-headache. Sphex, who
had lied only for the sake of pathos and alkali, and who was vexed that
the Librarian should have been of his private opinion, answered just as
if the latter had not spoken at all. "The highest degree of consumption,
Mr. Lector, often winds up with blindness, and it were well, in this
case, to prescribe for both. Meanwhile I am acquainted with a certain
periodical nervous blindness. I had the case in a lady[58] whom I
brought out of it merely by blood-letting, smoke of burnt coffee, and
the evening fog from the water; this we are now trying again in the case
of our nervous patient. A dutiful physician will, however, always wish
the devil would take mother and brother."

In other words, the return of Liana's periodical malady almost
distracted him. Offences against his honor, his love, his sympathy,
never wrought the Physicus into a heat; through all such he kept on his
glazed frost surtout; but disturbances of his cures heated him even to
the degree of flying to pieces; and so are we all a kind of
Prince-Rupert's-drops, which can bear the hammer and never break, till
one just breaks off the little thread point, and they fly into a
thousand splinters; with Achilles, it was the heel, with Sphex, the
medical D.'s ring-finger, with me, the writing-finger. The Doctor now
shook out the contents of his heart, as some call their gall-bladder; he
swore by all the devils he had done more for her than any and every
physician,--he had, however, already foreseen that such a stupid
education--merely to look well and pray and read and sing--would prove a
cursed poor economy,--he had often longed to break the harmonica-bells
and tambour-needles,[59]--he had often called the attention of the
mother, with sufficient distinctness and without indulgence, to Liana's
so-called charms, and to her sensibility, her bright redness of cheeks,
and velvet-soft skin; but had seemed to himself, by so doing, almost to
gratify more than to distress her. The only thing that delighted him
was, that the maiden had, some years before, caught a deadly sickness
from the first holy sacrament, from which he had tried to keep her away,
because he had already experienced, in the case of a fourth patient, the
most melancholy consequences from this holy act.

To the astonishment of every one my Count took part against all with
Roquairol. Ah, thy first spring-storms were even now whirling round
imprisoned in thy bosom, without a friendly hand to give them an outlet,
and thou wouldst cover thy bloody grief! And wast thou not seeking a
spirit full of flames, and eyes full of flames for thine own, and
wouldst thou not rather have entered into brotherhood with a thundering
hell-god than with an insipid pietistical saint, forever gnawing like a
moth? Sharply he asks the Doctor, "What have you done with the Prince's
heart?" "I have it not," said Sphex, startled; "it lies in
_Tartarus_,[60] although it would have been more profitable to science
had one been permitted to put it among one's preparations; it was large
and very singular." He was thinking how often--when he could--he had, as
an augur, during the dissection, secretly slipped aside one or another
important member--as a princely or a cavalier-robber, _à la
minutta_--for his study,--a honey-bag which he gladly cut out for
himself with his anatomical honey-knife.

"Has the young lady, then, an unhappy passion, or anything of the sort?"
inquired Schoppe. "More than one," said Sphex; "cripples, idiots, young
orphans, blind Methusalems,--all these passions she has. Sports and
young gentlemen, I often say to the old lady, would be better for her

But on this point, in the requirement of cheerfulness, I give in to him.
Joy is the only universal tincture which I would prepare; it works
uniformly as _antispasmodicum_, as _glutinans_ and _astringens_. The oil
of gladness serves as ointment for _burns_ and _chills_ at once. Spring,
for example, is a spring-medicine; a country-party, an oyster-medicine;
a recreation at the watering-places is, in itself, a glass of _bitters_;
a ball is a _motion_; a carnival, a _course_[61] of medicine;--and hence
the seat of the _blest_ is at the same time the seat of the _immortals_.

"Yes, he had finally," the Doctor concluded,--"as they were people of
rank,--prescribed a dose of _pride_ (of the meadows), which manifests
all the officinal healing powers of joy; taken in a stronger dose, it
works fully as well as enjoyment itself, enlivens the pulse, steels the
fibres, opens the pores, and chases the blood through the long venous
labyrinth.[62] In the case of his weakly lady, such as they saw her
there, he had used, he said, this medicament long ago by dresses and a
doctor's rank, and had helped her to her legs thereby. But he would
rather cure sixty common women than one distinguished one,--and he
should regret, as family physician, merely his receipts and medical
opinions, in case, as he certainly believed, the fair Liana should go

The first question which Albano, who never missed anything that was
said, put to Augusti on the way back from the Doctor's, was, What the
Doctor's wife meant by the subscribing servant? He explained it. There
is, namely, in Pestitz, as in Leipsic, an observance, that when a man
dies or falls into any other misfortune, his family place a blank sheet
of paper, with pen and ink, in the entrance-hall, in order that persons,
who take and show a nearer interest, may send a lackey thither, to set
their names on the paper as well as he knows how; this merchant-like
indorsement of the nearer interest, this descending representative
system by means of servants, who are generally, now-a-days, the
telegraphs of our hearts, sweetens and alleviates for both cities great
sorrow and sympathy through pen and ink.

"What! is that it? O God!" said Alban, and grew unusually indignant, as
if people were forcing servants upon him as chrysographs and
business-agents of his feelings. "O ye egotistical jugglers! through the
pen of scribbling lackeys do ye pour yourselves out? Lector, I would
condole with Satan himself more warmly than thus!"

Why is this veiled spirit so lively and loud? Ah, everything had moved
him. Not merely lamentation over poor Liana, persecuted by all the
nightly arrows of destiny, entered like iron into his open heart, but
also amazement at the gloomy intermingling of fate with his young life.
Roquairol's ever-recurring expression, "_Breast without a heart_,"
sounded to him as if it must be familiar; at last the converse of the
expression came to his thoughts, the word of the Sphinx on the island,
"_Heart without a breast_." So, then, even this riddle was solved, and
the place fixed, when he was to hear, contrary to every expectation, the
prophecy of the loved one; but how incomprehensible,--incomprehensible!

"O yes! Liana she is called, and no God shall change the name," said his
innermost soul. For in earlier years even the most vigorous youth
prefers, in maidens, interesting delicacy of health and a tender fulness
of feeling and a moisture of the eye,--just as, in general, at Albano's
age, one values the flood (later the ebb) of the eyes too highly,
although, too often, like an over-rich inundation, they wash away the
seed-corns of the best resolutions;--whereas, at a later period,
(because he proposes to himself marriage and housekeeping,) he looks out
rather for bright and sharp than after moist eyes, and for cold and
healthy blood.

As Albano, for the most part, drew down the fire from his internal
clouds on the discharging chains of the harpsichord strings,--seldomer
into the Hippocrene of poetry,--so did he now unconsciously make out of
his inner _charivari_ a passage on the harpsichord. I transpose his
fantasy into my fancy in the following manner. On the softest
minor-tones the blindness, with its long pains, passed by, and in the
whispering-gallery of music he heard all the soft sighs of Liana
repeated aloud. Then harder minor-tones led him down into Tartarus, to
the grave and heart of the friendly old man who had once prayed with
him, and then, in this spirit-hour, fell softly, like a dew-drop from
heaven, the sound, Liana! With a thunder-clap of ecstasy he fell into
the major-key, and asked himself, "This delicate, pure soul could fate
promise to thy imperfect heart?" And when he answered himself, that she
would perhaps love him, because she could not see him,--for first love
is not vain; and when he saw her led by her gigantic brother, and when
he thought of the high friendship which he would give and require of
_him_; then did his fingers run over the keys in an exalting war-music,
and the heavenly hours sounded before him, which he should enjoy, when
his two eternal dreams should pass over livingly out of night into day,
and when brother and sister should furnish at once, to his so youthful
heart, a loved one and a friend. Here his inner and outer storms softly
died away, and the evenly-balanced _temperament_ of the instrument
became that of the player....

But a soul like his is more easily appeased with sorrow than with joy.
As if the reality had already arrived, he pressed on still further;
indescribably fair and unearthly, he saw Liana's image trembling in her
cup of sorrow; for the crown of thorns easily ennobles a head to a
Christ's head, and the blood of an undeserved wound is a redness on the
cheek of the inner man, and the soul which has suffered too much is
easily loved too much. The tender Liana appeared to him as already spun
into the funeral veil for the Flora of the second world, as the tender
limbs of the bee-nymph lie transparently folded over the little
breast,--the white form of snow, which had once, in his dream, melted
away on his heart, opened the bright little cloud again, and looked,
blind and weeping, upon the earth, and said, "Albano, I shall die before
I have seen thee."--"And even if thou shouldst never see me," said the
dying heart in his breast, "yet will I still love thee. And even if thou
shouldst soon pass away, Liana, still I gladly choose sorrow, and walk
faithfully with thee till thou art in heaven."... Heaven and hell had
both at once drawn aside their curtains before him,--only a few notes,
and those the same as before, and only the highest, and that only
interruptedly and faintly, could he any longer strike; and at last his
hands sank down, and he began to weep, but without too severe pangs,--as
the storm which has unburdened itself of its lightnings and thunders
stands now over the earth only as a soft, diffused rain.


[45] One who dedicated a new house (somewhat as we name a ship).
The _glass fire-bucket_ which _quenched the inner conflagration_
was probably the wine-glass or beer-tumbler.--TR.

[46] Collegians.--TR.

[47] Provincial Physician.--TR.

[48] According to Camper, hectic patients have very white and
fair teeth.

[49] Derham (in his Physico-Theology, 1750) observes that the
deaf hear best under a noise; e. g. one hard of hearing, under
the sound of bells; a deaf housewife, under the drumming of the
house-servant. Hence when princes and ministers, who for the most
part hear badly, are passing through the country, kettle-drums
are beat and cannon fired, so that they can hear the people more

[50] In whose wall the lady with the souvenir sits.

[51] A kind of gray fur.--TR.

[52] Baireuth.--TR.

[53] This precocious completion of growth I have observed in many
distinguished women, just as if these Psyches should resemble
butterflies, which do not grow after coming out of the chrysalis

[54] Cloth is roughened with thistles, i.e. scratched up, in
order to the better shearing of it afterwards.

[55] A distinguished actor of tragedy.

[56] He means here their divorce, which was only deferred by the
mutual wish to keep Liana.

[57] Poor dinners, just as cat-silver is an inferior metal.--TR.

[58] A weak-nerved lady (I know not whether it is the same) who
had much religion, fancy, and suffering, became, as she tells me,
blind in the same way, and was cured in the same way.

[59] The eternal pricking of the sensitive finger-nerves by
knitting, tambour, and other needles, perhaps as much as the
touching of the harmonica-bells, makes one, by stimulating, weak
in the nerves.

[60] Tartarus is the melancholy part of Lilar.

[61] Kursus--corso.--TR.

[62] Pride of the meadows quickens the circulation of the blood
even to frenzy. This whole observation on the pharmaceutic value
of pride of the meadows is taken from Tissot's "Traité sur les



34. CYCLE.

Postulates--apothegms--philosophems--Erasmian adages--observations of
Rochefoucauld, La Bruyere, Lavater, do I in one week invent in countless
numbers, more than I can in six months get rid of by bringing them into
my biographical _petits soupés_ as episode-dishes. Thus does the
lottery-mintage of my _unprinted_ manuscripts swell higher and higher
every day, the more extracts and winnings I deal out to my reader
therefrom in print. In this way I creep out of the world without having,
while in it, said anything. Lavater takes a more rational course; he
lets the whole lottery-wheel, filled with treasures, under the title of
manuscripts (just as we, inversely, despatch manuscripts to the
publishers by mail under the title of printed matter) circulate even
among the _literati_.

But why shall I not do the same, and let at least one or two lymphatic
veins of my water-treasure leap up and run out? I limit myself to ten
persecutions of the reader,--calling my ten aphorisms thus, merely
because I imagine the readers to be martyrs of their opinions, and
myself the Regent who converts them by force. The following aphorism, if
one reckons the foregoing as the first persecution, is, I hope, the


Nothing sifts and winnows our preferences and partialities better than
an imitation of the same by others. For a genius there are no sharper
polishing-machines and grinding-disks at hand than his apes. If,
further, every one of us could see running along beside him a duplicate
of himself, a complete Archimimus[63] and repeater in complimenting,
taking off the hat, dancing, speaking, scolding, bragging, &c.; by
Heaven! such an exact repeating-work of our discords would make quite
other people out of me and other people than we are at present. The
first and least step which we should take toward reflection and virtue
would be this, that we should find our bodily methodology, e. g. our
walk, dress, dialect, our oaths, looks, favorite dishes, &c., no better
than those of all others, but just the same. Princes have the good
fortune that all courtiers around them station themselves as faithful
supernumerary copyists and pier-mirrors of _their_ selves, and propose
to improve them by this Helot-mimicry. But they seldom attain their good
end, because the Prince,--and that were also to be feared of me and the
reader,--like the principle of _non-distinguendum_, does not believe in
any real twins, but imagines that in morals, as in catoptrics, every
mirror and mock rainbow shows everything _inverted_.


It is easier and handier for men to flatter than to praise.


In the centuries before us humanity appears to us to be growing up; in
those which come after us, to be fading away; in our own, to burst forth
in glorious bloom: thus do the clouds, only when in our zenith, seem to
move straight forward, those in front of us come up from the horizon,
the others behind us sail downward with fore-shortened forms.


What makes old age so sad is, not that our joys, but that our hopes then


The old age of women is sadder and more solitary than that of men;
spare, therefore, in them their years, their sorrows, and their sex! In
fact, life often resembles the trap-tree with its spines directed
upward, on which the bear easily clambers up to the honey-bait, but from
which he can slide down again only under severe stings.


Have compassion on Poverty, but a hundred times more on Impoverishment!
Only the former, not the latter, makes nations and individuals better.


Love lessens woman's delicacy and increases man's.


When two persons, in suddenly turning a corner, knock their heads
together, each begins anxiously to apologize, and thinks only the other
feels the pain and that he himself has all the blame. (Only I excuse
myself without any embarrassment, for the very reason that I know, by my
persecutions, how the other party thinks.) Would to God we did not
invert this in the case of moral offences!


Deluded and darkened man, living on from the mourning veil to the
corpse-veil, thinks there is no further evil beyond that which he has
immediately to overcome; and forgets that after the victory the new
situation brings a new struggle. Hence, as before swift ships there
swims a hill of water and a corresponding billowy abyss glides along
close behind, so always before us is there a mountain, which we hope to
climb, and behind us still a deep valley out of which we seem to have

Thus does the reader vainly hope now, after having stood out ten
persecutions, to ride into the haven of the story, and there to
lead a peaceable life, free from the troubled one of my
characters; but can any spiritual or worldly arm, then, protect
him against scattered similes,--against hemispherical
headaches,--whimsies,--reviews,--curtain-lectures, --rainy
months,--or in fact honey-moons, which come in at the end of
every volume?--

Now for our History! In the evening Albano and Augusti went with the
paternal letter of credit to the Minister's. The frostiness and pride of
that individual the Lector endeavored, on their way, to varnish over by
praising his laboriousness and discernment. With a knocking at his heart
the Count seized the door-knocker to the heaven- or hell-gate of his
future destiny. In the antechamber--that higher servant's apartment and
_Limbus infantum et patrum_--there were still people enough, for
Froulay regarded an antechamber as a stage, which must never be empty,
and on which, as in the Jewish temple, according to the Rabbins, for
those who kneel and pray, it is never too close. The Minister's lady was
not present as a patient here, merely because she was looking after one
of her own elsewhere. The Minister also was not here,--because he made
few ceremonies, and only demanded uncommonly many,--but in his
working-cabinet; he had heretofore had his head under the warm
throne-canopy and taken a deep bite into the forbidden apple of the
Empire, therefore he willingly made a sacrifice (not _to_ others, but
_of_ others), and let himself, as a saintly statue, be hung round with
votive limbs, without having to bestir his own, and, like St. Franciscus
at Oporto, with letters of thanks and petitions which he never opens.

Froulay came, and was--as ever, _aside_ from business--as courteous as a
Persian. For Augusti was his home friend,--i. e. the Minister's lady was
_his_ home-friend,--and Albano was not a good person to run against;
because one had occasion for his foster-father in the votes of the
Province, and because the youth by a peculiar and proper pride of his
own commanded men. There is a certain noble pride through which merits
shine brighter than through modesty. Froulay had not the most
comfortable part before him; for the Court of Haarhaar was as
disaffected toward the Knight of the Fleece, as he was toward it;[65]
but Haarhaar was to be without doubt (according to all Italian
_surgical_ reports) and in a few years (according to all _nosological_
ones) the heir of his inheritance and throne. Now the bad thing about it
was, that the Minister, who, like a good Christian, looked mainly to the
future, had to creep along between the German Herr von Bouverot, on the
one hand, who was secretly a creature of Haarhaar, and the demands of
the present moment, on the other.

He received the Count, I said, in an uncommonly obliging manner, as well
as the Lector, and disclosed to the two that he must present to them his
lady, who desired their acquaintance. He sent word to her, but, without
waiting an answer, conducted them both into her apartment. Now was it to
the youth as if the heavy door of a still and holy temple turned on its
hinges. Even I too, at this moment, during their passage through the
rooms, share so in his foolishness that I fall into full as great
anxiety, as if I went in behind them. When we entered the eastern room,
which was extended out at pleasure by picturesque paper-tapestry into a
latticed arbor of woodbine, there sat merely the Minister's lady, who
received us pleasantly, with firm and cold reserve in look and tone. Her
severely closed and faintly-marked lips mutely spoke a seriousness which
is the gift of a good heart, and a stillness which is the ornament of
beauty,--as many wings, only when they are folded, shower down
peacocks'-eyes,--and her eye gleamed with the good-will of reason; but
the eyelids had been, by stern years, drawn deeply in, with a sickly
expression, over the mild sight. Ah, as oftentimes between newly-married
people a dividing sword was laid, so did Froulay grind daily at a
three-edged one which separated him and her! Singularly did the impure
roil on his face contrast with the aftersummer serenity on hers,
although before witnesses, as it seemed, he took away the irony from his
courteousness towards her, and kept hatred, as others do love, only for

Fortunately this nut-tree, which threw an unwholesome, frosty nut-shadow
on the whole flowerage of love and poetry, soon transplanted itself back
again among more congenial guests. The Minister's lady, after the first
expressions of courtesy, directed herself more to the Lector, whose
correct, civilian's measure accorded entirely with her religious one;
especially as only he could ask and condole with her about Liana. She
replied, that this room of Liana's had been left exactly as it was the
evening the blindness came on, in order that, when she recovered, it
might remain for her a pleasant remembrancer, or a mournful one for
others, if she did not. O, deeply moved Albano, if every absence
glorifies, how much more must it do so with so many traces of the
beloved object's presence! I confess, except a loved one, I know of
nothing lovelier than her sitting-room in her absence.

On Liana's work-table lay a sketched outline of a Christ's head near the
open Messiah,--a folded walking-veil, together with the green
walking-fan, with inscribed wishes of female friends,--some cut-out
envelopes,--the gossiping letter of one of Froulay's tenants,--a whole
lacquerwork sheep-fold, with wagon, stalls, and house, with whose
Lilliputian Arcadia she had proposed to please Dian's children,[66]--a
plucked leaf from the thinning album of a female friend, which she had
trimmed with an India-ink flower border and then planted full of fair
wishes, of which fate had robbed her own life. Ah, beautiful heart, how
fondly would I sketch and hand round something like a tabular view of
all the little mosaic of thy lightsome past, had the fee-provost entered
more intimately into these matters! But what moves me and the Count more
deeply is a framed embroidery, on which her needle, like an
ingrafting-knife, had, on that dark day, ingrafted a rose with two buds,
and which wanted nothing more but the thorns. O, _these_ had destiny
only too fully developed on thy roses of joy, and then pressed them so
deeply through thy breast even to the heart!

At no hour of his life was Albano's love so tender and holy as at this,
or his sympathy so fervent. Fortunately, the Minister's lady was all the
time looking out of the window into the garden, and did not perceive his
emotion. At last she went on to point out Liana's harmonica, which stood
near; then was his heart too full and visible; he started with the hasty
words, _he had never yet heard one_, and stepped before it. Ah, he was
fain to touch something whereon her finger had so often rested. He laid
his hand, as upon a sacred thing, on those prayer-bells which had so
often trembled under hers for pious thoughts; but they gave him no
answer, till the Lector, a connoisseur in the A B C as in the technology
of all arts, gave him in three words the indispensable instructions. Now
did he drink into his soul, full of sighs and struggles, the first
tri-clang, the first plaintive syllables of that mother-tongue of the
pining breast,--ah, of those _mutes'-bells_ which the inner man shakes
in his hand, because he has no tongue! and his veins beat wildly like
wings which wafted him up from the ground, and bore him to a higher
prospect than that which opens into the last joy or the last agony. For
in strong men great pains and joys become overlooking heights of the
whole road of life.

I know not whether many readers will believe the fault _possible_, which
he now _actually_ committed. The Minister's wife, in the course
of conversation, had very naturally--_apropos_ of Liana and
Roquairol--fallen upon the proposition that no school is more necessary
to children than that of patience, because, either the will must be
broken in childhood or the heart in old age. Ah, she and her daughter
themselves knelt, indeed, full of patience, before fate, whether loading
or armed; although the mother's was a pious patience, which looked more
to Heaven than to the wound, Liana's a loving patience, which resigns
itself to new sorrows as to old sicknesses, as a queen does on
coronation-day to the pains and friction of her heavy jewelry, and like
a child that sweetly sleeps away and more sweetly dreams away his scars.
But Zesara, who like a wolf fled the very clanking of a chain, and new,
exasperated, against everything of the kind, from the light carcanets
and chains of knighthood even to the heavy harbor-chains which obstruct
the passage of youth out into the laboring sea, could not restrain
himself, especially with that heart of his so full of emotions, from
saying, in too great warmth: "Man must defend himself; sooner would I,
in a free struggle, empty all my veins on the stirring battle-field than
shed one drop from them bound to the rack."--"Patience," said the
Minister's lady, who was full of it, "contends and conquers also, only
in the heart."--"Dear Count," said Augusti, alluding not merely to
Arria,[67] "the women must always say to the men, 'It does not hurt!'"

I have not till now had an opportunity to make known this fault of
Albano, that he never spoke his opinion more freely and strongly than
just then when he had reason to fear losing one or two heavens of his
life by the stake; in cases of less danger he could be more yielding.
Although, therefore, he observed that the Minister's lady was painfully
reminded thereby of the muscular, but also hard-grasping, hand of her
wild son,--or much rather _for the very reason_ that he observed it, and
because he proposed to be armor-bearer to this future friend,--he stuck
to his opinion, threw all instruments for breaking in the young manly
will out of the school-rooms into the street, and said, in his strongly
relieved style: "The Goths preferred never to send their children to
school, in order that they might remain lions. Even if maidens must be
soaked in milk a day before planting them out in the civil world, boys,
however, must be stuck, like apricots, with the stony shell in the
earth, because they will soon enough throw off and forsake the stone by
their rooting and growth."--The Lector, with his fine openness,--a
crystal vase with golden edge,--remarked, with a gentle reprimand of
Alban's impetuosity, that at least the way in which they had severally
adduced their proofs was one of those very proofs themselves; and women
needed and showed more patience with persons, and we more with things.

The Minister's wife, who imagined herself listening more to her son than
to his friend, was silent, and stepped nearer to the window. Amid these
war-troubles the evening had wheeled her resplendent moon up over the
eastern mountains, and the streams of her light flowed in at this
moment, from all quarters, through the whole garden that lay stretched
out before the eastern room, and lay in its broad alleys and
flower-circles, when all at once a little round house appeared through
upshooting water-jets, kindled into triumphal arches by the moon-light,
and stood, even to its Italian trellised roof, all in a blaze. With soft
emotion, the Minister's lady said: "On that water-house stands my Liana;
she is trying the evaporation of the fountain; the physician promises
himself much therefrom. And Providence grant it!"

But the agitated Zesara, with all his sharp eyes, could not, however, in
the full dazzling light of the level moon, and behind the quivering
nunnery-grate of confined silver-or lymphatic-veins, individualize
anything at this moment from the glimmering Eden, except an
undistinguishable, still, white form. But it was enough for a weeping
and burning heart. "Thou angel of my youthful dreams," thought he, "may
it be thou! I greet thee with a thousand woes and joys. Ah! can there
then be sorrows in thee, thou heavenly soul!" And it came over him, that
if she were here in the room, with her afflicted and enchanting form,
she would melt his whole being with sympathy, and he could now have cast
off the embrace of the brother, by whose hand fate had closed her soft
eyes in that long dream.

The stifling air of the most painful sympathy caused him to look away,
and turn round, and fasten on the open Messiah those eyes whose drops he
would not show; but the recollection that he was repeating her last
reading-pleasure made them fall only hotter and thicker. Suddenly
something darkening, which fluttered down before the window like a
falling raven, directed his look again to Liana, over whom stood a fully
illuminated little cloud, as if it were a risen or descending saintly
halo. Immortals seemed to dwell thereupon as on Ossian's clouds,
awaiting their sister; and when she at length moved and slowly sank down
into the water-house, seemed it not then as if her garment of flesh
were passing into the earth, and her peaceful spirit into the cloud?

Here Augusti, as the mother had to follow the returning invalid into the
sick-chamber, gave him the hint for departure, which he took willingly;
his love contented itself for the present with solitude, and with the
hope of another meeting. Young love and young birds need, in the
beginning, only to be _warmed_ by _covering_, and not till later to be

But a paraclete or comforter whispered softly in the ear of the youth's
heart as they departed: to-morrow thou wilt see her only a few steps
from thee in the garden! And that is very easily brought about; he has
only, at evening-twilight to-morrow, when the evening-walker makes use
of her eye-medicine, to repair to the alley, and from among the leaves
look freely up into the magic countenance, and then drink in the whole
doctrine of felicity in one paragraph, one passage, breath, moment;--but
what a prospect!

The Count begged the Lector not to sit long with the busy Minister. When
they found him again, he hardly--behind a pile of public
documents--remembered, after considerable (perhaps counterfeited)
thought, that they had been there, and deeply regretted that they were
going away. Ah, the comforter is whispering all the evening and all
night,--To-morrow, Albano!

35. CYCLE.

As the juggling night threw our Albano from one side and vision to the
other,--for not the near past but the near future wearies us with
rehearsals of our waking acts, with dreams,--how glad he was, in the
morning, that his fairest future had not yet gone by. Two very
Eulenspiegelish wishes often lodge in man: I often form the wish with my
whole heart, that some real joy of mine, e. g. a master-work, a
pleasure-journey, &c., might yet at last have an end; and, secondly, the
wish above referred to, that one or another pleasure might stay away a
little longer.

The evening came with the greatest pleasure of all, when Zesara, like Le
Gentil starting for the East Indies, set off for the eastern park of the
Minister, to observe the transit of his evening star Venus; but only
through the moon. Before the lighted windows of the palace he stopped
among the people, and reflected, whether it were quite allowable thus to
run into the garden; but really, had he been turned back, his thirsting
heart would have carried him in through a whole Clerus and Diplomatic
Congress posted before the gate. Boldly he strode along through the
noisy palace before a barricade of tackled carriages, turned the iron
lattice-gate, and stepped hastily into the nearest leafy avenue. Here,
attended by a torch-dance of gleaming hopes, he went to and fro, but his
eye was a telescope, and his ear was a hearing-trumpet. The green avenue
wound up over the garden till it grew into another near the bath-house;
into this he entered so as not to meet the blind one, or rather her

But nothing came. To be sure he had not, like the moon,--as was, indeed,
to have been expected of him,--come a half-hour too late, but in fact a
half-hour too early. The moon, that star which leads wise men full of
incense to the adoration, at last let fall broad, long, silver-leaves,
like festive tapestry, into Liana's eastern room,--the Madonna on the
palace was arrayed in the halo and nun's-veil of her rays,--the
Minister's wife stood already at the window,--Nature played the
larghetto[68] of an enchanted evening in deeper and deeper
strains,--when Albano caught nothing further except a smaller one, made
up of mere tones, which came from the bath-house, the pleasure-seat of
all his wishes, and which, dying, would fain breathe its last with the
spring-day. But he could not guess who played it. One might have
inferred that it was Roquairol, merely because he afterward, as I shall
relate, according to the April-like nature of his musical temperament,
sprang up out of pianissimo into a too wild fortissimo. The brother,
exiled by his father, could at least in the bath-house see and console
his dear sister, and show her his love and his penitence; although his
stormy repentance makes a second necessary, and at last became only a
more pious repetition of his fault.

Although Albano's fancy was a retina of the universe, on which every
world sharply pictured itself, and his heart the sounding-board of the
sphere-music, in which each revolved, yet neither the evening nor the
larghetto, with their rays and tones, could pierce through the high
waves which expectation as well as anxiety (both obscure nature and art)
dashed up within him. The bank of the fountains is entwined around with
a green ring of orange-trees, whose blossoms, in the East, according to
the Selam-cipher, signify _hopes_; but really one after another was
short-lived, when he thought of the cold, clear mother, or of his
perhaps vain waiting. The fountains leaped not yet,--he kept plucking
away, like a premature autumn, more and more of the broad fan-leaves
from his blooming Spanish wall, and still, through all his widening
windows, saw no Liana coming down along the pebbly path (which was
impossible, for the very reason that she had been long standing in the
bath-house with her brother), and he began to despair of her appearance,
when the brother suddenly stormed into the above-mentioned fortissimo,
and all the fountains sent up before the moon murmuring wreaths of
sparkling silver. Albano looked out....

Liana stood up there in the glimmer of the moon, behind the fluttering
water. What an apparition! He tore asunder the twigs of the foliage
before his face, and gazed, uncovered and breathless, upon the sacredly
beautiful form! As Grecian gods stand and look unearthly before the
torch, so shone Liana before the moon, overshadowed with the myriad
glancing reflections of the silvery rainbows, and the blest youth saw
irradiated the young, open, still Mary's-brow, upon which no vexation
and no effort had as yet cast a wave,--and the thin, tender,
scarcely-arched line of the eyebrows,--and the face like a perfect
pearl, oval and white,--and the loosely flowing ringlets lying on the
May-flowers over her heart,--and the delicate grace's-proportions,
which, like the white attire, seemed to exalt the form,--and the ideal
stillness of her nature, which made her place, instead of an arm, only a
finger upon the balustrade, as if the Psyche only floated over the
lily-bells of the body, and neither shook nor bowed them,--and the large
blue eyes, which, while the head sank a little, opened upward with such
inexpressible beauty, and seemed to lose themselves in dreams and in
distant plains reflecting the evening-twilight's glow!

Thou too fortunate man!--to whom the only visible goddess, Beauty,
appears so suddenly, in her omnipotence, and attended by all her
heavens! The present, with its shapes, is unknown to thee,--the past
fades away,--the near tones seem to steal from the depth of
distance,--the unearthly apparition overflows and overpowers with
splendor the mortal breast!

Ah, why must a deep, cold cloud steal through this pure and lofty
heaven? Ah, why didst thou not find the heavenly one earlier or
later?--and why must she herself remind thee of her sorrow?

For Liana--into whose veiled eye only a strong light could trickle
through--was looking for the moon, which was a little overhung by its
own aurora, and she turned her head around gropingly, because she
thought a linden-top concealed it;--and this uncertain inclination so
suddenly pictured to him her misfortune in a thousand colors! A quick
pang pressed his eyes, so that tears and sparks darted from them, and
pity cried within him: "O thou innocent eye! why art thou veiled? Why
from this grateful, good soul is May and the whole creation taken away?
And she sends round in vain a look of love after her mother and her
companion, and--O God! she knows not where they stand."

But the curtain of the moon soon floated aside, and she smiled serenely
on its radiance, as the blind Milton in his immortal song smiles upon
the sun, or as an inhabitant of earth smiles upon the earliest splendor
of the next life.

A nightingale, who hitherto, while hopping after a glow-worm among the
distant flowers, had responded to the tones in the chamber only with
single game-calls and complemental notes of joy, flew nearer to Liana,
and the winged miniature-organ drew out at once all its flute-stops, so
that Liana, forgetting her blindness, looked down, and Albano started
back alarmed, as if she were looking upon him. Then was her pale face,
upon the cheeks of which a light redness played, as upon the white pink,
tenderly suffused with the faint red bloom of emotion under the mingling
tones of the brother and of the nightingale,--the eyelids quivered
oftener over the gleaming eyes,--and at last the gleam became a quiet
tear,--it was not a tear of pain nor of joy, but that soft tear in which
the longing of the heart overflows; as, in spring, overfull twigs,
though unwounded, weep.

There dwells in man a rough, blind cyclops, who in our storms always
begins to speak, and gives us fatal counsel. Frightfully at this moment,
in Zesara, did the whole awakened energy of his bosom bestir
itself,--that wild spirit which drags us on condor's wings to the brink
of the precipice; and the cyclops cried aloud in him: "Rush out,--kneel
before her,--tell her thy whole heart;--what though thou then art lost
forever, if thou hast only caught one sound of this soul!--and then cool
and sacrifice thyself in the cold waters at her feet." Verily he
thirsted for the fresh basin in which the fountains leaped back. But ah!
before this gentle, this afflicted and pure one? "No," said the good
spirit in him, "wound her not again, as her brother did. O spare her! be
silent, respectful: then thou lovest her."

Here he stepped out on the illuminated earth as into a heavenly hall,
and took the open sun-path, but softly, along before the fountains. As
he passed by her, all at once the arcade of drops, which had half
latticed her round, collapsed, and Liana stood cloudless, as a pure
Luna, without her cloud-court, in the deep blue of heaven; a shining
lily[69] from the next world, which, to herself, is a sign that she is
soon to pass thither. O his heart, full of virtue, felt with trembling
the nearness of virtue in another; and, with all signs of the deepest
veneration, he walked along by the quiet being, who could not observe

Not till, at every step, a heaven had escaped from him, and he at last
had none but the one above his head, did he become quite gentle; and
then he was glad that he had not been bolder. How the earth now shines
to him, how the heaven of suns approaches him, how his heart loves! O,
at some future time after yet many years, when this _glowing_
rose-garden of rapture already lies far behind thy back, how softly and
magically will it, when thou turnest round and lookest toward it,
glimmer after thee as a _white_ rose-parterre of memory!


[63] The title of a man, among the Romans, who walked behind the
corpse and acted out the looks and character which the deceased
had when living.--_Pers._, Sat. 3.

[64] As Solomon says, "Desire shall fail."--TR.

[65] It had formerly refused to give the Spanish knight the hand
of the Princess; but I have had the promise of satisfactory
documents on this weighty article.

[66] Dian's family reside at Lilar.

[67] Roman Arria, who stabbed herself to show her Poetus how to

[68] A movement in music a little more than two degrees quicker
than adagio.--TR.

[69] It used to be believed that a lily lying in the
singing-seats signified the death of the person to whom it



36. CYCLE.

If the Feudal-Provost Von Hafenreffer had no existence except as a
creature of my fancy, I should certainly proceed with my history, and
tell the world, as matter of fact (and the whole romance-writing set
would go to the death upon it[70]), that Albano was sitting there the
next morning, blind and deaf, behind the broad bandage which the
bandage-maker Cupid had bound before his eyes,--that he had not been
able to count more than _five_, except at evening, when he cast up the
strokes of the clock, in order, afterward, to run in a magic circle
round the Froulay water-house, like one who sets out to _charm the fire_
which glides snake-like after him,--that he had, through those two
blow-holes[71] wherewith sentimental whales blubber right out in
bookstores, spouted out considerable streams,--for the rest, had never
looked at another book (except some leaves in the book of Nature), nor
at another human being (except a blind man),--"and to this my surgeon's
certificate of erotic wound-fevers (I would say at the conclusion of my
lies) Nature manifestly sets her privy seal."

That she does not, says Hafenreffer; these are nothing but confounded
lies; the case is quite otherwise, thus:--

Zesara never stole a second time into Froulay's garden; a proud blush of
shame darted over him at the very thought of the painful blush with
which he should come in contact, for the first time, with a mistrustful
or inquiring eye.

But in this wise the dear soul remained hid from him until her recovery,
as the May-month did from her; and he silently tormented himself with
reckonings up of her sufferings and doubts of her cure. He was ashamed
to be taking any pleasure during her period of sadness, and forbade
himself the enjoyment of spring and the visiting of Lilar: ah! he knew
too, full well, that the loving spring and Lilar, where she had received
so many joys and the last wound, would make his heart too ungovernable
and too full.

His thirst for knowledge and worth, his pride, which bade him stand in a
glorious light with his father and his two friends, impelled him onward
in his career. With all his native fire he threw himself upon
jurisprudence, and took no longer any other walks than between the
lecture-room and his study-chamber. To this zeal he was driven by a
characteristic passion for completeness; everything imperfect was to him
almost a physical horror; he was shocked at defective collections,
broken sets of monthly magazines, lawsuits left to sleep, libraries,
because he could never read them out, people who died as aspirants for
office, or in the midst of building-plans, or without a rounded system
of thought, or as journeymen clothiers' boys or shoemakers' apprentices,
and even Augusti's flute-playing, which he only took up _by the way_. It
was the same energy which made him hold the bridle of Psyche's winged
horse tight, and stick the rowel of the spur into him; even when a child
he had experimented on this kind of force, in the holding of his breath,
or in the painful pressure of a sore spot,--and, by Heaven! he now,
figuratively, did both again. There dwelt in him a mighty will, which
merely said to the serving-company of impulses, Let it be! Such a will
is not stoicism, which rules merely over internal _malefactors_, or
_knaves_, or _prisoners of war_, or _children_, but it is that genially
energetic spirit, which conditions and binds the healthy _savages_ of
our bosoms, and which says more royally to itself, than the Spanish
regent to others, I, the king!

Ah, of course (how could his warm soul do otherwise?) he often stood, at
midnight, before the breezy window, and looked tearfully at the white
Madonna of the ministerial palace, silvered by the pure moon. Yes, in
the daytime, he often sketched in his souvenir (it happened to be a
fountain and a form behind it, nothing more), or he read in the Messiah
(naturally going on with the canto which he had already begun at the
house of the Minister's lady), or he informed himself about nervous
maladies, (was he, perhaps, with all his studying, guarded against
them?) or he let the fire of his fingers run over the strings,--nay, he
would have plucked nothing but roses, although with thorns, had this
been their blooming season.

And this sighing, stifled soul must shut itself up! O, he began already
to fear every key of the harpsichord would become a stylus, the
instrument itself a box of letters, and all actions treacherously
legible words. For he must keep silent. The first young love, like that
of business people (those of the Electorate of Saxony excepted), needs
no instruments of speech, at most only a portable inkstand and pen. Only
worldly people, who repeat their declarations of love quite as often as
the players, are in a situation--and on similar grounds--to publish
them, just as the players do. But in the holier season of life the image
of the most beloved soul is hung, not in the parlor and antechamber, but
in the dim, silent oratory: only with loved ones do we speak of loved
ones. Ah, it was with reluctance that he even heard others speak of his
saint; and he often stole (with the altar of incense in his bosom) out
of the room where people were carrying round for her a censer more full
of coal-smoke than of frankincense.

37. CYCLE.

They were expecting every day in Pestitz the return of the German
gentleman M. de Bouverot, who had been in Haarhaar, putting the last
retouching hand to the almost sketched marriage contract between Luigi
and a Haarhaar princess, Isabella. Augusti was not partial to him, and
even said Bouverot had no _honnêteté_;[72] and related the following,
but with the soft irony of a man of the world:

Some years before, Bouverot had been sent by the court of Haarhaar[73]
to the Pope at Rome, in relation to certain canonical difficulties;
just at the time when Luigi also made the princely procession to Rome,
together with his Romish indictions.[74] Now Haarhaar, which in truth
already went _chapeau-bas_ with the princely hat of Hohenfliess, and had
every possible officinal prospect of wearing it, would not, for this
very reason, present the appearance of looking with cold eyes on the
extinction of the race of Hohenfliess, the more, as the very male
support of the line, Luigi, even in his first years, was not a hero of
any great nervous significance. Nay, it must needs be a matter of some
consequence to the court of Haarhaar that the good thin autumn-flowerage
should return, if possible, _otherwise_ than it went out; and even on
such grounds it privily instructed the German gentleman to
rule and watch over all his pleasures and pains as _maître de
plaisirs_,--especially with _maîtresses de plaisirs_,--in such a manner
as to give perfect satisfaction in this respect. Meanwhile, if our
princely abiturient[75] had started pure as a foetus, unhappily he was
brought back ground down to a _punctum saliens_, especially as, by
sundry caprioles and other leaps through the hoop of pleasure, he was
spoiled for the leap into the knight's saddle. It may be possible that
the German gentleman was too sanguine in his expectations of the
rejuvenescence of the Prince; yes, he may have imitated the
youth-restoring, wondrous essence of the Marquis d'Aymar,[76] whereby an
innocent old lady, who anointed herself with the elixir more than her
years required, was, through the excessive renovation, reduced to a
little child. In short, by this crusade under the Knight of the Cross,
Bouverot, the princely seat of Hohenfliess--as is often the consequence
of crusades--will be left open at the proper time, and Haarhaar will
seat itself thereon.

I confess reluctantly that Albano, in the beginning,--because, with all
his sharp-sightedness, his purity was quite as great,--comprehended the
fact only confusedly; but when he did get the idea, it was to him
_pharmaceutic_ manna, as it was to Schoppe _Israelitish_. "The Knight of
the Cross," said the latter, "beareth not his cross in vain,--it does
him quite as much service as one daubed on the houses in Italy does to
them: not a soul may do on either of them what even in Rome may be done
before every antechamber."

Not long after that our three friends were going out into the street
just at the hour when the noisy carriages rolled along to tea and play,
when a litter was carried by before them with the seat _backward_,
whereupon, however, a man was sitting. "Holy Father!" cried Schoppe, "in
there sits, bodily, Cephisio, from Rome, who must sometime or other give
me a sound drubbing."--"Softly, softly!" said Augusti, "that is the
German gentleman; Cephisio is his Arcadian name."[77]--"Well, I rejoice
so much the more that I once in my life had a hearty, downright set-to
with the red-nose," said he, turning round and accompanying the litter,
with his arms thrust under it, for almost ten paces, in order to get a
better view of the caged bird, before the latter snatched-to the
curtains. Albano caught a glimpse within the litter, as it passed
swiftly along, only of a sharp eye drawn like a dagger, and a
red-glowing nose-bud.

Schoppe came back and related the transactions in Rome. He said,
against all mortal sinners, blood-guilty men, and imps of iniquity he
bore no such bitter and grim wrath as against professional bankers,
_croupiers_,[78] and _Grecs_; if he had a canker-worm-iron wherewith he
might scrape away this vermin from the earth, or a cochineal-mill
wherewith he might grind them to powder, he would do it most cordially.
"O heavens!" he then broke out, "had I in fact my foot just stretched
out over the curling, coiling worm-stalk (and though that foot had the
gout in it), I would gladly dash it down upon them, and tread out the
vile filth." But what he could, he did. Being his own travelling
servant, and a decoy-spider, darting to and fro through all Europe, he
had full often the pleasure of getting these faro-leaf-caterpillars and
leaf-sappers under his thumb,--of becoming their pretended
associate,--learning their tactics,--and then rolling some fire-wheel or
other into their hissing snakes'-hole. I am not intimately instructed
whether it is known in Leipsic who the ringleader was that, a short time
since, at the fair, played a mock-police with mimic-constables, and
broke up a bank;--at least the bankers were altogether out on the
subject, because they were expecting the real police the next day, and
were begging for some indulgences and _il_legal-benefits; but I am in a
condition here to name the thief-catcher: it was Schoppe. The spoils he
applied mostly to the purpose of running new mines under the

With Cephisio he had played his cards otherwise. He stepped up before
his bank, and looked on for some minutes, and at last presented a card
with a shield-louis-d'or. It won, and he showed behind the card a long
roll of louis. Bouverot would not pay this roll. "He had not seen
anything," he said. "What is your _croupier_ sitting there for, then?"
said Schoppe, and pronounced them swindlers, if they did not pay. To
escape greater damage, they paid him his winnings. He took the money
coldly, and departed, with these words to the Pointeurs: "Gentlemen, I
assure you, you are playing here with finished cheats; but they have
paid me only because I knew them." Amidst the increasing stiffness and
paleness of the partners he turned, and slowly, with his
broad-shouldered, compact figure, and his knotty cudgel, walked away

Augusti wished from his heart--for the persecution's sake--that Bouverot
might not know the Librarian again. They found at home an invitation
from the Minister to tea and supper. "The poor daughter!" said Augusti;
"for the sake of this Bouverot, the half-blind one must go to-morrow to
the table." Meanwhile, our youth will then surely see her again at last,
and only a spring-day separates him from the dearest object! If Augusti
is right, then my observation fits in here, that a good sound villain is
always the motive-pike which sets the still, quaker-like carp-tribe in
the pond to swimming; the hidden pock-matter, which brings cold children
at once to life.

38. CYCLE.

Liana's eyes healed, but only slowly: Nature would not lead her at once
out of her sombre prison into the sun; she could now, like the
philosophers, just recognize light rather than forms. Nevertheless, the
Minister issued cabinet orders that she should day after to-morrow play
on the harmonica, appear at the _souper_, and even make the salad, and
thereby mask her blindness. He sometimes commanded impossible things, in
order to meet with as much disobedience as his anger needed for the
purpose of venting itself in punishment. Certain people keep themselves
all day long full of vexation beforehand for some coming event or other,
like urinal phosphate, which always boils under the microscope, or
forges, wherein every day fire breaks out.

The Minister's lady pronounced her soft, firm, No. About the harmonica
she said she had asked the Doctor, in his name, who had strictly
forbidden it; and the rest was an impossibility. Here he could already,
he felt so like it, be angry at several things, especially at the asking
of the Doctor, which, however, had not yet taken place; he grew mad
enough, and swore he should act according to _his own_ principles, and
devil a bit did he care for _other_ people's.

This _principle_ was in the present case the German gentleman. That is
to say, the above-mentioned anecdote--Bouverot's guardianship of the
hereditary Prince on his travels, or the design of the thing--had at
both courts come to be the common talk in assemblies and at tables, and
was hidden only from the Prince Luigi; for on thrones, there are almost
no mysteries to any one excepting him (hardly his wife) who sits
thereupon, as in whispering-galleries the people in distant corners hear
everything aloud, only not he who stands in the middle. The German
gentleman was, therefore, in the Hohenfliess system, the important
port-vein and pulmonary artery wherewith even Froulay would water
himself. The latter is obliged throughout to serve the present and the
future, or two masters, of whom the one of Haarhaar might very soon be

Bouverot was attached not merely to Froulay the minister, but to Froulay
the father; a man like him, who causes to be sent after him from Italy a
whole cabinet of Art, and whose acquaintance with the arts has so long
knit together even him and the Prince, must know how to prize a Madonna
of such carnation as Liana, and of the Romish school, and, what is more,
who, detached from the canvas, moved as a full, breathing rose. As to
marrying the rose, that he could not propose to himself, because he was
a German Herr.

He had not seen her since his Italian tour,--nor had the Count
either,--to both the Minister wished to show her as a round pearl of
special whiteness and figure. Froulay had--which after all happens
oftener than we imagine--quite as much vanity as pride; the latter to
repel blame, the former to court praise. But I should have now to write
a tournament-chronicle to tell posterity the half of all his raging and
racing and lance-thrusts, in a fight wherein he served under the banners
of enmity, vanity, and avarice. He was no more to be hunted to death
than a wolf. All weapons were alike to him, and he was ever taking
sharper and more poisonous ones. In the old _judicial_ duels between man
and wife, the man stood commonly up to his stomach in a pit, in order to
bring his strength down to a level with the woman's, and she struck at
him with a stone tied up in a veil; but in the _matrimonial_ duels the
man seems to stand in the free air and the woman in the earth, and she
often has only the _veil_ without the stone.

In this combat there stepped between the two a shining peace-angel who
caught the wounds, namely, Liana. The daughter, who had an enthusiastic
love for her mother, and the womanly reverence for the stronger sex
toward her father, and who suffered so endlessly under their strifes,
fell upon her mother's neck and begged her to allow her what her father
demanded; she would certainly do everything so as not to excite
observation; she would take the greatest pains and practise herself
specially beforehand,--ah, he would otherwise only be still more unkind
to her poor brother,--this discord, merely on her account, was so
painful to her, and perhaps more injurious than playing on the

"My child, thou knowest," said the mother, for now she _had_ asked,
"what the physician said yesterday against the harmonica; the rest is at
thine own risk!" Liana kissed her joyfully. She must needs be led to her
father, that she might make known to him aloud the gladness of her
obedience. "I thank you, and be hanged," said he, softly; "it is simply
your cursed duty." She left him with her joy dissipated to atoms, but
without any great pangs; she was already accustomed to this.

39. CYCLE.

The Lector, while they were yet on their way to the Minister's, begged
Albano to moderate the fire of his assertions and his pantomimes. He
made known to him only so much of the family-jar as was necessary, in
order that he might not, by a mistaken idea of her restoration, throw
Liana into embarrassment. As they entered the card-room, everything was
already in full blaze.

As, at this time, no one is presented to him, I must do it; they are
disciples (at least _twelfth_ disciples) of the Minister.

And first, I introduce to thee the holy President of Justice, Von
Landrok, a good apothecary's-balance of Themis, which weighs out
scruples, and wherein no false weights lie; but what is quite as bad,
much smut, rubbish, and rust. Those at the ombre-table near by are the
lords and ladies of Vey, Flöl, and Kob, sleek, fine souls, like minerals
in cabinets, polished off on the show-side, but on the concealed base
still jagged and scratching.

Go with me to the entrance of the next apartment; here I have to present
to thee the young but fat canon Von Meiler, who, in order to line and
stuff out and pad his inner man with a thick, warm, outer one, needs to
fleece no more peasants yearly than the number of linden-trees the
Russian peels for his bark-shoes, namely, one hundred and fifty.

The apartment into which thou art looking I present to thee as a
fly-glass full of courtiers, who, in order to enter into the _kingdom of
heaven_, have become not merely _children_, but in fact _embryons_ of
four weeks, who, as is well known, look like flies; if Swift desires of
his servants nothing more than the _shutting-to_ of the doors, these
wish nothing of their employer and bread-provider but the _leaving-open_
of the same.

I have the honor to set before thee yonder--it is he who is not
playing--the holy Church-Counsellor, Schäpe, who would fain be chief
chaplain to the court; a soft scoundrel, who soaks and softens the
seed-corns of the divine and human word, like melon-seed (they are
thereby to spring up sooner in the heart), so long in sugared wine, that
they rot in it; a spiritual lord who never in his life _offered_ any
other prayers than the two which he always refuses, the _fourth_ and

But the Lector will soon name to thee, at the window, every one of the
lords and dames, coldly, gently, and without pantomime. At present the
Minister himself conducts thee to a gentleman, one of the players, with
a cross on, who drinks water with saltpetre, and is continually licking
his dry mouth; it is _Bouverot_,--he is just rising in thy presence;
examine the cold, but impudent and cutting, sharply-ground eye, whose
corners resemble a pair of open tinman's-shears, or a trap set,--the red
nose, and the hard, lipless mouth, whose reddish crab's-claw, worn off
by whetting, pinches together,--the cocked-up chin, and the whole
stocky, firm figure. Albano does not surprise him; he has already seen
all men, and he inquires about no one.

The Minister refreshed the youth, whose inner being was one snarl, with
the promise that at supper he would present to him his daughter. He
offered him a game; but Alban replied, with a too youthful accent, he
never played.

He could now roam round through the lanes of the card-tables, and survey
whatever he wished. In such a case one posts himself, if there is no one
of the company whom he can endure, exactly before or beside the face he
detests the most, in order inwardly to lash himself into vexation at
every word and every feature of the countenance. Albano might have had
many visages in his eye which were, at least in a small degree,
intolerable, and by which he might have stationed himself;--nay, no
sufficient reasons could have been assigned why he should not have given
his whole attention to a certain chaffy, dried up paste-eel, a weakling
full of impertinence, who was observing through an eye-glass the card
constellations as they came up, while Albano could extend the feelers
of his optic nerves even to the spots on the cards in the second
apartment;--there would, indeed, have been no reasons, had not the
German gentleman been there; before him he must place himself; of him he
knew the most and the worst; he stood in distant connection with
Schoppe, even with Liana. Furies! in the neighborhood of certain faces
the pinions of the soul crumple up and mew themselves as swans' and
pigeons' feathers are crushed before eagles' quills; it was as
uncomfortable and close for all the innocent feelings in such a roomy
breast as Albano's, as it is to a flock of pigeons into whose cote some
one has thrown the tail of a polecat.

I cannot disguise the fact, he muttered and growled inwardly at all the
man did and had,--whether it was his having fingers whose points were
finely shaved for the faro-game, and whose nails had been somewhat
peeled off by an altogether worse game of _hazard_ yet,--or his looking
occasionally through the hair of his eyebrows,--or (only once) squashing
a fly by a sudden snapping to of his lips like a fly-trap,--or his
uttering now a line of German and now of French, which I expect of good
circles, whereas only low people never bring out a German word, except a
few, such as _Lansquenet_,[80] _canif_ (kneif), _birambrot_ (bier am
brod), excepted. Suffice it, he thought always of Schoppe's fine
expression: "There are men and times at which and with whom nothing
could be more refreshing to an honest man than--to give them a sound
drubbing." Duelling is quite as good, thought the Count.

However, Schoppe must here be justified by an authority. Namely, the
author himself, otherwise such a soft, warm swan-skin, could never stand
behind card-table-chairs without becoming a complete game-cock, and
spreading out his scratching, bristly wing the wider the longer he idly
looked on; the reason is this, that in general one finds only those
people more and more tolerable and better upon acquaintance, with whom
one pursues and purposes the same kind of objects.

Albano wished heartily he had his brother-in-arms Schoppe with him now;
he went often, it is true, to Augusti to vent himself; but _he_ always
sought to pacify him; yes, by keeping himself constantly engaged with
the church-counsellor, he cut off from him the opportunity of betraying
his youthful, inexperienced soul to listeners. Moreover, the Lector
chose afterward for half an hour--what familiar friends often do in the
absence of familiar female friends--the latter (namely, absence).

The Count stood some time behind Bouverot's seat, and looked into a
Chinese mirror, japanned on the inside with grotesque figures, and
changed his position constantly, till he brought Cephisio's face to
appear therein right beside a painted dragon, just by way of
comparison;--all this went on, interrupted, however, by constantly
increasing heart-beatings for Liana, when the servants opened the doors
to the supper-hall; and now his heart thumped even to pain, and his
form, already so blooming with youth, hung all full of the roses of
happy and modest confusion.

40. CYCLE.

With beating heart and burning cheek he made his way into the midst of
the motley promenading throng with some old lady or other, who, in her
vanity, misunderstood him, and at once hung on his arm like a
spring-bracelet, and who got nothing from him but--answers. With flying
and piercing glances he stepped into the bright hall, which seemed as if
it were made of crystallized light, and into the sea of heads. He was
just making some answer when he caught, in the tumult behind him, the
low words, "I certainly hear my brother,"--and immediately the still
lower refutation, "It is my Count." He turned round; between the Lector
and her mother stood the dear Liana, a modest, timid, pale-red angel, in
a black silk dress, over which ran only the glittering spring-frost of a
silver chain, and with a light ribbon in her blond hair. The mother
presented her to him, and the tender cheek bloomed more redly,--for she
had, indeed, confounded the similar voices of the guest and the
brother,--and she cast down those beautiful eyes which could see
nothing. Ah, Albano, how violently thy heart trembles now that the past
has become present, the moonlit night a spring morning; and this still
form, now so near thee, works far more mightily than in any dream! She
was too holy in his sight for him to have been able to utter a lie
before her about the apparent recovery; he preferred silence;--and thus
the warmest friend of her life came to her the first time only veiled
and dumb.

The Lector soon led her away to her seat under the second lustre;
opposite her sat her mother (probably, for this reason, that the good,
unconscious daughter, who surely could not always be letting her eyelids
fall, might raise them with friendliness and propriety towards a beloved
being); the German gentleman, as an acquaintance, seated himself,
without further ceremony, on her right, Augusti on her left,--Zesara, as
Count, came far up above beside the highest lady.

Deuse take it! that is, unfortunately, so often my own case! I assert
the upper seat of honor,--and observe, a mile below me, the daughter,
but, like a myops, only half of her, and can bring about nothing the
whole evening. Do pray transpose me without any scruples down beside
her,--you have to deal with nothing more than a puffed-up man,--why, on
earth, as in the heavens, must, then, the largest planets be placed
exactly the farthest from their sun?

I now draw my readers to the Minister's table, not to show them the
ministerial pomp ingrafted upon avarice, or his dance of honor hemmed in
between the parallel lines of etiquette, or even his family arms, which
were carried round on every chafing-dish and salt-cellar, and with the
ice and mustard,--enough for us to know the ubiquity of the insignia
upon his flower-pots, shirts, bed-clothes, dog's cravats, and all his
thoughts; but the reader shall just now look only at my hero.

He is very prominent. Upon such a new-comer, people, in a
residence-city, have already, before he has fairly given the driver his
drinking-money, got all possible light of nature and revelation;
nineteen of the company were fastened upon him as his moral odometers.
The boldness of his nature and his rank made up with him for worldly
tact, which was missed nowhere except in this, that he never took sides
except in the very strongest manner, and always ran off into general and
cosmopolitan observations. But see, I pray you!--O, I wish Liana could
see it,--how the rosy glow and the fresh green of his healthiness shines
among the yellow sicklings of the age, out of whom, as from ships on the
African coast of youth, all the pitch that held them together had run
out,--and how the cheek-redness of spiritual health, a tender,
ever-returning suffusion (from anxiety about Liana) graces him, whereas
most of the world's people at the table seem, like cotton wool, to take
all colors more easily than _red_!

He looked and listened, against the salvation-laws of visiting, too much
to Liana. She ate, under the heightened redness of a fear of mistaking,
only sparingly, but without embarrassment; the Lector, with easy hand,
barred up against her the smallest road to error. What astonished him
was, that she covered such a sensitive and easily weeping heart with
such an unembarrassed cheerfulness of countenance and conversation.
Young man! _that_ is, with the most delicate maidens, free from pangs of
love, no covering and disguise, but an enjoying of the moment and
habitual courtesy! She retained so considerately (what she had probably
learned beforehand) the relative rank of the familiar voices, that she
never directed her answer to the wrong place. She, however, looked often
to her mother with full eyes, and smiled then still more serenely, not,
however, for the purpose of deceiving, but from real, hearty love.

Touching her salad, the best and most fit to be a prince's table-guest
among my female readers, who had seen her mix it, would have taken
several fork-loads thereof. Uncommonly charming was it, when, growing
more earnest and red, she drew off her glove before the blue, celestial
hemisphere of glass; with white hands and supple arms, without a silken
fold, worked away in the green, between the blue of the glass and the
black of the silk; considerately felt for the vinegar-and oil-castors,
and poured out as much as her practice (and the deciphered advice of the
Lector,--at least so it seems to me) directed. By heavens! the dressing
is, in this case, the salad; and the vain Minister, who had no
understanding of pictures, had a great eye for things that would make
good pictures.

The mother seemed scarcely to look at the leaf-mixing. To the Count, the
Minister's lady seemed to-day to have only good-breeding and no pious
strictness; but he did not yet sufficiently know those polished women,
who have refinement without wit, sensibility without fire, clearness
without coldness; who borrow of the snail his feelers, his softness, his
coolness, and his dumb gait, and who demand and deserve more confidence
than they obtain.

At this moment came in Cephisio, like an angel among three men in the
fiery furnace, but a dark angel. To the Count, his contiguity of seat,
and every word he addressed to Liana, was already a crucifixion,--only
to pass with a look from her to him was an agony, little different from
that which I should have, if I had spent a day at Dresden in the antique
Olympus of ancient gods, and then, on going out, should fall into a
refectory full of swollen monks, or into a naturalist's cabinet full of
stuffed malefactors' skins and bottled embryo-spiders. However he was
pacified--in my opinion, only deceived--by one thing, that the German
gentleman did not blaze away in lyrics beside her, was neither in heaven
nor out of his head, but in his head, and quite composed and very
polite. There are no pigeons, Count,--ask the farmers,--which the hawks
oftener pounce upon than the _glossy white_ ones!

The German gentleman now produced a snuff-box, with a neat picture of
Lilar, and asked Liana how it pleased her; he liked the sentimentality
of it particularly.

The Lector was terrified, leaned forward toward the box-piece, and threw
out a few opinions beforehand which should guide the half-blind one in
forming her own; but after she had passed it two or three times
obliquely against the lights and near before her eyes, she was able to
express an original opinion herself, that the child illuminated by the
half-sunken sun, who is drawn aloft by a flower-chain under the
triumphal arch, was, to her feelings, "so very lovely." Here--and I have
observed the same case in a half-blind lady of powerful fancy and
receptive sense of art--the effort and the artistic sense, or the
spiritual eye, came to meet the bodily half-way. The box, as well as its
snuff, was presented farther on, and came down along to the Counsellor
of Arts, Fraischdörfer, upon whom the new Prince's love of the arts and
the favorite's knowledge in them now placed new crowns; he found fault
with nothing but the white of the blossoms. "Spring," said he, "is, by
reason of its wearisome whiteness, a mere monochrome; I have visited
Lilar only in autumn." "There is the nightingale's song, too, which we
of course cannot paint, but yet we can hear it," said Liana, cheerfully;
he was her teacher, and now, in the technology of painting, even her
father's. Over all her acquisitions and inner fruits and blossoms the
rose of silence had been painted; to that her tyrannical father had
entirely accustomed her, and especially before men, in whom she always
revered copied fathers.

When the landscape came to Albano, and he held before him in miniature
that spring night when Lilar and the noble old man appeared to him so
enchantingly,--and as he touched what the dear soul had handled,--and
now in his own soul all accordant strings trembled,--just then the Devil
struck again a dissonant chord of the seventh:--

"The Prince, gracious sir," said the Minister to the German gentleman,
"was yesterday buried in private; only eight days hence we have the
public interment. We are obliged to hasten, because the suspension of
the court-mourning lasts until the inauguration, on _ascension-day_, is
gone by." I am too much excited to express myself upon the eternal
master of ceremonies, Froulay, who would have raised a lantern-tax in
the sun, and bridge-toll before park-bridges and asses'-bridges; but
Albano, dazzled by so many side-lights and glancing rays,--reminded of
Liana's sorrow over the old man, of his birthday, of the heart without a
breast, and of the madness of the world,--was not in a condition,
however much he had intended appearing in gentleness and lambs' clothes
before Froulay, to keep the latter on; but he must needs (and louder
than he meant), in opposition to his next neighbor, the Church
Counsellor, Schäpe, with too great youthful exasperation (not lessened
by the eager listening of Liana for the brotherly voice) declare himself
against many things,--against the everlasting dead sham-life of
men,--against the ceremonial haughtiness of a soulless form,--against
this starving on love merely from making false shows of it;--ah, his
whole heart burned on his lip!

The honest Schäpe, whom I just now called a scoundrel, took, with
several expressions of countenance, Albano's part. But I do not by any
means, friend Albano!--thou hast yet to learn for the first time that
men, in respect to ceremonies, modes, and laws, like a flock of sheep,
will, in a body, provided the bell-wether can only be got to leap over a
pole, continue to leap carefully over the same place when the pole has
been taken away;--and the most and highest leaps, in the state, are
those we make without the pole. But a youth would be an ordinary one who
should love civil life very early, however certain it is that he and we
all judge too bitterly the faults of every office which we do not
ourselves hold.

The company listened in silence, and, out of politeness, only inwardly
admired; on Liana fell a tender seriousness.

They rose,--the closeness vanished,--so did his zeal;--but, whether it
came from the speaking, or the contemplation of the loved object, or
from a youthful over-leaping of the hedges of visiting-propriety,--(it
arose not, however, from want of manners),--the fact is not to be denied
(and I do my best, too, to give it exactly) that the Count left the poor
old lady who had been escorted in by him,--Hafenreffer himself knows not
her name,--left her standing, and, I believe unconsciously, took Liana
under his escort. Ah, her! What shall I say of the magic nearness of the
dreamed-of soul,--of the light resting of her hand, felt only by the arm
of the inner man, not of the outer,--of the shortness of the heavenly
way, which should have been at least as long as Frederick Street?
Verily, he himself said nothing,--he thought merely of the abominable
Inhibitorial-room, where their separation must take place,--he trembled
at every effort to speak. "You have, perhaps," said Liana, lightly and
openly, who loved to hear the friendly voice, especially after the warm
discourse, "already visited our Lilar?"--"Truly not; but have you?" he
said, too much confused. "My mother and I have made it our favorite home
every spring."

Now were they in the parting-chamber. Alas! there and thus he stood with
her, who saw nothing, for some seconds immovable, and looked straight
before him, wanting to say something, till he was aroused by her mother,
who was eagerly seeking, for her affection, which the whole evening had
been nourishing, a sequestered hour on her daughter's heart,--and so all
was over, for both vanished like apparitions.

But Alban was as a man who is deserted by a glorious dream, and who all
the morning is so inwardly blest, but remembers the dream no more. And
yet, stands not Lilar open to him, and will he not surely see it, so
soon as ever Liana can see it too?

Never was he more gentle. The attentive Lector, in this warm, fruitful
seed-time, threw in some good seed. He said, as they looked out together
into the moonlit night, Albano had this evening hardly brought forward
anything but thorny and exaggerated truths, which only imbitter, but do
not enlighten. At another time the Count would have asked him whether he
should have carried himself like Froulay and Bouverot, who, with all
possible tolerance, presented theses and antitheses to each other, like
an academical respondent and opponent, who previously prepare in concert
logical wounds and plasters of equal length;--but to-day he was very
kindly disposed towards him. Augusti had so delicately and
affectionately cared for mother and daughter,--he had, without
blackening or whitewashing, said much good, but nothing hastily, and his
expositions had been calmly listened to: he had neither flattered nor
offended. Albano, therefore, replied, softly: "But it is surely better
to imbitter, dear Augusti, than to put to sleep. And to whom shall I
then say the truth but to those who have it not nor any faith in it?
Surely not to others." "One can speak any truth," said he, "but one
cannot reckon as truth every mode and mood in which he speaks it."

"Ah!" said Albano, and looked up; beneath the starry heaven stood the
marble Madonna of the palace, like a patron saint, softly
illuminated,--and he thought of her sister,[81]--and of Lilar,--and of
spring,--and of many dreams,--and how full his heart was of eternal
love, and that he had as yet no friend and no loved one.


[70] Lit. "Let themselves be struck dead thereupon," i. e. lay
their life that it was so. We have a vulgarism: "I'll be shot if
it's not so."--TR.

[71] _Blase-löcher_, mouth-pieces.--TR.

[72] _Honnêteté_ entirely excludes, in the higher classes,
murder; _dés honnêteté_, lying, &c., except in a _certain_

[73] This court is Catholic, but the country Lutheran; and to
this latter confession that of Hohenfliess also subscribes.

[74] Or convocations every fifteen years.--TR.

[75] A departing graduate.--TR.

[76] See Count Lamberg's Day-book of a Man of the World.

[77] Whoever goes to the Academy of the Arcadians, takes an
Arcadian name.

[78] One who watches the card and takes up the money at the

[79] Give us our daily bread, and forgive us our debts.--[? TR.]

[80] Lanzknecht.--TR.

[81] Liana.--TR.



41. CYCLE.

I Sat up all last night till towards morning,--for I cannot suffer any
strange _déchiffreur_ in the case,--in order to cipher out the Jubilee
to the very last word, so enchained was I by its charms; I hope,
however, as the mere thin leaf-skeleton from Hafenreffer's hand has
already done so much, that now, when I run through its veins with
sap-colors and glossy green, the leaf will do absolute miracles.

With the Count it had been troubled weather since last evening. For the
patient, modest form which he had seen shone, like the purpose of a
great deed, before all the images of his soul; and in his dreams, and
before he sank to slumber, her gentle voice became the Philomela of a
spring-night. Withal, he heard them continually talking about her,
especially the Doctor, who every morning announced further progress of
the ocular cure, and at last placed Liana's setting out for Lilar nearer
and nearer. To hear of a loved one, however, even the most indifferent
thing, is far mightier than to think of her. He heard further, that her
brother, since the murder of her eyes, had withdrawn entirely from the
city, in which he would not again appear except on a so-called
festive-steed at the Prince's funeral;--and around this Eden, or rather
around its creatress, so high a garden-wall had been run, and he went
round the wall and found no gate.

I know nothing more odious than this; but in what residence-city is it
otherwise? If I ever wrote a Romance (of which there is no probability),
one thing I affirm openly, there is nothing which I would so sedulously
shun as a residence-city, and a heroine in it saintly enough for a
canoness. For the conjunction of the upper planets is more easily
brought about than that of the upper class of lovers. Does _he_ wish to
speak alone with _her_ at Court or at tea or in her family, there stands
the Court, the tea-party, the family close by;--will he meet her in the
park, she rides, like the Chinese couriers, double, because we give a
consciousness to maidens, as nature gives all important organs,
duplicate, just as we give good wine double bottom;--will he meet her at
least accidentally in the street, then there stalks along behind her (if
the street lies in Dresden), a sour servant as her plague-vinegar,
soul-keeper, _curator sexus_, _chevalier d'honneur_, genius of Socrates,
contradictor, and Pestilentiary. In the country, on the other hand, the
parson's daughter takes a run (that is all), because the evening is so
heavenly, about the fields of the parsonage, and the candidate needs do
nothing more than put on his boots. Really, among people of rank, the
mantle of (erotic) love seems in the beginning to be a Dr. Faust's
mantle, which swears to soar over everything, whereas it merely covers
over everything; only, at last, there stands a Schreckhorn, a Mount
Pilate, and a Jungfrau, before one's nose.

Blessed hero! On Friday came the Lector, and reported, that on Monday
the illustrious deceased--namely, his empty coffin--is to be buried, and
Roquairol rides the festive-steed,--and Liana is almost well, for she
goes with the Minister's lady to-morrow to Lilar, in all probability to
escape some sad black-bordered notes of condolence,--and, on the
following ascension-day comes the consecration and masquerade....

Blessed hero! I repeat. For hitherto what hast thou possessed of the
blooming vale of Tempe, except the barren heights whereon thou stood'st
looking down into the enchantment?

42. CYCLE.

On the May-Saturday-evening, at 7 o'clock, every vapor disappeared from
the sky, and the brightly departing sun went to meet a glorious Sunday.
Albano, who then, at length, meant to visit the unseen Lilar, was, on
the evening before, as sacredly happy as if he were celebrating
confession eve before the first holy supper;--his sleep was one constant
ecstasy and awaking, and in every dream a mimic Sunday morning rose, and
the future became the dark prelude of the present.

Early on Sunday he was about to sally forth, when he had to pass by the
half-glass door of the Doctor. "Sir Count, one moment!" cried he. When
he entered, the Doctor said, "Directly, dear Sir Count!" and went on
with what he was about. To the painters, who, in future centuries, will
draw from me as they have hitherto from Homer, I present the following
group of the Doctor as a treasure; he lay on his left side; Galen was
smoothing down his father's back with a little scratch-brush, while
Boerhave stood near him with a broad comb, and kept dragging that
instrument perpendicularly (not obliquely) through the hair. He always
said he knew nothing that cheered him up so, and was such a good
aperient, as brush and comb. Before the bed stood Van Swieten in a thick
fur, which the correctioner had to wear when the weather was warm and
his behavior bad, in order that he might, thus arrayed, be laughed at,
as well as half roasted.

Two girls stood waiting there in full Sunday gala, and were thinking of
going out into the country to see a parson's daughter, and to the
village church; these he first mauled, limb by limb, with the hammer of
the law. He loved to make his children antipodes of Romish defendants,
who appear in rags and tatters, and so he set them in the pillory, all
ruffled and tasselled, especially before strangers. The Count had
already this long time, on the red children's account, been standing
with his face turned toward the open window; he could not, however,
refrain from saying, in Latin, "Were he his child, he would long ago
have made way with himself; he knew nothing more degrading than to be
scolded in finery." "It takes so much the deeper hold," said Sphex, in
German, and fired only these few farewell shots after the girls: "You
are a pair of geese, and will do nothing in church but just cackle about
your rags and tags; why don't you mind the parson? He is an ass, but he
preaches well enough for you she-asses; in the evening do you tell me
every word of the sermon."

"Here is a laxative drink, Sir Count, which, as you are going to Lilar,
I beg you to give the Architect's lady for her little toads; but don't
take it ill!" By the deuse! that is what precisely those people most
frequently say, who, themselves, never take anything ill. The
Count,--who at another time would have contemptuously turned his back
upon him,--now blushing and silent before the preserver of his Liana,
put it into his pocket, because, too, it was for the children of his
beloved Dian, to whose spouse he wished to bear greetings and news.

43. CYCLE.

Lilar is not, like so many princely gardens, a torn-out leaf
of a Hirschfeld,--a dead landscape-figurant and mimic- and
miniature-park,--one of those show-dishes which are now served up and
sketched at every court, of ruins, wildernesses, and woodland-cottages,
but Lilar is the _lusus naturæ_ and bucolic poem of the romantic and
sometimes juggling fancy of the old Prince. We shall soon enter in a
body behind our hero, but only into _Elysium_. _Tartarus_ is something
entirely different, and the second part of Lilar. This separation of the
contrasts I praise even more than all. I have long wanted to go into a
better garden than the common chameleonic ones are, where one hands you
China and Italy, summer-house and charnel-house, hermitage and palace,
poverty and riches (as in the cities and hearts of the proprietors), all
on one dish, and where day and night, without an aurora, without a
mezzotinto, are placed side by side. Lilar, on the contrary,--where the
Elysium justifies its happy name by connected pleasure-tents and
pleasure-groves, as the Tartarus does its gloomy one, by lonesome,
veiled horrors,--_that_ is drawn right out of my heart.

But where is our youth now going with his dreams? He is yet on the
romantic road that leads into Lilar, properly the first garden-walk of
the same. He strolled along an embowered road, which gently rose over
hills, with open orchards, and into yellow-blooming grounds, and which,
like the Rhine, now forced its way through green, ivy-clad rocks, and
now opened its flying, smiling shores behind the twigs. Now the white
benches under jessamine bushes and the white country-seats became more
frequent; he drew nearer, and the nightingales and canary-birds[82] of
Lilar came roving along, like birds announcing land. The morning blew
fresh through the spring, and the indented foliage yet held fast its
light, ethereal drops. A carrier lay sleeping on his rack-wagon, which
the beasts, browsing right and left, safely drew along the smooth road.
Albano heard, in the Sunday stillness, not the war-cry of oppressive
labor, but the peace-bells of the towers: in the morning chime the
future speaks, as in evening chimes the past; and at this golden age of
the day there stood, also, a golden age in his fresh bosom.

Now the fork-tailed chimney-swallows began to quiver with their purple
breasts over the heavenly blue of the wild germanders, announcing the
approach of our dwellings as well as their own; when his road seemed
about to pass through an old, open, ruined castle, overhung with rich,
thick leaves, like scales, at whose entrance, or egress, a red arm,
pointing aside with the white inscription, "Way out of Tartarus into
Elysium," stretched out toward a neighboring thicket.

His heart rose within him at this double nearness of such opposite days.
With long steps he pressed on toward the Elysian wood, which seemed to
be cut off from him by a broad ditch. But he soon came out of the
bush-work before a green bridge, which flung its arch like a giant
serpent across the ditch, not, however, on the earth, but among the
summits of the trees. It bore him in through a blooming wilderness of
oaks, firs, silver-poplars, fruit-trees, and lindens. Then it brought
him out into the open country, and now Lilar, from the east, flung, over
the wide-extending spikes of grain, the splendor of a high golden ball
to meet him. The bridge sank gently with him again into fragrant,
glimmering broom, and beneath and beside him sang and fluttered
canary-birds, thrushes, finches, and nightingales, while the well-fed
brood slept under the covert of the bridge. At last, after passing an
arched avenue, it came up again to the light, and now he saw the
blooming mountain cupola with the white altar, whereon he had knelt on a
night of his youth; and farther to the south behind him, the veil and
dividing-wall of Tartarus, a high-reared wood; and as he stepped onward,
Elysium opened upon him more broadly,--a lane of small houses with
Italian roofs full of little trees, smiled joyfully and familiarly upon
the sight out of the green world-map of dells, groves, paths, lakes; and
in the east five triumphal gates opened passages into a wide-extending
plain, waving on like a green-glistening sea, and in the west five
others stood opposite to them with opened lands and mountains.

As Albano passed down along the slowly-descending sweep of the bridge,
there came forth into view, now blazing fountains, now red beds, now new
gardens enfolded in the great one, and every step created the Eden anew.
Full of awe he stepped out, as upon a hallowed soil, on the consecrated
earth of the old Prince and the _pious father_[83] and Dian and Liana;
his wild course was arrested, and entangled, as if by an earthquake; the
pure paradise seemed made merely for Liana's pure soul; and now for the
first time a timid question about the propriety of his hasty journey,
and the loving fear of meeting for the first time her healed eye, made
his happy bosom grow uneasy.

But how festal, how living, is all around him! On the waters which gleam
through the groves swans are gliding; the pheasant stalks away into the
bushes, deer peep curiously behind him out of the wood through which he
has come, and white and black pigeons run busily under the gates, and on
the western hills hang bleating sheep by the side of reposing lambs;
even the breast of the turtle-dove in some hidden valley trembles with
the _languido_ of love. He strode through a long, high-bushed
rose-field, that seemed a settlement and plantation of hedge-sparrows
and nightingales, which hopped out of the bushes on the growing
grass-banks, and ran out in vain after little worms; and the lark sailed
away on high over this second world, made for the more innocent of God's
creatures, and sank behind the gates into the grain-fields.

Intoxicate thyself more and more, good youth, and link thy flowers into
a chain as closely as the boy toward whom thou art hastening. For,
overhead, on the Italian roof, before whose balustrade-breastwork
silver-poplars, girdled about with broad vine-leaves, played, and which,
in the spring-night, he had taken for a bower in roses, stood a
blooming boy bent forward, who was letting down a chain of marigolds,
and kept fastening on new rings to the too short green cable. "My name
is Pollux," he answered briskly to Alban's soft question, "but my sister
is named Helena,[84] but my little brother is named Echion." "And thy
father?" "He is not here now, he is away off there in Rome; just go in
to mother Chariton, I am coming immediately." On what fairer day, in
what fairer place, with what fairer hearts could he come into the holy
family of the beloved Dian, than on this morning, and with this mood?

He went into the bright, laughing house, which was full of windows and
green Venetian blinds. When he entered into the spring-room he found
Chariton, a young, slender woman, looking almost like a girl of
seventeen,[85] with the little Echion at her breast, defending herself
against the sickly and excitable Helena, who, standing in a chair under
the window, kept swinging in a many-leaved sling of a vine-branch, and
trying to girdle and blind therewith the eyes of her mother. With
charming confusion, wishing at once to rise, with her left hand to
remove the leafy fetters without tearing, and to cover up the suckling
more closely, she stepped forward, inclining her head, to meet the
beautiful youth, with childlike friendliness and warmth, but with
infinite shyness, not on account of the rank indicated by his dress, but
because he was a man, and looked so noble, even like her Greek. He told
her, with an enchanting love, which, perhaps, she had never seen so
magnificently pictured, on his strong countenance, his name, and the
gratitude which his heart kept in store for her husband, and the news
and greetings which he had brought from him. How the innocent fire
blazed out of the dark eyes of the timid creature! "Was then my lord,"
so she called her husband, "very well and happy?" And so she began now,
unembarrassed as a child, a long examination all about her husband.

Pollux came dancing in with his long chain. Alban playfully took out the
Doctor's medicine from his pocket, and said, "This is what you are to
take." "Must I drink it right down, mother?" said the hero. Here she
inquired quite as naively after the detailed prescriptions of the
Doctor, until the little suckling at her breast rebelled, and drove her
into a by-room to sit over the cradle. She excused herself, and said the
little one must go to sleep, because she was going to walk with Liana,
for whom she was looking every minute.

Children love powerful faces. Alban was at once the favorite of children
and dogs, only he could never act with the little jumping troop, on the
childish playground, when grown spectators were in the boxes.

"I can do a good many things!" said Pollux. "And I can read, sir!"
rejoined Helena to her brother. "But then only in German; but I can read
Latin letters splendidly, you!" replied the little man to her, and ran
round through the room after readings and specimens; but in vain. "Man,
wait a little!" said he, and ran up-stairs into Liana's chamber, and
brought one of Liana's letters.

43a. CYCLE.

Albano knew not that Liana had the upper--so bloomingly shaded--chamber
reserved for her own private use, wherein she frequently--especially
when her mother remained behind in the city--drew, wrote, and read. The
childlike Chariton, inspired with the love-draught of friendship, did
not know at all how she could possibly so much as show her warmth of
kindness to the fair, affectionate friend: ah, what was a chamber? Now
into this always open room came the children, whom Liana sometimes heard
read; and thus was Pollux able on the present occasion to fetch out of
the solitary room the sheet which she had written this morning.

While Albano, during the errand, sat so alone in the keeping-room of the
far-off friend of his youth, near _his_ still, pale daughter, who looked
now at him and now at a toy sheep-fold, as well known to him as Liana's
eastern chamber, when the morning breeze swept in the glorious hum
through the cool window, especially when, in the light cut-work of the
floor the Chinese shadows of the vine and poplar foliage crinkled into
each other, and when, at length, Chariton began to sing the suckling to
sleep with a quicker, louder lullaby, which sounded to him like her
echoing sigh after the fair land of her youth; then was his full heart,
which had been already so stirred by all the events of the morning,
wondrously moved, and--especially by the flickering sham-fight of the
shadows--almost to tears; and the child looked up more and more
meaningly into his face.

Then came Pollux back with his two quarto leaves, and now set himself at
once to his lesson. The very first page composed the melody to Alban's
inner songs; but he could neither guess the authoress nor the date of
the letter, except further along, by a desultory sort of reading to and
fro. The leaves belonged to previous ones; not so much as a grain of
writing-sand evinced their recent birth (for Liana was too courtly to
use any); further, all the names were disguised; that is to say,
Julienne, to whom they were directed, had unfortunately in Argenson's
_bureau de décachetage_, where she resided, i.e. at court, demanded them
in cipher, and she accordingly took the name of Elisa; Roquairol was
called Charles, and Liana her little Linda. Linda, as will be well
remembered, is the baptismal name of the young Countess of Romeiro, with
whom the Princess on the day of that (for Roquairol) so bloody
masquerade had established an eternal heart- and letter-alliance; Liana,
to whose pure, poetic eyes every noble woman became a blessed saint and
heroine, the opaque jewel a bright, pure, transparent one, loved the
high Countess as if with the heart of her brother and her female friend
at once, and the gentle soul named herself, unconscious of her worth,
only the little Linda of her Elisa.

Nor did Albano recognize the delicate running-hand; Julienne loved the
French language even to its letters, but Liana's resembled not the
scrawled Gallic protocols, but the neatly-rounded handwriting of the

Here is her leaf at last. O thou lovely being! how long have I thirsted
for the first sounds of thy refreshing soul!

                                          "Sunday Morning.

     "... But to-day, Elisa, I am so profoundly happy, and the
     evening-mist is transformed to an aurora in heaven. I ought
     not to give thee yesterday's work at all. I was too much
     troubled. But might not my dear mother, who had come hither
     merely for my sake, become thereby still sicker, whatever
     appearances of tolerable health she might, for that very
     reason, assume with me? And then came thy form, beloved one,
     and all thy sorrow and the painful neighborhood,[86] and our
     last evening here. O how reproachfully did all that pass
     before my heavy heart! So, as we stopped before the house of
     dear Chariton, and she kissed my mother's hand with tears of
     joy; then was I so weak that I too turned aside and shed
     tears, but other tears,--I wept for the rejoicing one
     herself, who indeed could not know whether at that hour her
     precious friend in Rome might not be sick or dying.

     "But now the dark, gray mist is wholly blown away from the
     flower-garden of thy little Linda, and all the blossoms of
     life shine in their pure, high colors before her. After
     midnight my mother's headache passed almost entirely away,
     and she was still sleeping so sweetly this morning. O, what
     were my feelings then! Soon after five o'clock I went down
     into the garden and shrunk back at the splendor which burned
     in the dew and between the leaves; the sun was just looking
     in under the triumphal gates,--all the lakes sparkled in a
     broad fire,--a gleaming haze floated like a saintly halo
     around the edge of the earth which the heaven touched,--and
     a high waving and singing streamed through the splendor of

     "And into this unlocked world I had come back restored and
     so happy. I wanted continually to cry out: 'I have thee
     again, thou bright sun! and you, ye lovely flowers! and ye
     proud mountains, ye have not changed! and ye are green
     again, and, like me, renewed, ye sweet scented trees!' I
     floated, as if transfigured, in an endless felicity, Elisa,
     weak, but light and free; I had, so it seemed to me, put off
     this burdensome clay under the earth and kept only the
     beating heart, and in my enraptured bosom warm
     tear-fountains gushed down, as if over flowers, and covered
     them with brightness.

     "'Ah, God!' said I, trembling at the very greatness of my
     joy, 'was it then a mere sleep, that immovable repose of
     mother?' and I must needs (smile on!) before I went further,
     go up to her again. I crept breathless to the bedside, bent
     listeningly over her, and my good mother opened slowly her
     still gently dozing eyes, looked upon me languidly but
     affectionately, and closed them again without stirring, and
     gave me only her dear hand.

     "Now could I right blissfully return to my garden; I bore,
     however, a morning-greeting to the ever-cheerful Chariton,
     and told her that I might be found on the broad way to the
     _altar_,[87] if I should be wanted for anything. Ah, Elisa,
     what feelings then were mine! And why had I not thee by the
     hand, and why could not my distressed Charles see that his
     sister was so happy? As, after a warm rain, the evening-red
     and the liquid sunlight run from all the gold-green hills,
     so stood a quivering splendor over my whole inner being and
     over my past, and everywhere lay bright tears of joy. A
     sweet gnawing consumed away my heart as if to death, and all
     was so near to me and so dear! I could have answered the
     whispering aspen and thanked the spring-breezes which fanned
     so coolingly my hot eye! The sun had laid itself with a
     motherly warmth on my heart, and brooded over us all,--the
     cold flower, the naked young bird, the stiff butterfly, and
     every creature. Ah, such should man be too, thought I; and I
     took the sandy path, and spared the life of the poor little
     blade of grass and the flower that peeped so lovingly, which
     truly breathe and wake like us. I drove not away the thirsty
     white butterflies and pigeons which stood beside each other
     and bent down from the moist turf to drink. O, I could have
     stroked the waves ... this creation is truly so precious and
     from God's hand, and every the smallest-shaped heart has
     surely its blood and a longing, and into every little
     eye-point under the leaf the whole sun and a little spring
     enter and abide!

     "I leaned, a little exhausted, under the first triumphal
     arch, ere I ascended to the altar, and looked out into the
     glimmering landscape full of villages and orchards and
     hills; and the glistening dew, and the ringing of the
     village-bells, and the chime of the herd-bells, and the
     floating of the birds over all, filled me with peace and
     light. Yes, in such peace and seclusion and serenity will I
     spend my fleeting life, thought I: does not the little
     Sad-cloak persuade me, who, before my eyes, with his wings
     torn by autumn, nevertheless flutters again around his
     flowers; and does not the night-butterfly admonish me, who
     clings, chilled, to the hard statue, and cannot soar to the
     blossoms of day? Therefore will I never stir from my mother;
     only let the precious Elisa stay with us as long as her
     Linda lives, and call her noble friend soon,[88] that I may
     see and heartily love her!

     "I went up the green-shaded mountain, but with pain: joy
     weakens me so much. Think of me, Elisa: I shall some time
     die of a great joy or of a great, all too great woe! The
     spiral path to the altar was painted with the hues of the
     blossom-dust, and overhead, not colored and stationary, but
     shifting, burning rainbows quivered through the twigs of the
     mountain. Why stood I to-day in a splendor such as I never
     knew before?[89] And when the morning breeze fanned and
     lifted me, and when I dipped myself deeper into the blue
     heaven, then said I, 'Now thou art in Elysium.' Then it was
     to me as if a voice said, 'This is the earthly Elysium, and
     thou art not yet sanctified for the other.' O, how ardently
     did I then form the purpose to disentangle myself from so
     many faults, and especially to renounce that too hasty
     imagination of offence, which I may indeed conceal from
     others, but through which I nevertheless injure them. And
     then I prayed at the altar, and thanked the Eternal
     Goodness, and wept unconsciously; perhaps too much, but yet
     without my eyes smarting.

     "At last I wrote the poem of thanks which I append to this,
     and which I will put into verse, if the _pious father_


"'Do I then gaze again with blessed eyes into thy blooming world, thou
All-loving One, and weep again, because I am happy? Why did I then fear?
When I went under the earth in the darkness like the dead, and caught
only a distant sound of the loved ones and of spring above me, why was
my feeble heart in fear that there was no more hope for life and light?
For thou wast by me in the darkness, and didst lead me up out of the
vault into thy spring; and around me stood thy joyous children, and the
serene heavens, and all my smiling loved ones! O, I will now hope more
steadfastly! Continue thou to break off from the sick plant all rank
flowers, that the rest may more fully ripen! Thou dost indeed lead thy
human creatures into thy heaven and to thyself over a long mountain; and
they go through the storms of life along the mountain, only
overshadowed, not smitten, by the clouds, and only our eye grows wet.
But when I come to thee, when Death again throws his dark cloud over me,
and draws me away from all that I love into the deeper cavern, and thou,
All-gracious, settest me free once more, and bearest me into thy
spring,--into a still fairer one than this, which is itself so
magnificent,--will then my frail heart, near thy judgment-seat, beat as
gladly as to-day, and will the mortal bosom dare to breathe in thy
ethereal spring? O, make me pure in this earthly one, and let me live
here, as if I were already walking in thy heaven!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

If even you, ye friends, who have never seen her, are yet won and
touched by the patient, pure form, which can resignedly rejoice that the
storm-cloud has, after all, only sent down rain-drops upon it, and no
hailstones, how must she then have agitated the deeply-moved heart of
her friend! He felt a consecration of his whole being, just as if Virtue
came down incarnate in this shape from heaven, to hallow him with her
smile, and then flew back in a shining path, and he followed, inspired
and exalted, in her track.

He urged the boy instantly to carry back the leaves, in order to spare
her and himself--as she might appear any moment--the most painful of
surprises; yet he firmly resolved--cost what it might--to be true, and
confess to her, this very day, what he had done.

The little fellow ran up stairs and down again, remained a long time
before the door, and came in with Liana by the hand, who was dressed in
white, with a black veil. She looked in and around a little perplexed,
as she with both hands pushed back the veil from her friendly face; but
she heard Chariton's lullaby. She did not know him till he spoke; and
then her whole beautiful being reddened like an illuminated landscape
after an evening shower: she had the pleasure, she said, of knowing his
father. Probably she knew the son still better by Julienne's and
Augusti's pictures, and on more congenial sides; her sisterly heart was
certainly moved, too, by his brotherly voice; for the charm, and even
preferableness, of resemblance and copy is so great, that one who looks
like even an indifferent person becomes more dear to us, like the echo
of an empty sound, merely because, in this case as in the imitative art,
the past and absent, shining through the fancy, become a present.

The gradually lowering tone of the mother's lullaby announced the
sinking of the infant to slumber, and at last the diminuendo died away,
and Chariton, with glistening eyes, ran to take Liana's hand. A frank
and serene friendship bloomed between the innocent hearts, and held them
entwined, as the vine does the neighboring poplars. Chariton related to
her what Albano had related, with a reliance upon her most fervent
sympathy. Liana listened to her friend with eager attention; but that
was quite as much as if she were looking at the historical source itself
that was so near at hand.

44. CYCLE.

At last they began a journey through the garden. Pollux very
reluctantly, and only after Liana's promise to draw him a horse again
to-day, stayed behind as patron-saint of the cradle. Alban said, to the
extreme joy of the Architect's wife, who could now show the beautiful
man everything, that he had seen but little of Lilar yet. How
bewitchingly the two forms, linked in friendship, walked before him side
by side! Chariton, although a matron, yet of a Grecian slenderness,
fluttered along as a younger sister beside the lily-form of her somewhat
taller Liana. The former seemed, according to the classification of the
landscape-painters, nature in motion; Liana, nature in repose. As he
joined Liana again, by whose left hand Helena was running along,--the
mother on the right,--he found her softly-descending profile
indescribably touching, and around the mouth he recognized lines which
sorrow had drawn, the scars of returning days; while the lovely maiden,
on the sunny side of the front face, as in her easy conversation,
manifested a free, benignant cheerfulness, which Albano, who had never
knocked at the school-room door of any young ladies' academy, found it
hard to reconcile with her tearful poetry. O, if the tear of woman
passes away lightly, so flutters away still more lightly woman's smile;
and the latter, still oftener than the former, is only appearance!

He tried, from a longing of the thirsty heart, to catch the little one's
hand, but she hung with both upon Liana's left; presently, however, she
skipped away, and plucked three iris-flowers,--which, like her,
resembled butterflies,--and gave one to her mother, and two to Liana,
with the words, "Give _him_ one too!" And Liana handed it to him,
lifting her friendly face upon him as she did so with that holy
maiden-look which is bright and attentive, but not searching, expressive
of childlike sympathy without giving and demanding. Nevertheless,
several times during the day did she let those holy eyes sink down; but
what compelled her to it was, that on Zesara's rocky face, softened
though it was by love, there rested a physiognomical right of the
stronger: he seemed to look upon a shy soul with a hundred eyes, and his
two true ones blazed as warmly, although quite as purely, as the sun's
eye in the ether.

The iris-flowers have this peculiarity, that one smells them, another
not; only to these three beings in one did the cups open themselves
equally wide, and they rejoiced long over this community of enjoyment.
Helena ran forward and disappeared behind a low bush; she sat on a
child's bench by a child's table, awaiting, with a smile, the grown
people. The good old Prince had low moss-benches, little garden-chairs,
little table- and pot-orangeries, and the like, placed everywhere, for
the children, about the resting-places of their elders; for he loved to
draw these refreshing open flowers of humanity near to his heart! "One
wishes so often," said Liana, "to live in the patriarchal time, or in
Arcadia, or in Otaheite; children are, indeed,--do you not believe
so?--everywhere the same, and one has already in them what only the most
remote time and the most remote region can insure." He indeed believed
it, and gladly; but he kept asking himself, How can such an unstained
Aphrodite be born out of the dead sea of a court, as pure dew and rain
arise out of the briny water of the ocean?

While speaking, she occasionally drew an uncommonly graceful--how shall
I write it--_H'm!_ after her words, which, although a grammatical
blunder at court, betrayed an unspeakable good nature; but I describe
it, not in order that all my fair readers may let this attractive
interjection be heard the very next Sunday.

"The same," replied Albano,--but he meant it well,--"holds of the
animals: the swan yonder is like the one in Paradise." She took it just
as it was meant; but the reason was the pious Father Spener, her
teacher; for at Albano's question touching Lilar's abundance of
beautiful and gentle creatures, she answered: "The old Lord loved these
creatures with a real tenderness, and they could often bring him even to
tears. The pious Father thinks so too; he says, since they do everything
at God's behest by instinct, accordingly it seems to him, when he
contemplates the care of the parents for their young, just as if the
Infinitely Gracious One were doing it all himself." They ascended now a
half-shaded bridge, over a long water-mirror hung round with quivering
poplars, wherein Liana's emblem, namely, a swan, slept on the
water-rings, the bent neck beautifully nestled on the back, the head
upon the wing, and gently wafted more by the breezes than by the waves.
"So reposes the innocent soul!" said Alban, and thought, perhaps, of
Liana, but without the courage to confess it. "And thus it awakes!"
Liana added with emotion, as this white magnified dove slowly raised its
head from the wing; for she thought of her mother's waking on this very

Chariton, as if all made up of salient points, was continually turning
to Liana, and asking: "Shall we go this way? or in through there? or out
through here? If my lord were only here! he knows all about it." She
would gladly have led him round every fount and every flower, and looked
into the youth's face as lovingly as into that of her friend. Liana said
to her, on the cross way at the bridge: "I think the flute-dell yonder,
with the gleaming gold ball, will perhaps be pleasantest, especially for
a lover of music; and, besides, they will look for me there, when they
bring the harp to my mother." She had promised to come back to her as
soon as that arrived. She shunned every path toward the south, where
Tartarus frowned behind its high curtain.

Liana spoke now of the contest between painting and music, and of
Herder's charming official report of this strife. She, although a votary
of the pencil, gave in her vote, as was natural to the female and the
lyric heart, entirely for tones, and Albano, although a good pianist,
was rather for colors, "This magnificent landscape," said Albano, "is in
fact a picture, and so is every fair human form." "Were I blind," said
Chariton, naively, "then I should not see my lovely Liana." She replied:
"My teacher, the Counsellor of Arts, Fraischdörfer, also set painting
above music. But to me, when I hear music, it is as if I heard _a loud
past_ or _a loud future_. Music has something holy; unlike the other
arts, it cannot paint anything but what is good."[90] Verily, she was
herself a moral church-music, the angel-stop in the organ. The pure
Albano felt, by her side, the necessity and the existence of a yet
tenderer purity; and it seemed to him as if a man might injure, even
unconsciously, a soul like this, whose understanding was hardly anything
more than a finer feeling,--as window-glasses of pure transparency are
often broken, because they appear as if they were not. He turned round
mechanically, because he was always one step in advance, and not only
the blooming Lilar, but also Liana's full form, shone at once and
transfigured into his soul. To clasp her to his heart was not now his
yearning, but to snatch this being, who had so often suffered, from
every flame; to rush for her, sword in hand, upon her foe, to bear her
mightily through the deep, cold hell-floods of life;--that would have
illuminated his existence.

45. CYCLE.

They saw, already, some moist lights, of the high fountains that leaped
from above down into the flute-dell, flickering aloft before them, when
Liana, contrary to Chariton's expectation, begged them both to go with
her into a pathless oak-grove;--she looked upon him so contentedly and
open-heartedly as she said it, and without that womanly suspicion of
being misunderstood! In the dusky grove rose a wild rock, with the
words, "To my friend Zesara." The late Princess had caused this memorial
Alp to be erected to Albano's father. Struck, agitated, with smarting
eyes the son stood before it, and leaned upon it, as on Gaspard's
breast, and pressed his arm up against the sharp stone, and cried, with
the deepest emotion, "O thou good father!" His whole youth, and Isola
Bella, and the future, fell at once upon a heart which the whole morning
had wrought upon, and it could not longer restrain the pressing tears.
Chariton was serious, Liana continued faintly to smile,--but like an
angel in prayer. How often, ye fair souls! have I, in this chapter, been
compelled to constrain my deeply-impressed heart, which would fain
address and disturb you: but I will constrain it again!

They stepped silently back into daylight. But Albano's waves of emotion
never fell suddenly; they expanded themselves into broad rings. His eye
was not yet dry when he came into the heavenly vale,--into that
resting-place of the wishes, where dreams might have gone round freely,
without sleep. Chariton--from her earnestness much more busy--had, after
a questioning glance at Liana to know whether she might, (namely, let
certain machines play,) hastened on before them. They passed through the
blooming veil, which retired as they approached;--and Albano beheld now
the youthful dream of an enchanted valley in Spain, that entangled one
in a net of scents and shadows, set out livingly on the earth before
him. On the mountains bloomed orange-walks, the stands hidden in the
higher terrace,--everything which bears great blossoms on its twigs,
from the Linden even to the grape-vine and the apple-tree, drank down
below at the brook, or climbed or crowned the two long mountains, which
wound, with their blossoms, around the flowers of the low ground, and
mutually inclined themselves, to promise an endless valley; fountains
placed on the slopes of the mountains threw behind one another silver
rainbows over the trees into the brook; in the east burned the gold
globe beside the sun,--the last mirror of his dying evening-glance.
"Receive my thanks, thou noble old man!" Albano was continually

Liana went with him along the western ridge as far as a bank covered
with blossoms, under the arch that fluttered above, where one may survey
the first and second windings of the vale, and, over in the north, high
pines, and behind them, the spire of a church-tower, and below, an
auricula meadow, while Chariton, opposite them on the eastern height,
behind a statue of a Muse,--for the Nine Muses beamed from the green
Tempe,--seemed to be winding up weights and pressing springs. "My
brother," Liana, in a low tone, broke the silence, going on meanwhile
with the knitting-work which she had taken from her friend, "wishes
very much to see you." The soul of Albano, now awakened with all its
holy faculties, felt itself wholly like her, and free from
embarrassment, and he said, "Even in my childhood I loved your _Charles_
like a brother; I have as yet no friend." The tenderly-moved souls did
not remark that the word Charles came from the letter.

All at once single flute-tones floated up overhead on the mountains and
out of the bowers,--more and more continually joined them,--they
quivered through each other in a beautiful confusion,--at last
flute-choirs broke forth mightily on all sides, like angels, and soared
toward heaven;--they proclaimed how sweet is spring, and how joy weeps,
and how our heart longs, and then vanished overhead in the blue
spring,--and the nightingales flew up from the cool flowers and alighted
on the bright tree-tops, and cried joyfully into the triumphal songs of
May,--and the fanning of the morning-breeze swayed the lofty, glimmering
rainbows to and fro, and threw them far into the flowers.

Liana's work sank out of her hands into her lap, and, in a way peculiar
to herself, while she leaned her head forward like a Muse, she cast her
eye upward, fixing it upon a dreamy distance; her blue eye glimmered as
the blue cloudless ether overflows with soft lightning in the tepid
summer-night;--but the youth's spirit blazed up in its emotion, like the
sea in a storm. She drew down the black veil,--certainly not against sun
and air alone; and Albano, with an inner world pictured on his agitated
form, played--a sublime contrast to himself--with the ringlets of the
little Helena, whom he had drawn towards him, and looked, with big
tears, into her simple, little face, which understood him not.

At this moment the mother came hastening over into the silence, and
asked, in a very friendly manner, how he liked it all. His other
ecstasies resolved themselves into a commendation of the tones; and the
dear Greek herself extolled what she had often heard, more and more
strongly, as if it were new to her, and listened most intently with him.

A maiden with the harp looked in through the entering-thicket of the
vale, and Liana saw the sign, and rose up. As she was on the point of
raising her veil and departing, the great-hearted youth bethought him of
his confession: "I have read your to-day's letter,--by heaven, I must
say it now!" said he. She drew the veil no higher, and said, with
trembling voice, "You surely have not read it! you could not have been
in my chamber?" and looked at Chariton. He replied, he had not read it
all, but yet a good deal of it; and related in three words a much milder
history than Liana could have hoped. "The naughty Pollux!" Chariton kept
saying. "O God, forgive me, I pray you, this sin of ignorance!" said
Albano. She threw back the dark veil for a second, and said, with
heightened color and downcast look, appeased, perhaps, by her joy at the
agreeable disappointment of her worse expectation: "It belonged merely
to a female friend; and you will perhaps, if I ask you, not read
anything again." And during the fall of the veil her eye looked up
soothingly and forgivingly, and with her beloved she slowly departed
from him.

O thou holy soul, love my youth! Art thou not the first love of this
heart of fire, the morning-star in the early dawn of his life, thou,
this good, pure, and tender one? O, the first love of man, the Philomel
among the spring-tones of life, is always indeed, because we so err, so
hardly treated by Fate, and always killed and buried, but now, if for
once, two good souls, in the white-blossomed May of life, bearing the
sweet tears of spring in their bosoms, with the glistening buds and
hopes of a whole youth, and with the first, unprofaned longing, and with
the firstling of life as well as of the year, the forget-me-not of love
in their hearts,--if such kindred beings could meet each other and trust
each other, and in the blissful month swear a union for all the wintry
months of this earthly time; and if each heart could say to the
other,--"Hail to me, that I found thee in the holiest season of life,
before I had erred; and that I can die and not have loved anyone like
thee!"--O Liana! O Zesara! how fortunate must your beautiful souls be!

The youth lingered a few minutes longer in the magic world that was
working around him, whose tones and fountains murmured like the waters
and machines in the solitary mine; but at last there was something
violent in the solitary monotone and glimmer of the valley, wherein he
had been left so alone. He hurried on by the nearest way, sprinkled
occasionally with veins of water, through the curtain of foliage, and
stepped out once more into the free morning earth of Lilar. How strange!
how distant! how changed was all! Into his wide open inner world the
outer world poured in with full streams. He himself was changed; he
could not go into the night of the oak-grove, to the rocky emblem of his
father. When he was over the bridge that stands in the twigs, he saw the
gentle company slowly walking over the broad silver-white garden-path,
and he blessed Liana, who could now press to her agitated heart the
heart of a mother. The little one often whirled round dancing, and
perhaps saw him, but no one turned back. The harp, carried along after
them, was swept by the eastern breeze, and it snatched tones from the
awakened strings as from an Æolian harp, and bore them onward with it;
and the youth listened with melancholy to the receding murmur, as of
swans that hasten away over the lands, while behind him the empty vale
continued to speak lonesomely in the fluting pastoral-songs of love, and
hovering tones, gliding along after him, came faintly and dimly to his
ear. But he went back up the mountain of the altar; and as he looked
over the bright region, and saw still the white forms moving in the
distance, he let his whole, beautiful soul dissolve itself in weeping.
And here close we the richest day of his youthful life!

But, ye good beings, who have a heart, and find none, or who have the
loved objects only _in_, and not _on_, your bosoms, am I not, like the
Greeks, drawing all these pictures of bliss, as it were, on the marble
sarcophagi of your changed, slumbering past? Am I not the _Archimime_,
who, following after, mimics before you the mouldering forms which your
soul has buried? And thou, younger or poorer man, to whom time, instead
of a past, has only given a future,--wilt thou not one day say to me, I
should have concealed from thee many blessed forms, like holy bodies,
for fear thou wouldst worship them? and wilt thou not add, that, had it
not been for these Phoenix-portraits, thou mightst have cherished
lighter wishes, and had many fulfilled? And how much pain have I then
caused you all! But myself, too; for how could it fare better with me
than with the rest of you?

Your conclusion would, accordingly, be this: since you can never really
live pleasant days so pleasantly as they shine afterward in _memory_, or
beforehand in _hope_, you would, therefore, rather have the present day
without either; and since only at the two poles of the elliptic arch of
time one can catch the low music of the spheres, and in the centre of
the present nothing, you would, therefore, rather stay and listen in the
middle; but as to the past and the future,--neither of which can any man
live to see, because they are only two different poesy-gardens of our
heart, an Iliad and Odyssey, a Milton's Paradise Lost and Regained,--you
will not listen to them at all, or have anything to do with them, in
order that you may nestle down, deaf and blind, in an animal present.

By Heaven! sooner give me the finest, strongest poison of ideals, so
that I may at least not snore away my moment, but dream it away, and
then die on it! But the very dying would be my own fault; for whoso
would fain translate _poetic_ dreams into waking reality[91] is more
foolish than the North American, who realizes his _nightly_ ones: he
proposes, like a Cleopatra, to pervert the splendor of the pearls of dew
into a refreshing drink, and the rainbow of fancy to a permanent arch,
bridging over the rain-waters. Yes, O God, Thou wilt and canst give us
one day a reality, which shall embody and redouble and satisfy our
present ideals,--as thou hast, indeed, already proved to us, in our love
here below, which intoxicates us with moments in which the inner
becomes the outer, and the Ideal, Reality; but _then_--no, for the Then
of the life hereafter, this little _Now_, has no voice; but if, I say,
here below fiction could become fact, and our pastoral poetry pastoral
life, and every dream a day,--ah, even then would desire still remain
enhanced only, not fulfilled: the higher reality would only beget a
higher poetry, and higher remembrances and hopes;--in _Arcadia_ we
should pine after _Utopia_; and on every sun we should see an
unfathomable starry heaven retiring before us, and we should--sigh as we
do here!


[82] They have a whole room for winter quarters, of which in
summer the windows are merely thrown open.

[83] Such was the general title of the secluded Emeritus, the
court preacher, Spener, who resided there, and who was related to
the noble old pious Spener, not only on the paternal side, but
also on the spiritual.

[84] They had these names as twins.

[85] The grammar seems to require "a still almost maidenly
looking woman of seventeen years," but the translator did not
dare to think Jean Paul could have meant that, consistently with
the ages of the three children, though, as an Oriental, Chariton
may have married _very_ young.

[86] The Tartarus with Julienne's father's heart.

[87] Such is the name of that mount which Albano found in the
well-known spring night.

[88] Linda de Romeiro.

[89] The reason is, that after her recovery she was still
short-sighted, and to a short-sighted person the dew is so much
the more brilliant.

[90] This proposition, that pure music, without text, cannot
represent anything immoral, deserves to be more investigated and
developed by me.

[91] It cannot be objected to me, that in fact the scenes of my
book have been actually experienced, and that no one would wish
to experience any better; for in the representation of fancy
reality assumes new charms, charms with which every other faded
present magically glimmers through the memory. I appeal here to
the sensations of the very characters who figure in _Titan_,
whether they would not in my book--in case they should ever light
upon it--find in the pictured scenes, which, however, are their
own, a higher enchantment, which has gone from the real, and
which, to be sure, might produce such an effect--but altogether
illusorily--that my characters could wish to live _their own



46. CYCLE.

Ripening love is the stillest: the shady flowers in this spring, as in
the other, shun sunlight. Albano spun himself deep into his
Sunday-dreams, and drew, as well as he could, the green poppy-leaf of
reality into his web,--namely, the Monday, which was to show him, at the
state-burial of the Prince, the brother of his maiden-friend.

This day of festive sadness, at which the third but greatest princely
coffin was to be conveyed to its repose, at last broke, and had been
made momentous already by the preparatory festival, at which the two
first coffins, together with the old man, had been interred, somewhat as
virtues are buried in the very beginning of a century, and not till its
end their empty names and wrappages and half-bindings. At the rehearsal-
and prefiguring-burial of the illustrious deceased, the old pious Father
Spener too, his last friend, had gone down with him into the vault, in
order to have opened the wooden and tin casing of the run-down
wheel-work, and to cover over upon the still breast of the dear sleeper
his youthful portrait and his own with the colored side down, without
speaking or weeping; and the court made much of this morning- and
evening-offering of friendship.

Everything swells up monstrously for man, of which they are obliged to
talk a long while,--all Pestitz societies were auxiliary funeral
societies, and full of burial-marshals,--every scaffolding of the
neighboring future was a mausoleum, and every word a funeral sermon or
an epitaph upon the pale man. Sphex, as his physician in ordinary,
rejoiced in his part of the sorrow and the procession,--the Lector had
already tried on the court mourning, in the place of his cast-off
winter-garb, and found it to fit,--the court-marshal had not a minute's
rest, and the last day, which opens all graves and closes none, had come
to him now before its time,--the Minister, Von Froulay, whom the cold
Luigi willingly left to do everything, was, as a lover of old princely
pomp, and as convoking director of the present occasion, as much in
heaven himself as was the illustrious deceased,--the women had risen
from their beds this morning as to a new life, because to these busy
_drapery-paintresses_ a long chain of coats and of their wearers
probably weighs as much as a span of blood-related horses does to their

Albano waited impatiently at the window for Liana's brother, and loved
the invisible one more and more ardently; like two connected wings,
Friendship and Love stirred and lifted each other within him. The
mourning-spool, namely, the empty coffin, had been fixed in Tartarus,
and was gradually wound off, and now the dark mourning-ribbon would soon
be ready to be stretched to the upper city. Already, for an hour and a
half before the arrival of the procession, the saltpetre of the female
crowd had been crystallized on the walls and the windows. Sara, the
Doctor's wife, came up with the children and the deaf Cadaver into
Schoppe's chamber, the second door of which stood open into Albano's,
and, with an ogling, amorous look, spoke in to the Count: "Up here one
can overlook the whole much better, and his excellency will pardon it."
"You just stay together there, and don't you trouble M. the Count," said
she, turning back to the children, and was on the point of entering the
Count's chamber, at whose threshold Schoppe, just coming from Albano,
caught and stopped her.

Now Sara was one of those common women who are more carried away
themselves by their own charms than successful in carrying others away
therewith. She would merely set her face in the chair, and let it kindle
and singe and burn, while she on her part (relying on her _lazy
Jack_[92] of a visage) quietly and coolly worked away at other things,
either simple trash or vile scandal; and then when she had been a
_clothes'-rod_ of women, as Attila was a Heaven's rod of nations, she
looked round and surveyed the damage which the fire of her face had done
in the male tinder-boxes. Particularly on the rich and beautiful Count
had she an eye,--under Cupid's bandage. Her head was full of good
physiognomical fragments; and Lavater's objection, that most
physiognomists unfortunately study nothing in the whole man but the
face, could not hit in any point her pure physiognomical sense.

Schoppe, readily divining that with this female soul-dealer the walk or
_gang_ was a press-gang,[93] the white linen, hunting-gear, the shawl, a
bird-net,[94] and the neck, a swan's-neck for any fox that happened to
be near, caught her by the hand at the threshold of the two chambers,
and asked her, "Do you, also, take as much interest as I in the
universal joy of the land, and the long-desired court-mourning? Your
eyes indicate something like it, Mrs. Provincial Physician." "What
interest do you mean?" said the medical lady, struck quite stupid. "In
the pleasure of the courtiers, who, in general, are distinguished from
monkeys, as the orang-outangs are, by the fact that they seldom make
leaps of joy; at least, like young performers on the piano-forte, they
drum away, without the smallest emotion, their most mournful and their
merriest pieces one after the other. O, if only nothing bitter should
spoil the mourning of the court-household! Do you wish the dear ones to
have arrayed themselves in vain in the black robes of joy, wherein, like
the grandsons of those who were left behind in the battle of Leuctra,
they go to meet the jubilee of a new prince? What!" Unluckily she
replied, in a sarcastic tone: "Black is, in these parts, the
mourning-color, Mr. Schoppe." "Black, Mrs. Doctor!" (he bounced back
with astonishment.) "Black?--black is a travelling-color, and
bridal-color, and gala-color, and, in Rome, a princely-children's color;
and, in Spain, it is a law of the empire that the courtiers, like the
Jews in Morocco,[95] shall appear in black.

"Pestalozzi, madam--but there's Malt, does he understand me?" Schoppe
turned round to the man, who had his drum on, and meant secretly to tap
it during the procession, so as to catch something of the muffled
funeral drums, and exhorted him to give a beat or two, in order that he
might profit by the discourse. "Malt," said he, louder, "Pestalozzi
remarks very justly, that the great ones of our time, in face, dress,
posture, image-worship, superstition, and love for charlatans, approach
daily nearer and nearer the Asiatics; it speaks in favor of Pestalozzi,
that they borrow of the Chinese, who dress themselves in black for joy,
and in white for mourning, not merely temples and gardens and
caricatures, but also this very black of joy."

Among the children,--of whom the uneducated alone were not
ill-bred,--Boerhave, Galen, and Van Swieten made themselves most
prominent by the inlaid work and designs of the present company, which
they were engraving on their bread and butter; and Galen showed his
satirical projection of Mama, saying, "Only see what a long nose I have
made Mama have!"

The Librarian, who was turning something similar, arrested her, as she
offered to go in, assuring her he would not let her pass till she
surrendered to his views: the funeral column of march could hardly have
got an acre's distance out of Tartarus, and would give him time enough.
He continued:--

"Genuine mourning, on the contrary, my dear, always, like anger, makes
one party-colored, or, like terror, white; e. g. the creatures of a dead
Pope mourn violet, so does the French king, his lady chestnut brown, the
Venetian Senate, for their Doge, red. But to a regent you cannot, more
than I, allow any mourning whatever; to the high-priest and a Jewish
king[96] it was wholly forbidden; why should we allow the household more
than the master? And must not a sovereign, my best one! who should
permit the expensiveness of public mourning, manifestly open afresh the
closed wounds of private sorrow? And could he, when, like Cicero,[97] he
had, by his exile, thrown twenty thousand people into mourning weeds,
answer it to his conscience, that his last act was a _Droit d'Aubaine_,
a robbery, and that the dying-bed, whereupon one formerly bequeathed
clothing to servants and the poor, should now strip them thereof? No,
madam, that does not look like regents at least, who often, even by
their dying, as Marcion[98] asserted of Christ's journey to hell, bring
up a Cain, Absalom, and several others of the Old-Testament culprits out
of hell into the heaven of the new administration.

"You do not yet give in, and the Cadaver looks at me like a cow; but
consider this: peruke- and stuff-weavers have frequently besought
crowned heads to wear their manufactures, in order that they might get a
sale for them;--an hereditary and crown-prince, on the first happy
consecration- and regency-day, when he deposes, that is, deposits his
predecessor in the ground, puts on coal-black, because the black wool is
not good for much, and does not sell well, and such an example at once
strikes the whole metropolis,--even cattle, drums, pulpits, black. Only
one word more, love: I assure you there is nothing coming yet but the
company of choristers. For this very reason has the princely corpse,
which might easily spoil the whole pleasure of the funeral, been
previously disposed of, and only a vacant box is carried along, in order
that the procession may have no other _pensées_ than _Anglaises_[99]....
O dearest, one last word: What can you see, then, in the corps of
equerries and pages? Well, go now! I too rejoice to see at once so many
people, and the prince so happy in the midst of his children."

But the longer he saw the procession growing, that loose juggler's
thread, by which they were letting down the empty but figured chest of
Cypselus[100] into the family vault, so much the more indignant became
his mockery. He applied his hypothesis to every sable member of the dark
chain. He praised them for opening the _bal masqué_ of the new
administration with these slow minuet steps, and preparing themselves
for the waltz of the wedding and the grandfather's-dance of the
allegiance-day. He said, as one loved on festive days to make everything
easy for himself and his beast, as, accordingly, the Jews, on the
Sabbath, would not allow themselves or their cattle to carry anything,
not even the hens to carry the rags sticking to them; so he saw with
pleasure, that in the ceremony-carriages, and in the parade-box, and on
the mourning-horses, nothing was suffered to lie or sit; yes, that even
the trains of the mourning-mantles were borne by pages, and the four
points of the bier-cloth by four stout gentlemen. The only fault he
found was, that the soldiery in their joy had seized their guns upside
down, and that precisely the persons of the highest rank, Luigi,
Froulay, Bouverot, as they came from a hasty funeral potation at once
into the open air, were obliged, by reason of their staggering, to be
led along and held up on both sides.

47. CYCLE.

In Albano another spirit spoke than in Schoppe, but the two soon met. To
the Count the night-like forms of crape, the still funeral banners, the
dead-march, the creeping sick-man's-walk, and the tolling of the bells,
opened wide all earth's charnel-houses, especially as before his
blooming eyes these death plays came for the first time: but one thing
more loudly than all--one will hardly guess what--proclaimed before him
the partings of life,--namely, the beat of the drum stifled by the
funeral cloth; a muffled drum was to him a broken reverberation of all
earthly catacombs. He heard the dumb, strangled complainings of our
hearts,--he saw higher beings looking down from above on the lamentable
three hours' comedy of our life, wherein the ruddy child of the first
act fades in the fifth to the old man in jubilee, and then, grown up and
bowed down, vanishes behind the falling curtain.

As, in spring, we think more of death, autumn, and winter than in
summer, so also does the most fiery and energetic youth paint out to
himself in _his_ season of life's year, the dark leafless one oftener
and more vividly than the man in that stage which is nearest to it; for
in both springs the wings of the ideal unfold widely and find room only
in a future. But before the youth, Death comes in blooming, Greek form;
before the tired, older man, in Gothic.

Schoppe generally began with _comic_ humor, and ended with _tragic_; so
also now did the empty mourning-chest, the crape of the horses, their
emblazoned caparisons, the Prince's contempt of the heavy German
Ceremonial; in short, the whole heartless mummery, lead him up to an
eminence, to which the contemplation of a multitude of men at once
always impelled him, and where, with an exaltation, indignation, and
laughing bitterness hard to describe, he looked down upon the eternal,
tyrannical, belittling, objectless and joyless, bewildered and oppressed
frenzy of mankind, and his own too.

Suddenly a gay, shining knight broke the dark chain: it was Roquairol,
on the parading gala-horse, who agitated our two men, and none besides.
A pale, broken-down face, glazed over with long inward fire, stripped of
all youthful roses, lightening out of the diamond-pits of the eyes under
the dark, overhanging eyebrows, rode along in a tragic merriment, in
which the lines of the veins were redoubled under the early wrinkles of
passion. What a being, full of worn-out life! Only courtiers or his
father could have set down this tragic exultation to an adulatory
rejoicing over the new regency; but Albano took it all into his heart,
and grew pale with inward emotion, and said, "Yes, it is he! O, good
Schoppe, he will certainly become our friend, this distracted youth. How
painfully does the noble one laugh at this gravity, and at crowns, and
graves and all! Ah, he too has, indeed, once died." "There the rider is
right," said Schoppe, with quivering eyes, and suddenly tapped Albano's
hand and then his own head; "my very skull here appears to me like a
close _bonsoir_, like a light-extinguisher, which death claps upon
me,--we are neat silvered figures, kept up in an electrical dance, and
we leap up with the spark; fortunately I am still alive and
kicking,--and there is our good Lector creeping along, too, and
trailing his long crape,"--in which respect Augusti's citizenly-serious
mood contrasted very strongly with the humanly-serious one of the

All at once Schoppe, out of patience with this general emotion, said:
"What a masquerade for the sake of a mask! Rag and tag for a piece of
rag-paper! Throw a man quietly into his hole, and call nobody to see. I
always admire London and Paris, where they toll no alarm-bells, nor set
the neighborhood stirring, when the undertaker carries one, who has
fallen asleep, to bed." "No, no," said Zesara, full of capacity for
grief, "I admire it not: to whomsoever the holy dead are of no
consequence, to him the living are so too;--no, I will gladly let my
heart break into one tear after another, if I can only still remember
the dear being."

O, how did the neighborhood accord with his heart! In a cistern, before
which the coffin of the coffin passed by, there stood a bronze statue of
the old man on horseback, who saw pass by below him the unsaddled
mourning-horses, and the mounted festive-steed; a deaf and dumb man was
stopping from door to door, and making, with his bell, a begging jingle,
which neither he nor the buried one could hear: and was not the
forgotten Prince laid in the earth all unseen, and more lonesome than
any one of his subjects? O Zesara! it sank into thy heart, how easily
man is forgotten, whether he lies in the urn or in the pyramid; and how
our immortal self is regarded, like an actor, as _absent_, so soon as it
is once behind the scenes, and frets and fumes no longer among the
players on the stage.

But had not the gray hermit, Spener, laid upon the sunken breast of that
deeper hermit a double youth? O, in this frosty hour of pomp and
pageantry, counts not the faithful Julienne every tone of the funeral
bell with the beads of her tears,--that poor daughter whom sickness has
exempted from the ceremonials, not from pain, who now has lost her _last
but one_, perhaps her _last_ relative, since her brother is hardly one?
And will not Liana, in her Elysium, guess the farce of sorrow which is
acted so near to her over behind the high trees in Tartarus? And if she
suspects anything, O how profoundly will she mourn!

All this the noble youth heard in his soul, and he thirsted hotly after
the friendship of the heart: it was to him as if its mountain- and
life-air floated down from eternity, and blew the grave-dust away from
his life-path, and he saw, up yonder, the Genius place his inverted
torch upon the cold bosom, not to extinguish the immortal life, but to
enkindle the immortal love.

He could not now do otherwise than go forth into the open air, and, amid
the flying tones of spring and the deep, hollow murmur of the receding
dead march, write the following words to Liana's brother, in which he
said to him, after a youthful style, Be my friend!

                "TO CHARLES.

     "Stranger! At this hour, when, in the dead sea and through
     our tears, the triumphal columns and thrones of men and
     their bridge-posts appear to us _broken_, a true heart puts
     a question to thee frankly, and let thine answer it
     willingly and in truth!

     "Has the longest prayer of man been answered to thee,
     stranger, and hast thou thy friend? Do thy wishes and nerves
     and days grow together with his, like the four cedars on
     Lebanon, which can bear nothing around them but eagles?
     Hast thou two hearts and four arms, and livest thou twice
     over, as if immortal, in the battling world? Or standest
     thou solitary and alone upon a frosty, dumb, slender,
     glacier-point, having no human being to whom thou canst show
     the Alps of creation, and with the heavens arching far above
     thee and abysses yawning below? When thy birthday comes,
     hast thou no being to shake thy hand, and look thee in the
     eye and say, We still cleave together faster than ever?

     "Stranger: if thou hast had no friend, hast thou deserved
     one? When spring kindled into life, and opened all her
     honey-cups, and her serene heaven, and all the hundred gates
     of her Paradise, hast thou, like me, bitterly looked up and
     begged of God a heart for thine? O when, at evening, the sun
     went down like a mountain, and his flames departed from the
     earth, and now only his red breath floated upward to the
     silvery stars, hast thou beheld the brotherly shadows of
     friendship which sank together on battle-fields, like stars
     of one constellation, stealing forth through the bloody
     clouds out of the old world, like giants; and didst thou
     think of _this_,--how imperishably they loved each other,
     and thou, like me, wast alone? And, solitary one, when
     night--that season at which the spirit of man, as in torrid
     climes, _toils_ and _travels_--reveals her cold suns above
     thee in a sparkling chain, and when, still, among all the
     distant forms of the ether there is no dear loved one, and
     immensity painfully draws thee up, and thou feelest, upon
     the cold earth, that thy heart beats against no breast but
     only thine own,--O beloved! weepest thou then, and most

     "Charles, often have I reckoned up, on my birthday, the
     increasing years,--the feathers in the broad wing of
     time,--and thought upon the sounding flight of youth: then I
     stretched my hand far out after a friend, who should stick
     by me in the Charon's skiff wherein we are born, when the
     seasons of life's year glide by along the shore before me,
     with their flowers and leaves and fruits, and when, on the
     long stream, the human race shoots downward in its thousand
     cradles and coffins.

     "Ah, it is not the gay, variegated shore that flies by, but
     man and his stream: forever bloom the seasons in the gardens
     up and down along the shore; only _we_ sweep by once for all
     before the garden, and never return.

     "But our friend goes too. O, if thou at this hour of death's
     juggleries art contemplating the pale Prince, with the
     images of youth on his breast, and thinking of the gray
     friend who secretly bewails him in Tartarus, then will thy
     heart dissolve, and in soft, warm flames run round through
     thy bosom, and softly say: 'I will love, and then die, and
     then love--O Almighty, show me the soul which longs and
     languishes like mine!'

     "If thou say'st that, if thou art thus, then come to my
     heart: I am as thou. Grasp my hand, and hold it till it
     withers. I have seen thy form to-day, and on it the marks of
     life's wounds: hasten to me; I will bleed and struggle at
     thy side. I have long and early sought and loved thee. Like
     two streams will we mingle and grow, and bear our burdens,
     and dry up together. Like silver in the furnace, we will run
     together with glowing light, and all slags shall lie cast
     out around the pure shimmering metal. Laugh not, then, any
     longer so grimly, to think what _ignes-fatui_ men are; like
     _ignes-fatui we_ burn and fly away in the rainy storm of
     time. And then, when time is gone by, we find each other
     again, and it will be again in the spring.

                              "ALBANO DE CESARA."

48. CYCLE.

How gloriously,--before all the beating veins of the inner man, like
those of the outer in old age, have stiffened into gristle, and all the
vessels have become inflexible and earthy, and the moral pulse, like the
physical, hardly makes sixty strokes in a minute, and before the shy old
fool, at every emotion, reserves a piece of his nature which he keeps
cold and dry, and which is to wait for another occasion, as sprinkled
raspberry leaves always remain dry on the rough side,--how gloriously, I
say, before this period of espionage, does a youth, especially an
Albano, step along his path, how freely, boldly, and exultingly! and
seeks with equal confidence the friend and the foe, and closes with him,
to fight either for him or against him!

Let this excuse Albano's fiery letter! The next day he received from
Roquairol this answer:--

     "I am as thou. On ascension-evening I will seek thee among
     the masks.


The redness of mortification rushed over the Count's face at this
artificial postponement of the acquaintance; he felt that, after such a
tone from the heart, _he_ would have immediately, without a dead interim
of five days, and without an _homage-day masquerade_ in a double sense,
gone to his friend and become his. But now he swore no longer to run to
meet him, but only to wait for him. However, the roused indignation soon
subsided, and he began to invent fairer and fairer mitigations for the
first leaf of the so-long-sought favorite. Charles might certainly, e.
g. not wish to mix up the holy time of the first recognition with this
bustle of taking the allegiance-oath,--or that first suicidal masquerade
might have made every succeeding one an inspiring era of a new second
life,--or he knew, perhaps, in fact, about Albano's birthday,--or,
finally, this glowing spirit chose to run or fly on his own track.

Meanwhile, his note made the Count reproach himself for his own letter,
as if it had been a sin against his Schoppe; he held it to be a sin, in
one friendship, to yearn after another; but thou mistakest, fair soul!
Friendship has steps which lead up on the throne of God, through all
spirits, even to the Infinite: only love is satiable, and, like truth,
admits no three degrees of comparison; and a single being fills its
heart. Moreover, Albano and Schoppe, in such a mutual metempsychosis of
their ideas, and such a near relationship of their pride and nobility,
held each other far more dear than they showed to each other. For, as
Schoppe, in fact, showed nothing, one could love him in return only with
the finger on the lip, but, perhaps, so much the more strongly. Albano
was a burning-hot concave mirror, which has its object near, and
represents it erect behind itself; Schoppe one which holds the object
far off, and throws an inverted image of it into the air.

On the evening before his birthday, and the day of allegiance, Albano
stood alone at his window, and pondered his past,--for a last day is
more solemn than a first: on the 31st of December I reckon up three
hundred and sixty-five days and their fates; on the first of January I
think of nothing, because, in fact, the whole future is transparent, or
may be all out in five minutes;--while the vesper-bell pealed over the
fast-closing twentieth year of his life, and the vesper-hour rose within
him, he measured the _abside-line_[101] of his moral being, and looked
up at the towering pile of the approaching morrow, which hung full
either of spring-showers or hailstones. Never yet had he so tenderly
surveyed the circle of his beloved beings, or glanced through the open
doors of futurity, as at this time.

But the fair hour was spoiled by Malt, who burst in with the information
that the limping gentleman had leaped overboard. From the dormer-window
might be seen a returning village funeral-procession, conglomerated
around the spot on the bank where Schoppe had plunged in. With frightful
wildness--for in Albano indignation was next-door neighbor to terror and
pain--he dragged along with him, as he flew to the rescue, the lazy
provincial physician, and even threatened him with hard words; for Sphex
was going to wait for a carriage, and meanwhile represent to himself the
possible cases of too late preparations for a rescue, and besides,
perhaps, cherished a hope of serving up Schoppe, on the anatomical
table, as Doctor's-feast of science.

The youth ran out with him,--through corn-fields, amidst tears and
amidst curses,--with alternate clenched fist and outspread palm, and his
eye grew more and more dim and dizzy, and his heart hotter and hotter,
the nearer they approached the dark circle. At last they could not only
see the Librarian, but also hear him; in good case he turned towards
them his curly head from among the reeds, and, occasionally, as he was
haranguing the mourning-retinue, he flung up, in a fiery manner, his
hairy arm above the water-plants.

Of course the case stood thus:--

His sorites, as long as he lived, was the following: "He had come into
the world, not feet foremost, but head foremost, and, accordingly,
carried his head and nose high and lofty,[102] because he could not help
it. Now he knew of no more genuine freedom than health;--every malady
shuts up and warps the soul, and the earth is, merely for that
reason, a universal block-house, _la salpetrière_ and house of
bruises;[103]--whoso made use of an oyster-snail-viper medicine was
himself a slimy, snaky, sticking viper, oyster, snail, and therefore the
ever-free savages killed their invalids, and the vigorous Spartans gave
no patient an office, least of all the crown;--and strength was
especially necessary, in our degenerate days, in order to maul qualified
subjects, because, to his certain knowledge, the fist with some
substance in it was the best plaintiff's plea and _actio ex lege
diffamari_ which a citizen could institute."

Therefore he bathed summer and winter in ice-cold water, just as he, for
the same reason, kept himself temperate in all things.

Now, then, in this odious May-weather, he had merely, in his gray
hussar-cloak,--at home, his night-gown,--and with shoes down at the
heel, gone to the water-side; he had previously stripped himself at the
house so as to be ready as soon as he should arrive at the bank. The
mourning-company, who saw him go at his swift pace down to the water,
and at last throw off everything and leap in, could not but believe the
man meant to drown himself, and ran in a body to his bathing-place, not
to let him do it. "Do not drown himself!" cried the mourning-company of
blacks, while yet afar off. He just let them come on till he could
discourse the matter to them somewhat nearer, in the following wise:--"I
am yet open to conviction; I can hear reason, good folk, though I am
already standing up to my neck in the water; but suffer yourselves to be
correctly informed in this case, dear _Cherstens_ generally, for so
Christians were called in the time of Charles. I am a poor
Sacramentarian, and can hardly recollect what I have hitherto lived on,
it was so bloody-desperate little. Whatever I have undertaken in this
world, no blessing went with it, but it was all crab's-track backwards
and forward. I set up, in Vienna, a neat little magazine of snipes'
dung, but I made nothing out of it for want of snipes. I took hold on
the other end, and hawked about in Carlsbad, for the lords and great
ones, who are accustomed to set a picture upon every old stool and piece
of trumpery, fine engravings for waste-paper and privy purposes, in
order that, instead of the mere printed paper, they might have something
tasty for consumption; but the whole set was left, a dead loss, on my
hands, because the manner was too hard and not ideal enough. In London I
prepared ready-made speeches (for I am a _litterateur_) to be used by
men who are hanged, and yet would fain have something to say for
themselves: I offered them to the richest parliamentary orators, and
even knaves of booksellers, but came near having to use the speeches for
myself. I would gladly have got my living by vomiting,[104] but that
requires funds. I tried once to get a settlement as note-stand to a
count's regiment, because it looks stupid enough on drill- and
parade-days to see every one with a musical flap hanging on his
shoulder, from which his next neighbor behind plays. I offered for a
trifle to wear all the musicalia on my own person, and stand before them
with the notes; but the first-lieutenant (who is at once in the regency
and in the treasury) thought it would make the fifers laugh when they
came to blow. Thus has it fared with me from time immemorial, dear
Cherstens--but don't trample about on my precious cloak there! As ill
luck would have it, I entered into wedlock with a lady of Vienna, who
was endowed with melted seals;[105] her name was _Prænumerantia
Elementaria Philanthropia_;[106] you don't know what this means in
German,--a real hell-broom, who chased me, all heated, like a hunted
stag, into the reeds here. Cherstens, I should defame myself in the
water, were I to come out plainly with the whole story of our woful
condition;[107] ... in short, my Philanthropia before marriage was soft
as the spines of a new-born hedge-hog, but in the nuptial state, when
the foliage was off, I saw, as on trees in winter, one raven's- and
devil's-nest after another. She was all the time dressing herself and
dressing herself, till it was time to undress; when a fault in me or the
children had been removed, she would still continue to scold a little,
as one continues to vomit, when the emetic and everything is out; she
indulged me preciously little, and had I had a Fontanel[108] she would
have reproached me for the fresh pea which I should have been obliged
every day to put into it; in short, we two pulled opposite ways,--the
linch-pin of love came out in the struggle, and I came with the
forward-wheels down into the water here, and my Prænumerantia stays with
the hind-wheels at home. See, my women, this is why I do violence to
myself--besides, the gnawing-man[109] would have, at any rate, caught me
by the throat; but behold yourselves in me as in a mirror! For when a
man who is a _litterateur_, and therefore, as you yet know by the case
of Fichte, goes about as instituted overseer, schoolmaster, and mentor
of the human race, leaps overboard before his wife's face, and lets his
Ephorie and tutorship go, you may conclude from this of what your own
husbands, who cannot measure themselves with me at all in learning, are
capable, in case you are such Prænumerantias, Elementarias, and
Philanthropias as unfortunately you have the appearance of being. But,"
he concluded suddenly, as he saw Albano and the Doctor, "clear
yourselves away; I am going to drown myself!"

"Ah, dear Schoppe!" said Albano. Schoppe blushed at his situation. "It
must be a clown," said the retiring funeral retinue. "What child's
foolery is this, then?" asked Sphex, resenting Albano's former passion
and the anatomical misshot, and derived satisfaction from telling the
story of the latter's rage. Schoppe knew how heartily the noble youth
loved him, and he would not say anything, because he was ashamed, but he
swore to himself (in the grotesque style to which he was accustomed even
in soliloquy) very shortly to let him into his breast-cavern, and show
him hanging therein a whole, wild heart full of love.

49. CYCLE.

The blue day on which an ascension, a rendering of allegiance, and a
birthday were to be celebrated already stood over Pestitz, after having
cast off its morning-red,--two horses were already harbingers of four,
the lowly coach-box, of the highest,--the country nobility already went
down, uncomfortably frizzled, into the rooms of the inn, and scolded at
being cheated out of the fairest weather for heath-cock coupling,
and the city nobility, yet unpowdered, spoke of the day, but
without real earnestness,--the court-micrometer,[110] the
court-marshal, was surrounded by all his quartermasters,--the
court-transit-instruments,[111] the courtiers, instead of their
half-holiday, when they work only in the afternoon, had a whole
working-day, and were already standing at the wash-table,--the
allegiance-preacher, Schäpe, believed almost every word of his
discourse, because he had read it too many times over, and the nearness
of publication infused emotion into him,--there was no longer a domino
to be had for the evening, except among the Jews,--when a man alighted
at the door of the Doctor's house, who among all others was the most
honest and hearty about the allegiance, the Director Wehrfritz. There
were a son and a father in each other's arms, a fiery youth and a fiery
man. Albano seemed to him no longer to be the old Albano, but--warmer
than ever. He brought with him from "his women," as he called them,
congratulatory letters and birthday presents; he himself made not much
of the birthday or forgot it, and Albano had only celebrated it a little
just after waking. These festivals belong more to the other sex, who
gladly toy with times and seasons in the way of loving and giving.

The Titular Librarian marched out to a village, named Klosterdorf, where
the Mayor with his family, after an ancient custom, had to imitate the
Prince with his, and so, as commissioner, drive in the allegiance of the
neighboring circle; this, Schoppe said, he still was pleased with, but
the other worked too fatally on his inwards. The Director, dazzled by
the prospects of the day, and posted in the front with an official
speech to the chivalry, fell into a quarrel with Schoppe. "The Exchequer
and the Court," said he, "have been, of course, from time immemorial,
such as they are; but the Princes, dear sir, are good; they are
themselves sucked dry, and then they seem to be the suckers."
"Somewhat," rejoined Schoppe, "as the death-vampyres only give out blood
from themselves, while they appear to take it; but I make up for that
again by attributing wholly to the Regents, besides the sins of others,
the merits, victories, and sacrifices of others also; herein they are
the pelicans, who shed a blood for their children which really at a
distance seems to be their own."

All went off: Schoppe, out into the country; Wehrfritz, to church with
the procession; Albano, into a spectator's-box in the allegiance-hall;
for he would not in any wise be stuck into the train of the Prince, not
even as embroidery. Soon the noisy stream of pomp came sounding back
into the hall. The chivalry, the spirituality, and the cities mounted
the stage, where the oath was to be taken. In the court-yard of the
castle one foot stood upon another, and a needle might, to be sure, have
reached the ground, but no one could do so, to pick it up; everybody
looked up at the balcony, and cursed before he _swore_. The Prince, too,
stayed not away; the throne, that graduated and paraphrased princely
seat, stood open, and Fraischdörfer had decorated it with beautiful
mythological and heraldic shoulder-pieces and appendages.

Opposite the Count bloomed the court-dames, and below them a rose and a
lily, Julienne and Liana. As one lifts his eye from the stiff frosty
landscape of winter to the blue breathing heavens which looked down upon
our spring evenings, and wherein the light summer clouds floated and the
rainbow stood, so did he glance over the shining snow-light of the court
at the lovely Grace of spring, around whom remembrances hung, like
flowers, and who now stood so far aloof, so cut off, so imprisoned in
the heavy finery of the court! Only through her friend, who sits beside
her, was she gently melted and harmonized with the dazzling present.

Now began fine official speeches, the longest being made by the old
Minister, the shortest by Wehrfritz: the Prince let the warm eulogies
glide over his December-visage without thawing it down,--a mistaken
indifference! For the praise of the Minister, as well as of other
court-servants, may yet help him with posterity, since, according to
Bacon, no praise is of more consequence than that which servants give,
because they surely know their master best.

Then the Upper-Secretary, Heiderscheid, read Luigi's genealogical table,
and illuminated the hollow family-tree, together with its dryness, and
the last pale green twig; with sunken eyes Julienne heard this amid the
_vivat_ of the people, and Albano, never subdued by _one_ thought alone,
saw her eyes, and could not, however intently the Regent listened,
avoid the funeral picture, how, one day, and that very soon, this
extinguished man would bear down after him the name of his whole race
into the vault; he saw them carving the inverted arms and hanging the
shield upside down, and heard the shovels strike against the helmet and
fling the earth after the coffin. Gloomy idea! the tender sister would
certainly have wept, had she only been alone!

At last the turn came to those, to whom it never comes first, although
they are the only ones who have a hearty meaning in such ceremonies.
Heiderscheid stepped out on the balcony, and caused the noisy swarming
multitude to stretch out the forefinger and thumb, and repeat the oath
after him. The mass, always fascinated, shouted their _vivat_; in the
dazzled eyes gleamed the confident expectation of a better regency and
love for the unknown individual. The Count, whom a multitude generally
made enthusiastic, as it did Schoppe melancholy, glowed with the
inspiration of brotherly love and thirst for achievement; he saw
princes, like omnipotent ones, holding sway on their eminences, and saw
the blooming provinces and the gay cities of a wisely-ruled land spread
out before him; he represented to himself how he, were he a prince,
could, with the electric sparkling of the sceptre-point, dart, with an
animating shock, into millions of united hearts at once, whereas he
could now, with so great difficulty, scarcely kindle a few of the
nearest; he saw his throne, as a mountain in morning light, pouring out,
instead of lava, navigable streams through the lands, and breaking the
storms, with a hum of harvests and festivals around its feet; he thought
to himself how far, from such a high place, he could send light abroad,
like a moon, which does not hide the sun by day, but, from her
elevation, flings his distant brightness into the night,--and how he
would, instead of only defending, _create_ and _educate_ freedom, and be
a regent for the sake of forming self-regents.[112] "But why am I not
one?" said he mournfully.

Noble youth! do thy estates, then, furnish thee no subjects? But just so
does the lesser prince believe he would govern a duchy quite otherwise,
and the higher one believes the same in regard to a kingdom, and so does
the highest, in regard to universal monarchy.

Meanwhile, all through this singular uneasy day, wild perspectives of
youth passed to and fro before him, and the old spirit-voice, which he
was going to meet to-day, repeated in him the dark exhortation, Take the
crown! Wehrfritz came back in the evening with a red face from the fiery
allegiance-banquet, and Albano took an agitated leave of him, as if of
the ebb and calm of life--his childish youth; for to-day he launched out
deeper into its waves. Schoppe came back and wanted to have him before
the sight-hole of his show-box, wherein he slid through the
vicariate-allegiance-swearing in Klosterdorf, in a series of comic
pictures; but these contrasted too severely with higher ones, and gave
little pleasure.

At night Albano put on his beautiful, serious character-mask, that of a
knight-templar,--for a comic one his form, and almost his mood, was too
great;--the latter was made still more solemn by this funeral dress of a
whole murdered knightly order. After he had caused to be described to
him once more the awful paths of Tartarus, and the burial-place of the
Prince's heart, to avoid mistaking of the way in the night, he went
forth, about ten o'clock, with a high-heaving bosom, which the
night-larvæ[113] of fancy, together with friendship and love and the
whole future, conspired to excite.

50. CYCLE.

Albano stepped, for the first time, into the inverted puppet-world of a
masquerade, as into a dancing realm of the dead. The black forms, the
slit masks, the strange eyes, gleaming as out of night behind them,
which, as in that mouldering Sultan in the coffin, alone remained
alive,--the mingling and mimicking of all ranks, the flying and
ring-running of the clinking dance, and his own solitude under the
mask,--all this translated him, with his Shakespearian frame of spirit,
into an enchanted and ghostly island full of juggleries, chimeras, and
metamorphoses. Ah, this is the bloody scaffold, was his first thought,
where the brother of thy Liana rent his young life, like a
mourning-garment; and he looked fearfully round, as if he feared
Roquairol might again attempt death.

Among the masks he found no one under which he could suppose him to be;
this meaningless cousinship of standing parts, footmen, butchers, Moors,
ancestors, &c.,--these could not conceal any loved one of Albano's.
Lonesomely and inquisitively he paced up and down behind the rows of the
Anglaise; and more than ten eyes, which glistened opposite in the
annular eclipse of the lace mask,--for women, from their
open-heartedness, do not love masks, but are fond of showing
themselves,--followed the powerfully and pliantly built form, which,
with the bold helm and plume, with the crossed white mantle and the
gleaming mail on his breast, seemed to bring a knight out of the heroic

At last a masked lady, who was chatting between unmasked ones, came up
to him with long steps and large feet, and boldly grasped his hand as if
for a dance. He was extremely embarrassed at the boldness of the
summons, and about the choice of an answer; it is valor precisely that
loves to marry itself to gallantry, as the Damascene blade, besides
hardness, possesses a perpetual fragrance; but the lady only wrote in
his hand his initials, with the interrogation-mark after them,--"_v.
C.?_" and after the Yes, the charming one said, softly, "Do you not
remember me? the master of exercises, Von Falterle?" Albano testified,
notwithstanding his dislike of the part, a real joy at finding again a
companion of his youth. He asked which mask was Captain Roquairol;
Falterle assured him he had not yet arrived.

By this time--as the footmen, the butchers, Falterle, &c., were only the
snow-drops of this masquerade-spring--better flowers--violets,
forget-me-nots, and primroses--had sprung up or come in. For one such
forget-me-not I see a churl entering, puffed out behind and before, and
convex like a burning-glass, who now opened the back-door and shook out
confects from his hump-back, and then the front-door and produced
sausages. Hafenreffer, however, writes me the invention has once before
appeared at a masquerade in Vienna. Then came a company of German
play-cards, which shuffled and played out and took each other; a fine
emblem of atheism, which exhibits it wholly free from the absurdity
wherewith men have so loved to disfigure it! Mr. Von Augusti appeared
also, but in simple dress and domino; he became (incomprehensibly to the
Count) very soon the polar-star of the dancers, and the controlling
Cartesian vortex of the dancing-school.

With what miserable, black ammunition-biscuit and beggar's-bread of
enjoyment these people get along! thought Albano, to whom, all day long,
his dreams, those Jupiter's-doves, had been bringing ambrosia. And how
pale and stale is their fire, their fancy, and their speech, he thought
too. Verily, a life down in a gloomy glacier-chasm! for he imagined
everybody must speak and feel as intensely and ardently as he.

Now came a limping man, with a great glass-chest on his belly; of course
it was easy to recognize the Librarian; he had on--either because he
sent too late, or would not pay, for a domino--something black, which he
had borrowed of a mourning-cloak lender, and was covered from
shoulder-blade to shin-bone with awful masks, which he, with many
finger-signs, offered mostly to those people who played their parts
behind the opposite kind, e. g. short-nosed ones to long noses. He was
waiting for the beginning of a hop Anglaise, the notes for which stood
just on the hand-organ of his chest; then he, too, began; he had therein
an excellent puppet-masquerade which had been planed out by Bestelmaier,
and now he set the little masks to hopping parallel with the great ones.
His object was a comparative anatomy of the two masquerades, and the
parallelism was melancholy. Besides, he had rigged it all out with
by-work: little dumb persons swung their little bells in the chest; a
tolerably grown-up child rocked the cradle of an inanimate doll, with
which the little fool still played; a mechanic was working away at his
speaking machine, by which he was going to show the world how far mere
mechanism could go toward giving life to puppets; a live, white
mouse[114] sprang out by a little chain, and would have upset many of
the club, if he could have broken it; a starling, buried-alive, a true
first Greek comedy and school for scandal in miniature, was practising
upon the dancing-company the death-blow of the tongue with perfect
freedom and without distinction; a looking-glass-wall mimicked the
living scenes of the chest so deceptively, that every one took the
images for true puppets.

The point of this comico-tragic dagger came home directly enough upon
Albano, as, besides, the hopping wax-figure-cabinet of the great
masquerade seemed to double the solitude of man, and to separate two
selves by four faces; but Schoppe went further.

In his glass case stood a faro-bank, and by it a little man, who cut out
the masked banker in black paper, but into a likeness of the German
gentleman; this picture he carried into the card-chamber, where a
bank-keeping mask--most certainly Cephisio--must needs hear and see him.
The banker looked at him some time inquiringly. Another, dressed wholly
in black, with a dying expression, which represented the _Hippocratica
facies_,[115] did the same. Albano looked towards it with a fiery
glance, because it occurred to him it might be Roquairol, for it had his
stature and torch-like eye. The pale mask lost much, and kept redoubling
its loss; at that it drank out of a quill immoderate draughts of
Champagne wine. The Lector came up; Schoppe kept on playing before the
eyes that crowded round; the pale mask looked steadily and sternly at
the Count. Schoppe took off his own before Bouverot; but there was
another under it; he pulled this off; it disclosed an under-mask of the
under-mask; he carried on the process to the fifth root;--at last his
own rough face came forth, but bronzed with gold-beater's skin and
distorted, as it turned towards Bouverot, with an almost frightful glaze
and smile.

The pale mask itself seemed to start, and hastened with long strides off
into the dancing-hall; it threw itself wildly into the wildest of the
dance. This, too, confirmed Albano's conjecture, as well as its great
defying hat, which seemed to him a crown, because he prized nothing more
highly about manly attire than fur, cloak, and hat.

More and more fingers continually drew the letters "_v. C._" in his
hand, and he nodded composedly. The time surrounded him with manifold
dramas, and everywhere he stood between theatre-curtains. As with uneasy
head and heart he stepped to the window, to see whether he should soon
have moonshine for his night-walk, he saw a heavy hearse, flanked by
torches, move along across the market, which was conveying a manor-lord
to his family-vault; and the undisturbed night-watchman called out,
behind the creeping dead man, the beginning of the spirit-hour and of a
birth-hour, which is precious to us. Could his smitten heart refrain
from saying to him how sharply Death, the hard, solid, insoluble, with
its glacier-air, sweeps through the warm scenes of life, and leaves
behind it all over which it breathes stiff and snow-white? Could he help
thinking of the cold young sister, whose voice now awaited him in
Tartarus? And as Schoppe, with his puppet-parody, came to him, and he
pointed out to him the street, and the latter said: "Bon! Friend Death
sits on his game-wagon, and glances quietly up, as if the friend would
say, 'Bon! only dance on; I make my return trip, and carry you too to
your place and spot,'"--how close must it have been to him under his
sultry visor! At this second the pale mask came, with others, to the
window; he opened his glowing face for coolness; a hasty draught of
wine, and still more his fancy, showed him the world in burning
surfaces; the mask surveyed him closely, with a dark, uncertain glow of
the eye, which he at last could no longer bear, because it might as well
have been kindled by hatred as by love, just as the spots on the sun
seem now like abysses and now like mountains.

Eleven o'clock had gone by; he suddenly disappeared from the hot looks
and the crushing throng, and betook himself on his way to the heart
without a breast.

51. CYCLE.

While he stood at the gate awaiting his sword, a group of new masks
(mostly representatives of lifelessness, e. g. a boot, peruke-stand,
&c.) came running into the city, and peered with astonishment at the
tall, white, knightly stranger. He took his sword with him, but no
servant. Whatever the danger into which the visit of a secluded, gloomy
catacomb-avenue, and the foreknowledge of this visit on the part of
others, might plunge him, his character left him no other choice than
the one which he had made; no, he would sooner have let himself be
murdered than shamed before his father.

How thy spirit mounted aloft, like a lightning-flash darting upward
toward heaven, when the great Night, with her saintly halo of stars,
stood erect before thee!--Beneath the heavens there is no terror, only
under the earth!--Broad shadows lay across his road to Elysium, which on
Sunday had been colored with dew-drops and butterflies. In the distance
fiery prongs grew out of the earth and moved along;--it was the hearse
with the torches in the lower road. When he came to the cross-way which
leads through the ruined castle into Tartarus, he looked round toward
the enchanted grove, on whose winding bridge life and songs of joy had
met him; all was dumb therein, and only a long gray bird of prey
(probably a paper dragon) wheeled over it to and fro.

He passed through the old castle into an orchard that had been sawed
down, and looked like a tree-churchyard; then into a pale wood, full of
peeled May-trees, which with faded ribbons and banners all looked toward
Elysium,--a withered pleasure grove of so many happy days. Some
windmills, with their long shadow-arms, struck into the midst, and were
continually seizing and vanishing.

Impetuously Albano ran down a stairway darkened with hangings, and came
upon an old battle-field,--a gloomy waste with a black wall, of which
the monotony was broken only by white gypsum heads, which stood in the
earth as if they were on the point of sinking or of resurrection; a
tower full of blind gates and blind windows stood in the midst, and the
solitary clock talked with itself therein, and, with its iron rod
swaying to and fro, seemed fain to divide the wave of time, which ever
tended to run together again: it struck three quarters to twelve, and
deep in the wood the echo murmured as if in sleep, and softly spake once
more to fleeting man of fleeting time. The road ran in an eternal circle
round about the churchyard wall, without coming to a gate. Alban must,
according to his information, seek a spot in the wall where it roared
and reeled under him.

At last he stepped upon a stone which sank with him; then a section of
the wall fell down; and a tangled wood, full of clumps of trees, whose
stems twined together into bush-work, intercepted every beam of the
moon. As he looked round him under the gate, there hung over the shadowy
stairway a pale head like a bust of the murder-field, and passed down
without a body, and the bloodless dead seemed to awake and run after
it;--the cold hellstone[116] of horror contracted his heart: he stood:
the death's-head hovered immovable over the last step!

All at once his heart sucked in warm blood again; he turned toward the
misshapen wood with drawn sword, because he was bearing along his life
in his hand near armed Death. He followed in the darkness of the
moss-green towers the roar of the subterranean flood and the rocking of
the ground. Unfortunately he looked round again, and there stood the
death's-head behind him still, but high in the air on the trunk of a
giant. The extreme of horror always drove him with compressed eyes full
upon a phantom; he called twice through the echoing wood, "Who's there?"
But when, at this moment, a second head seemed all at once to stand
beside the first, then his hand clove, frozen, to the ice-cold key of
the gate of the world of the dead, and he tore it away bleeding.

He fled, and plunged through thicker and thicker twigs, till at last he
came out into an open garden and into the splendor of the moon; here, ah
here, when he saw the holy, immortal heavens and the rich stars in the
north gleaming again, which never rise nor set, the pole-star and
Friederich's-Ehre,[117] the Bear and the Serpent, and Charles's Wain
and Cassiopæa, which looked down upon him mildly, as if with the bright
winking eyes of eternal spirits, then his spirit asked itself, "Who can
lay hands on me? I am a spirit among spirits"; and the courage of
immortality beat again in his warm breast.

But what a singular garden! Great and little flowerless beds, full of
yew, rue, and rosemary, divided it among them; a circle of weeping
birches drooped like a funeral train around the mute spot; under the
garden murmured the buried brook, and in the middle stood a white altar,
near which lay a man.

Albano was strengthened by the appearance of the common dress and the
mechanic's bundle on which the sleeper rested; he stepped quite close to
him, and read the golden inscription of the altar: "Take my last
offering, all-gracious one!" The heart of the Prince must here be
mouldering in the altar.

Ah, after these rigid scenes, it soothed his soul even to tears to find
here human words and a human sleep, and the remembrance of God; but as
he looked with emotion at the sleeper, suddenly that sister's voice
which he had heard on Isola Bella said softly in his ear, "I give thee
Linda de Romeiro." "Ah, good God!" he cried, and turned round; and there
was nothing on either side of him, and he held himself up by the corner
of the altar. "I give thee Linda de Romeiro," it said again; frightfully
the thought seized him, that the hovering death's-head might be speaking
near him, and he shook the sound sleeper, who woke not, and shook and
called still more violently, when the voice spake for a third time.

"What?" said the drowsy man, "directly! What will he?--you?" and raised
himself reluctantly and with a yawn; but at the sight of the naked sword
fell down on his knees, and said: "Mercy! I will, indeed, give up all!"

"Zesara!" a cry came from the wood,--"Zesara, where art thou?" and he
heard his own voice; but now he boldly called back, "At the altar!" A
black form rushed out, with a white mask in hand, and hesitated in the
moonlight before the armed one. Then at length Albano recognized the
brother of Liana, for whom he had so long panted; he flung his sword
behind him, and ran to meet him. Roquairol stood before him mute, pale,
and with a sublime repose on his countenance. Albano continued to stand
near him, and said with emotion, "Hast thou been seeking me, Charles?"
Roquairol nodded silently, and had tears in his eyes, and opened his
arms. Ah, then could the blissful man, with all the flames and tears of
love fall upon the long-loved soul, and he kept saying incessantly, "Now
we have each other! now we have each other!" And more and more
passionately he embraced him, as the pillar of his future, and melted
into tears, because now, indeed, the buried love of so many years and so
many choked up fountains of the poor heart could at once gush forth.
Roquairol, trembling, only clasped him to himself gently with one arm,
and said, but without passion, "I am a dying man, and that is my face,"
holding forth the yellow death-mask; "but I have my Albano, and will die
on his bosom."

Wildly they twined around each other; the sap of life, Love, ran through
them with a creative power; the ground over the rolling, subterranean
flood shook more violently; and the starry heaven, with the white, magic
breath of its trembling stars, floated around the magic glow.

Ah ye happy ones!

52. CYCLE.

Some men are born fast friends; their first finding of each other is
only a second, and they then, like those who have been long parted,
bring to each other not only a future, but a past also;--this latter our
happy ones demanded of one another impatiently. Roquairol answered
Alban's question, How he came hither, in a fiery manner: "He had been
following him this whole evening,--he had gazed at him at the window
during the funeral pomp with such a painful longing, and had almost been
constrained to fly and embrace him,--he had already, but a moment ago,
stood close by him, and at his question, 'Who's there?' immediately
taken off his mask." Now did Albano's fallen arm strike again tensely
through the thin magic-lantern show of ghostly fear, as he now
learned that the two-headed giant had grown entirely out of an
optically-magnifying, mistaken notion of the distance of a form which
was so near, and the death's-head had forfeited its body on the stairway
only by the dark curtains and its black dress; even the hard
spirit-scene at the altar seemed to him now less insuperable through the
rich gain of living love.

Roquairol asked him what woe or joy had driven him hither at midnight to
a _Moravian_ churchyard, and whither he had sent the man with the sword.
Albano did not know that Moravians reposed here; and, moreover, he had
not observed that the sword, probably from fear of its being used, had
been stolen. He answered, "My dead sister was fain to speak with me at
the altar; and she has spoken"; but he feared to say more of this. Then
Roquairol's countenance suddenly changed; he stared at him, and demanded
confirmation and explanation; during this he looked into the air as if
he would draw faces from it by his looks, and said monotonously, fixing
his eyes, however, on Albano the while, "Dead one, dead one, speak
again!" But only the death-flood went on speaking under them, and
nothing more. But he threw himself before the altar on his knees, and
said in measured tone, and yet with trembling lips: "Fly open,
spirit-gate, and show thy transparent world. I fear not you, the
transparent ones; I become one of you, when you appear, and walk with
you, and become an apparition myself." "O my good one, forbear," Albano
entreated, not only from piety, but from love also; for an accident, a
night-bird shooting over, might, indeed, kill them by horror: this
horror stood, too, not far from them; for on the illuminated side of the
weeping birches stepped out a white, majestic old form. But when
Roquairol, frantic with wine and fancy, reached out the dying mask into
the air, and said, turning toward the grave of the heart, "Take this
face, if thou hast none, old man, and look at me from behind it!" Alban
seized him; the white form stepped back with bowed head and folded arms
into the branches; the round tower on the battle-field struck the hour,
and the dreamy region, murmuring, struck a response.

"Come to my warm heart, thou passionate soul. O that I were permitted to
receive thee on my very birthday, at my very birth-hour!" This sound
melted at once the ever-changing man, and he hung upon him with wet eyes
of joy, and said: "And to keep me even till our dying hours! O look not
upon me, thou unchangeable, because I appear so wavering and broken; in
the waves of life man breaks and crinkles as the staff flickers in the
water, but the essential being stands nevertheless firm as the staff. I
will follow thee into other parts of Tartarus; but still relate the

To give this history amounted to opening a _sanctum sanctorum_ of the
inner man, or even a coffin to the light of day; but do you believe that
Albano bethought himself a minute? or would you yourselves? We are all
better, franker, warmer friends than we know and show; only let the
right spirit meet you,--such a one as thirsting Love ever
demands,--pure, large, clear, and tender and warm,--and you give him
everything, and love him without measure, because he is without fault.
Albano found in this stranger the first friend who ever responded to his
whole heart with like tones, the first eye which his shy feelings did
not shun, a soul before whose first tear flowers started up out of his
whole future life as out of the dry wastes of torrid climes during the
rainy season;--hence love gave his strong spirit only the equable, broad
motion of a sea, whereas his friend, although older and longer-trained,
was a stream with waterfalls.

Charles led him into the so-called catacomb, while he listened to the
ghost-story of Isola Bella, which, however, from having been exhausted
by the former, he heard with diminished fear. A dreary, charred vale,
full of sunken shafts, basked gray in the moonshine; out of the wood
crept forth the death-flood below their feet, and leaped down a stony
stairway into the catacombs. The two followed it on another that ran by
its side. The entrance bore as frontispiece an old dial-plate, of which
the lightning had once struck away the hour _one_. "One?" said Albano;
"singular!--just our coming hour!"

How adventurously does the catacomb now wind onward! The long
death-flood murmurs obscurely far in through the darkness, and glimmers
at times under the silvery stream which the moonlight sends in through
the shaft-openings; immovable creatures--horses, dogs, birds--stand
drinking on the dark bank, that is to say, their stuffed skins; small
gravestones, worn smooth by time, with a few names and limbs, are the
pavement; on a brighter niche we read that a nun was immured here; in
another stands the petrified skeleton of a miner, who was buried alive,
with gilded ribs and thighs; in scattered spots were black paper hearts
of men shot by the arquebuse, and heaped-up nosegays of poor sinners;
the rod which had whipped a forgiven penitent to death, a glass bust
with a phosphorus point in the water, chrisom-cloths[118] and other
children's clothes and playthings, and a dwarf skeleton.

As the explanatory words of Roquairol, whose life-path always ran down
into vaults and out over graves, beat out life more and more thin and
transparent before him, Zesara, after his manner, at once shaking his
head, heaving forward his breast, stamping in the sand, and cursing
(which he easily did in terror and in strong emotion), broke out with
the words: "By the Devil! thou crushest my breast and thine own. It is
not so! Are we not together? Have I not thy warm, living hand? Burns not
within us the fire of immortality? Burnt-out coals are these bones, and
nothing more; and the heavenly flame which has consumed them has again
seized upon other fuel, and blazes on. O," he added, as if comforted,
and stepped into the brook and looked through the opening of the shaft
up to the rich moon, which streamed down from heaven, and his great eyes
filled with splendor,--"O, there is a heaven and an immortality; we
remain not in the dark hole of life; we, too, sweep through the ether
like thee, thou shining world!"

"Ah, thou glorious one," said Charles, whose soul consisted of souls, "I
will now bring thee to a more cheerful place." They had hardly gone
eight steps, when it darkened behind them, and a sword, flung in
overhead, came perpendicularly down, and struck with its point in the
sand under the waves. "O thou infernal devil up there!" cried the
infuriate Roquairol; but Albano was softened at the thought of the iron
virgin[119] of the death-hour, who had folded her sharp arms together so
near him. They clasped each other more warmly, and went silent and sad
towards a low music and a grave-mound. They seated themselves upon it
opposite an avenue which formed a right angle with the tormenting
catacomb, lined with green moss, and of which crumbled sparks of rotten
wood pointed out the extent. It lost itself in an open gate, and a
prospect of Elysium, of which only the white summits of some
silver-poplars were distinguishable, and in the distance was seen the
spring redness of midnight blooming in the heavens, and two stars
twinkling overhead. The gate, however, was grated, and guarded by a
skeleton with an Æolian harp in his hand, which seemed to strike upon it
the thin minor tones which the draught of wind just now wafted into the

"Here," said Charles, at the beautiful spot, and made more curious by
the deadly fling of Albano's sword, "finish your narrative of to-day!"
Albano reported to him candidly the word which the sister's voice had
spoken: "I give thee Linda de Romeiro." In the tumult of his inner being
he thought not of the anecdote, that she was the very one for whom
Charles when a boy had proposed to die. "Romeiro?" he started up. "Be
still! She? O thou mocking executioner, Fate! Why she, and to-day? Ah,
Albano, for her I early braved death," he continued, weeping, and sank
upon his breast, "and that is what has made my heart so bad, because I
have lost her. Do thou only take her, for thou art a pure spirit; the
glorious shape which appeared to thee on the sea, so she looks, or now
still fairer. Ah, Albano!" This noble youth trembled at the complicated
plot, and at the destiny, and said: "No, no, thou dear Charles, thou
thinkest falsely about everything."

Suddenly it was as if all the constellations rang, and a melodious
spirit-choir thronged in through the gate. Albano was startled.
"Nothing; let be," said Charles. "It is not the skeleton; the _pious
father_ is walking in the _flute-dell_, and is just drawing out his
flutes, because he prays. But how sayest thou, I think falsely of
everything?" "How?" repeated Albano, and could not, in the magic circle
of these echoes, which all-powerfully brought back to him that Sunday
morning, either think or speak. For did not the silver-poplars wave to
and fro against the stars, and rosy clouds lie couched about the
heavens, and did not the whole Elysium pass openly by with the sounds
which had floated through it, with the tears which had besprinkled it,
and with the dreams which no heart forgets, and with the holy form which
eternally abides in his breast? And now he held so fast the hand of her
brother; so near was he to love and friendship, those two foci in the
ellipse of life's pathway; impetuously he embraced the brother, with the
words: "By Heaven, I say to thee, she whom thou hast just named concerns
me not, and never will."

"But, Albano, thou dost not surely know her yet?" said Charles, pursuing
his inquiries, perhaps, too hardly; for the noble youth beside him was
too bashful and too steadfast to unlock the sanctuary of wishes to the
kinsman of his loved one; to a stranger he could have done it much more
easily. "O torment me not," he answered sensitively; but he added more
softly, "Believe me, I pray you believe me, this first time, my good
brother!" Charles yielded full as seldom as he; and although swallowing
the inquisitive tone, and speaking in a right loving one, nevertheless
said this: "By my bliss, I'll do it, and with joy; a heart must have
been heartily loved and divinely blessed which can renounce such a one."
Ah, does Albano, then, know that! He only leaned silently, with his
fiery cheek full of roses, on Liana's brother, shunning scrutiny for
shame; but when the expiring calls of the flute-dell gathered together
like sighs in his breast, and reminded him too often how that Sunday
morning closed, how Liana stole away, and how he looked after her with
dim, wet eyes from the altar; then, although his heart did not break,
his eye broke into tears, and he wept violently, but silently, on his
first friend.

Then, with mute souls, they turned homeward, and looked thoughtfully
toward the long, vanishing ways of the future; and when they parted,
they well felt that they loved each other right heartily, that is, right

On the morrow the pious father lay prostrate under a shock which was
more blissful than mournful; for he said he had in the night seen his
friend, the deceased Prince, walking, clad in white, through Tartarus.


[92] [_Fauler Heinz._] Or Athanor, a chemical stove, which works
on for a long time without poking. [Corresponding to our
air-tight stove. _Athanor_, from the Greek, _undying_?--TR.]

[93] The translator had to resort to the Scotch to help him get
this pun into English.

[94] Ezek. xiii. 18: "Woe to the women that sew pillows to all
arm-holes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature, to
hunt souls!"--TR.

[95] According to Lempriere.

[96] Sanhedrim, c. 2, Misch. 3.

[97] Cic. ad Quirit. post redit, c. 3.

[98] His sect represented Christ's journey to hell as having
released all the wicked from that region, but not Abraham, Enoch,
the prophets, &c.--Tertul. adv. Marcion.

[99] A title given to black colors.

[100] The Corinthian, who was hidden from his enemies in a chest
of cedar, ivory, and gold, richly adorned with figures in relief,
and at last expelled the usurpers and mounted the throne.--TR.

[101] The line which is drawn from the aphelion to the
perihelion, the two apsides, or the nearest and farthest points
of a planet's distance from the sun.

[102] A child coming into the world face foremost cannot
afterward bend its head forward.--_The Mother of a Family_, Vol.

[103] The name of the Invalid Hospital in Copenhagen.

[104] In Darwin's Zoönomy, page 529, the case is adduced of a man
who did this before spectators. In Paris another did the same by
swallowing air.

[105] In Vienna there was an Institute which made new sealing-wax
out of old, and endowed poor persons with the proceeds.

[106] Such was the tasteless name by which Basedow was going to
baptize a daughter, in memory of the appearing of an elementary
work by subscription. See Schlichtegroll's Necrology.

[107] _Wehestande_, a parody of _Ehestande_, wedded state.

[108] An issue.

[109] A name given in some places to the consumption.

[110] A micrometer consists of fine threads stretched across in
the telescope, which serve to measure the smallest distance.

[111] The transit-instrument, or culminatory, observes when a
star has reached the highest point in its course.

[112] Autarchs; for monarchs or sole-rulers are etymologically
distinguished from self-rulers.

[113] Ghosts of the dead.--TR.

[114] Does he allude to the frightful white form, in my "vision
of annihilation"?

[115] A phrase applied to the form of a dying man. [Properly a
distemper which gives one a deathly look. See Bailey's

[116] The _lapis infernalis_, or silver cautery.--TR.

[117] Frederick's Honor.

[118] Linen cloths smeared with aromatic ointment, anciently
placed on the heads of children just born or baptized.--TR.

[119] An allusion to a well-known instrument of the



53. CYCLE.[121]

Not toward the years of childhood, but toward the season of youth,
should we revert the most longingly, if we came forth out of the latter
as innocent as out of the former. It is the festival day of our life,
when all avenues are full of music and finery, and all houses are hung
round with golden tapestries, and when Existence, Art, and Virtue, like
gentle _goddesses_, still woo us with caresses; whereas, in after years,
they summon us, like stern _gods_, with commands! And at this period
Friendship dwells as yet in a serenely open Grecian temple, not, as
later, in a narrow Gothic chapel.

Richly and majestically did life now glitter around Albano, covered with
islands and ships; he had his whole breast full of friendship and youth,
and could now let the impetuous energy of love, which on Isola Bella had
rebounded from a statue, from his father, burst freely and joyously
upon a man who appeared to him fully as his youthful dream had sketched
him. He could not let go Charles for a day; he laid bare to him his soul
and his whole life--(only Liana's name retired deeper and deeper into
his heart); all models of friendship among the ancients he was fain to
copy and renew, and do and suffer everything for his loved friend; his
being was now a double-choir; he drank in every joy with two hearts; a
double heaven embosomed his life in pure ether.

When, on the following day, he met the form of the new friend,--which
was all that remained to him of the nightly show-piece of the
spirit-world, as a pale moon is left by the extinguished stars of
night,--and when he found him so bald-headed and white, as the fiery
smoke-column of an Ætna ascends gray in the daytime, he seemed to see
the whilom suicide standing before him, the more freely, but all the
more warmly, did he stretch his hand across to the solitary being, who,
after his leap over life, dwelt now only on his grave, as on a remote
island. Others, for this very reason, would draw their hand away: the
baffled self-murderer, who has made a rent in this fair, firm life,
comes back from his death-hour as a strange, uncomfortable ghost, whom
we can trust no longer, because in his ungovernableness he may at any
moment play again the give-away game with the human form.

Therefore Albano saw in the chaotic life of the Captain only the
disorder of a being who is packing up and marching away. When he stepped
for the first time into his friend's summer-chamber, he saw, of course,
a servant's livery wardrobe, a theatrical green-room, and an officer's
tent before him at once. On the table lay confused tribes of books, as
on a battle-field, and on Schiller's Tragedies the Hippocratic face of
the masquerade, and on the Court Almanac a pistol; the book-shelf was
occupied by the sword-belt, together with its wash-ball of chalk, a
chocolate-mill, an empty candlestick, a pomatum-box, matches, the wet
hand-towel and the dried mouth-napkin; the glasshouse of a run-down
hour-glass, and the washing-and the writing-table stood open, on which
latter I, to my astonishment, look in vain for any support whatever, or
writing-sand on it; the comb-cloth, or powder-mantle, leaned back on the
ottoman, and a long neck-cloth rode on the stove-screen, and the antlers
on the wall had two hats with feathers shoved over the right and left
ears; letters and visiting-cards were impaled like butterflies on the
window-curtains. I should not have been capable of writing a billet
there, much less a Cycle.

Is there not, however, a sunny-bright, free-fluttering age, when one
loves to see everything which announces roving unrest, striking of
tents, and nomadic liberty, and when one would be thankful to keep house
in a travelling-carriage, and write and sleep therein? And does not one
in those years look upon precisely such a students' chamber as this as a
spiritual students' endowment of genius, and every chaos as an
infusorial one full of life? Forgive my hero this truant time; there was
still something noble in his nature, that kept him back from becoming an
imitator of what he eulogized.

As, after the melting away of a late winter, all at once the green
garment of earth flutters up high in flowers and blossoms, so in the
warm air of friendship and fancy did Albano's nature start up at once
into luxuriant verdure and bloom. Charles had and understood all states
of the heart; he created them dramatically in himself and others; he was
a second Russia, which harbors all climates, from France even to Nova
Zembla, and wherein, for that very reason, every one finds his own: he
was everything to everybody, although for himself nothing. He could
throw himself into any character, although for that very reason it
sometimes took his fancy only to carry out the most convenient. The
girths, belly-bands, cruppers, and saddle-straps of court, town, and
city life, his Bucephalus had long since cleared; and if the Count was
vexed every day at the lingual leading-string of the Lector, who
pronounced everything correctly.--Kanaster instead of Knaster, Juften
instead of Juchten, Fünfzig instead of Füfzig, and Barbieren (the _r_ in
which I myself take to be a stupid barbarism),--Roquairol was a
free-thinker, even to the degree of being a hectoring free-speaker; and
spoke, according to an expression of his own, which was at the same time
an example of the fact, "right out of his liver and jaw." He was annoyed
that there should still cleave to the Count a certain epic dignity of
speech acquired from books. They often thought over and cursed with one
another the pitiful bald life which one would lead, who, like the
Lector, should live as a well-bred citizen of extraction, have conduite
and a nice dress, and a tolerable dapper knowledge of several
departments, and for refreshment his table-wine, and taste for excellent
masters in painting and other arts, and should advance to higher posts
merely as stepping-stones to still higher, and yet, after all this, have
to stretch himself out, all frizzled and washed, in his coffin, in order
that the gigantic body-world might, forsooth, hand over its Pestitz
representative also to the sublime world of spirits. No, said Albano,
rather throw a dark mountain-chain of sorrows into the dead level of
life, that one may, at least, have a prospect and something great.

But Roquairol was not the man that he seemed to him;--friendship has its
deceptions as well as love;--and often, when he had long looked upon
this love-drunken, high-hearted youth, with his chaste maiden-cheeks and
proud, manly brow, who reposed such a confidence upon _his_ wavering
soul, and whose heart stood so wide open, and the holiness of whose
fancy even he envied, then did the delusion of the noble one move him
even to pain, and his heart struggled to break forth, and longed to say
to him, with tears: Albano, I am not worthy of thee! But in that case I
lose him, he always added; for he shunned the moral orthodoxy and
decision of a man, who was not, like a maiden, to be provoked and
repelled and won back again, all in sport. And yet the day came--the
momentous day for both--when he did it. How could he ever have resisted
_Fancy_, when he only resisted _by and through_ Fancy? I do him half
injustice: hear the better angel, who opens his mouth.

Roquairol is a child and victim of the age. As the higher youth of our
times are so early and richly overhung with the roses of joy that, like
the inhabitants of spice-islands, they lose their smell, and by and by
put under their heads a Sybarite-pillow of roses, drink rose-sirup and
bathe themselves in rose-oil,[122] until nothing more is left them
thereof for a stimulus except the thorns, so are most of them--and often
the very same ones--stuffed full in the beginning, by their
philanthropic teachers, with the _fruits_ of knowledge, so that they
come soon to desire only the honey-thick extracts, then the cider and
perry thereof, until at last they ruin themselves with the brandy made
of that. Now if, in addition to this, they have, like Roquairol, a fancy
that makes their life a naphtha-soil, out of which every step draws
fire, then does the flame, into which the sciences are thrown, and the
consumption become still greater. For these burnt-out prodigals of life
there is then no new pleasure and no new truth left, and they have no
old one entire and fresh; a dried-up future, full of arrogance, disgust
with life, unbelief and contradiction, lies round about them. Only the
wing of fancy still continues to quiver on their corpse.

Poor Charles! Thou didst still more! Not merely truths, but feelings
also, he anticipated. All grand situations of humanity, all emotions to
which Love and Friendship and Nature exalt the heart, all these he went
through in poems earlier than in life, as play-actor and theatre-poet
earlier than as man, earlier on the sunny side of fancy than on the
stormy side of reality; hence, when they at last appeared, living, in
his breast, he could deliberately seize them, govern them, kill them,
and stuff them well for the refrigeratory of future remembrance. The
unhappy love for Linda de Romeiro, which, at a later period, would
perhaps have steeled him, opened thus early all the veins of his heart,
and bathed it warmly in its own blood; he plunged into good and bad
dissipations and amours, and afterward represented on paper or on the
stage everything that he repented or blessed; and every representation
made him grow more and more hollow, as abysses have been left in the sun
by ejected worlds. His heart could not do without the holy
sensibilities; but they were simply a new luxury, a tonic, at best; and
precisely in proportion to their height did the road run down the more
abruptly into the slough of the unholiest ones. As in the dramatic poet
angelically pure and filthy scenes stand in conjunction and close
succession, so in his life; he foddered, as in Surinam, his hogs with
pine-apples; like the elder giants, he had soaring wings and creeping

Unfortunate is the female soul which loses its way, and is caught in one
of these great webs stretched out in mid-heaven; and happy is she, when
she tears through them, unpoisoned, and merely soils her bees'-wings.
But this all-powerful fancy, this streaming love, this softness and
strength, this all-mastering coolness and collectedness, will overspread
every female Psyche with webs, if she neglects to brush away the first
threads. O that I could warn you, poor maidens, against such condors,
which fly up with you in their claws! The heaven of our days hangs full
of these eagles. They love you not, though they think so; because, like
the blest in Mahomet's paradise, instead of their lost arms of love,
they have only wings of fancy. They are like great streams, warm only
along the shore, and in the middle cold.

Now enthusiast, now libertine in love, he ran through the alternation
between ether and slime more and more rapidly, till he mixed them both.
His blossoms shot up on the varnished flower-staff of the Ideal, which,
however, rotted, colorless, in the ground. Start with horror, but
believe it,--he sometimes plunged on purpose into sins and torments, in
order, down there, by the pangs of remorse and humiliation, to cut into
himself more deeply the oath of reformation; somewhat as the physicians,
Darwin and Sydenham, assert that _strengthening_ remedies (Peruvian
bark, steel, opium) work more powerfully when _weakening_ ones
(bleeding, emetics, &c.) have been previously prescribed.

External relations might, perhaps, have helped him somewhat, and the vow
of poverty might have made the two other vows lighter for him; had he
been sold as a negro slave, his spirit would have been a free white, and
a work-house would have been to him a purgatory. It was for this reason
the early Christians always gave those who were possessed some
occupation or other, e. g. sweeping out the churches,[124] &c. But the
lazy life of an officer wrought upon him to make him only still more
vain and bold.

So stood matters in his breast, when he came to Albano's,--hunting like
an epicure after love, but merely to play with it; with an untrue heart,
whose feeling was more lyric poetry, than real, sound being; incapable
of being true, nay, hardly capable of being false, because every truth
assimilated to the poetic representation, and this again to that; able
much more easily on the stage and at the tragic writing-desk to hit the
true language of passion than in life, as Boileau could only imitate
dancers, but never a dance; indifferent, contemptuous, and decided
against the exhausted, worthless life, wherein all that is settled and
indispensable--hearts and joys and truths--melted down and floated
about; with reckless energy, capable of daring and sacrificing anything
which a man respects, because he respected nothing, and ever looking
round after his iron patron-saint, Death; faint-hearted in his
resolutions, and even in his errors fluctuating, and yet devoid only of
the _tuning-hammer_, and not of the _tuning-fork_, of the finest
morality; and, in the midst of the roar of passion, standing in the
bright light of reflection, as the victim of the hydrophobia knows his
madness, and gives warning of it.

Only _one_ good angel had not flown with the rest,--Friendship. His so
often blown-up and collapsed heart could hardly soar to love; but
friendship it had not yet squandered away. His sister he had hitherto
loved as a friend,--so fraternally, so freely, so increasingly! And now
Albano, splendidly armed, had come to his embrace!

In the beginning he played with him, too, lyingly, as he had with
himself at the masquerade and in Tartarus. He soon observed that the
country youth saw him falsely, dazzled by his own rays, but he chose
rather to verify the error than to correct it. Men--and he--are like the
fountain of the sun near the Temple of Jupiter Ammon, which in the
morning only was cold; at noon, lukewarm; in the evening, warm; and at
midnight, hot: now he depended so much on the seasons of the day, as the
sound and vigorous Albano did so little, who accordingly imagined a
great man was great all day, from the time of getting up to the time of
lying down, as the heralds always represent the eagle with outspread
wings, that he seldom went in the morning, but mostly in the evening, to
Albano, when the whole girandole[125] of his faculties and feelings
burned in the wine-spirit which he had previously poured upon it out of

But do you know the medicine of example, the healing power of
admiration, and of that soul-strengthener, reverence? "It is shameful of
me," said Roquairol, "when he is so credulous and open and honest. No, I
will deceive the whole world, only not his soul!" Such natures would
fain make good their devastation of humanity by being true to one.
Humanity is a constellation, in which _one_ star often describes half
the figure.

From this hour forth, his resolution of the heartiest confession and
atonement stood fixed; and Alban, before whom life had not yet run down
into a jelly of corruption, but was capable of being analyzed as a sound
and well-defined organism, and who did not, like Charles, complain that
nothing would take right hold of him, but everything played round him
like air,--_he_ it was who was to bring back youth to his sick wishes,
and with the help of the pure youth's unwavering perceptions and the
danger of losing his friendship, Roquairol proposed forcing himself to
keep with _him_ the word of fruit-bearing repentance, which to himself
he had too often broken.

Let us follow him into the day, when he tells everything.

54. CYCLE.

Once Albano came early in the forenoon to the Captain, when the latter
was usually, according to his own expression, "a fag-end of a
yesterday's candle stuck on thorns"; but to-day he stood working away
blusteringly at the piano-forte and writing-desk by turns; and, like a
dried-up infusorial animal, was already, even at this early hour, the
same old, busy creature, because wine enough had been poured upon him,
that is to say, a good deal. Full of rapture, he ran to meet the welcome
friend. Albano brought him from Falterle the childish leaves of
love--for the Master of Exercises had not had the heart to throw them
into the fire--which he had written from Blumenbühl to the unknown
heart. Charles would have been moved on the subject almost to tears,
had he not already been so before the arrival. The Count had to stay
there all day, and neglect everything; it was his first day of
irregularity; it was comic to see how the otherwise unfettered youth,
subservient, however, to a long habit of daily exertions, struggled
against the short calm, in which he should sail no ship, as against a

Meanwhile, it was heavenly; the low-lying day of childhood, which once
clothed him with wings, when the house was full of guests, and he,
wherever he wanted to be, came up again above the horizon; the
conversation played and made gifts with everything which exalts and
enriches us; all his faculties were unchained and in ecstatic dance. Men
of genius have as many festal days as others do working days, and hence
it is that they can hardly endure a trivial and commonplace[126]
intercalary-day, and especially on such days of youth! When Charles
conjured before him tragic storm-clouds from Shakespeare, Goethe,
Klinger, Schiller, and life saw itself colossally represented in the
poetic magnifying-mirror, then did all the sleeping giants of his inner
world rise up; his father came and his future, even his friend stood
forth there as in new relief, out of that shining, fantastic time of
childhood, when he had dreamed of him beforehand in these characters;
and in the internal procession of heroes, even the cloud that floated
through the heavens and the guard-troop marching away across the market
were incorporated. His friend appeared to him far greater than he was,
because, like all youths, he still believed of actors and poets, that,
like miners, they always received into their bodies the metals in which
they labored. How often they both said, in that favorite metaphor of the
young man, "Life is a dream," and only became thereby more glad and
wide-awake! The old man says it differently. And the dark gate of death,
to which Charles so loved to lead the way, became before the youth's eye
a glass door, behind which lay the bright, golden age of the belated
heart in immeasurable meadows.

Maidens, I own,--as their conversations are more fragmentary,
matter-of-fact, and less intoxicating,--instead of such an Eden-park, go
for a spruce Dutch garden, well trimmed with crab's-shears and
lady-scissors, which is furnished them every day in the afternoon by the
black hour, which serves up to them on the coffee- or tea-table, the
small black-board[127] of some evil reports, a couple of new shawls
sitting by, a well-bred man who passes by with a will or marriage
certificate, and finally the hope of the domestic report. Come back to
our young men!

Towards evening the Captain received a red billet. "Very well!" said he
to the woman who brought it, and nodded. "You'll get nothing out of
that, madam," said he, turning toward Albano. "Brother, guard only
against married women. Just snap once, for a joke, at one of their red
beauty-patches; instantly they dart their fish-hooks into your
nape.[128] Seven of these hooks, such as you see here, have made a
lodgement in mine alone." The innocent child Albano! He took it for
something morally great to assert at once the friendship of seven
married ladies, and would gladly have been in Charles's case; he could
not see the mischief of it,--that these female friends, like the
Romans, love to clip the wings of victory (namely, of ourselves), so
that the Divinity may not fly any farther.

On a fine day, nothing is so fine as its sunset. The Count proposed to
ride out into the evening twilight, and on the hill to look at the sun.
They trotted through the streets; Charles pulled off his great cocked-up
hat, now before a fine nose, now before a great pair of eyes, now
before transparent forelocks. They flew into the Linden avenue,
which was festally decked with a motley wain-scoting of female
street-_sitters_.[129] A tall woman, with piercing, fiery eyes, in a red
shawl and yellow dress, strode through the female flower-bed, towering
like the flower-goddess: it was the authoress of the red note; she was,
however, more attentive to the beautiful Count than to her friend. On
all walls and trees bloomed the rose-espalier of the evening redness.
They blustered up the white road toward Blumenbühl; on both sides the
gold-green sea of spring heaved its living waves; a feathered world went
rowing about therein, and the birds dove down deep among the flowers;
behind the friends blazed the sun, and before them lay the heights of
Blumenbühl, all rosy-red. Having reached the eminence, they turned their
horses toward the sun, which reposed behind the cupolas and
smoke-columns of the proudly burning city, in distant, bright gardens.
In wondrous nearness lay the illuminated earth round about them, and
Albano could see the white statues on Liana's roof blush like life under
the blooming clouds. He drove his horse close to his companion's, to lay
his hand on Charles's shoulder; and thus they beheld in silence how the
lovely sun laid down his golden cloud-crown, and, with the fluttering
foliage-breath around his hot brow, descended into the sea. And when it
grew dusky on the earth, and a glow lighted up the heavens, and Albano
leaned across and drew his friend over to his burning heart, then rose
the evening-chime in Blumenbühl. "And down below there," said Charles,
with soft voice, and turned thither, "lies thy peaceful Blumenbühl, like
a still churchyard of thy childhood's days. How happy are children,
Albano,--ah, how happy are children!" "Are not we so?" answered he, with
tears of joy. "Charles, how often have I stood on high places, in
evenings like this, and fervently stretched out my childish hands after
thee and after the world. Now indeed I have it all. Truly, thou art not
right." But he, sick with the murmur and ringing-in-his-ears of long
past times, remained deaf to the word, and said, "Only our cradle-songs,
only those cradle-songs, sounding back on the memory, soothe the soul to
slumber, when it has wept itself hot."

More silently and slowly they rode back. Albano bore a new world of love
and bliss in his bosom; and the youth,--not yet a debtor to the past,
but a guest of the present,--sweetly unbent by the long Jubilee of the
day, sank into clear-obscure dreams, like a towering bird of prey
hanging silent on pinions open with ecstasy.

"We will stay all night at Ratto's," said Charles, when they reached the

55. CYCLE.

They alighted down in Ratto's Italian Cellar. The house seemed to the
Count at first, after the contemplation of broad nature, like a fragment
of rock rolled upon it,--although every story, indeed, groans under
architectural burdens,--but the heavy feeling of subterranean
confinement[130] soon forgot itself, and singular was the sound that
came down into the Italian vault of the rattling of carriages overhead.
The Captain bespoke a _punch royal_. If he goes on so in his
good fire-regulation, and always has a full cask at home as
extinguishing-apparatus, and his hose-pipes well proved, then my book
cannot be touched by the objection, that, as in Grandison, too much tea
is consumed; more likely is it that too much strong drink will be

Schoppe was sitting in the Italian souterrain. He loved not the Captain,
because his inexorable eye spied out in him two faults which to him were
heartily intolerable, "the chronic ulcer of vanity and an unholy
guzzling and gormandizing upon feelings." Charles paid him back his
dislike; the hottest waves of his enthusiasm immediately bristled up in
ice-peaks before the Titular Librarian's face. Only not to-day! He drank
so amply of king's-punch,--whereof a couple of glasses might have burnt
through all the heads of Briareus or of the Lernean serpent,--that he
then said everything, even pious things. "By heavens!" said he, healing
himself in this Bethesda-pool by--drawing from it, "since it is all
fiddle-faddle about this growing better, one should obfuscate
himself[131] with a shot, in order that the baited spirit may once for
all go free from its wounds and sins." "From sins?" said Schoppe; "lice
and tape-worms of the better sort will by all means emigrate from my
territory, when I grow cold; but the worst of them my inner man will
certainly carry up with it. By the hangman! who tells you, then, that
this whole churchyard of poor sinners here below shall at once march
home as an invisible church full of martyrs and Socrateses, and every
Bedlam come out a high-light lodge? I was thinking to-day of the next
world, when I saw a woman in the market with five little pigs, every one
of which she would fain drive before her with a string tied to its leg,
but which shot off from her and from each other like wisps of electric
light; now, said I, we, with our few faculties and wishes, which this
cultivating age sets out _in quintuplo_, fare already as pitifully as
the woman with her drove; but when we get ten or more new farrows by the
rope, as the second world, like an America, must surely bring new
objects and wishes, how will the Ephorus[132] manage his office there? I
prepare myself to expect there greater indescribable distresses, feudal
crimes and oppositions." But Roquairol was in his red blaze; he exalted
himself far above Schoppe and above himself, and denied immortality
plumply, by way of parodying Schoppe. "An individual man," said he,
"could hardly, on his own account alone, believe in immortality; but
when he sees the masses, he has pity, and holds it worth the while, and
believes the second world is a _monte testaceo_ of human potsherds. Man
cannot come nearer to God and the Devil hereafter than he does already
here; like a tavern-sign, his _reverse_ is painted just like his
_obverse_. But we need the fictitious future for a present; when we
hover ever so still above our slime, we yet are continually flapping,
like carps lying still, with poetic fins and wings. Hence we must needs
dress up the future paradise so gloriously that only gods shall fit into
it, but, just as in princes' gardens, no dogs. Mere trumpery! We cut
out for ourselves glorified bodies, which resemble soldiers'-coats;
_pockets_ and _buttonholes_ are wanting; what pleasure can they hold,
then?" Albano looked upon him with amazement. "Knowest thou, Albano,
what I mean? Just the opposite." So easy is everything for fancy, even
freaks of humor.

At this moment he was called out. He came back with a red billet-doux.
He put on his cravat,--he had been sitting there _à la Hamlet_,--and
said to Albano he would fly back in an hour. At the threshold he paused,
still thinking whether he should go, then ran swiftly up the steps.

In Albano the cup of joy, into which the whole day had been pouring,
overflowed with the sparkling foam of a waggish humor. By heaven!
drollery became him as charmingly as an emotion, and he often walked
round for a long time without speaking, with a roguish smile, as
slumbering children smile, when, as the saying is, angels are playing
with them.

Roquairol came back with strangely excited eyes; he had stormed wildly
into his heart; he had been wicked, for the sake of despairing, and
then, on his knees, at the bottom of the precipice, confessing to his
friend the nature of his life. This man, so wilful, lay involuntarily
bound to the windmill wings of his fancy, and was now fettered by a
calm, now whirled round by the storm, which he imagined himself cutting
through. He was now, after the analogy of the fire-eaters, a
fire-drinker, in the uneasy expectation of Schoppe's departure. The
latter departed at last, despite Albano's entreaty, with the answer:
"_Redeem the time_, says the Apostle; but that means, Prolong your life
all you can: _that_ is time. To this end the best shops of the times,
the apothecaries', require that a man, after _punch royal_, shall go to
bed and sweat immoderately."

Now how changed was all! When Zesara joyfully fell on his neck,--when
the delirium of youth grew to the melodies of love, as the rain in
Derbyshire-hollow at a distance becomes harmonies,--when from the
Count's lips flowed sweetly, as one bleeds in his sleep, his whole inner
being, his whole past life, and all his plans of the future, even the
proudest (only not the tenderest one),--and when, like Adam in the state
of innocence (according to Madame Bourignon), he placed himself in such
crystal transparency before his friend's eye, not from weakness, but
from old instinct, and in the faith that such his friend must be,--then
did tears of the most loving admiration come into the eyes of the
unhappy Roquairol at the unvarnished purity, and at the energetic,
credulous, unsophisticated nature, and at the almost smile-provoking
_naïve_ and lofty earnestness of the red-cheeked youth. He sobbed upon
that joy-drunken bosom, and Albano grew tender, because he thought he
was too little so, and his friend so very much in that mood.

"Come out o' doors,--out o' doors!" said Charles; and that had long been
Albano's wish. It struck one, as they saw, on the narrow cellar-stairs,
the stars of the spring heaven overhead glistening down through the
entrance of the shaft. How freshly flowed the inhaled night over the hot
lips! How firmly stood the world-rotunda, built with its fixed rows of
stars high and far away over the flying tent-streets of the city! How
was the fiery eye of Albano refreshed and expanded by the giant masses
of the glimmering spring, and the sight of day slumbering under the
transparent mantle of night! Zephyrs, the butterflies of day, fluttered
already about their dear flowers, and sucked from the blossoms, and
brought in incense for the morning; a sleep-drunken lark soared
occasionally into the still heavens with a loud day in her throat; over
the dark meadows and bushes the dew had already been sprinkled, whose
jewel-sea was to burn before the sun; and in the north floated the
purple pennons of Aurora, as she sailed toward morning. With an exalting
power the thought seized the youth, that this very minute was measuring
millions of little and long lives, and the walk of the sap-caterpillar
and the flight of the sun, and that this very same time was being lived
through by the worm and God, from worlds to worlds, through the
universe. "O God!" he exclaimed, "how glorious it is to exist!"

Charles merely clung, with the drooping, heavy feathers of the
night-bird, to the cheerful constellations around him. "Happy for thee,"
said he, "that thou canst be thus, and that the sphinx in thy bosom
still sleeps. Thou knowest not what I am about to do. I knew a wretch
who could portray her right well. In the cavern of man's breast, said
he, lies a monster on its four claws, with upturned Madonna's face, and
looks round smiling, for a time, and so does man too. Suddenly it
springs up, buries its claws into the breast, rends it with lion's-tail
and hard wings, and roots and rushes and roars, and everywhere blood
runs down the torn cavern of the breast. All at once it stretches itself
out again, bloody, and smiles away again with the fair Madonna's face.
O, he looked all bloodless, the wretch! because the beast so fed upon
him and thirstily lapped at his heart."

"Horrible!" said Albano; "and yet I do not quite understand thee." The
moon at this moment lifted herself up, together with a flock of clouds
that lay darkly camped along her sides, and she drew a storm-wind after
her, which drove them among the stars. Charles went on more wildly: "In
the beginning, the wretch found it as yet good: he had as yet sound
pains and pleasures, real sins and virtues; but as the monster smiled
and tore faster and faster, and he continued to alternate more and more
rapidly between pleasure and pain, good and evil; and when blasphemies
and obscene images crept into his prayers, and he could neither convert
nor harden himself; then did he lie there, in a dreary exhaustion of
bleeding, in the tepid, gray, dry mist-banks of life, and thus was dying
all the time he lived.--Why weepest thou? Knowest thou that wretch?"
"No," said Albano, mildly. "I am he!" "Thou? Terrible God, not thou!"
"O, it is I; and though thou despisest me, thou wilt be what I ... No,
my innocent one, I say it not. See, even now the sphinx rises again. O
pray with me, help me, that I may not be obliged to sin,--only not be
obliged! I must drink, I must debauch, I must be a hypocrite,--I am a
hypocrite at this moment." Zesara saw the rigid eye, the pale, shattered
face, and, in a rage of love, shook him with both arms, and stammered,
with deep emotion, "By the Almighty! this is not true! thou art indeed
so tender and pale and unhappy and innocent."

"Rosy-cheek," said Charles, "I seem to thee pure and bright as yonder
orb; but she too, like me, casts a long shadow up toward heaven." Zesara
let go of him, took a long look toward the sublime, dark Tartarus,
encompassing Elysium like a funeral train, and pressed away bitter
tears, which flowed at the remembrance how he had found therein his
first friend, who was now melting away at his side. Just then the
night-wind tore up a fir-tree which had been killed by the
wood-caterpillar, and Albano pointed silently to the crashing tree.
Charles shrieked: "Yes, that is I!" "Ah, Charles, have I then lost thee
to-day?" said the guiltless friend, with infinite pain; and the fair
stars of spring fell like hissing sparks into his wounds.

This word dissolved Charles's overstrained heart into good, true tears;
a holy spirit came over him, and bade him not torment the pure soul with
his own, not take away its faith, but silently sacrifice to it his wild
self, and every selfish thought. Softly he laid himself on his friend's
bosom, and with magical, low words, and full of humility, and without
fiery images, told him his whole heart; and that it was not wicked, but
only unhappy and weak, and that he ought to have been as heartily
sincere towards him, who thought too well of him, as towards God; and
that he swore, by the hour of death, to be such as he,--to confess to
him everything, always,--to become holy through him. "Ah, I have only
been loved so very little!" he concluded. And Albano, the
love-intoxicated, glowing man, the good man, who knew by his own
experience the sacred excesses and exaggerations of remorse, and took
these confessions to be such, came back, inspired, to the old covenant
with unmeasured love. "Thou art an ardent man!" said Charles; "why do
men, then, always lie frozen together on each other's breasts, as on
Mount Bernard,[133] with rigid eye, with stiffened arms? O why camest
thou to me so late? I had been another creature. Why came she[134] so
early? In the village down below there, at the narrow, lowly
church-door,--there I first saw her through whom my life became a
mummy. Verily, I am speaking now with composure. They carried along
before me, as I went out to walk, a corpse-like white youth on a bier
into Tartarus: it was only a statue, but it was the emblem of my future.
An evil genius said to me, 'Love the fair one whom I show thee.' She
stood at the church-door, surrounded by people of the congregation, who
wondered at the boldness with which she took up, in her two hands, a
silver-gray, tongue-darting snake, and dandled it. Like a daring
goddess, she bent her firm, smooth brow, her dark eye, and the
rose-blossoms of her countenance upon the adder's head, which Nature had
trodden flat, and played with it close to her breast. 'Cleopatra!' said
I, although a boy. She, too, even then, understood it, looked up calmly
and coldly from the snake, and gave it back, and turned round. O, on my
young breast she flung the chilling, life-gnawing viper. But, truly, it
is now all gone by, and I speak calmly. Only in the hours, Albano, when
my bloody clothes of that night, which my sister has laid up, come
before my eyes, then I suffer once more, and ask, 'Poor, well-meaning
boy! wherefore didst thou then grow older?' But, as I said, it is all
over now. To thee, only to thee, may a better genius say, 'Love the fair
one whom I show thee!'"

But what a world of thoughts now flew at once into Albano's mind! "He
continues to torment himself," thought he, "with the old jealousy about
Romeiro. I will open heart to heart, and tell the good brother that it
is indeed his sister I love, and that eternally." His cheeks glowed, his
heart flamed, he stood, priest-like, before the altar of friendship,
with the fairest offering, sincerity. "O Charles," said he, "now,
perhaps, she might be otherwise disposed towards thee. My father is
travelling with her, and thou wilt see her." He took his hand, and went
with him more quickly up to a dark group of trees, to unfold, in the
shadow, his tenderly blushing soul. "Take my most precious secret," he
began, "but speak not of it,--not even with me. Dost thou not guess it,
my first brother? The soul that I have loved, as long as I have loved
thee?"--softly, very softly he added,--"thy sister?" and sank on his
lips to kiss away the first sounds.

But Charles, in the tumult of rapture and of love, like an earth at the
up-coming of Spring, could not contain himself; he pressed him to
himself; he let him go; he embraced him again; he wept for bliss; he
shut to Albano's eyes, and said, as if he had found his sister anew,
"Brother!" In vain did Albano seek to stifle, with his hand, every other
syllable on his lips. He began to paint to the excited youth--who, amid
the secluded and poetic book-world, had acquired a higher tenderness
than the actual intercourse of society teaches--the portrait of Liana;
how she did and suffered; how she watched and pleaded for him, and even
impoverished herself to wipe out his debts; how she never severely
blamed, but only mildly entreated him, and all that, not from artificial
patience, but from genuine, ardent love; and how this, after all, made
up hardly the accessories of her picture. In this purer inspiration than
the foregoing evening had granted him, what crowned his bliss was, that
he could love his sister, among all beings, the most intensely and the
most disinterestedly, and with a love the most free from poetic luxury
and caprice. Really strengthened by the feeling that he could, for once,
exult with a pure and holy affection, he lifted once more in freedom his
disengaged hands, hitherto, like Milo's, jammed and caught in the tree
of happiness and life, which he would fain have torn open; he breathed
fresh, living air and courage, and the plan of his inner perfection was
now gracefully rounded by new good fortune and a consciousness full of
fair objects.

The moon stood high in heaven, the clouds had been driven away, and
never did the morning-star rise brighter on two human beings.


[120] At the canonization of a saint, the _Devil_ was heard by
_attorney_, in the shape of objections to the act. Jean Paul,
with a slight variation of the sense of the old title, hints a
converse process in Roquairol's case, making the better angel
show cause why sentence of _damnation_ should not be absolutely
pronounced against him.--TR.

[121] Here began Jean Paul's second volume of the Titan.--TR.

[122] Ottar of Roses.--TR.

[123] The above description of Roquairol reminds one of a German
_Sinn-spruch_ on sensuality, from the Persian:--

    "Make his reason serve his passions,
      That is what man never should;
    _To the Devil's kitchen, angels_
      _Never carry wood_."

[124] Simon's Christian Antiquities. Mursinna, &c., p. 143.

[125] Branch candlestick.--TR.

[126] Schlendrians,--of a slow fellow,--corresponding to our _old

[127] Or Black-book.--TR.

[128] Allusion to the mode of angling for frogs with a bit of red

[129] Spazier-sitzerinnen,--not _gängerinnen_, i. e.

[130] _Zwinger_ means, originally, the narrow space between
town-walls and town.--TR.

[131] Literally, press something before his brow.--TR.

[132] Overseer, a Lacedæmonian officer.--TR.

[133] Strangers who are frozen are placed by the monks, unburied,
beside each other, each leaning on the next one's breast.

[134] Linda de Romeiro.



56. CYCLE.

Joyfully did Roquairol, on the first evening when he knew his father had
gone a journey, bear to his friend the invitation to go with him to his
mother. Albano blushed charmingly for the first time, at the thought of
that fiery night which had wrung from him the oldest mystery; for
hitherto neither of them, in the common hours of life, had retouched the
sacred subject. Only the Captain could easily and willingly speak of
Linda as well as of every other loss.

Liana always beheld her brother--the creator and ruling spirit of her
softest hours--with the heartiest joy, although he generally wanted to
get something when he came; for joy she flew to meet him, with the book
in her hand which she had been reading as her mother embroidered. She
and her mother had spent the whole day pleasantly and alone, alternately
relieving each other at embroidering and reading; as often as the
Minister travelled, they were at once free from discord and from the
visiting Charivari. With what emotion did Albano recognize the eastern
chamber, from which he had seen, for the first time, the dear maiden,
only as a blind one, standing in the distance between watery columns!
The good Liana received him more unconstrainedly than he could meet her,
after Charles's initiation into his wishes. What a paradisiacal mingling
of unaffected shyness and overflowing friendliness, stillness and fire,
of bashfulness and grace of movement, of playful kindness, of silent
consciousness! Therefore belongs to her the magnificent surname of
Virgil, the maidenly. In our days of female Jordan-almonds, academical,
strong-minded women, of hop-dances and double-quick-march steps in the
flat-shoe, the Virgilian title is not often called for. Only for ten
years (reckoning from the fourteenth) can I give it to a maiden;
afterward she becomes more manneristic. Such a graceful being is usually
at once thirteen and seventeen years old.

Why wast thou so bewitchingly unembarrassed, tender Liana! excepting
because thou, like the Bourignon, didst not once know what was to be
avoided, and because thy holy guilelessness excluded the suspicious
spying out of remote designs, the bending of the ear toward the ground
to listen for an approaching foe, and all coquettish manifestoes and
warlike preparations? Men were as yet to thee commanding fathers and
brothers; and therefore didst thou lift upon them, not yet _proudly_,
but so _affectionately_, that true pair of eyes!

And with this good-natured look, and with her smile,--whose continuance
is often, on _men's_ faces, but not on _maidens'_, the title-vignette of
falsehood,--she received our noble youth, but not him alone.

She seated herself at the embroidery-frame; and the mother soon launched
the Count out into the cool, high sea of general conversation, into
which only occasionally the son threw up a green, warm island. Alban
looked on to see how Liana made her mosaic flower-pieces grow; how the
little white hand lay on the black satin ground (Froulay's _thorax_ is
to wear the flowers on his birthday), and how her pure brow, over which
the curly hair transparently waved, bent forward, and how her face, when
she spoke, or when she looked after new colors of silk, lifted itself
up, animated with the higher glow of industry in the eye and on the
cheek. Charles sometimes hastily stretched out his hand towards her. She
willingly reached hers across; he laid it between his two, and turned it
over, looked into the palm, pressed it with both hands, and the brother
and sister smiled upon each other affectionately. And each time Albano
turned from his conversation with the mother, and true-heartedly smiled
with them. But poor hero! It is of itself a Herculean labor to sit idly
by where fine work is going on, such as embroidery, miniature painting,
&c.; but above all, with a spirit like thine, which has so many sails,
together with a couple of storms in behind, to lie inactively at anchor
beside the embroidery-frame, and not to be, say, a spinning Hercules
(that were easy), but only one that sees spinning,--and that, too, in
the presence of a great spring and sunset out of doors,--and, in
addition to all this, in the company of a mother, so chary of her words
(in fact, before any mother, it is of itself an impossibility to
introduce an edifying conversation with the daughter),--these are sore

He looked down sharply at the embroidered Flora. "Nothing pains me so
much," said he,--for he always philosophized, and everything useless on
the earth troubled him grievously,--"as that so many thousand artificial
ornaments should be created in vain in the world, without a single eye
ever meeting and enjoying them. It will touch me very nearly if this
green leaflet here is not especially observed." With the same sorrow
over fruitless, unenjoyed plantings of labor, he often shut his eyes
upon wall-paper foliage, upon worked flowers, upon architectural
decorations. Liana might have taken it as a painter's censure of the
overladen stitch-garden, which, merely out of love for her father, she
was sowing so full,--for Froulay, born in the days when they still
trimmed the gold-lace with clothes, rather than the reverse, was fond of
buttoning a little silk herbary round his body,--but she only smiled,
and said, "Well, the little leaf has surely escaped that evil destiny:
it _is_ observed."

"What matters a thing's being forgotten and useless?" said Roquairol,
taking up the word, full of indifference to the Lector, who was just
entering, and full of indifference to the opinion of his mother, to
whom, as well as to his father, only the entreaties of his sister
sometimes made him submissive. "Enough that a thing _is_. The birds sing
and the stars move in majesty over the wildernesses, and no man sees the
splendor. In fact, everywhere, in and out of man, more passes unseen
than seen. Nature draws out of endless seas, and without exhausting
them; we, too, are a nature, and should draw and pour out, and not be
always anxiously reckoning upon the profit, for watering purposes, of
every transient shower and rainbow. Just keep on embroidering, sister!"
he concluded, ironically.

"The Princess comes to-day!" said the Lector, and, delighted with the
prospect, Liana kissed her mother's hand. She looked up often and
confidentially from her embroidery at the courtier, who seemed to be
very intimate, but who, as a refined man, was full as much respected
and as respectful as if he were there for the first time.

The announcement of the Princess set the Captain into a charming state
of easy good-humor; a female part was to him as necessary for society as
to the French for an opera, and the presence of a lady helped him as
much in teaching, as the absence of a button did Kant.[135] By way of
drawing his sister off from the flowers, he removed the red veil from a
statue on the card-table, and threw it, like a little red dawn, over the
lilies on the face of the embroideress; just then the door opened and
Julienne entered. Liana, trying to remove the veil, in her haste to
welcome her, entangled herself in the little red dawn. Albano
mechanically reached out to her his hand to relieve her of the veil, and
she gave it to him, and a dear, full look besides. O how his enraptured
eye shone!

Julienne brought with her a train of _jeux d'esprit_. The Captain, who,
like a pyrotechnist, could give his fire all forms and colors,
reinforced her with his; and his sister sowed, as it were, the flowers
with which the zephyrettes of raillery could play. Julienne almost said
no to yes, and yes to no; only toward the Minister's lady was she
serious and submissive,--a sign that, on her arena of disputation, among
the grains of sand particles of golden sand still lay, whereas for
philosophers the arena is the prize and the ground,--at once the
battle-field, the _Champ de Mars_, and the _Champs Elysées_. Upon the
Count she fixed her passionate gaze as boldly as only princesses may
venture to and love to; and when he returned the glance of her brown
eye, she cast it down; but she remembered him, from her old visit in
Blumenbühl, and inquired after his friends. He now entered with pleasure
upon something that was as ardent as his own soul,--encomiums. It is
against the finest politeness to praise or blame persons with
warmth,--things one may. While he portrayed with grateful remembrance
his sister Rabette, Julienne became so earnestly and deeply absorbed in
his eye, that she started, and asked the Lector about the steps of the
_Anglaise_ which he had led at the masquerade. When he had done his best
to give an idea of it, she said she had not understood a word of what he
had been saying; one must, after all, execute it.

And herewith I suddenly introduce my fair readers in a body to a
domestic ball of two couples. See the two sisters-in-soul, side by side,
like two wings on _one_ dove, harmoniously flutter up and down. Albano
had expected Julienne would form a contrast, by nimble and sprightly
fluttering, to the still, hovering movement of her friend; but both
undulated lightly, like waves, by and through each other, and there was
not a motion too much nor too swift.

Hence I have so often wished that maidens might always dance exactly
like the Graces and the Hours,--that is to say, only with one another,
not with us gentlemen. The present union of the female wave-line with
the masculine swallow-like zigzag, as well in dress as in motion, does
not remarkably beautify the dance.

Liana assumed a new ethereal form, somewhat as an angel while flying
back into heaven lays aside his graceful earthly one. The dancing-floor
is to woman's beauty what the horse's back is to ours; on both the
mutual enchantment unfolds itself, and only a rider can match a dancing
maiden. Fortunate Albano! thou who hardly dar'st take the finger-points
of Liana's offered hand in thine! thou gettest enough. And only look at
this friendly maiden, whose eyes and lips Charis so smilingly brightens
for the dance, and who yet, on the other hand, appears so touchingly,
because she is a little pale! How different from those capricious or
inflexible step-sisters, who, with half a Cato of Utica on the wrinkled
or tightly stretched face, hop, fall back, and slip round. Julienne
flies joyfully to and fro; and it is hard to say before whose eyes she
loves to flutter best, Liana's or Albano's.

When it was done, Julienne wanted to begin over again. Liana looked at
her mother, and immediately begged her friend rather for a cooling off.
A mere pretext! A female friend loves to be alone with a female friend;
the two loved each other before people only with a veil upon their
hearts, and longed for the dark arbor where it might fall off. Liana had
a real loving impatience, till she could, with her duplicate-soul, her
twin-heart, snatch moments free from witnesses in the garden of evening
and May. They came back changed and full of tender seriousness. The
lovely beings were perhaps as like each other in their innermost souls
and in stillness as in the dance, and more so than they seemed.

And thus passed with our youth a fair-starred evening! Pardon him,
however, that he grasped and pressed this nosegay so close as to feel
some of the thorns. His heart, whose love grew painfully near another,
could not help finding this other, where there was no sign of response,
at once _higher_ and _farther_ off. Her love was love of man,--her smile
was meant for every kind eye,--she was so cheerful. In Lilar she easily
passed into emotion and general contemplations; not so here,--of course
she would look right sympathetically upon her wildly loving brother,
who, since that confession-night, had twined himself as if with
oak-roots around the darling; but her half-blind love for the brother
might indeed be only, in the deceiving light of reflection, shining upon
_his_ friend. All this the modest one said to himself. But what he had
enjoyed in full measure of ecstasy was the increasing, clear, tender,
steadfast love of his soul's-brother.

57. CYCLE.

As to Liana's secret inclination and Zesara's prospects I shall never
once institute any conjectures, although I might erase them again before
printing. I remember what came of it, when I and others, on a former
occasion, covered over with our hands Hafenreffer's official reports
upon matters of consequence, and undertook to unfold at length, by pure
fancy, how things might have gone on;--it was of no use! And naturally
enough; for women and Spanish houses have, to begin with, many _doors_
and few _windows_, and it is easier to _get_ into their hearts than to
_look_ into them. Particularly maidens', I mean; since women,
physiognomically and morally, are more strongly marked and boldly
developed, I would rather undertake to guess at and so portray ten
mothers than two daughters. The bodily portrait-painters make the same

Whoever observes the influence of night, will find that the doubts and
anxieties which he had contracted the evening previous about the heroine
of his life it has, for the most part, completely killed by the time it
gets to be towards morning. Albano, in the spring morning, opened his
eyes upon life as in a triumphal car, and the fresh steeds stamped
before it, and he could only let them have the reins.

He alighted with his friend at Liana's after a few years, that is, days;
the Minister had not yet come back. Heavens! how new and bloomingly
young was her form, and yet how unchanged her demeanor! Why is it,
thought he, that I can get only her motions, not all her features, by
heart? Why can I not imprint this face, even to the least smile, like a
holy antique, cleanly and deeply upon my brain, that so it may float
before me in eternal presence? For this reason, my dear: young and
beautiful forms are the very ones which are hard for the memory as for
the pencil; and coarse, old, masculine ones easier for both. Again he
filled himself with joys and sighs by looking at her,--and these were
increased by the nearness of the garden, wherein June with his evening
splendor lay encamped. O, if only _one_ moment could come to him, in
which his whole soul might speak its inspiration! Out of doors there lay
the young, fiery spring, basking, like an Antinoüs, in the garden, and
the moon, impatient for the fair June-night, stood already under the
gate of the east, and found the living day and the lingering sun still
in the field. But the mother refused to the asking look of Liana the
sight of sunset,--"on account of the unwholesome _Serein_."[136] Albano,
with his heart full of manly blood, thought this maternal barrier around
a child's health very small.

The hour for shutting gates upon to-day's Eden would have struck for him
the next minute, had it not been for the Captain and the _Cereus

The Captain came running down from the Italian roof, and announced that
the Cereus would bloom this evening at ten o'clock, the gardener said,
and he should stay there. "And thou too," he said to Albano. All that
the double limitations of forbearing tenderness toward sister and friend
would allow he lovingly set at stake, for the sake of pleasing the
latter. Liana herself begged him to wait for the blooming; she was so
delighted to find it was so near! Her soul hung upon flowers, like bees
and dew. Already had her friend, the pious Spener, who fixed an
enraptured eye upon these living arabesques of God's throne, made her a
friend to these mute, ever-sleeping children of the Infinite; but still
more had her own maidenly and her suffering heart done it. Have you
never met tender, female souls, into whose blossoming time fate had
thrown cold clouds, and who now, like Rousseau, sought other flowers
than those of joy, and who wearied themselves with stooping, in valleys
and on rocks, to gather and to forget, and to fly from the dead _Pomona_
to the young _Flora_? The thorough-bass and Latin, wherewith _Hermes_
proposes to divert maidens, must yield here to the broad, variegated
hieroglyphics of Nature, the rich study of Botany.

A nameless tenderness for Liana came into Albano's soul at the little
four-seated supper-table; it seemed to him as if he were now nearer to
her, and a relative; and yet he comprehended not his kinswoman, when,
from every serious mood into which her mother sank, she strove to win
her back with pleasantries. Out of doors the nightingales were calling
man into the lovely night; and no one pined more to be abroad than he.

For the soul's eyes, the _blue_ of heaven is what the _green_ of earth
is to the bodily eyes, namely, an inward strengthening. When Zesara, at
length, came free and clear out of the fetters of the room,--out of this
spiritual house-arrest into the free realm of heaven, and beneath all
the stars and on the magic Olympus of statues, at which he had so often
longingly looked up,--then did his forcibly contracted breast
elastically expand: how the constellations of life moved to meet each
other in brighter forms; how did spring and night sit enthroned!

The old gardener, who, simply from a grateful attachment to "the
good-souled, condescending Fräulein," had, with rare pains, forced these
early blossoms from the _Cereus serpens_, stood up there already,
apparently as an observer of the flowers, but in fact as an expectant of
the greatest praise, with a brown, indented, pitted, and serious face,
which did not challenge praise with a single smile.

Liana thanked the gardener before she came to the blossoms; then she
praised them and his pains. The old man merely waited for every other
one of the company to be astonished also; then he went drowsily off to
bed, with a firm faith that Liana would to-morrow remember him in such a
way as to make him contented.

The exotic beads of nectar-fragrance which hung in five white calyxes,
crowned as it were with brown leaf-work, seized the fancy. The odors
from the spring of a hotter clime drew it away into remote dreams. Liana
only stroked with a soft finger, as one glides over eyelids, the little
incense-vases, without touching with predatory hand the full little
garden of tender stamina which crowded together in the cup. "How lovely,
how very tender!" said she, with childlike happiness. "What a cluster of
five little evening stars! Why come they only by night,--the dear, shy
little flowers?" Charles seemed to be on the point of breaking one. "O
let it live!" she begged; "to-morrow they will all have died of
themselves. Charles! thus does so much else fade," she added, in a lower
tone. "Everything!" said he, sharply. But the mother, against Liana's
will, had heard it. "Such death-thoughts," said she, "I love not in
youth; they lame its wings." "And then," replied Liana, with a
maiden-like turning of the tables, "it just stays with us, that's all,
like the crane in Kleist's fable, whose wings they broke, so that he
could not travel with the rest into the warm land."

This gay, motley veil of deep earnestness was not transparent enough for
our friend. But by and by the good maiden took pains to look just as the
careful mother wished. The benumbing lily which the earth wears on her
breast, the moon; and the whole dazzling Pantheon of the starry heavens;
and the city, with its pierced-work of night-lights; and the high,
majestic, dark avenues; and on meadows and brooks the milk-white
lunar-silver, wherewith the earth spun itself into an evening-star; and
the nightingales singing out of distant gardens;--did not all this stir
omnipotently every heart, till it would fain confess with tears its
longing? And the softest heart of all which beat at this moment below
the stars, could it have succeeded in wholly veiling itself? Almost! She
had accustomed herself, before her mother, to dry away with her eye, so
to speak, the tear, before it grew big enough to fall.

Singular was her appearance, the next minute, to the Count. The mother
was speaking with her son; Liana stood, far from the latter, with face
turned half aside, and a little discolored by the moon, near a white
statue of the holy Virgin, and looking out into the night. All at once
she looked upon him and smiled, just as if a living being had appeared
to her in the abyss of ether, and her lip would speak. Earthly form more
exalted and touching had never before met his eyes; the balustrade by
which he held swayed to and fro (but it was he himself who shook it),
and his whole soul cried, "To-day, now, I love the heavenly one with the
highest, the deepest love I have felt." So he also said lately, and so
will he say oftener: can man, with the innumerable waves of love,
institute measurements of altitude, and point to that one which has
mounted the highest? Thus does man, whereever he may be standing, always
imagine himself standing in the centre of heaven.

Ah, at this moment he was again surprised, but it was with an "Ah!"
Liana went to her mother, and when _she_ felt in the hand of her darling
a slight shudder, she importuned her to go out of the night-air, and
would not give over till she left with her the magic spot.

The friends stayed behind. According to Albano's reckoning, it would
not, of course, have been too much, if, in this frank time, wherein our
holier thoughts, hidden by the common light of day, reveal themselves
like stars, they had all lingered on the roof till toward morning. The
two walked for a time up and down in silence. At last the incense-altar
of the five flowers held them fast. Albano clasped accidentally the
neighboring statue with both hands, and said: "On high places, one wants
to throw something down,--even himself oftentimes; and I, too, would
fain throw myself off into the world, into far-distant lands, as often
as I gaze into the nightly redness yonder, and as often as I come under
orangery-blossoms, as under these. Brother, how is it with thee? The
heavens and the earth open out so broadly: why, then, must the spirit
so creep into itself?" "Just so do I feel," said he; "and in the head,
generally, has the spirit more room than in the heart." But here, by a
delicate guess, he arrived, through agreeably circuitous routes, at the
accidental discovery of the reason why his sister had hurried down so

"Even to obstinacy," said he, "she pushes her care for her mother. The
last time, when she observed that mother saw her grow pale under the
dance, she immediately ceased. To me alone she shows her whole heart,
and every drop of blood, and all innocent tears therein; especially does
she believe something in respect to the future, which she anxiously
conceals from mother." "She smiled to herself just before she went
away," said Albano, and drew Charles's hand over his eyes, "as if she
saw up there a being from the veiled world." "Didst thou too see that?"
replied Charles. "And then did her lip stir? O friend, God knows what
infatuates her; but this is certain, she firmly believes she is to die
next year." Albano would not let him speak further. Too intensely
excited, he pressed himself to his friend's breast; his heart beat
wildly, and he said: "O brother, remain always my friend!"

They went down. In the apartment which adjoined Liana's they found her
piano-forte open. Now that was just what the Count had missed. In
passion--even in mere fire of the brain--one grasps not so much at the
pen as at the string; and in that state alone does musical fantasying
succeed better than poetic. Albano, thanking, meanwhile, the muse of
sweet sounds that there were forty-four transitions,[137] seated himself
at the keys, with the intention now to beat a musical fire-drum, and
roar like a storm into the still ashes, and drive out a clear,
sparkling swarm of tones. He did it, too, and well enough, and better
and better; but the instrument struggled, rebelled. It was built for a
female hand, and would only speak in female tones, with lute-plaints, as
a woman with a friend of her own sex.

Charles had never heard him play so, and was astonished at such fulness.
But the reason was, the Lector was not there; before certain
persons--and he was one of them--the playing hand freezes, so that one
only labors and lumbers to and fro in a pair of leaden gloves; and,
secondly, before a multitude it is easier playing than before one,
because the latter stands definitely before the soul, the former floats
vaguely. And, besides all that, blessed Albano, thou knowest who hears
thee. The morning air of hope flutters around thee in tones,--the wild
life of youth stalks with vigorous limbs and loud strides up and down
before thee,--the moonlight, undesecrated by any gross earthly light,
hallows the sounding apartment. Liana's last songs lie open before thee,
and the advancing moonshine will let thee read them soon,--and the
nightingale in the mother's neighboring chamber contends with thy tones,
as if summoned by the Tuba to the field.

Liana came in with her mother, not till late, because the heavy din of
tones had something in it hard and painful to both. He could see the two
sitting sidewise at the lower window, and how Liana held her mother's
hand. Charles, after his manner, walked up and down with long steps, and
sometimes stood still near him. Albano, in this nearness of the still
soul, soon came out of the wilderness of harmony into simple moonlit
passages, where only a few tones moved delicately like graces, and quite
as lightly linked as they. The artistical hurly-burly of unharmonious
_ignes fatui_ is only the forerunner of the melodious Charites; and
these alone insinuate themselves into the softer souls. It seemed to
him--the illusion was complete--as if he were speaking aloud with Liana;
and when the tones, like lovers, went on ever repeating the same thing
from heartiness and zest, did he not mean Liana, and say to her, "How I
love thee! O how I love thee!" Did he not ask her, "Why mournest thou?
why weepest thou?" And did he not say to her, "Look into this mute
heart, and fly not from it, O pure, innocent one, my own!"

How did the good youth blush, when suddenly the caressing friend placed
his hands over _his_ friend's eyes, which hitherto, unseen in the
darkness, had been overflowing for love! Charles stepped warmly to his
sister, and she, of her own accord, took his hand and said words of
love. Then Albano took refuge in the murmuring wilderness of sounds,
until his eyes were dried enough for the leave-taking by lamp-light; by
slow degrees he let the cradle of our heart cease rocking, and closed so
mildly and faintly, and was silent for a little while, and then slowly
rose. O, in this mute, young bosom lived every blessed thing which the
most glorious love can bestow!

They parted seriously. No one spoke of the music. Liana seemed
transfigured. Albano dared not, in this spirit-hour of the heart, with
an eye which had so recently calmed itself, rest long upon her mild blue
ones. Her deeply touched soul expressed itself, as maidens are wont, to
her brother only, and that by a more ardent embrace. And from the holy
youth she could not, in parting, conceal the tone and the look, which
he will never forget.

That night he awoke often, and knew not what it was that so blissfully
rocked his being. Ah! it was the tone whose echo rang through his
slumber, and the dear eye which still looked upon him in his dreams.


[135] He is said, in teaching, to have always looked at the spot
on a student's coat where the button was gone; and was
embarrassed when it was sewed on again.

[136] The evening hour, which people in southern countries shun
so much.

[137] From one key to another.--TR.



58. CYCLE.

Happy Albano! thou wouldst not have remained so, hadst thou, on the
birthday of the Minister, heard what he then proposed!

Already, for a considerable time, had Froulay been full of noticeable,
stormy signs, and might any moment, one must needs fear, let the
thunderbolt fly from him; that is to say, he was gay and mild. Thus,
also, in the case of phlegmatic children, does great liveliness threaten
an eruption of the chicken-pox. As he was a father and a despot,--(the
Greeks had for both only the one word, despot,)--so was it expected of
him, as connubial storm-maker,[138] that he would provide the usual
storms and foul weather for his family. Connubial storm-material for the
mere _troubling_ of marriage can never be wanting, when one considers
how little is required even for its dissolution; for instance, among
the Jews, merely that the woman scream too loud, burn the dinner, leave
her shoes in the place for the man's, &c. Beside all this, there was
much in the present case about which there was a good chance to thunder;
e. g. Liana, upon whom one might visit the misdemeanor of the brother,
because he obstinately stayed away and begged for no grace. One always
loves to let his indignation loose upon wife, daughter, and son at once,
and would rather be a land-rain than a transient shower; one child can
more easily imbitter than sweeten a whole family.

But Froulay still continued the smiling John. Nay, did he not--I have
the proofs--carry it so far, that when, on one occasion, his daughter,
in taking leave of the Princess, fell upon her neck,--instead of
representing to her, with flashing eyes, how one must only accept, not
reciprocate, familiarities with superiors, and must take care not to
forget one's self precisely then, when _they_ do forget themselves,--and
instead of sternly asking whether she had ever seen him, in his warmest
love toward the Prince, offend against _the Dehors_,--instead, I say, of
doing this, and hailing and storming the while, did he not merely break
out that once into the fair words: "Child, thou art too affectionate
toward thy distinguished friend; ask thy mother; she knows, too, what
friendly _liaisons_ are"?

Only Liana--although so often deceived by these calms--was full of
unutterable hope and joy at the domestic peace, and believed in its
permanence, especially as the paternal birthday was so near, that
Olympiad and normal period upon which and by which the house reckoned so
largely. During the whole year the Minister had been looking out for
this day, in order, in the morning, when the congratulations came, not
to forget to make believe he had forgotten it, but to be astonished on
the subject,--all owing to business, he said; and at evening, when the
guests came,--on account of business he never dined, he said, to
astonish _them_. He was alternately the worshipper and image-breaker of
etiquette, ministerial and opposition party thereof, as his vanity

Liana importuned her brother, till he promised to do something to please
his father; he composed, for the purpose, a family-piece, in which he
introduced the whole confession-night between himself and Albano, only
he converted Albano into a sister. Liana gladly studied this part also
for the birthday, although she had to deliver the blooming vest.

The Minister, contrary to expectation, accepted the vest, the Captain
and his hand-bill for the evening's performance, graciously; for he was
wont, on former occasions, like some other fathers, to growl the louder
the more his children stroked him. He danced away like a Polack right
merrily with his family, and stuck the rod[139] behind the fur. Nothing
worse at this moment revolved in his head than the question, where it
would be best to open the amateur theatre, whether in the _Salon de
Lecture_ or in the _Salon des bains domestiques_; for the two halls were
entirely distinguished from one another, and from the other chambers, by
their names.

The day came. Albano, whose invitation Charles had to extort, because
the Minister, out of pride, hated his pride, brought with him,
unfortunately, in his soul, the tone which Liana had given him the last
time to carry home with him. His hope had hitherto lived upon this
tone. O blame him not for it! The airy nothing of a sigh bears often a
pastoral world or an orcus on its ephemeron's-wing. Everything weighty
may, like a rock, be placed on a point, whereupon a child's finger can
set it in rotation.

But the tone had died away. Liana knew no other way than that, in the
visiting congregation,--of whose moral pneumatophobia,[140] after all,
she was not aware in its full extent,--one should hide every religious
emotion behind the church fan. Boxes, pit, and farthing gallery were,
almost at the usual play-hour, set off and filled out with Gratulantes,
all fit to be canons. The German gentleman was made particularly
prominent by the rich and insolent ostentation of his circumstances. Of
the visiting-company-lane it can, in passing, only be observed, that in
it, as in the antiphlogistic system, _oxygen_[141] played the chief
part, which, however, was given out less by the lungs than by the heart.

When the curtain rose, and Roquairol made that night of forgiveness and
ecstasy pass by again in a still more glowing form than it had actually
had; when this dreamy imitation seemed the first appearance of the
actual reality, how hotly and deeply did he burn himself thereby into
his friend's soul! (Good Albano! This art of being his own _revenant_,
his own ghost, his mock- and mimic-self, and of counterfeiting the
splendid edition of his own life, should have left thee smaller hopes!)
The Count must needs, in this most grave society that ever sate around
him, break out into an unseemly weeping. And why did Charles put
Albano's words, of that memorable night, into the mouth of Liana, so
bewitchingly interesting in her emotion, and thus make his love,
wrought upon by so many charms, grow even to anguish?

The German gentleman himself gave to Liana, that white swan, floating,
tinged with rosy redness, through the evening glow of Phoebus, several
loud, and to the Count annoying signs of approbation. The Minister was
chiefly glad that all this happened in his honor, and that the point of
the last act was still going to throw a very special epigrammatic
laurel-wreath on his crown.

He got the wreath. The pair of children were very favorably criticised
by the Erlangen literary gazette[142] of spectators, and by the
belles-lettres review, and covered over with crowns,--with noble
martyrs' crowns. The German gentleman had and used the public right of
ushering in the Coronation, and the Coronation-car. Base man! why should
thy beetle's-eyes be permitted to creep gnawingly over the holy roses
which emotion and sisterly love plants on Liana's cheeks? But how much
gayer still was the old gentleman,--so much so that he flirted with the
oldest ladies,--when he saw the knight bring out magnificently into full
daylight his interest in Liana, not fantastically or sentimentally, but
by still and steady advances and marked attention, by jokes and glances
and sly addresses, and at last by something decisive! That is to say,
the German gentleman drew the old man into a cabinet, and both came back
out of it vehemently animated.

The lovely Liana, withdrawn into her own heart, fled from the upas-tree
of the laurel away to her comforting mother. Liana had preserved, in the
midst of the stormy mill-races of daily _assemblées_, a low voice and a
delicate ear, and the tumult had driven her inward, and left her almost

The fair soul seldom guessed anything, except a fair soul: she so easily
divined her like; with such difficulty her counterpart. Bouverot's
advances seemed to her the usual forward and side steps of manly
courtesy; and his knightly celibacy did not allow her entirely to
understand him. Do not the lilies of innocence bloom earlier than the
roses of shame, as the purple color, in the beginning, only dyes pale,
and not till afterward puts on the red glow, when it lies before the
sun? She kept herself this evening near her mother, because she
perceived in her an unwonted seriousness. When Froulay had taken off
from his head the birthday garland, wherein were planted more thorns and
stalks than flowers,--when he had taken off the crown of thorns, and
stood in his night-cap amidst his family,--he addressed himself to the
business whereupon he had been thinking all the evening. "My little
dove," said he to his daughter, borrowing a good expression from the
Bastile,[143]--"my little dove, leave me and _Guillemette_ alone." He
now laid bare his upper teeth by a characteristic grin, and said he had,
as he hoped, something agreeable to communicate to her. "You know," he
continued, "what I owe to the German gentleman." He meant not thanks,
but money and consideration.

We love to dwell upon it as a matter of great praise in the family of
the Quintii,[144] that they never possessed gold: I adduce--without
arraying a thousand other families of whom the same is to be sworn--only
Froulay's. Certain families, like antimony, have no chemical affinity
whatever with that metal, however much they might wish it; certainly
Froulay wished it: he looked very much to his interest (to nothing
else), he willingly (although only in cases of collision) set conscience
and honor aside; but he got no further than to great outlays and great
projects, simply because he sought money, not as the end and aim of his
ambition, but only as the means of ambition and enterprise. Even for
some pictures which Bouverot had purchased for the Prince in Italy he
still owed that individual the purchase-shilling which he had taken out
of the treasury. By his bonds as if by circulars, he stood in
widely-extended connections. He would gladly have transposed his
marriage contract into a bond, and had, with his lady, at least that
most intimate community--of goods; for, under present circumstances,
divorce and bankruptcy stood in neighborly relations to each other; but,
as was said, many men, with the best talons,--like the eagle of the
Romish king,[145]--have nothing in them.

He continued: "Now, perhaps, this _géne_ will cease. Have you hitherto
made any observations upon him?" She shook her head. "I have," he
replied, "for a long time, and such as were really consoling to
me,--_j'avais le nez bon quant à cela_,--he has a real liking for my

The Minister's lady here could draw no inference, and begged him, with
disguised astonishment, to come to the _agreeable_ matter. Comically on
his face did the show of friendship wrestle with the expectation that he
should be under the necessity immediately of being exasperated. He
replied: "Is not _this_ an agreeable matter? The knight means it in
earnest. He wished now to be privately espoused to her; after three
years he retires from the order, and her fortune is made. _Vous êtes, je
l'espere, pour cette fois, un peu sur mes interêts, ils sont les

Her maternal heart, so suddenly and deeply wounded, wept, and could
hardly be concealed. "Herr von Froulay!" said she, when she had composed
herself a little; "I do not disguise my astonishment. Such a disparity
in years, in tastes, in religion."[146]

"That is the knight's affair, not ours," he replied, refreshed by her
angry confusedness, and, like the weather, in his coldness threw only
fine, sharp snow, no hail. "As to Liana's heart, I beg you just to sound
that." "O, that innocent heart? You are mocking!" "_Posito!_ so much the
more gladly will the _innocent_ heart reconcile itself to make her
father's fortune, if she is not the greatest egotist. I should never
love to constrain an obedient daughter." "_N'epuiséz pas ce chapitre;
mon coeur est en presse._ It will cost her her life, which already
hangs by such frail threads." This allusion always struck the fire of
wrath from his flint. "_Tant mieux_," said he; "then it will never go
further than an engagement! I had almost said--_Sacre!_ and who is to
blame for that? So it fares with me at the hands of the Captain too,--in
the beginning my children promise everything, then they turn out
nothing. But, madam," he said, swiftly and venomously collecting
himself; and, instead of compressing his lips and teeth, merely pinching
moderately the auditory organs of a sleeping lap-dog; "you alone indeed
know, by your influence upon Liana, how to dress and redress everything.
Perhaps she belongs to you by a still prior claim than to me. I am not
then compromitted with the knight. The advantages I detail no further."
His breast was here already warmed under the vulture-skin of rage.

But the noble lady now indignantly rose, and said: "Herr von Froulay!
hitherto I have not spoken of myself. Never will I counsel or
countenance or consent to it,--I will do the opposite. Herr von Bouverot
is not worthy of my Liana."

The Minister, during this speech, had several times unnecessarily
snapped-to the snuffers over the wax candles, and only beheaded the
point of the flame; the fixed air of wrath now colored the roses of his
lips (as the chemical does botanical ones) blue. "_Bon!_" he replied, "I
travel; you can reflect on the subject,--but I give my word of honor,
that I never consent to any other match; and though it were (whereupon
he looked at the lady ironically) still more considerable[147] than the
one just projected,--either the maiden obeys or she suffers, _decidéz_!
_Mais je me fie à l'amour que vous portéz au pere et à la fille; vous
nous rendréz tous assêz contens._" And then he went forth, not like a
tempest, but like a rainbow, which he manufactured out of the eighth
color only, namely, the black, and that with his eyebrows.

After some days of resentment with the mother and the daughter, he rode,
as Luigi's business-agent, to Haarhaar to see the princely bride. The
oppressed mother confided to her oldest and only friend, the Lector, the
sad secret. The two had now a pure relation of friendship toward one
another, which, in France, in consequence of the higher respect for
women, is more common. In the first years of the ministerial forced
marriage, which dawned not with morning dew, but with morning frost,
perhaps the hawk-moth[148] Cupid fluttered after them; but by and by
children drove away this sphinx. The wife is often forgotten when she
becomes the mother. She, therefore, with her characteristic cool and
clear strength, took all that was ambiguous in her relation to Augusti
forever out of the way; and he made her firmness more easy by his own,
because he, with more love of honor than of women, grew not more red at
any kind of braided-work than at that of a basket,[149] and erroneously
believed that a man who receives it, has as much to be ashamed of as a
woman who does.

The Lector could foresee that she would also, after her divorce,--which
she postponed only for Liana's sake,--remain single, if only for this
reason, in order not to deprive her daughter of an allodial estate,
Klosterdorf, for the reservation of which she had now for one and twenty
years exposed herself to the battering-ram and scythe-chariot and
blunderbuss of the old Minister. Whether she was not even silently
intending her dear Liana for a man so firm and tender, who differed from
her in nothing but in a worldly coolness toward positive religion, is
another and more delicate question. Such a reciprocal gift were worthy
such a mother and friend, who must know from her heart, that combined
feelings of tenderness and honor prepare for a loved soul a surer bliss
than the love which genius offers, that alternation of flying heat and
flying cold,--that fire which, like the electric, always twice
destroys,--in the stroke and in the rebound. The Lector himself started
not that question; for he never made rash, unsafe plans; and what one
would have been more so than that of such a connection, in his poverty,
or with such a father-in-law, in a country where, as in the Electorate
of Saxony, a statute, so beneficial (for parents), can countermand even
a marriage of many years' standing, which has been concluded without
parental consent?

With moist eyes the Minister's lady showed him the new storm-clouds,
which had again descended upon her and her Liana. She could build upon
his fine eye for the world, upon his dumb lip and upon his ready hand
for business. He said, as ever, he had foreseen all this; but proved to
her that Bouverot, if only from avarice, would never exchange his
knightly cross for the wedding-ring, whatever designs he might cherish
with regard to Liana. He gave her to surmise, so far as a tender regard
to her sore relations would tolerate, to what degree of readiness for
compliance with Bouverot's wishes the very frailty of Liana's life might
allure the Minister, in order to harvest it before it had done blooming.
For Froulay could much more nimbly swallow demands against honor than
injuries done to his vanity, as the victim of hydrophobia can much more
easily get down solid morsels than fluids. Yet all this did not sound so
immorally hard to the Minister's lady as readers of the middling classes
might imagine; I appeal to the more sensible among the higher.

Augusti and the Minister's lady saw that something must certainly be
done for Liana during the Minister's absence; and both wonderfully
coincided in their project. Liana must go into the country this pleasant
season,--she must muster up health for the wars that were in
prospect,--she must be put out of the way of the knight's visits, which
now the birthday would multiply fourfold,--even the Minister must have
nothing to object to the place. And where can this be? Simply under the
roof of the Director Wehrfritz, who cannot endure the German gentleman,
because he knows his poisonous relation to the Prince. But of course
there are first still other mountains to be climbed than that which lies
on the way to Blumenbühl.

The reader himself must now get over a low one; and that is a short
comico-tragic Extra-leaf upon


The following is certain: every owner of a very beautiful or very rich
daughter keeps, as it were, a Pitt under his roof, which to himself is
of no service, and which he must put to its first use after it has long
lain idle, by selling it to a _Regent_.[150] Strictly and commercially
speaking, daughters are not an article of trade; for the parental grand
adventurers no one can confound with those female dealers in second-hand
frippery, and stall-women, whose transit-business one does not love to
name; but a stock, with which one gains in a South Sea, or a clod,
wherewith one transfers symbolically (_scortatione_) real estate. "_Je
ne vends que mes paysages et donne les figures par dessus le
marche_,"[151] said Claude Lorraine, like a father,--and could easily
say it, because he had the figures painted in his landscapes by
_others_;--even so in the purchase or marriage-contract only the
knightly seats are supposed, and the bride who resides upon them is
thrown into the bargain. Even so, higher up, is a princess merely a
blooming twig, which a princely sponsor plucks off and carries home, not
for the sake of the _fruits_, but because a _bee-swarm_ of lands and
people has attached itself thereto.

If a father, like our Minister, has not much, then he can pawn his
children, as the Egyptians did their parents (namely, the mummies of
them), as mortgages and hand-pledges or imperial pawns, which are not

At present the mercantile order, which formerly dealt only in foreign
products, has got possession of this branch of commerce also; methinks,
however, they might find room enough in their lower vaults to be selfish
and damned, without going up stairs to the daughter. In Guinea only the
nobility can trade; with us they are cut off and debarred from almost
all trade, except the small trade in daughters, and the few other things
which grow on their own estates; hence is it that they hold so fast to
this liberty of trade, and that the noblesse seem here to be a Hanse
alliance for this delicate branch of business; so that one may, in some
manner, compare the high standing[152] of this class with the _higher_
one (in a literal sense) which marketable people in Rome were obliged to
mount[153] in order to be seen.

It is a common objection of young and (so-called) sensitive hearts, that
this sort of transaction very much constrains, or in fact crushes love;
whereas nothing perhaps makes so good a preparation for it as this very
thing. For when the bargain is once concluded and entered by the
bookkeeper (the parson) in the ledger, then does the time truly come on
when the daughter can consider and provide for her heart, namely, the
fair season after marriage, which is universally assumed in France and
Italy, and is gradually coming to be in Germany also, as the more
suitable time for a female heart to choose freely among the host of
men; her state then, like the Venetian, grows out of a commercial into a
conquering one. The husband himself, too, is quite as little interrupted
afterward as beforehand in his love by this short business transaction;
all is, that now--as in Nuremberg every Jew is followed by an old
woman--close upon the heels of our bridegroom a young one is seen. Nay,
often, the nuptial tradesman conceives an inclination even for the
article which he has carried home with him,--which is an uncommon piece
of good fortune; and as Moses Mendelssohn, with his bundle of silken
wares under his arm, thought out his _letters_ upon the _affections_, so
do better men, amidst their business, meditate love-letters on this
branch of trade, and deal with the virgin--as merchants in Messina[154]
do with the holy virgin--in Co.; but of course such profitable
connections of love with business must always be rare birds, and are
little to be counted upon.

The foregoing I wrote for parents who are fond of sporting with
children's happiness; I will now out of their and my sport make
something serious. I ask you, in the first place, about your right to
prescribe for morally free beings their inclinations, or even the show
of inclination, and by one act of despotism to stretch the poisonous
leaden sceptre over a whole free life. Your ten years more of
apprenticeship to life make as little distinction in the reciprocal
liberty as talent or its want. Why do you not as well enjoin upon your
daughters _friendship_ for life? Why do you not, in the second marriage,
exercise the same right? But you have even no right to reject, except in
the age of minority, when the child has not yet any right to choose. Or
do you demand, upon their leaving the paternal roof, as pay for
training them up to freedom, the sacrifice of this very freedom itself?
You act as if you had been educators, without having been yourselves
educated; whereas you are merely paying off to your children a heavy
inherited debt to your parents, which you can never pay back to _them_;
and I know but one unpaid creditor in this respect, the first man, and
but one insolvent debtor, the last. Or do you shield yourselves under
the barbarously immoral Roman prejudice, which offers children for sale
as white negroes of the parents, because the power allowed at an earlier
period over the non-moral being slips over, unobserved from the
gradualness of its development, into a power over the moral being?

If you may, out of love, force children to their happiness, so may they
afterward, quite as well out of gratitude force you to yours. But what
is, then, the happiness for which you are to throw away their whole
heart, with all its dreams? Chiefly _your own_; _your_ glory and
aggrandizement, _your_ feuds and friendships, are they to quench and buy
with the offering of their innermost souls. Dare you own aloud your
silent presuppositions in regard to the happiness of a forced marriage;
for example, the dispensableness of love in wedlock, the hope of a
death, the (perhaps) double infidelity, as well toward the connubial
merchant as toward the extra-connubial lover? You must presuppose them
sinners,[155] in order not to be yourselves robbers?

Tell me not that marriages of inclination often turn out ill, and forced
marriages often well enough, as may be seen in the instance of the
Moravians, the old Germans, and Orientals. Name me rather all barbaric
times and nations, in which--for both indeed only reckon the man, never
the wife--a happy marriage means nothing more than a happy husband. No
one stands by near enough to hear and to count a woman's sighs; the
unheard pang becomes at last speechless; new wounds weaken the bleeding
of the oldest. Further: the ill-luck of fancy-marriages is chargeable
upon your very opposition to them, and your war against the married
couple. Still further: every forced marriage is, in fact, for the most
part, half a marriage of fancy. Finally: the best marriages are in the
middling class, where the bond is more apt to be love; and the worst in
the higher, where it is more a mercenary motive; and as often as in
these classes a prince should choose merely with his heart, he would get
a heart, and never lose nor betray it.

Now, then, what sort of a hand is that into which you so often force the
fairest, finest, richest, but rebellious one? Commonly, a black, old,
withered, greedy fist. For decrepit, rich, or aspiring libertines have
too much of the connoisseur, too much satiety and freedom, to steal any
other than the most splendid creatures; the less perfect fall into the
hands and homes of mere lovers and amateurs. But how base is a man, who,
abandoned of his own character, backed merely by the despotic edict of a
stranger, paying for his fortune with a stolen one, can now drag away
the unprotected soul from the yearning eyes of a weeping love into a
long, cold life, and clasp her to his arms as against the edges of
frosty swords, and therein so near to his eye see her bleed and grow
pale and quiver! The man of honor even gives with a blush, but he takes
not with a blush; and the better lion, the beast, spares woman;[156]
but these soul-buyers extort from constrained beings at last even the
testimony of free-will.

Mother of the poor heart, which thou wilt bless by misfortune, hear me!
Suppose thy daughter should harden herself against the misery which is
forced upon her, hast thou not reduced her rich dream of life to empty
sleep, and taken out of it love's islands of the blest, and all that
bloomed thereon; the fair days when one roamed over them, and the
perpetual happy retrospect of them when they already lie with their
blooming peaks low in the horizon? Mother, if this happy time was ever
in thy breast, then snatch it not from thy daughter; and if it was
barbarously torn from thee, then think of thy bitter pang, and bequeath
it not!

Suppose, further, she makes the kidnapper of her soul happy, reckon now
what she might have been to its darling; and whether she does not then
deserve anything better than to gratify a jailer, locked in with her
forever by one shutting of the prison-door. But it seldom fares so well
as this; thou wilt heap a double disaster upon thy soul,--the long agony
of thy daughter, and the growing coldness of her husband, who by and by
comes to feel and resent refusals. Thou hast cast a shadow over the time
when man first needs the morning-sun,--namely, youth. O, sooner make all
other seasons of the day of life cloudy; they are all alike, the third
and the fourth and fifth decades; only at sunrise let it not rain into
life; only this one never returning, irredeemable time darken not!

But how, if thou shouldst be sacrificing not merely joys, relations, a
happy marriage, hopes, a whole posterity, to thy plans and commands,
but the very being herself[157] whom thou constrainest? Who can justify
thee, or dry thy tears, when thy best daughter,--for she is the very one
who will be most likely to obey, be dumb and die, as the monks of La
Trappe see their cloister burn down, without one of them breaking the
vow of silence,[158]--when she, I say, like a fruit half in the sun and
half in the shade, blooms outwardly, and inwardly grows cold and pale;
when she, dying after her lifeless heart, at last can no longer conceal
anything from thee, but for years bears round the paleness and the pangs
of decline in the very orient of life; and when thou canst not console
her, because thou hast crushed her, and thy conscience cannot suppress
the name of infanticide; and when at last the worn-out victim lies there
under thy tears, and the wrestling creature, so affrighted and so young,
so faint, and yet thirsting for life, forgiving and complaining, with
languishing and longing looks, with painfully confused and conflicting
emotions, sinks with her blooming limbs into the bottomless flood of
death,--O guilty mother on the shore, thou who hast pushed her in, who
will comfort thee? But I would call every guiltless one, and show her
the bitter dying, and ask her, Shall thy child also perish thus?

59. CYCLE.

It was a romantic day for Zesara, even outwardly; sun-sparks and
rain-drops played dazzlingly through the heavens. He had received a
letter from his father, dated at Madrid, which stamped at last the black
seal of certainty on the threatened death of his sister, and in which
there was nothing agreeable but the intelligence that Don Gaspard, with
the Countess of Romeiro, whose guardianship he was now concluding, would
travel in autumn (the Italian spring) to Italy. Two tones had been, in
his life, stolen away from the musical scale of love; he had never known
by experience what it was to love a brother or a sister. The coincidence
of her death-night with that night in Tartarus, this whole clawing into
the holy images and wishes of his heart, stirred up his spirit, and he
felt with indignation how impotently a whole assailing world might seek
to remove Liana's image from his soul; and again he painfully felt, that
this very Liana herself believed in her near decline.

In this situation was he found by an unexpected invitation from the
Minister's lady herself,--sun-sparks and rain-drops played in his heaven
also. He flew; in the antechamber stood the angel who broke the six
apocalyptic seals,--Rabette. She had run to meet him from a bashfulness
before company, and had embraced him sooner than he her. How gladly did
he look into the familiar, honest face! with tears he heard the name of
brother, when he had lost a sister to-day!

The reason of her appearance was this: when the Director was at the
Minister's lady's the last time, the latter had, with easy, disguised
hand, opened her house to his daughter, "for the sake of a knowledge of
empty city life, and for change,"--in order that she might hereafter
venture to knock at _his_ door on her own daughter's behalf. He said he
would "forward the female wild deer to her with pleasure, and all
possible despatch." And as in Blumenbühl Rabette had answered him No,
then Yes, then No, then Yes, and had held with her mother, even before
midnight, an imperial-exchequer-revision, a mint-probation-day about
everything which a human being from the country can wear in the city,
she packed up there and unpacked here.

"Ah, I am afraid in there," said she to Albano; "they are all too
clever, and I am now so stupid!" He found beside the domestic trio the
Princess also, and the little Helena from Lilar, that lovely medallion
of a fine day to his stirred heart. Indescribably was he smitten with
Liana's womanly advances to Rabette, as if he shared her with her. With
courtesy and tenderness, a mildness also, which was without falsehood or
pride, came to the help of the embarrassed playmate, on whose face the
inborn gayety and eloquence of nature now singularly contrasted with her
artificial dumb gravity. Charles, with his ready familiarity, was more
in a condition to entangle than to extricate her; only Liana gave to her
soul and tongue, if only by the embroidery-frame, a free field; Rabette
could write with the embroidering needle, no illuminated and initial
letters, indeed, but still a good running-hand.

She gave--turning her face toward her brother's, in order to pluck
courage therefrom--a clear report of the dangerous road and upsets,
laughing all the while, after the manner of the people when they are
telling their mishaps. Her brother was to her, at the company's expense,
both company and world; upon him alone streamed forth her warmth and
speech. She said she could from her chamber see him "play on the
harpsichord." Liana immediately led both thither. How richly and
sublimely, beyond Rabette's demands upon city-life, was the maidenly
_hospitium_ set out, from the tulip (not a blooming one, but a
work-basket of Liana's,--although every tulip is such a basket for the
finger of spring) even to the piano-forte, of which she, of course, for
the present can use no more than seven treble-keys for half a waltz?
Five moderate trunks of clothes--for therewith she thought to come out,
and show the city that the country too could wear clothes--represented
to him in their well-known flower-pieces and tin bands the old
impressions (_incunabula_) of his earliest days of life; and to-day
every trace of the old season of love refreshed him. She made him look
for his windows, from one of which the Librarian was fixing a hard gaze
on a paving-stone in the street to see how often he could hit it by

Here alone, in the presence only of the brother, Liana spoke more loudly
to the sister the word of friendship, and assured her how happy she
meant to make her, and how sincere she was in all that she promised. O
look not into the flame of the pure, religious, sisterly love with any
yellow eye of jealousy! Can you not comprehend that this fair soul even
now distributes its rich flames among all sisterly hearts, until love
concentrates them into _one_ sun; as, according to the ancients, the
scattered lightnings of night gather themselves in the morning into one
solid solar orb? She was, everywhere, an eye for every heart; like a
mother, she never once forgot the little in the great; and she poured
out (let no one deny me the privilege of printing this minute example)
for little Helena the cup of coffee, which the Doctor forbade, half
full of cream, in order that it might be without strength or harm.

The impatient Princess had already looked ten times toward the heavens,
through which now beams of light, now rain-columns flew, till at length
out of the consumed cloud-snow the broad fields of blue grew up, and
Julienne could lead out the delighted young people into the garden, to
the annoyance of the Minister's lady, who did not like to expose Liana
to the _Serein_,--five or six blasts of the evening-wind, and the wading
through rain-water that stood a nineteenth of a line[159] deep. She
herself stayed behind. How new-born, glistening, and inviting was all
down below! The larks soared out of the distant fields like tones, and
warbled near over the garden,--in all the leaves hung stars, and the
evening air threw the liquid jewelry, the trembling earrings, from the
blossoms down upon the flowers, and bore sweet incense to meet the bees.
The Idyl of the year, Spring, parcelled its sweet pastoral land among
the young souls. Albano took his sister's hand, but he listened vacantly
to her intelligence from home. Liana went far in advance with the
Princess, and bathed herself in the open heavens of confidential

Suddenly Julienne stood still, chatting playfully with her, in order to
let the Count come up, and to inquire after letters from Don Gaspard,
and after tidings of the Countess Romeiro. He communicated, with glowing
countenance, the contents of to-day's letter. In Julienne's physiognomy
there was a smile almost of raillery. To the intelligence of Linda's
intended journey she replied: "That is just herself; she will fain learn
everything,--travel over everything. I wager she climbs up _on_ Mont
Blanc and _into_ Vesuvius. Liana and I call her, for this reason, the
Titaness." How graciously did Liana listen, with her eyes wholly on her
female friend! "You are not acquainted with her?" she inquired of the
tortured one. He answered, emphatically, in the negative. Roquairol came
up; "_Passéz, Monsieur_," said she, making room, and giving him a sign
to move on. Liana looked very earnestly after. "_La voici!_" said
Julienne, letting the cover of a likeness spring up, by a pressure, on a
ring of her little hand. Good youth! it was exactly the form which
arose, that magic night, out of Lago Maggiore, sent to thee by the
spirits! "She is hit there, exactly," said she to the agitated man.
"Very," said he, confusedly. She did not investigate this
contradictory[160] "very"; but Liana looked at him; "very--beautifully
and boldly!" he continued; "but I do not love boldness in women." "O,
one can readily believe that of men!" replied Julienne; "no hostile
power loves it in the other party."

They passed along now through the chestnut avenue by the holy spot where
Albano had seen, for the first time, the bride of his hopes shining and
suffering behind the water-jets. O it was here that he would gladly,
with that soul of his painfully excited by the mutual reaction of
wonderful circumstances, have knelt down before the still angel so near
him! The tender Julienne perceived that she had to spare an agitated
heart; after a tolerably loud silence, she said, in a serious tone: "A
lovely evening,--we'll go to the water-house. There is where Liana was
cured, Count! The fountains must leap, too." "O the fountains!" said
Albano, and looked with indescribable emotion upon Liana. She thought,
however, he meant those in the flute-dell. Helena cried out behind for
them to wait, and came tripping along after with two little hands full
of dewy auriculas, which she had plucked, and gave them all to Liana,
expecting from her, as collatress of benefices, the flower-distribution.
"The little one, too, still thinks of the beautiful Sunday at Lilar,"
said Liana. She gave the Princess one or two, and Helena nodded; and
when Liana looked at her, she nodded again, as a sign the Count should
have something too: "More yet!" she cried, when he had got some; and the
more Liana gave, the more did the child cry, "More,"--as children are
wont to do, in the hyperboles of their tendency to the infinite.

They went over a green bridge, and came into a neat room. Instead of the
piano-forte formerly there, stood a glass chapel of the goddess of
music, a harmonica. The Captain screwed in behind a tapestry-door, and
immediately all the confined spring-waters shot up outside with silvery
wings toward heaven. O how the sprinkled world burned as they stepped
out on the top!

Why wast thou, my Albano, just at this hour not entirely happy? Why,
then, do pains pierce through all our unions,--and why does the heart,
like its veins, bleed most richly when it is heated? Above them lay the
still, wounded heavens in the bandage of a long, white mass of cloud;
the evening sun stood as yet behind the palace, but on both sides of it
his purple mantle of clouds floated in broad folds away across the sky;
and if one turned round toward the east to the mountains of Blumenbühl,
green living flames streamed upward, and, like golden birds, the _ignes
fatui_ danced through the moist twigs and on the eastern windows, but
the fountains still threw their white silver into the gold.

Then the sun swam forth, with red hot breast, drawing golden circles in
the clouds, and the arching water-shoots burned bright. Julienne bent
upon Albano--near whom she had constantly remained, as if by way of
atonement--a hearty look, as if he were her brother, and Charles said to
Liana, "Sister, thy evening song!" "With all my heart," said she; for
she was right glad of the opportunity to withdraw herself, with the
melancholy seriousness of her enjoyment, and down below in the solitary
room to utter aloud, on the harmonica-bells, all that which rapture and
the eyes bury in silence.

She went down; the melodious requiem of the day went up,--the zephyr of
sound, the harmonica, flew, waving, over the garden-blossoms,--and the
tones cradled themselves on the thin lilies of the up-growing water, and
the silver lilies burst aloft for pleasure, and from the brightness of
the sun, into flamy blossoms, and over yonder reposed mother sun in a
blue pasture, and looked greatly and tenderly upon her human children.
Canst thou, then, hold thy heart, Albano, so that it shall remain
concealed with its joys and sorrows, when thou hearest the peaceful
virgin walking in the moonlight of tones? O when the tone which trickles
down in the ether announces to her the early wasting away of her life,
and when the soft, long-drawn melodies flow away from her like the
rose-oil of many crushed days; dost thou not think of that, Albano? How
the human creature plays! The little Helena flings up auriculas at the
flashing water-veins, in order that she may dash one of them with the
spray of the intercepted jet, and the youth Zesara bends far over the
balustrade, and lets the stream of water leap off from his sloping hand
upon his hot face and eye, in order to cool and conceal himself. The
fiery veil was snatched from him by his sister; Rabette was one of
those persons whom this musical tremor gnaws upon even physically, just
as, on the other hand, the Captain was little affected by the harmonica,
and indeed was always least moved when others were most so; there were
no pains with which the innocent girl was less familiar than with sweet
ones; the bitter-sweet melancholy into which she sank away in the idle
solitude of Sundays, she and others had scolded at as mere sullenness.
At this moment she felt all at once, with a blush, her stout heart
seized, whirled round, and scalded through as by hot whirlpools. Besides
it had to-day already been swayed to and fro by the meeting with her
brother again, the leaving of her mother, and her confused bashfulness
before strangers, and even by the sight of the sunny-red mountain of
Blumenbühl. In vain did the fresh brown eyes and the overripe full lip
battle against the uprending pain; the hot springs tore their way
through, and the blooming face with the strong chin grew red and full of
tears. Painfully ashamed, and dreading to be taken for a child,
especially as all her companions' emotions had remained invisible, she
pressed her handkerchief over her burning face, and said to her brother,
"I must go away, I am not well, I shall choke,"--and ran down to the
gentle Liana.

Yes, thou needest only carry thither thy shy pangs! Liana turned, and
saw her hastily and violently drying her eyes. Ah, hers too were indeed
full. When Rabette saw it, she said, courageously, "I absolutely cannot
hear it,--I must scream,--I am really ashamed of myself." "O thou dear
heart," cried Liana, joyfully falling upon her neck, "be not ashamed,
and look into my eye! Sister, come to me, as often as thou art troubled;
I will gladly weep with thy soul, and dry thy eye even sooner than my
own." There was an overmastering enchantment in these tones,--in these
looks of love, because Liana fancied she was mourning over some eclipsed
star or other of her life. And never did trembling gratitude embrace
more freshly and youthfully a venerated heart than did Rabette Liana.

And now came Albano. Awakened by the dying away of the cradle-song, he
had hurried after her, leaving all the cold and other drops unwiped from
his fiery cheeks. "What ails thee, sister?" he asked, hastily. Liana,
still lingering in the embrace and the inspiration, answered quickly,
"You have a good sister; I will love her as her brother does." The sweet
words of the so deeply affected souls and the fiery storm of his being
carried him away, and he clasped the embracing ones and pressed the
sisterly hearts to each other and kissed his sister; when, at the sight
of Liana's confused bending aside of her head, he was terrified and
flamed up crimson.

He must needs fly. With these wild agitations he could not stay in the
presence of Liana, and before the cold, mirroring glances of the
company. But the night was to be as wonderful as the day; he hastened
with live looks, that appeared like angry ones, out of the city to the
Titaness, Nature, who at once calms and exalts us. He went along by
exposed mill-wheels, about which the stream wound itself in foam. The
evening clouds stretched themselves out like giants at rest, and basked
in the ruddy dawn of America, and the storm swept among them, and the
fiery Briareuses started up; night built the triumphal-arch of the
milky-way, and the giants marched gloomily under. And in every element
Nature, like a storm-bird, beat her rustling wings.

Albano lay, without knowing it, on the woodland bridge of Lilar, under
which the wind-streams went roaring through. He glowed like the clouds
with the lingering tinges of _his_ sun; his inner wings were, like those
of the ostrich, full of spines, and wounded while they lifted him; the
romantic spiritual day, the letter of his father, Liana's tearful eyes,
his boldness, and then his bliss and remorse about it, and now the
sublime night-world on all sides round about him, passed to and fro
within him and shook his young heart; he touched with his fiery cheek
the moistened tree-tops, and did not cool himself, and he was near to
that sounding, flying heart, the nightingale, and yet hardly heard her.
Like a sun, his heart goes through his pale thoughts, and quenches on
its path one constellation after another. On the earth and in the
heavens, in the past and in the future, stood before Albano only one
form; "Liana," said his heart, "Liana," said all nature.

He went down the bridge and up the western triumphal-arch, and the
glimmering Lilar lay before him in repose. Lo! there he saw the old
"pious father" on the balustrade of the arch, fast asleep. But how
different was the revered form from the picture of it which he had
shaped to himself according to that of the deceased Prince. The white
locks, flowing richly down under the Quaker hat, the femininely and
poetically rounded brow, the arched nose and the youthful lip, which
even in late life had not yet withered, and the childlikeness of the
soft face, announced a heart which, in the evening-twilight of age,
takes its rest and looks toward the stars. How lonely is the holy sleep!
The Death-angel has conducted man out of the light world into the dark
hermitage built over it; his friends stand without near the cell;
within, the hermit talks with himself, and his darkness grows brighter
and brighter, and jewels and pastures and whole spring-days gleam out at
last,--and all is clear and broad! Albano stood before the sleep with an
earnest soul, which contemplates life and its riddles;--not only the
incoming and the outgoing of life are hidden with a manifold veil, but
even the short path itself; as around Egyptian temples, so around the
greatest of all temples sphinxes lie, and, reversing the case as it was
with the sphinx, he only solves the riddle who dies.

The old man spoke, behind the speech-grating of sleep, with dead ones
who had journeyed with him over the morning meadows of youth, and
addressed with heavy lip the dead Prince and his spouse. How sublimely
did the curtain of the venerable countenance, pictured over with a long
life, hang down before the pastoral world of youth dancing behind it,
and how touchingly did the gray form roam round with its youthful crown
in the cold evening dew of life, taking it for morning-dew, and looking
toward the east, and toward the sun! The youth ventured only to touch
lovingly a lock of the old man; he meant to leave him, in order not to
alarm him with a strange form, before the rising moon should have
touched his eyelids and awakened him. Only he would first crown the
teacher of his loved one with the twigs of a neighboring laurel. When he
came back from it, the moon had already penetrated with her radiance
through the great eyelids, and the old man opened them before the
exalted youth, who, with the glowing rosy moon of his countenance,
glorified by the moon overhead, stood before him like a genius with the
crown. "Justus!" cried the old man, "is it thou?" He took him for the
old Prince, who, with just such blooming cheeks and open eyes, had
passed before him in the under-world of dreams.

But he soon came back out of the dreamy Elysium into the botanical, and
knew even Albano's name. The Count, with open mien, grasped his hands,
and said to him how long and profoundly he had respected him. Spener
answered in few and quiet words, as old men do who have seen everything
on the earth so often. The glory of the moonlight flowed down now on the
tall form, and the quietly open eye was illumined,--an eye which not so
much penetrates as lets everything penetrate it. The almost cold
stillness of the features, the youthful gait of the tall form, which
bore its years upright as a crown upon the head, not as a burden upon
the back, more as flowers than as fruit, the singular mixture of former
manly ardor and of womanly tenderness,--all this called up before Albano
the image of a prophet of the Eastern land. That broad stream which came
roaring down through the alps of youth, glides now calmly and smoothly
through its pastures; but throw rocks before it, and again it starts up

The old man looked upon the youthful youth, the oftener the more warmly.
In our days youth is, in young men, a bodily and spiritual beauty at
once. He invited him to accompany him this beautiful night to his quiet
cottage, which stands overhead there near the church-spire, that looks
down from above into flute-dell. On the singular, mazy paths which they
now took, Lilar was transformed to Albano's eyes into a new world; like
flying silver clouds of night, the glimmering beauties were continually
shifting and arranging themselves together into new groups, and
occasionally the two companions penetrated through exotic shrubbery with
lively-colored blossoms and wondrous odors. The pious father asked him
with interest about his former and present life.

They came to the opening of a dark passage into the earth. Spener, in a
friendly manner, took Albano's right hand, and said this way led _up_ to
his mountain-abode. But soon it seemed to go downward. The stream of the
vale, the Rosana, sounded even in here, but only single drops of
moonlight trickled through scattered mountain openings overspun with
twigs. The excavation extended farther downward; still more remotely
murmured the water in the vale. And yet a nightingale sang a lay that
grew nearer and nearer. Albano was composed and silent. Everywhere they
went along before narrow gates of splendor which only a star of heaven
seemed to fling in. They descended now to a distant, illuminated magic
bower of bright red and poisonous dark flowers, arched over at once with
little peaked leaves and great broad foliage; and a confusing white
light, partly sprinkled about by the living rays that gushed in, and
partly flying off from the lilies only as white dust, drew the eye into
an intoxicating whirl. Zesara entered with a dazzled eye, and as he
looked to the right, in the direction of the fire that rained in, he
found Spener's eye sharply fixed upon something to the left; he looked
thither, and saw an old man, entirely like the deceased Prince, dart by
and stalk into a side cavern; his hand quivered with affright, so did
Spener's,--the latter pressed hastily on downward; and at last there
glistened a blue, starry opening: they stepped out....

Heavens! a new starry arch; a pale sun moves through the stars, and they
swim, as in play, after him,--below reposes an enraptured earth full of
glitter and flowers; its mountains run gleaming away up toward the arch
of heaven, and bend over toward Sirius; and through the unknown land
delights glide, like dreams over which man weeps for joy.

"What is that? Am I on or under the earth?" said Albano, astounded; and
his wandering eye fled for refuge to the face of a living man,--"I saw a
dead man." Much more affectionately than before, the old man answered,
"This is Lilar; behind us is my little house!" He explained the
mechanical illusion[161] of the descent. "Here, now, have I stood so
many thousand times, and feasted myself with so fervent a heart on the
works of God. How looked the form, my son?" "Like the dead Prince," said
Alban. In a startled, but almost commanding tone, Spener said, with a
low voice, "Be silent, like me, until his time,--it was not he. Thy
salvation and the salvation of many hangs thereon. Go no more to-day
through the passage."

Albano, half-angered by all the experience of this singular day, said,
"Well, then, I go back through Tartarus. But what means the ghostly
creation that everywhere pursues me?" "Thou hast," said the old man,
lovingly and refreshingly, laying a finger on the youth's brow, "nothing
but invisible friends about thee,--and cast thyself everywhere upon God.
There are a great many Christians who say, God is near or far off, that
his wisdom and his goodness appear quite specially in one age or
another,--truly that is idle deception; is he not the unchangeable,
eternal Love, and does he not love and bless us at one hour just as much
as at another?" As we ought, properly, to call the eclipse of the sun an
eclipse of the earth, so it is man who is obscured, never the Infinite;
but we are like the people who look at the obscuration of the sun in the
water, and then, when the water trembles, cry out, "See how the
glorious sun struggles!"

Albano stepped into the solitude of the old man's neatly ordered
dwelling, only with heaviness, because, in the hot ashes of his volcano,
every feeling put forth and throve the more luxuriantly. Spener
pointed over from his mountain-ridge to the little so-called
"Thunderhouse,"[162] and advised him to occupy it this summer. Albano
took his leave at length, but his agitated heart was a sea, in which the
morning sun is glowingly still half reflected, and into which, at
evening, a lead-colored storm dips, and which swells glistening under
the storm. He looked up from below at the old man, who was looking after
him; but he would hardly have wondered to-day if _he_ had either sunk or
ascended. With indignant and spirited resolutions, to stake and
sacrifice his life for his love, at which cold hands were grasping, he
strode without any fear through Tartarus, which, by the magnifying
mirror of night, was distorted into a black giant armament: thus is the
spirit-world only a region of our inner world, and _I_ fear only
_myself_. When he stood before the altar of the heart in the dumb night,
where nothing was audible but the thoughts, then did the bold spirit
advise him repeatedly to call upon the dead old man, and swear aloud by
his heart, full of dust; but when he looked up to the fair heavens, his
heart was consecrated, and only prayed, "O good God, give me Liana!"

It grew dark; the clouds, which he had taken for the shining mountains
of a new earth, stretching away into the heavens, had reached the moon,
and overshadowed it with darkness.


[138] _Tempestiarii_, or Storm-makers, was a name given, in the
Middle Ages, to the master-wizards who could conjure up foul
weather. Weather-prayers were used in the churches against them,
and other wizard-masters called in to counteract the former.

[139] The Polish dancer always carries a rod under the fur-dress,
wherewith his partner is excused by a blow or two, when she makes
a misstep.--_Upper Siles. Monthly Mag._, July, 1788.

[140] Dread of spirits.

[141] The German for this is _sauer-stoff_ (sour-stuff).--TR.

[142] A noted review in Richter's day, published at Erlangen near

[143] Thus did the turnkeys name their prisoners.

[144] Alexand. ab Al., v. 4.

[145] To distinguish himself from the eagle of the Emperor, who
holds something in both claws.

[146] Bouverot was a Catholic.

[147] He meant one with the poor Lector.

[148] Literally, "twilight-bird."--TR.

[149] To _get the basket_ means a refusal.--TR.

[150] I do not mean (as perhaps may appear from the _selling_)
Pitt the Minister, but Pitt the Diamond, which the father of the
present Pitt traded away to the Duke Regent of France, and for
whose splinters he got twelve thousand ducats into the bargain.

[151] I sell only my landscapes, and throw in the figures.

[152] _Stand_, in German, has the double meaning of an _estate_
and a _stand_.--TR.

[153] Plaut. Bacch., Act 4, Scen. 7, 4, 16, 17.

[154] Seventh Part of the new Collection of Travels.

[155] I speak more particularly of the daughters, because they
are the most frequent and greatest victims; the sons are
bloodless mass-offerings.

[156] Pliny, Nat. Hist., VIII. 16.

[157] And this is quite probable. Dr. Edward Hill reckoned that
in England eight thousand die annually of unhappy love,--of
broken hearts, as the Englishwomen touchingly express it. Beddoes
shows that vegetable food--and of this such victims are
particularly fond--fosters consumption, and that females incline
to this. Besides, the times of longing, which of itself, even
without disappointment, as homesickness shows, is a poisonous
revolving leaden ball, occur in youth, when the seed of pectoral
maladies most easily springs up. O many married ones fall, under
misconstructions, victims to the death-angel, into whose hand
they had, previously to marriage, put the sword they themselves
had sharpened!

[158] Forster's Views, Vol. I.

[159] A line (French) is one twelfth of an inch.--TR.

[160] Because he had just said he did not know her.--TR.

[161] Weigel. in Jena, invented the inverted bridge (_pons
heteroclitus_), a stairway on which a person seems to descend, by
going up.--_Bush's Handbook of Inventions_, Vol. VII.

[162] It had the name from its height and its being so often
struck with lightning.



60. CYCLE.

Out of the drops which the harmonica had wrung from Rabette's heart the
old enchanter, Fate, is perhaps preparing, as other enchanters do out of
blood, dark forms; for Roquairol had seen it, and wondered at the
sensibility of a heart which hitherto had been set in motion more by
occupations than by romances. Now he drew nearer to her with a new
interest. Since the night of the oath, he had drawn his heart out of all
unworthy fetters. In this freedom of victory, he went forward proudly,
and stretched out his arms more lightly and longingly after noble love.
He now visited his sister incessantly; but he still kept to himself.
Rabette was not fair enough for him, beside his tender sister. She was
an artificial ribbon-rose beside one by Van der Ruysch; she said
herself, naively, that she looked, with her village-complexion in white
lawn, like black-tea in white cups. But in her healthy eyes, not yet
corroded into dimness by tragical drops, and on her fresh lips, life
glowed; her powerful chin and her arched nose threatened and promised
spirit and strength; and her upright and downright heart grasped and
repelled decidedly and intensely. He determined to prove her. The
Talmud[163] forbids to inquire after the price of a thing, when one does
not mean to buy it; but the Roquairols always cheapen and look further.
They tear a soul in two, as children do a bee, in order to eat out of it
the honey which it would gather. They borrow from the eel, not only his
dexterity in slipping away, but also the power to twine around the arm
and crush it.

And now he let all the dazzling powers of his multi-form nature play
before her,--the sense of his ascendency permitted him to move freely
and gracefully, and the careless heart seemed open on all sides,--he
linked so freely earnestness and jest, glow and glitter, the greatest
and the least, and energy with mildness. Unhappy girl! now art thou his;
and he snatches thee from thy _terra firma_ with rapacious wings up into
the air, and then hurls thee down. Like a vine running on a
lightning-rod, thou wilt richly unfold thy powers and bloom up on him;
but he will draw down the lightning upon himself and thy blossoms, and
strip thee of thy leaves and rend thee utterly.

Rabette had never conceived of such a man, much less seen one; he made
his way by main force into her sound heart, and a new world went in
after him. Through Liana's love for the Captain, hers mounted still
higher; and the two could speak of their brothers in friendly
reciprocation. The good Liana sought to bring to the help of her friend
many a thing which would hardly take hold, particularly mythology,
which, by reason of the French pronunciation of the names of the gods,
was still more unserviceable to her. Even with books Liana sought to
bring them together; so that reading was to her a sort of week-day
Divine service, which she attended with true devotion, and was always
delighted when it was over. Through all these water-wheels of knowledge
streamed Roquairol's love, and helped drive and draw. How many blushes
now flitted without any occasion over her whole face! The laugh which
once expressed her gayety, came now too often, and betokened only a
helpless heart, which longed to sigh.

So stood matters with her when Charles once playfully stole behind her
and covered her eyes with his hand, in order, under the mask of her
brother's voice, to give her soft, sisterly names. She confounded the
similar voices; she pressed the hand heartily, but her eye was hot and
moist. Then she discovered the mistake, and flew with the concealed
evening and morning redness of her countenance out of the room. Now he
looked closer into the eyes of Liana, who blamed him for it, and hers
too had wept. She would fain at first conceal from him the object of the
sisterly emotion; but another's No was to him, of old, an auxiliary
verb,--a fair wind blowing him into port. Liana grew more and more
agitated; at last she related how Rabette's account of Albano's youthful
history had drawn from her in turn the history of his early relations,
and that she had portrayed to her the bloody night of the masquerade,
and even shown his bloody dress. "And then," said Liana, "she wept with
me as heartily as if she had been thy sister. O, it is a dear heart!"
Charles saw the two linked together like two pastures, namely, by the
rainbow which stands over both with its drops; he drew her with thankful
love to his breast. "Art thou then happy?" asked Liana, in a tone
ominous of something sad.

She must needs disclose to him her full heart, and tell him all. He
heard with astonishment, how that whole Tartarus-night, on which the
unknown voice had promised Linda de Romeiro to his friend, had been made
known to her. By whom? She held an inexorable silence; he contented
himself, because, to be sure, it could only have been Augusti, who was
the only one that knew of it. "And now believest thou, thou heart from
heaven," said he, "that I and the brother of my soul could ever separate
by robbing each other? O, it is all otherwise, all otherwise! He curses
the mock-spirits and the object of the mimicry. O he loves me; and my
heart will rejoice in the day when it is his!" The touching ambiguity of
these last words dissolved him in a sacred melancholy.

But she, in the midst of the heartiest overflow of feeling, took part,
as if out of piety, with the spirits, and said: "Speak not thus of
spiritual apparitions! They exist, that I know,--only one needs not fear
them." Here, however, with firm hand she held fast the veil over her
experiences; he too had known long since, that, notwithstanding her most
tremblingly delicate feelings, which shrunk even from the sight of the
blue veins on the lily hand, as from a wound, she had appeared
unexpectedly courageous before the dead and in the ghostly hours of

Behind the waves of so different an emotion which now drove his heart up
and down, Rabette was eclipsed. He burned now only for the hour when he
could tell his Albano the singular treachery of the Lector.

61. CYCLE.

Even before the Captain disclosed to his friend Augusti's probable
treachery, Albano was almost entirely at variance with his two tutors.
In a circle full of young hearts which beat for one another, and still
more fondly fight for one another, two always take an indissoluble hold
of each other, and become one at others' expense.

Albano boldly broke with every one whom Charles displeased. Besides,
Schoppe had long been loved by few, because few can endure a perfectly
free man; the flower-chains hold better, they think, when galley-chains
run through them. He, therefore, could not bear it, when one "with too
close a love clambered up round him so tightly that he had the freedom
of his arms no more than if he wore them in bandages of eighty
heads."[164] The sarcastic liveliness of his pantomime chilled the
Captain, by having the appearance of a somewhat stricter observation,
more than did the composed face of the Lector, who from that very
circumstance took everything more sharply into his still eye.

The good Schoppe had one fault which no Albano forgives, namely, his
intolerance toward the "female saintly images of isinglass," as he
expressed it,--toward the tender errors of the heart, the sacred
excesses by which man weaves into this short life a still shorter
pleasure. On one occasion Charles walked up and down with arms akimbo
and drooping head, as on a stage, and said, accidentally, so that the
Titular-librarian overheard him, "O I was very little understood by the
world in my youth." He said nothing further; but let anybody shake, in
jest, a baker's dozen[165] of hornets, a basket of crabs, a mug of
wood-pismires, all at once over the Librarian's skin, and take a flying
observation of the effect of the stinging, nipping, biting; then can
one, in a measure at least, conceive what a quivering, swelling, and
irritation there was in him, so soon as he heard the above-mentioned
phraseology. "Mr. Captain!" he began, drawing in a long breath, "I can
stand through a good deal on this rusty, stupid earth,--famine,
pestilence, courts, the stone, and fools from pole to pole; but your
phraseology surpasses the strength of my shoulders. Sir Captain, you
may, most certainly, use this rhetoric with perfect justice, because
you, as you say, are not understood. But, O heavens! O devils! I hear,
in fact, thirty thousand young men and maidens, from one
circulating-library to another, all with inflated breast, saying and
groaning round and round, that nobody understands them, neither their
grandfather nor their god-parents, nor the conrector, when, in fact, the
wrapping-paper,[166] commonplace pack does not itself understand. But
the young man means by this merely a maiden, and the maiden a young man;
these can appreciate each other. Out of love will I undertake, as out of
potatoes, to serve up fourteen different dishes; let one just shear off,
as they do off of the bears in Göttingen, its beastly hair, and no
Blumenbach would any longer recognize it.

"Mr. Von Froulay, I have somewhat often compared this cursed exaltation
of souls, merely from low motives, with the English horsetails, which
also always stand pointing to heaven, only because their sinews have
been cut. Must not one be mad, when one hears every day, and reads every
day, how the commonest souls, the very doggerels and trumpeters' pieces
of Nature, think themselves exalted by love above all people, like cats
that fly with hogs' bladders buckled on to them; how they rendezvous in
the hare's form and emporium of love, the other world, as on a
Blocksberg, and how, on this finch-ground, in this theatrical green-room
(or dressing-room, which then becomes the opposite), they drive their
business until they are coupled. Then it's all over; fancy and poesy,
which now should be to them for the first time serviceable, are caught!
They run away from them like lice from the dead, although on these the
hair continues to sprout out. They shudder at the next world; and when
they become widowers and widows, they do their courting very well
without the hogs' bladders, and without the decoy-feathers, and the
folding screen of the next world. Such a thing as this now, Sir Captain,
provokes one, and then, in the heat, the just must suffer with the
unjust, as your ears unfortunately attest!"

Alban, who never light-mindedly forgave, silently separated himself from
a heart, which, as he unjustly said, quenched the flames of love with
satiric gall.

In the chain of friendship with Augusti, one ring after another
absolutely broke in twain. The Count found in the Lector a spirit of
littleness which was more revolting to him than any bad spirit. The
elegance of a good courtier, his propensity to keep the smallest secrets
as faithfully as the greatest, his passion for starting up behind every
action a long plan, his thirsty curiosity for genuine historical
sources, at court and in the city, and his coldness toward philosophy,
so dried up the overstrained image which Albano had formed of him, that
it wrinkled up and grew full of rents. Such dissimilarities never rise
among cultivated men to open feuds; but they secretly put upon the inner
man one piece of armor after another, till he stands there in solid
mail, and strikes out.

Now, in addition to all this, the Lector bore the Captain a hearty
grudge, because he cost the Minister's lady many anxious hours, and
Liana, and even the Count, much money, and because he seemed to him to
pervert the youth. The otherwise directly ascending flame of Albano was
now, by the obstacles thrown in the way of his love, bent on all sides,
and, like soldering fire, burned more sharply; but this sharpness
Augusti ascribed to the friend. Albano appeared to those whom he loved
warmer, to those whom he endured colder, than he was, and his
earnestness was easily confounded with defiance and pride; but the
Lector imagined that Albano's love was stolen from him by Charles.

He undertook, with equal refinement and frankness, to play off on the
Count a good map-card of the spots which were thickly sown in the
heavenly body of this Jupiter. But he tore every map. Charles's painful
confessions on that night extinguished all additions by other hands. And
Albano's grand faith, that one must shield a friend entirely, and trust
him entirely, warded off every influence. O it is a holy time, in which
man desires offerings and priests, _without fail_, for the altar of
friendship and love, and--beholds them; and it is a too cruel time, in
which the so often cheated, belied bosom prophesies to itself, on
another's bosom, in the midst of the love-draught of the moment, the
cold neighborhood of bankruptcy!

As the Lector saw perfectly that Alban, at many of his charges against
Charles,--for instance, of his wildness and disorder,--remained cold,
for the reason that he might deem himself to be reproached over
another's shoulders, as the French (according to Thickness) give
strangers praise over their own; he now, instead of the point of
similarity, took hold of an entire dissimilarity of the Captain, his
light-mindedness toward the sex. But this only made the matter worse.
For, in matters of love, Charles was to him the higher fire-worshipper,
and the Lector only the one whom the coal of this fire blackens. Augusti
cherished, in regard to love, pretty nearly the principles of the great
world, which, merely for honor's sake, he never coined into action, and
he assigned only the cloud-heaven near the earth to love. The Captain,
however, spoke of a third heaven, or heaven of joy, as belonging
thereto, wherein only saints are the blest. Augusti, after the manner of
the great world, spoke much more freely than he acted, and sometimes as
openly as if he were dining in the hall of a watering-place. Charles
spoke like a maiden. The virgin ear of Albano, which was mostly closed
in good visiting-parlors, and which in study-chambers remained open,
united to his want of the experience that a cynical tongue is often
found in the most continent men, for instance, in our buffoonery-loving
forefathers, and an ascetic one in modest libertines,--these two things
must naturally have involved the pure young man in a double error.

Thus did Augusti start up within him more and more storm-birds. Both
came often to the verge of a complete feud and challenge; for the Lector
had too much honor to fear any one thing, and dared in cold blood as
much as another in hot.

Now, at length, did Charles disclose fully to his friend, though with
all the tenderness of friendship, Liana's acquaintance with that
Tartarus-night. "The otherwise reserved Lector must be after nearer
advantages with his tattling," Albano concluded, and now the toad of
jealousy, which lives and grows in the living tree without any visible
way in or out, nursed itself to full size in his warm heart. Unanswered
love is besides the most jealous. God knows whether he is not
scenery-master of these ghost scenes working in and through each other
with so many wheels. All these are Albano's private conclusions; open
accusations were forbidden by his sense of honor. But his warm heart,
always expressing itself, demanded a warmer society, and this he found
when he followed the pious father, and went to Lilar into the
Thunderhouse, into the midst of the flowers and summits, in order, lying
nearer to the heart of Nature, to dream and enjoy more sweetly.

There was only one warm, sun-bright spot for him in Charles's historical
picture; namely, the hope that perhaps only the mistakes about his
relation to the Countess, out of which Liana had been helped by her
brother, had dictated to her the evenly cold deportment which she had
hitherto maintained towards him. On this sunny side Rabette threw a
billet, in which she wrote him that she was going back to her parents on
Saturday, because the Minister was coming. That hope, this intelligence,
the prospect of less favorable circumstances, his going to Lilar,--all
this decided him in the purpose of snatching to himself a solitary
moment, and therein casting off before Liana the veil from his soul and

62. CYCLE.

Singularly did events cut across each other on the day when Albano came
into the Ministerial house to take leave of Rabette, and (a trembling
voice said within him) of Liana, too. Rabette beckoned to him, from the
window, to come to her chamber. She had folded together the Icarus's
wings of her apparel into the trunks. Over her inner being a prostrating
storm swept to and fro. Charles had disturbed the equilibrium of her
heart by his warmth, and had not restored it again by a word of
recompense. Like the doves, she flutters around the high conflagration.
O may she not, like them, escape with singed feathers, and come back
again, and at last fall into it! She said she had longed for her
friends, ever since she saw yesterday a flock of sheep driven through
the city. She should accompany, on Saturday, Liana and her mother to
attend the consecration of the church, and the interment of the princely
couple. He begged her, so abruptly and eagerly, to contrive for him
to-day a solitary moment with her friend in the garden, that he
absolutely did not hear her sweet news of Liana's intention to stay
there and make her a visit.

Alas! he found with the Minister's lady that showman of magnificent
pictures, who, like Nature, made not only a beginning of his spring, but
an end of his autumn, with poisonous flowers,[167] Mr. Von Bouverot.
Dian had sent him four heavenly copies from Rome; these he opened with
dry, artistic palate. Liana received the Count again as ever. Was,
perhaps, Raphael's _Madonna della Sedia_, in whose heaven-descended
palladium her tender soul was absorbed, the seal-keeper of her holiest
mystery? The all-forgetting artistic passion became her so gracefully!
Her optic nerves had become, by her long painting, like delicate
feelers, which closed fast around lovely forms. Certain female forms,
like this one, stirred up her whole soul. For she had, in childhood,
sketched in her inner heaven shining constellations of the heroines of
romances, and in general of unseen women; great ideas of their spirit,
their heavenly walk, their exaltation above all that she had ever seen;
and she had felt equal shyness and longing to meet one such. Hence she
went forth out of this colossal nympheum[168] of her fancy, so easily
dazzled, and with such warm, heartfelt reverence, to meet pure female
friends and the Countess Romeiro. Now certain pictures brought back
these altar-pieces like copies. The good girl thought not of _this_, but
her friend may well have done so, that one needed only to quicken into
life the eyes of this loving, down-gazing Mary, and merely to warm these
lips with tones, and then one had Liana.

The German gentleman went on, and now placed beside each other Raphael's
Joseph, telling his brothers a dream, and the older Joseph, interpreting
one to a king, and began to translate the three Raphaels into words, and
that with so much felicity, and not only with so much insight into
mechanics and genius, but also with such a precise setting forth of
every human and moral lineament, that Albano took him for a hypocrite,
and Liana for a very good man. She seized every word with a wide-open
heart. When Bouverot painted the prophesying Joseph, as at once
childlike, natural, still, and firm as a rock, and glowing and
threatening, there stood the original at her side.

There also dropped from the German gentleman much thought about Da
Vinci's boy Christ in the Temple, about the magnificently executed
fraternization and adoption of the boy and the youth in one face. Liana
had also copied the copy, but she and her mother were modestly silent on
the subject.

But at last Franciscus Albani disturbed the calm that had hitherto
prevailed, by his "Repose during the Flight." While he acted the
dream-interpreter to these picturesque dreams, and Rabette had her eyes
fastened sharply on the Saint Joseph of this picture, sitting beside
Mary, with an open book, Liana said, unluckily, "A fine Albani!" "I
should think not," Rabette whispered; "brother is much more beautiful
than this praying Joseph!" She had confounded Albani with Albano; her
whole picture-gallery lay in the hymn-book, whose hymns she separated
from each other with golden-red saints. The others did not comprehend;
they knew him only as Count of Zesara,--but Liana, sweetly blushing,
flung at Rabette a tenderly reproving glance, and looked, with mute
endurance, more closely at another picture. Never before in Albano,--in
whom the strongest and the tenderest feelings coupled, as the echo makes
thunder louder and music lower,--had the bitter-sweet mingling of love
and pity and shame wrought more warmly, and he could have at once knelt
down before the maiden, and yet have kept silent.

The German gentleman had finished, and said to the men, with a look full
of victory, "He had, however, something more in his case, which bore
away the palm from the Raphaels; and he would beg them to follow him
into the adjoining apartment." On the way, he observed, that few works
were executed with such magnificent freedom and bold abandon. In the
room he unpacked a little bronze Satyr, against whom an overtaken nymph
is defending herself. "Divine!" said Bouverot, and held the group by a
thread, in order not to rub off the rust. "Divine! I set the Satyr
against the Christ!" Few have even a moderate idea of the amazement of
my hero, when he saw the critic set virtue and vice at once at a round
table, without any quarrel for precedency.

With a fiery glance of contempt, he turned away, and wondered that the
Lector remained. It seems to be unknown to him that painting, like
poetry, only in its childhood related to gods and divine service, but
that by and by, when they grew up to a higher stature, they must needs
stride out from this narrow churchyard,--as a chapel[169] was originally
a church with church-music, until both were left out, and the pure music
retained. Bouverot had the regard for pure form in so high a degree,
that not only the smuttiest, most immoral subject, but even the most
pure and devout, could not contaminate his enjoyment; like slate, he
stood the two proofs of heating and freezing, without undergoing any

Albano had seen the maidens through the window in the alley, and
hastened down to take leave of his sister, and to something more
weighty. He came, with fuller roses on his cheeks than those which
glowed around him, to a grassy bank, where Liana, with his sister, was
sitting behind the red parasol, with half-drooping eyelids, and head
bent aside, softly absorbed in the harvest of evening, suffused with a
sunny redness by the parasol, in white dress, with a little slender
black cross on her tender bosom, and with a full rose; she looked upon
our lover so simply, her voice was so sisterly, and all was such pure,
careless love! She told him how delighted she was with the scenes of his
youth, and with country life, and how Rabette would conduct her
everywhere; and particularly to the consecration discourse, which her
father-confessor, Spener, was to deliver on Sunday. She talked herself
into a glow, with picturing how greatly the great breast of the old man
would be moved by the dirge and pæan over the ashes of his princely

Rabette had nothing in her mind but the solitary minute, which she would
fain leave her brother to enjoy with her. She begged her, in a lively
manner, to play for her yet once more on the harmonica. Albano, at this
proposal, plucked for himself a moderate nosegay from the--foliage of
the tree that hung over his head. Liana looked at her warningly, as much
as to say: "I shall spoil thy cheerfulness for thee again." But she
insisted. At the entrance into the water-house, a light blush flitted
across Albano, at the thought of the latest past and the nearest future.

Liana speedily opened the harmonica, but the water, the colophonium[170]
of the bells, was wanting. Rabette was just going to fill a glass down
at the fountains, for the sake of leaving them alone; but the Count,
from manly awkwardness about entering at once into a ruse, stepped
courteously before her and fetched it himself. Hardly, at length, had
the lovely, pleasing creature laid, with a sigh, her delicate hands on
the brown bells, when Rabette said to her, she would go down into the
alley to hear how it sounded at a distance. As if at the painful
sunstroke of a too sudden and great pleasure, his heart started up, he
heard the triumphal car of love rolling afar off, and he was fain to
leap into it and rattle away into life. The credulous Liana took the
withdrawal for a veil which Rabette wished to throw over her eye,
sweetly breaking into tears at music, and immediately removed her hands
from the bells; but Rabette kissed her entreatingly, pressed back her
hands upon them, and ran down. "The true heart!" said Liana; but this
pure, guileless confidence in her friend touched him, and he could not
say, Yes.

When, in the meadows of Persia, a happy one, who, on the luxuriant
enamel has been sleeping down among the pinks and lilies and tulips,
blissfully opens his eyes at the first evening call of the nightingale
upon the still, tepid world, and the motley twilight, through which some
gold threads of the evening sun float glowingly: that blissful one is
like the youth Albano in the enchanted chamber,--the Venetian blinds
scattered round broken lights, trembling green shadows; and there was a
holy twilight as in groves around temples; only murmuring bees flew, out
of the loud, distant world, through the silent cell, into the noise
again. Some sharp streaks of sunshine, like lightnings before sleepers,
were wafted romantically to and fro with the rose; and in this dreamy
grotto, amid the rustling wood of the world, the solitude was not
disturbed by so much as the shadowy existence of a mirror.

Into this enchantment she let the tones fly out of her hands like
nightingales,--the tones were propelled towards Albano, as by a storm,
now more clearly, and now more faintly; he stood before her, with folded
hands, as if in prayer, and hung with thousand looks of love on the
downward gazing form; all at once she lifted upon him that holy eye,
full of sympathy, but she suddenly cast it down before the sun-glance of

Now the great eyelids immovably closed upon the sweet looks, and gave
her, like a sleep, the appearance of absence; she seemed a white
May-flower on wintry soil, hanging down its blossom-bells. She was a
dying saint in the devotion of harmony, which she heard rather than
made; only the red lip she took with her as a warm reflection of life,
as a last rose, that was to deck the fleeting angel; O could he disturb
this prayer of music with a word of his?

With narrower and narrower circles did the magnetic vortex of tones and
of love clasp him round,--and now, when the drawing of the harmonica,
like the water-drawing of the scorching sun, licked up his heart; and
when the lightnings of passion darted over his whole life, and illumined
the mountain-ridges of the future and the valleys of the past, and when
he felt his whole being concentrated into one moment, he saw some drops
trickle out from Liana's drooping eyes, and she looked up cheerfully to
let them fall; then Albano snatched her hand away from the keys, and
cried, with the heart-rending tone of his longing, "O God, Liana!"

She trembled, she blushed, she looked at him, and knew not that she
still wept and looked on, and continued to play no more. "No, Albano,
no!" she said, softly, and drew her hand out of his, and covered her
face, started at the pause of the musical tones, and collected herself
and again made them flow out slowly, and said, with trembling voice:
"You are a noble being. You are like my Charles, but quite as
passionate. Only one request! I am about to leave the city for a

His alarm at this became ecstasy, when she named the place, his
Blumenbühl. She went on with difficulty before the delighted lover; her
hand often lay for a long time on the dissonance in forgetfulness of the
analysis; her eyes glimmered more moistly, although she said nothing
more than this: "Be to my brother, who loves you inexpressibly, as he
has loved no other yet,--O be to him everything! My mother recognizes
your influence. Draw him,--I will speak it out!--especially draw him off
from playing deeply!"

He could hardly, for his confusion, asseverate the "Yes," when Rabette
came running in with the almost unsuitably accented tidings, that the
mother was coming. Probably she had seen that Rabette was alone. Albano
parted from the pair with abrupt wishes of a pleasant journey, and
forgot, in the flurry, to answer in the affirmative Rabette's request
for a visit. The mother, meeting him, ascribed his ardor to a brother's
emotion at taking leave.

While he hastened through the wealth of the season, he thought of the
rich future,--of Liana's stammering and veiling: do not fair female
souls, like those angels before the prophet, need only two wings to lift
them, but four to veil themselves? The sea of life ran in high waves,
but everywhere it flashed on its broad surface, and sparks dropped from
the oar.

63. CYCLE.

Ah, on the morning following this, the evening redness of a whole heaven
had grown, to be sure, into a sad cloudiness. For Liana walked before
the youth in such long, thick veils. Any mystery of trouble throws up
cold cloister-walls between hearts drawn near together; that is
manifest. Hitherto accidents of various kinds had bent aside some
flowers which Liana had drawn as a veil over her heart (as the ground
stories in cities prevent looking in at the windows by flowers and
grape-vines), and had disclosed the darkest corner of the background, in
which something like the reverse side of a bust hung, which, turned
round, would perhaps resemble the Count. But as yet the image hangs with
its face toward the wall. However, a female heart is often like marble;
the cunning stone-cutter strikes a thousand blows, without the Parian
block showing the line of a crack; but all at once it breaks asunder
into the very form which the cunning stone-cutter has so long been
hammering after.

On Saturday, when the Minister's lady and the pair of friends were about
to start for Blumenbühl, in order to behold the burial and the
consecration, the Captain came to the Count, not only full of joy,--for
he had gladly, out of love to Rabette, helped make for Liana, not
_wings_ indeed, but still _wing-shells_, and out of a threefold interest
for his friend, helped tighten the fly-work,--but also full of anxiety.
But, ye muses! why in the poetical world are there rarely any
occurrences which have such manifold motives as often in the actual?

His anxiety was simply this, lest his father should arrive earlier than
his mother went off,--for he knew the Minister. The latter intended,
according to his letters, to arrive on Monday or Tuesday (Saturday at
the latest); but this might--as Froulay loved to let his friends swim in
the broad play-room of expectation--still more certainly threaten that
he--because, like the Basle clocks,[171] he always struck an hour too
early, and came in the hope of catching his people at some right odious
thing--might at any minute come driving in at the court-yard gate. If he
came driving furiously up this forenoon, or at the moment when the
servant was lifting the daughter into the carriage, and the mother
already sat therein, then was this much certain, by a thousand
conclusions from observance, that both would have to go up into the
house again; that he would order all trunks and boxes unpacked, and, as
to the daughter of the Provincial Director, after her ten thousand
entreaties,--although her very second would freeze upon her lips,--he
would, in a friendly manner, with quite jocose equanimity, let her be
carried home, as a solitary member of a conclave, in a close carriage.
Certain men--and he is their generalissimo--know no sweeter cordial for
themselves, than to put under lock and key, before the very nose of
their friends, the garden-gates of some Arcadia or other, for which they
have not drawn up for them a map of the route and region, and judicially
to seal them up. Besides, just before a pleasure party, most parents
secrete gall; if Froulay, in fact, could absolutely prevent one, that
was as much for him as if he were himself returning home from one red
and gay.

At three o'clock in the afternoon, our friends went to walk beneath the
loveliest sky. Everything had been already arranged; Charles proposed to
follow to-morrow; Albano not till Monday, after the general return (his
tender motives, and the hard ones of others, decided it); and there
floated through the whole vaulted blue no cloud but Charles's concern
lest the second depositing of the princely corpse might draw his father
along as early as to-day,... when he suddenly cried out, with a curse:
"There he comes!" He knew him by the tiger-spotted post-team, and still
more by the long line of horses tackled on tandem. A purgatorial moment
of life! The carriage rattled swiftly down the street; the head horses
streamed forth in a longer and quite disorderly train; the people
stared. At last the pulling distance became an acre long,--that seemed
quite impossible,--when Albano's eagle eye discovered that there was no
leather connection between the post-train, and at last, that in fact
there was merely a strange churl, with two horses, accidentally riding
along before the carriage, and at this moment they saw the open
triumphal car, with the female trinity slowly moving up the Blumenbühl
heights, and the blended tulip-bed of the three parasols glimmered long
after them.


[163] Basa Metzia, c. 4, m 10.

[164] The _head_ of a bandage is a technical term in

[165] The German word _mandel_ (literally _almond_) means a
collection of _fifteen_. There being no one word expressing it
collectively in English, _baker's dozen_ (which means thirteen)
seems to come near enough.--TR.

[166] See Dr. Franklin's verses, comparing different classes of
people to different kinds of paper. Sparks's edition of
Franklin's Works, Vol. II. p. 161.--TR.

[167] It is well known that spring flowers, on account of
dampness and shade, are for the most part suspicious; as also the
autumnal ones.

[168] Museum of Nymphæ or Chrysalides.--TR.

[169] In the artistic technical sense.--TR.

[170] A black resin, used for violin-strings.--TR.

[171] Alluding to the case where by this change of the town-clock
the Basle people outwitted an enemy--TR.



64. CYCLE.

So many tender and holy sensibilities flutter round in our inner world,
which, like angels, can never assume the bodily form of outward action,
so many rich, full flowers stand therein which bear no seed, that it is
lucky poetry has been invented, which easily treasures up all these
inborn spirits and the flower-fragrance in its limbo. With this I catch,
dear Albano, thy glorious perfume-breathing Sunday, and hold fast the
invisible incense for the Schneider's-skin of the world!

On Sunday he moved to the thunder-house in Lilar. The Lector kept
himself up with the hope that the Count would very soon tread down the
flower-parterre of the new enjoyment as flat and dead as a cross-way. It
was a fine morning, all sprinkled with dew; a fresh wind blew from Lilar
over the blooming grain; and the sun burned alone in a cool heaven. Over
the Blumenbühl road a swarm of people were plodding onward, and no one
went long alone; on the Eastern heights he saw his friend Charles, with
bowed crest, dashing to meet the sun.

The breezes of Lilar came flying to welcome him with a breath of
orange-fragrance, and blew away the ashes which rested on the glowing
altar-coals of that first magnificent Sunday. He went down the bridge,
and Pollux, early in his finery, came driving a ruffled turkey-cock to
meet him. A _Soeur Servante_ of old Spener had been already for an
hour cooking at Chariton's, merely to see him go by. The latter ran,
festally decked, out of the house, which opened itself gayly with all
its windows to the whole heavens, to meet him, and, in the confusion of
her joy, broke out with the main matter first, namely, that everything
was ready and beautiful up there in the little house, and whether he
would have his dinner up there. She would fain, in the midst of the
conversation, pull Pollux out of the Count's fingers, but he let him
swing up for a kiss, and won thereby every heart, even the old one
behind the kitchen fire.

While he marched off toward his little house through the western
triumphal arch, he felt, with indescribable strength and sweetness, that
the lovely time of youth is our Italy and Greece, full of gods, temples,
and bliss,--and which, alas! so often Goths and Vandals stalk through
and strip with their talons.

His blooming path ran at length into the descending and ascending
stairway, which he had passed with Spener; single streaks of day burned
themselves into the moist ground and painted the scattered twigs fiery
and golden. In the mystic bower, where the dead Prince had stalked along
before him in the by-cavern, he found no such cavern, but only an empty
niche. He stepped out above, as out of the haunch of the earth. His
little house lay on the crooked back of the mountain ridge. Down below
reposed around him those elephants of the earth, the hills, and Lilar
gloriously swelling in blossoms, and he looked from his windows into
the camp of the giants of Nature.

Meanwhile he could not now stay on the window-sill, nor near the
inspiring Æolian harp, nor in the eye-prison of books; through streams
and woods and over mountains fresh nature longed to sweep. That he did.

There are sometimes between the every-day days of life--when the rainbow
of Nature appears to us only broken up, and as a misshapen, motley mass
on the horizon--certain creation-days, when she rounds and contracts
herself into a fair form, nay, when she becomes alive, and speaks to us
like a soul. To-day Albano had such a day for the first time. Ah, years
often pass away and bring no such day! While he went thus roaming along
on both sides of the mountain ridge, the northeast wind began to flow
fuller and fuller to meet him;--without wind, a landscape was to him a
stiff, fast-nailed wall-tapestry;--and now the wind rolled the solid
land over into a fluid state. The neighboring trees shook themselves
like doves sweetly shuddering in its bath, but in the distance the woods
stood fast, like hosts in battle array, and their summits like lances.
Majestically swam through the blue the silvery islands, the clouds, and
on the earth shadows stalked like giants over streams and mountains; in
the valley sparkled the Rosana, and rolled into the oak grove. He went
down into the warm vale; the flowery pastures foamed and their seed
played in its cloud-fleece ere the earth caught it; the swan spread
voluptuously his long wing; pairs of doves were pecking each other for
love; and everywhere lay beds and twigs full of hot maternal bosoms and
eggs. Like a glorious blue bouquet, the neck of the reposing peacock
played off its dissolving colors in the high grasses. He stepped under
the oaks, which with knotty arms seized hold upon heaven, and with
knotty roots the earth. The Rosana talked alone with the murmuring wood,
and ate away, foaming, at the rocky crags and at the decaying
shore;--night and evening and day chased each other in the mystic grove.
He stepped into the stream, and went out with it before a warm, busy
plain full of villages, and out from them came the Sabbath sounds, and
out of the grain-fields larks arose, and on the mountains human
foot-paths crept upward,--the trees lifted themselves up as living
things, and the distant men seemed to be fast-rooted, and became only
little shoots on the low bark of the enormous tree of life.

The soul of the youth was cast into the holy fire; like asbestos-paper,
he drew it out quenched and blank; it was to him as if he knew nothing,
as if he were _one_ thought; and here the feeling came upon him in a
wonderfully new manner, that is the world, thou art on the world;--he
was _one_ being with it,--all was _one_ life, clouds and men and trees.
He felt himself grasped by innumerable polypus-arms, and swallowed up at
the same time with them, and yet running on in the infinite heart.

In a blissful bewilderment he arrived at his dwelling, from which little
Pollux came rolling down the mountain to meet him, and call him to
dinner. In the little house the very thought of his heart was expressed
by the Æolian harp at the open window. While the child was thundering
away with his little fist on the harpsichord, and the birds joyfully
screamed in out of the trees, the soul of the world swept exulting and
sighing through the Æolian strings, now lawlessly and now regularly,
playing with the storms and they with it; and Albano seemed to hear the
streams of life rushing between their shores, the countries of the
earth,--and through flower-veins and oak-veins, and through
hearts,--around the earth, bearing clouds on their bosom,--and the
stream, which thunders through eternity, a Divine hand was pouring out
under the veil.

Albano came, with the innocent boy dancing before him, to the still
smiling mother. Even here, between the four walls, the sails continued
to propel him which the great morning had swelled. Nothing surprised
him, nothing seemed to him common, nothing remote; the wave and the drop
in the endless sea of life flowed away in indivisible union with the
streams and whirlpools which it bore onward. Before Chariton he stood
like a shining god, and she would gladly have veiled either him or
herself. Never was humanity individualized in purer forms, crippled by
no alloy of provincialism or nationality, than in this circle of joy,
wherein childhood, womanhood, and manhood, twined with flowers, met and
softly clasped each other.

Chariton spoke constantly of Liana, out of love, not merely for the
absent one, but also for the one who stood near; for, although she
looked with those open eyes, which seem more to image quietly than to
behold, more to let in than to draw in, still she was, like children,
virgins, country people, and savages, at once open-heartedly true and
keen. She had easily detected Albano's love, because everything is
easier to disguise from women,--even hatred, than its opposite. She
praised Liana infinitely, particularly her incomparable kindness; and
"her lord had said, few men had so much heart as she, for she had often
been, without any fear, whole nights with her in Tartarus." Certainly,
neither was this explicable to the Count. The marvellous is the aureole
of a beloved head; a sun, softened down to a human countenance, takes
less powerful hold than a beloved countenance glorified into a

More and more heartily delighted at his delight, she offered to lead him
into Liana's chamber. A simple little chamber,--under a green twilight
of glimmering vine foliage, some books of Fénelon and Herder, old
flowers still in their water-glasses, little Chinese dishes, Julienne's
portrait, and another of a deceased youthful friend, whose name was
Caroline, an unstained writing-stand, with English-pressed paper,--was
what he found. The holy spring hours of the virgin passed by before him,
dropping dew like sunny clouds.

He happened to touch a penknife, when Chariton brought quills to be cut,
"because," she said, "they had so much trouble on this score since her
master had gone away." For a woman can more easily drive any pen--even
the epic and Kantian--than make one; and here, as in several other
cases, the stronger sex must lend the weaker a hand.

Albano wished to see, also, the working-chamber of his teacher; but this
she decidedly--although an hour's eating together had not given her any
new courage--refused, because her master had forbidden it. He begged
once more; but she smiled more and more painfully, and adhered to her
gentle no.

He now dreamed away the murmur of the morning in the magic garden, on
whose waters and paths the moonshine and reflection of memory played.
Out of the nine million square miles of common earth, how do certain
poetical lands stand out to a poetical heart! On the mountain with the
altar, where he once saw her disappear down below, the afternoon chime
of Blumenbühl came wafted to him with the fanning of a freer ether; and
his childhood's life, and the present scenes yonder, and Liana, gave him
a tender heart, and he surveyed, with dimmer eyes, the transfigured

At evening came happy church-goers from Blumenbühl, and praised the
consecration and the burial mightily. He saw the pious father still
standing up there on the back of the mountain. The morning when he
should be able to see Liana a whole day, and perhaps tell her all,
overspread his life with a morning dew, glimmering around him in
splendid rainbow circles. Even in bed he sang for joy the morning song
of the rowers on Lago Maggiore,--the constellations over Blumenbühl
shone through the open window of his little Alp-house down into his
closing eye. When the bright moon and flute-tones from the vale awakened
him again, the silent rapture still glowed on under the ashes of
slumber, and grew till it closed his eyes again.

65. CYCLE.

Under a fresh morning-blue, Albano, full of hopes that he should to-day
clear up his life, so constantly running into white fog, took the same
old road which once brought him hither by night (in the 23d Cycle) in
order on the mountain to see Elysium and Liana. The whole blooming path
was to him a Roman earth, out of which he dug up the beautifully
pictured vases of the past; and the nearer the village, so much the
broader grew the hallowed spots. He wondered that the lambs and
shepherd-boys had not, like the grass, shot up taller during his
absence, which, itself, in consequence of the growth of his heart and
the many-complexioned vicissitude of his experiences, appeared very much
prolonged to his imagination. Like a morning draught of clear
alpine-water, the old clang of the herdsman's horn gushed into his
breast; but the narrow alder-path, into which he used to drive the
Director's riding-horse before unsaddling, and the very court-yard, even
the four walls and the ceiling-pictures of domestic bliss, cramped up
both root and summit in his swelling soul, which longed to grow into the
earth and into the heavens; he was yet in the years when one opens high
to the air with a treadle the tympan of life's clavichord, in order that
the harmonious roar may swell out everywhere.

In the castle how profusely was his heart covered with hearts, and the
youngest love drowned by the old, from the easily weeping mother,
Albina, even to the hand-extending old servants, who, on his account,
stirred more briskly their petrified limbs! He found all his
loves--Liana excepted--in Wehrfritz's study,[172] because he loved
"young folk" and discourse, and always insisted that they should set out
the breakfast on his table of papers, which, he said, was as good as a
breakfast-table with varnished scrap-pictures that nobody saw. Albano
tormented himself with the fear that the Minister's lady had been the
church-robber of a very goddess, and carried Liana back yesterday,--till
the Captain hastily explained the non-appearance. The good soul had had
yesterday to atone for the commotion of her sympathizing heart with
sick-headache. Her loved teacher, Spener, with his sublime
soul-stillness,--those eyes, which wept no more over the earth, buried
with the princely pair,--standing with his head under the cold polar
star of eternity, so that now, like the pole, it no longer saw any stars
rise or set,--calmly, and with hands apostolically folded in one
another, speaking so all-persuasively upon the sorrow and the great end
of this pale life, pressing, with his inspired speech, men's hearts to
the verge of tearful emotion, and yet with exalted tenderness drawing
them back from extreme grief, that so only the heart may weep without
the eye,--and then the consecration of the coupled coffins and of the
church,--O, in the delicate Liana these emotions could not surely fail
to grow into sorrows, and all that her teacher buried in silence was in
her spoken aloud. In addition to this, she had not taken the usual
medicine of keeping still, but had disguised all her pangs behind active
joy, so as to give her departing mother no pains, although herself far
too great ones.

Into the midst of this explanation she herself entered pleasantly, in a
white morning-dress, with a nosegay of Chinese roses,--a little pale and
tired,--looking up with a dreamy softness,--her voice somewhat low,--the
roses on her cheeks closed into buds,--and, like a child, smiling upon
every heart;--thou angel of heaven! who may dare to love and reward
thee? She beheld the lofty youth;--all the lilies of her still face
were, contrary to her wont, baptized into a heavenly morning-red of joy,
and a tender purple lingered upon them.

She asked him, with an open manner, why he had not come yesterday to the
festivities, and disclosed, as a matter of moment, that they would all
to-day visit the pious father, for whom she had been tying her
dwarf-roses. He took gladly the fourth voice in the concert of the
pleasure-party. What a magnificent hanging garden, with its loveliest
flowers and prospects, is built out into the evening-hours! How many
happy ones a single roof covers!

The ingenuous Rabette, more brisk and busy for her still gladness, was,
unweariedly, Liana's sick-nurse and Roquairol's lion-keeper and
_maîtresse de plaisirs_, who made every one of the mother's ground-plans
of pleasure broader by a half, and her whole being was so happy! Ah, her
poor innocent heart had not yet, indeed, been loved by any one, and
therefore it glows, with the fresh energies of the first love, so
brightly and truly before a mighty one which seems to come down to it
with a blessing, like a loving god, drawing after it a whole heaven!
Roquairol saw how bewitchingly a busy activity shook aside in the
play-room of her character and her occupations the heavily hanging
foliage, which in the visiting parlor darkly overspread her real worth;
she was even made more lovely by the darker, neat house-dress, since he
by his preaching had sent back every white drapery of her brunette
person into the wardrobe. She would not obey her mother in this matter,
till he had demanded it. Nay, he had yesterday brought her to the point
of really wearing about with her the watch which the proud Minister's
lady had presented her, though she blushed like fire at the unwonted
ornament. Meanwhile he proposed to take with her, as it were, a true
serpentine flowery way to the altar of his love's _loud_ Yes,--the
_silent_ one he was saying all the time;--he knew she would get in at
once so soon as he rode forth with the conch-chariot of Venus, to which
he had tackled a dove and a hawk.

How gloriously the forenoon flew away on golden wing-shells and on
transparent wings! The beloved Albano was introduced into all the
changes of the house; the finest was in his study-chamber, which Rabette
had transformed into her toilet-chamber, sewing-room, and study, and
which again, since yesterday, had become guest-chamber and library to
Liana. How gladly did he step to the western window, where he had so
often caused his invisible father and the beloved one to appear, in an
unearthly manner, in the crystal mirror of his fancy! On the panes were
many L's and R's drawn by his boyish hand. Liana asked what the R's
meant; "Roquairol," said he, for she did not inquire after the L. With
infinite sweetness did the thought flow around his heart, that his
beloved was indeed to live through some blooming days in the dreamy cell
of his first fresh life. Liana showed him with childlike joy how she
shared everything, that is, the chamber, fairly with Rabette, in her
double housekeeping and chum-ship, and how she made her very hostess her

I have often admired with envy the fine, light, nomadic life of maidens
in their Arcadian life-segments; easily do these _doves of passage_
flutter into a strange family, and sew and laugh and visit there, with
the daughter of the house, one or two months, and one takes the
ingrafted shoot for a family twig; on the other hand, we _house-pigeons_
are inhabitive and hard to transplant, and generally, after a few days,
journey back again. Since we, as more brittle material, less easily melt
in with the family ore; since we do not weave our work into that of
others so easily as maidens do theirs,--because carriages full of
working-tools must follow after us,--and since we need much and contrive
much;--from all this our claim to a passport is very well deduced,
without the least detriment to our characters.

After a half-eternity of dressing,--since, in the neighborhood of the
loved one, an hour of absence lasts longer than a month when she is far
off,--the maidens entered, equipped for travelling, in the black dress
of brides. How charmingly the roses become Rabette, in her dark hair,
and the lace edging on the white neck, and the timid flames of her pure
eye, and the flitting blushes! And Liana--I speak not of this saint.
Even the good old Director, when the innocent face looked upon him so
childlike from beneath the white veil of India muslin, sprinkled with
gold wire, which was simply thrown over her head after the manner of the
nuns, could not but give his satisfaction words: "Like a nun, like an
angel!" She answered: "I wanted once really to be one with a friend; but
now I take the veil later than she," she added, with a wondrous tone.

She hung to-day with tender enthusiasm upon Rabette, perhaps from the
weakness of ill health, perhaps from love for Albano and the parents,
and perhaps because Rabette, in her love, was so good and beautiful, and
because she herself was nothing but heart. She had, besides, the sacred
fault of forming too enthusiastic conceptions of her female
friends,--into which the nobler maidens easily fall, and which belongs
less to married women,--carried to an unusual height; thus, for
instance, her friend Caroline, who had met her like a heroine of romance
only on the romantic playground of friendship and beautiful nature, she
could not, in the beginning, without a rending away of the saintly halo,
at all conceive of as having hands, which drove the needle and
flat-iron, and other implements of the female field of labor.

Whoso will feel the tenderest participation in joy, let him look not at
happy children, but at the parents who rejoice to see them happy. Never
did the blue-eyed and round-eyed Albina--across whose face time had
struck many a note of life thrice over, among which, however, no
step-motherly discord appeared--look oftener to and fro, and more
benignantly, than from one to another of these couples; for such they
were, according to the maternal astrology of the aberrations and
perturbations of these double-stars. The father, who maintained the
"hypocrisy and spiritlessness[173] of the young people now-a-days,"
compared with the ambition of his contemporaries and comrades, was
chained to the Captain, who, as manager of his inner theatre, had to-day
assigned himself the part of a gay youth. He pleased him even by the
pithy flowers of speech, which the hidden breeze let fly from him; for
as every genius must have its rough idiom, its doggerel verse, so had
he--(others have the devil, the deuse)--the journeyman's greeting of
genius, _Rascal_, together with the derivatives, _rascality_, &c. But
how much more mightily did Albano carry away all female hearts by the
stillness with which, like a quiet aftersummer, he let fall his fruits.
The parents ascribed this reserve to city life: as if Charles had not
been longer to this painter's school! No, Love is the Italian school of
man; and the more vigorous and elevated he is, of precisely so much the
higher tenderness is he capable, as on high trees the fruit rounds
itself into a milder and sweeter form than on low ones. Not in unmanly
characters does mildness charm, but in manly ones; as energy does, not
in unwomanly ones, but in the womanly.

The good youth! While Charles, unhappily, always knew clearly when his
glance burned and lightened, how innocently blazes from thy eyes a
glowing heart, which knows it not! May thy evening be the seed-corn of a
youth full of blossoms! The chariot rolls on, without thy knowing
whether it is to be a chariot of Elijah or of Phaeton, whether thou art,
by means of it, to soar to heaven or to fall therefrom!

66. CYCLE.

The carriage flew through the village with the four young people. How
grateful to our youth was the expanse of heaven and of earth! The portal
of life--youth--was hung with flowers and lights. They rolled along at
the foot of the mountain by the bird-pole, the sign-post of a boyish
Arcadia, by the cradle where, in the enraptured sleep of childhood, he
had stretched out his boyish arm after the high heaven; and through the
birch thicket, now dwindled in his eyes to a bush, which, on that golden
morning, he had found so broad and long; and by the open triumphal arch
of the east, behind which the sea of the many-shaped Lilar poured the
tide of its charms; and when they arrived behind the mountain-wall of
the flute-dell, they sent back the carriage.

They walked on a glorious earth, under a glorious heaven. Pure and white
swam the sun like a swan through the blue flood,--meadows and villages
crowded up close around the distant, low mountain-ridges; a soft wind
swayed the green waves of the crop to and fro all over the plain; on the
hills shadows lay fast asleep under the wings of white clouds; and
behind the summits of the heights the mast-trees of the Rhine ships
majestically sailed away.

As Albano went along so close by the side of his beloved, the purgatory
burning under his Eden fell back deeper and deeper into the earth's
core; full of uneasiness and hope, he cast his fiery eye now on the
summer, now on the mild vesper-star, which glimmered so near to him out
of the spring ether. The good maiden seemed to-day more still, serious,
and restless than usual. As they went through a little wood, open on all
sides, along the ridge of a hill that ran round the flute-dell, Liana
suddenly said to the Count, she heard flutes. Scarcely could he say, he
heard only far-off turtle-doves, when she at once collected herself as
for something wonderful, fixed her eyes on heaven, smiled, and suddenly
looked round toward Albano, and grew red. Then turning to him, she said:
"I will be frank; I hear at this moment music within me.[174] Forgive me
to-day my weakness and tenderness; it comes from yesterday." "I--you?"
said he, passionately; for he, about whom in sicknesses only burning
images stormed, was inspired with veneration for a being to whom, as if
from her higher world, low tones like golden sunbeams reach down in her
pains, and pass veiled through the rough deep.

But Liana, as if for the sake of turning aside his enthusiasm, came upon
the subject of her friend Caroline, and told how she always hovered
before her on such days, and especially on this walk. "In the beginning
I sought her out," said Liana, "because she resembled my Linda. She was
my instructress, although she was only a few weeks older than I. Her
pure, severe, unflinching character, and her readiness to sacrifice
herself cheerfully and in silence, made her even, if I may say so,
worthy of veneration in the eyes of her mother. She was never seen to
weep, tender as she was, for she wished to keep her mother always
cheerful. We were going to take the veil in company, for the sake of
being always together; I should not live to become old, she said, and I
must spend my short life happily and without anxiety; but also in
preparation for the next. Ah, she herself went up before me!
Night-watching by the sick-bed of her mother, and sorrow for her death,
took her away. She received the holy supper, for which we were preparing
ourselves together, only on her death-bed. Then did the angel give me
this veil, in which I am some time to follow her. O good, good
Caroline!" She wept unconcealedly, and pressed, with emotion, Albano's
hand. "O, I should not have begun about this! There comes already our
friend; we will be right cheerful!"

They had now passed through a high wood of under-brush, which teasingly
disclosed and hid by turns the landscapes that glided around them, and
had come near to the spire which looks in upon the flute-dell, and near
which lay a solitary church and Spener's dwelling, and in the plain
below the open village. Spener came to meet his pupil--after the manner
of old men--unconcerned about the others; and a young roe ran after him.
A beautiful spot! Little white peacocks; turtle-doves at large; a city
of bees in the midst of their bee-flora,--all bespoke the tranquil old
man, whom the earth serves and honors, and who, indifferent towards it,
lives only in God. He came--disappointing one's expectation of an
ecclesiastical gravity--with a light playfulness upon the gay train, and
laid his finger in benediction on the forehead of Liana, who seemed to
be his granddaughter, as it were, a second tree-blossom in the late
autumn of life. In a daughterly way, she placed the bunch of dwarf-roses
in his bosom, and took very careful notice whether it pleased him. She
smiled quite serenely, and all her tears seemed fanned away; but she
resembled the rain-sprinkled tree, when the sun laughs out again,--the
least agitation flings the old rain from the still leaves.

The old man was delighted with the sympathy of the young people, and
remained with them upon the blooming and resounding eminence, which sat
enthroned between a wide landscape and the richly laden mountain-ridge,
running away into Elysium. Since, as with one who ascends in a balloon,
the tones of earth did not reach him from so great a distance as its
forms, they let him talk more than listen, as one spares old people.

He spoke soon of that in which his heart lived and breathed, but in a
singular, half-theological, half-French, Wolfian, and poetic speech. One
ought, of many a mystic's poetry and philosophy to give, instead of
verbal, real translations, in order that it may be seen how the pure
gold of truth glows under all wrappages. Spener says, in my translation:
"He had formerly, before he found the right way, tormented himself in
every human friendship and love. He had, when he was fervently loved,
said to himself, that he could surely never so regard or love himself;
and even so the beloved being could not truly so think of itself, as the
loving one did, and though it were ever so perfect or so full of
self-love. If every one looked upon others as upon himself, there could
be no ardent love. But all love demands an object of infinite worth, and
dies of every inexplicable and clearly recognized failure; it projects
its objects out of all and above all, and requires a reciprocal love
without limits, without any selfishness, without division, without
pause, without end. Such an object is verily the divine being, but not
fleeting, sinful, changeable man. Therefore must the lovesick heart sink
into the Giver himself of this and of all love, into the fulness of all
that is good and beautiful, into the disinterested, unlimited,
universal Love, and dissolve and revive therein, blest in the
alternation of contraction and expansion. Then it looks back upon the
world and finds everywhere God and his reflection: the worlds are his
deeds; every pious man is a word, a look, of the All-loving; for love to
God is the Divine thing, and the heart yearns for him in every heart."

"But," said Albano, whose fresh, energetic life rebelled against all
mystical annihilation, "how, then, does God love us?" "As a father loves
his child, not because it is the best child, but because it needs
him."[175] "And whence," he further inquired, "comes, then, the evil in
man, and whence sorrow?" "From the Devil," said the old man, and
pictured out uninterruptedly, with transfigured joy, the heaven of his
heart,--how it was always surrounded with the all-beloved, all-loving
One, how it never desired any good fortune or any gifts from him at all
(which one did not wish even in earthly love), but only a higher and
higher love towards himself, and how, while the evening mists of old age
were gathering thicker and thicker around his senses, his heart felt
itself, in the darkness of life, embraced more and more closely by the
invisible arms. "I shall soon be with God!" said he, with a radiance of
love on that countenance of his, chilled with life, and breaking in
under the weight of years. One could have borne to see him die. So
stands Mont Blanc before the rising moon; night veils his feet and his
breast, but the light summit hangs high in the dark heaven as a star
among the stars.

Liana, like a daughter, had not let her eye nor her hand go from him,
and had languishingly drunk in every sound; her brother had heard him
with more pleasure than Albano, but merely for the sake of remodelling
more clearly and fully the mystic Hero into the mimic Mount Athos of his
representation, and Rabette had contemplated him as in a church among
believing by-thoughts.

He withdrew now without ceremony to take care of his animals, which he
loved, as he did everything involuntary, for instance, children, as
coming at first hand from God. "Everything is divine," he said, "and
nothing earthly but what is immoral." He could not bear to smoke bees
with brimstone, let flowers dry up with thirst in the pot-cage, or see
an overdriven wounded horse, and he passed by a butcher's stall not
without shuddering limbs.

"Shall we," said friend Charles, "take in the glorious evening on the
magnificent mountain road, and see thy thunder-house, and cast down
every cup of sorrow into the vales below?" Through what a magic
neighborhood did they now pass along the sloping ridge of the
thunder-house! On the right, as it were, the occident of nature; on the
left, the orient; before them Lilar, glittering in the _faerie_ of
evening,--lying in the arms of the glancing Rosana,--golden grain behind
silver-poplars, and overhead a heaven filled with a life-intoxicated,
tumultuous creation,--and the sun-god stalking away over his
evening-world, and stooping a little under the midnight to raise his
golden head in the east. Albano went forth, holding Liana's holy hand.
"O how beautiful is all!" said he. "How the fluttering world-map rustles
and murmurs with long streams and woods,--how the eastern mountains bask
in steadfast repose,--how the groves climb the hills, with glowing
stems! One could plunge down into the smoking vales and into the cold,
glistening waves. Ah, Liana, how beautiful is all!" "And God is on the
earth," said she. "And in thee!" said he, and thought of the word of the
old man, that love seeks God, and that he dwells in the heart which we

Now came rolling toward him the great waves which the Æolian-harp dashed
out in the thunder-house; and his genius flew by before him with the
words, "Tell her there thy whole heart!"

Before the little tabernacle of yesterday's dreams his stormy heart was
dissolved; and the sun and the earth reeled before his passionate tears.
As he entered with her into the rosy splendor of the evening sun that
filled the apartment, and into the spirit-like din of tones discoursing
with one another alone, he seized Liana's hands and pressed them wildly
to his breast, and sank down before her speechless and dazzled; flames
and tears suffused his eyes and his cheeks,--the whirlwind of tones blew
into his blazing soul,--the mild angel of innocence bowed herself,
weeping and trembling, toward the burning sun-god, and a sharp pain
twined itself like a pale serpent through the roses of the mild
countenance,--and Albano stammered: "Liana, I love thee!"

Then the serpent turned round and clasped and covered the sweet rosy
form. "O good Albano! thou art unhappy, but I am innocent!" She stepped
back with dignity, and quickly drew down the white veil over her face,
and said, beside herself, "Wouldst thou love the dead? This is my
corpse-veil; the coming year it will lie upon this face." "That is not
true," said Albano. "Caroline, answer him!" said she, and stared at the
burning sun as if looking for a higher apparition. Frightful moment! as
during an earthquake the sea heaves and the air rests in fearful
stillness, so was his lip dumb beside the veiled one, and his whole
heart was a storm. On the strings swept by a sighing world of spirits,
and the last ended with a sharp scream. The beauty of the earth was
distorted before him, and in the evening clouds broad fiery banners were
planted; and the sun's eye shut-to in blood.

All at once Liana folded her hands as if in prayer, and smiled and
blushed; then she raised the veil from her divine eyes, and the
transfigured one, tinged with the rosy reflection, looked on him
tenderly,--and cast her eye down,--and raised it again,--and again let
it sink,--and the veil fell again before her, and she said, in a low
tone, "I will love thee, good Albano, if I do not make thee miserable."
"I will die with thee!" said he. "What then?"--And now let a holy cloud
veil the sun-god, who moves flaming through the midst of his stars!

His solitude and Liana's solution of so many wonders were suspended by
the entrance of Rabette and Charles, who both seemed more touched than
blessed,--she by the comforting nearness of the loved one, he by the
singular situation and the subduing evening; for after certain beings a
storm follows, and they must, against their will, make the steps that
they take more rapid.

When Albano, with the peace-angel of his life, with the beloved one,
who, in the midst of the rush of her feelings, heard, nevertheless, the
voice of her female friend, walked forth again once more alone upon the
rocky causeway between fragrant vales of Tempe in the glimmering world,
he felt as if he had struggled through his life like an eagle through a
storm-cloud, and as if the black tempest were running far away below his
wings, and the whole starry heaven burned bright above his head. Liana,
with maidenly nobleness and firmness, gave him, before he had put a
question, the answer: "I must now tell you a mystery, which I have
hidden from every one, and even from my mother, because it would have
disquieted her. I spoke just now of my never-to-be-forgotten Caroline.
On the day of my sacrament, which I had wished to take with her, I went
back by night from my teacher to my mother, and in fact through the
singular, long cavern, wherein one seems to descend, when one is in
reality going upward. My maid went before with the lantern. In the
romantic arbor, where a concave mirror stands, I turn round toward the
full moon which was streaming in, from a dread of the wild mirror, which
distorts people too horribly. Suddenly I hear a heavenly concert, such
as I often heard again afterward in sicknesses,--I think of my blessed
friend,--and gaze, full of longing, into the moon. Then I saw her
opposite to me, beaming with innumerable rays: in her fair eyes was a
tender look, but yet something dissolving; the tender mouth, almost the
only living feature, resembled a red, but transparent fruit, and all her
hues seemed to be nothing but light. Yet only in the blue eye and red
mouth did the angel seem like Caroline. I could sketch her, if one could
paint with light. I became dangerously sick; then she appeared to me
oftener, and refreshed me with inexpressibly sweet tones,--they were not
properly words,--whereupon I always sank into a soft sleep, as into a
sweet death. Once I asked her--more with inner words--whether I should,
then, soon come to her into the realm of light. She answered, I should
not die just now, but somewhat later; and she named very clearly the
coming year, and the very day, which I have, however, forgotten.... O
dear Albano! forgive me only a few words! I soon recovered, and mourned
over the slow, lingering passage of time...."

"No," Albano interrupted her, for his feelings were striking against
each other like swords, "I revere, but I hate her dangerous phantom.
Fancy and sickness are the parents of the air-born, destroying angel,
who flies scorching, like a dumb heat-lightning, over all the blossoms
of youth!"

She answered, with emotion, "O thou good, pure spirit! thou hast never
distressed me, thou hast ever comforted, guided, made me happy and
holy,--a phantom is it, Albano? It even preserves me against all
phantoms of terror, against all ghostly fear, because it is always about
me. Why, if it is only a phantom, does it never appear to me in my
dreams?[176] Why comes it not when I will? But it comes only in weighty
cases; then I consult and obey it very willingly. It has already to-day,
Albano," she added, in a lower and fainter tone, "twice appeared to me
on the way, when I heard the inner music, and previously in the
thunder-house, when the sun went down, and has affectionately answered

"And what says it, heavenly one?" asked Albano, innocently. "I saw it
only on the way, and asked no question," replied the childlike one,
blushing; and here, all at once, her holy soul stood unconsciously
without a veil before him; for she had, in the thunder-house, received
from the invisible Caroline the yes to her love; because that being was
her own creation, and this a suggestion of her own. Yes indeed, heavenly
one! thou standest before the mirror with the virgin's veil over thy
form, and when thy image softly raises its own, thou fanciest thyself
still covered!

No word can express Albano's veneration for such a sanctified heart,
which dreamed into such distinctness glorified beings; whose golden
flowers only grew the higher over the thought of death, as earthly ones
do in churchyards over the reality; which, simultaneously with his own,
invisible hands had drawn into two similar dreams;[177] to which one was
ashamed to give common truths for its holy errors. "Thou art from
heaven," he said, inspired, and his joy became the pearl melted in the
eye which quenches the thirst of the human heart; "therefore thou
wouldst go back thither!" "O, I consecrate to thee, my friend," said
she, smilingly weeping, and pressed his hand to her pure heart, "the
whole little life which I have, every hour to the last, and I will,
meanwhile, prepare thee for everything which God sends."

Before they entered the cottage of the pious father, Albano seized his
friend's hand, and the sisters joined each other. The friends went
forward for a time in silence; Charles looked upon Albano, and found the
peace of blessedness upon his face. When the latter saw how Liana
pressed her overfraught heart to her sister's, then were sincerity and
joy too strong in him, and he fell without a word upon the heart of the
dear brother of the eternal bride, and let him silently guess all from
his tears of bliss. O, he might have guessed it, to be sure, from the
bridal look of love which his sister more seldom removed from his
friend, and from the heartiness wherewith she drew Rabette to her heart;
just as if they two would soon be related to each other, as if her
brother himself would soon speak more sweetly, since he for some time
had no longer called her the little Linda; and consecrated her thereon
for the heart of her brother. Not before the pious father did the
enraptured look hold itself much in abeyance, which Albano, standing as
if under the gate of eternity, cast into the heavens, gleaming like
worlds one behind another; he was still and tender, and in his heart
dwelt all hearts. O love _one_ heart purely and warmly, then thou lovest
all hearts after it, and the heart in its heaven sees like the
journeying sun, from the dew-drop even to the ocean, nothing but mirrors
which it warms and fills.

But in Roquairol started up immediately, when he saw the heavenly bliss
so near, the mutinous spirit of his past, and struck with a bloody
epilepsy the limbs of the inner man: those immortal sighings after an
ever-flying peace again tormented him; his transgressions and errors,
and even the hours when he innocently suffered, were painfully reckoned
up before him; and then he spoke, (and stirred every heart, but most of
all poor Rabette's, which he pressed against his own to warm himself,
as, according to the tradition, the eagle does with the dove, after
which he does not tear her to pieces,)--nobly he spoke then of life's
wilderness, and of fate, which burns out man, like Vesuvius, into a
crater, and then again sows cool meadows therein, and fills it again
with fire; and of the only blessedness of this hollow life, love, and of
the injury inflicted, when fate with its winds sways and rubs a
flower[178] to and fro, and thereby cuts through the green skin against
the earth.

But while he thus spoke, he looked on the glowing Rabette, and would
fain by these warmings burst open, as it were by force, the fast-closed
flower-bud of his love, and spread its leaves out under the sun. O the
bewildered and yearning one was surely not yet quite happy even to-day,
and he wished not so much to affect others as himself.

With what blissful presentiments did they step out again before the
sphinx of night, who lay smiling before them with soft, starry glances!
Did they not go through a still, glimmering, subterranean world, light
and free, without the heavy clogging earth on their feet, while in the
wide Elysium the warm ether only flutters because invisible Psyches fan
it with their wings? And out of the flute-dell the old man sends after
them his tones as sweet arrows of love, in order that the swelling heart
may blissfully bleed of their woundings. Albano and Liana came out upon
a prospect where the broad eastern landscape, with its light-streaks of
blooming poppy-fields, and its dark villages, ascended the soft
mountains, where the moon awoke, and the splendor of her garment already
swept like that of a spirit through heaven: here they remained standing
and waiting for Luna. Albano held her hand. All the mountain-ridges of
his life stood in a glowing dawn. "Liana," said he, "what innumerable
springs are there at this moment up yonder on the worlds which hang in
the heavens; but this is the fairest!" "Ah, life is lovely, and to-day
it is too dear to me! Albano," she added, in a low voice, and her whole
face became an exalted, tearless love, and the stars wove and
embroidered its bridal dress, "if God calls me, then may he let me
always appear to thee as Caroline does to me. O, if I could only attend
thee thus through thy whole dear life, and console and warn thee, I
would willingly wish for no other heaven."

But as he was about to express the fulness of his love, and the anger
of his pain about the death-delusion, just then came his wild friend,
who, like a Vesuvius, pouring out at once lava- and rain-streams over
the credulous Rabette, had made both her heart and his own only fuller,
not lighter; then Charles beheld the glorified beings and the blue
horizon, where already the moon was flinging forth her glimmering light
between the bristling mast-peaks and summits, and looked again into the
splendor of holy love. Then could he no longer contain himself; his
heart, full of agony, mounted to an eternal purpose, as if to God, and
he embraced Albano and Rabette, and said: "Beloved man! beloved maiden!
keep my unhappy heart!"

Rabette clung around him compassionately, as a mother around her child,
and gave up to him, in hot, gushing tears, her whole soul. Albano,
astonished, enfolded in his arms the love-bond; Liana was drawn to the
beloved hearts by the whirlpool of bliss. Unheard the flutes sounded on,
unseen waved the white banners of the stars overhead. Charles spoke
frantic words of love, and wild wishes of dying for joy. Albano touched
trembling Liana's flower-lip, as John kissed Christ, and the heavy
milky-way bent down like a magic wand toward his golden bliss. Liana
sighed: O mother, how happy are thy children! The moon had already flown
up into the blue, like a white angel of peace, and glorified the great
embrace; but the blest ones marked it not. Like a sounding waterfall,
their rich life covered them, and they knew not that the flutes had
ceased, and all the hills were shining.[179]


[172] Museum (home of the muses) is the beautiful German name for

[173] _Kopf-und Ohr-hängerei._ Hanging down of head (hypocrisy)
and ears.--TR.

[174] This self-resounding--as the Æolian-harp [_riesen-harfe_,
giant-harp, in German.--TR.], when the weather changes, sounds
without a touch--is common in sick-headache and other maladies of
weakness; hence in dying; for instance, in Jacob Boehme, life,
like a concert-clock, rung out its hours amidst surrounding

[175] Some disinterested love or other must from eternity have
existed. As there are eternal truths, so must there also be an
eternal love.

[176] For the same reason, perhaps, that the poet does not see
his, so often and distinctly beheld, creations pass in his dreams
among the images of the day.

[177] For on his and her sacrament-day he had imagined her death
by lightning.

[178] The winter stock-jelliflower.

[179] Jean Paul's second volume ends here.--TR.



67. CYCLE.

I have often in the theatre made the pleasant experience, that when
painful scenes immediately followed the rising of the curtain, I took
but a slight interest in them, while in joyful ones which, immediately
after the music, came on with their own music, I took the greatest; man
demands more that sorrow than that rapture should show its motive and
its apology. Without hesitation, therefore, I begin a third volume[180]
with blisses of which, to be sure, the foregoing couple have been
preparing more than enough.

At the moment where our story has arrived, among all the descendants of
Adam who lifted a glad face to heaven, and imaged in that face a still
fairer heaven, there must have been some one who had the highest
heaven,--a happiest of all men. Ah yes! And to be sure, among all
suffering creatures upon this _globe_, which our short race makes a
_plain_, there must also have been one most unhappy; and may the poor
man soon lie down to sleep under, not _on_, his rocky road! Although I
could wish that Albano might not be the happiest of all,--in order that
there might yet be a higher heaven above his,--still it is probable
that, on the morning after that holiest night, in his present dream of
the richest dream, deep in the threefold bloom of youth, of nature, and
of anticipation, he bore the broadest heaven in himself which the narrow
bosom of man can span.

He looked from his thunder-house,--that little temple on whose walls
still lingered the radiance of the goddess who had therein become
visible to him,--out over the new-created mountains and gardens of
Lilar; and it was to him as if he looked into his white and red blooming
future, adorned with mountain-peaks and fruit-tree-tops, a full Paradise
built out into the naked earth. He looked round in his future after any
robbers of joy who might attack his triumphal chariot; he found them all
visibly too weak to cope with his arms and weapons. He called up Liana's
parents, and his own father, and the host of spirits which had hitherto
been working in the air, and set them out on the road which lay between
him and his beloved; in his muscles glowed more than sufficient power
easily to dash through them to her, and take her with him into his life
by main force. "Yes," said he, "I am completely happy, and need nothing
more,--no fortune, only my heart and hers!" Albano, may thy evil genius
not have heard this dangerous thought, so as to carry it to Nemesis! O,
in this wildly entangled wood of thy life, no step, even in the blooming
avenues of pleasure, is wholly safe; and amidst the very fulness of this
artistic garden there awaits thee a strange, gloomy upas-tree, and
breathes cold poisons into thy life! Therefore it was better as it was
once, when men were still lowly and prayed to God even in their great
raptures; for in the neighborhood of the Infinite One the fiery eye
sinks and weeps, but only out of gratitude.

Let no mean almanac measurement be applied to the fair eternity which he
now lived, when he saw the beloved every evening, every morning, in her
little village. As evening star she went forth before his dreams; as
morning star, before his day. The interval both filled out with letters,
which they themselves carried to each other. When they parted at
evening, not long before they were to see each other again, and while in
the north already the rose-bud twigs shot along low down in the heavens,
which during men's sleep speedily grew out toward the east, in order to
hang down from heaven with thousands of full-blown roses ere the sun and
love came back again,--and when his friend Charles stayed with him by
night, and he asked, in the course of an hour, whence the light came,
whether from the morning or from the moon,--and when he sallied forth,
while moon and morning still appeared together in the dew-dripping
pleasure-woods,--and when the road, left only a few hours before,
appeared wholly new and the absence too long, (because Cupid's wing is
half a second-hand, which shows the day of the month, and half a
month-hand, which points to the second, and because, in the neighborhood
of the loved one, the shortest absence lasts longer than the longest
when she is far away,)--and when at last he saw her again,--then was the
earth a sun, from which rays proceeded: his heart stood all in light;
and as a man, who on a spring morning dreams of a spring-morning, finds
it still brighter around him when he awakes, so, after the blessed
youthful dream of the beloved, did he open his eyes before her, and
desire the fairest dream no more.

Sometimes they saw each other, when the long summer day was too long,
on distant mountains, where by appointment they looked upon the
harvests; sometimes Rabette came alone to Lilar to her brother, that he
might hear something from Liana. When Liana had read a book, he read it
after her; often he read it first and she last. Whatever of divine the
fairest, purest souls can manifest to each other when they unfold
themselves,--a holy heart which makes one still holier, a glowing heart
which makes one still more glowing,--that they manifested to each other.
Albano was mild toward all, and the radiance of a higher beauty and
youth filled his countenance. The fair realms of nature and of his
childhood were both adorned by love, not it by either of them; he had
mounted from the pale, light moon-car of hope upon the sounding, shining
sun-car of living ecstasy. Even on the galleys of wooden sciences, as if
animated by the wonder-working hand of Bacchus, masts and shrouds
fluttered out into vine-stalks and clusters. If he went to the Froulay
house, he always, because he went in full of tolerance, came back
without any sacrifice of the same: the Minister, who had returned from
Haarhaar with a veil of gay, blooming ideas on his face, imparted to him
charming prospects of the exultation wherewith city and country would
celebrate the approaching marriage-feast of the Prince and the gain of
the most beautiful bride.

And had he not, in addition to all, his friend too? When one stands so
close before the flame of joy, one does indeed shun men,--because they
easily step between us and the pleasant warmth,--but one seeks them too;
a hearty friend is our wish and joy, who shall gently lead on, without
chasing away, the happy dream in which we sleep and speak. Charles
played softly into his friend's dream; he would, however, have also done
it from sincere love for the sister.

In fact, with so much youth, summer weather, innocence, freedom,
beautiful scenery, and deep love and friendship, there may well be
constructed, even on this low earth, something like that which up in
heaven is called a heaven; and a celestial chart, an Elysium-atlas,
which one should map out thereof, would perhaps look not far otherwise
than this: in front, a long pastoral land, with scattered
pleasure-castles and summer-houses; a philanthropist's grove in the
middle, the Tabor mountains overhead, with herdsmen upon them, long
Campanian vales; then the broad archipelago, with St. Peter's islands;
over on the other side the shores of a new pastoral continent, all
covered with Daphnean groves and gardens of Alcinoüs; behind that again,
stretching far inward, an Arcadia; and so on.

All the philosophy and stoicism that he now had in him--for he held that
which the arm out of the clouds gave him as booty gained by his
own--Albano applied to the purpose of taking _from_ his ecstasy the
moderation which they impart. Moderation, he said, was only for patients
and pigmies; and all those anxious, evenly balanced sticklers for
temperament[181] and time-keepers had, whether in the cultivation of a
pleasure or of a talent, profited themselves more than the world; on the
contrary, their antipodes had benefited the world more than

He kept in view very good fundamental principles. Man, said he, is free
and without limits,--not in respect to what he will do or enjoy, but in
respect to what he will do without; he can, if he _will_, will to
dispense with _everything_. In fact, he continued, one has simply the
choice, either _always_ or _never_ to fear; for thy life-tent stands
over a loaded mine, and, round about, the hours aim at thee naked
weapons. Only one in a thousand[183] hits; and, in any case, I am sure I
would sooner fall standing than bending like a coward. But, he
concluded, in order to justify himself on the subject, is then
steadfastness made for nothing better than for a surgeon and
serving-maid, and not much rather for our muse and goddess? for it is
not surely a good, merely because it helps do without something which we
have lost, but it is intrinsically one, and a greater than the one whose
place it supplies; even the happiest must acquire it, even without
outward occasion or bestowal; yes, it is so much the better, if it is
possessed earlier than applied.

These deceptions or justifications were partly weapons of self-defence
against the tragic Roquairol, who would fain heighten every pleasure,
and even those of his friend, by sombre contrasts; and partly they were
such as a noble man, who hitherto has plunged into sorrow without
measuring its depth, and who would always feel his power of swimming
through life, must necessarily fall upon, when he is inwardly aware that
the centre of gravity of his bliss and of his hell has shifted and
fallen out of himself into another being. "O, what if she should die?"
he asked himself. He had not been wont to shudder so at the thought of
any death as of this. Therefore he squeezed these thorns of fancy right
sharply in his hand in order to crush them. At last, when the pure
country air of love and the shepherd-dance in this Arcadia had brought
more and more roses to Liana's cheek, then his thorns ceased to grow.

To all other vipers of life, so long as they could find no entrance
through Liana's heart, he was inaccessible. At whatever price,--and
though he should have to forsake, give up, provoke, undertake all,--he
would buy Liana. The phantoms of terror which came threateningly to meet
him out of two houses,--Froulay's and Gaspard's,--he let come on, and
dispelled them: let the foe once show himself, thought he, so am I his
foe too. Often he stood in Tartarus, and found, in this still life of
death _in rilievo_, peace of soul. The actual world takes more quickly
our image than we its; even here he gained soft, broad, life-illumining
hopes and sweet tears, which flowed from him at the thought of Liana's
faith in her death, not because he believed in the probability, but in
the improbability thereof, which, through love and joy and recovery,
would daily grow greater.

Only one misfortune was there for him, against which every weapon
snapped in pieces, whose possibility, however, he held to be a sinful
thought,--namely, that he and Liana, by some fault or time or the
world's influence, might cease to love each other. Here, relying on two
hearts, he boldly defied the future. O, who has not said, when, in
reliance upon a warm eternity, he has expressed his rapture, The Fatal
Sister may clip the thread of our life, but shall she come and open the
scissors against the bond of our love? The very next day the Fatal
Sister has stood before him, and snapped the scissors to.

68. CYCLE.

Once Roquairol came quite late to take Albano with him to the
"Evening-Star Party" at the herdsman's hut, which he had arranged with
Rabette. The Captain loved to build around the warm springs of his love
and joy the well-curb of wholly select days and circumstances; if he
could contrive it, for instance, he made his declarations of love, say
on a birthday, during a total eclipse of the sun, on a valentine's day,
in a blooming hot-house in winter, in a skating chair on the ice, or in
a charnel-house; so, too, he loved to quarrel with others in significant
days and places, in the church-pew, in the beginning of spring or
winter, in the green-room of the amateur theatre, at a great fire, or
not far from Tartarus or in the flute-dell. Albano, however, was too
young, as others are too old, to have to season his fresh feeling with
artificial hours and situations; he preferred to beautify the latter
through the former.

With impetuous joy Albano flew along the road to the unexpected
pleasure. Last evening had been so rich,--the four rivers of Paradise
had, in one cataract, poured down from heaven into his heart,--and this
evening he would leap into its sprayey whirlpool. The evening heaven
itself was so fair and pure, and Hesperus went with growing splendor
down his brightly glimmering path.

Rabette waited at the foot of the mountain on which stood the herdsman's
hut (the little shooting-house), in order to lead him unsuspecting to
the unprepared female friend, who at the window, with her gleaming eye
on Hesperus, lay musing, and thought of the full, glowing autumn
flowers, which, at this late time of her life, and so shortly before the
longest night, were springing up. She was troubled to-day about many
things. She had, in fact, sought hitherto more to deserve and to justify
than to enjoy and increase her love, and more to bless with it another's
heart than her own. How indescribably she longed to do deeds for
him,--only sacrifices were to her deeds,--and she really envied her
friend who had, every time, at least to prepare Charles a beverage. As
she knew no other way, she expressed her devoted zeal by greater
daughterly love and attention to Albano's parents and sister; and
learned even to cook a little, which other ministers' daughters, who
make nothing but salad and tea, must pardon her, especially when they
reflect that, in Liana's case, they themselves would not have done
otherwise, but rather have made one dish more. Yes, she accounted
Rabette as more virtuous, because she could be more broadly and
extensively active; Rabette, on the other hand, held Liana to be the
better of the two, because she prayed so much the more. A similar error
they repeated twofold in respect to the brothers; Rabette thought
Charles the gentler, and Liana, Albano; both, according to inferences
from their mutual reports.

So long as a woman loves, she loves right on, steadily. A man has to do
something between whiles. Liana transformed everything into his image
and his name: this mountain, this little chamber, this, to him once
dangerous, bird-pole, became the crayon pencils for his stereotype
image. She always came back upon this, that he deserved something better
than her; for love is lowliness, on the wedding-ring sparkles no jewel.
It touched her that her early death affected him. There she saw still
the maiden blinded by the small-pox, whom he had once unconsciously
pressed to his heart;[184] and, with the quick apprehension of sadness,
she felt herself to resemble the blind one also, in that incident, and
not merely in the similar, although shorter night, which pain had once
thrown over her eyes.

As gentle as her emblem, Hesperus, dipping into the western horizon of
life, did she seem to her lover. She never could pass immediately out of
her own heart into the startling present; her turnings were always like
those of the sunflower, very slow, and every sensation lived long in her
faithful breast. Seldom, indeed, does a lover find the welcome of his
loved one like the last image, which the farewell had imparted to him; a
female soul must--so man desires--with all the wings, storms, heavens,
of the last minute, sound over into the next. But Liana had ever
received her friend shyly and softly, and otherwise than she had parted
with him; and sometimes, to his fiery spirit, this tender waiting, this
slow lifting of the eyelid, appeared almost as a return to the old

To-day it seized the more ardent Count more strongly than usual. Like a
pair of strange children who are to become acquainted with each other,
and smile upon and touch each other, the two stood beside each other
friendly and embarrassed. She told how she had made his sister tell her
of his childish break-neck adventure on this mountain. A loved maiden
knows no more beautiful, no richer history than that of her friend. "O
even then," he said with emotion, "I looked toward thy mountains! Thy
name, like a golden inscription, was written on my whole youth. Ah,
Liana! didst thou haply love me as I thee, when thou hadst not yet seen

"Certainly not, Albano," answered she, "not till long after!" She meant,
however, her blindness; and said he appeared to her in this twilight of
the eyes, on that evening when he ate with her father, like an old
northern king's son, somewhat like Olo,[185] and she had had a certain
awe before him, as for her father and brother. Her high respect for men
the fewest were hardly worthy to guess, not to say, occasion. "And how
when thou hadst regained thy sight?" said Albano. "I just told thee
that," she replied naively. "But when thou didst so love my brother,"
she continued, "and wast so good to thy sister, then to be sure I quite
took heart, and am now and henceforth thy second sister. Besides, thou
hast lost one--Albano, believe me, I know I am surely unworthy,
especially of thee; but I have _one_ consolation."

Perplexed by this mixture of sanctity and coldness, he could only
passionately kiss her, and was constrained, without contradicting her,
to ask forthwith, "What consolation?" "That thou wilt one day be
entirely happy," said she softly. "Liana, speak more plainly!" said he.
For he understood not that she meant her death and the announcement of
Linda by the spirits. "I mean after one year," she replied, "from the
date of the predictions." He looked at her speechless, wild, guessing
and trembling. She fell weeping upon his heart, and suddenly gave vent
to the swell of inward sighs: "Shall I not then be dead at that time,"
said she with deep emotion, "and look down from eternity to see that
thou art rewarded for thy love to Liana? And that, too, certainly in a
high degree!"

Weep, be angry, suffer, exult, and wonder more and more, passionate
youth! But, to be sure, thou comprehendest not this lowly soul!--Holy
humility! thou only virtue which God, not man, created! Thou art higher
than all which thou concealest or knowest not! Thou heavenly beam of
light! like the earthly light,[186] thou showest all other colors and
floatest thyself invisible, colorless, in heaven! Let no one profane
thy unconsciousness by instruction! When thy little white blossoms have
once fallen, they come not again, and around thy fruits only modesty
then spreads her foliage.

Painfully did the heart in Albano split into contradictions, as if into
two, his own heart and Liana's. She was nothing but pure love and
lowliness, and the splendor of her talents was only a foreign
border-work, as white marble images of the gods have the variegated
border only as decoration: one could not do anything but adore her, even
in her errors. On the other hand, she had, in conjunction with tender,
susceptible feelings, such firm opinions and errors; his modesty fought
so vainly against her humility, and his clear-sightedness against her
visionary tendency. The hostile train which this propensity drew after
it he saw too clearly sweeping along over all the joys of her life. His
ever-besetting suspicion, that she loved him merely because she hated
nothing, and that she was always a sister instead of a lover, again
charged home upon him like an armed man. Thus did all things fight
together in this case,--duty and desire, fortune and place. Both were
new and unknown to each other, because of love; but Liana divined as
little as he. O how strange to each other and unlike each other two
human beings, kindred souls, become, merely because a Divinity hovers
between the two and shines upon both!

Something remained in him unharmonious and unsolved. He felt it so
sadly, now that the summer night glimmered for higher raptures than he
possessed; now that, deep in the ether, the trembling evening star
pressed on after the sun through the rose-clouds under which he was
buried; now that the meadows of grain breathed perfume and murmured not,
and the closed pastures grew green and did not glow, and the world and
every nightingale slept, and life below was a still cloister-garden,
and, only overhead, the constellations, like silver, ethereal harps,
seemed to tremble and sound before the spring winds of distant Edens.

He must needs see Liana again to-morrow, by way of tuning his heart.
Rabette came up from the mountain with her friend, infinitely animated.
Both seemed almost exhausted with laughing and joking; for Roquairol
carried everything, even mirth, to the degree of pain. He had converted
the evening star, for which he had given the invitation, into a hothouse
and homestead of pleasant conceits and allusions. At first he would not
come home with her, even to-morrow; but at last he consented, when
Rabette assured him "she understood the fine gentleman well enough, but
he must nevertheless just let her take care of things."

When the ruddy dawn arose, Albano, accompanied by him, came again; but
the garden-gate of the "manor-garden" was already open, and Liana
already in the arbor. A stitched book of public documents (seemingly)
lay in her lap, and her folded hands beside it; she looked rather
straightforward, as in thought, than upwards, as in prayer; yet she
received her Albano with so mild and distant a smile, as a man, greeting
a guest who comes right into the midst of his prayers, smiles upon him,
and then continues his devotion. The Count had hitherto been obliged
always to prepare himself for a certain reserve in her reception of him.
A misunderstanding, which returns quickly, however often it is removed,
acts again and again as deludingly and freshly as at the first time. He
felt very strongly that something more fixed than that first virgin
bashfulness, wherewith a maiden will always invent for the dazzling sun
of love, besides the dawn, a twilight too, and again another for that,
hindered the fiery melting together of their souls.

He asked what she was reading; she hesitated, covering it up. A thought,
suddenly darting upon her, seemed to open her heart; she gave him the
book, and said it was a French manuscript,--namely, written prayers,
drawn up by her mother several years before, which touched her more than
her own thoughts; but still there was ever-more looking through her
tenderly woven face a cloistral thought, which sought to leave her
heart. What could Albano object to this Psalmist of the heart? Who can
answer a songstress? A praying female stands, as does also an unhappy
one, on a high, holy place, which our arms cannot reach. But how
miserable must most prayers be, since, although in earlier life
possessing the attraction of charms, like the rosary, which is made out
of sweet-smelling woods, yet afterward in advanced age they act only as
blemishes, and like the relic or the death's-head with which the rosary
itself ends!

Without waiting for his question, she told him at once what had
disturbed her during her prayer; namely, this passage in it: _O mon
Dieu, fais que je sois toujours vraie et sincere_, &c., whereas she had
hitherto concealed her love from her dear mother. She added, she would
come now very soon, and then the closed heart should be opened to her.
"No," said he, almost angrily, "thou mayest not; thy secret is also
mine!" Men are often hardened by that in prose which in poetry softens
them; for example, woman's piety and open-heartedness.

Now no one hated more than he the clutching of the parental
writing-finger, forefinger, and little finger into a pair of clasped
hands; not that he feared, on the part of the Minister, wars or
rivals,--he rather presupposed open arms and feasts of joy,--but
because, to his magnanimous spirit, at once claiming and granting
liberty, nothing was more revolting than the reflection, what smutty
turf now for the kindling of the fire the parents might lay on the altar
of love, or what pots they might set on to boil; how easily, then, even
poetic parents often transform themselves with the children into prosaic
or juristical ones, the father into an administrative, the mother into a
financial board; how, then, to say the least, the court atmosphere makes
one a bondsman, just as only the poetic heaven's ether makes free; and
what perturbations his Hesperus might expect from the attracting world,
the old Minister, who found nothing more unprofitable about love than
love itself, and to whom the holiest sensibilities seemed about as
useful for marriages of rank as the Hebrew is for preachers, namely,
more in examination than in actual service. So ill did he think of his
father-in-law, for he knew not something still worse.

But the good daughter thought far higher of her mother than did a
stranger, and her heart struggled painfully against concealing from her
her love. She appealed to her brother, who was just entering. But he was
wholly of Albano's mind. "Women," he added, not in the best humor, "are
more fond of speaking _about_ love than _in_ love; men, the reverse."
"No," said Liana, decidedly; "_if_ my mother ask me, I cannot be
untrue." "God!" cried Albano, with a shudder, "and who could wish that?"
For to him, also, free truth was the open helmet of the soul's nobility;
only he spoke it merely from self-respect, and Liana out of human

Rabette came with the tea-things and a flask, wherein was tea-juice and
elementary fire, or nerve-ether for the Captain,--arrack. He never liked
to visit people in the morning, with whom he could not drink it till
evening; Rabette had yesterday guessed this naughtiness, and to-day
gratified it. "How can the soul," said the sound Albano to him often,
"make itself a slave to the belly and the senses? Are we not already
bound closely enough by the fetters of the body, and thou wilt still
draw chains through the chains?" To this Roquairol had always the same
answer: "Just the reverse! Through the corporeal itself, I free myself
from the corporeal; for instance, by wine from blood. As long as thou
canst never escape servitude to the bodily senses, and all thy
consciousness and thy thinking can only, through a bodily servitude,
attaching itself to the glebe of the earth, abide in their nobility; I
cannot perceive why thou dost not properly use these rebels and despots
as thy servants? Why must I let the body only work ill upon me, and not
advantageously as well?" Albano stood to it, that the still light of
health was more dignified than the poppy-oil flame of a slave of opium;
and the fate of being prisoner of war to the body, which one spirit has
to bear in common with the whole human army, more honorable than the
cramping confinement of a personal arrest.

To-day, however, not even the spirituous brimstone-smoked tea-water
could wash away a certain discontent from Roquairol, whom night-watching
had colored more pale, as it had the Count more red. He could not be
reconciled to it, that the manor-garden was all shut in with a
board-fence as high as a man, which was less intended as a
billiard-table border, not to let the eye-ball go out, than as a
mountebank's booth, to let nothing in, and which of course insured no
other _prospect_ than the prospect proper; quite as little did the
pleasure-garden commend itself to his favor by the fact that the
turf-benches on which they sat in the arbor had not yet been mowed, that
in all the beds only vegetables for the trimming of cooked meat flapped
about, that nothing ripe yet hung there but one or two moles in their
hanging death-beds, that on a bowling-green, whereupon one rolls into a
tinkling middle-hole, the crooked return-alley let the balls run home
again, much more easily than they could--unless one threw them--be made
to pass over the earth-bottom of the main alley, and that no orangery
was anywhere to be seen, excepting once, when fortunately the
garden-gate stood open, just as a blooming orangery box passed by in a
wheelbarrow on its way to Lilar.

The Captain needed only to bring forward these particulars satirically,
and thereby inwardly to wound the outwardly laughing Rabette,--because
no woman can bear to hear fault found with her bodily property, whether
it be children, clothes, cakes, or furniture;[187] and then his
mountain-heights could gradually disencumber themselves of their clouds
again, and Rabette become still more uncommonly gay.

Albano, in this morning hour of the day, and, as it were, of childhood,
and in this little paradise-garden of his childish years, was inwardly
glad,--for in the first love, as in Shakespeare's pieces, nothing
depends on the wooden stage of the performance; but to-day's afterwinter
of yesterday's chill would nevertheless not melt. The morning-blue began
to be filled with brighter and brighter golden fleeces; as the garden,
like small cities, had only two gates, the upper and the lower, he
opened like an aurora that of the morning sun; the splendor gushed in
over the smoking green; the Rosana gliding below caught lightnings, and
flung them over hitherward; Albano departed finally full of love and

But the love was greater than the bliss.

69. CYCLE.

Flying Spring! (I mean love, just as one calls the after summer a
_flying summer_) thou hurriest away of thyself over our heads with
arrowy speed; why do authors again hurry over thee? Thou art the German
blossoming season; which is never a blossoming month long. We read all
winter in almanacs and similes much about its magnificence, and we pine
for it; at last it hangs thick on the dark boughs six days long, and
beside that, under cold May showers, sweeping bliss-month[188] storms,
and with a dumb-session of half-frozen nightingales,--and then, when one
comes out at length into the garden, the footpath is already white with
blossoms, and the tree at most full of green; then it is over, till in
winter we again hear with exaltation of heart the beginning of a tale:
"It was just in the lovely season of the blossoming." Even so do I see
few authors, at the long session-and-scribbling-table of romance,
working right and left for the benefit of the reading-desk, who, after
the long preface to love, do not so soon as, like a war, it is declared,
forthwith conclude it; and really, there are more steps _to_ love than
_in_ it; all that is _coming to be_,--for instance, spring, youth,
morning, learning,--opens out more widely and in a richer variety of
hues than fixed _being_; but is not this latter in turn a progress, only
a higher; and this, again, a state of being, only a quicker?

Albano would fain lead along more beautifully the fleeting, divine
season, when the heart is our god; he would have it rather fly _upward_
than fly _away_. He was angry the next day with nobody but himself. He
tore his way through such petty and yet closely entangling troubles,
through a condition like that of men during an earthquake, when an
invisible vapor holds the heavy foot as a snare. "I would rather let
myself be rained on upon mountains," said he, "than in valleys." Men of
quick fancy more easily reconcile themselves to the loved one when she
is absent, than when she is present.

After some days, he went again to Blumenbühl just before sundown. A
burning red cut through the night-like gloom of the foliage. His
darkening, woody road was made, by the flames which danced about
therein, an enchanted one. He transferred his illuminated present deep
into a future, shady past. O, after years, thought he, when thou
returnest, when all is gone by and changed, the trees grown up, human
beings passed away, and only the mountains and the brook left, then wilt
thou congratulate thyself that thou couldst once in these walks so often
journey to thy sweetest heart, and on either hand the music and the
glory of Nature went along with thy joyful soul, as the moon seems to
the child to run after him through all streets. An unwonted rapture
flung through his whole being the long, broad streak of sunshine; the
farthest flowers of his fancy opened; all tones came through a brighter
ether, and sounded nearer. The flowers around him, too, exhaled a keener
fragrance, and the peal of the bell sounded nearer; and both are signs
of foul weather.

Thus inwardly happy, he made his appearance,--and, indeed, without
Roquairol, who in fact came more and more seldom,--and found his beloved
up in his childhood's study, her guest-chamber, which was now the usual
scene of his visits. In a white dress, with dark trimming, as in a
beautiful half-mourning, she sat at the drawing-table with her eyes
sharper than usual, buried in a picture. She flew to his heart, but only
to lead him back presently to the dear form upon which her heart hung as
in a mother's arms. She related that her mother had been here to-day
with the Princess, and had showed so much pleasure in her improving
color, such infinite kindness toward her happy daughter. "She was
obliged," continued she, "to let me take a slight sketch of her, in
order that I might only look upon her so much the longer, and have
something of her to keep by me. I am just finishing the outline of the
face, but it is absolutely too poor a likeness." She could not tear her
fancy away from the image, and still less from the original. To be sure,
no more beautiful medallion can hang _on_ a daughter's heart, or in fact
_in_ it, than that of a mother; but, nevertheless, Albano thought to-day
the hanging-ring took up too broad a space.

She talked only of her mother. "I certainly sin," said she; "she asked
me in such a friendly way whether thou camest often, but I said only
yes, and nothing further. O good Albano, how gladly would I have given
up to her frankly my whole soul!"

He answered, that the mother seemed not to be so frank; she perhaps knew
already the whole through the Lector, and the pure draught of love would
now be continually disturbed by foreign substances. Against Augusti he
declared himself very strongly, but Liana quite as strongly upheld him.
Through both that counterfeiter of the coin of truth, namely,
suspicion,--the suspicion that she perhaps loved him as she loved
everything, since she grew as by a living tie to everything
good,--gained, under Albano's sensibilities, which besides had been
to-day so warm and glad, more and more mint-stamps and currency.

She suspected nothing, but she came back to the subject of her secrecy.
"But why, then, does it make me unhappy," said she, "if it is right?
Beloved one, my Caroline too appears to me no longer, and truly that is
no good sign." This spectral-machinery always came on as oppressively
and gloomily to him as a thunder-cloud in the outer world. His old
exasperation against the teasings practised in his own case by apes of
the air, whom he could not lay hold of, passed over into a similar
feeling against Liana's optical self-deception. That veil presented her
by Caroline, wherewith, in the beginning, she had so sublimely arrayed
herself for the cloister of the tomb,--that travelling veil for the next
world,--had long been to this Hercules a burning garment, drenched in
the poisonous blood of a Nessus; therefore she no longer dared to wear
it before him. The conclusion that the fancy of being destined to death
laid the seed of the reality, and that in the deep overhanging cloud an
accident might easily attract the striking-spark of death, fell like a
mourning into his love festival. So are all strange sea-wonders of fancy
(like this death-delusion) desired only _in_ fancy (in romance), but not
in life, except once on fantastic heights; but then must such comets,
like others, soon recede again from our heaven.

He spoke now very seriously,--of suicidal fancies, of life's duties, of
wilful blindness to the fairest signs of her recovery, among which he
reckoned as well the disappearance of the optical Caroline as the
blooming of her color. She heard him patiently; but through the
Princess, who, notwithstanding her love, seldom left behind with him
pleasant impressions, her fancy had to-day taken quite another road, far
beyond herself and her grave. She stood only before Linda's image, of
which Julienne had this afternoon communicated to her sharper outlines
than maidens are wont to give of maidens. "She is a very good girl,"
they say of each other. Linda's manly spirit, her warm attachment to
Gaspard in connection with her contempt of the mass of men, her
inflexibility, her bold strides in manly knowledge, her masterly and
often severe letters, more pithy than flowery, and, most of all, her
probably approaching arrival, took a powerful hold of Liana's tender
heart. "My Albano must have her," was the constant thought of this
disinterested soul; and if the Princess had had the intention of
humiliating comparisons, she remarked it not, but fulfilled it. The good
creature found, too, so much of a higher providence here,--for example,
that her brother need now no longer be the rival of her lover and of his
friend,--that she herself could portray beforehand her vigorous Albano
to the proud Romeiro, and that certainly, despite all opposition, all
the ghostly prophecies strikingly connected and coincided with each
other. All this she now said (because she concealed only her sorrows,
not her hopes) right to the Count's face.

What a gnashing bite did an evil genius at this moment make into his
tenderest life! That glowing love which neither divides nor is divided
possessed _his_ heart, he thought, not hers. He came very near to
showing up his inner being just as it was, all kindled at once, as if by
a lightning stroke, into a lofty blaze. Only the innocent white brow,
with festive roses in its little ringlets; the childishly bright
looking-up of the pure blue pair of eyes, and the soft face, which even
at a musical fortissimo, and at every vehemence in movement or laughter
on the part of another, caught a sickly redness from the beating heart;
and his indignant shame at the levity with which a man can abuse his
omnipotence and his sex, to the terror of the tenderer, restrained him,
like guardian spirits; and he said merely, in that noble anger which
sounded like a tender emotion, "O Liana, thou art hard to-day!"

"And yet I am indeed so tender!" said the innocent one. The two had
hitherto been standing at the window, before the dark tempest which came
rolling on out of Lilar. She turned suddenly round; for since the day of
her blindness, when a dark cloud had seemed to fly towards her, she had
never been able to look at one long; and Albano's tall form, with his
whole live-glowing face and his soul-speaking eyes, stood illumined by
the evening light before her. With the hand which he left free she
softly and playfully swept aside the dark hair from his defiant
forehead, smoothed the contracted eyebrow, and said, as his look stung
like a sun, and his mouth shut with determination, "O, joyfully,
joyfully, shall this fair face one day smile!" He smiled, but sadly.
"And then shall I be still more blest than to-day!" said she, and
started, for a lightning-flash darted across his earnest face, as over a
jagged mountain, and showed it, like that of the god of war, illuminated
with war-flames.

He hurried away; would not be held back; spoke of a weather-cooling;
went out into the storm; and left Liana behind in the joy that she had
spoken to-day merely out of pure love. From the last house in the
village Rabette flew to meet him; the torrents of the restrained tears
rolled down his cheeks. "What dost thou want? why weepest thou?" she
cried. "Thou art dreaming!" cried he, and hurried, without further
answer, out into the tempest, which had suddenly, like a mantle-fish,
flung itself stiflingly over the whole heaven. There, under the
rain-drops and lightning-flashes, he began, first of all, to reckon up
for himself the best proofs that Liana had saintly charms, divine sense,
all virtues, especially universal philanthropy, daughterly, sisterly,
friendly affection, only not, however, the glowing love for one
person,--at least, not for him. She is so entirely and exclusively--such
is always his conclusion--possessed and absorbed with the present
object, whether it be myself or a broken arm of the little Pollux, that
it hides from her heaven and earth. Hence the setting of her life's day,
with all the attendant partings, is no more to her than the setting of a
star. Hence it was that I stood beside her so long, with a heart full of
the pangs of love, and she saw not into my love, because she found none
in her own bosom. And this is what makes it so bitter, when man, pining
in poverty among the common hearts of earth, is rendered by the noblest
only unhappy at last.

The rain pattered and trickled through the leaves, the fire darted
through the woods, and the Wild Huntsman of the storm drove his crazy
chase. This refreshed and rejoiced him like the cooling hand of a friend
taking his to guide him. As he ascended, not through the cavern, but
outside over the back of the mountain to his high thunder-house, he saw
a thick, gray night of rain settle down heavily upon the green Lilar,
and on the winding Tartarus rested under the flashes the illuminated
storm. He shuddered, on entering his little house, at a cry which his
Æolian-harp emitted under the snatches of the wind; for it had once,
gilded by the evening sun, ethereally clothed his young love like
starlight, and had followed it with ever-varying tones, as it went out
over this suffering life.

70. CYCLE.

On the morning after both storms were dissolved into a still
cloudiness.--And out of the great griefs came only errors. Weaklings
that we are! when at our sham execution fate touches us with the rod,
not with the sword, we sink impotently from the block, and feel the
process of dying reach far into our life! All fevers, including
spiritual ones, are cooled by the freshness of a new morning, just as
sad evening stirs all their embers into a glow. Who of us has not at
evening,--that proper witching hour of tormenting spectres,
house-haunting ghosts and hobgoblins,--caught in the threads which he
himself had spun, but which he took for a web spread by other hands,
entangled himself more and more deeply the more he turned about and
tried to extricate himself, till in the morning he saw his turnkey
before him, namely, himself?

Albano saw on the whole theatre of yesterday's war nothing left standing
but a pale, kindly figure in half-mourning, who looked round after him
with innocent maidenly eyes, and toward which he could not help looking
over, albeit she was now more a bride of God than of a mortal. He felt
now, to be sure, more strongly how high his demands upon real friends
rose, than he once did, when he could heighten at pleasure the highest
which he made upon the beings of his dreams, whom he always cast exactly
into the temporary mould of his heart; and how he was possessed by a
spirit that spared no one, that would stretch the wings of every other
according to its own, because it could bear no individuality except that
which was copied.

He had hitherto experienced from all his loved ones too little
opposition, as Liana had too much; both extremes injure one. The
spiritual as well as the physical man, without the resistance of the
outer atmosphere, is blown up and burst by the inner, and without the
resistance of the inner is crushed by the outer; only the equilibrium
between inner resistance and outer pressure keeps a fair play-room open
for life and its culture. Besides, men--since only the best of them
appreciate in the best of their own sex strong conviction--can hardly
tolerate it in women, and would have them not merely the reflection, but
even the echo, of themselves. They want, I mean, not merely the look,
but also the word, that says yes.

Albano punished himself with several days of voluntary absence, till the
unclean clouds should have cleared away from within him which had
overshadowed the gnomon of the sundial of his inner man. "When I am
quite cheerful and good-natured," said he, "I will go back to her, and
err no more." He errs at this moment. Whenever a strange, uncomfortable
semitone has repeatedly intruded itself between all the harmonies of two
natures, it swells more and more fatally till it drowns the key-note,
and ends all. The dividing tone was, in this case, the strength of the
man's pitch in connection with the strength of the woman's. But the
highest love is most easily wounded by the slightest difference. O,
little avails it then for man to say to himself, I will be another man!
Only in the finest, only in unimpaired enthusiasm, does he propose to
himself such a thing; but it is just when the feeling is impaired, when
he were hardly capable of the purpose, that he has to rise to the
fulfilment of it, and then he can hardly make the achievement.

The Count went in the morning, as usual, to his lecture-rooms and
parlors in the city. In the former it was hard for him to fix his
instruments and his eyes upon the stars of the sciences, and to take
sight, sailing as he was on such a sea of emotion. In the latter he
found the Lector colder than ever, the Bibliothecary warmer, the
household more inflated. He went to Roquairol, whom he to-day loved and
treated still more cordially, as if by way of atonement to his offended
sister. Charles said at once, with his sudden and tragical flinging up
of the curtain of futurity, "All was discovered,--in the highest degree
of probability!" As often as lovers see that their Calypso's
island--which, to be sure, lies free on the open ocean--has at length
come to the eyes of the seafaring world, and that they are making sail
for it, they are astonished to an astonishing degree; for is there any
one Paradise which has such a loose and low palisado, allowing every
passer-by to see in, as theirs?

For a long time, he related, had the Doctor's children always had
something to fetch from the Architect's wife at Lilar,--flowers,
medicine-phials, &c.; certainly as spy-glasses and ear-tubes of Augusti,
who again was the opera-glass of his mother. In short, his father had,
at least, been at the Greek woman's yesterday, but had luckily found
only an empty package[189] from Rabette to him (Charles), which,
according to the liberties of the ministerial Church, he had opened and

"Why _luckily_?" said Albano. "I will justify and honor my love before
the world." "I referred to myself," he replied; "for never was my father
more friendly to me than since he broke open my last letters. He is this
afternoon in Blumenbühl, and it may well be more on my own account than
my sister's."

Albano had no fear that the city could drill mining-galleries under his
childhood's land, so as to blow up in one conflagration the blessed
isle,--could he not trust his character and courage and Liana's
own?--but it pained him now that he had so needlessly robbed the
childlike Liana of the joy and merit of a childlike open-heartedness.
How he longed now for the atoning and recompensing moment of the first
meeting again, after the next morning!

He stayed by his friend as by a consolation, and did not go back till
the evening redness floated about in the rain-clouds. When he came, he
found already awaiting him a letter from Liana, written to-day.

     "O good Albano, why camest thou not? How much I had to say
     to thee! How I trembled for thy sake on Friday, when the
     frowning cloud pursued thee with its thunder! Thou hast
     weaned me too much from sorrow, so strange and heavy has it
     become to me now. I was inconsolable the whole evening; at
     last, when night fell, the thought sank into my mind that
     thou hadst been oppressed as with presentiments, and that
     the lightning loved to strike the thunder-house. Why,
     indeed, art thou there? I hurried up, and knelt by my bed,
     and prayed to God, although the storm had long been
     dispersed, that he would have preserved thee. Smile at my
     tardy prayer; but I said to him, 'Thou knewest indeed,
     all-gracious One, that I would pray.' I was consoled, too,
     when I looked up to the stars, and the broken ray of joy
     trembled within me.

     "But in the morning Rabette made me sad again. She had seen
     thee weeping on the road. A thousand times have I asked
     myself, whether I am to blame for that. Can it have come
     from this,--for she says so,--that I afflict thee too much
     with my death thoughts? Never more shalt thou hear them; the
     veil, too, is laid away; but I calculated upon thee
     according to my brother, to whom, as he himself says, the
     dusk of death is an evening-twilight, in which forms seem to
     him more lovely. Truly, I am quite blest; for thou art even
     so, and yet hast so little in having me,--only a small
     flower for thy heart, but I have thyself. Leave me my
     grave-mound; therefrom, as from a mountain, comes better,
     more fruitful soil into my valley. O how one loves, Albano,
     when all around us crumbles and sinks and melts away in
     smoke, and when, still, the bond and splendor of love stand
     firm and inviolate on the fleeting ground of life, as I have
     often seen with emotion, when standing by waterfalls, a
     rainbow hover, undisturbed and unchanged, over the bursting,
     impetuous floods! O, would that the nightingales were yet
     singing; now I could sing with them! Thy Æolian-harp, my
     harmonica, how gladly would I have it in my hand! My father
     was with us, and more cheerful and friendly toward all than
     ever. Lo, even he is kindly disposed! My parents surely send
     no tempest into our feast of roses. I readily did him the
     pleasure, therefore,--forgive it!--of promising him, that I
     would receive no visits from strangers in a strange
     house--because, he said, it was improper. I must go home for
     some days on account of the Prince's marriage; but I shall
     see thee soon. O forgive! When my father speaks softly, my
     soul cannot possibly say, No. Farewell, my noble one!


     "P. S. Soon a little leaf will come fluttering again over to
     thy mountain. Only continue in perpetual joy! O God! why am
     I not stronger? What beings shouldst thou then take to thy
     heart!--Thou dear one!"

How was he shamed by this full-blooming love, which never rightly knows
when it is misunderstood, and which presupposes no other fault than its
own! How sadly did the thought of the commanded separation affect him
now, after the voluntary one! He could now love her as a guarding angel
_before_ Paradise, how much more as a giving angel _in_ it! But it is
hard for a man, as the youth felt, clearly to distinguish in the female
heart, especially in this one, intention from instinct, ideas from
feelings, and in this dark, full heaven to count and arrange all the
stars. Everything like hardness, every unpromising bud, arose at last as
a flower; and her worth unfolded itself piece-wise like spring; whereas,
generally, from other maidens, a traveller who visits them carries away
with him directly at his first evening's departure a little complete
flower-catalogue of all their charms and arts, as a Brocken-passenger
gets at the tavern a neat nosegay of the various kinds of mosses which
are found on the mountain.

He supposed she was now with her parents; and he followed, not as a
pouting schoolboy, but as a harmonious man, the giant of destiny. In the
garden rainy weather held sway, the crop of every heavy tempest, which,
like a war, always devastates the scene of conflict.

The promised leaflet appeared: "Only be happy. We shall see each other
very, very soon, and then most blissfully. Forgive me! Ah, I long

Now he experienced what days they were which had _once_--that is, only a
few days ago--passed before him as divine apparitions, and which now
again were to come up in the East as returning stars! Why does a
blessing, not till it is lost, cut its way like a sharp diamond so
deeply into the heart? Why must we first have lamented a thing, before
we ardently and painfully love it? Albano threw both past and future
away from him, that he might dwell wholly and purely in that present
which Liana had promised him.

71. CYCLE.

On Sunday morning, when all the blue heavens stood open, and the earth
was festally decked with pearls and twigs, a gentle finger tapped at
Albano's door, which could belong to none but a female hand. It was
Liana who entered at so early an hour; Rabette and Charles without
uttered a loud greeting. On his exulting breast fell the beautiful
maiden, blooming from, her walk, with blessed, bright eyes, a freshly
bedewed rose-bud. It was his finest morning; he had a clear feeling of
Liana's love. As the Æolian-harp sounded in, she looked towards it,
remembered with a blush that fairest evening of the covenant, and
listened in silence, and dried her eyes when she turned them again
towards Albano. But he could not enter into this temple of joy without
having cleansed and healed himself by a frank confession of his late
errors. What a sweet rivalry ensued between them of confessing and
forgiving, when Liana lovingly exclaimed and owned that she had not
understood him lately, that only she was the blamable one, and that she
would begin this very moment to speak better. She could not give herself
any comfort about the secret pangs which she had caused her friend. As
mahogany furniture cracks in no temperature, and contracts no spots, and
needs no polishing, so was it with this heart, Albano's felt, as he now
swore to himself always, even when he did not understand her, to say to
himself, She is right.

She solved for him the riddle of her appearing to-day with those
friendly looks which a good nature redoubles, when it has anything to
sweeten,--namely, she was going back to Pestitz to-day; but the carriage
would not come till late, till evening, in fact, about tea-time, and so
there remained a whole day before them; and she hoped her father would
not take this circuitous route through Lilar as a breach of her promise.
A loving maiden grows unconsciously more bold. Thereupon she sought to
make him quite calm about the peaceful intentions of her father, and
represented his strictness, in subjecting himself and others to
convenience, as the reason of his prohibition, as well as of her being
summoned back to the wedding-festival. Albano, so soon after the oath
which he had just sworn to himself, kept it, and said, She is right.

The Captain came in with the red-cheeked Rabette, whose eyes glistened
with joy. The small apartment did not, by narrowness and confusion, make
the pleasure less. Charles, generally so much like Vesuvius, which in
the first hours of morning is still covered with snow, presented already
a warm summit; he seated himself at the instrument and thundered into
the noisy presence with a prestissimo (which lay open) of Haydn's,--that
true hour-caller of rejoicing hours,--and played, to the astonishment of
the females, the hardest part so easily, at sight, that he rather played
into it, than from it, and kept composing much (for instance, the bass)
himself; whereas Albano, with almost comic fidelity, gave you the exact
truth in music quite as much as in history, which, again, always became
in Charles's mouth a piece of his own personal biography. The morning
added wings to all their souls, whereas noon always binds men's wings
down,--hence Aurora goes with winged steeds, and the god of day with
wingless ones. "But how now are our seven pleasure-stations to be made
out?" inquired Charles, "for the day lies like a garden-hall, with
nothing but pleasure-avenues on all sides open before us." "Charles, is
it not, then, a matter of indifference _where_ a man loves?" said
Albano. Blessed one, whose heart needs nothing but one heart more, no
park into the bargain, no _opera seria_, no Mozart, no Raphael, no
eclipse of the moon, not so much as moonlight, and no read or acted

"First, I must see my Chariton," said Liana. "Yes," added her brother,
immediately, "she can bring our dinner after us into the gothic temple."
He proposed, namely, on this lovely day, to dine in the twelfth century,
and to sit by a sombre, motley window-light, and on sharp-cornered,
heavy, thick furniture, and, as it were, darkly under the earth of a
green present, glistening overhead, to sit with blooming faces; for
thus did he overload the fullest enjoyments with external contrasts, and
enjoyed every happy present most in the near gleam and reflection of the
sharpened sickle which was to mow them away.[190] "God forbid and avert
it, friend!" said Rabette. Albano, too, deemed the friendly Greek, her
laughing children, and the neighboring rose-fields far preferable, and,
with the aid of Liana, prevailed. Before the embowered cottage the
children came running to meet them, Helena, with her little apron full
of orange-blossoms, which she had picked up, for the breaking of them
off had been forbidden her, and Pollux, in the last, light bandage of
his broken arm, the hand of which had now been obliged to work with its
companion, the right hand, at puckering up and cracking the rose-leaves.
Both gave notice: "Mother was not ready yet, and had dressed them
first." But presently, neat and simple as a priestess destined to dance
around the altar of gods of joy, sprang Chariton to meet her Liana, and,
as she came, continued adjusting her hastily donned clothes by a light
hitching and twitching. "This," said Roquairol, after he had easily
obtained from Rabette a nodding assent thereto, because she had not
understood his French request for the same, "is my spouse since
yesterday,"--and he enjoyed without further circumstance the right of
thouing her, which she, since the friendly encouragement of the
Minister, accepted the more fondly with maidenly presentiments.

When Liana kindly announced four noonday guests for Chariton, there
stood in the dark eyes of the Greek gleams of joy, and the little face,
with great arched Italian eyebrows, became a stereotype smile, which was
not culinary embarrassment, but merely tongueless joy; which only made
her white semicircle of teeth shine more broadly, when Charles spoke
right out: "Surely thou canst help her, wife!" "Of course!" said
Rabette, quite delighted; because her heart had no longer any other lips
than her two hands, for which, if they could only lay hold of hard work,
it was full as much as if they were pressed by the hand of a lover. Did
she not again and again curse her awkward, hesitating throat, when
Roquairol, in her presence, poured out his sounding and fiery torrents
of speech? On this occasion, when he had again set off the surroundings
with artificial, shadowy refinements, he insisted upon it, of course,
that Chariton should be executive secretary, and Rabette only
corresponding secretary. Liana, too, out of a like womanliness, would
fain do something for her darling; but since she, as a maiden of rank,
could not cook anything, but only bake a little, accordingly it was
assigned her,--but reluctantly on the part of her friend, who never
loved to see the sweet form anywhere else than, like other butterflies,
by his side among the flowers,--at a quite late moment, and for a space
of ten minutes, with her eyes and in extraordinary cases with her three
writing-fingers, to co-operate in making the snow-balls, which were to
close and crown the dessert.

Never had kitchen ball-queen a broader canopy, or a more beautifully
carved sceptre and apple, or fairer _dames d'atour_[191] than Chariton,
and vessels and fire were quite thrown into the shade thereby.

Now the happy couples--and the children too--went out into the joyful
day, into the youthful garden, in order, like planets, with their moons,
to stand now near each other, now far off, now in opposition, and now in
conjunction, on their heavenly orbit around the same sun. "We will
launch out at a venture," said Charles, in port, "and see whether we do
not meet." Albano went with Liana after the children, who were already
skipping along on the little houses through the rose-walks, on the
bridge over the singing wood. He whose heart beats in such calm
blissfulness, seeks in the invisible church no visible one: the whole
temple of nature is the temple of love, and everywhere stand altars and
pulpits. On the smoothly descending life-stream man stands without
rudder, happy in his skiff, and leaves it to its own will.

Then the children, mindful of the maternal prohibition against
excursions, led the way up along the right, over the bridged eminence,
to the western triumphal arch; and Helena, merely as guide of the little
convalescent, ran forward quite unexpectedly and wildly with his hand.
How gladly did Albano follow the little pilots and pointers! Heavens!
when they looked round them on the magnificent height, and into the rich
outspread day, and then into each other's eyes, how freely and broadly
did the arches of their life-bridge rear themselves, and ships, with
swollen sails and proudly towering masts, sail away beneath! Rose-trees
clambered up the triumphal arches, the children reached up, snatched
roses from their summits, and trudged away (working out and proving the
unusual obedience) over four gates, in order, from the fifth, to look
down into the smooth, shining lake, and to descend into the "enchanted
wood," where art, like the children, played her pranks.

Out of the entrance of the wood came forth Charles and Rabette, on their
way back to Chariton over the arches, the former bound to the
wine-cellar (he had something empty therefrom in his hand), and she
intending to run a moment into the kitchen. He went blissfully, as if on
wings, and said: "Life travels to-day in the constellation of the wain,
far away through the blue." He turned round, however, to let the
_Pleiades_ rise before them, that is, the so-called "inverted rain,"
which ascends only for the space of five minutes, and properly only in
an illumination. He led them all into the wondrous wood, through a light
that lay in noonday slumber, glowing under free trees, whose stems,
standing far asunder, only tendered each other their long twigs. At the
focus of the picturesque paths, he let them await the play of the rain.
The children sprang after him with their hopes, and, backed by the
courage of the grown ones, sat down by them, on designated seats of the
gods, or children's seats, between two little round lakes.

While Charles ran swiftly up and down in zigzag, attending to the
hydraulic and other mechanism,--nearly according to the points of the
labyrinth-garden in Versailles,--they could fly about through the magic
wood that rose everywhere. An all-powerful arm of the Rosana, which
swept by without, struck in among the flowers, and bore a heavy, rich
world; now the water was a fixed mirror, now a winding, beating vein,
now a gushing spring, now a flash of lightning behind flowers, or a dark
eye behind leafy veils; tapering shores, short beds, children's gardens,
round islands, little hills, and tongues of land lay between: they held
their motley, blooming children on arm and bosom, and the blue eyes of
the forget-me-not, and the full tulip-cheeks, and the white-cheeked
lilies played together like brothers and sisters apart from strangers,
but roses ran through all. Now they heard a murmuring and purling; the
lakes beside them bubbled up; on a peeled May-tree, fenced in on an
island, the yellow fir-needles began to drop from above; from the
hanging birches on the tongue of land, an inner rain dripped and glided
down; out of the two lakes beside them water-jets flew like
flying-fishes toward heaven. Now it gushed everywhere, and rows of
fountains, those water-children, played with the flower-children. Like
birds, streams fluttered with broad wings out of the laurel-hedges, and
fell into the groups of roses. On a hill full of oaks, a water-snake
crawled up; victoriously shot out from all the mouths of the shores
besieging arches to the summits; suddenly the cheated spectators found
themselves overhung with rainbows, for the lakes flung their waters high
across over them, so that the wavering sun blazed through the
lattice-work of drops, as through a shivered jewel-world. The children
screamed with a terror of joy. The scared birds cruised through the
shower; night butterflies were cast down; the turtle-doves shook
themselves on the ground, beaten down in the torrents; the banks and the
beds held their blooming little ones beneath the heavens.

After five minutes the whole was over, and nothing remained, save that
in all flowers and eyes the moist radiance trembled, and on the waves
the stars continued to glisten. The children ran after the
wonder-worker, Charles. "All is over outwardly," said Albano, "but not
within us. I am to-day perfectly and peacefully happy; for thou lovest
me, and the whole world, too, is friendly. Art thou, too, happy, Liana?"
She answered, "Still more happy, and I must needs weep for joy if I told
how happy I am." But she was weeping already. "See! drops!" said she,
naively, as he looked upon her, and wiped _his_, which were the
sprinklings of the rainbow, softly from his cheeks. His lips touched her
holy, tender eye, but the other remained open, and her love looked out
from it at him, and never did her holy soul hover nearer to him.

After a few minutes this inverted heavenward shower was also over. They
went across the middle of the free gardens to the eastern parts and
gates. How brightly lay the coasts of the future before them, with
thick, high green, and nightingales flying around the shores! Rapture
makes the manly heart more womanly. The voice of his full bosom spoke
but softly to Liana, on whose countenance, turned sidewise and
heavenward, lay a still, pious gratitude; his fiery glance moved but
slowly, and rested on the beautiful world; and he went without hasty
strides around the smallest points of land. The young nightingale whet
her well-fed bill against the twig, and shook herself merrily; the old
one sang a short lullaby, and skipped chanting after fresh food; and
everywhere flew and screamed across each other's paths the children of
spring and their parents. Little white peacocks ran, without their
pride, like little children in the grass. Blissfully floated the swan
between her waves, with the white arch over the eyes that dipped under,
and blissfully hovered the glistening music-fly, like a fixed star,
undisturbed in the air, over a distant, flowery bell. The butterflies,
flying flowers, and the flowers, fettered butterflies, sought and
sheltered each other, and laid their variegated wings to wings; and the
bees exchanged flowers only for blossoms, and the rose which has no
thorns for them they exchanged only for the linden.

"Liana," said Albano, "how I love the whole world to-day, on thy
account! I could give the flowers a kiss, and press myself into the very
heart of the full trees; I could not tread in the way of the long chafer
down there." "Should one," she replied, "ever feel otherwise? How can a
human being, I have often thought, who has a mother, and knows her love,
so afflict and rend the heart of a brute mother? But Spener says, we do
not forgive beasts even their virtues." "Let us go to him," said he.

They came out through the eastern gate on the mountain-way behind the
flute-dell, up to the house of old Spener, which lay in noonday
brightness; but, as they heard loud reading and praying, they chose
rather to walk by at a great distance, in order not to throw so much as
their shadow into his holy heaven.

They gazed into the fair, still flute-dell, and would fain go directly
in; at length it spoke up to them with one flute. Their friends seemed
to be down below there. The flute continued long to complain, as if
lonely and forsaken; no sisters and no fountains murmured in with it. At
last there rose, panting, in company with the flute, a timid, trembling
singer's voice, struggling forth. It was Rabette, behind the tall
bushes. She stirred both to the depths of the soul, because the poor
creature, with the labor of her helpless voice, was rendering her loved
one the meek sacrifice of obedience. "O my Albano," said Liana, twining
around him with ecstasy, "what sweetness to think that my brother is
happy, and has found peace of soul, and _that_ through thy sister!" "He
deserves all my peace," said he, with emotion; "but we will not disturb
the two, but go back the old way." For Rabette's tones were often cut
short, but it was uncertain whether by fear, or by kisses, or by

When they came in again through the eastern gate, the songstress and
Charles came out of the green portal to meet them, both with wet eyes.
Charles, stepping impetuously over living beds, and with wandering eyes,
grasped a hand of both with his, and said, "This is, for once in this
rainy world, a day which does not look like a night. Brother, but when
one is so deeply blest, and catches the music of the spheres, the tones
are such as were once heard in token that from Mark Antony his patron
deity, Hercules, was departing." Thus are joys, like other jewels,
mechanical poisons, which only in the distance shine, but, when touched
and swallowed, eat into us. But Albano replied, smiling, "Since thou now
fearest, dear friend, thou hast nothing to fear; for thou art not
perfectly happy. I, however, alas! fear nothing." "Bravo!" said Charles;
"now go into your kitchen, maiden!" He went into the so-called "Temple
of Dreams," but soon hastened after her into the forbidden kitchen.

Albano visited Liana's spring chamber. Here he painted to himself from
memory that bright Sunday when Liana led him through Lilar, and he let
the past soothingly glimmer into the present; but the latter overpowered
the former with its beams. Out in the garden stood and shone, so it
seemed to him, the pure pillars of his heaven, the supporters of his
temple, the trees; and all that he here saw near him belonged again to
his happiness, Liana's books and pictures and flowers, and every little
mark of her tender hand.

At last the saint of the Rotunda herself--suffused with a virgin blush
at this nearness and at his blushing--stepped in, to take him away into
the cool dining-room. It was small and dusky, but the heart needs not
for its heaven much space nor many stars therein, if only the star of
love has arisen. To the table-talk,--whereby alone an eating becomes a
human one,--and to the jokes,--the finest _entremets_, the powdered
sugar of conversation,--the children contributed their share, especially
as they, unqualified to ascend from the forbidden _thou_ to _you_,
always used thou-you at once. The deeply-red Chariton made extracts from
Dian's letters and from the history of her life, and from the surgeon's
bulletins in relation to Pollux's broken arm; she sought to extol the
snow-balls, listened with a half-credulous, half-cunning look to the
Captain, who spun out the sportive marriage-thou toward Rabette into
five acts, and smiled with pleasure just where it was required.
Especially did that music-barrel of all souls, Charles, spin joyously
round; that Jupiter, around whom the eclipses of so many satellites were
always flying, could show a great, serene splendor, when he and others
wished. As often as Albano, according to the old way, would not come to
his tragedy, he drew up the curtain of a comedy. To the good Rabette a
word was as good as a look from him, although she only returned the
latter, so as neither to fall into the _Thou_ nor into the _You_.
Albano, knit with ears and eyes to one soul, could not produce with his
lips much more than a smile of bliss; he could more easily have made a
hymn than a _bon-mot_, a grace at meat than a dinner speech. For his
Liana was to-day too affectionate, so contentedly and exhilaratingly did
the sweet maiden look round with such hearty play, acting the chatty,
bantering hostess, that a man who saw it and thought of her firm
death-belief, would only have been so much the more deeply affected by
this dance around the grave with flowers on the head, though he should
remark--or rather for the very reason of his remarking--that she was
here merely carrying on a joke with jocoseness itself for the
sake--according to her new moral funeral arrangement--of sweetening for
her beloved every parting-hour, as well the next as the last of all. But
this was hard to perceive, because in female souls every show easily
becomes reality, whether it be a sad or a gay one.

How happy was her friend and every good being to think that the saint
pronounced herself blest! And then she became, in turn, still more so.
Thus does the radiance of joy dart to and fro between sympathizing
hearts, as between two mirrors, in growing multiplication, and grows
without end.

72. CYCLE.

The hour of departure came rolling on with swifter and swifter wheels;
more constellations of joy went down than came up. Thus do the blooming
vineyards of life always grow green on the ups and downs of a
mountainous way, never on a smooth plain. The two lovers needed quiet
now, not walks. They took the nearest, the path to the thunder-house.
They stepped into the glimmering vesper-grounds as into a new land; at
mid-day man is awakened from one dream after another, and has always
forgotten and sees things always new. In Albano the golden splendor of
the strings of joy still lingered under the declining sun; he told her
gladly, how often he would visit her at her parents', and how he
certainly hoped to find them friendly. Liana, as a daughter and a lover,
retouched all his hopes with her own. But now she let her hitherto light
heart, which had been rocking itself on the flowers of sport, sink back
upon the solid ground of earnest.

When there is peace and fulness in a man, he wishes not to enjoy
anything else but himself; every motion, even of the body, jostles the
full nectar-cup. They hastened out of the loud, lively garden into the
still, dark thunder-house. But when, as if parted from the world, which
lay out around the windows, brightly glistening and far receding, they
stood alone together in the little twilight, and looked upon each
other,--and when Albano's soul became like a sun-drunken mountain at
evening, light, warm, firm, and fair, and Liana's soul like an
up-gushing spring on the mountain, which glides away purely bright and
cool and hidden, and only under the touch of the evening-beam glows in
rosy redness,--and now that these souls had just found each other in the
wide, unharmonious world,--then did a mighty joy thrill through them
like a prayer, and they cast themselves upon each other's hearts, and
glowed and wept and looked upon each other exaltedly in the
embrace;--and, on the Æolian-harp, suddenly the folding doors of an
inspired concert-hall flew open, and outswelling harmonies floated by,
and suddenly again the gates shut to.

They seated themselves at the breezy eastern window, before which the
mountains of Blumenbühl and Lilar's hills and paths lay in the sunlight.
Around them was evening shade, and all was still, and the Æolian-harp
breathed low. They only looked at each other, and felt joy to their
innermost being that they loved and possessed each other. How
ecstatically did they look, from the protection of this citadel, down
into the sounding, stirring world! Down below the wind blew the blaze of
poppies and tulips far and wide, and in among the heavy, yellow harvest.
The silver-poplars, wearing eternal May-snow, fluttered with uptossing
splendor; a flock of pigeons went rustling away, and dipped into the
blue; and overhead, amid flying clouds, stood those round temples of
God, the mountains, in rows, beside each other, bearing alternate nights
and days; and the pious father stood alone on his hill, and handed his
roe tender branches.

"Thus may we ever remain!" said Albano, and pressed her dear hand with
both of his to his heart. "Here and hereafter!" said she. "Albano, how
often have I wished thou wert at the same time my female friend, that I
might speak with thee of thyself! Who on the earth knows how I esteem
thee, except myself alone?" "Here and hereafter? Liana, I am happier
than thou, for I alone believe in our _long_ life here," said he, all at
once changed.

Whatever, now, may have been the reason,--whether that man is not at all
accustomed to be happy in a pure present, severed from all future and
past, because his inner heaven, like the natural one, directly over his
head and close to him, always looks dark-blue, and only round about the
distant horizon radiant; or that there is a bliss so tender and
unearthly as, like the moonshine, to be made too dark by every passing
cloud, whereas a sturdy one, like daylight, can bear the broadest; or
that Albano was too much like men who always in joy feel their powers so
strongly that they would rather kick over the table of the gods than see
a dish or a loaf of the heavenly bread less thereupon, rather be
perfectly miserable than not perfectly happy;--suffice it, he could not
and would not be guilty of longer fear and concealment.

So, when Liana, instead of answering, only embraced him, and was silent,
because she meant to remain the whole day true to her promise not to
dash the festal tapestry of fair days with a shade of mourning-cloth,
then, as if urged on by a strange spirit, he spoke out: "Thou answerest
nothing? Only joys, not sorrows, shall I share? Thou hast not thy veil?
Wilt thou spare _me_ as a weakling? and thee alone shall thy
death-belief continue to oppress? Liana, I will have pangs, too, and all
thine,--tell all!"

"Truly, I only meant to keep my promise," said she, "and no more. But
what then shall I say to thee, dear?"

"Dost thou believe, then, that thou art certainly to die after a year,
superstitious one?--heavenly one!" said he.

"In so far as it is God's will, certainly," said she. "O my good Albano,
how can I help my belief, much as it pains thee too?" And here she could
no longer restrain her tears, and all the crucifixes of memory started
up alive in the fair soul, and bled intensely.

"God's will?" asked he. "Quite as well might he at this moment
precipitate a winter as an iceberg, into this happy summer. God?" he
repeated, looked up, knelt down, and prayed, "O thou all-loving God--But
thou shalt not die to me!" He turned, as if in anger, towards her,
incapable of continuing his prayer, for the cry of his heart, and wiping
hastily with both hands over his moist face. Now he prayed on, with a
soft, trembling voice: "No, thou all-loving One! kill not this fair,
young life! Leave us together long in purity and in peace."

She knelt involuntarily at his side;--to-day more exhausted with
pleasures and unknown inner victories, even with long walking, so much
the more intensely struck by a moving reality that she had been spoiled
and softened by moving fancies, and inexpressibly afflicted at Albano's
sorrow;--she could not speak; her head and neck bowed, as under a
burden suddenly laid upon them; and thus, as one heavily overclouded by
a whole life, she looked down upon the floor. The embracing death-flood
sounded with one arm around her; then did she see, without looking up,
her Caroline pass by somewhere in bridal dress, and with the white,
gold-spangled veil trailing along far over life; and she saw clearly how
the celestial shape, when Albano begged for her life, shook its head
slowly to and fro. "Cease to pray!" she cried, inconsolably. "But listen
to me, thou cold apparition, and only make _him_ happy!" she prayed, but
she saw nothing more; and, with inexpressible love, she hid her face,
marked all over with the lines of agony, upon his breast.

Here her brother called up, that the carriage was ready. She threw down
a quick, thin-voiced "Yes." "Must we part?" asked Albano; the fiery rain
of ecstasy had now fallen back into his open soul, in the shape of a
darker rain of ashes; and so he went on without any bounds to his
anguish. "Then have we seen each other for the last time?" and under the
closed eyelid his noble eye wept.

"No! in the name of the All-gracious, no!" said she, and rose to go.
"Stay!" said he, and she staid, and embraced him again. "But do not
accompany me!" she entreated. "Not!" said he, and held her for some time
as she withdrew, by the tips of the fingers; it pained him so much, when
he saw the sufferings which had been brought upon this still form, that
these white wings of innocence had beaten themselves bloody against his
cliffs and mountain-horns. He drew her again to himself, ere he let her
and his salvation go from him. He looked after her as she slowly stole
down along the sunny mountain, drying her eyes under the twigs, and
went with bowed head along all the gay, blooming paths of the forenoon's
walk. But he gazed not after, when her carriage rolled away across the
joyous wood; he stood at the eastern window, and saw his childhood's
mountains tremble, because he had forgotten to dry his eyes.


[180] The Titan was originally divided into four volumes.--TR.

[181] A musical term, meaning the compensation made by
transferring to imperfect concords part of the beauty of the
perfect ones.--TR.

[182] Every partial development of course works well for the
whole; but only for this reason, because its opposite partial one
balances it in a higher equation and sum total, so that all
individual men are only the limbs of a single giant, such as the
Swedenborgian _man_ is. But in so far as, in one individual, a
want arises which helps out an opposite one in another,--so that
the road of humanity plagues and trips equally much by hills and
by hollows,--it will be seen that every one-sided fulness is,
only a cure of the times, not their health; and that the higher
law is, after all, a culture slower in the individual, but still
harmonious; less in amount, indeed, but impartial, and thereby,
in the long run, even more rapid. We always forget that--as in
mechanics power and time are mutual supplements--eternity is the
infinite power.

[183] According to Borreux, the engineer, literally only every
thousandth shot from small-arms hits. So is it in all cases; fear
death, and then there stand flower-pots ready to fall from
chamber-windows, lightnings from the blue sky, air-guns going
off, polypuses in the heart, mad dogs, robbers, every gash in the
finger, _aqua toffana_, proud flesh, &c., in short, all
nature--that ever-going, crushing cochineal-mill--stands with
innumerable open scissors of fate round about thee, and thou hast
no consolation, save this, that--nevertheless people grow eighty
years old. Fear impoverishment: then fire, flood, famine, and
war, banditti and revolutions, set upon thee with greedy claws
and fangs; and yet, thou rich man! the poor man--creeping along
under the same birds of prey--becomes at last as rich as thou.
March, therefore, boldly through the slumbering lion-herd of
dangers, lying on the right and left, and go up to the fountain,
only do not wantonly wake them up; of course a hell-god drags
down individuals who feared nothing; but so, too, does a higher
God draw up individuals who expected nothing; and fear and hope
are swallowed in one common night.

[184] Titan, 13. Cycle.

[185] At the court of King Olaus, the royal youth Olo, dressed as
a peasant, offered himself as a champion of the daughter against
robbers. Then did the fire of the eyes and nobleness of form tell
as proof of a high descent; thus did Suanhita, for example,
recognize King Regner in a herdsman's guise by the beauty of his
eye and face. The king's daughter looked searchingly into Olo's
flaming eye, and came near swooning; she essayed a second look,
and was senseless; and at the third, swooned. The divine youth
therefore cast his eyelids down but uncovered his brow and his
golden hair and the signs of his rank. See "The German and his
Native Land," by Rosenthal and Karg, Vol. I. pp. 166, 167.

[186] For what we call light is only an intenser white. No one
sees, by night, the luminous stream which rushes upward along by
the earth, pouring from the sun upon the full moon.

[187] This warmer, tenderer, more timid, ever-praised sex, living
more in the opinion of others than in its own, is poisonously
pierced by a reproach which only pricks _us_ so as to draw a
little blood, as noxious beasts, in warm countries and months,
poison, and in cold ones only wound. Therefore let the girls'
schoolmaster consider that a dose which is satire upon the
boy--who, besides, must withstand opinion--becomes a lampoon,
when it lights upon his sister.

[188] Poetic name for May.--TR.

[189] In which were always enclosed letters from Liana to Albano.
Let every one see here, by two examples, how on the harmonica of
love a brother must stand in front as key-bank for the sister,
who would reach the bells. There should, therefore, always be a
couple of couples, diametrically connected in sisterhood and

[190] "Such a character," writes Hafenreffer in this connection,
"were desirable for romancing Kotzebues, for they, as he always
will, according to his nature, create and raise the dignity of
the situation by the accidental place thereof, might, under the
cloak of his personality, humor entirely their own and disguise
the weakness of the poet under the weakness of the hero."
Methinks this is, so far as a biographer of romancers can decide,
very striking.

[191] Tiring-women.--TR.



73. CYCLE.

Clouds like these last consisted with Albano less of falling drops than
of settling dust. His life was yet a hothouse, and stood therefore
toward the sunny side. Every day brought a new apology for the absent
sweetheart, till at last she needed one no longer. But still he gave to
every day its letter of indulgence for her silence; by and by they grew
into letters of respite (moratories); finally, when she never let
anything at all be heard or read from her; then he began to re-examine
the afore-said apologies, and strike out many things therein.

Quite as little could he find for himself, or for a note, a way of
access to her. Even the Captain had been gone for some days on a journey
to Haarhaar. With faint hands he held the heavy, drained cup of joy,
which, when empty, weighs the heaviest. The wild hypotheses which man in
such a case trots[192] through him--as in this, for instance, that of
Liana's being sick, having caught cold, her imprisonment, absence on a
journey--are, in their alternation and value, to be compared with
nothing, except with the quite as great wildness and number of the
plans which he enlists and dismisses,--that of abduction, of hate, of a
duel, of despair.

The terrible motionless time had no gnomon on its dial-plate. He stood
as near his fate as man does to his dreams, without being able to
recognize or prepare for its form, any more than one can for that which
dreams will take. He went often into the city, through all whose streets
there was riding, running, and driving, because they were about bringing
and nailing together the beams for the grandest throne-scaffolding, on
which the princely bride at her introductory compliment in the land,
might look round the farthest; but he heard nothing there of his own
bride, except that she quite often visited the picture-gallery with the

Hereby two distressing hypotheses, that of her sickness, and that of her
being at war with her family, seemed to lose their stings. The best,
though the hardest thing was, to go straight to the Minister, as to
Vesuvius, in order there to have the fairest prospect. He visited the
Vesuvius. In fact this volcano was never more still and green. He asked
after everything, and expressed himself upon much which immediately
concerned the marriage festival; nor did he seek to conceal his hopes
and wishes that the Count would help welcome the admirable bride.

At last the latter, too, must venture to unfold _his_ hopes and wishes
about the ladies. The Minister replied, with uncommon pleasantness, that
the two had just carried back the "charming Mademoiselle von Wehrfritz"
to Blumenbühl; and indulged himself forthwith in a eulogium of that
"unsophisticated nature." Albano soon took his leave, but much happier
than when he came. A few street-lamps[193] certainly were now burning on
his path.

But in the morning he fell into a little obscure alley, where there was
not a single one; in other words, Rabette, the little reindeer, came
running to Lilar, as she yesterday had to Pestitz,--for what is a race
of a mile to a country-girl, else than a simple _Allemande_?[194]--and
shook and shook her heart before him, even to its very ears, but nothing
fell out of it except pleasant images, a few heavens, a complete
wedding-day, a couple of parents-in-law, and a Captain's wife. "The
Minister had been so courteous toward me, but--the mother afterward
still more so toward my parents; and they have mentioned and praised the
Captain so much,--in short, they of course know all, my glorious,
heartily-loved brother!" said she,--but of Liana she had nothing to
bring to her glorious brother, except a bill of her health; her joyous
eye had not turned toward any dark region whatever. "We were not alone a
minute, that is the reason of it," she added, and came again upon the
subject of her Captain, whom the Minister had sent out on the Haarhaar
road, as chief marshal of the escort of the Princess; yet she referred
him to the illumination night in Lilar, when she and Liana, and the
parents on both sides, had arranged to be there. Thou good creature! who
is so cruel as to begrudge thee the glittering ring of joy, which thou
contemplatest on thy brown and hard-boiled hand, and who does not fondly
wish that its stones may never fall out?

Soon after, the brother of the past festivals flew to the heart of the
deserted one,--Charles. He repeated almost exactly Rabette's deposition,
although not her rapture; he said,--but without special emotion,--that
his father actually threw him the brotherly hand kiss through several
rooms, distinguished and designated him quite particularly, and kindly
made use of him for business purposes; and all this merely since he had
become acquainted with his love for Rabette, and the silent assent of
the parents; for with his father, though the heart was of no account,
yet Rabette's fief was, especially as one could not trust, with all the
romantic stock-jobbing of his heart, that he would not himself one day
realize the poorest result.

With a sighing breast, which would gladly have imparted more to an
expecting one, Charles merely related that he had found Liana well and
quiet, but not alone for one minute. The association of another's want
with his own open, rich fortune was, so Albano believed, the fair,
tender reason why Charles glided with such cool, fleeting pleasure over
the parental benediction of his soul's bond. O, how he loved him at this
moment! Could he have loved him ever so much more, he would have done
it, though Liana had been actually lost to the sum of his happiness,
merely to show himself and him that holy friendship wants no third heart
in order to love a second.

This cloud of silence lay fixed for weeks, and grew more and more dark
around his fairest heights; and the guiltless one went round and round
through the darkness in a circle of contradictions. How must this youth
have harassed himself when he thought, as he soon did, that the parents
would, in all probability, reject an alliance with him, as he, indeed,
thought himself obliged rather to forget than to reciprocate their
advances, and that they might sacrifice two hearts to political
heartlessness; or when he let fall upon the innocent Liana the suspicion
of giving way before parental assaults, which suspicion received
reinforcement from the past through the conjecture that she had
embraced him rather in poetical enthusiasm and from goodness, and more
with wings than with arms, and that, in fact, accustomed to such long
submissions, she could hardly distinguish sacrifices and inclinations,
and might take one for the other; or when, as he soon and oftenest did,
he turned the point of all these weapons against his own breast, and
asked himself why he had such a firm confidence in friendship, and such
a wavering one in love. Then this reproach led him to a second, upon
every previous one, which he had cast upon the good soul merely for the
sake, according to the proselyting system and reforming mania which men
exercise more upon their wives than upon their friends, of melting her
down for his own mould. This last he might rue; as Holberg[195] observes
that men do not keep estates so well as women, because the former are
always wanting to improve them more than the latter; on the same ground,
also, lovers spoil women more than these do them.

For the sake merely of getting more expeditiously from the tedious
tribunal of the future his sentence of death, or a more agreeable
document, he went again to the ministerial house. He was again smilingly
received by the Minister, and seriously by the mother; and, in reply to
his question, Liana was not quite well. He laid before old Schoppe (who
now pressed his friendship upon him more warmly, and who, for some time
near the dissecting-knife of the Doctor, had not studied any other heart
than that which was to be spattered to pieces and prepared) a short
question about the Doctor's visits at the Minister's. How was he
astonished when he heard that no one out of the house any longer made
any visits to it, (while Liana, quite blooming, went into all circles,)
except merely the Lector, who made very frequent ones!

He well comprehended that only the Medusa's-heads of the parents could
turn the softest heart into stone against him; but even this he found
not right. He boldly demanded that she should love him more than her
parents, "not from egotism," said he to himself, "not on my account, but
on her own." A lover wishes a great, indescribable love, of which he
thinks himself always only the accidental and unworthy object, merely
for the sake of tendering the highest himself.

Even the silent Lector, who generally placed all newly rising lights
behind light-shades and fire-screens, communicated unbidden to the Count
the novel tidings that Liana would be, under the administration of the
coming Princess, something--[196]maid of honor. His old jealous
suspicion of Augusti's wishes or relations allowed him no answer to

Now his spirit manned itself, and he wrote straight to the soul that
belonged to him, and sent the letter to her brother for delivery. The
latter came the next day, but seemed to him not to have any answer yet,
because he would otherwise have given it with the first greeting.
Charles introduced him to the Haarhaar court, where he had lately been;
said every nerve there had on jack-boots, and every heart a
hoop-petticoat; then went on to eulogize the youngest, but most
unpopular Princess, _Idoine_; declared she possessed, in addition to all
her other advantages,--for instance, purity, kindness, decision of
character, which even on the throne selects for itself its own lot and
life,--the further grace of amiableness, since even the princely bride,
who loved no one else, hung upon her heart, and--last, not least--the
advantage of a very deceptive similarity to Liana.

"Has Liana received my letter yet?" asked Albano. Charles handed it back
to him. "By Heaven!" said he, ardently, and yet ambiguously, "I could
not get it to her just now. But, brother, canst thou believe, only for
one minute, that she does not remain forever most thine?" "I do not
believe anything at all!" said Albano, offended, and tore his leaf on
the spot into little bits no bigger than the letters. "Only _we_ will,"
he continued, with a tone of emotion, "remain, as we are, firm as iron,
and flexible as iron when it comes out of the furnace." The deeply
touched friend sought to console him with the following: "Only wait, I
pray, the illumination evening;[197] then she will speak with thee. She
must certainly appear, and thou wilt wonder in what character, and for
whom." He nodded silently; he easily gathered her part from her
resemblance to Idoine, and from her expected office at court. But what
help was it to his fortune?

With the return of his note, which he despatched against his pride, that
same pride came back in renewed strength. Now was a hot seal stamped on
Albano's bleeding lip; he had now nothing for and before him, except
time, which was now his poison, and would by and by, as he hoped, be his
antidote. Nothing was ever master over his sense of honor, when it was
once roused. He could look forward to a scaffold on which blood spurted
out, but he could not look upon a pillory where, under the heavy,
poisonous, murderous pain of scorn and self-contempt, a downcast,
distracted face hung on the sinful breast.

Charles sometimes approached with a few lights the long night-like
riddle; but Albano, however much he wished them, staggered him by
opposition, and sought not even to hear him, much less to ask him
questions. So he lay on hard, youthful, thorny rose-buds, which a single
hour can open into tender roses. Victories beget victories, as defeats
do defeats; he found now, if not a complete relief from the emotions
which besieged him, nevertheless a mountain-fortification against them,
provisioned for a little eternity, in the shape of an astronomical
observatory. With an entire and firmly collected soul he threw himself
upon theoretical astronomy, in order not to see daylight, and upon
practical astronomy in order not to see night. The watch-tower stood
indeed upon a mountain intermediate between the city and Blumenbühl, and
commanded a view of both; but he cast his eyes only upon the
constellations, not upon those rosy-red spots of the earth, where they
now could have sucked out of the cold flower-cups only water instead of
honey. Thus amid the festive preparations in Lilar did he go armed to
meet the long delaying evening when the presence of the fairest soul
should either bless or destroy him, vainly looking from time to time at
the distant telegraph of his destiny, which was constantly moving,
uncertain whether with peaceful or hostile significance.

74. CYCLE.

To remove the seals from the enrolled acts of the foregoing history for
the purpose of looking into it,--or to push back the blinds and shove up
the windows of the same,--or to uncover so many covered ways and
vehicles,--or, in fine, the whole matter,--all that is mere
metaphors,--and the most inappropriate ones, too,--which cannot serve
any other purpose than only to hold off still longer and more tediously
the long-expected solution, which they would fain describe; much rather
and better, methinks, will the whole war and peace position in the
ministerial palace be at once freely laid bare as follows:--

Herr Von Froulay had, as has been already mentioned, come home from
Haarhaar with a _Belle-vue_ in his face, and with a _mon-plaisir_ in his
heart (provided these tropes do not seem more elaborate than exquisite).
He told his lady openly, what had hitherto detained and enchanted him so
long,--the future Princess, who had conceived for him a more than
ordinary fancy. He threw a full, glorifying light on her enriched
understanding,--he never praised anything beyond this in
ladies,[198]--as well as a faint streak of shade upon his own _her's_;
and pronounced himself fortunate in the possession of a person whose
fine, persistent coquetry (he said) he for his part could recommend as a
model, and whose attachment he, in fact, (that he pretended not to
conceal,) reciprocated half-way, but only half-way, for it was perfectly
true, what the Duke of Lauzun[199] asserted: in order to keep the love
of Princesses, one must just hold them in right hard and short. In the
old man accordingly there shoots up, as we see, quite late,--not unlike
the case of fresh teeth,--which oftentimes old men do not cut till they
are nonagenarians,--a lover's heart beneath the star; only it is more to
be wished than hoped, he will especially play the ridiculous in the
matter. For as he all the week long holds the helm of state, either on
the rower's bench, to keep it in motion, or on the cabinet-maker's
bench, to trim it down into a fine and light shape for the Prince; the
consequence is, he is so tired when Saturday comes, that no Virgil and
no tempest could persuade him--and though his feet had not more steps to
take for the purpose than the number of feet in Virgil's hexameter, or
of commandments in the Decalogue of Moses--to accompany a Dido out of
the storm into the nearest cave. He does no such thing. He remains quite
as free from sentimental and pathetic love as from sensual, especially
as he apprehends that the former would in the end entangle him in the
latter, because like a minor-tone it has quite a different returning
scale from its ascending one. The ironical and stinging element in the
man made every marriage--even that of souls--to him as well as to other
world's people as disagreeable in the end as the spines of the hedgehogs
make theirs. He lays up, therefore, in the future for the Princess only
a cold, politic, coquettish, courtly love, such as she herself haply
has, and such as he has occasion for, in order less to gain her than to
gain from her, and to gain first of all the entire Prince. I promise
myself cosmopolitan readers, who, I hope, find no offence to this
personage in Froulay's partiality for his lady; for so soon as the
court-preacher has but once laid his joining hand on the Princess, then
has this house-steward made, as it were, the cut in the pea-hen,[200]
and she can then be taken off untouched, and be feasted on in other

I have already (in the second volume) intimated the anxiety of the
Minister's lady lest the Minister, if he should (in this volume) come
back and not find Liana at home, should chafe; but, contrary to
expectation, he approved; her use of the country air-bath fell in
exactly with his design of sending her into the vapor-bath of the court
atmosphere. He told her mother that it by no means displeased him that
she should now be entirely well, since the new Princess would select her
for her maid of honor, whenever he should say the word. He could not for
three minutes see a sceptre or a sceptrelet lying by him without proving
its polarity for himself, and either attracting or repelling something
with it. As the famous theologian, Spener,--a predecessor of our
Spener,--prayed to God so beautifully thrice a day for his friends, one
finds with similar pleasure that the courtier daily prays a little for
his friends before his god, the Prince, and seeks to obtain something.

The Minister's lady, never opposing his changeable plans in the sketch,
but only in the execution, easily became reconciled with his latest one,
because it at least seemed rather to stand in no auxiliary relation to
the old one of the bethrothal to Bouverot.

One evening, unfortunately, the fatal, anxious Lector--who pasted the
smallest visiting-card to a Fulda's historic chart--arrived in her
presence with his packet-ship, and came ashore having under his two arms
the state and imperial advertisements of her two children; he had one of
them under each; and yet why do I fly out upon the man? Could a
double-romance, especially when played in the open air, remain better
concealed than a single one?

Her astonishment can be compared with the greater astonishment of her
husband, who happened to have just been screwing on in the third chamber
his tin ear,--made by Schropp of Magdeburg,--in order to listen to the
servants, and who now caught a number of things. Nevertheless, the
double-ear, with the broad meshes of its nocturnal lark-net, had only
fished up from Augusti's low, whispering, courtly lips single, long,
proper names,--such as Roquairol and Zesara. Hardly had the soft-spoken
Lector gone out, when he stepped gayly into the chamber, with his ear in
his hand, and demanded of her a report of the reports. He held
it beneath his dignity either to patch up or disguise his
suspicion,--which, even in the friendliest and gayest mood, would never
shut its Argus ears and eyes,--or to dissemble his eavesdropping, with
so much as a syllable or a blush of shame; the fair lilies of the most
colorless impudence were not painted, but branded on him. The Minister's
lady immediately seized upon the female expedient, of telling the
truth--half-way; namely, the agreeable truth of Roquairol's
well-received advances at the house of Wehrfritz, whose estate and
provincial directorship had been cast into a very fitting shape for a
father-in-law. Meanwhile the Minister had seen in his lady's face the
mourning-border around this pleasant notification-document, far too
clearly and broadly not to inquire about that prominent word "Zesara,"
which his delicate tin searcher had also caught up, but he inquired in
vain; for the mother held her good daughter too dear to set this wolf on
the scent for her into her Eden; she hoped to get her out of it in a
gentler way, by a divine voice and angels; and so evaded his question.

But the wolf now ran farther on in his track; he got the gout in his
stomach,--so it was reported to Dr. Sphex,--demanded of him speedy aid,
and also some intelligence of his tenant, the Count. Doctor and Madam
Sphex had already a grudge against the inflated youth; through their
four juvenile envoys, as _enfans perdus_ in every sense, as four
hearing-organs of every city rumor, much might be brought in on
advice-yachts from Blumenbühl and Lilar. In short, the auricular organs
fitted in so well to those of others, that Froulay, in a few days, was
in a situation to ask, with his lily brow, the Greek woman for a letter
to his son, which he offered to take along with him.

He found one, which he broke open with great joy, without, however,
finding anything therein from Albano's or Liana's hand, but only some
stupid allusion of Rabette to that couple, which, to the Minister, were
as much as if, with his sharp exciseman's-probes, he had bored into
Liana's heart and lighted upon contraband there. Without any long,
slavish copying of the former seal, he set a second upon the letter, and
went away enlightened by it.

We can all follow him, when we have detained ourselves only a few
minutes for his justification, with my

_Apology and Defence[201] in the Matter of the Second Seal upon Letters
in State Affairs._

Whether the examination of other people's letters pertains to old
Froulay as minister or father,--(although the latter presupposes the
former, the father of the country implying every other father and his
own too,)--I will not decide, except by the parenthesis just inserted.
The state which tackles on the post-horses before letters has, it
should seem, the right to examine more narrowly, under the closed visor
of the seal, these not so much _blind_ as blinding _passengers_,[202] in
order to know whether it is not using its horses in the service of its
enemies. The state, an ever-drawing light-magnet, means certainly only
to have light in the case, and particularly light upon all light in
general; it requires only the naked truth, without cover or covering.
All that rides and fares through its gates must, though it were dressed
in a surtout, just open its _red_ mouth, and say what name and business.

As the common soldier must first show his letters to his officer, the
garrison-soldier of the Bastile to the governor, the monk his to the
prior, the American colonist his to the Dutchman,[203]--in order that he
may burn them up, if they find fault with him,--so, surely, can no
statesman, whether he regards the state as a barrack, or as an
Engelsburg, or as a _monasterium duplex_, or as a _European possession
in Europe_, deny it the right to keep all its letters as open as bills
of lading, patents of nobility, bills of sale, and apostolic epistles
are. The only mistake is, that it does not get hold of the letters
before they are enveloped and sealed. That is immoral enough; for it
necessitates the government to open and shut,--to draw the letter out of
the case, and put it back again, as the cook with pains turns the snail
out of his shell, and then, when he is once taken off from the fire,
shoves him back again into it, to serve him up therein.

This last is the point of the compass and cardinal wind which is to
guide us onward; for universally acknowledged as it is, just as custom
and observance are, that the government, on the same ground on which it
opens the _last_ will, must have the power to unseal also the last but
one, and the one before that, and finally the very first, before its
heir can do it, and that a prince must be able still more readily to
bring servants' letters into the same deciphering chancery (and into
their antechamber, the unsealing chamber), wherein the letters of
princes and legates fly open before the caper-spurge,[204] nevertheless
the cork-drawing of letters,--the joint seal, the vicariate seal, the
laborious imitation of the L. S., or _loco sigilli_,--all this is
something very annoying and almost detestable; out of the wrong a right
must therefore be made by constitutional repetition.

Something of the kind might be brought about, I flatter myself, if it
were commanded to write letters only on stamp-paper. An inspecting and
stamping office appointed for that purpose would then read everything
over beforehand.

Or one might prohibit in future all private seals, just as they do
mint-stamps for private coin. A seal-department would then interfere,
with full rights, and seal up, as they now do the legacies of the
deceased, so in that case those of the living.

Or--which is perhaps preferable--an epistolary _censorship_ must
commence. Unprinted newspapers, _nouvelles à la main_,[205]--that is,
letters,--can never, inasmuch as they divulge still greater mysteries,
demand a greater freedom of censorship than printed newspapers;
especially as every letter, now-a-days, so easily becomes a circular,
going everywhere. A catalogue of prohibited letters (_index
expurgandarum_) would always be, in that case, a _word to

Or let the postmasters be put under oath that they will be faithful
referendaries of whatever they find weighty or considerable in the
letters, which, before despatching, they have laid in the mental
letter-balance, and closed again, with the hope, according to the
Leibnitzian principle of the non-distinguishable seal, of speeding them
far and wide.

If the State finds all these ways of reading and closing letters new and
difficult, then it may go on in its own way--of opening them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Froulay flew, laughing, to his lady, and assured her her falsehood
towards him was no news to him at all. Her present plan, merely to work
against Herr von Bouverot and himself, he understood full well. Hence it
was that Rabette had had to come in, and the daughter to go out.
Meanwhile he would show the hypocrite and bigot, or whoever it might be,
that she had not merely a mother, but a father too. "She must
immediately come home; _je la ferai damer,[206] mais sans vous et sans
M. le Compte_," he concluded, with an allusion to the office of

But the Minister's lady began, in accordance with her vehement contempt
of his projects and powers, with that coldness which would have more
exasperated every ardent one than this cold one, to say to him that she
must needs disapprove and oppose Liana's and the Count's love still more
than he did; that she had merely, in an excessive and otherwise never
disappointed confidence in Liana's openness of soul, believed her rather
than herself, and, notwithstanding so many signs of Albano's partiality,
let her go to Blumenbühl; that she would, however, give him her word on
the spot to act with as much energy and spirit against the Count as
against the German gentleman, and that she was, as surely as she knew
Liana, almost certain of the easiest and happiest result.

Of course this was unexpected to him and--incredible, especially after
the previous concealment; only the finest man's soul distinguishes in
the female the blending boundaries of self-deception and wilful
delusion, weakness and deceit, accident and intent; besides, the
Minister's lady was one of those women whom one must first love in order
to know them, a case which is generally reversed. He readily accepted on
the one hand the confession of her agreement and co-operation,--merely
for the sake, hereafter, of turning it as a weapon against her;--but he
could not conceal, on the other hand, that _there again_ (that was
always his phrase) she had, according to her own confession, neglected
to watch over her children from a want of jealousy. He retained the
habit, when an open-hearted soul showed him its breaches, of marching in
upon it through those breaches, as if he himself had made them. The
penitent who knelt before him for forgiveness he would crush still
lower, and instead of the key of absolution draw forth the hammer of the

I owe it here to the Spaniards, who will one day become acquainted with
me through miserable translations,[207] and to the Austrian knighthood
of the Golden Fleece, who perhaps read the original in a counterfeit
edition, to assign the reasons why the house of Froulay did not bespeak
feasts of joy--instead of court-mourning--on the occasion of these
advances by a son of their order, a Spanish Grandee, who often lays upon
himself a German princely sceptre as a yardstick to measure himself
withal. For every Spaniard must have hitherto wondered about this.

I answer every nation. The Froulays had, in the first place, nothing
against the union except the--certainty of separation; since on the same
ground, which the Knights of the Fleece and the Spaniards have opposed
to me, old Gaspard de Zesara can in no wise suffer a bridge to be thrown
over from his Gothard to the Jungfrau [virgin]. Secondly, on this very
ground the Minister could oppose to this romantic love a much older,
wiser, which he bore toward the German gentleman and his moneys and
_liaisons_, as well as the old grudge of the Knight of the Fleece.
Thirdly, the Minister's lady had, beside these same grounds,--and
besides several in favor of the Lector, perhaps,--one quite decisive
one, and that was, she could not endure the Count; not merely and solely
for the reason that she discovered a painful similarity between him and
her son, and even husband, in pride, in excitability, in the
characteristic fierceness of genius against poor married women, in want
of religious humility and devoutness; but the principal reason why she
could not well endure him was this: that she could not bear him. As the
system of Predestination sentences some men to hell, whether they
afterward deserve heaven or not, so a woman never takes back an enmity
to which she has once doomed any one, all that country and city, God,
time, and the individual's virtues may say to the contrary,

In the treaty of peace, concluding the usual chamber-war, the following
private articles were adjusted between the married couple: The Count
must be, on the Father's and Director's account, treated with the most
courtly consideration, and shoved aside,--and Liana gently and gradually
drawn away from Wehrfritz's house,--the whole dissolution of the
engagement must seem to happen of itself without parental interference,
merely through the breaking off of the daughter,--and the whole affair
remain a mystery. Froulay hoped to keep the whole interlude or episode
concealed from Liana's earlier-intended, the German gentleman,
particularly as he, just now, in August, was more at the card-tables of
the baths than at home.

So it stood; and into this cold, awful pass the friendly Liana moved on,
when on that warm living Sunday she left the blessed, open Lilar.
Refined and sanctified by joy,--for every Paradise was to her a
purifying Purgatory,--she came nobly to her mother's bosom, without
remarking the strange seriousness of the reception by reason of the
earnest warmth of her own. Her easy confession of the garden-company
opened the trying scene,--almost in the _coulisse_. For the mother, who
would fain have begun otherwise, had to mount the thunder-car at once,
in order to thunder and lighten against such incomprehensible
forgetfulness of female propriety; and yet she held in the
thunder-steeds in mid-career, in order to enjoin upon Liana immediately,
as the Minister might come any moment, a perfect silence on the subject
of to-day's garden-party. Now she cast the deepest strengthening shade
upon her previous mute falsehood towards a mother; for she arbitrarily
transposed in her story the sowing and blossoming time of this love,
even into the days preceding the journey to the country. How did the
warm soul shudder at the possibility of such an unkindness! She led her
mother as far as she could up along the pure, light pearl-brook of her
history and love, and told all that we know, but without giving much
satisfaction, because she left out precisely the main point; for, out of
forbearance toward her mother, she felt obliged to let the apparition of
Caroline, who in the beginning had been the image-stormer of her love
and then its inspiring muse and bride's-maid, together with the
death-certificate of the future, remain out of sight in the narration.

She held, with fervent pressure, her mother's hand amidst more and more
cheerful assurances, how she had always been disposed to tell her
everything; she thought hopingly, she needed to save nothing but her
_open_ heart. O thou hast more to save, thy warm, thy whole and living
heart! Her mother now, from old habit, half believing her, found fault
with nothing more than the whole affair, its impropriety, impossibility,
folly. "O good mother," said Liana, simply remaining tender under the
harsh picturing of the future Albano; "O he is not such, assuredly not!"
Quite as tenderly did she far overlook the darkly-sketched future
refusal of Don Gaspard, because to her faith the earth was only a
blooming grave-mound hanging in the ether. "Ah!" said she, meaning how
little time she was for this world, "our love is not so important!" Her
mother took this word and the whole gentleness of her resistance, as
preludes of an easy victory.

At this moment Albano's father-in-law came in with a kettle-drum,
alarm-bell, fire-drum, and rattlesnake, in his girdle, in order
therewith to make himself audible. First he inquired,--for he had been
listening in vain,--in a very exasperated manner, of the Minister's
lady, where she had stowed away his ear (it was the tin duplicate ear,
wherein, as in a Venetian lion's-head, all mysteries and accusations of
the whole service and family met); he said, he had a little occasion for
it just now, particularly since the newest "adventures of his worthy
daughter there." The Siamese physicians begin the healing of a patient
with treading upon him, which they call softening. In a similar manner
Froulay loved to soften, by way of moral pre-cure; and accordingly
began, with the above-mentioned speaking-machines in his girdle, to
declare his sentiments explicitly on the subject of degenerate children;
upon their arts and artifices; and upon intrigues behind fathers' backs
(so that no father can accompany a volume of love-poems with a prose
preface); backed up many points with the strongest political grounds,
which all had reference to himself and his interest, and wound up with a
little cursing.

Liana heard him calmly, as one already accustomed to such daily
returning equinoctial storm-bursts, without any other emotion, except
that she often raised her downcast eye pityingly upon him, out of tender
sympathy for the paternal dissatisfaction. In a calm he became loudest.
"You will see to it, madam," said he, "that to-morrow forenoon she sends
the Count what she has of his, together with a farewell, and notifies
him of her new office, as an easy excuse; thou art to be court-dame to
the reigning Princess, although thou didst not deserve that I should
labor for thee!"

"That is hard!" cried Liana, with breaking heart, falling upon her
mother. He supposed she meant the separation from Albano, not from her
mother, and asked, angrily: "Why?" "Father, I would so gladly," said
she, and turned only her face away from the embrace, "die near my
mother!" He laughed; but the Minister's lady herself shut to the
hell-gates upon the flames which he still would fain have vomited forth,
and assured him it was enough, Liana would certainly obey her parents,
and she herself would be surety for it. The preacher of the law came
down his pulpit-stairs with an audible ejaculation about a better
security, calling back, as he went, that his ear must be produced
to-morrow, and though he should have to search for it in all chests and

The mother kept silence now, and let her daughter softly weep on her
neck; to both, after this drought of the soul, the draught of love was
refreshment and medicine. They came out of each other's arms with
cheered spirits, but both with entirely delusive hopes.

75. CYCLE.

A hard, black morning; only the outward atmospheric morning was
dark-blue; there was nothing loud and stormy, except perchance the
swarms of bees in the linden-thicket; the heaven's ether seemed to
flutter away high over the stony streets, so as to settle down low in
the bright open Lilar upon all hill-tops and tree-tops, and, blue as
peacock's plumage, to play its hues over the twigs.

Liana found on her writing-table a billet, folded in large quarto,
wherein the Minister, ever-working, like a heart, sought even at this
early hour of the morning, before raising out of the public documents
for the several administration and exchequer counsellors the transient
tempests which were necessary to fruitfulness, to descend upon his
shuddering daughter with a cold morning rain-gust. In the decretal
letter referred to, he developed more in detail, upon a sheet and a half
what he had meant yesterday,--separation on the spot; and offered six
grounds of separation,--first, his uncongenial relation with the Knight
of the Fleece; secondly, her own and the Count's youth; thirdly, the
approaching place of court-dame; fourthly, that she was his daughter,
and this the first sacrifice to which he, her father, for all his
previous ones, had ever laid claim; fifthly, she might perceive, by his
indulgent "Yes," to the love of her brother, whose apparent improvement
he held out to her as a model, that he lived and cared only for the
welfare of his children; sixthly, he would send her to Fort * * * to his
brother, the commandant, in case she were refractory, by way of exiling,
punishing, and bringing her round; and neither weeping, nor falling at
feet, nor mother, nor hell should bend him; and he gave her three days'
time for reflection.

Mutely, and with wet eyes, she handed to her who had been hitherto her
comforter the heavy sheet. But the comforter had become a judge: "What
wilt thou do?" said the Minister's lady. "I will suffer," said Liana,
"in order that _he_ may not suffer; how could I so sorely sin against
him?" The mother, whether actually under the old notion of her easy
conversion, or from dissimulation, took that "He" for the father, and
asked: "Say'st thou nothing of me?" Liana blushed at the substitution,
and said: "Ah! poor me, I will not indeed be happy,--only true!" How had
she during this night prayingly lived and wept amidst the fearful wars
of all her inner angels! A love so guiltless, consecrated by her holy
friend in heaven,--a fidelity so exceedingly abridged by early death;
so sound-hearted a youth, shooting up with high, fruit-bearing summit
heavenward, whom not even ghostly voices could scare or allure out of
his faithful childhood's love toward her, insignificant one; the
everlasting discomfort and grief which he would experience at the first,
greatest lie against his heart; her short, straight path through life,
and the nearness of that cross-way, at which she should wish to throw
back,--not stones, but flowers upon the other pilgrims;--all these forms
took her by _one_ hand to draw her away from her mother, who called
after her with the words: "See how ungratefully thou art going from me,
and I have so long suffered and toiled for thee!" Then came Liana back
again out of the dusky, warm rose-vale of love into the dry, flat
earth-surface of a life, wherein nothing breaks the monotony save her
last mound. O how imploringly did she look up to the stars, to see
whether they did not move as the eyes of her Caroline, and tell her
_how_ she must sacrifice herself, whether for her lover or for her
parents; but the stars stood friendly, cold, and still in the steadfast

But, when the morning sun again beamed upon her heart, it beat
hopefully, newly strengthened with the resolution to endure this day for
Albano full many sorrows,--ah yes, even the first. Could Caroline,
thought she, approve a love to which I must be untrue?

Hardly had she left the lips of her mother with the morning greeting,
when the latter sought, but more earnestly than yesterday, to draw up
the roots of this steadfast heart out of its strange soil by a longer
use of yesterday's flower-extractor. In her comparative anatomy of
Albano and Roquairol, from the similarity of voice even to that of
stature, she grew more and more cutting, till Liana, with a maiden's
wit, at once asked, "But why may my brother, then, love Rabette?"
"_Quelle comparaison!_" said the mother. "Art thou nothing better than
she?" "She _does_, strictly speaking, much more than I," said she, quite
candidly. "Didst thou never quarrel with the wild Zesara?" asked the
mother. "Never, except when I was in the wrong," said she, innocently.

The mother was alarmed to perceive more and more clearly that she had to
pull up deeper and stronger roots than light flowers strike into the
soil. She concentrated all her maternal powers of attraction and
lifting-machines upon one point, for the upturning of the still green
myrtle. She disclosed to her the Minister's dark plan of an alliance
with the German gentleman, her hitherto concealed strifes and sighs on
the subject, her thus far effectual resistance, and the latest paternal
stratagem, to make her a garrison-prisoner with his brother, and thereby
probably Herr von Bouverot a besieger of the citadel.

For some readers and relicts of the heavy, old-fashioned, golden age of
morality, the remark is here introduced and printed, that a peculiar,
cold, unsparing, often shocking and provoking, candor of remark upon the
nearest relatives and the tenderest relations is so very much at home in
the higher ranks, that even the fairer souls, among whom, surely, this
mother belongs, cannot, absolutely, understand or do otherwise.

"O thou best mother!" cried Liana, agitated, but not by the thought of
the rattle and the snaky breath of Bouverot, or of his murderous spring
at her heart,--she thought with as much indifference of being betrothed
to him as any innocent one does of his dying on a scaffold,--but by the
thought of the long building over and crowding out of sight of the
motherly tears, the streams of motherly love, which had hitherto flowed
nourishingly deep down under her flowers. She threw herself gratefully
between those helpful arms. They closed not around her, because the
Minister's lady was not to be made weak and soft by any washing wave and
surge of sudden emotion.

Into this embrace the Minister struck or stepped in. "So!" said he,
hastily. "My ear, madam," he continued, "cannot be found again at all
among the domestics; I have that to tell you." For he had to-day posted
himself upon a law-giving Sinai, and thundered into the ears of the
service assembled at its foot the inquiry after his own ear, "because I
must believe," he had said to them, "that you, for very good reasons,
have stolen it from me." Then he had swept like a hail-storm, or a
kitchen-smoke in windy weather, through the servants' apartments and
corners, one by one, in quest of his ear. "And thou?" said he, in a
half-friendly tone to Liana. She kissed his hand, which he, as the Pope
does his foot, always despatched for kisses, as proxy and lip-bearer,
agent, and _de latere nuncio_ of his mouth.

"She continues disobedient," said the severe lady. "Then she is a little
like you," said he, because the mistrustful one looked upon the embrace
as a conspiracy against him and his Bouverot. Upon this, his ice-Hecla
burst out, and flamed and flowed, now upon daughter, now upon wife. The
former was absolutely a miserable creature, he said; and only the
Captain was worth anything, whom he luckily had educated by himself
alone. He saw through all, heard all, though they had hid away his
ear-trumpet. There was, accordingly, as he saw, (he pointed to his
unsealed morning-psalm,[208]) a communication between the two colleges;
but he invoked God to punish him if he did not--"my dear daughter, pray
answer at last!" he begged.

"My father," said Liana, who, since the fraternization of Bouverot and
the ill treatment from her mother, had begun to feel her heart wake up,
which, however, could only despise and never hate, "my mother has to-day
and yesterday told me all; but I have surely duties towards the Count!"
A bolder liveliness than her parents had ever missed or found in her
beamed under her upraised eye. "Ah, I will truly remain faithful to him
just as long as I live," said she. "_C'est bien peu_," replied the
Minister, astounded at such pertness.

Liana listened now, for the first time, after the word which had escaped
her; then, in order to justify the past and her mother, she conceived
the pleasant and ridiculous purpose, of moving and converting the old
gentleman by her ghost-visions or dream-seeings. She begged of him a
solitary interview, and afterward--when it was reluctantly
granted--intreated him therein for his sacred promise to be silent
towards her mother, because she feared to show to that loving one the
clock-wheels of her death-bell rattling so near to the fatal stroke. The
old gentleman could only, with a comic expression,--which made him look
like one who with a bad cold wants to laugh,--vow that he would keep his
word so far as was necessary, because never, so far as he could
recollect, had his word been kept by him, only he had been often kept by
his word. In such men, word and deed are like theatrical thunder and
lightning, which, though generally occurring in close connection, and
simultaneously in heaven, on the stage break forth out of separate
corners, and by means of different operators. But Liana would not rest
till he had put on a word-keeping, sincere face,--a painted window.
Thereupon she began, after a kissing of the hand,[209] her ghostly

With unbroken seriousness, and firmly contracted muscles, he heard the
extraordinary narration through; then, without saying a word, he took
her by the hand and led her back into the presence of her mother, to
whom he handed her over with a long psalm of praise and thanksgiving
about her successful daughter's-school. "His boy's-school with Charles
had not been blessed to him, at least in this degree," he added. As a
proof, he frankly communicated to her--cold-bloodedly working up all
Liana's pangs, as the coopers do cypress-branches into cask-hoops--the
little which he had promised to bury in silence, because he always
prostituted either himself or the other party, generally both. Liana sat
there, deeply red, and growing hotter and hotter, with downcast eyes,
and begged God to preserve her filial love towards her father.

No sympathizing eye shall be further pained with the opening of a new
scene, when the ice of his irony broke, and became a raging stream, into
which flowed tears of maternal indignation, also, at the thought of a
precious being, and her feverish, fatal, dreaming of herself away into
the last sleep. The object and the danger almost united the married
couple for the second time; when there is a glazed frost, people go very
much arm in arm. "Thou hast sent nothing to Lilar?" asked the father.
"Without your permission I certainly should not do it," said she; but
she meant her letters, not Albano's. He took advantage of the
misunderstanding, and said, "Thou hast, however, surely." "I will gladly
do, and let be done everything," said she, "but only on condition the
Count consents, in order that I may not appear to him disingenuous; he
has my sacred word for my truth!" At this mild firmness, at this Peter's
rock overgrown with tender flowers, the father stumbled the hardest. In
addition to this, the transition of a haughty lover from his own wishes
to those of his enemies, supposing they had allowed Liana the question
to the Count, was so impossible on the one hand, and the solicitation of
this change, whether it were granted or refused, absolutely so degrading
on the other, that the astounded Minister's lady felt her pride rise,
and asked again, "Is this thy last word to us, Liana?" And when Liana,
weeping, answered, "I cannot help it; God be gracious to me!" she turned
away indignantly toward the Minister, and said: "Do now what you take to
be _convenable_; I wash my hands in innocence!" "Not so entirely, _ma
chère_; but very well!" said he, "thou wilt stay after to-morrow in thy
chamber, till thou hast corrected thyself, and art more worthy of our
presence!" he announced, as he went out, to Liana; firing at her
meanwhile two eye-volleys, wherein, according to my estimate, far more
reverberating fires, tormenting ghosts, eating, devouring medicaments,
brain and heart-borers, were promised, than a man can generally hold to
give or bear to receive.

Poor maiden! Thy last August is very hard, and no harvest-month day!
Thou lookest out into the time, where thy little coffin stands, on which
a cruel angel wipes away the still fresh flower-pieces of love running
round it, in order that it may, all white, as rosy-white as thy soul or
thy last form, be consigned to the grave!

This banishment by her mother into the desert of her cloister-chamber
was quite as frightful to her, only not more frightful than her anger,
which she had to-day, only for the third time, experienced, though not
deserved. It was to her as if now, after the warm sun had gone down, the
bright evening glow had also sunk below the horizon, and it grew dark
and cold in the world. She remained this whole day, which was yet
allowed her, with her mother; gave, however, only answers, looked
friendly, did everything cheerfully and readily, and--as she quickly
dashed away, with her tiny finger, every gathering dew-drop out of the
corner of her eyes, as if it were dust, because she thought, at night I
can weep enough,--she had very dry eyes; and all that, in order not to
be an additional burden to her oppressed mother. But she, as mothers so
easily do, confounded a timid, loving stillness with the dawning of
obduracy; and when Liana, with the innocent design of consolation,
wished to have Caroline's picture brought for her from Lilar, this
innocence also passed for hardness, and was punished and reciprocated
with a corresponding on the part of the parent, namely, with the
permission to send. Only the Minister's lady demanded the French prayers
of her again, as if she were not worthy to lay them under her present
heart. Never are human beings smaller than when they want to plague and
punish without knowing _how_.

As every one who rules, whether he sits on a chair of instruction or a
princely one, or, like parents, on both, when the occupant of its
footstool once leaves off his former obedience, imputes that obedience
to him, not as a mitigation, but as an aggravation of his offence, so
did the Minister's lady also toward her hitherto so uniformly docile
child. She hated her pure love, which burned like ether, without ashes,
smoke, or coal, so much the more, and held it to be either the author
or the victim of an incendiary fire, particularly as her own married
love hitherto had seldom been anything more than a showy chimney-piece.

Liana at last, too heavily constrained, since on the other side of the
wall-tapestry the serene day, the loveliest sky was blooming, ascended
to the Italian roof. She saw how people were travelling and riding back
contentedly from their little places of pleasure, because the earth was
one; on Lilar's bushy path the walkers were sauntering with a blissful
slowness home,--in the streets there was a loud carpentering at the
festive scaffoldings and Charles's-wains for the princely bride, and the
finished wheels were rolled along for trial,--and everywhere were heard
the drillings of the young music, which when grown up was to go before
her. But when Liana looked upon herself, and saw her life alone standing
here in dark raiment,--over yonder the empty house of her loved one,
here her own, which to her had also become empty,--this very spot, which
still reminded her of a lovelier, rarer blossoming than that of the
_Cereus serpens_,--and oh! this cold solitude, in which her heart
to-day, for the first time, lived without a heart; for her brother, the
chorister of her short song of gladness, had been sent off, and Julienne
had for some time been incomprehensibly invisible to her,--no, she could
not see the fair sun go down, who, so serene and white, was sinking to
slumber with his high evening star,--or listen to the happy evening
chorus of the long day, but left the shining eminence. O how does joy
die a stranger in the untenanted, dark bosom, when she finds no sister
and becomes a spectre there! Thus does the beautiful green, that spring
color, when a cloud paints it, betoken nothing but long moisture.

When she entered, soon, the asylum of day, the bedchamber, the heavens
without flashed heat-lightning; O why just now, cruel fate?--But here,
before the still-life of night, when life, covered with her veil, sounds
more faintly,--here may all her tears, which a heavy day has been
pressing,[210] gush forth freely. On the pillow, as if it bore the last,
long sleep, rests this exhausted head more softly than on the bosom
which reproachfully reckons up against it its tears; and it weeps
softly, not _upon_, only _for_ loved ones.

According to her custom, she was on the point of opening her mother's
prayers, when she recollected, with a startled feeling, that they had
been taken from her. Then she looked up with burning tears to God, and
prepared alone out of her broken heart a prayer to him, and only angels
counted the words and the tears.

76. CYCLE.

The father had made this chamber-imprisonment a punitory mark of her
refusal. With deep anguish she uttered this mute no, in the very fact
that she voluntarily stayed in the chamber, and denied her mother the
morning kiss. She had, in the course of the night, cast many an ardent
look at the dead image of her counsellor Caroline, but no original, no
fever-created form had appeared to her. Can I longer doubt, she inferred
from this, that the divine apparition, which has spoken the assenting
word to my love, was something higher than my own creation, since I must
otherwise have been able to form it again over against her picture?

She had Albano's blooming letters in her desk, and opened it, in order
to look over from her island into the remote orient land of warmer
times; but she shut it to again; she was ashamed to be secretly happy,
while her mother was sorrowful, who into these melancholy days had not
even come, like her, out of pleasant ones.

Froulay did not long leave her alone, but soon sent for her; not,
however, to sound her or pronounce her free, but for the purpose--which,
as may well be conceived, required an unvarnished brow and cheek, whose
fibrous network was as hard to be colored as his with the Turkish red of
shame--of appointing her his mistress in artistic language, and taking
her with him to the Prince's gallery, in order to learn from her the
explanation of these frontispieces (for such they were to him) in this
private deaf-and-dumb institution so well that he might be in a
condition, so soon as the Princess should come to inspect it, to
represent something better than a mute before the beauties of the
pictures and the image-worshipping Regentess. Liana had to transfer an
impression of every pictured limb, with the praise or blame appertaining
thereunto, over into his serious brain, together with the name of the
master. How delightedly and completely did she give this kallipædeia to
her growling old cornute,[211] and would-be _connoisseur_ in painting,
who paid her not a single thankful look as instruction-money!

At noon, for the first time, did the daughter find her longed-for
mother, among the kitchen-servants, very serious and sad. She ventured
not to kiss her mouth, but only her hand, and opened upon her her
love-streaming eyes only timidly and a little. Dinner seemed a
funeral-feast. Only the old gentleman, who on a battle-field would have
danced his marriage-minuet, and celebrated his birthday, was in good
spirits and appetite, and full of salt. In case of a family jar, he
usually ate _en famille_, and found in biting table-speeches, as common
people do in winter and in famine, a sharper zest for food. Quarrelling,
of itself, strengthens and animates, as physicians can electrify
themselves merely by whipping something.[212]

Laughable, and yet lamentable, was it that poor Liana, who was all day
long to keep a prison, was always called out of it just for
to-day,--this time into the carriage again, which was to set down the
sad heart and the smiling face before nothing but bright palaces. She
had to go with her parents to the Princess, and look as happy as they,
who, on the melancholy road, regarded her as if she were to be envied.
So does the heart which has been born not far from the throne never
bleed, except behind the curtain, and never laugh but when it rises;
just as these same distinguished ones were formerly executed only in
secret. The Prince, who was ridiculously loud on the subject of his
marriage; Bouverot, just returned from card-tables or privateering
planks, whom Liana now, since the latest intelligences, could only
endure with a shudder; and the Princess herself; who excused her
previous absence from her on account of the distraction of preparing for
the festival, and who very strangely jested at once about love and
men,--only to a Liana who guessed so little, suffered so much, and
endured so willingly, could all these beings and incidents seem anything
but the most intolerable.

Ah, what was intolerable, but the iron unchangeableness of these
connections, the fixedness of such an eternal mountain-snow? Not the
greatness, but the indefiniteness, of pain; not the minotaur of the
labyrinth, its cellar-frost, sharp-cornered rocks, and vaults, make the
breast contract and the blood curdle therein, but the long night and
winding of its egress. Even under bodily maladies, therefore, unwonted
new ones, whose last moment stretches away beyond our power of
prediction, appear to us more ominous and oppressive than recurring
ones, which, as neighboring frontier-enemies, are ever attacking us, and
find us in arms.

Thus stood the dumb Liana in a cloud, when the exulting Rabette, with a
bosom full of old joys and new hope, came running into the house,--that
sister of the holy youth who had been torn away from her, that
confederate of such glorious days. She was honorably received, and
constantly attended by a guard of honor,--the Minister's lady,--because
she might, indeed, as likely be an ambassadress of the Count as an
electress of her son. The cunning girl sought to snatch some solitary
moments with Liana by boldly begging for her company to Blumenbühl. The
company was granted, and even that of the mother freely offered, into
the bargain. Liana led the way to Blumenbühl over the still-blooming
churchyard of buried days. What a torrent of tears struggled upward in
her breast when she parted from the still happy Rabette! _She_ had
innocently left to the house one of the greatest apples of discord for
the evening meal which the Minister had ever plucked for his fruit-dish
with his apple-gatherer. Therefore he supped again _en famille_. That is
to say, a silly word had escaped Rabette about the Sunday's meeting at
Lilar. "Of that," said Froulay, in a very friendly manner, "thou hast
not made one word of remark, daughter." "I did to my mother
immediately," she replied, too fast. "I should be glad, too, to take an
interest in thy amusements," said he, saving up his fury. In the
pleasantest mood imaginable did this raftsman of so many tears and
hewn-down blossoming branches, which he let float down thereupon, take
his seat at the supper-table. He first asked servants and family for his
auxiliary ear. Thereupon he passed over to the French, although the
plate-exchangers found a rough translation thereof for themselves, a
_versio interlinearis_, on his face, by way of giving notice that the
distinguished Count had been there, and had inquired after mother and
daughter. "With good right he asked for you both," continued the moral
glacier, who loved to cool his warm food. "You are conspired, as I heard
again to-day, to keep silence towards me; but why, then, shall I still
trust you?" He hated from his heart every lie which he did not utter
himself; so he seriously regarded himself as moral, disinterested, and
gentle, merely for this reason, that he inexorably insisted upon all
this in the case of others. With an abundant supply of the stinging
nettles of persiflage,--the botanical ones also come forward best in
cold and stony soil,--he covered over all his opening and closing
lobster-claws, as we keep brook-crabs in nettles, and took first his
tender child between the claws. Her soft, submissive smile he took for
contempt and wickedness. How comes this soft one intelligibly by his
paternal name, unless one assumes the old hypothesis, that children are
usually most like that for which the pregnant mother vainly longed,
which in this case was a soft spouse? Then he assailed, but more
vehemently, the mother, in order by his mistrust to set her at variance
with his daughter; yes, in order, perhaps, to torment the latter, by
means of her mother's sufferings, into childlike sacrifices and
resolutions. He very freely declared himself--for the egotist finds the
most egotists, as love and Liana find only love, and no
self-love--against the egotism around and beside him, and concealed not
how very cordially he cursed them both for female egotists (as the old
heathen did the Christians for atheists). The Minister's lady,
accustomed to live with the Minister in no wedlock so little as in that
of souls,--as Voltaire defines friendship,--said merely to Liana, "For
whom do I suffer so?" "Ah, I know," she answered, meekly. And so he
dismissed both full of the deepest sorrows, and thought afterward of his
business matters.

This general distress was increased by something which should have
lessened it. The Minister was vexed that he had daily, in the midst of
his wrath, to consult the taste of the women upon his--exterior. He
wanted, at the marriage festival,--for the sake of his beloved,--to be a
true bird of paradise, a Paradeur, a _Vénus a belles fesses_.[213] Of
old he had loved to act the double part of statesman and courtier, and
would fain, by way of monopolizing pride and vanity, grow into a
Diogenes-Aristippus. Something of this, however, was not vanity; but
that tormenting spirit of the male sex, the spirit of order and
orthodoxy, would not go out of him. He was a man who would flourish
against his very livery the clothes-switch wherewith the servant had let
a few particles of dust settle on the state coat; still more dangerous
was it--because he sat between two looking-glasses, the frizzling-glass
and the large mirror in the stove-screen--to lay the dust rightly on his
own wool; and hardest of all was it for him to be satisfied with the
_fixing_ of his children. Liana, as artist, had now to suggest the
proper color of a new surtout. _Sachets_, or smelling-bags, he directed
to be filled, and with them his pockets; and a musk-plant pot placed in
his window, not because he wished to use the leaves for perfume (that he
expected of his fingers), but because he wished to anoint his fingers by
rubbing the leaves together. Patent pomatum for the hands, and English
pressed ornamental paper also for the same (when they wished to use a
_billet-doux_ pen), and other knickknacks, excited less attention than
the snuff which he procured for himself; not, however, for his nose, but
for his lips, in order to rub them red. In fact, he would have rendered
himself quite ridiculous in the eyes of many a merry blade, if such a
one had seen him draw privately out of his souvenir the hair-tweezers,
and with them the hair out of his eyebrows, just where the saddle of
life, as upon a horse's back, had worn it white; and only the Minister
himself could look serious during the process, when he sat before the
looking-glass, smiling through all the finest ways of smiling,--the best
one he caught and kept,--or when he tried the most graceful modes of
throwing one's self on the sofa,--how often he had to practise
this!--and finally, in short, through all his operations upon himself.

Fortunately for the mother, the good Lector came; from the hand of this
old friend she had so often taken, if not a Jacob's ladder, yet a
mining-ladder, upon which to climb out of the abyss; hopefully she now
laid before him all her trouble. He promised some help, upon the
condition of speaking with Liana alone in her chamber. He went to her
and declared tenderly his knowledge and her situation.

How did the childlike maiden blush at the sharp day-beams which smote
the scented night-violet of her love! But the friend of her childhood
spoke softly to this smitten heart, and of his equal love for her and
her friend; of the temperament of her father, and of the necessity of
considerate measures; and said the best was to make him a sacred vow
that she would yield to her parent's wish of her strictly avoiding the
Count, only until he had received from his father, to whom he himself,
as attendant of the son, had long been obliged to communicate
intelligence and inquiries about the new connection, the yes or no in
respect to it; if it were "no,"--which he would not answer for,--then
Albano must solve the riddle; if it were "yes," he himself would stand
security for a second on the part of her parents; at the same time,
however, he must lay claim to her profoundest silence toward them in
relation to his inquiries, whereby they might perhaps find themselves
compromitted. Thereby he rooted himself only the more deeply in her

She asked, trembling, how long the answer would tarry? "Six, eight,
eleven days after the nuptials at most!" said he, reckoning. Yes, good
Augusti! "Ah! we are all suffering, indeed," said she, and added,
confidentially, and out of a weeping breast: "But is he well?" "He is
diligent," was the reply.

So he brought her, burdened with two secrets, and for the present
consenting to an interim-separation, back to her mother; but she
bestowed only upon the Lector the reward of a friendly look. He desired,
meantime,--after his Carthusian manner,--no other reward than the most
good-natured silence toward the Minister on the subject of his
interference, since the latter might hold his deserts in this connection
much greater than they were.

The eight days' improvement and abstinence was announced to the
Minister. He believed, however,--keeping in reserve a mistrust towards
his lady,--that he could carry the war farther into the enemy's country
with his own weapons; nevertheless, he contented himself, at the same
time, with the new respite and Liana's disincarceration, for the sake of
driving his daughter before him to his beloved at the nuptial festival,
blooming and healthy as a sparkling pea-hen.

Roquairol at this moment came back, and ushered into the house a cloud
or two full of beautiful, bright morning redness. He delivered to his
father tidings and greetings from the Princess. To Liana he brought the
echo of that beloved voice, which had once said to her heaven: "Let it
be!"--ah! the last melody among the discords of the unharmonious time!
He guessed easily--for he learned little from his mother, who neglected
him, and nothing from her daughter--how all stood. When he was actually
on the point of slipping Albano's letter to her, in the twilight of
evening, into her work-bag, and she said, with an ah! of love, "No, it
is against my word,--but at some future time, Charles!"--then he saw, as
he expressed it, "with crying indignation, his sister, in Charon's open
boat, sailing into the Tartarus of all sorrows." About his friend he
thought less than of his sister. The friendly, flattering Minister--he
presented, as a proof of it, a valuable saddle to the Captain--informed
him of Rabette's visit, and gave hints about betrothment and the like.
Charles said, boldly: "He postponed every thought of his own happiness,
so long as his dear sister saw none before her." By way of drawing the
old gentleman again into more interest for Liana, he suggested to him a
romantic invention for the marriage festival, which Froulay did not
dream of, when he already stood quite close to it; namely, Idoine (the
sister of the bride) was strikingly like Liana. The Princess loved her
inexpressibly, but saw her only seldom, because on account of her strong
character, which once refused a royal marriage, she lived in a village
built and governed by herself, in a courtly exile from court. He now
proposed to his father the poetic question, whether, on the illumination
night, Liana might not for a few minutes, in the dream-temple, which was
entirely suited to this beautiful illusion, delight the Princess with
the image of her beloved sister.

Whether it was that love toward the Princess made the Minister bolder,
or he was intoxicated by the desire of brilliantly introducing Liana to
her office of court-lady; suffice it, he found in the idea good sense.
If anything supplied tobacco for the calumet of the _ex parte_ peace
which he had made with his son, it was this theatrical part. He hastened
immediately to the Prince and the Princess with the prayer for his
permission and her sympathy; and then, when he had secured both, he
hastened on to his Orestes, Bouverot, and said: "_Il m'est venu une idée
tres singulière qui peut-être l'est trop; cependant le prince l'a
approuvée_," etc.,--and finally--for he must not forget her either--to

The Captain had already sought to persuade her beforehand. The mother
opposed the dramatic imitation from self-respect, and Liana from
humility; such a representation seemed to her a piece of presumption.
But at last she gave in, simply because the sisterly love of the
Princess had seemed to her so great and unattainable, just as if she did
not cherish a similar sentiment in her own heart; thus she always
regarded only the image in the mirror, not herself, as beautiful; just
as the astronomer thinks the same evening, with its red splendors and
night shadows, more sublime and enchanting, when he finds it in the
moon, than when he stands in the midst of it on the earth. Perhaps, too,
there entered another element of secret sweetness into Liana's love for
the Prince's bride, namely, a step-daughter's affection; because she
should once have been the bride of the Knight Gaspard. Women regard
relationship more than we; hence, too, their ancestral pride is always
several ancestors older than ours.

Thus, then, did she make ready her oppressed heart for the light plays
of the shining festival, which the coming Cycles are to present on the
New-Year's holiday, as it were, of a new Jubilee.


Cambridge: Stereotyped and Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co.


[192] This is Jean Paul's own image.--TR.

[193] That is, of course, some lights of hope.--TR.

[194] A German or Suabian dance.--TR.

[195] His Moral Treatises, Vol. II. p. 96.

[196] The Germans call the dash the _stroke of thought_. Here it
implies an emphatic pause, as much as to say, "What do you think
is coming?"--TR.

[197] At the Prince's marriage.

[198] With the Egyptians the enchanters were only learned men;
with him the learned women were enchantresses.

[199] _Mémoires secrets sur les Règnes de Louis XIV._, etc. Par
Duclos. Tom. I.

[200] It is well known that a cut is made in a fowl left whole as
a sign that it has been upon the Prince's table, so that it may
not be set on again, but otherwise enjoyed.

[201] In German, _Schutz- und Stich-blatt_,--literally, a plate
to defend the hand in parrying and thrusting,--_Blatt_, meaning
_leaf_ (of paper) also, conveys a _pun_ not easily

[202] The blind-passenger in the German stage-coach corresponds
to our _dead-head_ in stage or steamboat.--TR.

[203] See Klockenbring's collected Essays.

[204] (In German, _Spring-wurzel_.) The juice of some plant
(perhaps Devil's-milk) highly and quickly corrosive.--TR.

[205] News by hand.--TR.

[206] The King had to _damer_, or make a dame of an unmarried
maiden of rank, before she could go to Versailles to court.

[207] Not so miserable perhaps as a French mangling the
translator remembers to have seen.--TR.

[208] He refers to the letter he had left on Liana's table, and
which she had shown to her mother.--TR.

[209] _Fist_ in the original.--TR.

[210] I.e. as in a wine-press.--TR.

[211] Alluding to the horned hat once worn by graduated printers'

[212] Beseke discovered it. See "On the Elemental Fire," by him,

[213] Venus with beautiful thighs.--TR.

       *       *       *       *       *


TITAN. A ROMANCE. 2 vols. 16mo. $3.00.

FLOWER, FRUIT, AND THORN PIECES. 2 vols. 16mo. $2.75.



HESPERUS. 2 vols. 16mo. _Preparing._

_The above volumes are printed in uniform size and style._

       *       *       *       *       *




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