Angela by Conrad von Bolanden
A N G E L A.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF
CONRAD VON BOLANDEN.
* * * * *
An express train was just on the eve of leaving the railway station
in Munich. Two fashionably dressed gentlemen stood at the open door of
a railway carriage, in conversation with a third, who sat within. These
two young men bore on their features the marks of youthful dissipation,
indicating that they had not been sparing of pleasures. The one in the
carriage had a handsome, florid countenance, two clear, expressive
eyes, and thick locks of hair, which he now and then stroked back from
his fine forehead. He scarcely observed the conversation of the two
friends, who spoke of balls, dogs, horses, theatres, and ballet-girls.
In the same carriage sat another traveller, evidently the father of
the young man. He was reading the newspaperthat is the report of the
money marketwhile his fleshy left hand dallied with the heavy gold
rings of his watch-chain. He had paid no attention to the conversation
till an observation of his son brought him to serious reflection.
By the bye, said one of the young men quickly, I was nearly
forgetting to tell you the news, Richard! Do you know that Baron Linden
Engaged? To whom? said Richard carelessly.
To Bertha von Harburg. I received a card this morning, and
immediately wrote a famous letter of congratulation.
Richard looked down earnestly, and shook his head.
I commiserate the genial baron, said he. What could he be
thinking of, to rush headlong into this misfortune?
The father looked in surprise at his son; the hand holding the paper
sank on his knee.
Permit me, gentlemen, said the conductor; the doors were closed,
the friends nodded good-by, and the train moved off.
Your observation about Linden's marriage astonishes me, Richard.
But perhaps you were only jesting.
By no means, said Richard. Never more earnest in my life. I
expressed my conviction, and my conviction is the result of careful
observation and mature reflection.
The father's astonishment increased.
Observationreflectionfudge! said the father impatiently, as he
folded the paper and shoved it into his pocket. How can a young man of
twenty-two talk of experience and observation! Enthusiastic nonsense!
Marriage is a necessity of human life. And you will yet submit to this
True, if marriage be a necessity, then I suppose I must bow to the
yoke of destiny. But, father, this necessity does not exist. There are
intelligent men enough who do not bind themselves to woman's caprices.
Oh! certainly, there are some strange screech-owls in the
world-some enthusiasts. But certainly you do not wish to be one of
them. You, who have such great expectations. You, the only son of a
wealthy house. You, who have a yearly income of thousands to spend.
The income can be enjoyed more pleasantly, free and single,
Free and singleand enjoyed! Zounds! you almost tempt me to think
ill of you. Happily, I know you well. I know your strict morality, your
solidity, your moderate pretensions. All these amiable qualities please
me. But this view of marriage I did not expect; you must put away this
The young man made no answer, but leaned back in his seat with a
Herr Frank gazed thoughtfully through the window. He reflected on
the determined character of his son, whose disposition, even when a
child, shut him out from the world, and who led an interior, meditative
life. Strict regularity and exact employment of time were natural to
him. At school, he held the first place in all branches. His ambition
and effort were to excel all others in knowledge. His singular
questions, which indicated a keen observation and capacity, had often
excited the surprise of his father. And while the companions of the
youth hailed with delight the time which released them from the benches
of the school and from their studies, Richard cheerfully bound himself
to his accustomed task, to appease his longing for knowledge.
Approaching manhood had not changed him in this regard. He was punctual
to the hours of business, and labored with zeal and interest, to the
great joy of his father. He recreated himself with music and, painting,
or by a walk in the open country, for whose beauties he had a keen
appreciation. The few shades of his character were, a proud
haughtiness, an unyielding perseverance in his determinations, and a
strength of conviction difficult to overcome. But perhaps these shades
were, after all, great qualities, which were to brighten up and polish
his maturity. This obstinacy the father was now considering, and, in
reference to his singular view of marriage, it filled him with great
But, Richard, began Herr Frank again, how did you come to this
By observation, and reflectionand also by experience, although
you deny my years this right.
What have you experienced and observed?
I have observed woman as she is, and found that such a creature
would only make me miserable. What occupies their minds? Fineries,
pleasures; and trifles. The pivot of their existence turns on dress,
ornaments, balls, and the like. We live in an age of crinoline, and you
know how I abominate that dress; I admit my aversion is abnormal,
perhaps exaggerated, but I cannot overcome it. When I see a woman going
through the streets with swelling hoops, the most whimsical fancies
come into my mind. It reminds me of an inflated balloon, whose clumsy
swell disfigures the most beautiful form. It reminds me of a drunken
gawk, who swaggers along and carries the foolish gewgaw for a show. The
costume is indeed expressive. It reveals the interior disposition.
Crinoline is to me the type of the woman of our dayan empty, vain,
inflated something. And this type repels me.
Then you believe our women to be vain, pleasure-seeking, and
destitute of true womanhood, because they wear crinoline?
No, the reverse. An overweening propensity to show and frivolity
characterizes our women, and therefore they wear crinoline in spite of
the protestations of the men.
Bah! Nonsense; you lay too much stress on fashion. I know many
women myself who complain of this fashion.
And afterward follow it. This precisely confirms my opinion. Women
have no longer sufficient moral force to disregard a disagreeable
restraint. Their vanity is still stronger than their inclinations to a
natural enjoyment of life.
Do you want a wife who would be sparing and saving; who, by her
frugality, would increase your wealth; who, by her social seclusion,
would not molest your cash-box?
No; I want no wife, answered the young man, somewhat pettishly.
And I am not alone in this. The young men are beginning to awaken. A
sound, natural feeling revolts against the vitiated taste of the women.
Alliances are forming everywhere. The last paper announced that, at
Marseilles, six thousand young men have, with joined hands, vowed never
to marry until the women renounce their ruinous costumes and costly
idleness, and return to a plain style of dress and frugal habits. I
object to this propensity to ease and pleasurethis desire of our
women for finery and the gratification of vanity. Not because this
inclination is expensive, but because it is objectionable. Every
creature has an object. But, if we consider the women of our day, we
might well ask, for what are they here?
For what are women here, foolish man? interrupted Herr Frank. Are
they to go about without any costume, like Eve before the fall? Are
they to know the trials of life, and not its joys? Are they to exist
like the women of the sultan, shut up in a harem? For what are they
here? I will tell you. They are here to make life cheerful. Does not
'Honor to woman! she scatters rife
Heavenly roses, 'mid earthly life;
Love she weaves in gladdening bands;
Chastity's veil her charm attires;
Beautiful thoughts' eternal fires,
Watchful, she feeds with holy hands.'
Poetical fancy! said he. My unhappy friend Emil Schlagbein often
declaimed and sang with passion that same poem of Schiller's. Love had
even made a poet of him. He wrote verses to his Ida. And now, scarcely
three years married, he is the most miserable man in the
worldmiserable through his wife. Ida has still the same finely carved
head as formerly; but that head, to the grief of Emil, is full of
stubbornnessfull of whimsical nonsense. Her eyes have still the same
deep blue; but the charming expression has changed, and the blue not
unfrequently indicates a storm. How often has Emil poured out his
sorrows to me! How often complained of the coldness of his wife! A ball
missedmissed from necessitymakes her stupid and sulky for days. In
vain he seeks a cheerful look. When he returns home worried by the
cares of business, he finds no consolation in Ida's sympathy, but is
vexed by her stubbornness and offended by her coldness. Emil sprang
headlong into misery. I will beware of such a step.
You are unjust and prejudiced. Must all women, then, be Ida
Perhaps my Ida might be still worse, retorted Richard sharply.
Herr Frank drummed on his knees, always a sign of displeasure.
I tell you, Richard, said he emphatically. Your time will come
yet. You will follow the universal law, and this law will give the lie
to your one-sided viewto your contempt of woman.
That impulse, father, can be overcome, and habit becomes a second
Besideswell, what besides?
I would say that the time of which you speak is, in my case,
happily passed, answered Richard, still gazing through the window.
For me the time of sentimental delusion has been short and decisive,
he concluded with a bitter smile.
Can I, your father, ask a clearer explanation?
The young man leaned back in his seat and looked at the opposite
side while he spoke.
Last summer I visited Baden-Baden. On old Mount Eberstein, which is
so picturesquely enthroned above the village, I fell in with a party.
Among the number was a young lady of rare beauty and great modesty. An
acquaintance gave me an opportunity of being introduced to her. We sat
in pleasant conversation under the black oaks until the approaching
twilight compelled us to return to the town. Isabellasuch was the
name of the beautyhad made a deep impression on me. So deep that even
the detested crinoline that encircled her person in large hoops found
favor in my sight. Her manner was in no wise coquettish. She spoke with
deliberation and spirit. Her countenance had always the same
expression. Only when the young people, into whose heads the fiery wine
had risen, gave expression to sharp words, did Isabella look up and a
displeased expression, as of injured delicacy, passed over her
countenance. My presence seemed agreeable to her. My conversation may
have pleased her. As we descended the mountain, we came to a difficult
pass. I offered her my arm, which she took in the same unchanging,
quiet manner which made her so charming in my sight. I soon discovered
my affection for the stranger, and wondered how it could arise so
suddenly and become so impetuous. I was ashamed at abandoning so
quickly my opinion of women. But this feeling was not strong enough to
stifle the incipient passion. My mind lay captive in the fetters of
He paused for a moment. The proud young man seemed to reproach
himself for his conduct, which he considered wanting in manly
independence and clear penetration.
On the following day, he continued, there was to be a horse-race
in the neighborhood. Before we parted, it was arranged that we would be
present at it. I returned to my room in the hotel, and dreamed waking
dreams of Isabella. My friend had told me that she was the daughter of
a wealthy merchant, and that she had accompanied her invalid mother
here. This mark of love and filial affection was not calculated to cool
my ardor. Isabella appeared more beautiful and more charming still. We
went to the race. I had the unspeakable happiness of being in the same
car and sitting opposite her. After a short journeyto me, at least,
it seemed shortwe arrived at the grounds where the race was to take
place. We ascended the platform. I sat at Isabella's side. She did not
for a moment lose her quiet equanimity. The race began. I saw little of
it, for Isabella was constantly before my eyes, look where I would.
Suddenly a noisea loud cryroused me from my dream. Not twenty paces
from where we sat, a horse had fallen. The rider was under him. The
floundering animal had crushed both legs of the unfortunate man. Even
now I can see his frightfully distorted features before me. I feared
that Isabella's delicate sensibility might be wounded by the horrible
sight. And when I looked at her, what did I see? A smiling face! She
had lost her quiet, weary manner, and a hard, unfeeling soul lighted up
'Do you not think this change in the monotony of the race quite
magnificent?' said she.
I made no answer. With an apology, I left the party and returned
alone to Baden.
Very well, said the father, your Isabella was an unfeeling
creaturegranted. But now for your application of this experience.
We will let another make the application, father. Listen a moment.
In Baden a bottle of Rhine wine, whose spirit is so congenial to sad
and melancholy feelings, served to obliterate the desolate remembrance.
I sat in the almost deserted dining-room. The guests were at the
theatre, on excursions in the neighborhood, or dining about the park.
An old man sat opposite me. I remarked that his eyes, when he thought
himself unobserved, were turned inquiringly on me. The sudden cooling
of my passion had perhaps left some marks upon me. The stranger
believed, perhaps, that I was an unlucky and desperate player. A player
I had indeed been. I had been about to stake my happiness on a
beautiful form. But I had won the game.
The wine soon cheered me up and I entered into conversation with
the stranger. We spoke of various things, and finally of the race. As
there was a friendly, confiding expression in the old man's
countenance, I related to him the unhappy fall of the rider, and dwelt
sharply on the impression the hideous spectacle made on Isabella. I
told him that such a degree of callousness and insensibility was new to
me, and that this sad experience had shocked me greatly.
'This comes,' said he, 'from permitting yourself to be deceived by
appearances, and because you do not know certain classes of society. If
you consider the beautiful Isabella with sensual eyes, you will run
great danger of taking appearances for truththe false for the real.
Even the plainest exterior is often only sham. Painted cheeks, colored
eyebrows, false hair, false teeth; and even if these forms were not
false, but trueif you penetrate these forms, if, under the constraint
of graceful repose, we see modesty, purity, and even humilitythere is
then still greater danger of deception. A wearied, enervated nature,
nerves blunted by the enjoyment of all kinds of pleasures, are
frequently all that remains of womanly nature.
'Do you wish to see striking examples of this? Go into the gaming
saloonsinto, those horrible places where fearful and consuming
passions seethe; where desperation and suicide lurk. Go into the
corrupt, poisonous atmosphere of those gambling hells, and there you
will find women every day and every hour. Whence this disgusting sight?
The violent excitement of gambling alone can afford sufficient
attraction for those who have been sated with all kinds of pleasures.
Is a criminal to be executed? I give you my word of honor that women
give thousands of francs to obtain the best place, where they can
contemplate more conveniently the shocking spectacle and read every
expression in the distorted features of the struggling malefactor.
'Isabella was one of these exhausted, enervated creatures, and
hence her pleasure at the sight of the mangled rider.'
Thus spoke the stranger, and I admitted that he was right. At the
same time I tried to penetrate deeper into this want of sensibility.
Like a venturesome miner, I descended into the psychological depth. I
shuddered at what I there discovered, and at the inferences which
Isabella's conduct forced upon my mind. No, father, no, said he
impetuously, I will have no such nuptialsI will never rush into the
miseries of matrimony!
Thunder and lightning! are you a man? cried Herr Frank. Because
Emil's wife and Isabella are good-for-nothings, must the whole sex be
repudiated? Both cases are exceptions. These exceptions give you no
right to judge unfavorably of all women. This prejudice does no honor
to your good sense, Richard. It is only eccentricity can judge thus.
The train stopped. The travellers went out, where a carriage awaited
Is everything right? said Herr Frank to the driver.
All is fixed, sir, as you required,
Is the box of books taken out?
The coach moved up the street. The dark mountain-side rose into
view, and narrow, deep valleys yawned beneath the travellers. Fresh
currents of air rushed down the mountain and Herr Frank inhaled
Richard gazed thoughtfully over the magnificent vineyards and
The road grew steeper and the wooded summit of the mountain
approached. A light which Frank beheld with satisfaction glared out
from it. Its rays shot out upon the town that, amid rich vineyards,
topped the neighboring hill.
Our residence is beautifully located, said Herr Frank. How
cheerful it looks up there! It is a home fit for princes.
You have indeed chosen a magnificent spot, father. Everything
unites to make Frankenhöhe a delightful place. The vineyards on the
slopes of the hills, the smiling hamlet of Salingen to the right. In
the background the stern mountain with its proud ruins on the summit of
Salburg, the deep valleys and the dark ravines, all unite in the
landscape: to the east that beautiful plain.
These words pleased the father. His eyes rested long on the
You have forgotten a reason for my happy choice, said he, while a
smile played on his features. I mean the habit of my friend and
deliverer, who, for the last eight years, spends the month of May at
Frankenhöhe. You know the singular character of the doctor. Nothing in
the world can tear him from his books. He has renounced all pleasure
and enjoyment, to devote his whole time to his books. When Frankenhöhe
entices and captivates the man of science, so strict, so dead to the
world, it is, as I think, the highest compliment to our place.
Richard did not question his father's opinion. He knew his unbounded
esteem for the learned doctor.
The road grew steeper and steeper. The horses labored slowly along.
The pleasant hamlet of Salingen lay a short distance to the left. A
single house, separated from the village, and standing near the road in
the midst of vineyards, came into view. The features of Herr Frank
darkened as he turned his gaze from Frankenhöhe to this house. It was
as though some unpleasant recollection was associated with it. Richard
looked at the stately mansion, the large out-houses, the walled courts,
and saw that everything about it was neat and clean.
This must be a wealthy proprietor or influential landlord who lives
here, said Richard. I have indeed seen this place in former years,
but it did not interest me. How inviting and pleasant it looks. The
property must have undergone considerable change; at least, I remember
nothing that indicated the place to be other than an ordinary
Herr Frank did not hear these observations. He muttered some bitter
imprecation. The coach gained the summit, left the road, and passed
through vineyards and chestnut groves to the house.
Frankenhöhe was a handsome two-story house whose arrangements
corresponded to Frank's taste and means. Near it stood another,
occupied by the steward. A short distance from it were stables and
out-houses for purposes of agriculture.
Herr Frank went directly to the house, and passed from room to room
to see if his instructions had been carried out.
Richard went into the garden and walked on paths covered with yellow
sand. He strolled about among flower-beds that loaded the air with
agreeable odors. He examined the blooming dwarf fruit-trees and
ornamental plants. He observed the neatness and exact order of
everything. Lastly, he stood near the vineyard whence he could behold
an extensive view. He admired the beautiful, fragrant landscape. He
stood thoughtfully reflecting. His conversation made it evident to him
that his feelings and will did not agree with his father's wishes. He
saw that between his inclinations and his love for his father he must
undergo a severe strugglea struggle that must decide his happiness
for life. The strangeness of his opinion of women did not escape him.
He tested his experience. He tried to justify his convictions, and yet
his father's claims and filial duty prevailed.
The next morning Richard was out with the early larks, and returned
after a few hours in a peculiar frame of mind. As he was entering his
room, he saw through the open door his father standing in the saloon.
Herr Frank was carefully examining the arrangements, as the servants
were carrying books into the adjoining room and placing them in a
bookcase. Richard, as he passed, greeted his father briefly, contrary
to his usual custom. At other times he used to exchange a few words
with his father when he bid him good-morning, and he let no occasion
pass of giving his opinion on any matter in which he knew his father
took an interest.
The young man walked to the open window of his room, and gazed into
the distance. He remained motionless for a time. He ran his fingers
through his hair, and with a jerk of the head threw the brown locks
back from his forehead. He walked restlessly back and forth, and acted
like a man who tries in vain to escape from thoughts that force
themselves upon him. At length he went to the piano, and beat an
impetuous impromptu on the keys.
Ei, Richard! cried Herr Frank, whom the wild music had brought to
his side. Why, you rave! How possessed! One would think you had
discovered a roaring cataract in the mountains, and wished to imitate
Richard glanced quickly at his father, and finished with a tender,
Come over here and look at the rooms.
Richard followed his father and examined carelessly the elegant
rooms, and spoke a few cold words of commendation.
And what do you say to this flora? said Herr Frank pointing to a
stepped framework on which bloomed the most beautiful and rare flowers.
All very beautiful, father. The doctor will be much pleased, as he
always is here.
I wish and hope so. I have had the peacocks and turkeys sent away,
because Klingenberg cannot endure their noise. The library here will
always be his favorite object, and care has been taken with it. Here
are the best books on all subjects, even theology and astronomy.
Frankenhöhe is indeed cheerful as the heart of youth and quiet as a
cloister, said Richard Your friend would indeed be ungrateful if this
attention did not gratify him.
I have also provided that excellent wine which he loves and enjoys
as a healthful medicine. But, Richard, you know Klingenberg's
peculiarities. You must not play as you did just now; you would drive
the doctor from the house.
Make yourself easy about that, father; I will play while he is on
Richard took a book from the shelf, and glanced over it. Herr Frank
left him, and he immediately replaced the book and returned to his own
room. There he wrote in his diary:
12th of May.Man is too apt to be led by his inclination. And what
is inclination? A feeling caused by external impressions, or
superinduced by a disposition of the body. Inclination, therefore, is
something inimical to intellectual life. A vine that threatens to
overgrow and smother clear conviction. Never act from inclination, if
you do not wish to be unfaithful to conviction and guilty o a
He went into the garden, where he talked to the gardener about trees
Are you acquainted in Salingen, John?
Certainly, sir. I was born there.
Do strangers sometimes come there to stop and enjoy the beautiful
Oh! no, sir; there is no suitable hotel thereonly plain taverns;
and people of quality would not stop at them.
Are there people of rank in Salingen?
Only farmers, sir. Butstay. The rich Siegwart appears to be such,
and his children are brought up in that manner.
Has Siegwart many children?
Fourtwo boys and two girls. One son is at college. The other
takes care of the estate, and is at home. The oldest daughter has been
at the convent for three years. She is now nineteen years old. The
second is still a child.
Richard went further into the garden; he looked over at Salingen,
and then at the mountains. His eye followed a path that went winding up
the mountain like a golden thread and led to the top. Then his eye
rested for a time on a particular spot in that yellow path. Richard
remained taciturn and reserved the rest of the day. He sat in his room
and tried to read, but the subject did not interest him. He often
looked dreamily from the book. He finally arose, took his hat and cane,
and was soon lost in the mountain. The next morning Richard went to the
borders of the forest, and looked frequently over at Salingen as it lay
in rural serenity before him. The pleasant hamlet excited his interest.
He then turned to the right and pursued the yellow path which he had
examined the day before, up the mountain. The birds sang in the bushes,
and on the branches of the tallest oak perched the black-bird whose
morning hymn echoed far and wide. The sweet notes of the nightingale
joined in the general concert, and the shrill piping of the hawk struck
in discordantly with the varied and beautiful song. Even unconscious
nature displayed her beauties. The dew hung in great drops on the
grass-blades and glittered like so many brilliants, and wild flowers
loaded the air with sweet perfumes. Richard saw little of these
beauties of spring. He ascended still higher. His mind seemed agitated
and burdened. He had just turned a bend in the road when he saw a
female figure approaching. His cheeks grew darker as his eyes rested on
the approaching figure. He gazed in the distance, and a disdainful
flush overspread his face. He approached her as he would approach an
enemy whose power he had felt, and whom he wished to conciliate.
She was within fifty paces of him. Her blue dress fell in heavy
folds about her person. The ribbons of her straw bonnet, that hung on
her arm, fluttered in the breeze. In her left hand she held a bunch of
flowers. On her right arm hung a silk mantle, which the mild air had
rendered unnecessary. Her full, glossy hair was partly in a silk net
and partly plaited over the forehead and around the head, as is
sometimes seen with children. Her countenance was exquisitely
beautiful, and her light eyes now rested full and clear on the stranger
who approached her. She looked at him with the easy, natural
inquisitiveness of a child, surprised to meet such an elegant gentleman
in this place.
Frank looked furtively at her, as though he feared the fascinating
power of the vision that so lightly and gracefully passed him. He
raised his hat stiffly and formally. This was necessary to meet the
requirement of etiquette. Were it not, he would perhaps have passed her
by without a salutation. She did not return his greeting with a stiff
bow, but with a friendly good-morning; and this too in a voice whose
sweetness, purity, and melody harmonized with the beautiful echoes of
Frank moved on hastily for some distance. He was about to look back,
but did not do so; and continued on his way, with contracted brows,
till a turn in the road hid her from his view. Here he stopped and
wiped the sweat from his forehead. His heart beat quickly, and he was
agitated by strong, emotions. He stood leaning on his cane and gazing
into the shadows of the forest. He then continued thoughtfully, and
ascended some hundred feet higher till he gained the top of the
mountain. The tall trees ceased; a variegated copsewood crowned the
summit, which formed a kind of platform. Human hands had levelled the
ground, and on the moss that covered it grew modest little violets.
Near the border of the platform stood a stone cross of rough material.
Near this cross lay the fragments of another large rock, that might
have been shattered by lightning years before. A few steps back of
this, on two square blocks of stone, stood a statue of the Virgin and
Child, of white stone very carefully wrought, but without much art. The
Virgin had a crown of roses on her head. The Child held a little bunch
of forget-me-nots in its hand, and as it held them out seemed to say,
Forget me not. Two heavy vases that could not be easily overturned by
the wind, standing on the upper block, also contained flowers. All
these flowers were quite fresh, as if they had just been placed there.
Richard examined these things, and wondered what they, meant in this
solitude of the mountain. The fresh flowers and the cleanliness of the
statue, on which no dust or moss could be seen, indicated a careful
keeper. He thought of the young woman whom he met. He had seen the same
kind of flowers in her hand, and doubtless she was the devotee of the
Scarcely had his thoughts taken this direction when he turned away
and walked to the border of the plot; and gazed at the country before
him. He looked down toward Frankenhöhe, whose white chimneys appeared
above the chestnut grove. He contemplated the plains with their
luxuriant fields reflecting every shade of greenthe strips of forests
that lay like shadows in the sunny plainnumberless hamlets with
church towers whose gilded crosses gleamed in the sun. He gazed in the
distance where the mountain ranges vanished in the mist, and long he
enjoyed the magnificence of the view. He was aroused from his dreamy
contemplation by the sound of footsteps behind him.
An old man with a load of wood on his shoulders came up to the
place. Breathing heavily, he threw down the wood and wiped the sweat
from his face. He saw the stranger, and respectfully touched his cap as
he sat down on the wood.
Frank went to him.
You are from Salingen, I suppose, he began.
It is very hard for an old man like you to carry such a load so
It is indeed, but I am poor and must do it.
Frank looked at the patched clothes of the old man, his coarse
shoes, his stockingless feet, and meagre body, and felt compassion for
For us poor people the earth bears but thistles and thorns. After
a pause, the old man continued, We have to undergo many tribulations
and difficulties, and sometimes we even suffer from hunger. But thus it
is in the world. The good God will reward us in the next world for our
sufferings in this.
These words sounded strangely to Richard. Raised as he was in the
midst of wealth, and without contact with poverty, he had never found
occasion to consider the lot of the poor; and now the resignation of
the old man, and his hope in the future, seemed strange to him. He was
astonished that religion could have such powerso great and strongto
comfort the poor in the miseries of a hopeless, comfortless life.
But what if your hope in another world deceive you?
The old man looked at him with astonishment.
How can I be deceived? God is faithful. He keeps his promises.
And what has he promised you?
Eternal happiness if I persevere, patient and just, to the end.
I wonder at your strong faith!
It is my sole possession on earth. What would support us poor
people, what would keep us from despair, if religion did not?
Frank put his hand into his pocket,
Here, said he, perhaps this money will relieve your wants.
The old man looked at the bright thalers in his hand, and the tears
trickled down his cheeks.
This is too much, sir; I cannot receive six thalers from you.
That is but a trifle for me; put it in your pocket, and say no more
May God reward and bless you a thousand times for it!
What does that cross indicate?
That is a weather cross, sir. We have a great deal of bad weather
to fear. We have frequent storms here, in summer; they hang over the
mountain and rage terribly. Every ravine becomes a torrent that dashes
over the fields, hurling rocks and sand from the mountain. Our fields
are desolated and destroyed. The people of Salingen placed that cross
there against the weather. In spring the whole community come here in
procession and pray God to protect them from the storms.
Richard reflected on this phenomenon; the confidence of these simple
people in the protection of God, whose omnipotence must intervene
between the remorseless elements and their victims, appeared to him as
the highest degree of simplicity. But he kept his thoughts to himself,
for he respected the religious sentiments of the old man, and would not
hurt his feelings.
And the Virgin, why is she there?
Ah! that is a wonderful story, sir, he answered, apparently
wishing to evade an explanation.
Which every one ought not to know?
Wellbut perhaps the gentleman would laugh, and I would not like
Why do you think I would laugh at the story?
Because you are a gentleman of quality, and from the city, and such
people do not believe any more in miracles.
This observation of rustic sincerity was not pleasing to Frank. It
expressed the opinion that the higher classes ignore faith in the
If I promise you not to laugh, will you tell me the story?
I will; you were kind to me, and you can ask the story of me. About
thirty years ago, began the old man after a pause, there lived a
wealthy farmer at Salingen whose name was Schenck. Schenck was young.
He married a rich maiden and thereby increased his property. But
Schenck had many great faults. He did not like to work and look after
his fields. He let his servants do as they pleased, and his fields
were, of course, badly worked and yielded no more than half a crop.
Schenck sat always in the tavern, where he drank and played cards and
dice. Almost every night he came home drunk. Then he would quarrel with
his wife, who reproached him. He abused her, swore wickedly, and
knocked everything about the room, and behaved very badly altogether.
Schenck sank lower and lower, and became at last a great sot. His
property was soon squandered. He sold one piece after another, and when
he had no more property to sell, he took it into his head to sell
himself to the devil for money. He went one night to a cross-road, and
called the devil, but the devil would not come; perhaps because Schenck
belonged to him already, for the Scripture says, 'A drunkard cannot
enter the kingdom of heaven.' At last a suit was brought against him,
and the last of his property was sold, and he was driven from his home.
This hurt Schenck very much, for he always had a certain kind of pride.
He thought of the past times when he was rich and respected, and now he
had lost all respect with his neighbors. He thought of his wife and his
four children, whom he had made poor and miserable. All this drove him
to despair. He determined to put an end to himself. He bought a rope
and came up here one morning to hang himself. He tied the rope to an
arm of the cross, and had his head in the noose, when all at once he
remembered that he had not yet said his three 'Hail! Marys.' His mother
who was dead had accustomed him, when a child, to say every day three
'Hail! Marys.' Schenck had never neglected this practice for a single
day. Then he took his head out of the noose and said, 'Well, as I have
said the Hail! Marys every day, I will say them also to-day, for the
last time.' He knelt down before the cross and prayed. When he was
done, he stood up to hang himself. But he had scarcely stood on his
feet when he was snatched up by a whirlwind and carried through the air
till he was over a vineyard, where he fell without hurting himself. As
he stood up, an ugly man stood before him and said, 'This time you have
escaped me, but the next time I will get you.' The ugly man had horses'
hoofs in place of feet, and wore green clothes. He disappeared before
Schenck's eyes. Schenck swears that this ugly man was the devil. He
declares also that he has to thank the Mother of God, through whose
intercession he escaped the claws of the devil. Schenck had that statue
placed there in memory of his wonderful escapethat is why the Mother
of God is there.
A wonderful story indeed! said Richard. Although I do not laugh
as you see, yet I must assure that I do not believe the story.
I thought so, answered the old man. But you can ask Schenck
himself. He is still living, and is now seventy. Since that day he has
changed entirely. He drinks nothing but water. He never enters a
tavern, but goes every day to church. From that time to this Schenck
has very industrious, and has saved a nice property.
That the drunkard reformed is most remarkable and best part of the
story, said Frank. Drunkards very seldom reform. But, continued he
smiling, the devil acted very stupidly in the affair. He should have
known that his appearance would have made a deep impression on the man,
and that he would not let himself be caught a second time.
That is true, said the old man. I believe the devil was forced to
appear and speak so.
Forced? By whom?
By Him before whom the devils believe and tremble. Schenck was to
understand that God delivered on account of his pious custom, and the
devil had to tell him his would not happen a second time.
How prudent you are in your superstition! said Frank.
As the gentleman has been kind, it hurts me to hear him speak so.
Now, said Richard quickly, I would not hurt your feelings. One
may be a good Christian without believing fables. And the flowers near
the statue. Has Schenck placed them there too?
Oh! nothe Angel did that.
The Angel. Who is that? said Frank, surprised.
The Angel of SalingenSiegwart's angel.
Ah! angel is Angela, is it not?
So she may be called. In Salingen they call her only Angel. And she
is indeed as lovely, good, and beautiful as an angel. She has a heart
for the poor, and she gives with an open hand and a smiling face that
does one good. She is like her father, who gives me as many potatoes as
I want, and seed for my little patch of ground.
Why does Angela decorate this statue?
I do not know; perhaps she does it through devotion.
The flowers are quite fresh; does she come here every day?
Every day during the month of May, and no longer.
Why no longer?
I do not know the reason; she has done so for the last two years,
since she came home from the convent, and she will do so this year.
As Siegwart is so good to the poor, he must be rich.
Very richyou can see from his house. Do you see that fine
building there next to the road? That is the residence of Herr
It was the same building that had arrested Richard's attention as he
passed it some days before, and the sight of which had excited the
ill-humor of his father. Richard returned by a shorter way to
Frankenhöhe. He was serious and meditative. Arrived at home, he wrote
in his diary:
May 13th.Well, I have seen her. She exhibits herself as the
'Angel of Salingen.' She is extremely beautiful. She is full of
amiability and purity of character. And to-day she did not wear that
detestable crinoline. But she will have other foibles in place of it.
She will, in some things at least, yield to the superficial tendencies
of her sex. Isabella was an ideal, until she descended from the height
where my imagination, deceived by her charms, had placed her. The
impression which Angela's appearance produced has rests on the same
foundationdeception. A better acquaintance will soon discover this.
Curious! I long to become better acquainted!
Religion is not a disease or hallucination, as many think. It is a
power. Religion teaches the poor to bear their hard lot with patience.
It comforts and keeps them from despair. It directs their attention to
an eternal reward, and this hope compensates them for all the
afflictions and miseries of this life. Without religion, human society
would fall to pieces.
A servant entered, and announced dinner.
Ah Richard! said Herr Frank good-humoredly. Half an hour late for
dinner, and had to be called! That is strange; I do not remember such a
thing to have happened before. You are always as punctual as a
I was in the mountain and had just returned.
No excuse, my son. I am glad the neighborhood diverts you, and that
you depart a little from your regularity. Now everything is in good
order, as I desired, for my friend and deliverer. I have just received
a letter from him. He will be here in two days. I shall be glad to see
the good man again. If Frankenhöhe will only please him for a long
I have no doubt of that, said Richard. The doctor will be
received like a friend, treated like a king, and will live here like
Adam and Eve in paradise.
Everything will go on as formerly. I will be coming and going on
account of business. You will, of course, remain uninterruptedly at
Frankenhöhe. You are high in the doctor's esteem. You interest him very
much. It is true you annoy him sometimes with your unlearned objections
and bold assertions. But I have observed that even vexation, when it
comes from you, is not disagreeable to him.
But the poor should not annoy him with their sick, said Richard.
He never denies his services to the poor, as he never grants them to
the rich. Indeed, I have sometimes observed that he tears himself from
his books with the greatest reluctance, and it is not without an effort
that he does it.
But we cannot change it, said Herr Frank; we cannot send the poor
away without deeply offending Klingenberg. But I esteem him the more
for his generosity.
After dinner the father and son went into the garden and talked of
various matters; suddenly Richard stopped and pointing over to
I passed to-day that neat building that stands near the road. Who
There lives the noble and lordly Herr Siegwart, said Herr Frank
His tone surprised Richard. He was not accustomed to hear his father
Is Siegwart a noble?
Not in the strict sense. But he is the ruler of Salingen. He rules
in that town, as absolutely as princes formerly did in their kingdoms.
What is the cause of his influence?
His wealth, in the first place; secondly, his charity; and lastly,
You are not favorable to him?
No, indeed! The Siegwart family is excessively ultramontane and
clerical. You know I cannot endure these narrow prejudices and this
obstinate adherence to any form of religion. Besides, I have a
particular reason for disagreement with Siegwart, of which I need not
Excessively ultramontane and clerical! thought Richard, as he went
to his room. Angela is undoubtedly educated in this spirit.
Stultifying confessionalism and religious narrow-mindedness have no
doubt cast a deep shadow over the 'angel.' Nowpatience; the deception
will soon banish.
He took up Schlosser's History, and read a long time. But his eyes
wandered from the page, and his thoughts soon followed.
The next morning at the same hour Richard went to the weather cross.
He took the same road and again he met Angela; she had the same blue
dress, the same straw hat on her arm, and flowers in her hand. She
beheld him with the same clear eyes, with the same unconstrained
manneronly, as he thought, more charmingas on the first day. He
greeted her coolly and formally, as before. She thanked him with the
same affability. Again the temptation came over him to look back at
her; again he overcame it. When he came to the statue, he found fresh
flowers in the vases. The child Jesus had fresh forget-me-nots in his
hand, and the Mother had a crown of fresh roses on her head. On the
upper stone lay a book, bound in blue satin and clasped with a silver
clasp. When he took it up, he found beneath it a rosary made of an
unknown material, and having a gold cross fastened at the end. He
opened the book. The passage that had been last read was marked with a
silk ribbon. It was as follows:
My son, trust not thy present affection; it will be quickly changed
into another. As long as thou livest thou art subject to change, even
against thy will; so as to be sometimes joyful, at other times sad; now
easy, now troubled; at one time devout, at another dry; sometimes
fervent, at other times sluggish; one day heavy, another day lighter.
But he that is wise and well instructed in spirit stands above all
these changes, not minding what he feels in himself, nor on what side
the wind of instability blows; but that the whole bent of his soul may
advance toward its due and wished-for end; for thus he may continue one
and the self-same without being shaken, by directing without ceasing,
through all this variety of events, the single eye of his intention
toward me. And by how much more pure the eye of the intention is, with
so much greater constancy mayest thou pass through these divers storms.
But in many the eye of pure intention is dark; for men quickly look
toward something delightful that comes in their way. And it is rare to
find one who is wholly free from all blemish of self-seeking.
Frank remembered having written about the same thoughts in his
diary. But here they were conceived in another and deeper sense.
He read the title of the book. It was The Following of Christ.
He copied the title in his pocketbook. He then with a smile examined
the rosary, for he was not without prejudice against this kind of
He had no doubt Angela had left these things here, and he thought it
would be proper to return them to the owner. He came slowly down the
mountain reading the book. It was clear to him that The Following of
Christ was a book full of very earnest and profound reflections.
And he wondered how so young a woman could take any interest in such
serious reading. He was convinced that all the ladies he knew would
throw such a book aside with a sneer, because its contents condemned
their lives and habits. Angela, then, must be of a different character
from all the ladies he knew, and he was very desirous of knowing better
this character of Angela.
In a short time he entered the gate and passed through the yard to
the stately building where Herr Siegwart dwelt. He glanced hastily at
the long out-buildingsthe large barns; at the polished cleanliness of
the paved court, the perfect order of every thing, and finally at the
ornamented mansion. Then he looked at the old lindens that stood near
the house, whose trunks were protected from injury by iron railings. In
the tops of these trees lodged a lively family of sparrows, who were at
present in hot contention, for they quarrelled and cried as loud and as
long as did formerly the lords in the parliament of Frankfort. The
beautiful garden, separated from the yard by a low wall covered with
white boards, did not escape him. Frank entered, upon a broad and very
clean path; as his feet touched the stone slabs, he heard, through the
open door, a low growl, and then a man's voice saying, Quiet, Hector.
Frank walked through the open door into a large room handsomely
furnished, and odoriferous with a multitude of flowers in vases. A man
in the prime of life sat on the sofa reading and smoking. He wore a
light-brown overcoat, brown trousers, and low, thick boots. He had a
fresh, florid complexion, red beard, blue eyes, and an expressive,
agreeable countenance. When Frank entered he arose, laid aside the
paper and cigar, and approached the visitor.
I found these things on the mountain near the weather-cross. said
Frank, after a more formal than affable bow. As your daughter met me,
I presume they belong to her. I thought it my duty to return them.
These things certainly belong to my daughter, answered Herr
Siegwart. You are very kind, sir. You have placed us under obligations
I was passing this way, said Frank briefly.
And whom have we the honor to thank?
I am Richard Frank.
Herr Siegwart bowed. Frank noticed a slight embarrassment in his
countenance. He remembered the expressions his father had used in
reference to the Siegwart family, and it was clear to him that a
reciprocal ill feeling existed here. Siegwart soon resumed his friendly
manner, and invited him with much formality to the sofa. Richard felt
that he must accept the invitation at least for a few moments. Siegwart
sat on a chair in front of him, and they talked of various unimportant
matters. Frank admired the skill which enabled him to conduct, without
interruption, so pleasant a conversation with a stranger.
While they were speaking, some house-swallows flew into the room.
They fluttered about without fear, sat on the open door, and joined
their cheerful twittering with the conversation of the men. Richard
expressed his admiration, and said he had never seen anything like it.
Our constant guests in summer, answered Siegwart. They build
their nests in the hall, and as they rise earlier than we do, an
opening is left for them above the hall door, where they can go in and
out undisturbed when the doors are closed. Angela is in their
confidence, and on the best of terms with them. When rainy or cold days
come during breeding time they suffer from want of food. Angela is then
their procurator. I have often admired Angela's friendly intercourse
with the swallows, who perch upon her shoulders and hands.
Richard looked indeed at the twittering swallows, but their friend
Angela passed before his eyes, so beautiful indeed that he no longer
heard what Siegwart was saying.
He arose; Siegwart accompanied him. As they passed through the yard,
Frank observed the long row of stalls, and said,
You must have considerable stock?
Yes, somewhat. If you would like to see the property, I will show
you around with pleasure.
I regret that I cannot now avail myself of your kindness; I shall
do so in a few days, answered Frank.
Herr Frank, said Siegwart, may the accident which has given us
the pleasure of your agreeable visit, be the occasion of many visits in
future. I know that as usual you will spend the month of May at
Frankenhöhe. We are neighborsthis title, in my opinion, should
indicate a friendly intercourse.
Let it be understood, Herr Siegwart; I accept with pleasure your
On the way to Frankenhöhe Richard walked very slowly, and gazed into
the distance before him. He thought of the swallows that perched on
Angela's shoulders and hands. Their sweet notes still echoed in his
The country-like quiet of Siegwart's house and the sweet peace that
pervaded it were something new to him. He thought of the simple
character of Siegwart, who, as his father said, was ultramontane and
clerical, and whom he had represented to himself as a dark, reserved
man. He found nothing in the open, natural manner of the man to
correspond with his preconceived opinion of him. Richard concluded that
either Herr Siegwart was not an ultramontane, or the characteristics of
the ultramontanes, as portrayed in the free-thinking newspapers of the
day, were erroneous and false.
Buried in such thoughts, he reached Frankenhöhe. As he passed
through the yard, he did not observe the carriage that stood there. But
as he passed under the window, he heard a loud voice, and some books
were thrown from the window and fell at his feet. He looked down in
surprise at the books, whose beautiful binding was covered with sand.
He now observed the coach, and smiled.
Ah! the doctor is here, said he. He has thrown these unwelcome
guests out of the window. Just like him.
He took up the books and read the titles, Vogt's Pictures from
Animal Life, Vogt's Physiological Letters, Czolbe's
He took the books to his room and began to read them. Herr Frank,
with his joyful countenance, soon appeared.
Klingenberg is here! said he.
I suspected as much already, said Richard. I passed by just as he
threw the books out of the window with his usual impetuosity.
Do not let him see the books; the sight of them sets him wild.
Klingenberg walks only in his own room. I wish to read these books;
what enrages him with innocent paper?
I scarcely know, myself. He examined the library and was much
pleased with some of the works. But suddenly he tore these books from
their place and hurled them through the window.
'I tolerate no bad company among these noble geniuses,' said he,
pointing to the learned works.
'Pardon me, honored friend,' said I, 'if, without my knowledge,
some bad books were included. What kind of writings are these, doctor?
'Stupid materialistic trash,' said he. 'If I had Vogt, Moleschott,
Colbe, and Büchner here, I would throw them body and bones out of the
I was very much surprised at this declaration, so contrary to the
doctor's kind disposition. 'What kind of people are those you have
named?' said I.
'No people, my dear Frank,' said he. 'They are animals. This Vogt
and his fellows have excluded themselves from the pale of humanity,
inasmuch as they have declared apes, oxen, and asses to be their
I am now very desirous to know these books, said Richard.
Well, do not let our friend know your intention, urged Frank.
Richard dressed and went to greet the singular guest. He was sitting
before a large folio. He arose at Richard's entrance and paternally
reached him both hands.
Doctor Klingenberg was of a compact, strong build. He had unusually
long arms, which he swung back and forth in walking. His features were
sharp, but indicated a modest character. From beneath his bushy
eyebrows there glistened two small eyes that did not give an agreeable
expression to his countenance. This unfavorable expression was,
however, only the shell of a warm heart.
The doctor was good-naturedhard on himself, but mild in his
judgments of others. He had an insatiable desire for knowledge, and it
impelled him to severe studies that robbed him of his hair and made him
How healthy you look, Richard! said he, contemplating the young
man. I am glad to see you have not been spoiled by the seething
atmosphere of modern city life.
You know, doctor, I have a natural antipathy to all swamps and
That is right, Richard; preserve a healthy naturalness.
We expected you this morning.
And would go to the station to bring me. Why this ceremony? I am
here, and I will enjoy for a few weeks the pure, bracing mountain air.
Our arrangements will be as formerlynot so, my dear friend?
I am at your service.
You have, of course, discovered some new points that afford fine
If not many, at least onethe weather cross, answered Frank. A
beautiful position. The hill stands out somewhat from the range. The
whole plain lies before the ravished eyes. At the same time, there are
things connected with that place that are not without their
influence on me. They refer to a custom of the ultramontanists that
clashes with modern ideas; I will have an opportunity of seeing whether
your opinion coincides with mine.
Very well; since we have already an object for our next walkand
this is according to our old plantomorrow after dinner at three
o'clock, and saying this he glanced wistfully at the old folio. Frank,
smiling, observed the delicate hint and retired.
On the following day, Richard went to the weather-cross. He did not
meet Angela. She must have been unusually early; for the flowers had
evidently just been placed before the statue.
He returned, gloomy, to the house, and wrote in his diary:
She did not meet me to-day, and probably will not meet me again. I
should have left the book where it was; it might have awakened her
gratitude; for I think she left it purposely, to give me an opportunity
to make her acquaintance.
How many young women would give more than a book to get acquainted
with a wealthy party! The 'Angel' is very sensitive; but this
sensibility pleases me, because it is true womanly delicacy.
She will now avoid meeting me in this lonely road. But I will study
her character in her father's house. I will see if she does not confirm
my opinion of the women of our times. It was for this purpose alone
that I accepted Siegwart's invitation. Angela must not play Isabella;
no woman ever shall. Single, and free from woman's yoke, I will go
through the world.
He put aside the diary, and began reading Vogt's Physiological
At three o'clock precisely, Richard with the punctual doctor left
Frankenhöhe. They passed through the chestnut grove and through the
vineyard toward Salingen. The doctor pushed on with long steps, his
arms swinging back and forth. He was evidently pleased with the subject
he had been reading. He had, on leaving the house, shaken Richard by
the hand, and spoken a few friendly words, but not a syllable since.
Richard knew his ways; and knew that it would take some time for him to
They were passing between Siegwart's house and Salingen, when they
beheld Angela, at a distance, coming toward them. She carried a little
basket on her arm, and on her head she wore a straw hat with broad
fluttering ribbons. Richard fixed his eyes attentively on her. This
time, also, she did not wear hoops, but a dress of modest colors. He
admired her light, graceful movement and charming figure. The
blustering doctor moderated his steps and went slower the nearer he
came to Angela, and considered her with surprise. Frank greeted her,
touching his hat. She did not thank him, as before, with a friendly
greeting, but by a scarcely perceptible inclination of the head; nor
did she smile as before, but on this account seemed to him more
charming and ethereal than ever. She only glanced at him, and he
thought he observed a slight blush on her cheeks.
These particulars were engrossing the young man's attention when he
heard the doctor say,
Evidently the Angel of Salingen.
Who? said Richard in surprise.
The Angel of Salingen, returned Klingenberg. You are surprised at
this appellation; is it not well-merited?
My surprise increases, doctor; for exaggeration is not your
But she deserves acknowledgment. Let me explain. The maiden is the
daughter of the proprietor Siegwart, and her name is Angela. She is a
model of every virtue. She is, in the female world, what an image of
the Virgin, by one of the old masters, would be among the hooped gentry
of the present. As you are aware, I have been often called to the
cabins of the sick poor, and there the quiet, unostentatious labors of
this maiden have become known to me. Angela prepares suitable food for
the sick, and generally takes it to them herself. The basket on her arm
does service in this way. There are many poor persons who would not
recover unless they had proper, nourishing food. To these Angela is a
great benefactor. For this reason, she has a great influence over the
minds of the sick, and the state of the mind greatly facilitates or
impedes their recovery.
I have often entered just after she had departed, and the
beneficial influence of her presence could be still seen in the
countenances of the poor. Her presence diffused resignation, peace,
contentment, and a peculiar cheerfulness in the meanest and most
wretched hovels of poverty, where she enters without hesitation. This
is certainly a rare quality in so young a creature. She rejoices the
hearts of the children by giving them clothes, sometimes made by
herself, or pictures and the like. Her whole object appears to be to
reconcile and make all happy. I have just seen her for the first time;
her beauty is remarkable, and might well adorn an angel. The common
people wish only to Germanize 'Angela' when they call her 'Angel.' But
she is indeed an angel of heaven to the poor and needy.
Frank said nothing. He moved on in silence toward the weather-cross.
I have accidentally discovered a singular custom of your 'angel,'
doctor. There is at the weather-cross a Madonna of stone. Angela has
imposed upon herself the singular task of adorning this Madonna, daily,
with fresh flowers.
You are a profane fellow, Richard. You should not speak in such a
derisive tone of actions which are the out-flowings of pious
Every one has his hobby. What will not people do through ambition?
I know ladies who torture a piano for half the night, in order to catch
the tone of the prima-donna at the opera. I know women who undergo all
possible privations to be able to wear as fine clothes, as costly furs,
as others with whom they are in rivalry. This exhaustive night-singing,
these deprivations, are submitted to through foolish vanity. Perhaps
Angela is not less ambitious and vain than others of her sex. As she
cannot dazzle these country folk with furs or toilette, she dazzles
their religious sentiment by ostentatious piety.
Radically false! said the doctor. Charity and virtue are
recognized and honored not only in the country, but also in the cities.
Why do not your coquettes strive for this approval? Because they want
Angela's nobility of soul. And again, why should Angela wish to gain
the admiration of the peasants? She is the daughter of the wealthiest
man in the neighborhood. If such was her object, she could gratify her
ambition in a very different way.
Then Angela is a riddle to me, returned Richard. I cannot
conceive the motives of her actions.
Which are so natural! The maiden follows the impulses of her own
noble nature, and these impulses are developed and directed by
Christian culture, and convent education. Angela was a long time with
the nuns, and only returned home two years ago. Here you have the very
natural solution of the riddle.
Are you acquainted with the Siegwart family?
No; what I know of Angela I learned from the people of Salingen.
They arrived at the platform. Klingenberg stood silent for some time
admiring the landscape. The view did not seem to interest Richard. His
eyes rested on Angela's home, whose white walls, surrounded by
vineyards and corn-fields, glistened in the sun.
It is worth while to come up here oftener, said Klingenberg.
Angela's work, said Richard as he drew near the statue. The doctor
paused a moment and examined the flowers.
Do you observe Angela's fine taste in the arrangement of the
colors? said he. And the forget-me-nots! What a deep religious
meaning they have.
They returned by another way to Frankenhöhe.
Angela's pious work, began Richard after a long pause, reminds me
of a religious custom against which modern civilization has thus far
warred in vain. I mean the veneration of saints. You, as a Protestant,
will smile at this custom, and I, as a Catholic, must deplore the
tenacity with which my church clings to this obsolete remnant of
Ah! this is the subject you alluded to yesterday, said the doctor.
I must, in fact, smile, my dear Richard! But I by no means smile at
'the tenacity with which your church clings to the obsolete remnants of
heathen idolatry.' I smile at your queer idea of the veneration of the
saints. I, as a reasonable man, esteem this veneration, and recognize
its admirable and beneficial influence on human society.
This declaration increased Frank's surprise to the highest degree.
He knew the clear mind of the doctor, and could not understand how it
happened that he wished to defend a custom so antagonistic to modern
You find fault, continued Klingenberg, with the custom of
erecting statues to these holy men in the churches, the forest, the
fields, the houses, and in the market?
Yes, I do object to that.
If you had objected to the lazy Schiller at Mayence, or the
robber's poet Schiller, as he raves at the theatre in Mannheim, or to
the conqueror and destroyer of Germany, Gustavus Adolphus, whose statue
is erected as an insult in a German city, then you would be right.
Schiller-worship has its justification, retorted Frank. They
erect public monuments to the genial spirit of that man, to remind us
of his services to poetry, his aspirations, and his German patriotism.
It is praiseworthy to erect monuments to the poet. But do not talk
of Schiller's patriotism, for he had none. But let that pass; it is not
to the point. The question is, whether you consider it praiseworthy to
erect monuments to deserving and exalted genius?
Without the least hesitation, I say yes. But I see what you are
driving at, doctor. I know the remorseless logic of your inferences.
But you will not catch me in your vise this time. You wish to infer
that the saints far surpassed Schiller in nobility and greatness of
soul, and that honoring them, therefore, is more reasonable, and more
justifiable, than honoring Schiller. I dispute the greatness of the
so-called saints. They were men full of narrowness and rigorism. They
despised the world and their friends. They carried this contempt to a
wonderful extentto a renunciation of all the enjoyments of life, to
voluntary poverty and unconditional obedience. But all these are fruits
that have grown on a stunted, morbid tree, and are in opposition to
progress, to industry, and to the enlightened civilization of modern
times. The dark ages might well honor such men, but our times cannot.
Schiller, on the contrary, that genial man, taught us to love the
pleasures of life. By his fine genius and his odes to pleasure, he
frightened away all the spectres of these enthusiastic views of life.
He preached a sound taste and a free, unconstrained enjoyment of the
things of this beautiful earth. And for this reason precisely, because
he inaugurated this new doctrine, does he deserve monuments in his
How does it happen then, my friend, said the doctor, in a cutting
tone that was sometimes peculiar to him, that you do not take
advantage of the modern doctrine of unconstrained enjoyment? Why have
you preserved fresh your youthful vigor, and not dissipated it at the
market of sensual pleasures? Why is your mode of life so often a
reproach to your dissolute friends? Why do you avoid the resorts of
refined pleasures? Why are the coquettish, vitiated, hollow
inclinations of a great part of the female sex so distasteful to you?
These are peculiarities of my nature; individual opinions that have
no claim to any weight.
Peculiarities of your naturevery right; your noble nature, your
pure feelings rebel against these moral acquisitions of progress. I
begin with your noble nature. If I did not find this good, true self in
you, I would waste no more words. But because you are what you are, I
must convince you of the error of your views. Schiller, you say, and,
with him, the modern spirit, raised the banner of unrestrained
enjoyment, and this enjoyment rests on sensual pleasures, does it not?
I knew and know many who followed this bannerand you also know
many. Of those whom I knew professionally, some ended their days in the
hospital, of the most loathsome diseases. Some, unsatiated with the
whole round of pleasures, drag on a miserable life, dead to all energy,
and spiritless. They drank the full cup of pleasure, and with it
unspeakable bitterness and disgust. Some ended in ignominy and
shamebankruptcy, despair, suicide. Such are the consequences of this
modern dogma of unrestrained enjoyments.
All these overstepped the proper bounds of pleasure, said Richard.
The proper bounds? Stop! cried the doctor, No leaps, Richard!
Think clearly and logically. Christianity also allows enjoyment,
butand here is the pointin certain limits. Your progress, on the
contrary, proclaims freedom in moral principles, a disregard of all
moral obligations, unrestricted enjoymentand herein consists the
danger and delusion. I ask, Are you in favor of restricted or
Frank hesitated. He felt already the thumbscrew of the irrepressible
doctor, and feared the inferences he would draw from his admissions.
Come! urged Klingenberg, decide.
Sound reason declares for restricted enjoyment, said Frank
Good; there you leave the unlimited sphere which godless progress
has given to the thoughts and inclinations of men. You admit the
obligation of self-control, and the restraint of the grosser emotions.
But let us proceed; you speak of industry. The modern spirit of
industry has invoked a demonor, rather, the demoniac spirit of the
times has taken possession of industry. The great capitalists have
built thrones on their money-bags and tyrannize over those who have no
money. They crush out the work-shop of the industrious and well-to-do
tradesman, and compel him to be their slave. Go into the factories of
Elfeld, or England; you can there see the slaves of this demon
industrymiserable creatures, mentally and morally stunted, socially
perishing; not only slaves, but mere wheels of the machines. This is
what modern industry has made of those poor wretches, for whom,
according to modern enlightenment, there is no higher destiny than to
drag through life in slavery, to increase the money-bags of their
tyrants. But the capitalists have perfect right, according to modern
ideas; they only use the means at their command. The table of the ten
commandments has been broken; the yoke of Christianity broken. Man is
morally and religiously free; and from this false liberalism the
tyranny of plutocracy and the slavery of the poor has been developed.
Are you satisfied with the development, and the principles that made it
No, said Frank decidedly. I despise that miserable industrialism
that values the product more than the man. My admissions are, however,
far from justifying the exaggerated notions of the saints.
Wait a bit! cried Klingenberg hastily. I have just indicated the
cause of this wretched egotism, and also a consequencenamely, the
power of great capitalists and manufacturers over an army of white
slaves. But this is by no means all. This demon of industry has
consequences that will ruin a great portion of mankind. Now mark what I
say, Richard! The richness of the subject allows me only to indicate.
The progressive development of industry brings forth products of which
past ages were ignorant, because they were not necessary for life. The
existence of these products creates a demand. The increased wants
increase the outlay, which in most cases does not square with the
income, and therefore the accounts of many close with a deficit The
consequences of this deficit for the happiness, and even for the morals
of the family, I leave untouched. The increased products beget luxury
and the desire for enjoyment; the ultimate consequences of which
enervate the individual and society. Hence the phenomenon, in England,
that the greater portion of the people in the manufacturing towns die
before the age of fifteen, and that many are old men at thirty.
Enervated and demoralized peoples make their existence impossible. They
go to the wall. This is a historical fact. Ergo, modern industry
separated from Christian civilization hastens the downfall of nations.
I cannot dispute the truth of your observations. But you have
touched only the dark side of modern industry, without mentioning its
benefits. If industry is a source of fictitious wants, it affords, on
the other hand, cheap prices to the poor for the most necessary wants
of life; for example, cheap materials for clothing.
Very cheap, but also very poor material, answered Klingenberg. In
former times, clothing was dearer, but also better. They knew nothing
of the rags of the present fabrication. And it may be asked whether
that dearer material was not cheaper in the end for the poor. When this
is taken into consideration, the new material has no advantage over the
old. I will freely admit that the inventions of modern times do honor
to human genius. I acknowledge the achievements of industry, as such. I
admire the improvements of machinery, the great revolution caused by
the use of steam, and thousands of other wonders of art. No sensible
man will question the relative worth of all these. But all these are
driven and commanded by a bad influence, and herein lies the injury. We
must consider industrialism from this higher standpoint. What advantage
is it to a people to be clothed in costly stuffs when they are
enervated, demoralized, and perishing? Clothe a corpse as you will, a
corpse it will be still. And besides, the greatest material good does
not compensate the white factory-slaves for the loss of their liberty.
The Lucullan age fell into decay, although they feasted on young
nightingales, drank liquified pearls, and squandered millions for
delicacies and luxuries. The life of nations does not consist in the
external splendor of wealth, in easy comfort, or in unrestrained
passions. Morality is the life of nations, and virtue their internal
strength. But virtue, morality, and Christian sentiment are under the
ban of modern civilization. If Christianity does not succeed in
overcoming this demon spirit of the times, or at least confining it
within narrow limits, it will and must drive the people to certain
destruction. We find decayed peoples in the Christian era, but the
church has always rescued and regenerated them. While the acquisitions
of modern timesindustrialism, enlightenment, humanitarianism, and
whatever they may be calledare, on the one hand, of little advantage
or of doubtful worth, they are, on the other hand, the graves of true
prosperity, liberty, and morality. They are the cause of shameful
terrorism and of degrading slavery, in the bonds of the passions and in
the claws of plutocracy.
Frank made no reply.
For a while they walked on in silence.
Let us, continued Klingenberg, consider personally those men
whose molten images stand before us. Schiller's was a noble nature, but
'No more this fight of duty, hence no longer
This giant strife will I!
Canst quench these passions evermore the stronger?
Then ask not virtue, what I must deny.
'Albeit I have sworn, yea, sworn that never
Shall yield my master will;
Yet take thy wreath; to me 'tis lost for ever!
Take back thy wreath, and let me sin my fill.'
Is this a noble and exalted way of thinking? Certainly not.
Schiller would be virtuous if he could clothe himself in the lustre of
virtue without sacrifice. The passionate impulses of the heart are
stronger in him than the sense of duty. He gives way to his passions.
He renounces virtue because he is too weak, too languid, too listless
to encounter this giant strife bravely like a strong man. Such is the
noble Schiller. In later years, when the fiery impulses of his heart
had subsided, he roused himself to better efforts and nobler aims.
Consider the prince of poets, Goethe. How morally naked and poor he
stands before us! Goethe's coarse insults to morality are well known.
His better friend, Schiller, wrote of him to Koerner, 'His mind is not
calm enough, because his domestic relations, which he is too weak to
change, cause him great vexation.' Koerner answered, 'Men cannot
violate morality with impunity.' Six years later, the 'noble' Goethe
was married to his 'mistress' at Weimar. Goethe's detestable political
principles are well known. He did not possess a spark of patriotism. He
composed hymns of victory to Napoleon, the tyrant, the destroyer and
desolator of Germany. These are the heroes of modern sentiment, the
advance guard of liberty, morality, and true manhood! And these heroes
so far succeeded that the noble Arndt wrote of his time, 'We are base,
cowardly, and stupid; too poor for love, too listless for anger, too
imbecile for hate. Undertaking everything, accomplishing nothing;
willing every thing, without the power of doing any thing.' So far has
this boasted freethinking created disrespect for revealed truth. So far
this modern civilization, which idealizes the passions, leads to
mockery of religion and lets loose the baser passions of man. If they
cast these representatives of the times in bronze, they should stamp on
the foreheads of their statues the words of Arndt:
'We are base, cowardly, and stupid; too poor for love, too listless
for anger, too imbecile for hate. Undertaking every thing,
accomplishing nothing; willing every thing, without the power of doing
You are severe, doctor.
I am not severe. It is the truth.
How does it happen that a people so weak, feeble, and base could
overthrow the power of the French in the world?
That was because the German people were not yet corrupted by that
shallow, unreal, hollow twaddle of the educated classes about humanity.
It was not the princes, not the nobility, who overthrew Napoleon. It
was the German people who did it. When, in 1813, the Germans rose, in
hamlet and city, they staked their property and lives for fatherland.
But it was not the enlightened poets and professors, not modern
sentimentality, that raised their hearts to this great sacrifice; not
these who enkindled this enthusiasm for fatherland. It was the
religious element that did it. The German warriors did not sing
Goethe's hymns to Napoleon, nor the insipid model song of 'Luetzows
wilder Jagd,' as they rushed into battle. They sang religious hymns,
they prayed before the altars. They recognized, in the terrible
judgment on Russia's ice-fields, the avenging hand of God. Trusting in
God, and nerved by religious exaltation, they took up the sword that
had been sharpened by the previous calamities of war. So the feeble
philanthropists could effect nothing. It was only a religious, healthy,
strong people could do that.
But the saints, doctor! We have wandered from them.
Not at all! We have thrown some light on inimical shadows; the
light can now shine. The lives of the saints exhibit something
wonderful and remarkable. I have studied them carefully. I have sought
to know their aims and efforts. I discovered that they imitated the
example of Christ, that they realized the exalted teachings of the
Redeemer. You find fault with their contempt for the things of this
world. But it is precisely in this that these men are great. Their
object was not the ephemeral, but the enduring. They considered life
but as the entrance to the eternal destiny of manin direct opposition
to the spirit of the times, that dances about the golden calf. The
saints did not value earthly goods for more than they were worth. They
placed them after self-control and victory over our baser nature. Exact
and punctual in all their duties, they were animated by an admirable
spirit of charity for their fellow-men. And in this spirit they have
frequently revived society. Consider the great founders of ordersSt.
Benedict, St. Dominic, St. Vincent de Paul! Party spirit, malice, and
stupidity have done their worst to blacken, defame, and calumniate
them. And yet, in a spirit of self-sacrifice, the sons of St. Benedict
came among the German barbarians, to bring to them the ennobling
doctrines of Christianity. It was the Benedictines who cleared the
primeval forests, educated their wild denizens, and founded schools;
who taught the barbarians handiwork and agriculture. Science and
knowledge flourished in the cloisters. And to the monks alone we are
indebted for the preservation of classic literature. What the monks did
then they are doing now. They forsake home, break all ties, and enter
the wilderness, there to be miserably cut off in the service of their
exalted mission, or to die of poisonous fevers. Name me one of your
modern heroes, whose mouths are full of civilization, humanity,
enlightenmentname me one who is capable of such sacrifice. These
prudent gentlemen remain at home with their gold-bags and their
pleasures, and leave the stupid monk to die in the service of exalted
charity. It is the hypocrisy and the falsehood of the modern spirit to
exalt itself, and belittle true worth. And what did St. Vincent de Paul
do? More than all the gold-bags together. St. Vincent, alone, solved
the social problem of his time. He was, in his time, the preserver of
society, or rather, Christianity through him. And to-day our gold-bags
tremble before the apparition of the same social problem. Here
high-sounding phrases and empty declamation do not avail. Deeds only
are of value. But the inflated spirit of the times is not capable of
noble action. It is not the modern statenot enlightened society, sunk
in egotism and goldthat can save us. Christianity alone can do it.
Social development will prove this.
I do not dispute the services of the saints to humanity, said
Frank. But the question is, Whether society would be benefited if the
fanatical, dark spirit of the middle ages prevailed, instead of the
spirit of modern times?
The fanatical, dark spirit of the middle ages! cried the doctor
indignantly. This is one of those fallacious phrases. The saints were
not fanatical or dark. They were open, cheerful, natural, humble men.
They did not go about with bowed necks and downcast eyes; but affable,
free from hypocrisy, and dark, sullen demeanor, they passed through
life. Many saints were poets. St. Francis sang his spiritual hymns to
the accompaniment of the harp. St. Charles played billiards. The holy
apostle, St. John, resting from his labors, amused himself in childish
play with a bird. Such were these men; severe toward themselves, mild
to others, uncompromising with the base and mean. They were all
abstinent and simple, allowing themselves only the necessary
enjoyments. They concealed from observation their severe mode of life,
and smiled while their shoulders bled from the discipline. Pride,
avarice, envy, voluptuousness, and all the bad passions, were strangers
to them; not because they had not the inclinations to these passions,
but because they restrained and overcame their lower nature.
I ask you, now, which men deserve our admirationthose who are
governed by unbounded selfishness, who are slaves to their passions,
who deny themselves no enjoyment, and who boast of their degrading
licentiousness; or those who, by reason of a pure life, are strong in
the government of their passions, and self-sacrificing in their charity
for their fellowmen?
The preference cannot be doubtful, said Frank. For the saints
have accomplished the greatest, they have obtained the highest thing,
self-control. But, doctor, I must condemn that saint-worship as it is
practised now. Human greatness always remains human, and can make no
claims to divine honor.
The doctor swung his arms violently. What does this reproach amount
to? Where are men deified? In the Catholic Church? I am a Protestant,
but I know that your church condemns the deification of men.
Doctor, said Frank, my religious ignorance deserves this rebuke.
I meant no rebuke. I would only give conclusions. Catholicism is
precisely that power that combats with success against the deifying of
men. You have in the course of your studies read the Roman classics.
You know that divine worship was offered to the Roman emperors. So far
did heathen flattery go, that the emperors were honored as the sons of
the highest divinityJupiter. Apotheosis is a fruit of heathen growth;
of old heathenism and of new heathenism. When Voltaire, that idol of
modern heathen worship, was returning to Paris in 1778, he was in all
earnestness promoted to the position of a deity. This remarkable play
took place in the theatre. Voltaire himself went there. Modern
fanaticism so far lost all shame that the people kissed the horse on
which the philosopher rode to the theatre. Voltaire was scarcely able
to press through the crowd of his worshippers. They touched his
clothestouched handkerchiefs to themplucked hairs from his fur coat
to preserve as relics. In the theatre they fell on their knees before
him and kissed his feet. Thus that tendency that calls itself free and
enlightened deified a manVoltaire, the most trifling scoffer, the
most unprincipled, basest man of Christendom.
Let us consider an example of our times. Look at Garibaldi in
London. That man permitted himself to be set up and worshipped. The
saints would have turned away from this stupidity with loathing
indignation. But this boundless, veneration flattered the old pirate
Garibaldi. He received 267,000 requests for locks of his hair, to be
cased in gold and preserved as relics. Happily he had not much hair. He
should have graciously given them his moustaches and whiskers.
Frank smiled. Klingenberg's pace increased, and his arms swung more
Such is the man-worship of modern heathenism. This humanitarianism
is ashamed of no absurdity, when it sinks to the worship of
licentiousness and baseness personified.
The senseless aberrations of modern culture do not excuse
saint-worship. And you certainly do not wish to excuse it in that way.
There is, however, a reasonable veneration of human greatness.
Monuments are erected to great men. We behold them and are reminded of
their genius, their services; and there it stops. It occurs to no
reasonable man to venerate these men on his knees, as is done with the
The bending of the knee, according to the teaching of your church,
does not signify adoration, but only veneration, replied Klingenberg.
Before no Protestant in the world would I bend the knee; before St.
Benedict and St. Vincent de Paul I would willingly, out of mere
admiration and esteem for their greatness of soul and their purity of
morals. If a Catholic kneels before a saint to ask his prayers, what is
there offensive in that? It is an act of religious conviction. But I
will not enter into the religious question. This you can learn better
from your Catholic brethrensay from the Angel of Salingen, for
example, who appears to have such veneration for the saints.
You will not enter into the religious question; yet you defend
saint-worship, which is something religious.
I do not defend it on religious grounds, but from history, reason,
and justice. History teaches that this veneration had, and still has,
the greatest moral influence on human society. The spirit of veneration
consists in imitating the example of the person venerated. Without this
spirit, saint-worship is an idle ceremony. But that true veneration of
the saints elevates and ennobles, you cannot deny. Let us take the
queen of saints, Mary. What makes her worthy of veneration? Her
obedience to the Most High, her humility, her strength of soul, her
chastity. All these virtues shine out before the spiritual eyes of her
worshippers as models and patterns of life. I know a lady, very
beautiful, very wealthy; but she is also very humble, very pure, for
she is a true worshipper of Mary. Would that our women would venerate
Mary and choose her for a model! There would then be no coquettes, no
immodest women, no enlightened viragoes. Now, as saint-worship is but
taking the virtues of the saints as models for imitation, you must
admit that veneration in this sense has the happiest consequences to
I admit itto my great astonishment, I must admit it, said
Let us take a near example, continued Klingenberg. I told you of
the singular qualities of Angela. As she passed, I beheld her with
wonder. I must confess her beauty astonished me. But this astonishing
beauty, it appears to me, is less in her charming features than in the
purity, the maidenly dignity of her character. Perhaps she has to
thank, for her excellence, that same correct taste which leads her to
venerate Mary. Would not Angela make an amiable, modest, dutiful wife
and devoted mother? Can you expect to find this wife, this mother among
those given to fashionsamong women filled with modern notions?
While Klingenberg said this, a deep emotion passed over Richard's
face. He did not answer the question, but let his head sink on his
Here is Frankenhöhe, said the doctor. As you make no more
objections, I suppose you agree with me. The saints are great,
admirable men; therefore they deserve monuments. They are models of
virtue and the greatest benefactors of mankind; therefore they deserve
honor. 'Quod erat demonstrandum.'
I only wonder, doctor, that you, a Protestant, can defend such
You will allow Protestants to judge reasonably, replied
Klingenberg. My views are the result of careful study and impartial
I am also astonishedpardon my candorthat with such views you
can remain a Protestant.
There is a great difference between knowing and willing, my young
friend. I consider conversion an act of great heroism, and also as a
gift of the highest grace.
Richard wrote in his diary:
If Angela should be what the doctor considers her! According to my
notions, such a being exists only in the realm of the ideal. But if
Angela yet realizes this ideal? I must be certain. I will visit
Herr Frank returned to the city. Before he went he took advantage of
the absence of Richard, who had gone out about nine o'clock, to
converse with Klingenberg about matters of importance. They sat in the
doctor's studio, the window of which was open. Frank closed it before
he began the conversation.
Dear friend, I must speak to you about a very distressing
peculiarity of my son. I do so because I know your influence over him,
and I hope much from it.
Klingenberg listened with surprise, for Herr Frank had begun in
great earnestness and seemed greatly depressed.
On our journey from the city, I discovered in Richard, to my great
surprise, a deep-seated antipathy, almost an abhorrence of women. He is
determined never to marry. He considers marriage a misfortune, inasmuch
as it binds a man to the whims and caprices of a wife. If I had many
sons, Richard's idiosyncrasy would be of little consequence; but as he
is my only son and very stubborn in his preconceived opinions, you will
see how very distressing it must be to me.
What is the cause of this antipathy of your son to women?
Herr Frank related Richard's account of his meeting with Isabella
and his knowledge of the unhappy marriage of his friend Emil.
Do you not think that experiences of this kind must repel a
noble-minded young man? said the doctor.
Admitted! But Isabella and Laura are exceptions, and exceptions by
no means justify my son's perverted judgment of women. I told him this.
But he still declared that Isabella and Laura were the rule and not the
exception; that the women of the present day follow a perverted taste;
and that the wearing of crinoline, a costume he detests, proves this.
I know, said the doctor, that Richard abominates crinoline. Last
year he expressed his opinion about it, and I had to agree with him.
My God! said the father, astonished, you certainly would not
encourage my son in his perverted opinion?
No, returned the doctor quietly; but you must not expect me to
condemn sound opinions. His judgment of woman is prejudicedgranted.
But observe well, my dear Frank. This judgment is at the same time a
protest of a noble nature against the age of crinoline. Your son
expects much of women. Superficiality, vanity, passion for dress,
fickleness, and so forth, do not satisfy his sense of propriety.
Marriage, to him, is an earnest, holy union. He would unite himself to
a well-disposed woman, to a noble soul who would love her husband and
her duties, but not to a degenerate specimen of womankind. Such I
conceive to have been the reasons which have produced in your son this
I believe you judge rightly, answered Frank. But it must appear
clear to Richard that his views are unjust, and that there are always
women who would realize his expectations.
The doctor thought for a moment, and a significant smile played over
This must become clear to himyes, and it will become clear to him
sooner, perhaps, than you expect, said the doctor.
I do not understand you, doctor.
Yesterday we met Angela, said Klingenberg. This Angela is an
extraordinary being of dazzling beauty; almost the incarnation of
Richard's ideal. I told him of her fine qualities, which he was
inclined to question. But happily! was able to establish these
qualities by facts. Now, as Angela lives but a mile from here and as
the simple customs of the country render access to the family easy, I
have not understood the character of your son if he does not take
advantage of this opportunity to become more intimately acquainted with
Angela, even if his object were only to confirm his former opinions of
women. If he knew Angela more intimately, it is my firm conviction that
his aversion would soon change into the most ardent affection.
Who is this Angela?
The daughter of your neighbor, Siegwart.
Frank looked at the doctor with open mouth and staring eyes.
Siegwart's daughter! he gasped. No, I will never consent to such
Wellbecause the Siegwart family are not agreeable to me.
That is no reason. Siegwart is an excellent man, rich, upright, and
respected by the whole neighborhood. Why does he happen to appear so
unfavorably in your eyes?
Frank was perplexed. He might have reasons and yet be ashamed to
Ah! said the doctor, smiling, it is now for you to lay aside
An explanation is not possible, said Frank. But my son will
rather die a bachelor than marry Siegwart's daughter.
Klingenberg shrugged his shoulders. There was a long pause.
I renew my request, my friend, urged Frank. Convince my son of
I will try to meet your wishes, returned Klingenberg. Perhaps
this daughter of Siegwart will afford efficient aid.
My son's liberty will not be restricted. He may visit the Siegwart
family when he wishes. But in matters where the mature mind of the
father has to decide, I shall always act according to my better
The doctor again shrugged his shoulders. They shook hands, and in
ten minutes after Herr Frank was off for the train. Richard had left
Frankenhöhe two hours before. He passed quickly through the vineyard. A
secret power seemed to impel the young man. He glanced often at
Siegwart's handsome dwelling, and hopeful suspense agitated his
countenance. When he reached the lawn, he slackened his pace. He would
reflect, and understand clearly the object of his visit. He came to
observe Angela, whose character had made such a strong impression on
him and who threatened to compel him to throw his present opinions of
women to the winds. He would at the same time reflect on the
consequences of this possible change to his peace and liberty.
Angela is beautiful, very beautiful, far more so than a hundred
others who are beautiful but wear crinoline. He had written in his
Of what value is corporal beauty that fades when it is disfigured
by bad customs and caprices? I admit that I have never yet met any
woman so graceful and charming as Angela; but this very circumstance
warns me to be careful that my judgment may not be dazzled. If it turns
out that Angela sets herself up as a religious coquette or a Pharisee,
her fine figure is only a deceitful mask of falsehood, and my opinion
would again be verified. I must make observations with great care.
Frank reviewed these resolutions as he passed slowly over the lawn,
where some servants were employed, who greeted him respectfully as he
passed. In the hall he heard a man's voice that came from the same room
he had entered on his first visit. The door was open, and the voice
spoke briskly and warmly.
Frank stopped for a moment and heard the voice say,
Miss Angela is as lovely as ever.
These words vibrated disagreeably in Richard's soul, and urged him
to know the man from whom they came.
Herr Siegwart went to meet the visitor and offered him his hand. The
other gentleman remained sitting, and looked at Frank with stately
Herr Frank, my esteemed neighbor of Frankenhöhe, said Siegwart,
The gentleman rose and made a stiff bow.
The Assessor von Hamm, continued the proprietor.
Frank made an equally stiff and somewhat colder bow.
The three sat down.
While Siegwart rang the bell, Richard cast a searching glance at the
assessor who had said, Angela is as lovely as ever.
The assessor had a pale, studious color, regular features in which
there was an expression of official importance. Frank, who was a fine
observer, thought he had never seen such a perfect and sharply defined
specimen of the bureaucratic type. Every wrinkle in the assessor's
forehead told of arrogance and absolutism. The red ribbon in the
buttonhole of Herr von Hamm excited Frank's astonishment. He thought it
remarkable that a young man of four or five and twenty could have
merited the ribbon of an order. He might infer from this that
decorations and merit do not necessarily go together.
How glad I am that you have kept your word! said Siegwart to Frank
complacently. How is your father?
Very well; he goes this morning to the city, where business calls
I have often admired your father's attentions to Dr. Klingenberg,
said Siegwart after a short pause. He has for years had Frankenhöhe
prepared for the accommodation of the doctor. You are Klingenberg's
constant companion, and I do not doubt but such is the wish of your
father. And your father tears himself from his business and comes
frequently from the city to see that the doctor's least wish is
realized. I have observed this these last eight years, and I have often
thought that the doctor is to be envied, on account of this noble
You know, I suppose, that the doctor saved my father when his life
was despaired of?
I know; but there are many physicians who have saved lives and who
do not find such a noble return.
These words of acknowledgment had something in them very offensive
to the assessor. He opened and shut his eyes and mouth, and cast a
grudging, envious look at Richard.
The servant brought a glass.
Try this wine, said Siegwart; my own growth, he added with some
They touched glasses. Hamm put his glass to his lips, without
drinking; Frank tasted the noble liquor with the air of a connoisseur;
while Siegwart's smiling gaze rested on him.
Excellent! I do not remember to have drank better Burgundy.
Real Burgundy, neighborreal Burgundy. I brought the vines from
Do you not think the vines degenerate with us? said Frank.
They have not degenerated yet. Besides, proper care and attention
make up for the unsuitableness of our soil and climate.
You would oblige me, Herr Siegwart, if you would preserve me some
shoots when you next trim them.
With pleasure. I had them set last year; they shot forth fine
roots, and I can let you have any number of shoots.
Is it not too late to plant them?
Just the right time. Our vine-growers generally set them too early.
It should be done in May, and not in April. Shall I send them over?
You are too kind, Herr Siegwart. My request must certainly destroy
your plan in regard to those shoots.
Not at all; I have all I can use. It gives me great pleasure to be
able to accommodate a neighbor. It's settled; I'll send over the
Burgundies this evening.
It was clear to Hamm that Siegwart desired to be agreeable to the
wealthy Frank. The assessor opened and shut his eyes and mouth, and
fidgeted about in his chair. While he inwardly boiled and fretted, he
very properly concluded that he must consider himself offended. From
the moment of Frank's arrival, the proprietor had entirely forgotten
him. He was about to leave, in order not to expose his nerves to
further excitement, when chance afforded him an opportunity to give
vent to his ill-humor.
Two boys came running into the room. They directed their bright eyes
to Siegwart, and their childish, joyful faces, seemed to say,
Here we are again; you know very well what we want.
One of them carried a tin box in his hand; there was a lock on the
box, and a small opening in the topevidently a money-box.
Gelobt sei Jesus Christus, said the children, and remained
standing near the door.
In Ewigkeit, returned Siegwart. Are you there again, my little
ones? That's right; come here, Edward. And Siegwart took out his purse
and dropped a few pennies into the box.
A savings-box? Who gave the permission? said the assessor in a
tone that frightened the children, astonished Richard, and caused
Siegwart to look with embarrassment at the questioner.
For the pope, Herr von Hamm, said Siegwart.
The official air of the assessor became more severe.
The ordinances make no exceptions, retorted Hamm. The ordinances
forbid all collections that are not officially permitted. And he eyed
the box as if he had a notion to confiscate it.
Perhaps the lads noticed this, for they moved backward to the door
and suddenly disappeared from the room.
I beg pardon, Herr Assessor, said Siegwart. The Peter-pence is
collected in the whole Catholic world, and the Catholics of Salingen
thought they ought to assist the head of their church, who is so sorely
pressed, and who has been robbed of his possessions.
I answerthe ordinances make no exceptions; the Peter-pence comes
under the ordinances. I find myself compelled to interpose against this
But the Peter-pence is collected in the whole country, Herr von
Hamm! Why, even in the public journals we read the results of this
collection, and I have never heard that the government forbade the
Leave the government out of the question. I stand on my
instructions. The government forbids all collections unless permission
is granted. You must not expect an official to connive at an open
breach of the ordinances. I will do my duty and remind the burgomaster
of Salingen that he has not done his.
The occurrence was very annoying to Siegwart; this could be seen in
his troubled countenance. He thought of the reproof of the timid
burgomaster, and feared that the collection might in future be stopped.
You have the authority, Herr Assessor, to permit it; I beg you will
The request must be made in written official form, said Hamm. You
know, Herr Siegwart, that I am disposed to comply with your wishes, but
I regret I cannot do so in the present case; and I must openly confess
I oppose the Peter-pence on principle. The temporal power of the pope
has become unnecessary. Why support an untenable dominion?
I consider the temporal power of the pope to be a necessity, said
Siegwart emphatically. If the pope were not an independent prince, but
the subject of another ruler, he would in many things have to govern
the church according to the mind and at the command of his superior.
Sound common sense tells us that the pope must be free.
Certainly, as far as I am concerned, returned Hamm. But why drain
the money out of the country for an object that cannot be accomplished?
I tell you that the political standing of the bankrupt papal government
will not be saved by the Peter-pence.
Permit me to observe, Herr Assessor, that I differ with you
entirely. The papal government is by no means bankruptquite the
contrary. Until the breaking out of the Franco-Sardinian revolution,
its finances were as well managed and flourishing as those of any state
in Europe. I will convince you of this in a moment. He went to the
bookcase and handed the assessor a newspaper. These statistics will
convince you of the correctness of my assertion.
As the documents to prove these statements are wanting, I have
great reason to doubt their correctness, said Hamm. Paper will not
refuse ink, and in the present case the pen was evidently driven by a
Why do you draw this conclusion?
From the contradictions between this account of the papal finances
and that given by all independent editors.
Permit me to call that editor not 'an independent,' but a 'friend
of the church.' The enemies of the church will not praise a church
which they hate. The papal government is the most calumniated
government on earth; and calumny and falsehood perform wonders in our
times. The Italian situation furnishes at present a most striking
illustration. The king of Piedmont has been raised to the rulership of
Italy by the unanimous voice of the peopleso say the papers. But the
revolution in the greater part of Italy at the present time proves that
the unanimous voice of the people was a sham, and that the Piedmontese
government is hated and despised by the majority of the Italians. It is
the same in many other things. If falsehood and calumny were not the
order of the day, falsehood and calumny would not sit crowned on the
Right! said Richard. It is indisputable. It is nothing but the
depravity of the times that enables the emperor to domineer over the
Siegwart heard Frank's observation with pleasure. Hamm read this in
the open countenance of the proprietor, and he made a movement as
though he would like to tramp on Frank's toes.
I admit the flourishing condition of the former Papal States, said
Hamm, with a mock smile. I will also admit that the former subjects of
the pope, who have been impoverished by the hungry Piedmontese, desire
the milder papal government. 'There is good living under the crozier,'
says an old proverb. But what does all this amount to? Does the
beautiful past overthrow the accomplished facts of the present? The
powers have determined to put an end to papal dominion. The powers have
partly accomplished this. Can the Peter-pence change the programme of
the powers? Certainly not. The papal government must go the way of all
flesh, and if the Catholics are taxed for an unattainable object, it
is, in my opinion, unjust, to say the least.
The proprietor shook his head thoughtfully. We consider the
question from very different stand-points, said he. Pius IX. is the
head of the churchthe spiritual father of all Catholics. The
revolution has robbed him of his revenues. Why should not Catholics
give their father assistance?
And I ask, said Hamm, why give the pope alms when the powers are
ready to give him millions?
On what conditions, Herr Assessor?
Wellon the very natural condition that he will acknowledge
You find this condition so natural! said Siegwart, somewhat
excited. Do you forget the position of the pope? Remember that on
those very principles of which the pope is the highest representative,
was built the civilization of the present. The pope condemns robbery,
injustice, violence, and all the principles of modern revolution. How
can the pope acknowledge as accomplished facts, results which have
sprung from injustice, robbery, and violence? The moment the pope does
that, he ceases to be the first teacher of the people and the vicar of
Christ on earth.
You take a strong religious position, my dear friend, said Hamm,
I do, most assuredly, said the proprietor with emphasis. And I am
convinced that my position is the right one.
Hamm smiled more complacently still. Frank observed this smile; and
the contemptuous manner of the official toward the open, kind-hearted
proprietor annoyed him.
Pius IX. is at any rate a noble man, said he, looking sharply at
the assessor, There exists a critical state of uncertainty in all
governments. All the courts and principalities look to Paris, and the
greatest want of principle seems to be in the state taxation. The pope
alone does not shrink; he fears neither the anger nor the threats of
the powers. While thrones are tumbling, and Pius IX. is not master in
his own house, that remarkable man does not make the least concession
to the man in power. The powers have broken treaties, trampled on
justice, and there is no longer any right but the right of
revolutionof force. There is nothing any longer certain; all is
confusion. The pope alone holds aloft the banner of right and justice.
In his manifestoes to the world, he condemns error, falsehood, and
injustice. The pope alone is the shield of those moral forces which
have for centuries given stability and safety to governments. This
firmness, this confidence in the genius of Christianity, this
unsurpassed struggle of Pius, deserves the highest admiration even of
those who look upon the contest with indifference.
Siegwart listened and nodded assent. Hamm ate sardines, without
paying the least attention to the speaker.
The Roman love of power is well known, and Rome has at all times
made the greatest sacrifices for it, said he.
The proprietor drummed with his fingers on the table. Frank thought
he observed him suppressing his anger, before he answered,
Rome does not contend for love of dominion. She contends for the
authority of religion, for the maintenance of those eternal principles
without which there is no civilization. This even Herder, who is far
from being a friend of Rome, admits when he says, 'Without the church,
Europe would, perhaps, be a prey to despots, a scene of eternal
discord, and a Mogul wilderness.' Rome's battle is, therefore, very
important, and honorable. Had it not been for her, you would not have
escaped the bloody terrorisms of the power-seeking revolution. Think of
French liberty at present, think of the large population of Cayenne, of
the Neapolitan prisons, where thousands of innocent men hopelessly
You have not understood me, my dear Siegwart. Take an example for
illustration. The press informs us almost daily of difficulties between
the government and the clergy. The cause of this trouble is that the
latter are separated from and wish to oppose the former. To speak
plainly, the Catholic clergy are non-conforming. They will not give up
that abnormal position which the moral force of past times conceded to
them. But in organized states, the clergy, the bishops, and the pastors
should be nothing more than state officials, whose rule of conduct is
the command of the sovereign.
That is to make the church the servant of the state, said
Siegwart. Religion, stripped of her divine title, would be nothing
more than the tool of the minister to restrain the people.
Well, yes, said the official very coolly. Religion is always a
strong curb on the rough, uneducated masses; and if religion restrains
the ignorant, supports the moral order and the government, she has
fulfilled her mission.
The proprietor opened wide his eyes.
Religion, according to my belief, educates men not for the state
but for their eternal destiny.
Perfectly right, Herr Siegwart, according to your view of the
question. I admire the elevation of your religious convictions, which
all men cannot rise up to.
A mock smile played on the assessor's pale countenance as he said
this. Siegwart did not observe it; but Frank did.
If I understand you rightly, Herr Assessor, the clergy are only
state officials in clerical dress.
The assessor nodded his head condescendingly, and continued to soak
a sardine in olive-oil and take it between his knife and fork as Frank
began to speak. The fine-feeling Frank felt nettled at this contempt,
and immediately chastised Hamm for his want of politeness.
I take your nod for an affirmative answer to my question, said he.
You will allow me to observe that your view of the position and
purpose of the clergy must lead to the most absurd consequences.
The assessor turned an ashy color. He threw himself back on the sofa
and looked at the speaker with scornful severity.
My view is that of every enlightened statesman of the nineteenth
century, said he proudly. How can you, a mere novice in state
matters, come to such a conclusion.
I come to it by sound thinking, said Frank haughtily. If the
clergy are only the servants of the state, they are bound in the
exercise of their functions to follow the instructions of the state.
Very natural, said the official.
If the government think a change in the church necessary, say the
separation of the school from the church, the abolition of festivals,
the appointing of infidel professors to theological chairs, the
compiling of an enlightened catechismand all these relate to the
spirit of the times or the supposed welfare of the statethen the
clergy must obey.
That is self-evident, said the assessor.
You see I comprehend your idea of the supreme power of the state,
continued Frank. The state is supreme. The church must be deprived of
all independence. She must not constitute a state within a state. If it
seems good to a minister to abolish marriage as a sacrament, or the
confessional, or to subject the teaching of the clergy to a revision by
the civil authority, because a majority of the chambers wish it, or
because the spirit of the age demands it, then the opposition of the
clergy would be illegal and their resistance disobedience.
Naturallynaturally, said the official impatiently. Come, now,
let us have the proof of your assertion.
Draw the conclusions from what I have said, Herr Assessor, and you
have the most striking proof of the absurdity and ridiculousness of
your gagged state church, said Frank haughtily.
How so, how so? cried Hamm inquiringly.
Simply thus: If the priest must preach according to the august
instructions of the state and not according to the principles of
religious dogma, he would then preach Badish in Baden, Hessish in
Hesse, Bavarian in Bavaria, Mecklenburgish in Mecklenburg; in short,
there would be as many sects as there are states and principalities.
And these sects would be constantly changing, as the chambers or
ministerial instructions would command or allow. All religion would
cease; for it would be no longer the expression of the divine will and
revelation, but the work of the chambers and the princes. Such a
religion would be contemptible in the eyes of every thinking man. I
would not give a brass button for such a religion.
You go too far, Herr Frank, said Hamm. Religion has a divine
title, and this glory must be retained.
Then the clergy must be free.
Certainly, that is clear, said the assessor as he arose, and, with
a smiling face, bowed lowly. Angela had entered the hall, and in
consequence of Hamm's greeting was obliged to come into the room. She
might have returned from a walk, for she wore a straw hat and a light
shawl was thrown over her shoulders. She led by the hand her little
sister Eliza, a charming child of four years.
The sisters remained standing near the door. Eliza looked with
wondering eyes at the stranger, whose movements were very wonderful to
the mind of the little one, and whose pale face excited her interest.
Angela's glance seemed to have blown away all the official dust that
remained in the soul of Hamm. The assessor was unusually agreeable. His
face lost its obstinate expression, and became light and animated. Even
its color changed to one of life and nature.
To Richard, who liked to take notes, and whose visit to Siegwart's
had no other object, the change that could be produced in a bureaucrat
by such rare womanly beauty was very amusing. He had arisen and stepped
back a little. He observed the assessor carefully till a smile between
astonishment and pity lit up his countenance. He then looked at Angela,
who stood motionless on the same spot. It seemed to require great
resignation on her part to notice the flattering speech and obsequious
attentions of the assessor. Richard observed that her countenance was
tranquil, but her manner more grave than usual. She still held the
little one by the hand, who pressed yet closer to her the nearer the
wonderful man came. Hamm's voice rose to a tone of enthusiasm, and he
took a step or two toward the object of his reverence, when a strange
enemy confronted him. Some swallows had come in with Angela. Till now
they were quiet and seemed to be observing the assessor; but when he
approached Angela, briskly gesticulating, the swallows raised their
well-known shrill cry of anxiety, left their perches and fluttered
around the official. Interrupted in the full flow of his eloquence, he
struck about with his hands to frighten them. The swallows only became
the noisier, and their fluttering about Hamm assumed a decidedly
warlike character. They seemed to consider him as a dangerous enemy of
Angela whom they wished to keep off. Richard looked on in wonder,
Siegwart shook his head and stroked his beard, and Angela smiled at the
These are abominable creatures, cried Hamm warding them off. Why,
such a thing never happened to me before. Off with you! you troublesome
The birds flew out of the room, still screaming; and their shrill
cries could be heard high up in the air.
The swallows have a grudge against you, said Siegwart. They
generally treat only the cats and hawks in this way.
Perhaps they have been frightened at this red ribbon, returned
Hamm. I regret, my dear young lady, to have frightened your little
pets. When I come again, I will leave the object of their terror at
You should not deprive yourself of an ornament which has an
honorable significance on account of the swallows, particularly as we
do not know whether it was really the red color that displeased them,
You think, then, Miss Angela, that there is something else about me
I do not know, Herr Assessor.
Oh! if I only knew the cause of their displeasure, said Hamm
enthusiastically. You have an affection for the swallows, and I would
not displease any thing that you love.
She answered by an inclination, and was about to leave the room.
Angela, said her father, here is Herr Frank, to whom you are
She moved a step or two toward Richard.
Sir, said she gently, you returned some things that were valuable
to me; were it not for your kindness, they would probably have been
lost. I thank you.
A formal bow was Frank's answer. Hamm stood smiling, his searching
glance alternating between the stately young man and Angela. But in the
manner of both he observed nothing more than reserve and cold
Angela left the room. The assessor sat down on the sofa and poured
out a glass of wine.
Eliza sat on her father's knee. Richard observed the beautiful child
with her fine features and golden silken locks that hung about her
tender face. The winning expression of innocence and gentleness in her
mild, childish eyes particularly struck him.
A beautiful, lovely child, said he involuntarily, and as he looked
in Siegwart's face he read there a deep love and a quiet, fatherly
fondness for the child.
Eliza is not always as lovely and good as she is now, he returned.
She has still some little faults which she must get rid of.
Yes, that's what Angela said, chattered the little one. Angela
said I must be very good; I must love to pray; I must obey my father
and mother; then the angels who are in heaven will love me.
Can you pray yet, my child, said Richard.
Yes, I can say the 'Our Father' and the 'Hail Mary.' Angela is
teaching me many nice prayers.
She looked at the stranger a moment and said with childish
Can you pray too?
Certainly, my child, answered Frank, smiling; but I doubt whether
my prayers are as pleasing to God as yours.
Angela also said we should not lie, continued Eliza. The good God
does not love children who lie.
That is true, said Frank. Obey your sister Angela.
Here the young man was affected by a peculiar emotion. He thought of
Angela as the first instructor of the child; placed near this little
innocent, she appeared like its guardian angel. He saw clearly at this
moment the great importance of first impressions on the young, and
thought that in after life they would not be obliterated. He expressed
his thoughts, and Siegwart confirmed them.
I am of your opinion, Herr Frank. The most enduring impressions are
made in early childhood. The germ of good must be implanted in the
tender and susceptible heart of the child and there developed. Many,
indeed most parents overlook this important principle of education.
This is a great and pernicious error. Man is born with bad
propensities; they grow with his growth and increase with his strength.
In early childhood, they manifest themselves in obstinacy, wilfulness,
excessive love of play, disobedience, and a disposition to lie. If
these outgrowths are plucked up and removed in childhood by careful,
religious training, it will be much easier to form the heart to habits
of virtue than in after years. Many parents begin to instruct their
children after they have spoiled them. Is this not your opinion, Herr
Hamm was aroused by this sudden question. He had not paid any
attention to the conversation, but had been uninterruptedly stroking
his moustache and gazing abstractedly into vacancy.
What did you ask, my dear Siegwart? Whether I am of your opinion?
Certainly, certainly, entirely of your opinion. Your views are always
sound, practical, and matured by great experience, as in this case.
Well, I can't say you were always of my opinion, said Siegwart
smiling; have we not just been sharply disputing about the
O my dear friend! as a private I agree with you entirely on these
questions; but an official must frequently defend in a system of
government that which he privately condemns.
Frank perceived Hamm's object. We wished to do away with the
unfavorable impressions his former expressions might have made on the
proprietor. The reason of this was clear to him since he had discovered
the assessor's passion for Angela.
I am rejoiced, said Siegwart, that we agree at least in that most
important matter, religion.
Frank remembered his father's remark, The Siegwart family is
intensely clerical and ultramontane. It was new and striking to him to
see the question of religion considered the most important. He
concluded from this, and was confirmed in his conclusions by the
leading spirit of the Siegwart family, that, in direct contradiction to
modern ideas, religion is the highest good.
Nevertheless, said Siegwart, I object to a system of government
that is inimical to the church.
And so do I, sighed the assessor.
Richard took his departure. At home, he wrote a few hasty lines in
his diary and then went into the most retired part of the garden. Here
he sat in deep thought till the servant called him to dinner.
Has Klingenberg not gone out yet to-day?
No, but he has been walking up and down his room for the last two
Frank smiled. He guessed the meaning of this walk, and as they both
entered the dining-room together his conjecture was confirmed.
The doctor entered somewhat abruptly and did not seem to observe
Richard's presence. His eyes had a penetrating, almost fierce
expression and his brows were knit. He sat down to the table
mechanically, and ate what was placed before him. It is questionable
whether he knew what he was eating, or even that he was eating. He did
not speak a word, and Frank, who knew his peculiarities, did not
disturb him by a single syllable. This was not difficult, as he was
busily occupied with his own thoughts.
After the meal was over, Klingenberg came to himself. My dear
Richard, I beg your pardon, said he in a tone of voice which was
almost tender. Excuse my weakness. I have read this morning a
scientific article that upsets all my previous theories on the subject
treated of. In the whole field of human investigation there is nothing
whatever certain, nothing firmly established. What one to-day proves by
strict logic to be true, to-morrow another by still stronger logic
proves to be false. From the time of Aristotle to the present,
philosophers have disagreed, and the infallible philosopher will
certainly never be born. It is the same in all branches. I would not be
the least astonished if Galileo's system would be proved to be false.
If the instruments, the means of acquiring astronomical knowledge,
continue to improve, we may live to learn that the earth stands still
and that the sun goes waltzing around our little planet. This
uncertainty is very discouraging to the human mind. We might say with
'It will my heart consume
That we can nothing know.'
In my humble opinion, said Frank, every investigator moves in a
limited circle. The most profound thinker does not go beyond these set
limits; and if he would boldly overstep them, he would be thrown back
by evident contradiction into that circle which Omnipotence has drawn
around the human intellect.
Very reasonable, Richard; very reasonable. But the desire of
knowledge must sometimes be satiated, continued the doctor after a
short pause. If the human mind were free from the narrow limits of the
deceptive world of sense, and could see and know with pure spiritual
eyes, the barriers of which you speak would fall. Even the Bible
assures us of this. St. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, says, 'We see
now through a glass in an obscure manner, but then face to face; now I
know in part, but then I shall know as I am known.' I would admire St.
Paul on account of this passage alone if he never had written another.
How awful is the moral quality of the human soul taken in connection
with its future capacity for knowledge. And how natural, how evident,
is the connection. The human mind will receive knowledge from the
source of all knowledgeGod, in proportion as it has been just and
good. For this reason our Redeemer calls the world of the damned 'outer
darkness,' and the world of the blessed, the 'kingdom of light.'
We sometimes see in that way even now, said Frank after a pause.
The wicked have ideas very different from those of the good. A
frivolous spirit mocks at and derides that which fills the good with
happiness and contentment. We might, then, say that even in this life
man knows as he is known.
The doctor cast an admiring glance at the young man. We entirely
agree, my young friend; wickedness is to the sciences what a poisonous
miasma and the burning rays of the sun are to the young plants. Yes,
vice begets atheism, materialism, and every other abortion of thought.
We will meet again at three, said he with a friendly nod.
Richard took from his room Vogt's Physiological Letters, went
into the garden, and buried himself in its contents.
When Frank returned from the walk, he found a visitor at
The visitor was an elegantly dressed young man, with a free,
self-important air about him.
He spoke fluently, and his words sounded as decisive as though they
came from the lips of infallibility. At times this self-importance was
of such a boastful and arrogant character as to affect the observer
It is now vacation, and I do not know how to enjoy it better than
by a visit to you, said he.
Very flattering to me, answered Frank. I hope you will be pleased
Pleased? returned the visitor, as he looked through the open
window at the beautiful landscape. I would like to dream away here the
whole of May and June. How charming it is! An empire of flowers and
I am surprised, Carl, that you have preserved such a love for
nature. I thought you considered the professor's chair the culminating
point of attraction.
Carl bowed his head proudly, and stood with folded arms before the
That is evidently intended for flattery, said he. The professor's
chair is my vocation. He who does not hold his vocation as the acme of
all attraction is indeed a perfect man. Besides, it will appear to you,
who consider everything in the world, not excepting even the fair sex,
with blank stoicismit will appear even to you that the rostrum is
destined to accomplish great things. Ripe knowledge in mighty
pulsations goes forth from the rostrum, and permeates society. The
rostrum governs and educates the rising young men who are destined to
assume leading positions in the state. The rostrum overthrows
antiquated forms of religious delusion, ennobles rational thought,
exact science, and deep investigation. The rostrum governs even the
throne; for we have princes in Germany who esteem liberty of thought
and progress of knowledge more than the art of governing their people
in a spirit of stupidity.
The glory of the rostrum I leave undisputed, said he. But I beg
of you to conceal from the doctor your scientific rule of faith. You
may get into trouble with the doctor.
I am very desirous of becoming acquainted with this paragon of
learningyou have told me so much about him; and I confess it was
partly to see him that I made this visit. Get into trouble? I do not
fear the old syllogism-chopper in the least. A good disputation with
him is even desirable.
Well, you are forewarned. If you go home with a lacerated back, it
will not be my fault.
A lacerated back? said the professor quietly. Does the doctor
like to use striking arguments?
Oh! no; but his sarcasm is as cutting as the slash of a sword, and
his logical vehemence is like the stroke of a club.
We will fight him with the same weapons, answered Carl, throwing
back his head. Shall I pay him my respects immediately?
The doctor admits no one. In his studio he is as inaccessible as a
Turkish sultan in his harem. I will introduce you in the dining-room,
as it is now just dinner-time.
They betook themselves to the dining-room, and soon after they heard
the sound of a bell.
He is just now called to table, said Richard. He does not allow
the servant to enter his room, and for that reason a bell has been hung
How particular he is! said the professor.
A door of the ante-room was opened, quick steps were heard, and
Klingenberg hastily entered and placed himself at the table, as at a
work that must be done quickly, and then observed the stranger.
Doctor Lutz, professor of history in our university, said Frank,
Doctor Lutzprofessor of history, said Klingenberg musingly.
Your name is familiar to me, if I am not mistaken; are you not a
collaborator on Sybel's historical publication?
I have that honor, answered the professor, with much dignity.
They began to eat.
You read Sybel's periodical? asked the professor.
We must not remain entirely ignorant of literary productions,
particularly the more excellent.
Lutz felt much flattered by this declaration.
Sybel's periodical is an unavoidable necessity at present, said
the professor. Historical research was in a bad way; it threatened to
succumb entirely to the ultramontane cause and the clerical party.
Now Sybel and his co-laborers will avert that danger, said the
doctor. These men will do honor to historical research. The
ultramontanists have a great respect for Sybel. When he taught in
Munich, they did not rest till he turned his back on Isar-Athen. In my
opinion, Sybel should not have gone to Munich. The stupid Bavarians
will not allow themselves to be enlightened. So let them sit in
darkness, the stupid barbarians who have no appreciation for the
progress of science.
The professor looked astonished. He could not understand how an
admirer of Sybel's could be so prejudiced. Frank was alarmed lest the
professor might perceive the doctor's keen sarcasmwhich he delivered
with a serious countenanceand feel offended. He changed the
conversation to another subject, in which Klingenberg did not take
You have represented the doctor incorrectly, said the professor,
after the meal. He understands Sybel and praises his effortsthe best
sign of a clear mind.
Klingenberg is always just, returned Frank.
On the following afternoon, Lutz joined in the accustomed walk. As
they were passing through the chestnut grove, a servant of Siegwart's
came up breathless, with a letter in his hand, which he gave to Frank.
Gentlemen, said Frank after reading the letter, I am urgently
requested to visit Herr Siegwart immediately. With your permission I
Of course, go, said Klingenberg. I know, he added with a roguish
expression, that you would as lief visit that excellent man as walk
Richard went off in such haste that the question occurred to him why
he fulfilled with such zeal the wishes of a man with whom he had been
so short a time acquainted; but with the question Angela came before
his mind as an answer. He rejected this answer, even against his
feelings, and declared to himself that Siegwart's honorable character
and neighborly feeling made his haste natural and even obligatory. The
proprietor may have been waiting his arrival, for he came out to meet
him. Frank observed a dark cloud over the countenance of the man and
great anxiety in his features.
I beg your forgiveness a thousand times, Herr Frank. I know you go
walking with Herr Klingenberg at this hour, and I have deprived you of
No excuse, neighbor. It is a question which would give me greater
pleasure, to serve you or to walk with Klingenberg.
Richard smiled while saying these words; but the smile died away,
for he saw how pale and suddenly anxious Siegwart had become. They had
entered a room, and he desired to know the cause of Siegwart's changed
A great and afflicting misfortune threatens us, began the
proprietor. My Eliza has been suddenly taken ill, and I have great
fears for her young life. Oh! if you knew how that child has grown into
my heart. He paused for a moment and suppressed his grief, but he
could not hide from Frank the tears that filled his eyes. Richard saw
these tears, and this paternal grief increased his respect for
The delicate life of a young child does not allow of protracted
medical treatment, of consultation or investigation into the disease or
the best remedies. The disease must be known immediately and efficient
remedies applied. There are physicians at my command, but I do not dare
to trust Eliza to them.
I presume, Herr Siegwart, that you wish for Klingenberg.
Yesand through your mediation. You know that he only treats the
sick poor; but resolutely refuses his services to the wealthy.
Do not be uneasy about that. I hope to be able to induce
Klingenberg to correspond with your wishes. But is Eliza really so
sick, or does your apprehension increase your anxiety?
I will show you the child, and then you can judge for yourself.
They went up-stairs and quietly entered the sick-room. Angela sat on
the little bed of the child, reading. The child was asleep, but the
noise of their entrance awoke her. She reached out her little round
arms to her father, and said in a scarcely audible whisper,
This whispered papa seemed to pierce the soul of Siegwart like a
knife. He drew near and leant over the child.
You will be well to-morrow, my sweet pet. Do you see, Herr Frank
has come to see you?
Mamma! whispered the child.
Your mother will come to-morrow, my Eliza. She will bring you
something pretty. My wife has been for the last two weeks at her
sister's, who lives a few miles from here, said Siegwart, turning to
Frank. I sent a messenger for her early this morning.
While the father sat on the bed and held Eliza's hand in his, Frank
observed Angela, who scarcely turned her eyes from the sick child. Her
whole soul seemed taken up with her suffering sister. Only once had she
looked inquiringly at Frank, to read in his face his opinion of the
condition of Eliza. She stood immovable at the foot of the bed, as
mild, as pure, and as beautiful as the guardian angel of the child.
Both men left the room.
I will immediately seek the doctor, who is now on his walk, said
Shall I send my servant for him?
That is unnecessary, returned Frank. And even if your servant
should find the doctor, he would probably not be inclined to shorten
his walk. Our gardener, who works in the chestnut grove, will show me
the way the doctor took. In an hour and a half at furthest I will be
The young man pressed the outstretched hand of Siegwart, and
In the mean time the doctor and the professor had reached a narrow,
wooded ravine, on both sides of which the rocks rose almost
perpendicularly. The path on which they talked passed near a little
brook, that flowed rippling over the pebbles in its bed. The branches
of the young beeches formed a green roof over the path, and only here
and there were a few openings through which the sun shot its sloping
beams across the cool, dusky way, and in the sunbeams floated and
danced dust-colored insects and buzzing flies.
The learned saunterers continued their amusement without altercation
until the professor's presumption offended the doctor and led to a
Klingenberg did not appear on the stage of publicity. He left
boasting and self-praise to others, far inferior to him in knowledge.
He despised that tendency which pursues knowledge only to command,
which cries down any inquiry that clashes with their theories. The
doctor published no learned work, nor did he write for the periodicals,
to defend his views. But if he happened to meet a scientific opponent,
he fought him with sharp, cutting weapons.
I do not doubt of the final victory of true science over the
falsifying party spirit of the ultramontanes, said the professor.
Sybel's periodical destroys, year by year, more and more the crumbling
edifice which the clerical zealots build on the untenable foundation of
Klingenberg tore his cap from his head and swung it about
vehemently, and made such long strides that the other with difficulty
kept up with him. Suddenly he stopped, turned about, and looked the
professor sharply in the eyes.
You praise Sybel's publication unjustly, said he excitedly. It is
true Sybel has founded a historical school, and has won many imitators;
but his is a school destructive of morality and of historya school of
scientific radicalism, a school of falsehood and deceitfulness. Sybel
and his followers undertake to mould and distort history to their
purposes. They slur over every thing that contradicts their theories.
To them the ultramontanes are partial, prejudiced menor perhaps asses
and dunces; you are unfortunately right when you say Sybel's school
wins ground; for Sybel and his fellows have brought lying and
falsification to perfection. They have in Germany perplexed minds, and
have brought their historical falsifications to market as true ware.
The professor could scarcely believe his own ears.
I have given you freely and openly my judgment, which need not
offend you, as it refers to principles, not persons.
Not in the least, answered Lutz derisively. I admit with pleasure
that Sybel's school is anti-church, and even anti-Christian, if you
will. There is no honor in denying this. The denial would be of no use;
for this spirit speaks too loudly and clearly in that school. Sybel and
his associates keep up with the enlightenment and liberalism of our
times. But I must contradict you when you say this free tendency is
injurious to society; the seed of free inquiry and human enlightenment
can bring forth only good fruits.
Oh! we know this fruit of the new heathenism, cried the doctor.
There is no deed so dark, no crime so great, that it may not be
defended according to the anti-Christian principles of vicious
enlightenment and corrupt civilization. Sybel's school proves this with
striking clearness. Tyrants are praised and honored. Noble men are
defamed and covered with dirt.
This you assert, doctor; it is impossible to prove such a
Impossible! Not at all. Sybel's periodical exalts to the seventh
heaven the tyrant Henry VIII. of England. You extol him as a
conscientious man who was compelled by scruples of conscience to
separate from his wife. You commend him for having but one mistress.
You say that the sensualities of princes are only of 'anecdotal
interest.' Naturally, added the doctor contemptuously, a school that
cuts loose from Christian principles cannot consistently condemn
adultery. Fie! fie! Debauchees and men of gross sensuality might sit in
Sybel's enlightened school. Progress overthrows the cross, and erects
the crescent. We may yet live to see every wealthy man of the new
enlightenment have his harem. Whether society can withstand the
detestable consequences of this teaching of licentiousness and contempt
for Christian morality, is a consideration on which these progressive
gentlemen do not reflect.
I admit, doctor, said Lutz, that the clear light of free,
impartial science must needs hurt the eyes of a pious believer.
According to the opinions of the ultramontanes, Henry VIII. was a
terrible tyrant and bloodhound. Sybel's periodical deserves the credit
of having done justice to that great king.
Do you say so? cried the doctor, with flaming eyes. You, a
professor of history in the university! You, who are appointed to teach
our young men the truth! Shame on you! What you say is nothing but
stark hypocrisy. I appeal to the heathen. You may consider religion
from the stand-point of an ape, for what I care; your cynicism, which
is not ashamed to equalize itself with the brute, may also pass. But
this hypocrisy, this fallacious representation of historical facts and
persons, this hypocrisy before my eyesthis I cannot stand; this must
The doctor actually doubled up his fists. Lutz saw it and saw also
the wild fire in the eyes of his opponent, and was filled with
apprehension and anxiety.
Erect and silent, fiery indignation in his flushed countenance,
stood Klingenberg before the frightened professor. As Lutz still held
his tongue, the doctor continued,
You call Henry VIII. a 'great king,' you extol and defend this
'great king' in Sybel's periodical. I say Henry VIII. was a great
scoundrel, a blackguard without a conscience, and a bloodthirsty
tyrant. I prove my assertion. Henry VIII. caused to be executed two
queens who were his wivestwo cardinals, twelve dukes and marquises,
eighteen barons and knights, seventy-seven abbots and priors, and over
sixty thousand Catholics. Why did he have them executed? Because they
were criminals? No; because they remained true to their consciences and
to the religion of their fathers. All these fell victims to the cruelty
of Henry VIII., whom you style a 'great king.' You glorify a man who
for blood-thirstiness and cruelty can be placed by the side of Nero and
Diocletian. That is my retort to your hypocrisy and historical
The stern doctor having emptied his vials of wrath, now walked on
quietly; Lutz with drooping head followed in silence.
Sybel does not even stop with Henry VIII., again began the doctor.
These enlightened gentlemen undertake to glorify even Tiberius, that
inhuman monster. They might as well have the impudence to glorify
cruelty itself. On the other hand, truly great men, such as Tilly, are
abandoned to the hatred of the ignorant.
This is unjust, said the professor hastily. Sybel's periodical in
the second volume says that Tilly was often calumniated by party
spirit; that the destruction of Magdeburg belongs to the class of
unproved and improbable events. The periodical proves that Tilly's
conduct in North Germany was mild and humane, that he signalized
himself by his simplicity, unselfishness, and conscientiousness.
Does Sybel's periodical say all this?
Word for word, and much more in praise of that magnanimous man,
said Lutz. From this you may know that science is just even to pious
Klingenberg smiled characteristically, and in his smile was an
expression of ineffable contempt.
He stopped before the professor.
You have just quoted what impartial historical research informs us
of Tilly, in the second and third volumes. It is so. I remember
perfectly having read that favorable account. Now let me quote what the
same periodical says of the same Tilly in the seventeenth volume. There
we read that Tilly was a hypocrite and a blood-hound, whose name cannot
be mentioned without a shudder; furthermore, we are told that Tilly
burned Magdeburg, that he waged a ravaging war against men, women,
children, and property. You see, then, in the second and third volumes
that Tilly was a conscientious, mild man and pious hero; in the
seventeenth volume, that he was a tyrant and blood-hound. It appears
from this with striking clearness that the enlightened progressionists
do not stick at contradiction, mendacity, and defamation.
The professor lowered his eyes and stood embarrassed.
I leave you, 'Herr Professor,' to give a name to such a procedure.
Besides, I must also observe that the strictly scientific method, as it
labels itself at present, does not stop at personal defamation. As
every holy delusion and religious superstition must be destroyed in the
hearts of the students, this lying and defamation extends to the
historical truths of faith. It is taught from the professors' chairs,
and confirmed by the journals, that confession is an invention of the
middle ages; while you must know from thorough research that confession
has existed up to the time of the apostles. You teach and write that
Innocent III. introduced the doctrine of transubstantiation in the
thirteenth century; while every one having the least knowledge of
history knows that at the council of 1215 it was only made a duty to
receive the holy communion at Easter, that the fathers of the first
ages speak of transubstantiationthat it has its foundation in
Scripture. You know as well as I do that indulgences were imparted even
in the first century; but this does not prevent you from teaching that
the popes of the middle ages invented indulgences from love of money,
and sold them from avarice. Thus the progressive science lies and
defames, yet is not ashamed to raise high the banner of enlightenment;
thus you lead people into error, and destroy youth! Fie! fie!
The doctor turned and was about to proceed when he heard his name
called. Frank hastened to him, the perspiration running from his
forehead, and his breast heaving from rapid breathing. In a few words
he made known Eliza's illness, and Siegwart's request.
You know, said Klingenberg, that I treat only the poor, who
cannot easily get a physician.
Make an exception in this case, doctor, I beg of you most
earnestly! You respect Siegwart yourself for his integrity, and I also
of late have learned to esteem the excellent man, whose heart at
present is rent with anxiety and distress. Save this child, doctor; I
beg of you save it.
Klingenberg saw the young man's anxiety and goodness, and
benevolence beamed on his still angry face.
I see, said he, that no refusal is to be thought of. Well, we
will go. And he immediately set off with long strides on his way back.
Richard cast a glance at the professor, who followed, gloomy and
spiteful. He saw the angry look he now and then turned on the hastening
doctor, and knew that a sharp contest must have taken place. But his
solicitude for Siegwart's child excluded all other sympathy. On the way
he exchanged only a few words with Lutz, who moved on morosely, and was
glad when Klingenberg and Richard separated from him in the vicinity of
Ten minutes later they entered the house of Siegwart. The doctor
stood for a moment observing the child without touching it. The little
one opened her eyes, and appeared to be frightened at the strange man
with the sharp features. Siegwart and Angela read anxiously in the
doctor's immovable countenance. As Eliza said Papa, in a peculiar,
feverish tone, Klingenberg moved away from the bed. He cast a quick
glance at the father, went to the window and drummed with his fingers
on the glass. Frank read in that quick glance that Eliza must die.
Angela must also have guessed the doctor's opinion, for she was very
much affected; her head sank on her breast and tears burst from her
Klingenberg took out his notebook, wrote something on a small slip
of paper, and ordered the recipe to be taken immediately to the
apothecary. He then took his departure.
What do you think of the child? said Siegwart, as they passed over
The child is very sick; send for me in the morning if it be
Frank and the doctor went some distance in silence. The young man
thought of the misery the death of Eliza would bring on that happy
family, and the pale, suffering Angela in particular stood before him.
Is recovery not possible?
No. The child will surely die to-night. I prescribed only a
soothing remedy. I am sorry for Siegwart; he is one of the few fathers
who hang with boundless love on their childrenparticularly when they
are young. The man must call forth all his strength to bear up against
When Frank entered his room, he found Lutz in a very bad humor.
You have judged that old bear much too leniently, began the
professor. The man is a model of coarseness and intolerable bigotry.
I thought so, said Frank. I know you and I know the doctor; and I
knew two such rugged antitheses must affect each other unpleasantly.
What occasioned your dispute?
What! A thousand things, answered his friend ill-humoredly. The
old rhinoceros has not the least appreciation of true knowledge. He
carries haughtily the long wig of antiquated stupidity, and does not
see the shallowness of the swamp in which he wallows. The genius of
Christianity is to him the sublime. Where this stops, pernicious
enlightenmentwhich corrupts the people, turns churches into
ball-rooms, and the Bible into a book of fablesbegins.
The doctor is not wrong there, said Frank earnestly. Are they not
endeavoring with all their strength to deprive the Bible of its divine
character? Does not one Schenkel in Heidelberg deny the divinity of
Christ? Is not this Schenkel the director of a theological faculty? Do
not some Catholic professors even begin to dogmatize and dispute the
authority of the holy see?
We rejoice at the consoling fact that Catholic savants
themselves break the fetters with which Rome's infallibility has bound
in adamantine chains the human mind! cried Lutz with enthusiasm.
It appears strange to me when young menscarcely escaped from the
school, and boasting of all modern knowledgecast aside as old,
worthless rubbish what great minds of past ages have deeply pondered.
The see of Rome and its dogmas have ruled the world for eighteen
hundred years. Rome's dogmas overthrew the old world and created a new
one. They have withstood and survived storms that have engulfed all
else besides. Such strength excites wonder and admiration, but not
I let your eulogy on Rome pass, said the professor. But as Rome
and her dogmas have overthrown heathenism, so will the irresistible
progress of science overthrow Christianity. Coming generations will
smile as complacently at the God of Christendom as we consider with
astonishment the great and small gods of the heathen.
I do not desire the realization of your prophecy, said Frank
gloomily; for it must be accompanied by convulsions that will
transform the whole world, and therefore I do not like to see an
anti-Christian tendency pervading science.
Tendency, tendency! said Lutz, hesitating. In science there is no
tendency; there is but truth.
Easy, friend, easy! Be candid and just. You will not deny that the
tendency of Sybel's school is to war against the church?
Certainly, in so far as the church contends against truth and
Good; and the friends of the church will contend against you in so
far as you are inimical to the spirit of the church. And so, tendency
on one side, tendency on the other. But it is you who make the more
noise. As soon as a book opposed to you appears,'Partial!' you say
with contemptuous mien; 'Odious!' 'Ecclesiastical!' 'Unreadable!' and
it is forthwith condemned. But it appears to me natural that a man
should labor and write in a cause which is to him the noblest cause.
I am astonished, Richard! You did not think formerly as you now do.
But I should not be surprised if your intercourse with the doctor is
not without its effects. This the professor said in a cutting tone.
Frank turned about and walked the room. The observation of his friend
annoyed him, and he reflected whether his views had actually undergone
You deceive yourself. I am still the same, said he. You cannot
mistrust me because I do not take part with you against the doctor.
Carl sat for a time thinking.
Is my presence at the table necessary? said he. I do not wish to
meet the doctor again.
That would be little in you. You must not avoid the doctor. You
must convince yourself that he does not bear any ill-will on account of
that scientific dispute. With all his rough bluntness, Klingenberg is a
noble man. Your non-appearance at table must offend him, and at the
same time betray your annoyance.
I obey, answered Lutz. Tomorrow I will go for a few days to the
mountains. On my return I will remain another day with you.
Frank's assurance was confirmed. The doctor met the guest as if
nothing unpleasant had happened. In the cool of the evening he went
with the young men into the garden, and spoke with such familiarity of
Tacitus, Livy, and other historians of antiquity that the professor
admired his erudition.
Frank wrote in his diary:
May 20th.After mature reflection, I find that the views which I
believed to be strongly founded begin to totter. What would the
professor say if he knew that not the doctor, but a country family, and
that, too, ultramontane, begin to shake the foundation of my views?
Would he not call me weak?
He laid down the pen and sat sullenly reflecting.
All my impressions of the ultramontane family be herewith effaced,
he wrote further. The only fact I admit is, that even ultramontanes
also can be good people. But this fact shall in no wise destroy my
On the following morning, no message was sent for the doctor. The
child had died, as Klingenberg foretold. Frank thought of the great
affliction of the Siegwart familyAngela in tears, and the father
broken down with grief. It drove him from Frankenhöhe. In a quarter of
an hour he was at the house of the proprietor.
A servant came weeping to meet him.
You cannot speak to my master, said she. We had a bad night. My
master is almost out of his mind; he has only just now lain down. Poor
Eliza! the dear, good child. And the tears burst forth again.
When did the child die?
At four o'clock this morning; and how beautiful she still looks in
death! You would think she is only sleeping. If you wish to see her,
just go up to the same room in which you were yesterday.
After some hesitation, Frank ascended the stairs and entered the
room. As he passed the threshold, he paused, greatly surprised at the
sight that met his view. The room was darkened, the shutters closed,
and across the room streamed the broken rays of the morning sun. On a
white-covered table burned wax candles, in the midst of which stood a
large crucifix; there was also a holy-water vase, and in it a green
branch. On the white cushions of the bed reposed Eliza, a crown of
evergreens about her forehead, and a little crucifix in her folded
hands. Her countenance was not the least disfigured; only about her
softly closed eyes there was a dark shade, and the lifelike freshness
of the lips had vanished. Angela sat near the bed on a low stool; she
had laid her head near that of her sister, and in consequence of a
wakeful night was fast asleep. Eliza's little head lay in her arms, and
in her hand she held the same rosary that he had found near the statue.
Frank stood immovable before the interesting group.
The most beautiful form he had ever beheld he now saw in close
contact with the dead. Earnest thoughts passed through his mind. The
fleetingness of all earthly things vividly occurred to him. Eliza's
corpse reminded him impressively that her sister, the charming Angela,
must meet the same inevitable fate. His eyes rested on the beautiful
features of the sufferer, which were not in the least disfigured by
bitter or gloomy dreams, and which expressed in sleep the sweetest
peace. She slept as gently and confidingly near Eliza as if she did not
know the abyss which death had placed between them. The only disorder
in Angela's external appearance was the glistening curls of hair that
hung loose over her shoulders on her breast.
At length Frank departed, with the determination of returning to
make his visit of condolence. After the accustomed walk with
Klingenberg, he went immediately back to Siegwart's.
When he returned home, he wrote in his diary:
May 21st.Surprising and wonderful!
When my uncle's little Agnes died, my aunt took ill, and my uncle's
condition bordered on insanity; tortured by excruciating anguish, he
murmured against Providence. He accused God of cruelty and injustice,
because he took from him a child he loved so much, he lost all
self-control, and had not strength to bear the misfortune with
resignation. And now the Siegwart family are in the same circumstances;
the father is much broken down, much afflicted, but very resigned; his
trembling lips betray the affliction that presses on his heart, but
they make no complaints against Providence.
'I thank you for your sympathy,' said he to me. 'The trial is
painful; but God knows what he does. The Lord gave me the dear child;
the Lord has taken her away. His holy will be done.' So spoke Siegwart.
While he said this, a perceptible pain changed his manly countenance,
and he lay like a quivering victim on the altar of the Lord. Siegwart's
wife, a beautiful woman, with calm, mild eyes, wept inwardly. Her
mother's heart bled from a thousand wounds; but she showed the same
self-control and resignation as Siegwart did to the will of the Most
And Angela? I do not understand her at all. She speaks of Eliza as
of one sleeping, or of one who has gone to a place where she is happy.
But sometimes a spasm twitches her features; then her eyes rest on the
crucifix that stands amid the lighted candles. The contemplation of the
crucifix seems to afford her strength and vigor. This is a mystery to
me. I cannot conceive the mysterious power of that carved figure.
Misery does not depress these people: it ennobles them. I have
never seen the like. When I compare their conduct with that of those I
have known, I confess that the Siegwart family puts my acquaintance as
well as myself to shame.
What gives these people this strength, this calm, this resignation?
Religion, perhaps. Then religion is infinitely more than a mere
conception, a mere external rule of faith.
I am beginning to suspect that between heaven and earth there
exists, for those who live for heaven, a warm, living union. It appears
to me that Providence does not, indeed, exempt the faithful from the
common lot of earthly affliction; but he gives them strength which
transcends the power of human nature.
I have undertaken the task of putting Angela to the test, and what
do I find? Admiration for hershame for myself; and also the certainty
that my views of women must be restricted.
He had scarcely written down these thoughts, when he bit impatiently
the pen between his teeth.
We must not be hasty in our judgments, he wrote further. Perhaps
it is my ignorance of the depth of the human heart that causes me to
consider in so favorable a light the occurrences in the Siegwart
Perhaps it is a kind of stupidity of mind, an unrefined feeling, a
frivolous perception of fatality, that gives these people this quiet
and resignation. My judgment shall not be made up. Angela may conceal
beneath the loveliness of her nature characteristics and failings which
may justify my opinion of the sex, notwithstanding.
With a peculiar stubbornness which struggles to maintain a favorite
conviction, he closed the diary.
On the second day after Eliza's death, the body was consigned to the
earth. Frank followed the diminutive coffin, which was carried by four
little girls dressed in white. The youthful bearers had wreaths of
flowers on their heads and blue silk ribbons about their waists, the
ends of which hung down.
After these followed a band of girls, also dressed in white and
blue. They had flowers fixed in their hair, and in their hands they
carried a large wreath of evergreens and roses. The whole community
followed the processiona proof of the great respect the proprietor
enjoyed among his neighbors. Siegwart's manner was quiet, but his eyes
were inflamed. As the coffin was lowered into the ground, the larks
sang in the air, and the birds in the bushes around joined their sweet
cadences with the not plaintive but joyful melodies which were sung by
a choir of little girls. The church ceremonies, like nature, breathed
joy and triumph, much to Richard's astonishment. He did not understand
how these songs of gladness and festive costumes could be reconciled
with the open grave. He believed that the feelings of the mourners must
be hurt by all this. He remained with the family at the grave till the
little mound was smoothed and finished above it. The people scattered
over the graveyard, and knelt praying before the different graves. The
cross was planted on Eliza's resting-place, and the girls placed the
large wreath on the little mound. Siegwart spoke words of consolation
to his wife as he conducted her to the carriage. Angela, sunk in
sadness, still remained weeping at the grave. Richard approached and
offered her his arm. The carriage proceeded toward Salingen and stopped
before the church, whose bells were tolling. The service began. Again
was Richard surprised at the joyful melody of the church hymns. The
organ pealed forth joyfully as on a festival. Even the priest at the
altar did not wear black, but white vestments. Frank, unfamiliar with
the deep spirit of the Catholic liturgy, could not understand this
singular funeral service.
After service the family returned. Frank sat opposite to Angela, who
was very sad, but in no way depressed. He even thought he saw now and
then the light of a peculiar joy in her countenance. Madame Siegwart
could not succeed in overcoming her maternal sorrow. Her tears burst
forth anew, and her husband consoled her with tender words.
Frank strove to divert Angela from her sad thoughts. As he thought
it would not be in good taste to speak of ordinary matters, he
expressed his surprise at the manner of the burial.
Your sister, said he, was interred with a solemnity which excited
my surprise, and, I confess, my disapprobation. Not a single hymn of
sorrow was sung, either at the grave or in the church. One would not
believe that those white-clad girls with wreaths of flowers on their
heads were carrying the soulless body of a beloved being to the grave.
The whole character of the funeral was that of rejoicing. How is this,
Fräulein Angela; is that the custom here?
She looked at him somewhat astonished.
That is the custom in the whole Catholic Church, she replied. At
the burial of children she excludes all sadness; and for that reason
masses of requiem in black vestments are never said for them; but
masses of the angels in white.
Do you not think the custom is in contradiction to the sentiments
of natureto the sorrowful feelings of those who remain?
Yes, I believe so, she answered tranquilly. Human nature grieves
about many things over which the spirit should rejoice.
These words sounded enigmatically to Richard.
I do not comprehend the meaning of your words, Fräulein Angela.
Grief at the death of a relative is proper for us, because a
beloved person has been taken from our midst. But the church, on the
contrary, rejoices because an innocent, pure soul has reached the goal
after which we all striveeternal happiness. You see, Herr Frank, that
the church considers the departure of a child from this world from a
more exalted point of view, and comprehends it in a more spiritual
sense, than the natural affection. While the heart grows weak from
sadness, the church teaches us that Eliza is happy; that she has gone
before us, and that we will be separated from her but for a short time;
that between us there is a spiritual union which is based on the
communion of saints. Faith teaches me that Eliza, rescued from all
afflictions and disappointments, is happy in the kingdom of the
blessed. If I could call her back, I would not do it; for this desire
springs from egotism, which can make no sacrifices to love.
Her eyes were full of tears as she said these last words. But that
peculiar joy which Richard had before observed, and the meaning of
which he now understood, again lighted up her countenance. He leaned
back in the carriage, and was forced to admit that the religious
conception of death was very consoling, even grand, when compared with
that conception which modern enlightenment has of it.
The carriage moved slowly through the silent court-yard, which lay
as gloomy under the clouds as though it had put on mourning for the
dead. The chickens sat huddled together in a corner, their heads sadly
drooping. Even the garrulous sparrows were silent, and through the
linden tops came a low, rustling sound like greetings from another
Assisted by Richard's hand, Angela descended from the carriage. Her
father thanked him for his sympathy, and expressed a wish to see him
soon again in the family circle. As Richard glanced at Angela, he
thought he read in her look a confirmation of all her father said.
Siegwart's invitation was unnecessary. The young man was attracted more
strongly to the proprietor's house as Angela's qualities revealed
themselves to his astonished view more clearly. But Frank would not
believe in the spotlessness and sublime dignity of a Christian maiden.
He did not change his former judgment against the sex. His stubbornness
still persisted in the opinion that Angela had her failings, which, if
manifested, would obscure the external brilliancy of her appearance,
but which remained hidden from view. Continued observation alone would,
in Frank's opinion, succeed in disclosing the repulsive shadows.
Perhaps a proud determination to justify his former opinions lay
less at the bottom of this obstinate tenacity than an unconscious
stratagem. The young man anticipated that his respect for Angela would
end in passionate affection as soon as she stood before him in the
full, serene power of her beauty. He feared this power, and therefore
combated her claims.
The professor had returned from his excursion into the mountains,
and related what he had seen and heard. Such excursions on historic
grounds, said he, are interesting and instructive to the historical
inquirer. What historical sources hint at darkly become distinct, and
many incredible things become clear and intelligible. Thus, I once read
in an old chronicle that the monks during choral service sung with such
enchanting sweetness that the empress and her ladies and knights who
were present burst into tears. I smiled at this passage from the
garrulous old chronicler, and thought that the fabulous spirit of the
middle ages had descended into the pen of the good man. How often have
I heard Mozart's divine music, how often have I been entranced by the
stormy, thrilling fantasies of Beethoven! But I was never moved to
tears, and I never saw even delicate ladies weep. Two days ago, I
wandered alone among the ruins of the abbey of Hagenroth. I stood in
the ruined church; above was the unclouded sky, and high round about me
the naked walls. Here and there upon the walls hung patches of plaster,
and these were painted. I examined the paintings and found them of
remarkable purity and depth of sentiment. I examined the painted
columns in the nave and choir, and found a beautiful harmony. I admired
the excellence of the colors, on which it has snowed, rained, and
frozen for three hundred and twenty years. I then examined the fallen
columns, the heavy capitals, the beauty of the ornaments, and from
these significant remnants my imagination built up the whole structure,
and the church loomed up before me in all its simple grandeur and
charming finish. I was forced to recognize and admire those artists who
knew how to produce such wonderful and charming effects by such simple
combinations. I thought on that passage of the chronicle, and I believe
if, at that moment, the simple, pure chant of the monks had echoed
through the basilica, I also would have been moved to tears. If the
monks knew, thought I, how to captivate and charm by their
architecture, why could they not do the same with music?
The stupid monks! said Richard.
If you had spoken those words at my side in that tone as I stood
amid those ruins, they would have sounded like malicious envy from the
mouth of the spirit of darkness.
Your admiration for the monks is indeed a great curiosity, said
Frank, smiling. Sybel's congenial friend a eulogist of the monks! That
indeed is as strange as a square circle.
If I admire the splendor of heathenism, must I not also admire the
fascinating, still depth of Christian childhood? In heathenism as well
as in Christianity human genius accomplishes great and sublime things.
That, in its whole extent, I must dispute, said Frank. Where is
the splendor and greatness of heathenism? The heathen built palaces of
great magnificence, but crime stalked naked about in them. When the
lord of the palace killed his slaves for his amusement, there was no
law to condemn him. When lords and ladies at their epicurean feasts
would step aside into small apartments, there by artificial means to
empty their gorged stomachs, they did not offend either against heathen
decency or its law of moderation. The marble columns proudly supported
gilded arches; but when beneath those arches a human victim bled under
the knife of the priests, this was in harmony with the genius of
heathenism. The amphitheatres were immense halls, full of art and
magnificence, in which a hundred thousand spectators could sit and
behold with delight the lions and tigers devour slaves, or the
gladiators slaughtering each other for their amusement. No. True
greatness and real splendor I do not find in heathenism. Where heathen
greatness is, there terrible darkness, profound error, and horrible
customs abound. Christianity had to contend for three hundred years to
destroy the abominations of heathenism.
I will not dispute about it now, said Lutz. You shall not destroy
by your criticism the beautiful impressions of my excursion. I also met
the Swedes on my tour. About thirty miles from here there is, among the
hills, a valley. The peasants call the place the 'murder-chamber.' I
suspected that the name might be associated with some historical event,
and, on inquiry, I found such to be the case. In the Thirty Years' War,
when Gustavus Adolphus, the pious hero, passed through the German
provinces murdering and robbing, the inhabitants of the neighborhood
fled with their wives, children, and property to this remote valley.
They imagined themselves hid in these woods and defiles from the
wandering Swedes, but they deceived themselves. Their hiding-place was
discovered, and every living thingCows, calves, and oxen
exceptedwas put to the sword. 'The blood of the massacred,' said my
informer, 'flowed down the valley like a brook; and for fifty years the
neighborhood was desolate, because the Swedes had destroyed every
thing.' Such masterpieces of Swedish blood-thirstiness are found in
many places in Germany; and as the people celebrate them in song and
story, it is certain that the pious hero has won for himself
imperishable fame in the art of slaughter.
Do you not wish to have the 'murder-chamber' appear in Sybel's
No; fable must be carefully separated from history; and in this
case I want the inclination for the subject.
Fabulous! I find in the 'murder-chamber' nothing but the true
Swedish nature of that time.
The professor shrugged his shoulders.
Gustavus Adolphus may wander for ever about Germany as the 'pious
hero,' if for no other purpose than to annoy the ultramontanes.
Frank thought of the Siegwart family.
I believe we are unjust in our judgments of the ultramontanes,
said he. I visit every day a family which my father declares not only
to be ultramontane, but even clerical, and on account of it will not
associate with them. But I saw there only the noble, good, and
beautiful. And he reported circumstantially what he knew of the
You have observed carefully; and in particular no feature of Angela
has escaped you. This Angela, he continued jocosely, must be an
incarnate ideal of the other world, since she has excited the interest
of my friend, even though she wears crinoline.
But she does not wear crinoline, said Frank.
Not! returned the professor, smiling. Then it is just right. The
Angel of Salingen belongs to the nine choirs of angels, and was sent to
the earth in woman's form to win my proud, woman-hating friend to the
My conversion to the highest admiration of women is by no means
impossible; at least in one case, answered Richard, in the same
I am astonished! said the professor. My interest is boundless.
Could I not see this wonderful lady?
Why not? It is eight o'clock. At this hour I am accustomed to make
Let us go, by all means, urged Lutz.
On the way Frank spoke of Angela's charitable practices, of her love
for the poor, her pious customs, and of her deep religious sentiment,
which manifested itself in every thing; of her activity in household
matters, of her modesty and humility. All this he said in a tone of
enthusiasm. The professor listened with attention and smiled.
As they went through the gate into the large court-yard, they saw
Angela standing under the lindens. She held a large dish in her hand.
About her pressed and crowded the representatives of all races and
nations of that multitude which material progress has raised from
slavish degradation. From Angela's hand rained golden corn among the
chattering brood, who, pressed by a ravenous appetite, hungrily shoved,
pushed, and upset each other. Even the chivalrous cocks had forgotten
their propriety, and greedily snatched up the yellow fruit without
gallantly cooing and offering the treasure to the females. Nimble ducks
glided between the legs of the turkeys and snatched up, quick as
lightning, the grains from their open bills. This did not please the
turkeys, who gobbled and struck their sharp bills into the bobbing
heads of the ducks. A solitary turkey cock alone scorned to participate
in the hungry pleasures of the common herd. He spread his wings stiffly
like a crinoline around his body, strutted about the yard, uttered a
gallant guttural gobble, and played the fine lady in style.
Near the gate stood the stalls. They all had double doors, so that
the upper part could be opened while the lower half remained closed. As
the two friends passed, they saw a massive head protruding through the
open half of one of those doors. The head was red, and was set upon the
powerful shoulders of a steer who had broken loose from his fastening
to take a walk about the yard. When he saw the strangers, he began to
snort, cock his ears, and shake his head, while his fiery eyes rolled
wildly in his head.
A handsome beast, said Frank, as he stopped. How wide his
forehead, how strong his horns, how powerful his chest!
His head, said Lutz, would be an expressive symbol for the
The steer was not pleased with these compliments. Bellowing angrily
he rushed against the door, which gave way. Slowly and powerfully came
forth from the darkness of the stall the colossal limbs of the
dangerous beast. The friends, unexpectedly placed in the power of this
terrible enemy, stood paralyzed. They beheld the colossus lashing his
sides with his tail, lowering his head threateningly, and maliciously
stealing toward them like a cat stealing to a mouse till she gets
within a sure spring of it. The steer had evidently the same design on
strangers. He thought to crush them with his iron forehead and amuse
himself with tossing up their lifeless bodies. They saw this, clearly
enough, but there was no time for flight. The red steer in his mad
onset would certainly overtake and run them down. Luckily, the
professor remembered from the Spanish bull-fights how they must meet
these beasts, and he quickly warned his friend.
If he charges, slip quickly to one side.
Scarcely had the words escaped his trembling lips, when the steer
gave a short bellow, lowered his head, and, quick as an arrow, rushed
upon Frank. He jumped to one side, but slipped and fell to the ground.
The steer dashed against a wagon that was standing near, and broke
several of the spokes. Maddened at the failure of his charge, he turned
quickly about and saw Frank lying on the ground, and rejoiced over his
helpless victim. Richard commended his soul to God, but had enough
presence of mind not to move a limb; he even kept his eyes closed. The
steer snuffed about, and Frank felt his warm breath. The steer
evidently did not know how to begin with the lifeless thing, until he
took it into his head to stick his horns into the yielding mass. The
young man was lostnow the steer lowered his hornsnow came the
Angela had only observed the visitor as the bellowing steer rushed
at him. All this took but a minute. The servants were not then in the
yard; and before they could be called, Richard would be gored a dozen
times by the sharp weapons of the steer. The professor trembled in
every limb; he neither dared to cry for help, lest he might remind the
steer of his presence, nor to move from the place. He seemed destined
to be compelled to see his friend breathe out his life under the
Before this happened, however, Angela's voice rang imperatively
through the yard. The astonished steer raised his head, and when he saw
the frail form coming toward him with the dish in her hand, he gave
forth a friendly low, and had even the good grace to go a few steps to
Falk, what are you about? said she reproachfully. You are a
terrible beast to treat visitors so.
Falk lowed his apology, and, as he perceived the contents of the
dish, he awkwardly sank his mouth into it. Angela scratched his jaws,
at which he was so delighted that he even forgot the dish and held
still like a child. The professor looked on this scene with
amazementthe airy form before the murderous head of the steer. As
Master Falk began even to lick Angela's hand, the professor was very
near believing in miracles.
So now, be right good, Falk! said she coaxingly; now go back
where you belong. Keep perfectly quiet, Herr Frank; do not move, and it
will be soon over.
She patted the steer on the broad neck, and holding the dish before
him, led him to the stall, into which he quickly disappeared.
You are not hurt? asked Lutz with concern.
Not in the least, answered Frank, taking out his pocket
handkerchief and brushing the dust from his clothes. The professor
brought him his hat, which had bounced away when he fell, and placed it
on the head of his trembling friend.
Angela returned after housing the steer. Frank went some steps
toward her, as if to thank her on his knees for his life; but he
concluded to stand, and a sad smile passed over his countenance.
Fräulein Angela, said he, I have the honor of introducing to you
my friend, Herr Lutz, professor at our university.
It gives me pleasure to know the gentleman, said she. But I
regret that, through the negligence of Louis, you have been in great
danger. Great God! if I had not been in the yard. And her beautiful
face became as pale as marble.
Richard observed this expression of fright, and it shot through his
melancholy smile like rays of the highest delight; but for his
preserver he had not a single word of thanks. Lutz, not understanding
this conduct, was displeased at his friend, and undertook himself to
return her thanks.
You have placed yourself in the greatest danger, Fräulein Angela,
said he. Had I been able when you went to meet the steer, I would have
held you back with both hands; but I must acknowledge that I was
palsied by fear.
I placed myself in no danger, she replied. Falk knows me well,
and has to thank me for many dainties. When father is away, I have to
go into the stalls to see if the servants have done their work. So all
the animals know me, and I can call them all by name.
They went into the house.
It is well that my parents are absent to-day, and that the accident
was observed by no one; for my father would discharge the Swiss who has
charge of the animals, for his negligence. I would be sorry for the
poor man. I beg of you, therefore, to say nothing of it to my father. I
will correct him for it, and I am sure he will be more careful in
While she spoke, the eyes of the professor rested upon her, and it
is scarcely doubtful that in his present judgment the splendor of the
rostrum was eclipsed. Frank sat silent, observing. He scarcely joined
in the conversation, which his friend conducted with great warmth.
This occurrence, said Lutz, on his way home, appears to me like
an episode from the land of fables and wonders. First, the steer fight;
then the overcoming of the beast by a maiden; lastly, a maid of such
beauty that all the fair ones of romance are thrown in the shade. By
heaven, I must call all my learning to my aid in order to be able to
forget her and not fall in love up to the ears!
Frank said nothing.
And you did not even thank her! said Lutz vehemently. Your
conduct was more than ungallant. I do not understand you.
Nothing without reason, said Frank.
No matter! Your conduct cannot be justified, growled the
professor. I would like to know the reason that prevented you from
thanking your preserver for your life?
Richard stopped, looked quietly into the glowing countenance of his
friend, and proceeded doubtingly,
You shall know all, and then judge if my offensive conduct is not
He began to relate how he met Angela for the first time on the
lonely road in the forest, how she then made a deep impression on him,
what he learned of her from the poor man and from Klingenberg, and how
his opinion of womankind had been shaken by Angela; then he spoke of
his object in visiting the Siegwart family, of his observations and
I had about come to the conclusion, and the occurrence of to-day
realizes that conclusion, that Angela possesses that admirable virtue
which, until now, I believed only to exist in the ideal world. If there
is a spark of vanity in her, I must have offended her. She must have
looked resentfully at me, the ungrateful man, and treated me sulkily.
But such was not the case; her eyes rested on me with the same
clearness and kindness as ever. My coarse unthankfulness did not offend
her, because she does not think much of herself, because she makes no
pretensions, because she does not know her great excellence, but
considers her little human weaknesses in the light of religious
perfectionin short, because she is truly humble. She will bury this
dauntless deed in forgetfulness. She does not wish the little and great
journals to bring her courage into publicity. Tell me a woman, or even
a man, who could be capable of such modesty? Who would risk life to
rescue a stranger from the horns of a ferocious steer without
hesitation, and not desire an acknowledgment of the heroic deed? How
great is Angela, how admirable in every act! I was unthankful; yes, in
the highest degree unthankful. But I placed myself willingly in this
odious light, in order to see Angela in full splendor. As I said, he
concluded quietly, I must soon confess myself besiegedvanquished on
the whole line of observation.
And what then? said the professor.
Then I am convinced, said Richard, that female worth exists,
shining and brilliant, and that in the camp of the ultramontanes.
A shaming experience for us, replied the professor. You make your
studies practical, you destroy all the results of learned investigation
by living facts. To be just, it must be admitted that a woman like what
you have described Angela to be only grows and ripens on the ground of
religious influences and convictions.
And did you observe, said Richard, how modestly she veiled the
splendor of her brave action? She denied that there was any danger in
the presence of the steer, although it is well known that those beasts
in moments of rage forget all friendship. Angela must certainly have
felt this as she went to meet the horns of the infuriated animal to
Frank visited daily, and sometimes twice a day, the Siegwart family;
he was always received with welcome, and might be considered an
intimate friend. The family spirit unfolded itself clearer and clearer
to his view. He found that every thing in that house was pervaded by a
religious influence, and this without any design or haughty piety. The
assessor was destined to receive a striking proof of this.
One afternoon a coach rolled into the court-yard. The family were at
tea. The Assessor von Hamm entered, dressed entirely in black; even the
red ribbon was wanting in the button-hole.
I have learned with grief of the misfortune that has overtaken
you, said he after a very formal reception. I obey the impulse of my
heart when I express my sincere sympathy in the great affliction you
have suffered in the death of the dear little Eliza.
The tears came into the eyes of Madame Siegwart. Angela looked
straight before her, as if to avoid the glance of the assessor.
We thank you, Herr von Hamm, returned the proprietor. We were
severely tried, but we are reasonable enough to know that our family
cannot be exempted from the afflictions of human life.
Hamm sat down, a cup was set before him, and Angela poured him out a
cup of fragrant tea. The assessor acknowledged this service with his
sweetest smile, and the most obliged expression of thanks.
You are right, he then said. No one is exempt from the stroke of
fate. Man must submit to the unavoidable. To the ancients, blind fate
was terrific and frightful. The present enlightenment submits with
If a bomb had plunged into the room and exploded upon the table, it
could not have produced greater confusion than these words of the
assessor. Madame Siegwart looked at him with astonishment and shook her
head. The proprietor, embarrassed, sipped his tea. Angela's blooming
cheeks lost their color. Hamm did not even perceive the effect of his
fatal words, and Frank was scarcely able to hide his secret pleasure at
Hamm's sad mishap.
We know no fate, no blind, unavoidable destiny, said Siegwart, who
could not forgive the assessor his unchristian sentiment. But we know
a divine providence, an all-powerful will, without whose consent the
sparrow does not fall from the house-top. We believe in a Father in
heaven who, counts the hairs of our heads, and whose counsels rule our
You believe then, Herr Siegwart, that divine providence, or rather
God, has aimed that blow at you?
Yes; so I believe.
Pardon me. I think you judge too hard of God. It is inconsistent
with his paternal goodness to afflict your beloved child with such
Misfortune? It is to be doubted whether Eliza's death is a
misfortune. Perhaps her early departure from this world is precisely
her happiness; and then we must reflect that God is master of life and
death. It is not for us to call the Almighty to account, even if his
divine ordinances should be counter to our wishes.
I respect your religious convictions, Herr Siegwart. Permit me,
however, to observe that God is much too exalted to have an eye to all
human trifles. He simply created the natural law; this he leaves to its
course. All the elements must obey these laws. Every creature is
subject to them; and when Eliza died, she died in consequence of the
course of these laws, but not through God's express will. Do you not
think that this view of our misfortunes reconciles us with the
conceptions we have of God's goodness?
No; I do not believe it, because such a view contradicts the
Christian faith, replied Siegwart earnestly. What kind of a God, what
kind of a Father would he be who would let every thing go as it might?
He would be less a father than the poorest laborer who supports his
family in the sweat of his brow.
And the whole army of misfortunes that daily overtake the human
family? Does this army await the command of God?
Do not forget, Herr Assessor, that the most of these misfortunes
are deserved; brought on by our sins and passions. If excesses would
cease, how many sources of nameless calamities would disappear! For the
rest, it is my firm conviction that nothing happens or can happen in
the whole universe without the express will of God, or at least by his
The official shook his head.
This question is evidently of great importance to every man, said
Frank. Man is often not master of the course of his life; for it is
developed by a chain of circumstances, accidents, and providential
interferences that are not in man's power. I understand very well that
to be subject to blind chance, to an irrevocable fate, is something
disquieting and discouraging to man. Equally consoling, on the other
hand, is the Christian faith in the loving care of an all-powerful
Father, without whose permission a hair of our head cannot be touched.
But things of such great injustice, of such irresistible power, and of
such painful consequences happen on earth, that I cannot reconcile them
with divine love.
While Frank spoke, Angela's eyes rested on him with the greatest
attention; and when he concluded, she lowered her glance, and an
earnest, thoughtful expression passed over her countenance.
There are accidents that apparently are not the result of man's
fault, said Siegwart. Torrents sweep over the land and destroy all
the fruit of man's industry. Perhaps these torrents are only the
scourges which the justice of God waves over a lawless land. But I
admit that among the victims there are many good men. Storms wreck
ships at sea, and many human lives are lost. Avalanches plunge from the
Alps and bury whole towns in their resistless fall. It is such
accidents as these you have in view.
Preciselyexactly so. How will you reconcile all these with the
fatherly goodness of God? cried Hamm triumphantly.
The proprietor smiled.
Permit me to ask a question, Herr Assessor. Why does the state make
To preserve order.
I anticipated this natural reply, continued the proprietor. If
malefactors were not punished, thieves and desperadoes, their bad
practices being permitted, would have full play. Then all order would
vanish; human society would dissolve into a chaos of disorder. God also
created laws which are necessary for the preservation of the natural
order. Storms destroy ships. If there were no storms, all growth in the
vegetable kingdom would cease. Poisonous vapors would fill the air, and
every living thing must miserably die. Avalanches destroy villages. But
if it did not snow, the torrents would no longer run, the streams would
dry up and the wells would disappear, and man and beast would die of
thirst. You see, gentlemen, God cannot abolish that law of nature
without endangering the whole creation.
That explains some, but not all, replied Hamm. God is
all-powerful; it would be but a trifle for him to protect us by his
almighty power from the destructive forces of the elements. Why does he
not do so?
The reason is clear, answered Angela's father: God would have
constantly to work miracles. Miracles are exceptions to the workings of
the laws of nature. Now, if God would constantly suppress the power,
and unceasingly interrupt the laws of nature, then there would be no
longer a law of nature. The supernatural would have devoured the
natural. The Almighty would have destroyed the present creation.
No matter, said the official. God might destroy the natural
forces that are inimical to man; for all that exists is only of value
because of its use to man.
Then nothing whatever would remain. All would be lost, said
Siegwart. We speak and write much about earthly happiness that soon
passes away. We glorify the beauty of creation; but we forget that
God's curse rests on this earth, and it does not require great
penetration to see this curse in all things.
You believe, then, in the future destruction of the earth? asked
Divine revelation teaches it, said Siegwart. The Holy Scriptures
expressly say there will be a new earth and a new heaven; and the Lord
himself assures us that the foundations of the earth will be overturned
and the stars shall fall from the heavens.
The stars fall from the heavens! cried Hamm, laughing. If you
could only hear what the astronomers say about that.
What the astronomers say is of no consequence. They did not create
the heavenly bodies, and cannot give them boundaries; besides, we need
not take the falling of the stars literally. This expression may
signify their disappearance from the earth, perhaps the abolition of
the laws by which they have heretofore been moved, and the
reconstruction of those relations which existed between heaven and
earth prior to the fall. God will then do what you now demand of him,
Herr von Hamm, concluded Siegwart, smiling. He will destroy the
inimical power of nature, so that the new earth will be free from
thorns, tears, and lamentations.
Thus they continued to dispute, and the debate became so animated
that even Angela entered the list in favor of providence.
I believe, said she with charming blushes, that the miseries of
this earthly life can only be explained and understood in view of man's
eternal destiny. God spares the sinner through forbearance and mercy;
he sends trials and misfortunes to the good for their purification. God
demanded of Abraham the sacrifice of his only son; but when Abraham
showed obedience to the command, and consented to make that boundless
sacrifice, he was provided with another victim to offer sacrifice to
Fräulein Angela, exclaimed Hamm enthusiastically, you have solved
the problem. Your comprehensive remark reconciles even the innocent
sufferers with repulsive decrees. O Fräulein!and the assessor fell
into a tone of reveriewere it permitted me to go through life by the
side of a partner who possesses your spirit and your conciliatory
Angela looked down blushing. She was embarrassed, and dared not
raise her eyes. Her first glance, after a few moments, was at Richard.
Frank wrote in his diary:
Even the preaching tone becomes her admirably. Morality and
religion flow from her lips as from a pure fountain that vivifies her
As yet he had not surrendered to Angela.
Frank sprang from an obstinate Westphalian stock; and that the
Westphalians have not exchanged their stiff necks for those of
shepherds, is sufficiently proved by their stubborn fight with the
powers who menaced their liberties. Had Frank been a good-natured
South-German or even Municher, he would long since have bowed head and
knees to the Angel of Salingen. But he now maintained the last
position of his antipathy to women against Angela's superior powers.
He visited the Siegwart family not twice, but thrice, even four
times a day. He appeared suddenly and unexpectedly before Angela like a
spy who wished to detect faults.
Just as he was going over the court, on one occasion, a tall lad
came up to him. The boy came from the same fatal door through which
Master Falk had rushed out upon Richard with such bad intentions. The
servant held his hat in his right hand, and with his left fumbled the
bright buttons on his red vest.
Herr Frank, excuse me; I have something to say to you. I have
wanted to speak to you for the last three days, but could not because
my master was always in the way. But now, as my master is in the
fields, I can state my trouble, if you will allow me.
What trouble have you?
I am the Swiss through whose fault the steer came near doing you a
great injury. It is inexplicable to me, even now, how the animal got
loose. But Falk is very cunning. I cannot be too watchful of him. His
head is full of schemes; and before you can turn around, he has played
one of his tricks. The chain has a clasp with a latch, and how he broke
it, he only knows.
It is all right, replied Frank. I believe you are not to blame.
I am not to blame about the chain. But I am for the door being
open, Miss Angela said; and she is perfectly right. Therefore, I beg
your pardon and promise you that nothing of the kind shall happen in
The pardon is granted, on condition that you guard the steer
Miss Angela said that too; and she required me to ask your pardon,
which I have done.
Angela stood in the garden, hidden behind the rose-bushes, and
heard, smiling, the conversation.
As Frank passed over the yard, she came from the garden carrying a
basketful of vegetables. At the same time a harvest-wagon, loaded with
rapes and drawn by four horses, came into the yard.
Your industry extends to the garden also, Miss Angela, said Frank,
Now I know no branch of housekeeping that you cannot take a part in.
My work is, however, insignificant, she returned. In a large
house there is always a great deal to do, and every one must try to be
Your garden deserves all praise, continued Richard, eyeing the
contents of the baskets. What magnificent peas and beans!
For the first time Frank observed in her face something like
flattered vanity, and he almost rejoiced at this small shadow on the
celestial form before him. But the supposed shadow was quickly changed
into light before his eyes. Father brought these early beans into the
neighborhood; they are very tender and palatable. Father likes them,
and I am glad to be able to make him a salad this evening. He will be
astonished to see his young favorites of this year, eight days earlier
than formerly. There he comes; he must not see them now. She covered
them with some lettuce.
And this was the shadow of flattered vanity! Childish joy, to be
able to astonish her father with an agreeable dish.
The loaded wagon stopped in the yard; the horses snorted and pawed
the ground impatiently. The servants opened the barn-doors, and Frank
saw on all sides activity and haste to house the valuable crop.
Siegwart shook hands with the visitor.
The first blessing of the year, said the proprietor. The rapes
have turned out well. We had a fine blooming season, and the flies
could not do much damage.
I have often observed those little flies in the rape-fields, said
Frank. You can count millions of them; but I did not know that they
injured the crop.
They both went into the house, where a bottle of Munich beer awaited
them. Soon after, the servants went through the hall, and Frank heard
Angela's voice from the kitchen, where she was busily occupied. The
servants brought bread, plates, cheese, and jugs of light wine to the
Neighbor, said Siegwart, I invite you to-morrow afternoon at four
o'clock to a family entertainmentproviding it will be agreeable to
The invitation was accepted.
You must not expect much from the entertainment. It will, at least,
be new to you.
Frank was much interested in the character of this ultramontane
entertainment. He thought of a May party, a coronation party; but
rejected this idea, for Siegwart promised a family entertainment, and
this could not be a May party. He thought of all kinds of plays, and
what part Angela would take in them. But the play also seemed
improbable, and at last the subject of the invitation remained an
interesting mystery to him, the solution of which he awaited with
An hour before the appointed time Richard left Frankenhöhe, after
Klingenberg had excused him from the daily walk. He took a roundabout
way along the edge of the forest; for he knew that the Siegwart family
would be at divine service, and he did not wish to arrive at the house
a moment before the time. Sunday stillness rested on all. The mountains
rose up a deep blue; the vari-colored fields were partly yellow; the
vineyards alone were of a deep green, and when the wind blew through
them it wafted with it the pleasant odors of the vine-blossoms.
Madame Siegwart was just returning home from Salingen between her
two children. Henry, a youth of seventeen and the future proprietor of
the property, had the same manners as his father. He walked leisurely
on the road-side, examining the blooming wheat and ripening corn. When
he discovered nests of vine weevils, he plucked them off and crushed
the eggs of the hated enemies of all wine-growers. Angela remained
constantly at her mother's side, and as she accidentally raised her
eyes to where Richard stood, he made a movement as though he was caught
A short distance behind them came Siegwart, surrounded by some men.
They often stopped and talked in a lively manner. Frank thought that
these men were also invited, and hoped to become acquainted with the
élite of Salingen. He was, however, disappointed; for a short
distance from Siegwart's house the men turned back to Salingen. They
had only accompanied the proprietor part of the way. The servants of
Siegwart also came hastening along the road, first the men-servants,
and some distance behind them the maid-servants. Frank had observed
this separation before, and thought it must be in consequence of the
strict orders of the master. Frank considered this narrow-minded, and
thought of finding fault with it, in true modern spirit. But then he
considered the results of his observations, which had extended to the
servants. He often admired the industry and regular conduct of these
people. He never heard any oath or rough expressions of passion; every
one knew his work, and performed it with care and attention. He
observed this regular order with admiration, particularly when he
thought of the disobedience, dissatisfaction, and untrustworthiness of
the generality of servants. Siegwart must possess a great secret to
keep these people in agreement and order; therefore he rejected his
former opinion of narrow-mindedness, and believed the proprietor must
have good reason for this separation of the sexes.
Frank remained for a time under the shadow of an oak, looked at his
watch, and finally descended the shortest way. He was expected by
Siegwart, and immediately conducted to the large room. The arrangement
of the room showed at a glance its use. There was a small altar at one
side, and religious pictures hung on the walls. There was also a
harmonium, and on the windows hung curtains on which were painted
scenes from sacred history. In the middle of the room there was a desk,
on which lay a book. To the right of the desk sat the men-servants, to
the left the maids, the Siegwart family in the centre. A smile passed
over Frank's countenance at the present religious entertainmentfor
him, at least, a new sort of recreation. At his entrance the whole
assembly rose. He greeted Angela and her mother, pressed warmly the
hand of Henry, and took the seat allotted to him.
Angela ascended the pulpit, sat down and opened the book. She read
the life of the servant St. Zitta, whom the church numbers among the
saints. Angela read in a masterly manner. The narrative tone of her
soft, melodious voice ran like a quickening stream through the soul.
Some passages she pronounced with plastic force, and into the delivery
of others she breathed warm life. All listened with great attention.
Zitta's childhood passed in quick review, then her hard lot with a
master difficult to please. The servants listened with astonishment.
They heard with pious attention of Zitta's pure conduct, of her
fidelity and humility, of her industry and self-denial. They all felt
personally their own deficiency in comparison with this shining model.
When Angela closed the book, Frank saw that the servants were deeply
impressed. Meditatively they left the room, as though they had heard a
Ah! thought Frank. Now I know one of the means by which Siegwart
influences his people.
Now comes the second part of the entertainment, said the
proprietor, taking Richard's arm. We will now go into the garden.
On the way thither Frank saw under the lindens a long table set with
food and wine, and at it sat the servants. Richard heard their
conversation in passing. They talked of St. Zitta and recounted the
striking facts of her life.
Near the garden wall grew a vine-arbor, which caught the cool air as
it passed and loaded it with pleasant odors. Thousands of the flowers
of the blooming vine appeared between the indented leaves. Each of
these diminutive flowers breathed forth a fragrance which for sweetness
of odor could not be surpassed.
A young brood of goldfinches, who had taken possession of the arbor,
now cleared off. They flew up on the dwarf trees, or hid among the
roses, which of all colors and kinds grew in the garden. The hungry
young ones cried incessantly, and tested severely the parental duty of
support. But the old ones were not ashamed of this duty. Here and there
they caught flies and other insects, and carried them to the young
ones, who stood with outstretched wings and flabby bills wide open.
Then the old ones would fly away again, light on the branchesmostly
on bean-stalksmake quick dodges, wave their tails, smack their
tongues, and seize as quick as lightning a harmless passing fly. The
sparrows did not behave so harmlessly. They pecked at the bright
shining cherries that hung in full clusters on the swaying branches.
Others of this sharp-billed gentry hopped about on the strawberry-beds,
and disfigured the large berries as they tore off great pieces of the
soft meat. One of them had even the boldness to hop about on the
decorated table that stood at the upper end of the arbor, to strike his
sharp bill into the buttered bread, make an examination of the
preserves, ogle the slices of ham, and admire the black bottles that
stood on the ground. He also took to flight as the company arrived. The
vine-blossoms seemed to send forth a sweeter fragrance as Angela,
bright and beaming, approached, leaning on the arm of her mother.
Do you have this edifying reading every Sunday? asked Richard.
Regularly, answered the proprietor. It is an old custom of our
family, and I find it has such good results that I will not have it
abolished. The servants are not obliged to be present. They are free
after vespers, each one to employ himself as best suits him. But it
seldom happens that a servant or a maid is absent. They like to hear
the legends, and you may have remarked that they listen with great
attention to the reading.
I have observed it, said Frank. Miss Angela is also such an
excellent reader that only deaf people would not attend.
She smiled and blushed a little at this praise.
I consider it a strict obligation of employers to have a
supervision over the conduct of the servants, said Madame Siegwart.
Many, perhaps most, servants are treated like the slaves in old
heathen times. They work for their masters, are paid for it, and there
the relation between master and servant ends. This is why they neglect
divine service on Sundays and feast-days; their moral wants are not
satisfied, their natural inclinations are not purified by restraints of
a higher order. The servants sit in the taverns, where they squander
their wages, and the maids rove about and gossip. This is a great
injustice to the servants, and full of bad consequences. It cannot be
questioned that masters should shield their servants from error and
keep them under moral discipline.
Precisely my opinion, returned Frank. If servants are frequently
spoiled and general complaint is made of it, the masters are greatly in
fault. I have long since admired the conduct of your servants. I looked
upon Herr Siegwart as a kind of sorcerer, who conjured every thing
under his charge according to his will. Now a part of the sorcery is
clear to me.
Well, you were favorable in your judgment, said the proprietor,
laughing. So you considered me a magician; others consider me an
ultramontanist, and that is something still worse.
Richard smiled and blushed slightly.
You no doubt have heard this honorable title applied to me, Herr
Yes, I have heard of it.
And I scarcely deceive myself in supposing, continued Siegwart
good-humoredly, that your father has spoken to you of his neighbor,
You do not deceive yourself at all, answered Frank. I consider it
a great honor to have become better acquainted with the ultramontane.
I have often wished to speak to you, continued the proprietor, of
the reason which called forth your father's displeasure with me. I
suppose, however, that you have heard it.
My father never spoke of it, and I am eager to know the unfortunate
It is as follows. About ten years ago your father, with some other
gentlemen, wished to establish a great factory in this neighborhood.
The land on which it was to stand is a marsh lying near a pond, the
water of which was to be made of use to the factory. I tried with all
my power to prevent this design, and even for social and religious
reasons. Our neighborhood needed no factory. There are but few very
poor people, and these support themselves sufficiently well among the
farmers. Experience proves that factories have a bad effect on the
people in their neighborhood. Our people are firm believers. The
peasants keep conscientiously the Sundays and festivals. In all their
cares for the earthly they do not forget the eternal life. This
religious sentiment spreads happiness and peace over our quiet
neighborhood. The factory, which knows no Sunday, and the operatives,
who are sometimes very bad men, would have brought a harsh discordance
into the quiet harmony of the neighborhood. I considered these and
other injurious influences, and offered a higher price for the swamp
than your father and his friends. As there was no other convenient
place about, the enterprise had to be given up. Since that time your
father is offended with me because I made his favorite project
impossible. This is the way it stands. That it is painful to me, I need
not assure you. But according to my principles and views I could not do
otherwise. Now judge how far I am to be condemned.
I speak freely, said Frank. You have acted from principles that
one must respect, and which my father would have respected if he had
The proprietor could have observed that he had, in a long letter,
justified himself to Herr Frank. But he suppressed the observation, as
he felt it would be painful to his son.
Father, said Henry, hunger and thirst are appeased. Can I ride
out for an hour?
Yes, my son; but not longer. Be back by supper-time.
The young man promised, and, after a friendly bow to Frank, hastened
from the garden. The little circle continued some time in friendly
chat. The servants under the lindens became noisy and sang merry songs.
The maids sat around the tea-table in the kitchen and praised St.
The cook appeared in the arbor and announced that Herr von Hamm was
in the house, and wished to speak on important business to Herr and
What can he want? said the proprietor in surprise. Excuse me,
Herr Frank; the business will soon be over. I beg you to remain till we
return. Angela, prevent him from going.
Angela, smiling, looked after her retiring parents and then at
I must keep you, Herr Frank. How shall I begin?
That is very easy, Fräulein. Your presence is sufficient to realize
your father's wish. A weak child of human nature cannot resist one who
can conquer steers.
Now you make a steer-catcher of me. Such a thing never happened in
Spain; for there the steers are not so cultivated and docile as they
are with us.
She took out her knitting.
This is Sunday, Miss Angela!
Do you consider knitting unlawful after one has fulfilled one's
The case is not clear to me, said Frank, smiling secretly at the
earnestness of the questioner. My casuistic knowledge is not
sufficient to solve such a question reasonably.
The church only forbids servile work, said she. I consider
knitting and sewing as something better than doing nothing.
I am rejoiced that you are not narrow-minded, Fräulein. But this
little stocking does not fit your feet?
It is for little bare feet in Salingen, she replied, laying the
finished stocking on the table and stroking it with both hands as a
work of love.
I have heard of your beneficence, said Frank. You knit, sew, and
cook for the poor people. You are a refuge for all the needy and
distressed. How good in you!
You exaggerate, Herr Frank. I do a little sometimes, but not more
than I can do with the house-work, which is scarcely worth mentioning.
I make no sacrifice in doing it; on the contrary, the poor give me more
than I give them; for giving is to every one more pleasant than
To every one, Fräulein?
To every one who can give without denying herself.
But you are accustomed also to visit the sick, and the hovels of
poverty are certainly not attractive.
Indeed, Herr Frank, very attractive, she answered quickly. The
thanks of the poor sick are so affecting and elevating that one is paid
a thousand times for a little trouble.
Frank let the subject drop. Angela did not give charities from pride
or the gratification of vanity, as he had been prepared to assume, but
from natural goodness and inclination of the heart. He looked at the
beautiful girl who sat before him industriously sewing, and was almost
angry at his failure to detect a fault in her pure nature.
Do you always adorn the statue of the Virgin on the mountain? said
he after a pause.
No; not now. The month of our dear Lady is over. I always think
with pleasure of the happy hours when in the convent we adorned her
altar with beautiful flowers.
You must have a great reverence for Mary, or you would not ascend
the mountain daily.
I admire the exalted virtues of Mary, and think with sorrow of her
painful life on earth; and then, a weak creature needs much her
Do you expect, Miss Angela, by such attention as you show the
statue to obtain protection of the saint?
No, I do not believe that. The adorning of the pictures of saints
would be idle trifling if the heart wandered far from the spirit of the
saints. Our church teaches, as you know, that the real, true veneration
of the saints consists in imitating their virtues.
Frank sat reflecting. The examination and probation were thoroughly
disgusting to him. Siegwart appeared in the garden, and came with quick
steps to the arbor. His countenance was agitated and his eyes glowed
with indignation. Without speaking a word, he drank off a glass of
wine. Frank saw how he endeavored not to exhibit his anger.
Has Herr von Hamm departed? asked Richard.
Yes, he is off again, said the proprietor. Angela, your mother
has something to say to you.
Now guess what the assessor wanted? said Siegwart, after his
daughter had left the arbor.
Perhaps he wanted the Peter-pence collection, said Frank, smiling.
No. Herr von Hamm wanted nothing more or less than to marry my
Frank was astonished. Although he long since saw through Hamm's
designs, he did not expect so sudden and hasty a step.
And in what manner did he demand her?
It is revolting, said the proprietor, much offended. Herr von
Hamm graciously condescends to us peasants. He showed that it would be
a great good fortune for us to give our daughter to the noble, the
official with brilliant prospects.
Herr von Hamm does not think little of himself, said Richard
How did the man ever come to ask my daughter? He and Angela! What
Which, of course, you made clear to him.
I reminded the gentleman that identity of moral and religious
principles alone could render matrimonial happiness possible. I
reminded him that Angela was an ultramontane, whose opinions would
daily annoy him, while his modern opinions must deeply offend Angela.
This I set before him briefly. Then I told him frankly and freely that
I did not wish to make either him or Angela unhappy, and at this he
went away angrily.
You have done your duty, said Frank. I am also of opinion that
similar convictions in the great principles of life alone insure the
happiness of married life.
When Richard came home, he wrote in his diary:
June 4.Unconditional surrender. What I supposed only to exist in
the ideal world is realized in the daughter of an ultramontane. Angela,
compared to our crinolines, our flirts, our insipid coquetteshow
brilliant the light, how deep the shadow!
My visits to that family have no longer a purpose. I feel they must
be discontinued for the sake of my peace. I dare not dream of a
happiness of which I am unworthy. But my future life will feel
painfully the want of a happiness the possibility of which I did not
dream. This is a punishment for presuming to penetrate the pure,
glorious character of the Angel of Salingen.
He buried his face in his hands, and leaned on the table. He
remained thus a long time; when he raised his head, his face was pale,
and his eyes were moist with tears.
Herr Frank has not been here for four days, said Siegwart as he
returned one day from the field. He will not come to-day, for it is
already nine o'clock, I hope the young man is not ill.
Ill? May God forbid!
At least, I know no other reason that could prevent him from
coming. He has become a necessity to me; I seem to miss something.
Angela concealed her uneasiness in true womanly fashion. She busied
herself about the room, dusted the furniture, arranged the vases, and
trimmed the flowers; but one could see that her mind was not in the
Would it not be well, father, to send and inquire after his
It would if we were certain that he was ill. I only made a
conjecture. However, if he does not come to-morrow, I will send Henry
We owe him this attention; he is sensible, modest, and very
intelligent. We find at present in the cities and first families few
young men of so little assumption and so much goodness and manliness.
Angela pricked her finger. She had incautiously wandered into the
thicket, as if she did not know that roses have thorns.
Many things tell of his kind-heartedness, she replied, with
averted face. He sends five dollars every week to the old blind woman
in Salingen; he often takes the money himself, and comforts the
unfortunate creature. The blind woman is full of enthusiasm about him.
He bought the cooper a full set of tools, that he might be able to
support his mother and seven little sisters.
Very praiseworthy, said the father.
As Siegwart came home in the evening, Angela met him in the yard.
She carried a basket and was about to go into the garden.
Herr Frank is not unwell, said he; I saw him in the field and
went through the vineyard to meet him; but when he discovered my
intention, he turned about and hastened toward the house. That
Angela went into the garden. She stood on the bed and gazed at the
lettuce. The empty basket awaited its contents, and in it lay the knife
whose bright blade glistened before the idle dreamer. She stood thus
meditating, lost in thought for a long time, which was certainly not
Herr Frank had returned from the city, and was roughly received by
Have you spoken to your son? said he sharply.
No! I have just alighted from the carriage, answered Frank in
The doctor walked up and down the room, and Frank saw his face
You disturb me, good friend. How is Richard?
Bad, very bad! And it is all your fault. You gave Richard those
materialistic books which I threw out of the window. He has read the
trashnot read, but studied it; and now we have the consequences.
Pardon me, doctor. I did not give my son those books. He was
passing the window when you threw them out, and took them to his room.
You knew that! Why did you leave him the miserable trash?
I had no idea of the danger of these writings. Explain yourself
further, I entreat.
You must first see your son. But I bind it on your conscience to
use the greatest precaution. Do not show the least surprise. We have to
deal with a dangerous disorder. Do not say a word about his changed
appearance. Then come back to me again.
Greatly disturbed, the father passed to the room of his son. Richard
sat on the sofa gazing at the floor. His cheeks had lost their bloom,
his face was emaciated, and his eyes deeply sunken. Vogt's
Physiological Letters lay open near him. He did not rise quickly
and joyfully to kiss his father, as was his custom. He remained
sitting, and smiled languidly at him. Herr Frank, grieved and
perplexed, sat down near him, and took occasion to pick up the book:
How are you, Richard?
Very well, as you see.
You are industrious. What book is this?
A rare book, fathera remarkable book. One learns there to know
what man is and what he is not. Until now, I did not know that cats,
dogs, monkeys, and all animals were of our race. Now I know; for it is
clearly demonstrated in that book.
You certainly do not believe such absurdities?
Believe? I believe nothing at all. Faith ends where proof begins.
Herr Frank read the open page.
All this sounds very silly, said he. Vogt asserts that man has no
soul, and proves it from the fact that men become idiotic. If the
functions of the brain are disturbed, the soul ceases, says Vogt. He
therefore concludes that the spirit consists in the brain. The man must
have been crazy when he wrote that. I am no scholar; but I see at the
first glance how false and groundless are Vogt's inferences. Every
reasonable man knows that the brain is the instrument of the mind,
which enables it to participate in the world of sense; now, when the
instrument is destroyed, the participation of the mind with the outward
world must cease. Although a man may be an expert on the violin, he
cannot play if the strings are broken or out of tune. But the player,
his ideas, the art, still remain. In like manner the spirit remains,
although it can no longer play on the injured or discordant fibres of
You must read the whole book, father, and then those others there.
But, Richard, you must not read books that rob man of all dignity.
Of course not. I should do as the ostrich. When he is in danger, he
sticks his head into the bushes not to see the danger. A prudent plan.
But I cannot close my eyes to the light, even if that light should
destroy my human respect.
Greatly afflicted, Herr Frank returned to the doctor.
Great God! in what a condition is my poor Richard! said the
He will, I hope, be rescued. My stay at Frankenhöhe was to end with
the month of May; but I cannot forsake a young man whom I love, in this
helpless state of mental delirium.
I do not understand the condition of my son; and your words give me
great anxiety. Have the goodness to tell me what is the matter with
Richard, and how it came about.
It would be very difficult to make your son's condition clear to
you. In you there is only business, lucrative undertakings, speculative
combinations. The bustle of the money market is your world. You have no
idea of the power of an intellectual struggle. You know the thoughtful,
intellectual nature of your son; and here I begin. In the first place,
I will remind you that Richard wishes to be governed by the power of
deduction. With him fantasies and passions retreat before this force,
although usually in men of his years, and even in men with gray hair,
clearness of mind and keen penetration are often swept away by the
current of stormy passions. Richard's aversion to women is the result
of cool reflection and inevitable inference, and therefore on this
question I do not dispute his views. I know it would be useless, and I
know that the study of a pure feminine nature would overcome this
prejudice. The same force of logical inferences places Richard in this
unhappy condition. He read the writings of the materialist. There he
found the physiological proofs that man is a beast. From these proofs
Richard drew all the terrible consequences contained in those
destructive doctrines. As the intellectual life predominates in him,
and as he has a strong repugnance to materialistic madness, his nature
must be stirred in its profoundest depths. If Richard succumbs, he will
act in his habitual consistent manner. All moral basis lost, morality
would be foolishness to him, since it is useless for beasts to curb the
passions by moral laws. As with immortality disappears man's eternal
destiny, it would be foolish to 'fight the giant fight of duty.' If he
is convinced that man is a beast, he will live like a beastalthough
he might cloak his conduct with the varnish of decencyand thus
suddenly would the sensible Richard stand before his astonished father
a ruined man. This is one view; there is still another, said the
doctor hesitatingly. I remember in the course of my practice a suicide
who wrote on a slip of paper, 'What do I here? Eat, drink, sleep,
worry, and fret; much suffering, little joy; therefore' and the man
sent a bullet through his head. This suicide thought logically. This
earthly life is insupportable; it is foolishness to a man who thinks
and is at the same time a materialist.
What prospectshorrible! cried Herr Frank, wringing his hands.
Accursed be those books; and I am the cause of this misfortune!
The involuntary cause, said Klingenberg consolingly. You now have
a firm conviction of the devastating effects of those bad books. But
how many are there who consider every warning in this connection an
exhibition of prejudice or narrow-mindedness! How few readers are so
modest as to admit that they want the scientific culture to refute a
bad book, to separate the poison from the honey of sweet phrases and
winning style! How few can see that they cannot read those bad books
without detriment! No one would sit on a cask of powder and touch it
off for amusement; and yet those hellish books are more dangerous than
a cask full of powder. To me this is incomprehensible. Poisonous food
is always injurious; yet thousands and millions drink greedily from
this poisonous stream of bad reading which deluges all grades of
I will do immediately what must be done, said Herr Frank as he
What will you do?
Take from my son those execrable books.
By no means, said Klingenberg. This would be a psychological
mistake. Richard would buy the same books again at the book-shop, and
read them secretly. A man who has the resolution of your son must be
won by honorable combat. Authority would here be badly applied.
Therefore I forbid you to interfere. You know nothing of the matter.
Treat him kindly, and have forbearance with his sensitiveness. That is
what I must require of you.
Greatly afflicted, Herr Frank left the doctor. Overwhelming himself
with reproaches, he wandered restlessly about the house and garden. He
saw Richard standing at the open window with folded arms, dreamy and
pale, his hair in disorder like a storm-beaten wheat-fieldtruly a
painful sight for the father. He went up to his room, where the small
library stood in its beautiful binding. A servant stood near him with a
basket. The works of Eugene Sue, Gutzkow, and like spirits fell into
All to the fire! commanded Herr Frank.
The doctor had compared bad literature to poisonous food. The
comparison was not inapt; at least, it gave Richard the appearance of a
man in whose body destructive poison was working. He was listless and
exhausted; in walking, his hands hung heavily by his side. His eyes
were directed to the ground, as if he were seeking something. If he saw
a snail, he stopped to examine the crawling creature. He sought to know
why the snail crawls about, and, to his astonishment, found that the
snail always followed an object; which is not always the case with man,
animal of the moment, who goes about without an object. If a
caterpillar accidentally got under his foot, he pushed it carefully
aside and examined if it had been hurt. It seemed to him logical that
creeping and flying things had the same claims to forbearance and
proper treatment as man, since according to Vogt and Büchner's striking
proofs, all creeping and flying things are not essentially different
He paid particular attention to the spiders. If he came to a place
where their web was stretched, he examined attentively the artistic
texture; he saw the firmly fastened knot on the twig which held the web
apart, the circular meshes, the cunning arrangement to catch the
wandering fly. He was convinced that such a spider would be a thousand
times more intelligent than Herr Vogt and Herr Büchner, with half as
big a head as those wise naturalists. The enterprising spirit of the
ants excited not less his admiration. He always found them busy and in
a bustle, to which a market-day could not be compared. Even London and
Paris were solitary in comparison to the throng in an ant-hill. They
dragged about large pieces of wood, as also leaves and fibres, to
construct their house, which was laid out with design and finished with
much care. If he pushed his cane into the hill, there forthwith arose a
great revolution. The inhabitants rushed out upon him, nipped him with
their pincers, and showed the greatest rage against the invader of
their kingdom, while others with great celerity placed the eggs in
safety. He observed that the ants gave no quarter, and considered every
one a mortal enemy who disturbed their state.
The young man sat on a stone and examined a snail that crawled
slowly from the wet grass. It carried a gray house on its back, and
beslimed the way as it went, and stretched out its horns to discover
the best direction. Its delicate touch astonished Frank. When obstacles
came in its way which it did not see nor touch, it would perceive them
by means of a wonderful sensibility.
How stupid did Richard appear to himself, beside a horned, blind
snail. How many men only discover obstacles in their way when they have
run their heads against them, and how many wish to run their heads
through walls without any reason! He arose and looked toward Angela's
home. He was dejected, and heaved a sigh.
All is of no avail. The activity of the animal world affords no
diversion, the benumbing strokes of materialism lose their effect. The
rare becomes common, and does not attract attention. There walks an
angel in the splendor of superior excellence, and I endeavor in vain to
distract my mind from her by studying the animals. I follow willingly
the professors' exact investigations, into the labyrinth of their
studied arguments to make it appear that I am only an animal, that all
our sentiment is only imagination and fallacy. It is all in vain. Can
these gentlemen teach me how we can cease to have admiration for the
noble and exalted? Here man forcibly breaks through. Here self,
irresistible and disgusted with error, brings the nobility of human
nature to consciousness, and all the wisdom of boasted materialism
becomes idle nonsense.
Thank God! I see you again, my dear neighbor, said Siegwart
cordially. Where have you kept yourself this last week? Why do you no
longer visit us? My whole house is excited about you. Henry is angry
because he cannot show you the horses he bought lately. My wife bothers
her head with all kinds of forebodings, and Angela urged me to send and
see if you were ill.
A new life permeated Frank's whole being at these last words; his
cheeks flushed and his languid eyes brightened up.
I know no good reason as an apology, dear friend. Be assured,
however, that the apparent neglect does not arise from any coolness
toward you and your esteemed family. And he drew marks in the sand
with his cane.
Perhaps your father took offence at your visits to us?
Oh! no. No; I alone am to blame.
Siegwart gave a searching glance at the pale face of the young man
who, broken-spirited, stood before him, and whose mental condition he
did not understand, although he had a vague idea of it.
I will not press you further, said he cheerfully. But, as a
punishment, you must now come with me. I received yesterday a fresh
supply of genuine Havanas, and you must try them.
He took Richard by the arm, and the latter yielded to the friendly
compulsion. They went through the vineyard. Frank broke from a twig a
Do you know the cause of this?
Oh! yes; it is the work of the vine-weevil, answered Siegwart.
These mischief-makers sometimes cause great damage to the vineyards.
Some years I have their nests gathered and the eggs destroyed to
prevent their doing damage.
You consider every thing with the eyes of an economist. But I
admire the art, the foresight, and the intelligence of these insects.
Intelligenceforesight of an insect! repeated Siegwart,
astonished. I see in the whole affair neither intelligence nor
But just look here, said Richard, carefully unfolding the leaf.
What a degree of considerate management is necessary to fix the leaf
in such order. The ribs of this leaf are stronger than the force of the
beetle. Yet he wished to fold the eggs in it. What does he do? He first
pierces the stem with his pincers; in consequence of this, the leaf
curls up and becomes soft and pliable to the frail feet of the insect.
This is the first act of reflection. The piercing of the stem had
evidently as its object to cause the leaf to roll up. Then he begins to
work with a perfection that would do honor to human skill. The leaf is
rolled up in order to put the eggs in the folds. Here is the first egg;
he rolls furtherhere is the second egg, some distance from the first,
in order to have sufficient food for the young wormagain an act of
reflection; lastly, he finishes the roll with a carefully worked point,
to prevent the leaf from unfoldingagain an act of reflection.
Siegwart heard all this with indifference. What Richard told him he
had known for years. His employment in the fields revealed to his
observing mind wonderful facts in nature and in the animal world. The
wisdom of the vine-weevil gave him ho difficulty. He looked again in
Frank's deep-sunken eyes and noticed a peculiar expression, and in his
countenance great anxiety.
He concluded that the work of the vine-weevil must have some
connection with the young man's condition.
You see actions of reflection and design where I see only
Frank became nervous.
The common evasion of superficial examination! cried he. Man must
be just even to the animals. Their works are artistic, intelligent, and
considerate. Why then deny to animals those powers which operate with
intelligence and reflection?
I do not for a moment dispute this power of the animals, replied
the proprietor quickly. You find mind in the animals? interrupted
Frank hastily. This conviction once reached, have you considered the
consequences that follow?and he became more excited. Have you
considered that with this admission the whole world becomes a fabulous
structure, without any higher object? If the spider is equal to man,
then its torn web that flutters in the wind is worth as much as the
crumbling fragments of art which remain from classic antiquity. Virtue,
the careful restraining of the passions, is stark madness. The
disgusting ape, lustful and brutish, is as good as the purest virgin
who performs severe penances for her idle dreams. It is with justice
that the criminal scoffs at the good as bedlamites who, with fanatical
delusion, strive for castles in the air. Every outcast from society,
sunk and saturated in the basest vices, is precisely as good as the
purest soul and the noblest heart; for all distinction between right
and wrong, good and evil, is destroyed.
Angela's father gazed with solicitude into the perplexed look and
distorted countenance of the young man.
You deduce consequences, Herr Frank, that could not be drawn from
my admissions, said he mildly. There is no conscious power in
animalsno reflecting soul. The animal works with the power that is in
it, as light and heat in the fire, as in the lightning the destructive
force, as the exciting and purifying effects in the storm. The animal
does not act freely, like man; but from necessityaccording to
instinct and laws which the Almighty has imposed, upon it.
A gratuitous assumption! A shallow artifice, exclaimed Frank. The
animal shows understanding, design, and will; we must not deny him
If the lightning strikes my house and discovers with infallible
certainty all the metal in the walls, even where the sharpest eye could
not detect it, must you recognize mental faculties in the lightning in
discovering the metal?
Frank hemmed and was silent.
What a botcher is the most learned chemist compared with the
root-fibres of the smallest plant, continued Siegwart. Every plant
has its own peculiar life; this I observe every day. All plants do not
flourish alike in the same soil. They only flourish where they find the
necessary conditions for their peculiar life; where they find in the
air and earth the conditions necessary for their existence. Set ten
different kinds of plants together in a small plat of ground. The
different fibres will always seek and absorb only that material in the
earth which is proper to their kind; they will pass by the useless and
injurious substances. Now, where is the chemist who with such
certainty, such power of discrimination, and knowledge of substances,
can select from the inert clod the proper material? A chemist with such
knowledge does not exist. Now, must you admit that the fibres possess
as keen an understanding and as deep a knowledge of chemistry as the
man who is versed in chemistry?
That would be manifest folly.
Well, concluded Siegwart quietly, if the vine-weevil weaves its
wrapper, the spider its web, the bird builds its nest, and the beaver
his house, they all do it in their way, as the root-fibres in theirs.
Richard remained silent, and they passed into the house.
Angela and her mother looked with astonishment and sympathy on their
Soon in the mild countenance of Madam Siegwart there appeared nearly
the same expression as in the first days after the death of Elizaso
much did the painful appearance of the young man afflict her. Angela
turned pale, her eyes filled, and she strove to hide her emotion. Frank
only looked at her furtively. Whatever he had to say to her, he said
with averted eyes. Siegwart expended all his powers of amusement; but
he did not succeed in cheering the young man. He continued depressed,
embarrassed, and sad, and constantly avoided looking at Angela. When
she spoke he listened to the sound of her voice, but avoided her look.
Presently a low barking was heard in the room and Hector, who had
growlingly received Frank at his first visit, but who in time had
become an acquaintance of his, lay stretched at full length dreaming.
Scarcely did Richard notice the dreaming animal when he exclaimed,
The dog dreams! See how his feet move in the chase, how he opens
his nostrils, how he barks, how his limbs reach for the game! The dog
dreams he is in the chase.
I have often observed Hector's dreams, said Siegwart coolly.
Have you considered the consequences that follow from the dreams of
the dog? Dreams show a thinking faculty, said he hastily. Animals,
then, think like men; thoughts are the children of the mind; therefore,
animals have minds. Animals and men are alike.
Angela started at these words. Her mother shook her head.
You conclude too hastily, my dear friend, said Siegwart coolly.
You must first know that animals dream like men. Men think, reflect,
and speak in dreams. The dreams of animals are very different from
those mental acts.
How will you explain it? said Richard excitedly.
Very easily. Hector is now in the chase. The dog's sense of smell
is remarkable. By means of the fragrant wind Hector smells the
partridges miles away. He acts then just as in the dream; feet, nose,
and limbs come into activity. Suppose that in the surrounding fields
there is a covey of partridges. The air would indicate them to Hector's
smelling organs; these organs act, as in the waking state, on the brain
of the animal; the brain acts on the other organs. Where is there
thought? Have we not a purely material effect? The cough, the appetite,
the sneezing, the aversionwhat have all these to do with mind or
thought? Nothing at all. The dream of the dog is an entirely muscular
process, the mere co-working of the muscular organs; as with us,
digestion, the flowing of the blood, the twitching of the
musclesfacts with which the mind has nothing to do.
Your assertion is based on the assumption that partridges are
near, said Richard; and I will be obliged to you if, with Hector's
assistance, you convince me of this fact.
That is unnecessary, my dear friend. Suppose there are no
partridges in the neighborhood. The same affection of the brain which
would be produced by the smell of the partridges could be produced by
accident. If it is accidental, it will have the same effect in the
sleeping condition of the dog. Affections accidentally arise in man
the causes of which are not known. We are uneasy, we know not why; we
are discouraged without any knowledge of the cause. We are joyful
without being able to give any reason for it. The mind can rise above
all these dispositions, affections, and humors; can govern, cast out,
and disperse them. Proof enough that a king lives in manthe breath of
God, which is not taken from the earth, and to which all matter must
yield if that power so wills.
The dog stretched his strong legs without any idea of the important
question to which he had given occasion.
Herr Frank, began Madam Siegwart earnestly, I have learned to
respect you, and have often wished that my son, at your years, would be
like you. I see now with painful astonishment that you defend opinions
which contradict your former expressions, and the sentiments we must
expect from a Christian. Will you not be so good as to tell me how you
have so suddenly changed your views?
Esteemed madam, answered Frank, with emotion, I thank you for
this undeserved motherly sympathy; but I beg of you not to believe that
the opinions I expressed are my firm convictions. No, I have not yet
fallen so deep that for me there is no difference between man and
beast. I can yet continue to believe that materialism is a crime
against mankind. On the other hand, I freely acknowledge that my mind
is in great trouble; that every firm position beneath my feet totters;
that I have been tempted to hold doctrines degrading to the individual
and destructive to society. I have been brought into this difficulty by
reading books whose seductive proofs I am not able to refute. Oh! I am
miserable, very miserable; my appearance must have shown you that
He looked involuntarily at Angela; he saw tears in her eyes; he
bowed his head and was silent.
I see your difficulties, said the proprietor. They enter early or
late into the mind of every man. It is good, in such uncertainties and
doubts, to lean on the authority of truth. This authority can only be
God, who is truth itself, who came down from heaven and brought light
into the darkness. We can prove, inquire, and speculate; but the
keenest human intellect is not always free from delusion. As there is
in man a spiritual tendency which raises him far above the visible and
material, God has been pleased to lead and direct that tendency by
revelation, that man may not err. I consider divine revelation a
necessity which God willed when he created the mind. As the mind has an
instinctive thirst after truth, God must, by the revelation of truth,
satisfy this thirst Therefore is revelation as old as the human race.
It reached its completion and perfection by the coming of the Lord, who
said, 'I am the truth;' and this knowledge of the truth remains in the
church through the guidance of the Spirit of truth, till the latest
generation. This is only my ultramontane conviction, said Siegwart,
smiling; but it affords peace and certainty.
Angela had gone out, and now returned with a basket, in which lay a
little dog, of a few days old, asleep. She set the basket carefully
down before Frank, so as not to awaken the sleeper.
As you appreciate the full worth of striking proofs, I am glad to
be able to place one before you, in the shape of this little dog, said
she, appearing desirous of cheering her dejected friend. But Frank did
not receive from her cheerful countenance either strength or
encouragement, for he did not look up.
This little dog is only eight days old, she continued; its eyes
are not yet open; it can neither walk nor bark; it can only growl a
little; and it does nothing but sleep and dream. I have noticed its
dreams since the first day of its birth. You can convince yourself of
its dreaming. She stooped over the basket and her soft hair disturbed
For a moment Frank saw and heard nothing.
See, she continued, how its little feet move, and how its body
jerks. Hear the low growl, and see the hairs round the mouth how they
twitch, how the nose shrinks and expandsall the same as in Hector.
The little thing knows nothing at all of the worldno more than a
child eight days old. We certainly, therefore, will not deceive
ourselves in assuming that all these movements are only muscular
twitchings; that neither the pup nor Hector dreams like a man.
Frank first looked at the dog in great surprise, and then gazed
admiringly on Angela.
O fraulein! how I thank you.
She appeared most lovely in his eyes. He suddenly turned toward her
Your house is a great blessing to me. It appears that the pure
atmosphere of religious conviction which you breathe victoriously
combats all dark doubts, as light dissipates darkness.
Angela stood in her room. She knew that the spirit of unbelief
pervaded the world, taking possession of thousands and destroying all
life and effort. She saw Richard threatened by this spirit, and feared
for his soul. She became very anxious, and sank on her knees before the
crucifix and cried to heaven for succor.
Night was upon all things. The black clouds, lowering deep and
heavy, shut out all light from heaven. The wind swept the mountains,
the forest moaned, and thunder muttered in the distance. Klingenberg
sat before his folios. A fitful light glimmered from the room of
Richard's father. Richard himself came home late, took his supper, and
retired to his chamber; there he walked back and forth, thinking,
contending with himself, and speaking aloud. Before his door stood a
dark figureimmovable and listening.
It knocked at the door of the elder Frank. Jacob, a servant who had
grown gray in the service of the house, entered. Frank received him
with surprise, and awaited expectantly what he had to say.
We are all wrong, said Jacob. My poor young master has now spoken
out clearly. He is not sick because of the foolish trash in the books.
He is in love, terribly in love.
Ah! in love? said Herr Frank.
You should just have heard how he complains and laments that he is
not worthy of her. 'O Angela, Angela!' he cried at least a hundred
times, 'could I only raise myself to your level, and make myself
worthy! But your soul, so pure, your character, so immaculate and good,
thrusts me away. I look up to you with admiration and longing, as the
troubled pilgrim on earth looks up to the peace and grandeur of
heaven.' This is the way he talked. He is to be pitied, sir.
Sosoin love, and with Siegwart's daughter, said Frank sadly.
The tragedy will change into comedy. Even if they were not so
unapproachably high, but like other people on earth, my son should
never take an ultramontane wife.
But if he loves her so deeply, sir?
Be still; you know nothing about it. Has he lain down?
Yes; or, at least, he is quiet.
Continue to watch him. I must immediately make known to the doctor
this love affair. He will be surprised to find the philosopher changed
into a love-sick visionary.
In the same deep valley where the brook rippled over the pebbles in
its bed, where the mountain sides rose up abruptly, where the moss hung
from the old oaks, where Klingenberg plucked the tender beard of the
young professor of history, took place the meditated attack of the
doctor on the poison of materialism which was destroying the body and
soul of Richard.
Slowly and carefully the doctor advanced, as against an enemy who
will defend his position to the last. But how was he astonished, when,
being attacked, Frank showed no disposition to defend that most highly
vaunted doctrine of modern sciencematerialism! This was almost as
puzzling to the doctor as the eternity of matter. Tired of skirmishing,
the doctor set to work to close with the enemy, and strike him down.
I have looked only cursorily at the writings of the materialists:
you have studied them carefully; and you will oblige me much if you
would give me the foundation on which the whole structure of
The materialistic system is very simple, answered Frank.
Materialists reject all existence that is not sensibly perceptible.
They deny the existence of invisible and supersensible things. There is
no spirit in man or anywhere else. Matter alone exists, because matter
alone manifests its existence.
I understand. The materialist will only be convinced by seeing and
feeling. As a spirit is neither spiritual nor tangible, then there is
none. Is it not so, friend Richard?
You have included in one sentence the whole of materialism, said
I cannot understand, said Klingenberg hesitatingly, how the
materialists can make assertions which are untenable to the commonest
understandings. Why, thought can neither be seen nor felt; yet it is an
Thought is a function of the brain.
Then, it is incomprehensible how the sensible can beget the
supersensible. How matterthe braincan produce the immaterial, the
Richard was silent.
At every step in materialism I meet insurmountable difficulties,
continued the doctor. I know perfectly the organization of the human
body, as well as the function and purpose of each part. The physician
knows the purpose of the lungs, heart, kidneys, and stomach, and all
the noble and ignoble parts of the body. But no physician knows the
origin of the activity of the organism. The blood stops, the pulse no
longer beats, the lungs, kidneys, nerves, and all the rest cease their
functions. The man is dead. Why? Because the activity, the movement,
the force is gone. What, then, is this vivifying force? In what does it
consist? What color, what taste, what form has it? No physician knows.
The vivifying principle is invisible, intangible perfectly immaterial.
Yet it exists. Therefore the fundamental dogma of materialism is false.
There are existences which can neither be felt, tasted, nor seen.
The vivifying principle is also in animals, said Richard.
Certainly; and in them also intangible and mysterious. Materialism
cannot even stand before animal life; for even there the vivifying
principle is an immaterial existence.
The materialist stumbles at the existence of human spirit, because
he cannot get a conception of it.
How could this be possible? cried the doctor. The conception is a
picture in the mind, an apprehension of the senses. Spiritual being is
as unapproachable by the senses as the vivifying principle, of which
also man can form no conception. To deny existence because you cannot
have a conception of it, is foolish. The blind would have the same
right to deny the existence of colors, or the deaf that of music. And
who can have a conception of good, of eternity, of justice, of virtue?
No one. These are existences that do not fall under the senses. To be
logical, the materialist must conclude that there is nothing good,
nothing noble, no justice; for we have not yet seen nor felt nor smelt
these things. Virtuous actions we can, of course, see; but these
actions are not the cause but the consequence, not the thing working
but the thing wrought. As these actions will convince every thinking
man of the existence of virtue and justice, so must the workings of the
spirit prove its existence.
Precisely, replied Frank. Materialism only surprises and
captivates one like a dream of the night. It vanishes the moment it is
seen. I read the works of Vogt and Büchner only for diversion; my
object was perfectly gained.
You read for diversion! What did you wish to forget?
Dark clouds that lowered over my mind.
Have you secrets that I, your old friend and well-meaning adviser,
should not know?
Frank was confused; but his great respect for the doctor forced him
to be candid.
You know my views of women. When I tell you that Angela, the
well-known Angel of Salingen, has torn these opinions up by the roots,
you will not need further explanation.
You found Angela what I told you? I am glad, said Klingenberg. And
his disputative countenance changed to a pleasant expression. I
suspected that the Angel of Salingen made a deep impression on you. I
did not guess; I read it in large characters on your cheeks. Have you
made an avowal?
No; it will never come to that.
Why not? Are you ashamed to confess that you love a beautiful young
lady? That is childish and simple. There is no place here for shame.
You want a noble, virtuous wife. You have Angela in view. Woo her; do
not be a bashful boy.
Bashfulness might be overcome, but not the conviction that I am
unworthy of her.
Unworthy! Why, then? Shall I praise you? Shall I exhibit your noble
qualities, and convince, you why you are worth more than any young man
that I know? You have not Angela's religious tone; but the strong
influence of the wife on the husband is well known. In two or three
years I shall not recognize in the ultramontane Richard Frank the
former materialist. And the doctor laughed heartily.
It is questionable, said the young man, whether Angela's
inclination corresponds to mine.
The talk of every true lover, said the doctor pleasantly. Pluck
the stars of Bethlehem, like Faust's Grethe, with the refrain, 'She
loves, she loves notshe loves.' But you are no bashful maiden; you
are a man. Propose to her. Angela's answer will show you clearly how
The doctor was scarcely in his room when Richard's father entered.
All as you foretold, said Klingenberg. Your son is cured of his
hatred of women by Angela. The materialistic studies were not in
earnest; they were only a shield held up against the coming passion.
The love question is so absorbing, and the sentiment so strong, that
Richard left me near Frankenhöhe to hasten over there. I expect from
your sound sense that you will place no obstacles in the way of your
I regret, said Frank coldly, that I cannot be of the same opinion
with you and Richard in this affair.
Make your son unhappy? said Klingenberg. Do you consider the
possible consequences of your opposition?
What do you understand by possible consequences?
Melancholy, madness, suicide, frequently come from this. I leave
tomorrow, and I hope to take with me the assurance that you will
sacrifice your prejudice to the happiness of Richard.
Among the numerous inhabitants of Siegwart's yard was a hen with a
hopeful progeny. The little chicks were very lively. They ran about
after insects till the call of the happy mother brought them to her.
Escaped from the shell some few days before, they had instead of
feathers delicate white down, so that the pretty little creatures
looked as though they had been rolled in cotton. They had black, quick
eyes, and yellow feet and bills. If a hawk flew in the air and the
mother gave a cry, the little ones knew exactly what it meant, and ran
under the protecting wings of the mother from the hawk, although they
had never seen onehad never studied in natural history the danger of
the enemy. If danger were near, she called, and immediately they were
under her wings. The whole brood now stopped under the lindens. The
little ones rested comfortably near the warm body of the mother. Now
here, now there, their little heads would pop out between the feathers.
One smart little chirper, whose ambition indicated that he would be the
future cock of the walk, undertook to stand on the back of the hen and
pick the heads of the others as they appeared through the feathers.
Angela came under the lindens, carrying a vessel of water and some
crumbs in her apron for the little ones. She strewed the crumbs on the
ground, and the old hen announced dinner. The little ones set to work
very awkwardly. The old hen had to break the crumbs smaller between her
bill. Angela took one of the chickens in her hand and fondled it, and
carried it into the house. The hen went to the vessel to drink and the
whole brood followed. It happened that the one that stood on her back
fell into the water, and cried loudly; for it found that it had got
into a strange element of which it had no more idea than Vogt and
Büchner of the form of a spirit. At this critical moment Frank came
through the yard. He saw it fluttering about in the water, and stopped.
The old hen went clucking anxiously about the vessel. And although she
could without difficulty have taken the chicken out with her bill, yet
she did not do it. Richard observed this with great interest; but
showed no desire to save the little creature, which at the last gasp
floated like a bunch of cotton on the water.
Angela may have heard the noise of the hen, for she appeared at the
door. She saw Frank standing near the lindens looking into the vessel.
At the same time she noticed the danger of one of her little darlings,
and hastened out. She took the body from the water and held it sadly in
It is dead, the little dear, said she sadly. You could have saved
it, Herr Frank, and you did not do it. She looked at Frank, and forgot
immediately, on seeing him, the object of her regrets. The young man
stood before her so dejected, so depressed and sad, that it touched her
heart. She knew what darkened his soul. She knew his painful struggle,
his great danger, and she could have given her life to save him. She
was moved, tears came into her eyes, and she hastened into the house.
Siegwart was reading the paper when his daughter hastened in such an
unusual way through the room and disappeared.
This astonished him.
What is the matter, Angela? he exclaimed.
There was no answer. He was about to go after her when Frank
I can give you some curious news of the assessor, said the
proprietor after some careless conversation. The man is terribly
enraged against me and full of bad designs. The reason of this anger is
known to you. And he added, Angela is in the next room, and she must
know nothing of his proposal.
Frank nodded assent.
About ten paces from the last house in Salingen, continued
Siegwart, I have had a pile of dirt thrown up. It was now and then
sprinkled with slops, to make manure of it. Herr Hamm has made the
discovery that the slops smell bad; that it annoys the inhabitants of
the next house; and he has ordered it to be removed.
Richard shook his head disapprovingly.
Perhaps Herr Hamm will come to the conclusion that, in the interest
of the noses, all like piles must be removed from Salingen.
But that is not all, said Siegwart. It has been discovered that
the common good forbids my keeping fowls, because my residence is
surrounded by fields and vineyards, where the fowls do great damage.
The Herr Assessor has had the goodness, accompanied by the guards, to
examine personally the amount of destruction. So I have got
instructions either to keep my fowls confined or to make away with
Mean and contemptible! said Frank.
Angela came into the room. Her countenance was smiling and clear as
ever; but her swollen eyes did not escape Richard's observation. She
greeted the guest, and sat down in her accustomed place near the
window. Scarcely had she done this, when Frank stood up, went toward
her, and knelt down before the astonished girl.
Miss, I have greatly offended you, and beg your pardon.
Siegwart looked on in surprisenow at his daughter, who was
perplexed; now at the kneeling young man.
For God's sake! Herr Frank, arise, said the confused Angela. She
was about to leave the seat, but he caught her hand and gently replaced
If I may approach so near to you, my present position is the proper
one. Hear me! I have deeply offended you. I could with ease have saved
a creature that was dear to you, and I did not do it. My conduct has
brought tears to your eyeshurt your feelings. When you went away to
regain your composure, and to show your offender a serene, reconciled
countenance, it made my fault more distressing. Forgive me; do not
consider me hard and heartless, but see in me an unfortunate who
forgets himself in musing.
She looked into Frank's handsome face as he knelt before her, in
such sadness, lowering his eyes like a guilty boy, and smiled sweetly.
I will forgive yon, Herr Frank, on one condition.
Only speak. I am prepared for any penance.
The condition is, that you burn those godless books that make you
doubt about the noblest things in man, and that you buy no more.
I vow fulfilment, and assure you that the design of those books,
which you rightly call godless, is recognized by me as a crime against
the dignity of manand condemned.
This rejoices no one more than me, said she with a tremulous
He stood up, bowed, and returned to his former place.
But, my dear neighbor, how did this singular affair happen? said
Frank told him about the death of the chicken.
The love of the hen for her chickens is remarkable. She protects
them with her wings and warns them of danger, which she knows by
instinct. How easy would it have been for the hen to have taken the
young one from the water with her billthe same bill with which she
broke their food and gave it to them. But she did not do it, because it
is strange to her nature. This case is another striking proof that
animals act neither with understanding nor reflection. Acts beyond
their instinct are impossible to them. This would not be the case, if
they had souls.
The old servant stood with an empty basket before the library of the
son, as he had stood before that of the father. Büchner, Vogt, and
Czolbe fell into the fire. Jacob shook his head and regretted the
beautiful binding; but the evil spirits between the covers he willingly
consigned to the flames.
Again the cars stopped at the station; again the two gentlemen stood
at the open window of the car to receive their returning friends. The
travellers took a carriage and drove through the street.
Baron Linden has indeed gone headlong into misery, said Lutz
humorously. Eight days ago the young pair swore eternal fidelity. It
was signed and sealed. Until to-day no could one know that they were on
the brink of misery.
Richard remembered his remark on the former occasion, and wondered
at his sudden change of opinion.
I wish them all happiness, said he.
Amen! answered Lutz. Richard, however, considers happiness in
matrimony possible. So we may hope that he will not always remain a
bachelor. How is the Angel of Salingen? Have you seen her since that
encounter with the steer?
The angel is well, said Richard, avoiding the glance of his
What do you mean by the 'Angel of Salingen'? said the father.
Thereby I understand the unmarried daughter of Herr Siegwart, of
Salingen, named Angela, who richly deserves to be called the 'Angel of
Frank knit his brows darkly and drummed on his knees.
And the encounter with the steer? continued he.
The professor related the occurrence.
Ah! you did not tell me any thing of that, said the father,
turning to Frank. An act of such great courage deserves to be
The carriage passed into the court of a stately mansion. The servant
sprang from his seat and opened the carriage-door. The professor looked
at his watch.
Herr Frank, will you allow your coachman to drive me to the
university? I must be at my post in ten minutes. I cannot go on foot in
With pleasure, Herr Professor.
Richard, said the other friend, shall we meet at the opera
Scarcely. I must to-day enter upon my usual business.
Come, if possible. The evening promises great amusement, for the
celebrated Santinilli dances.
The accustomed routine of business began for Richard. He sat in the
counting-room and worked with his habitual punctuality. Nevertheless
invidious spirits lured him toward Salingen, so that the figures danced
before his eyes, words had no meaning, and he was often lost in
day-dreams. The watchful father had observed this, and was perplexed.
Richard's plan of studies also underwent a change. He left the house
regularly at half-past five and returned at half-past six. The father,
desiring to know what this meant, set the faithful Jacob on the watch.
Herr Richard, reported the spy, hears mass at the Capuchins.
Frank drummed a march on his knees.
So, so! he hummed. The ultramontanes understand proselytizing.
They have turned the head of my son. If I live long enough, I may yet
see him turn Capuchin, build a cloister, and go about begging.
When Herr Frank entered the counting-room, he found his son busy at
work. He stood up and greeted his father.
I have observed, Richard, he began after a time, that you go out
early every morning. What does it mean?
I have imposed upon myself the obligation of hearing mass every
How did you come to take that singular obligation upon yourself?
From the conviction that religion is no empty idea, but a power
that can give peace and consolation in all conditions of life.
It is evident that you have breathed ultramontane air. This
churchgoing is not forbiddenbut no trifling or fanatical nonsense.
It is my constant care, father, to give you no cause of
I am rejoiced at this, my son; but I must observe that a certain
gloomy, reserved manner of yours disturbs me. Your conduct is
exemplary, your industry praiseworthy, your habits regular; but you
keep yourself too much shut up; you do not give evening parties any
more. You do not visit the concert-hall or theatre. This is wrong; we
should enjoy life, and not move about like dreamers.
I have no taste for amusements, answered Richard. However, if you
think a change would be good, I beg you to permit me to take a run out
to Frankenhöhe for a couple of days.
And why to Frankenhöhe? I do not know any amusement there for you.
I have planted a small vineyard, as you know, and I would like to
see how the Burgundies thrive.
Herr Frank was not in a hurry to give the permission. He thought and
You can go, he said resignedly. I hope the mountain air will
cheer you up.
Herr Siegwart had remarked the same symptoms in his daughter that
Herr Frank had in his son; but Angela did not give way to discontent.
She was always the same obedient daughter. The poor and sick of
Salingen could not complain of neglect. But she was frequently
absent-minded, gave wrong answers to questions, and sought solitude. If
Frank was mentioned, she revived; the least circumstance connected with
him was interesting to her. Her sharp-sighted father soon discovered
the inmost thoughts and feelings of his daughter. He thought of Herr
Frank's ill-humor toward him, and was disposed to regret the hour that
Richard entered his house.
The Burgundies at Frankenhöhe were scarcely looked at. The young man
hastened to Salingen. He found the landscape changed in a few weeks.
The fields had clothed themselves in yellow. The wheat-stalks bent
gracefully under their load. Everywhere industrious crowds were in the
fields. The stalks fell beneath the reapers. Men bound the sheaves.
Wagons stood here and there. The sheaves were raised into picturesque
stacks. The sun beamed down hot, and the sweltering weather wrote on
the foreheads of the men, Adam, in the sweat of thy brow thou shalt
eat thy bread.
In the proprietor's house all was still, the old cook sat beneath
the lindens, and with spectacles on her nose tried to mend a stocking
which she held in her hand. She arose and smiled on Richard's approach.
They are all in the fields. We have much work, Herr Frank. The
grain is ripe, and we have already gathered fifty wagon-loads. I am
glad to see you looking so much better. The family will also be glad.
They think a great deal of youparticularly Herr Siegwart.
Give them many kind greetings from me. I will come back in the
Off so soon? Will you not say good-day to Miss Angela? She is in
the garden. Shall I call her?
No, said he after a moment's reflection; I will go into the
After unlatching the gate, he would have turned back, for he became
nervous and embarrassed.
Angela sat in the arbor; her embroidery-frame leaned against the
table, and she was busily working. As she heard the creaking of
footsteps on the walk, she looked up and blushed. Frank raised his hat,
and when the young woman stood up before him in beauty and loveliness,
his nervousness increased, and he would gladly have escaped; but his
spirit was in the fetters of a strange power, and necessity supplied
him with a few appropriate remarks.
I heard that the family were absent; but I did not wish to go away
without saluting you. Miss Angela.
She observed the bashful manner of the young man, and said kindly,
I am glad to see you again, Herr Frank, and invited him to sit down.
He looked about for a seat; but as there was none, he had to sit on the
same bench with her.
Do you remain long at Frankenhöhe?
Only to-day and to-morrow. Work requires dispatch, and old custom
has so bound me to my occupation that the knowledge of work to be done
makes me feel uneasy.
Do you work every day regularly in the counting-room?
I am punctual to the hours, for the work demands regularity and
order. There are every day some hours for recreation.
And what is the most pleasant recreation for you?
Music and painting. I like them the best. But of late, he added
hesitatingly, unavoidable thoughts press on me, and many hours of
recreation pass in useless dreaming.
Angela thought of his former mental troubles and looked anxiously in
Now, you have promised me, she said softly, to forget all those
things in those bad books that disturbed your mind.
The fulfilment of no duty was lighter or more pleasant to me than
to keep my promise to you, Angela.
His voice trembled. She leaned over her work and her cheeks glowed.
The delicate fingers went astray; but Frank did not notice that the
colors in the embroidery were getting into confusion. There was a long
pause. Then Frank remembered the doctor's final admonition, Be not
like a bashful boy; put aside all false shame and speak your mind; and
he took courage.
I have no right to ask what disturbs and depresses you, said she,
in a scarcely audible voice and without moving her head.
It is you who have the best right, Angela! You have not only saved
my life, but also my better convictions. You have purified my views,
and influenced my course of life. I was deeply in error, and you have
shown me the only way that leads to peace. This I see more clearly
every day. The church is no longer a strange, but an attractive place
to me. All this you have done without design. I tell you this because I
think you sympathize with me.
He paused; but the declaration of his love hovered on his lips.
You have not deceived yourself as to my sympathy, she answered.
The discovery that one so insignificant as myself has any influence
with you makes me glad.
O Angela! you are not insignificant in my eyes. You are more than
all else on earth to me! he cried. You are the object of my love, of
my waking dreams. If you could give me your hand before the altar in
fidelity and love, my dearest wishes would be realized.
She slowly raised her head, her modest countenance glowed in a
virginal blush, and her eyes, which met Richard's anxious look, were
filled with tears. She lowered her head, and laid her hand in that of
the young man. He folded her in his arms, pressed her to his heart, and
kissed her forehead. The swallows flew about the arbor, twittered
noisily, and threatened the robber who was trying to take away their
friend. The sparrows, through the leaves of the vines, looked with
wonder at the table where Angela's head rested on the breast of her
We cannot keep this from our parents, Richard. My parents esteem
you. Their blessing will not be wanting to our union.
Suddenly she paused, and stood silent and pale, as though filled
with a sudden fear. Richard anxiously inquired the cause.
You know your father's opinion of us, she said, disturbed.
Do not be troubled about that. Father will not object to my
arrangements. But even if he does, I am of age, and no power shall
separate me from you.
No, Richard; no! I love you as my life; but without your father's
consent, our union wants a great blessing. Speak to him in love; beg
him, beseech him, but do not annoy him on account of your selfishness.
So it shall be. Your advice is good and noble. As long as this
difficulty exists, I am uneasy. I will therefore go back. Speak to your
parents; give them my kind greeting, and tell them how proud I shall
feel to be acknowledged as their son. He again folded her in his arms
and hastened away.
The old cook still sat under the lindens, and the stocking lost many
a stitch as Frank, with a joyous countenance, passed her without
speaking, without having noticed her. She shook wonderingly her old
Angela sat in the arbor. Her work lay idly on the table. With a
countenance full of sweetness she went to her room, and knelt and
Herr Frank looked up astonished, as Richard, late in the evening,
entered his chamber.
Excuse me, father, said he joyfully and earnestly; something has
happened of great importance to me, and of great interest to you. I
could not delay an explanation, even at the risk of depriving you of an
Well, well! I am really interested, said Herr Frank, as he threw
himself back on the sofa. Your explanation must be something
extraordinary, for I have never seen you thus before. What is it,
For a right understanding of my position, it is necessary to go
back to that May-day on which we went to Frankenhöhe. Your displeasure
at my well-grounded aversion to women you will remember.
With childish simplicity he related the whole course of his inner
life and trials at Frankenhöhe. He described the deep impression Angela
had made upon him. He took out his diary and read his observations, his
stubborn adherence to his prejudices, and the victory of a virtuous
maiden over them. The father listened with the greatest attention. He
admired the depth of his son's mind and the noble struggle of
conviction against the powerful influence of error. But when Richard
made known what had passed between himself and Angela, Herr Frank's
I have told you all, said Richard, with that openness which a son
owes to his father. From the disposition and character of Angela, as
you have heard them, you must have learned to respect her, and have
been convinced that she and I will be happy. Therefore, father, I beg
your consent and blessing on our union.
He arose and was about to kneel, when Herr Frank stopped him.
Slowly, my son. With the exception of what happened to-day, I am
pleased with your conduct. You have convinced yourself of the injustice
of your opinion of women. You have found a noble woman. I am willing to
believe that Angela is a magnificent and faultless creature, although
she have an ultramontane father. But my consent to your union with
Siegwart's daughter you will never receive. Now, Richard, you can
without trouble find a woman that will suit you, and who is as
beautiful and as noble-minded as the Angel of Salingen.
May I ask the reason of your refusal, father?
There are many reasons. First, I do not like the ultramontane
spirit of the Siegwart family. Angela it educated in this spirit. You
would be bound to a wife whose narrow views would be an intolerable
Pardon, father! The extracts from my diary informed you that I have
examined this ultramontane spirit very carefully, and that I was forced
at last to correct my opinions of the ultramontanesto reject an
The stained glass of passion has beguiled you into ultramontane
sentiments; and further, remember that Siegwart is personally
objectionable to me. And he spoke of the failure of the factory
through Angela's father.
Herr Siegwart has told me of that enterprise, and, at the same
time, gave me the reasons that induced him to prevent its realization.
He showed the demoralizing effects of factories. He showed that the
inhabitants of that neighborhood support themselves by farming; that
the religious sentiment of the country people is endangered by Sunday
labor and other evil influences that accompany manufacturing.
And you approved of this narrow-mindedness of the ultramontane?
Siegwart's conduct is free from narrow-mindedness. You yourself
have often said that faith and religion had much to fear from modern
manufactories. If Siegwart has made great sacrifices, if he has
interfered against his own interest in favor of faith and morality, he
deserves great respect for it.
Has it gone so far? Do you openly take part with the ultramontane
against your father?
I take no part; I express frankly my views, answered Richard
The views of father and son are very different, and we may thank
your intercourse with the ultramontanes for it.
Your acquaintance, father, with that excellent family is very
desirable. You would soon be convinced that you ought to respect them.
I do not desire their acquaintance. It is near midnight; go to
rest, and forget the hasty step of to-day.
I will never regret what has taken place with forethought and
reflection, answered Richard firmly. I again ask your consent to the
happiness of your son.
No, no! Once for allnever! cried Frank hastily.
The son became excited. He was about to fly into a passion, and to
show his father that he was not going to follow blind authority like an
inexperienced child, when he thought of what Angela said, Speak to
your father in love; and his rising anger subsided.
You know, father, he said hesitatingly, that my age permits me to
choose a wife without reference to your will. As the consent is
withheld without valid reasons, I might do without it. But Angela has
urgently requested me not to act against your will, and I have promised
to comply with her wishes.
Angela appears to have more sense than you. So she requested this
promise from you? I esteem the young lady for this sentiment, although
she be a child of Siegwart, who shall never have my son for a
The young man arose.
It only remains for me to declare, said he calmly, that to
Angela, and to her alone, shall I ever belong in love and fidelity. If
you persevere in your refusal, I here tell you, on my honor, I shall
never choose another wife.
He made a bow and left the room. It was long past midnight, and Herr
Frank was still sitting on the sofa, drumming on his knees and shaking
An accursed piece of business! said he. I know he will not break
his word of honor under any circumstances. I know his stubborn head.
But this Siegwart, this clerical ultramontane fellowit is
incompatible; mental progress and middle-age darkness, spiritual
enlightenment and stark confessionalismit won't do. Angela certainly
is not her father. She is an innocent country creature; does not wear
crinoline, dresses in blue like a bluebell, has not a dainty stomach,
and has no toilette nonsense. The nuns, together with perverted views
of the world, may, perhaps, have taught her many principles that adorn
an honorable woman; butbut And Herr Frank threw himself back
grumbling on the sofa.
On the following day Richard wrote Angela a warm, impassioned
letter. The vow of eternal love and fidelity was repeated. In
conclusion, he spoke of his father's refusal, but assured her that his
consent would yet be given.
Many weeks passed. The letters of the lovers came and went regularly
and without interruption. She wrote that her parents had not hesitated
a moment to give their consent. In her letters Richard admired her
tender feeling, her dove-like innocence and pure love. He was firm in
his conviction that she would make him happy, would be his loadstar
through life. He read her letters hundreds of times, and these readings
were his only recreation. He spoke not another word about the matter to
his father. He kept away from all society. He devoted himself to his
calling, and endeavored to purify his heart in the spirit of religion,
that he might approach nearer to an equality with Angela. The father
observed him carefully, and was daily more and more convinced that a
spiritual change was coming over his son. Murmuringly he endured the
church-going, and vexedly he shook his head at Richard's composure and
perseverance, which he knew time would not change. The more quietly the
son endured, the more disquieted Herr Frank became. Sacrifice your
prejudices to your son's happiness, he heard the doctor saying; and he
felt ashamed when he thought of this advice.
What cannot be cured must be endured, he was accustomed to say for
some days, as often as he went into his room. The queer fellow makes
it uncomfortable for me; this cannot continue; days and years pass
away. I am growing old, and the house of Frank must not die out.
One morning he gave Richard charge of the establishment. I have
important business, said he. I will be back to-morrow.
The father smiled significantly as he said this. Richard heard from
the coachman that Herr Frank took a ticket for the station near
Frankenhöhe. He knew the great importance to him of this visit, and
prayed God earnestly to move his father's heart favorably. His
uneasiness increased hourly, and rendered all work impossible. He
walked up and down the counting-room like a man who feared bankruptcy,
and expected every moment the decision on which depended his happiness
for life. He went into the hall where the desks of the clerks stood in
long rows. He went to the desks, looked at the writing of the clerks,
and knew not what he did, where he went, or where he stood.
The next day Herr Frank returned. Richard was called to the library,
where his father received him with a face never more happy or
I have visited your bride, he began, because I had a curiosity to
know personally the one who has converted my son to sound views of
womankind. I am perfectly satisfied with your taste, and also with
myself; for I have become reconciled with Siegwart, and find that he is
as willing to live with his neighbors in harmony as in discord. You now
have my blessing on your union. The marriage can take place when you
please; only it would please me if it came off as soon as possible.
Richard stood speechless with emotion, which so overcame him that
tears burst from his eyes. He embraced his father, kissed him tenderly,
and murmured his thanks.
That will do, Richard, said Herr Frank, much affected. Your
happiness moves me. May it last long. And I do not doubt it will; for
Angela is truly a woman the like of whom I have never met. Her
character is as clear and transparent as crystal; and her eyes possess
such power, and her smile such loveliness, that I fear for my freedom
when she is once in the house.
Crisp, cold weather. The December winds sweep gustily through the
streets of the city, driving the well-clad wanderer before them and
sporting with the weather-vanes. A carriage stops before the door of
the Director Schlagbein. Professor Lutz steps out and directs the
driver to await him.
Emil Schlagbein, Richard's unhappy married friend, had moved his
easy-chair near the stove and leaned his head against its back. He
looked as though despair had seized him and thrown him into it. Hasty
steps were heard in the ante-room, and Lutz stood before him.
Still in your working-clothes, Emil? Up! the tea-table of the Angel
of Salingen awaits us.
Pardon me; my head is confused, my heart is sad; grief wastes my
Waralways war; never peace! said Lutz. I fear, Emil, that all
the fault is not with your wife. You are too sensitive, too particular
about principles. Man must tolerate, and not be niggardly in
compliance. Take old Frank as a model. With Angela entered
ultramontanism into his house. Frank lives in peace with this
spiriteven on friendly terms. Angela reads him pious stories from the
legends of the saints. He goes with her to church, where he listens
with attention to the word of God. He hears mass as devoutly as a
Capuchin; not to say any thing of Richard, who runs a race with Angela
for the prize of piety. Could you not also make some sacrifice to the
whims of your wife?
Angela and Idaday and night! said the director bitterly. The
two Franks make no sacrifice to female whims. They appreciate her
exalted views, they admire her purity, her unspeakable modesty, her
shining virtues. The two Franks acted reasonably when they adopted the
principles that produced such a woman. Angela never speaks to her
husband in defiance and bad temper. If clouds gather in the matrimonial
heaven, she dissipates them with the breath of love. Is the sacrifice
of a wish wanted? Angela makes it. Is her pure feeling offended by
Richard's faults? She kisses them away and raises him to her level. My
wifeis she not just the opposite in every thing? Is she not
quick-tempered, bitter, loveless, extravagant, and stiff-necked? Has
she a lookI will not say of lovebut even of respect for me? Do not
all her thoughts and acts look to the pleasures of the toilette, the
opera, balls, and concerts? O my poor children! who grow up without a
mother, in the hands of domestics. How is any concession possible here?
Must not my position, my self-respect, the last remnant of manly
dignity go to the wall?
Your case is lamentable, friend! Your principles and those of your
wife do not agree. Concession to the utmost point of duty, joined with
prudent reform in many things, may, perhaps, bring back, harmony and a
good understanding between you. You praise Angela: follow her example.
She abominates the air of the theatre. The opera-glasses of the young
men levelled at her offend her deeply, and bring to her angelic
countenance the blush of shame. Her fine religious feeling is offended
at many words, gestures, and dances which a pious Christian woman
should not hear and see. Yet she goes to the opera because Richard
wishes it. Her husband will at last observe this heroism of love, and
sacrifice the opera to it. What Angela cannot obtain by prayers and
representations, she gains by the all-conquering weapons of love. In
like manner and for a like object yield to your wife. She is, at least,
not a firebrand. Love must overcome her stubbornness.
Schlagbein shook his head sadly.
A father cannot do what is inconsistent with paternal duty, said
he. Shall I join in the course of my wife? Whither does this course
lead? To the destruction of all family ties, to financial
bankruptcyto dishonor. For home my wife has no mind, no
understanding. My means she throws carelessly into the bottomless pit
of pleasure-seeking and love of dress. She does not think of the future
of her children. Every day brings to her new desires for prodigality.
If her wishes are fulfilled, ruin is unavoidable. If they are not
fulfilled, she sits ill-humored and obstinate in her room, and leaves
the care of the house to her domestics, and the children to the nurses.
How often have I consented to her vain desire for show, only to see her
extravagant wishes thereby increased. She is without reason.
The unfortunate man's head sunk upon his breast. Lutz stood still
without uttering a word.
Yes, Angela is a noble woman, continued Emil, she is the spirit
of order, the angel of peace and love. Just hear Richard's father. He
revels in enthusiasm about her. 'My Richard is the happiest man in the
world,' said he to me lately. 'I myself must be thankful to him for his
prudent choice. Abounding in every thing, my house was empty and
desolate before Angela came; but now every thing shines in the sun of
her orderly housekeeping, of her tender care. Although served with
fidelity, I have been until the present almost neglected. But now that
the angel hovers over me, observes my every want, and with her smile
lights my old age, I am perfectly happy.' Has my wife a single
characteristic of this noble woman?
Angela is unapproachable in the little arts that win the heart and
drive away melancholy, said Lutz. A few weeks ago, Herr Frank came
home one day from the counting-room all out of sorts. He sat silently
in his easy-chair drumming on his knee. Angela noticed his ill-humor.
She sought to dissipate itto cheer him; but she did not succeed. She
then arose, and, going to him, said with unspeakable affection,
'Father, may I play and sing for you the Lied der Kapelle?' Herr
Frank looked in her face, and smiled as he replied, 'Yes, my angel'
When her sweet voice resounded in the next room in beautiful accord
with the accompaniment, which she played most feelingly, the old man
revived and joined in her song with his trembling bass.
How often we have twitted Richard with his views of modern women,
said Emil. It was his cool judgment, perhaps, that saved him from a
misfortune like mine.
Just then a carriage stopped before the house. Emil went uneasily to
the window, and Lutz followed him. Bandboxes and trunks were taken from
the house. The professor looked inquiringly at his friend, whose hand
appeared to tremble as it rested on the window-glass.
What does this mean, Emil?
My wife is going to her aunt's for an indefinite time. She leaves
me to enjoy the pleasures of Christmas alone. The children also remain
here; they might be in her way.
The professor pitied his unhappy friend.
Emil, said he, almost angrily, it is for you to determine how a
man should act in regard to the freaks and caprices of his wife. But
you should not steep yourself in gall, even though your wife turn into
a river of bitterness. Drive away sadness and be happy. Do not let your
present humor rob you of every thing. Forget what you cannot change.
A beautiful woman approached the carriage. Schlagbein turned away
from the sight. Lutz observed the departing wife and mother. She did
not look up at the window where her husband was. She got into the
carriage without even saying farewell. She sat in the midst of
bandboxes, surrounded by finery and tinsel; and as the wheels rolled
over the pavement, the director groaned in his chair.
A happy journey to you, Xantippe! cried the angry professor.
Emil, be a man. Dress yourself; forget at the Angel of Salingen's your
Schlagbein moved his head disconsolately.
What have the wretched to do in the home of the happy? There I
shall only see more clearly that I suffer and am miserable.
Lutz, out of humor, threw himself into the carriage. With knitted
brows he buried himself in one of its corners. That professional head
was perplexed with a question which ordinary men would have quickly
seen through and settled. Frank's happiness and Schlagbein's misery
stood as two irrefutable facts before the mind of the professor. Now
came the question. Why this happiness, why this misery? The dashing Ida
he had known for years; also her enlightened views of life, and her
flexible principles, perfectly conformable to the spirit of progress.
Whence, then, the dissoluteness of her desires, the bitterness of her
humor, the heartlessness of the wife, the callousness of the mother?
The professor continued his musing. He gave a scrutinizing glance at
the marriages of all his acquaintances. Everywhere he found a clouded
sky, and, in the semi-darkness, lightning and thunder. Only one
marriage stood before him bright and clear in the sunlight of
happiness, in the raiment of peace, and that was ultramontane. That
ultramontane principles had produced this happiness and peace, the
professor's industrious mind saw with clearness. He raised his head and
said solemnly, Marriage is an image of religion. It proceeds from the
lips of God, and is perfected at the altar. The marriage duties are
children of the religious sentiment, fetters of the divine law. Ida was
faithful and true so long as it agreed with the longings of her heart.
But with the cooling of affection died love and fidelity. She
recognizes no religious duty, because she has progressed to liberty and
independence. From this follows with striking clearness the
incompatibility of Christian marriage with the spirit of the age.
Marriage will be a thing of the past as soon as intellectual maturity
conquers in the contest with religion. Sound sense, liberty of emotion
and inclination will supplant the terrible marriage yoke.
The professor paused and examined his conclusion. It smiled upon him
like a true child of nature. It clothed itself in motley flesh, and
passed through green meadows and shady forests. It pointed
encouragingly to the beasts of the field and the birds of the air, long
in possession of intellectual maturity. Sensual marriages, intended to
last only for weeks or months, danced around the professor. Cannibal
hordes, who extended to him their brotherly paws and claws, pressed
about him. In astonishment, he contemplated his conclusion; it made
beastly grimaces, knavish and jeering, and he dashed into fragments the
In strong contrast to the animal kingdom, stood before him again the
Christian marriage. He cunningly tried to give his new conclusion human
shape; but here the carriage stopped, and the speculation vanished
before the clear light in the house of the Angel of Salingen.
FOOTNOTE TO ANGELA.
[Footnote 2: This argument is not conclusive, nor is it at all
necessary. Animals have memory; and there is no more reason why their
waking sensations, emotions, and acts should not repeat themselves in
dreams than there is in the case of men. The difference between the
soul of man and the soul of the brute is constituted by the presence of
the gift of reason, or the faculty of knowing necessary and universal
truths in the former, and its absence in the latter.Ed. Catholic