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A Romance of the Immediate Future 



Author of " Lay down your Arms " 



?"$ Cambribge 


Published June IQI+ 





III. FRANKA'S NEW HOME . . . . . . .39 


































MR. JOHN A. TOKER, the American multimillionaire, 
flung down his newspaper in some excitement and 
became lost in thought. 

The paragraph that had so agitated him read : 

"The sovereign expressed to Count Zeppelin his 
regret at being unable on this occasion to see the air 
ship which, he was convinced, was destined to fur 
nish the weapon of the heights in future wars." 

For more than an hour the little old gentleman 
remained absorbed in his reflections; then he seized 
pen and paper and made various notes. He was evi 
dently drafting a rather complicated plan. He now 
and again ran his pen through what he had written 
and substituted other words. One sheet was filled 
with a list of names the names of distinguished 
contemporaries; another with figures, apparently a 
schedule of estimated expenses, in which the individ 
ual items for the most part had five or six numerals. 

Even after an hour the plan was not as yet near 
completion, but Mr. Toker was compelled to inter 
rupt his labors in order to take up with other de 
mands of the day. One of his secretaries, who had 
made a careful preliminary sifting of the letters and 



dispatches brought by the morning's mail, came 
with such as he had found important enough to be 
called to his master's attention. 

Mr. Toker dictated various answers. When this 
correspondence was cleared away, a host of other 
affairs required his consideration : business con 
nected with the management of his property ; reports 
from the many concerns in which he was interested ; 
audiences with the foremen of his enormous landed 
estate, his farmers and agents. Moreover, the guests 
at the castle and the members of his family could not 
be neglected, and sport and exercise were necessary 
to maintain his physical elasticity, while for the sat 
isfaction of his intellectual cravings reading in many 
fields had to be provided for indeed, the multimil 
lionaire frequently found it exasperating to realize 
that one man might be richer than others in money, 
but not in time; one may have thousands of dollars 
to spend every hour, but not more than sixteen wak 
ing hours to spend in a day. 

"Money is a great help in accomplishing big 
things," Mr. Toker used to say with a sigh, "but 
mostly those things require much time, and in this 
respect I feel that I am a very poor fellow." 

Several weeks passed without the American 
Croesus being able to proceed with the elaboration 
of his project. But he carried round with him the 
idea that lay at the foundation of it. In his mind one 
thought gave birth to another; visions arose without 
any definite outlines ; suggestions flashed through his 
brain, but served only as reminders of things that 
might later become clear. 



When he again took up the notes that he had 
made, he canceled several names from the list and 
added new ones. It was a varied assortment of from 
thirty to forty of his contemporaries: Bjornson, 
Maurice Maeterlinck, Eleanora Duse, Elihu Root, 
the American statesman; Madame Curie, the dis 
coverer of radium; Nansen, the Arctic explorer; 
Prince Albert of Monaco, the oceanographic scien 
tist; Tolstoi, Marconi, and many great men from the 
scientific world, who had won distinction as path 
finders in the domain of philosophy, sociology, his 
tory, and natural science. 

He also went over the sheet with the numbers, and 
added a cipher in many cases. Thus, for example, 
the item of " Roses," which had been set down at ten 
thousand francs, he increased to a hundred thou 
sand. Moreover, the word " roses" frequently ap 
peared in his notes, and the thought of those queenly 
flowers seemed especially to impress itself on his 
mind, for the pencilings which he made on the edge 
of the paper, as he strove to catch an idea, portrayed 
very clearly, even if inartistically, the forms of roses 
and rosebuds. 

One sheet was filled with catchwords the meaning 
of which to one uninitiated would have been scarcely 
comprehensible: as, for instance, "Concentration 
and accumulation of forces. Motion through explo 
sions. Agglomeration of scattered atoms. Energy 
radiating in all directions. Roses, roses . . . the 
Power of Beauty. Subjugation of the forces of Na 
ture. High flying. Revelations. New lights, new 
tones, new thoughts, moss roses ..." 



A YOUNG girl stepped out of the gate of the Central 
Cemetery of Vienna. For almost eight weeks she had 
been going there to lay a few flowers on her father's 
grave. That dearly beloved parent had been her only 
stay in this world, and he had been so unexpectedly 
and prematurely snatched away from her! Frank 
Garlett had reached only the age of forty-five. His 
sudden death had resulted from an accident: he 
had fallen from the running-board of a tram-car, had 
rolled under the wheels, and, severely injured, had 
been brought to his dwelling by the Rescue Society, 
and there a few hours later he had breathed his last 
in the arms of his daughter, who was half-crazed with 
terror and grief. 

Franka walked slowly and wearily home from the 
cemetery. Her lodgings, her empty, orphaned lodg 
ings, were not far distant. Behind her, with steps 
equally slow, strode a man who had caught sight of 
her at the cemetery gate, and, dazzled by her bril 
liant youthful beauty, which betrayed itself in spite 
of her paleness and the traces of tears, was now fol 
lowing her for the purpose of discovering who she 
was. He was an elderly man of distinguished ap 

As Franka entered the front door, he also paused 
there, but did not venture to address her. He 



merely went to the porter's door and rang the bell. 
A buxom woman came out and greeted him : 

"What is it you wish?" 

"I should like to make an inquiry; please allow 
me to come in." 

The woman moved aside and allowed the stranger 
to pass in. He sat down in an armchair, took out of 
his pocket his portemonnaie, and handed the woman 
a ten-crown note. 

"Tell me, who the young lady is who just entered 
this house, dressed in deep mourning. And give me 
all the information you can about her." 

"Oh, she? . . . She's a Miss Garlett yes, a 
pretty lass, but a poor little body! Her father died 
not long ago, and now she's all alone. . . . She was 
almost beside herself with grief when they took him 
away. Now she 's a bit calmer. Every day she goes 
out and visits him in the graveyard, but otherwise 
she never goes out and no one comes to see her. And 
no one came to see them when the old gentleman 
in fact, he was not old was alive. You see he met 
with an accident fell off the electric. When they 
brought him in . . ." 

"Who and what was Mr. Garlett?" asked the 
other, interrupting her. 

"A professor, or a philosopher, or something like 
that. He gave lessons. That was how he earned 
their living, I reckon. I'd like to know what the 
poor little lass will have to live on now. The rent is 
soon due, and it was always a hard pull to pay the 
rent. . . . The two had to be mighty thrifty. They 
had only one old woman who used to come in every 



day to help, and they only nibbled like sparrows. 
But books! their rooms were just piled up with 
'em! He must have been a real bookworm, the poor 
gentleman! and the little one used to be reading 
all the time, too. . . . The only luxury they ever 
allowed themselves was to go three or four times a 
month to the fourth gallery of the opera house or to 
the Burg Theater. But they were n't never down in 
the mouth, neither of 'em, in spite of all the worry 
and their little money; on the contrary, they were 
as gay as larks especially the lassie. We always 
heard her laughing and singing in her room, though 
outside, to be sure, she was always serious and, so to 
say, a bit haughty; perhaps she inherited a bit of 
haughtiness from her departed mamma." 

"Was Mr. Garlett a widower, and how long had 
he been?" 

"Oh, for fifteen years or so. That was quite a 
romance. His wife was a count's daughter, it seems. 
He had been private tutor to her brother at a cas 
tle : the young lady fell in love with him he was 
a handsome fellow indeed, he was. They eloped 
and were married. The parents mighty stuck-up 
folks they was was furious and put a curse on 
their daughter." 

"Ah, my dear lady, that only happens in old- 
fashioned novels: parents cursing their children." 

"I don't know nothing about these things, but 
this much I know, they would n't have anything 
more to do with her; never gave her no money, 
sent back all her letters, and the dainty young lady, 
who all her life had ridden in kerridges and had her 


pony and ate nothin' but cakes and ice cream, and 
al'ays had noblemen dancing attendance on her, 
for she was heiress to a great estate and was 
as pretty as a picture, just like her daughter, so 
folks says, well, she could n't stand poverty and 
living among common people, and so she just up 
and died when her little girl was only five years 

The stranger arose. "I thank you; I have all the 
information I wish." 

Franka climbed the stairs up to her rooms, which 
were situated on the fourth story. Painfully, cling 
ing to the banister, often pausing to get her breath, 
which always seemed to die away in a trembling 
sigh, she made her way up. The deepest sigh she 
drew as she opened the door and entered the ante 
room. The anteroom? Really the kitchen; but the 
kitchen hearth was hidden by a screen. The place 
was rather dark and chilly. It was April, and the 
weather was still pretty cold. 

Franka passed through this place and pushed 
open the door of a front room : her bedroom. Here it 
was brighter and more comfortable. The furnish 
ings were to the last degree simple, not to say 
shabby, and yet a certain something in the arrange 
ment of the furniture, in the articles and trinkets 
disposed on the tables and the walls, betrayed a 
taste for elegance. 

She laid aside her hat and cloak and opened the 
door into the adjacent room, which had served her 
and her departed father as sitting-room and dining- 



room, as study- and music-room. The door leading 
into still another contiguous chamber was closed. 
That was the room where Garlett had slept and 
dressed, and where he had died. Franka glanced into 
it as she always did when she returned, as if to 
give a mute greeting to the place where she had last 
seen the beloved form of the departed, cold in death; 
then she softly closed the door again with a reverent 
gesture, crossed the sitting-room, and stretched her 
self out on the sofa with a long-drawn sigh half 
lamentation, half ease. 

She was so weary, so weary in body and soul at 
this moment, that the goad of her grief began to 
vanish from her consciousness, and she experienced 
only a kind of over-saturation of pain and a keen 
sense of yearning for rest. She drew over her chilly 
limbs the skin rug that lay on the sofa and banished 
all thought and feeling; she wished only to breathe 
and rest. 

She was not sleepy; her eyes remained wide open, 
and she saw the rows of books which on the opposite 
wall reached from the floor to the ceiling. She saw 
her piano which had been silent and neglected for 
weeks. She saw her writing-desk which stood by the 
window, and the great center-table heaped with 
many folios. Gradually it began to grow darker, and 
through the window panes fell the glare from a row 
of brightly lighted windows of the house opposite. 
Up there was a printing establishment. The muffled 
rumble of the rotary presses also came to her ears. 
From the apartment on the floor below penetrated 
the staccato strumming of a too familiar opera- 



waltz repeated with obstinate pertinacity de 
testable sounds! Oh, if one could but hear the musi 
cal tinkle of a brook or the call of the cuckoo! 

An overmastering love for nature, for its perfumes 
and voices, for its green vistas and golden gleams, 
had ever been one of Franka's strongest passions 
an unfortunate passion, for the crushing struggle for 
existence had enchained father and daughter almost 
exclusively to the narrow streets of the suburbs, and 
very rarely had opportunities been given for them to 
get glimpses of the splendors of free nature. 

Nevertheless, this young girl's mental life had not 
been narrow. She had ventured to gaze off over 
wide horizons, up to sublime heights, into mysteri 
ous depths, in a manner seldom afforded to young 
persons of her age and sex. Her father had been an 
investigator, a scientist, a thinker, and a poet, and 
he had made the child his comrade. She was no 
bluestocking, thank Heaven from that she was 
safeguarded by her temperament, by her inborn 
charm ; besides, he had spared her all the dry details 
of science, all the rubbishy accumulations of accu 
racy, endeavoring rather to disclose to her only the 
blossoms of the wonders of science, of the intellect 
and of arts. But of life itself she had enjoyed ex 
traordinarily little : no travel, no experiences, no love- 
affairs (she had been far too rigorously and jealously 
guarded against anything of that sort), no passions: 
none of these things had penetrated into the 
monotony and loneliness of her existence. All the 
more, therefore, in place of these came visions, 
hopes, air-castles, confident expectations that the 



future concealed in its folds some great good fortune 
in store for her, a good fortune in which above all 
others her beloved father would share. And instead 
of this, a great, an absolutely incomprehensible piece 
of evil fortune had come upon her: the sudden de 
parture of her dearest and only friend, teacher, play 
mate, protector, her all-in-all. 

In her present desolation the only persons who had 
interested themselves in her were an elderly couple 
who had rooms on the same floor -7- a retired major 
and his wife. When Mr. Garlett died, the major 
had taken upon himself to make all the arrange 
ments for the funeral, and the major's wife had done 
her best to comfort and console the despairing girl. 

The major had investigated the drawers in the 
writing-table to see if a will or anything else were to 
be found. There was no will, only a savings-bank 
book calling for several hundred gulden, and of 
course the only daughter inherited this: it was 
enough to cover the funeral expenses and to leave a 
small sum over. In a portfolio was a sealed letter 
with the direction, "In case of my death to be 
mailed." The address on it ran: 

To His Excellency 

Count Eduard von Sielen, 
Geheimer Rat, etc., 
Schloss Sielenburg, 

This letter the major registered and mailed with 
out letting Franka know anything about it, because 
in these first days she was so dazed that she really 
did not hear what was said to her. 



It so happened that the major and his wife moved 
from Vienna to Graz, and Franka was now really 
alone. She realized that she was obliged to devise 
some means of earning her livelihood, and yet she 
had been putting off from day to day the effort of 
taking the first steps in this direction. The money 
in the bank was sufficient to allow her for a short 
time to lead her own life. But this respite was, in 
deed, brief, especially as the rent would be shortly 

Franka was not thinking of this at all as she lay 
there in the twilight and gave herself up to the sense 
of restfulness that was coming over her. Gradually 
this absence of thought, between sleeping and wak 
ing, transformed itself into a pleasant half-dream. 
The waltz-rhythms from the neighbor's piano grew 
into a murmurous combination of organ tones and 
the distant roaring of the sea ; the gleam of light from 
the printing-house opposite took on the prismatic 
colors of an electric fountain ; and through her mind 
or was it through her blood? vividly flashed the 
consciousness, not expressed and not even formu 
lated in thought: "I am young, I am beautiful, I 
am alive . . ." 

The next day Franka set out to look for a posi 
tion. She thought she might become a companion or 
a reader or something of that sort. She applied at 
several employment bureaus. Her name was regis 
tered, the booking- fee was put into the cash-drawer, 
and then she was asked for references. She had 
none. The woman who had charge of one bureau 



remarked: "You have one great fault: you are too 
young and too pretty." 

The remark was to the point. Although she was 
more than twenty, Franka seemed scarcely eighteen. 
She was very tall and supple in figure ; her big black 
eyes though much weeping had temporarily robbed 
them of their usual fire were shaded by beauti 
ful thick lashes ; her mouth had a fairly fascinating 
loveliness; in her carriage and in every movement 
there was something both charming and aristocratic. 

"Do you know, miss," said the manageress, "you 
would do better to go on the stage rather than try to 
find a position." 

Franka shook her head: "For that one needs 
talent as well as special training." 

"You might attend a theatrical training-school." 

" I have not the means. Besides, I should not find 
it congenial." 

"You will find it very hard to get a place in a 
home . . . without references and so dangerously 
pretty. ... I should hesitate to recommend you. 
There is nothing that I know of now to suit you. 
However, perhaps something may turn up; if there 
should, I will communicate with you." 

When Franka got home after this unsuccessful 
circuit, the maid met her with the information that a 
gentleman had been there inquiring after her. He 
said he had been acquainted with her late father and 
that he would return in an hour. 

Shortly after this the doorbell rang and the maid 
brought her a visiting-card on which Franka read: 
Freiherr Ludwig Malhof, k.k. Kammerer. 


She admitted the visitor. At the first glance she 
recognized in the person entering the elderly gentle 
man who had recently followed her from the ceme 
tery to the house. She had only once, when she 
reached the door, turned around to glance at him, 
but his appearance was too striking not to make an 
immediate impression: a figure of more than ordi 
nary height with broad shoulders and long, sweeping 
gray side-whiskers. 

" Pardon me, Fraulein, for introducing myself, yet 
I might . . ." 

"You knew my father?" said Franka, interrupt 
ing his apology; "will you not sit down, Baron, and 
tell me. . . ?" 

She herself took a seat and indicated a chair for 
her visitor. He sat down and placed his silk hat on 
the floor. His eyes rested inquisitively on the lovely 
maiden's face. 

"In fact," said he, somewhat hesitatingly, "I am 
... I met Mr. Garlett at a friend's house where he 
was giving lessons." His glance wandered to the 
opposite wall on which hung a portrait. 

"Is that your picture? A wonderful likeness." 

"That is my mother's portrait." 

"Ah! such a resemblance! . . . And have you lost 
your mother also? So you are absolutely an orphan, 
quite alone?" 

"Quite alone." 

"But you have some relatives?" 

Franka shook her head. 

"Then you have some protector? Perhaps a 



"No, no one." 

"It does not seem possible that when one is so 
beautiful, there has not been some love-affair ..." 

A shade of annoyance flew over Franka's face: 
"Sir, you desired to speak to me of my father ..." 

"Exactly so, your father . . . but, my dear child, 
let us rather speak of yourself." In the man's eyes 
flashed a look of lustful eagerness. He quickly 
dropped them, but Franka had seen it. "Yes, of 
you," he continued; "your fate is worthy of all 
sympathy. Mr. Garlett cannot have left much 
property. . . . Your future is so uncertain. . . . You 
are exposed to all sorts of dangers. . . . You need a 
friend" he stretched out his hand "you need 
a fatherly friend let me take your little white 
hand." ... At the same time his voice began to 
tremble with ill-restrained tenderness. 

Franka stood up, and withdrew her hand which 
the other had seized. She surveyed him with 
haughty eyes. "Among the dangers of which you 
speak certainly belongs that of an absolutely strange 
man penetrating to my lodgings and offering me his 

The amorous cavalier realized that he had gone 
too far. "This energetic sally on your part shows 
me, my dear Miss Gartlett, that you know how to 
protect yourself from certain dangers. You are a 
very sensible young woman." He also had stood up, 
and had taken possession of his hat. "I shall turn 
this reasonableness to account. You will hear from 
me again. ... I will leave you now; yet I beg of you 
to be convinced that I wish you everything good." 



A stiff bow and he went out without Franka's 
making any attempt to retain him. 

When she was left alone, she breathed a sigh of 
relief. Still a shadow of doubt came over her, 
whether she had done wrong in offending a possibly 
harmless man who wanted to befriend her, whether 
he had really known her father, and for that reason 
had followed her from the cemetery. . . . Yet, no, 
her feminine instinct had detected the lustful look 
which had betrayed its forked flame in the eyes 
and the honeyed smiles of the elegant old gentle 

Alas, to be alone and without means in this world, 
and obliged to defend herself against such attacks! 

Nowhere an arm to protect her, nowhere a heart 
to which she might fly for refuge. . . . And now, 
what? Supposing she should find no situation? And 
even if she did, would she not be still just as lonely, 
just as deserted among strangers? 

"Oh, father, father," she cried aloud; "my noble, 
my youthful-hearted father, why did you have to 
die? Die without accomplishing the high tasks 
which lay before you! ..." 

Whether Garlett would have ever accomplished 
the tasks to which his daughter made reference is 
very doubtful. There had been literary plans which 
he had long had in mind, but he had never brought 
any of them to fulfillment. Was it from lack of time 

for when one must give private instructions to 
earn one's bread and butter, there is little leisure for 
writing books or was it from lack of energy? He 
had never got beyond projects, sketches, introduc- 



tions. But in Franka's eyes he always was to be the 
greatest author of his age. His masterpiece was 
there it lay complete in his brain and required 
only to be written out. 

In their readings and their studies together, it had 
often happened that he would pause and develop 
some idea associated with what they had been pe 
rusing, or would utter some deep remark, and add : 
" I will write a book about that." Themes for essays 
were on hand in abundance, and Franka had made a 
collection of such utterances which she had jotted 
down in a book. She had turned over these pages 
every day since her father's death to her this 
seemed like a continued spiritual communication 
with him. Now, after her unexpected caller had 
taken his departure, and feeling doubly unhappy 
under the bitter impression that he had made upon 
her, she went once more to the cupboard where those 
papers were kept, in order to obtain from them 
diversion and edification. 

She would soon be obliged to part with the books 
and all her household goods, for if she were burdened 
with a library and furniture she could not enter the 
house of strangers, but this beloved volume she 
would keep forever and in all situations of life. From 
it the very voice of the beloved father would speak ; 
from it would flash up in her mind those momentary 
pictures, which often a sentence or a word just 
as a stereopticon throws them on a screen can 
waken out of the depths of memory. 

The leaf which she first took up contained only 
brief notes in Garlett's handwriting. Were they 



thoughts of his own, were they citations? Probably 
both mingled together. Franka read : 

The aim of men's active organization 

Is the getting out of the World all the good it will yield, 
Whether it be the domain of the Mind's creation, 

Whether it be the crop of the well-eared field. 

None of the fixed stars is nearer to us than four millions of 
millions of miles. . . . And we call that speck Austria a great 
country ! 

Moral progress finally consists in the increase of the horror felt 
against the infliction of pain. 

Over abysses of night the eye of the Spirit can wander, 
There to behold the gleaming of yet uncreated light. 

Nothing great can ever be accomplished without inspiration. 

Where to-day the vanguard camps, there to-morrow the rear 
most rests. 

"Of all good works, the long list through, 
Which is the best for us to do?" 
When his disciples of the Prophet 
Asked this, what think you he made of it? 
No good work with another can interfere : 
Do each in its right time: that is clear." 

O Napoleon, standing on the Vendome column, if the blood 
that thou hast caused to be shed, were collected here on this 
place, easily mightest thou drink of it, not stooping. 

A few days later a packet was left at Franka's 
door; she herself took it in. When she saw the post 
man, she hoped that he was bringing her a notifica 
tion from the employment bureau that a place had 
been found for her. What would she do if her small 
store of money should come to an end before she had 



found any situation? There were still left the fur 
niture and the books, but what they would bring 
would be small and soon exhausted. She had already 
made inquiries of second-hand dealers and anti 
quaries: these had come and looked at her posses 
sions and offered for the "whole business" a ridicu 
lously small price. . . . 

She opened the package: a jewel-case and a letter 
were inclosed in it. The case contained a pair of 
diamond studs. The letter read as follows: 


I promised that I would appeal to your reason. This is 
what I am doing, and I picture to myself a sensible, a very 
sensible young lady as reading these lines. I shall talk 
very frankly with you. You must also be perfectly frank, 
not only with me, but also with yourself, putting on no 
mask, affecting no pose least of all those of virtue, such 
as belong only to the heroines of Gartenlaube novels. 
Real life must be taken and lived in another way, if one 
is reasonable, and that you are, my lovely Franka! 

Now, listen: I have fallen violently in love with you. I 
saw you in the street and followed you. I made inquiries 
about you and your circumstances. I know the whole 
story ; you are without family and without means, and are 
on the very threshold of bitter poverty. I also know that 
you are endeavoring to find a paying situation, for I fol 
lowed you when you went to the employment office. 

Tell me, really, would you, with your striking beauty, 
take up with a wage employment, be a dependent? Now 
there is one thing that I might have done: I might have 
tried little by little to sneak into your good graces and 
then . . . but it goes against my grain to play the elderly 
Don Juan. I am aware that I no longer have the appear 
ance to warrant my attempting to win young maidens' 
hearts ; but I can make a reasonable maiden happy : that 



is, I can offer her a care-free life, a life full of enjoyments. 
Only, there is to be no misunderstanding: this is not an 
offer of marriage. I am a confirmed old bachelor and I 
propose to remain one. What I offer you is better than the 
fortune of being the wife of an unloved and jealous old 
husband, for if you wished to deceive him it would entail 
great worry in hiding it and it might cause a damaged 
reputation besides. 

I offer you freedom, perfect liberty, the unobtru 
sive society of a lively man, not without wit, who will, as 
they say, "look after you " as long as you will permit him 
to do so. First and foremost he offers you luxury. Listen: 
luxury. That means the essential element of beauty, the 
only atmosphere for a creature like you. A splendid villa 
in the cottage-quarter, servants, a carriage of your own, 
gowns, jewelry: everything of this sort I lay at your feet. 
This does not imply a retired and restricted life not at 
all: in your salon we shall receive my friends and their 
lady friends, artists and writers and interesting for 
eigners : it shall be a real salon where everything sparkles 
with intellect, music, and gayety; also theaters and con 
certs to your heart's desire. And in summer: journeys, 
trips to the seashore, the mountains . . . 

As you see, Franka, child, a horn of plenty filled with 
delights is going to be poured out for you. Only do not 
be a narrow-minded Philistine; only no "principles" and 
moral commandments after the type of ancient almanac 
stories or complimentary gift literature for girls of riper 
age. Life, my dear young lady, is entirely different from 
the stale moralities that find their expression in the sam 
plers of old maids and that are honored in the tea-table 
chatter of suburban aunties, as they turn up their eyes 
in holy horror! Life wants to be boldly grasped, to be 
conquered with joyous pride; above all, to be enjoyed. 

Such an opportunity is not offered to many of ycur sex; 
how many, in spite of youth and beauty, must, if they are 
poor, waste their lives in degrading, wearisome, laborious 
occupations, struggling with all sorts of privations, only at 



last to take up with some rough husband who will make 
her wretched unless, indeed, the terrible, abominable 
fate overtakes her, of which possibly you know nothing, 
of becoming a victim of the international white-slave 
traffic which not infrequently makes use of intelligence 
offices. . . . 

Was it not your good genius, your guardian angel, that 
has so disposed matters that an elderly man, heart-free 
and wise in experience, has crossed your path, has fallen 
in love first with your pretty face, then with your whole 
admirable personality, that this man has no other obliga 
tion than the disposition of a very large estate, and that 
he in fond expectation of your summons signs himself 
Your humble Slave? 


After Franka had finished reading this letter, she 
tore it into tiny bits, and, laying them on the pale- 
yellow velvet of the jewel-case next the glittering 
stones, made the whole into a package, which she 
carefully tied up and sealed; and, after addressing 
it to Baron Ludwig Malhof, hastened to mail it at 
the nearest post-office station without taking a mo 
ment's time for consideration. She felt a keen satis 
faction in flinging the gift and the letter down at the 
feet of her insulter. On receiving them back, he 
would redden with shame as if he had been struck 
by the rid ing- whip of an angry queen. 

Or would he not rather laugh at her for her "vir 
tuous pose," for her "moral Philistinism"? Franka 
was conscious that it was not a conventional "vir 
tue" which had stimulated her impulsive action, 
but a mixture of one tenth sense of honor and nine 
tenths aversion. . . . She was not quite ignorant as 
regards the mysteries of love, although she had so 



far had no love-affairs. Her father had delicately 
initiated her, through studies of plants and animals, 
into the secrets of the transmission of life, and her 
comprehensive reading, begun when she was a little 
child, the poets, somewhat later the German, 
French, and English novelists, had given her an 
insight into the whole world of passion, into the 
tragedies and joys, the sorrows and dreams, of love; 
also into the crimes and baseness, the ardent happi 
ness and the depths of despair, which are found in 
the domain of sex, and, on the whole, she had a 
boundlessly high ideal of love. Perhaps for the very 
reason that hitherto she had found no one to inspire 
this feeling in her soul, because no little adventures 
and gleams of romance had disillusioned her, her 
ideas and presentiments, if by chance they swept 
into this domain, were so highstrung. 

A love union and paradise were to her two similar 
conceptions. A pure fountain of devoted tenderness 
and a glowing hearth of passionate yearnings were 
concealed in her inmost being, still panoplied round 
with virgin austerity, with a delicate, flower-like ter 
ror of any impure touch. If ever she bestowed the 
treasure of her love, it would be for the recipient and 
for herself a sacred moment of the loftiest bliss. 

And the idea of her throwing herself away for 
money, for clothes, for precious stones, and in 
stead of highest rapture to feel only deepest repul 
sion, to endure the embraces of that old satyr, 
the kisses of a shriveled, detestable mouth. . . . No! 
Sooner die ! And should Fate never offer her the pos 
sibility of giving that treasure to one truly beloved, 


then were it better sunk in the depths of the sea ! 
That hateful creature had written something about 
a horn of plenty filled with joys yes, she pos 
sessed such a one to pour out upon the dear life that 
would be united with hers. . . . No ; that should not 
be wasted and shattered! 

The next day, as Baron Malhof was preparing to 
go and get his answer from the young girl, an answer 
which he did not doubt would be favorable, though 
perhaps awkwardly expressed, he was interrupted in 
the midst of his fastidious toilet by the arrival of the 
package. After he had opened it, he hissed out two 
words which expressed his whole sense of disgust : 
"Stupid goose!" 

Several weeks elapsed, and still no situation 
offered. Now Franka was constrained to sell her 
books in order to exist for a time and what an 
existence! She was standing in front of the book 
case, selecting the volumes which for the time being 
she still felt unable to part with ; she intended to lay 
these aside so that the second-hand dealer whom she 
had summoned might not see them. 

Tears stood in her eyes, for to her it was a great 
and painful sacrifice. She would have preferred to 
keep them all, for almost every one of those vol 
umes was associated in her memory with joyous, 
soul-stimulating hours all of Goethe, all of Shake 
speare, Byron, Victor Hugo, and other classics of 
universal literature. They must all go these good 
spirits which had with their magical pictures glori 
fied so many winter evenings for the two solitaries ! 



Also, away with the thick-bodied works of the phi 
losophers, from Aristotle to Schopenhauer; away 
with the works of history and the encyclopaedias; 
away with the whole rows of modern fiction. 

Only a shelf-full of scientific books by contempo 
raneous authors, scientists, thinkers, and stylists 
at the same time, Bolsche, Bruno Wille, Herbert 
Spencer, Emerson, Anatole France, Haeckel, Ernst 
Mach, Friedrich Jodl, and a few others, these she 
would keep and take with her and plunge into again 
in order to get edification from the remembrance 
of the unforgettable words which her father had 
spoken to her when they were reading them together. 

"Child, these are revelations! What the human 
mind which is certainly a part of God has 
gradually glimpsed at and recognized is the dis 
closure of the Highest, and therefore is what men 
call Revelation. In astonishment and awe we are 
learning things of which our fathers and the major 
ity of our contemporaries had no suspicion. We are 
penetrating into mysteries which bring before our 
eyes the grandeur of the universe and its infinities 
and which still remain mysteries for our con 
sciousness only perceives but does not comprehend 
them. We are standing on the threshold of per 
fectly new apperceptions, and so at the threshold of 
a wholly new epoch : fortunate are we who are to live 
in this twentieth century. It is the cradle of some 
newborn thing destined to the most glorious devel 
opment. What will it be called? No one as yet 
knows ; only posterity will find a name for it. 

"Child, approach these revelations with a relig- 



ious mind. You know what I call 'religious': to 
have the sense of reverence, to know that there 
are sublime things as yet unknown; to wish to be 
worthy of the greatness and the goodness that every 
where prevails and therefore to be good one's self. 
Now, perhaps you may ask what I mean by ' good ' ? 
There is no end in the chain of definitions ; do not 
always try to explain, but rather to feel, and then 
you have the right thing. ..." 

In many of the books which Franka was now 
glancing over were places marked by her father's 
marginal notes; some of them, made with pencil, 
were so pale that they were scarcely legible. Franka 
got a pen and ink and retraced the lines. While she 
was engaged in this work, she was interrupted by the 
entrance of the maid : 

"Excuse me, miss, there is a gentleman outside as 
wishes to speak to you." 

"Oh, yes, I was expecting him; please show him 

A comfortable-looking, well-dressed man of mid 
dle age entered. He bowed politely. 

"Miss Garlett? I take the liberty ..." 

"You have come to see about the books?" 

"What books?" 

"Were you not sent by the dealer?" 

"No, miss. I take the liberty of introducing my 
self: Attorney Dr. Fixstern. It concerns a matter 
which is of the highest importance for you." 

"Oh, in regard to a situation ?" 

A suspicion crossed her mind. She remembered 
what Baron Malhof had written her regarding the 



traps that sometimes are laid in the offers of em 
ployment bureaus. She would be on her guard. 

"No, not at all; something quite different. Will 
you permit me to sit down as the interview may 
be somewhat protracted?" And he drew a chair up 
to the table. 

"Please, I am listening; but I have not very much 
time ..." And she herself sat down at some little 

" Oh, you will give me all the time I want! What I 
have to say to you is too agreeable for you to wish 
to break off my communication, my dear very much 
honored Miss Franka Garlett. That is your name, is 

"Yes, that is my name," she answered coldly. 

" Daughter of the late Professor Garlett, and like 
wise of his late lawful wife, Ida Garlett, born Count 
ess Sielen of Sielenburg?" 

"My father and I were not accustomed ever to 
mention that title." 

"Your father was very democratic in his notions, 
was he not? But to the business in hand: I am the 
attorney of His Excellency the old Count Sielen, and 
I have come here at his request." 

Franka listened in the greatest agitation ; this did 
not sound like an offer of a situation and was, indeed, 

Dr. Fixstern took out of his breast-pocket an en 
velope and laid it down before him on the table. 
Then he went on to say: 

"Your grandfather, miss, a short time after his 
return from Egypt, where he had been sojourning on 



account of his health, found waiting for him a letter 
from Mr. Garlett. I have it here. Perhaps you are 
familiar with its contents? . . . No? . . . Then, will 
you please read it?" 

With a throbbing heart Franka took the letter and 
unfolded it. The beloved handwriting ! It was like a 
greeting from beyond the grave. She read : 


For almost a generation I have been to you like one 
vanished. Never have I attempted to approach you. As 
it were, an abyss lay between us we had both inflicted 
the utmost pain on the other : you, by your harsh repudia 
tion of my beloved wife, who died in consequence of it I 
to you, by robbing you of your daughter. As long as we 
lived we could not pardon each other. 

But in the presence of death, all resentment, pride, and 
everything of the sort which are the bitter prerogatives of 
the living, disappear. 

This letter comes into your hands only in case death has 
stricken me before my Franka is provided for ; such is the 
name of my daughter, your grandchild. Orphaned, left 
without a farthing, she might be exposed to the deepest 
poverty and the greatest dangers. This thought is my 
sorrow and my torment. The maiden is sweet and good 
and highly educated, and as you cannot read coldly 
she has grown up to be the image of her mother feature 
for feature. Graf Sielen, I beg of you : look after the young 
girl. Do not let her suffer want or ruin. 

The signature, with date and address, followed. 
Having read it through, Franka gazed at the sheet 
for a long time. 

Dr. Fixstern awakened her out of her thoughts : 
"Would you like to know, miss, how His Excel 
lency responds to this letter of your father a letter 


which, it must be said, is very effective by reason of 
its brevity?" 

A warm stream of joy expanded Franka's heart. 
The lawyer had already informed her that he had 
pleasant news for her: so it was clear that her grand 
father was going to look after her: there would be 
some one to love her again. . . . 

"Well, Doctor," she asked, with eagerness, "what 
message do you bring me?" 

"A pleasant one, my dear miss. The count has 
instituted inquiries about you, has had you care 
fully watched of late, and has now decided to invite 
you to come to Sielenburg. He will provide for your 
future. He himself would have come to Vienna to 
fetch you, but illness confines him to his room the 
old gentleman is now more than seventy Egypt 
seems not to have done him any good. Now I am 
commissioned, in the first place, to make this dis 
closure to you, and, in the second place, to hand you 
these lines." 

He took a second sheet out of the envelope and 
handed it to Franka, who read as follows : 

SIELENBURG, May 20, 1909. 

I invite you to make your home with me. The bearer, 
my attorney, will provide whatever is necessary and will 
accompany you hither. God bless you. 


"In the third place," proceeded Dr. Fixstern, "I 
am to hand you a small sum of money," and suiting 
the action to the word he laid on the table a bundle 



of bank-notes there were ten one-hundred-kronen 
bills, "and, in the fourth place, to consult with 
you regarding the prospective journey to Moravia. 
You probably require some little preparation and in 
this my wife may be able to help you. . . . Now, my 
dear miss, have you a little more time to spare for 

Franka offered him her hand. She could not im 
mediately find words it was like a dream, like a 
fairy-tale. A home ! So suddenly to be rescued from 
all her tribulation and all her desolation a home ! 





It was a pleasant surprise when your letter, after long 
wanderings, reached me here. I was convinced that you 
had entirely forgotten me, ten long years we had lost 
sight of each other, and now suddenly down upon me 
rains this letter in which you relate to me the experiences 
which you have been having in all this time and you want 
to have the like from me. 

Oh, how gladly do I fulfill your wish ! I am simply hun 
gry for a regular outpouring of my mind. Your twenty 
pages would make the basis of a fascinating novel : inter 
esting events described in a fluent style. Now, my answer 
ought not to prove much shorter : I shall devote to it a few 
hours of leisure, but I shall not take much trouble about 
polishing my style. "Unconstrained" do you remem 
ber? That was the catchword that we selected at the time 
when we became intimate friends as students in the same 
class in the Theresianum. "Unconstrained" ah! in 
this word lie whole revolutions, and you know well that I 
have always been a revolutionist. 

Now for my story. I will begin at the very end, that 
is this very day. Before I confide to you what I have 
been doing during these last years, you must know where 
and what I am at the present moment. My residence is 
called Schloss Sielenburg. It is surrounded by a great 
park of twenty acres, and from the window is visible a 
forest which is my delight. Many trees a hundred years 
old, and one oak a thousand years old, stand in it, and 
there are moss and shrubbery and the twitter of birds. 



That there are still such forests on the earth can console 
one for the existence of cities and suburbs. 

From my window I can see the roof of the stables 
where there are six pairs of carriage-horses and six saddle- 
horses. A garage for the automobiles is just building. 
Among the saddle-horses is a gray with a silken mane, 
with some Arab in his build and behavior, with such 
thoughtful and reproachful, and at the same time affec 
tionate, eyes ah ! I tell you there are animals also here 
below, the existence of which can console us for many 
of the councilors and aldermen that are their contem 
poraries ! So you may easily imagine how reconciled with 
the world I feel as I ride on that gray through yonder 
forest ! 

I am not master of all this accumulated wealth : castle, 
grounds, forests, stables, and garages are the property of 
the Right Honorable Count Eduard Sielen a sick old 
man. He exercises his dominion also over a secretary, 
and that secretary am I. 

Now you know I, the cabinet minister's son, over 
whose future career we could not make plans sufficiently 
ambitious, to be an ambassador was one of the lowest 
of my expectations, am now in a subservient, humble 
position, am obliged to be forever ready, at my gracious 
master's beck and call, to write at his dictation or read 
to him the newspapers, or anything else. And yet I feel 
much more free than when I was in the government serv 
ice, for I can throw up my place at any moment, and 
the work which I am performing is independent of what 
I think; it leaves my private character, my personal 
actions, untouched, whereas in the service of the State 
the master cannot be changed and one must subordinate 
his whole " I " to his standards, and only act and work as 
an unelastic system demands. 

No, I could not have endured that yoke. I did not 
endure it. After completing my volunteer year, I began 
my regular service under a district chief ; once I ventured 
to contradict my superior, and as a punishment was trans- 



ferred to a smaller district at soul-killing labor and no 
living wage ; one must practice for some years before one 
gets a decent salary I left the service. 

In the mean time my parents had died so I had no 
need of asking any one's advice. I was free. I had inher 
ited a small property profitably invested in industrials; 
this made me independent. I traveled about the world 
and I have seen a tremendous lot and learned a tremen 
dous lot from my experiences. 

Then suddenly the value of my industrials fell so far 
below par that one fine day the bonds were so much waste 
paper. That meant: "Go to work again." For a time I 
was a journalist, but that also was an unendurable yoke. 
I was obliged to bend my judgment to suit the opinions 
of the paper on which I was engaged as an editorial 
writer, and these opinions were, to tell the truth, no 
opinions at all, but consisted in following the instructions 
given out by the ministry. Here again was a form of 
slavery, of gagging, which I could not put up with, and I 
left the editorial sanctum just as I had left the govern 
ment office. Then I was happy when I was offered a posi 
tion as secretary to the old Count Sielen which I have 
been filling for two years now. .Here I can at least poetize 
and think as I please. 

Yes, poetize. Perhaps you did not know that I have 
discovered in myself the impulse to write verses, and a 
collection of my poems has already appeared in print and 
has been enthusiastically received by the critics. I will 
not name the title and publisher, lest you may think that 
I am hinting to you to buy it moreover, I have issued 
it under a pseudonym which I will not divulge until my 
reputation is established. At the present time I am put 
ting the last touches to a four-act drama. You have no 
notion what a delight, what an exalting consciousness of 
accomplishment, lies in writing out from one's very soul 
what moves it. And to create ! To enrich the world with 
something new! The joy of creation is the highest of all 
joys. If I were not a poet I would crave to be an in- 



ventor. ... I do not know, for example, whether the name 
"Edison" should not be spoken with as much respect as 
the name "Shakespeare." I am now following enviously 
the work of the aviators I look up to the Zeppelins 
and the Wrights as to heroes and especially as to heralds. 
They are sounding the call to a new era. They are sum 
moning their fellow-men to vanquish an unheard-of 
future perhaps without knowing it, for their minds are 
fixed on the mechanical part of their work. The aerial 
age ! Do you surmise what that signifies? Certainly, those 
have no notion of it who would accomplish nothing else 
with their sky-commanding apparatus than to elevate 
into the air the ancient scourges of the depths. 

In your story of the last ten years which you have so 
kindly made me acquainted with, you write a vast amount 
about your experiences in life and love. 

Pardon me, if I do not tell you anything about my ex 
periences in love. I do not want to profane, in dry epis 
tolary prose, whatever has sanctified my life with tender 
charm, and I would not soil my pen with vulgar adven 
tures. Every man has in this domain a bit of magic 
dreamland and a register of his peccadilloes. The one I 
leave undisclosed, the other unconfessed. 

On the Sielenburg at the present time not taking 
into account the kitchen department there is no one 
of the gentle sex dangerous to any man's heart or peace 
of mind. The housekeeping is under the charge of the 
count's widowed sister, the Countess Schollendorf , who is 
at least sixty-two years old. She exercises control over 
the household and the servants and she invites guests 
according to her own idiosyncrasies for the most part 
ancient female cousins. There are three of that sort here 
now, accompanied by their maids and their lapdogs. One 
of these females her name is Albertine has two ter 
rible peculiarities : the first is sincerity, and the second is 
that she is deeply concerned with the well-being of all her 
fellow-men. It results from the first that she is always 
telling people to their faces the most disagreeable truths, 



and from the second that she expects of them every sort 
of sacrifice and renunciation and other torments of 
course, "only for their own good." 

There are still other habitu6s of the establishment: the 
castle chaplain and an aged ruined cousin four times re 
moved, to whom Count Sielen furnishes bread and but 
ter. As you see, it is not a very gay society, nor is the 
conversation at table very enlivening. Yet, just now, the 
count, because of his miserable health, is accustomed to 
take his meals in his own room, and I keep him company, 
which is preferable to sitting at the lower end of the table 
in the big dining-room and listening to uninteresting 
small-talk, mostly confined to the idle gossip of court and 
society, unless, by chance, thanks to the old cousin, who 
is an archreactionary, it skirts the domain of politics 
which makes it particularly distasteful to me. This gen 
tleman would especially like to see restored the conditions 
that prevailed before the year 1848, and from this stand 
point he illuminates the present-day events and questions 
of which his newspaper the "Reichspost" brings 
him an echo. 

That his opposite neighbor at table has Jewish blood 
in his veins you know my mother's grandfather was a 
Jew does not prevent him from letting his opinion con 
cerning regrettable disturbances culminate in the sen 
tence: "The Jews are responsible for that": for exam 
ple, the Russian revolution and the horrors connected 
with it, all initiated by the Jews : the decay of morals, the 
increase of poverty, the downfall of the old aristocratic 
families, earthquakes and floods (these latter as God's 
punishments) all these things are attributable to the 
Jews. He does not say in so many words that the destruc 
tion of this pernicious race would be a praiseworthy 
remedy, but he leaves it to be plainly understood. 

The chaplain I must give him due credit for this 
does not agree with such truculences: he is a good man, a 
gentle Christian, and as such avoids everything coarse 
and spiteful. During these discussions I remain obsti- 



nately dumb, for I cannot contend with Cousin Coriolan. 
The eyes of his yearning are turned back to the past, 
while mine look to the future, and it is impossible, while 
standing back-to-back, to fence with him. 

And do I hear you ask: "Your count, your employer, 
what is he like?" He? A dear old fellow: I cannot say 
anything else. Genial, jovial, simple, friendly, gay. He 
must have been a man of captivating personality. Now, 
indeed, he is old and ill, and yet his sense of humor has 
not deserted him. 

The count is a widower and childless. He had two chil 
dren, but lost them both under tragic circumstances. The 
daughter a marvelously beautiful girl ran off with 
her brother's tutor. At that time the countess was still 
living a terribly haughty and hard-hearted woman, 
and nothing would induce her to pardon her daughter for 
this step. The count would have gladly given in, but the 
inexorable woman would not relent. 

In a few years the daughter died, and shortly afterwards 
the son met with a fatal accident in a boating-party. It 
was whispered about that he was of very light weight, and 
that he had showed great lack of love and respect for his 
parents: consequently, his loss was not such a severe 
blow to the count, although it deprived him of his only 
son and heir. He was much more deeply affected by the 
loss of his daughter ; in the first place, her elopement with a 
man who was regarded as unworthy of her, and then her 
death. But time has healed all those wounds. The cheer 
ful, light-hearted temperament of my dear count (for I 
really love the man) won the day. He had the reputation 
of being the gayest and wittiest cavalier in his time, and 
even only two years ago, when I first entered his house, he 
was in the happiest state of mind and of a geniality which 
simply captivated my heart. 

Just now, indeed, he is a great sufferer, and old age, 
which he has so long victoriously resisted, is at last get 
ting in its detestable work. He is not and has never been 
what is called a high intelligence. He is clever with a 



somewhat superficial cleverness, without great depth 
without complications, without subtlety, but abounding 
in straightforward, honest, human understanding. His wit 
never stings and never bites ; it merely smiles and winks ; 
in short, my poor count is, as I rather disrespectfully 
remarked above, a dear old fellow. 

I have never made a confidant of him about my anony 
mous poetizing: he has no inclination for poetry. His 
reading that is, what I read to him consists exclu 
sively of selections from the daily newspapers, the weekly 
comic papers, French novels, but they must be 
piquant; and for serious pabulum: memoirs of princes, 
generals, and statesmen. Military and diplomatic his 
tory, especially relating to the time in which he took an 
active part, interests him. But all this has inspired me 
with a great disgust at the kettle of chatter and intrigue 
in which the soup of the unsuspecting people's destiny is 
cooked. Aye! the nations have no suspicion what con 
temptible means the great men who make universal his 
tory use, what petty aims they pursue: personal jeal 
ousies and ambitions, entanglements of lies and errors 
and accidents, whereof are born the mighty events which 
are explained as the expression of Divine Will, or of a 
scheme of creation conditioned by natural laws. And, 
vice versa, the great men high up know nothing of the 
people: they fail to comprehend their sufferings and 
hopes. Their awakening and stretching of limbs they 
have no suspicion of ... 

Two days later. 

Since I wrote the above, something has happened. For 
some time it has seemed to me that the count was con 
cealing something from me. If his attorney, Dr. Fixstern, 
came, I was dismissed from the room, and letters ad 
dressed to him were not as usual dictated to me, but were 
written by the count himself. And now I know what the 
secret was ; early this morning the count confided in me : 
The child left by the daughter who eloped with the tutor 



has turned up, and the grandfather has invited the young 
girl to make her home at the Sielenburg. She will be 
coming now in a few days. The old gentleman is de 

I am full of curiosity. The young thing will scarcely 
feel very comfortable at the Round Table which I de 
scribed to you. Well, later in the summer there are vari 
ous visitors from the neighboring castles, among them 
young people, and in the autumn there are many brilliant 
hunting-parties. Of course, owing to my position, I hold 
aloof from all these things. My world is not this world of 
aristocratic society my kingdom is that of the imagina 
tion. There I sometimes indulge in revels and there I 
hope to attain some rank not mediocre ; there ceases 
my modesty. Artists must not be inwardly modest, 
else they are not artists. Just as an athlete feels his mus 
cles, so must the artist feel his power of creation. A host 
of thoughts press forward to be formulated, and these 
thoughts are elastic and swelling like an athlete's muscles! 
A domain which no Pegasus' hoof has as yet ever touched 
invites me. First I am going to finish my drama, which 
treats of a social problem, and then I shall fly away to 
that virgin land where horizons flooded with light open 
out before me. I am going to compose the epic of the con 
quest of the air. ... I shall fly up to the flaming corona 
of the Sun, and from that I will pluck down forked flames 
to annihilate all that is low and common. I am called 
away, so I will mail this and will write again. 
Yours ever, 



FRANKA GARLETT leaned back with closed eyes in 
one corner of the compartment. In another corner 
sat Dr. Fixstern, in whose company the young girl 
was making the trip to her new home. The railway 
journey had already lasted four hours and they were 
not far from their destination. 

For some time Franka had been sitting there mo 
tionless, as if she were asleep. But she was not sleep 
ing ; she wanted undisturbed to give herself up to her 
thoughts. Very mixed feelings stirred in her heart. 
When she called up the idea of "home," which 
had come to her mind at the first revelation of the 
change impending in her destiny, she felt excite 
ment and a sense of joy; but, immediately, this was 
succeeded by a certain timidity. "Home!" that 
is the cherished spot where all one's loves, all one's 
accustomed habits, all one's recollections cluster; 
but she was coming to an unknown place, among 
absolutely strange people! Even though Count 
Sielen was her grandfather, she had never seen him, 
never even thought of him; between him and her 
there was no common remembrance, except the fact 
that he had been cruel to her parents. In Count 
Sielen's eyes, Frank Garlett had been only the 
shameless brigand who had robbed him of his daugh 
ter: Count Sielen had never known what a splendid 



man this unwelcome son-in-law had been. She would 
tell her grandfather that, but would he believe it? 
And would she be able to love the old man? And 
would the great-aunt accept her? After the descrip 
tion which Dr. Fixstern gave of her, a rather 
proud, rather bigoted, rather narrow-minded old 
lady, she had little hope that she would find a 
mutually sympathetic relationship in that quarter. 
Ah, she was so alone, so alone in the world, after 
being accustomed to confidential comradeship with 
her beloved father! . . . Two tears trickled down her 

"Oh, Miss Garlett," cried the doctor, "I thought 
you were asleep, and there you are crying!" 

Franka straightened herself up: "Oh, I was think 
ing of my poor dead father." 

"Think rather of your grandfather, and instead 
of tormenting yourself, rejoice ! Just think what an 
unexpected piece of good fortune has come to you." 

"You are right: it is ungrateful of me." 

"Your grandfather will assuredly see to it that 
you are suitably married." 

"I don't intend to be married." 

"You don't want to marry?" 

"Oh, well, perhaps; why not? But to be married 
off . . ." 

"Oh, yes, I understand the distinction. But now 
it is time for you to put on your hat and I will get the 
traveling-bag down; the next station is ours." 

Franka pinned on her hat; it was black, for she 
still wore mourning, but it was pretty and very be 
coming. Under the direction of Dr. Fixstern's wife, 



she had provided herself with new and elegant 
clothing, and she was not insensible to the comfort 
able feeling of being neatly and correctly dressed, 
although nothing was farther from her nature than 
vanity and a love of finery. 

The train came to a stop, and Franka's heart 
began to beat: so now, now was the beginning of a 
new life. . . . Would there be any one from the castle 
to meet her and greet her? . . . The platform was 
full of people, but merely passengers of the third 
class, waiting for the next train peasants, market- 
women with baskets or bundles. There was also a 
servant in livery. He approached the coach from 
which Franka and her escort were dismounting. On 
the street in front of the station an automobile was 
waiting a great open limousine, the white lacquer 
of which glittered in the sun. The chauffeur was 
standing beside it and helped Franka to enter. It 
was the first time in her life that she had ever been 
in such a vehicle. Indeed, a new life in every respect ! 

Along a road between red-blooming clover-fields, 
through a fir forest, the branches of which were 
loaded with bright green cones, and then up a long 
avenue of ancient chestnut trees, the chauffeur took 
them toward the castle with its towers and pin 
nacles, its bow-windows and verandas, which now 
began to be visible against the horizon in the dis 
tance. The weather was warm, but the air, fragrant 
with spring, fanned Franka's face with refreshing 
coolness as the machine swiftly sped along. Franka 
took deep breaths ; her cheeks were aglow with color 
and a smile of joy played around her young mouth. 


She had only just been shedding tears, and now a 
keen feeling of delight swept through her whole 
being. The future must bring her something beau 
tiful . . . she would not have to be always so 
alone . . . ! The wide world is, indeed, a savings 
bank in which rich funds of love are deposited, and 
youth, in itself, is a kind of checkbook. 

Along park drives bordered with shrubbery, past 
flower-beds and pools, from which rose glittering 
fountains, flew the machine, and came to a stop 
under the porte-cochere of the castle. Several serv 
ants stood waiting and took her hand-luggage. On 
the steps above, Franka was received by the count's 

"Welcome, dear child. . . . How are you, Dr. 
Fixstern ... so you have brought the child with you 
safely, have you? Come, Franka, we will go directly 
to my brother he is waiting for you in great an 

The lady spoke in a friendly tone, and her face 
wore a friendly expression ; but the doctor, who knew 
her well, could not help perceiving that both in her 
voice and in the expression of her face there was a 
tone and a look of insincerity. 

Through a long corridor adorned with potted 
plants and hung with paintings, Franka was con 
ducted into another wing and ushered into the 
count's apartment. It was a room paneled with 
dark leather and filled with ancient furniture. In a 
tall armchair near the window sat the count, a pil 
low behind his head and a covering over his knees. 
Pale and ill as he looked, he was a handsome old man. 



Noble, regular features, his white beard trimmed 
close and to a point, large blue eyes beaming with 
friendliness, his hair silver-white, but still brushed 
up in a thick mass above his forehead. 

"Here, Eduard, I bring you your granddaughter. 
. . . Come, Dr. Fixstern, let us go into the adjoining 
room; we will leave the two alone for a little." 

A young man, who was sitting in one corner of the 
room at a table covered with writings, stood up and 
was about to leave the room. 

" Remain, if you please, Mr. Helmer, and continue 
your writing; you will not disturb me. And you, my 
girl, come nearer, quite close, so that I may look at 
you. . . . My eyes are growing dim ..." He held 
out to her a slim white hand. 

Franka went to him with quick steps, knelt on the 
footstool that was placed near his chair, and kissed 
the hand he offered her: "Grandfather! How kind 
of you!" 

He laid his hand on her head, and bent her face 

"So it is! you are the living picture of your poor 
mother. Remarkable! I hope, however, you will 
not resemble her in all respects ... at least, that you 
will not also run away out of this with some young 
rascal ..." 

Franka sprang up. 

"Count . . . this can be no home for me, where 
my father is to be insulted." 

"There, there! not so fast! I like it in you, that 
you spring to the defense of your beloved father. I 
beg your pardon. Besides, I did not mean anything 



so very bad. The word 'rascal ' in my mouth carries 
no insult I myself was one when I was young, and 
I should be very glad if any one would call me an old 
rascal now but here I must sit, tied down to this 
chair . . . ' Count ! ' I will not let you scold me that 
way; just say, as you did so prettily a moment ago, 
'Grandfather.' . . . And I have still another thing 
to ask your forgiveness for: that it was so long before 
I took any notice of you. . . . That was cruel to you 
and cruel to the memory of my daughter. . . . She 
made a mistake . . . but of all mistakes is not im 
placability one of the worst and stupidest? So, 
little girl, be forgiving . . . call me 'Grandfather' 
. . . that is right; a great French poet has written 
a book entitled 'L'Art d'etre Grandpere."' 

"Yes, Victor Hugo," assented Franka, nodding. 

"You seem to be well read. . . . Now, you see, I 
am beginning rather late to learn that art, but I 
shall be an industrious scholar. And now, will you 
be conducted to your room? I feel ill again ... a 
real cross sickness is ... go, dear child." 

Franka was about to bend over the old gentle 
man's hand to kiss it again, but he lifted her head up 
and imprinted a kiss on her brow. 

An hour later Franka had already finished the 
unpacking of her possessions; she had disposed her 
books and photographs, and this communicated a 
somewhat cozy appearance to the long unoccupied 
chamber, with its stiff, old-fashioned furniture. It 
was an enormous room with four windows looking 
down into the park. Gay-flowered chintz covered 
the chairs and sofas and the same material served as 



hangings for the windows and the curtains of the 
bed. Adjoining was a little toilet-room and bath 
room. Next to this was the chamber of a maid 
whose services were at the disposal of the "gnadiges 

So new, so unwonted was all this magnificence! 
Ought not all these unexpected, these truly brilliant 
surroundings to have awakened a measureless joy in 
Franka, who had spent her young days in the midst 
of such privations? But why was she so sad? 

Ah, yes, if her father had only lived and she might 
have shared these delights with him, or at least have 
told him about them. . . . 

Joys are like tones in order to sound, they must 
have resonance. 



FIVE months had passed and a cold gray autumn had 
set in with pallid suns, soggy mists, wailing tempests. 
As melancholy as the weather was Franka's mood. 
Sielenburg had not proved a home for her: she felt 
that she was a stranger, that she was in exile. Her 
grandfather, who showed her friendly affection and 
to whom her heart went out in sympathy, grew con 
stantly worse, so that more and more rarely he sum 
moned her to his side, and when she came, he had 
but little to say ; he merely would ask her to tell him 
about her past, to describe her early life, and to talk 
about her parents. 

He asked her very little about her present exist 
ence, and even if he had done so she assuredly 
would not have told him that she was wretchedly 
unhappy; that the great-aunt always treated her 
with the utmost coldness and reserve; that the 
insipid conversation of the two other old ladies "got 
on her nerves"; that the cousin, with his views ex 
pressed so arrogantly and dogmatically, views so 
diametrically opposed to all that she had learned 
from her father, still more affected her, indeed, 
caused her real agony all this and much more she 
could not confide to her grandfather without trou 
bling him, without making him think her ungrate 
ful. Of all the inhabitants of the castle, Mr. Helmer, 



the young secretary, would have been the most sym 
pathetic, perhaps for the very reason that he was 
young, and youth feels drawn by irresistible power 
to youth; but she came scarcely at all into contact 
with him, because he was rarely present at meals, and 
when he was, he took no part in the conversation. 

Only once had he made an exception to this re 
serve. At table Cousin Coriolan had spoken about 
the dirigible balloon: he said: "So then, the thing 
seems to be feasible." 

"And you remember, Baron," remarked the 
priest, "that you have always expressed the opinion 
that all these aeronautical and aviationary projects 
were 'the utmost nonsense,' 'crack-brained balder 
dash,' 'lunatic absurdity,' 'the summit of imbecil 
ity ' I noticed your words particularly I like 
your strong expressions ..." 

"Well, well, Chaplain, to err is human . . . but I 
venture even now to predict that nothing practical 
or useful will ever come out of them . . . only catas 
trophes. . . . What would happen if such a monster 
should fall on the Emperor's roof at Schonbrunn? 
. . . For reconnoitering in war, it would be extremely 
dangerous, for naturally the enemy would shoot up 
at them. The only good that they would accomplish 
would be the scattering down of explosives but 
they would never be able to take any great amount 
up with them and the mark from such a height would 
be very difficult to hit it would be like spitting 
from the balcony on a nickel lying on the sidewalk, 
the much-vaunted airship business will in the long 



"Make of man another man," interrupted Chlod- 
wig Helmer, raising his voice. Franka pricked up 
her ears. "Behind the azure door which has been 
flung open streams a light, destined to breathe 
new souls aerial souls into new generations of 

The rest of the company exchanged glances as 
much as to say: "What is the matter with the man? 
What has got into him?" 

Franka would gladly have heard him continue. 

"Please, Mr. Helmer, explain what you mean . . ." 

But he shook his head and said no more. 

She occasionally met him in her grandfather's 
room; but there also he generally remained silent. 
If he spoke, as he did only to answer some direct 
question, she found something particularly attrac 
tive both in the sound of his voice and in the choice 
of his words. 

He was not handsome far from it ; he would be 
rather more likely to be called ugly ; but it was not 
a common ugliness, and whatever else he was, Mr. 
Helmer was certainly a gentleman. 

Franka had not failed to notice that she inspired 
the young man with admiration: it betrayed itself 
in his eyes, in his attitude, in the intonations of his 
voice. It was a thoroughly respectful admiration 
which strove to hide and not to betray itself, and 
consequently Franka responded to it with many a 
gracious word and friendly smile. 

But an end soon came to this harmless little flirta 
tion, if it could be called such. Six weeks after 
Franka's arrival, Helmer was obliged to take his 



departure from Sielenburg. Cousin Albertine had 
indulged in some idle gossip concerning the two. 
"Evidently," she said, "that crazy secretary is fall 
ing in love with Franka." Something peculiar also 
was noticed in Franka's behavior, and after her 
mother's escapade the apple does not fall far from 
the tree and it was to be feared that some similar 
fatality might ensue. . . . These and other insinua 
tions made to the count's sister, and by her com 
municated to the count himself, resulted in the 
young man's being dismissed. After his departure 
Franka felt still more isolated. 

In the course of the summer several times, but not 
frequently, for an hour or two during the afternoon, 
callers from the neighborhood came to the castle, 
and were served with a cup of tea in the garden. 
The conversation always revolved around the same 
topics: society and family news, the prospects of 
the harvest, hunting experiences, chronicles of sick 
nesses, and the results of "cures" at the sea-baths, 
gossip of the court mixed in with a dash of politics 
(from the agrarian point of view), and with lamenta 
tions over the degeneracy of the times (from the 
clerical point of view). 

It devolved on Franka, as the daughter of the 
house, to pour the tea, yet the others treated her 
with a shade of condescension, as if she were only 
a kind of companion. She could never even try 
to insinuate herself into the good graces of these 
strangers; she remained taciturn and reserved. The 
topics of conversation and the questions that occu 
pied the lives of this little circle scarcely appealed to 



her; perhaps, if she had grown up and been edu 
cated among them, she might have found edification 
in it, but it was all strange to her on the other 
hand, the others had no comprehension of her aspira 
tions, her ambitions, her realm of thought. 

One day she had a surprising encounter. As she 
entered the salon her eyes fell on a stranger who was 
sitting in the midst of the usual circle. His back was 
turned to the door, so she could not see his face, but 
there was something strikingly familiar in his figure 
and attitude. And with good reason for as she 
came nearer, Countess Adele introduced him to her 
as Baron Malhof. He manifested no surprise; he 
evidently knew of the altered circumstances of 
Franka's life. He made a low bow. 

"It is a great pleasure to meet you again, Miss 

"What, do you know my niece?" 

"Yes, I made Miss Garlett's acquaintance a short 
time ago and learned to have a high regard for her." 

Malhof sat next to Franka at the tea-table. Unob 
served by the others, he said to her in an under 
tone : 

" You seem to be still incensed with me but you 
ought to know what I have done for you. I have 
just been in to see your grandfather. I was well 
aware that you were making your home here, for I 
had learned the whole story from your landlady of 
whom I have frequently inquired about what you 
are doing. And to-day I told your grandfather the 
whole story of the little comedy in which you and I 
were the actors ..." 



"You did... ?" 

"Yes, although the part I played was rather de 
plorable ; for that very reason yours was all the more 
brilliant, and I felt that I owed it to you to make this 
reparation. Count Sielen had a right to know what 
a brave, high-minded maiden his new-found grand 
daughter is." 

"Was that your opinion of my behavior, Baron 

"Not at the first moment to tell the honest 
truth; at that time I was quite vexed and thought 
your behavior simply pardon me the expression ! 
simply stupid, terribly vieuxjeu; but here is a 
somewhat old-fashioned milieu where all such heroic 
actions of virtue awake a response and I said to 
myself: 'If I tell the whole story to the old gentle 
man, it may prove useful to the young lady who 
so abused me . . . that letter you tore into bits ! it 
will put her into a beautiful light and make her still 
dearer to the old man's heart,' as you see, I am 
capable also of noble impulses. There is one thing I 
should like to ask you: Are you happy?" 

"How could I fail to regard myself as happy? It 
would be sheer ingratitude toward fate!" 

"Well, yes, 'to regard yourself as happy,' but 'to 
feel happy'? Life cannot be very gay among all 
these wigs. ... I do not often come here only 
when I am visiting their neighbors at the castle of 
Dornhof, where I generally spend a week almost 
every year. Then I make my respects here and I 
have always found the house tedious to the last de 
gree, except when the old count used to enliven it 



with his presence ; but for the most part during the 
last few years he has been away traveling. Of course, 
I had heard about the family romance, the daugh 
ter who ran off with the tutor, but that you were 
the result of that elopement, I never suspected until 
I made a fool of myself about you. . . . Do not look 
so angry; that folly is past and gone. ... I have 
taken my place toward you especially since I 
have confessed to your grandfather as a kind of 
honorary uncle." 

On this episode Franka looked back with satis 

On the other hand, she remembered something 
very unpleasant that had happened to her during 
the early days of her new life. She had been sum 
moned at a quite unusual hour to her great-aunt's 
chamber. She had scarcely crossed the threshold 
when she realized that she had been invited to ap 
pear as a defendant before a criminal court. Behind 
the table sat the old Countess Schollendorf in her 
sternest aspect, with her headdress askew, betoken 
ing inward excitement; next her, in the capacity of 
an assistant, Aunt Albertine, and on the table as 
corpus delicti two books which Franka instantly 
recognized as her property. 

"Come in; sit down and explain yourself: How 
came you by these books?" This was spoken in a 
harsh, inquisitorial tone. 

The books were Prince Kropotkin's "Memoirs of 
a Revolutionist" and Bolsche's "Liebesleben in der 

Franka had calmly taken a seat. 



"I might rather ask," she replied, "how come 
these books here, when they were locked up in my 

Miss Albertine, with a honeyed expression, put in 
her word : 

"My dear girl, this matter concerns your own 
good : I myself brought the books down. The book 
case was not locked; the key was in the door; I did 
not break it open. It is perfectly natural that we 
should be interested in what is read by a young per 
son over whose well-being we have to watch. The 
other books there I do not know. ... I should have 
to read them first ; but the titles of these two are suf 
ficient to condemn them. So I brought them down 
to Aunt Adele. We have glanced through them 
and . . ." 

"And," said the superior judge, taking the words 
out of the other's mouth, "I had you summoned to 
tell you that you are to hand over to us your whole 
library it was evidently your inheritance from 
Professor Garlett, who seems to have been a Free 
mason. . . . And I will speak to you with the utmost 
frankness: you must know that a young girl of our 
circles does not make the acquaintance of revolu 
tionists and their works. . . . These are very, very 
pernicious theories the worst possible. And then 
Socialism and Feminism and Pacifism, and all these 
new ' isms ' such as are coming into existence in our 
day. . . . And now that ' Liebesleben ' ! I trust you 
have not read it!" 

"Oh, yes, I have I read it with my father." 

"And are you not ashamed of yourself? This is 



certainly the most extraordinary thing I ever heard 
of! Why, one learns there how herrings break the 
sixth commandment it is positively disgusting! 
Do you not know that there are things which a sen 
sible young maiden I will not say of our circles, 
but any sensible maiden ought to have no sus 
picion of? What have you to say in your defense?" 


Franka felt as if she would choke and she uttered 
the word with a deep breath. 

"What does this all mean? Do you wish to rouse 
my anger?" 

"Do not get excited, Adele," interrupted Miss 
Albertine appeasingly; "just think the poor child 
has not enjoyed the right sort of education ; she in 
herited her mother's frivolous nature and on her 
father's side she is of no family at all therefore, she 
lacks the instinct of what becomes our world. . . . 
Yes, you are lacking in many respects, Franka, and 
if I speak in all sincerity, it is impossible for me 
to be anything else than sincere, it is only with 
the intention of being useful to you. You are still 
young enough to learn a good deal, to change and to 
become worthy of the great advantage that you are 
enjoying here." 

Franka's throat felt as if a tight band was fas 
tened around it. It occurred to her to run away ; she 
was almost tempted to kill herself to jump out of 
the window. . . . But after a while, as Miss Albert- 
ine's discourse kept on its even flow, she recovered 
her self-control. 

"I ask only one thing," she said "that this 



whole charge be brought before my grandfather. I 
will abide by his decision." 

" Do you really wish this? I had intended tc spare 
you this disgrace, and was going to say nothing to 
my brother; but if you yourself desire it ... very 
well, I will send and find out if we can see him." 

When an affirmative answer was brought, the 
three ladies betook themselves to the count's apart 
ment. Miss Albertine held the corpus delicti under 
her arm. The count was alone. He was sitting in his 
accustomed place in the reclining-chair, and looked 
exceptionally lively and well. 

"What! Three man strong you march along!" he 
exclaimed, greeting them. 

" Yes, grandfather, you see here a judge, a witness, 
and a defendant and I am the defendant ; now you 
are to be the supreme judicial court." 

"Oho! and is there no advocate for the defense?" 

"I shall be my own advocate." 

"Very good: now what is the complaint?" 

" It is no joking matter," said the Countess Adele. 

"Indeed, it is not," said Miss Albertine with em 
phasis. "It concerns Franka's own good; else we 
should not have bothered you with it. Your condi 
tion demands perfect quiet you look very miser 
able. . . . Forgive me, but I must tell you the truth 
only for love of you so that you may take care of 

"Yes, yes, your frankness is touching. But to the 
business. ..." 

The two old ladies, using almost the identical 
words as before, formulated their complaint and at 



the same time handed him the books that were 
under suspicion. 

When they had had their say, Franka cried : " May 
I now offer my defense? " 

The count raised his hand. " No, what is the use? 
I see clearly how the whole matter stands and can 
render my judgment. A crime, at least a very de 
testable misdemeanor, has been committed or, 
rather, a whole series of misdemeanors: looting of 
others' property; inquisitiveness and espionage; tale 
bearing and making charges; injury and insult; 
attempted moral constraint and tyranny!" 

"But, Eduard," exclaimed the old countess re 
proachfully, "do you blame us instead of th's erring 

"Most certainly, I blame you. Franka is neither 
in the path of error, nor is she a child. She has not 
been brought up as you would have brought up your 
daughters, and she has different ideas. Has she at 
tempted to force these ideas on you? Has she ever 
tactlessly and offensively expressed her ideas in 
order to bring yours into unfavorable contrast?" 

"No, she has done nothing of that kind. On the 
contrary, she has hypocritically kept her terrible 
ideas, imbibed from these terrible books, quite to 

"Why do you say 'hypocritically'? I call it tact 
ful. If one lives with people who belong to another 
world of ideas, it is right to avoid bringing up 
the discussion of questions whereon they would 
differ; and so people, even though they think so 
differently, can get along together very congenially. 



Moreover, there is nothing so very terrible about the 
two books I happen to know them. Bolsche is a 
scientist; Kropotkin an idealist. I do not exactly 
share their point of view; I am an old country squire, 
and have taken little interest in the natural sciences 
and social problems; but I know that we live at a 
time when much that is new is crowding out the old. 
We can't make all shoes on one last, and we cannot 
expect our grandchildren to be educated exactly as 
our fathers were educated. And as far as education 
goes, certainly nothing more needs be said about 
Franka's. She will be of age in a few months: I had 
her come here to a home, not to a young ladies' 
boarding-school. I will not put up with her life being 
spoiled by the others in this house." 

"Oh! how good and kind you are!" stammered 
Franka, who had once more knelt down on the foot 
stool near Sielen's reclining-chair. 

' ' Never mind , my girl ; don' t bother your head about 

it. The aunts meant well But now I will ask you 

to leave me for a while. The affair has agitated me." 

That ended the incident. To be sure, a little bit 
terness remained, but the two old ladies from that 
time forth avoided any nursery-governess tone 
toward the young girl. The sick master's will was 
law on the Sielenburg. 

Still another incident, somewhat later, produced 
a still deeper impression. It was a letter. Almost 
never did the postman bring Franka any mail. In 
all the more excitement she tore open the envelope 
which she found one fine morning lying on her 
breakfast-tray. It was in an unknown hand and 



unsigned. After she read it, she easily guessed who 
its writer was. 

VIENNA, August 2, 1909. 

My greetings to you, Franka! As an actual man I am 
not justified in addressing you thus familiarly, but this is 
only a kind of wave-motion from soul to soul. The reason 
for this letter is, that you appeared to me last night in 
a dream. You looked sad and troubled. Something of 
questioning and yearning was expressed in your face and 
was evident in your outstretched arms. In what direc 
tion would your desires, your longings, your questionings 
wing their flight? Your surroundings will give no fulfill 
ment of them, no answer to them. Perhaps I may be able 
to serve as a guide perhaps I may be able to solve some 
of the riddles for you. And since you have appeared to me 
in a dream and because I am fond of you I venture 
to approach you as a bodyless teacher, a formless brother, 
a lover who hopes for nothing. Or rather do not call 
it presumptuous! I come to you as a priest. I have 
religious consolation in readiness for you and I will lay 
down religious commandments for you. 

Yet, let this be for the last. We will first speak of 
worldly things. The question which a pretty girl of 
twenty asks of fate even though she does not acknowl 
edge it to herself is, "Shall I be happily married?" 
She might just as well ask, "Shall I find a needle in a 
haystack?" For it is just as difficult, out of the hundred 
thousand chances of an unhappy marriage, to secure the 
one slender chance of a happy one, although every young 
woman believes that for her particularly there are several 
ready for choice. And the claims are not modest. Dozens 
of conditions cluster around the idea of "happiness" 
above all, love. And in it are united all the attributes 
and aspects of this manifold phenomenon : the platonic 
and erotic; passion, sentimentality, devotion, sweet tor 
ment and tearful ecstasy, hot desire and the full and 
peaceful possession and this whole medley, presumably 



to last as long as life, based on eternal faithfulness . . . (il 
faut en rabattre 1} 

But love alone is not sufficient. To happiness, as 
dreamed by the young maiden, some other things are 
needed: if not wealth, at least perfect pecuniary inde 
pendence, a comfortable and fairly elegant household, 
continued good health, social recognition, pleasant occu 
pation, pretty toilettes perhaps also handsome chil 
dren. I am speaking of the average girl, not of the ultra 
modern type before whom a quite special expression of 
personality is held up, or from whom the well-known 
"call of motherhood" is extorted. 

To that class you do not belong ; you are not eccentric, 
you are calm and reflective, but assuredly you are also 
hungry for happiness. 

Now the question for you is: "Will Destiny pay the 
note which Youth and Beauty have drawn on her?" 
Who can tell? It is a matter of accident. Accident is only 
another name for Fate, and cannot give you any remedy 
against her tricks. Consequently we must possess some 
thing to raise us above all perils, above poverty and lone 
liness, above illness and sorrow, yes, verily, above the 
terrors of death ! 

If you had been educated in a convent, such a talisman 
would have been put into your possession : the knowledge 
that you were a child of God, the belief in happiness 
beyond the grave, the union with all that is sacred in 
the eternal and in the infinite. But this golden talisman 
would have been handed to you in a tin capsule of dog 
mas, and you, like so many others to whose riper taste 
and judgment the capsule no longer appealed, would have 
flung the whole thing away, contents and cover ; or, like so 
many others, you would have only clung to the outward 
wrapping as a kind of symbol, as a ceremonial necessity. 

At the present time, in this country, it is a part of good 
form to be pious. By assiduous church attendance, by 
friendly intercourse with the clergy, by scorn and con 
tempt for all free thinking, one tickets one's self as belong- 



ing to fine society. They are mere forms, to be sure, but 
how can the man and the woman of society differentiate 
themselves from the ordinary mass of humanity if not by 
the observance of forms? Signing the cross, as one sits at 
table, the way it is done of late in aristocratic houses, 
is not a mark of reverence, but a "correct" gesture 
equal to the conventional court curtsy. 

I would not wish to imply that there are not actually 
honest believers who in spite of the tin capsule penetrate 
to the golden center of the talisman and are thereby ele 
vated and strengthened. " Be good ! " is certainly the pro- 
foundest meaning of every religious imperative honor 
to the man who with voluntary obedience listens to this 
commandment by reason of his faith. 

You were not educated in a nunnery as I happen to 
know. Do you possess that fervent Something, by means 
of which a person is raised above all the eventualities of 
life and above one's self? That I do not know. Let me 
explain to you what I understand by this "Something": 
let me be for half an hour your catechist ! 

This is the mystery : Recognize as your home, that 
is to say as the place to which you belong, a domain larger 
than your house, than your family, than your parish, than 
your earth the universe. You belong to it : it belongs to 
you. Religionists have an inkling of this truth and they 
call it "the fatherhood of God." Science has investigated 
it and here it is called "indestructibility" and "homo 
geneity of matter" and "eternal conservation of all 
energy." This guarantees you immortality. The part 
that you play in the great world-drama is important, just 
as every one else's is, and it is never played to the end. 

Do not shrug your shoulders and say: "What is the use 
of a continued existence if, in another life, I do not remem 
ber the former; if my ego has disappeared?" Certainly 
"your 1 ' ego, in its present form, is lost, but in the new 
form you will feel an ego in similar degree. Is your con 
sciousness, your inner sense of life, lessened by the fact 
that you do not remember the existences through which 



you have passed in the infinity behind you? The past ego 
was not "another one," nor will the ones that follow be, 

they all are a part of the same ego of the universe, 
divided billions and trillions of tinies. If one has learned 
to feel one's self as a constituent of the eternal circle of 
life, if one knows that one is akin to the plants and the 
stars, if one feels in one's inmost soul the sparks flashing 
from the flame of the Universal Spirit, then one is pene 
trated by the sense of being a child of God just as much 
as a nun kneeling in prayer on the stone flags. 

Yet these are only impulses for especial exalted hours 

not at all times can one feel consecrated to the All. 
But there are also narrower circles into which one can 
enter and escape one's own egotistical loneliness any 
kind of a great community. For some, it is found in art ; 
for some in the various so-called "Movements," or politi 
cal campaigns, or even revolutions ; either in active co 
operation or mainly in intense sympathy: in either case 
one will be elevated above the everyday pettinesses and 
ennuis of one's own existence, if it be petty and tiresome, 
aye, if it be full of sadness! Listen, Franka, to the roaring 
of the stream of Time ; see how human society is striving 
to attain new goals, how it is engaged in the battle with 
the powers of the traditional to acquire more light, 
more freedom, more righteousness; in a word, more 

A mighty aid to this uplift of souls is found in the tech 
nical marvels with which human invention is every day 
transforming this world. We live in a great, great age! 
Especially great, not so much in what is as in what is to 
be ! To think of sharing in it all ! Do not miss the noble 
enjoyment which every bold ascent is preparing! And 
even if you yourself cannot attain a height, then rejoice in 
the lofty flights of humanity. "Soaring " the word was 
formerly applied to us men only figuratively, but now 
you know what happened only a few days ago for the 
first time a man flew over the Channel . . . and these 
surprises, these triumphs will be enlarged. . . . Look and 



listen ! Show yourself let us all show ourselves 
worthy of having been born under the glory of the 
twentieth century. . . . 

Here the letter abruptly ended. It was not diffi 
cult to guess from whom it came: only Mr. Helmer 
could have been its author. Had any definite 
address been attached to it or an answer been de 
manded, perhaps Franka would have sent a letter 
in return. She had hardly given a thought to the 
young secretary since she no longer had occasion to 
meet him. After the receipt of this letter, however, 
which she read from beginning to end several times, 
it was natural that her thoughts should turn fre 
quently to Chlodwig Helmer. What especially 
moved her was that something of the spirit of her 
father seemed to breathe through this letter 
there was the same trend of thought and at the same 
time almost the same use of words and phrases. 
This was not strange, for where ideas coincide, there 
must be a similarity in expression of them; every 
philosophy of life has its own terminology. Above 
and beside all the abstract ideas contained in the 
letter there was also the striking of a note which 
awakened a melodious echo: the five words, "I 
am fond of you"! Then it happened, apparently 
in consequence of his statement that she had ap 
peared to him in a dream, that she also two or three 
times dreamed of him, and wonderful ! in the 
dream his face was not homely not at all, but 
rather fascinating. No second letter followed, the 
dreams were not continued, and the whole incident 
gradually grew faint and indefinite. 


DURING all this time Mr. John A. Toker had been 
elaborating his plan. In his brain, that which he 
proposed to do was already formulated. Certainly 
he knew that everything destined to come into exist 
ence will, as soon as it has sufficient vitality, begin 
to live, develop itself, branch out, and be changed in 
a hundred different ways which its creator is unable 
to foresee; yet the initial stage was clearly outlined 
before Mr. Toker's inner eye. The motives and 
ends, which at first had risen before him mistily and 
indefinitely, he had long since supplanted with clear 
and precise formulas. The whole was drafted into 
two pieces of manuscript: one of them a letter, the 
other a circular. A copy of each was now to be sent 
to the addresses of those famous contemporaries 
whose names he had inscribed on the day when the 
project was conceived. Now a few names had dis 
appeared from the list and a few others were added 
to it. 



I am doing myself the honor of inviting you most cor 
dially to spend the first half of next June as my guest : not 
in my American home, but in the center of Europe, at 
Lucerne, where I am making suitable preparations for 
entertaining you and my other guests. You will find the 
names of other persons invited indicated in the inclosed 
list. Any one in your family or your household whom you 



would like to have as a companion will be most welcome. 
The traveling expenses and, if agreeable, a considerable 
honorarium will be supplied by me. The inclosed circular 
will sufficiently show that this invitation is not for a mere 
summer visit for personal ends, but includes cooperation 
in a civilizing work of the greatest moment. 
Counting upon your favorable answer, I am, 
Yours respectfully, 



We are on the threshold of the aeronautic age. What 
mankind, up to the present time, and especially in the 
last two or three decades, has accomplished in the realm 
of technic is simply fabulous is the triumphant anni 
hilation of the antiquated concept "Impossible." 

And this is to go on in constantly accelerating progress. 
How feeble in their first beginnings, how widely separated 
from one another in time and space have been the great 
inventions and discoveries. And now! Scarcely a day 
passes without some technical improvement being simul 
taneously achieved in different places. The rapidity of 
progress results in one marvel making another possible. 
Thus, to take only one example, the dirigibility of the 
air-balloon was attained only because automobilism had 
created the light motor. 

The intellectual and moral uplift of humanity has not 
kept up with the technical. This is plainly seen in a single 
paragraph the reading of which gave me the impulse to 
make the proposed experiment. The paragraph read: 
"The dirigible balloon is destined to become the chief 
weapon in wars to come." 

This is equivalent to saying: "We will use the latest 
triumph of victorious civilization for the confirmation of 
the most antiquated barbarism." This must not be! 

What the physicists, the chemists, the engineers have 
given us, one depending on another, each building a little 



higher on the discoveries of his predecessors, what they 
have done through comprehending and controlling the 
forces of nature and making them our servants, is on the 
point of changing one half the material half of our 
world into a realm of magic. 

But how does it stand with the spiritual half, the imma 
terial half? The unhappiness of men, the wickedness of 
men, the mutual hatreds of men, these ghastly things 
give the answer to the above question : the spiritual half 
is still far, far behind. The everlasting forces which rule 
in this other half, and which, when they come to be 
known, controlled, and made useful, would be able to 
change this half also into a realm of magic : at the present 
time they are as yet concealed and inactive. 

The engineers, mechanicians, and technicians of the 
moral forces are the poets and prophets, the philosophers 
and artists ; they are the dynamic agents of thought, the 
leaders of intellect, the pathfinders in the jungles of social 
institutions, the aviators in the eternal sphere of ideas! 
Yet they are scattered through the centuries, scattered in 
space. One lives in New York ; another in Paris ; the third 
at Yasnaya Polyana; their names go from the elite in one 
land to the 61ite in other lands, but do not reach the 
masses. How much more powerful their work would be if 
it were coordinated, if the knowledge of their doctrines, 
the glory of their names, the magic of their art, proceeding 
from one central point, should radiate in all directions. 
Motors and propellers have taught us that power must be 
concentrated and compressed, in order by explosions to 
drive the vehicle. 


This festival-time, which in my opinion will surpass in 
outward glory all the previous "aviation meets," all the 
Wagner festivals in Bayreuth, all the carnivals in Rome 
or Cologne, all the regattas at Kiel or at Cowes, all the 
races at Baden-Baden, will last with its public functions 



from the eighth until the fifteenth of June. The period 
from the first till the eighth belongs to my guests for unin 
terrupted social intercourse. I believe that my great con 
temporaries will thus find unique opportunity for high 
social enjoyment, for the most fruitful 1 inspiration. How 
rarely is it vouchsafed for those who stand on the emi 
nences of Humanity to consort with their fellows ! 

The second week will belong to the public, which will 
have the unique enjoyment of seeing and hearing the 
laurel-crowned of all countries assembled in the same 
place and of absorbing the lofty thoughts which will flow 
from their words. 

The attendance at the lectures and art performances 
will in all probability be immense. 

But what my guests will have to say is not to be 
limited to those present. The echo of it will ring through 
the whole world. The great journals will certainly send 
their representatives who will telegraph long extracts 
from the various addresses. And involuntarily the Press 
will in this way fulfill what ought to be its most important 
function : to further the great universal interests of man 
kind instead of stirring up international strife and culti 
vating local gossip. But we will not depend on them: 
we ourselves will institute a large and complete staff of 
secretaries and translators; we will employ a printing- 
office and have the principal addresses set forth in 
extenso, and send them out as pamphlets to all parts of the 
world. And still more: gramophones will catch the very 
intonations of the speakers, kinematographs will repro 
duce the gestures of the orators, and the records and films 
will be sent out to thousands of schools and settlements 
all over the world. In all regions and in all classes shall be 
scattered the messages of the Rose-Week! 

What the men and women whom I have in mind will 
say, is not for any particular race or class : its sole aim and 
object will be, "to elevate all humanity." 

And why roses? 

That I have chosen out of the twelve months of the 



year the month of roses, that I am going to conduct the 
whole arrangement under the emblem of roses all the 
programmes, all the invitations, and so forth, will be 
adorned with these flowers; on the buildings and festal 
arches roses will be garlanded as escutcheons a sar- 
danapalian abundance of living, blooming roses will be 
entwined around all the pillars, will adorn the tables and 
walls; bushes blooming with roses and rose-beds will be 
planted in the grounds intoxicating perfume of roses 
will fill all the air a rose-bacchanal : all this is not, per 
haps, a whimsical fancy, an ostentatious piece of extrava 
gance such as the multimillionaires of Fifth Avenue are 
accustomed to vulgarize their festivities with ; a deeper 
symbolism is involved in it: the whole undertaking is to 
stand under the protection and the shelter of Beauty! 


THE gloomy autumnal sense of depression, which 
had settled down on Franka's mind and the whole of 
Sielenburg, grew ever deeper. Death was making 
his entrance into the castle. For more than a week 
the sick count's passing away had been expected 
from hour to hour. The physicians had expressed 
their opinion that it was inevitable and immediately 
at hand. At Countess Adele's suggestion the priest 
had already been summoned in order to administer 
extreme unction to the man who lay unconscious in 
his bed; the warder of the tower was ready at a 
moment's notice to raise the black standard, and the 
sexton of the adjacent church was only waiting for 
the signal to ring the passing-bell. 

Franka ventured several times to enter the sick 
room which was now a death-chamber, and the 
moans which came from the bed, and mingled with 
the storm howling without in an unspeakably melan 
choly dirge, rang incessantly in her ears, even after 
she had left the room and repaired to her own, which 
was situated in the other wing of the castle, where 
the wind could not be heard. 

Here she was now sitting in the dark, it was 
about seven o'clock in the evening, and was 
thinking of her own father's death, which so short 
a time before had left her an orphan. Now, by the 



loss of her grandfather, she would be once more quite 
friendless in that house. Her tears flowed for the 
poor departed father, for the poor departing count, 
and likewise for the poor deserted maiden for 

Suddenly she pricked up her ears. In the prevail 
ing silence she heard a distant commotion : the open 
ing and shutting of doors, hurrying footsteps, voices. 
. . . With a throbbing heart she sprang up and 
turned on the light. At the same instant her maid 
came hurrying into the room. 

"What has happened? . . . My grandfather? . . ." 
"Yes, Miss Franka; the count has passed away!" 

On the morning after the funeral, which was con 
ducted with imposing state, the Countess Adele sent 
for Franka. 

" I have summoned you, my dear child, to have a 
few serious words with you. Sit down." 

"What can this mean?" queried Franka in some 

"You have shown deep and, as it seems to me, 
genuine sorrow at the death of my poor brother." 

"Oh, yes, I loved him so!" 

"And you were right, for he was very kind per 
haps a little too kind to you. He has not left you 
unprovided for. His will has not been opened as yet, 
but I know about it, for he told me before you came 
that he intended to leave you a legacy of forty or 
fifty thousand crowns. That is a very neat little 
fortune. It is enough to cover the bond and you 
can marry an officer. Besides, that is your natural 



vocation to marry. You could not be a canoness 
because you have bourgeois blood; and since you 
have bourgeois blood, you can have no claim to mar 
riage in our class. Of course, you will not think of 
remaining at the Sielenburg. Here you would have 
no opportunity . . . and you do not get along very 
well with us. I have never referred again to that 
fatal matter of the books, but the sting remains. . . . 
At all events, I would not think of casting you off. 
After all, you are my beloved brother's granddaugh 
ter he recognized you as such ... so you are not 
to sink back into the sphere in which you were 
brought up. Therefore, Cousin Albertine and I have 
decided that she Cousin Albertine should take 
charge of you. She lives in Teschen a little city in 
Silesia. A very large garrison is quartered there, and 
no doubt, as soon as it is known that you possess the 
necessary amount, you will have suitors among the 
officers, for you are a pretty girl. One should not 
depend too much on mere physical beauty; still it 
is a recommendation especially in matrimonial 
affairs. . . . Albertine remained unmarried simply 
because she was excessively homely . . . that is still 
very evident. You will be very comfortable at her 
house she keeps up a very nice establishment 
all the officers' wives attend her 'At Homes,' and 
young men will not stay away as soon as it is known 
that the pretty niece is not quite without means. 
But you must take great care not to give utterance 
to such anti-military views as are preached in an 
other terrible book which we found in your room 
' Das Rote Lachen ' what a title ! However, Aunt 



Albertine will instruct you in the proper rules of 
behavior. As you know, she is very plain-spoken, for 
she is extraordinarily frank but that should never 
offend you! She means it for your best good." 

Franka let the old lady talk on, and did not make 
a sign. Formerly she would have rebelled against 
much that her aunt said, especially against the ex 
pressions, "sink back into the sphere in which she 
had been brought up " ; but now, on the day after the 
count's burial she would have no quarrel with his sis 
ter. She keenly felt that she could not exist in the 
"sphere" to which they were trying to elevate her; 
she had decided to depart from the Sielenburg and to 
refuse Aunt Albertine's offer. If it was true that her 
good grandfather had so generously remembered her, 
the amount mentioned seemed to her a very con 
siderable sum, she was protected against poverty, 
and was her own mistress. And even if there was 
no legacy for her, she would prefer to go out into 
the world and obtain some situation. Anything but 
this state of dependence! Anything but this moral 
dungeon ! 

"Well, what do you say to this?" said the aunt in 
conclusion, after she had gone on in the same tone 
for some time. 

"Excuse 'me, at present I have nothing to say. I 
am so affected by the sad occurrences of the last 
few days I really cannot answer." 

"Very good; go back to your room again. I cer 
tainly appreciate that you are quite unstrung, first 
from grief at your grandfather's death and also by 
joy at the brilliant prospects which I have disclosed 


to you. . . . So, then, we will take up the subject 
another time. There is no hurry Aunt Albertine 
will not return to Teschen for six weeks ; till then you 
can remain here." 

Franka stood up. "May I go?" 

"Yes, but at three o'clock this afternoon come to 
the green salon. At that time we are to meet there 
and Dr. Fixstern, who has Eduard's will, is to read 
it. As you are probably mentioned in it, you should 
attend the meeting." 

At the specified hour all the members of the family 
present at the castle assembled in the "green salon." 
Besides the Countess Adele, Miss Albertine, and 
Cousin Coriolan, there were a few distant relatives 
who had come to the Sielenburg for the funeral. 
Franka entered last and took her place in a chair by 
the wall near the doorway. The others sat in a semi 
circle in front of the table where Dr. Fixstern was 
engaged in taking documents out of a portfolio. 

"Are all the persons concerned present? " he asked 
after he had taken his seat in the armchair. 

"Yes, all are here," answered the Countess Adele. 
"You may proceed, Doctor." 

Great excitement was visible in the features of 
those in the semicircle. They were all more or less 
pale and breathless. The doctor straightened his 
spectacles and began : 

" Ladies and gentlemen, I have here the testament 
of my honored patron and client, Count Eduard von 
Sielen, and I will now read it before the assembled 
family. For more than twenty years, I have had the 



honor of serving as the attorney and agent of the 
late count. It is, therefore, only natural that he 
should have put into my hands the will which I and 
my solicitor have signed as witnesses, and that he 
should have designated me as his executor. I am 
fully acquainted with the condition of his affairs and 
I have an inventory of all the real estate and per 
sonal property which he has left. Here it is: if you 
will grant me permission, I will first put this fully 
before you. 

"The count's property was larger than might have 
been supposed from his comparatively modest scale 
of living. It consists: (i) Of the domain of Sielen- 
burg in Moravia, of Grossmarkendorf in Lower 
Austria, and of Hochberg in Carinthia. These pos 
sessions amount altogether to 8700 acres of land and 
are unencumbered; (2) the Sielen palace on the 
Wieden in Vienna; (3) bank-deposits in English and 
national banks amounting nominally to two mil 
lion five hundred thousand crowns. I have also a 
complete list of the jewels, silver plate, paintings, 
and furniture to be found in the various castles, in 
the Vienna palace, and also in storage. And now I 
will proceed to the reading of the will." 

The excitement in the semicircle had grown still 
more intense, and while the lawyer was breaking the 
seal of the envelope and unfolding a large sheet 
of parchment, one might have heard the beating 
hearts of those in the assembly. 

Dr. Fixstern cleared his throat a second time and 
read in a loud voice : 

"This is my last will. 



" I commend my soul to God. 

"Since my property is not entailed, I am free to 
dispose of it in accordance with my best judgment. 

"I make my disposition as follows: I nominate 
as my universal legatee my granddaughter, Franka 

At this all uttered an " Ah! " which was more like a 
shriek than an exclamation. Cries of astonishment, 
of disillusionment, of indignation, of dismay. Only 
the cry of joy was lacking, for Franka had sprung to 
her feet, mute with terror, and then instantly sank 
back again. She would have preferred to run away 
to her father, that she might bring to him this 
astounding piece of news ! to her grandfather that 
she might thank him. . . . But they were both dead. 
Here among the living there was no one who would 
look on her with anything but envy. Then before 
her mind arose the thought of her anonymous corre 
spondent whose tender word had flown to her: "I 
am fond of you "... If only he were by her side . . . ! 

A moment passed before the general stupefaction 
had subsided, and Dr. Fixstern could proceed. Now 
followed various bequests. All the relatives, even 
the most distant, were remembered with larger or 
smaller legacies; for the functionaries and servants 
were bequests either in money or in pensions; vari 
ous charitable institutions were also remembered. 
Mr. Chlodwig Helmer, "whose character I have 
learned to value very highly," received a valuable 
ring; Dr. Fixstern as the executor received a hand 
some legacy. After the bequests were paid, the 
property descending to the residuary legatee would 



be diminished by not far from a million crowns. 
After he had finished reading the document, Dr. 
Fixstern arose and went to Franka, who was still 
sitting near the entrance to the salon, and made a 
low bow: 

"Miss Garlett, receive my congratulations: you 
are the mistress of Sielenburg." 

The others came also and congratulated her with 
bitter-sweet looks. Franka was still, as it were, 

"It seems to me," she said, "as if I ought to ask 
the forgiveness of you all"; and the tension of her 
nerves gave way in a spasmodic fit of weeping. 

Aunt Albertine began to busy herself tenderly 
with her: 

" Come, come ; I will conduct you to your room . . . 
you must recover from the shock ..." 

The way from the green salon to Franka's cham 
ber was through a suite of salons down the long 
corridors, up the monumental staircase; and this 
way, which she had so often taken, now seemed to 
her wholly new it was all her own property, her 
realm. . . . Under Miss Albertine's affectionate guid 
ance she reached her room, but there she asked to be 
left alone for a while she desired to rest, she felt so 
unstrung. . . . 

" Yes, my darling, now get a good rest. I will go." 
Franka locked the door as soon as Miss Albertine 
had left the room. No one must disturb her she 
wanted to be alone with her great destiny. She drew 
deep audible sighs just as one does after climbing a 
mountain-peak. Indeed, it was a peak to which she 



had been elevated a dizzy peak. What possibili 
ties lay open before her what duties must she ful 
fill! Like a flash of lightning the thought went 
through her mind: " I must accomplish something!" 


That she knew not. This thought was only a 
germ: but she felt that something would come to 
fruition. A voice seemed to say to her: "Franka, 
something great, something marvelous has happened 
to you"; and in the depths of her soul came her 
answer: " I will be worthy of this marvelous thing." 

"Be worthy?" Where had she seen or heard that 
word lately? Oh, yes, now she remembered : she took 
from her writing-table Helmer's letter there it 
was. "Show yourself let us all show ourselves 
worthy of having been born under the glory of the 
twentieth century. . . ." 

Some one knocked at the door. Franka put the 
letter back into the drawer and went to open the 

The Countess Adele entered. "So you wanted to 
rest after your being so startled? Yes, it is startling, 
to be sure. . . . Who could ever have imagined ! I 
must have a little talk with you about it .... We 
must have a clear understanding as to what is to be 
done now." 

She sat down, and Franka, resigning herself, took 
a seat. What would Aunt Adele have to say now? 
Probably a whole series of suggestions and coun 
sels. . . . But in her heart the purpose stirred: "I 
will do what I please." 

"Well, aunt," she said aloud, "let us talk. It is 



truly an unexpected, overpowering stroke of Fate. 
I am still perfectly dazed by it." 

"I can believe you. Now everything is changed. 
Nothing more needs to be said about the plan of 
your going to Teschen which we discussed this morn 
ing. Albertine, of course, would be only too glad to 
have you come to her she told us so before but 
there would be no sense in it ; you will remain with 
me at the Sielenburg until you are married." 

"And whom am I going to marry?" 

"That will take care of itself. You will not lack 
suitors, now that you are a brilliant match. You 
would bring your husband several landed estates, 
a palace, and a considerable sum of money. Your 
choice must fall on a solid, sensible man who under 
stands the careful management of property. I could 
suggest one to you, but it is premature to talk about 
it as yet. But in the mean time we shall keep up the 
establishment, have some great hunting-parties, and 
the right person will come at the right moment. Of 
course, for the present we shall live secluded you 
see we shall be in mourning for a year, and it would 
not do at all to go into society during these twelve 
months. But you can utilize the time by trying to 
cultivate good manners. You are so lacking in what 
is required for the rank which you will take in our 
circle ... I will invite two young nieces to come 
here as companions for you, and you can improve 
your ways by observing how they behave, and then 
you can obtain from them good sound ideas the 
dear girls have been educated in the Sacr Cceur 
Convent and are very religious and ' comme il faut ' 



in their opinions. Yet at the same time they are 
merry as becomes their age and yours. . . . And if 
you wish to keep these rooms as yours, it will be all 
right. Or, if you like, I can have prepared for you 
the apartments that belonged to your mother and 
which have been unoccupied since her flight. You 
need have no care concerning the housekeeping in 
the first place, you do not understand anything about 
it, and, besides, I have been in charge of it for years. 
And naturally you know nothing about managing 
the estate. . . . But we have an excellent intendant 
and Cousin Coriolan will gladly have an eye to the 
direction of affairs and take charge of the accounts. 
I will talk with Dr. Fixstern about the management 
of your property of course, you know nothing 
about that either, and so you need not have any 
bother about all that. For your own little expendi 
tures toilet, charities, and so forth I will allow 
you suitable pocket-money. Are you listening to 
me? You look so distraite. 11 

"I? Oh, yes, I have heard you." 

"Well, and what have you to say?" 

" I have nothing at all to say to-day. As you just 
remarked, it is too soon. I must first collect my 

"Well, you need not think and worry. Experi 
enced people are here to relieve you. So we will talk 
no more about these things now ' To-morrow is 
another day.' Adieu for now, and do not be too late 
in coming down to dinner." 

"I should like to be excused for to-night, aunt. I 
am going to bed very shortly." 



"That is a good idea; then I will have your dinner 
sent up to you. Have a good night's sleep and wake 
up to-morrow fresh and rested. You look so scared 
not at all like the lucky creature that you are ; and 
do not forget to fall on your knees and thank the 
good God for pouring out such a blessing on you." 

"Horrible!" exclaimed Franka aloud, as soon as 
she was alone. And then she began to laugh. The 
humor of the thing had not escaped her. That very 
morning the countess had said to her that, of course, 
her further stay at the Sielenburg was not to be 
thought of, and now the old lady was willing to let 
her stay "with her," and would undertake the man 
agement of her whole future a future which lay 
before her so great, so enigmatical, so full of power 
and magnificence a future opening out before 
such duties and possibilities. Again her mind turned 
to the as yet unformulated germ of plans half-con 
ceived such as Aunt Adele, in her narrow horizon, 
had never even dreamed. No, no, this proposed 
tyranny must be shaken off as speedily and as de 
cisively as possible. Franka felt that she had the 
courage and the power to do so, although she was 

Alone in this milieu, yes; but she felt as if she had 
comradeship and support in the world outside, in the 
hovering spirit of her father, in the souls of those 
new men who were striving for lofty aims, in how 
had Chlodwig Helmer expressed it? in community 
with all that is holy in the eternal and the infinite. . . . 
All she needed was freedom, and this was now 
brought to her by her wealth; also by the fact that 



no sort of tradition or duty bound her to the environ 
ment in which it was planned to asphyxiate and 
strangle her, if she could not tear herself away from 
it. But she could and she would. . . . She was mis 
tress of the Sielenburg, and what was most precious 
to her she was mistress of herself. 

The following morning she sent for Dr. Fixstern to 
come to her. She asked him to explain to her once 
more her rights and her title in the property. Then 
she told him of the Countess Schollendorf's pro 
posals and of her own firm resolve not to accept 
them. She was greatly relieved to find that Dr. 
Fixstern was not at all on the side of the countess, as 
she had feared, but wholly on hers. He was right 
eously indignant at the old lady's presumption ; and 
when Franka told him of her proposal to dole out to 
the unrestricted possessor of millions a limited sum 
of pocket-money he laughed heartily. 

The conference lasted some time. Franka had 
many questions to ask and Dr. Fixstern had also 
many things to tell her, many explanations, much 
good advice to give her. Only after the estate had 
been fully settled would the exact amount of her for 
tune be known, but in the mean time she would be 
able to get some idea of what she would have by 
glancing over the inventory that he had with him ; 
and he read to her the figures representing the income 
and the payments which would have to be deducted 
from it. Franka listened with increasing delight as 
she began to comprehend what enormous wealth had 
fallen into her lap. The joyous sensation of the dis 
coverer of a treasure filled her heart. For the very 



reason that she had gone through the school of 
poverty and deprivation, she was now able to appre 
ciate the value of riches, and she had already got 
an inkling of the independence, the esteem, and the 
enjoyment which her property was to vouchsafe her. 

At the same time, as a sort of absolution from 
the sin of pride in possession, she cherished the con 
sciousness that she should make use of the power 
that had come to her for something noble and grand 
and daring. 

Franka expressed her desire to go that very win 
ter to Vienna and take up her residence in her palace. 
Dr. Fixstern entirely acquiesced, and declared that 
he and his wife would do everything to aid her; he 
assured her that she might depend upon him in 
every way ; the long devotion which he had showed 
to the late count he was ready now to show the 



CHLODWIG HELMER was writing the last act of his 
drama. He was well satisfied with his work. But he 
knew how wide and perhaps impossible was the gulf 
between the finishing of a theatrical piece and its 
production. Yet even as it was, he felt his heart 
swell with that comfortable sensation which every 
creative artist experiences when he succeeds in 
clothing in definite form that which has hovered in 
his mind. 

Ever since Helmer had left the Sielenburg, he had 
occupied himself exclusively with literary work. His 
dismissal had come to him very unexpectedly. One 
morning Count Sielen had received him with these 

"My dear Helmer, I have something to say to 
you. . . . During the two years since you have been 
with me, I have become very fond of you. You are a 
fine, sensible fellow, you have irreproachable man 
ners I have no fault, absolutely no fault to find 
with you and yet do not be surprised I am 
giving you your cong6. . . . Do not ask my reasons, 
but I give you my word of honor that you are not to 
blame for my taking this step. As a proof that I feel 
for you something more than good will, I am going 
to give you recommendations as hearty as you could 
desire. You will secure a place ten times better than 



this ; and in order that you may have opportunity to 
look about and to choose I am handing you a check 
for a sum sufficient for you to live two years free 
from anxiety. . . . No, no ! do not protest : you must 
accept it out of love for me ... in order to console 
me. It is painful enough for me to lose you. ... In 
fact, I need the services of a physician rather than of 
a secretary . . . but I shall miss you keenly, and I do 
not want to have the additional sorrow of knowing 
that you are worried ; it is not always easy to find a 
place and you must not take the first that offers 
in short, you dare not refuse to do this favor for your 
old sick friend." 

Helmer also had not found it easy to leave the 
count. A few days after this peculiar notice and after 
a very affectionate leave-taking from the old man, he 
departed from the castle of Sielenburg. He had no 
opportunity to say good-bye to Franka: on the day 
of his departure she had gone for a visit in the neigh 
borhood with the Countess Adele. Better so the 
farewell would have been hard for him. And perhaps 
it was better, on the whole, that he was going away, 
for he would otherwise have been certain to fall 
desperately in love with the beautiful girl. Already 
he felt that he had partly lost his heart to her so 
it was best as it was. He settled down in one of the 
suburbs of Vienna where he proposed to devote him 
self to literary work for a time. Perhaps, if he should 
succeed, he might exclusively follow this career. 

He took up his abode in a villa situated amid green 
vegetation. He had easy access to his beloved for 
est ; if he desired to go to the city it was a short and 



speedy trip by the cars. There he frequently visited 
his boyhood friend, Baron Franz Bruning the one 
to whom he wrote the long letter from the Sielenburg 
and who now had a Government position. Not that 
Helmer found any especial enjoyment in this inter 
course. The character and nature of his early play 
mate had developed in a direction which was simply 
uncongenial to him. But old associations always 
form a bond not easily broken. He also associated 
with a few young people in literary and artistic 
circles. Nevertheless, he rarely, at most only twice a 
week, went to town; for his work kept him fast in his 
voluntary isolation. 

"Curtain!" Now the last scene of the drama was 
completed and he wrote the word "Curtain" with a 
joyful sigh of relief. He was startled from the agree 
able relaxation of the moment by a knock at the 
door. He shouted, "Come in!" and there entered a 
very elegantly dressed man of medium stature with 
a highly colored, full-moon face adorned with a tiny 
black mustache. 

"Ah, is it you, Franz?" 

"Yes, I had to hunt you down in your den if 
for nothing else, to talk with you about the astonish 
ing news." 

"What news?" 

" Give me a cigar first. Thanks! I mean the news 
from Sielenburg." 

"I know nothing about it." 

"Do not you read your paper, man alive?" 

" I confess I have been so busy the last few days 



with my work that I have scarcely glanced at the 

"And you did not know that the old count is 

" Dead ! " exclaimed Chlodwig, in a tone of genuine 
concern. "How? When?" 

"A few days ago and his granddaughter, Miss 
Franka, whom you admired so much, is left uni 
versal legatee. . . . She seems to have succeeded in 
making good. . . . Have not you a chance there? 
She would be a match!" 

Chlodwig was dumb with astonishment. He was, 
indeed, glad that such a piece of extraordinary good 
fortune had befallen the charming young lady ; but 
one thing he contemplated with horror the crowd 
of fortune-hunters that would surround her. 

"If you had been a foxy fellow," pursued the 
other, "you would have turned the girl's head 
but, of course, you could not have foreseen what was 
to happen to her." 

Without paying any attention to these observa 
tions, which seemed to him forced in their humor, 
Chlodwig said : 

"This news moves me deeply . . . the poor count 
. . . and the granddaughter ... a remarkable ro 
mance! . . . Where did you read all this?" 

" In the ' Presse' ; three days ago the report of the 
count's death, and this morning, the will." 

Chlodwig glanced through the papers lying on his 
table and found the paragraphs. 

"Are you not going to condole with the orphan so 
cruelly robbed of her grandpapa?" 



Chlodwig shrugged his shoulders. Bruning's tone 
was particularly disagreeable to him to-day. 

Franz stood up. "But I must look around a little 
. . . you are charmingly situated. . . . What a view 
out over the open ..." 

From the window he went to the bookcases. 

"Look! look! what a swarm of poets: Stefan 
George, Hofmannsthal, Dehmel, Liliencron, Swin 
burne, Rostand. . . . Verses, verses, verses. . . . Well, 
as you yourself are a poet, of course you must 
wade through them all. ... I cannot read more than 
two lines of rhyme at one fell swoop . . . everything 
exaggerated goes against my very soul ... a hun 
dred, or say fifty, years ago, in the romantic epoch, 
such things were at least permissible ; in these days 
all this seems false to our prosaic world, which is avid 
of money and power, and it finds no echo. To win 
the battle, one must force one's way through with 
one's elbows. As far as I am concerned, one may 
indulge in a little wooing and cooing, but no ro 
mances. . . . And what have you there! Technical 
journals about airships and the technic of aviation? 
Does that interest you? I can understand that. The 
thing can be taken in earnest: a new sport, a new 
weapon, a new industry . . ." 

"Nothing else?" 

"Well, yes; also new regulations for insurance 
against aviation accidents." 

He continued to rummage through the book 
shelves "Oh, yes, you have the novels of aerial 
warfare: Sand, Martin, Wells . . . those are mere 
phantasmagorias. One must stick to the truth. One 



must learn to know and to despise men and things 
as they are then can one best conquer them and 
make them useful. . . . But I see that you are not in 
the mood to discuss to-day : you are generally ready 
to go off half-cocked when I let some of my knowl 
edge of the world shine upon you." 

"Shine? Your pessimism has about as much 
shine in it as a pair of snuffers . . . and snuffers, you 
know, are things not used in our day : they were good 
enough for tallow candles, but not for electric lamps 
and search-lights." 

"Now I recognize you again, you incorrigible 
poet truly I can find no harsher expression. You 
will be breaking your dainty wings bravely in our 
rough reality, you there now, I have invented still 
another insult you cloud-dweller! But I will no 
longer beard you in your own den . . . besides, I have 
no time you live horribly far away from the bound 
aries of civilization. Let us see you before long. ..." 

When he was left alone, Chlodwig sat down again 
at his writing-table and attempted to read over the 
last act of his just-completed drama, in order to put 
in some last touches. But he could not fix his mind 
on it. His thoughts kept flying to the old count's 
deathbed and to the remarkable vicissitude in 
Franka's fate. He felt impelled to speak to her, and 
so he took a sheet of paper and began to write with 
out being certain whether he should send the letter 
or not. 

Mistress of the Sielenburg, I salute you! 
This time you have not appeared to me in a dream, but 
you are vividly visible before my inward eye. For I have 



just heard what has happened to you, and I see you sur 
rounded by a thousand perils and by as many what is 
the opposite of perils? I cannot find the right expression. 
. . . Well, as perils signify threatening misfortune, so here 
I mean "beckoning felicity." 

In my previous letter I mentioned things which in 
gloomy days and ways might offer shelter and refuge in 
sorrow and poverty things whereby one may win the 
power to rise above one's self. Now you are rich super 
latively rich. You can command everything that belongs 
among the so-called "amenities" of life: you are protected 
against cares and privations and humiliations. With your 
wealth you can escape innumerable forms of suffering; 
whether you can purchase the highest forms of enjoyment 
and pride in life depends on the strength of your spirit. 

Against the peril of wealth I suggest the same talisman 
as was contained in my former letter to elevate your 
self above yourself to take hold on the life of the uni 
verse, on the efforts of humanity. The peril for the rich is 
in being drawn down into the abyss of the ordinary. 
The banal duties of luxury waste time and stupefy the 
intellect. The attempt will be made by pleasure-seekers 
and pride-cankered people to whirl you away into social 
dissipations ; smart hussars and dragoons will besiege you 
in order, by securing your hand, to get possession of 
estates where they can enjoy hunting and horse-racing, 
tennis and automobiling, bridge and flirting, and, if they 
chance to be aristocrats, will make you feel it bitterly that 
you are not presentable at court. 

Yet I know well that life is so full of the unexpected, 
the uncalculated, and the marvelous, that such general 
warnings, such sermonizing, sounding as they do rather 
perfunctory, perhaps will find no application to what is 
before you. But I could not endure that you should be 
shunted over on that track where the society that sur 
rounds you runs along empty of all lofty aims and deaf 
and blind to the mighty changes that are in prepara 
tion. . . . 



I do not believe that the generation of our day has the 
time to run the cars of tradition over the rails of conven 
tion to the very end. There are ominous signs flashing 
along the horizon. New and unheard-of events are coming 
to pass and soon ! And they do not need come by a 
revolution. That also is an ancient and probably anti 
quated form of transformation. Quite new forms may 
make their appearance. It may be that the flashing yon 
der does not portend a tempest; perhaps it is only the 
twilight of a rising sun a sun which none of us has seen 
as yet, for we are still only children of Barbarism's polar 
night which has lasted hundreds, nay, not merely hun 
dreds but thousands of years. I want to see you, Franka, 
among the heralds of the coming light, among those who 
are storming the cloudy walls behind which it is still con 

Do not believe that, because you are a woman and 
young and beautiful, such a part is not cast for you. The 
new day offers women also the right of fighting in the 
ranks, or rather they are winning it for themselves, 
and assuredly the old sagas gave them spears and shields 
the Valkyrie also are young and beautiful Hojo-to- 
ho! Heia-ha! Franka, become great, or at least will 
something great! 

Mankind to-day but so few realize it stands at a 
turning-point more decisive than any in its previous his 
tory. This has often been said before all the instigators 
of any political or scientific revolution have been accus 
tomed to close their manifestoes with the ringing words : 
"A new era is beginning"; and yet things remained ex 
actly as they were before. But now : the mystery of 
the air the uplift to the heights that is going to 
change everything, everything that now goes under the 
name of civilization. This will make the distinction be 
tween the coming epoch and the present, one sharper 
than between any of the so-called epochs of history. 
Aye, everything, everything is to be changed, and in a 
tempo which will be related to the changes of earlier times 



somewhat as an electric locomotive compares with a 
pedestrian's gait, or as a hurricane whirling up water 
spouts compares with a summer breeze crinkling the sur 
face of a pond. We shall not be able to stand against such 
a tempest. We shall be either borne upon its wings, or 
swept away by it. 

A friend has just been scolding me as a "Poet," because 
I have the fault of using figures of speech and have the 
to him much worse fault of being an optimist. Do not 
be deceived by this, Franka. I am not unreasonable. It 
requires a far keener sense to perceive the aroma of 
beauty and goodness which penetrates the atmosphere of 
our lives than it does to behold only the harsh and hate 
ful, or else to see it, even where it is not present. . . . 

I cannot bring this letter to a close, so I will simply 
stop. . . . 

That morning Franka received a very abundant 
mail, consisting of congratulations and letters of 
fealty from the various persons employed on the 
other estates that had become hers, begging letters 
of the most extraordinary pretensions from unknown 
persons, offers of commodities from all kinds of busi 
ness houses; and among all the weeds one fresh 
bouquet Chlodwig Helmer's second message to 

She read the letter and read it again, and it gave 
her pleasure. What had hovered dimly before her 
inward vision to dedicate her wealth to some 
great and noble purpose was now put before her 
as a command: "Be, or at least will, something 
great." So then, there was one person who felt that 
she was capable of forming such a purpose and of 
carrying it out; and it was the same person whose 
ideas so completely coincided with her dear father's. 



She determined to take the advice of Chlodwig 
Helmer, for she had no doubt that he was the 
writer of the unsigned letter, and to ask him what 
he considered the great work which she should go 
forth, armed with spear and shield, to accomplish. 
. . . Aye, it was true, he was rather inclined to speak 
metaphorically, but behind his metaphors there 
must be something actual and comprehensible: he 
must tell her and answer her questions. 

In the mean time, the letter served to confirm her 
in her as yet unformulated aspirations. First of all, 
she must escape from the nets and bonds which her 
great-aunt was anxious to throw around her. Up to 
the present time she had postponed making any 
explanation; now Chlodwig's letter gave her the 
impulse to declare her independence that very day. 
She was certain of Dr. Fixstern's practical coopera 

When at luncheon-time she entered the small 
dining-room where the household were all assem 
bled, she asked her aunt to grant her an interview as 
soon as they had finished the meal. 

"That will be perfectly convenient," replied 
Aunt Adele. " I also have a number of things that I 
want to say to you, and we must have a perfectly 
clear understanding regarding those things which we 
recently talked about." 

They took their places at table. It was only a 
small company. The relatives that had come from 
a distance had taken their departure. Dr. Fixstern 
also had gone to Vienna, and only Miss Albertine, 
Cousin Coriolan, and the domestic chaplain were 


present besides Franka and the countess. So far, the 
affairs of the household had gone on without altera 
tion Countess Adele held the reins, and no in 
structions were asked from Franka. 

Winter had set in. The trees were leafless and 
the first fires were lighted. 

"We shall soon have snow," remarked Coriolan. 
"Oh, how gay it used to be here in years gone by 
at this time of the year. . . . We always had great 
hunting-parties ... a thousand hares on one day 
and often twenty or thirty guests at the hunting- 
dinner and then a famous jeu till late at night. 
Listen, Franka, next year you must certainly give 
a hunting-party ..." 

"I will look out for that," remarked Countess 
Adele; "we shall keep up to the traditions of the 
Sielenburg. The Sielenburg Hunts were famous all 
over the country. So they were at our other estates." 

" Yes, the late count blessed be his memory 
was very fond of hunting on his estate in Carinthia," 
said the reverend father; "there's a splendid run for 

"We let it this year," said the countess. 

"Not to any manufacturer or Budapest Jew, I 
hope?" exclaimed Cousin Coriolan. "I'd rather 
have the game run wild all over the forest than per 
mit unsuitable persons to hunt on a preserve, and 
big game, too, so that brokers might put up a 
sixteen-horned stag in their offices where they specu 
late over futures in the grain-market." 

"Since you are talking about grain, Herr Baron," 
said the reverend father, " the price of flour has gone 



up again and so have meat and milk. The poor 
people, especially in the cities, will soon be unable to 
exist. You will have an opportunity, Miss Franka, 
to practice charity. Truly, there is much poverty 
and the rising cost of provisions ..." 

"Who is at fault?" interrupted Coriolan. "The 
low classes no longer know what they ought to want. 
They want to have theaters and concerts, and there 
are always agitators who stir them up to discontent 
unscrupulous people the so-called leaders, al 
ways from the circle of the intellectuals, as the Free 
masons and Jews like to call themselves. If some 
radical way is not adopted to put an end to this 
mob, I am in favor of driving them out, since it is 
against the law to shoot them down. ..." 

"But, Baron," said the reverend father sooth 
ingly, "that would be rather too drastic. The 
working-people are quite right in their desire to 
better their condition!" 

"What is that? 'better their condition' be 
lieve me, your reverence, in the old days they were 
all far more content, the artisans as well as the 
peasants. My father and my grandfather always 
used to tell how much better things were before 
1848 than they are now. The common people were 
under the protection of the nobles . . . they were 
happy and satisfied and industrious, and they had 
no thought of the foolish nonsense which is now 
preached to them equal rights and the like. They 
were far happier, indeed, they were. Moreover, 
times are growing worse and worse. A firm govern 
ment must take a hand and lock up these pestilen- 



tial babblers on the Franzensring the Minister- 
President ought ..." 

"Oh, I beg your pardon, Coriolan, don't begin to 
talk politics again," exclaimed Miss Albertine. "It 
is almost rude to do so in the presence of ladies. You 
know we are not interested in such things, because 
we don't understand them at all, and we don't want 
to understand them." 

"I am talking with the chaplain . . . you are at 
liberty to talk about your own feminine trash ..." 

' ' Feminine trash, indeed ! How coarse you are ! I 
must tell you frankly that your manners often are 
very objectionable! Do not be offended with me, but 
I make the observation for your own best good." 

After luncheon Countess Schollendorf invited 
Franka to accompany her to her room. 

"Here we shall be quite undisturbed. . . . There 
. . . now tell me what you have to say." 

She had sunk down on her little sofa, near which 
stood a small work-table. She took up her knitting, 
for she was assiduous in her endeavors to provide the 
village children with knitted or crocheted caps and 
underwear. Franka took her seat in an armchair at 
the other side of the table. She was visibly agitated. 
Her mourning-gown accentuated the pallor of her 
face, and her mouth trembled slightly. It was not so 
easy for her to speak what was on her mind. To be 
sure, she had for several days gone over what she 
intended to say, and her intention was unshaken, 
but now, when the moment had come, she felt a 
certain awkwardness. 

" Now let us have it. What is the matter with you ? 



You look quite disturbed, and at table you did not 
speak a word . . . are you not quite well? You look 
very pale. The way you dress your hair is not becom 
ing to you . . . you must have it done in some other 
way. When one has such a head of hair one should 
wear it in braids, otherwise it looks disheveled." 

"What I want to say to you, dear aunt, is this: I 
am going to Vienna to-morrow and I intend to take 
up my residence in my house on the Wieden and 
manage my own housekeeping. I shall take of the 
servants here only my maid; the rest may stay on 
with you, as I am going to leave you in charge of the 
Sielenburg so that you may manage it as long as you 
wish, just as you have done." 

Countess Schollendorf dropped the red woolen 
jacket with its one completed sleeve into her lap. 
She was speechless. 

Franka, whose courage was gradually coming 
back, continued : 

"The administration of my property I am put 
ting into the hands of Dr. Fixstern, who has always 
enjoyed my grandfather's perfect confidence, and 
who made only one condition, that I should select a 
second assistant to share with him the labor and 
responsibility of this function." 

"What does all this mean? Have you lost your 
wits? I do not understand you . . . you propose to 
go to Vienna . . . well, as far as I am concerned, I 
can go there perfectly well. The winter here is very 
gloomy. But, of course, this year I cannot take you 
out into society, for we are both in mourning. We 
should naturally take the servants with us the 



cook and the coachman ; then only the castellan and 
a couple of housemaids would stay here . . . but 
leave all that to me." 

" Excuse me, aunt. You did not understand me. I 
have invited you to consider the Sielenburg as your 

"You ... me? . . . invited?" 

"Yes, for I intend to keep house in Vienna myself 
and be my own mistress." 

"You are going to live alone . . . you? A young 
thing like you ... it is scandalous!" 

"I am of age and perfectly independent, and I 
know how to manage my own life in such a way that 
no one will ever dare to apply the word ' scandalous ' 
to me." 

"What audacious language!" 

"I will speak with perfect frankness. I propose 
to take charge of my own destiny. You lately ex 
plained to me that I was to accept from your hands 
a husband, a couple of lady friends, and also a little 
pocket-money . . . but I intend to choose my own 
husband or not marry at all ; and as to my friends I 
shall be able to find them among those who have 
been brought up as I was and who think as I think. 
If we two should remain together, dear aunt, there 
would be an endless unprofitable battle. You would 
always be striving to remodel me, to educate me, to 
lay down all kinds of restrictions, and to enforce all 
sorts of commands; and I, on my side, should try to 
resist this whole guardianship, to escape from it, 
and you would be vexed with me all the time, in 
short, it would be for both of us a life of bitterness. 



The separation cannot be painful to either of us, for I 
was not brought up here I belong to another world 
of ideas, I have quite another view of life. We have 
lived together for only six months, and in that time 
neither of us has taken to the other; very often you 
have been annoyed with me, and likewise my whole 
nature has revolted against the attempted domineer 
ing. In spite of our relationship, we are still stran 
gers. As for the respect due to the sister of my 
generous beloved grandfather, I shall certainly never 
fail in that ..." 

"You call this respect? I call it unheard-of 

"You see how little we understand each other." 

" I shall certainly not remain in Sielenburg if you 
arrogate to yourself the claim of being the mistress 
and allow me to stay here as a favor." 

"I am not arrogating ..." She stopped. 

"You mean, you are the mistress, and I am your 
guest? Thank you most humbly." 

" No, aunt. I certainly said the Sielenburg should 
be your home with all that it contains and all that 
appertains to it, and I am ready to grant you the use 
of it as long as you live I mean for unrestricted 
use, that is to say, with all the revenues that belong 
to it ... by legal contract." 

The old lady hesitated. That was an attractive 
offer. For Franka herself she cared very little. Only 
a short time before she had, so to speak, proposed 
to expel her from the Sielenburg. She took up her 
knitting again and mechanically took a few stitches. 

"We will think it over," she said after a while. 


WITH the aid of Dr. Fixstern and his wife, Franka 
had established herself in the Vienna palace, hav 
ing made first in the company of the doctor a trip 
to Lower Austria and Carinthia for the purpose of 
acquainting herself with her two other estates. The 
castles there were fully as sumptuous and seigneurial 
as Castle Sielenburg, even if not so comfortable and 
homelike, and the reason for this was that its own 
ers had always preferred Schloss Sielenburg, while 
Grossmarkendorf and Hochberg generally stood 
empty. The lands and industries belonging to them 
were profitably rented, so that their administration 
would not occasion any care to the possessor. The 
fixed revenues were to be collected by the agent and 
by him turned over to her. When Dr. Fixstern in 
formed her of the amount of the income, she had to 
suppress a cry of astonishment: so rich, so unbound 
edly rich she was now! 

"I must deserve it I must be worthy of this 
unheard-of good fortune if I only knew how!" 

She did not say that aloud. It was like a secret 
burden of indebtedness which she had to carry 
around with her. It would have to be paid that 
was absolutely certain. Meantime, during this jour 
ney through her domains, she gave herself up to the 


irresistibly joyful pride which the thought, "mine, 
mine," is wont to arouse in any heart. 

She found the Vienna palace in perfect order; 
only a few slight alterations and refurnishings were 
necessary to render comfortable and tasteful her 
own suite of rooms. The domestics comprised the 
major-domo, who had been connected with the 
establishment for ten years, and his wife, who was 
installed as housekeeper. Franka had brought her 
own maid from the Sielenburg. The other servants 
were new people. Franka had also engaged a com 
panion. Her name was Eleonore von Rockhaus, the 
daughter of a naval officer and the widow of a consul. 
She had seen much of the world, and was a perfect 
lady. Her age was about forty-five. Her hair was 
just beginning to turn gray, but she had a youthfully 
elastic figure, and delicate, friendly features ; she was 
well read, almost an artist on the piano, an abso 
lute mistress of French and English ; in short, she 
was a jewel of a companion and chaperon. Perhaps 
also she would prove to be a genuine friend, but as 
to that the future would tell. Provisionally, the two 
ladies were somewhat reserved in their intercourse 
. . . first of all, they had to learn to know each other. 

Franka did not open her heart to Eleonore von 
Rockhaus. What was beginning to become a fixed 
idea that the wealth lavished upon her as by a 
gift of good fairies must be spent for some great pur 
pose, that she herself must labor with her whole soul, 
with all her energies, with all her gifts of body and 
mind, so as to confer upon the world some advan 
tage, some great blessing this dream, as yet vague 



and unformulated, she did not confide to her com 
panion. First she herself must go through a noviti 
ate ; in other words, test herself, acquire more knowl 
edge, look about her, clarify her thoughts. She 
intended to question Helmer as to what reality 
there was behind the visions which he outlined in 
his letters. Yet even this she postponed. First she 
desired to gain some experience from intercourse 
with prominent men and women. To this end Dr. 
Fixstern might be useful to her. As a highly re 
spected lawyer, he had a wide circle of acquaint 
ances, among them scientists, artists, statesmen, and 
could bring the most interesting of them into the 
Garlett palace. As for "Society," Franka had no 
ambition at all. During the first year of mourning, 
following her grandfather's death, that, as well as 
attendance at concerts and theaters, would naturally 
be out of question ; but besides, she felt no desire for 
it: she knew that it might divert her from the serious 
sacred duties to which she had consecrated herself, 
although without having as yet settled in her own 
mind what they should be. 

It was four o'clock in the afternoon. The two 
ladies had come in from their daily walk in the Pra 
ter and were sitting in the little salon. A cheering 
warmth and a rosy glow radiated from the gas-log; 
the electric lights had not been turned on. It was 
pleasanter to rest and chat in the twilight. 

"It is delicious here," said Frau von Rockhaus, 
leaning back in the comfortable armchair. "I look 
forward with dismay to the time, probably not very 



distant, when you will be getting married and will no 
longer need me." 

"I am not contemplating being married at 
least, not for some time yet. ... I like my freedom. 
Were you happy in your marriage, Frau Eleonore?" 

" Not so very. My husband played me false with 
the most exotic women. Besides, he was quarrel 
some and very arbitrary. And yet, I liked him well 
enough. That was unfortunate, because for that 
very reason I was tormented with jealousy and suf 
fered from his stern and cold behavior." 

"That seems to me the most terrible thing: an 
unloving or an unloved husband. I would only 
marry when I was certain that I loved the man with 
my whole heart, only when I knew that he was not 
after my money but how can one know that? 
And then, besides, I cannot possibly marry yet 
awhile : I must remain my own mistress in order to 
accomplish a certain task." 

"A task? What?" 

"Oh, no matter I am not talking about it as 

"The first and most important duty which a per 
son, especially a young and pretty girl, has to ful 
fill is to be happy. Besides, what can a woman un 
dertake and accomplish by herself? Of course, if we 
lived in England, you might become a Suffragette or 
join the Salvation Army, but here in Vienna? There 
would be a chance for you to join one of the la 
dies' committees in some charity organization, or to 
meander down into the slums and distribute harm 
less gifts, or catechise the children of the suburbs; 

10 1 


our circle of activities is so narrow ! Only indirectly 
can we acquire any influence in public affairs, or even 
help direct the course of history I mean when we 
exert power over some powerful man!" 

"And what profitable work can this influential 
individual do, according to your idea?" 

"Heavens! that I can't tell. Commonly she will 
have to secure high positions for her friends or ..." 

" Certainly," interrupted Franka ; " commonly one 
does the common thing. But I am thinking of some 
thing different. . . . Play to me, Frau Eleonore ; it is 
so lovely to hear music in the twilight." 

Frau von Rockhaus went to the grand piano. 
"What shall it be? Also something out of the 

"Yes, 'Isoldens Liebestod,' please." 

A moment later the sweet, passion-swept chords 
were floating through the room. Franka closed her 
eyes. She breathed deeply. What she felt was a sort 
of anguish, for it was a longing, and, to tell the truth, 
a longing not for something out of the ordinary, but 
for the simplest and most commonplace thing which 
even the simplest and most commonplace maiden 
heart desires Love ! Yet what kind of a person 
must he be, should she ever meet him the man 
who should be her Tristan? 

She roused herself from her dreaming. "No, no," 
she said to herself as she had just said aloud : " I must 
remain my own mistress." 

Indeed, there was not a single young man in her 
whole circle of acquaintance to whom she felt drawn, 
and, besides, she had no business to be wishing and 



seeking for such a one ... all her thoughts and feel 
ings must be concentrated on the task that hovered 
before her. 

The servant announced a caller. Frau Eleonore 
left the piano and turned on the electric lights. A 
second visitor followed the first, and then a third, 
and, before long, a little circle was gathered around 
Franka. Dr. Fixstern had brought to her a number 
of distinguished personages, just as she had wished 
people who either had written successful books, 
or had played leading parts in parliament, or had 
delivered popular courses of lectures at the univer 
sity, or who were famous as artists. There were also 
a few ministers of state and foreign diplomats. In 
short, Franka had good reason to expect that the 
conversation in her drawing-room would be most 
lively and interesting: discussions of learned topics, 
alternating with witty anecdotes and edifying ob 
servations. Yet she was gradually led to discover 
that the conversational capacity of society does not 
reach such a high level. Occasionally, indeed, stir 
ring talk may occur in a salon, but only about as 
frequently as oases in a desert; the average conver 
sation consists of sand and simooms, for even choice 
spirits sink down to the banal ground of ordinary 
topics, especially when in a larger circle of merely 
casual acquaintances: the weather, the latest the 
atrical gossip, the sensational news sprung in the 
morning papers, mingled with still tamer questions 
and comments on health, projects of travel, and the 
like. And then it is impossible to form a circle of 
nothing but prominent people. There will always 



be an intermixture of cordially futile Nobodies. One 
cannot post on the front door the notice: "Admit 
tance only for Somebodies!" 

Now this afternoon the talk began to take a very 
interesting direction. 

A distinguished dramatic author was telling about 
certain foreign colleagues whom he had met during a 
summer journey, and he was relating in his cleverest 
way characteristic anecdotes about their peculiari 
ties. But first he was to describe the individuality 
of the most original of the present day Bernard 
Shaw. He was interrupted by the arrival of new 
callers: Miss Albertine von Beck and the Baroness 

Not very agreeably surprised, Franka went to 
meet the new guests. 

"You, dear Aunt Albertine?" 

" I came to Vienna for a few days, and so of course 
I came to see you, and I am bringing with me a 
friend who is very desirous of making your acquaint 

The Baroness Rinski was a little elderly lady of 
unprepossessing appearance. Her name was not 
unknown to Franka; she had frequently seen it in 
the social columns of the papers among the person 
ages who stand at the head of various charitable 

" I begged my friend to bring me to you, my dear 
Miss Garlett, as I place great hopes on your aid." 

"If I had known that you were entertaining so 
many this afternoon," said Albertine, "we should 
have come at another hour. I also have a message 



from Aunt Adele. But you do not look particularly 
well," she added in her most benevolent tone of 

"Please, come with me, aunt, and you also, 
Baroness, here we can talk undisturbed"; and 
she led the two ladies to the remotest end of the 
salon. This seemed preferable to introducing the 
two ladies into the circle of the others; they could 
continue listening to the revelations concerning 
Bernard Shaw while she sacrificed herself to her new 
visitors. She certainly felt that she was a martyr as 
she sat down with the two and tried to be gracious. 

"Well, what word did my great-aunt send to me? " 

"She sends you her greeting. I think she is a very 
good woman she no longer seems to be offended 
with you." 

"But why should she be offended with me?" 

"Well, if you will permit me to say so for the 
way you got rid of us all. . . . But we will not talk 
about that now. Adele wanted me to tell you that 
you must come and visit her at Sielenburg it 
would please her." 

"Thank you. Perhaps I will, next spring." And, 
turning to the baroness, she said: "What do you 
wish I should help you about, Baroness?" 

You must not disappoint her, Franka," suggested 
Albertine. "If you do what the Baroness Rinski is 
going to ask you, it will be for your own great ad 
vantage. You need something to occupy you and 
give you some object in life, something that will 
turn your great property to a good purpose." 

Franka concealed her vexation. She had thought 


that she was going to rid herself entirely of the 
Sielenburg protectorate, and now it was cropping up 
again. She could easily imagine what secret design 
the Baroness Rinski cherished. She had no objection 
to devoting large sums to charitable ends and she 
had already done much in that direction ; yet on this 
score she preferred to act in accordance with her own 
judgment and her own impulse, and not after the 
prescription of others, and she certainly did not wish 
to be drawn into the game of charity as she hap 
pened to know it was played by the baroness. As a 
student of social economic literature under the wise 
direction of her father, she had won too deep an 
insight into the causes and the ramifications of hu 
man misery, not to know that if she spent her whole 
property in alms, it would be only a drop on a hot 
stone. The lever must be applied in a very different 
place, in order to eradicate the evil. 

The little baroness took a few printed documents 
out of her hand-bag. "See, my dear young lady, here 
are the yearly reports of various societies on whose 
boards I serve." And she began with great volubility 
to describe the blessings afforded by these associa 
tions for the rescue of babies, the protection of the 
young, the guardianship of maidservants, and the 
care of elderly persons; and she wanted Franka to 
enroll herself as a patroness and undertake the office 
of president of a new society for providing food for 
needy school-children. 

"There is nothing," she said in conclusion, "noth 
ing which can better build a golden stair up to 
heaven than beneficence. And even here below one 



gains recognition by it; and even if one does not 
belong to high society, it affords an opportunity to 
meet with ladies of high standing, and one may even 
expect to obtain the ' Elizabeth Order ' of the third 

Franka laughed and shook her head. " I am afraid 
that there is danger of slipping off the heavenly 
stairs if one has at the same time an eye for such 
earthly things. However, Baroness, send me the 
subscription-list of your associations I will gladly 
put my name down according to my ability, but I will 
not accept any offices." 

"Oh, I hope that I shall be able to change your 

Visitors taking their leave and the arrival of 
others, whose names were announced, rescued 
Franka. She was obliged to get up and abandon her 
place between the two ladies in order to devote her 
self to the departing and to the new-coming guests. 
The Baroness Rinski put her documents back into 
the bag: "Come, Albertine, we will call on your 
niece at another time, when she is alone. Let us say 
good-bye now." 

Franka made no effort to detain them and accom 
panied them to the door. "Well, I shall look for the 

In the mean time the dramatic author had con 
cluded his interesting anecdotes about the brilliant 
British author, and the conversation had become 
general, and was turning on the most unfortunate of 
all subjects: Austrian politics; the German-Bohe 
mian linguistic disputes, Hungarian confusions and 



disorders, trade compacts and frontier obstructions, 
new tariffs and increased prices, and all in a tone of 
complaint and lamentation, such as is generally used 
when great calamities or great crimes are discussed, 
as if the whole activity of the municipality, of the 
Parliament, and of the State consisted in accom 
plishing as much harm and causing as much discon 
tent as possible. Franka said to herself: " If Cousin 
Coriolan were present, he would know of two sim 
ple means of relief: to expel the Jews and establish 

"Yes, you see, gentlemen and ladies," said a little 
stout man with shining eyeglasses and equally shin 
ing forehead which extended over to the back of his 
neck, "this is the way things stand ..." 

The others listened excitedly, for the speaker was 
a highly respected publicist, who, as was well known, 
enjoyed the confidence of influential political cir 
cles in other words, of the ministers of internal 
and external affairs. 

"We have reached a great crisis in the history 
of our country. Everything which you have been 
lamenting and criticizing is in reality in a very 
wretched condition. The dissensions among the 
nationalities, the passion for independence on the 
part of the Transleithan population, the dangers 
from the Irredentists, the activities of the Socialists, 
the quarrel over confession, and God knows what 
else are things which make it seem as if we were a 
thoroughly disunited and crumbling state; and so 
many elements unfavorable to us or watching for 
our inheritance may be supposed to be all ready to 



do us harm ; and yet it has been already proved by 
the crisis in the Balkans that we are nevertheless a 
proud, brave, first-class power ; proud of our strength 
and brave to the last degree; and that all petty in 
ternal quarrels will disappear when necessity arises 
to affirm ourselves against outside encroachments. 
Thus we have compelled respect . . . with our con 
stituted power we have proved that we can act, that 
we can take hold together, that we will not allow 
ourselves to be moved by international tribunals and 
conferences, because we are ready to defend our 
rights, or, if you please, our ' bon plaisir ' with 
guns and ships. In presence of this resolute atti 
tude, all the intrigues weaving against us went to 
smash. It came near war, I know that; the men on 
the General Staff were at fever heat to strike . . . the 
population was enthusiastic, ready for every sacri 
fice . . . and because our ally showed himself re 
solved to stand by us to the ultimate consequences, 
but especially because we were so firm and ener 
getic, we won and that, too, without drawing the 
sword. Now it is our duty to solidify this position 
which we have acquired as a first-class power, if pos 
sible to make it still stronger, still more unassail 
able we must build dreadnoughts. Perhaps this 
sounds harsh at a time when all sorts of peace fads 
are taking possession of people, but of course only 
among those who understand nothing of politics and 
its modernest phases, among those who do not know 
that this phase is imperialism. Unscrupulousness is 
the key to a strong policy. Self-consciousness and 
the development of force that is necessary if one 



is not to be crushed, if one is to have a voice in the 
council of the nations. ... But I beg the pardon of 
the ladies, and particularly of our gracious hostess, 
for having touched on a theme in which fortunately 
ladies are not interested. There is scarcely any 
thing more repulsive than women who meddle with 

Franka felt a sense of suffocation in her throat and 
a bitter taste in her mouth. The tone and the spirit 
of the political speech to which she had just listened 
were, indeed, detestable to her. She might have con 
tradicted what he said ; for her father had been living 
at the time of that crisis to which the imperialistic 
publicist referred, and he had closely followed the 
course of events and talked with her about them. 
She knew that the populace, during the hasty and 
secret mobilization, was the opposite of enthusiastic; 
she knew that the war so eagerly desired in high 
military circles was not allowed to break out for the 
reason that the Emperor Franz Josef opposed it, 
that peace was maintained not from fear of the 
united bayonets of the central states, but because 
the other powers desired to avoid a European war 
and by continual yielding removed all the difficul 
ties that pointed to an ultimatum. Franka might 
have said all this, but she controlled herself and 
replied : 

"You need not ask pardon, Doctor; perfect free 
dom of thought and of expression reigns here." 

At this point some of those present took their 
departure, and after a short time the rest followed, 
and Franka was left alone with her companion. She 



felt depressed a sense of loneliness and isolation 
and unprotectedness overtook her, which is espe 
cially sad when it comes over one not in actual 
solitude, but as the aftermath of social inter 



THE next day Franka asked Dr. Fixstern what had 
become of the ring that her grandfather had left to 
Herr Helmer . . . whether it had been as yet de 
livered. Dr. Fixstern replied that the jewel was still 
in his possession. 

"Then please give it to me and write Mr. Helmer 
to come here; I should like to hand him his legacy 

A few days later, Franka chanced to be alone, 
Frau Eleonore having gone out to make some pur 
chases, and was again engaged in turning over the 
leaves of her father's notebooks, when Chlodwig 
Helmer was announced. 

"Miss Garlett, you sent for me?" 

"Yes, Mr. Helmer. I wanted to see you. . . . Will 
you not come nearer? ... I have something to put 
into your hands." 

She went to her writing-table where the box with 
the ring was lying. "You see, my grandfather in 
tended this for you as a remembrance, and I felt it 
important to deliver it to you myself." 

Franka spoke with a rather unsteady voice, for 
she was conscious that she was not speaking the 
absolute truth. She did not regard the personal 
transfer of the ring as so important, and what had 
been the motive of her summoning the young man 



had been the wish it was almost a longing for 
his presence, as if she might find in him a refuge, a 
support, a defense! He who cherished ideas very 
similar to those that were expressed in those note 
books he who had, so to speak, uttered his com 
mand to do the "something great" for which her 
inmost being yearned he might be able to show 
her the way. . . . 

Helmer took the ring and put it on his finger. 
"This will always be a doubly cherished remem 
brance I had a very high regard for Count Sielen. 
He was a dear man, a noble mind . . . and that you, 
yourself, Fraulein Franka . . ." he hesitated. 

" Come, let us sit down and talk about my grand 
father. You knew him much longer than I did." 

The conversation stretched out for half an hour 
without Franka's being able to muster courage to 
direct it to the subject which was uppermost in her 
mind. They talked about the late count, about the 
life at the Sielenburg, about what had happened 
since that time, but not a word was said about what 
both were thinking. Each was regarding and study 
ing the other as they talked, and each might have 
observed that their thoughts were not on what they 
were saying. 

Franka's eyes rested inquisitively on Chlodwig 
had he written the letters or not? His exterior ap 
pearance seemed changed; was he unprepossessing? 
Had she ever really thought him so? And yet cer 
tainly no one could call him handsome; his clean 
shaven face was too lean, his chin too long, his lips 
too thin ; but if he was decidedly not handsome, his 


features were certainly interesting. Franka also no 
ticed something which she had not observed at 
Sielenburg: Chlodwig had particularly expressive 
hands narrow, white, well cared for, not at all 
effeminately soft on the contrary, quite power 
ful; and everything which their possessor said was 
emphasized by these hands with quick and pecu 
liarly vivacious gestures; these were aristocratic 
hands, full of character. 

Chlodwig also contemplated his companion. 
Franka seemed to him slightly altered. The some 
what childlike expression which had formerly char 
acterized her features, and which even now came 
evanescently into them when she smiled, had given 
way to a more serious and energetic expression 
she seemed to him more womanly, more mature. 
After half an hour Chlodwig got up: "I fear 
that I have stayed too long. Accept my thanks 
again, Fraulein Franka, and permit me to say good 

"No, no, sit down again; I have something else 
that I want to talk with you about." 

Helmer obeyed. A short pause ensued. 

Franka was trying to find the right words to begin 
with. Then with sudden resolution: "Did you write 
me two letters?" 

Chlodwig's cheeks grew red as fire. "Yes," he 

"I knew it." 

"Forgive the form which ..." 

"Never mind the form; the substance is im 
portant to me. You gave me some advice you 



almost laid down the law, and I should like to do 
what you demand of me ; only you must say what . . . 
how! I must become great, at least, attempt to do 
something great. What do you consider me capable 
of doing? What do you consider great? Instead of 
vague words, I desire to hear from you some definite, 
tangible, feasible scheme." 

Chlodwig's eyes beamed with delight. "Really, 
you will ..." 

"Yes. An enormous property has fallen into my 
possession . . . that pledges me . . . what ought I to 
do, what can I do, apart from so-called charity?" 

"What can you do? In order to answer that, I 
must know you better, Miss Franka; I must measure 
the flying capacity of your soul. The young girl to 
whom I wrote was more a vision of my fancy than of 
my experience. What do I know of your real nature, 
of your views, of your ideals, your powers?" 

"I believe I have the same ideals as you have, 
Mr. Helmer; otherwise your letters would not have 
awakened an echo in my soul and as to my 
views?" She took up from the table the notebooks 
in which she had just been reading and handed them 
to Helmer. "Glance over these notes . . . they are 
extracts from the thoughts of my father and in 
structor, who tried to form me after his own model. 
You will find ideas and expressions like those in your 
own letters. And, look, these are my favorite books." 
She directed his attention to a book-rack which hung 
on the wall behind her writing-table. "They came 
from my father's library, and they are the fountains 
from which he nourished my mind. My father's 


ideas and yours are in accordance so, Chlodwig 
Helmer, in spirit we are brother and sister ..." 

At this moment Frau Eleonore entered the room 
without knocking. She had several packages in her 
hands: "Here I am, dear Franka. Forgive me if I 
was gone too long ..." 

The two others both thought simultaneously, 
"Not long enough!" 

Franka introduced her caller. Frau Eleonore 
shook hands with him and then began to undo her 
packages. "Please look, dear Franka, and see if 
these are the right kind." 

Helmer in the mean time was doing as he had 
been bidden: he glanced through the notebooks 
and examined the volumes. Then he came back to 
Franka and said : 

"May I go now? As soon as you send me word, I 
will be at your service again." 

"And will you give me the answer which I desired 
just now? I mean that concrete plan ..." 

"Will you permit me, in the mean time to lay 
before you in writing, not the whole plan, but only 
the sketch of it, in broad lines?" 

"As you please . . . that will make the third letter 
in my collection. Very good, then, I will expect the 
broad lines. The details afterwards, by word of 
mouth. Auf wiedersehen, Herr Helmer!" 

"Who is that young man?" asked Frau Eleonore, 
after the door had closed behind Chlodwig. 

"A signpost at the crossing of the ways." 

"What? I did not understand you." 

"It is not necessary." 



"Not a suitor I hope?" 
''No, Godforfend!" 

Franka was not kept waiting long for Chlodwig's 
letter. She opened it with eagerness and read : 

The third letter in the collection. So, then, it must be 
written in the same tone as the first and the second 
from soul to soul. I will not begin with the formal 
"Gnadiges Fraulein" . . . that expression we will leave 
for verbal intercourse, but with "Franka" again, and the 
confidential "Du." We are brother and sister in spirit 
you said so, yourself. 

Now, then, the plan in broad outline: you ought to 
be the proclaimer of a women's gospel the field- 
marshal of a feminine crusade of conquest. Mankind 
from now on is facing mighty tasks which it can accom 
plish only when its two halves grasp and fulfill these tasks. 
"All hands on deck" is the cry at sea at critical moments, 
and when the ship "Mankind" is staggering on moun 
tainous billows, then all hands must be at their posts. 
My conviction that we are now, at this very moment, at 
the beginning of a fateful revolution is founded on the 
unheard-of marvel: a man can fly! His artificial wings 
have conquered the tempest! His war-cry must hence 
forth be "Up and away!" in all fields of activity. Active 
service in the heights devolves upon him, and woman is 
not exempted from this duty of service. The awakening 
call must rouse her also, and I look upon you as the one 
to give the alarm. 

Perhaps you imagine that I am asking you to become a 
militant feminist, to form a new Women's Union and join 
your forces with the already widespread, and to a certain 
extent successful, endeavors to gain for women the right 
to play the same part in the academic and political arena 
as men do. As a goal the doctor's cap, public offices, 
"Votes for Women." This movement may go its own 



way. I have no notion of putting any limit to it. But 
what I have in mind is something quite different the 
new woman is not to strive for the masculine positions 
and functions in the State which we men have created 
for ourselves; not the appropriation of those masculine 
qualities which are required for the political game as we 
men play it; least of all, the attainment of the privilege of 
libertinism, in accordance with which we men live; but 
she is to help in the construction of a State, of a political 
machine, of a manner of life, worthy of noble women 
sharing in it. 

To this end, in the first place, it behooves women not to 
stand aloof; not to remain in ignorance of the machinery 
of the State, of the complicated intrigues and hidden wires 
of politics, of the laws which rule economic and social 
life. Secondly, they must cultivate to their richest flower 
ing the virtues that are regarded as specifically feminine, 
kindness, purity, tenderness, so that when they 
enter public life, this also may be permeated with those 
qualities. They will serve an ethical State they will 
practice ethical politics. They will then be the most de 
voted colleagues to those men who even now are setting 
up an ethical ideal for State and politics, and who are 
attacking the firmly intrenched error, that State and poli 
tics stand on the other side of morals, a fatal error for 
it is responsible for the condition of ignorance, of enmity, 
and of barbarism from which poor humanity has up to the 
present been suffering. To be sure, it has already made con 
siderable progress though slowly from that aboriginal 
barbarism ; the domain of security and solidarity has grad 
ually been enlarged. But this " gradually " can no longer 
satisfy us to-day, when the electric spark can be flashed 
from the Eiffel Tower to the Statue of Liberty. To crawl 
forward, to climb up that no longer belongs to our age, 
now that we have learned to mount on wings. Up yonder 
we need no winged devils to scatter melinite on our habi 
tations ; our greatest haste is to become human : there 
fore, "All hands on deck!" Therefore, whoever feels him- 



self under a pledge to accomplish something great must 
trumpet forth the alarm to awaken all the powers of rea 
son and good will that are still slumbering. 

And in what way, Franka, do I feel sure you are bound 
to summon your sisters? By taking part in the Woman 
Movement? That I have already answered in the nega 
tive. By means of a book? Alas! how few read books! 
No, through the living word, through the magic, the mag 
netism, of personality, the might of individual enthusi 
asm. I see you standing on the platform, your "Wal- 
kiiren" fire under control of maidenly dignity, worshipful 
as a priestess, glorified like a seeress . . . 

Let me tell you : I .was still a very young boy when I 
received a deep and overpowering impression from such 
a priestly speaker, but who was not a priest, he was a 
soldier, Moritz von Egidy, a Prussian colonel of hus 
sars. He had begun by writing a book, called "Earnest 
Thoughts," and at the same time they were free thoughts. 
That was not regarded as compatible with discipline and 
he was obliged to resign from the army. His leading mo 
tive was: "Religion not as a part of our life, but our life as 
religion." What he meant by religion was nothing dog 
matic, only ethical. He had attained that idea by earnest 
thoughts, and he proposed to bring his contemporaries to 
a similar view by earnest willing! In almost all the Ger 
man cities he gave public addresses with unexampled suc 
cess. The largest halls in which he spoke were packed to 
suffocation and thundered with sympathetic applause. 

The effect was tremendous. Soon Egidy congregations 
began to be formed. But all too quickly he was struck 
down by death. What he thought, what he preached, 
never in an unctuous, clerical tone, but with the military 
voice of command, I need not tell you here. I only 
wished to bring him up as an example for such is the 
kind of work which it seems to me you ought to under 
take: teacher, leader, prophetess, you must be! Unend 
ingly rich can be the blessing flowing from your activity. 

I imagine this influence as simply overpowering. You 


would be the first and only person who ever came forward 
in such a way. Never before was there a young maiden 
who attempted such a thing, and the magic of youth and 
beauty will magnify tenfold the might of personal magnet 
ism. Your great property and your position in the world 
will give you the opportunity of carrying out your scheme 
without any material difficulty you can engage the 
largest hall in every city entrance free to every one . . . 
off the stage you will appear the great lady that you are. 

Independent, beyond criticism, famous (you would be 
famous in the very shortest time), admired and hon 
ored, you would be able everywhere to gather around 
you the heads of society and there use your influence. 
You yourself would grow by your own work the higher 
you try to fly, the greater will be your ability to use your 
wings, and the traces of your spirit will be visible in the 
moral progress of this generation and of those to come. 
I do not say this to stimulate your ambition, but to 
strengthen your spirit of sacrifice, for I know already that 
your desire is to accomplish something noble, and to do 
that, you must be prepared for many troubles and must 
renounce much. Like the Maid of Orleans, you must 
crush your own impulses and desires under your coat of 
mail. For if you should give your heart and hand to any 
man, it would be all up with your independence. And, 
moreover, even if your chosen one should admit of your 
independence, it would be all up with the magic influence. 
For at least a decade you ought to devote yourself 
entirely to your task. 

You cannot begin immediately, not to-morrow. You 
must have some time for preparation, for growth, for 
study. A quiet novitiate before the dedication; and 
because your position conditions your prestige, you must 
first make your position solid. You must win the respect 
of high society; you must win general admiration and 
consideration. At your very first appearance on the plat 
form, it must be known, to all the city and to the world, 
that the person who is going to deliver the lecture is the 

1 20 


celebrated and beautiful young heiress of the Count 
Sielen's estates, honored because of her generous expen 
ditures and reputed to have refused many advantageous 
offers ; then the hall for the very first time will be taken 
by storm. And in order that the technical side be not 
neglected, you must have taken instruction in the art of 
elocution, in the modulating of your voice. 

I have finished. I have really done more than lay down 
the outlines of the plan I have also indicated some of 
the details. 

Now you can test yourself; you can demand of your 
desires, of your conscience, whether a way has been indi 
cated and whether you will follow it. 


FRANKA read the letter over a second and a third 
time then she let it sink into her lap and fell into 
deep thoughts. She was sitting alone in her sleeping- 
room; on the table before her stood the breakfast- 
tray, and beside it her mail, as yet untouched. In 
the stove a cheerful fire was burning: the windows, 
through which could be seen the trees of the garden 
behind the palace, were open and warm sunbeams 
came laughing in, for it was already springtime. 
There was occasionally a cool breath of air, full of 
that spring fragrance which does not come from 
violets, but suggests violets. Such a breath fans in 
young hearts the fire of longing longing for the 
joys of life. 

Franka stood up, still holding the letter in her 
hand, and went to the window. She looked down 
into the garden ; it was not large, and behind the still 
leafless trees could be seen the walls and roofs of the 
houses beyond . . . 

"How lovely it must be now in my parks and 
forests," thought Franka. Nothing would prevent 
her from journeying to them. A sense of pride in 
possession and of joyous freedom swelled her heart. 
The world lay open before her . . . how easily, how 
freely might she not pluck all the blossoms of enjoy 
ment. But she flung these thoughts away from her. 



"To accomplish something great" that was her 
task, that was the aim, held up as a command be 
fore her conscience, and now she had in her hands 
what she wanted a concrete programme, a defi 
nite way. 

There were men in the world there was one 
man who regarded her with confidence and 
esteem, who had such a high idea of her that he 
believed she might be an apostle, a leader . . . oh, if 
that only might be, if only she had the strength, the 
courage, and the fire to carry others along with her, 
to lift them up! And like an electric shock there 
flashed through her that lightning of the will which 
bears the name of resolve: "Yes, I will do it!" 

She stepped from the window and stood in front of 
her great pier-glass as if to strengthen her resolution 
by means of a vow spoken in presence of herself. 
The mirror reflected a lovely picture. The tall, 
graceful, maidenly figure, clasped in the folds of 
a soft, white cashmere morning-gown, the head 
crowned by a heavy diadem of braids and proudly 
thrown back, the cheeks brilliantly colored, the 
dark-red lips slightly parted and showing the 
gleaming white teeth: so she stood for a little while, 
and then she repeated the sentence aloud again: 
"Yes, I will do it!" 

Franka went to her desk and wrote a line or two, 
then she rang for her maid: "Send this dispatch 
immediately." The telegram was addressed to 
Chlodwig Helmer and ran: " I expect you to-day for 
a further talk." 

Frau Eleonore entered the room: "Not yet 


dressed, dear Franka? And we have such a busy 
day before us ! Look I have jotted everything 
down: at eleven o'clock the betrothal-service of the 
Archduchess we have cards admitting us to the 
Augustiner Church ; then Drecoll expects you to try 
on three dresses that will take at least two hours. 
There is the reception of the eight lady artists at 
Pisco's you promised to go, and we must be sure 
to see the exhibition of flowers at the Botanical 
Society to-day is the last day. It is also Baroness 
Rinski's jour; then . . ." 

"Shut up your notebook I am not going out 
at all. I am expecting a caller. All that you have 
told me seems to me so trivial, so trivial . . . Frau 
Eleonore, I am at the turning-point of my life ..." 

"You are to be married! ... I ought to have 
been prepared for it, but it is a hard blow for 

"No. I am not to be married. Yet, would that 
affect you so?" 

"Of course, because you would not need my serv 
ices any longer." 

" I shall need you more than ever. ... I want you 
to accompany me on my journeys." 

"What journeys?" 

"I will explain it all to you later. Meanwhile I 
will ask you to give orders that I am at home to no 
one, absolutely no one, with the exception of Mr. 

"That is an extraordinary order what will your 
servants think. Especially this Mr. Helmer. ... I 
wanted to tell you, the other day, when I found you 



tte-a-tete with him, that it is not at least very good 
form for you to . . ." 

"Frau Eleonore," interrupted Franka, "I look on 
you as my companion a very pleasant companion 

who may very possibly become my friend but 
not a governess, please!" 

Frau Eleonore bit her lips. "Pardon me! Older 
people always believe themselves justified in giving 
younger ones advice on the ground of their experi 
ence it is a bad habit." 

It was late in the afternoon when Helmer was an 
nounced. He had been away, and consequently had 
not received the telegram in time. Franka was 
beginning to grow impatient. She sat in her little 
salon; Frau Eleonore was reading to her from the 
evening paper, but Franka did not listen. If only 
Chlodwig would come soon. 

When the footman announced her caller, her heart 
fluttered as if she were expecting a lover. But she 
was not in love. Helmer seemed to her only as the 
director of her future career ; he was not only going 
to point out the way, but also to make it smooth for 
her, support her first steps. And then that kinship in 
ideas! Among all the strangers, among these indif 
ferent people in whose midst she had lived since her 
father's death, this was one person allied to her, a 
fellow-countryman from the home region of her soul 

actually a brother; and therefore her heart was 
drawn toward him. 

"Ask him to come in," said she to the footman; 
and then, turning to her companion, she said: 
"Remain here, but please do not interrupt with a 



word or a question while we are talking; later you 
will know all about it." 

Chlodwig entered. He also was inwardly much 
agitated. He had not expected that Franka would 
so speedily accept his proposition. He was, there 
fore, filled with pride and delight at the thought of 
it ; and beneath it all there was also a vague sense of 
being in love, yet without passion and without ex 
pectation. When he first saw her, his imagination had 
been somewhat kindled by her beauty, but never had 
he gone to the extent of thinking that it was within 
the bounds of possibility for him to win her ; still less 
since she had become a millionairess. And now that 
she desired to devote herself to the vestal consecra 
tion of a great service, she seemed to him absolutely 
removed from the domain of love and marriage. 

He drew nearer: "You sent for me, gnadiges 

The presence of the stranger disturbed him. 
Franka noticed it. She asked him to sit down. 

" We can talk without constraint. My friend must 
be initiated into all my plans she will accompany 
me on my tournees. And now, how am I to begin?" 

Helmer paused to consider. "The first step," he 
said after a little while, "is the engagement of 
an elocution teacher. The technical side must be 
conquered. After that one may get the mastery of 
the ideal side. Frau von Rockhaus will get the 
notion," said he, in a different tone of voice, "that 
you are intending to go on the stage if she hears us 
talking of tournees and elocution masters. And yet 
how far, how high above that, stands our plan! 



What you propose to accomplish is related to the art 
of acting however noble that may be as the 
Zeppelin stands above a wheelbarrow." 

"Your thoughts move much in the upper regions 
of the air, Mr. Helmer." 

"Yes, Miss Franka, the conquest of this element 
gave me the impulse to my poetry and my aspira 
tions, and this thought must also serve as the 
foundation of your work." 

"What is your poetry? What are your aspira 

Helmer explained. His poetry was not to be 
understood merely in a figurative sense; he was 
actually writing poetry ! He told of the books which 
he had already written and those which he had in 
mind to write. Above all, the great epic " Pinions." 
And as he in eloquent, fiery words explained the 
meaning and purpose of this poem, and recited some 
of the lines, out of these words a light fell on Franka 
as to the meaning of the work which lay before her. 
The conversation lasted nearly two hours. The 
plan was discussed alternately in its details and then 
in its great outlines lines lost in sublime dis 
tances, where to-day Franka's spiritual eyes for the 
first time penetrated. 

It had struck eight o'clock. Helmer was on the 
point of taking his departure. 

"No, no," cried Franka, "now you must have 
supper with us informally just we three alone. 
Please, Frau Eleonore, you are sitting near the bell, 
ring for supper to be served. You poor creature 
must be all used up by silently listening to all these 



wonderful things. You need something to strengthen 
you, and so do we two." 

"Uff!" exclaimed Frau von Rockhaus as she 
touched the bell, and after she had given the order 
to the servant, "Supper for three," she again uttered 
her "Uff!" adding, it was high time and ten minutes 
more had turned her crazy. 

Franka laughed: "Did you understand what we 
were talking about?" 

"Well, yes, fairly well. Mr. Helmer wants to 
build a new flying-machine. You are going to fly up 
into the air, and from up there deliver addresses 
and so you need to have lessons in declamation. You 
will not touch upon the right of 'Women to vote,' 
but you will make the whole sex mobile so that they 
can carry on their activities somewhere in the upper 
regions. Then, there is to be a circuit through the 
German cities or is it through an epic in ten 
books? tending to introduce a new civilization; 
and the requisites for this simple scheme are as far 
as I could make out air-propellers, moral search 
lights and a Valkyrie's horse." 

Chlodwig laughed heartily, so heartily that 
Franka listened in surprise; she had never heard him 
laugh so before. It sounded so merry, so boyish, so 
entirely different from what might have been ex 
pected from that serious man who had just been 
talking with her on the gravest of world-problems 
a man whom she had judged, particularly from his 
behavior on the Sielenburg and from the tone of his 
letters, and also from the thoughtful expression of 
his face, to be rather inclined to melancholy. 



Now all three were in the most cheerful mood, and 
during the little supper not a word further was said 
about the serious plans for the future; the jesting 
tone that had been hit upon was preserved through 
out; several times again, though more quietly, rang 
out Helmer's characteristic laugh with its golden 
ring of genuine merriment, and Franka was filled 
with a sense of perfect ease and enjoyment, which 
was doubly agreeable after the preceding strain of 
intellectual excitement ; at the same time she realized 
that her confidence in her brotherly young friend was 
growing stronger only a good, pure-minded man 
laughs like that. 

After ten months of industrious study, Franka 
felt prepared to begin her career. She had also ac 
cepted Chlodwig's advice to go through all the books 
of which he had furnished a list; these brought her 
into touch with the history and present condition of 
all the great questions stirring the world, and she 
made him explain to her his standpoint in these 

The result of this period of study was not merely 
that she proved to be a good pupil who had passed 
through her course creditably and was capable of 
understanding and correctly rendering the ideas of 
other people ; but during this period of preparation a 
thousand original thoughts had arisen in her mind 
and the material she had stored up put out further 
blossoms ; views, convictions, aspirations were gath 
ered, which grew so imperious that she felt inspired, 
nay, compelled, to share them with others, to com- 



pel others to adopt them. What lay before her at 
least, so it seemed to her proud consciousness was 
more than a great duty it was a mission. 

"A Word to Young Girls" was the title of her 
first lecture, and this title was to be seen in gigantic 
letters on placards posted in every nook and corner 
of Vienna. Above it was printed: "Great Music- 
Union Hall, Sunday, January 15. Seven o'clock 
in the evening. Admission free." And below it: 
"Speaker: Franka Garlett." 

The sensation in Vienna society was immense. . . . 
What! that pretty Fraulein Garlett, Vienna's richest 
heiress, she who had refused so many offers of mar 
riage, who had been so generous in her charities, who 
had gathered about her so many of the distinguished 
men of the city, who had won universal admiration 
for her charm of manner, her simplicity and her 
loveliness was she coming out as a public speaker? 
On what subject? Why? People cudgeled their 
brains, and were somewhat scandalized at such a 
thing! The idea was certainly quixotic! Was there 
no one in the noble family of Sielen to put a stop to 
such an absurdity? And what was she going to say 
to the young girls? Possibly preach emancipation? 
Advocate a doctor's career? Equal suffrage? or 
perhaps free love ! Certainly these things did not 
agree at all with her whole personality. But one 
must be ready to expect anything from a person who 
suddenly comes out on the platform no one would 
ever have thought her capable of that! 

The public came in crowds. Helmer had seen to it 
that the lecture was well advertised in the newspa- 



pers, and the fact that it came on a Sunday, and was 
free, assured a large audience. The first two rows 
and a few boxes were reserved for invited guests. 

Long before the stated hour, the hall was packed 
to overflowing and the entrances had to be closed. 
Franka was waiting in the artists' room for the signal 
to begin. Frau Eleonore, Dr. Fixstern, and Helmer 
were in attendance on her. Her cheeks were pale, 
for the terrible phantom which so delights in haunt 
ing artists' rooms and the scenes of theaters, a 
cousin of it is often found in the waiting-room of 
dentists, stage-fright, le trac, "footlight-fever," or 
whatever the thing is called, had seized her throat. 
The others tried to encourage her a perfectly use 
less attempt, which brings forth a still broader grin 
on the face of the phantom. Now, really, it was no 
little thing to step out for the first time in one's 
life and deliver a lecture before so many thousand 
people ! 

"O my dear friends, I am frightened at the mere 
idea of standing on the platform so alone with the 
abyss before me!" 

"Think of 'soaring,'" said Chlodwig; "think of 
Bldriot, who also was alone high up between 
heaven and the sea, apparently motionless, lost in 
the universe." 

"And do you believe that I should not be panic- 
stricken up there? Oh, if I could only be in my room 
if I were not obliged to go out before all those 
strangers, perhaps hostile to me . . ." 

"But, Franka, I don't know you," said Frau 
Eleonore reproachfully. "I thought you were a 


heroine. It was certainly not necessary for you to do 
all this . . ." 

Some one came in and announced: "It is time, 
Fraulein. . . . The house is full. . . . The audience is 
growing impatient." 

A murmur of admiration went through the hall as 
Franka went forward and took her place at the front 
of the stage. They were not prepared to see such a 
maidenly poetic apparition. She wore a very simple 
white frock with long, open sleeves. Her arms and 
hands were bare, without gloves, without bracelets, 
without rings ; they were white and perfectly sculp 
turesque in form. Her luxuriant hair was artlessly 
arranged around the small head. A bouquet of 
violets adorned her bodice. She had no manuscript 
in her hand; nothing but a small ivory fan. Thus 
she stood there for a moment. Her friends had 
applauded as she entered, and now the others were 
clapping their hands so as to inspire the pale girl with 
confidence. She extended her arms toward the hall 
as if commanding silence and advanced one more 
step. The tumult ceased. Then she began in a clear, 
firm, distinct voice: 

"Dear sisters . . . for, although I see many men 
in the hall, my message is to women only, particu 
larly to young girls ..." 

The sound of her own voice reassured her. Under 
the tuition of an eminent professor her melodious 
alto, capable of rich modulations, had been happily 
trained and strengthened so that her clearly articu 
lated words were borne to the farthest corners of the 



She spoke for nearly two hours ; at first very slowly 
and calmly, but gradually, as she grew more ani 
mated, her pale cheeks took on color, her eyes 
shone, and her voice intensified to a passionate 
power. It was soon evident that she was in touch 
with her audience, and repeatedly there was a mur 
mur of approbation; occasionally, outbursts of ap 
plause showed the effect of her words. This made her 
feel as if she were borne aloft, and it happened that 
many times, as if under inspiration, she used sen 
tences and turns of speech which she had not thought 
of during the preparation of her lecture, and these 
very improvisations still further strengthened the 
magnetic relationship between speaker and audi 

The gist of her address had been expressed in her 
introduction: "You all know the beautiful expres 
sion of Goethe's Antigone : ' Not here for mutual hate, 
but mutual love are we.' But, my sisters, the mod 
ern time enforces upon us a second commandment: 
'For mutual thinking are we here." 

And then she went on to show what are the duties 
of this latest age, the age of flying, and she 
further showed how in the accomplishment of these 
duties both halves of the human race must cooper 
ate; how it behooved a woman not only to win for 
herself the mastery of various professions, of various 
offices which have hitherto been exclusively pre 
empted by men, but also to realize that she must 
no longer remain voluntarily aloof whenever the 
highest interests of the community are in question. 
Place and voice in the direction of public affairs? 



That certainly is already on the programme of the 
Woman Movement, but the most important thing is 
a knowledge and understanding of the universal laws 
that govern nature and the world ; then only can she 
judge and cooperate where social arrangements are 
to be decided. To take a hand in the transformation 
of these arrangements, to become themselves law 
givers: that is a goal the attainment of which may 
stand for the future ; but even before having attained 
this positive power, women, and maidens too, may 
work through their influence. But how shall they 
bring their views and their feelings to effectiveness if 
they stay in voluntary ignorance of all those things 
that regulate the conduct of social, political, and 
economic life? If in the most important questions on 
which depend welfare or misery, war or peace, they 
are to have no voice because they always allow them 
selves to be told: "You don't understand anything 
about that!" They must acquire for themselves a 
conception of the universe. First, they must under 
stand; then they must share in councils; then at 
last they can cooperate. . . . Indeed, they must un 
derstand as well as the men ; then they will perhaps 
do better work than men, because they will not 
forget that they are there to share in love, that it is 
their task to make goodness this highest of femi 
nine virtues prevail in all situations and all actions. 
"There is no reason why the flame on the home 
altar should die down because we succeed in casting 
its reflection on political life. Are really mildness and 
gentleness, capacity for sympathy in sorrow and joy 
purely feminine characteristics? No, they belong to 



men as well. Are power and tenacity of purpose and 
resoluteness and courage purely masculine virtues? 
No; they belong to women as well. And the perfect 
human race of both sexes, when once they are to 
direct social life side by side, must apply thereto the 
collective treasure of all their qualities." 

Franka did not confine herself to such abstract 
discussions throughout her lecture. She elucidated 
in clear, simple words the conditions actually pre 
vailing; she described the promising as well as the 
threatening prospects of the future as conditioned 
by the new discoveries, and she pointed out the 
practical ways which young women of the present 
day had to enter upon if they were to share in the 
humanization nay, rather, the deification of the 
humanity of the morrow. 

The most concrete and practical announcement 
which she made was that she had established out of 
her own means a private free course of instruction 
for mature young women. The lectures were not to 
be given by her, but by university professors, and 
she named certain distinguished persons, who 
twice a week during the next four months would 
give lectures in a large hall engaged by her for this 
purpose. The following subjects were on the pro 
gramme: Social science, philosophy, the doctrine of 
evolution, the history and prospects of contempo 
raneous movements, and, finally, ethics and aes 
thetics. These two last were included, because the 
realm of "scientific truth should always be pene 
trated by the light of morality and beauty. All these 
courses of study would be given without pedantic 



insistence upon details, but would be presented in 
synthetic method ; and all of them, if they were ab 
sorbed into the mind of the students, would further 
more produce that broader synthesis which deserves 
the name of "world.-conception," that is, the vision 
of the world, according to what we actually know it 
is at present and as it presumably will be in the 
future, in the line of ceaseless evolution. When she 
had spoken the peroration in a tone of ardent enthu 
siasm and with an expression of prophetic inspira 
tion on her youthful features, there was at first a 
moment of breathless silence and then a burst of 
thunderous applause. She bowed modestly and left 
the stage. 

In the artists' room she sank exhausted on a sofa. 
Her three friends surrounded her: "It was mar- 
velously beautiful!" "Bravo, Franka !" Hel- 
mer kissed her hand: "Heroine," he said in a 

In the hall the applause would not cease. 

"They are calling for you," said Dr. Fixstern. 
"The audience wants to see you again." 

Franka shook her head. "No, I will not go out 
again I am not a prima donna! " 

"But just hear, how they are clapping, how they 
are calling for you." 

"I beg of you, dear Doctor, go out and tell them 
that I have already left the hall." 

Dr. Fixstern did as she ordered. 

"Are you very tired, Franka?" asked Frau Eleo- 
nore. ' ' How do you feel ? ' ' 

"How do I feel? Happy!" 


This was the beginning of Franka's career, and 
now followed a series of triumphs. The newspapers 
published long extracts from her addresses and en 
thusiastic criticisms of her skill in the art of elocu 
tion. A few days after her d6but she gave her second 
lecture, which again packed the great Music Hall to 
the last seat; then she spoke in the Workingmen's 
Home, and here she kindled even more enthusiasm 
than before. Among the young women of Vienna 
there sprang up a regular Franka cult, her adherents 
called themselves " Frankistinnen " ; as their badge 
they wore a violet pin. There was in all the book 
shops a special display of her portraits. In the toy 
shops Franka dolls were put on sale and were eagerly 
bought. The comic papers published caricatures of 
her. Karl Kraus made a feature of her in a Garlett 
number of "Die Fackel." Herds of autograph 
hyenas came down upon her. An impresario offered 
her an engagement for America. The gramophone 
companies made her an offer to have her represented 
on a record. A fashionable tailor introduced the 
long, open Garlett sleeves. The pupils who at 
tended the courses of instruction which Franka had 
established were designated by the nickname of the 
"Garlett girls." And, worse than all, vaudeville 
theaters enriched their repertoires of topical songs 
with a Garlett stanza. 

Franka shuddered under this tidal wave of popu 
larity ; it was almost mortifying to her. She had un 
dertaken her work as a kind of vestal mission, and 
now it was accompanied by such noisy publicity. 
But like all sudden and exaggerated excitement, this 



also gradually subsided; yet the quiet and earnest 
effect continued and increased. She soon recovered, 
in the estimation of all, her standing as a powerful 
advocate and woman of irreproachable character. 
The Sielen relatives, to be sure, turned their backs 
on her. Adele and Albertine and their whole set 
completely vanished. It was not a severe blow to 

After a few weeks she went on a lecture tournee to 
all the principal cities of Germany. She was accom 
panied only by Frau von Rockhaus and a maid. A 
business manager preceded her, whose duty it was 
to engage for her lecture-halls and suitable quarters 
in the hotels. Everywhere she went, she was re 
ceived not only in her public capacity as a speaker, 
but also with special honors by society as a lady. In 
the course of time her journeys extended beyond 
Germany, first to the Scandinavian countries, then 
to London and Paris. And after a few years her 
fame was world-wide. 



THE clock of Eternity has moved forward a few 
seconds ; we are writing 191-. The twentieth century 
is still "in its teens," but 1920 is not far away. The 
impatient, the impetuous, those who a few years ago 
were shouting, full of anxiety or full of hope, " Now, 
now, everything is going to change a new era has 
dawned mighty revolutions are before us," all 
these have to confess that the face of the world, on 
the whole, has not been very much altered, and that 
the actual transformations, by reason of their grad 
ual development, have been almost unnoticeable. 
Terrible catastrophes like the sudden destruction 
of cities by earthquakes, thrones overturned by 
revolutions, rulers assassinated by the throwing of 
bombs, colonial and other wars such things may 
have devastated for a brief period the little strips 
of land affected and aroused a general sensation, but 
soon everything became calm again. This applies 
not only to the great disasters, but also to great and 
unexpected good fortune such as the announcement 
of marvelous discoveries or world-redeeming ideas: 
such things startle men for a moment out of their 
apathy, and awaken the wildest hopes; but then they 
quickly flatten out and become commonplace, dis 
appear from the surface, and must pass through the 
stages of gradual development, until they succeed in 



changing the face of the world. So many a fountain 
springs foaming'from the rocks, but only when it has, 
after a long course, united with a thousand other 
trickling rivulets, does it become a river. 

The hotels at Lucerne were filled to overflowing. 
It was once more time for the "Toker Rose- Week" 
to begin. From year to year the " Rose Pilgrims," as 
they called themselves, had been streaming thither 
in greater and greater numbers. It had become the 
fashion to spend seven days in Lucerne. Many came 
not for the purpose of absorbing the lofty intellectual 
enjoyments there offered, but in order to be seen. As 
the hotels and private boarding-houses of the city 
were no longer sufficient to harbor all the stran 
gers, some automobile-owners had conceived the 
idea of spending the nights in their machines, 
for very abundant were the cars that were provided 
with conveniences for sleeping and toilet, and a 
vast automobile-park covered the fields around the 

During the first years Mr. Toker had been satis 
fied to lodge his guests in a hotel engaged for the pur 
pose, and all the exercises took place in its public 
rooms. But now, the edifices and gardens which 
he had planned were ready, and in their fairyland 
beauty they had won the reputation of being one of 
the sights of Europe. The list of invitations which 
Mr. Toker sent out in 191- was very differently con 
stituted from that which he had written down in his 
first prospectus. For many of those who then bore 
brilliant names in the firmament of fame had been 



extinguished, and new stars had flamed into sight. 
The aged die room for the young ! 

It was the first day of the first week. Mr. Toker 
was as yet alone, and was awaiting the arrival of his 
illustrious guests. His friendly old face was radiant. 
He was satisfied with his work. Success had at 
tended it. The way the concentrated forces had 
acted was astonishing and their effect was con 
stantly increasing. As if unified in a central sun, the 
flames of genius scattered over the earth were now 
blazing in his Rose-Temple, and spread from there, 
as by a mighty reflector, all over the earth, pene 
trating all corners where their light had never before 

From many indications, Toker was aware that the 
level of Public Spirit had been elevated by the influ 
ence that emanated from the Rose-Temple. Watch- 
/vvords, winged phrases which had flown forth from 
there, were circulated in newspapers and were quoted 
in parliaments; the year-books, containing extracts 
from the discourses delivered, were to be found in 
the libraries of universities, and were widely used as 
manuals for the instruction of the young ; the wide 
international public listened to the addresses of these 
great ones of the earth and accepted many of their 
lofty thoughts and involuntarily introduced them 
into social conversations; so that when Mr. Toker 
jestingly said , ' ' This is my world-ennobling factory, ' ' 
he did not claim too much. 

Certainly, not all the dreams that John A. Toker 
had conceived when he made his plan had been ful 
filled. What had given him the impulse to take up 



the work had been his indignation that the splendid 
invention of a dirigible airship had been greeted as 
a useful weapon for future wars. No ! against such a 
notion, against such possibilities, a rain of anni 
hilation from the sky, must a mighty storm of 
protest be raised; he had called these great minds 
together for this purpose. 

On the very first week of the Rose-Festival, this 
theme was printed on the programmes and flaming 
anathemas against the barbarization of the air went 
forth into the world, combined with the demand 
to put an end to war itself. But no palpable result 
followed the war ministries continued to install 
their fleets of airships, and the construction of 
fortifications and dreadnoughts went on without 
interruption, in spite of the fact that these instru 
ments of war would be superfluous and useless if once 
they were exposed to the rain of explosives. 

But John A. Toker had faith. Not in one year, 
and not in two or three, could such a mighty work 
be accomplished certainly, dirigible flights to 
spiritual and moral altitudes were not easier of 
attainment than those in the physical atmosphere. 

"Well, papa, has not a single specimen of your 
great menagerie arrived yet?" Toker's only daugh 
ter, Gwendoline, a girl of eighteen, overflowing with 
life, came and laid her hand on her father's shoulder 
and laughingly put this question. And when she 
laughed a whole scherzo of dazzling teeth, sparkling 
eyes, and mischievous dimples was playing over her 
piquant little face. "Are you expecting wholly 
exotic birds this year?" she added. 



"Oh, Gwen, how can you be so lacking in rever 

Her features suddenly assumed the expression 
which she herself called her "Sunday singing-book 

"Oh, papa, I am penetrated with awesome rev 
erence! Only to think of all these laurel-crowned 
moonshine occiputs, trumpeted together from every 
corner of the globe, makes me shiver with respect! 
And is it not true that this year a 'Jap' is coming?" 

"A Japanese, yes, daughter. You know I do not 
permit abbreviations for whole nations. Or do 
you like it when your father is spoken of as the 

" Dear me, and what do you say when your daugh 
ter is called a 'Gibson Girl,' or the 'Dollar Prin 
cess'? . . . Oh, look! there is one flying now and 
there is another. And there, away down on the 
horizon, is not that an airship?" 

The balcony on which father and daughter were 
standing commanded a wide outlook over land and 
lake. The edifices which Mr. Toker had caused to be 
erected were situated only a short distance from the 
shore. The narrow strip of land between the water 
and the buildings seemed to be covered with a pale- 
red giant carpet the whole piece was one single 
bed of roses. The lake glittered in the sunshine and 
innumerable sailboats and other craft were moving 
on its surface. On the distant horizon snow-crowned 
mountain peaks, and above all a cloudless sky, 
against the brilliant blue of which were hovering 
several dark dragon-flies the air-motors now no 



longer objects of wonder: no longer objects of 
wonder, but nevertheless overpoweringly wonder 
ful. Always, when at a greater or less distance such 
an equipage was seen, men exclaimed just as Gwen 
doline did: "See, an aeroplane, and there's another, 
and yonder is an airship!" 

Mr. Toker raised his head and shaded his eyes: 
"Yes, my daughter, I see and rejoice! How high 
they fly! Oh, but man will no longer soar to the 
heights with impunity ..." 

"'With impunity'? ... I don't understand . . ." 

"No, you do not understand. You do not know, 
as yet, why we are here. I have not informed you 
what the object is which I am aiming at in my Rose- 
Week. Perhaps I will tell you some other time 
you have seemed to me still too young, too childish. 
You are such a child still, Gwen, lucky girl!" 

"When may I learn to fly, papa? When may I 
have my little airship?" 

"Do you see even that you would regard as a 

Three days later Toker's guests were all assem 
bled in the Rose-Palace at Lucerne. Not quite all, 
indeed, whom he had invited had responded to his 
invitation; still, only a few stars from the firma 
ment of living celebrities had failed him. If it was a 
great privilege for the public to see gathered together 
in one spot such a multitude of famous men and 
women, and to hear them, it was for these guests 
themselves a still greater pleasure to meet their 
brethren and sisters of genius under one roof. 



Especially did the week that preceded the formal 
exercises offer the most delightful opportunity for 
quiet, intimate intercourse among those who had 
been in the habit of coming for several years. Many 
close friendships had already been formed. No one 
who had once been a guest at the Rose- Palace, how 
ever abounding in thoughts and experiences in his 
own right, departed from the place without having 
been enriched in many respects, without having 
gained a general deepening of knowledge and a 
broadening of the mental horizon. All kept through 
out the year a delightful memory of the Rose-Days; 
an invitation to be present was a lofty object of am 
bition to those who had not as yet been guests there. 
John A. Toker felt his heart swell with the most 
joyful pride as he joined the circle of his guests. Was 
it not the most noble assembly of kingly personages 
that the world possessed? At brilliant court festivi 
ties there might, indeed, be as many Excellencies, 
Highnesses, and Majesties gathered together, but 
the majority of these title-bearers would have sunk 
into oblivion in the next generation, while the names 
and works of the majority of Toker's Rose-Court 
would be handed down to coming centuries. 

In the hall of one of the first-class hotels at 
Lucerne at tea-time, chattering groups are scattered 
about in various corners and window-embrasures, 
separated from one another by potted plants and by 
pillars and screens which divide the immense room 
with its niches and bay-windows into practically 
small private parlors. The sofas and wide armchairs 



of light-green straw are decked with cushions covered 
with pale flowered silk and stuffed with eiderdown. 

The larger and smaller groups and the solitary 
persons sitting here and there, drinking tea, had 
evidently come from all parts of the world. Al 
though a certain international uniformity causes 
people to be differentiated rather by the classes to 
which they belong than by their nationalities, still 
there are certain indications by which one can tell 
with some certainty by the external appearance 
whether the persons met with are English or French, 
Germans or Americans, Slavs or Italians. In this 
great hall you could also see some specimens of 
quite exotic nationalities, for several Japanese and 
an East Indian Rajah were present. 

Two men, sitting at a small table on which the 
waiter had just set a service of various liqueurs, 
were amusing themselves in guessing what coun 
try this or that person, seated near them or passing 
by, came from. 

"See, that family with the three tall daughters, 
the haughty mother, and the papa reading the news 
paper, is certainly English." 

"That was not difficult to detect since that gigan 
tic newspaper is the 'Times." 

"That pretty little lady there, decked with tassels 
and ribbons, and at the same time flirting with the 
three men talking with her so vivaciously, must be 
a Parisian." 

"And that rather stout beauty over there, with 
the suspicion of a mustache and a superfluity of 
jewels, is probably from some Balkan State." 



"And that comfortable-looking, honest couple, so 
old-fashioned in their dress, with their silver wed 
ding celebrated long ago, and who make it very evi 
dent that they are unhappy because they do not 
have two jugs of beer in front of them, instead of that 
insipid tea, evidently come from some little German 

"And that group by the window, very elegant, 
but nothing conspicuous about them, it would 
be rather difficult to tell what country they come 
from. National characteristics betray themselves 
generally by something like caricatures normal 
men of the cultivated classes, with their air of assur 
ance, with their correct dress, might come from 
anywhere; you can tell what society they belong 
to, that is, good society, but not from what 

A young man dressed entirely in white, remark 
ably slender and tall, was just crossing the room on 
his way to the street door. Half a step behind him 
marched respectfully an elderly gentleman of mili 
tary bearing, but in dark civilian dress. 

"Who can that young man be? Nice-looking fel 
low! I should take him for an American." 

"That would be a mistake. It happens that I can 
tell you about him. That is Prince Victor Adolph, 
the fourth son of a German monarch. I also know 
that he is not the ordinary kind; he is democratic, 
not to say socialistic, in his tendencies; an enemy 
to court etiquette and against everything military. 
For that reason, apparently, he is compelled to have 
the old general with him as a traveling companion. 



That he is American in his appearance is perhaps 
due to the fact that he spent a term studying at 
Harvard University." 

The two gentlemen engaged in this conversation 
were from Vienna. They had become acquaintances 
in the railway coup6 while coming to Lucerne. This 
method of travel was still in use, although an or 
ganized passenger service by airship had already 
been established; just as at the end of the thirties 
in the nineteenth century, after the opening of the 
first railway the post-stage still ran merrily for a 
time. And just as at that time many people vowed 
that they would never, as long as they lived, enter 
a railway train, so now the majority of people swore 
that no money in the world would tempt them to 
trust their precious lives to the mysterious ocean of 
air. Besides, a new, safety-assuring power had come 
into railway service, since everywhere was installed 
the rapid and inexpensive and comfortable one-rail 

One of the two Viennese was Baron Franz B run- 
ing, Chlodwig Helmer's boyhood friend. He had not 
greatly changed; his full, round face had possibly 
grown a trifle rounder, his black mustache a little 
bushier. In his civil career he had been fortunate 
enough to have risen to the rank of Hofrat. 

The other, a personality pretty widely known 
throughout the city, was named Oscar Regenburg. 
When his name appeared in the papers, "Among 
those present was noticed," it read: "Herr Oscar 
Regenburg, the well-known sportsman." If any man 
who has money and goes a good deal into society, 



yet has no rank among the nobility, exercises no 
calling, is not active in any business, is not honored 
with any public appointment, but as a compensation 
possesses several saddle-horses and an automobile, 
then since every man must have some kind of 
title he is called a "sportsman." 

Sport, however, was not the goal of Oscar Regen- 
burg's ambition. He would have much preferred to 
bear the title of "art connoisseur"; for he was an 
assiduous collector of paintings, old armor, and rare 
china. His spare time he spent in visiting art col 
lections, picture auctions and galleries. He also 
evinced great interest in music and the theater 
although he cultivated the stage not so much from 
before the curtain as behind the scenes, especially 
in the form of pretty operetta singers. Furthermore, 
he was an amateur traveler, certainly not for the 
purpose of enjoying beautiful scenery, but so as 
to be present wherever expositions or horse-races 
or aviation meetings or festivals of any kind were 
taking place. Therefore, he could not fail to be, for 
once at least, a visitor at the Lucerne Rose-Week. 

Genuine deep passions were not at the bottom of 
all these occupations ; Regenburg was a thoroughly 
apathetic man, mediocre in every direction; his 
whole object in life was to fill up his superfluous time 
and spend his superfluous money. He was a man of 
thirty-five, of insignificant external appearance, but 
he always took pains to look elegant and chic by 
following the latest fashion in dress, in behavior, and 
in the use of slang. As, for example, the fashion had 
obtained among men, to sit as negligently as possible 



with the right foot on the left knee, moving the 
point of the shoe up and down and at the same time 
caressing the bright-colored silk stocking visible 
almost to the top; there was no one who let his toes 
play with more vivacity or expression, or who clasped 
his own thin ankles more tenderly than he did. 

The two men continued their conversation. 

" I have no faith in these democratic poses among 
the sons of rulers," said Bruning, as he poured him 
self out a tiny glass of benedictine. 

"As far as I have observed, you take the attitude 
of 'I have no faith in it' toward most things." 

"As a matter of fact, I regard it as a reasonable 
and useful quality to be a skeptic. When a man has 
collected some little experiences in life, and possesses 
some little knowledge of men, and has attained 
some insight behind the scenes of the various social, 
political, and . . . other comedies which are being 
played on the world's stage, one gets along best by 
putting on the armor of doubt. Can it be that you 
are an idealist nourished on illusions?" 

"I? ... Oh, I am just nothing at all I live and 
let live." 

"That 's also a reasonable point of view. Well, but 
I am curious to know what is to be offered in the 
Rose- Booth yonder. It is interesting to see all the 
living celebrities trotted out by the great dollar-ring 
master; the play will certainly remind me of Ha- 
genbeck, who makes long-maned lions and spitting 
tiger-cats go through their paces in unnatural atti 
tudes. What is still more comic in the whole show 
is that there seems to be a civilizing and world- 


improving aim bound up with it as if this world 
could be improved! Man remains man, and when 
I say that, I do not say anything very flattering. 
And, above all, how can the world be made better 
by a few self-conceited people making speeches be 
fore a few other frivolous people? The only effect 
that addresses have on me is to make me sleepy. I 
never attend them on principle." 

"What did you come here for, then?" 

" Because an old friend of mine the poet Chlod- 
wig Helmer belongs to the lion-tamer Toker's 
gang of boarders. I get from this friend what the 
whole object and aim of the circus of fame-crowned 
animals amounts to . . ." 

"Well, what is it?" 

" Men are to learn to fly morally. Do you under 
stand that?" 

"Not altogether." 



CHLODWIG HELMER had attained high literary rank 
during these years. His drama, produced in the 
Volkstheater at Vienna, won great applause, and 
was soon added to the repertory of every playhouse 
in the country. A second drama in verse was 
granted the Schiller Prize. But his epic poem 
"Schwingen" " Pinions" obtained the most 
signal success. The whole campaign of the conquest 
of the regions of the air, from Icarus to Zeppelin and 
Bleriot, was celebrated. But, further, in prophetic 
tone, dipping into the future, and this part of 
the poem was by far the greatest, the changes were 
described which would in all probability take place 
in consequence of that mightiest among the achieve 
ments of human genius. Particularly did the poet 
sing those flights which, like a corollary to physical 
soaring, should bear aloft into more luminous regions 
the human intellect and the ethical aspiration of 

The epic aroused immense enthusiasm. Transla 
tions into French and English were made and the 
name of Helmer became famous throughout the 
world, and of course reached the attention of John A. 
Toker, who forwarded his invitation to the young 
poet. He did it with all the more enthusiasm, be 
cause he had discovered in "Schwingen" the very 



same ideas as had given him the impulse to the 
inauguration of the Rose- Week. It was a noteworthy 
coincidence of thought. And yet, when you came to 
think of it, not so remarkable after all. . . . Thoughts 
which were afloat in an age are produced by the phe 
nomena of that age, and they are precipitated simul 
taneously in different places into different minds, so 
that it frequently happens that great discoveries 
and inventions are made at the same time by several 
discoverers and inventors, quite independently of 
one another. 

Still another young celebrity was invited by Toker 
for this year's Rose-Week at Lucerne: this was 
Franka Garlett. 

On the evening before the public exercises were 
to take place, the guests of the Toker Rose- Palace 
were gathered around the great table. When the 
dessert was served, the master of the house tapped 
on his glass. All became silent and listened : 

"My dear and illustrious guests! The beneficent 
custom here prevails that no formal toasts are ever 
presented. All the eloquence that we are capable of 
expending must be reserved for the public campaign 
which begins to-morrow. But for the very reason 
that this is the last evening which we are to have to 
ourselves, I will take advantage of it, in order to tell 
you something which I have on my mind." 

He paused for a moment. All eyes were fixed upon 
him with eager anticipation. His external appear 
ance made a sympathetic and confidence-inspiring 
picture: absolutely correct in his evening-dress, but 
at the same time quite informal, almost negligent in 



his attitude. His short-cropped hair was already 
perfectly white, but his cheeks were of a bright rosy 
color, and a joyous expression of the greatest good 
nature showed itself in his face. In a somewhat al 
tered voice he went on : 

"When a few years ago I saw assembled here for 
the first time this wreath of chosen men and women, 
alas ! some of the blossoms have been blighted by 
the frost of death, but others have come to take 
their places, for such is the way of the world, 
when for the first time I had conjured before me so 
many spirits of light, I believed that from their col 
lected brilliancy a sudden enlightenment might gush 
out over the whole earth. That was an illusion ! The 
thick darkness of ignorance, misery, stupidity, and 
wickedness, in which our world is still densely en 
veloped, is not to be so rapid dispelled. It will 
take much further endeavor to drive it away. But 
that the efforts which have gone forth from this 
place have not been wholly vain, I, and assuredly 
you, have the fullest conviction. What especially 
pleases me, as the result of this fortnight in the 
month of roses, is the advancement, the enjoyment, 
the edification which you yourselves have all found 
here by being able to hold familiar intercourse with 
people of your own stamp from the domain of genius, 
by mutually giving intellectual stimulus and enrich 
ment to one another, by the consciousness that you, 
all of you, whether you be masters in this art or that, 
whether you be discoverers in this science or that, 
whether you be prophets in this sphere of thought 
or that that all of you, I say, still form only one 



communion: that of the elevators of human life. 
And a loftier life is to stream forth from here and 
hasten that development through which all man 
kind is to be brought up to a higher level. Oh, I 
know right well what the doubters will reply : ' What 
is carried away from your Rose-Parliament, in the 
columns of innumerable newspapers, pamphlets, 
and gramophone records, is merely words, words 
. . . ideas . . . and what moves society are deeds and 
needs. Not by reason, but by the passions, that is to 
say, by violent feelings, are the masses moved; all 
your beautiful speeches glitter arid burst like soap- 
bubbles.' Of course, ideas are not the only impelling 
forces ; more powerful are the instincts. It is always 
a mistake to explain the complicated movements 
of the world and of society by the working of one 
element, of one force; for numberless elements, 
numberless forces, are always in activity. And to 
deny the force of thought is equivalent to ignoring 
the half of the universe, which consists of matter 
and of spirit." 

"Is not papa a dear little old philosopher?" 
whispered Gwendoline, who sat at the other end 
of the table, to her neighbor, a famous English 

" Feelings regulate actions," continued Mr. Toker ; 
"granted; but frequently feelings are ruled by 
thoughts. Ideas, among them illusory ideas, are 
what kindle the enthusiasm of the masses, and are 
fought for. Forth from ideas proceeds that sublime 
endeavor which is called the ideal. What was striven 
for yesterday is the attained to-day, and gives way 



to new endeavor, to new-born ideas, and that is 
equivalent to saying to new ideals." 

"Now he has said enough, don't you think so?" 
murmured Gwendoline again. "One should not bore 
one's guests." 

The novelist glanced at her reprovingly: " It does 
not bore me." 

"Thoughts are the begetters of sensations; above 
all, they are the foundations of knowledge. There 
fore, whoever scatters thoughts into the world, scat 
ters seed from which grow all those fruits that we 
enjoy under the name of culture. There is much 
bitter fruit in with it, because still many unworthy 
thoughts are floating about. Progressive humanity 
requires high thinking! Soaring thoughts. . . . 

"This year, just as every year, a volume is to be 
published which will contain your addresses: I pro 
pose to entitle this volume, ' Menschliche Hochge- 
danken' 'Thoughts that soar.' The beginning of 
our Rose-Weeks coincided with the conquest of the 
air. You know that the impulse of your joint ac 
tion was given to me by the flights which were ac 
complished by the first 'dirigible' through the sea 
of ether. Now it is for us to bring about some vic 
torious records by our flights into the azure realm 
of the ideal. Thoughts are the vehicle for this 
thoughts which soar above the clouds that is to 
say, high above the vapors of petty private interests, 
above the flats of national contentions in a word, 
thoughts that soar! And so I close with one word, 
the war-cry which must be the war-cry of the new, 
height-conquering age: the cry, 'Upward!" 



"Upward!" responded the whole Table Round. 

Thereupon all adjourned into the adjoining hall. 

An illustrious company, indeed. There were few 
young people among them, and not many women. 
The wreaths of unquestioned glory are usually 
twined around masculine heads, and there mostly 
when they are bare. 

The youngest of the thirty Rose-Knights was 
Chlodwig Helmer; the youngest among the six 
ladies of the Roses all of them wearing an enam 
eled rose on the left breast was Franka Garlett. 

As they sat or stood, they divided naturally into 
various groups. Some passed through the open doors 
to the terraces, and among these was Franka on 
Helmer's arm. 

It was a bright moonlit night in June; the air was 
full of intoxicating fragrance rising from the dense 
parterres of roses. On the neighboring lake glided 
illuminated boats, and even up in the air could 
occasionally be seen a light moving swiftly by 
probably some sentimental aeronaut on an evening 
flight. Quite unobtrusively yet distinctly was heard 
the music of an orchestra playing in a neighboring 

Franka sat down in a rocking-chair at the end of 
the terrace and Helmer stood by her side leaning 
against the balustrade. They gazed and listened 
for some little time without speaking. Franka 
wrapped a trifle closer around her the white silken 
scarf which she had thrown over her shoulders. 

"A cool breeze blows from the lake," she re 



"Shall we go back to the hall?" 

"Oh, no, it is fine here. Everything is so beautiful, 
so dreamy, so magical. ... Is it not remarkable 
that we two should meet here as colleagues in the 
Knighthood of the Roses? How many years is it 
since we first met in grandfather's chamber at the 
Sielenburg? You a poor secretary, I a poor orphan 
girl! You are now a great and celebrated poet!" 

"And you the Garlett! The name has such a 
distinction that nothing more needs to be added 
to it." 

"What I have come to be, Brother Chlodwig, I 
owe to you. Had it not been for those letters ..." 

"Well, yes; perhaps everything would have been 
different perhaps more happily for you. ... I 
find in your face a trace of seriousness, sometimes 
of sadness, which was not there when I saw you 

It had been two years since that last time. Cir 
cumstances had frequently separated these two 
friends. Helmer had settled in Berlin, where, after 
the successful performances of his drama, he had ac 
cepted a position as a subdirector of the Royal Thea 
ter. Franka had frequently been absent on her jour 
neys, had spent one whole winter in southern Italy 
for a complete rest; in short, there had always 
been intervals of several months, and finally now 
two years had elapsed without Franka and Helmer's 
having met. 

But their correspondence had gone on without 
any cessation. They had remained constantly in 
communication by letter. They exchanged full con- 



fidences in regard to all their labors and plans ; they 
shared their views over all external happenings ; but 
they never actually wrote any personal confidences. 
His poems and her lectures formed the chief topics 
of their correspondence; as colleagues they had be 
come strongly bound together; as man and woman 
they had remained rather like strangers, although 
their letters had always preserved that soul-relation 
ship of brother and sister with which their corre 
spondence had begun. It was for both a great and 
genuine pleasure to be invited together as Mr. John A. 
Toker's guests; it gave to the festivities of this week 
a flavor of intimacy. During these days they had seen 
a good deal of each other, every time he had been 
her seat-mate at table, and they had told each 
other all that was worth telling of their lives during 
the past two years. 

"So I look sad, do I?" replied Franka to Helmer's 
observation. "And yet I have no sorrow; I am not 

"That is only a negative assurance you do not 
say that you feel happy. But I can imagine what 
you lack ..." 

"And I can guess what you imagine. . . . Well, it 
is true that in the life that I am leading there is 
more or less renunciation ; but is n't that necessary 
whenever one dedicates one's self to any impersonal 
service? How is it when a maiden devoted to piety 
takes the veil?" 

" Fortunately you have registered no vow, Franka. 
You can always ..." 

"Marry, do you mean? Let us talk of something 


else. You are the last person to say such things to 

"It is true, I myself directed you to the path of 
renunciation. As long as your task completely occu 
pied you but does it still?" 

" Do not ask me such confessional questions. The 
task is great enough to fill any life; but I often feel 
myself too small for the task. Are you quite satis 
fied, are you quite happy, Helmer?" 

"No; but that is not at all necessary. I believe 
that no man has any rightful claim to be. Least of 
all, we fighters. We need bitterness, hindrances 
our goal must forever seem farther away from us." 

At this instant the daughter of their host joined 
them : 

" I hope that I am not disturbing a flirtation. . . . 
Do let me sit down with you, Miss Garlett. Oh, and 
please, Mr. Helmer, do not go away . . . you are 
among my favorites, because you are young still 
comparatively speaking. The famous specimens of 
wisdom which papa collects around him are all too 
venerable for me; it is a genuine enjoyment to see 
two such fresh geniuses as you are. . . . You ought 
to marry pardon me, I am chattering absurdi 
ties. Certainly, papa understands everything imag 
inable: making money in heaps, carrying out gigan 
tic undertakings, universal politics, and dozens of 
other things but not the education of daughters. 
Oh, look," she cried, interrupting herself, "isn't 
that lovely?" 

She pointed to the dark horizon, where at that 
moment not merely one but four airships, each pro- 



vided with dazzling lights, were maneuvering. They 
darted up and swooped down, made "figure eights" 
and loops, passed and repassed one another in pre 
meditated regularity a regular air-quadrille. 

"Is n't that still lovelier?" said Helmer, pointing 
to a shady clump of bushes where irregular points of 
light were flickering. "There, do you see? fire 
flies ! Nature is everywhere more beautiful than any 
of the works of men. And do you know also why 
these little creatures, otherwise so invisible, have 
put on such glittering coat-tails? They are in love 
and they are out a-wooing. . . . Nature always 
makes use of beauty when she is serving love." 

" I cannot answer for that, Mr. Helmer. It is my 
principle for I am a reservoir filled to the brim 
with the strictest principles to turn the conver 
sation as soon as a man speaks the word love." 

"Yes, Miss Toker, you really give that impres 
sion," laughed Franka. 

Again a fascinating spectacle was presented to 
them a great white quadrilateral sheet, such as 
are seen on the stage of a moving-picture theater, 
appeared on the horizon stretching up high into the 
sky and on it were projected magnificently colored 
living pictures. Immense pictures, for the force of the 
imagination multiplied their dimensions in propor 
tion to the distance apparently equal to that of the 
stars ; and yet it was only the trickery of diminutive 
films. It was a wholly new invention, based on the 
laws of the Fata Morgana. Many of the people pres 
ent saw this spectacle for the first time and it filled 
them with wonder and awe. 



"What shall we not discover before we get through, 
we worms of the earth!" cried Franka; "and how 
deep into the heavens even now all our mechanical 
apparatus penetrate!" 

"Apparatus, yes," murmured Chlodwig; "but 
not our minds!" 

"Don't be ungrateful, Helmer," said Franka, 
reproachfully. " Does not the great success of your 
1 Schwingen ' prove sufficiently that a wide circle of 
minds already feel a yearning for the heights? If it 
were not so, would you be so understood, so cele 
brated? Is n't it true, Miss Toker, that the English 
translation of Helmer's poem has aroused the great 
est admiration in England and America?" 

"Yes, I believe so; at least, papa says so. He is 
quite crazy over your 'Schwingen.' However, I 
have n't read it. Papa thinks that you meant to 
express in poetry exactly the same as he tries to 
express with his Rose- Week . . . but what that 
really means is a mystery to me. ... I believe he 
would like just such a man for his son-in-law . . . 
but you must not regard this as an offer of mar 
riage, Mr. Helmer. ... I shall accept only an Amer 
ican . . . and if it should chance to be a European, 
then it must be at least a duke in the superlative 
degree a grandduke or an archduke. . . . Those 
titles please me, and especially the way those 
grandees are addressed in German which, trans 
lated into English, would mean 'Your Transpar 
ency, Your Serene Transparency' . . . would not a 
man appear like a bunch of Roentgen rays? . . . But 
now I must trot back to the salon. Good-bye!" 



Franka, smiling, looked at her as she went, and 
exclaimed: "What a dear little goosie!" 

In the white frame against the evening sky now 
appeared a magnificent picture : the Gods of 
Olympus. It looked as if the heaven had opened and 
allowed mortals down below to see how the Immor 
tals exist. To be sure, they were only the immemori- 
ally known forms of human fancy, such as had been 
seen to satiety in paintings and on the stage; but the 
vast space and the gigantic size of the apparition, 
passing beyond all power of comprehension, evoked 
admiration mingled with awe. Now, the Olympian 
ones began to move: Hebe poured nectar into a cup 
which she presented to Jupiter; Cupid shot an arrow 
which fell out of the frame it might have pierced 
one of the spectators down below; Venus, clothed in 
glittering silvery veils, laid her arm around the War- 
God's shoulder, and Juno caressed her peacock as it 
stood with circling tail widespread. In a half-minute 
all had disappeared. Then followed a picture from 
the Catholic Heaven the Sistine Madonna, lovely 
and motionless. Fantastic landscapes followed, the 
like of which do not exist on earth, inhabited by 
creatures such as have never been seen. It was as 
if the impenetrable curtain, which is hung at a bil 
lion-mile distance over the secret activities of the 
world of stars, had been suddenly withdrawn, giving 
men a glimpse into the regions of Mars or of Saturn. 
To be sure, they were only pictures due to the power 
of human imagination, which can never attain the 
unknown realities, yet, appearing in the firmament, 
they were like revelations from other worlds. 



Franka put her hand on Helmer's arm: "Ah, 
Brother Chlodwig!" she sighed, shuddering. 

He bent down to her: "What is it, Franka?" He 
asked this as gently as one might inquire what 
troubled a trembling child, and with his expressive 
hand he made a motion as if he were going to caress 
her forehead but he refrained. 

"I know that it is only illusion but these 
glances into unearthly, infinite distances fill me with 
a weird, painful sense of loneliness, of nothing 
ness . . ." 

"I know that. . .?" 

"You do, Chlodwig? I thought, the higher your 
soul soars, the more at home you felt." 

"The more reverent, perhaps, but 'at home'? 
Infinite space is so cold we cannot build huts on the 
Milky Way" he laid his hand on Franka's which 
still rested on his arm. " Do you know the Schubert 
song in which a will-o'-the-wisp holds up before 
the lonely wanderer the realization of his deepest 
yearning : a warm house and in it a well-beloved 
heart? . . ." 

"A well-beloved heart," repeated Franka dreamily. 

They remained for a while silent, looking into 
each other's eyes. Then Franka withdrew her hand 
and stood up: "We will return to the salon." 



BY this time there had assembled a still larger crowd 
than before, visitors having come to join the house- 
party. Whoever had letters of introduction to 
either Mr. Toker or to one of his guests, was invited 
once and for all to spend the evening in the Rose- 

When Franka entered the room, Mr. Toker came 
toward her: "Ah, here you are. ... I was just look 
ing for you. A gentleman is here who is eager to 
be introduced to you. I will bring him immedi 

He went away, and after a few moments came 
back with a strikingly distinguished-looking young 

"Miss Garlett, here is Prince Victor Adolph, of 

, who tells me that he has heard you speak in his 

father's city and now is highly pleased to be able to 
bring his homage to you." 

After saying this, Mr. Toker withdrew and joined 
his other guests. 

Franka greeted her new acquaintance with a bow. 
"I am very glad to meet you. . . . Your Highness 
was at my lecture?" 

"Yes, gnadiges Fraulein, and I am very much 
pleased to be able to hear you again. The problem 
that you are treating interests me deeply." 



He spoke very deliberately in a low tone, almost 

"Is that so, Prince? Are you really interested in 
the tasks that confront young women? For that is 
the theme which I took for my lecture in your home 

"Heavens, I am interested in everything that is in 
any degree revolutionary." 
,"A remarkable taste for an heir to a throne." 
"I shall never mount the throne thank God!" 
"That is a pity, for revolutionary monarchs are 
exactly what our epoch might make use of." 
"Do you think our epoch needs monarchs?" 
This tone surprised Franka and appealed to her. 
In order to be able to continue the conversation, she 
sat down on a sofa which was just behind her. At 
her invitation Victor Adolph took his place on the 
sofa at a respectful distance from her. She let her 
eyes rest with pleasure on his figure. He was slender, 
sinewy, and very tall ; his head with its blond curly 
hair was held high, as if he were a very haughty man ; 
but this impression was contradicted by an exceed 
ingly gentle expression about the mouth; the red 
lips were not concealed by his slight mustache; his 
eyes were intensely blue and full of vivacity; his eye 
brows rather delicate and straight, also thick and 
almost black. His age was about twenty-six. Taken 
all in all, he was a fine specimen of the genus " Man." 
With no less pleasure Victor Adolph 's eyes rested 
on the womanly form next him, Indeed, Franka 
now looked womanly and not girlish as at her first 
arrival at the Sielenburg. Both the years and her 



work had matured her. The earnest and passionate 
mental work which she had to accomplish in her 
chosen mission had imprinted on her face an expres 
sion of almost gloomy resolution, but this wholly 
disappeared when she opened her mouth to speak, or 
still more when she smiled ; then dimples showed in 
her cheeks and made her look much younger than she 
was. Her figure also, though still slim and supple, 
had lost its former ethereal delicacy. It was the figure 
of a majestic Diana, not of an emaciated nymph, 
such as " the new art" liked to paint. For the mat 
ter of that, at this time the fashion had changed; 
the angular, the osseous, thin-as-a-rail style was no 
longer held up as the ideal of feminine beauty. Arms 
like sticks, making a triangle at the elbow and ter 
minating in huge hands; rectangular shoulders, from 
between which rises conically a neck displaying all 
the tendons; hips so narrow that the whole figure 
has the shape of a perpendicular worm, writhing 
even when it is not stepped on all this, according 
to general taste, had given place again to the round, 
soft, and wavy line which has always prevailed as the 
line of beauty in the creations of Nature. 

Franka practiced the greatest simplicity in her 
dress; she wore only smooth materials of one color, 
without any adornment of puffs, furbelows, or the 
like. Even though her toilette followed the fashion 
there was a stamp of originality and a personal 
touch in it. Her sleeves had invariably the well- 
known open Garlett shape. She always wore a bou 
quet of fresh violets at her belt. Her hair also was 
constantly dressed in the same way, the heavy black 



braids coiled on top of her head and worn like a dia 
dem. As adornment she wore only pearls, although 
the Sielen family jewels consisted of diamonds and 
all kinds of precious stones. 

Victor Adolph's eyes studied her from head to foot 
he was a great connoisseur and appraiser of the 
art of feminine dress : art in the true sense of the word ; 
for only an artistic sense can succeed in so conform 
ing the style, the color, and the character of a gown 
to the peculiarities of its wearer, so that the two 
make a harmonious picture. That evening, Franka 
wore a gown of light pale lilac ; her silken shoes and 
stockings were also of lavender; a long string of 
pearls hung around her neck, and she had the bunch 
of violets at her breast, her white arms as usual were 
without gloves, her hands innocent of rings. 

" You asked if our epoch needs monarchs? Prince, 
that is a strange question in your mouth." 

" I have more than once noticed that if I say any 
thing reasonable it arouses astonishment, because 
I happen to be a prince. Does n't that in itself imply 
that princes are superfluous? Indeed, is not the whole 
history of social progress marked by the gradual dis 
appearance of once acknowledged necessities?" 

Thus they talked for a while about generalities, 
but their interest and their thoughts were not so 
much directed to the subject of their conversation 
as to the mutual observation of their personalities; 
what they each felt was that they were satisfied with 
each other and that they were sympathetic. But 
others soon joined them and Prince Victor Adolph 
took his leave. 



In another corner of the salon stood John A. Toker 
surrounded by a dozen of his most distinguished 

"I have just learned, my good friends," said Mr. 
Toker, "that in the course of the next few days the 
heads of two European countries are coming here 
in order to be present at some of our public functions 
the King of Italy and the President of the French 
Republic. We must manage it so that the address 
' The War in the Air ' which is put down on our pro 
gramme will be heard by these exalted personages. 
In the first place, there is nothing more interesting 
to the leaders of the nations than the subject, War. 
There is no surer guarantee of their fame: if they 
carry it on, they are glorious War- Lords; if they 
manage to avoid it, then they are sublime Princes 
of Peace. In the second place, the way in which the 
war-problem is treated among us can only prove 
useful when it reaches the rulers of human society." 

"Or the wide masses," remarked one of the by 

"Well, yes," assented Toker; "the masses also 
constitute a ruling order. Whoever wishes the wel 
fare of human society will not care whether it is at 
tained from above or from below. Best of all, when 
both meet and complement each other." 

The same bystander again remarked: "Opposites 
do not complement, but mutually destroy each 

"Ah, my worthy friend," retorted Toker, "we 
must not be checked in our endeavors by such gener 
alities. If phrases like that do contain a truth, still 



we must find out whether they can be applied to 
the special case that lies before us. A thing must 
be seized from all sides. That offers the best chance 
of finally hitting upon the right side or several right 
sides. Not merely one road leads to Rome. All of 
you, my dear Knights of the Rose, are a living proof 
to me how varied are the ways that lead to the 
heights of Humanity every one of you has struck 
out in a different path, and yet they all meet in " 

"Lucerne!" interpolated some one. 

Toker nodded. "Quite right! In Lucerne: that 
means, since our 'Rose- Week,' something else than 
the mere name of a city." 

With joyous pride he glanced around and summed 
up in his mind the valuation of the intellects there 
assembled. In fact, he had good reason to be proud, 
for among the great men who had come to Lucerne 
at his invitation were . . . Yet, the form in which 
this story is told, allowing events to be projected 
into the future, precludes calling the Knights of the 
Rose Order by name ... So, then, no names only 
a few incomplete data: 

A French author, regarded by his countrymen as 
the greatest of the living authors. No longer young, 
he has an enormous list of books to his credit; all 
brilliantly worked out with historical, prehistoric, 
and imaginary background, full of irony and full of 
wrath against social follies and absurdities, upright, 
bold, a warm worshiper before the altar of beauty. 

A young Russian poet. The events of the Manchu- 
rian War, the horrors of the succeeding revolution, 
and of the still-more horrible counter-revolution 



still played on his soul, just as the tempest plays on 
the strings of an aeolian harp, enticing forth the most 
magical tones. He is waging a fierce, relentless war 
against society's most arrant enemy : against stupid 
ity in all its forms ; especially in the form of supersti 
tion and in that of the criminal folly which impels men 
to enthrall, to persecute, and to tear one another to 
pieces. His eyes are unspeakably sad, but resolution 
speaks from his features. He wields his lash savagely 
and pitilessly, not because he hates or despises man 
kind on the contrary, he sees in it a temple from 
which he will drive the profaners in holy wrath. 

A great tragedienne of the Latin stock. When she 
plays, she appears to express the lament of her own 
sorrow. Seeing her you involuntarily think of what 
some artless Madonna paintings show; a bleeding 
heart surrounded with a wreath of thorns. All the 
majesty that halos misfortune is expressed in her 
carriage, in the accent of her voice. She is beautiful, 
but her beauty is as it were veiled behind a dark 
crape. Truly her art is many-sided and she plays 
even gay parts; but what especially characterizes 
her is the reflection of human suffering which seems 
rather the exposure of her own. You cannot be a 
spectator of her acting and fail to be deeply moved, 
and a soul subjected to such emotion is a soul en 
nobled at least during the time while the emotion 

A German writer ; a deep student of natural sci 
ences. A prophet of an infinitely poetic natural phi 
losophy, thereby exposed to the scornful and super 
cilious arrogance of technical and special scientists. 



Not for him, to pigeonhole, to ticket, and to num 
ber; his outlook embraces the wide, all-circling hori 
zon; his spirit penetrates into the All-Spirit; his 
knowledge and love of Nature soar up into worship ; 
his books are literary masterpieces. And for this 
reason pedants are quivering with scorn, so that 
their very souls, being so dry, crack if his name is 

A French statesman and politician, a senator, and 
experienced diplomat: a man of the world to his 
finger-tips; full of witty turns and repartees in con 
versation; full of clear, conclusive logic in public 
speech; one of the most consistent and fearless 
speakers in the Senate. Fearlessness characterizes his 
eloquence, for he speaks against the tendencies of 
the day, against the chauvinistic-patriotic majority, 
against the proposals of his personal friend, the Min 
ister of the Navy. In matters of international arbi 
tration he is not only quick to support and suggest, 
but moreover to accomplish. To him are due agree 
ments, compromises, treaties; many a web of an 
cient misunderstandings and jealousies has been 
obliterated from the world through his agency, and 
on this account the fanatical supporters of nation 
alism have even threatened his life. 

An American inventor one might rather say 
a wholesale inventor. People call him the wizard". 
He conducts his experiments en gros, by the bushel ! 
The number of marvelous works for which his con 
temporaries and those to come have to thank him, 
the things which lift men up to higher levels of life, 
are, beyond reckoning; and what is finest about them 



is that not one of his instruments and pieces of 
apparatus is designed or fitted to serve purposes of 
destruction. The Mecca of all those who register 
patents the ministries of war is closed to his in 
ventions. What he has elaborated and accomplished 
serves not for making human bodies into pulp; it 
has the modest aim of making life easier, more beau 
tiful, and more enjoyable, and of enriching human 
society. One of his latest "trouvailles" that of 
casting houses out of cement had, at the time 
of the last Rose- Week at Lucerne, already found 
so much popular acceptance that quite commonly 
these cheap, quickly erected, and at the same time 
aesthetic and hygienic domiciles were being built, 
that is to say, cast, and simultaneously an end was 
put to one of the greatest of evils the wretched 
housing of the poor, from which a third of the prev 
alent vice and illness springs. 

A dramatic author from England ; sparkling with 
wit and intellect, who writes the bitterest satires, 
but with a background of tenderness ; also an ameli 
orator of the world and mankind, not, indeed, by 
saying to men, "Become better," but by endeavoring, 
by his ridicule, to exterminate whatever makes them 
bad. He tears off hypocritical masks and shows the 
ugly grimaces behind them; on the other hand, he 
has the knack of entwining a gentle halo around poor 
and humble forms, around the oppressed, the mis 
understood, the mistaken. Humor has been defined 
as a smile and a tear; in his humor the contrast 
is much stronger: it is the sobbing laughter of 



A Scandinavian woman devoted to philosophy, 
full of the profound gentle wisdom of experience: 
an aged woman, who had never married or borne 
children, but who speaks with the tongue of angels 
about the sacredness of marriage and the rights of 
His Majesty the Child: a champion of free, proud 
individuality that is to say, pretty much the same 
thing as Goethe called personality and designated 
as the loftiest happiness. 

An American statesman: the man whose motto 
runs: " The same moral law that holds among indi 
viduals must also prevail among nations " ; a motto 
which is diametrically opposed to the principles on 
which hitherto the " classical polities " of the most 
celebrated European statesmen have been founded. 
Our American looks back on a long, beneficent ca 
reer. Peaceful victories, positive, not negative, peace 
ful victories, have been won by him. His great work 
has been the successful bringing together of the two 
halves of America into one great Union. Moreover, 
during his administration he has concluded a large 
number of permanent arbitration treaties with the 
States of Europe. Practically unknown to the gen 
eral European public, he has cultivated a large part 
of that soil which modern culture has won away 
from the ancient dominion of War. Toker had a 
high regard for this man, who of all his guests stood 
nearest to him. 

Another poet. The son of a small European coun 
try. To belong to a first-class Power is certainly not 
a condition, not even necessarily a help, to individual 
greatness. Dreamy, mysterious almost unreal are 



this poet's stage productions. His prose works, on 
the contrary, are those of a clear, perspicuous thinker. 

A German historian: one who has triumphantly 
introduced a new method into his range of studies 
that of a philosophical synthesis. In his view, his 
tory is not the arraying of events in sequence, not 
the biographies of single personages who chance to 
stand in the foreground, but a process of social de 
velopment which conditions the events and the per 
sonages not the reverse. And he sees and proves 
that the way of this development leads always to 
higher organization; and, because he knows that 
and because he makes it known, he aids in hastening 
hurfianity's course along this way. 

Still another inventor. This one had not as yet 
won world-repute, for his invention was of too re 
cent occurrence. But Toker knew him and his work, 
and knew that he merited a Grand Cross in the Order 
of the Rose-Knights, not only for the greatness of his 
invention, but also for the greatness of the object 
which would be attained by it. Its first introduction 
to the public, its first demonstration, was to surprise 
the world during this very week. 

A young composer from Russian Poland: a man 
whose works had come to the notice of the world 
during the last two years, but had taken the world 
by storm. His operas and symphonies had the most 
up-to-date richness of orchestration, the greatest 
originality of harmony, but were permeated by a 
heavenly sweetness of melody, such as had not in 
long years, perhaps never before, been heard. For 
this Rose- Week he had brought his latest creation, 



never as yet publicly performed, a quartette for 
violin, harmonium, harp, and baritone voice, en 
titled "Le Chant des Roses." It was perfectly ap 
propriate that music and song should also have their 
part in this festal week which stood under the sym 
bol of Height Achievement. 



A SMALL company of hotel guests who had been 
lunching together were sitting at their black coffee 
in a large special salon. It was the first day of the 
second Rose- Week, and the opening festival was to 
take place that evening. The conversation of the gay 
little party, which consisted of two ladies and four 
gentlemen, turned on the programme of the exer 

One of the ladies was a Russian countess, a woman 
no longer young, she must have been more than 
forty, but still handsome and very elegant; she 
was the hostess at the luncheon. The other lady was 
a young widow, Annette Felsen, the cousin and 
companion of the countess; very lively, gay, and 
coquettish. The gentlemen were an elderly French 
man, easily recognized as a former officer; a tall 
dark-eyed Italian, also past his first youth, for his 
wavy black hair was shot through with many silver 
threads. His name was Marchese Romeo Rinotti 
a name which had a good repute in the political world 
and played a prominent part in the ministerial coun 
cil of the kingdom. The two other gentlemen were 
Bruning and Regenburg. 

The conversation ran now in French, now in Ger 
man. Bruning had just been reading from the paper 
the names of Toker's guests, and then remarked that 



Chlodwig Helmer, who on the following day was to 
read from his poem " Schwingen," was a friend of his. 

"Ah," cried the Countess Vera, "that is interest 
ing you must introduce him to us I dote on 
poets . . . not so much as on musicians, though. I 
confess frankly that what attracts me most in the 
whole programme is 'Le Chant des Roses.' This 
young Pole is simply divine . . . though I don't like 
the Poles, because they hate us. But what kind of 
a man is your friend?" 

"Oh, a fine fellow, only somewhat high-strung. I 
also know Fraulein Garlett. She, too, comes from my 
country. I should like to see these two make a match ; 
they are admirably suited to each other: neither is 
quite normal and she is extremely rich. I should like 
to see my friend marry her." 

" But is n't this girl an agitator for the emancipa 
tion of women?" asked the old Frenchman, Baron 
Gaston de la Rochere? " One does not marry such 
a person." 

Madame Annette Felsen laughed: "Why, but 
you are quite vieuxjeu, my dear Baron, quite ancien 
regime ..." 

The baron straightened himself up. "Yes, I flat 
ter myself. ... In this degenerating world there 
certainly ought to be a few people who stand by the 
old principles, the old true ideals. I am very anxious 
to know what doctrines the ladies and gentlemen of 
the Rose Order are going to preach. They will 
scarcely develop in a fitting way the highest concept 
there is : that of patriotism since they belong to 
the most diversified countries, often opposed and 


unfriendly to one another ; and then tact will forbid 
their expressing openly their patriotic wishes. By 
the whole make-up of the programme and by many 
suspicious names among the participants for 
example, I would never have sent here as a repre 
sentative of France the Frenchman who is going to 
speak by the various names, I believe there is 
danger that revolutionary ideas will be put forward 
more than is desirable. Indeed, the old order and 
the sacred traditions are so shaken that only a good 
war could possibly set things straight again. Then 
we should have the chance to restore to the throne 
of France a monarch appointed by God, one who 
would once for all drive out the radical and free- 
masonic rabble which at the present time puts our 
country to shame. And even if there were no one 
of royal blood, still if there were a victorious soldier 
a war-hero ..." 

Countess Vera uttered a little shriek. "Do not 
speak of war, mon colonel ... it is now many years 
ago . . . but the Manchurian campaign with all its 
consequences still trembles in all my nerves. . . . 
Did n't the peasants burn my castle? The war itself 
would not have been anything . . . that is as God 
wills; but the terrible revolution afterwards . . . and 
that would break out again after another war . . . 
there are so many nihilists among us. It was, indeed, 
a piece of good luck that they could choke off the 
revolution the saints helped once more, and gen 
uine Russians remained faithful to the Tsar, who 
ought never to have granted a constitution ..." 

"Vera, Vera," interrupted Madame Annette, 


"do not talk about politics. There, please light a 
cigarette. ... I will take one, too, and if politics is 
to be talked about, then will you do the talking, 
Marchese! you certainly ought to understand the 
subject, you who are the diplomat, the prominent 
statesman, the Italian Bismarck!" 

The marchese offered the ladies a light. "A dip 
lomat," said he, "should rather be silent than speak, 
but I can comfort the colonel by saying that the 
prospects for a war in Europe are growing brighter 
and brighter. Perhaps he will see the beautiful times 
of the ancien regime return. As far as I am concerned, 
my yearning to bring back the past goes still farther 
back. The only true, beautiful, fiery, proud life was at 
the time of the Renaissance. Life was not regarded, 
men took no care of it, but they lived intensely. . . . 
Those adventures, those riotous magnificences of 
living and of art, that wild existence, that lordly 
power of unscrupulousness ! ..." 

He had worked himself into a passion of eloquence, 
and at his final words an almost Satanic smile, which 
showed his white teeth, flickered around his mouth. 
Annette looked at him in amazement : 

"You would have made a splendid condottiere, 
signor. What do you say, Herr Regenburg?" 

The famous sportsman had scarcely understood; 
he was not very fluent in French, but now that he 
was called upon to give his opinion, he had to say 
something, whether well or ill. He tittered rather 

"Why, yes, my dear lady, it is fine to have a bit 
of a row; we must have some slashing about. . . . 



But you are quite right, Marchese, and so are you, 
Colonel the old days ought to come back again." 

He waved his liqueur-glass and emptied it at one 
gulp. . . . 

"Old times do not return," said Bruning; "neither 
the times of Napoleon, nor those of the Sun-King, 
nor those of the Medici. But whoever delights in 
unscrupulousness and lack of consideration has no 
need to mourn over the present: attacking and op 
pressing, in order to attain power or to preserve it, 
is still in sway, even though in a different manner, 
and will probably always continue, for the emblems 
of worldly success remain claws and teeth or at 
least elbows." 

A hotel valet came in and handed Bruning a 

"Ah, my friend Helmer," said he, rising. "Allow 
me, ladies and gentlemen, to leave you ; I must re 
ceive him." 

"Is that the poet the author of 'Schwingen'?" 
asked Countess Vera. " Please ask him to come here ; 
we should all be so pleased to meet him." 

"If you permit it"; and, turning to the servant: 
"Show the gentleman in." 

Bruning went to meet Helmer at the door: 
" 'T was good of you to look me up. You find me in 
a little company who are eager to make your ac 
quaintance. Allow me to present you: my fellow- 
countryman and schoolmate, the boldest aviator of 
the present ..." 

Helmer shook his head: " I have never been in an 
airship in my life." 



" But you fly up into the bluest heights on the wings 
of your verse." 

"Indeed; I had always heard only of verse- 

Bruning continued his introductions: "The Count 
ess Vera Petrovna Solnikova, of Petersburg, who 
has had the kindness to invite us to a feast of Lucul- 
lus; Madame Felsen, from Reval; Baron Gaston de 
la Rochere, from Bretagne; His Excellency, Mar- 
chese Rinotti, from Rome, the coming director of 
the destinies of Italy; and this is Herr Regenburg, 
the well-known Viennese sportsman. And now, tell 
us does the Rose-Spectacle start off to-day?" 

The Countess Vera motioned Helmer to sit down 
and offered him a cup of coffee, which he ac 

"Yes," said she; "tell us how it is all planned 
the programme is so indefinite. Shall we hear you 

"No, not to-day. To-day a great man is going to 
speak," and he mentioned the name of the French 
author, "and there are to be others. Yet I must 
not tell you. It is characteristic of Mr. Toker's pro 
gramme, that no programme is announced. If the 
public should know in advance on which day this or 
that person was to speak and know what would be the 
subject, then they would be able to pick and choose, 
and Mr. Toker wants all to be heard by all. It is like 
a salon, where the guests do not know what sort of 
artistic offerings are to be presented. It is all a sur 

"If I can only succeed in hearing one of that 


divine Polish master's compositions, than I shall be 
rewarded for having made the journey to Lucerne," 
said the countess, with a sentimental upward glance 
of her eyes. "And you, Annette, you are especially 
crazy over Mile. Garlett, the famous feminist, 
are n't you?" 

"Yes, that I am, although I do not care about 
women's rights, but I have heard so much about 
that lady ..." 

"Fraulein Garlett is no 'Feminist,'" interrupted 
Helmer eagerly, "and she does not preach emancipa 
tion. She is not so desirous of winning rights for 
women as of doing away with ancient prerogatives, 
which they possess to the injury of all." 

"How so? what prerogatives?" asked the others. 

"Of being idle; of having an empty brain; of dis 
claiming all care for the common weal; of think 
ing themselves absolved from the bother of logical 
thought . . . and so of robbing humanity of half its 
intellectual working power." 

"I don't understand you," said Annette. 

"Oh, I understand!" exclaimed M. de la Rochere. 
"Women are to mix in politics. How advantageous 
that is has been shown by the tricoteuses around the 
guillotine and the petroleuses during the Commune. 
. . . Woman is a creature d? amour. . . . Wife, mistress, 
odalisque . . . that is our French ideal!" 

" In Germany, also, a feminine ideal has been es 
tablished," remarked Bruning; "that of three capital 
K's: Kirche, Kinder, Kuche church, children, 

The Italian Minister turned the conversation: 


"Do you know, Herr Helmer, two years ago, when 

I was passing through Berlin, I attended the pre 
miere of your last drama and was delighted at its 
great success. I hope the piece is to be given soon 
on the Italian stage." 

" Indeed, Your Excellency, that has actually been 
arranged for it is to be presented next winter at 

1 ' Unless in the mean time, ' ' said Bruning, laughing, 

II the great European war should break out which 
the signer marchese predicts." 

Helmer shrugged his shoulders. " Oh, yes, that 
famous unavoidable European war of the future, 
which has been announced for many long years, 
but which nevertheless, so far, has been warded 

"So you still think it avoidable, do you?" asked 
the Countess Vera. 

"I consider it impossible. Unless Europe takes 
up with a suicidal policy." 

Bruning tapped Helmer on the shoulder: "This 
shows what an incorrigible idealist you are deaf 
and blind to the coarse realities of life. You look on 
men as angels, while in reality they are beasts." 

Helmer impatiently shook Bruning's hand from 
his shoulder: "Present company excepted, it is to 
be hoped," said he. "But you know that I will not 
have a controversy with you." 

The sportsman wanted to smooth things over. " It 
is to be hoped that Herr Helmer is right for if a 
war were to break out, all securities would go down 
seriously. But still, if it should happen, it would be 



a wholesome letting of blood. And who can prevent 
the decrees of history?" 

"Oh, history, history," exclaimed Helmer, in a 
tone of vexation. "Does history make us or do we 
make history? If you put yourself before the mirror 
and make up faces, can one say, when there is an 
ugly reflection, ' who can prevent the grimaces of the 

"There is no use discussing," said the marchese. 
"On general grounds it seems to me, my dear poet, 
that you do not have a very sound comprehension 
of affairs here below. You soar up into a world of 
thought and do not see what positive facts bring. 
You do not know what seething and fermentation 
are going on in the lower regions of political and so 
cial life ; how friction and tension are increasing, and 
how ultimately and very soon, too, there must 
be an explosion." 

"In other words, you consider me blind, Your 
Excellency? Of course, I know right well that there 
is seething and fermentation. It certainly cannot 
continue as it is now ; a mighty change what you 
call an explosion is before us, I agree to that. 
We have entered upon the age of the air, the age of 
the heights. The depths are to be left behind. All 
that is low is to be conquered. Not by forcible de 
struction but it will disappear, will sink away. 
. . . Have you ever made a voyage in an airship and 
gone up high, Your Excellency? If you have, you 
found that it was not so much a mounting into the 
upper regions as it was a sinking away of what was 
below. I know of things which are in preparation, 



which are unknown to you and which are to be 
revealed during our Rose- Week. In our midst so 
journs an inventor, a conqueror . . . yet I must not 
betray secrets." He stood up. "I must be going. 
I hope I shall see you all this evening at our opening 



" Ninon, Ninon, que fais-tu de la vie, toi qui vis sans amour ? " 

THE text of this song haunted Franka's memory. 
She was reclining on the couch in her little salon, 
her arms crossed behind her head, her eyes closed. 

The red silk shades at the windows were drawn 
and a ruddy twilight permeated the room. All the 
salons in the suites put at the disposal of Mr. Toker's 
guests had red hangings and white walls. The chairs 
and sofas were rose-colored. The carpets showed red 
roses on a white ground. The sleeping-rooms were 
also upholstered in these two colors, and the bath 
rooms attached to each apartment were fitted with 
rose-marble. Toker did not want his guests to be for 
a single minute free from the spell of roses. Even the 
water, as it flowed through the faucets at the wash- 
stands, was perfumed with roses, and rose-scented 
soap was provided. The chandeliers were of pale- 
rose glass and a rose-colored shade protected every 
electric lamp. 

Frau Eleonore was sitting at the writing-table of 
the little salon and was writing picture-postcards for 
the whole circle of her acquaintance. Now and then 
she interrupted this occupation and glanced over at 

"There, you have been lying for almost an hour 
perfectly motionless, my dear; were you asleep?" 



"No, only thinking." 

"Were you meditating on your coming address? " 

" No, I am thinking for a wonder of myself. 
I am putting Franka Garlett timid questions and she 
is answering them hesitatingly." 

"Might one know what the subject of this inter 
esting inquisition is?" 

" It is too vague to be expressed in words." 

"Yet I think I can imagine: the first question put 
by the inquisitor to the victim runs: 'Confess! how 
did yesterday's prince please you?" 

"You think so, do you?" She shook her head, 
laughing; "you are on the wrong track." 

"Indeed! Then, perhaps . . ." 

"Please do not you take upon yourself the office 
of investigator. . . . Instead, please go on writing 
your 'cordial greetings from Lucerne' and let me 
think for a while longer." 

"Very well; I must post a dozen or more cards 
before the mail is collected." 

Franka again took up the thread of her thoughts 
as before ..." Toi qui vis sans amour. 1 ' . . . Now for 
the first time, called up by Frau Eleonore's jesting 
words, arose Victor Adolph's picture before her. She 
had certainly not been thinking of him before. Only 
of love in general : not even of that rather of the 
sense of troublous unsatisfying yearning which occa 
sionally took possession of her and caused her pain 
a feeling of emptiness, of melancholy . . . and as 
if to give some explanation for it, she had been re 
peating to herself the words of that French song. 

Was it possible that her life's failure consisted in the 



fact that it was without love? She had given herself 
with zeal and enthusiasm to a great idea, to a great 
object, and had relentlessly waved aside everything 
else. She had accomplished her lofty task and her 
success had brought her great satisfaction. She had 
made known perfectly new theories regarding the 
rights and duties of women and had been able to 
impose them on others. So successful had her work 
been that she had won a reputation confirmed by 
her enrollment in the Order of the Knights of the 
Roses, and yet . . . and yet . . . there was this yearn 
ing. . . . What for? If it were for love, how came it 
that no one of those who had come into her vicinity 
had awakened that passion in her heart? Not one 
had attracted her, or even for a moment put her 
senses into a tumult. Though often, whether in a 
dream or in a book she was reading, the glamour 
of artistic impressions or of mild spring nights, a sud 
den glow swept through her veins, oppressing her, 
it was never associated with the image of any special 
man. And if an impulse swelled her heart toward 
tenderness, not toward passionate bliss, but to 
ward a sincere, gentle tenderness, then she had 
no idea whom she should bless with it. 

No, she had not been thinking of the prince; she 
was trying to formulate another recollection of the 
evening before : that moment, when in her terror at 
a vision in the firmament, she had rested her hand 
on Helmer's arm . . . and the feeling of calmness, 
of refuge, of sweet security, which had come over 
her. Once again, now that the interruption caused 
by Frau Eleonore was past, she closed her eyes and 



tried to recall her former sensation: she succeeded 
in doing so: the sense of refuge and security was 
there once more, and sweetly rang the words: "A 
warm house and a loving heart in it" . . . 

"Dear heart," she murmured. 

Frau Eleonore stood up: "What did you say? Do 
you wish anything?" 

At the same instant a groom entered and brought 
a great gilded basket filled with Parma violets. A 
visiting-card lay in it: Prince Victor Adolph von 
X . 

When Helmer took his departure, Bruning also 
bade good-bye to the little luncheon coterie with the 
intention of accompanying his friend. 

"You still owe me a call," said he; "won't you 
come up to my room for a little while? No? Then let 
me go a part of the way with you. How did you like 
the two ladies? Shall I tell you something about 

"I 'd rather hear about the Italian Minister 
the man interests me." 

"I can believe it. There is no one in all Europe 
more interesting at the present time. He is of 
the clay from which the Cavours, the Talleyrands, 
the Bismarcks, and the Chamberlains are made. 
One who can talk fluently of future events, of fer 
mentations and collisions, because he himself is one 
who causes events to come, who ferments and col 

"Oh, is that so?" 

" You swear by that school which does not believe 


in the power of individuals to influence the history 
of nations? It is your idea, that the nameless masses, 
that all-powerful Necessity, and the like, condition 
the course of history ..." 

"There you are again with your 'history.' If you 
mean by it the changes that result from universal 
conditions, then, certainly, the laws of nature and 
the nameless masses, unconsciously obeying them, 
form the motive power ; but if it concerns the events 
that are brought about by the intrigues of diplo 
mats and despots and the newspapers that are sub 
servient to them, then I grant that this kind of 
history is made by ambitious and unscrupulous indi 

"Well, then, if that is undersood, my Romeo 
Rinotti is just a history-maker. 'Unscrupulousness' 
is his fetish ... in fact, it is the reasonable basis of 
all real politics. Rinotti is not as yet at the helm, 
else a portentious chapter in the history of our cen 
tury would have been written long ago ; but he will 
yet come to the helm, and then . . . well, he makes no 
secret of the lofty aims which he has conceived for the 
grandeur and glory of his country. Whether he will 
attain them is, indeed, another question; I have my 
doubts ; for fortunately we in Austria, we also have 
resolute men in leading positions ... a fine, proud 
imperialism has flowered since Aehrenthal's great 
stroke of genius; and our military strength, as well 
as that of our allies, is to be reckoned with. . . . Our 
fleet of airships also makes a good showing. So Ri- 
notti's bold plans will scarcely be fulfilled, in spite 
of all Slavic assistance . . . but whatever the con- 



sequences may be, the impulse will suffice, as I said, 
to produce a mighty chapter in history. I must say, 
although the man is really our enemy, he inspires 
me with respect, because of his powerful will : univer 
sal history needs such chaps. At the same time, he 
is a fascinating man. . . . The women are all crazy 
over him . . . that Baltic woman, for example. . . . 
Did you notice how her eyes were riveted on him? 
If the Countess Solnikova has not fallen under his 
spell, it is only thanks to her fancy for your com 
poser. . . . But here I am chattering away and you 
do not say a word . . . apparently you are up in 
the clouds again, your favorite habitation, and prob 
ably have not been listening to what I said." 

"On the contrary, I have been listening with all 
attention. What you tell me of Rinotti interests me 
immensely. It proves clearly, once more, how our 
official world is still entangled in the ancient con 
cepts and methods, how men cannot see what the 
needs of the age are. They do not suspect that the 
epoch of cabinet intrigues is just as obsolete, though 
not so far removed from us, as the Tertiary or the 
Miocene period. Or are we really still in the very 
midst of it? Am I the one who does not see the actu 
ality, because my eyes are fixed too eagerly on the 
future, just as the eyes of the Rinottis and their ad 
mirers are directed toward the past? However, I 
am very grateful to you, for what you have told me 
shows how imperative the work is which must be the 
outcome of the Rose- Week." 

"You incorrigible visionary ! Do you really im 
agine that Toker, Helmer, and Company are going to 



lift the world out of its hinges? I have permitted my 
self to compare the undertaking of this worthy firm 
to Hagenbeck; I might have said that it is a great 
cosmopolitan variety-show . . . well, I am curious; 
especially for your number on the programme: 
' Mr. Chlodwig Helmer, prestidigitator on the poets' 
ladder.' But here we are at your lodgings I will 
leave you. No offense, I hope ..." 

Helmer shrugged his shoulders: "I know you of 
old, and if I am inwardly annoyed at your cynicism, 
I don't lay it up against you." 

"And I likewise pardon you for calling my modi 
cum of common sense and mother wit cynicism. 
Such a long-established comradeship is n't going to 
be broken up by such quizzing. The earth would be 
boresome if it contained nothing but mere practical 
people a few dreamers must be allowed to prac 
tice their somnambulism. Servus, old fellow." 

Bruning said good-bye at the entrance door of the 
Rose- Palace; Helmer, however, did not go in, but 
walked off in another direction. The conversation 
with his boyhood friend had given a serious trend 
to his thoughts, and he was not inclined at the mo 
ment to meet any of Mr. Toker's guests and converse 
with them. He preferred a solitary walk. 

He knew a path which led from the shore of the 
lake to a distant grove where it was very silent and 
pleasant: thither he directed his steps. He had often 
in his life found that when he was vexed with men 
either with individual men or with human society at 
large he was immediately pacified by taking ref 
uge with Nature. To him Nature, the mother of all 



creatures Nature, the generous, the life-abounding, 
the sublime, the unfathomable, the inexorable keeper 
of her own mysteries, the never disobedient servant 
of her own laws, the spendthrift and miser of her own 
treasures to him Nature was not some thing, but 
some one. A some one whom he loved with awe 
and whose magical gifts he accepted as the token of 
some measure of reciprocal love. 

He strolled for some distance along the shore of the 
lake; boats large and small were darting across its 
mirror-like surface. Snow-capped mountains arose in 
the background. Helmer appreciated the imposing 
beauty of the whole landscape; but what he wanted 
to find was a retired, circumscribed spot without a 
broad outlook, without the effect of theatrical deco 
rations or panoramic views, a little place, where he 
might be alone with a few trees and a few wild flow 
ers. So he turned aside into a narrow path between 
two wooded hills, and after a short walk entered the 
dark, cool corner which he was looking for. There 
nothing was to be seen worthy of being called "a 
splendid region" or of being remarked as bearing 
a characteristic Swiss flavor; the little assemblage 
of firs and birches, of oaks and beeches, of stunted 
bushes, of mossy stones, and tall grasses might have 
been duplicated in any other place in Europe. The 
sunlight danced in the lightly waving foliage and a 
delicious perfume of gum and strawberries filled the 
air. Blue and yellow and rose-colored flowers were 
blooming all about, wooed by fluttering white butter 
flies. Then there was a dreamily monotonous music 
of humming bees, chirping crickets, and murmuring 



brooks, now and then interrupted by the clear call 
of the blackbird. 

Helmer flung himself down in the grass at the foot 
of a leafy beech tree and breathed. Really he 
did nothing else without thoughts, without recol 
lections, he lay there awhile and merely breathed. 
Long, joyous inhalations, just like all the plant 
brethren around him, the life of which is scornfully 
called "vegetating," although it is perhaps the pur 
est form of the joy of existence. He contemplated 
a tiny beetle which was climbing laboriously up a 
swaying blade of grass, and in doing so lost its bal 
ance. A pair of very industrious ants, laden with 
building-materials, hastened by. A little green worm 
wriggled circumspectly, and as it drew its tail up to 
its head it made an arch, then stretched itself out 
again in order to make another a complicated 
method of locomotion. 

Helmer followed with friendly eyes all these move 
ments which seem so important to those who make 
them. Also a beautiful gift of Nature, he said to him 
self, this consciousness of importance which is com 
mon to the most insignificant little creature, and 
which confers upon it a sort of dignity. And thus he 
began once more to take up the thread of thought. 
And the things also which he wanted to escape from 
began once more to recur in his mind : all the scorn 
ful, stupid, harmful conversation of all those people 
whose judgments and behavior lay so far removed 
from the realm toward which his poetic activities 
and yearning ran. In the circle of the Knighthood 
of the Rose, to be sure, he had found kindred spirits, 



all working like himself to prepare the coming king 
dom ; but there were only two or three dozen of them, 
and the others were millions, and among them the 
very ones that had the most power and influence, 
rank and station . . . they form the great public and 
we ... we are a number or two in a variety -show. 

He shook his head. No, that is not true. We also 
have millions behind us dumb, yearning millions, 
who are only waiting for the liberating act. The liber 
ating act, however, must be forestalled by the liber 
ating word ... so let us first say just what we have 
to say. 

He passed in review the scheme of his poem. Did 
it express everything that in hours of inspiration 
swept before his mind? Alas, no! Far, far from it 
there still remained much work for him to do. The 
problems, the subjects crowded in upon him 
every day with its new experiences brought new 
ideas. Especially this last week, by contact with the 
great artists and thinkers, who surpassed him in so 
many ways, so many new horizons had opened be 
fore him. It was, indeed, a marvelous company. 
Franka must assuredly be grateful to him that she 
had been invited to be present, for he had suggested 
to her the career which she had so brilliantly fol 
lowed. Franka . . . his thoughts dwelt longer at this 
name, at the picture which it called up. How con 
fidingly, how beseechingly, as if asking his aid, she had 
clung to him. ... It made his heart glow. He was 
not thinking now of her genius, of her beauty, but 
rather of that helplessness ... oh, if he could only 
hold her in his arms to protect her and to comfort 



her. . . . Pshaw, what nonsense ! she needed no pro 
tection; she was a wealthy, influential lady, with 
everything at her command. Yesterday, after that 
brief minute on the terrace, she went into the salon 
and was instantly surrounded ; that prince had paid 
her his homage most openly. And such a handsome, 
seductive man that Victor Adolph ... If she, the 
proud beauty, wanted to have a love-affair, what 
more did she need to do than make a sign in order 
to have her pick among the highest, the most dis 
tinguished? . . . "Can it be that I am jealous? . . . 
No, thank God, I am not in love with her; one does 
not covet the stars. I will even advise her now to 
think of her own happiness. It was my fault to a 
certain degree that she, so Joan-of- Arc-like, shut her 
heart up in an iron breastplate. I gave her that 
counsel, that terrible counsel . . ." 



THE MARCHESE RINOTTI, after having taken his 
leave of the Countess Vera and her cousin, went to 
his room to see whether during his absence any 
thing had come to him by mail requiring his atten 
tion. He was expecting important advices. Although 
he was traveling for pleasure and recreation, still he 
kept in constant touch with all the activities of his 
post, and even here was working in the business 
which he was secretly trying to further. 

He was in a highly excited state of mind. The news 
that he had read in the morning's papers indicated 
a crisis in various controversies, the obscuration of 
certain points on the political horizon ; and this fur 
nished a favorable field for his plans. What espe 
cially intensified his excitement was the retrospect of 
the last two hours, during which it had become clear 
to him that the pretty Baltic widow was passionately 
in love with him. She had sat next him at table. 
Those side glances, that coquettish smile, aye, even 
that far from abrupt drawing back of her little foot 
when he had accidentally touched it with his. . . . 
Rinotti was accustomed to this kind of triumph, 
but it always delighted him to see the evident signs 
of his mastery of the female heart a double tri 
umph, because he no longer possessed the attractive 
power of youth; therefore it must be really some- 



thing magnetic, something hypnotic and peculiar 
in him ... or was it merely the force of his will, of 
his violent desires? There is nothing like violence; 
one may condemn it as brutal as much as one will 
therein lies strength in war and in love. With 
such "Renaissance" thoughts he took up his bundle 
of letters, documents, and dispatches which were 
waiting for him on his writing-table and now set to 
work merrily. 

He had an hour and a half free: at four o'clock he 
was to call on Prince Victor Adolph, to whom, since 
he was a royal highness, he wanted to show his pro 
found respect. That the prince belonged to a country 
with which, according to Rinotti's calculations, a con 
flict was imminent, was no obstacle. The letters in 
terested him intensely. The correspondents whom he 
had delegated in England and France, in Germany 
and Austria, in Russia and the Balkans, communi 
cated to him details of all kinds of transparent in 
trigues even when there was nothing to see through, 
for they knew his predilections for diplomatic subter 
fuges and underground paths, and realized that their 
reports would be regarded as all the more sapient, 
the more they discovered evil motives concealed be 
hind all political transactions and demonstrations. 

Rinotti jotted down on a sheet of paper notes 
wherein swarmed a profusion of references to move 
ments of troops, blockades of boundaries, commu 
niques, airship works, and the like. In the same 
breath he scribbled on another sheet of paper de 
tached words and sentences like " Splendid creature," 
"lovely one," "You must be mine," "devouring 



fire," and other ingredients of a glowing billet doux 
which that very evening he proposed to slip into 
Annette's hands at the Rose-Festival. 

In the mean time Victor Adolph was expecting 
the promised visit. He was sitting on his balcony 
and lying back comfortably in a rocking-chair, with 
a book in his hand and a cigarette between his lips. 
He was not alone. His constant attendant, General 
von Orell, adjutant, tutor, compagnon de plaisir, pa 
ternal friend, and master of ceremonies, all in one 
person, was resting in a second rocking-chair, also 
engaged in smoking and reading. Only he was puffing 
a strong imported cigar and was reading a military 
aeronautical journal. 

Victor Adolph glanced up from his reading : "Why, 
he is a real poet, this Helmer. . . . You ought to read 
'Schwingen,' Orell, since you are so much interested 
in aviation, as I see from the title-picture of your 

The general politely laid his journal aside, as his 
prince was pleased to address him. 

"Never read poems, Your Royal Highness." 

"I know that, you are too 'matter-of-fact' for 
such things." 

"Too what?" The general did not understand the 
English expression used by the prince. 

"Too sober, too cold-hearted, too skeptical, 
too . . ." 

"Too prosaic. Granted. Dry common sense. 
Practical mind. I flatter myself." 

"What news in your journal? Any great advance 
in the art of flying?" 



"Yes, great supplies of explosives can be carried 
by airships." 

"Really? What a blessing. . . . Will not Signor 
Rinotti be here shortly?" 

Orell glanced at his watch : 

"Quarter of an hour." 

The general preferred not to say more words 
than were necessary. 

" Have the violets been sent to the Rose-Palace? " 

"Yes, Your Royal Highness. Pretty girl. But a 
bluestocking. . . . Shame!" 

" Fraulein Garlett does not give the impression of 
being a bluestocking, but she is very clever." 

"Women should not be clever." 

The prince laughed. " You are fearfully vieuxjeu, 
my dear Orell." 

"Fearfully what?" 


"I natter myself; hate all modern follies. Mod 
ern technique, especially the technique of arms, also 
the modern mode of warfare interests me. Your 
Royal Highness is far too little interested in such 
things. Here are the experiences of the Russo- 
Japanese campaign. . . ." 

"I know them. There is some of that in Vere- 
sayef's 'Recollections of a Physician,' and in Leonid 
Andreyef's 'Red Laughter.'" 

"Your Royal Highness reads bad books with the 

"A piece of genuine good fortune that my royal 
father has not commissioned you to censor my read- 



"But his Majesty recommended me to procure 
useful books for Your Royal Highness." 

"Yes, yes; those dealing with military science and 
Byzantine history. But I throw aside all such rub 

"And read socialistic pamphlets." 

"What if I do? The social question interests me." 

"Me, too. Must be settled. I know how to." 

"Truly, do you know that? Here behold me all 
eagerness! Tell me how." 

"Annihilate the whole crowd." 

A cloud of dissatisfaction darkened Victor Adolph ' s 
face, but he made no reply. He had no desire to be 
drawn into a dispute. Orell's views were well known 
to him and he avoided as far as possible affording 
him any opportunity of expressing them. He took 
up his book again and lighted a fresh cigarette. Yet 
he did not read; he only let his mind dwell on the 
theme that had been broached. The social question 
really interested him intensely, and not superficially 
either ; he had studied the thing itself. He had long 
been secretly a subscriber to " Vorwarts," and many 
times he had succeeded in smuggling himself into the 
assemblies of the local labor union, and once he 
had been present, unrecognized, at an international 
congress of Socialists. Not everything was clear to 
him in the doctrinaire aspects of the question, but 
deep in his heart he was on the side of those who are 
trying to obtain for the masses of the nations the 
joys and dignities of life. In order to get a clear no 
tion of the battle against poverty, he would have had 
to make a study of poverty and see for himself ; and 



then horrible abysses of woe would have opened be 
fore him; abysses of which people of his class and 
in general of all classes, that do not belong to the 
proletariat, have for the most part no conception. 

And one thing particularly embittered him: the 
fearful lack of comprehension which he met with 
when he merely mentioned the subject in his own 
circles. No one seemed to have an idea of what was 
at issue. Poverty? Yes, that was found everywhere, 
but it always had existed and always would exist: 
there is no remedy, except to distribute alms, to 
establish free soup-kitchens, and so on, and that sort 
of thing is provided generously. To practice charity 
is certainly one of the cardinal virtues, and a host of 
people, notably the women of princely families, are 
in the front ranks, setting a good example! . . . 

Naturally, there are also discontented people the 
lazy who do not want to work or the rascally fellows 
who are always after higher wages in order to have 
more gin to drink. But especially guilty of the dis 
content are the agitators, the so-called leaders, the 
mischief-making demagogues. Opposition parties, 
revolutionary parties, such have always been, 
and the only remedy against them is iron firmness. 
As a last resort one always has the military to pre 
serve the established order. Force is the best, indeed, 
the only security : the threat of armed force restrains 
the rabble. Without this wholesome fear the Reds 
would soon be on hand to plunder property-owners 
or to vote that all property should be shared equally 
such nonsense ! As if after such a division the 
industrious and the clever would not shortly possess 



more than the lazy and the rascally, and then there 
would be an end of all the famous equality . . . no, 
no, those are idle dreams. . . . Inequality is founded 
on Nature. 

These and similar phrases Victor Adolph had al 
ways been obliged to hear when Socialism was men 
tioned in his environment. With especial violence 
the opponents of a cause always succeed in demolish 
ing the postulates that are never put forward by its 
advocates. "Equal division of property" what 
Socialist would have ever demanded such a thing? 
Public possession, State possession is not equally 
divided possession it is common possession, like 
the air we breathe. 

The prevalent misconception which aroused Vic 
tor Adolph's wrath extended not only to the nature 
of the social movement, but also to its progress. 
What it has already accomplished in organization, 
in clearing the way, what it is on the point of doing, 
those who stand aloof do not know. They frequently 
talk about the laws of nature, but only to draw from 
them the conclusion that all things will and must 
remain as they are. And they are ready to assist 
this well-beloved vis inertia with laws and clubs 
and cannon, but what the existing circumstances, 
what the events will bring forth in natural conse 
quences; they have no notion about that. With 
irresponsible frivolity they let come what may. They 
see nothing of the approaching flood; should there 
really be a shower or two, they have their umbrellas 

Victor Adolph had not himself penetrated far 


enough into the domain of social and economic af 
fairs to predict how the movement would develop, 
but he followed it with deep sympathy, and was im 
pelled to do so by two honorable motives, desire 
for knowledge and love for his fellow-men. 

The prince was aroused from his thoughts by the 
announcement "His Excellency, Marchese Ri- 
notti." The general went to meet the visitor and 
brought him to the prince. After the first ceremoni 
ous greetings had been exchanged, obsequiously on 
the part of the diplomat, with friendly dignity on the 
part of the prince, the prince invited the marchese 
to sit down, and began the conversation with the 
question: " Is it decided that your king is coming here 
this week?" 

"Yes, Your Royal Highness, in three days His 
Majesty will arrive." 

"And will he attend the exercises in the Rose- 

"That is his intention." 

"A great honor for the American," remarked the 

The prince shrugged his shoulders. "Well, I doubt 
if Mr. Toker has so much awe before crowned heads 
as your loyal mind ascribes to him, my dear Orell." 

"I have my doubts as to that point, also," said 
Rinotti . "Mr. Toker belongs to that caste of moneyed 
potentates who regard themselves as kings. And in 
a certain sense they are, indeed, for they wield a 
dominion over a monstrous, a sinister power. Old 
Europe must take precious good care of her prestige, 
must stick closer than ever to her traditions, if she 



would hold her own against the spirit of Ameri 

"That is a vague term," said the prince. "What 
do you mean by 'Americanism'?" 

Rinotti's keen-cut face took on a contemptuous 
expression. "I mean by it stock-jobbery and wild 
quest for money ; lack of ideality, of anything roman 
tic, of heroism ; their poverty in historical recollec 
tions and national art amply accounts for this. They 
have nothing of all that which constitutes our pride, 
which enriches and ennobles us: ancient monuments, 
cathedrals, old paintings, famous field-marshals, il 
lustrious families, glorious dynasties of rulers all 
that is missing to the New World ; and what can it 
offer in their place? sky-scrapers, gigantic steel, 
meat, and oil trusts, California gold-mines, and pos 
sibly Niagara Falls! That I will grant as the one 
thing poetic but in everything else it is a land of 
mediocrity, of aridity, of the barrenest prose." 

The general nodded his assent: "Quite right." 

Victor Adolph angrily crushed his cigarette into 
theash-tray. "You say, 'Quite right.' I say,' Quite 
false,' essentially false. I know America. You do not 
know it. I spent a year at Harvard University. You 
have no conception of the warmth of enthusiasm, 
of the generosity, of the wide outlook, of the world- 
embracing ideas in a word, of the lofty ideals which 
animate that free, youthful-hearted people ..." 

"What fire, Your Royal Highness!" exclaimed 
the marchese. "Your own youthful enthusiasm is 
speaking. I love it and I admire it, especially in a 



The prince made an impatient deprecatory gesture 
with his hand. "Do you know," said he, "that the 
International Agricultural Institute in Rome, the 
foundation of which was a great glory for King 
Victor Emanuel III, because it is intended for the 
service and advantage of all men, owes its origin to 
an American? The man's name was Lubin. He 
made a trip to Europe on purpose to bring this idea 
of his to the sovereigns; with your king, whose mind 
is open to grand new ideas, he found appreciation 
and support." 

"I am glad Your Royal Highness has so good an 
opinion of my sovereign. I hope also that Italy 
under his scepter will continue to accumulate stores 
of glory. My country faces great tasks ..." 

"Undoubtedly," interrupted Victor Adolph; " for 
example, the amelioration of poverty in Sicily, 
the drainage of all malaria-producing swamps, the 
diminution of the illiterate . . .oh, great tasks are 
to be performed everywhere, not in Italy alone ..." 

"In America as well?" asked Rinotti ironically. 

"Certainly, in America as well; and possibly the 
example will be given us from there." 

The prince stood up. Rinotti understood this to 
be a hint that the interview was at an end : he also 
arose and took a ceremonious farewell. The general 
accompanied him to the door and then returned to 
the prince. 

"Desires to thank you again for your gracious 

"The man is antipathetic to me," replied the 



"He is false. Intriguer. Mind full of mischief. 
That is evident. Intends to play our ally nasty 
tricks; only waiting till he becomes Prime Minister. 
Then things will explode! Boundless ambition. Be 
lieves that with the Italian airships and it is true 
they are swift they can annihilate Austria's fleet. 
But we are all ready for him." 

"You are always imagining wars and rumors of 
wars, my dear Orell, like the Old Men's chorus in 
' Faust.' But if that worthy statesman should really 
have such notions up his sleeve, he would run counter 
to his king's desire for peace. And, moreover, the 
Italian people have some sense." 

"What is that the people?" 



ELDERLY ladies of the Austrian aristocracy have 
no great inclination for traveling. While for a hun 
dred years it has been the fashion in England to 
make a tour on the Continent, and while in the days 
of mail-coaches, noblewomen, young and old, were 
accustomed to accompany their spouses to Switzer 
land and to Italy, to Paris and to the German baths, 
the ladies of the Austrian nobility have only reluc 
tantly quitted their castles in order to journey to 
other countries. Since traveling has been made so 
easy and expeditious, especially since automobiles 
came into fashion, the younger feminine element of 
the higher Austrian circles have ventured to make 
trips into distant lands. But even at the time of the 
Rose- Week, there were among the elder aristocratic 
women some who had never before set foot outside 
the boundaries of the Empire. Among these was 
the Countess Adele Schollendorf . But, nevertheless, 
one fine June morning the old lady, accompanied by 
her cousin Albertine, started for Lucerne. Two cava 
liers also made up the party: Cousin Coriolan and 
Baron Ludwig Malhof. 

The motive of the expedition was curiosity. Count 
Sielen's sister had become quite estranged from her 
grand-niece since the latter had begun to appear on 
the public platform. The affair was too distasteful 



to her it cut entirely across all her prejudices. 
Franka had, indeed, lost nothing in reputation and 
respect by her action on the contrary ; but the 
old countess could not be reconciled to it. She did 
not go so far as to indulge in open reproach and 
rupture, being restrained by the fact that she was 
indebted to Franka's generosity for her home at the 
Sielenburg and the considerable revenues accruing 
from this property; but she had renounced all per 
sonal intercourse, which was the easier, because 
Franka, on her part, took no pains to maintain it. 
For no money in the world would the Countess 
Adele have consented to attend the young girl's 
lecture in Vienna. A connection a person with 
the Sielen blood in her veins on the platform, 
speaking in favor of the emancipation of women! 
Horrible! But when one day Baron Malhof brought 
the news that Franka Garlett had been invited to 
take her place with the greatest celebrities of the day 
at the Rose- Week celebration, and he described 
the Toker Rose- Week with enthusiasm, having him 
self been present at one, the old countess's curi 
osity was awakened: "I should like to see it," she 

"Then let us go there," proposed Malhof. And he 
argued so eloquently that the countess decided to 
take the journey the first she had ever made out 
of her own country. There, so far away, she might, 
indeed, endure to see Franka on the platform; only 
at home, among all her relatives and acquaintances, 
it would have been too painful. But there "there " 
being somewhat confused in her mind with the an- 



tipodes one was, so to speak, incognito. Albertine 
consented to accompany her cousin, although the 
expedition seemed to her very portentous and ad 
venturous; but, possibly, she might have the oppor 
tunity of telling this Franka, who had so uncere 
moniously slipped out from under her influence, a 
few verities which would redound to her advan 

Cousin Coriolan joined the party from the purpose 
of studying into the ''humbug." . . . Toker was a 
fool, and the whole affair was a piece of modern 
sham. Baron Malhof, widely experienced, offered 
his services as marshal for the journey: to engage 
lodgings, to see to the luggage, to act as cicerone, 
and in general to superintend all the details of the 
trip. But when he suggested making the journey 
to Lucerne in an airship, Countess Adele protested 
with horror. 

They arrived the evening before the exercises 
were to begin ; they had enjoyed a good night's sleep, 
and were now sitting at their breakfast-coffee in the 
dining-room. They were glancing through the news 
paper, to find what announcements were made 
about the coming performances: but all they found 
were the list of Toker's guests, and the statement 
that the same motto should serve for all the ad 
dresses: "When thoughts will soar ..." 

"I am curious to know what that means," mut 
tered Coriolan ; "probably a kind of preaching about 
all sorts of high-flying, so called Ideals. It may be 
very edifying, but not very exciting." 

"As far as I can judge of you, my dear Coriolan," 


said Malhof, "you would be neither excited nor 
edified by the things which are to be heard here. 
Just as the American and the operatic host which 
he has invited are the representatives of the latest 
and boldest ideas, so you . . ." 

Countess Adele interrupted: "Well, if Franka's 
emancipation absurdities are to be called soaring. 
. . . This honey is famous taste it, Baron Malhof; 
and this crisp-toasted bread ... it seems to me the 
Swiss are used to an abundant breakfast." 

"Kipfel are best with coffee," remarked Albertine 

Coriolan nodded assent. " But Gugelhupf has some 
claim upon us," he added. 

"We have wandered far from high-soaring 
thoughts again," remarked Baron Malhof. 

Countess Adele spread some more honey on her 
toast. "I 'm curious to see how Franka looks ..." 

" Probably prettier than ever she is a ravishing 
creature ..." 

"What fire, Baron Malhof!" 

"Yes, I confess, Fraulein Garlett was my last 
flame. . . . Oh, not a very creditable story, as far 
as I was concerned. I tried to well, never mind 
what I tried but she gave me a pretty rebuff. As 
to emancipation, as you keep saying, Countess, 
nothing of that could be seen in her. A virtuous 
maiden of the old-fashioned model ..." 

"Excuse me, but in order to resist you ..." 

"One need not be so very virtuous were you 
going to say, Madam? That is true, but the cir 
cumstances under which I was repulsed, and the 



way in which she did it, certainly indicated the much- 
praised ' fundamental principles.' " 

" Don't you approve of them?" 

"I never have, most gracious Countess." 

"I know, I know; you have the reputation of 
having been a genuine Don Juan. However, as 
far as Franka is concerned, she seems to have 
kept her head. In spite of this adventurous life 
this gallivanting about and making speeches, noth 
ing discreditable has ever been charged against 

"So much the worse for her." 

"What do you mean?" 

"Well, if one hears nothing bad about a young 
woman, it means that nothing pleasant has hap 
pened to her." 

"You are a terrible man! Albertine, we ought 
never to have trusted ourselves to his escort!" 

The old maid did not understand the joke. "Why 
not?" she asked earnestly. "He is certainly a very 
respectable gentleman. But do you know, Baron 
Malhof, I should like to give you one piece of ad 
vice: you ought not to comb your back hair over 
your bald spot. Excuse my frankness ; but it is not 
at all becoming to you." 

The baron nervously and awkwardly moved his 
hand over the place to which such invidious atten 
tion had been called. "Good Heavens ! One does the 
best one can ..." 

"Oh, you, with your everlasting frankness," ex 
claimed the countess reprovingly. 

Coriolan went on reading his newspaper. "Here 


among the names of the Rose comedians stands that 
of a Herr Helmer; wasn't that fool Jew, who was 
Eduard's last secretary, named Helmer?" 

"Yes, that was his name," replied Countess 
Adele. " But he was n't a Jew." 

"Well, his maternal grandmother was Jewish, 
and that is pretty much the same thing." 

"So was our common ancestor Adam," said Mal- 
hof angrily. " Especially here, in this free and dem 
ocratic Switzerland, you should not assume that 
tone. Here one must not brag too much of race 
and rank." 

A wrathful scowl contracted the brows of the 
haughty aristocrat. "I certainly shall speak my 
mind. Democracy does not impose on me. Besides, 
here, in Switzerland there are a few very good old 
families, even if they don't have titles. For instance, 
there are the Hallwyls; only recently I subscribed 
for their coat of arms for my collection ; . . . and 
then, in our own country, thank God, the nobility 
still means something it is the mainstay of the 
throne, the support of the faith what do I care 
for Switzerland?" 

" I beg of you, Coriolan, do not lose your temper," 
said the Countess Adele soothingly, "and don't 
talk so loud. What were we just speaking about? 
Oh, yes, that Helmer ... I wonder if it is the same 

Malhof signified with a nod that he was: " He has 
become a famous poet and has been a frequent vis 
itor at the Garlett palace." 

"So-o-!" exclaimed the countess. "That is cer- 


tainly not safe. The young man was in love with 
Franka. That is the reason Eduard dismissed him. 
And he has become so famous since?" 

"It certainly does not take much to make a per 
son famous nowadays," remarked Coriolan. "No 
longer are there any more classical poets. And as to 
fame that is something that belongs only to great 
men, great field-marshals and statesmen. Prince 
Eugene, Wallenstein, Metternich, the Archduke 
Karl, Radetzky those are names haloed with 
glory. No such are to be found in this list." 

"Don't you count great poets also?" asked Mal- 

"Well, the classics, as far as I am concerned 
Goethe and Schiller." 

"With the best will in the world, Mr. Toker could 
not invite them. But who knows whether there 
may not be a future Schiller or Goethe among the 

Coriolan shrugged his shoulders disdainfully. " In 
this wretched age of ours there are no more great 
men either poets or heroes. All these suspicious 
elements, this Socialism and Freemasonry must be 
cleaned out once and for all. Authority must be set 
up again and the people must have religion. Per 
haps it will be better after the next war such a 
steel bath is mighty wholesome ..." 

"Can't you leave off discussing politics, cousin?" 
sighed the countess. "Fortunately, nothing is said 
now about war." 

"Do you think so? This proves that you read 
nothing in the newspapers except gossip and the 



society news, and not the political part; otherwise 
you would know that war is coming, and very soon, 
too. Do you imagine we shall much longer endure 
the gibes of the mischief-makers on the other side of 
the Adriatic, and don't you know how in the Bal 
kans they are only waiting their opportunity to 
found a Great Servia? Austria will come out of a 
war with such an increase of power that it will be 
able to settle its internal affairs on a satisfactory 
basis. And in the rest of Europe? The tension is 
everywhere so great who knows but before this 
so-called Rose-Week shall end, the canister will 
begin to rattle somewhere?" 

"There, now! that will do," cried the old countess. 
" You are a horrible bird of evil omen ! It is n't true, 
is it, Malhof, that things are so bad?" 

"I am no prophet. I grant that we are standing 
on volcanic ground, but I believe that it will be a rev 
olution sooner than a war. It must come to a finan 
cial crash if things go on as they are to strikes, 
general strikes how do I know? or to an open 
revolt. . . . But let us talk of other things. Let us 
hope that everything will come out all right. Apres 
nous le deluge! In the mean time, ladies, I propose 
that in half an hour we set forth to have a little 
glimpse of Lucerne. I will immediately order a 
carriage. First of all, I will take you past the build 
ings of the Rose-Palace. You must see how fairy- 
like it all is. Even two years ago, when I was here, 
it was dazzling in its magnificence. Since then I 
understand Mr. Toker has introduced still further 
embellishments and surprises. I have already pro- 



cured the entrance cards for the opening exercises 
this evening. This forenoon we will spend in explor 
ing Lucerne. But Coriolan, you must take an oath 
that you will not say another word about politics as 
long as we are on our pleasure trip." 



THE exercises began at half -past seven in the even 
ing ; so at that time of the year it was still broad day 
light. The public was admitted to the grounds flanked 
with pillared halls, spreading out from the lake to 
the palace and covering a wide stretch behind it. 
Here there was unrestrained freedom of movement. 
Thus the festival began like a large garden-party. 

Mr. Toker, his daughter, and his celebrated 
guests, recognizable by the rosebud fastened to the 
breast, circulated among the others. An automatic 
orchestrion, consisting of instruments like the organ 
and the harmonium, played by electricity, and con 
cealed behind trees, filled the place with delicate 
harmonies, ringing like the music of the spheres. 
The fountains played, and in their lofty columns of 
water glittered fiery red the rays of the sinking sun. 
In the air flying-machines like birds or dragon-flies 
performed artistic evolutions. Suddenly arose a 
balloon with an aeronaut costumed like the god 
Mars: from the basket two big guns were pointed 
threateningly toward the earth. This uncanny in 
strument of war rose to a great height, followed by 
the eyes and the shouts of the spectators. Some 
shouts of disapprobation mingled with the others, 
for there were many in the throng who felt disturbed 
by being reminded of the terrors of battles in the 



midst of a peaceful festival. It is true, men have 
been accustomed to the military maneuvers attract 
ing eager crowds to watch them, and at the world 
expositions the military pavilion has always proved 
to be a great drawing-card. But here, at this festival 
of human exaltation, celebrated under the symbol 
of the queen of flowers, they were really not pre 
pared for the sight of cannon. But the slight dis 
satisfaction soon resolved into pleasure, when from 
the mouth of the threatening guns, instead of shells, 
fresh rose-leaves were discharged over the throng, 
and on their descent to the earth fluttered about in 
the air like butterflies. There was universal applause. 
Even a great cannon-founder who was among the 
spectators, and who had recently signed very ad 
vantageous contracts with several governments for 
the delivery of balloon guns and of vertical cannon, 
clapped his hands with the rest. One must be ready 
to understand a joke; . . . the successful cannon- 
king scarcely suspected with what deep seriousness 
Mr. Toker prepared all the graceful details of his 

The little coterie of Austrian travelers were among 
those present. But as both of the old ladies were too 
weary to wander about, they took seats in one of the 
marquees which had been pitched in the grounds. 
Coriolan stayed with them, but Malhof went out to 
mingle with the promenaders. He had hardly taken 
two steps ere he fell in with Franka, who happened 
to be going in the direction of the marquee where 
her relatives were sitting. Malhof stopped in front 
of her: 



"Your very humble servant, Fraulein Garlett. 
Do you remember me?" 

Franka offered him her hand. "Certainly, Baron 
Malhof. It is a pleasure to meet with a fellow- 

"Pray do not hasten on. You have no idea who 
is sitting in the next marquee . . . you must not 
meet them without being forewarned ..." 

"Who is it?" 

"That I must prepare your mind for by slow de 
grees. Let us walk for a few moments in the oppo 
site direction and talk about old times. May I offer 
you my arm?" 

Franka accepted. " You are really comical, Baron 
Malhof. Old times ! We can scarcely be said to share 
youthful recollections. . . . We have met just twice, 
and the first time certainly under rather painful 
circumstances. The second time at Sielenburg was 
more agreeable." 

"Well, now it must be agreeable, too. What a 
change has taken place in your fate, Fraulein Franka ! 
First, a poor deserted orphan; next, one of the 
wealthiest heiresses in the country; and now, in addi 
tion, a European reputation! And as beautiful as 
ever . . . yet your features have changed . . . there is 
something melancholy in your face. Are you happy ? ' ' 

"Forever that question! Must one be happy?" 

"Yes, one must if circumstances permit it, as in 
your case they do rather, demand it. Or are you 
cast down by an unhappy love-affair?" 

Franka laughed. "No, I am not in love with any 



"Well, that is certainly a misfortune. Your laugh 
did not ring merrily. I can easily imagine that a hun 
dred opportunities were open to you, and perhaps 
for that very reason you do not want to marry, and 
you are not so far from wrong. . . . Freedom is a 
fine thing. But have you no lover?" 

"Truly, Baron Malhof, you are . . ." 

" Oh, do not scold me! On the reef of your virtue 
all the accumulated wisdom of my life goes to ship 
wreck. But this time I am preaching unselfishly, 
and the text of my sermon is: Do not let your youth 
pass in vain; don't cheat your heart and your tem 
perament of their rights. You did not come into the 
world, blest with beauty, wealth, and independence, 
to waste all these treasures, and bluestocking your 
self merely for women's rights' tournees like any ugly 
old maid. You must live, Fraulein Garlett live! " 

Franka stopped walking and withdrew her arm: 
"You are incorrigible. This is in the style of that 
letter of yours . . . but I am not making a show of 
insulted virtue, it is insulted independence. What I 
do, and what I leave undone, is not your affair. You 
cannot look into my soul ; you cannot know what I 
understand by living." 

Baron Malhof put on a contrite expression: "I 
have been at fault again, I see. I was trying to give 
good advice and I get a lesson. Forgive me!" 

Franka took his arm again: " Now, tell me, please, 
what mischief lurks in the tent, from the neighbor 
hood of which you have led me." 

" How good of you to be genial again ! In the tent 
sit your two aunts and Cousin Coriolan." 


Certainly no joyful surprise showed itself in 
Franka's face. "Aunt Adele and Aunt Albertine? 
How did they happen to come here?" 

"To tell the honest truth, I persuaded them to 
take the journey. You will forgive me for that, 

"I will go this minute and greet my aunts." 

Franka made the best of a bad business. It was 
really disagreeable to her to meet again those three, 
especially here in this place, where a spirit prevailed 
which could not fail to be incomprehensible to 
them; . . . however, when all was said, they were 
her people. Her people? What a false expression. 
How little she belonged to them. "To whom do I 
belong, I'd like to know?" Franka asked herself 
and a chill crept around her heart. . . . 

" Really, then, you are willing to be precipitated 
head over heels into the inevitable? That is true 

A few minutes later the two entered the marquee. 
The meeting was rather stiff and constrained. Their 
paths had gone so far asunder! And, moreover, they 
had never been so very congenial. There was an 
exchange of greetings, but no heartiness could be 
felt or feigned ; then they talked indifferently of the 
journey, of the festival week, and the like. Countess 
Adele invited Franka to sit down with them. 

"Tell us how things are going with you and what 
you are doing. Do you speak this evening?" 

"No," replied Franka, as she took a seat beside 
her aunts. "I do not give my address until to 



"And do you not feel alarmed? It is incompre 
hensible to me what you are doing. . . . Tell me, is 
the Helmer who is here, the one ..." 

Franka anticipated the question: "Yes, grand 
papa's former secretary. He has grown to be a 
world-famous poet." 

" I should never have believed it of him," remarked 

"And I should never have believed that you, my 
respected aunts, would ever dream of such a thing 
as making a journey to the Rose-Festival. I really 
believe you were never out of Austria. Did you come 
in an airship?" 

"That would be the last thing!" cried Countess 
Adele with horror. "I would never go in such a 
machine as long as I lived. . . . What has become of 
your companion?" 

"Frau von Rockhaus? Oh, she is still with me." 

"That is good. One must always have a regard 
to appearances." 

Malhof sighed. "Oh, appearances! Besides, they 
are all out of style." 

After a while Franka got up. "Well, I must be 
going. . . . We shall meet again in the hall. The 
speeches will soon begin." 

"Really," said Coriolan, "I am quite curious to 
see this wild show." 

A little later a fanfare gave the signal that the 
festival was to be formally opened in the theater-hall. 
Thither flocked all the visitors scattered throughout 
the grounds. 

It was an immense hall with boxes and galleries. 


Yet the parquet was not, as in regular theaters, 
filled with rows of seats placed regularly, but was 
like a great salon, in which a multitude of sofas and 
armchairs were distributed about at haphazard, sep 
arated by screens and flowering plants, with rooms 
enough for people to pass from one group to another. 
Behind the boxes were wide lobbies, available for 
that part of the public that did not care to listen to 
any particular address, either because its subject 
was not interesting or because it was delivered in a 
language not understood. There was no curtain 
hung in front of the stage, which was really not a 
stage, but rather a podium or platform. This podium 
formed a second smaller salon with steps leading 
down into the parquet. There, on the upper level, 
were grouped Mr. Toker and all his illustrious guests, 
sitting and standing. In front was a small reading- 
desk with a chair. 

Throughout the hall there was much to make it 
evident that here also was the realm of roses. The 
upholstery of the furniture and the fronts of the 
boxes were of pink velvet, and by an electric appa 
ratus a pale rose glow was everywhere disseminated. 
A hidden ventilator provided the place with cool, 
rose-perfumed air. No chandelier was suspended 
from above, but the ceiling simulated the sky popu 
lated with electric lights, distributed like stars and 
nebulae, an accurate copy of a segment of the 
universe. Between the first row of boxes and the 
gallery was placed a wreath of medallion-portraits 
of great departed poets, savants, inventors, and dis 
coverers from Vergil to Shakespeare and to Goethe ; 



from Aristotle to Leonardo da Vinci, and then to 
Darwin ; from Columbus to Gutenberg and to Mont- 
golfier. Under the pictures the names sparkled 
with electric letters. In the center a little struc 
ture which, from the hall looked like a prompter's 
box, concealed a phonograph apparatus to make a 
permanent record of the speaker's words. 

A signal rang out; Toker stepped to the front 
of the platform, and soon expectant silence pre 
vailed in the hall. In a loud voice, but in simple, 
conversational manner and in English Toker began 
to speak : 

"Ladies and gentlemen! A hearty welcome to 
you all. I see in the hall many of the habitues of the 
Lucerne Rose- Weeks, yet also many new faces. To 
the new visitors I should like to tell in a few words 
the purpose of our establishment: It is a centraliza 
tion of forces, a great dynamo-machine. For what 
is offered to you here in this limited place is meant 
for the millions outside, and is to be carried to 
the greatest distances, to be distributed among the 
working-people, and to be brought before the mighti 
est rulers. A number of the noblest spirits among 
our contemporaries are working together here. Each 
one brings a significant portion of the results of his 
thinking, his poetry, his investigations, of his crea 
tions; and all with the same aim, with the same end 
in view : the progress of society toward greater 
righteousness and greater freedom, toward greater 
beauty and greater happiness. It is already recog 
nized that what lifts men from barbarism to human 
ity is the work of growing intelligence, which awak- 



ens the will toward goodness. This will animates us 
here. And therefore I beg you to listen to the com 
ing addresses not only with friendly attention, but 
also with some reverence. Wherever men assemble 
for the purpose of elevating their thoughts into high 
regions, and of allowing their hearts to beat in good 
will for their fellow-creatures, there is a kind of 
temple. I now will allow Music to speak." 

Toker bowed and stepped back. Now followed the 
performance of the Rose-Quintette, directed by the 
composer, the gifted young Pole, himself. After it 
was finished, not only the Russian countess, but the 
whole assemblage broke out into a delirium of 
enthusiasm. "There," exclaimed Countess Vera to 
Rinotti, who sat near her, "is n't that as much a 
triumph as a victorious battle?" 

"It is a battle, and the victor is named Melody," 
replied the marchese. 

Next, the great French author went to the desk 
and read a chapter from his last (as yet unprinted) 
book. It was entitled "La Verite, toute la Verite, 
rien que la Verite." Full of bold thought, of keen 
wit, of sparkling turns of speech, it was a bundle 
of new truths delivered to the auditors, and at the 
same time it was an unmasking of the lies that sub 
jugate human society. This reading was followed by 
an intermission devoted to social intercourse, while 
the two circles, the audience and the performers, 
mingled together. 

Prince Victor Adolph mounted the steps leading 
to the platform and approached Franka: "Shall we 
not hear you to-day, Miss Garlett?" 



"No, Your Highness; my turn comes to-morrow 
but I am already beginning to feel anxious." 

"You feel anxious! Yet you are accustomed to 
speak before crowded houses." 

" But not before hundreds of thousands of people. 
This fearful machine" she indicated the phono 
graph in the prompter's box "will carry our 
words before that number." 

"Whether a thousand or a hundred thousand 
is n't it all the same?" 

"Oh, no, the thousand, who come of their own 
free will to listen to an address, belong to a certain 
stratum of society, and are all animated by similar 
feelings. My public, for example, was mostly com 
posed of young girls from middle-class circles, and 
had the desire to attain intellectual freedom and to 
put it into practice ; but the public which I shall face 
to-morrow ..." 

"Yes, I know. Mr. Toker has told us it em 
braces all ranks in all lands. Even in this hall, there 
is not much unanimity of sentiment. Look, for ex 
ample, at the difference between my views and the 
views of my companion, Count Orell ..." 

"I must thank you for the splendid violets, 

"Oh, only a modest greeting." 

The prince remained a long time near Franka, en 
gaging her in lively conversation. That attracted 
the attention of the two aunts and their friends. 

"Well, it looks as if Franka had a very zealous 
suitor: who may it be?" 

Malhof happened to be able to inform them. 


"Indeed?" exclaimed Tante Adele thoughtfully. 
"A prince from the ruling house! That is danger 
ous. He certainly could n't marry her." 

Malhof shrugged his shoulders. "As if marriage 
must always be in the wind ! I am curious to know 
whether the sermons preached up there for the wel 
fare of humanity will not be directed also against 
the oppressive chains of marriage." 

"Nothing is sacred to you!" sighed the countess. 
"Besides, as you never were married, you cannot 
judge of marriage." 

"For the very reason that I have judged, I re 
mained single." 

Coriolan sat with a terribly bored expression. He 
understood so little French that all the points of the 
reading he had heard had wholly escaped him; fin 
ally he had given up all attempt to listen. In his 
heart he was already repenting that he had ever 
taken this journey. The whole thing displeased him. 
... At the Apollo Theater it is more amusing . . . 
there one understands everything . . . and then this 
Rose-Masquerade . . . 

"You look very savage, Coriolan !" remarked the 
Countess Adele; "you do not say a word." 

"I say, stay at home and entertain yourself sen 

The young composer was now sitting next the 
Russian widow. 

"The piece was heavenly . . . perfectly splendid 
... it must be a delight to be able to compose such 
things." Her eyes rested warmly on the young 



" Every artistic creation carries with it a good bit 
of agony, most gracious Countess." 

"What gives others so much delight ought not to 
cause its creator any pain." 

"And yet, do you not always hear the sighs that 
tremble through so many pieces of music? These 
the artist must have drawn out of his own soul. But 
not only that he must have not only experienced 
anguish in order to reproduce it in tones creation 
itself is accompanied by pain; yearning, trouble, 
despondency . . . the crushing sense of the inexpress 
ible . . ." 

"You must explain all this to me more definitely. 
Please come to-morrow and have a cup of tea at 
five o'clock . . . Grand H6tel . . . say yes . . . will 
you promise?" 

Helmer, informed by Franka of the presence of 
the Sielenburg party, entered the hall and sought 
out the little Austrian group. Bowing, he went up to 
them: "May I be permitted ... in memory of old 
times. ... I do not know whether you will remem 
ber me." 

The countess nodded: "To be sure, Herr Helmer 
. . . you have made a great career . . . famous poet 
. . . that is no small thing! Who would ever have 
predicted it? You will give us your book to read, 
won't you ? And tell me, is this Mr. Toker not a very 
extravagant man?" 

"He is certainly by no means an ordinary man." 

" Do you imply by that," asked Coriolan sharply, 
"that we are ordinary people?" 

"I meant nothing more than I said. Mr. Toker 


is an exceptional phenomenon. A man, who by work 
and business has made an enormous fortune, and 
who now is placing this fortune at the service of the 
most ideal aims." 

Coriolan shrugged his shoulders. "He simply 
wants to get himself talked about." 

"What ideal aims do you mean? " asked the count 

"Heavens! it is hard to explain them all in a few 
words. The main thing is the spread of thoughts 
that soar Hochgedanken ..." 

"What is that?" 

"If you will do me the honor of listening to my 
address, then you will understand Mr. Toker's in 
tentions, for I am going to speak in the spirit which 
lies at the foundation of the motto of this year's 

"Are you going to speak to-day?" 

"No; not until the third or fourth day." 

" It is good that you do not speak this evening," 
remarked Fraulein Albertine, joining in the conver 
sation. "I must tell you frankly that your voice 
seems to me somewhat hoarse . . . perhaps you have 
a cold; it seems to me, too, that your nose is swol 
len ... you ought to rub on a little candle tallow." 

Helmer smiled. " I am afraid I should not be able 
to find a tallow candle in the whole Rose- Palace. 
But now I will bid you good-evening ... a new 
lecture is beginning." 

The young Russian author now stepped forward 
to the reader's deak with a manuscript in his hand. 
At the same time ushers went through the hall, 



distributing printed pamphlets containing German, 
French, and English translations of what the author 
was to deliver in his native tongue. That portion 
of the public which did not understand Russian 
and that was by far the larger could now also 
follow the speaker and enjoy his euphonious utter 
ance, now trembling with melancholy, now glowing 
with inspiration. What he offered, were brief sketches 
in prose : scenes from the time of war and of revolu 
tion, personal experiences or episodes, made vivid 
by poetic intuition ; stories of the wolf's pits, stories 
of barbed-wire fences, stories of shells filled with 
poison, by the fumes of which people were asphyxi 
ated slowly and agonizingly ; stories of women beaten 
by Cossack- naga/ikas; of tortures practiced in dun 
geons; of pogroms, of executions, of massacring and 
of incendiary bands; of the woe in the hearts of 
young Russians of all classes, from the humblest of 
the people to the highest in court circles, who had 
suffered awfully under this terrorism, because their 
hearts and souls are open to the most progressive 
ideas of freedom and mildness; of the sorrows of 
the poets and the scientists, of the enlightened poli 
ticians and the simple man of the people, whose 
natural benevolence is opposed to all these cruelties, 
perpetrated by the demon Violence, because the 
minds of the masses are subject to the illusion that 
violence is the only means of resisting evil. 

The poet added an epilogue to his little histories: 

"What I have related is sad, profoundly sad. 

Should I have refrained from doing this in this 

cinacle? Our host has provided this festival week 



under the protection and shelter of Beauty Beauty 
is the sister of Joy, not of Woe . . . and I have 
brought before you so much woe. ... I have un 
veiled so much that is unspeakably hateful ! But it 
has not been a mistake; indeed, I know the goal that 
beckons to the founder of this Rose-Congress. Lofty 
thoughts are to fly forth into the world; lofty feel 
ings must be aroused. And this object subserves a 
still most distant object: namely, that it should be a 
bit better, a bit brighter in this world of ours. To 
this end one must see clearly, must look straight at 
the reality. One must know all that is going on, 
everywhere. All the cries of complaint and all the 
shrieks of anguish must be heard as they are torn 
from tormented human beings by human unreason. 
Then flames up that lofty feeling one of the 
noblest of all : Pity 1 And thereby is the will 
strengthened lofty will it may be called to sub 
stitute for the infamous system of reciprocal per 
secution the sublime rule of reciprocal helpfulness." 

A gloomy mood had taken possession of the audi 
ence, yet with it was mingled also something of that 
reverential emotion by which Toker \vanted to see 
his public stirred. Then followed a short interlude 
of music, and that in its turn was followed by a 
small ballet of quite unique kind. Arc-lamps were 
the instruments and variegated flames were the 
dancers. It seemed like a divertissement from fairy 
land, and yet it was only an experiment from the 
realm of chemistry. 

This brought to a conclusion the exercises of the first 
evening, and social intercourse again assumed control. 


WHEN Franka woke the following morning, she 
was possessed by the consciousness that all sorts 
of unpleasantnesses were weighing upon her. . . . 
What could it mean? Oh, yes, that evening, she 
had to give her address. Never, except the first 
time, had she felt such a panic at the prospect of a 
public appearance as she felt now. Always, before, 
she had realized that she was making her addresses 
as the exponent of a cause, as a guide for those of her 
own sex who were searching their way a way of 
escape; her own person was, so to speak, eliminated. 
But this time it seemed to her as if she, Franka 
Garlett, were going to make her debut before the 
assembled world, which would pass judgment as to 
whether she were capable of cooperating with all the 
celebrities of Europe and America in Toker's great 
work of civilization. There would be in the hall no 
band of enthusiastic young girls, but the majority 
of the audience would be men who would either take 
no interest in the tasks of the new woman, or would 
even be opposed to them. 

The second unpleasant thing that weighed on her 
spirit was the presence of her aunts and their two 
escorts, Coriolan and Malhof. To speak before 
them was really painful, and it would seem to her 
as if these four were her real audience. And then 



there was Prince Victor Adolph, who would hear 
her. . . . Why had she any timidity before him? 
Why that wish to please him, that terror of dis 
pleasing him? ... Is a person worthy of address 
ing the whole world as the interpreter of "lofty 
thoughts," when the question arises, What will that 
young man think? 

Accustomed to speak extempore, she had made no 
written digest of her address ; but now she felt that 
in these quite altered circumstances her inspiration 
might desert her, and she resolved to write a draft. 
She looked at the clock: it was still early, only seven. 
No matter, she must have time to write. She rang 
for her maid, made a hurried morning toilette, and 
had her writing-apparatus, together with her break 
fast, brought out on the balcony. 

It was a wonderfully fresh morning, full of bird 
songs and spicy fragrance. Franka's room looked 
out on a small group of firs, and she regarded it as a 
real blessing that here nothing was to be seen of the 
everlasting roses, and no breath of the everlasting 
perfume of roses. Just that day the whole rose- 
scheme for the time-being seemed distasteful to her, 
for it was responsible for her making her appear 
ance as a member of the Rose-Order and perhaps 
lamentably failing. . . . 

She drew in long breaths of the forest-air and a 
half-yearning, half-regretful thought stole over her: 
"Why am I not in my quiet Moravian hunting- 
castle, which lies so deep hidden in the fir forest?" 
How beautiful it would be there, how restful, how 
lonely . . . loneliness? No, that was not, after all, 



what she was pining for . . . some one must be 
with her . . . who? Victor Adolph? No, he was a 
stranger. It must be some trusty friend, some one 
on whose heart a heart containing no depths 
hidden from her she might lean ; at the same 
time, some one to whom she would be the dearest 
object on earth. . . . The image of her father rose 
in her soul. . . . "Oh, yes, thou, thou! But thou 
art dead." 

She drew a deep sigh and went into her room to 
fetch out the precious notebook. She would hold a 
little colloquy with her father. She came back to 
the balcony with the book in her hand, sat down 
at the table where her tablet and pencil were 
ready for her, and instead of writing, she began 
to turn the pages of the notebook and to read. 
The first sentence that attracted her attention 

"The absent grow daily more and more distant!" 
(Japanese proverb.) 

Franka looked up to the sky. "Ah, yes, my poor 
departed father ! Death is an eternal absence 
how sadly true that is. I love thee still I see thee, 
but how far, how far away!" 

She read on : 

Saume nicht dich zu erdreisten, Do not hesitate to be full of 

Wenn die Menge zaudernd When the crowd irresolute 

schweift; drifts; 

Alles kann der Edle leisten, All things can the noble accom 

Der versteht und rasch ergreift. Who perceives and quickly acts. 
(Goethe, Faust, 2d part, Act I. "Chor der Geister.") 


Franka remembered how at this stanza her father 
had remarked: "Do you see in how few words the 
poet sums up the characteristics that make a man 
a leader and accomplisher? He must be bold and 
confident and noble; he must have intellect and 

Von Halbheit halte den Pfad Of mediocrity keep thy road 

rein, clear; 

Der ganze Mann setzt ganze Let the whole man bear the 

Tat ein whole load clear 

Und wahre Ehre muss ohne And pure honor must be of all 

Naht sein. seam sewed clear. 

(Ernst Ziel.) 

"The whole man bear the whole load clear," 
repeated Franka. "The whole woman, too, this 
equalization in dignity Brother Chlodwig taught 

All men's advantage every man's rule. 
Banish him far away our age's demon far hence, 
The sleepy, lame monster, whose name is Indifference. 

I believe it is the secret of eminent men that they pre 
serve into advancing life their childish feelings, that 
is to say, warm, deep feelings. This terrible world cools 
down all ardor into nauseous lukewarmness. But emi 
nent men have so much internal warmth that an ocean 
of stupidity and unintelligence could never cool what is 
burning in their hearts. They have an absolute lack of 
affinity for everything common and ordinary ; they enter 
into no combination with it. 

"There didst thou describe thy dear self, my own 
father. ... I never saw in my life such a childlike 
person as thou wert . . . except Helmer, when he 
laughs ... he also can laugh like a child. ..." 



VVenn auch nur Einer lebt, If only one man lives 

Der nicht sich beugt Who will not fail 

Und fur die Wahrheit zeugt And makes the truth prevail 

Wie das erhebt! What joy that gives! 

Wenn auch nur Einer still If only one man press 

Die Hand uns driickt Silent our hands, 

Und mit uns denkt und will, What happiness 

Wie das begluckt! To know he understands! 
(Hermann Lingg.) 

For a long while Franka remained buried in the 
perusal of the old notebook. At last, she put herself 
to making an outline of her coming address. She 
wrote down a few notes, but could not seem to warm 
up to the work, and she accepted as a welcome 
diversion the arrival of the morning mail. As 
usual, she received a great number of letters and 
documents. Dr. Fixstern regularly sent her reports 
regarding the condition of the property entrusted 
to him. The directors of the Garlett Academy kept 
her informed of the progress of this flourishing insti 
tution. Enthusiastic letters from young girls came 
every day, and there were numerous requests for 
autographs. On this morning there was in addition 
the offer of an impresario who wanted her to under 
take a lecture tournee through the United States; 
not to speak of a declaration of love from a silent 
admirer present at the Rose- Week's exercises and 
moved to send her a few lyric effusions. This time 
her whole mail made a particularly arid impression 
on Franka. It seemed to her so lifeless and soulless. 
But now her duty was to proceed with writing down 
the lecture it was already eleven o'clock. She 
pushed the half-written page into position before 



her. . . . No, she could not master her thoughts. 
. . . She needed advice, needed warm, living words. 
She got up and pressed the electric button. ' ' Please, ' ' 
she said to the servant who answered her summons, 
"see if Mr. Helmer is in, and if he is, I should like to 
have him come to see me." 

After a moment the servant came back: "Mr. 
Helmer has just this moment come." 

"Very good, ask him into the salon." 

She stepped into the adjoining room. Helmer was 
standing before the center table, contemplating the 
great basket of violets on which was still attached 
Prince Victor Adolph's visiting-card. 

Franka offered him her hand: " It was good of you 
to come . . ." 

"Since you have summoned me ..." 

"Oh. Do not be so ceremonious. ... I wanted 
to see Brother Chlodwig. ... I need your encour 
agement, your advice ..." 

He seemed ill at ease. "My advice? Perhaps in 
regard to this business," and he indicated the violets. 

"What business? Oh, indeed, you think . . . 
no, no, listen. ... I will tell you what I want." 

Just at that moment Frau Eleonore entered by 
the other door. "Do I disturb you"? 

"Frankly, yes. I wanted to talk over my lecture 
with Mr. Helmer." 

"Very well; then I will write some letters"; and 
she vanished again into her own room. 

"So now you know what it is about. ... I am 
simply in despair about my lecture. You must help 
me, just as at the first time. You showed me the 



way and made it smooth, and here this day I am 
standing again on a crossway, or rather before a 
wall. . . . Help me over, reach me your hand!" 

The demand was only meant symbolically, but 
Helmer took her hand in his, and she got a degree 
of calm, of consolation from the firm grasp. 

"What is the matter, Franka? " he asked tenderly. 
"What has come over you suddenly? Timidity? 
. . . You, the victorious, you, 'the Garlett'?" 

"Dear me, it is hard to explain. Timidity? Yes, 
and such a sense of emptiness, such a lack of impulse. 
When, before, I have spoken to my audiences of 
women, I have had something to say to them. . . . 
I wanted to persuade them, I wanted to transfer to 
their souls what filled my own soul to the brim. 
My addresses were a means, not an end. . . . But 
here: I cannot feel the impulse to persuade all these 
people, beginning with Mr. Toker and his guests, 
and all these princes and diplomats and my 
aunts and Coriolan (why did n't they stay at 
home?) to persuade them, I say, that the young 
girls of our day must assume new duties. . . . And 
I shall stand there on the platform, in order to 
perform hateful term ! in order to show the in 
quisitive company whether I have sufficient ability 
to be accepted as one of the Rose-Knights, whether 
I really deserved to be invited by Mr. Toker. These 
people are not at all here to get edification, but they 
come as critics; and I am here, not as one urging, 
but as an artist, and I am not that. For if the inner 
impulse fails, then I can't speak . . . and that is 
the reason why I am unhappy. ..." 



Chlodwig pressed her hand still more firmly. "I 
understand you, Franka. But oh, your lips are 
actually trembling, like a child's when it wants to 
cry. Do not be faint-hearted; there will be a way 
out of this difficulty. If it is really only what you 
have just told me, then it is easy enough to help 
you. Or, perhaps, is it a fit of strained nerves? 
Possibly the work that you have chosen does not 
satisfy you any longer; perhaps the emptiness 
which you complain of is the emptiness of your 
heart, a conscious or an unconscious yearning; or 
is it that you are tired of these roses here, and," 
with a glance at the basket, "are longing for more 

Franka shook her head vigorously. "Leave the 
violets out of the question. I have told you the 
honest truth, why I dread this evening so much." 

"Well, then, we shall meet that difficulty. Let 
me think." 

He leaned his elbow on the table and supported 
his head with his hand. Franka looked up to him 
expectantly and trustfully. The thoughtful expres 
sion of his face touched and moved her: he was em 
ploying his faculties for her. He wanted to help her. 
Ah, after the verb "to love," "to help" is the most 
beautiful verb in the world ! 

After a while he began to speak, looking her full 
in the eye: "The public, whose criticism and lack of 
sympathy thou fearest forgive me for using the 
familiar 'du' . . . I drifted back to the time when 
I wrote you those letters as your brother in the 
spirit this public must vanish, must really vanish 



out of your consciousness. You must put it out 
of existence yourself with your own introductory 
words. There must be the feeling that it really is not 
there, this public that therefore it has no right to 
criticize you. You are not speaking to it it can 
only listen, while you are speaking to a hundred 
thousand others. Aye, to millions, perhaps ; ... it 
is your best opportunity that must inspire you 
and fire you. Up till now you have been following a 
fine, brilliant career; to-day you will set the crown to 
it. Begin your address with the words : ' You young 
girls, now listen to me ' ; and then continue in some 
such way as this: 'Forgive me, ladies and gentle 
men! I know very well that in this distinguished 
assembly assuredly there will be only a small per 
centage of young girls, and therefore my words will 
arouse only a feeble echo in this room. But here I 
stand because I have undertaken to deliver a mes 
sage a message to young people of my own sex 
showing them the way which as I believe will 
lead the girls themselves and at the same time all 
human society to higher aims. And to-day in this 
hall, the windows of which look out into the wide 
world, the opportunity is vouchsafed me to be heard 
by invisible throngs of those to whom my life-work 
is dedicated, and therefore it is a sacred duty to 
direct my utterances only to these and to call out 
more loudly and joyfully than ever before: "Ye 
young maidens, listen to me ! " ' After this exordium, 
Franka, the whole audience of those that disturb 
you will vanish out of your consciousness, and you 
can repeat to the invisible listeners all the things 



with which at your first appearance you took all 
maiden hearts by storm." 

Franka sprang up and reached Helmer both her 
hands. "Thanks, Brother Chlodwig, that is, indeed, 
a saving way out. You are and always will be my 
dear master!" 

Some one knocked at the door. Franka let go 
Helmer's hands and cried: "Come in." 

Once more it was an offering of flowers and once 
more the prince's visiting-card was attached to the 
bouquet. A shade of vexation passed over Helmer's 
face. He felt a twofold annoyance: in the first place, 
at this importunate homage, and in the second place, 
because he was annoyed . . . was it jealousy? 

"I will leave you now. You must collect your 
thoughts, and you need rest, Franka." 

"Good-bye, then, for now. I thank you again." 

"Shall you wear these violets this evening?" 

"I always wear violets." 

"If you marry this prince, Franka, then it is all 
up with your career." 

"What are you thinking about? The prince in 
his position cannot marry any one of humble rank; 
he is not imagining such a thing." 

"What is he imagining, then?" 

"I don't know you, Helmer. Hitherto you have 
never interfered with my private affairs." 

"Forgive my presumption. I shan't do so any 
more." He turned to go. 

"Are you angry, Brother Chlodwig?" 

"Yes with myself. " And he hastened out. 

Franka gazed after him and smiled. 



THE exercises on this second evening of the Rose- 
Week began as before with music. But it was a kind 
of music such as had never before, or anywhere else, 
been heard. A feeling of wonder, and unprecedented 
delight took possession of the audience a delight 
which almost reached awe. It was a newly invented 
instrument, the tone of which had no resemblance 
to that of any other instrument. It was more nearly 
comparable to bell-tones, like cathedral chimes, loud 
and grave and vibrating. 

In the midst of a crescendo the player of it 
suddenly ceased playing and said to the pub 

"What you are here listening to is the voice of a 
magician the magician ' Electricity. ' The in 
strument, as you see, is not large, and its mechanism 
is concealed; I invented it and constructed it. In 
honor of the Maecenas who enabled me to accom 
plish my invention, I have christened it the ' Toker 
Organ. ' It is played by any artist who understands 
the organ, but its tone and its timbre are the product 
of a nature-force tamed. The surprising thing is 
that the tone has such a sweetness that it can awake 
the keenest musical delight, and that its attainable 
power has no limits. The crescendo which I just 
now broke off can be made ever so many times more 



tremendous on this 'Toker Organ.' A shut-off has 
to be introduced here, for otherwise the strength of 
the tone-waves would increase so that it might not 
only burst your ear-drums but even the ceiling of 
the hall. Yet, in open space, on a mountain- top or 
from a lighthouse in the open sea, one might with 
impunity fill a circumference of miles with music. 
And because you are now assured that the sweet 
tone, however powerful it may be, remains sweet 
and tender, and will never become a deafening 
noise, I will once more swell to a hitherto unknown 
majesty of power, but certainly not to be unendur 
able, as the shut-off is introduced a long way before 
that point ; I will continue my playing. I choose 
an old song known to you all, the text of which 
seems appropriate to this festival week: 'The Last 
Rose of Summer. ' ' 

These words, spoken in English, the young 
inventor was an American engineer of the Edison 
school, were repeated in French and German 
by interpreters. Then the young man again seated 
himself at the instrument, allowing the resounding 
bells to give out the melancholy melody, ever fuller 
and fuller, so that it seemed to the listeners as if 
the whole hall were filled with the vibrating waves 
of sound. When the crescendo grew four or five 
times as loud as it was when the player had broken 
off the first time, voices were heard here and there in 
the hall as if crying in anguish: " Enough, enough!" 
The artist nodded and instituted immediately a 
diminuendo, and gradually the melody, just as it 
had mounted, so now it decreased to the most 



thread-like pianissimo, dying away as if in the re 
motest distance. 

Stormy applause now broke loose. Something 
never before known had been experienced, life was 
enriched by a new sensation. Then followed the 
social intermission. Many mounted the platform 
to examine the instrument. A buzz of conversa 
tion filled the hall. Impressions regarding the mar 
velous music were exchanged. A composer told his 
delight that music had achieved now a new means 
of expression of such inimitable beauty. An officer 
of the general staff remarked that, in the infinite 
possibilities of overwhelming noise, there might be 
something of strategic importance. A passionate 
lover of nature cried, "Well, I must say: now that 
the sublime emptiness of heavenly space is to be 
darkened with every kind of whirring aviating 
rabble, the splendid silence of the mountains and 
the seas will be desecrated by electrically bellowed 
street-songs." On the other hand, a philosopher 
remarked thoughtfully: "Boundless powers put 
into the hand of man what prospects open up!" 

Coriolan expressed his views to his cousins: "Did 
n't I tell you so? Tingel-tangel, klingel-klangel. 
. . . Vari6te". . . . And the next number is the ap 
pearance of Franka Garlett, who is still, unfortu 
nately, our kinswoman. Where is she hiding? She 
is not to be seen anywhere. " 

Franka was in fact not present in the hall. All 
day long she had denied herself to every one, so that 
she might devote her time uninterruptedly to the 
preparation of her address. She had not even gone 



to the hall at the beginning of the exercises, but had 
asked to be called only when it was her turn to 

The moment had now arrived. She stepped out 
on the platform. 

A murmur of admiration swept through the hall. 
She looked classically beautiful in her trailing pure 
white gown with its long, winglike sleeves, with no 
other adornment than a pearl necklace and the usual 
small bouquet of violets at the heart-shaped open 
ing of her bodice. Her face was pallid in contrast to 
the black diadem of her tresses, coiled high on her 
head. As she stepped forward, loud applause broke 
out. She acknowledged it, without smiling, with a 
graceful inclination and began : 

" Ye young maidens, listen to me ! " Just as Helmer 
had suggested, she delivered her proem and then 
repeated the argument of her first speech in which 
she took as her text the injunction: "We are here 
to share in man's thought, " added to Goethe's 
"We are here to share in men's love." 

"Since she had thus spoken," she added, "the 
domain had widened out ever more and more, 
the domain which woman had conquered for herself 
inch by inch, and the time was rapidly approach 
ing when young womanhood was also to share in 
man's work, even in his political work. Now the 
important question was not as formerly to win posi 
tions for themselves, but it was important for them 
to make themselves capable and worthy of filling 
the places waiting for them. In many countries 
Australia, Finland, Norway, and other lands the 



doors of Parliament have been thrown open to wo 
men as electors and elected ; probably little by little 
the other countries would follow. Probably, also, 
women if once they entered deliberative bodies 

would be entrusted with official positions, and 
the ministries would not remain closed to them. In 
short, equal rights and equal positions would be theirs 
along the whole line : simply a terrible state of things, 
unless we have sufficient imagination to conceive of 
simultaneously altered forms of society and a more 
highly developed community. The great distrust 
and displeasure, ordinarily felt against any proposed 
change in conditions, are derived from the fact that 
the environing conditions are supposed to be un 
changed, and a harsh dissonance is experienced, just 
such an one as a discordant tone must give in a 
well-tuned instrument. 

"Only one example: a woman as an executioner 

what a horrid picture. Restrain your emotion 
if ever woman finds her place among the lawgiv 
ers of the land, capital punishment will surely be 

"Do you fully realize what is the gist of this 
question? Whether our sex shall share in the direc 
tion of institutions and events is not merely a ques 
tion of the improvement of women's lot, but it is 
also that of the improvement of man's lot. All 
the virtues which are entrusted to our charge, and 
which are supposed to be superfluous in public 
affairs, wholly conducted from the masculine side, 
mildness, gentleness, moderation, purity, the power 
to endure without complaining, and to love with 



utter devotion, all these virtues we must carry 
intact into the new circles of activity. Before all, 
however, we must strive to possess them, indeed; 
those virtues in a large measure are only ascribed 
to us in poems. 

" But that is not sufficient. If women are to enjoy 
equal rights with men in deliberation and action, 
then they must also appropriate those characteristics 
that are generally regarded as exclusively masculine 
virtues: courage, steadfastness, energy, resolution, 
logical thought. On the other hand, they must be 
ware (thinking thus to legitimate their claim to equal 
rights) of adopting those failings which are regarded 
as masculine prerogatives: habits of drinking and 
brawling, brutality, harshness, intemperance. If the 
emancipation of women develops in this direction, as 
its opponents at the outset generally believed to be 
its tendency, then it would be no blessing it would 
be a curse. But this will not happen. For humanity 
develops upward. And the cooperation of both sexes 
in all callings will have as consequences that each will 
adopt the virtues characteristic of the other and 
will drop the faults and vices hitherto regarded as 
special privileges, so that they themselves and the 
practice of their callings will be thereby ennobled. 
Then there will not be mannish girls and coarse, 
manlike women, and no effeminate men, but com 
plete human beings of both sexes, standing on a 
loftier plane!" 

Here Franka was interrupted by applause. As 
she stood there in her thoroughly gracious woman 
liness, in her absolutely feminine dignity, at the 



same time performing her great mission with such 
unshaken conviction, she seemed, indeed, to be the 
personification of that ideal of combined tender 
ness and strength which she had conjured up 
before the audience. 

She continued speaking for some time longer. 
She depicted what had been gained in positive 
social advantage by the participation of women in 
the social duties of the present day, now that this 
movement was really on the fair road to accom 
plishment. The battle against one of the worst foes 
of humanity alcoholism had resulted in its 
greatest victories in countries where women exer 
cise an influence on the making of laws. The war 
against another of the shameful blots on our civili 
zation the sexual slavery of women ; this is also 
to be eradicated only where pure and blameless 
women have the courage to look the infamous evil 
in the face, to call it by name, and to lead the re 
volt against it. Dueling and war are two functions 
in which the feminine sex are forbidden to take 
part, because they stand in absolute opposition 
to all those qualities and feelings that characterize 
the feminine half of mankind. If now this half 
should gain their due influence in the conduct of 
public life, then those two deadly modes of settling 
disputes would no longer remain legitimate. "The 
mission of woman, thus conceived, is anticipated 
and poetically symbolized by the sovereign figure 
of the Madonna trampling a dragon under her 
dainty foot." 

Here the speaker paused for a moment. On many 


sides there was applause. Yet many refrained from 
expressing approbation, because they felt offended 
by Franka's words what did she mean by dragon? 
Could she mean militarism? Or the whole mascu 
line sex? Would she like to see petticoat govern 
ment established? Remarks were heard: "What 
idiots these feminists are!" "And she is so pretty; 
she certainly would not need to take up such 

On the other hand, those in the audience who did 
not understand German were captivated by her 
appearance and entranced by her melodious voice. 
They followed the occasional gestures with which 
she emphasized certain phrases, and they kept their 
eyes fixed on her calm, white hands with their long, 
tapering fingers and their rosy, gleaming nails. Her 
tone of queenly calmness, now and again vibrating 
with restrained feeling, exercised on all the same 
charm, whether they understood her spoken word 
or not ; and the very ones who could not understand 
applauded most unrestrainedly, because they de 
tected nothing in her speech to disturb their con 
victions. Even De la Rochere clapped vigorously, 
as he assuredly would not have done if he had known 
what she had been pleading for: in his eyes there 
was nothing more ridiculous, nothing more baneful, 
than the object aimed at in the Feminist Move 
ment. In his eyes "woman" was "une creature 
d'amour, " and this sentimentally uttered epithet 
was, as he believed, the highest compliment that 
could be given to a woman. Prince Victor Adolph 
found an artistic satisfaction in listening to Franka's 



address. For the cause itself, he had little sym 
pathy it did not appeal to him. 

In the Sielenburg group a painful emotion was 
stirred. Coriolan gave utterance to an inarticulate 
grunt of disapprobation ; the Countess Adele sighed ; 
Fraulein Albertine raised her eyes beseechingly to 
heaven; only Baron Malhof cried, with sincere 
warmth: "Ah, she is a splendid young creature!" 

Franka proceeded: "I have indeed overpassed 
the limits that I once set for myself as a field of 
labor. I am not accustomed to plead for the con 
quest of professions and for attainment of political 
rights all that I leave to other champions of the 
Woman Movement. But if these callings and rights 
come gradually into the hands of those of my sex, 
then they must know how to exercise them; they 
must be educated to the task. Their minds must 
be open and their interest must be awake to the 
universality of the problems of civilization: these 
are all correlated, and for this reason the only duty 
that I put before my young sisters was this: Learn 
how to think! But to-day, knowing that an echo 
from this address will be carried to the remotest 
circles, and therefore also to those women who 
stand in the van and who have already won such 
important strategic points, as, for example, the 
women in Australia, I felt myself compelled to 
drop those restrictions, in order to gaze out over the 
whole wide field of the Woman Question. 

"And, in conclusion, I turn to the men that hear 
me: We demand nothing of your magnanimity. We 
do not come as petitioners, but as givers for the 



time being as desirous of giving ; for still a portion 
of mankind, both men and women, reject the gifts 
we would confer. 'Let things remain as they are!' 
this fundamental desideratum of the conservative 
spirit is still cherished by the majority of women. 
Therefore, even among them there is still a large 
proportion of those opposed to the Feminist Move 
ment. Among men, on the other hand, it numbers 
an ever-increasing host of adherents. The admission 
of collective energy to the work for the elevation 
and enrichment of human society is a matter of 
equal concern to both halves. The ideal of that 
social condition in which brutality is to be driven 
out, in which gentleness, benevolence, and beauty 
are to become effective, is, God knows, no exclu 
sively feminine ideal. It has swept before the vi 
sion of all the great teachers of mankind ; and that 
is to-day also the guiding star of all those poets, 
thinkers, and statesmen who are yearning for a new 
and better day and are laboring to bring it to pass. 

"All these welcome the cooperation of women as 
a reinforcement of their effective forces. The battle 
against ancient rooted evil, against the dominion 
of force, is truly not easy, and the men who are con 
ducting it will only rejoice if to their aid come forth 
coadjutors and assistants from the ranks of that 
half of mankind whose most distinctive domain 
lies in those virtues which they are trying to diffuse. 

"Aye, this is what the new Eve is to become: a 
coadjutor recognized as of equal value; and for 
this purpose must you, my young sisters, educate 
yourselves, and for this purpose must you, my 



noble brethren, " and here she extended one hand 
toward her auditors, "help and sustain us. " 

She bowed and stepped back. John Toker went 
to meet her and shook her hand. The audience 
applauded vigorously. 

During the social intermission following her ad 
dress, Franka went down into the hall. She was 
surrounded, and numerous admirers both men 
and, especially, women asked to be introduced 
to her. She had the agreeable feeling that she had 
made a good impression, and this conviction was 
assured in her mind not so much by the warm re 
ception given her by the public as by the silent 
glance and pressure of the hand whereby Chlodwig 
Helmer had expressed his satisfaction on the plat 
form after she had finished. 

Baron Malhof now mingled with the group that 
surrounded her. He offered her his arm: "Come, 
please. Your aunts are eager to offer you their con 
gratulations. " 

"Really?" exclaimed Franka, astonished, as she 
took Malhof 's arm and went with him. "I should 
never have believed it. " 

At the other end of the hall sat the two old ladies 
and Coriolan. 

"Here I come, bringing the conquering heroine," 
said Malhof. 

Countess Adele moved along on her sofa to give 
room for Franka. "You surprised me ... to talk 
so long at one stretch without stammering and with 
no paper in your hand . . . that is remarkable. 



It is plain that you have had much practice. Are 
n't you very tired?" 

" I am a little used up. ... I have been dreading 
all day the ordeal of speaking ; before so many 
people ... I mean those out in the wide world 
. . . and also to a certain degree before you. I 
realize how little you approve of my speaking and 
of what I say. " 

"Well, that is quite true," said Aunt Albertine. 

Coriolan wanted for once to be courteous : "Well, 
I must admit, your voice is very pleasant and you 
do look very beautiful." 

"But you ought to wear gloves," remarked 
Albertine; "you notice, don't you, that everybody 
wears gloves?" 

Franka smiled. " But have you nothing to say 
about the subject of my address? " 

" If you were to kill me," replied Coriolan, " I 
could not tell you now what you talked about. I 
am incapable of following a lecture for five minutes 
consecutively. ... I only know that you preached, 
girls ought to be like men, and men like girls . . . 
and, truly, that is not to my taste. It would be a 
fine muddle but it is the end and aim of all 
modern movements the topsy-turvy world ! For 
tunately, it is not so easily turned topsy-turvy, and 
whatever you may talk man remains man, and 
woman remains woman and that is as it ought to 

The old countess came to Franka's aid: "Franka 
only urged that both ought to be better, and that 
surely could not do any harm to mankind. But there. 



is one thing that I should like to blame you for, 
Franka. If you really want to improve people, 
why do you not draw their attention to the injunc 
tions of our holy Faith? And if you call atten 
tion to the virtues of women, why do you forget 
the most womanly and most important piety? 
As far as I can remember, you did not say one single 
word about religion." 

" I spoke of goodness, of mercy, and of mildness 
is not that religion?" 

"But, my dear friends," cried Malhof at this 
juncture, "Miss Garlett is certainly not an officer 
in the Salvation Army. Moreover, as far as con 
cerns these religious dogmas . . . ' 

Countess Adele evidently wanted to turn the 
conversation from this theme, for Malhof s skepti 
cism was well known to her: "Franka, tell me where 
are you going, when this week is ended? Don't you 
want to come to the Sielenburg for a while?" 

"What am I going to do? I have not the slightest 
idea; I have an invitation to London, but I am hesi 
tating. If I go back to Austria, then I will make you 
a visit at the Sielenburg. But now, I will say good- 
evening. We shall meet again to-morrow." 

She had gone only a few steps when Prince Victor 
Adolph joined her. 

"At last I can tell you, my dear young lady, how 
fascinating but, no, I will not pay you compli 
ments; but I should like to have a little serious 
discussion with you on what I heard you say this 
evening. You were fascinating, that is a fact, but 
that is not the point. What I want to talk about is 



the meaning and the scope of what you put before 
us. Your idea certainly was not to please, but to 
attain something definite, was n't it? This is what I 
should like to ask you about your purpose. It is 
not altogether clear to me." 

"So you expect me to give you a private lesson 
on the Woman Question? Very good, you may ask 
what you desire to know, and I will answer." 

"Here is no place for a serious, undisturbed con 
versation, among all these people fluttering about. 
Might I do myself the honor of calling on you some 

"Certainly, Your Highness." 

"Then perhaps to-morrow?" 

She nodded: "Yes, to-morrow at three o'clock." 



THAT night Helmer could not sleep. The experiences 
of the day had deeply agitated him. First, the 
morning call on Franka. The feeling of panic which 
she had so confidingly confessed to him, had seemed 
to transfer itself to him. What if she should suffer 
discomfiture on that day, when, so to speak, the 
whole world was directing its eyes on her? That 
would embitter her whole career, and he felt that 
he was responsible for her career. 

The crises had been successfully passed; Franka 
had borne herself gallantly and had won a striking 
success, but this had not lessened his agitation and 
the success did not seem to him sufficient. It had 
not shown itself in the eager adherence of enthusi 
asts, filled with gratitude and devotion, but in the 
condescending applause of a curious and well-amused 
theater audience. To him she was a priestess, and 
to the whole people yonder she was a diva. Had 
she not done a priest-like and heroic act? Had she 
not sacrificed herself in order to offer to the world a 
part of what appeared to her as truth and wisdom 
only to give others, not herself, a little more hap 
piness? For herself, indeed, she had treasures of 
happiness at her disposal youth, beauty, wealth, 
freedom. Everything stood open before her: a life 
in the great world, with all its enjoyments of luxury 



and pleasure, a life of love at the side of a man who 
worshiped her, the joys of motherhood, . . . and all 
this she had thrown over in order to devote herself 
wholly and entirely to the duties and cares of an 
apostleship . . . 

"Oh, my poor Franka, my noble, sweet . . ." 
With these words, spoken aloud, he interrupted 
the course of his thoughts. He was alarmed at the 
tender expression of his own voice could it be 
that he really was in love with her? At this question 
other considerations occurred to him circumstances 
which had mightily affected him in the last few days : 
the offering of the violets . . . and then, after the 
address, just as he was about to go down into the 
hall to speak with Franka, there stood the prince 
again at her side. ... It had caused a flaming agony 
to dart through his heart. ... So he was jealous, 
was he? It was not to be denied he loved her! 
And even as he confessed the soft impeachment, 
he realized it as a heavy load of trouble, but at the 
same time so delightful, that not for the world would 
he have been willing to get rid of it. And was it really 
a new love; was it not rather one long kindled, which 
for years had been smouldering and had now burst 
into flame? Was not possibly this old sentiment the 
reason why in all these years, in spite of many more 
or less transient love-affairs, he had never been able 
to let his heart go completely? As a dramatic poet 
he had enjoyed many opportunities of frequenting 
the theater behind the scenes and many an adven 
ture had come in his way. One of them was an af 
fair which lasted two years. But it had not brought 



ease to his heart; rather it had become a burden. 
Fortunately it had been broken off gradually and 
without pain on either side. For some time he had 
been quite free, and was able to say that he had 
never been under the spell of a genuine passion. Al 
ways this or that quality had not quite satisfied him 
in those by whom he was attracted; always he had 
discovered that they lacked something; and the 
secret of it was, that he compared them all with 
Franka Garlett; not one of them came up to that 

The following morning a letter was brought to 
Franka. She was sitting again on her balcony and 
looking out over the forest. Her first thought was, 
that the missive came from Victor Adolph, but a 
glance at the handwriting dispelled this assumption 
the letter was from Helmer. She tore open the 
envelope and read : 

Two o'clock in the morning. It is in vain I cannot 
sleep. Racing pulse and whirling thoughts deprive me of all 
possibility of rest. Now it occurs to me that I have the 
prescriptive right to address a letter at rare intervals to 
a sister-soul with whom I may commune most intimately. 

I am making use of this right and I have sat down at my 
desk. It stands by the open window and bright moon 
light is streaming into the room. Only this sheet of paper 
is illuminated by my shaded lamp the rest of the room 
is all bathed in soft, silvery blue. I had put on my clothes 
to take a stroll in the garden and to cool my fever in the 
moon-enchanted night air. But I can put before you 
something of the overflow of my thoughts. You yourself 
are the center of these thoughts. What has so disturbed 
me is the experience that I went through to-day on 
Account of you and because of you. And in this emotion 



so much was revealed to my consciousness concerning 
you and myself . . . but I am going to write you here only 
of what concerns you, what touches your life. I leave 
myself out of the question. It would be very enticing 
now, when I am coming to you for refuge in this moment 
of restlessness and loneliness, to make you the confidante 
of my trouble, for I have that, but it is my own 

Now let me speak of you and your address. I had no 
opportunity of talking with you about it. You disap 
peared in the hall; first you were surrounded by the 
Sielenburg people and then you were accosted by the 
prince. Shortly afterwards you retired, evidently ex 
hausted by your triumph. For it was a triumph in spite 
of the panic which tormented you in the morning. You 
spoke with sovereign assurance, and said all that was 
to be said. Indeed, you went beyond your accustomed 
domain, the education of women for an intellectual 
participation in the questions of the day ; you entered the 
domain of actual feminism for you pleaded for practi 
cal cooperation of women in government and lawmaking. 
But such general and abstract considerations do little 
toward the attainment of this end. The gradual conquest 
of the whole will be accomplished only by practical work 
ers in details, doing practical things, here one and there 
one, thousands of them in thousands of different places. 
And this development is already in full swing, though it 
still lags far behind the ideal which you have foreseen. 

Yet, what am I driving at? Here I am speaking also of 
generalities which do not interest me at this moment. 
What interests me now is yourself, is your life. My con 
science reproaches me that when you gave me all your 
confidence, as to a brother in the spirit, I pointed out to 
you this path where you are entirely forgetting yourself. 
I was the one who suggested the word "Renunciation" as 
the countersign of that path. 

Yet I recall that I added : this full devotion to the cause 
would be demanded only for a few years. These years are 



now past. Your duty, as far as you could fulfill it, is ful 
filled. With generous hands you have scattered the seed 
of great ideas into the world of women. You have called 
into existence the Garlett Academy, and lavished a large 
part of your fortune on it it is working on in your spirit. 
The congregation of the " Frankistinnen " has been 
formed and is spreading. It is no longer necessary for you 
to throw your whole self into the work of the propaganda; 
it will go forward henceforth automatically. Let your 
address of to-day be the last of your public addresses. 

It will find an echo in a thousand places it will be 
perpetuated in the "Rose Annals" it makes a brilliant 
finale. Laboriously and courageously and persistently, 
you have put your shoulder to the wheel to set it in 
motion ; now it is in full motion . . . what is the use of 
pushing it any more? Time will bring you other work; but 
there is no reason for you to go out and seek work you 
must think of living, you must think of your own still 
fresh, joy-deserving life. You are here also "to share in 
loving," Franka. And now I come back to Prince Victor 
Adolph. I believe he worships you. He is no ordinary 
man. I have trustworthy information as to his worthi 
ness. Do not do violence to your heart if it beats for him. 

Having reached this point, Franka dropped the 
sheet into her lap she had not expected this. 
The first words of the letter, "racing pulse and 
whirling thoughts," thoughts which complemented 
her picture she would sooner have been prepared 
for his appealing to her heart for himself and not 
for another. Well, it was better so. In this way 
her "Brother Chlodwig" was not lost to her. 

She had no idea what it had cost him. At the very 
place where she ceased reading, he had ceased writing. 
He had sprung to his feet, and, clasping his head in 
both hands, had groaned aloud. He paced several 



times up and down the room in his excitement. Then 
he leaned out of the window and gazed toward the 
horizon which already betrayed a pallid premoni 
tion of the early dawn. The moon was veiled in 
passing clouds and one or two stars were twinkling. 
"One may not yearn to grasp the stars!" Have I 
not often repeated this to myself? He was vexed 
with himself. This jealous emotion seemed to him 
senseless, unworthy. He must and would crush it 
down, and the very best way before him was to help 
Franka to incline to the prince. And so he went on 

I really believe that an alliance with this royal prince 
might make you happy in several directions : first through 
merely loving that crown of life why should you not 
make it yours? And secondly, if the opportunity is given 
you, to work for your, for our, ideals (and in this word 
' ' our ' ' I include also the spirit of your father) . Only think 
what might be accomplished in this important, influential 
position. How the young prince would be strengthened 
and inspired by you in his bold, independent ideas. 
There is certainly no genuine happiness on earth for the 
like of us, unless we continue to work for the great objects 
which our longing eyes have beheld. We cannot, as long 
as we live, cease our efforts. In the midst of every other 
kind of happiness this work remains our chief desire, as 
it is our consolation in every misfortune. In my own 
trouble I confessed to you that I have trouble I am 
still with the half of my soul the better half of my soul 
at my task. You have already fulfilled your task for 
the Rose- Week Festival. Before me is still my reading 
in the presence of the whole world. I am not like 
Franka Garlett used to public speaking ; my tool is the 
pen. So I look forward to this ordeal not without trem 
bling, yet not without pleasure. It is a splendid opportu- 



nity to pour out what fills the soul to overflowing. I burn 
to be heard and understood. Not because I flatter myself 
that I have something beautiful to say, but something 
that may bring help. But how to find the right words? 

The things that float before my mind are so dazzling 
and so new, while the words that one has at one's disposal 
are so banal and so flat. The sublimest concepts, like 
goodness, freedom, right, have become dimmed by so 
many editorials, committee speeches, and election procla 
mations, that they have lost all their brilliancy what is 
worse, all their value. The lofty thoughts mined from the 
new time lie in bars, like gold, but in order to bring them 
into circulation, one must first coin them into new words, 
while we have only thin and worn coins to pass. If we 
come to the modern man I mean a man with broad 
philosophical and aesthetic views with these morality- 
dripping words (a morality which has been amply 
preached but never practiced in all these thousands of 
years), then it moves him like the admonition, "Be a 
good little boy," spoken to a grown-up man. 

It is beginning to dawn this is no metaphor: you 
know the old fault of my style of letter-writing, but this 
time I have really had no other meaning it is beginning 
to grow light. In order to scare away the torment of 
sleepless night hours, I have written till morning. In the 
foliage-crowned trees awakens the twittering of birds. 
What is it that they have to say to one another every day 
at waking and every evening before they compose them 
selves to sleep? 

Now I am going to shut my window, pull down the 
Venetian blinds, and try to get a little rest. It has re 
freshed me writing to you. Perhaps I may have a nap 
perhaps even a dream. . . . 


Franka and Helmer sat together as usual at lunch 
eon. Franka had come in a little late. 



"Well," said she, as she took her place, "did you 
have your dream?" 

"Yes, I dreamed about you. I saw you standing 
on the platform again and ..." 

"And it was to be for the last time, was it?" in 
terrupted Franka. "You wrote me, didn't you, 
because it would be easier than to say to me, by 
word of mouth, during breakfast: 'Miss Garlett, 
you spoke very indifferently. You are no longer 
accomplishing your work retire ! ' ' 

"Oh," exclaimed Chlodwig, pained, "did you 
understand me so?" 

"The principal thing I understood was that you 
were in a very melancholy and excited frame of mind 
and came to me for comfort : that delights me. And 
one thing more you desire my happiness. But 
do you really think it beckons in the direction you 
suppose? Two or three bunches of violets are hardly 
to be regarded as an offer of marriage. L T p to the 
present time, I have not the slightest ground for 
supposing that Prince Victor Adolph has ever 
thought of such a thing." 

"He has not intimated to you that he is in love 
with you?" This question was in a jubilant tone. 

"No, and if he should do so, do you know what 
. . . what I ... well, I confess, I am not quite cer 
tain myself. . . . Perhaps it would have been better 
if you had not suggested such a thing . . . you have 
kindled a spark in my heart." 

Their dialogue, carried on in an undertone, was 
interrupted by Mr. Toker, who from the other side 
of the table engaged Franka in conversation. 



After the luncheon was finished and the company 
had drifted into the adjoining salons, Gwendoline 
took Franka's arm. 

"Oh, Miss Garlett," said she in a voice trembling 
with emotion, "I must thank you. You have no 
idea what an impression you made on me, you fill 
me with admiration ..." 

Franka made the courteous deprecatory sign 
with her head with which we are accustomed to re 
ceive flattering phrases. 

"No, no, no!" cried the young American girl 
vehemently, "I should not be so presumptuous, 
stupid thing that I am, to pay you mere compli 
ments. I wanted just to tell you what feelings you 
awakened in me . . . not merely agreeable feelings 
for it is certainly not agreeable to be made 
ashamed of one's self, when one has hard things to 
say to one's own face; as, for example: 'You are cer 
tainly an empty-headed creature, Gwen! You must 
decidedly improve, my girl, if you want to rise again 
in my estimation* . . ." 

"And why did you speak so disrespectfully to 

"Oh, you understand me perfectly. You know 
right well, when you address young girls, that 
hitherto very, very few among them have ever 
thought with you. I belong to the majority. I have 
always kept aloof from serious things; for instance, 
I have not the slightest remembrance what that 
clever Frenchman said yesterday my attention 
was wholly diverted to the various groups in the 
hall, for I had discovered several comical people. 



When you began to speak, I was interested in the way 
the folds of your gown fell there was something 
Greek about it. Who knows, whether I should have 
listened to your words at all, if you had not sud 
denly addressed your speech directly to young girls. 
Then I had to listen to what you had to say to me, 
and after that I did not lose another word. I did not 
understand it all, nor can I remember it all, but so 
much I know I should like to be your pupil. Do 
teach me to think, show me my place in the world, 
so that I may accomplish something, be of some 
use. . . . You see, papa has always treated me as a 
child, and I have never been interested in his plans: 
I never thought that there was anything in them 
for us young people . . ." 

"Oh," cried Franka, "it is precisely the young 
and the youngest who are called and who are ca 
pable of walking in new paths. For that reason we 
all (I mean, we whose aspirations are directed to the 
future) look with such hope to America, for there 
the whole land is so young ..." 

"And we Americans look so timidly and admir 
ingly up to Europe, because it is old and venerable. 
All we have, we have from you." 

"And you are going to repay us richly for that. 
For what is going to ameliorate our future, inven 
tions, wealth, free institutions, peace, all that you 
will carry over to us. Mr. Toker is a messenger 
of that kind." 

"Oh, my dear father ... I fear I do not know 
him as I should." 

Gwendoline went on to explain that she had never 


lived very much in her father's society. In her child 
hood, she had been almost entirely in her grand 
mother's hands, as her mother had died when she 
was born ; and then, when six years ago the grand 
mother died, the child, then eleven, was entrusted 
to a Swiss Pensionat, from which only the year be 
fore she had returned to her own country. In this 
excellent Pensionat she had received the usual edu 
cation of young ladies that is to say, to take a 
part rather in dancing than in thinking. She had 
got only one idea there of the Woman Movement 
that it was a far from elegant aberration of 
high-strung females. What Franka had said about 
it was a revelation to her. Now she felt she must 
and would accomplish something Miss Garlett 
must instruct and advise her further. 

Franka now felt obliged to tear herself away 
from this interview. She was expecting a caller. 
She kissed the eager young disciple, whose attitude 
toward her filled her with joyous pride. "To-morrow 
we will talk further about this, my dear girl ; I must 
go now." 

She summoned Frau von Rockhaus and went with 
her to her rooms. Shortly afterwards Prince Vic 
tor Adolph was announced. Franka went forward 
to greet him. Frau Eleonore, who was sitting near 
the window, stood up and curtseyed, but immedi 
ately resumed her seat, for the call did not concern 

Franka's heart began to beat more quickly. 
"Helmer is to blame for this," said she to herself 
with vexation. 



After the first interchange of greetings and after 
they had sat down the prince said : 

"Permit me to enter in medias res without delay, 
and ask you the questions which I have on my 

He did not speak loud. Frau von Rockhaus, who 
from her remote corner was visible de profil perdu, 
could not hear what was said. 

"Well, I am ready to listen," said Franka, and 
raised her eyes to her visitor. 

Once more she realized that she had never seen 
a handsomer and more elegant man than this young 
prince. Yet, in his attitude there was a certain 
haughty, peculiarly unbending reserve more no 
ticeable if possible than ever. It was as if something 
had annoyed him. 

" I heard you yesterday for the second time, Miss 
Garlett. You spoke as eloquently as you did the 
first time, perhaps even more so; but you crossed 
over into another field where I could not well follow 

"How so? I still treat the same question." 

" But from a different standpoint. When I heard 
you in Germany, you protested that you were not 
going to stand for the current aims of feminism 
the franchise, candidacy for all public offices, and the 
like; that sort of thing you would leave to others. 
You would only urge that women should cultivate 
their intellect sufficiently to interest themselves in 
political and social life, so that by their influence 
they might be capable of imparting something of 
feminine virtues into the conduct of political and 



social affairs . . . that is what I understood you to 

"You understood quite correctly, Your High 

"And suddenly yesterday you began to join in 
all the extreme demands of the Women's Rights 
party, female voters, female members of Parlia 
ment how can I tell to what extent they would 
go ... no ... there I am opposed. Perhaps I am 
reactionary, but I shudder at the mere thought of 
seeing women delicate, lovely women dragged 
about in the dusty battle-field." 

"Do you mean Parliaments? Parliaments need 
not be dusty and need not be battle-fields, but 
places for work." 

" Why yes, you expect that all will be changed. 
But that is the very thing I dread. There is so 
much that is fine, it would be a pity to change it 
in other words, to destroy it. As, for example, sup 
pose one were to cultivate nothing but vegetables 
instead of flowers. Of course, it would be more use 
ful. And the captivating types of women who are 
to be found in our present state of civilization 
to see them all disappear that would be, indeed, 
deplorable. And must every woman have a calling? 
Wife, mother, sweetheart are not those also 

"There is no need of excluding others just like 
husband, father, lover!" 

"They are not to be compared. Oh, it has often 
been lamented that the world is robbed of its gods 
I tremble at the thought that it may be robbed 



of its feminine elements. I question whether this 
whole movement for equality because it is con 
trary to nature is not to be regarded as a tem 
porary aberration, now and again doing harm and 
destined to disappear. Please give me your ideas 
about this." 

Franka interrupted him with an impatient move 
ment of her hand. The trend of the conversation 
affected her unpleasantly. "Excuse me, Your High 
ness, I cannot give you a second lecture! I should 
not convert you, for your objection does not rest 
on grounds of reason, but is rather instinctive and 
therefore especially vehement. Nor have I the wish 
to convert you. My specialty, as you yourself have 
remarked, is certainly not that of the militant femi 
nist. It is remarkable, what an effect my yester 
day's address has produced : it moved a good friend 
to advise me to give up the whole thing while it 
made the brilliant daughter of the house my enthu 
siastic disciple; and it entirely revolted you, Your 

Victor Adolph started: "Good Heavens, how can 
you use such a word revolt ! Your address en 
chanted me, as your whole being enchants me, but 
the theme yes, you are quite right aroused an 
instinctive antipathy. And it would have been 
pleasant to me if you had been willing to explain 
your meaning, yet this expectation was presump 
tuous. Do not be angry with me. " 

He rose and took his leave. Franka did not at 
tempt to detain him. 



THE programme of that evening began with an 
aviation festival over the lake. A surprise had been 
prepared: the first trial of a new method of flight. 
The invention had been worked out and tested 
privately under John Toker's patronage ; this day it 
was to be exhibited before the world. 

The festival began at six o'clock. The weather 
was marvelously fine. A cloudless blue sky, the 
temperature, seasonable for June, was warm, but 
agreeably moderated by a cool breeze which ruffled 
the surface of the lake. On the shores a fleet of 
boats was arrayed with streamers and flowers, and 
provided with rugs and soft pillows. On the op 
posite side lay a number of passenger vessels, the 
decks of which had been hired for spectators. The 
population of Lucerne stood in dense throngs along 
the lake. Excitement and anticipation stirred 
through the crowd. The spectacle of aeroplanes and 
flying machines had, indeed, already by this time 
lost its heart-thrilling fascination. It w r as no longer 
as in 1909 and 1910, when the sight of these pioneers 
of the upper air seemed to take one's very breath 
away, when they still seemed to be both dream and 
miracle. The device had now become extremely 
common everywhere: in many places airships were 
making regular trips, aeroplanes had been adopted 



widely as vehicles of sport and luxury, just as auto 
mobiles had several years before, and every nation 
possessed its little air-fleet. No one longer uttered 
the exclamation, "Ah!" when a flyer shot up into 
the air the marvel had become a commonplace 
was simply taken for granted. 

But on this occasion, expectation had been once 
more keyed to the highest pitch. It was known that 
when Toker promised a surprise, something sensa 
tional was going to be produced, something that 
was not only magnificent and unprecedented, but 
also of vital significance and calculated to give con 
temporary society an uplift into new regions. 

A programme had been issued for the aviation 
festival. At six o'clock commencement of evolu 
tions in the air over the lake; at seven o'clock: a 
surprise announced by three cannon shots. 

More than half an hour before the specified hour, 
the boats, the vessels, the wharves, and also the 
windows and balconies of the villas and the hotels 
facing the lake were packed. At the stroke of six, 
the Toker flotilla of flying-machines ascended and 
began to perform their evolutions. 

"Those aeroplanes are masked and costumed," 
cried one of the spectators, and that exactly ex 
pressed it. These air-vehicles had the shape of all 
kinds of historical and imaginary equipages. The 
primitive type of superposed and juxtaposed frames 
without sides was no longer affected. The wonderful 
things swept slowly, one behind the other, at a com 
paratively low elevation, circling about the lake, as 
far as it was peopled with spectators. 



Now the throng really uttered its "Ah!" for such 
graceful vessels had never before been seen in the 
air. Slender ships with inflated sails, Roman char 
iots, Venetian gondolas, Lohengrin swans, enor 
mous shells glittering in mother of pearl and the 
like, were occupied by aviators, appropriately cos 
tumed. The planes and apparatus used for pro 
pulsion and steering were concealed with plenty of 
white and gray material, which looked like clouds, 
giving a magically picturesque effect. A manufac 
turer of flying-machines, present among the spec 
tators, shrugged his shoulders and remarked to a 
bystander: "Child's play with masquerade!" 

Several hundred metres high in the air above the 
heads of the spectators circled a great airship of the 
Zeppelin type. That, according to the rumor, was 
to be the bearer of the surprise. 

Franka sat in one of the boats with her companion 
and several other of Toker's house-guests. General 
conversation was going on, and Franka, leaning 
back on her cushion, gave herself up to her thoughts. 
A peculiar melancholy weighed on her spirit a 
feeling of isolation. A few hours previous there had 
been awaiting her something which she had looked 
forward to with keen anticipation, something which 
promised to give her a powerful emotion : the 
visit of Prince Victor Adolph. Helmer had been 
responsible for this expectation. The words in his 
letter were, "He worships you"; he must have 
known it, else he would not have written so author 
itatively, and those three words had gone through 
her like an electric shock. And what had the visit 



brought her? A bit of ill humor, nothing else. Not 
only the man did not worship her; he did not even 
understand her; her activities and her views were 
alien if not repulsive to him. Fortunately, she was 
not in love with him as yet, but only on the point 
of being. Consciously she had felt: It has not come 
as yet, but it is coming, it is coming. . . . She had 
heard it knocking at her door and had said, "Come 
in!" but across the doorsill entered nothing. 

At this moment a mortar shot rang out. All 
looked up into the air. The Zeppelin began to de 
scend in great spirals ; now it was about fifty metres 
high. The basket and its passengers could be 
distinctly seen. Three or four persons were sitting 
in it and two forms were standing close to the rail. 
Another shot: the rail was thrown open. For 
Heaven's sake the two forms might fall out. 
And sure enough for just here the third shot was 
heard, and the two swung off over the edge. A cry 
rose from all throats. The two figures as they fell 
stretched out their arms and with a quick motion 
unfolded a great pair of wings. It was a young man 
and a young girl. The youth wore striped tricot 
which gave his body the aspect of a butterfly's form 
and the two wings were shaped like a butterfly's. 
The maiden was enveloped in a white flowing robe 
which came down below her feet; her face was 
framed in blond curls and her wings were white 
and long like those frequently depicted as adorn 
ing the shoulders of the guardian of Paradise, the 
Archangel Michael, or those of the angel of the 



Butterfly and angel floated down in an oblique, 
gently gliding flight. The throng was now breath 
less and dumb. In the center of the lake was sta 
tioned a large float ; it was supposed that the daring 
flyers would land on it, but before they reached it, 
they turned up from a height of five or six metres, 
and, mounting, flew horizontally, came back, then 
flew down, and mounted again, performing aerial 
evolutions, crossing above the fantastic aeroplanes, 
and then returned to the Zeppelin which once more 
received them. 

A tumultuous uproar of applause rang through 
the air. An immense feeling of happiness and vic 
tory stirred all hearts. So now the air was actually 
made subservient to mankind. Without an engine, 
independent as a bird, one could rise from the 
ground, glide through the air, rise and sink away, 
be conscious of the motion ; it was, indeed, an intoxi 
cating gain ! 

The address given that evening in the theater 
auditorium of the Rose-Palace concerned the new 
acquisition. The inventor, a hitherto unknown 
young English engineer, gave an exposition of the 
mechanism of his artificial wings, and related how 
for some years in all secrecy, under Mr. Toker's 
auspices, he had been carrying on his investiga 
tions, labors, and experiments until at last he had 
been able to make a gift of his accomplished work 
to his fellow-men. 

After the inventor had concluded his address, 
Toker himself stepped forward and announced that 



no other addresses would be given that evening, 
but that the respected public might enjoy the con 
sciousness that henceforth no one would any longer 
need to envy the birds. 

The auditorium was now transformed into a social 
assembly-room where the liveliest conversation was 
carried on. The topic of applicable pinions truly 
gave sufficient material for all sorts of interest 
ing variations. Some rejoiced, others bewailed, still 
others tried to perpetrate witticisms; all were full 
of astonishment; exclamations flew about in merry 

" I shall be mighty grateful when market-women, 
instead of swallows and doves, shall be seen flying 
round in the air with their baskets." 

"In place of the light-horse regiment we shall 
now have regiments of light birds." 

"The joy of such self -constituted flight must be 
supermundane in the true sense of the word." 

"The world grows richer, more beautiful, more 
wonderful every day. " 

"We will rather say: more unpleasant, more 
weird. " 

"Where are the days when people were satisfied 
to travel on two feet or at most with four or eight 
horses' feet? Now we must have roller-skates, skis, 
bicycles, motors, balloons, aeroplanes, and here at 
last duplex-elliptic back-action folding wings." 

"Women will no longer turn into hyenas, but 
rather into wild geese. " 

" Do you long for constancy still, my dear madam? 
now, when we are all become fly-away?" 



Franka had retired early to her own rooms. She 
felt quite unstrung and hungry for solitude. Prince 
Victor Adolph had not put in an appearance either 
on the water or in the hall. Was he avoiding her? 
This was the first time that he had missed any of 
the exercises. His absence troubled Franka, and 
she drew disagreeable conclusions from it. Her con 
clusions, however, were baseless. The absence of the 
prince was not in any way connected with Franka. 
That afternoon, a near relative had arrived at 
Lucerne, to stay only a few hours, and the prince 
had been obliged to spend the time with him. The 
two had watched the wonderful flights from the 
balcony of their hotel. 

Franka was glad that Frau Eleonore had not 
joined her in coming upstairs but had remained 
below in the hall. Her companion, who had been 
with her now for some years, was dear and sym 
pathetic to her, but she had never admitted her to 
a real heart intimacy. Spiritually, also, the woman 
had never been to her what is called a "resource"; 
she lacked the "uplift. " A cheerful, harmless, hon 
est mind, a lady to her finger-tips, not given to 
narrow judgments, but also lacking in a bold out 
look, she had every quality of a model companion; 
but she was far from being the ideal of an intimate 
friend such as Franka really needed. And, there 
fore, in hours when she was in any way depressed, 
when an indefinite yearning came over her, when 
she meditated on God and the world and herself, she 
always preferred to be alone rather than have Frau 
Eleonore with her. 



She stepped out on the balcony and leaned against 
the railing. It was a warm night ; the air was heavy 
as if a storm were threatening. Along the hori 
zon frequent sheet-lightning flashed against a back 
ground of intensely black clouds; above, the sky 
was clear and the stars were shining brilliantly. 
The fir grove which bordered the garden stood 
dark with the white sand-strewn paths meandering 
through the trees. A gentle rustling could be heard 
in the branches. A screech-owl lamented some 
where in the distance, and from the near-by pool 
came the subdued call of a toad at long intervals; 
it was assuredly a lonely creature which, sighing 
again and again, queried: "Is there no other toad 
near me ? ' ' Everywhere loneliness ! That was the 
mood that drifted down upon Franka from this 
nature perhaps because she invested nature with 
this very mood. Yonder, each flash of lightning 
zigzagged down for itself alone, unconcerned about 
its forerunners and successors; in obtuse egoism 
sparkles every star without caring that, many mil 
lions of miles away, other stars are pursuing their 
own courses; the tree-tops must rock as the wind 
bends them without other trees coming to their 
aid yes, the most perfect indifference reigns where- 
ever she might turn; were she to die that moment, 
the lightning would continue to flash this way and 
that; the toad would not call in the least degree 
more mournfully and the stars in all eternity would 
not have the slightest notion of it. Alone . . . alone 
. . . that was the keynote of the whole concert of 
dread and melancholy which whispered around her. 



She stretched her arms out toward the vacant 
night and drew such a deep breath that its expira 
tion was a groan. Then she sat wearily down in a 
soft, upholstered wicker chair, leaned her head back, 
and in her lassitude and depression of spirits the 
consciousness that she was resting did her good 
physically. But psychically her indefinite longing 
developed into a hot sense of woe. Her eyes filled 
with tears. Oh, how good it would be to have some 
fond heart on which she might pour out her sor 
rows . . . yet if she had, perhaps she would not 
have the impulse to weep! For in that case the 
pain, the dull pain, called "loneliness," would be 
cured ! 

She sat there for some time, thinking of no defi 
nite person and conscious of no definite trouble; 
she merely felt sad, in a certain sense platonically 
sad. Her thoughts were without clear outlines: all 
that she had experienced and missed that day 
flowed into a hazy picture. Her eyes closed and 
gradually she began to doze: her indefinite thoughts 
were confused into a still more indefinite dream. 

Again it seemed to be clear day around her. The 
call of the toad and the rustling of the leaves had 
ceased. In place of them there seemed to be the 
light, murmuring plash of the oar. She was sailing 
in a gondola on the lake and the boatmen were 
Helmer and Victor Adolph both in the charac 
teristic garb and attitude of Venetian gondoliers. 
The slender black boat was surrounded by cloud- 
borne aviators. Ah, if she could only wing her way 
up into the upper air in such an airship. The wish 



was followed as so often occurs in dreams by 
its instantaneous fulfillment. A hovering cloud-car 
took her up and bore her away. She wanted to call 
to the gondoliers, but they had vanished together 
with the gondola. All around her only clouds were 
to be seen, rushing onward and changing their 
shapes like locomotive smoke which one sees stream 
ing by the train windows. Soon her equipage rose 
above this region of clouds and the sky grew blue 
over her head. In easy motion it went up up 
and down in rhythmical regularity like a swing, but 
like a swing which at every gyration lifts farther 
from the earth; then another forward plunge in 
speediest flight like a sailboat driven before a 
wild wind ; nothing more was to be seen of the 
earth. On the zenith a dazzling orb is that the 
sun? How, then, can her eyes endure its brightness? 
The orb grew ever larger; it was coming nearer . . . 
for Heaven's sake, how high was she doomed to 

A sense of terror darted through Franka's limbs. 
. . . "Enough! Enough!" she cried and looked 
everywhere in her vehicle. . . . Where then is the 
helmsman? No one! she was all alone. "Alone" 
that was the anguishing word which just before had 
been oppressing her heart; but now for the first 
time she understood it in its most gruesome sense: 
alone in the universe! What in comparison was all 
earthly solitude? Ever higher she arose toward the 
sun-resembling orb; ever wilder became the storm 
wind . . . whither, whither, into what boundless 
ness filled with horrors? A paroxysm of anguish and 



terror contracted her heart. Then she felt a strong 
arm flung protectingly around her; one of the gon 
doliers stood at her side. She could not see his face ; 
only that strong, rescuing arm with its warm clasp 
filled her dreamy consciousness with a hitherto un 
known joy of security. The little airship now glided 
gently downwards. It was a blissful feeling: the 
antithesis of loneliness, a lovely sense of safety; 
a tide of tenderness billowed, literally billowed, 
around her, for it was to her as if great warm drops 
fell on her forehead and trickled caressingly over 
her body. If one might imagine a paroxysm of ap 
peasing this miracle she experienced in her dream. 

But even in a dream the extreme of happiness 
lasts only a second. The equipage had become en 
tangled in a knot of other airships which precipitated 
themselves on one another painfully their frag 
ments fell into her face ; a booming salvo of artillery 
tore the air, and Franka, awakening, found herself 
sitting on her balcony in a heavy shower of hail, 
and the storm, which had broken, was raging with 
lightning and loud peals of thunder. She jumped 
up to run into her room and at that instant she felt 
that the bar of the blind, loosened by the wind, had 
fallen on her chair, and slipped down to her side. 

Just then Frau Rockhaus appeared at the bal 
cony door. "Why! Are you here? I should not have 
thought of looking for you here. How do you happen 
to be out in all this storm? It has been raining for a 
long time, and now it is hailing and thundering. You 
are wet through. " 

"Yes, dear Eleonore; I merely fell sound asleep." 


"Who ever heard of such a thing! Now, get to 
bed as quickly as you can." 

"Yes, I will. Please ring for the maid, and good 

As soon as her light was put out and she had com 
posed herself for going to sleep, a vivid recollection 
of her dream came to her. Again she believed that 
she felt the strong arm at her side, it must have 
been the bar, and she tried to conjure back that 
peculiar consciousness of security which, after the 
terror of the blood-curdling plunge into endless 
space, had so deeply inspired her. . . . She suc 
ceeded in doing so: she could bring back almost 
the whole dream with all its details, and she felt 
enriched by a new experience. Can it be, then, that 
such a heavenly refuge, such a paradise of security 
can be found? 

It was long before she went to sleep again; in 
deed, she did not care to sleep, for the sweet recol 
lection of the dream, like a slight intoxication of 
opium, was more refreshing, more tranquilizing than 
any sleep. Only toward dawn did she fall into a 
deep, sound slumber. 

When she awoke the sun was already high. She 
felt strengthened and full of joyous life. The mel 
ancholy of the evening before had been dispelled. 
It even caused no diminution of her good spirits, 
when, in the course of the forenoon, her aunts came 
to see her. 

"Oh, it is lovely of you to visit me ... please 
sit down. Now tell me, how do you enjoy being with 
us? Is n't it all wonderful?" 



The old ladies sat down. Then Franka for the 
first time noticed that their faces expressed a cer 
tain solemn sullenness. 

"We have come to say good-bye, Franka," said 
Countess Adele. 

"We cannot endure it any longer," added Frau- 
lein Albertine in explanation. 

"What, you are going to leave Lucerne, before 
the Rose- Week is ended?" 

The countess nodded. "Yes, we are leaving to 
day. I believe that, if I were to remain longer, I 
should lose my mind. These flyings up in the air, 
these uncanny pictures on the sky, all these up 
setting performances and declamations . . . No, 
it is not normal at all, I might almost say not 
comme il faut. We of our class cannot take any 
pleasure in it. Yesterday evening, at supper, I de 
clared that I was going home. Albertine was agree 

"Perfectly agreeable," corroborated Albertine. 

"Coriolan was delighted; only Malhof he was 
furious he is going to stay. We do not need him. 
Coriolan is sufficient protection for our return 
journey. He is a genuine knight of the good old 
stamp. . . . Now, tell me about the prince who 
was paying you such pronounced attention the day 
before yesterday. . . . Why did he not show him 
self yesterday? Is the affair at an end?" 

" 'T is no affair at all, " replied Franka testily. 

Fraulein Albertine nodded assent: "You are 
quite right, not to get any such idea into your head. 
Men of such elevated rank seldom have honest in- 



tentions certainly not with one of the ' emanci 
pated' women." 

"Well, I should have liked Franka to make such 
a match, " said the great-aunt soothingly. " Morga 
natic marriages are frequently contracted. But you 
will never lack suitors, for you are pretty ; and such 
little escapades as lecturing will be forgiven you, 
especially as in the mean time you have managed to 
retain your respectability. . . . But where is Rock- 

"Gone out for a walk." 

"And you here alone? That is not correct. You 
must be very circumspect. What I was going to 
say apropos of your getting married . . . there is 
a cousin of mine not Coriolan no longer as 
young as he used to be, a widower, but of very high 
nobility ; that would be worth while. Do you know, 
with the Sielenburg estates you ought to marry 
into the aristocracy, so that they would come into 
the right hands again. You yourself could get an 
assured position in society and lead a happy life. 
Certainly, you could never feel lastingly contented 
among all these Americans and Russians and vaga 
bond people, and wandering round yourself with 
them. ... I should wish my brother's grandchild 
a pleasanter existence : I want to see her respectably 
settled. . . . Did n't some one knock? It must be 
Coriolan ; he promised to come round here and fetch 
us. He has only to get the railway tickets for us, 
... I was right ... it is he. Come in, come right 
in, Coriolan; Franka will be glad to see you." 

Franka was, indeed, glad but chiefly because 


these three inestimable relatives were going to be 
take themselves away, and she firmly proposed to 
break off once more the interrupted and patched-up 
acquaintance. Behind Coriolan followed a servant, 
who brought the customary great basket of violets. 

"From His Royal Highness, Prince Victor 
Adolph, " said he. 

A vivid flush mounted to Franka's cheeks. She 
indicated with her hand that the basket was to be 
placed on the table. The servant obeyed and left 
the room. 

" Aha ! " exclaimed the Countess Adele saga 

"Ei, ei," commented Fraulein Albertine. 

Coriolan felt that it was incumbent on him to say 
something. "When a pretty woman sings or dances 
or speaks on the stage, then they send her flowers 
that 's the way it goes." 

"Yes, it has no other significance," said Franka. 
"Will you not sit down? And are you really going 
to take the ladies away?" 

"Indeed, I am, and with the greatest pleasure. 
I am more homesick even than they are. Here one 
gets the blues, or is driven wild with rage." 

"But there are such interesting events still com 
ing off, " remarked Franka. "An American inventor 
is going to tell us of the most unheard-of things, 
things that will quite revolutionize the future." 

Coriolan shrugged his shoulders: "There are noth 
ing but unheard-of things here. It would be much 
better to teach people to go back to the past, to 
cultivate their historical sense, than to be always 



trying to stir up new rubbish. Is the man going to 
speak to-day?" 

"No, Chlodwig Helmer is to speak to-day." 

"Well, that does not tempt me. On the Sielen- 
burg he always preserved a discreet silence; only 
once he broke out and what he said I don't re 
member what it was turned my stomach. I re 
gard him as a radical. " 

"Eduard was very much attached to him," 
spoke up the Countess Adele in defense of the for 
mer secretary; " he would not have kept a radical 
so long. . . . But, children, we must be going now. 
It is lunch-time and there is still much to do about 

She stood up. The others followed her example, 
and they took their leave. It was not a painful 
parting. Franka drew a breath of relief when the 
door closed behind her relatives. But the door 
opened again, and Fraulein Albertine came back 
with a deep air of mystery. 

"Franka," she whispered, "I have restrained 
myself all the time we were here, because I did not 
want to offend you; but I consider it my duty to 
warn you it is for your best: do not eat too much, 
and take much exercise, you are beginning to grow 
stout! There, now I must hasten to overtake the 
others. Adieu ! God bless you !" And she was off. 

Franka had to smile: that was so like Albertine. 
She cast a glance at herself in the pier-glass and 
turned away not at all alarmed: there was no fault 
to be found with the elegance of her figure. 

Now she hastened to the table where the basket 


of flowers was standing and detached the note that 
she saw gleaming among the violets. What might 
the prince one of the gondoliers of her dream 
have written to her? Perhaps a declaration of love! 
She hastily tore open the envelope which bore a 
small royal coronet in gold. It was no declaration 
of love, but only a formal apology for having been 
absent the day before, which he explained " was due 
to the passage in Berne of an exalted personage." 
Franka was possibly a little disappointed but in 
reality it was better so. The one, on whose strong 
arm she leaned in her dream, was perhaps the other 



ON the fourth day of the Rose-Week, the audi 
torium was as usual filled to the last seat. At the 
right, on the front of the platform, a kind of prosce 
nium-box had been set up, designed for the special 
guests who had signified their intention of being 
present, the King of Italy and the President of 
the French Republic. Besides these two chief exe 
cutives, there were several other members of the 
ruling families of Europe in the hall, but they were 
mingled with the other auditors. On the stage, the 
speaker's desk was placed in the center, but pushed 
somewhat to the rear, and in the background sat 
as usual Mr. Toker, his daughter, and a number of 
his distinguished guests. Some of them, however, 
had preferred to listen to the exercises from the body 
of the house. 

It was still ten minutes before the hour set for 
the commencement, but the hall was already packed ; 
only the King and the President had not as yet 
appeared. Lively conversation buzzed through the 
place. Persons who naturally belonged together sat 
in little groups: thus, for example, the two wid 
ows, Countess Solnikova and Frau Annette Felsen, 
accompanied by several gentlemen, among them 



Marchese Rinotti and Baron de la Rochere, as if 
they were in their own salon; the Countess Schol- 
lendorf, Albertine, Coriolan, and Malhof formed a 
little Austrian colony, to which the well-known 
sportsman also joined himself. Franka Garlett with 
her companion sat in the background of a small 
box, just out of sight of the public. 

Franka's excitement was great. She had never 
heard Helmer speak in public it was practically 
his first public address, and she trembled a little 
for him. 

The Sielenburgers had not taken their departure 
after all. It had happened that the sleeping-coupe 1 
tickets procured were meant for the following day 
and consequently the involuntarily prolonged so 
journ allowed them the opportunity of hearing 
Helmer's address. The Countess Schollendorf was 
gazing about through her opera-glass. Suddenly 
she cried out with a startled expression: "For God's 
sake, there in the third sofa in front is n't that 
the Archduke . . . ?" 

"Sh!" interrupted the sportsman. "Don't utter 
the name aloud; it is certainly he, but he does not 
want to be recognized." 

"Still, perhaps we are mistaken," said the Count 
ess; "our imperial family has not much taste for 
such American extravagances." 

" But really, it is the Archduke; I cannot be mis 
taken, for he bought a horse of me once and closed 
the bargain himself. Besides, he is said to be a very 
enlightened prince." 

Coriolan flared up: "What do you call 'enlight- 


ened'? That is a suspicious word. . . . Thank God, 
our court is nothing of the sort." 

The countess had now directed her glass toward 
the platform. "Franka is not sitting up there this 
time . . . but that Helmer! Who would have 
thought that I should have seen Eduard's secretary 
in this way again ! It is said that he is going to give 
an address. I am curious. " 

"I am not," muttered the cousin. 

"You are an unendurable man, Coriolan, " re 
marked Albertine suavely. 

"We need not be vexed, my worthy friends," 
observed Baron Malhof at this moment, taking a 
part in the conversation, after having vainly looked 
round to find Franka. "One must never be vexed; 
certainly not while on a pleasure journey. One 
ought thankfully to get from it all the possible 
satisfaction that may be offered. Domestic cares, 
local prejudices, have been left far behind. One 
drinks in all the delight of the 'now,' of the un 
familiar, of the unusual. And especially here in this 
festal hall, where such a brilliant company is as 
sembled, where it smells so fragrant, I would 
wager that the ventilator distributes atomized rose- 
water, where sweet music is playing, where beau 
tiful women are to be seen, and where one can 
stare at two living rulers of great States, and where 
there is to be great oratory in various tongues of 
Babel about the 'lofty flights of human thought.' 
... If this is not a place of amusement, what is it, 
I 'd like to know? Do you see, in my opinion life is 
a storehouse, filled full of joyance and annoyance, 



and all wisdom consists in getting out of that store 
house all possible joy and avoiding everything that 
can possibly annoy ..." 

A stir went through the audience. The President 
of the French Republic and the King of Italy had 
entered their box. Mr. Toker had ushered them in, 
and he remained for a few moments standing in the 
back of the box in order, as could be plainly seen, 
to give his illustrious guests some information about 
his likewise illustrious house-guests; for his eyes, as 
well as those of the two rulers, moved, during the 
conversation, from one to another of the selected 
circle filling the background of the platform. 

Now Mr. Toker went back to his place and gave 
the signal to begin. 

For the introduction, a second performance was 
given of the Rose-Quintette which on the first day 
had afforded such enjoyment; again it exerted the 
same charm and aroused the whole audience to the 
utmost enthusiasm. The King from the land of music 
set the example, and the applause throughout the 
auditorium rose into a perfect storm. Vera's eyes 
were filled with tears of delight. The Rose-Quintette 
was a genuine affront to that ultra-modern school 
of those who pose as scorners of melody; they did 
not, indeed, hiss, but they exchanged significant 
glances and bitterly ironical smiles. 

After the applause had subsided, the great Ital 
ian tragedienne came forth and recited Hero's la 
ment over the body of Leander, a soul-stirring mon 
ologue from the first work of a Roman poet as yet 
comparatively unknown. It was a decidedly long 



while after she had finished, before the applause 
began: people were too deeply moved to express 
their gratification instantly. Genuine tears trembled 
on the eyelashes of the great artist, and in the audi 
ence many cheeks were wet. Who has never stood 
by the bier of one dearly beloved, and has not gazed 
down into an abyss of grief so profound that the 
heart is penetrated by the terror of eternity? 

Now followed one of those ten-minute pauses 
during which the auditorium changed into a salon. 
Some of the guests left their places ; calls were paid ; 
there was promenading up and down the lobbies. 
The master of the house stepped into the box where 
sat the two exalted rulers in order to explain to them 
the meaning of the intermission ; they in turn went 
out on the platform and allowed the various celeb 
rities to be presented to them. The King greeted 
the actress as an old acquaintance, shook hands 
with her, and talked with her for some time. Then 
he greeted his other fellow-countryman, the great 
inventor, with equal heartiness. To be proud of 
one's king and to feel for him a genuine affection, 
is a widespread sentiment in monarchical countries ; 
but there is also very frequently in royal personages 
a feeling of pride and of gratitude for those who as 
artists or otherwise wear the crown of glory of their 
country, and this feeling might be called kings' 
loyalty. For centuries monarchs have showed this 
loyalty in the form of gratitude to the heads of the 
great noble families, especially for the leaders of 
armed forces on land and sea; but of late they have 
begun to realize that the fame of a country is borne 



over wider reaches of space and time by the names 
of its intellectual great men than by the names of its 
aristocrats and soldiers. 

The ringing of a bell announced the resumption 
of the exercises, and an expectant silence reigned 
throughout the hall. John Toker and Chlodwig 
Helmer stepped out to the speaker's desk. The 
American began in English : 

"Your Majesty! Mr. President! Ladies and 
gentlemen! I have the pleasure of introducing to 
you as the speaker of the evening I might almost 
say the speaker of the week Herr Helmer, of 
Vienna, the author of the poem ' Schwingen ' which 
quickly became famous. Not that I have any de 
sire to place his deserts higher than those of the 
other illustrious members of the Rose Order but 
because the theme which he is about to treat is 
the fundamental theme on which our whole plan of 
action is arranged: the conquest of the upper re 
gions Herr Helmer, you have the floor." 

And he stepped back to his place in the circle. 
As he took his seat some one whispered to him: 
"That was not very democratic of you, Mr. Toker, 
when in your introduction you apostrophized the 
two rulers with their titles!" 

"Please do not confuse democracy with incivility, 
as is so often done. It is exactly what they are 
rulers. To every one his due." 

The fault-finder remarked still further: "The two 
rulers certainly do not understand German and they 
will be mightily bored with Herr Helmer's address." 

"But they do understand German, as I happen to 


know. Besides, the French translation of the gist 
of the address has been printed and is in their hands." 

In the mean time Helmer had taken his place at 
one side of the desk, letting his hand rest on it and 
surveying the audience. First of all, he looked for 
Franka. At last he caught sight of her in the corner 
of her box. He gave her a mute greeting. At that 
instant Prince Victor Adolph and General Orell 
entered her box. Franka shook hands with them, 
but put her finger to her lips, as a sign that they 
must not speak; then she turned toward the plat 
form. Her heart was beating wildly. She was as 
deeply agitated as on the evening of her own debut. 
Victor Adolph took his seat behind her. 

Helmer made a slight inclination toward the two 
rulers ; then turned to the audience : 

"Fellow-men! The meaning of this address re 
quires an explanation: I am conscious that I am 
speaking not merely to the small assembly of promi 
nent men and women in this place, but to the world 
outside. I know that what I am about to say 
whether well or ill will be repeated in type, on 
human lips, on phonographs, in scientific reviews, 
in popular assemblies, in the homes of workingmen, 
in university halls, in all the nooks and corners of the 
whole civilized world; that it is therefore rightfully 
addressed to my fellow-men ; and what is more : the 
object itself touches every one personally, no mat 
ter to what rank or what land he may belong. 
Fellow-men, this matter concerns you all alike. Tua 
res agitur Humanity ! One of the greatest hours 
of your destiny has struck!" 



Franka drew a breath of relief. The speaker's 
voice rang out clear and full, and at the same time a 
restrained fire could be felt under his words, spoken 
so calmly and with such assurance. Verily, it was 
the same fire as had inspired her, when he delivered 
into her hands the shield and spear Hojo-to-ho 
the cry of the Valkyrie! 

She turned round to Victor Adolph, who must 
have understood the mute question in her eyes 
"He speaks well, does n't he"? for he nodded 

In a somewhat altered tone Helmer went on: 

"'Alas! corporeal pinions do not so easily corre 
spond to the pinions of the Intellect,' are the words 
in Goethe's 'Faust.' . . . The opposite is true. Cor 
poreal pinions we already have, but the spiritual 
wings have not as yet been found to correspond. 
Obedient to the will of man, the flying ship soars 
a thousand metres into the air, but the will itself 
remains in the depths. High and free, in beautiful 
premeditated curves, the artfully constructed pin 
ions drive through the pure ether, while far below, 
enchained, remains the intellect groveling in the 
dust. By a marvel of technique, the gates into a new 
age have been boldly forced, but nobody seems to 
perceive this. The marvel is now only a few years 
old. During the first week or ten days, tumultuous 
jubilation, universal astonishment: 'At last the 
millennial dream comes true ! ' ' How vast is human 
genius ! ' But after a short while everything goes on 
as before. No trace of the new age. One further 
means of locomotion, a new article of commerce, a 



fresh sport and opportunity for laying wagers, one 
more childish toy, one weapon more, that is all ! 

"All respect for so-called human genius, but as 
far as concerns human imagination it displays 
a pitiful feebleness. It ventures a few leaps into the 
air a metre or two, like the first flying-machines 
models as yet unprovided with motors ; but forth 
with it sinks back again to the ground. A door into 
the future forced open: whether from behind it, a 
golden radiance is to stream, or gloomy clouds are 
to threaten, people do not see they have no desire 
to see. They shrug their shoulders, put on an air 
of sound common sense, and deny all discussion of 
future possibilities and revolutions. The matter is 
left to specialists, and no one any longer takes any 
interest in it, save as it may affect one's private 
business or one's private satisfaction. 

"Above all, the military authorities always take 
possession of every new invention and it gets special 
ized into merely technical limits. Any possibility 
of its use other than for future wars is not taken 
into consideration, and hence, the more universal 
points of view, the indirect consequences, are put 
aside and only the nearest-lying applications are 

"Shortly before the invention of dirigible airships 
and flying-machines, armies employed captive bal 
loons and balloons driven before the wind ; even then 
there were aeronautic troops of course nothing more 
natural than that these should be entrusted as suit 
able experts with the introduction and maneuvering 
of the new air- vehicles. This was regarded in military 



circles as nothing revolutionary; it was simply a 
small improvement which might be made useful in 
connection with the existent system of tactics that 
is to say, for instance, in reconnaissances. As a 
weapon also, the thing might come into use, and 
experiments were, indeed, made in this direction; 
but that was relegated to the dim future and would 
never attain any great effective significance, for its 
certainty of aim was of the very slightest, its ra 
dius of efficacy very limited, and by means of per 
pendicular guns the attack might be easily warded 
off : such was the style of appeasement with which 
the suggestion of adding fleets of airships to the other 
effective forces was set forth and any wider outlook 
into the possibilities of the new acquisition was not 
admitted by government circles. Whenever practi 
cal necessity demanded such experiments in actual 
warfare, why, then they might be made, but it was 
useless to indulge in fanciful dreams of the future. 
. . . And the specialists continued to occupy them 
selves with present-day tasks, without abandoning 
the old ways ; as to the future, let it take care of 

"At bottom, indeed, it is not the business of vari 
ous callings, making use of any new discovery, to 
investigate it in all its aspects ; nay, this would even 
be too much to expect from the inventors themselves. 
Does the aviator understand very much about the 
scope of his invention? Occasionally and exception 
ally he does, of course but not because he is an 
aviator. As such he is a technician or an acrobat. 
Or, if he wants to make a show of ideal objects, he 



may be a patriot, and offers his apparatus to the 
ministry of war. He has no inkling of the fact that 
he has opened the way into a new epoch in which 
new conditions of life are to produce a new humanity. 

"What these new conditions of life may be, many, 
indeed, of our clear-sighted contemporaries have 
already recognized, but it has not as yet penetrated 
into the common consciousness. On this subject 
I should like to say something to my fellow-men 
from the far-echoing tribune on which I stand, and 
especially to tell them about the mighty alternative 
that has so suddenly been brought before our race." 

Chlodwig paused. He seemed to be collecting his 
thoughts for a moment or two. This interval the 
public utilized for observations and the exchange 
of views. 

Coriolan muttered: "Some such rubbish as that 
about flying I remember he put forth when he was 
at the Sielenburg." 

Countess Adele came to the speaker's defense: 
"He talks right fluently." 

" I am curious, indeed," said Prince Victor Adolph 
to Franka. "Have you any idea what he is aiming 

"Certainly, I know Herr Helmer'slineof thought. 
He has been my instructor." 

"Your instructor? . . . You have a high opinion 
of him?" 

"Indeed I have." 

The group to which the two Russian widows 
belonged had not been listening very attentively. 
Annette Felsen and Minister Rinotti were sitting 



close together and a scarf falling from Annette's 
shoulder had arranged itself so conveniently that 
under its protection their hands could touch. Per 
haps this electric contact was too powerful to allow 
any other to connect the speaker and these two. 
M. de la Rochere understood not a word of German, 
and so any criticism that he might be moved to utter 
concerned only externalities ; but it was a favorable 
criticism : 

"The man has a fine voice and such intelligent 
hands! Have you noticed how he pressed the ends 
of his fingers on the top of the table, as firmly 
and vibratingly as if he were table-tipping, while 
with his other hand he made such eloquent and grace 
fully sweeping gestures that one might actually fol 
low the drift of his discourse: he was evidently 
speaking of the air in which he drew curves as ele 
gant as those of Latham or Bleriot." 

Helmer now proceeded with his address : 
"The making of fire by artificial means and the 
invention of speech were the first stages in our pro 
gress from animal to man. Articulate man belongs, 
at all events, to another species than did his dumb 
ancestor. What kind of a species flying man is to 
represent, only the scientists of the coming centu 
ries will be able to decide. To-day I would merely 
call your attention to the conditions of social life, 
in which we can, even now, predict a change. There 
is, for example, the whole protective system of so 
ciety, which might be designated as the 'lateral 
system/ for walls, hedges, gratings, shut us off 
on the sides, but this now has lost its advantage. 



Only the places that are covered with a roof are 
entirely protected, yet we cannot build roofs over all 
gardens and all stretches of land. There are no more 
islands either, if by that term we designate a terri 
tory isolated by its coast-defenses and by its fleet. 
Since the day when Bleriot sailed over the British 
Channel, Great Britain ceased to be an island. Like 
the concept 'island,' by means of aviation will also 
disappear the custom-house of the frontier . . . aye, 
the frontiers themselves. 

" Let us pause for a moment and consider that 
totality of things which bears the name of war: 
What modification will be likely to ensue in this 
domain by these new acquisitions? The militarists 
are quickly ready with their answer: 'War will 
simply be carried on simultaneously in the air.' 
But the business is not so simple as on the earth 
and on the water. All the methods of war, we might 
say, all the rules of the game, are based on the 
following hypothesis: the two opponents go forth 
against each other to the borders, try to cross them, 
try especially to prevent the enemy from crossing 
them; try to win and to command positions; to 
march, if possible, against the capital, and if they 
succeed, then they dictate terms of peace. In order 
to make this game more difficult, obstacles are erected 
in time of peace, forts are built along the borders 
and the soil is undermined; the farther one pene 
trates into the country, more and more fortifications 
are found, which must be captured one after the 
other by the invading army; and, moreover, every 
village, every farmstead where the belligerents might 



meet, is made into a stronghold. The game can be 
supported by sea, when the fleets approach the coast, 
which must be made more difficult to reach by means 
of fortifications and submarine mines. 

"And now comes the third military arm that 
of aviation. For this, the crossing of boundaries is 
child's play. Fortifications would no longer be im 
pediments; not merely that they could be blown 
up by a couple of pyroxin bombs ; they would be 
simply a negligible quantity. These artificial con 
structions, with their trenches and walls and case 
ments, have also ceased to be defenses, just as the 
islands have ceased to be islands. Headquarters, 
hitherto the safest places, most protected by dis 
tance, places where the maps of the country used to 
be studied, and serving as the center from which 
the troops were directed, are now the most exposed ; 
for an enemy's flyer would make it his chief object 
to fling his explosives down on that particular spot. 
All the most modern methods of fighting, the con 
cealment behind high-piled earthworks, are hence 
forth without object; the approach of great army 
corps offers these air-skirmishers the most favorable 
circle of trajectory to be imagined but who will 
there be to endure this consciousness in addition to 
all the other hardships of the march? Still more 
vulnerable to attack from above would be every 

"The cavalry, which in modern warfare is em 
ployed only for recognizances, has become a mere 
article of luxury through the dirigible balloon, the 
usefulness of which in the task of spying out the 



country has been from the very beginning appreciated 
as its most brilliant service ; but the cavalry, when the 
regiments ride in close order, would offer a fine mark 
for the troops of the air. But while all the attempts 
would be made on the ground with the object of pen 
etrating the hostile country, the aerial troops of both 
armies would already have flown over both capital 
cities and would be turning them into smoking heaps 
of ruins. Likewise, a dirigible could in the dead of 
night glide over the fleet of twenty-five-thousand- 
ton ships arrayed in battle order, and annihilate it. 
High in boundless, unobstructed space there is no 
definite theater of war, no commanding position; 
consequently the decision of the campaign cannot be 
transferred into the air. Aerial machines of murder 
will not march up side by side in line, but each single 
one will work from up above downward ; up above, 
there is nothing to conquer and nothing to annihilate. 

"If now, under these newly created conditions, 
nations go forth to fight each other as before, it will 
be just as if two chessplayers should sit down at the 
board and should say: 'We will allow the old rules 
to prevail; the pawn shall be just as valueless; the 
Knight shall make his jumps ; Rook and Queen shall 
preserve their great power; the King shall have the 
privilege of "castling"; but we will add a new rule: 
either of us may throw something on the board 
from above and upset all the chessmen!' A beau 
tiful game that would be which would fail to 
please the chessplayers!" 

He then added, as if in a parenthesis: "The chess 
men fail to be pleased anyhow." 



Some sounds of dissatisfaction were heard in the 
auditorium. The military men present were express 
ing their disagreement. "If only civilians would 
not talk about things of which they have n't the 
faintest notion," remarked a retired colonel to his 

General Orell had demurred the most indignantly: 
"All nonsense!" 

"I don't find it so," replied Victor Adolph. 

But no great time was allowed for exchanging 
opinions, for Helmer now proceeded : 

"The opponents of war and such I find to-day 
even in the most influential social positions " he 
bowed toward the royal box "the opponents of 
war might congratulate themselves that such a war- 
destroying element has entered into the very appa 
ratus of war; but the chances are that the experi 
ment would bring about a catastrophe involving not 
the destruction of war, but rather the destruction of 

" In a book, which is the work of a prophet and of 
a forewarner, H. G. Wells, whose powerful imagina 
tion never leaves the solid ground of logic, there is 
a description of what must become of the present 
world if once the rain of fire should pour down upon 
it from out the clouds. Aye, ' the conquest of the air ' 
we have little cause for rejoicing over it con 
ceals the most awful perils. 

"And one thing more: What will henceforth be 
the sense of the term 'sentinel'? Hitherto, those 
that were threatened could feel a certain degree of 
security, by surrounding themselves with a body- 



guard; by keeping all the doors and entrances to 
their palaces and gardens closely watched, night 
and day; by stationing armed hedges on the right 
and left, when they went out into the streets; or, 
if they traveled, by protecting the railway track 
through its whole length by lanes of soldiers and 
police ; but what will all this avail against assassina 
tion from above? 

"And altogether: the execution of every act of 
hatred or revenge will be greatly facilitated and its 
discovery made more difficult; no police stations 
can be erected in the upper air, no police dogs could 
follow the trail; what yesterday was called 'flight' 

then a very difficult and dangerous undertaking 

can to-day be taken as a pleasure trip ! 

"How could one find any traces in the heights 
above? The aeronautic Sherlock Holmes will offer 
a new and as yet unexploited subject for detective 
stories. A winged gendarmerie will first have to be 
organized ; but a great obstacle stands in the way of 
patrolling space: not only is there the stretch from 
north to south and from east to west, but also 
zenithward. The desired point will no longer be 
crossed only by two lines, but by three. All this 
must be faced. If really man is a wolf to his fellow- 
man and is bound to remain so, then our enemy, the 
wolf, by means of our new achievements has got a 
new and tremendous accretion of strength." 

Helmer made a brief pause. A slight feeling of 
uneasiness had taken possession of his audience. . . . 
What the man was predicting did not seem so rosy ! 
But Helmer passed his hand over his forehead, as 



if he would drive away a swarm of annoying visions, 
and then he went on in a louder voice : 

"I do not stand here as a prophet of misfortune. 
I see the evil, but I also see the cure for it. If new 
conditions of life are brought forward, if the world 
around us undergoes changes, then our mode of life 
must be made to conform to them ; for what does not 
conform goes to destruction. Nature herself accom 
plishes this process of adaptation by dooming to de 
struction those who are incapable of conforming. At 
the present stage of human development, however, 
we do not need to leave this process to Nature 
alone: we have reason, we have knowledge, and we 
have experience: we ourselves can take the work of 
transformation into our own hands! Nature works 
slowly and works relentlessly; we can hasten her 
work, and we can avoid those harsh and pitiless 
means which Nature employs to bend us under the 
law of adaptation. So now, w r e are capable of recog 
nizing the new conditions, the new needs, that grow 
out of the human conquest of the air. We can esti 
mate what of the old contrivances, of the old forms 
of thinking, cannot be brought over to the new 
dawning epoch ; we can mentally construct the con 
ditions and principles which might prevail in the 
altered circumstances; we can strive and we can 
bring it about, that the necessary conformation 
shall take place without its involving the method of 
Nature 'The destruction of whatever resists.' 

"And the formula of the needed action is provided 
for us by the new acquisition itself: We are already 
able physically to soar up into the heights we must 



do the same thing morally. We must learn to hold 
dominion over the realm of High Thinking. 

"For thousands of years mankind has been dream 
ing of the possibility of learning to fly. It has so 
often tried in vain that at last it came to the con 
clusion that it was impossible. And yet it has been 
proved to be possible. 

" In the same way, and almost even more timidly, 
mankind has behaved toward those dreams which 
attributed to human souls the capacity of applying to 
the intercourse of nations the moral injunctions that 
have been laid down as law for the behavior of indi 
viduals, and of renouncing violence in all its forms. 
This has been called Utopia. . . . ' Man is essentially 
a wild beast ' they say : ' only by force can he be 
tamed, only by force can he be held under restraint, 
and force has always conducted the fate of nations.' 
Well, now, the most Utopian of all Utopian possi 
bilities flying has become a reality. Technical 
art has won this victory. And must the spirit alone 
remain forever enchained in the wallowing depths 
of hatred and brutality? Certainly not! 

"Just as soon as human genius shall put forth 
the same determination, the same assurance, as it 
has put forth in technical work, for the attainment 
of moral ideals, it will be likewise victorious. All the 
technical inventions have had the one end and aim 
of making life more beautiful, more enjoyable, easier, 
in a word, of distributing happiness. But what 
genuine happiness is possible if all intellectual ac 
tivities are ever maintained for the purpose of ren 
dering life more unendurable and of destroying it? 



With his physical capacities, man must grow psy 
chically, else will he become more and more dan 
gerous and wretched instead of growing greater and 
happier. Now that he has subdued steam and elec 
tricity and radium and the Hertzian waves, in order 
to make existence more comfortable for him, the 
time has come that he should, with equal confidence 
and equally firm resolution, try to make serviceable 
those other forces which also are inherent in the 
world, good will, love, reason, and which alone 
are fit to endow life with beauty and value." 

A murmur of approbation stirred through the 
hall. Helmer advanced a step toward the front of 
the platform and stretched out both his hands : 

"Aye, Good Will! I have uttered there the holiest 
concept in the universe. For the upward flights of 
the soul, this is the only motor-power 'Good Will ' ! 
If aeronautics and aviation had not discovered the 
lightest possible motor, they would still have been 
Utopias. And all endeavors to solve social problems, 
to bring security and comfort to human society, all 
attempts to rouse men's souls into higher spheres, 
have necessarily failed, for the precise reason that 
Good Will, Goodness called weakness by the nar 
row-minded has not been made the moving power 
for the conduct of social and political life. Of course, 
there are still other splendid qualities, and these are 
universally upheld as the basis of character and as 
the motives of noble behavior: courage, determina 
tion, intellect, enthusiasm, strength. But there is 
only one criterion for their inward value and outward 
valuation they are worthy and blessed only when 



they are used in the service of Good Will. The quali 
ties I have named strengthen our activity they 
do not ennoble it. There is courage shown in wicked 
ness, determination in cruelty, intellect in malignity, 
enthusiasm in hatred, and strength in arbitrariness. 
And in fact, these elicit our admiration, because in 
the brilliancy of the qualification the abomination 
of the subject is forgotten. 

"I repeat, I am not standing here as a prophet 
of misfortune; but neither do I stand here as a 
preacher of virtue. The need is not to educate to 
goodness, to create and awaken feelings of benevo 
lence ; only the goodness which is alive among us men 
needs to be put into action. There is a field, a vast 
field embracing almost all social relations, and at 
its very entrance stands this placard of warning: 
'Goodness and Benevolence are forbidden entrance 
to this field' the name of which is: ' Politics.' 

"This placard, put up by folly and stupidity, 
must be torn down. There must be room even on 
this, especially on this, field for humanity's Highest 

"Some two thousand years ago a great, good, 
wise spirit put into words a similar High Thought : 
'Love one another.' But in vain. And some thou 
sands of years ago an Icarus had attempted to fly 
up to the sun but in vain. And yet to-day we 
can fly. And likewise that other lofty realm is to be 
won in which not our bodies but our souls are to 

"Woe to us if we delay much longer to make 
ready for this new conquest. Persecution, slavery, 



and destruction must no longer be regarded as legiti 
mate means for the attainment of social and politi 
cal ends. For the possibilities of annihilation have 
grown to be too powerful. There is no other way of 
self-protection against the flying man than by mak 
ing him a brother. We are now at the parting of the 
ways ; we must go up higher up to the highest 
heights with intellect and heart sursum corda 
or we shall sink into nameless abysses. We must 
make clear to ourselves whither lead the two paths 
that lie open before us for the choice is ours." 

Here again Helmer made a brief pause; then he 
stepped to the very edge of the platform : 

"Now one further word about thoughts that 
soar. . . . The evil does not consist in the fact that 
men are incapable of cherishing High Thoughts, but 
in this: that they have a low opinion of man. 
Their so-called Worldly Wisdom culminates in their 
declaring with a scornful face that it is impossible 
to set up noble and elevated ideals as acting rules 
for life. He who scents out low and selfish motives 
back of every really noble word and deed believes 
that he is wise and keen, that his mind is peculiarly 
shrewd. Such men are always trying to see through 
things they have not learned to look up. Con 
fidence in the good awakens the good. The masses 
will follow up to that height to which a real leader 
will venture to lead them ; they will never go farther 
than the leader thinks them capable of going. We 
have arrived at an epoch when, in spite of the law of 
gravity, the body can soar to unknown heights. It 
is beyond the power of the imagination to foresee 



to what spiritual heights we and our children may 
attain, when once, with resolution and earnestness, 
with confidence and enthusiasm, we endeavor to 
bring about the conquest of High Thinking. The 
great philosopher who was filled with equal awe be 
fore the splendor of the starry heavens and before 
the Categorical Imperative of his own conscience, 
Immanuel Kant, anticipated the motto of this Rose- 
Week when he said and with this quotation I 
bring my address to a close: 'Men cannot think 
highly enough of man.'" 



FRANKA drew a deep breath. She had listened with 
the deepest interest to every word spoken by Hel- 
mer, and now, when he had concluded, she turned 
around for the first time and became again aware 
of the prince's presence. 

"Well, what do you say, Your Highness?" 

Victor Adolph had risen to his feet. His features 
expressed inward emotion. "The man stirred me. 
Did you listen, Orell?" 

The general respectfully answered: "At your serv 
ice, Your Royal Highness." 

"Truly, did you follow it all?" 

The question was put in a very skeptical tone. 

"Not all. Much was too nebulous. Man'savision- 
ary a dreamer ... no ground under his feet." 

"Well, yes," remarked Victor Adolph, smiling; 
"in this epoch of aviation, this thing 'the ground 
under the feet,' seems to lose its importance." 

Several of Toker's guests at this juncture entered 
Franka's box. . . . The prince took his departure: 
" I want to look up the speaker. I must shake hands 
with him." 

Helmer had in the mean time been conducted by 
Toker into the royal loge. Not without emotion did 
he make his bow before the two powerful rulers. If 
by any chance his message had worked upon their 


wills, this might turn into action pregnant with 
results. Power is no illusion. A democratic spirit 
may regret that any one person should exercise it 
and may desire to change the fact, but no democrat 
need be blind to the importance of this fact as long 
as it exists. Abundant opportunities for doing things 
are placed in the hands of rulers, even when they 
are no longer autocrats, so that they might easily 
shorten the distance that separates idea and accom 

Naturally, Helmer had no expectation that the 
King and the President would say to him: "Dear 
Sir, what you have said to-day will give the direc 
tion to our future activities." But at all events, 
they had listened to him and listened with sufficient 
interest to express the desire now to talk with him. 
Who could tell if this might not expedite the fulfill 
ment of what he had wanted to suggest to his audi 

The trivial ceremony of the presentation, of the 
friendly hand-shaking, the rather unmeaning ques 
tions and answers, went off in the conventional 
manner; yet Helmer did not prize the opportunity 
any the less: the seed of his work might have fallen 
on fruitful soil. After three minutes the whole af 
fair was at an end and Helmer was stepping down 
into the hall. He intended to seek out Franka whose 
presence attracted him, but he was instantly sur 
rounded by a crowd of people congratulating him 
on his discourse or asking him what he meant by 
this or that passage in it. 

A gentleman approached him and introduced 


himself: "My name is Henri Juillot," said he in 
French; "I am an engineer and I built a dirigible 
airship myself." 

'"La Patrie'?" asked Helmer, interested. He 
had heard of the triumphant flight of this military 
airship and also of the accident which had happened 
to it later. 

" You know about it?" exclaimed the Frenchman. 
"Then you also know the unfortunate 'Patrie' was 
driven out of its course by a storm and was never 
seen again." 

"Yes, I know; Count Zeppelin did not have much 
better luck at Echterdingen. But I hardly think, 
M. Juillot, that you will be very well satisfied with my 
conclusions. You designated your dirigible for war, 
and I protested most urgently against the exploita 
tion of the splendid invention for such a purpose." 

"I believe that our views are not so very diver 
gent," replied the Frenchman. "My opinion is: the 
airship is going to give the death-blow to war." 

"And you say this? You, who worked in the serv 
ice of the ministry of war?" 

"Why not? Activity in a given calling does not 
necessarily shut out the view of the intellectual 
horizon, does it?" 

"It ought not to do so yet it generally does." 

The engineer stood up. "I will not detain you 
longer now, and indeed here comes some one looking 
for you." 

Helmer seized his hand, and shook it heartily. 
" I thank you for your words, M. Juillot. I hope we 
shall meet again." 



"Ah, at last you are discovered. I was looking 
for you as for a needle in a haystack ! " It was Prince 
Victor Adolph who came up to him. 

Helmer bowed. 

" I felt I must speak to you," continued the prince. 
"I wanted to tell you how deeply your address 
stirred me. A light seemed to rise before me, and I 
cannot tell you in merely a couple of words what 
I see in this light." 

Helmer expressed his thanks for these friendly 
words of recognition. He, indeed, cherished a high 
opinion 'of the prince, and therefore his praise gave 
him a real pleasure. And yet he was overmastered 
by a gnawing bitterness as he stood facing the hand 
some, manly, young prince. No self-deception availed 
any more; he was obliged to confess: the horrible 
tormenting passion so allied to envy jealousy 
began to poison his mind. How he had thought him 
self superior to such a feeling ... he had even en 
couraged Franka to bestow her love on this splendid 
young man, and had taken pleasure in his own magna 
nimity . . . and now this evil passion had him in its 
clutches! There was only one cure for it: absence! 
The week at Lucerne was nearing its end and then 
their ways would diverge his and Franka 's. Be 
sides, he had his great solace : art, labor. For some 
time the idea of a new drama had been gradually 
dawning in his mind, So, as soon as he should be 
back, he would immediately gird himself to the task 
of writing it. As if in line with this idea, the prince 
now asked : 

" Have you conceived the idea of writing any 


new poem. It will be difficult for you to surpass 
' Schwingen' ! " 

" I am going to write a drama, Your Royal High 
ness. I have the notion that one can speak in that 
way more directly, more persuasively to one's con 
temporaries than in an epic." 

"Scarcely more persuasively than you spoke 
to-day. I thank you once more for the vistas which 
you opened up before me. Auf wiedersehen, Herr 
Helmer!" He shook Helmer's hand and left him. 

A minute later Helmer found Franka. She hastened 
up to him. 

"Ah, Brother Chlodwig, at last," she cried. 

"7 say 'at last.' I had such a longing to see you. 
You must tell me ..." 

"Oh, I have ever so much to say to you," she in 
terrupted. " It almost seems like that evening when 
I talked with you the first time do you remem 
ber? Or that other evening when you outlined the 
plan for my career. Let us do as we did then. . . . 
We will have supper, we three . . . and talk, talk. 
... If we have supper now with the whole Rose 
Order, we cannot say half what we have to say. 
Do you consent?" 

"Do I! That will be splendid!" 

"Very good, then. So Eleonore and I will go up 
to our apartment and get the festive supper ready. 
Follow us in a quarter of an hour." 

When Helmer rejoined the ladies, the table was 
already set. Plates with all kinds of cold meat, 
patties, lobsters, chicken, strawberries and sweets, 
were arrayed on it, and at one side in a silver bucket 



a bottle of champagne. Moreover, on a small table, 
drawn close, and presided over by Frau Eleonore, a 
singing tea-kettle. 

Franka, who had changed her evening gown for 
a soft white kimono, came forward to meet her 
guest with outstretched hand: "Welcome, Brother 
Chlodwig ! Now we will enjoy a pleasant cozy hour. 
After all the great and overpowering things that 
surround one here, one really yearns for something 
domestic, calm, and comfortable." 

Chlodwig kissed her hand: "You make me happy, 
Franka. You could not have put a prettier crown 
on this day than this kind of invitation. And I mean 
to do honor to all these appetizing things the fact 
is that, in the anxiety of preparing my address, I 
have scarcely eaten anything all day, and I am as 
hungry as a bear." 

"I am glad of that. So let us sit down. Let the 
feast begin!" 

"Even the stage-setting is festive," remarked 
Helmer. "I never saw your rooms lighted in the 
evening before. . . . This subdued rose-light is magi 
cal in its effect." 

"Oh," sighed Franka, "it is impossible here to 
escape from the magical. Don't you find also that 
it brings with it some homesickness for the simple 
and commonplace? . . . Please, take a bit of this 

Helmer helped himself. "Yes, there seems to be 
a sort of pendulum law in our wishes." 

"Then, what would be the equilibrium? To be 
without a wish? But let us not philosophize let 


us chat. We should have so much serious talk that 
I would rather not begin. Your address I have 
not as yet said a word about it to you, let me shake 
hands with you ... it was fine! That address with 
its wide outlook, it would lead to such deeply 
serious discussion on a hundred abstract things!" 

"Then we will not talk about it," assented 

"But please fill the glasses," Franka held out 
her champagne-cup. "If we are not going to talk 
about your lecture, let us drink to the hope that 
what you suggested to our fellow-men may be ful 

They touched glasses. 

"May also what your teaching promises be ful 
filled, Franka Garlett, " said Helmer; "will you not 
join us, Frau von Rockhaus . . . may I fill your 

Frau Eleonore shook her head: "Thank you, I 
only drink tea . . . and to tell you frankly, these 
toasts are too vague. Let our contemporaries and 
those who come after us look after their own good. 
Won't you folks also think a little about yourselves? 
I am ready to drain my cup of tea to the nail-test 
if the toast shall be: 'Three cheers to Franka,' or 
' Three cheers to Helmer, ' or even a cheer or two 
to Eleonore. . . . And please understand, the fate of 
the last-named lady affects me more than that of 
unborn generations!" 

"Good!" cried Franka; "agreed. Health to the 
three of us! a ninefold cheer!" 

The glasses clinked. Then Franka leaned her 


head back on the cushion of the easy-chair and, 
smiling, closed her eyes. "At this moment I do 
have an attack of selfishness. ... I feel all thrilled 
with a longing for . . . for ..." 

"Happiness?" suggested Helmer. 

"That expresses too much. Only a deep, heart- 
filling joy. But not a lonely joy ... I want your 
company, dear friends." So saying, she stretched 
out her hands to left and right, and laid them on the 
arms of her two table companions. 

Helmer felt this touch like an electric shock. 
What filled his heart was not an unquestioning, 
unwishing joy; rather it was a dream-happiness 
which flashed through him like lightning. But what 
this flash of lightning revealed was a burning sand 
waste of hopeless yearning. More clearly than the 
impulse of jealousy which he had recently experi 
enced, this instantaneous burst of glowing tender 
ness showed him that he loved, as passionately as 
man ever loved. It was fortunate that the com 
panion's presence checked his impulse, for he was 
strongly tempted to fling himself at Franka's feet 
and confess to her what made him so deeply un 
happy. But he controlled himself. Franka must 
not be aware of the tempest that raged in his soul. 
He would not spoil the calm joy to which she had 
referred ; yet he could not help knowing the source 
of this joy could it be that on the very day she 
had made up her mind as to her future? Had the 
prince declared himself? But if that was the case, 
why was he not sitting by her side instead of Brother 
Chlodwig? Well, possibly she had not considered 


that proper. She had only invited the harmless 
"Brother" in order to confide in him her joy, in 
order that he might be let into the secret of the 
change of her destiny, he who had hitherto exerted 
such a powerful influence on her life, he who had 
been the guide in her vocation, the master builder 
of her fame. These thoughts had not occupied ten 
seconds. He took her hand which still lay on his 
arm and held it firmly with a tender pressure. 

"Tell me the ground of your joy, dearest Franka 
... let us speak of your future. " 

Franka had not changed her position. Her eyes 
were still closed, her head leaning back: "No, no, 
nothing of the future now. I wanted to anchor my 
joyous feeling in the present, that only safe anchor 
age . . . But I am willing" she sat erect and with 
drew her hand "I am willing ... let us talk of 
my future plans. I decided day before yesterday 
to withdraw from publicity. That address is to be 
my last. " 

"Is that his wish?" 

"Whose wish? . . . Oh, I see what you mean. 
. . . You are mistaken. If what you imagine had 
come about, then, of course, the lecture trips would 
have had to cease, but it has not come about. " 

"It will," interrupted Frau Eleonore, "if you 
mean by this mysterious reference the threatened 
proposal of the violet prince." 

"Even in that case it is a question how I should 
deal with it," retorted Franka. 

A stone fell from Chlodwig's heart. . . . Now he, 
too, felt flooded with the joy of the present. 



"My decision," pursued Franka, "is quite in 
dependent of these eventualities. It takes its rise 
from entirely new views, intuitions, and wishes which 
have come to me here during this wonderful week. " 

"And you are going to give up your activity?" 

"Traveling and public speaking, yes. I see be 
fore me other possibilities of work. And, besides, 
did you not advise pretty much the same thing 
after my last address?" 

"Did I?" 

"Yes, and you were right. ... I feel it." 

"What are you going to do, then, Franka? What 
are your plans your plan independent of the case 
'Victor Adolph'?" 

"I am going to ... but it is not so entirely clear 
tome ..." 

"So, then the case 'Victor Adolph' is not alto 
gether out of question!" 

Franka laughed: "How persistent you are. You 
seem very anxious for me to have that chance. You 
were the first to call my attention to it. Moreover, 
I can imagine how eagerly you must think of this 
affair and desire it. Don't you? You mean that if 
I should win power over the heart and actions of 
one of the great ones of the earth, I might then 
exert an influence, might be useful to my to our 

" I might believe that but wish it?" He shook 
his head. "Oh, let 's not talk about that possibility 
it is much nicer not to do so." 

"Let us talk about yourself, then. You are cer 
tainly no 'case,' but the theme interests me." 



"It interests me, too, especially if you treat 

"Do you know, I have made the acquaintance of 
an entirely new Helmer to-day. . . . Through your 
address ... I followed it all all its political and 
social and high-thinking parts, but one thing espe 
cially impressed me: You are a good man. " 

"That compliment does not always sound flatter- 

"Oh, but you must have recognized from my tone 
how I mean it. Moreover, the way in which you 
spoke about Good Will, about Goodness, the rank 
that you assigned to that quality as a motor power 
for all spiritual elevation, you see, I understood 
you, proves to me that you would prize no com 
pliment higher than this. Or would you have pre 
ferred that I had said 'a clever man'? Applied 
to a world-renowned poet that would have been 
tautology. And that term carries no warmth with 
it. When you say to any one, 'You are good, ' that 
is equivalent to saying, ' I thank you. ' It is as if 
you would cradle your head on his heart and say, 
' Oh, here here is safety. ' ' 


Both were silent for a while, looking into each 
other's eyes. What is that substance called which 
often goes bombarding back and forth between the 
steady eyes of a man and of a woman? It has 
not as yet found its Madame Curie. 

Frau von Rockhaus broke the spell by asking 
Helmer what the two rulers had conversed with 
him about. He informed her. And now the conver- 



sation turned for a while on the events of the even 
ing. He also told them about his meeting with the 
engineer Juillot. Franka on her part gave an amus 
ing description of her aunt's last call. Now gayly, 
now seriously, the talk went from one subject to 
another and the time flew. Franka sprang up as 
the clock struck twelve. 

"Midnight already! Now we must say good 

Helmer had also risen to his feet. "Forgive me 
for staying so ontrageously long ... but it has been 
so lovely!" 

"Yes, it has been lovely," assented Franka. 

Words of thanks and of farewell followed. Still 
talking, Franka took a few steps by Helmer's side 
toward the door. Then suddenly she stepped on 
something soft, that lay on the floor a little piece 
of orange-peel and slipped. She would have 
fallen, had not Helmer caught her with his strong 
arm. Then only Franka uttered a little cry. 

"Did you hurt yourself?" 

"No, no; it was nothing. " And she released her 
self. "Adieu." 

After Helmer had again shaken hands with the 
two ladies and departed, Franka remained standing 
for some little time on the spot, lost in dreams. 

"Well, what is it? What are you thinking about?" 
asked Frau Rockhaus. 

Franka shook her head and made no answer. 
She was thinking of the bar of the blind. 



THE next afternoon many scattered groups were 
sitting again in the hall of the Grand Hotel, and in 
the majority of them the conversation turned on 
Chlodwig Helmer's address. Translations of it into 
French, English, and Italian were lying about on 
the tables. Some of the hotel guests held in their 
hands Helmer's book "Schwingen." The works of 
all the authors present in the Toker palace were 
not only to be found in the Lucerne bookshops, but 
were for sale also in the various hotels. Many 
visitors who had heard the poet's address, the day 
before, had now got the work that had made his 
name famous and were eagerly turning its pages. 

In one corner sat Bruning, Malhof, and Regen- 
burg chatting over their wine and cigars. They 
were discussing their fellow-countryman, Helmer. 

"He was a schoolmate of mine," Bruning was 
saying. "Not at all a remarkable scholar: weak in 
mathematics; hardly up in the ancient languages. 
His teachers, however, were easy on him he was 
the son of a cabinet minister. " 

The well-known sportsman exclaimed in astonish 
ment: "Oh, you don't say so? I had supposed he 
used to be a secretary or the like with a count ..." 

"Quite right, he was ... at one time. His par 
ents died early; his property was gone; he did not 



stick to his career as government clerk; poetizing 
had got into his blood ; he was always in the clouds, 
even on the school form . . . and then he accepted 
a position which afforded him leisure for writing. 
After he left the count's house, he devoted himself 
entirely to the art of poetry. I should have expected 
a more brilliant career for him." 

"Pardon me," said Malhof, "is n't that a rather 
brilliant career being a celebrated poet?" 

Bruning shrugged his shoulders: "What is it to 
be a celebrated poet in our country, while one is 
alive? Did you ever meet one at court? Is a street 
ever named after one? And one was never known 
to get rich like a successful operetta composer or a 
brewer. My friend Helmer ought to make a good 
match. I had schemed one for him long ago. But 
he is so horribly unpractical you could see that 
from his address yesterday. These sentimental im 
possibilities ! Lack of tact talks there before a 
public audience composed of kings, statesmen, people 
of the world, as if it were a gathering of Socialists. " 

"Yes," said the sportsman in confirmation, "I 
noticed that he attacked military institutions with 
especial virulence like a real Red. He apparently 
thinks it is not right for aeronautics and aviation 
to be used for military purposes. That is unpa 
triotic. I long ago enlisted in the volunteer auto 
mobile corps and I should not hesitate to place my 
flying-machine at the disposal of the Ministry of 
War. But, by Jove! that was a marvelous exhibi 
tion of flying the day before yesterday. I must get 
a pair of folding wings like those!" 



"To return to Helmer," said Malhof. "A good 
deal that he said was rather striking . . . things 
that I had never thought of before, though I am an 
old man of wide experience; things, the possibility 
and desirability of which I must admit." 

"Really!" cried Bruning. "Such changes that 
will turn things upside down do they seem desir 
able to you?" 

"Desirable for the next generation, not for our 
own, for people do not like to be disturbed in their 
quiet and in their habits. We do not only say, ' After 
us the deluge'; we also say, 'After us the millen 
nium ' ; for in order to bring it about, we should have 
to make quite too inconvenient efforts ... let our 
great-grandchildren attain a golden age ; we ourselves 
are quite comfortable in our present circumstances; 
we want to go on enjoying the present order of things 
and educate our boys to do the same." 

Bruning nodded his head in assent: " We say this 
but our friend Regenburg is right: the Socialists 
think otherwise; they are not contented with the 
circumstances ; they want revolution ; therefore such 
cloud-storming addresses are not merely unpracti 
cal; they are dangerous, and we must be on our 
guard against them." 

"'T is not necessary," replied Malhof. "Active 
measures against them would only profit the rev 
olutionists. All their dreaming, speechmaking, dis 
sertations remain inoperative through the vast pas 
sive resistance which they buck up against a 
wholly unconscious resistance, for it is combined 
of indifference and absolute ignorance. If one of 



them speaks in an assembly and the assembly ap 
plauds, then he believes that he has conquered a 
comprehending world of his contemporaries. Never 
theless, not only does the world of his contempo 
raries remain unmoved, but even among the as 
sembled audience the majority, when they have left 
the hall, scarcely remember what arguments have 
been put before them. How little interest men feel 
in universal questions! Most people do not even 
know that there are circumstances that might be 
changed. Everything that exists in the social and 
political line, they take for granted, like the weather 
and the seasons. It is easy enough to hear about 
those matters, but to take an active part in them, 
that is another thing. People have so many pri 
vate interests which are wholly absorbing their 
career, their business, their trade, their passions, 
their family cares, their bitter days and their joyous 
festivals there is no room for speculations and 
Utopias and revolutions. Existing institutions have 
their competent directors regularly appointed to 
look after their management, or, in case of neces 
sity, to bring about reform; but we do not have to 
get mixed up in it ... everything revolutionary is 
so inconvenient; it disturbs every kind of activity 
Heaven protect us from it! You see, that is the 
state of mind of the compact masses. And so let 
the world reformers talk themselves hoarse. When 
they are talked out, it is burnt-out fireworks 
nothing more!" 

"Do you reckon yourself also among the 'com 
pact masses,' Herr von Malhof?" asked Bruning. 



"Certainly I do. Never in my life have I taken 
any interest in the so-called 'questions.' I have 
had far too much to do in making my existence as 
pleasant and enjoyable as possible. For me, the 
wisdom of life consists in making the little square 
metre of existence which we possess as comfortable 
as we can, in trying to embellish it, without at the 
same time staring at the thousand-mile stretches 
that lie beyond. And then, one thing more, my good 
friend: to battle against thousand-year-old institu 
tions with addresses and volumes of poems, as your 
honored friend does, is like scratching away Chim- 
borazo with a nail-file. As far as I could make out, 
Herr Helmer strikes at the belt-line of militarism 
with his aeronautic arguments I could not repeat 
them the things rebound from my memory like 
dry-peas from a wall. Just look at our military 
establishment at home. How does it stand there? 
Is n't it just like a Chimborazo? All that glory, that 
prestige, that power there is only one other power 
comparable to it the Church. That is the reason 
the two stand by each other so firmly. And really 
are not all who have their habitations at the foot of 
these Chimborazos perfectly contented? Have n't 
they planted there all their joy, their ambition, 
their fame, their ideas of virtue? . . . What is the 
good, then, of frightening them out of their com 
fortable security under the pretext that other and 
more comfortable conditions are to be created for 
coming generations? No, your young friend must 
not cherish any illusions; believe me, he will 
not. . ." 



"Why do you say all this to me?" interrupted 
Bruning; "I am entirely of your opinion and have 
never pretended to Helmer that I shared his illu 
sions. I know the world better than he does. 
. . . ' One cannot think highly enough of man ' ! 
such an idea as that can only be expressed by a 
philosopher far removed from reality, and repeated 
by a cloud-sailing poet. Well, and what do you say, 

"I what do I say? About what? " 

"Have n't you been listening?" 

"Oh, yes I well, I am afraid that through 
all these new sports, especially in the air, the 
horses will entirely die out. " 

"Even Pegasuses?" suggested Malhof, laughing. 

In another niche sat Romeo Rinotti and Gaston 
de la Rochere in a colloquy. They, too, were dis 
cussing the yesterday's address. The Frenchman 
held the translation of Helmer 's speech in his hand. 
He looked disgusted. 

"What do you say to it? Have you read it 
through?" asked Rinotti. 

"I have just glanced over it, my dear Marquis. 
And that has sufficed to make me angry enough." 
He flung the pamphlet on the table. "German poets 
should confine themselves to singing about forget- 
me-nots, but not deliver discourses about things 
they do not understand. W T hat does this one know 
about the action of airships in the war to come? 
Or perhaps he wants to spoil the pleasure of other 
nations in building air-fleets, because Germany 



thanks to her Zeppelin has gone so far ahead. 
... In return our single flyers are far more numer 
ous and much better perfected. Besides, we have 
really made a beginning with the dirigibles . . . 
might far more easily reach the forefront again, if 
this miserable pestilential republic would only look 
out better for the national defense." 

Rinotti laughed: "So then you are an arch-royal 
ist? But you are really doing injustice to your pres 
ent r6gime ; just see how in the last few years your 
expenditure for the army and the fleet has mounted 

"Oh, stuff; that is only hypocrisy . . . they are 
afraid of arousing the anger of genuine patriots, 
and consequently they do not venture to hold back 
the funds as much as they would like to; but at the 
same time they have n't the slightest intention of 
standing up boldly for the honor of France." 

"You mean the Revanche. Certainly, only a very 
few of your fellow-countrymen wish for that any 

"That is just the trouble. Magnanimous feelings, 
bold ideas are dying out. . . . No, not quite so bad 
as that . . . they still live, but they are suppressed, 
kept down . . . and what can you expect as long as 
a party is in power sacrilegious enough to lay violent 
hands on the Church? Thence only one thing can 
rescue our poor land: to restore the monarchy." 

"Are you a leader of les Camelots du Roy ? " asked 

"No; the methods of these young men are too 
coarse for me they even shock the claimants them- 



selves. Yet I am undisturbed : Dieu protege la France. 
In one way or another Providence will restore to us 
our old rights. If not a king, perhaps a dictator, or 
a great soldier will come. . . . We have already had 
one or two attempts to that end: Boulanger, Mar- 
chand . . . the right one will sometime appear, and 
if he should succeed in winning back the beloved 
provinces, even if he should merely wave the colors 
in order to hasten to the frontier, then, then all 
Frenchmen would follow him with wild enthusiasm." 

Rinotti shook his head. "Do you believe so? I 
opine that a war which your nationalists themselves 
should start would no longer be popular in the coun 
try. The storm must break out somewhere else: 
Germany would have to be entangled in war with 
England or Russia; then France might go to their 
help and in the natural course of events the Revanche 
might come of itself; even the regime might be 
changed. Why, even a defeat might result in over 
turning the republic and the new king might have 
the chance of restoring the conditions that you de 

"That would be fine! But how can one look for 
ward to such events when everywhere these anti- 
military doctrines are making their way not only in 
Socialist congresses, but even in public entertain 
ments, like these here and in presence of the heads 
of States!" 

"Words, words!" exclaimed Rinotti scornfully: 
"borne away by the wind. And even if the wind 
should carry away a few fruitful seeds, when will 
they sprout? In the far, distant future. Mean- 



time, however, deeds come to the front . . . deeds of 
the present, which are the fruits of seeds scattered 
in the past. The old hatred, the old distrust, the 
long cumulated threats: all that must rage itself 
out first. And the entire world of to-day is prepared 
for it ; school has trained for it, the masses are drilled 
for it; the instruments are ready. And how easily 
do these latent forces break out into acute manifes 
tation ! What is preached by good people, but bad 
politicians, a la Helmer, arouses no fanaticism, 
however conciliatory, however reasonable it may 
sound. Can one ever bring conciliation to fever- 
heat or reason to a flame? Ah, believe me, only the 
violent instincts drive the machinery called history. 
And those who are elected to make history need 
nothing else but force, and again force, in order to 
keep the machine going in the direction which they 
want. And the general conception ' force ' splits into 
separate qualities: unbending will, unscrupulous- 
ness, inflexibility, formidableness these are the 
attributes of the great statesman. But only in his 
political activity ; as a private citizen he must at the 
same time be amiable, yielding, full of good humor, 
tender to his family, polite to his subordinates in 
general, what is called 'un charmeur.' In addition 
he must have genius; and this, too, is needed: he 
must have luck!" 

La Rochere had accompanied Rinotti's utterance 
with nods of satisfaction. "You are a wise states 
man!" he exclaimed; and leaning over to look the 
marchese in the eye, he asked in a lower tone of 
voice: "Tell me, is there likelihood of war breaking 



out anywhere? Do you perchance know anything 
about it?" 

Rinotti bit his lips: " I know nothing, and if I did, 
I should not tell." 

Prince Victor Adolph was sitting on his balcony, 
reading over and over a letter which he had received 
that morning from home. Its writer was his oldest 
brother, the crown prince, who informed him, under 
the seal of confidence, that an old project, which 
had once before been broached and then dropped, 
had come to the front again and was on the point 
of accomplishment. The point was, that Victor 
Adolph was to be made regent of a border prov 
ince which was aspiring to independence. By this 
appointment, the province would immediately find 
its desires for autonomy fulfilled. This was a tempt 
ing outlook: anything rather than the empty show 
of military service so detestable to him. In this po 
sition, opportunity would be afforded him of work 
ing up, of carrying out plans the mighty outlines 
of which hovered before his mind. A joyous feeling 
of expectation stirred the young man's soul. The 
future, the future it lay open before him ; and he 
would fill it with progressive ideas, with progressive 
deeds, with "soaring thoughts" ... He dwelt on 
these words. 

Then an idea suggested itself to him. He went 
to a writing-table, dashed off a few lines on a sheet 
of paper, and rang. 

"Take this immediately to the Rose- Palace," he 
ordered the servant who responded to his summons. 



The note was addressed to Chlodwig Helmer, and 
contained an invitation to Mr. Helmer to call on 
the prince in the course of the afternoon, if he had 

A quarter of an hour later, Chlodwig sent in his 
name. The prince was in his salon alone. He started 
forward to meet his visitor. 

Helmer bowed : 

"Your Royal Highness summoned me ..." 

Victor Adolph offered him his hand: "Thank you 
for fulfilling my wish so promptly. Yesterday even 
ing we had no opportunity, and I was so desirous 
of hearing a good deal more on the subject of your 
address. Let us sit down. . . . Here, please. A cigar 
ette?" He held out his gold cigarette-case. 

Chlodwig thanked him and took one. The prince 
also offered him a light and then kindled his own. 

"You see, Herr Helmer," he pursued, "what you 
said yesterday evening moved me tremendously. 
Partly, because you gave utterance to ideas which 
have been for a long time floating indefinitely in my 
mind, and partly because you opened up before me 
entirely new perspectives." 

" I am delighted to hear such a thing, Your High 
ness. Tell me what was familiar to you and what was 

"There is, for example, . . . good Heavens, I 
really don't know where to begin. ... I should like 
to have a lesson in things which you did not speak 
about. I will ask you: If you were a king, what 
would you do to carry out the lofty flight of your 



"If I were a king," repeated Chlodwig thought 
fully. "Many a man has imagined to himself that 
contingency. Sifetais roi is the title of an opera. 
If I were a king, then I should have lived in other 
conditions, should have had another kind of educa 
tion, inherited other instincts. . . . The love of sol 
diering would be inherent in my blood the first 
king was a victorious soldier; the concept 'Ma 
jesty,' mounting from the humbly bowing masses, 
would have risen to my head, stinging and bewitch 
ing me, like the bubbling spirits rising in champagne- 
cups. . . . My breast would be swelled with the con 
sciousness of power. I should probably not let it be 
noticed, and I should take pains to seem affable and 
natural. I should be well aware that my power was 
to a certain degree limited in modern, constitutional, 
and enlightened times, and, therefore, I should in 
stinctively fear what threatens it still more : revo 
lutionary ideas and activities; and likewise should 
instinctively prize all that protected it: my faithful 
nobles, my loyal army; on the whole, the conserva 
tive spirit. I should simply know nothing of the 
struggles and problems and aims of the progressive 
spirit. 'Liberal,' in the court-jargon, is synonymous 
with 'suspicious,' and 'radical'; signifying a will 
power, which goes to the very root of things, is 
synonymous with 'criminal.' I should not have had 
much experience of the sorrows of the poor and 
wretched ; that would be to me as remote and natu 
ral as a pool in a morass or the debris of a quarry. 
My consolation would be that the poor people 
would still hope for compensation beyond the grave, 



and in order to strengthen them in this hope, I should 
set them an example of piety should perhaps 
actually be pious, through the necessity slumbering 
in every better soul of being occasionally humble. 
As I am one who tries to do right, and should be the 
same if I were a king, I should fulfill scrupulously 
my really difficult duties. I should work with zeal 
and industry. For recreation and pleasure, I should 
go hunting. Indeed, this sport would involve a cer 
tain amount of ambition, for I should be well aware 
of the respectful interest with which the world 
would chronicle every successful shot of my rifle 
and be ready to erect a monument in memory of 
my thousandth stag. I should ..." 

"Stop!" cried the prince; "you are unfair!" 
"Quite possibly. I have been generalizing, and in 
doing so, one cannot be fair. And above all, Your 
Royal Highness, I regret having somewhat failed in 
due tact. I should not have spoken to a king's son 
as I have. But because I know that you are quite 
different from the others ..." 

"But you are also unfair to those others, Herr 
Helmer. Don't you believe that the spirit of the age 
also makes its way through the seams of palaces 
and throne-rooms? That 'lofty thinking' and free 
thinking are also carried on under crowns? Look 
at those little German courts the princes of which 
cherish a cult for art or promote the investigations 
and activities of such men as, for example, Ernst 
Haeckel ! And this ' lofty thought ' for which you seem 
especially enthusiastic, 'universal peace': don't you 
see that the very emperor who at his first accession 



to the throne was expected by the world to hanker 
after military laurels, has for long decades done 
everything he could to avoid war?" 

"I recognize that," answered Helmer; "but the 
question means more than merely not waging war; 
it means putting down war." 

" I call your attention to this: I just remarked the 
Emperor has done what he could. The power and 
will of a great ruler stand behind mighty barriers 
and walls. His court, his army, his environment, his 
whole inheritance of traditional principles and the 
institutions which he is placed there to preserve 
all these things combine together to hamper the 
accomplishment of his aspirations. The portrait 
that you have just painted of a king does not apply 
any longer to our contemporary rulers in their in 
most reality yet their environment combines to 
make them such. Now, see here, my dear poet, you 
were complaining that they knew nothing of the 
sorrows of the people; you are right: the classes are 
too widely separated; they know nothing of each 
other. So it is with the princes: those that do not 
live in association with them know but little about 
them and form false notions; they conceive them to 
be of the 'demigod' or ' Serenissimus ' type, but in 
truth they are exactly like other men ; differing from 
one another, good and bad, stupid and clever, in 
significant and talented. But they do have one actual 
advantage: they control more power and influence 
than ordinary mortals, and for that reason it would 
be a good thing if princes were to come forward as 
champions of the highest aspirations of the time." 



"But suppose my objection may, perhaps, 
again sound somewhat tactless but suppose these 
aspirations include what Kant once laid down as a 
postulate that monarchies are doomed to make 
way for a republican regime ..." 

"This will not be accomplished overnight." 

" No ; and then I grant you that the question is not 
whether the r6gime ought to change. Governmental 
forms are, after all, only forms the content is the 
important thing. What must change, what must 
grow, is the spirit, and certainly in all strata. The 
general level of all mankind must rise. I myself 
should not like to see the control of government put 
into the hands of the masses as they are to-day." 

The prince made a somewhat impatient gesture. 
" I beg of you, Herr Helmer, let us not deal in gen 
eralities. Yesterday, I heard a wonderfully beautiful 
litany of them proceed from your lips ; now I should 
like something positive, concrete. For that reason, 
I put my question to you: What would you do if 
you were a king? Do work at that is the gist 
of the matter. And a king can do things, as long as 
Kant's wish is not as yet fulfilled because he has 
much power; not unlimited power, of course. Put 
to yourself this case: that you you yourself, no 
one else, you with all your experiences, your knowl 
edge, your poetic accomplishment were suddenly 
made a powerful king. . . . One can imagine one's 
self in another position I know it from experi 
ence. I have often asked myself, if I were a com 
mon soldier, if I were a poor proletarian, how should 
I feel, what should I try to do in order to win a little 



happiness and freedom for myself and my fellows, or 
to give vent to my wrath over the unfairness under 
which we sigh and drudge. . . . Perhaps you do not 
know, Helmer, that I take a passionate interest in 
social problems ; that often, just as others sneak into 
gambling-hells or other places of forbidden pleasure, 
I have slipped into assemblies where the Social 
ists . . ." 

"I know it, Your Highness," interrupted Helmer. 

The prince had been speaking with animated 
voice and his cheeks were flushed. Now he seized 
Chlodwig's hand. "So then, tell me! You who are 
a poet and therefore something of a prophet; you 
who would raise goodness to the level of a motive 
force for political action, tell me, how would you 
help the people?" 

"What people? Mine? Is it impossible to help 
one people alone. In our day of universal interna 
tional intercourse and trade, every country is de 
pendent on every other. One nation cannot by 
itself be rich, happy, and independent. The nations 
are not hermits; they form a community. In my 
kingdom, could I put down capitalism, could I do 
away with war, if others threatened me with it; if 
I took down my own tariff walls, could I break 
through the limitations of the others? There is 
no individual happiness ' reciprocally ' ' cooper 
atively* 'mutually*', those are the adverbs without 
which no blissful verb can be conjugated." 

"Then what would you do?" 

"Seek to make alliances with my fellow- royalties. 
I should yet I have no perfected plan of action 



in my mind, Prince. Only one thing is quite clear: 
the mechanicians have won over a new element 
which for many thousands of years they never dared 
hope to enter into. There is also a spiritual, a moral 
upper ocean into which hitherto no one has ven 
tured to steer the so-called ship of State. I cherish 
the faith that by this time among the potentates, 
one the Zeppelin is born and will work and ac 
complish, and dare obstinately, confidently, prophet 
ically, in spite of all doubts, all resistance ; and will 
let his ship mount up into those heights of light. . . . 
Pardon me, Prince, I have one great fault into which 
I am always falling : speaking far too much in meta 

"Pardonable in a poet." 

"But you wished to hear something concrete, 
positive, in this respect I have served you ill." 

"No; your Zeppelin picture gives me a quite cor 
rect orientation. First one must gather from the light 
of reason, even if no experience answers for it, that a 
thing is feasible ; then one must will and dare. The 
individual manipulations will come into play later." 

Helmer gazed at the prince. A warm wave of liking 
for him arose in his heart; then instantly this same 
heart seemed to contract as if under a cold pressure. 
The thought of Franka .' . . how natural it would 
be that she should love that man. . . . 

As if Victor Adolph had read the poet's thoughts, 
he asked: "You are an old acquaintance of Fraulein 
Garlett's, are you not?" 

Chlodwig gave a start. "Yes, Your Royal High 



"The lady interests me very much. Can you tell 
me anything of her story?" 

Helmer told him what he knew: the secluded 
childhood and youth with her father who was in 
slender circumstances; her worship of that father; 
the summons to the grandfather's home; the fabu 
lous inheritance; and then her passionate desire to 
accomplish some great work, to offer herself up in the 
service of her fellow-men as if an atonement for 
the unearned wealth ; then her career and its results. 

" A remarkable fortune ! " exclaimed Victor Adolph. 
"You were her teacher?" 

"I? Her teacher?" 

"Yes, she told me so herself." 

"She meant that when she was as yet uncertain 
how she might find the great thing which she dreamed 
of doing, I gave her some advice." 

"And has not this pretty young woman had any 
love-affair in the course of her life?" 

"I know of none." 

" Is she so cold? She must have had many suitors." 

"Indeed, she has. She has been much sought 
after and has refused many an offer." 

"And you yourself, Herr Helmer,- in all this giv 
ing of advice, has your heart remained without a 

"Your Highness.. . I ..." 

"Well, well; it was an indiscreet question. Pray 
don't feel obliged to answer it." 

The valet brought the afternoon mail on a silver 
salver, and at the same time announced that His 
Excellency the adjutant to the King of Italy desired 



to see His Highness. Chlodwig arose and took his 

The prince shook hands with him: "Auf wieder- 
sehen. We will have another talk not on indis 
creet questions, but about dirigible ships of State." 

"Papa, am I interrupting you?" 

Gwendoline stood at the door of Toker's room. 

"Of course, you interrupt me, for I am never 
unoccupied. But come in, Gwen; it will do me good 
to have you divert me a little from all kinds of 
melancholy things." 

The young girl stepped nearer. "How is that? 
You are in trouble ! Does not everything go accord 
ing to your wish in this rose-magic of which you are 
yourself the great conjurer?" 

"Here everything is fairly satisfactory; but out 
side, in the wide world!" And he indicated a heap 
of newspapers and letters lying before him on the 

While glancing through these messages from the 
outside world, John Toker had been spending a 
couple of uncomfortable hours. Very bad tidings 
had come. Not only the alarmist predictions which 
emanate from those parties that always have on tap 
announcements of an unavoidable war with this, 
that, or the other neighboring State; but also posi 
tive proofs that in various places, in circles that had 
the necessary power in their hands, the intention 
prevailed to deliver the blow. In more than one 
center of discord, little flames were rising and might 
easily break out into a destructive conflagration. 



The press was not lacking in writers who were work 
ing with poker and bellows for this end so desirable 
to them for many reasons. Fortunately there were 
not lacking, among either rulers or statesmen, those 
who were using their best endeavors to stamp out 
the dangerous embers; who hesitated about draw 
ing the sword even when they were provoked 
but the decision finally lies, after all, with the ag 
gressive and not with the opposing portion. 

Not only from the papers, but also from private 
sources, Toker had received the intimation that 
dangerous dissensions were likely to break out. He 
was in friendly relationship with powerful circles 
in various countries, and he got wind of much that 
was going on behind the scenes in politics. Thus it 
had been conveyed to him that day that one coun 
try, whose chief ruler was thoroughly opposed to 
war, had a large military party working with all 
its might, in order that an insignificant question at 
issue should be made the cause for an ultimatum. 
This party desired to march right in. It found that 
the moment was favorable. The victory would be 
easily won; glory and laurels might be obtained; 
internal dangers fermenting might thus be obviated ; 
and in spite of the opposition of the monarch they 
were plotting to aggravate the friction in order that 
the "marching in" might be plausible. 

However, that is not the proper word: what the 
war-lovers in question had in mind was not "march 
ing in," but "flying in." In all countries the air- 
fleets had attained considerable proportions, but 
just at this time this particular State had made a 



remarkable advance. Moreover, a new invention 
in the domain of aviation had been recently made 
and was kept a great secret, and a new explosive 
had been introduced. With this, the enemy could 
be annihilated and the world confounded. The 
admiral of the air-fleet was all on fire to enrich the 
military history of the world with a hitherto un 
heard-of battle and victory. John A. Toker felt a 
quite peculiar horror at this form of the modern, 
ultra-modern art of war; not only because he ex 
pected the most terrible destruction from it; but 
also his aesthetic and moral feelings were revolted 
by seeing hell carried even into the regions of the 

Still other catastrophes were looming on the hori 
zon: bread riots; economic crises; terrorism from 
below by assassination and incendiarism ; terrorism 
from above by executions; . . . and for those who 
looked far ahead, a general break-up; civilization 
buried under ruins. Can this be the end and goal 
of mankind's lofty aspirations? 

Toker felt like one who has brought a wonder 
fully beautiful garden, situated at the foot of a 
mountain, to a high state of cultivation, and sud 
denly notices that the mountain has begun to 

"Every comparison limps" is a correct expres 
sion: the lameness in this figure is, that the destruc 
tion streaming from the fiery depths of the vol 
cano is the work of incomprehensible, uncontrollable 
powers of nature, while in these eruptions treasured 
as ''historical," men themselves have fabricated 



the lava, and, thanks to their crater-deep idiocy, use 
it for their own destruction. 

Yet not all the news that had been brought to 
Toker's notice, and lay there in a great pile, was 
bad: there were also some encouraging items. If 
one attentively listens in every quarter, one can 
hear the subdued regular rumble of the great loom, 
where the genius of Progress is weaving stitch by 
stitch the web of Unity which is bound ultimately 
to bring together the whole civilized world. Toker's 
alarm grew out of the fact that the all-reigning 
spirit of growth is often interrupted and set back 
by the spirit of destruction, which by fits and starts 
exercises its harmful calling and in some places un 
does what seems on the fairest path of development. 

"Well, Gwen, what amusing thing have you to 
tell me?" 

"Amusing? I wanted a serious talk with you, 
papa. " 

"You and serious! But really you look quite 
solemn. Has anything happened?" 

Gwendoline made several attempts to speak, and 
then paused again; she was seeking for the right 
words and could not find them. 

"Courage, Gwen! Have you some wish?" 

"More than that, papa; it is a resolution." 

"Oho! that sounds really serious. Perhaps you 
want to marry one of my Rose-Knights. We should 
have to think that over very gravely." 

"You are making sport of me, papa. I believe 
you consider me a very stupid girl, and, indeed, I 
know I am. Up till now I have not taken any in- 



terest in all the great things which you are working 
for. But in these last few days my eyes have been 
opened. " 

"Have you been listening to all the things that 
my great guests have said, and did you understand 

"No, not all. I believed, as you yourself seem to 
believe, that those things are too high for me ; that 
I could not understand them; that they had noth 
ing to do with me. Only when the personal appeal 
was made to me, did I prick up my ears. " 

Mr. Toker raised his head in astonishment^. 
"An appeal made to you personally? How so? by 

"By Franka Garlett: 'Ye young maidens, listen 
to me!' she said. I listened to her and ..." 

"Well . . . and . . .?" urged Toker eagerly. 

Gwendoline, who had been standing behind the 
writing-table, now sat down, as she was frequently 
wont to do, on the arm of Toker's chair. She put 
her arm around her father's neck and said: "You 
have called all these prominent people here, have 
n't you, in order that their words, which you permit 
to be so freely uttered, may have a wide audience, 
may arouse to convictions and to deeds; in a word, 
may make proselytes ..." 

"Yes, that is my intention." 

"Well, I believe it will succeed. I know of one 
enthusiastic proselyte already made by Miss Gar 

"You, my dear?" 

"Yes, I. Let me have a share in your work; ini- 


tiate me! I want to learn to have the same kind of 
ideas. I don't believe that I lack the ability. Yester 
day, I listened very attentively to the address of 
that 'Schwingen' poet. (And between us, if I am 
not mistaken, he is in love with Miss Garlett.) I 
could not understand all that he said, but still I 
understood enough to get some new light ; the ques 
tion is to make men, that is to say, their souls, fly 
up into higher regions." 

Quite correct, thought Toker; but that their souls 
may fly high, the main thing is to help their bodies 
gut of wretchedness, depravity, hunger, and squalor 
the masses must be able to free themselves. 
Aloud he said: "Just see, how my little girl has 
profited from the teachings of my speakers! Gwen, 
this gratifies me, indeed ! Go on with your thinking 
and your learning." 

" But I should like also to do something, papa, and 
you must tell me what!" 

"Just at this moment I can't tell you what you 
will be capable of doing. First let what has been 
sowed in your little head during these last two days 
ripen. I have my doubts about such sudden con 
versions. Nine chances out of ten, such seeds will 
be blown away again. " 

Gwendoline sprang to her feet: " Have you so little 
faith in me?" she exclaimed reproachfully. "No 
wonder, though, for up till now I have been such a 
superficial good-for-nothing thing." 

" You have been a child, and that was all that was 
expected of you ; there is no reason why you should 
not remain such for a while yet. Destinies and 



tasks are unequally distributed. Not all men can 
give themselves exclusively to caring for the weal 
of others; there must be some, also, who are care 
lessly happy themselves especially in life's May- 

The morning after the supper with Helmer, 
Franka awoke with a dull headache. She had not 
slept well, but restlessly, feverishly, anxiously. She 
could not have told what had filled her mind with 
worry, with anticipation, with uncertainty; for her 
thoughts had led her on rather confused meander- 
ings. Now as she got up, she felt that there was a 
burden on her mind, and she explained this state of 
things by the deluge of impressions that had swept 
over her, and by the fact that her resolution to 
renounce her career as a lecturer had left her facing 
an uncertain and aimless future. . . . And yet at the 
same time this resolution was agreeable to her, for 
in that career she no longer saw before her any shin 
ing goal, any prize of victory to satisfy her longing. 

Aye, it was longing which lurked in the back 
ground of her unrest. Longing? For what? Franka 
was no unsophisticated child, and she put the ques 
tion to herself, without unconscious bashfulness: 
"Is my hour come? Does Nature demand her 
rights? Do I wish to live, to love?" 

Her thoughts turned on the two young men who 
for several days had filled her imagination and her 
dreams. But neither of them had declared himself. 
The prince was perhaps too proud, the poet too mod 
est, to want to marry her. And to which of them 



should she give the preference? To this question 
her heart gave a whispered answer, but so softly 
whispered that it was not decisive. 

After her cold morning bath and her hot morning 
tea, she felt refreshed and somewhat calmer. She 
put on a simple street-toilette and left her room. She 
felt the need of getting out into free nature, and she 
bent her steps toward the neighboring wood. Pur 
posely she refrained from inviting Frau Eleonore 
to accompany her, for she wanted to be alone with 
her thoughts, to take counsel of her own heart. 

She wanted to ask herself what now were her 
wishes, her hopes, her purposes. Was the resolu 
tion definitely fixed to retire from a public career? 
Was it justified? She had taken up as her task 
"To accomplish something great": was this task 
accomplished? And was it not presumption to sup 
pose that she was capable of accomplishing any 
thing "great"? To do that, one must be great one's 
self, and that she certainly was not. During this 
Rose- Week, when she had met with so many bril 
liant men and women of genius, she had fallen very 
low in her own estimation. 

What was she with her rather superficial fluency 
in comparison with all these mighty artists, thinkers, 
poets, inventors? Could she only tell them all how 
insignificant she felt in comparison with them ! Just 
as there are attacks of pride and ambition, so Franka 
now had an attack of the deepest humility, a strong 
yearning for seclusion : it was one of those hours 
when one wishes one's Ego dismounted from its 
too prominent pedestal, whereon it has been stand- 



ing in far too haughty isolation; when one would 
like to compel it into a kneeling and leaning atti 
tude of humbleness before a dearer "Thou" . . . 

Through the grove breathed a delicious fragrance 
of warm resin and moist moss. Buried in her 
thoughts, Franka had been wandering for an hour 
hither and thither through the forest, and had 
reached a spot where a wooden seat was built around 
an ancient oak tree. She was rather tired, and so 
sat down on the seat, winding her arm around the 
trunk and leaning her forehead on it: thus she rested. 
The air was hot and full of the hum of insects. 
An agreeable weariness closed Franka's eyelids ; yet 
she was not asleep, only sinking into a comfortable 
half-doze, comparable to the feeling that plants 
may have under the caress of the sunbeams or the 
fanning of gentle breezes. Her breath, the beating 
of her heart and the song of the forest, the whisper 
ing of the tree-tops, melted together into one har 
monious rhythm. It was the undefined, softly sooth 
ing delight of mere existence nothing more. And 
yet with it all was mingled something new, some 
thing never before experienced by her, something 
that did not seem to belong wholly to the present, 
but throbbed as if at the coming of a future fulfill 

A voice startled her out of this twilight of the soul : 
"Is that you, Signorina Garlett?" 

It was the great Italian tragedienne who was out 
also for a lonely morning walk. 

Franka sprang up. 

"Don't move. I will sit down with you for a few 


minutes. It is very charming here, so quiet and 
peaceful. I have disturbed you. You were deep in 
dreams . . . probably you were thinking about your 

"I have no lover." 

"That is incredible only you will not confide 
in me. But you might, carina. I am so much older 
than you are; I have tasted so fully of the joys and 
sorrows of life, and I know well that we women 
if we are genuine women experience all our pleas 
ure and all our grief only through love . . . every 
thing else is nothing. Our art, our beauty, our social 
or domestic virtues all that is only the shell, is 
only the tabernacle ; the true sanctuary is our burn 
ing and bleeding heart. " 

"So speaks one from the South, " replied Franka. 
"The rest of us are colder. My heart truly up to 
the present time has neither burned nor bled for 
any man. I do not take into account any passing little 
acceleration of its throbbing. My work, my duties, 
have completely occupied me up to now ..." 

"What has been your special work?" 

"Making girls over into thinking beings." 

"Thinking not feeling?" 

"The one does not exclude the other. Men, too, 
feel and love; at the same time it is their duty to 
think not that they always do so I must agree 
to that. You, great artist that you are, who have 
penetrated into the depths of poetry, would surely 
be the last person to forbid women thinking." 

"No, I do not; but I insist that they love. And 
ultimately, they all obey even the women of the 



North. In the Northern poets especially I have 
found the most fundamental love-problems. How 
ever, madamigella Franka, you just said the words 
' up to now ' in a tone which makes me suspect that 
perhaps the coldness which you boast of is already 
beginning to melt." 

Franka's cheeks glowed: "How you read people's 
souls, maestra!" 

The other smiled sweetly, and seized Franka's 
hand. "So it must come, " said she, "once in every 
life. But," she added in another tone, "shan't we 
return? Don't you hear distant thunder?" 

In fact a low growling of thunder was heard, re 
peated two or three times; and the air was sultry. 
Franka got up. 

"Very well, let us go. We shall have time enough 
to get under shelter. You see, it is the same way 
with my love ... far and low I seem to hear the pre 
monition of what may prove to be a heart-storm. 
It has not as yet arrived, but it is coming and it will 
be welcome : I shall not flee from it, as we are now 
trying to escape from the threatening shower." 

By this time a few scattering drops were falling. 
The two women hastened their steps. Suddenly the 
Italian actress said: 

"Its coming has been noticed." 

"The coming of what? A quarter of an hour ago, 
the sky was perfectly blue." 

" I am speaking of your love-affair, dearest." 

Franka, surprised, lifted her head. "What do 
you mean?" 

"Well the handsome German prince. " 



THIS evening the exercises were devoted to the 
concept Beauty. They were to begin with a con 
cert; but not a concert of tones, rather of colors and 
lines charm for the eye, intoxication for the sense 
of sight the delight of seeing, carried to ecstasy. 

The hall was only faintly lighted. Toker and his 
guests were not as usual on the platform; a white 
screen surrounded by a golden frame filled the back 
ground. Franka sat in the box that she had oc 
cupied on the evening of Helmer's address. But 
this time Helmer was with her. He had escorted 
her into the hall, having been, as usual, seated next 
her at the dinner-table. The two had not had much 
opportunity to talk together, as some one opposite 
had engaged Chlodwig in an urgent conversation, 
and Franka, on her side, was taken possession of 
by Gwendoline who had also accompanied them 
to the box. In the background sat Frau von Rock- 
haus and Malhof. 

Franka was scanning the hall with her opera- 

"Are you looking for some one?" asked Helmer; 
"he is sitting there in the lower tier at the right." 

Franka's glass followed the indicated direction, and 
she caught sight of Victor Adolph, who had turned 
round and was likewise searching the audience with 



his lorgnette. The two glasses met and the prince 
bowed. Franka answered the greeting and blushed, 
as Helmer saw only too well. 

"I had a long talk with the prince to-day," he 
said; "he is a fine fellow." 

"Who? the German king's son?" broke in 
Gwendoline; "he pleases me, too, immensely; and 
if he were not so evidently taken with our Miss Gar- 
lett, I should have a good flirtation with him." 

On the signal for beginning the programme 
three loud peals on a bell a tall figure of a woman 
in the costume of a Greek Muse stepped forward and 
began to speak: 

Still through the hall the golden bell-tone vibrates low! 

List to it, for you will not hear it ringing 

A second time to-day. 

A simple word which I have still to say 

Of prelude or of prologue call it as you may 

And then the silence show! 

For voiceless colors will be together singing 
And lines in exquisite harmonies will melt away. 
Nor flute nor drum, viola, violin; 
The instruments are called but Blue and Gray 
And Red and Green and Yellow, bringing in 
The rainbow's soundless orchestra. 

This week for Lofty Thinking held its pious rites; 

Free spirits have stood forth to plead for Goodness and 

for Duty, 

So let us also worship Beauty. 
Let Wonder bear us in its spellbound flights; 
Since those alone that have the power to marvel 
Possess the power of mounting to the heights. 

The speaker retired and the hall was completely 
darkened. All the more brilliantly gleamed the great 



white screen on the platform. A half-minute of 
intense expectation passed. 

Franka turned to Helmer: "Do you know what 
is coming?" 

" Yes, Mr. Toker gave me an inkling of it. Pictures 
of landscapes more magnificent than were ever seen 
before except in reality: nature- framed. The im 
pression is said to be magical." 

Suddenly, the white screen was transformed into 
a view of a primitive tropical forest a remark 
ably picturesque piece: in the foreground, at the 
right and at the left, two gigantic gnarly trees, whose 
branches arched upward until they met, forming a 
kind of triumphal gateway; on the ground and to 
ward the back a luxuriant growth of unknown plants 
and flowers. 

"That reminds me of Ernst Haeckel's marvelous 
travel pictures," remarked Helmer. 

It was evidently photographed from nature and 
in the most brilliant colors. Polychrome photo 
graphy had, to be sure, been invented some years 
before, but here, for the first time, perfect fidelity 
to nature had been attained: not only the succulent 
green of the foliage, and the velvet brilliancy of the 
moss, but something like real light, such as prevails 
in the primeval forest, streaming with emerald tints 
through the tree-tops and flinging bronze reflections 
on the brown trunks. Dark and pale lilac blossoms 
glowed in the maze of vines, resting here and there 
in dense masses among the branches ; here and there 
hanging down like the sprays of weeping willows; 
then again, springing from the soil, tall-stemmed, 



crimson-red flowers, with broad, wonderfully serrated 
calyxes a flora quite unknown in our temperate 

The prologue had not promised too much: no 
painter could depict such a scene: it was nature it 
self. To near-sighted eyes, the picture may have 
presented a more or less confused maze of colors ; but 
through the opera-glass every leaf and every stalk 
could be seen in its sharp outlines, and if one looked 
with a high-powered glass one might have detected 
the gauzy wings of some brilliant-colored butterfly 
sitting motionless on some flower. 

Franka drew a deep breath and murmured: "It 
is bewitching." 

"Yes, the world grows richer every day," said 
Helmer ; "but look, there comes something still more 

Through the hall swept a subdued murmur of as 
tonishment. Franka pointed her glass to the plat 
form again: she expected to see another, perhaps a 
still more beautiful picture, but it was the same. 
And yet different. . . . Was it not alive? Did n't the 
vines sway? Did n't the light dance on the mossy 
ground? Yes and now a small bird flew from 
one tree to another a gayly feathered little bird 
gleaming in metallic colors. For a minute or two 
the fixed photograph had appeared in the frame, and 
now the kinematographic reproduction of the same 
bit of nature was substituted for it. To be sure, 
living pictures were no longer a new marvel, but the 
sudden animation of the apparent painting that 
was the surprising effect; and the new victory was 



that kinematography in colors had been added to 
the achievements of this art. For long ages men had 
been seeking to imitate, to preserve the life around 
them and now, what a long distance between 
the first rude attempts at delineating the forms of 
animals or the bones of animals, to the living picture 
accurate in color and full of motion ! 

The tropic landscape was followed by one from 
the Far North : the luxuriance of warmth by the 
splendor of the cold : a polar-sea region in the morn 
ing light. The picture must have been taken on 
board of a ship, a ship surrounded by glittering ice 
bergs. Here also there was motion; the spaces of 
open sea were alive with dancing waves; sea-gulls 
swept by ; the clouds that moved along the horizon 
changed their form and color. A third picture por 
trayed a bit of the sea-depths. Had a diver carried 
his kinematographic apparatus down with him, or 
was the picture taken from an aquarium? The ques 
tion could not be decided; what seemed to fill the 
frame was azure water with coral formations on the 
bottom, and populated with marvelous creatures. 
Opaque crustaceans tinier than grains of sand flew 
this way and that quicker than a flash; gelatinous 
creatures were seen going about in all directions 
by means of invisible organs ; others proceeded by 
contracting their feet; diminutive medusae moved 
slowly about, carrying their umbrellas; little sagit 
tate animalcules dashed in agitated flight like tor 
pedoes; anemones hung there, like chandeliers; 
shadow-like, transparent creatures, iridescent, phos 
phorescent creatures beauty, beauty everywhere! 



After a brief pause, what followed was the actual 
Color Symphony promised in the prologue a con 
cert for the eyes. The eyes alone should enjoy it and 
wholly without accessories of landscape and life. 
The framework disappeared ; the whole platform was 
swallowed up in darkness for a time, and then sud 
denly flamed up in a crashing chord of ruby-red, 
topaz-yellow, and sapphire-blue. Then the colors 
began to move rhythmically and dispose themselves 
into figures ; they obliterated one another and formed 
new combinations of ever new nuances; just as a 
solo voice rising above an orchestral accompaniment, 
now hovers an emerald-green line in the foreground 
and depicts adagio a vibrant arabesque like a 
melody, while the accompanying colors diminish to 
a dull silver-gray. 

A second line, of the tenderest rose, now curls 
round the green, as if it were a second solo voice. 
Now the duet is swallowed up by a violet glow and 
again begins a genuine ensemble of all the instru 
ments: violin-tones from the golden yellow, flute- 
tones from the celestial blue, a trumpet-blast from 
the red, a drum-tap from the brown. In ever new 
forms and interchanging tempos the colors stream 
together and apart. Here they cluster into balls; 
there they tumble in waterfalls or hover in flakes 
like soft-falling snow. The most variegated lights 
and reflections and beams and flame-gleams and 
mother-of-pearl tints make up the ensemble. The 
color symphony contained also a scherzo wherein 
the melodious arabesques are transformed into a 
whirl of grotesque hopping figures. The finale intro- 



duces a prestissimo with the rapidity of a tornado, 
of a blizzard, which finally dies down again into 
calm serenity. And ever more and more pallid grow 
the colors, ever duller the lights, with a decrescendo 
dying gradually into the most delicate pianissimo, 
until at last the stage again lies in absolute dark 
ness. And then against the darkness, shining bril 
liant red, appeared, a hundred-fold in size, the crest 
of the house, the symbol of beauty: a rose in full 

After the intermission one of Toker's famous 
guests, the German physicist, delivered a brief ad 
dress. He also produced a variation on the theme of 
the evening. He proved, even more clearly than the 
animated pictures could do, the manifold and hidden 
beauties of nature. He revealed the wonder-pictures 
that are discovered by the microscope to our aston 
ished senses; the splendor of form of the Radio- 
laria, the symmetry of the thousand-faceted eyes of 
insects; the delicate traceries of mould and mosses 
invisible to the naked eye; the rich life in a drop of 
stagnant water beauty everywhere. 

But in order that the visible world may resolve 
into beauty, we must learn two things: to see and 
to enjoy. Could there possibly be splendor of color 
and grace of contour if all living beings were blind ? 
And could what we see ever be felt as "beautiful" 
if the spectator remained without enjoyment? The 
evolution of organisms required a long time until 
the eye was formed; and a second long period 
stretched between the use of an organ of sense and 
the enjoyment that grew out of the use of it. How 



long it took for man to learn to enjoy the beauties 
of nature! In all ancient literatures no description 
of nature is to be found in tones of admiration. The 
ancient Greeks found delight in the grace of human 
bodies, in the noble lines of artistic buildings; but 
in their songs there is no trace of enthusiasm over 
a mountain landscape, or a seashore. Among our 
peasantry, living in the midst of the most magnifi 
cent nature, the majority are unmoved by beauty 
of scenery. The formation of the organs of sense 
must be followed by the exercise and the refining 
of the corresponding organs of the soul. Then only 
the soul may be raised to the inspiring mood which 
is called the enjoyment of beauty. 

After the conclusion of the physicist's address, 
Toker entered Franka's box. "To-night, Miss Gar- 
lett, you must once more come into our circle, and 
you also, Mr. Helmer. This period of talk between 
ten o'clock and midnight is certainly the best and 
most productive recreation after the labors of the 
day. And you, Gwen, have you been happy in 
spending the whole evening in the company of your 
idol? For you must know, Miss Garlett, that my 
daughter has conceived the most violent admiration 
for you which I can perfectly understand." 

A little later the Rose-Knighthood had gathered 
in Toker's salons. In spite of the brevity of their 
acquaintance, many warm friendships had sprung 
up among the famous guests of the house. And, 
indeed, there was no lack of interesting material for 
intercourse. The atmosphere was alive with ideas 



suggested by the preceding addresses and perform 
ances. "This is the week of wide perspectives," 
one of the visitors pertinently remarked on one oc 

Frequently distinguished personages invited by 
Toker from outside joined the house-company. This 
evening he had invited Prince Victor Adolph, among 
others, to spend the rest of the evening in the Rose- 
Palace, an invitation which the young man had 
accepted with alacrity in spite of Orell's comment 
that it was a very mixed society: "Eccentric people. 
A revolutionary flavor. No milieu for Your Royal 

The night was very warm. When Prince Victor 
Adolph entered the suite of salons, many of the 
guests had taken refuge on the terrace to seek its 
refreshing coolness. Franka, for whom the prince 
was looking, had also disappeared from the salon. 
Toker stopped him as he was about to follow her. 

"Fine, that you came, Your Highness. I should 
like to tell you something important." 

"Me?" His eyes wandered searchingly. 

"Yes, you. There are things which will interest 
you and which you might be willing to take hold of 
and help. I regard you as a young man of high 
thoughts and ideals," the prince made a gesture 
of surprise, "perhaps lam speaking too uncere 

" Not that but what can you know about my 
mode of thought, Mr. Toker?" 

"What all the world knows. You are recognized 
as an unusual type. You are interested in questions, 



a knowledge of which as a general rule does not 
reach your circles. The weal and woe of the poorer 
classes seem to you important questions. You are 
certainly an opponent of any war, instigated from 
frivolous motives. . . . Let me tell you what is in 
preparation. In your position, as the son of a power 
ful ruler, you might perhaps exert an influence which 
would avert a threatening misfortune." 

"You excite my curiosity." 

"It is as yet a very imperfect world in which in 
dividuals have the opportunity to bring about na 
tional conflicts from personal ambition, and where 
the good will of individuals is required to forfend 
such evils, instead of security being the normal, 
natural basis of the intercourse of nations; where 
one must lay secret plans to save the life of one's 

" I am ready to enter into such a plot, Mr. Toker. 

"Thanks, but you came here this evening to enjoy 
the society of my guests, and what I have to say is 
not so quickly explained. Could you come to-mor 
row to my study? I should like to give you a glance 
at some of my correspondence which has induced me 
to venture approaching you." 

"Very gladly, Mr. Toker. Would eleven o'clock 
suit you?" 

"Perfectly. And now I will not detain you any 

Victor Adolph took advantage of this permission 
to look for Franka. He found her on the terrace, 
sitting with only Gwendoline for companion, at some 


distance from the others. After greeting the daugh 
ter of the house, he turned to Franka. 

" I did not come to see you in your loge this even 
ing, gnadiges Fraulein, because I knew that I should 
have the pleasure of finding you here." 

Gwendoline, in accordance with the proverb which 
she knew so well, "Two is company, three is none," 
found a pretext for going away. Victor Adolph sat 
down on the seat which she had vacated. Franka 
was ill at ease: she had a suspicion that the prince 
was not going to talk about indifferent things. He 
was silent for a while. That made her still more 
uncomfortable, and in order to relieve the situation 
she began to speak : 

"How were you pleased with the silent con 

"Concert? What concert?" he asked absently. 

"The color symphony." 

"I was not looking at the platform, but into an 
almost perfectly dark box in which I still could make 
out the outline of a beloved form." 

Now Franka remained silent. What could she 
answer to that? 

After a rather long pause he remarked: "What a 
lovely evening!" 

"Marvelously beautiful," replied Franka. The 
conversation could continue on this subject. And 
she added: "So mild, so fragrant, so still." 

"Still? Why, no ... don't you hear the chirping 
of insects and the wavelets breaking on the shore? 
The night is breathing." 

"As if in peaceful slumber." 


"No, it is not asleep just see, how its hundred 
thousand open eyes are sparkling." 

She looked up at the starry sky. Indeed, there 
shone a myriad of glittering eyes. As Franka sat 
there, bathed ia the soft moonlight, with her head 
upturned, her large dark eyes directed to the firma 
ment, her delicate features as it were illuminated 
with reverence, she seemed more exquisitely beau 
tiful than ever. 

"You are right. . . . Every instant one or another 
of the stars seems to say, 'I am.' That is after all 
the deepest of mysteries, that unfathomable meaning 
of the verb 'to be.'" 

"Franka, I love you!" 

The words came so abruptly that Franka felt a 
violent shock. It fell upon her like a burning bolt. 
She drew herself up and pushed back her chair. 
Victor Adolph was himself startled at his own words; 
he had not anticipated making so sudden a declara 
tion of his love. Here once more were those primi 
tive incitements to passion and love : the summer 
night, the perfume of flowers, the moonlight . . . 
and that bewitching beauty! 

Beauty had been the topic of the whole evening: 
the magic of the tropics and of the Arctic sea, of 
Radiolaria and anemones, but there had not been 
a word said about the most potent of all the powers 
of beauty in a lovely young woman's face. What 
were all the lilies and birds of paradise, what were 
all the dancing colors and lights, in comparison to 
such a pair of beaming eyes, from which gleamed a 
human soul? 



A short pause ensued, duringVhich both felt their 
hearts beat faster. Then Victor Adolph began to 
speak in a low tone : 

"You must not be angry, Fraulein Garlett . . . 
the audacious words came almost involuntarily out 
of my mouth. Honestly, I, myself, as I said them 
for the first time, have realized what deep feelings 
toward you I cherish. Yes, I love you, sincerely and 
passionately. I believe you might crown my hap 
piness with the richest gift one could conceive if 
only you would return my love. You must not for 
an instant misunderstand me I offer you my 
hand. Do not answer now I desire no hasty an 
swer. You must first weigh all things in the balance 
for there would be difficulties, reserves ... I am 
not a free and independent man, and perhaps great 
responsibilities will be put upon me ..." 

Franka stood up: "You asked me not to answer 
and I beg you, my prince, my dear prince, " her 
voice trembled with deep emotion, "do not say 
anything more. ... I am going into the salon now. " 

She took a few steps and was soon surrounded 
by a number of persons. The te v te-a-tte was at an 
end. The prince, bowing low, went off in another 
direction. Franka took no further part in the social 
festivities but fled to her room. 



IN the mean time, John Toker and Helmer were 
chatting in the salon. The two men were sitting in 
the embrasure of one of the windows behind a screen 
of tall, big-leafed plants, and were unseen and un 

"This would seem an admirable place for a pair 
to flirt in," remarked Toker, as he led his guest to 
it; "but this privacy will also suit us. I have as 
yet had no good opportunity to thank you for your 
address; moreover, this afternoon, I have read the 
translation of it, and so only now realize how com 
pletely our ideas and aims are in agreement. You 
say quite rightly, mankind has reached the turning 
of the ways. Either Or. It truly cannot continue 
as it is. Therefore, we must put forth all our ener 
gies, even if our energies are of no great magnitude. 
And I have a high opinion of the power of the pen ; 
it can charm in a playful way; but it can also be a 
very mighty instrument of harm and of help. " 

"What you say, Mr. Toker, reminds me of a con 
versation which I had not long ago with a fellow- 
countryman, a boyhood friend of mine. He asked 
me how I could devote my art, my talent to the 
service of politics and such inartistic objects. I 
answered, 'Because there is a fire, my dear friend. 
And if in such a case one holds in one's hands 



a brimming pitcher, one uses it to quench the flames 
and not to water flowers.' " 

"Quite right; so let us put out the fire. News 
which has reached me to-day makes me fear that 
there is going to be a great disturbance. The work 
which we are doing here the exerting of influence 
on thinking men proceeds quite too slowly, I 
am sorry to say in spite of all 6ur apparatus for 
wide publicity." 

"Yes," agreed Helmer; "it is a dribbling, in 
stead of a flood. Before minds gradually change, 
the avalanche of collected stupidity comes rolling 
down and buries the whole region. Here I am speak 
ing in metaphors again. ... I keep detecting myself 
in this habit. Prince Victor Adolph thought that 
pardonable in a poet. Now, that I think of it: this 
prince in spite of his position is on our side 
in all his inclinations, and so precisely because of 
his position he might successfully help us in the 
endeavor to put out the fire. " 

"I had the very same idea. You know his repu 

"More than that: I know his inclinations." And 
Helmer related the interview which he had held 
that very same day with the prince. 

"Well, he seems to be a splendid young man," 
said Toker. "To-morrow, at eleven o'clock, he is 
coming to see me, in order to plan a campaign. The 
rescue, the saving of the lives of a hundred thousand 
people that is to be the object of our conspiracy. 
He just told me ..." 

"Just told you? Is he here?" 



"Yes, he came at my invitation. At this instant 
he is on the terrace, as my daughter told me, and 
is sitting in the moonlight very sentimentally talk 
ing with Miss Garlett." 

Helmer made a sudden motion and suppressed a 
groan. This did not escape the older man's atten 

"Oh, Herr Helmer, is that disagreeable to you? 
Perhaps you are somewhat sentimentally inclined 
to your pretty table-companion and fellow-country 
woman yourself? . . . That would be quite natural. 
Don't shake your head . . . young men are quite 
properly in love; I like to see it. I will not detain 
you ... go out on the terrace and interrupt the 
flirtation, if you object to it. It would be much 
better for the young lady if she should incline her 
heart to you . . . ' 

"Good Heavens! I could not enter into competi 
tion with the prince ... if things are actually as you 
seem to think. " 

"Why not? 'Faint heart never won fair lady.'" 

"You yourself, Mr. Toker, set me very different 
tasks from that of winning a maiden's heart." 

"Hold on! Hold on! ... I am no fanatic, no 
man of one idea.; To work for a great public object 
does not require that a man should give himself 
body and soul to this affair. One must not neglect 
one's duties toward one's own happiness. When 
one has the foundation of domestic content, of cheer 
ful peace of mind, one can work much more effec 
tively for a great cause. It gives harmony and bal 
ance. And then, energy grows out of it as a tree 



springs out of a rich soil you see, I can also speak 
in figures. Well, good-bye for now. I will go around 
among my guests for a little while longer. To-mor 
row we will take up our plot again. " 

Helmer hastened out on the terrace: not as Mr. 
Toker had advised, to break up the flirtation, but 
to observe it. Yet in spite of his zeal to find that 
which would cause him misery he found nothing : 
the couple was not to be seen on the terrace. 

Franka had been for some time in her room. She 
did not turn on the light, but went out on the bal 
cony and threw herself into her rocking-chair. She 
wanted to think over what had occurred in the very 
same atmosphere in which it had occurred in the 
fragrant moonlit, summer night. 

She drew her lace shawl closer over her shoulders 
and leaned back in her chair, rocking slowly to and 
fro. She recalled the words which had so over 
whelmed her with amazement. Again she seemed 
to hear distinctly the accent in which "Franka, I 
love you" had been spoken and the still more mo 
mentous "You must not for an instant misunder 
stand me: I offer you my hand." My hand my 
hand . . . like a refrain which runs in one's head 
these words sang themselves to her, and here again 
were the same warm breath of the night, the same 
penetrating perfume of violets which emanated 
from the already half-faded bouquet that she wore 
on her bosom. He was in no hurry for a reply so 
much the better! Had she given either a hasty 
" Yes " or a hasty " No, " perhaps she might be even 



now regretting it. So the decision was postponed: 
it was left to her free and deliberate choice, whether 
she should seize this marvelous Future, big with 
portentous eventualities, or reject it. ... "Diffi 
culties, reserves. "... Her pride revolted . . . why 
had she not said "No" on the spot? But is it not 
true a king's son: such a step is not taken so 
easily. And it would involve sacrifices, renuncia 
tions, struggles. . . . 

That very morning she had been anticipating 
with some longing a thunderstorm of love to 
tell the truth, the image of another lover had arisen 
in her mind; now in truth such a storm had burst 
upon her, but it had not brought any relief to her 
mental strain. In the dazzling lightning-stroke of 
that declaration of love by the one, the image of the 
other had grown somewhat pale, but was not wholly 
obliterated. Evidently this other did not love her. 
He had constantly shown himself active in promot 
ing the interests of Victor Adolph; that very even 
ing in the hall . . . 

"Are you there, Franka?" It was Frau von 
Rockhaus. She had turned on the light in the room 
and was now standing in the balcony door. "I did 
not see you any longer downstairs and supposed that 
you had gone to bed. . . . Why did n't you call me?" 

"I knew that you would soon be following. It is 
pretty late." 

"That was a very pronounced wooing this even 
ing," observed Frau Eleonore. "Did he propose 
at last?" 




"Who! The prince, of course!" 

"You are inquisitive, dear Eleonore. Let us go 
to bed. I am sleepy. Good-night." 

She rang for her maid and went to her bedroom. 
But she found no rest. 

Victor Adolph also spent a restless night. During 
the past forty-eight hours events and impressions 
had been overwhelmingly sweeping in upon him. 
That address of Helmer's, opening new perspectives 
before his soul; the tidings that perhaps a throne 
would be offered him; that conspiracy for the ad 
vantage of the contemporary world, which John 
Toker wanted to conduct with his assistance; and 
finally this summer night's dream which had ended 
with such a sudden and mighty flaming up of pas 
sion that he had surrendered to it for all time. . . . 

The tormenting part of the situation was that he 
saw himself facing not merely one, but several fate 
ful questions. When he wanted to devote himself 
to thoughts of his beloved arose the vision of the 
beckoning throne, and when he attempted to bal 
ance the chances and the obligations which such a 
change of conditions would bring with it, then arose 
the image of the woman whom he loved to whom 
he had offered his hand. And what difficulties 
heaped themselves up before him! What battles 
there would be ! Had not this step been indiscreet? 
Aye, that it had; but is passion ever discreet? 

When the prince, agreeably to his promise, 
reached Toker's study the next morning, Toker had 



already gone through his mail. He had found vari 
ous additional particulars which tended more than 
ever to arouse his fears regarding the threatened 
dangers. He went to meet the exalted visitor. 

"You are very punctual, Prince." 

Newspapers and letters were arranged on a round 

"Please, let us sit down without delay; I have 
put in order the various papers which might serve 
to show my motives for the action I have in mind. " 

"I have faith in your action, Mr. Toker, without 
your proving motives," t said the prince, as he took 
his place at the table. 

Toker followed his example and put a few Eng 
lish, French, and German newspapers before him. 
" Please read first of all the passages marked in blue 

"Those are sheer alarmist prognostications," 
remarked the prince, after he had glanced through 
the designated passages. " ' War-in-sight ' news. 
And actually maps already of the probable 
seat of war!" 

"And now read the passages marked in red." 

"Bad news again : bomb-throwing . . . strikes . . . 
conspiracy . . . lynchings . . . hunger-revolts . . . 
riots ..." 

"In other words, we are facing a war on the one 
hand and a revolution on the other." 

"Excuse me, Mr. Toker, but perhaps you take 
the matter too tragically, " said the prince, pushing 
the papers to one side. "The rumors of wars are 
apparently false or are merely incitements we 



have been reading the like for many years regularly 
in the papers and yet nothing comes of them. These 
revolutionary attacks do happen here and there and 
are always speedily suppressed: order is immedi 
ately restored." 

"Yes, yes, it has been smouldering now for a 
number of years. But we must not wait until the 
flames break out ; it is time for us to trample out the 
sparks." Toker spoke these last words in a wrathful 
tone. " Patience ceases to be a virtue, " he went on 
to say, "when it consists in allowing misfortune to 
approach; then it should be called simply uncon 
cern. Now read this also." He handed the prince 
some letters and telegrams for him to glance over. 
"Those are private communications from parties 
in a position to be well informed. They show much 
more clearly than the news published in the papers 
that the evil so much talked about is ready to ap 
pear. " 

The prince read the letters and dispatches care 
fully. "In truth," was his comment, "things do 
look a bit threatening. What do you propose, Mr. 
Toker, in order to avert the danger? And do you 
think there is still time enough?" 

"The term 'too late' should never be allowed 
when the question concerns a work of help or rescue. 
As you yourself just remarked, for a number of 
years conflicts have cropped up in the most varied 
places; panics have been precipitated; people have 
been getting ready for the conflict; the catastrophe 
has been generally expected, and then nothing has 
come of it. In early times it was not so. When the 



well-known black speck appeared on the political 
horizon, one could expect a storm with certainty. 
Now new forces have entered into the world, 
which have succeeded in driving away the clouds. 
The peaceable intentions of the rulers have been 
strengthened ; the pugnacity of the nations has been 
curbed the world is gradually changing. And 
perhaps these perils also " he pointed to the news 
papers and letters "will be dissipated and there will 
be time to act. Only we must not delay. If we allow 
things to go on unchecked, the crash must come. " 

"Well, what is to be done? And what could / do 
to help? A little princelet like me I need not tell 
you has no power and no liberty. Even at this 
minute, while I am engaging in this conspiracy with 
you behind the back of my honorary jailer, General 
Orell, I am deeply involving myself in disgrace!" 

Toker smiled. "This is not your first offense, as 
I have reason to suspect. Your attendance at popu 
lar meetings is well known; your predilection for 
the reading of sociological books, not receivable at 
court, is well known. But for the very reason that 
you have a knowledge of the problems of the day 
and an open mind, I have turned to you. So, then, 
listen this is the thing: A new Hague Confer 
ence is about to be opened ..." 

"Pardon me," interrupted Victor Adolph, "these 
conferences have so far failed to bring about the 
change expected of them. " 

"Still, they have brought something significant, 
new, and great into the world the generality of 
the people certainly know very little about them. 



They have not attained their object for the reason 
that they have been diverted from that object by 
their own members : an article was smuggled into 
the programme that had no business to be there 
regulation of war: for a large proportion of the 
delegates consisted either of soldiers or adherents 
of sovereignty. These men were assiduous in keep 
ing the old principles safe from the danger with 
which they were threatened by the conference as 
originally proposed that is, from compulsory ar 
bitration and limitation of armament. But the old 
principles have not remained entirely intact, for 
there were also representatives of the new ideas at 
The Hague, who fortunately achieved the founda 
tion of new institutions. Imagine a congress of 
freethinkers in which the majority of the delegates 
were bishops and where the larger part of the time 
was spent in discussing the regulation of ritualistic 
forms! . . . There you have a picture of the first 
Hague Peace Congresses. But I am speaking of the 
next one. Since the last one, things have ripened. 
Since then, the desire for peace has strengthened 
among all the governments, and especially among 
the masses. Since then the waste of money on 
armaments has reached such dimensions that uni 
versal bankruptcy is at hand. Since then, the battle 
ships have grown into such monsters, and all the 
other instruments of death and destruction have 
attained such fiendish power, that they serve not 
so much for fighting as for combined self-annihila 
tion. . . . Since then, the common people have been 
brought to the end of their endurance by loans and 



taxes and high prices. Since then, the proletariat, 
always hostile to war, has more and more come to 
a realization of its solidarity and power. Since then, 
so many friendships, treaties, and conventions have 
arisen that it needs now only an impulse for a gen 
eral European 'Legal Union.' Since then, all the 
groups interested have combined in an international 
organization. Since then, a world-conscience has 
come into being. Since then, the atmosphere has 
been conquered. Since then, human thoughts have 
attained wings. . . . Since then ..." 

The old gentleman had worked himself into a 
fine heat; he had got up, and at every sentence his 
voice had grown louder. At the last "Since then," 
he suddenly stopped and sat down again. Then he 
went on in a calmer tone: 

"Here we will pause at the conception 'Soar 
ing Thoughts.' The delegates to the next confer 
ence are to be inspired with such thinking. They 
must bring with them the resolution to accomplish 
something great, something bold. The position of 
affairs has so entirely changed in the mean time, 
with its promising new possibilities, and the dangers, 
so nearly threatening, must be looked in the face 
unflinchingly. That would be our salvation." 
"But what can I do-in all this, Mr. Toker?" 
"Prince, you by virtue of your rank can obtain 
the ear of those on whose will the programme and 
the results of the conference depend." 

"And you believe that I could influence that?" 

"You can explain. They will listen to you. You 

can show what golden bridges this conference offers. 



You can bring it about that a peace league of rulers 
shall be formed." 

"Rulers are the prisoners of their armies ..." 

"If they do not break these chains, which also 
at the same time bind the peoples, then the peo 
ples will do it; and that would be terrible, like every 
deed of despair." 

"And do you believe that the armies would con 
sent to disband?" 

"Who speaks about 'disbanding'? If the States 
make an alliance for one common international law, 
then their armies the greatly reduced armies 
will unite for the protection of the laws that affect 
them all in common, for defense against attacks 
from those that stand outside the alliance, for the 
maintenance of internal order, for affording aid ..." 

"I understand . . ." 

"Yes, I knew that you are one who would under 
stand. But do you understand also why I, an Ameri 
can, have the fate of Europe so deeply at heart ; why 
I want to see the Old World protected from a catas 
trophe, why I likewise wish that its aristocratic and 
monarchical institutions, so long ago with us out 
lived, should, at least for a time, remain intact?" 

"Perhaps from an artistic sense," suggested the 
prince, "just as we preserve picturesque ruins." 

" ' Ruins' is too strong a term; they are still proud 
and lofty castles ; only they are let us say a 
little dilapidated: a violent storm would devastate 
them ; they can still be safeguarded by rods. Again, 
why do I feel and act for Europe? You must know 
that we Americans, at the bottom of our hearts 



cherish a family-feeling for Europe. It is the cradle 
of our race; it is the ultimate source of our civiliza 
tion physically and spiritually, it is our ancestral 
fatherland. We love it and are thankful to it. There 
fore it comes about that, when we accomplish any 
great technical advance or conceive some higher 
social or political ideal, we immediately feel the im 
pulse to let the ' whole world ' and by that term 
we think especially of Europe share in it. We are 
like children who have been educated far away, 
have made our fortune there, and regard it as a 
pleasant duty to send back to the aged parents some 
share of the treasures we have gained. . . . But let 
us return to our conspiracy, Prince. You are not the 
only one with whom I am conspiring. I place my 
mines in various localities. The Government at 
Washington is in the alliance. The propositions 
which it will bring forward at the next conference 
will not leave anything in the way of ' High Think 
ing' to be desired. I have already spoken with the 
President of the French Republic " 

"Yes as I have mentioned before: Republi 
cans " 

" No ; that is not the condition. In order that some 
thing great may come out of the conference, it is 
essential that it be approached with magnanimous 
resolves ; we must attempt not only a little step for 
ward, but we must attempt flying. I know one man, 
one powerful man, who is capable of making such 
resolves and such a flight. And what I want of 
you, Prince, is: Speak with the one man he will 
listen to you you are his son!" 



WHEN Victor Adolph left Toker's study, he felt still 
more oppressed than he had been before. A new task 
had been added to the many prospects and obliga 
tions that were so disturbing to his peace of mind: 
alluring prospects, noble tasks, sweet obligations, 
but in their combination a scourge of anxieties. And 
there was no one with whom he might take counsel, 
to whom he might open his heart; on the contrary, 
he had the perpetual companionship of a man from 
whom he was obliged to conceal his inmost thoughts 
and inclinations this Orell and now he had 
two more secrets to hide from him. Suppose he 
should discover that the Royal Highness entrusted 
to his protection had offered himself to a woman 
without rank and title, and had concealed plans 
with an American for the demilitarization of Eu 

Victor Adolph could not help smiling as he pic 
tured to himself the general standing there, his face 
scarlet with wrath and horror, his hair standing on 
end, and the points of his mustaches trembling. 
How he would gasp for words and for breath, and 
how these words would be even more laconic and 
drastic than ever "Prince ripe for the madhouse! 
. . .Cursed girl . . . Caught in the first net. . . . 



Old Yankeedoodle . . . Proposals to His Majesty! 
... To hell with the Rose-Saint- Vitus-dance !" 

As he drove away, the prince met Helmer return 
ing from the morning walk. The encounter was a 
pleasant surprise. Here was one with whom he 
might exchange a few thoughts, at least, might 
talk with him about Toker's plans, since he was 
already initiated into the conspiracy. 

"Good-morning, Herr Helmer; I am glad to meet 
you. Are you just on your way home?" 

"Yes, Your Royal Highness." 

"Have you anything important that you must do 

"Not at all." 

"Then, if you will permit me, I will go with you 
to your lodgings." 

"That will be an honor and a pleasure. If you 
please, this way, Your Royal Highness; my rooms 
are on the ground floor." 

He conducted the prince up a few steps, through 
a corridor to his sitting-room door, which he opened 
to usher his visitor in. 

"But you are all roses here!" cried Victor Adolph 
as he entered. 

"Yes, the whole house is dedicated to the queen 
of flowers. But all this splendor will soon be ended. 
Two days more and the Rose- Week will be a thing 
of the past. Then we shall all be scattered to the 
four winds." 

" But what has been uttered, planted, experienced, 
felt here will not be scattered to the winds." And 
as the prince sat down in the easy-chair which Hel- 



mer pushed forward for him, he added with a deep 
sigh, " I have gone through a vast lot of experiences 
since I have been here." 

Helmer looked up inquiringly: "Yet nothing ter 
rible, I hope?" 

"That's as one looks at it may I?" And he 
took a cigarette from a smoking-table standing near. 

Helmer gave him a light, then sat down on the 
other side of the table, and they were soon engaged 
in earnest talk. 

The prince related his interviews with the master 
of the house, the news which he had got from the 
letters and papers and the plans that Toker had 
developed. Helmer manifested the liveliest interest. 
The observations that he interpolated, the opinions 
that he expressed, the warmth and readiness of en 
thusiasm which accompanied all his words and ges 
tures, were so sympathetic to the prince that he felt 
mightily drawn to the poet. It did him good to be 
free to talk with an intelligent mind about the mis 
sion with which Toker had entrusted him. His bur 
den of care already began to seem lighter. Here he 
could find counsel and stimulus and support. His 
heart began to glow. 

" It is a perfect delight, Helmer," said he, bending 
over the table and laying his hand on the other's 
arm, "to speak about these things with you. You 
have experience and a keen insight, and you have 
what shall I call it? Schwingen pinions the 
upsoaring spirit ... I wish you were my friend . . . 
Be my friend!" 

" I am, as far as I may, my prince." 


The two men shook hands. 

"Truly, I have never had a friend ; always nothing 
but flatterers, time-servers, or else highly respect 
able jailors, eager maitres de plaisir; here and there, 
among those of my own rank and relationship, a good 
fellow all too ready for sport and the like but a 
friend? Not one! Not one whom one may trust if 
one is in trouble or is experiencing a great happiness 
not one to ask advice of in a difficulty." 

"Is that your case, Your Highness?" asked Hel- 
mer sympathetically. 

"That is my case." 

"Will you honor me with your confidence?" 

The prince stood up and walked in some agitation 
back and forth a few times ; then he went to the win 
dow and gazed out for a while. He was evidently 
having a struggle with himself. Then he suddenly 
turned round: "Well, then, listen!" 

Helmer had also risen and was leaning on his 
writing-table which stood near the window. He bent 
his head. "I am listening." And at the same time 
a suspicion flashed through his mind that he was 
about to hear something unpleasant. 

"Well, then," proceeded Victor Adolph. "Happi 
ness, difficulty everything comes all at once. 
During the last twenty-four hours, more things and 
more important things have surged into my life 
than hitherto in many years. It has been revealed 
to me that a position of great power the position 
of a monarch a crown might be offered to me. 
I am as democratic in my instincts as any one could 
well be ; you know that . . . yet, I confess, the notion 



seems dazzling to me. In the case of other men only, 
too great power seems perilous; in one's own case, 
one is convinced that it can be used only for advan 
tage. How much I could help and accomplish 
even in the spirit of those ' lofty thoughts ' which are 
at the present time soaring out from here into the 
world. Then the mission, which I have under 
taken at Toker's desire, to win over my father to an 
action which might establish on a firm basis his 
treasured ideal of international peace all these 
things would be splendid tasks." 

" In what consists the trouble, Prince? I see only 
the happiness and no difficulty." 

"The happiness consists in something else and 
the difficulty is, that I must renounce either those 
duties or the happiness. If I cling to the happiness, 
I should lose yonder position and influence, and per 
haps my rank. I am in love, Helmer, madly in love 
and I have not the strength of will to renounce 
my beloved : yesterday I made her an offer of 

Helmer was playing with a paper-cutter: it fell 
with a crash on the floor. He stooped over to pick it 
up, and thus he concealed the pallor that suddenly 
invaded his face. So then the moment had arrived, 
when that which he had so often dreaded was a 
reality. He had really never even hoped to win 
Franka; he had himself hinted to her the remote 
possibility that the prince would be her suitor and 
had tried to persuade himself that he would unsel 
fishly rejoice at it. But hitherto it had been only an 
unreal figment of his imagination; now it was the 



truth. He took longer in regaining the paper-cutter 
than was necessary. Now he drew himself up once 

"So you are to be congratulated," he said, trying 
hard to control his voice. "Is Fraulein Garlett al 
ready your betrothed?" 

" I cannot as yet call her that . . . she has not given 
her answer . . . the whole affair is still a secret. Oh, 
Helmer, I cannot tell you how it has relieved me to 
take you into my confidence!" 

Without knocking, John Toker entered the room : 
"Hello, Mr. Helmer; the gong is about sounding 
for luncheon; I wanted to speak with you about 
something beforehand. Ah, you are not alone? ..." 
He at that instant became aware of the presence 
of Victor Adolph, who stepped forward from the 
embrasure of the window. "Ah, is it you, Your 

"Yes, it is I; but I must be going now." And he 
heartily took his leave of the two men. 

Helmer entered the dining-room in great agita 
tion. How could he endure meeting Franka with the 
knowledge that the die had been cast, that she was 
about to belong to another? And how would he suc 
ceed in hiding the pangs of jealousy which tormented 
his heart? Yet he was spared for a time these diffi 
culties. Franka was not present, and he was in 
formed that she had sent her apologies for missing the 
luncheon she had a headache. Helmer felt re 
lieved, and yet disappointed. Now it seemed to him 
as if he had a hundred things to say to her, and as if 



he had been robbed of his privilege of being the first 
to congratulate her, the first who should venture to 
speak with her about this crisis in her destiny, even 
before the others knew anything about it. 

The conversation at table on this occasion was 
very animated. Toker's guests, as well as Toker him 
self, had detected in the reports of newspapers signs 
of threatening political peril, and there was a dis 
cussion of the conditions. It was conducted in a 
tone of dismay, but not at all in the spirit of the 
usual political "Kannegiessereien" narrow-minded 
twaddle: no combinations based on diplomatic-na 
tional-strategical-historical premises as to whether, if 
X-land should declare war on Z-land, Y-land should 
stand by X or Z; whether X or Z would have the 
better chances of winning out; in what relationship 
the sea-power of the one would stand toward the 
air-power of the other ; from what grounds of rivalry 
or expansion the conflict had arisen and its outbreak 
become unavoidable; what clashing of interests in 
lofty spheres and what alterations of boundary lines 
were imminent, and other technical absurdities of 
the same routine variety. No, here were assembled 
the elite among men, who looked down from the 
higher pinnacles on the course of the world; who 
based their judgment on philosophical criteria and 
their will on humane sentiments. 

The French senator and the American statesman, 
as they sat side by side, had been for five minutes 
engaged in a confidential conversation. Then the 
Frenchman arose, and tapping on his glass to call the 
attention of the Table Round, spoke as follows : 



11 1 ask your hearing for a proposal." All came to 
silence. With the refined, quiet manner of a diploma 
tist he went on : " My honored friend, sitting next 
to me, whose statesmanlike services for the cause 
of peace are known to all of you, and I, have just 
been talking over an idea which has been suggested 
by the political news so unanimously commented 
upon in our midst. The war of the future, so long 
predicted, stands before our door: not so near that 
it may surprise us at any hour, but still near enough 
to make us mobilize without delay all the forces that 
can be used to ward it off." 

"Hear, hear!" cried John Toker, with flashing 

"There are people who desire this war espe 
cially among the officers and general-staff circles, with 
whom such a desire is part of their profession and 
there are people who do not want it. Now the ques 
tion is, which of these two groups will have the pre 
ponderance? The masses, for the most part, wher 
ever there is any thought at all, belong to the second 
group, but they are dumb and as yet powerless I 
say as yet powerless, for the day may come, and now 
seems not so very far away, when this will no longer 
be the case. But to-day the power of decision still 
lies in the hands of the few. Among these few some 
are for war some are against it. Here also those 
who are against it are already more numerous; but 
the others have higher positions and more influ 
ence. What we have to do, then, is to weigh down 
the scales against the war with the weight of pub 
lic opinion and the combined pressure of widely 



renowned and highly respected names. And now 
comes our proposition." 

He paused to drink a swallow of water. The others 
gave eager attention. Helmer also, who had been 
till that moment absorbed in his own thoughts, was 
now listening attentively: 

"Ladies and gentlemen," continued the senator, 
"we possess here thanks to the genius and the 
millions of our host it is good when these two are 
combined an apparatus for publicity of marvel 
ous efficacy. What we say here is sent by wireless 
telegraphy circling round the world; it is taken up 
by ten thousand rotary presses, is repeated by ten 
thousand phonographs, is preserved in all the libra 
ries and archives in existence. So much for the 
echo. And now for the weight. Let us put aside 
false modesty; the Knighthood of the Rose must 
be conscious and ought to be conscious of its noble 
rank, in order to be forever mindful of the work to 
which it is pledged. John Toker summons only his 
contemporaries of world-wide reputation ; only those 
who through their art, their scientific abilities, their 
inventions, their political activities, particularly 
their service in the politics of peace, have served 
all men, and therefore possess universal authority. 
Just as in every great country there is the upper ten 
thousand of the aristocracy, so we once more I 
say, away with false modesty! form the world's 
half-hundred of talent." 

Toker clapped his hands; the others began to do 
the same, but the speaker stretched out his arm in 
a deprecating gesture and proceeded : 



"We have here a tribune which is visible from all 
the civilized places of the earth ; our voices ring out 
as from a gigantic gramophone. So let us raise these 
voices in a solemn protest. Let us on the last even 
ing, instead of indulging, as usually is prearranged 
on such occasions, in rhetorical and artistic perform 
ances, let us attempt an act of rescue. Let us, in 
a tone of thunder, call a halt to this disaster! This 
disaster is no elementary catastrophe beyond the 
power of the human will ; it is an action commanded 
by rulers and executed by the nations, and it must 
not be commanded and it must not be executed. If 
all see clearly how things lie, and if all have the op 
portunity to express their will, the ' Halt ! ' sounding 
forth from here can swell up into an irresistible nega 
tive. The threatening war we all know what an 
insignificant controversy is at the bottom of it 
can be averted either by mediation or by an appeal 
to the Court of Arbitration. If this is not done, if 
the Fury a Fury armed with fangs, fins, and jaws, 
and now also with wings is again let loose, then 
it will kindle a world-conflagration. We will to-day 
give the world a clear demonstration of the case ; we 
will put forth an energetic demand for mediation or 
arbitration ; we want to raise a strong protest against 
an easy or an intentional sufferance of the catas 
trophe. In all the centers, where our message pene 
trates, opportunity is offered for all the leaders and 
all the consenting masses to unite ; and the word ut 
tered here may swell up into a plebiscite that will 
encompass the earth. Is this your sentiment, Mr. 
Toker? do you agree to this, gentlemen?" 



Toker, who sat opposite the speaker, bent across 
and shook both his hands. 

" Is that my sentiment! One more mine laid!" 

Helmer, as soon as he returned to his room, sat 
down to write to Franka. He felt compelled to 
speak to her. His heart was full to bursting. Yet 
he did not know what he should write her. Only 
the necessity was upon him to direct to her another 
of his "Brother Chlodwig" letters, after the manner 
of those which he had sent to her at several of the 
serious crises of her life. He began : 

"Sister Franka" but hardly had his eyes 
rested on the dear name when he was irresistibly 
impelled to add, "I worship thee!" Of course, it 
was evident to him that he must tear up this sheet 
and throw it into the waste-paper basket. But first 
he wanted to let his feelings exhaust themselves to 
a certain degree in the same vein, and so he wrote 
further: "Yes, I worship thee! Sweet . . . lovely 
. . . the only one ! I press thee to my heart and kiss 
thee . . . kiss thee ..." (Oh, how this word flamed 
on the paper he wrote it a third time.) ' ' Kiss thee 
on thine eyelids, on thy parted lips ! Franka, Franka, 
that another man will have a right to do ... it is 
horrible! ... I am wretched! . . . How can I en 
dure it? Let us not think of it. I kiss thee again, 
Franka, my Franka, mine, mine, mine. . . . The 
dear lovely name, 'Franka,' in French, 'Franche, ' 
is n't it? Franchetta, donna idolatrata! Frankie, 
my own darling! Dost thou suspect what bliss 
thou hast to dispose? Dost thou know also ..." 



This brought him to the end of the page. He did 
not turn the sheet over, but tore it up and flung it 
into the basket. Then he put another sheet before 
him, sat for some time buried in thoughts, and then 
began again to write. This was to be the actual 
letter which he would send : 


Again you stand at the turning of the ways and it is the 
privilege of Brother Chlodwig to bring you a few words 
words of blessing. To-day you have withdrawn your 
self apparently in order to think over the crisis that af 
fects your heart and your future. I do not have any faith 
in that excuse of a headache! So it is forbidden me to 
talk with you about the matter: therefore I am writing. 
It is, after all, more agreeable for me to do so. If I first 
offer you my congratulations, it will be possible for me 
to meet you more calmly. For I must confess that I am 
deeply stirred. I should not have found the right attitude, 
the right words, if I had been obliged to sit by your side 
at the luncheon-table, knowing what I know, and appear 
calm and at my ease in the presence of all those people, 
while inwardly I was more disturbed than ever before in 
all my life. 

Franka, do you remember? I was the first to give you 
the Valkyrie consecration; you received from my hands 
the shield and the spear. These weapons have certainly 
to-day become a burden to you, and yet you perhaps feel 
a reproach from your conscience at the thought of laying 
them down. Now I will be helpful to you, and I myself 
will put forth my hand to relieve you of them. My noble 
Valkyrie, you have gallantly battled and have won the 
victory it is enough ! Be henceforth and be unregret- 
fully merely a joyous human being, just a happy 
woman. A fire-spell flames around you, but there is 
nothing fabulous about it it is only Love. . . . 



By Victor Adolph's side, you will, moreover, be able to 
work for the loftiest human ends. For he himself stands 
now facing mighty tasks, which he has energetically as 
sumed and which you will be able, by your influence, your 
advice, your sympathy, greatly to forward. Certainly, 
the epoch which is approaching is pregnant with fate 
so much explosive material has been heaped up, and yet 
wisdom enough also has been collected to hinder the ex 
plosion, enough also to conduct the forces on hand from 
destructive to beneficent uses. Your betrothed will help 
in this work and you will help him. Is not that a proud 

But, above all, let it be a beautiful, gladsome destiny! 
Smile, be rapturous, live, be crowned with roses. 


Helmer folded the sheet and thrust it into an 
envelope. One might judge from the contents of 
the letter that he did this with a sort of gentle 
ceremoniousness ; not at all: he did it grinding his 
teeth, with fever-cold hands, with swift-beating 
pulses. Then he rang for his man and ordered him 
to deliver the letter immediately. 

Bruning entered the room simultaneously with 
the servant. 

"Ah, I am glad to find you in, Helmer; I have 
been for a long time anxious to have a sensible chat 
with you. " 

Helmer did not share this longing; the call 
seemed to him highly inopportune; but what else 
could he say than "Fine; I'm pleased to see you. 
Sit down." 

Bruning made himself at home. " You don't look 
quite up to concert-pitch, old man? Evidently, you 



are right glad to have the whole affair over and done 
with. I, too, am glad enough that it will be ended 
in a couple of days. A good deal has been very 
interesting, but the whole effect is so exotic and so 
extravagant. You know me I can't stand hum 
bug. What 's your plan? Where are you going from 

"Going back to Berlin. And you?" 

" I am going to the Sielenburg. The old Countess 
Schollendorf invited me. The Sielenburg really be 
longs to Miss Garlett, does n't it? And she has still 
other estates? All of it might have been yours long 
ago if you had been a bit clever. But you have let 
her get snapped away from you : every one has seen 
that the German prince is after her. " 

Helmer made a gesture of annoyance. "And you 
call this a sensible chat?" 

"Well, then, let's talk about other things. There 
is lots of news. Our famous sportsman yesterday 
got a pair of wings fitted to him and fell into the 

"Regenburg? Was he drowned?" 

"No, they fished him out. But if I know him, he 
will not rest until he has flown round the Stefans- 
turm. Ambition is a fine thing and especially when, 
by satisfying it, one breaks his own neck and not 
otherpeople's . . . as ambitious statesmen are mighty 
apt to do. In their case hundreds of thousands are 
in danger of their lives. " 

"You have in mind the old-fashioned type of 
statesmen," said Helmer, shrugging his shoulders. 

"Not by a long chalk. ... I had especially in 


mind our Marchese Rinotti. He will blossom out 
only in the future, and he will have nerve and tem 
perament enough to mow his way through heca 
tombs of victims in perfect sang-froid if it suits his 
plans. That belongs to his trade. " 

"Times are changing, my dear Franz. . . . Nowa 
days, the national helmsmen whether princes or 
ministers already begin to set their ambition on 
being considered the guardians of the peace. " 

"In their words and phrases . . . but you are ir 
retrievably naif, my good Chlodwig. Whoever is to 
be a genuine statesman must lie, must endeavor 
to pull the wool over the eyes of the others. He con 
tracts friendship with other powers, not in the least 
out of good will toward his allies, but to make com 
mon head against a third. He secretly stirs up en 
mities ; for he may get advantage from possible con 
flicts of others in which he himself is not involved. 
In order to confirm and strengthen his own power, 
he without any scruples drives rough-shod over all 
obstacles, such as treaties, conventions, and the 
like: in short, he " 

" In short, he is a scoundrel!" 

"Call it so. In popular parlance he is a genius. 
But don't let us dispute. Your kingdom is in the 
clouds. Only I fear you will soon get a bad fall. Do 
you happen to be reading the news? Such things 
are under way as " 

"Oh, I know perfectly well what is threatening; 
but I know also what beckons. I have long given 
up discussing with you. It is remarkable how two 
men, classmates and comrades in childhood and in 



the early days of youth, can so grow apart in their 
views of life. And neither of us is stupid!" 

"The difference is this you are intellectual and 
I am prudent. " 

"I hate the word 'prudent.' It sounds cold and 
harsh: it has no uplift." 

"That I grant you, my dear pinion-poet! I am a 
sober, matter-of-fact man. As such let me tell you 
a couple of incidents from real life. You must know 
that the two interesting widows, to whom I intro 
duced you lately that impetuous Countess Sol- 
nikova and that gentle Annette Felsen have been 
having a great experience during the last two days. 
Romances are brought to a climax here with amaz 
ing rapidity . . . perhaps for the reason that we 
have here, as it were, only a week's respite. Now 
the countess has been making a little flight with 
your Polish composer not a flight in the figura 
tive, but in the actual, sense of the word. For you 
see they hired a fine aerotaxi and in it flew over the 
mountains: the wind drove them into a deserted 
region and they had to spend the night in a shed 
. . . There is no need of harboring any suspicions 
about it. And as regards Annette Felsen she be 
came regularly engaged to our Machiavelli yester 

"Is that so?" said Helmer, with mild interest. 
"Yes, " he added rather to himself, " romances come 
to a climax here with great rapidity." 

At the very door of his hotel, Prince Victor Adolph 
met General Orell, who came to him in great haste. 



"At last, Your Royal Highness," he exclaimed; 
and added reproachfully, "You went out without 
my escort!" 

" I don't want always to trouble you, dear Orell. " 

"A telegram has just come for Your Royal 
Highness. " 

Victor Adolph, surprised, took the dispatch and 
tore open the envelope. He was evidently startled. 
The dispatch was from his father: "Your pres 
ence here is imperatively needed in a highly impor 
tant political emergency, affecting you personally. 
Come by next train. " 

" If possible we must leave this very day. Please, 
General, find what time the trains start and bring 
me the information to my room. I will precede 

As soon as he reached his room, he threw himself 
down into his easy-chair, and read the dispatch a 
second time. Evidently it concerned that eventual 
ity of the throne . . . then he must obey. Besides, 
he would necessarily in any case obey such a per 
emptory command of his father and king. Yet how 
inconveniently it came. . . . That other great even 
tuality his relations with Franka was still in 
the air he had not as yet received her answer, 
and she knew nothing of the difficulties that had to 
be surmounted. To depart now! Truly, too many 
complications . . . 

General Orell brought the time-table. The next, 
being also the last train, left at five o'clock in the 
afternoon. It was now one, time enough for 
making preparations and for a farewell call upon 



Franka. He felt he must speak with her. He took 
a hasty luncheon with Orell. Then he returned to 
his study and put his papers in order. He wrote to 
Toker, explaining his sudden departure and prom 
ised to keep his task in mind. He also addressed 
a few cordial lines to Helmer. 

Now the next thing was to go to Franka. What 
should he say to her? If she accepted his proposal, 

and he really had no doubt that she would, 
the engagement could not possibly be made public 

certainly not at this time, when the question of 
the accession to the throne was still undecided: it 
would be the most unsuitable moment to anger his 
father. His choice would anger not only his father, 
but the whole clique. He was well aware of that. 
What a lunatic world ! What a compulsion ! Under 
other circumstances, he would have been more than 
willing to renounce all the prerogatives of his rank, 
in order, without further dissimulation, to follow 
the dictates of his heart as a private citizen. But 
the question for him did not merely concern an 
empty title and the insignificant gratifications con 
nected with it ; it was perhaps a question of an actual 
position of power in which he could do immeasur 
able public service. Even if he did not attain the 
crown, it would nevertheless be necessary to retain 
his rank and his influence for the furtherance of the 
mission entrusted to him by Toker. If he now should 
fall out with his family and the people of his own 
class, how could he then carry on a propaganda 
among them for the objects of the conspiracy? It 
was a complicated situation no single direct 



aim for his duties and desires. But supreme in his 
heart, his fancy, his very blood, was still the image 
of the lovely Franka, and there was the hot desire 
to hold her in his arms. 

With quick steps and a mind deeply disturbed, 
he covered the short distance back to the Rose- 
Palace. He found the door to Franka's apartments 
open; the anteroom was empty, and he knocked at 
the salon door and entered. 

Frau von Rockhaus came to meet him: "Oh, 
Your Royal Highness ..." 

"May I speak with Fraulein Garlett?" 

" Franka is not at home. How sorry she will be " 

"No, no, my dear lady, she must not be denied 
to me. ... I must speak with her it is too im 
portant. " 

"On my word of honor, she is not in. She went 
out a quarter of an hour ago with Miss Toker. She 
did not go down to the d6jeuner, and so Miss Toker 
came to see what had become of her and persuaded 
her to take a drive the fresh air would do her 

"Then I will wait till she returns." 

"The two ladies will not be back before five 
o'clock. Their intention was to go to a place of re 
sort, quite a distance away." 

"What was the name of the place? " 

" I do not remember the name. " 

Victor Adolph suppressed a curse. This was too 
unfortunate. So, then, he would have to leave the 
town without seeing her again. . . . He begged per 
mission to write a few lines for the young lady. 



Frau Eleonore conducted him to the writing-table, 
and provided him with paper. He began to write, 
but his hand trembled so violently that the letters 
ran together, and he could not collect his thoughts. 
He threw the pen aside, crumpled up the sheet, and 
arose: "I prefer to write at home," said he, and 
hastily took his departure. 

In the quiet of his own room, he managed, after 
much consideration and some false beginnings, to 
compose the following message : 


As I have not as yet received a consenting answer to 
my question, I do not venture to use any more intimate 
address. Frau von Rockhaus will tell you that I came to 
see you. But she does not know how unhappy it made me 
to miss you. A telegram from my father which I in 
close compels me to leave Lucerne by the five o'clock 
train. It is terrible to me not to have had a chance to see 
you and talk with you before my departure. I know that 
you are to remain in Lucerne for three or four days longer. 
I hope sincerely that I can return unless you forbid me. 
In any case, wherever you are, pray let me know the 
place where I may get the answer from you that will de 
cide my fate. 

I still owe it to you to explain my circumstances and 
the conditions which these circumstances impose upon 
me. This I can do only by word of mouth. But I will 
repeat in writing what I said yesterday from an over 
flowing heart: I love you and ask you to be my wife! 

Address: Royal Palace . 

When Franka had returned from her excursion 
with Gwendoline, she found the two letters. She 



read and re-read them, first hastily, then deliber 
ately, weighing every word and trying to find be 
tween the lines what had gone forth from the hearts 
of the senders. From Victor Adolph's although 
the conclusion of it confirmed the greatest proof of 
love that a man can give a woman: the offer of his 
hand there seemed to emanate a cool breath ; 
from Helmer's, on the other hand, although in it 
he gave her away to another, came forth some 
thing like a warm caress. 



THE next to the last evening of this Rose- Week was 
at hand. The principal speaker was to be that 
young American, as yet unknown to the great ma 
jority, to whom Helmer had referred when he said 
to the little coterie at the hotel: "I know of things 
which are in preparation . . . there is in our midst 
an inventor, a conqueror ..." 

In the hall great excitement reigned. The pre 
liminary exercises, although they were of the highest 
artistic excellence, had been listened to with but 
half an ear. Only when the American had taken his 
place at the reading-desk did the public experience 
that piquant satisfaction which one expresses in the 
three words: "Now it is coming!" 

Franka did not come down until just before the 
recess; she took her place in a somewhat remote 
and dimly lighted corner. But Helmer caught sight 
of her and hastened to her. She was alone. Frau 
Eleonore, afflicted with a bad headache, had gone 
to bed. 

Franka offered Helmer her hand: "Thank you 
for your letter, Brother Chlodwig. Sit down with 
me." And she made room for him on the small 
sofa on which she was seated. "But tell me how 
you knew that the prince " 

"He himself told me so." 


"That he was betrothed to me?" 

"That he had proposed to you . . . and now he 
has been compelled to go away." 

"You know that, too?" 

"He told me this in a note. This is really sad for 
both of you." 

"He will be back again." 

"Back here? But you were intending to return 
to Austria after the Rose- Week ..." 

"But he might come to Austria." 

"Of course." 

Both were silent. Helmer himself did not under 
stand how it was possible for him to speak with her 
so calmly and not to show any sign of the mighty 
feelings that were tormenting him. However, he 
had actually become more composed in her presence 
such loftiness and purity radiated from her that 
covetous emotions and jealous ideas were banished 
from her vicinity. He enveloped her in a gentle, af 
fectionate glance. How beautiful she was in her flow 
ing white robe with the modest bunch of violets at 
her breast, and the proud string of pearls around her 
neck ! yes, proud and modest she was, and thus she 
adorned herself. 

For a time she met his eyes. There lay in them the 
same delicate, affectionate caress that she had 
detected between the lines of his letter. Then she 
broke the silence. 

"I like your fraternal letters. Always, when a 
fateful hour is striking for me, comes such a letter 
and brings me comfort, stimulus, warning, or bless 
ing, as it happens. And in such symbolical language: 



at one time, you hand me shield and spear, and this 
time it was myrtle and the bridal veil. Yet you did 
not say that ; you carefully avoid such banal figures 
of speech!" 

"Carefully? No: he who is tormented by fear of 
commonplaces can never be true and simple. Tell 
me, Franka, also quite truly and simply, how do you 
feel in view of this turn in your fate?" 

Franka deliberated. Then with a deep breath: 
" How do I feel about it? Truly, that is not so simple 
to say. Such remarkable experiences have come to 
me ... in what I have gone through this week: it 
is not merely one, there are ten emotions. Just as 
after a convulsion of nature, islands are suddenly 
surging up, mountains are toppled over, so has 
my earth-surface been transformed. The Garlett 
career has been drowned . . . Franka's love-life has 
come to the surface." 

"Franka's love-life ..." repeated Helmer slowly 
and softly. 

"But that is not all," continued Franka; "so 
much that is new has surged into my spiritual life. 
My conception of life has altered, has widened; I 
have seen such magnificent, such tremendous things 
arise, things still unsuspected by any of us. And in 
the measure as my conception of life has grown, the 
little Ego has shrivelled up. And what this poor 
little Ego can do for the incomprehensible giant 
'world' seems so insignificant to it that it recalls 
that, after all, it is a part of the universe, a tiny 
part endowed with a right to happiness. Every man 
has two souls in his breast, which take counsel and 



struggle with each other, and say: 'I claim my 

"Yes, I understand. . . . Then the one Franka 
does what the other wants, and a third person is 

The conversation was interrupted : Baron Malhof 
joined them, and so it became three-cornered. And 
then the young American began to speak, and all 
stopped talking and listened. 

His first words were: "I bring gifts!" then 
he made a brief pause: "A cornucopia of gifts: 
immeasurable riches for you, for all the world!" 

Again he paused for a while, and just as he began, 
so he continued his discourse in paragraphs sepa 
rated by brief pauses, and the paragraphs marked 
by concise sentences. 

"You who will receive these gifts will not exult 
like children around a Christmas tree. Children 
receive what they comprehend, what they have been 
wanting, what they immediately use. The new 
things that I bring will be slow in becoming under 
stood : likewise slow in spreading and winning appre 
ciation. Many will indifferently push them aside; 
many will even resist them. Whatever destroys the 
beaten track the customary habits of thought 
and of action people avoid. A Japanese proverb 
says: 'An evil which has lasted two years becomes 
a necessity.' 

"I bring riches. But our society is schooled to 
poverty and want; it is built up on these. Especially 
for the rich, their existence seems indispensable. 
Performance of the baser necessary functions, stim- 



ulus to progress : on this the social usefulness of pov 
erty is founded; opportunity for the preaching of 
contentment, for the giving of alms, so certain to 
bring one to heaven these advantages of poverty 
are becomingly treasured by the rich. When I tell 
these rich men that there can be riches for all, this 
disturbs their circle, and they reply indignantly: 
'Sheer fancy! Utopia! Humbug!' The poor and 
wretched are not quite so entranced with the ad 
vantages and amenities of poverty which appeal so 
forcibly to the well-to-do. And whenever they do 
not belong to the great majority of the dully re 
signed, they strive to remedy it by planning a new 
division of the property extant, or a change in the 
economic system. 

"You all know what this attempt is called. But 
do not be alarmed I am not going to preach social 
ism. Division and control of property belong to 
another field. Here I am speaking of the increase of 
property : an increase so infinitely great that it leaves 
no place at all for want. 

"Possibly, by application of common sense and 
justice, it might be feasible, even with the materials 
in our possession, to banish wretchedness from the 
world. Whether the existing unreason and injustice 
would not maintain poverty even when superabun 
dance were obtained who knows? Certainly not 
for any length of time. 

"More than ten years ago, the tidings of Luther 
Burbank's miracles in the cultivation of plants was 
communicated to the world. This man succeeded 
in cultivating, on his lonely California farm, varie- 



ties of vegetables and fruits of a size never before 
known, and he managed to rid of its spines a kind of 
cactus which grows in the most arid sands of the 
desert and so make it edible for man and beast. 

"Does not that sound like a dry botanical fact, 
interesting only to a few truck-gardeners, but sure 
to leave the great mass of the people indifferent? 
The world did remain unmoved: a couple of illus 
trated articles in family magazines, causing a few 
readers to shake their heads dubiously, ' Straw 
berries as big as a child's head, stoneless plums, 
spineless cactuses remarkable ! ' and then it 
was all forgotten. 

"Would you not have thought there would be a 
cry of jubilation from one end of the world to the 
other: 'What we can compel Nature to new gifts, 
we can bring forth provender and food in such quan 
tities! We can make the deserts and rocky soil to 
provide us with such cheap harvests that the evil 
demons, Hunger and Famine, will be banished for 
ever from the earth ! ' No, the readers of the family 
magazines did not see so far. 

"Human art creating species, giant species, is 
that a mere trifle? Are we not on the way to becom 
ing gods, when we conquer the mysterious power 
from which flows new life in new forms? 

"But wait! We are still far distant from that. 
Our moral will still stands much below our physical 
power. Our colleague, Chlodwig Helmer, has at 
tached this reproach to the conquest of the air, and 
with equal justice this same reproach can be made 
to our conquest of the hidden creative forces of the 



earth. We master the technical, the mechanical, 
the physical but where remains the uplift and the 
depth ? Where remains the exultant comprehension 
of the miracle, where the ecstasy? 

" Certainly, those inventions are not passing with 
out any notice. Professionals have busied them 
selves with them. Capitalists have made use of 
them ; first in small concerns, then gradually in great 
corporations but always for the advantage of the 
exploiters. There are already stretches of the Sa 
hara given over to culture of the Opuntia cactus; 
there are California vegetable-gardens, raising the 
giant cabbage, and a lively export trade is carried 
on with it, made very difficult, however, by the cus 
toms restrictions hastily imposed: the poor lands 
must still be foref ended against overabundance 
they must never be swamped with cheap foreign 
products. Divitiae ante portas. . . . An agrarian 
' Marseillaise ' will soon be sung with a fiscal rattle 
of drums: 'Aux tarifs, citoyensl' " 

"Oh, dear!" whispered Malhof, who was a warm 
advocate of protectionism; "the man comes out for 
free trade. Is that also to be a part of High Think- 

Helmer nodded: "Certainly. Freedom belongs to 
the highest concepts." 

"I also prize freedom, especially in love!" said 
Malhof ; ' ' but in the domain of political economy ' ' 

Franka uttered a warning: "Sh!" She wanted to 
hear the address. 

The speaker went on to say : 

"A strange error has been holding and still largely 


holds men in its toils : The belief that the good things 
of this world are to be had in a constant and limited 
quantity ; he who would have anything must take it 
from some one else ; every man can get more only at 
the expense of some one else who gets less. And thus, 
all practical self-seeking, all ethical altruism, all 
political-economical wisdom is confined to the rear 
rangement, the redivision, the stealing, and the giv 
ing away of the whole existent mass. This error in 
its most primitive form engendered the battle for the 
fertile soil : every consumer left dead was a gain for 
the hungry survivors. At the first beginnings, the 
belief that the good things were limited in quantity 
was by no means a heresy . . . nothing at all was pro 
duced. In later times, however, such an increase in 
the general store of wealth has come about that no 
one any longer would have needed to starve had 
not limited exchange, unjust division, and senseless 
waste assured the continuance of poverty! The 
worse waste consists in the nations' spending two 
thirds of their wealth in making preparations to 
annihilate the other third. 

"O Stupidity, mighty sovereign, thy empire is 
abysmally deep! We know well that the common 
possession has greatly increased, but still we say to 
ourselves : ' Not enough, not enough ! ' And still we 
think that property is a thing which may be looted 
and must be defended. And still we believe that any 
one can win only in proportion as another loses! 

"But now something has been brought forth 
amongst us which certainly is as splendid as the con 
quest of the air : this which is to be announced now 



by me this is the secret concealed in my hand 
like a costly present, with which I shall give you a 
great surprise." 

He took a step nearer to the edge of the platform 
and held out his right hand tightly closed toward the 
audience. All eyes and all glasses were directed to 
him, as if they expected to see some kind of a won 
der-bird fly from his fist. His face looked also so 
promising, there was a victorious smile hovering 
over his lips. It was a typical American face : smooth- 
shaven, with firmly chiseled features of Napoleonic 
cast, clear eyes, and glistening teeth. He opened his 
hand with a gesture of giving : 

" I bring you the news that we are able to increase 
and enlarge our common fund increase it infinitely 
beyond all our needs, beyond all our powers of im 
agination. Rejoice, all ye who are here present, and 
all ye whom in the outside world my words may 
reach, among whom surely there are many poor and 
heavy-laden ! Rejoice we are all winners of the 
great prize! Some time will, indeed, elapse before 
the prize is paid over, but, all the same, the lucky 
numbers are drawn! 

"Let me explain: Wealth consists not only in suf 
ficient quantities of victuals, although it would 
be a fine result if abundance of that should prevail 
in all places, but it also consists in a thousand 
other products of human labor. On the whole, 
wealth is the product only of labor, not of money. 
Money is merely a conventional medium of exchange, 
nothing more. Its value is regulated by the abun 
dance or the scarcity of what is on hand. Where there 



is no production, and therefore nothing on hand, 
then even the heaviest gold-piece has no value. With 
out labor nothing is produced; even the planting 
and the harvesting and the use of the spineless 
cactus demand the power of labor; and how much 
more of it is needed for the creation of a thousand 
things which beautify and alleviate the lives of the 
rich buildings, works of art, means of intercourse, 
materials, implements, machinery. To have an 
abundance of all these things, what quantities of 
work hence of working-power is needed ! Do 
we possess a sufficiency of that? 

"Now, then," again he extended his arm and 
opened his hand as if he were flinging something 
into the hall, "now, then, here is another gift: 
the message of an increase of the universal treasure 
of working power an increase beyond all neces 
sities, beyond all our flights of imagination. What 
we need is a pitcher full, and what will be at our 
disposal is an ocean ! 

"This is not the place or the hour to make physi 
cal demonstrations in order to prove what I say. 
You must take my word for it. In a pamphlet, pre 
pared for the occasion and containing all the prac 
tical details, you will find the clear technical and 
mathematical proofs. A copy of this pamphlet will 
be handed to each one present. Here and now I will 
only bring the fact to your knowledge that of late 
a new series of discoveries and inventions have been 
made. I will tell you of these and of the results which 
are expected to flow from them. Of some of them 
I myself have been the fortunate originator, others 



proceed from others. I shall mention no names, but 
merely explain the things themselves: no, not 
explain, bring them before you." 

The speaker made a long pause during which the 
pamphlet, printed in three languages, was distrib 
uted. A loud buzz of remarks exchanged, mingled 
with the rustle of turning leaves, arose. The excite 
ment had been growing more intense from the be 
ginning; there was a general expectation of some 
thing solemn, revolutionary, joy-conferring. 

This word "general" can scarcely be said to in 
clude the dyed-in-the-wool conservatives, who were 
present in no small numbers; to such people new 
inventions are a torment they antagonize and be 
little them as much as possible; they are rilled with 
distrust and depreciation in the presence of innova 
tions the new jolts ; the new is dangerous. Not as 
yet perished from the face of the earth is the race of 
those who opposed the introduction of the railway 
on the ground that the trade between Grossme- 
seritsch and Jungbunzlau might suffer! 

"Now what is he going to bring us you prob 
ably know, Herr Helmer." 

Chlodwig stared up as from a dream. "What? 
who?" He had not taken the drift of Baron Mal- 
hof's question; moreover, he had barely heard that 
man yonder on the platform, so deeply had he been 
absorbed all the time in studying Franka's face and 
his own feelings. He, who had before been so pas 
sionately interested in the events of the world, he 
who in other circumstances would have listened 
with the keenest interest to the stimulating words 



of the young American, was now so completely un 
der the spell of the two passions jealousy and love 
that everything else sank into a dim mist. Franka 
also was only partially attentive to what was going 
on. To be sure, she had listened to the conclusions 
of the lecturer, but in the background of her thoughts 
she was ceaselessly engaged with the questions of 
her destiny now so imperatively facing her, and the 
more the man on the platform spoke of the treasures 
of happiness beckoning to human society, the more 
insistent within her grew the demand that she her 
self should drain happiness in long draughts, and 
bestow happiness in lavish generosity, united to the 
man she loved. . . . 

Again the young inventor took up his theme : 

"Radium has been known since the year 1900. 
Its marvelous properties were gradually discovered. 
The possibility that this element which, from its 
rarity, at first cost a hundred dollars a milligram, 
might be obtained in large quantities, dates from 
yesterday. This furnishes us with a source of power 
beyond comprehension. A profusion of force has 
been placed at our disposal so that all efficacy of 
work can be multiplied a hundred fold, a thousand 
fold, a hundred thousand fold. 

"No figure need alarm us any more when we ex 
perience what molecular forces exist in this radiant 
matter. Every molecule has minute particles, atoms ; 
the atoms of radium are thrown out with the rapid 
ity of twenty thousand miles a second. Can you pic 
ture to yourself the weight of the impact? 

" Not only can we procure this in masses this 


fabulous element but we can compress it. The 
radium condenser has been invented. It will be mere 
child's play to annihilate in a few minutes hostile 
fleets and armies, to destroy hostile cities by means 
of packages of radium-beams sent down from 
cloudy altitudes. Reciprocally, forty-eight hours 
after the so-called 'opening of hostilities* both war 
ring parties might vanquish each the other and 
leave in the enemy's land not a building and not 
a living thing." 

The speaker paused and looked around. Then he 
apostrophized his auditors: 

"Ladies and gentlemen, you are certainly aston 
ished that I here announce a present of the good 
things of this world and thereupon spread before 
you such a vision of horrors. Merciful Heaven! I do 
not say that these things are to be, but that you can 
do them if you desire. It remains within your choice 
and your will to make use of destructive possibili 
ties or not. Power and force, a force approaching 
almightiness is that not a wonderful possession? 
It would not be an almighty power if it had not also 
the capacity of working the utmost iniquity and the 
limit of imbecility. If I could have presented you 
with Aladdin's lamp whose slaves carry out every 
command, these slaves would infallibly murder you 
if that command were given them. But I take it 
for granted that you would utter quite different 

"Aye, the obedient Genii of the radium-lamp, the 
fluorescing electrons, can annihilate, destroy, and 
exterminate ; but at our bidding they will annihilate 



bacteria, destroy the germs of disease, put an end 
to the weakness of old age but they are not going 
to annihilate cities and useful lives. For the very 
reason that they are capable of carrying out to its 
ultimate absurdity the aims of war, their annihilat 
ing powers are not going to have as their offering 
the crumbling into ruins of human society, but the 
shattering of the idol, Mars. 

" I have not come to the end of my gifts: The lat 
est inventions include the wireless transmission of 
the electric current; and this: the electrical fertiliza 
tion of the soil ; and this : the direct transformation 
of the heat of the sun into mechanical energy. We 
have the sun-motor. Have you a suspicion of what 
that signifies? The primeval source of all life, the 
storehouse of all power, the hot sun-ray captured in 
our pocket apparatus ! 

"Even now, I have not done with my gifts. This 
time it is only a few trifles, just as on the Christmas 
tree next some precious jewel hangs a little bag of 
chocolate bonbons. We are now able to fly through 
the air almost as do birds. One of my fellow-country 
men has invented a contrivance he calls it the 
4 Nautilus ' in which we can glide through the 
water like a fish without the slightest exertion, with 
torpedo-like swiftness. Provided with the Nautilus 
one can go from Calais to Dover in a quarter of an 
hour. This has the advantage over travel through 
the air: one cannot fall into the water! 

"Then one more bonbon a dynamic marvel 
of an apparatus the inventor has given it the 
name of ' Talmi Athlete.' With this, bound around 



the wrist, the weakest man can lift and carry the 
heaviest burden. 

"Still another bonbon! The ear-spectacles: a 
little instrument with which the deaf can hear as 
well as the nearsighted can see with glasses of high 

"And still another and marvelously sweet bon 
bon the inventor has called it a ' Paradise Air- 
Bath': a cabinet is filled with an artificially com 
pounded atmosphere: ozone, compressed resinous 
air, tempered electrical waves, pungent carbonic 
acid, and a hitherto unknown material. Whoever 
enters this cabinet is permeated by that physical, 
causeless feeling of happiness such as the mountain- 
climber experiences on the top of the Alps, the child 
at play, the young person dancing: quickened pulses, 
heightened heart-action, expanded lungs in short, 
intense joy of life. 

" But to return to the mighty powers we have con 
quered. The question of first importance is not the 
creating of new possibilities of enjoyment, the 
well-to-do already have a sufficiency of such things, 
but rather the abolition of misery : the physical 
moral atmosphere of the rich would also be purified 
by this, since at the present time deleterious vapors 
of crime and illness mount up into it from the caves 
of poverty. We have penetrated into the bowels of 
the earth and have brought to light whole cargoes 
of radium. We have constructed the condenser, and 
now we have in our hands the mysterious and al 
most unlimited creative power which decides death '* 
and life. Everything on which the death-dealing 



ray is directed, is irrevocably lost whether it be 
a colony of microbes or a whole province. We can 
accomplish death by wholesale; we can strengthen 
the development of life. Radium can hasten the 
growth of plants threefold and make them thrice as 
large; it can also retard growth. According to the 
way it is applied, the wonder-element is the awak- 
ener of life-energy, or cripples it. We shall be en 
abled by means of it to lengthen the span of human 
life ; we shall be able but now I will desist. The 
line of consequences which follow a newly accom 
plished advance is inconceivable. The gold ingot 
lies before you now go hence and coin it!" 



THE next morning, Helmer had arranged to be at 
Franka's at half-past eleven. After the American's 
address, she had retired, and in bidding him good 
night, she had asked Helmer to come to see her the 
following morning. It was to be the last day of the 
Rose -Week, and she desired to consult with him 
about the journey and other plans for the immedi 
ate future. She had long been accustomed to ask 
Brother Chlodwig's advice at the crucial moments 
of her life. 

About nine o'clock in the morning, Helmer left 
the house to take his last walk to his favorite spot. 
He looked forward not without anxiety to the pro 
mised call upon Franka. The self-control which it 
cost him in repressing the ebullition of his feelings 
would be put to a severe test once more. For the 
moment, it impelled him to seek that forest quietude 
where he had already spent so many dreamy hours 
with Franka's image before his eyes .... But then 
she was, if not his Franka, at least not as yet an 

It was a clear summer day; but in the forest, 
shady and cool ; especially in that place where Helmer 
was accustomed to retire, the impression of fresh 
ness was intensified by the murmuring brook and by 
a spring which burst forth from a mossy rock and 



ran foaming and bubbling down in a series of little 
waterfalls. Through the lofty, thick tree-tops the 
sun's rays could scarcely make their way, but here 
and there gleams of light fell golden along the tree- 
boles, making circlets on the ground and kindling 
sparks in the pellucid waters of the brook and the 
spring. Helmer selected a spot at the edge of a little 
wood-encircled meadow, abounding in flowers and 
tall grasses, and sat down at the foot of a lofty oak 
tree. For a time he let his thoughts run on and 
drank in the sweetness of the peaceful forest. Then 
he took out his notebook. He felt the impulse to 
write a few verses which might perpetuate the mood 
which this modest idyl had produced in his mind 
a mood of calm enjoyment of nature, commingled 
with the sorrow of love's renunciation. 

But before he had written a line, he looked down 
the path by which he had come and saw a figure, 
clad in white, approaching. Was it possible? He 
sprang up and hastened to meet her. 


Yes, it was she. Chance had not brought her to 
that spot. She also had felt the call of the forest, 
and she had seen Helmer a hundred paces ahead of 
her slowly strolling along. "Let him be my guide, " 
she had said to herself, and followed him, not di 
minishing the distance between them. Now he 
reached his goal ; she saw him sit down in the grass 
and prepare to write; by this time, however, she 
had caught up with him, and now they were face 
to face. She stretched out her hand in greeting. 

"How fine that we should meet here! We can 


have our little consultation now. It is far more 
lovely than in the house." 

Chlodwig controlled his inward emotion and 
offered her his arm: " Shall we not walk a little 
farther? I will take you to a place where we can 
get a wonderfully fine view." 

" No, no; let us stay here; you have chosen a per 
fectly beautiful spot. You sit down where you were, 
under that tree, and I will find a place near. ... I 
just love to sit in the grass." 

He required no second bidding and led her to the 
oak. There he installed her where he had been, so 
that she could lean her back against the tree, and 
he threw himself down at full length at her feet. 
Supporting himself on his elbow he leaned his chin 
on his hand and gazed up at her. 

She was dressed wholly in white: also the shoes 
on her little feet peeping out from under her skirt 
were white. She took off her hat. As she had be 
come somewhat heated by the walk her cheeks and 
lips glowed and she looked remarkably young. Her 
eyes rested on Chlodwig's face. How could she have 
ever regarded him as ugly? An expression of sorrow 
trembling about his lips gave his features a noble 
pathos ; and a gentle affectionateness was expressed 
in his eyes certainly the reflection of his chief char 
acteristic goodness. He also had taken off his hat : 
she now noticed, for the first time, how very thick 
and wavy was the short-cropped hair on his head. 

He was the first to speak: "Well, what now? Is 
this to be our parting hour ? Are our ways to sepa 
rate now, forever?" 



"Separate! ... for always? . . . Certainly not. 
. . . Helmer, answer me one question. Until now, 
you have always talked with me about myself, 
never about your own life, about your 'endeavors 
and wishes. If I did not know you from your 
1 Schwingen, ' I should scarcely have had a glimpse 
into your soul. " 

"What do you want to ask, Franka?" 

" It is not a very discreet question, but I want to 
know one thing. . . . Are you . . . have you a ... 
have you any ties, that bind you?" 

"You mean a betrothed, a sweetheart? No, I 
am free from such ties." 

"Then you are heart-free?" 

"Did I say that? For God's sake, let us talk 
about you again not about me. The question 
now concerns your fate, your future " 

Franka nodded thoughtfully. ".Yes, that is the 

"Then let us talk about it. Shall you remain in 
Lucerne? Shall you wait here for the return of the 
prince, or shall you go back to Austria, and is he to 
come and find you there? That would seem more 
fitting. " 

"Would seem more fitting ..." repeated Franka 
in a low tone, abstractedly. It was as if she were 
thinking of something else and repeated mechani 
cally what had been said, only in order to say some 

"Shall you go to one of your estates?" continued 
Helmer. "The chateau on your Moravian property, 
for example, would make a fine setting." 



"A setting for what scene? Would you like to 
come to my Moravian property, too, Helmer?" 

He shook his head vigorously. Franka pro 
ceeded : 

"In the forest skirting the garden, you would 
find places similar to this: there also flows a brook; 
there also springs gush out of the moss-covered 

She pulled off her glove and laid her slender white 
hand on Chlod wig's shoulder: "Will you go with 
me to my Moravian chateau?" 

He shrank under the touch. "I? I should not 
dare to; I could not." 

"Why not?" And she increased the pressure on 
his shoulder. 

There was no help for it the impulse was 
stronger than he. He seized the dear hand and 
kissed it passionately on the palm which he pressed 
to his face. Then he sprang to his feet and leaned 
against the tree under which Franka was sitting. 
He looked down upon her as she had just before 
looked down on him. Her features betrayed no 
sign of anger on the contrary, they were bright 
ened by a gentle smile. 

"You ask why I cannot come, why I dare not 
very well, I will tell you. I wanted to hide it from 
you forever, but now you must know it I love 
you, Franka! I have always loved you from the 
first hour. But always you have been and are the 
unattainable, the unapproachable! Even if the high 
destiny to win you had fallen to no one else, I should 
never have dared raise my desires to your starry 



distance. ... I knew you would sometime be an 
other's, and when such a brilliant and worthy suitor 
drew near you, I almost made it easier for him. But 
now, when Fate has actually brought to you what 
I had dreamed might be yours, I am the prey of 
wild jealousy. ... If you knew what I have suffered 
during the past days ... I shall fight it down, I 
shall certainly conquer it, but I must avoid your 
presence and I dare not be the witness of his happy 
love : that would drive me mad ! Since this adora 
tion which I have kept for years like a religion, so 
to speak, has been goaded by jealousy, such a fire, 
such a fierce, agonizing craving has taken its place. 
. . . Oh, I am confessing too much. . . . Why do you 
let me speak so, Franka? Why do you look at 
me with that strange smile? . . . Am I ridiculous? 
. . . That must not be ! My love is not a funny thing. 
... It comes to me as too great, too sacred ! When 
we shall be separated, and when years pass, it may 
change and I hope it will into warm friend 
ship again. Then you can summon me ... to your 
royal court. ... I shall keep my courage. ... I am 
no sentimental boy who goes to destruction or com 
mits suicide because of disappointment in love. I 
have my art and great tasks still beckon to it, and 
I still have a mission to fulfill. . . . But now, now, 
Franka, I am profoundly unhappy. . . . What self- 
control I have to exercise, not to seize you and for 
once, only once, hold you close in my arms, only 
once press my lips ..." 

Franka stood up. Chlodwig raised his hands im 



"No, do not hasten away; be assured. ... I know 
what is due to you. Never must you think of 
Brother Chlodwig with regret or anger. " 

But Franka had no thought of escaping. With 
the enigmatical smile still on her lips, she came quite 
close to him, flung both arms around his neck, and 
with a little cry hid her face on his heart. Some 
thing like an electric shock went through him. He 
pressed her to his heart: 

" Franka, thou only one, thou great-hearted, thou 
generous ..." he stammered. 

It seemed to him that this was a gift which she 
was offering him in token of farewell the indel 
ible remembrance of a blissful moment. As he held 
her there in his arms, a cuckoo's note sounded in 
the distance. Franka raised her head as if to listen ; 
then her lover's lips found hers. 

Twelve times the cuckoo called; when he ceased, 
Franka released herself. She sank down into her 
former place in the grass, and with a gesture in 
vited Helmer to sit by her side. 

"Now let us talk, Chlodwig," she said; "now let 
us make plans for the future!" And she snuggled 
up close to his shoulder. "Now all doubts are 
solved : now the world belongs to us this beauti 
ful, splendid world! ..." 

He grew dizzy. "Franka, how am I to under 
stand this?" 

" How? " She laid her hand in his "That I am 
thine forever." 

" Franka is it possible? The Unattainable, the 
Unapproachable will be my own, my wife?" 


"Aye, that she will. " 

"And the prince?" 

" I had not accepted his hand. I shall write him 
a line to-day: ' My heart is not free ' ! " 

"Because it belongs to me?" 

"Yes, to you, Chlodwig!" 

" I cannot realize the joy of it !" 

He wanted to kiss her again, but she evaded it: 
"Only when the cuckoo calls," she said, laughing. 
" Now we must make our plans. " 

"Will you not regret it? Will not Victor Adolph 
be in despair?" 

"I think not. It will more likely be a relief to 
him; for the sacrifice, the hindrances ... all that 
sort of thing has been a burden to him, and hurt 
my pride. I want the gift of myself to . . . " 

"Insure absolute happiness, celestial bliss," in 
terrupted Helmer, completing her sentence; "to 
make the man who receives this gift feel like a king 
and be a Croesus ..." 

"And do you feel all that, Chlodwig?" 

"That and more besides than I can tell. You 
must know that speech has no satisfactory expres 
sion, for our highest emotions poets do their best 
to compass it, and therefore they strive by means 
of rhyme and rhythm to give pinions to speech 
but it is all in vain. " 

"Still I am going to try," said Franka, "to de 
scribe how I feel: without rhythm and without 
rhyme, perhaps not even very coherently; but you 
will certainly understand me. It belongs to my 
treasure of happiness, this knowledge, that you 



understand and always will understand what I feel 
in the deepest depths of my soul. And I understand 
thee, my poet, my teacher, my beloved. So then, 
listen, thou who art wont to speak in figures; with 
two little pictures I can give the whole enigma of my 
happiness: a haven and a chest. The haven is " 

The explanation was interrupted: for once more 
and this time much nearer the cuckoo began to 
call. At the same instant Helmer's kiss was glow 
ing on her mouth. After the third note, the cuckoo 
ceased. Franka released herself, but the complaisant 
bird began again, and when he ceased the second 
time, Helmer permitted his tremulous but willing 
prisoner to escape from his arms. 

"You see, Love has far more intelligible means of 
expression than words ; but now go on with what you 
were going to say: the haven is " 

Franka drew a tremulous sigh and passed her 
hand over her forehead. "Yes, I know the haven 
is the sweet security of being protected. What 
ever may come I am safe!" 

"And the chest?" 

"Oh, yes, the chest? that is as yet firmly 
locked . . . but I have got the key. Treasures are 
in it, that I am sure of bills of exchange, letters 
of credit on the great bank of the future. We two 
united ! . . . Just think of all that we can draw upon 
it for all the great and little joys of life even till old 
age! We who are so congenial, traveling together, 
working together, furnishing a home together ..." 

"A home which will perhaps embrace more than 
two!" suggested Helmer. 



"... Living together the joys and the sorrows 
that when transformed into recollections we can 
store away in the chest. But as yet I have not 
opened it. Further treasures are hidden there 
I do not as yet know them . . . glowing red rubies 
which I have never adorned myself with. Yet, quite 
lately, an inkling of it has been disclosed to me by 

"One? Who?" demanded Helmer, with new- 
awakened jealousy. 

"Who?" She smiled. Then, deliberately and in 
a whisper: "The cuckoo." 

"Oh, thou " And the answer was just as if the 
bird had again uttered his enticing call. Through 
the tree-tops sighed a gentle breeze which, laden 
with the perfume of spicy herbs and ripe straw 
berries, fanned and cooled the glowing cheeks of the 

"Now, then," exclaimed Franka, after she had 
again freed herself, "let us make our plans." 

"But first let me say something. . . . Also in 
figures you know my weakness and if at this 
moment the pictures did not rise up before me ..." 

"Then you would be no poet! But why invent 
at a moment when reality is so super-earthly?" 

"Super-earthly certainly, but not super-cosmic. 
Whoever feels and makes any one feel so happy, so 
superhuman, works in the service of a cosmic fac 
tory. There a magnificent material is woven from 
star to star, from eternity to eternity out of fine 
glittering threads. These threads are called ecsta 
sies, pleasures, joys, the very greatest and likewise 



the very tiniest joys. Every living thing experienc 
ing this serves as a shuttle for this loom." 

"And what becomes of the material, oh, my 
metaphorical poet?" 

"God makes his royal mantle out of it." 

' ' Lovely ! ' ' exclaimed Franka. ' ' Still, ' ' she added, 
shaking her head gently; "you employ very old ma 
terial for hewing your images : God as king in that 
figure I do not recognize my bold modern thinker." 

"Solid material is required for hewing images. 
The new thoughts are for the most part as yet lack 
ing in consistency, gaseous, so to speak ; one cannot 
make any images out of them. But, dearest, let us 
not talk any more about generalities now, when we 
are breathing in the midst of such concrete beauty 
touching us both ; at this moment when everything 
lying outside of ' thee and me ' sinks into nothingness. 
For heaven's sake, let us not indulge in subtleties 
and let us not be deep! We have the right to lose 
ourselves in the regions of the higher folly ! We have 
the still higher right to be silent!" 

"I will not be silent," cried Franka. "I must 
shout it out that I am happy, happy, happy!" And 
in saying this she flung her arms up into the air. "Oh 
how many times have I heard that word, read it, 
spoken it, and to-day, for the first time, I know 
what it means." 

Approaching voices and steps were heard. Their 
moment of blessed solitude was past. 

Franka hastily snatched up her hat from the 
ground. "Come, let us go before these odious per 
sons find us here." 



" May the cuckoo fly off with them ! " cried Helmer 
in vexation. 

"But, Chlodwig," exclaimed Franka reproach 
fully, "how can you put such a burden on our be 
loved bird?" 

"You are right! Holy cuckoo, forgive me!" 

" Now, you know, holiness is not the right term for 
him. I have heard many things to his prejudice . . . 
he is said to have no family sentiment ..." 

"Oh, there, he does not need Philistine virtues. 
He is a kind of forest magician and consequently 
superior to civil morals." 

"Just as a poet laureate is superior to provincial 

Thus laughing and jesting, they walked for a while 
side by side ; but once their eyes met, and a sudden 
earnestness spread over their features ; on their .si 
lent lips trembled something akin to pain; they 
had simultaneously discovered that between them 
hovered something like the spirit of consecration, 
awe-inspiring, something like an emanation from the 
mystical source of being : Love ! something un 
der whose breath jests and laughter seem as inap 
propriate as under the breath of that other solemn 
mystery Death. What they had seen in each 
other's eyes permeated them with a thrill of devo 
tion, and they walked for a long distance in silence; 
yet by their arms they still exchanged the pressure 
significant of affection. 

Only when their path turned into a frequented 
place in Lucerne was this magic mood dispelled. 
They came to an aeroplane-hangar. 



Franka paused : 

"Chlodwig, grant me one wish let us take a 
little air-trip together. I have never been in an 
aeroplane and I should like to make my first ascent 
with you; and to-day especially . . . this very mo 
ment. ... I feel a great thirst for the heights, don't 

"I? No. My most burning thirst you have I 
mean the cuckoo has quenched ! But if it would 
give you a pleasure I am ready for it. Let us 

He made the arrangements with one of the pilots, 
and a few moments later the machine was speeding 
up with its passengers into the air. Franka at that 
moment experienced a powerful shock rather psy 
chical then physical. Set free from the ground, 
hovering free, with reasonable velocity their aero 
plane swept up at a height of about ten metres. It 
was a quite peculiar new sensation. Suddenly, how 
ever, the machine began to mount and mount; not 
perpendicularly, but still preserving its forward 
motion, until it had reached a height of some hun 
dred metres. Franka could not repress a cry. She 
had the impression that the aeroplane remained still 
while everything else was sinking down. Into what 
depths fell the earth ! Ever wider became the view 
of the country gliding away beneath them, and ever 
tinier little points now trees, houses, like toys; 
men, like ants juggled together on it. 

Still higher went their flight. The mountains 
shrunk into flatness and finally everything seemed to 
be a plain with black streaks the forests ; a white 



pool the lake; and winding ribbons the roads. 
And as Franka was not far-sighted, the whole pic 
ture swam in her vision into an empty gray plain. 
She recalled her dream and that terrifying feeling 
of being alone in space. But in sooth, she was not 
alone: her beloved was by her side. 

"Put your arm around me," she besought him. 
And as soon as that firm strong support went 
obliquely down from her shoulder embracing her 
waist, it seemed to her exactly as in that dream 
the blessed sense of security that one is held and 
protected . . . only this time with the difference, that 
she now knew who that one was, and she thanked 
Heaven that it was this one and not the other. She 
closed her eyes and bent her head back. She looked 
so pale that Chlodwig was alarmed, and bade the 
pilot to glide down and land them. Then Franka 
opened her eyes : 

"No, no, not yet it is splendid!" 

Her panic had vanished, and the peculiar fascinat 
ing intoxication of the flight through the upper air 
had seized her. "Do not land yet! Tell him to go 
in a wave-motion up, down, up down so that 
I may feel the sensation of flying, that I may know 
that we are flying." 

"Aren't you frightened, my love, you are so 

"No, not afraid only this new experience is so 
surprising, so overpowering it is the fulfillment of 
a dream. Is n't it delightful?" 

"Oh, yes, the human race might, indeed, be proud 
of the heights which it has attained, if at the same 



time it had not remained so abject! Yet have pa 
tience our watchword still is ' Excelsior!" 

After another quarter of an hour, in which they 
had their heart's content of mounting and descend 
ing, of gliding and curving, the pilot directed his 
aerial car to the landing-place and the two happy 
passengers dismounted. 

They proceeded to the Rose-Palace on foot. Frau 
Eleonore came to meet them, as they walked along 
the terrace. 

"At last!" she exclaimed; " I was beginning to be 
concerned about you lest something had hap 
pened, Franka." 

"I can't deny that something has happened to 

"In Heaven's name, what?" 

"You will find out soon enough. Let us go up!" 

She relinquished Helmer's arm and took Frau 
Eleonore's instead. "Good-bye for now, Chlodwig; 
we shall meet at luncheon. I am going to write Prince 
Victor Adolph now. Come, Eleonore!" And she 
pulled her companion toward the entrance. 

Helmer bowed and went off in another direction. 

As soon as she reached her salon, Franka threw 
her hat and parasol down and with a long, long 
breath sank into an easy-chair. 

Frau Eleonore took her place facing her. 

" Dear Franka, forgive me, but " she was at a 
loss for the right words "I know you do not like 
me to be preaching . . . but don't you think that 
such walks with Herr Helmer. ... As far as I am 
concerned, it is nothing ... I know what an old 



harmless friendship means . . . but don't you think 
that perhaps the prince. . ." 

"Oh, thank you for reminding me of the prince 
I must write to him. Has any telegram come for 

"No, but here is a letter from the Sielenburg." 

Franka took the letter and tore open the enve 
lope. "From Tante Albertine ... I can't make out 
the wriggly handwriting very well. Please read the 
letter for me, Eleonore, will you?" 

"Willingly. But what I said just now . . . you 
are not vexed with me, are you?" 

"Really, I did not notice what you said . . ." 

"You seem very much disturbed. You have not 
told me as yet what happened to you." 

"Later, later please read the letter first. Let 
us see what the good auntie has to say." 

Frau Eleonore read : 


I have only just returned to the dear old Sielenburg, 
but I sit down to write you a few lines to tell you that we 
made the journey without mishap. Dear Adele is very 
much done up, to be sure, and quite cross; the trip did 
not gratify her at all. I, too, am much pleased to be at 
home again. Here we get so much of what we missed 
while away; for instance, respectful treatment by people. 
Here we are addressed with proper terms once again: 
"Kiss your hand," or, "Saving your grace" that to 
Adele or, "at your command," while the Swiss are so 
unmannerly; they called us "Madam," and on the train 
one conductor spoke to me as "a woman"! It was, in 
deed, out of politeness; he pushed a passenger to one side, 
saying, "Let the woman pass." I wanted to tell him that 



I was nothing of the sort, but one can't enter into conver 
sation with such clowns. 

We had to stay another day after our "P.P.C." call on 
you Coriolan got the wrong tickets, and so we heard 
Helmer after all. It was so strange to see Uncle Eduard's 
former secretary up there among the celebrities. He was 
so quiet at the Sielenburg, as if he could not count up to 
five. I could not make out what he said it was all such 
a medley exaggerated. He was always eccentric. He 
even presumed to cast his eyes on you. Who knows how 
it would have ended if I had not for your advantage, 
you must know upset his calculations and informed 
Uncle Eduard in good time. I am proud of that even to 
day. Take care that he does not try his little game again ; 
it might injure you with the prince. 

Frau Eleonore stopped her reading "I agree 
with Fraulein Albertine about that." 

Franka shrugged her shoulders with annoyance: 
"You must not be proud of that." 

Frau Eleonore went on with the letter: 

You ought to hear Cousin Coriolan's opinion of Hel 
mer for he has a correct judgment and is a gentleman 
through and through. He was not at all enthusiastic over 
our stay at Lucerne; he declares he will never again be 
induced to take such an exotic journey. Really, I had a 
pretty good time; it was such a complete change; but I 
shall doubly enjoy the quiet here. What pleased me most 
in Lucerne was the conquest you made. Be very wise . . . 

" Is there any more of that?" interrupted Franka. 

"Four pages more." 

"Then we will leave it until by and by: Now I 
am going to write to the prince. . . . Eleonore, on 
the whole, I prefer to tell you now: I am betrothed." 



"Oh, you are?" exclaimed Frau Eleonore, her 
face radiant with joy. "And why did you delay 
telling me till now? What good fortune! Only it is 
a shame that he had to go away." 

"My dear friend! You are under a wrong im 
pression. Victor Adolph is not my betrothed . . . ' 

" Not the prince!" Her eyes grew gloomy, "Who 

"It is not very hard to guess." 

It certainly was not difficult, and Frau Eleonore 
was well aware who the fortunate suitor was. In 
spite of the disappointment which it brought her, 
she was too clever, and also too well disposed to 
Franka to betray any dissatisfaction. To be sure, 
her dream of having the position of a lady-in-waiting 
at court was dispelled, but she concealed her dis 
appointment: "Chlodwig Helmer is it, then?" 
she said. "Well, if you love him, Franka, I wish 
you joy with all my heart." 

"Yes, I love him." 

Half an hour later, the two ladies went down to 
the Toker luncheon. Franka had in the mean time 
written the letter to Victor Adolph : a perfectly 
candid confession that she had already given her 
heart to another man, and, moreover, her assurance 
that she perfectly well realized what obstacles would 
have been put in the way of his life-work and his 
lofty position if she had accepted his impulsive and 
far too unpremeditated offer. 

Helmer came forward to meet Franka as she en 
tered the dining-room. The separation which had 



lasted at the most about an hour seemed to them 
both frightfully long, and the joy of seeing each other 
again accelerated the beating of their hearts. They 
sat at table side by side as usual. After the last 
course, Helmer asked Franka whether they should 
keep their happiness to themselves for a while, or 
communicate the news to the Brotherhood of the 
Rose. "Oh, let them know about it! I should like 
to have it shouted over the housetops!" 

Helmer stood up and tapped on his glass. 

' ' Hear, hear ! ' ' cried Toker. "In spite of the regu 
lation forbidding formal toasts at this table, our 
poet of the pinions seems desirous to offer some one's 
health. Well, to-day is our last meeting give your 
eloquence full rein, Mr. Helmer." 

"I do not intend to make a speech. What you 
are going to hear from me, Mr. Toker and Miss 
Toker, and all of you, brethren and sisters under the 
token of the Rose, is merely a bit of family news. I 
have the feeling that we all, during this delectable 
week, have become a sort of happy family, and there 
fore I hope for your interest when I tell you that 
this morning Franka Garlett and I were betrothed." 

Gwendoline rushed to Franka and gave her a tu 
multuous embrace. After the confusion of the uni 
versal congratulations had somewhat subsided, Toker 
tapped three times on the table with the handle of 
his knife in order to obtain a hearing : 

"Under such extraordinary circumstances it is 
not only permitted, but it is obligatory upon us to 
offer a toast. Let us greet it as a good omen that 
in our serious community, gathered to enlarge the 



general realm of High Thinking and thence of human 
welfare, two such noble hearts have joined to win 
personal happiness by their love. Let us greet this 
as an omen for the development of the coming race : 
if the custom obtain that the champions of the most 
brilliant ideas, the possessors of the greatest talents, 
in a word, the most splendid specimens of the human 
race, come together as here, and fall in love, as our 
highly honored new couple have done, and if they, as 
we hope even for this same bridal pair, increase and 
multiply, then, after a few more generations, even 
more fortunate results of careful breeding will be 
seen than our friend Luther Burbank has obtained 
with his gigantic cabbages. Therefore, proceed, 
Chlodwig and Franka, and found a home. That is, 
after all, the most beautiful and most satisfying 
happiness to be found on earth however far and 
high our thoughts may soar and our exploits may be 
carried, let us provide a warm, safe place of calm 
ness and of love to which we are all entitled. 

"We men have in these days imitated the most 
magnificent prerogative of the birds the art of 
flight. But let us never forget that other example 
which these masters of heights and distances give 
us the nest!" 


ON this final evening of the Rose- Festival, all the 
guests were assembled on the platform, the host in 
their midst. It had been determined that on this 
last evening there should be no long addresses by 
individual speakers, but that all the members of the 
Rose Order, whether their voices had been heard 
during any of the sessions or not, should make brief 
speeches to the audience: speeches in which, if pos 
sible, by a few short sentences, each individual 
should declare what was his loftiest aim in life and 
what he would most of all wish to have carried away 
as a message to his fellow-men from that far-sound 
ing tribune. John Toker announced his programme 
to the public and added : 

"We regard this last evening of ours as a special 
opportunity for us to communicate with the outside 
world and to grasp in compact form the things that 
have been revealed to us during this Rose-Week. 

"I will use this opportunity to comment on what 
we heard yesterday from the mouth of my young 
fellow-countryman. He spread out before us a whole 
cargo of precious gifts ; he handed us a gigantic ingot 
of gold and said: 'Go hence and coin it.' 

"Now the question arises: 'How?' Above all, a 
new valuation is required for the new coins which 
are to be minted. The whole system, the whole prin 
ciple on which the social life of the present time is 



built up, must be invalidated so as to give place to 
another system, another principle. Economical and 
political intercourse of men with one another at the 
present time still rest on robbery, imposture, fraud, 
distrust, unscrupulous extermination of competitors, 
and all this supported by the spirit of envy, which 
runs through the whole gamut from ill will to hatred. 
And do you know what we need in order to coin the 
new currency? the spirit of good will. And that 
is certain to come. It will not create the new social 
intercourse, but it will grow out of the soil of the 
changed circumstances, as ill will flourishes in the 
morass of to-day. 

"Inestimable is what has been given to mankind 
by the unlimited control of the powers of nature, 
creating wealth and labor ; all the forces which may 
be spent in doing mutual harm, in mutual attack 
and defense, in deceiving, in betraying, in robbing, 
in destroying one another all these forces are 
now to be free for the common task of coining that 
ingot of gold into current coin. 

" It will be no small trouble, no brief work, to re 
organize the world on this quite changed principle. 
Stupidity, routine, and malignity will resist for a long 
time; but just as radium can annihilate microbes, 
so will the radiant element of the human spirit, 
aroused to comprehension, annihilate the microbes 
of malignity. We shall become healthy, physically 
and spiritually. 

"I am glad that the awakening call, the shout 
of the herald, rings forth from here. The tidings of 
triumph are to sound back from the victorious van ; 



a vast new country is ours; we must make it fertile; 
let us take possession! 

" But to do so, the old methods and the old uten 
sils are useless ; we must first train the whole race till 
it is fit for its new destiny. Practical work must be 
expanded in this direction. May all those to whom 
our summons comes, clearly ringing, gird their loins 
to take hold of this work! Domestic colonization, 
garden-cities, hygiene along the whole line, exter 
mination of the last vestige of illiteracy. And then, 
high schools will be established for the nurture of 
High Thinking and world-journals will be founded 
for its propaganda. And temples will be built dedi 
cated to the cult of good will. 

"The problem must be worked out intensively, 
strenuously. It is not sufficient that from here and 
there more ideas fly forth; ideas are all right, for 
they are the seed from which things spring but 
actually, what now opens up before us consists al 
ready in things, and they demand to be executed: 
above all, they want to be grasped. I intend to seize 
upon them: as soon as I reach home, I intend to 
take measures to found the free academy of High 
Thinking. May this become the mint which my 
young friend requires for the store of gold which he 
displayed before our eyes. 

"And now shall the knights of my Wartburg have 
their chance to speak. Let Wolfram von Eschenbach 
begin I mean you, Mr. Helmer." 

Chlodwig stepped forward : 

"I should like once more to sum up in a single 
sentence if possible in a single word the sub- 



stance of my whole poetic dream, of my whole vision 
of the future. But here I find an obstacle in the 
limitations of language, for it has as yet no words 
for the coming things that now only project their 
shadows and are attainable only by longing and by 
forebodings. The word always comes into existence 
after the thing. The thing follows the conception, 
and this in turn is followed by the expression. For 
example first there had to be a knight and the 
especial nature of his bearing and of his sentiments 
had to be conceived before the term ' knightly ' was 

"And thus before my vision stands the coming 
man the man of the heights der Hohenmensch 
whose qualities correspond to the magnificent 
achievements which literally lift him above the 
clouds. What will be his characteristic quality? 
The term for it does not as yet exist. For it will not 
concern any peculiar quality already known to us, 
but rather a combination of qualities to which will 
be added possibly one never before discovered: the 
new combination will grow into a concept and the 
concept will be grasped in one word a word which 
will be as current among our descendants and as 
clear to them as the word 'knightly' is to us. I 
recently spoke of 'goodness.' This word, as it is 
used among us, is far from expressing what my mind 
conceives of it. It is as yet, too, incomposite. I 
should want to command a term in which, besides 
' goodness, ' much else would be understood dis 
tinction, gentleness, courage, good will, force, mag 
nanimity all in combination; and, moreover, that 



soul-material which will come into activity by the 
new impulses of the Age of Flying this is to be the 
characteristic quality of the ideal man of the future, 
but what its name will be, that we do not know. 

"How the ideals of spiritual greatness change 
may be seen in a single example: Vico, the founder 
of the philosophy of history, who wrote at the end 
of the seventeenth century, hence not so very 
long ago, thus described the heroes : ' They were 
to the highest degree rough, wild, limited in in 
telligence, but possessing enormous power of imag 
ination and the liveliest passionateness ; as a conse 
quence of these qualities they had to be barbarous, 
cruel, wild, proud, difficult to deal with. ' 

"That was the picture of hero-greatness which 
awakened the admiration of earlier times. This 
admiration has not entirely died out, but it is fading 
away, sinking out of sight, slowly changing into 
detestation. Much that is barbarous still lives 
amongst us, but we try to deny it. The word ' bar 
barous' has become a term of reproach. The man 
who knows no pity does not seem to us worthy of 
regard; the wider the range of his commiseration, 
the nobler is his heart. The good will of a noble 
soul extends even to the dumb creation. He who 
cannot love a good, faithful dog is not a worthy 
man, and whoever is cruel to an animal how can I 
express my detestation of him? well, I will quote 
Hermann Bahr 'Such a person, whoever he be, 
I cannot regard as my kind.' In the third 'King 
dom' to which our aspirations are soaring, there is 
no room for barbarism. 



"And now, if as our host desires, I must sum up 
in one phrase all that I have brought to you here, 
then I say : There is no High Thinking without 
likewise Kind Thinking." 

"The man has a touch of the feminine in his make 
up," remarked some one in the audience, disap 

The next speaker was Franka Garlett. With a 
smiling face, betraying the gleam of her new happi 
ness, she stepped forward: "You young girls, listen 
to me!" she began. "You must not be alarmed, 
because I repeat my appeal to you, that I am going 
to repeat my entire address. No, I am not going 
even to make a resum6 of it, but I am going to say 
something which will interest all girls, all, all ! There 
is a magic word which will not find one of you in 
different: if it is spoken you must listen joyfully 
or woefully, with curiosity or with yearning, but 
never with indifference . . . and yet it is something 
quite simple, quite commonplace. Truly, the one 
whom it concerns will find it unique, will find it 
all-important, something world-convulsing that 
world which is our own little Ego. This thing has 
happened to me this morning and I cannot help 
myself it fills me so I must tell you, ye sisters 
of mine: I am betrothed. " 

A flutter went through the hall. Among the in 
articulate words also rang out distinctly, "Con 
gratulations!" and the question "To whom?" 

Franka's face grew still more animated: "Thanks 
for the congratulations, and, if I heard correctly, 
some one asked 'To whom?' a quite justifiable 



curiosity: in such family chronicles we must find 
names. My chosen husband is the poet of ' Schwin- 
gen ' Chlodwig Helmer. And since he, as he told 
you a moment ago, has a kind feeling for every 
worthy little beastie, he will assuredly be kind to 

The speaker's gayety communicated itself to the 
audience, and a wave of laughter swept over the 
hall. But now her features took on a serious ex 
pression and in altered voice she went on: "But 
here another question demands to be answered: 
How is it that I venture to speak of my own little 
private affairs from this tribune where such lofty 
problems have been treated and when a whole world 
is listening to me? I justify myself thus: On this 
tribune I have advised the young persons of my own 
sex to use their brains, to learn, to see clearly in 
scientific, social, and political matters; even to take 
part in public affairs, and this has certainly awak 
ened in many minds the notion that woman, in do 
ing so, would suffer a loss in her affections and in 
her family relations; that those young girls who 
might devote themselves to studies and callings 
hitherto reserved for men alone, might be lost for 
love and domestic happiness. On this very spot 
from which I have disseminated my teachings, and 
before the very same listening world-audience, I now 
come forward to combat that erroneous notion; not 
in words, but as a living witness. The doctrine that 
'You are in the world to share in all thought' can 
not be so very perilous since the exponent of it 
stands here, happily betrothed. " 



She bowed and went back to her seat, heartily 
cheered by the audience. 

Now, one after the other, brief parting farewell 
addresses were made and each speaker gave preg 
nant expression to his favorite and leading thought. 
All these thoughts, without exception, were turned 
by different ways in the one direction: Excelsior! 

Then Toker announced that he would speak the 
final word, but first they would enjoy the usual inter 
mission. This was employed by the speakers and 
the audience in unrestrained social intercourse. 
Here are a few snatches of conversation : 

Bruning, hurrying up to Helmer: " Most heart 
felt and respectful congratulations, my young gen 
ius! My old dream and good advice are fulfilled. 
You have won her the pretty heiress ; you snatched 
her away just in time from the prince who was so 
madly in love with her! Superb!" 

"I shall have to withdraw my friendship from 
you, Franz! You have a trick of blighting every 
thing in bloom. " 

"And you of talking in exalted figures. We shall 
not let our twenty-years-old good-fellowship drop 
for that ! There have to be different kinds of owls ! " 

In a group of politicians : 

A. "Don't you find that there is a little too much 
preaching of morality to us during this Rose- Week? 
Of course we know that the destinies of the nations 
are not fulfilled in accordance with moral laws, that 
they are not conducted by ethical impulses, but that 
they obey economical necessities. " 



B. "Economical necessities? Yes, but not wholly 
so. One is usually mistaken if one tries to reduce 
complicated phenomena to one single factor. For 
instance: Did the crusades take place because of 
economic causes?" 

C. "I should like to make one observation. 
Morality is nothing else than the result of the rec 
ognized conditions of collective life. When two or 
more are dependent on one another, then the con 
duct which promotes their welfare is elevated to the 
rank of a moral rule, and whatever impedes it is 
proscribed as immoral. The nations have treated 
one another unlovingly and immorally, because 
they have as yet no realization of their interdepend 
ence. Have you, for instance, ever entered into 
any ethical relationship with the inhabitants of 

In the corner where the two Russian widows were 
sitting with their suitors, the marchese whispering 
in his soft fervid Italian: 

"Annette, gracious lady, what have you done to 
me? The blood is storming through my veins as 
if I were a boy. I quite forget my advancing years. 
You can make me forget everything. ... I could 
even renounce my ambition in order to give myself 
up forever to the sweet intoxication which I find 
in your eyes. But no, just for your sake I will get 
as much glory as I possibly can. . . . The man who 
is to be worthy of you must be like the sun in the 
radiance of his glorious power, the head that rests 
in your lap must be crowned with laurel. You, 
madonna, must be surrounded with splendor, you 



must be raised to the highest rank so that all may 
look up to you in worship and envy. A world must 
tremble before the man who trembles before you. 
. . . There is no price which I would not pay, no 
deed that I would not venture, no multitude that I 
would not sacrifice relentlessly, merely to place one 
more pearl in your diadem, Monna Anna. " 

The little Baltic widow quivered under this 
avalanche of sweet-brutal cinquecento phrases. 

Baron Gaston de la Rochere came up and joined 
the group, putting an end to this sentimental coo 

"I have just arrived. Am I very late? I don't 
understand the English and German speeches and 
the French guests present are distasteful to me. 
But I came to look you up, for I must share my hap 
piness with you. I have just received by the even 
ing mail some wonderful news from Paris. Just 
imagine: things are coming to a climax. The Min 
istry that bunch of heretics has fallen. Per 
haps God will take his France under his protection 
again. The situation is so threatening that exter 
nal or domestic war may break out any minute, and 
this is the favorable moment to proclaim royalty. 
My friends write me that everything is all ready, 
that even a part of the garrison is won over to swear 
fealty to the standard of the king in short, great 
events are impending. The genius of my glorious 
country has awakened once more. Of course, you 
already know all about these circumstances, Mar- 
chese di Rinotti?" 

"Of course, I know what is taking place and what 


is proposed; but weeks must elapse before any 
thing decisive can come about. The men in charge 
must reckon with the resistance of the democratic 

"But the men in charge will act with vigor, 
Marchese. " 

"Well, I hope so, Baron." 

"Oh, gentlemen," said Vera Petrovna, beseech 
ingly; "don't be tedious; pray don't talk politics." 

Malhof accosted Franka and Helmer, who, arm 
in arm, were promenading up and down the corri 
dors. "Am I interrupting the gushing fountains of 
love? You will have all your lives for that, and I 
must express my surprise and delight. I am, in 
deed, a very old friend and admirer of your be 
trothed, dear Helmer, and I have always desired 
her happiness. . . . How unexpectedly this came 
upon us! Yesterday evening, while they were ma 
nipulating with radium on the platform, we three 
sat so cozily together, and I had not the slightest 
idea of your being a bridal pair. You played your 
cards mighty well, you young people!" 

"Neither did we have the slightest idea," pro 
tested the two in absolute sincerity. 

After the half-hour's intermission, Toker again 
mounted the platform quite alone ; his guests 
remaining below in the hall. 

i " It is my privilege, " he began, " to utter the last 
word in conclusion of this our Rose- Week. I feel 
myself compelled to express before the whole world 
my deepest thanks to the illustrious contemporaries 



who have come at my call. And I must also thank 
you, my honored audience, for the lively interest and 
the sympathetic reception which you have accorded 
our offerings. 

"But let us end our cooperation not with a dis 
course, but rather with a deed. You all know that 
a war-cloud pregnant with storm is rising on the 
horizon. We must not allow this well-worn metaphor 
to strengthen the current impression that we have 
to deal with anything elementary; we have to deal 
with human intentions, with the direction of human 
wills. These can be paralyzed by counter-intentions, 
by the putting forth of still stronger wills. Such an 
exercise of will-power has been created in our circle : 
in order to make it efficient, we must use the ap 
paratus of wide publicity which is here at our ser 
vice. Two statesmen, of uncontested reputation in 
their service for promoting the organization of peace 
in the Old World and the New, have drawn up a 
manifesto, protesting against the letting loose of the 
war-demon which is planned in various quarters, and 
at the same time pointing out the way in which the 
conflict may be solved in an amicable manner. This 
manifesto has been signed by the entire membership 
of the Rose Order, and at this moment is being tele 
graphed to all regions of the world. If the masses 
agree to it, it can grow into a hurricane of public 
opinion. I am not going to delay you by reading 
the message, the paper which will now be distrib 
uted through the hall contains its text. I also re 
frain from any explanations ; neither shall I ask you 
to vote. Only this I will say: If this wish, this com- 



mand, this storm-cry which goes forth from here is 
obeyed, that is to say, if the approaching contest 
is submitted to arbitration, and if the decision by 
force is given up, though, indeed, this may not pre 
vent the recurrence of dangers in the future, and 
not as yet introduce a new political order still, 
time will be gained. And that is the main thing in 
this crisis. For in order to appreciate and to apply 
the new treasures which of late have been won from 
nature, in order to cultivate the lofty thoughts to 
which the human mind has already begun to attain 
in its flights, and in order to transform in accordance 
with these thoughts the intercourse, the laws, the 
opinions of men, in a word, the whole social life, 
time is above all required. A time of peaceful, quiet 
development. If now a world-conflagration should 
break out, the development would be not only 
delayed, but would be set back enormously in 
stead of a lofty flight, we should have a terrible fall ! 
Once more a bed for the stream of hatred and horror 
and destruction would be excavated, and this flood 
might carry away with it all that has been so pain 
fully constructed. 

"One can formulate an idea of the consequences 
of such a conflagration by hearing what H. G. Wells 
tells us in his 'War in the Air.' 'Oh, a piece of fic 
tion, a romance of the future!' Granted, it will all 
come out differently. No one can take account of all 
the millions of interweaving threads out of which 
the web of the future may be woven. But the poet 
and the thinker, if he creates such pictures, does not 
at all pretend prophecy. He does not predict that 



it will come in this way or that : he only shows how 
under given conditions things must come, if this 
way or that is chosen. 

"So, then, we want to gain time! time for the 
building-up of future happiness, time to rescue men 
from the woe that threatens. Indeed, the majority 
will not listen to the warning, the chiding, the aid- 
promising voices . . . these annoying calls only dis 
turb them in their pursuits of business, work, pleas 
ure. . . . 'Why don't the birds of evil omen leave 
us alone let things take their course what 
comes must come merely let every one see to it 
that he does his work where Fate puts him' . . . 
this is about the way in which the passive resistance 
expresses itself; a resistance against which all those 
who speak the warning words constantly stumble. 
But they are not to be frightened away; they can 
not help themselves, they must speak. 

" I will use a parable: 

" Let us imagine we are on a noble ship bound for 
the promised land. The journey is long. There is 
much work and much amusement on board of the 
ship. It must be steered and must be maneuvered ; 
much promenading and flirting and reading and 
feasting are carried on; all are busy and each one 
thinks his work or his pleasures highly important. 

"But the ship springs a leak. If help is not af 
forded, the proud vessel must sink. 

"It would not be difficult to get help. But the 
people refuse to see the leak. Is it not natural that 
those who do see it should not weary in calling for 
help? Is it not the height of unreason that the others 



should leave the leak unheeded, so that they may 
not be disturbed in their customary pursuits, and 
that they should zealously devote themselves to 
steering and clearing the ship instead of trying first 
of all to save it from sinking? 

"Our civilization is such a ship, my honored fel 
low-passengers. Its engines are working better all 
the time, its flags are flying ever more triumphantly, 
swelling out with lofty thoughts. But it has a leak 
namely, the time antiquate regime of force : 
through this rent annihilating floods pour in and 
threaten to draw it into the deep ! Therefore, every 
man on board and all hands to the repair of the 
damage ! 

"And when that has been accomplished and it 
shall be accomplished! then onward, and 'happy 



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