Once every year she tried to see him to deliver her mother's message of forgiveness, but every year hitherto she had knocked at that door in vain; her father was inexorable. Her brother, her only means of communication, had not come to see her for four years, and had sent her no assistance; yet she prayed to God to unseal her father's eyes and to soften her brother's heart, and no accusations mingled with her prayers. Couture and Mme. Vauquer exhausted the vocabulary of abuse, and failed to find words that did justice to the banker's iniquitous conduct; but while they heaped execrations on the millionaire, Victorine's words were as gentle as the moan of the wounded dove, and affection found expression even in the cry drawn from her by pain.
Eugene de Rastignac was a thoroughly southern type; he had a fair complexion, blue eyes, black hair. In his figure, manner, and his whole bearing it was easy to see that he had either come of a noble family, or that, from his earliest childhood, he had been gently bred. If he was careful of his wardrobe, only taking last year's clothes into daily wear, still upon occasion he could issue forth as a young man of fashion.
Ordinarily he wore a shabby coat and waistcoat, the limp black cravat, untidily knotted, that students affect, trousers that matched the rest of his costume, and boots that had been resoled. Vautrin the man of forty with the dyed whiskers marked a transition stage between these two young people and the others. He was the kind of man that calls forth the remark: "He looks a jovial sort! His face was furrowed by premature wrinkles; there was a certain hardness about it in spite of his bland and insinuating manner. His bass voice was by no means unpleasant, and was in keeping with his boisterous laughter.
He was always obliging, always in good spirits; if anything went wrong with one of the locks, he would soon unscrew it, take it to pieces, file it, oil and clean and set it in order, and put it back in its place again; "I am an old hand at it," he used to say. Not only so, he knew all about ships, the sea, France, foreign countries, men, business, law, great houses and prisons, --there was nothing that he did not know. If any one complained rather more than usual, he would offer his services at once.
He had several times lent money to Mme. Vauquer, or to the boarders; but, somehow, those whom he obliged felt that they would sooner face death than fail to repay him; a certain resolute look, sometimes seen on his face, inspired fear of him, for all his appearance of easy good-nature. In the way he spat there was an imperturbable coolness which seemed to indicate that this was a man who would not stick at a crime to extricate himself from a false position.
His eyes, like those of a pitiless judge, seemed to go to the very bottom of all questions, to read all natures, all feelings and thoughts. His habit of life was very regular; he usually went out after breakfast, returning in time for dinner, and disappeared for the rest of the evening, letting himself in about midnight with a latch key, a privilege that Mme. Vauquer accorded to no other boarder. But then he was on very good terms with the widow; he used to call her "mamma," and put his arm round her waist, a piece of flattery perhaps not appreciated to the full!
The worthy woman might imagine this to be an easy feat; but, as a matter of fact, no arm but Vautrin's was long enough to encircle her. Gleich alten Eheleuten hatten sie einander nichts mehr zu sagen. It was a characteristic trait of his generously to pay fifteen francs a month for the cup of coffee with a dash of brandy in it, which he took after dinner. Less superficial observers than young men engulfed by the whirlpool of Parisian life, or old men, who took no interest in anything that did not directly concern them, would not have stopped short at the vaguely unsatisfactory impression that Vautrin made upon them.
He knew or guessed the concerns of every one about him; but none of them had been able to penetrate his thoughts, or to discover his occupation. He had deliberately made his apparent good-nature, his unfailing readiness to oblige, and his high spirits into a barrier between himself and the rest of them, but not seldom he gave glimpses of appalling depths of character. He seemed to delight in scourging the upper classes of society with the lash of his tongue, to take pleasure in convicting it of inconsistency, in mocking at law and order with some grim jest worthy of Juvenal, as if some grudge against the social system rankled in him, as if there were some mystery carefully hidden away in his life.
Taillefer felt attracted, perhaps unconsciously, by the strength of the one man, and the good looks of the other; her stolen glances and secret thoughts were divided between them; but neither of them seemed to take any notice of her, although some day a chance might alter her position, and she would be a wealthy heiress. For that matter, there was not a soul in the house who took any trouble to investigate the various chronicles of misfortunes, real or imaginary, related by the rest. Each one regarded the others with indifference, tempered by suspicion; it was a natural result of their relative positions.
Practical assistance not one could give, this they all knew, and they had long since exhausted their stock of condolence over previous discussions of their grievances. They were in something the same position as an elderly couple who have nothing left to say to each other. The routine of existence kept them in contact, but they were parts of a mechanism which wanted oil. There was not one of them but would have passed a blind man begging in the street, not one that felt moved to pity by a tale of misfortune, not one who did not see in death the solution of the all-absorbing problem of misery which left them cold to the most terrible anguish in others.
Diese Fragen streifen an gar manche Ungerechtigkeit der Welt. The happiest of these hapless beings was certainly Mme. Vauquer, who reigned supreme over this hospital supported by voluntary contributions. Those cells belonged to her. She fed those convicts condemned to penal servitude for life, and her authority was recognized among them. Where else in Paris would they have found wholesome food in sufficient quantity at the prices she charged them, and rooms which they were at liberty to make, if not exactly elegant or comfortable, at any rate clean and healthy?
If she had committed some flagrant act of injustice, the victim would have borne it in silence. Such a gathering contained, as might have been expected, the elements out of which a complete society might be constructed. And, as in a school, as in the world itself, there was among the eighteen men and women who met round the dinner table a poor creature, despised by all the others, condemned to be the butt of all their jokes.
At the beginning of Eugene de Rastignac's second twelvemonth, this figure suddenly started out into bold relief against the background of human forms and faces among which the law student was yet to live for another two years to come. This laughing-stock was the retired vermicelli-merchant, Father Goriot, upon whose face a painter, like the historian, would have concentrated all the light in his picture.
Arme Kleine! How had it come about that the boarders regarded him with a half-malignant contempt? Why did they subject the oldest among their number to a kind of persecution, in which there was mingled some pity, but no respect for his misfortunes? Had he brought it on himself by some eccentricity or absurdity, which is less easily forgiven or forgotten than more serious defects? The question strikes at the root of many a social injustice. Perhaps it is only human nature to inflict suffering on anything that will endure suffering, whether by reason of its genuine humility, or indifference, or sheer helplessness.
Do we not, one and all, like to feel our strength even at the expense of some one or of something? The poorest sample of humanity, the street arab, will pull the bell handle at every street door in bitter weather, and scramble up to write his name on the unsullied marble of a monument. In the year , at the age of sixty-nine or thereabouts, "Father Goriot" had sold his business and retired--to Mme.
Vauquer's boarding house. When he first came there he had taken the rooms now occupied by Mme. Couture; he had paid twelve hundred francs a year like a man to whom five louis more or less was a mere trifle. For him Mme. Vauquer had made various improvements in the three rooms destined for his use, in consideration of a certain sum paid in advance, so it was said, for the miserable furniture, that is to say, for some yellow cotton curtains, a few chairs of stained wood covered with Utrecht velvet, several wretched colored prints in frames, and wall papers that a little suburban tavern would have disdained.
Possibly it was the careless generosity with which Father Goriot allowed himself to be overreached at this period of his life they called him Monsieur Goriot very respectfully then that gave Mme. Vauquer the meanest opinion of his business abilities; she looked on him as an imbecile where money was concerned. Goriot had brought with him a considerable wardrobe, the gorgeous outfit of a retired tradesman who denies himself nothing.
Vauquer's astonished eyes beheld no less than eighteen cambric-fronted shirts, the splendor of their fineness being enhanced by a pair of pins each bearing a large diamond, and connected by a short chain, an ornament which adorned the vermicelli-maker's shirt front. He usually wore a coat of corn-flower blue; his rotund and portly person was still further set off by a clean white waistcoat, and a gold chain and seals which dangled over that broad expanse. When his hostess accused him of being "a bit of a beau," he smiled with the vanity of a citizen whose foible is gratified. The widow's eyes gleamed as she obligingly helped him to unpack the soup ladles, table-spoons, forks, cruet-stands, tureens, dishes, and breakfast services--all of silver, which were duly arranged upon shelves, besides a few more or less handsome pieces of plate, all weighing no inconsiderable number of ounces; he could not bring himself to part with these gifts that reminded him of past domestic festivals.
Vauquer, as he put away a little silver posset dish, with two turtle-doves billing on the cover. Do you know, I would sooner scratch the earth with my nails for a living, madame, than part with that. But I shall be able to take my coffee out of it every morning for the rest of my days, thank the Lord! I am not to be pitied. There's not much fear of my starving for some time to come.
Sie redete ferner von guter Luft und idyllischer Ruhe. Finally, Mme. Vauquer's magpie's eye had discovered and read certain entries in the list of shareholders in the funds, and, after a rough calculation, was disposed to credit Goriot worthy man with something like ten thousand francs a year.
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From that day forward Mme. Vauquer had her own ideas. Though Goriot's eyes seemed to have shrunk in their sockets, though they were weak and watery, owing to some glandular affection which compelled him to wipe them continually, she considered him to be a very gentlemanly and pleasant-looking man. Moreover, the widow saw favorable indications of character in the well-developed calves of his legs and in his square-shaped nose, indications still further borne out by the worthy man's full-moon countenance and look of stupid good-nature.
This, in all probability, was a strongly-build animal, whose brains mostly consisted in a capacity for affection. Though his manners were somewhat boorish, he was always as neat as a new pin and he took his snuff in a lordly way, like a man who knows that his snuff-box is always likely to be filled with maccaboy, so that when Mme.
Vauquer lay down to rest on the day of M. Goriot's installation, her heart, like a larded partridge, sweltered before the fire of a burning desire to shake off the shroud of Vauquer and rise again as Goriot. She would marry again, sell her boarding-house, give her hand to this fine flower of citizenship, become a lady of consequence in the quarter, and ask for subscriptions for charitable purposes; she would make little Sunday excursions to Choisy, Soissy, Gentilly; she would have a box at the theatre when she liked, instead of waiting for the author's tickets that one of her boarders sometimes gave her, in July; the whole Eldorado of a little Parisian household rose up before Mme.
Vauquer in her dreams. For three months from that day Mme. Veuve Vauquer availed herself of the services of M. Goriot's coiffeur, and went to some expense over her toilette, expense justifiable on the ground that she owed it to herself and her establishment to pay some attention to appearances when such highly-respectable persons honored her house with their presence. She expended no small amount of ingenuity in a sort of weeding process of her lodgers, announcing her intention of receiving henceforward none but people who were in every way select.
If a stranger presented himself, she let him know that M. Goriot, one of the best known and most highly-respected merchants in Paris, had singled out her boarding-house for a residence. In Wahrheit rechnete sie damit, sie um den Dienst zu bitten, Goriot auszuhorchen und sie bei ihm herauszustreichen. It was this prospectus that attracted Mme. Vauquer saw to her table, lighted a fire daily in the sitting-room for nearly six months, and kept the promise of her prospectus, even going to some expense to do so. And the Countess, on her side, addressed Mme. Vauquer as "my dear," and promised her two more boarders, the Baronne de Vaumerland and the widow of a colonel, the late Comte de Picquoisie, who were about to leave a boarding-house in the Marais, where the terms were higher than at the Maison Vauquer.
Both these ladies, moreover, would be very well to do when the people at the War Office had come to an end of their formalities. After dinner the two widows went together up to Mme. Vauquer's room, and had a snug little chat over some cordial and various delicacies reserved for the mistress of the house. Vauquer's ideas as to Goriot were cordially approved by Mme.
The good-natured Countess turned to the subject of Mme. Vauquer's dress, which was not in harmony with her projects. After much serious consideration the two widows went shopping together--they purchased a hat adorned with ostrich feathers and a cap at the Palais Royal, and the Countess took her friend to the Magasin de la Petite Jeannette, where they chose a dress and a scarf.
Thus equipped for the campaign, the widow looked exactly like the prize animal hung out for a sign above an a la mode beef shop; but she herself was so much pleased with the improvement, as she considered it, in her appearance, that she felt that she lay under some obligation to the Countess; and, though by no means open-handed, she begged that lady to accept a hat that cost twenty francs. The fact was that she needed the Countess' services on the delicate mission of sounding Goriot; the countess must sing her praises in his ears. She left him, revolted by his coarseness.
He is absurdly suspicious, and he is a mean curmudgeon, an idiot, a fool; you would never be happy with him. Ich verstehe mich auf solche Fratzen. After what had passed between M. Goriot and Mme. She left the next day, forgot to pay for six months' board, and left behind her wardrobe, cast-off clothing to the value of five francs.
Eagerly and persistently as Mme. Vauquer sought her quondam lodger, the Comtesse de l'Ambermesnil was never heard of again in Paris. The widow often talked of this deplorable business, and regretted her own too confiding disposition. As a matter of fact, she was as suspicious as a cat; but she was like many other people, who cannot trust their own kin and put themselves at the mercy of the next chance comer--an odd but common phenomenon, whose causes may readily be traced to the depths of the human heart.
Perhaps there are people who know that they have nothing more to look for from those with whom they live; they have shown the emptiness of their hearts to their housemates, and in their secret selves they are conscious that they are severely judged, and that they deserve to be judged severely; but still they feel an unconquerable craving for praises that they do not hear, or they are consumed by a desire to appear to possess, in the eyes of a new audience, the qualities which they have not, hoping to win the admiration or affection of strangers at the risk of forfeiting it again some day.
Or, once more, there are other mercenary natures who never do a kindness to a friend or a relation simply because these have a claim upon them, while a service done to a stranger brings its reward to self-love. Such natures feel but little affection for those who are nearest to them; they keep their kindness for remoter circles of acquaintance, and show most to those who dwell on its utmost limits.
Vauquer belonged to both these essentially mean, false, and execrable classes. I know that kind of phiz! Eine der widerlichsten Eigenschaften der kleinen Seelen ist es, ihre eigene Kleinlichkeit bei den anderen vorauszusetzen. Wo lag nun die Ursache dieses Niederganges? Like all narrow natures, Mme. Vauquer was wont to confine her attention to events, and did not go very deeply into the causes that brought them about; she likewise preferred to throw the blame of her own mistakes on other people, so she chose to consider that the honest vermicelli maker was responsible for her misfortune.
It had opened her eyes, so she said, with regard to him. As soon as she saw that her blandishments were in vain, and that her outlay on her toilette was money thrown away, she was not slow to discover the reason of his indifference. In short, it was evident that the hope she had so fondly cherished was a baseless delusion, and that she would "never make anything out of that man yonder," in the Countess' forcible phrase. The Countess seemed to have been a judge of character. Vauquer's aversion was naturally more energetic than her friendship, for her hatred was not in proportion to her love, but to her disappointed expectations.
The human heart may find here and there a resting-place short of the highest height of affection, but we seldom stop in the steep, downward slope of hatred. Still, M. Goriot was a lodger, and the widow's wounded self-love could not vent itself in an explosion of wrath; like a monk harassed by the prior of his convent, she was forced to stifle her sighs of disappointment, and to gulp down her craving for revenge.
Little minds find gratification for their feelings, benevolent or otherwise, by a constant exercise of petty ingenuity. The widow employed her woman's malice to devise a system of covert persecution. She began by a course of retrenchment --various luxuries which had found their way to the table appeared there no more. The thrifty frugality necessary to those who mean to make their way in the world had become an inveterate habit of life with M. Soup, boiled beef, and a dish of vegetables had been, and always would be, the dinner he liked best, so Mme.
Vauquer found it very difficult to annoy a boarder whose tastes were so simple. He was proof against her malice, and in desperation she spoke to him and of him slightingly before the other lodgers, who began to amuse themselves at his expense, and so gratified her desire for revenge. Towards the end of the first year the widow's suspicions had reached such a pitch that she began to wonder how it was that a retired merchant with a secure income of seven or eight thousand livres, the owner of such magnificent plate and jewelry handsome enough for a kept mistress, should be living in her house.
Why should he devote so small a proportion of his money to his expenses? Until the first year was nearly at an end, Goriot had dined out once or twice every week, but these occasions came less frequently, and at last he was scarcely absent from the dinner-table twice a month. It was hardly expected that Mme.
Vauquer should regard the increased regularity of her boarder's habits with complacency, when those little excursions of his had been so much to her interest. She attributed the change not so much to a gradual diminution of fortune as to a spiteful wish to annoy his hostess. It is one of the most detestable habits of a Liliputian mind to credit other people with its own malignant pettiness.
Unluckily, towards the end of the second year, M. Goriot's conduct gave some color to the idle talk about him. He asked Mme. Vauquer to give him a room on the second floor, and to make a corresponding reduction in her charges. Apparently, such strict economy was called for, that he did without a fire all through the winter.
Vauquer asked to be paid in advance, an arrangement to which M. Goriot consented, and thenceforward she spoke of him as "Father Goriot. Einen Monat nach diesem Besuch erhielt Herr Goriot wieder einen. What had brought about this decline and fall? Conjecture was keen, but investigation was difficult.
Father Goriot was not communicative; in the sham countess' phrase he was "a curmudgeon. Opinion fluctuated. Sometimes it was held that he was one of those petty gamblers who nightly play for small stakes until they win a few francs. A theory that he was a detective in the employ of the Home Office found favor at one time, but Vautrin urged that "Goriot was not sharp enough for one of that sort.
He was by turns all the most mysterious brood of vice and shame and misery; yet, however vile his life might be, the feeling of repulsion which he aroused in others was not so strong that he must be banished from their society--he paid his way. Besides, Goriot had his uses, every one vented his spleen or sharpened his wit on him; he was pelted with jokes and belabored with hard words. The general consensus of opinion was in favor of a theory which seemed the most likely; this was Mme. Vauquer's view. According to her, the man so well preserved at his time of life, as sound as her eyesight, with whom a woman might be very happy, was a libertine who had strange tastes.
These are the facts upon which Mme. Vauquer's slanders were based. Early one morning, some few months after the departure of the unlucky Countess who had managed to live for six months at the widow's expense, Mme. Vauquer not yet dressed heard the rustle of a silk dress and a young woman's light footstep on the stair; some one was going to Goriot's room. He seemed to expect the visit, for his door stood ajar.
The portly Sylvie presently came up to tell her mistress that a girl too pretty to be honest, "dressed like a goddess," and not a speck of mud on her laced cashmere boots, had glided in from the street like a snake, had found the kitchen, and asked for M. Goriot's room. Vauquer and the cook, listening, overheard several words affectionately spoken during the visit, which lasted for some time.
When M. Goriot went downstairs with the lady, the stout Sylvie forthwith took her basket and followed the lover-like couple, under pretext of going to do her marketing. Goriot must be awfully rich, all the same, madame," she reported on her return, "to keep her in such style. Just imagine it! While they were at dinner that evening, Mme. Vauquer went to the window and drew the curtain, as the sun was shining into Goriot's eyes.
Goriot--the sun seeks you out," she said, alluding to his visitor. Er verzichtete auf den Schnupftabak, verabschiedete seinen Friseur und trug das Haar ungepudert. Er hatte seinen blauen Rock, seine ganze Kleidung abgelegt und trug Sommer wie Winter einen groben kastanienbraunen Tuchrock, eine ziegenlederne Weste und grauwollene Beinkleider. Sie sehen sie noch manchmal? A month after this visit M. Goriot received another. The same daughter who had come to see him that morning came again after dinner, this time in evening dress.
The boarders, in deep discussion in the dining-room, caught a glimpse of a lovely, fair-haired woman, slender, graceful, and much too distinguished-looking to be a daughter of Father Goriot's. A few days later, and another young lady--a tall, well-moulded brunette, with dark hair and bright eyes--came to ask for M.
Then the second daughter, who had first come in the morning to see her father, came shortly afterwards in the evening. She wore a ball dress, and came in a carriage. Vauquer and her plump handmaid. Sylvie saw not a trace of resemblance between this great lady and the girl in her simple morning dress who had entered her kitchen on the occasion of her first visit.
At that time Goriot was paying twelve hundred francs a year to his landlady, and Mme. Vauquer saw nothing out of the common in the fact that a rich man had four or five mistresses; nay, she thought it very knowing of him to pass them off as his daughters. She was not at all inclined to draw a hard-and-fast line, or to take umbrage at his sending for them to the Maison Vauquer; yet, inasmuch as these visits explained her boarder's indifference to her, she went so far at the end of the second year as to speak of him as an "ugly old wretch.
Father Goriot answered that the lady was his eldest daughter. Vauquer sharply. Towards the end of the third year Father Goriot reduced his expenses still further; he went up to the third story, and now paid forty-five francs a month. He did without snuff, told his hairdresser that he no longer required his services, and gave up wearing powder.
When Goriot appeared for the first time in this condition, an exclamation of astonishment broke from his hostess at the color of his hair--a dingy olive gray. He had grown sadder day by day under the influence of some hidden trouble; among all the faces round the table, his was the most woe-begone. There was no longer any doubt. Goriot was an elderly libertine, whose eyes had only been preserved by the skill of the physician from the malign influence of the remedies necessitated by the state of his health.
The disgusting color of his hair was a result of his excesses and of the drugs which he had taken that he might continue his career. The poor old man's mental and physical condition afforded some grounds for the absurd rubbish talked about him. His diamonds, his gold snuff-box, watch-chain and trinkets, disappeared one by one. He had left off wearing the corn-flower blue coat, and was sumptuously arrayed, summer as well as winter, in a coarse chestnut-brown coat, a plush waistcoat, and doeskin breeches.
He grew thinner and thinner; his legs were shrunken, his cheeks, once so puffed out by contented bourgeois prosperity, were covered with wrinkles, and the outlines of the jawbones were distinctly visible; there were deep furrows in his forehead. In the fourth year of his residence in the Rue Neuve-Sainte-Genevieve he was no longer like his former self. The hale vermicelli manufacturer, sixty-two years of age, who had looked scarce forty, the stout, comfortable, prosperous tradesman, with an almost bucolic air, and such a brisk demeanor that it did you good to look at him; the man with something boyish in his smile, had suddenly sunk into his dotage, and had become a feeble, vacillating septuagenarian.
The keen, bright blue eyes had grown dull, and faded to a steel-gray color; the red inflamed rims looked as though they had shed tears of blood. He excited feelings of repulsion in some, and of pity in others. The young medical students who came to the house noticed the drooping of his lower lip and the conformation of the facial angle; and, after teasing him for some time to no purpose, they declared that cretinism was setting in.
Diese Folgerung war nicht zu widerlegen. Poiret war ein Adler, ein Gentleman neben Goriot. Poiret sprach, widerlegte, scherzte. One evening after dinner Mme. Vauquer said half banteringly to him, "So those daughters of yours don't come to see you any more, eh? Seine Tante, Frau von Marcillac, war in ihren jungen Jahren bei Hofe vorgestellt worden und hatte dort die Spitzen der Aristokratie kennen gelernt. The old man scarcely seemed to hear the witticisms at his expense that followed on the words; he had relapsed into the dreamy state of mind that these superficial observers took for senile torpor, due to his lack of intelligence.
If they had only known, they might have been deeply interested by the problem of his condition; but few problems were more obscure. It was easy, of course, to find out whether Goriot had really been a vermicelli manufacturer; the amount of his fortune was readily discoverable; but the old people, who were most inquisitive as to his concerns, never went beyond the limits of the Quarter, and lived in the lodging-house much as oysters cling to a rock.
As for the rest, the current of life in Paris daily awaited them, and swept them away with it; so soon as they left the Rue Neuve-Sainte-Genevieve, they forgot the existence of the old man, their butt at dinner. For those narrow souls, or for careless youth, the misery in Father Goriot's withered face and its dull apathy were quite incompatible with wealth or any sort of intelligence.
As for the creatures whom he called his daughters, all Mme. Vauquer's boarders were of her opinion. With the faculty for severe logic sedulously cultivated by elderly women during long evenings of gossip till they can always find an hypothesis to fit all circumstances, she was wont to reason thus:. No objection could be raised to these inferences. So by the end of the month of November , at the time when the curtain rises on this drama, every one in the house had come to have a very decided opinion as to the poor old man.
Poiret was an eagle, a gentleman, compared with Goriot. Poiret would join the talk, argue, answer when he was spoken to; as a matter of fact, his talk, arguments, and responses contributed nothing to the conversation, for Poiret had a habit of repeating what the others said in different words; still, he did join in the talk; he was alive, and seemed capable of feeling; while Father Goriot to quote the Museum official again was invariably at zero degrees--Reaumur. Eugene de Rastignac had just returned to Paris in a state of mind not unknown to young men who are conscious of unusual powers, and to those whose faculties are so stimulated by a difficult position, that for the time being they rise above the ordinary level.
Rastignac's first year of study for the preliminary examinations in law had left him free to see the sights of Paris and to enjoy some of its amusements. A student has not much time on his hands if he sets himself to learn the repertory of every theatre, and to study the ins and outs of the labyrinth of Paris. To know its customs; to learn the language, and become familiar with the amusements of the capital, he must explore its recesses, good and bad, follow the studies that please him best, and form some idea of the treasures contained in galleries and museums.
At this stage of his career a student grows eager and excited about all sorts of follies that seem to him to be of immense importance. He has his hero, his great man, a professor at the College de France, paid to talk down to the level of his audience. He adjusts his cravat, and strikes various attitudes for the benefit of the women in the first galleries at the Opera-Comique.
As he passes through all these successive initiations, and breaks out of his sheath, the horizons of life widen around him, and at length he grasps the plan of society with the different human strata of which it is composed. If he begins by admiring the procession of carriages on sunny afternoons in the Champs-Elysees, he soon reaches the further stage of envying their owners.
Unconsciously, Eugene had served his apprenticeship before he went back to Angouleme for the long vacation after taking his degrees as bachelor of arts and bachelor of law. The illusions of childhood had vanished, so also had the ideas he brought with him from the provinces; he had returned thither with an intelligence developed, with loftier ambitions, and saw things as they were at home in the old manor house. His father and mother, his two brothers and two sisters, with an aged aunt, whose whole fortune consisted in annuities, lived on the little estate of Rastignac.
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The whole property brought in about three thousand francs; and though the amount varied with the season as must always be the case in a vine-growing district , they were obliged to spare an unvarying twelve hundred francs out of their income for him. He saw how constantly the poverty, which they had generously hidden from him, weighed upon them; he could not help comparing the sisters, who had seemed so beautiful to his boyish eyes, with women in Paris, who had realized the beauty of his dreams. The uncertain future of the whole family depended upon him.
It did not escape his eyes that not a crumb was wasted in the house, nor that the wine they drank was made from the second pressing; a multitude of small things, which it is useless to speak of in detail here, made him burn to distinguish himself, and his ambition to succeed increased tenfold. So also sah es Ende November in der Familienpension aus. Um die verlorene Zeit wieder einzubringen, hatte der tapfere Student sich vorgenommen, bis zum Morgen durchzuarbeiten. Das sollte die erste Nacht sein, die er hier im stillen Stadtviertel durchwachte.
Wer in diese goldenen Salons zugelassen war, den hatte man in den hohen Adel aufgenommen. Der Marquis von Ronquerolles nannte sie ein Vollblutpferd. He meant, like all great souls, that his success should be owing entirely to his merits; but his was pre-eminently a southern temperament, the execution of his plans was sure to be marred by the vertigo that seizes on youth when youth sees itself alone in a wide sea, uncertain how to spend its energies, whither to steer its course, how to adapt its sails to the winds. At first he determined to fling himself heart and soul into his work, but he was diverted from this purpose by the need of society and connections; then he saw how great an influence women exert in social life, and suddenly made up his mind to go out into this world to seek a protectress there.
Surely a clever and high-spirited young man, whose wit and courage were set off to advantage by a graceful figure and the vigorous kind of beauty that readily strikes a woman's imagination, need not despair of finding a protectress. These ideas occurred to him in his country walks with his sisters, whom he had once joined so gaily. The girls thought him very much changed. His aunt, Mme.
Suddenly the young man's ambition discerned in those recollections of hers, which had been like nursery fairy tales to her nephews and nieces, the elements of a social success at least as important as the success which he had achieved at the Ecole de Droit. He began to ask his aunt about those relations; some of the old ties might still hold good. After much shaking of the branches of the family tree, the old lady came to the conclusion that of all persons who could be useful to her nephew among the selfish genus of rich relations, the Vicomtesse de Beauseant was the least likely to refuse.
To this lady, therefore, she wrote in the old-fashioned style, recommending Eugene to her; pointing out to her nephew that if he succeeded in pleasing Mme.
A few days after his return to Paris, therefore, Rastignac sent his aunt's letter to Mme. The Vicomtesse replied by an invitation to a ball for the following evening. This was the position of affairs at the Maison Vauquer at the end of November A few days later, after Mme. The persevering student meant to make up for the lost time by working until daylight.
It was the first time that he had attempted to spend the night in this way in that silent quarter. The spell of a factitious energy was upon him; he had beheld the pomp and splendor of the world. He had not dined at the Maison Vauquer; the boarders probably would think that he would walk home at daybreak from the dance, as he had done sometimes on former occasions, after a fete at the Prado, or a ball at the Odeon, splashing his silk stockings thereby, and ruining his pumps.
Welch ein Mann! Er tat seine Arbeit mit staunenswerter Leichtigkeit. It so happened that Christophe took a look into the street before drawing the bolts of the door; and Rastignac, coming in at that moment, could go up to his room without making any noise, followed by Christophe, who made a great deal. Eugene exchanged his dress suit for a shabby overcoat and slippers, kindled a fire with some blocks of patent fuel, and prepared for his night's work in such a sort that the faint sounds he made were drowned by Christophe's heavy tramp on the stairs.
Eugene sat absorbed in thought for a few moments before plunging into his law books. He had just become aware of the fact that the Vicomtesse de Beauseant was one of the queens of fashion, that her house was thought to be the pleasantest in the Faubourg Saint-Germain. And not only so, she was, by right of her fortune, and the name she bore, one of the most conspicuous figures in that aristocratic world.
Thanks to the aunt, thanks to Mme. It was almost like a patent of nobility to be admitted to those gilded salons; he had appeared in the most exclusive circle in Paris, and now all doors were open for him. Eugene had been dazzled at first by the brilliant assembly, and had scarcely exchanged a few words with the Vicomtesse; he had been content to single out a goddess among this throng of Parisian divinities, one of those women who are sure to attract a young man's fancy.
The Comtesse Anastasie de Restaud was tall and gracefully made; she had one of the prettiest figures in Paris. Imagine a pair of great dark eyes, a magnificently moulded hand, a shapely foot. Thou tremblest! Das Duett wird durchaus halblaut gesungen. Ohne Zweifel wird er wieder tausend Fragen an mich stellen. Ich muss allein mit ihm reden.
Was verlangt Ihr denn von mir? Ich vollziehe die Befehle die man mir giebe; das ist mein Amt, meine Pflicht. Wenn ich denn verdammt binn, hier zu verschmachten, O so lasst mich nicht so langsam enden! Aus Erbarmen, gebt mir nur einen Tropfen Wasser—das ist ja so wenig! Ich kann Euch nicht verschaffen, was Ihr verlangt. Alles was ich Euch anbieten kann, ist ein Restchen Wein, das ich im Kruge habe.
Mein Schliesser, und in wenig Tagen mein Eidam. Ihr selbst, Meister Rokko—. The Duet is sung in an undertone. Doubtless, he will again put a thousand questions to me. I must speak with him alone. Well, it will soon be all over with him. What do you ask of me? The orders I receive I execute: that is my province, my duty. Tell me, at all events, the name of the Governor of this loathsome prison. What you require I cannot procure: all that I can offer is the little wine I have remaining. At present my assistant; a few days hence to be my son-in-law.
You yourself, Master Rocco—. Do not forget, whatever you may hear and see, that there is a Providence over all! Yes, yes, there is a Providence over all. Sein Weib! Leonora suddenly draws a small pistol from her bosom and presents it at him. Die Offiziere und Jaquino gehen oben ab. Die Soldaten leuchten Pizarro vor. The soldiers shall ascend, and with lighted torches hence accompany the Governor.
The latter avails himself of the opportunity to grasp the hands of Leonora and Florestan, presses them to his bosom, points to Heaven, and then hasting after him. Florestan and Leonora. Kommt, folget mir hinauf. Good news! The Minister has a list of all of you, who are forthwith to appear before him. Your imprisonment has evidently been unknown to the Minister, and is a stretch of arbitrary power, no doubt. Come, follow me all, follow me!
German Text, with an English Translation . A Spanish Nobleman. Prime Minister of Spain, and friend to Florestan. Governor of the Prison, and enemy to Florestan. Chief Jailer. Daughter of Rocco. Assistant to Rocco, in love with Marcellina. She carries a basket with provisions, and on her arm fetters, which she deposits on the ground. At her side a tin box hangs by a ribbon. Traurig schleppt sich fort das Leben; Mancher Kummer stellt sich ein.
True happiness, so we are told, Is best secured by glorious gold. Offiziere mit einem Detachement treten ein, dann Pizarro. Das Hauptthor wird wieder geschlossen. Officers enter with a detachment of Troops, then Pizarro. The gate is shut again. Die Wache.
Fearlessly, unsparingly, I will tear his heart from out him! The wretch shall quickly repent His daring resistance to me;— I would sooner die than yield. Now that he is in my power, Punishment for his treason Shall quickly be his lot. No more hope is there for thee. The moment is approaching For thy dire punishment. Take this, old man: fortune Henceforth shall favor you; If a service you will yield me, [ Shows him a purse. A rich man shall you be. To what new and dreadful crime Will thy vengeance now induce thee?
Oh, monster! But vain shall be your machinations: A sweet presentiment of that assures me. For his infamies, the Almighty A fitting reward will mete him. I feel within me new hopes arise; An inward sense of coming happiness Sustains and cheers my heart. O welche Lust in freier Luft Den Athem einzuheben! Nur hier, nur hier ist Leben. Der Kerker eine Gruft. Ein Gefangener. Oh, what a pleasure once again Freely to breathe the fresh air!
One of them. Den Zuschauern links ist eine mit Steinen und Schutt bedeckte Cisterne. Eine Lampe brennt. To the left a cistern or reservoir, covered with stones and rubbish. In the background, several openings in the wall, guarded with gratings, through which can be seen the steps of a staircase, leading from above. To the right, the doo into the Prison. A lamp hanging. O grauenvolle Stille! Oed ist es um mich her, Nichts lebet ausser mir. What horrid stillness! Here in this dark tomb, is nothing known But my deep anguish! Oh, most cruel torture! Oh, Heavenly Providence, how much longer Will this my misery last!
Know the approach Of the new age. A star pointed the way To the King's humble cradle. In the name of the far future They paid him homage. With the splendor and perfumes Of the highest wonders of nature. Unfolded the heavenly heart In sohtude To a glowing bosom of love, Turned toward The Father's lofty countenance, And resting on the holy foreboding breast Of the gracious earnest Mother.
With worshiping ardor The prophetic eye Of the blossoming child Looked into future times. Soon the most childhke natures, Wondrously gripped By the almighty love. Gathered aroimd him. A strange new life Flowered forth In his presence- Inexhaustible words. Most joyful of tidings. Fell hke sparks Of divine spirit From his gracious lips. From far coasts, Bom under serene skies Of Hellas Came a singer To Palestine And surrendered his heart To the miraculous child: Thou art that youthful form our tombs display Standing above them, deep in contemplation, ConsoHng emblem in our darkest day Of higher manhood's joyful new foundation.
What once had sunk us down, to grief a prey. Now draws us thence with longing's sweet elation. In Death was germ of hfe eternal found, Thyself art Death, and first doth make us sound. So that a thousand hearts Inchned themselves to him. And the glad gospel Upward waxed Branching a thousandfold. But yet short time After the singer passed, The precious life Became a sacrifice For the deep fall of man- Young in years he died, Tom away From the loved world, From the weeping Mother, From his friends. The holy mouth Emptied the dark cup Of untold sorrow.
In dreadful anguish Drew nigh to him the birth hour Of the new world. Hard wrestled he with the horrors Of ancient death. Heavy upon him lay The weight of the old world. Once more he gently looked upon the Mother- Then came the loosening hand Of eternal love— And he fell asleep. Few were the days Hung a deep veil Over the roaring sea, over the dark heaving land. Uncounted tears Wept the beloved ones. Awaked to new godlike glory He ascended to the heights Of the rejuvenated, new-bom world. And the old world Which with him had died.
With his own hand he bm'ied In the forsaken cave. And with almighty strength he laid above The stone which thence no power should ever move. Still weep thy loved ones Tears of joy, Tears of emotion. And unending thanks Before thy grave— And ever still With shock of joy See thee ascend. Themselves with thee— See thee with ardor sweet Weep on the Mother's bosom And on the friends' true hearts. Hasten, filled with longing, Into the Father s arms, Bringing the young Childlike humanity And the inexhaustible draft Of the golden future.
The Mother followed thee soon In heavenly tTiim:iph. She was the first In the new home At thy side. Long ages Have flowed by since then. Thousands from pain and grief Draw nigh to thee Full of faith, longing, And fidehty, And rule with thee And the heavenly Virgin In the kingdom of love. And serve in the temple Of the heavenly death. Uplifted is the stone.
Online Library of Liberty
Mankind is now arisen, We chng to thee alone, And feel no bond of prison. Death to the marriage calls, The lamps are shining steady. The virgins all are ready, No lack of oil befalls. Far distances are ringing With tidings of thy train! And stars the summons singing With human tongue and strain!
To thee, Maria, lifteth Of thousand hearts the plea. Whose hfe in shadow drifteth They long to come to thee. Consumed with bitter pain, This dreary earth-world spuming. Have turned to thee again. Their aid to us was given When pain and want befell. We join them now in heaven And ever with them dwell. For none with faith who careth On grave need sorely grieve, The treasure that he loveth From him will none bereave.
For angels true of heaven His heart in safety keep. His longing grief to leaven Inspireth night his sleep. Our life with courage ending Eternal life draws near, With inner glow expanding Transfigured sense grows clear. The star-world now is flowing As living golden wine, Its joys on us bestowing, Ourselves as stars shall shine. For love is freely given And partings ne'er may be. The flood of life is driven Like an unbounded sea- Unending night delights us.
Eternity's romance. And all the sim that lights us Is God's own countenance. Within a narrow boat we come And hasten to the heavenly home. All hail, then, to eternal night, All hail, eternal sleeping, Warmed have we been by daily light. Withered by grief's long weeping. Strange lands no longer joys arouse. We want to reach our Father s house.
In this world's hfe what shall we do With love and faith devoted? What should we care about the new? The old is no more noted. Ohl lonely stands he, deeply sore. Whose love reveres the days of yore. The days of yore when, himian sense High flaming, brightly burning. The Father's hand and countenance Mankind was still discerning. Many of higher senses ripe Resembled still their prototype. The days of yore, when ancient stem Bore many youthful flowers.
And children craved the heavenly home Beyond life's anguished hours. And e'en when hfe and pleasure spake Love caused full many a heart to break. The days of yore, when God revealed Himself, young, ardent, glowing; To early death his life he sealed. Deep love and courage showing.
Sparing himself no painful smart, He grew still dearer to our heart. We must repair to heavenly place If we would see those sacred days. What then doth hinder our return? The loved ones long have slumbered, Their grave enfolds our life's concern, With anxious grief we're cumbered. We have no more to seek down here.
The heart wants naught, the world is bare. Eternal and from hidden spring A sweet shower through us streameth; An echo of our grief did ring From distance far, meseemeth; The loved ones have the same desire. And with their longing us inspire. O downward then to Bride so sweetl To Jesus, the Beloved! A dream doth break our bonds apart. And sinks us on the Father's heart. Abwarts wend ich mich Zu der heiligen, unaussprechlichen Geheimnis- vollen Nacht— Fernab liegt die Welt, Wie versenkt in eine tiefe Gruft, Wie wiist und einsam ihre Stelle!
Album of German Songs (later published as Sixteen German Songs)
Tiefe Wehmut Weht in den Saiten der Bnist. I Fernab liegt die Welt Mit ihren bunten Geniissen. Muss immer der Morgen wieder kommen? Endet nie deS Irdi- schen Gewalt? Zusam- men floss die Wehmut in eine neue unergriindUche Welt— du Nachtbegeisterung, Schliunmer des Himmels, kamst iiber mich. Die Gegend hob sich sacht empor— iiber der Gegend schwebte mein entbundner, neugebomer Geist.
In ihren Augen ruhte die Ewigkeit— ich fasste ihre Hande, und die Tranen wurden ein funkelndes, unzerreissliches Band. Jahrtausende zogen abwarts in die Feme, wie Ungewitter. An ihrem Halse weint'ich dem neuen Leben entziickende Tranen— das war der erste Traum in dir. Er zog voriiber, aber sein Abglanz blieb, der ewige, unerschiitterliche Glauben an den Nachthimmel und seine Sonne, die Geliebte. IV Nun weiss ich, wenn der letzte Morgen sein wird— wenn das Licht nicht mehr die Nacht und die Liebe scheucht, wenn der Schlummer ewig, und ein unerschopflicher Traum sein wird.
Himmlische Miidigkeit verlasst mich nun nicht wieder. Wessen Mund einmal die kristallene Woge netzte, die, gemeinen Sinnen unsichtbar, quillt in des Hiigels dunkelm Schoos, an dessen Fuss die irdische Flut bricht, wer oben stand auf diesem Grenzgebirge der Welt und hiniibersah in das neue Land, in der Nacht Wohnsitz; wahrlich, der kehrt nicht in das Treiben der Welt 2:iiriick, in das Land, wo das Licht regiert und ewige Unnih haust.
Oben baut er sich Hiitten, Hiitten des Frie- dens, sehnt sich und liebt, schaut hiniiber, bis die willkommenste aller Stunden hinunter ihn— in den Brunnen der Quelle zieht. AUes Irdische schwimmt obenauf und wird von der Hohe hinab- gespiilt, aber was heilig ward durch der Liebe Beriihrung, rinnt aufgelost in verborgnen Gangen auf das jenseitige Gebiet, wo es, wie Wolken, sich mit entschlummerten Lieben mischt. Aber du lockst mich Von der Erinnerung Moosigem Denkmal nicht.
Kannst du mir zeigen Ein ewig treues Herz? Hat deine Sonne Freund- liche Augen, Die mich erkennen? Fassen deine Sterne Meine verlangende Hand? Geben mir wieder Den zartlichen Druck? Oder war sie es, Die deinem Schmuck Hohere, liebere Be- deutung gab? Zu geben Menschlichen Sinn Deinen Schopfungen. Noch reiften sie nicht, Diese gottlichen Gedanken. Noch sind der Spuren Unsrer Gegenwart Wenig. Umsonst ist deine Wut, Dein Toben.
Reich an Kleinoden Und herrlichen Wundern. Seit Ewigkeiten Stand ihr geheimnisvoller Ban. Ein alter Riese Trug die sehge Welt. I Gesetze wurden. Bald sammelten die kindlichsten Gemiiter, Von allmachtiger Liebe Wundersam ergriffen, j Sich um ihn her. Im Tode ward das ew'ge Leben kund, Du bist der Tod und machst uns erst gesund. Der Sanger zog Vol! Entsiegelt ward das Geheimnis. Gehoben ist der Stein. Die Menschheit ist erstanden.
Wir alle bleiben dein Und fiihlen keine Banden. So manche, die sich gliihend In bittrer Qual verzehrt Und dieser Welt entfliehend Nur dir sich zugekehrt; Die hilfreich uns erschienen In mancher Not und Pein— Wir konimen nun zu ihnen, Um ewig da zu sein. Nun weint an keinem Grabe Fiir Schmerz, wer liebend glaubt.
I Der Liebe siisse Habe Wird keinem nicht geraubt. I Wir kommen in dem engen Kahn Geschwind am Him- melsufer an. Wir miissen nach der Heimat gehn, Um diese heil'ge Zeit zu sehn. Was halt noch unsre Riickkehr auf— Die Liebsten ruhn schon lange. Ihr Grab schliesst unsern Lebenslauf, Nun wird uns weh und bange. Zu suchen haben wir nichts mehr— Das Herz ist satt, die Welt ist leer. Die Lieben sehnen sich wohl auch Und sandten uns der Sehn- sucht Hauch. Though all are faithless growing. Yet will I faithful be. That one on earth is showing His thankfulness to Thee. For me Thou cam'st to suffer For me Thou had'st to smart.
And now with joy I offer To Thee my thankful heart. Forgot and passed Thee by. With naught but love unsparing Thou cam'st for them and me. They let Thee die, uncaring. And thought no more of Thee. Yet true love ever winneth, At last the world will see. When weeping each one cHngeth, A child before Thy knee.
When now at last I find Thee, O leave me not alone! But ever closer bind me And let me be Thine ownl My brothers too, beholding, Will soon in Heav'n find rest. And then Thy love enfolding Will sink upon Thy breast. Wenn alle untreu werden, So bleib ich dir doch treu, Dass Dankbarkeit auf Erden Nicht ausgestorben sei. Oft muss ich bitter weinen, Dass du gestorben bist Und mancher von den Deinen Dich lebenslang vergisst. Von Liebe nur durchdrungen, Hast du so viel getan, Und doch bist du verklungen, Und keiner denkt daran.
Du stehst vol! Ich habe dich empfunden, OI lasse nicht von mir; Lass innig mich verbunden Auf ewig sein mit dir. So heavy grows our cheer. When all from far o'erpowers Our hearts with ghostly fear. There come wild terrors creeping With stealthy silent tread, And night's dark mantle sweeping O'erweighs the soul with dread. Our pillars strong are shaking. No hold remaineth sure, Our thoughts in whirlpools breaking Obey our will no more. Then madness comes and claims us And none withstands his will, A senses' dullness maims us, The pulse of life stands still. Who raised the Cross, bestowing A refuge for each heart?
Who lives in heaven all-knowing And healeth pain and smart? Go thou where stands that Wonder And to thy heart give ear. His flames shall force asunder And quell thy nightmare fear. An angel bendeth o'er thee And bears thee to the strand. And, filled with joy, before thee Thou seest the Promised Land. Der Wahnsinn naht und locket Unwiderstehlich bin. Der Puis des Lebens stocket, Und stumpf ist jeder Sinn.
Wer hat das Kreuz erhoben Zum Schutz f iir jedes Herz? Wer wohnt im Himmel droben Und hilft in Angst und Schmerz? Ein Engel zieht dich wieder Gerettet auf den Strand, Und schaust vol! Freuden nieder I In das Gelobte Land. When in sad and weary hour Dark despair hath cast its gloom; When overwhelmed by sickness' power Fears our inmost soul consume; When we think of our beloved Bowed with sorrow and with grief; All our heav'ns with clouds are covered Not one hope can bring relief.
God then bendeth to receive us. With his love he draweth near; When we long for life to leave us Then his angel doth appear; Brings the cup of life, restoring Strength and comfort from above; Not in vain our prayers imploring Peaceful rest for those we love. Brentano seems to have inherited the restlessness and effervescence of both the Brentanos and the Laroches.
His interest was probably stimu- lated by Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry. In Brentano married the poetess Sophie M6reau but she died only three years later. His second marriage was unhappy, and he drifted, in the course of time, toward the pious eighteen-year-old Luise Hensel, whom he wooed in vain and who brought him back to the Catholic fold His hterary activities then came to an end, save for recording the visions of the stigmatized nun Anna Katharina Emmerick.
Brentano's claim to immortality rests primarily on his sweetly cadenced lyrics and his tales, such as "The Story of the Just Casper and Fair Annie" , rich in the imaginative charm of folklore. Shall touch no child to grieve it. Simplicity hath sown the seeds, Sadness passed through it with its breath. And longing has achieved it. And is the harvest once cut down, Poverty gleans the stubble, Seeks ears that have been left unseen.
Seeks love that for her long went down. Seeks love with her to rise again. Seeks love that it may love her.
And has she, lonely and disdained. Throughout the night with prayer and thanks Rubbed the corn from its casing- She reads, at cockcrow's break of day, Words that hold love, blow grief away. O echo, tell Where Hstenest thou Who understands my lay? O echoing sound, O singst thou her The dreams I Hke the most. The ballads all bring them her Whom I so early losti Deep in my heart The rustling wood Wherein my love doth stray; In sorrows slept The echoing sound. The tunes have blown away. In woodland am 1 so alone, O dearest, come to me; Though many a song Away has flown.
For everything goes by! Yet that I rose again And as her planet e'er must circle round, A spirit, whom she charmed, That goes not byl Yes, everything goes by! Only this wonder-band From out my being's deepest ground To her own spirit spanned, That goes not by! Yes, everything goes byl Yet pledge from gracious hands. Each innocent dear word of hers Follow to other lands And go not by! Yes, everything goes by! Yet she, who understood The waiting one, with place and hour unfomid. She went not by, she stood, Gives me her hand! Yes, everything goes byl One thing alone is sure, The promise which from out her heart's deep groimd The precious child did send, That doth endure!
Denn alles geht vorbeil Doch dass ich auferstand Und wie ein Irrstern ewig sie umrunde, Ein Geist, den sie gebannt, Das hat Bestandl Ja, alles geht vorbei! And the fountains plash and glistenl Music drifts in golden rains; Softly, softly let us listenl Gentle-pleading, mild desire Sweetly tells the heart its plightl Through the darkness, bright as fire, Gleams upon me— music's light.
Golden wehn die Tone nieder, Stille, stille, lass uns lau- schen! Holdes Bitten, mild Verlangen, Wie es siiss zum Herzen spricht! It told a sweeter tale When our two hearts were one. I sing; I cannot weep; I turn my wheel, and there The strand gleams pure and clear While moonbeams vigil keep. When our two hearts were one. Of joy sang the nightingale; Now all its changeful tale Is but that thou art gone. God yield us joy again! Since thou from me art gone, The ceaseless nightingale sings And restless memories brings Of how two hearts made one.
God yield us joy! No sleep Is mine; I spin while here Moonlight streams pure and clear. I sing; I fain would weep. Ich sing' und kann nicht weinen Und spinne so allein [ Den Faden, klar und rein, So lang der Mond wird scheinen. Da wir zusammen waren, Da sang die Nachtigall, Nun mah- net mich ihr Schall, Dass du von mir gefahren. Gott woUe uns vereinen, [ Hier spinn' ich so allein, Der Mond scheint klar und rein, Ich sing' und mochte weinen!
Learn its cadence from the moon. Slow in heaven drifting by. World-mystery That gladly welcomes Friendship with me! When the red of the evening has sunken. And no color speaks joyfully now. And the garlands of quiet gleaming sparkles Night binds round her shadowing brow, Wafts holy meaning Of heavenly star To me in the distance.
Waiting afar. When the tears of the moon softly soothing Release the nights' deep hidden pain, Peace breathes anew. And on little barks golden Sail spirits along on the heavenly main. Radiant ballad's Resonant flow Undulates upward. Circles below. All things profound, melancholic appear. Fhts in the darkling Friendliest play. Tranquil hghts sparkling Bright goal display. Kindly and friendly is each bound with other. Trustfully, comforting, offers the hand. Lights have entwined through the dark nights together, All things forever are inwardly bound.
In goldenen Kahnen Schiffen die Geister im himmlischen See. Alles ist freundlich wohlwollend verbunden, Bietet sich tros- tend und traurend die Hand, Sind durch die Nachte die Lichter gewunden, Alles ist ewig im Innem verwandt. Every year thy loving boimty Brings men's hearts and earth good morrow. Every year the flowers thou wakest, Wak'st in me the ancient sorrow. Bom for light alone intended, I a thousand times must perish. Lacking thee my way has ended. Lost unless thy goodness cherish. When soft sun-filled airs are wafting And earth stirs in warm pulsation, Then stir too those other waters Bound with death and tribulation.
And within my heart there shower Bitter founts, beclouded growing; When without the springtime hovers. Comes the fear-flood to fresh flowing. Through poison's earthy layers. As in time they've ever mounted. The deep gorge I have constructed And but feeble 'tis accounted I When the soil to birth is bringing.
When all round the springs are swelling, Hither come the bitter breakers Though no wit, no curse compeUing. For in me there mounts the Deluge Fills my eyes, enraged and ruthless. Evil breeds then come before me, Seem as lambs in motley ghtter. Which I greeted, fruits of sweetness, But which ripened, gall-hke bitter.
Lord, bestow on me thy mercy. And my heart-life newly fashion! For of all the earthly springtimes None has ever shown compassion. Master, when they all draw near thee, In their hands the sweet-filled vessels. Ne'er with bitter gifts down-laden Can my debt to thee be settled. Ah, however deep I burrow. Scoop the waters, tears o'erflovnng, Never can I cleanse the torrent Till pure crystal ground is showingi Ever do the walls assail me. Lies in every layer merging. And my hands with labor bleeding Bum within the bitter surging.
Woel the space forever narrows. Waves grow wilder still and rougher. Lord, O Lordl my heart doth fail me— Send thy rainbow with its succor. Lord, I beg of thee to spare me! In my youth. Lord, they were telling That a wonderful salvation In thy blood is ever dwelling. Eirnnal nur zum Licht geboren, Aber tausendmal gestorben, Bin ich ohne dich verloren, Ohne dich in mir verdorben.
Denn in mir ja steigt die grimme Siindflut, bricht aus meinen Augen. Herr, erbarme du dich meiner, Dass mein Herz neu bliihend werdel Mein erbarmte sich noch keiner Von den Friihlingen der Erde. Herr, ich hort in jungen Tagen, Wunderbare Rettung wohne— Ach! Und so muss ich zu dir schreien, Schreien aus der bittern Tief e, I Konntest du auch nie verzeihen, Dass dein Knecht so kiihnlich riefe.
Longs the butterfly for sunlight It must break its woven mansion; So art thou this house destroying That my freedom find expansion. Such a death I pray thou grant me, Lord! Grant that, senses clear, I give my Soul again within thy keeping! For within thy hands are lying Hearts with humble meekness glowing Like the infant in the cradle Tranquil sleeping, grief unknowing! Full many a man around her To grievous shame she brought; No more could he be rescued Who in her toils was caught. The bishop sent to bid her Before his court appear; Yet must he grant her pardon She was so passing fair.
He spoke to her with tremors, "Thou poor young Lore Lay, Who then has thus misled thee To evil sorcery? My lover hath betrayed me. From me hath turned away, Gone forth on distant journey In foreign land doth stray. Eyes that are wild and timid, The red and white in cheeks. Words sounding quiet and gentle, My magic circle makes.
Then let my judgment find me. As Christian let me die; For everything is empty Since he's no longer by. Thou now shalt be a novice. In black and white a nun; On earth thou shalt prepare thee For when Hfe's days are done! All three the knights go by. And sadly in the middle The lovely Lore Lay. Once more I'd see the castle.
Where my dear love did dwell. Once more to look I'm longing Into the deep Rhine flood. Then will I to the convent And virgin be of God. Precipitous its face, Yet climbed she to the summit And stood at topmost place. Then up above they clambered And rocky summit reached. Nor could the knights from summit Descend their lives to save, Up there they all must perish.
With neither priest nor grave. And who has sung this ditty? Lore Lay! As were the three my own. All boatmen passing by call out to it and enjoy the many echoes. Wer hat dies Lied gesungen? I Lore Layl Lore Lay! Als waren es meiner drei. He attended the Catholic school at Breslau and the university at Halle, in obtaining a law degree from Heidelberg. After a visit to Paris he lived in Vienna and there qualified for the civil service; he married Luise von Larisch in and occupied responsible offices in Danzig, Konigs- berg, and Berlin Following his retirement he devoted himself exclusively to his literary pursuits.
Heine called Eichendorff "the last knight of Romanticism," and indeed he was the last to sing in misty verse of wonderful melody and magic of the ancient castles of the Danube, of sighing forests and murmuring streams; and his tales, which include the delightful "Memoirs of a Good-for-Nothing" , have the same richness of mood and expression. And now along the vale Wakens the nightingale Till a gray hush again spreads over. O wonder-filled nocturnal song, Far hidden waters whisper long. Trees shiver as the moonlight gleams— Under the spell you cast My wandering song is lost And like a calling-out of dreams.
Times that are gone, griefs grovra weaker; Faint shiverings are felt and flicker Like summer lightning through the breast. As though at this selfsame hour Round the ramparts, now half -sunken, The gods made their ancient tour. Here, hid by the myrtle's splendor In the stealthy dwindling light.
What jumbled dream words dost thou utter To me, mysterious Night? The stars are all sparkling on me. With ardent and loving gaze. From afar comes elated message As of joy in the coming days. And sinks into sleep once more. But the forest is stirring the treetops, In dream of the precipice grand. For the Lord goes over the sunmiit And blesses the silent land. Von fern nur schlagen die Glocken 0ber die Walder herein, Ein Reh hebt den Kopf erschrocken Und schlummert gleich wie- der ein.
Fine gentlemen and students all, They tread the sunny highway And on their horns they play their call. And face the world with cloudless brow: 'Et habeat honam pacem Qui sedet post fornacem. We play our tune before the door— Which always doubles thirsting— And through the happy portal pour Since our dry throats are biursting. Innkeeper, bring us each a fine Tankard of beer, or glass of wine.
Our fluttering capes in rags will fall. Our thin shoes drag on highway. But on our horns we'll play our call. Our taunting, scornful, wry way: 'Beatus ille homo. The summer-wearied earth, her blossoms going, Fills full the grapes with her last fiery glowing.
The sun still scatters sparks the while he's sinking.