The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 04 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 463 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 04.

“To keep the conversations fresh, just as salt keeps food fresh.  The question is not why we say them, but how we say them.  It would be rude indeed to talk with a charming lady as if she were a sexless Amphibium.  It is a duty and an obligation to allude constantly to what she is and is going to be.  It is really a comical situation, considering how indelicate, stiff and guilty society is, to be an innocent girl.”

“That reminds me of the famous Buffo, who, while he was always making others laugh, was so sad and solemn himself.”

“Society is a chaos which can be brought into harmonious order only by wit.  If one does not jest and toy with the elements of passion, it forms thick masses and darkens everything.”

“Then there must be passion in the air here, for it is almost dark.”

“Surely you have closed your eyes, lady of my heart!  Otherwise the light in them would brighten the whole room.”

“I wonder, Julius, who is the more passionate, you or I?”

“Both of us are passionate enough.  If that were not so, I should not want to live.  And see!  That is why I could reconcile myself to jealousy.  There is everything in love—­friendship, pleasant intercourse, sensuality, and even passion.  Everything must be in it, and one thing must strengthen, mitigate, enliven and elevate the other.”

“Let me embrace you, darling.”

“But only on one condition can I allow you to be jealous.  I have often felt that a little bit of cultured and refined anger does not ill-become a man.  Perhaps it is the same way with you in regard to jealousy.”

“Agreed!  Then I do not have to abjure it altogether.”

“If only you always manifest it as prettily and as wittily as you did today.”

“Did I?  Well, if next time you get into so pretty and witty a passion about it, I shall say so and praise you for it.”

“Are we not worthy now to conciliate the offended gods?”

“Yes, if your discourse is entirely finished; otherwise give me the rest.” [32]

METAMORPHOSES

The childlike spirit slumbers in sweet repose, and the kiss of the loving goddess arouses in him only light dreams.  The rose of shame tinges his cheek; he smiles and seems to open his lips, but he does not awaken and he knows not what is going on within him.  Not until after the charm of the external world, multiplied and reinforced by an inner echo, has completely permeated his entire being, does he open his eyes, reveling in the sun, and recall to mind the magic world which he saw in the gleam of the pale moonlight.  The wondrous voice that awakened him is still audible, but instead of answering him it echoes back from external objects.  And if in childish timidity he tries to escape from the mystery of his existence, seeking the unknown with beautiful curiosity, he hears everywhere only the echo of his own longing.

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 04 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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