The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 361 pages of information about The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories.

The interest of this story is unquenchable; it is of the sort that time cannot decay.  I have not looked at the diaries for thirty-two years, but I find that they have lost nothing in that time.  Lost?  They have gained; for by some subtle law all tragic human experiences gain in pathos by the perspective of time.  We realize this when in Naples we stand musing over the poor Pompeian mother, lost in the historic storm of volcanic ashes eighteen centuries ago, who lies with her child gripped close to her breast, trying to save it, and whose despair and grief have been preserved for us by the fiery envelope which took her life but eternalized her form and features.  She moves us, she haunts us, she stays in our thoughts for many days, we do not know why, for she is nothing to us, she has been nothing to anyone for eighteen centuries; whereas of the like case to-day we should say, ’Poor thing! it is pitiful,’ and forget it in an hour.

[1] There are nineteen days of voyaging ahead yet.—­M.T.

[2] Six days to sail yet, nevertheless.—­M.T.

[3] It was at this time discovered that the crazed sailors had gotten the delusion that the captain had a million dollars in gold concealed aft, and they were conspiring to kill him and the two passengers and seize it.  —­M.T.

AT THE APPETITE-CURE

This establishment’s name is Hochberghaus.  It is in Bohemia, a short day’s journey from Vienna, and being in the Austrian Empire is of course a health resort.  The empire is made up of health resorts; it distributes health to the whole world.  Its waters are all medicinal.  They are bottled and sent throughout the earth; the natives themselves drink beer.  This is self-sacrifice apparently—­but outlanders who have drunk Vienna beer have another idea about it.  Particularly the Pilsner which one gets in a small cellar up an obscure back lane in the First Bezirk—­the name has escaped me, but the place is easily found:  You inquire for the Greek church; and when you get to it, go right along by—­the next house is that little beer-mill.  It is remote from all traffic and all noise; it is always Sunday there.  There are two small rooms, with low ceilings supported by massive arches; the arches and ceilings are whitewashed, otherwise the rooms would pass for cells in the dungeons of a bastile.  The furniture is plain and cheap, there is no ornamentation anywhere; yet it is a heaven for the self-sacrificers, for the beer there is incomparable; there is nothing like it elsewhere in the world.  In the first room you will find twelve or fifteen ladies and gentlemen of civilian quality; in the other one a dozen generals and ambassadors.  One may live in Vienna many months and not hear of this place; but having once heard of it and sampled it, the sampler will afterward infest it.

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The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.