The Malady of the Century eBook

Max Nordau
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about The Malady of the Century.

A doctor was soon on the spot, the curious were turned out of the house, and they began the work of resuscitation.  They had labored uninterruptedly for nearly an hour when Paul burst in, crying in a choking voice:  “Doctor—­doctor, is he alive?” The servants had told him all in flying haste outside.

The doctor shook his head.  “There is nothing more to be done.”

But Paul would not believe it.  He would not suffer them to cease their efforts.  The rubbing, the movements, the artificial respiration had to be kept up for another full hour.  But death held his prey fast, and would not let them force it out of his clutches.

Two days later, on a gray rainy day, they buried him.  Schrotter came over from Berlin for the funeral.  He looked quite broken down, and grief had aged his leonine features to an appalling extent.  Malvine and Willy were lying ill in bed, so that Paul and Schrotter followed their friend alone to his last resting-place.  When the coffin was carried out and lifted into the hearse, and Paul came out of his house, he saw through the veil of tears that obscured his vision that several hundred men were standing in orderly array on the opposite side of the Carlstrasse.  They were young for the most part, but there was a sprinkling of older men among them; all were poorly, but cleanly and decently dressed, and every man had a red everlasting in his buttonhole.  They stood as motionless as a troop under arms, and apparently followed the orders of a gray-bearded man who paced authoritatively up and down the silent line.

Paul was surprised, and asked the undertaker, who was waiting for him beside the hearse, who these people were.  He had not invited anybody, and did not expect there would be a crowd of any kind, although the Hamburg papers had devoted whole columns to the accident.

The undertaker went over and addressed himself to the man who was evidently the leader of the party.  He informed Paul on his return:  “They are workingmen’s societies from Hamburg and Altona.  Their leader says the deceased was not one of them, but they wanted to show him this last mark of respect because he had been kind to them during his lifetime.”

CHAPTER XVI.

UDEN HORIZO.

On the first of May of the following year, which happened to fall on a Sunday, a long procession of carriages drove along the road from Harburg to Friesenmoor.  They stopped at the entrance to the estate.  Before them rose a triumphal arch composed of branches of fir garlanded with flowers, and adorned with flags and ribbons, and a gold inscription on a blue ground, which ran as follows: 

    “A gracious Sovereign’s due Reward
     To fruitful Labour, honest Work.”

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The Malady of the Century from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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