He broke the sweat from all pores



George, desperately gripped by himself, burdened with curses, disfigured with rage and desolation, squatted on a bench in the park on Sunday afternoon. Strangely blackish was the, like late evening deep darkness in the air; deep black, separated only by the footpath and narrow stripe of the shore from George’s feet, the pond in which large pieces of cold gray silver glowed. The last, more severe than sharp breath of dead winter seemed to stand in the damp airs.

For the hundredth time, Georg said, I acted like a canaille to myself. I am a bungler of my life. Oh my God, he pleaded miserably, should it be true that since then he groped for an idea and found again, strange hanging in the air like a piece of cold moon, this – mask -, since the mask so things start to turn me to mischief? Yes, why did I go to the Baltic? To try the mask. Then everything was natural and surprisingly friendly and now – – I do not know: is Schley really on the way to Japan? And am I just imagining that he has dropped his assessor? – Well, it will be so, that he disappears. I’ll hardly be able to have Schwalbe, at most for myself alone, not in the evenings, the – o these evenings, now they’ll come back, Here they come! I am cursed! He bent, his forehead between his fists.

Even if, as Ellerau said, there should only be three a week, and I can handle the others, eat for myself alone … then there is the farmhouse floor, and the whole fencing day on Saturday, there are a thousand incidents, who cut me pieces from my life – oh, it’s not imaginable! – He broke the sweat from all pores; it was as if he was sweating grease from his hands and face, his brain was roaring and boiling, his eyes were burning, his palate was aching, and in his stomach were disgusting, boggy masses. In the years to come, if I thought of myself as my last deliverance, I would hold my life in my hands and see what this and that weight and face meant the forehead between the fists. Even if, as Ellerau said, there should only be three a week, and I can handle the others, eat for myself alone … then there is the farmhouse floor, and the whole fencing day on Saturday, there are a thousand incidents, who cut me pieces from my life – oh, it’s not imaginable! – He broke the sweat from all pores; it was as if he was sweating grease from his hands and face, his brain was roaring and boiling, his eyes were burning, his palate was aching, and in his stomach were disgusting, boggy masses. In the years to come, if I thought of myself as my last deliverance, I would hold my life in my hands and see what this and that weight and face meant the forehead between the fists. Even if, as Ellerau said, there should only be three a week, and I can handle the others, eat for myself alone … then there is the farmhouse floor, and the whole fencing day on Saturday, there are a thousand incidents, who cut me pieces from my life – oh, it’s not imaginable! – He broke the sweat from all pores; it was as if he was sweating grease from his hands and face, his brain was roaring and boiling, his eyes were burning, his palate was aching, and in his stomach were disgusting, boggy masses. In the years to come, if I thought of myself as my last deliverance, I would hold my life in my hands and see what this and that weight and face meant only three a week should I be able to squeeze around the others, eating for myself … then there is the Paukboden, and the whole fencing day on Saturday, there are a thousand incidents that cut me pieces from my life – alas It is not imaginable! – He broke the sweat from all pores; it was as if he was sweating grease from his hands and face, his brain was roaring and boiling, his eyes were burning, his palate was aching, and in his stomach were disgusting, boggy masses. In the years to come, if I thought of myself as my last deliverance, I would hold my life in my hands and see what this and that weight and face meant only three a week should I be able to squeeze around the others, eating for myself … then there is the Paukboden, and the whole fencing day on Saturday, there are a thousand incidents that cut me pieces from my life – alas It is not imaginable! – He broke the sweat from all pores; it was as if he was sweating grease from his hands and face, his brain was roaring and boiling, his eyes were burning, his palate was aching, and in his stomach were disgusting, boggy masses. In the years to come, if I thought of myself as my last deliverance, I would hold my life in my hands and see what this and that weight and face meant who cut me pieces from my life – oh, it’s not imaginable! – He broke the sweat from all pores; it was as if he was sweating grease from his hands and face, his brain was roaring and boiling, his eyes were burning, his palate was aching, and in his stomach were disgusting, boggy masses. In the years to come, if I thought of myself as my last deliverance, I would hold my life in my hands and see what this and that weight and face meant who cut me pieces from my life – oh, it’s not imaginable! – He broke the sweat from all pores; it was as if he was sweating grease from his hands and face, his brain was roaring and boiling, his eyes were burning, his palate was aching, and in his stomach were disgusting, boggy masses. In the years to come, if I thought of myself as my last deliverance, I would hold my life in my hands and see what this and that weight and face meant had – what looks like then have this experience?

There was rustling in the grotto of bushes behind him, a bird or a rat, otherwise there was no sound in the fearful evening silence. The pieces pale bleached heavenly passionately and twitched in the gloomy pond; Clouds rolled over, gray and black. On the banks the barely leafy trees stood dark and motionless; Heavily hanging, pale, the weeping willows over at the little bridge, which seemed to lead to the desolate. Above, the silent, darkened cloud movement flitted. The air was not cold, not warm, unfriendly.

Will not it finally rain soon? Georg thought bitterly. – It was not raining, but it was getting weirder, as if something was imminent. Trees began to look like ghosts, as if they had lost their soul, how horrified. But all this is in me, Georg thought; good nature, she knows nothing, she takes the form of this or that hour when we have the heart to see it. We then say: cheerful, or: cloudy, because something must always torment or cheer us. You, nature, simple, right, are without either-or, but you indulge, if we cling to you, we always laden; you only have to endure yourself, you never dodge yourself, you are always easy and heavy enough, while we fall or rise, hang or fly – I believe all the misery comes from our own feet. If we were stuck, endeavored. But this hour is truly awful. Perhaps it was she alone who wanted to unfold, wrestle, and fail for the afternoon. I stood by the window for hours and saw how it changed. Now it is as if dead were buried everywhere; There, on the right side of the lawn, looking over with dark eyes, through the darkness that lifts and moves; in the pond, under all the trees – perhaps some lie everywhere, still, with folded hands, without movement, but they have understood that they are dead and do not know what will happen now.

Oh, they stood uponce! all, in any form! walked around, brushing me that only something would happen once, that horrified, that made you rigid, that you did not have to invent on your own, like every amazement, every horror, every feeling that felt a thousand years old, a thousand times. That something might break in on you, from outside, from far out, an immeasurable, for which you would not have everything ready at the moment to ascertain it, to recognize it! I understand Raskolnikoff, I understand that he had to do something that he did not know beforehand what it would be; that had previously been calculated to the hair, and that would be a completely different if it had happened. I understand how he hung with all his hair, with ten thousand painful knots on his surroundings, of stones and people, of houses and shops,

Stupidity freezes on me. But I write to them, they would like to apologize, I would have been drunk yesterday, and they would like me … Today I write, because if I do not do today, I remember tomorrow to turn to her noble impulses and the Convent to give a friendly speech, and then I’m already their peers, and they’ll get me around. Or in the end, it’s just alcohol in the body today, and when the sun shines tomorrow morning, I think it’ll be all right, or that I can travel again for eight days, and that they hang me out for four weeks, or that I just try to do what suits me, go to them whenever I please, and wait for themdo. Why should I act too? If it were a vulgarity, a crime that you could regret, God, you would have done something ! Now it’s just stupidity, and – is that a human, the shadow there? I have become very scared! –

Behind the bare ash, which stretched its huge branch bald and silent over the pale surface from the right bank, the shadow came out, stepped close to the water and stood there, strangely, as if it were dark against the indistinctness of the park and the bleaching sparkles in the water. After a while, he slipped away and disappeared to the right behind bushes. Georg took his stick from the bench, turned sideways, put his left leg over his right, his right elbow on the bench and his head on his forearm.

It’s not that, the wheel in him went on, not this joke, to be back in the corps, and not the Alcohol. It’s just the fear because you do not know what’s going to happen. This is the third attempt. First, nature should provide clarity; of course, did not think so. Besides, Benno, well, that was only half a quarter of a try. Well, the people, who are the ones that ultimately matter, and there I notice the damned enchantment of relativity. Renate, nice light! he thought with a sigh, but his lighter had probably gotten wet, the light did not glow, it just grew darker. What should I measure myself when everything is relative and I can not get out of me! Am I a liar? I’m telling people something I’m not. Is it a pity? Am I not ready for the best? Do not I pay with torment? Someone tells me I’m not the son of my father, and there should I get along with other feelings? How can I extinguish twenty years like a tallow candle? But it all depends on the inside, and everything else – – I do not know, is there someone sitting next to me or not?

He turned his head slowly and carefully. Yes, there was a man beside him, his head in his hands; seemed to see across the water. That was yes … Georg turned, leaned forward, saw the profile of the Dasitzenden and said with relief: “Good evening, Mr. Birnbaum!”

The person addressed turned and got up quickly.

“Excuse me, prince,” he said with several bows, “I did not recognize you. And this bank, “he added,” is in a sense my property, mine and my sister, we often sit on it. ”

“But sit down, old friend, and tell! Two years ago, you did exams, or just one? Did not I see you in the syndicate? ”

Birnbaum said yes, but said he was a medical doctor.

“That you’ll hear soon, Georg: my mother died last night,” he said shortly. “No, do not say anything, there is nothing to say,” he went on vehemently, “she was no real human being for years, we had weaned ourselves from her, if I may say so.”

Georg thought of Benno’s mother, asked if she had been ill, and got the answer:

“Yes, insane, six, seven years.”

They sat quietly together. George searched the confused black sky – was not there a star there? – Night stood around the pond; nothing stirred in it.

“Did you just stand there by the water?” Asked George. “See, there is someone there again! Do you see the shadow? ”

The other man looked down and said, “I almost believe that’s my sister.” He shook his head. “That’s how it is now; goes at random into the night and is convinced that she finds me. That’s why she’s my creature. ”

The figure slowly made his way up the bank, hesitated, came closer, finally stood before them, narrow and dark, with a scarf round his head.

“Is that you, Sigurd?” She asked. He got up, walked over and put an arm around her shoulder. “Are you mad that I ran away from the middle of the Kaddish?”

Georg Schiens, as if she moved her head back and forth quietly, then he heard her ask – a shuffling, subdued voice -: “Who are you sitting here with, Sigurd?”

Sigurd said, “It’s Prince George, Esther, you know he was a class below me.”

Georg, who had meanwhile got up, shook her hand; hers, in a threading glove, felt wooden. Her face in the dark was just a white spot with two black ones in it, eyes that seemed oddly slit. She sat down at the other end of the bench, her brother between the two. After a while George heard him whisper, then she, he closed his ears, understood nothing, but the whisper continued … Now he closed his eyes, heard the strange sound of his lips in pauses, thought of the dead woman and came to Heine’s verse: ‘No Mass will be sung, no Kaddosch will be said …’ Kaddish had said Pearwood, but that was probably the same thing. ‘Dark dog in the dark tomb …’ did not that appear in the same poem? No, that was

Not meant to be his.

From the mouth of the poor, old

Esther Wolf …

No Mass will sing, no Kaddosch … It did not let him go again. See, but now there were stars! Dear God, how that made it easier! There they stood, small, weak, bluish, there one, up there, almost above him. – No Kaddosch will say …

“Excuse me, Birnbaum, what is Kaddish? They just said it. And I remembered a verse from Heine, because – ”

“Kaddosch,” said Birnbaum, “it is the same thing. Kaddish is the praying of the dead; the relatives do it, or – like us, we do not have any in town – friends and hired women. I left. I could not bear to hear the lamentation where a man finally has his soul again, because at least others must believe that. Come, Esther, do you see the stars? Shall we mother say our Kaddish? “She did not answer. A few minutes later, George heard him speak, no longer in his dismissive, quickly finished manner, but strangely tender and gentle. –

“Mother,” he said, “were you still human? – Can you tell us now what you were? There you were, you were so small and still pretty, you always sat with us and had no eyes for us when we went down. But when we sat and read silently, how often did we notice that your eyes were upon us, like children’s eyes, intimidated, like a punished thing, which should not be like the others …

“And you had to do strange things like that! When you were alone, it moved in you, and you always had to follow, and when one of us came in, you were not there anymore. Then you crouched down between the sofa and the bookcase, with your hands in your lap, or you kneeled under the tablecloth, as if you were playing hide and seek, or you had to go to the bedroom, see the bed, and half undress and lie down. And never could you be in bed at night, when Esther awoke and looked up: then you had to stand with cold feet by the closet, or in the window curtain, but you were always willing, little figure, and did what you asked, you lay down again and covered yourself. Sometimes, of course, you were forbidden to eat with us, and then you had to go secretly into the pantry and find what Esther had put down for you … ”

“And how was it when you died?” He started softly again. “Suddenly you did not find the corridor door locked and scurry out. And when your son came up the stairs with the match in the dark, you sat on the steps, small and white in your night jacket, your forehead leaning against the railing, and there you were dead …

“Yes, Esther, he had gone out again, the foolish spirit who advised her of all the strange things that made her shake so much. And all because one day a dear man lay on the ground and did not want to answer to her screaming and shaking and beating, and all this so that she now has his face again – a little melancholy at the corner of her mouth, a little peace over her temples and eyes, and the incomprehensible … ”

Sigurd was silent. Georg not without reluctance saw many stars in the night; they had also become visible in the blackness of the pond.

“And we,” said Sigurd softly, but more vehemently, “we move, we attack this and that and reason. Once we realize that we have always done the wrong thing. But there was someone in us who wanted it that way. It was so strange, Esther, like Mother was lying under the hanging lamp, and you stood beside her head, in your black hair, with flowing eyes, in a long, white shirt and killed by sleep. It was so strange! Now you will soon want to marry and go over the big water. Yes, my teaching is over now. Look, “he did not turn to Georg without a little bombast,” it’s nothing without a good side. Esther had to stay away from school for the past four years; She saved a lot of useless stuff and learned a lot of good from me. Accounting and philosophy, social sciences, and a tremendous amount of good books. She could also get engaged, and then I can go back from the little to the big mother, Mother Russia, and see if I can be used there. ”

“You are Balte, are you?” Georg asked, to say something. Sigurd nodded.

“Come, Esther, let’s go,” he said, and she stood up. – George went with his will.

They did not speak until they reached the small palace. When George wanted to say good-bye here, he heard Esther say something for the first time after the few words at the beginning, wondering in amazement whether he lived there? – Unfortunately, Georg replied, the facility was not ready yet, otherwise he would ask them to come in.

“Do you see, Sigurd,” she said quite cheerfully, “now I’m coming in!”

“She wanted it as a small child already,” said her brother, “once to come into the locked garden, as she is now pleased, of course.”

Georg thought the piece behind the castle was only small, but it would be very happy for him, which was not sincere, because he had no impression of her, and on top of that, she was engaged. He hated engagements. – So the siblings left him.

In the hall Georg hesitated, whether he should go to the unfinished rooms or to the splendid rooms that had been prepared for the meantime. But after a glimpse of the bare, dark-blackened room full of boxes of books, carpets and furniture in slatted cages, and another through the garden door into the open, whether there was light from Benno’s windows-but everything was dark there-he wandered limply incapable in the dark room to and fro, now close to crying with pain in the thought of Benno, who of course was with Renate. Renate, who shut him up forever! Because there was Magda in the house, and this – no, he did not manage to pray before her eyes to Renate.

He stood still again, staring out of the window at the lawn, where the night rose like a black torch from the oak group. ‘No Kaddosch will be said …’ This Sigurd was certainly an unusual person, in school much was said about him, his knowledge, his reading and – above all, his willingness to help. Well, he will not be able to pull me out of my swamp. So what’s left for me?

Live on it, be merry, run through the nights again, drink, spit, hoot, hear fate. Alas, if only the student exuberance is not so today infinitely unfavorable! If it were still joy, exuberance, overabundance of life, true exuberance full of spirit and wit. Exuberance? Yes, reason is left out and stupidity comes in, they stupefy themselves instead of liberating themselves, they destroy themselves in an intoxicated state, they are so unfeeling, that’s it, they burn with nothing and for nothing, they burn only with alcohol , of spirit, thin, feeble little flames, – o Renate, Renate!

Georg had to sit down with lethargy, but had internally gained some stance.

So what do I have to do? he wondered as clearly as he could. Write off or do not write off? He was overcome by the fact that he had to shoulder this burden because of the mask, which was being tried in constant contact with its own kind. Dear – he thought – a particularly hard piece of way now – and then freedom in one way or another, as the long uncertainty, perplexity, and so – procrastination.

If I’m, he thought, Duke, I’ll do it all away. And so that I can do that, he continued blushing inwardly, I must now bleed for it …

His eyes fell to him; he opened it heavily, saw the two gray rectangles of the windows pale and desolate in the darkness, and groped for his heart. The fear rose like a flood; he breathed several times as deep as he could. Decide, Georg, he commanded, write, write soon! – and already, standing up from the deep armchair, bending over, his hands on his knees, he did not get further out of this posture.

If I do not, he wondered unconsciously, then I do it out of bravery or not out of cowardice?

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