Royal Highness | Thomas Mann | Literary Fiction, Published 1900 onward | English | 8/8

Royal Highness | Thomas Mann | Literary Fiction, Published 1900 onward | Audiobook Full | 6/8



Chapter seven part five of royal highness by Thomas Mann translated by a Cecil Curtis this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by Margaret s Pyatt Klaus Heinrich felt happy and cheered whether as the result of the canter for which he had had to brace himself up for though a decent figure on a horse his left hand prevented him from being a strong rider or from some other reason after leaving the Pinewood they rode along the quiet high road between meadows and furrowed fields with the peasants Hut or a country in here and there as they drew near the next wood he asked in low voice won't you fulfill your promise and tell me about the countess what is your companions history she is my friend she answered and in a sense my governess too although she did not come to us till I was grown up that was three years ago in New York and the countess was then in a terrible state she was on the brink of starvation said mr. Bowman and as she said it she fastened her big black eyes with a searching startled look on klaus heinrich really starvation he asked and returned her look do please go on yes I said that too when she came to us and although I of course saw quite well that her mind was slightly affected she made such an impression upon me that I persuaded my father to let her be my companion what took her to America is she a countess by birth asked close heinrich not a countess but of noble birth brought up and refined and luxurious surroundings sheltered and protected as she expressed it to me from every wind because from childhood she had been impressionable and sensitive but then she married a count nerve annual a cavalry captain a strange specimen of the aristocracy according to her account not quite up to the mark to put it mildly what was wrong with him asked class Heinrich I can't exactly tell you prince he must take into consideration the rather obscure way in which the countess puts what she has to say but to judge from what she has told me he must have been just about as Aaron task Ambus one could well imagine a regular blaggard I see said Klaus ein Reich what's called a hard case or a tough proposition exactly we'll say a man of the world but in the most comprehensive and unlimited sense for to judge by the countess's remarks there were no limits in his case no that's what I too gathered said Klaus Heinrich I've met several people of that sort regular Devils so to speak I heard of one such who used to make love in his motorcar even when it was going at full speed did your friend uber buy and tell you of him no somebody else your Burbine would not think it proper to mention anything of that sort to me then he must be a useless sort of friend Prince you'll think better of him when I tell you more about a mich Bowman but please go on well I don't know whether Leuven you'll behave like your Roy anyhow he behaved disgracefully I expect he gambled and drank I guess so and besides that of course he made love neglected the countess and carried on with the loose women that are always to be found everywhere at first behind her back and later no longer behind her back but impudently and openly without any regard for her feelings but tell me why did she ever marry him she married him against her parents will because as she has told me she was in love with him for in the first place he was a handsome man when she first met him he fell off in his looks later in the second place his reputation as a man of the world had gone before him and that according to her constituted a sort of IRA's stable attraction for her for though she had been so well sheltered and protected nothing would shake her in her resolve to share her life with him if one thinks it over one can quite understand it yes he said I can quite understand it she wanted to have her fling as it were to get her eyes opened and she saw the world with a vengeance you may put it like that if you like though the expression seems to me rather too flippant to describe her experiences her husband ill treated her do you mean that he beat her yes he'll treated her physically but now comes something Prince which you too will not have heard about before she gave me to understand that he ill treated her not only in a temper not only in anger and rage but also without being exasperated simply for his own satisfaction I mean that his caresses were so revolting as to amount to ill treatment Klaus Heinrich was silent both looked very grave at last he asked did the countess have any children yes – they died quite young boss only a few weeks old and that's the greatest sorrow the countess has had to bear it would seem from her hints that it was the fault of the loose women for whom her husband betrayed her that the children died directly after birth both remained silent and their eyes clouded over add to that continued image Broman that he dissipated his wife's dowry at cards and with women a respectable dowry it was – and after her parents death her whole fortune also relations of hers – helped him once when he was near having to leave the service on account of his debts but then came a scandal and altogether revolting one in which he was involved and which did for him once and for all what was it asked Claus Heinrich I can't exactly tell you Prince but according to what the countess has let slip about it there was a scandal of the very grossest description we agreed just now that there are generally no limits in that direction and then he went to America you're right there Prince I can't help admiring your acuteness please go on mr. Perlman I've never heard anything like the countess's story no more had I so you can imagine what an impression it made on me when she came to us well then count Levin you'll bolted to America with the police at his heels leaving pretty considerable debts behind of course and the countess went with him she went with him why because she still loved him in spite of everything she loves him still and because she was determined to share his life whatever happened he took her with him though because he had a better chance of getting help from her relations as long as she was with him the relations sent him one further installment of money from home and then stopped they finally buttoned up their pockets and when Count Louvre annual saw that his wife was no more use to him he just left her left her an absolute destitution and cleared out I knew it said Klaus Heinrich I expected as much just what does happen but in mush Bowman went on so there she was destitute and helpless and since she had never learned to earn her own living she was left alone to face want and hunger and you must remember that life in the States is much harder and meaner than here in your country also that the countess has always been a gentle sensitive creature and has been cruelly treated for years in a word she was no fit subject for the impressions of life to which she was unceasingly exposed and then the blessing fell to her what blessing she told me about that too what was the blessing miss Roman the blessing consisted in a mental disturbance at the cry of her troubles something in her cracked that's the expression she used to me so that she no longer needed to face life and to bring a clear sober mind to bear upon it but was permitted so to speak to let herself go to relax the tension of her nerves and to drivel when she liked in a word the blessing was that she went wrong in her head certainly I was under the impression said class Heimlich that the countess was letting herself go when she dribbled that's how it is Prince she is quite conscious of driveling and often laughs as she does so or lets her hearers understand that she doesn't mean any harm by it her strangeness is a beneficent disorder which she can control to a certain extent in which she allows herself to indulge in it is if you prefer it a want of of self-restraint said class Heimlich and looked down at his reins right of self-restraint she repeated and looked at him you don't seem to approve of that want Prince I consider as a general rule he answered quietly that it is not right to let oneself go and to make oneself at home but that self-restraint should always be exercised whatever the circumstances your Highnesses doctrine she answered is a praiseworthy austerity then she pouted and wagging her dark head in its three-cornered hat she added in her broken voice I'll tell you something Highness and please note it well if your eminence is not inclined to show a little sympathy and indulgence and mildness I shall have to decline the pleasure of your distinguished company once and for all he dropped his head and they wrote a while in silence won't you go on and tell me how the countess came to you he asked at last no I won't she said and looked straight in front of her but he pressed her so pleadingly that she finished her story and said and although fifty other companions applied my choice for choice rested with me fell at once on her I was so much taken with her at my first interview she was odd I could see that but she was odd only from too rich an experience of misery and wickedness that was clear in every word she said and as for me I had always been a little lonely and cut off and absolutely without experience except what I got at my university lectures of course you had always been a little lonely and cutoff repeated Passyunk with a ring of joy in his voice that's what I said it was a dull simple life in some ways that I led and still lead because it has not altered much and is all much the same there were parties with lions and balls and often a – in a closed motor to the Opera House where I sat in one of the little boxes above the stalls so as to be well observed by everybody for show as we say that was a necessary part of my position for show yes for show I mean the duty of showing oneself off of not raising walls against the public but letting them come into the garden and walk on the lawn and gaze at the terrace watching us at tea my father mr. Stroehmann disliked it intensely but it was a necessary consequence of our position what did you usually do besides miss Bowman in the spring we went to our house in the Adirondacks and in the summer to our house at Newport on the sea there were garden parties of course and battles of flowers and lawn tennis tournaments and we went for rides and drove foreign hand or motored and the people stood and gaped because I was Samuel sh-boom ons daughter and many shouted rude remarks after me rude remarks yes and they probably had reason to at any rate it was something of a life in the limelight that we led and one that invited discussion and between whiles he said you played the breezes didn't you or rather in a vacuum where no dust came that's right your highness is pleased to mock my excess of candor but in view of all this you can guess how extraordinarily welcome the countess was to me when she came to see me in Fifth Avenue she does not express herself very clearly but rather in a mysterious sort of way and the boundary line at which she begins to drivel is not always quite clearly apparent but that only strikes me as right and instructive as it gives a good idea of the boundlessness of misery and wickedness in the world you envy me the countess don't you envy hmm you seem to assume mr. Behrman that I have never had my eyes opened have you once or twice maybe for instance things have come to my ears about our lackeys which you would scarcely dream of are your lackeys so bad bad good for nothing that's what they are for one thing they play into each other's hands and scheme and take bribes from the tradesmen but Prince that's comparatively harmless yes it's true it's nothing to compare with the way the countess has had her eyes opened they broke into a trot and leaving at the signpost the gently rising and falling high road which they had followed through the pine woods turned into the sandy shortcut between high blackberry covered banks which led into the tufted meadow land around the Pheasantry Klaus Heinrich was at home in these parts he stretched out his arm the right one to point out everything to his companions though there was not much worth seeing yonder lay the schloss closed and silent with its shingle roof and it's lightning conductors on the edge of the wood on one side was the pheasants enclosure which gave the place its name and on the other stove a new toasty garden where he had sometimes sat with Raul Lugo bine the spring Sun shone mildly over the damp meadowland and shed and shed a soft haze over the distant woods they rained in their horses in front of the tea garden and amesh bowmen took stock of the prosaic country house which rejoiced in the name of Pheasantry your childhood she said with a pout does not seem to have been surrounded by much giddy splendour no he laughed there's nothing to see in the schloss it's the same insight as out no comparison with Delfina not even before he restored it let's put our horses up she said one must put one's horses up on an expedition mustn't one countess dismount Prince I'm thirsty and want to see what your friend stabbed Anita has got to drink there stood heshto Vanita in green apron and stockings bowing and pressing his knitted cap to his chest with both hands while he laughed till his gums showed royal highness he said with joy in his voice does your Royal Highness mean to honor me once again and the young lady he added with a tinge of deference in his voice for he knew Samuel Spellman's daughter quite well and there had been in the whole Grand Duchy no more eager reader of the newspaper articles which coupled Prince Klaus Heinrichs and Emma's names together he helped the countess to dismount while Klaus Heinrich who was the first to the ground devoted himself to miss Bowman and he called to a lad who with the sh-boom ons groom took charge of the horses then followed the reception and welcomed to which Klaus Heinrich was accustomed he addressed a few formal questions in a reserved tone of voice to Hirsch de Vanita graciously asked how he was and how his business prospered and received the answers with nods and a show of real interest in mush bellman watched his artificial cold demeanor with serious searching eyes while she swung her riding whip backwards and forwards may I be so bold as to remind you that I am thirsty she said at last sharply and decisively whereupon they walked into the garden and discussed whether they need go into the coffee-room class Heinrich urged that it was still so damp under the trees but Emma insisted on sitting outside and herself chose one of the long narrow tables with benches on each side which hashed a vendetta hastened to cover with a white cloth lemonade he said that's the best for a thirst and it sounds stuff no trash royal highness and you ladies but natural juice sweetened there's no better followed the driving in of the glass balls in the necks of the bottles and while his distinguished guests tasted the drink hash table Anita Donald a little longer at the table meaning to serve them up a little gossip he had long been a widower and his three children who in days gone by had sung here under the trees the song about common humanity the wild blowing their noses with their fingers had now left him the son was a soldier in the Capitol one of the daughters had married a neighboring farmer the other with the soul for higher things had gone into service in the capital so hash-table anita was in solitary control in this remote spot in the threefold capacity of farmer of the Schloss lands caretaker of the schloss and head keeper of the pheasant tree and was well content with his lot soon if weather permitted the season for bicyclists and walkers would come round when the garden was filled on Sundays then business hummed would not his Highness and the ladies like to take a peep at the Pheasantry yes they would later so hash-table anita withdrew for the present after placing a saucer of milk for Percival by the table the collie had been in some muddy water on the way and looked horrible his legs were thin with wet and the white parts of his ragged coat covered with dirt his gaping mouth was black to the throat from nuzzling for field mice and his dark red tongue hung dripping out of his mouth he quickly lapped up his milk and then lay with panting sides by his mistress's feet flat on his side his head thrown back in an attitude of repose class Heinrich declared it to be inexcusable for Emma to expose herself after her ride to the invidious springtime air without any rap take my cloak he said I really do not want it I'm quite warm and my coat is patted on the chest she would not hear of it but he went on asking her so insistently that she consented and let him lay his gray military coat with a majors shoulder straps around her shoulders then resting her dark head in its three-cornered hat in the hollow of her hand she watched him as with arm outstretched towards the Schloss he described to her the life he had once led there there where the tall window opened on to the ground had been the mess room then the schoolroom and up above class Heinrichs room with the plaster torso on the stove he told her to about professor Kirchen and his tactful way of instructing his pupils about captain amongst widow and the aristocratic pheasants who called everything hogwash and especially about Raoul uber bine his friend of whom image boom on more than once asked him to tell her some more he told her about the doctor's obscure origin and about the money his parents paid to be quit of him about the child in the marsh or bog and the medal for saving life about you bobbins plucky and ambitious career pursued in circumstances calling for resolution than action which he used to call favorable circumstances and about his friendship with dr. Samet who emma knew he described his by no means attractive appearance and readily owned to the attraction which he had exercised on him from the very beginning he described his behavior towards himself Klaus Heinrich that fatherly and jolly blustering camera which had distinguished him so sharply from everybody else and gave Emma to the best of his ability an insight into his tutors view of life finally he expressed his concern that the doctor seemed not to enjoy any sort of popularity among his fellow citizens I can quite believe that said Emma he was surprised and asked why because I'm convinced she said wagging her head that your eibar bind for all his sparkling conversation is an unhappy sort of creature he may swagger about the place but he lacks reserved Prince and that means he will come to a bad end her words startled Klaus Heinrich and made him thoughtful then turning to the countess who awoke with a smile out of a brown study he said something complimentary about her writing for which she thanked him gracefully he said that anybody could see that she had learnt to ride as a child and she confessed that writing lessons had formed a considerable part of her education she spoke clearly and cheerfully but gradually almost imperceptibly she began to wander into a strange story about a gallant ride which she had made as a lieutenant in the last maneuvers and suddenly started talking about the dreadful wife of a sergeant in the Grenadier who had come into her room the previous night and scratched her breasts all over meanwhile using language which she could not bring herself to repeat klaus heinrich asked quietly whether she had not shut her doors and windows of course but anybody could break the glass she answered hastily and turned pale in one cheek and read in the other class Heinrich nodded acquiescence and dropping his eyes asked her quietly to let him call her Frau Mayer now and then a proposal which she gladly accepted with a confidential smile and a faraway look which had something strangely attractive about it they got up to visit the Pheasantry after Klaus Heinrich had taken back his cloak and as they left the garden imich Bowman said well done Prince you're getting on a commendation which made him blush indeed gave him far more pleasure than the most fulsome newspaper report of the valuable effect of his appearance at a ceremony which councillor Schusterman could ever show him heshto Vanita escorted his guests into the palace aided enclosure in which six or seven families of pheasants led a comfortable petted life they watched the greedy red-eyed and stiff tailed Birds inspected the hatching house and looked on while heshto Venuto fed the pheasants under a big solitary fig tree for their benefit Klaus Heinrich thanked him warmly for all that he had shown them Amash Bowman regarded him the wild with her big searching eyes then they mounted at the gate of the tea garden and rode off home words with Percival barking and Pierre wedding under the horse's noses but their ride home was destined to give Klaus Hynek in the course of his conversation with a mushroom on yet another significant indication of her real nature and character a direct revelation of certain sides of her personality which gave him food for much thought for soon after they had left the bramble hedged byway and joined the high road Klaus Heinrich reverted to a subject which had been just touched on at his first visit to Delfina naught during the conversation at tea and had not ceased to exercise him ever since may I he said ask you one question miss Bowman you need not answer it if you don't want to I'll see about that she answered four weeks ago he began when I first had the pleasure of a talk with your father mr. Sherman I asked him a question which he answered so curtly and abruptly that I could not help feeling that my question had been indiscreet or a false step what was it I asked him whether he had not found it hard to leave America there you are Prince there's another question which is worthy of you a typical Prince question if you had had a little more training in the use of your reasoning powers you would have known without asking that if my father had not been ready and glad to leave America he most assuredly would not have left it very probably you are right forgive me I don't think enough but if my question was nothing worse than a want of thought I shall be quite content can you assure me that that is the case no Prince I'm afraid I cannot she said and looked at him suddenly with her big black eyes then what has want of thought to do with it do please explain I ask you in the name of our friendship are we friends I hoped so he said pleadingly well well patience I didn't know it but I'm quite ready to learn it but to return to my father he really did lose his temper at your question he has a quick temper and has plenty of occasion to practice losing it the fact is that public opinion and sentiment were not overly friendly to us in America there's such a lot of scheming over there I may mention that I am NOT posted in the details but there was a strong political movement towards setting the crowd the common people you know against us the result was legislation and restrictions which made my father's life over there a burden to him you know of course Prince that it was not he who made us what we are but my redoubtable grandfather with his paradise nugget and blockhead farm my father could not help it he was born to his destiny and it was no gratification to him because he is naturally shy and sensitive and would much have preferred to have lived for playing the organ and collecting glass I really believe that the hatred which was the result of the scheming against us so that sometimes the people hurled abuse after me when I motored past them that the hatred quite probably brought on his stone in the kidneys it's more than possible I am cordially attached to your father said Klaus Heinrich with emphasis I should have made that Prince a condition of our becoming friends but there was another point which made things worse and made our position over there still more difficult and that was our origin your origin yes Prince we are no aristocratic pheasants unfortunately we are not descended from Washington or from the Pilgrim Fathers no for your German oh yes but there's something besides that to get over please look at me closely does it strike you that there is anything to be proud of and having blue-black wispy hair like mine that's always falling where it's not wanted goodness knows miss Bowman you've got glorious hair said Klaus Heinrich I know that you are partly of southern extraction for I read somewhere that your grandfather married in Bolivia or there abouts he did but that's where the trouble lies Prince I'm a Quint rune a what a Quint rune that goes without a Ron Dax and the refraction miss Pearlman I don't know what it is I've already told you that I don't know much well it's a fact my grandfather thoughtless as he always was married a woman of Indian blood down South Indian blood yes she was of Indian stock at the third remove a daughter of a white and half Indian and so a terse Arun as it is called she must have been wonderfully beautiful and she was my grandmother the grandchildren of a terse Arun are called Quint rooms that's how things are most interesting but didn't you say that it had affected people's attitude towards you you don't understand Prince I must tell you that Indian blood over there means a heavy blot such a blot that friendships and affections are transformed into hatred and abuse if proof of half-blood descent comes to light of course things are not so serious with us for with quadroons why of course the taint is nothing like so great and a Quint roon is to all intents and purposes untainted but in our case exposed to gossip as we were it was naturally different and several times when the people shouted abuse after us I heard them say that I was a colored girl in short my descent was made an excuse for insults and annoyances and raised a barrier between us and the few who were in the same position of life as ourselves there was always something which we had to hide or to brazen out my grandfather had brazen dit out he was that sort of man and he knew what he was doing besides his blood was pure and it was only his beautiful wife who had the taint but my father was her son and sensitive and quick tempered as he is he has always ever since he was a boy resented being stared at and hated and despised at the same time half a world's wonder and half a monument of iniquity as he used to say he was fed up with America that's the whole history prince said image brahman and now you know why my father lost his temper over your pointed question class Heinrich thanked her for the explanation indeed as he saluted and took leave it was lunchtime of the ladies in front of the Delphine and Hort gate he repeated his thanks for what he'd been told and then rode at a foot space home pondering over the events of the morning he saw a mushroom man sitting in a languid pose in her red gold dress at the table with a look of a spoilt child on her face sitting in comfortable assurance and uttering remarks with the sting in them such as we're good coin in the United States where clearness hardness and already wit were essentials of life and why Klaus Heinrich could understand now and never a day passed that he did not try to realize it better stared at hated and despised at the same time half a world's Wonder and half a monument of iniquity that's what her life had been and that had instilled the poison into her remarks that acidity and mocking directness which looked like a fence but really were defense and which evoked a look of bewilderment on the faces of those who had never had any occasion for the weapons of wit she had demanded of him sympathy and tenderness towards the poor countess when she let herself go but she herself had a claim to sympathy and tenderness for she was lonely and her life like his was a hard one at the same time a memory haunted him a long ago painful memory whose scene was the refreshment-room of the Citizen garden and which ended with a tureen lid little sister he said to himself as he quickly dismissed the scene from his thoughts little sister but most of all his thoughts were busy with planning how soonest to enjoy mr. Berlin's society again he enjoyed it soon and often in all sorts of circumstances February gave place to threatening March fickle April and soft me and all these months Klaus Heinrich visited schloss Delfino naught at least once a week in the morning or in the afternoon and always in the irresponsible mood in which he had presented himself at the spoon Mons that February morning as if led by fate without any action of his own will the proximity of the Schlosser's made the visits easy the short distance through the park from the Armitage to the Delfino dart was easily crossed on horseback or in a dog cart without exciting much attention and when the advancing season brought more people to the neighborhood and made it harder and harder for them to go for rides without attracting public attention the prince had by this time reached a state of mind which can only be described as complete indifference and blind recklessness towards the world the court the capital and the countryside it was not till later that the public interest began to play a really important and encouraging part in his thoughts and actions he had not taken leave of the ladies after the first ride without suggesting another expedition a suggestion to which image Bremen pouting and wagging her head from side to side had failed to bring any serious objection so he came again and they rode to the Royal kennels on the north side of the town gardens on the third occasion they chose a third place to ride too which also they could reach without going near the town then when spring enticed the townspeople into the open air and the tea gardens filled up they preferred and out-of-the-way path which really was no path but a richly wooded Dyke which stretched far away to the north along a swift running stream the quietest way of reaching it was by riding out at the back of the amortised park and past the river meadows on the edge of the northern town garden up to the royal kennels then not crossing the river by the wooden bridge of the weir but keeping close along this side the kennels farm was left behind on the right and the ride went on through the fir plantations on the left lay spreading Meadows white and gaily colored with hemlock and an enemy's Buttercup some bluebells clover daisies and forget-me-nots a village church tower rose in front of them beyond the plow lands and the busy high road lay far away at a safe distance from the riders farther on the meadows with their nut hedges came close up to the plantations on the left shutting out the view and enabling them to ride in complete seclusion generally side-by-side with the countess behind as the path was narrow they talked or rode in silence while Percival jumped over the stream and back again or plunged into it for a bath or hurried drink they came back the same way as they went when however the Quicksilver fell owing to the lowness of the atmospheric pressure when rain followed and class Heimlich nevertheless felt another peep at image Bullman to be a necessity he presented himself in his dog-cart at Delphina norts at tea time and they stayed indoors mr. Szpilman joined them at tea not more than two or three times his malady got worse about this time and on several days he was obliged to stay in bed with hot poultices when he did come he used to say hello young prince with his thin white cuffed hand dip a Rusk in his tea throw in a crossword here and there into the conversation and end by offering his guests his gold cigarette case whereupon he left the garden room with dr. water clues who had sat silent and smiling at the table in fine weather too they sometimes preferred not to go outside the park but to play lawn tennis on the trim lawn below the terrace on one occasion they went for a rapid Drive in mr. Freeman's motor far out beyond the Pheasantry end of section 17 Chapter seven part six of royal highness by Thomas Mann translated by a Cecil Curtis this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by Margaret espy at one day class Heinrich asked is what I have read true mr. LeMond that your father gets such a tremendous lot of letters and appeals every day then she described to him subscription lists which kept pouring into Delphina nart and which were dealt with as thoroughly as was practicable of the piles of begging letters by every post from Europe and America which Messrs floods and slippers ran through and weeded out for submission to mr. Froman sometimes she said she amused herself by glancing through the heaps and reading the addresses for these were often quite fantastic for the needy or speculative senders tried to outdo each other in the deference and civility of their address on the envelopes and every conceivable title and distinction could be found mixed up in the strangest way on the letters but one begging letter writer had quite recently carried off the prize by addressing his envelope to His Royal Highness mr. Samuel sh-boom on but it did not get him any more than the others on other occasions the Prince fell to talking mysteriously about the owl chamber in the old schloss and confided to her that recently noises had again been heard in it pointing to events of moment in his class Heinrichs family then image vermin laughed and pouting and wagging her head from side to side gave him a scientific explanation of the noises just as she had done in connection with the secrets of the barometer nonsense she said it must be that that part of the lumber-room was ellipsoidal and a second ellipsoidal surface with the same curvature and with a sound source at the focus existed somewhere outside the result being that inside the haunted room noises were audible which could not be distinguished in the immediate neighborhood Klaus Heinrich was rather crestfallen over this explanation and loath to give up the common belief in the connection between the lumber-room and the fortunes of his house thus they conversed and the countess too took part now sensible now confused Klaus Heinrich took considerable pains not to rebuff or chill her by his manner and addressed her as Frau Meyer whenever she appeared to think it was necessary for her protection against the plots of the wicked women he recounted to the ladies his unreal life the gala suppers at the students clubs the military banquets and his educational tour he told them about his relations about his once beautiful mother whom he visited now and then in the Sagan house where she kept dismal court and about Albrecht and did Linda Amash Bowman in her turn related some incidents in her luxurious and singular youth and the countess often slipped in a few dark sayings about the horrors and secrets of life to which the others listened with serious and thoughtful faces they took special delight in one kind of game guessing existences making estimates to the best of their knowledge of the people they happen to see in the citizen world a strange and curious study of the passers-by from a distant standpoint from the terrace or from horseback what kind of people might these be what did they do where did they come from they were certainly not apprentices perhaps technical students or budding foresters to judge by certain signs maybe they belong to the Agricultural College at any rate stout fellows enough though rather rough with sound careers before them but that little untidy thing who strolled past looked like a factory hand or dressmakers assistant girls like her always had a young man in their own class who took them out to tea in the parks on Sunday and they exchanged what they knew about people in general discussed them like connoisseurs and felt that this past time brought them closer together than any amount of writing or lawn tennis as for the motor drive Amash women in the course of it explained that she had only invited Klaus Heinrich to it as so to let him see the chauffeur a young American and brown leather who she declared resembled the prince Klaus Heinrich objected with a smile that the back of the driver's neck did not enable him to express an opinion on the matter and asked the countess to say what she thought she after long denying the likeness in polite embarrassment at last on Emma's insistence with a side glance at class Heinrich agreed to it then mr. Behrman said that the graves sober and skilful youth had originally been in her father's personal service driving him daily from Fifth Avenue to Broadway and back mr. Sherman however had insisted on extraordinary speed like that of an express train and the intense strain put on a driver by such speed in the crowded streets of New York had proved at last too much for the youth as a matter of fact no accident had happened the young man had stuck to it and done his deadly duty with amazing care but in the end it had often happened that he had to be lifted down in a faint from his seat at the end of a run a proof of the inordinate strain to which he had been daily subjected to avoid having to dismiss him mr. Szpilman had made him his daughter's special chauffeur and he had continued to act in that capacity in their new abode Emma had noticed the likeness between Klaus Heinrich and him the first time she saw the Prince it was of course a similarity not of features but of expression the countess had agreed with her Klaus Heinrich said that he did not in the least object to the likeness as the heroic young man had all his sympathy then they discussed further the difficult and anxious life of a chauffeur without countess luminol taking any further part in the conversation she did not prattle during this drive though later she made a few sensible and pointed remarks for the rest mr. Sherman's craze for speed seemed to have descended in some measure to his daughter for she never lost an opportunity of repeating the wild gallop she had started on their first ride and as class heinrich stimulated by her jibes urged the amazed and disapproving Florian to the top of his speed so as not to be left behind the gallop always degenerated into a race which Amishman man always started at unexpected in arbitrary moments several of these struggles took place on the lonely River edged causeway and one in particular was long and bitter it happened after a short talk about class Heinrichs popularity which was begun brusque ly and broken off as briskly by image bowmen she asked suddenly is it true what I hear prince that you are so tremendously popular with the people that you have won all their hearts he answered so they say it must be some characteristics not necessarily good ones what's more I'm not sure whether I believe it or even ought to be glad of it I doubt whether it speaks for me my brother the Grand Duke declares in so many words that popularity is hogwash hmm the Grand Duke must be a fine man I've got a great respect for him so we see you in an atmosphere of adulation and everybody loves you go on she cried suddenly and gave Fatma a cut with her whites which the mayor started and the race began it lasted a long time never before had they followed the stream so far the view on the Left had long become shut in lumps of Earth and grass flew from under the horses hoofs the countess had soon dropped behind when at last they reined in their horses Florian was trembling with exhaustion and the riders themselves were pale and panting they rode back in silence class Heinrich received a visit at the Armitage from Raoul uber bine in the afternoon before his birthday this year the doctor came to wish him many happy returns as he expected to be prevented by his work from doing so on the morrow they strolled round the gravel path at the back of the park the tutor in his frock coat and white tie class Heinrich in his summer coat the grass stood ready for cutting under the perpendicular rays of the midday Sun and the limes were in flower in one corner close by the hedge which divided the park from the unlovely suburbs stood a little rustic temple plus Heinrich was telling of his visits to Delphine annoyed as the topic lay nearest his heart he spoke quite clearly about them but did not tell the doctor any actual news for the latter showed that he knew all about them how was that Oh from various sources he bourbon had never started the subject so people in the town concerned themselves about it heaven forbid Klaus Heinrich that anybody should give a thought to it either to the rides or to the teas or to the motor drive you don't suppose that that sort of thing is expected to set tongues wagging but were so careful we tias rich Klaus Heinrich and so is the carefulness all the same his excellency funk no buzzed off keeps himself accurately posted in all your goings-on Knoebels tov Knoebels Dorf class heinrich was silent then asked and what is Baron konoba staffs attitude towards what he learns well the old gentleman hasn't yet had a chance of interfering in the developments but the public opinion the people the people of course hold their breath and you yourself my dear doctor you bourbon I'm waiting for the terrine lid answered the doctor no cried class Heinrich joyfully no there'll be no terrine lid this time dr. Eber pine for I'm happy oh so happy whatever happens can you understand you taught me that happiness was no concern of mine and you pulled me up short when I tried to come by it and write thankful I was to you for doing so for it was horrible and I shall never forget it but this is no case of high jinks at a citizen's dance which leave one humiliated in heavy at heart this is no breaking out and running off the rails and humiliation for can't you see that she of whom we are speaking belongs neither to the citizens dance nor to the aristocratic pheasants nor to anything in the world but to me that she is a princess dr. ravine and as good as me and there can be no question here of a terrine lid you have taught me that it is silly to maintain that we're all only ordinary men and hopeless for me to act as if we were and that the happiness I would gain by doing so is forbidden to me and must bring me to shame in the end but this is not that silly and forbidden happiness it is my first taste of the happiness which is allowed me and which I may hope for dr. bobbin and yield myself to without misgiving whatever comes of it goodbye Prince Klaus Heinrich said dr. Burbine though he did not at once leave him but continued walking at a side with his hands clasped behind him and his red beard sunk on his breast no said Klaus Heinrich no not goodbye doctor you Burbine that's just it I mean to remain your friend you who have had such a hard time and have shown such pride in your duty and destiny and have made me proud too and treating me as a companion I have no intention of resting on my oars now that I have found happiness but will remain true to you and to myself and to my exalted calling it cannot be said doctor European and Latin and shook his ugly head with its protruding pointed ears it can be doctor I'm sure it can they're not incompatible and you you ought not to show yourself so cold and distant at my side when I am so happy and what's more it's the eve of my birthday tell me you've had so many experiences and seen so much of the world in all its aspects have you never had any experiences in this direction you know what I mean have you never had an attack like this of mine mm-hmm said dr. your bovine and pressed his lips together til his red beard rose and the muscles knotted in his cheeks no doubt I may have had one once Sabrosa I thought so tell me about it doctor you were buying you must tell me about it the hour was one of quiet sunshine and the air full of the scent of lines so doctor you bovine related an incident in his career on which he had never touched in previous accounts though it had perhaps a decisive influence on his whole life it had occurred in those days when the doctor was Teacher of the Young idea and at the same time working on his own account when he used to draw in his waist belt and give private lessons to sleek tradesmen's children so as to get money to buy books with with his hands still behind him and his beard sunk on his breast the doctor related the incident in a sharp and incisive tone of voice pressing his lips close together between each sentence at that date fate had forged the closest ties between him and a woman a lovely fair lady who was the wife of an honourable and respected man and the mother of three children he had entered the family as tutor to the children but had subsequently been a constant guest and visitor and with a husband too had reached a footing of mutual confidences the feelings of the young tutor and the fair wife for each other had been long unsuspected and longer still unexpressed in words but they grew stronger in the silence and more overpowering till one evening hour when the husband had stayed late at his office a warm sweet dangerous hour they burst into flames and were near to overwhelm them in that hour they're longing had cried aloud for the happiness the tremendous happiness of their union but said dr. ravine the world could sometimes show a noble action they felt ashamed he said to tread the mean and ridiculous paths of treachery and to clap horns as the phrase goes on the honest husband while to spoil his life by demanding release from him as the rite of passion was equally not to their taste in short for the children's sake and for that of the good honest husband whom they both respected they denied themselves yes that's what happened but of course it needed a good deal of stern resolution Eber bine continued to visit the fair lady's house occasionally he would sup there when he had time play a game of cards with his two friends kiss his hostess's hand and say good night but when he had told the prince this much he concluded in a still shorter and sharper tone than he had begun and the balls of muscle at the corners of his mouth showed more prominently than before for the hour which saw their act of renunciation in that hour you bourbon had said a final farewell to all happiness dalliance with happiness as he had since called it as he failed or refused to win the fair lady he swore to himself that he would honour her and the bonds which bound him to her by achieving something and making himself felt in the field of hard work to this he had dedicated his life to this alone and it had brought him to what he was that was the secret or at least a contribution of the riddle of Eber binds unsocial ability unapproachable 'no sand earnest endeavor class heinrich was quite frightened to see how unusually green his face was when he took his leave with a deep bow saying my greetings to little emma classic next day the prince received the congratulations of the staff at the Schloss and later those of hair from prom bottle and off and fawn schulenburg Cresson in the yellow room in the course of the morning the members of the grand ducal house came to the armitage to pay their respects and at one o'clock class heinrich drove to luncheon with prince and princess to lead horn read meeting with an unusually warm reception from the public on the way the grimm burgers were mustered in full force in the pretty palace in the outbreak Strasser the grand duke too came in a frock coat nodded his small head to each member of the party sucking his lower lip against the upper the while and drank milk and soda during lunch almost immediately after lunch was finished he withdrew Prince Lambert had come without his wife the old obituaries painted hollow-cheeked and slovenly and his voice sounded sepulchral he was to some extent ignored by his relations during luncheon the conversation turned for a while on court matters then on little princess philippines progress and later almost exclusively on Prince Philip's commercial schemes the quiet little man talked about his breweries factories and mills and in particular about his peat cuttings he described various improvements in the machinery quoted figures of capital invested and returns and his cheeks glowed while his wife's relations listened to him with looks of curiosity approval or mockery when coffee had been served in the big flower room the princess holding her gilded cup went up to her brother and said you have quite deserted us lately class Heinrich did Linda's face with the grim bork cheekbones was not so transparent as it had once been it had gained more colour since the birth of her daughter and her head seemed to be less oppressed by the weight of her fair hair I deserted you he said forgive me did Linda perhaps I have but there were so many calls on my time and I knew that there were on yours too for you are no longer confined to flowers true the flowers have had to take a less prominent place they don't get much thought from me now a fairer life and flowering now occupies all my time I believe that's where I've got my red cheeks from like dear Philip from his Pete he ought not to have talked about it the whole of luncheon as he did but it's his hobby and it is because I was so busy and rushed that I was not cross with you for never showing yourself and for going your own way even though that way seemed to me rather a surprising one do you know what it is did Linda yes though unfortunately not from you but yet chin Eason she never has kept me well posted you know she is always a fun Deniz and at first I was horribly shocked I don't deny it but after all they live in Delfina naught he has a private physician and Philip thinks they are in their way of equal birth with ourselves I believe I once spoke disparagingly about them Klaus Heinrich I said something about a Croesus if I remember rightly and made a pun on the word taxpayer but if you consider them worthy of your friendship I've been wrong and of course withdraw my remarks and we'll try to think differently about them in the future I promise you you always loved rummaging she went on after he had laughed and kissed her hand and I had to do it with you and my dress do you remember it the red velvet suffered for it now you have to rummage alone and God grant Klaus Heinrich that it won't bring you any horrible experience I really believed it Linda that every experience is fine whether it be good or bad but my present experience is splendid at half-past five the Prince left the Armitage again in his dog-cart which he drove him self with a groom at his back it was warm and class Heinrich was wearing white trousers with a double-breasted coat bowing he again drove to the town or more precisely to the old schloss he did not enter the optics tour however but drove in through a side door and across two courtyards till he reached that in which the rosebush grew here all was still and stony the stair turrets with their oblique windows forged iron balusters aids and fine carvings towered in the corners the many styled buildings stood there in light and shadow partly gray and weather-worn partly more modern-looking with Gables and box-like projections with open porticos and peeps through broad bow windows into vaulted halls and narrow galleries but in the middle in its unfenced bed stood the rosebush blooming gloriously after a favorable season class Heinrich threw the reins to a servant and went up and looked at the dark red roses they were exceptionally fine full and velvety grandly formed and a real masterwork of nature several were already full blown ecology Kiel please said Klaus Heinrich to a mustachioed doorkeeper who came forward with his hand to his hat Ezekiel the custodian of the rosebush came he was a gray beard of seventy years of age in a gardeners apron with watery eyes and a bent back have you any shares by you Ezekiel said class Heinrich I should like a rose and Ezekiel drew some shears out of the pocket of his apron that one there said Klaus Heinrich that's the finest and the old men cut the thorny branch with trembling hands Isle water at Royal Highness he said and shuffled off to the water tap in a corner of the court when he came back glittering drops were clinging to the petals of the rose as if to the feathers of a waterfowl thanks Ezekiel said class Heinrich and took rose still going strong here he gave the old man a gold piece and climbing into the dog cart drove with the rose on the seat beside him through the courtyards everybody who saw him thought that he was driving back to the armitage from the old schloss where presumably he had an interview with the Grand Duke but he drove through the town gardens to Delfina not the sky had clouded over big drops were already falling on the leaves and thunder rolled in the distance the ladies were at tea when Klaus Heinrich conducted by the corpulent Butler appeared in the gallery and walked down the steps into the Garden Room mr. Sherman as usual recently was not present he was in bed with poultices on Percival who laid curled up like a snail close by Emma's chair beat the carpet with his tail by way of greeting the gilding of the furniture looked dull as the park beyond the glass door lay in a damp mist klaus heinrich exchanged a handshake with the daughter of the house and kissed the countess's hand while he gently raised her from the courtly curtsy she had begun as usual to make you see summer has come he said to image Broman offering her the rose it was the first time he had brought her flowers how courtly of you she said thanks Prince and what a beauty she went on in honest admiration a thing she hardly ever showed and held out her small ringless hands for the glorious flower whose dewy petals curled exquisitely at the edges are there's such fine roses here where did you get it and she bent her dark head eagerly over it her eyes were full of horror when she looked up again it doesn't smell she said and a look of disgust showed round her mouth wait though it's smells of decay she said what's this you have brought me Prince and her big black eyes in her pale face seemed to glow with questioning horror yes he said I'm sorry that's a way I roses have it's from the bush in one of the courts of the old schloss have you never heard of it there's something hangs by that people say that one day it will begin to smell exquisite she seemed not to be listening to him it seems as if it had no soul she said and looked at the rose but it's perfectly beautiful that one must allow well that's a doubtful joke on nature's part Prince all the same Prince thanks for your attention and as it comes from your ancestral schloss one must regard it with due reverence she put the rose in a glass by her plate a swans down flunky brought the prince a cup and plate they discussed at T the bewitched rosebush and then commonplace subjects such as the court theatre their horses and all sorts of trivial topics in mush Beaumont time after time contradicted him interposing polished quotations to her own enjoyment and his despair at the range of her reading quotations which she uttered in her broken voice with whimsical motions of her head after a time a heavy white paper parcel was brought in sent by the bookbinders to miss Bowman containing a number of works which she had had bound in smart and durable bindings she opened the parcel and they all three examined the books to see if the binder had done his work well they were nearly all learned at works whose contents were either as mysterious looking as image Bowman's notebook or dealt with scientific psychology acute analyses of internal impulses they were got up in the most sumptuous way with parchment and crushed leather gold letters fine paper and silk markers image Bowman did not display much enthusiasm over the consignment but Klaus Heinrich who had never seen such handsome volumes was full of admiration shall you put them all into the bookcase he asked with the others upstairs I suppose you have quantity of books are they all this fine as these do let me see how you arrange them I can't go yet the weather's still bad and would ruin my white trousers besides I have no idea how you live in delphine an art I've never seen your study will you show me your books that depends on the countess she said busying herself with piling the volumes one on the other countess the Prince wants to see my books would you be so kind as to say what you think countess Levin you'll was in a brown study with her small bent head she was watching class heinrich with a sharp almost hostile look and then let her eyes wander to image broman when her expression altered and became gentle sympathetic and anxious she came to herself with a smile and drew a little watch out of her brown clothes fitting dress at seven o'clock she said brightly mr. Stoneman expects you to read to him Emma you have half an hour in which to do what His Royal Highness wants good come along Prince and inspect my study said Emma and so far as your highness permits it please lend a hand in carrying up these books I'll take half but Klaus Heinrich took them all he clasped them in both arms though the left was not much used to him and the pile reached to his chin then bending backwards and going carefully so as to drop nothing he followed Emma over into the wing towards the drive on the main floor of which lay countess Levin eul's and Miss Romans quarters in the big comfortable room which they entered through a heavy door he lay his burden down on the top of a hexagonal evany table which stood in front of a big gold chintzed sofa imich beaumont study was not furnished in the style proper to the schloss but in a more modern taste without any show but with massive masculine serviceable luxury it was paneled with rare woods right up to the top and adorned with old porcelain which glittered on the brackets all round under the ceiling the carpets were Persian the mantlepiece black marble on which stood shapely vases and a guild clock the chairs were broad and velvet covered and the curtains of the same golden stuff as the sofa cover a capacious desk stood in front of the bow window which allowed a view of the Big Basin in front of the schloss one wall was covered with books but the main library was in the adjacent room which was smaller and carpeted like the big one a glass door opened into it and its walls were completely covered with bookshelves right up to the ceiling well Prince there's my Armitage said image Bowman I hope you like it why it's glorious he said but he did not look round him but gazed unand against the sofa cushions by the hexagonal table she was wearing one of her beautiful indoor dresses a summer one this time made of white accordion pleated stuff with open sleeves and gold embroidery on the yoke the skin of her arms and neck seemed browned as mahom against the white of the dress her big bright earnest eyes in the strangely childlike face seemed to speak a language of their own unceasingly and a smooth wisp of black hair hung across her forehead she had klaus Heinrichs rose in her hand how lovely he said standing before her and not conscious of what he meant his blue eyes above the national cheekbones were heavy as with grief you have as many books he added as my sister did Linda has flowers has the princess so many flowers yes but of late she has not set so much store by them let's clear these away she said and took up some books no wait he said anxiously I've such a lot to say to you and our time is so short you must know that today is my birthday that's why I came and brought you the rose oh she said that is an event your birthday today well I'm sure that you received all your congratulations with the dignity you always show you may have mine as well it was sweet of you to bring me the rose although it has it's doubtful side and she tried the moldy smell once more with an expression of fear on her face how old are you today Prince twenty-seven he answered I was born 27 years ago in the grim Borg ever since then I've had a strenuous and lonely time of it she did not answer and suddenly he saw her eyes under her slightly frowning eyebrows moved to his side yes although he was standing sideways to her with his right shoulder towards her as he had trained himself to do he could not prevent her eyes fastening on his left arm on the hand which he had planted right back on his hip were you born with that she asked softly he grew pale but with a cry which rang like a cry of redemption he sank down before her and clasped her wondrous form in both his arms there he lay in his white trousers and his blue and red coat with the major shoulder straps little sister he said little sister she answered with a pout think of appearances Prince I consider that one should not let oneself go but should keep up appearances on all occasions but he was too far gone and raising his face to her his eyes and a mist he only said Emma little Emma then she took his hand the left atrophied one the deformity the hindrance in his lofty calling which he had been want from boyhood to hide artfully and carefully she took it and kissed it end of section 18 chapter 8 part 1 of royal highness by Thomas Mun translated by a Cecil Curtis this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by Margaret s Biot chapter 8 the fulfilment Grave reports were flying around concerning the state of health of the Finance Minister dr. Crippen Reuter people hinted at nervous breakdown at a progressive stomach trouble which indeed her Clinton Reuters flabby yellow complexion was calculated to suggest what is greatness the daily bread er the journeyman might envy this tortured dignitary his title his chain his rank at court his important office to which he had climbed Soper tenaciously only to wear himself out in it but not when these all meant the concomitant of his illness his retirement was repeatedly announced to be impending it was said to be due simply and solely to the Grand Dukes dislike of new faces as well as to the consideration that matters could not be improved by a change of personnel that his resignation had not already become a fact dr. Crippen Reuter had spent his summer leave in a health resort in the hills perhaps he might have improved somewhat up there but anyhow after his return his recode strength ebbed away quickly again for at the very beginning of the parliamentary session a rift had come between him and the budget Commission serious dissensions which were certainly not from any want of industry on his part but from circumstances from the incurable position of affairs in the middle of September Albrecht the second opened the Landtag in the old schloss with the traditional ceremonies they began with an invocation to God by the court chaplain dome vit slits a nose in the schloss Chapel then the Grand Duke accompanied by Prince Klaus Heinrich went in solemn procession to the throne room here at the members of both chambers the minister's court officials and many others in uniform and civil dress greeted the royal brothers with three cheers led by the president of the first chamber account Hounslow Albrecht had earnestly wished to transfer to his brother his duties in the formal ceremony it was only owing to the urgent objections of hair funk no boost off that he walked in the procession behind the pages he was so much ashamed of his braided who Tsar's coat his gaudy trousers and the whole to do that he showed clearly in his face his anger and his embarrassment his shoulder blades were twisted in his nervousness as he mounted the steps to the throne then he took his stand in front of the theatrical chair under the faded bald oaken and sucked at his upper lip his small bearded unmilitary head rested on the white collar which stuck out far above the silver whose are collar and his blue lonely looking eyes gazed vacantly in front of him the jangle of the Spurs of the aide-de-camp who handed him the manuscript of his speech from the throne rang through the hall in which silence now reigned and quietly with a slight Lisp and more than one sudden burst of coughing the Grand Duke read what had been written for him the speech was the most palea Tory that had ever been heard each humiliating fact from outside being counterbalanced by some virtuous trait or other in the people he began by praising the industrious spirit of the whole country then admitted that there was no actual increase to show in any branch of manufacture so that the sources of revenue failed to show under any head the fertility that could be desired he remarked with satisfaction how the feeling for the public good and economical self-sacrifice were spreading more and more through the population and then declared without mincing matters that notwithstanding a general most acceptable increase in the taxation returns as a result of the influx of wealthy foreigners meaning mr. Szpilman any relaxation of the calls on the said noble sacrifice was not to be thought of even without this he continued it had been impossible to budget for all the objects of the financial policy and should it prove that sufficient reduction in the public debt had not been successfully provided for the government considered that the continuation of policy of moderate loans would prove the best way out of the financial complications in any event it the government felt itself supported in these most unfavourable circumstances by the confidence of the nation that faith in the future which was so fair heritage of our stock and the speech from the throne left the sinister topic of public economy as soon as possible to apply itself to less disputatious subjects such as ecclesiastical educational and legal matters Minister of State Frank no boost off declared in the Monarchs name the lon talk to be open and the cheers which accompanied Albrecht when he left the hall sounded somewhat ironical and dubious as the weather was still summery he went straight back to Halle beroun from which necessity alone had driven him to the capital he had done his part and the rest was the concern of hairclip and rita and the land talk quarrels began as has been said immediately and about several topics at once the property tax the meat tax and the civil service estimates for when the deputies proved adamant against attempts to persuade them to sanction fresh taxes dr. Crippen reuters meditative mind had hit on the idea of converting the income tax which had been usual hitherto into a property tax which on the base of 13 and a half percent would produce an increment of about a million how direly indeed how inadequate such an increment was was clear from the main budget for the new financial year which leaving out of account the imposition of new burdens on the Treasury concluded with an adverse balance which was calculated to damp the courage of any economical expert but when it was realized that practically only the towns would be hit by the property tax the combined indignation of the urban deputies turned against the assessment of thirteen and a half percent and they demanded as compensation at least the abolition of the meat tax which they called undemocratic and anti diluvian add to this that the Commission adhered resolutely to the long-promised and always postponed improvement of civil servants pay for it could not be denied that the salaries of the government officials clergy and teachers of the Grand Duchy were miserable but dr. Crippen Reuter could not make gold he said in so many words I've never learned to make gold and he found himself equally unable to abolish the meat tax and to ameliorate the conditions in the civil service his only resource was to anchor himself to his 13 and a half percent although no one knew better than he that its sanction would not really bring things any nearer their solution for the position was serious and despondent spirits painted it in gloomy colors the almanaque of the grand ducal Statistical Bureau contained alarming returns of the harvest for the last year agriculture had a succession of bad years to show storms hail droughts and inordinate rain had been a lot of the peasants an exceptionally cold and snow 'less winter had resulted in the seed freezing and the critics maintained though with little proof to show for it that the timber cutting had already influenced the climate at any rate figures proved that the total yield of corn had decreased in a most disquieting degree the straw it's being deficient in quantity left much to be wished from the point of view of quality in the opinion of the compilers of the report the figures of the potato harvest fell far below the averages of the preceding decade not to mention that no less than 10% of the potatoes were diseased asked to artificial feeding stuffs these showed for the last two years results both in quality and quantity which for clover and manure were as bad as the worst of the years under review and things were no better with the rapeseed harvest or with the first and second hay crops the decline in agriculture was boldly shown in the increase of forced sales whose figures in the year under review had advanced in a striking way but the failure of crops and tail the falling off in the produce of taxation which would have been regrettable in any country but in ours could not help having a fatal effect as to the forests nothing had been made out of them one disaster had followed another blight and moths had attacked the woods more than once and it will be remembered that owing to over cutting the woods had lost seriously in capital value the silver mines they had for a long time proved barren the work had been interrupted by convulsions of nature and as the repairs would have cost large sums and the results had never shown signs of coming up to expectations it had been found necessary provisionally to suspend the workings though this through a number of laborers out of work and caused distress in whole districts enough has been said to explain how matters stood with the ordinary state revenues in this time of trial the slowly advancing crisis the deficit carried forward from one year to another had become burning owing to the straits of the people and the unfavorableness of the elements it had begun to cry aloud for remedy and when one looked around despairingly for the remedy or even for means of alleviation the most per blind could not fail to see the whole hideousness of our financial condition there could be no thought of voting for new expenditure the country was naturally incapable of bearing much taxation it was now exhausted its taxpaying powers adversely affected and the critics declared that the sight of insufficiently nourished human beings was becoming more and more common in the country they attributed this firstly to the shocking taxes on provisions and secondly to the direct taxation which was known to oblige stock owners to turn all their full milk into cash as to the other less respectable though enticingly easy remedy for dearth of money of which the financial authorities were well aware namely the raising of a loan the time was come when an improper and inconsiderate use of this means must begin to bring its own bitter punishment the liquidation of the national debt had been taken in hand for a time in a clumsy and harmful way then under I'll correct the second it had stopped altogether the yawning rifts in the state had received an emergency stuffing of new loans and paper issues and subsequent finance ministers had grown pale to find themselves faced with a floating consolidated debt redeemable at an early date whose total was scandalously large for the total number of heads of the population dr. Crippen Reiter had not shrunk from the practical steps open to the state in such a predicament he had steered clear of big capital obligations had demanded compulsory redemption of bonds and while reducing the rate of interest had converted short-dated debts over the heads of the creditors into perpetual rent charges but these rent charges had to be paid and while this encumbrance was an unbearable burden on the national economy the lowness of the rate of exchange caused every fresh issue of bonds to bring in less capital proceeds to the still more the economic crisis in the Grand Duchy had the effect of making foreign creditors demand payments at an exceptionally early date this again lowered the rate of exchange and resulted in an increased flow of gold out of the country and banks mashes were daily occurrences in the business world in a word our credit was shattered our paper stood far below its nominal value and though the Landtag might perhaps have preferred to vote a new loan to voting new taxes the conditions which would have been imposed upon the country were such that the negotiation seemed difficult if not impossible for on top of everything else came this unpleasant factor that the people were at the moment suffering from the burden of that general economical disorder that appreciation in the price of gold which is still vivid in everybody's memory what was to be done to get safe to land whither turn to appease the hunger for gold which was devouring us the disposal of the then unproductive silver mines and the application of the proceeds to the payment of the debts at high interest was discussed at length yet as matters stood the sale could not help turning out dis advantageous ly further not only would the state lose altogether the capital sunk in the mines but would relinquish its prospect of a return which might perhaps sooner or later materialize finally buyers did not grow on every bush for one moment a moment of psychical despondency the sale of the national forests even was mooted but it must be said that there was still enough sense in the country to prevent our woods being surrendered to private industry to complete the picture still further rumours of sales were current rumors which suggested that the financial embarrassment penetrated even two quarters which the loyal people had always hoped were far removed from all the rubs of the time the Quarrier which was never used to sacrifice a piece of news to its sympathetic was the first to publish the news that two of the Grand Dukes losses pastime and favorite in the open country had been put up for sale considering that neither property was of any further use as a residence for the royal family and that both demanded yearly increasing outlay the administrators of the Crown Trust property had given notice in the proper quarter for steps to be taken to sell them what did that imply it was obviously quite a different case from that of the sale of Delphina naught which had been the result of a quite exceptional and favorable offer as well as a smart stroke of business on behalf of the state people who were brutal enough to give a name to things which finer feelings rinks from specifying declare dried out that the Treasury had been mercilessly set upon by disquieted creditors and that their consent to such sales showed that they were exposed to relentless pressure how far had matters gone into whose hands would the Schlosser's fall the more benevolent who asked this question were inclined to find comfort in and to believe a further report which was spread by the wiseacres namely that on this occasion to the buyer was no one else but Samuel Spellman an entirely groundless and fantastic report which however proves what a role in the world of popular imagination was played by the lonely suffering little man who had settled down in such princely style in their midst yonder he lived with his physician his electric organ and his collection of glass behind the pillars the bow windows and the chiseled festoons of the schloss which had risen from its ruins at a nod from him he was hardly ever seen he was always in bed with poultices but people saw his daughter that curious creature with the whimsical features who lived like a princess had a countess for a companion studied algebra and had walked in a temper unimpeded through the guard people saw her and they sometimes saw Prince Klaus Heinrich at her side Raoul uber Bane had used a strong expression when he declared that the public held their breath at the sight but he really was right and it can be truly said that the population of our town as a whole never followed a social or public proceeding with such passionate such surpassing eagerness as Klaus Heinrichs visits to Delfina naught the prince himself acted up to a certain point namely up to a certain conversation with his Excellency the Minister of State Nobles Dorf blindly without regard to the outside world and in obedience only to an inner impulse but his tutor was justified into writing in his fatherly way his idea that his proceedings could be kept hid from the world for whether it was that the servants on both sides did not hold their tongues or that the public had the opportunity of direct observation at any rate Klaus Heinrich had not met mr. Behrman once since that first meeting in the Dorotea hospital without its being remarked and discussed remarked no spied on glared at and greedily jumped at disgust rather smothered in floods of talk the intercourse of the two was the topic of conversation in court circles salons sitting and bedrooms barber shops public houses work rooms and servants halls by cabman on the ranks and girls at the gates it occupied the minds of men no less than women of course with the variations which are inherent in the different ways the sexes have of looking at things the always sympathetic interest in it had a uniting leveling effect it bridged over the social gaps and one might hear the tram conductor turned to the smart passenger on the platform with a question whether he knew that yesterday afternoon the prince had again spent an hour at Delfina naught but what was at once remarkable in itself and at the same time decisive for the future was that throughout there never seemed for one moment to be any feeling of scandal in the air nor did all the tongue wagging seemed merely the vulgar pleasure in startling events in high quarters from the very beginning before any idea pal say had time to form the thousand voiced discussion of the subject however animated was always pitched in a key of approval and agreement indeed the prince if it had occurred to him at an earlier stage to adapt his conduct to public opinion would have realized at once to his delight how entirely popular that conduct was for when he called miss Philemon a princess to his tutor he had quite properly accurately expressed his people's mind that people which always surrounds the uncommon and visionary with a cloud of poetry yes to the people the pale dark precious and strangely lovely creature of mixed blood who had come to us from the Antipodes to live her lonely and unprecedented life amongst us to the people she was a princess or fairy child from fable and a princess in the world's most wonderful meaning but everything her own behavior as much as the attitude of the world towards her contributed to make her appear a princess in the ordinary sense of the word also did she not live with her companion countess in a schloss as was meat and right did she not drive in her gorgeous motor or her foreign hand to the benevolent institutions the homes for the blind for orphans and for deaconesses the public kitchens and milk kitchens to teach herself and stimulate them by her inspection like a complete princess had she not subscribed to support the victims of flood and fire out of her Privy Purse as the Curie was precise enough to declare subscriptions which nearly equaled those of the Grand Duke did not exceed them as was noticed with general satisfaction did not the newspapers publish almost daily immediately under the court news reports of mr. Sherman's varying health weather the colic kept him in bed or whether he had resumed his morning visits to the spa Gardens were not the white liveries of his servants as much a part of the picture in the streets of the capital as the brown of the grand ducal lackeys did not foreigners with guidebooks asked to be taken out to Delphine and art there to gloat over the sight of Sherman's house many of them before they had seen the old schloss were not both losses the old and Delfina naught about equally centers and foci of the city to what circle of society belong that human being who had been born Samuel Sherman's daughter that creature without counterpart without analogy to whom should she attach herself with whom to have intercourse nothing could be less surprising nothing more obvious and natural than to see Klaus Heinrich at her side and even those who had never enjoyed that sight enjoyed it in the spirit and gloated over it the slim solemnly familiar figure of the prince by the side of the daughter and heiress of the prodigious little foreigner who ill and peevish as he was disposed of a fortune which amounted to nearly twice as much as our national debt then one day a memory a wonderful disposition of words took hold of the public conscience nobody can say who first pointed to it recalled it that is quite uncertain perhaps it was a woman perhaps a child was credulous eyes home somebody was sending to sleep with stories heaven only knows but a ghostly form began to show liveliness in the popular imagination the shadow of an old gypsy woman gray and bent with an inward squint who drew her stick through the sand and whose mumbling had been written down and handed down from generation to generation the greatest happiness it should come to the land through a prince with one hand he would give the country the prophecy ran more with his one hand than others could with two with one but was everything all right with Klaus Heinrichs slim figure when one thought of it was there not a weakness a defect in this person which one always avoided seeing when addressing him partly from shyness and partly because was charming skill he made it so easy not to notice it when one saw him in his carriage he kept his left hand on his sword-hilt covered with his right one could see him under a ball de Caen on a flag bedecked platform take up a position slightly turned to the left with his left hand planted somehow on his hip his left arm was too short the hand was stunted everybody knew that and knew various explanations of the origin of the defect although respect and distance had not allowed a clear view of it or even its recognition in so many words but now everybody saw it it could never be ascertained who first whispered and quoted the prophecy in this connection whether it was a child or a girl or a graybeard on the threshold of the beyond but what is certain that it was the people who started it the people who imposed certain thoughts and hopes and quite soon their conception of mr. Bowman's personality on the cultured classes right up to the highest quarters and exercised a powerful influence on them from below that the impartial unprejudiced belief of the people afforded the broad and firm foundation for all that came later with one hand people asked and the greatest happiness they saw class Heimlich in the spirit by image boom onside with his left hand on his hip and still incompetent to think their thought out to its conclusion they quivered at their half thought at that time everything was still in the clouds and nobody thought anything out to its conclusion not even the persons most immediately concerned for the relations between Klaus Heinrich and image Berman were wondrous strange in their minds his as well could not be brought to center on any immediate palpable goal as a matter of fact that laconic conversation on the afternoon of the princes birthday when Miss Roman had showed him her books had made but the slightest if any alteration in their relations class Heinrich may have gone back to the Armitage in that condition of heated enthusiasm proper to young people on such occasions convinced that something decisive had happened but he soon learned that his wooing of what he had recognized to be his only happiness was only now really beginning but as has been said this wound could not aim at any objective result a bourgeois promise or suchlike such an idea was almost inconceivable and besides the prince lived in too great seclusion from the practical world for such an end to present itself to him in fact the object of class Heinrichs pleadings was looks and words from that time onward was not that mr. Behrman should reciprocate the feelings he entertained towards her but that she might feel impelled to believe in the reality and liveliness of those feelings for that was what she did not do he let two weeks passed before he sent in his name at Delfina naught again and during these he feasted spiritually on what had already occurred he was in no hurry to supersede that happening with a new one besides his time just now was occupied by several representative functions including the annual festival of the miniature range rifle club whose well-informed patron he was and in whose anniversary festival he annually took part there he was received in his green uniform as if his sole interest in life was rifle shooting by the United members of the Association with an enthusiastic welcome was conducted to the butts and after an unappetizing luncheon with the distinguished members of the committee fired several shots in a gracefully expert attitude in the direction of various targets end of section 19

One thought on “Royal Highness | Thomas Mann | Literary Fiction, Published 1900 onward | Audiobook Full | 6/8

  1. Royal Highness | Thomas Mann | Literary Fiction, Published 1900 onward | Audiobook Full | 6/8

    17: [00:00:00] – Chapter 7, Part 5

    18: [00:39:39] – Chapter 7, Part 6

    19: [01:15:06] – Chapter 8, Part 1

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