Publisher Description

The sexton's wife did not venture to make any reply, and turned away. The stranger looked after her retreating figure a few minutes'.Strange', he murmured',it seems as if it would be committing a sacrilege to utter my name aloud in this place! It was really a relief to my mind that the woman did not know me. How we are all under the ban of gloomy feelings which we should be ashamed to confess to others! To be sure it is not strange that these emotions should almost overpower me here; here, in this spot which should be my home, where my cradle stood, and yet where I was not allowed to return until the grave had closed over him to whom I owe my life'. He had taken a few noiseless steps within the church, and now pausing, gazed around the narrow space. The sun, already low in the horizon, cast through the round, leaden-cased panes of the lofty narrow windows a mysterious light, which brightened or faded as the soft breeze raised or lowered the branches of the ancient linden-trees outside the walls. And thus, now clear now dim, but always sorrowful, the memories of his early years swept through the stranger's mind as he stood motionless, his eyes wandering over the massive white-washed walls, the few dusky pictures hung here and there at far too great a height, the little oaken font black with age, the altar with its two large brass sconces, and the pulpit, whose desk was covered with a tattered cloth. Everything was just as it used to be; he even remembered the holes in the cover, only it was all very much smaller, more poverty-stricken and tasteless than memory had pictured it. Yet this was the most favorable light, --what must it be in the broad glare of day! And his gloomy, sorrowful childhood, --what was it when he extinguished the magical light of memory, when he saw it as it really was, as a cold fanatical father had made it to the child so early bereft of a mother's love.

Fiction & Literature
January 1
Public Domain
Public Domain

More Books by Friedrich Spielhagen