Publisher Description

Here have I been since the day before yesterday. After descent into hell and purgatory, and passage through limbos infantum et patrum, man must at last reach heaven. But I owe you yet our exit from our inn on the 20th. Never can the head have a harder couch than when we hold it in our hands. The reason that this happened to Karlson and myself was, that in the rooms adjoining ours a wedding-dance was taking place, and that below, the youngest daughter of our maître d'hôtel, who had not only the name, but also the charms of Corday, with two white roses on her cheeks, and two red ones in her hair, was being interred, and that human beings with pale faces and heavy hearts waited on happy and blooming ones. When fate harnesses to Psyche's car, the merry and the mourning steed together, the mourning one ever takes the lead; i. e. if the muses of Mirth and Sorrow play on the same stage in the same hour, man does not, like Garrick, [3] follow the former; he does not even remain neuter, but takes the side of the mourning one. Thus we always paint, like Milton, our lost Paradise more glowing than the regained one, --like Dante, hell better than purgatory. In short, the silent corpse made us cold to the warm, joyful influence of the dancers. But is it not absurd, my dear Victor, that a man who, like myself, knows nothing better than that every hour unfolds at once morning bloom and evening clouds; that here an Ash Wednesday and there a black Monday commence; that such a man, who grieves little that dancing music and funeral marches should sound at the same time on the broad national theatre of humanity, should yet hang his head and grow pale, when, in a side scene, this double music sounds in his ears? Is not this as absurd as all his other doings.

Fiction & Literature
January 1
Public Domain

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