Author: Klarnet

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A Fickle Widow part 5

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“My master,” replied the servant, “has never yet been married.”

“What qualities does he look for in the fortunate woman he will choose for his wife?” inquired the lady.

“My master says,” replied the servant, who had taken quite as much wine as was good for him, “that if he could obtain a renowned beauty like yourself, madam, his heart’s desire would be fulfilled.”

“Did he really say so? Are you sure you are telling me the truth?” eagerly asked the lady.

“Is it likely that an old man like me would tell you a lie?” replied the servant.

“If it be so, will you then act as a go-between and arrange a match between us?”

“My master has already spoken to me of the matter, and would desire the alliance above all things, if it were not for the respect due from a disciple to a deceased master, and for the animadversions to which such a marriage would give rise.”

“But as a matter of fact,” said the, Lady T’ien, “the Prince was never my husband’s disciple; and as to our neighbors about here, they are too few and insignificant to make their animadversions worth a thought.”

The objections having thus been overcome, the servant undertook to negotiate with his master, and promised to bring word of the result at any hour of the day or night at which he might have anything to communicate.

Chamber of death

So soon as the man was gone, the Lady T’ien gave way to excited impatience. She went backwards and forwards to the chamber of death, that she might pass the door of the Prince’s room, and even listened at his window, hoping to hear him discussing with his servant the proposed alliance. All, however, was still until she approached the coffin, when she heard an unmistakable sound of hard breathing. Shocked and terrified, she exclaimed, “Can it be possible that the dead has come to life again!”

A light, however, relieved her apprehensions by discovering the form of the Prince’s servant lying in a drunken sleep on a couch by the corpse. At any other time such disrespect to the deceased would have drawn from her a torrent of angry rebukes, but on this occasion she thought it best to say nothing, and on the next morning she accosted the defaulter without any reference to his escapade of the night before. To her eager inquiries the servant answered that his master was satisfied on the points she had combated on the preceding evening, but that there were still three unpropitious circumstances which made him hesitate.

“What are they?” asked the lady.

A Fickle Widow part 4

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“Some years ago I communicated to Chwang my desire to become his disciple. In furtherance of this purpose I came hither, and now, to my inexpressible regret, I find on my arrival that my master is dead.”

To evince his respectful sorrow, the Prince at once exchanged his colored clothing for mourning garments, and prostrating himself be-fore the coffin, struck his forehead four times on the ground, and sobbed forth, “Oh, learned Chwang, I am indeed unfortunate in not having been permitted to receive your instructions face to face. But to show my regard and affection for your memory, I will here remain and mourn for you a hundred days.”

Thrice declined to see

With these words he prostrated himself again four times, while he watered the earth with his tears. When more composed, he begged to be allowed to pay his respects to Lady T’ien, who, however, thrice declined to see him, and only at last consented when it was pointed out to her that, according to the most recondite authorities, the wives of deceased instructors should not refuse to see their husband’s disciples.

After then receiving the Prince’s compliments with downcast eyes, the Lady T’ien ventured just to cast one glance at her guest, and was so struck by his beauty and the grace of his figure, that a sentiment of more than interest suffused her heart. She begged him to take up his abode in her house, and when dinner was prepared, she blended her sighs with his. As a token of her esteem, so soon as the repast was ended, she brought him the copies of “The Classic of Nan-hwa,” and the “Sutra of Reason and of Virtue,” which her husband had been in the habit of using, and presented them to the Prince.

He, on his part, in fulfilment of his desire of mourning for his master, daily knelt and lamented by the side of the coffin, and thither also the Lady T’ien re-paired to breathe her sighs. These constant meetings provoked short conversations, and the glances, which on these occasions were exchanged between them, gradually betook less of condolence and more of affection, as time went on. It was plain that already the Prince was half enamored, while the lady was deeply in love. Being desirous of learning some particulars about her engaging guest, she one evening summoned his servant to her apartment, and having plied him with wine, inquired from him whether his master was married.

A Fickle Widow part 3

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“A faithful minister does not serve two princes, and a virtuous woman never thinks of a second husband,” sententiously replied the lady. “If fate were to decree that you should die, it would not be a question of three years or of five years, for never, so long as life lasted, would I dream of a second marriage.”

“It is hard to say, it is hard to say,” replied Chwang.

“Do you think,” rejoined his wife, “that women are like men, desti-tute of virtue and devoid of justice? When one wife is dead you look out for another, you divorce this one and take that one; but we women are for one saddle to one horse. Why do you say these things to annoy me?”

With these words she seized the fan and tore it to shreds.

“Calm yourself,” said her husband; “I only hope, if occasion offers, you will act up to your protestations.”

Not many days after this Chwang fell dangerously ill, and as the symptoms increased in severity, he thus addressed his wife:

“I feel that my end is approaching, and that it is time I should bid you farewell. How unfortunate that you destroyed that fanthe other day! You would have found it useful for drying my tomb.”

Presence to prove

“Pray, my husband, do not at such a moment suggest suspicions of me. Have I not studied the ‘Book of Rites,’ and have I not learned from it to follow one husband, and one only? If you doubt my sincerity, I will die in your presence to prove to you that what I say, I say in all faithfulness.”

“I desire no more,” replied Chwang; and then, as weakness over-came him, he added faintly, “I die. My eyes grow dim.”

With these words he sank back motionless and breathless.

Having assured herself that her husband was dead, the Lady T’ien broke out into loud lamentations, and embraced the corpse again and again. For days and nights she wept and fasted, and constantly dwelt in her thoughts on the virtues and wisdom of the deceased. As was customary, on the death of so learned a man as Chwang, the neighbors all came to offer their condolences and to volunteer their assistance. Just as the last of these had retired, there arrived at the door a young and elegant scholar whose face was like a picture, and whose lips looked as though they had been smeared with vermilion. He was dressed in a violet silk robe, and wore a black cap, an embroidered girdle, and scarlet shoes. His servant announced that he was a Prince of the Kingdom of Tsoo, and he himself added by way of explanation:

A Fickle Widow part 2

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“Your wrists are not strong enough for such work,” he said. “Let me relieve you at it.”

“By all means,” replied the lady briskly. “Here is the fan, and I shall owe you an everlasting debt of gratitude if you will fan it dry as quickly as possible.”

Ornament hairpins

Without more ado, Chwang set to work, and by the exercise of his magical powers he extracted every drop of moisture from the grave with a few waves of the fan. The lady was delighted with his success, and with the sunniest smile said, “How can I thank you sufficiently for your kindness! As a small mark of my gratitude, let me present you with this embroidered fan which I had in reserve; and as a token of my esteem, I really must ask you to accept one of my silver hairpins.” With these words she presented the philosopher with the fan, and drawing out one of her ornamented hairpins, she offered it for his acceptance. The philosopher took the fan, but, possibly having the fear of Lady T’ien before his eyes, he declined the pin. The incident made him thoughtful, and as he seated himself again in his thatched hall, he sighed deeply.

“Why are you sighing?”’ inquired the Lady T’ien, who happened to enter at that moment, “and where does the fan come from which you hold in your hand?”

Thus invited, Chwang related all that had passed at the tomb. As he proceeded with the tale, Lady T’ien’s countenance fell, and when he had concluded she broke forth indignantly, inveighing against the young widow, who she vowed was a disgrace to her sex. So soon as she had exhausted her vituperations, Chwang quietly repeated the prov-erb, “Knowing men’s faces is not like knowing their hearts.”

Interpreting this use of the saying as implying some doubts as to the value of her protestations, Lady T’ien exclaimed:

“How dare you condemn all women as though they were all formed in the same mold with this shameless widow? I wonder you are not afraid of calling down a judgment on yourself for such an injustice to me, and others like me.”

“What need is there of all this violence?” rejoined her husband. “Now, tell me, if I were to die, would you, possessed as you are of youth and beauty, be content to remain a widow for five, or even three?

A Fickle Widow part 1

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A Fickle Widow (Anonymous: 15th Century A.D., or before)

A Fickle Widow, which also appeared originally in the Marvellous Tales, presents a striking contrast to The Story of Ming-Y. If the author was interested in pointing a moral, he was yet more interested in satirizing the frailties of human nature. It is impossible to tell whether there was a common source for this story and The Matron of Ephesus (the tale is retold by Anatole France), but in view of the lack of evidence it is reasonable to conclude that the Roman writer, like the Chinese, was inspired by a certain scepticism regarding the fidelity of the other sex.

This story is translated by R. K. Douglas, and appears in the vol-ume Chinese Stories, published in 1893 by William Blackwood & Sons, publishers, by whose permission and that of Mr. R. K. Douglas it is here reprinted.

A Fickle Widow (From Marvellous Tales, Ancient and Modern)

At a distance from the capital, and in the peaceful retirement of the country there dwelt many centuries ago a philosopher named Chwang, who led a pleasurable existence in the society of his third wife, and in the study of the doctrines of his great master, Lao-tsze.

Like many philosophers, Chwang had not been fortunate in his early married life. His first wife died young; his second he found it necessary to divorce, on account of misconduct; but in the companionship of the Lady T’ien he enjoyed a degree of happiness which had previously been denied him. Being a philosopher, however, he found it essential to his peace that he should occasionally exchange his domestic surroundings for the hillsides and mountain solitudes. On one such expedition he came unexpectedly on a newly made grave at the side of which was seated a young woman dressed in mourning, who was gently fanning the new mound. So strange a circumstance was evidently one into which a philosopher should inquire. He therefore approached the lady, and in gentle accents said, “May I ask what you are doing?”

“Well,” replied the lady, “the fact is that this grave contains my husband. And, stupid man, just before he died he made me promise that I would not marry again until the soil above his grave should be dry. I watched it for some days, but it got dry so very slowly that I am fanning it to hasten the process.” So saying she looked up into Chwang’s face with so frank and engaging a glance that the philo-sopher at once decided to enlist himself in her service.

Horse Riding Tours

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Visit Bulgaria for equestrian holiday Bulgaria

Come for a holiday Bulgaria and see why Bulgarians are known as a horse nation and as such they show their great respect to horses. This you can see during the ancient celebration named Todorovden (St Theodore Day) or Horse Easter which happens on the first Saturday of Lent, in the villages. This tradition is important for Bulgarians and it has practical meaning as well. These horse races test the animals’ strength, stamina and speed…

Bulgaria Horse Riding

Horse and Mankind. This is a really long story that not many of us know anymore. What we know, though about horses is that they were first domesticated in Turkey (Bulgaria shares a border with Turkey) by the Hittites. (private tours Istanbul) Firstly, to have a horse as their ‘brother in arms’ gave them great power. Then, adding a chariot for the horse to pull, meant great technology for the time. Thus horse became a great helper in people’s daily life. Great transportation, helper in the fields and even somebody that you can talk to if you needed it.

Bulgarians and their ancestors – the Thracians

When it comes to Bulgarians and their ancestors, the Thracians, we know it reached the peak. The cult of horse and rider was so common among Thracians, Scythian nomads to the north and Asiatic peoples across the Bosphorus to the east. Horses were so important for them that they even made great tombs for them.

Whole tour can be read on link holiday Bulgaria.

Adventure Bulgaria tour

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Adventure Bulgaria tour with a pair of comfortable shoes, a camera and good mood

If you are an experienced, dedicated mountain walker or simply a person who loves walking in the nature. If you are someone who seeks the peacefulness of mountains, then you will be happy to be part of adventure Bulgaria tour. Still a country with unspoilt nature, with magnificent landscapes, challenging routes, birdwatching Bulgaria… Bulgaria is a destination yet to be discovered, many places in Bulgaria wait to be visited.

Due to its varied relief and beautiful nature Bulgaria attract many tourists. Although the territory of the country is relatively small, there are many mountains in Bulgaria, each one of them with their own beauty and energy.

Travel to Bulgaria and enjoy the clean air, magnificent landscapes, taking-the-breath scenery. And of course the energy that Bulgarian mountains offer.

Here is our example itinerary for your trekking adventure Bulgaria tour. These are only few Bulgaria destinations that we offer to wake your curiosity up. There are many more. All you need to do is contact us.

Adventure Bulgaria Tour Day 1 Travel to the Rila Monastery

adventure bulgaria tour

Sofia – 123 km, 1 hour 50 min (customized guided Sofia tours)
Plovdiv – 224 km, 3 hours 20 min
Burgas – 463 km, 5 hours
Varna – 586 km, 6 hours 30 min

Check in into the hotel, dinner and overnight.

The whole tour can be seen on link adventure Bulgaria tour.

Birdwatching Bulgaria

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Birdwatching Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a paradise for birdwatchers. Birdwatching Bulgaria is one of the best Bulgaria destinations for spring, summer, autumn and winter private Bulgaria holidays. Specialists recorded more than 400 bird species in Bulgaria.

birdwatching bulgaria

Bulgaria is a small ex-communist country where not long ago secrecy put its veil over everything. Even Bulgarians didn’t know their own border regions. Bulgarian people needed special tickets to travel to these places. Nowadays, Bulgaria tourism and birdwatching Bulgaria is becoming more popular. This is due to the Bulgarian government and the fact that communism collapsed. Another positive thing is that Bulgaria is part of the European Union. As a result, people can travel to Bulgaria and enjoy their Bulgaria holidays freely. It is such a small country but so beautiful and rich in landscapes, mountains, gorges. Bulgaria is also proud with its hills, forests, lakes, gentle sandy beaches of Bulgarian coast… You can still see shepherds watching the herds of sheep and cows. Birdwatching Bulgaria is paradise for those who love being in the nature and enjoy the company of birds.

Via Pontica and Via Aristotelis – things to do in Bulgaria for bird-lovers

Two of the five European routes of the bird migration are in Bulgaria. They are Via Pontica and Via Aristotelis. These two go through the small territory of the country. That makes birdwatching Bulgaria a desired and attractive destination for all the devoted birdwatchers; and also for those who ‘unprofessionally’ love birds. The north coastline of Bulgaria is a true paradise for ornithologists and bird lovers, who come from around the world to watch the birds.

Follow the rest of the story on link birdwatching Bulgaria.

Pomorie Tours

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Pomorie – private Bulgaria holidays

Private Bulgaria Holidays – Although Pomorie is not a very big town on the Southeastern Bulgarian coast, it has its beauties and attractions. A walk on its small streets will take us to the Salt Museum. It’s the only museum of the kind not only in Bulgaria, but for whole Eastern Europe. (Sofia old city tours) It opened its doors to visitors in 2002. It is a specialized outdoor museum which shows the production of salt. It’s an ancient Anchialos method and is through solar evaporation of seawater.

Private Bulgaria holidays in Pomorie – grab the many possibilities it offers

private bulgaria holidays pomorie

Pomorie has long ago appeared on the history stage. For its 25-century history the town has seen many things. At first, it was a Greek colony. Then it became a prosperous town in the Roman Empire and it had the right to cut its own money. It was also an important fortress of the First Bulgarian State. By the time of the Ottoman Empire, Pomorie was the main supplier of sea salt, wine and brandy. (Istanbul tours) The town is among the good places for private Bulgaria holidays.

Whole article can be read on link private Bulgaria holidays.

Explore Burgas

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War Memorial

Personal Tours Bulgaria from Sofia – 383 km, 3 h 40 min (Sofia walking tour)

Personal Tours Bulgaria from Plovdiv – 253 km, 2 h 30 min

Welcome to personal tours Bulgaria, Burgas

It is our pleasure to meet you in the biggest in the Southeastern part of Bulgaria cityand start personal tours Bulgaria. And Burgas is also the second biggest on the Bulgarian coast, after Varna. In order to feel like you’ve touched your dreams, you need to visit Burgas – the salt sea- breeze waft, the smell of the sea, the peacefulness of the small streets, the numerous smiling eyes that welcome you…

Burgas is a modern city. Together with the modern architecture, there you can see preserved buildings from the beginning of the XIX century.

Our personal tours Bulgaria and customized guided tour around Burgas will start with a visit to the Cathedral ‘St. St. Cyril and Methodius’. The cathedral is not only one of the symbols of the city, but also one of the most beautiful churches in the country. Surely the traditional culture and way of life of old Burgas are interesting for people. We will have the chance to learn about them in the Ethnographic Museum.

After a short walk in the beautiful Sea Garden of Burgas, we will enjoy the lovely view of the whole bay from the few terraces, which belong to the Marine Casino, located in the centre of the Garden.

The whole tour can be seen on link personal tours Bulgaria.

The Eclipse part 1

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Selma Lagerlof (1858-1940)

Selma Lagerlof came of a family of landowners, from that part of rural Sweden which she described in many of her most delightful books, particularly in Gosta Berling’s Saga. In her youth she taught for a little, making time to write occasionally, until public recognition and material success enabled her to devote all her energy to literary work. Her books, which include novels, travel sketches, plays, and stories, reveal a personality deeply conscious of its environment. In 1909 Selma Lagerlof received the Nobel Prize for literature.

The Eclipse is translated by Velma Swanston Howard. It originally appeared in the American-Scandinavian Review, December, 1922. For permission to reprint, thanks are due to the editor and the translator.

The Eclipse

There were Stina of Ridgecote and Lina of Birdsong and Kajsa of Littlemarsh and Maja of Skypeak and Beda of Finn-darkness and Elin, the new wife on the old soldier’s place, and two or three other peasant women besides—all of them lived at the far end of the parish, below Storhojden, in a region so wild and rocky none of the big farm owners had bothered to lay hands on it.

One had her cabin set up on a shelf of rock, another had hers put up at the edge of a bog, while a third had one that stood at the crest of a hill so steep it was a toilsome climb getting to it. If by chance any of the others had a cottage built on more favorable ground, you may be sure it lay so close to the mountain as to shut out the sun from autumn fair time clear up to Annunciation Day.

They each cultivated a little potato patch close by the cabin, though under serious difficulties. To be sure, there were many kinds of soil there at the foot of the mountain, but it was hard work to make the patches of land yield anything.

In some places they had to clear away so much stone from their fields, it would have built a cow-house on a manorial estate; in some they had dug ditches as deep as graves, and in others they had brought their earth in sacks and spread it on the bare rocks. Where the soil was not so poor, they were forever fighting the tough thistle and pigweed which sprang up in such profusion you would have thought the whole potato land had been prepared for their benefit.

Henrik and Rosalie part 7

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The head of the household was absent on a hunting party. He may not have been a very interesting man, but even a less entertaining person to whom one is accustomed, may by his absence leave a hole, an emptiness, which it is difficult to fill, especially in the country where the postman is not expected for another day or two, or where the farmhand has returned from his last trip to town with the wrong books from the circulating library or perhaps with no books at all.

Fortunately Lundtofte had its own library. After impatiently putting aside her embroidery, the young girl fetched a copy of Oehlenschlager’s poems, and at the request of the older lady began reading aloud. It was the romance about Aage and Else. Before she had reached the end, she suddenly stopped, exclaiming, “I wonder how these legends arise, about lovers who step forth from their graves? I am sure they are not taken from real life.”

Conversation to the subject

The old lady’s reply led the conversation to the subject of ghosts; then with a jump it turned again to love, and once more drifted on to ghosts, until the young girl said: “It would be worth while meeting some one in this life who had the power and the will to appear to us after death.”

The old lady replied: “Those who would do that for us, we probably do not see in the right light until they are in their graves.”

Then silence followed in which each was occupied with her own thoughts.

Suddenly the maid appeared and said, “Someone is outside asking for shelter.”

“What sort of person?” demanded the old lady.

“I don’t know. He looks awful, as if he was steeped in his own clothes.”

“Is he a journeyman?”

“No, he wears a white shirt—even though it is no longer white.”

“I wonder who it can be? Ask him his name.”

The maid left, but returned immediately, saying, “He is lying outside.”

“What do you mean?”

“Yes, he is lying outside. I am afraid he is dead.”

They all hurried into the hall. The young girl uttered a cry at the sight of Henry Falk, for he it was—our wandering doctor—as my reader no doubt has guessed. The old lady gave instructions to get a room ready, to put warm sheets on the bed, and so forth.

Henrik and Rosalie part 8

It took several days before the doctor regained consciousness, and when it happened, he experienced something which everyone in his own way may expect to encounter once in his life, namely, a miracle —something so wonderful and exquisite that it does not seem to come to us from natural sources according to rules and merits or even by accident, but must have befallen us by the grace of God.

Rosalie was sitting at his bedside, lovelier than ever, beautified through her very sacrifice, fairylike and glorified by the suddenness, the strangeness, and the enchantment of the whole occurrence.

How these two again joined the bond that had been torn asunder more than five years ago, my reader must picture for himself. Such reconciliations are made in words which have a strange and mysterious power over those by whom they are expressed and those for whom they are intended, but to everyone else they lose their wondrous sound.

It may be said, however, that the reconcilement was so much easier as Rosalie had never really thought that the connection had been broken entirely and, strange as it may sound, when she wrote her little note to Henrik she had a feeling, not as if the tie were cut forever, but rather as if it were being prolonged for an indefinite time. Let him who can explain it, though it is of no vital importance any more than the fact that it soon occurred to Henrik that he, too, had had the same feeling.

Exhilarating and refreshing influence

However this may be, there was one thing which still lingered in Rosalie’s memory after the first rapture—in which the whole estate participated—had subsided, and which never ceased to have an exhilarating and refreshing influence on her married life: it was the delight she took in picturing to herself Henrik traversing the heath guided by her love, although ignorant thereof and even unwilling in his suffering condition.

It seemed to her that she had Seen with her own eyes life’s poetry brought into reality, by his side, with her hand on his shoulder, leading him through the wet heather, forcing him forward step by step, toward the happiness which had once been lost. These memories were forever a source of great happiness to her, and every time the subject was discussed it brought to the doctor’s face a tender and grateful smile, yet at the same time gave him an uncomfortable feeling which he carefully concealed, for he had not the heart to tell his wife in plain words that this wonderful, blessed, romantic turn in their lives was due to an unromantic pig who had got a bone in his throat.

Henrik and Rosalie part 6

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He deliberated for a moment, trying to find his bearings, and as he considered carefully everything that had happened, he remembered suddenly that the farmer had not put him out by the front gate; he realized therefore that he had taken the wrong course and would have to go back almost as far as he had come. He did not want to pass the farm once more; and besides, he figured out that as the farm must be on his right hand and the town south of the farmstead, he would have to keep in a straight line toward the southeast.

But the heath cannot be traversed by means of guesswork, and after a short time he absolutely lost his way among the heather, wet to the skin and surrounded by utter darkness.

The situation began indeed to seem perilous, and not without reason. The indisposition he had felt earlier in the day had increased. The blood hammered in his temples, and his head was hot and pained him considerably. His clothes were soaking wet, and he shivered with cold.

He forced himself to go forward, walking in a straight line, and continued this course not so much because he had hopes of finding his way, but in order to get warm and not to collapse. Suddenly the heath seemed to change into meadowland. He discovered in the distance a house with lights in the windows, but a body of water separated him from it. He continued his way almost unconscious.

At this moment two women—one an elderly lady and the other a young girl of twenty-two or -three years of age—were sitting in the spacious, old-fashioned parlor on the estate Lundtofte. The old lady looked wise and placid; the young girl had a soulful face which might have been considered fitting for the heroine of a romance on an isolated estate.

Denoted a charming simplicity

She had a dreamy expression, and her whole appearance denoted a charming simplicity, but at the same time there was something indescribable about her person, about her eyes, her complexion, her hair or perhaps the manner in which it was piled on her head, which did not belong in these surroundings, which seemed to conceal a memory and to rebel against the thought that the doors were closed, that no guest was expected, unknown though his name might be.

To him who understood the language, this young figure expressed, not in plain letters but in music without words, that she had approached many a guest with a searching glance, but had again withdrawn after consulting something within herself which always in the last moment seemed to admonish her to wait. The poetic nimbus that surrounded her was expectancy—expectation of some romance, a beginning, pensive doubt as to whether it would ever happen, and at the same time a firm determination to give romance a trial for another year, even if her cheeks should grow a little paler in the waiting.

Henrik and Rosalie part 5

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“Is that so!” said the farmer.

“Yes, that is so. And now let me get back to town immediately.”

“Go ahead,” replied the farmer. “Nobody is holding you back, neither you nor your foul words. You had better take them along with you.”

“It just occurs to me,” said the doctor, in a milder tone, “that there may be a misunderstanding somewhere. I moved into the house of Hansen, the veterinary, so that may explain the case.”

“May be,” answered the farmer.

“Will you please send the wagon for me?”

“No, our horses shall not drive you or your ugly words from this place—not unless you cure the pig first.”

“Don’t talk to me about your confounded pig.”

Without another word the farmer took hold of the doctor so’ it hurt, pressing the latter’s arms tightly up against his sides just above the hips, and by lifting him a little from the ground brought him into an almost horizontal position. In this fashion the farmer carried him outside, and not until they had reached some distance from the farm did he put him down, exclaiming. “Shame on you and your horrid language!” Groaning with pain and anger the doctor cried, “You shall drive me home. You have my doctor’s stool; if you keep it you are a thief.”

Home on foot

The farmer returned to the house, fetched the stool and, laying two kroner upon it, said, “There you are, and once more shame on you!” The doctor realized that he had lost out. He decided to start on his way home on foot, and in the meantime try to hire somebody to fetch his stool. Unfamiliar as he was with the neighborhood, he only remembered that when entering the farm he had turned to the left, so that in leaving he now turned to the right.

But he entirely overlooked the fact that he had been put out on the opposite side, and the result was that he took the wrong direction. At first, owing to his agitated condition, he did not notice the surroundings, but when after a while he began to wonder that he had not yet reached the main road, he could no longer find even the path; nothing but wheel tracks could be seen in the heath. Besides, it was not only beginning to grow dark, but a cold rain had started, and a sharp wind was blowing.

Henrik and Rosalie part 4

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One day, not long afterwards, a man from the neighboring country drove up in front of the house and asked the doctor to follow him to his master’s farm. Falk was pleased that the news of his establishment had already reached the farmers in the district; his new, hitherto unused doctor’s stool was soon placed in the wagon, and the two drove off in silence.

After they got out of the town Falk asked the sullen driver, “What is the matter with your patient? What do you think has gone wrong?”

“He got a bone in his throat,” replied the man.

“I see! Did you not try to slap him on the back?”

The man turned slowly toward the doctor, looked puzzled at him and said, “Very likely.”

There the conversation ended, and after a while they arrived at the farm, which was situated at the edge, or almost at the edge of the heath. The farmer received the doctor, showed him the way to the parlor and sent for sandwiches and brandy, but Falk had no appetite; as a matter of fact he did not feel quite well.

Farmer opened the low

Finally the time came to look at the patient, and Falk was somewhat surprised when the farmer led him into the yard, through the stables, and stopped at a small isolated house situated in a morass which sent out a most unpleasant odor. The farmer opened the low door and took the doctor over to a pig.

“There he is,” he said.

Henry Falk had entirely forgotten that he had moved into the house of a veterinary. The blood rushed to his cheeks and he cried, “What, do you expect me to cure your pig?”

The farmer answered, “Well, before you came we sent for Jespersen to cure the horse, but next time, if it so pleases our Lord, you shall treat the horse also. To-day you will have to be satisfied with the pig.”

“Go to—with your pig and your horse.”

“You should not use such ugly language,” said the farmer, and colored slightly.

“That is just what I shall!” shouted the doctor. “And next time you have a sick beast, send for a veterinary and not for a practising physician. I have heard it said that to you farmers, nothing is too good for your beasts, but that you scarcely send for a veterinary when a human being is ill.”

Henrik and Rosalie part 3

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And now it was all over! For among the qualities which heretofore he had hardly noticed or appreciated in her, one trait now seemed to stand out: she was determined and high-minded. It was due to her ideality and womanly loftiness, and to her lack of coquetry that she had immediately accepted him, and this romance he had dragged into mere prose and thereby become extremely unhappy himself.

For some time he grieved very much and, although his sorrow became less intense as time passed, it remained in his heart and made a great change in him.

To begin with, he gave up the study of theology. This desire had been as sudden as his engagement. He had discussed with Rosalie country life, parsonages, happiness, and before he knew it this had led him to speak the decisive word; later he had had a feeling that the way in which he had spoken contained a promise that he would lead her into his parsonage.

This was the reason why he chose the study of theology. But now there was no reason why he should follow this profession. He had lost all desire either for parsonages or parsons’ wives, or, in fact, for wives of any kind, and he decided to take up the study which he had originally preferred, and which in his present mood seemed to offer the greatest emancipation from his former plans, namely, medicine.

Young physician

After five and a half years of hard study, Henrik Falk had finished and was ready to start out as a young physician. He decided to settle down in some provincial town, and this was especially due to the fact that in the course of time he had developed a certain romantic sentiment. In Copenhagen everything seemed to him so prosaic, while life in a small town, with visits to the neighboring villages, still offered an opportunity of finding innocence, spontaneity, romance and poetry.

He heard that there were prospects of acquiring a clientele in a small town in Jutland, and he immediately left for that place. But although the good-looking young doctor with the wistful smile made a pleasant impression, he immediately met with difficulties; there were not many apartments to be had, and the few that suited him the landlords did not like to rent to him for fear of offending his colleagues who were already established there. Just at that time a veterinary died and, having some available funds, Falk bought the veterinary’s house from his widow and soon moved into these new quarters.

Henrik and Rosalie part 2

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“You know,” continued Rosalie’s aunt. “I had really no control over her plans. She was here only on a visit and if she wanted to go to the— to other relatives of hers, I had no means of preventing her.”

Which relatives, which uncle and aunt—for Rosalie’s parents were dead—the lady would not tell; she said she had given her word of honor not to disclose the secret. They discussed the matter for some time, and in the course of the conversation Rosalie’s aunt asked Henrik if he was certain that he had not in any way offended the young girl, of which he assured her most emphatically.

“Oh, well,” said the aunt, “it is a difficult problem to handle such a young girl, only seventeen years of age, besides being of independent means. You know, Mr. Falk, she was really too young to become engaged. Next time you must be more cautious.”

Less appreciative

On his way home, and for several hours after, Henrik reviewed carefully his past life. He had to admit that there had been moments when he had—not exactly regretted, but almost regretted his engagement. Not because he had found any fault whatsoever with Rosalie; in the light in which he now viewed the situation, he asked himself what it was that at times had made him less appreciative of his good fortune, in fact so ungrateful that it was now difficult for him to realize his former feeling.

When he examined his own heart, he remembered that even the previous day it had almost seemed to him as if Rosalie had been won too easily. They met at a dance shortly after he had finished college; later there was a casual meeting, a walk, a happy mood—and the word was said. He had been accepted, and fortune had bestowed upon him a happiness far greater than he had heretofore realized.

Yes, that was the trouble, he had not appreciated his good luck; in his heart there had been an apathy, a lack of force and will, a want of enthusiasm which she undoubtedly had noticed, and now she had punished him cruelly but justly. In his present mood she appeared to him in all her loveliness which for some time he had almost overlooked. He saw her before his mind’s eye more clearly than he had ever beheld her with his physical eye.

Henrik and Rosalie part 1

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Meyer Aron Goldschmidt (1819-1887)

Goldschmidt was for the greater part of his life actively engaged in editorial work. As editor of a satirical and political paper he threw himself whole-heartedly into the struggle for the establishment of liberal ideas. As a writer he excelled in his novels and tales of Jewish life. He is regarded as a great stylist, and in his typical novels and short stories he shows a firm grasp of character.

Henrik and Rosalie is considered one of his finest stories. It was originally published in His Love Stories of Many Lands, in 1867. The present version is translated by Minna Wreschner. It appeared in The American Scandinavian Review, July, 1922, and is here reprinted by permission of the editor.

Henrik and Rosalie

The fate that rules in matters of love is often singular, and its ways are inscrutable, not only in vital things but also in those of less importance, as this story will show.

Henrik Falk, student of divinity, had taken his fiancée, Rosalie Hvidbjerg, to the theater one evening to see Heiberg’s The Inseparables. The following morning, as he was seated in his cozy student quarters at Regensen, smoking his pipe, he received the following note: “I consider it best that our engagement be broken.—Rosalie.”

Henrik Falk’s surprise upon reading this message can easily be understood; he put down his pipe, dressed quickly, and hastened to his fiancée’s home. There he was told that Rosalie had gone away, but if he wished he could see her aunt. The aunt arrived but could give him no explanation, as she herself was in the dark about the whole affair.

When Rosalie had returned from the theater the previous night, she had been very quiet; but soon after she had shown signs of great inward agitation and had said that to her the unpoetic relations which existed between Malle and Klister (main characters in the play), seemed unbearable, even wrong, and that probably all or at least the greater part of engaged couples were like that, or else sooner or later would assume that indifferent attitude toward each other, in which case she preferred to remain single.

Whereupon she had written scores of letters, no doubt all to him, Henrik Falk, had again tom them up, one after the other, but had finally sent one letter to the post office. She did not go to bed, but packed her belongings and left by the morning train.