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Henrik and Rosalie part 7

31/05/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

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

31/05/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

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.

Private Tour Bulgaria

30/05/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

The importance of being Important while on Customized Tours Bulgaria

As a company, we in EnmarBg decided to focus on customized, private tour Bulgaria because we believe that it’s best when you travel with the people you love, family or friends.

private tour bulgaria

Yes, you will see several itineraries already done on our website for you but our intention, in fact is to help you get an idea of what Bulgaria is. We also like to help you get acquainted with the country and the region. (Sofia sightseeing) And not only that but to help you learn a little bit more about the culture of this amazing country before you start planning your Bulgaria holidays.

We believe that everybody needs personal touch, understanding and excellent service. That’s why we devote our hobby and job on following you, your interests and your dreams. Travelling is not just going from one place to another. It is a journey that should touch one’s soul. It is a journey that one should go back to again and again in their memories with a smile…

Design Your Private Tour Bulgaria

Customized, Private & Personal Bulgaria Tours

If we can make a tourist remember their private tour Bulgaria with joy; If we can make them feel that they should share it with family and friends; when we make them want to visit once again that small, ex-communist country, a country profoundly rich in history, culture, adventures; when we make tourists keep that country with beautiful nature in their hearts, then only, we from EnmarBg, can be proud of ourselves but also more demanding of ourselves as people and our job.

The story above or below has been copied from www.enmarbg.com. You can read the rest of the story on link private tour Bulgaria.

Zheravna Festival

08/04/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

Private tours Bulgaria. Bulgaria is no different from any other country in the world. It has its own history, heroes, legends. It surely had its falls and pinnacle. Bulgaria is inviting you on private tours Bulgaria to learn more about the country.

The country had difficult moments but it has always had its folklore. That folklore full of never ending energy which helped Bulgarians to survive through the centuries of wars. It also helped them to stay as a nation. What does folklore mean? It is the beliefs, traditions, stories of a community which are passed through the generations by word of mouth. Bulgarian folk songs, Bulgarian traditional costumes have these in them. The costume is one of the most typical elements of the Bulgarian folk culture.

It reflects the specificity, traditional culture and life of the Bulgarian people. According to ethnography, the origin of the costume is mainly Slavonic. However, it bears features of the clothes that Thracians and ancient Bulgarians used to wear. Also, features of other peoples’ can be noticed in the national costume. These are the nations that Bulgarians were in contact with – Turkish people, Greeks, Albanians, Vlachs. (private tour Istanbul)

A magic world of colours and patterns

The magic of private tours Bulgaria is endless. It reveals a magic world of different colours and motifs. These colours and motifs tell us stories of times long gone. Although Bulgaria is a Christian country, still paganism is alive. Pagan beliefs and legends are significant elements in the traditional costume.

In the past people used to have their traditional everyday clothing and such on festive occasions. Each region of Bulgaria has its own costume, which has typical motifs that make it unique. Diversity comes as a result of different factors: geographical, historical, socio-economic, cultural, religious, outside influence and of course, the personal taste.

Firstly, we need to say that costumes are male and female. Due to the many colours and motifs, the female clothing is more interesting than the men’s. However, male clothing can be attractive as well. Usually women’s clothes were the soukman, the one-apron, the two-apron costumes and the saya. Of course, they differed in the items included in the clothing. More or less, the main item in all of them was the chemise.

And secondly, what distinguishes both costumes is the outer clothes. For men’s costumes the shape and colour are the ones that matter, while for female it is the cut and wearing style.

This article is copied from www.enmarbg.com. For more information, you can click on private tours Bulgaria.

In the Storm part 4

02/03/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

She was running to the road just beyond the village.

They had surely gone for a walk on the road, where they had been seen several times. She would meet them on the way, or in Jonah’s inn near the big forest.

On the Gentile’s lane, the last one of the village, the dogs in the yards heard her hastening steps upon the drenched earth. Some of them began to bark behind the gates, not caring to venture out into the rain; others were not so lazy and crawled out from under the gates with an angry yelping.

She neither saw nor heard them, however. She only gazed far out over the road, which began at the lane, and ran along.
One dog seized her skirt, which had become heavy with water. She did not heed this, and dragged the animal along for part of the way, until it tired of keeping pace with her in the pelting downpour. So it released her skirt. For a moment it thought of seizing her in some other spot, but at once, with a sullen growl, it set out for its yard.

Water-Laden Atmosphere

On the road the wind became still stronger. And the thunder reechoed here with thousands of reverberations from the neighboring forest. Cheyne looked only straight before her, into the distance, through the dense, water-laden atmosphere.

The way was strewn with heaps of twigs and branches that had been severed by the lightning, and even, a few trees lay before her, tom up from their very roots, and charred.

“Would to God that the thunder would strike them even so!” she muttered.

She was consumed by an inner cry. Now she had found a definite form for all her curses. The thunder up yonder had tom it from her.

And she ran on, on. …

But what is this here?

A few paces before her lie two persons. A man and a woman. With contorted visages. In writhing positions. Their faces black as earth, their eyes rolled back. Two corpses, struck by lightning.

There was a brilliant flash, followed by a deafening thunderclap.
She recognized her daughter.

More by her clothes than by her charred countenance; more by her entire figure than by the horribly staring whites of her eyes.

The girl’s arm lay beneath that of the young man. The top of the open umbrella in the youth’s hand had been burned off.

The old woman was on the point of shrieking a curse, of adding her thunder to the fury of the storm’s thunder; her eyes flashed together with the lightning; in her heart there arose a devastating tempest.

She wished to cry out the most evil of words—that the dead maiden had earned her end. She desired to send after her the most wretched and degrading of names.

Suddenly, however, all grew black before her. A flood of molten lead seemed to pour into her head. Weariness and trembling fell upon her. Her garments, saturated with the rain, seemed to drag her to the earth. Her eyes were extinguished.

The thunder and lightning and shrieking of the wind broke out anew.
But within the old woman all was quiet, dark, dead. She sank to her knees before the corpse of her daughter, stretched over the body her trembling arms, and a dull flame flickered up in her eyes.

Her entire being quivered. Her teeth knocked together. And with a hoarse, toneless voice she gasped:

“My darling daughter! Hennye, my darling!”

In the Storm part 3

02/03/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

Then she flew back. On the threshold, however, she paused for a moment. She rolled her eyes heavenward and raised her arms to God.
“May flames devour this house!” came from her in a hoarse voice.

Then she departed, pulling the street door violently and leaving it open. The household stood agape, as if the storm itself had tom into the home. Out of sheer stupefaction the persons forgot to close their mouths.
Out of the clouds poured a drenching rain mixed with hail. The tempest seethed like a cauldron.

This boiling tempest, however, raged in Cheyne’s bosom. Something stormed furiously within her. She no longer felt the ground beneath her. The flood soaked her through and through, but this could not restrain her. It served only to augment her savage mood.

She ran from house to house, wherever she might have expected to come upon her daughter and the “apostate.” She stopped nowhere, uttered never a word, but dashed in and then sped out like a flash of lightning, leaving the household open-mouthed with astonishment.
She would find them! Even under the ground. And she did not stop her cursing and her maledictions.

As she rushed from the last house she paused for a moment. Whither now?

She turned homeward. Her heart told her that her daughter was now at home. Her lips muttered the most terrible imprecations, and the inner fury was at its height; the very air, it seemed to her, was laden with her cries, with her curses and oaths.

With a strong gust of wind, a flash of lightning and a crash of thunder, she tore into her home.

Her daughter was not there.

She sank upon a chair and burst into wailing.

Thunderclaps

There was a terrifying crash of thunder. One of those thunderclaps that work the most widespread havoc. Nature seemed to be shaking off the entire residue of energy that had been left to her by the hot summer.
The inhabitants of the village were rooted to the spot in terror. They looked about, then ventured a glance outside. Hadn’t some misfortune occurred? The penitents buried their faces deeper than ever in their prayer-books, and more than ever their voices quivered.

Cheyne, however, had apparently not heard the thunder. She continued to wail, to wail bitterly. Then a wild cry issued from her throat, us wild as the thunder:

“May she not live to come home! May they bring her to me dead! O Lord of the universe!”

The clouds replied with a clap of thunder and the wind sped apace, shrieking.

Suddenly she arose and dashed out as before. The wind accompanied her. Now it thrust her forward from behind, now it ran ahead like a faithful dog, smiting all in its path, raising the dirt from the road and mixing it with the thick drops that fell from the clouds, which were still black, and with the seething drops that coursed from her burning eyes.

In the Storm part 2

02/03/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

She had gone! And she had warned her daughter, it seemed, not to go out to-day—that on the Sabbath of Repentance, at least, she might remain at home and not run off to that “Apostate,” the former student.

Her aged countenance became as dark as the sky without. And her heart grew as furious as the storm. She gazed about the room as if seeking to vent her rage—strike somebody, break something.

“Oh, may she no longer be a daughter of mine!” escaped in angry
outburst from her storming bosom, and she raised her hand to heaven.

She was not affrighted by the curse that her lips had uttered on this solemn Sabbath. At this moment she could curse and shriek the bitterest words. She could have seized her now by the hair, and slapped her face ruthlessly.

Suddenly she threw a shawl over her head and dashed out of the house.
She would hunt them both out and would visit an evil end upon both of them.

A flash of lightning rent the clouds, and was followed by reverberating thunder. Then flash upon flash of lightning and crash upon crash of thunder. One more blinding than the other, one louder than the other!

Population Grew Greater

The horror of the population grew greater. That it should thunder on the Sabbath of Repentance, and in such demoniac fashion! All hearts were touched, all souls went out in prayer.

Old Cheyne, however, scarcely noticed this.

The wind blinded her eyes with dust, tore her scarf from her, blew her skirts about, twisted the wig on her old head.

She rushed along oblivious to all.

She neither heard nor saw anything before her. Within her it thundered and raged, it stormed and something drove her on. And before her all was dark, for her eyes were shot with blood.

Her small form grew even smaller. She strode along fairly doubled up, hastening breathlessly. She seemed to go faster than the wind. The wind lagged behind her. And whenever it caught up with her, it only spurred her on, and she quickened her step.

She did not look around, did not remark the inquisitive eyes that peered at her from behind the fastened windows by which she ran. She neither saw nor heard anything. Her entire being was merged with the fury of nature. Her thought was a curse, a horrible curse, a deadly curse. Not in words. But in her whole soul. Within her it cried, it thundered —drowning out the thunder of the black, angry clouds.

She stormed into the “apostate’s” house. She opened the door with a loud bang and closed it with one even louder. Those in the room shuddered at the sudden intrusion and jumped to their feet. She cast a wild, hostile glance at them and dashed through the rooms, from one to the other, from the other to a third.

he tore the doors open and slammed them behind her, accompanied by the thunder, as if in a wager as to which of them would make the panes and the windows rattle more violently. A little child took fright and began to cry. She ran from room to room, but neither he nor her daughter was there.

In the Storm part 1

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David Pinski (1872—1959)

David Pinski was born in Russia, but lived chiefly abroad, first in Germany, later in the United States and in Israel. He was preeminent as a dramatist and writer of stories. An artist of great culture and a finished stylist, he found in the proletariat the subject-matter of many of his plays and stories. His volume of Tales Temptations, was once “censored” by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, on what grounds it still remains to be discovered.

In the Storm, which appears in temptations, is one of the most effective and highly finished examples of the Yiddish short story.

Reprinted, in the translation by Isaac Goldberg, from temptations, published by Brentano’s, 1920, by whose permission it is here used.

In the Storm

A pious woman told it to me as a warning to sinners, to the young, to the modems.

Black clouds began to fleck the clear sky. Dense, heavy storm clouds. At first far off, beyond the forest, but very soon they darkened the whole sky over the village. A violent wind lashed and drove them on, and they sped under its whip, angry and sullen, menacing. The wind— a tornado—raged in all the consciousness of its formidable power, raising pillars of dust as high as the driven clouds, tearing off roofs and uprooting trees.

Terror had descended upon the village. Bright day had of a sudden turned to night, such as well befitted the Sabbath of Repentance, the Sabbath before the Day of Atonement. … As frightfully dark, as oppressively heavy as a pious Jew’s heart.

Folks shut themselves up in their houses, fastening windows and locking doors. The earnest faces of the penitent Jews became still more earnest. The depressing moods of the Sabbath of Repentance waxed still more depressing. God was scolding. The sad voices of the psalm- singers became deeper and more tearful.

The darkness grew blacker and blacker. Then old Cheyne raised her eyes from the psalms, looked through her spectacles into the street, uttered “Au-hu!” with trembling heart and heaved a sigh.

For a while she sat gazing outside. She shook her head. Her whole soul was full of God’s omnipotence.

It refused to grow lighter. The clouds passed by in endless procession, and the wind howled, whirling thick pillars of dust in its path.

She could recite psalms no longer. She removed her spectacles and placed them between the pages of her thick woman’s prayer-book, rose from her seat and went into her daughter’s room.

“What do you say to…”

She did not conclude her question. Her daughter was not there. The old woman surveyed the room, looked into the kitchen, then returned to the room. Her daughter’s bonnet was not in its place. With quivering hands she opened the closet. The jacket was missing!

The Easter Torch Part 8

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The trap was ingeniously contrived: a long rope fastened round a block of wood; lengthwise, at the place where the sawn panel had dis-appeared, was a spring-ring which Leiba held open with his left hand, while at the same time his right hand held the other end taut. At the psychological moment he sprang the ring, and rapidly seizing the free end of the rope with both hands he pulled the whole arm inside by a supreme effort.

In a second the operation was complete. It was accompanied by two cries, one of despair, the other of triumph: the hand is “pinned to the spot.” Footsteps were heard retreating rapidly: Gheorghe’s companions were abandoning to Leiba the prey so cleverly caught.

The Jew hurried into the inn, took the lamp and with a decided movement turned up the wick as high as it would go: the light concealed by the metal receiver rose gay and victorious, restoring definite outlines to the nebulous forms around.

Zibal went into the passage with the lamp. The burglar groaned ter-ribly; it was obvious from the stiffening of his arm that he had given up the useless struggle. The hand was swollen, the fingers were curved as though they would seize something. The Jew placed the lamp near it—a shudder, the fever is returning. He moved the light quite close, until, trembling, he touched the burglar’s hand with the burning chimney; a violent convulsion of the fingers was followed by a dull groan. Leiba was startled at the sight of this phenomenon.

Strange exaltation

Leiba trembled—his eyes betrayed a strange exaltation. He burst into a shout of laughter which shook the empty corridor and resounded in the inn.

Day was breaking.

Sura woke up suddenly—in her sleep she seemed to hear a terrible moaning. Leiba was not in the room. All that had happened previously returned to her mind. Something terrible had taken place. She jumped out of bed and lighted the candle. Leiba’s bed had not been disturbed. He had not been to bed at all.

Where was he? The woman glanced out of the window; on the hill in front shone a little group of small bright lights, they flared and jumped, now they died away, now, once more, soared upwards. They told of the Resurrection. Sura undid the window; then she could hear groans from down by the door. Terrified, she hurried down the stairs. The corridor was lighted up. As she emerged through the doorway, the woman was astonished by a horrible sight.

Upon a wooden chair, his elbows on his knees, his beard in his hand sat Leiba. Like a scientist, who, by mixing various elements, hopes to surprise one of nature’s subtle secrets which has long escaped and worried him, Leiba kept his eyes fixed upon some hanging object, black and shapeless, under which, upon another chair of convenient height, there burnt a big torch. He watched, without turning a hair, the process of decomposition of the hand which most certainly would not have spared him. He did not hear the groans of the unhappy being outside: he was more interested, at present, in watching than in listening.

Sura gave a cry

He followed with eagerness each contortion, every strange convulsion of the fingers till one by one they became powerless. They were like the legs of a beetle which contract and stretch, waving in agitated movement, vigorously, then slower and slower until they lie paralyzed by the play of some cruel child.

It was over. The roasted hand swelled slowly and remained motionless. Sura gave a cry.

“Leiba!”

He made a sign to her not to disturb him. A greasy smell of burnt flesh pervaded the passage: a crackling and small explosions were heard.

“Leiba! What is it?” repeated the woman.

It was broad day. Sura stretched forward and withdrew the bar. The door opened outwards, dragging with it Gheorghe’s body, suspended by the right arm. A crowd of villagers, all carrying lighted torches, invaded the premises.

“What is it? What is it?”

They soon understood what had happened. Leiba, who up to now had remained motionless, rose gravely to his feet. He made room for himself to pass, quietly pushing the crowd to one side.

“How did it happen, Jew?” asked someone.

“Leiba Zibal,” said the innkeeper in a loud voice, and with a lofty gesture, “goes to Jassy to tell the Rabbi that Leiba Zibal is a Jew no onger. Leiba Zibal is a Christian—for Leiba Zibal has lighted a torch for Christ.”

And” the man moved slowly up the hill, towards the sunrise, like the prudent traveller who knows that the long journey is not achieved with hasty steps.

The Easter Torch Part 7

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In a few moments, this same gimlet would cause the destruction of Leiba and his domestic hearth. The two executioners would hold the victim prostrate on the ground, and Gheorghe, with heel upon his body, would slowly bore the gimlet into the bone of the living breast as he had done into the dead wood, deeper and deeper, till it reached the heart, silencing its wild beatings and pinning it to the spot.

Leiba broke into a cold sweat; the man was overcome by his own imagination, and sank softly to his knees as though life were ebbing from him under the weight of this last horror, overwhelmed by the thought that he must abandon now all hope of saving himself.

“Yes! Pinned to the spot,” he said, despairingly. “Yes! Pinned to the spot.”

He stayed a moment, staring at the light by the window. For some moments he stood aghast, as though in some other world, then he repeated with quivering eyelids:

“Yes! Pinned to the spot.”

Prolonged crisis

Suddenly a strange change took place in him, a complete revulsion of feeling; he ceased to tremble, his despair disappeared, and his face, so discomposed by the prolonged crisis, assumed an air of strange serenity. He straightened himself with the decision of a strong and healthy man who makes for an easy goal.

The line between the two upper punctures of the panel was finished. Leiba went up, curious to see the working of the tool. His confidence became more pronounced. He nodded his head as though to say: “I still have time.”

The saw cut the last fiber near the hole towards which it was working, and began to saw between the lower holes.

Experience burglar

“There are still three,” thought Leiba, and with the caution of the most experienced burglar he softly entered the inn. He searched under the bar, picked up something, and. went out again as he entered, hiding the object he had in his hand as though he feared somehow the walls might betray him, and went back on tiptoe to the door.

Something terrible had happened; the work outside had ceased— there was nothing to be heard.

“What is the matter? Has he gone? What has happened?” flashed through the mind of the man inside. He bit his lower lip at such a thought, full of bitter disappointment.

“Ha, ha!” It was an imaginary deception; the work began again, and he followed it with the keenest interest, his heart beating fast. His decisioft was taken, he was tormented by an incredible desire to see the thing finished.

“Quicker!” he thought, with impatience. “Quicker!”

Again the sound of bells ringing on the hill.

“Hurry up, old fellow, the daylight will catch us!” said a voice outside, as though impelled by the will of the man within.

The work was pushed on rapidly. Only a few more movements and all the punctures in the panel would be united.

At last!

Gently the drill carried out the four-sided piece of wood. A large and supple hand was thrust in; but before it reached the bars it sought two screams were heard, while, with great force, Leiba enclosed it with the free end of the noose, which was round a block fixed to the cellar.

The Easter Torch Part 6

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His throat was parched. He was thirsty. He washed a small glass in a three-legged tub by the side of the bar and tried to pour some good brandy out of a decanter; but the mouth of the decanter began to clink loudly on the edge of the glass. This noise was still more irritating. A second attempt, in spite of his effort to conquer his weakness, met with no greater success.

Then, giving up the idea of the glass, he let it fall gently into the water, and drank several times out of the decanter. After that he pushed the decanter back into its place; as it touched the shelf it made an alarming clatter. For a moment he waited, appalled by such a catastrophe. Then he took the lamp, and placed it in the niche of the window which lighted the passage: the door, the pavement, and the wall which ran at right angles to the passage, were illuminated by almost imperceptible streaks of light.

He seated himself near the doorway and listened intently.

From the hill came the sound of bells ringing in the Resurrection morning. It meant that midnight was past, day was approaching. Ah! If only the rest of this long night might pass as had the first half!

The sound of sand trodden underfoot! But he was sitting in the comer, and had not stirred; a second noise, followed by many such. There could be no doubt someone was outside, here, quite near. Leiba rose, pressing his hand to his heart, and trying to swallow a suspicious lump in his throat.

There were several people outside—and Gheorghe! Yes, he was there; yes, the bells on the hill had rung the Resurrection.

They spoke softly:

“I tell you he is asleep. I saw when the lights went out.”

“Good, we will take the whole nest.”

“I will undo the door, I understand how it works. We must cut an opening—the beam runs along here.”

Distance on wood

He seemed to feel the touch of the men outside as they measured the distance on the wood. A big gimlet could be heard boring its way through the dry bark of the old oak. Leiba felt the need of support; he steadied himself against the door with his left hand while he covered his eyes with the right.

Then, through some inexplicable play of the senses, he heard, from within, quite loud and clear:

“Leiba! Here comes the coach.”

It was surely Sura’s voice. A warm ray of hope! A moment of joy! It was just another dream! But Leiba drew his left hand quickly back; the point of the tool, piercing the wood at that spot, had pricked the palm of his hand.

Was there any chance of escape? Absurd! In his burning brain the image of the gimlet took inconceivable dimensions. The instrument, turning continually, grew indefinitely, and the opening became larger and larger, large enough at last to enable the monster to step through the round aperture without having to bend. All that surged through such a brain transcends the thoughts of man; life rose to such a pitch of exaltation that everything seen, heard, felt, appeared to be enormous, the sense of proportion became chaotic.

The work outside was continued with method and perseverance. Four times in succession Leiba had seen the sharp steel tooth pierce through to his side and draw back again.

“Now, give me the saw,” said Gheorghe.

The narrow end of a saw appeared through the first hole, and started to work with quick, regular movements. The plan was easy to understand ; four holes in four corners of one panel; the saw made cuts between them; the gimlet was driven well home in the center of the panel, when the piece became totally separated from the main body of the wood it was pulled out; through the opening thus made a strong hand inserted itself, seized the bar, pushed it to one side and—Gentiles are in Leiba’s house.

The Easter Torch Part 5

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Then he had passed under the portico, and had listened at the top of the stone steps by the door which was secured with a bar of wood. He shook so that he could scarcely stand, but he would not rest. The most distressing thing of all was that he had answered Sura’s persistent questions sharply, and had sent her to bed, ordering her to put out the light at once. She had protested meanwhile, but the man had repeated the order curtly enough, and she had had unwillingly to submit, resigning herself to postponing to a later date any explanation of his conduct.

Sura had put out the lamp, had gone to bed, and now slept by the side of Strul.

The woman was right. Leiba was really ill.

Night had fallen. For a long time Leiba had been sitting, listening by the doorway which gave on to the passage.

What is that?

Indistinct sounds came from the distance—horses trotting, the noise of heavy blows, mysterious and agitated conversations. The effort of listening intently in the solitude of the night sharpens the sense of hearing; when the eye is disarmed and powerless, the ear seems to struggle to assert its power.

Approaching horses

But it was not imagination. From the road leading hither from the main road came the sound of approaching horses. Leiba rose, and tried to get nearer to the big door in the passage. The door was firmly shut by a heavy bar of wood across it, the ends of which ran into holes in the wall. At his first step the sand scrunching under his slippers made an indiscreet noise. He drew his feet from his slippers, and waited in the corner. Then, without a sound that could be heard by an unexpectant ear, he went to the door in the corridor, just as the riders passed in front of it at walking pace. They were speaking very low to each other, but not so low but that Leiba could quite well catch these words:

“He has gone to bed early.”

“Supposing he has gone away?”

“His turn will come; but I should have liked”

No more was intelligible; the men were already some distance away. To whom did these words refer? Who had gone to bed or gone away?

Whose turn would come another time? Who would have liked something? And what was it he wanted? What did they want on that byroad—a road only used by anyone wishing to find the inn?

An overwhelming sense of fatigue seemed to overcome Leiba.

Could it be Gheorghe?

Leiba felt as if his strength was giving way, and he sat down by the door. Eager thoughts chased each other through his head, he could not think clearly or come to any decision.

Terrified, he reentered the inn, struck a match, and lighted a small petroleum lamp.

It was an apology for a light; the wick was turned so low as to conceal the flame in the brass receiver; only by means of the opening round the receiver could some of the vertical shafts of light penetrate into a gloom that was like the darkness of death—all the same it was sufficient to enable him to see well into the familiar corners of the ipn- Ah! How much less is the difference between the sun and the tiniest spark of light than between the latter and the gloom of blindness.

The clock on the wall ticked audibly. The monotonous sound irritated Leiba. He put his hand over the swinging pendulum, and stayed its movement.

The Easter Torch Part 4

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What followed must have undoubtedly filled the driver with respect. The young passengers were two students, one of philosophy, the other of medicine; they were returning to amuse themselves in their native town. They embarked upon a violent academic discussion upon crime and its causes, and, to give him his due, the medical student was better informed than the philosopher.

Atavism; alcoholism and its pathological consequences; defective birth; deformity; Paludism; then nervous disorders! Such and such conquest of modern science—but the case of reversion to type! Darwin, Hackel, Lombroso. At the case of reversion to type, the driver opened wide his eyes in which shone a profound admiration for the conquests of modern science.

Criminal proper


“It is obvious,” added the medical student. “The so-called criminal proper, taken as a type, has unusually long arms, and very short feet, a flat and narrow forehead, and a much developed occiput. To the experienced eye his face is characteristically coarse and bestial; he is rudimentary man: he is, as I say, a beast which has but lately got used to standing on its hind legs only, and to raising its head towards the sky, towards the light.”

At the age of twenty, after so much excitement, and after a good repast with wine so well vinted and so well matured as Leiba’s, a phrase with a lyrical touch came well even from a medical student.

Between his studies of Darwin and Lombroso, the enthusiastic youth had found time to imbibe a little Schopenhauer—“towards the sky, to-wards the light!”

Leiba was far from understanding these “illuminating” ideas. Perhaps for the first time did such grand words and fine subtleties of thought find expression in the damp atmosphere of Podeni. But that which he understood better than anything, much better even, than the speaker, was the striking illustration of the theory: the case of reversion to type he knew in flesh and blood, it was the portrait of Gheorghe. This portrait, which had just been drawn in broad outline only, he could fill in perfectly in his own mind, down to the most minute details.

The coach had gone. Leiba followed it with his eyes until, turning to the left, it was lost to sight round the hill. The sun was setting behind the ridge to the west, and the twilight began to weave soft shapes in the Podeni valley.

Gloomy innkeeper

The gloomy innkeeper began to turn over in his mind all that he had heard. In the dead of night, lost in the darkness, a man, two women and two young children, torn without warning from the gentle arms of sleep by the hands of beasts with human faces, and sacrificed one after the other, the agonized cries of the children cut short by the dagger ripping open their bodies, the neck slashed with a hatchet, the dull rattle in the throat with each gush of blood through the wound; and the last victim, half-distraught, in a corner, witness of the scene, and awaiting his turn. A condition far worse than execution was that of the Jew without protection in the hands of the Gentile—skulls too fragile for such fierce hands as those of the madman just now.

Leiba’s lips, parched with fever, trembled as they mechanically followed his thoughts. A violent shivering fit seized him; he entered the porch of the inn with tottering steps.

“There is no doubt,” thought Sura, “Leiba is not at all well, he is really ill; Leiba has got ‘ideas’ into his head. Is not that easy to understand after all he has been doing these last days, and especially after what he has done to-day?”

He had had the inn closed before the lights were lit, to remain so until the Sabbath was ended. Three times had some customers knocked at the door, calling to him, in familiar voices, to undo it. He had trembled at each knock and had stood still, whispering softly and with terrified eyes:

“Do not move—I want no Gentiles here.”