Ricarda Huch 1899

Ricarda Huch
Blüthezeit der Romantik (Leipzig 1899), 27–43 [*]

|27| Whenever the opinions of contemporaries differ concerning a deceased person, when hatred and love compete in portraying that person in their corresponding colors, then what we in our own turn wish is the opportunity to forget all these contradictory witnesses for a moment that, by viewing the person’s countenance or hearing his or her words for ourselves, we might discern the mystery of that person’s soul. Who was she really, this Karoline, whom the great Schiller called Dame Lucifer and yet who for so many others was the “singular,” “incomparable” woman who exerted such an irresistible attraction on everyone on whom her own warm, intelligent, pleasant gaze fell? Were we able to ask her ourselves, she would doubtless proudly and openly and clearly tell us about herself, and would then perhaps remark with a pleasant, half-joking melancholy, “Can you not now see for yourselves that my heart is good?”

She was not really one of those romantic characters composed of strange admixtures and twilight personality traits and ambiguities; instead, her nature was characterized by secure, calm confident harmony, and one might say of her what Friedrich Schlegel said of little Wilhelmine in his novel Lucinde, namely, that “that strongest of the many convincing proofs of her inner perfection is that she’s so pleased with herself.” [1]

Born in 1763 as the daughter of Professor Michaelis in Göttingen, she was almost a child of the ancien régime, |28| that is, enlightened and sensible, and in her youth even a bit sentimental. The way she describes her engagement and wedding celebration in a letter to her friend Luise Gotter, how the young couple was led into an arbor decorated with garlands and verses, quite evokes the poetic atmosphere of Klopstock and Wieland. But when from time to time a brighter, stronger note of nature breaks through, one senses that these characteristic features of a waning epoch have merely drifted into her consciousness through the sort of example and custom that are wont to exert such powerful influence over a harmonious personality. After all, the young Goethe wrote his early poetry in a similar tone, that is, wholly according to the taste of the age, nor was he guided onto more revolutionary paths until he met Herder.

Karoline began her life as the wife of mining physician Böhmer in Clausthal, closed in between forests and mountains and withdrawn into a restricted circle in which she never felt at home. It was not that she necessarily desired grander circumstances, it was merely that her own strong nature unconsciously demanded a fate she herself might shape and develop, for a person’s daemon will always seek that which is supportive and promotes it; indeed, it will even bring about misfortune if the person requires and thus has a right to such. Karoline was not predisposed to brood over herself or to lose herself in real or imaginary internal conflicts; she did, however, clearly sense that this placidity and leisureliness was not salutary for her, and a small element of anxiety did awaken in her that she might become increasingly lethargic amid this sea of calm, ultimately coming to a complete standstill with arrested powers. Thus also was she wholly disinclined to surrender to melancholy, since her natural Weltanschauung was precisely that human beings were predestined to enjoy life, |29| indeed more so than any other creature, and that they went astray of their purpose if they did not do so. To her, being happy — were she not already naturally so — seemed virtually an obligation, and again and again she would try to be so regardless of how circumstances might conspire against such. Nor was this posture a frivolous craving for pleasure — nor, similarly, did it involve any sort of crassly material pleasure — there inhered in it instead an element of grand, rare justice, for when she was dissatisfied, it was solely within herself that she sought the reason. Her unshakeable feeling was that the world was beautiful, and full of gifts and blessings; and when blossoms and fruits did not fall naturally to her, she made it her business to find happiness in a modest branch or leaf. Smiling through her tears, she tried to maintain a cheerful disposition amid the serious, straight, dark, snow-covered fir trees of the Harz Mountains, with which she never quite knew what to do. And she read, and read, and read in all the books her sister would send her from the Göttingen library through the messenger woman — novels, memoirs, world history, forgotten philosophy and life wisdom — and in the midst of her oppressive loneliness she would doubtless stand in front of the mirror from time to time, nod to her downcast image, and call out in encouragement: “Do not overly grieve, my Karoline!”

She respected her husband’s upright character, anxiously keeping safe within her heart, as if in self-protection, the blind tenderness and affection her young disposition, in search of love, had cast around him. From a different perspective one might also call it weakness, that particular weakness that in fact constituted her innermost being and yet was at once also her strength, namely, that she could not live without love. Now that he had, after all, become her companion, she had no interest, as it were, in knowing and seeing, but rather in loving — loving, because without such she |30| could neither breath nor indeed exist. Since, however, it seems he possessed considerably less breadth of being than she did wealth of love, she instead showered the entire surfeit of her heart on her children, so much so that one might easily have believed that motherhood was her sole destiny.

In the larger sense, one particular element in her personality particularly deserving of admiration was that she always thoroughly and completely seized every obligation with which life presented her, and every opportunity to engage herself, even in modest household matters, and that everything she did, she did so with her entire soul, such that in each case an observer might well believe that precisely this particular activity was the primary focus for her, indeed that it was for precisely this particular activity that she was created. In truth, the most important thing admittedly was and remained little Auguste, this strange little creature, initially uncomely but of ever increasing charm, such as is often the case with individuals whose beauty is considerably influenced by their developing spirit and mind — bright, childish, naive, precocious, inquisitive, and pleasure-seeking, in short: an astonishing admixture of personality traits paired with the same soft countenance and blossom-like inclination of the head exhibited by her mother. The other children died early, soon after the death of her husband, with whom Karoline was married for only four years.

Thus, roughly, coarsely, was she released from the prison of her childlike youth, nor could she initially find any other use for her freedom than to engage it in petty battles with quotidian family concerns and superfluous grousing, for it was to her family in Göttingen that she had returned. As narrow and petty as circumstances there admittedly were, for her it was nonetheless bliss to find herself free and with an opportunity to spread her wings as broadly as she wished, and it was with a shudder that she recalled the dull years in Clausthal. Only now did she acknowledge |31| to herself that she had felt imprisoned there. And yet hardly had she really comprehended such before, unhappy as she was, she voluntarily entered into enslavement anew. And precisely that was her curse — and perhaps also her blessing — namely, that she could not be free, that her heart sought to be dependent on something she adored. As she herself doubtless realized, her heart’s inclination in this regard was even able, at least for a time, to blind her perspicacious, otherwise incorruptible intellect, though she also always sensed, if darkly, when she was on the wrong path.

The man to whom she now entrusted her soul with blind, limitless surrender seems to have been a rather problematical character, one lacking the strong instinct that made Karoline herself so secure. Although he must have loved her in his way, and in any event did admire her merits and virtues, it is nonetheless possible that the strength of her personality — which he did love about her — simultaneously frightened him; for he did not seize the moment to keep her, she who had come to him with all her pride and with all the joyousness of her love.

In any event, whether he did not feel himself to be her equal and thus also lacked the courage to countenance possessing her, or whether he was incapable of loving in a larger sense, merely playing instead for a time, as a weakling egoist, with half-sincere feelings, fearful of losing something of himself, of his own dignity, his own ease with himself — in any event, he allowed himself to be flattered by her indefatigable willingness to love and by her goodness, doubtless also enticed and even teased her — and yet remained at a distance, brittle, reserved. She in her own turn, with her overflowing heart, felt capable of making someone happy, and indeed tried to coerce this man whom she had chosen into seizing his own happiness. Marriage proposals made to her from other quarters she declined for his sake.

|32| It was at this time that she made the acquaintance of the young Wilhelm Schlegel, who was just engaged in his initial poetic studies at the side of Bürger, the lonely, forgotten elderly poet, and one can easily enough imagine how the energetic, unprejudiced young man was a refreshing sight for her amid the dull traditionalism and overly cautious rigidity of Göttingen notables. At the same time, she did admittedly feel clearly superior to him, and not merely because he was six years younger. And in any case, she had no affinity for the modern direction of literature with its, as one would put it today, nervous, sensitive inner life; old-fashioned Gotter, the husband of her friend Luise, was for her all one could ask of a proper poet. With all the high-spiritedness of her strong personality, a personality confidently coveting the highest, — she rejected the young belletrist, and, one might add, not without that particular element of cruelty that only those in love possess when they are completely immersed in the object of their love.

One should not, however, imagine that her love for a man ever really made her forget herself or the rest of the world. Such hardly need be emphasized, and even less extolled. Doubtless more women might easily enough be found for whom love meant everything, and precisely what distinguishes her from most is that as grand and devoted as her love could well be, it never caused her to forget the world, her alert mind always remaining quite the equal of her blind, elementary passion. Never did she lose her thinking engagement with people and their lives and activities. And how clear indeed was the mirror of her mind’s eye with which she perceived the images of her contemporaries. She was also quite capable of viewing and describing even her father, mother, and siblings like strangers, except that in so doing she was also always accompanied by love or piety, |33| which influenced, if not her judgment itself, then at least its expression. There was nothing of enthusiastic rapture or excessiveness in her friendships with women; instead, a certain element of pitiless relentlessness inhered in the way in which she took her lady friend wholly as that person was, without every idealizing her; and yet though she spoiled none of them through flattery, all the more did she come to them with understanding, accurate judgment, and unchangeable devotion and affection. At the same time, however, she did indeed otherwise understand the genuine, creatively brilliant art of idealization, to wit, in her capacity to see people in their wholeness, extracting their essence from the atomization of time that she might creatively summarize it instead. Which is why her portrayals of persons — excepting the few instances when personal passion distorted her judgment — exhibit the gentleness of impartial truth of the sort to which one accords unconditional credulity.

How clearly does the figure of Therese Forster emerge from the brief remarks she made about her in letters: the spirit — one present in her entire family — so detrimental to happiness, her own addiction to unhappiness , one that cannot but imagine those whom she loves as being wholly unhappy, the way she finds bitterness everywhere, how deleterious she is for people in general, yet how infinitely much she can be for a few, her inclination toward grandeur, her energy and boldness. And how subtle and, indeed, good it is that in everything that repulses Caroline about Therese, Caroline herself does nonetheless recognize the “convulsive movements of a great soul.” Like Caroline, Therese, too, was the daughter of a Göttingen professor, namely, the respected philologist Heyne; after her relationship with the young Wilhelm von Humboldt had been severed, she became the wife of the naturalist Georg Forster. For no other woman did Karoline maintain such ongoing interest. What made her so interesting and attractive was precisely that this struggling and unclear soul was so different from her own harmony and goodness, which, in |34| her own words, reposed so securely at the bosom of nature and gazed so clearly into nature’s eyes. Karoline’s own inactive solitude was then interrupted by an invitation from this friend to come settle with her in Mainz, which had just joined the new French Republic. [2] Here, finally, was the element in which she could breathe: life and action! This summons could not but seem like a redeeming liberation to Karoline, like a summons from fate itself to her who felt capable of “performing miracles and indeed of coercing recalcitrant fate by means of an ardent, overflowing heart,” and who currently found herself with no tasks other than the education her small, good-natured little girl, superfluous social obligations, and that of cheering up a malcontent family. Despite all the warnings of even her most beloved friends, she moved to the agitated town with her child, into to the cramped, bustling activities of a great people, where her well-meaning friends did indeed consider such a passionate, love-starved creature to be in some danger. She, in the meantime, was wont to follow the inclinations of her heart, something she did fully conscious, for doing so was her pride and her security. She knew she may very well err, but never lose her self. She possessed the fortunate instinct of sleepwalkers who never stumble or fall as long as they are simply left to go their own way. Even the mistakes she made, the ill-considered paths she chose, could not but serve her. One might envy her nothing more than this talent for shaping her own life, if one can use this expression, a talent that bestows confidence in every turn of fate precisely because the person is basically not anxious concerning the ultimate outcome of things. “Perhaps it truly is difficult to prompt me to make a decision,” she once says, |35| “but I have always managed to come to one before it was too late and have then always, unwaveringly held to it. I am not one to say today — I want to do this — and then tomorrow — now I want something different, saying it in each instance as confidently as if it were valid for all time — no, my utterances doubtless illustrate very clearly that I in fact do not know what I ought to do — until the moment arrives.” These words trenchantly portray the nature of those personalities who always deliver more than they promise, who are too clearly conscious of not being capable of lying to themselves and whose pure, strong, unmistakable instinct, when it finally is time to act, ultimately does indeed have them do what is appropriate for them.

It was likely not easy for Karoline to live between Forster and Therese, each of whom occupied her in opposite ways. Although Karoline’s understanding recognized Therese’s considerable talents, her feelings became increasingly less satisfied by them. By contrast, her intellect disapproved of Forster, “the weakest of all human being,” while her femininely maternal tenderness, precisely because of his impotence, could perhaps not but respond to him lovingly, whose intelligence, modesty, and generous disposition her heart, moreover, simultaneously admired. These circumstances became even more entangled insofar as it was precisely at this time that the marriage completely fell apart when Therese, who now maintained she had never genuinely loved her husband, wholly turned her attentions to Huber, Schiller’s former friend and the fiancé of Körner’s sister-in-law, Johanna Stock. Even up till his death, Forster never stopped loving his wife, or, as Karoline put it not without an element of disdain, “although one might well be able to kill his love, one could not kill his affection or devotion.” He did not have the strength to tear himself away, she alleges, |36| he lived off attention and pined for love. After Therese had left their house entirely, Karoline became the unhappy man’s consoler. A short time afterward, horrific events took place; Mainz was besieged and conquered by the Germans, Forster fled to Paris, and Karoline fell into the hands of the enemy.

The prisoners were taken to a fortress as hostages and treated with extraordinary brutality and with an utter lack of respect for their rightful demands. Karoline’s delicate health and her anxiety for her child, whom she still had with her, made all the sufferings and deprivations doubly painful for her. What was that, however, compared to the torments visited on her delicate and proud heart! No one had approved of her stay in Mainz, her enthusiasm for French freedom, or her concern for Forster, who represented that freedom; in thought people had already placed the red cap of the Jacobins on her head — and of what evil and badness did people not think the Jacobins capable? Defamation was poured out over the unfortunate, defenseless woman, now even alleged to have been the mistress of the French general Custine, nor, that notwithstanding, was her relationship with Forster taken to be anything other than a love affair. And finally, her brother-in-law Böhmer, who had taken the side of France and played an ambiguous role, was taken to be her husband. She could do nothing other than proudly and indignantly asseverate her innocence, which she did, however, sensing that appearances were militating against her. For as false as all the charges against her were, something else had happened, something fateful: she was anticipating becoming the mother of a child without being legally connected with its father, indeed — and this was the real misfortune — without even feeling any inward connection with him.

|37| Nothing would be gained even if one could ascertain with certainty who the man was to whom this lonely woman had so thoughtlessly and joylessly given herself. [3] That this affectionate woman could be swept up by a man who understood how to captivate her, that for his sake she could forget both reason and caution, is less surprising than that passion had so dimmed her bright eyes that she did not recognize — or chose to overlook — the unworthiness of her lover; and perhaps it would not have happened at all had the pain of loving a man who had never entirely drawn her to himself while yet never resolutely pushing her away not overstrained her and made her sick at heart.

Now, however, cast out alone into the most horrific of circumstances, the entire breadth of her superiority, her greatness of soul, and her nobility reemerged. And precisely what removed any despicable elements from her weakness was that she possessed the noble masculine trait of being able, after such a fall, to stand up once again and continue powerfully and confidently on her way just as before. That she had given love in exchange for something she had taken for love and which probably also was such — albeit from a weakling — was not something about which she would be ashamed before herself. That which was at work within her was wholly and utterly surveyable and transparent to her clear consciousness, and precisely that gave her that feeling of innocence perceived by those who are untainted by falsehood within themselves, and which gave her an element of steadfastness and stability even amid unstable life circumstances, while others may totter even when the ground beneath their feet is in fact firm. As was her wont, she recognized everything that had happened and that she had done in all its logical consistency and bore the necessary consequences without raising accusations against any element of fate residing outside herself. Her courage and power increased commensurate with the danger. There is no way to know |38| how she took the news that the man who had for so long been her guiding star, in whom she had placed her hopes, and whose position would sooner have made it possible to be of use to her — that this man now withdrew, by all appearance out of cowardly caution to avoid exposing himself through any connection with this persecuted, politically disreputable woman; it is quite possible, of course, that she had already early come to terms with the emptiness of this dream. And it must have been a bitter for her to acknowledge that precisely the one who now was most indefatigably taking up her cause was Wilhelm Schlegel, whom in happier days she had so high-handedly rejected. Correct as he was wont to be in both feeling and action, courtly and in love as he was, he now stood up for her without reserve. After her release was attained through the concerted efforts of several of her friends — and specifically through those of her younger brother, it was Wilhelm Schlegel who now undertook the task — one in fact even more difficult — of finding secure circumstances for her. It was now in utter isolation, near Leipzig that she awaited the birth of her fatherless child, and it was here that Friedrich Schlegel got to know her, visiting her regularly, as it were, as the authorized representative of his brother, and as the only guest providing periods of interruptions in her loneliness. Friedrich was already acquainted with Karoline from her letters to Wilhelm, and his reflective imagination had already occupied itself with her to the extent that he had become an admirer by the time he first met her in person. Now, however, her personality completely overwhelmed him; he could find nothing to criticize about her, perceived her as a whole herself, and was utterly captivated by her.

And, indeed, what an impression must she have made precisely at this time, in such an awkward and embarrassing position and yet so full of natural dignity, no anxious dejection, consistently cheerful even amid constant physical problems, always inclined to jesting and intellectual |39| enjoyment, moderating the inescapable seriousness of the situation and the inescapable pain through humor or prudent observation. As amiable and pleasant as she could be amid good fortune, just as grand and touching could she be amid misfortune.

It seemed rather miraculous to the self-conscious young man that he could acknowledge her understanding as superior to his own; she possessed, moreover, what he lacked, namely, the soul of the soul: love. Again and again, even years later, when bitterness, jealousy, and misunderstanding clouded what was originally such a pure and beautiful relationship, he continued to extol her talent for love, a talent enabling her to bridge virtually any estrangement — if she so desired. In his novel Lucinde, he offers the following portrayal of this “unique woman who moved him to the very depths of his heart for the first time”:

She possessed, indeed, every sublime and delicate quality characteristics of women, as well as all their divineness and mischief; but everything was refined, well-bred, and feminine. Every single characteristic was freely and strongly developed and expressed, as if it existed for him alone; and yet this rich, daring mixture of such disparate elements formed a whole that was not chaotic because it was animated by a single spirit, a living breath of harmony and love. In one and the same hour she could mimic some comic nonsense with all the playfulness and subtlety of a trained actress, and could read a sublime poem with the ravishing nobility of an artless song. At one moment she would want to flirt and shine in society, at another she would be completely inspired, and at still another she would be helpful both in word and deed, as serious, modest, and friendly as a tender mother. She could transform some trivial event into a beautiful story by her charming way of telling it. |40| She enveloped everything in tenderness and wit; she had a feeling for everything, and everything emerged transfigured out of her shaping hand or her sweetly speaking lips. Nothing good and great was too sacred or too common for her to take a passionate interest in. She understood every allusion and answered those questions, too, which had not been asked. It wasn’t possible to lecture to her; by themselves those lectures turned into conversations and, as they became more and more interesting, a continually renewed music and spirited looks and lovable expressions played upon her face. [4]

He does emphasize in conclusion, however, that this same woman, one so full of delicate poesy, could demonstrate astonishingly amazing courage and strength should the occasion require it.

Lamentably, a period of enervation inevitably follows the highest engagement of human intellectual powers. And so also with Karoline; for after having just triumphed in overcoming both her own weakness and considerable worldly distress, she committed precisely the act for which one might perhaps be most inclined to reproach her, namely, that of agreeing to marry Wilhelm Schlegel. For quite apart from the fact that she herself later remarks how she married him less from love than in response to her mother’s wish and to secure a stable means of support for her and her child, how is one supposed to believe that she genuinely loved the man about whom she said six years earlier: “Schlegel and I?! I laugh even as I write! No, that much is certain — nothing will ever come of us.” And even were one to point out what changes six years can bring about in a person, and how many changes had indeed come about in the meantime in this case, nonetheless the fact that this marriage did end so quickly demonstrates that no genuine, inner sense of belonging together ever developed between the two partners. But to dissimulate oneself into love partly out of playful amorousness, partly out of convenience, |41| is doubly sinful for a woman claiming the right to follow the instinct of her heart, as if it were a sacred, unerring, incorruptible voice, and that despite whatever judgment the world may choose to pass. And, indeed, secretly she was doubtless also quite aware of this injustice, for all her remarks to friends concerning this engagement seem slightly crippled by a sense of embarrassment.

On the other hand, because all the considerations that genuinely can excuse and explain this step are so self-evident and obvious, they need be only fleetingly mentioned here. She had every reason to be grateful to Wilhelm, who had taken up her cause so circumspectly, so vigorously, and so selflessly; and this gratitude made her heart receptive to love. She was the distressed party, the one in need of help, and he the protector, and this situation conferred on him a higher degree of masculinity and superiority than he in reality possessed. This circumstance was then joined by jealousy of the Dutch “Sophie,” whose love had as a matter of fact comforted Wilhelm in the face of Karoline’s own brittleness, a feeling he himself roused not without a certain coquettish brittleness of his own, perhaps also out of jealousy of the father of her newborn child. One need not doubt that she had fallen in love with this “gracious friend,” who was so young, handsome, and, enterprising; indeed, as selfless Friedrich even insisted: “colossally in love.” The main thing was that she would not exist without love, and that the right person happened to be at hand.

She would, however, come to regret having entered into an alliance in which a person’s entire self is at stake, that is, for having done so merely out of fear of being alone and in the face of the struggles of life. She was now living together with a man whom she tended to overlook despite his considerable talents and intellectual merits, albeit not because she herself was smarter or more noble or sensible, but simply because of her own overall level of maturity, |42| which happened to be further along than his own. And when after a brief period a man did enter into her circle, the first about whom we feel certain was necessary for her, indeed, predestined for her, namely, Schelling — she was captivated, and quickly found herself, through her own imprudence and weakness, entangled in horrific external and internal conflicts. And yet all that notwithstanding, how delighted are we precisely now by the invincible freshness of her personality, which never for a moment timidly doubts either itself or the truth of its own feelings. To this friend, who is worrying about her capacity for faithfulness, she writes:

Just please do not mock me, my dear, I was, after all, born to be faithful and would have remained so my entire life had the gods so willed it; and despite the presentiment of independence which I have always had, it caused me tremendous, laborious pain to be unfaithful, if you want to call it that, for inwardly I have never been such. Precisely this consciousness of inward faithfulness, however, often made me bad, allowing me to take risks in what I allowed myself; I knew of the eternal balance in my own heart. Could anything preserve me from ruin in my dangerous life than precisely this element of the highest? And if I had made myself despair in the despair of those whom I love – indeed, I would despair at it in grief, but not in conscience, I could never cry out as Jacobi [5]: Do not rely on your own heart! I would always have to rely on my heart beyond considerations of distress and even death, even if doing so had led me precisely to distress and death.

One sense that she is not merely parroting slogans here; one believes what she is writing. She was faithful because she was faithful to herself, and regardless of whichever detours she might have taken, she invariably maintained an unerring sense of the proper direction. In such instances, a person acquires a sense of confidence |43| that even the detours were necessary and useful and served some purpose of other.

Can all these words, however, evoke Karoline for us the way she really was? What about, on the one hand, her mischievous cheekiness, and, on the other, the unerring sense of propriety with which she dealt seriously with matters of seriousness inaccessible to jest? What about the straightforward sense of dignity with which she disarmed every defamation and every prejudice of those who wished her ill or who were simply ill-informed? Or the prudent modesty with which she acknowledged the limits of her own nature? None of this is as wondrous, however, as the innocence of her self-consciousness, which in its own turn resided in the unreserved conviction of the fundamental goodness of her own heart. When she speaks about the gentle courage of her heart, courage that supports and carries her through the darkest hours and most dangerous threats, it is as if she herself is delighting, in gratitude, at the presence of a beautiful, faithful companion in her own breast, a gracious daemon dwelling within her. After having suffered the greatest pain of her entire life, namely, the loss of her child, she once read that somewhere in Homer one could find words maintaining that “the hearts of the good can be healed,” and asks her husband if he might find the passage for her. “For I never found that in Homer, only in my own heart.”


[*] Editor’s note: footnotes are my own. Back.

[1] Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde and the Fragments, trans. Peter Firchow (Minneapolis 1971), 50. Back.

[2] Mainz would not petition to join the French Republic until well after Caroline had moved to Mainz. Back.

[3] Huch was apparently unaware that his identity had already been determined. Nor does evidence suggest that Caroline merely “thoughtlessly and joylessly” gave herself to Dubois-Crancé. Back.

[4] Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde and the Fragments, 92. Back.

[5] Huch has Jakob (Jacob), presumably misunderstanding Caroline’s remark as a biblical allusion; but Caroline writes “Jacobi, an allusion to Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Woldemar, 2 vols. (Königsberg 1794), 2:281: “At every subsequent opportunity, Woldemar repeated that on all his walls, written in radiant letters, though visible only to him, one could read: Whoever relies on his own heart is a fool.” Back.

Translation © 2011 Doug Stott