Gorman, a 23-year-old African American writer, became popular for reciting poetry at Biden’s inauguration. She had previously revealed on social media that she had been followed by a security guard and believed that she had been racially discriminated against. Recently, Gorman’s Catalan translator, Obios, suffered “reverse racial discrimination” and was dismissed.
According to a report from Agence France-Presse on the 10th, this is not the first time Gorman’s poems have been criticized for the “race” of translation. Previously, the Dutch introduced his poems because the translation was rejected by white people. Obios said: “They told me that I was not suitable for translating her book. They did not question my translation ability, but wanted to find a translator that fits the image. It must be a young woman, energetic, and best. It’s still of African descent.” The incident sparked heated discussion, and some people commented: “The nature of racial discrimination has not changed.”
It is understood that Obios has translated the works of Shakespeare and Wilde. Obios said: “If Gorman is an African American poet in the 21st century I cannot translate her works, then I should not translate the works of Homer and Shakespeare, because I am neither in the 8th century BC The Greeks are not British in the 16th century.”
Paul Karlsen walked slowly over the rust-colored gravel. The front garden was in bloom on either side of the narrow path. The midday sun lay over the wine-clad house. Apparently he was in no hurry. He also took the few comfortable marble steps of the stairs almost hesitantly. In the anteroom that led to the actual hall, the stiff figure of an old servant, who had something strangely lifeless, was waiting for him. Paul Karlsen’s eyes were still blinded by the abundance of the sun. He was shocked when a hand reached out for his hat, although he must have known this picture after all.
“Well – am I on time today, old Hagen,” he asked casually.
The face didn’t change. Only the low voice sounded reproachful.
“The madam has been waiting to eat for an hour!”
He gave a short laugh, threw his head back and mumbled something.
“Damn compulsion,” it said. –
In the large, very cool dining room, two place settings waited on delicious linen. – This room looked pompous[S. 105]sticky and overwhelming. The black burlap covering the walls was all too solemn. The massive furniture spread out in its preciousness. The sun, which could never find its way through stylishly painted panes anyway, was completely blocked off by heavy curtains. Only the table with the dazzling white linen bore an abundance of blood-red roses and dark blue crystal.
Suddenly the slender figure of a woman dressed in white broke out of the semi-dark melancholy and walked towards Paul Karlsen. The elongated face was strikingly pale. The nose protruded sharply, as if a recently sick bed had taken away the natural curve of the cheeks.
Karlsen brought her hand to his lips and let the wording of his voice sound like a well-acted surprise:
“You decorated this morgue so beautifully today, little woman. Who should be buried? And you’ve also put on a new robe. ”
Her tears welled up. Not because he made her wait. Oh no – she had got used to it a long time ago. But – that he didn’t – thought of it.
“The dress,” she said hastily so as not to cry out loud, “don’t you really know it, Paul?”
He pulled her over to one of the tall windows and pulled back the curtain. In this movement there was a rebellion against many other things.
“Nah, my child. I have no idea. ”
“I wore it on the day of our secret engagement in Oeynhausen.”
He gave a sheepish laugh.
“Right! – Naturally! – I see it now. But that was no more than four months ago and still not a year. So where is the cherished occasion for a special celebration? ”
“Today we are husband and wife for a month,” she said softly and could not prevent a round drop from falling on the precious robe. – He raised his forehead impatiently.
“Nice – that is, a month! How does that compare to all the years that are hopefully still ahead of us. – Well, I got sweaty this high feast. Don’t take it amiss. My head is buzzing. There is more work and difficulties to overcome than I initially thought. ”
“I’m not bothering you with your studies, Paulchen?”
He had never liked his nickname at all. This “Paulchen”, which he could not get out of her, sometimes irritated him to the point of madness. Now he ignored it because he wanted to achieve something.
“You in particular are the most humble and quietest being there can be. In general, of course, I wouldn’t be reluctant to be solo for a short while. ”She looked up at him in horror.
“Is that supposed to be!” She couldn’t finish. Her voice drowned in tears. He shook himself as if he were freezing.
“Do me the only favor and stop crying, Elfriede. I always feel like a barbarian. No, you shouldn’t be yours for a few days[S. 107]Visiting her currently ailing mother, one street down, and making her half nonsensical with joy – which wish she betrayed to me a week ago, albeit with the request to keep it from you for the time being – but I will become my teacher among the dazzling roof garden pull. Because, you know, little woman, I have to practice and only practice – I can no longer be tied to a fixed table time – at such times temporarily I cannot tolerate any other company than a male. ”
She put her hand on his arm.
“Paulchen, give it to me today so that I can go to my old girl’s room with my mother. You must be at ease right now. ”
“That would make a nice story, my dear child! Your mother would suddenly forget how much they longed for you and how firmly they believe that I treat you badly and lovelessly. Because look, after all, it remains a bit wonderful when a lovely young woman leaves her husband – even if only temporarily – after a month’s marriage. ”The last sentence gave her tremendous strength.
“Do you really believe, Paulchen, that I would present my mother to my visit in this light?”
“Well, well, little one – who knows about you women? In a certain sense you are all very much alike. ”
She contradicted it with a sudden flicker of red.
“Have you already forgotten what I praised you in the green solitude of the sluice by the carp pond?” Of course[S. 108]After all, he hadn’t the faintest idea. But he was careful not to admit it.
“Women’s vows are unpredictable, like your jealousy, honey.”
“Do you think I’m jealous?”
“It would depend on the test. I don’t want to say straight in the negative! ”
“I would pass it. Count on it.”
“D rather not. Your mother lives a little too close, little one. ”
“How deeply must you assess me, Paul!”
“Beware. Huge high, actually. Would I have married you otherwise? ”
With a touching gesture of humility, she laid her face on his slender hand.
“Never say something like that again, Paulchen. We want to trust each other firmly, very firmly. ”He wanted to laugh. But in the end it turned into a cough.
“We want to too. Naturally. But now please come. I’m hungry as a bear. ”Startled, she pushed him over to the blackboard.
“Forgive me – I forget that next to you so often!”
He eyed her lean, still childishly undeveloped form and sighed slightly.
“Unfortunately, my good darling! Eat and drink, love and sing. Yes – that’s what it said on an old farmhouse in Saxony. And the saying is right! – As I can see, you also made a wonderful contribution to the celebration of the high day. Hopefully he’s good. ”
She insisted on filling the sparkling bowl from the heavy crystal carafe.
“Try it, Paulchen.” He lifted the precious glass and let it ring lightly against hers.
“Wonderful! – In general – I have to admit that again and again, you are a very splendid little housewife. ”
She looked up at him, beaming.
“That’s why I have one wish, yes?”
The servant served the soup. The conversation stopped. As soon as he had disappeared inaudibly, Paul Karlsen said mockingly:
“He doesn’t love me, little elf. Do you actually know that? ”
“He loves everyone who is good to me,” she said calmly, almost sternly.
“So? Well, you know, I very much doubt that. Or do you mean to suggest that I – ”
She didn’t let it finish. She gently put her hand over his mouth.
“I am inexpressibly grateful to you for that. Nevertheless, I would like to have one more little something. ”
“What then, little one?”
“The visit to my mother.”
“Locked out! I have given you the reasons for my hardship. ”
“They are all obsolete. I’m just starting it so cleverly that Mama will secretly thank you at the end. ”
“How did you want to do that?”
“Very easy. For the usual whist game this afternoon, I would have gone over. So there I will[S. 110]must look exceptionally pale. – Don’t laugh – a little white is enough. She will torture me again to spare me, in her anxiety she will demand my longer visit so that she can convince herself of my state of health and all of this in your presence. ”
“For God’s sake, I’m not supposed to go with you. So far you have cleverly avoided that. ”
“Bring me this sacrifice, dearest.”
“All right then! I even want to come with you. That means at most for one to two hours. ”
“It won’t be necessary until then,” she said happily. “But now keep listening. You block yourself against what is required of her and ultimately refuse your permission in all forms. – Then she will get heated and insist on it under all circumstances. – I know her. ”
“You’re a very dangerous little hypocrite, honey.”
He pulled her lightly in his arms. In a deep sense of happiness she closed her eyes, which were the only beautiful thing on her face.
“Isn’t that a fine plan, Paulchen?”
“Excellent even if I hadn’t felt sorry for it again in the meantime. You took as serious what was just a kind of emotional outburst with me. ”
“That you wanted it, even if only for a moment, shows me the necessity and afterwards – it will be all the more beautiful.”
“Valid, we wouldn’t have thought that a quarter of a year ago?”
“What then,” he purred with awakening comfort.
“That we would force our luck so quickly.”
He nodded with his mouth full, because in the meantime the roast had arrived that, tender and juicy, would have satisfied even the greatest gourmet.
“If you hadn’t suddenly gotten sicker after the brusque rejection of my recruiting by Frau Kommerzienrat, of course, wanted to say to your dear mom, and thereby questioned any effect of the cure on your rebellious heart – who knows who will be next to me today you would sit – ”
“How little you really know me, Paulchen. Don’t you feel that I would never have belonged to anyone other than you? ”
He nodded to her.
“Little loyalty – you!” Then he began to joke and chat about that time, because he knew exactly that this was her favorite conversation. His fiery eyes shone deep into hers. The flattering soft organ turned even the most insignificant word into tenderness. His mood was suddenly brilliant.
Above the blood-red roses and the blue crystal the crown of happiness, which alone gives love, seemed to float in a warm glow! – –
“Yes,” said Frau Kommerzienrat Eßling a few hours later to her old friend and confidante who – as for years – was the first to come to the whist party, “I would have her close by. But what does that mean. As much as one pays attention – nobody is omniscient. Who can tell me whether Elfriede is under his[S. 112]management has not also learned to play comedy? ”
Consul General Enck was not of a suspicious nature. But she showed her sharpest disapproval for this hastily closed connection between the overly delicate, constantly ailing girl and this picture-perfect, light-footed Karlsen. If only she had been asked for advice, as is usually the case with every important decision. However, just over her head, they had quietly followed the engagement, which she did not take seriously, and the marital union.
Now, of course, remorse and remorse came over the worried, self-suffering mother. On the other hand, she knew the admirable energy of the councilor too well to regard this alliance as permanent from the outset.
“You should have thought better,” she couldn’t fail to reply. The other stared down at the fine china of the precious tea bowls.
“You have never owned children. You can say something like that. Just stand at two sick beds, in which apparently so far very healthy, beautiful, fun-loving girls – – The other doctors also had no idea at first. The fact that my husband died at a young age of complications from persistent pneumonia was in itself no cause for alarm for his children. First see what I have endured. – How I struggled against the terrible ghost back then. I’ve been hard – so hard. ”
There was a twitch in her energetic face, from which the sharp nose, like that of her now only daughter, protruded conspicuously.
“Don’t get upset with the old stories, Frau Eßling.”
“I am happy to have spoken with you. Who should I talk to about it if not you, from whom I have no secret. – Since I gave my old Franz, the servant, to my Elfriede, nobody in the house knows about these things. ”
“Don’t paint yourself too black, dearest,” the consul defended. “You may have been strict at the time. Who wouldn’t have been in the same situation? I don’t believe in hardship. ”
“You should judge for yourself. It was in St. Blasien where, after the unsuccessful cures in Hohenhonnef and Davos, I decided to go again with my two oldest daughters. Because you know that I couldn’t and didn’t want to believe that everything should be in vain. In the lounge there was a happy life among the young people, and there was none that would have thought of dying prematurely. As a healthy person, one disregards the guidelines that are otherwise strictly observed in intercourse between the different sexes, because the poor consecrated creatures are no longer fully human. Isn’t it true, when one of us sees such a narrow-shouldered guy with fever-red spots on the protruding cheekbones, then you don’t ask for a long time what else he is, has and wants, even if he shows apparent pleasure in his own flesh and blood. On the contrary,[S. 114]you are still happy about it, and who knows how magnanimous and even noble, because you are the birth mother of your happiness exciter. That is why I was not worried for a moment when the young sculptor courted my sick elders beyond all due fees. Only when the doctor treating him, to whom I expressed my regrets about this hopeless case, explained to me frankly and with a laugh that he would be happy if each of his patients were as healthy as this artist, who is sure to be completely on top again next year I became thoughtful, careful, and strict. – I took my girl to prayer. I treated the sculptor as badly as I could. – It was too late for anything. – One day my daughter explained to me that she had become engaged to the boy from have-nothing. She was on her knees in front of me and begged for my consent. I stayed tough. The fact that the apparently doomed man was only in need of protection from the consequences of severe pleurisy had wonderfully strengthened my hope for my own children. – One day after the unsuccessful pleading of my elders, we went home, breaking off the cure that was not halfway through. Letters arrived, were intercepted by me and promptly destroyed. Every night I heard the bitter sobs of my elders – noticed how they grew pale and frail and suddenly no longer believed in the seriousness of the fate. It was so close. Meanwhile, I had retired my little Elfriede, the least graceful of the three, to the country because the doctor thought it was possible[S. 115]contagion, even with the greatest caution. Now I was able to live entirely by caring for the other two. – Once the sculptor dared to get into my house. I received him too. – He hasn’t written a line since then. Because I was clear. – Four weeks later, my daughter, supported by her sister, made one last storm on my mother’s heart. God knows, it hasn’t moved this hour. I felt it as a whim and stubbornness, which was more than that. ”
The other put a reassuring hand on the councilor’s twitching shoulder.
“We all know what a self-sacrificing, wonderful mother you have been over the years.”
“So magnificent that afterwards I was still happy about my solid character and pouted seriously with the poor child for a few days. My second one has also begun incessantly for her and the sculptor. – When she saw that I wasn’t giving in, she fell silent, but it was strange, since then things have got worse with her too. They both seemed to have submitted to the inevitable will of my will, until that terrible moment when the nurse called me during the night. Then my eldest, who was always a gentle, shy thing, told me how unbearable her existence was without her lover and how little she was pleased that it was finally allowed to end. – When the sun rose, it was dead. And day and night, torn by repentance, I pleaded for forgiveness and vowed to myself, at least to the one[S. 116]to make amends for the two of them, if I could. – My second no longer had the strength to love. A year later, as you know, she also fell asleep. I only had the elf, the youngest. The country life has not been able to give her the right vitality either. She continued to be tender and in need of care. What is it? I dont know! A little tiredness, which the doctors call bleaching. A little pallor. That’s how it usually starts. – And I wanted and want to keep it. – I was no longer blind and deaf. When I saw the looks with which the actor Karlsen, whom I got to know a few years ago in the house of an acquaintance who had him come over for singing lectures, stared at my Elfriede, I knew immediately that a fight would have to start again . And knew – also its end! Because I was no longer strong and healthy enough to go through those times again. His playful advertising went against all feelings. He was a much inferior person than the sculptor was once. As a mature woman, you feel that very quickly. There was one more thing. Anyone who, like me, comes from a wealthy merchant’s house, in which everything is properly booked and billed, can never make friends with the customs of the arts. Because Karlsen is an artist. That’s a fact for me too. In addition, it is something else – ” As a mature woman, you feel that very quickly. There was one more thing. Anyone who, like me, comes from a wealthy merchant’s house, in which everything is properly booked and billed, can never make friends with the customs of the arts. Because Karlsen is an artist. That’s a fact for me too. In addition, it is something else – ” As a mature woman, you feel that very quickly. There was one more thing. Anyone who, like me, comes from a wealthy merchant’s house, in which everything is properly booked and billed, can never make friends with the customs of the arts. Because Karlsen is an artist. That’s a fact for me too. In addition, it is something else – ”
“Like most men, basically, dear Eßling.”
“I don’t know. But if they really are, at least one does not take it for granted with them[S. 117]ahead. In similar cases they wear the cloak of a wise caution that keeps up appearances. This does not apply to my son-in-law at all. He just stands there and awaits the homage of women as the most natural tribute. If they fail – oh well – it is just as much with him as with any other artist, and it is also a pity. Then he just didn’t strike. Finds – has he even got hold of one before – no new or only very dubious accommodation, continues to descend, and finally sinks to the point of grease. ”
“Well, that is probably never to be feared with Karlsen.”
“No. He knows how to put himself in the limelight and how to keep it, which is even more important. Smart, sly, beautiful, amiable, quick. – You see, I didn’t let the clarity of my judgment spoil my judgment. Yes, it is! But also unreliable and faithless. ”
“Do you have proof of that yet?”
“I do not need that! It would go against world history if it were different. My Elfriede is not a woman who can captivate such a man all the time. Believe me, he needs a Satan from woman who keeps him in suspense – torments and torments him and leaves his fingertips to kiss him on Sundays at the most. He didn’t really love her for a moment either, while that sculptor of my elders was really good. I only see all of this now. The conscious knife was hard on his throat and his ambition – because he has that to a great extent – thought of ways and means how he could develop his voice further and conquer the world for himself. ”
“But you won’t hint at any of these things to your Elfriede, Frau Essling.”
“What for? I can save myself the trouble. She is so in love with him and trusts him so blindly that at the moment she would give up her own mother to keep him and continue to serve him. ”
“In any case, she feels comfortable with it. It was always transparent as glass – incapable of lying. You know that best. The marriage is good for her too. The last time I saw her, she had a semblance of youth and freshness that I had previously missed in her. Yes, she even laughed heartily. ”
“If I only knew that exactly,” said the councilor, tormented. “I already indicated it to you. Comedy can also be learned from such a harmless, sincere character as hers. And see – that’s where I finally got to my plan. As close as she lives to me – as easily as I can cross over at any time, as faithfully and conscientiously as old Franz watches out and would inevitably tell me something suspicious at once, she has become just as strange to me in this short time. The man with his absolute power over her stands between us. Each of their actions is influenced by him. I never know what’s coming out of her own soul. Therefore I have to have her with me for a short time – here in this house – in her little girl’s room, which has always been her delight
“How are you going to start this? He will soon revolt against it. ”
“Do you think so? Of course, prudence would advise him to do so. But – yes, if he really loved her. As it is, however, he will find it pleasant to live alone again and, moreover, in the unfamiliar splendor.
I know you did not agree with the sumptuous decor of the home for the young people. But should I let my child go without? So I decided to spoil him unnecessarily. ”
“You have decidedly too much time to ponder, dear Eßling. No longer withdraw from all people. Come back to me more often, too. You know there is a lot of youth in my house. It’s a happy place. And bring Elfriede with you more often. It will be good for her. ”
“You can suggest it to her today. I am only afraid that it will be ineffective, like everything I have already tried to dissipate them. As Franz reliably reports to me, she is very often alone all day. The host only comes to the main meals and then not on time. Well, the state of prolonged loneliness will surely end. At no cost must it ruin me. I will take for you a companion of the same age from a distinguished family. The doctors have repeatedly told me of the need to keep them happy. ”
“You are just as clever a woman as you are energetic, my dear. Not a sorceress, however. I have to you[S. 120] say that I do not believe in Elfriede’s longer visit or in the tolerance of the new housemate. ”
“For the time being, I’m confident in both cases. The request for a partner has already appeared in the most widely read daily newspapers. Since the future Mr. Kammersänger does not have time to take a look at the advertisements of his time and this thought never occurred to my daughter at home, I am sure that they have not yet suspected the slightest about my plan. They have no traffic in Elfriede’s old circle. These people get on my son-in-law’s nerves, as I gather from Elfchen’s occasional shy remarks. So who should have told them my care? ”
“With the predisposition of your son-in-law that I have described, isn’t it dangerous to bring a woman into the house and to the family table so effortlessly?”
“What do you want? If he searches, he will always find. What is done too comfortably is usually least attractive. In addition – all applicants have to contact me. I will take a very close look at them – examine their circumstances and, if at all possible, also examine their disposition and then hopefully make a good choice. ”
“But what if, with your combined forces, they do not allow you to play the benevolent providence?”
“I even know for sure that my Elfriede will revolt against it first. She is touchingly humble and makes no claims for her person. She’s getting dreadful[S. 121]to need a second carer for the maiden who has already been forced upon her. But what does that mean? Your weak objection will undoubtedly die of the fiery approval of your husband, if he has not already done so with the wise use of my little remedies. – He will be extremely pleased with this solution. Then he doesn’t even need to show the goodwill to appear at the table halfway on time, because I don’t believe that he has put it into practice even once, with his egoism. ”
“I sincerely admire your cleverness, Ms. Essling.”
“It is only the logical insight into evils that have become necessary, the harmful effects of which I try as best I can to avert my child. – Listen! Isn’t that your move? No – I am not mistaken. The mother’s ear is sharp. But what is that? She doesn’t come alone? There’s her husband’s outrageous laugh. Should he have the grace for once? “-
It was as if the severe, rigid forms of the heavy furniture suddenly had a warm glow. The old knickknacks in the Servante began to clink quietly and happily. In the next room, the red-capped head of the green-feathered parrot stretched upward with lightning speed. The venerable room was filled with the melting of the soft male voice.
“May I also ask for a cup of your incomparably good tea, dear mother-in-law?”
Frau Essling thoughtlessly tolerated his kiss on the hand. Her eyes stayed intently on the daughter.
“You look terrifyingly pale, child. How did you sleep?”
“I do not believe you! Show your hands. Of course – they are very cold. Have you frozen Wait a moment, I’ll call Franz immediately. It is definitely too cool with you. That’s why I had the small stoves set up in the anteroom of the hall so that they can be turned on when the central heating doesn’t work yet. ”
“Leave it alone, Mama,” said Elfriede, tormented, and anxiously sought her husband’s gaze. “The sun is still wonderfully warm.”
But the councilor of commerce could not be held back. She already had the receiver in hand to give the old servant the necessary orders.
Paul Karlsen sat there with an enigmatic smile. He did not urge, did not slap his hand between the fragile treasures in which the golden-yellow tea shimmered clearly. Instead, he nodded reassuringly to his wife.
“Mom is quite right. I already thought so today. ”
Despite this unaccustomed docility, his presence received little attention from the councilor. She kept talking to her daughter beyond him, as if there was an empty space on her left.
“By the way, you will stay with me for a day or more, Elfriedchen. I finally need to know if your temperature is elevated in the evening. Do not contradict. I allow[S. 123] In no case, that you return to your unfortunately somewhat damp home this evening. ”
Karlsen’s irresistibly happy laugh could be heard. But the others were by no means drawn to the same happiness. His wife looked shyly over at her mother.
“Dear mother-in-law, you seem to have forgotten that only one person has control over Elfriede’s going and staying. I am that one, to report with respect. ”
This time she had no idea that he was playing a comedy. His tone had become very serious. His young, beardless face looked almost stern. She did not notice the smiling look of agreement he exchanged with Elfriede. Her innate vehemence – never seriously fought by her – broke through.
“That remains to be seen, Mr. Son-in-Law,” she said in a sharply reproving tone. “Did you come here to upset me?”
“I do not know that I would have allowed this perhaps worthwhile and therefore laudable resolution to develop freely.”
“Leave the phrases, Karlsen. They don’t work for me. ”
“I obediently return this request, mother-in-law. In short: Elfchen will accompany me home. Isn’t that right, honey? ”
A mischievous expression crossed the young woman’s face, making it look very attractive. She was happy as a child that she was in agreement with[S. 124]her husband was allowed to have this innocent little secret. Without hesitation, she replied:
“Yes – I will definitely do that, mom. You heard that Paul expressly wanted it. ”
Then the councilor straightened up stiffly and asked the consul briefly and indignantly:
“What do you think? – I don’t need to be embarrassed in front of you, who held Elfriede about the baptism and always loved like your own child. ”
Frau Enck was mortally embarrassed about the correct answer. On the one hand, she did not value this young person too much either, because in his presence she constantly had the feeling that he was repulsively bored. At the same time, however, he was helped by her penchant for justice.
“Get a good sleep on everything,” she tried to soothe. But she failed thoroughly.
Frau Essling became more excited and therefore violent in her words. She got up, stepped close to the son-in-law and said threateningly:
“You hear, I wish and I command it. And nothing will change my mind. ”
Now Paul Karlsen had got up too. His slim, elegant figure towered over the plump one of the councilor by a head.
“Dear mother-in-law, for now a small, modest correction. Your bold claims are really wrong. The male part of the marriage still has the right – just like at the time of your youth – to determine the whereabouts of his wife, so[S. 125]as long as he has not forfeited this right through gross breach of duty. I know that I am free of that. – I’d like to do you a favor. But impose sacrifices on myself – no – you know, I don’t feel strong enough for that. ”
It sounded so very honest that even his wife paused for a moment. From the helpless look she gave him he could tell that he couldn’t go any further, that he couldn’t exaggerate in this role. So he kept quiet and waited for the next reply. She stayed away for a long time. But then the previously imperious woman’s voice suddenly sounded much quieter. Almost pleading.
“It should only be for a short time, Karlsen. Let’s say – by three to four days! Really not any longer. ”
He gave the impression of a person who was carefully considering an unpleasant matter. The fact that he did not answer immediately, but rather looked down at his well-cared for, well-formed hands, as if struggling to control himself, pleased the consul very much. Then he said bitterly:
“I don’t have your inclination, mama-in-law. I know that, of course, and would have taken care not to say a word about it if this had not happened. Now let me talk about it. Do you think it is educative and noble, which is what you mean when you keep making me feel your dislike? Oh no – but bitterness and defiance can very well result from it. Consider the consequences this, in turn, can have. – Not so fast. No,[S. 126]my love for Elfriede makes me patiently endure a great deal. But – at the end of the day, you’re just a weak person. And I am and will remain a comedian. Someone who likes to act, dazzles, deceives, isn’t it – that’s how you rate me, isn’t that? ”
The councilor looked at him uncertainly.
“You are too honest to contradict me, Mrs.-in-law and I, well, I have been too dishonest to this day to say straight out that I would feel a thousand times more comfortable in a small, modest apartment with a girl for everything . The temple you built, in which even the sun doesn’t like to linger, is far too uncomfortable for me. The old quiet step from Diener bothers me. Not, as you might triumphantly think, because I fear his scouting eyes, but only because I hate the mask-like face of this face. And if it were up to me, I would give you a deep bow and slip away with my dear darling somewhere – in the far north of Berlin, if you like. But you see, I don’t have the heart to bend it. Not because of the elf. Because after all I am sure of their love in return. But I also had a mother, Frau Kommerzienrat, and even if she was just a simple, modest woman – she was just as proud of me and attached to me with exactly the same love as you now to your daughter. And only because of that, I emphasize this – I give my wife my permission to stay temporarily under your roof. Please remember. When the two of us met by chance the other day, you didn’t take Elfriede’s Please remember. When the two of us met by chance the other day, you didn’t take Elfriede’s Please remember. When the two of us met by chance the other day, you didn’t take Elfriede’s[S. 127]pale appearance, of which I might be guilty, as an excuse for this visit, but you tried to move me with your own sickness. – The comedian – inside of me says softly: “Look, she can do it even better than you.” The man, well, the crooked path was just not comfortable for him. – But so far you have never taken the trouble to get to know this man. Just a moment – I’m about to end. – Elfriede can stay with you as long as she wants. But now you have to excuse me. As you judge me, I will immediately want to take full advantage of my temporary freedom. So – don’t you, you have nothing against my disappearance. Incidentally, I hope that the noble strategist Franz will dutifully and reliably carry out his duty as a secret police during Elfriede’s absence – ”
The councilor struggled for a good or at least a conciliatory word, for the simplicity of what had been said had made more of an impression on her than she was willing to admit. Her rigid nature looked in vain for it. And he overlooked the hand she held out to him. He only took his wife in his arms and kissed her heartily on the mouth.
“Goodbye, little one! I’d better send your maid over to you at once. Have mercy and take it, yeah? What should I do with all the wax figures. ”
She hugged him tenderly and whispered:
“Paulchen – I’m very confused. – I won’t be able to stand the separation from you for long. “And he replied as well:
“My little, brave comrade, that is not intended at all.”
When he went home a little later, he laughed carelessly. He had once again achieved a glamorous finish across the board after unanimous applause. When would a fight he seriously endeavored to win have not turned out to be victorious? With growing impatience he longed for the hour that would give him an undisturbed get-together with the woman he was most admired at the time.