The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

Postby admin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:11 pm

by Thomas Mann
Translated from the German by H. T. Lowe-Porter
Vintage Books Edition, March 1969
© 1927 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
© Copyright renewed 1955 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
© 1952 by Thomas Mann
Originally issued as Der Zauberberg, © 1924 by S. Fischer Verlag, Berlin




Table of Contents:

• Translator’s Note
• Foreword
o Arrival
o Number 34
o In the Restaurant
o Of the Christening Basin, and of Grandfather in His Twofold Guise
o At Tienappels’, and of Young Hans’s Moral State
o Drawing the Veil
o Breakfast
o Banter. Viaticum. Interrupted Mirth
o Satana
o Mental Gymnastic
o A Word Too Much
o Of Course, A Female!
o Herr Albin
o Satana Makes Proposals That Touch Our Honour
o Necessary Purchases
o Excursus on the Sense of Time
o He Practises His French
o Politically Suspect
o Hippe
o Analysis
o Doubts and Considerations
o Table-Talk
o Mounting Misgivings. Of the Two Grandfathers, and the Boat-ride in the Twilight
o The Thermometer
o Soup-Everlasting
o Sudden Enlightenment
o Freedom
o Whims of Mercurius
o Encyclopaedic
o Humaniora
o Research
o The Dance of Death
o Walpurgis-Night
o Changes
o A New-Comer
o Of the City of God, and Deliverance by Evil
o Choler. And Worse
o An Attack, and a Repulse
o Operationes Spirituales
o Snow
o A Soldier, and Brave
o By the Ocean of Time
o Mynheer Peeperkorn
o Vingt Et Un
o Mynheer Peeperkorn (Continued)
o Mynheer Peeperkorn (Conclusion)
o The Great God Dumps
o Fullness of Harmony
o Highly Questionable
o Hysterica Passio
o The Thunderbolt
• Author’s Note
• About the Author
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Re: The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

Postby admin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:11 pm

Translator’s Note

The translator wishes to thank, in this place, a number of scholars, authorities in the various special fields entered by The Magic Mountain, without whose help the version in all humility here offered to English readers, lame as it is, must have been more lacking still. That they gave so generously is not to be interpreted otherwise than as a tribute to a work of genius. But with all their help, the great difficulty remained: the violet had to be cast into the crucible, the organic work of art to be remoulded in another tongue. Shelley’s figure is perhaps not entirely apt here. Yet, since in the creative act word and thought are indivisible, the task was seen to be one before which artists would shrink and logical minds recoil.

But of the author of The Magic Mountain it can be said in a special sense that he has looked into the seeds of Time. It was in dispensable that we should read his book; intolerable that English readers should be barred from a work whose spirit, whatever its vehicle, is universal. It seemed better that an English version should be done ill than not done at all.

H. T. L.-P.
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Re: The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

Postby admin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:11 pm


THE STORY of Hans Castorp, which we would here set forth, not on his own account, for in him the reader will make acquaintance with a simple-minded though pleasing young man, but for the sake of the story itself, which seems to us highly worth telling—though it must needs be borne in mind, in Hans Castorp’s behalf, that it is his story, and not every story happens to everybody—this story, we say, belongs to the long ago; is already, so to speak, covered with historic mould, and unquestionably to be presented in the tense best suited to a narrative out of the depth or the past.

That should be no drawback to a story, but rather the reverse. Since histories must be in the past, then the more past the better, it would seem, for them in their character as histories, and for him, the teller of them, rounding wizard of times gone by. With this story, moreover, it stands as it does to-day with human beings, not least among them writers of tales: it is far older than its years; its age may not be measured by length of days, nor the weight of time on its head reckoned by the rising or setting of suns. In a word, the degree of its antiquity has noways to do with the passage of time—in which statement the author intentionally touches upon the strange and questionable double nature of that riddling element.

But we would not wilfully obscure a plain matter. The exaggerated pastness of our narrative is due to its taking place before the epoch when a certain crisis shattered its way through life and consciousness and left a deep chasm behind. It takes place—or, rather, deliberately to avoid the present tense, it took place, and had taken place—in the long ago, in the old days, the days of the world before the Great War, in the beginning of which so much began that has scarcely yet left off beginning. Yes, it took place before that; yet not so long before. Is not the pastness of the past the profounder, the completer, the more legendary, the more immediately before the present it falls? More than that, our story has, of its own nature, something of the legend about it now and again.

We shall tell it at length, thoroughly, in detail—for when did a narrative seem too long or too short by reason of the actual time or space it took up? We do not fear being called meticulous, inclining as we do to the view that only the exhaustive can be truly interesting.

Not all in a minute, then, will the narrator be finished with the story of our Hans. The seven days of a week will not suffice, no, nor seven months either. Best not too soon make too plain how much mortal time must pass over his head while he sits spun round in his spell. Heaven forbid it should be seven years!

And now we begin.
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Re: The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

Postby admin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:12 pm



AN UNASSUMING young man was travelling, in midsummer, from his native city of Hamburg to Davos-Platz in the Canton of the Grisons, on a three weeks’ visit.

From Hamburg to Davos is a long journey—too long, indeed, for so brief a stay. It crosses all sorts of country; goes up hill and down dale, descends from the plateau of Southern Germany to the shore of Lake Constance, over its bounding waves and on across marshes once thought to be bottomless.

At this point the route, which has been so far over trunk-lines, gets cut up. There are stops and formalities. At Rorschach, in Swiss territory, you take train again, but only as far as Landquart, a small Alpine station, where you have to change. Here, after a long and windy wait in a spot devoid of charm, you mount a narrow-gauge train; and as the small but very powerful engine gets under way, there begins the thrilling part of the journey, a steep and steady climb that seems never to come to an end. For the sta-tion of Landquart lies at a relatively low altitude, but now the wild and rocky route pushes grimly onward into the Alps themselves.

Hans Castorp—such was the young man’s name—sat alone in his little grey-upholstered compartment, with his alligator-skin hand-bag, a present from his uncle and guardian, Consul Tienappel—let us get the introductions over with at once—his travelling-rug, and his winter overcoat swinging on its hook. The window was down, the afternoon grew cool, and he, a tender product of the sheltered life, had turned up the collar of his fashionably cut, silk-lined summer overcoat. Near him on the seat lay a paper-bound volume entitled Ocean Steamships; earlier in the journey he had studied it off and on, but now it lay neglected, and the breath of the panting engine, streaming in, defiled its cover with particles of soot.

Two days’ travel separated the youth—he was still too young to have thrust his roots down firmly into life—from his own world, from all that he thought of as his own duties, interests, cares and prospects; far more than he had dreamed it would when he sat in the carriage on the way to the station. Space, rolling and revolving between him and his native heath, possessed and wielded the powers we generally ascribe to time. From hour to hour it worked changes in him, like to those wrought by time, yet in a way even more striking. Space, like time, engenders forgetfulness; but it does so by setting us bodily free from our surroundings and giving us back our primitive, unattached state. Yes, it can even, in the twinkling of an eye, make something like a vagabond of the pedant and Philistine. Time, we say, is Lethe; but change of air is a similar draught, and, if it works less thoroughly, does so more quickly.

Such was the experience of young Hans Castorp. He had not meant to take the journey seriously or commit himself deeply to it; but to get it over quickly, since it had to be made, to return as he had gone, and to take up his life at the point where, for the moment, he had had to lay it down. Only yesterday he had been encompassed in the wonted circle of his thoughts, and entirely taken up by two matters: the examination he had just passed, and his approaching entrance into the firm of Tunder and Wilms, shipbuilders, smelters, and machinists. With as much impatience as lay in his temperament to feel, he had discounted the next three weeks; but now it began to seem as though present circumstances required his entire attention, that it would not be at all the thing to take them too lightly.

This being carried upward into regions where he had never before drawn breath, and where he knew that unusual living conditions prevailed, such as could only be described as sparse or scanty—it began to work upon him, to fill him with a certain concern. Home and regular living lay not only far behind, they lay fathoms deep beneath him, and he continued to mount above them. Poised between them and the unknown, he asked himself how he was going to fare. Perhaps it had been ill-advised of him, born as he was a few feet above sea-level, to come immediately to these great heights, without stopping at least a day or so at some point in between. He wished he were at the end of his journey; for once there he could begin to live as he would anywhere else, and not be reminded by this continual climbing of the incongruous situation he found himself in. He looked out. The train wound in curves along the narrow pass; he could see the front carriages and the labouring engine vomiting great masses of brown, black, and greenish smoke that floated away. Water roared in the abysses on the right; on the left, among rocks, dark fir-trees aspired toward a stone-grey sky. The train passed through pitch-black tunnels, and when daylight came again it showed wide chasms, with villages nestled in their depths. Then the pass closed in again; they wound along narrow defiles, with traces of snow in chinks and crannies. There were halts at wretched little shanties of stations; also at more important ones, which the train left in the opposite direction, making one lose the points of the compass. A magnificent succession of vistas opened before the awed eye, of the solemn, phantasmagorical world of towering peaks, into which their route wove and wormed itself: vistas that appeared and disappeared with each new winding of the path. Hans Castorp reflected that they must have got above the zone of shade-trees, also probably of song-birds; whereupon he felt such a sense of the impoverishment of life as gave him a slight attack of giddiness and nausea and made him put his hand over his eyes for a few seconds. It passed. He perceived that they had stopped climbing. The top of the col was reached; the train rolled smoothly along the level valley floor.

It was about eight o’clock, and still daylight. A lake was visible in the distant landscape, its waters grey, its shores covered with black fir-forests that climbed the surrounding heights, thinned out, and gave place to bare, mist-wreathed rock. They stopped at a small station. Hans Castorp heard the name called out: it was "Davos-Dorf." Soon he would be at his journey’s end. And suddenly, close to him, he heard a voice, the comfortable Hamburg voice of his cousin, Joachim Ziemssen, saying: "Hullo, there you are! Here’s where you get out!" and peering through the window saw his cousin himself, standing below on the platform, in a brown ulster, bare-headed, and looking more robust than ever in his life before. He laughed and said again: "Come along out, it’s all right!"

"But I’m not there yet!" said Hans Castorp, taken aback, and still seated.

"Oh, yes, you are. This is the village. It is nearer to the sanatorium from here. I have a carriage. Just give us your things."

And laughing, confused, in the excitement of arrival and meeting, Hans Castorp reached bag, overcoat, the roll with stick and umbrella, and finally Ocean Steamships out of the window. Then he ran down the narrow corridor and sprang out upon the platform to greet his cousin properly. The meeting took place without exuberance, as between people of traditional coolness and reserve. Strange to say, the cousins had always avoided calling each other by their first names, simply because they were afraid of showing too much feeling. And, as they could not well address each other by their last names, they confined themselves, by established custom, to the thou.

A man in livery with a braided cap looked on while they shook hands, quickly, not without embarrassment, young Ziemssen in military position, heels together. Then he came forward to ask for Hans Castorp’s luggage ticket; he was the concierge of the International Sanatorium Berghof, and would fetch the guest’s large trunk from the other station while the gentlemen drove directly up to supper. This man limped noticeably; and so, curiously enough, the first thing Hans Castorp said to his cousin was: "Is that a war veteran? What makes him limp like that?"

"War veteran! No fear!" said Joachim, with some bitterness. "He’s got it in his knee—or, rather, he had it—the knee-pan has been removed."

Hans Castorp bethought himself hastily.

"So that’s it?" he said, and as he walked on turned his head and gave a quick glance back. "But you can’t make me believe you’ve still got anything like that the matter with you! Why, you look as if you had just come from manoeuvres!" And he looked sidelong at his cousin.

Joachim was taller and broader than he, a picture of youthful vigour, and made for a uniform. He was of the very dark type which his blond-peopled country not seldom produces, and his already nut-brown skin was tanned almost to bronze. With his large, black eyes and small, dark moustache over the full, well-shaped mouth, he would have been distinctly handsome if his ears had not stood out. Up to a certain period they had been his only trouble in life. Now, however, he had others.

Hans Castorp went on: "You’re coming back down with me, aren’t you? I see no reason why not."

"Back down with you?" asked his cousin, and turned his large eyes full upon him. They had always been gentle, but in these five months they had taken on a tired, almost sad expression. "When?"

"Why, in three weeks."

"Oh, yes, you are already on the way back home, in your thoughts," answered Joachim. "Wait a bit. You’ve only just come. Three weeks are nothing at all, to us up here—they look like a lot of time to you, because you are only up here on a visit, and three weeks is all you have. Get acclimatized first—it isn’t so easy, you’ll see. And the climate isn’t the only queer thing about us. You’re going to see some things you’ve never dreamed of—just wait. About me—it isn’t such smooth sailing as you think, you with your ‘going home in three weeks.’ That’s the class of ideas you have down below. Yes, I am brown, I know, but it is mostly snow-burning. It doesn’t mean much, as Behrens always says; he told me at the last regular examination it would take another half year, pretty certainly."

"Half a year? Are you crazy?" shouted Hans Castorp. They had climbed into the yellow cabriolet that stood in the stone-paved square in front of the shed-like station, and as the pair of brown horses started up, he flounced indignantly on the hard cushions. "Half a year! You’ve been up here half a year already! Who’s got so much time to spend—"

"Oh, time—!" said Joachim, and nodded repeatedly, straight in front of him, paying his cousin’s honest indignation no heed. "They make pretty free with a human being’s idea of time, up here. You wouldn’t believe it. Three weeks are just like a day to them. You’ll learn all about it," he said, and added: "One’s ideas get changed."

Hans Castorp regarded him earnestly as they drove. "But seems to me you’ve made a splendid recovery," he said, shaking his head.

"You really think so, don’t you?" answered Joachim; "I think I have too." He drew himself up straighter against the cushions, but immediately relaxed again. "Yes, I am better," he explained, "but I am not cured yet. In the left lobe, where there were rales, it only sounds harsh now, and that is not so bad; but lower down it is still very harsh, and there are rhonchi in the second intercostal space."

"How learned you’ve got," said Hans Castorp.

"Fine sort of learning! God knows I wish I’d had it sweated out of my system in the service," responded Joachim. "But I still have sputum," he said, with a shoulder-shrug that was somehow indifferent and vehement both at once, and became him but ill. He half pulled out and showed to his cousin something he carried in the side pocket of his overcoat, next to Hans Castorp. It was a flat, curving bottle of bluish glass, with a metal cap.

"Most of us up here carry it," he said, shoving it back. "It even has a nickname; they make quite a joke of it. You are looking at the landscape?"

Hans Castorp was. "Magnificent!" he said.

"Think so?" asked Joachim.

They had driven for a space straight up the axis of the valley, along an irregularly built street that followed the line of the railway; then, turning to the left, they crossed the narrow tracks and a watercourse, and now trotted up a high-road that mounted gently toward the wooded slopes. Before them rose a low, projecting, meadow-like plateau, on which, facing south-west, stood a long building, with a cupola and so many balconies that from a distance it looked porous, like a sponge. In this building lights were beginning to show. It was rapidly growing dusk. The faint rose-colour that had briefly enlivened the overcast heavens was faded now, and there reigned the colourless, soulless, melancholy transition-period that comes just before the onset of night. The populous valley, extended and rather winding, now began to show lights everywhere, not only in the middle, but here and there on the slopes at either hand, particularly on the projecting right side, upon which buildings mounted in terrace formation. Paths ran up the sloping meadows to the left and lost themselves in the vague blackness of the pine forest. Behind them, where the valley narrowed to its entrance, the more distant ranges showed a cold, slaty blue. A wind had sprung up, and made perceptible the chill of evening.

"No, to speak frankly, I don’t find it so overpowering," said Hans Castorp. "Where are the glaciers, and the snow peaks, and the gigantic heights you hear about? These things aren’t very high, it seems to me."

"Oh, yes, they are," answered Joachim. "You can see the tree line almost everywhere, it is very sharply defined; the fir-trees leave off, and after that there is absolutely nothing but bare rock. And up there to the right of the Schwarzhorn, that tooth-shaped peak, there is a glacier—can’t you see the blue? It is not very large, but it is a glacier right enough, the Skaletta. Piz Michel and Tinzenhorn, in the notch—you can’t see them from here—have snow all the year round."

"Eternal snow," said Hans Castorp.

"Eternal snow, if you like. Yes, that’s all very high. But we are frightfully high ourselves: sixteen hundred metres above sea-level. That’s why the peaks don’t seem any higher."

"Yes, what a climb that was! I was scared to death, I can tell you. Sixteen hundred metres—that is over five thousand feet, as I reckon it. I’ve never been so high up in my life." And Hans Castorp took in a deep, experimental breath of the strange air. It was fresh, and that was all. It had no perfume, no content, no humidity; it breathed in easily, and held for him no associations.

"Wonderful air," he remarked, politely.

"Yes, the atmosphere is famous. But the place doesn’t look its best to-night. Sometimes it makes a much better impression—especially when there is snow. But you can get sick of looking at it. All of us up here are frightfully fed up, you can imagine," said Joachim, and twisted his mouth into an expression of disgust that was as unlike him as the shoulder-shrug. It looked irritable, disproportionate.

"You have such a queer way of talking," said Hans Castorp.

"Have I?" said Joachim, concerned, and turned to look at his cousin.

"Oh, no, of course I don’t mean you really have—I suppose it just seemed so to me for the moment," Hans Castorp hastened to assure him. It was the expression "all of us up here," which Joachim had used several times, that had somehow struck him as strange and given him an uneasy feeling.

"Our sanatorium is higher up than the village, as you see," went on Joachim. "Fifty metres higher. In the prospectus it says a hundred, but it is really only fifty. The highest of the sanatoriums is the Schatzalp—you can’t see it from here. They have to bring their bodies down on bob-sleds in the winter, because the roads are blocked."

"Their bodies? Oh, I see. Imagine!" said Hans Castorp. And suddenly he burst out laughing, a violent, irrepressible laugh, which shook him all over and distorted his face, that was stiff with the cold wind, until it almost hurt. "On bob-sleds! And you can tell it me just like that, in cold blood! You’ve certainly got pretty cynical in these five months."

"Not at all," answered Joachim, shrugging again. "Why not? It’s all the same to them, isn’t it? But maybe we do get cynical up here. Behrens is a cynic himself—but he’s a great old bird after all, an old corps-student. He is a brilliant operator, they say. You will like him. Krokowski is the assistant—devilishly clever article. They mention his activities specially, in the prospectus. He psycho-analyses the patients."

"He what? Psycho-analyses—how disgusting!" cried Hans Castorp; and now his hilarity altogether got the better of him. He could not stop. The psycho-analysis had been the finishing touch. He laughed so hard that the tears ran down his cheeks; he put up his hands to his face and rocked with laughter. Joachim laughed just as heartily—it seemed to do him good; and thus, in great good spirits, the young people climbed out of the wagon, which had slowly mounted the steep, winding drive and deposited them before the portal of the International Sanatorium Berghof.

Number 34

ON their right as they entered, between the main door and the inner one, was the porter’s lodge. An official of the French type, in the grey livery of the man at the station, was sitting at the telephone, reading the newspaper. He came out and led them through the well-lighted halls, on the left of which lay the reception-rooms. Hans Castorp peered in as he passed, but they were empty. Where, then, were the guests, he asked, and his cousin answered: "In the rest-cure. I had leave to-night to go out and meet you. Otherwise I am always up in my balcony, after supper."

Hans Castorp came near bursting out again. "What! You lie out on your balcony at night, in the damp?" he asked, his voice shaking.

"Yes, that is the rule. From eight to ten. But come and see your room now, and get a wash."

They entered the lift—it was an electric one, worked by the Frenchman. As they went up, Hans Castorp wiped his eyes.

"I’m perfectly worn out with laughing," he said, and breathed through his mouth. "You’ve told me such a lot of crazy stuff—that about the psycho-analysis was the last straw. I suppose I am a bit relaxed from the journey. And my feet are cold—are yours? But my face burns so, it is really unpleasant. Do we eat now? I feel hungry. Is the food decent up here?"

They went noiselessly along the coco matting of the narrow corridor, which was lighted by electric lights in white glass shades set in the ceiling. The walls gleamed with hard white enamel paint. They had a glimpse of a nursing sister in a white cap, and eyeglasses on a cord that ran behind her ear. She had the look of a Protestant sister—that is to say, one working without a real vocation and burdened with restlessness and ennui. As they went along the corridor, Hans Castorp saw, beside two of the white-enamelled, numbered doors, certain curious, swollen-looking, balloon-shaped vessels with short necks. He did not think, at the moment, to ask what they were.

"Here you are," said Joachim. "I am next you on the right. The other side you have a Russian couple, rather loud and offensive, but it couldn’t be helped. Well, how do you like it?"

There were two doors, an outer and an inner, with clothes-hooks in the space between. Joachim had turned on the ceiling light, and in its vibrating brilliance the room looked restful and cheery, with practical white furniture, white washable walls, clean linoleum, and white linen curtains gaily embroidered in modern taste. The door stood open; one saw the lights of the valley and heard distant dance-music. The good Joachim had put a vase of flowers on the chest of drawers—a few bluebells and some yarrow, which he had found himself among the second crop of grass on the slopes.

"Awfully decent of you," said Hans Castorp. "What a nice room! I can spend a couple of weeks here with pleasure."

"An American woman died here day before yesterday," said Joachim. "Behrens told me directly that she would be out before you came, and you might have the room. Her fiancé was with her, an English officer of marines, but he didn’t behave very well. He kept coming out in the corridor to cry, just like a little boy. He rubbed cold cream on his cheeks, because he was close-shaven and the tears smarted. Night before last she had two first-class haemorrhages, and that was the finish. But she has been gone since yesterday morning, and after they took her away of course they fumigated the room thoroughly with formalin, which is the proper thing to use in such cases."

Hans Castorp took in this information with a sprightly, yet half-distraught air. He was standing with his sleeves pushed back before the roomy wash-hand-basin, the taps of which shone in the electric light, and gave hardly a glance at the white metal bed with its fresh coverlet.

"Fumigated it, eh? That’s ripping," he said loquaciously and rather absurdly, as he washed and dried his hands. "Methyl aldehyde; yes, that’s too much for the bacteria, no matter how strong they are. H2CO. But it’s a powerful stench. Of course, perfect sanitation is absolutely essential." He spoke with more of a Hamburg accent than his cousin, who had broken himself of it since his student days. Hans Castorp continued volubly. "But what I was about to say was, probably the officer of marines used a safety-razor; one makes oneself sore with those things easier than with a well-sharpened blade—at least, that is my experience, and I use them both by turns. Well, and salt water would naturally make a tender skin smart, so he got in the way, in the service, of rubbing in cold cream. I don’t see anything strange about that. . ." He rattled on: said that he had two hundred Maria Mancinis (his cigar) in his trunk, the customs officers had been very courteous; and gave his cousin greetings from various people at home. "Don’t they heat the rooms here?" he broke off to inquire, and ran to put his hands on the radiator.

"No, they keep us pretty cool," answered Joachim. "The weather would have to be different from this before they put on the heat in August."

"August, August!" said Hans Castorp. "But I am cold, abominably cold; I mean in my body, for my face burns shockingly—just feel it!"

This demand was entirely foreign to the young man’s nature—so much so that he himself was disagreeably impressed as he heard himself make it. Joachim did not take up the offer, but merely said: "That is the air—it doesn’t mean anything; Behrens himself is purple in the face all day long. Some people never get used to it. Come along now, do, or we shan’t get anything to eat."

Outside they saw the nursing sister again, peering short-sightedly and inquisitively after them. But in the first storey Hans Castorp suddenly stopped, rooted to the spot by a perfectly ghastly sound coming from a little distance off round a bend in the corridor. It was not a loud sound, but so distinctly horrible that Hans Castorp made a wry face and looked wide-eyed at his cousin. It was coughing, obviously, a man coughing; but coughing like to no other Hans Castorp had ever heard, and compared with which any other had been a magnificent and healthy manifestation of life: a coughing that had no conviction and gave no relief, that did not even come out in paroxysms, but was just a feeble, dreadful welling up of the juices of organic dissolution.

"Yes," said Joachim. "That’s a bad case. An Austrian aristocrat, you know, very elegant. He’s a born horseman—a gentleman rider. And now he’s come to this. But he still gets about."

As they went, Hans Castorp discoursed earnestly upon the gentleman rider’s cough.

"You must realize," he said, "that I’ve never heard anything like it before. It is entirely new to me, and naturally it makes a great impression. There are different kinds of cough, dry and loose, and people always say the loose one is better than the other, the barking kind. When I had croup, in my youth" (he actually said "in my youth"!), "I bayed like a wolf, and I can still remember how glad everybody was when it got looser. But a cough like this—I didn’t know there was such a cough! It isn’t a human cough at all. It isn’t dry and yet isn’t loose either—that is very far from being the right word for it. It is just as if one could look right into him when he coughs, and see what it looks like: all slime and mucous—"

"Oh," said Joachim, "I hear it every day, you don’t need to describe it to me." But Hans Castorp could not get over the coughing he had heard. He kept repeating that he could see right into the gentleman rider’s vitals; when they reached the restaurant his travel-weary eyes had an excited glitter.

In the Restaurant

IT was charming in the restaurant, elegantly appointed and well lighted. The room lay to the right of the hall, opposite the salons, and was, Joachim explained, used chiefly by new arrivals, and by guests eating out of the usual meal hours or entertaining company. But it also served for birthday feasts, farewell parties, even to celebrate a favourable report after a general examination. There were lively times here in the restaurant on occasion, Joachim said, and champagne flowed freely. Now, no one was here but a solitary lady of some thirty years, reading a book and humming; she kept tapping the table-cloth lightly with the middle finger of her left hand. After the young people had taken their places, she changed hers, in order to sit with her back to them. Joachim explained in a low voice that she suffered from shyness as from a disease, and ate all her meals in the restaurant, with a book. It was said that she had entered her first tuberculosis sanatorium as a young girl, and had never lived in the world since.

"So compared with her, you are only a novice, with your five months; and still will be when you have a year on your back," said Hans Castorp to his cousin; whereat Joachim, with his newly acquired shoulder-shrug, took up the menu.

They had sat down at the raised table in the window, the pleasantest spot in the room, facing each other against the cream-coloured hangings, their faces lighted by the red-shaded table-lamp. Hans Castorp clasped his freshly washed hands and rubbed them together in agreeable anticipation—a habit of his when he sat down to table, perhaps because his ancestors had said grace before meat. They were served by a friendly maid in black frock and white apron. She had a pleasant, throaty voice, and her broad face was indisputably healthy-coloured. To his great amusement, Hans Castorp learned that the waitresses here were called "dining-room girls." They ordered a bottle of Gruaud Larose, and Hans Castorp sent it back to have it warmed. The food was excellent: asparagus soup, stuffed tomatoes, a roast with vegetables, an exceedingly well-prepared sweet, cheese, and fruit. Hans Castorp ate heartily, though his appetite did not turn out quite so stout as he had thought. But he always ate a good deal, out of pure self-respect, even when he was not hungry.

Joachim paid scant honour to the meal. He was tired of the cooking, he said; they all were, up here, and it was customary to grumble at the food. If one had to sit up here for ever and a day—! But, on the other hand, he partook of the wine with gusto, not to say abandon; and repeatedly, though with careful avoidance of emotional language, expressed his joy at having somebody here with whom one could have a little rational conversation.

"Yes, it’s first-rate you’ve come," he said, and his gentle voice betrayed some feeling. "I must say it is really an event for me—it is certainly a change, anyhow, a break in the everlasting monotony."

"But time must go fast, living up here," was Hans Castorp’s view.

"Fast and slow, as you take it," answered Joachim. "It doesn’t do at all, I tell you. You can’t call it time—and you can’t call it living either!" he said with a shake of the head, and fell to his glass again.

Hans Castorp drank too, though his face was like fire. Yet he was still cold, and felt a curious restlessness in his limbs, at once pleasurable and troubling. His words fell over each other, he often misspoke and passed it over with a deprecating wave. Joachim too was in a lively humour, and their conversation continued in a still freer and more convivial vein after the humming, tapping lady had got up suddenly and left the room. They gesticulated with their forks as they ate, nodded, shrugged their shoulders, talked with their mouths full. Joachim wanted to hear about Hamburg, and brought the conversation round to the proposed regulation of the Elbe.

"Epoch-making," said Hans Castorp. "Epoch-making for the development of our shipping. Can’t be over-estimated. We’ve budgeted fifty millions for immediate expenditure and you may be sure we know what we’re about."

But notwithstanding all the importance he attached to the projected improvement, he jumped away from the theme and demanded that Joachim tell him more about life "up here" and about the guests—which the latter straightway did, being only too pleased to be able to unbosom himself. He had to repeat the story of the corpses sent down by bob-sleigh, and vouch for its truth. Hans Castorp being taken by another fit of laughing, his cousin laughed too, with hearty enjoyment, and told other funny things to add fuel to their merriment. There was a lady sitting at his table, named Frau Stöhr, the wife of a Cannstadt musician; a rather serious case, she was, and the most ignorant creature he had ever seen. She said diseased for deceased, quite seriously, and she called Krokowski the Asst. And you had to take it all in without cracking a smile. She was a regular gossip—most people were, up here—and published it broadcast that another lady, a certain Frau Iltis, carried a "steriletto" on her person. "That is exactly what she called it, isn’t that priceless?" They lolled in their chairs, they flung themselves back and laughed so hard that they shook; and they began to hiccup at nearly the same time.

Now and then Joachim’s face would cloud over and he would remember his lot.

"Yes, we sit here and laugh," he said, with a long face, his words interrupted by the heaving of his diaphragm, "we sit here and laugh, but there’s no telling when I shall get away. When Behrens says half a year, you can make up your mind it will be more. It is hard, isn’t it?—you just tell me if you don’t think it is pretty hard on me. I had already been accepted, I could have taken my exams next month. And now I have to drool about with a thermometer stuck in my mouth, and count the howlers of this ignorant Frau Stöhr, and watch the time slipping away. A year is so important at our age. Down below, one goes through so many changes, and makes so much progress, in a single year of life. And I have to stagnate up here—yes, just stagnate like a filthy puddle; it isn’t too crass a comparison."

Strange to say, Hans Castorp’s only reply to all this was a query as to whether it was possible to get porter up here; when Joachim looked at him, in some astonishment, he perceived that his cousin was overcome with sleep, that in fact he was actually nodding.

"But you are going to sleep!" said Joachim. "Come along, it is time we both went to bed."

" ‘You can’t call it time,’ " quoth Hans Castorp, thick-tongued. He went with his cousin, rather bent and stiff in the knees, like a man bowed to the earth with fatigue. However, in the dimly lighted corridor he pulled himself sharply together on hearing his cousin say: "There’s Krokowski sitting there. I think I’ll just have to present you, as briefly as possible."

Dr. Krokowski sat in the bright light at the fire-place of one of the reception-rooms, close to the folding doors. He was reading a paper, and got up as the young people approached.

Joachim, in military position, heels together, said: "Herr Doctor, may I present my cousin Castorp from Hamburg? He has just arrived."

Dr. Krokowski greeted the new inmate with a jovial and robust heartiness, as who should say that with him all formality was superfluous, and only jocund mutual confidence in place. He was about thirty-five years old, broad-shouldered and fleshy, much shorter than either of the youths before him, so that he had to tip back his head to look them in the face. He was unusually pale, of a translucent, yes, phosphorescent pallor, that was further accentuated by the dark ardour of his eyes, the blackness of his brows, and his rather long, full whisker, which ended in two points and already showed some white threads. He had on a black double-breasted, somewhat worn sack suit; black, open-worked sandal-like shoes over grey woollen socks, and a soft turn-down collar, such as Hans Castorp had previously seen worn only by a photographer in Danzig, which did, in fact, lend a certain stamp of the studio to Dr. Krokowski’s appearance. Smiling warmly and showing his yellow teeth in his beard, he shook the young man by the hand, and said in a baritone voice, with rather a foreign drawl:

"Welcome to our midst, Herr Castorp! May you get quickly acclimatized and feel yourself at home among us! Do you come as a patient, may I ask?"

It was touching to see Hans Castorp labour to master his drowsiness and be polite. It annoyed him to be in such bad form, and with the self-consciousness of youth he read signs of indulgent amusement in the warmth of the Assistant’s manner. He replied, mentioning his examinations and his three weeks’ visit, and ended by saying he was, thank God, perfectly healthy.

"Really?" asked Krokowski, putting his head teasingly on one side. His smile grew broader. "Then you are a phenomenon worthy of study. I, for one, have never in my life come across a perfectly healthy human being. What were the examinations you have just passed, if I may ask?"

"I am an engineer, Herr Doctor," said Hans Castorp with modest dignity.

"Ah, an engineer!" Dr. Krokowski’s smile retreated as it were, lost for the moment something of its genial warmth. "A splendid calling. And so you will not require any attention while you are here, either physical or psychical?"

"Oh, no, thank you ever so much," said Hans Castorp, and almost drew back a step as he spoke.

At that Dr. Krokowski’s smile burst forth triumphant; he shook the young man’s hand afresh and cried briskly: "Well, sleep well, Herr Castorp, and rejoice in the fullness of your perfect health; sleep well, and auf Wiedersehen!" With which he dismissed the cousins and returned to his paper.

The lift had stopped running, so they climbed the stairs; in silence, somewhat taken aback by the encounter with Dr. Krokowski. Joachim went with his cousin to number thirty-four, where the lame porter had already deposited the luggage of the new arrival. They talked for another quarter-hour while Hans Castorp unpacked his night and toilet things, smoking a large, mild cigarette the while. A cigar would have been too much for him this evening—a fact which impressed him as odd indeed.

"He looks quite a personality," he said, blowing out the smoke. "He is as pale as wax. But dear me, what hideous footgear he wears! Grey woollen socks, and then those sandals! Was he really offended at the end, do you think?"

"He is rather touchy," admitted Joachim. "You ought not to have refused the treatment so brusquely, at least not the psychical. He doesn’t like to have people get out of it. He doesn’t take much stock in me because I don’t confide in him enough. But every now and then I tell him a dream I’ve had, so he can have something to analyse."

"Then I certainly did offend him," Hans Castorp said fretfully, for it annoyed him to give offence. His weariness rushed over him with renewed force at the thought.

"Good-night," he said; "I’m falling over."

"At eight o’clock I’ll come fetch you to breakfast," Joachim said, and went.

Hans Castorp made only a cursory toilet for the night. Hardly had he put out the bedside light when sleep overcame him; but he started up again, remembering that in that bed, the day before yesterday, someone had died. "That wasn’t the first time either," he said to himself, as though the thought were reassuring. "It is a regular death-bed, a common death-bed." And he fell asleep.

No sooner had he gone off, however, than he began to dream, and dreamed almost without stopping until next morning. Principally he saw his cousin, Joachim Ziemssen, in a strange, dislocated attitude on a bob-sled, riding down a steep course. He had a phosphorescent pallor like Dr. Krokowski, and in front of him sat the gentleman rider and steered. The gentleman rider was indistinct, like someone one has heard cough, but never seen.

"It’s all the same to us up here," remarked the dislocated Joachim; and then it was he and not the gentleman rider who was coughing in that horribly pulpy manner. Hans Castorp wept bitterly to hear, and then perceived that he must run to the chemist’s to get some cold cream. But Frau Iltis, with a pointed snout, sat by the road-side with something in her hand, which must be her "steriletto," but was obviously nothing else than a safety-razor. This made Hans Castorp go from tears to laughing; and thus he was tossed back and forth among varying emotions, until the dawn came through his half-open balcony door and wakened him.
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Re: The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

Postby admin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:12 pm


Of the Christening Basin, and of Grandfather in His Two-fold Guise

HANS CASTORP retained only pale memories of his parental home. His father and mother he had barely known; they had both dropped away in the brief period between his fifth and seventh birthdays; first the mother, quite suddenly, on the eve of a con-finement, of an arterial obstruction following neuritis—an embolus, Dr. Heidekind had called it—which caused instantaneous cardiac arrest. She had just been laughing, sitting up in bed, and it looked as though she had fallen back with laughter, but really it was because she had died. The father, Hermann Castorp, could not grasp his loss. He had been deeply attached to his wife, and not being of the strongest himself, never quite recovered from her death. His spirit was troubled; he shrank within himself; his benumbed brain made him blunder in his business, so that the firm of Castorp and Son suffered sensible financial losses; and the next spring, while inspecting warehouses on the windy landing-stage, he got inflammation of the lungs. The fever was too much for his shaken heart, and in five days, notwithstanding all Dr. Heidekind’s care, he died. Attended to his rest by a respectable concourse of citizens, he followed his wife to the Castorp family vault, a charming site in St. Katherine’s churchyard, with a view of the Botanical Gardens.

His father the Senator survived him a short time; then he too passed away, likewise of inflammation of the lungs. His death agony was sore, for unlike his son, Hans Lorenz Castorp had been a man of tough constitution, and firmly rooted in life. Before his death, for the space of a year and a half, the grandfather harboured the orphaned Hans Castorp in his home, a mansion standing in a narrow lot on the Esplanade, built in the early years of the last century, in the northern-classic style of architecture. It was painted a depressing weather-colour, and had pilasters on either side the entrance door, which was approached by a flight of five steps. Besides the parterre, which had windows going down to the floor and furnished with cast-iron grilles, there were two upper storeys.

In the parterre were chiefly reception-rooms, and a very light and cheerful dining-room, with walls decorated in stucco. Its three windows, draped with wine-coloured curtains, looked out on the back garden. In this room, daily, at four o’clock, for the space of eighteen months, grandfather and grandson dined together, served by old Fiete, who had ear-rings in his ears and silver buttons on his livery, also a batiste neckcloth like his master’s, in which he buried his shaven chin just as Hans Lorenz Castorp did in his. Grandfather said thou to him and addressed him in dialect—not with any humorous intent, for he had no bent that way, but in all seriousness, and because it was his custom so to do in his dealings with the common people—the warehouse hands, postmen, coachmen, and servants. Hans Castorp liked to hear it, and very much he liked to hear Fiete reply, in dialect too, bending over as he served and speaking into his master’s left ear, for the Senator could hear much better on that side. The old man would listen and nod and go on eating, sitting erect between the table and the high back of his mahogany chair, and scarcely at all bending over his plate. And his grandson, opposite, watched in silence, with deep, unconscious concentration, Grandfather’s beautiful, thin, white old hands, with their pointed nails, and, on the right forefinger, the green seal ring with the crest; watched the small, deft, practised motions with which they arranged a mouthful of meat, vegetable, and potato on the end of his fork, and with a slight inclination of the head conveyed it to his mouth. Then he would look at his own hands, and their still clumsy movements, and see in them the hope foreshadowed of one day holding and using his knife and fork as Grandfather did.

Again, he would wonder whether he should ever bury his chin in such another neck-band as that which filled the wide space inside Grandfather’s extraordinary collar, with its sharp points brushing the old man’s cheeks. He doubted it. One would have to be as old as Grandfather for that; in these days, save for him and his old Fiete, nobody, far and wide, wore such collars and neckcloths. It was a pity; little Hans Castorp liked the way Grandfather’s chin nestled in the high, snow-white band. Even after he was grown, he recalled it with pleasure; something in the depth of his being responded to it.

When they had done, they folded their table-napkins and put them in their silver rings—a job at which Hans Castorp never acquitted himself very well, for they were the size of small tablecloths. Then the Senator got up from his chair, which Fiete drew away behind him, and went with shuffling steps into his "office" to get a cigar. Sometimes the grandson followed him in.

This office had come to exist because of a peculiarity in the arrangement of the lower floor—namely, that the dining-room had been planned with three windows instead of two, and ran the whole width of the house; which left space for only two drawing-rooms, instead of the usual three, and gave to one of them, at right angles to the dining-room, with a single window on the street, a quite disproportionate depth. Of this room, therefore, some quarter of the length had been cut off, and turned into a cabinet. It was a strip of a room, with a skylight; twilighted, and not much furnished—there was an étagère, on which stood the Senator’s cigar case; a card-table, the drawer of which held whist cards, counters, little marking-boards with tiny teeth that clapped open and shut, a slate and slate-pencil, paper cigar-holders, and other such attractions; and finally, in the corner, a rococo case in palisander-wood, with yellow silk stretched behind its glass doors.

"Grandpa," little Hans Castorp might say, standing on tiptoes to reach the old man’s ear, "please show me the christening basin."

And the grandfather, who had already pulled back the skirts of his long cashmere frock-coat and taken the bunch of keys from his trouser pocket, forthwith opened the door of the glass case, whence floated odours odd and pleasant to the boy’s sense. Inside were all manner of disused and fascinating objects: a pair of silver-branched candlesticks, a broken barometer in a wooden case with allegorical carving, an album of daguerreotypes, a cedar-wood case for liqueurs, a funny little Turk in flowing silk robes, under which was a hard body with a mechanism inside. Once, when you wound him up, he had been able to leap about all over the table, but he was long since out of repair. Then there was a quaint old model of a ship; and right at the bottom a rat-trap. But from one of the middle shelves Grandfather took a much-tarnished, round silver dish, with a tray likewise of silver, and showed them both to the boy, lifting them separately and turning them about in his hands as he told the story he had so often told before.

Plate and basin, one could see, and as the little one heard once again, had not originally belonged together; but, Grandfather said, they had been in use together for a round hundred years, or since the time when the basin was made. The latter was very beautiful, of simple and elegant form, in the severe taste of the early nineteenth century. It rested, plain and solid, on a round base, and had once been gilt within, but the gilding had faded with time to a yellow shimmer. Its single decoration was a chaste garland of roses and serrated leaves about the brim. As for the plate, its far greater antiquity could be read on the inside: the date 1650 was engraved there in ornamental figures, framed in curly engraved lines executed in the "modern manner" of the period, florid and capricious devices and arabesques that were something between star and flower. On the back, engraved in a variety of scripts, were the names of its successive owners, seven in number, each with the date when it had passed into his hands. The old man named each one to his grandson, pointing with beringed index finger. There was Hans Castorp’s father’s name, there was Grandfather’s own, there was Great-grandfather’s; then the "great" came doubled, tripled, quadrupled, from the old man’s mouth, whilst the little lad listened, his head on one side, the eyes full of thought, yet fixed and dreamy too, the childish lips parted, half with awe, half sleep-ily. That great-great-great-great—what a hollow sound it had, how it spoke of the falling away of time, yet how it seemed the expression of a piously cherished link between the present, his own life, and the depth of the past! All that, as his face showed, made a profound impression. As he listened to the great-great-great, he seemed to smell the cool, earthy air of the vault of St. Michael’s or Saint Katherine’s; the breath of regions where one went hat in hand, the head reverently bowed, walking weavingly on the tips of one’s toes; seemed, too, to hear the remote and set-apart hush of those echoing places. Religious feeling mingled in his mind with thoughts of death and a sense of history, as he listened to the sombre syllable; he received therefrom an ineffable gratification—indeed, it may have been for the sake of hearing the sound that he so often begged to see the christening basin.

Grandfather set the vessel back on the tray, and let the boy look into the smooth, faintly golden inside, which caught the light from the window in the ceiling.

"Yes," he said, "it will soon be eight years since we held you over it, and the water flowed into it from your baptism. Lassen, the sexton of St. Jacob’s, poured it into our good Pastor Bugenhagen’s hand, and it ran out over your little topknot and into the basin. We had warmed it, so it should not frighten you and make you cry, and you did not; you cried beforehand, though, so loud that Bugenhagen could hardly get on with the service, but you stopped when you felt the water—and that, let us hope, was out of respect for the Holy Sacrament. A few days from now it will be forty-four years since your blessed father was a baby at the baptismal font, and it was over his head the water flowed into the basin. That was here in this house, where he was born, in front of the middle dining-room window, and old Pastor Hezekiel was still alive. He was the man the French nearly shot when he was young, because he preached against their burning and looting. He has been with God these many years. Then, five-and-seventy years ago, I was the youngster whose head they held over this selfsame basin; that was in the dining-room too, and the minister spoke the very words that were spoken when you and your father were baptized, and the clear, warm water flowed over my head precisely the same way—there wasn’t much more hair than there is now—and fell into this golden bowl just as it did over yours."

The little one looked up at Grandfather’s narrow grey head, bending over the basin as it had in the time he described. A familiar feeling pervaded the child: a strange, dreamy, troubling sense: of change in the midst of duration, of time as both flowing and persisting, of recurrence in continuity—these were sensations he had felt before on the like occasion, and both expected and longed for again, whenever the heirloom was displayed.

As a young man he was aware that the image of his grandfather was more deeply and clearly imprinted on his mind, with greater significance, than those of his own parents. The fact might rest upon sympathy and physical likeness, for the grandson resembled the grandfather, in so far, that is, as a rosy youth with the down on his chin might resemble a bleached, rheumatic septuagenarian, Yet it probably spoke even more for that which was indeed the truth, that the grandfather had been the real personality, the picturesque figure of the family.

Long before Hans Lorenz Castorp’s passing, his person and the things for which he stood had ceased to be representative of his age. He had been a typical Christian gentleman, of the Reformed faith, of a strongly conservative cast of mind, as obstinately convinced of the right of the aristocracy to govern as if he had been born in the fourteenth century, when the labouring classes had begun to make head against the stout resistance of the free patriciate and wrest from it a place and voice in the councils of the ancient city. He had little use for the new. His active years had fallen in a decade of rapid growth and repeated upheavals, a decade of progress by forced marches, which had made continual demands on the public capacity for enterprise and self-sacrifice. Certainly he had no part or lot, old Castorp, in the brilliant triumph of the modern spirit that followed hard upon. It was not his fault; he had held far more with ancestral ways and old institutions than with ruinous schemes for widening the harbour, or godless and rubbishing plans for a great metropolis. He had put on the brakes; he had whittled things down wherever he could; and if matters had gone to his liking, the administration would have continued to wear the same old-fashioned, idyllic guise as, in his time, his own office did.

Such, in his lifetime and afterwards, was the figure the old man presented to the eye of his fellow burghers; and such, in essentials, was he also to the childish gaze of little Hans Castorp, who knew naught of affairs of state, and whose formless, uncritical judgments were rather the fruit of mere lively perceptions. Yet they persisted into later life, as the elements of a perfectly conscious memory-picture, which defied expression or analysis, but was none the less positive for all that. We repeat that natural sympathy was in play here too, the close family tie and essential intimacy which not infrequently leaps over an intervening generation.

Senator Castorp was tall and lean. The years had bent his back and neck, but he tried to counteract the curvature by pressure in another direction; drawing down his mouth with sedulous dignity, though the lips were shrunken against the bare gums, for he had lost all his teeth, and put in the false ones only to eat. It was this posture also which helped to steady an incipient shaking of the head, gave him his look of being sternly reined up, and caused him to support his chin on his neckcloth in the manner so congenial to little Hans Castorp’s taste.

He loved his snuff-box—it was a longish, gold-inlaid tortoise-shell one—and on account of his snuff-taking, used a red pocket-handkerchief, the corner of which always hung out of the back pocket of his coat. If this foible added a quaint touch to his appearance, yet the effect was only of a slight negligence or licence due to age, which length of days either consciously and cheerfully permits itself, or else brings in its train without the victim’s being aware. If weakness it were, it was the only one the sharp eye of the child ever noted in his grandfather’s exterior. But the old man’s everyday appearance was not his real and authentic one, either to the seven-year-old child, or to the memory of the grown man in after years. That was different, far finer and truer; it was Grandfather as he appeared in a life-size portrait which had once hung in the house of Hans Castorp’s own parents, had moved over with him to the Esplanade on their death, and now hung above the great red satin sofa in the reception-room.

The painting showed Hans Lorenz Castorp in his official garb as Councillor: the sober, even godly, civilian habit of a bygone century, which a commonwealth both self-assertive and enterprising had brought with it down the years and retained in ceremonial use in order to make present the past and make past the present, to bear witness to the perpetual continuity of things, and the perfect soundness of its business signature. Senator Castorp stood at full length on a red-tiled floor, in a perspective of column and pointed arch. His chin was dropped, his mouth drawn down, his blue, musing eyes, with the tear ducts plain beneath them, directed toward the distant view. He wore the black coat, cut full like a robe, more than knee-length, with a wide trimming of fur all round the edge; the upper sleeves were wide and puffed and fur-trimmed too, while from beneath them came the narrow under-sleeves of plain cloth, then lace cuffs, which covered the hands to the knuckles. The slender, elderly legs were cased in black silk stockings; the shoes had silver buckles. But about his neck was the broad, starched ruff, pressed down in front and swelling out on the sides, beneath which, for good measure, a fluted jabot came out over the waistcoat. Under his arm he held the old-fashioned, broad-brimmed hat that tapered to a point at the top.

It was a capital painting, by an artist of some note, in an old-masterish style that suited the subject and was reminiscent of much Spanish, Dutch, late Middle Ages work. Little Hans Castorp had often looked at it; not, of course, with any knowledge of art, but with a larger, even a fervid comprehension. Only once—and then only for a moment—had he ever seen Grandfather as he was here represented, on the occasion of a procession to the Rathaus. But he could not help feeling that this presentment was the genuine, the authentic grandfather, and the everyday one merely subsidiary, not entirely conformable—a sort of interim grandfather, as it were. For it was clear that the deviations and idiosyncrasies presented by his everyday appearance were due to incomplete, perhaps even unsuccessful adaptation; they were the not quite eradicable vestiges of Grandfather’s pure and genuine form. The choker collar and band, for instance, were old-fashioned; an adjective it would have been impossible to apply to that admirable article of apparel whose interim representative they were: namely, the ruff. The same was true of the outlandish top-hat Grandfather wore, with the bell-shaped crown, to which the broad-brimmed felt in the painting corresponded, only with a higher degree of actuality; and of the voluminous frock-coat, whose archetype and original was for little Hans Castorp the lace- and fur-trimmed ceremonial garment.

Thus he was glad from his heart that it should be the authentic, the perfect grandfather who lay there resplendent on that day when he came to take last leave of him. It was in the room where so often they had sat facing each other at table; and now, in the centre, Hans Lorenz Castorp was lying in a silver-mounted coffin, upon a begarlanded bier. He had fought out the attack on his lungs, fought long and stoutly, despite his air of being at home in the life of the day only by dint of his powers of adaptability. One hardly knew whether he had won or lost in the struggle; but in any case there he lay, with a stern yet satisfied expression, on his bed of state. He had altered with the illness, his nose looked sharp and thin; the lower half of his body was hidden by a coverlet on which lay a palm branch; the head was lifted high by the silken pillow, so that his chin rested beautifully in the front swell of the ruff. Between the hands, half-shrouded in their lace cuffs, their visibly cold, dead fingers artfully arranged to simulate life, was stuck an ivory cross. He seemed to gaze, beneath drooping lids, steadfastly down upon it.

Hans Castorp had probably seen his grandfather several times at the beginning of this last illness, but not toward the end. They had spared him the sight of the struggle, the more easily that it had been mostly at night; he had only felt it through the sur-charged atmosphere of the house, old Fiete’s red eyes, the coming and going of the doctors. What he gathered as he stood now by the bier in the dining-room, was that Grandfather had finally and formally surmounted his interim aspect and assumed for all time his true and adequate shape. And that was a gratifying result, even though old Fiete continually wept and shook his head, even though Hans Castorp himself wept, as he had at sight of the mother he had abruptly been bereft of, and the father who, so little time after her, lay in his turn still and strange before the little boy’s eyes.

Thus for the third time in so short a space and in such young years did death play upon the spirit and senses—but chiefly on the senses—of the lad. The sight was no longer strange, it was already right familiar; and as on those earlier occasions, only in still greater degree, he bore himself in the presence of death with a responsible air, quite self-controlled, showing no nervous weakness, if some natural dejection. He was unaware of the practical result the loss would mean to his own life, or else with childlike indifference was instinctively confident that he would be taken care of somehow; thus, at the bier, he displayed both an uncomprehending coolness and a detached alertness of observation, to which were added, on this third occasion, a feeling and expression of connoisseurship. And something more, a peculiar, precocious variation: he seemed no longer to think of tears—either the frequent outburst of grief or the contagion from the grief of others—as a natural reaction. In three or four months after his father’s passing he had forgotten about death; but now he remembered, and all the impressions of that time recurred, precise, immediate, and piercing in their transcendent strangeness.

Reduced to order and put into words, they would have been something like the following. In one aspect death was a holy, a pensive, a spiritual state, possessed of a certain mournful beauty. In another it was quite different. It was precisely the opposite, it was very physical, it was material, it could not possibly be called either holy, or pensive, or beautiful—not even mournful. The solemn, spiritual side expressed itself in the ceremonial lying-in state of the corpse, in the fan-leaved palm and the wealth of flowers, all which symbolized the peace of God and the heavenly kingdom, as did even more explicitly the ivory cross stuck between the dead fingers of what was once Grandfather, and the bust of Christ by Thorwaldsen at the head of the bier, with towering candelabra on either side. It was these last that gave a churchly air to the scene. All such arrangements had their more precise justification in the fact that Grandfather was now clothed forever in his true and proper guise. But over and above that raison d’être they had another, of a more profane kind, of which little Hans Castorp was distinctly aware, though without admitting it in so many words. One and all of them, but expressly the flowers, and of these more expressly the hosts of tuberoses, were there to palliate the other aspect of death, the side which was neither beautiful nor exactly sad, but somehow almost improper—its lowly, physical side—to slur it over and prevent one from being conscious of it.

It was this other aspect of death that made Grandfather himself look so strange; not like Grandfather at all, more like a life-size wax doll, which death had put in his place to be the centre of all this pious and reverent spectacle. He who lay there—or, more correctly, that which lay there—was not Grandfather himself, but a shell, made, as Hans Castorp was aware, not of wax, but of its own substance, and only of that. Therein, precisely, was the impropriety. It was scarcely sad at all—as things are not which have to do with the body and only with it. Little Hans Castorp regarded that substance, waxy yellow, and fine-grained like cheese, of which the life-size figure was made, the face and hands of what had been Grandfather. A fly had settled on the quiet brow, and began to move its proboscis up and down. Old Fiete shooed it cautiously away, taking care not to touch the forehead of the dead, putting on a seemly air of absent-mindedness—of obscurantism, as it were—as though he neither might nor would take notice of what he was doing. This correctness of demeanour obviously had to do with the fact that Grandfather was now no longer anything but body. But the fly, after a circling flight, came to rest on Grandfather’s fingers, close to the ivory cross. And Hans Castorp, watching, thought he detected, more plainly than ever before, a familiar, strange exhalation, faint, yet oddly clinging—he blushed to find that it made him think of a former schoolfellow, who was avoided by his class-mates because he suffered from a certain unpleasant affection—for the drowning out of which the tuberoses were there, and which, with all their lovely luxuriance and the strong-ness of their scent, they yet failed to overpower.

He stood three times by his Grandfather’s bier. Once alone with old Fiete; once with Great-uncle Tienappel, the wine merchant, and his two uncles, James and Peter; the third and last time when a group of harbour hands in their Sunday clothes came to take leave of the head of the house of Castorp and Son. Then came the funeral. The room was full of people, and Pastor Bugenhagen of St. Michael’s, the same who had baptized little Hans, preached the sermon in a ruff. He was most friendly with the boy as they drove out together to the cemetery, in the first carriage behind the hearse. Thus did another epoch in the life of Hans Castorp come to an end, and again he moved to a new home and new surroundings, for the second time in his young life.

At Tienappels’, and of Young Hans’s Moral State

THE CHANGE was no loss to him; for he entered the home of his appointed guardian, Consul Tienappel, where he wanted for nothing. Certainly this was true so far as his bodily needs were concerned, and not less in the sense of safe-guarding his interests—about which he was still too young to know anything at all. For Consul Tienappel, an uncle of Hans’s deceased mother, was administrator of the Castorp estate; he put up the property for sale, took in hand the business of liquidating the firm of Castorp and Son, Importers and Exporters, and realized from the whole nearly four hundred thousand marks, the inheritance of young Hans. This sum Consul Tienappel invested in trust funds, and took unto himself two per cent of the interest every quarter, without impairment of his kinsmanly feeling.

The Tienappel house lay at the foot of a garden in Harvestehuderstrasse; the windows looked out on a plot of lawn in which not the tiniest weed was suffered to flourish, then upon public rose-borders, and then upon the river. The Consul went on foot every morning to his business in the Old Town—although he possessed more than one fine equipage—in order to get a little exercise, for he sometimes suffered from cerebral congestion. He returned in the same way at five in the afternoon, at which time the Tienappels dined, with due and fitting ceremony. He was a weighty man, whose suits were always of the best English cloths; his eyes were watery blue and prominent behind his gold-rimmed glasses, his nose was ruddy, and his square-cut beard was grey; he wore a flashing brilliant on the stubby little finger of his left hand. His wife was long since dead. He had two sons, Peter and James, of whom one was in the navy and seldom at home, the other occupied in the paternal wine trade, and destined heir to the business. The housekeeping, for many years, had been the care of an Altona goldsmith’s daughter, named Schalleen, who wore starched white ruffles at her plump, round wrists. Hers it was to see to it that the table, morning and evening, was richly laden with cold meats, with crabs and salmon, eel and smoked breast of goose, with tomato ketchup for the roast beef. She kept a watchful eye on the hired waiters when Consul Tienappel gave a gentlemen’s dinner; and she it was who, so far as in her lay, took the place of a mother to little Hans Castorp.

So he grew up; in wretched weather, in the teeth of wind and mist, grew up, so to say, in a yellow mackintosh, and, generally speaking, he throve. A little anæmic he had always been, so Dr. Heidekind said, and had him take a good glass of porter after third breakfast every day, when he came home from school. This, as everyone knows, is a hearty drink—Dr. Heidekind considered it a blood-maker—and certainly Hans Castorp found it most soothing to his spirits and encouraging to a propensity of his, which his Uncle Tienappel called "dozing": namely, sitting staring into space, with his jaw dropped and his thoughts fixed on just nothing at all. But on the whole he was sound and fit, an adequate tennis player and rower; though actually handling the oars was less to his taste than sitting of a summer evening on the terrace of the Uhlenhorst ferry-house, with a good drink before him and the sound of music in his ears, while he watched the lighted boats, and the swans mirrored in the bright water. Hear him talk, sedate and sensible, in a rather low, monotonous voice, just tinged with dialect; observe him in his blond correctness, with his well-shaped head, which had about it some stamp of the classic, and his self-possessed, indolent bearing, the fruit of innate, inherited, perfectly unconscious self-esteem—you would swear that this young Castorp was a legitimate and genuine product of the soil in which he flourished, and strikingly at home in his environment. Nor would he, had he ever put such a question to himself, have been for a single second doubtful of the answer.

Yes, he was thoroughly in his element in the atmosphere of this great seaboard city: this reeking air, compact of good living and a retail trade that embraced the four corners of the earth. It had been the breath of his father’s nostrils, and the son drew it in with profound acquiescence and a sense of well-being. The exhalations from water, coals, and tar, the sharp tang in the nostrils from heaped-up stacks of colonial produce; the huge steam-cranes at the dock-side, imitating the quiet, the intelligence, and the giant strength of elephants at work, as they hoisted tons of sacks, bales, chests, vats, and carboys out of the bowels of seagoing ships and conveyed them into waiting trains and scales; the business men, in yellow rubber coats like his own, streaming to the Bourse at midday, where, as he knew, there was oftentimes pretty sharp work, and a man might have to strengthen his credit at short notice by giving out invitations to a big dinner—all this he felt, saw, heard, knew. Besides it all, there was the field in which later was to lie his own particular interest: the confusion of the yards, the mam-moth bodies of great ships, Asiatic and African liners, lying in dry-dock, keel and propeller bare, supported by props as thick as tree-trunks, lying there in monstrous helplessness, swarmed over by troops of men like dwarfs, scouring, whitewashing, hammering; there were the roofed-over ways, wrapped in wreaths of smoke-like mist, holding the towering frames of rising ships, among which moved the engineers, blue-print and loading scale in hand, directing the work-people. All these were familiar sights to Hans Castorp from his youth upwards, awaking in him only the agreeable, homely sensations of "belonging," which were the prerogative of his years. Such sensations would reach their height when he sat of a Sunday forenoon with James Tienappel or his cousin Ziemssen—Joachim Ziemssen—in the pavilion at Alster, breakfasting on hot cuts and smoked meat, with a glass of old port; or when, having eaten, he would lean back in his chair and give himself up to his cigar. For therein especially was he true to type, that he liked good living, and notwithstanding his thin-bloodedness and look of over-refinement clung to the grosser pleasures of life as a greedy suckling to its mother’s breast.

Comfortably, not without dignity, he carried the weight of culture with which the governing upper class of the commercial city endowed its children. He was as clean as a well-cared-for baby, and dressed by the tailor in whom the young men of his social sphere felt most confidence. Schalleen took beautiful care of his small stock of carefully marked linen, which was bestowed in a dressing-chest on the English plan. When he studied away from home, he regularly sent back his laundry to be washed and mended, for it was a saying of his that outside Hamburg nobody in the kingdom knew how to iron. A rough spot on the cuff of his dainty coloured shirts filled him with acute discomfort. His hands, though not particularly aristocratic in shape, were well tended and fresh-skinned, and he wore a platinum chain ring as well as the seal ring inherited from Grandfather. His teeth were rather soft and defective and he had a number of gold fillings.

Standing and walking, he rather stuck out his abdomen, which hardly made an athletic impression; but his bearing at table was beyond cavil. Sitting very erect, he would turn the whole upper part of his body to speak to his neighbour (with self-possession, of course, and a little platt) and he kept his elbows well in as he dismembered his piece of fowl, or deftly, with the appointed tool, drew the rosy flesh from a lobster’s shell. His first requirement after a meal was the finger-bowl of perfumed water, his second the Russian cigarette—which paid no duty, as he had a convenient way of getting them smuggled in. After the cigarette the cigar; he favoured a Bremen brand called Maria Mancini, of which we shall hear more hereafter; the fragrant narcotic blended so soothingly with the coffee. Hans Castorp protected his supply of tobacco from the injurious effects of steam-heating by keeping it in the cellar, whither he would betake himself every morning to load his case with his stock for the day. It went against his grain to eat butter served in the piece instead of in little fluted balls.

It will be seen that we mean to say everything that may be said in Hans Castorp’s favour, yet without fulsomeness, not making him out as better, or worse, than he was. He was neither genius nor dunderhead; and if, in our description of him, we have avoided the use of the word mediocre, it has been for reasons quite unconnected with his intelligence, hardly even with any bearing upon his whole simple personality, but rather out of regard for his lot in life, to which we incline to ascribe a certain importance above and beyond personal considerations. His head-piece sustained without undue strain the demands made upon it by the course at the Real-gymnasium—strain, indeed, was something to which he was quite definitely disinclined, whatever the circumstances or the object of his effort; less out of fear of hurting himself than because he positively saw no reason, or, more precisely, saw no positive reason, for exertion. This then, perhaps, is why we may not call him mediocre: that, somehow or other, he was aware of the lack of such a reason.

A man lives not only his personal life, as an individual, but also, consciously or unconsciously, the life of his epoch and his contemporaries. He may regard the general, impersonal foundations of his existence as definitely settled and taken for granted, and be as far from assuming a critical attitude toward them as our good Hans Castorp really was; yet it is quite conceivable that he may none the less be vaguely conscious of the deficiencies of his epoch and find them prejudicial to his own moral well-being. All sorts of personal aims, ends, hopes, prospects, hover before the eyes of the individual, and out of these he derives the impulse to ambition and achievement. Now, if the life about him, if his own time seem, however outwardly stimulating, to be at bottom empty of such food for his aspirations; if he privately recognize it to be hopeless, viewless, helpless, opposing only a hollow silence to all the questions man puts, consciously or unconsciously, yet somehow, puts, as to the final, absolute, and abstract meaning in all his efforts and activities; then, in such a case, a certain laming of the personality is bound to occur, the more inevitably the more upright the character in question; a sort of palsy, as it were, which may even extend from his spiritual and moral over into his physical and organic part. In an age that affords no satisfying answer to the eternal question of "Why?" "To what end?" a man who is capable of achievement over and above the average and expected modicum must be equipped either with a moral remoteness and single-mindedness which is rare indeed and of heroic mould, or else with an exceptionally robust vitality. Hans Castorp had neither the one nor the other of these; and thus he must be considered mediocre, though in an entirely honourable sense.

All this that we have said has reference to the inward state of the young man not only during his school years, but also in those that followed, after he had made choice of his civil profession. On his way through his forms at school, he had now and again to take one for the second time. But in the main his origin, his good breeding, and also a pretty if unimpassioned gift for mathematics got him forward; and when he received his one-year service certificate, he made up his mind to continue at school, principally, it must be said, because he thus prolonged a situation he was used to, in which no definite decisions had to be taken, and in which he had further time to think matters over and decide what he really wanted to do, which he was far from knowing after he had arrived at the top form. Even when it was finally decided—to say when Hans Castorp finally decided it would be saying too much—he had the feeling that it might quite as well have been decided some other way.

So much, however, was true, that he had always liked ships. As a small boy he had filled the pages of his note-books with drawings of fishing-barks, five-masters and vegetable-barges. When he was fifteen, he had had a front seat at the christening ceremony of the new double-screw steamer Hansa. He had watched her leave the ways at Blohm and Voss’s, and afterwards made quite a happy water-colour of the graceful ship, done with a good deal of attention to detail, and a loving and not unskillful treatment of the glassy green, rolling waves. Consul Tienappel hung it in his private office, and somebody told him that it showed talent, that the artist might develop into a good marine painter—a remark which the Consul could safely repeat to his ward, for Hans Castorp only laughed good-humouredly, and not for a moment considered letting himself in for a career of being eccentric and not getting enough to eat.

"You haven’t so much, you know," his Uncle Tienappel would say to him. "James and Peter will get most of what I have; that is to say, it stops in the business, and Peter will draw his interest. What belongs to you is well invested, and brings you in something safe. But it’s no joke living on your interest to-day, unless one has at least five times what you have; and if you want to be somebody here in this town and live as you have been brought up to, you’ll have to earn a good bit more to put with it, you mark my words, my son."

Hans Castorp marked them. He looked about for a profession suitable in his own eyes and those of his fellow citizens. And when he had once chosen—it came about at the instance of old Wilms, of the firm of Tunder and Wilms, who said to Consul Tienappel at the Saturday whist-table that young Castorp ought to study ship-building; it would be a good idea, he could come into his office and he would keep an eye on him—when he had once chosen, he thought very highly of his calling. It was, to be sure, confoundedly complicated and fatiguing, but all the same it was very first-rate, very solid, very important. And certainly, being peaceful in his tastes, he preferred it to that of his cousin Ziemssen, the son of his mother’s half-sister, who was bent on being an officer. But Joachim Ziemssen was rather weak in the chest, and for that reason a calling which would keep him in the open, and in which there was no mental strain or fatigue to speak of, might be quite the right thing for him, Hans Castorp thought with easy condescension. He had the greatest respect for work—though personally he found that he tired easily.

And here we revert to our suggestion of a few pages back: the idea that an unfavourable influence exerted upon a man’s personal life by the times in which he lives may even extend to his physical organism. Hans Castorp respected work—as how should he not have? It would have been unnatural. Work was for him, in the nature of things, the most estimable attribute of life; when you came down to it, there was nothing else that was estimable. It was the principle by which one stood or fell, the Absolute of the time; it was, so to speak, its own justification. His regard for it was thus religious in its character, and, so far as he knew, unquestioning. But it was another matter, whether he loved it; and that he could not do, however great his regard, the simple reason being that it did not agree with him. Exacting occupation dragged at his nerves, it wore him out; quite openly he confessed that he liked better to have his time free, not weighted with the leaden load of effort; lying spacious before him, not divided up by obstacles one had to grit one’s teeth and conquer, one after the other. These conflicting sentiments on the subject of work had, strictly speaking, to be reconciled. Is it, perhaps, possible, if he had been able to believe in work as a positive value, a self-justifying principle, believe in it in the very depth of his soul, even without being himself conscious of doing so, that his body as well as his spirit—first the spirit and through it the body as well—would have been able to devote itself to his task with more of joy and constancy, would have been able to find peace therein? Here again is posed the question of Hans Castorp’s mediocrity or more than mediocrity, to which we would give no hard and fast answer. For we do not set up as the young man’s encomiast, and prefer to leave room for the other view: namely, that his work stood somewhat in the way of his unclouded enjoyment of his Maria Mancini.

To military service he was not inclined. His being revolted against it, and found ways of making difficulties. It may be, too, that Staff Medical Officer Dr. Eberding, who visited at Harvestehuderstrasse, heard from Consul Tienappel, in the course of conversation, that young Castorp was leaving home to begin his technical studies, and would find a call to the colours a very sensible interruption to his labours.

Working slowly and deliberately—he kept up his soothing habit of porter breakfasts while he was away—he filled his brain with analytic and descriptive geometry, differential calculus, mechanics, projection, hydrostatic; reckoned full and empty dis-placement, stability, trim moment, and metacentre; and sometimes he got very sick of it. His technical drawings, the draughts and designs of frames, waterlines and longitudinal projections, were not quite so good as the picturesque representation of the Hansa on the high seas; but wherever it was in place to call in the sense perceptions to help out the intellectual, wherever he could wash in the shadows and lay on the cross-sections in the conventional colours, there Hans Castorp showed more dexterity than most.

When he came home for the holidays, very clean, very well dressed, with a little red-blond moustache that became his sleepy, young patrician face, obviously en route to a considerable position in life, people looked at him, the people who concerned themselves with the affairs of the community and made it their business to know all about family and social relations—and that, in a self-governing city-state, meant most of the population—they looked him well over, his fellow citizens, and asked themselves what public rôle young Castorp was destined to fill. He had traditions, his name was old and good, they would certainly have to reckon with him one day, as a political factor. Some day he would sit in the Assembly, or on the Board of Directors, he would help make the laws, he would occupy some honourable office and share the burdens of sovereignty. He would belong to the executive branch, perhaps, or the Finance or Building Commission. His voice would be listened to, his vote would count. It would be interesting to see what party he would choose. Appearances were deceiving, but he did not look as a man does whom the democrats can count on; and his likeness to his grandfather was unmistakable. Would he take after him, and be a drag, a conservative element? It was quite possible—but so was the opposite. He was an engineer, studying ship-building; on the technical side, in touch with world commerce. He might turn out to be a radical, a reckless spender, a profane destroyer of old buildings and landscape beauties. He might be as unfettered as a Jew, as irreverent as an American; he might prefer a ruthless break with tradition to a considered development of natural resources; he might incline to plunge the state into foolhardy experimentation. All that was conceivable. Was it in his blood to feel that their Worships in the Senate, before whom the double sentry at the Rathaus presented arms, were likely to know best in all contingencies; or would he side with the opposition in the Assembly? In his blue eyes, under their reddish-brown brows, his fellow citizens read no answer to their curious questioning. And he probably knew none himself, Hans Castorp, this still unwritten page.

When he took the journey upon which we have encountered him, he was in his twenty-third year. He had spent four semesters at the Dantzig Polytechnic, four more at the technical schools of Braunschweig and Karlsruhe, and had just previously passed his first final, quite respectably, if without any fanfare of trumpets. And now he was preparing to enter the firm of Tunder and Wilms, as volunteer apprentice, in order to get his practical training in the ship-yards.

But at this point his life took the following turn. He had had to work hard and steadily for his examination, and came home looking rather paler than a man of his blond, rosy type should do. Dr. Heidekind scolded, and insisted on a change of air; a complete change, not a stay at Norderney or Wyk on Föhr—that would not mend matters this time, he said; if they wanted his advice, it was that Hans Castorp should go for a few weeks to the high mountains before he took up his work in the yards.

Consul Tienappel told his nephew and foster-son he approved of the plan, only that in that case they would part company for the summer, for wild horses couldn’t drag him into the high mountains. They were not for him; he required a reasonable atmos-pheric pressure, else he might get an attack. Hans Castorp would be good enough to go by himself—let him pay his cousin Ziemssen a visit.

It was an obvious suggestion. Joachim Ziemssen was ill—not ill like Hans Castorp, but in all seriousness, critically. There had been a great scare, in fact. He had always been subject to feverish catarrh, and one day he actually spat blood; whereupon he had been rushed off to Davos, heels over head, to his great distress and affliction, for he had just then arrived within sight of the goal of all his hopes. Some semesters long, he had complied with the wish of his family and studied law; then, yielding to irresistible inward urging, he had changed over, presented himself as ensign and been accepted. And now, for the past five months, he had been stuck in the International Sanatorium Berghof (directing physician Hofrat Behrens) and was bored half sick, as he wrote home on postcards. If Hans Castorp wanted to do himself a good turn before he entered his post at Tunder and Wilms’s, what more natural than that he should go up to Davos and keep his poor cousin company for a while—it would be agreeable on both sides.

It was midsummer before he made up his mind to go. Already the last week in July.

He left for a stay of three weeks.
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Re: The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

Postby admin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:13 pm

Part 1 of 3


Drawing the Veil

HE had been so utterly weary, he had feared to oversleep; but he was on his legs rather earlier than usual, and had a superfluity of leisure in which to perform the accustomed ritual of his morning toilet, in which a rubber tub, a wooden bowl of green lavender soap, and the accompanying little brush played the principal parts. He had even time to do some unpacking and moving in. As he covered his cheeks with scented lather and drew over them the blade of his silver-plated "safety," he recalled his confused dreams and shook his head indulgently over so much nonsense, with the superior feeling a man has when shaving himself in the clear light of reason. He did not feel precisely rested, yet had a sense of morning freshness.

With powdered cheeks, in his Scotch-thread drawers and red morocco slippers, he walked out on the balcony, drying his hands. The balcony ran across the house and was divided into small separate compartments by opaque glass partitions, which did not quite reach to the balustrade. The morning was cool and cloudy. Trails of mist lay motionless in front of the heights on one side and the other, while great cloud-masses, grey and white, hung down over the distant peaks. Patches and bands of blue showed here and there; now and then a gleam of sunshine lighted up the village down in the valley, till it glistened whitely against the dark fir-covered slopes. Somewhere there was music, very likely in the same hotel where there had been a concert the evening before. The subdued chords of a hymn floated up; after a pause came a march. Hans Castorp loved music from his heart; it worked upon him in much the same way as did his breakfast porter, with deeply soothing, narcotic effect, tempting him to doze. He listened well pleased, his head on one side, his eyes a little bloodshot.

He could see below him the winding road up to the sanatorium, by which he had come the night before. Among the dewy grass of the sloping terrace short-stemmed, star-shaped gentians stood out. Part of the level ground had been enclosed for a garden, with flower-beds, gravel paths, and an artificial grotto under a stately silver fir. A hall, with reclining-chairs and a galvanized roof, opened towards the south; near it stood a flag-pole, painted reddish-brown, on which the flag fluttered open now and then on its cord. It was a fancy flag, green and white, with the caduceus, the emblem of healing, in the centre.

A woman was walking in the garden, an elderly lady, of melancholy, even tragic aspect. Dressed all in black, a black veil wound about her dishevelled grey-black hair, with wrinkled brow and coal-black eyes that had hanging pouches of skin beneath them, she moved with rapid, restless step along the garden paths, staring straight before her, her knees a little bent, her arms hanging stiffly down. The ageing face in its southern pallor, with the large, wried mouth drawn down on one side, reminded Hans Castorp of a portrait he had once seen of a famous tragic actress. And strange it was to see how the pale, black-clad woman unconsciously matched her long, woeful pace to the music of the march.

He looked down upon her with pensive sympathy; it seemed to him the sad apparition darkened the morning sunshine. But in the same instant he became aware of something else, something audible: certain noises penetrating to his hearing from the room on the left of his own, which was occupied, Joachim had said, by a Russian couple. Again he felt a discrepancy; these sounds no more suited the blithe freshness of the morning than had the sad sight in the garden below—rather they seemed to befoul the air, make it thick, sticky. Hans Castorp recalled having heard similar sounds the evening before, though his weariness had prevented him from heeding them: a struggling, a panting and giggling, the offensive nature of which could not long remain hidden to the young man, try as he good-naturedly did to put a harmless construction on them. Perhaps something more or other than good nature was in play, something to which we give a variety of names, calling it now purity of soul, which sounds insipid; again by that grave, beautiful name of chastity; and yet again disparaging it as hypocrisy, as "hating to look facts in the face"; even ascribing it to an obscure sense of awe and piety—and, in truth, something of all these was in Hans Castorp’s face and bearing as he listened. He seemed to be practising a seemly obscurantism; to be mentally drawing the veil over these sounds that he heard; to be telling himself that honour forbade his taking any cognizance of them, or even hearing them at all—it gave him an air of propriety which was not quite native, though he knew how to assume it on occasion.

With this mien, then, he drew back from the balcony into his room, in order not to listen further to proceedings which, for all the giggling that went with them, were plainly in dead earnest, even alarming. But from indoors the noise could be heard even more plainly. He seemed to hear a chase about the room; a chair fell over; someone was caught and seized; loud kissing ensued—and the music below had changed to a waltz, a popular air whose hackneyed, melodious phrases accompanied the invisible scene. Hans Castorp stood towel in hand and listened, against his better judgment. And he began to blush through the powder; for what he had all along seen coming was come, and the game had passed quite frankly over into the bestial. "Good Lord!" he thought. He turned away and made as much noise as possible while he con-cluded his toilet. "Well, at least they are married, as far as that goes," he said to himself. "But in broad daylight—it’s a bit thick! And last night too, I’m sure. But of course they are ill, or at least one of them, or they wouldn’t be here—that may be some excuse. The scandalous part of it is, the walls are so thin one can’t help hearing everything. Simply intolerable. The place is shamefully jerry-built, of course. What if I should see them, or even be introduced? I simply couldn’t endure it!" Here Hans Castorp remarked with surprise that the flush which had mounted in his freshly shaven cheek did not subside, nor its accompanying warmth: his face glowed with the same dry heat as on the evening before. He had got free of it in sleep, but the blush had made it set in again. He did not feel the friendlier for this discovery towards the wretched pair next door; in fact he stuck out his lips and muttered a derogatory word in their direction, as he tried to cool his hot face by bathing it in cold water—and only made it glow the more. He felt put out; his voice vibrated with ill humour as he answered to his cousin’s knock on the wall; and he appeared to Joachim on his entrance like anything but a man refreshed and invigorated by a good night’s sleep.


"MORNING," Joachim said. "Well, that was your first night up here. How did you find it?"

He was dressed for out-of-doors, in sports clothes and stout boots, and carried his ulster over his arm. The outline of the flat bottle could be seen on the side pocket. As yesterday, he wore no hat.

"Thanks," responded Hans Castorp, "it was well enough, I won’t try to judge yet. I’ve had all sorts of mixed-up dreams, and this building seems to possess the disadvantage of being porous—the sound goes straight through it. It’s annoying.—Who is that dark woman down in the garden?"

Joachim knew at once whom he meant.

"Oh," he said, "that’s Tous-les-deux. We all call her that up here, because it’s the only thing she says. Mexican, you know; doesn’t know a word of German and hardly any French, just a few scraps. She has been here for five weeks with her eldest son, a hopeless case, without much longer to go. He has it all over, tubercular through and through, you might say. Behrens says it is much like typhus, at the end—horrible for all concerned. Well, two weeks ago the second son came up, to see his brother before the end—handsome as a picture; both of them were that, with eyes like live coals—they fluttered the dovecots, I can tell you. He had been coughing a bit down below, but otherwise quite lively. Well, he no sooner gets up here than he begins to run a temperature, high fever, you know, 103.1°. They put him to bed—and if he gets up again, Behrens says, it will be more good luck than good management. But it was high time he came, in any case, Behrens says.—Well, and since then the mother goes about—whenever she is not sitting with them—and if you speak to her, she just says: ‘Tous les deux!’ She can’t say any more, and for the moment there is no one up here who understands Spanish."

"So that’s it," Hans Castorp said. "Will she say it to me, when I get to know her, do you think? That will be queer—funny and weird at the same time, I mean." His eyes looked as they had yesterday, they felt hot and heavy, as if tired with weeping, and yet brilliant too, with the gleam that had been kindled in them yesterday at the sound of that strange, new cough on the part of the gentleman rider. He had the feeling that he had been out of touch with yesterday since waking, and had only now picked up the threads again where he laid them down. He told his cousin he was ready, sprinkling a few drops of lavender-water on his handkerchief as he spoke and dabbing his face with it, on the brow and under the eyes. "If you like, we can go to breakfast, tous les deux," he recklessly joked. Joachim looked with mildness at him, then smiled his enigmatic smile of mingled melancholy and mockery—or so it seemed, for he did not express himself otherwise.

After looking to his supply of cigars Hans Castorp took coat and stick, also, rather defiantly, his hat—he was far too sure of himself and his station in life to alter his ways and acquire new ones for a mere three weeks’ visit—and they went out and down the steps. In the corridor Joachim pointed to this and that door and gave the names of the occupants—there were German names, but also all sorts of foreign ones—with brief comments on them and the seriousness of their cases.

They met people already coming back from breakfast, and when Joachim said good-morning, Hans Castorp courteously lifted his hat. He was tense and nervous, as a young man is when about to present himself before strangers—when, that is, he is conscious that his eyes are heavy and his face red. The last, however, was only true in part, for he was rather pale than otherwise.

"Before I forget it," he said abruptly, "you may introduce me to the lady in the garden if you like, I mean if it happens that way, I have no objection. She would just say: ‘Tous les deux’ to me, and I shouldn’t mind it, being prepared, and knowing what it means—I should know how to look. But I don’t wish to know the Russian pair, do you hear? I expressly don’t wish it. They are a very ill-behaved lot. If I must live for three weeks next door to them, and nothing else could be arranged, at least I needn’t know them. I am justified in that, and I simply and explicitly decline."

"Very good," Joachim said. "Did they disturb you? Yes, they are barbarians, more or less; uncivilized, I told you so before. He comes to the table in a leather jacket, very shabby, I always wonder Behrens doesn’t make a row. And she isn’t the cleanest in this world, with her feather hat. You may make yourself quite easy, they sit at the ‘bad’ Russian table, a long way off us—there is a ‘good’ Russian table, too, you see, where the nicer Russians sit—and there is not much chance of you coming into contact with them, even if you wanted to. It is not very easy to make acquaintance here, partly from the fact that there are so many foreigners. Personally, as long as I’ve been here, I know very few."

"Which of the two is ill?" Hans Castrop asked. "He or she?"

"The man I think. Yes, only the man," Joachim answered, absently. They passed among the hat- and coat-racks and entered the light, low-vaulted hall, where there was a buzzing of voices, a clattering of dishes, and a running to and fro of waitresses with steaming jugs.

There were seven tables, all but two of them standing lengthwise of the room. They were good-sized, seating each ten persons, though not all of them were at present full. A few steps diagonally into the room, and they stood at their places; Hans Castorp’s was at the end of a table placed between the two crosswise ones. Erect behind his chair, he bowed stiffly but amiably to each table-mate in turn, as Joachim formally presented him; hardly seeing them, much less having their names penetrate his mind. He caught but a single name and person—Frau Stöhr, whom he perceived to have a red face and greasy ash-blond hair. Looking at her he could quite credit the malapropisms Joachim told of. Her face expressed nothing but ill-nature and ignorance. He sat down, observing as he did so that early breakfast was taken seriously up here.

There were pots of marmalade and honey, basins of rice and oatmeal porridge, dishes of cold meat and scrambled eggs; a plenitude of butter, a Gruyère cheese dropping moisture under a glass bell. A bowl of fresh and dried fruits stood in the centre of the table. A waitress in black and white asked Hans Castorp whether he would drink coffee, cocoa or tea. She was small as a child, with a long, oldish face—a dwarf, he realized with a start. He looked at his cousin, who only shrugged indifferently with brows and shoulders, as though to say: "Well, what of it?" So he adjusted himself as speedily as possible to the fact that he was being served by a dwarf, and put special consideration into his voice as he asked for tea. Then he began eating rice with cinnamon and sugar, his eyes roving over the table full of other inviting viands, and over the guests at the six remaining tables, Joachim’s companions and fellow victims, who were all inwardly infected, and now sat there breakfasting.

The hall was done in that modern style which knows how to give just the right touch of individuality to something in reality very simple. It was rather shallow in proportion to its length, and opened in great arched bays into a sort of lobby surrounding it, in which serving-tables were placed. The pillars were faced halfway up with wood finished to look like sandalwood, the upper part white-enamelled, like the ceiling and upper half of the walls. They were stenciled in gay-coloured bands of simple and lively designs which were repeated on the girders of the vaulted ceiling. The room was further enlivened by several electric chandeliers in bright brass, consisting of three rings placed horizontally one over the other and held together by delicate woven work, the lowest ring set with globes of milky glass like little moons. There were four glass doors, two on the opposite wall, opening on the verandah, a third at the bottom of the room on the left, leading into the front hall, and a fourth, by which Hans Castorp had entered through a vestibule, as Joachim had brought him down a different stair from the one they had used yesterday evening.

He had on his right a plain-looking woman in black, with a dull flush on her cheeks, the skin of which was downy-looking, as an older person’s often is. She looked to him like a seamstress or home dressmaker, the idea being suggested by the fact that she took only coffee and buttered rolls for breakfast; since his childhood he had always somehow associated dressmakers with coffee and buttered rolls. On his left sat an English spinster, also well on in years, very ugly, with frozen, withered-looking fingers. She sat reading her home letters, which were written in round hand, and drinking tea the colour of blood. Next her was Joachim, and then Frau Stöhr, in a woollen blouse of Scotch plaid. She held her left hand doubled up in a fist near her cheek as she ate, and drew her upper lip back from her long, narrow, rodent-like teeth when she spoke, obviously trying to make an impression of culture and refinement. A young man with thin moustaches sat next beyond. His facial expression was of one with something bad-tasting in his mouth, and he ate without a word. He had come in after Hans Castorp was already seated, with his chin sunk on his breast; and sat down so, without even lifting his head in greeting, seeming by his bearing plumply to decline being made acquainted with the new guest. He was, perhaps, too ill to have thought of or care for appearances, or even to take any interest in his surroundings. Opposite him there had sat for a short time a very lean, light-blonde girl who emptied a bottle of yogurt on her plate, ladled it up with a spoon, and took herself off.

The conversation at table was not lively. Joachim talked politely with Frau Stöhr, inquired after her condition and heard with proper solicitude that it was unsatisfactory. She complained of relaxation. "I feel so relaxed," she said with a drawl and an underbred, affected manner. And she had had 99.1° when she got up that morning—what was she likely to have by afternoon? The dressmaker confessed to the same temperature, but she on the contrary felt excited, tense, and restless, as though some important event were about to happen, which was certainly not the case; the excitation was purely physical, quite without emotional grounds. Hans Castorp thought to himself that she could not be a dressmaker after all; she spoke too correctly, even pedantically. He found her excitation, or rather the expression of it, somehow unsuitable, almost offensive, in so homely and insignificant a creature. He asked her and Frau Stöhr, one after the other, how long they had been up here, and found that one had five, the other seven months to her credit. Then he mustered his English to inquire of his neighbour on the right what sort of tea she was drinking (it was made of rose-hips) and if it tasted good, which she almost passionately affirmed; then he watched people coming and going in the room; the first breakfast, it appeared, was not regarded as a regular meal, in any strict sense.

He had been a little afraid of unpleasant impressions, but found himself agreeably disappointed. The room was lively, one had not the least feeling of being in a place of suffering. Tanned young people of both sexes came in humming, spoke to the waitresses, and fell to upon the viands with robust appetite. There were older people, married couples, a whole family with children, speaking Russian, and half-grown lads. The women wore chiefly close-fitting jackets of wool or silk—the so-called sweater—in white or colours, with turnover collars and side pockets; they would stand with hands thrust deep in these pockets, and talk—it looked very pretty. At some tables photographs were being handed about—amateur photography, no doubt—at another stamps were being exchanged. The talk was of the weather, of how one had slept, of what one had "measured in the mouth" on rising. Nearly everybody seemed in good spirits, probably on no other grounds than that they were in numerous company and had no immediate cares. Here and there, indeed, sat someone who rested his head on his hand and stared before him. They let him stare, and paid no heed.

Hans Castorp gave a sudden angry start. A door was slammed—it was the one on the left, leading into the hall, and someone had let it fall shut, or even banged it, a thing he detested; he had never been able to endure it. Whether from his upbringing, or out of a natural idiosyncrasy, he loathed the slamming of doors, and could have struck the guilty person. In this case, the door was filled in above with small glass panes, which augmented the shock with their ringing and rattling. "Oh, come," he thought angrily, "what kind of damned carelessness was that?" But at the same time the seamstress addressed him with a remark, and he had no time to see who the transgressor had been. Deep creases furrowed his blond brows, and his face was contorted as he turned to reply to his neighbour.

Joachim asked whether the doctors had come through. Yes, someone answered, they had been there once and left the room just as the cousins entered. Then it would be better not to wait, Joachim thought. An opportunity for introducing his cousin would surely come in the course of the day. But at the door they nearly ran into Hofrat Behrens, as he entered with hasty steps, followed by Dr. Krokowski.

"Hullo-ullo there! Take care, gentlemen! That might have been rough on all of our corns!" He spoke with a strong low-Saxon accent, broad and mouthingly. "Oh, so here you are," he addressed Hans Castorp, whom Joachim, heels together, presented. "Well, glad to see you." He reached the young man a hand the size of a shovel. He was some three heads taller than Dr. Krokowski; a bony man, his hair already quite white; his neck stuck out, his large, goggling bloodshot blue eyes were swimming in tears; he had a snub nose, and a close-trimmed little moustache, which made a crooked line because his upper lip was drawn up on one side. What Joachim had said about his cheeks was fully borne out; they were really purple, and set off his head garishly against the white surgeon’s coat he wore, a belted smock of more than knee-length, beneath which showed striped trousers and a pair of enormous feet in rather worn yellow laced boots. Dr. Krokowski too was in professional garb; but his smock was of some shiny black stuff and made like a shirt, with elastic bands at the wrists. It contrasted sharply with the pallor of his skin. His manner suggested that he was present solely in his capacity as assistant; he took no part in the greeting, but a certain expression at the corners of his mouth betrayed the fact that he felt the strain of his subordinate position.

"Cousins?" the Hofrat asked, motioning with his hand from one to the other of the two young men and looking at them with his bloodshot eyes. "Is he going to follow the drums like you?" he addressed Joachim, jerking his head at Hans Castorp. "God forbid, eh? I could tell as soon as I saw you"—he spoke now directly to the young man—"that you were a layman; there’s something civilian and comfortable about you, not like our sabre-rattling corporal here! You’d be a better patient than he is, I’ll wager. I can tell by looking at people, you know, whether they’ll make good patients or not; it takes talent, everything takes talent—and this myrmidon here hasn’t a spark. Maybe he shows up on the parade-ground, for aught I know; but he’s no good a’ being ill. Will you believe it, he’s always wanting to clear out! Badgers me all the time, simply can’t wait to get down there and be skinned alive. There’s doggedness for you! Won’t give us even a measly half-a-year! And yet it’s quite pretty up here; I leave it to you if it isn’t, Ziemssen, what? ... Well, your cousin will appreciate us, even if you don’t. He’ll get some fun out of it. There’s no shortage in the lady market here, either; we have the most charming females. At least, some of them are very picturesque on the outside. But you ought to have better colour yourself, you know, if you want to please the sex. ‘The golden tree of life is green,’ as the poet says—but it’s a poor colour for the complexion, all the same. Totally anæmic, of course," he broke off, and without more ado put up his index and middle fingers and drew down Hans Castorp’s eyelid. "Precisely! Totally anæmic, as I was saying. You know it wasn’t such a bad idea of yours to let your native Hamburg shift for itself awhile. Great insti-tution, Hamburg—simply revels in humidity—sends us a tidy contingent every year. But if I may take the occasion to give you the benefit of my poor opinion—sine pecunia, you understand, quite sine pecunia—I would suggest that you do just as your cousin does, while you are up here. You couldn’t turn a better trick than to behave for the time as though you had a slight tuberculosis pulmonum, and put on a little flesh. It’s curious about the metabolism of protein with us up here. Although the process of combustion is heightened, yet the body at the same time puts on flesh.—Well, Ziemssen, slept pretty well, what?. . . Splendid! Then get on with the out-of-doors exercise—but not more than half an hour, you hear? And afterwards stick the quick-silver cigar in your face, eh? And be good and write it down, Ziemssen! That’s a conscientious lad! Saturday I’ll look at the curve. Your cousin better measure too. Measuring can’t hurt anybody. Morning, gentlemen. Have a good time—morning—morning—" Krokowski joined him as he sailed off down the hall, swinging his arms palms backward, directing to right and left the question about sleeping well, which was answered on all sides in the affirmative.

Banter. Viaticum. Interrupted Mirth

"VERY nice man," Hans Castorp said, as after a friendly nod to the lame concierge, who was sorting letters in his lodge, they passed out into the open air. The main entrance was on the south-west side of the white building, the central portion of which was a storey higher than the wings, and crowned by a turret with a roof of slate-coloured tin. You did not issue from this side into the hedged-in garden, but were immediately in the open, in sight of the steep mountain meadows, dotted with single fir-trees of moderate size, and writhen, stunted pines. The way they took—it was the only one they could take, outside the drive going down to the valley—rose by a gentle ascent to the left, behind the sanatorium, past the kitchen and domestic offices, where huge dustbins stood at the area rails. Thence it led in the same direction for a goodish piece, then made a sharp bend to the right and mounted more rapidly along the thinly wooded slopes. It was a reddish path, firm and yet rather moist underfoot, with boulders here and there along the edge. The cousins were by no means alone upon it: guests who had finished breakfast not long after them followed hard upon their steps, and groups of others, already returning, approached with the stalking gait of people descending a steep incline.

"Very nice man," repeated Hans Castorp. "He has such a flow of words I enjoy listening to him. ‘Quicksilver cigar’ was capital, I got it at once.—But I’ll just light up a real one," he said, pausing, "I can’t hold out any longer. I haven’t had a proper smoke since yesterday after luncheon. Excuse me a minute." He opened his automobile-leather case, with its silver monogram, and drew out a Maria Mancini, a beautiful specimen of the first layer, flattened on one side as he particularly liked it; he cut off the tip slantingly with a sharp little tool he wore on his watch-chain, then, striking a tiny flame with his pocket apparatus, puffed with concentration at the long, blunt-ended cigar until it was alight. "There!" he said. "Now, as far as I’m concerned, we can get on with the exercise. You don’t smoke—out of sheer doggedness, of course."

"I never do smoke," answered Joachim; "why should I begin up here."

"I don’t understand it," Hans Castorp said. "I never can understand how anybody can not smoke—it deprives a man of the best part of life, so to speak—or at least of a first-class pleasure. When I wake in the morning, I feel glad at the thought of being able to smoke all day, and when I eat, I look forward to smoking afterwards; I might almost say I only eat for the sake of being able to smoke—though of course that is more or less of an exaggeration. But a day without tobacco would be flat, stale, and unprofitable, as far as I am concerned. If I had to say to myself to-morrow: ‘No smoke to-day’—I believe I shouldn’t find the courage to get up—on my honour, I’d stop in bed. But when a man has a good cigar in his mouth—of course it mustn’t have a side draught or not draw well, that is extremely irritating—but with a good cigar in his mouth a man is perfectly safe, nothing can touch him—literally. It’s just like lying on the beach: when you lie on the beach, why, you lie on the beach, don’t you?—you don’t require anything else, in the line of work or amusement either.—People smoke all over the world, thank goodness; there is nowhere one could get to, so far as I know, where the habit hasn’t penetrated. Even polar expeditions fit themselves out with supplies of tobacco to help them carry on. I’ve always felt a thrill of sympathy when I read that. You can be very miserable: I might be feeling perfectly wretched, for instance; but I could always stand it if I had my smoke."

"But after all," Joachim said, "it is rather flabby-minded of you to be so dependent on it. Behrens is right, you are certainly a civilian. He meant it for a sort of compliment, I dare say; but the truth is, you are a civilian—incurable. But then, you are healthy, you can do what you like," he added, and his eyes took on their tired look.

"Yes, healthy except for the anaemia," said Hans Castorp. "That was certainly straight from the shoulder, his telling me I look green. But it is true—I’ve noticed myself that I look green in comparison with the rest of you up here, though it never struck me down home. And it was nice of him to give me advice gratis like that—‘sine pecunia,’ as he put it. I’ll gladly undertake to do as he says, and live just as you do. After all, how else should I do while I’m up here? And it can’t do me any harm; suppose I do put on a little flesh, then, in God’s name—though it sounds a bit disgusting, you will admit."

Joachim coughed slightly now and then as they walked, it seemed to strain him to go uphill. When he did so for the third time, he paused and stood still with a frown. "Go on ahead," he said. Hans Castorp hastened to do so, without looking round. Then he slackened his pace, and finally almost stopped, as it seemed to him he must have got a good distance ahead of Joachim. But he did not look round.

A troop of guests of both sexes approached him. He had seen them coming along the level path half-way up the slope; now they were stalking downhill directly towards him; he heard their voices. They were six or seven persons of various ages: some in the bloom of youth, others rather older. He took a good look at them, from the side, as he walked with bent head, thinking about Joachim. They were tanned and bare-headed, the women in sweaters, the men mostly without overcoats or even walking-sticks, all of them like people who have just gone casually out for a turn in the open. Going downhill involves no sustained muscular effort, only an agreeable process of putting on the brakes in order not to finish by running and tripping head over heels; it is really nothing more than just letting yourself go; and thus the gait of these people had something loose-jointed and flighty about it, which communicated itself to the appearance of the whole group and made one almost wish to be of their lively party.

They came close up to him, he saw their faces clearly. No, they were not all brown: two of the ladies were, on the contrary, distinctly pale; one of them thin as a lath, and ivory-white of complexion, the other shorter and plump, disfigured by freckles. They all looked at him, smiling rather boldly. A tall young girl in a green sweater, with untidy hair and foolish, half-open eyes, brushed past Hans Castorp, nearly touching him with her arm. And as she did so she whistled—oh, impossible! Yes, she did though; not with her mouth, indeed, for she did not pucker the lips, but held them firmly closed. She whistled from somewhere inside, and looked at him with her silly, half-shut eyes—it was an extraordinarily unpleasant whistle, harsh and penetrating, yet hollow-sounding; a long-drawn-out note, falling at the end, like the sound made by those rubber pigs one buys at fairs, that give out the air in a wailing key as they collapse. The sound issued, inexplicably, from her breast—and then, with her troop, she had passed on.

Hans Castorp stood and stared. In a moment he turned round, understanding at least so much, that the atrocious thing must have been a joke, a put-up job; for he saw over his shoulder that they were laughing as they went, that a stodgy, thick-lipped youth, whose coat was turned up in an unseemly way about him so that he could put both hands in his trouser pockets, turned his head and laughed quite openly. Joachim approached. He had greeted the group with his usual punctiliousness, almost pausing, and bowing with heels together; now he came mildly up to his cousin.

"Why are you making such a face?" he asked.

"She whistled," answered Hans Castorp. "She whistled out of her inside as she passed. Will you have the goodness to explain to me how?"

"Oh!" Joachim said, and laughed curtly. "Nonsense, she didn’t do it with her inside. That was Hermine Kleefeld, she whistles with her pneumothorax."

"With her what?" Hans Castorp demanded. He felt wrought up, without knowing why. His voice was between laughter and tears as he added: "You can’t expect me to understand your lingo."

"Oh, come along," Joachim said. "I can explain it to you as we go. You looked rooted to the spot! It’s a surgical operation, they often perform it up here. Behrens is a regular dab at it. When one of the lungs is very much affected, you understand, and the other one fairly healthy, they make the bad one stop functioning for a while, to give it a rest. That is to say, they make an incision here, somewhere on the side, I don’t know the precise place, but Behrens has it down fine. Then they fill you up with gas—nitrogen, you know—and that puts the cheesy part of the lung out of operation. The gas doesn’t last long, of course; it has to be renewed every two weeks; they fill you up again, as it were. Now, if that keeps on a year or two, and all goes well, the lung gets healed. Not always, of course; it’s a risky business. But they say they have had a good deal of success with it. Those people you saw just now all have it. That was Frau Iltis, with the freckles, and the thin, pale one was Fräulein Levi, that had to lie so long in bed, you know. They have formed a group, for of course a thing like the pneumothorax brings people together. They call themselves the Half-Lung Club; everybody knows them by that name. And Hermine Kleefeld is the pride of the club, because she can whistle with hers. It is a special gift, by no means everybody can do it. I can’t tell you how it is done, and she herself can’t exactly describe it. But when she has been walking rather fast, she can make it whistle, and of course she does it to frighten people, especially when they are new to the place. Also, I believe she uses up nitrogen when she does it, for she has to be refilled once a week."

Then it was that Hans Castorp laughed. His excitement, while Joachim was speaking, had fixed for its outlet upon laughter rather than tears; and he laughed as he walked, his hand over his eyes, his shoulders bent, shaken by a succession of subdued chuckles.

"Are they incorporated?" he asked as soon as he could speak. His voice sounded weak and tearful with suppressed laughter. "Have they any by-laws? Pity you aren’t a member, you could get me in as a guest, as—as associate half-lunger.—You ought to ask Behrens to put you out of commission, then perhaps you could learn to whistle too; it must be something one could learn—well, that’s the funniest thing ever I heard in my life!" he finished, heaving a deep sigh. "I beg your pardon for speaking of it like this, but they seem very jolly over it themselves, your pneumatic friends. The way they were coming along—and to think that was the Half-Lung Club. Tootle-ty-too, she went at me—she must be out of her senses! It was utter cheek—will you tell me why they behave so cheekily?"

Joachim sought for a reply. "Good Lord," he said, "they are so free—I mean, they are so young, and time is nothing to them, and then they may die—perhaps—why should they make a long face? Sometimes I think being ill and dying aren’t serious at all just a sort of loafing about and wasting time; life is only serious down below. You will get to understand that after a while, but not until you have spent some time up here."

"Surely, surely," Hans Castorp said. "I’m sure I shall. I already feel great interest in the life up here, and when one is interested, the understanding follows.—But what is the matter with me—it doesn’t taste good," he said, and took his cigar out of his mouth to look at it. "I’ve been asking myself all this time what the matter was, and now I see it is Maria. She tastes like papier mâché, I do assure you—precisely as when one has a spoilt digestion. I can’t understand it. I did eat more than usual for breakfast, but that cannot be the reason, for she usually tastes particularly good after a too hearty meal. Do you think it is because I had such a disturbed night? Perhaps that is how I got out of order. No, I really can’t stick it," he said, after another attempt. "Every pull is a disappointment, there is no sense in forcing it." And after a hesitating moment he tossed the cigar off down the slope, among the wet pine-boughs. "Do you know what I think it has to do with?" he asked. "I feel convinced it is connected with this damned heat I feel all the time in my face. I have suffered from it ever since I got up. I feel as though I were blushing the whole time, deuce take it! Did you have anything like that when you first came?"

"Yes," said Joachim. "I was rather queer at first. Don’t think too much of it. I told you it isn’t so easy to accustom oneself to the life up here. But you will get right again after a bit. Look, that bench is in a pretty place. Let’s sit down awhile and then go home. I must take my cure."

The path had become level. It ran now in the direction of Davos-Platz, some third of the height, and kept a continuous view, between high, sparse, wind-blown pines, of the settlement below, gleaming whitely in the bright air. The bench on which they sat leaned against the steep wall of the mountain-side, and near them a spring in an open wooden trough ran gurgling and plashing to the valley.

Joachim was for instructing his cousin in the names of the mist-wreathed Alpine heights which seemed to enclose the valley on the south, pointing them out in turn with his alpenstock. But Hans Castorp gave the mountains only a fleeting glance. He sat bent over, tracing figures on the ground with the ferrule of his cityish silver-mounted walking-stick. There were other things he wanted to know.

"What I meant to ask you," he began, "the case in my room had died just before I got here; have there been many deaths, since you came?"

"Several, certainly," answered Joachim. "But they are very discreetly managed, you understand; you hear nothing of them, or only by chance afterwards; everything is kept strictly private when there is a death, out of regard for the other patients, espe-cially the ladies, who might easily get a shock. You don’t notice it, even when somebody dies next door. The coffin is brought very early in the morning, while you are asleep, and the person in question is fetched away at a suitable time too—for instance, while we are eating."

"H’m," said Hans Castorp, and continued to draw. "I see. That sort of thing goes on behind the scenes, then."

"Yes—for the most part. But lately—let me see, wait a minute, it might be possibly eight weeks ago—"

"Then you can hardly say lately," Hans Castorp pounced on him crisply.

"What? Well, not lately, then, since you’re so precise. I was just trying to reckon. Well, then, some time ago, it was, I got a glimpse behind the scenes—purely by chance—and I remember it as if it were yesterday. It was when they brought the Sacrament to little Hujus, Barbara Hujus—she was a Catholic—the Last Sacrament, you know, Extreme Unction. She was still about when I first came up here, and she could be wildly hilarious, regularly giggly, like a little kid. But after that it went pretty fast with her, she didn’t get up any more—her room was three doors off mine—and then her parents arrived, and now the priest was coming to her. It was while everybody was at tea, not a soul in the passages. But I had gone to sleep in the after-noon rest and overslept myself, I hadn’t heard the gong and was a quarter of an hour late. So that at the decisive moment I wasn’t where all the others were, but behind the scenes, as you call it; as I go along the corridor, they come toward me, in their lace robes, with the cross in front, a gold cross with lanterns—it made me think of the Schellenbaum they march with, in front of the recruits."
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Re: The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

Postby admin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:14 pm

Part 2 of 3

"What sort of comparison is that?" Hans Castorp asked, severely.

"It looked like that to me—I couldn’t help thinking of it. But listen. They came towards me, marching, quick step, three of them, so far as I remember: the man with the cross, the priest, with glasses on his nose, and a boy with a censer. The priest was holding the Sacrament to his breast, it was covered up, and he had his head bent on one side and looked very sanctified—it is their holy of holies, of course."

"Exactly," Hans Castorp said. "And just for that reason I wonder at your making the comparison you did."

"Yes, but wait a bit—if you had been there, you wouldn’t have known what kind of face you would make remembering it afterwards. It was the sort of thing to give you bad dreams—"


"Like this: I ask myself how I am supposed to behave, under the circumstances. I had no hat to take off—"

"There, you see, don’t you?" Hans Castorp interrupted him again. "You see now, one ought to wear a hat. Naturally I’ve noticed that none of you do up here; but you should, so you can have something to take off when it is proper to do so. Well, but what then?"

"I stood against the wall," Joachim went on, "as respectfully as I could, and bent over a little when they were by me—it was just at little Hujus’s door, number twenty-eight. The priest seemed to be pleased that I saluted; he acknowledged very courteously and took off his cap. But at the same time they came to a stop, and the ministrant with the censer knocks, and lifts the latch, and makes way for his superior to enter. Just try to imagine my sensations, and how frightened I was! The minute the priest sets his foot over the threshold, there begins a hullabaloo from inside, a screaming such as you never heard the like of, three or four times running, and then a shriek—on and on without stopping, at the top of her lungs: Ah-h-h-h! So full of horror and rebellion, and anguish, and—well, perfectly indescribable. And in between came a gruesome sort of begging. Then it suddenly got all dulled and hollow-sounding, as though it had sunk down into the earth, or were coming out of a cellar."

Hans Castorp had turned with violence to face his cousin. "Was that the Hujus?" he asked abruptly. "And how do you mean—out of a cellar?"

"She had crawled down under the covers," said Joachim. "Imagine how I felt! The priest stood on the threshold and spoke soothingly, I can see now just how he stuck his head out and drew it back again while he talked. The cross-bearer and the acolyte hesitated, and couldn’t get in. I could see between them into the room. It was just like yours and mine, the bed on the side wall left of the door, and people were standing at the head, the relatives of course, the parents, talking soothingly at the bed, where you could see nothing but a formless mass that was begging and protesting horribly, and kicking about with its legs."

"You say she kicked?"

"With all her might. But it did her no good, she had to take the Sacrament. The priest went up to her, and the two others went inside the room, and the door closed. But first I saw little Hujus’s head come up for a second, a shock of blond hair, and look at the priest with staring eyes, that were without any colour, and then with a wail go down under the sheet again."

"And you tell me all that now for the first time?" Hans Castorp said, after a pause. "I can’t understand how you came not to speak of it yesterday evening. But, good Lord, she must have had strength, to defend herself like that. That takes strength. They ought not to fetch the priest before one is quite weak."

"She was weak," responded Joachim.—"Oh, there’s so much to tell, one doesn’t have time to pick and choose. She was weak enough! It was only the fright gave her so much strength. She was in a fearful state when she saw she was going to die; and she was such a young girl, it was excusable, after all. But grown men behave like that too, sometimes, and it’s deplorably feeble of them, of course. Behrens knows how to treat them, he takes just the right tone in such cases."

"What kind of tone?" Hans Castorp asked with drawn brows.

" ‘Don’t behave like that,’ he tells them," Joachim answered. "At least, that is what he told somebody lately—we heard it from the Directress, who was present and helped to hold the man. He was one of those who make a regular scene at the end, and simply won’t die. So Behrens brought him up with a round turn: ‘Do me the favour not to behave like that,’ he said to him; and the patient became quite calm and died as quietly as you please."

Hans Castorp slapped his thigh and threw himself back against the bench, looking up at the sky.

"I say, that’s pretty steep," he cried. "Goes at him like that, and simply tells him not to behave that way! To a dying man! But after all, a dying man has something in a way—sacred about him. One can’t just—perfectly coolly, like that—a dying man is sort of holy, I should think!"

"I don’t deny it," said Joachim. "But when one behaves as feebly as that—"

"No," persisted Hans Castorp, with a violence out of proportion to the opposition he met, "I insist that a dying man is above any chap that is going about and laughing and earning his living and eating his three meals a day. It isn’t good enough"—his voice quavered—"it isn’t good enough, for one to calmly—just calmly"—his words trailed off in a fit of laughter that seized and overcame him, the laughter of yesterday, a profound, illimitable, body-shaking laughter, that shut up his eyes and made tears well from beneath their lids.

"Sh-h!" went Joachim, suddenly. "Keep quiet," he whispered, and nudged his uncontrollably hilarious cousin in the side. Hans Castorp looked up through tears.

A stranger was approaching them from the left, a dark man of graceful carriage, with curling black moustaches, wearing light-coloured check trousers. He exchanged a good-morning with Joachim in accents agreeable and precise, and then remained standing before them in an easy posture, leaning on his cane, with his legs crossed.


HIS age would have been hard to say, probably between thirty and forty; for though he gave an impression of youthfulness, yet the hair on his temples was sprinkled with silver and gone quite thin on his head. Two bald bays ran along the narrow scanty parting, and added to the height of his forehead. His clothing, loose trousers in light yellowish checks, and too long, double-breasted pilot coat, with very wide lapels, made no slightest claim to elegance; and his stand-up collar, with rounding corners, was rough on the edges from frequent washing. His black cravat showed wear, and he wore no cuffs, as Hans Castorp saw at once from the lax way the sleeve hung round the wrist. But despite all that, he knew he had a gentleman before him: the stranger’s easy, even charming pose and cultured expression left no doubt of that. Yet by this mingling of shabbiness and grace, by the black eyes and softly waving moustaches, Hans Castorp was irresistibly reminded of certain foreign musicians who used to come to Hamburg at Christmas to play in the streets before people’s doors. He could see them rolling up their velvet eyes and holding out their soft hats for the coins tossed from the windows. "A hand-organ man," he thought. Thus he was not surprised at the name he heard, as Joachim rose from the bench and in some embarrassment presented him: "My cousin Castorp, Herr Settembrini."

Hans Castorp had got up at the same time, the traces of his burst of hilarity still on his face. But the Italian courteously bade them both not to disturb themselves, and made them sit down again, while he maintained his easy pose before them. He smiled standing there and looking at the cousins, in particular at Hans Castorp; a smile that was a fine, almost mocking, deepening and crisping of one corner of the mouth, just at the point where the full moustache made its beautiful upward curve. It had upon the cousins a singular effect: it somehow constrained them to mental alertness and clarity; it sobered the reeling Hans Castorp in a twinkling, and made him ashamed.

Settembrini said: "You are in good spirits—and with reason too, with excellent reason. What a splendid morning! A blue sky, a smiling sun—"with an easy, adequate motion of the arm he raised a small, yellowish-skinned hand to the heavens, and sent a lively glance upward after it—"one could almost forget where one is."

He spoke without accent, only the precise enunciation betrayed the foreigner. His lips seemed to take a certain pleasure in forming the words. It was most agreeable to hear him.

"You had a pleasant journey hither, I hope?" he turned to Hans Castorp. "And do you already know your fate—I mean has the mournful ceremony of the first examination taken place?" Here, if he had really been expecting a reply he should have paused; he had put his question, and Hans Castorp prepared to answer. But he went on: "Did you get off easily? One might put"—here he paused a second, and the crisping at the corner of his mouth grew crisper—"more than one interpretation upon your laughter. How many months have our Minos and Rhadamanthus knocked you down for?" The slang phrase sounded droll on his lips. "Shall I guess? Six? Nine? You know we are free with the time up here—"

Hans Castorp laughed, astonished, at the same time racking his brains to remember who Minos and Rhadamanthus were. He answered: "Not at all—no, really, you are under a misapprehension, Herr Septem—"

"Settembrini," corrected the Italian, clearly and with emphasis, making as he spoke a mocking bow.

"Herr Settembrini—I beg your pardon. No, you are mistaken. Really I am not ill. I have only come on a visit to my cousin Ziemssen for a few weeks, and shall take advantage of the opportunity to get a good rest—"

"Zounds! You don’t say? Then you are not one of us? You are well, you are but a guest here, like Odysseus in the kingdom of the shades? You are bold indeed, thus to descend into these depths peopled by the vacant and idle dead—"

"Descend, Herr Settembrini? I protest. Here I have climbed up some five thousand feet to get here—"

"That was only seeming. Upon my honour, it was an illusion," the Italian said, with a decisive-wave of the hand. "We are sunk enough here, aren’t we, Lieutenant?" he said to Joachim, who, no little gratified at this method of address, thought to hide his satisfaction, and answered reflectively:

"I suppose we do get rather one-sided. But we can pull ourselves together, afterwards, if we try."

"At least, you can, I’m sure—you are an upright man," Settembrini said. "Yes, yes, yes," he said, repeating the word three times, with a sharp s, turning to Hans Castorp again as he spoke, and then, in the same measured way, clucking three times with his tongue against his palate. "I see, I see, I see," he said again, giving the s the same sharp sound as before. He looked the newcomer so steadfastly in the face that his eyes grew fixed in a stare; then, becoming lively again, he went on: "So you come up quite of your own free will to us sunken ones, and mean to bestow upon us the pleasure of your company for some little while? That is delightful. And what term had you thought of putting to your stay? I don’t mean precisely. I am merely interested to know what the length of a man’s sojourn would be when it is himself and not Rhadamanthus who prescribes the limit."

"Three weeks," Hans Castorp said, rather pridefully, as he saw himself the object of envy.

"O dio! Three weeks! Do you hear, Lieutenant? Does it not sound to you impertinent to hear a person say: ‘I am stopping for three weeks and then I am going away again’? We up here are not acquainted with such a unit of time as the week—if I may be permitted to instruct you, my dear sir. Our smallest unit is the month. We reckon in the grand style—that is a privilege we shadows have. We possess other such; they are all of the same quality. May I ask what profession you practise down below? Or, more probably, for what profession are you preparing yourself? You see we set no bounds to our thirst for information—curiosity is another of the prescriptive rights of shadows."

"Pray don’t mention it," said Hans Castorp. And told him.

"A ship-builder! Magnificent!" cried Settembrini. "I assure you, I find that magnificent—though my own talents lie in quite another direction."

"Herr Settembrini is a literary man," Joachim explained, rather self-consciously. "He wrote the obituary notices of Carducci for the German papers—Carducci, you know." He got more self-conscious still, for his cousin looked at him in amazement, as though to say: "Carducci? What do you know about him? Not any more than I do,

I’ll wager."

"Yes," the Italian said, nodding. "I had the honour of telling your countrymen the story of our great poet and freethinker, when his life had drawn to a close. I knew him, I can count myself among his pupils. I sat at his feet in Bologna. I may thank him for what culture I can call my own—and for what joyousness of life as well. But we were speaking of you. A ship-builder! Do you know you have sensibly risen in my estimation? You represent now, in my eyes, the world of labour and practical genius."

"Herr Settembrini, I am only a student as yet, I am just beginning."

"Certainly. It is the beginning that is hard. But all work is hard, isn’t it, that deserves the name?"

"That’s true enough, God knows—or the Devil does," Hans Castorp said, and the words came from his heart.

Settembrini’s eyebrows went up.

"Oh," he said, "so you call on the Devil to witness that sentiment—the Devil incarnate, Satan himself? Did you know that my great master wrote a hymn to him?"

"I beg your pardon," Hans Castorp said, "a hymn to the Devil?"

"The very Devil himself, and no other. It is sometimes sung, in my native land, on festal occasions. ‘O salute, O Satana, O ribellione, O forza vindice della ragione!. . .’ It is a magnificent song. But it was hardly Carducci’s Devil you had in mind when you spoke; for he is on the very best of terms with hard work; whereas yours, who is afraid of work and hates it like poison, is probably the same of whom we are told that we may not hold out even the little finger to him."

All this was making the very oddest impression on our good Hans Castorp. He knew no Italian, and the rest of it sounded no less uncomfortable, and reminded him of Sunday sermons, though delivered quite casually, in a light, even jesting tone. He looked at his cousin, who kept his eyes cast down; then he said: "You take my words far too literally, Herr Settembrini. When I spoke of the Devil, it was just a manner of speaking, I assure you."

"Somebody must have some esprit," Settembrini said, looking straight ahead, with a melancholy air. Then recovering himself, he skillfully got back to their former subject, and went on blithely: "At all events, I am probably right in concluding from your words that the calling you have embraced is as strenuous as it is honourable. As for myself, I am a humanist, a homo humanus. I have no mechanical ingenuity, however sincere my respect for it. But I can well understand that the theory of your craft requires a clear and keen mind, and its practice not less than the entire man. Am I right?"

"You certainly are, I can go all the way with you there," Hans Castorp answered. Unconsciously he made an effort to reply with eloquence. "The demands made to-day on a man in my profession are simply enormous. It is better not to have too clear an idea of their magnitude, it might take away one’s courage: no, it’s no joke. And if one isn’t the strongest in the world—It is true that I am here only on a visit; but I am not very robust, and I cannot with truth assert that my work agrees with me so wonderfully well. It would be a great deal truer to say that it rather takes it out of me. I only feel really fit when I am doing nothing at all."

"As now, for example?"

"Now? Oh, now I am so new up here, I am still rather bewildered—you can imagine."


"Yes, and I did not sleep so very well, and the early breakfast was really too solid.—I am accustomed to a fair breakfast, but this was a little too rich for my blood,

as the saying goes. In short, I feel a sense of oppression—and for some reason or other, my cigar this morning hasn’t the right taste, something that as good as never happens to me, or only when I am seriously upset—and to-day it is like leather. I had to throw it away, there was no use forcing it. Are you a smoker, may I ask? No? Then you cannot imagine the annoyance and disappointment it is for anyone like me, who have smoked from my youth up, and taken such pleasure in it."

"I am without experience in the field," Settembrini answered, "but I find that my lack of it is in no poor company. So many fine, self-denying spirits have refrained. Carducci had no use for the practice. But you will find our Rhadamanthus a kindred spirit. He is a devotee of your vice."

"Vice, Herr Settembrini?"

"Why not? One must call things by their right names; life is enriched and ennobled thereby. I too have my vices."

"So Hofrat Behrens is a connoisseur? A charming man."

"You find him so? Then you have already made his acquaintance?"

"Yes, just now, as we came out. It was almost like a professional visit—but gratis, you know—sine pecunia. He saw at once that I am anæmic. He advised me to follow my cousin’s regimen entirely: to lie out on the balcony a good deal—he even said I should take my temperature."

"Did he indeed?" Settembrini cried out. "Capital!" He laughed and threw back his head. "How does it go, that opera of yours? ‘A fowler bold in me you see, forever laughing merrily!’ Ah, that is most amusing! And you will follow his advice? Of course, why shouldn’t you? He’s a devil of a fellow, our Rhadamanthus! ‘Forever laughing’—even if it is rather forced at times. He is inclined to melancholia, you know. His vice doesn’t agree with him—of course, else it would be no vice. Smoking gives him fits of depression; that is why our respected Frau Directress has taken charge of his supplies, and only deals him out daily rations. It even happens sometimes that he yields to the temptation to steal it, and then he gets an attack of melancholia. A troubled spirit, in short. Do you know your Directress already, too? No? You have made a mistake. You must remedy it at the earliest opportunity. My dear sir, she comes of the noble race of von Mylendonk. And she is distinguished from the Medici Venus by the fact that where the goddess has a bosom, she has a cross."

"Ah, ha ha!—capital!" Hans Castorp laughed.

"Her Christian name is Adriatica."

"Adriatica!" shouted Hans Castorp. "Priceless! Adriatica von Mylendonk! Isn’t that splendid! Sounds as though she had been dead a very long time. It is positively mediaeval."

"My dear sir," Settembrini answered him, "there is a good deal up here that is positively mediaeval, as you express it. Personally, I am convinced that Rhadamanthus was actuated simply and solely by artistic feeling when he made this fossil head overseer of his Chamber of Horrors. You know he is an artist, by the bye. He paints in oils. Why not? There’s no law against it—anybody can paint that likes. Frau Adriatica tells all who will listen to her, not counting those who won’t, that a Mylendonk was abbess of a cloister at Bonn on the Rhine, in the thirteenth century. It can’t have been long after that she herself saw the light of day."

"Ha ha! Why, Herr Settembrini, I find you are a mocker!"

"A mocker? You mean I am malicious? Well, yes, perhaps I am a little," said Settembrini. "My great complaint is that it is my fate to spend my malice upon such insignificant objects. I hope, Engineer, you have nothing against malice? In my eyes,

it is reason’s keenest dart against the powers of darkness and ugliness. Malice, my dear sir, is the animating spirit of criticism; and criticism is the beginning of progress and enlightenment." And he began to talk about Petrarch, whom he called the father of the modern spirit.

"I think," Joachim said thoughtfully, "that we ought to be going to lie down."

The man of letters had been speaking to an accompaniment of graceful gestures, one of which he now rounded off in Joachim’s direction and said: "Our lieutenant presses on to the service. Let us go together, our way is the same: the ‘path on the right that shall lead to the halls of the mightiest Dis’—ah, Virgil, Virgil! He is unsurpassable. I am a believer in progress, certainly, gentlemen; but Virgil—he has a command of epithet no modern can approach." And on their homeward path he recited Latin verse with an Italian pronunciation; interrupting himself, however, as he saw coming towards them a young girl—a girl of the village, as it seemed, and by no means remarkable for her looks—whom he laid himself out to smile at and ogle most killingly: "O la, la, sweet, sweet, sweet!" he chirruped. "Pretty, pretty, pretty! ‘Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,’ " he quoted as they passed, and kissed his hand at the poor girl’s embarrassed back.

"What a windbag it is," Hans Castorp thought. He remained of that opinion still, after the Italian had recovered from his attack of gallantry and begun to scoff again. His animadversions were chiefly directed upon Herr Hofrat Behrens: he jeered at the size of his feet, and at the title he had received from a certain prince who suffered from tuberculosis of the brain. Of the scandalous courses of that royal personage the whole neighbourhood still talked; but Rhadamanthus had shut his eye—both eyes, in fact—and behaved every inch a Hofrat. Did the gentlemen know that he—the Hofrat—had invented the summer season? He it was, and no other. One must give the devil his due. There had been a time when only the faithfullest of the faithful had spent the summer in the high valley. Then our humourist, with his unerring eye, had perceived that this neglect was simply the result of unfortunate prejudice. He got up the idea that, so far at least as his own sanatorium was concerned, the summer cure was not only not less to be recommended than the winter one, it was, on the contrary, of great value, really quite indispensable. And he knew how to get this theory put about, to have it come to people’s ears; he wrote articles on the subject and launched them in the press—since when the summer season had been as flourishing as the winter one.

"Genius!" said Settembrini. "In-tu-ition!" He went on to criticize the proprietors of all the other sanatoria in the place, praising their acquisitive talents with mordant sarcasm. There was Professor Kafka. Every year, at the critical moment, when the snow began to melt, and several patients were asking leave to depart, he would suddenly find himself obliged to be away for a week, and promise to take up all requests on his return. Then he would stop away for six weeks, while the poor wretches waited for him, and while, incidentally, their bills continued to mount. Kafka was once sent for to go to Fiume for a consultation, but he would not go until he was guaranteed five thousand good Swiss francs; and thus two weeks were lost in pourparlers. Then he went; but the day after the arrival of the great man, the patient died. Dr. Salzmann asserted that Kafka did not keep his hypodermic syringes clean, and his patients got infected one from the other. He also said he wore rubber soles, that his dead might not hear him. On the other hand, Kafka told it about that Dr. Salzmann’s patients were encouraged to drink so much of the fruit of the vine—for the benefit of Dr. Salzmann’s pocket-book—that they died off like flies, not of phthisis but cirrhosis of the liver.

Thus he went on, Hans Castorp laughing with good-natured enjoyment at this glib and prolific stream of slander. It was, indeed, great fun to listen to, so eloquent was it, so precisely rendered, so free from every trace of dialect. The words came, round, clear-cut, and as though newly minted, from his mobile lips, he tasted his own well-turned, dexterous, biting phrases with obvious and contagious relish, and seemed to be far too clearheaded and self-possessed ever to mis-speak.

"You have such an amusing way of talking, Herr Settembrini," Hans Castorp said. "So lively, so—I don’t quite know how to characterize it."

"Plastic?" responded the Italian, and fanned himself with his handkerchief, though it was far from warm. "That is probably the word you seek. You mean I have a plastic way of speaking. But look!" he cried, "what do my eyes behold? The judges of our infernal regions! What a sight!"

The walkers had already put behind them the turn in the path. Whether thanks to Settembrini’s conversation, the fact that they were walking downhill, or merely that they were much nearer the sanatorium than Hans Castorp had thought—for a path is always longer the first time we traverse it—at all events, the return had been accomplished in a surprisingly short time. Settembrini was right, it was the two physicians who were walking along the free space at the back of the building; the Hofrat ahead, in his white smock, his neck stuck out and his hands moving like oars; on his heels the black-shirted Dr. Krokowski, who looked the more self-conscious that medical etiquette constrained him to walk behind his chief when they made their rounds together.

"Ah, Krokowski," Settembrini cried. "There he goes—he who knows all the secrets in the bosoms of our ladies—pray observe the delicate symbolism of his attire: he wears black to indicate that his proper field of study is the night. The man has but one idea in his head, and that a smutty one. How does it happen, Engineer, that we have not spoken of him until now? You have made his acquaintance?"

Hans Castorp answered in the affirmative.

"Well? I am beginning to suspect that you like him, too."

"I don’t know, really, Herr Settembrini. I’ve seen him only casually. And I am not very quick in my judgments. I am inclined to look at people and say: ‘So that’s you, is it? Very good.’ "

"That is apathetic of you. You should judge—to that end you have been given your eyes and your understanding. You felt that I spoke maliciously, just now. If I did, perhaps it was not without intent to teach. We humanists have all of us a pedagogic itch. Humanism and schoolmasters—there is a historical connexion between them, and it rests upon psychological fact: the office of schoolmaster should not—cannot—be taken from the humanist, for the tradition of the beauty and dignity of man rests in his hands. The priest, who in troubled and inhuman times arrogated to himself the office of guide to youth, has been dismissed; since when, my dear sirs, no special type of teacher has arisen. The humanistic grammar-school—you may call me reactionary, Engineer, but in abstracto, generally speaking, you understand, I remain an adherent—"

He continued in the lift to expatiate upon this theme, and left off only when the cousins got out as the second storey was reached. He himself went up to the third, where he had, Joachim said, a little back room.

"He hasn’t much money, I suppose," Hans Castorp said, entering Joachim’s room, which looked precisely like his own.

"No, I suppose not," Joachim answered, "or only so much as just makes his stay possible. His father was a literary man too, you know, and, I believe, his grandfather as well."

"Yes, of course," Hans Castorp said. "Is he seriously ill?"

"Not dangerously, so far as I know, but obstinate, keeps coming back. He has had it for years, and goes away in between, but soon has to return again."

"Poor chap! So frightfully keen on work as he seems to be! Enormously chatty, goes from one thing to another so easily. Rather objectionable, though, it seemed to me, with that girl. I was quite put off, for the moment. But when he talked about human dignity, afterwards, I thought it was great—sounded like an address. Do you see much of him?"

Mental Gymnastic

JOACHIM’S reply came impeded and incoherent. He had taken a small thermometer from a red leather, velvet-lined case on his table, and put the mercury-filled end under his tongue on the left side, so that the glass instrument stuck slantingly upwards out of his mouth. Then he changed into indoor clothes, put on shoes and a braided jacket, took a printed form and pencil from his table, also a book, a Russian grammar—for he was studying Russian with the idea that it would be of advantage to him in the service—and, thus equipped, took his place in the reclining-chair on his balcony, throwing his camel’s-hair rug lightly across his feet.

It was scarcely needed. During the last quarter-hour the layer of cloud had grown steadily thinner, and now the sun broke through in summerlike warmth, so dazzlingly that Joachim protected his head with a white linen shade which was fastened to the arm of his chair, and furnished with a device by means of which it could be adjusted to the position of the sun. Hans Castorp praised this contrivance. He wished to await the result of Joachim’s measurement, and meanwhile looked about to see how everything was done: observed the fur-lined sleeping-sack that stood against the wall in a corner of the loggia, for Joachim to use on cold days; and gazed down into the garden, with his elbows on the balustrade. The general rest-hall was populated by reclining patients, reading, writing, or conversing. He could see only a part of the interior, some four or five chairs.

"How long does that go on?" he asked, turning round.

Joachim raised seven fingers.

"Seven minutes! But they must be up!"

Joachim shook his head. A little later he took the thermometer out of his mouth, looked at it, and said: "Yes, when you watch it, the time, it goes very slowly. I quite like the measuring, four times a day; for then you know what a minute—or seven of them actually amounts to, up here in this place, where the seven days of the week whisk by the way they do!"

"You say ‘actually,’ " Hans Castorp answered. He sat with one leg flung over the balustrade, and his eyes looked bloodshot. "But after all, time isn’t ‘actual.’ When it seems long to you, then it is long; when it seems short, why, then it is short. But how long, or how short, it actually is, that nobody knows." He was unaccustomed to philosophize, yet somehow felt an impulse to do so.

Joachim gainsaid him. "How so?—we do measure it. We have watches and calendars for the purpose; and when a month is up, why, then up it is, for you, and for me, and for all of us."

"Wait," said Hans Castorp. He held up his forefinger, close to his tired eyes. "A minute, then, is as long as it seems to you when you measure yourself?"

"A minute is as long—it lasts as long—as it takes the second hand of my watch to complete a circuit."

"But it takes such a varied length of time—to our senses! And as a matter of fact—I say taking it just as a matter of fact," he repeated, pressing his forefinger so hard against his nose that he bent the end of it quite round, "it is motion, isn’t it, motion in space? Wait a minute! That means that we measure time by space. But that is no better than measuring space by time, a thing only very unscientific people do. From Hamburg to Davos is twenty hours—that is, by train. But on foot how long is it? And in the mind, how long? Not a second!"

"I say," Joachim said, "what’s the matter with you? Seems to me it goes to your head to be up here with us!"

"Keep quiet! I’m very clear-headed to-day. Well, then, what is time?" asked Hans Castorp, and bent the tip of his nose so far round that it became white and bloodless. "Can you answer me that? Space we perceive with our organs, with our senses of sight and touch. Good. But which is our organ of time—tell me that if you can. You see, that’s where you stick. But how can we possibly measure anything about which we actually know nothing, not even a single one of its properties? We say of time that it passes. Very good, let it pass. But to be able to measure it—wait a minute: to be susceptible of being measured, time must flow evenly, but who ever said it did that? As far as our consciousness is concerned it doesn’t, we only assume that it does, for the sake of convenience; and our units of measurement are purely arbitrary, sheer conventions—"

"Good," Joachim said. "Then perhaps it is pure convention that I have five points too much here on my thermometer. But on account of those lines I have to drool about here instead of joining up, which is a disgusting fact."

"Have you 99.3°?"

"It’s going down already," and Joachim made the entry on his chart. "Last night it was almost 100°—that was your arrival. A visit always makes it go up. But it is a good thing, notwithstanding."

"I’ll go now," said Hans Castorp. "I’ve still a great many ideas in my head about the time—a whole complex, if I may say so. But I won’t excite you with them now, you’ve too many degrees as it is. I’ll keep them all and return to them later, perhaps after breakfast. You will call me when it is time, I suppose. I’ll go now and lie down; it won’t hurt me, thank goodness." With which he passed round the glass partition into his loggia, where stood his own reclining-chair and side-table. He fetched Ocean Steamships and his beautiful, soft, dark-red and green plaid from within the room, which had already been put into perfect order, and sat himself down.

Soon he too had to put up the little sunshade; the heat became unbearable as he lay. But he was uncommonly comfortable, he decided, with distinct satisfaction. He did not recall in all his experience so acceptable an easy-chair. The frame—a little old-fashioned, perhaps, a mere matter of taste, for the chair was obviously new—was of polished red-brown wood, and the mattress was covered in a soft cotton material; or rather, it was not a mattress, but three thick cushions, extending from the foot to the very top of the chair-back. There was a head-roll besides, neither too hard nor too yielding, with an embroidered linen cover, fastened on by a cord to the chair, and wondrously agreeable to the neck. Hans Castorp supported his elbow on the broad, smooth surface of the chair-arm, blinked, and reposed himself. The landscape, rather severe and sparse, though brightly sunny, looked like a framed painting as viewed through the arch of the loggia. Hans Castorp gazed thoughtfully at it. Suddenly he thought of something, and said aloud in the stillness: "That was a dwarf, wasn’t it, that waited on us at breakfast?"

"Sh-h," went Joachim. "Don’t speak loud. Yes, a dwarf. Why?"

"Nothing. We hadn’t mentioned it."

He mused on. It had been ten o’clock when he lay down. An hour passed. It was an ordinary hour, not long, not short. At its close a bell sounded through the house and garden, first afar, then near, then from afar again.

"Breakfast," Joachim said and could be heard getting up.

Hans Castorp too finished with his cure for the time and went into his room to put himself to rights a little. The cousins met in the corridor and descended the stair.

Hans Castorp said: "Well, the lying-down is great! What sort of chairs are they? If they are to be had here, I’ll buy one and take it to Hamburg with me; they are heavenly to lie in. Or do you think Behrens had them made to his design?"

Joachim did not know. They entered the dining-room, where the meal was again in full swing.

At every place stood a large glass, probably a half litre of milk; the room shimmered white with it.

"No," Hans Castorp said, when he was once more in his seat between the seamstress and the Englishwoman, and had docilely unfolded his serviette, though still heavy with the earlier meal; "no, God help me, milk I never could abide, and least of all now! Is there perhaps some porter?" He applied himself to the dwarf and put his question with the gentlest courtesy, but alas, there was none. She promised to bring Kulmbacher beer, and did so. It was thick, dark, and foaming brownly; it made a capital substitute for the porter. Hans Castorp drank it thirstily from a half-litre glass, and ate some cold meat and toast. Again there was oatmeal porridge and much butter and fruit. He let his eyes dwell upon them, incapable of more. And he looked at the guests as well; the groups began to break up for him, and individuals to stand out.

His own table was full, except the place at the top, which, he learned, was "the doctor’s place." For the doctors, when their work allowed, ate at the common table, sitting at each of the seven in turn; at each one a place was kept free. But just now neither was present; they were operating, it was said. The young man with the moustaches came in again, sank his chin once for all on his breast, and sat down, with his self-absorbed, care-worn mien. The lean, light blonde was in her seat, and spooned up yogurt as though it formed her sole article of diet. Next her appeared a lively little old dame, who addressed the silent young man in Russian; he regarded her uneasily, and answered only by nodding his head, looking as though he had a bad taste in his mouth. Opposite him, on the other side of the elderly lady, there was another young girl—pretty, with a blooming complexion and full bosom, chestnut hair that waved agreeably, round, brown, childlike eyes, and a little ruby on her lovely hand. She laughed often, and spoke Russian. Hans Castorp learned that her name was Marusja. He noticed further that when she laughed and talked, Joachim sat with eyes cast sternly down upon his plate.

Settembrini appeared through the side door, and, curling his moustaches, strode to his place at the end of the table diagonally in front of that where Hans Castorp sat. His table-mates burst out in peals of laughter as he sat down; he had probably said some-thing cutting. Hans Castorp recognized the members of the Half-Lung Club. Hermine Kleefeld, heavy-eyed, slid into her place at the table in front of one of the verandah doors, speaking as she did so to the thick-lipped youth who had worn his coat in the unseemly fashion that had struck Hans Castorp. The ivory-coloured Levi and the fat, freckled Iltis sat side by side at a table at right angles to Hans Castorp—he did not know any of their table-mates.

"There are your neighbours," Joachim said in a low voice to his cousin, bending forward as he spoke. The pair passed close beside Hans Castorp to the last table on the right, the "bad" Russian table, apparently, where there already sat a whole family, one of whom, a very ugly boy, was gobbling great quantities of porridge. The man was of slight proportions, with a grey, hollow-cheeked face. He wore a brown leather jacket; on his feet he had clumsy felt boots with buckled clasps. His wife, likewise small and slender, walked with tripping steps in her tiny, high-heeled Russia leather boots, the feathers swaying on her hat. Around her neck she wore a soiled feather boa. Hans Castorp looked at them with a ruthless stare, quite foreign to his usual manner—he himself was aware of its brutality, yet at the same time conscious of relishing that very quality. His eyes felt both staring and heavy. At that moment the glass door on the left slammed shut, with a rattle and ringing of glass; he did not start as he had on the first occasion, but only made a grimace of lazy disgust; when he wished to turn his head, he found the effort too much for him—it was really not worth while. And thus, for the second time, he was unable to fix upon the person who was guilty of behaving in that reckless way about a door.

The truth was that the breakfast beer, as a rule only mildly obfuscating to the young man’s sense, had this time completely stupefied and befuddled him. He felt as though he had received a blow on the head. His eyelids were heavy as lead; his tongue would not shape his simple thoughts when out of politeness he tried to talk to the Englishwoman. Even to alter the direction of his gaze he was obliged to conquer a great disinclination; and, added to all this, the hateful burning in his face had reached the same height as yesterday, his cheeks felt puffy with heat, he breathed with difficulty; his heart pounded dully, like a hammer muffled in cloth. If all these sensations caused him no high degree of suffering, that was only because his head felt as though he had inhaled a few whiffs of chloroform. He saw as in a dream that Dr. Krokowski appeared at breakfast and took the place opposite to his; the doctor, however, repeatedly looked him sharply in the eye, while he conversed in Russian with the ladies on his right. The young girls—the blooming Marusja and the lean consumer of yogurt—cast down their eyes modestly as the doctor spoke. Hans Castorp did not, of course, bear himself otherwise than with dignity. In silence, since his tongue refused its office, but managing his knife and fork with particular propriety. When his cousin nodded to him and got up, he rose too, bowed blindly to the rest of the table, and with cautious steps followed Joachim out.

"When do we lie down again?" he asked, as they left the house. "It’s the best thing up here, so far as I can see. I wish I were back again in my comfortable chair. Do we take a long walk?"

A Word Too Much

"NO," answered Joachim. "I am not allowed to go far. At this period I always go down below, through the village as far as the Platz if I have time. There are shops and people, and one can buy what one needs. Don’t worry, we rest for an hour again before dinner, and then after it until four o’clock."

They went down the drive in the sunshine, crossed the watercourse and the narrow track, having before their eyes the mountain heights of the western side of the valley: the Little Schiahorn, the Green Tower, and the Dorfberg—Joachim mentioned their names. The little walled cemetery of Davos-Dorf lay up there, at some height; Joachim pointed it out with his stick. They reached the high road that led along the terraced slope a storey higher than the valley floor.

It was rather a misnomer to speak of the village, since scarcely anything but the word remained. The resort had swallowed it up, extending further and further toward the entrance of the valley, until that part of the settlement which was called the "Dorf"

passed imperceptibly into the "Platz." Hotels and pensions, amply equipped with covered verandahs, balconies, and reclining-halls, lay on both sides of their way, also private houses with rooms to let. Here and there were new buildings, but also open spaces, which preserved a view toward the valley meadows.

Hans Castorp, craving his familiar and wonted indulgence, had once more lighted a cigar; and, thanks probably to the beer that had gone before, he succeeded now and then in getting a whiff of the longed-for aroma—to his inexpressible satisfaction. But only now and then, but only faintly; the anxious receptivity of his attitude was a strain on the nerves, and the hateful leathery taste distinctly prevailed. Unable to reconcile himself to his impotence, he struggled awhile to regain the enjoyment which either escaped him wholly, or else mocked him by its brief presence; finally, worn out and disgusted, he flung the cigar away. Despite his benumbed condition he felt it incumbent upon him to be polite, to make conversation, and to this end he sought to recall those brilliant ideas he had previously had, on the subject of time. Alas, they had fled, the whole "complex" of them, and left not a trace behind: on the subject of time not one single idea, however insignificant, found lodgment in his head. He began, therefore, to talk of ordinary matters, of the concerns of the body—what he said sounded odd enough in his mouth.

"When do you measure again?" he asked. "After eating? Yes, that’s a good time. When the organism is in full activity, it must show itself. Behrens must have been joking when he told me to take my temperature—Settembrini laughed like anything at the idea; there’s really no sense in it, I haven’t even a thermometer."

"Well," Joachim said, "that is the least of your difficulties. You can get one anywhere—they sell them in almost every shop."

"Why should I? No, the lying-down is very much the thing. I’ll gladly do it; but measuring would be rather too much for a guest; I’ll leave that to the rest of you. If I only knew," Hans Castorp went on, and laid his hands like a lover on his heart, "if I only knew why I have palpitations the whole time—it is very disquieting; I keep thinking about it. For, you see, a person ordinarily has palpitation of the heart when he is frightened, or when he is looking forward to some great joy. But when the heart palpitates all by itself, without any reason, senselessly, of its own accord, so to speak, I feel that’s uncanny, you understand, as if the body was going its own gait without any reference to the soul, like a dead body, only it is not really dead—there isn’t any such thing, of course—but leading a very active existence all on its own account, growing hair and nails and doing a lively business in the physical and chemical line, so I’ve been told—"

"What kind of talk is that?" Joachim said, with serious reproach. " ‘Doing a lively business’!" And perhaps he recalled the reproaches he had called down on his own head earlier in the day.
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Re: The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

Postby admin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:14 pm

Part 3 of 3

"It’s a fact—it is very lively! Why do you object to that?" Hans Castorp asked. "But I only happened to mention it. I only meant to say that it is disturbing and unpleasant to have the body act as though it had no connexion with the soul, and put on such airs—by which I mean these senseless palpitations. You keep trying to find an explanation for them, an emotion to account for them, a feeling of joy or pain, which would, so to speak, justify them. At least, it is that way with me—but I can only speak for myself."

"Yes, yes," Joachim said, sighing. "It is the same thing, I suppose, as when you have fever—there are pretty lively goings-on in the system then too, to talk the way you do; it may easily be that one involuntarily tries to find an emotion which would explain, or even half-way explain the goings-on. But we are talking such unpleasant

stuff," he said, his voice trembling a little, and he broke off; whereupon Hans Castorp shrugged his shoulders—with the very gesture, indeed, which had, the evening before, displeased him in his cousin.

They walked awhile in silence, until Joachim asked: "Well, how do you like the people up here? I mean the ones at our table."

Hans Castorp put on a judicial air. "Dear me," he said, "I don’t find them so very interesting. Some of the people at the other tables look more so, but that may be only seeming. Frau Stöhr ought to have her hair shampooed, it is so greasy. And that Ma-zurka—or whatever her name is—seemed rather silly to me. She keeps giggling and stuffing her handkerchief in her mouth."

Joachim laughed loudly at the twist his cousin had given the name.

" ‘Mazurka’ is capital," he said. "Her name is Marusja, with your kind permission—it is the same as Marie. Yes, she really is too undisciplined, and after all, she has every reason to be serious," he said, "for her case is by no means light."

"Who would have thought it?" said Hans Castorp. "She looks so very fit. Chest trouble is the last thing one would accuse her of." He tried to catch his cousin’s eye, and saw that Joachim’s sunburnt face had gone all spotted, as a tanned complexion will when the blood leaves it with suddenness; his mouth too was pitifully drawn, and wore an expression that sent an indefinable chill of fear over Hans Castorp and made him hasten to change the subject. He hurriedly inquired about others of their table-mates and tried to forget Marusja and the look on Joachim’s face—an effort in which he presently succeeded.

The Englishwoman with the rose tea was Miss Robinson. The seamstress was not a seamstress but a schoolmistress at a lycée in Königsberg—which accounted for the precision of her speech. Her name was Fräulein Engelhart. As for the name of the lively little old lady, Joachim, as long as he had been up here, did not know it. All he knew was that she was great-aunt to the young lady who ate yogurt, and lived with her permanently in the sanatorium. The worst case at their table was Dr. Blumenkohl, Leo Blumenkohl, from Odessa, the young man with the moustaches and the absorbed and care-worn air. He had been here years.

They were now walking on the city pavement, the main street, obviously, of an international centre. They met the guests of the cure, strolling about, young people for the most part: gallants in "sporting," without their hats; white-skirted ladies, also hatless. One heard Russian and English. Shops with gay show-windows were on either side of the road, and Hans Castorp, his curiosity struggling with intense weariness, forced himself to look into them, and stood a long time before a shop that purveyed fashionable male wear, to decide whether its display was really up to the mark.

They reached a rotunda with covered galleries, where a band was giving a concert. This was the Kurhaus. Tennis was being played on several courts by long-legged, clean-shaven youths in accurately pressed flannels and rubber-soled shoes, their arms bared to the elbow, and sunburnt girls in white frocks, who ran and flung themselves high in the sunny air in their efforts to strike the white ball. The well-kept courts looked as though coated with flour. The cousins sat down on an empty bench to watch and criticize the game.

"You don’t play here?" Hans Castorp asked.

"I am not allowed," Joachim answered. "We have to lie—nothing but lie. Settembrini says we live horizontally—he calls us horizontallers; that’s one of his rotten jokes. Those are healthy people, there—or else they are breaking the rules. But they don’t play very seriously anyhow—it’s more for the sake of the costume. As far as breaking the rules goes, there are more forbidden things besides tennis that get played here—poker, and petits-chevaux, in this and that hotel. At our place there is a notice about it; it is supposed to be the most harmful thing one can do. Even so, there are people who slip out after the evening visit and come down here to gamble. That prince who gave Behrens his title always did it, they say."

Hans Castorp barely attended. His mouth was open, for he could not have breathed through his nose without sniffing; he felt with dull discomfort that his heart was hammering out of time with the music; and with this combined sense of discord and disorder he was about to doze off when Joachim suggested that they go home.

They returned almost in silence. Hans Castorp stumbled once or twice on the level street and grinned ruefully as he shook his head. The lame man took them up in the lift to their own storey. They parted, with a brief "See you later" at the door of number thirty-four; Hans Castorp piloted himself through his room to the balcony, where he dropped just as he was upon his deck-chair and, without once shifting to a more comfortable posture, sank into a dull half-slumber, broken by the rapid beating of his unquiet heart.

Of Course, A Female!

HOW long it lasted he could not have told. When the moment arrived, the gong sounded. But it was not the gong for the meal, it was only the dressing-bell, as Hans Castorp knew, and so he still lay, until the metallic drone rose and died away a second time. When Joachim came to fetch him, Hans Castorp wanted to change, but this Joachim would not allow. He hated and despised unpunctuality. Would he be likely, he asked, to get on, and get strong enough for the service, if he was too feeble to observe the hours for meals? Wherein he was, of course, quite right, and Hans Castorp could only say that he was not ill at all, but only utterly and entirely sleepy. He confined himself to washing his hands; and then for the third time they went down together to the dining-hall.

The guests streamed in through both entrances, they even came through the open verandah door. Soon they all sat at their several tables as though they had never risen. Such at least was Hans Castorp’s impression—a dreamy and irrational impression, of course, but one which his muddled brain could not for an instant get rid of, in which it even took a certain satisfaction, so that several times in the course of the meal he sought to call it up again and was always perfectly successful in reproducing the illusion. The gay old lady continued to talk in her semifluid tongue at the care-worn Dr. Blumenkohl, diagonally opposite; her lean niece actually at last ate something else than yogurt; namely, the thick cream of barley soup, which was handed round in soup-plates by the waitresses. Of this she took a few spoonfuls and left the rest. Pretty Marusja giggled, then stuffed her dainty handkerchief in her mouth—it gave out a scent of oranges. Miss Robinson read the same letters, in the same round script, which she had read at breakfast. Obviously she knew not a word of German, nor wished to do so. Joachim, preux chevalier, said something to her in English, which she answered in a monosyllable without ceasing to chew, and relapsed again into silence. Frau Stöhr, sitting there in her woollen blouse, gave the table to know she had been examined that forenoon; she went into particulars, affectedly drawing back her upper lip from the rodent-like teeth. There were rhonchi to be heard in the upper right side, and under the left shoulder-blade the breathing was still very limited; the "old man" said she would have to stop another five months. It sounded very common to hear her refer thus to Herr Hofrat Behrens. She displayed, moreover, a feeling of injury because the "old man" was not sitting at her table to-day, where he should by rights be sitting if he had taken them "à la tournée"—by which she presumably meant in turn—instead of going to the next table again. (There, in fact, he really was sitting, his great hands folded before his place.) But of course that was Frau Salomon’s table, the fat Frau Salomon from Amsterdam, who came décolletée to table even on week-days, a sight which the "old man" liked to see, though for her part—Frau Stöhr’s—she never could understand why, since he could see all he wanted of Frau Salomon at every examination. She related, in an excited whisper, that last night, in the general rest-hall up under the roof, somebody had put out the light, for purposes which she designated as "transparent." The "old man" had seen it, and stormed so you could hear it all over the place. He had not discovered the culprit, of course, but it didn’t take a university education to guess that it was Captain Miklosich from Bucharest, for whom, when in the society of ladies, it could never be dark enough: a man without any and all refinement—though he did wear a corset—and, by nature, simply a beast of prey—a perfect beast of prey, repeated Frau Stöhr, in a stifled whisper, beads of perspiration on her brow and upper lip. The relations between him and Frau Consul-General Wurmbrandt from Vienna were known throughout Dorf and Platz—it was idle any longer to speak of them as clandestine. Not merely did the captain go into the Frau Consul-General’s bedroom while she was still in bed, and remain there throughout her toilet; last Thursday he had not left the Wurmbrandt’s room until four in the morning; that they knew from the nurse who was taking care of young Franz in number nineteen—his pneumothorax operation had gone wrong. She had, in her embarrassment, mistaken her own door, and burst suddenly into the room of Herr Paravant, a Dortmund lawyer. Lastly Frau Stöhr held forth for some time on the merits of a "cosmic" establishment down in the village, where she bought her mouth-wash. Joachim gazed stonily downwards at his plate.

The meal was as faultlessly prepared as it was abundant. Counting the hearty soup, it consisted of no less than six courses. After the fish followed an excellent meat dish, with garnishings, then a separate vegetable course, then roast fowl, a pudding, not in-ferior to yesterday evening’s, and lastly cheese and fruit. Each dish was handed twice and not in vain. At all seven tables they filled their plates and ate: they ate like wolves; they displayed a voracity which would have been a pleasure to see, had there not been something else about it, an effect almost uncanny, not to say repulsive. It was not only the light-hearted who thus laced into the food—those who chattered as they ate and threw pellets of bread at each other. No, the same appetite was evinced by the silent, gloomy ones as well, those who in the pauses between courses leaned their heads on their hands and stared before them. A half-grown youth at the next table on the left, by his years a schoolboy, with his wrists coming out of his jacket sleeves, and thick, round eye-glasses, cut all the heaped-up food on his plate into a sort of mash, then bent over and gulped it down; he reached with his serviette behind his glasses now and then and dried his eyes—whether it was sweat or tears he dried one could not tell.

There were two incidents during the course of the meal of which Hans Castorp took note, so far as his condition permitted. One was the banging of the glass door, which occurred while they were having the fish course. Hans Castorp gave an exasperated shrug and angrily resolved that this time he really must find out who did it. He said this not only within himself, his lips formed the words. "I must find out," he whispered with exaggerated earnestness. Miss Robinson and the schoolmistress both looked at him in surprise. He turned the whole upper half of his body to the left and opened wide his bloodshot blue eyes.

It was a lady who was passing through the room; a woman, or rather girl, of middle height, in a white sweater and coloured skirt, her reddish-blond hair wound in braids about her head. Hans Castorp had only a glimpse of her profile. She moved, in singular contrast to the noise of her entrance, almost without sound, passing with a peculiarly gliding step, her head a little thrust forward, to her place at the furthest table on the left, at right angles to the verandah door: the "good" Russian table, in fact. As she walked, she held one hand deep in the pocket of her close-fitting jacket; the other she lifted to the back of her head and arranged the plaits of her hair. Hans Castorp looked at the hand. He was habitually observant and critical of this feature, and accustomed when he made a new acquaintance to direct his attention first upon it. It was not particularly ladylike, this hand that was putting the braids to rights; not so refined and well kept as the hands of ladies in Hans Castorp’s own social sphere. Rather broad, with stumpy fingers, it had about it something primitive and childish, something indeed of the schoolgirl. The nails, it was plain, knew nothing of the manicurist’s art; they were cut in rough-and-ready schoolgirl fashion, and the skin at the side looked almost as though someone were subject to the childish vice of finger biting. But Hans Castorp sensed rather than saw this, owing to the distance. The laggard greeted her table-mates with a nod, and took her place on the inner side of the table with her back to the room, next to Dr. Krokowski, who was sitting at the top. As she did so, she turned her head, with the hand still raised to it, toward the dining-room and surveyed the public; Hans Castorp had opportunity for the fleeting observation that her cheek-bones were broad and her eyes narrow.—A vague memory of something, of somebody, stirred him slightly and fleetingly as he looked.

"Of course, a female!" he thought, or rather he actually uttered, in a murmur, yet so that the schoolmistress, Fräulein Engelhart, understood. The poor old spinster smiled in sympathy.

"That is Madame Chauchat,"’ she said. "She is so heedless. A charming creature." And the downy flush on her cheek grew a shade darker—as it did whenever she spoke.

"A Frenchwoman?" Hans Castorp asked, with severity.

"No, she is a Russian," was the answer. "Her husband is very likely French or of French descent, I am not sure."

Hans Castorp asked, still irritated, if that was he—pointing to a gentleman with drooping shoulders who sat at the "good" Russian table.

"Oh, no," the schoolmistress answered, "he isn’t here; he has never been here, no one knows him."

"She ought to learn how to shut a door," Hans Castorp said. "She always lets it slam. It is a piece of ill breeding."

And on the schoolmistress’s meekly accepting this reproof as though she herself had been the guilty party, there was no more talk of Madame Chauchat.

The second event was the temporary absence of Dr. Blumenkohl from the room—nothing more. The mildly disgusted facial expression suddenly deepened, he looked with sadder fixity into space, then unobtrusively moved back his chair and went out. Whereupon Frau Stöhr’s essential ill breeding showed itself in the clearest light; probably out of vulgar satisfaction in the fact that she was less ill than Dr. Blumenkohl. She accompanied his exit with comments half pitying, half contemptuous.

"Poor creature," she said. "He’ll soon be at his last gasp. He had to go out for a talk with his ‘Blue Peter.’ "

Quite stolidly, without repulsion, she brought out the grotesque phrase—Hans Castorp felt a mixture of repugnance and desire to laugh. Presently Dr. Blumenkohl came back in the same unobtrusive way, took his place, and went on eating. He too ate a great deal, twice of every dish, always in silence, with the same melancholy, preoccupied air.

Thus the midday meal came to an end. Thanks to the skilled service—the dwarf at Hans Castorp’s table was one of the quickest on her feet—it had lasted only a round hour. Breathing heavily, and not quite sure how he got upstairs, Hans Castorp lay once more in his capital chair upon his loggia; after this meal there was rest-cure until tea-time—the most important and rigidly adhered-to rest period of the day. Between the opaque glass walls that divided him on the one side from Joachim, on the other from the Russian couple, he lay and idly dreamed, his heart pounding, breathing through his mouth. On using his handkerchief he discovered it to be red with blood, but had not enough energy to think about the fact, though he was rather given to worrying over himself and by nature inclined to hypochondria. Once more he had lighted a Maria Mancini, and this time he smoked it to the end, no matter how it tasted. Giddy and oppressed, he considered as in a dream how very odd he had felt since he came up here. Two or three times his breast was shaken by inward laughter at the horrid expression which that ignorant creature, Frau Stöhr, had used.

Herr Albin

BELOW in the garden the fanciful banner with the caduceus lifted itself now and again in a breath of wind. The sky was once more evenly overcast. The sun was gone, the air had grown almost inhospitably cool. The general rest-hall seemed to be full; talking and laughter went on below.

"Herr Albin, I implore you, put away your knife; put it in your pocket, there will be an accident with it," a high, uncertain voice besought. Then: "Dear Herr Albin, for heaven’s sake, spare our nerves, and take that murderous tool out of our sight," a second voice chimed in.

A blond young man, with a cigarette in his mouth, sitting in the outside easy-chair, responded pertly: "Couldn’t think of it! I’m sure the ladies haven’t the heart to prevent me from amusing myself a little! I bought that knife in Calcutta, of a blind wizard. He could swallow it, and then have his boy dig it up fifty paces from where he stood. Do look—it is sharper than a razor. You only need to touch the blade; it goes into your flesh like cutting butter. Wait a minute, I’ll show it you close by." And Herr Albin stood up. A shriek arose. "Or rather," said he, "I’ll fetch my revolver; that will be more interesting. Piquant little tool—useful too. Send a bullet through anything.—I’ll go up and get it."

"No, no, don’t, pray don’t, Herr Albin!" in a loud outcry from many voices. But Herr Albin had already come out to go up to his room: very young and lanky, with a rosy, childish face, and little strips of side-whisker close to his ears.

"Herr Albin," cried a lady’s voice from within, "do fetch your greatcoat instead, and put it on; do it just to please me! Six weeks long you have lain with inflammation of the lungs, and now you sit here without an overcoat, and don’t even cover yourself, and smoke cigarettes! That is tempting Providence; on my word it is, Herr Albin!"

He only laughed scornfully as he went off, and in a few minutes returned with the revolver in his hand. The silly geese squawked worse than before, and some of them even made as if they would spring from their chairs, wrap their blankets round them, and flee.

"Look how little and shiny he is," said Herr Albin. "But when I press him here, then he bites." Another outcry. "Of course, he is loaded—to the hilt," he continued. "In this disk here are the six cartridges. It turns one hole at each shot. But I don’t keep him merely for a joke," he said noticing that the sensation was wearing off. He let the revolver slip into his breast pocket, sat down again, flung one leg over the other, and lighted a fresh cigarette. "Certainly not for a joke," he repeated, and compressed his lips.

"What for, then—what for?" they asked, their voices trembling.

"Horrible!" came a sudden cry, and Herr Albin nodded.

"I see you begin to understand," he said. "In fact, you are right, that is what I keep it for," he went on airily, inhaling, despite the recent inflammation of the lungs, a mass of smoke and breathing it slowly out again. "I keep it in readiness for the day when I can’t stand this farce any longer, and do myself the honour to bid you a respectful adieu. It is all very simple. I’ve given the matter some study, and I know precisely how to do it." Another screech at the word. "I eliminate the region of the heart, the aim is not very convenient there. I prefer to annihilate my consciousness at its very centre by introducing my charming little foreign body direct into this interesting organ."—Herr Albin indicated with his index finger a spot on his close-cropped blond pate. "You aim here"—he drew the nickel-plated revolver out of his pocket once more and tapped with the barrel against his skull—"just here, above the artery; even without a mirror the thing is simple—"

A chorus of imploring protest arose, mingled with heavy sobbing. "Herr Albin, Herr Albin, put it away, take it from your temple, it is dreadful to see you! Herr Albin, you are young, you will get well, you will return to the world, everybody will love you! But put on your coat and lie down, cover yourself, go on with your cure. Don’t drive the bathing-master away next time he comes to rub you down with alcohol. And stop smoking cigarettes—Herr Albin, we implore you, for the sake of your young, your precious life!"

But Herr Albin was inexorable. "No, no," he said "let me alone, I’m all right, thanks. I’ve never refused a lady anything yet; but you see it’s no good trying to put a spoke in the wheel of fate. I am in my third year up here—I’m sick of it, fed up, I can’t play the game any more—do you blame me for that? Incurable, ladies, as I sit here before you, an incurable case; the Hofrat himself is hardly at the pains any longer to pretend I am not. Grant me at least the freedom which is all I can get out of the situation. In school, when it was settled that someone was not to move up to the next form, he just stopped where he was; nobody asked him any more questions, he did not have to do any more work. It’s like that with me; I am in that happy condition now. I need do nothing more, I don’t count, I can laugh at the whole thing. Would you like some chocolate? Do take some—no, you won’t be robbing me, I have heaps of it in my room, eight boxes, and five tablets of Gala-Peter and four pounds of Lindt. The ladies of the sanatorium gave it to me when I was ill with my inflammation of the lungs—"

From somewhere a bass voice was audible, commanding quiet. Herr Albin gave a short laugh, a ragged, wavering laugh; then stillness reigned in the rest-hall, a stillness as of a vanished dream, a disappearing wraith. Afterwards the voices rose again, sounding strange in the silence. Hans Castorp listened until they were quite hushed. He had an indistinct notion that Herr Albin was a puppy, yet could not resist a certain envy. In particular, the school-days comparison made an impression on him; he himself had stuck in the lower second and well remembered this situation, of course rather to be ashamed of and yet not without its funny side. In particular he recalled the agreeable sensation of being totally lost and abandoned, with which, in the fourth quarter, he gave up the running—he could have "laughed at the whole thing." His reflections were dim and confused, it would be difficult to define them; but in effect it seemed to him that, though honour might possess certain advantages, yet shame had others, and not inferior: advantages, even, that were well-nigh boundless in their scope. He tried to put himself in Herr Albin’s place and see how it must feel to be finally relieved of the burden of a respectable life and made free of the infinite realms of shame; and the young man shuddered at the wild wave of sweetness which swept over him at the thought and drove on his labouring heart to an even quicker pace.

Satana Makes Proposals That Touch Our Honour

AFTER a while he lost consciousness. It was half past three by his watch when he was roused by voices behind the left-hand glass partition. Dr. Krokowski at this hour made the rounds alone, and he was talking in Russian with the unmannerly pair on the next balcony, asking the husband how he did, it seemed, and inspecting the fever chart. He did not, however, continue his route by the balconies, but skirted Hans Castorp’s section, passing along the corridor and entering Joachim’s room by the door. Hans Castorp felt rather hurt to have Krokowski circle round and leave him out—even though a tête-à-tête with the gentleman was something he was far from hankering after. Of course he was healthy, he was not included with the other inmates; up here, he reflected, it was the sound and healthy person who did not count, who got no attention—and this the young man found vastly annoying.

Dr. Krokowski stopped with Joachim two or three minutes; then he went on down the row of balconies, and Hans Castorp heard his cousin say that it was time to get up and make ready for tea.

"Good," he answered, and rose. But he was giddy from long lying, and the unrefreshing half-slumber had made his face burn anew; yet he felt chilly; perhaps he had not been well enough covered as he lay.

He washed his eyes and hands, brushed his hair, put his clothing to rights, and met Joachim outside in the corridor.

"Did you hear that Herr Albin?" he asked, as they went down the steps.

"I should say I did," his cousin answered. "The man ought to be disciplined—disturbing the whole rest period with his gabble, and exciting the ladies so that it puts them back for weeks. A piece of gross insubordination. But who is there to denounce him? On the contrary, that sort of thing makes quite a welcome diversion."

"Do you think he would really do it—put a bullet into himself? It’s a ‘very simple matter,’ to use his own words."

"Oh," answered Joachim, "it isn’t so out of the question, more’s the pity. Such things do happen up here. Two months before I came, a student who had been here a long time hanged himself down in the wood, after a general examination. It was a good deal talked about still, in the early days after I came."

Hans Castorp gaped excitedly. "Well," he declared, "I am certainly far from feeling fit up here. I couldn’t say I did. I think it’s quite possible I shan’t be able to stop, that I’ll have to leave—you wouldn’t take it amiss, would you?"

"Leave? What is the matter with you?" cried Joachim. "Nonsense! You’ve just come. You can’t judge from the first day!"

"Good Lord, is it still only the first day? It seems to me I’ve been up here a long time—ages."

"Don’t begin to philosophize again about time," said Joachim, "You had me perfectly bewildered this morning."

"No, don’t worry, I’ve forgotten all of it," answered Hans Castorp, "the whole ‘complex.’ I’ve lost all the clear-headedness I had—it’s gone. Well, and so it’s time for tea."

"Yes; and after that we walk as far as the bench again, like this morning."

"Just as you say. Only I hope we shan’t meet Settembrini again. I’m not up to any more learned conversation. I can tell you that beforehand."

At tea all the various beverages were served which it is possible to serve at that meal. Miss Robinson drank again her brew made of rose-hips, the grand-niece spooned up her yogurt. There were milk, tea, coffee, chocolate, even bouillon; and on every hand the guests, newly arisen from some two hours’ repose after their heavy luncheon, were busily spreading huge slices of raisin cake with butter.

Hans Castorp chose tea, and dipped zwieback in it; he also tasted some marmalade. The raisin cake he contemplated with an interested eye, but literally shuddered at the thought of eating any. Once more he sat here in his place, in this vaulted room with its gay yet simple decorations, its seven tables. It was the fourth time. Later, at seven o’clock, he sat there again, for the fifth time, and that was supper. In the brief and trifling interval the cousins had taken a turn as far as the bench on the mountain-side, beside the little watercourse. The path had been full of patients; Hans Castorp had often to lift his hat. Followed a last period of rest on the balcony, a fugitive and empty interlude of an hour and a half.

He dressed conscientiously for the evening meal, and, sitting in his place between Miss Robinson and the schoolmistress, he ate: julienne soup, baked and roast meats with suitable accompaniments, two pieces of a tart made of macaroons, butter-cream, chocolate, jam and marzipan, and lastly excellent cheese and pumpernickel. As before, he ordered a bottle of Kulmbacher. But, by the time he had half emptied his tall glass, he became clearly and unmistakably aware that bed was the best place for him. His head roared, his eyelids were like lead, his heart went like a set of kettledrums, and he began to torture himself with the suspicion that pretty Marusja, who was bending over her plate covering her face with the hand that wore the ruby ring, was laughing at him—though he had taken enormous pains not to give occasion for laughter. Out of the far distance he heard Frau Stöhr telling, or asserting, something which seemed to him such utter nonsense that he was conscious of a despairing doubt as to whether he had heard aright, or whether he had turned her words to nonsense in his addled brain. She was declaring that she knew how to make twenty-eight different sauces to serve with fish; she would stake her reputation on the fact, though her own husband had warned her not to talk about it: "Don’t talk about it," he had told her; "nobody will believe it, or, if they do, they will simply laugh at you!" And yet she would say it, say once and for all, that it was twenty-eight fish-sauces she could make. All of which, to our good Hans Castorp, seemed too mad for words; he clutched his brow with his hand, and in his amazement quite forgot that he had a bite of pumpernickel and Cheshire still to be chewed and swallowed. When he rose from table, he had it still in his mouth.

They went out through the left-hand glass door, that fatal door which always slammed, and which led directly to the front hall. Nearly all the guests went out the same way, it appeared that after dinner a certain amount of social intercourse took place in the hall and the adjoining salons. Most of the patients stood about in little groups chatting. Games were begun at two green extension-tables: at the one, dominoes; at the other, bridge, and here only the young folk played, among them Hermine Kleefeld and Herr Albin. In the first salon were some amusing optical diversions: the first a stereoscope, behind the lenses of which one inserted a photograph—for instance, there was one of a Venetian gondolier—and on looking through, you saw the figure standing out in the round, lifelike, though bloodless; another was a kaleidoscope—you put your eye to the lens and slightly turned a wheel, when all sorts of gay-coloured stars and arabesques danced and juggled before it with the swift changefulness of magic. A third was a revolving drum, into which you inserted a strip of cinematographic film and then looked through the openings as it whirled, and saw a miller fighting with a chimney-sweep, a schoolmaster chastising a boy, a leaping rope-dancer and a peasant pair dancing a folk-dance. Hans Castorp, his cold hands on his knees, gazed a long time into each of these contrivances. He paused awhile by the card-table, where Herr Albin, the incurable, sat with the corners of his mouth drawn down, and handled the cards with a supercilious, man-of-the-worldly air. In a corner sat Dr. Krokowski, absorbed in a brisk and hearty conversation with a half-circle of ladies, among them Frau Stöhr, Frau Iltis, and Fräulein Levi. The occupants of the "good" Russian table had withdrawn into a neighbouring small salon, separated from the card-room by a portière, where they formed a small and separate coterie, consisting, in addition to Madame Chauchat, of a languid, blond-bearded youth with a hollow chest and prominent eyeballs; a young girl of pronounced brunette type, with a droll, original face, gold ear-rings, and wild woolly hair; besides these, Dr. Blumenkohl, who had joined their circle, and two other youths with drooping shoulders. Madame Chauchat wore a blue frock with a white lace collar. She sat, the centre of her group, on the sofa behind the round table, at the bottom of the small salon, her face turned toward the card-room. Hans Castorp, who could not look at the unmannerly creature without disapproval, said to himself: "She reminds me of something, but I cannot tell what."

A tall man of some thirty years, growing bald, played the wedding march from the Midsummer Night’s Dream three times on end, on the little brown piano, and on being urged by some of the ladies, began the melodious piece for the fourth time, gazing deep and silently into their eyes, one after the other.

"May I be permitted to ask after the state of your health, Engineer?" inquired Settembrini, who had lounged up among the other guests, hands in pockets, and now presented himself before Hans Castorp. He still wore his pilot coat and check trousers. He smiled as he spoke, and Hans Castorp felt again the sobering effect of that fine and mocking curl of the lip beneath the waving black moustaches. He looked rather stupidly at the Italian, with lax mouth and red-veined eyes.

"Oh, it’s you!" he said. "The gentleman we met this morning on our walk—at that bench up there—near the—yes, I knew you at once. Can you believe it," he went on, though conscious of saying something gauche, "can you believe it, I took you for an organ-grinder when I first saw you? Of course, that’s all utter rot," he added, seeing a coolly inquiring expression on Settembrini’s face. "Perfectly idiotic. I can’t comprehend how in the world I—"

"Don’t disturb yourself, it doesn’t matter," responded Settembrini, after fixing the young man with a momentary intent regard. "Well, and how have you spent your day, the first of your sojourn in this gay resort?"

"Thanks very much—quite according to the rules," answered Hans Castorp. "Prevailingly ‘horizontal,’ as I hear you prefer to call it."

Settembrini smiled. "I may have taken occasion to express myself thus," he said. "Well, and you found it amusing, this manner of existence?"

"Amusing or dull, whichever you like," responded Hans Castorp. "It isn’t always so easy to decide which, you know. At all events, I haven’t been bored; there are far too lively goings-on up here for that. So much that is new and unusual to hear and see—and yet, in another way, it seems as though I had been here a long time, instead of just a single day—as if I had got older and wiser since I came—that is the way I feel."

"Wiser, too?" Settembrini asked, and raised his eyebrows. "Will you permit me to ask how old you are?"

And behold, Hans Castorp could not tell! At that moment he did not know how old he was, despite strenuous, even desperate efforts to bethink himself. In order to gain time he had the question repeated, and then answered: "I? How old I am? In my twenty-fourth year, of course. I’ll soon be twenty-four. I beg your pardon, but I am very tired," he went on. "Tired isn’t the word for it. Do you know how it is when you are dreaming, and know that you are dreaming, and try to awake and can’t? That is precisely the way I feel. I certainly must have some fever; otherwise I simply cannot explain it. Imagine, my feet are cold all the way up to my knees. If one may put it that way, of course one’s knees aren’t one’s feet—do excuse me, I am all in a muddle, and no wonder, considering I was whistled at in the morning with the pn—the pn—eumothorax, and in the afternoon had to listen to this Herr Albin—in the horizontal, on top of that! It seems to me I cannot any more trust my five senses, and that I must confess disturbs me more than my cold feet and the heat in my face. Tell me frankly: do you think it is possible Frau Stöhr knows how to make twenty-eight different kinds of fish-sauces? I don’t mean if she actually can make them—that I should consider out of the question—I mean if she said at table just now she could, or if I only imagined she did—that is all I want to know."

Settembrini looked at him. He seemed not to have been listening. His eyes were set again, they had taken on a fixed stare, and he said: "Yes, yes, yes," and "I see, I see, I see," each three times, just as he had done in the morning, in a considering, deriding tone, and giving a sharp sound to the s’s.

"Twenty-four?" he asked after a while.

"No, twenty-eight," Hans Castorp said. "Twenty-eight fish-sauces. Not sauces in general, special sauces for fish—that is the monstrous part of it."

"Engineer," Settembrini said sharply, almost angrily, "pull yourself together and stop talking this demoralized rubbish. I know nothing about it, nor do I wish to. You are in your twenty-fourth year, you say? H’m. Permit me to put another question, or rather, with your kind permission, make a suggestion. As your stay up here with us does not appear to be conducive, as you don’t feel comfortable, either physically or, unless I err, mentally, how would it be if you renounced the prospect of growing older on this spot—in short, what if you were to pack to-night, and be up and away with the first suitable train?"

"You mean I should go away?" Hans Castorp asked; "when I’ve hardly come? No, why should I try to judge from the first day?"

He happened, as he spoke, to direct his gaze into the next room, and saw Frau Chauchat’s full face, with its narrow eyes and broad cheek-bones. "What is it, what or whom in all the world does she remind me of?" But his weary brain, despite the effort he made, refused an answer.

"Of course," he went on, "it is true it is not so easy for me to get acclimatized up here. But that was to be expected. I’d be ashamed to chuck it up and go away like that, just because I felt upset and feverish for a few days. I’d feel a perfect coward. It would be a senseless thing to do, you admit it yourself, don’t you?"

He spoke with a sudden insistence, jerking his shoulders excitedly—he seemed to want to make the Italian withdraw his suggestion in form.

"I pay every homage to reason," Settembrini answered. "I pay homage to valour too. What you say sounds well; it would be hard to oppose anything convincing against it. I myself have seen some beautiful cases of acclimatization. There was Fräulein Kneifer, Ottilie Kneifer, last year. She came of a good family—the daughter of an important government official. She was here some year and a half and had grown to feel so much at home that when her health was quite restored—it does happen, up here; people do sometimes get well—she couldn’t bear to leave. She implored the Hofrat to let her stop; she could not and would not go; this was her home, she was happy here. But the place was full, they wanted her room, and so all her prayers were in vain; they stood out for discharging her cured. Ottilie was taken with high fever, her curve went well up. But they found her out by exchanging her regular thermometer for a ‘silent sister.’ You aren’t acquainted as yet with the term; it is a thermometer without figures, which the physician measures with a little rule, and plots the curve himself. Ottilie, my dear sir, had 98.4°; she was normal. Then she went bathing in the lake—it was the beginning of May; we were having frost at night; the water was not precisely ice-cold, say a few degrees above. She remained some time in the water, trying to contract some illness or other—alas, she was, and remained, quite sound. She departed in anguish and despair, deaf to all the consolations her parents could give. ‘What shall I do down there?’ she kept crying. ‘This is my home!’ I never heard what became of her.—But you are not listening, Engineer. Unless I am much mistaken, simply remaining on your legs costs you an effort. Lieutenant!" he addressed himself to Joachim, who was just coming up. "Take your cousin and put him to bed. He unites the virtues of courage and moderation—but just now he is a little groggy."

"No, really, I understood everything you said," protested Hans Castorp. "The ‘silent sister’ is a mercury thermometer without figures—you see, I got it all."

But he went up in the lift with Joachim and several other patients as well, for the conviviality was over for the evening; the guests were separating to seek the halls and loggias for the evening cure. Hans Castorp went into his cousin’s room. The corridor floor, with its strip of narrow coco matting, billowed beneath his feet, but this, apart from its singularity, was not unpleasant. He sat down in Joachim’s great flowered arm-chair—there was one just like it in his own room—and lighted his Maria Mancini. It tasted like glue, like coal, like anything but what it should taste like. Still he smoked on, as he watched Joachim making ready for his cure, putting on his house jacket, then an old overcoat, then, armed with his night-lamp and Russian primer, going into the balcony. He turned on the light, lay down with his thermometer in his mouth, and began, with astonishing dexterity, to wrap himself in the two camel’s-hair rugs that were spread out over his chair. Hans Castorp looked on with honest admiration for his skill. He flung the covers over him, one after the other: first from the left side, all their length up to his shoulders, then from the feet up, then from the right side, so that he formed, when finished, a neat compact parcel, out of which stuck only his head, shoulders, and arms.

"How well you do that!" Hans Castorp said.

"That’s the practice I’ve had," Joachim answered, holding the thermometer between his teeth in order to speak. "You’ll learn. To-morrow we must certainly get you a pair of rugs. You can use them afterwards at home, and up here they are indispensable, particularly as you have no sleeping-sack."

"I shan’t lie out on the balcony at night," Hans Castorp declared. "I can tell you that at once. It would seem perfectly weird to me. Everything has its limits. I must draw the line somewhere, since I’m really only up here on a visit. I will sit here awhile and smoke my cigar in the regular way. It tastes vile, but I know it’s good, and that will have to do me for to-day. It is close on nine—it isn’t even quite nine yet, more’s the pity—but when it is half past, that is late enough for a man to go to bed at least half-way decently."

A shiver ran over him, then several, one after the other. Hans Castorp sprang up and ran to the thermometer on the wall, as if to catch it in flagrante. According to the mercury, there were fifty degrees of heat in the room. He clutched the radiator; it was cold and dead. He murmured something incoherent, to the effect that it was a scandal to have no heating, even if it was August. It wasn’t a question of the name of the month, but of the temperature that obtained, which was such that actually he was as cold as a dog. Yet his face burned. He sat down, stood up again, and with a murmured request for permission fetched Joachim’s coverlet and spread it out over himself as he sat in the chair. And thus he remained, hot and cold by turns, torturing himself with his nauseous cigar. He was overcome by a wave of wretchedness; it seemed to him he had never in his life before felt quite so miserable.

"I feel simply wretched," he muttered. And suddenly he was moved by an extraordinary and extravagant thrill of joy and suspense, of which he was so conscious that he sat motionless waiting for it to come again. It did not—only the misery remained. He stood up at last, flung Joachim’s coverlet on the bed, and got something out that sounded like a good-night: "Don’t freeze to death; call me again in the morning," his lips hardly shaping the words; then he staggered along the corridor to his own room.

He sang to himself as he undressed—certainly not from excess of spirits. Mechanically, without the care which was their due, he went through all the motions that made up the ritual of his nightly toilet; poured the pink mouth-wash and discreetly gargled, washed his hands with his mild and excellent violet soap, and drew on his long batiste night-shirt, with H.C. embroidered on the breast pocket. Then he lay down and put out the light, letting his hot and troubled head fall upon the American woman’s dying-pillow.

He had thought to fall asleep at once, but he was wrong. His eyelids, which he had scarcely been able to hold up, now declined to close; they twitched rebelliously open whenever he shut them. He told himself that it was not his regular bed-time; that during the day he had probably rested too much. Someone seemed to be beating a carpet out of doors—which was not very probable, and proved not to be the case, for it was the beating of his own heart he heard, quite outside of himself and away in the night, exactly as though someone were beating a carpet with a wicker beater.

It had not yet grown entirely dark in the room; the light from the little lamps in the loggias, Joachim’s and the Russian pair’s, fell through the open balcony door. As Hans Castorp lay there on his back blinking, he recalled an impression amongst the host received that day, an observation he had made, and then, with shrinking and delicacy, sought to forget. It was the look on Joachim’s face when they spoke of Marusja and her physical characteristics—an oddly pathetic facial distortion, and a spotted pallor on the sun-browned cheeks. Hans Castorp saw and understood what it meant, saw and understood in a manner so new, so sympathetic, so intimate, that the carpet-beater outside redoubled the swiftness and severity of its blows and almost drowned out the sound of the evening serenade down in the Platz—for there was a concert again in the same hotel as before, and they were playing a symmetrically constructed, insipid melody that came up through the darkness. Hans Castorp whistled a bar of it in a whisper—one can whistle in a whisper—and beat time with his cold feet under the plumeau.

That was, of course, the right way not to go to sleep, and now he felt not the slightest inclination. Since he had understood in that new, penetrating sense why Joachim had changed colour, the whole world seemed altered to him, he felt pierced for the second time by that feeling of extravagant joy and suspense. And he waited for, expected something, without asking himself what. But when he heard his neighbours to right and left conclude their evening cure and re-enter their rooms to exchange the horizontal without for the horizontal within, he gave utterance to the conviction that at least this evening the barbaric pair would keep the peace.

"I can surely go to sleep without being disturbed; they will behave themselves," he said. But they did not, nor had Hans Castorp been sincere in his conviction that they would. For his part, to tell the truth, he would not have understood it if they had. Notwithstanding which, he indulged in soundless expressions of utter astonishment as he listened.

"Unheard of," he whispered. "It’s incredible—who would have believed it?" And between such exclamations joined again in the insipid music that swelled insistently up from the Platz.

Later he went to sleep. But with sleep returned the involved dreams, even more involved than those of the first night—out of which he often started up in fright, or pursuing some confused fancy. He seemed to see Hofrat Behrens walking down the garden path, with bent knees and arms hanging stiffly in front of him, adapting his long and somehow solitary-looking stride to the time of distant march-music. As he paused before Hans Castorp, the latter saw that he was wearing a pair of glasses with thick, round lenses. He was uttering all sorts of nonsense. "A civilian, of course," he said, and without saying by your leave, drew down Hans Castorp’s eyelid with the first and middle fingers of his huge hand. "Respectable civilian, as I saw at once. But not without talent, not at all without talent for a heightened degree of oxidization. Wouldn’t grudge us a year, he wouldn’t, just one little short year of service up here. Well, hullo-ullo! gentlemen, on with the exercise," he shouted, and putting his two enormous first fingers in his mouth, emitted a whistle of such peculiarly pleasing quality that from opposite directions Miss Robinson and the schoolmistress, much smaller than life-size, came flying through the air and perched themselves right and left on the Hofrat’s shoulders, just as they sat right and left of Hans Castorp in the dining-room. And the Hofrat skipped away, wiping his eyes behind his glasses with a table-napkin—but whether it was tears or sweat he wiped could not be told.

Then it seemed to the dreamer that he was in the school courtyard, where for so many years through he had spent his recesses, and was in the act of borrowing a lead-pencil from Madame Chauchat, who seemed to be there too. She gave him a half-length red pencil in a silver holder, and warned him in an agreeable, husky voice to be sure to return it to her after the hour. And as she looked at him—with her narrow, blue-grey eyes above the broad cheek-bones—he tore himself by violence away from his dream, for now he had it fast and meant to hold it, of what and whom she so vividly reminded him. Hastily he fixed this occurrence in his mind, to have it fast for the morrow. Then sleep and dream once more overpowered him, and he saw himself in the act of flight from Dr. Krokowski, who had lain in wait for him to undertake some psychoanalysis. He fled from the doctor, but his feet were leaden; past the glass partitions, along the balconies, into the garden; in his extremity he tried to climb the red-brown flagstaff—and woke perspiring at the moment when the pursuer seized him by his trouser-leg.

Hardly was he calm when slumber claimed him once more. The content of his dream entirely changed, and he stood trying to shoulder Settembrini away from the spot where they stood, the Italian smiling in his subtle, mocking way, under the full, upward-curving moustaches—and it was precisely this smile which Hans Castorp found so injurious.

"You are a nuisance," he distinctly heard himself say. "Get away, you are only a hand-organ man, and you are in the way here." But Settembrini would not let himself be budged; Hans Castorp was still standing considering what was to be done when he was unexpectedly vouchsafed a signal insight into the true nature of time; it proved to be nothing more or less than a "silent sister," a mercury column without degrees, to be used by those who wanted to cheat. He awoke with the thought in his mind that he must certainly tell Joachim of this discovery on the morrow.

In such adventures, among such discoveries, the night wore away. Hermine Kleefeld, as well as Herr Albin and Captain Miklosich, played fantastic rôles—the last carried off Frau Stöhr in his fury, and was pierced through and through with a lance by Lawyer Paravant. One particular dream, however, Hans Castorp dreamed twice over during the night, both times in precisely the same form, the second time toward morning. He sat in the dining-hall with the seven tables when there came a great crashing of glass as the verandah door banged, and Madame Chauchat entered in a white sweater, one hand in her pocket, the other at the back of her head. But instead of going to the "good" Russian table, the unmannerly female glided noiselessly to Hans Castorp’s side and without a word reached him her hand—not the back, but the palm—to kiss. Hans Castorp kissed that hand, which was not overly well kept, but rather broad, with stumpy fingers, the skin roughened next the nails. And at that there swept over him anew, from head to foot, the feeling of reckless sweetness he had felt for the first time when he tried to imagine himself free of the burden of a good name, and tasted the boundless joys of shame. This feeling he experienced anew in his dream, only a thousand-fold stronger than in his waking hour.
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Re: The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

Postby admin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:15 pm

Part 1 of 5


Necessary Purchases

"IS your summer over now?" Hans Castorp ironically asked his cousin, on the third day.

There had come a violent change of scene.

On the visitor’s second full day up here, the most brilliant summer weather prevailed. Above the aspiring lance-shaped tips of the fir-trees the sky gleamed deepest blue, the village down in the valley glared white in the heat, and the air was filled with the sound, half gay, half pensive, of bells, from the cows that roamed the slopes, cropping the short, sun-warmed meadow grass. At early breakfast the ladies appeared in lingerie blouses, some with open-work sleeves, which did not become them all alike. In particular it did not suit Frau Stöhr, the skin of whose arms was too porous; such a fashion was distinctly not for her. The masculine population too had in various ways taken cognizance of the fine weather: they sported mohair coats and linen suits—Joachim Ziemssen had put on white flannel trousers with his blue coat, and thus arrayed looked more military than ever.

As for Settembrini, he had more than once announced his intention of changing. "Heavens, how hot the sun is!" he said, as he and the cousins strolled down to the village after luncheon. "I see I shall have to put on thinner clothes." Yet after this ex-plicit expression of his intentions, he continued to appear in his check trousers and pilot coat with the wide lapels. They were probably all his wardrobe could boast.

But on the third day it seemed as though nature suffered a sudden reserve; everything turned topsy-turvy. Hans Castorp could scarcely trust his eyes. It happened when they were lying in their balconies, some twenty minutes after the midday meal. Swiftly the sun hid its face, ugly turf-coloured clouds drew up over the south-western ridge, and a wind from a strange quarter, whose chill pierced to the marrow, as though it came out of some unknown icy region, swept suddenly through the valley; down went the thermometer—a new order obtained.

"Snow," said Joachim’s voice, behind the glass partition.

"What do you mean, snow?" Hans Castorp asked him. "You don’t mean to say it is going to snow now?"

"Certainly," answered Joachim. "We know that wind. When it comes, it means sleighing."

"Rubbish!" Hans Castorp said. "If I remember rightly, it is the beginning of August."

But Joachim, versed in the signs of the region, knew whereof he spoke. For in a few minutes, accompanied by repeated claps of thunder, a furious snow-storm set in, so heavy that the landscape seemed wrapped in white smoke, and of village and valley scarcely anything could be seen.

It snowed away all the afternoon. The heat was turned on. Joachim availed himself of his fur sack, and was not deterred from the service of the cure; but Hans Castorp took refuge in his room, pushed up a chair to the hot pipes, and remained there, looking with frequent head-shakings at the enormity outside. By next morning the storm had ceased. The thermometer showed a few degrees above freezing, but the snow lay a foot deep, and a completely wintry landscape spread itself before Hans Castorp’s astonished eyes. They had turned off the heat. The temperature of the room was 45°.

"Is your summer over now?" Hans Castorp asked his cousin, in bitter irony.

"You can’t tell," answered the matter-of-fact Joachim. "We may have fine summer weather yet. Even in September it is very possible. The truth is, the seasons here are not so distinct from each other; they run in together, so to speak, and don’t keep to the calendar. The sun in winter is often so strong that you take off your coat, and perspire as you walk. And in summer—well, you see for yourself! And then the snow, that puts out all one’s calculations. It snows in January, but in May not much less, and, as you observe, it snows in August too. On the whole, one may say there is never a month without snow; you may take that for a rule. In short, there are winter days and summer days, spring and autumn days; but regular seasons we don’t actually have up here."

"A fine mixed-up state of affairs," said Hans Castorp. In overcoat and galoshes he went with his cousin down to the village, to buy himself blankets for the out-of-doors cure, since it was plain his plaid would not suffice. For the moment he even weighed the thought of purchasing a fur sack as well, but gave it up, indeed, felt a certain revulsion from the idea.

"No, no," he said, "we’ll stop at the covers. I’ll have use for them down below, and everybody has covers; there’s nothing strange or exciting about them. But a fur sack is altogether too special—if I buy one, it is as if I were going to settle down here, as if I belonged, understand what I mean? No, for the present we’ll let it go at that; it would absolutely not be worth while to buy a sack for the few weeks I’m up here."

Joachim agreed, and they acquired two camel’s-hair rugs like his own, in a fine and well-stocked shop in the English quarter. They were in natural colour, long, broad, and delightfully soft, and were to be sent at once to the International Sanatorium Berghof, Room 34: Hans Castorp looked forward to using them that very afternoon.

This, of course, was after second breakfast, for otherwise the daily programme left no time sufficient to go down into the Platz. It was raining now, and the snow in the streets had turned to a slush that spattered as they walked. They overtook Settembrini on the road, climbing up to the sanatorium under an umbrella, bare-headed. The Italian looked sallow; his mood was obviously elegiac. In well-chosen, clearly enunciated phrases he complained of the cold and damp from which he suffered so bitterly. If they would only heat the building! But the ruling powers, in their penuriousness, had the fire go out directly it stopped snowing—an idiotic rule, an insult to human intelligence. Hans Castorp objected that presumably a moderate temperature was part of the regimen of the cure; it would certainly not do to coddle the patients. But Settembrini answered with embittered scorn. Oh, of course, the regimen of the cure! Those august and inviolate rules! Hans Castorp was right in referring to them, as he did, with bated breath. Yet it was rather striking (of course only in the pleasantest sense) that the rules most honoured in the observance were precisely those which chimed with the financial interest of the proprietors of the establishment; whereas, on the other hand, to those less favourable they were inclined to shut an eye. The cousins laughed, and Settembrini began to speak of his deceased father, who had been brought to his mind in connexion with the talk about heated rooms.

"My father," he said slowly, in tones replete with filial piety, "my father was a most delicately organized man, sensitive in body as in soul. How he did love his tiny, warm little study! In winter a temperature of twenty degrees Réaumur must always obtain there, by means of a small red-hot stove. When you entered it from the corridor on a day of cold and damp, or when the cutting tramontana blew, the warmth of it laid itself about you like a shawl, so that for very pleasure your eyes would fill with tears. The little room was stuffed with books and manuscripts, some of them of great value; he stood among them, at his narrow desk, in his blue flannel night-shirt, and devoted himself to the service of letters. He was small and delicately built, a good head shorter than I—imagine!—but with great tufts of grey hair on his temples, and a nose—how long and pointed it was! And what a Romanist, my friends! One of the first of his time, with a rare mastery of our own tongue, and a Latin stylist such as no longer exists—ah, a ‘uomo letterato’ after Boccaccio’s own heart! From far and wide scholars came to converse with him—one from Haparanda, another from Cracow—they came to our city of Padua, expressly to pay him homage, and he received them with dignified friendliness. He was a poet of distinction too, composing in his leisure tales in the most elegant Tuscan prose—he was a master of the idioma gentile," Settembrini said, rolling his native syllables with the utmost relish on his tongue and turning his head from side to side. "He laid out his little garden after Virgil’s own plan—and all that he said was sane and beautiful. But warm, warm he must have it in his little room; otherwise he would tremble with cold, and he could weep with anger if they let him freeze. And now imagine, Engineer, and you, Lieutenant, what I, the son of my father, must suffer in this accursed and barbarous land, where even at summer’s height the body shakes with cold, and the spirit is tortured and debased by the sights it sees.—Oh, it is hard! What types about us! This frantic devil of a Hofrat, Krokowski"—Settembrini pretended to trip over the name—"Krokowski, the father-confessor, who hates me because I’ve too much human dignity to lend myself to his papish practices.—And at my table—what sort of society is that in which I am forced to take my food? At my right sits a brewer from Halle—Magnus by name—with a moustache like a bundle of hay. ‘Don’t talk to me about literature,’ says he. ‘What has it to offer? Anything but beautiful characters? What have I to do with beautiful char-acters? I am a practical man, and in life I come into contact with precious few.’ That is the idea he has of literature—beautiful characters! Mother of God! His wife sits there opposite him, losing flesh all the time, and sinking further and further into idiocy. It is a filthy shame."

Hans Castorp and Joachim were in silent agreement about this talk of Settembrini’s: they found it querulous and seditious in tone, if also highly entertaining and "plastic" in its verbal pungency and animus. Hans Castorp laughed good-humouredly over the "bundle of hay," likewise over the "beautiful characters"—or, rather, the drolly despairing way Settembrini spoke of them.

Then he said: "Good Lord, yes, the society is always mixed in a place like this, I suppose. One’s not allowed to choose one’s table-mates—that would lead to goodness knows what! At our table there is a woman of the same sort, a Frau Stöhr—I think you know her? Ghastly ignorant, I must say—sometimes when she rattles on, one doesn’t know where to look. But she complains a lot about her temperature, and how relaxed she feels, and I’m afraid she is by no means a light case. That seems so strange to me: diseased and stupid both—I don’t exactly know how to express it, but it gives me a most peculiar feeling, when somebody is so stupid, and then ill into the bargain. It must be the most melancholy thing in life. One doesn’t know what to make of it; one wants to feel a proper respect for illness, of course—after all there is a certain dignity about it, if you like. But when such asininity comes on top of it—‘cosmic’ for ‘cosmetic,’ and other howlers like that—one doesn’t know whether to laugh or to weep. It is a regular dilemma for the human feelings—I find it more deplorable than I can say. What I mean is, it’s not consistent, it doesn’t hang together; I can’t get used to the idea. One always has the idea of a stupid man as perfectly healthy and ordinary, and of illness as making one refined and clever and unusual. At least as a rule—or I don’t know, perhaps I am saying more than I could stand for," he finished. "It was only because we happened to speak of it"—He stopped in confusion.

Joachim too looked rather uncomfortable, and Settembrini lifted his eyebrows and said not a word, with an air of waiting politely for the end of his speech. He was, in fact, holding off until Hans Castorp should break down entirely before he answered. But now he said: "Sapristi, Engineer! You are displaying a most unexpected gift of philosophy! By your own theory, you must be yourself more ailing than you look, you are so obviously possessed of esprit. But, if you will permit me to say so, I can hardly subscribe to your deductions; I must deny them; my position is one of absolute dissent. I am, as you see, rather intolerant than otherwise in things of the intellect; I would rather be reproached as a pedant than suffer to pass unchallenged a point of view which seemed to me so untenable as this of yours."

"But, Herr Settembrini, I—"

"Permit me. I know what you would say: that the views you represent are not, of necessity, your own; that you have only chanced upon that one of all the possible ones there are, as it were, in the air, and you try it on, without personal responsibility. It befits your time of life, thus to avoid the settled convictions of the mature man, and to make experiments with a variety of points of view. Placet experiri," he quoted, giving the Italian pronunciation to the c. "That is a good saying. But what troubles me is that your experiment should lead you in just this direction. I doubt if it is a question of sheer chance. I fear the presence of a general tendency, which threatens to crystallize into a trait of character, unless one makes head against it. I feel it my duty, therefore, to correct you. You said that the sight of dullness and disease going hand in hand must be the most melancholy in life. I grant you, I grant you that. I too prefer an intelligent ailing person to a consumptive idiot. But I take issue where you regard the combination of disease with dullness as a sort of aesthetic inconsistency, an error in taste on the part of nature, a ‘dilemma for the human feelings,’ as you were pleased to express yourself. When you professed to regard disease as something so refined, so—what did you call it?—possessing a ‘certain dignity’—that it doesn’t ‘go with’ stupidity. That was the expression you used. Well, I say no! Disease has nothing re-fined about it, nothing dignified. Such a conception is in itself pathological, or at least tends in that direction. Perhaps I may best arouse your mistrust of it if I tell you how ancient and ugly this conception is. It comes down to us from a past seething with superstition, in which the idea of humanity had degenerated and deteriorated into sheer caricature; a past full of fears, in which well-being and harmony were regarded as suspect and emanating from the devil, whereas infirmity was equivalent to a free pass to heaven. Reason and enlightenment have banished the darkest of these shadows that tenanted the soul of man—not entirely, for even yet the conflict is in progress. But this conflict, my dear sirs, means work, earthly labour, labour for the earth, for the honour and the interests of mankind; and by that conflict daily steeled anew, the powers of reason and enlightenment will in the end set humanity wholly free and lead it in the path of progress and civilization toward an even brighter, milder, and purer light."

"Lord bless us," thought Hans Castorp, in shamefaced consternation. "What a homily! How, I wonder, did I call all that down on my head? I must say, I find it rather prosy. And why does he talk so much about work all the time? It is his constant theme; not a very pertinent one up here, one would think." Aloud he said: "How beautifully you do talk, Herr Settembrini! What you say is very well worth hearing—and could not be more—more plastically expressed, I should think."

"Backsliding," continued Settembrini, as he lifted his umbrella away above the head of a passer-by, "spiritual backsliding in the direction of that dark and tortured age, that, believe me, Engineer, is disease—a disease already sufficiently studied, to which various names have been given: one from the terminology of aesthetics and psychology, another from the domain of politics—all of them academic terms which are not to the point, and which I will spare you. But as in the spiritual life everything is interrelated, one thing growing out of another, and since one may not reach out one’s little finger to the Devil, lest he take the whole hand, and therewith the whole man; since, on the other side, a sound principle can produce only sound results, no matter which end one begins at—so disease, far from being something too refined, too worthy of reverence, to be associated with dullness, is, in itself, a degradation of mankind, a degradation painful and offensive to conceive. It may, in the individual case, be treated with consideration; but to pay it homage is—mark my words—an aberration, and the beginning of intellectual confusion. This woman you have mentioned to me—you will pardon me if I do not trouble to recall her name—ah, thank you, Frau Stöhr—it is not, it seems to me, the case of this ridiculous woman which places the human feelings in the dilemma to which you refer. She is ill, and she is limited; her case is hopeless, and the matter is simple. There is nothing left but to pity and shrug one’s shoulders. The dilemma, my dear sir, the tragedy, begins where nature has been cruel enough to split the personality, to shatter its harmony by im-prisoning a noble and ardent spirit within a body not fit for the stresses of life. Have you heard of Leopardi, Engineer, or you, Lieutenant? An unhappy poet of my own land, a crippled, ailing man, born with a great soul, which his sufferings were con-stantly humiliating and dragging down into the depths of irony—its lamentations rend the heart to hear."

And Settembrini began to recite in Italian, letting the beautiful syllables melt upon his tongue, as he closed his eyes and swayed his head from side to side, heedless that his hearers understood not a syllable. Obviously it was all done for the sake of impressing his companions with his memory and his pronunciation.

"But you don’t understand; you hear the words, yet without grasping their tragic import. My dear sirs, can you comprehend what it means when I tell you that it was the love of woman which the crippled Leopardi was condemned to renounce; that this it principally was which rendered him incapable of avoiding the embitterment of his soul? Fame and virtue were shadows to him, nature an evil power—and so she is, stupid and evil both, I agree with him there—he even despaired, horrible to say, he even despaired of science and progress! Here, Engineer, is the true tragedy. Here you have your ‘dilemma for the human feelings,’ here, and not in the case of that wretched woman, with whose name I really cannot burden my memory. Do not, for heaven’s sake, speak to me of the ennobling effects of physical suffering! A soul without a body is as inhuman and horrible as a body without a soul—though the latter is the rule and the former the exception. It is the body, as a rule, which flourishes exceedingly, which draws everything to itself, which usurps the predominant place and lives repulsively emancipated from the soul. A human being who is first of all an invalid is all body; therein lies his inhumanity and his debasement. In most cases he is little better than a carcass—"

"Funny," Joachim said, bending forward to look at his cousin, on Herr Settembrini’s farther side. "You were saying something quite like that just lately."

"Was I?" said Hans Castorp. "Yes, it may be something of the kind went through my head."

Settembrini was silent a few paces. Then he said: "So much the better. So much the better if that is true. I am far from claiming to expound an original philosophy—such is not my office. If our engineer here has been making observations in harmony with my own, that only confirms my surmise that he is an intellectual amateur and up to the present, as is the wont of gifted youth, still experimenting with various points of view. The young man with parts is no unwritten page, he is rather one upon which all the writing has already been done, in sympathetic ink, the good and the bad together; it is the schoolmaster’s task to bring out the good, to obliterate for ever the bad, by the methods of his profession.—You have been making purchases?" he asked, in a lighter tone.

"No," Hans Castorp said. "That is, nothing but—"

"We ordered a pair of blankets for my cousin," Joachim answered unconcernedly.

"For the afternoon cure—it’s got so beastly cold; and I am supposed to do as the Romans do, up here," Hans Castorp said, laughing and looking at the ground.

"Ah ha! Blankets—the cure," Settembrini said. "Yes, yes. In fact: placet experiri," he repeated, with his Italian pronunciation, and took his leave, for their conversation had brought them to the door of the sanatorium, where they greeted the lame concierge in his lodge. Settembrini turned off into one of the sitting-rooms, to read the newspapers before luncheon. He evidently meant to cut the second rest period.

"Bless us and keep us!" Hans Castorp said to Joachim, as they stood in the lift. "What a pedagogue it is! He said himself that he had the ‘pedagogic itch.’ One has to watch out with him, not to say more than one means, or he is down on you at once with all his doctrines. But after all, it is worth listening to, he talks so well; the words come jumping out of his mouth so round and appetizing—when I listen to him, I keep seeing a picture of fresh hot rolls in my mind’s eye."

Joachim laughed. "Better not tell him that. He’d be very put out I’m sure, to hear the sort of image his words call up in your mind."

"Think so? I’m not so sure. I get the impression that it is not simply and solely for the sake of edifying us that he talks; perhaps that’s only a secondary motive. The important one, I feel sure, is the talk itself, the way he makes his words roll out, so resilient, just like a lot of rubber balls! He is very pleased when you notice the effect. I suppose Magnus, the brewer, was rather stupid, after all, with his ‘beautiful characters’; but I do think Settembrini might have said what the point really is in literature. I did not like to ask, for fear of putting my foot in it; I am not just clear about it, and this is the first time I have ever known a literary man. But if it isn’t the beautiful characters, then obviously it must be the beautiful words, and that is the impression I get from being in Settembrini’s society. What a vocabulary! and he uses the word virtue just like that, without the slightest embarrassment. What do you make of that? I’ve never taken the word in my mouth as long as I’ve lived; in school, when the book said ‘virtus,’ we always just said ‘valour’ or something like that. It certainly gave me a queer feeling in my inside, to hear him. And it makes me nervous to hear him scolding, about the cold, and Behrens, and Frau Magnus because she is losing weight, and about pretty well everything. He is a born objector, I saw that at once, down on the existing order; and that always gives me the impression that the person is spoilt—I can’t help it."

"You say that," Joachim answered consideringly, "and yet he has a kind of pride about him that makes an altogether different impression: as of a man who has great respect for himself, or for humanity in general; and I like that about him; it has some-thing good, in my eyes."

"You are right, there," Hans Castorp answered. "He’s even austere; he makes one feel rather uncomfortable, as if you were—well, shall I say as if you were being taken to task? That’s not such a bad way to describe it. Can you believe it, I had the feeling he was not at all pleased at my buying the blankets? He had something against it, and he kept dwelling on it."

"Oh, no," Joachim said after reflecting, in some surprise. "How could he have? I shouldn’t think so." And then, thermometer in mouth, with sack and pack, he went to lie down, while Hans Castorp began at once to wash and change for dinner—which was rather less than an hour away.

Excursus on the Sense of Time

WHEN they came upstairs after the meal, the parcel containing the blankets lay on a chair in Hans Castorp’s room; and that afternoon he made use of them for the first time. The experienced Joachim instructed him in. the art of wrapping himself up, as practised in the sanatorium; they all did it, and each new-comer had to learn. First the covers were spread, one after the other, over the chair, so that a sizable piece hung down at the foot. Then you sat down and began to put the inner one about you: first lengthwise, on both sides, up to the shoulders, and then from the feet up, stooping over as you sat and grasping the folded-over end, first from one side and then from the other, taking care to fit it neatly into the length, in order to ensure the greatest possible smoothness and evenness. Then you did precisely the same thing with the outer blanket—it was somewhat more difficult to handle, and our neophyte groaned not a little as he stooped and stretched out his arms to practise the grips his cousin showed him. Only a few old hands, Joachim said, could wield both blankets at once, flinging them into position with three self-assured motions. This was a rare and enviable facility, to which belonged not only long years of practice, but a certain knack as well. Hans Castorp had to laugh at this, lying back in his chair with aching muscles; Joachim did not at once see anything funny in what he had said, and looked at him dubiously, but finally laughed too.

"There," he said, when Hans Castorp lay at last limbless and cylindrical in his chair, with the yielding roll at the back of his neck, quite worn out with all these gymnastic exercises; "there, nothing can touch you now, not even if we were to have ten below zero." He withdrew behind the partition, to do himself up in his turn.

That about the ten below zero Hans Castorp doubted; he was even now distinctly cold. He shivered repeatedly as he lay looking out through the wooden arch at the reeking, dripping damp outside, which seemed on the point of passing over into snow. It was strange that with all that humidity his cheeks still burned with a dry heat, as though he were sitting in an over-heated room. He felt absurdly tired from the practice of putting on his rugs; actually, as he held up Ocean Steamships to read it, the book shook in his hands. So very fit he certainly was not—and totally anæmic, as Hofrat Behrens had said; this, no doubt, was why he was so susceptible to cold. But such unpleasing sensations were outweighed by the great comfort of his position, the unanalysable, the almost mysterious properties of his reclining-chair, which he had applauded even on his first experience of it, and which reasserted themselves in the happiest way whenever he resorted to it anew. Whether due to the character of the upholstering, the inclination of the chair-back, the exactly proper width and height of the arms, or only to the appropriate consistency of the neck roll, the result was that no more comfortable provision for relaxed limbs could be conceived than that purveyed by this excellent chair. The heart of Hans Castorp rejoiced in the blessed fact that two vacant and securely tranquil hours lay before him, dedicated by the rules of the house to the principal cure of the day; he felt it—though himself but a guest up here—to be a most suitable arrangement. For he was by nature and temperament passive, could sit without occupation hours on end, and loved, as we know, to see time spacious before him, and not to have the sense of its passing banished, wiped out or eaten up by prosaic activity. At four o’clock he partook of afternoon tea, with cake and jam. Followed a little movement in the open air, then rest again, then supper—which, like all the other meal-times, afforded a certain stimulus for eye and brain, and a certain sense of strain; after that a peep into one or other of the optical toys, the stereoscope, the kaleidoscope, the cinematograph. It might be still too much to say that Hans Castorp had grown used to the life up here; but at least he did have the daily routine at his fingers’ ends.

There is, after all, something peculiar about the process of habituating oneself in a new place, the often laborious fitting in and getting used, which one undertakes for its own sake, and of set purpose to break it all off as soon as it is complete, or not long thereafter, and to return to one’s former state. It is an interval, an interlude, inserted, with the object of recreation, into the tenor of life’s main concerns; its purpose the relief of the organism, which is perpetually busy at its task of self-renewal, and which was in danger, almost in process, of being vitiated, slowed down, relaxed, by the bald, unjointed monotony of its daily course. But what then is the cause of this relaxation, this slowing-down that takes place when one does the same thing for too long at a time? It is not so much physical or mental fatigue or exhaustion, for if that were the case, then complete rest would be the best restorative. It is rather something psychical; it means that the perception of time tends, through periods of unbroken uniformity, to fall away; the perception of time, so closely bound up with the consciousness of life that the one may not be weakened without the other suffering a sensible impairment. Many false conceptions are held concerning the nature of tedium. In general it is thought that the interestingness and novelty of the time-content are what "make the time pass"; that is to say, shorten it; whereas monotony and emptiness check and restrain its flow. This is only true with reservations. Vacuity, monotony, have, indeed, the property of lingering out the moment and the hour and of making them tiresome. But they are capable of contracting and dissipating the larger, the very large time-units, to the point of reducing them to nothing at all. And conversely, a full and interesting content can put wings to the hour and the day; yet it will lend to the general passage of time a weightiness, a breadth and solidity which cause the eventful years to flow far more slowly than those poor, bare, empty ones over which the wind passes and they are gone. Thus what we call tedium is rather an abnormal shortening of the time consequent upon monotony. Great spaces of time passed in unbroken uni-formity tend to shrink together in a way to make the heart stop beating for fear; when one day is like all the others, then they are all like one; complete uniformity would make the longest life seem short, and as though it had stolen away from us unawares. Habituation is a falling asleep or fatiguing of the sense of time; which explains why young years pass slowly, while later life flings itself faster and faster upon its course. We are aware that the intercalation of periods of change and novelty is the only means by which we can refresh our sense of time, strengthen, retard, and rejuvenate it, and therewith renew our perception of life itself. Such is the purpose of our changes of air and scene, of all our sojourns at cures and bathing resorts; it is the secret of the healing power of change and incident. Our first days in a new place, time has a youthful, that is to say, a broad and sweeping, flow, persisting for some six or eight days. Then, as one "gets used to the place," a gradual shrinkage makes itself felt. He who clings or, better expressed, wishes to cling to life, will shudder to see how the days grow light and lighter, how they scurry by like dead leaves, until the last week, of some four, perhaps, is uncannily fugitive and fleet. On the other hand, the quickening of the sense of time will flow out beyond the interval and reassert itself after the return to ordinary existence: the first days at home after the holiday will be lived with a broader flow, freshly and youthfully—but only the first few, for one adjusts oneself more quickly to the rule than to the exception; and if the sense of time be already weakened by age, or—and this is a sign of low vitality—it was never very well developed, one drowses quickly back into the old life, and after four-and-twenty hours it is as though one had never been away, and the journey had been but a watch in the night.

We have introduced these remarks here only because our young Hans Castorp had something like them in mind when, a few days later, he said to his cousin, and fixed him with his bloodshot eyes: "I shall never cease to find it strange that the time seems to go so slowly in a new place. I mean—of course it isn’t a question of my being bored; on the contrary, I might say that I am royally entertained. But when I look back—in retrospect, that is, you understand—it seems to me I’ve been up here goodness only knows how long; it seems an eternity back to the time when I arrived, and did not quite understand that I was there, and you said: ‘Just get out here’—don’t you remember?—That has nothing whatever to do with reason, or with the ordinary ways of measuring time; it is purely a matter of feeling. Certainly it would be nonsense for me to say: ‘I feel I have been up here two months’—it would be silly. All I can say is ‘very long.’ "

"Yes," Joachim answered, thermometer in mouth, "I profit by it too; while you are here, I can sort of hang on by you, as it were." Hans Castorp laughed, to hear his cousin speak thus, quite simply, without explanation.

He Practises His French

NO, after all, he was by no means, even yet, adjusted to his surroundings. Neither in familiarity with the features peculiar to life as lived up here—a familiarity impossible to achieve in so few days, which, as he was quite aware, and had even said to Joachim, he could hardly hope to acquire in the three weeks of his stay—nor in the adaptation of his physical organism to the prevailing peculiar atmospheric conditions. For this adaptation was bitterly hard; so hard, indeed, that it looked as though it would never be a success.

The daily routine was clearly articulated, carefully organized; one fell quickly into step and, by yielding oneself to the general drift, was soon proficient. After that, indeed, within the weekly round, and also within other larger divisions of time, one discovered the existence of certain regular variations of the programme, which showed themselves, one at a time, a second one sometimes appearing only after the first had repeated itself. But even the phenomena of everyday life held much that Hans Castorp had still to learn: faces and facts already noted had to be conned, new ones to be absorbed with youth’s receptivity.

Those great-bellied vessels, for example, with the short necks, which he had noticed the first evening standing in the corridors before certain doors. They contained oxygen; he had asked, and Joachim informed him. That was pure oxygen, six francs the container. The reviving gas was given the dying in a last effort to kindle or reinforce their strength. They drew it up through a tube. For behind those doors where such vessels were placed lay the dying—the "moribundi," as Herr Hofrat Behrens called them when Hans Castorp met him one day in the first storey. Purple of cheek, in his white smock-frock, he rowed along the corridor, and they went down the steps together.

"Well, and how are you, you disinterested spectator, you?" said Behrens. "Are we finding favour in your critical eye, what? Thanks so much. Yes, yes, our summer season, it’s not too bad, there’s something to be said for it. I’ve spent a little money myself to push it. But it’s a pity you won’t be here in the winter—you’re stopping only eight weeks, I hear? Ah, three? That’s nothing but a week-end!—won’t pay you to take off your hat. Oh well, just as you think. Only it is a pity you won’t be here for the winter; that’s when the nobs come," he said comically, "the international nobs, down in the Platz; they don’t come except in winter—you ought to see them, if only for the sake of your education. Regular high-flyers. You ought to see the jumps they make with those skis of theirs. And then the ladies! O Lord, the ladies! Birds of paradise, I tell you, and regularly out for adventure. Well, I must go in here, to my moribundus, number twenty-seven. Last stage, you know—off centre. Five dozen fiascos of oxygen he’s had all together, yesterday and to-day, the soak! But he will be going to his own place by middle-day. Well, my dear Reuter," he was saying as he entered, "what do you say—shall we break the neck of another bottle?" The sound of his words died away as he closed the door. But Hans Castorp had had a moment’s glimpse into the background of the room, where on the pillow lay the waxen profile of a young man with a little chin beard, who slowly rolled his great eyeballs toward the open door.

This was the first dying man Hans Castorp had ever seen; for his father and mother, and his grandfather too had died, so to speak, behind his back. How full of dignity the young man’s head, with the little beard thrust upward, had lain upon his pillow! How speaking the glance those unnaturally great eyes had slowly turned upon the door! Hans Castorp, still quite absorbed by that glimpse, instinctively tried to make his own eyes as large, as slowly gazing and meaningful as those of the dying man, walking on as he did so, toward the stairs, and encountering a lady who came out of a room behind him and overtook him at the landing. He did not at once realize that it was Madame Chauchat; she, on her side, smiled at the eyes he was making at her, put her hands to the braids at the back of her head, and passed before him down the stairs, soundless, supple, with her head somewhat thrust out.

Acquaintances he made scarcely any in these early days, nor for a long time afterwards. The daily routine was not favourable. Hans Castorp, too, was of a retiring disposition, felt himself very much the "disinterested spectator," as Hofrat Behrens had called him, and was in general content with the society and conversation of his cousin Joachim. The corridor nurse, indeed, continued to crane her neck after them, until Joachim, who had already favoured her with a little converse now and then, introduced his cousin. She wore the ribbon of her pince-nez tucked behind her ear, and spoke with excruciating affectation. On closer acquaintance, indeed, one got the impression that her reason had suffered on the rack of continual boredom. It was hard to get away from her, she showed such evident distress whenever the conversation gave signs of languishing; when the cousins seemed about to go on their way, she sought to hold them by a stream of words, by glances and despairing smiles, until, for very pity, they refrained. She spoke at random, of her papa, who was a jurist, and of her cousin, who was a physician—obviously with the idea of presenting herself in a good light and impressing them with her cultured origin. Her present charge, she said, was the son of a Coburg doll-manufacturer, named Rotbein; the disease had attacked young Fritz’s intestinal tract. That was hard for all concerned; the gentlemen could understand how hard it was, for one who came from cultured surroundings and had the delicacy of feeling of the upper classes. And one couldn’t turn one’s back a minute. A little time ago she had just gone out a few minutes—to get some tooth-powder, in fact; when she came back, there sat her patient in bed, with a glass of stout, a salame, a thick wedge of rye bread, and a pickle before him. All these clandestine dainties his family had sent to give him strength. The next day, of course, he was more dead than alive. He was himself hastening his own end. But that would be only a mercy for him, a blessed relief. For her, Sister Berta, however—whose real name was Alfreda Schildknecht—it would mean little or nothing; she would just go on to another case, in a more or less advanced stage, either here or elsewhere; such was the prospect that opened before her—and there was no other.

Yes, Hans Castorp said, her calling was a hard one, but satisfying, he should think.

Of course, she answered, it was. Satisfying, but very hard.

Well, kind regards to the patient—and the cousins tried to take leave.

But she so hung upon them, with words and looks, that it was painful to see, putting forth all her powers to hold them only a little longer—it would have been cruel not to have vouchsafed her another few minutes.

"He is asleep," she said. "He does not need me. I came out here for a second or so." She began complaining about Hofrat Behrens, whose manner with her was altogether too free, considering her origin. She much preferred Dr. Krokowski, she found him so full of soul. Then she returned to her papa and her cousin, her mental resources being exhausted. In vain she struggled to hold the young men, letting her voice rise until it was almost a shriek as she saw them moving. They escaped her finally and went; she kept on looking after them awhile, her body bent forward, her gaze so avid it seemed as though she would fairly suck them back with her eyes. Her breast was wrung with a sigh as she turned and went into her patient’s room.

Hans Castorp made but one other acquaintance in these days: the pale, black-clad Mexican lady he had seen in the garden, whose nickname was Tous-les-deux. It came to pass that he heard from her own lips the tragic formula; and being forearmed, preserved a suitable demeanour and was satisfied with himself afterwards. The cousins met her before the front door, as they were setting forth on their prescribed walk after early breakfast. She was restlessly ranging there, with her pacing step, her legs bent at the knee-joints, wrapped in a black cashmere shawl, a black veil wound about her disordered silver hair and tied under her chin, her ageing face, with the large writhen mouth, gleaming dead-white against her mourning. Joachim, bare-headed as usual, greeted her with a bow, which she slowly acknowledged, the furrows deepening in her narrow forehead as she looked at him. Then, seeing a new face, she paused and waited, nodding gently as they came up to her; obviously she found it of importance to learn if the stranger was acquainted with her sad case, and to hear what he would say about it. Joachim presented his cousin. She drew her hand out of her shawl and gave it to him, a veined, emaciated, yellowish hand, with many rings, as she continued to gaze in his face.

Then it came: "Tous les dé, monsieur," she said. "Tous les dé, vous savez."

"Je le sais, madame," Hans Castorp answered gently, "et je le regrette beaucoup."

The lax pouches of skin under her jet-black eyes were larger and heavier than he had ever seen. She exhaled a faint odour as of fading flowers. A mild and pensive feeling stole about his heart.

"Merci," she said, with a loose, clacking pronunciation, oddly consonant with her broken appearance. Her large mouth drooped tragically at one corner. She drew her hand back beneath her mantle, inclined her head, and turned away.

But Hans Castorp said as they walked on: "You see, I didn’t mind it at all, I got on with her quite well; I always do with such people; I understand instinctively how to go at them—don’t you think so? I even think, on the whole, I get on better with sad peo-ple than with jolly ones—goodness knows why. Perhaps it’s because I’m an orphan, and lost my parents early; but when people are very serious, or down in the mouth, or somebody dies, it doesn’t deject or embarrass me; I feel quite in my element, a good deal more so than when everything is going on greased wheels. I was thinking just lately that it is pretty flat of the women up here to take on as they do about death and things connected with death, so that they take such pains to shield them from contact with it, and bring the Eucharist at meal-times, and that. I call it very feeble of them. Don’t you like the sight of a coffin? I really do. I find it a handsome piece of furniture, even empty; when someone is lying in it, then, in my eyes, it is positively sublime. Funerals have something very edifying; I always think one ought to go to a funeral instead of to church when one feels the need of being uplifted. People have on good black clothes, and they take off their hats and look at the coffin, and behave serious and reverent, and nobody dares to make a bad joke, the way they do in ordinary life. It’s good for people to be serious, once in a way. I’ve sometimes asked myself if I ought not to have become a clergyman—in a certain way it wouldn’t have suited me so badly.—I hope I didn’t make any mistake in my French?"

"No," Joachim answered, " ‘Je le regrette beaucoup’ was perfectly right as far as it went."

Politically Suspect

REGULAR variations in the daily routine began to discover themselves. The first was Sunday, Sunday with a band on the terrace, which, it appeared, played there once a fortnight. Hans Castorp had arrived in the latter half of one of these periods. He had come on a Tuesday, and thus the Sunday was his fifth day up here—a day whose springlike character contrasted with the late extraordinary change and relapse into winter. It was mild and fresh, with pure white clouds in a pale blue sky, and gentle sunshine over vale and slopes, which displayed once more the green proper to the season, for the recent snow had been fated to speedy melting.

All hands, it was plain, took pains to observe Sunday and distinguish it from the rest of the week, management and guest seconding each other in their efforts to this end. At early breakfast there was seed-cake, and each guest had before his place a small glass with a few flowers, mountain pinks and even Alpine roses, which the gentlemen stuck in their buttonholes. Lawyer Paravant from Dortmund had put on a black frock-coat with a spotted waistcoat, and the ladies’ toilets were suitably festal and diaphanous. Frau Chauchat appeared in a flowing lace matinée, with open sleeves. As she entered and the glass door crashed into its lock behind her, she paused a second facing the room and gracefully as it were presented herself before she glided to her table. The garment so became her that Hans Castorp’s neighbour, the Danzig schoolmistress, was quite ravished. Even the barbaric pair at the "bad" Russian table had taken notice of the day: he by exchanging his leather jacket for a short coat, and the felt boots for leather shoes; she, though she still wore the soiled feather boa, by putting on a green silk blouse with a neck-ruche. Hans Castorp wrinkled his brows when he saw them, and coloured—he seemed, since he had been up here, to blush so easily.

Directly after second breakfast the concert began on the terrace; there were all kinds of horns and woodwind, and they played by turns sprightly and sostenuto, until nearly luncheon-time. The morning rest, during the concert, was not obligatory. A few guests did regale themselves with this feast for the ears, at the same time lying on their balconies; in the garden rest-hall a few chairs were occupied. But the majority sat at the small, white tables on the covered platform, while the more frivolous spirits, finding it too prim to sit upon chairs, encamped on the stone steps that led down into the garden, where they presently gave evidence of their high spirits. These were youthful patients of both sexes, most of whose names or faces Hans Castorp knew by now. There were Hermine Kleefeld, and Herr Albin—who carried about a great flowered box of chocolates, and offered them to all the guests, he himself eating none, but with a benevolent, paternal air smoking gold-tipped cigarettes; there were the thick-lipped youth who belonged to the Half-Lung Club, the thin and ivory-coloured Fräulein Levi, an ash-blond young man who answered to the name of Rasmussen and carried his hands breast-high, with the wrists relaxed, like a pair of flippers; Frau Salomon from Amsterdam, a woman of full bodily habit, in a red frock, who had attached herself to the group of young folk; the tall, thin-haired young man who could play out of the Midsummer Night’s Dream sat on the step behind her, his arms about his bony knees, and gazed steadfastly down on the tanned back of her neck. There was a red-haired Greek girl, another of unknown origin with a face like a tapir’s; the voracious lad with the thick eye-glasses, and another fifteen- or sixteen-year-old youth, with a monocle stuck in his eye, who carried his little finger, with its abnormally long nail shaped like a salt-spoon, to his mouth when he coughed, and was manifestly a first-class donkey—these, and numerous others.

The person with the finger-nail, Joachim related in a low voice, had been only a light case when he came. He had had no fever and had been sent up merely as a precautionary measure, by his father, who was a physician. The Hofrat had advised a stay of three months. The three months had passed, and now he had 100 to 100.5 degrees of fever and was seriously ill. But he lived so wide of all common sense that he needed his ears boxed.

The cousins sat at a table by themselves, rather apart from the others, for Hans Castorp was smoking with his dark beer, which he had brought out from breakfast. From time to time his cigar gave him a little pleasure. Rendered torpid, as often, by the beer and the music, he sat with his head on one side and his mouth slightly open, watching the gay, resortish scene, feeling, not as a disturbing influence, but rather as heightening the general singularity, and lending it one mental fillip the more, the fact that all these people were inwardly attacked by well-nigh resistless decay, and that most of them were feverish. They sat at the little tables drinking effervescent lemonade; the group on the steps were photographing each other. Postage stamps were exchanged. The red-haired Greek girl sketched Herr Rasmussen’s portrait on a drawing-pad, but would not let him see it. She turned this way and that, laughing with wide-open mouth, showing her broad far-apart teeth—it was long before he could snatch it from her. Hermine Kleefeld perched on her step, eyes half open, beating time to the music with a rolled-up newspaper; she permitted Herr Albin to fasten a bunch of wild flowers on the front of her blouse. The youth with the voluptuous lips, sitting at Frau Salomon’s feet, turned his head upwards to talk with her, while behind them the thin-haired pianist directed his unchanging gaze down the back of her neck.

The physicians came and mingled with the guests of the cure, Hofrat Behrens in his white smock, Krokowski in his black. They passed along the row of tables, the Hofrat

letting fall a pleasantry at nearly every one, till a wave of merriment followed in his wake; and so down the steps among the young folk, the female element of which straightway trooped up sidling and becking about Dr. Krokowski, while the Hofrat honoured the sabbath by performing a "stunt" with his bootlaces before the gentlemen’s eyes. He rested one mighty foot upon a step, unfastened the laces, gripped them with practised technique in one hand, and without employing the other, hooked them up again crosswise, with such speed and agility that the beholders marvelled, and many of them tried to emulate him, but in vain.

Somewhat later Settembrini appeared on the terrace. He came out of the dining-room leaning on his cane, dressed as usual in his pilot coat and yellow check trousers, looked about him with his critical, alert, and elegant air, and approached the cousins’ table. "Bravo!" he said, and asked permission to sit with them.

"Beer, tobacco, and music," he went on. "Behold the Fatherland! I rejoice to see you in your element, Engineer—you have a feeling for national atmosphere, it seems. May I bask in the sunshine of your well-being?"

Hans Castorp looked lowering—his features took on that expression directly he set eyes on the Italian. He said: "You are late for the concert, Herr Settembrini; it must be nearly over. You don’t care for music?"

"Not to order," responded Settembrini. "Not by the calendar week. Not when it reeks of the prescription counter and is doled out to me by the authorities for the good of my health. I cling to my freedom—or rather to such vestiges of freedom and personal dignity as remain to the likes of us. At these affairs I play the guest, as you do up here: I come for a quarter-hour and go away—it gives me the illusion of independence. That it is more than an illusion I do not claim—enough if it please me! It is different with your cousin. For him it all belongs to the service—that is the light, is it not, Lieutenant, in which you regard it? Ah, yes, I know, you have the trick of hugging your pride, even in a state of slavery. A puzzling trick; not everybody in Europe understands it. Music? You were asking if I profess to be an amateur of music? Well, when you say amateur" (Hans Castorp could not recall saying anything of the sort), "the word is perhaps not ill chosen; it has a slight suggestion of superficiality—yes, very well, I am an amateur of music—which is not to say that I set great store by it; not as I love and reverence the Word, the bearer of the spirit, the tool and gleaming ploughshare of progress.—Music? It is the half-articulate art, the dubious, the irresponsible, the insensible. Perhaps you will object that she can be clear when she likes. But so can nature, so can a brook—what good is that to us? That is not true clarity, it is a dreamy, inexpressive, irresponsible clarity, without consequences and therefore dangerous, because it betrays one into soft complacence.—Let music play her loftiest rôle, she will thereby but kindle the emotions, whereas what concerns us is to awaken the reason. Music is to all appearance movement itself—yet, for all that, I suspect her of quietism. Let me state my point by the method of exaggeration: my aversion from music rests on political grounds."
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Re: The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

Postby admin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:16 pm

Part 2 of 5

Hans Castorp could not refrain from slapping his knee as he exclaimed that never in all his life before had he heard the like.

"Pray do not, on that account, refuse to entertain it," Settembrini said with a smile. "Music, as a final incitement to the spirit of men, is invaluable—as a force which draws onward and upward the spirit she finds prepared for her ministrations. But literature must precede her. By music alone the world would get no further forward. Alone, she is a danger. For you, personally, Engineer, she is beyond all doubt dangerous. I saw it in your face as I came up."

Hans Castorp laughed.

"Oh, you shouldn’t look at my face, Herr Settembrini. You can’t believe how the air up here sets me on fire. It is harder than I thought to get acclimatized."

"I fear you deceive yourself."

"How so? I know, at least, how deucedly hot and tired I am all the time."

"It seems to me we should be grateful to the management for the concert," Joachim said reflectively. "I wouldn’t contradict you, Herr Settembrini, because you look at the question from a higher point of view, so to speak, as an author. But I find one ought to be grateful up here for a bit of music. I am far from being particularly musical, and then the pieces they play are not exactly elevating, neither classic nor modern, but just ordinary band-music. Still, it is a pleasant change. It takes up a couple of hours very decently; I mean it breaks them up and fills them in, so there is something to them, by comparison with the other days, hours, and weeks that whisk by like nothing at all. You see an unpretentious concert-number lasts perhaps seven minutes, and those seven minutes amount to something; they have a beginning and an end, they stand out, they don’t so easily slip into the regular humdrum round and get lost. Besides they are again divided up by the figures of the piece that is being played, and these again into beats, so there is always something going on, and every moment has a certain meaning, something you can take hold of, whereas usually—I don’t know whether I am making myself—"

"Bravo!" cried Settembrini. "Bravo, Lieutenant! You are describing very well indeed an aspect of music which has indubitably a moral value: namely, that her peculiarly life-enhancing method of measuring time imparts a spiritual awareness and value to its passage. Music quickens time, she quickens us to the finest enjoyment of time; she quickens—and in so far she has moral value. Art has moral value, in so far as it quickens. But what if it does the opposite? What if it dulls us, sends us to sleep, works against action and progress? Music can do that too; she is an old hand at using opiates. But the opiate, my dear sirs, is a gift of the Devil; it makes for lethargy, inertia, slavish inaction, stagnation. There is something suspicious about music, gentlemen. I insist that she is, by her nature, equivocal. I shall not be going too far in saying at once that she is politically suspect."

He went on in this vein, and Hans Castorp listened without precisely following; first on account of his fatigue, and second because his attention was distracted by the proceedings of the lightheaded young folk on the steps. Did his eyes deceive him, or was the tapir-faced girl really occupied in sewing on a button for the monocled youth—and, forsooth, on the knee-band of his knickerbockers? She breathed asthmatically as she sewed, and he coughed and carried his little finger, with the salt-spoon-shaped nail, to his mouth. Of course they were ill—but, after all, these young folk up here did have peculiar social standards! The band played a polka.


THUS Sunday passed. The afternoon was marked by drives undertaken by various groups; several times after tea a carriage and pair drove up the winding road and halted before the portal to receive its occupants—these being, for the most part, Russian ladies.

"Russians drive a great deal," Joachim said to Hans Castorp, as they stood before the entrance and amused themselves with watching the carriages move off. "They will be going to Clavadel, or into the valley of the Flüela, or as far as Klosters. Those are the usual objectives. We might have a drive too while you are up here, if you like. But for the present I think you have enough to do to get used to things, and don’t require more diversion."

To which Hans Castorp agreed. He had a cigarette in his mouth, and his hands in his trouser pockets; and stood so to watch the lively little old Russian lady, as she, with her lean grand-niece and two other ladies, took their seats in a carriage. The ladies were Madame Chauchat and Marusja. Madame Chauchat had put on a thin dust-cloak belted in at the back, but wore no hat. She sat down beside the old dame in the body of the carriage, while the two girls took their places behind. All four were in lively vein and chattered without stopping in their soft, spineless tongue. They chattered about the top of the carriage, which was hard for them all to get underneath, about the Russian comfits the great-aunt had brought for them to munch, in a little wooden box lined with cotton-wool and lace paper, and was already handing round.—Hans Castorp distinguished with interest Frau Chauchat’s slightly husky voice. As always whenever he set eyes on that heedless creature, the likeness reasserted itself which had puzzled him for a while and then been revealed in a dream. But Marusja’s laugh, the expression of her round, brown eyes, staring childlike above the tiny handkerchief she held over her mouth, the full bosom, which was yet so ailing within, reminded him of something else, something which gave him a sudden thrill and made him glance cautiously at his cousin without turning his head. No, thank goodness, Joachim had not gone mottled, like that other time; his lips were not so painfully compressed. But he was gazing at Marusja, and his bearing, the expression in his eyes, was anything but military. Indeed that absorbed and yearning look could only have been characterized as typically civilian. However, he pulled himself quickly together and stole a glance at Hans Castorp, which the latter had only just time to avoid, by turning his own eyes away and staring up into the sky. He felt his heart give a sudden beat—without rhyme or reason, of its own accord, as it had taken to doing up here.

The Sunday was not further remarkable, except perhaps for the meals, which, since they could not well be more abundant than they already were, displayed greater refinement in the menu. At luncheon there was a chaud-froid of chicken, garnished with crayfish and stoned cherries; with the ices came pastry served in baskets of spun sugar, and fresh pineapple besides. In the evening, after he had drunk his beer, Hans Castorp felt heavier in the limbs and more chilled and exhausted than on the day before; toward nine o’clock he bade his cousin good-night, drew his plumeau up to his chin, and slept like the dead.

But next day, the first Monday spent by the guest up here, there came another regularly recurring variation in the daily routine: the lectures, one of which Dr. Krokowski delivered every other Monday morning in the dining-room, before the entire adult population of the sanatorium, with exception of the "moribund" and those who could not understand the language. The course, Hans Castorp learned from his cousin, consisted of a series of popular-scientific lectures, under the general title: "Love as a force contributory to disease." These instructive entertainments took place after second breakfast; it was not permissible, Joachim reiterated, to absent oneself from them—or, at least, absence was frowned upon. It was thus very daring of Settembrini, who surely must have more command of the language than anyone else, not only never to appear, but to refer to the entertainment in most disparaging terms. For Hans Castorp’s part, he straightway resolved to be present, in the first place out of courtesy, but also with unconcealed curiosity as to what he should hear. Before the appointed hour, however, he did something quite perverse and ill-judged, which proved worse for him than one could possibly have guessed: he went out for a long, solitary walk.

"Now listen to me," had been his first words, when Joachim entered his room that morning. "I can see that it can’t go on with me like this. I’ve had enough of the horizontal for the present; one’s very blood goes to sleep. Of course it is different with you; you are a patient, and I have no intention of tempting you. But I mean to take a proper walk after breakfast, if you don’t mind, just walking at random for a couple of hours. I’ll stick a little something in my pocket for second breakfast; then I shall be independent. We shall see if I am not quite a different chap when I come back."

Joachim warmly agreed, as he saw his cousin was in earnest in his desire and his project. "But don’t overdo it," he said; "that’s my advice. It’s not the same thing up here as at home. And be sure to come back in time for the lecture."

In reality young Hans Castorp had more ground than the physical for his present resolve. His over-heated head, the prevailing bad taste in his mouth, the fitful throbbing of his heart, were, or so he felt, less evil accompaniments to the process of acclimatization than such things as the goings-on of the Russian pair next door, the table-talk of the stupid and afflicted Frau Stöhr, the gentleman rider’s pulpy cough daily heard in the corridor, the utterances of Herr Albin, the impression he received of the manners and morals of the ailing young folk about him, the expression on Joachim’s face when he looked at Marusja—these and a hundred observations more made him feel it would be good to escape awhile from the Berghof circle, to breathe the air deep into his lungs, to get some proper exercise—and then, when he felt tired at night, he would at least know why. He took leave of Joachim in a spirit of enterprise, when his cousin addressed himself, after breakfast, to the usual round as far as the bench by the watercourse; then, swinging his walking-stick, he took his own way down the road.

It was about nine o’clock of a cool morning, with a covered sky. According to programme, Hans Castorp drew in deep draughts of the pure morning air, the fresh, light atmosphere that breathed in so easily, that held no hint of damp, that was without associations, without content. He crossed the stream and the narrow-gauge road to the street, with its scattered buildings; but left this again soon to strike into a meadow path, which went only a short way on the level and then slanted steeply up to the right. The climbing rejoiced Hans Castorp’s heart, his chest expanded, he pushed his hat back on his forehead with the crook of his stick; having gained some little height he looked back, and, seeing in the distance the mirror-like lake he had passed on his journey hither, he began to sing.

He sang what songs he had at his command, all kinds of sentimental folk-ditties, out of collections of national ballads and students’ song-books; one of them, that went:

Let poets all of love and wine,
Yet oft of virtue sing the praises,

he sang at first softly, in a humming tone, then louder, finally at the top of his voice. His baritone lacked flexibility, yet to-day he found it good, and sang on with mounting enthusiasm. When he found he had pitched the beginning too high, he shifted into falsetto, and even that pleased him. When his memory left him in the lurch, he helped himself out by setting to the melody whatever words and syllables came to hand, heedless of the sense, giving them out like an operatic singer, with arching lips and strong palatal r. He even began to improvise both words and music, accompanying his performance with theatrical gesturings. It is a good deal of a strain to sing and climb at the same time, and Hans Castorp found his breath growing scant, and scanter. Yet for sheer pleasure in the idea, for the joy of singing, he forced his voice and sang on, with frequent gasps for breath, until he could no more, and sank, quite out of wind, half blind, with coloured sparks before his eyes and racing pulses, beneath a sturdy pine. His exaltation gave way on the sudden to a pervading gloom; he fell a prey to dejection bordering on despair.

When, his nerves being tolerably restored, he got to his feet again to continue his walk, he found his neck trembling; indeed his head shook in precisely the same way now, at his age, in which the head of old Hans Lorenz Castorp once had shaken. The phenomenon so freshly called up to him the memory of his dead grandfather that, far from finding it offensive, he took a certain pleasure in availing himself of that remembered and dignified method of supporting the chin, by means of which his grandfather had been wont to control the shaking of his head, and to which the boy had responded with such inward sympathy.

He mounted still higher on the zigzag path, drawn by the sound of cow-bells, and came at length upon the herd, grazing near a hut whose roof was weighted with stones. Two bearded men approached him, with axes on their shoulders. They parted, a little way off him, and "Thank ye kindly, and God be with ye," said the one to the other, in a deep guttural voice, shifted his axe to the other shoulder, and began breaking a path through crackling pine-boughs to the valley. The words sounded strange in this lonely spot: they came dreamlike to Hans Castorp’s senses, strained and benumbed. He repeated them, softly, trying to reproduce the guttural, rustically formal syllables of the mountain tongue, as he climbed another stretch higher, above the hut. He had in mind to reach the height where the trees left off, but on glancing at his watch resisted.

He took the left-hand path in the direction of the village. It ran level for some way, then led downhill, among tall-trunked pines, where, as he went, he once more began to sing, tentatively, and despite the fact that he felt his knees to tremble more than they had during the ascent. On issuing from the wood he paused, struck by the charm of the small enclosed landscape before him, a scene composed of elements both peaceful and sublime.

A mountain stream came flowing in its shallow, stony bed down the right-hand slope, poured itself foaming over the terraced boulders lying in its path, then coursed more calmly toward the valley, crossed at this point by a picturesque railed wooden footbridge. The ground all about was blue with the bell-like blossoms of a profusely growing, bushy plant. Sombre fir-trees of even, mighty growth stood in the bed of the ravine and climbed its sides to the height. One of them, rooted in the steep bank at the side of the torrent, thrust itself aslant into the picture, with bizarre effect. The whole remote and lovely spot was wrapped in a sounding solitude by the noise of the rushing waters. Hans Castorp remarked a bench that stood on the farther bank of the stream.

He crossed the foot-bridge and sat down to regale himself with the sight of the foaming, rushing waterfall and the idyllic sound of its monotonous yet modulated prattle. For Hans Castorp loved like music the sound of rushing water—perhaps he loved it even more. But hardly had he settled himself when he was overtaken by a bleeding at the nose, which came on so suddenly he had barely time to save his clothing from soilure. The bleeding was violent and persistent, taking to stanch it nearly half an hour of going to and fro between bench and brook, snuffing water up his nostrils, rinsing his handkerchief and lying flat on his back upon the wooden seat with the damp cloth on his nose. He lay there, after the blood at length was stanched, his knees elevated, hands folded behind his head, eyes closed, and ears full of the noise of water. He felt no unpleasant sensation, the blood-letting had had a soothing effect, but he found himself in a state of extraordinarily reduced vitality, so that when he exhaled the air, he felt no need to draw it in again, and lay there moveless, for the space of several quiet heart-beats, before taking another slow and superficial breath.

Quite suddenly he found himself in the far distant past, transported to a scene which had come back to him in a dream some nights before, summoned by certain impressions of the last few days. But so strongly, so resistlessly, to the annihilation of time and space, was he rapt back into the past, one might have said it was a lifeless body lying here on the bench by the waterside, while the actual Hans Castorp moved in that far-away time and place—in a situation which was for him, despite its childishness, vibrant with daring and adventure.

It happened when he was a lad of thirteen, in knee-breeches, in the lower third form at school. He stood in the school yard in talk with another boy of like years, from a higher form. The conversation had been begun, rather arbitrarily, by himself and, dealing as it did with a narrowly circumscribed subject of a practical nature, could in no case be prolonged; yet it gave him the greatest satisfaction. It took place in the break between the last two periods, a history and a drawing hour for Hans Castorp’s form; the pupils were walking up and down, or standing about in groups, or lounging against the glazed abutments of the school-building wall. A murmur of voices filled the red-tiled court-yard, which was shut off from the street by a wall topped with shingles and provided with two entrance gates. Supervision was exercised by a master in a slouch hat, who munched a ham sandwich the while.

He with whom Hans Castorp spoke was called Hippe, Pribislav Hippe. A peculiarity of this given name was that you were to pronounce it as though it were spelled Pschibislav; and the singularity of the appellation suited the lad’s appearance, which did indeed have something exotic about it. Hippe was the son of a scholar and history professor in the gymnasium. He was, by consequence, a notorious model pupil, and, though not much older than Hans Castorp, already a form higher up. He came from Mecklenburg and was in his person obviously the product of an ancient mixture of races, a grafting of Germanic stock with Slavic, or the reverse. True, his close-shorn round pate was blond; but the eyes were a grey-blue, or a blue-grey—an indefinite, ambiguous colour, like the hue of far-distant mountain ranges—and of an odd, narrow shape; were even, to be precise, a little slanting, with strongly marked, prominent cheek-bones directly under them. It was a type of face which in this instance, far from seeming an abnormality, was distinctly pleasing, though odd enough to have won for him the nickname of "the Kirghiz" among his schoolmates. Hippe already wore long trousers, and a blue jacket belted in at the back and closed to the throat, the collar of which was usually whitened by a few scales of dandruff.

Now, the thing was that Hans Castorp, for a long time, had had his eye upon this Pribislav; had chosen him out of the whole host, known and unknown, in the court-yard of the school, taken an interest in him, followed him with his eyes—shall we say admired him?—at all events observed him with peculiar sympathy. Even on the way to school he looked forward with pleasure to watching him among his fellows, seeing him speak and laugh, singling out his voice from the others by its pleasantly veiled, husky quality. Granted that there was no sufficient ground for his preference, unless one might refer it to Hippe’s heathenish name, his character as model pupil—this latter was, of course, out of the question—or to the "Kirghiz" eyes, whose grey-blue glance could sometimes melt into a mystery of darkness when one caught it musing sidewise; whichever it might be, or none of these, Hans Castorp troubled not a whit to justify his feelings, or even to question by what name they might suitably be called. For, since he did not "know" Hippe, the relation could hardly be one of friendship. But in the first place there was not the faintest need of calling it anything; it could never be a subject of discussion; that would be out of place, and he had no desire for it; and, in the second, giving a thing a name implies, if not passing judgment on it, at least defining it; that is to say, classifying it among the familiar and habitual; whereas Hans Castorp was penetrated by the unconscious conviction that an inward good of this sort was above all to be guarded from definition and classification.

But whether well or ill founded, and however far from being the subject of conversation, or even from being touched on in Hans Castorp’s own mind, these feelings of his flourished there in great strength, as they had done for almost a year now—or a year as nearly as one could fix the time, for it was hard to be precise about their beginnings. For about a year, then, he had carried them about in secret, which spoke for the loyalty and constancy of his character, when one reflects what a great space of time a year is at that age. But alas, every characterization of this kind involves a moral judgment, whether favourable or unfavourable—though, to be sure, each trait of character has its two sides. Thus Hans Castorp’s "loyalty"—upon which, be it said, he was not prone to plume himself—consisted, baldly, in a certain tempera-mental heaviness, sluggishness, and quiescence, a fundamental tendency to feel respect for conditions of duration and stability; and the more respect, the longer they lasted. He inclined to believe in the permanence of the particular state or circumstances in which he for the moment found himself; prized it for that very quality, and was not bent on change. Thus he had grown used to his silent and remote relation to Pribislav Hippe, and considered it a regular feature of his life; loved the emotions it brought in its train, the suspense as to whether he was likely to meet him that day, whether Pribislav would pass close by him, even look at him; loved the subtle and wordless satisfaction imparted by his secret, loved even the disappointments inseparable from it—the greatest of which was Pribislav’s absence from school. When this happened, the school yard became a desert, the day lacked all charm, hope alone lingered.

The affair had lasted a year, up to that intrepid and culminating moment; after which, thanks to Hans Castorp’s constancy of spirit, it lasted another. Then it was over. And it is a fact that he marked no more the loosening and dissolving of the bond which united him to Pribislav than he had previously marked its beginnings. Moreover, in consequence of his father’s taking another position, Pribislav left the school and the city; but that was all one to Hans Castorp; he had already forgotten him before he went. One may put it that the figure of the "Kirghiz" had glided out of the mist into Hans Castorp’s life, and slowly grown vivid and tangible there, up to that moment of the greatest nearness and corporeity, in the school court; had stood awhile thus in the foreground, then slowly receded, and, with no pain of parting, dissolved again into the mist.

But that moment, that bold, adventurous situation, into which Hans Castorp found himself transported after all these years, the conversation—an actual conversation with Pribislav Hippe—came about thus. The drawing-lesson was the next period, and Hans Castorp found himself without a pencil. His classmates needed their own, but he had among the other pupils this and that acquaintance, of whom he might have sought a loan. Yet he found it was Pribislav who after all stood nearest to him, with whom, in secret, he had had to do; and with a joyous impulse of his entire being he determined to seize the opportunity—for so he called it—and ask Pribislav for a pencil. It was rather an odd thing to do, since he did not, in reality, "know" Pribislav at all; but this aspect of the affair escaped him in his recklessness, or he chose to disregard it. So there he stood before Pribislav Hippe, among the bustling crowd that filled the tiled court-yard; and he said to him: "Excuse me, can you lend me a pencil?"

And Pribislav looked at him, with his "Kirghiz" eyes above the prominent cheek-bones, and spoke, in his pleasantly husky voice, without any surprise, or, at least, without showing any.

"With pleasure," he said. "But you must be sure to give it me back, after the period." And drew his pencil out of his pocket, a silver pencil-holder with a ring in the end, which one screwed in order to make the red lead-pencil come out. He displayed the simple mechanism, their two heads bent over it together.

"Only be careful not to break it," he added.

What made him say that? As if Hans Castorp had been intending to handle it carelessly or keep it after the hour!

They looked at each other, and smiled; then, as there remained nothing more to say, they turned, first their shoulders and then their backs, and went.

That was all. But never in his life had Hans Castorp felt so supremely content as in this drawing hour, drawing with Pribislav Hippe’s pencil, in the immediate prospect of giving it back into the owner’s hand—which followed as a matter of course out of what had gone before. He took the liberty of sharpening the pencil a little, and cherished three of the red shavings nearly a year, in an inner drawer of his desk—no one seeing them there could have guessed what significance they possessed. The return of the pencil was of the simplest formality, quite after Hans Castorp’s heart—indeed, he prided himself on it no little, in the vainglorious state his intimacy with Hippe produced.

"There," he said. "And thanks very much."

And Pribislav said nothing at all, only hastily tried the screw and stuck the pencil in his pocket.

Never again did they speak to each other; but this one time, thanks to the enterprise of Hans Castorp, they had spoken.

He wrenched his eyes open, amazed at the depths of the trance in which he had been sunk. "I’ve been dreaming," he thought. "Yes, that was Pribislav. It’s a long time since I thought of him. I wonder what became of the shavings. My desk is in the attic at Uncle Tienappel’s; they must be there yet, in the little inner back drawer. I never took them out, never thought enough about them to throw them away! That was certainly Pribislav, his very own self. I shouldn’t have thought I could remember him so clearly. How remarkably like her he looked—like this girl up here! Is that why I feel interested in her? Or was that why I felt so interested in him? What rubbish! Anyhow, I must be stirring, and pretty fast, too." But he lay another moment, musing and recalling, before he got up. "Then thank ye kindly, and God be with ye," he said—the tears came to his eyes as he smiled And with that he would have been off, but instead sat suddenly down again with his hat and stick in his hand, being forced to the realization that his knees would not support him. "Hullo," he thought, "this won’t do. I am supposed to be back in the dining-room punctually at eleven, for the lecture. Taking walks up here is very beautiful—but appears to have its difficult side. Well, well, I can’t stop here. I must have got stiff from lying; I shall be better as I move about." He tried again to get on his legs and, by dint of great effort, succeeded.

But the return home was lamentable indeed, after the high spirits of his setting forth. He had repeatedly to rest by the way, feeling the colour recede from his face, and cold sweat break out on his brow; the wild beating of his heart took away his breath. Thus painfully he fought his way down the winding path and reached the bottom in the neighbourhood of the Kurhaus. But here it became clear that his own powers would never take him over the stretch between him and the Berghof; and accordingly, as there was no tram and he saw no carriages for hire, he hailed a driver going toward the Dorf with a load of empty boxes and asked permission to climb into his wagon. Back to back with the man, his legs hanging down out of the end, swaying and nodding with fatigue and the jolting of the vehicle, regarded with surprise and sympathy by the passers-by, he got as far as the railway crossing, where he dismounted and paid for his ride, whether much money or little he did not heed, and hurried headlong up the drive.

"Depêchez-vous, monsieur," said to him the French concierge. "La conférence de M. Krokowski vient de commencer." Hans Castorp tossed hat and stick on the stand and squeezed himself with much precaution, tongue between his teeth, through the partly open glass door into the dining-room, where the society of the cure sat in rows on their chairs, and on the right-hand narrow side of the room, behind a covered table adorned with a water-bottle, Dr. Krokowski, in a frock-coat, stood and delivered his lecture.


LUCKILY there was a vacant seat in the corner, near the door. He slipped into it and assumed an air of having been here from the beginning. The audience, hanging rapt on Dr. Krokowski’s lips, paid him no heed—which was as well, for he looked rather ghastly. His face white as a sheet, his coat spotted with blood—he might have been a murderer stealing from his crime. The lady in front of him did, indeed, turn her head as he sat down, and measured him with narrow eyes. With a sense of exasperation he recognized Madame Chauchat. Deuce take it—was he never to have a moment’s peace? He had thought that, having arrived at his goal, he could sit here quietly and rest a little; and now he had to have her under his nose. In other circumstances he might conceivably have found her nearness rather pleasant than otherwise. But now, worn out and harassed as he felt, what was it to him? It could only make new demands on his heart and keep him from drawing a long breath during the whole lecture. With Pribislav’s very eyes she had looked at him, and at the spots of blood on his coat; her look had been rather bold and ruthless too, as a woman’s would be who let doors bang behind her. How badly she held herself! Not like the ladies of Hans Castorp’s social sphere, who sat erect at their tables, turned their heads towards their lords and masters, and spoke with mincing correctness. Frau Chauchat sat all relaxed, with drooping shoulders and round back; she even thrust her head forward until the vertebra at the base of the neck showed prominently above the rounded décollétage of her white blouse. Pribislav had held his head like that. But he had been a model pupil and full of honours (which was not the reason why Hans Castorp had borrowed his pencil), whereas it was abundantly clear that Frau Chauchat’s bad carriage, her door-slamming, and the directness of her gaze all had to do with her physical condition; yes, were even expressive of that want of restraint in which young Herr Albin rejoiced, which was not honourable at all, yet possessed boundless advantages all its own.

Hans Castorp’s thoughts, as he sat and looked at Frau Chauchat’s flaccid back, began to blur; they ceased to be thoughts at all and began to be a reverie, into which Dr. Krokowski’s drawling baritone, with the soft-sounding r, came as from afar. But the stillness of the room, the profound attention that rapt all the rest of the audience, had the effect of rousing him too. He looked about. Near him sat the thin-haired pianist, with bent head and folded arms, listening with his mouth open. Somewhat farther on was Fräulein Engelhart, avid-eyed, with a dull red spot on each cheek; Hans Castorp saw the same signal flame on the faces of other ladies—on Frau Salomon’s, and Frau Magnus’s, the same who was wife to the brewer and lost flesh persistently.

Frau Stöhr sat somewhat farther back, an expression of ignorant credulity painted on her face, truly painful to behold; while the ivory-complexioned Levi, leaning back in her chair with half-closed eyes, her hands lying open in her lap, would have looked like a corpse had not her breast risen and fallen with such profound and rhythmical breaths as to remind Hans Castorp of a mechanical waxwork he had once seen. Many of the guests had their hands curved behind their ears; some even held the hand in the air half-way thither, as though arrested midway in the gesture by the strength of their concentration. Lawyer Paravant, a sunburnt man who looked to have had the strength of a bull, even flicked his ear with his forefinger to make it hear better, then turned it again to catch the words that flowed from Dr. Krokowski’s lips.

And what was Dr. Krokowski saying? What was his line of thought? Hans Castorp summoned his wits to discover, not immediately succeeding, however, since he had not heard the beginning and lost still more while musing on Frau Chauchat’s flabby back. It was about a power, the power which—in short, it was about the power of love. Yes, of course; the subject was already given out in the general title of the whole course, and, moreover, this was Dr. Krokowski’s special field; of what else should he be talking? It was a bit odd, to be sure, listening to a lecture on such a theme, when previously Hans Castorp’s courses had dealt only with such matters as geared transmission in shipbuilding. No, really, how did one go about to discuss a subject of this delicate and private nature, in broad daylight, before a mixed audience? Dr. Krokowski did it by adopting a mingled terminology, partly poetic and partly erudite; ruthlessly scientific, yet with a vibrating, singsong delivery, which impressed young Hans Castorp as being unsuitable, but may have been the reason why the ladies looked flushed and the gentlemen flicked their ears to make them hear better. In particular the speaker employed the word love in a somewhat ambiguous sense, so that you were never quite sure where you were with it, or whether he had reference to its sacred or its passionate and fleshly aspect—and this doubt gave one a slightly seasick feeling. Never in all his life had Hans Castorp heard the word uttered so many times on end as he was hearing it now. When he reflected, it seemed to him he had never taken it in his own mouth, nor ever heard it from a stranger’s. That might not be the case, but whether it were or no, the word did not seem to him to repay such frequent repetition. The slippery monosyllable, with its lingual and labial, and the bleating vowel between—it came to sound positively offensive; it suggested watered milk, or anything else that was pale and insipid; the more so considering the meat for strong men Dr. Krokowski was in fact serving up. For it was plain that when one set about it like that, one could go pretty far without shocking anybody. He was not content to allude, with exquisite tact, to certain matters which are known to everybody, but which most people are content to pass over in silence. He demolished illusions, he was ruthlessly enlightened, he relentlessly destroyed all faith in the dignity of silver hairs and the innocence of the sucking babe. And he wore, with the frock-coat, his négligé collar, sandals, and grey woollen socks, and, thus attired, made an impression profoundly otherworldly, though at the same time not a little startling to young Hans Castorp. He supported his statements with a wealth of illustration and anecdote from the books and loose notes on the table before him; several times he even quoted poetry. And he discussed certain startling manifestations of the power of love, certain extraordinary, painful, uncanny variations, which the majestic phenomenon at times displayed. It was, he said, the most unstable, the most unreliable of man’s instincts, the most prone of its very essence to error and fatal perversion. In the which there was nothing that should cause surprise. For this mighty force did not consist of a single impulse, it was of its nature complex; it was built up out of components which, however legitimate they might be in composition, were, taken each by itself, sheer perversity. But—continued Dr. Krokowski—since we refuse, and rightly, to deduce the perversity of the whole from the perversity of its parts, we are driven to claim, for the component perversities, some part at least, though perhaps not all, of the justification which attaches to their united product. We were driven by sheer force of logic to this conclusion; Dr. Krokowski implored his hearers, having arrived at it, to hold it fast. Now there were psychical correctives, forces working in the other direction, instincts tending to conformability and regularity—he would almost have liked to characterize them as bourgeois; and these influences had the effect of merging the perverse components into a valid and irreproachable whole: a frequent and gratifying result, which, Dr. Krokowski almost contemptuously added, was, as such, of no further concern to the thinker and the physician. But on the other hand, there were cases where this result was not obtained, could not and should not be obtained; and who, Dr. Krokowski asked, would dare to say that these cases did not, psychically considered, form a higher, more exclusive type? For in these cases the two opposing groups of instincts—the compulsive force of love, and the sum of the impulses urging in the other direction, among which he would particularly mention shame and disgust—both exhibited an extraordinary and abnormal height and intensity when measured by the ordinary bourgeois standards; and the conflict between them which took place in the abysses of the soul prevented the erring instinct from attaining to that safe, sheltered, and civilized state which alone could resolve its difficulties in the prescribed harmonies of the love-life as experienced by the average human being. This conflict between the powers of love and chastity—for that was what it really amounted to—what was its issue? It ended, apparently, in the triumph of chastity. Love was suppressed, held in darkness and chains, by fear, conventionality, aversion, or a tremulous yearning to be pure. Her confused and tumultuous claims were never allowed to rise to consciousness or to come to proof in anything like their entire strength or multiformity. But this triumph of chastity was only an apparent, a pyrrhic victory; for the claims of love could not be crippled or enforced by any such means. The love thus suppressed was not dead; it lived, it laboured after fulfilment in the darkest and secretest depths of the being. It would break through the ban of chastity, it would emerge—if in a form so altered as to be unrecognizable. But what then was this form, this mask, in which suppressed, unchartered love would reappear? Dr. Krokowski asked the question, and looked along the listening rows as though in all seriousness expecting an answer. But he had to say it himself, who had said so much else already. No one knew save him, but it was plain that he did. Indeed, with his ardent eyes, his black beard setting off the waxen pallor of his face, his monkish sandals and grey woollen socks, he seemed to symbolize in his own person that conflict between passion and chastity which was his theme. At least so thought Hans Castorp, as with the others he waited in the greatest suspense to hear in what form love driven below the surface would reappear. The ladies barely breathed. Lawyer Paravant rattled his ear anew, that the critical moment might find it open and receptive. And Dr. Krokowski answered his own question, and said: "In the form of illness. Symptoms of disease are nothing but a disguised manifestation of the power of love; and all disease is only love transformed."

So now they knew—though very probably not all of them were capable of an opinion on what they heard. A sigh passed through the assemblage, and Lawyer Paravant weightily nodded approbation as Krokowski proceeded to develop his theme. Hans Castorp for his part sat with bowed head, trying to reflect on what had been said and test his own understanding of it. But he was unpractised in such exercises, and rendered still further incapable of mental exertion by the unhappy effect of the walk he had taken. His thoughts were soon drawn off again by the sight of Frau Chauchat’s back, and the arm appertaining, which was lifting and bending itself, close before Hans Castorp’s eyes, so that the hand could hold the braids of hair.

It made him uncomfortable to have the hand so close beneath his eye, to be forced to look at it whether he wished or no, to study it in all its human blemishes and imperfections, as though under a magnifying-glass. No, there was nothing aristocratic about this stubby schoolgirl hand, with the badly cut nails. He was even not quite sure that the ends of the fingers were perfectly clean; and the skin round the nails was distinctly bitten. Hans Castorp made a face; but his eyes remained fixed on Madame Chauchat’s back, as he vaguely recalled what Dr. Krokowski had been saying, about counteracting influences of a bourgeois kind, which set themselves up against the power of love.—The arm, in its gentle upward curve, was better than the hand; it was scarcely clothed, for the material of the sleeve was thinner than that of the blouse, being the lightest gauze, which had the effect of lending the arm a sort of shadowed radiance, making it prettier than it might otherwise have been. It was at once both full and slender—in all probability cool to the touch. No, so far as the arm went, the idea about counteracting bourgeois influences did not apply.

Hans Castorp mused, his gaze still bent on Frau Chauchat’s arm. The way women dressed! They showed their necks and bosoms, they transfigured their arms by veiling them in "illusion"; they did so, the world over, to arouse our desire. O God, how beautiful life was! And it was just such accepted commonplaces as this that made it beautiful—for it was a commonplace that women dressed themselves alluringly, it was so well known and recognized a fact that we never consciously realized it, but merely enjoyed it without a thought. And yet he had an inward conviction that we ought to think about it, ought to realize what a blessed, what a well-nigh miraculous arrangement it was. For of course it all had a certain end and aim; it was by a definite design that women were permitted to array themselves with irresistible allure: it was for the sake of posterity, for the perpetuation of the species. Of course. But suppose a woman were inwardly diseased, unfit for motherhood—what then? What was the sense of her wearing gauze sleeves and attracting male attention to her physical parts if these were actually unsound? Obviously there was no sense; it ought to be considered immoral, and forbidden as such. For a man to take an interest in a woman inwardly diseased had no more sense than—well, than the interest Hans Castorp had once taken in Pribislav Hippe. The comparison was a stupid one; it roused memories better forgotten; he had not meant to make it, it came into his head unbidden. But at this point his musings broke off, largely because Dr. Krokowski had raised his voice and so drawn attention once more upon himself. He was standing there behind his table, with his arms outstretched and his head on one side—almost, despite the frock-coat, he looked like Christ on the cross.

It seemed that at the end of his lecture Dr. Krokowski was making propaganda for psycho-analysis; with open arms he summoned all and sundry to come unto him. "Come unto me," he was saying, though not in those words, "come unto me, all ye who are weary and heavy-laden." And he left no doubt of his conviction that all those present were weary and heavy-laden. He spoke of secret suffering, of shame and sorrow, of the redeeming power of the analytic. He advocated the bringing of light into the unconscious mind and explained how the abnormality was metamorphosed into the conscious emotion; he urged them to have confidence; he promised relief. Then he let fall his arms, raised his head, gathered up his notes and went out by the corridor door, with his head in the air, and the bundle of papers held schoolmaster fashion, in his left hand, against his shoulder.

His audience rose, pushed back its chairs, and slowly began to move towards the same door, as though converging upon him from all sides, without volition, hesitatingly, yet with one accord, like the throng after the Pied Piper. Hans Castorp stood in the stream without moving, his hand on the back of his chair. I am only a guest up here, he thought. Thank God I am healthy, that business has nothing to do with me; I shan’t even be here for the next lecture. He watched Frau Chauchat going out, gliding along with her head thrust forward. Did she have herself psycho-analysed, he wondered. And his heart began to thump. He did not notice Joachim, coming toward him among the chairs, and started when his cousin spoke.

"You got here at the last minute," Joachim said. "Did you go very far? How was it?"

"Oh, very nice," Hans Castorp answered. "Yes, I went rather a long way. But I must confess, it did me less good than I thought it would. I won’t repeat it for the present."

Joachim did not ask how he liked the lecture; neither did Hans Castorp express an opinion. By common consent they let the subject rest, both then and thereafter.

Doubts and Considerations

TUESDAY was the last day of our hero’s week up here, and accordingly he found his weekly bill in his room on his return from the morning walk. It was a clear and businesslike document, in a green envelope, with a picture of the Berghof building at the top, and extracts from the prospectus carried in a narrow column down the left-hand side of the sheet. "Psycho-analytic treatment, by the most modern methods" was called attention to by means of spaced type. The items, set down in a calligraphic hand, came to one hundred and eighty francs almost exactly: eight francs a day for his chamber, twelve for board and medical attendance, entrance fee twenty, disinfection of room ten, while small charges for laundry, beer, and the late dinner of the first evening made up the sum.

Hans Castorp went over the bill with Joachim and found naught to object to. "Of course I made no use of the medical attendance," he said, "but that was my own affair. It is included in the price of pension, and I couldn’t expect them to make any deduction; how could they? As regards the disinfection, they must show a neat profit there, they never could have used ten francs’ worth of H2CO to smoke the American woman out. But on the whole I must say I find it cheap rather than dear, considering what they offer," And before second breakfast they went down to the management in order that Hans Castorp might acquit himself of his debt.

The management was on the ground-floor. You reached it after passing the hall, the garderobe, the kitchens and domestic offices; you could not miss the door, it had a porcelain shield. Hans Castorp took an interest in this glimpse into the business side of the enterprise. There was a neat little office, with a typist busy at her machine and three clerks bending over desks. In an adjoining office a man who looked like a head or director was working at a desk in the middle of the room; he flung a cool and calculating glance at the clients over the top of his glasses. Their affair was dispatched at the cashier’s window, a note changed, money received, the bill receipted; the cousins preserving throughout these transactions the solemn, discreet, almost overawed bearing which the young German’s respect for authority leads him to assume in the presence of pens, ink, and paper, or anything else which bears to his mind an official stamp. But on the way to breakfast, and later in the course of the day, they talked about the direction of the Berghof sanatorium, and Joachim, in his character as inmate, answered his cousin’s questions.

Hofrat Behrens was not—though he gave the impression of being—owner and proprietor of the establishment. Above and behind him stood invisible powers, which to a certain extent manifested their existence in the office they had just visited. They consisted of a supervisory head and a stock company—in which it was not a bad thing to hold shares, according to Joachim, since the members of it divided a fat dividend each year. The Hofrat was a dependent, he was merely an agent, a functionary, an associate of higher powers; the first and highest, of course, and the soul of the enterprise, with a well-defined influence upon it and upon the management itself—though of course as directing physician he was relieved of all preoccupation with the business side. He was a native of north-western Germany, and it was common knowledge that when he took the position, years ago, he had done so contrary to his previous intention and plans. He had come here on account of his wife—whose remains had long reposed in the village churchyard, that picturesque churchyard of Dorf Davos, which lay high up on the right-hand slope, nearer the entrance of the valley. She had been a charming person, to judge from her likenesses, though too large-eyed and asthenic-looking. Photographs of her stood about everywhere in the Hofrat’s house; even oil portraits by his own amateur hand hung on the walls. Two children, a son and a daughter, had been born; then they had brought her up here, the fragile body already fever-smitten; a few months had seen the completion of the wasting-away process. Behrens, they said, had adored her. He was brought so low by the blow that he got very odd and melancholy; people saw him gesturing, sniggering, and talking to himself, on the street. He did not go back to his original place, but remained where he was—in part, no doubt, because he could not tear himself away from her grave, but also for the less sentimental reason that he was himself in poor health and, in his own professional opinion, actually belonged here. He had settled down as one of the physicians who are companions in suffering to the patients in their care; who do not stand above disease, fighting her in the armour of personal security, but who themselves bear her mark—an odd, but by no means isolated, case, and one which has its good as well as its bad side. Sympathy between doctor and patient is surely desirable, and a case might be made out for the view that only he who suffers can be the guide and healer of the suffering. And yet—can true spiritual mastery over a power be won by him who is counted among her slaves? Can he free others who himself is not free? The ailing physician remains a paradox to the average mind, a questionable phenomenon. May not his scientific knowledge tend to be clouded and confused by his own participation, rather than enriched and morally reinforced? He cannot face disease in clear-eyed hostility to her; he is a prejudiced party, his position is equivocal. With all due reserve it must be asked whether a man who himself belongs among the ailing can give himself to the cure or care of others as can a man who is himself entirely sound.

Hans Castorp expressed some of these doubts and speculations, as he and Joachim gossiped about the Berghof and its professional head. But Joachim answered that nobody knew whether the Hofrat was still a patient—he was probably long since cured. It was ages ago that he had first begun to practise here; independently at first, and early winning a name for himself as an extraordinarily gifted auscultator and skilful surgeon. Then the Berghof had secured him; it would soon be ten years that he had been in intimate association with it. His private residence was in the end of the north-west wing of the building (Dr. Krokowski’s was not far off), and that lady of the lofty lineage, the nursing sister and directress of the establishment, of whom Settembrini had made such utter fun, and whom thus far Hans Castorp had scarcely seen, presided over the small household. The Hofrat was otherwise alone, for his son was at the university and his daughter already married, to a lawyer in one of the French cantons. Young Behrens sometimes visited his father in the holidays; he had done so once during Joachim’s time up here. The ladies, he related, had been quite thrilled; their temperatures had gone up, petty jealousies had led to bickering and quarrels in the rest-hall and an increase of visits to Dr. Krokowski’s private office.

The assistant had his own office hours, in a special room, which, together with the large examination-rooms, the laboratory, the operating-rooms and x-ray studio, was in the well-lighted basement of the building. We call it the basement, for the stone steps leading down to it from the ground-floor created the impression that it was such—an erroneous impression, for not only was the ground-floor somewhat elevated, but the entire building stood on a sidehill, part way up the mountain, and these "basement" rooms faced the front, with a view of the gardens and valley, a circumstance negatived to some extent by the fact of the steps leading down to them. One descended, as one supposed, from the ground-floor, only to find oneself at the bottom still on it, or practically so. Hans Castorp amused himself with this illusion when he accompanied his cousin one afternoon down to the "bathing-master," that Joachim might get himself weighed. A clinical brilliance and spotlessness reigned in this sphere. Everything was as white as white; the doors gleamed with white enamel; the one leading to Dr. Krokowski’s receiving-room, with the doctor’s visiting-card tacked on it, was reached by two more steps down from the corridor, which gave the room behind it an air of being more spacious and withdrawn than the rest. This door was at the end of the corridor, on your right as you came downstairs. Hans Castorp kept his eye on it as he walked up and down waiting for his cousin. He saw a lady come out, a recent arrival, whose name he did not know: a small, dainty person, with curls on her forehead, and gold ear-rings. She bent over as she mounted the stairs, and held up her frock with one beringed hand, while with the other she pressed her tiny handkerchief to her lips and, all stooped as she was, stared up over it into nothing, with great blue, distracted eyes. She hurried with small tripping steps, her petticoat rustling, to the stairs, paused suddenly as though something had occurred to her, then went on tripping upward, and disappeared, still bending over and holding her handkerchief to her mouth.

Behind her, when she opened the office door, it had been much darker than in the white corridor. Obviously the brilliant lighting of these lower regions did hot extend so far; Hans Castorp remarked that a shadowed dusk, a profound twilight, prevailed in Dr. Krokowski’s private sanctum.


YOUNG Hans Castorp noticed that the ancestral tremor brought on by his ill-advised walk continued to trouble him—he found it rather an embarrassment when in the dining-room. Almost as a regular thing now, his head would begin shaking at table; he found this impossible to prevent and hard to dissemble. He tried various devices to disguise the weakness, for he could not continually support his chin on his collar; he would keep his head in action, turning it to the right and left in conversation, or bear hard against the table with the left forearm when he carried a spoonful of soup to his mouth, and support his head with his hand. In the pauses he even rested his elbow on the table, this although it was in his own eyes a piece of ill breeding, which would not pass in any society save the lax abnormal one where he now found himself. But the weakness was burdensome too and went far to spoil the meal hours for him, which he had otherwise continued to find diverting and full of interesting episode.

But the truth was—and Hans Castorp was entirely aware of it—that the absurd manifestation against which he struggled was not solely physical in its origin, not wholly to be accounted for by the air up here and the efforts his system made to adjust itself. Rather was it the outward expression of his inner stimulation, and bore directly upon those very episodes and diversions.

Madame Chauchat almost invariably came late to meals. Until she came, Hans Castorp could not sit and keep his feet still, but must wait in suspense for the crashing of the glass door; he knew it would make him start and that his face would feel cold all over, and this was what regularly happened. At first he had jerked round his head infuriated and followed the offender with angry eyes to her seat at the "good" Russian table. He may even have muttered some abusive epithet between his teeth, some outraged cry of protest. But now he only bent over his plate, bit his lips, or deliber-ately turned his head away. It seemed to him that anger was no longer in place; he even had an obscure feeling that he was partly responsible, that he shared the blame with her before the others. In short, it would be no longer so true to say he was ashamed of Frau Chauchat as that he was ashamed for her—a feeling he might well have spared himself, for not a soul in the room troubled either over Frau Chauchat’s misconduct or Hans Castorp’s sensitiveness to it—with the possible exception of the schoolmistress, Fräulein Engelhart, on his right.

This poor creature had perceived that, thanks to his sensibility in the matter of slamming doors, a certain emotional attitude toward the Russian lady was come to subsist in her young neighbour’s mind. Further, that the grounds of the attitude were of little moment compared to the fact of its existence; and, finally, that his assumed indifference—very poorly assumed, for Hans Castorp had neither talent nor training as an actor—did not mean a decrease of interest, but on the contrary indicated that the affair was passing into a higher phase. Fräulein Engelhart was for her own person quite without hopes or pretensions. She therefore launched out into extravagant enthusiasm over Frau Chauchat—about which quite the most extraordinary thing was that Hans Castorp saw perfectly how she was egging him on—not all at once, perhaps, but in the course of time—saw through it and even felt disgusted at it, yet without being the less willingly led on by her and made a fool of.

"Slam—bang!" the old spinster said. "That was she. No need to look up to tell who just came in. Of course, there she goes—like a kitten to a saucer of milk—how pretty it is! I wish we might change places, so you could look at her as much as you liked. Naturally you don’t care to keep turning your head—that would flatter her far too much. She is greeting her table—you really ought to look, it is so refreshing to see her! When she smiles and talks as she is doing now, a dimple comes in one cheek, but not always, only when she likes. What a love of a woman! A spoilt child, that is why she is so heedless. Creatures like that one has to love, whether one will or no; they vex you with their heedlessness, but that is only one reason the more for loving them; it makes you so happy to have to care for them in spite of yourself."
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