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Quisisana, or Rest at Last   By: (1829-1911)

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Transcriber's Note: 1. Page scan source: http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924031341906

2. The diphthong oe is represented by [oe].

Q U I S I S A N A

OR

REST AT LAST

From the German of F. Spielhagen

BY

H. E. GOLDSCHMIDT

ONLY TRANSLATION SANCTIONED BY THE AUTHOR AND BY THE INTERNATIONAL LITERARY ASSOCIATION

NEW YORK: JAMES B. MILLAR & CO., PUBLISHERS. 1885.

TROW'S PRINTING AND BOOKBINDING COMPANY, NEW YORK.

QUISISANA.

I.

"Why have you roused me, Konski?"

"You were lying on your left side again, sir," the servant, who held his master clasped by the shoulder, replied, as he completed the task of restoring him to a sitting posture on the sofa; "and you have been drinking champagne at dinner, more than a bottle, John says, and that surely is ..."

Konski broke off abruptly, and turned again to the travelling boxes, one of which was already unlocked; he commenced to arrange its contents in the chest of drawers, and went on, apparently talking to himself rather than to his master

"I am merely doing what the doctor has insisted upon. Only last night, in Berlin, as I was showing him to the door, he said: 'Konski, when your master is lying on his left side and begins then to moan, rouse him, rouse him at once, be it day or night. I take the responsibility. And, Konski, no champagne; not for the next six weeks, anyhow, and best not at all. And when you have once got into Italy, then plenty of water to be mixed with the wine, Konski, and ...'"

"And now oblige me by holding your tongue."

Bertram had remained sitting on the sofa, his hand pressed to his brow; he now rose rapidly and strode impatiently about the room, casting every now and then an angry glance at his valet. Then he stepped to one of the windows. The sun must be setting now. The high wooded hills yonder still shone forth in sunny splendour, but the terrace gardens sloping towards the valley, and the valley itself, with the village within, lay already in deepest shadow. The picturesque view, the graceful charm of which he was wont to appreciate so heartily, had no charm to day for his dulled brain. Konski was quite right; the champagne which he had to day taken for the first time since his illness, in direct defiance of the doctors injunctions, had not agreed with him. Well, he had taken champagne because his throat had got unbearably dry from much talking, and he had talked so much because the frequent pauses in the dinner conversation were making him nervous. The whole thing had been a positive bore; the genial host, the fair hostess had surely fallen off, changed sadly for the worse during the last three years. Or ... could he possibly have changed himself? Did he really begin to grow old? If you get seriously ill at fifty, you are apt to go downhill with startling rapidity!

This had been the second emphatic memento mori after an interval of twenty years! The first the first had been her work. Aye, and she had kissed him a thousand times, and had vowed deathless fidelity yonder on the mountain slope, where the giant oak still lifted its mighty crown of foliage above the bronze coloured leafy roof of the beeches. Why the deuce did they always give him these rooms? He'd better ask Hildegard this very evening for other rooms at once, before that blockhead Konski had unpacked everything.

"Leave these things alone," he exclaimed, turning round from the window; "I do not intend to remain in these rooms. I do not intend to stay here at all, I think. We shall probably be off to morrow."

Konski, who was already deep in the recesses of box number two, believed he had not heard aright... Continue reading book >>




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