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The Magic Mountain
Der Zauberberg

Thomas Mann


Translated into English by

H. T. Lowe-Porter


This is the Bookwise complete ebook of The Magic Mountain (H. T. Lowe-Porter) by Thomas Mann, available to read online as an alternative to epub, mobi, kindle, pdf or text only versions. For information about the status of this work, see Copyright Notice.

Translator’s Note

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.


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.



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 station 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 greyupholstered 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 stonegrey 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 “DavosDorf.” 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, bareheaded, 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 manœuvres!” 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, balloonshaped 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 wellsharpened 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 turndown 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.


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 confinement, 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 diningroom, 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 cardtable, 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 sleepily. 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 furtrimmed 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 bellshaped 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 surcharged 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 classmates 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 mammoth 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, blueprint 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 thinbloodedness 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 selfpossession, 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 Realgymnasium—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 displacement, 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 atmospheric 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.


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 concluded 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 coalsthey 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 morningwhat 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 kneelength, 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 institution, 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 quicksilver 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—morningmorning—” 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 slatecoloured 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 bareheaded, the women in sweaters, the men mostly without overcoats or even walkingsticks, 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 silvermounted 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, especially 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 afternoon 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.”

“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 twentyeight. 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 hollowsounding, 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 wellturned, 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—cannotbe 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 oldfashioned, 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 something 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.

“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 Mazurka—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 tablemates 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 ConsulGeneral 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 mouthwash. 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 inferior 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 roomnothing 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 disciplineddisturbing 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 fishsauces 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 seeand 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 pneumothorax, 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 halfway 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 leadpencil from Madame Chauchat, who seemed to be there too. She gave him a halflength 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.


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 explicit 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 Cracowthey 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 fatherconfessor, 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 characters? 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, sowhat 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 refined 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 hearingand 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 imprisoning 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 constantly 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 something 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 timeunits, 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 uniformity 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 toothpowder, 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 people 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 diningroom 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.”

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 saltspoon-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 courtyard 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 temperamental 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 cheekbones, 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 heartindeed, 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 doorslamming, 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 frockcoat, 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 lefthand 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 itselfthough 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 deliberately 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.”

She whispered on, behind her hand, for his ear alone; the flush that mantled on her downy old cheek bespoke a rising temperature, and the suggestiveness of her talk pierced Hans Castorp to the very marrow. It did him good to hear someone else confirm his view that Madame Chauchat was an enchanting creature. He was a young man of not very independent judgments, and glad to be encouraged in certain feelings he had, upon which both reason and conscience united to frown.

But Fräulein Engelhart, however much she would have liked to, could tell him practically nothing about Frau Chauchat. She knew no more than the whole sanatorium knew, and his conversations with her bore little practical fruit. She did not even know the lady to speak to, nor could she boast a single common acquaintance. Her only title to importance was that she lived in Königsberg, not very far from the Russian border; also that she knew a few scraps of Russian. These were but meagre distinctions; yet Hans Castorp was prepared to see in them something resembling an extensive personal connexion with Frau Chauchat.

“I see that she wears no ring, no wedding-ring,” he said. “Why is that? She is a married woman, I think you told me?”

The schoolmistress was quite perturbed; she seemed to feel driven into a corner and sought for words to talk herself out again, so very responsible did she feel for Frau Chauchat.

“You must not attach importance to that,” she finally said. “I’m positive she is married. There is no doubt of it. Of course I know some foreigners do use the Madame when they are getting a little on in years, for the sake of the greater respect people pay a married woman. But it is not the case here. Everyone knows she really has a husband, somewhere in Russia. Her maiden name was not French but Russian, something in anow or ukov— I did know it, but I have forgotten. I will ask if you like; there must be several people here who know it. No, she wears no ring, I have noticed it myself. Dear me, perhaps she finds it makes her hand look too broad. Or she thinks it is too bourgeois and domestic to wear a plain gold wedding-ring. She might as well carry a key basket. No, she is built on broader lines than that—Russian women all have something free and large about them. And then, a wedding-ring seems so prosaic, it is almost repellent! It is a symbol of possession; it is always saying ‘Hands off’; it turns every woman into a nun. I should not be at all surprised if that is what Frau Chauchat thinks. A charming woman like her, in the bloom of youth—why should she, every time she gives a man her hand to kiss, tell him straightway that she is bound in wedlock?”

“Good Lord,” thought Hans Castorp, “how she does run on!” He looked into her face, quite alarmed. But she countered his gaze with her embarrassed, half-frightened one. They were both silent awhile and sought to recover themselves. Hans Castorp ate his luncheon and supported his chin.

At length he said: “And her husband? He doesn’t trouble himself about her? Does he never visit her up here? Do you know what he does?”

“Official. Russian government official, in some distant province, Daghestan, you know, out beyond the Caucasus, he was ordered there. No, as I tell you, no one has ever seen him up here. And this time she has been here going on three months.”

“She was here before, then?”

“This is the third time. And between times she goes to other places—other sanatoriums. But it is she who sometimes visits him; not often, once in the year for a little while. One may say they live separated, and she visits him now and again.”

“Well, of course, she is ill—”

“Yes, of course—but not so ill. Not so ill as to have to live all her life in sanatoriums and apart from her husband. There must be other reasons for that. Everyone up here thinks there must be other reasons. Perhaps she does not like to live out there in Daghestan, the other side of the Caucasus; it would not be strange—such a wild, remote place! But there must be something about the man too, if she can’t bear to be with him. He has a French name, but after all he is a Russian official, and that is a very rough type, I do assure you. I once saw one of them, with an iron-grey beard and a red face—they are all frightfully corrupt too, and drink quantities of vodka, you know. They will eat a little something, for the look of the thing, a mushroom mariné, some caviar, and then drink out of all measure and call it a light lunch.”

“You are putting everything off on him,” Hans Castorp said “But we can’t know if the responsibility is not hers, of their not living together. One ought to be just. When I look at her and see the unmannerly way she behaves about the door—I assure you she’s no angel; excuse me for saying so. I wouldn’t trust her across the street. But you are so partial. You are blinded by prejudice in her favour.”

This was the line he sometimes took. With a cunning otherwise foreign to his nature he would make out that the schoolmistress’s ravings over Madame Chauchat were not what he very well knew them to be, but an independent phenomenon, of a quaint and amusing kind; about which he, Hans Castorp, made free to tease the old spinster, feeling his own withers unwrung. He risked nothing by this attitude, being confident that his accomplice would agree to anything he said, no matter how wide of the mark.

“Good-morning,” he greeted her, “I hope you slept well and dreamed of your charmer? Mistress Mary, quite contrary—or whatever her name is! Upon my word, one has only to speak of her to make you blush! You have completely lost your head over her—you can’t deny it.”

And the schoolmistress, who really had blushed and tucked her head down over her cup, would mumble out of the left-hand corner of her mouth: “Shame on you, Herr Castorp! It really is too bad of you to embarrass me like this. Everyone can see we are talking about her and that you have said something to make me get red.”

It was an extraordinary game the two of them were playing; each perfectly aware that they lied and double-lied, each knowing that Hans Castorp teased the schoolmistress only in order to be able to talk about Frau Chauchat. He took a morbid and extravagant pleasure in thus trifling with Fräulein Engelhart, and she on her side reciprocated; first out of a natural instinct to be the go-between in a love-affair, secondly because to oblige Hans Castorp she had actually contrived to fall victim to Frau Chauchat’s charms; and finally because she felt a pathetic joy in having him tease her and make her blush. He well knew, and she well knew, all this about each other and themselves; each knew that the other knew and that the whole situation was equivocal and almost questionable. Equivocal and questionable situations were, in general, repugnant to Hans Castorp’s taste, and the present one was no exception. He felt disgusted, yet for all that he went on fishing in these troubled waters, quieting his conscience with the assurance that he was only up here on a visit and would soon be leaving. He pronounced upon the young woman’s charms with the air of a connoisseur; said she was “sloppy,” that she looked younger and prettier full face than profile; that her eyes were too far apart; that she carried herself in a way that left much to be desired; that her arms, on the other hand, were pretty and soft-looking. He felt his head shaking as he talked; he tried to suppress the trembling, and realized not only that the schoolmistress must see his efforts, but, with profound disgust, that her head was actually shaking too! But he went on—he had purposely called Frau Chauchat Mistress Mary, in order that he might put the question of her name; so now he said: “I suppose her name is not Mary at all; do you know what it is? I mean her given name. You must know it, being as much smitten as you are!”

The schoolmistress reflected. “Wait half a minute,” she said. “I knew it, once. Was it Tatiana? No—nor Natascha. Natascha Chauchat? No, that was not it. Wait, I have it—it was Avdotia. Or at least something very like that. It was not Katienka or Ninotschka, of that I am certain. I can’t quite get it, for the moment. But I can surely recall it if you would like to know.”

And next day she actually did know the name, and uttered it the moment the glass door slammed. Frau Chauchat’s name was Clavdia.

Hans Castorp did not grasp it at first. He had to have her repeat the name, even to spell it, before he understood. Then he pronounced it twice or thrice, turning his bloodshot eyes in Frau Chauchat’s direction, in order, as it were, to try if it suited.

“Clavdia,” he said. “Yes, that is probably it; it fits her quite well.” He could not hide his pleasure in the degree of intimacy thus achieved, and from now on referred always to Frau Chauchat as Clavdia. “Your Clavdia appears to be making bread pills. That’s not very elegant, I should think.”

“It depends on who does it,” the schoolmistress would answer. “Clavdia it becomes.”

Yes, unquestionably the meal-times in the hall with the seven tables had great charm for Hans Castorp. He hated to have one come to an end, and his consolation was that soon, in two or three hours, he would be back again. While he was sitting there, it was as though he had never risen. And for the time in between? It was nothing. A short turn as far as the watercourse or the Platz, a little rest on his balcony: no great burden, no serious interruption. Not as though he had to look forward to some interest or effort, which would not have been so easy to overleap in spirit. Effort was not the rule in the well-regulated Berghof life. Hans Castorp, when he rose from one meal, could straightway by anticipation begin to rejoice in the next—if, indeed, rejoicing is not too facile, too pleasant and unequivocal a word for the sentiments with which he looked forward to another meeting with the afflicted fair one. The reader, on the other hand, may very likely find such adjectives the only ones suitable to describe Hans Castorp’s personality or emotions. But we suggest that a young man with a wellregulated conscience and sense of fitness could not, whatever else he did, simply “rejoice in” Frau Chauchat’s proximity. In fact, we—who must surely know—are willing to assert that he himself would have repudiated any such expression if it had been suggested to him.

It is a small detail, yet worthy of mention, that he was growing to have a contempt for certain ways of expressing himself. He went about with that dry flush on his face and hummed continually under his breath—being in a state of mind when music particularly appeals. He hummed a ditty heard he knew not where—in some evening company or charity concert—sung by some thread of a soprano voice; it turned up now in his memory, a soft nothing, that went:

One word from thy sweet lips
Can strangely thrill me.

He was about to go on:

Within my heart it slips

And raptures fill mebut broke off instead, with a disdainful shrug. “Idiotic!” he said, suddenly finding the tender ditty altogether tasteless, wishy-washy, and sentimental. He put it from him with manly sobriety, almost with regret. It was the sort of thing to satisfy a young man who had “given his heart,” as we say, given it wholly, legitimately, and with quite definite intentions, to some healthy little goose in the flat-land and thus might be justified in abandoning himself to his orthodox and gratifying sensations, with all the consequences they entailed. But for him and for his relations with Madame Chauchat (we are not responsible for the word relations; it was the word Hans Castorp used, not we), such songs had nothing to do with them. “Silly!” he said sententiously, and put his nose in the air. But after pronouncing this aesthetic judgment he lay silent in his deck-chair, not thinking of anything more suitable to sing in its place.

One thing there was which pleased him: when he lay listening to the beating of his heart—his corporeal organ—so plainly audible in the ordered silence of the rest period, throbbing loud and peremptorily, as it had done almost ever since he came, the sound no longer annoyed him. For now he need not feel that it so beat of its own accord, without sense or reason or any reference to his non-corporeal part. He could say, without stretching the truth, that such a connexion now existed, or was easily induced: he was aware that he felt an emotion to correspond with the action of his heart. He needed only to think of Madame Chauchat—and he did think of her—and lo, he felt within himself the emotion proper to the heart-beats.

Mounting Misgivings. Of the Two Grandfathers, and the Boat-ride in the Twilight

THE WEATHER was vile. In this respect Hans Castorp had no luck during the brief term of his visit. It did not snow, but rained all day long, a hateful downpour; thick mist wrapped the valley, while electric storms—an absurd and uncalled-for phenomenon, considering it was so cold that the heat had been turned on—rolled and reverberated disagreeably through the valley.

“Too bad,” Joachim said. “I thought we might take our luncheons and climb up to the Schatzalp, or something like that. But it seems it is not to happen. Let us hope the last week will be better.”

But Hans Castorp answered: “Let be. I am not so anxious to undertake anything for the moment. My first excursion was no great success. I find it does me more good just to take the day as it comes, without too much variation. I leave that sort of thing to people who have been up here for years. What do I want of variety in my three weeks’ time?”

He did, indeed, find his time well taken up, just as he was. Whatever his hopes, they would come to fruition—or else they would not—here on the spot and not on any Schatzalp. Time did not hang heavy on his hands—rather he began to feel the end of his stay approach all too near. The second week was passing; soon two-thirds of his holiday would be gone; the third week would no sooner begin than it would be time to think of packing. The refreshment of his sense of time was long since a thing of the past; the days rushed on—yes, in the mass they rushed on, though at the same time each single day stretched out long and longer to hold the crowded, secret hopes and fears that filled it to overflowing. Ah, time is a riddling thing, and hard it is to expound its essence!

Must we put plainer name to those inward experiences which at once both weighted and gave wings to Hans Castorp’s days? We all know them; their emotional inanity ran true to type. They would have taken no different course even had their origin been such as to make applicable the silly song on which he had pronounced his severe aesthetic judgment.

Impossible that Madame Chauchat should know nothing of the threads that were weaving between her and a certain table. Indeed, Hans Castorp definitely, wilfully purposed that she should know something, or even a good deal. We say wilfully because his eyes were open, he was aware that reason and good sense were against it. But when a man is in Hans Castorp’s state—or the state he was beginning to be inhe longs, above all, to have her of whom he dreams aware that he dreams, let reason and common sense say what they like to the contrary. Thus are we made.

So, after it had happened twice or thrice that Madame Chauchat, impelled by chance or magnetic attraction, had turned and looked in the direction of Hans Castorp’s table and met each time his eyes fixed upon her, she turned the fourth time with intent—and met them again. On the fifth occasion she did not catch him in flagrante; he was not at his post. Yet he straightway felt her eyes upon him, turned, and gazed so ardently that she smiled and looked away. Rapture—and misgivingfilled him at sight of that smile. Did she take him for a child? Very well, she should see. He cast about for means to refine upon the position. On the sixth occasion, when he felt, he divined, an inner voice whispered him, that she was looking, he pretended to be absorbed in disgusted contemplation of a pimply dame who had stopped to talk with the great-aunt. He stuck to his guns for a space of two or three minutes, until he was certain the “Kirghiz” eyes had been withdrawn—a marvellous piece of playacting, which Frau Chauchat not only might, but was expressly intended to see through, to the end that she be impressed with Hans Castorp’s subtlety and self-control. Then came the following episode. Frau Chauchat, between courses, turned carelessly about and surveyed the dining-room. Hans Castorp was on guard; their glances met, she peering at him with a vaguely mocking look on her face, he with a determination that made him clench his teeth. And as they looked, her serviette slipped down from her lap and was about to fall to the floor. She reached after it nervously and he felt the motion in all his limbs, so that he half rose from his chair and was about to spring wildly to her aid across eight yards of space and an intervening table—as though some dire catastrophe must ensue if the serviette were to touch the floor. She possessed herself of it just in time; then, still stooping, holding it by the corner, and frowning in evident vexation at the contretemps, for which she seemed to hold him responsible, she looked back once more and saw him with lifted brows, sitting there poised for a spring! Again she smiled and turned away. Hans Castorp was in the seventh heaven over this occurrence. True, he had to pay for it: for full two days—that is to say, for the space of ten meal-times, Madame Chauchat never looked his way. She even intermitted her habit of pausing on her entrance, to survey the room and, as it were, present herself to it. That was hard to bear; yet, since it undoubtedly happened on his account, it preserved the relation between them, if only on its negative side. That was something.

He saw how right Joachim had been in saying that it was hard to get acquainted here, except with one’s table companions. For one brief hour after the evening meal social relations of a sort did obtain. But they often shrank to twenty minutes’ length; and always Madame Chauchat spent the time, whether longer or shorter, with her own uncle, in the small salon. Her friends were the hollow-chested man, the whimsical girl with the fuzzy hair, the silent Dr. Blumenkohl, and the youth with the drooping shoulders—the “good” Russian table had, it seemed, pre-empted the room for its own use. Furthermore, Joachim was always urging an early withdrawal. He said it was in order to spend full time in the evening cure—but there were perhaps other disciplinary reasons left unspecified, which his cousin surmised and respected. We have reproached Hans Castorp with being “willful”; but certainly, whatever the goal toward which his wishes led, it was not that of social intercourse with Madame Chauchat. He concurred, generally speaking, in the circumstances that militated against it. The relation between him and the young Russian, a tense though tenuous bond, the product of his assiduous glances, was of an extra-social sort. It entailed, and could entail, no obligations. It could subsist, in his mind, along with a degree of distaste for any social approach. It was one thing for our young friend to call “Clavdia” to account for the beatings of his heart; but quite another for him, the grandson of Hans Lorenz Castorp, to be shaken in the smallest degree in the sure inward conviction that this door-slamming, finger-gnawing, bread-pill-making foreigner—who carried herself so badly, who lived apart from her husband, and without a ring on her finger careered from one resort to another—that this foreigner was indubitably not a person for him to cultivate; not, that is, over and above the secret relation we have indicated. A deep gulf divided their two existences; he felt, he knew, that he was not up to defending her in the face of any recognized social authority. Hans Castorp was, for his own person, quite without arrogance; yet a larger arrogance, the pride of caste and tradition, stood written on his brow and in his sleepy-looking eyes, and voiced itself in the conviction of his own superiority, which came over him when he measured Frau Chauchat for what she was. It was this which he neither could, nor wished to, shake off. Strangely enough, he first became vividly conscious of his conviction on a day when he heard Frau Chauchat speaking in his native tongue. She stood in the dining-room after a meal, her hands in the pockets of her sweater, and charmingly struggled to converse in German with another patient, probably a rest-hall acquaintance. Hans Castorp felt an unwonted thrill—never before had he been so proud of his mother-tongue—yet at the same time experienced a temptation to offer up his pride on the altar of quite a different feeling—the rapture which filled him at the sound of her pretty stammerings and manglings of his speech.

In a word, Hans Castorp envisaged in this opening affair between him and the heedless creature who was a member of the Berghof society no more than a holiday adventure. Before the tribunal of reason, conscience, and common sense it could make no claims to be heard; principally, of course, because when all was said and done, Frau Chauchat was an ailing woman, feeble, fevered, and tainted within; her physical condition had much to do with the questionable life she led, as also with Hans Castorp’s instinctive reservations. No, it simply did not occur to him to seek her society; while as for the rest—well, however the thing turned out, it would be over in one way or another inside ten days, when he would enter upon his apprenticeship at Tunder and Wilms’s.

For the moment, however, he had begun to live in and for the emotions roused in him by the pretty patient: the up and down of suspense, fulfilment or disappointment, characteristic of such a state. He came to regard these feelings as the real meaning and content of his stay; his mood depended wholly upon their event. All the circumstances of life up here favoured their development. For the inviolably daily programme brought the two constantly together. True, Frau Chauchat’s chamber was on a different storey from his own, and she performed her cure, so the schoolmistress said, in the general rest-hall on the roof (the same in which Captain Miklosich had lately turned off the light). But there were the five meal-times; and besides them, innumerable occasions in the daily goings and comings when not only might they meet, but it was practically unavoidable they should. And that, Hans Castorp thought, was all to the good. So was the fact that he had little to do between one occasion and the next, except think about them. He found, indeed, something almost breathless about being thus, as it were, immured with opportunity.

Which did not prevent him from employing all manner of devices to improve the position. His charmer came regularly late to meals; he did the same, with intent to waylay her. He dallied over his toilet, was not ready when Joachim knocked, and let his cousin go on before—he would catch up with him. He would wait until the intuition proper to his state warned him of the right moment; then he would hurry down, not by his own stair, but by the one at the end of the corridor, which would take him past a certain door—number seven—in the first storey. Every moment of the way, every step of the stair, offered a chance; any instant the door might open—and in practice it often did. Out she would slip, noiselessly, the door would slam behind her, she would glide to the stairs, she would pass down ahead of him, with her hand up to her braids of hair—or else he would be in front of her, feel her gaze in his back, and experience a thrill as from an ant crawling down it. His bearing, of course, was that of a person unaware of her presence, leading a free and independent existence of his own: he would bury his hands in his pockets, walk with a swagger, cough an entirely unnecessary cough, and strike himself on the chest—anything to manifest his utter unconcern.

On two occasions he refined yet further. Already seated at the table, he felt himself with both hands, and said with a fine show of irritation: “There, I’ve forgotten my handkerchief. That means I must trot back again to fetch it.” And went back, to the end that he and she might meet on the way, since that afforded a keener throb than when she merely walked in front of or behind him. The first time he executed this manœuvre, she measured him with her eyes from a distance, swept him from head to foot, quite bold and unblushing. Then approaching nearer, turned away indifferently and passed him by. So that he got but little out of the démarche. The second time she stared him in the face without flinching, almost forbiddingly, even turning her head as they crossed, to follow him with her look—it went through our poor young friend like a knife. We need not pity him, for was it not all his own doing? But the encounter was gripping at the moment and even more afterwards—for only in retrospect was he clear as to what had actually happened. He had never seen Frau Chauchat’s face so close, so clear in all its details. He could have counted the tiny hairs that stood up from the braid she wore wreathed round her head—they were reddish-blond, with a metallic sheen. No more than a hands-breadth or so of space had been between his face and hers, whose outline and features, peculiar though they were, had been familiar to him as long as he could remember, and spoke to his very soul as nothing else could in all the world. It was an unusual face, and full of character (for only the unusual seems to us to have character); its mystery and strangeness spoke of the unknown north, and it teased the curiosity because its proportions and characteristics were somehow not very easy to determine. Its keynote, probably, was the high, bony structure of the prominent cheek-bones; they seemed to compress the eyes—which were unusually far apart and unusually level with the face—and squeeze them into a slightly oblique position; while at the same time they appeared responsible for the soft concavity of the cheek, and this, in turn, to result in the full curve of the slightly pouting lips. Then there were the eyes themselves: the narrow “Kirghiz” eyes, whose shape was yet to Hans Castorp a simple enchantment and whose colour was the grey-blue or blue-grey of distant mountains; they had the trick of sidewise, unseeing glance, which could sometimes melt them into the very hue of mystery and darkness—these eyes of Clavdia, which had gazed so forbiddingly into his very face, and which so awfully resembled Pribislav Hippe’s in shape, expression, and colour that they fairly frightened him. Resembled was not the word: they were the same eyes. The breadth, too, of the upper part of the face, the flattened nose, everything, even to the flush in the white skin, the healthy colour of the cheek—which in Frau Chauchat’s case, as in so many others, merely counterfeited health and was a superficial effect of the openair cure—everything was precisely Pribislav, and no differently would he have looked at Hans Castorp were they to meet again as of old in the school court-yard. It had been staggering in the extreme. Hans Castorp thrilled at the encounter, yet experienced a mounting uneasiness like that he felt when he realized how narrow was the proximity that enclosed him and the fair Russian. That the long-forgotten Pribislav Hippe should appear to him in the guise of Frau Chauchat and look at him with those “Kirghiz” eyes—this was to be immured, not with opportunity, but with the inevitable, the unescapable, to such an extent as to fill him with conflicting emotions. It was a situation rich in hope, yet heavy with dread—it gave our young friend a feeling of helplessness, and set in motion a vague instinct to cast about, to grope and feel for help or counsel. One after another he mentally summoned up various people, the thought of whom might serve him as some sort of mental support.

There was the good, the upright Joachim, firm as a rock—yet whose eyes in these past months had come to hold such a tragic shadow, and who had never used to shrug his shoulders, as he did so often now. Joachim, with the “Blue Peter” in his pocket, as Frau Stöhr called the receptacle. When Hans Castorp thought of her hard, crabbed face it made him shiver. Yes, there was Joachim—who kept constantly at Hofrat Behrens to let him get away and go down to the longed-for service in the “plain”—the “flat-land,” as the healthy, normal world was called up here, with a faint yet perceptible nuance of contempt. Joachim served the cure single-mindedly, to the end that he might arrive sooner at his goal and save some of the time which “those up here” so wantonly flung away; served it unquestioningly for the sake of speedy recovery—but also, Hans Castorp detected, for the sake of the cure itself, which, after all, was a service, like another; and was not duty duty, wherever performed? Joachim invariably went upstairs after only a quarter-hour in the drawing-rooms; and this military precision of his was a prop to the civilian laxity of his cousin, who would otherwise be likely to loiter unprofitably below, with his eye on the company in the small salon. But Hans Castorp was convinced there was another and private reason why Joachim withdrew so early; he had known it since the time he saw his cousin’s face take on the mottled pallor, and his mouth assume the pathetic twist. He perfectly understood. For Marusja was almost always there in the evening—laughter-loving Marusja, with the little ruby on her charming hand, the handkerchief with the orange scent, and the swelling bosom, tainted within—Hans Castorp comprehended that it was her presence which drove Joachim away, precisely because it so strongly, so fearfully drew him toward her. Was Joachim too “immured”—and even worse off than himself, in that he had five times a day to sit at the same table with Marusja and her orange-scented handkerchief? However that might be, it was clear that Joachim was preoccupied with his own troubles; the thought of him could afford his cousin no mental support. That he took refuge in daily flight was a credit to him; but that he had to flee was anything but reassuring to Hans Castorp, who even began to feel that Joachim’s good example of faithful service of the cure and the initiation which he owed to his cousin’s experience might have also their bad side.

Hans Castorp had not been up here three weeks. But it seemed longer; and the daily routine which Joachim so piously observed had begun to take on, in his eyes, a character of sanctity. When, from the point of view of “those up here,” he considered life as lived down in the flat-land, it seemed somehow queer and unnatural. He had grown skilled in the handling of his rugs and the art of making a proper bundle, a sort of mummy, of himself, when lying on his balcony on cold days. He was almost as skilful as Joachim—and yet, down below, there was no soul who knew aught of such an art or the practice of it! How strange, he thought; yet at the same moment wondered at himself for finding it strange—and there surged up again that uneasy sensation of groping for support.

He thought of Hofrat Behrens and his professional advice, bestowed “sine pecunia,” that he should, while he was up here, order his life like the other patients, even to the taking of his temperature. He thought of Settembrini, and of how he had laughed at that same advice, and quoted something out of The Magic Flute, Did thinking of either of these two afford him any moral support? Hofrat Behrens was a white-haired man, old enough to be Hans Castorp’s father. He was the head of the establishment, the highest authority. And it was of fatherly authority that the young man now felt an uneasy need. But no, it would not do: he could not think with childlike confidingness of the Hofrat. The physician had buried his wife up here, and been brought so low by grief as almost to lose his mind; then he had stopped on, to be near her grave and because he himself was somewhat infected. Was he sound again?

Was he single-mindedly bent on making his patients whole, so they could go back to service in the world below? His cheeks had a purple hue, he looked fevered. That might be only the effect of the air up here; Hans Castorp, without fever, so far as he could judge without a thermometer, felt the same dry heat in his face, day in, day out. Of course, when one heard the Hofrat talk, one might easily conclude he had fever. There was something not quite right about it; it all sounded very jovial and lively, but on the whole forced, particularly when one thought of the purple cheeks and the watery eyes, which seemed to be still weeping for his wife. Hans Castorp recalled what Settembrini had said about the Hofrat’s vices and chronic depression—that might have been malicious; it might have been sheer windiness. But he did not find it sustained or fortified him to think of Hofrat Behrens.

Then there was Settembrini himself, of course—the chronic oppositionist, the windbag, the “homo humanus,” as he styled himself. Hans Castorp thought him well over, with his gift of the gab, his florid harangue on the combination of dullness and disease, and how he, Hans Castorp, had been taken to task for calling it a “dilemma for the human intelligence.” What about him? Would the thought of him be anyway efficacious? Hans Castorp recalled how several times, in the extraordinarily vivid dreams that visited his sleep in this place, he had taken umbrage at the dry and subtle smile curling the Italian’s lip beneath the flowing moustache; how he had railed at him for a hand-organ man, and tried to shove him away because he was a disturbing influence. But that was in his dreams—the waking Hans Castorp was no such matter, but a much less untrammelled person; not disinclined, either, on the whole, to try out the influence upon himself of this novel human type, with its critical animus and acumen, despite the fact that he found the Italian both carping and garrulous. After all, Settembrini had called himself a pedagogue; obviously he was anxious to exercise influence; and Hans Castorp, for his part, fairly yearned to be influenced—though of course, not to an extent which should cause him to pack his trunk and leave before his time, as Settembrini had in all seriousness proposed.

Placet experiri,” he thought to himself, with a smile. So much Latin he had, without calling himself a homo humanus. The upshot was that he kept his eye on Settembrini, listened keenly and critically to what he had to say when they met on their prescribed walks to the bench on the mountain-side, or down to the Platz, or wherever and whenever opportunity offered. Other occasions there were, too: for instance, at the end of a meal Settembrini would rise from table before anyone else and saunter across among the seven tables, in his check trousers, a toothpick between his lips, to where the cousins sat. He did this in defiance of law and custom, standing there in a graceful attitude, with his legs crossed, talking and gesticulating with the toothpick. Or he would draw up a chair and sit down at the corner of the table, between Hans Castorp and the schoolmistress, or between Hans Castorp and Miss Robinson, and look on while they ate their pudding, which he seemed to have forgone.

“May I beg for admission into this charmed circle?” he would say, shaking hands with the cousins, and comprehending the rest of the table in a sweeping bow. “My brewer over there—not to mention the despairing gaze of the breweress!—But, really, this Herr Magnus! Just now he has been delivering a discourse on folk-psychology. Shall I tell you what he said? ‘The Fatherland, it is true, is one enormous barracks. But all the same it’s got a lot of solid capacity, it’s genuine. I wouldn’t change it for the fine manners of the rest of them. What good are fine manners to me if I’m cheated right and left?’ And more of the same kind. I am at the end of my patience. And opposite me I have a poor creature, with churchyard roses blooming in her cheeks, an old maid from Siebenbürgen, who never stops talking about her brother-in-law, a man we none of us either know or wish to know. I could stand it no longer, I shook their dust from my feet, I bolted.”

“You raised your flag and took to your heels,” Frau Stöhr stated.

“Pre-cisely,” shouted Settembrini. “I fled with my flag. Ah, what an apt phrase! I see I have come to the right place; nobody else here knows how to coin phrases like that.—May I be permitted to inquire after the state of your health, Frau Stöhr?”

It was frightful to see Frau Stöhr preen herself.

“Good land!” she said. “It is always the same, you know yourself: two steps forward and three back. When you have been sitting here five months, along comes the old man and tucks on another six. It is like the torment of Tantalus: you shove and shove, and think you are getting to the top—”

“Ah, how delightful of you, to give poor old Tantalus a new job, and let him roll the stone uphill for a change! I call that true benevolence.—But what are these mysterious reports I have been hearing of you, Frau Stöhr? There are tales going about—tales about doubles, astral bodies, and the like. Up to now I have lent them no credencebut this latest story puzzles me, I confess.”

“I know you are poking fun at me.”

“Not for an instant. I beg you to set my mind at rest about this dark side of your life; after that it will be time to jest. Last night, between half past nine and ten, I was taking a little exercise in the garden; I looked up at the row of balconies; there was your light gleaming through the dark; you were performing your cure, led by the dictates of duty and reason. ‘Ah,’ thought I, ‘there lies our charming invalid, obeying the rules of the house, for the sake of an early return to the arms of her waiting husband.’—And now what do I hear? That you were seen at that very hour at the Kurhaus, in the cinematógrafo” (Herr Settembrini gave the word the Italian pronunciation, with the accent on the fourth syllable) “and afterwards in the café, enjoying punch and kisses, and—”

Frau Stöhr wriggled and giggled into her serviette, nudged Joachim and the silent Dr. Blumenkohl in the ribs, winked with coy confidingness, and altogether gave a perfect exhibition of fatuous complacency. She was in the habit of leaving the light burning on her balcony and stealing off to seek distraction in the quarter below. Her husband, meanwhile, in Cannstadt, awaited her return. She was not the only patient who practised this duplicity.

“And,” went on Settembrini, “that you were enjoying those kisses in the company of—whom, do you think? In the company of Captain Miklosich from Bucharest. They say he wears a corset—but that is little to the point. I conjure you, madame, to tell me!

Have you a double? Was it your earthly part which lay there alone on your balcony, while your spirit revelled below, with Captain Miklosich and his kisses?”

Frau Stöhr wreathed and bridled as though she were being tickled.

“One asks oneself, had it not been better the other way about,” Settembrini went on;

“you enjoying the kisses by yourself, and the rest-cure with Captain Miklosich—”

“Tehee!” tittered Frau Stöhr.

“Have the ladies and gentlemen heard the latest?” the Italian went on, without pausing for breath. “Somebody has been flown away with—by the devil. Or, to speak literally, by his mama—a very determined lady, I quite took to her. It was young Schneermann, Anton Schneermann, who sat at Mademoiselle Kleefeld’s table. You see, his place is empty. It will soon be filled up again, I am not worried about thatbut Anton is off, on the wings of the wind, in the twinkling of an eye, rapt away before he knew where he was. Sixteen years old, and had been up here a year and a half, with six months to go. But how did it happen? Who knows? Perhaps somebody dropped a little word to Madame his mother; anyhow, she got wind of his goings-on, in Baccho et ceteris. She appears unannounced on the scene, some three heads taller than I am, white-haired and exceeding wroth; fetches Herr Anton a couple of boxes on the ear, takes him by the collar, and puts him on the train. ‘If he is going to the dogs,’ she says, ‘he can do it just as well down below.’ And off they go.”

“Everybody within ear-shot laughed; Herr Settembrini had such a droll way of telling a story. Despite his contemptuous attitude toward the society of the place, he always knew everything that went on. He knew the name and circumstances of each patient. He knew that such and such a person had been operated on for rib resection; had it on the best authority that from the autumn onward no one with a temperature of more than 101.3° would be admitted into the establishment. He told them how last night the little dog belonging to Madame Capatsoulias from Mitylene stepped on the button of the electric signal on his mistress’s night-table and occasioned much commotion and running hither and yon—particularly because Madame Capatsoulias had been found not alone, but in the society of Assessor Düstmund from Friedrichshagen. Even Dr. Blumenkohl had to laugh at that. Pretty Marusja well-nigh choked in her orange-scented handkerchief, and Frau Stöhr yelled with laughter, holding her breast with both hands.

But to the cousins Ludovico Settembrini talked of himself and his early life; whether on the walks they took together, or during the evening in the salon, or perhaps, in the dining-room itself, after a meal, when most of the patients had left and the three sat together at their end of the table, while the waitresses cleared away and Hans Castorp smoked his Maria Mancini, which in the third week had regained a little of its savour. He was critical of what he heard, and often he felt put off; yet he listened receptively to the Italian’s talk, for it opened to his understanding a world utterly new and strange.

Settembrini spoke of his grandfather, a Milanese lawyer, but even more a patriot; with something of the political agitator, and orator and journalist to boot. He too, like his grandson, had always been in the opposition; though he had been able to perform his rôle upon a larger stage than had Ludovico. The latter remarked with some bitterness that his own activities had been confined to heckling and castigating the follies and frailties of the guests at the International Sanatorium Berghof, and to protesting against them in the name of the free and joyous human spirit. But his grandfather had had his finger in the forming of governments; he had conspired against Austria and the Holy Alliance, which had dismembered his native land and then held it in the heavy bond of servitude; he had been a zealous member of certain secret societies that had spread over Italy—a carbonaro, Settembrini explained, suddenly dropping his voice, as though it might still be dangerous to utter the word. In fact, from his grandson’s narrative, the two hearers got a picture of a dark and tempest-tossed figure, a ringleader, political agitator, and conspirator; despite all their pains, they did not quite succeed in hiding a feeling of mistrust, even repulsion. True, the circumstances had been extraordinary. What they heard had happened long ago, almost a hundred years. It was history; and they were familiar in theory—particularly from ancient history—with the traditional figure of the tyrant-hater and liberator, such as they now heard of—though they had never dreamed of being brought into actual human contact with him, like this! Settembrini’s grandfather, so they were told, united with his conspiratorial zeal a profound love for his native land, which it was his dream to see free and united; indeed, it was out of this very combination, as a natural consequence, that his revolutionary activities flowed—and how strange this mingling of rebellion and patriotism seemed to the cousins, in whose minds an abiding sense of order was on an equal footing with their love of country! But they privately admitted, none the less, that at that time, and in that situation, it might have been conceivably possible that rebellion should go paired with civic virtue, and law-abiding-ness lie down with lazy indifference to the public weal.

But Grandfather Giuseppe had been not only an Italian patriot. He had been fellow citizen and brother-in-arms to any people struggling for its liberties. Thus after the shipwreck of a certain plot hatched in Turin for the overthrow of the military and civil government, a plot in which he had been deeply involved, he had escaped by a hair’s breadth the clutches of Metternich’s hirelings, and spent the time of his exile fighting and bleeding, first in Spain for the cause of constitutionalism, then in Greece for the independence of the Hellenic peoples. It was in Greece that Settembrini’s father had seen the light—which probably accounted for his being a humanist and lover of classical antiquity. His mother had been of German stock; Settembrini had married her in Switzerland and taken her about with him in his further adventurous career. He had been allowed, after ten years of exile, to return to Milan, where he had practised his profession, without for a moment ceasing to labour, with voice and pen, in verse and prose, for the establishment of a united republic, and to draw up subversive programmes characterized by dictatorial ardour, in which were promulgated in the clearest style the unification of the liberated people and the attainment of general felicity. One detail mentioned by the grandson made a profound impression upon Hans Castorp: Grandfather Giuseppe, to the day of his death, wore black—in token, he said, of his mourning for the state of the fatherland, languishing in misery and servitude. Hans Castorp, at this piece of information, thought of his own grandfather, as he had once or twice before during Settembrini’s narrative. He too, for as long as his grandson had known him, wore black clothes. But for how different a reason!

Hans Lorenz Castorp had worn the quaint old fashion to indicate his oneness with a bygone time and his essential lack of sympathy with the present; worn it up to the end of his days, when he had returned in death to his true and adequate presentment—with the starched ruff. Certainly these were two strikingly different kinds of grandfather!

Hans Castorp pondered, his eyes fixed in a stare, cautiously shaking his head in a way that might as well be taken for a sign of admiration for Giuseppe Settembrini as for the opposite. He honourably refrained from judging what he did not understand, but simply made mental note of the contrast and let it go at that. He could see the narrow head of old Hans Lorenz, as it bent musing over the pale gold rim of the christening basin, that symbol of the passing and the abiding, of continuity through change. He had his mouth open; Hans Castorp knew the words great-great-great were about to issue from it, the sombre syllables which always reminded him of places where one walked with bent head and reverent gait. And then he saw Giuseppe Settembrini, with the tricolour on his arm, waving his sabre and breathing a vow to Heaven with dark gaze flung aloft, as he stormed the heights of despotism at the head of a liberty-loving host. Well, he thought, each of them had his fine and splendid side—he made the greater effort to be fair, because he knew himself to be partisan, on personal or partly personal grounds. For Grandfather Settembrini had fought to obtain political rights; whereas the other grandfather—or his ancestors—had originally had all the rights, and the scoundrels had taken them away from him, in the course of the centuries, by violence or pettifoggery. So both grandfathers had worn mourning, the one in the north and the one in the south, and both in the same idea; namely, to put a great gulf between them and the evil present. But whereas the one had assumed it in token of his pious reverence for the past and the dead, to whom he felt himself with his whole being to belong, the other had worn it as a sign of rebellion, in the name of progress, and in a spirit of hostility toward the past. Yes, these were two different worlds. As Herr Settembrini talked, and Hans Castorp stood, as it were, between them and cast his critical eye upon one and upon the other, they called back to his conscious mind a scene from his own past life. He saw himself rowing on a lake in Holstein, one late summer evening; the sun was down, the almost full moon rising above the bushes that bordered the lake. He rowed alone and slowly over the quiet waters, gazing to right and left at a scene fantastic as any dream. In the west it was still broad day, with a fixed and glassy air; but in the east he looked into a moonlit landscape, wreathed in the magic of rising mists and equally convincing to his bewildered sense. The strange combination lasted some brief quarter-hour before the balance finally settled in favour of night and the moon; all that time Hans Castorp’s dazzled eyes went shifting in lively amazement from one scene to the other: from day to night and back again to day. The picture returned to him now.

At the same time the thought crossed his mind that Lawyer Settembrini could scarcely have been much of a jurist, considering his other occupations and the extended sphere of his activities. His grandson asseverated, however, and Hans Castorp found it credible, that the grandfather had been from early childhood down to the last day of his life inspired by the fundamental principle of justice. Our hero, all heavy-headed as he was and organically preoccupied by the six-course Berghof meal he had just eaten, made an effort to understand what Settembrini meant when he called this principle “the source and fount of liberty and progress.” Progress, up to now, had had to do, in Hans Castorp’s mind, with such things as the nineteenthcentury development of cranes and lifting-tackle. He was accordingly gratified to learn that Grandfather Settembrini had not underestimated the importance of such matters. Of course, his own grandfather hadn’t either. The Italian paid a tribute to the native land of his two listeners, for the inventions of gunpowder—whereby the armour of feudalism had been thrown on the scrap-heap—and the printing-press, which had made possible the democratic propagation of ideas, and the propagation of democratic ideas, which were one and the same. For these good gifts he praised Germany; praised her for her past, but awarded his own country the palm, because she had been the first to unfurl the banner of freedom, culture, and enlightenment, at a time when all other lands were wrapped in the darkness of superstition and slavery. Yet in paying due honour, as upon their first meeting, at the bench by the watercourse, to commerce and technology (Hans Castorp’s own field), Settembrini apparently did so not for the sake of these forces themselves, but purely with reference to their significance for the ethical development of mankind. For such a significance, he declared, he joyfully ascribed to them. Technical progress, he said, gradually subjugated nature, by developing roads and telegraphs, minimizing climatic differences; and by the means of communication which it created proved itself the most reliable agent in the task of drawing together the peoples of the earth, of making them acquainted with each other, of building bridges to compromise, of destroying prejudice; of, actually, bringing about the universal brotherhood of man. Humanity had sprung from the depths of fear, darkness, and hatred; but it was emerging, it was moving onward and upward, toward a goal of fellow-feeling and enlightenment, of goodness and joyousness; and upon this path, he said, the industrial arts were the vehicle conducive to the greatest progress. But all this made a confused impression on Hans Castorp. Herr Settembrini seemed to bring together in a single breath categories which in the young man’s mind had heretofore been as the poles asunder—for example, technology and morals! Positively, he made the statement that Christ had been the first to proclaim the principle of equality and union, that the printing-press had propagated the doctrine, and that finally the French Revolution had elevated it into a law! All which our poor young friend found very muddling, he scarce knew whythough the feeling was definite enough in all conscience, and though Herr Settembrini had couched his thought in the clearest and roundest of periods. Once, the Italian went on, once only in his life, and that in his early manhood, had his grandfather known what it was to feel profound joy. That was at the time of the Paris July Revolution. He had gone about proclaiming to all and sundry that some day men would place those three days alongside the six days of creation, and reverence them alike. Hans Castorp felt utterly dumbfounded—involuntarily he slapped the table with his hand. To compare those three summer days of the year 1830 when the Parisians had taken unto themselves a new constitution, to the six in which God had divided the land from the water and created the lights in the firmament of heaven, as well as flowers, trees, birds, and fishes, and all other living things—that seemed to him to be going too far. He talked it over later with Cousin Joachim, and gave clear expression to his opinion that it really was pretty thick, that he, Hans Castorp, for his part, found it positively offensive.

But still open-minded—at least in the sense that he enjoyed the experiment he was making—he restrained the objections which his sense of fitness would have raised against the Settembrinian scheme of things. Restrained them on the theory that what seemed sedition to him might to another seem dauntless courage; and what he called bad taste might have been, in that far-off time and circumstance, but a display of the noble excesses of a high-hearted nature—for instance, when Grandfather Settembrini called the barricades “the people’s throne,” and talked about “dedicating the burgher’s pike on the altar of humanity.”

Hans Castorp knew—without putting it into so many words—why he lent an ear to Herr Settembrini. Partly it was out of a sense of duty; though also out of that holiday mood of taking everything as it came, rejecting nothing, in the knowledge that in another day or so he would spread his wings and fly back to the wonted order of things. Yes, he knew it was largely the promptings of conscience to which he hearkened; to be precise, the promptings of a conscience not altogether easy—as he sat listening to the Italian, one leg crossed over the other, drawing at his Maria Mancini; or when the three of them climbed the hill from the English quarter. Two principles, according to the Settembrinian cosmogony, were in perpetual conflict for possession of the world: force and justice, tyranny and freedom, superstition and knowledge; the law of permanence and the law of change, of ceaseless fermentation issuing in progress. One might call the first the Asiatic, the second the European principle; for Europe was the theatre of rebellion, the sphere of intellectual discrimination and transforming activity, whereas the East embodied the conception of quiesence and immobility. There was no doubt as to which of the two would finally triumph: it would be the power of enlightenment, the power that made for rational advance and development. For human progress snatched up ever more peoples with it on its brilliant course; it conquered more and more territory in Europe itself and was already pressing Asia-wards. Much still remained to be done, sublime exertions were still demanded from those spirits who had received the light. Then only the day would come when thrones would crash and outworn religions crumble, in those remaining countries of Europe which had not already enjoyed the blessings of eighteenth-century enlightenment, nor yet of an upheaval like 1789. But the day would come, Settembrini said, with his suave smile; it would come, he repeated, if not on the wings of doves, then on the pinions of eagles; and dawn would break over Europe, the dawn of universal brotherhood, in the name of justice, science, and human reason. It would bring in its train a new Holy Alliance, the alliance of the democratic peoples of Europe, in opposition to that other Holy Alliance, the thrice-infamous organ of princes and cabinets, which Grandfather Giuseppe had personally regarded as his deadly foe; in a word, it would bring in its train the republic of the world. But before that could happen, the Asiatic principle must be met and crushed in its very stronghold and vital centre; that was to say, in Vienna. Austria must be crushed, crushed and dismembered, first to take vengeance for the past, and second to lead in the new law of justice with truth on earth.

Hans Castorp did not care for this last drift in Herr Settembrini’s sonorous flow of words. He mistrusted it; it sounded too much like a personal or national animus. As for Joachim Ziemssen, whenever the Italian fell into this vein, he scowled and turned away his head, or sought to create a diversion by saying it was time for the rest-cure. Neither did Hans Castorp feel obliged to listen when the conversation took these devious paths; they clearly fell outside the limits within which his conscience prompted him to profit by Herr Settembrini’s words. Yet conscience still urged him to continue in the effort; so clearly that often, as opportunity arose, he would even invite the Italian to discourse on the subject of his ideas.

Those ideas, ideals, and efforts of the aspiring will were, Settembrini said, traditional in his family. He inherited them. Grandfather, son, and grandson, each in his turn, had dedicated to them their entire lives and all their spiritual energy. The father in his own way had done so no less than Grandfather Giuseppe. True, he had not been a political agitator or active combatant in the cause of freedom, but a quiet and sensitive scholar, a humanist sitting at his writing-desk. But what, after all, was humanism if not love of human kind, and by that token also political activity, rebellion against all that tended to defile or degrade our conception of humanity? He had been accused of exaggerating the importance of form. But he who cherished beauty of form did so because it enhanced human dignity; whereas the Middle Ages, in striking contrast, had been sunk not only in superstitious hostility to the human spirit, but also in a shameful formlessness. From the very beginning he had defended the right of the human being to his earthly interests, to liberty of thought and joy in life, and insisted that we could safely leave heaven to take care of itself. Humanismhad not Prometheus been the earliest humanist, and was he not identical with the Satan hymned by Carducci? Ah, if the cousins had only heard that arch-enemy of the Church, at Bologna, pouring the vials of his sarcasm upon the Christian sentimentalism of the Romanticismo! Upon Manzoni’s Inni Sacri! Upon the shadowsand-moonlight poetry of the romantic movement, which he had compared to “Luna, Heaven’s pallid nun”! Per Bacco, this was a joy to listen to! And they ought to have heard Carducci interpret Dante, celebrating him as the citizen of a great city-state, who had spoken out against asceticism and the negation of life, and on the side of the world-transforming and reforming deed! It was not the sickly and mystagogic figure of Beatrice which the poet had celebrated under the name of “donna gentil e pietosa”; rather it had been his wife, who represented in the poem the principle of worldly knowledge and practical workaday life.

Thus Hans Castorp came to hear something about Dante, and certainly from the lips of authority. He was not too much inclined to believe implicitly all Settembrini said; he considered him too much of a windbag for that. Still it was an interesting conception, this of Dante as the wide-awake citizen of a great metropolis. And now Settembrini went on to speak of himself, and to explain how the tendencies of his immediate forbears, the political from his grandfather, the humanistic from his father, had united in his own person to produce the writer and independent man of letters. For literature was after all nothing else than the combination of humanism and politics; a conjunction the more immediate in that humanism itself was politics and politics humanism. Hans Castorp did his best at this point to listen and comprehend, in the hope of finally learning wherein had consisted the crass ignorance of Magnus the brewer, and finding out what else literature actually was, above and beyond “beautiful characters.” Settembrini asked his audience whether they had ever heard of Brunetto, Brunetto Latini, a Florentine notary, who about the year 1250 had written a book on the subject of the virtues and the vices. He it was who had sharpened the wits of the Florentines, taught them the art of language, and how to guide their state according to the rules of politics.

“There you have it, gentlemen, there you have it!” Settembrini cried with ardour, and enlarged upon the cult of the “word,” the art of eloquence, which he called the triumph of the human genius. For the word was the glory of mankind, it alone imparted dignity to life. Not only was humanism bound up with the word, and with literature, but so also was humanity itself, man’s ancient dignity and manly selfrespect (“You heard, didn’t you,” Hans Castorp said later to his cousin, “you heard him say that literature is a question of beautiful words? I spotted it directly”), from which it followed that politics too is bound up with the word. Or, rather, it followed directly from the union, the unity that subsisted between humanity and literature, for the beautiful word begets the beautiful deed.

“Two hundred years ago,” Settembrini said, “you had a poet in your country, a magnificent old chatterbox who set great store in good handwriting because he thought it must induce a good style. He should have gone a step further and said that a good style would lead to good deeds,” Settembrini added. For writing well was almost the same as thinking well, and thinking well was the next thing to acting well. All moral discipline, all moral perfection derived from the soul of literature, from the soul of human dignity, which was the moving spirit of both humanity and politics. Yes, they were all one, one and the same force, one and the same idea, and all of them could be comprehended in one single word. This word? Ah, it was already familiar to their ears; yet he would wager the cousins had never before rightly grasped its meaning and its majesty: the word was—civilization! And as Settembrini brought it out, he flung his small, yellow-skinned right hand in the air, as though proposing a toast.

Well, all that young Hans Castorp found worth listening to; not precisely overwhelming, of a value largely experimental, but still worth listening to. He said as much to Joachim Ziemssen later; but Joachim had his thermometer in his mouth and could not reply to his cousin; nor had he afterwards leisure, when, on taking it out, he read the figure and entered it in his note-book. But Hans Castorp good-naturedly took cognizance of Settembrini’s point of view and tested by it his own inner experiences; from which self-examination it principally appeared that the waking man has an advantage over the sleeping and dreaming one. For whereas the sleeping Hans Castorp had more than once upbraided the organ-grinder to his face and done his utmost to drive him away because he felt him a disturbing influence, the waking one lent him an attentive ear and made an honest effort to minimize the opposition which his mentor’s ideas and conceptions persistently aroused in him. For it cannot be denied that there was such opposition; some of it such as he must always have felt from the very beginning, the rest arising from the particular situation and his partly vicarious, partly secret and personal experiences among “those up here.”

What a creature is man, how widely his conscience betrays him! How easy it is for him to think he hears, even in the voice of duty, a licence to passion! Hans Castorp listened to Herr Settembrini out of a sense of duty and fairness, in the idea of hearing both sides; with the best of intentions he tested the latter’s views on the subject of the republic, reason and the bello stile. He was entirely receptive. And all the while he was finding it more and more permissible to give his thoughts and dreams free rein in another and quite opposite direction. Indeed, to give expression to all that we suspect or divine, we think it not unlikely that Hans Castorp hearkened to Herr Settembrini’s discourse in order to get from his own conscience an indulgence which otherwise might not have been forthcoming. But what—or who—was it that drew down the other side of the scales, when weighed over against patriotism, belles-lettres, and the dignity of man? It was—Clavdia Chauchat, “Kirghiz”-eyed, “relaxed,” and tainted within; when he thought of her (though thinking is far too tame a word to characterize the impulse that turned all his being in her direction), it was as though he were sitting again in his boat on the lake in Holstein, looking with dazzled eyes from the glassy daylight of the western shore to the mist and moonbeams that wrapped the eastern heavens.

The Thermometer

HANS CASTORP’S week here ran from Tuesday to Tuesday, for on a Tuesday he had arrived. Two or three days before, he had gone down to the office and paid his second weekly bill, a modest account of a round one hundred and sixty francs, modest and cheap enough, even without taking into consideration the nature of some of the advantages of a stay up here—advantages priceless in themselves, though for that very reason they could not be included in the bill—and even without counting extras like the fortnightly concert and Dr. Krokowski’s lectures, which might conceivably have been included. The sum of one hundred and sixty francs represented simply and solely the actual hospitality extended by the Berghof to Hans Castorp: his comfortable lodgment and his five stupendous meals.

“It isn’t much, it is rather cheap than otherwise,” remarked the guest to the old inhabitant. “You cannot complain of being overcharged up here. You need a round six hundred and fifty francs a month for board and lodging, treatment included. Let us assume that you spend another thirty francs for tips, if you are decent and like to have friendly faces about you. That makes six hundred and eighty. Good. Of course I know there are fixed fees and other sorts of small expenses: toilet articles, tobacco, drives, and excursions, now and then a bill for shoes or clothing. Very good. But all that won’t bring it up to a thousand francs, say what you like. Not eight hundred even. That isn’t ten thousand francs a year. Certainly not more. That is what it costs you.”

“Mental arithmetic very fair,” Joachim said. “I never knew you were such a shot at doing sums in your head. And how broad-minded of you to calculate it by the year like that! You’ve learned something since you’ve been up here. But your figure is too high. I don’t smoke, and I certainly don’t expect to buy any suits while I am here, thank you.”

“Then it would be lower still,” Hans Castorp answered, rather confused. Why, indeed, he should have included tobacco and a new wardrobe in his calculation of Joachim’s expenses is a puzzle. But for the rest, his brilliant display of arithmetic had simply been so much dust thrown in his cousin’s eyes; for here, as elsewhere, his mental processes were rather slow than fast, and the truth is that a previous calculation with pencil and paper underlay his present facility. One night on his balcony (for he even took the evening cure out of doors now, like the rest) a sudden thought had struck him and he had got out of his comfortable chair to fetch pencil and paper. As the result of some simple figuring, he concluded that his cousin—or, speaking generally, a patient at the Berghof—would need twelve thousand francs a year to cover the sum total of his expenses. Thus he amused himself by establishing the fact that he, Hans Castorp, could amply afford to live up here, if he chose, being a man of eighteen or nineteen thousand francs yearly income.

He had, as we have said, paid his second weekly bill three days before, and accordingly found himself in the middle of the third and last week of his appointed stay. The coming Sunday, as he remarked to himself and to his cousin, would see the performance of another of the fortnightly concerts, and the Monday another lecture by Dr. Krokowski; then, on Tuesday or Wednesday, he would be off, and Joachim would be left up here alone—poor Joachim, for whom Rhadamanthus would prescribe God knew how many more months! Already there came a shade over his gentle black eyes whenever Hans Castorp’s swiftly approaching departure was spoken of. Where, in Heaven’s name, had the holiday gone? It had rushed past, it had flown—and left one wondering how. For, after all, three weeks, twenty-one days, is a considerable stretch of time, too long, at least, for one to see the end at the beginning. And now, on a sudden, there remained of it no more than a miserable three or four days, nothing worth mentioning. They would, it was true, comprehend the lecture and the concert, those two recurrent variations in the weekly programme, and, thus weighted, might move a little more slowly. But on the other hand, they would be taken up with packing and leave-taking. Three weeks up here was as good as nothing at all; they had all told him so in the beginning. The smallest unit of time was the month, Settembrini had said; and as Hans Castorp’s stay was less than that, it amounted to nothing; it was a “week-end visit,” as Hofrat Behrens put it. Had the swift flight of time up here anything to do with the uniformly accelerated rate of organic combustion? At any rate, here was a consoling thought for Joachim during his five remaining months—in case he really got off with five. But Hans Castorp felt that during these three weeks they ought to have paid more attention, to have kept better watch, as Joachim did in his daily measurings, during which the seven minutes seemed like a quite considerable stretch of time. Hans Castorp grieved for his cousin, reading in his eyes his pain at the approaching parting. He felt the strongest possible sympathy at the thought of the poor chap’s having to stop on up here when he himself was down in the flat-land, helping bring the nations together through the development of commerce and communications. His own regret was at times so lively as to burn in his breast and cause him to doubt whether he would have the heart, when the time came, to leave Joachim alone; and this vicarious suffering was probably the reason why he himself referred less and less to his impending departure. It was Joachim who came back to it; for Hans Castorp, moved by native tact and delicacy, seemed to wish to forget it up to the last moment.

“At least.” Joachim said more than once in these days, “let us hope it has done you good to be up here, and that you will feel the benefit when you are at home again.”

“I’ll remember you to everybody,” Hans Castorp responded, “and say you are coming back in five months at the outside. Done me good? If it has done me good to be up here? I should like to think so; some improvement must surely have taken place, even in this short time. I have received a great many new impressions, new in every sense of the word; very stimulating, but a good deal of strain too, physically and mentally. I have not at all the feeling of having really got acclimatized—which would certainly be the first necessary step toward improvement. Maria, thank goodness, is her old self; for several days now, I have been able to get the aroma. But my handkerchief still becomes red from time to time when I use it—and this damned heat in my face, and these idiotic palpitations, I shall apparently have them up to the last minute. No, it seems I can’t talk about being acclimatized—how could I, either, in so short a time? It would take longer than this to overcome the change of atmosphere and adjust oneself perfectly to the unusual conditions, so that a real recovery could begin and I should commence to put on flesh. It is too bad. It was certainly a mistake not to have given myself more time—for of course I could have had it. I have the feeling that once I am at home again I shall need to sleep three weeks on end to get rested from the rest I’ve had! That shows you how tired I sometimes feel. And now, to cap the climax, I get this catarrh—”

It looked, in fact, as though Hans Castorp would return home in possession of a first-class cold. He had caught it, probably, in the rest-cure, and, again probably, in the evening rest-cure—which for almost a week now he had been taking in the balcony, despite the long spell of cold, wet weather. He was aware that weather of this kind was not recognized as bad; such a conception hardly existed up here, where the most inclement conceivable went unheeded and had no terrors for anyone. With the easy adaptability of youth, which suits itself to any environment, Hans Castorp had begun to imitate this indifference. It might rain in bucketfuls, but the air was not supposed to be the more damp for that—nor was it, in all probability, for the dry heat in the face persisted, as though after drinking wine, or sitting in an overheated room. And however cold it got, the radiators were never heated unless it snowed, so it was of no avail to take refuge in one’s chamber, since it was quite as comfortable on the balcony, when one lay in one’s excellent chair, wrapped in a paletot and two good camel’s-hair rugs put on according to the ritual. As comfortable? It was incomparably more so. It was, in Hans Castorp’s reasoned judgment, a state of life which more appealed to him than any in all his previous experience, so far as he could remember. He did not propose to be shaken in this view for any carbonaro or quill-driver in existence, no matter how many malicious and equivocal jokes he made on the subject of the “horizontal.” Especially he liked it in the evening, when with his little lamp on the stand beside him and his long-lost and now restored Maria alight between his lips he enjoyed the ineffable excellencies of his reclining-chair. True, his nose felt frozen, and the hands that held his book—he was still reading Ocean Steamships— were red and cramped from the cold. He looked through the arch of his loggia over the darkening valley, jewelled with clustered or scattering lights, and listened to the music that drifted up nearly every evening for almost an hour. There was a concert below, and he could hear, pleasantly subdued by the distance, familiar operatic selections, snatches from Carmen, Il Trovatore, Freischütz; or well-built, facile waltzes, marches so spirited that he could not help keeping time with his head, and gay mazurkas. Mazurka? No, Marusja was her name, Marusja of the little ruby. And in the next loggia, behind the thick wall of milky glass, lay Joachim, with whom Hans Castorp exchanged a word now and then, low-toned, out of consideration for the other horizontallers. Joachim was as well off in his loggia as Hans Castorp in his, though, being entirely unmusical, he could not take the same pleasure in the concerts. Too bad! He was probably studying his Russian primer instead. But Hans Castorp let Ocean Steam- ships fall on the coverlet and gave himself up to the music; he contemplated with such inward gratification the translucent depth of a musical invention full of individuality and charm that he thought with nothing but hostility of Settembrini and the irritating things he had said about music—that it was politically suspect was the worst, and little better than the remark of Grandfather Giuseppe about the July Revolution and the six days of creation.

Joachim, though he could not partake of Hans Castorp’s pleasure in the music, nor the pungent gratification purveyed by Maria, lay as snugly ensconced as his cousin. The day was at an end. For the time everything was at an end; there would be no more emotional alarums, no more strain on the heart-muscles. But equally there was the assurance that to-morrow it would begin all over again, all the favouring probabilities afforded by propinquity and the household regimen. And this pleasing combination of snugness and confident hope, together with the music and the restored charms of Maria, made the evening cure a state almost amounting to beatification for young Hans Castorp.

All which had not prevented the guest and novice from catching a magnificent cold, either in the evening rest-cure or elsewhere. He felt the onset of catarrh, with oppression in the frontal sinus, and inflamed uvula; he could not breathe easily through the passage provided by nature; the air struck cold and painfully as it struggled through, and caused constant coughing. His voice took on overnight the tonal quality of a hollow bass the worse for strong drink. According to him, he had not closed an eye, his parched throat making him start up every five minutes from his pillow.

“Very vexatious,” Joachim said, “and most unfortunate. Colds, you know, are not the thing at all, up here; they are not reçus. The authorities don’t admit their existence; the official attitude is that the dryness of the air entirely prevents them. If you were a patient, you would certainly fall foul of Behrens, if you went to him and said you had a cold. But it is a little different with a guest,—you have a right to have a cold if you want to. It would be good if we could check the catarrh. There are things to do, down below, but here—I doubt if anyone would take enough interest in it. It is not advisable to fall ill up here; you aren’t taken any notice of. It’s an old story—but you are coming to hear it at the end. When I was new up here, there was a lady who complained of her ear for a whole week and told everybody how she suffered. Behrens finally looked at it. ‘Make yourself quite easy, madame,’ he said; ‘it is not tubercular.’ That was an end of the matter! Well, we must see what can be done. I will speak to the bathing-master early to-morrow morning, when he comes to my room. Then it will go through the regular channels, and perhaps something will come of it.”

Thus Joachim and the regular channels proved reliable. On Friday, after Hans Castorp returned from the morning round, there was a knock at his door, and he was vouchsafed the pleasure of personal acquaintance with Fräulein von Mylendonk—

Frau Director, as she was called. Up to now he had seen this over-occupied person only from a distance, crossing the corridor from one patient’s room to another, or when she had popped up for a moment in the dining-room and he had been aware of her raucous voice. But now he himself was the object of her visit. His catarrh had fetched her. She knocked a short, bony knock, entered almost before he had said come in, and then, upon the threshold, bent round to make sure of the number of the room.

“Thirty-four,” she croaked briskly. “Right. Well, young ’un, on me dit, que vous avez pris froid. Wy, kaschetsja, prostudilisj, Lei è raffreddato, I hear you have caught a cold. What language do you speak? Oh, I see, you are young Ziemssen’s guest. I am due in the operating-room. Somebody there to be chloroformed, and he has just been eating bean salad. I have to have my eyes everywhere. Well, young ’un, so you have a cold?”

Hans Castorp was taken aback by this mode of address, in the mouth of a dame of ancient lineage. In her rapid speech she slurred over her words, all the time restlessly moving her head about with a circular action, the nose sniffingly in the air—the motion of a caged beast of prey. Her freckled right hand, loosely closed with the thumb uppermost, she held in front of her and waved it to and fro on the wrist, as though to say: “Come, make haste, don’t attend to what I say, but say what you have to and let me be off!” She was in the forties, of stunted growth, without form or comeliness, clad in a belted pinaforish garment of clinical white, with a garnet cross on her breast. Sparse, reddish hair showed beneath the white coif of her profession; her eyes were a waterly blue, with inflamed lids, and one of them, as a finishing touch, had a stye in a well-advanced stage of development in the corner. Their glance was unsteady and flickering. Her nose was turned up, her mouth like a frog’s, and furnished to boot with a wry and protruding lower lip, which she used like a shovel to get her words out. Hans Castorp looked at her, and all the modest and confiding friendliness native to him spoke in his eyes.

“What sort of cold is it, eh?” repeated the Directress. She seemed to try to concentrate her gaze and make it penetrate; but it slipped aside. “We don’t care for such colds. Are you subject to them? Your cousin has been too, hasn’t he? How old are you? Twenty-four? Yes, it’s the age. And so you come up here and get a cold?

There ought not to be any talk about colds up here; that sort of twaddle belongs down below.” It was fearsome to see how she shovelled out this word with her lower lip.

“You have a beautiful bronchial catarrh, that is plain”—again she made that curious effort to pierce him with her gaze, and again she could not hold it steady. “But catarrhs are not caused by cold; they come from an infection, which one takes from being in a receptive state. So the question is, are we dealing with a harmless infection or with something more serious? Everything else is twaddle. It is possible that your receptivity inclines to the harmless kind,” she went on, and looked at him with her over-ripe stye, he knew not how. “Here, I will give you a simple antiseptic—it may do you good,” and she took a small packet out of the leather bag that hung from her girdle. It was formamint. “But you look flushed—as though you had fever.” She never stopped trying to fix him with her gaze, and always the eyes glided off to one side.

“Have you measured?”

He answered in the negative.

“Why not?” she asked, and her protruding lower lip hung in the air after she spoke. He made no answer. The poor youth was still young; he had never got over his schoolboy shyness. He sat, so to speak, on his bench, did not know the answer and took refuge in dumbness.

“Perhaps you never do take your temperature?”

“Oh, yes, Frau Director, when I have fever.”

“My dear child, one takes it in the first instance to see whether one has fever. According to you, you have none now?”

“I can’t tell, Frau Director. I cannot really tell the difference. Ever since I came up here, I have been a little hot and shivery.”

“Aha! And where is your thermometer?”

“I haven’t one with me, Frau Director. Why should I, I am not ill; I am only up here on a visit.”

“Rubbish! Did you send for me because you weren’t ill?”

“No,” he laughed politely, “it was because I caught a little—”

“Cold. We’ve often seen such colds. Here, young ’un,” she said, and rummaged again in her bag. She brought out two longish leather cases, one red and one black, and put them on the table. “This one is three francs fifty, the other five. The five-franc one is better, of course. It will last you a lifetime if you take care of it.”

Smiling he took up the red case and opened it. The glass instrument lay like a jewel within, fitted neatly into its red velvet groove. The degrees were marked by red strokes, the tenths by black ones; the figures were in red and the tapering end was full of glittering quicksilver. The column stood below blood-heat.

Hans Castorp knew what was due to himself and his upbringing. “I will take this one,” he said, not even looking at the other. “The one at five francs. May I—”

“Then that’s settled,” croaked the Directress. “I see you don’t niggle over important purchases. No hurry, it will come on the bill. Give him to me. We’ll drive him right down”—She took the thermometer out of his hand and plunged it several times through the air, until the mercury stood below 95°. “He’ll soon climb up again!” she said. “Here is your new acquisition. You know how we do it up here? Straight under the tongue, seven minutes, four times a day, and shut the lips well over it. Well, young ’un, I must get on. Good luck!” And she was out at the door.

Hans Castorp bowed her out, then stood by the table, staring from the door through which she had disappeared to the instrument she had left behind. “So that,” he thought, “was Directress von Mylendonk. Settembrini doesn’t care for her, and certainly she has her unpleasant side. The stye isn’t pretty—but of course she does not have it all the time. But why does she call me ‘young ’un,’ like that? Rather rude and familiar, seems to me. So she has sold me a thermometer—I suppose she always has one or two in her pocket. They are to be had everywhere here, Joachim said, even in shops where you would least expect it. But I didn’t need to take the trouble to buy it; it just fell into my lap.” He took the article out of its case, looked at it, and walked restlessly up and down the room. His heart beat strong and rapidly. He looked toward the open balcony door, and considered seeking counsel of Joachim, but thought better of it and paused again by the table. He cleared his throat by way of testing his voice; then he coughed.

“Yes,” he said. “I must see if I have the fever that goes with the cold.” Quickly he put the thermometer in his mouth, the mercury beneath the tongue, so that the instrument stuck slantingly upwards from his lips. He closed them firmly, that no air might get in. Then he looked at his wrist-watch. It was six minutes after the half-hour. And he began to wait for the seven minutes to pass.

“Not a second too long,” he thought, “and not one too short. They can depend on me, in both directions. They needn’t give me a ‘silent sister,’ like that Ottilie Kneifer Settembrini told us of.” He walked about, pressing down the thermometer with his tongue.

The time crept on; the term seemed unending. When he looked at his watch, two and a half minutes had passed—and he had feared the seven minutes were already more than up. He did a thousand things: picked up objects about the room and set them down again, walked out on the balcony—taking care that his cousin should not notice his presence—and looked at the landscape of this high valley, now so familiar to him in all its phases; with its horns, its crests and walls, with the projecting wing of the “Brembühl,” the ridge of which sloped steeply down to the valley, its flanks covered with rugged undergrowth, with its formations on the right side of the valley, whose names were no less familiar than the others, and the Alteinwand, which from this point appeared to close in the valley on the south. He looked down on the garden beds and paths, the grotto and the silver fir; he listened to the murmur that rose from the rest-hall; and he returned to his room, settling the thermometer under his tongue. Then, with a motion of the arm which drew away the sleeve from his wrist, he brought the forearm before his eyes and found that by dint of pushing and shoving, pulling and hauling, he had managed to get rid of full six minutes. The last one he spent standing in the middle of the room—but then, unfortunately, he let his thoughts wander and fell into a “doze,” so that the sixty seconds flew by on the wings of the wind; and, when he looked again, the eighth minute was already past its first quarter.

“It doesn’t really matter, so far as the result is concerned,” he thought, and tearing the instrument out of his mouth, he stared at it in confusion.

He was not immediately the wiser. The gleam of the quicksilver fell with the reflection of the glass case where the light struck it, and he could not tell whether the mercury had ascended the whole length of the column, or whether it was not there at all. He brought the instrument close to his eyes, turned it hither and thither—all to no purpose. But at last a lucky turn gave him a clearer view; he hastily arrested his hand and brought his intelligence to bear. Mercurius, in fact, had climbed up again, just as the Frau Directress said. The column was perceptibly lengthened; it stood several of the black strokes above normal. Hans Castorp had 99.6°.

Ninety-nine and six tenths degrees in broad daylight, between ten and half past in the morning. That was too much; it was “temperature.” It was fever consequent on an infection, for which his system had been eager. The question was now, what kind of infection? 99.6°—why, Joachim had no more, nor anyone else up here, except the moribund and bedridden. Not Fräulein Kleefeld with her pneumothorax, nor—nor Madame Chauchat. Naturally, in his case it was not the same kind, certainly not; he had what would have been called at home a feverish cold. But the distinction was not such a simple one to make. Hans Castorp doubted whether the fever had only come on when the cold did, and he regretted not having consulted a thermometer at the outset, when the Hofrat suggested it. He could see now that this had been very reasonable advice; Settembrini had been wrong to sneer at it as he had—Settembrini, with his republic and his bello stile. Hans Castorp loathed and contemned the republic and the bello stile as he stood there consulting his thermometer; he kept on losing the mark and turning the instrument this way and that to find it again. Yes, it registered 99.6°and this in the early part of the day!

He was thoroughly upset. He walked the length of the room twice or thrice, the thermometer held horizontally in his hand, so as not to jiggle it and make it read differently. Then he carefully deposited it on the wash-hand-stand, and went with his overcoat and rugs into the balcony. Sitting down, he threw the covers about him, with practised hand, first from one side, then from the other, and lay still, waiting until it should be time for Joachim to fetch him for second breakfast. Now and then he smiled—it was precisely as though he smiled at somebody. And now and then his breast heaved as he caught his breath and was seized with his bronchial cough. Joachim found him still lying when he entered at eleven o’clock at sound of the gong for second breakfast.

“Well?” he asked in surprise, coming up to his cousin’s chair.

Hans Castorp sat awhile without answering, looking in front of him. Then he said:

“Well, the latest is that I have some fever.”

“What do you mean?” Joachim asked. “Do you feel feverish?”

Again Hans Castorp let him wait a little for the answer, then delivered himself airily as follows: “Feverish, my dear fellow, I have felt for a long time—all the time I have been up here, in fact. But at the moment it is not a matter of subjective emotion, but of fact. I have taken my temperature.”

“You’ve taken your temperature? What with?” Joachim cried, startled.

“With a thermometer, naturally,” answered Hans Castorp, not without a caustic tinge to his voice. “Frau Director sold me one. Why she should call me young ’un I can’t imagine. It is distinctly not comme il faut. But she lost no time in selling me an excellent thermometer; if you would like to convince yourself, you can; it is there on the wash-hand-stand. It is only slight fever.”

Joachim turned on his heel and went into the bedroom. When he came back, he said hesitatingly: “Yes, it is 99.5½°.”

“Then it has gone down a little,” his cousin responded hastily. “It was six.”

“But you can’t call that slight fever,” Joachim said. “Certainly not for the forenoon. This is a pretty how-d’ye-do!” And he stood by his cousin’s side as one stands before a how-d’ye-do, arms akimbo and head dropped. “You’ll have to go to bed.”

Hans Castorp had his answer ready. “I can’t see,” he remarked, “why I should go to bed with a temperature of 99.6° when the rest of you, who haven’t any less, can run about as you like.”

“But that is different,” Joachim said. “Your fever is acute and harmless, the result of a cold.”

“In the first place,” said Hans Castorp, speaking with dignity and dividing his remarks into categories, “I cannot comprehend why, with a harmless fever—assuming for the moment, that there is such a thing—one must keep one’s bed, while with one that is not harmless you needn’t. And secondly, I tell you the fever has not made me hotter than I was before. My position is that 99.6° is 99.6°. If you can run about with it, so can I.”

“But I had to lie for four weeks when I first came,” objected Joachim, “and they only let me get up when it was clear that the fever persisted even after I had lain in bed.”

Hans Castorp smiled. “Well, and—?” he asked. “I thought it was different with you. It seems to me you are contradicting yourself; first you say our cases are different; then you say they are alike. That seems sheer twaddle to me.”

Joachim made a right-about turn. When he turned round again, his sun-tanned visage showed an even darker shade.

“No,” he said, “I am not saying they are alike; you’re getting muddled. I only mean that you’ve a very nasty cold. I can hear it in your voice, and you ought to go to bed, to cut it short, if you mean to go home next week. But if you don’t want to—I mean go to bed—why, don’t. I am not prescribing for you. Anyhow, let’s go to breakfast. Make haste, we are late already.”

“Right-oh!” said Hans Castorp, and flung off his covers. He went into his room to run the brush over his hair, and Joachim looked again at the thermometer on the washhand-stand. Hans Castorp watched him. They went down, silently, and took their places in the dining-room, which, as always at this hour, shimmered white with milk. The dwarf waitress brought Hans Castorp his Kulmbacher beer, as usual, but he put on a long face and waved it away. He would drink no beer to-day; he would drink nothing at all, or at most a swallow of water. The attention of his table-mates was attracted: they wanted to know the cause of his caprice. Hans Castorp said carelessly that he had a little fever—really minimal: 99.6°.

Then how altogether ludicrous it was to see them! They shook their fingers at him, they winked maliciously, they put their heads on one side, crooked their forefingers beside their ears and waggled them in a pantomime suggestive of their delight at having found him out, who had played the innocent so long.

“Aha,” said the schoolmistress, the flush mounting in her ancient cheek, “what sort of scandal is this?”

And “Aha, aha!” went Frau Stöhr too, holding her stumpy finger next her stumpy nose. “So our respected guest has some temperament too! Foxy-loxy is in the same boat with the rest of us after all!”

Even the great-aunt, when the news travelled up to her end of the table, gave him a meaningful glance and smile; pretty Marusja, who had barely looked at him up to now, leaned over and stared, with her round brown eyes, her handkerchief to her lips—and shook her finger too. Frau Stöhr whispered the news to Dr. Blumenkohl, who could hardly do otherwise than join in the game, though without looking at Hans Castorp. Only Miss Robinson sat as she always did and took no share in what was going on. Joachim kept his eyes on the table-cloth.

It flattered Hans Castorp’s vanity to be taken so much notice of; but he felt that modesty required him to disclaim their attentions. “No, no,” he said. “You are all mistaken, my fever is the most harmless thing in the world; I simply have a cold, my eyes run, and my chest is stopped up. I have coughed half the night; it is thoroughly unpleasant of course.”—But they would not listen; they laughed and flapped their hands at him.

“Yes, of course, we know all about it—we know these colds; they are all gammon—you can’t fool us!” and with one accord they challenged Hans Castorp to an examination on the spot. The news excited them. Throughout the meal their table was the liveliest among the seven. Frau Stöhr became almost hysterical. Her peevish face looked scarlet above her neck-ruche, and tiny purple veins showed in the cheeks. She began to talk about how fascinating it was to cough. It was a solid satisfaction, when you felt a tickling come in your chest, deep down, and grow and grow, to reach down after it, and get at it, so to say. Sneezing was much the same thing. You kept on wanting to sneeze until you simply couldn’t stand it any longer; you looked as if you were tipsy; you drew a couple of breaths; then out it came, and you forgot everything else in the bliss of the sensation. Sometimes the explosion repeated itself two or three times. That was the sort of pleasure life gave you free of charge. Another one was the joy of scratching your chilblains in the spring, when they itched so gorgeously; you took a furious pleasure in scratching till the blood came; and if you happened to look in the glass you would be astonished to see the ghastly face you made.

The coarse creature regaled the table with these repulsive details throughout the brief but hearty meal. When it was over, the cousins walked down to the Platz; Joachim seemed preoccupied; Hans Castorp was in an agony of snuffles and cleared his rasping throat continually.

On the way home Joachim said: “I’ll make you a suggestion. To-morrow, after midday meal, I have my regular monthly examination. It is not the general; Behrens just auscultates a little and has Krokowski make some notes. You might come along and ask them to listen to you a bit. It is too absurd—if you were at home, you would send for Heidekind, and up here, with two specialists in the house, you run about and don’t know where you are, nor how serious it is, and if it would not be better for you to go to bed.”

“Very good,” said Hans Castorp. “It’s as you say, of course. I can do that. And it will be interesting to see an examination.”

Thus it was settled between them, and it fell out that as they arrived before the sanatorium, they met the Hofrat himself, and took the occasion to put their request at once.

Behrens came out of the vestibule, tall and stooped, a bowler hat on the back of his head, a cigar in his mouth; purple-cheeked, watery-eyed, in the full flow of his professional activities. He had just come from the operating-room, so he said, and was on his way to private practice in the village.

“Morning, gentlemen, morning,” he said. “Always on the jump, eh? How’s everything in the big world? I’ve just come from an unequal duel with saw and scalpel—great thing, you know, resection of ribs. Fifty per cent of the cases used to be left on the table. Nowadays we have it down finer than that; but even so it’s a good plan to get the mortis causa fixed up beforehand. The chap to-day knew how to take the joke—put up a good fight for a minute or so.—Crazy thing, a human thorax that’s all gone; pulpy, you know, nothing to catch hold of—slight confusion of ideas, so to speak. Well, well—and how are your constitutionalities? Sanctified metabolisms functioning O.K., doing their duty in the sight of the Lord? The walks go better in company, Ziemssen, old fellow, what? Hello, what are you crying about, Mr.

Tripper?” He suddenly turned on Hans Castorp. “It’s against the rules to cry in public—they might all start!”

“It’s only my cold, Herr Hofrat,“ answered Hans Castorp. “I don’t know how I did it, but I’ve a simply priceless catarrh. It’s right down on my chest, and I cough a good deal too.”

“Indeed!” Behrens remarked. “You ought to consult a reliable physician.”

Both cousins laughed, and Joachim answered, heels together: “We were just going to, Herr Hofrat. I have my examination to-morrow, and we wanted to ask if you would be so kind as to look my cousin over as well. The question is whether he will be well enough to travel on Tuesday.”

“A. Y. S.,” said Behrens. “At your service. With all the pleasure in life. Ought to have done it long ago. Once you are up here, why not? But one doesn’t like to seem forth-putting. Very good then, to-morrow at two—directly after grub.”

“I have a little fever too.” Hans Castorp further observed.

“You don’t say!” Behrens cried out. “I suppose you think you are telling me news?

Do you think I’ve no eyes in my head?” He pointed with his great index finger to his goggling, bloodshot, watery eyes. “Well, and how much?”

Hans Castorp modestly mentioned the figure.

“Forenoon, eh? H’m, that’s not so bad. Not bad at all, for a beginner—shows talent. Very good then, the two of you, tomorrow at two. Very much honoured. Well, so long—enjoy yourselves!” He paddled away downhill, his knees bent, leaving a long streamer of cigar smoke behind him.

“Well, that came out just as you wanted it to,” Hans Castorp said. “We couldn’t have struck it luckier, and now I am in for it. He won’t be able to do much, of course—he may prescribe some sort of pectoral syrup or some cough lozenges. However, it is good to have a little encouragement when you feel the way I do. But for heaven’s sake what makes him rattle on so? It struck me as funny at first, but in the long run I can’t say I like it. ‘Sanctified metabolism’—what sort of gibberish is that?

If I understand what he means by metabolism, it is nothing but physiology, and to talk about its being sanctified—irreverent, I call it. I don’t enjoy seeing him smoke, either; it distresses me, because I know it is not good for him and gives him melancholia. Settembrini said his joviality is forced, and one must admit that Settembrini has his own views and knows whereof he speaks. I probably ought to have more opinions of my own, as he says, and not take everything as it comes, the way I do. But sometimes one starts out with having an opinion and feeling righteous indignation and all that, and then something comes up that has nothing to do with judgments and criticism, and then it is all up with your severity, and you feel disgusted with the republic and the bello stile—”

He rambled on incoherently, not clear himself as to what he wanted to say. His cousin merely gave him a side glance, then turned away with an au revoir, and each betook him to his own balcony.

“How much?” asked Joachim softly, after a while—as though he had seen Hans Castorp consult his thermometer.

And the latter answered indifferently: “Nothing new.”

He had in fact, directly he entered, taken up his new acquisition from the washhand-stand and plunged it repeatedly through the air, to obliterate the morning’s record. Then he went into the balcony with the glass cigar in his mouth, like an old hand. But contrary to some rather exaggerated expectations, Mercurius climbed no further than before—though Hans Castorp kept the instrument under his tongue eight minutes for good measure. But after all, 99.6° was unquestionably fever, even though no higher than the earlier record. In the afternoon the gleaming column mounted up as far as 99.7°, but declined to 99.5° by evening, when the patient was weary with the excitement of the day. Next morning it showed 99.6°, climbing during the morning to the same level as before. And so arrived the hour for the main meal of the day, bringing the examination in its wake.

Hans Castorp later recalled that Madame Chauchat was wearing that day a goldenyellow sweater, with large buttons and embroidered pockets. It was a new sweater, at least new to Hans Castorp, and when she made her entrance, tardily as usual, she had paused an instant and, in the way he knew so well, presented herself to the room. Then she had glided to her place at the table, slipped softly into it, and begun to eat and chatter to her table-mates. All this was as it happened every day, five times a day; Hans Castorp observed it as usual, or perhaps even more poignantly than usual, looking over at the “good” Russian table past Settembrini’s back, as he sat at the crosswise table between. He saw the turn of her head in conversation, the rounded neck, the stooping back. Frau Chauchat, for her part, never once turned round during the whole meal. But when the sweet had been handed, and the great clock on the wall above the “bad” Russian table struck two, it actually happened, to Hans Castorp’s amazement and mystification, that precisely as the hour struck, one, two, the fair patient turned her head and a little twisted her body and looked over her shoulder quite openly and pointedly at Hans Castorp’s table. And not only at his table. No, she looked at himself, unmistakably and personally, with a smile about the closed lips and the narrow, Pribislav eyes, as though to say: “Well, it is time: are you going?” And the eyes said thou, for that is the language of the eyes, even when the tongue uses a more formal address. This episode shook and bewildered Hans Castorp to the depths of his being. He hardly trusted his senses, and at first gazed enraptured in Frau Chauchat’s face, then, lifting his eyes, stared into vacancy over the top of her head. Was it possible she knew he was to be examined at two o’clock? It looked like it; but that was as impossible as that she should be aware of the thought that had visited his mind in the last minute; namely, that he might as well send word to the Hofrat, through Joachim, that his cold was better, and he considered an examination superfluous. This idea had presented itself to him in an advantageous light, but now withered away under that searching smile, transmuted into a hideous sense of futility. The second after, Joachim had laid his rolled-up serviette beside his plate, signalled to his cousin by raising his eyebrows, and with a bow to the company risen from the table. Whereat Hans Castorp, inwardly reeling, though outwardly firm in step and bearing, rose too, and feeling that look and smile upon his back, followed Cousin Joachim out of the room.

Since the previous morning they had not spoken of what lay before them, and silently now they moved down the corridor together. Joachim hastened his steps, for it was already past the appointed hour, and Hofrat Behrens laid stress on punctuality. They passed the door of the office and went down the clean linoleum-covered stairs to the “basement.” Joachim knocked at the door facing them; it bore a porcelain shield with the word Consulting-room.

“Come in,” called Behrens, stressing the first word. He was standing in the middle of the room, in his white smock, holding the black stethoscope in his hand and tapping his thigh with it.

Tempo, tempo,” said he, directing his goggling gaze to the clock on the wall. “Un poco piu presto, signori! We are not here simply and solely for the honourable gentlemen’s convenience.”

Dr. Krokowski was sitting at the double-barrelled writing-table by the window. He wore his usual black alpaca shirt, setting off the pallor of his face; his elbows rested on the table, in one hand a pen, the other fingering his beard; while before him lay various papers, probably the documents in reference to the patients to be examined. He looked at the cousins as they entered, but it was with the idle glance of a person who is present only in an auxiliary capacity.

“Well, give us your report card,” the Hofrat answered to Joachim’s apologies, and took the fever chart out of his hand. He looked it over, while the patient made haste to lay off his upper garments down to the waist and hang them on the rack by the door. No one troubled about Hans Castorp. He looked on awhile standing, then let himself down in a little old-fashioned easy-chair with bob-tassels on the arms, beside a small table with a carafe on it. Bookcases lined the walls, full of pamphlets and broadbacked medical works. Other furniture there was none, except an adjustable chaiselongue covered with oilcloth. It had a paper serviette spread over the pillow.

“Point 7, point 9, point 8,” Behrens said running through the weekly card, whereon were entered the results of Joachim’s five daily “measurings.” “Still a little too much lighted up, my dear Ziemssen. Can’t exactly say you’ve got more robust just lately”by the lately he meant during the past four weeks.—“Not free from infection,” he said. “Well, that doesn’t happen between one day and the next; we’re not magicians.”

Joachim nodded and shrugged his bare shoulders. He refrained from saying that he had been up here since a good deal longer than yesterday.

“How about the stitches in the right hilum, where it always sounded so sharp?

Better? eh? Well, come along, let me thump you about a bit.” And the auscultation began.

The Hofrat stood leaning backwards, feet wide apart, his stethoscope under his arm, and tapped from the wrist, using the powerful middle finger of his right hand as a hammer, and the left as a support. He tapped first high up on Joachim’s shoulderblade at the side of the back, above and below—the well-trained Joachim lifting his arm to let himself be tapped under the arm-pit. Then the process was repeated on the left side; then the Hofrat commanded: “Turn!” and began tapping the chest; first next the collar-bone, then above and below the breast, right and left. When he had tapped to his satisfaction, he began to listen, setting his stethoscope on Joachim’s chest and back, and putting his ear to the ear-piece. Then Joachim had to breathe deeply and cough—which seemed to strain him, for he got out of breath, and tears came in his eyes. And everything that the Hofrat heard he announced in curt, technical phrases to his assistant over at the writing-table, in such a way that Hans Castorp was forcibly reminded of the proceedings at the tailor’s when a very correctly groomed gentleman measures you for a suit, laying the tape about your trunk and limbs and calling off the figures in the order hallowed by tradition for the assistant to take them down in his book. “Faint,” “diminished,” dictated Hofrat Behrens. “Vesicular,” and then again “vesicular” (that was good, apparently). “Rough,” he said, and made a face. “Very rough.” “Rhonchi.” And Dr. Krokowski entered it all in his book, just like the tailor’s assistant.

Hans Castorp followed the proceedings with his head on one side, absorbed in contemplation of his cousin’s torso. The ribs—thank Heaven, he had them all!—rose under the taut skin as he took deep inhalations, and the stomach fell away. Hans Castorp studied that youthful figure, slender, yellowish-bronze, with a black fell along the breastbone and the powerful arms. On one wrist Joachim wore a gold chainbracelet. “Those are the arms of an athlete,” thought Hans Castorp. “I never made much of gymnastics, but he always liked them, and that is partly the reason why he wanted to be a soldier. He has always been more inclined than I to the things of the body—or inclined in a different way. I’ve always been a civilian and cared more about warm baths and good eating and drinking, whereas he has gone in for manly exertion. And now his body has come into the foreground in another sense and made itself important and independent of the rest of him—namely, through illness. He is all ‘lit up’ within and can’t get rid of the infection and become healthy, poor Joachim, no matter how much he wants to get down to the valley and be a soldier. And yet look how he is developed, like a picture in a book, a regular Apollo Belvedere, except for the hair. But the disease makes him ailing within and fevered without; disease makes men more physical, it leaves them nothing but body”—his own thought startled him, and he looked quickly at Joachim with a questioning glance, that travelled from the bared body up to the large, gentle black eyes. Tears stood out in them, from the effort of the forced breathing and coughing and they gazed into space with a pathetic expression as the examination went on.

But at last Hofrat Behrens had come to an end. “Very good, Ziemssen,” he said.

“Everything in order, so far as possible. Next time” (that would be in four weeks) “it is bound to show further improvement.”

“And Herr Hofrat, how much longer do you think—”

“So you are going to pester me again? How do you expect to give your lads the devil down below, in the lit-up state you are in? I told you the other day to call it half a year; you can reckon from then if you like, but you must regard it as minimal. Have a little ordinary politeness! It’s a decent enough life up here, after all; it’s not a convict prison, nor a Siberian penal settlement! Or perhaps you think it is? Very good, Ziemssen, be off with you! Next! Step lively!” He stretched out his arm and handed the stethoscope to Dr. Krokowski, who got up and began some supernumerary tapping on Joachim’s person.

Hans Castorp had sprung up. With his eyes fixed on the Hofrat, standing there with his legs apart and his mouth open, lost in thought, the young man began in all haste to make ready, with the result that he defeated his own purpose and fumbled in getting out of his shirt. But finally he stood there, blond, white-skinned, and narrow-chested, before Hofrat Behrens. Compared with Joachim, he looked distinctly the civilian type. The Hofrat, still lost in thought, let him stand. Dr. Krokowski had finished and sat down, and Joachim was dressing before Behrens finally decided to take notice.

“Oh-ho!” he said, “so that’s you, is it?” He gripped Hans Castorp on the upper arm with his mighty hand, pushed him away, and looked at him sharply—not in the face, as one man looks at another, but at his body; turned him round, as one would turn an inanimate object, and looked at his back. “H’m,” he said. “Well, we shall see.” And began tapping as before.

He tapped all over, as he had with Joachim, and several times went back and tapped again. For some while, for purposes of comparison, he tapped by turns on the lefthand side near the collar-bone, and then somewhat lower down.

“Hear that?” he asked Dr. Krokowski. And the other, sitting at the table five paces off, nodded to signify that he did. He sunk his head on his chest with a serious mien, and the points of his whiskers stuck out.

“Breathe deep! Cough!” commanded the Hofrat, who had taken up the stethoscope again; and Hans Castorp worked hard for eight or ten minutes, while the Hofrat listened. He uttered no word, simply set the instrument here or there and listened with particular care at the places he had tapped so long. Then he stuck the stethoscope under his arm, put his hands on his back, and looked at the floor between himself and Hans Castorp.

“Yes, Castorp,” he said—this was the first time he had called the young man simply by his last name—“the thing works out præter propter as I thought it would. I had my suspicions—I can tell you now—from the first day I had the undeserved honour of making your acquaintance; I made a pretty shrewd guess that you were one of us and that you would find it out, like many another who has come up here on a lark and gone about with his nose in the air, only to discover, one fine day, that it would be as well for him—and not only as well, mark that—to make a more extended stay, quite without reference to the beauties of the scenery.”

Hans Castorp had flushed; Joachim, in act to button his braces, paused as he stood, and listened.

“You have such a kind, sympathetic cousin over there,” went on the Hofrat, motioning with his head in Joachim’s direction and balancing himself on his heels.

“Very soon, we hope, we will be able to say that he has been ill; but even when he gets that far, it will still be true that he has been ill—and the fact— a priori, as the philosophers say—casts a certain light upon yourself, my dear Castorp.

“But he is only my step-cousin, Herr Hofrat.”

“Tut! You won’t disown him, will you? Even a step-cousin is a blood relation. On which side?”

“The mother’s, Herr Hofrat. He is the son of a step—”

“And your mother—she’s pretty jolly?”

“No, she is dead. She died when I was little.”

“And of what?”

“Of a blood-clot, Herr Hofrat.”

“A blood-clot, eh? Well, that’s a long time ago. And your father?”

“He died of pneumonia,” Hans Castorp said; “and my grandfather too,” he added.

“Both of them, eh? Good. So much for your ancestors. Now about yourself—you have always been rather chlorotic, haven’t you? But you didn’t tire easily at physical or mental work. Or did you—what? A good deal of palpitation? Only of late? Good. And a strong inclination to catarrhal and bronchial trouble?—Did you know you have been infected before now?”


“Yes, you—I have you personally in mind. Can you hear any difference?” The Hofrat tapped by turns on Hans Castorp’s left side, first above and then lower down.

“It sounds rather duller there,” said Hans Castorp.

“Capital. You ought to be a specialist. Well, that is a dullness, and such dullnesses are caused by the old places, where fibrosis has supervened. Scars, you know. You are an old patient, Castorp, but we won’t lay it up against anybody that you weren’t found out. The early diagnosis is very difficult—particularly for my colleagues down below; I won’t say we have better ears—though the regular practice does do something. But the air helps us, helps us hear, if you understand what I mean, this thin, dry air up here.”

“Certainly, of course,” Hans Castorp said.

“Very good, Castorp. And now listen, young man, to my words of wisdom. If that were all the trouble with you, if it was a case of nothing but the dullness and the scars on your bagpipe in there, I should send you back to your lares and penates and not trouble my head further about you. But as things stand, and according to what we find, and since you are already up here—well, there is no use in your going down, for you’d only have to come up again.”

Hans Castorp felt the blood rush back to his heart; it hammered violently; and Joachim still stood with his hands on his back buttons, his eyes on the floor.

“For besides the dullness,” said the Hofrat, “you have on the upper left side a rough breathing that is almost bronchial and undoubtedly comes from a fresh place. I won’t call it a focus of softening, but it is certainly a moist spot, and if you go down below and begin to carry on, why, you’ll have the whole lobe at the devil before you can say Jack Robinson.”

Hans Castorp stood motionless. His mouth twitched fearfully, and the hammering of his heart against his ribs was plain to see. He looked across at Joachim, but could not meet his cousin’s eye; then again in the Hofrat’s face, with its blue cheeks, blue, goggling eyes, and little, crooked moustache.

“For independent confirmation,” Behrens continued, “we have your temperature of 99.6° at ten o’clock in the morning, which corresponds pretty well to the indications given by the auscultation.”

“I thought,” Hans Castorp said, “that the fever came from my cold.”

“And the cold,” rejoined the Hofrat, “where does that come from? Listen, Castorp, let me tell you something, and mark my words—for so far as I can tell, you’ve all the cerebral convolutions a body needs. Now: our air up here is good for the disease—I mean good against the disease, you understand—you think so, don’t you? Well, it is true. But also it is good for the disease; it begins by speeding it up, in that it revolutionizes the whole body; it brings the latent weakness to the surface and makes it break out. Your catarrh, fortunately for you, is a breaking-out of that kind. I can’t tell if you were febrile down below; but it is certainly my opinion that you have been from your first day up here, and not merely since you had your catarrh.”

“Yes,” Hans Castorp said, “I think so too.”

“You were probably fuddled right from the start, in my opinion,” the Hofrat confirmed him. “Those were the soluble toxins thrown off by the bacteria; they act like an intoxicant upon the central nervous system and give you a hectic flush. Now, Castorp, we’ll stick you into bed and see if a couple of weeks’ rest will sober you up. What follows will follow. We’ll take a handsome x-ray of you—you’ll enjoy seeing what goes on in your own inside. But I tell you straightaway, a case like yours doesn’t get well from one day to the next: it isn’t a question of the miracle cures you read about in advertisements. I thought when I first clapped eyes on you that you would be a better patient than your cousin, with more talent for illness than our brigadiergeneral here, who wants to clear out directly he has a couple of points less fever. As if ‘lie down’ isn’t just as good a word of command as ‘stand up’! It is the citizen’s first duty to be calm, and impatience never did any good to anyone. Now, Castorp, watch out you don’t disappoint me and give the lie to my knowledge of human nature! Get along now, into the caboose with you—march!”

With that Hofrat Behrens closed the interview and sat down at the writing-table; this man of many occupations began to fill in his time with writing until the advent of the next patient. But Dr. Krokowski arose from his place and strode up to Hans Castorp. With his head tipped back sideways, and one hand on the young man’s shoulder, smiling so heartily that the yellowish teeth showed in his beard, he shook him warmly by the hand.



AND now we are confronted by a phenomenon upon which the author himself may well comment, lest the reader do so in his stead. Our account of the first three weeks of Hans Castorp’s stay with “those up here”—twenty-one midsummer days, to which his visit, so far as human eye could see, should have been confined—has consumed in the telling an amount of time and space only too well confirming the author’s halfconfessed expectations; while our narrative of his next three weeks will scarcely cost as many lines, or even words and minutes, as the earlier three did pages, quires, hours, and working-days. We apprehend that these next three weeks will be over and done with in the twinkling of an eye.

Which is perhaps surprising; yet quite in order, and conformable to the laws that govern the telling of stories and the listening to them. For it is in accordance with these laws that time seems to us just as long, or just as short, that it expands or contracts precisely in the way, and to the extent, that it did for young Hans Castorp, our hero, whom our narrative now finds visited with such an unexpected blow from the hand of fate. It may even be well at this point to prepare the reader for still other surprises, still other phenomena, bearing on the mysterious element of time, which will confront us if we continue in our hero’s company.

For the moment we need only recall the swift flight of time—even of a quite considerable period of time—which we spend in bed when we are ill. All the days are nothing but the same day repeating itself—or rather, since it is always the same day, it is incorrect to speak of repetition; a continuous present, an identity, an everlastingness—such words as these would better convey the idea. They bring you your midday broth, as they brought it yesterday and will bring it to-morrow; and it comes over you—but whence or how you do not know, it makes you quite giddy to see the broth coming in—that you are losing a sense of the demarcation of time, that its units are running together, disappearing; and what is being revealed to you as the true content of time is merely a dimensionless present in which they eternally bring you the broth. But in such a connexion it would be paradoxical to speak of time as passing slowly; and paradox, with reference to such a hero, we would avoid. Hans Castorp, then, went to bed on the Saturday afternoon, as it had been ordained by Hofrat Behrens, the highest authority in our little world. There he lay, in his nightshirt with the embroidered monogram on the pocket, his hands clasped at the back of his head, in his cleanly white bed, the death-bed of the American woman and in all probability of many another person; lay there with his confiding blue eyes, somewhat glassy with his cold, directed toward the ceiling, and contemplated the singularity of his fate. This is not to say that, if he had not had a cold, his gaze would have been any clearer or more single-minded. No, just as it was, it accurately mirrored his inner state, and that, whatever its simplicity, was full of troubled, involved, dubious, not quite ingenuous thoughts. For as he lay, he would be shaken from deep within him by a frantic burst of triumphant laughter, while his heart stood still with an anguish of extravagant anticipation like nothing he had ever known before; again, he would feel such a shudder of apprehension as sent the colour from his cheek, and then it was conscience itself that knocked, in the very throbs of his heart as it pulsed against his ribs.

On that first day Joachim left him to his rest, avoiding all discussion. He went two or three times tactfully into the sickroom, nodded to the patient, and inquired if he could do anything. It was easy for him to understand and respect Hans Castorp’s reserve—the more in that he shared it, even feeling his own position to be more difficult than the other’s.

But on Sunday forenoon, when he came back from the walk which for the first time in weeks had been solitary, there was no putting it off any longer; they must take counsel together over the necessary next step.

He sat down by the bed and said, with a sigh: “Yes, it’s no good; we must act—they are expecting you down home.”

“Not yet,” Hans Castorp answered.

“No, but inside the next few days, Wednesday or Thursday.”

“Oh, they aren’t expecting me so precisely on a particular day,” Hans Castorp said.

“They have other things to do besides counting the days until I get back. I’ll be there when I get there and Uncle Tienappel will say: ‘Oh, there you are again,’ and Uncle James: ‘Well, had a good time?’ And if I don’t arrive, it will be some time before they notice it, you may be sure of that. Of course, after a while we’d have to let them know.”

“You can see how unpleasant the thing is for me,” Joachim said, sighing again.

“What is to happen now? I feel in a way responsible. You come up here to pay me a visit, I take you in, and here you are, and who knows when you can get away and go into your position down below? You must see how extremely painful that is to me.”

“Just a moment,” said Hans Castorp, without removing his hands from their clasped position behind his neck. “Surely it is unreasonable for you to break your head over it. Did I come up here to visit you? Well, of course in a way I did; but after all, the principal reason was to get the rest Heidekind prescribed. Well, and now it appears I need more of a rest than he or any of us dreamed. I am not the first who thought of making a flying visit up here for whom it fell out differently. Remember about Tousles-deux’s second son, and how it turned out with him—I don’t know whether he is still alive or not; perhaps they have fetched him away already, while we were sitting at our meal. That I am somewhat infected is naturally a great surprise to me; I must get used to the idea of being a patient and one of you, instead of just a guest. And yet in a way I am scarcely surprised, for I never have been in such blooming health, and when I think how young both my parents were when they died, I realize that it was natural I shouldn’t be particularly robust! We can’t deny that you had a weakness that way; we make no bones of it, even if it is as good as cured now, and it may easily be that it runs a little in the family, as Behrens suggested. Anyhow, I have been lying here since yesterday thinking it all over, considering what my attitude has been, how I felt toward the whole thing, to life, you know, and the demands it makes on you. A certain seriousness, a sort of disinclination to rough and noisy ways, has always been a part of my nature; we were talking about that lately, and I said I sometimes should have liked to be a clergyman, because I took such an interest in mournful and edifying things—a black pall, you know, with a silver cross on it, or R. I. P.— requiescat in pace, you know. That seems to me the most beautiful expression—I like it much better than ‘He’s a jolly good fellow,’ which is simply rowdy. I think all that comes from the fact that I have a weakness myself, and always felt at home with illness—the way I do now. But things being as they are, I find it very lucky that I came here, and that I was examined. Certainly you have no call to reproach yourself. You heard what he said: if I were to go down and continue as I have been, I should have the whole lobe at the devil before I could say Jack Robinson.”

“You can’t tell,” Joachim said. “That is just what you never can tell. They said you had already had places, of which nobody took any notice and they healed of themselves, and left nothing but a few trifling dullnesses. It might have been the same way with the moist spot you are supposed to have now, if you hadn’t come up here at all. One can never know.”

“No, as far as knowing goes, we never can. But just for that reason, we have no right to assume the worst—for instance with regard to how long I shall be obliged to stop here. You say nobody knows when I shall be free to go into the ship-yard; but you say it in a pessimistic sense, and that I find premature, since we cannot know. Behrens did not set a limit; he is a long-headed man, and doesn’t play the prophet. There are the x-ray and the photographic plate yet to come before we can definitely know the facts; who knows whether they will show anything worth talking about, and whether I shall not be free of fever before that, and can say good-bye to you. I am all for our not striking before the time and crying wolf to the family down below. It is quite enough for the present if we write and say—I can do it myself with the fountainpen if I sit up a little—that I have a severe cold and am febrile, that I am stopping in bed, and shall not travel for the present. The rest will follow.”

“Good,” said Joachim. “We can do that for the present. And for the other matters we can wait and see.”

“What other matters?”

“Don’t be so irresponsible! You only came for three weeks, and brought a steamer trunk. You will need underwear and linen, and winter clothes—and more footwear. And anyhow, you will want money sent.”

“If,” said Hans Castorp, “if I need it.”

“Very well, we’ll wait and see. But we ought not”—Joachim paced up and down the room as he spoke, “we ought not to behave like ostriches. I have been up here too long not to know how things go. When Behrens says there is a rough place, almost rhonchi—oh well, of course, we can wait and see.”

There, for the time, the matter rested; and the weekly and fortnightly variations of the normal day set in. Hans Castorp could partake of them even in his present state, if not at first hand, then through the reports Joachim gave when he came and sat by the bedside for fifteen minutes.

His Sunday morning breakfast-tray was adorned with a vase of flowers; and they did not fail to send him his share of the Sunday pastries. After luncheon the sounds of social intercourse floated up from the terrace below, and with tantara and squealing of clarinets the fortnightly concert began. During its progress Joachim entered, and sat down by the open balcony door; his cousin half reclined in his bed, with his head on one side, and his eyes swimming with pious enjoyment as he listened to the mounting harmonies, and bestowed a momentary metaphorical shoulder-shrug upon Settembrini’s twaddle about music being “politically suspect.”

And, as we have said, he had Joachim post him upon the sights and events of the sanatorium life. Had there, he asked, been any toilets made in honour of the day, lace matinées or that sort of thing?—though for lace matinées the weather was too cold. Whether there were people going driving (certain expeditions had in fact been undertaken, among others by the Half-Lung Club, which had gone in a body to Clavadel). On the next day, Monday, he demanded to hear all about Dr. Krokowski’s lecture, when Joachim came from it and looked in upon his cousin on his way to the rest-cure. Joachim did not feel like talking, he appeared disinclined to make a report. He would have let the subject drop, as it had after the previous lecture, had not Hans Castorp persisted, and demanded to hear details.

“I am lying up here,” he said, “paying full pension. I am entitled to have all that is going.” He recalled the Monday of two weeks ago, and his solitary walk, which had done him so little good; and committed himself to the view that it was that walk which had revolutionized his system and brought to the surface the latent infection.

“But what a stately and solemn way the people hereabout have of talking,” he said, “I mean the common people; almost like poetry. ‘Then thank ye kindly and God be with ye,’ ” he repeated, giving the words the woodman’s intonation. “I heard that up in the woods, and I shall remember it all my life. You get to associate a thing like that with other memories and impressions, you know, and you never forget it as long as you live.—Well, so Krokowski held forth again on the subject of love, did he? What did he say about it to-day?”

“Oh, nothing in particular. You know from the other time how he talks.”

“But what did he offer that was new?”

“Nothing different.—Oh, well, the stuff to-day was pure chemistry,” Joachim unwillingly condescended to enlighten his cousin. It seemed there was a sort of poisoning, an auto-infection of the organisms, so Dr. Krokowski said; it was caused by the disintegration of a substance, of the nature of which we were still ignorant, but which was present everywhere in the body; and the products of this disintegration operated like an intoxicant upon the nerve-centres of the spinal cord, with an effect similar to that of certain poisons, such as morphia, or cocaine, when introduced in the usual way from outside.

“And so you get the hectic flush,” said Hans Castorp. “But that’s all worth hearing. What doesn’t the man know! He must have simply lapped it up. You just wait, one of these days he will discover what that substance is that exists everywhere in the body and sets free the soluble toxins that act like a narcotic on the nervous system; then he will be able to fuddle us all more than ever. Perhaps in the past they were able to do that very thing. When I listen to him, I could almost think there is some truth in the old legends about love potions and the like.—Are you going?”

“Yes,” Joachim said, “I must go lie down. My curve has been rising since yesterday. This affair of yours has had its effect on me.”

That was the Sunday, and the Monday. The evening and the morning made the third day of Hans Castorp’s sojourn in the “caboose.” It was a day without distinction, an ordinary weekday, that Tuesday—but after all, it was the day of his arrival in this place, he had been here a round three weeks, and time pressed; he would have to send a letter home and inform his uncle of the state of affairs, even though cursorily and without reference to their true inwardness. He stuffed his down quilt behind his back, and wrote upon the note-paper of the establishment, to the effect that his departure was being delayed beyond the appointed time. He was in bed with a feverish cold, which Hofrat Behrens—over-conscientious as he probably was—refused to take lightly; insisting on regarding it as immediately connected with his (Hans Castorp’s) constitution and general state of health. The physician had perceived directly he saw him that he was decidedly anæmic; and take it all in all, it seemed as though the limit he had originally set for his stay was not regarded by the authorities as long enough for a full recovery. He would write again as soon as he could.—That’s the idea, thought Hans Castorp; not too much or too little; and whatever the issue, it will satisfy them for a while. The letter was given to the servant, with instructions that it be taken direct to the station and sent off by the earliest possible train, instead of being posted in the usual way in the house letter-box, with consequent delays.

Our adventurous youth felt much relieved to have set affairs in such good train—if likewise a good deal plagued by his cough and the heavy-headedness caused by his catarrh—and now he began to live each day as it came—a day which never varied, which was always broken up into a number of sections, and which, in its abiding uniformity, could not be said either to pass too fast or to hang too heavy on the hands. In the morning the bathing-master would give a mighty thump on the door and enter—a nervous individual named Turnherr, who wore his sleeves rolled up, and had great standing veins upon his forearms, and a gurgling, impeded speech. He addressed Hans Castorp, as he did all the patients, by the number of his room, and rubbed him with alcohol. Not long after he left, Joachim would appear ready dressed, to greet his cousin, inquire after his seven o’clock temperature, and communicate his own. While he breakfasted below, Hans Castorp did the same above, his down quilt tucked behind his back, in enjoyment of the good appetite a change engenders. He was scarcely disturbed by the bustling and businesslike entrance of the two physicians, who at this hour made a hurried round of the dining-hall and the rooms of the bedridden and moribund. Hans Castorp, with his mouth full of jam, announced himself to have slept “splendidly” and looked over the rim of his cup at the Hofrat, who leaned with his fists on the centre table, and hastily scanned the fever chart. Both physicians wished him good-morning, and he responded in an unconcerned drawl as they went out. Then he lighted a cigarette, and beheld Joachim returning from the morning walk, almost before he realized his departure. Again they chatted of this and that; Joachim went to lie down until second breakfast, and the interval seemed so short that even the emptiest-headed could hardly have felt bored. Hans Castorp, indeed, had so much food for thought in the events of the past three weeks, so much to ponder in his present state and what might come of it, that although two bound volumes of an illustrated periodical from the Berghof library lay upon his night-table, he had no need to resort to them.

It was no different with the brief hour during which Joachim took his regular walk down to the Platz. He came in to Hans Castorp afterwards, told him whatever of interest he had seen, and sat or stood a few minutes by the sick-bed before he withdrew to his own balcony for the midday rest. And how long did that last? Again, only a brief hour. It seemed to Hans Castorp he had barely settled to commune a little with his own thoughts, hands folded behind his head and eyes directed upon the ceiling, before the gong droned through the house, summoning all those not bedridden or moribund to prepare for the principal meal of the day.

Joachim went down, and the “midday broth” was brought—“broth” in a symbolic sense merely, considering in what it consisted. Hans Castorp was not on sick-diet. He lay there and paid full pension, and what they brought him in the abiding present of that midday hour was by no means broth, it was the full six-course Berghof dinner, in all its amplitude, with nothing left out. Even on week-days this was a sumptuous meal; on Sundays it was a gala banquet and “gaudy,” prepared by a cosmopolitan chef in the kitchens of the establishment, which were precisely those of a European hotel de luxe. The “dining-room girl” whose duty it was to serve the bedridden brought it to him in dainty cook-pots under nickel-plated dish-covers. She produced an invalid-table, a marvel of one-legged equilibrium, adjusted it across his bed, and Hans Castorp banqueted like the tailor’s son in the fairy-story.

As he finished, Joachim would return, and it might be as late as half past two before the latter went into his loggia, and the hush of the main rest period fell upon the Berghof. Not quite, perhaps; perhaps it would be nearer the truth to call it a quarter after, but these odd quarter-hours outside the round figures do not count, they are swallowed up unregarded, in places where one reckons time in large units—on long train journeys of many hours on end, or wherever one is in a state of vacant suspense, with all one’s being concentrated on pulling the time behind one. A quarter past two will pass for half past, will even pass for three, on the theory that it is already well on the way toward it. The thirty minutes are taken as a sort of onset to the full hour from three to four, and inwardly discounted. In this wise the duration of the main rest period was finally reduced to no more than an hour; and even this hour was lopped off at its latter end, elided, as it were. Dr. Krokowski played the part of apostrophe. Yes, nowadays when Dr. Krokowski went his independent afternoon round, he no longer made a circle round Hans Castorp; our young man was no longer an interval and hiatus, he counted as much as the others, he too was a patient. He was questioned, not ignored, as had so long been the case, to his slight and concealed but daily recurring annoyance. It was on Monday that Dr. Krokowski for the first time manifested himself in the room—manifested being the only proper word for the phenomenon as Hans Castorp, with an involuntary start, perceived it. He lay in halfor quarter—slumber, and became aware that the Assistant was beside him, having entered not through the door, but approaching from outside. His round at this time lay not through the corridor, but along the balconies, and he had come through the open door of the loggia with an effect of having flown through the air. There he stood at Hans Castorp’s bedside, in all his pallor and blackness, broad-shouldered and squat, his lips parted in a manly smile that showed the yellowish teeth through his beardthe apostrophe!

“You seem surprised to see me, Herr Castorp,” he said, mildly baritone, drawling, unquestionably rather affected: he gave the r a foreign, palatal sound, not rolled, but pronounced with a single impact of the tongue against the upper front teeth. “But I am only performing my pleasant duty, in seeing after your welfare. Your relations with us have entered upon a new phase. Overnight the guest has become the comrade.” His patient was rather alarmed by the word comrade.—“Who would have thought it?” he jested fraternally. “Who would have thought it on that evening when I had the honour of making your acquaintance, and you replied to my mistaken supposition—at that time mistaken—with the explanation that you were perfectly healthy? I believe I expressed some doubt, but I assure you I did not mean it in that sense. I will not pretend to being more sharp-sighted than I am. I was not thinking of a moist spot. My remark was meant only in the general, philosophical sense, as a doubt whether the two conceptions, man and perfect health, were after all consistent one with the other. Even to-day, after the examination, I confess that I personally, as distinguished from my honoured chief, cannot regard the moist spot as the most important factor in the situation. It is, for me, a secondary phenomenon—the organic is always secondary—”

Hans Castorp drew a short breath.

“—and thus your catarrh is, in my view, a third-line phenomenon,” Dr. Krokowski concluded, very softly. “How is it? The rest in bed will undoubtedly be efficacious, in this respect. What have you measured to-day?” And from then on the Assistant’s visit was in the key of an ordinary professional call, to which it kept during the following days and weeks. Dr. Krokowski would enter by the open balcony door at a quarter to four or earlier, greet the patient with manly readiness, put the usual professional questions, with perhaps a little personal touch as well, a jest or two—and if all this had a slight aura of the questionable about it, yet one can get used even to the questionable, provided it keeps within bounds. It was not long before Hans Castorp forgot any feeling he may have had about Dr. Krokowski’s visits. They took their place in the programme of the normal day, and performed, as it were, an elision in the latter end of the main rest period.

The Assistant would return along the balconies at four o’clock or thereabouts, that is to say mid-afternoon. Yes, thus suddenly, before one realized it, there one was, in the very deep of the afternoon, and steadily still deepening on toward twilight. Before tea was finished drinking, up above and down below, it was well on the way toward five o’clock; and by the time Joachim returned from his third daily round and looked in on his cousin, it would be near enough to six to reduce the remaining rest period to no more than a single hour—reckoned always in round numbers. It was an easy matter to kill that much time, if one had ideas in one’s head, and a whole orbis pictus on the table to boot.

Joachim, on his way to the evening meal, stopped to say goodbye. Hans Castorp’s tray was brought. The valley had long since filled with shadow, and darkened apace as he ate. When he had done, he leaned back against his down quilt, with the magic table cleared before him, and looked into the growing dusk, to-day’s dusk, yet scarcely distinguishable from the dusk of yesterday or last week. It was evening—and had just been morning. The day, artificially shortened, broken into small bits, had literally crumbled in his hands and was reduced to nothing: he remarked it to himself with a start—or, at any rate, he did at least remark; for to shudder at it was foreign to his years. It seemed to him that from the beginning of time he had been lying and looking thus.

One day—some ten or twelve had passed since Hans Castorp retired to bed—there was a knock on his door at about this hour, before Joachim had returned from dinner and the social half-hour. Upon Hans Castorp’s inquiring “Come in,” it opened, and Ludovico Settembrini appeared—and lo, on the instant the room was flooded with light. For the visitor’s first motion, while still on the threshold, had been to turn on the electric light, which filled the room in a trice with vibrating brilliance, and reverberated from the gleaming white ceiling and furniture.

The Italian had been the only one of the guests after whom Hans Castorp had expressly asked in these days. Joachim indeed, when he stood or sat by his cousin for ten or fifteen minutes—and that happened ten times in the course of the day—would relate whatever there was of interest or variation in the daily life of the community; and Hans Castorp’s questions, whenever he put any, had been of a general nature. The exile wished to know whether there were new guests, or if any of the familiar faces were absent; it seemed to gratify him that only the former was the case. There was one new-comer, a hollow-cheeked, green-complexioned young man, who had been given a place at the next table on the right with Frau Iltis and the ivory-skinned Levi. Hans Castorp might look forward to the pleasure of seeing him. So no one had left?

Joachim answered in a curt negative, his eyes on the ground. But he had to reply to this question every day or so, until at last he became restive and sought to answer once for all by saying that, so far as he knew, no one was purposing to leave—nobody did leave very much, up here, as a matter of fact.

But Hans Castorp had asked after Settembrini by name, and desired to hear what he had “said to it.” To what? “Why, that I am in bed and supposed to be ill.” Settembrini, it seemed, had expressed himself on the subject, though briefly. On the very day of Hans Castorp’s disappearance he had come to find out his whereabouts of Joachim, obviously prepared to hear that the guest had departed; and on learning the explanation had responded only in Italian: first “Ecco!” and then “Poveretto!”—as much as to say: “There you are, poor chap!”—It needed no more Italian than the cousins could boast to understand the sense in which he uttered the words. “Why ‘ poveretto’?” Hans Castorp inquired. “He sits up here with his literature made of politics and humanism and he is very little good for the ordinary interests of life. He needn’t look down his nose and pity me like that, I shall get down to the flat-land before he does.”

And now Herr Settembrini stood here in the suddenly illuminated room—Hans Castorp, who had raised himself on his elbow and turned blinking toward the door, recognized him and flushed. Settembrini wore, as usual, his thick coat with the wide lapels, a frayed turnover collar, and the check trousers. As he came from supper, he was armed with the usual wooden toothpick. The corner of his mouth, beneath the beautiful curve of his moustache, displayed the familiar fine, dry, critical smile.

“Good-evening, Engineer! May I be permitted to look in on you? If so, I need light—you will pardon my taking it upon myself”—and he waved his small hand toward the lamp in the ceiling. “You were absorbed in contemplation, I should not wish to disturb you. A tendency to meditate is surely natural under the circumstances, and if you want to talk, you have your cousin. You see, I am well aware that I am superfluous. But even so—we live here close together, a sympathy springs up between man and man, intellectual and emotional sympathy.—It has been a full week that we have not seen you. I began to think you had left, as I saw your place empty down in the refectory. The Lieutenant told me better—or should we say worse, if that would not sound impolite? Well, and how are you? How do you feel? Not too much cast down, I hope?”

“Ah, that is you, Herr Settembrini! How friendly of you! Refectory—oh, I say, that is good! Always at your jokes—but do sit down. You are not disturbing me in the least. I was lying there musing—no, musing is too much to say. I was simply too lazy to turn on the light. Thanks very much, I am subjectively as good as normal, and my cold is much better from lying in bed. But it was a secondary phenomenon, so everybody tells me. My temperature is still not what it should be, I have 99.5° to 99.7°, all the time.”

“You take your temperature regularly?”

“Yes, six times a day, like the rest of you. Pardon me, I am still laughing at your calling our dining-hall a refectory. That is what they are called in a cloister, isn’t it?

After all, there is some resemblance—not that I have been in a cloister, but I imagine they are something like this. And I have the ‘Rule’ at my fingers’ ends, and observe it faithfully.”

“As a pious brother should. One might say that your novitiate is at an end and you have made your profession. My formal congratulations. You even say ‘our’ dininghall. But, without meaning to affront your manly dignity, you remind me more of a young nun than a monk, a regular new-shorn, innocent bride of Christ, with great martyrlike eyes. I have seen such lambs, here and there about the world; never without a certain—a certain access of sensibility. Yes, your cousin has told me about it. So you had yourself examined after all, at the eleventh hour.”

“Since I was febrile—of course, Herr Settembrini. What do you want? If I had been at home, I should have consulted a physician. And here, at the source and fount so to speak, with two specialists in the house—it would have been very strange—”

“Of course, of course. And you took your temperature, too, before they told you to. But they did recommend it, from the beginning. And the Mylendonk slipped you the thermometer?”

“Slipped me—? Since the occasion arose, I bought one from her.”

“I understand. An irreproachable transaction. And how many months did the chief knock you down for? Good heavens, I have asked you that before! Do you remember?

You had just come. You answered with such assurance—”

“Of course I remember. I have had many new experiences since that time, but that I remember as though it were yesterday. You were so amusing, and spoke of Behrens as the judge of the lower regions—Radames, was it? No, wait, that is something else.”

“Rhadamanthus? Yes, I may have called him that. I am afraid I do not remember every phrase that happens to well up to my lips.”

“Rhadamanthus, of course. Minos and Rhadamanthus. And you spoke to us of Carducci at the same time—”

“Pardon me, my dear young friend, we will, if you please, leave him out. The name, at this moment, sounds too strange upon your tongue.”

“That’s good too,” laughed Hans Castorp. “But I have learned a good deal about him through you.—Yes, at that time I had not the faintest suspicion, I answered you that I was here for three weeks, I did not know any different. The Kleefeld girl had just been whistling at me with her pneumothorax, I hardly knew where I was. But I was feeling febrile even then—for the air up here is not only good against the illness, you know, it is also good for it, it sometimes brings it to the surface—which is of course a necessary step in the cure.”

“An alluring hypothesis. And has Hofrat Behrens also told you about the GermanRussian woman we had here last year—no, year before last—for five months? He did not? He should have. A charming woman, of Russo-German origin, married, a young mother. She came from the Baltic provinces somewhere—lymphatic, anæmic, but probably some more serious trouble as well. She spent a month here and complained that she felt ill all the time. They told her to be patient. Another month passes, she continues to assert that she is actually worse instead of better. They point out to her that only the physician can judge how she is—she herself only knows how she feels; which does not signify. They are satisfied with the condition of her lung. Good. She says no more, she goes on with the cure, and loses weight by the week. The fourth month she faints during the examination. That is nothing, says Behrens, her lung is perfectly satisfactory. But by the fifth month she cannot get about, she goes to bed and writes to her husband, out in the Baltic provinces; Behrens gets a letter from him marked ‘personal’ and ‘urgent’ in a very firm hand—I saw it myself. Yes, says Behrens, and shrugs his shoulders, it seems to be indicated that she certainly cannot stand the climate up here. The woman was beside herself. He ought to have said that before, she had felt it from the beginning, she declared—they had killed her among them. Let us hope she recovered her strength when she went back to her husband.”

“Oh, that’s good, that’s very good! You do tell stories capitally, Herr Settembrini; every word is so plastic. And that story about the girl that went bathing in the lake, the one they gave the ‘silent sister’ to take her temperature with—I have often laughed at it, all by myself. Yes, what strange things do happen. One lives and learns. But my own case is still quite uncertain. The Hofrat is supposed to have discovered a trifling weakness, places where I was infected long ago, I heard them myself when, he tapped me, and some fresh places he can hear now—what a funny word fresh is to use in such a connexion! But so far there are only the acoustic indications; real diagnostic certainty we shall only arrive at when I am about again, and the x-ray and photography have taken place. Then we shall have positive knowledge.”

“You think so? You know that the photographic plate often shows spots that are taken for cavities when there are none there? And that, sometimes, it shows no spots although there is something there? Madonna—the photographic plate! There was a young numismatician up here, with fever; and since he had fever, there were cavitiesplain to be seen on the plate. They could even hear them. They treated him for phthisis, and he died. The postmortem showed his lung to be sound; the cause of his death was some coccus or other.”

“Oh, come, Herr Settembrini. Talking about post-mortems already. I haven’t got that far yet, I assure you.”

“Engineer, you are a wag.”

“And you are an out-and-out critic and sceptic, I must say. You do not even believe in science. Can you see spots on your plate, Herr Settembrini?”

“Yes, it shows some spots.”

“And you really are ill too?”

“Yes, I am unfortunately rather ill,” replied Settembrini, and his head drooped. There was a pause, in which he gave a little cough. Hans Castorp, from his bed, regarded his guest, whom he had reduced to silence. It seemed to him that with his two simple inquiries he had refuted Settembrini’s whole position, even the republic and the bello stile. And he did nothing on his side to resume the conversation. After a while Herr Settembrini straightened himself, with a smile.

“Tell me, Engineer,” he said, “how have your family taken the news?”

“What news do you mean? Of my delayed return? Oh, my family, you know, consists of three uncles, a great-uncle and his two sons, who are more like my cousins. Other family I have none, I was doubly orphaned when I was very small. As to how they took it—they know as much, and as little, as I myself. At first, when I had to go to bed, I wrote that I had a severe cold, and could not travel. Yesterday, as it seemed rather long after all, I wrote again, saying that my catarrh had drawn Hofrat Behren’s attention to the condition or my chest, and that he insisted I should remain until he is clear what the condition is. You may be perfectly sure they took it calmlyit didn’t upset them.”

“And your position? You spoke of a sphere of practical activity, where you were intending to enter shortly on certain duties.”

“Yes, as volunteer apprentice. I have asked them to excuse me for the present. You must not imagine they are in despair over my defection. They can carry on indefinitely without an assistant.”

“Good. Everything is in order, then, in that direction. Perfect equanimity all along the line. It is a phlegmatic race of people in your part of the country, is it not? But energetic, certainly?”

“Oh, yes, very energetic,” said Hans Castorp. He mentally assayed the temper of his native city, and found that his interlocuter had characterized it justly. “Phlegmatic and energetic, yes, I should say they are.”

“I assume,” continued Herr Settembrini, “in case your stay is prolonged, we shall make the acquaintance of your uncle—I mean your great-uncle—shall we not? He will undoubtedly come up to ascertain your condition.”

“Out of the question,” cried Hans Castorp. “Under no conceivable circumstances. Wild horses could not drag him up here. My uncle is apoplectic, you understand; he has almost no neck at all. No, he has to have a reasonable atmospheric pressure; it would be worse for him up here than it was for your lady from the Baltic provinceshe would be in a dreadful way.”

“I am disappointed. And apoplectic? Energy and phlegm are not much use under those circumstances.—Your uncle is rich, I suppose? You are all rich down your way?”

Hans Castorp smiled at Herr Settembrini’s literary generalizations. And again, from his distant couch, he cast a metaphorical eye upon the sphere from which he had been snatched. He called up memories, he made an effort to judge objectively, and found that distance enabled him to do so.

He answered: “One is rich—or else one isn’t. And if not, so much the worse. I myself am no millionaire, but what I have is secured to me, I have enough to live on and be independent. But personalities aside—well, if you had said one must be rich, I should have agreed with you. If you aren’t rich, or if you leave off being, then woe be unto you. ‘Oh, he?’ they will say about this or that person. ‘He hasn’t any money, has he?’ Literally that, and making just such a face; I have often heard them, and I see now it made an impression on me—which it would not have done, of course, unless it had struck me as strange. Or don’t you think that follows? No, I don’t think you, for instance, as homo humanus, would feel very comfortable down there; it often struck me that it was pretty strong, as I can see now, though I am a native of the place and for myself have never had to suffer from it. If a man does not serve the best and dearest wines at his dinners, people don’t go, and his daughters are left on his hands. That is what they are like. Lying here and looking at it from this distance, I find it pretty gross. What were the words you used—phlegmatic and—and energetic. That’s very good. But what does it mean? It means hard, cold. And what do hard and cold mean? They mean cruel. It is a cruel atmosphere down there, cruel and ruthless. When you lie here and look at it, from a distance, it makes you shudder.”

Settembrini listened, and nodded; nodded after Hans Castorp had come to an end, for the present, of his pronouncement and fallen silent.

Then he took a breath and said: “I will not seek to extenuate the specific forms which life’s normal cruelty assumes in your native sphere. It is all one—for the reproach of cruelty rests upon somewhat sentimental grounds. You would scarcely even have levelled it, while you were in that atmosphere, for fear of being ridiculous in your own eyes. You left it to the drones to make, and rightly. That you make it now bears witness to a certain estrangement, which I should be sorry to see increase; since he who falls in the habit of making it is in danger of being lost to life, to the manner of life to which he was born. Do you know, Engineer, what I mean by being lost to life?

I, I know it, I see it here every day. Six months at most after they get here, these young people—and they are mostly young who come—have lost every idea they had, except flirtation and temperature. And if they remain a year, they will have lost the power of grasping any other; they will find any other ‘cruel’—or, more precisely, ignorant and inadequate. You are fond of anecdote—I could serve your turn. I could tell you of a young man I know, a husband and son, who was up here for eleven months. He was a little older than you, yes, rather older. They let him go home, provisionally, as much improved; he returned to the bosom of his family—not uncles, you understand, but his wife and his mother. The whole day he lay with the thermometer in his mouth, he took no interest in anything else. ‘You don’t understand,’ he said. ‘No one understands who has not lived up there. Down here the fundamental conception is lacking.’ In the end it was the mother who settled it. ‘Go back,’ she said. ‘There is nothing to be done with you any more.’ He went back, went back ‘home’—you know, don’t you, that they call this home when they have once lived here? He was entirely estranged from his young wife, she lacked the fundamental conception, and she gave up trying to get it. It was borne in upon her that he would find a mate up here who had it, and that he would stop with her.”

Hans Castorp seemed to be only half listening. He went on staring into the incandescent brilliance of his white room, as into far space.

He laughed belatedly, and said: “He called it home? That is sentimental, as you say. You know no end of stories. I was still thinking of what we said about hardness and cruelty; the same idea has gone through my head a number of times in these days. You see, a person has to have a rather thick skin to find it natural, the way they have of thinking and talking down there, the ‘has he got any money?’ and the face they make when they say it. It never came quite natural to me, though I am no homo humanus. I can see, now I look back, that I was always struck by it. Perhaps that had to do with my tendency to illness, though I did not know about it at the time—those old places which I heard myself the other day. And now Behrens has found a fresh place. That, I must say, was a surprise to me—and yet, in a way, I don’t know that it was, after all. I never have felt myself as firm as a rock, and my parents, both of them, dying so young—for I have been doubly orphaned from youth up, you know—”

Herr Settembrini described a single gesture, with head, hand, and shoulders. Pleasantly, courteously, it put the question: “Well, and what of it?”

“You are an author,” Hans Castorp said, “a literary man. It must be easy for you to understand a thing like that; you can feel how under those circumstances a man might not be of tough enough fibre to find that sort of cruelty quite natural, the cruelty of ordinary people, who go about joking and making money and filling their bellies.—I don’t know if I am expressing myself”—

Settembrini bowed. “You mean,” he interrupted, “that the early and repeated contact with death developed in you a tendency which made you sensitive to the harshness and crudity, let us say the cynicism, of our everyday, worldly existence.”

“Precisely!” cried Hans Castorp, in honest enthusiasm. “You have expressed it to a T, Herr Settembrini. Contact with death! I was sure that you, as a literary man—”

Settembrini put out his hand, laid his head on one side, and closed his eyes. It was a mild and beautiful gesture, a plea for silence and further hearing. He held it some seconds, even after Hans Castorp had ceased to speak and was waiting in suspense for what was to come. But at length he opened his black eyes, organ-grinder eyes, and spoke: “Permit me. Permit me, Engineer, to say to you, and to bring it home to you, that the only sane, noble—and I will expressly add, the only religious way to think of death is as part and parcel of life; to regard it, with the understanding and with the emotions, as the inviolable condition of life. It is the very opposite of sane, noble, reasonable, or religious to divorce it in any way from life, or to play it off against it. The ancients adorned their sarcophagi with the emblems of life and procreation, and even with obscene symbols; in the religions of antiquity the sacred and the obscene often lay very close together. These men knew how to pay homage to death. For death is worthy of homage, as the cradle of life, as the womb of palingenesis. Severed from life, it becomes a spectre, a distortion, and worse. For death, as an independent power, is a lustful power, whose vicious attraction is strong indeed; to feel drawn to it, to feel sympathy with it, is without any doubt at all the most ghastly aberration to which the spirit of man is prone.”

Herr Settembrini left off speaking. He finished with this generalization, and made it the definite period of his discourse. He had spoken in a very serious vein and by no means with conversational intent; he even refrained from giving Hans Castorp the opportunity for a rejoinder; but simply dropped his voice at this point and concluded his remarks. He sat now with his lips closed, his hands folded in his lap, one leg in its check trouser flung over the other, slightly swinging the foot, which he regarded with an austere expression.

Hans Castorp too preserved silence. He leaned back in his plumeau, turned his head to the wall, and drummed with his finger-ends on the coverlet. He felt set to rights, chidden, corrected; in his silence there was no little childish obstinacy. The pause lasted some time.

At length Herr Settembrini lifted his head, and said with a smile: “You very likely recall, Engineer, that we have had a similar discussion once before—one might say the same discussion. We were talking about disease and dullness—I think we were taking a walk—and you found the combination a paradox, on the ground of your reverence for ill health. I called that reverence a dismal fancy which dishonoured human thought; and I was gratified to find you not disinclined to entertain my plea. We spoke of the neutrality and the intellectual indecision of youth, of its liberty of choice, of its inclination to play with all possible points of view, and that one should not—or need not—regard these experimentations as final and definite elections. Will you permit me”—Herr Settembrini smiled and bent forward as he sat, his feet close together on the floor, his hands between his knees, his head stretched out and a little on one side—“will you permit me”—and his voice had the faintest tremor in it—“to be beside you in your essays and experiments, and to exercise a corrective influence when there appears to be danger of your taking up a destructive position?”

“Why, certainly, Herr Settembrini”—Hans Castorp hastened to abandon his forced and even peevish attitude, stop drumming on the bed-cover, and turn to his guest with friendliness, even with contrition. “It is uncommonly kind of you—I must ask myself if I really—that is, if there is anything—”

Sine pecunia, of course,” quoted Herr Settembrini, as he rose. “I can’t let myself be outdone!” They both laughed. The outer door opened, next moment the inner one as well. It was Joachim, returned from “society.” When he saw the Italian he flushed, as Hans Castorp had done; the deep bronze of his face deepened by another shade.

“Oh, you have company,” he said. “How nice for you! I was detained, they made me make one of a table of bridge. They call it bridge,” he said, shaking his head, “as they do outside, but it was really something else entirely. I won five marks—”

“Only so it doesn’t become a vice with you,” Hans Castorp laughed. “Ahem! Herr Settembrini has beguiled the time for me—no, that is not the proper expression, though it may be all right for your mock bridge. Herr Settembrini has filled the time for me, and given it content, whereas when mock bridge breaks out in our midst, a respectable man feels he has to fight his way through. And yet to have the privilege of listening to Herr Settembrini, to get the benefit of his good counsel, I could almost wish to keep my fever, and stop up here with you indefinitely. They would have to give me a ‘silent sister’ to measure with.”

“I repeat, Engineer, you are a wag,” said the Italian. He took leave gracefully and went. Alone with his cousin, Hans Castorp heaved a sigh.

“Oh, what a schoolmaster!” he said. “A humanistic one, of course. He never leaves off setting you right—first by means of anecdote, then by abstractions. And the things one gets to talk about with him, things you would never have thought you could talk about, or even understand! And if I had met him down below,” he added, “I never should have understood.”

At this hour Joachim would remain with him for a while, sacrificing a half or threequarters of an hour of the evening cure. Sometimes they played chess on Hans Castorp’s magic table; Joachim had brought a set of chess-men from below. Then he would take his wrappings and go into the balcony, thermometer in mouth, and Hans Castorp too took his temperature for the last time, while soft music, near or far, stole up from the dark valley. The cure ended at ten. He heard Joachim, he heard the pair from the “bad” Russian table; he turned on his side and invited slumber.

The night was the harder half of the day, for Hans Castorp woke often, and lay not seldom hours awake; either because his slightly abnormal temperature kept him stimulated, or because his horizontal manner of life, detracted from the power, or the desire, to sleep. To make up for their briefness, his hours of slumber were animated by extremely lively and varied dreams, which he could ponder on awaking. And if the hours of the day were shortened by their frequent division into small sections, it was the blurred monotony of the marching hours of the night which operated with the like effect. Then as dawn came on, he found it diverting to watch the gradual grey, the slow emergence of the room and the objects in it, as though by the drawing of veils; to see day kindling outside, with smouldering or with lively glow; and it was always a surprise when the moment came round again and the thump of the bathing-master on his door announced to Hans Castorp that the daily programme was again in force. He had brought no calendar with him on his holiday, and did not always find himself sure of the date. Now and then he asked his cousin; who, in turn, was not always quite sure either. True, the Sundays, particularly the fortnightly one with the concert—it was the second Hans Castorp had spent in this situation—gave him a fixed point. So much was certain, that by little and little they had now got well on in September, close on to the middle. Since he went to bed, the cold and cloudy weather had given place to a succession of wonderful midsummer days. Every morning Joachim appeared arrayed in white flannel trousers, to greet his cousin, and Hans Castorp felt a pang of regret, in which both heart and youthful muscles joined, at the loss of all this splendid weather. He murmured that it was “a shame,” but added to console himself that even if he were up and about he would hardly know how to take advantage of it, since it seemed it did not answer for him to exert himself much. And the wide-open balcony door did afford him some share of the warm shimmer outside. But toward the end of his prescribed term of lying, the weather veered again. It grew misty and cold overnight, the valley was hid by gusts of wet snow, and the dry heat of the radiator filled the room. Such was the day on which Hans Castorp reminded the doctor, on his morning round, that the three weeks were out, and asked leave to get up.

“What the deuce—you don’t say!” said Behrens. “Time’s up, is it? Let’s see: yes, you’re right—good Lord, how fast we grow old! Things haven’t changed much with you, in the mean time. Normal yesterday? Yes, up to six o’clock in the afternoon. Well, Castorp, I won’t grudge you human society any longer. Up with you, man, and get on with your walks—within the prescribed limits, of course. We’ll take a picture of the inside of you—make a note of it,” he said as he went out, jerking his great thumb over his shoulder at Hans Castorp, and looking at the pallid assistant with his bloodshot, watery blue eyes. Hans Castorp left the “caboose.”

In galoshes, with his collar turned up, he accompanied his cousin once more to the bench by the watercourse and back. On the way he raised the question of how long the Hofrat might have let him lie had he not been reminded. And Joachim, looking worried, opened his mouth to emit a single pessimistic syllable, spread out his hands in an expressive gesture, and gave it up.

Sudden Enlightenment

A WEEK passed before Hans Castorp received, through the Directress von Mylendonk, the summons to present himself in the x-ray laboratory. He had not liked to press matters. The Berghof was a busy place, doctors and assistants had their hands full. New guests had recently come in: two Russian students with shocks of hair and black blouses closed to the throat, showing not a vestige of linen; a Dutch married couple, who were given places at Settembrini’s table; and a hunch-backed Mexican, who frightened his table by fearful attacks of asthma, when he would clutch his neighbour, whether man or woman, in an iron grip like a vice, and draw him, as it were, struggling and crying for help, into the circle of his own extremity. The dining-room was nearly full, though the winter season did not actually begin until October. And Hans Castorp’s case was scarcely of such severity as to give him any special claim to attention. Frau Stöhr, for all her stupidity and ill breeding, was unquestionably worse off than he—not to mention Dr. Blumenkohl. One must have lacked all discrimination not to have behaved retiringly, in Hans Castorp’s place—particularly since discrimination was in the atmosphere of the house. The mild cases were of no great account, that he had often heard. They were slightingly spoken of, looked at askance, not only by the more serious and the very serious cases, but even by each other. Logically, of course, each mild case was thus driven to think slightingly of itself; yet preserved its individual self-respect by merging it with the general, as was natural and human.

“Oh,” they would say, of this or that patient, “there’s not much amiss with him. He hardly even ought to be up here, he has no cavities at all.” Such was the spirit—it was aristocratic in its own special sense, and Hans Castorp deferred to it, out of an inborn respect for law and order of every sort. It was natural to him to conform to the proverb which bids us, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. And indeed travellers show small breeding when they jeer at the customs and standards of their hosts, for of characteristics that do honour to their possessors there are all sorts and kinds. Even toward Joachim Hans Castorp felt a certain deference—not so much because he was the older inhabitant, his guide and cicerone in these new surroundings, as because he was unquestionably the more serious case of the two. Such being the attitude, it was easy to understand that each patient inclined to make the most he could of his individual case, even exaggerating its seriousness, so as to belong to the aristocracy, or come as close to it as possible. So Hans Castorp, when asked at table, might add a couple of tenths to his temperature, and could never help feeling flattered when they shook their fingers at him and called him an artful dodger. But even when he laid it on a little, he still remained a member of the lower orders, in whom an attitude of unassuming diffidence was only right and proper.

He took up the life of his first three weeks, that familiar, regular, well-regulated life with Joachim, and it went as pat as though he had never left it off. The interruption, indeed, had been insignificant, as he saw when he resumed his seat at table. Joachim, who laid deliberate stress on such occasions, had decorated his place with a few flowers; but there was no great ceremony about the greetings of the other guests, these were almost what they would have been after a separation of three hours instead of three weeks. This was not due to indifference toward his simple and sympathetic personality, nor to preoccupation with their own absorbing physical state; but merely because they had actually not been conscious of the interval. And Hans Castorp could readily follow them in this; since sitting there in his place at the end of the table, between the schoolmistress and Miss Robinson, it was as though he had sat here no longer ago than yesterday at the furthest.

If, even at his own table, the end of his retirement caused no stir, how should it have been remarked in the rest of the dining-room? And literally no soul had taken notice of it save Settembrini, who strolled over at the end of the meal to exchange a lively greeting. Hans Castorp, indeed, would have made a mental reservation, in which he may or may not have been justified: he told himself that Clavdia Chauchat had noticed his return, that she had no sooner made her tardy entrance, and let the glass door slam behind her, than she rested her narrow gaze upon him—which he had met with his own—and that even after she sat down, she had turned and looked toward him, smiling over her shoulder, as she had three weeks before, on the day of his examination. The movement had been so open, so regardless—regardless of both himself and the other guests—that he did not know whether to be in ecstasies over it or to take it as a mark of contempt and feel angry. At all events, his heart had contracted beneath this glance, which so markedly and intoxicatingly gave the lie to the lack of social relations subsisting between him and the fair patient. It had contracted almost painfully at the moment when the glass door slammed, for to that moment he had looked forward with his breath coming thick and fast.

It must be said that Hans Castorp’s sentiments toward the patient of the “good”

Russian table had made distinct progress during his retirement. The sympathy he entertained in his mind and his simple heart for this medium-sized person with the gliding gait and the “Kirghiz” eyes, as good as amounted to being “in love”—we shall let the word stand, although in strictness it is a conception of “down below,” a word of the plains, capable of giving rise to a misconception: namely, that the tender ditty beginning “One word from thy sweet lips” was to some extent applicable to his state. Her picture had hovered before him in those early hours when he had lain awake and watched the dawn unveil his chamber; or at evening when the twilight thickened. It had been vividly present the night Settembrini had suddenly entered his room and turned on the light; was the reason why he had coloured under the humanistic eye. In each hour of his diminished day he had thought of her: her mouth, her cheek-bones, her eyes, whose colour, shape, and position bit into his very soul; her drooping back, the posture of her head, her cervical vertebra above the rounding of her blouse, her arms enhanced by their thin gauze covering. Possessed of these thoughts, his hours had sped on soundless feet; if we have concealed the fact, we did so out of sympathy for the turmoil of his conscience, which mingled with the terrifying joy his visions imparted. Yes, he felt both terror and dread; he felt a vague and boundless, utterly mad and extravagant anticipation, a nameless anguish of joy which at times so oppressed the young man’s heart, his actual and corporeal heart, that he would lay one hand in the neighbourhood of that organ, while he carried the other to his brow and held it like a shield before his eyes, whispering: “Oh, my God!”

For behind that brow were thoughts—or half-thoughts—which imparted to the visions their perilous sweetness. Thoughts that had to do with Madame Chauchat’s recklessness and abandon, her ailing state, the heightening and accentuation of her physical parts by disease, the corporealization, so to speak, of all her being as an effect of disease—an effect in which he, Hans Castorp, by the physician’s verdict, was now to share. He comprehended the grounds of her audacity, her total disregard in smile and glance of the fact that no social relation existed between them, that they did not even know each other; it was as though they belonged to no social system, as though it were not even necessary that they should speak to each other! Precisely this it was that frightened Hans Castorp; for frightened he was, in the same sense as when, in the consulting-room, he had looked from Joachim’s nude body with panic-stricken searching up to his eyes—only that then the grounds of his fear had been pity and concern, whereas here something quite different was in play.

But now the Berghof life, that wonderfully favoured and well-regulated existence, was once more in full swing on its narrow stage. Hans Castorp, whilst awaiting his xray examination, continued to enjoy its measured course, together with good Cousin Joachim, and to do, hour for hour, precisely as he did. No question but his cousin’s society was beneficial to our young man. For though Joachim’s were but a companionship in suffering, yet he suffered, as it were, conformably with military etiquette; even, though unconsciously, to the point of finding satisfaction in the service of the cure, of substituting it for the service down below and making of it an interim profession. Hans Castorp was not so dull as not to perceive all this, yet at the same time he was aware of its corrective and restraining influence upon his more civilian temper. It may have been this companionship, its example and the control it exercised, which held him back from overt steps and rash undertakings. For he saw all that Joachim had to endure from the daily assaults of an orange-scented atmosphere, commingled of such elements as round brown eyes, a little ruby, a great deal of unwarranted laughter, and a bosom fair to outward eyes. The honour and good sense which made Joachim flee these enticements gripped Hans Castorp, kept him under control, and prevented him from “borrowing a lead-pencil” so to speak—from the narrow-eyed one, a thing which he otherwise, from what we know of him, might well have been ready to do.

Joachim never spoke of the laughter-loving Marusja, and thus Hans Castorp could not mention Clavdia Chauchat. He made up for this by his stolen commerce with the schoolmistress at table, when he would sit supporting his chin after the manner of old Hans Lorenz, and tax the spinster with her weakness for the charming invalid, until her face positively flamed. He pressed her to find out new and interesting facts about Madame Chauchat’s personal affairs, her origin, her husband, her age, the particulars of her illness. He wanted to know if she had children. Oh, no, she had none; what should a woman like her do with children? Probably she was strictly forbidden to have any, and if she did, what kind of children would they be? Hans Castorp was forced to acquiesce. And now it was probably late in the day, he threw out, with prodigious objectivity. Madame Chauchat’s profile, at times, seemed to him already a little sharp. She must be over thirty. Fräulein Engelhart rejected the idea with scorn. Thirty? At worst not more than twenty-eight. She forbade her neighbour to use such words about Clavdia’s profile. It was the softest, sweetest, most youthful profile in the world, and at the same time interesting—of course it was not the profile of any ordinary healthy bread-and-butter miss. To punish him, she went on to say that she knew Frau Chauchat entertained a male visitor, a certain fellow-countryman who lived down in the Platz. She received him afternoons in her chamber.

It was a good shot. Hans Castorp’s face changed in spite of himself; he tried to react, saying: “Well, well! You don’t say so!” but the words sounded strained. He was incapable of treating lightly the existence of this fellow-countryman of Frau Chauchat, much as he wished to appear to do so, and came back to it again and again, his lips twitching. A young man? Young and good-looking, according to all accounts, the schoolmistress answered; she could not say from her own observation. Was he ill?

Only a light case, at most. “Let us hope,” Hans Castorp remarked with scorn, “that he displays more linen than the other two, at the ‘bad’ Russian table.” Fräulein Engelhart, on punishment intent, said she could vouch for that. He gave in, and admitted that it was a matter for concern. He earnestly charged her to find out all she could about this young man who came and went between the Platz and Frau Chauchat’s room. A few days later she brought him, not information about the young Russian, but a fresh and startling piece of news. She knew that Clavdia Chauchat was having her portrait painted, and asked Hans Castorp if he knew it too. If not, he might be assured she had it on the best authority. She had been sitting for some time, to a person here in the house, and the person was—the Hofrat! Yes, Herr Hofrat Behrens, no less, and he received her for the purpose almost daily in his private dwelling. This intelligence affected Hans Castorp even more than the other. He made several forced jokes about it. Why, certainly, the Hofrat was known to occupy himself with oil-painting. Why not? It wasn’t a crime, anybody was free to paint. And the sittings took place in the widower’s own house—he hoped, at least, that Fräulein von Mylendonk was present! The schoolmistress objected that the Directress was probably too busy. No busier than the doctor ought to be, Hans Castorp severely rejoined. The remark sounded final; but he was far from letting the subject drop. He exhausted himself in questions: about the picture, what size it was, and whether it was a head or a knee-length; about the hours of the sitting—but Fräulein Engelhart could not gratify him with these particulars, and had to put him off until she could make further inquiry.

Hans Castorp measured 99.7° as a result of this communication. The visits Frau Chauchat received upset him far less than these she made. Her personal and private life—quite aside from what went on in it—had begun to be a source of anguish and unrest; how much keener, then, were his feelings when he heard such questionable things about the way she spent her time! Speaking generally, it was altogether possible that her relations with the Russian visitor had a disinterested and harmless character. But Hans Castorp had been for some time now inclined to reject harmless and disinterested explanations as being in the nature of “twaddle”; nor could he regard in any other light this oil-painting, considered as a bond of interest between a widower with a robust vocabulary and a narrow-eyed, soft-stepping young female. The taste displayed by the Hofrat in his choice of a model was too like Hans Castorp’s own for him to put great faith in the disinterested character of the affair, and the thought of the Hofrat’s purple cheeks and bloodshot, goggling eyes only strengthened his scepticism. An observation which he made in these days, of his own accord and quite by chance, had a different effect upon him, though here again what he saw confirmed his own taste. There sat, at the same table with Frau Salomon and the greedy schoolboy with the glasses, at the cousins’ left, near the side door, a patient who was, so Hans Castorp had heard, a native of Mannheim. He was some thirty years old; his hair was thin, his teeth poor, and he had a self-depreciating manner of speech. He it was who played the piano evenings, usually the wedding march from Midsummer Night’s Dream. He was said to be very religious—as “those up here” naturally often were. Every Sunday he went to service down in the Platz, and in the rest-cure he read devotional books with a chalice or palm branch on the front cover. This man’s eyes, so Hans Castorp one day observed, travelled the same road as his own: they hung upon Madame Chauchat’s lissom person with timid, doglike devotion. Once Hans Castorp had remarked this, he could not forbear corroborating it again and again. He saw him stand, of an evening, in the card-room, among the other guests, quite lost in gazing at the lovely, contaminate creature on the sofa in the small salon, in talk with the whimsical, fuzzy-haired Tamara, Dr. Blumenkohl, and the hollow-chested, stooping young men who were her table-mates. He saw him turn away, then twist his head, with a piteous expression of the upper lip, and roll his eyes back over his shoulder in her direction. He saw him colour and not look up, but then gaze avidly as with a crash the glass door fell to, and Frau Chauchat slipped to her place. And more than once he saw how the poor soul would place himself, after the meal, between the “good” Russian table and the exit, in order that she might pass close by him; she gave him neither glance nor thought, while he devoured her at close range with eyes full of sadness to their very depths.

This discovery of his affected young Hans Castorp no little, though the plaintive, devouring gaze of the Mannheimer did not trouble his rest like the thought of Clavdia Chauchat’s private relations with Hofrat Behrens, a man so much his superior in age, person, and position. Clavdia took no interest in the Mannheimer—had she done so, it would not have escaped Hans Castorp’s perception; in this case it was not the dart of jealousy he felt pierce his soul. But he did have all the sensations which the drunkenness of passion knows, when it sees its own case duplicated in the outer world, and which form a most fantastic mixture of disgust and fellow-feeling. To explore and lay open all the windings of his emotions would keep us far too long; suffice it to say that his observation of the Mannheimer gave our poor young friend enough to think on and to suffer.

In this wise passed the week before his x-ray examination. He had not known it was so long. But one morning at early breakfast he received the order through the Directress (she had a fresh stye, so this harmless though disfiguring ailment was clearly constitutional) to present himself in the laboratory that afternoon; and behold, when he came to think of it, a week had passed. He and his cousin were to go together, a half-hour before tea; the occasion would serve for Joachim to have another x-ray taken, as the old one was by now out of date.

They shortened the main rest period by thirty minutes and, promptly as the clock struck half past three, descended the stairs to the so-called basement, and sat down in the small antechamber between the consulting-room and the laboratory. Joachim was quite cool, this being for him no new experience, Hans Castorp rather feverishly expectant, as no one, up to the present, had ever had a view into his organic interior. They were not alone. Several other patients were already sitting when they entered, with tattered illustrated magazines on their laps, and they all waited together: a young Swede, of heroic proportions, who sat at Settembrini’s table; of whom one heard that, when he entered, the previous April, he had been so ill they had almost refused to take him, but he had put on nearly six stone, and was about to be discharged cured. There was also a mother from the “bad” Russian table, herself a lamentable case, with her long-nosed, ugly boy, named Sascha, whose case was more lamentable still. These three had been waiting longer than the cousins and would therefore go in before them—evidently there had been some sort of hitch in the laboratory, and a cold tea was on the cards.

They were busy in there. The voice of the Hofrat could be heard, giving directions. It was somewhat past the half-hour when the door was opened by the technical assistant to admit the Swedish giant and fortune’s minion. His predecessor had evidently gone out by another door. But now matters moved more rapidly. After no more than ten minutes they heard the Scandinavian stride off down the corridor, a walking testimonial to the establishment and the health resort; and the Russian mother was admitted with her Sascha. Both times, as the door opened, Hans Castorp observed that it was half dark in the x-ray room; an artificial twilight prevailed there, as in Dr. Krokowski’s analytic cabinet. The windows were shrouded, daylight shut out, and two electric lights were burning. But as Sascha and his mother went in, and Hans Castorp gazed after them, the corridor door opened, and the next patient entered the waiting-room—she was, of course, too early, on account of the delay in the laboratory. It was Madame Chauchat.

It was Clavdia Chauchat who appeared thus suddenly in the little waiting-room. Hans Castorp recognized her, staring-eyed, and distinctly felt the blood leave his cheeks. His jaw relaxed, his mouth was on the point of falling open. Her entrance had taken place so casually, so unforeseen, she had not been there, and then, all at once, there she was, and sharing these narrow quarters with the cousins. Joachim flung a quick glance at Hans Castorp, afterwards not only casting down his eyes, but taking up again the illustrated sheet he had laid aside, and burying his face in it. Hans Castorp could not summon resolution to do the same. He grew very red, after his sudden pallor, and his heart pounded.

Frau Chauchat seated herself by the laboratory door, in a little round easy-chair with stumpy, as it were rudimentary arms. She leaned back, crossed one leg lightly over the other, and stared into space. She knew she was being looked at, and her Pribislav eyes shifted their gaze nervously, almost squinting. She wore a white sweater and blue skirt, and had a book from the lending-library in her lap. She tapped softly with the sole of the foot that rested on the floor.

After a minute and a half she changed her position; looked round, stood up, with an air of not knowing what she was to do or where to go—and began to speak. She was asking something, she addressed a question to Joachim, though he sat there apparently deep in his magazine, while Hans Castorp was doing nothing at all. She shaped the words with her lips and gave them voice out of her white throat; it was the voice, not deep, but with the slightest edge, and pleasantly husky, that Hans Castorp knew—had known so long ago and yet heard so lately, swing: “With pleasure, only you must be sure to give it me back after the lesson.” Those words had been uttered clearly and fluently; these came rather hesitatingly and brokenly, the speaker had no native right to them, she only borrowed them, as Hans Castorp had heard her do before, when he experienced the mingled feeling of superiority and ecstasy we have described. One hand in her sweater pocket, the other at the back of her head, Frau Chauchat asked:

“May I ask for what time you had an appointment?”

And Joachim, with a quick look at his cousin, answered, drawing his heels together as he sat: “For half past three.”

She spoke again: “Mine was for a quarter to four. What is it then—it is nearly four. Some people just entered, did they not?”

“Yes, two people. They were ahead of us. There seems to be some delay, everything is a half-hour late.”

“It is disagreeable,” she said, nervously touching her hair.

“Rather,” responded Joachim. “We have been waiting nearly half an hour already.”

Thus they conversed, and Hans Castorp listened as in a dream. For his cousin to speak to Frau Chauchat was almost the same as his doing it himself—and yet how altogether different! That “Rather” had affronted him, it sounded odd and brusque, if not worse, in view of the circumstances. To think that Joachim could speak to her like that—to think that he could speak to her at all!—and very likely he prided himself on his pert “Rather”—much as Hans Castorp had played up before Joachim and Settembrini when he was asked how long he meant to stay, and answered: “Three weeks.” It was to Joachim, though he had the paper in front of his nose, that she had turned with her question; because he was the older inhabitant of course, whom she had known longer by sight; but perhaps for another reason as well, because they two might meet on a conventional footing and carry on an ordinary conversation in articulate words; because nothing wild and deep, mysterious and terrifying, held sway between them. Had it been somebody brown-eyed, with a ruby ring and orange perfume, who sat here waiting with them, it would have been his, Hans Castorp’s, part to lead the conversation and say: “Rather” in the purity and detachment of his sentiments. “Yes, madame, certainly rather unpleasant,” he would have said; and might have taken his handkerchief out of his breast pocket with a flourish, and blown his nose. “Have patience, our case is no better than yours.” How surprised Joachim would have been at his fluency—but without seriously wishing himself in Hans Castorp’s place. No, and Hans Castorp was not jealous of Joachim for being able to talk to Frau Chauchat. He was satisfied that she should have addressed herself to his cousin; it showed that she recognized the situation for what it was.—His heart pounded.

After Joachim’s cavalier treatment of Madame Chauchat—in which Hans Castorp seemed to savour something almost like faint hostility on his cousin’s part toward their fair fellow-patient, a hostility at which he could not help smiling, despite the commotion in his mind—“Clavdia” tried a turn up and down the room. Then, finding the space too confined, she too took up an illustrated paper, and returned to the easychair with the rudimentary arms. Hans Castorp looked at her, with his chin in his collar, like his grandfather—it was laughable to see how like the old man he looked. Frau Chauchat had crossed one leg over the other again, and her knee, even the whole slender line of the thigh, showed beneath the blue skirt. She was only of middle height—a thoroughly proper and delightful height, in Hans Castorp’s eyes—but relatively long-legged, and narrow in the hips. She sat leaning forward, with her crossed forearms supported on her knee, her shoulders drooping, and her back rounded, so that the neck-bone stuck out prominently, and nearly the whole spine was marked out under the close-fitting sweater. Her breasts, which were not high and voluptuous like Marusja’s, but small and maidenly, were pressed together from both sides. Hans Castorp recalled, suddenly, that she too was sitting here waiting to be x-rayed. The Hofrat painted her, he reproduced her outward form with oil and colours upon the canvas. And now, in the twilighted room, he would direct upon her the rays which would reveal to him the inside of her body. When this idea occurred to Hans Castorp, he turned away his head and put on a primly detached air; a sort of seemly obscurantism presented itself to him as the only correct attitude in the presence of such a thought.

The waiting together in the little room did not last for long. They evidently gave rather short shrift to Sascha and his mother in there, in their effort to make up for lost time. The technician in his white smock once more appeared, Joachim stood up and tossed his paper back on to the table, and Hans Castorp, not without inward hesitation, followed him to the open door. He was struggling with chivalrous scruples, also with the temptation to put himself, after all, upon conventional terms with Frau Chauchat, to speak to her and offer her precedence—in French, if he could manage. Hastily he sought to muster the words, the sentence structure. But he did not know if such courtesies were practised up here; probably the established order was more powerful than the rules of chivalry. Joachim must know, and as he made no motion to defer to sex, even though Hans Castorp looked at him imploringly, the latter followed his cousin past Frau Chauchat, who merely glanced up from her stooping posture as they went through the door into the laboratory.

He was too much possessed by the events of the last ten minutes, and by what he left behind, for his mind to pass immediately with his body over the threshold of the x-ray laboratory. He saw nothing, or only vaguely, in the artificially lighted room; he still heard Frau Chauchat’s pleasantly veiled voice, with which she had said: “What is it, then?. . . Some people have just gone in. . . It is disagreeable”—the sound of it still shivered sweetly down his back. He saw the shape of her knee under the cloth skirt, saw the bone of her neck, under the short reddish-blond hairs that were not gathered up into the braids—and again the shiver ran down his back. Then he saw Hofrat Behrens, with his back to them, standing before a sort of built-in recess, looking at a black plate which he held at arm’s length toward the dim light in the ceiling. They passed him and went on into the room, followed by the assistant, who made preparations to dispatch their affair. It smelled very odd in here, the air was filled with a sort of stale ozone. The built-in structure, projecting between the two black-hung windows, divided the room into two unequal parts. Hans Castorp could distinguish physical apparatus. Lenses, switch-boards, towering measuring-instruments, a box like a camera on a rolling stand, glass diapositives in rows set in the walls. Hard to say whether this was a photographic studio, a dark-room, or an inventor’s workshop and technological witches’ kitchen.

Joachim had begun, without more ado, to lay bare the upper half of his body. The helper, a square-built, rosy-cheeked young native in a white smock, motioned Hans Castorp to do the same. It went fast, and he was next in turn. As Hans Castorp took off his waistcoat, Behrens came out of the smaller recess where he had been standing into the larger one.

“Hallo,” said he. “Here are our Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux. If you feel any inclination to blub, kindly suppress it. Just wait, we shall soon see through you both. I expect, Castorp, you feel a little nervous about exposing your inner self to our gaze?

Don’t be alarmed, we preserve all the amenities. Look here, have you seen my picture-gallery?” He led Hans Castorp by the arm before the rows of dark plates on the wall, and turned on a light behind them. Hans Castorp saw various members: hands, feet, knee-pans, thigh-and leg-bones, arms, and pelvises. But the rounded living form of these portions of the human body was vague and shadowy, like a pale and misty envelope, within which stood out the clear, sharp nucleus—the skeleton.

“Very interesting,” said Hans Castorp.

“Interesting sure enough,” responded the Hofrat. “Useful object-lesson for the young. X-ray anatomy, you know, triumph of the age. There is a female arm, you can tell by its delicacy. That’s what they put around you when they make love, you know.” He laughed, and his upper lip with the close-cropped moustache went up still more on one side. The pictures faded. Hans Castorp turned his attention to the preparations for taking Joachim’s x-ray.

It was done in front of that structure on the other side of which Hofrat Behrens had been standing when they entered. Joachim had taken his place on a sort of shoemaker’s bench, in front of a board, which he embraced with his arms and pressed his breast against it, while the assistant improved the position, massaging his back with kneading motions, and putting his arms further forward. Then he went behind the camera, and stood just as a photographer would, legs apart and stooped over, to look inside. He expressed his satisfaction and, going back to Joachim, warned him to draw in his breath and hold it until all was over. Joachim’s rounded back expanded and so remained; the assistant, at the switch-board, pulled the handle. Now, for the space of two seconds, fearful powers were in play—streams of thousands, of a hundred thousand of volts, Hans Castorp seemed to recall—which were necessary to pierce through solid matter. They could hardly be confined to their office, they tried to escape through other outlets: there were explosions like pistol-shots, blue sparks on the measuring apparatus; long lightnings crackled along the walls. Somewhere in the room appeared a red light, like a threatening eye, and a phial in Joachim’s rear filled with green. Then everything grew quiet, the phenomena disappeared, and Joachim let out his breath with a sigh. It was over.

“Next delinquent,” said the Hofrat, and nudged Hans Castorp with his elbow.

“Don’t pretend you’re too tired. You will get a free copy, Castorp; then you can project the secrets of your bosom on the wall for your children and grandchildren to see!”

Joachim had stepped down; the technician changed the plate. Hofrat Behrens personally instructed the novice how to sit and hold himself.

“Put your arms about it,” he said. “Embrace the board—pretend it’s something else, if you like. Press your breast against it, as though it filled you with rapture. Like that. Draw a deep breath. Hold it!” he commanded. “Now, please!” Hans Castorp waited, blinking, his lungs distended. Behind him the storm broke loose: it crackled, lightened, detonated—and grew still. The lens had looked into his inside.

He got down, dazed and bewildered, notwithstanding he had not been physically sensible of the penetration in the slightest degree.

“Good lad,” said the Hofrat. “Now we shall see.” The experienced Joachim had already moved over toward the entrance door and taken position at a stand; at his back was the lofty structure of the apparatus, with a bulb half full of water, and distillation tubes; in front of him, breast-high, hung a framed screen on pulleys. On his left, between switch-board and instrumentarium, was a red globe. The Hofrat, bestriding a stool in front of the screen, lighted the light. The ceiling light went out, and only the red glow illumined the scene. Then the master turned this too off, with a quick motion, and thick darkness enveloped the laboratory.

“We must first accustom the eyes,” the Hofrat was heard to say, in the darkness.

“We must get big pupils, like a cat’s, to see what we want to see. You understand, our everyday eyesight would not be good enough for our purposes. We have to banish the bright daylight and its pretty pictures out of our minds.”

“Naturally,” said Hans Castorp. He stood at the Hofrat’s shoulder, and closed his eyes, since the darkness was so profound that it did not matter whether he had them open or shut. “First we must wash our eyes with darkness to see what we want to see. That is plain. I find it quite right and proper, as a matter of fact, that we should collect ourselves a little, beforehand—in silent prayer, as it were. I am standing here with my eyes shut, and have quite a pleasant sleepy feeling. But what is it I smell?”

“Oxygen,” said the Hofrat. “What you notice in the air is oxygen. Atmospheric product of our little private thunderstorm, you know. Eyes open!” he commanded.

“The magicking is about to begin.” Hans Castorp hastened to obey.

They heard a switch go on. A motor started up, and sang furiously higher and higher, until another switch controlled and steadied it. The floor shook with an even vibration. The little red light, at right angles to the ceiling, looked threateningly across at them. Somewhere lightening flashed. And with a milky gleam a window of light emerged from the darkness: it was the square hanging screen, before which Hofrat Behrens bestrode his stool, his legs sprawled apart with his fists supported on them, his blunt nose close to the pane, which gave him a view of a man’s interior organism.

“Do you see it, young man?” he asked. Hans Castorp leaned over his shoulder, but then raised his head again to look toward the spot where Joachim’s eyes were presumably gazing in the darkness, with the gentle, sad expression they had worn during the other examination. “May I?” he asked.

“Of course,” Joachim replied magnanimously, out of the dark. And to the pulsation of the floor, and the snapping and cracking of the forces at play, Hans Castorp peered through the lighted window, peered into Joachim Ziemssen’s empty skeleton. The breastbone and spine fell together in a single dark column. The frontal structure of the ribs was cut across by the paler structure of the back. Above, the collar-bones branched off on both sides, and the framework of the shoulder, with the joint and the beginning of Joachim’s arm, showed sharp and bare through the soft envelope of flesh. The thoracic cavity was light, but blood-vessels were to be seen, some dark spots, a blackish shadow.

“Clear picture,” said the Hofrat, “quite a decent leanness—that’s the military youth. I’ve had paunches here—you couldn’t see through them, hardly recognize a thing. The rays are yet to be discovered that will go through such layers of fat. This is nice clean work. Do you see the diaphragm?” he asked, and indicated with his finger the dark arch in the window, that rose and fell. “Do you see the bulges here on the left side, the little protuberances? That was the inflammation of the pleura he had when he was fifteen years old. Breathe deep,” he commanded. “Deeper! Deep, I tell you!” And Joachim’s diaphragm rose quivering, as high as it could; the upper pans of the lungs could be seen to clear up, but the Hofrat was not satisfied. “Not good enough,” he said. “Can you see the hilus glands? Can you see the adhesions? Look at the cavities here, that is where the toxins come from that fuddle him.” But Hans Castorp’s attention was taken up by something like a bag, a strange, animal shape, darkly visible behind the middle column, or more on the right side of it—the spectator’s right. It expanded and contracted regularly, a little after the fashion of a swimming jelly-fish.

“Look at his heart,” and the Hofrat lifted his huge hand again from his thigh and pointed with his forefinger at the pulsating shadow. Good God, it was the heart, it was Joachim’s honour-loving heart, that Hans Castorp saw!”

“I am looking at your heart,” he said in a suppressed voice.

“Go ahead,” answered Joachim again; probably he smiled politely up there in the darkness. But the Hofrat told him to be quiet and not betray any sensibility. Behrens studied the spots and the lines, the black festoon in the intercostal space; while Hans Castorp gazed without wearying at Joachim’s graveyard shape and bony tenement, this lean memento mori, this scaffolding for mortal flesh to hang on. “Yes, yes! I see, I see!” he said, several times over. “My God, I see!” He had heard of a woman, a longdead member of the Tienappel connexion, who had been endowed or afflicted with a heavy gift, which she bore in all humility: namely, that the skeletons of persons about to die would appear before her. Thus now Hans Castorp was privileged to behold the good Joachim—but with the aid and under the auspices of physical science; and by his cousin’s express permission, so that it was quite legitimate and without gruesome significance. Yet a certain sympathy came over him with the melancholy destiny of his clairvoyant relative. He was strongly moved by what he saw—or more precisely, by the fact that he saw it—and felt stirrings of uneasy doubt, as to whether it was really permissible and innocent to stand here in the quaking, crackling darkness and gaze like this; his itch to commit the indiscretion conflicted in his bosom with religious emotion and feelings of concern.

But a few minutes later he himself stood in the pillory, in the midst of the electrical storm, while Joachim, his body closed up again, put on his clothes. Again the Hofrat peered through the milky glass, this time into Hans Castorp’s own inside; and from his half-utterances, his broken phrases and bursts of scolding, the young man gathered that what he saw corresponded to his expectations. He was so kind as to permit the patient, at his request, to look at his own hand through the screen. And Hans Castorp saw, precisely what he must have expected, but what it is hardly permitted man to see, and what he had never thought it would be vouchsafed him to see: he looked into his own grave. The process of decay was forestalled by the powers of the light-ray, the flesh in which he walked disintegrated, annihilated, dissolved in vacant mist, and there within it was the finely turned skeleton of his own hand, the seal ring he had inherited from his grandfather hanging loose and black on the joint of his ringfinger—a hard, material object, with which man adorns the body that is fated to melt away beneath it, when it passes on to another flesh that can wear it for yet a little while. With the eyes of his Tienappel ancestress, penetrating, prophetic eyes, he gazed at this familiar part of his own body, and for the first time in his life he understood that he would die. At the thought there came over his face the expression it usually wore when he listened to music: a little dull, sleepy, and pious, his mouth half open, his head inclined toward the shoulder.

The Hofrat said: “Spooky, what? Yes, there’s something distinctly spooky about it.”

He closed off the current. The floor ceased to vibrate, the lightnings to play, the magic window was quenched in darkness. The ceiling light came on. As Hans Castorp flung on his clothes, the Hofrat gave the two young men the results of his observations, in non-technical language, out of regard for their lay minds. It seemed that in Hans Castorp’s case, the test of the eye confirmed that of the ear in a way to add lustre to science. The Hofrat had seen the old as well as the fresh spots, and “strands” ran from the bronchial tubes rather far into the organ itself—“strands” with “nodules.”

Hans Castorp would be able to see for himself later, in the diapositive which they would give him for his very own. The word of command was calm, patience, manly self-discipline; measure, eat, lie down, wake, and drink tea. They left; Hans Castorp, going out behind Joachim, looked over his shoulder. Ushered in by the technician, Frau Chauchat was entering the laboratory.


HOW did it seem now to our young Hans Castorp? Was it as though the seven weeks which, demonstrably and without the shadow of a doubt, he had spent with them up here, were only seven days? Or, on the contrary, did they seem much longer than had actually been the case? He asked himself, inwardly, and also by way of asking Joachim; but he could not decide. Both were probably true: when he looked back, the time seemed both unnaturally long and unnaturally short, or rather it seemed anything but what it actually was—in saying which we assume that time is a natural phenomenon, and that it is admissible to associate with it the conception of actuality. At all events October was before the door, it might enter any day. The calculation was an easy one for Hans Castorp to make, and he gathered the same result from the conversation of his fellow-patients. “Do you know that in five days it will be the first again?” he heard Hermine Kleefeld say to two of her familiars, the student Rasmussen and the thick-lipped young man, whose name was Gänser. It was after luncheon, and the guests lingered chatting in the dining-room, though the air was heavy with the odours of the meal just served, instead of going into the afternoon rest-cure. “The first of October, I saw it on the calendar in the office. That makes the second of its kind I’ve spent in the pleasure resort. Well, summer is over, in so far as there has been a summer, that is—it has really been a sell, like life in general.” She shook her head, fetched a sigh from her one lung, and rolled up to the ceiling her dull and stolid eyes.

“Cheer up, Rasmussen,” she said, and slapped her comrade on the drooping shoulder.

“Make a few jokes!”

“I don’t know many,” he responded, letting his hands flap finlike before his breast,

“and those I do I can’t tell, I’m so tired all the time.”

“ ‘Not even a dog,’ ” Gänser said through his teeth, “ ‘would want to live longer’if he had to live like this.”

They laughed and shrugged their shoulders.

Settembrini had been standing near them, his toothpick between his lips. As they went out he said to Hans Castorp: “Don’t you believe them, Engineer, never believe them when they grumble. They all do it, without exception, and all of them are only too much at home up here. They lead a loose and idle life, and imagine themselves entitled to pity, and justified of their bitterness, irony, and cynicism. ‘This pleasure resort,’ she said. Well, isn’t it a pleasure resort, then? In my humble opinion it is, and in a very questionable sense too. So life is a ‘sell,’ up here at this pleasure resort! But once let them go down below and their manner of life will be such as to leave no doubt that they mean to come back again. Irony, forsooth! Guard yourself, Engineer, from the sort of irony that thrives up here; guard yourself altogether from taking on their mental attitude! Where irony is not a direct and classic device of oratory, not for a moment equivocal to a healthy mind, it makes for depravity, it becomes a drawback to civilization, an unclean traffic with the forces of reaction, vice, and materialism. As the atmosphere in which we live is obviously very favourable to such miasmic growths, I may hope, or rather, I must fear, that you understand my meaning.”

Truly the Italian’s words were of the sort that seven weeks ago, down in the flatland, would have been empty sound to Hans Castorp’s ears. But his stay up here had made his mind receptive to them: receptive in the sense that he comprehended them with his mind, if not with his sympathies, which would have meant even more. For although he was at bottom glad that Settembrini, after all that had passed, continued, as he did, still to talk to him, admonishing, instructing, seeking to establish an influence upon his mind, yet his understanding had reached the point where he was critical of the Italian’s words, and at times, up to a point, withheld his assent.

“Imagine,” he said to himself, “he talks about irony just as he does about music, he’ll soon be telling us that it is politically suspect—that is, from the moment it ceases to be a ‘direct and classic device of oratory.’ But irony that is ‘not for a moment equivocal’ —what kind of irony would that be, I should like to ask, if I may make so bold as to put in my oar? It would be a piece of dried-up pedantry!” Thus ungrateful is immature youth! It takes all that is offered, and bites the hand that feeds it. But it would have seemed too risky to put his opposition into words. He confined himself to commenting upon what Herr Settembrini had said about Hermine Kleefeld, which he found ungenerous—or rather, had his reasons for wishing to find it so.

“But the girl is ill,” he said. “She is seriously ill, without the shadow of a doubtshe has every reason for pessimism. What do you expect of her?”

“Disease and despair,” Settembrini said, “are often only forms of depravity.”

“And Leopardi,” thought Hans Castorp, “who definitely despaired of science and progress? And our schoolmaster himself? He is infected too and keeps coming back here, and Carducci would have had small joy of him.”

Aloud he said: “You are good! Why, the girl may lie down and die any day, and you call it depravity! You’ll have to make that a little clearer. If you said that illness is sometimes a consequence of depravity, that would at least be sensible.”

“Very sensible indeed!” Settembrini put in. “My word! So if I stopped at that, you would be satisfied?”

“Or if you said that illness may serve as a pretext for depravity—that would be all right, too.”

Grazie tanto!”

But illness a form of depravity? That is to say, not originating in depravity, but itself depravity? That seems to me a paradox.”

“I beg of you, Engineer, not to impute to me anything of the sort. I despise paradoxes, I hate them. All that I said to you about irony I would say over again about paradoxes, and more besides. Paradox is the poisonous flower of quietism, the iridescent surface of the rotting mind, the greatest depravity of all! Moreover, I note that you are once more defending disease—”

“No; what you are saying interests me. It reminds me of things Dr. Krokowski says in his Monday lectures. He too explains organic disease as a secondary phenomenon.”

“Scarcely the pure idealist.”

“What have you against him?”

“Just that.”

“You are down on analysis?”

“Not always—I am for it and against it, both by turns.”

“How am I to understand that?”

“Analysis as an instrument of enlightenment and civilization is good, in so far as it shatters absurd convictions, acts as a solvent upon natural prejudices, and undermines authority; good, in other words, in that it sets free, refines, humanizes, makes slaves ripe for freedom. But it is bad, very bad, in so far as it stands in the way of action, cannot shape the vital forces, maims life at its roots. Analysis can be a very unappetizing affair, as much so as death, with which it may well belong—allied to the grave and its unsavory anatomy.”

“Well roared, lion,” Herr Castorp could not help thinking, as he often did when Herr Settembrini delivered himself of something pedagogic. Aloud he only said:

“We’ve been having to do with x-ray anatomy in these days, down on the lower-floor. Behrens called it that, when he x-rayed us.”

“Oh, so you have made that stage too? Well?”

“I saw the skeleton of my hand,” Hans Castorp said, and sought to call up the feeling that had mounted in him at the sight. “Did you get them to show you yours?”

“No, I don’t take the faintest interest in my skeleton. But what was the physician’s verdict?”

“He saw ‘strands ‘—strands with nodules.”

“The scoundrel!”

“I have heard you call Hofrat Behrens that before, Herr Settembrini. What do you mean by it?”

“I assure you the epithet was deliberately chosen.”

“No, Herr Settembrini, there I find you are unjust. I admit the man has his faults; his manner of speech becomes disagreeable in the long run, there is something forced about it, especially when one remembers he had the great sorrow of losing his wife up here. But what an estimable and meritorious man he is, after all, a benefactor to suffering humanity! I met him the other day coming from an operation, resection of ribs, a matter of life and death, you know. It made a great impression on me, to see him fresh from such exacting and splendid work, in which he is so much the master. He was still warm from it, and had lighted a cigar by way of reward. I envied him.”

“That was commendable of you. Well, and your sentence?”

“He has not set any definite time.”

“That is good too. And now let us betake us to our cure, Engineer. Each to his own place.”

They parted at the door of number thirty-four.

“You are going up to the roof now, Herr Settembrini? It must be more fun to lie in company than alone. Do you talk? Are they pleasant people?”

“Oh, they are nothing but Parthians and Scythians.”

“You mean Russians?”

“Russians, male and female,” said Settembrini, and the corner of his mouth spanned a little. “Good-bye, Engineer.”

He had said that of malice aforethought, undoubtedly. Hans Castorp walked into his own room in confusion. Was Settembrini aware of his state? Very likely, like the schoolmaster he was, he had been spying on him, and seen which way his eyes were going. Hans Castorp was angry with the Italian and also with himself, for having by his lack of self-control invited the thrust. He took up his writing materials to carry them with him into the balcony—for now it was no more use; the letter home, the third letter, must be written—and as he did so he went on whipping up his anger, muttering to himself about this windbag and logic chopper, who meddled with matters that were no concern of his, and chirruped to the girls in the street. He felt quite disinclined to the effort of writing, the organ-grinder had put him off it altogether, with his innuendo. But no matter what his feelings, he must have winter clothing, money, footwear, linen—in brief, everything he might have brought with him had he known he was coming, not for three short summer weeks, but for an indefinite stay which was certain to last for a piece into the winter—or rather, considering the notions about time current up here, was quite likely to last all the winter. It was this he must let them know at home, even if only as a possibility; he must tell the whole story, and not put them, or himself, off any longer with pretexts.

In this spirit, then, he wrote, practising the technique he had so often seen Joachim practise; with a fountain-pen, in his deck-chair, with his knees drawn up and the portfolio laid upon them. He wrote upon the letter-paper of the establishment, of which he kept a supply in his table drawer, to James Tienappel, who stood closest to him among the three uncles, and asked him to pass the news on to the Consul. He spoke of an unfortunate occurrence, of suspicions that had proved justified, of the medical opinion that it would be best for him to remain where he was for a part, perhaps for all of the winter, since cases like his often proved more obstinate than those that began more alarmingly and it was clearly advisable to go after the infection energetically and root it out once for all. From this point of view, he considered, it had been a most fortunate circumstance that he had chanced to come here, and been induced to submit to an examination, for otherwise he might have remained for some time in ignorance of his condition, and been apprised of it later and more alarmingly. As for the length of time which would probably be required for the cure, they must not be surprised to hear the whole winter might easily slip away before his return—in short, that he might come down hardly earlier than Joachim. Ideas about time were different up here from those ordinarily held about the length of stay at the baths, or at an ordinary cure. The smallest unit of time, so to speak, was the month, and a single month was almost no time at all.

The weather was cool, he sat in his overcoat, with a rug about him, and his hands were cold. At times he looked up from the paper which he was covering with these reasonable and sensible phrases, at the landscape now so familiar he scarcely saw it any more: this extended valley with its retreating succession of peaks at the entrance—they looked pale and glassy to-day—with its bright and populous floor, which glistened when the sun shone full upon it, and its forest-clad or meadowy slopes, whence came the sound of cow-bells. He wrote with growing ease, and wondered why he had dreaded to write. For as he wrote he felt that nothing could be clearer than his presentation of the matter, and that there was no doubt it would meet with perfect comprehension at home. A young man of his class and circumstances acted for himself when it seemed advisable; he took advantage of the facilities which existed expressly for him and his like. So it was fitting. If he had taken the journey home, they would have made him come back again on hearing his report. He asked them to send what things he needed. And at the end he asked to have money sent: a monthly cheque of eight hundred marks would cover everything.

He signed his name. It was done. This last letter was exhaustive, it covered the case; not according to the time-conceptions of down below, but according to those obtaining up here; it asserted Hans Castorp’s freedom. This was his own word, albeit not expressed; he would hardly have shaped the syllables even in his mind; but he felt the full sense of its meaning, as he had come to know it during his stay up here—a sense which had little to do with the Settembrinian significance—and his breast was shaken with that excited alarm, which swept over him in a wave, as it had done before.

His head was hot with the blood that had gone to it as he wrote, his cheeks burned. He took the thermometer from his lamp-stand and “measured,” as though to make use of an opportunity. Mercurius had gone up to 100°.

“Look at that,” he thought; and added a postscript to his letter: “It did strain me rather, after all, to write this. My temperature is 100°. I see that I must be very quiet, for the present. You must excuse me if I don’t write often.” Then he lay back, and held up his hand toward the light, palm outward, as he had held it behind the lightscreen. But the light of day did not encroach upon its living outline; rather it looked more substantial and opaque for its background of bright air, only its outer edges were rosily illuminated. This was his living hand, that he was used to see, to use, to washnot that uncanny scaffolding which he had beheld through the screen. The analytic grave then opened was closed again.

Whims of Mercurius

OCTOBER began as months do: their entrance is, in itself, an unostentatious and soundless affair, without outward signs and tokens; they, as it were, steal in softly and, unless you are keeping close watch, escape your notice altogether. Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.

To Hans Castorp the first day of October and the last day of September were as like as two peas; both were equally cold and unfriendly, and those that followed were the same. In the rest-cure one used one’s overcoat and both camel’s-hair rugs, not only in the evening, but in the day-time. The fingers that held the book were stiff and clammy, however the cheeks burned; and Joachim was strongly tempted to resort to his fur sack, but resisted, in order not to pamper himself thus early in the season. Some days later, however—that is, between the beginning and middle of the monththere came another change: a latter summer set in, with amazing splendour. The praises of this mountain October, which Hans Castorp had heard, were not idly sung. For some two and a half weeks all the glories of heaven reigned over valley and mountain, one day outvied another in blueness and clarity, and the sun burned down with such immediate power that everyone felt impelled to don the lightest of wear, muslin frocks and linen trousers already put aside. The adjustable canvas parasol without a handle was called into requisition, and fitted by its cunning device of holes and pegs on to the arm of the reclining-chair; and even its shelter was felt to be insufficient against the midday glare.

“I’m glad I’m here still, for this,” said Hans Castorp to his cousin. “It has been so wretched at times, and now it is as though we had the winter behind us, and only good weather to look forward to.” He was quite right. There were indeed not many signs that pointed to the true state of the calendar; and even those there were did not strike the eye. Aside from the few oak-trees that had been set out down in the Platz, where they had just managed to survive, and long before now had despondently shed their leaves, the whole region held no deciduous trees to give the landscape an autumnal cast; only the hybrid Alpine alder, which renews its soft needles as though they were leaves, showed a wintry baldness. The other trees of the region, whether towering or stunted, were evergreen pines and firs, invincible against the assaults of this irregular winter, which might scatter its snow-storms through all the months of the year: only the many-shaded, rust-red tone that lay over the forest gave notice, despite the glowing sunshine, of a declining year. Yet, looking closer, there were the wild flowers, speaking, though softly, yet to the same effect; the meadow orchis, the bushy aquilegia were no longer in bloom, only the gentian and the lowly autumn crocus, bearing witness to the inner sharpness of the superficially heated air, that could pierce one to the bone as one sat, like a chill in fever, though one glowed outwardly from the ardour of the sun.

Hans Castorp did not keep inward count of the time, as does the man who husbands it, notes its passing, divides and tells and labels its units. He had not heeded the silent entry of the tenth month, but he was arrested by its appeal to the senses, this glowing heat that concealed the frost within and beneath it. It was a sensation which, to anything like this degree, he had never before experienced, and it aroused him to the culinary comparison which he made to Joachim, of an omelette en surprise, holding an ice concealed within the hot froth of the beaten egg. He often made such comments, talking headlong and volubly, as a man does in a feverish chill. But between whiles he was silent; we shall not say self-absorbed, for his attention was presumably directed outwards, though upon a single point. All else, whether of the animate or the inanimate world, swam about him in a mist—a mist of his own making, which Hofrat Behrens and Dr. Krokowski would doubtless have explained as the product of soluble toxins, as the befuddled one himself did also, though without having the slightest power or even desire to rid himself of the state they induced. For that is an intoxication, by which one is possessed, under the influence of which one abhors nothing more than the thought of sobriety. It asserts itself against impressions that would weaken its force, it will not admit them, it wards them off. Hans Castorp was aware, and had even spoken of the fact, that Madame Chauchat’s profile was not her strong point, that it was no longer quite youthful, was even a little sharp. And the consequence? He avoided looking at her in profile, he literally closed his eyes when he caught that view of her, even at a distance; it pained him. Why?

Should not reason have leaped to take advantage of the favourable moment to reasert itself? But what do we ask? He grew pale with rapture when, tempted by the brilliant weather, she appeared at second breakfast in the white lace matinée which made her look so ravishing—appeared late, accompanied by the banging of the door, smiling, her arms raised in a pretty posture, and presented herself thus to the dining-room before she glided to her seat. But he was enraptured not so much because she looked so charming, as because her charm added strength to the sweet intoxication in his brain, the intoxication that willed to be, that cared only to be justified and nourished. An authority of Ludovico Settembrini’s way of thinking might have characterized as depravity, as a “form of depravity,” such a lack of good intention. Hans Castorp sometimes pondered over the literary things the Italian had said about illness and despair—which he had found incomprehensible, or at least pretended to himself to find them so. He looked at Clavdia Chauchat—at the flaccidity of her back, the posture of her head; he saw her come habitually late to table, without reason or excuse, solely out of a lack of order and disciplined energy. He saw the same lack when she let slam every door through which she passed, when she moulded bread pellets at the table, when she gnawed her fingers; and he had a suspicion, which he did not put into words, that if she was ill—and that she was, probably incurably, since she had been up here so often and so long—her illness was in good part, if not entirely, a moral one: as Settembrini had said, neither the ground nor the consequence of her “slackness,” but precisely one and the same thing. He recalled the contemptuous gesture of the humanist when he spoke of the “Parthians and Scythians” in whose company he was forced to take the rest-cure. It had been a gesture not only of deliberate, but also of natural and instinctive disdain; and that feeling was quite comprehensible to Hans Castorp. Had he not once, who always sat so erect at table, loathed and despised the banging of doors, and never, never was tempted to gnaw his fingers, because to that end Maria had been given him instead, had he not once taken deep offence at the unmannerly behaviour of Frau Chauchat, and felt an unconquerable sense of superiority when he heard the narrow-eyed one essay to speak his mother-tongue?

The present state of his feelings, however, had put on one side any such sentiments as these; it was now the Italian who was the object of his irritation, because he, in his benightedness, had spoken of Parthians and Scythians and had not meant thereby the persons at the “bad” Russian table, the shock-headed, linenless students, who sat there disputing endlessly in their outlandish tongue, which was obviously the only one they knew, and which, in its soft, spineless character reminded Hans Castorp of the thorax without ribs Hofrat Behrens had described to him. True, the manners and customs of such people might readily awaken feelings of disgust in the breast of a humanist. They ate with their knives, and unmentionably messed the front of their blouses. Settembrini asserted that one of them, a medical student well on in his training, was so ignorant of Latin, as not to know, for example, what the word vacuum meant. As for the married couple in number thirty-two, Hans Castorp’s own daily experience of them was such as to render quite credible Frau Stöhr’s report, that when the bathingmaster entered their room in the morning for the usual massage, they received him lying in bed together.

All this might well be true. But after all, the distinction between “good” and “bad” was a plain one, it did not exist for nothing. Hans Castorp assured himself that he felt only contempt for any propagandist of the republic and the bello stile who went about with his nose in the air, and calmly—with particular calm, although at the same time both febrile and fuddled—lumped the members of both tables together under the title of Parthians and Scythians. Hans Castorp understood only too well the sense in which he used it, since he had begun to understand the connexion between Frau Chauchat’s illness and her “slackness.” But as he had one day put it to Joachim: one begins by being angry and disgusted, and then all at once “something quite different enters in,” that has “nothing to do with moral judgment,” and it is all up with your severity; you are simply not at home to pedagogic influences, however republican, however eloquent. But, we are impelled to ask, probably again in the spirit of Ludovico Settembrini, what sort of questionable experience is this, which palsies a man’s judgment, robs him of all claim to it, or even makes him waive that claim, and experience in so doing the abandonment of ecstasy? We do not ask its name—for that everyone knows. Our question rather refers to its moral quality; and we confess that we do not anticipate any very self-confident reply. In Hans Castorp’s case its nature was evident in the extent to which he not only ceased to exercise his judgment, but even began to experiment for his own part and upon his own mortal vesture. He tried, for instance, how it would feel to sit at table with his back all relaxed, and discovered that it afforded sensible relief to the pelvic muscles. Again, one day, instead of punctiliously closing a door behind him, he let it slam; and this too he found both fitting and agreeable. It corresponded to the shoulder-shrug with which Joachim had greeted him at the station, and which was so habitual among those up here.

In brief, our traveller was now over head and ears in love with Clavdia Chauchatwe may still use the phrase, since we have already obviated any possible misunderstanding on the score of it. We have seen that the essence of his passion was something quite other than the tender and pensive mood of that oft-quoted ditty: rather it was a wild and vagrant variation upon the lovesick lute, it was mingled frost and fire, like the state of a fever patient, or the October air in these high altitudes. What he actually lacked, in fact, was an emotional bridge between two extremes. On the one hand his passion dwelt, with an immediacy that left the young man pale and staring, upon Frau Chauchat’s knee, the line of her thigh, her back, her neck-bone, her arms that pressed together her little breasts—in a word, it dwelt upon her body, her idle, accentuated body, exaggerated by disease and rendered twice over body. And, on the other hand, it was something in the highest degree fleeting and tenuous; a thought, nay, a dream, the frightful, infinitely alluring dream of a young man whose unspoken, unconscious questioning of the universe has received no answer save a hollow silence. We have as much right as the next person to our private thoughts about the story we are relating; and we would here hazard the surmise that young Hans Castorp would never have overstepped so far the limits originally fixed for his stay if to his simple soul there might have been vouchsafed, out of the depth of his time, any reasonably satisfying explanation of the meaning and purpose of man’s life.

For the rest, his lovesick state afforded him all the joy and all the anguish proper to it the world over. The anguish is acute, it has, like all anguish, a mortifying element; it shatters the nervous system to an extent that takes the breath away, and can wring tears from the eyes of a grown man. As for the joys, to do them justice, they were manifold, and no less piercing than the anguish, though their occasion might be trifling indeed. Almost any moment of the Berghof day might bring one forth. For example, about to enter the dining-room, Hans Castorp would perceive the object of his dreams behind him—an experience clear and simple in anticipation, but inwardly ravishing to the point of tears. Their eyes meet at close range, his own and her greygreen ones, whose slightly oriental shape and position pierce him to the very marrow. He is incapable of connected thought, but unconsciously steps back to give her precedence through the door. With a half-smile, a half-audible “Merci,” she accepts his conventional courtesy and, passing him by, enters the room. He stands there, within the aura of her personality as it sweeps past, idiotic with happiness at the encounter, and at the word which has been uttered by her mouth directly for his ear. He follows her, he moves unsteadily to his own table and, sinking into his chair, becomes aware that Clavdia, as she too takes her place, has turned to look at him. He thinks she wears an expression as though musing on their encounter at the door. Oh, unbelievable adventure! Oh, joy, rapture, and boundless exaltation! Ah, no, this drunkenness of fantastic bliss Hans Castorp could never have experienced at the glance of any healthy little goose down in the flat-land, to whom he might have, calmly, correctly, and with most definite intentions, “given his heart,” and devoted the sentiments described in the song. He greets the schoolmistress with feverish sprightliness—she has seen the whole thing, and her downy old cheek wears its dusky signal—and then bombards Miss Robinson with English conversation, so absurdly that she, not versed in the ecstatic, fairly recoils, and measures him with mistrustful eyes.

Another time, as they sit at the evening meal, the serene rays of the setting sun fall upon the “good” Russian table. The curtains have been drawn over the window and the verandah door, but somewhere there is a little crack, and through it the red gleam finds its way, not hot, but dazzling, and falls upon Frau Chauchat’s face, so that she shields it with her hand as she sits talking with the concave countryman on her right. It is annoying but not serious, nobody troubles about it, probably not even the fair one herself. But across the dining-room Hans Castorp sees it—quiescent awhile, like the others. He examines the situation, follows the course of the ray of light, makes up his mind where it enters. It comes from the bay-window in the right-hand corner, between the verandah door and the “bad” Russian table, at a goodish distance from Frau Chauchat’s place, and almost equally far from Hans Castorp’s. Without a word he gets up and, serviette in hand, crosses over among the tables, draws the creamcoloured curtains so that they lap well over one another, convinces himself by a glance over his shoulder that the ray from the setting sun is shut out and Frau Chauchat relieved, and with an air of perfect equanimity goes back to his place. An observant young man, who takes it upon himself to perform a needful courtesy neglected by others. But few of them even noticed his act; Frau Chauchat, however, instantly felt the relief, and turned round, remaining in that position until Hans Castorp had resumed his place and, sitting down, looked over at her, when she thanked him, with a friendly, rather surprised smile, and a bow that was less an inclination than a shoving forward of the head. He acknowledged by a bow in his turn. His heart stood stock-still, it seemed not to beat. Only after the whole thing was over did it begin again, and hammered, and only then did he become conscious that Joachim had kept his eyes directed upon his plate. Afterwards, too, he realized that Frau Stöhr had nudged Dr. Blumenkohl in the side, and then looked about at their own and other tables, trying to catch people’s eyes.

All this is the sheerest commonplace; but the commonplace becomes remarkable when it springs from remarkable soil. There were periods of strain and periods when the tension between them beneficently relaxed—though perhaps the tension existed less between them than it did in Hans Castorp’s fevered imagination, for how far Madame Chauchat was affected we can only guess. In these days of fine weather the majority of the guests betook themselves to the verandah, after the midday meal, and stood about in groups, sunning themselves, for a quarter-hour or so, in a scene much like that on the Sunday afternoons of the fortnightly concerts. All these young people, absolutely idle, overfed on a meat and sweet diet, and without exception feverishchattered and laughed, philandered, made eyes. Frau Salomon from Amsterdam would perch on the balustrade, hard pressed on the right by the knees of the thicklipped Gänser, on the left by the Swedish minion—who, it appeared, was quite recovered, but extending his cure for a little space before going home. Frau Iltis was apparently a widow; for she had rejoiced only lately in the visit of a “fiancé”—a melancholy, inferior-looking person, whose presence had not in the least prevented her from accepting the attentions of the hook-nosed, fiery-eyed Captain Miklosich, him of the waxed mustachios and swelling chest. New figures turned up on the terrace: ladies of various nationalities from the general rest-halls, and new arrivals since the first of October, whom Hans Castorp barely knew by name. Then there were cavaliers of Herr Albin’s kidney, monocled youths of seventeen, a spectacled, rosyfaced young Dutchman with a mania for collecting postage stamps; certain Greeks, with pomaded hair and almond-shaped eyes, inclined to overreach at table; and a pair of young dandies who were nicknamed Max and Moritz, and bore a great reputation for breaking out of bounds. The humpbacked Mexican, whose ignorance of any language save his own lent him the facial expression of a deaf person, took endless photographs, dragging his tripod from one point to another on the terrace. Sometimes the Hofrat would appear, and perform his “stunt” with the bootlaces. And somewhere in the thick of the crowd would lurk solitary the religious devotee from Mannheim; Hans Castorp would watch disgustedly to see his great sad eyes take their secret way. But to return, by way of example, to some of those strains and stresses to which Hans Castorp’s state was prone. Our young man was sitting on a painted garden chair, with his back against the wall, talking with his cousin, whom he had forced, against his will, to come outside; in front of him; by the balustrade, Frau Chauchat stood smoking with her table-mates. He talked for her benefit; she turned her back. His thirst for conversation was not satisfied by Joachim; he must needs make an acquaintance—and whose? No other than Hermine Kleefeld’s. He directed a casual word toward that young lady, then presented himself and his cousin by name, and drew up another chair, in order to carry on the game. Did she know, he asked, what a deuce of a fright she had put him in, at their first encounter, when she had whistled him such an inspiriting welcome? He did not mind owning that she had accomplished her purpose; he had felt as though someone had hit him on the head—she might ask his cousin! He called it an outrage, frightening harmless strangers like that, piping at them with her pneumothorax! And so forth and so on. Joachim, quite aware of the rôle that was being forced upon him, sat with his eyes on the ground; even Fräulein Kleefeld gradually perceived, from Hans Castorp’s distraught and wandering eye, that she was being made a tool of, and felt piqued accordingly. And still the poor youth went on smirking and turning phrases and modulating his voice, until at last he actually succeeded in making Frau Chauchat turn round and look him in the face. But only for a moment. Her Pribislav eyes glided rapidly down his figure, as he sat there one knee over the other, with a deliberate insouciance which had all the effect of scorn; they paused for a space upon his yellow boots, and then carelessly, with perhaps a smile in their depths, withdrew.

It was a bitter, bitter blow. Hans Castorp talked on awhile, feverishly. Then, inwardly smitten by the power of that gaze upon his boots, he fell silent almost in the middle of a word, and lapsed into deep dejection. Fräulein Kleefeld, bored and offended, went her way. Joachim remarked, not without irritation, that perhaps they might go up to the rest-cure now. And a broken spirit answered feebly that they might. Hans Castorp anguished piteously for two days. Nothing occurred in that time to be balsam for his smarting wound. What had she meant by her look? Why, in the name of reason, had she visited him with her scorn? Did she regard him merely as a healthy young noodle from down in the flat-land, whose receptivity was sure to be of the harmless sort; as a guileless, ordinary chap, who went about laughing and earning his daily bread and filling his belly full; as a model pupil in the school of life, with no comprehension of anything but the tedious advantages of a respectable career? Was he, he asked himself, a mere feckless tourist and three-weeks’ guest, or was he a man who had made his profession on the score of a moist spot, a member of the order, one of those up here, with a good two months to his credit—and had not Mercurius only yesterday evening climbed up to 100°? Ah, here, even here, lay the bitter drop that overflowed his cup: Mercurius had ceased to mount! The fearful depression of these days had a chilling, sobering, relaxing effect upon Hans Castorp’s system, which, to his profound chagrin, displayed itself in a reduced degree of fever, scarcely higher than normal. He had the cruel experience of proving to himself that all his anguish, all his dejection, had no other result than to separate him still further from Clavdia, and from that which was significant in her existence.

The third day brought the blessed release. It was early upon a magnificent October morning, sunny and fresh. The meadows were covered with silvery-grey webs. The sun and the waning moon both hung high up in a lucent heaven. The cousins were abroad earlier than usual, meaning to honour the fine weather by extending their morning walk a little further than the prescribed limits, and continuing the forest path beyond the bench by the watercourse. Joachim’s curve, too, had lately shown a gratifying decrease; he had accordingly suggested this refreshing irregularity, and Hans Castorp had not said no.

“We seem to be cured,” he said, “no fever, free of infection, as good as ripe for the world again. Why shouldn’t we have our fling?” They set out with walking-sticks, and hatless—for since his “profession” Hans Castorp had resigned himself to the prevailing custom, despite the original assertion of his own contrary-minded conventions. But they had not yet covered the initial ascent of the reddish path, had arrived only at about that point where the novice had once encountered the pneumatic crew, when they saw at some distance ahead of them, slowly mounting, Frau Chauchat; Frau Chauchat in white, a white sweater and white flannel skirt, even white shoes. Her redblond hair gleamed in the morning sun. To be precise, Hans Castorp saw her; Joachim was made aware of her presence by an unpleasant sensation of being dragged and pulled along by his cousin, who had started up at a great pace, after having suddenly checked and almost stood still on the path. Joachim found the compulsion exceedingly annoying. His breath came shorter, he began to cough, Hans Castorp, with his eyes on his goal, and his breathing apparatus apparently in splendid trim, gave little heed; and Joachim, having recognized the situation for what it was, drew his brows together and kept step for step, feeling it out of the question to let his cousin go on alone. The lovely morning made Hans Castorp sprightly. And his soul, in that period of black depression, had secretly assembled its powers. He felt a sure intuition that the moment was come to break the ban. He strode on, dragging the panting and reluctant Joachim in his train, and they had as good as overtaken Frau Chauchat, at the point where the path grew level and turned to the right along the wooded hillock. Here the young man slackened his pace, not to be breathless with exertion in the moment of carrying out his purpose. And just beyond the bend in the path, between mountain and precipice, where the sunlight slipped athwart the boughs of the rust-coloured firs, it actually fell out, the wonder came to pass, that Hans Castorp, on Joachim’s left, overtook the fragile fair one, he went by her with a manly stride, and then, at the moment when he was beside her, on her right, greeted her with a profoundly respectful, hatless inclination of the head, and a murmured “good-morning,” to which she answered by a friendly bow, that showed no trace of surprise, and a good-morning in her turn. She said it in Hans Castorp’s mother-tongue, and smiled with her eyes. And all that was something different, something fundamentally and blessedly other than that look she had bent upon his boots—it was a gift of fortune, an unexampled turn in affairs, a joy well-nigh beyond comprehending, it was the blessed release. Transported by that word, look, and smile, half blinded by his senseless joy, Hans Castorp trod on winged feet, hurrying the misused Joachim with him, who uttered not a word, and gazed away down the steep. It had been a manœuvre of a rather unscrupulous sort; in Joachim’s eyes, as Hans Castorp well knew, it looked very like treachery. Yet it was not the same thing as borrowing a lead-pencil of a perfect stranger; one might even say it would have been ill-bred to pass by a lady with whom one had been for months under the same roof and not salute her. They had even been in conversation with her, that time in the waiting-room. That was why Joachim could say nothing; but Hans Castorp well knew another reason that made his honour-loving cousin walk on in silence with averted head, while he himself was so supremely happy, so glad all over, at the success of his manœuvre. Never a man down in the flatland who had “given his heart” to some healthy, commonplace little goose, been successful in his suit, and experienced all the orthodox and anticipatory gratifications proper to his state, never could such a man be blissfuller, no, not half so blissful, as Hans Castorp now over this momentary joy which he had snatched.—And so, after a while, he clapped his cousin heartily on the shoulder and said: “Hullo, what’s the matter with you? Isn’t it magnificent to-day? Let’s go down to the Kurhaus afterwards, there will probably be music. Perhaps they’ll play that thing from Carmen.— What’s the matter? Has anything got under your skin?”

“No,” Joachim answered. “But you look so hot, I’m afraid your curve has gone up again.”

It had. The greeting he had exchanged with Clavdia Chauchat had overcome the mortifying depression; it was at bottom the consciousness of this which had lain at the root of Hans Castorp’s gratification. Yes, yes, Joachim was right, Mercurius was mounting again: when Hans Castorp consulted him, on their return from their walk, he had climbed up to 100.4°.


IF certain insinuations on Herr Settembrini’s part had angered Hans Castorp, the annoyance was quite unjustified, as also his feeling that the schoolmaster had been spying on him. A blind man must have seen how it stood with the youth; he himself did nothing to conceal his state, being prevented by a certain native and lofty simplicity. He inclined rather to wear his heart upon his sleeve, in contrast—if you like, favourable contrast—to the devotee from Mannheim, with his thin hair and furtive mien. But in general we would emphasize the fact that people in Hans Castorp’s state regularly feel a craving for self-revelation, an impulse to confess themselves, a blind preoccupation with self, and a thirst to possess the world of their own emotions, which is the more offensive to the sober onlooker, the less sense, reasonableness, or hope there lies in the whole affair.

How people in this state go about to betray themselves is hard to define; but it seems they can neither do nor leave undone anything which would not have that effect—doubly so, then, in a society like that of the Berghof, where, as the critically minded Herr Settembrini once expressed it, people were possessed of two ideas, and only two: temperature—and then again temperature. By the second temperature he meant preoccupation with such questions as, for instance, with whom Frau CónsulGeneral Wurmbrandt from Vienna consoled herself for the defection of Captain Miklosich—whether with the Swedish minion, or Lawyer Paravant from Dortmund, or both. Everybody knew that the bond between the lawyer and Frau Salomon from Amsterdam, after subsisting for several months, had been broken by common consent, and that Frau Salomon had followed the leanings of her time of life and taken up with callow youth. The thick-lipped Gänser from Hermine Kleefeld’s table was for the present under her wing; she had taken him “to have and to hold,” as Frau Stöhr, in legal parlance, yet not without perspicuity, had put it—and thus Lawyer Paravant was free either to quarrel or to compound with the Swede over the favours of the Frau Consul-General, as seemed to him advisable.

These affairs then—in which, of course, the passage along the balconies, at the end of the glass partitions, played a considerable rôle—were rife in Berghof society, particularly among the fevered youth. They occupied people’s minds, they were a salient feature of life up here—and even in saying thus much we are far from having precisely defined the position with regard to them. Hans Castorp, on this subject, received a singular impression: it was that a certain fundamental fact of life, which is conceded the world over to be of great importance, and is the fertile theme of constant allusion, both in jest and earnest, that this fundamental fact of life bore up here an entirely altered emphasis. It was weighty with a new weight; it had an accent, a value, and a significance which were utterly novel—and which set the fact itself in a light to make it look much more alarming than it had been before. Thus far, whenever we have referred to any questionable performances at the Berghof, we have done so in what may have seemed a light and jesting tone; this without prejudice to our real opinion as to the levity, or otherwise, of the performances, and solely for the usual obscure reasons which prompt other people to adopt the same. But as a matter of fact, that tone was far less usual in our present sphere than it is elsewhere in the world. Hans Castorp had considered himself pretty well-informed on the subject of the above-named “fact of life” which has always and everywhere been such a favourite target for shafts of wit. And he may have been right in so considering. But now he found that the knowledge he had had down in the flat-land had been most inadequate, that he had actually been in a state of simple ignorance. For his personal emotions in the time of his stay up here—upon the nature of which we have been at some pains to enlighten the reader, and which had been at moments so acute as to wring from the young man that cry of “Oh, my God!”—had opened his eyes, had made him capable of hearing and comprehending the wild, the overstrained, the namelessly extravagant key in which all the “affairs” up here were set. Not that, even up here, they did not make jests on the subject. But up here, far more than down below, jests seemed out of place. They made one’s teeth to chatter, and took away one’s breath, they betrayed themselves too plainly for what they were, a thin and obvious disguise for a hidden extremity—or rather, an extremity impossible to hide. Hans Castorp well remembered the mottled pallor of Joachim’s skin when, for the first and only time, he had innocently alluded to Marusja’s physical charms in the light tone he might have assumed at home. He remembered the chill withdrawal of the blood from his own face, the time he had drawn the curtain to shield Madame Chauchat from the sun; he knew that he had seen the same look on other faces up here, both before and sincehe usually remarked it in pairs, as, for example, on the faces of Frau Salomon and young Gänser, in the beginning of that relation between them so happily described by Frau Stöhr. Hans Castorp, we say, recalled all this, and realized that under such circumstances it would not only have been very hard for him not to “betray himself,” but that the effort would not have been worth his pains. In other words, not alone the noble simplicity which did him honour, but also a certain sympathetic something in the air urged him not to do violence to his feelings or make any secret of his condition.

Joachim had, as we know, early spoken of the difficulty of forming acquaintances up here. In reality this arose chiefly from the fact that the cousins formed a miniature group by themselves in the society of the cure; but also because the soldierly Joachim was bent on nothing else but speedy recovery, and hence objected on principle to any closer contact or more social relations with his fellow sufferers. It was a good deal this attitude of his that prevented his cousin from exposing his feelings more freely to the world at large. Even so, there came an evening when Joachim might behold his cousin the centre of a group composed of Hermine Kleefeld, Gänser, Rasmussen, and the youth of the monocle and the finger-nail, making an impromptu speech on the subject of Frau Chauchat’s peculiar and exotic facial structure, and betraying himself by his unsteady voice and the excited glitter of his eyes, until his listeners exchanged glances, nudged each other, and tittered.

This was painful for Joachim; but the object of their mirth seemed insensible to his own self-betrayal; perhaps he felt that his state, if concealed and unregarded, would never come to any proof. He might count, however, on a general understanding of it, and as for the inevitable malice that went with it, he took that for granted. People, not only at his own table, but at neighbouring ones as well, enjoyed seeing him flush and pale when the glass door slammed. And even this gratified him; it was like an outward confirmation and assertion of his inner frenzy, which seemed to him calculated to forward his affair, and encourage his vague and senseless hopes. And so it too made him happy. It came to this: that people actually stood about in groups to observe the infatuated youth—after dinner, on the terrace, or on a Sunday afternoon before the porter’s lodge, when the letters were distributed, for on that day they were not carried to the patients’ rooms. He was quite generally known to be very far gone, drunk as a lord and not caring who knew it. Frau Stöhr, Fräulein Engelhart, Hermine Kleefeld and her friend the tapir-faced girl, Herr Albin, the young man with the finger-nail, and perhaps others among the guests—would stand together and watch him, with the corners of their mouths drawn down, fairly chortling, whilst he, poor wight, his face aglow with the heat that from the first had never left him, with the glittering eye the gentleman rider’s cough had kindled, would gaze, forlornly and frantically smiling, in one certain direction.

It was really splendid of Herr Settembrini, under these circumstances, to go up to Hans Castorp, engage him in conversation, and ask him how he did. But it is doubtful whether the young man knew how to value and to be grateful for such benevolence and freedom from prejudice. One Sunday afternoon the guests were thronging about the porter’s lodge, stretching out their hands for letters. Joachim was among the foremost; but Hans Castorp had stopped in the rear, angling, in the fashion we have described, for a look from Clavdia Chauchat. She was standing near by, among a group of her table-mates, waiting until the press about the lodge should be lightened. It was an hour when all the patients mingled, an hour rich in opportunity, and for that reason beloved of our young man. The week before, he had stood at the window so close to Madame Chauchat that she had in fact jostled him, and then, with a little bow, had said: “Pardon.” Whereat he, with a feverish presence of mind for which he thanked his stars, had responded: “Pas de quoi, madame”

What a blessed dispensation of providence, he thought, that there should be a regular Sunday afternoon distribution of letters! One might say that he spent the week in waiting for the next week’s delivery. And waiting means hurrying on ahead, it means regarding time and the present moment not as a boon, but an obstruction; it means making their actual content null and void, by mentally overleaping them. Waking, we say, is long. We might just as well—or more accurately—say it is short, since it consumes whole spaces of time without our living them or making any use of them as such. We may compare him who lives on expectation to a greedy man, whose digestive apparatus works through quantities of food without converting it into anything of value or nourishment to his system. We might almost go so far as to say that, as undigested food makes man no stronger, so time spent in waiting makes him no older. But in practice, of course, there is hardly such a thing as pure and unadulterated waiting.

Well, the week had been somehow devoured, and the hour for the Sunday afternoon post came round again, so like the other it seemed never to have changed. Like to that other, what thrilling opportunities it offered, what prospects lay concealed within it of coming into social relations with Frau Chauchat! Prospects that made the heart of young Hans Castorp leap and contract, yet without actually issuing in action; for against their doing so lay certain obstacles of a nature partly military, partly civil. In other words, they were in part the fruit of Joachim’s presence, in part the result of Hans Castorp’s own moral compunctions; but also, in part, they rested upon his sure intuition that social relations with Frau Chauchat, conventional relations, in which one made bows and addressed her as madame, and spoke French as far as possible, were not the thing at all, were neither necessary nor desirable. He stood and watched her laugh as she spoke, precisely as Pribislav Hippe had laughed as he spoke, that time in the school yard: she opened her mouth rather wide, and her slanting, grey-green eyes narrowed themselves to slits above the cheek-bones. That was, to be sure, not “beautiful”; but when one is in love, the aesthetic judgment counts for as little as the moral.

“You are expecting dispatches, Engineer?”

Only one person could talk like that—and he a disturber of Hans Castorp’s peace. The young man started and turned toward Herr Settembrini, who stood there smiling the same fine, humanistic smile that had sat upon his features when he greeted the newcomer, at the bench by the watercourse. Now, as then, it mortified Hans Castorp. We know how often, in his dreams, he had sought to drive away the organ-grinder as an element offensive to his peace; but the waking man is more moral than the sleeping, and, as before, the sight of that smile not only had a sobering effect upon Hans Castorp, but gave him a sense of gratitude, as though it had responded to his need.

“Dispatches, Herr Settembrini? Good Lord, I’m no ambassador! There might be a postcard there for one of us. My cousin is just asking.”

“That devil on two sticks in there has handed mine out to me already,” Herr Settembrini said, and carried his hand to the side pocket of the inevitable pilot coat.

“Interesting matter, I must confess, of literary and social import. It is about an encyclopædic publication, to which a philanthropic institution has considered me worthy to contribute. Beautiful work, in short—” Herr Settembrini interrupted himself. “But how about you?” he asked. “How are your affairs going? For instance, how far has the process of acclimatization gone? You have not been so long among us but that one may still put the question.”

“Thanks, Herr Settembrini. It still has its difficulties it seems. It very likely will have, up to the last day. My cousin told me when I came that many people never got used to it. But one gets used in time to not getting used.”

“A complicated process,” laughed the Italian. “An odd way of settling down in a place. But of course youth is capable of anything. It doesn’t get used to things, but it strikes roots.”

“And after all, this isn’t a Siberian penal settlement.”

“No. Ah, you have a fancy for oriental simile. Natural enough. Asia surrounds uswherever one’s glance rests, a Tartar physiognomy.” Herr Settembrini gave a discreet glance over his shoulder. “Genghis Khan,” he said. “Wolves of the steppes, snow, vodka, the knout, Schlüsselburg, Holy Russia. They ought to set up an altar to Pallas Athene, here in the vestibule—to ward off the evil spell. Look yonder—there is a species of Ivan Ivanovitch without a shirt-front, having a disagreement with Lawyer Paravant. Both of them want to be in the front rank to receive their letters. I can’t tell which of them is in the right, but, for my part, Lawyer Paravant fights under the ægis of the goddess. He is an ass, of course; but at least he knows some Latin.”

Hans Castorp laughed—a thing Herr Settembrini never did. One could not imagine him laughing heartily; he never got further than the fine, dry crisping of the corner of his mouth. He looked at the laughing young man, and presently asked: “Have you received your diapositive?”

“I have received it,” Hans Castorp weightily affirmed. “Just the other day. Here it is,” and he felt for it in his inner breast pocket.

“Ah, you carry it in a case. Like a certificate, as it were—a sort of membership card. Very good. Let me see it.” And Herr Settembrini held it against the light, between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand; a little glass plate framed in strips of black paper. The gesture was a common one up here, one often saw it. His face, with the black almond-shaped eyes, displayed a slight grimace as he did so, but whether this happened in the effort to see more clearly or for other causes, he did not permit it to appear.

“Yes, yes,” he said, after a while. “Here is your identity card. Thanks very much,” and he handed the plate back to Hans Castorp over his shoulder, without looking.

“Did you see the strands?” asked Hans Castorp. “And the nodules?”

“You know,” Herr Settembrini answered him very deliberately, “my opinion of these productions. You know too that those spots and shadows there are very largely of physiological origin. I have seen a hundred such pictures, looking very like this of yours; the decision as to whether they offered definite proof or not was left more or less to the discretion of the person looking at them. I speak as a layman, but a layman of a good many years’ experience.”

“Does your own look much worse than this one?”

“Rather worse. I am aware, however, that our lords and masters do not base any diagnosis on the evidence of these toys alone. Then you purpose stopping the winter up here with us?”

“Yes—Lord knows—I am beginning to get used to the idea of not going back until my cousin does.”

“Getting used, that is, to not getting used—you put that very wittily. I hope you have received supplies from home—winter clothing, stout foot-gear?”

“Everything—all in the proper order. I informed my relatives, and our housekeeper sent me everything by express delivery. I shall do nicely now.”

“I am relieved. But hold—you need a bag, a fur sack! What are we thinking of?

This late summer is treacherous—it can turn to winter inside an hour. You will be spending the coldest months up here.”

“Yes, the sleeping-sack,” Hans Castorp said. “That is a requisite, I suppose. It had crossed my mind that we must be going down to the Platz one of these days soon to buy one. One never needs the thing again, of course—but even for the five or six months it is worth while. ‘

“It is, it is.—Engineer,” said Herr Settembrini in a low voice, coming close to the young man as he addressed him, “don’t you know there is something frightful in the way you fling the months about? Frightful because unnatural, inconsistent with your character; it is due solely to the facility of your time of life. Ah, the fatal facility of youth! It is the despair of the teacher, for its proneness to display itself in the wrong direction. I beg you, my young friend, not to adopt the phrases current up here, but to speak the language of the European culture native to you. Up here there is too much Asia. It is not without significance that the place is full of Muscovite and Mongolian types. These people—” Herr Settembrini motioned with his chin over his shoulder—

“do not put yourself in tune with them, do not be infected with their ideas; rather set yourself against them, oppose your nature, your higher nature against them; cling to everything which to you is by nature and tradition holy, as a son of the godlike West, a son of civilization: and, for example, time. This barbaric lavishness with time is in the Asiatic style; it may be a reason why the children of the East feel so much at home up here. Have you never remarked that when a Russian says four hours, he means what we do when we say one? It is easy to see that the recklessness of these people where time is concerned may have to do with the space conceptions proper to people of such endless territory. Great space, much time—they say, in fact, that they are the nation that has time and can wait. We Europeans, we cannot. We have as little time as our great and finely articulated continent has space, we must be as economical of the one as of the other, we must husband them, Engineer! Take our great cities, the centres and foci of civilization, the crucibles of thought! Just as the soil there increases in value, and space becomes more and more precious, so, in the same measure, does time. Carpe diem! That was the song of a dweller in a great city. Time is a gift of God, given to man that he might use it—use it, Engineer, to serve the advancement of humanity.”

Whatever difficulty, if any, his phrases offered Herr Setternbrini’s Mediterranean palate, he brought them out with a clarity, a euphony, one might almost say a plasticity, that was truly refreshing. Hans Castorp made no answer save the short, stiff, embarrassed bow of a pupil receiving a reprimand. What could he have said?

Herr Settembrini had delivered a private lecture, almost whispered it into his ear, with his back to the rest of the people in the room; it had been so pointed, so unsocial, so little conversable in its nature, that merely to commend its eloquence seemed lacking in tact. One does not tell a schoolmaster that he has expressed himself well. Hans Castorp, indeed, had done so once or twice in the early days of their acquaintance, probably from an instinct to preserve the social equilibrium; but the humanist’s utterances had never before reached quite such a didactic pitch. There was nothing for it but to pocket the admonition, feeling as embarrassed as a schoolboy at so much moralizing. Moreover, one could see by Herr Settembrini’s expression that he had not finished his train of thought. He still stood so close to Hans Castorp that the young man was constrained to bend a little backwards; and his black eyes gazed fixedly into the other’s face.

“You suffer, Engineer,” he went on. “You are like one distraught—who could help seeing it? But your attitude toward suffering can be a European attitude; it should not be the oriental, which in its soft abandonment inclines so readily to seek this spot. The oriental attitude toward suffering is one of pity and a boundless patience—that cannot, it ought not to be ours, to be yours!—Look—we were speaking of what the post had brought us, look at these! Or better, come with me, it is impossible here—let us withdraw, and I will disclose to you certain matters. Come with me!” And turning, he drew Hans Castorp away, and they entered one of the small reception-rooms, the first on the right next the vestibule, which stood empty. It was furnished as a reading-and writing-room, with oak panelling and a light, vaulted ceiling, bookcases, a centre table covered with newspapers in holders and surrounded with seats, and writing appurtenances arranged in the bay-windows. Herr Settembrini advanced as far as the neighbourhood of one of the windows, Hans Castorp followed. The door remained open.

The Italian sought the baggy side pocket of his pilot coat, and drew thence with impetuous hand a bundle of papers in a large, already opened envelope. Its contentsvarious printed matter, and a sheet of writing—he ran through his fingers under Hans Castorp’s eye.

“These papers,” he said, “bear the stamp, in French, of the International League for the Organization of Progress. I have them from Lugano, where there is an office of a branch of the League. You inquire after its principles, its scope? I will define them for you, in two words. The League for the Organization of Progress deduces from Darwinian theory the philosophic concept that man’s profoundest natural impulse is in the direction of self-realization. From this it follows that all those who seek satisfaction of this impulse must become co-labourers in the cause of human progress. Many are those who have responded to the call; there is a considerable membership, in France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and in Germany itself. I myself have the honour or having my name inscribed on the roll. A comprehensive and scientifically executed programme has been drawn up, embracing all the projects for human improvement conceivable at the moment. We are studying the problem of our health as a race, and the means for combating the degeneration which is a regrettable accompanying phenomenon of our increasing industrialization. The League envisages the founding of universities for the people, the resolution of the class conflict by means of all the social ameliorations which recommend themselves for the purpose, and finally the doing away with national conflicts, the abolition of war through the development of international law. You perceive that the objects toward which the League directs its efforts are ambitious and broad in their scope. Several international periodicals are evidence of its activities—monthly reviews, which contain articles in three or four languages on the subject of the progressive evolution of civilized humanity. Numerous local groups have been established in the various countries; it is expected that they will exert an edifying and enlightening influence by means of discussion evenings and appropriate Sunday observances. Above all, the League will strive its utmost to aid with the material at its disposal the political party of progress in every country. You follow me, Engineer?”

“Absolutely,” Hans Castorp replied, with precipitation. He had, as he spoke, the feeling of a man who finds himself slipping, but for the moment contrives to keep his feet.

Herr Settembrini appeared satisfied. “I assume that these are new and surprising ideas to you?”

“Yes, I confess this is the first time I have heard of these—these endeavours.”

“Ah,” Settembrini murmured, “ah, if you had only heard of them earlier! But perhaps it is not yet too late. These circulars—you would like to know what they say?

Listen. Last spring a formal meeting of the League was called, at Barcelona. You are aware that that city can boast of a quite special affinity with progressive political ideas. The congress sat for a week, with banquets and festivities. I wanted to gogood God, I yearned to be there and take part in the deliberations. But that scurvy rascal of a Hofrat forbade me on pain of death, so—well, I was afraid I should die, and I didn’t go. I was in despair, as you may imagine, over the trick my unreliable health had played me. Nothing is more painful than to be prevented by our physical, our animal nature from being of service to reason. My satisfaction, therefore, over this communication from Lugano is the more lively. You are curious to know what it says? I can imagine. But first, a few brief explanations: the League for the Organization of Progress, mindful of its task of furthering human happiness—in other words, of combating human suffering by the available social methods, to the end of finally eliminating it altogether; mindful also of the fact that this lofty task can only be accomplished by the aid of sociology, the end and aim of which is the perfect State, the League, in session at Barcelona, determined upon the publication of a series of volumes bearing the general title: The Sociology of Suffering. It should be the aim of the series to classify human suffering according to classes and categories, and to treat it systematically and exhaustively. You ask what is the use of classification, arrangement, systematization? I answer you: order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject—the actual enemy is the unknown. We must lead the human race up out of the primitive stages of fear and patient stupidity, and set its feet on the path of conscious activity. We must enlighten it upon two points: first, that given effects become void when one first recognizes and then removes their causes; and second, that almost all individual suffering is due to disease of the social organism. Very well; this is the object of the Sociological Pathology. It will be issued in some twenty folio volumes, treating every species of human suffering, from the most personal and intimate to the great collective struggles arising from the conflicting interests of classes and nations; it will, in short, exhibit the chemical elements whose combination in various proportions results in all the ills to which our human flesh is heir. The publication will in every case take as its norm the dignity and happiness of mankind, and seek to indicate the measures and remedies calculated to remove the cause of each deviation. Famous European specialists, physicians, psychologists, and economists will share in the composition of this encyclopædia of suffering, and the general editorial bureau at Lugano will act as the reservoir to collect all the articles which shall flow into it. I can read in your eyes the question as to what my share is to be in all these activities. Hear me to the end. This great work will not neglect the belletrist in so far as he deals with human suffering: a volume is projected which shall contain a compilation and brief analysis of such masterpieces of the world’s literature as come into question by depicting one or other kind of conflictfor the consolation and instruction of the suffering. This, then, is the task entrusted to your humble servant, in the letter you see here.”

“You don’t say, Herr Settembrini! Allow me to offer you my heartiest congratulations! That is a magnificent commission, just in your line, I should think. No wonder the League thought of you! And what joy you must feel to aid in the elimination of human suffering!”

“It is a work very broad in its scope,” Herr Settembrini said thoughtfully, “and will require much consideration and wide reading. Especially,” he added, and his gaze seemed to lose itself in the immensity of his task, “since literature has regularly chosen to depict suffering, and even second-and third-rate masterpieces treat of it in one form or another. But what of that? So much the better! However comprehensive the work may be, it is at least of a nature that will permit me to carry it on, if needs must, even in this accursed place—though I hope I need not be here long enough to bring it to a conclusion. That is something,” he said, moving closer to Hans Castorp, and subduing his voice nearly to a whisper, “that is something which can hardly be said of the duties nature lays upon you, Engineer! This is what I wanted to bring out, this is the word of warning I have been trying to utter. You know what admiration I feel for your profession. But as it is a practical, not an intellectual calling, you are differently situated from myself, in that you can only pursue it down in the worldonly there can you be a true European, only there can you actively fight suffering, improve the time, further progress, with your own weapons and in your own way. If I have told you of the task that has fallen to my lot, it was only to remind you, only to recall you to yourself, only to clarify certain conceptions of yours which the atmospheric conditions up here were obviously beginning to becloud. I would urge it upon you: hold yourself upright, preserve your self-respect, do not give ground to the unknown. Flee from this sink of iniquity, this island of Circe, whereon you are not Odysseus enough to dwell in safety. You will be going on all fours—already you are inclining toward your forward extremities, and presently you will begin to grunthave a care!”

The humanist had uttered these admonitions in the same low voice, shaking his head impressively. He finished with drawn brows and eyes directed toward the ground. To answer him slightly or jestingly, as Hans Castorp would once have done, was out of the question. The young man weighed that possibility for a second, standing with lowered lids. Then he lifted his shoulders and spoke, no louder than Herr Settembrini: “What shall I do?”

“What I told you.”

“You mean—go away?”

Herr Settembrini was silent.

“What you mean to say is that I should leave for home?”

“It was the advice I gave you on the first evening, Engineer.”

“Yes—and then I was free to do so, though it seemed to me silly to throw up the sponge just because the air up here put me about a bit. But now it is a rather different state of affairs: I have been examined, and Hofrat Behrens told me in so many words that it would be no good my going home, I should only have to come back again; and that if I stopped down there, the whole lobe would be at the devil before you could say Jack Robinson.”

“I know; and now you have the evidence in your pocket.”

“You say that so ironically—with the right kind of irony, of course, that cannot for a moment be misunderstood, the direct and classic device of oratory—you see, I remember the things you say. But do you mean that after you have seen this photograph, after the x-ray and Behrens’s diagnosis, you take it upon yourself to advise me to go home?”

Settembrini hesitated for a second. Then he drew himself up, and directed the gaze of his black eyes full upon Hans Castorp’s face. He answered, with an emphasis not quite without theatrical effect: “Yes, Engineer, I take it upon myself.”

But Hans Castorp’s bearing too had stiffened. He stood with his heels together, and looked straight at Herr Settembrini in his turn. This time it was a duel. Hans Castorp stood his ground. Influences from not far off gave him strength. Here was a schoolmaster—but yonder was a woman with narrow eyes. He made no apologies for his words, he did not beg Herr Settembrini not to take offence; he answered: “Then you are more prudent for yourself than for others. You did not go to Barcelona in the face of the doctor’s orders. You were afraid of death, and you stopped up here.”

To a certain point Herr Settembrini’s pose was undeniably shaken; his smile, as he answered, was slightly forced.

“I know how to value a ready answer—even though your logic smacks of sophistry. It would disgust me to enter the lists in the sort of rivalry that is too current up here; otherwise I might reply that my case is far more serious than yours—so much more, in fact, that it is only by artificial means, almost by deliberate self-deception, that I can keep alive the hope of leaving this place and having sight of the world below before I die. In the moment when that hope can no longer be decently sustained, in that moment I shall turn my back on this establishment, and take private lodgings somewhere in the valley. That will be sad; but as the sphere of my labours is the freest, the least material in the world, the change cannot prevent me from resisting the forces of disease and serving the cause of humanity, up to my latest breath. The difference between us, in this respect, I have already pointed out to you. Engineer, you are not the man to assert your better self in these surroundings. I saw it at our first meeting. You reproach me with not having gone to Barcelona. I submitted to the prohibition, not to destroy myself untimely. But I did so with the most stringent reservations; my spirit protested in pride and anguish against the dictates of my wretched body. Whether that protest survives in you, as you comply with the behests of our powers that be—whether it is not rather the body, the body and its evil propensities, to which you lend a ready ear—”

“What have you against the body?” interrupted Hans Castorp suddenly, and looked at him with wide blue eyes, the whites of which were veined with blood. He was giddy with his own temerity and showed as much.—Whatever am I saying? he thought. I’m getting out of my depth. But I won’t give way; now I have begun, I won’t give him the last word if I can help it. Of course he will have it anyhow, but never mind, I will make the most of it while I can.—He enlarged upon his objection:

“But you are a humanist, are you not? What can you have to say against the body?”

Settembrini’s smile this time was unforced and confident. “ ‘What have you against analysis?’ ” he quoted, with his head on one side. “ ‘Are you down on analysis?’ You will always find me ready to answer you, Engineer,” he said, with a bow and a sweeping downward motion of the hand, “particularly when your opposition is spirited; and you parry not without elegance. Humanist—yes, certainly, I am a humanist. You could never convict me of ascetic inclinations. I affirm, honour, and love the body, as I protest I affirm, honour, and love form, beauty, freedom, gaiety, the enjoyment of life. I represent the world, the interest of this life, against a sentimental withdrawal and negation, classicism against romanticism. I think my position is unequivocal. But there is one power, one principle, which commands my deepest assent, my highest and fullest allegiance and love; and this power, this principle, is the intellect. However much I dislike hearing that conception of moonshine and cobwebs people call ‘the soul’ played off against the body, yet, within the antithesis of body and mind, the body is the evil, the devilish principle, for the body is nature, and nature—within the sphere, I repeat, of her antagonism to the mind, and to reason—is evil, mystical and evil. ‘You are a humanist?’ By all means I am a humanist, because I am a friend of mankind, like Prometheus, a lover of humanity and human nobility. That nobility is comprehended in the mind, in the reason, and therefore you will level against me in vain the reproach of Christian obscurantism—”

Hans Castorp demurred.

“You will,” Herr Settembrini persisted, “level this reproach in vain, if humanistic pride one day learns to feel as a debasement and disgrace the fact that the intellect is bound up with the body and with nature. Did you know that the great Plotinus is said to have made the remark that he was ashamed to have a body?” asked Settembrini. He seemed eager for a reply, and Hans Castorp was constrained to confess that this was the first he had heard of it.

“We have it from Porphyrius. An absurd remark, if you like. But the absurd is the intellectually honourable; and nothing can be more pitiable than the reproach of absurdity, levelled against the mind as it asserts its dignity against nature, and refuses to abdicate before her.—Have you heard of the Lisbon earthquake, Engineer?”

“An earthquake? No—I see no newspapers up here—”

“You misunderstand me. En passant, let me say it is a pity, and very indicative of the spirit of this place, that you neglect to read the papers. But you misunderstand me, the convulsion of nature to which I refer is not modern. It took place some hundred and fifty years ago.”

“I see. Oh, wait—I have it. I have read that Goethe said to his servant, that night in his bedchamber—”

“No, it was not of that I was speaking,” Settembrini interrupted him, closing his eyes, and shaking his small sallow hand in the air. “Besides, you are confusing two catastrophes. You are thinking of the earthquake of Messina. I have in mind the one that visited Lisbon in the year 1755.”


“Well, Voltaire was outraged by it.”

“Outraged? That is—how do you mean?”

“He rebelled. Yes. He declined to accept that brutal fatum et factum. His spirit refused to abdicate before it. He protested in the name of reason and the intellect against that scandalous dereliction of nature, to which were sacrificed thousands of human lives, and three-quarters of a flourishing city. You are astonished? You smile?

You may well be astonished; but as for smiling, give me leave to tell you it is out of place. Voltaire’s attitude was that of a worthy descendant of those old Gauls that shot their arrows against the heavens. There, Engineer, you have the hostility the intellect feels against nature, its proud mistrust, its high-hearted insistence upon the right to criticize her and her evil, reason-denying power. Nature is force; and it is slavish to suffer force, to abdicate before it—to abdicate, that is, inwardly. And there too you have the humanistic position which runs not the slightest risk of involving itself in contradictions, or of relapsing into churchly hypocrisy, when it sees in the body the antagonist, the representative of the evil principle. The contradiction you imagine you see is at bottom always the same. ‘What have you against analysis?’ Nothing—when it serves the cause of enlightenment, freedom, progress. Everything when it is pervaded by the horrible haut goût of the grave. And thus too with the body. We are to honour and uphold the body when it is a question of emancipation, of beauty, of freedom of thought, of joy, of desire. We must despise it in so far as it sets itself up as the principle of gravity and inertia, when it obstructs the movement toward light; we must despise it in so far as it represents the principle of disease and death, in so far as its specific essence is the essence of perversity, of decay, sensuality, and shame.”

These last words Settembrini had uttered standing close to Hans Castorp, very rapidly and tonelessly, as though to make an end of the subject. Succour was nigh for the youth: Joachim entered the reading-room, with two postcards in his hand. The Italian broke off; and the dexterity with which he altered his tone for one in a lighter and fitting social key was not lost upon his pupil—if so Hans Castorp may be called.

“There you are, Lieutenant! Have you been looking for your cousin? I must apologize; we had fallen into conversation—if I am not mistaken, we have even had a slight disagreement. He is not a bad reasoner, your cousin, a by no means contemptible antagonist in an argument—when he takes the notion.”


HANS CASTORP and Joachim Ziemssen, arrayed in white trousers and blue blazers, were sitting in the garden after dinner. It was another of those much-lauded October days: bright without being heavy, hot and yet with a tang in the air. The sky above the valley was a deep southern blue and the pastures beneath, with the cattle tracks running across and across them, still a lively green. From the rugged slopes came the sound of cowbells; the peaceful, simple, melodious tintinnabulation came floating unbroken through the quiet, thin, empty air, enhancing the mood of solemnity that broods over the valley heights.

The cousins were sitting on a bench at the end of the garden, in front of a semicircle of young firs. The small open space lay at the north-west of the hedged-in platform, which rose some fifty yards above the valley, and formed the foundations of the Berghof building. They were silent. Hans Castorp was smoking. He was also wrangling inwardly with Joachim, who had not wanted to join the society on the verandah after luncheon, and had drawn his cousin against his will into the stillness and seclusion of the garden, until such time as they should go up to their balconies. That was behaving like a tyrant—when it came to that, they were not Siamese twins, it was possible for them to separate, if their inclinations took them in opposite directions. Hans Castorp was not up here to be company for Joachim, he was a patient himself. Thus he grumbled on, and could endure to grumble, for had he not Maria? He sat, his hands in his blazer pockets, his feet in brown shoes stretched out before him, and held the long, greyish cigar between his lips, precisely in the centre of his mouth, and drooping a little. It was in the first stages of consumption, he had not yet knocked off the ash from its blunt tip; its aroma was peculiarly grateful after the heavy meal just enjoyed. It might be true that in other respects getting used to life up here had mainly consisted in getting used to not getting used to it. But for the chemistry of his digestion, the nerves of his mucous membrane, which had been parched and tender, inclined to bleeding, it seemed that the process of adjustment had completed itself. For imperceptibly, in the course of these nine or ten weeks, his organic satisfaction in that excellent brand of vegetable stimulant or narcotic had been entirely restored. He rejoiced in a faculty regained, his mental satisfaction heightened the physical. During his time in bed he had saved on the supply of two hundred cigars which he had brought with him, and some of these were still left; but at the same time with his winter clothing from below, there had arrived another five hundred of the Bremen make, which he had ordered through Schalleen to make quite sure of not running out. They came in beautiful little varnished boxes, ornamented in gilt with a globe, several medals, and an exhibition building with a flag floating above it.

As they sat, behold, there came Hofrat Behrens through the garden. He had taken his midday meal in the dining-hall to-day, folding his gigantic hands before his place at Frau Salomon’s table. After that he had probably been on the terrace, making the suitable personal remark to each and everybody, very likely displaying his trick with the bootlaces for such of the guests as had not seen it. Now he came lounging through the garden, wearing a check tail-coat, instead of his smock, and his stiff hat on the back of his head. He too had a cigar in his mouth, a very black one, from which he was puffing great white clouds of smoke. His head and face, with the over-heated purple cheeks, the snub nose, watery blue eyes, and little clipped moustache, looked small in proportion to the lank, rather warped and stooping figure, and the enormous hands and feet. He was nervous; visibly started when he saw the cousins, and seemed embarrassed over the necessity of passing them. But he greeted them in his usual picturesque and expansive fashion, with “Behold, behold, Timotheus!” going on to invoke the usual blessings on their metabolisms, while he prevented their rising from their seats, as they would have done in his honour.

“Sit down, sit down. No formalities with a simple man like me. Out of place too, you being my patients, both of you. Not necessary. No objection to the status quo,” and he remained standing before them, holding the cigar between the index and middle fingers of his great right hand.

“How’s your cabbage-leaf, Castorp? Let me see, I’m a connoisseur. That’s a good ash—what sort of brown beauty have you there?”

“Maria Mancini, Postre de Banquett, Bremen, Herr Hofrat. Costs little or nothing, nineteen pfennigs in plain colours—but a bouquet you don’t often come across at the price. Sumatra-Havana wrapper, as you see. I am very wedded to them. It is a medium mixture, very fragrant, but cool on the tongue. Suits it to leave the ash long, I don’t knock it off more than a couple of times. She has her whims, of course, has Maria; but the inspection must be very thorough, for she doesn’t vary much, and draws perfectly even. May I offer you one?”

“Thanks, we can exchange.” And they drew out their cases.

“There’s a thorough-bred for you,” the Hofrat said, as he displayed his brand.

“Temperament, you know, juicy, got some guts to it. St. Felix, Brazil—I’ve always stuck to this sort. Regular ‘begone, dull care,’ burns like brandy, has something fulminating toward the end. But you need to exercise a little caution—can’t light one from the other, you know—more than a fellow can stand. However, better one good mouthful than any amount of nibbles.”

They twirled their respective offerings between their fingers, felt connoisseur-like the slender shapes that possessed, or so one might think, some organic quality of life, with their ribs formed by the diagonal parallel edges of the raised, here and there porous wrapper, the exposed veins that seemed to pulsate, the small inequalities of the skin, the play of light on planes and edges.

Hans Castorp expressed it: “A cigar like that is alive—it breathes. Fact. Once, at home, I had the idea of keeping Maria in an air-tight tin box, to protect her from damp. Would you believe it, she died! Inside of a week she perished—nothing but leathery corpses left.”

They exchanged experiences upon the best way to keep cigars—particularly imported ones. The Hofrat loved them, he would have smoked nothing but heavy Havanas, but they did not suit him. He told Hans Castorp about two little Henry Clays he had once taken to his heart, in an evening company, which had come within an ace of putting him under the sod.

“I smoked them with my coffee,” he said, “and thought no more of’it. But after a while it struck me to wonder how I felt—and I discovered it was like nothing on earth. I don’t know how I got home—and once there, well, this time, my son, I said to myself, you’re a goner. Feet and legs like ice, you know, reeking with cold sweat, white as a table-cloth, heart going all ways for Sunday—sometimes just a thread of a pulse, sometimes pounding like a trip-hammer. Cerebration phenomenal. I made sure I was going to toddle off—that is the very expression that occurred to me, because at the time I was feeling as jolly as a sand-boy. Not that I wasn’t in a funk as well, because I was—I was just one large blue funk all over. Still, funk and felicity aren’t mutually exclusive, everybody knows that. Take a chap who’s going to have a girl for the first time in his life; he is in a funk too, and so is she, and yet both of them are simply dissolving with felicity. I was nearly dissolving too—my bosom swelled with pride, and there I was, on the point of toddling off; but the Mylendonk got hold of me and persuaded me it was a poor idea. She gave me a camphor injection, applied icecompresses and friction—and here I am, saved for humanity.”

The Hofrat’s large, goggling blue eyes watered as he told this story. Hans Castorp, seated in his capacity of patient, looked up at him with an expression that betrayed mental activity.

“You paint sometimes, don’t you, Herr Hofrat?” he asked suddenly.

The Hofrat pretended to stagger backwards. “What the deuce! What do you take me for, youngster?”

“I beg your pardon. I happened to hear somebody say so, and it just crossed my mind.”

“Well, then, I won’t trouble to lie about it. We’re all poor creatures. I admit such a thing has happened. Anch’ io sono pittore, as the Spaniard used to say.”

“Landscape?” Hans Castorp asked him succinctly, with the air of a connoisseur, circumstances betraying him to this tone.

“As much as you like,” the Hofrat answered, swaggering out of sheer selfconsciousness. “Landscape, still life, animals—chap like me shrinks from nothing.”

“No portraits?”

“I’ve even thrown in a portrait or so. Want to give me an order?”

“Ha ha! No, but it would be very kind of you to show us your pictures some timewe should enjoy it.”

Joachim looked blankly at his cousin, but then hastened to add his assurances that it would be very kind indeed of the Hofrat.

Behrens was enchanted at the flattery. He grew red with pleasure, his tears seemed this time actually on the point of falling.

“With the greatest pleasure,” he cried. “On the spot if you like. Come on, come along with me, I’ll brew us a Turkish coffee in my den.”

He pulled both young men from the bench and walked between them arm in arm, down the gravel path which led, as they knew, to his private quarters in the north-west wing of the building.

“I’ve dabbled a little in that sort of thing myself,” Hans Castorp explained.

“You don’t say! Gone in for it properly—oils?”

“Oh, no, I never went further than a water-colour or so. A ship, a sea-piece, childish efforts. But I’m fond of painting, and so I took the liberty—”

Joachim in particular felt relieved and enlightened by this explanation of his cousin’s startling curiosity; it was in fact more on his account than on the Hofrat’s that Hans Castorp had offered it. They reached the entrance, a much simpler one than the impressive portal on the drive, with its flanking lanterns. A pair of curving steps led up to the oaken house door, which the Hofrat opened with a latch-key from his heavy bunch. His hand trembled, he was plainly in a nervous state. They entered an antechamber with clothes-racks, where Behrens hung his bowler on a hook, and thence passed into a short corridor, which was separated by a glass door from that of the main building. On both sides of this corridor lay the rooms of the small private dwelling. Behrens called a servant and gave an order; then to a running accompaniment of whimsical remarks ushered them through a door on the right. They saw a couple of rooms furnished in banal middle-class taste, facing the valley and opening one into another through a doorway hung with portières. One was an “old-German” dining-room, the other a living-and working-room, with woollen carpets, bookshelves and sofa, and a writing-table above which hung a pair of crossed swords and a student’s cap. Beyond was a Turkish smoking-cabinet. Everywhere were paintings, the work of the Hofrat. The guests went up to them at once on entering, courteously ready to praise. There were several portraits of his departed wife, in oil; also, standing on the writing-table, photographs of her. She was a thin, enigmatic blonde, portrayed in flowing garments, with her hands, their finger-tips just lightly enlaced, against her left shoulder, and her eyes either directed toward heaven or else cast upon the ground, shaded by long, thick, obliquely outstanding eyelashes. Never once was the departed one shown looking directly ahead of her toward the observer. The other pictures were chiefly mountain landscapes, mountains in snow and mountains in summer green, mist-wreathed mountains, mountains whose dry, sharp outline was cut out against a deep-blue sky—these apparently under the influence of Segantini. Then there were cowherds’ huts, and dewlapped cattle standing or lying in sun-drenched high pastures. There was a plucked fowl, with its long writhen neck hanging down from a table among a setting of vegetables. There were flower-pieces, types of mountain peasantry, and so on—all painted with a certain brisk dilettantism, the colours boldly dashed on to the canvas, and often looking as though they had been squeezed on out of the tube. They must have taken a long time to dry—but were sometimes effective by way of helping out the other shortcomings.

They passed as they would along the walls of an exhibition, accompanied by the master of the house, who now and then gave a name to some subject or other, but was chiefly silent, with the proud embarrassment of the artist, tasting the enjoyment of looking on his own works with the eyes of strangers. The portrait of Clavdia Chauchat hung on the window wall of the living-room—Hans Castorp spied it out with a quick glance as he entered, though the likeness was but a distant one. Purposely he avoided the spot, detaining his companions in the dining-room, where he affected to admire a fresh green glimpse into the valley of the Serbi, with ice-blue glaciers in the background. Next he passed of his own accord into the Turkish cabinet, and looked at all it had to show, with praises on his lips; thence back to the living-room, beginning with the entrance wall, and calling upon Joachim to second his encomiums. But at last he turned, with a measured start, and said: “But surely that is a familiar face?”

“You recognize her?” the Hofrat wanted to know.

“It is not possible I am mistaken. The lady at the ‘good’ Russian table, with the French name—”

“Right! Chauchat. Glad you think it’s like her.”

“Speaking,” Hans Castorp lied. He did so less from insincerity than in the consciousness that, on the face of things, he ought not to have been able to recognize her. Joachim could never have done so—good Joachim, who saw the whole affair now in its true light, after the false one Hans Castorp had first cast upon it; saw how the wool had been pulled over his eyes; and with a murmured recognition applied himself to help look at the painting. His cousin had paid him out for not going into society after luncheon.

It was a bust-length, in half profile, rather under life-size, in a wide, bevelled frame, black, with an inner beading of gilt. Neck and bosom were bare or veiled with a soft drapery laid about the shoulders. Frau Chauchat appeared ten years older than her age, as often happens in amateur portraiture where the artist is bent on making a character study. There was too much red all over the face, the nose was badly out of drawing, the colour of the hair badly hit off, too straw-colour; the mouth was distorted, the peculiar charm of the features ungrasped or at least not brought out, spoiled by the exaggeration of their single elements. The whole was a rather botched performance, and only distantly related to its original. But Hans Castorp was not particular about the degree of likeness, the relation of this canvas to Frau Chauchat’s person was close enough for him. It purported to represent her, in these very rooms she had sat for it, that was all he needed; much moved he reiterated: “The very image of her!”

“Oh, no,” the Hofrat demurred. “It was a pretty clumsy piece of work, I don’t flatter myself I hit her off very well, though we had, I suppose, twenty sittings. What can you do with a rum sort of face like that? You might think she would be easy to capture, with those hyperborean cheek-bones, and eyes like cracks in a loaf of bread. Yes, there’s something about her—if you get the detail right, you botch the ensemble. Riddle of the sphinx. Do you know her? It would probably be better to paint her from memory, instead of having her sit. Did you say you knew her?”

“No; that is, only superficially, the way one knows people up here.”

“Well, I know her under her skin—subcutaneously, you see: blood pressure, tissue tension, lymphatic circulation, all that sort of thing. I’ve good reason to. It’s the superficies makes the difficulty. Have you ever noticed her walk? She slinks. It’s characteristic, shows in her face—take the eyes, for example, not to mention the complexion, though that is tricky too. I don’t mean their colour, I am speaking of the cut, and the way they sit in the face. You’d say the eye slit was cut obliquely, but it only looks so. What deceives you is the epicanthus, a racial variation, consisting in a sort of ridge of integument that runs from the bridge of the nose to the eyelid, and comes down over the inside corner of the eye. If you take your finger and stretch the skin at the base of the nose, the eye looks as straight as any of ours. Quite a taking little dodge—but as a matter of fact, the epicanthus can be traced back to an atavistic vestige—it’s a developmental arrest.”

“So that’s it.” Hans Castorp said. “I never knew that—but I’ve wondered for a long time what it is about eyes like that.”

“Vanity,” said the Hofrat, “and vexation of spirit. If you simply draw them in slanting, you are lost. You must bring about the obliquity the same way nature does, you must add illusion to illusion—and for that you have to know about the epicanthus. What a man knows always comes in handy. Now look at the skin—the epidermis. Do you find I’ve managed to make it lifelike, or not?”

“Enormously,” said Hans Castorp. “Simply enormously. I’ve never seen skin painted anything like so well. You can fairly see the pores.” And he ran the edge of his hand lightly over the bare neck and shoulders, the skin of which, especially by contrast with the exaggerated red of the face, was very white, as though seldom exposed. Whether this effect was premeditated or not, it was rather suggestive. And still Hans Castorp’s praise was deserved. The pale shimmer of this tender, though not emaciated, bosom, losing itself in the bluish shadows of the drapery, was very like life. It was obviously painted with feeling; a sort of sweetness emanated from it, yet the artist had been successful in giving it a scientific realism and precision as well. The roughness of the canvas texture, showing through the paint, had been dexterously employed to suggest the natural unevennesses of the skin—this especially in the neighbourhood of the delicate collar-bones. A tiny mole, at the point where the breasts began to divide, had been done with care, and on their rounding surfaces one thought to trace the delicate blue veins. It was as though a scarcely perceptible shiver of sensibility beneath the eye of the beholder were passing over this nude flesh, as though one might see the perspiration, the invisible vapour which the life beneath threw off; as though, were one to press one’s lips upon this surface, one might perceive, not the smell of paint and fixative, but the odour of the human body. Such, at least, were Hans Castorp’s impressions, which we here reproduce—and he, of course, was in a peculiarly susceptible state. But it is none the less true that Frau Chauchat’s portrait was by far the most telling piece of painting in the room. Hofrat Behrens rocked back and forth on his heels and the balls of his feet, his hands in this trouser pockets, as he gazed at his work in company with the cousins.

“Delighted,” he said. “Delighted to find favour in the eyes of a colleague. If a man knows a bit about what goes on under the epidermis, that does no harm either. In other words, if he can paint a little below the surface, and stands in another relation to nature than just the lyrical, so to say. An artist who is a doctor, physiologist, and anatomist on the side, and has his own little way of thinking about the under sides of things—it all comes in handy too, it gives you the pas, say what you like. That birthday suit there is painted with science, it is organically correct, you can examine it under the microscope. You can see not only the horny and mucous strata of the epidermis, but I’ve suggested the texture of the corium underneath, with the oil-and sweat-glands, the blood-vessels and tubercles—and then under that still the layer of fat, the upholstering, you know, full of oil ducts, the underpinning of the lovely female form. What is in your mind as you work runs into your hand and has its influence—it isn’t really there, and yet somehow or other it is, and that is what gives the lifelike effect.”

All this was fuel to Hans Castorp’s fire. His brow was flushed, his eyes fairly sparkled, he had so much to say he knew not where to begin. In the first place, he had it in mind to remove the picture of Frau Chauchat from the window wall, where it hung somewhat in shadow, and place it to better advantage; next, he was eager to take up the Hofrat’s remarks about the constitution of the skin, which had keenly interested him; and finally, he wanted to make some remarks of his own, of a general and philosophical nature, which interested him no less mightily.

Laying his hands upon the painting to unhook it, he eagerly began: “Yes, yes indeed, that is all very important. What I’d like to say is—I mean, you said, Herr Hofrat, if I understood rightly, you said: ‘In another relation.’ You said it was good when there was some other relation besides the lyric—I think that was the word you used—the artistic, that is; in short, when one looked at the thing from another point of view—the medical, for example. That’s all so enormously to the point, you know—I do beg your pardon, Herr Hofrat, but what I mean is that it is so exactly and precisely right, because after all it is not a question of any fundamentally different relations or points of view, but at bottom just variations of one and the same, just shadings of it, so to speak, I mean: variations of one and the same universal interest, the artistic impulse itself being a part and a manifestation of it too, if I may say so. Yes, if you will pardon me, I will take down this picture, there’s positively no light here where it hangs, permit me to carry it over to the sofa, we shall see if it won’t look entirelywhat I meant to say was: what is the main concern of the study of medicine? I know nothing about it, of course—but after all isn’t its main concern with human beings?

And jurisprudence—making laws, pronouncing judgment—its main concern is with human beings too. And philology, which is nearly always bound up with the profession of pedagogy? And theology, with the care of souls, the office of spiritual shepherd? All of them have to do with human beings, all of them are degrees of one and the same important, the same fundamental interest, the interest in humanity. In other words, they are the humanistic callings, and if you go in for them you have to study the ancient languages by way of foundation, for the sake of formal training, as they say. Perhaps you are surprised at my talking about them like that, being only a practical man and on the technical side. But I have been thinking about these questions lately, in the rest-cure; and I find it wonderful, I find it a simply priceless arrangement of things, that the formal, the idea of form, of beautiful form, lies at the bottom of every sort of humanistic calling. It gives it such nobility, I think, such a sort of disinterestedness, and feeling, too, and—and—courtliness—it makes a kind of chivalrous adventure out of it. That is to say—I suppose I am expressing myself very ridiculously, but—you can see how the things of the mind and the love of beauty come together, and that they always really have been one and the same—in other words, science and art; and that the calling of being an artist surely belongs with the others, as a sort of fifth faculty, because it too is a humanistic calling, a variety of humanistic interest, in so far as its most important theme or concern is with man—you will agree with me on that point. When I experimented in that line in my youth, I never painted anything but ships and water, of course. But notwithstanding, in my eyes the most interesting branch of painting is and remains portraiture, because it has man for its immediate object—that was why I asked at once if you had done anything in that field.—Wouldn’t this be a far more favourable place for it to hang?”

Both of them, Behrens no less than Joachim, looked at him amazed—was he not ashamed of this confused, impromptu harangue? But no, Hans Castorp was far too preoccupied to feel self-conscious. He held the painting against the sofa wall, and demanded to know if it did not get a much better light. Just then the servant brought a tray, with hot water, a spirit-lamp, and coffee-cups.

Behrens motioned them into the cabinet, saying: “Then you must have been more interested in sculpture, originally, than in painting, I should think. Yes, of course, it gets more light there; if you think it can stand it. I should suppose so, because sculpture concerns itself more purely and exclusively with the human form. But we mustn’t let the water boil away.”

“Quite right, sculpture,” Hans Castorp said, as they went. He forgot either to hang up or put down the picture he had been holding, but tugged it with him into the neighbouring room. “Certainly a Greek Venus or athlete is more humanistic, it is probably at bottom the most humanistic of all the arts, when one comes to think about it!”

“Well, as far as little Chauchat goes, she is a better subject for painting than sculpture. Phidias, or that other chap with the Mosaic ending to his name, would have stuck up their noses at her style of physiognomy.—Hullo, where are you going with the ham?”

“Pardon me, I’ll just lean it here against the leg of my chair, that will do very well for the moment. The Greek sculptors did not trouble themselves about the head and face, their interest was more with the body, I suppose that was their humanism.—And the plasticity of the female form—so that is fat, is it?”

“That is fat,” the Hofrat said concisely. He had opened a hanging cabinet, and taken thence the requisites for his coffee-making: a cylindrical Turkish mill, a long-handled pot, a double receptacle for sugar and ground coffee, all in brass. “Palmitin, stearin, olein,“ he went on, shaking the coffee berries from a tin box into the mill, which he began to turn. “You see I make it all myself, it tastes twice as good.—Did you think it was ambrosia?”

“No, of course I knew. Only it sounds strange to hear it like that,” Hans Castorp said.

They were seated in the corner between door and window, at a bamboo tabouret which held an oriental brass tray, upon which Behrens had set the coffee-machine, among the smoking utensils. Joachim was next Behrens on the Ottoman, overflowing with cushions; Hans Castorp sat in a leather arm-chair on castors, against which he had leaned Frau Chauchat’s picture. A gaily-coloured carpet was beneath their feet. The Hofrat ladled coffee and sugar into the long-handled pot, added water, and let the brew boil up over the flame of the lamp. It foamed brownly in the little onion-pattern cups, and proved on tasting both strong and sweet.

“Your own as well,” Behrens said. “Your ‘plasticity’—so far as you have any—is fat too, though of course not to the same extent as with a woman. With us fat is only about five per cent of the body weight, in females it is one sixteenth of the whole. Without that subcutaneous cell structure of ours, we should all be nothing but fungoid growths. It disappears, with time, and then come the unæsthetic wrinkles in the drapery. The layer is thickest on the female breast and belly, on the front of the thighs, everywhere, in short, where there is a little something for heart and hand to take hold of. The soles of the feet are fat and ticklish.”

Hans Castorp turned the cylindrical coffee-mill about in his hands. It was, like the rest of the set, Indian or Persian rather than Turkish; the style of the engraving showed that, with the bright surface of the pattern standing out against the purposely dulled background. He looked at the design, without immediately seeing what it was. When he did, he blushed unawares.

“Yes, that is a set for single gentlemen,” Behrens said. “I keep it locked up, you see, my kitchen queen might hurt her eyes looking at it. It won’t do you gentlemen any harm, I take it. It was given to me by a patient, an Egyptian princess who once honoured us with a year or so of her presence. You see, the pattern repeats itself on the whole set. Pretty roguish, what?”

“Yes, it is quite unusual,” Hans Castorp answered. “Ha ha! No, it doesn’t trouble me. But one can take it perfectly seriously; solemnly, in fact—only then it is rather out of place on a coffee-machine. The ancients are said to have used such motifs on their sarcophagi. The sacred and the obscene were more or less the same thing to them.”

“I should say the princess was more for the second,” Behrens said. “Anyhow she still sends me the most wonderful cigarettes, superfinissimos, you know, only sported on “first-class occasions.” He fetched the garish-coloured box from the cupboard and offered them. Joachim drew his heels together as he received his cigarette. Hans Castorp helped himself to his; it was unusually large and thick, and had a gilt sphinx on it. He began to smoke—it was wonderful, as Behrens had said.

“Tell us some more about the skin,” he begged the Hofrat; “that is, if you will be so kind.” He had taken Frau Chauchat’s portrait on his knee, and was gazing at it, leaning back in his chair, the cigarette between his lips. “Not about the fat-layer, we know about that now. About the human skin in general, that you know so well how to paint.”

“About the skin. You are interested in physiology?”

“Very much. Yes, I’ve always felt a good deal of interest in it. The human bodyyes, I’ve always had an uncommon turn for it. I’ve sometimes asked myself whether I ought not to have been a physician—it wouldn’t have been a bad idea, in a way. Because if you are interested in the body, you must be interested in disease—specially interested, isn’t that so? But it doesn’t signify, I might have been such a lot of things—for example, a clergyman.”


“Yes, I’ve sometimes had the idea I should have been decidedly in my element there.”

“How did you come to be an engineer, then?”

“I just happened to—it was more or less outward circumstances that decided the matter.”

“Well, about the skin. What do you want to hear about your sensory sheath? You know, don’t you, that it is your outside brain—ontogenetically the same as that apparatus of the so-called higher centres up there in your cranium? The central nervous system is nothing but a modification of the outer skin-layer; among the lower animals the distinction between central and peripheral doesn’t exist, they smell and taste with their skin, it is the only sensory organ they have. Must be rather nice—if you can put yourself in their place. On the other hand, in such highly differentiated forms of life as you and I are, the skin has fallen from its high estate; it has to confine itself to feeling ticklish; that is to say, to being simply a protective and registering apparatus—but devilishly on the qui vive for anything that tries to come too close about the body. It even puts out feelers—the body hairs, which are nothing but hardened skin cells—and they get wind of the approach of whatever it is, before the skin itself is touched. Just between ourselves, it is quite possible that this protecting and defending function of the skin extends beyond the physical. Do you know what makes you go red and pale?”

“Not very precisely.”

“Well, neither do we, ‘very precisely,’ to be frank—at least, as far as blushing is concerned. The situation is not quite clear; for the dilatory muscles which are presumably set in action by the vasomotor nerves haven’t yet been demonstrated in relation to the blood-vessels. How the cock really swells his comb, or any of the other well-known instances come about, is still a mystery, particularly where it is a question of emotional influences in play. We assume that a connexion subsists between the outer rind of the cerebrum and the vascular centre in the medulla. Certain stimuli—for instance, let us say, like your being powerfully embarrassed, set up the connexion, and the nerves that control the blood-vessels function toward the face, and they expand and fill, and you get a face like a turkey-cock, all swelled up with blood so you can’t see out of your eyes. On the other hand, suppose you are in suspense, something is going to happen—it may be something tremendously beautiful, for aught I care—the blood-vessels that-feed the skin contract, it gets pale and cold and sunken, you look like a dead man, with big, lead-coloured eye-sockets and a peaked nose. But the Sympathicus makes your heart thump away like a good fellow.”

“So that is how it happens,” Hans Castorp said. ‘

“Something like that. Those are reactions, you know. But it is the nature of reactions and reflexes to have a reason for happening; we are beginning to suspect, we physiologists, that the phenomena accompanying emotion are really defence mechanisms, protective reflexes of the system. Goose-flesh, now. Do you know how you come to have goose-flesh?”

“Not very clearly either, I’m afraid.”

“That is a little contrivance of the sebaceous glands, which secrete the fatty, albuminous substance that oils your skin and keeps it supple, and pleasant to feel of. Not very appetizing, maybe, but without it the skin would be all withered and cracked. Without the cholesterin, it is hard to imagine touching the human skin at all. These sebaceous glands have little erector-muscles that act upon them, and when they do so, then you are like the lad when the princess poured the pail of minnows over him. Your skin gets like a file, and if the stimulus is very powerful, the hair ducts are erected too, the hair on your head bristles up and the little hairs on your body, like quills upon the fretful porcupine—and you can say, like the youth in the story, that now you know how to shiver and shake.”

“Oh,” said Hans Castorp, “I know how already. I shiver rather easily, on all sorts of provocation. Only what surprises me is that the glands are erected for such different reasons. It gives one goose-flesh to hear a slate-pencil run across a pane of glass; but when you hear particularly beautiful music you suddenly find you have it too, and when I was confirmed and took my first communion, I had one shiver after another, it seemed as though the prickling and stickling would never leave off. Imagine those little muscles acting for such different reasons!”

“Oh,” Behrens said, “tickling’s tickling. The body doesn’t give a hang for the content of the stimulus. It may be minnows, it may be the Holy Ghost, the sebaceous glands are erected just the same.”

Hans Castorp regarded the picture on his knee.

“Herr Hofrat,“ he said, “I wanted to come back to something you said a moment ago, about internal processes, lymphatic action, and that sort of thing. Tell us about it—particularly about the lymphatic system, it interests me tremendously.”

“I believe you,” Behrens responded. “The lyrnph is the most refined, the most rarefied, the most intimate of the body juices. I dare say you had an inkling of the fact in your mind when you asked. People talk about the blood, and the mysteries of its composition, and what an extraordinary fluid it is. But it is the lymph that is the juice of juices, the very essence, you understand, ichor, blood-milk, crème de la crème; as a matter of fact, after a fatty diet it does look like milk.” And he went on, in his lively and whimsical phraseology, to gratify Hans Castorp’s desire. And first he characterized the blood, a serum composed of fat, albumen, iron, sugar and salt, crimson as an opera-cloak, the product of respiration and digestion, saturated with gases, laden with waste products, which was pumped at 98.4° of heat from the heart through the blood-vessels, and kept up metabolism and animal warmth throughout the body—in other words, sweet life itself. But, he said, the blood did not come into immediate contact with the body cells. What happened was that the pressure at which it was pumped caused a milky extract of it to sweat through the walls of the bloodvessels, and so into the tissues, so that it filled every tiny interstice and cranny, and caused the elastic cell-tissue to distend. This distension of the tissues, or turgor, pressed the lymph, after it had nicely swilled out the cells and exchanged matter with them, into the vasa lymphatica, the lymphatic vessels, and so back into the blood again, at the rate of a litre and a half a day. He went on to speak of the lymphatic tubes and absorbent vessels; described the secretion of the breast milk, which collected lymph from legs, abdomen, and breast, one arm, and one side of the head; described the very delicately constructed filters called lymphatic glands which were placed at certain points in the lymphatic system, in the neck, the arm-pit, and the elbow-joint, the hollow under the knee, and other soft and intimate parts of the body.

“Swellings may occur in these places,” Behrens explained. “Indurations of the lymphatic glands, let us say, in the knee-pan or the arm-joint, dropsical tumours here and there, and we base our diagnosis on them—they always have a reason, though not always a very pretty one. Under such circumstances there is more than a suspicion of tubercular congestion of the lymphatic vessels.”

Hans Castorp was silent a little space.

“Yes,” he said, then, in a low voice, “it is true, I might very well have been a doctor. The flow of the breast milk—the lymph of the legs—all that interests me very, very much. What is the body?” he rhapsodically burst forth. “What is the flesh? What is the physical being of man? What is he made of? Tell us this afternoon, Herr Hofrat, tell us exactly, and once and for all, so that we may know!”

“Of water,” answered Behrens. “So you are interested in organic chemistry too?

The human body consists, much the larger part of it, of water. No more and no less than water, and nothing to get wrought up about. The solid parts are only twenty-five per cent of the whole, and of that twenty are ordinary white of egg, protein, if you want to use a handsomer word. Besides that, a little fat and a little salt, that’s about all.”

“But the white of egg—what is that?”

“Various primary substances: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur.

Sometimes phosphorus. Your scientific curiosity is running away with itself. Some albumens are in composition with carbohydrates; that is to say, grape-sugar and starch. In old age the flesh becomes tough, that is because the collagen increases in the connective tissue—the lime, you know, the most important constituent of the bones and cartilage. What else shall I tell you? In the muscle plasma we have an albumen called fibrin; when death occurs, it coagulates in the muscular tissue, and causes the rigor mortis.”

“Right-oh, I see, the rigor mortis,” Hans Castorp said blithely. “Very good, very good. And then comes the general analysis—the anatomy of the grave.”

“Yes, of course. But how well you put it! Yes, the movement becomes general, you flow away, so to speak—remember all that water! The remaining constituents are very unstable; without life, they are resolved by putrefaction into simpler combinations, anorganic.”

“Dissolution, putrefaction,” said Hans Castorp. “They are the same thing as combustion: combination with oxygen—am I right?”

“To a T. Oxidization.”

“And life?”

“Oxidization too. The same. Yes, young man, life too is principally oxidization of the cellular albumen, which gives us that beautiful animal warmth, of which we sometimes have more than we need. Tut, living consists in dying, no use mincing the matter— une destruction organique, as some Frenchman with his native levity has called it. It smells like that, too. If we don’t think so, our judgment is corrupted.”

“And if one is interested in life, one must be particularly interested in death, mustn’t one?”

“Oh, well, after all, there is some sort of difference. Life is life which keeps the form through change of substance.”

“Why should the form remain?” said Hans Castorp.

“Why? Young man, what you are saying now sounds far from humanistic.”

“Form is folderol.”

“Well, you are certainly in great form to-day—you’re regularly kicking over the traces. But I must drop out now,” said the Hofrat. “I am beginning to feel melancholy,” and he laid his huge hand over his eyes. “I can feel it coming on. You see, I’ve drunk coffee with you, and it tasted good to me, and all of a sudden it comes over me that I am going to be melancholy. You gentlemen must excuse me. It was an extra occasion, I enjoyed it no end—”

The cousins had sprung up. They reproached themselves for having taxed the Hofrat’s patience so long. He made proper protest. Hans Castorp hastened to carry Frau Chauchat’s portrait into the next room and hang it once more on the wall. They did not need to re-traverse the garden to arrive at their own quarters; Behrens directed them through the building, and accompanied them to the dividing glass door. In the mood that had come over him so unexpectedly, his goggling eyes blinked, and the bone of his neck stuck out, both more than ever; his upper lip, with the clipped, onesided moustache, had taken on a querulous expression. As they went along the corridors Hans Castorp said to his cousin: “Confess that it was a good idea of mine.”

“It was a change, at least,” responded Joachim. “And you certainly took occasion to air your views on a good many subjects. It was a bit complicated for me. It is high time now that we went in to the rest-cure, we shall have at least twenty minutes before tea. You probably think it is folderol to pay so much attention to it, now you’ve taken to kicking over the traces. But you don’t need it so much as I do, after all.”


AND now came on, as come it must, what Hans Castorp had never thought to experience: the winter of the place, the winter of these high altitudes. Joachim knew it already: it had been in full blast when he arrived the year before—but Hans Castorp rather dreaded it, however well he felt himself equipped. Joachim sought to reassure him.

“You must not imagine it grimmer than it is,” he said, “not really arctic. You will feel the cold less on account of the dryness of the air and the absence of wind. It’s the thing about the change of temperature above the fog line; they’ve found out lately that it gets warmer in the upper reaches, something they did not know before. I should say it is actually colder when it rains. But you have your sleeping-bag, and they turn on the heat when they absolutely must.”

And in fact there could be no talk of violence or surprises; the winter came mildly on, at first no different from many a day they had seen in the height of summer. The wind had been two days in the south, the sun bore down, the valley seemed shrunken, the side walls at its mouth looked near and bald. Clouds came up, behind Piz Michel and Tinzenhorn, and drove north-eastwards. It rained heavily. Then the rain turned foul, a whitish-grey, mingled with snow-flakes—soon it was all snow, the valley was full of flurry; it kept on and on, the temperature fell appreciably, so that the fallen snow could not quite melt, but lay covering the valley with a wet and threadbare white garment, against which showed black the pines on the slopes. In the dining-room the radiators were lukewarm. That was at the beginning of November—All Souls’—and there was no novelty about it. In August it had been even so; they had long left off regarding snow as a prerogative of winter. White traces lingered after every storm in the crannies of the rocky Rhätikon, the chain that seemed to guard the end of the valley, and the distant monarchs to the south were always in snow. But the storm and the fall in the temperature both continued. A pale grey sky hung low over the valley; it seemed to dissolve in flakes and fall soundlessly and ceaselessly, until one almost felt uneasy. It turned colder by the hour. A morning came when the thermometer in Hans Castorp’s room registered 44°, the next morning it was only 40°. That was cold. It kept within bounds, but it persisted. It had frozen at night; now it froze in the day-time as well, and all day long; and it snowed, with brief intervals, through the fourth, the fifth, and the seventh days. The snow mounted apace, it became a nuisance. Paths had been shovelled as far as the bench by the watercourse, and on the drive down to the valley; but these were so narrow that you could only walk single file, and if you met anyone, you must step off the pavement and at once sink knee-deep in snow. A stoneroller drawn by a horse, with a man at his halter, rolled all day long up and down the streets of the cure, while a yellow diligence on runners, looking like an old-fashioned post-coach, plied between village and cure, with a snow-plough attached in front, shovelling the white masses aside. The world, this narrow, lofty, isolated world up here, looked now well wadded and upholstered indeed: no pillar or post but wore its white cap; the steps up to the entrance of the Berghof had turned into an inclined plane; heavy cushions, in the drollest shapes, weighed down the branches of the Scotch firs—now and then one slid off and raised up a cloud of powdery white dust in its fall. Round about, the heights lay smothered in snow; their lower regions rugged with the evergreen growth, their upper parts, beyond the timber line, softly covered up to their many-shaped summits. The air was dark, the sun but a pallid apparition behind a veil. Yet a mild reflected brightness came from the snow, a milky gleam whose light became both landscape and human beings, even though these latter did show red noses under their white or gaily-coloured woollen caps.

In the dining-room the onset of winter—the “season” of the region—was the subject of conversation at all seven tables. Many tourists and sportsmen were said to have arrived and taken up residence at the hotels in the Dorf and the Platz. The height of the piled-up snow was estimated at two feet; its consistency was said to be ideal for skiing. The bob-run, which led down from the north-western slope of the Schatzalp into the valley, was zealously worked on, it would be possible to open it in the next few days, unless a thaw put out all calculations. Everyone looked forward eagerly to the activities of these sound people down below—to the sports and races, which it was forbidden to attend, but which numbers of the patients resolved to see, by cutting the rest-cure and slipping out of the Berghof. Hans Castorp heard of a new sport that had come from Scandinavia, “ski-jöring”: it consisted in races in which the participants were drawn by horses while standing in their skis. It was to see this that so many of the patients had resolved to slip out.—There was talk too of Christmas.

Christmas! Hans Castorp had never once thought of it. To be sure, he had blithely said, and written, that he must spend the winter up here with Joachim, because of what the doctors had discovered to be the state of his health. But now he was startled to realize that Christmas would be included in the programme—perhaps because (and yet not entirely because) he had never spent the Christmas season anywhere but in the bosom of the family. Well, if he must he must; he would have to put up with it. He was no longer a child; Joachim seemed not to mind, or else to have adjusted himself uncomplainingly to the prospect; and, after all, he said to himself, think of all the places and all the conditions in which Christmas has been celebrated before now!

Yet it did seem to him rather premature to begin thinking about Christmas even before the Advent season, six weeks at least before the holiday! True, such an interval was easily overleaped by the guests in the dining-hall: it was a mental process in which Hans Castorp had already some facility, though he had not yet learned to practise it in the grand style, as the older inhabitants did. Christmas, like other holidays in the course of the year, served them for a fulcrum, or a vaulting-pole, with which to leap over empty intervening spaces. They all had fever, their metabolism was accelerated, their bodily processes accentuated, keyed up—all this perhaps accounted for the wholesale way they could put time behind them. It would not have greatly surprised him to hear them discount the Christmas holiday as well, and go on at once to speak of the New Year and Carnival. But no—so capricious and unstable as this they were not, in the Berghof dining-room. Christmas gave them pause, it gave them even matter for concern and brain-racking. It was customary to present Hofrat Behrens with a gift on Christmas eve, for which a collection was taken up among the guests—and this gift was the subject of much deliberation. A meeting was called. Last year, so the old inhabitants said, they had given him a travelling-trunk; this time a new operating-table had been considered, an easel, a fur coat, a rocking-chair, an inlaid ivory stethoscope. Settembrini, asked for suggestions, proposed that they give the Hofrat a newly projected encyclopædic work called The Sociology of Suffering; but he found only one person to agree with him, a book-dealer who sat at Hermine Kleefeld’s table. In short, no decision had been reached. There was difficulty about coming to an agreement with the Russian guests; a divergence of views arose. The Muscovites declared their preference for making an independent gift. Frau Stöhr went about for days quite outraged on account of a loan of ten francs which she inadvisedly laid out for Frau Iltis at the meeting, and which the latter had “forgotten” to return. She “forgot” it. The shades of meaning Frau Stöhr contrived to convey in this word were many and varied, but one and all expressive of an entire disbelief in Frau Iltis’s lack of memory, which, it appeared, had been proof against the hints and proddings Frau Stöhr freely admitted having administered. Several times she declared she would resign herself, make Frau Iltis a present of the sum. “I’ll pay for both of us,” she said.

“Then my skirts will be cleared!” But in the end she hit upon another plan and communicated it to her table-mates, to their great delight: she had the “management” refund her the ten francs and insert it in Frau Iltis’s weekly bill. Thus was the reluctant debtor outwitted, and at least this phase of the matter settled.

It had stopped snowing, the sky began to clear. The blue-grey cloud-masses parted to admit glimpses of the sun, whose rays gave a bluish cast to the scene. Then it grew altogether fair; a bright hard frost and settled winter splendour reigned in the middle of November. The arch of the loggia framed a glorious panorama of snow-powdered forest, softly filled passes and ravines, white, sunlit valleys, and radiant blue heavens above all. In the evening, when the almost full moon appeared, the world lay in enchanted splendour, marvellous. Crystal and diamond it glittered far and wide, the forest stood up very black and white, the quarter of the heavens where the moon was not showed deeply dark, embroidered with stars. On the flashing surface of the snow, shadows, so strong, so sharp and clearly outlined that they seemed almost more real than the objects themselves, fell from houses, trees, and telegraph-poles. An hour or so after sunset there would be some fourteen degrees of frost. The world seemed spellbound in icy purity, its earthly blemishes veiled; it lay fixed in a deathlike, enchanted trance.

Hans Castorp stopped until far into the night in his balcony above the ensorcelled winter scene—much longer than Joachim, who retired at ten or a little later. His excellent chair, with the sectional mattress and the neck-roll, he pulled close to the snow-cushioned balustrade; at his hand was the white table with the lighted readinglamp, a stack of books, and a glass of creamy milk, the “evening milk” which was brought to each of the guests’ rooms at nine o’clock. Hans Castorp put a dash of cognac in his, to make it more palatable. Already he had availed himself of all his means of protection against the cold, the entire outfit: lay ensconced well up to his chest in the buttoned-up sleeping-sack he had acquired in one of the well-furnished shops in the Platz, with the two camel’s-hair rugs folded over it in accordance with the ritual. He wore his winter suit, with a short fur jacket atop, a woollen cap, felt boots, and heavily lined gloves, which, however, could not prevent the stiffening of his fingers.

What held him so late—often until midnight and beyond, long after the “bad”

Russian pair had left their loge—was partly the magic of the winter night, into which, until eleven, were woven the mounting strains of music from near and far. But even more it was inertia and excitement, both of these at once, and in combination: bodily inertia, the physical fatigue which hated any idea of moving; and mental excitement, the busy preoccupation of his thoughts with certain new and fascinating studies upon which the young man had embarked, and which left his brain no rest. The weather affected him, his organism was stimulated by the cold; he ate enormously, attacking the mighty Berghof meals, where the roast goose followed upon the roast beef, with the usual Berghof appetite, which was always even larger in winter than in summer. At the same time he had a perpetual craving for sleep; in the daytime, as well as on the moonlit evenings, he would drop off over his books, and then, after a few minutes’ unconsciousness, betake himself again to research. Talk fatigued him. He was more inclined than had been his habit to rapid, unrestrained, even reckless speech; but if he talked with Joachim, as they went on their snowy walks, he was liable to be overtaken by giddiness and trembling, would feel dazed and tipsy, and the blood would mount to his head. His curve had gone up since the oncoming of winter, and Hofrat Behrens had let fall something about injections; these were usually given in cases of obstinate high temperature, and Joachim and at least two-thirds of the guests had them. But he himself felt sure that the increase in his bodily heat had to do with the mental activity and excitation which kept him in his chair on the balcony until deep into the glittering, frosty night. The reading which held him so late suggested such an explanation to his mind.

No little reading was done, in the rest-halls and private loggias of the International Sanatorium Berghof; largely, however, by the new-comers and “short-timers,” for the patients of many months’ or years’ standing had long learned to kill time without mental effort or means of distraction, by dint of a certain inner virtuosity they came to possess. They even considered it beginners’ awkwardness to glue yourself to a book. It was enough to have one lying in your lap or on your little table, in case of need. The collection of the establishment was an amplification of the literature found in a dentist’s waiting-room—in many languages, profusely illustrated, and offered free of charge. The guests exchanged volumes from the loan-library down in the Platz; now and again there would be a book for which everybody scrambled, even the condescending old inhabitants reaching out their hands with ill-concealed eagerness. At the moment it was a cheap paper-backed volume, introduced by Herr Albin, and entitled The Art of Seduction: a very literal translation from the French, preserving even the syntax of that language, and thus gaining in elegance and pungency of presentation. In matter it was an exposition of the philosophy of sensual passion, developed in a spirit of debonair and man-of-the-worldly paganism. Frau Stöhr had read it early, and pronounced it simply ravishing. Frau Magnus, the same who had lost her albumen tolerance, agreed unreservedly. Her husband the brewer purported to have profited personally by a perusal, but regretted that his wife should have taken up that sort of thing, because such reading spoiled the women and gave them immodest ideas. His remarks not a little increased the circulation of the volume. Two ladies of the lower rest-hall, Frau Redisch, the wife of a Polish industrial magnate, and Frau Hessenfeld, a widow from Berlin, both of these new arrivals since October, claimed the book at the same time, and a regrettable incident arose after dinner, yes, more than regrettable, for there was a violent scene, overheard by Hans Castorp, in his loggia above. It ended in spasms of hysteria on the part of one of the women—it might have been Frau Redisch, but equally well it might have been Frau Hessenfeld—and she was borne away beside herself to her own room. The youth of the place had got hold of the treatise before those of riper years; studying it in part in groups, after supper, in their various rooms. Hans Castorp himself saw the youth with the finger-nail hand it to Fränzchen Oberdank in the dining-room—she was a new arrival and a light case, a flaxen-haired young thing whose mother had just brought her to the sanatorium. There may have been exceptions; there may have been those who employed the hours of the rest-cure with some serious intellectual occupation, some conceivably profitable study, either by way of keeping in touch with life in the lowlands, or in order to give weight and depth to the passing hour, that it might not be pure time and nothing else besides. Perhaps here and there was one—not, of course, to mention Herr Settembrini, with his zeal for eliminating human suffering, or Joachim with his Russian primer yes, there might be one, or two, thus occupied; if not among the guests in the dining-room, which seemed not very likely, then among the bedridden and moribund. Hans Castorp inclined to believe it. He himself, after imbibing all that Ocean Steamships had to offer him, had ordered certain books from home, some of them bearing on his profession, and they had arrived with his winter clothing: scientific engineering, technique of ship-building, and the like. But these volumes lay now neglected in favour of other textbooks belonging to quite a different field, an interest in which had seized upon the young man: anatomy, physiology, biology, works in German, French and English, sent up to the Berghof by the book-dealer in the village, obviously because Hans Castorp had ordered them, as was indeed the case. He had done so of his own motion, without telling anyone, on a solitary walk he took down to the Platz while Joachim was occupied with the weekly weighing or injection. His cousin was surprised when he saw the books in Hans Castorp’s hands. They were expensive, as scientific works always are: the prices were marked on the wrappers and inside the front covers. Joachim asked why, if his cousin wanted to read such books, he had not borrowed them of the Hofrat, who surely possessed a wellchosen stock. The young man answered that it was quite a different thing to read when the book was one’s own; for his part, he loved to mark them and underline passages in pencil. Joachim could hear, hours on end, the noise made by the paperknife going through the uncut leaves. The volumes were heavy, unhandy. Hans Castorp propped them against his chest or stomach as he lay; they were heavy, but he did not mind. Lying there, his mouth half open, he let his eye glide down the learned page, upon which fell the light from his red-shaded lamp, though he might have read, if need were, by the brilliance of the moonlight alone. He read, following the lines down the page with his head, until at the bottom his chin lay sunk upon his breast—and in this position the reader would pause perhaps for reflection, dozing a little or musing in half-slumber, before lifting his eyes to the next page. He probed profoundly. While the moon took its appointed way above the crystalline splendours of the mountain valley, he read of organized matter, of the properties of protoplasm, that sensitive substance maintaining itself in extraordinary fluctuation between building up and breaking down; of form developing out of rudimentary, but always present, primordia; read with compelling interest of life, and its sacred, impure mysteries.

What was life? No one knew. It was undoubtedly aware of itself, so soon as it was life; but it did not know what it was. Consciousness, as exhibited by susceptibility to stimulus, was undoubtedly, to a certain degree, present in the lowest, most undeveloped stages of life; it was impossible to fix the first appearance of conscious processes at any point in the history of the individual or the race; impossible to make consciousness contingent upon, say, the presence of a nervous system. The lowest animal forms had no nervous systems, still less a cerebrum; yet no one would venture to deny them the capacity for responding to stimuli. One could suspend life; not merely particular sense-organs, not only nervous reactions, but life itself. One could temporarily suspend the irritability to sensation of every form of living matter in the plant as well as in the animal kingdom; one could narcotize ova and spermatozoa with chloroform, chloral hydrate, or morphine. Consciousness, then, was simply a function of matter organized into life; a function that in higher manifestations turned upon its avatar and became an effort to explore and explain the phenomenon it displayed—a hopeful-hopeless project of life to achieve self-knowledge, nature in recoil—and vainly, in the event, since she cannot be resolved in knowledge, nor life, when all is said, listen to itself.

What was life? No one knew. No one knew the actual point whence it sprang, where it kindled itself. Nothing in the domain of life seemed uncausated, or insufficiently causated, from that point on; but life itself seemed without antecedent. If there was anything that might be said about it, it was this: it must be so highly developed, structurally, that nothing even distantly related to it was present in the inorganic world. Between the protean amœba and the vertebrate the difference was slight, unessential, as compared to that between the simplest living organism and that nature which did not even deserve to be called dead, because it was inorganic. For death was only the logical negation of life; but between life and inanimate nature yawned a gulf which research strove in vain to bridge. They tried to close it with hypotheses, which it swallowed down without becoming any the less deep or broad. Seeking for a connecting link, they had condescended to the preposterous assumption of structureless living matter, unorganized organisms, which darted together of themselves in the albumen solution, like crystals in the mother-liquor; yet organic differentiation still remained at once condition and expression of all life. One could point to no form of life that did not owe its existence to procreation by parents. They had fished the primeval slime out of the depth of the sea, and great had been the jubilation—but the end of it all had been shame and confusion. For it turned out that they had mistaken a precipitate of sulphate of lime for protoplasm. But then, to avoid giving pause before a miracle—for life that built itself up out of, and fell in decay into, the same sort of matter as inorganic nature, would have been, happening of itself, miraculous—they were driven to believe in a spontaneous generation—that is, in the emergence of the organic from the inorganic—which was just as much of a miracle. Thus they went on, devising intermediate stages and transitions, assuming the existence of organisms which stood lower down than any yet known, but themselves had as forerunners still more primitive efforts of nature to achieve life: primitive forms of which no one would ever catch sight, for they were all of less than microscopic size, and previous to whose hypothetic existence the synthesis of protein compounds must already have taken place.

What then was life? It was warmth, the warmth generated by a form-preserving instability, a fever of matter, which accompanied the process of ceaseless decay and repair of albumen molecules that were too impossibly complicated, too impossibly ingenious in structure. It was the existence of the actually impossible-to-exist, of a half-sweet, half-painful balancing, or scarcely balancing, in this restricted and feverish process of decay and renewal, upon the point of existence. It was not matter and it was not spirit, but something between the two, a phenomenon conveyed by matter, like the rainbow on the waterfall, and like the flame. Yet why not material—it was sentient to the point of desire and disgust, the shamelessness of matter become sensible of itself, the incontinent form of being. It was a secret and ardent stirring in the frozen chastity of the universal; it was a stolen and voluptuous impurity of sucking and secreting; an exhalation of carbonic acid gas and material impurities of mysterious origin and composition. It was a pullulation, an unfolding, a form-building (made possible by the overbalancing of its instability, yet controlled by the laws of growth inherent within it), of something brewed out of water, albumen, salt and fats, which was called flesh, and which became form, beauty, a lofty image, and yet all the time the essence of sensuality and desire. For this form and beauty were not spiritborne; nor, like the form and beauty of sculpture, conveyed by a neutral and spiritconsumed substance, which could in all purity make beauty perceptible to the senses. Rather was it conveyed and shaped by the somehow awakened voluptuousness of matter, of the organic, dying-living substance itself, the reeking flesh.

As he lay there above the glittering valley, lapped in the bodily warmth preserved to him by fur and wool, in the frosty night illumined by the brilliance from a lifeless star, the image of life displayed itself to young Hans Castorp. It hovered before him, somewhere in space, remote from his grasp, yet near his sense; this body, this opaquely whitish form, giving out exhalations, moist, clammy; the skin with all its blemishes and native impurities, with its spots, pimples, discolorations, irregularities; its horny, scalelike regions, covered over by soft streams and whorls of rudimentary lanugo. It leaned there, set off against the cold lifelessness of the inanimate world, in its own vaporous sphere, relaxed, the head crowned with something cool, horny, and pigmented, which was an outgrowth of its skin; the hands clasped at the back of the neck. It looked down at him beneath drooping lids, out of eyes made to appear slanting by a racial variation in the lid-formation. Its lips were half open, even a little curled. It rested its weight on one leg, the hip-bone stood out sharply under the flesh, while the other, relaxed, nestled its slightly bent knee against the inside of the supporting leg, and poised the foot only upon the toes. It leaned thus, turning to smile, the gleaming elbows akimbo, in the paired symmetry of its limbs and trunk. The acrid, steaming shadows of the arm-pits corresponded in a mystic triangle to the pubic darkness, just as the eyes did to the red, epithelial mouth-opening, and the red blossoms of the breast to the navel lying perpendicularly below. Under the impulsion of a central organ and of the motor nerves originating in the spinal marrow, chest and abdomen functioned, the peritoneal cavity expanded and contracted, the breath, warmed and moistened by the mucous membrane of the respiratory canal, saturated with secretions, streamed out between the lips, after it had joined its oxygen to the hæmoglobin of the blood in the air-cells of the lungs. For Hans Castorp understood that this living body, in the mysterious symmetry of its blood-nourished structure, penetrated throughout by nerves, veins, arteries, and capillaries; with its inner framework of bones—marrow-filled tubular bones, blade-bones, vertebræ—which with the addition of lime had developed out of the original gelatinous tissue and grown strong enough to support the body weight; with the capsules and well-oiled cavities, ligaments and cartilages of its joints, its more than two hundred muscles, its central organs that served for nutrition and respiration, for registering and transmitting stimuli, its protective membranes, serous cavities, its glands rich in secretions; with the system of vessels and fissures of its highly complicated interior surface, communicating through the body-openings with the outer world—he understood that this ego was a living unit of a very high order, remote indeed from those very simple forms of life which breathed, took in nourishment, even thought, with the entire surface of their bodies. He knew it was built up out of myriads of such small organisms, which had had their origin in a single one; which had multiplied by recurrent division, adapted themselves to the most varied uses and functions, separated, differentiated themselves, thrown out forms which were the condition and result of their growth.

This body, then, which hovered before him, this individual and living I, was a monstrous multiplicity of breathing and self-nourishing individuals, which, through organic conformation and adaptation to special ends, had parted to such an extent with their essential individuality, their freedom and living immediacy, had so much become anatomic elements that the functions of some had become limited to sensibility toward light, sound, contact, warmth; others only understood how to change their shape or produce digestive secretions through contraction; others, again, were developed and functional to no other end than protection, support, the conveyance of the body juices, or reproduction. There were modifications of this organic plurality united to form the higher ego: cases where the multitude of subordinate entities were only grouped in a loose and doubtful way to form a higher living unit. The student buried himself in the phenomenon of cell colonies; he read about half-organisms, algæ, whose single cells, enveloped in a mantle of gelatine, often lay apart from one another, yet were multiple-cell formations, which, if they had been asked, would not have known whether to be rated as a settlement of single-celled individuals, or as an individual single unit, and, in bearing witness, would have vacillated quaintly between the I and the we. Nature here presented a middle stage, between the highly social union of countless elementary individuals to form the tissues and organs of a superior I, and the free individual existence of these simpler forms; the multiple-celled organism was only a stage in the cyclic process, which was the course of life itself, a periodic revolution from procreation to procreation. The act of fructification, the sexual merging of two cell-bodies, stood at the beginning of the upbuilding of every multiple-celled individual, as it did at the beginning of every row of generations of single elementary forms, and led back to itself. For this act was carried through many species which had no need of it to multiply by means of proliferation; until a moment came when the non-sexually produced offspring found themselves once more constrained to a renewal of the copulative function, and the circle came full. Such was the multiple state of life, sprung from the union of two parent cells, the association of many non-sexually originated generations of cell units; its growth meant their increase, and the generative circle came full again when sexcells, specially developed elements for the purpose of reproduction, had established themselves and found the way to a new mingling that drove life on afresh.

Our young adventurer, supporting a volume of embryology on the pit of his stomach, followed the development of the organism from the moment when the spermatozoon, first among a host of its fellows, forced itself forward by a lashing motion of its hinder part, struck with its forepart against the gelatine mantle of the egg, and bored its way into the mount of conception, which the protoplasm of the outside of the ovum arched against its approach. There was no conceivable trick or absurdity it would not have pleased nature to commit by way of variation upon this fixed procedure. In some animals, the male was a parasite in the intestine of the female. In others, the male parent reached with his arm down the gullet of the female to deposit the semen within her; after which, bitten off and spat out, it ran away by itself upon its fingers, to the confusion of scientists, who for long had given it Greek and Latin names as an independent form of life. Hans Castorp lent an ear to the learned strife between ovists and animalculists: the first of whom asserted that the egg was in itself the complete little frog, dog, or human being, the male element being only the incitement to its growth; while the second saw in a spermatozoon, possessing head, arms, and legs, the perfected form of life shadowed forth, to which the egg performed only the office of “nourisher in life’s feast.” In the end they agreed to concede equal meritoriousness to ovum and semen, both of which, after all, sprang from originally indistinguishable procreative cells. He saw the single-celled organism of the fructified egg on the point of being transformed into a multiple-celled organism, by striation and division; saw the cell-bodies attach themselves to the lamellæ of the mucous membrane; saw the germinal vesicle, the blastula, close itself in to form a cup or basin-shaped cavity, and begin the functions of receiving and digesting food. That was the gastrula, the protozoon, primeval form of all animal life, primeval form of flesh-borne beauty. Its two epithelia, the outer and the inner, the ectoderm and the entoderm, proved to be primitive organs out of whose foldings-in and -out, were developed the glands, the tissues, the sensory organs, the body processes. A strip of the outer germinal layer, the ectoderm, thickened, folded into a groove, closed itself into a nerve canal, became a spinal column, became the brain. And as the fœtal slime condensed into fibrous connective tissue, into cartilage, the colloidal cells beginning to show gelatinous substance instead of mucin, he saw in certain places the connective tissue take lime and fat to itself out of the sera that washed it, and begin to form bone. Embryonic man squatted in a stooping posture, tailed, indistinguishable from embryonic pig; with enormous abdomen and stumpy, formless extremities, the facial mask bowed over the swollen paunch; the story of his growth seemed a grim, unflattering science, like the cursory record of a zoological family tree. For a while he had gill-pockets like a roach. It seemed permissible, or rather unavoidable, contemplating the various stages of development through which he passed, to infer the very little humanistic aspect presented by primitive man in his mature state. His skin was furnished with twitching muscles to keep off insects; it was thickly covered with hair; there was a tremendous development of the mucous membrane of the olfactory organs; his ears protruded, were movable, took a lively part in the play of the features, and were much better adapted than ours for catching sounds. His eyes were protected by a third, nictating lid; they were placed sidewise, excepting the third, of which the pineal gland was the rudimentary trace, and which was able, looking upwards, to guard him from dangers from the upper air. Primitive man had a very long intestine, many molars, and sound-pouches on the larnyx the better to roar with, also he carried his sex-glands on the inside of the intestinal cavity. Anatomy presented our investigator with charts of human limbs, skinned and prepared for his inspection; he saw their superficial and their buried muscles, sinews, and tendons: those of the thighs, the foot, and especially of the arm, the upper and the forearm. He learned the Latin names with which medicine, that subdivision of the humanities, had gallantly equipped them. He passed on to the skeleton, the development of which presented new points of view—among them a clear perception of the essential unity of all that pertains to man, the correlation of all branches of learning. For here, strangely enough, he found himself reminded of his own field—or shall we say his former field?—the scientific calling which he had announced himself as having embraced, introducing himself thus to Dr. Krokowski and Herr Settembrini on his arrival up here. In order to learn something—it had not much mattered whathe had learned in his technical school about statics, about supports capable or flexion, about loads, about construction as the advantageous utilization of mechanical material. It would of course be childish to think that the science of engineering, the rules of mechanics, had found application to organic nature; but just as little might one say that they had been derived from organic nature. It was simply that the mechanical laws found themselves repeated and corroborated in nature. The principle of the hollow cylinder was illustrated in the structure of the tubular bones, in such a way that the static demands were satisfied with the precise minimum of solid structure. Hans Castorp had learned that a body which is put together out of staves and bands of mechanically utilizable matter, conformably to the demands made by draught and pressure upon it, can withstand the same weight as a solid column of the same material. Thus in the development of the tubular bones, it was comprehensible that, step for step with the formation of the solid exterior, the inner parts, which were mechanically superfluous, changed to a fatty tissue, the marrow. The thigh-bone was a crane, in the construction of which organic nature, by the direction she had given the shaft, carried out, to a hair, the same draught-and pressure-curves which Hans Castorp had had to plot in drawing an instrument serving a similar purpose. He contemplated this fact with pleasure; he enjoyed the reflection that his relation to the femur, or to organic nature generally was now threefold: it was lyrical, it was medical, it was technological; and all of these, he felt, were one in being human, they were variations of one and the same pressing human concern, they were schools of humanistic thought.

But with all this the achievements of the protoplasm remained unaccountable: it seemed forbidden to life that it should understand itself. Most of the bio-chemical processes were not only unknown, it lay in their very nature that they should escape attention. Almost nothing was known of the structure or composition of the living unit called the “cell.” What use was there in establishing the components of lifeless muscle, when the living did not let itself be chemically examined? The changes that took place when the rigor mortis set in were enough to make worthless all investigation. Nobody understood metabolism, nobody understood the true inwardness of the functioning of the nervous system. To what properties did the taste corpuscles owe their reaction? In what consisted the various kinds of excitation of certain sensory nerves by odour-possessing substances? In what, indeed, the property of smell itself? The specific odours of man and beast consisted in the vaporization of certain unknown substances. The composition of the secretion called sweat was little understood. The glands that secreted it produced aromata which among mammals undoubtedly played an important rôle, but whose significance for the human species we were not in a position to explain. The physiological significance of important regions of the body was shrouded in darkness. No need to mention the vermiform appendix, which was a mystery; in rabbits it was regularly found full of a pulpy substance, of which there was nothing to say as to how it got in or renewed itself. But what about the white and grey substance which composed the medulla, what of the optic thalamus and the grey inlay of the pans Varolii? The substance composing the brain and marrow was so subject to disintegration, there was no hope whatever of determining its structure. What was it relieved the cortex of activity during slumber?

What prevented the stomach from digesting itself—as sometimes, in fact, did happen after death? One might answer, life: a special power of resistance of the living protoplasm; but this would be not to recognize the mystical character of such an explanation. The theory of such an everyday phenomenon as fever was full of contradictions. Heightened oxidization resulted in increased warmth, but why was there not an increased expenditure of warmth to correspond? Did the paralysis of the sweat-secretions depend upon contraction of the skin? But such contraction took place only in the case of “chills and fever,” for otherwise, in fever, the skin was more likely to be hot. Prickly heat indicated the central nervous system as the seat of the causes of heightened catabolism as well as the source of that condition of the skin which we were content to call abnormal, because we did not know how to define it.

But what was all this ignorance, compared with our utter helplessness in the presence of such a phenomenon as memory, or of that other more prolonged and astounding memory which we called the inheritance of acquired characteristics? Out of the question to get even a glimpse of any mechanical possibility of explication of such performances on the part of the cell-substance. The spermatozoon that conveyed to the egg countless complicated individual and racial characteristics of the father was visible only through a microscope; even the most powerful magnification was not enough to show it as other than a homogeneous body, or to determine its origin; it looked the same in one animal as in another. These factors forced one to the assumption that the cell was in the same case as with the higher form it went to build up: that it too was already a higher form, composed in its turn by the division of living bodies, individual living units. Thus one passed from the supposed smallest unit to a still smaller one; one was driven to separate the elementary into its elements. No doubt at all but just as the animal kingdom was composed of various species of animals, as the human-animal organism was composed of a whole animal kingdom of cell species, so the cell organism was composed of a new and varied animal kingdom of elementary units, far below microscopic size, which grew spontaneously, increased spontaneously according to the law that each could bring forth only after its kind, and, acting on the principle of a division of labour, served together the next higher order of existence.

Those were the genes, the living germs, bioblasts, biophores—lying there in the frosty night, Hans Castorp rejoiced to make acquaintance with them by name. Yet how, he asked himself excitedly, even after more light on the subject was forthcoming, how could their elementary nature be established? If they were living, they must be organic, since life depended upon organization. But if they were organized, then they could not be elementary, since an organism is not single but multiple. They were units within the organic unit of the cell they built up. But if they were, then, however impossibly small they were, they must themselves be built up, organically built up, as a law of their existence; for the conception of a living unit meant by definition that it was built up out of smaller units which were subordinate; that is, organized with reference to a higher form. As long as division yielded organic units possessing the properties of life—assimilation and reproduction—no limits were set to it. As long as one spoke of living units, one could not correctly speak of elementary units, for the concept of unity carried with it in perpetuity the concept of subordinated, upbuilding unity; and there was no such thing as elementary life, in the sense of something that was already life, and yet elementary.

And still, though without logical existence, something of the kind must be eventually the case; for it was not possible to brush aside like that the idea of the original procreation, the rise of life out of what was not life. That gap which in exterior nature we vainly sought to close, that between living and dead matter, had its counterpart in nature’s organic existence, and must somehow either be closed up or bridged over. Soon or late, division must yield “units” which, even though in composition, were not organized, and which mediated between life and absence of life; molecular groups, which represented the transition between vitalized organization and mere chemistry. But then, arrived at the molecule, one stood on the brink of another abyss, which yawned yet more mysteriously than that between organic and inorganic nature: the gulf between the material and the immaterial. For the molecule was composed of atoms, and the atom was nowhere near large enough even to be spoken of as extraordinarily small. It was so small, such a tiny, early, transitional mass, a coagulation of the unsubstantial, of the not-yet-substantial and yet substance-like, of energy, that it was scarcely possible yet—or, if it had been, was now no longer possible—to think of it as material, but rather as mean and border-line between material and immaterial. The problem of another original procreation arose, far more wild and mysterious than the organic: the primeval birth of matter out of the immaterial. In fact the abyss between material and immaterial yawned as widely, pressed as importunately—yes, more importunately—to be closed, as that between organic and inorganic nature. There must be a chemistry of the immaterial, there must be combinations of the insubstantial, out of which sprang the material—the atoms might represent protozoa of material, by their nature substance and still not yet quite substance. Yet arrived at the “not even small,” the measure slipped out of the hands; for “not even small” meant much the same as “enormously large”; and the step to the atom proved to be without exaggeration portentous in the highest degree. For at the very moment when one had assisted at the final division of matter, when one had divided it into the impossibly small, at that moment there suddenly appeared upon the horizon the astronomical cosmos!

The atom was a cosmic system, laden with energy; in which heavenly bodies rioted rotating about a centre like a sun; through whose ethereal space comets drove with the speed of light years, kept in their eccentric orbits by the power of the central body. And that was as little a mere comparison as it would be were one to call the body of any multiple-celled organism a “cell state.” The city, the state, the social community regulated according to the principle of division of labour, not only might be compared to organic life, it actually reproduced its conditions. Thus in the inmost recesses of nature, as in an endless succession of mirrors, was reflected the macrocosm of the heavens, whose clusters, throngs, groups, and figures, paled by the brilliant moon, hung over the dazzling, frost-bound valley, above the head of our muffled adept. Was it too bold a thought that among the planets of the atomic solar system—those myriads and milky ways of solar systems which constituted matter—one or other of these inner-worldly heavenly bodies might find itself in a condition corresponding to that which made it possible for our earth to become the abode of life? For a young man already rather befuddled inwardly, suffering from abnormal skin-conditions, who was not without all and any experience in the realm of the illicit, it was a speculation which, far from being absurd, appeared so obvious as to leap to the eyes, highly evident, and bearing the stamp of logical truth. The “smallness” of these innerworldly heavenly bodies would have been an objection irrelevant to the hypothesis; since the conception of large or small had ceased to be pertinent at the moment when the cosmic character of the “smallest” particle of matter had been revealed; while at the same time, the conceptions of “outside” and “inside” had also been shaken. The atom-world was an “outside,” as, very probably, the earthly star on which we dwelt was, organically regarded, deeply “inside.” Had not a researcher once, audaciously fanciful, referred to the “beasts of the Milky Way,” cosmic monsters whose flesh, bone, and brain were built up out of solar systems? But in that case, Hans Castorp mused, then in the moment when one thought to have come to the end, it all began over again from the beginning! For then, in the very innermost of his nature, and in the inmost of that innermost, perhaps there was just himself, just Hans Castorp, again and a hundred times Hans Castorp, with burning face and stiffening fingers, lying muffled on a balcony, with a view across the moonlit, frost-nighted high valley, and probing, with an interest both humanistic and medical, into the life of the body!

He held a volume of pathological anatomy in the red ray from his table-lamp, and conned its text and numerous reproductions. He read of the existence of parasitic celljuncture and of infectious tumours. These were forms of tissue—and very luxuriant forms too—produced by foreign cell-bodies in an organism which had proved receptive to them, and in some way or other—one must probably say perversely—had offered them peculiarly favourable conditions. It was not so much that the parasite took away nourishment from the surrounding tissues, as that, in the process of building up and breaking down which went on in it as in every other cell, it produced organic combinations which were extraordinarily toxic—undeniably destructive—to the cells where it had been entertained. They had found out how to isolate the toxin from a number of micro-organisms and produce it in concentrated form; and it was amazing to see what small doses of this substance, which simply belonged to a group of protein combinations, could, when introduced into the circulation of an animal, produce symptoms of acute poisoning and rapid degeneration. The outward sign of this inward decay was a growth of tissue, the pathological tumour, which was the reaction of the cells to the stimulus of the foreign bacilli. Tubercles developed, the size of a millet-seed, composed of cells resembling mucous membrane, among or within which the bacilli lodged; some of these were extraordinarily rich in protoplasm, very large, and full of nuclei. However, all this good living soon led to ruin; for the nuclei of these monster cells began to break down, the protoplasm they contained to be destroyed by coagulation, and further areas of tissue to be involved. They were attacked by inflammation, the neighbouring blood-vessels suffered by contagion. White blood-corpuscles were attracted to the seat of the evil; the breakingdown proceeded apace; and meanwhile the soluble toxins released by the bacteria had already poisoned the nerve-centres, the entire organization was in a state of high fever, and staggered—so to speak with heaving bosom—toward dissolution.

Thus far pathology, the theory of disease, the accentuation of the physical through pain; yet, in so far as it was the accentuation of the physical, at the same time accentuation through desire. Disease was a perverse, a dissolute form of life. And life? Life itself? Was it perhaps only an infection, a sickening of matter? Was that which one might call the original procreation of matter only a disease, a growth produced by morbid stimulation of the immaterial? The first step toward evil, toward desire and death, was taken precisely then, when there took place that first increase in the density of the spiritual, that pathologically luxuriant morbid growth, produced by the irritant of some unknown infiltration; this, in part pleasurable, in part a motion of self-defence, was the primeval stage of matter, the transition from the insubstantial to the substance. This was the Fall. The second creation, the birth of the organic out of the inorganic, was only another fatal stage in the progress of the corporeal toward consciousness, just as disease in the organism was an intoxication, a heightening and unlicensed accentuation of its physical state; and life, life was nothing but the next step on the reckless path of the spirit dishonoured; nothing but the automatic blush of matter roused to sensation and become receptive for that which awaked it.

The books lay piled upon the table, one lay on the matting next his chair; that which he had latest read rested upon Hans Castorp’s stomach and oppressed his breath; yet no order went from the cortex to the muscles in charge to take it away. He had read down the page, his chin had sunk upon his chest, over his innocent blue eyes the lids had fallen. He beheld the image of life in flower, its structure, its flesh-borne loveliness. She had lifted her hands from behind her head, she opened her arms. On their inner side, particularly beneath the tender skin of the elbow-points, he saw the blue branchings of the larger veins. These arms were of unspeakable sweetness. She leaned above him, she inclined unto him and bent down over him, he was conscious of her organic fragrance and the mild pulsation of her heart. Something warm and tender clasped him round the neck; melted with desire and awe, he laid his hands upon the flesh of her upper arms, where the fine-grained skin over the triceps came to his sense so heavenly cool; and upon his lips he felt the moist clinging of her kiss.

The Dance of Death

NOT long after Christmas, the gentleman rider died.—But before that event the Christmas holidays came and went, the two, or if you reckoned Holy Night the three feast-days, to which Hans Castorp had looked forward with some alarm and headshaking dubiety, as to what they would really be like, up here. In the event, they came on and passed like other days, with a morning, an afternoon, and an evening; only moderately unreasonable in respect of weather—it thawed a little—and not greatly different from others of their kind. Outwardly, they had been somewhat garnished and set off; inwardly they had held sway in the heads and hearts of men for their appointed time; then, leaving behind them some deposit of impressions out of the common run, they slipped away into the recent, then into the distant past.

The Hofrat’s son, Knut by name, came for the holidays and lived with his father in the wing of the building; a good-looking young man, save that his cervical vertebra was already too prominent. The presence of young Behrens could be felt in the air: the ladies showed a proneness to laugh, to bicker, and to adorn their persons. They boasted in conversation of having met Knut in the garden, the wood, or the English quarter. He himself had guests: a number of his fellow students came up to the valley, six or seven young men who lodged in the village but ate at the Hofrat’s table, and with others of their corps scoured the region in a body. Hans Castorp avoided them. He gave them a wide berth with Joachim whenever necessary; he felt no least desire to meet them. A whole world divided those up here from these singing, roving, staffbrandishing youths—he wished neither to see nor to hear anything of them. They looked, most of them, like northerners, there might be Hamburgers among them; and Hans Castorp felt very shy of meeting his fellow townsmen. He had often uncomfortably considered the possibility that somebody or other from home might arrive at the Berghof—had not the Hofrat said that Hamburg always furnished a handsome contingent to the establishment? There might be some among the bedridden and moribund; but the only one visible was a hollow-cheeked business man, said to come from Cuxhaven, who had been sitting for two weeks at Frau Iltis’s table. Hans Castorp, seeing him, rejoiced in the knowledge that one came little into touch with guests at other tables than one’s own; and further, that his native sphere was an extended one. He saw that the presence of the man from Cuxhaven made no difference to his happiness, and this went far to relieve his fears about the arrival of other Hamburgers.

Christmas eve came on apace, one day it was at hand, the next it was here. When first it had been talked of at table—to Hans Castorp’s great surprise—it had been yet a good six weeks away, as much time as his original term up here, plus the three weeks in bed. But those first six weeks, as he thought of them in retrospect, seemed a very long time, while the six just passed had been insignificant. His fellow-guests were right to make light of them. Six weeks, why, that was not so many as the week had days; little indeed, when one considered what a small affair a week was, from Monday to Sunday and then Monday again. One needed only to see how valueless the next smaller time-unit was to realize that not much could come even of a whole row of them put together. Rather the total effect was to intensify the process of contraction, shrinkage, blurring, and effacement. What was one day, taken for instance from the moment one sat down to the midday meal to the same moment fourand-twenty hours afterwards? It was, to be sure, four-and-twenty hours—but equally it was the simple sum of nothings. Or take an hour spent in the rest-cure, at the dinnertable, or on the daily walk—and these ways of employing the time-unit practically exhausted its possibilities—what was an hour? Again, nothing. And nothing were all these nothings, they were not serious in the nature of them, taken together. The only unit it was possible to regard with seriousness was the smallest one of all: those seven times sixty seconds during which one held the thermometer between one’s lips and continued one’s curve—they, indeed, were full of matter and tenacious of life; they could expand into a little eternity; they formed small concretions of high density within the scurrying shadows of time’s general course.

The holidays disturbed but little the even tenor of the Berghof ways. A well-grown fir-tree had been set up a few days beforehand on the right-hand wall of the diningroom, the side wall next the “bad” Russian table; a waft of its fragrance came to the noses of the diners now and then, above the heavy odours of the food, and wakened something like pensiveness in the eyes of a few among the guests seated at the seven tables. When they came to supper on the twenty-fourth, they found the tree gaily decked with tinsel, little glass balls, gilded pine-cones, tiny apples in nets, and varied confections. The coloured wax tapers burned throughout the meal and afterwards. And a tiny, taper-decked tree burned likewise, it was said, in the rooms of the bedridden and moribund—each had his own. The parcel post in the last few days had been very heavy. Joachim Ziemssen and Hans Castorp received carefully packed remembrances from their far-away home, and spread them out in their rooms: judicious gifts of cravats and other articles of clothing, expensive trifles in leather and nickel, and quantities of Christmas cakes, nuts, apples and marzipan—the cousins looked doubtfully at these last supplies, wondering whenever they should have occasion to consume them. Schalleen, as Hans Castorp knew, had not only packed his presents, but bought them, after consultation with the uncles. There was a letter too from James Tienappel, typescript to be sure, but upon heavy paper with his private letterhead, communicating his own and his father’s best wishes for the holidays and for a speedy recovery, and including at once greetings for the oncoming New Year as well—a sensible and practical procedure, which followed Hans Castorp’s own: he having sent his Christmas messages betimes, under cover with the monthly clinical report.

The tree in the dining-room burned, crackled, and dispensed its fragrance, waking the minds and hearts of the guests to a realization of the day. People had dressed for dinner, the men wore evening clothes and the women jewels, mayhap presents from loving husbands down below. Clavdia Chauchat had exchanged the customary sweater for a frock with a hint of the fanciful about it, suggesting a national costume—Russian peasant, or Balkan, perhaps Bulgarian; a light-coloured, flowing, and girdled arrangement, embroidered, and set with tiny tinsel ornaments. Such a garment gave her figure an unwonted softness and fullness, and suited what Settembrini called her “Tartar physiognomy,” particularly the “prairie-wolf’s eyes.”

They were gay at the “good” Russian table; there the first champagne cork was heard to pop. It set the example, which was followed by nearly all the others. At the cousins’ table it was the great-aunt who dispensed champagne for her niece and Marusja, and treated the others as well. The menu was choice. It finished with cheese straws and bon-bons, to which the guests added coffee and liqueurs. Now and then a twig would flare up on the Christmas-tree; there would be work to put it out, and shrill, immoderate panic among the ladies. Toward the end of the meal Settembrini came to sit for a while at the end of the cousins’ table; he wore his everyday clothes, and sported his toothpick. He quizzed Frau Stöhr with spirit, and made a few remarks about the carpenter’s son and rabbi of humanity, whose birthday they fancied they were celebrating to-day. Whether he had actually lived, Settembrini said, was uncertain; yet his time had given birth to an idea, which had continued its triumphant course even up to to-day: the idea of the dignity of the human spirit, the idea of equality—in a word, they were celebrating the birth of individualistic democracy, and to it he would empty the glass they gave him. Frau Stöhr found his remarks équivoque and unfeeling: she rose under protest to the toast, and as the other tables were being emptied, they followed the general movement toward the drawing-rooms.

Hofrat Behrens, with Knut and Fräulein von Mylendonk, attended the social evening for half an hour. The occasion was to be signalized by the presentation of the gift to the head of the establishment, which accordingly took place, in the room with the optical apparatus. The Russians presented their gift, a large round silver plate, with the Hofrat’s monogram engraved in the middle; its utter inutility was plain to every eye. He might at least lie on the chaise-longue which was the gift of the rest of the guests—though it was at present without cover or cushions, having merely a cloth drawn over it. The head end was adjustable; Behrens stretched out full length, with his silver plate under his arm, closed his eyes, and began to snore like a saw-mill, giving out that he was Fafnir with the treasure hoard. Much laughter and applause ensued; Frau Chauchat laughed so hard that her eyes became two cracks, and her mouth stood open—precisely, Hans Castorp remarked, as had been the case with Pribislav Hippe when he laughed.

Directly the head went out, the guests sat down to cards, the Russians occupying, as usual, the small salon. Some of the patients still stood about the room where the Christmas-tree was, watching the candle stumps die down in their sockets, and munching the goodies hanging from the boughs. Here and there at the tables, which were already laid for breakfast, sat a solitary person, with his head on his hand, silently brooding.

Christmas-day was damp and misty. These were clouds they were among, Behrens asserted; mist there was none, up here. But mist or clouds, the damp was perceptible. The surface of the lying snow began to thaw, grew soft and porous. In the rest-cure, one’s face and hands were stiff and red—one suffered far more than in colder, sunny weather.

The feast-day was marked by an evening concert, a real concert with rows of chairs and printed programmes, offered to the guests by House Berghof; consisting of songs by a professional singer who lived up here and gave lessons. She wore two medals pinned side by side on her corsage, had arms like sticks, and a voice whose peculiar toneless quality cast a saddening light upon the grounds for her stay in these regions. She sang:

Ich trage meine Minne

Mit mir herum.

Her accompanist was likewise a resident. Frau Chauchat sat in the first row, but took advantage of the intermission to go out, leaving Hans Castorp free to enjoy the music in peace—after all, it was music—and to read the text of the songs, as printed upon the programme. Herr Settembrini sat awhile beside him, and made a few plastic and resilient phrases upon the dull quality of the singer’s bel canto, expressing also ironic satisfaction over the home talent displayed in the entertainment. It was so charming, he said, that they were just among themselves. Then he too went away—to tell truth, Hans Castorp was not sorry to see the backs of them both, the narrow-eyed one and the pedagogue; he could the better devote himself to the singing, and draw comfort from the reflection that all over the world, even in the most extraordinary places, music was made—very likely even on polar expeditions.

One had a slight differentiating consciousness of the day after Christmas, something that just made it not quite the same as an ordinary Sunday or week-day. Then it was over, and the whole holiday lay in the past—or, equally, it lay in the distant future, a year away: twelve months would bring it round again, seven more than the time Hans Castorp had spent up here.

But just after the Christmas season, and before the New Year broke, the gentleman rider died. The cousins learnt of the death from Fritz Rotbein’s nurse, Alfreda Schildknecht, called Sister Berta, who met them in the corridor and discreetly communicated the sad event. Hans Castorp felt a profound interest; partly because the signs of life he had heard from the gentleman rider were among the earliest impressions of his stay up here, those which had first, or so it seemed to him, called up the flush to his face which since had never left it; but partly also upon moral, one might almost say upon spiritual grounds. He detained Joachim long in talk with the deaconess, who hung with the extreme of pleasure upon their conversation. It was a wonder, she said, that the gentleman rider had lived over the holidays. He had long since shown himself a doughty cavalier, but what it was he breathed with, at the end, nobody could tell. For days and days he had lived only by the aid of enormous quantities of oxygen. Yesterday alone he had consumed forty containers, at six francs apiece—that mounted up, the gentlemen could reckon the cost themselves; and his wife, in whose arms he had died, was left wholly penniless. Joachim expressed disapproval of the expenditure. Why delay by these torturing and costly artificial expedients a death absolutely certain to supervene? One could not blame the man for blindly consuming the precious gas they urged upon him. But those in charge should have behaved with more reason, they should have let him go his way, in God’s name, quite aside from the circumstances, more so when taking them into consideration. The living, after all, had their rights—and so on. Hans Castorp disagreed emphatically. His cousin, he said, talked almost like Settembrini, without any regard or reverence for suffering. The man had died in the end, that finished it; there was no more to be done to show one’s concern, and it had been due to the dying to spend what one could. Thus Hans Castorp. He only hoped the Hofrat had not showed a lack of decent feeling by railing at the poor man at the end. There had been no need, Fräulein Schildknecht said. Only one little thoughtless effort he had made to escape, to spring out of bed; but the merest hint of the futility of such a proceeding had been enough to make him desist once and for all.

Hans Castorp went to view the gentleman rider’s mortal remains. He did this of set purpose, to show his contempt for the prevailing system of secrecy, to protest against the egotistic policy of seeing and hearing nothing of such events; to register by his act his disapproval of the others’ practice. He had tried to introduce the subject of the death at table, but was met with such a flat and callous rebuff on all sides as both to anger and embarrass him. Frau Stöhr had been downright gruff. What did he mean by introducing such a subject—what kind of upbringing had he had? The house regulations protected the patients from having such things come to their knowledge; and now here was a young whipper-snapper bringing it up at table, and even in the presence of Dr. Blumenkohl, whom the same fate might any day overtake (this behind her hand). If it happened again, she would complain. Then it was that, thus reproved, Hans Castorp had taken—and expressed—a resolve: he would visit their departed comrade, and discharge the last duty of silent respect toward his remains. He persuaded Joachim to do the same.

Sister Berta arranged that they be admitted to the gentleman rider’s room, which lay in the first storey beneath their own. The widow received them—a small, distracted blonde, much reduced by night watching, with a red nose, her handkerchief before her mouth, and wearing a plaid cloak, with the collar turned up, as it was very cold in the room. The heat was turned off, the balcony door stood open. The young people said what was fitting to say, in voices respectfully subdued; then, upon a woeful gesture from the widow, they passed through the room to the bed, walking on their tiptoes and weaving reverently forward. They stood by the dead, each after his fashion: Joachim with heels together, half inclined in a salute, Hans Castorp relaxed and pensive, with hands clasped before him and head on one side, much as he often stood to listen to music. The gentleman rider lay with his head pillowed high, so that his body, that elongated structure, the outgrowth of life’s manifold processes, with the elevation of the feet at the end beneath the sheet, looked very flat, almost like a board. A garland of flowers lay at about the knees; a palm-leaf outstanding from it touched the great, yellow, bony hands resting crossed upon the sunken breast. Yellow and bony was the face too, with its bald skull and hooked nose, its angular cheek-bones and bushy, reddish-yellow moustaches, whose full curve gave the grey and stubbly hollows of the cheeks a yet hollower look. The eyes were closed, with a certain unnatural definiteness—pressed down, not shut, thought Hans Castorp. That was what they called the last service of love; but it happened rather as a service to the survivors than to the dead. And it must be done betimes too, soon after death; for if the myosin process went far in the muscles, it would be too late, he would lie there and stare and one could no longer sustain the illusion of his slumber.

Perfectly at home, in more than one respect in his element, Hans Castorp stood at the bier, expertly reverential. “He seems to sleep,” said he, humanely; though such was far from being the case. Then, in a voice appropriately subdued, he began a conversation with the widow, eliciting information about the sufferings, the last days and moments of her departed husband, and the arrangements for transporting the body to Carinthia; displaying a sympathy and conversance that was in part physicianly, in part priestly and moralizing. The widow, speaking in her drawling, nasal, Austrian accent, with now and then a sob, found it remarkable that young folk should so occupy themselves with a stranger’s pain. Hans Castorp answered that he and his cousin were themselves ill; that he, when still very young, had stood at the deathbed of near relatives; he was a double orphan, and, if he might say so, long familiar with the sight of death. She asked what profession he had chosen; he replied that he “had been” an engineer.

“Had been?” she queried.

“Had been,” he replied, in the sense that his illness and a stay up here of still undetermined length had come between him and his work; that might mean a considerable interruption, even a turning-point in his career, he could not tell. Joachim, at this, searched his face in some alarm. And his cousin? He was a soldier, was at present in training for an officer.

“Ah,” she said, “the trade of a soldier is another serious calling, one must be prepared to come into close touch with death, it is well to accustom oneself to the sight beforehand.” She dismissed the cousins with thanks and expressions of friendliness, which could not but touch them, considering her distressed state, and the bill for oxygen her departed husband had left behind him.

They returned to their own storey, Hans Castorp greatly pleased and edified by the visit.

Requiescat in pace,” he said. “Sit tibi terra levis. Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine. You see, when death is in question, when one speaks to or of the dead, then the Latin comes in force; it is, so to say, the official language. So then you see that death is a thing apart. But it isn’t a humanistic gesture, speaking Latin in honour of death; and the Latin isn’t what you learn at school, either—the spirit of it is quite different, one might almost say hostile. It is ecclesiastical Latin, monkish Latin, mediæval dialect, a sort of dull, monotonous, underground chanting. Settembrini has no use for it, it is nothing for humanists and republicans and suchlike pedagogues, it comes from quite another point of the compass. I find one ought to be clear about these two intellectual trends, or perhaps it would be better to say states of mind: I mean the devout and the free-thinking. They both have their good sides; what I have against Settembrini’s—the free-thinking line—is that he seems to imagine it has a corner in human dignity. That’s exaggerated, I consider, because the other has its own kind of dignity too, and makes for a tremendous lot of decorum and correct bearing and uplifting ceremony; more, in fact, than the free-thinking, when you remember it has our human infirmity and proneness to err directly in mind, and thoughts of death and decay play such an important rôle in it. Have you seen Don Carlos given at the theatre? Do you remember at the Spanish court, when King Philip comes in, all in black, with the Garter and the Golden Fleece, and takes off his hat—it looks pretty much like one of our melons—he lifts it from the top, and says: ‘Cover, my lords,’ or something like that? That is the last degree of formality, I should think; no talk of any free-and-easy manners there! The Queen herself says: ‘In my own France how different!’ Of course it is too precise for her, too fussy, she would like it a little gayer and more human. But what is human? Everything is human. I find all that strict punctilio and God-fearing solemnity of the Spanish is a very dignified kind of humanity; while on the other hand the word human can be used to cover up God knows what loose and slovenly ways—you know that yourself.”

“I do indeed,” Joachim said. “Naturally, I can’t abide any kind of looseness or slovenliness. There must be discipline.”

“Yes, you say that as a soldier; and I must admit the military has an understanding of these matters. The widow was right when she said your trade is a solemn one, that has to reckon on coming to grips with death. You have your tight-fitting, immaculate uniform, with a stiff collar—there’s your bienséance for you; then your regulations of rank, and military obedience, and all the forms you preserve toward each other—quite in the Spanish spirit, there is something reverent about it, I can do with it very well, at bottom. We civilians ought to show more of the same spirit in our customs and manners, I should really like it, and find it fitting. I think the world, and life generally, is such as to make it appropriate for us all to wear black, with a starched ruff instead of your stand-up collar; and for all our intercourse with each other to be subdued and ceremonial, and mindful of death. That would seem right and moral to me. There is another of Settembrini’s arrogant ideas; I may tell him so, some time: he thinks he has a monopoly of morals as well as of human dignity—with his talk about ‘practical lifework’ and Sunday services in the name of ‘progress’—as though one hadn’t something else to think about, on Sundays, besides progress!—and his ‘systematic elimination of suffering’; you have not heard anything about that, but he has instructed me on the subject, and it is to be systematically eliminated by means of a lexicon. I may find all that positively immoral—but what of it? I don’t tell him so, naturally. He fairly goes for me, you know, of course in his plastic way, and says: ‘I warn you, Engineer.’ But a person can take leave to think what he pleases, at least:

‘Sire, grant freedom of thought.’ Let me tell you something,” he went on—they had by now arrived in Joachim’s room, and Joachim was making ready for the rest-cure—

” let me tell you something I propose to do. We live up here, next door to the dying, close to misery and suffering; and not only we act as though we had nothing to do with it, but it is all carefully arranged in order to spare us and prevent our coming into contact with it, or seeing anything at all—they will take away the gentleman rider while we are at breakfast or tea—and that I find immoral. The Stöhr woman was furious, simply because I mentioned his death. That’s too absurd for words. She is ignorant, to be sure, and thinks that ‘ Leise, leise, fromme Weise’ comes out of Tannhäuser, she said so the other day. But even so, she might have a little human feeling, and the rest of them too. Well, I have made up my mind to concern myself a bit in future with the severe cases and the moribund. It will do me good—I feel our visit just now has done me good already. That poor chap Reuter in number twentyfive, whom I saw through the door when I first came, he has most likely long ago been gathered to his fathers, and been spirited away on the quiet. His eyes were so enormous even then. But there are more of them, the house is full, and they keep coming. Sister Alfreda or the Directress, or even Behrens himself, would most likely be glad to put us in the way of it. Say that one of the moribund was having a birthday, and we hear of it—that could easily be brought about. Good. We send him, or her, whichever it is, a pot of flowers, an attention from two fellow-guests, who prefer to remain anonymous, with best wishes for recovery; it is always polite to say that. Then afterwards, of course, it is found out who sent it, and he—or she—in her infirmity, lets us greet her, in a friendly way, through the door-way; she may even ask us in for a minute, and we have a little human intercourse with him, before he sinks away. That’s how I imagine it. Are you agreed? For my part, my mind is made up.”

Joachim had not much to bring up against the plan. “It is against the rules of the house,” he said. “In a certain way you would be transgressing them. But Behrens would probably be willing to make an exception, and give permission, if you wanted it, I should think. You might refer to your interest in the medical side.”

“Yes, among other things,” Hans Castorp answered: for in truth somewhat involved motives lay at the bottom of his desire. His protest against the prevailing egotism was only one of these: there was also and in particular a spiritual craving to take suffering and death seriously, and pay them the respect that was their due. Contact with the suffering and dying would, or so he hoped, feed and strengthen this craving of the spirit, by counteracting the manifold woundings to which it was daily and hourly subjected, and which he felt the more keenly on account of the Settembrinian critique. Instances there were only too many: if one had asked Hans Castorp for them, he would probably have mentioned certain persons who were admittedly not much ailing, and not under the smallest compulsion, but who made a pretext of slight illness to live up here, for their own pleasure, and because the life suited them. Such was the Widow Hessenfeld, whom we have mentioned in passing. Her passion was betting; she staked against the gentlemen every conceivable object upon every conceivable subject: the weather, the dishes at dinner, the result of the monthly examination, the prescribed length of stay of this or that person, the champions in the skating, sleighing, bob-racing, and skiing competitions, the duration of this or that amour among the guests of the cure, and a hundred other, often quite indifferent or trifling subjects. Staked chocolate, champagne, and caviar, which were then ceremonially partaken of in the restaurant; or money, or cinematograph tickets, or even kisses, given and received—in brief, she brought with her passion for betting much life and excitement into the dining-room; though her proceedings were not such as could be taken seriously by Hans Castorp, who even felt that her mere presence was prejudicial to the dignity of a serious cure.

For he was inwardly concerned to protect that dignity and uphold it in his own eyes—though now, after nearly half a year among those up here, it cost him something to do so. The insight he gradually won into their lives and activities, their practices and points of view, was not encouraging. We have mentioned the two slim young elegants, seventeen and eighteen years old, nicknamed Max and Moritz, whose exploits were the talk of the cure, and who were in the habit of climbing out of the window at night in order to play poker and dissipate down below in female society. Only lately—that is to say, perhaps a week after the New Year, for we must bear in mind that while we tell the story, time streams silently and ceaselessly on—it had been spread abroad at breakfast that the bathing-master had just caught the pair, in crumpled evening clothes, lying on their beds. Even Hans Castorp laughed; but this, however humiliating it was to his better feelings, was nothing compared to the tales that circulated about a certain lawyer from Jüterbog, Einhuf by name; a man perhaps forty years old, with a pointed beard and very hairy hands, who had taken the Swede’s place at Herr Settembrini’s table. It was reported of him not only that he came home drunk every night, but that recently he had failed to do even that, having been discovered lying in the meadow. He passed for a Don Juan: Frau Stöhr could point out the damsel—of whom it was also known that she had an affianced lover down in the flat-land—who was seen at a certain hour coming our of Lawyer Einhuf’s room, clad in a fur coat with combinations underneath, and nothing more. That was a scandal; not only to the general, but even more to Hans Castorp’s private sense, and derogatory to his spiritual endeavours. It even came to this: that the thought of Lawyer Einhuf could not enter his mind without calling up there, by an association of ideas, the thought of Fränzchen Oberdank, the little creature with the sleek blond head, whose mamma, a worthy dame from the provinces, had brought her up to the Berghof a few weeks before. Fränzchen’s case, on her arrival, and even after the examination, had been thought a light one. But perhaps she had failed in the service of the cure, perhaps hers was one of those cases in which the air proved in the first instance to be good not against but for the disease. Or perhaps the child may have become involved in some intrigue, the excitement of which was seriously bad for her. Four weeks after her arrival she entered the dining-room fresh from a second examination, tossing her little hand-bag in the air, and crying out in her fresh young voice: “Hurrah, hurrah! I shall have to stop a year!”—at which the whole room resounded with Homeric laughter. But two weeks later the whisper went round that Lawyer Einhuf had behaved like a blackguard to Fränzchen Oberdank. The expression is ours, or, rather, Hans Castorp’s; for those who spread the news found it too old a story to be moved to the use of strong language. They shrugged their shoulders and gave it out as their view that it took two to play at such games, and that it was unlikely anything had happened against the will of either participant. This, at least, was Frau Stöhr’s demeanour, her ethical reaction to the affair in question.

Caroline Stöhr was dreadful. If anything had power to distract our young Hans Castorp, in the course of his sincerely felt spiritual strivings, it was the personality, the very existence of this woman. Her perpetual malapropisms were quite enough. She said insolvent when she meant insolent, and uttered the most amazing rubbish by way of explaining the astronomical phenomena involved in an eclipse of the sun. One day she almost reduced Herr Settembrini to permanent stupefaction by telling him that she was reading a book from the library which would interest him; namely, “Schiller’s translation of Benedetto Cenelli.” She adored expressions of a cheap and common stamp, worn threadbare by over-use, which got on Hans Castorp’s nerves—as, for example, “you haven’t the faintest idea!” or “how utterly too-too!” It had for long been the fashionable jargon to say “simply gorgeous” to express the idea of brilliant, or excellent; this phrase now proved to have outlived its usefulness. It was entirely prostituted, the juice quite sucked out of it; and Frau Stöhr clutched eagerly at the newest currency: everything, whether in jest or earnest, was “devastating,” the bobrun, the sweet for dinner, her own temperature—and this sounded equally offensive in her mouth. She had a boundless appetite for gossip. One day she might relate that Frau Salomon was wearing the most costly lace underwear in preparation for her examination, and prided herself very much upon her appearance before the physicians on these occasions. There was probably more truth than poetry in the statement. Hans Castorp himself had the impression that the examinations, quite aside from their result, had their pleasurable side for the ladies, and that they adorned themselves accordingly. But what should one say to Frau Stöhr’s assertion that Frau Redisch, from Posen, who, it was feared, suffered from tuberculosis of the spine, had to walk up and down entirely naked before Hofrat Behrens, for ten minutes once a week? This statement was almost as improbable as it was objectionable; but Frau Stöhr swore to it by all that was holy—though it was hard to understand how the poor creature could expend so much zeal and energy, and be so dogmatic, upon matters like these, when her own personal condition gave so much cause for concern. She was sometimes seized by attacks of panic and whimpering, caused by the lassitude which seemed to be constantly on the increase, or by her rising curve; when she would come sobbing to table, the chapped red cheeks streaming with tears, and wail into her handkerchief: Behrens wanted to send her to bed, she would like to know what he had said behind her back was the matter with her, she wanted to look the truth in the face. One day she had remarked to her horror that her bed had been placed with the foot in the direction of the entrance door; the discovery nearly sent her into spasms. It was not easy to understand her rage and terror; Hans Castorp did not see at once what she meant, and inquired: “Well? And what then? What was there about the bed standing like that?”

For God’s sake, couldn’t he understand? Feet first! She had made desperate outcry, and the position of the bed had to be altered at once, though it caused her to lie with her face to the light, and thus disturbed her sleep.

But none of this was really serious; it could not meet Hans Castorp’s spiritual needs. A frightful occurrence, which happened at about this time, during a meal, made a profound impression upon him. Among the newer patients was a schoolmaster named Popoff, a lean and silent man, with his equally lean and silent wife. They sat together at the “good” Russian table; and one day, while the meal was in full swing, the man was seized with a violent epileptic fit, and with that oft-described demoniac unearthly shriek fell to the floor, where he lay beside his chair, striking about him with dreadfully distorted arms and legs. To make matters worse, it was a fish dish that had just been handed, and there was ground for fear that Popoff, in his spasm, might choke on a bone. The uproar was indescribable. The ladies, Frau Stöhr in the lead, with Mesdames Salomon, Redisch, Hessenfeld, Magnus, Iltis, Levi, and the rest following hard upon, were taken in a variety of ways, some of them almost as badly as Popoff. Their yells resounded. Everywhere were twitching eyelids, gaping mouths, writhing torsos. One of them elected to faint, silently. There were cases of choking, some of them having been in the act of chewing and swallowing when the excitement began. Many of the guests at the various tables fled, through any available exit, even actually seeking the open, though the weather was very cold and damp. The whole occurrence, however, took a peculiar cast, offensive even beyond the horror of it, through an association of ideas due to Dr. Krokowski’s latest lecture. In the course of his exposition of love as a power making for disease, the psycho-analyst had touched upon the “falling sickness.” This affliction, which, in pre-analytic times, he said, men had by turns interpreted as a holy, even a prophetic visitation, and as a devilish possession, he went on to treat of, half poetically, half in ruthlessly scientific terminology, as the equivalent of love and an orgasm of the brain. In brief, he had cast such an equivocal light upon the disease that his hearers were bound to see, in Popoff’s seizure, an illustration of the lecture, an awful manifestation and mysterious scandal. The flight on the part of the ladies was, accordingly, a disguised expression of modesty. The Hofrat himself had been present at the meal; he, with Fräulein von Mylendonk and one or two more robust guests, carried the ecstatic from the room, blue, rigid, twisted, and foaming at the mouth as he was; they put him down in the hall, where the doctors, the Directress, and other people could be seen hovering over the unconscious man, whom they afterwards bore away on a stretcher. But a short time thereafter Herr Popoff, quite happy and serene, with his equally serene and happy wife, was to be seen sitting at the “good” Russian table, finishing his meal as though nothing had happened.

Hans Castorp was present at this episode, and evinced all the outward signs of concern and alarm, but at bottom he was not edified, God help him! True, Popoff might have choked on his mouthful of fish; but he had not. Perhaps, in all his unconscious mouthings and goings-on, he had all the while somehow taken jolly good care not to. Now he was sitting there, eating blithely away, as though he had never been behaving like a drunken berserk—very probably he remembered nothing at all about it. But in his person he was not a man to strengthen Hans Castorp’s respect for suffering; his wife, too, after her fashion, only added to those impressions of frivolous irregularity against which Hans Castorp wrestled and which he sought to counteract by coming into closer touch, despite the prevailing attitude, with the suffering and dying in the establishment.

In the same storey with the cousins, not far from their rooms, lay a young girl named Leila Gerngross. According to Sister Berta, she was about to die. Inside ten days she had had four violent hemorrhages, and her parents had come, in the hope to take her home while she still lived. But it was impossible; the Hofrat said poor little Gerngross could not stand the journey. She was sixteen or seventeen years old. Hans Castorp saw here the opportunity to carry out his plan with the pot of flowers and the good wishes for speedy recovery. There was, it is true, no birthday feast to celebrate, in all human probability little Leila would never see another—it came in the spring, Hans Castorp learned. But he felt the fact need not prevent his offering his respectful sympathy. When he went down with his cousin for their morning walk, he entered a flower-shop near the Kurhaus; and breathing in agreeably the moist, earthy, scentladen air, he chose with care from the array a charming hortensia, and ordered it conveyed to the little sufferer’s room, with a card, upon which he wrote no names, but simply “From two house-mates, with best wishes for recovery.” All this was an exquisite activity to Hans Castorp; he enjoyed the fragrant breath of the plants; the soft warmth of the shop, after the cold outside, made his eyes fill with tears. His heart beat with a feeling of adventure and audacity, a conviction of the good sense of his modest enterprise, to which, privately, he ascribed a certain symbolic value.

Leila Gerngross had no private nursing, she was under the immediate supervision of Fräulein von Mylendonk and the physicians. Sister Berta too went in and out of her room, and it was she who gave the young people news of the result of their attention. The little one, in her hopeless and circumscribed state, was as pleased as a child with the strangers’ greeting. The pot stood at her bedside, she caressed it with eyes and hands, saw that it was kept watered, and even in her severest fits of coughing rested her tortured gaze upon it. Likewise the parents, retired Major Gerngross and wife, were touched and pleased; and since it was impossible, for them, as complete strangers, to guess the givers, Fräulein Schildknecht could not—she confessed itrefrain from revealing the cousins’ identity. She transmitted the desire of the whole family that they should come and receive the thanks due their gift; and thus, on the next day but one, the deaconess ushered the two on tiptoe into Leila’s apartment. The dying girl was indeed a charming blond creature, with eyes of true forget-menot blue. Despite great loss of blood, and the effort to breathe with an utterly insufficient remnant of sound lung-tissue, she looked fragile indeed, yet not too distressing. She thanked them, and talked a little, in a pleasant, though toneless voice, while a faint rosy glow overspread her cheeks and lingered there. Hans Castorp suitably explained and excused his seeming intrusion, speaking in a low, moved voice, with delicate reverence. He did not lack much—the impulse was present in him—of falling upon his knees by the bedside; and he clasped the patient’s hot little hand long and closely in his, despite its being not moist but actually wet, for the child’s sweat secretion was so great, she perspired so much, that the flesh must have been shrivelled, if the transudation had not been counteracted by copious draughts of lemonade, a carafe of which stood on the bedside table. The parents, afflicted as they were, sustained the brief colloquy with courteous inquiries as to the state of the cousins’ health, and other conversational devices. The Major was a broad-shouldered man, with a low forehead and bristling moustaches, a tower of strength; his organic innocence of his little daughter’s phthisical tendency was plain to any eye. It was rather the mother who was responsible for the inherited taint; she was small, and of a distinctly consumptive type, and her conscience seemed burdened with the knowledge of her fatal bequest. Leila, after ten minutes’ talk, gave signs of fatigue, or rather of over-excitement; the flush deepened in her cheek, and her forget-me-not eyes glittering disquietingly. The cousins, on a sign from the nurse, made their adieux; and then the poor mother followed them into the corridor, and broke out into selfreproachings, which affected Hans Castorp very painfully. From her, from her alone it came, she said remorsefully, again and again. Her husband had nothing whatever to do with it. Even she, she assured them, had been only temporarily affected, only a slight and superficial case, when she was quite a young girl. She had outgrown it entirely, had been sure that she was quite cured. For she had wished to marry, she had so longed to marry and live, and she had done it: healed and sound she had wedded her dear husband, himself as sound as a berry, who on his side had no notion at all of such things. But sound and strong as he was, that had not helped: the dreadful, hidden, and forgotten thing had come to light in the child, it would end by destroying her; she, the mother, had escaped and was entering into a healthy old age, but the poor, lovely darling would die, the physicians gave them no hope—and she, she alone was to blame, with her buried past.

The young people sought to console her, to say something about the possibility of a turn for the better. But the Major’s wife only sobbed and thanked them for all they had done, for the gift of the plant, and the diversion and pleasure their visit had brought her child. She lay there, poor little one, lonely and suffering upon her bed, while other young creatures were glad of life, and could dance with fine young men to their heart’s desire—and even the disease could not kill the desire to dance. They had brought her a ray of sunshine—my God, it would be the last. The hortensia had been like homage at a ball, the brief chat with the two fine young cavaliers a tiny affaire de cœur; she, the mother, had seen it.

All this impressed Hans Castorp rather painfully—and she had pronounced the French badly too, which irritated him beyond words. He was no fine cavalier, he had visited little Leila only as a protest against the ruling spirit of egotism in the place, and in a physicianly and priestly capacity. He was rather put out over the turn the affair had taken, and the interpretation the mother had put upon it. But on the other hand, he felt a lively pleasure at having actually carried out his undertaking. Two impressions in particular lingered from the enterprise: one, the earthy odours of the flower-shop; the other, Leila’s wet little hand—they had sunk into his mind and soul. And as thus a beginning had been made, he arranged on the same day with Alfreda Schildknecht a visit to her patient, Fritz Rotbein, who was as bored with life as his nurse, though to him, unless all signs failed, only a short term still remained.

Nothing for it but that the good Joachim must go along. Hans Castorp’s charitable impulse was stronger than his cousin’s distaste; which the latter, moreover, could only manifest by silence and averted eyes, since he could not stand for it except by betraying a lack of Christian feeling. Hans Castorp saw that very well, and drew advantage from it. Equally he perceived the military grounds for the distaste; but if he himself felt the happier and stronger for such undertakings, if they seemed to him conducive to good ends? In that case, he must simply override Joachim’s silent disapproval. He deliberated with his cousin whether they might send or bring flowers to Fritz Rotbein, he being a man. He desired to do so. Flowers, he felt, were proper to the occasion, and the purchase of the pretty, well-shaped purple hortensia had greatly pleased him. He came to the conclusion that Fritz Rotbein’s sex was, so to speak, neutralized by his mortal state; also that there was no need of a birthday to serve as excuse, since the dying are to be treated as though in enjoyment of a permanent birthday. Thus minded, he sought once more with his cousin the warm, earthy, scentladen air of the flower-shop, and brought back a dewy fragrant bunch of roses, wallflowers, and carnations, with which they entered Herr Rotbein’s room, ushered by Alfreda Schildknecht.

The sufferer was not more than twenty years old, if so much, but rather bald and grey. He looked waxen and wasted, with large hands, nose, and ears; showed himself glad unto tears for the kindness of the visit, and the diversion it afforded him, and indeed, out of weakness, did weep a little as he greeted the two and received the bouquet. His first words, uttered almost in a whisper, were with reference to the flowers, and he went on to talk about the European flower trade, and its everincreasing proportions—about the enormous exportation from the nurseries of Nice and Cannes, the shipments by train-load and post that went off daily from these places all over Europe; about the wholesale markets of Paris and Berlin, and the supplies for Russia. For he was a business man; his point of view was the commercial one, and would be so long as life remained to him. His father, a doll-manufacturer in Coburg, had sent him to England to be educated, he told them in a whisper, and there he had fallen ill. They had taken his fever for typhoid, and treated it accordingly, with liquid diet, which had much reduced him. Up here they had let him eat, and eat he had; in the sweat of his brow he had sat in his bed and tried to build himself up. But it was all too late, the intestinal tract was already involved. In vain they sent him tongue and spiced eel from home—he could not digest it. His father, whom Behrens summoned by telegraph, was now on the way from Coburg; for decisive action was to be taken, they would try at least what they could do with rib resection, though the chances of success diminished daily. Rotbein conveyed all this in a whisper, and with great objectivity. Even in the matter of the operation he took a business view, for, so long as he lived, that would be his angle of approach. The expense, he whispered, was fixed at a thousand francs, including the anesthesia of the spinal cord; practically the whole thoracic cavity was involved, six or eight ribs, and the question was whether it would pay. Behrens would like to persuade him; but the doctor’s interest in the matter was single, whereas his own seemed equivocal; he was not at all clear that he would not do better just to die in peace, with his ribs intact.

It was hard to advise him. The cousins thought the Hofrat’s brilliant reputation as a surgeon should be considered. It was agreed at length to leave the decision to the elder Rotbein, soon to arrive. Young Fritz wept again a little as they took their leave; his tears fell in strange contrast to the dry matter-of-factness of his thought and speech. He begged the gentlemen to repeat their visit, and they willingly promised to do so, but it did not come about. The doll-manufacturer arrived in the evening, next morning they proceeded to operate, and after that young Fritz was in no condition to receive callers. Two days later, passing the room with Joachim, Hans Castorp saw that it was being turned out. Sister Alfreda had already packed her little trunk and left the Berghof, to go to another moribundus in another establishment. Heaving a sigh, her eye-glass ribbon behind her ear, she had betaken herself thither, since such and only such was the prospect life held out to her.

An empty room, a room that had been “vacated”—with its furniture turned topsyturvy, and both doors standing wide, as one saw it in passing, on the way to the dining-room or one’s daily walks—was a most significant, and yet withal such an accustomed sight that one thought little of it, especially when one had, in one’s time, taken possession of just such a “vacated” room, and settled down to feel at home in it. Sometimes you knew whose room it had been, and that indeed gave you to think. Thus a week later Hans Castorp passed by and saw Leila Gerngross’s room in just that condition; and in this instance his understanding rebelled for the moment against what he saw. He stood and looked, perplexed and startled, and the Hofrat came that way, to whom he spoke.

“I see it is being turned out here. Good-morning, Herr Hofrat. Then little Leila—”

“Ay,” answered Behrens, and shrugged his shoulders. After a pause for the meaning of the gesture to take effect, he added: “So you paid court to her in form, just before the doors were shut? Decent of you, to take an interest in my lungers, considering you are relatively sound yourself. Shows a pretty trait of character—no, no, don’t be shy, quite a pretty trait. Shall I introduce you a bit here and there, what? I have all sorts of jail-birds in their little cells, if you want to see them. Just now, for instance, I am on my way to visit my ‘Overfilled.’ Want to come? I’ll introduce you as a sympathetic fellow sufferer.”

Hans Castorp replied that the Hofrat had taken the words out of his mouth, and offered him what he was on the point of asking. He would gratefully accept the permission to accompany him; but who was the ‘Overfilled’ and how did Hofrat Behrens mean him to understand the title?

“Quite literally,” said the Hofrat. “Quite exactly, no metaphors. She’ll tell you about herself.” A few paces brought them before the room, and the Hofrat entered, bidding his companion wait.

As the double doors opened, the visitor heard the sound of clear and hearty laughter, which yet sounded short-winded, as though the person within were gasping for breath. Then it was shut away; but he heard it again when, a few minutes later, he was bidden to enter, and Behrens presented him to the blonde lady lying there in bed and looking at him with curiosity out of her blue eyes. She lay half sitting, supported by pillows, and seemed very restless; she laughed incessantly, struggling the while for breath: a high, purling, silver laughter, as though her plight excited or amused her. She was amused too, very likely, by the Hofrat’s turns of phrase in introducing the visitor, and called out repeated thanks and good-byes as he went off; waved her hand at his departing back; sighed melodiously, with runs of silver merriment, and pressed her hand against her heaving breast under the batiste night-gown. Her legs, it seemed, were never still.

The lady’s name was Frau Zimmermann. Hans Castorp knew her by sight; she had sat for some weeks at the table with Frau Salomon and the lad who bolted his food; then she had disappeared, and so far as Hans Castorp may have troubled about it, he supposed that she had gone home. Now he found her again, under the name of the “Overfilled,” and awaited an explanation.

“Ha ha, ha ha!” she carolled, in high glee, holding her fluttering bosom.

“Frightfully funny man, is Behrens; killingly funny, makes you die of laughing. But sit down, Herr Kasten, or Garsten, or whatever your name is; you have such a funny name—ha ha, ha ha! You must please excuse me; do sit down on that chair near my feet, but please don’t mind if I thrash about with my legs, I cannot help it.”

She was almost pretty, with clear-cut, rather too well-defined though agreeable features, and a tiny double chin. Her lips and even the tip of her nose were blue, probably from lack of air. Her hands had an appealing thinness; the laces of the nightdress set them off; but she could keep them quiet no more than her feet. Her throat was like a girl’s, with “salt-cellars” above the delicate collar-bones; and her breast, heaving and struggling under the night-gown with her laughter and gasping breaths, looked tender and young. Hans Castorp decided to send or bring her flowers, a bouquet from the nurseries of Nice and Cannes, dewy and fragrant. With some misgiving he joined in her breathless and volatile mirth.

“And so you go round visiting the fever cases?” she asked. “That’s very amusing and friendly of you! But I’m not a fever case; that is, I wasn’t in the least, until just now—until this business—listen, and tell me if it isn’t just the funniest thing you ever heard in all your life!” And wrestling for air, amid trills and roulades of laughter, she related her story.

She had come up a little ill—well, ill, of course, for otherwise she would not have come; perhaps not quite a slight case, but rather slight than grave. The pneumothorax, that newest triumph of modern surgical technique, so rapidly become popular, had been brilliantly successful in her case. She made most gratifying progress, her condition was entirely satisfactory. Her husband—for she was married, though childless—might hope to have her home again in three or four months. Then, to divert herself, she made a trip to Zürich—there had been no other reason for her going, save simply to amuse herself—she had amused herself to her heart’s content, but found herself overtaken by the need to be “filled up” again and entrusted the business to a physician where she was. A nice, amusing young man—but what was the result? Here she was overtaken by a perfect paroxysm of laughter. He had filled her too full! There were no other words to describe it, that said it all. He had meant too well by her, he had probably not too well understood the technique; the long and short of it was, in that condition, not able to breathe, suffering from cardiac depression, she had come back—ah, ha, ha, ha! and Behrens, cursing and storming with a vengeance, had stuck her into bed. For now she was ill indeed, not actually in high fever, but finished, done, made a mess of—oh, what a face he was making, how funny he looked, ha, ha, ha!

She pointed at Hans Castorp and laughed so hard that even her brow grew blue. The funniest thing of all, she said, was the way Behrens raved and reviled—it had made her laugh, at first, when she discovered that she was overfilled.

“You are in absolute danger of your life,” he had bellowed at her, just like that, without making any bones of it. “What a bear—ah, ha, ha, ha!—you really must please forgive me.”

It remained unclear what aspect of Behrens’s outburst had made her laugh; whether his brusqueness, and because she did not believe what he said, or whether she did believe it—as indeed she must, it would seem—and quite simply found the fact of her imminent danger “too funny for words.” Hans Castorp got the impression that it was the latter; and that she was pealing, trilling, and cascading with laughter only out of childish irresponsibility and the incomprehension of her birdlike brain. He disapproved. He sent her some flowers, but never again beheld the laughter-loving lady—who, indeed, after she had sustained life upon oxygen for some days, expired in the arms of her hurriedly summoned husband. “As big a goose as they make them,” the Hofrat called her, in telling Hans Castorp of her death.

But the young man had by then made further connexions among the serious cases, thanks to the Hofrat and the house nurses; and Joachim had to accompany him on the visits he made; for instance to the son of Tous-les-deux—the second, for the room of the first had long since been swept and garnished and fumigated with H2CO. They paid visits as well to Teddy, a boy who had lately been sent up from the “Fridericianum”—as the school below was called—because his case proved too severe for the life there; to Anton Farlowitsch Ferge, the Russo-German insurance agent, a good-natured martyr; and to that unhappy, and yet so coquettish creature, Frau von Mallinckrodt. She, like all the foregoing, received flowers, and was even fed more than once from the hands of Hans Castorp, in the presence of Joachim. They gradually acquired the name of good Samaritans and Brothers of Charity; Settembrini thus referred to their activities one day to Hans Castorp.

Sapperlot, Engineer! What is this I am hearing of your activities? So you have thrown yourself into a career of benevolence? You are seeking justification through good works?”

“Nothing worth mentioning, Herr Settembrini. Nothing to make a fuss about. My cousin and I—”

“Don’t talk to me about your cousin. When the two of you make yourselves talked about, it is you we are dealing with. Your cousin’s is a good and simple nature, most worthy of respect; exposed to no intellectual perils, the sort that gives a schoolmaster not one anxious moment. You’ll not make me believe he is the moving spirit. No; yours is the more gifted, if also the more exposed nature. You are, if I may so express myself, life’s delicate child, one has to trouble about you. And moreover you have given me permission to trouble about you.”

“Certainly, Herr Settembrini—once and for all. Very kind of you. ‘Life’s delicate child,’ why, that’s very pretty—only an author would think of it. I don’t know if I’ve to flatter myself over the title, but I like the sound of it at least, I must say that. Yes, I do occupy myself rather with the ‘children of death,’ if that is what you refer to. I look in here and there among the serious cases and the dying when I have time, the service of the cure doesn’t suffer from it. I visit the ones who aren’t here for the fun of the thing, leading a disorderly life—the ones who are busy dying.”

“And yet it is written: ‘Let the dead bury their dead,’ ” said the Italian. Hans Castorp raised his arms, to signify that there was so much written, on both sides, it was hard to know the rights of it. Of course, the organ-grinder had voiced a disturbing point of view, that was to be expected. Hans Castorp was ready, now as ever, of his own free will to lend an ear to Settembrini’s teachings, and by way of experiment to be influenced by them. But he was far from being prepared to give up, for the sake of a pedagogic point of view, enterprises which he vaguely, despite Mother Gerngross and her phrases, despite the uninspiring young Rotbein and the cachinnations of the “Overfilled,” found somehow helpful and significant.

Tous-les-deux’s son was named Lauro. He too received flowers, earthy, heavenlysmelling violets from Nice, “from two sympathetic housemates, with best wishes for recovery”; and as this anonymity had by now become purely formal, since everyone knew the source whence such attentions came, Tous-les-deux herself thanked the cousins when they chanced to meet in the corridor. The pale, dark Mexican mother begged them, with a few incoherent words, and chiefly by means of a pathetic gesture of invitation, to come and receive in person the thanks of her son— son seul et dernier fils, qui allait mourir aussi. They went at once. Lauro proved to be an astonishingly handsome young man, with great glowing eyes, a nose like an eagle’s beak, quivering nostrils, and beautiful lips, with a small black moustache sprouting above them. But his bearing was so theatrical and swaggering that Hans Castorp, this time no less than Joachim Ziemssen, was glad when they closed the invalid’s door behind them. Tousles-deux had ranged forlornly up and down the room, with her long, bent-kneed stride, in her black cashmere shawl, with the black scarf knotted beneath her chin, her forehead crossed with wrinkles, great pouches of skin under the jet-black eyes, and one corner of her large mouth pathetically drooping. Sometimes she approached them as they sat by the bed, to reiterate her parrotlike speech: “Tous les dé, vous comprenez, messiés—premièrement l’un et maintenant l’autre.” And the handsome Lauro delivered himself of rolling, ranting, intolerably bombastic phrases, also in French, to the effect that he knew how a hero should die and meant to do it: comme heros, à l’espagnol, like his young brother, de même quo son fier jeune frère Fernando, who likewise had died like a Spanish hero. He gesticulated, he tore open his shirt to offer his yellow breast to the stroke of fate; and continued thus, until an attack of coughing, which forced a thread of red foam to his lips, quenched his harangue and gave the cousins an excuse to go out, on tiptoe.

They did not mention the visit to Lauro’s bedside; even to themselves they refrained from comment on his behaviour. But both were better pleased with their call upon Anton Karlowitsch Ferge from St. Petersburg, who lay in bed, with his great good-natured beard and his just as good-natured-looking great Adam’s apple, recovering slowly from the unsuccessful attempt which had been made to install the pneumothorax in his interior economy, and which had been within a hair’s breadth of costing Herr Ferge his life on the spot. He had suffered a frightful shock, the pleurashock—a quite frequent occurrence in cases where this fashionable technique was applied. But Herr Ferge’s shock had been exceptionally dangerous, a total collapse and critical loss of consciousness, in a word so severe an attack that the operation had been broken off at once, and was indefinitely postponed.

Herr Ferge’s good-natured grey eyes grew large and round, his face went ashen-coloured, when he came to speak of the operation, which must have been horrible indeed. “No anesthesia, my dear sir. In this case it doesn’t do, a sensible man understands that and accepts the situation as it is. But the local doesn’t reach very far down, it only benumbs the surface flesh, you feel it when they lay you open, like a pinching and squeezing. I lie there with my face covered, so I can’t see anything: the assistant holds me on one side and the Directress on the other. I feel myself being pinched and squeezed, that is the flesh they are laying back and pegging down. Then I hear the Hofrat say: ‘Very good’; and then he begins, with a blunt instrument—it must be blunt, not to pierce through too soon—to go over the pleura and find the place where he can make an incision and let the gas in; and when he begins moving about over my pleura with his instrument—oh, Lord, oh, Lord! I felt like—I felt it was all up with me—it was something perfectly indescribable. The pleura, my friends, is not anything that should be felt of; it does not want to be felt of and it ought not to be. It is taboo. It is covered up with flesh and put away once and for all; nobody and nothing ought to come near it. And now he uncovers it and feels all over it. My God, I was sick at my stomach. Horrible, awful; never in my life have I imagined there could be such a sickening feeling, outside hell and its torments. I fainted; I had three faintingfits one after the other, a green, a brown, and a violet. And there was a stink—the shock went to my sense of smell and I got an awful stench of hydrogen sulphide, the way it must smell in the bad place; with all that I heard myself laughing as I went off—not the way a human being laughs—it was the most indecent, ghastly kind of laughing I ever heard. Because, when they go over your pleura like that, I tell you what it is: it is as though you were being tickled—horribly, disgustingly tickled—that is just what the infernal torment of the pleura-shock is like, and may God keep you from it!”

Often, and never without blanching and shuddering, did Anton Karlowitsch Ferge come back to this infernal experience of his, and torture himself with it in retrospect. He had from the first professed himself a simple man; the “higher things” of this life, he said, were utterly beyond him, he expressly stipulated that no intellectual or emotional demands be made upon him; he, for his part, made none upon anybody else. This bargain once struck, he turned out to talk not unentertainingly of his experiences in the life from which his illness had withdrawn him. He had been in the employ of a fire-insurance company, and made constant extended journeys from St. Petersburg up and down the whole of Russia, visiting insured factory buildings and spying out those which were financially suspect; for it was a fact supported by statistics that the larger percentage of fires occurred in just those factories where business was not going too well. Thus he was sent out to study a plant, under this or that pretext, and render an account to his company, so that serious loss could be provided against betimes, by increased counter-insurance or dividing the risk. He told of winter journeys through the length and breadth of Russia, of night travel in extreme cold, in sledges that you lay down in, under sheepskin covers, and when you roused you could see the eyes of wolves gleaming like stars across the snow. He carried his provisions frozen, cabbage soup and white bread, in boxes; when they stopped to change horses, at a station, these could be thawed out, as required, and the bread would be as fresh as on the day it was baked. But when there came a sudden mild spell, he would find that the soup he had brought with him in chunks had melted and run away.

Thus Herr Ferge; now and then interrupting his narrative with a sigh, and the remark that it was all very well—if only they did not try the pneumothorax again. His talk was devoid of the “higher things,” but it was full of facts, and interesting to listen to, particularly for Hans Castorp, who found it profited him to hear about Russia and life as it was lived there: about samovars and pirogues, Cossacks, and wooden churches with so many towers shaped like onion-tops as to look like a whole colony of mushrooms. He led Herr Ferge to talk about the people, the strange and exotic northern types, with their Asiatic tincture, the prominent cheek-bones and FinnishMongolian slant to the eye; listening with anthropological interest to all that he heard. At his request, Herr Ferge spoke Russian to him; the outlandish, spineless, washed-out idiom came pouring from under the good-natured moustaches, out of the goodnatured Adam’s apple; and Hans Castorp enjoyed it the more, youthlike, because all this was, pedagogically considered, forbidden fruit he was tasting.

He and Joachim spent many a quarter-hour with Anton Karlowitsch. Also they visited the lad Teddy from the Fridericianum, a young exquisite of fourteen years, blond and elegant, with a private nurse, and arrayed in white silk corded pyjamas. He was rich, he told them, and an orphan. He was here awaiting the moment for a serious operation they intended to try, for the removal of certain infected parts. Now and again, when he had a good day, he would leave his bed and dress in his neat sports attire to mingle for an hour in the company below. The ladies liked to dally with him, and he listened to their talk, for example to that concerning Lawyer Einhuf, the young lady in the combinations, and Fränzchen Oberdank. Then he would return to his bed. Thus idly and elegantly passed the time for the lad Teddy; and it was very plain that he expected nothing more from life than just this which he had.

Then there was Frau Mallinckrodt in number fifty, Natalie by name, with the black eyes and the gold rings in her ears; coquettish, fond of dress, but a perfect Lazarus and Job in female form, whom God had been pleased to afflict with every kind of infirmity. Her entire organism seemed infected, and she suffered from all possible complaints by turns and simultaneously. The skin was sympathetically involved, being covered in large tracts by an itching eczema, with open sores here and there, even on the mouth, which made feeding difficult. Then she suffered from internal inflammations of various kinds—of the pleura, the kidneys, the lungs, the periosteum, even of the brain, so that she was subject to loss of consciousness; finally cardiac weakness, the result of constant pain and fever, gave her the greatest distress and even made it, at times, impossible for her to swallow, so that a mouthful of food would remain stuck in her throat. The woman’s state was truly pitiable, and she was alone in the world; for she had left home and children for the sake of a lover, a mere youth, only to be forsaken in her turn—all this she herself related to the cousins—and now was without a home, if not without means, since her husband saw that she should not want. She accepted with no false pride the fruits of his charity or his unquenched love, whichever it was, seeing herself quite humbly as a dishonoured and sinful creature; and so bore all the plagues of Job with astounding patience and resilience, with the elementary powers of resistance of her sex, which triumphed over all the misery of her tawny body, and even made of the gauze dressings which she had to wear about her head a becoming personal adornment. She changed her jewels many times in the day, began with corals in the morning and ended at night with pearls. Hans Castorp’s flowers greatly delighted her; she obviously regarded them as the expression of gallant rather than charitable sentiments, and invited both young men to tea in her room. She drank from an invalid cup, all her fingers decked to the joint with opals, amethysts, and emeralds; in no long time she had told her guests her story, the golden ear-rings swaying as she talked. Told of her respectable, tiresome husband, her no less respectable and tiresome children, who were precisely like their father, and for whom she had not been able to feel great warmth of affection; of the half boy, half man with whom she had fled, whose poetic tenderness she never tired of describing. But his family had taken him away from her, by guile and force commingled—and perhaps he too had been revolted by her illness, which had then suddenly and violently broken out. Perhaps the gentlemen were revolted too, she asked coquettishly, and her inborn femininity triumphed even over the eczema that covered half her face.

Hans Castorp felt only contempt for the revolted lover and expressed it by a shoulder-shrug. The poetic youth’s defection was as a spur to himself and he began to take occasion to perform what services he could for the unhappy woman, in the repeated visits he made to her room: services that required no nursing skill, as, for instance, feeding her the midday broth after his own meal, giving her to drink when the food stuck in her throat, helping her to change her position in bed—for to add to everything else she had a wound from an operation, which made lying difficult. He practised himself in these acts of benevolence, looking in on her on his way to the dining-hall, or when returning from a walk, and telling Joachim to go on ahead, he would stop for a moment in number fifty, to see after a case; he experienced a pleasing sense of expanding being, the fruit of his conviction that what he did was both useful in itself and possessed of a secret significance. There was also a malicious satisfaction he had in the blamelessly Christian stamp his activities bore—it was so clear that on no ground whatever, either the military or the humanistic and pedagogic, were they open to any serious reproach.

It was some time after this that they took up Karen Karstedt; and both Hans Castorp and Joachim felt peculiarly drawn to her. She had been up here for years and was an out-patient of the Hofrat, who had commended her to the cousins’ benevolence. She was entirely without private means and dependent upon unfeeling relatives—once, in fact, they had taken her away, since she was sure to die in any case; and only at the Hofrat’s intercession did they send her back. She lived in a modest pension in the village; a nineteen-year-old, undersized little person, with sleek, oily hair, and eyes for ever timidly trying to hide a brilliance that accorded only too well with the hectic flush on her cheek. Her voice had the characteristic huskiness, but was sympathetic. She coughed almost constantly; and all her finger-ends were plastered up, as they had running sores.

The Hofrat, then, had appealed to the cousins in Karen’s behalf—they were such kind-hearted chaps—and they made her their especial ward; beginning with the gift of flowers, following on with a visit to the poor child upon her little balcony in the village; and continuing with various outings which the three took together, to see a skating race or a bob-sleigh competition. For the winter sport season was now at its height, there was a special week overcrowded with “events”—those feats and displays to which the cousins had previously paid only cursory attention. Joachim was averse from every kind of distraction up here. He was not here, he said, on their account; he was not here to enjoy life, and to put up with his sojourn in the measure in which it furnished him agreeable change and diversion. He was here solely and simply to get well as quickly as he could, in order to join the service below, real service, not the service of the cure, which was but a substitute—though to be sure he grudged any falling off in the duty he owed it. He was forbidden to join in the sports, to go and gape at them he did not like. As for Hans Castorp, he took too seriously, in too stern an inward a sense, his own share in the life of those up here to have a thought or a glance for the doings of people who made a sports station of the valley.

But now his benevolent preoccupation with poor Fräulein Karstedt made some change in these views—and Joachim could hardly dissent without seeming unChristian. They fetched the patient at her humble lodging, in glorious, frosty-sunny weather, and escorted her through the English quarter, so named after the Hotel d’Angleterre, and along the main street, lined with luxurious shops. Sleighs were jingling up and down; there were hosts of people, the idle rich and pleasure-loving from all over the world, who filled the Kurhaus and the other hotels of the place; all hat-less, all clad in sports costumes which were the last word in elegance and beauty of fabric, all bronzed with winter sunburn and the glaring reflections from snowy slopes. All this world, including the cousins and their protegée, were betaking themselves to the rink, which lay in the depth of the valley not far from the Kurhaus; in summer it was a meadow, used for football. Music was playing, the Kurhaus band, stationed in the gallery of the wooden pavilion, above the four-cornered racecourse. Beyond all lay the mountains, in deep snow, against a dark-blue sky. Our young people passed through the entrance and the crowd that, seated in ascending tiers, surrounded the course on three sides; they found places for themselves, and sat down to look on. The professional skaters, in close-fitting costumes of black tricot with furred and braided jackets, cut figures, hovered and balanced, leaped and spun. A pair of virtuosi, male and female, professionals and hors concours, performed feats which they alone in all the world could perform, and evoked storms of applause and fanfares of trumpets. Six young men of various nationalities competed for the speed prize, and laboured six times round the four-sided course, bent over, with their hands behind their backs, some with handkerchiefs tied round their mouths. A bell rang in the midst of the music, and the crowd would burst out now and again with shouts of encouragement and applause.

It was a gay company, in which the three invalids, the cousins and their protegee, sat and looked about them. There were white-teethed Englishmen in Scotch caps, talking in French to highly-scented ladies dressed from head to foot in bright-coloured woollens—some of them even wore knickerbockers; Americans with small, neat heads, on which the hair “was plastered down, pipe in mouth, and wearing shaggy furs the skin-side out; bearded, elegant Russians, looking barbarically rich, and Malayan Dutchmen, all these sitting among the German and Swiss population, as well as a sprinkling of indeterminate types—all speaking French—perhaps from the Balkans or the Levant. Hans Castorp showed certain weakness for this motley semibarbarous world; but Joachim put it aside as mongrel and questionable. At intervals there were events for children, who staggered over the course with a snow-shoe on one foot and a ski on the other. In one race each boy pushed a girl before him on a shovel; in another the winner carried a lighted taper, and must arrive at the goal with it still burning; or must climb over obstacles in his path, or pick up potatoes with a tin spoon and deposit them in watering-pots placed along the course. Everybody was in extravagant spirits. The richest children were pointed out, the prettiest and those from well-known families: there were the little daughter of a Dutch multi-millionaire, the son of a Prussian prince, and a twelve-year-old lad who bore the name of a champagne known the world over. Young Karen was gay with the rest, and coughed persistently as she laughed; clapping for joy and very gratitude her poor hands with the running finger-ends.

The cousins took her to see the bob-sleigh races as well. It was no distance to the terminus, either from Karen’s lodging or from the Berghof; for the track came down from the Schatzalp and ended in the village, among the houses on the western slope. At that point a hut had been erected, where word was received by telephone of the departures up above.

Then the low sleds would come singly, with long intervals between, around the curves of the white course, that shone metallic between frozen barriers of snow. The riders were men and women, in white woollens, with gay-coloured scarves of all nationalities wound about them. They were all red and lusty, and it snowed into their faces as they came on. Sledges would skid and upset, rolling their riders into the snow—and the onlookers would take photographs of the scene. Here too music played. The spectators sat in small tribunes, or pressed upon the narrow path that had been shovelled alongside the course; or thronged the wooden bridges which spanned it, watching the sleds that from time to time whizzed beneath. This was the path taken by the corpses from the sanatorium above, Hans Castorp thought: round these curves, under these bridges they came, down, down, to the valley below. He spoke of it to the others.

They even took Karen, one afternoon, to the Bioscope Theatre in the Platz—she loved it all so very much. The bad air they sat in was offensive to the three, used as they were to breathing the purest; it oppressed their breathing and made their heads feel heavy and dull. Life flitted across the screen before their smarting eyes: life chopped into small sections, fleeting, accelerated; a restless, jerky fluctuation of appearing and disappearing, performed to a thin accompaniment of music, which set its actual tempo to the phantasmagoria of the past, and with the narrowest of means at its command, yet managed to evoke a whole gamut of pomp and solemnity, passion, abandon, and gurgling sensuality. It was a thrilling drama of love and death they saw silently reeled off; the scenes, laid at the court of an oriental despot, galloped past, full of gorgeousness and naked bodies, thirst of power and raving religious selfabnegation; full of cruelty, appetite, and deathly lust, and slowing down to give a full view of the muscular development of the executioner’s arms. Constructed, in short, to cater to the innermost desires of an onlooking international civilization. Settembrini, as critic, Hans Castorp thought, and whispered as much to his cousin, would doubtless have sharply characterized what they saw as repugnant to a humanistic sense, and have scarified with direct and classic irony the prostitution of technical skill to such a humanly contemptible performance. On the other hand, Frau Stöhr, who was sitting not far from our three friends, seemed utterly absorbed; her ignorant red face was twisted into an expression of the hugest enjoyment.

And so were the other faces about them. But when the last flicker of the last picture in a reel had faded away, when the lights in the auditorium went up, and the field of vision stood revealed as an empty sheet of canvas, there was not even applause. Nobody was there to be applauded, to be called before the curtain and thanked for the rendition. The actors who had assembled to present the scenes they had just enjoyed were scattered to the winds; only their shadows had been here, their activity had been split up into millions of pictures, each with the shortest possible period of focus, in order to give it back to the present and reel it off again at will. The silence of the crowd, as the illusion passed, had about it something nerveless and repellent. Their hands lay powerless in face of the nothing that confronted them. They rubbed their eyes, stared vacantly before them, blinking in the brilliant light and wishing themselves back in the darkness, looking at sights which had had their day and then, as it were, had been transplanted into fresh time, and bedizened up with music. The despot died beneath the knife, with a soundless shriek. Then came scenes from all parts of the world: the President of the French Republic, in top-hat and cordon, sitting in a landau and replying to a speech of welcome; the Viceroy of India, at the wedding of a rajah; the German Crown Prince in the courtyard of a Potsdam garrison. There was a picture of life in a New Mecklenburg village; a cock-fight in Borneo, naked savages blowing on nose-horns, a wild elephant hunt, a ceremony at the court of the King of Siam, a courtesans’ street in Japan, with geishas sitting behind wooden lattices; Samoyeds bundled in furs, driving sledges drawn by reindeer through the snowy wastes of Siberia; Russian pilgrims praying at Hebron; a Persian criminal under the knout. They were present at all these scenes; space was annihilated, the clock put back, the then and there played on by music and transformed into a juggling, scurrying now and here. A young Moroccan woman, in a costume of striped silk, with trappings in the shape of chains, bracelets, and rings, her swelling breasts half bared, was suddenly brought so close to the camera as to be life-sized; one could see the dilated nostrils, the eyes full of animal life, the features in play as she showed her white teeth in a laugh, and held one of her hands, with its blanched nails, for a shade to her eyes, while with the other she waved to the audience, who stared, taken aback, into the face of the charming apparition. It seemed to see and saw not, it was not moved by the glances bent upon it, its smile and nod were not of the present but of the past, so that the impulse to respond was baffled, and lost in a feeling of impotence. Then the phantom vanished. The screen glared white and empty, with the one word Finis written across it. The entertainment was over, in silence the theatre was emptied, a new audience took the place of that going out, and before their eager eyes the cycle would presently unroll itself again.

Incited by Frau Stöhr, who joined them at the exit, they paid a visit to the café at the Kurhaus, Karen clapping her hands in delighted gratitude. Here too there was music, a small, red-uniformed orchestra, conducted by a Bohemian or Hungarian first violin, who stood apart from the others, among the dancing couples, and belaboured his instrument with frantic wreathings of his body. Life here was mondaine: strange drinks were handed at the tables. The cousins ordered orangeade for the refreshment of their charge and themselves, while Frau Stöhr took a brandy and sugar. The room was hot and dusty. At this hour, she said, the café life was not yet in full swing, the dancing became much livelier as the evening advanced, and numerous patients from the sanatoria, as well as dissipated folk from the hotels and the Kurhaus, many more than were here as yet, came later to join the fun. More than one serious case had here danced himself into eternity, tipping up the beaker of life to drain the last drop, and in dulcí jubilo suffering his final hæmorrhage. The dulci jubilo became, on her unlettered lips, something extraordinary. The first word she pronounced dolce, with some reminiscence of her musical husband’s Italian vocabulary; but the second suggested jubilee, or an attempt to yodel, or goodness alone knew what. The cousins both devoted themselves assiduously to the straws in their glasses, when this Latin was given out—but Frau Stöhr took no offence. She began, drawing back her lips and showing her rodent-like teeth, to drop hints and make insinuations on the subject of the relations of the three young people. As far as poor Karen was concerned, it was all pretty obvious, and, as Frau Stöhr said, she could not but enjoy being chaperoned, on her little outings, by such fine cavaliers. But the other side was not so easy to come at. However, ignorance and stupidity notwithstanding, the creature’s feminine intuition helped her to a glimpse, even though a partial and vulgarized one, of the truth. For she saw, and even teasingly aimed at the fact, that Hans Castorp was the cavalier, and young Ziemssen merely in attendance; further—for she was aware of the state of Hans Castorp’s feeling toward Madame Chauchat—that he was playing the gallant to poor little Karstedt because he did not know how to approach the other. It was a simple guess, lacking profundity and not actually covering all the facts of the case—in short, it was only too worthy of Frau Stöhr, and when she came out with it, flat-footed, he did not even answer, save by a faint smile and an impenetrable stare. So much was true, after all, that poor Karen did afford him a substitute, an intangible yet real support, as did the rest of his charitable activities. But at the same time they were an end in themselves too. The inward satisfaction he experienced whenever he fed the afflicted Frau Mallinckrodt her broth, or suffered Herr Ferge to tell him once more the tale of the infernal pleura-shock, or saw poor Karen clapping her ravaged and mortifying hands in grateful joy, was perhaps of a vicarious and relative kind; yet it was none the less pure and immediate. It was rooted in a tradition diametrically opposed to the one Herr Settembrini, as pedagogue, represented—yet seemed to him, young Hans Castorp, for all that, not unworthy of having applied to it the placet experiri.

The little house where Karen Karstedt lived lay near the railway track and the watercourse, on the way to the Dorf, quite conveniently for the cousins to fetch her after breakfast for the morning walk. Going thence toward the village, to arrive upon the main street, one had before one the little Schiahorn, and on its right three peaks which were called the Green Towers, but were now covered like the rest with snow that gleamed blindingly in the sun. Still further to the right came the round summit of the Dorfberg, and a quarter of the way up its slope was visible the cemetery of the Dorf, surrounded by a wall, obviously commanding a fine view, very likely of the distant lake, and thus suggesting itself naturally as the goal of a promenade. Thither they went, one lovely morning—indeed, all the days now were lovely; with a hot sun, a sparkling frost, a deep-blue, windless air, and a scene that glittered whitely all abroad. The cousins, one of them brick-red in the face, the other bronzed, walked without overcoats, which would have been intolerable in this sunshine: young Ziemssen in sports clothes, with “arctics,” Hans Castorp in arctics as well, but with long trousers, not feeling worldly enough to don short ones. This was the new year, between the beginning and middle of February—yes, the last figure in the date had changed since Hans Castorp came up here, it was written now with the next higher digit. The minute-hand on time’s clock had moved one space further on: not one of the large spaces, not one which measured the centuries or the decades; it was only the year that had been shoved forward by one figure; though Hans Castorp had been up here not a whole year yet, but scarcely more than half a one, it had jerked itself on, as does the minute-hand of certain large clocks, which only register by five minutes at a time; and was now pointing motionless, awaiting the moment to move forward again. But the hand that marked the months would have to move on for ten spaces more, only two more, in fact, than it had moved since he came up here; for February did not count, being once begun—as money changed counts as money spent.

To the graveyard then, on the slope of the Dorfberg, the three wended their waywe tell it to complete the tale of their excursions. It was Hans Castorp’s idea; Joachim probably had scruples at first, on the score of poor Karen, but in the end agreed that it was useless to pretend with her, or to carry out Frau Stöhr’s cowardly policy of shielding her from all that could remind her of her end. Karen Karstedt was not yet so far on as to display the self-deception that marks the last stage. She knew quite well how it stood with her, and what the necrosis of her finger-tips meant: knew too that her unfeeling relatives would not hear of the unnecessary expense of having her sent back home, and that it would be her lot, after her exit, to fill a modest space up yonder. In short, it might even be said that such an excursion was more fitting, morally spoken, than many another, than the cinematograph or the bob-sleigh races, for example—and surely it was no more than proper to make those lying up there a visit once in a way, as a comradely attention, provided one did not regard it as in the same class with an ordinary walk or excursion to a point of interest.

Slowly they went, in single file, up the narrow path that had been made in the snow, leaving the highest villas behind and below them, and watching the familiar scene unroll in its winter splendour, a little altered in perspective, and opening out to the north-west, toward the entrance of the valley. There was the hoped-for view of the lake, now a frozen and snow-covered round, bordered with trees; the mountains seemed to slope directly down to its farther shore, while beyond these again showed unfamiliar peaks, all in full snow, overtopping each other against the blue sky. The young folk looked at the view, standing in the snow before the stone gateway to the cemetery; then they entered through the ironwork grille, which was on the latch. Here too they found paths shovelled between the small enclosures, each of which was surrounded with its railing, each containing a number of graves. The snow rounded over and built up each smooth and even elevation, with its cross of stone or metal, its small monument adorned with medallions and inscriptions. No soul was to be seen or heard, the quiet remoteness and peace of the spot seemed deep and unbroken in more than one sense. A little stone angel or cupid, finger on lip, a cap of snow askew on its head, stood among the bushes, and might have passed for the genius of the place—the genius of a silence so definite that it was less a negation than a refutation of speech. The silence it guarded was far from being empty of content or character. Here it would have been in place for our two male visitors to take off their hats, had they had any on. But they were, even Hans Castorp, bare-headed; and could only walk reverently, their weight on the balls of their feet, making instinctive inclinations on one side and the other, single file in the wake of Karen Karstedt, as she led the way.

The cemetery was irregular in shape, having begun as a narrow rectangle facing the south, and then thrown out other rectangles on both sides. Successive increases in size had evidently been necessary, and ploughed land had been taken in. Even so, the present enclosure seemed fairly full, both along the wall and in the less desirable inner plots; one could hardly see or say just where another interment was to take place. The three wandered for some time discreetly along the paths, among the enclosures, stopping to decipher a name or date here or there. The tablets and crosses were modest affairs, that must have cost but little. The inscriptions bore names from every quarter of the earth, they were in English or Russian—or other Slavic tongues—also German, Portuguese, and more. The dates told their own sad story, for the time they covered was generally a short span indeed, the age between birth and death averaging not much more than twenty years. Not crabbed age, but youth peopled the spot; folk not yet settled in life, who from all corners of the earth had come together here to take up the horizontal for good and all.

Somewhere in the thick of the graves, near the heart of the acre, lay a small, flat, levelled place, the length of a man, between two rounded mounds with wreaths of everlasting hanging on their headstones. Involuntarily the three paused here, the young girl first, to read the mournful inscriptions; Hans Castorp stood relaxed, his hands clasped before him, his eyes veiled and his mouth somewhat open, young Ziemssen very self-controlled, and not only erect, but even bending a thought backward; and both the cousins stole a glance at Karen’s face. She stood there, aware of their glance, with modest and shamefaced mien, her head bent on her shoulder, blinking her eyes and smiling a strained little smile.


WITHIN the next few days it would be seven months since Hans Castorp’s advent among those up here; while Cousin Joachim, who had already had five to his credit, would soon be able to look back upon twelve; that is to say, upon a whole round year. Round, indeed, in a cosmic sense; for since the doughty little locomotive had set him down at these heights, the earth had completed one full course round the sun, and was returned to the point whence it had then set out. The carnival season was at hand, and Hans Castorp inquired among the old inhabitants of the Berghof what it would be like.

Magnifique,” answered Settembrini, whom the cousins had again encountered on the morning walk. “Gorgeous,” he said. “Every bit as lively as it is in the Prater. You shall see, Engineer, ‘the gayest gallants of the night, in brilliant rows advancing,’ ” he quoted, and went on in his most mocking vein, couching his gibes in sounding phrases, with a telling accompaniment of arm, shoulder, and head movements. “What do you expect? Even in maisons de santé they have their balls for the fools and idiots, I’ve read; why not up here as well? The programme includes various danses macabres, as you may imagine; but unfortunately some of last year’s guests will not be here—the party being over at half past nine, you perceive—”

“Do you mean—oh, capital!” laughed Hans Castorp. “Herr Settembrini, you are a wretch! Half past nine—I say, did you get that?” he turned to his cousin. “Herr Settembrini means it would be too early for some of last year’s guests to take part. Ha ha—spooky! He means the ones that have taken leave of the flesh and the things of the flesh in the mean time. But I am all excitement,” he said. “I think it’s quite proper to celebrate the feasts up here as they come, and mark off the time in the usual way. Just a dead level of monotony, without any breaks at all, would be too awful for words. We have had Christmas already, we took notice of the beginning of the New Year; and now comes Shrove Tuesday; after that, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Easter; then six weeks after that, Whitsunday; then it is almost midsummer, the solstice, and we begin to go toward autumn—”

“Stop, stop, stop!” Settembrini cried, lifting his face to heaven and pressing his temples with the palms of his hands. “Be quiet, I cannot listen to you letting go the reins like that!”

“Pardon me, I mean it just the other way. Behrens will finally have to make up his mind to the injections, to get rid of my infection; my temperature sticks at 99.3° to four, five, six, and even seven. I am, and I continue to be, life’s delicate child! I don’t mean I am a long-termer, Rhadamanthus hasn’t let me in for any definite number of months; but he did say it would be nonsense to interrupt the cure, when I’ve been up here so long already, and invested so much time, so to speak. Even if he did set a term, what good would it do me? When he says, for instance, half a year, that is to be taken as the minimum, it is always more. Look at my cousin; he was to have finished the beginning of the month—finished in the sense of being healed, cured—and the last time Behrens saw him, he stuck on four more to make sure he is entirely soundwell, then, where are we? Why, at the summer solstice, just as I said, without the faintest notion of offending you, and on the way to winter. Well, well, for the present what we have before us is Fasching, and as I say, I consider it fit and proper to celebrate it in the usual way, just as it comes in the calender. Frau Stöhr tells me the concierge sells tin horns in his lodge, did you know that?”

And so it fell out. Shrove Tuesday came on apace; before one had actually seen it on the way, it arrived. All sorts of absurd instruments were snarling and squealing in the dining-hall, even at early breakfast; at midday, paper snakes were launched from the table where Gänser, Rasmussen, and Fräulein Kleefeld sat. Paper caps were mounted; they, like the trumpets, were to be had of the concierge. The round-eyed Marusja was among the first to appear in one. But in the evening—ah, in the evening there were festivities in the hall and the reception-rooms, in the course of which—but we alone know to what, thanks to Hans Castorp’s enterprising spirit, these carnival gaieties led up in their course; and we do not mean to let our knowledge betray us into indiscretion. We shall pay time all the honour due it, and precipitate nothing. Nay, rather, we shall incline to protract the tale, out of feeling for young Hans Castorp’s moral compunctions, which have so long prevented him from crossing his Rubicon. Everybody went down to the Platz in the afternoon, to see the streets in carnival mood, with harlequins and columbines shaking their rattles, with maskers on foot and in jingling, decorated sleighs, among whom went forward lively skirmishes, and much confetti was flung. Spirits were very high at all seven tables when the guests assembled for the evening meal; there was every indication that the fun begun abroad would continue in the same key within doors. The concierge had done a thriving trade in rattles and tin trumpets; Lawyer Paravant had been the first to go further in the same line, putting on a lady’s kimono and a braid of false hair belonging to Frau Consul-General Wurmbrandt; he wore his moustaches drawn down on each side of his mouth with the tongs, and looked the very picture of a Chinaman, evoking loud applause from all quarters. The management had done its share. Each of the seven tables was decked with a paper lantern, a coloured moon with a lighted candle inside; when Settembrini entered, and passed by Hans Castorp’s, he quoted:

“See the gorgeous tongues of fire—

Club as gay as heart’s desire—”

He brought out the words with his fine, dry smile, and sauntered to his place, where he was greeted with a rain of missiles like tiny pellets, that broke and scattered a spray of perfume where they fell. Yes, from the first moment the key was high. The bursts of laughter were unintermitted; paper snakes hung down from the chandeliers, swaying to and fro; confetti swam in the sauces; very early the dwarf waitress brought in the first ice-pail, the first bottle of champagne. Inspired by Lawyer Einhuf, the guests drank it mixed with burgundy. Toward the end of the meal the ceiling light went out, and only the colourful twilight of the paper lanterns illumined the room, making of the scene an Italian night, and setting the crown upon the mood of the evening. Settembrini passed over a paper to Hans Castorp’s table, by the hand of Marusja, who sat nearest him, with a green tissue-paper jockey cap on her head; on it he had written with a pencil:

“But mind, the mountain’s magic-mad to-night,
And if you choose a will-o’-the-wisp to light
Your path, take care, ‘twill lead you all astray.”

This was received with enthusiasm, though Dr. Blumenkohl, whose state had now much altered for the worse, muttered something to himself, with the expression peculiar to him upon his face, or rather upon his lips; he seemed to be asking what sort of verses were these. But Hans Castorp considered that an answer was due, he felt it incumbent on him to cap the quotation, though it was unlikely he would have produced anything very striking. He searched his pockets for a pencil, but found none, nor could Joachim or the schoolmistress supply his need; and his bloodshot eyes looked to the east for aid, to the farther left-hand corner of the room—it was plain that his fleeting purpose was dissipated in a widening circle of associations. He paled a little, and entirely lost sight of his original intention.

Other good ground there was for paling. Frau Chauchat had made special toilet for carnival, she wore a new gown, or at least one new to our hero, of thin, dark silk, probably black, or at most shot with a golden brown. It was cut with a modest little round neck like a schoolgirl’s frock, hardly so much as to show the base of the throat, or the collar-bones, or the slightly prominent bone at the back of the neck, beneath the soft fringes or her hair. But it left free to the shoulder Clavdia’s arms, so tender and yet so full, so cool, so amazingly white, set off against the dark silk of her frock, with such ravishing effect that it made Hans Castorp close his eyes, and murmur within himself: “O my God!” He had never seen such a mode before. Ball gowns he had seen, stately and ceremonial, cut in conformity with a fashion that exposed far more of the person than this one did, without achieving a jot of its sensational effect. Poor Hans Castorp! He was reminded of a theory he had once held about these arms, on making their acquaintance for the first time, veiled in diaphanous gauze: that it was the gauze itself, the “illusion” as he called it, which had lent them their indescribable, unreasonable seductiveness. Folly! The utter, accentuated, blinding nudity of these arms, these splendid members of an infected organism, was an experience so intoxicating, compared with that earlier one, as to leave our young man no other recourse than again, with drooping head, to whisper, soundlessly: “O my God!”

Later on, another paper was handed over, on which was written:

“Society to heart’s desire—
In faith, of brides, a party,
And jolly bachelors on fire
With forward hopes and hearty.”

“Bravo, bravo!” they shouted. They were drinking coffee by now, served in little brown earthenware jugs, and some of them liqueurs as well, for instance Frau Stöhr, who adored the sweet and spirituous. The company began to rise from table, to move about, to pay visits. Part of the guests had already moved into the reception-rooms, others remained seated, still faithful to the drink they had mingled. Settembrini, coffee-cup in hand, sporting his toothpick, crossed over and sat down between Hans Castorp and the schoolmistress.

“ ‘The Harz,’ ” he said. “ ‘Near Schierke and Elend.’ Did I exaggerate, Engineer?

Here’s a bedlam for you! But wait, the fun is not over so soon; far from leaving off, it has not even reached its height. From what I hear, there will be more masquerading; certain people have left the room, we are justified in anticipating almost anything.”

Even as he spoke, new maskers entered: women dressed as men, with beards and moustaches of burnt cork, betraying themselves by their figures and looking like characters in comic opera; men in women’s clothes, tripping over their skirts. Here was the student Rasmussen in a black jet-trimmed toilet, displaying a pimpled décolleté and fanning himself front and back with a paper fan; there was a Pierrot, costumed in white underwear, with a lady’s felt hat, a powdered face that gave his eyes an unnatural expression, and lips garish with blood-red pomade—the youth with the fingernail. A Greek from the “bad” Russian table, who rejoiced in beautiful legs, strutted in tights, with short cloak, paper ruff, and dagger, personating a fairy prince, or a Spanish grandee. All these costumes had been improvised since the end of the meal. Frau Stöhr could sit still no longer. She too disappeared, and presently returned dressed as a charwoman, with skirt looped up and sleeves rolled back; a paper cap tied under her chin, armed with pail and brush; she began scrubbing about under the tables, among the feet of those still sitting.

“ ‘See beldam Baubo riding now,’ ” quoted Settembrini, as she appeared; and gave the next line too, in his clear and “plastic” delivery. She heard it, and retorted by calling him a turkey-cock and bidding him keep his filthy jokes to himself. With the licence of the season she addressed him, Herr Settembrini, with the thou. But indeed this familiarity had become quite general during the meal. He girded himself to reply, when a fresh stir and laughter in the hall interrupted him, and those in the dining-room looked up expectantly.

Followed by a troop of guests, two singular figures entered. One was dressed like a nurse; but her black uniform was marked off from head to foot by short white strips close under each other, with a longer one at regular intervals, like degrees on a thermometer. She had one finger laid to her pallid lips, and in her other hand a fever chart. Her companion was all in blue, with blue paint on lips, brows, throat, cheeks, and chin, and a blue woollen cap wry over one ear. He was dressed in a “pull-over” of glazed blue linen, tied round the ankles, and stuffed out into a great paunch round the middle. These were Frau Iltis and Herr Albin; they wore cardboard placards, on which were written “The Silent Sister” and “The Blue Peter”; together, with sidling gait they moved through the room.

What applause there was! What ringing shouts! Frau Stöhr, her broom under her arm and her hands on her knees, laughed like the charwoman she impersonated. Only Settembrini was unmoved. He cast one glance at the successful maskers and his lips became a fine thin line beneath the waving moustaches.

Among the troop streaming in the rear of the blue and silent ones, came Clavdia Chauchat, together with the woolly-haired Tamara and the man with the hollow chest, named Buligin, who was dressed in evening clothes. Clavdia brushed Hans Castorp’s table with the folds of her new gown, and crossed the room to where young Gänser and the Kleefeld were sitting. Her companions followed the rout out of the dining-hall after the two allegorical maskers, but she stood there, her hands behind her back, laughing and chatting, her eyes like narrow slits. She too had mounted a cap—it was not a bought one, but the kind one makes for children, a simple cocked hat of white paper, set rakishily on her head, and suiting her, of course, to a marvel. Her feet showed beneath the dark golden-brown silk of her frock, whose skirt was somewhat draped. Of her arms we shall say no more in this place. They were bare to the shoulder.

“ ‘Look at her well,’ ” Hans Castorp heard Herr Settembrini say, as though from a distance, following her with his glance as she presently left the room. “ ‘The fair one, see! ’Tis Lilith!’ ”

“Who?” asked Hans Castorp.

Herr Settembrini’s literary soul was pleased. He answered: “ ‘Adam’s first wife is she.’ ”

Besides themselves there was only Dr. Blumenkohl at the table, sitting in his place at the other end. Everyone else, even Joachim, was now in the drawing-rooms. Hans Castorp said—and he too addressed his companion with the licence of the season, and said thou to him: “Dear me, you’re full of poetry to-night. What Lily do you mean?

Did Adam marry more than once? I didn’t know it.”

“According to the Hebraic mythus, Lilith became a night-tripping fairy, a ‘ belle dame sans merci’, dangerous to young men especially, on account of her beautiful tresses.”

“What the deuce! A hobgoblin with beautiful tresses! You couldn’t stand that, could you? You would come along and turn on the electric light and bring the young men back to the path of virtue—that’s what you do, isn’t it?” Hans Castorp said whimsically. He had drunk rather freely of the mixed burgundy and champagne.

“Hark ye, Engineer—and take heed what I say,” Settembrini answered frowning.

“You will kindly address me with the accepted form employed in the educated countries of the West, the third person pluralis, if I may make bold to suggest it.”

“Why? Isn’t this carnival? The other is the accepted form everywhere to-night.”

“Yes, it is—and its charm lies in its very abandon. When strangers, who would regularly use the third person, speak to each other in the second, it is an objectionable freedom, it is wantonly playing with the roots of things, and I despise and condemn it, because at the bottom the usage is audaciously and shamelessly levelled against our civilization and our enlightened humanity. Do not, for one moment, imagine I addressed you with this form just now. I was quoting from the masterpiece of your national literature—I used poetic licence.”

“So did I. I am using a sort of poetic licence now, because it seems to me to suit the occasion, and that is why I do it. I don’t say I find it perfectly natural and easy to say thou to you, on the contrary it costs me an effort, I have to poke myself up to it; but I do so freely, gladly, and with all my heart—”

“With all your—”

“Yes, quite sincerely, with all my heart. We have been up here for some time together—do you realize it is seven months? That is not much, perhaps, as they reckon time here; but in the ordinary way it is a good deal, after all. Well, we have spent it with each other, because life brought us together. We have met almost daily, and had interesting conversations, in part upon subjects of which, down below, I should not have had the faintest understanding. But up here I have, they seem to me very real and pertinent; and I was always very keen, in our discussions, or rather, when you explained things to me, as a homo humanus, for of course I was too inexperienced to contribute anything, and could only feel that all you said was highly worth listening to. It is through you I have learned to understand such a lot—that about Carducci was the least part of it—take the republic and the bello stile and how they hang together, or time with human progress, and how if there was no time there could be no human progress, and the world would be only a standing drain and stagnant puddle—what should I have known of all that if it weren’t for you? So I simply address you as though we were old and close friends, without further ceremony, and you must excuse me, because I don’t know any other way. You sit there, and I speak to you like this, and it is all that’s necessary. For you are not, to me, just any man, with a name, like another; you are a representative, Herr Settembrini, an ambassador to this place and to me. Yes, that is what you are,” Hans Castorp asserted, and struck the table with the flat of his hand. “So now I will thank you,” he went on, and shoved his champagne and burgundy along the table toward Herr Settembrini’s coffee-cup, as though to touch glasses with him. “I thank you for having taken trouble for me in these seven months, for having lent a hand to a young donkey in all the new experiences that came to him, and tried to influence him for his good— sine pecunia, of course—partly by means of anecdote and partly in abstractions. I distinctly feel the moment has come to thank you for all you have done, and to beg your pardon for being a troublesome pupil—a ‘difficult,’ no, a ‘delicate child of life’—that was what you called me. It touched me very much to have you say that; and I feel touched every time I think of it. The troublesome child—that I have been for you, in your capacity as pedagogue—you remember, you came to speak of that on the first day we met, it is one of the associations you have taught me, the relation between humanism and pedagogy; and there are many others I shall think of as time goes on. You must forgive me, then, and not think too hardly of me. I drink your health, Herr Settembrini; I drink to those literary endeavours of yours for the elimination of human suffering.” He ceased speaking, bent over and drained his glass, hiccupped twice, and stood up. “Now let us join the others.”

“Why, Engineer, what has come over you?” the Italian asked in surprise, rising in his turn. “That sounds like a parting.”

“A parting? No—why?” Hans Castorp evaded him—not only in words, but in action, for he turned as he spoke, describing a curve with the upper part of his body, and came to a stop before Fräulein Engelhart, who had just entered to fetch them. She said that a carnival punch, contributed by the management, was being dispensed by no less a person than the Hofrat himself, and bade them come if they cared for a glass. So they went together.

The little round white-covered table, with Hofrat Behrens behind it, stood the centre of a press of guests, each holding out a sherbet cup to be filled, into which the dispenser ladled the steaming drink out of a tureen. He too had made concessions to the carnival spirit: he wore his usual white surgeon’s coat, for even to-day his professional activity must go on; but he had added a genuine Turkish fez, crimson, with a black tassel dangling over one ear. His appearance, of itself sufficiently striking, needed no more than this to render it quite outlandish. The long white smock exaggerated his height; one felt that if he were to stand erect and hold up his head, he would be more than life-size; and atop was the small head, with its high colour and unique cast of feature. Never before had Hans Castorp been so impressed with its oddity as when he saw it to-day under this absurd head-gear: the flat, snub-nosed, purple-flushed physiognomy, the watery, goggling blue eyes beneath tow-coloured brows, and the blond, close-trimmed moustache mounted crookedly above the full, bow-shaped lips. Turned away from the steam that wreathed upwards from the bowl, he held the ladle high and let the sweet arrack punch run in a brown, flowing stream into the glasses they held toward him, rattling on the while with his usual flow of whimsical jargon.

“Herr Urian sits up above,” Settembrini interpreted in a low voice with a wave of the hand.

Dr. Krokowski was there too, short, stout, solid, with his black alpaca shirt fastened like a domino on his shoulders, the sleeves dangling. He was holding his punch-glass with his hand at the level of his eyes and twisting the wrist round as he talked and jested with a group of masqueraders. Music was heard; the tapir-faced lady was playing Handel’s Largo on the violin, and then a drawing-room sonata by Grieg, characteristically northern in mood. The Mannheimer accompanied her on the piano. There was good-natured applause, even from the bridge-tables, which had been set up and occupied by maskers, with bottles in coolers at their sides. The doors were all open, and some of the guests stood in the hall as well. A group about the punch-table watched the Hofrat, who was introducing a new diversion. Bent over the table with his eyes closed and his head thrown back in evidence of good faith, he was sketching with his mighty hand a figure on the back of a visiting-card, the outline of a pig. It was rather more fanciful than realistic, yet undoubtably the lineaments of a pig, which under these difficult conditions, without the help of his eyes, he had managed to trace. It was a feat, and he could perform it. The little eyes were almost in the right place, so was the pointed ear, and the tiny legs under the rounded little belly; the curving line of the back ended in a small neat ringlet of tail. There was a general “Ah!” as he finished; then everyone was fired with an ambition to emulate the master. What abortions were brought forth! They lacked all coherence. The eyes were outside the head, the legs inside the paunch, the line of the latter came nowhere near joining, the little tail curled away by itself without organic connexion with the figure, an independent arabesque. They nearly split with laughing; the group increased. The notice of the bridge party was attracted, the players were drawn by curiosity and came up holding their cards fan-shaped in their hands. The bystanders watched the performer to see that he did not wink—which his feeling of powerlessness made him sometimes do; they giggled and guffawed while he committed his frantic blunders, and burst out in extravagant mirth when he at last opened his eyes and looked down upon his ridiculous handiwork. Blatant self-confidence lured everyone on to try his hand. The card, a large one, was soon filled on both sides with overlapping failures. The Hofrat contributed a second from his case; whereon Lawyer Paravant, after taking thought, essayed to draw a pig without lifting the pencil—and lo, the measure of his unsuccess led all the rest: his creation had no faintest likeness either to a pig or to anything else on the broad earth. It was greeted with hilarity and boisterous congratulations. Menu cards were fetched from the dining-room, and now several people could draw at the same time; each performer having his own circle of onlookers and aspirants, waiting for the pencil he was using. There were three pencils, they snatched them out of each other’s hands. The Hofrat, having set the sport afoot, and seen it thriving, withdrew with his adjutants.

Hans Castorp stood in the thick of the crowd, at Joachim’s back, watching. He rested his elbow on his cousin’s shoulder and supported his chin with all five fingers of that hand, his other arm set akimbo on his hip. He was talking and laughing, anxious to try his skill; asked on all sides for a pencil, and at length received a stump of a thing, hardly to be held between thumb and forefinger. Then he shut his eyes, lifted his face to the ceiling, and drew, all the time uttering objurgations against the pencil, some horrible inanity upon the paper, in his haste spoiling even this, and running off the paper on to the tablecloth. “That doesn’t count!” he cried as his audience burst out in well-merited jeers. “What can you do with a pencil like that—deuce take it!” and he flung the offending morsel into the punch-bowl. “Has anybody a decent one? Who will lend me a pencil? I must have another try. A pencil, a pencil, who has a pencil?” he shouted, leaning with his left hand on the table, and shaking the other high in the air. There was no answer. Then he turned and, passing through the room, went straight up to Clavdia Chauchat, who, as he was well aware, was standing near the door of the little salon, watching with a smile the throng round the punchtable. Behind him he heard someone calling—euphonious words, in a foreign tongue:

Eh, Ingegnere! Aspetti! Che cosa fa, Ingegnere! Un po’ di ragione sa! Ma è matto questo ragazzo!” But he drowned out the voice with his own, and Herr Settembrini, flinging up his hand with a swing of the arm—a gesture common in his own country, whose meaning it would be hard to put into words—and giving vent to a long-drawn “Eh—h!” turned his back on the room and the carnival gaieties.—But Hans Castorp was standing on the tiled court of the school yard, gazing at close quarters into these blue-grey-green epicanthus eyes, above the prominent cheekbones, and saying: “Do you happen to have a pencil?”

He was deadly pale, as pale as when he had come back blood-spattered to the lecture, from that walk of his. The nerves controlling the blood-vessels that supplied his face functioned so well that the skin, robbed of all its blood, went quite cold, the nose looked peaked, and the hollows beneath the young eyes were lead-coloured as any corpse’s. And the Sympathicus caused his heart, Hans Castorp’s heart, to thump, in such a way that it was impossible to breathe except in gasps; and shivers ran over him, due to the functioning of the sebaceous glands, which, with the hair follicles, erected themselves.

She stood there, in her paper cap, and looked him up and down, with a smile that betrayed no trace of pity, nor any concern for the ravages written on his brow. The sex knows no such compassion, no mercy for the pangs that passion brings; in that element the woman is far more at home than the man, to whom, by his very nature, it is foreign. Nor does she ever encounter him in it save with mocking and malignant joy—compassion, indeed, he would have none of.

He had used the second person singular. She answered: “I? Perhaps I have, let me see.” Her voice and smile did betray an excitement, a consciousness—such as comes when the first word is uttered in a relationship long secretly sustained—a subtle consciousness, which concentrates all the past in a single moment of the present. “You are so eager—you are very ambitious”—she continued thus to mock him, in her slightly veiled, pleasantly husky voice, with her quaint pronunciation, giving a foreign sound to the r and making the vowels too open, even accenting the word ambitious on the first syllable, with exotic effect; rummaging and peering the while in her leather bag, whence she fetched out, first a handkerchief, and then a little silver pencil, slender and fragile, a pretty trinket scarcely meant for use—the other, the first one, had been something more to take hold of.

Voilà,” she said, and held the toy by its end before his eyes, between thumb and forefinger, and lightly turned it to and fro.

Since she thus both gave and withheld it, he took it, so to speak, without receiving it: that is, he held out his hand, with the fingers ready to grasp the delicate thing, but not actually touching it. His eyes—in their leaden sockets—went from the little object to Clavdia’s Tartar physiognomy. His bloodless lips were open, and so remained, he did not use them to utter the words, as he said: “You see, I knew you would have one.”

Prenez garde, il est un peu fragile” she said. “C’est à visser, tu sais.”

Their heads bent over it together, and she showed him the mechanism—it was quite ordinary, the little needle of hard, probably worthless lead came down as one loosened the screw.

They stood bent toward each other. The stiff collar of his evening dress served him to support his chin.

“A poor thing—but yours,” he said, brow to brow with her, speaking down upon the pencil, stiff-lipped, so that most of the labials went unsounded.

“Ah, so you are even witty,” she answered him, with a short laugh. She straightened up, and surrendered the pencil. It is a question by what means he was witty, since it was plain there was not a drop of blood in his head. “Well, away with you, go and draw, draw yourself out!” And wittily in her turn, she seemed to drive him away.

“But you have not drawn yet, you must draw too,” he said, without managing the m in must, and drew a step backwards, invitingly.

“I?” she said again, with an inflection of surprise which seemed to have reference to something else than his invitation. She stood a moment in smiling confusion, then as if magnetized followed him a few steps toward the punch-table.

But interest in the activity there seemed to have fallen away. Someone was still drawing, but without an audience. The cards were covered with futilities, they had all done their worst, and now the current had set in another direction. Directly the doctors had left the scene, the word had gone round for a dance, already the tables were being pushed back; spies were posted at the doors of the writing-and music-rooms, with orders to give the sign in case the “old man,” Krokowski, or the Oberin should show themselves. A young Slavic youth attacked con espressione the keyboard of the little nut-wood piano, and the first couple began to turn about within an irregular circle of chairs and tables, on which the spectators perched themselves.

Hans Castorp dismissed the departing punch-table with a wave of the hand, and indicated with his chin two empty seats in a sheltered corner of the small salon, near the portières. He did not speak, perhaps because the music was too loud. He drew up a seat—it was a reclining-chair with plush upholstery—for Frau Chauchat, in the corner he had indicated, and took for himself a creaking, crackling basket-chair with curling arms, in which he sat down, bent forward toward her, his own arms on the arms of the chair, her pencil in his hand and his feet drawn back under his seat. She lay buried in the plushy slope, her knees brought high; notwithstanding which, she crossed one leg over the other, and swung her foot in the air, in its black patent-leather shoe and black silk stocking spanned over the anklebone. There was a coming and going in the room, some of the guests standing up to dance, while others took their places to rest.

“You’ve a new frock on,” he said, as an excuse for looking at her; and heard her answer.

“New? So you are acquainted with my wardrobe?”

“Am I right?”

“Yes—I had it made here lately; the tailor down in the village, Lukaçek, did it. He does work for several of the ladies up here. Do you like it?”

“Very much,” he said, surveying her once more and then casting down his eyes.

“Would you like to dance?” he added.

“Would you like to?” she asked, with lifted brows, yet smiling, and he answered:

“I would, if you wished.”

“That is not so brave as I thought you were,” she said, and when he laughed deprecatingly, she went on: “Your cousin has gone up already.”

“Yes, he is my cousin,” he confirmed her, unnecessarily. “I noticed he had gone, he is probably in the rest-cure by now.”

C’est un jeune homme très étroit, très honnête, très allemand.”

“Étroit? Honnête?” he repeated. “I understand French better than I speak it. You mean he is pedantic. You think we are pedantic, we Germans— nous autres

allemands ?”

Nous causons de votre cousin. Mais c’est vrai, you are a little bourgeois. Vous aimez l’ordre mieux que la liberté, toute l’Europe le sait.”

“Aimer, aimer—qu’est-ce que c’est? Ça manque de définition, ce mot là. We love what we have not—that is proverbial,” Hans Castorp asserted. “Lately,” he went on,

“I’ve thought very much about liberty. That is, I’ve heard the word so often, I’ve begun to think about it. Je te le dirai en français, what I have been thinking. Ce que toute l’Europe nomme la liberté, c’est peut-être une chose assez pédante et assez bourgeoise en comparaison de notre besoin d’ordre—c’est ça!”

Tiens! C’est amusant! C’est ton cousin à qui tu penses en disant des choses étranges comme ça?”

No, c’est vraiment une bonne âme, a simple nature, not exposed to intellectual dangers, tu sais. Mais il n’est pas bourgeois, il est militaire.”

“Not exposed?” she repeated his word, not without difficulty. “Tu veux dire une nature tout à fait ferme, sûr d’elle-même? Mais il est sérieusement malade, ton pauvre cousin.”

“Who told you so?”

“We all know about each other, up here.”

“Was it Hofrat Behrens?”

Peut-être en me faisant voir ces tableaux.”

C’est à dire: en faisant ton portrait!”

Pourquoi pas? Tu l’as trouvé réussi, mon portrait?”

Mais oui, extrêmement. Behrens a très exactement rendu ta peau, oh, vraiment très fidèlement. J’aimerais beaucoup être portraitiste, moi aussi, pour avoir l’occasion d’étudier ta peau comme lui.”

“Parlez allemand, s’il vous plaît!”

Oh, I speak German, even in French. C’est une sorte d’étude artistique et médicale—en un mot: il s’agit des lettres humaines, tu comprends.— What do you say, shall we dance?”

“Oh, no, it would be childish—behind their backs! Aussitôt que Behrens reviendra, tout le monde va se précipiter sur les chaises. Ce sera fort ridicule.”

“Have you such respect for him as that?”

“For whom?” she said, giving her query a curt, foreign intonation.

“For Behrens.”

Mais va donc avec ton Behrens! But there really is not room to dance. Et puis sur le tapis— Let us look on.”

“Yes, let’s,” he assented, and gazed beyond her, with his blue eyes, his grandfather’s musing eyes, in his pale young face, at the antics of the masked patients in salon and writing-room. There was the Silent Sister capering with the Blue Peter, there was Frau Salomon as master of ceremonies, dressed in evening clothes with a white waistcoat and swelling shirt-front; she wore a monocle and a tiny painted moustache, and twirled upon tiny, high-heeled patent-leather shoes, that came out oddly beneath her black trousers, as she danced with the Pierrot, whose blood-red lips stared from his ghastly white face, with the eyes of an albino rabbit. The Greek flourished his symmetrical legs in their lavender tights alongside the darkly glittering Rasmussen in his low-cut gown. Lawyer Paravant in his kimono, Frau ConsulGeneral Wurmbrandt, and young Gänser danced all three together, with their arms round each other. As for Frau Stöhr, she danced with her broom, pressing it to her heart and caressing the bristles as though they were a man’s hair.

“Yes, let’s,” Hans Castorp repeated, mechanically. They spoke in low tones, covered by the music. “Let us sit here, and look on, as though in a dream. For it is like a dream to me, that we are sitting like this— comme un rêve singulièrement profond, car il faut dormir très profondément pour rêver comme cela. Je veux dire—c’est un rêve bien connu, rêvé de tout temps, long, éternel, oui, être assis près de toi comme à

présent, voilà l’éternité.”

Poète!” she said. “Bourgeois, humaniste, et poète—voilà l’allemand au complet, comme il faut!”

“Je crains que nous ne soyons pas du tout et nullement comme il faut,” he answered. “Sous aucun égard. Nous sommes peut-être des delicate children of life,

tout simplement.”

“Joli mot. Dis-moi donc.—Il n’aurait pas été fort difficile de rêver ce rêve-là plus tôt. C’est un peu tard, que monsieur se résout d’adresser la parole à son humble servante.”

“Pourquoi des paroles?” he said. “Pourquoi parler? Parler, discourir, c’est une chose bien républicaine, je le concède. Mais je doute, que ce soit poétique au même degré. Un de nos pensionnaires, qui est un peu devenu mon ami, M. Settembrini—”

“Il vient de te lancer quelques paroles.”

“Eh bien, c’est un grand parleur sans doute, il aime même beaucoup à réciter de beaux vers—mais est-ce un poète, cet homme-là?”

“Je regrette sincèrement de n’avoir jamais eu le plaisir de faire la connaissance de ce chevalier.”

“Je le crois bien.”

Ah, tu le crois?”

Comment? C’était une phrase tout-à-fait indifférente, ce que j’ai dit là. Moi, tu le remarques bien, je ne parle guère le français. Pourtant, avec toi je préfère cette langue à la mienne, car pour moi, parler français, c’est parler sans parler, en quelque manière—sans responsabilité, ou comme nous parlons en rêve. Tu comprends?”

“A peu près”

“Ça suffit.—Parler,” went on Hans Castorp, “pauvre affaire! Dans l’éternité, on ne parle point. Dans l’éternité, tu sais, on fait comme en dessinant un petit cochon: on penche la tête en arrière et on ferme les yeux.”

“Pas mal, ça! Tu es chez toi dans l’éternité, sans aucun doute, tu le connais à fond. Il faut avouer, que tu es un petit rêveur assez curieux.’”

“Et puis,” said Hans Castorp , “si je t’avais parlé plus tôt, il m’aurait fallu te dire


“Eh bien, est-ce que tu as l’intention de me tutoyer pour toujours?”

“Mais oui. Je t’ai tutoyé de tout temps et je te tutoierai éternellement.”

“C’est un peu fort, par exemple. En tout cas, tu n’auras pas trop longtemps l’occasion de me dire ‘tu’. Je vais partir.”

It took time for the words to penetrate his consciousness. Then he started up, staring about him as though roused out of a dream. The conversation had proceeded rather slowly, for Hans Castorp spoke French uneasily, feeling for the sense. The piano had been silent awhile, now it sounded again, under the hands of the man from Mannheim, who had relieved the Slavic youth. He put some music in place, and Fräulein Engelhart sat down beside him to turn the leaves. The party was thinning out; many of the guests had presumably taken up the horizontal. From where they sat they could see no one; but there were players at the card-tables in the writing-room.

“You are going to—what?” Hans Castorp asked, quite dashed.

“I am going away,” she repeated, smiling with pretended surprise at his discomfiture.

“Impossible,” he said. “You are jesting.”

“Not at all. I am perfectly serious. I am leaving.”


“To-morrow. Après dîner.”

There took place within him a feeling of general collapse. He said: “Where?”

“Far away.”

“To Daghestan?”

Tu n’es pas mal instruit. Peut-être, pour le moment—”

“Are you cured, then?”

Quant à ça—non. But Behrens thinks there is not greatly more to be gained here, for the present. C’est pourquoi je vais risquer un petit changement d’air.”

“Then you are coming back!”

“That is the question. Or, rather, the question is when. Quant à moi, tu sais, j’aime la liberté avant tout et notamment celle de choisir mon domicile. Tu ne comprends guère ce que c’est: d’être obsédé d’indépendance. C’est de ma race, peut-être.”

“Et ton mari au Daghestan te l’accorde—ta liberté?”

“C’est la maladie qui me la rend. Me voilà à cet endroit pour la troisième fois. J’ai passé un an ici, cette fois. Possible que je revienne. Mais alors tu seras bien loin depuis longtemps.”

You think so, Clavdia?”

Mon prénom aussi! Vraiment tu les prends bien au sérieux, les coutumes du carnaval!”

“Then you know about my case too?”

Oui—non—comme on sait ces choses ici. Tu as une petite tache humide là dedans et un peu de fièvre, n’est-ce pas?”

“Trente-sept et huit ou neuf l’après-midi” said Hans Castorp. “And you?”

“Oh, mon cas, tu sais, c’est un peu plus compliqué—pas tout-à-fait simple.”

“Il y a quelque chose dans cette branche de lettres humaines dite la médecine”

Hans Castorp said, “qu’on appelle bouchement tuberculeux des vases de lymphe.”

“Ah! Tu as mouchardé, mon cher, on le voit bien.”

“Et toi— forgive me! Let me ask you a question—ask it in all earnestness: six months ago, when I left the table for my first examination—you looked round after me—do you remember?”

Quelle question! Il y a six mois!”

“Did you know where I was going?”

Certes, c’était tout-à-fait par hasard—”

Behrens had told you?”

Toujours ce Behrens!”

Oh, il a représenté ta peau d’une façon tellement exacte—D’ailleurs, c’est un veuf aux joues ardentes et qui possède un service à café très remarquable. Je crois bien qu’il connaît ton corps non seulement comme médecin, mais aussi comme adepte d’une autre discipline de lettres humaines.”

“Tu as décidément raison de dire, que tu parles en rêve, mon ami.”

“Soit. Laisse-moi rêver de nouveau, après m’avoir réveillé si cruellement par cette cloche d’alarme de ton départ. Sept mois sous tes yeux—et à présent, où en réalité

j’ai fait ta connaissançe, tu me parles de départ!”

“Je te répète, que nous aurions pu causer plus tôt.”

“You would have liked it?”

Moi? Tu ne m’échapperas pas, mon petit. Il s’agit de tes intérêts, à toi. Est-ce que tu étais trop timide pour t’approcher d’une femme à qui tu parles en rêve maintenant, ou est-ce qu’il y avait quelqu’un qui t’en a empêché?”

“Je te l’ai dit. Je ne voulais pas te dire ‘vous.’ ”

“Farceur! Réponds donc—ce monsieur beau parleur, cet italien-là qui a quitté la soirée—qu’est-ce qu’il t’a lancé tantôt?”

“Je n’en ai entendu absolument rien. Je me soucie très peu de ce monsieur, quand mes yeux te voient. Mais tu oublies—il n’aurait pas été si facile du tout de faire ta connaissance dans le monde. Il y avait encore mon cousin, avec qui j’étais lié et qui incline très peu à s’amuser ici; il ne pense à rien qu’à son retour dans les plaines, pour se faire soldat.”

“Pauvre diable! Il est, en effet, plus malade qu’il ne sait. Ton ami italien du reste ne va pas trop bien non plus.”

“Il le dit lui-même. Mais mon cousin—est-ce vrai? Tu m’effraies.”

“Fort possible qu’il va mourir, s’il essaye d’être soldat dans les plaines.”

“Qu’il va mourir. La mort. Terrible mot, n’est-ce pas? Mais c’est étrange, il ne m’impressionne pas tellement aujourd’hui, ce mot. C’était une façon de parler bien conventionnelle, lorsque je disais: ‘Tu m’effraies.’ L’idée de la mort ne m’effraie pas. Elle me laisse tranquille. Je n’ai pas pitié—ni de mon bon Joachim ni de moi-même, en entendant qu’il va peut-être mourir. Si c’est vrai, son état ressemble beaucoup au mien et je ne le trouve pas particulièrement imposant. Il est moribond, et moi, je suis amoureux, eh bien!—Tu as parlé à mon cousin à l’atelier de photographie intime, dans l’antichambre, tu te souviens.”

“Je me souviens un peu.”

“Donc ce jour-là Behrens a fait ton portrait transparent!”

“Mais oui.”

“Mon dieu! Et l’as-tu sur toi?”

“Non, je l’ai dans ma chambre.”

“Ah—dans ta chambre. Quant au mien, je l’ai toujours dans mon portefeuille. Veux-tu que je te le fasse voir?”

“Mille remerciements. Ma curiosité n’est pas invincible. Ce sera un aspect très innocent.”

“Moi, j’ai vu ton portrait extérieur. J’aimerais beaucoup mieux voir ton portrait intérieur qui est enfermé dans ta chambre. Laisse-moi demander autre chose! Parfois un monsieur russe qui loge en ville vient te voir. Qui est-ce? Dans quel but vient-il, cet homme?”

“Tu es joliment fort en espionnage, je l’avoue. Eh bien, je réponds. Oui, c’est un compatriote souffrant, un ami. J’ai fait sa connaissance à une autre station balnéaire, il y a quelques années déjà. Nos relations? Les voilà: nous prenons notre thé

ensemble, nous fumons deux ou trois papiros, et nous bavardons, nous philosophons, nous parlons de l’homme, de Dieu, de la vie, de la morale, de mille choses. Voilà mon compte rendu. Es-tu satisfait?”

“De la morale aussi! Et qu’est-ce que vous avez trouvé en fait de morale, par exemple?”

“La morale? Cela t’intéresse? Eh bien, il nous semble, qu’il faudrait chercher la morale non dans la vertu, c’est-à-dire dans la raison, la discipline, les bonnes mœurs, l’honnêteté, mais plutôt dans le contraire, je veux dire dans le péché, en s’abandonnant au danger, à ce qui est nuisible, à ce qui nous consume. Il nous semble qu’il est plus moral de se perdre et même de se laisser dépérir, que de se conserver. Les grands moralistes n’étaient point de vertueux, mais des aventuriers dans le mal, des vicieux, des grands pécheurs qui nous enseignent à nous incliner chrétiennement devant la misère. Tout ça doit te déplaire beaucoup, n’est-ce pas?”

He was silent; sitting as before, with his feet twined together, thrust back beneath the creaking wicker chair, leaning toward the figure opposite, in its cocked hat; her pencil between his fingers. With Hans Lorenz Castorp’s blue eyes he looked out into the room. It was empty, the company dispersed. The piano, in the corner diagonally opposite, was being touched softly and lightly with one hand, by the Mannheimer, by whose side sat Fräulein Engelhart, turning the leaves of a music-book she held on her knee. At this pause which had ensued in the conversation between Hans Castorp and Clavdia Chauchat, the pianist left off playing, and sat with his hand in his lap, while Fräulein Engelhart continued to turn the pages of her music-book. These four alone remained, from all the carnival merry-makers; they sat here motionless. The silence lasted several minutes. Deeper and deeper, under its weight, sank the heads of the pair at the piano: his toward his keyboard, hers toward her book; but at last the two as by common consent stood up cautiously, and carefully refraining from any glance in the direction of the opposite corner, their heads drawn down in their shoulders, their arms hanging stiffly at their sides, disappeared together, on tiptoe, through the writingroom.

“Everyone is going,” said Frau Chauchat. “C’étaient les derniers. Il se fait tard. Eh bien, la fête de carnaval est finie.” She raised her arms to remove the paper cap from her head, with its reddish braid wound round it like a wreath. “Vous connaissez les conséquences, monsieur.”

But Hans Castorp gainsaid them, closing his eyes, and not otherwise changing his position. He answered: “Jamais, Clavdia. Jamais je te dirai ‘vous,’ jamais de la vie ni de la mort, if one may say that—one should be able to. Cette forme de s’adresser à

une personne, qui est cette de l’Occident cultivé et de la civilisation humanitaire, me semble fort bourgeoise et pédante. Pourquoi, au fond, de la forme? La forme, c’est la pédanterie elle-même! Tout ce que vous avez fixé à l’égard de la morale, toi et ton compatriote souffrant—tu veux sérieusement que ça me surprenne? Pour quel sot me prends-tu? Dis donc, qu’est-ce que tu penses de moi?”

“C’est un sujet qui ne donne pas beaucoup à penser. Tu es un petit bonhomme convenable, de bonne famille, d’une tenue appétissante, disciple docile de ses précepteurs et qui retournera bientôt dans les plaines, pour oublier complètement qu’il a jamais parlé en rêve ici et pour aider à rendre son pays grand et puissant par son travail honnête sur le chantier. Voilà ta photographie intime, faite sans appareil. Tu la trouves exacte, j’espère?”

“Il y manque quelques détails que Behrens y a trouvés.”

Ah, les médecins en trouvent toujours, ils s’y connaissent.”

Tu parles comme M. Settembrini. Et ma fièvre? D’où vient-elle?”

Allons donc, c’est un incident sans conséquence qui passera vite.”

Non, Clavdia, tu sais bien que ce que tu dis là n’est pas vrai et tu le dis sans conviction, j’en suis sûr. La fièvre de mon corps et le battement de mon cœur harassé

et le frissonement de mes membres, c’est le contraire d’un incident, car ce n’est rien d’autre” —and his pale face with the twitching lips bent closer over hers— “rien d’autre que mon amour pour toi, oui, cet amour qui m’a saisi à l’instant, où mes yeux t’ont vue, ou, plutôt, que j’ai reconnu quand je t’ai reconnue toi—et c’était lui, évidemment, qui m’a mené à cet endroit—”

“Quelle folie!”

“Oh, l’amour n’est rien, s’il n’est pas de la folie, une chose insensée, défendue et une aventure dans le mal. Autrement, c’est une banalité agréable, bonne pour en faire de petites chansons paisibles dans les plaines. Mais quant à ce que je t’ai reconnue et que j’ai reconnu mon amour pour toi—oui, c’est vrai, je t’ai déjà connue, anciennement, toi et tes yeux merveilleusement obliques et ta bouche et ta voix, avec laquelle tu parles—une fois déjà, lorsque j’étais collégien, je fea demandé ton crayon, pour faire enfin ta connaissance mondaine, parceque je t’aimais irraisonablement, et c’est de là, sans doute, c’est de mon ancien amour pour toi, que ces marques me restent que Behrens a trouvées dans mon corps, et qui indiquent que jadis aussi j’étais malade—”

His teeth struck together. As he raved, he had drawn one foot from under his chair, and moved it forward, so that the other knee touched the floor, there he knelt before her, his head bent, his whole body quivering. “Je t’aime, ” he babbled, “je t’ai aimée de tout temps, car tu es le Toi de ma vie, mon rêve, mon sort, mon envie, mon éternel désir—”

Allons, allons!” she said. “Si tes précepteurs te voyaient—”

But he shook his head, violently, bowed as it was toward the carpet, and replied:

Je m’en ficherais, je me fiche de tous ces Carducci et de la République éloquente et du progrès humain dans le temps, car je t’aime!”

She caressed softly the close-cropped hair at the back of his head.

Petit bourgeois!” she said. “Joli bourgeois à la petite tache humide. Est-ce vrai que tu m’aimes tant?”

And beside himself at her touch, now on both his knees, with bowed head and closed eyes, he went on: “Oh, l’amour, tu sais—Le corps, l’amour, la mort, ces trois ne font qu’un. Car le corps, c’est la maladie et la volupté, et c’est lui qui fait la mort, oui, ils sont charnels tous deux, l’amour et la mort, et voilà leur terreur et leur grande magie! Mais la mort, tu comprends, c’est d’une part une chose mal famée, impudente, qui fait rougir de honte; et d’autre part c’est une puissance très solennelle et très majestueuse—beaucoup plus haute que la vie riante gagnant de la monnaie et farcis- sant sa panse—beaucoup plus vénérable que le progrès qui bavarde par les temps—parcequ’elle est l’histoire et la noblesse et la piété et l’éternel et le sacré qui nous fait tirer le chapeau et marcher sur la pointe des pieds.—Or, de même, le corps, lui aussi, et l’amour du corps, sont une affaire indécente et fâcheuse, et le corps rougit et pâlit à sa surface par frayeur et honte de lui-même. Mais aussi il est une grande gloire adorable, image miraculeuse de la vie organique, sainte merveille de la forme et de la beauté, et l’amour pour lui, pour le corps humain, c’est de même un intérêt extrêmement humanitaire et une puissance plus éducative que toute la pédagogie du monde! Oh, enchantante beauté organique qui ne se compose ni de teinture à l’huile ni de pierre, mais de matière vivante et corruptible, pleine du secret fébrile de la vie et de la pourriture! Regarde la symétrie merveilleuse de l’édifice humain, les épaules et les hanches et les mamelons fleurissants de part et d’autre sur la poitrine, et les côtes arrangées par paires, et le nombril au milieu dans la mollesse du ventre, et le sexe obscur entre les cuisses! Regarde les omoplates se remuer sous la peau soyeuse du dos, et l’échine qui descend vers la luxuriance double et fraîche des fesses, et les grandes branches des vases et des nerfs qui passent du tronc aux rameaux par les aisselles, et comme la structure des bras correspond à celle des jambes. Oh, les douces régions de la jointure intérieure du coude et du jarret, avec leur abondance de délicatesses organiques sous leurs coussins de chair! Quelle fête immense de les caresser, ces endroits délicieux du corps humain! Fête à mourir sans plainte après! Oui, mon dieu, laisse-moi sentir l’odeur de la peau de ta rotule, sous laquelle l’ingénieuse capsule articulaire sécrète son huile glissante! Laisse-moi toucher dévotement de ma bouche l’Arteria femoralis qui bat au front de ta cuisse et qui se divise plus bas en les deux artères du tibia! Laisse-moi ressentir l’exhalation de tes pores et tâter ton duvet, image humaine d’eau et d’albumine, destinée pour l’anatomie du tombeau, et laisse-moi périr, mes lèvres aux tiennes!”

He did not stir, or open his eyes; on his knees with bowed head, his hands holding the silver pencil outstretched before him, he remained, swaying and quivering. She said: “Tu es en effet un galant qui sait solliciter d’une manière profonde, à

l’allemande. ” And she set the paper cap on his head.

Adieu, mon prince Carnaval! Vous aurez une mauvaise ligne de fièvre ce soir, je vous le prédis.”

She slipped from her chair, and glided over the carpet to the door, where she paused an instant, framed in the doorway; half turned toward him, with one bare arm lifted high, her hand upon the hinge. Over her shoulder she said softly: “N’oubliez pas de me rendre mon crayon.”

And went out.



WHAT is time? A mystery, a figment—and all-powerful. It conditions the exterior world, it is motion married to and mingled with the existence of bodies in space, and with the motion of these. Would there then be no time if there were no motion? No motion if no time? We fondly ask. Is time a function of Space? Or space of time? Or are they identical? Echo answers. Time is functional, it can be referred to as action; we say a thing’s “brought about” by time. What sort of thing? Change! Now is not then, here not there, for between them lies motion. But the motion by which one measures time is circular, is in a closed circle; and might almost equally well be described as rest, as cessation of movement—for the there repeats itself constantly in the here, the past in the present. Furthermore, as our utmost effort cannot conceive a final limit either to time or in space, we have settled to think of them as eternal and infinite—apparently in the hope that if this is not very successful, at least it will be more so than the other. But is not this affirmation of the eternal and the infinite the logical-mathematical destruction of every and any limit in time or space, and the reduction of them, more or less, to zero? Is it possible, in eternity, to conceive of a sequence of events, or in the infinite of a succession of space-occupying bodies?

Conceptions of distance, movement, change, even of the existence of finite bodies in the universe—how do these fare? Are they consistent with the hypothesis of eternity and infinity we have been driven to adopt? Again we ask, and again echo answers. Hans Castorp revolved these queries and their like in his brain. We know that from the very first day of his arrival up here his mind had been much disposed to such sleeveless speculation. Later, perhaps, a certain sinister but strong desire of his, since gratified, had sharpened it the more and confirmed it in its general tendency to question and to carp. He put these queries to himself, he put them to good cousin Joachim, he put them to the valley at large, lying there, as it had these months on end, deep in snow; though from none of these quarters could he expect anything like an answer, from which the least would be hard to say. For himself, it was precisely because he did not know the answers that he put the questions. For Joachim, it was hardly possible to get him even to consider them, he having, as Hans Castorp had said, in French, on a certain evening, nothing else in his head but the idea of being a soldier down below. Joachim wrestled with these hopes of his, that now seemed almost within his grasp, now receded into the distance and mocked him there; the struggle grew daily more embittered, he even threatened to end it once for all by a single bold bid for liberty. Yes, the good, the patient, the upright Joachim, so affected to discipline and the service, had been attacked by fits of rebellion, he even questioned the authority of the “Gaffky scale”: the method employed in the laboratory—the lab, as one called it—to ascertain the degree of a patient’s infection. Whether only a few isolated bacilli, or a whole host of them, were found in the sputum analysed, determined his “Gaffky number,” upon which everything depended. It infallibly reflected the chances of recovery with which the patient had to reckon; the number of months or years he must still remain could with ease be deduced from it, beginning with the six months that Hofrat Behrens called a “week-end,” and ending with the “life sentence,” which, taken literally, often enough meant very little indeed. Joachim, then, inveighed against the Gaffky scale, openly giving notice that he questioned its authority—or perhaps not quite openly, he did not say so to the authorities, but expressed his views to his cousin, and even in the dining-room. “I’m fed up with it, I won’t be made a fool of any longer,” he said, the blood mounting to his bronzed face. “Two weeks ago I had Gaffky two, a mere nothing, my prospects were the best. And to-day I am regularly infested—number nine, if you please. No talk of getting away. How the devil can a man know where he is? Up on the Schatzalp there is a man, a Greek peasant, an agent had him sent here from Arcadia, he has galloping consumption, there isn’t the dimmest hope for him. He may die any dayand yet they’ve never found even the ghost of a bacillus in his sputum. On the other hand, that Belgian captain that was discharged cured the other day, he was simply alive with them, Gaffky ten—and only the very tiniest cavity. The devil fly away with Gaffky! I’m done, I’m going home, if it kills me!” Thus Joachim; and all his company were pained to see the gentle, serious youth so overwrought. Hans Castorp, when he heard the threat, could scarcely refrain from quoting a certain opinion he had heard expressed in French, by a third party. But he was silent. Was he to set himself up to his cousin for a model of patience, as did Frau Stöhr, who actually admonished Joachim not to be blasphemous, but to humble his pride, and take pattern by her, Caroline Stöhr, and the faithfulness and firm resolve which made her hold out up here, instead of returning to queen it in her Cannstadt home—to the end that when she did go back it would be as a sound and healthy wife to the arms of her impatient husband? No, such language was not for Hans Castorp—since Carnival he had had a bad conscience towards his cousin. Conscience told him Joachim must surely be aware of a certain matter never referred to between them; must see in it something very like disloyalty and desertion—taken in connexion with a pair of brown eyes we know, an unwarranted tendency to laughter, and an orange-scented handkerchief, to whose influence Joachim was daily five times exposed, yet gave no ground to evil, but steadfastly fixed his eyes upon his plate. Yes, even the silent hostility which Joachim opposed to his cousin’s problems and speculations on the subject of time, Hans Castorp felt as an expression of the military decorum which reproached himself. While as for the valley, that snowed-in winter valley, when Hans Castorp, lying in his excellent chair, directed upon it his inquiring metaphysical gaze, it was silent too. Its peaked summits, its domes and crests and brown-green-reddish forests stood there silent, and mortal time flowed over and about them: sometimes luminous against a deep-blue sky, sometimes shrouded in vapours, sometimes glowing rosy in the parting sun, sometimes glittering with hard, diamondlike brilliance in the magic moonlightbut always, always in snow, for six long, incredible, though scurrying months. All the guests declared they could not bear to look any more at the snow, they were sick of it; they had had their fill in the summer-time, and now these masses and heaps and slopes and cushions of snow, day in and day out, were more than they could stand, their spirits sank under the weight of it. And they took to coloured glasses, green, yellow, and red, to save their eyes, but still more their feelings.

Mountain and valley, then, had been lying in deep snow for six months; nay, seven, for as we talk, time strides on—not only present time, taken up with the tale we are telling, but also past time, the bygone time of Hans Castorp and the companions of his destiny, up among the snows—time strides on, and brings changes with it. The prophecy which so glibly, so much to Herr Settembrini’s disgust, Hans Castorp had made on the eve of Carnival, was in a fair way to be fulfilled. True, the solstice was not immediately at hand; yet Easter had passed over the valley, April advanced, with Whitsuntide in plain view; spring, with the melting of the snows, would soon be here. Not all the snow would melt: on the heights to the south, and on the north in the rocky ravines of the Rhatikon, some would still remain, and through the summer months more was sure to fall, though it would scarcely lie. Yet the year revolved, and promised changes in its course; for since that night of Carnival when Hans Castorp had borrowed a lead-pencil of Frau Chauchat and afterwards returned it to her again, receiving in its stead a remembrance which he carried about with him in his pocket, since that night six weeks had passed, twice as many as made up the original term of Hans Castorp’s sojourn among those up here.

Yes, six weeks had gone by, since that evening when Hans Castorp made the acquaintance of Clavdia Chauchat, and then returned so much later to his chamber than the duty-loving Joachim to his. Six weeks since the day after, bringing her departure, her departure for the present, her temporary departure, for Daghestan, far away eastwards beyond the Caucasus. That her absence would be only temporary, that she intended to return, that she would or must return, at some date yet unspecified, of this Hans Castorp possessed direct and verbal assurances, given, not during that reported conversation in the French tongue, but in a later interval, wordless to our ears, during which we have elected to intermit the flow of our story along the stream of time, and let time flow on pure and free of any content whatever. Yes, such consolatory promises must have been vouchsafed our young man before he returned to number thirty-four; for he had had no word with Frau Chauchat on the day following, had not seen her indeed, save twice at some distance: once when the glass door slammed, and she had slipped for the last time to her place at table, clad in her blue cloth skirt and white sweater. The young man’s heart had been in his throat—only the sharp regard Fräulein Engelhart bent upon him had hindered him from burying his face in his hands. The other time had been at three o’clock, when he stood at a corridor window giving on the drive, a witness to her departure.

It took place just as other such which Hans Castorp had witnessed during his stay up here. The sleigh or carriage halted before the door, coachman and porter strapped fast the trunks, while friends gathered about to say good-bye to the departing one, who, cured or not, and whether for life or death, was off for the flat-land. Others besides friends gathered round as well, curious on-lookers, who cut the rest-cure for the sake of the diversion thus afforded. There would be a frock-coated official representing the management, perhaps even the physicians themselves; then out came the gracious recipient of the attentions paid by this little world to a departing guest; generally with a beaming face, and a bearing which the excitement of the moment rendered far more animated than usual. To-day it was Frau Chauchat who issued from the portal, in company with her concave fellow-countryman, Herr Buligin, who was to accompany her for part of the way. She wore a long, shaggy, fur-trimmed travellingcloak, and a large hat; she was all smiles, her arms were full of flowers, she too seemed possessed by the pleasurable excitement due to the prospect of change, if to nothing else, which was common to all those who left, whatever the circumstances of their leaving, and whether with the consent of the physicans, or in sheer desperation and at their own risk. Her cheeks were flushed, and she chattered without stopping, probably in Russian, while the rug was being arranged over her knees. People presented farewell bouquets, the great-aunt gave a box of Russian sweetmeats. Numerous other guests besides Frau Chauchat’s Russian companions and table-mates, stood there to see her off; among them Dr. Krokowski, showing his yellow teeth through his beard in a hearty smile, the schoolmistress, and the man from Mannheim, who gazed gloomily and furtively from a distance, and whose eyes found out Hans Castorp as he stood at his corridor window looking down upon the scene. Hofrat Behrens did not show himself—he had probably ere now taken private leave of the traveller. The horses started up, amid farewells and hand-wavings from the bystanders; and then, as Frau Chauchat sank smilingly back against the cushions of the sleigh, her eyes swept the façade of the Berghof, and rested for the fraction of a second upon Hans Castorp’s face. In pallid haste he sought his loggia, thence to get a last glimpse of the sleigh as it went jingling down the drive toward the Dorf. Then he flung himself into his chair, and drew out his keepsake, his treasure, that consisted, this time, not of a few reddish-brown shavings, but a thin glass plate, which must be held toward the light to see anything on it. It was Clavdia’s x-ray portrait, showing not her face, but the delicate bony structure of the upper half of her body, and the organs of the thoracic cavity, surrounded by the pale, ghostlike envelope of flesh. How often had he looked at it, how often pressed it to his lips, in the time which since then had passed and brought its changes with it—such changes as, for instance, getting used to life up here without Clavdia Chauchat, getting used, that is, to her remoteness in space! Yet after all, this adaptation took place more rapidly than one might have thought possible; for was not time up here at the Berghof arranged and organized to the end that one should get very rapidly used to things, even if the getting used consisted chiefly in getting used to not getting used? No longer might he expect that rattle and crash at the beginning of each of the five mighty Berghof meals. Somewhere else, in some far-off clime, Clavdia was letting doors slam behind her, somewhere else she was expressing herself by that act, as intimately bound up with her very being and its state of disease as time is bound up with the motion of bodies in space. Perhaps, indeed, her whole disease consisted in that, and in nothing else.—But though lost to view, she was none the less invisibly present to Hans Castorp; she was the genius of the place, whom, in an evil hour, an hour unattuned to any simple little ditty of the flat-land, yet one of passing sweetness, he had known and possessed, whose shadowy presentment he now wore next his months-long-labouring heart. At that hour his twitching lips had stammered and babbled, in his own and foreign tongues, for the most part without his own volition, the maddest things: pleas, prayers, proposals, frantic projects, to which all consent was denied, and rightly: as, that he might be permitted to accompany the genius beyond the Caucasus; that he might follow after it; that he might await it at the next spot which its free and untrammelled spirit should select as a domicile; and thereafter never be parted from it more—these and other such rash, irresponsible utterances. No, all that our simple young adventurer carried away from that hour was his ghostly treasure trove, and the possibility, perhaps the probability, of Frau Chauchat’s return for a fourth sojourn at the Berghof—sooner or later, as the state of her health might decree. But whether sooner or later—as she had said again at parting—Hans Castorp would by that time be “long since far away.” It was a prophecy whose slighting note would have been harder to bear had he not known that prophecies are sometimes made in order that they may not come to pass—as a spell, indeed, against their fulfilment. Prophecies of this kind mock the future: saying to it how it should shape itself, to the end that it shall shame to be so shaped. The genius, in the course of the conversation we have repeated, and elsewhere, called Hans Castorp a “joli bourgeois au petit endroit humide,” which might in some sense be considered a translation of the Settembrinian epithet “life’s delicate child”; and the question thus was, which constitutes of the mingled essence of his being would prove the stronger, the bourgeois or the other. The genius, though, had failed to take into consideration the fact that Hans Castorp too had come about a good deal in the world, and might easily return hither at a fitting moment—though, in all soberness, was he not sitting up here entirely in order that he might not need to return. Precisely and explicitly that was with him, as with so many others, the very ground of his continued presence.

One prophecy, indeed, made on that carnival evening, made in mockery, was fulfilled: Hans Castorp’s fever chart did display a sharply rising curve. He marked it down with a feeling of solemnity. Thereafter it fell a trifle, and then ran on, unchanged save for slight undulations, well above its accustomed level. It was fever, the degree and persistency of which, according to the Hofrat, was out of all proportion to the condition of his lung. “H’m, young fellow me lad, you’re more infected than one would take you for,” he said. “We’ll have to come on to the hypos. They’ll serve your turn, or I’m a Dutchman. In three or four months you ought to be as fit as a fiddle.” Thus it came about that Hans Castorp had to produce himself, twice in the week, Monday and Saturday after the morning exercise, down in the “lab,” where he was given his injections.

These were given by either physician indifferently; but the Hofrat performed the operation like a virtuoso, with a fine sweep, squeezing the little syringe at the very moment he pressed the point home. And he cared not a doit where he thrust his needle, so that the pain was often acute, and the spot hard and inflamed long afterwards. The effect of the inoculations on the entire organism was very noticeable, the nervous system reacted as after hard muscular exertion; and their strength was displayed in the heightened fever which was their immediate result. The Hofrat had said they would have this effect, and so it fell out. The whole affair, each time, took but a second; one after another, the row of patients received their dosage, in thigh or arm, and turned away. But once or twice, when the Hofrat was in a more lively mood, not depressed by the tobacco he had smoked, Hans Castorp came to speech with him, and conducted the brief conversation somewhat as follows:

“I still remember the coffee and the pleasant talk we had last autumn, Herr Hofrat,“ he would say. “Only yesterday, or perhaps the day before, was it, I was reminding my cousin of how we happened to—”

“Gaffky seven,” said the Hofrat. “Last examination. The chap simply can’t part with his bacilli. And yet he keeps at me worse than ever, to let him get away so he can wear a sword tied round his middle. What a child it is! Makes me a scene over a month or so of time, as though it were aeons passing over our heads. Means to leave, whether or no—does he say the same to you? You ought to give him a pretty straight talking-to. Take it from me, you’ll have him hopping the twig if he is too previous about going down and breathing the nice damp air into his weak spot. A swordswallower like that doesn’t necessarily possess so much grey matter; but you, as the steady civilian, you ought to see to it he doesn’t make an ass of himself.”

“I do talk to him, Herr Hofrat,” Hans Castorp responded, taking the reins again into his hands. “I do, often, when he begins to kick against the pricks—and I think he will listen to reason. But the examples he has before his eyes are all the wrong kind. He is always seeing people going off on their own, without authority from you; it looks mighty gay, as though they were really leaving for good, and that is a temptation to all but the strongest characters. For instance, lately—who was it went off? A lady, from the ‘good’ Russian table, that Frau Chauchat. She’s gone to Daghestan, they say. Well, Daghestan—I don’t know the climate, it is probably better, when all is said and done, than being right down on the water. But after all, it is the flat-land, according to our ideas up here—though for aught I know it may be mountainous, geographically speaking; I am not much up on the subject. But how can a person who isn’t sound live out there, where all the proper ideas are totally lacking, and nobody has a notion of the regimen, the rest-cure, and measuring, and all that? Anyhow, she will be coming back, she told me so herself—happened to. How did we come to speak of her?—Yes, Herr Hofrat, I remember as thought it was yesterday, how we met you in the garden, or, rather, you met us, for we were sitting on a bench—I could show you the very bench, to-day, that we were sitting on—we were sitting and smoking. Or, rather, I was smoking, for my cousin doesn’t smoke, oddly enough. You were smoking too, and we exchanged our brands, I recall. Your Brazil I found excellent; but I suspect one has to go about them a little gingerly, or something may happen as it happened to you that time with the two little imported—when your bosom swelled with pride, and you nearly toddled off, you know. I may joke about it, since it turned out all right. I’ve ordered another couple of hundred of my Maria lately. I’m very dependent on her, she suits me in every respect. But the carriage and customs make the cost rather mount up—so if you have anything good to suggest, Herr Hofrat, I’m ready to have a go at the domestic product—I see some attractive weeds in the windows. Yes, we were privileged to look at your paintings, I remember the whole thing so well. And I was perfectly amazed at your oil technique, I’d never venture anything like it. You showed us the portrait you made of Frau Chauchat, simply first-class treatment of the skin—I must say I was very much struck by it. At that time I was not personally acquainted with the sitter, only by sight. But just before she went off, I got to know her.”

“You don’t say!” answered the Hofrat—a little as he had that time when Hans Castorp told him, shortly before the first examination, that he had fever. He said no more.

“Yes,” went on the youth, “I made her acquaintance—a thing that isn’t so easy, hereabouts, you know. But Frau Chauchat and I, we managed, at the eleventh hour, we had some conversation—Ff—f!” went Hans Castorp, and drew his breath sharply through his teeth. The needle had gone in. “That was certainly a very important nerve you happened to hit on, Herr Hofrat,” he said. “I do assure you, it hurt like the devil. Thanks, a little massage does it good. . . Yes, we came a little closer to each other, in conversation.”

“Ah? Well?” the Hofrat said. His manner was as one expecting from his own experience a very favouring reply, and expressing his agreement in anticipation by the way he puts the question.

“I’m afraid my French was rather lame,” Hans Castorp answered evasively. “I haven’t had much occasion to use it. But the words somehow come into one’s mind when one needs them—so we understood each other tolerably well.”

“I believe you,” said the Hofrat. “Well?” he repeated his inquisition; and even added, of his own motion: “Pretty nice, what?”

Hans Castorp stood, legs and elbows extended, his face turned up, buttoning his shirt-collar.

“It’s the old story,” he said. “At a place like this, two people, or two families, can live weeks on end under one roof, without speaking. But some day they get acquainted, and take to each other, only to find that one of the parties is on the point of leaving. Regrettable incidents like that happen, I suppose. In such cases, one feels like keeping in touch by post, at least. But Frau Chauchat—”

“Tut, she won’t, won’t she?” the Hofrat laughed.

“No, she wouldn’t hear of it. Does she write to you, now and again, from where she is staying?”

“Lord bless you!” Behrens answered, “she’d never think of it. In the first place, she’s too lazy, and in the second—how could she? I can’t read Russian, though I can jabber it, after a fashion, when I have to, but I can’t read a word—nor you either, I should suppose. And the puss can purr fast enough in French or in book German, but writing—it would floor her altogether. Think of the spelling! No, my poor young friend, we’ll have to console each other. She always comes back again, sooner or later. Different people take it differently—it’s a question of procedure, or of temperament. One goes off and keeps coming back, another stops long enough that he doesn’t need to come back. Just put it to your cousin that if he goes off now, you’re likely to be still here to see him return in state.”

“But Herr Hofrat, how long do you mean that I—?”

“That you? You mean that he, don’t you? That he won’t stop as long a time below as he has been up here, that is what I mean, and so I tell you. That’s my humble opinion, and I lay it on you to tell him so from me, if you will be so kind as to undertake the commission.”

Such, more or less, would be the trend of their conversation, artfully conducted by Hans Castorp, who, however, reaped nothing or less than nothing for his pains. How long one must remain in order to see the return of a person departed before her timeon that point the result was equivocal; while as for direct news of the departed fair one, he got simply none at all. No, he would have no news of her, so long as they were separated by the mystery of time and space. She would never write, and no opportunity would be afforded him to do so. And when he came to think of it, how should it be otherwise? Was it not very bourgeois, even pedantic, of him, to imagine they ought to write, when he himself had been of opinion that it was neither necessary nor desirable for them to speak? Had he even spoken with her, that carnival eveninganything that might be called speaking, and not rather the utterance of a dream, couched in a foreign tongue, and very little “civilized” in its drift? Why should he write to her, on letter-paper or on postcards, setting down for her edification, as he did for that of his people at home, the fluctuations of his curve? Clavdia had been right in feeling herself dispensed from writing by virtue of the freedom her illness gave her. Speaking and writing were of course the first concern of a humanistic and republican spirit; they were the proper affair of Brunetto Latini, the same who wrote the book about the virtues and the vices, and taught the Florentines the art of language and how to guide their state according to the rules of politics.

And here Hans Castorp was reminded of Ludovico Settembrini, and flushed, as once he had when the Italian entered his sick-room and turned on the light. Hans Castorp might have applied to him with his metaphysical puzzles, if only by way of challenge or in a carping spirit, without any serious expectation of an answer from the humanist, whose concerns and interests, of course, were all of this earth. But since the carnival gaieties, and Settembrini’s impassioned exit from the music-room, there had been a coolness between them, due on Hans Castorp’s side to a bad conscience, on the other’s to the deep wound dealt his pedagogic pride. They avoided each other, and for weeks exchanged not a single word. In the eyes of one whose view it was that all moral sanctions resided in the reason and the virtue, Hans Castorp must have ceased to be “a delicate child of life”; Herr Settembrini must by now have given him up for lost. The youth hardened his heart, he scowled and stuck out his lips when they met, and the Italian’s darkly ardent gaze rested upon him in silent reproach. But his resentment dissolved on the instant, the first time Herr Settembrini spoke to him, which, as we have said, happened after weeks of silence. Even so, it was in passing, and in the form of a classical allusion, for the understanding of which some training in occidental culture was required. They met, after dinner, in the glass door—that door which nowadays was never guilty of banging. Settembrini overtook the young man, and in the act to pass him, said: “Well, Engineer, and how have you enjoyed the pomegranate?”

Hans Castorp smiled, overjoyed, but in confusion. He answered: “I don’t quite understand, Herr Settembrini. Did we have any pomegranates? I don’t recall having tasted—oh, yes, once in my life I had pomegranate juice and soda; it was too sweet.”

The Italian, already in front of him, turned his head to say: “Gods and mortals have been known to visit the nether world and find their way back again. But in that kingdom they know that he who tastes even once of its fruits belongs to them.”

He passed on, in his everlasting check trousers, and left Hans Castorp behind, presumably, and to a certain extent actually, staggered by so much allusiveness; though he was stirred to irritation at its being taken for granted, and muttered through his teeth after the departing back: “Carducci-Latini-humani-spagheti— get along, do, and leave me in peace!”

Yet he was at bottom sincerely glad to have the silence broken. For despite his keepsake, the macabre trophy he wore next his heart, he leaned upon Herr Settembrini, set great store by his character and opinions; and the thought of being cast off would have weighed upon his spirit more heavily than that remembered boyish feeling of being left behind at school and not counting any more, of enjoying, like Herr Albin, the boundless advantages of his shameful state. He did not venture, however, himself to address his mentor; who, for his part, let weeks elapse before he again approached his “delicate child.”

The ocean of time, rolling onwards in monotonous rhythm, bore the Easter-tide on its billows. And they observed the season at the Berghof, as they did consistently all the recurrent feasts of the year, by way of breaking up and articulating the long stretches of time. At early breakfast there was a nosegay of violets at each place; at second breakfast each guest had a coloured egg; while sugar and chocolate hares adorned and made festive the midday table.

“Have you ever made a voyage by steamship, Tenente? Or you, Engineer?” asked Herr Settembrini, strolling up to the cousins’ table, toothpick in mouth. Most of the guests were shortening the main rest-cure in honour of the day, and devoting a quarter-hour to coffee and cognac. “These rabbits and coloured eggs somehow remind me of the life on board a great oceangoing boat, where you stare at a briny waste and a bare horizon for weeks on end, and even the exaggerated ease of the life scarcely avails to make you forget its precariousness, the submerged consciousness of which continues to gnaw at the depths of your being. I still recall the spirit in which the passengers in such an ark piously observe the feasts of terra firma: they have thoughts of the outer world, they are sensitive to the calendar. On shore it would be Easter today, they say; or, to-day they are celebrating the King’s birthday—and we will celebrate too, as best we may. We are human beings too. Isn’t that the idea?”

The cousins acquiesced. It was precisely that. Hans Castorp, touched by being once more addressed, and pricked by his conscience, praised Herr Settembrini’s words in sounding tones; pronounced them capital; said how spirited they were, how much the language of a literary man. He could not say too much. Undoubtedly, though only superficially, as Herr Settembrini, in his plastic way, had remarked, the comfort on board an ocean steamer did make one forget the element of risk in the circumstances. If he might venture to add anything, he would say it even induced a sort of light-headedness, a tempting of fate, which the ancients—in his desire to please he quoted the classics!—had called hubris. Belshazzar, King of Babylon, and that sort of thing. In short, it came close to being blasphemous. Yet, on the other hand, the luxury of an ocean-going vessel connoted (!) a majestic triumph of the human spirit, it was an honour to human kind, to launch all this comfort and luxury upon the salt sea foam and there sustain it—man thus boldly set his foot, as it were, upon the forces of nature, controlled the wild elements; and that connoted (!) the victory of civilization over chaos—if he might make so free as to employ the phrase.

Herr Settembrini listened attentively, legs and arms crossed, daintily stroking with the toothpick his flowing moustaches.

“It is remarkable,” he said. “A man cannot make general observations to any extent, on any subject, without betraying himself, without introducing his entire individuality, and presenting, as in an allegory, the fundamental theme and problem of his own existence. This, Engineer, is what you have just done. All you have just now said came from the very depths of your personality; even the present stage you have arrived at found there poetic expression, and showed itself to be still the experimental—”

Placet experiri,” Hans Castorp said, with the Italian c, laughed and nodded.

Sicuro— if what is involved is not recklessness and loose living, but an honourable passion to explore the universe. You spoke of hubris, that was the word you employed. The hubris which the reason opposes to the powers of darkness is the highest human expression, and calls down “upon it the swift revenge of envious gods—as when, per esempio, such an ark de luxe gets shipwrecked and goes gallantly beneath the waves. That is defeat with honour. Prometheus too was guilty of hubris— and his torture on the Scythian cliffs was from our point of view a holy martyrdom. But what about that other kind of hubris, which perishes in a wanton trifling with the forces of unreason and hostility to the human race? Is that—can that—be honourable?

Sí, o no?”

Hans Castorp stirred his coffee-cup, though there was nothing in it.

“Engineer, Engineer,” said the Italian, and nodded musingly, his black eyes fixed on space, “are you not afraid of the hurricane which is the second circle of the Inferno, and which whirls and whips the offenders after the flesh, those lost unhappy ones who sacrificed their reason to their desire? Gran dio! When I picture you, flapping about in the gale, heels over head—I could almost swoon out of sheer pity, and fall ‘as a dead body falls.’ ”

They laughed, glad that he should be pleased to jest and talk poetry. But Settembrini added: “You remember, Engineer, on the evening of mardi gras, as you sat over your wine, you took your leave of me—yes, in a way, it amounted to that. Well, to-day it is my turn. You see me, gentlemen, in act to bid you farewell. I am leaving House Berghof.”

The cousins were aghast.

“Impossible! You are joking,” Hans Castorp cried, as he had cried once before, on a like occasion. He was nearly as much startled now as then.

Settembrini answered, in his turn: “Not at all. It is as I tell you. More than that, the news should be to you no news. I once explained to you that in the moment when I became aware that my hope of looking forward to a return to my work within any reasonable time was no longer tenable, in that moment I was settled to strike my tent, so far as this establishment is concerned, and seek in the village a permanent logis. Well—the moment has arrived. I cannot recover, that is settled. I can prolong my days, but only up here. My final sentence is for life—Hofrat Behrens with his customary vivacity has pronounced my doom. Very well, I have drawn the inevitable inference. I have taken new quarters, and am about to remove thither my small earthly possessions, and the tools of my literary craft. It is not far from here, in the Dorf; we shall surely see each other, surely I will not lose sight of you; but as a fellow-guest of this establishment I have the honour to take my leave.”

Such was the announcement Settembrini had made, that Easter Sunday. Both cousins had shown themselves exceedingly upset. They had talked at length and repeatedly with him, on the subject of his resolve; also about how he could carry on the service of the cure even after he left the Berghof; about his taking with him and continuing the great encyclopædic task he had set himself, that survey of the masterpieces of belles-lettres, from the point of view of human suffering and its elimination; finally, about Herr Settembrini’s future lodging, in the house of a “petty chandler,” as the Italian called him. The chandler, it appeared, let his upper storeys to a Bohemian ladies’-tailor, who in his turn let out lodgings. And now all these arrangements lay in the past. Time had moved steadily on, and brought more than one change in its train. Settembrini had ceased to have residence at the Berghof, he had taken up his abode with Lukaçek, the ladies’ tailor—and that indeed some weeks back. He had not made his exit in a sleigh, but on foot, wearing a short yellow coat, garnished sparsely with fur at the collar and wrists, and accompanied by a man who trundled the earthly and literary baggage of the humanist on a hand-lorry. He pinched one of the dining-room girls in the cheek with the back of two fingers, and went off down the drive, swinging his stick—they watched him go. This, as we said, was well on in April, three-quarters of the month lay in the past. It was still the depth of winter—in their chambers the thermometer registered scarcely more than forty degrees; outside there were fifteen degrees of frost, and if one left one’s ink-well in the loggia, it froze overnight into an icy lump, like a piece of coal. Yet one knew that spring was nigh. There were days when the sun shone, on which one felt in the air its delicate presence. The melting of the snows was at hand, and brought with it certain changes to the Berghof—despite the authority of Hofrat Behrens, despite all he could say, in dining-hall and bed-chamber, at every meal, at every visit, at every examination, to combat the prevailing prejudice against the season.

Were they, he asked, up here for the winter sports, or were they patients? And if the latter, what good on earth were snow and ice to them? Had they the notion in their heads that the melting snow was a bad time for them to be here? Nonsense!—it was the best time of all. He could show them that there were relatively fewer bedridden, in the whole valley, at this time than at any other in the year. And there was not a spot in the world that was not less favourable to lung-patients at this season than the one they were in. Anybody with a spark of common sense would stop on, and give himself the benefit of the hardening process which this sort of weather afforded. Then, provided they remained for their appointed time, they would be fully healed, staunch against any rigours of any climate in the world. And so forth. But the prejudice stuck, let him say what he would. The Berghof emptied. Perhaps it was the oncoming spring that got in their bones and upset even the steadiest-going; but at all events, the number of “wild,” unauthorized departures from House Berghof increased until the situation verged upon the critical. For instance, Frau Salomon from Amsterdam, despite the pleasure she got from displaying her lace underwear at examinations, despite the fact that she was not improving, but getting steadily worse, took an entirely mad and illegitimate leave for the flat-land. Her sojourn in the valley extended much further back than Hans Castorp’s; she had entered more than a year ago, with only a slight weakness, for which a three months’ stay had been prescribed. Four months later the word was that she would be perfectly sound inside another six weeks. But at the end of that time there was heard no talk of a cure; she must stop for at least another four months. Thus it had gone on: certainly this was no bagnio, no Siberian penal settlement; Frau Salomon had remained, and displayed her beauteous underwear. But now, when the snows were melting, and she was prescribed, at her examination, another six months, on account of whistling sounds in the upper left lung, and unmistakable discords under the left shoulder-blade, her patience suddenly came to an end, and she left for her wet and windy Amsterdam, uttering invectives against Dorf and Platz, the far-famed climate, the doctors, and the International Sanatorium Berghof. Was that well done?

Hofrat Behrens raised shoulders and arms, and let the latter fall with a clap against his sides. At latest, he said, Frau Salomon would be back in the autumn—and for good and all. We shall be able to test the truth of his prophecy, for we are destined to spend yet much earthly time at this pleasure resort. But the Salomon case was far from being the only one of its kind. Time brought about many changes. Time always did—but more gradually, in the rule, not so strikingly. There were gaps at the tables, all seven of them, at the “good” as well as at the “bad” Russian table, and at those that stood transversely to the room. Not that this alone would have given an exact or fair picture of the situation; for there were always arrivals, as well as leave-takings, the bedrooms might be full—though there one dealt with patients whose condition had finally put an end to their exercising any choice in the matter. The gaps in the diningroom were partly due to the exercise of choice; but some of them yawned in a particularly hollow manner—as, for instance, at Dr. Blumenkohl’s place—he being dead. That expression he wore, as of something bad-tasting in the mouth, had grown more and more pronounced. Then he became permanently bedridden, and then he died—no one knew precisely when, his affair being disposed of with the usual tact and delicacy. A gap. Frau Stöhr sat next it—it made her shudder, so she moved over to Joachim Ziemssen’s other side, in the room of Miss Robinson, discharged cured, and opposite the schoolmistress, Hans Castorp’s neighbour, still faithful to her post. The latter was sitting, for the time, alone on her side of the table, for the other three places were free. The student Rasmussen had grown daily thinner and weaker, he was now bedridden, probably moribund. The great-aunt, with her niece and the fullbreasted Marusja, had gone a journey—that was the usual way to put it, because everybody knew they would be back again. They would certainly be back by autumn, so you could hardly say they had left. The summer solstice—once Whitsuntide was past—stood immediately before them; and after the longest day in the year they would go downhill with a rush, toward winter. At that rate the great-aunt and Marusja were as good as back again—which was as it should be, for the lively Marusja was very far from being cured, and the schoolmistress knew positively that the brown-eyed one had tuberculous ulcers on her swelling bosom, which had more than once already necessitated an operation. Hans Castorp, as Fräulein Engelhart said this, gave a hasty glance at Joachim bending sedulously over his plate a face gone all mottled. The lively great-aunt had given her table-mates a farewell supper in the restaurant, to which were bidden the cousins, Frau Stöhr and Fräulein Engelhart—a proper banquet, with caviar, champagne, and liqueurs. Joachim had been very silent, in fact had spoken only once or twice, and then hardly above a whisper; so that the old lady, in a burst of good feeling, had sought to cheer him up, even going so far as to set aside accepted forms and address him with the thou. “Never mind, Väterchen, cheer up, eat, drink, and be merry, we’ll be coming back again,” she said. “Let’s all eat, drink, and be merry, and begone, dull care! God will send the autumn in His own good time, before we know it—so why be sad?” Next morning she presented half the diningroom with gay boxes of confits and left, with her two charges, on their little outing. And Joachim? Did he find things easier, for that? Or did he suffer an agony of inward emptiness in view of the vacant places at table? Had his unwonted irritability, his threats of taking un-sanctified leave, anything to do with Marusja’s departure? Or, on the other hand, that he had after all not left, but lent an ear to the Hofrat’s gospel of the melting snows—was that fact any way connected with the circumstance that the full-bosomed Marusja was not gone for good but only on a journey, and would be back again in five of the smallest time-units known to House Berghof? Ah, yes, they were both true, this and the other, as Hans Castorp was well aware, without ever having exchanged a syllable with Joachim on the subject—which he was as careful to refrain from doing as his cousin was, on his side, to avoid mention of another person also lately gone off for a little trip.

In the mean time, who was sitting at Settembrini’s table, in the place vacated by the Italian and in the company of certain Dutchmen who were possessed of such mighty appetites that every day, before the five-course Berghof dinner, even before the soup, each one of them ordered and ate three fried eggs? Who, we say, but Anton Karlowitsch Ferge, the same who had experienced the hellish torment of the pleurashock! Yes, Herr Ferge was out of bed. Without the aid of the pneumothorax he had so improved as to be able to spend most of the day up and dressed, and even to assist at the Berghof meals, with his bushy, good-natured moustaches, and his exaggerated Adam’s apple, just as good-natured. The cousins chatted with him sometimes, in dining-room or salon, or even inclined their hearts unto that simple sufferer, and took him with them on the daily walks. Elevated discourse was beyond him; but within his limits he could talk very acceptably about the manufacture of galoshes, and about distant parts of the Russian empire, Samara, Georgia and so on, as they plodded through slush and fog.

For the roads were really hardly passable. They streamed with water and reeked with mist. The Hofrat, indeed, said it was not mist, only cloud; but in Hans Castorp’s judgment this was quibbling. The spring fought out a bitter struggle, with a hundred setbacks into the depth of winter; the battle lasted months long, well into June. There were times in March when the heat was almost unendurable, as one lay, in the lightest of clothing, in the reclining-chair on the balcony, with the little parasol erected against the sun. In those days some of the ladies plumped for summer, and arrayed themselves in muslins for early breakfast—excusably, perhaps, in view of the singularity of the climate up here, which was favourable to illusion on the score of weather, jumbling, as it did, all the seasons together. Yet their forehandedness was but short-sightedness after all, showing paucity of imagination, the stupidity which cannot conceive anything beyond the present moment; even more was it an avidity for change, a time-devouring restlessness and impatience. It was March by the calendar, therefore it was spring, which meant as good as summer; and they pulled out their summer clothes, to appear in them before autumn should overtake them. Which, in fact, it did. With April, cold, wet, cloudy weather set in. A long spell of rain turned at length into flurries of fresh snow. Fingers were stiff in the loggia, both camel’s-hair rugs were called into service, it did not lack much of putting the fur sleeping-sack in requisition anew; the management brought itself to turn on the heat, and on all hands were heard bitter complainings—the spring had betrayed them. Toward the end of the month the valley lay deep in snow; but then it thawed, just as certain experienced or weather-sensitive among the guests had prophesied it would: Frau Stöhr, the ivory Levi, but equally the Widow Hessenfeld, smelt and felt it simultaneously, before ever the smallest little cloud showed itself over the top of the granite formation to the south. Frau Hessenfeld got colic, Fräulein Levi became bedridden, and Frau Stöhr, drawing back her lips from her ratlike teeth with the churlish expression she had, daily and hourly gave utterance to her superstitious fear of a hæmorrhage—for it was common talk that the thaw brought them about, or at least favoured them. It became unbelievably warm. The heat was turned off, balcony doors were left open all night, and still it was over fifty degrees in the morning. The snow melted apace, it turned grey, became porous and saturated; the drifts shrank together, and seemed to sink into the earth. There was a gurgling, a trickling and oozing, all abroad. The trees dripped, their masses of snow slid off; the shovelled-up barricades in the streets, the pallid layers carpeting the meadows, disappeared alike, though not all at once, they had lain too heavy for that. Then what lovely apparitions of the springtime revealed themselves! It was unheard-of, fairylike. There lay the broad meadows, with the coneshaped summit of the Schwarzhorn towering in the background, still in snow, and close in on the right the snow-buried Skaletta glacier. The common scene of pasture and hayrick was still snow-clad, though with a thin and scanty coat, that everywhere showed bare patches of dark earth or dry grass sucking through. Yet after all, the cousins found, what a curious sort of snow it was! Thick in the distance, next the wooded slopes, but in the foreground a mere sprinkling at most; the stretches of discoloured and winter-killed grass were dappled or sprigged with white. They looked closer, they bent down surprised—it was not snow, it was flowers: snow-flowers, a snow of flowers, short-stemmed chalices of white and palest blue. They were crocuses, no less; sprung by millions from the soggy meadow-bottom, and so thick that one actually confused them with the snow into which they merged.

The cousins smiled at the deception, and for joy at the wonder before their eyes—at this timorous and lovely assumption of protective coloration, as it were, on the part of these first shy returning motions of organic life. They picked some of the flowers, studied the structure of their charming cups, and stuck them in their buttonholes; wore them home and put them in glasses on their stands; for the deathly torpor of the winter had lasted long indeed—however short it had seemed.

But that flowery snow was soon covered with real; even the blue soldanellas and red and yellow primroses that followed on suffered the same fate. What a fight that was, spring had to wage up here, before it finally conquered! It was flung back ten times before it could get a foothold—back to the next onset of winter, with icy wind, flurries of snow, and a heated house. At the beginning of May—for while we have been talking of crocuses, April has merged into May—it was real torture to write even so much as a postcard while sitting in the loggia, the fingers so stiffened in the raw, Novemberish air. The four or five shade-trees in the Platz were as bare as they would be in a valley January. It rained days on end, a whole week. Only the compensating excellence of the type of reclining-chair in use up here could render tolerable the ordeal of lying hours with wet and stiffened face, out here in the reeking mist. Yet all the while, in secret, it was a spring rain that fell; and more and more, the longer it lasted, did it betray itself as such. Under it the snow melted quite away, there was no more white, only here and there a vestige of dirty grey—and now, at long last, the meadows began to green!

What a joy that was, what a boon to the eyes, after so much white! But there was another green, surpassing in its tender softness even the hue of the new grass, and that was the green of young larch buds. Hans Castorp could seldom refrain from caressing them with his hand, or stroking his cheeks with them as he went on his walks—their softness and freshness were irresistible. “It almost tempts one to be a botanist,” he said to his companion. “It’s a fact, I could almost wish to be a natural scientist, out of sheer joy at the reawakening of nature, after a winter like this up here. That’s gentian, man, that you see up there on the cliffs; and this is a sort of little yellow violetsomething I’m not familiar with. And this is ranunculus, they look just the same down below, the natural order Ranunculaceæ: compound, I remember, a particularly charming plant, androgynous, you can see a lot of stamens and pistils, an androecium and a gynaeceum, if I remember rightly. I really must root out some old volume of botany or other, and polish up my knowledge in this field.—My hat, how gay it’s getting to look in the world!”

“It will be even more so in June,” Joachim said. “The flowering-time in these parts is famous. But I hardly think I’ll be here for it.—That’s probably from Krokowski, that you get the idea of studying botany?”

Krokowski? What made him say that? Oh, very likely because Dr. Krokowski had been uttering himself botanically in one of his lectures of late. Yes, we shall be in error if we assume that because time has brought about many changes at the Berghof, Dr. Krokowski no longer delivers his lectures. He delivers them as before, one every two weeks, in a frock-coat, though no longer in sandals, for those he wears only in the summer, and soon will be donning them again: delivers them every second Monday, in the dining-room, as on that far-off day when Hans Castorp returned late and bloodbespattered from his walk. For three-quarters of a year now had the analyst held forth on the subject of love and disease. Never much at one time, in little chats, from half to three-quarters of an hour long, he had dealt out the treasures of his intellect; and one received the impression that he need never leave off, that he could as well go on for ever. It was a sort of half-monthly Thousand and One Nights’ Entertainment, spinning itself out at will, calculated, like the stories of Scheherazade, to gratify the curiosity of a prince, and turn away his wrath. Dr. Krokowski’s theme, in its untrammelled scope, reminded one, indeed, of the undertaking to which Settembrini had vowed himself, the Encyclopædia of Suffering. And the extent to which it offered points of departure could be seen from the circumstance that the lecturer had lately talked about botanyto be precise, about mushrooms. But he had perhaps slightly changed his theme by now. He was at present discussing love and death; finding occasion for observations in part subtly poetic in their nature, in part ruthlessly scientific. And thus it was, in this connexion, that the learned gentlemen, speaking with his drawling, typically Eastern cadence, and his softly mouthed r, came upon the subject of botany; that is to say, upon the subject of mushrooms. These creatures of the shade, luxuriant and anomalous forms of organic life, were fleshly by nature, and closely related to the animal kingdom. The products of animal metabolism, such as albumen, glycogen, animal starch, in short, were present in them. And Dr. Krokowski went on to speak of a mushroom, famous in classical antiquity and since, on account of its form and the powers ascribed to it—a fungus in whose Latin name the epithet impudicus occurred; and which in its form was suggestive of love, in its odour of death. For it was a striking fact that the odour of the Impudicus was that of animal decay: it gave out that odour when the viscous, greenish, spore-bearing fluid dripped from its bell-shaped top. Yet even to-day, among the ignorant, the mushroom passed for an aphrodisiac. All that, Lawyer Paravant found, had been a bit strong for the ladies. He was still here, having hearkened to the Hofrat’s propaganda, and stuck out the melting season. Likewise Frau Stöhr, who had shown strength of character and set her face against every temptation to unlawful departure, expressed herself at table to the effect that Krokowski had been positively “obscure” to-day, with his classical mushroom. She had actually said obscure, the poor creature, and gone on making one howler after another.

But what surprised Hans Castorp was that his cousin should have mentioned Dr. Krokowski and his botanical allusions; for the psycho-analyst had been as little referred to between them as Clavdia Chauchat or Marusja. By common consent they had passed over his ways and works in silence. But now Joachim had mentioned him—though in an irritable tone. His saying, too, that he would not be here for the flowering season had sounded very much out of sorts. Good Cousin Joachim seemed on the way to losing his equilibrium. His voice vibrated with irritation when he talked, and the old gentleness and moderation were of the past. Was it that he missed the orange perfume? Did the way they put him off with his Gaffky number drive him to the verge of despair? Or was he of more than one mind whether he should await the autumn up here or resolve on unlawful departure?

In reality it was something besides all these that had given the shade of vexation to Joachim’s voice and made him mention the recent botanical lecture with contempt. Hans Castorp did not know this—or rather, he did not know that Joachim knew it; as for himself, he knew it well enough, did this venturesome spirit, this delicate nursling of life, this schoolmaster’s plague! In a word, Joachim had caught his cousin at his tricks again, had found him out in another species of disloyalty, not so unlike the one he had been guilty of on the evening of carnival, only possessed of a still keener point in the circumstance that of this one he made a practice. In the rhythmic monotony of time’s flow, in the well-nigh minute articulation of the normal day—that day which was ever, even unto confusion and distraction, the same day, an abiding eternity, so that it was hard to say how it ever managed to bring forth any change—in the inviolable, unbreachable regimen, we say, of that normal day, Dr. Krokowski’s routine of visits took him, as of yore, through all the rooms, or rather through all the balconies, from chair to reclining-chair, between half past three and four in the afternoon. How often had the normal day of the Berghof renewed itself, since the faroff time when Hans Castorp lay and grumbled within himself because Dr. Krokowski described an arc about him and left him on one side! The guest of that day had long become the comrade—Dr. Krokowski often thus addressed him when he made his rounds; and if, as Hans Castorp said to Joachim, the military associations of the word, with the exotic pronunciation of the r, sounded singularly inappropriate in his mouth, yet the word itself did not go so badly with his robust and hearty, confidence-inviting manner. But that again, in its turn, was belied by his blackness and pallor, so that some aura of the questionable always hung about the man.

“Well, comrade, and how goes it?” the doctor said, as, coming from the barbarian Russians, he approached the head end of Hans Castorp’s reclining-chair. The patient, hands folded on his chest, smiled daily at the blithe address, smiled with a friendly, albeit rather harassed mien, watching the doctor’s yellow teeth, that were visible through his beard. “Slept right well, did you?” Dr. Krokowski would go on. “Curve going down? Up, eh? Never mind, it will be all right before you come to get married. Good day to you.” And he would go on into Joachim’s balcony. For these afternoon rounds were merely a coup d’œil, no more.

But once in a way he would stop rather longer, standing there broad-shouldered and sturdy, ever with his manly smile, chatting with the comrade of this and that: the weather, the various departures and new arrivals, the mood the patient was in, whether good or bad; sometimes about his personal affairs, origin and prospects—before he uttered the formula: “Good day to you” and passed on. Hans Castorp would shift his hands to behind his head, and reply to all he was asked, smiling in his turn. He experienced a penetrating sense of uncanniness, yes, but he answered. They spoke in low tones, so that Joachim, despite the fact that the glass partition only half separated them, could not make out what they said—indeed, made not the slightest effort to do so. He heard his cousin get up from his chair and go indoors, probably to show the doctor his curve; and the conversation seemed to be further prolonged inside the chamber, to judge from the length of time before the Assistant appeared, this time from the inside, through his room.

What did the comrades talk about? Joachim never put the question. But if one of us were to do so, an answer in general terms might be forthcoming, as that there is much matter for an exchange of views, between two comrades and fellow-men when they possess ideas in common, and one of them has arrived at the point of conceiving the material universe in the light of a downfall of the spirit, a morbid growth upon it, while the other, as physician, is wont to treat of the secondary character of organic disease. Yes, there was, we should say, much to talk about, much to say on the subject of the material as the dishonourable decay of the immaterial, of life as the impudicity of substance, or disease as an impure manifestation of life. With the current lectures for background, the conversation might swing from the subject of love as a force making for disease, from the supersensory nature of the indications, to “old” and “fresh” infected areas, to soluble toxins and love potions, to the illumination of the unconscious, to the blessings of psycho-analysis, the transference of symptoms—in short, how can we know what all they talked about, Dr. Krokowski and young Castorp, when all these are merely guesses and suppositions thrown out in response to a hypothetic question!

In any case, they talked no longer; it had lasted only a few weeks. Of late the Assistant spent no more time with this particular patient than with the others, but confined himself chiefly to the “Well, comrade?” and “Good day to you,” on his rounds. But now Joachim had made another discovery, he had fathomed the duplicity of his cousin—without, be it said, any faintest intention of so doing, without having bent his military honour to the office of spy. It happened quite simply that he had been summoned, one Wednesday, from the first rest period, to go down to the basement and be weighed by the bathing-master. He came down the clean linoleum-covered steps that faced the consulting-room door, with the x-ray cabinets on either side: on the left the organic, on the right, round the corner and one step lower down, the analytic, with Dr. Krokowski’s visiting-card tacked on the door. Joachim paused halfway down the stair, as he saw his cousin coming from the consulting-room, where he had just had an injection. He stepped hastily through the door, closed it with both hands, and without looking round, turned toward the door which had the card fastened on it with drawing-pins. He reached it with a few noiseless, crouching steps, knocked, bent to listen, with his head close to the tapping finger. And as the “Come in” in an exotic baritone sounded on the other side, Joachim saw his cousin disappear into the half-darkness of Dr. Krokowski’s analytic lair.

A New-Comer

LONG days—the longest, objectively speaking, and with reference to the hours of daylight they contained; since their astronomical length could not affect the swift passage of them, either taken singly or in their monotonous general flow. The vernal equinox lay three months back, the solstice was at hand. But the seasons up here followed the calendar with halting steps, and only within the last few days had spring fairly arrived: a spring still without hint of summer’s denser air, rarefied, ethereal, and balmy, with the sun sending silvery gleams from a blue heaven, and the meadows blithe with parti-coloured flowers.

Hans Castorp found bluebells and yarrow on the hill-side, like the ones Joachim had put in his room to greet him when he came; and seeing them, realized how the year was rounding out. Those others had been the late blossoms of the declining summer; whereas now the tender emerald grass of the sloping meadows was thick-starred with every sort of bloom, cup-shaped, bell-shaped, star-shaped, any-shaped, filling the sunny air with warm spice and scent: quantities of wild pansies and fly-bane, daisies, red and yellow primulas, larger and finer than any Hans Castorp had ever seen down below, so far as he could recall noticing, and the nodding soldanella, peculiar to the region, with its little eye-lashed bells of rose-colour, purple, and blue.

Hans Castorp gathered a bunch of all this loveliness and took it to his room; by no means with the idea of decoration, but of set and serious scientific intent. He had assembled an apparatus to serve his need: a botanical text-book, a handy little trowel to take up roots, a herbarium, a powerful pocket-lens. The young man set to work in his loggia, clad in one of the light summer suits he had brought up with him when he came—another sign that his first year was rounding out its course.

Fresh-cut flowers stood about in glasses within his room, and on the lamp-stand beside his highly superior chair. Flowers half faded, wilted but not dry, lay scattered on the floor of the loggia and on the balustrade; others, between sheets of blottingpaper, were giving out their moisture under pressure from heavy stones. When they were quite dry and flat, he would stick them with strips of paper into his album. He lay with his knees up, one crossed over the other, the manual open face down upon his chest like a little gabled roof; holding the thick bevelled lens between his honest blue eyes and a blossom in his other hand, from which he had cut away with his pocketknife a part of the corolla, in order the better to examine the thalamus—what a great fleshy lump it looked through the powerful lens! The anthers shook out their yellow pollen on the thalamus from the tips of their filaments, the pitted pistil stood stiffly up from the ovaries; when Hans Castorp cut through it longitudinally, he could see the narrow channel through which the pollen grains and utricles were floated by the nectar secretion into the ovarian cavity. Hans Castorp counted, tested, compared; he studied the structure and grouping of calyx and petals as well as the male and female organs; compared what he found with the sketches and diagrams in his book; and saw with satisfaction that these were accurate when tested by the structure of such plants as were known to him. Then he went on to those he had not known the names of, and by the help of his Linnæus established their class, group, order, species, family, and genus. As he had time at his disposal, he actually made some progress in botanical systematization on the basis of comparative morphology. Beneath each dried specimen in his herbarium he carefully inscribed in ornamental lettering the Latin name which a humanistic science had gallantly bestowed on it; added its distinguishing characteristics, and submitted the whole to the approval of the good Joachim, who was all admiration.

Evenings he gazed at the stars. He was seized with an interest in the passing yearhe who had already spent some twenty-odd cycles upon this earth without ever troubling his head about it. If the writer has been driven to talk about the vernal equinox and suchlike, it is because these terms formed the present mental furniture of our hero, which he now loved to set out on all occasions, here too surprising his cousin by the fund of information at his command.

“The sun,” he might begin, as they took their walks together, “will soon be entering the sign of the Crab. Do you know what that means? It is the first summer sign of the zodiac, you know. Then come Leo and Virgo, and then the autumn, the equinox, toward the end of September, when the rays of the sun fall vertically upon the equator again, as they did in March, when the sun was in the sign of the Ram.”

“I regret to say it escaped my attention,” Joachim said grumpily. “What is all that you are reeling off so glibly about the Ram and the zodiac?”

“Why, you know what the zodiac is—the primitive heavenly signs: Scorpio,

Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and the rest. How can you help being interested in them? At least, you must know there are twelve of them, three for each season, the ascending and the declining year, the circle of constellations through which the sun passes. I think it’s great. Imagine, they have been found employed as ceiling decoration in an Egyptian temple—and a temple of Aphrodite, to boot—not far from Thebes. They were known to the Chaldeans too, the Chaldeans, if you please, those Arabic-Semitic old necromancers, who were so well versed in astrology and soothsaying. They knew and studied the zone in the heavens through which the planets revolve; and they divided it into twelve signs by constellations, the dodecatemoria, just as they have been handed down to us. Magnificent, isn’t it?

There’s humanity for you!”

“You talk about humanity just like Settembrini.”

“Yes—and yet not just the same either. You have to take humanity as it is; but even so I find it magnificent. I like to think about the Chaldeans when I lie and look at the planets they were familiar with—for, clever as they were, they did not know them all. But the ones they did not know I cannot see either. Uranus was only recently discovered, by means of the telescope—a hundred and twenty years ago.”

“You call that recently?”

“I call it recently—with your kind permission—in comparison with the three thousand years since their time. But when I lie and look at the planets, even the three thousand years get to seem ‘recently,’ and I begin to think quite intimately of the Chaldeans, and how in their time they gazed at the stars and made verses on themand all that is humanity too.”

“I must say, you have very tall ideas in your head.”

“You call them tall, and I call them intimate—it’s all the same, whatever you like to call it. But when the sun enters Libra again, in about three months from now, the days will have shortened so much that day and night will be equal. The days keep on getting shorter until about Christmas-time, as you know. But now you must please bear in mind that, while the sun goes through the winter signs—Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces—the days are already getting longer! For then spring is on the way again—the three-thousandth spring since the Chaldeans; and the days go on lengthening until we have come round the year, and summer begins again.”

“Of course.”

“No, not of course at all—it is really all hocus-pocus. The days lengthen in the winter-time, and when the longest comes, the twenty-first of June, the beginning of summer, they begin to go downhill again, toward winter. You call that ‘of course’; but if one once loses hold of the fact that it is of course, it is quite frightening, you feel like hanging on to something. It seems like a practical joke—that spring begins at the beginning of winter, and autumn at the beginning of summer. You feel you’re being fooled, led about in a circle, with your eye fixed on something that turns out to be a moving point. A moving point in a circle. For the circle consists of nothing but such transitional points without any extent whatever; the curvature is incommensurable, there is no duration of motion, and eternity turns out to be not ‘straight ahead’ but ‘merry-go-round’!”

“For goodness’ sake, stop!”

“The feast of the solstice—midsummer night! Fires on the mountain-top, and ring-around-a-rosy about the leaping flames! I have never seen it; but they say our rude forefathers used thus to celebrate the first summer night, the night with which autumn begins, the very midday and zenith of the year, the point from which it goes downhill again: they danced and whirled and shouted and exulted—and why, really, all that primitive exultation? Can you make it out? What were they so jolly about? Was it because from then on the world went down into the dark—or perhaps because it had up till then gone uphill, and now the turning-point was reached, the fleeting moment of midsummer night and midsummer madness, the meeting-place of tears and laughter? I express it as it is, in the words that come to me. Tragic joy, triumphant sadness that was what made our ancestors leap and exult around the leaping flames: they did so as an act of homage to the madness of the circle, to an eternity without duration, in which everything recurs—in sheer despair, if you like.”

“But I don’t like,” growled Joachim. “Pray don’t put it off on me. Pretty large concerns you occupy yourself with, nights when you do your cure.”

“Yes, I’ll admit you are more practically occupied with your Russian grammar. Why, man, you’re bound to have perfect command of the language before long; and that will be a great advantage to you if there should be a war—which God forbid.”

“God forbid? You talk like a civilian. War is necessary. Without it, Moltke said, the world would soon go to pieces altogether it would rot.”

“Yes, it has a tendency that way, I admit. And I’ll go so far as to say,” began Hans Castorp, and was about to return to the Chaldeans, who had carried on wars too, and conquered Babylonia, even if they were a Semitic people, which was almost the same as saying they were Jews—when the cousins became simultaneously aware that two gentlemen, walking close in front of them, had been attracted by what they were saying and interrupted their own conversation to look around.

They were on the main street, between the Kurhaus and Hotel Belvedere, on their way back to the village. The valley was gay in its new spring dress, all bright and delicate colour. The air was superb. A symphony of scents from meadows full of flowers filled the pure, dry, lucent, sun-drenched air. They recognized Ludovico Settembrini, with a stranger; but it seemed as though he for his part either did not recognize them or did not care for a meeting, for he turned round again, quickened his step, and plunged into conversation, accompanied by his usual lively gestures. When the cousins came up on his right and gaily greeted him, he exclaimed: “Sapristi!” and “Well, well, well!” with every mark of delighted surprise; yet would have held back and let them pass on, but that they failed to grasp his intention—or else saw no sense in it. For Hans Castorp was genuinely pleased to see him thus, after a lapse of time: he stopped and warmly shook hands, asked how he did, and looked in polite expectation at his companion. Settembrini was thus driven to do what he obviously preferred not to do, but what seemed the only natural thing, under the circumstances: namely, to present them to each other, which he accordingly did, with much appropriate gesticulation, and the gentlemen shook hands, half standing, half walking on. It appeared that the stranger, who might be about Settembrini’s age, was a housemate of his, the other tenant of Lukaçek the ladies’ tailor. His name, so the young people understood, was Naphta. He was small and thin, clean-shaven, and of such piercing, one might almost say corrosive ugliness as fairly to astonish the cousins. Everything about him was sharp: the hooked nose dominating his face, the narrow, pursed mouth, the thick, bevelled lenses of his glasses in their light frame, behind which were a pair of pale-grey eyes—even the silence he preserved, which suggested that when he broke it, his speech would be incisive and logical. According to custom he was bare-headed and overcoatless—and moreover very well dressed, in a dark-blue flannel suit with white stripes. Its quiet but modish cut was at once marked down by the cousins, whose worldly glances were met by their counterpart, only quicker and keener, from the little man’s own side. Had Ludovico Settembrini not known how to wear with such easy dignity his threadbare pilot coat and check trousers, he must have suffered by contrast with his company. This happened the less in that the checks had been freshly pressed, doubtless by the hands of his landlord, and might, at a little distance, have been taken for new. The worldly and superior quality of the ugly stranger’s tailoring made him stand nearer to the cousins than to Settembrini; yet it was not only his age which ranged him rather with the latter, but also a quite pronounced something else, most conveniently exemplified by the complexion of the four. For the two younger were brown and burnt, the two elder pale: Joachim’s face had in the course of the winter turned an even deeper bronze, and Hans Castorp’s glowed rosy red under his blond poll. But over Herr Settembrini’s southern pallor, so well set off by his dark moustache, the sun’s rays had no power; while his companion, though blond-haired—his hair was a metallic, colourless ashenblond, and he wore it smoothed back from a lofty brow straight over his whole headalso showed the dead-white complexion of the brunette races. Two out of the four—

Hans Castorp and Settembrini—carried walking-sticks; Joachim, as a military man, had none, and Naphta, after the introductions, clasped his hands again behind him. They, and his feet as well, were small and delicate, as befitted his build. He had a slight cold, and coughed unobtrusively.

Herr Settembrini at once and elegantly overcame the hint of embarrassment or vexation he had betrayed at first sight of the young people. He was in his gayest mood, and made all sorts of jesting allusions as he performed the introductions—for example, he called Naphta “princeps scholasticorum.” Joy, he said, quoting Aretine, held brilliant court within his, Settembrini’s, breast; a joy due to the blessing of the springtime—to which commend him. The gentlemen knew he had a certain grudge against life up here often enough he had railed against it!—All honour, then, to the mountain spring! It was enough of itself to atone for all the horrors of the place. All the disquieting, provocative elements of spring in the valley were here lacking: here were no seething depths, no steaming air, no oppressive humidity! Only dryness, clarity, a serene and piercing charm. It was after his own heart, it was superb. They were walking in an uneven row, four abreast whenever possible; when people came towards or passed them, Settembrini, on the right wing, had to walk in the road, or else their front for the moment broke up, and one or the other stepped back—either Hans Castorp, between the humanist and Cousin Joachim, or little Naphta on the left side. Naphta would give a short laugh, in a voice dulled by his cold: its quality in speaking was reminiscent of a cracked plate tapped on by the knuckle.

Indicating the Italian by a sidewise nod, he said, with a deliberate enunciation:

“Hark to the Voltairian, the rationalist! He praises nature, because even when she has the chance she doesn’t befog us with mystic vapours, but preserves a dry and classic clarity. And yet—what is the Latin for humidity?”

Humor,” cried Settembrini, over his shoulder. “And the humour in the professor’s nature-observations lies in the fact that like Saint Catherine of Siena he thinks of the wounds of Christ when he sees a red primula in the spring.”

“That would be witty, rather than humorous,” Naphta retorted. “But in either case a good spirit to import into nature; and one of which she stands in need.”

“Nature,” said Settembrini, in a lower voice, not so much over as along his shoulder, “needs no importations of yours. She is Spirit herself.”

“Doesn’t your monism rather bore you?”

“Ah, you confess, then, that it is simply to divert yourself that you wrench God and nature apart, and divide the world into two hostile camps?”

“I find it most interesting to hear you characterize as love of diversion what I mean when I say Passion and Spirit.”

“And you, who put such large words to such empty uses, don’t forget that you sometimes reproach me for being rhetorical.”

“You will stick to it that Spirit implies frivolity. But it cannot help being what it is: dualistic. Dualism, antithesis, is the moving, the passionate, the dialectic principle of all Spirit. To see the world as cleft into two opposing poles—that is Spirit. All monism is tedious. Solet Aristoteles quærere pugnam.”

“Aristotle? Didn’t Aristotle place in the individual the reality of universal ideas?

That is pantheism.”

“Wrong. When you postulate independent being for individuals, when you transfer the essence of things from the universal to the particular phenomenon, which Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventura, as good Aristotelians, did, then you destroy all unity between the world and the Highest Idea; you place the world outside of God and make God transcendent. That, my dear sir, is classic mediævalism.”

“Classic medievalism! What a phrase!”

“Pardon me, I merely apply the concept of the classic where it is in place: that is to say, wherever an idea reaches its culmination. Antiquity was not always classic. And I note in you a general repugnance to the Absolute; to the broader application of categories. You don’t even want absolute Spirit. You only want to have Spirit synonymous with democratic progress.”

“I should hope we are at one in the conviction that Spirit, however absolute, ought never to become the advocate of reaction.”

“Yet you are always claiming it as the advocate of freedom!”

“Why do you say ‘yet’? Is it freedom that is the law of love of one’s kind, or is it nihilism and all uncharitableness?”

“At any rate, it is the last two of which you are so obviously afraid.”

Settembrini flung up his arm. The skirmish broke off. Joachim looked bewildered from one to the other, and Hans Castorp with lifted brows stared at the path before him. Naphta had spoken sharply and apodictically; yet he had been the one to defend the broader conception of freedom. He had a way of saying “Wrong!” with a ringing nasal sound, and then clipping his lips tightly together over it—the effect was not ingratiating. Settembrini had countered for the most part lightly, yet with a fine warmth in his tone, as when he urged their essential agreement upon certain fundamental points. He now began, as Naphta did not speak again, to gratify the natural curiosity of the young people about the new-comer—some sort of explanation being obviously their due after the dialogue just ended. Naphta passively let him go on, without heeding. He was, so Settembrini said, professor of ancient languages in the Fridericianum—bringing out the title with pompous emphasis, as Italians do. His lot was the same as the speaker’s own: that is, he had been driven to the conclusion that his stay would be a long one, and had left the sanatorium for private quarters under the roof of Lukaçek the ladies’ tailor. The high school of the resort had cannily secured the services of this distinguished Latinist—the pupil of a religious house, as Settembrini father vaguely expressed it—and it went without saying that he was an adornment to his position. In short, Settembrini extolled the ugly Naphta not a little, regardless of the abstract disputation they had just had, which now, it seemed, was to be resumed.

Settembrini went on to explain the cousins to Herr Naphta, whereby it came out that he had already spoken of them. Here, he said, was the young engineer who had come up on three weeks’ leave, only to have Herr Hofrat Behrens find a moist place in his lung; and here was that hope of the Prussian army organization, Lieutenant Ziemssen. He spoke of Joachim’s revolt and intended departure, and added that one must not insult the Engineer by imputing to him any less zealous desire to return to his interrupted labours.

Naphta made a wry face.

“The gentlemen have an eloquent advocate. Far be it from me to question the accuracy of his interpretation of your thoughts and wishes. Work, work—why, he would call me nothing less than an enemy of mankind— inimicus humanæ naturæ— if I dared suggest that there have been times when talk in that vein would utterly fail to produce the desired effect: times when the precise opposite to his ideal was held in incomparably higher esteem. Bernard of Clairvaux, for instance, preached an order of progress towards perfection quite different from any Signor Ludovico ever dreamed of. Would you like to hear what it was? His lowest stage was in the ‘mill,’ the second on the ‘ploughed field,’ the third, and most commendable—don’t listen,

Settembrini!—was upon ‘the bed of repose.’ The mill was the symbol of earthly life—not a bad figure. The ploughed field represented the soul of the layman, the scene of the labours of priest and teacher. This was a stage higher than the mill. But the bed—”

“That will do, we understand,” cried Settembrini. “Sirs, is he going to expatiate now upon the purpose and uses of the ‘lewd day-bed’?”

“I did not know, Ludovico, that you were a prude. To see you looking at the girls. . . What has become of your pagan single-mindedness? I continue: the bed is the place of intercourse between the wooing and the wooed: symbolically, it typifies devotional retirement from the world for the purpose of contact with God.”

“Fie! Andate, andate!” the Italian fended him off, in a voice almost tearful. They all laughed. But Settembrini went on, with dignity: “No, no, I am a European, an Occidental, whereas the order of progress you describe is purely Eastern. The Orient abhors activity. Lao-Tse taught that inaction is more profitable than anything else between heaven and earth. When all mankind shall have ceased to do anything whatever, then only will perfect repose and bliss reign upon this earth. There you have your intercourse with God.”

“Oh, indeed! And what about Western mysticism—and what about quietism, a religion that numbers Fénelon among its disciples? Fénelon taught that every action is faulty, since every will to act is an insult to God, who wills to act alone. I cite the propositions of Molinos. There is no doubt that the spiritual possibility of finding salvation in repose has been disseminated pretty generally all over the world.”

Here Hans Castorp put in his word. With the courage of simplicity he mixed in the debate, and, gazing into space, delivered himself thus: “Devotion, retirement—there is something in it, it sounds reasonable. We practise a pretty high degree of retirement from the world, we up here. No doubt about it. Five thousand feet up, we lie in these excellent chairs of ours, contemplating the world and all that therein is, and having our thoughts about it. The more I think of it, the surer I am that the bed of repose—by which I mean my deck-chair, of course—has given me more food for thought in these ten months than the mill down in the flat-land in all the years before. There’s simply no denying it.”

Settembrini looked at him, a melancholy gleam in his dark eye. “Engineer!” he said, restrainingly. He took Hans Castorp’s arm and drew him a little aside, as though to speak to him in private “How often have I told you that one must realize what one is and think accordingly! Never mind the propositions. Our Western heritage is reasonreason, analysis, action, progress: these, and not the slothful bed of monkish tradition!”

Naphta had been listening. He turned his head to say, “Monkish tradition! As if we did not owe to the monks the culture of the soil of all Europe! As if it were not due to them that Germany, France and Italy yield us corn and wine and fruit to-day, instead of being covered with primeval forest and swamp! The monks, my dear sir were hard workers—”

Ebbè! Well, then!”

“Certainly against his intentions, at least. What I am calling your attention to is nothing less than the distinction between the utilitarian and the humane.”

“And what I am calling your attention to is the fact, which I observe with indignation, that you are still dividing the world up into opposing factions.”

“I grieve to have incurred your displeasure. Yet it is needful to make distinctions, and to preserve the conception of the Homo Dei, free from contaminating constituents. It was you Italians that invented banking and exchange, which may God forgive you! But the English invented the economic social theory, and the genius of humanity can never forgive them that.”

“Ah, the genius of humanity was alive in that island’s great economic thinkers too!—You wanted to say something Engineer?”

Hans Castorp demurred—yet said something anyhow, Naphta as well as Settembrini listening with a certain suspense: “From what you say, Herr Naphta, you must sympathize with my cousin’s profession, and understand his impatience to be at it. As for me I am an out-and-out civilian, my cousin often reproaches me with it. I have never seen service; I am a child of peace, pure and simple, and have even sometimes thought of becoming a clergyman—ask my cousin if I haven’t said as much to him many a time! But for all that, and aside from my personal inclinationsor even, perhaps, not altogether aside from them—I have some understanding and sympathy for a military life. It has such an infernally serious side to it, sort of ascetic, as you say—that was the expression you used, wasn’t it? The military always has to reckon on coming to grip with death, just as the clergy has. That is why there is so much discipline and decorum and regularity in the army, so much ‘Spanish etiquette,’ if I may say so; and it makes no great difference whether one wears a uniform collar or a starched ruff, the main thing is the asceticism, as you so beautifully said.—I don’t know if I’ve succeeded in making my train of thought quite—”

“Oh, quite,” said Naphta, and flung a glance at Settembrini, who was twirling his cane and looking up at the sky.

“And that,” went on Hans Castorp, “is why I thought you must have great sympathy with the feelings of my cousin Ziemssen. I am not thinking of ‘Church and King’ and suchlike associations of ideas, that a lot of perfectly well-meaning and conventional people stand for. What I mean is that service in the army—service is the right wordisn’t performed for commercial advantage, nor for the sake of the economic doctrine of society, as you call it—and that must be the reason why the English have such a small army, a few for India, and a few at home for reviews—”

“It is useless for you to go on, Engineer,” Settembrini interrupted him. “The soldier’s existence—I say this without intending the slightest offence to Lieutenant Ziemssen—cannot be cited in the argument, for the reason that, as an existence, it is purely formal—in and for itself entirely without content. Its typical representative is the infantry soldier, who hires himself out for this or that campaign. Take the soldiers of the Spanish Counter-Reformation, for instance, or of the various revolutionary armies, the Napoleonic or Garibaldian—or take the Prussian. I will be ready to talk about the soldier when I know what he is fighting for.”

“But that he does fight,” rejoined Naphta, “remains the distinctive feature of his existence as a soldier. Let us agree so far. It may not be enough of a distinction to permit of his being ‘cited in the argument’; but even so, it puts him in a sphere remote from the comprehension of your civilian, with his bourgeois acceptation of life.”

“What you are pleased to call the bourgeois acceptation of life,” retorted Settembrini, speaking rather tight-lipped, with the corners of his mouth drawn back beneath the waving moustache, while his neck screwed up and around out of his collar with fantastic effect, “will always be ready to enter the lists on any terms you like, for reason and morality, and for their legitimate influence upon young and wavering minds.”

A silence followed. The young people stared ahead of them, embarrassed. After a few paces, Settembrini said—having brought his head and neck to a natural posture once more: “You must not be surprised to hear this gentleman and me indulging in long disputations. We do it in all friendliness, and on a basis of considerable mutual understanding.”

That had a good effect—it was human and gallant of Herr Settembrini. But then Joachim, meaning well in his turn, and thinking to carry forward the conversation within harmless channels, was fated to say: “We happened to be talking about war, my cousin and I, as we came up behind you.”

“I heard you,” Naphta answered. “I caught your words and turned round. Were you talking politics, discussing the world situation?”

“Oh, no,” laughed Hans Castorp. “How should we come to be doing that? For my cousin here, it would be unprofessional to discuss politics; and as for me, I willingly forgo the privilege. I don’t know anything about it – I haven’t had a newspaper in my hand since I came.”

Settembrini, as once before, found this reprehensible. He proceeded to show himself immensely well informed upon current events, and gave his approval to the state of world affairs, in so far as they were running a course favourable to the progress of civilization. The European atmosphere was full of pacific thought and plans for disarmament. The democratic idea was on the march. He said he had it on reliable authority that the “Young Turks” were about to abandon their revolutionary undertakings. Turkey as a national, constitutional state—what a triumph for humanity!

“Liberalization of Islam,” Naphta scoffed. “Capital! enlightened fanaticism—oh, very good indeed! And of interest to you too,” he said, turning to Joachim. “Because when Abdul Hamid falls, then there will be an end of your influence in Turkey, and England will set herself up as protector.—You must always give full weight to the information you get from our friend Settembrini,” he said to both cousins—and this too sounded almost insolent: as though he thought they would be inclined to take Settembrini lightly. “On national-revolutionary matters he is very well informed. In his country they cultivate good relations with the English Balkan Committee. But what is to become of the Reval agreement, Ludovico, if your progressive Turks are successful? Edward VII will no longer be able to give the Russians free access to the Dardanelles; and if Austria pulls herself together to pursue an active policy in the Balkans, why—”

“Oh, you, with your Cassandra prophecies!” Settembrini parried. “Nicholas is a lover of peace. We owe him the Hague conferences, which will always be moral events of the first order.”

“Yes, Russia must give herself time to recover from her little mishap in the East.”

“Fie, sir! Why should you scoff at human nature’s yearning for social amelioration?

A people that thwarts such aspirations exposes itself to moral obloquy. ‘

“But what is politics for, then, if not to give both sides a chance to compromise themselves in turn?”

“Are you espousing the cause of Pan-Germanism?”

Naphta shrugged his shoulders, which were not quite even—in fact, to add to his ugliness, he was probably a little warped. He disdained to reply, and Settembrini pronounced judgment: “At all events, what you say is cynical. You see nothing but political trickery in the lofty exertions of democracy to fulfil itself internationally—”

“Where you would like me to see idealism or even religiosity. What I do see is the last feeble stirrings of the instinct of self-preservation, the last remnant at the command of a condemned world-system. The catastrophe will and must come—it advances on every hand and in every way. Take the British policy. England’s need to secure the Indian glacis is legitimate. But what will be the consequences of it? Edward knows as well as you and I that Russia has to make good her losses in Manchuria, and that internal peace is as necessary to her as daily bread. Yet—he probably can’t help himself—he forces her to look westward for expansion, stirs up slumbering rivalries between St. Petersburg and Vienna—”

“Oh, Vienna! Your interest in that ancient obstruction is due, I presume, to the fact that her decaying empire is a sort of mummy, as it were, of the Holy Roman Empire of the German people.”

“While you, I suppose, are Russophil out of humanistic affinity with Cæsaropapism.

“Democracy, my friend, has more to hope from the Kremlin than she has from the Hofburg; and it is disgraceful for the country of Luther and Gutenberg—”

“It is probably not only disgraceful, but stupid into the bargain. But even this stupidity is an instrument of fate—”

“Oh, spare me your talk about fate! Human reason needs only to will more strongly than fate, and she is fate!”

“One always wills one’s fate. Capitalistic Europe is willing hers.”

“One believes in the coming of war if one does not sufficiently abhor it.”

“Your abhorrence of war is logically disjointed if you do not make the state itself your point of departure.”

“The national state is the temporal principle, which you would like to ascribe to the evil one. But when nations are free and equal, when the small and weak are safeguarded from aggression, when there is justice in the world, and national boundaries—”

“Yes, I know, the Brenner frontier. The liquidation of Austria. If I only knew how you expect to bring that about without war!”

“And I should like to know when I ever condemned a war for the purpose of realizing national aspirations!”

“But you say—”

“No, here I must really corroborate Herr Settembrini,“ Hans Castorp mixed in the dispute, which he had been following as they went, regarding attentively each speaker in turn, with his head on one side. “My cousin and I have had the privilege of frequent conversations with him on this and kindred subjects—what it amounted to, of course, was that we listened while he explained and developed his views—so I can vouch for the fact, and my cousin here will confirm me, that Herr Settembrini spoke more than once, with great enthusiasm, of the revolutionary principle, and about rebellion and reform—which is no very peaceful principle, I should think—and of the mighty efforts still to be made before it triumphs everywhere, and the great universal worldrepublic can come into being. Those were his words, though of course it sounded much more plastic and literary as he said it. But the part I have the most exact memory of, and have retained quite literally, because being a thorough-going civilian I found it quite alarming, was that he said the day would come, if not on the wings of doves, then on the pinions of eagles—it was the eagles’ pinions I was startled at—and that Vienna must be brought low before peace and prosperity could ensue. So it is not possible to say that Herr Settembrini condemned war as such. Am I right, Herr Settembrini?”

“More or less,” said the Italian shortly, twirling his cane, with averted head.

“Too bad,” Naphta smiled maliciously. “There you are, convicted of warlike inclinations out of the mouth of your own pupil. ‘ Assument pennas ut aqailæ’ —”

“Voltaire himself approved of a war for civilization, and advised Frederick to fight Turkey.”

“Instead of which, he allied himself with her—he he! And then the world-republic!

I refrain from asking what becomes of the principle of revolt when peace and prosperity have once been brought about. For it is plain that from that moment rebellion becomes a crime—”

“You know quite well, as do these young men here, that we are dealing with a progress in human affairs conceived of as endless.”

“But all motion is in circles,” said Hans Castorp. “In space and time, as we learn from the law of periodicity and the conservation of mass. My cousin and I were talking about it lately. How then can progress be conceived of, in closed motion without constant direction? When I lie in the evening and look at the zodiac—that is, the half of it that is visible to us—and think about the wise men of antiquity—”

“You ought not to brood and dream, Engineer,” Settembrini interrupted him. “You must resolve to trust to the instincts of your youth and your blood, urging you in the direction of action. And also your training in natural science is bound to link you to progressive ideas. You see, through the space of countless ages, life developing from infusorium up to man: how can you doubt, then, that man has yet before him endless possibilities of development? And in the sphere of the higher mathematics, if you would rest your case thereon, then follow your cycle from perfection to perfection, and, from the teaching of our eighteenth century, learn that man was originally good, happy, and without sin, that social errors have corrupted and perverted him, and that he can and will once more become good, happy, and sinless, by dint of labour upon his social structure—”

“Herr Settembrini has omitted to add,” broke in Naphta, “that the Rousseauian idyll is a sophisticated transmogrification of the Church’s doctrine of man’s original free and sinless state, his primal nearness and filial relation to God; to which state he must finally return. But the re-establishment of the City of God, after the dissolution of all earthly forms, lies at the meeting-place of the earthly and the heavenly, the material and the spiritual; redemption is transcendental—and as for your capitalistic worldrepublic, my dear Doctor, it is odd in this connexion to hear you talking about instinct. The instinctive is entirely on the side of the national. God Himself has implanted in men’s breasts the instinct which bids them separate into states. War—”

“War,” echoed Settembrini, “war, my dear sir, has been forced before now to serve the cause of progress; as you will grant if you will recall certain events in the history of your favourite epoch—I mean the period of the Crusades. These wars for civilization stimulated economic and commercial relations between peoples, and united Western humanity in the name of an idea.”

“And how tolerant you always are towards an idea! I would the more courteously remind you that the effect of the Crusades and the economic relations they stimulated was anything but favourable to internationalism. On the contrary, they taught the peoples to become conscious of themselves, and thus furthered the development of the national idea.”

“Right; that is to say, right in so far as it was a question of the relation between the peoples and the priesthood; for it was indeed at that time that the mounting consciousness of national honour began to harden itself against hieratical presumption—”

“Though what you call hieratical presumption is nothing else than the conception of human unity in the name of the Spirit!”

“We are familiar with that spirit—and we have no great love for it.”

“Your mania for nationalism obviously shrinks from the world-conquering cosmopolitanism of the Church. Still, I cannot see how you reconcile your nationalism with your horror of war. Because your obsolescent cult of the State must make you a champion of a positive conception of law, and as such—”

“Oh, if we are talking about law—the conceptions of natural law and universal human reason have survived, my dear sir, in international law.”

“Pshaw, your international law is only another Rousseauian transmogrification of the ius divinum, which has nothing in common with either nature or human reason, resting as it does upon revelation—”

“Let us not quarrel over names, Professor! What I call natural and international law, you are free to call the ius divinum. The important thing is that above the explicit jurisprudence of national states there rises a higher jurisdiction, empowered to decide between conflicting interests by means of courts of arbitration.”

“Courts of arbitration! The very name is idiotic! In a civil court, to pronounce upon matters of life and death, communicate the will of God to man, and decide the course of history!—Well, so much for the ‘wings of doves.’ Now for the ‘eagles’ pinions’what about them?”

“Civilian society—”

“Oh, society doesn’t know what it wants. It shouts for a campaign against the fall in the birth-rate, it demands a reduction in the cost of bringing up children and training them to a profession—and meanwhile men are herded like cattle, and all the trades and professions are so overcrowded that the fight round the feeding-trough puts in the shade the horrors of past wars. Open spaces, garden cities! Strengthening the stock!

But why strengthen it, if civilization and progress have decided there shall be no more war? Whereas war would cure everything—it would ‘strengthen the stock’ and at the same time stop the decline in the birth-rate.”

“You are joking, of course—you can’t mean what you say. And our discussion comes to an end at the right moment, for here we are,” Settembrini said, and pointed out to the cousins with his stick the cottage before whose gate they had paused. It stood near the beginning of the village: a modest structure, separated from the street by a narrow front garden. A wild grape-vine, springing from bare roots at the door, flung an arm along the ground-floor wall towards the display window of a tiny shop. The ground-floor, Settembrini explained, belonged to the chandler; Naphta was domiciled a floor higher up, with the tailor’s shop, and his own quarters were in the roof, where he had a peaceful little study.

Naphta, with unexpectedly spontaneous cordiality, expressed the hope that he might have the pleasure of meeting them again. “Come and see us,” he said. “I would say:

‘Come and see me,’ if Dr. Settembrini here had not prior claims upon your friendship. Come, however, as often as you like, whenever you feel you would like a talk. I prize highly an interchange of ideas with youth, and am perhaps not entirely without pedagogic tradition. Our Master of the Lodge here”—he nodded toward Settembrini—“would have it that the bourgeois humanism of the day has a monopoly of the pedagogic gift; but we must take issue with him. Until another time, then!”

Settembrini made difficulties—there were difficulties, he said. The days of the Lieutenant’s sojourn up here were numbered; and as for the Engineer, he would doubtless redouble his zeal in the service of the cure, in order to follow his cousin down to the valley with all the speed he might.

Both young men assented in turn. They had bowed their acceptance of Herr Naphta’s invitation, and next minute they also bowed their acknowledgment of the justice of Herr Settembrini’s remarks. So everything was left open.

“What did he call him?” asked Joachim, as they climbed the winding path to the Berghof.

“I understood him to say ‘Master of the Lodge,’ ” answered Hans Castorp. “I was just wondering about it. It was probably some joke or other, they have such odd names for each other. Settembrini called Naphta ‘ princeps scholasticorum’— not so bad, either. The schoolmen were the theologians of the Middle Ages, the dogmatic philosophers, if you like. They spoke several times of the Middle Ages; it reminded me of the first day I came, when Settembrini said there was a good deal up here that was mediæval—it was Adriatica von Mylendonk, her name, I mean, made him say so.—How did you like him?”

“Who? The little man? Not very much. Though he said some things I liked. That about courts of arbitration—they are nothing but canting hypocrisy, of course. But I did not care much for the man himself—a person may say as many good things as he likes, it doesn’t matter to me, if he himself is a queer fish. And queer he is, you can’t deny it. That stuff about the ‘place of intercourse’ was distinctly shady, not to mention anything else. And did you see the big Jewish nose he had? Nobody but Jews have such puny figures. Are you really thinking of visiting the man?”

“Visit him—of course we’ll visit him,” declared Hans Castorp. “When you talk about his being puny, that’s only the military in you speaking. And as for his nose, the Chaldeans had the same kind, and they knew devilish well what they were about, on more subjects than alchemy. Naphta has something of the mystagogue about him, he interests me a good deal. I won’t say that I make him out altogether, yet, but if we meet him often perhaps we shall; I don’t think it at all unlikely we may learn something from the acquaintance with him.”

“Oh, you, with your learning! Getting wiser all the time, with your biology, and your botany, and your continual changing from one idea to another! You began philosophizing about time the first day you came. But we didn’t come up here to acquire wisdom. We came to acquire health, to get healthier and healthier until we are entirely well, and are free to quit, and go down below where we belong!”

“ ‘Of old sat Freedom on the heights,’ ” quoted Hans Castorp airily. “Tell me first what freedom is,” he went on. “Naphta and Settembrini disputed over it a good deal without coming to any conclusion. Settembrini says it is the law of love of one’s kind; that sounds like his ancestor, the Carbonaro. But however valiant he was, and however valiant our Settembrini himself is—”

“Yes, he got uncomfortable when we talked about physical courage.”

“I can’t help thinking he would be afraid of things little Naphta wouldn’t be, and that his freedom and his bravery are more or less folderol. Do you think he would have the courage ‘ de se perdre ou même se laisser dépérir’?”

“Why do you suddenly begin talking French?”

“Oh, I don’t know. The atmosphere up here is so international. I don’t know which would find more pleasure in it—Settembrini for the sake of his bourgeois worldrepublic, or Naphta for his hierarchical cosmopolis. As you see, I kept my ears open; but even so I found it far from clear. On the contrary, the result was more confusion than anything else.”

“It always is. You will find that when people discuss and express their views nothing ever comes of it but confusion worse confounded. I tell you, it doesn’t matter in the least what a man’s views are, so long as he is a decent chap. The best thing is to have no opinions, and just do one’s du