The Sand-Man and other stories [NOOK Book]


You are right, you have not written to me for a very long time, but
nevertheless I believe that I still retain a place in your mind and
thoughts. It is a proof that you were thinking a good deal about me
when you were sending off your ...
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The Sand-Man and other stories

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You are right, you have not written to me for a very long time, but
nevertheless I believe that I still retain a place in your mind and
thoughts. It is a proof that you were thinking a good deal about me
when you were sending off your last letter to brother Lothair, for
instead of directing it to him you directed it to me. With joy I tore
open the envelope, and did not perceive the mistake until I read the
words, "Oh! my dear, dear Lothair." Now I know I ought not to have
read any more of the letter, but ought to have given it to my brother.
But as you have so often in innocent raillery made it a sort of
reproach against me that I possessed such a calm, and, for a woman,
cool-headed temperament that I should be like the woman we read of--if
the house was threatening to tumble down, I should, before hastily
fleeing, stop to smooth down a crumple in the window-curtains--I need
hardly tell you that the beginning of your letter quite upset me. I
could scarcely breathe; there was a bright mist before my eyes. Oh! my
darling Nathanael! what could this terrible thing be that had
happened? Separation from you--never to see you again, the thought was
like a sharp knife in my heart. I read on and on. Your description of
that horrid Coppelius made my flesh creep. I now learnt for the first
time what a terrible and violent death your good old father died.
Brother Lothair, to whom I handed over his property, sought to comfort
me, but with little success. That horrid weather-glass hawker Giuseppe
Coppola followed me everywhere; and I am almost ashamed to confess it,
but he was able to disturb my sound and in general calm sleep with all
sorts of wonderful dream-shapes. But soon--the next day--I saw
everything in a different light. Oh! do not be angry with me, my best-
beloved, if, despite your strange presentiment that Coppelius will do
you some mischief, Lothair tells you I am in quite as good spirits,
and just the same as ever.

I will frankly confess, it seems to me that all that was fearsome and
terrible of which you speak, existed only in your own self, and that
the real true outer world had but little to do with it. I can quite
admit that old Coppelius may have been highly obnoxious to you
children, but your real detestation of him arose from the fact that he
hated children.

Naturally enough the gruesome Sand-man of the old nurse's story was
associated in your childish mind with old Coppelius, who, even though
you had not believed in the Sand-man, would have been to you a ghostly
bugbear, especially dangerous to children. His mysterious labours
along with your father at night-time were, I daresay, nothing more
than secret experiments in alchemy, with which your mother could not
be over well pleased, owing to the large sums of money that most
likely were thrown away upon them; and besides, your father, his mind
full of the deceptive striving after higher knowledge, may probably
have become rather indifferent to his family, as so often happens in
the case of such experimentalists. So also it is equally probable that
your father brought about his death by his own imprudence, and that
Coppelius is not to blame for it. I must tell you that yesterday I
asked our experienced neighbour, the chemist, whether in experiments
of this kind an explosion could take place which would have a
momentarily fatal effect. He said, "Oh, certainly!" and described to
me in his prolix and circumstantial way how it could be occasioned,
mentioning at the same time so many strange and funny words that I
could not remember them at all. Now I know you will be angry at your
Clara, and will say, "Of the Mysterious which often clasps man in its
invisible arms there's not a ray can find its way into this cold
heart. She sees only the varied surface of the things of the world,
and, like the little child, is pleased with the golden glittering
fruit, at the kernel of which lies the fatal poison."

Oh! my beloved Nathanael, do you believe then that the intuitive
prescience of a dark power working within us to our own ruin cannot
exist also in minds which are cheerful, natural, free from care? But
please forgive me that I, a simple girl, presume in my way to indicate
to you what I really think of such an inward strife. After all, I
should not find the proper words, and you would only laugh at me, not
because my thoughts were stupid, but because I was so foolish as to
attempt to tell them to you.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013669642
  • Publisher: WDS Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/21/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 864,786
  • File size: 201 KB

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