"[...]of the mild forms of lunacy. A journey, or a few weeks on the Rhigi, would be the best cure. But our physician in ordinary, for excellent reasons, prescribed no such luxurious remedy. It would be much cheaper, he thought, to let the manufactory of thought rest for a while. He proposed to me to play cards, make a collection of beetles, train a poodle, or fall in love. Unfortunately I had neither inclination nor talent for any of these very simple and undoubtedly efficacious remedies. So, early this morning, he brought me a ticket to the opera-house: he always has acquaintances before and behind the scenes. A new ballet was to be performed, to hear and see which would[...]".
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CHAPTER III. We must now go back to what we have to tell of these brothers' previous life. About thirty years before, their father had made the acquaintance of their mother when he was taking a country holiday, he being a young law student from Silesia, she the beautiful daughter of a small landed proprietor in Holstein, who certainly had far other plans for his favourite child than to give her to the first chance budding lawyer who had enjoyed a few days' hospitality in his house. And yet in the end he could do no otherwise. All who knew the maiden declared it to be an impossibility to withstand her calmly-expressed wish and will; such power did she possess over all minds, as much through her great beauty as through the gentle, undoubting nobility of her nature, which, in all that she said and did, always seemed to be right, almost with that prophetic insight into the intricacies of the world which is said to have been peculiar to the German prophetesses. It was difficult to discover what she saw in the insignificant- looking youth which made her resolve that she would have him and no other for her husband. But to the very end she had no reason to regret the steadfast firmness (which perhaps concealed in its depths somewhat of passion) with which she had put aside allhindrances to a speedy marriage. As she herself had not much more portion than her golden hair, which when unbound is said to have reached down to her knees, and as the young law student had still a long trial time to work through before he could hope to have a family hearth of his own, it would have fared ill with them if even one of them had considered him or herself too good for a subordinate position. Just at thattime the post of auditor had become vacant in a great establishment in Berlin. When the young ...