Delusion and Dream in Gradiva
Category: Ideas
Genres: Psychology
Level 9.78 6:31 h
Delusion and Dream in Jensen's Gradiva (German: Der Wahn und die Träume in W. Jensens "Gradiva") is an essay written in 1907 by Sigmund Freud that subjects the novel Gradiva by Wilhelm Jensen, and especially its protagonist, to psychoanalysis. The book includes both original text and Freud's essay on it.

Delusion and Dream

An Interpretation in the Light
of Psychoanalysis of Gradiva

Dr. Sigmund Freud

Translated by Helen M. Downey, M.A.

Delusion and Dream in Gradiva


To Dr. G. Stanley Hall, President of Clark University, who first called to my attention the charm of Gradiva, by Wilhelm Jensen, and suggested the possibility of the translation and publication combined with the translation of Freud’s commentary, I am deeply grateful for his kindly interest and effort in connection with the publication of the book, and his assistance with the technical terms of psychopathology.

In this connection I am also indebted to Dr. Smith Ely Jelliffe, who gave many helpful suggestions as a result of his thorough reading of the manuscript of the commentary.

I wish also to express my profound appreciation to my friend, Miss M. Evelyn Fitzsimmons, for her generous help with the original manuscript and other valuable comments offered while she was reading the entire proof.

Worcester, Mass.

By Dr. G. Stanley Hall

Jensen’s brilliant and unique story of Gradiva has not only literary merit of very high order, but may be said to open up a new field for romance. It is the story of a young archæologist who suffered a very characteristic mental disturbance and was gradually but effectively cured by a kind of native psychotherapeutic instinct, which probably inheres in all of us, but which in this case was found in the girl he formerly loved but had forgotten, and who restored at the same time his health and his old affection for her.

Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the work is that the author knew nothing of psychotherapy as such, but wrought his way through the labyrinth of mechanisms that he in a sense rediscovered and set to work, so that it needed only the application of technical terms to make this romance at the same time a pretty good key to the whole domain of psychoanalysis. In a sense it is a dream-story, but no single dream ever began to be so true to the typical nature of dreams; it is a clinical picture, but I can think of no clinical picture that had its natural human interest so enhanced by a moving romance. Gradiva might be an introduction to psychoanalysis, and is better than anything else we can think of to popularize it.

It might be added that while this romance has been more thoroughly analysed than any other, and that by Freud himself, it is really only one of many which in the literature of the subject have been used to show forth the mysterious ways of the unconscious. It indicates that psychoanalysis has a future in literary criticism, if not that all art and artists have, from the beginning, more or less anticipated as they now illustrate it.

The translator is thoroughly competent and has done her work with painstaking conscientiousness, and she has had the great advantage of having it revised, especially with reference to the translation of technical terms from the German, by no less an eminent expert in psychotherapy than Dr. Smith Ely Jelliffe.


Part I

A Pompeiian Fancy by Wilhelm Jensen

On a visit to one of the great antique collections of Rome, Norbert Hanold had discovered a bas-relief which was exceptionally attractive to him, so he was much pleased, after his return to Germany, to be able to get a splendid plaster-cast of it. This had now been hanging for some years on one of the walls of his work-room, all the other walls of which were lined with bookcases. Here it had the advantage of a position with the right light exposure, on a wall visited, though but briefly, by the evening sun. About one-third life-size, the bas-relief represented a complete female figure in the act of walking; she was still young, but no longer in childhood and, on the other hand, apparently not a woman, but a Roman virgin about in her twentieth year. In no way did she remind one of the numerous extant bas-reliefs of a Venus, a Diana, or other Olympian goddess, and equally little of a Psyche or nymph. In her was embodied something humanly commonplace — not in a bad sense — to a degree a sense of present time, as if the artist, instead of making a pencil sketch of her on a sheet of paper, as is done in our day, had fixed her in a clay model quickly, from life, as she passed on the street, a tall, slight figure, whose soft, wavy hair a folded kerchief almost completely bound; her rather slender face was not at all dazzling; and the desire to produce such effect was obviously equally foreign to her; in the delicately formed features was expressed a nonchalant equanimity in regard to what was occurring about her; her eye, which gazed calmly ahead, bespoke absolutely unimpaired powers of vision and thoughts quietly withdrawn. So the young woman was fascinating, not at all because of plastic beauty of form, but because she possessed something rare in antique sculpture, a realistic, simple, maidenly grace which gave the impression of imparting life to the relief. This was effected chiefly by the movement represented in the picture. With her head bent forward a little, she held slightly raised in her left hand, so that her sandalled feet became visible, her garment which fell in exceedingly voluminous folds from her throat to her ankles. The left foot had advanced, and the right, about to follow, touched the ground only lightly with the tips of the toes, while the sole and heel were raised almost vertically. This movement produced a double impression of exceptional agility and of confident composure, and the flight-like poise, combined with a firm step, lent her the peculiar grace.

Where had she walked thus and whither was she going? Doctor Norbert Hanold, docent of archæology, really found in the relief nothing noteworthy for his science. It was not a plastic production of great art of the antique times, but was essentially a Roman genre production, and he could not explain what quality in it had aroused his attention; he knew only that he had been attracted by something and this effect of the first view had remained unchanged since then. In order to bestow a name upon the piece of sculpture, he had called it to himself Gradiva, “the girl splendid in walking.” That was an epithet applied by the ancient poets solely to Mars Gradivus, the war-god going out to battle, yet to Norbert it seemed the most appropriate designation for the bearing and movement of the young girl, or, according to the expression of our day, of the young lady, for obviously she did not belong to a lower class but was the daughter of a nobleman, or at any rate was of honourable family. Perhaps — her appearance brought the idea to his mind involuntarily — she might be of the family of a patrician ædile whose office was connected with the worship of Ceres, and she was on her way to the temple of the goddess on some errand.

Yet it was contrary to the young archæologist’s feeling to put her in the frame of great, noisy, cosmopolitan Rome. To his mind, her calm, quiet manner did not belong in this complex machine where no one heeded another, but she belonged rather in a smaller place where every one knew her, and, stopping to glance after her, said to a companion, “That is Gradiva” — her real name Norbert could not supply — “the daughter of —— , she walks more beautifully than any other girl in our city.”

As if he had heard it thus with his own ears, the idea had become firmly rooted in his mind, where another supposition had developed almost into a conviction. On his Italian journey, he had spent several weeks in Pompeii studying the ruins; and in Germany, the idea had suddenly come to him one day that the girl depicted by the relief was walking there, somewhere, on the peculiar stepping-stones which have been excavated; these had made a dry crossing possible in rainy weather, but had afforded passage for chariot-wheels. Thus he saw her putting one foot across the interstice while the other was about to follow, and as he contemplated the girl, her immediate and more remote environment rose before his imagination like an actuality. It created for him, with the aid of his knowledge of antiquity, the vista of a long street, among the houses of which were many temples and porticoes. Different kinds of business and trades, stalls, work-shops, taverns came into view; bakers had their breads on display; earthenware jugs, set into marble counters, offered everything requisite for household and kitchen; at the street corner sat a woman offering vegetables and fruit for sale from baskets; from a half-dozen large walnuts she had removed half of the shell to show the meat, fresh and sound, as a temptation for purchasers. Wherever the eye turned, it fell upon lively colours, gaily painted wall surfaces, pillars with red and yellow capitals; everything reflected the glitter and glare of the dazzling noonday sun. Farther off on a high base rose a gleaming, white statue, above which, in the distance, half veiled by the tremulous vibrations of the hot air, loomed Mount Vesuvius, not yet in its present cone shape and brown aridity, but covered to its furrowed, rocky peak with glistening verdure. In the street only a few people moved about, seeking shade wherever possible, for the scorching heat of the summer noon hour paralysed the usually bustling activities. There Gradiva walked over the stepping-stones and scared away from them a shimmering, golden-green lizard.

Thus the picture stood vividly before Norbert Hanold’s eyes, but from daily contemplation of her head, another new conjecture had gradually arisen. The cut of her features seemed to him, more and more, not Roman or Latin, but Greek, so that her Hellenic ancestry gradually became for him a certainty. The ancient settlement of all southern Italy by Greeks offered sufficient ground for that, and more ideas pleasantly associated with the settlers developed. Then the young “domina” had perhaps spoken Greek in her parental home, and had grown up fostered by Greek culture. Upon closer consideration he found this also confirmed by the expression of the face, for quite decidedly wisdom and a delicate spirituality lay hidden beneath her modesty.

These conjectures or discoveries could, however, establish no real archæological interest in the little relief, and Norbert was well aware that something else, which no doubt might be under the head of science, made him return to frequent contemplation of the likeness. For him it was a question of critical judgment as to whether the artist had reproduced Gradiva’s manner of walking from life. About that he could not become absolutely certain, and his rich collection of copies of antique plastic works did not help him in this matter. The nearly vertical position of the right foot seemed exaggerated; in all experiments which he himself made, the movement left his rising foot always in a much less upright position; mathematically formulated, his stood, during the brief moment of lingering, at an angle of only forty-five degrees from the ground, and this seemed to him natural for the mechanics of walking, because it served the purpose best. Once he used the presence of a young anatomist friend as an opportunity for raising the question, but the latter was not able to deliver a definite decision, as he had made no observations in this connection. He confirmed the experience of his friend, as agreeing with his own, but could not say whether a woman’s manner of walking was different from that of a man, and the question remained unanswered.

In spite of this, the discussion had not been without profit, for it suggested something that had not formerly occurred to him; namely, observation from life for the purpose of enlightenment on the matter. That forced him, to be sure, to a mode of action utterly foreign to him; women had formerly been for him only a conception in marble or bronze, and he had never given his feminine contemporaries the least consideration; but his desire for knowledge transported him into a scientific passion in which he surrendered himself to the peculiar investigation which he recognized as necessary. This was hindered by many difficulties in the human throng of the large city, and results of the research were to be hoped for only in the less frequented streets. Yet, even there, long skirts generally made the mode of walking undiscernible, for almost no one but housemaids wore short skirts and they, with the exception of a few, because of their heavy shoes could not well be considered in solving the question. In spite of this he steadfastly continued his survey in dry, as well as in wet weather; he perceived that the latter promised the quickest results, for it caused the ladies to raise their skirts. To many ladies, his searching glances directed at their feet must have inevitably been quite noticeable; sometimes a displeased expression of the lady observed showed that she considered his demeanour a mark of boldness or ill-breeding; sometimes, as he was a young man of very captivating appearance, the opposite, a bit of encouragement, was expressed by a pair of eyes. Yet one was as incomprehensible to him as the other. Gradually his perseverance resulted in the collection of a considerable number of observations, which brought to his attention many differences. Some walked slowly, some fast, some ponderously, some buoyantly. Many let their soles merely glide over the ground; not many raised them more obliquely to a smarter position. Among all, however, not a single one presented to view Gradiva’s manner of walking. That filled him with satisfaction that he had not been mistaken in his archæological judgment of the relief. On the other hand, however, his observations caused him annoyance, for he found the vertical position of the lingering foot beautiful, and regretted that it had been created by the imagination or arbitrary act of the sculptor and did not correspond to reality.

Soon after his pedestrian investigations had yielded him this knowledge, he had, one night, a dream which caused him great anguish of mind. In it he was in old Pompeii, and on the twenty-fourth of August of the year 79, which witnessed the eruption of Vesuvius. The heavens held the doomed city wrapped in a black mantle of smoke; only here and there the flaring masses of flame from the crater made distinguishable, through a rift, something steeped in blood-red light; all the inhabitants, either individually or in confused crowd, stunned out of their senses by the unusual horror, sought safety in flight; the pebbles and the rain of ashes fell down on Norbert also, but, after the strange manner of dreams, they did not hurt him, and in the same way, he smelled the deadly sulphur fumes of the air without having his breathing impeded by them. As he stood thus at the edge of the Forum near the Jupiter temple, he suddenly saw Gradiva a short distance in front of him. Until then no thought of her presence there had moved him, but now suddenly it seemed natural to him, as she was, of course, a Pompeiian girl, that she was living in her native city and, without his having any suspicion of it, was his contemporary. He recognized her at first glance; the stone model of her was splendidly striking in every detail, even to her gait; involuntarily he designated this as “lente festinans.” So with buoyant composure and the calm unmindfulness of her surroundings peculiar to her, she walked across the flagstones of the Forum to the Temple of Apollo. She seemed not to notice the impending fate of the city, but to be given up to her thoughts; on that account he also forgot the frightful occurrence, for at least a few moments, and because of a feeling that the living reality would quickly disappear from him again, he tried to impress it accurately on his mind. Then, however, he became suddenly aware that if she did not quickly save herself, she must perish in the general destruction, and violent fear forced from him a cry of warning. She heard it, too, for her head turned toward him so that her face now appeared for a moment in full view, yet with an utterly uncomprehending expression; and, without paying any more attention to him, she continued in the same direction as before. At the same time, her face became paler as if it were changing to white marble; she stepped up to the portico of the Temple, and then, between the pillars, she sat down on a step and slowly laid her head upon it. Now the pebbles were falling in such masses that they condensed into a completely opaque curtain; hastening quickly after her, however, he found his way to the place where she had disappeared from his view, and there she lay, protected by the projecting roof, stretched out on the broad step, as if for sleep, but no longer breathing, apparently stifled by the sulphur fumes. From Vesuvius the red glow flared over her countenance, which, with closed eyes, was exactly like that of a beautiful statue. No fear nor distortion was apparent, but a strange equanimity, calmly submitting to the inevitable, was manifest in her features. Yet they quickly became more indistinct as the wind drove to the place the rain of ashes, which spread over them, first like a grey gauze veil, then extinguished the last glimpse of her face, and soon, like a Northern winter snowfall, buried the whole figure under a smooth cover. Outside, the pillars of the Temple of Apollo rose, now, however, only half of them, for the grey fall of ashes heaped itself likewise against them.

When Norbert Hanold awoke, he still heard the confused cries of the Pompeiians who were seeking safety, and the dully resounding boom of the surf of the turbulent sea. Then he came to his senses; the sun cast a golden gleam of light across his bed; it was an April morning and outside sounded the various noises of the city, cries of venders, and the rumbling of vehicles. Yet the dream picture still stood most distinctly in every detail before his open eyes, and some time was necessary before he could get rid of a feeling that he had really been present at the destruction on the bay of Naples, that night nearly two thousand years ago. While he was dressing, he first became gradually free from it, yet he did not succeed, even by the use of critical thought, in breaking away from the idea that Gradiva had lived in Pompeii and had been buried there in 79. Rather, the former conjecture had now become to him an established certainty, and now the second also was added. With woful feeling he now viewed in his living-room the old relief which had assumed new significance for him. It was, in a way, a tombstone by which the artist had preserved for posterity the likeness of the girl who had so early departed this life. Yet if one looked at her with enlightened understanding, the expression of her whole being left no doubt that, on that fateful night, she had actually lain down to die with just such calm as the dream had showed. An old proverb says that the darlings of the gods are taken from the earth in the full vigour of youth.

Without having yet put on a collar, in morning array, with slippers on his feet, Norbert leaned on the open window and gazed out. The spring, which had finally arrived in the north also, was without, but announced itself in the great quarry of the city only by the blue sky and the soft air, yet a foreboding of it reached the senses, and awoke in remote, sunny places a desire for leaf-green, fragrance and bird song; a breath of it came as far as this place; the market women on the street had their baskets adorned with a few, bright wild flowers, and at an open window, a canary in a cage warbled his song. Norbert felt sorry for the poor fellow for, beneath the clear tone, in spite of the joyful note, he heard the longing for freedom and the open.

Yet the thoughts of the young archæologist dallied but briefly there, for something else had crowded into them. Not until then had he become aware that in the dream he had not noticed exactly whether the living Gradiva had really walked as the piece of sculpture represented her, and as the women of to-day, at any rate, did not walk. That was remarkable because it was the basis of his scientific interest in the relief; on the other hand, it could be explained by his excitement over the danger to her life. He tried, in vain, however, to recall her gait.

Then suddenly something like a thrill passed through him; in the first moment he could not say whence. But then he realized; down in the street, with her back toward him, a female, from figure and dress undoubtedly a young lady, was walking along with easy, elastic step. Her dress, which reached only to her ankles, she held lifted a little in her left hand, and he saw that in walking the sole of her slender foot, as it followed, rose for a moment vertically on the tips of the toes. It appeared so, but the distance and the fact that he was looking down did not admit of certainty.

Quickly Norbert Hanold was in the street without yet knowing exactly how he had come there. He had, like a boy sliding down a railing, flown like lightning down the steps, and was running down among the carriages, carts and people. The latter directed looks of wonder at him, and from several lips came laughing, half mocking exclamations. He was unaware that these referred to him; his glance was seeking the young lady and he thought that he distinguished her dress a few dozen steps ahead of him, but only the upper part; of the lower half, and of her feet, he could perceive nothing, for they were concealed by the crowd thronging on the sidewalk.

Now an old, comfortable, vegetable woman stretched her hand toward his sleeve, stopped him and said, half grinning, “Say, my dear, you probably drank a little too much last night, and are you looking for your bed here in the street? You would do better to go home and look at yourself in the mirror.”

A burst of laughter from those near by proved it true that he had shown himself in garb not suited to public appearance, and brought him now to realization that he had heedlessly run from his room. That surprised him because he insisted upon conventionality of attire and, forsaking his project, he quickly returned home, apparently, however, with his mind still somewhat confused by the dream and dazed by illusion, for he had perceived that, at the laughter and exclamation, the young lady had turned her head a moment, and he thought he had seen not the face of a stranger, but that of Gradiva looking down upon him.

Because of considerable property, Doctor Norbert Hanold was in the pleasant position of being unhampered master of his own acts and wishes and, upon the appearance of any inclination, of not depending for expert counsel about it on any higher court than his own decision. In this way he differed most favourably from the canary, who could only warble out, without success, his inborn impulse to get out of the cage into the sunny open. Otherwise, however, the young archæologist resembled the latter in many respects. He had not come into the world and grown up in natural freedom, but already at birth had been hedged in by the grating with which family tradition, by education and predestination, had surrounded him. From his early childhood no doubt had existed in his parents’ house that he, as the only son of a university professor and antiquarian, was called upon to preserve, if possible to exalt, by that very activity the glory of his father’s name; so this business continuity had always seemed to him the natural task of his future. He had clung loyally to it even after the early deaths of his parents had left him absolutely alone; in connection with his brilliantly passed examination in philology, he had taken the prescribed student trip to Italy and had seen in the original a number of old works of art whose imitations, only, had formerly been accessible to him. Nothing more instructive for him than the collections of Florence, Rome, Naples could be offered anywhere; he could furnish evidence that the period of his stay there had been used excellently for the enrichment of his knowledge, and he had returned home fully satisfied to devote himself with the new acquisitions to his science. That besides these objects from the distant past, the present still existed round about him, he felt only in the most shadowy way; for his feelings marble and bronze were not dead, but rather the only really vital thing which expressed the purpose and value of human life; and so he sat in the midst of his walls, books and pictures, with no need of any other intercourse, but whenever possible avoiding the latter as an empty squandering of time and only very reluctantly submitting occasionally to an inevitable party, attendance at which was required by the connections handed down from his parents. Yet it was known that at such gatherings he was present without eyes or ears for his surroundings, and as soon as it was any way permissible, he always took his leave, under some pretext, at the end of the lunch or dinner, and on the street he greeted none of those whom he had sat with at the table. That served, especially with young ladies, to put him in a rather unfavourable light; for upon meeting even a girl with whom he had, by way of exception, spoken a few words, he looked at her without a greeting as at a quite unknown person whom he had never seen. Although perhaps archæology, in itself, might be a rather curious science and although its alloy had effected a remarkable amalgamation with Norbert Hanold’s nature, it could not exercise much attraction for others and afforded even him little enjoyment in life according to the usual views of youth. Yet with a perhaps kindly intent Nature had added to his blood, without his knowing of the possession, a kind of corrective of a thoroughly unscientific sort, an unusually lively imagination which was present not only in dreams, but often in his waking hours, and essentially made his mind not preponderantly adapted to strict research method devoid of interest. From this endowment, however, originated another similarity between him and the canary. The latter was born in captivity, had never known anything else than the cage which confined him in narrow quarters, but he had an inner feeling that something was lacking to him, and sounded from his throat his desire for the unknown. Thus Norbert Hanold understood it, pitied him for it, returned to his room, leaned again from the window and was thereupon moved by a feeling that he, too, lacked a nameless something. Meditation on it, therefore, could be of no use. The indefinite stir of emotion came from the mild, spring air, the sunbeams and the broad expanse with its fragrant breath, and formed a comparison for him; he was likewise sitting in a cage behind a grating. Yet this idea was immediately followed by the palliating one that his position was more advantageous than that of the canary, for he had in his possession wings which were hindered by nothing from flying out into the open at his pleasure.

But that was an idea which developed more upon reflection. Norbert gave himself up for a time to this occupation, yet it was not long before the project of a spring journey assumed definite shape. This he carried out that very day, packed a light valise, and before he went south by the night express, cast at nightfall another regretful departing glance on Gradiva, who, steeped in the last rays of the sun, seemed to step out with more buoyancy than ever over the invisible stepping-stones beneath her feet. Even if the impulse for travel had originated in a nameless feeling, further reflection had, however, granted, as a matter of course, that it must serve a scientific purpose. It had occurred to him that he had neglected to inform himself with accuracy about some important archæological questions in connection with some statues in Rome and, without stopping on the way, he made the journey of a day and a half thither.

Not very many personally experience the beauty of going from Germany to Italy in the spring when one is young, wealthy and independent, for even those endowed with the three latter requirements are not always accessible to such a feeling for beauty, especially if they (and alas they form the majority) are in couples on the days or weeks after a wedding, for such allow nothing to pass without an extraordinary delight, which is expressed in numerous superlatives; and finally they bring back home, as profit, only what they would have discovered, felt or enjoyed exactly as much by staying there. In the spring such dualists usually swarm over the Alpine passes in exactly opposite direction to the birds of passage. During the whole journey they billed and cooed around Norbert as if they were in a rolling dove-cot, and for the first time in his life he was compelled to observe his fellow beings more closely with eye and ear. Although, from their speech, they were all German country people, his racial identity with them awoke in him no feeling of pride, but rather the opposite one, that he had done reasonably well to bother as little as possible with the homo sapiens of Linnæan classification, especially in connection with the feminine half of this species; for the first time he saw also, in his immediate vicinity, people brought together by the mating impulse without his being able to understand what had been the mutual cause. It remained incomprehensible to him why the women had chosen these men, and still more perplexing why the choice of the men had fallen upon these women. Every time he raised his eyes, his glance had to fall on the face of some one of them and it found none which charmed the eye by outer attraction or possessed indication of intellect or good nature. To be sure, he lacked a standard for measuring, for of course one could not compare the women of to-day with the sublime beauty of the old works of art, yet he had a dark suspicion that he was not to blame for this unkind view, but that in all expressions there was something lacking which ordinary life was in duty bound to offer. So he reflected for many hours on the strange impulses of human beings, and came to the conclusion that of all their follies, marriage, at any rate, took the prize as the greatest and most incomprehensible one, and the senseless wedding trips to Italy somehow capped the climax of this buffoonery.

Again, however, he was reminded of the canary that he had left behind in captivity, for he also sat here in a cage, cooped in by the faces of young bridal couples which were as rapturous as vapid, past which his glance could only occasionally stray through the window. Therefore it can be easily explained that the things passing outside before his eyes made other impressions on him than when he had seen them some years before. The olive foliage had more of a silver sheen; the solitary, towering cypresses and pines here and there were delineated with more beautiful and more distinctive outlines; the places situated on the mountain heights seemed to him more charming, as if each one, in a manner, were an individual with different expression; and Trasimene Lake seemed to him of a soft blue such as he had never noticed in any surface of water. He had a feeling that a Nature unknown to him was surrounding the railway tracks, as if he must have passed through these places before in continual twilight, or during a grey rainfall, and was now seeing them for the first time in their golden abundance of colour. A few times he surprised himself in a desire, formerly unknown to him, to alight and seek afoot the way to this or that place because it looked to him as if it might be concealing something peculiar or mysterious. Yet he did not allow himself to be misled by such unreasonable impulses, but the “diretissimo” took him directly to Rome where, already, before the entrance into the station, the ancient world with the ruins of the temple of Minerva Medica received him. When he had finally freed himself from his cage filled with “inseparables,” he immediately secured accommodations in a hotel well known to him, in order to look about from there, without excessive haste, for a private house satisfactory to him.

Such a one he had not yet found in the course of the next day, but returned to his “albergo” again in the evening and went to sleep rather exhausted by the unaccustomed Italian air, the strong sun, much wandering about and the noise of the streets. Soon consciousness began to fade, but just as he was about to fall asleep he was again awakened, for his room was connected with the adjoining one by a door concealed only by a wardrobe, and into this came two guests, who had taken possession of it that morning. From the voices which sounded through the thin partition, they were a man and a woman who unmistakably belonged to that class of German spring birds of passage with whom he had yesterday journeyed hither from Florence. Their frame of mind seemed to give decidedly favourable testimony concerning the hotel cuisine, and it might be due to the good quality of a Castellin-romani wine that they exchanged ideas and feelings most distinctly and audibly in North German tongue:

“My only Augustus.”

“My sweet Gretchen.”

“Now again we have each other.”

“Yes, at last we are alone again.”

“Must we do more sight-seeing to-morrow?”

“At breakfast we shall look in Baedeker for what is still to be done.”

“My only Augustus, to me you are much more pleasing than Apollo Belvedere.”

“And I have often thought, my sweet Gretchen, that you are much more beautiful than the Capitoline Venus.”

“Is the volcano that we want to climb near here?”

“No, I think we’ll have to ride a few hours more in the train to get there.”

“If it should begin to belch flame just as we got to the middle, what would you do?”

“Then my only thought would be to save you, and I would take you in my arms — so.”

“Don’t scratch yourself on that pin!”

“I can think of nothing more beautiful than to shed my blood for you.”

“My only Augustus.”

“My sweet Gretchen.”

With that the conversation ceased, Norbert heard another ill-defined rustling and moving of chairs, then it became quiet and he fell back into a doze which transported him to Pompeii just as Vesuvius again began its eruption. A vivid throng of fleeing people caught him, and among them he saw Apollo Belvedere lift up the Capitoline Venus, take her away and place her safely upon some object in a dark shadow; it seemed to be a carriage or cart on which she was to be carried off, for a rattling sound was soon heard from that direction. This mythological occurrence did not amaze the young archæologist, but it struck him as remarkable that the two talked German, not Greek, to each other for, as they half regained their senses, he heard them say:

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