Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
"Der Gott, der Eisen wachs en liess
Der wollte keine Knechte."
With these two musical masterpieces he lulled his little friend to sleep.
David had not been notified of the baby's illness. They did not want to worry him, since in any case he was returning to Jerusalem the following day. He came out a victor in the elections. The Geyer party had been beaten in almost all the districts where it had presumed to set up candidates. Dr. Geyer himself had achieved a relative majority in only one district, and even there would have to submit to a recount the following Sunday. David, however, had been elected by thirty-one districts. He decided that he would accept only one mandate,-that from Neudorf.
His elation vanished as he entered the nursery. His wife threw herself weeping on his shoulder. "We were too happy, David! Now God is punishing us. Perhaps we were too presumptuous...took our prosperity too much for granted."
"We shall humble ourselves before Him," he replied gravely. "And then we shall fight the disease to the utmost."
And they fought. Specialists met in consultation every morning and every evening. All the arts of healing were employed to save the little life. But the disease seemed to sneer at the efforts of the skilled physicians. The child's condition grew worse rapidly. One evening the physicians left the hotel in a very pessimistic mood. Only the Professo remained, watching in the sick room with Kingscourt and the nurse. Sarah had collapsed from fatigue and anxiety. Miriam and Mrs. Gothland were looking after her. David established himself in a salon between the two sick rooms, and moved from one to the other. Friedrich and Reschid, who stayed with him, admired the calmness I with which he gave his orders, and answered the inquiries of friends. Finally, however, the strain grew too great, and he asked that one of his companions receive visitors in the lobby. Reschid volunteered. The news of Fritzchen's serious condition had spread rapidly in David's circle, and people came in large numbers to inquire after him. The president of the New Society asked for hourly bulletins. The affection and esteem which his fellow-citizens felt for David showed itself at this opportunity. People stood in groups in front of the hotel. Few of them had ever seen Fritzchen; but it was enough for them that he was Littwak's son. Many prayed that the little boy's life be spared for it might well be a blessing for the land in days to come. Upstairs, David was speaking calmly to Friedrich. "See, Dr. Loewenberg, we cannot change the order of things. As they were twenty years ago or two thousand years ago, so they are today. When Job's hour strikes, he must compose himself and say, 'The Lord hath given, the Lord hath taken away...!'"
Steineck appeared in the doorway of the babies room, and whispered, "Not yet!" But his tone betrayed the slightness of his hopes. "If only the child could fall asleep," he said. "A good nap would be a boon-it might even save him."
"Doesn't Kingscourt's humming disturb him?" asked Friedrich.
"Oh, no! He has to sing whether he wants to or not. Whenever Fritzchen comes out of his doze, the old man has to sing. It's touching to watch him."
David began to weep. From the nursery they heard Kingscourt's hoarse voice:
"Der Gott, der Eisen wachsen liess, Der wollte keine Knechte."
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