Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
The "monkey cage," as Kingscourt jestingly dubbed the adjoining box, was indulging in flippant comments. The more impressive the scene below, the worse some of its occupants felt. It was as if this gathering of free, self-respecting men and women were a personal affront to them.
Mr. Schlesinger held forth. "Now then! I see the game. One wanted this post, the other that. Now they have their jobs, and the Jewish problem is solved."
Dr. Walter had been greedily watching the assemblage below, where there was, alas, no room for him. He replied to the distinguished representative of the banking house. "Pardon me, Mr. Schlesinger, if I venture to disagree somewhat. I can see nothing unworthy in a man's seeking the suffrages of his equals. Of course, in individual cases there may be ulterior motives. You are certainly right about that. And I can also understand that a man like yourself, connected with the house of Goldstein for thirty years, would expect a great deal from people. But, after all, why shouldn't a man try for a post in the New Society?"
"If it brings a salary," supplemented Blau. Seeing Schlesinger's smile of encouragement, he went on. "But I believe, Dr. Walter, that you should have rise earlier in the day if you wanted one."
"It's a long time, Mr. Blau," growled Dr. Walter, flushing angrily, "since you had your ears boxed!"
Schiffmann restored peace, summing up rather wistfully what was in all their minds. "It seems to me that we have all been too late. Here we are again, standing behind bars and looking out at free people. That's how it has been with me since my youth. Wherever I went, I met only Schlesinger and Laschner, Gruen and Blau. It is like pitch.."
A bell rang, the signal for the entrance of the presiding officers. The galleries were suddenly hushed. Even the "monkey cage" held its peace.
Delegates crowded in through all the doors. "There's Joe Levy now," said Reschid, pointing downward. "That man with the bushy gray mustache and the bald spot, shaking hands with Steineck."
Joe was a lanky man of medium height, tanned up to the line of his hat, very quick and energetic in his movements. He shook hands with the numerous delegates who came up to welcome him home. To others further away he nodded smilingly, and occasionally waved a salute. He seemed very much at his ease, and not at all stiff or formal.
A prolonged ringing of the bell. All the delegates took their seats. Behind the raised platform both wings of the gilt doors were opened, and the chairman of the congress entered with his whole staff. He opened the proceedings with a tribute to the late President, which was listened to standing. This was followed by the announcement: "We have come here today to elect a new president."
To everyone's surprise, Joe, who was sitting in the center of the third row, rose and asked for the privilege of the floor. "Mr. Joseph Levy has the floor!" responded the chairman.
A murmur ran through the hall as Levy lightly ascended the steps to the platform. What would he say?
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