Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
"If you had told me you wished to do something for dogs or horses or other respectable creatures, you could have had my help. But for humans, no! Don't bring that kind around. They're too vile. Wisdom consists only in recognizing their baseness....There was a story in the papers recently about an old lady who left her fortune to her cats. In her last will she left instructions that her home was to be turned into thus-and-so many fine apartments for the cat tribe, with servants, and all that, to look after them. The writer fellow stupidly said that very likely the old lady was cracked. She wasn't cracked at all, but enormously clever. She wanted to make a demonstration against the human race, and especially against her beastly, fortune-hunting relatives. Help for animals, yes. For humans, no! You see, I feel deeply for that old lady, God rest her soul!"
The vileness of mankind was Kingscourt's favorite topic, and he elaborated it with inexhaustible verve.
Friedrich arranged his few affairs, and was ready to join Kingscourt the following day. He told his landlady that he was making an excursion to the Grossglockner. She tried to dissuade him; one heard so much about mountain accidents in mid-winter.
"It will be all right," he assured her, with a wistful smile. "If I do not return after eight days, you may report me missing to the police. I shall probably be resting peacefully in some mountain cleft. My belongings here I bequeath to you."
"Don't talk sinfully, sir."
"I was only joking!"
That evening Friedrich left Vienna with Kingscourt. He had not gone again to the Cafe Birkenreis, and so did not know that little David Littwak waited for him in the doorway night after night....
Kingscourt's handsome yacht was rolling on the waters of Trieste harbor. The two men made their final purchases for the long journey in the town; and then, on a beautiful December day, the anchor was raised and the yacht steered south and eastward. In other circumstances, Friedrich would have been enchanted with the free life of the sea. But, as it was, the sunny cruise hardly eased his heartache.
Kingscourt was really a delightful person, good-natured despite the misanthropy he boasted of, charming, and tender-hearted. When he saw Friedrich depressed, he tried to divert him with all sorts of pleasantries, treating him like a sick child. Then Friedrich would say, "If the crew watch us together, they will get a wrong idea of our relations. They'll take me for the host, and you for the guest whom I've invited to entertain me. Ah, Mr.. Kingscourt, you could have found a more cheerful companion."
"My dear fellow, I had no choice," replied Kingscourt grimly. "I had to have someone who was disgusted with life, and such people are not as a rule very good company. But I'll cure you yet. You'll look at things quite differently when we've left the human mob behind us altogether. Then you'll become a cheerful fellow like me. When we're on our blessed island. If that's not true, may the Devil take me!"
The yacht was very cozy, and equipped with all sorts of American conveniences. Friedrich's cabin was just as fine as Kingscourt's. The dining saloon was magnificently decorated. The hours flew by in congenial talk as they sat together in the evenings under the friendly, steady light of the ceiling lamp. There was a small, well-selected library on board, but their days always seemed too full for books. Kingscourt exerted himself constantly to distract his companion. As they were crossing the rough waters near Crete, he suddenly came out with a suggestion.
"I say, Dr. Loewenberg, haven't you any desire to see your fatherland before you say farewell to the world?"
Zionism and Israel Information Center Main Page
History of Zionism and the Creation of Israel
Please link to our Sister Web sites Zionism and Israel on the Web and The Zionism Pages
Israel-Palestina - (Dutch) Middle East Conflict, Israel, Palestine,Zionism... Israël-Palestina Informatie -gids Israël, Palestijnen en Midden-Oosten conflict... Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a European perspective - Dutch and English.
Zionism and its Impact
ZioNation - Zionism-Israel Web Log Zionism & Israel News Israel: like this, as if History of Zionism Zionism FAQ Zionism Israel Center Maps of Israel Jew Zionism and its ImpactIsrael