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Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia

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Kingscourt was beside himself with delight. "May salty lightning strike me! These fellows ride like the devil! That was the sort of thing my great-great-grandfather during the attack at Rossbach-"

But Friedrich was little interested in these manifestations of sound and joyous life, and was glad when they left the villages and returned to Jaffa.

The yacht was under steam. They left the sunny strand of Palestine in December, and steered toward Port Said, where they anchored for two days, and then sailed on through the Suez Canal. On the evening of December 31, 1902, they entered the Red Sea. Friedrich relapsed into deep melancholy. In that mood nothing mattered to him.

After the sun had set Kingscourt called him to the foredeck.

"This evening," said he, "we shall dress for dinner. Here's the menu. Plenty of silvernecks on the ice."

"What's the occasion, Mr. Kingscourt?"

"Don't you know, man! It's the last day of the year. That's no ordinary date, if dates have any meaning at all."

"They have no meaning for us," answered Friedrich listlessly. "Timelessness begins for us now. Isn't that so?"

"Yes, yes, of course. But it's a damned queer day. At midnight we shall sink Time into your Red Sea. Then, with the end of the stupid epoch in which we have been doomed to live, we shall think of something big...I'm having an excellent punch brewed, too. That's the most genuine thing in the universal depravity."

They celebrated. The ship's cook outdid himself. The wines were excellent. Kingscourt, a mighty drinker before the Lord, drank three times as much as Friedrich, and remained quite fresh and clear-headed. But his young companion felt a mist rising before his eyes, and heard Kingscourt's voice as in a dream when the clock struck twelve.

"Midnight!" boomed Kingscourt. "Die, Time! I empty my glass to your death. What were you? Shame, blood, depravity, progress. Put up your glass, man, my isolated contemporary!"

"I can drink no morel" stuttered Friedrich.

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