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Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia

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"Of course, Mr. Schiffmann," smiled Friedrich, extending his hand.

"Strange, as I live! So you did not die!"

"Apparently not!.. And did you recognize me at once?"

"Upon my honor, no. Someone came to my rescue. A lady you once knew very well. Can't you guess?" He smiled significantly.

Friedrich was terror-stricken. He guessed suddenly who it was, but dared not pronounce the name.

"Well, Dr. Loewenberg, can't you really guess? Have you forgotten all your old friends?"

"I know of no friends in this country, except these here," replied Friedrich a bit dryly, glancing around the box. "Her first name is Ernestine," smirked Schiffmann.

"What! Miss Loeffler!"

"No, Mrs. Weinberger. You must know about her marriage. You were at the betrothal party. Indeed, it was there I saw you last. You disappeared immediately afterwards."

"Yes, yes! I recall! And is Miss-Mrs. Weinberger living here?'"

"To be sure! There she is, in the seat next to mine. I shall point her out to you:' He leaned close to Friedrich, so that the others, who were looking down into the auditorium, could not hear him. "Entre nous.. she is not too well off. Her husband, that Weinberger, is a Schlemihl. He went bankrupt in Bruenn, began over again in Vienna as a commission merchant, and finally landed here. But he's the same Schlemihl as ever. They'd have a tough time of it if I didn't look after them. And you know how accustomed she was to silk gowns and opera boxes and balls. Nowadays, if I didn't send her theater tickets occasionally, she'd have to mope at home. Times change:'

Friedrich tried to shut off Schiffmann's flow of confidences. "I should be interested by all means to meet Madam Ernestine again. Where is she sitting?"

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