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Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia

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The laughter broke out once more. "I too!" "I too!"

Blau assumed a serious tone. "Gentlemen, everyone cannot have that post. I am certain the Austrian Government would not accept so many Jewish ambassadors. You must seek other appointments."

The old rabbi, deeply embarrassed, did not again raise his eyes from his plate while the humorists zealously dissected the new idea. They divided the new empire, they described its customs. The stock exchange would be closed on the Sabbath. Those who served their country or enriched themselves on the stock exchange would receive the "Order of David" or the "meat" sword from the king. But who would be king?

"Baron Goldstein by all means," suggested Blau.

Schlesinger, representative of that renowned banker, was annoyed. "I beg that the person of Baron von Goldstein be left out of this conversation," he said, "at least while I am present."

Almost the whole company nodded approval. The witty Blau did sometimes say very tactless things. Bringing Baron Goldstein into this kind of talk was really going a bit far. But Blau went on. "Dr. Walter will be appointed minister of justice, and will be ennobled under the title of 'von Veiglstock.' 'Walter, count of Veiglstock.' "

Laughter. The lawyer blushed at the sound of his paternal cognomen. "It's a long time since you've had your face slapped!" he cried.

The punster Gruen, more cautious, whispered some word-play on the lawyer's name to the lady next to him. "Will there be theaters in Palestine?" queried Mrs. Laschner. "If not, I shall not go there."

"Certainly, madam," replied Gruen. "All Israel will assemble for the festival performances at the royal theater in Jerusalem."

Rabbi Weiss finally ventured a word. "Whom are you mocking, gentlemen? Yourselves?"

"Oh, no," replied Blau. "We take ourselves seriously."

"I am proud to be a Jew," asserted Laschner. "Because, if I were not proud, I should still be a Jew. I therefore prefer to be proud."

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