Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
Dr. Walter concluded his little lecture with an ingratiating, sidelong glance at Professor Steineck, "Therefore I have come forward as an adherent and advocate of the Littwak-Steineck party. I shall defend their idea unflinchingly, to my last drop of blood!"
"You mustn't forget to tell that to your brother, Professor," cut in Blau witheringly. "With Dr. Walter on your side, you have the majority."
"What do you mean by that?" exploded the lawyer, growing purple in the face. "You-you!"
"Nothing at all," replied the jester with assumed naivete. "I have never seen you anywhere but with the majority. Therefore people must be congratulated when you support them."
"If you mean to insinuate by your nasty witticisms that I am in the habit of changing my convictions, I can afford to laugh. Every reasonable man grows wiser with time. What counts is, that once I am convinced of an idea, I hold to it unswervingly."
"Yes, yes!" said Gruen, rubbing his "unseamed" ear between thumb and forefinger. "I, understand that when Dr. Walter has a conviction, he' holds to it steadfastly, unflinchingly. But when he no longer entertains it, or prefers another conviction, it would not be ethical for him to hold fast to what he no longer believes in."
Schlesinger, who still enjoyed a certain prestige as the representative of the Baron von Goldstein, threw himself into the breach with authority. "But what does this mean, gentlemen? Are we at a mass meeting now? What care we for convictions? I know only two: Business and Pleasure!"
"Bravo!" shouted Kingscourt. "And Business first!"
"You see, this gentleman agrees with me," inferred Schlesinger. "This is out of business, hours. Therefore, let us leave ourselves in peace!"
"You always hit the nail on the head, Mr. Schlesinger," remarked Schiffmann flatteringly, and continued, in an undertone that all could hear, addressing himself to Kingscourt and Friedrich. "It's not for nothing that he enjoys the confidence of the Baroness von Goldstein! He's the Jaffa representative of that important firm."
"You don't say so!" remarked Kingscourt with an admiring mien.
Schlesinger gazed modestly before him, like a celebrity being shown off to the public.
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