The same. Hilary's
Wife in conversation with the Manager.
That fate itself doth not desire the deed
Which yet my husband thinks imperative,
Seems likely when one views the tangled threads
This power doth weave to form the knot in life,
Which holds us here in its compelling bonds.
A knot of fate indeed, which truly seems
Unable to be loosed by human sense —
And so, I take it, it must needs be cut.
I see no other possibility
Than that the strand which links thy husband's life
To mine must now at last be cut in twain,
What! Part from thee! — My husband never will.
'Twould go against the spirit of the house
Which by his own dear father was inspired
And which the son will faithfully uphold.
But hath he not already broken faith?
The aims that Hilary hath now in view
Can surely not be found along the road
On which his father's spirit ever walked.
My husband's happiness in life now hangs
On the successful issue of these aims.
I saw the transformation of his soul
As soon as, like a lightning flash, the thought
Illumined him. He had found hitherto
Nothing in life but sad soul-loneliness,
A feeling which he was at pains to hide
E'en from the circle of his closest friends
But which consumed him inwardly the more.
Till then he deemed himself of no account
Because thoughts would not spring up in his soul
Which seemed to him to be of use in life.
But when this plan of mystic enterprise
Then stood before his soul, he grew quite young,
He was another man, a happy man;
This aim first gave to him a worth in life.
That thou couldst e'er oppose him in his work
Was inconceivable till it occurred.
He felt the blow more keenly than aught else
That in his life hath yet befallen him.
Couldst thou but know the pain that thou hast caused,
Thou wouldst not surely be so harsh with him.
I feel as if my manhood would be lost
If I should set myself to go against
Mine own convictions. — I shall find it hard
To do my work with Strader at my side.
Yet I decided I would bear this load
To help Romanus, whom I understand