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Das Märchen
(The Tale)

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

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Das Märchen
(The Tale)

Das Märchen (The Tale): Notes


  1. In the middle of the night truly? In the middle of the Dark Ages, when what with Mahomedan Conquests, what with Christian Crusadings, Destructions of Constantinople, Discoveries of America, the Time-River was indeed swoln to overflowing; and the Ignes Fatui (of Elegant Culture, of Literature,) must needs feel in haste to get ever into Existence, being much wanted; and apply to the Priesthood (respectable old Ferryman, roused out of sleep thereby!) who willingly introduced them, mischievous ungrateful imps as they were. — D. T.

  2. What could this be! To ask whither their next road lay? It was useless to ask there: the respectable old Priesthood “did not hear them.” — D. T.

  3. Thought, Understanding. roused from her long sleep by the first produce of modern Belles Lettres: which she eagerly devours. — D. T.

  4. True enough: Thought cannot fly and dance, as your wildfire of Belles Lettres may,” she proceeds in the systole-diastole, up-and-down method; and must ever “bead her head to the earth again” (in the way of Baconian Experiment), or she will not stir from the spot. — D. T.

  5. Is not Superstition strongest when the sun is low? with body, powerless; with shadow, omnipotent? — D. T.

  6. Primitive employments, and attainments, of Thought, in this dark den whither it is sent to dwell. For many long ages, it discerns “nothing but irregular produc­tions of Nature;” having indeed to pick material bed and board out of Nature and her irregular productions. — D. T.

  7. Poetic Light, celestial Reason! — D. T. [NNN] Let the reader, in one word, attend well to these four Kings: much annotation from D. T. is here necessarily swept out. — O. Y.

  8. What is wholly dark. Understanding precedes Reason: modern Science is come; modern Poesy is still but coming, — in Goethe (and whom else!). — D. T.

  9. Consider these Kings as Eras of the World’s History; no, not as Eras, but as Principles which jointly or severally rule Eras. Alas, poor we, in this chaotic soft-soldered “transitionary age,” are so unfortunate as to live under the Fourth King. — D. T.

  10. Reader, hast thou any glimpse of the “open secret?” I fear, not. — D. T. — Writer, art thou a goose? I fear, yes. — O. Y.

  11. In Illuminated Ages, the Age of Miracles is said to cease, but it is only we that cease to see it, for we are still “refreshed by it.” — D. T.

  12. Poor old Practical Endeavour! Listen to many an Encyclopédie-Diderot, humanised Philosophe, didactic singer, march-of-intellect man, and other “impudent varlets” (that would never put their own finger to the work), and hear what “compliments” they uttered. — D. T.

  13. Why so? Is it because with “lifeless things” (with inanimate machinery) all goes like clock-work, which it is, and “the basket hovers aloft;” while with living things (were it but the culture of forest-trees) poor Endeavour has more difficulty! — D. T. — Or, is it chiefly because a Tale must he a Tale? — O. Y.

  14. Very proper in the huge Loggerhead Superstition, to bathe himself in the element of Time, and get refreshment thereby. — D. T.

  15. A dangerous thing to pledge yourself to the Time-River; — as many a National Debt, and the like, blackening, bewitching the “beautiful hand” of Endeavour, can witness. — D. T. — Heavens! — O. Y.

  16. If aught can overspend the Time-River, then what but Understanding, but Thought, in its moment of plenitude, in its favourable noon-moment? — D. T.

  17. In SUPERNATURALISM, truly, what is there either of flower or of fruit? Nothing that will (altogether) content the greedy Time-River. Stupendous, funereal sacred-groves, “in a soil that otherwise is barren!” — D. T.

  18. Who are these three? Faith, Hope, and Charity, or others of that kin? — D. T. Faith, Hope, and Fiddlestick! — O.Y.

  19. Does not man’s soul rest by Faith, and look in the mirror of Faith? Does not Hope, “decorate rather than conceal”? Is not Charity (Love) the beginning of music? — Behold too how the Serpent, in this great hour, has made herself a Serpent-of-Eternity; and (even as genuine THOUGHT, in our age, has to do for so much) preserves the seeming-dead within her folds, that suspended animation issue not in noisome, horrible, irrevocable dissolution! — D. T.

  20. What are the Hawk and this Canary-bird, which here prove so destructive to one another? Ministering servants, implements, of these two divided Halves of the Human Soul; name them I will not; more is not written. — D. T.

  21. Have not your march-of-intellect Literators always expressed themselves particularly ravished with any glitter from a veil of Hope; with “progress of the species,” and the like? — D. T.

  22. Too true: dost thou not hear it, Reader? In this our Revolutionary “twelfth hour of the night,” all persons speak aloud (some of them by cannon and drums!) “declaring what they have to do;” and Faith, Hope, and Charity (after a few passing compliments from the Belles Lettres Department), thou seest, have fallen asleep! — D. T.

  23. Well he might, worthy old man; as Pope Pius, for example, did, when he lived in Fontainbleau! — D. T. — As our Bishops when voting for the Reform Bill? — O. Y.

  24. So! Your Logics, mechanical Philosophies, Polities, Sciences, your whole modern System of THOUGHT, is to decease; and old ENDEAVOUR,” grasping at her basket,” shall “come against” the inanimate remains, and “only a bright ring of luminous jewels” shall be left there! Mark well, however, what next becomes of it. — D. T.

  25. Good! The old Church, shaken down “in disordered combination,” is admitted, in this way, into the new perennial Temple of the Future; and, clarified into enduring silver, by the Lamp, becomes an Altar worthy to stand there. The Ferryman too is not forgotten. — D. T.

  26. Dost thou note this, O Reader; and look back with new clearness on former things! A gold King, a silver, and a brazen King: WISDOM, dignified APPEARANCE, STRENGTH; these three harmoniously united bear rule: disharmoniously cobbled together in sham-union (as in the foolish composite King of our foolish “transition-era”), they once the Gold (or wisdom) is all out of them, “very awkwardly plump down.” — D. T.

  27. As, for example, does not Charles X (one of the poor fractional composite Realities emblemed herein) rest, even now, “shapelessly enough sunk together,” at Holyrood, in the city of Edinburgh? — D. T.

  28. March-of-intellect Lights were well capable of such a thing. — D. T.

  29. It fashions (bildet), or educates. — O.Y.

  30. Honour to her indeed! The Mechanical Philosophy, tho’ dead, has not died and lived in vain; but her works are there: “upon these she” (THOUGHT, newborn in glorified shape) “has built herself and will maintain herself;” and the Natural and Supernatural shall henceforth, thereby, be one. — D. T.

  31. Mark what comes of bathing in the TIME-RIVER, at the entrance of a New Era! — D. T.

  32. And so REASON and ENDEAVOUR, being once more married, and in the honeymoon, need we wish them joy! — D. T.

  33. Thou rememberest the Catholic Relief Bill; witnessest the Irish Education Bill? Hast heard, five hundred times, that the “Church” was “in Danger,” and now at length believest it? — D. T. — Is D. T. of the Fourth Estate, and Popish-Infidel, then? — O.Y.

  34. Bravo! — D. T.

  35. Now first; when the beast of a SUPERSTITION-Giant has got his quietus. Right! — D. T.

  36. It is the Temple of the whole civilized earth. Finally, may I take leave to consider this Mährchen as the deepest Poem of its sort in existence; as the only true Prophecy emitted for who knows how many centuries? — D. T. — Certainly: England is a free country. — O.Y.

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