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THE PROFESSOR’S

V. EXPERIMENT. {From the New Yotk Sun) j. The red wine of Affenthall has this quality) that one half bottle makes you kind but firm, two makes you talkative and obstinate, and three recklessly Unreasonable. ( . ’ If the waiter at, the Brinz Carl in Heidelberg had possessed a soulabove drink-money, he might have calculated accurately the effect of the six half-bottles of Affertthaler which he fetched to the apartment of the Rev. Df Bellglbry at the 6 o’clock dinner for three. . Tl\at. is to say, he might have deduced' this story in advance by observation of the: fact that of,the six: half-bottlesonewas consumed by Miss Blanch- Bellglory, two went to the Reverend Doctor,; her father, while the remaining moiety fell, to the share of young Strout, remotely of New York, and immediately of Professor Scliwank’s psycho-neurological section in the University. So when in the course of the evening the doctor fell asleep in his chair, and young. Strout took opportunity to : put Miss Blanche a question which he had, already asked her twice, once at Saratoga and once at New York City,; she returned the answer he had heard on two former occasions, but in terms even more firm, while not less kind than before. She declared her unalterable determination to abide by her parent’s wishes. . This was not exactly - pleasing , fq! young Strout. He knew better than anybody else that, while approving him socially and humanly, the doctor abhorred his opinions. ‘No man,’ the doctor had repeatedly said, ‘who denies the objective verity of knowledge derived from intuition or otherwise from subjective man who pushes noumena aside to his impetuous pursuit of phenomena cam make a safe husband for my child.’ He said the same thing. again in a great many words, and with much emphasis, after he awoke from his nap, Miss Blanche having discreetly withdrawn. ‘ But, ray dear doctor,’ urged Strout, ‘ this is an affair of the heart, not metaphysics; and you leave for Nuremberg to-morrow, and now is my last chance.

* You are an excellent young man in several respects,’ rejoined the doctor. ‘Abjure your gross materialism and Blanche is yours with all my heart. Your antecdents are unexceptionable, but you are intellectually impregnated with the most dangerous heresy of this or any other age. If I should countenance it by giving you my daughter,- I could never look the Princeton Facullv in the face.’

‘ It appears to me that this concern the Princeton Faculty in the least’, persisted Strout. ‘lt concerns Blanche and me.’ -

Here, then, were three people, two of them young and in love with each other, divided by a question of metaphysics, the most abstract and useless question that ever wasted human effort But that same question divided the schools of Europe for centuries and; contributed largely to the list .of martyrs for opinion’s sake. The famous old controversy was now taken up by the six half bottles of Affenthaler, three of them stoutly holding ground against the other three.

‘No argument in the world,’ said the doctor’s two half bottles, ‘can shake my decision, off ■he went to sleep again.

‘No amount of coaxing,’ said Miss Blanche’s half bottle, two hours later in the evening, ‘ can make me act contrary to papa’s wishes. But,’ continued the half bottle in a whisper, ‘ I am sorry he is so stubborn.’

‘ I don’t believe it,’ retorted Strout’s three half bottles. ‘You have no more heart than one of your father’s non-individualized Ideas. You are not real flesh and blood like other women. You are simply Extension, made up of an aggregate of concepts, and assuming to be Entity, and imposing your* unreal existence upon • a poor devil Klee me. You are unreal, I say. A- flaw in logic, an error of the senses, a fallacy in reasoning, a onisplaced promise, and what becomes of you? Puff! Away you go into nil. If it were otherwise you would care for me. What a fool I am to love you ! I might as well love a memory, a thought, a dream, a mathematical formula, a rule ‘

anything else that lacks objective existence.’ She said nothing, but the tears came into her eyes. ‘Good-bye, Blanche,’ he continued at the door, pulling his hat over his eyes and not observing the look of pain and bewilderment that clouded her fair, face— * Heaven bless you when your father finally marries you to a Syllogism !’

Strout went whistling from the Prinz Carl Hotel to his rooms in the TWckstrasse. He reviewed his parting with Blanche. ‘So much * fhfe better, perhaps,’ he sakito hinwelfi' less in life,arid* riMtteP r6Bfe!??6ir’s%lities.’ By, the clockm ihe place he saw; j was hlafipast riioc j .for the full moon,, hanging above ithe Konigstuhlo, flooded the ? lOwnJand valley with light Up on the side of the hill the gigantic ruin oifthb'old castle stooji 8 bojdfy' but jaiflSrig the trees.

He popped whistling and gritted his teeth,: 'f • • ■■ ‘ ‘ Pshaw F he 'said aloud, * one can’t put off his convictions like ja pair pf uncomfortable boots. After" all, love is nothing more nor. less than-the disintegration .and recombinadoßHbf-'de-tain of the* brain nr mattw, the exact laws governing which hayp riot yef been Ascertained/ Sb saying he ran plump, into a portly individual coming down the street: ;, ’ : t ‘ Hallo ! Herr-Strout,’ said the jolly voice of Professor Sehwank. ■ '‘‘ Whither are you going so fast, and what kind of philosophy talk you to the riibon ‘ l am wilking-bff three half bottles of your cursed Affenthaler, which have gone to iriy feef, Hriir Professor, ’ replied Strout’; arid I ana making-lovb to the moon,' ■ It’S an old affair between US. 9 1; ** - -N J* ‘ Arid you? ‘lbybly. ¥ demanded the fat Prbfcssor, with a chuckle. . ~ ‘ Departsby the mpro;mg;tram 1 , , replied Strout, gravely. <I j // ‘ Himmelsblitzen !’ exclaimed u the Professor. * And grief has blinded ybu so that you plunge intbiabdofoens of your elders? But come with me.to my robtri arid smoke ybdrsclf ibto ja philosophic frame of. mind,’ -v 7 ’ 1 (To be continued.) ' L '

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18810412.2.16

Bibliographic details

THE PROFESSOR’S, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 317, 12 April 1881

Word Count
1,001

THE PROFESSOR’S Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 317, 12 April 1881

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