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Strauch, Dora; Brockmann, Walter / Satan came to Eden

Chapter I: The end of one life,   pp. 1-17

Page 14

14                  Satan Came to Eden 
disliked the civilized shoe. He had a different idea of proper human 
footwear, and made us each shoes of soft leather without heels, 
sewn to the shape of the feet. We often wore these when we went 
on walks together. 
  Compared with my life, Frederick's had been rich in experience. 
His father had been the burgomaster of Wollbach, a little Baden 
town, and at the same time a prosperous tradesman. Frederick had 
a sheltered, happy youth, and all the advantages of a good educa- 
tion. An instinctive love of nature led him to prefer the out-of- 
doors, which was as great a benefit to his rather delicate constitution 
as to his youthful mind. As he grew up he often accompanied 
his father on hunting expeditions in the Black Forest. His mother 
was a lovable and kindly woman, and the family life was perfectly 
harmonious. At the University of Freiburg his special subjects 
were chemistry, physics and philosophy, until he took up medicine. 
He had married while still almost a boy, only twenty-one years 
old. His parents had objected to the match, but the young blond 
girl preparing for a singer's career had seemed like the personifica- 
tion of his ideal of womanhood, and he had married her. He felt 
that he must help her on her way to fame. He had means enough 
to see that she had the best masters and he saw to it also that she 
worked relentlessly. He was the stern overseer of her studies and 
very soon obtained for her an engagement at the Royal Opera at 
Darmstadt, where she sang Carmen, Mignon, Amneris and many 
other r6les. 
  It reacted badly on the harmony of the marriage that Frederick 
had a character of extreme aggressiveness while his wife tended 
to be wholly passive. The war came and Dr. Ritter enlisted as a 
volunteer. When he returned to civil life he found that his wife 
had only one desire-to give up her career and devote herself en- 
tirely to home. Her ideal was an orderly life with regular routine, 
and so she managed to persuade him to continue his studies and 
establish himself in a profession. When I met him he had not long 
completed his course in dentistry and medicine, and had been mar- 
ried eighteen years. 
  It would not fail to seem to his wife that in the conventional 
sense I had appeared upon the scene to snatch her husband from 

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