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

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

Page 5

                   The End of One Life                      5 
the spirit, however one may strive to counterbalance it. Having 
been so mistaken in my attempt to devote myself to one man's life 
only, I began to return to my former idea that I was meant to 
work for the general good, and decided to go on with my prepara- 
tions for studying medicine. 
  My husband did not oppose me; in fact, for all his lack of skill 
with me, he never ceased to be, in his own way, a generous and 
devoted friend. Perhaps this praiseworthiness in him became more 
clear to me in later years than it was then, but even at that time 
I felt grateful that he did not hinder my studies. I found a refuge 
in the fact that my illness necessitated much time in hospitals, dur- 
ing which time my husband did not seem to mind his loneliness. 
I could thus use the time to study without having to rebuke myself 
for playing truant. 
  One day, while I was receiving a ray treatment, a young-looking 
doctor came through the room. He struck me particularly because 
of the deep furrows in his forehead and the extremely harsh expres- 
sion of his eyes. It would be too much to say that he looked brutal, 
but there was a strange absence in his face of any trace of amiabil- 
ity. It went through my mind that I hoped I might never have 
to be examined or treated by him. This was in the Hydrotherapeutic 
Institute, a department of the University of Berlin clinic, where I 
was again a patient. This same doctor appeared frequently in the 
ward, among the group of assistants who accompanied the head 
physician on his visits, so that I had leisure to observe him closely. 
He was not tall, but very slender, and moved with extraordinary 
litheness. He had a great deal of fair, curly fair, and his eyes were 
very blue. 
  One day, during the afternoon visit, the new doctor, passing 
from bed to bed, asked whether any of the patients had any spe- 
cial wishes. He came and sat beside me, and we talked. Our talk 
was about the power of thought. He told me that even I need not 
submit to illness if I would learn to think in a way that would make 
me well. He spoke of certain books, and offered to lend me some. 
It was thus that I came to read the works of Mulfort, which have 
influenced me so much. I found in them to my delight a con- 
ception of life and of the world which was my very own. From this 

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