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

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

Page 12

12                  Satan Came to Eden 
and on for half a lifetime, would never really have been embarked 
upon but for my insistence. I felt at the time that not my will but 
a stronger will outside me was urging me to help Frederick to do 
this thing; and although in the eyes of the outside world it began 
in stress and ended in tragedy, I still know that it was the right and 
only thing for us to do. 
  It reconciled me greatly to Frederick's absolutism when I learned 
that he was as merciless a taskmaster to himself as for me. His 
harshness was not personal, therefore I must not take it personally. 
If he demanded sacrifice of me, his own life was also sacrifice. If 
he demanded discipline, his own self-discipline was greater than 
mine would ever be. He reminded me of the prophets of the Old 
Testament and indeed there was always about him a kind of halo 
that came from his unalterable and passionate beliefs. He was a John 
the Baptist who sought the wilderness, not in order to chastise the 
flesh but to illuminate the mind. His life was not bounded by its 
span on earth. He is as living to me now, and my belief in him is 
just as vivid and intense, as in the days when we were together. 
While some have thought him an eccentric, I know that he was 
one of the world's geniuses, although his name may go down in 
  He might have been a prophet but he was not morose-sometimes 
he could shed Elijah's mantle and be very human. He often enjoyed 
company and was much liked. I have already said that his patients 
were all fond of him, and they seemed to have as unbounded 
confidence in him as I myself. He used to tell them that he did 
not like sick people, and wherever he encountered a case which 
defeated his attempts to bring about an effort of the "Will to 
Mend," he would give it up rather than nurse it along like a dead 
weight. He used to apply his own special method of suggestion to 
every case, and had infinite faith in the possibilities of will-power. 
It was his opinion that modern civilization had cast the wholesome 
will with which everybody is endowed into neglect and degener- 
acy, substituting money for it and bolstering up its feebleness with 
convenient substitutes. 
  A man of such productive intellect was bound to have a thousand 
theories of his own about everything, and to enjoy expounding 

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