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  • 1919
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of me and I must see him at 1 o’clock because Dora was ill. He must wait at the corner of —- Street. All through lessons I was so upset that I don’t in the least know what we did. And at 1 o’clock he was there all right, and I told him all about it and he was so awfully kind and he consoled me; _he_ consoled _me_. That’s quite different from the way Dora behaved. I was so much upset that I nearly cried, and then he drew me into a doorway and _put his arm round me_ and with his _own_ handkerchief wiped away my tears. I shall never tell Dora about that. Then he asked me to be awfully kind to Dora because she had such a _lot_ to bear. I don’t really know _what_ she has to bear, but still, for his sake, because it’s really worth doing it for that, after dinner I put a note upon her desk, saying: V. sends oceans of love to you and hopes you will be all right again by Monday. At the same time his best thanks for the book. I put the note in Heidepeter’s Gabriel, which she had lent to me to read and put it down very significantly. When she read it she flushed up, swallowed a few times and said: “Have you seen him? Where was it and when?” Then I told her all about it and she was frightfully touched and said: “You really are a good girl, only frightfully undependable.” What do you mean, undependable? She said: Yes undependable, for one simply must not blurt out things in that way; never mind, I will try to forget. Have you finished Heidepeter’s Gabriel yet? “No,” I said, “I’m not going to read anyone’s book with whom I’m angry.” In the end we made it up, but of course we did not talk any more about it and I did not say a word about that business with the handkerchief.

May 29th. On June 10th or 12th, Mother and Dora are going to Frazensbad, because they both have to take mud baths. Besides, Father says that a change will give Dora new thoughts, so that she won’t go about hanging her head like a sick chicken. To-day Dora told me something very interesting. Unmarried men have little books and with these they can go to visit women “of a certain kind” in Graben and in the Karntnerstrasse. There, Dora says, they have to pay 10 florins or 10 crowns. In Dora’s class there is a girl whose father is police surgeon, and they have all to be examined every month to see if they are healthy, and if not they can’t visit these “ladies,” and that’s why the Preusses can never keep a servant. In my bath yesterday I noticed that I had a certain line, so I must be fr–. But I shan’t have more than 1 or 2 children at most for the line is very faint. When I’m studying I often think of such things, and then I read a whole page and turn over and have not the remotest idea what I’ve been reading. It’s very tiresome, for soon the other school insp. for maths. and the other subjects is coming, and I should not like to make a fool of myself; especially not because perhaps the inspectors talk us over with one another about who is clever and who stupid.

May 30th. The concert was glorious. When I hear such grand music I always have to keep myself well in hand for I fear I should cry. It’s very stupid, of course, but at such times I can only think of sad things, even if it’s just a small piece. Dora can play Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, too, but that never makes me want to cry. I only get annoyed because I can’t play them myself. I could all right, but I have not got patience to practice long enough. I never tell anyone that I want to cry when I am listening to music, not even Hella, though I tell her everything, except of course about Mad. Yesterday I made a fool of myself; at least so Dora says. I don’t know how it happened, we were talking about books at supper, and I said: “What’s the use of books, one can’t learn anything out of them; everything is quite different from what they say in books.” Then Father got in a wax and said: “You little duffer, you can thank your stars there are books from which you can learn something. Anyone who can’t understand a book always says it is no good.” Dora gave me a look, but I didn’t know what she meant, and I went on: “Yes, but there’s an awful lot that the encyclopedia puts all wrong.” “What have you been ferreting in the encyclopedia for; we shall have to keep the key of the bookcase in a safer place.” Thank goodness Dora came to my help and said: “Gretel wanted to look up something about the age of elephants and mammoths, but it’s quite different in the encyclopedia from what Prof. Rigl told her last year.” I was saved. Dora can act splendidly; I’ve noticed it before. In the evening she rowed me, and said: “You little goose, will you never learn caution; first that stupidity about Viktor and to-day this new blunder! I’ve helped you out of a hole once but I shan’t do it again.” And then she spent all the time writing a letter, to him of course–! Hella and I have just been reading a lot of things in the encycl., about _Birth_ and _Pregnancy_, and I on my own about abor–; we came across the words Embyro and Foetus, and I said nothing at the time but tied 2 knots in my handkerchief to remind me, and yesterday I looked them up. Mad. need not be anxious even if she _really_ did get like that. But every doctor knows about it and one often dies of it. I wonder if Mad. knows anything about it. We were talking about the _differences_ between men and women, and it came out that when Hella has her bath she is still washed by Anna who has been with them for 12 years. Nothing would induce me to allow that, I would not let anyone wash me, except Mother; certainly not Dora, for I don’t want her to know what _I_ look like. The nurse in the hosp. told Hella that she is developed just like a little nymph, so lovely and symetrical. Hella says that is nothing unusual, that every girl looks like that, that the female body is _Nature’s Work of Art_. Of course she’s read that somewhere, for it does not really mean anything. _Nature’s_ work of art; it ought to be: a work of art made by husband and wife!!!

May 30th. Dora and Mother are going to Franzensbad on June 6th, directly after Whitsuntide. Dora has got another new coat and skirt, grey with blue stripes; yesterday our white straw hats came, it suits me very well says Hella and everyone, with white ribbons and wild roses. There might have been a fearful row about what’s just happened. When I went to telephone I had my Christmas umbrella with the rose-quartz handle and I left it in the telephone box; the girl in the tobacco shop found it there, and as she knows me she brought it here and gave it to the porter who brought it upstairs. Thank goodness it occurred to me at once to say that I went into the tobacco shop to buy stamps and I must have left it in the _shop_. No one noticed anything.

May 31st. They wanted me to go and stay with Hella for the month when Mother and Dora are away. It would be awfully nice, but I’m not going to, for I want to stay with Father. What would he do all alone at meal times, and whom would he have to talk to in the evenings? Father was really quite touched when I said this and he stroked my hair as he can and no one else, not even Mother. So I’m going to stay at home whatever happens. Flowers are very cheap now, so I shall put _different_ flowers on the table every day, I shall go to the Market every day to buy a little posy, so that they can always be fresh. It would be stupid for me to go to the Brs., why should I, Resi has been with us for such a long time, she knows how to do everything even if Mother is not there and everything else I can arrange. Father won’t want for anything.

June 1st. We’ve had such an experience to-day! It’s awful; it’s quite true then that one takes off _every stitch_ when one is madly fond of anyone. I never really believed it, and I’m sure Dora did not, although Mad. hinted it to her; but _it’s true_. We’ve seen it _with our own eyes_. I was just sitting and reading Storm’s The Rider of the Grey Horse and Dora was arranging some writing paper to take to Franzensbad when Resi came and said: Fraulein Dora, please come here a moment, I want you to look at something! From the tone of her voice I saw there was something up so I went too. At first Resi would not say what it was but Dora was generous and said: “It’s all right, you can say _everything_ before her.” Then we went into Resi’s room and from behind the curtain peeped into the mezzanin. A young _married couple_ live there!!! At least Resi says people say they are _not_ really married, but simply live together!!!! And what we saw was awful. She was absolutely naked lying in bed without any of the clothes on, and he was kneeling by the bedside quite n– too, and he kissed her all over, _everywhere!!!_ Dora said afterwards it made her feel quite sick. And then he stood up–no, I can’t write it, it’s too awful, I shall never forget it. So _that’s_ the way of it, it’s simply frightful. I could never have believed it. Dora went as white as a sheet and trembled so that Resi was terribly frightened. I nearly cried with horror, and yet I could not help laughing too. I was really afraid he would stifle her because he’s so big and she’s so small. And Resi says he is certainly much too big for her, and that he nearly tears her. I don’t know why he should tear her but certainly he might have crushed her. Dora was so
terrified she had to sit down and Resi hurried to get her a glass of water, because she believed she was going to faint. I had not imagined it was anything like _that_, and Dora certainly had not either. Or she would never have trembled so. Still I really don’t see why she should tremble like that. There is no reason to be frightened, one simply need not marry, and then one need never strip off every stitch, and oh dear, poor Mademoiselle who is so small and the lieutenant is very tall. But just think if anyone is as fat as Herr Richter or our landlord. Of course Herr Richter is at least 50, but last January the landlord had another little girl, so something _must have happened_. No, I’m sure it’s best not to marry, for _it_ is really too awful. We did not look any more for then came the worst, suddenly Dora began to be actually sick, so that she could hardly get back to our room. If she had not been able to, everything would have come out. Mother sent for the doctor directly and he said that Dora was very much overworked; that it was a good thing she was going away from Vienna in a few days. No girl ought to study, it does not pay. Then he said to me: “You don’t look up to much either. What are you so hollow- eyed for?” “I’m so frightened about Dora,” I said. “Fiddlededee,” said the doctor, “that does not give anyone black rings round the eyes.” So it must be true that one gets to look ill when one always has to think about _such_ things. But how can one help it, and Hella says: It’s awfully interesting to have black rings under the eyes and men _like_ it.

We were going to make an excursion to-morrow to Kahlenberg and Hermannskogel, but probably it won’t come off. Its 11 already and I’m fearfully tired from writing so much; I must go to bed. I do hope I Shall be able to sleep, but– — — —

June 3rd. Father took Hella and me to Kahlenberg; we enjoyed ourselves tremendously. After dinner, when Father was reading the paper in the hotel, we went to pick flowers, and I told Hella all about what we’d seen on Friday. She was simply speechless, all the more since she had never heard what Mad. told us about taking off everything. She won’t marry either, for it’s too disagreeable, indeed too horrid.–The doctor said too: This perpetual learning is poisonous for young girls _in the years of development_. If he only knew _what_ we had seen. Hella is frightfully annoyed that she was not there. She can be jolly glad, I don’t want to see it a second time, and I shall never forget it all my life long; what I saw at the front door was nothing to this. Then Hella went on making jokes and said: “I say, just think if it had been Viktor.” “Oh, do shut up,” I screamed, and Father thought we were quarrelling and called out: “You two seem to be having a dispute in the grand style.” If he’d only known what we were talking about!!! Oswald has been home since Friday evening; he did not arrive till half past 10. But he did not come on the excursion with us yesterday, although Father would have liked him to; he said he would find it much too dull to spend the day with two “flappers;” that means that we’re not grown up enough for him and is a piece of infernal cheek especially as regards Hella. She says she will simply ignore him in future. Since I am his sister I can’t very well do that, but I shan’t fetch and carry for him as he would like me to. He’s no right to insult even his sister.

Dora has just said to me: It’s horrible that one has to endure that (you know what!!! — — — –) when one is married. Resi had told her about those two before, and that only the Jews do it just like _that_. She said that other people did not strip quite naked and that perhaps it’s different in some other ways!! — — — But Mad. implied that it was just _that_ way, only she did not say anything about the crushing; but I suppose that’s because of the cruelty of the Jews– — –. I’m afraid every night that I’m going to dream about it, and Dora has dreamed about it already. She says that whenever she closes her eyes she sees it all as if it were actually before her.

June 4th. We understand now _what_ Father meant the other day when he was speaking about Dr. Diller and his wife and said: “But they don’t suit one another at all.” I thought at the time he only meant that it looks so absurd for so tiny a woman to go about with a big strong man. But that’s only a minor thing; the main point is something quite different!!!! Hella and I look at all couples now who go by arm in arm, thinking about them from _that_ point of view, and it amuses us so much as we are going home that we can hardly keep from laughing. But really it’s no laughing matter, especially for the woman.

June 5th. This morning Mother took Dora with her to pay a farewell call at the Richter’s. But there was no one at home, that is Frau R. was certainly at home, but said she was not because they are very much offended with Father. In the afternoon Dora and I had a lot of things to get, and we met Viktor, by arrangement of course. Dora cried a lot; they went into the Minorite church while I went for a walk in Kohlmarkt and Herrengasse. He is going to America in the beginning of July, before Dora comes home. He has given her some exquisite notepaper stamped with his regimental arms, specially for her to write to him on, and a locket with his portrait. To-morrow she is going to send him her photo, through me, I shall be awfully glad to take it. Dora has been much nicer to me lately.

June 6th. Mother and Dora left early this morning. Mother has never gone away from us before for long at a time, so I cried a lot and so did she. Dora cried too, but I know on whose account. Father and I are alone now. At dinner he said to me: “My little housewife.” It was so lovely. But it’s frightfully quiet in the house, for 2 people don’t talk so much as 4. It made me feel quite uncomfortable. To-day I talked several things over with Resi. What I think worst of all is that one saw the whole of his behind, it was really disgusting. Dora said the other day she thought it was positively infamous. Resi said they might at least have pulled down the blind so that nobody could see in, that’s what respectable people would do. But _respectable_ people simply would not strip, or at least they’d cover themselves respectably with the bedclothes. Then Resi told me some more about the bank clerk and his wife, that is _not_-wife. She does not know if her parents know about it, and what excuse she makes for not living at home. She is not a Jewess, though he is a Jew. Resi absolutely curled up with laughing because I said: Ah, that is why he insists that they shall _both_ strip though ordinarily only the wife has to strip.” But she herself said a little while ago that only Jews do it _that way_, and to-day she laughed as if I were talking utter nonsense. Really she does not know exactly herself, and she cloaks it with laughter because she’s annoyed, first because _she_ does not know, and then also I’m sure because she really began to talk about the matter. One thing that puzzles me is that I never dream about _it_. I should like to know whether perhaps Dora never really dreamed of it, though she pretended she did. As for Hella saying she dreamed of it the day before yesterday, I’m sure that was pure invention, for she was not there at all. She says it’s a good thing she was not for if she had been she would have burst out laughing. But I fancy if she’d seen what we saw she would have found there was nothing to laugh at.

June 7th. It’s frightfully dull after dinner and in the evening before bed time, especially because this year, since the affair at the front door, Dora and I have always had plenty to talk about. I miss it. I wish Hella would come and stay with us for the 4 weeks. But she does not want to. Father had work to do to-day, so I’m quite alone and feel as if I’d like to cry.

June 9th. Yesterday, when I was feeling so melancholy, Resi came to make my bed, and we talked
about the married couple opposite, and then she told me awful things about a young married couple where she was once. She left because they always went into the bath together; she says she’s certain that _something happened_ there. And then she told me about an old gentleman who made _advances_ to her; but of course she would not have anything to do with him; besides he was married, and anyhow he would never have married a servant for he was a privy councillor. Yesterday Father said: Poor little witch, it’s very lonely for you now; but look here, Resi is no fit company for you; when your little tongue wants to wag, come to my room. And I was awfully stupid, I began to cry like anything and said. “Father, please don’t be angry, I’ll never think and never talk of such things any more.” Father did not know at first what I meant, but afterwards it must have struck him, for he was so kind and gentle, and said: “No, no, Gretel, don’t corrupt your youth with such matters, and when there’s anything that bothers you, ask Mother, but not the servants. A girl of good family must not be too familiar with servants. Promise me.” And then, though I’m so big he took me on his knee like a child and petted me because I was crying so. “It’s all right, little Mouse, don’t worry, you must not get so nervous as Dora. Give me a nice kiss, and then I’ll come with you to your room and stay with you till you go to sleep. Of course I stayed awake on purpose as long as I could, till a quarter to 11.

And then I dreamed that Father was lying in Dora’s bed so that when I woke up early in the morning I really looked across to see if he had not gone to bed there. But of course I’d only dreamed it.

June 12th. To-morrow there’s a great school excursion; I am so glad, a whole day with Frau Doktor M. and without any lessons. We are going up Eisernes Tor. Last year there was no outing, because the Fourth did not want to go to the Anninger, but to the Hochschneeberg, and the Head did not want to go there.

June 13th. We had a lovely outing. Hella and I spent the whole day with Frau Doktor M.; in the afternoon Franke said: I say, why do you stick to Frau Doktor like that? One can’t get a word with you. So then we went for a good walk through the forest with Franke and she told us about a student who is in the Eighth now and who is madly in love with her. For all students are in love with her, _so she says_. We were not much interested in that, but then she told us that Frau Doktor M. is secretly engaged to a professor in Leipzig or some other town in Germany. Her cousin is Frau Doktor’s dressmaker, and she is quite certain of it. Her parents are opposed to it because he is a _Jew_ but they are frantically in love with one another and they intend to marry. And then we asked Franke, since she is a Jewess too whether it was all true what Mali, who was here when Resi was in hospital, had told us about the Jews. And Franke said: Oh yes, it is true I can confirm it in every point. But it’s not so bad about the cruelty, every man is cruel, especially in this matter.” No doubt she’s right, but it’s horrible to think that our lovely and refined Frau Doktor M is going to have a cruel husband. Hella says that if _she_ is satisfied, I don’t need to get excited about it. But perhaps she does not know that– — –. When we came out of the wood the Herr Religionsprofessor who is awfully fond of Frau Doktor M. called out: “Frau Doktor, you have lost your two satellites!” And everybody laughed because we’d come back. Father came to fetch Hella and me, and since it was nearly 11 o’clock Hella stayed the night with us. It was awfully nice, but at the same time I was sorry because I could not have any more talk with Father. When we were getting up in the morning we splashed one another and played the fool generally, so that we were nearly late for school. The staff was still in high spirits, including Professor Wilke, about whom we had not bothered ourselves all day; that is he did not come until the afternoon when he came to meet us on our way. We believe he is in love with Frau Doktor M. too, for he went about with her all the time, and it was probably on her account that he came. None of the other professors were there, for they were all taking their classes in the different Gymnasiums.

June 14th. I am so excited. We were going to school to-day at 9 and suddenly we heard a tremendous rattling with a sword; that is Hella heard it, for she always notices that sort of thing before I do, and she said: “Hullo, that’s an o– in a frightful hurry, and looked round; “I say, there’s Viktor behind us” and he really was, he was saluting us and he said: Fraulein Rita, can you give me a moment; you’ll excuse me won’t you, Fraulein Hella? He always calls me Rita, and it shows what a nice refined kind of a man he is that he should know my friend’s name. Hella said directly: “Don’t mention it, Herr Oberleutenant, don’t let me be in your way if it’s anything important,” and she went over to the other side of the street. He looked after her and said: “What a lovely, well-mannered young lady your friend is.” Then he came back to the main point He has already had 2 letters from Dora, but not an answer to his letter, because she can’t fetch it from the post office, _poste restante_. Then he implored me to enclose a letter from him in mine to Dora. But since Mother naturally reads my letters, I told him it was not so simple as all that; but I knew of a splendid way out of the difficulty; I would write to Mother and Dora _at the same time_, so that Dora could get hold of _his letter_ while Mother was not noticing. Viktor was awfully pleased and said: You’re a genius and a first-class little schemer, and kissed my hand. Still, he might have left out the “little.” If one’s is so _little_, one can’t very well be a schemer. From the other side of the street Hella saw him kiss my hand. She says I did not try to draw it away, but held it out to him like a grand lady and even dropped it at the wrist. She says we girls of good family do that sort of thing by instinct. It may be so, for I certainly did not do it intentionally. In the afternoon I wrote the two letters, just the ordinary one to Mother and a short one to Dora with the enclosure, and took it to the post _myself_.

June 16th. I’ve already got so used to being alone with Father that I take it as a matter of course. We often drive in the Prater, or go in the evening to have supper in one of the parks, and of course Hella comes with us. I am frightfully excited to know what Dora will write. I forgot to write in my diary the other day that I asked Viktor if he was really going to New York. He said he had no idea of doing anything of the kind, that had only been a false alarm on the part of the Old Man. That’s what he calls his father. I don’t think it’s very nice of him, a little vulgar, and perhaps that is why Father can’t stand him. In fact Father does not like any officers very much, except Hella’s father, but then he’s fairly old already. I say, Hella mustn’t read that, it would put her in an awful wax; but her father really is at least 4 or 5 years older than Father.

June 17th. Frau Doktor M. is ill, but we don’t know what’s the matter with her. We were all frightfuly dull at school. The head took her classes and we were left to ourselves in the interval. I do hope she has not got appendicitis, that would be awful.

June 18th. _She_ isn’t back yet. Frau Doktor Steiner says she has very bad tonsillitis and won’t be able to come for at least a week.

June 19th. There was a letter from Dora to-day. I’m furious. Not a word about my sisterly affection, but only: “Many thanks for your trouble.” It’s really too bad; _he_ is quite different!! I shan’t forget this in a hurry. Hella says that she only hinted at it like that to be on the safe side. But it’s not true, for she knows _perfectly well_ that Father never reads our letters. She simply takes it as a matter of course. Yesterday was the first time I stayed away from school since I went to the High School. Early in the morning I had such a bad sore throat and a headache, so Father would not let me go. I got better as the day went on, but this morning I was worse again. Most likely I shall have to stay at home for 2 or 3 days. Father wanted to send for the doctor, but it really was not necessary.

June 20th. When Resi was doing our room to day she wanted to begin talking once more about _various things_, but I said I did not particularly care to hear about such matters, and then she implored me never to tell Mother and Father anything about what she had said to us about the young married couple; she said she would lose her place and she would be awfully sorry to do that.

June 21st. My knees are still trembling; there might have been a frightful row; luckily Father was out. At half past 6, when Hella and I were having a talk, the telephone bell rang. Luckily Resi had gone out too to fetch something so I answered the telephone, and it was Viktor! “I must see you to-morrow morning early or at 1 o’clock; I waited for you _in vain_ at 1 to-day.” Of course, for I was still ill, that is still am ill. But well or ill I must go to school to-morrow. If Father had been at home; or even Resi, she might have noticed something. It would have been very disagreeable if I had had to ask her not to give me away. Hella was frightfully cheeky, she took the receiver out of my hand and said: “Please don’t do this again, it’s frightfully risky for my friend.” I was rather annoyed with her, but Hella said he certainly deserved a lecture.

To-morrow we are going to a concert and I shall wear my new white dress. It does look rather nice after all for sisters to be dressed alike. I’ve taken to wearing snails,”[3] Father calls them “cow-pats;” but everyone else says it’s exceedingly becoming.

[3] Flat rolls of hair-plait covering the ears.–Translators’ Note.

June 22nd. He was awfully charming when he came up to us and said: “Can a repentant sinner be received back into grace?” And he gave each of us a lovely rose. Then he handed me a letter and said: “I don’t think we need make any secret before your energetic friend.” Really I did not want to forward any more letters but I did not know how to say so without offending him, for Dora’s cheek is not his fault, and I did not want to say anything to-day, 1 because of the roses, and 2 because Hella was there. There can’t be more than 2 or 3 times more, so I shan’t bother. But _Dora_ doesn’t deserve it, really. Franke is a vulgar girl. She saw us together the other day, and the next day she asked: Where did you pick up that handsome son of Mars? Hella retorted: “Don’t use such common expressions when you are speaking of Rita’s cousin.” “Oh, a cousin, that’s why he kisses her hand I suppose?” Since then we only speak to Franke when we are positively obliged. Not to speak to her at all would be too dangerous, you never can tell; but if we speak only a little, she can’t take offence.

June 23rd. The school insp. came yesterday, the old one who always comes for Maths. He is so kind and gentle that all the girls can answer everything; we like him better than the one who comes for languages. Verbenowitsch was awfully puffed up because he praised her. Good Lord, I’ve been praised often enough, but that does not make _me_ conceited. Anyhow he did not call on me yesterday because I’d been absent 4 days. Frau Doktor M. came back to-day. She looks awfully pale and wretched, I don’t know why; it’s such a pity that she does not let us walk home with her, except last year when there was all that fuss about Fraulein St.’s bead bag. She bows to us all very politely when we salute her, but she won’t walk with any of the pupils, though Verbenowitsch is horribly pushing and is always hanging about on the chance.

June 26th. It’s really stupid how anxious I am now at Communion lest the host should drop out of my mouth. I was so anxious I was very nearly sick. Hella says there must be some reason for it, but I don’t know of any, except that the accident which that girl Lutter in the Third had made me even more anxious that I was before. Hella says I’d better turn Protestant, but nothing would induce me to do that; for after Com. one feels so pure and so much better than one was before. But I’m sorry to say it does not last so long as it ought to.

June 27th. Mother is _really_ ill. Father told me about it. He was awfully nice and said: If only your Mother is spared to us. She is far from well. Then I asked: Father, what is really wrong with Mother? And Father said: “Well, dear, it’s a hidden trouble, which has really been going on for a long time and has now suddenly broken out.” “Will she have to have an operation?” “We hope we shall be able to avoid that. But it’s a terrible thing that Mother should be so ill.” Father looked so miserable when he said this that I did my best to console him and said: But _surely_ the mud baths will make her all right, or why should she take them?” And Father said: “Well, darling, we’ll hope for the best.” We went on talking for a long time, saying that Mother must take all possible care of herself, and that perhaps in the autumn Aunt Dora would come here to keep house. I asked Father, “Is it true that you don’t like Aunt Dora?” Father said: “Not a bit of it, what put that idea into your head?” So I said: “But you do like Mother much better, don’t you?” Father laughed and said: “You little goose, of course I do, or I should have married Aunt Dora and not Mother.” I should have liked awfully to ask Father a lot more, but I did not dare. I really do miss Dora, especially in the evenings.

July 2nd. I was in a tremendous rage at school to-day. Professor W., the traitor, did not come because he had confession and communion in the Gymnasium, and the matron did not know anything about the subject so there was no one to take his class. Then the Herr Religionsprofessor took it, he had come earlier than usual to write up the reports. But since the Jewish girls were there too, of course there was no religion lesson. But the H. Rel. Prof. had a chat with us. He asked each of us where we were going to spend the summer, and when I said I was going to Rodaun, Weinberger said: I say, _only_ to Rodaun! and several of the other girls chimed in: _Only_ to Rodaun; why that’s only a drive on the steam tram. I was frightfully annoyed, for we generally go to Tyrol or Styria; I said so directly, and then Franke said: Last year too, I think, you went somewhere quite close to Vienna, where was it, Hain–, and then she stopped and made as if she had never heard of Hainfeld. Of course that was all put on, but she’s very angry because we won’t speak to her since that business about the _cousin!_ But now I was to learn what true friendship is. While I was getting still more angry, Hella said: Rita’s Mother is now in _Franzensbad, the world-famous health resort_; she is ill, and Prof. Sch. has to go and see her at least once a week. The Herr Rel. Prof. was awfully nice and said: Rodaun is a lovely place. The air there is very fine and will certainly do your Mother a lot of good. That’s the chief thing, isn’t it children? I hope that God will spare all your parents for many years. When the Herr Rel. Prof. said that, Lampel, whose Mother died last winter, burst out crying, and I cried too, for I thought of my talk with Father. Weinberger and Franke thought I was crying because I was annoyed because we were only going to Rodaun. In the interval Franke said: After all, there’s no harm in going to Rodaun, that’s no reason for crying. But Hella said: “Excuse me, the Lainers can go anywhere they please, they are so well off that many people might envy them. Besides, her Mother and her sister are in Franzensbad now, where everything is frightfully expensive, and in Rodaun they have rented a house all for themselves. Rita is crying because she is anxious about her Mother, not because of anything you said.” Of course we don’t speak a word to Franke now. Mother does not want us to anyhow, she did not like her at all when she met her last year. Mother has a fine instinct in such matters.

July 6th. We broke up to-day. I have nothing but Very Goods, except of course in —- Natural History! That was to be expected. What — — (I can’t bring myself to write the name) said was perfectly right. Nearly all the girls who were still there brought Frau Doktor M. and Frau Doktor St. flowers as farewell tokens. This time, Hella and I were allowed to go with Frau Doktor M. to the metropolitan. When we kiss her hand she always blushes, and we love doing it. This summer holidays she is going to — — — _Germany_, of course; really Hella need not have asked; it’s obvious!!!

July 8th. Mother and Dora are coming home today. We are going to meet them at the station. By the way, I’d quite forgotten. The other day Father hid a new 5 crown piece in my table napkin, and when I lifted up my table napkin it fell out, and Father said: In part payment of your outlay on flowers for the table. Father is such a darling, the flowers did not cost anything like 5 crowns, 3 at most, for though they were lovely ones, I only bought fresh ones every other day. Now I shall be able to buy Mother lots of roses, and I shall either take them to the station or put them on her table. On the one hand I’m awfully glad Mother is coming home, but on the other hand I did like being alone with Father for he always talked to me about everything just as he does to Mother; that will come to an end now.

July 10th. Mother and Dora look splendid; I’m especially glad about Mother; for one can see that she is quite well again. If we had not taken the house in Rodaun, we might just as well go to Tyrol, for one can’t deny it would be much nicer. Dora looks quite a stranger. It’s absurd, for one can’t alter in 1 month, still, she really looks quite different; she does her hair differently, parted over the ears. I have had no chance yet to say anything about the “trouble,” and she has not alluded to it. In the autumn she will have to have a special exam. for the Sixth because she went away a month before the end of term. Father says that is only pro forma and that she must not take any lesson books to the country. Hella went away yesterday, she and her Mother and Lizzi are going first to Gastein and then to stay with their uncle in Hungary. Life is dull without Hella, much worse than without Dora; without her I was simply bored sometimes in the evening, at bedtime. Dora gives it out that in Franzensbad people treated her as a grown-up lady. I’m sure that’s not true for anyone can see that she’s a long way from being a grown-up lady yet.

July 11th. I can’t think what’s happened to Dora. When she goes out she goes alone. She doesn’t tell me when she is going or where, and she hasn’t said a word about Viktor. But he must know that she is back. To-morrow we are going to Rodaun, by train of course, not by the steam tram. The day after to-morrow, the 13th, Oswald has the viva voce exam for his matriculation. He says that in every class there are at least 1 or several _swotters_, like Verbenowitsch in ours, he says they spoil the pitch for the others, for, because of the swotters, the professors expect so much more of the others and sit upon them. This may be so in the Gymnasium, but certainly not at the High School. For though Verb. is always sucking up to the staff, they can’t stand her; they give her good reports, but none of them really like her. Mother says the 13th is an unlucky day, and it makes her anxious about Oswald. Because of that she went to High Mass yesterday instead of the 9 o’clock Mass as usual. I never thought of praying for Oswald, and anyhow I think he’ll get through all right.

July 13th. Thank goodness Oswald has wired he is through, that is he has wired his favourite phrase: Finis with Jubilation. At any rate that did not worry Mother as he did over the written exam., when he made silly jokes all the time. He won’t be home until the 17th, for the matriculation dinner is on the 15th. Father is awfully pleased too. It’s lovely here; of course we have not really got a whole house to ourselves, as Hella pretended at school, but a flat on the first story; in the mezzanin a young married woman lives, that is to say a _newly married couple!!_ Whenever I hear that phrase it makes me shake with horror and laughter combined. Resi must have thought of it too, for she looked hard at Dora and me when she told us. But they have a baby already, so they are not really a newly married couple any more. The landlord, who lives on the same floor as us, is having a swing put up for me in the garden for it is horrid not to have a swing in the country.

July 16th. At last Dora has said something to me about Viktor, but she spoke very coldly; there must be something up; she might just as well tell me; she really ought to seeing all that I’ve done. I have not seen him since that last letter of June 27th; that time something must have hap– no that word means something quite different, there must be something up, but I do wonder what. Hella is delighted with Gastein, she writes that the only thing wanting is _me_. I can quite understand that, for what I want here is _her_. Before the end of term Ada wrote to ask whether we were not coming to H. this year; she said she had such a frightful lot to tell me, and _she wants my advice_. I shall be very glad to advise her, but I don’t know what it is about.

July 18th. Something splendid, we are — — — But no, I must write it all out in proper order. Oswald came home yesterday, he is in great form and said jokingly to Dora that she is so pretty he thinks he would fall in love with her if she were not his sister. Just before it was time to go to supper, Mother called us in, and I was rather annoyed when I saw that it was only a quarter to 8. Then Father came in with a paper in his hand as he often does when he comes back from the office, and said: “Dear Oswald and you two girls, I wanted to give you and especially Oswald a little treat because of the matriculation.” Aha, I thought, the great prize after all! Then Father opened the paper and said: “You have often wondered as children why we have no title of nobility like the other Lainers. My grandfather dropped it, but I have got it back again for you Oswald, and also for you two girls. Henceforward we shall call ourselves Lanier von Lainsheim like Aunt Anna and your uncles.” Oswald was simply speechless and I was the first to pull myself together and give Father a great hug. But first of all he said: “Do credit to the name.” Oswald went on clearing his throat for a frightfully long time, and then he said: Thank you, Father, I shall always hold the name in trust, and then they kissed one another. We were on our best behaviour all through the evening, although Mother had ordered roast chicken and Father had provided a bottle of champagne. I am frightfully happy; it’s so splendid and noble. Think of what the girls will say, and the staff! I’m frantically delighted. To-morrow I must write and tell Hella all about it.

July 19th. I’ve managed it beautifully. I did not want to write just: We are now noble, so I put it all in the signature, simply writing Always your loving friend Rita Lainer von Lainsheim. I told Resi about it first thing this morning, but Father scolded me about that at dinner time and said it was quite unnecessary; it seems the nobility has gone to your head. Nothing of the sort, but it’s natural that I should be frightfully glad and Dora too has covered a whole sheet of paper writing her new name. Father says it does not really make us any different from what we were before, but that is not true, for if it were he would not have bothered to revive the title. He says it will make it easier for Oswald to get on, but I’m sure there’s more in it than that. Resi told the landlord about it and in the afternoon he and his wife called to congratulate us.

July 20th. Oswald says he won’t stay here, it’s much too dull, he is going for a walking tour through the Alps, to Grossglockner, and then to the Karawanken. He will talk of Father as the “Old Man,” and I do think it is so vulgar. Dora says it is absolutely _flippant_.

July 24th. Hella’s answer came to-day; she congratulates me most heartily, and then goes on to write that at first she was struck dumb and thought I’d gone crazy or was trying to take her in. But her mother had already heard of it from her father for it had been published in the Official Gazette. Now we are both noble, and that is awfully nice. For I have often been annoyed that she was noble when I was not.

July 25th. Oswald left to-day. Father gave him 300 crowns for his walking tour, because of the matriculation. I said: “In that case I shall matriculate as soon as I can” and Oswald said: “For that one wants rather more brains in one’s head than you girls have.” What cheek, Frau Doktor M. passed the Gymnasium matriculation and Frau Doktor Steiner passed it too as an extra. Dora said quietly: Maybe I shall show you that your sister can matriculate too; anyhow you have always said yourself that the chief thing you need to get through the matriculation is cheek. Then I had a splendid idea and said: “But we girls have not got cheek, we _study_ when we have to pass an examination!” Mother wanted us to make it up with him, but we would not. In the evening Dora said to me: Oswald is frantically arrogant, though he has had such a lot of Satisfactories and has only just scraped through his exam. By the way here’s another sample of Oswald’s stupidity; directly after the wire: “Finis with Jubilation” came another which ought to have arrived first, for it had been handed in 4 hours earlier, with nothing but the word “Through” [Durch]. Mother was frightfully upset by it for she was afraid it really meant _failed_ [durchgefallen], and that the other telegram had been only an idiotic joke. Dora and I would never condescend to such horseplay. Father always says Oswald will sow all his wild oats at the university, but he said to-day that he was not going to the university, but would study mining, and then perhaps law.

July 29th. It’s sickeningly dull here, I simply don’t know what to do; I really can’t read and swing the whole day long, and Dora has become as dull as she used to be; that is, even duller, for not only does she not quarrel, but she won’t talk, that is she won’t talk about _certain things_. She is perfectly crazy about the baby of the young couple in the mezzanin; he’s 10 months old, and I can’t see what she sees to please her in such a little pig; she’s always carrying him about and yesterday he made her all wet, I wished her joy of it. It made her pretty sick, and I hope it will cure her infatuation.

Thank goodness to-morrow is my birthday, that will be a bit of a change. To-morrow we are going to the Parapluie Berg, but I hope we shan’t want our umbrellas. Father is coming back at 1 so that we can get away at 2 or half past. Hella has sent me to-day a lock-up box for letters, etc.!!! of course filled with sweets and a tremendously long letter to tell me how _she_ is getting on in Gastein. But they are only going to stay a month because it is frantically expensive, a roll 5 krenzer and a bottle of beer 1 crown. And the rolls are so small that one simply has to eat 3 for breakfast and for afternoon tea. But it’s awfully smart in the hotel, several grooms; then there are masses of Americans and English and even a consul’s family from Sydney in Australia.–I spend most of the day playing with two dachshund puppies. They are called Max and Moritz, though of course one of them is a bitch. That is really a word which one ought not to write, for it means something, at least in its other meaning.




July 31st. Yesterday was my birthday, the thirteenth. Mother gave me a clock with a luminous dial which I wanted for my night-table. Of course that is chiefly of use during the long winter nights; embroidered collars; from Father, A Bad Boy’s Diary, which one of the nurses lent Hella when she was in hospital; it’s such a delightfully funny book, but Father says it’s stupid because no boy could have written all that, a new racquet with a leather case, an awfully fine one, a Sirk, and tennis balls from Dora. Correspondence cards, blue-grey with silver edge. Grandfather and Grandmother sent a basket of cherries, red ones, and a basket of currants and strawberries; the strawberries are only for me for my birthday. Aunt Dora sent three neckties from Berlin for winter blouses. In the afternoon we went to the Par.-Berg. It would have been awfully jolly if only Mother could have gone too or if Hella had been there.

August 1st. I got a letter from Ada to-day. She sends me many happy returns, for she thinks it is on the 1st of August, and then comes the chief thing. She is frightfully unhappy. She writes that she wants to escape from the cramping environment of her family, she simply can’t endure _the stifling atmosphere of home_. She has been to St. P. to see the actor for whom she has such an admiration, he heard her recite something and said she had real dramatic talent; he would be willing to train her for the stage, but only with her parents’ consent. But of course they will never give it. She writes that this has made her _so nervous_ she feels like crying or raving all day long, in fact she can’t stand so dismal a life any longer. _I_ am her last hope. She would like me to come to stay with them, or still better if she could come and stay with us for two or 3 weeks, then she would tell Mother about everything, and perhaps it might be possible to arrange for her to live with us in Vienna for a year; in the autumn Herr G., the actor, is coming to the Raimund Theatre and she could begin her training there. At the end of her letter she says that it rests with my discretion and my tact to make her the happiest creature in the world! I don’t really know what I shall be able to do. Still, I’ve made a beginning; I said I found it so frightfully dull–if only Hella were here, or at least Ada, or even Marina. Then Mother said: But Marina is away in the country, in Carinthia, and it’s not likely that Ada will be able to come. Father, too, is awfully sorry that I find it so dull, and so at supper he said: Would you really like Ada to come here? Certainly her age makes her a better companion for you than Dora. You seemed to get on better together last year. And then he said to Mother: Do you think it would bother you, Berta, to have Ada here? and Mother said, “Not a bit; if Gretel would like it; it’s really her turn now, Dora came with me to Franzensbad, Oswald is having his walking tour, and only our little pet has not had anything for herself; would you like it Gretel?” “Oh yes, Mother, I should like it awfully, I’ll write directly; it’s no fun to me to carry about that little brat the way Dora does, and jolly as the Bad Boy’s Diary is I can’t read it all day.” So I am writing to Ada directly, just as if _I_ had thought of it and wanted her to come. I shall be so frightfully happy if it all comes off and if Ada really becomes a great actress, like Wolter whom Mother is always talking of, then I shall have done something towards helping Vienna to have a great actress and towards making Ada the happiest creature in the world instead of the unhappiest.

August 2nd. In my letter I did not say anything to Ada about our having been ennobled, or as Dora says _re-ennobled_, since the family has been noble for generations; she will find out about it soon enough when she comes here. Mother keeps on saying: Don’t put on such airs, especially about a thing which we have not done anything particular to deserve. But that’s not quite fair, for unless Father had done such splendid service in connection with the laws or the constitution or something two years ago, sometimes sitting up writing all night, perhaps he would never have been re-ennobled. Besides, I really can’t see why Father and Mother should have made such a secret about it last winter. They might just as well have let us know. But I suppose Father wanted to give us a real surprise. And he did too; Dora’s face and the way Oswald cleared his throat!! As far as I can make out no one seems to have noticed what sort of a face I was making.

August 3rd. I’ve found out now why Dora is so different, that is why she is again just as she was some time ago, before last winter. During the 4 weeks in Fr. she has _found a real friend in Mother!_ To-day I turned the conversation to Viktor, and all she said at first was: Oh, I don’t correspond with him any more. And when I asked: “Have you had a quarrel, and whose fault was it?” she said: “Oh, no, I just _bade him farewell_.” “What do you mean, bade him farewell; but he’s not really going to Amer- ica, is he?” And then she said: “My dear _Rita_, we had better clear this matter up; I parted from him upon the well-justified wish of our _dear Mother_.” I must say that though I’m _awfully, awfully_ fond of Mother, I really can’t imagine having her as a _friend_. How can one have a true friendship with one’s own mother? Dora really can’t have the least idea _what_ a _true friendship_ means. There are some things it’s impossible for a girl to speak about to her mother, I could not possibly ask her: Do you know what, _something has happened_, really means? Besides, I’m not quite sure if she does know, for when she was 13 or 15 or 16, people may have used quite different expressions, and the modern phrases very likely did not then mean what they mean now. And what sort of a friendship is it when Mother says to Dora: You must not go out now, the storm may break at any moment, and just the other evening: Dora you _must_ take your shawl with you. Friendship between mother and daughter is just as impossible as friendship between father and son. For between friends there can be no orders and forbiddings, and what’s even more important is that one really can’t talk about all the things that one would like to talk of. All I said last night was: “Of course Mother has forbidden you to talk to me about _certain things_; do you call that a friendship? Then she said very gently: “No, Rita, Mother has not forbidden me, but I recognise now that it was thoughtless of me to talk to you about those things; one learns the seriousness of life quite soon enough.” I burst out laughing and said: “Is _that_ what you call the seriousness of life? Have you really forgotten how screamingly funny we found it all? It seemed to me that your memory has been affected by the mud baths.” She did not answer that. I do hope Ada will come. For _I_ need _her_ now just as much as _she_ needs _me_.

August 4th. Glory be to God, Ada’s coming, but not directly because they begin their family washing on the 5th and no one can be spared to come over with her till the 8th. I am so glad, the only thing I’m sorry about is that _she_ will sleep in the dressing- room and not Dora. But Mother says that Dora and I must stay together and that Ada can leave the door into the dining-room open so that she won’t feel lonely.

August 7th. The days are so frightfully long. Dora is as mild and gentle as a nun, but she talks to me just as little as a nun, and she’s eternally with Mother. The two dachshunds have been sold to some one in Neulengbach and so it is so horribly dull. Thank goodness Ada is coming to-morrow. Father and I are going to meet her at the station at 6.

August 8th. Only time for a word or two. Ada is more than a head taller than I am; Father said: Hullo you longshanks, how you have shot up. I suppose I must treat you as a grown-up young lady now? And Ada said: Please, Herr Oberlandesgerichtsrat; please treat me just as you used to; I
am so happy to have come to stay with you.” And her mother said: Yes, unfortunately she is happy anywhere but at home; “_that is the way with young people to-day_.” Father helped Ada out and said: Frau Haslinger, the sap of life was rising in us once, but it’s so long ago that we have forgotten.” And then Frau Dr. H. heaved a tremendous sigh as if she were suffocating, and Ada took me by the arm and said under her breath: Can you imagine what my life is like _now_? Her mother is staying the night here, and she spent the whole evening lamenting about everything under the sun (that’s what Ada told me just before we went to bed); but I did not pay much attention to what Frau H. was doing, for I’m positively burning with curiosity as to what Ada is going to talk to me about. To-morrow morning, directly after breakfast!

August 12th. For 3 days I’ve had no time to write, Ada and I have had such a lot to say to one another. She _can’t_ and _won’t_ live any longer without art, she would _rather die than give up her plans_. She still has to spend a year at a continuation school and must then either take the French course for the state examination or else the needlecraft course. But she wants to do all this in Vienna, so that in her spare time she can study for the stage under Herr G. She says she is not in love with him any longer, that he is only a _means to an end_. She would sacrifice _anything_ to reach her goal. At first I did not understand what she meant by anything, but she explained to me. She has read Bartsch’s novel Elisabeth Kott, the book Mother has too, and a lot of other novels about artistic life, and they all say the same thing, that _a woman cannot become a true artist until she has experienced a great love_. There may be something in it. For certainly a _great love_ does make one _different_; I saw that clearly in Dora; when she was madly in love with Viktor, and the way she’s relapsed now!! She is learning Latin again, to make up for lost time! Ada does not speak to her about her plans because Dora _lacks true insight!_ Only to-day she mentioned before Dora that whatever happened she wanted to come to Vienna in the autumn so that she could often go to the theatre. And Dora said: You are making a mistake, even people who live in Vienna don’t go to the theatre often; for first of all one has very little time to spare, and secondly one often can’t get a seat; people who live in the country often fancy that everything is much nicer in Vienna than it really is.

August 14th. Just a word, quickly. To-day when Ada was having a bath Mother said to _us two_: “Girls, I’ve something to tell you; I don’t want you to get a fright in the night. Ada’s mother told me that Ada is very nervous, and often walks in her sleep.” “I say,” said I, “that’s frightfully interesting, she must be _moonstruck_; I suppose it always happens when the moon is full.” Then Mother said: “Tell me, Gretel, how do you know about all these things? Has Ada talked to you about them?” “No,” said I, “but the Frankes had a maid who walked in her sleep and Berta Franke told Hella and me about it.” It has just struck me that Mother said: how do you know about all _these_ things? So it must have something to do with _that_. I wonder whether I dare ask Ada, or whether she would be offended. I’m frightfully curious to see whether she will walk in her sleep while she is staying here.

August 15th. Hella’s answer came to-day to what I had written her about the _friendship_ between Mother and Dora. Of course she does not believe either that _that_ is why Dora _bade farewell_ to Viktor, for it is no reason at all. Lizzi has never had any particular friendship with her mother, and Hella could never dream of anything of the sort; she thinks I’m perfectly right, one may be _awfully_ fond of one’s parents, but there simply can’t be any question of a friendship. She would not stand it if I were so changeable in my friendships. She thinks Dora can never have had a true friendship, and that is why she has taken up with Mother now. The Bruckners are coming back on the 19th because everything is so frightfully expensive in Gastein. After that most likely they will go to stay with their uncle in Hungary, or else to Fieberbrunn in Tyrol. For Hella’s name day I have sent her A Bad Boy’s Diary because she wanted to read it again. Now we have both got it, and can write to one another which are the best bits so that we can read them at the same time.

August 20th. _Last night Ada really did walk in her sleep_, probably we should never have noticed it, but she began to recite Joan of Arc’s speech from The Maid of Orleans, and Dora recognised it at once and said: “I say, _Rita_, Ada really is walking in her sleep.” We did not stir, and she went into the dining- room, but the dining-room door was locked and the key taken away, for it opens directly into the passage, and then she knocked up against Mother’s sofa and that woke her up. It was horrible. And then she lost her way and came into our room instead of going into her own; but she was already awake and begged our pardon and said she’d been looking for the W. Then she went back to her own room. Dora said we had better pretend that we had not noticed it, for otherwise we should upset Ada. Not a bit of it, after breakfast she said: “I suppose I gave you an awful fright last night; don’t be vexed with me, I often get up and walk about at night, I simply can’t stay in bed. Mother says I always recite when I am walking like that; do I? Did I say anything?” “Yes,” I said, “you recited Joan of Arc’s speech.” “Did I really,” said she, “that is because they won’t let me go on the stage; I’m certain I shall go off my head; if I do, you will know the real reason at any rate.” This sleep-walking is certainly very interesting, but it makes me feel a little creepy towards Ada, and it’s perfectly true what Dora has always said: One never knows what Ada is really looking at. It would be awful if she were really to go off her head. I’ve just remembered that her mother was once in an asylum. I do hope she won’t go mad while she is staying here.

August 21st. Mother heard it too the night before last. She is so glad that she had warned us, and Dora says that if she had not known it beforehand she would probably have had an attack of palpitation. Father said: “Ada is thoroughly histerical, she has inherited it from her mother.” In the autumn Lizzi is going to England to finish her education and will stay there a whole year. Fond as I am of Ada and sorry as I am for her, she makes me feel uneasy now, and I’m really glad that she’s going home again on Tuesday. She told me something terrible to-day: Alexander, he is the actor, has _venereal disease_, because he was once an officer in the army; she says that all officers have venereal disease, as a matter of course. At first I did not want to show that I did not understand exactly what she meant, but then I asked her and Ada told me that what was really amiss was that _that_ part of the body either gets continually smaller and smaller and is quite eaten away, or else gets continually larger because it is so frightfully swollen; the last kind is much better than the other, for then an operation can help; a retired colonel who lives in H. was operated upon in Vienna for _this_; but it did not cure him. There is only one real cure for a man with a venereal disease, that a young girl should _give herself_ to a man suffering from it! (Mad. often said that too), then she gets the disease and he is cured. That made Ada understand that she did not really love A., but only wanted him to train her; for she could never have done that for him, and she did not know how she could propose _that_ to him even _if_ she had been willing to. Besides, it is generally the man concerned who asks it of the girl. And when I said: “But just imagine, what would you do if you got a baby that way,” and she said: “That does not come into the question, for when a man has venereal disease it is _impossible_ to have a child by him. But after all, only a woman who has had a baby can become a true artist.” Franke, who has a cousin on the stage said something of the same sort to Hella and me; but we thought, Franke’s cousin is only in the Wiener Theatre, and that might be true there; but it may be quite different in the Burg Theatre and in the Opera and even in the People’s Theatre. I told Ada about this, and she said: Oh, well, I’m only a girl from the provinces, but I have known for ages that _every_ actress has a child.

23rd. Ada really is a born artist, to-day she read us a passage from a splendid novel, but oh, how wonderfully, even Dora said: “Ada, you are really phenominal!” Then she flung the book away and wept
and sobbed frightfully and said: “My parents are sinning against their own flesh and blood; but they will rue it. Do you remember what the old gypsy woman foretold of me last year: “A _great_ but _short_ career after many difficult struggles; and my line of life is broken!” That will all happen as predicted, and my mother can recite that lovely poem of Freiligrath’s or Anastasius Grun’s, or whosever it is “Love as long as thou canst, love as long as thou mayst. The hour draws on, the hour draws on, when thou shalt stand beside the grave and make thy moan.” Then Ada recited the whole poem, and when I went to bed I kept on thinking of it and could not go to sleep.

August 24th. To-day I ventured to ask Ada about the sleep-walking, and she said that it was really so, when she walked in her sleep it was always at _that time_ and when the moon is full. The first time, it was last year, she did it on purpose in order to frighten her mother, when her mother had first told her she would not be allowed to go on the stage. It does not seem to me a very clever idea, or that she is likely to gain anything by it. The day after to-morrow someone is coming to fetch her home, and for that reason she was crying all the morning.

August 25th. Hella was here to-day with her mother and Lizzi. Hella had a splendid time in Gastein. She wanted to have a private talk with me, to tell me something important. That made it rather inconvenient that Ada was still there. Hella never gets on with Ada, and she says too that one never really knows what she is looking at, she always looks right through one. We could not get a _single minute_ alone together for a talk. I do hope Hella will be able to come over once more before she goes to Hungary. Last week they went to Fieberbrunn in Tyrol because an old friend of her mother’s from Berlin is staying there.

August 26th. Ada went home to-day, her father came to fetch her. He says she has a screw loose, because she wants to go on the stage.

August 28th. Hella came over to-day; she was alone and I met her at the steam tram. At first she did not want to tell me what the important thing was because it was _not flattering_ to me, but at last she got it out. The Warths were in Gastein, and since Hella knows Lisel because they used to go to gym. together, they had a talk, and that cheeky Robert said: Is your friend still such a baby as she was that time in er . . . er . . ., and then he pretended he could not remember where it was; and he spoke of _that time_ as if it had been 10 years ago. But the most impudent thing of all was this; he said that I had not wanted to call him Bob, because that always made me think of a certain part of the body; I never said anything of the kind, but only that I thought Bob silly and vulgar, and then he said (it was before we got intimate): “Indeed, Fraulein Grete, I really prefer that you should use my full name.” I remember it as well as if it had happened this morning, and I know exactly where he said it, on the way to the Red Cross. Hella took him up sharply: That may be all quite true, we have never discussed such trifles, and, at that time we were “all, _every one of us_, still nothing but children.” Of course she meant to include —-. I won’t even write his name. Another thing that made me frightfully angry is that he said: I dare say your friend is more like you now, but at that time she was still quite undeveloped. Hella answered him curtly: “That’s not the sort of phrase that it’s seemly to use to a young lady,” and she would not speak to him any more. I never heard of such a thing, what business is it of his whether I am _developed_ or not! Hella thinks that I was not quite particular enough in my choice of companions. She says that Bob is still nothing but a Bub [young cub]. That suits him perfectly, Bob– Bub; now we shall never call him anything but Bub; that is if we ever speak of him at all. When we don’t like some one we shall call him simply Bob, or better still B., for we really find it disagreeable to say Bob.

August 31st. The holidays are so dull this year, Hella has gone to Hungary, and I hardly ever talk to Dora, at least about anything _interesting_. Ada’s letters are full of nothing but my promises about Vienna. It’s really too absurd, I never promised any- thing, I merely said I would speak to Mother about it when I had a chance. I have done so already, but Mother said: There can be no question of anything of the kind.

September 1st. Hullo, Hurrah! To-morrow Hella’s father is going to take me to K– M–in Hungary to stay with Hella. I am so awfully delighted. Hella is an angel. When she was ill last Christmas her father said: She can ask for anything she likes. But she did not think of anything in particular, and had her Christmas wishes anyhow, so she saved up this wish. And after she had been here she wrote to her father in Cracow, where he is at manoeuvres, saying that if he would like to grant her her chief wish, then, when he came back to Vienna, he was to take me with him to K– M–; this was really the _greatest wish_ she had ever had in her life! So Colonel Bruckner called at Father’s office to-day and showed him Hella’s letter. To-morrow at 3 I must be at the State Railway terminus. Unfortunately that’s a horrid railway. The Western Railway is much nicer, and I like the Southern Railway better still.

September 2nd. I am awfully excited; I’m going to Vienna alone and I have to change at Liesing, I do hope I shall get into the right train. I got a letter from Hella first thing this morning, in which she wrote: “Perhaps we shall be together again in a few days.” That’s all she said about that; I suppose she did not know yet whether I was really coming. Mother will have to send my white blouses after me, because all but one are dirty. I’m going to wear my coat and skirt and the pink blouse. I’m going to take twenty pages for my diary, that will be enough; for I’m going to write whatever happens, in the mornings I expect, because in the holidays I’m sure Hella will never get up before 9; on Sundays in Vienna she would always like to lie in bed late, but her father won’t let her.

But whatever happens I won’t learn to ride, for it must be awful to tumble off before a strange man. It was different for Hella, for Jeno, Lajos, and Erno are her cousins, and one of them always rode close beside her with his arm round her waist: but that would not quite do in my case.

September 6th. Oh it is so glorious here. I like Jeno best, he goes about with me everywhere and shows me everything; Hella is fondest of Lajos and of Erno next. But Erno has still a great deal to learn, for he was nearly flunked in his exam. Next year Lajos will be a lieutenant, and this autumn Jeno is going to the military academy, Erno has a slight limp, nothing bad, but he can’t go into the army; he is going to be a civil engineer, not here, he is to go to America some day.

I have time to write to-day, for all 4 of them have gone to S. on their cycles and I have never learned.

It was lovely on the journey! It’s so splendid to travel with an officer, and still more when he is a colonel. All the stationmasters saluted him and the guards could not do enough to show their respect. Of course everyone thought I was his daughter, for he has always said “Du” to me since I was quite a little girl. But to Ada Father always says “Sie.” We left the train at Forgacs or Farkas, or whatever it is called, and Hella’s father hired a carriage and it took us 2 hours to drive to K– M–. He was awfully jolly. We had our supper in F., though it was only half past 6. It was a joke to see all the waiters tumbling over each other to serve him. It s just the same with Father, except that the stationmasters don’t all salute. Father looks frightfully distinguished too, but he is not in uniform.

Here is something awfully interesting: Herr von Kraics came yesterday from Radufalva, his best friend left him the Radufalva estate out of gratitude, because 8 years ago he gave up his fiancee with whom the friend was in love. It’s true, Colonel Bruckner says that K. is a wretched milksop; but I don’t think so at all; he has such fiery eyes, and looks a real Hungarian nobleman. Hella says that he used to run himself frantically into debt, because every six months he had an _intimacy_ with some new woman; and all the presents he gave _reduced him almost to beggary_. Still, it’s difficult to believe that, for however fond a woman may be of flowers and sweets, one does not quite see why that should reduce anyone to beggary. Before we went to sleep last night Hella told me that Lajos had already been “infected” more or less; she says there is not an officer who has not got venereal disease and that is really what makes them so frightfully interesting. Then I told her what Ada had told me about the actor in St. P. But Hella said: I doubt if that’s all true; of course it is more likely since he was an actor, and especially since he was in the army at one time, but generally speaking civilians are _wonderfully_ healthy!!! And she could not stand that in her husband. Every officer has _lived_ frantically; that’s a polite phrase for having had venereal disease, and she would never marry a man who had not _lived_. Most girls, especially when they get a little older; want the very opposite! and then it suddenly occurred to me that _that_ was probably the _real_ reason why Dora _bade farewell_ to _Lieutenant R_., and not the _friendship with Mother_; it is really awfully funny, and no one would have thought it of her. Hella’s father thinks me _charming_; he is really awfully nice. Hella’s uncle hardly ever says anything, and when he does speak he is difficult to understand; Hella’s father says that his sister-in-law wears the breeches. That would never do for me; the man must be the _master_. “But not too much so” says Hella. She always gets cross when her father says that about wearing breeches. I got an awful start yesterday; we went out on the veranda because we heard the boys talking, and found Hella’s great uncle lying there on an invalid couch. She told me about him once, that he’s quite off his head, not really paralysed but only pretends to be. Hella is terribly afraid of him, because long ago, when she was only 9 or 10 years old, he wanted to give her a thrashing. But her uncle came in, and then he let her go. She says he was only humbugging, but she is awfully afraid of him all the same. He keeps his room, and he has a male attendant, because no nurse can manage him. He ought really to be in an asylum but there is no high class asylum in Hungary.

September 9th. There was a frightful rumpus this morning; the great uncle, the people here call him “kutya mog” or however they spell it, and it means _mad dog_, well, the great uncle _spied in on us_. He can walk with a stick, our room is on the ground floor, and he came and planted himself in front of the window when Hella was washing and I was just getting out of bed. Then Hella’s father came and made a tremendous row and the uncle swore horribly in Hungarian. Before dinner we overheard Hella’s father say to Aunt Olga: “They would be dainty morsels for that old swine, those innocent children.” We did laugh so, _we_ and _innocent children!!!_ What our fathers really think of us; we innocent!!! At dinner we did not dare look at one another or we should have exploded. Afterwards Hella said to me: I say, do you know that we have the same name day?” And when I said: “What do you mean, it seems to me you must have gone dotty this morning,” she laughed like anything and said: “Don’t you see, December 27th, Holy Innocents’ Day!” Oh it did tickle me. She knew that date although she’s a Protestant because December 27th is Marina’s birthday, and in our letters we used to speak of that deceitful cat as “The Innocent.”

The three boys and I have begun to use “Du” to one another, at supper yesterday Hella’s father said to Erno: “You seem frightfully ceremonious still, can’t you make up your minds to drop the “Sie?” So we clinked glasses, and afterwards when Jeno and I were standing at the window admiring the moon, he said: You Margot, that was not a real pledge of good-fellowship, we must kiss one another for that; hurry up, before anyone comes, and before I could say No he had given me a kiss. After all it was all right as it was Jeno, but it would not have done with Lajos, for it would have been horrid because of Hella, or Ilonka as they call her here.

Hella has just told me that they saw us kissing one another, and Lajos said: “Look Ilonka, they are setting us a good example.” We are so awfully happy here. It’s such a pity that on the 16th Jeno and Lajos have got to leave for the Academy, where Jeno is to enter and Lajos is in his third year: Erno, the least interesting of the three, is staying till October. But that is always the way of life, beautiful things pass and the dull ones remain. We go out boating every day, yesterday and to-day by moonlight. The boys make the boat rock so frightfully that we are always terrified that it will upset. And then they say: “You have your fate in your own hands; buy your freedom and you will be as safe as in Abraham’s bosom.”

September 12th. The great uncle _hates us_ since what happened the other day; whenever he sees us he threatens us with his stick, and though we are not really afraid, because he can’t do anything to us, still it’s rather creepy. One thinks of all sorts of things, stories and sagas one has read. That is the only thing I don’t quite like here. But we are leaving on the 18th. Of course Lajos and Jeno will often come to see the Bruckners; I’m awfully glad. I don’t know why, I always fancied that they could only speak Magyar; but that is not so at all, though they always speak it at home when they are alone. Hella told me to-day for the first time that all the flowers on the table by her bed one Sunday in hospital had been sent by Lajos; and she did not wish to tell me at that time because he wished her to keep it a secret. This has made me rather angry, for I see that I have been much franker with her than she has been with me.

September 16th. The boys left to-day, and we stayed up till midnight last night. We had been to N– K–, I don’t know how to spell these Hungarian names, and we did not get back till half past 11. It was lovely. But it seems all the sadder to-day, especially as it is raining as well. It’s the first time it’s rained since I came. Partings are horrid, especially for the ones left behind; the others are going to new scenes anyhow. But for the people left behind everything is hatefully dull and quiet. In the afternoon Hella and I went into Jeno’s and Lajos’ room, it had not been tidied up yet and was in a frightful mess. Then Hella suddenly began sobbing violently, and she flung herself on Lajos’ bed and kissed the pillow. _That_ is how she loves him! I’m sure _that_ is the way Mad. loves the lieutenant, but Dora is simply incapable of _such_ love, and then she can talk of her _true and intimate friendship with Mother_. Hella says she has always been in love with Lajos, but that _her eyes were first opened_ when she saw Jeno and me going about together and talking to one another. Now she will love Lajos for evermore. Next year they will probably get engaged, she can’t be engaged till she is 14 for her parents would not allow it. It is for her sake that he is going into the Hussars because she likes the Hussars best. They all _live frightfully hard_, and are tremendously smart.

September 21st. Since Saturday we have been back In Vienna, and Father, Mother, and Dora came back from Rodaun on Thursday. Dora really is too funny; since Ada stayed with us and walked in her sleep Dora is afraid she has been _infected_. She does not seem to know what the word really means! And while I was away she slept with Mother, and Father slept in our room, because she was afraid to sleep alone. Of course no one takes to walking in their sleep simply from sleeping alone, but that was only a pretext; Dora has never been very courageous, in fact she is rather a coward, and she was simply afraid to sleep alone. If Father had been afraid too, I suppose I should have had to come back post-haste, and if I had been afraid to travel alone, and there had been no one to come with me, that would have been a pretty state of affairs. I told them so. Father laughed like anything at my “_combinations_,” and Dora got in a frightful wax. She is just as stupid and conceited as she was _before_ she fell in love. So Hella is right when she says: Love enobles [veredelt]. Erno made a rotten joke about that when he heard Hella say it once. He said: You’ve made a slip of the tongue, you meant to say: Love makes fools of people [vereseltl. Of course that’s because he’s not in love with anyone.

September 22nd. School began again to-day. Frau Doktor M. is perfectly fascinating, she looks splendid and she said the same to both of us. Thank goodness she’s the head of our class again. In French we have a new mistress Frau Doktor Dunker, she is perfectly hideous, covered with pimples, a thing I simply can’t stand in any one; Hella says we must be careful never to let her handle our books; if she does we might catch them. In Maths and Physics we have another new mistress, she is a Doktor too, and she speaks so fast that none of us can understand her; but she looks frightfully clever, although she is very small. We call her “_Nutling_” because she has such a tiny little head and such lovely light-brown eyes. Otherwise the staff is the same as last year, and there are a few new girls and some have left, but only ones we did not know intimately. This is Franke’s last year at the Lyz., she will be 16 in April and has a splendid figure. Her worst enemy must admit that. Dora is having English lessons from the matron, and she is _awfully pleased_ about it, for she is one of her favourites and it will help her too in her matriculation.

September 25th. Yesterday and the day before Mother was so ill that the doctor had to be sent for at half past 10 at night. Thank goodness she is better now. But on such days I simply can’t write a word in my diary; I feel as if I oughtn’t to. And the days seem everlasting, for nobody talks much, and it’s awful at mealtimes. Mother was up again to-day, lying on the sofa.

September 29th. I’ve had such an awful toothache since the day before yesterday. Dora says it’s only an ache for a gold filling like Frau Doktor M.’s. Of course that’s absurd; for first of all, surely I ought to know whether my own tooth hurts or not, and secondly the dentist says that the tooth really is decayed. I have to go every other day and I can’t say I enjoy it. At the same time, this year we have such a frightful lot to learn at school. The Nutling is really very nice, if one could only understand better what she says, but she talks at such a rate that in the Fifth, where she teaches too, they call her Waterfall. Nobody has ever given Frau Doktor M. a nickname, not even an endearing one. The only one that could possibly be given to her is Angel, and that could not be a real name, it’s quite unmeaning. In the drawing class we are going to draw from still life, and, best of all, animal studies too, I am so delighted.

October 4th. Goodness, to-day when we were coming home from the Imperial Festival, we met Viktor in M. Street, but unfortunately he did not see us. He was in full-dress uniform and was walking with 3 other officers whom neither I nor Hella know. We were frightfully angry because he did not recognise us; Hella thinks it can only be because we were both wearing our big new autumn hats, which shade our faces very much.

October 11th. There was a frightful row in the drawing lesson to-day. Borovsky had written a note to one of her friends: The little Jewess, F. (that means the Nutling) is newly imported from Scandalavia with her horsehair pate with or without inhabitants.” Something of that sort was what she had
written and as she was throwing it across to Fellner, Fraulein Scholl turned round at that very moment and seized the note. “Who is F.?”, she asked, but no one answered. That made her furious and she put the note in her pocket. At 1 o’clock, when the lesson was over, Borovsky went up to her and asked her for the note. Then she asked once more: “Who is F.?” And Fellner, thinking I suppose that she would help Borovsky out, said: “She forgot to write Frau Doktor Fuchs.” Then the row began. I can’t write it all down, it would take too long; of course Borovsky will be expelled. She cried like anything and begged and prayed, and said she did not mean it, but Fraulein Scholl says she is going to give the letter to the head.

October 12th. Continuation; the head is laid up with a chill, so Frl. Scholl gave the note to Frau Doktor M.; that was both good and bad. Good because Borovsky will perhaps be able to stay after all, and bad because Frau Doktor M. was frightfully angry. She gave us a fine lecture about True Good Manners, simply splendid. I was so glad that I was not mixed up in the business, for she did give Borovsky and Fellner a rating. It’s probably true, then, that her own fiance is a Jew. Its horrible that _she_ above all should be going to have a cruel husband; at least if all that Resi told us is true; and I expect there is some truth in it. We are frightfully curious to know whether the Nutling has heard anything about it and if so what she will do.

October 13th. I don’t think the Nutling can have heard anything for she seemed just as usual; but Hella thinks and so do I that she would not show anything even if Frl. Scholl had told her; anyhow it was horridly vulgar; one is not likely to pass it on to the person concerned. Why we think she does not know anything is that neither Borovsky nor Fellner were called up.

October 14th. To-day the needlewoman brought Dora’s handkerchiefs with her monogram and the coronet, lovely; I want some like them for Christmas. And for Mother she has embroidered six pillow-cases, these have a coronet too; by degrees we shall have the coronet upon everything. By the way, here is something I’d forgotten to write: In one of the first days of term Father gave each of us one of his new visiting cards with the new title, I was to give mine to Frau Doktor M. and Dora hers to Frau Prof. Kreidl, to have the names properly entered in the class lists. Frau Prof. Kreidl did not say anything, but Frau Doktor M. was awfully sweet. She said: “Well, Lainer, I suppose you are greatly pleased at this rise in rank?” And I said: “Oh yes, I’m awfully delighted, but only inside,” then she said: That’s right; “Religion, name, and money do not make the man.” Was not that charming! I write the v before my name awfully small; but anyone who knows can see it. What a shame that she is not noble! _She_ would be worthy of it!!

October 15th. Oswald has gone to Leoben to-day, he is to study mining, but _against_ Father’s will. But Father says that no one must be forced into a profession, for if he is he will always say throughout life that he only became this or that on compulsion. The other evening Dora said that Oswald had only chosen mining in order to get away from home; if he were to study law or agricultural chemistry he could not get away from Vienna, and that is the chief thing to him. Besides, he is a bit of a humbug; for when he came home from Graz after matriculation he said in so many words: “How delightful to have one’s legs under one’s own table again and to breathe the _family atmosphere_.” Dora promptly said to him: “Hm, you don’t seem to care so very much about home, for always when you come home for the holidays the first thing you do is to make plans for getting away.” For she is annoyed too that Oswald can travel about wherever he likes. And yet he goes on talking about being “_subjected to intolerable supervision”!!_ What about us? He can stay out until 10 at night and _never_ comes to afternoon tea, and in fact does just what he likes. If I go to supper with Hella and am just ever so little late, there’s a fine row. As for the lectures poor Dora had to endure when Viktor was waiting for her, I shall never forget them. Of course she denies it all now, but I was present at some of them so I know; otherwise he would not have called me “the Guardian Angel.” She behaves now as if she had forgotten all about that, so I often remind her of it on purpose when we are alone together. The other day she said: “I do beg you, Grete (not Rita), don’t speak any more of that matter; I have buried the affair for ever.” And when I said: “Buried, what do you mean? A true love can’t simply be _buried_ like that,” she said: “It was not a true love, and that’s all there is to say about it.”

October 16th. I had a frantically anxious time in the arithmetic lesson to-day. All of a sudden Hella flushed dark red and I thought to myself: Aha, that’s it! And I wrote to her on my black-line paper: Has it begun??? for we had agreed that she would tell me directly, she will be 14 in February and _it_ will certainly begin soon. Frau Doktor F. said: Lainer, what was that you pushed over to Br.? and she came up to the desk and took the black-line paper. “What does that mean: Has it begun???” Perhaps she really did not know what I meant, but several of the girls who knew about it too laughed, and I was in a terrible fright. But Hella was simply splendid. “Excuse me, Frau Doktor, Rita asked whether the frost had begun yet.” “And that’s the way you spend your time in the mathematics lesson?” But thank goodness that made things all right. Only in the interval Hella said that really I am inconceivably stupid sometimes. What on earth did I want to write a thing like that for? _When_ it begins, _of course_ she will let me know directly. As a matter of fact it has _not_ begun yet. We have agreed now that it will be better to say “Endt,” a sort of portmanteau word of _developed_ [entwickelt] and _at last_ [endlich] . That will really be splendid and Hella says that I happened upon it in a lucid interval. It’s really rather cheeky of her, but after all one can forgive anything to one’s friend. She absolutely insists that I must never again put her in such a fix in class. Of course it happened because I am always thinking: Now then, this is the day.

November 8th. On Father’s and Dora’s birthday Mother was so ill that we did not keep it at all. I was in a terrible fright that Mother was seriously ill, or even that — — — — — No, I won’t even think it; one simply must not write it down even if one is not superstitious. Aunt Dora came last week to keep house for Mother. We are not going skating, for we are always afraid that Mother might get worse just when we are away. As soon as she is able to get up for long enough Father is going to take her to see a specialist in the _diseases of women_; so it must be true that Mother’s illness comes from _that_.

November 16th. Oh it’s horrible, Mother has to have an operation; I’m so miserable that I can’t write.

November 19th. Mother is so good and dear; she wants us to go skating to take our thoughts off the operation. But Dora says too that it would be brutal to go skating when Mother is going to have an operation in a few days. Father said to us yesterday evening: “Pull yourselves together children, set your teeth and don’t make things harder for your poor Mother.” But I can’t help it, I cry whenever I look at Mother.

November 23rd. It is so dismal at home since Mother went away; we had to go to school and we believed she would not leave until the afternoon, but the carriage came in the morning. Dora says that Father had arranged all that because I could not control myself. Well, who could? Dora cries all day; and at school I cried a lot and so did Hella.

November 28th. Thank goodness, it’s all safely over, Mother will be home again in a fortnight. I’m so happy and only now can I realise how _horribly_ anxious I have been. We go every day to see Mother at the hospital; I wish I could go alone, but we always go all together, that is either with Father or with Aunt Dora. But I suspect that Dora does go to see Mother quite alone, she gave herself away to-day about the flowers, she behaves as if Mother were only _her_ mother. On Thursday, the first time we saw Mother, we all whispered, and Mother cried, although the operation had made her quite well again. Unfortunately yesterday, Aunt Alma was there when we
were, and Father said that seeing so many people at once was too exciting for Mother, and we must go away. Of course he really meant that Aunt Alma and Marina had better go away, but Aunt did not understand or would not. Why on earth did Aunt come? We hardly ever meet since the trouble about Marina and that jackanapes Erwin; only when there is a family party; Oswald says it’s not a family gathering but a family dispersal because nearly always some one takes offence.

November 30th. To-day I managed to be _alone_ with Mother. At school I said I had an awfully bad headache and asked if I might go home before the French lesson; I really had. What I told Mother was that Frau Doktor Dunker was ill, so we had no lesson. Really one ought not to tell lies to an invalid, but this was a _pious fraud_ as Hella’s mother always calls anything of the sort, and no one will find out, because Frau Doktor Dunker has nothing to do with the Fourth, so Dora won’t hear anything about it. Mother said she was _awfully pleased_ to be able to see _me_ alone for once. That absolutely proves that Dora does go alone. Mother was so sweet, and Sister Klara said she was a perfect angel in goodness and patience. Then I burst out crying and Mother had to soothe me. At first, after I got home, I did not want to say anything about it, but when we were putting on our things after dinner to go and see Mother I said en passant as it were: “This is the second time I shall be seeing Mother to-day.” And when Dora said: What do you mean? I said quite curtly: “One of our lessons did not come off, and so I took the chance _too_ of being able to see Mother _alone_.” Then she said: Did the porter let you in without any trouble? It surprises me very much that such _very_ young girls, who are almost children still, are allowed to go in alone. Luckily Aunt came in at that moment and said: “Oh well, nobody thinks Gretl quite a child now, and _both of you_ can go alone to the hospital all right.” On the way we did not speak to one another.

December 5th. For St. Nicholas day we took Mother a big flower pot, and tied to the stick was a label on which Father had written; “Being ill is punishable as an unpermissible offence in the sense of Section 7 the Mothers’ and Housewives’ Act.” Mother was frightfully amused. The doctor says she is going on nicely, and that she will be able to come home in a few days.

December 6th. It was awful to-day. In the evening when we were leaving the dining-room Father said: “Gretl you have forgotten something. And when I came back he took me by the hand and said: “Why didn’t you tell me that you want so much to see Mother _alone_? You need not make such a secret of it.” And then I burst out crying and said: “Yes, I need not keep it secret from you, but I don’t like Dora to know all about it. Did she tell you what happened the other day?” But Father does not know anything about my pretended headache, but only that I wanted so much to see Mother alone. He was awfully kind and kissed and petted me, saying: “You are a dear little thing, little witch, I hope you always will be.” But I got away as quick as I could, for I felt so ashamed because of my fibbing. If it were not for Dora I’m sure I should never tell any lies.

December 6th. Father is an angel. He and I went to see Mother in the morning, and Aunt and Dora went in the afternoon. And since Father had to go into the Cafe where he had an appointment with a friend, I went on alone to see Mother and he came in afterwards. Mother asked me about my Christmas wishes; but I told her I had only one wish, that she should get well and live for ever. I was awfully glad that Dora was not there, for I could never have got that out before her. Still, she made me tell her my wishes after all, so I said I wanted handerkerchiefs with “monogram and coronet,” visiting cards with _von_, a satchel like that which most of the girls in the _higher_ classes have, and the novel Elizabeth Kott. But I am not to have the novel, for Mother was horrified and said: My darling child, that’s not the sort of book for you; who on earth put that into your head; Ada, I suppose? From what I know of your tastes, it really would not suit you at all. So I had to give that up, but I’m certain I should not find the book stupid.

December 11th. Mother came home again to-day; we did not know what time she was coming, but only that it was to be to-day. And because I was so glad that Mother is quite well again, I sang two or three songs, and Mother said: That is a good omen when one is greeted with a song. Then Dora was annoyed because _she_ had not thought of singing. We had decorated the whole house with flowers.

December 15th. I am embroidering a cushion for Mother and Dora is making her a footstool so that