Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/56

Faan Wikipedia
Detdiar sidj as efterluket wurden.



Yet his joy was not unmixed. He could not bow his
knee before God, who had graciously protected and led
him back to the home of his fathers. Had he done so,
perhaps he might have recovered his former heart
again. The vain dream might have vanished. His
oath of fidelity to Maria might have been kept, and the
seductive form of Idalia have lost its power.
  In every man's life indeed such bewitching visions
sometimes rise, disturb his inward peace, and prevent
him from seeing clearly the duty which lies nearest to
him ; and if they are not mere dreams of fancy, but
rather called forth by extraordinary circumstances, they
often seem to him like the voice of destiny. They
hover about his soul as if inviting him to enjoyments
from which only narrow scruples and want of self-
reliance have hitherto withheld him, and which are cer-
tain to him if he will only venture to exert his powers.
They point out to him a future, in comparison with
which all that a quiet continuance in his former course,
a firm adherence to early principles, a willing obedience
to the hitherto supposed commands of God, have to
offer, seem vapid, colorless, even unworthy of him. It
seems to him that he has only to take a step forward to
escape a long servitude, and to enter into a paradise
whose gates he has himself, till now, kept obstinately
shut. He asks himself why he should not break the
feeble bars of duty and conscience ; indeed he fancies
these bonds are mere nursery tales, which he ought to
have outgrown, or that he now first understands what
duty and conscience really require of him. At such
times there is nothing in man that can restrain him
or point out to him the right path. The solid ground