Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/73

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who, in a discussion, being accused of growing more
and more confused, answered hastily, "No ; I am only
arranging my thoughts."
  It may be time here to look a little more closely at the
character of young Mander. If he has shown himself
hitherto only as one of those miserable, vapid beings on
whom the sensuous side of life alone has influence, and
who are not capable of being elevated above mere
physical enjoyments, he has not manifested his charac-
ter so fully as to render our judgment of it quite cer-
tain. On the contrary, although two years younger
than his sister, who was now twenty-three, his exterior
was no longer the mirror of his heart. While she
united calculation and impulse, so that the most expe-
rienced observer of human nature would have found it
difficult to decide what was the real spring of her ac-
tion, and even she herself would have been embarrassed
to understand her own motives, he possessed a heart
capable of the warmest susceptibility for all that is
truly great and beautiful, though the aims of his life
had been almost exclusively directed to mere sensual
enjoyment. It was not really a mask which he had as-
sumed, when he spoke and acted as if he knew nothing
higher than the well-being of the body and the gratifica-
tion of the senses ; but he rather belonged to that class
of city young men who call it the philosophy of life to
drown every earnest tone of the heart in the noise of
mirth and revelry. He was yet too young to have the
germs of a true life entirely overgrown and choked by
that philosophy which is the offspring of a fallen spirit,
who, wishing to cover his own degradation, and silence
the voice of conscience, dignifies his brutishness by the