Summary Impatience of the heart Stefan Zweig

Summary Impatience of the heart Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig
Impatience of the heart
In 1938, the narrator accidentally met the knight of the Order of Maria Theresa Anton Hofmiller, who told him about what happened to him a quarter of a century ago when he was twenty-five years old. The narrator wrote down his story, changing only the names in it and some small details, allowing to guess who and what it is about.
Anton Hofmiller was the son of a poor official, burdened by a large family. He was sent to a military school, and at the age of eighteen he graduated from it. Thanks to a distant relative, he fell into the cavalry. Service in this kind of troops is not affordable, and the young man was surrounded by much more wealthy comrades. At the end of 1913, the squadron, where he served, was transferred from Yaroslavl to a small garrison town near the Hungarian border. In May 1914, the local pharmacist, who was also the assistant to the burgomaster, introduced Anton to the richest man in the district – Mr. von Kekeshfalve, whose niece struck Anton with his beauty. Anton was invited to the house to the Kekeshfalls, and he was delighted with the warm welcome. He danced a lot with the niece of Kekesfalva Ilona, ​​and with other girls, and only at half past ten I realized, that he forgot about the owner’s daughter and did not invite her to a waltz. Anton hastened to correct the mistake, but in response to his invitation, Edith Kekeshfalva burst into tears. Anton could not understand what was

happening, and Ilona explained to him that Edith paralyzed her legs and she could not step a step without crutches. Confused, Anton hastened to leave.
He felt like a whip lashed the child, and then fled like a criminal, without even trying to justify himself. To make amends, Anton bought a huge bouquet of roses for the last money and sent him to Edith. The girl answered him with a thank-you letter and invited him to a cup of tea. When Anton came, Edith and Ilona were delighted and accepted him as a dear friend. He began to visit them without ceremony and became very attached to both of them, but Ilona seemed to him to be a real woman with whom he wanted to dance and kiss, and Edith, at the age of seventeen or eighteen, looked like a child who wanted to be petted and comforted. Edith felt some strange uneasiness, her mood often changed. When Anton first saw Edith moving around, clutching his crutches and dragging his feet with difficulty, he was horrified. Unlimitedly suffering from her helplessness, she wanted to take revenge on the healthy, forcing them to look at her agony. Her father invited the most famous doctors in the hope that they would cure her – in fact five years ago she was a cheerful, agile child. He asked Anton not to take offense at Edith: she often is sharp, but her heart is kind. Anton felt boundless compassion and even felt shame because of his health.
One day, when he was galloping on a horse, he suddenly thought that if Edith sees him from the window of the estate, it may be painful for her to look at this leap. He jerked the reins and gave his lancers the command to go to the trot and, only when the manor disappeared from sight, again allowed them to go to a gallop. Anton experienced a rush of warm sympathy for the unfortunate sick girl, he even tried to brighten up her dreary life: seeing the girls rejoice at his arrival, he began to visit them almost every day: he told funny stories, entertained them as best he could. The owner gratefully thanked him for bringing Edith back to a good mood and she became almost as cheerful as before. Anton learned that Ilona was engaged to the assistant to a notary from Bechkeret and was waiting for Edith’s recovery or to improve her condition in order to get married with him. “Anton guessed, that Kekeshfalva promised a poor relative a dowry, if she agrees to wait with marriage. Therefore, the inflamed attraction to Ilona quickly died out, and his affection increasingly concentrated on Edith, who was deprived and defenseless. Friends began to banter about Anton, who stopped visiting their parties in the “Red Lion”: they say, of course, Kekeshfalva treats better. Seeing Anton’s gold cigarette case – a gift from Ilona and Edith to his birthday – the comrades noticed that he had learned to choose his friends well. By their ridicule they deprived Anton of self-confidence. He felt he was giving and helping, and then suddenly he saw how his relations with Kekeshfalvs looked from the outside, and he realized that many around him might find his behavior far from disinterested. He became less likely to visit the Kekeshfalls. Edith was offended and arranged a scene for him, the truth, then I asked for forgiveness. In order not to upset the sick girl, Anton again frequented their estate. Kekeshfalva asked Anton to ask Dr. Condor, who treated Edith, about what her chances of recovery are really: doctors often spare the sick and their relatives and do not tell them the whole truth, and Edith is tired of uncertainty and is losing patience. Kekeshfalva hoped that the strange person, what was Anton, Dr. Condor will say it as it is. Anton promised and after dinner with Kekeshfalvov went out with Condor and started a conversation with him. and Edith is tired of uncertainty and is losing patience. Kekeshfalva hoped that the strange person, what was Anton, Dr. Condor will say it as it is. Anton promised and after dinner with Kekeshfalvov went out with Condor and started a conversation with him. and Edith is tired of uncertainty and is losing patience. Kekeshfalva hoped that the strange person, what was Anton, Dr. Condor will say it as it is. Anton promised and after dinner with Kekeshfalvov went out with Condor and started a conversation with him.
Condor told him that first of all he was worried about the state of health not Edith, but her father: the old man so worried about his daughter that he had lost his peace and sleep, and with his weak heart this can end badly. Condor told Anton, who considered Kekeshfalva a Hungarian aristocrat, that in fact Kekeshfalva was born into a poor Jewish family and his real name is Lemmel Kanitz. As a child he was a runaway boy, but gave every moment to the teachings and gradually began to carry out more and more serious tasks. At twenty-five, he already lived in Vienna and was an agent of a reputable insurance company. His knowledge and the range of his activities became wider every year. From an intermediary, he turned into an entrepreneur and made a fortune. One day he was on a train from Budapest to Vienna. Pretending to be asleep, he overheard the conversation of his fellow travelers. They discussed the sensational case of the legacy of Princess Oroshvar: the evil old woman, having quarreled with her relatives, left her entire state to her companion, Fraulein Dietzenhof, a modest, hammered woman, patiently enduring all her quibbles and moods. The princess’s relatives managed to fool the impractical heiress, and from the one-million-dollar inheritance she only had Kekeshfalva’s estate, which she most likely would also miss. Kanitz decided not to waste time going to the estate of Kekeshfalva and try to buy cheap from Fraulein Dietzenhof a collection of ancient Chinese porcelain. He was discovered by a woman whom he mistook as a servant, but it turned out that this was the new mistress of the estate. Having talked with her, Kanitz realized that unexpectedly fallen wealth is for this spoiled life of a woman not a joy, but, on the contrary, a burden, because she does not know what to do with it. She said that she would like to sell the estate of Kekeshfalva. Hearing this, Kanitz immediately decided to buy it. He skilfully talked and misread the letter from a Hungarian lawyer, as a result of which Fraulein Dietzenhof agreed to sell the estate for one hundred and fifty thousand crowns, considering this amount huge, whereas it was at least four times less than its present price. In order not to let the trustful woman come to her senses, Kanits hastened to go with her to Vienna and quickly arrange papers. When the deed was signed, Fraulein Dietzenhof wanted to pay Kanitsu for her labors. He refused money, and she began to thank him fervently. Kanitz felt a pang of conscience. Nobody ever thanked him, and he felt ashamed of the woman he had deceived. Successful transaction has ceased to please him. He decided to return the Fraulein estate, if she one day regrets that she sold it. Having bought a large box of chocolates and a bouquet of flowers, he appeared at the hotel, where she stopped to tell her about her decision. Fraulein was touched by his attention, and when he found out that she was going to go to Westphalia to distant relatives with whom she was not connected, she proposed to her. Two months later they got married. Kanitz took Christianity, and then changed his name to a more sonorous – von Kekeshfalva. The couple were very happy, they had a daughter, Edith, but the wife Kanitsa had cancer and she died. that she was going to go to Westphalia to distant relatives with whom she was not connected, had offered her. Two months later they got married. Kanitz took Christianity, and then changed his name to a more sonorous – von Kekeshfalva. The couple were very happy, they had a daughter, Edith, but the wife Kanitsa had cancer and she died. that she was going to go to Westphalia to distant relatives with whom she was not connected, had offered her. Two months later they got married. Kanitz took Christianity, and then changed his name to a more sonorous – von Kekeshfalva. The couple were very happy, they had a daughter, Edith, but the wife Kanitsa had cancer and she died.
After no millions helped him save his wife, Kanitz began to despise money. He spoiled his daughter and threw money to the right and left. When Edith fell ill five years ago, Kanits considered it a punishment for his former sins and did everything to cure the girl. Anton asked Condor whether Edith’s disease is curable. Condor honestly said that he does not know: he is trying various means, but has not yet achieved encouraging results. He read somehow about the method of Professor Viento and wrote to him to find out whether his method would be applicable to a patient like Edith, but he has not received a reply yet.
When, after talking with Condor, Anton approached the barracks, he saw Kekeshfalva, who was waiting for him in the rain, for he was anxious to find out what the doctor had said about Edith’s state of health. Anton did not have the heart to disappoint the old man, and he said that Condor is going to try a new method of treatment and is confident of success. Kekeshfalva told all about Edith, and the girl believed that soon will be healthy. Upon learning that Anton had encouraged the patient on his behalf, Condor was very angry. He received the answer of Professor Venno, from which it became clear: the new method is not suitable for treating Edith. Anton began to convince him that to open Edith now the whole truth is to kill her. It seemed to him that enthusiasm, high spirits can play a positive role, and the girl will at least be a little better. Condor warned Anton, that he takes on too much responsibility, but this did not frighten Anton. Before going to bed Anton opened the volume of the fairytales “A Thousand and One Nights” and read a fairy tale about a lame old man who could not go and asked the young man to carry it on his shoulders. But as soon as the old man, in fact, a former genie, climbed the young man’s shoulders, he began to mercilessly pursue him, not letting him rest. In a dream, an old man from a fairy tale acquired the features of Kekeshfalva, and Anton himself turned into an unhappy young man. When he came to the Kekeshfalls tomorrow, Edith announced to him that he was leaving for Switzerland for ten days. She asked when Anton would come there to visit them, and when the young man said that he had no money, answered that her father would gladly pay for his trip. Pride did not allow Anton to accept such a gift. Edith began to find out why he was at all with them, saying that he could not bear the general pity and condescension. And suddenly she said that it was better to rush from the tower than tolerate such an attitude. She was so worried that she wanted to hit Anton, but she could not stand on her feet and fell. Anton could not understand the reasons for her anger, but soon she asked for forgiveness, and when Anton was about to leave, suddenly clung to him and kissed him passionately on the lips, Anton was stunned: it never occurred to him that a helpless girl, in fact a cripple, could love and desire to be loved, like any other woman. Later Anton learned from Ilona that Edith had long been in love with him, and Ilona, ​​in order not to upset her, kept convincing the sick relative that she surely liked Anton. Ilona tried to persuade Anton not to disappoint the poor girl now, on the verge of recovery – after all, the treatment will require a lot of strength from her.
He received a love letter from Edith, followed by another, where she asked him to destroy the first. From the excitement during the exercises, Anton gave the wrong team and brought upon himself the Colonel’s anger. Anton wanted to quit, leave Austria, even asked a friend to help him, and soon he was offered a place of assistant treasurer on a merchant ship. Anton wrote a petition for resignation, but then he remembered the letters of Edith and decided to consult with Condor how to be. He went to the doctor’s home and was surprised to find that Condor is married to a blind woman, that he lives in a poor quarter and he cures poor people from morning till night. When Anton told Kondor everything, he explained to him that if he turned a girl’s head into his good-hearted compassion, now he would lose, it would kill her. Anton gave up his decision to resign. He began to feel grateful to Edith for her love. He was still at the Kekeshfalvs, he always felt in Edith’s behavior a secret, greedy waiting. Anton considered the days before her departure to Switzerland: it was to bring him the desired freedom. But Ilona informed him that the departure was postponed. Seeing that Anton does not feel anything for her, except compassion, Edith decided not to be treated: she wanted to be healthy only for his sake. Kekeshfalva on his knees begged Anton not to reject the love of Edith. Anton tried to explain to him that everyone would definitely decide that he married Edith for money and would despise him, and Edith herself would not believe in the sincerity of his feelings and would begin to think that he married her out of pity. He said that later, when Edith recovered, everything would be different. Kekeshfalva seized on his words and asked for permission to transfer them to Edith. Anton, firmly knowing that her illness is incurable, decided not to go any further than this, to which there is no binding promise. Before leaving, Edith Anton came to the Kekeshfalls and, when everyone raised their glasses for her health, embraced the old man in a tide of tenderness and kissed the girl. So the engagement took place. Edith put a ring on Anton’s finger, so that he would think about her until she was gone. Anton saw that he gave people happiness, and rejoiced with them. When he was about to leave, Edith tried herself, to carry him without crutches. She took a few steps, but lost her balance and fell. Instead of rushing to her aid, Anton recoiled in horror. He knew that right now he had to prove his loyalty to her, but he no longer had the strength to deceive himself and he ran wildly. decided not to go any further than this, to a non-binding promise. Before leaving, Edith Anton came to the Kekeshfalls and, when everyone raised their glasses for her health, embraced the old man in a tide of tenderness and kissed the girl. So the engagement took place. Edith put a ring on Anton’s finger, so that he would think about her until she was gone. Anton saw that he gave people happiness, and rejoiced with them. When he was about to leave, Edith tried herself, to carry him without crutches. She took a few steps, but lost her balance and fell. Instead of rushing to her aid, Anton recoiled in horror. He knew that right now he had to prove his loyalty to her, but he no longer had the strength to deceive himself and he ran wildly. decided not to go any further than this, to a non-binding promise. Before leaving, Edith Anton came to the Kekeshfalls and, when everyone raised their glasses for her health, embraced the old man in a tide of tenderness and kissed the girl. So the engagement took place. Edith put a ring on Anton’s finger, so that he would think about her until she was gone. Anton saw that he gave people happiness, and rejoiced with them. When he was about to leave, Edith tried herself, to carry him without crutches. She took a few steps, but lost her balance and fell. Instead of rushing to her aid, Anton recoiled in horror. He knew that right now he had to prove his loyalty to her, but he no longer had the strength to deceive himself and he ran wildly. when everyone raised their glasses for her health, embraced the old man in a tide of tenderness and kissed the girl. So the engagement took place. Edith put a ring on Anton’s finger, so that he would think about her until she was gone. Anton saw that he gave people happiness, and rejoiced with them. When he was about to leave, Edith tried herself, to carry him without crutches. She took a few steps, but lost her balance and fell. Instead of rushing to her aid, Anton recoiled in horror. He knew that right now he had to prove his loyalty to her, but he no longer had the strength to deceive himself and he ran wildly. when everyone raised their glasses for her health, embraced the old man in a tide of tenderness and kissed the girl. So the engagement took place. Edith put a ring on Anton’s finger, so that he would think about her until she was gone. Anton saw that he gave people happiness, and rejoiced with them. When he was about to leave, Edith tried herself, to carry him without crutches. She took a few steps, but lost her balance and fell. Instead of rushing to her aid, Anton recoiled in horror. He knew that right now he had to prove his loyalty to her, but he no longer had the strength to deceive himself and he ran wildly. When he was about to leave, Edith tried herself, to carry him without crutches. She took a few steps, but lost her balance and fell. Instead of rushing to her aid, Anton recoiled in horror. He knew that right now he had to prove his loyalty to her, but he no longer had the strength to deceive himself and he ran wildly. When he was about to leave, Edith tried herself, to carry him without crutches. She took a few steps, but lost her balance and fell. Instead of rushing to her aid, Anton recoiled in horror. He knew that right now he had to prove his loyalty to her, but he no longer had the strength to deceive himself and he ran wildly.
With grief, he went to a cafe, where he met friends. The apothecary had already told them, according to one of the servants of Kekeshfalva, that Anton was engaged to Edith. Anton, not knowing how to explain to them what he himself did not understand properly, said that it was not true. Realizing the depth of his betrayal, he wanted to shoot himself, but decided first to tell the whole Colonel. The colonel said that it was foolish to shoot a bullet through his head because of such nonsense, in addition, it casts a shadow on the whole regiment. He promised to talk to everyone who heard Anton’s words, and Anton himself sent the next morning with a letter to Chaslawice to the local lieutenant-colonel. In the morning Anton left.
His way lay through Vienna. He wanted to see Condor, but he did not find that house. He left Kondor a detailed letter and asked him to go immediately to Edith and tell her how he courageously renounced the engagement. If Edith, despite everything, will forgive him, the engagement will be sacred to him and he will forever remain with her regardless of whether she will recover or not. Anton felt that from now on his whole life belongs to the girl who loves him. Fearing that Condor would not immediately receive his letter and not be in time to arrive at the estate by half past four, when Anton usually went there, he sent Edith a telegram from the road, but she was not delivered to Kekeshfalva: because of the murder of the Erz-Duke Franz Ferdinand, the postal the message was interrupted. Anton managed to call Kondor in Vienna, and he told him that Edith had found out about his betrayal. Seizing the moment,
Anton got to the front and became famous for his courage. In fact, the thing was that he did not value his life. After the war, he gained courage, betrayed the past in oblivion and began to live like all other people. Since no one reminded him of his fault, he himself began to forget about this tragic story. Only once the past reminded of itself. At the Viennese Opera he noticed in the neighboring places Dr. Condor and his blind wife. He felt ashamed. He was afraid that Condor would recognize him, and as soon as the curtain began to fall after the first act, he hastily left the room. From that moment he finally became convinced that “no fault can be forgotten, while conscience remembers it.”


Summary Impatience of the heart Stefan Zweig