Page:Specimens of German Romance (Volume 3).djvu/30

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



much worse repute than before your visit. Even my innocence has fallen into suspicion with them, from my having undertaken your defence too warmly.”

The demon of folly seems nowhere to have gained so complete an ascendancy as at these Spas and watering-places. For one real invalid there are at least ten in good health, who come only to eat, drink, or fool themselves into sickness. The fine mornings are slept away, while the moist evenings are chosen as the fittest time for enjoyment. Night-sleep, too, that best of all physicians, is for the most part neglected, and feasts and dancing and every sort of tumultuous pleasure occupy the hours of midnight, as was now to be the case; indeed, to carry the frenzy still higher, the ball was to be a masked ball. Wagen thought that since we were at the Spa, we might as well go through with it by becoming a party to this ball—a proposition which I would fain have scouted, for what pleasure could I expect from it?

“The less you expect,” replied Wagen jest-